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Ca(2+) signals are thought to play important roles in plant growth and development, including key aspects of pollen tube growth and fertilization. The dynamics of a Ca(2+) signal are largely controlled by influx (through channels) and efflux (through pumps and antiporters). The Arabidopsis genome encodes 14 Ca(2+) pumps, 10 of which belong to a family of(More)
Sex determination in honeybees (Apis mellifera) is governed by heterozygosity at a single locus harbouring the complementary sex determiner (csd) gene, in contrast to the well-studied sex chromosome system of Drosophila melanogaster. Bees heterozygous at csd are females, whereas homozygotes and hemizygotes (haploid individuals) are males. Although at least(More)
Fungus-growing (attine) ants and their fungal symbionts passed through several evolutionary transitions during their 50 million year old evolutionary history. The basal attine lineages often shifted between two main cultivar clades, whereas the derived higher-attine lineages maintained an association with a monophyletic clade of specialized symbionts. In(More)
Organisms have evolved a bewildering diversity of mechanisms to generate the two sexes. The honeybee (Apis mellifera) employs an interesting system in which sex is determined by heterozygosity at a single locus (the Sex Determination Locus) harbouring the complementary sex determiner (csd) gene. Bees heterozygous at Sex Determination Locus are females,(More)
Leaf-cutting ants combine large-scale herbivory with fungus farming to sustain advanced societies. Their stratified colonies are major evolutionary achievements and serious agricultural pests, but the crucial adaptations that allowed this mutualism to become the prime herbivorous component of neotropical ecosystems has remained elusive. Here we show how(More)
BACKGROUND Leaf-cutting (attine) ants use their own fecal material to manure fungus gardens, which consist of leaf material overgrown by hyphal threads of the basidiomycete fungus Leucocoprinus gongylophorus that lives in symbiosis with the ants. Previous studies have suggested that the fecal droplets contain proteins that are produced by the fungal(More)
In flowering plants, development of the haploid male gametophytes (pollen grains) takes place in a specialized structure called the anther. Successful pollen development, and thus reproduction, requires high secretory activity in both anther tissues and pollen. In this paper, we describe a novel member of the eukaryotic type V subfamily (P(5)) of P-type(More)
BACKGROUND Leaf-cutting ants live in symbiosis with a fungus that they rear for food by providing it with live plant material. Until recently the fungus' main inferred function was to make otherwise inaccessible cell wall degradation products available to the ants, but new studies have shed doubt on this idea. To provide evidence for the cell wall degrading(More)
Eusocial insects have evolved the capacity to generate adults with distinct morphological, reproductive and behavioural phenotypes from the same genome. Recent studies suggest that RNA editing might enhance the diversity of gene products at the post-transcriptional level, particularly to induce functional changes in the nervous system. Using head samples(More)
Social insects in general and leaf-cutting ants in particular have increased selection pressures on their innate immune system due to their social lifestyle and monoclonality of the symbiotic fungal cultivar. As this symbiosis is obligate for both parties, prophylactic behavioural defences against infections are expected to increase either ant survival or(More)