WorldWideScience

Sample records for ant fungus gardens

  1. Garden sharing and garden stealing in fungus-growing ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M. M.; Mueller, U. G.; Holloway, Alisha K.; Green, Abigail M.; Narozniak, Joanie

    Fungi cultivated by fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae) are passed on between generations by transfer from maternal to offspring nest (vertical transmission within ant species). However, recent phylogenetic analyses revealed that cultivars are occasionally also transferred between attine species. The reasons for such lateral cultivar transfers are unknown. To investigate whether garden loss may induce ants to obtain a replacement cultivar from a neighboring colony (lateral cultivar transfer), pairs of queenright colonies of two Cyphomyrmex species were set up in two conjoined chambers; the garden of one colony was then removed to simulate the total crop loss that occurs naturally when pathogens devastate gardens. Garden-deprived colonies regained cultivars through one of three mechanisms: joining of a neighboring colony and cooperation in a common garden; stealing of a neighbor's garden; or aggressive usurpation of a neighbor's garden. Because pathogens frequently devastate attine gardens under natural conditions, garden joining, stealing and usurpation emerge as critical behavioral adaptations to survive garden catastrophes.

  2. Evolutionary patterns of proteinase activity in attine ant fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Semenova, Tatyana; Hughes, David Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan;

    2011-01-01

    hypothesized that fungal proteinase activity may have been under selection for efficiency and that different classes of proteinases might be involved. Results: We determined proteinase activity profiles across a wide pH range for fungus gardens of 14 Panamanian species of fungus-growing ants, representing...... activities than the lower attine symbionts. Their total in vitro proteinase activity peaked at pH values around 5, which is close to the pH that the ants maintain in their fungus gardens, suggesting that the pH optimum of fungal proteinases may have changed after the irreversible domestication...... of evolutionary more derived fungal symbionts. This notion is also supported by buffering capacities of fungus gardens at pH 5.2 being remarkably high, and suggests that the fungal symbiont actively helps to maintain garden acidity at this specific level. Metalloproteinases dominated the activity profiles...

  3. EVOLUTIONARY TRANSITIONS IN ENZYME ACTIVITY OF ANT FUNGUS GARDENS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schiøtt, Morten; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2010-01-01

    an association with a monophyletic clade of specialized symbionts. In conjunction with the transition to specialized symbionts, the ants advanced in colony size and social complexity. Here we provide a comparative study of the functional specialization in extracellular enzyme activities in fungus gardens across...... the attine phylogeny. We show that, relative to sister clades, gardens of higher-attine ants have enhanced activity of protein-digesting enzymes, whereas gardens of leaf-cutting ants also have increased activity of starch-digesting enzymes. However, the enzyme activities of lower-attine fungus gardens...... are targeted primarily towards partial degradation of plant cell walls, reflecting a plesiomorphic state of non-domesticated fungi. The enzyme profiles of the higher-attine and leaf-cutting gardens appear particularly suited to digest fresh plant materials and to access nutrients from live cells without major...

  4. Evolutionary transitions in enzyme activity of ant fungus gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schiøtt, Morten; Mueller, Ulrich G; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2010-07-01

    Fungus-growing (attine) ants and their fungal symbionts passed through several evolutionary transitions during their 50 million year old evolutionary history. The basal attine lineages often shifted between two main cultivar clades, whereas the derived higher-attine lineages maintained an association with a monophyletic clade of specialized symbionts. In conjunction with the transition to specialized symbionts, the ants advanced in colony size and social complexity. Here we provide a comparative study of the functional specialization in extracellular enzyme activities in fungus gardens across the attine phylogeny. We show that, relative to sister clades, gardens of higher-attine ants have enhanced activity of protein-digesting enzymes, whereas gardens of leaf-cutting ants also have increased activity of starch-digesting enzymes. However, the enzyme activities of lower-attine fungus gardens are targeted primarily toward partial degradation of plant cell walls, reflecting a plesiomorphic state of nondomesticated fungi. The enzyme profiles of the higher-attine and leaf-cutting gardens appear particularly suited to digest fresh plant materials and to access nutrients from live cells without major breakdown of cell walls. The adaptive significance of the lower-attine symbiont shifts remains unclear. One of these shifts was obligate, but digestive advantages remained ambiguous, whereas the other remained facultative despite providing greater digestive efficiency.

  5. Evolutionary patterns of proteinase activity in attine ant fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Semenova, Tatyana; Hughes, David Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan;

    2011-01-01

    hypothesized that fungal proteinase activity may have been under selection for efficiency and that different classes of proteinases might be involved. Results: We determined proteinase activity profiles across a wide pH range for fungus gardens of 14 Panamanian species of fungus-growing ants, representing...... eight genera. We mapped these activity profiles on an independently obtained molecular phylogeny of the symbionts and show that total proteinase activity in lower attine symbionts peaks at ca. pH 6. The higher attine symbionts that have no known free-living relatives had much higher proteinase...... activities than the lower attine symbionts. Their total in vitro proteinase activity peaked at pH values around 5, which is close to the pH that the ants maintain in their fungus gardens, suggesting that the pH optimum of fungal proteinases may have changed after the irreversible domestication...

  6. Ant-fungus species combinations engineer physiological activity of fungus gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seal, J N; Schiøtt, M; Mueller, U G

    2014-07-15

    Fungus-gardening insects are among the most complex organisms because of their extensive co-evolutionary histories with obligate fungal symbionts and other microbes. Some fungus-gardening insect lineages share fungal symbionts with other members of their lineage and thus exhibit diffuse co-evolutionary relationships, while others exhibit little or no symbiont sharing, resulting in host-fungus fidelity. The mechanisms that maintain this symbiont fidelity are currently unknown. Prior work suggested that derived leaf-cutting ants in the genus Atta interact synergistically with leaf-cutter fungi (Attamyces) by exhibiting higher fungal growth rates and enzymatic activities than when growing a fungus from the sister-clade to Attamyces (so-called 'Trachymyces'), grown primarily by the non-leaf cutting Trachymyrmex ants that form, correspondingly, the sister-clade to leaf-cutting ants. To elucidate the enzymatic bases of host-fungus specialization in leaf-cutting ants, we conducted a reciprocal fungus-switch experiment between the ant Atta texana and the ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis and report measured enzymatic activities of switched and sham-switched fungus gardens to digest starch, pectin, xylan, cellulose and casein. Gardens exhibited higher amylase and pectinase activities when A. texana ants cultivated Attamyces compared with Trachymyces fungi, consistent with enzymatic specialization. In contrast, gardens showed comparable amylase and pectinase activities when T. arizonensis cultivated either fungal species. Although gardens of leaf-cutting ants are not known to be significant metabolizers of cellulose, T. arizonensis were able to maintain gardens with significant cellulase activity when growing either fungal species. In contrast to carbohydrate metabolism, protease activity was significantly higher in Attamyces than in Trachymyces, regardless of the ant host. Activity of some enzymes employed by this symbiosis therefore arises from complex interactions between the

  7. The dynamics of plant cell-wall polysaccharide decomposition in leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moller, Isabel Eva; de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Harholt, Jesper;

    2011-01-01

    The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus......, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste...... material that the ants remove from their fungus garden. These results demonstrate that biomass entering leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens is only partially utilized and explain why disproportionally large amounts of plant material are needed to sustain colony growth. They also explain why substantial...

  8. The dynamics of plant cell-wall polysaccharide decomposition in leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel E Moller

    Full Text Available The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus degrades cellulose have hampered our understanding of the selection forces that induced large scale herbivory and of the ensuing ecological footprint of these ants. Here we use a recently established technique, based on polysaccharide microarrays probed with antibodies and carbohydrate binding modules, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste material that the ants remove from their fungus garden. These results demonstrate that biomass entering leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens is only partially utilized and explain why disproportionally large amounts of plant material are needed to sustain colony growth. They also explain why substantial communities of microbial and invertebrate symbionts have evolved associations with the dump material from leaf-cutting ant nests, to exploit decomposition niches that the ant garden-fungus does not utilize. Our approach thus provides detailed insight into the nutritional benefits and shortcomings associated with fungus-farming in ants.

  9. Candicidin-producing Streptomyces support leaf-cutting ants to protect their fungus garden against the pathogenic fungus Escovopsis

    OpenAIRE

    Haeder, Susanne; Wirth, Rainer; Herz, Hubert; Spiteller, Dieter

    2009-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants such as Acromyrmex octospinosus live in obligate symbiosis with fungi of the genus Leucoagaricus, which they grow with harvested leaf material. The symbiotic fungi, in turn, serve as a major food source for the ants. This mutualistic relation is disturbed by the specialized pathogenic fungus Escovopsis sp., which can overcome Leucoagaricus sp. and thus destroy the ant colony. Microbial symbionts of leaf-cutting ants have been suggested to protect the fungus garden against Es...

  10. The dynamics of plant cell-wall polysaccharide decomposition in leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moller, Isabel Eva; de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Harholt, Jesper;

    2011-01-01

    communities of microbial and invertebrate symbionts have evolved associations with the dump material from leaf-cutting ant nests, to exploit decomposition niches that the ant garden-fungus does not utilize. Our approach thus provides detailed insight into the nutritional benefits and shortcomings associated......The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus......, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste...

  11. Laccase detoxification mediates the nutritional alliance between leaf-cutting ants and fungus-garden symbionts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik; Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina

    2013-01-01

    on the leaf pulp that the ants add to their gardens. This accurate deposition ensures that laccase activity is highest where new leaf material enters the fungus garden, but where fungal mycelium is too sparse to produce extracellular enzymes in sufficient quantities to detoxify phenolic compounds...

  12. The fungus gardens of leaf-cutter ants undergo a distinct physiological transition during biomass degradation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, Eric L.; Aylward, Frank O.; Kim, Young-Mo; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Nicora, Carrie D.; Hu, Zeping; Metz, Thomas O.; Lipton, Mary S.; Smith, Richard D.; Currie, Cameron R.; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E.

    2014-08-01

    Leaf-cutter ants are dominant herbivores in ecosystems throughout the Neotropics. Rather than directly consuming the fresh foliar biomass they harvest, these ants use it to cultivate specialized fungus gardens. Although recent investigations have shed light on how plant biomass is degraded in fungus gardens, the cycling of nutrients that takes place in these specialized microbial ecosystems is still not well understood. Here, using metametabolomics and metaproteomics techniques, we examine the dynamics of nutrient turnover and biosynthesis in these gardens. Our results reveal that numerous free amino acids and sugars are depleted throughout the process of biomass degradation, indicating that easily accessible nutrients from plant material are readily consumed by microbes in these ecosystems. Accumulation of cellobiose and lignin derivatives near the end of the degradation process is consistent with previous findings of cellulases and laccases produced by Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, the fungus cultivated by leaf-cutter ants. Our results also suggest that ureides may be an important source of nitrogen in fungus gardens, especially during nitrogen-limiting conditions. No free arginine was detected in our metametabolomics experiments despite evidence that the host ants cannot produce this amino acid, suggesting that biosynthesis of this metabolite may be tightly regulated in the fungus garden. These results provide new insights into the dynamics of nutrient cycling that underlie this important ant-fungus symbiosis.

  13. The Dynamics of Plant Cell-Wall Polysaccharide Decomposition in Leaf-Cutting Ant Fungus Gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Moller, Isabel E.; De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Jesper Harholt; Willats, William G. T; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2011-01-01

    The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus degrades cellulose have hampered our understanding of the selection forces that induced large scale herbivory and of the ensuing ecological footprint of these ants. Here we use a recently establish...

  14. Microbial community structure of leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens and refuse dumps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarrod J Scott

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leaf-cutter ants use fresh plant material to grow a mutualistic fungus that serves as the ants' primary food source. Within fungus gardens, various plant compounds are metabolized and transformed into nutrients suitable for ant consumption. This symbiotic association produces a large amount of refuse consisting primarily of partly degraded plant material. A leaf-cutter ant colony is thus divided into two spatially and chemically distinct environments that together represent a plant biomass degradation gradient. Little is known about the microbial community structure in gardens and dumps or variation between lab and field colonies. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using microbial membrane lipid analysis and a variety of community metrics, we assessed and compared the microbiota of fungus gardens and refuse dumps from both laboratory-maintained and field-collected colonies. We found that gardens contained a diverse and consistent community of microbes, dominated by Gram-negative bacteria, particularly gamma-Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. These findings were consistent across lab and field gardens, as well as host ant taxa. In contrast, dumps were enriched for Gram-positive and anaerobic bacteria. Broad-scale clustering analyses revealed that community relatedness between samples reflected system component (gardens/dumps rather than colony source (lab/field. At finer scales samples clustered according to colony source. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Here we report the first comparative analysis of the microbiota from leaf-cutter ant colonies. Our work reveals the presence of two distinct communities: one in the fungus garden and the other in the refuse dump. Though we find some effect of colony source on community structure, our data indicate the presence of consistently associated microbes within gardens and dumps. Substrate composition and system component appear to be the most important factor in structuring the microbial communities

  15. The fungus gardens of leaf-cutter ants undergo a distinct physiological transition during biomass degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Eric L; Aylward, Frank O; Kim, Young-Mo; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M; Nicora, Carrie D; Hu, Zeping; Metz, Thomas O; Lipton, Mary S; Smith, Richard D; Currie, Cameron R; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E

    2014-08-01

    Leaf-cutter ants are dominant herbivores in ecosystems throughout the Neotropics that feed on fungus gardens cultivated on fresh foliar biomass. Although recent investigations have shed light on how plant biomass is degraded in fungus gardens, the cycling of nutrients that takes place in these specialized microbial ecosystems is still not well understood. Here, using metabolomic and metaproteomic techniques, we examine the dynamics of nutrient turnover in these gardens. Our results reveal that numerous free amino acids and sugars are depleted throughout the process of biomass degradation, indicating that easily accessible nutrients from plant material are readily consumed by microbes in these ecosystems. Accumulation of cellobiose and lignin derivatives near the end of the degradation process is consistent with previous characterization of lignocellulases produced by the fungal cultivar of the ants. Our results also suggest that ureides may be an important source of nitrogen in fungus gardens, especially during nitrogen-limiting conditions. No free arginine was detected in our metabolomic experiments despite evidence that the host ants cannot produce this amino acid, suggesting that biosynthesis of this metabolite may be tightly regulated in fungus gardens. These results provide new insights into microbial community-level processes that underlie this important ant-fungus symbiosis.

