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All RNA-Seq data published with So-Long are available at Genbank, NCBI at Bioproject Accession PRJNA650536



FEATURE: Long Live the Queen. Science Magazine (2021), 371: 1302-1305.
Watch also now on YouTube !



Ageing and sociality:
Why, when and how does sociality
change ageing patterns?

Volume 376, Issue 1823

  • Majoe M, Libbrecht R, Foitzik S, Nehring V (2021) Queen loss increases worker survival in leaf-cutting ants under paraquat-induced oxidative stress. Phil Trans of the Royal Soc B. DOI:
  • Negroni MA, Macit MN, Stoldt M, Feldmeyer B, Foitzik S (2021) Molecular regulation of lifespan extension in fertile ant workers. Phil Trans of the Royal Soc B. DOI:
  • Kramer B, Volker Nehring V, Buttstedt A, Heinze J, Korb J, Libbrecht R, Meusemann K, Paxton RJ, Séguret A, Schaub F, Bernadou A (2021) Oxidative stress and senescence in social insects - a significant but inconsistent link? Phil Trans of the Royal Soc B. DOI:
  • Pen I, Flatt T (2021) Asymmetry, division of labour and the evolution of ageing in multicellular organisms. Phil Trans of the Royal Soc B. DOI:
  • Rau V, Korb J (2021) The effect of environmental stress on ageing in a termite species with low social complexity. Phil Trans of the Royal Soc B. DOI:
  • Korb J, Meusemann K, Aumer D, Bernadou A, Elsner D, Feldmeyer B, Foitzik S, Heinze J, Libbrecht R, Lin S, Majoe M, Monroy Kuhn JM, Nehring V, Negroni MA, Paxton RJ, Séguret AC, Stoldt M, Flatt T & the So-Long consortium (2021) Comparative transcriptomic analysis of the mechanisms underpinning ageing and fecundity in social insects. Phil Trans of the Royal Soc B. DOI:

  • Rodrigues MA, Merckelbach A, Durmaz E, Kerdaffrec E, Flatt T (2021) Transcriptomic evidence for a trade-off between germline proliferation and Immunity in Drosophila. Evolution Letters. In Press.
  • Elsner D, Hartfelder K, Korb J (2021) Molecular underpinnings of division of labour among workers in a socially complex termite. Sci Rep 11, 18269 (2021).
  • Kramer BH, van Doorn, SG, Barani BM, Pen I. Eusociality and the evolution of aging in superorganisms. Submitted. BioRxiv:


  • Negroni MA, Segers F, Vogelweith F, Foitzik, S (2020). Immune challenge reduces gut microbial diversity and triggers fertility-dependent gene expression changes in a social insect. BMC Genomics 21: 816. DOI:
  • Hartmann C, Haschlar J, Heinze J, Bernadou A (2020) Activity patterns and age-dependent changes in behavior in the clonal ant Platythyrea punctata. Journal of Insect Behavior 33: 149-157. DOI:
  • Bernadou A, Hoffacker E, Pable J, Heinze J (2020) Lipid content influences division of labour in a clonal ant. J. Exp. Biol: jeb.219238. DOI:
  • Meusemann K, Korb J, Schughart M, Staubach F (2020) No evidence for single-copy immune-gene specific signals of selection in termites. Front. Ecol. Evol. 8:26. DOI:


  • Hartmann C, Heinze J, Bernadou A (2019) Age-dependent changes in cuticular color and pteridine levels in a clonal ant. J Insect Physiol. 118: 103943. DOI:
  • Negroni MA, Foitzik S, Feldmeyer B (2019) Long-lived Temnothorax ant queens switch from investment in immunity to antioxidant production with age. Sci. Rep. 9:7270. DOI:
  • Aumer D, Stolle E, Allsopp M, Mumoki F, Pirk CWW, Moritz RFA (2019) A single SNP turns a social honey bee (Apis mellifera) worker into a selfish parasite. Mol. Biol. Evol. 36:516-526. DOI:
  • Monroy Kuhn JM, Meusemann K, Korb J (2019) Long live the queen, the king and the commoner? Transcript expression differences between old and young in the termite Cryptotermes secundus. PlOS ONE 14:e0210371. DOI:


  • Bernadou A, Schrader L, Pable J, Hoffacker E, Meusemann K, Heinze J (2018) Stress and early experience underlie dominance status and division of labour in a clonal insect. Proc. Biol. Sci. 285:20181468. DOI:
  • Kremer LPM, Korb J, Bornberg-Bauer E (2018) Reconstructed evolution of insulin receptors in insects reveals duplications in early insects and cockroaches. J. Exp. Zool. B. Mol. Dev. Evol. 330:305-311. DOI:
  • Jongepier E, Kemena C, Lopez-Ezquerra A, Belles X, Bornberg-Bauer E, Korb J (2018) Remodeling of the juvenile hormone pathway through caste-biased gene expression and positive selection along a gradient of termite eusociality. J. Exp. Zool. B. Mol. Dev. Evol. 330:296-304. DOI:
  • Harrison MC et al. (2018) Expansions of key protein families in the German cockroach highlight the molecular basis of its remarkable success as a global indoor pest. J. Exp. Zool. B. Mol. Dev. Evol. 330: 254-264. DOI:
  • Bornberg‐Bauer E, Harrison MC, Jongepier E (2018) The first cockroach genome and its significance for understanding development and the evolution of insect eusociality. J. Exp. Zool. B. Mol. Dev. Evol. 330: 251-253. DOI:
  • Elsner D, Meusemann K, Korb J (2018) Longevity and transposon defense, the case of termite resproductives. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 115:5504-5509. DOI:
  • Harrison MC, Jongepier E, Robertson HM, ..., Belles X, Korb J, Bornberg-Bauer E (2018) Hemimetabolous genomes reveal molecular basis of termite eusociality. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 2:557-566. DOI:
  • Aumer D, Mumoki F, Pirk CWW, Moritz RFA (2018) The transcriptomic changes associated with the development of social parasitism in the honeybee A. m. capensis. Sci. Nat. (Naturwissenschaften). 105:22. DOI:


