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Title: No evidence for an evolutionary trade-off between learning and immunity in a social insect.
Authors: Alghamdi, A
Raine, NE
Rosato, E
Mallon, EB
First Published: 23-Feb-2009
Citation: BIOL LETT, 2009, 5 (1), pp. 55-57
Abstract: The immune response affects learning and memory in insects. Given this and the known fitness costs of both the immune system and learning, does an evolutionary trade-off exist between these two systems? We tested this by measuring the learning ability of 12 bumble-bee (Bombus terrestris) colonies in a free-flying paradigm. We then tested their immune response using the zone of inhibition assay. We found a positive relationship between colony learning performance and immune response, that is, fast-learning colonies also show high levels of antimicrobial activity. We conclude that there is no a priori reason to demand an evolutionary relationship between two traits that are linked physiologically.
DOI Link: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0514
ISSN: 1744-9561
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Biology

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