High relatedness and inbreeding in two species of haplodiploid eusocial thrips (Insecta: Thysanoptera) revealed by microsatellite analysis
Relatedness and inbreeding coefficients were estimated for Oncothrips tepperi and O. habrus, two species of eusocial gall-forming thrips, using data from two microsatellite loci. Relatedness between sets of individuals (sexes and castes) for O. tepperi ranged from 0.5 to 0.85 and for O. habrus estimates were centered around 0.5. Multiple mating in O. habrus was implicated in lowering relatedness within a gall. We estimated the inbreeding coefficient to be 0.38 for both species, the highest estimates known for eusocial insects. Our findings imply that high relatedness and inbreeding are important for the evolution and form of social behavior in Australian gall-forming Thysanoptera.
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