  • Giehr J, Grasse AV, Cremer S, Heinze J, Schrempf A (2017) Ant queens increase their reproductive efforts after pathogen infection. R. Soc. Open Sci. 4:170547. DOI:
  • Giehr J, Heinze J, Schrempf A (2017) Group demography affects ant colony performance and individual speed of queen and worker aging. BMC Evol. Biol. 17:e173. DOI:
  • Heinze J (2017) Life history evolution in ants: the case of Cardiocondyla. Proc. Biol. Sci. 284:20161406. DOI:
  • Hoedjes KM, Rodrigues MA, Flatt T (2017) Amino acid modulation of lifespan and reproduction in Drosophila. Curr. Opin. Insect Sci. 23:118-122. DOI:
  • Kohlmeier P, Negroni MA, Kever M, Emmling S, Stypa H, Feldmeyer B, Foitzik S (2017) Intrinsic worker mortality depends on behavioral caste and the queens’ presence in a social insect. Sci. Nat. (Naturwissenschaften) 104:34. DOI:
  • Korb J, Belles X (2017) Juvenile hormone and hemimetabolan eusociality. Curr. Opin. Insect Sci. 22:109-116. DOI:
  • Korb J, Heinze J (2016) Major hurdles for the evolution of sociality. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 61:297-316. DOI:
  • Korb J, Thorne B (2017) Sociality in termites. In: Comparative Social Evolution (eds. DR Rubenstein, P Abbot), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 124-153
  • Kramer BH, Schaible R, Scheuerlein A (2016) Worker lifespan is an adaptive trait during colony establishment in the long-lived ant Lasius niger. Exp. Gerontol. 85:18-23. DOI:
  • Metzler S, Heinze J, Schrempf A (2016) Mating and longevity in ant males. Ecol. Evol. 6:8903-8906. DOI:
  • Schrempf A, Giehr J, Röhrl R, Steigleder S, Heinze J (2017) Royal Darwinian Demons: Enforced nhanges in reproductive efforts do not affect the life expectancy of ant queens. Am. Na.t 189:436-442. DOI:
  • Wild G, Korb J (2017) Evolution of delayed dispersal and subsequent evolution of helping, with implications for cooperative breeding. J. Theoret. Biol. 427:53-64. DOI:


Current Opinion in Insect Science - Special Issue 2016

Social Insects. Special Issue - Social Insects. Volume 16, [1]

  • De Verges J, Nehring V (2016) A critical look at proximate causes of social insect senescence: damage accumulation or hyperfunction? Curr Opin Insect Sci 16: 69-75. DOI:
  • Elsner D, Kremer LPM, Arning N, Bornberg-Bauer E (2016) Comparative genomic approaches to investigate molecular traits specific to social insects. Curr Opin Insect Sci 16:87-94. DOI:
  • Heinze J (2016) The male has done his work - the male may go. Curr Opin Insect Sci 16:22-27. DOI:
  • Korb J (2016) Why do social insect queens live so long? Approaches to unravel the sociality-aging puzzle. Curr Opin Insect Sci 16:104-107. DOI:
  • Kramer BH, van Doorn GS, Weissing F, Pen I (2016) Lifespan divergence between social insect castes: challenges and opportunities for evolutionary theories of aging. Curr Opin Insect Sci 16:76-80. DOI:
  • Monroy Kuhn JM, Korb J (2016) Social insects: aging and the re-shaping of the fecundity/longevity trade-off with sociality. Curr Opin Insect Sci 16:vii-x. DOI:
  • Negroni MA, Jongepier E, Feldmeyer B, Kramer BH, Foitzik S (2106) Life history evolution in social insects: a female perspective. Curr Opin Insect Sci 16:51-57. DOI:
  • Oettler J, Schrempf A (2016) Fitness and aging in Cardiocondyla obscurior ant queens. Curr Opin Insect Sci 16:58-63. DOI:
  • Rodrigues MA, Flatt T (2016) Endocrine uncoupling of the trade-off between reproduction and somatic maintenance in eusocial insects. Curr Opin Insect Sci 16:1-8. DOI:
  • Rueppell O, Aumer D, Moritz RFA (2016): Ties between ageing plasticity and reproductive physiology in honey bees (Apis mellifera) reveal a positive relation between fecundity and longevity as consequence of advanced social evolution. Curr Opin Insect Sci 16:64-68. DOI:
  • Séguret A, Bernadou A, Paxton RJ (2016) Facultative social insects can provide insights into the reversal of the longevity/fecundity trade-off across the eusocial insects. Curr Opin Insect Sci 16:95-103. DOI: