Navigation Links
When industrious ants go too far
Date:4/28/2009

Nature is full of mutually beneficial arrangements between organismslike the relationship between flowering plants and their bee pollinators. But sometimes these blissful relationships have a dark side, as Harvard biologist Megan Frederickson describes in an article for the May issue of The American Naturalist.

Generally, the relationship between ants and plants is a great example of biological mutualism. Myrmecophyte plantsotherwise known as ant-plants often provide home for several species of ants. The plant shelters ant colonies in hollow spaces in its limbs or leaves. The ants, in turn, protect the plant against threats from other insects or encroaching vegetation. The ants get a home; the plant gets protectioneverybody wins.

But sometimes the delicate balance is tipped toward one partner or the other.

In her article, Dr. Frederickson describes the tumultuous relationship between the ant-plant C. Nodosa and the ant species A. octoarticulatus. The relationship between these two species is much like that of other ants and ant-plants, until it comes time for the plant to reproduce. When Nodosa begins to flower, the ants attack the buds, lopping them off before they get a chance to spread seeds. The ant, in effect, sterilizes its gracious host. Ingrates.

So what do the ants have to gain from this?

"When researchers first described this intriguing behavior over a decade ago, they suggested that perhaps the ants destroy flowers to promote the growth of their host plants, much as gardeners prune roses to encourage the growth of their rose bushes," Frederickson says. The larger the plant, the more living space the ants have.

To test this assertion, Frederickson measured the growth rate of sterilized and non-sterilized Nodosa plants. Sure enough, the sterilized plants grew faster, providing more space for ants to inhabit.

Octoarticulatus ants are taking advantage of a trade-off between reproducti
'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/30/2014)... each year, but its deep-blue waters host the ... alien species, including fish, crustaceans, and algae are ... In the open-access journal Frontiers in Marine ... data from a new information system developed by ... of alien species has changed the native biodiversity ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... have completed the first comprehensive numerical simulation of skeletal ... in an image as data points for the computer ... led by J.S. Chen, the William Prager Professor of ... UC San Diego, presented their findings on the development ... this month. Chen also gave a keynote speech about ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... the Ocean Health Index rates the Earth,s oceans ... In addition, for the first time, the report ... beyond national jurisdiction (high-seas areas) all critical ... and providing sustainable food sources. , In the ... led by scientists from UC Santa Barbara,s National ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Biodiversity in the Mediterranean is threatened by alien species 2First comprehensive meshfree numerical simulation of skeletal muscle tissue achieved 2Rating the planet's oceans 2Rating the planet's oceans 3
... chemistry professor and a neuroscientist working together to test ... biomedical engineer working with an orthopedic surgeon to help ... teamwork is often considered the shortest route toward solving ... can inspire students who are beginning their journey in ...
... most ancient frogs may soon be mined to extinction, if ... area for mining go ahead. The primitive Archey,s frog ... ) are two of the species that inhabit the area ... the mining is planned to take place. Archey,s frog ...
... use of commercial fertilisers and animal waste is contributing ... aquatic environment. Yet global food and bioenergy supplies are ... and Ecology at LIFE Faculty of Life Sciences ... resources at the development of sustainable animal waste technologies. ...
Cached Biology News:HHMI awards $1.2 million to UF for undergrad education 2Prehistoric frogs face extinction 2Massive resources now directed at sustainable animal waste technology 2
(Date:10/1/2014)... October 01, 2014 The U.S. Department ... Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as part of the Trade ... The funding is co-administered by the Department of Labor ... Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Secretary of ... in job-driven training grants to nearly 270 colleges across ...
(Date:10/1/2014)... -- Industry leaders from retail pharmacies ... the theme, ,Commercial Opportunities in the Era of Reform, ... Elsevier , a world-leading provider of scientific, technical ... gathering of some of the industry,s most prominent healthcare ... and in the future. The Elsevier Healthcare ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... September 30, 2014 Applying a well-known optical ... at Harvard University has demonstrated the ability to ... work that holds promise for making future, flexible ... the sides of next-gen rocket ships and spacecraft ... passes through oil in water, it becomes iridescent, ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... a bio-mimicking analog of one of nature,s most ... research team led by Alejandro Briseno of the ... step in developing long-sought polymer architecture to boost ... in electronic devices. , Briseno, with colleagues ... at Stanford University and Dresden University of Technology, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:U.S. Dept. of Labor Awards SIUE Nearly $10-Million Grant 2U.S. Dept. of Labor Awards SIUE Nearly $10-Million Grant 3U.S. Dept. of Labor Awards SIUE Nearly $10-Million Grant 4Elsevier Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Economics Conference 2014 To Convene Industry Leaders to Discuss Top Healthcare Business Issues 2Elsevier Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Economics Conference 2014 To Convene Industry Leaders to Discuss Top Healthcare Business Issues 3Taking thin films to the extreme 2Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells 2Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells 3
... Eli Lilly and Company,(NYSE: LLY ) today announced ... as a Distinguished Lilly Scholar focusing on schizophrenia,and other ... Dr. Conley join our team here at,Lilly," said Jack ... well-known thought leader, clinician and scientist who brings,important experience ...
... REINACH, Switzerland, December 14 As reported,in September, ... at this,year,s Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and ... at ICAAC, that was,supported through an educational grant ... The symposium is entitled "Treatment of Methicillin-resistant,Staphylococcus ...
... Bradley,Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: BDY ) today announced ... the topical treatment of,external genital (EGW) and perianal ... older. Veregen(TM) is the first new,prescription treatment for ... product from MediGene AG (Frankfurt: MDG) and has ...
Cached Biology Technology:Robert Conley, M.D. to Join Lilly; Will assume a neuroscience leadership role as a Distinguished Lilly Scholar 2Arpida-Supported CME Symposium Available Online 2Arpida-Supported CME Symposium Available Online 3Bradley Pharmaceuticals Launches Veregen(TM) (sinecatechins) Ointment, 15% 2Bradley Pharmaceuticals Launches Veregen(TM) (sinecatechins) Ointment, 15% 3Bradley Pharmaceuticals Launches Veregen(TM) (sinecatechins) Ointment, 15% 4Bradley Pharmaceuticals Launches Veregen(TM) (sinecatechins) Ointment, 15% 5Bradley Pharmaceuticals Launches Veregen(TM) (sinecatechins) Ointment, 15% 6
Lysozyme C (W-20)...
Request Info...
Abgene's ALTO-8 is the first automated decapper/capper for Abgene Twist-Lock tubes....
... X-Gal (5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indoyl-beta-D-galactopyranoside) is a ... identify recombinant plasmids. In ... and IPTG, lac ... blue, whereas recombinant colonies ...
Biology Products: