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Laccase detoxification mediates the nutritional alliance between leaf-cutting ants and fungus-garden symbionts
Results are consistent with fungal preadaptation and subsequent modification of a particular laccase enzyme for the detoxification of secondary plant compounds during the transition to active herbivory in the ancestor of leaf-cutting ants between 8 and 12 Mya. Expand
Forage collection, substrate preparation, and diet composition in fungus‐growing ants
1. Variation and control of nutritional input is an important selective force in the evolution of mutualistic interactions and may significantly affect coevolutionary modifications in partner species.
The Dynamics of Plant Cell-Wall Polysaccharide Decomposition in Leaf-Cutting Ant Fungus Gardens
It is shown that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste material that the ants remove from their fungus garden, demonstrating that biomass entering leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens is only partially utilized. Expand
Tracking developmentally regulated post-synthetic processing of homogalacturonan and chitin using reciprocal oligosaccharide probes
A novel non-immunological approach for producing highly selective reciprocal oligosaccharide-based probes for chitosan (the product of chitin deacetylation) and for demethylesterified homogalacturonan is reported, demonstrating their potential for providing new biological insights. Expand
Patterns of functional enzyme activity in fungus farming ambrosia beetles
Similar to closely related fungi associated with bark beetles in phloem, the microbial symbionts of ambrosia beetles hardly degrade cellulose, and their enzyme activity is directed mainly towards comparatively more easily accessible hemicellulose components of the ray-parenchyma cells in the wood xylem. Expand
Termitomyces sp. associated with the termite Macrotermes natalensis has a heterothallic mating system and multinucleate cells.
The results unambiguously prove that the strain of Termitomyces studied here has a heterothallic mating system, with the fungus garden of the termite mound being in the heterokaryotic phase. Expand
Presumptive horizontal symbiont transmission in the fungus‐growing termite Macrotermes natalensis
This is the first detailed study of the genetic population structure of a single lineage of Termitomyces, and a signature of free recombination was found, indicative of frequent sexual horizontal transmission in Macrotermes natalensis. Expand
Patterns of interaction specificity of fungus-growing termites and Termitomyces symbionts in South Africa
Interaction specificity in fungus-growing termites using samples from 101 colonies in South-Africa and Senegal indicated that the fungal symbiont does not follow the general pattern of an endosymbiont, as it was found either similar diversity at both sides or higher diversity in the symbionts. Expand
Diversity within the entomopathogenic fungal species Metarhizium flavoviride associated with agricultural crops in Denmark
A high level of intra-specific diversity within the species and lack of apparent association patterns with crop or location indicates limited ecological specialization, and the relatively infrequent isolation of M. flavoviride directly from crop roots suggests low dependence of root association for the species. Expand
A comparative study of the functional specialization in extracellular enzyme activities in fungus gardens across the attine phylogeny is provided and it is shown that, relative to sister clades, gardens of higher‐attine ants have enhanced activity of protein‐digesting enzymes, whereas gardens of leaf‐cutting ants also have increased activity of starch‐digested enzymes. Expand