The Evolution of Agriculture in Insects

@article{Mueller2005TheEO,
  title={The Evolution of Agriculture in Insects},
  author={Ulrich G. Mueller and Nicole Marie Gerardo and Duur K. Aanen and Diana L. Six and Ted R. Schultz},
  journal={Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics},
  year={2005},
  volume={36},
  pages={563-595}
}
▪ Abstract Agriculture has evolved independently in three insect orders: once in ants, once in termites, and seven times in ambrosia beetles. Although these insect farmers are in some ways quite different from each other, in many more ways they are remarkably similar, suggesting convergent evolution. All propagate their cultivars as clonal monocultures within their nests and, in most cases, clonally across many farmer generations as well. Long-term clonal monoculture presents special problems… 

Figures from this paper

Fijian farming ants resolve the guns-or-butter dilemma for their crop plants
  • W. Wcislo
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2020
TLDR
A recent study of farming-ant behavior reveals a Darwinian solution to the problem of managing the conflicting demands of crop plants for light, nutrients, and protection.
Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture
TLDR
This work reconstructs the major evolutionary transitions that produced the five distinct agricultural systems of the fungus-growing ants, the most well studied of the nonhuman agriculturalists, with reference to the first fossil-calibrated, multiple-gene, molecular phylogeny that incorporates the full range of taxonomic diversity within the fungi-growing ant tribe Attini.
Dry habitats were crucibles of domestication in the evolution of agriculture in ants
TLDR
This work uses phylogenomic data from ultra-conserved element (UCE) loci to reconstruct the evolutionary history of fungus-farming ants, reduce topological uncertainty, and identify the closest non-fungus-growing ant relative, and suggests that dry habitats favoured the isolation of attine cultivars over the evolutionary time spans necessary for domestication.
Presence of weed fungus in a non‐social beetle–fungus cultivation mutualism
TLDR
The aim of the present study was to report the presence of weed fungi in fungal gardens of the non‐social lizard beetle Doubledaya bucculenta Lewis (Coleoptera: Erotylidae: Languriinae), which cultivates the yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus (E.C. Hansen) Kurtzman, Robnett & Bas.
Primitive agriculture in a social amoeba
TLDR
It is shown that the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has a primitive farming symbiosis that includes dispersal and prudent harvesting of the crop, which makes sense because multigenerational benefits of farming go to already established kin groups.
Tradeoffs in the evolution of plant farming by ants
TLDR
An obligate farming mutualism between the ant Philidris nagasau and epiphytic plants in the genus Squamellaria that are cultivated for their nesting sites and floral rewards found that ants benefited from cultivating plants in full sun, receiving 7.5-fold more floral food rewards compared to shade-cultivated plants.
The Fungus-Growing Termites: Biology, Damage on Tropical Crops and Specific Management
TLDR
This chapter provides a review of the biology of fungus-growing termites, focusing on their specific nutrition mode, and presents the most recent methodology used for their management.
Reciprocal genomic evolution in the ant–fungus agricultural symbiosis
TLDR
It is shown that ant subsistence farming probably originated in the early Tertiary (55–60 MYA), followed by further transitions to the farming of fully domesticated cultivars and leaf-cutting, both arising earlier than previously estimated.
The Insect Pathogens.
Fungi are the most common disease-causing agents of insects; aside from playing a crucial role in natural ecosystems, insect-killing fungi are being used as alternatives to chemical insecticides and
A breakthrough innovation in animal evolution
Among the many activities of animals, few seem more outlandish than the leaf-cutting and fungus-growing habits of attine ants of the New World tropics. In a typical rainforest, endless processions of
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 153 REFERENCES
Fungus-farming insects: Multiple origins and diverse evolutionary histories
  • U. Mueller, N. Gerardo
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2002
TLDR
An evolutionary analysis for fungus-growing termites and their cultivated fungal crops is presented, complementing similar analyses recently completed for fungus/ ants/ beetles, to reveal surprising details of agricultural evolution.
The evolution of agriculture in ants
TLDR
These patterns indicate that fungus-growing ants succeeded at domesticating multiple cultivars, that the ants are capable of switching to novel cultivar, that single ant species farm a diversity of cultivars and that cultivars are shared occasionally between distantly related ant species, probably by lateral transfer between ant colonies.
The agricultural pathology of ant fungus gardens.
TLDR
The increased virulence of pathogens associated with ancient asexual cultivars suggests an evolutionary cost to cultivar clonality, perhaps resulting from slower evolutionary rates of cultivars in the coevolutionary race with their pathogens.
Insect-Fungal Associations: Ecology and Evolution
TLDR
An impressive short book of ten chapters to cover the most important topics in this field, incorporating new molecular techniques wherever possible, and should appeal to worker in ecology, entomology, mycology, plant pathology, and biological control and pest management.
Fungal farming in a snail
  • B. Silliman, S. Y. Newell
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2003
TLDR
A case of fungus farming in the marine environment and outside the class Insecta is provided and a previously undemonstrated ecological mechanism by which grazers can exert top-down control of marine plant production is revealed.
Genetic diversity and disease control in rice
TLDR
The results support the view that intraspecific crop diversification provides an ecological approach to disease control that can be highly effective over a large area and contribute to the sustainability of crop production.
A COMMUNITY OF ANTS , FUNGI , AND BACTERIA : A Multilateral Approach to Studying Symbiosis
TLDR
The attine symbiosis appears to be a coevolutionary “arms race” between the garden parasite Escovopsis on the one hand and the ant-fungus-actinomycete tripartite mutualism on the other, indicating that microbes may be key components in the regulation of other symbiotic associations between higher organisms.
The Current Status and Prospects of Multiline Cultivars and Variety Mixtures for Disease Resistance
TLDR
In traditional agricultural systems, cultivation of mixtures within and between species help protect crops against stresses, and mixtures have been or are being cultivated to a much greater extent than is commonly supposed.
The Origin of the Attine Ant-Fungus Mutualism
TLDR
The attine ant-fungus mutualism probably arose from adventitious interactions with fungi that grew on walls of nests built in leaf litter, or from a system of fungal myrmecochory in which specialized fungi relied on ants for dispersal and in which the ants fortuitously vectored these fungi from parent to offspring nests prior to a true fungicultural stage.
Does host genotype diversity affect the distribution of insect and disease damage in willow cropping systems
TLDR
Plantation design provides the basis for integrated control of rust and beetle damage within willow cropping systems by delaying the spread and development of both organisms.
...
...