  16. Complete Genome of Enterobacteriaceae Bacterium Strain FGI 57, a Strain Associated with Leaf-Cutter Ant Fungus Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aylward, Frank O; Tremmel, Daniel M; Bruce, David C; Chain, Patrick; Chen, Amy; Walston Davenport, Karen; Detter, Chris; Han, Cliff S; Han, James; Huntemann, Marcel; Ivanova, Natalia N; Kyrpides, Nikos C; Markowitz, Victor; Mavrommatis, Kostas; Nolan, Matt; Pagani, Ioanna; Pati, Amrita; Pitluck, Sam; Deshpande, Shweta; Goodwin, Lynne; Woyke, Tanja; Currie, Cameron R

    2013-01-01

    The Enterobacteriaceae bacterium strain FGI 57 was isolated from a fungus garden of the leaf-cutter ant Atta colombica. Analysis of its single 4.76-Mbp chromosome will shed light on community dynamics and plant biomass degradation in ant fungus gardens.

  17. Metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into bacterial communities in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aylward, Frank O.; Burnum, Kristin E.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Suen, Garret; Tringe, Susannah G.; Adams, Sandra M.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Nicora, Carrie D.; Piehowski, Paul D.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Starrett, Gabriel J.; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Smith, Richard D.; Lipton, Mary S.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2012-09-01

    Herbivores gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass largely by harnessing the metabolic activities of microbes. Leaf-cutter ants of the genus Atta are a hallmark example; these dominant Neotropical herbivores cultivate symbiotic fungus gardens on massive quantities of fresh plant forage. As the external digestive system of the ants, fungus gardens facilitate the production and sustenance of millions of workers in mature Atta colonies. Here we use metagenomic, and metaproteomic techniques to characterize the bacterial diversity and overall physiological potential of fungus gardens from two species of Atta. Our analysis of over 1.2 Gbp of community metagenomic sequence and three 16S pyrotag libraries reveals that, in addition to harboring the dominant fungal crop, these ecosystems contain abundant populations of Enterobacteriaceae, including the genera Enterobacter, Pantoea, Klebsiella, Citrobacter, and Escherichia. We show that these bacterial communities possess genes commonly associated with lignocellulose degradation, and likely participate in the processing of plant biomass. Additionally, we demonstrate that bacteria in these environments encode a diverse suite of biosynthetic pathways, and that they may enrich the nitrogen-poor forage of the ants with B-vitamins, amino acids, and proteins. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that fungus gardens are highly-specialized fungus-bacteria communities that efficiently convert plant material into usable energy for their ant hosts. Together with recent investigations into the microbial symbionts of vertebrates, our work underscores the importance of microbial communities to the ecology and evolution of herbivorous metazoans.

  18. Metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into bacterial communities in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aylward, Frank O; Burnum, Kristin E; Scott, Jarrod J; Suen, Garret; Tringe, Susannah G; Adams, Sandra M; Barry, Kerrie W; Nicora, Carrie D; Piehowski, Paul D; Purvine, Samuel O; Starrett, Gabriel J; Goodwin, Lynne A; Smith, Richard D; Lipton, Mary S; Currie, Cameron R

    2012-09-01

    Herbivores gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass largely by harnessing the metabolic activities of microbes. Leaf-cutter ants of the genus Atta are a hallmark example; these dominant neotropical herbivores cultivate symbiotic fungus gardens on large quantities of fresh plant forage. As the external digestive system of the ants, fungus gardens facilitate the production and sustenance of millions of workers. Using metagenomic and metaproteomic techniques, we characterize the bacterial diversity and physiological potential of fungus gardens from two species of Atta. Our analysis of over 1.2 Gbp of community metagenomic sequence and three 16S pyrotag libraries reveals that in addition to harboring the dominant fungal crop, these ecosystems contain abundant populations of Enterobacteriaceae, including the genera Enterobacter, Pantoea, Klebsiella, Citrobacter and Escherichia. We show that these bacterial communities possess genes associated with lignocellulose degradation and diverse biosynthetic pathways, suggesting that they play a role in nutrient cycling by converting the nitrogen-poor forage of the ants into B-vitamins, amino acids and other cellular components. Our metaproteomic analysis confirms that bacterial glycosyl hydrolases and proteins with putative biosynthetic functions are produced in both field-collected and laboratory-reared colonies. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that fungus gardens are specialized fungus-bacteria communities that convert plant material into energy for their ant hosts. Together with recent investigations into the microbial symbionts of vertebrates, our work underscores the importance of microbial communities in the ecology and evolution of herbivorous metazoans.

  19. Mathematical Modeling on Obligate Mutualism: Interactions between leaf-cutter ants and their fungus garden

    CERN Document Server

    Kang, Yun; Clark, Rebecca; Fewell, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    We propose a simple mathematical model by applying Michaelis-Menton equations of enzyme kinetics to study the mutualistic interaction between the leaf cutter ant and its fungus garden at the early stage of colony expansion. We derive the sufficient conditions on the extinction and coexistence of these two species. In addition, we give a region of initial condition that leads to the extinction of two species when the model has an interior attractor. Our global analysis indicates that the division of labor by workers ants and initial conditions are two important {factors} that determine whether leaf cutter ants colonies and their fungus garden survive and grow can exist or not. We validate the model by doing the comparing between model simulations and data on fungal and ant colony growth rates under laboratory conditions. We perform sensitive analysis and parameter estimation of the model based on the experimental data to gain more biological insights on the ecological interactions between leaf cutter ants and ...

  20. Effects of substrate, ant and fungal species on plant fiber degradation in a fungus-gardening ant symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMilto, Alexandria M; Rouquette, Monte; Mueller, Ulrich G; Kellner, Katrin; Seal, Jon N

    2017-02-11

    Fungus-gardening or attine ants have outsourced most of their digestive function to a symbiotic fungus. The ants feed their fungus - essentially an external digestive organ - a variety of substrates of botanical origin, including fresh and dried flowers, leaves and insect frass (processed leaves). Although plant tissues are rich in fibers (lignocelluloses, hemicelluloses, pectins and starches) and the symbiotic fungus possesses the genetic and enzymatic machinery to metabolize these compounds, the highly derived attines, the leaf-cutters (Atta and Acromyrmex), are known to produce fiber-rich waste. While leaf-cutting ants are important consumers of primary plant tissue, there have been fewer studies on physiological activity of fungi grown by closely related ant species in the genus Trachymyrmex, which generally grow related species of fungi, have smaller colonies and consume a wider variety of fungal substrates in addition to fresh leaves and flowers. In this study, we measured the cellulase activity of the fungus-gardening ants Atta texana, Trachymyrmex arizonensis and T. septentrionalis. We then quantified fiber consumption of the fungus-gardening ants Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Trachymyrmex arizonensis by comparing the amounts and percentages present in their food and in fungus garden refuse during a controlled feeding experiment over the span of several months. Finally, we compared waste composition of T. arizonensis colonies growing different fungal strains, because this species is known to cultivate multiple strains of Leucoagaricus in its native range. The leaf-cutting ant A. texana was found to have lower cellulytic activity than T. arizonensis or T. septentrionalis. Total lignocellulose and hemicellulose amounts were significantly lower in refuse piles than in the substrates fed to the Trachymyrmex colonies, thus these fibers were consumed by the fungal symbionts of these ant species. Although lignocellulose utilization was similar in two distinct

  1. Fungus gardens of the leafcutter ant Atta colombica function as egg nurseries for the snake Leptodeira annulata

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Kronauer, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    Attine ants are well known for their mutualistic symbiosis with fungus gardens, but many other symbionts and commensals have been described. Here, we report the discovery of two clusters of large snake eggs in neighboring fungus gardens of a mature Atta colombica colony. The eggs were completely...... embedded within the fungus garden and were ignored by the host ants, even when we placed them into another, freshly excavated fungus garden of the same colony. All five eggs contained embryos and two snakes eventually hatched, which we identified as being banded cat eyed snakes Leptodeira annulata L. Ant...... fungus gardens are likely to provide ideal climatic conditions for developing snake eggs and almost complete protection from egg predation. Our observations therefore indicate that mature banded cat eyed snakes are able to enter and oviposit in large and well defended Atta colonies without being attacked...

  2. Laccase detoxification mediates the nutritional alliance between leaf-cutting ants and fungus-garden symbionts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Nygaard, Sanne; Roepstorff, Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2013-01-08

    Leaf-cutting ants combine large-scale herbivory with fungus farming to sustain advanced societies. Their stratified colonies are major evolutionary achievements and serious agricultural pests, but the crucial adaptations that allowed this mutualism to become the prime herbivorous component of neotropical ecosystems has remained elusive. Here we show how coevolutionary adaptation of a specific enzyme in the fungal symbiont has helped leaf-cutting ants overcome plant defensive phenolic compounds. We identify nine putative laccase-coding genes in the fungal genome of Leucocoprinus gongylophorus cultivated by the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. One of these laccases (LgLcc1) is highly expressed in the specialized hyphal tips (gongylidia) that the ants preferentially eat, and we confirm that these ingested laccase molecules pass through the ant guts and remain active when defecated on the leaf pulp that the ants add to their gardens. This accurate deposition ensures that laccase activity is highest where new leaf material enters the fungus garden, but where fungal mycelium is too sparse to produce extracellular enzymes in sufficient quantities to detoxify phenolic compounds. Phylogenetic analysis of LgLcc1 ortholog sequences from symbiotic and free-living fungi revealed significant positive selection in the ancestral lineage that gave rise to the gongylidia-producing symbionts of leaf-cutting ants and their non-leaf-cutting ant sister group. Our results are consistent with fungal preadaptation and subsequent modification of a particular laccase enzyme for the detoxification of secondary plant compounds during the transition to active herbivory in the ancestor of leaf-cutting ants between 8 and 12 Mya.

  3. Leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens are biphasic mixed microbial bioreactors that convert plant biomass to polyols with biotechnological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somera, Alexandre F; Lima, Adriel M; Dos Santos-Neto, Álvaro J; Lanças, Fernando M; Bacci, Maurício

    2015-07-01

    Leaf-cutter ants use plant matter to culture the obligate mutualistic basidiomycete Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. This fungus mediates ant nutrition on plant resources. Furthermore, other microbes living in the fungus garden might also contribute to plant digestion. The fungus garden comprises a young sector with recently incorporated leaf fragments and an old sector with partially digested plant matter. Here, we show that the young and old sectors of the grass-cutter Atta bisphaerica fungus garden operate as a biphasic solid-state mixed fermenting system. An initial plant digestion phase occurred in the young sector in the fungus garden periphery, with prevailing hemicellulose and starch degradation into arabinose, mannose, xylose, and glucose. These products support fast microbial growth but were mostly converted into four polyols. Three polyols, mannitol, arabitol, and inositol, were secreted by L. gongylophorus, and a fourth polyol, sorbitol, was likely secreted by another, unidentified, microbe. A second plant digestion phase occurred in the old sector, located in the fungus garden core, comprising stocks of microbial biomass growing slowly on monosaccharides and polyols. This biphasic operation was efficient in mediating symbiotic nutrition on plant matter: the microbes, accounting for 4% of the fungus garden biomass, converted plant matter biomass into monosaccharides and polyols, which were completely consumed by the resident ants and microbes. However, when consumption was inhibited through laboratory manipulation, most of the plant polysaccharides were degraded, products rapidly accumulated, and yields could be preferentially switched between polyols and monosaccharides. This feature might be useful in biotechnology.

