Relatedness among co-existing queens within polygyne colonies of a Texas population of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Academic Article uri icon


  • Five microsatellite markers were isolated, characterized, and used as genetic markers to estimate the genetic relatedness among fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, queens within polygynous colonies and among queens within aggregated groups in colonies maintained for a short time in the laboratory. Estimates of genetic relatedness using microsatellite markers showed that co-existing queens in the same colonies were not closely related, which is in agreement with previous findings using mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Queens also randomly aggregated into groups, and queen aggregation was not based on their relatedness. The Fst-value suggested that polygynous colonies from the Brazos Valley, Texas, can be considered as a single population and demonstrated that gene flow occurs frequently in this area, probably by dispersion caused by mating flights, transportation and wind. The near zero Fis value indicated that polygynous queens in this area were randomly mating.

published proceedings

  • Southwestern Entomologist

author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, Y. P., Lu, L. Y., Skow, L. C., & Vinson, S. B.

complete list of authors

  • Chen, YP||Lu, LY||Skow, LC||Vinson, SB

publication date

  • March 2003