The Research Unit FOR2281 with all projects of Phase I and II is funded by the German Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) DFG.
PROJECTS PHASE IIOur Research Unit FOR2281, which we nicknamed the "So-Long" project, includes two project phases. The currently ongoing Phase II comprises eleven projects.
Phase II has three foci: The projects of Focus A ‘Synthesis’ will undertake comparative studies and analyses to obtain an overarching view of the general and idiosyncratic mechanisms of the reshaping of the fecundity/longevity trade-off. Within Focus B ‘Regulators’, projects will perform functional experiments and in-depth analyses to reveal the pathways and networks and their re-wiring, underlying the reshaping of the fecundity/longevity trade-off using selected species. The projects of Focus C ‘Transitions’ will comparatively study ageing and the reshaping of the fecundity/longevity trade-off along multiple social transitions within bees, ants, and termites to uncover how and why sociality changed the trade-off.
Combined, we aim at gaining fundamental insights into the mechanisms and causes of ageing and sociality. By uncovering the basis of the apparent escape from the commonfecundity/longevity trade-off, we expect to understand better the fundamental biological rules governing fecundity, longevity,senescence, and health. We use state-of-the-art methods and techniques for data analyses, and use transcriptome (RNA-Seq) data paired-end sequenced on Illumina HiSeq XTen platforms.
All photos were taken by So-Long members or collaborators between 2015-2020.
FOCUS A: SYNTHESIS
TP03: TOWARDS TESTABLE QUANTITATIVE MODELS FOR THE EVOLUTION OF CASTE SPECIFIC AGEING PART II: INTEGRATING THEORY AND EXPERIMENT
Contributors: Prof. Dr. Franjo Weissing, Prof. Dr. Ido Pen, Dr. G. Sander van Doorn, Dr. Boris Kramer
FOCUS B: REGULATORS
FOCUS C: TRANSITIONS
TP08: A COMPARATIVE APPROACH TO THE FECUNDITY/LONGEVITY TRADE-OFF ACROSS TWO ORIGINS OF EUSOCIALITY IN THE BEES
Contributors: Prof. Dr. Robert Paxton, Andreia Teixeira, collaborating with Dr. Karen Meusemann
PROJECTS PHASE I
Phase I of the Research Unit comprised twelve projects. Nine projects focused on specific organisms and three projects performed comparative analyses. In addition, several joint projects were associated. We studied ageing from an ultimate and proximate perspective, covering three lineages of social insects (ants, bees, and termites) and using Drosophila melanogaster as a solitary control.
Outcome: Our initiative allowed us < among specific results - to develop the first evolutionary ageing models tailored to social insects which identified crucial variables for explaining queen longevity. Additionally, we developed standardized tools and approaches and we found promising cross-taxon candidate genes and pathways associated with ageing and the reversal of the fecundity/longevity trade-off. Transcriptome paired-end sequencing (RNA-Seq) was done on Illumina HiSeq 4000 platforms.
STUDIES FOCUSING ON SPECIFIC ORGANISMS
- Remoulding of the fecundity/longevity trade-off in a fungus-growing termite
- The fecundity/longevity trade-off in a clonal ant
- Fecundity/longevity reversal in a social insect with alternative reproductive strategies
- The genomic tool box to transform a short-lived social bee into a long-lived parasite
- Phenotypic plasticity and the fecundity/longevity trade-off: investigating the underlying genetic basis in an orchid bee at the cusp of sociality
- The physiological and metabolic basis of the fecundity/longevity trade-off in Drosophila
- Comparative analysis of the fecundity/longevity trade-off in social insects: Convergent evolution of longevity in eusocial cockroaches and Hymenoptera
- Comparative transcriptome analyses of the fecundity/longevity trade-off in social insects
- Contributors: Prof. Dr. Judith Korb, Florentine Schaub, Dr. Karen Meusemann in collaboration with all projects
- Towards a quantitative evolutionary theory of caste specific ageing