  4. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus produces diverse enzymes for the degradation of recalcitrant plant polymers in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aylward, Frank O; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E; Tringe, Susannah G; Teiling, Clotilde; Tremmel, Daniel M; Moeller, Joseph A; Scott, Jarrod J; Barry, Kerrie W; Piehowski, Paul D; Nicora, Carrie D; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Monroe, Matthew E; Purvine, Samuel O; Goodwin, Lynne A; Smith, Richard D; Weinstock, George M; Gerardo, Nicole M; Suen, Garret; Lipton, Mary S; Currie, Cameron R

    2013-06-01

    Plants represent a large reservoir of organic carbon comprised primarily of recalcitrant polymers that most metazoans are unable to deconstruct. Many herbivores gain access to nutrients in this material indirectly by associating with microbial symbionts, and leaf-cutter ants are a paradigmatic example. These ants use fresh foliar biomass as manure to cultivate gardens composed primarily of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, a basidiomycetous fungus that produces specialized hyphal swellings that serve as a food source for the host ant colony. Although leaf-cutter ants are conspicuous herbivores that contribute substantially to carbon turnover in Neotropical ecosystems, the process through which plant biomass is degraded in their fungus gardens is not well understood. Here we present the first draft genome of L. gongylophorus, and, using genomic and metaproteomic tools, we investigate its role in lignocellulose degradation in the gardens of both Atta cephalotes and Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutter ants. We show that L. gongylophorus produces a diversity of lignocellulases in ant gardens and is likely the primary driver of plant biomass degradation in these ecosystems. We also show that this fungus produces distinct sets of lignocellulases throughout the different stages of biomass degradation, including numerous cellulases and laccases that likely play an important role in lignocellulose degradation. Our study provides a detailed analysis of plant biomass degradation in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens and insight into the enzymes underlying the symbiosis between these dominant herbivores and their obligate fungal cultivar.

  5. Ecology of microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a year-long survey of three species of attine ants in Central Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Andre; Mueller, Ulrich G; Ishak, Heather D; Bacci, Maurício; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2011-11-01

    We profiled the microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants to evaluate possible species-specific ant-microfungal associations and to assess the potential dependencies of microfungal diversity on ant foraging behavior. In a 1-year survey, we isolated microfungi from nests of Cyphomyrmex wheeleri, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Atta texana in Central Texas. Microfungal prevalence was higher in gardens of C. wheeleri (57%) than in the gardens of T. septentrionalis (46%) and A. texana (35%). Culture-dependent methods coupled with a polyphasic approach of species identification revealed diverse and changing microfungal communities in all the sampling periods. Diversity analyses showed no obvious correlations between the number of observed microfungal species, ant species, or the ants' changing foraging behavior across the seasons. However, both correspondence analysis and 5.8S-rRNA gene unifrac analyses suggested structuring of microfungal communities by ant host. These host-specific differences may reflect in part the three different environments where ants were collected. Most interestingly, the specialized fungal parasite Escovopsis was not isolated from any attine garden in this study near the northernmost limit of the range of attine ants, contrasting with previous studies that indicated a significant incidence of this parasite in ant gardens from Central and South America. The observed differences of microfungal communities in attine gardens suggest that the ants are continuously in contact with a diverse microfungal species assemblage.

  6. Thelytokous parthenogenesis in the fungus-gardening ant Mycocepurus smithii (Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Rabeling

    Full Text Available The general prevalence of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction among organisms testifies to the evolutionary benefits of recombination, such as accelerated adaptation to changing environments and elimination of deleterious mutations. Documented instances of asexual reproduction in groups otherwise dominated by sexual reproduction challenge evolutionary biologists to understand the special circumstances that might confer an advantage to asexual reproductive strategies. Here we report one such instance of asexual reproduction in the ants. We present evidence for obligate thelytoky in the asexual fungus-gardening ant, Mycocepurus smithii, in which queens produce female offspring from unfertilized eggs, workers are sterile, and males appear to be completely absent. Obligate thelytoky is implicated by reproductive physiology of queens, lack of males, absence of mating behavior, and natural history observations. An obligate thelytoky hypothesis is further supported by the absence of evidence indicating sexual reproduction or genetic recombination across the species' extensive distribution range (Mexico-Argentina. Potential conflicting evidence for sexual reproduction in this species derives from three Mycocepurus males reported in the literature, previously regarded as possible males of M. smithii. However, we show here that these specimens represent males of the congeneric species M. obsoletus, and not males of M. smithii. Mycocepurus smithii is unique among ants and among eusocial Hymenoptera, in that males seem to be completely absent and only queens (and not workers produce diploid offspring via thelytoky. Because colonies consisting only of females can be propagated consecutively in the laboratory, M. smithii could be an adequate study organism a to test hypotheses of the population-genetic advantages and disadvantages of asexual reproduction in a social organism and b inform kin conflict theory.For a Portuguese translation of the

  7. Variation in fungal enzyme spectra may affect mutualistic division of labour between ants and fungus gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    range, and a paraphyletic assembly of Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex species that cultivate more genetically diverse fungal symbionts. Leaf-decomposition productivity of colonies depends on the combined efforts of ant foragers collecting and macerating plant material and fungal enzymes excreted directly...... partners vary in metabolic performance, division of labour may not always be optimized and co-evolutionary trajectories become less predictable. The higher fungus-growing (attine) ants consist of the leafcutter ants (Acromyrmex and Atta), which rear a single fungal species throughout their Latin American...... or indirectly via ant fecal fluid. We determined the interaction specificity between ant species and fungal strains across sympatric populations of six Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex species in Panama, and established that these ants jointly reared eight fungal haplotype groups that differed significantly...

  8. Towards a molecular understanding of symbiont function: identification of a fungal gene for the degradation of xylan in the fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiøtt, Morten; De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Lange, Lene;

    2008-01-01

    in the fungus gardens in order to investigate the dynamics of degradation activities. RESULTS: We cloned a xylanase gene from the mutualistic fungus of Acromyrmex echinatior, determined its protein sequence, and inserted it in a yeast expression vector to confirm its substrate specificity. Our results show...... that the fungus has a functional xylanase gene. We also show by lab experiments in vivo that the activity of fungal xylanase and cellulase is not evenly distributed, but concentrated in the lower layer of fungus gardens, with only modest activity in the middle layer where gongylidia are produced and intermediate...... activity in the newly established top layer. This vertical distribution appears to be negatively correlated with the concentration of glucose, which indicates a directly regulating role of glucose, as has been found in other fungi and has been previously suggested for the ant fungal symbiont. CONCLUSION...

  9. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

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    Ulrich G Mueller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leafcutter ants depend on the cultivation of symbiotic Attamyces fungi for food, which are thought to be grown by the ants in single-strain, clonal monoculture throughout the hundreds to thousands of gardens within a leafcutter nest. Monoculture eliminates cultivar-cultivar competition that would select for competitive fungal traits that are detrimental to the ants, whereas polyculture of several fungi could increase nutritional diversity and disease resistance of genetically variable gardens. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using three experimental approaches, we assessed cultivar diversity within nests of Atta leafcutter ants, which are most likely among all fungus-growing ants to cultivate distinct cultivar genotypes per nest because of the nests' enormous sizes (up to 5000 gardens and extended lifespans (10-20 years. In Atta texana and in A. cephalotes, we resampled nests over a 5-year period to test for persistence of resident cultivar genotypes within each nest, and we tested for genetic differences between fungi from different nest sectors accessed through excavation. In A. texana, we also determined the number of Attamyces cells carried as a starter inoculum by a dispersing queens (minimally several thousand Attamyces cells, and we tested for genetic differences between Attamyces carried by sister queens dispersing from the same nest. Except for mutational variation arising during clonal Attamyces propagation, DNA fingerprinting revealed no evidence for fungal polyculture and no genotype turnover during the 5-year surveys. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Atta leafcutter ants can achieve stable, fungal monoculture over many years. Mutational variation emerging within an Attamyces monoculture could provide genetic diversity for symbiont choice (gardening biases of the ants favoring specific mutational variants, an analog of artificial selection.

  10. Fungus gardens of the leafcutter ant Atta colombica function as egg nurseries for the snake Leptodeira annulata

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Kronauer, Daniel;

    2009-01-01

    by ant soldiers and that also newly hatched snakes manage to avoid ant attacks when they leaving their host colony. We speculate that L. annulata might use Atta and Acromyrmex leafcutter ant colonies as egg nurseries by some form of chemical insignificance, but more work is needed to understand...

  11. Coevolved crypts and exocrine glands support mutualistic bacteria in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Currie, Cameron R; Poulsen, Michael; Mendenhall, John;

    2006-01-01

    Attine ants engage in a quadripartite symbiosis with fungi they cultivate for food, specialized garden parasites, and parasite-inhibiting bacteria. Molecular phylogenetic evidence supports an ancient host-pathogen association between the ant-cultivar mutualism and the garden parasite. Here we sho...... in other ant genera that do not grow fungus, indicate that the bacteria have an ancient and coevolved association with the ants, their fungal cultivar, and the garden parasite.......Attine ants engage in a quadripartite symbiosis with fungi they cultivate for food, specialized garden parasites, and parasite-inhibiting bacteria. Molecular phylogenetic evidence supports an ancient host-pathogen association between the ant-cultivar mutualism and the garden parasite. Here we show...... that ants rear the antibiotic-producing bacteria in elaborate cuticular crypts, supported by unique exocrine glands, and that these structures have been highly modified across the ants' evolutionary history. This specialized structural evolution, together with the absence of these bacteria and modifications...

  12. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen Fredsted, Palle; Gertsch, Pia J.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan (Koos)

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  13. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Boomsma, JJ

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  14. Co-evolution of enzyme function in the attine ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    Introduction: Fungus-growing ants cultivate specialized fungi in the tribe Leucocoprineae (Lepiotaceae: Basidiomycota) inside their nests. The conspicuous leaf-cutting ants in the genus Atta build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex...... have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas the more basal attine genera use substrates such as dry plant material (leaf litter and small twigs) and also insect...... feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down the plant material that the ants provide or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Methods: (1.) We made a literature survey...

  15. Chemical warfare: Leaf-cutting ants defend themselves and their gardens against parasite attack by deploying antibiotic secreting bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Richard Ian; Mattoso, Thalles Cardoso; Moreira, Denise D O

    2013-03-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are well known for their highly complex social organization, which provides them with a strong defense against parasites invading their colonies. Besides this attribute, these insects have morphological, physiological and structural characteristics further reinforcing the defense of their colonies. With the discovery of symbiotic bacteria present on the integument of leaf-cutting ants, a new line of defense was proposed and considered to be specific for the control of a specialized fungal parasite of the ants' fungus gardens (Escovopsis). However, recent studies have questioned the specificity of the integumental bacteria, as they were also found to inhibit a range of fungi, including entomopathogens. The microbiota associated with the leaf-cutting ant gardens has also been proposed as another level of chemical defense, protecting the garden from parasite invasion. Here we review the chemical defense weaponry deployed by leaf-cutting ants against parasites of their fungus gardens and of the ants themselves.

  16. Bacterial community composition and diversity in an ancestral ant fungus symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellner, Katrin; Ishak, Heather D; Linksvayer, Timothy A; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-07-01

    Fungus-farming ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Attini) exhibit some of the most complex microbial symbioses because both macroscopic partners (ants and fungus) are associated with a rich community of microorganisms. The ant and fungal microbiomes are thought to serve important beneficial nutritional and defensive roles in these symbioses. While most recent research has investigated the bacterial communities in the higher attines (e.g. the leaf-cutter ant genera Atta and Acromyrmex), which are often associated with antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria, very little is known about the microbial communities in basal lineages, labeled as 'lower attines', which retain the ancestral traits of smaller and more simple societies. In this study, we used 16S amplicon pyrosequencing to characterize bacterial communities of the lower attine ant Mycocepurus smithii among seven sampling sites in central Panama. We discovered that ant and fungus garden-associated microbiota were distinct from surrounding soil, but unlike the situation in the derived fungus-gardening ants, which show distinct ant and fungal microbiomes, microbial community structure of the ants and their fungi were similar. Another surprising finding was that the abundance of actinomycete bacteria was low and instead, these symbioses were characterized by an abundance of Lactobacillus and Pantoea bacteria. Furthermore, our data indicate that Lactobacillus strains are acquired from the environment rather than acquired vertically.

  17. Rapid shifts in Atta cephalotes fungus-garden enzyme activity after a change in fungal substrate (Attini, Formicidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, P W; Schiøtt, M; Boomsma, J J;

    2011-01-01

    the backbone structure of pectin molecules, relative to a pure diet of bramble leaves, and this happened predominantly in the most recently established top sections of fungus gardens. However, fungus-garden amylase activity did not significantly increase despite the substantial increase in starch availability......Fungus gardens of the basidiomycete Leucocoprinus gongylophorus sustain large colonies of leaf-cutting ants by degrading the plant material collected by the ants. Recent studies have shown that enzyme activity in these gardens is primarily targeted toward starch, proteins and the pectin matrix...... activity to provide a better match with substrate availability and that excess starch that is not protected by cell walls may be digested by the ants rather than by the fungus-garden symbiont. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00040-010-0127-9) contains...

  18. A comparative study of exocrine gland chemistry in Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Jones, Tappey H.; Jeter, Andrew W.

