Navigation Links
Ants found to use multiple antibiotics as weed killers
Date:8/26/2010

Scientists at the University of East Anglia, have shown that fungus-farming ants are using multiple antibiotics as weed killers to maintain their fungus gardens.

Research led by Dr Matt Hutchings and published today in the journal BMC Biology shows that ants use the antibiotics to inhibit the growth of unwanted fungi and bacteria in their fungus cultures which they use to feed their larvae and queen.

These antibiotics are produced by actinomycete bacteria that live on the ants in a mutual symbiosis.

Although these ants have been studied for more than 100 years this is the first demonstration that a single ant colony uses multiple antibiotics and is reminiscent of the use of multidrug therapy to treat infections in humans.

The work, which was funded by the UK Medical Research Council, has also identified a new antibiotic that could be used to treat fungal infections.

Fungiculture in the insect world is practiced by ants, termites, beetles and gall midges.

Dr Hutchings' research investigates the Acromyrmex octospinosus leaf cutter ant, endemic in South and Central America and the southern US. These ants form the largest and most complex animal societies on earth with colonies of up to several million individuals. The garden worker ants researched were collected from three colonies in Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr Hutchings said: "This was really a fun project which started with a PhD student, Joerg Barke, streaking leaf-cutting ants onto agar plates to isolate antibiotic producing bacteria.

"We found a new antifungal compound that is related to a clinically important antifungal named nystatin so we're excited about the potential of these ants and other insects to provide us with new antibiotics for medical use.

"It's also very exciting that ants not only evolved agriculture before humans but also combination therapy with natural antibiotics. Humans are just starting to realise that this is one way to slow down the rise of drug resistant bacteria - the so called superbugs.

"Joerg, with his colleagues Ryan Seipke and Sabine Gruschow, really pushed this project forwards and made these major discoveries. They really deserve most of the credit for this work," he added.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lisa Horton
l.horton@uea.ac.uk
44-160-359-2203
University of East Anglia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. A major prize in the chemical sciences announced by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
2. Entertainment Software Association Foundation awards grant to FAS for immune attack
3. National Science Foundation grants Clemson professors award to develop nanoprobes
4. Dunn Foundation gives Rice $3M for collaborative research grants
5. National Science Foundation grant expands UMCES oyster research
6. Earliest animal footprints ever found -- discovered in Nevada
7. Stabilizing force for good communication between neurons and muscle cells found
8. Fat-regenerating stem cells found in mice
9. Resveratrol, red wine compound linked to health, also found in dark chocolate and cocoa
10. Key to function of dinosaur crests found in brain structure
11. UT Southwestern researcher awarded Gates Foundation grant for novel vaccine development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... for potential users of its soon to be launched ... video ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide ... the use of DNA technology to an industry that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Proove Biosciences, Inc. , ... strategic partnership with McGill University . The partnership is designed to advance research ... order to help patients in pain. With the new agreement, researchers at Proove Biosciences ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Nutrafol®, a first-to-market smart-supplement for ... and stress related hair loss. With patent-pending formulas for both female hair loss ... in the medical and salon channels nationwide. , Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Flagship Biosciences, the leader ... to its Board of Directors. Dr. Gillett recently retired from Charles River Laboratories ... and Chief Scientific Officer. A board-certified veterinary pathologist, Dr. Gillett joined Charles River ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... According ... Hospital , for definitive prostate cancer treatment, patients traditionally had two main treatment options: ... treatment plan would be made. , New technology has enabled doctors to administer ...
Breaking Biology Technology: