Report 
  Title  
  MOLECULAR GENETIC ANALYSIS of COLONY and POPULATION GENETIC STRUCTURE of the EASTERN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE RETICULITERMES FLAVIPES (ISOPTERA: RHINOTERMITIDAE) in NORTH CAROLINA
  Key Words  
  Microsatellites mitochondrial DNA markers breeding structure social organization
  Author  
  Edward L. Vargo
  Abstract  
  To investigate the social organization of Reticulitermes flavipes, we studied three populations in undisturbed wooded areas of North Carolina - one in each of the Piedmont, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Coastal Plain regions. We collected workers from natural wood debris, genotyped 20 workers per colony at eight microsatellite loci, and obtained mitochondrial DNA sequence data for individuals from each colony in the Piedmont population. We estimated the coefficient of relatedness (r) and F-statistics to infer basic features of social organization. Analysis of the genotypes within colonies showed that 32 (36%) of the 90 colonies were simple (Mendelian) families, and estimates of r and F-statistics suggest that these Mendelian colonies are headed by single pairs of outbred reproductives in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont sites, while colonies in the Blue Ridge Mountains site showed some signs of inbreeding. With one exception, the remaining 58 (64%) colonies appeared to have been founded by single pairs of reproductives with some level of inbreeding developing subsequently, presumably through the production of neotenic reproductives. Values ofr and F-statistics for these non-Mendelian colonies suggest that they contain only a few neotenic reproductives inbred for only a couple of generations. The one exceptional colony appeared to have multiple unrelated reproductives.