Buck Trible and the case of the mutant ants

April 01, 2023

In a recent paper published in Current Biology, the team reports the discovery of a queen-like mutant in a colony of clonal raider ants, a queen-free species. This spontaneous birth of a queen-like mutant contradicts former theories about how parasitic queens evolved and has wider implications. Back in 2015, the first queen-like mutants popped up in the lab of Professor Daniel Kronauer at Rockefeller. If a queen-like mutant were spontaneously born into a colony of worker ants, she would have two choices, Trible said: die and go extinct, or parasitize her own kind. Trible found 14 more queen-like mutants in the lab’s colony of 10,000 ants.

The source of this news is from Harvard University