Coevolved Crypts and Exocrine Glands Support Mutualistic Bacteria in Fungus-Growing Ants

@article{Currie2006CoevolvedCA,
  title={Coevolved Crypts and Exocrine Glands Support Mutualistic Bacteria in Fungus-Growing Ants},
  author={C. R. Currie and M. Poulsen and J. Mendenhall and J. Boomsma and J. Billen},
  journal={Science},
  year={2006},
  volume={311},
  pages={81 - 83}
}
Attine ants engage in a quadripartite symbiosis with fungi they cultivate for food, specialized garden parasites, and parasite-inhibiting bacteria. Molecular phylogenetic evidence supports an ancient host-pathogen association between the ant-cultivar mutualism and the garden parasite. Here we show that ants rear the antibiotic-producing bacteria in elaborate cuticular crypts, supported by unique exocrine glands, and that these structures have been highly modified across the ants' evolutionary… Expand
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