Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usNews and EventsNews articles

Biogeography, population genetics and mating systems of natural Nasonia populations

24 April 2009

PhD ceremony: B.K. Grillenberger, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Thesis: Biogeography, population genetics and mating systems of natural Nasonia populations

Promotor(s): prof. L.W. Beukeboom, prof. R. Bijlsma, prof. J. Gadau

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences


Evolutionary biology tries to gain a thorough understanding of the evolutionary processes that lead to the enormous biodiversity. The jewel wasps of the genus Nasonia became a model organism in evolutionary biology for a variety of behavioural, developmental and genetic studies. A particular fruitful field of research has been sex allocation, which is the main focus of this thesis.

In this thesis Grillenberger provide information on the population genetic structure, phylogeography, reproductive strategies and dispersal abilities of field populations of the model organism Nasonia, in order to judge the validity of previous results on sex allocation behaviour derived from laboratory experiments under natural conditions. I also evaluate the precision of adaptation in sex and resource allocation of Nasonia in field populations to gain a better understanding of the multiple selective forces that shape life history traits.

Grillenberger found that most assumptions made in the recent sex allocation theory are fulfilled by Nasonia vitripennis. Other assumptions of more basic models are clearly violated. While the predictions of sex allocation theory are largely met, limited information seems to constrain the adaptive response of an individual. Limited information seems as well a constraint for N. vitripennis females which are unable to recognize eggs of N. giraulti as being heterospecific.

The results of this study will help to place the many results of theoretical and laboratory studies in an ecological context and can help to identify remaining questions about parasitoid life history evolution.


Last modified:15 September 2017 3.39 p.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 11 October 2019

    Down Under with Top Dutch

    After two years of hard work, the Groningen Top Dutch Solar Racing team has arrived in Australia. The team consists of students of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, University of Groningen, and secondary vocational education (MBO) and is currently...

  • 11 October 2019

    Kick-off Young Science and Engineering Network (YSEN)

    Kick-off Young Science and Engineering Network (YSEN)

  • 08 October 2019

    Making a splash in whale research

    He disliked genetics as an undergraduate and never really wanted to work with whales. Yet, Per Palsbøll became a worldwide expert in the genetics of marine mammals, heading a research programme spanning the entire globe. Introducing the concept of...