    2012-01-01

    Ants possess many exocrine glands that produce a variety of compounds important for chemical communication. Fungus-growing ants, a tribe of over 230 species within the subfamily Myrmicinae, are unique among ants because they cultivate fungus gardens inside their nests as food. Here the chemistry...... possess many derived characteristics such as extensive leaf-cutting behavior and massive colony sizes, effectively making them major herbivores in many Neotropical habitats. This is the first comparison of the chemistry of eight Trachymyrmex and one Sericomyrmex species in a phylogenetic context. Most...

  19. Caste-specific symbiont policing by workers of Acromyrmex fungus-growing ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ivens, Aniek B. F.; Nash, David R.; Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2009-01-01

    The interaction between leaf-cutting ants and their fungus garden mutualists is ideal for studying the evolutionary stability of interspecific cooperation. Although the mutualism has a long history of diffuse coevolution, there is ample potential for conflicts between the partners over the mixing an

  20. Starch metabolism in Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, the symbiotic fungus of leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, A; Bacci, M; Pagnocca, F C; Bueno, O C; Hebling, M J A

    2006-01-01

    Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, the symbiotic fungus of the leaf-cutting ants, degrades starch, this degradation being supposed to occur in the plant material which leafcutters forage to the nests, generating most of the glucose which the ants utilize for food. In the present investigation, we show that laboratory cultures of L. gongylophorus produce extracellular alpha-amylase and maltase which degrade starch to glucose, reinforcing that the ants can obtain glucose from starch through the symbiotic fungus. Glucose was found to repress alpha-amylase and, more severely, maltase activity, thus repressing starch degradation by L. gongylophorus, so that we hypothesize that: (1) glucose down-regulation of starch degradation also occurs in the Atta sexdens fungus garden; (2) glucose consumption from the fungus garden by A. sexdens stimulates degradation of starch from plant material by L. gongylophorus, which may represent a mechanism by which leafcutters can control enzyme production by the symbiotic fungus. Since glucose is found in the fungus garden inside the nests, down-regulation of starch degradation by glucose is supposed to occur in the nest and play a part in the control of fungal enzyme production by leafcutters.

  1. Has substrate-dependent co-evolution of enzyme function occured in the attine ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    The conspicuous leaf-cutter ants in the genus Atta build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutter ants are specialized on using fresh leaves...

  2. The most relictual fungus-farming ant species cultivates the most recently evolved and highly domesticated fungal symbiont species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Ted R; Sosa-Calvo, Jeffrey; Brady, Seán G; Lopes, Cauê T; Mueller, Ulrich G; Bacci, Mauricio; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L

    2015-05-01

    Fungus-farming (attine) ant agriculture is made up of five known agricultural systems characterized by remarkable symbiont fidelity in which five phylogenetic groups of ants faithfully cultivate five phylogenetic groups of fungi. Here we describe the first case of a lower-attine ant cultivating a higher-attine fungus based on our discovery of a Brazilian population of the relictual fungus-farming ant Apterostigma megacephala, known previously from four stray specimens from Peru and Colombia. We find that A. megacephala is the sole surviving representative of an ancient lineage that diverged ∼39 million years ago, very early in the ∼55-million-year evolution of fungus-farming ants. Contrary to all previously known patterns of ant-fungus symbiont fidelity, A. megacephala cultivates Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, a highly domesticated fungal cultivar that originated only 2-8 million years ago in the gardens of the highly derived and recently evolved (∼12 million years ago) leaf-cutting ants. Because no other lower fungus-farming ant is known to cultivate any of the higher-attine fungi, let alone the leaf-cutter fungus, A. megacephala may provide important clues about the biological mechanisms constraining the otherwise seemingly obligate ant-fungus associations that characterize attine ant agriculture.

  3. Co-evolutionary patterns and diversification of ant-fungus associations in the asexual fungus-farming ant Mycocepurus smithii in Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellner, K; Fernández-Marín, H; Ishak, H D; Sen, R; Linksvayer, T A; Mueller, U G

    2013-06-01

    Partner fidelity through vertical symbiont transmission is thought to be the primary mechanism stabilizing cooperation in the mutualism between fungus-farming (attine) ants and their cultivated fungal symbionts. An alternate or additional mechanism could be adaptive partner or symbiont choice mediating horizontal cultivar transmission or de novo domestication of free-living fungi. Using microsatellite genotyping for the attine ant Mycocepurus smithii and ITS rDNA sequencing for fungal cultivars, we provide the first detailed population genetic analysis of local ant-fungus associations to test for the relative importance of vertical vs. horizontal transmission in a single attine species. M. smithii is the only known asexual attine ant, and it is furthermore exceptional because it cultivates a far greater cultivar diversity than any other attine ant. Cultivar switching could permit the ants to re-acquire cultivars after garden loss, to purge inferior cultivars that are locally mal-adapted or that accumulated deleterious mutations under long-term asexuality. Compared to other attine ants, symbiont choice and local adaptation of ant-fungus combinations may play a more important role than partner-fidelity feedback in the co-evolutionary process of M. smithii and its fungal symbionts.

  4. Caste-specific symbiont policing by workers of Acromyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivens, Aniek B.F.; Nash, David R.; Poulsen, Michael;

    2009-01-01

    The interaction between leaf-cutting ants and their fungus garden mutualists is ideal for studying the evolutionary stability of interspecific cooperation. Although the mutualism has a long history of diffuse coevolution, there is ample potential for conflicts between the partners over the mixing...... and transmission of symbionts. Symbiont transmission is vertical by default, and both the ants and resident fungus actively protect the fungal monoculture growing in their nest against secondary introductions of genetically dissimilar symbionts from other colonies. An earlier study showed that mixtures of major...

  5. Convergent coevolution in the domestication of coral mushrooms by fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkacsi, A.B.; Pan, J.J.; Villesen, P.;

    2004-01-01

    of parallel coevolution, where the symbionts of each functional group are members of monophyletic groups. However, there is one outstanding exception in the fungus-growing ant system, the unidentified cultivar grown only by ants in the Apterostigma pilosum group. We classify this cultivar in the coral-mushroom...... family Pterulaceae using phylogenetic reconstructions based on broad taxon sampling, including the first mushroom collected from the garden of an ant species in the A. pilosum group. The domestication of the pterulaceous cultivar is independent from the domestication of the gilled mushrooms cultivated...

  6. Reciprocal genomic evolution in the ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai;

    2016-01-01

    The attine ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis evolved over tens of millions of years, producing complex societies with industrial-scale farming analogous to that of humans. Here we document reciprocal shifts in the genomes and transcriptomes of seven fungus-farming ant species and their fungal...

  7. Reciprocal genomic evolution in the ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai;

    2016-01-01

    The attine ant-fungus agricultural symbiosis evolved over tens of millions of years, producing complex societies with industrial-scale farming analogous to that of humans. Here we document reciprocal shifts in the genomes and transcriptomes of seven fungus-farming ant species and their fungal cul...

  8. Comparative studies of the secretome of fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Linde, Tore; Grell, Morten Nedergaard; Schiøtt, Morten;

    2009-01-01

    Leafcutter ants of the species Acromyrmex echinatior live in symbiosis with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. The ants harvest fragments of leaves and carry them to the nest where they place the material on the fungal colony. The fungus secretes a wide array of proteins to degrade the leaves...... into nutrients that the ants can feed on. The focus of this study is to discover, characterize and compare the secreted proteins. In order to do so cDNA libraries are constructed from mRNA extracted from the fungus material. The most efficient technology to screen cDNA libraries selectively for secreted...

  9. The prominent role of fungi and fungal enzymes in the ant-fungus biomass conversion symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, L; Grell, M N

    2014-06-01

    Molecular studies have added significantly to understanding of the role of fungi and fungal enzymes in the efficient biomass conversion, which takes place in the fungus garden of leaf-cutting ants. It is now clear that the fungal symbiont expresses the full spectrum of genes for degrading cellulose and other plant cell wall polysaccharides. Since the start of the genomics era, numerous interesting studies have especially focused on evolutionary, molecular, and organismal aspects of the biological and biochemical functions of the symbiosis between leaf-cutting ants (Atta spp. and Acromyrmex spp.) and their fungal symbiont Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. Macroscopic observations of the fungus-farming ant colony inherently depict the ants as the leading part of the symbiosis (the myrmicocentric approach, overshadowing the mycocentric aspects). However, at the molecular level, it is fungal enzymes that enable the ants to access the nutrition embedded in recalcitrant plant biomass. Our hypothesis is that the evolutionary events that established fungus-farming practice were predisposed by a fascinating fungal evolution toward increasing attractiveness to ants. This resulted in the ants allowing the fungus to grow in the nests and began to supply plant materials for more fungal growth. Molecular studies also confirm that specialized fungal structures, the gongylidia, with high levels of proteins and rich blend of enzymes, are essential for symbiosis. Harvested and used as ant feed, the gongylidia are the key factor for sustaining the highly complex leaf-cutting ant colony. This microbial upgrade of fresh leaves to protein-enriched animal feed can serve as inspiration for modern biorefinery technology.

  10. A single Streptomyces symbiont makes multiple antifungals to support the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan F Seipke

    Full Text Available Attine ants are dependent on a cultivated fungus for food and use antibiotics produced by symbiotic Actinobacteria as weedkillers in their fungus gardens. Actinobacterial species belonging to the genera Pseudonocardia, Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis have been isolated from attine ant nests and shown to confer protection against a range of microfungal weeds. In previous work on the higher attine Acromyrmex octospinosus we isolated a Streptomyces strain that produces candicidin, consistent with another report that attine ants use Streptomyces-produced candicidin in their fungiculture. Here we report the genome analysis of this Streptomyces strain and identify multiple antibiotic biosynthetic pathways. We demonstrate, using gene disruptions and mass spectrometry, that this single strain has the capacity to make candicidin and multiple antimycin compounds. Although antimycins have been known for >60 years we report the sequence of the biosynthetic gene cluster for the first time. Crucially, disrupting the candicidin and antimycin gene clusters in the same strain had no effect on bioactivity against a co-evolved nest pathogen called Escovopsis that has been identified in ∼30% of attine ant nests. Since the Streptomyces strain has strong bioactivity against Escovopsis we conclude that it must make additional antifungal(s to inhibit Escovopsis. However, candicidin and antimycins likely offer protection against other microfungal weeds that infect the attine fungal gardens. Thus, we propose that the selection of this biosynthetically prolific strain from the natural environment provides A. octospinosus with broad spectrum activity against Escovopsis and other microfungal weeds.

  11. A single Streptomyces symbiont makes multiple antifungals to support the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seipke, Ryan F; Barke, Jörg; Brearley, Charles; Hill, Lionel; Yu, Douglas W; Goss, Rebecca J M; Hutchings, Matthew I

    2011-01-01

    Attine ants are dependent on a cultivated fungus for food and use antibiotics produced by symbiotic Actinobacteria as weedkillers in their fungus gardens. Actinobacterial species belonging to the genera Pseudonocardia, Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis have been isolated from attine ant nests and shown to confer protection against a range of microfungal weeds. In previous work on the higher attine Acromyrmex octospinosus we isolated a Streptomyces strain that produces candicidin, consistent with another report that attine ants use Streptomyces-produced candicidin in their fungiculture. Here we report the genome analysis of this Streptomyces strain and identify multiple antibiotic biosynthetic pathways. We demonstrate, using gene disruptions and mass spectrometry, that this single strain has the capacity to make candicidin and multiple antimycin compounds. Although antimycins have been known for >60 years we report the sequence of the biosynthetic gene cluster for the first time. Crucially, disrupting the candicidin and antimycin gene clusters in the same strain had no effect on bioactivity against a co-evolved nest pathogen called Escovopsis that has been identified in ∼30% of attine ant nests. Since the Streptomyces strain has strong bioactivity against Escovopsis we conclude that it must make additional antifungal(s) to inhibit Escovopsis. However, candicidin and antimycins likely offer protection against other microfungal weeds that infect the attine fungal gardens. Thus, we propose that the selection of this biosynthetically prolific strain from the natural environment provides A. octospinosus with broad spectrum activity against Escovopsis and other microfungal weeds.

  12. The role of enzymes in fungus-growing ant evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard

    behaviour. Here we report the first large-scale comparative study on fungus garden enzyme profiles and show that various interesting changes can be documented. A more detailed analysis of laccase expression, an enzyme that is believed to oxidize phenols in defensive secondary plant compounds such as tannins...

  13. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Drijfhout, Falko P

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its ra...

