Population Genomics of Polistes Wasps
Dogantzis, Kathleen Andrea
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The molecular mechanisms influencing the evolution of social behaviour in insects are of great interest and have been the focus of many recent studies. Chapter one of this thesis reviews several major hypotheses regarding the evolution of sociality. Chapter two outlines the methodological steps taken to generate a high quality population genomic data set for primitively eusocial paper wasps in the genus Polistes. The third chapter of the thesis uses the dataset generated in chapter two to estimate patterns of natural selection on the Polistes genome, and to evaluate the importance of novel and caste biased genes on the fitness of this primitively eusocial species.