, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 443-447
Date: 12 Jul 2011

Fungus-growing Allomerus ants are associated with antibiotic-producing actinobacteria

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Abstract

Fungus-growing attine ants use natural-product antibiotics produced by mutualist actinobacteria as ‘weedkillers’ in their fungal gardens. Here we report for the first time that fungus-growing Allomerus ants, which lie outside the tribe Attini, are associated with antifungal-producing actinobacteria, which offer them protection against non-cultivar fungi isolated from their ant-plants.

Ryan F. Seipke and Jörg Barke contributed equally to this work.