Diverse colony genetic structures in the Japanese subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

Yoshinobu Hayashi, Osamu Kitade, Mariko Gonda, Takeshi Kondo, Hitoshi Miyata, Kotaro Urayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Colony genetic structures of the Japanese subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus were investigated using the microsatellite markers and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers (DSCP and PCR-RFLP). In two 30 x 30 m 2 plots, all dead tree trunks and branches were probed for termite nests, and 32 nests detected were grouped into 15 colonies based on the microsatellite genotypes and mtDNA haplotypes. Average relatedness among workers within colonies exhibited considerable variation (r = 0.251 to 0.826). Seven of 15 colonies comprised two matrilines, which indicates pleometrosis and/or colony fusion. The rate of polygamous colonies (73%, estimated from microsatellite and mtDNA data) was considerably high compared with the previous genetic studies of Reticulitermes spp. Genetic differentiation between the two study plots separated by about 100 m was significant. The high polygamous colony rate and the genetic differentiation between the two plots suggested that colony budding was the predominant mode of colony reproduction in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Aug 4
Externally publishedYes


  • Colony fusion
  • DSCP
  • Microsatellite
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Relatedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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