Navigation Links
Temporary infidelity may contribute to the stability of ancient relationships
Date:6/1/2009

Fungus-farming ants have cultivated the same fungal crops for 50 million years. Each young ant queen carries a bit of fungus garden with her when she flies away to mate and establish a new nest. Short breaks in the ants' relationship with the fungus during nest establishment may contribute to the stability of this long-term mutualism, according to a study at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Gamboa, Panama.

"We were struck by the paradox that even though the ants transfer a single fungal strain from generation to generation, nests of different ant species, and even genera, throughout Central America share genetically very similar fungi, indicating that there are exchanges going on between fungi from different nests," said Michael Poulsen, who held a Smithsonian short term fellowship while a doctoral student at the University of Copenhagen. "In these experiments, we found that there is a very short window of time--as the young queen establishes a new nest--when partner switching can occur."

Ants in the genus Acromyrmex cultivate a single fungal species in their nests: Leucoagaricus gonglyophorus. Mature ant colonies contain one fungal clone--a single genotype, which uses several strategies to make sure that other fungi do not invade.

Researchers noticed that several queens from different colonies sometimes start nests very close together and wondered if young queens were given fungi from a nest other than their natal nestwould they treat it as their own fungal crop?

"That's exactly what happens," said Poulsen, now research associate at the University of Wisconsin. "Young queens adopt a fungus from another nest and cultivate it in their new nest. This sort of temporary partner switching probably acts as an evolutionary safety net in the ant-fungus mutualism by preventing the accumulation of deleterious mutations."


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth King
703-487-3770 x8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Y chromosome and surname study challenges infidelity myth
2. IFAR contributes to study that finds genes that influence the start of menstruation
3. Differences in neighborhood food environment may contribute to disparities in obesity
4. The genetics of fear: Study suggests specific genetic variations contribute to anxiety disorders
5. High-fat diets inflame fat tissue around blood vessels, contribute to heart disease
6. New research shows high-quality protein in eggs contributes to power, strength and energy
7. TXOTX, coordinated international project to contribute to sustainability of the marine resources
8. USC researchers head global effort to study genetic risks that contribute to psychiatric diseases
9. Deranged calcium signaling contributes to neurological disorder, UT Southwestern researchers find
10. Scientists discover why a mothers high-fat diet contributes to obesity in her children
11. Scientists identify gene that may contribute to improved rice yield
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Temporary infidelity may contribute to the stability of ancient relationships
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric ... of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 ... market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global ...
(Date:3/22/2017)...   Neurotechnology , a provider of high-precision ... the release of the SentiVeillance 6.0 ... recognition using up to 10 surveillance, security and ... new version uses deep neural-network-based facial detection and ... a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) for enhanced speed. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... ... The Conference Forum and The Trout Group will ... upcoming panels and events. The partnership culminates with the 4th Annual IO360° summit ... City. , “With our experience in producing the Immuno-Oncology 360° NYC event and The ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... JULABO USA introduces ... the new website makes it easy to navigate through the site whether you’re ... find detailed product information, educational industry content and visit the company’s social media ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... Portland, Oregon (PRWEB) , ... August 14, 2017 ... ... modules that provide essential device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the ... hardware. , SYZYGY is intended to satisfy the need for a compact, low ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , Aug. 11, 2017 ... in a New York Times article regarding ... 9.2 billion, according to Kalorama Information.  The ... an App for That"  used information ... Remote Patient Monitoring & Telemedicine Market  (Sleep, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: