Welcome to FigWeb
FigWeb is an online bioinformatics resource dealing with all aspects of the complex relationship that exists between figs (Ficus, Moraceae) and fig wasps (Hymenoptera), as well as the multitude of other associated organisms, from Wolbachia bacteria and nematode worms to frugivore primates. This obligate mutualism is a classic example of co-evolution between reciprocal partners in a plant-insect interaction with neither partner being able to reproduce without the other. Fig wasps are the sole pollinators of the approximate 750 species of figs in the world and in turn fig wasps can breed nowhere else but inside figs. Figs are keystone species in tropical ecosystems and an understanding of their ecology is essential for the future conservation of increasingly threatened habitats.
Over the last couple of decades major strides have been made towards elucidating the underlying evolutionary mechanisms driving and maintaining this mutualism, as well as unraveling the highly complex interactions between the numerous components of the relationship, but effectively this process has just begun. Baseline data, such as the associated fig wasp faunal assemblages of the majority of host figs, still remains largely unknown.
FigWeb facilitates this ongoing process of discovery and documentation.
This Scratchpads database driven version of FigWeb complements the existing html version of FigWeb available at: www.figweb.org (van Noort S & Rasplus JY, 2004-2014).