Extreme dating host
Unlike many other intimate symbioses, which involve vertical transmission of symbionts to host offspring, female fig wasps fly great distances to transfer horizontally between hosts.
In this system, a large species (host) usually interacts with a smaller one (symbiont), which may live inside it as an ‘endosymbiont’.
Males spend their entire lives inside figs, but females have a brief (1 to 2 day) free-living adult stage that is crucial because these tiny wasps (2 to 5 mm long) achieve record feats of dispersal to lay eggs in trees up to 160 km away [).
Selection on males favors anatomical and genomic reductions, but selection on females may oppose this.
Numbers following each species indicate the average numbers of genes per gene family.
Single-copy orthologs have only one copy in each species, multicopy orthologs have more than one copy in different species, unique paralogs include the species-specific, other orthologs are unclassified orthologs, and unclustered genes cannot be clustered into known gene families.