Skip directly to content

Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Georgia Tech Research Corporation
  • Michael Goodisman
  • (404) 385-6311
Award Date:07/29/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,079,999
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 795,580
  • FY 2021=$795,580
Start Date:09/01/2021
End Date:08/31/2025
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Federal Award ID Number:2105033
DUNS ID:097394084
Parent DUNS ID:097394084
Program:Evolutionary Processes
Program Officer:
  • Christopher Balakrishnan
  • (703) 292-2331

Awardee Location

Street:Office of Sponsored Programs
Awardee Cong. District:05

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Georgia Institute of Technology
Street:225 North Avenue, NW
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

Biological organisms display remarkable diversity in form and function. For example, individuals frequently belong to distinct functional classes, such as the male and female sexes. However, because individuals within species generally possess the same set of genes, the development of distinct classes is expected to be constrained. The goal of this research is to study the constraints on the development of distinct classes in social insects. Social insects represent excellent study systems because insect societies are composed of distinct functional classes such as the queen, worker, and male castes. In addition, social insects, such as bees, wasps, ants, and termites, have great ecological and economic importance. This research will analyze the physical forms, gene functions, and genome sequences of social insects to understand the importance of the shared genome on the development of distinct classes. The research will also include several broader impacts that will extend the influence of this research to educational activities aimed at training and educating the public. This research is significant because it will provide insight into the genetic mechanisms associated with the development of distinct functional classes and the causes of organismal diversity within species. Phenotypic diversity is a hallmark of metazoan taxa. However, phenotypic evolution is constrained by intralocus conflict, which occurs when individuals within species possess traits that have a common genetic architecture. This research will explore intralocus conflict in social insects and determine if conflict has constrained phenotypic evolution in societies. Study of genetic conflict in societies is particularly interesting because individuals may experience both intralocus caste conflict, which occurs between the castes, as well as intralocus sexual conflict, which occurs between the sexes. This research will test intralocus conflict theory. First, the research team will determine genetic correlations for morphological traits in queens, males, and workers. Second, intralocus conflict will be studied at the molecular level by testing predictions about genetic correlations for gene expression phenotypes. Finally, evidence for intralocus conflict will be detected by examining population genomic variation. This program will also promote teaching, training, and learning. Research will be incorporated into university classes, city-wide activities, and disseminated in the popular media. Overall, this research program will result in one of the most thorough empirical investigations of intralocus conflict theory and provide insight into the mechanisms affecting phenotypic diversity. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

For specific questions or comments about this information including the NSF Project Outcomes Report, contact us.