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Nature. 2001 Nov 29;414(6863):506.

Immune defence in bumble-bee offspring.

Author information

1
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Ecology and Evolution, ETH-Zentrum NW, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland. moret@eco.umnw.ethz.ch

Abstract

Immune-challenged vertebrate females transfer specific antibodies to their offspring, but this gratuitous immunity cannot operate in invertebrates. Here we show that constitutive immune defence is enhanced in sexual offspring of the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris L. when the parental colony is immune-challenged. Our findings indicate that invertebrates may use a different component of the immune system to generate a facultative trans-generational increase in the immune response.

PMID:
11734840
DOI:
10.1038/35107138
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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