The evolution of fungus-growing termites and their mutualistic fungal symbionts

  title={The evolution of fungus-growing termites and their mutualistic fungal symbionts},
  author={Duur K. Aanen and Paul Eggleton and Corinne Rouland-Lef{\`e}vre and Tobias Guldberg-Froslev and S{\o}ren Rosendahl and Jacobus J. Boomsma},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  pages={14887 - 14892}
  • D. AanenP. Eggleton J. Boomsma
  • Published 17 October 2002
  • Biology
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
We have estimated phylogenies of fungus-growing termites and their associated mutualistic fungi of the genus Termitomyces using Bayesian analyses of DNA sequences. Our study shows that the symbiosis has a single African origin and that secondary domestication of other fungi or reversal of mutualistic fungi to a free-living state has not occurred. Host switching has been frequent, especially at the lower taxonomic levels, and nests of single termite species can have different symbionts. Data are… 

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