INSIGHTS OF CASTE DETERMINATIONS IN SOCIAL INSECTS
Journal: Acta Scientifica Malaysia (ASM)
Author: Shazzad Hossain, Md. Mamunur Rahman, Golam Mohammad Riaz, Habibur Rahman
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Eusocial insects display caste structures in which reproductive ability is possessed by a single or a few queens while all other colony members act as workers. In social insects like ants, bees, and termites, vital physiological processes are regulated at the colony scale. Females in social insects have at least one reproductive caste and one nonreproductive caste; many termites have at least two male castes. The castes have considerable anatomical, physiological, and behavioural differences in higher social insects. Organismal systems, such as pheromone sensing, hormone signaling, and brain signaling pathways, are deployed in novel circumstances to impact nestmate and colony behaviours due to physiological decentralization over evolutionary time. Significant morphogenesis with region-specific cellular proliferation and degradation occurs during soldier development through two moulting via a presoldier stage in termite. JH action has been developed, in which a high JH titer causes soldier differentiation and a low JH titer causes alate differentiation. A monogamous pair of primary reproductives (one king and one queen) generated from alates normally establishes termite colonies (winged adults). The nymph-alate pathway (sexual pathway) or the worker pathway differentiates larvae in Reticulitermes termites (neuter pathway). Haplo-diploid sex determination controls the first developmental transition, in which unfertilized (haploid) embryos become males and fertilized (diploid) embryos become females in the case of Cataglyphis ant genus. The queen’s mandibular gland secretion, a mix of fatty acids and aromatic chemicals, is critical for maintaining the reproductive division of labour in honeybees (Apis mellifera), suppressing ovary growth in workers. Besides this, the brood produced by the queen also inhibits ovary development in workers by emitting two pheromones: the brood pheromone (BP), mainly composed of esters, and the highly volatile E-b-ocimene.