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The evolution of queen pheromones in stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini)

Grant number: 13/09263-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): September 15, 2013
Effective date (End): March 14, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Animal Behavior
Principal Investigator:Norberto Peporine Lopes
Grantee:Túlio Marcos Nunes
Supervisor: Benjamin P. Oldroyd
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Sydney, Australia  
Associated to the scholarship:11/22991-3 - Queen pheromones of stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini), BP.PD


Recent studies showed that the cuticular waxes of queens from different species of social hymenoptera are used in the maintenance of reproductive monopoly. Social regulation by the use of such compounds has been described for stingless bees and ants species. Even though honeybees present much higher amount of information concerning such regulation by the queen, the homogeneity of this group regarding queen dominance makes it difficult to conduct studies in an evolutionary scale. In this context, stingless bees are an excellent group of study, since their vast variability in ecological and physiological strategies concerning workers oviposition and its regulation by the queen. A global phylogeny for the stingless bees group based on molecular data has been recently released. The phylogeny points out an early separation of this group into two main taxon, Neotropical and Paleotropical. Following, the Paleotropical clade separated into an Afrotropical and Indo-Malay/Australian lineages. Nowadays, species from the two lineages from the Paleotropical clade can be found in Australian territory. The possibility to study Paleotropical species, added to the analysis of the Neotropical clade, currently in progress, makes possible a global investigation of social regulation evolution and maintenance of queens reproductive monopoly in stingless bees. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
NUNES, TULIO M.; OLDROYD, BENJAMIN P.; ELIAS, LARISSA G.; MATEUS, SIDNEI; TURATTI, IZABEL C.; LOPES, NORBERTO P.. Evolution of queen cuticular hydrocarbons and worker reproduction in stingless bees. NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, v. 1, n. 7, . (13/09263-4, 14/50265-3, 13/01918-1)
NUNES, TULIO M.; HEARD, TIM A.; VENTURIERI, GIORGIO C.; OLDROYD, BENJAMIN P.. Emergency queens in Tetragonula carbonaria (Smith, 1854) (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponini). AUSTRAL ENTOMOLOGY, v. 54, n. 2, p. 154-158, . (13/09263-4)

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