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Attine ants live in an intensely studied tripartite mutualism with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which provides food to the ants, and with antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria. One hypothesis suggests that bacteria from the genus Pseudonocardia are the sole, co-evolved mutualists of attine ants and are transmitted vertically by the queens. A(More)
Attine ants are dependent on a cultivated fungus for food and use antibiotics produced by symbiotic Actinobacteria as weedkillers in their fungus gardens. Actinobacterial species belonging to the genera Pseudonocardia, Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis have been isolated from attine ant nests and shown to confer protection against a range of microfungal weeds.(More)
We recently published a paper titled "A mixed community of actinomycetes produce multiple antibiotics for the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus" showing that attine ants use multidrug therapy to maintain their fungal cultivars. This paper tested two theories that have been put forward to explain how attine ants establish mutualism with actinomycete(More)
Enormous quantities of the free-floating freshwater fern Azolla grew and reproduced in situ in the Arctic Ocean during the middle Eocene, as was demonstrated by microscopic analysis of microlaminated sediments recovered from the Lomonosov Ridge during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 302. The timing of the Azolla phase (approximately 48.5(More)
Fungus-growing attine ants use natural-product antibiotics produced by mutualist actinobacteria as ‘weedkillers’ in their fungal gardens. Here we report for the first time that fungus-growing Allomerus ants, which lie outside the tribe Attini, are associated with antifungal-producing actinobacteria, which offer them protection against non-cultivar fungi(More)
Insect fungiculture is practiced by ants, termites, beetles, and gall midges and it has been suggested to be widespread among plant-ants. Some of the insects engaged in fungiculture, including attine ants and bark beetles, are known to use symbiotic antibiotic-producing actinobacteria to protect themselves and their fungal cultivars against infection. In(More)
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