We study the genetic and behavioral underpinnings of complex social systems in order to understand how these systems function and evolve. We are especially interested in how social interactions affect genetic architecture and trait evolution.
We use social insects, such as the pharaoh ant pictured above, as a study system because they are exemplar social systems and are also well-established models for research in social evolution, behavioral genetics, and collective behavior.
Walsh JT, L Pontieri, P d’Ettorre, TA Linksvayer. 2020. Ant cuticular hydrocarbons are heritable and associated with variation in colony productivity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287: 20201029. | website, PDF
Singh R, TA Linksvayer. 2020. The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia increases reproductive investment and accelerates the life cycle of ant colonies. Journal of Experimental Biology 223: doi: 10.1242/jeb.220079 | website, PDF
Tong C, GB Najim, N Pinter-Wollman, JN Pruitt, TA Linksvayer. 2020. Comparative genomics identifies putative signatures of sociality in spiders. Genome Biology and Evolution 12: 122-133. | website, PDF
Highlight in issue: Untangling the genetic basis of sociality in spiders.
Linksvayer TA, BR Johnson. 2019. Re-thinking the social ladder approach for elucidating the evolution and molecular basis of insect societies. Current Opinion in Insect Science 34: 123-129. | website, PDF
Warner MR, L Qiu, MJ Holmes, AS Mikheyev, TA Linksvayer. 2019. The convergent evolution of caste in ants and honey bees is based on a shared core of ancient reproductive genes and many plastic genes. Nature Communications 10: 2651. | website, PDF
Walsh JT, L Signorotti, TA Linksvayer, P d’Ettorre. 2018. Phenotypic correlation between queen and worker brood care supports the role of maternal care in the evolution of eusociality. Ecology and Evolution 2018: 1-7. | PDF
Walsh JT, MR Warner, A Kase, BJ Cushing, TA Linksvayer. 2018. Ant nurse workers exhibit behavioural and transcriptomic specialization on larval stage. Animal Behaviour 141: 161-169. | PDF
Warner MR, J Lipponen, TA Linksvayer. Pharaoh ant colonies dynamically regulate reproductive allocation based on colony demography. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 72: 31. | PDF
Gospocic J, EJ Shields, KM Glastad, Y Lin, CA Penick, H Yan, AS Mikheyev, TA Linksvayer, BA Garcia, S Berger, J Liebig, D Reinberg, R Bonasio. (2017). The
neuropeptide corazonin controls social behavior and caste identity in ants. Cell 170:
Warner, M. R., Mikheyev A. S., & Linksvayer T. A. (2017). Genomic signature of kin selection in an ant with obligately sterile workers. Molecular Biology and Evolution 34: 1780-1787. | PDF
Pontieri, L., Schmidt A. M., Singh R., Pedersen J. S., & Linksvayer T. A. (2017). Artificial selection on ant female caste ratio uncovers a link between female-biased sex ratios and infection by Wolbachia endosymbionts. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 30, 225-234. | PDF
Tarpy, D. R., Simone-Finstrom M., & Linksvayer T. A. (2016). Honey bee colonies regulate queen reproductive traits by controlling which queens survive to adulthood. Insectes Sociaux 63: 169-174. | PDF
Warner, M. R., Kovaka K., & Linksvayer T. A. (2016). Late-instar ant worker larvae play a prominent role in colony-level caste regulation. Insectes Sociaux 63: 575-583. | PDF
Linksvayer, T. A., & Wade M. J. (2016). Theoretical predictions for sociogenomic data: the effects of kin selection and sex-limited expression on the evolution of social insect genomes. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution: 4: 65. | PDF
Keller, K., Ishak H. D., Linksvayer T. A., & Mueller U. G. (2015). Bacterial community composition and diversity in an ancestral ant fungus symbiosis. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 91: fiv073. Editor’s Choice article for issue. | PDF
Akçay, E., Linksvayer T. A., & Van Cleve J. (2015). Bridging social evolution theory and emerging empirical approaches to social behavior. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 6: 59-64. | PDF
Mikheyev, A. S., & Linksvayer T. A. (2015). Genes associated with ant social behavior show distinct transcriptional and evolutionary patterns. eLife 4: e04775. | PDF
Jasper, W. C., Linksvayer T. A., Atallah J., Friedman D., Chiu J. C., & Johnson B. R. (2015). Large scale coding sequence change underlies the evolution of post-developmental novelty in honey bees. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32: 334-346. | Website; PDF
Linksvayer, T. A. (2015). The molecular and evolutionary genetic implications of being truly social for the social insects. Advances in Insect Physiology 48: 271-292. | PDF
Vojvodic, S., Johnson B. R., Harpur B., Kent C., Zayed A., Anderson K. E., & Linksvayer T. A. (2015). The transcriptomic and evolutionary signature of social interactions regulating honey bee caste development. Ecology and Evolution: DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1720. PDF