Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Subterranean termites: the evolution of a pest.

Abstract

This paper describes research on termite pest biology, focusing on how evolution and the genetics of kinship can explain how Eastern subterranean termites have been able to invade urban Toronto (Ontario, Canada), and spread across its core and suburbs despite intense efforts to control them. The application of the RNA sequencing analysis to determine what genes are present and expressed between Toronto and other termite populations within Canada and the USA is also discussed. The aim is to confirm or reject the idea that supercolonial termites from Toronto are genetically barren at kin recognition genes, relative to colonial termites from their native ranges. The implication of the results for effective termite control is mentioned.