  14. A Brazilian population of the asexual fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii (Formicidae, Myrmicinae, Attini) cultivates fungal symbionts with gongylidia-like structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiulionis, Virginia E; Rabeling, Christian; De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schultz, Ted; Bacci, Maurício; Bezerra, Cintia M Santos; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2014-01-01

    Attine ants cultivate fungi as their most important food source and in turn the fungus is nourished, protected against harmful microorganisms, and dispersed by the ants. This symbiosis evolved approximately 50-60 million years ago in the late Paleocene or early Eocene, and since its origin attine ants have acquired a variety of fungal mutualists in the Leucocoprineae and the distantly related Pterulaceae. The most specialized symbiotic interaction is referred to as "higher agriculture" and includes leafcutter ant agriculture in which the ants cultivate the single species Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. Higher agriculture fungal cultivars are characterized by specialized hyphal tip swellings, so-called gongylidia, which are considered a unique, derived morphological adaptation of higher attine fungi thought to be absent in lower attine fungi. Rare reports of gongylidia-like structures in fungus gardens of lower attines exist, but it was never tested whether these represent rare switches of lower attines to L. gonglyphorus cultivars or whether lower attine cultivars occasionally produce gongylidia. Here we describe the occurrence of gongylidia-like structures in fungus gardens of the asexual lower attine ant Mycocepurus smithii. To test whether M. smithii cultivates leafcutter ant fungi or whether lower attine cultivars produce gongylidia, we identified the M. smithii fungus utilizing molecular and morphological methods. Results shows that the gongylidia-like structures of M. smithii gardens are morphologically similar to gongylidia of higher attine fungus gardens and can only be distinguished by their slightly smaller size. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the fungal ITS sequence indicates that the gongylidia-bearing M. smithii cultivar belongs to the so-called "Clade 1"of lower Attini cultivars. Given that M. smithii is capable of cultivating a morphologically and genetically diverse array of fungal symbionts, we discuss whether asexuality of the ant host maybe

  15. Nest enlargement in leaf-cutting ants: relocated brood and fungus trigger the excavation of new chambers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Römer

    Full Text Available During colony growth, leaf-cutting ants enlarge their nests by excavating tunnels and chambers housing their fungus gardens and brood. Workers are expected to excavate new nest chambers at locations across the soil profile that offer suitable environmental conditions for brood and fungus rearing. It is an open question whether new chambers are excavated in advance, or will emerge around brood or fungus initially relocated to a suitable site in a previously-excavated tunnel. In the laboratory, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the excavation of new nest chambers in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundi. Specifically, we asked whether workers relocate brood and fungus to suitable nest locations, and to what extent the relocated items trigger the excavation of a nest chamber and influence its shape. When brood and fungus were exposed to unfavorable environmental conditions, either low temperatures or low humidity, both were relocated, but ants clearly preferred to relocate the brood first. Workers relocated fungus to places containing brood, demonstrating that subsequent fungus relocation spatially follows the brood deposition. In addition, more ants aggregated at sites containing brood. When presented with a choice between two otherwise identical digging sites, but one containing brood, ants' excavation activity was higher at this site, and the shape of the excavated cavity was more rounded and chamber-like. The presence of fungus also led to the excavation of rounder shapes, with higher excavation activity at the site that also contained brood. We argue that during colony growth, workers preferentially relocate brood to suitable locations along a tunnel, and that relocated brood spatially guides fungus relocation and leads to increased digging activity around them. We suggest that nest chambers are not excavated in advance, but emerge through a self-organized process resulting from the aggregation of workers and their density

  16. Nest enlargement in leaf-cutting ants: relocated brood and fungus trigger the excavation of new chambers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Römer, Daniela; Roces, Flavio

    2014-01-01

    During colony growth, leaf-cutting ants enlarge their nests by excavating tunnels and chambers housing their fungus gardens and brood. Workers are expected to excavate new nest chambers at locations across the soil profile that offer suitable environmental conditions for brood and fungus rearing. It is an open question whether new chambers are excavated in advance, or will emerge around brood or fungus initially relocated to a suitable site in a previously-excavated tunnel. In the laboratory, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the excavation of new nest chambers in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundi. Specifically, we asked whether workers relocate brood and fungus to suitable nest locations, and to what extent the relocated items trigger the excavation of a nest chamber and influence its shape. When brood and fungus were exposed to unfavorable environmental conditions, either low temperatures or low humidity, both were relocated, but ants clearly preferred to relocate the brood first. Workers relocated fungus to places containing brood, demonstrating that subsequent fungus relocation spatially follows the brood deposition. In addition, more ants aggregated at sites containing brood. When presented with a choice between two otherwise identical digging sites, but one containing brood, ants' excavation activity was higher at this site, and the shape of the excavated cavity was more rounded and chamber-like. The presence of fungus also led to the excavation of rounder shapes, with higher excavation activity at the site that also contained brood. We argue that during colony growth, workers preferentially relocate brood to suitable locations along a tunnel, and that relocated brood spatially guides fungus relocation and leads to increased digging activity around them. We suggest that nest chambers are not excavated in advance, but emerge through a self-organized process resulting from the aggregation of workers and their density-dependent digging behavior

  17. Laccase gene expression as a possible key adaptation for herbivorous niche expansion in the attine fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    is differentially expressed in the modified hyphal tips (gongylidia) that the fungal symbiont produces. We can also show that this laccase enzyme passes through the ant gut to be expressed in the fecal droplets that the ants mix with their chewed-up fresh leaf forage, providing strong indications for an adaptive......Fungus garden enzyme activity is crucial for sustaining societies of attine ants. The evolutionary diversification of this clade has likely been influenced by enzymatic specialization in connection to changes in foraging niche, particularly when the ancestral leaf-cutting ants shifted from a diet...... generalist functional herbivores. Laccases are polyphenol oxidase enzymes (PPOs) that are best known for their ability to degrade lignin in saprophytic and wood-pathogenic fungi. We found that laccase activity was primarily expressed in newly constructed garden sections where secondary leaf compounds...

  18. Laccase gene expression as a possible key adaptation for herbivorous niche expansion in the attine fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    Fungus garden enzyme activity is crucial for sustaining societies of attine ants. The evolutionary diversification of this clade has likely been influenced by enzymatic specialization in connection to changes in foraging niche, particularly when the ancestral leaf-cutting ants shifted from a diet...... of mostly fresh but shed plant material to actively cutting leaves. However, the way in which these ants managed to overcome the chemical defences of leaves has remained poorly understood. Here we document that fungal laccases may have played an important role in allowing the leaf-cutting ants to become...... generalist functional herbivores. Laccases are polyphenol oxidase enzymes (PPOs) that are best known for their ability to degrade lignin in saprophytic and wood-pathogenic fungi. We found that laccase activity was primarily expressed in newly constructed garden sections where secondary leaf compounds...

  19. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

    Full Text Available It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects.

  20. Ants mediate the structure of phytotelm communities in an ant-garden bromeliad

    OpenAIRE

    Céréghino, Régis; Leroy, Céline; Dejean,Alain; Corbara, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    International audience; The main theories explaining the biological diversity of rain forests often confer a limited understanding of the contribution of interspecific interactions to the observed patterns. We show how two-species mutualisms can affect much larger segments of the invertebrate community in tropical rain forests. Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae) is both a phytotelm (plant-held water) and an ant-garden epiphyte. We studied the influence of its associated ant species (Pachycondyl...

  1. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A; Jones, Tappey H; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2013-09-24

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies.

  2. Rethinking crop-disease management in fungus-growing ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boomsma, J.J.; Aanen, D.K.

    2009-01-01

    Ant fungus farming has become a prominent model for studying the evolution of mutualistic cooperation, with recent advances in reconstructing the evolutionary origin and elaborations of the symbiosis (1, 2), discovering additional partners and clarifying their interactions (3, 4), and analyzing host

  3. Fungal communities in gardens of the leafcutter ant Atta cephalotes in forest and cabruca agrosystems of southern Bahia State (Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Bárbara Monique dos Santos; Silva, Aline; Alvarez, Martín Roberto; Oliveira, Tássio Brito de; Rodrigues, Andre

    2015-12-01

    Leaf-cutting ants interact with several fungi in addition to the fungal symbiont they cultivate for food. Here, we assessed alien fungal communities in colonies of Atta cephalotes. Fungus garden fragments were sampled from colonies in the Atlantic Rainforest and in a cabruca agrosystem in the state of Bahia (Brazil) in two distinct periods to evaluate whether differences in nest habitat influence the diversity of fungi in the ant colonies. We recovered a total of 403 alien fungi isolates from 628 garden fragments. The prevalent taxa found in these samples were Escovopsis sp. (26 %), Escovopsioides nivea (24 %), and Trichoderma spirale (10.9 %). Fungal diversity was similar between the colonies sampled in both areas suggesting that ants focus on reducing loads of alien fungi in the fungus gardens instead of avoiding specific fungi. However, fungal taxa composition differed between colonies sampled in the two areas and between the sampling periods. These differences are likely explained by the availability of plant substrates available for foraging over habitats and periods. Ordination analysis further supported that sampling period was the main attribute for community structuring but also revealed that additional factors may explain the structuring of fungal communities in colonies of A. cephalotes.

  4. Chemical composition of metapleural gland secretions of fungus-growing and non-fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Alexsandro S; Morgan, E David; Drijfhout, Falko P; Camargo-Mathias, Maria I

    2012-10-01

    The metapleural gland is exclusive to ants, and unusual among exocrine glands in having no mechanism for closure and retention of secretion. As yet, no clear conclusion has been reached as to the function of metapleural gland secretion. Metapleural gland secretions were investigated for fungus-growing ants representing the derived attines Trachymyrmex fuscus, Atta laevigata, and Acromyrmex coronatus, the basal attines Apterostigma pilosum and Mycetarotes parallelus, and non-fungus-growing ants of the tribes Ectatommini (Ectatomma brunneum) and Myrmicini (Pogonomyrmex naegeli). Our results showed that the secretions of leaf-cutting ants (A. laevigata and A. coronatus) and the derived attine, T. fuscus, contain a greater variety and larger quantities of volatile compounds than those of myrmicine and ectatommine ants. The most abundant compounds found in the metapleural glands of A. laevigata and A. coronatus were hydroxyacids, and phenylacetic acid (only in A. laevigata). Indole was present in all groups examined, while skatole was found in large quantities only in attines. Ketones and aldehydes are present in the secretion of some attines. Esters are present in the metapleural gland secretion of all species examined, although mainly in A. laevigata, A. coronatus, and T. fuscus. Compared with basal attines and non-fungus-growing ants, the metapleural glands of leaf-cutting ants produce more acidic compounds that may have an antibiotic or antifungal function.

  5. Differential Recruitment of Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) Ants in Response to Ant Garden Herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicente, R E; Dáttilo, W; Izzo, T J

    2014-12-01

    Although several studies have shown that ants can recognize chemical cues from their host plants in ant-plant systems, it is poorly demonstrated in ant gardens (AGs). In this interaction, ant species constantly interact with various epiphyte species. Therefore, it is possible to expect a convergence of chemical signals released by plants that could be acting to ensure that ants are able to recognize and defend epiphyte species frequently associated with AGs. In this study, it was hypothesized that ants recognize and differentiate among chemical stimuli released by AG epiphytes and non-AG epiphytes. We experimentally simulated leaf herbivore damage on three epiphyte species restricted to AGs and a locally abundant understory herb, Piper hispidum, in order to quantify the number of recruited Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) defenders. When exposed to the AG epiphytes Peperomia macrostachya and Codonanthe uleana leaves, it was observed that the recruitment of C. femoratus workers was, on average, respectively 556% and 246% higher than control. However, the number of ants recruited by the AG epiphyte Markea longiflora or by the non-AG plant did not differ from paper pieces. This indicated that ants could discern between chemicals released by different plants, suggesting that ants can select better plants. These results can be explained by evolutionary process acting on both ants' capability in discerning plants' chemical compounds (innate attraction) or by ants' learning based on the epiphyte frequency in AGs (individual experience). To disentangle an innate behavior, a product of classical coevolutionary process, from an ant's learned behavior, is a complicated but important subject to understand in the evolution of ant-plant mutualisms.

  6. Laccase gene expression as a possible key adaptation for herbivorous niche expansion in the attine fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Nygaard, Sanne;

    Fungus garden enzyme activity is crucial for sustaining societies of attine ants. The evolutionary diversification of this clade has likely been influenced by enzymatic specialization in connection to changes in foraging niche (De Fine Licht, Schiøtt, Mueller & Boomsma, 2010, Evolution), particul......Fungus garden enzyme activity is crucial for sustaining societies of attine ants. The evolutionary diversification of this clade has likely been influenced by enzymatic specialization in connection to changes in foraging niche (De Fine Licht, Schiøtt, Mueller & Boomsma, 2010, Evolution......), particularly when the ancestral leaf-cutting ants shifted from a diet of mostly fresh but shed plant material to actively cutting leaves. However, the way in which leaf-cutting ants managed to overcome the chemical defences of leaves has remained poorly understood. Here we document that laccases may have...... in newly constructed garden sections where secondary leaf compounds are most likely to hinder decomposition. A combination of genomic and transcriptional analyses showed that there are at least eight copies of putative laccase coding genes in a draft genome of the fungal symbiont Leucocoprinus...

