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Daniel R. Scholes, Andrew V. Suarez and Ken N. Paige Can endopolyploidy explain body size variation within and between castes in ants? Ecology and Evolution 3

Article first published online: 4 JUN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.623

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Endopolyploidy is the increase in cellular ploidy by repeated genome replication without mitotic division, and has been associated with increases in cell size and metabolism in numerous organisms. This process may be particularly consequential for hymenopterans given their haplo-diploid sex determination and variety of castes and social roles. Here we test the hypothesis that endopolyploidy is important in caste and societal role determination, and provide evidence that endopolyploidy occurs differentially among worker body sizes, body segments, and between the haploid and diploid sexes.

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