Many successes in life are based on collaboration. Microorganisms exchange nutrients through cross-feeding, and multicellular organisms are made up of tissues with different metabolic roles and needs. Social insects take this collaboration still further, and some species have integrated their behavior and physiology to such as extent that the colony becomes a superorganism. Many ant species engage in social exchanges of experimentally accessible fluids that contain both exogenously sourced and endogenously produced materials in a behavior called trophallaxis. Some species engage in this behavior infrequently and only in the presence of certain cues, while others perform trophallaxis so frequently that this network of fluid exchange creates a social circulatory system that mediates a form of shared metabolism. I will describe our work on carpenter ant colonies as collectively developing systems and the rules we think govern their functioning. In particular I will focus on metabolic division of labor and how the globalization of processed goods over the trophallactic network has far-reaching implications for aging, ecology, evolution and development.
|Where?||PER 08 0.51
Chemin du Musée 3
|speaker||Prof. Dr. Adria LeBoeuf
University of Fribourg, Department of Biology
|Contact||Département de physique, groupe Akrap
Prof. Ana Akrap