  7. Variable interaction specificity and symbiont performance in Panamanian Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2014-01-01

    Background Cooperative benefits of mutualistic interactions are affected by genetic variation among the interacting partners, which may have consequences for interaction-specificities across guilds of sympatric species with similar mutualistic life histories. The gardens of fungus-growing (attine...... and Sericomyrmex higher attine ants in Gamboa, Panama provided the opportunity to do a quantitative study of species-level interaction-specificity. Results We genotyped the ants for Cytochrome Oxidase and their Leucoagaricus fungal cultivars for ITS rDNA. Combined with activity measurements for 12 carbohydrate...... cultivar symbiont-specificity varied from almost full symbiont sharing to one-to-one specialization, suggesting that trade-offs between enzyme activity spectra and life-history traits such as desiccation tolerance, disease susceptibility and temperature sensitivity may apply in some combinations...

  8. Evolution of cold-tolerant fungal symbionts permits winter fungiculture by leafcutter ants at the northern frontier of a tropical ant-fungus symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Ulrich G; Mikheyev, Alexander S; Hong, Eunki; Sen, Ruchira; Warren, Dan L; Solomon, Scott E; Ishak, Heather D; Cooper, Mike; Miller, Jessica L; Shaffer, Kimberly A; Juenger, Thomas E

    2011-03-08

    The obligate mutualism between leafcutter ants and their Attamyces fungi originated 8 to 12 million years ago in the tropics, but extends today also into temperate regions in South and North America. The northernmost leafcutter ant Atta texana sustains fungiculture during winter temperatures that would harm the cold-sensitive Attamyces cultivars of tropical leafcutter ants. Cold-tolerance of Attamyces cultivars increases with winter harshness along a south-to-north temperature gradient across the range of A. texana, indicating selection for cold-tolerant Attamyces variants along the temperature cline. Ecological niche modeling corroborates winter temperature as a key range-limiting factor impeding northward expansion of A. texana. The northernmost A. texana populations are able to sustain fungiculture throughout winter because of their cold-adapted fungi and because of seasonal, vertical garden relocation (maintaining gardens deep in the ground in winter to protect them from extreme cold, then moving gardens to warmer, shallow depths in spring). Although the origin of leafcutter fungiculture was an evolutionary breakthrough that revolutionized the food niche of tropical fungus-growing ants, the original adaptations of this host-microbe symbiosis to tropical temperatures and the dependence on cold-sensitive fungal symbionts eventually constrained expansion into temperate habitats. Evolution of cold-tolerant fungi within the symbiosis relaxed constraints on winter fungiculture at the northern frontier of the leafcutter ant distribution, thereby expanding the ecological niche of an obligate host-microbe symbiosis.

  9. No sex in fungus-farming ants or their crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himler, Anna G; Caldera, Eric J; Baer, Boris C; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2009-07-22

    Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where queens reproduce asexually but workers are sterile, which is doubly enigmatic because the clonal colonies of M. smithii also depend on clonal fungi for food. Degenerate female mating anatomy, extensive field and laboratory surveys, and DNA fingerprinting implicate complete asexuality in this widespread ant species. Maternally inherited bacteria (e.g. Wolbachia, Cardinium) and the fungal cultivars can be ruled out as agents inducing asexuality. M. smithii societies of clonal females provide a unique system to test theories of parent-offspring conflict and reproductive policing in social insects. Asexuality of both ant farmer and fungal crop challenges traditional views proposing that sexual farmer ants outpace coevolving sexual crop pathogens, and thus compensate for vulnerabilities of their asexual crops. Either the double asexuality of both farmer and crop may permit the host to fully exploit advantages of asexuality for unknown reasons or frequent switching between crops (symbiont reassociation) generates novel ant-fungus combinations, which may compensate for any evolutionary handicaps of asexuality in M. smithii.

  10. Fungal garden making inside bamboos by a non-social fungus-growing beetle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wataru Toki

    Full Text Available In fungus-growing mutualism, it is indispensable for host animals to establish gardens of the symbiotic fungus as rapidly as possible. How to establish fungal gardens has been well-documented in social fungus-farming insects, whereas poorly documented in non-social fungus-farming insects. Here we report that the non-social, fungus-growing lizard beetle Doubledaya bucculenta (Coleoptera: Erotylidae: Languriinae transmits the symbiotic yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus from the ovipositor-associated mycangium into bamboo internode cavities and disperses the yeast in the cavities to make gardens. Microbial isolation and cryo-scanning electron microscopy observation revealed that W. anomalus was constantly located on the posterior ends of eggs, where larvae came out, and on the inner openings of oviposition holes. Direct observation of oviposition behavior inside internodes revealed that the distal parts of ovipositors showed a peristaltic movement when they were in contact with the posterior ends of eggs. Rearing experiments showed that W. anomalus was spread much more rapidly and widely on culture media and internodes in the presence of the larvae than in the absence. These results suggest that the ovipositors play a critical role in vertical transmission of W. anomalus and that the larvae contribute actively to the garden establishment, providing a novel case of fungal garden founding in non-social insect-fungus mutualism.

  11. Fungal garden making inside bamboos by a non-social fungus-growing beetle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toki, Wataru; Takahashi, Yukiko; Togashi, Katsumi

    2013-01-01

    In fungus-growing mutualism, it is indispensable for host animals to establish gardens of the symbiotic fungus as rapidly as possible. How to establish fungal gardens has been well-documented in social fungus-farming insects, whereas poorly documented in non-social fungus-farming insects. Here we report that the non-social, fungus-growing lizard beetle Doubledaya bucculenta (Coleoptera: Erotylidae: Languriinae) transmits the symbiotic yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus from the ovipositor-associated mycangium into bamboo internode cavities and disperses the yeast in the cavities to make gardens. Microbial isolation and cryo-scanning electron microscopy observation revealed that W. anomalus was constantly located on the posterior ends of eggs, where larvae came out, and on the inner openings of oviposition holes. Direct observation of oviposition behavior inside internodes revealed that the distal parts of ovipositors showed a peristaltic movement when they were in contact with the posterior ends of eggs. Rearing experiments showed that W. anomalus was spread much more rapidly and widely on culture media and internodes in the presence of the larvae than in the absence. These results suggest that the ovipositors play a critical role in vertical transmission of W. anomalus and that the larvae contribute actively to the garden establishment, providing a novel case of fungal garden founding in non-social insect-fungus mutualism.

  12. Reduced biological control and enhanced chemical pest management in the evolution of fungus farming in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Zimmerman, Jess K; Nash, David R

    2009-01-01

    To combat disease, most fungus-growing ants (Attini) use antibiotics from mutualistic bacteria (Pseudonocardia) that are cultured on the ants' exoskeletons and chemical cocktails from exocrine glands, especially the metapleural glands (MG). Previous work has hypothesized that (i) Pseudonocardia...

  13. Draft Genome Sequence of the Ant-associated Fungus Phialophora attae (CBS 131958)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Hoog, S.

    2015-01-01

    The black yeast Phialophora attae was isolated from the cuticle of tropical ant gynes. The ant-fungus association is sustained due to symbiotic evolutionary adaptations that allow fungal assimilation and tolerance of toxic compounds produced by the ant. The genome sequence of the first ant-associate

  14. The introduction history of invasive garden ants in Europe: Integrating genetic, chemical and behavioural approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Boomsma Jacobus J; Kronauer Daniel JC; Drijfhout Falko P; Ugelvig Line V; Pedersen Jes S; Cremer Sylvia

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Background The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is the most recently detected pest ant and the first known invasive ant able to become established and thrive in the temperate regions of Eurasia. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the invasion history of this ant in Europe analysing 14 populations with three complementary approaches: genetic microsatellite analysis, chemical analysis of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and behavioural observations of aggression behaviour. We eva...

  15. Convergent coevolution in the domestication of coral mushrooms by fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkacsi, A B; Pan, J J; Villesen, Palle;

    2004-01-01

    Comparisons of phylogenetic patterns between coevolving symbionts can reveal rich details about the evolutionary history of symbioses. The ancient symbiosis between fungus-growing ants, their fungal cultivars, antibiotic-producing bacteria and cultivar-infecting parasites is dominated by a pattern...... of parallel coevolution, where the symbionts of each functional group are members of monophyletic groups. However, there is one outstanding exception in the fungus-growing ant system, the unidentified cultivar grown only by ants in the Apterostigma pilosum group. We classify this cultivar in the coral...... by all other fungus-growing ants. Yet it has the same overall assemblage of coevolved ant-cultivar-parasite-bacterium interactions as the other ant-grown fungal cultivars. This indicates a pattern of convergent coevolution in the fungus-growing ant system, where symbionts with both similar and very...

  16. Insect symbioses: a case study of past, present, and future fungus-growing ant research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caldera, Eric J; Poulsen, Michael; Suen, Garret;

    2009-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae) engage in an obligate mutualism with fungi they cultivate for food. Although biologists have been fascinated with fungus-growing ants since the resurgence of natural history in the modern era, the early stages of research focused mainly on the foraging beh...

  17. Acromyrmex Leaf-Cutting Ants Have Simple Gut Microbiota with Nitrogen-Fixing Potential

    OpenAIRE

    Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Zhukova, Mariya; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren Johannes; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2015-01-01

    Ants and termites have independently evolved obligate fungus-farming mutualisms, but their gardening procedures are fundamentally different, as the termites predigest their plant substrate whereas the ants deposit it directly on the fungus garden. Fungus-growing termites retained diverse gut microbiota, but bacterial gut communities in fungus-growing leaf-cutting ants have not been investigated, so it is unknown whether and how they are specialized on an exclusively fungal diet. Here we chara...

  18. Weeding and grooming of pathogens in agriculture by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, C R; Stuart, A E

    2001-05-22

    The ancient mutualism between fungus-growing ants and the fungi they cultivate for food is a textbook example of symbiosis. Fungus-growing ants' ability to cultivate fungi depends on protection of the garden from the aggressive microbes associated with the substrate added to the garden as well as from the specialized virulent garden parasite Escovopsis. We examined ants' ability to remove alien microbes physically by infecting Atta colombica gardens with the generalist pathogen Trichoderma viride and the specialist pathogen Escovopsis. The ants sanitized the garden using two main behaviours: grooming of alien spores from the garden (fungus grooming) and removal of infected garden substrate (weeding). Unlike previously described hygienic behaviours (e.g. licking and self-grooming), fungus-grooming and garden-removal behaviours are specific responses to the presence of fungal pathogens. In the presence of pathogens, they are the primary activities performed by workers, but they are uncommon in uninfected gardens. In fact, workers rapidly eliminate Trichoderma from their gardens by fungus grooming and weeding, suggesting that these behaviours are the primary method of garden defence against generalist pathogens. The same sanitary behaviours were performed in response to the presence of the specialist pathogen Escovopsis. However, the intensity and duration of these behaviours were much greater in this treatment. Despite the increased effort, the ants were unable to eliminate Escovopsis from their gardens, suggesting that this specialized pathogen has evolved counter-adaptations in order to overcome the sanitary defences of the ants.

  19. Leaf endophyte load influences fungal garden development in leaf-cutting ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Bael Sunshine A

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous work has shown that leaf-cutting ants prefer to cut leaf material with relatively low fungal endophyte content. This preference suggests that fungal endophytes exact a cost on the ants or on the development of their colonies. We hypothesized that endophytes may play a role in their host plants’ defense against leaf-cutting ants. To measure the long-term cost to the ant colony of fungal endophytes in their forage material, we conducted a 20-week laboratory experiment to measure fungal garden development for colonies that foraged on leaves with low or high endophyte content. Results Colony mass and the fungal garden dry mass did not differ significantly between the low and high endophyte feeding treatments. There was, however, a marginally significant trend toward greater mass of fungal garden per ant worker in the low relative to the high endophyte treatment. This trend was driven by differences in the fungal garden mass per worker from the earliest samples, when leaf-cutting ants had been foraging on low or high endophyte leaf material for only 2 weeks. At two weeks of foraging, the mean fungal garden mass per worker was 77% greater for colonies foraging on leaves with low relative to high endophyte loads. Conclusions Our data suggest that the cost of endophyte presence in ant forage material may be greatest to fungal colony development in its earliest stages, when there are few workers available to forage and to clean leaf material. This coincides with a period of high mortality for incipient colonies in the field. We discuss how the endophyte-leaf-cutter ant interaction may parallel constitutive defenses in plants, whereby endophytes reduce the rate of colony development when its risk of mortality is greatest.

  20. Towards a better understanding of the evolution of specialized parasites of fungus-growing ant crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan; Poulsen, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants have interacted and partly coevolved with specialised microfungal parasites of the genus Escovopsis since the origin of ant fungiculture about 50 million years ago. Here, we review the recent progress in understanding the patterns of specificity of this ant-parasite association...... questions of (co)adaptation and evolutionary history. Using the same scheme, we identify future research questions that are likely to be particularly illuminating for understanding the ecology and evolution of Escovopsis parasitism of the cultivar maintained by fungus-growing ants...

  1. Forage collection, substrate preparation, and diet composition in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Licht, H.H.D.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    2. The attine fungus-growing ants are a tribe of more than 230 described species (12 genera) that use a variety of different substrates to manure the symbiotic fungus they cultivate inside the nest. Common 'wisdom' is that the conspicuous leaf-cutting ants primarily use freshly cut plant material......, whereas most of the other attine species use dry and partly degraded plant material such as leaf litter and caterpillar frass, but systematic comparative studies of actual resource acquisition across the attine ants have not been done. 3. Here we review 179 literature records of diet composition across...... the extant genera of fungus-growing ants. The records confirm the dependence of leaf-cutting ants on fresh vegetation but find that flowers, dry plant debris, seeds (husks), and insect frass are used by all genera, whereas other substrates such as nectar and insect carcasses are only used by some. 4. Diet...

