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Ants protect acacia plants against pathogens
Date:1/15/2014

ra Bacillus, Lactococcus, Pantoea and Burkholderia effectively inhibited the growth of Pseudomonas bacteria isolated from infected acacia leaves. Interestingly, some of the bacterial genera associated with the ants are known to produce antibiotic substances.

The Jena researchers have thus added another level of interaction to the symbiosis between ants and their host plants. "Such mutualistic relationships are much more complex than previously thought. In the future, we will have to include bacteria and other microorganisms in our considerations," says Wilhelm Boland, head of the Department of Bioorganic Chemistry at the Max Planck Institute. Studies on symbiotic relationships between ants and myrmecophytic plants should not overlook the role of bacterial partners that help the ants protect "their" plants. [AO]


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Contact: Dr. Wilhelm Boland
boland@ice.mpg.de
49-364-157-1201
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Source:Eurekalert  

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Ants protect acacia plants against pathogens
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