Influence of the level of polyandry and genetic architecture on division of labour
Genetic diversity is thought to be a main factor in determin ing task performance and behavioral plasticity of social insect colonies. This diversity has two main causes. a) Multiple matings by the colony queen (polyandry) and b) the number of regions on the genome that influence a behavioral trait. However experiments exploring the relation between these two factors in influencing division of labour are relatively rare due to the difficulties associated with performing them. We simulate the evolution of a colony of foragers which are offspring of a single queen mating with a variable number of males. The foragers are evaluated based on their ability to bring resources of different types to the nest. We show that the colony foraging efficiency improves significantly with an increment in polyandry as compared to an increment in the number of loci influencing a foraging trait.