  2. Potential sources of nitrogen in an ant-garden tank-bromeliad

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Epiphytic plants in general and bromeliads in particular live in a water and nutrient-stressed environment often limited in nitrogen. Thus, these plants have developed different ways to survive in such an environment. We focused on Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae), which is both a tank-bromeliad and an ant-garden (AG) epiphyte initiated by either the ants Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii. By combining a study of plant morphology and physiology associated with aquatic insect biolog...

  3. Interaction specificity between leaf-cutting ants and vertically transmitted Pseudonocardia bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Breum Andersen, Sandra; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R.;

    2015-01-01

    Background: The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend gardens...

  4. Identifying the Transition between Single and Multiple Mating of Queens in Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Murakami, Takahiro; Schultz, Ted R.

    2002-01-01

    Obligate mating of females (queens) with multiple males has evolved only rarely in social Hymenoptera (ants, social bees, social wasps) and for reasons that are fundamentally different from those underlying multiple mating in other animals. The monophyletic tribe of ('attine') fungus-growing ants...

  5. Identifying the transition between single and multiple mating of queens in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Murakami, Takahiro; Schultz, Ted R

    2002-01-01

    Obligate mating of females (queens) with multiple males has evolved only rarely in social Hymenoptera (ants, social bees, social wasps) and for reasons that are fundamentally different from those underlying multiple mating in other animals. The monophyletic tribe of ('attine') fungus-growing ants...

  6. Isolation and molecular characterization of symbiotic fungus from Acromyrmex ambiguus and Acromyrmex heyeri ants of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Isabel Brayer Pereira

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutting ants of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex determine serious agricultural problems and live on symbiosis with Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. The aim of this study is to identify morphological and molecularly, as well as to verify the genotypic variability of the symbiotic fungus cultivated by A. heyeri and A. ambiguus from three different regions of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Fungus gardens were collected and fragments of mycelia were grown in selective medium. Total DNA was extracted and amplification of the ITS region was performed by PCR using universal primers. After DNA sequencing, the chromatograms were assembled and phylogenetic analyzes were performed by the Neighbor-Joining method. A total of six isolates of L. gongylophorus were obtained and their identities were confirmed by molecular analyses. Phylogenetic analysis of the ITS region showed a tree with two distinct groups regarding the fungus isolates from A. heiyeri and A. ambiguous. In this study, it was verified that A. heyeri and A. ambiguous, cultivate the same fungus. Additionally, the molecular marker used in this study showed variations in L. gongylophorus, evidencing two distinct branches in the phylogenetic tree, according to the ant species that cultivate L. gongylophorus. However, other studies involving the inclusion of a great number of isolates of L. gongylophorus, as well as the use of other molecular markers to validate the possible variations in the phylogenetic relationship of this symbiotic fungus are required.

  7. The introduction history of invasive garden ants in Europe: integrating genetic, chemical and behavioural approaches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line; Drijfhout, Falko; Kronauer, Daniel;

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is the most recently detected pest ant and the first known invasive ant able to become established and thrive in the temperate regions of Eurasia. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the invasion history of this ant in Europe analysing 14...... populations with three complementary approaches: genetic microsatellite analysis, chemical analysis of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and behavioural observations of aggression behaviour. We evaluate the relative informative power of the three methodological approaches and estimate both the number...... of independent introduction events from a yet unknown native range somewhere in the Black Sea area, and the invasive potential of the existing introduced populations. RESULTS: Three clusters of genetically similar populations were detected, and all but one population had a similar chemical profile. Aggression...

  8. Patterns of male parentage in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Boomsma, JJ

    2003-01-01

    Ant queens from eight species, covering three genera of lower and two genera of higher attine ants, have exclusively or predominantly single mating. The ensuing full-sib colonies thus have a strong potential reproductive conflict between the queen and the workers over male production...

  9. A mixed community of actinomycetes produce multiple antibiotics for the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus

    OpenAIRE

    Barke Jörg; Seipke Ryan F; Grüschow Sabine; Heavens Darren; Drou Nizar; Bibb Mervyn J; Goss Rebecca JM; Yu Douglas W; Hutchings Matthew I

    2010-01-01

    This work was supported by a UEA-funded PhD studentship (JB) and an MRC Milstein award, G0801721 (MIH, RJMG and DY). MIH is a Research Councils UK Fellow. DY also received support from the Yunnan provincial government (20080A001) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (0902281081). Background: Attine ants live in an intensely studied tripartite mutualism with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which provides food to the ants, and with antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria. One hypot...

  10. The introduction history of invasive garden ants in Europe: Integrating genetic, chemical and behavioural approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus, is the most recently detected pest ant and the first known invasive ant able to become established and thrive in the temperate regions of Eurasia. In this study, we aim to reconstruct the invasion history of this ant in Europe analysing 14 populations with three complementary approaches: genetic microsatellite analysis, chemical analysis of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and behavioural observations of aggression behaviour. We evaluate the relative informative power of the three methodological approaches and estimate both the number of independent introduction events from a yet unknown native range somewhere in the Black Sea area, and the invasive potential of the existing introduced populations. Results Three clusters of genetically similar populations were detected, and all but one population had a similar chemical profile. Aggression between populations could be predicted from their genetic and chemical distance, and two major clusters of non-aggressive groups of populations were found. However, populations of L. neglectus did not separate into clear supercolonial associations, as is typical for other invasive ants. Conclusion The three methodological approaches gave consistent and complementary results. All joint evidence supports the inference that the 14 introduced populations of L. neglectus in Europe likely arose from only very few independent introductions from the native range, and that new infestations were typically started through introductions from other invasive populations. This indicates that existing introduced populations have a very high invasive potential when the ants are inadvertently spread by human transport.

  11. Non-specific association between filamentous bacteria and fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kost, Christian; Lakatos, Tanja; Böttcher, Ingo; Arendholz, Wolf-Rüdiger; Redenbach, Matthias; Wirth, Rainer

    2007-10-01

    Fungus-growing ants and their fungal cultivar form a highly evolved mutualism that is negatively affected by the specialized parasitic fungus Escovopsis. Filamentous Pseudonocardia bacteria occurring on the cuticle of attine ants have been proposed to form a mutualistic interaction with these ants in which they are vertically transmitted (i.e. from parent to offspring colonies). Given a strictly vertical transmission of Pseudonocardia, the evolutionary theory predicts a reduced genetic variability of symbionts among ant lineages. The aim of this study was to verify whether actinomycetes, which occur on Acromyrmex octospinosus leaf-cutting ants, meet this expectation by comparing their genotypic variability with restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Multiple actinomycete strains could be isolated from both individual ant workers and colonies (one to seven strains per colony). The colony specificity of actinomycete communities was high: Only 15% of all strains were isolated from more than one colony, and just 5% were present in both populations investigated. Partial sequencing of 16S ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid of two of the isolated strains assigned both of them to the genus Streptomyces. Actinomycetes could also be isolated from workers of the two non-attine ant species Myrmica rugulosa and Lasius flavus. Sixty-two percent of the strains derived from attine ants and 80% of the strains isolated from non-attine ants inhibited the growth of Escovopsis. Our data suggest that the association between attine ants and their actinomycete symbionts is less specific then previously thought. Soil-dwelling actinomycetes may have been dynamically recruited from the environment (horizontal transmission), probably reflecting an adaptation to a diverse community of microbial pathogens.

  12. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, B.; Dijkstra, M. B.; Mueller, U. G.

    2009-01-01

    the evolution of sperm length. Sperm length does not decrease further in multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, despite substantial further increases in colony size. In a combined analysis, sexual dimorphism explained 63.1% of the variance in sperm length between species. As colony size was not a significant...... in phylogenetically independent contrasts. Some of the remaining variation was explained by the relative size of the sperm-storage organ, but only in the multiply mating leaf-cutting ants, suggesting that sperm-storage constraints become important for the evolution of sperm length in this derived group. Mate number...... affected sperm length to a minor extent, and only in interaction with other predictor variables, suggesting that sperm competition has not been a major selective force for sperm length evolution in these ants....

  13. Mutualistic fungi control crop diversity in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2005-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants rear clonal fungi for food and transmit the fungi from mother to daughter colonies so that symbiont mixing and conflict, which result from competition between genetically different clones, are avoided. Here we show that despite millions of years of predominantly vertical...... transmission, the domesticated fungi actively reject mycelial fragments from neighboring colonies, and that the strength of these reactions are in proportion to the overall genetic difference between these symbionts. Fungal incompatibility compounds remain intact during ant digestion, so that fecal droplets...

  14. Potential sources of nitrogen in an ant-garden tank-bromeliad.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2009-09-01

    Epiphytic plants in general and bromeliads in particular live in a water and nutrient-stressed environment often limited in nitrogen. Thus, these plants have developed different ways to survive in such an environment. We focused on Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae), which is both a tank-bromeliad and an ant-garden (AG) epiphyte initiated by either the ants Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii. By combining a study of plant morphology and physiology associated with aquatic insect biology, we demonstrate that the ant species influences the leaf structure of the bromeliad, the structure of the aquatic community in its tank, and nutrient assimilation by the leaves. Based on nitrogen and nitrogen stable isotope measurements of the A. mertensii leaves, the leaf litter inside of the tank and the root-embedded carton nest, we discuss the potential sources of available nitrogen for the plant based on the ant partner. We demonstrate the existence of a complex ant-plant interaction that subsequently affects the biodiversity of a broader range of organisms that are themselves likely to influence nutrient assimilation by the A. mertensii leaves in a kind of plant-invertebrate-plant feedback loop.

  15. Avoidance of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus in leaf-cutting ants: Learning can take place entirely at the colony dump.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenas, Andrés; Roces, Flavio

    2017-01-01

    Plants initially accepted by foraging leaf-cutting ants are later avoided if they prove unsuitable for their symbiotic fungus. Plant avoidance is mediated by the waste produced in the fungus garden soon after the incorporation of the unsuitable leaves, as foragers can learn plant odors and cues from the damaged fungus that are both present in the recently produced waste particles. We asked whether avoidance learning of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus can take place entirely at the colony dump. In order to investigate whether cues available in the waste chamber induce plant avoidance in naïve subcolonies, we exchanged the waste produced by subcolonies fed either fungicide-treated privet leaves or untreated leaves and measured the acceptance of untreated privet leaves before and after the exchange of waste. Second, we evaluated whether foragers could perceive the avoidance cues directly at the dump by quantifying the visits of labeled foragers to the waste chamber. Finally, we asked whether foragers learn to specifically avoid untreated leaves of a plant after a confinement over 3 hours in the dump of subcolonies that were previously fed fungicide-treated leaves of that species. After the exchange of the waste chambers, workers from subcolonies that had access to waste from fungicide-treated privet leaves learned to avoid that plant. One-third of the labeled foragers visited the dump. Furthermore, naïve foragers learned to avoid a specific, previously unsuitable plant if exposed solely to cues of the dump during confinement. We suggest that cues at the dump enable foragers to predict the unsuitable effects of plants even if they had never been experienced in the fungus garden.

  16. Evolutionary transition from single to multiple mating in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Frydenberg, Jane;

    1999-01-01

    Queens of leafcutter ants exhibit the highest known levels of multiple mating (up to 10 mates per queen) among ants. Multiple mating may have been selected to increase genetic diversity among nestmate workers, which is hypothesized to be critical in social systems with large, long-lived colonies...... under severe pressure of pathogens. Advanced fungus-growing (leafcutter) ants have large numbers (104-106 workers) and long-lived colonies, whereas basal genera in the attine tribe have small (... to have lower queen mating frequencies, similar to those found in most other ants. We tested this prediction by analysing queen mating frequency and colony kin structure in three basal attine species: Myrmicocrypta ednaella, Apterostigma collare and Cyphomyrmex longiscapus. Microsatellite marker analyses...

  17. Biomass conversion in the fungal garden of the leaf-cutter ant Acromyrmex echinatior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grell, Morten Nedergaard; Nygaard, Sanne; Linde, Tore

    2011-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that fungal enzymes play a significant role in the fungal garden conversion of the fresh-cut leaves into accessible food for the ant larvae (Schiøtt et al. 2008, BMC Microbiol, 8:40; Licht et al. 2010, Evolution 64: 2055-2069). However, so far specific documentation...... of conversion of also the cellulose fibers itself has been scarce. In the current study, we have taken an experimental approach allowing us to discover which genes are specifically expressed in the upper, middle, and bottom layers of the fungal garden. Using the DeepSAGE technique (Nielsen et al. 2006, Nucleic...... Acids Res 34:e133) short cDNA tags of the mRNA molecules produced in each of the fungal garden layers were achieved. Subtractive comparisons were made, identifying the genes at least 2x over-expressed in the bottom layer compared to the upper layer. Extended sequence of the selected genes were acquired...

