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Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants

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dc.contributor.author Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes en
dc.contributor.author Nash, David R. en
dc.contributor.author Higginbotham, Sarah en
dc.contributor.author Estrada, Catalina en
dc.contributor.author van Zweden, Jelle S. en
dc.contributor.author d'Ettorre, Patrizia en
dc.contributor.author Wcislo, William T. en
dc.contributor.author Boomsma, Jacobus J. en
dc.date.accessioned 2015-05-15T12:50:32Z
dc.date.available 2015-05-15T12:50:32Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.citation Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes, Nash, David R., Higginbotham, Sarah, Estrada, Catalina, van Zweden, Jelle S., d'Ettorre, Patrizia, Wcislo, William T., and Boomsma, Jacobus J. 2015. "<a href="https://stri-apps.si.edu/docs/publications/pdfs/20150212.full.pdf">Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants</a>." <em>Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences</em>. 282 (1807):<a href="https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.0212">https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.0212</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 0962-8452
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10088/26245
dc.description.abstract Fungus-farming ant colonies vary four to five orders of magnitude in size. They employ compounds from actinomycete bacteria and exocrine glands as antimicrobial agents. Atta colonies have millions of ants and are particularly relevant for understanding hygienic strategies as they have abandoned their ancestors&#39; prime dependence on antibiotic-based biological control in favour of using metapleural gland (MG) chemical secretions. Atta MGs are unique in synthesizing large quantities of phenylacetic acid (PAA), a known but little investigated antimicrobial agent. We show that particularly the smallest workers greatly reduce germination rates of Escovopsis and Metarhizium spores after actively applying PAA to experimental infection targets in garden fragments and transferring the spores to the ants&#39; infrabuccal cavities. In vitro assays further indicated that Escovopsis strains isolated from evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants are less sensitive to PAA than strains from phylogenetically more basal fungus-farming ants, consistent with the dynamics of an evolutionary arms race between virulence and control for Escovopsis, but not Metarhizium. Atta ants form larger colonies with more extreme caste differentiation relative to other attines, in societies characterized by an almost complete absence of reproductive conflicts. We hypothesize that these changes are associated with unique evolutionary innovations in chemical pest management that appear robust against selection pressure for resistance by specialized mycopathogens. en
dc.relation.ispartof Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences en
dc.title Functional role of phenylacetic acid from metapleural gland secretions in controlling fungal pathogens in evolutionarily derived leaf-cutting ants en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 135906
dc.identifier.doi 10.1098/rspb.2015.0212
rft.jtitle Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
rft.volume 282
rft.issue 1807
dc.description.SIUnit STRI en
dc.relation.url https://stri-apps.si.edu/docs/publications/pdfs/20150212.full.pdf


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