Leaf cutting ants symbiosis,bed bug treatment uk,controlling carpenter bees,how to get rid of mice in garage - New On 2016

Category: Pest Control Tips | 11.11.2013
A close up photograph of a leaf cutting ant.Photograph by Hans Hillewaert licensed under Creative Commons. If you know about the relationship between flowers and bees, you know the basics of symbiosis—two dissimilar species living together interdependently.
During recent months, a number of published papers have shown that symbiosis is much more prevalent and complex than anyone had previously recognized. Further research on AMF has now revealed a more complex three-partner symbiosis.6 It appears that the fungus can provide the plant host with nutrients only if it (AMF) has physical contact with certain species of bacteria.
Figure 2: Leaf-Cutting, Fungus-Farming Ants Ants process leaves, from which mushrooms grow to feed the ants, which then digest the mushrooms with the aid of gut fungus. Several different categories of symbiotic relationship can exist:one species benefits but the other species suffers (also called Parasitism)one species benefits and the other is unaffected (also called Commensalism)both species benefit (also called Mutualism)A good example of a symbiotic relationship (Mutualism) is that between leaf cutting ants and fungus within their fungus gardens.


The leaves contain biochemical toxins (insecticide) dangerous to the ants and are covered with a waxy coating the mushrooms cannot penetrate. The ants cultivate the fungus by cutting leaves and carrying these leaf fragments to the fungus garden. They apply fecal droplets to the leaf pulp before depositing this mixed substrate to the top of the garden. The fecal fluid contains a large range of hydrolytic enzymes (proteases, pectinases, carbohydrate degrading enzymes) able to efficiently degrade the plant cell wall and cell material. The genes encoding the hydrolytic enzymes are  induced in the gongylidia mycelium, ingested by the feeding ants, transported throughout the ant gut before being released in fecal fluids on the top of the fungal garden. Evolutionary history of glycoside hydrolase family 32 genes encoding for sucrolytic activity in fungi and its implications for plant-fungal symbioses. The ants also weed out any other types of fungus and provide the right conditions for the fungus to grow.


The on-going sequencing of the genome of Leucocoprinus gongylophorus will undoubtly provide novel insights on the evolution from saprotrophism to this unique mutualistic symbiosis. So, by providing appropriate conditions and plant material the fungus benefits from the action of the ants.



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