  18. Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Roepstorff, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Leaf-cutting (attine) ants use their own fecal material to manure fungus gardens, which consist of leaf material overgrown by hyphal threads of the basidiomycete fungus Leucocoprinus gongylophorus that lives in symbiosis with the ants. Previous studies have suggested that the fecal droplets conta...

  19. Interaction specificity between leaf-cutting ants and vertically transmitted Pseudonocardia bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Breum Andersen, Sandra; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R.;

    2015-01-01

    Background: The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend garde...

  20. Bacterial symbiont sharing in Megalomyrmex social parasites and their fungus-growing ant hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liberti, Joanito; Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Hansen, Lars H.

    2015-01-01

    . Varying degrees of nest sharing between Megalomyrmex social parasites (Solenopsidini) and their fungus-growing ant hosts (Attini) from the genera Cyphomyrmex, Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex allowed us to address this question, as both ant lineages rely on the same fungal diet, interact in varying...... intensities and are distantly related. We used tag-encoded FLX 454 pyrosequencing and diagnostic PCR to map bacterial symbiont diversity across the Megalomyrmex phylogenetic tree, which also contains free-living generalist predators. We show that social parasites and hosts share a subset of bacterial...... the population-level infection dynamics for Entomoplasmatales and Bartonellaceae in Megalomyrmex symmetochus guest ants and their Sericomyrmex amabilis hosts. We further assessed the stability of the bacterial communities through a diet manipulation experiment and evaluated possible transmission modes in shared...

  1. New light on the systematics of fungi associated with attine ant gardens and the description of Escovopsis kreiselii sp. nov.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas A Meirelles

    Full Text Available Since the formal description of fungi in the genus Escovopsis in 1990, only a few studies have focused on the systematics of this group. For more than two decades, only two Escovopsis species were described; however, in 2013, three additional Escovopsis species were formally described along with the genus Escovopsioides, both found exclusively in attine ant gardens. During a survey for Escovopsis species in gardens of the lower attine ant Mycetophylax morschi in Brazil, we found four strains belonging to the pink-colored Escovopsis clade. Careful examination of these strains revealed significant morphological differences when compared to previously described species of Escovopsis and Escovopsioides. Based on the type of conidiogenesis (sympodial, as well as morphology of conidiogenous cells (percurrent, non-vesiculated conidiophores, and DNA sequences, we describe the four new strains as a new species, Escovopsis kreiselii sp. nov. Phylogenetic analyses using three nuclear markers (Large subunit RNA; translation elongation factor 1-alpha; and internal transcribed spacer from the new strains as well as available sequences in public databases confirmed that all known fungi infecting attine ant gardens comprise a monophyletic group within the Hypocreaceae family, with very diverse morphological characteristics. Specifically, Escovopsis kreiselii is likely associated with gardens of lower-attine ants and its pathogenicity remains uncertain.

  2. New light on the systematics of fungi associated with attine ant gardens and the description of Escovopsis kreiselii sp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirelles, Lucas A; Montoya, Quimi V; Solomon, Scott E; Rodrigues, Andre

    2015-01-01

    Since the formal description of fungi in the genus Escovopsis in 1990, only a few studies have focused on the systematics of this group. For more than two decades, only two Escovopsis species were described; however, in 2013, three additional Escovopsis species were formally described along with the genus Escovopsioides, both found exclusively in attine ant gardens. During a survey for Escovopsis species in gardens of the lower attine ant Mycetophylax morschi in Brazil, we found four strains belonging to the pink-colored Escovopsis clade. Careful examination of these strains revealed significant morphological differences when compared to previously described species of Escovopsis and Escovopsioides. Based on the type of conidiogenesis (sympodial), as well as morphology of conidiogenous cells (percurrent), non-vesiculated conidiophores, and DNA sequences, we describe the four new strains as a new species, Escovopsis kreiselii sp. nov. Phylogenetic analyses using three nuclear markers (Large subunit RNA; translation elongation factor 1-alpha; and internal transcribed spacer) from the new strains as well as available sequences in public databases confirmed that all known fungi infecting attine ant gardens comprise a monophyletic group within the Hypocreaceae family, with very diverse morphological characteristics. Specifically, Escovopsis kreiselii is likely associated with gardens of lower-attine ants and its pathogenicity remains uncertain.

  3. Attack of the invasive garden ant: aggression behaviour of Lasius neglectus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) against native Lasius species in Spain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line Vej; Lommen, Suzanne T.E.;

    2006-01-01

    Invasive species often dramatically change native species communities by directly and indirectly out-competing na-tive species. We studied the direct interference abilities of the invasive garden ant, Lasius neglectus VAN LOON, BOOMSMA & ANDRÁSFALVY, 1990, by performing one-to-one aggression tests...

  4. The devil to pay: a cost of mutualism with Myrmelachista schumanni ants in 'devil's gardens' is increased herbivory on Duroia hirsuta trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E; Gordon, Deborah M

    2007-04-22

    'Devil's gardens' are nearly pure stands of the myrmecophyte, Duroia hirsuta, that occur in Amazonian rainforests. Devil's gardens are created by Myrmelachista schumanni ants, which nest in D. hirsuta trees and kill other plants using formic acid as an herbicide. Here, we show that this ant-plant mutualism has an associated cost; by making devil's gardens, M. schumanni increases herbivory on D. hirsuta. We measured standing leaf herbivory on D. hirsuta trees and found that they sustain higher herbivory inside than outside devil's gardens. We also measured the rate of herbivory on nursery-grown D. hirsuta saplings planted inside and outside devil's gardens in ant-exclusion and control treatments. We found that when we excluded ants, herbivory on D. hirsuta was higher inside than outside devil's gardens. These results suggest that devil's gardens are a concentrated resource for herbivores. Myrmelachista schumanni workers defend D. hirsuta against herbivores, but do not fully counterbalance the high herbivore pressure in devil's gardens. We suggest that high herbivory may limit the spread of devil's gardens, possibly explaining why devil's gardens do not overrun Amazonian rainforests.

  5. A mixed community of actinomycetes produce multiple antibiotics for the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barke Jörg

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Attine ants live in an intensely studied tripartite mutualism with the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which provides food to the ants, and with antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria. One hypothesis suggests that bacteria from the genus Pseudonocardia are the sole, co-evolved mutualists of attine ants and are transmitted vertically by the queens. A recent study identified a Pseudonocardia-produced antifungal, named dentigerumycin, associated with the lower attine Apterostigma dentigerum consistent with the idea that co-evolved Pseudonocardia make novel antibiotics. An alternative possibility is that attine ants sample actinomycete bacteria from the soil, selecting and maintaining those species that make useful antibiotics. Consistent with this idea, a Streptomyces species associated with the higher attine Acromyrmex octospinosus was recently shown to produce the well-known antifungal candicidin. Candicidin production is widespread in environmental isolates of Streptomyces, so this could either be an environmental contaminant or evidence of recruitment of useful actinomycetes from the environment. It should be noted that the two possibilities for actinomycete acquisition are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Results In order to test these possibilities we isolated bacteria from a geographically distinct population of A. octospinosus and identified a candicidin-producing Streptomyces species, which suggests that they are common mutualists of attine ants, most probably recruited from the environment. We also identified a Pseudonocardia species in the same ant colony that produces an unusual polyene antifungal, providing evidence for co-evolution of Pseudonocardia with A. octospinosus. Conclusions Our results show that a combination of co-evolution and environmental sampling results in the diversity of actinomycete symbionts and antibiotics associated with attine ants.

  6. Vascular epiphytes and host trees of ant-gardens in an anthropic landscape in southeastern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Linares, Jonas; García-Franco, José G.; Flores-Palacios, Alejandro; Valenzuela-González, Jorge E.; Mata-Rosas, Martín; Díaz-Castelazo, Cecilia

    2016-12-01

    Ant-gardens (AGs) are considered one of the most complex mutualist systems between ants and plants, since interactions involving dispersal, protection, and nutrition occur simultaneously in them; however, little is known about the effects of the transformation of ecosystems on their diversity and interactions. In five environments with different land use within an anthropic landscape in southeastern Mexico, we investigated the diversity and composition of epiphytes and host trees of AGs built by Azteca gnava. A total of 10,871 individuals of 26 epiphytic species, associating with 859 AGs located in 161 host trees, were recorded. The diversity and composition of epiphytes tended to be different between environments; however, Aechmea tillandsioides and Codonanthe uleana were the most important species and considered true AG epiphytes, because they were the most frequent, abundant, and occurred exclusively in AGs. Other important species were the orchids Epidendrum flexuosum, Coryanthes picturata, and Epidendrum pachyrachis, and should also be considered true AG epiphytes, because they occurred almost exclusively in the AGs. The AG abundance in agroforestry plantations was similar or even greater than in riparian vegetation (natural habitat). The AGs were registered in 37 host species but were more frequent in Mangifera indica and Citrus sinensis. We conclude that true epiphytes of A. gnava AGs persist in different environments and host trees, and even these AGs could proliferate in agroforestry plantations of anthropic landscapes.

  7. Susceptibility of the ant-cultivated fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus (Agaricales: Basidiomycota) towards microfungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, A; Rodrigues, A; Bacci, M; Pagnocca, F C; Bueno, O C

    2006-08-01

    The aim of this study was to select virulent strains of microfungi against Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, a symbiotic fungus cultivated by leaf-cutting ants. The results from in vitro assays showed that microfungal strains had a variable and significant impact on the colony development of L. gongylophorus. Specifically, Trichoderma harzianum, Escovopsis weberi CBS 810.71 and E. weberi A088 were more effective, inhibiting the L. gongylophorus colonies by 75, 68 and 67%, respectively (P < 0.05) after 15 days. Strain E. weberi A086 and Acremonium kiliense were less effective: 43 and 26%, respectively (P < 0.05). In spite of the current negative perspective of a microbiological control approach for these ants, the present work discusses the possibility of using mycopathogenic fungi for the control of these insects, and points out the importance of encouraging more studies in this area.

  8. Identification and characterization of a mesophilic phytase highly resilient to high-temperatures from a fungus-garden associated metagenome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Hao; Wu, Xiang; Xie, Liyuan; Huang, Zhongqian; Peng, Weihong; Gan, Bingcheng

    2016-03-01

    Phytases are enzymes degrading phytic acid and thereby releasing inorganic phosphate. While the phytases reported to date are majorly from culturable microorganisms, the fast-growing quantity of publicly available metagenomic data generated in the last decade has enabled bioinformatic mining of phytases in numerous data mines derived from a variety of ecosystems throughout the world. In this study, we are interested in the histidine acid phosphatase (HAP) family phytases present in insect-cultivated fungus gardens. Using bioinformatic approaches, 11 putative HAP phytase genes were initially screened from 18 publicly available metagenomes of fungus gardens and were further overexpressed in Escherichia coli. One phytase from a south pine beetle fungus garden showed the highest activity and was then chosen for further study. Biochemical characterization showed that the phytase is mesophilic but possesses strong ability to withstand high temperatures. To our knowledge, it has the longest half-life time at 100 °C (27 min) and at 80 °C (2.1 h) as compared to all the thermostable phytases publicly reported to date. After 100 °C incubation for 15 min, more than 93 % of the activity was retained. The activity was 3102 μmol P/min/mg at 37 °C and 4135 μmol P/min/mg at 52.5 °C, which is higher than all the known thermostable phytases. For the high activity level demonstrated at mesophilic temperatures as well as the high resilience to high temperatures, the phytase might be promising for potential application as an additive enzyme in animal feed.

  9. The Evolutionary Innovation of Nutritional Symbioses in Leaf-Cutter Ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank O. Aylward

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fungus-growing ants gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass through their association with a mutualistic fungus they grow for food. This 50 million-year-old obligate mutualism likely facilitated some of these species becoming dominant Neotropical herbivores that can achieve immense colony sizes. Recent culture-independent investigations have shed light on the conversion of plant biomass into nutrients within ant fungus gardens, revealing that this process involves both the fungal cultivar and a symbiotic community of bacteria including Enterobacter, Klebsiella, and Pantoea species. Moreover, the genome sequences of the leaf-cutter ants Atta cephalotes and Acromyrmex echinatior have provided key insights into how this symbiosis has shaped the evolution of these ants at a genetic level. Here we summarize the findings of recent research on the microbial community dynamics within fungus-growing ant fungus gardens and discuss their implications for this ancient symbiosis.

  10. Social transfer of pathogenic fungus promotes active immunisation in ant colonies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Konrad

    Full Text Available Due to the omnipresent risk of epidemics, insect societies have evolved sophisticated disease defences at the individual and colony level. An intriguing yet little understood phenomenon is that social contact to pathogen-exposed individuals reduces susceptibility of previously naive nestmates to this pathogen. We tested whether such social immunisation in Lasius ants against the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is based on active upregulation of the immune system of nestmates following contact to an infectious individual or passive protection via transfer of immune effectors among group members--that is, active versus passive immunisation. We found no evidence for involvement of passive immunisation via transfer of antimicrobials among colony members. Instead, intensive allogrooming behaviour between naive and pathogen-exposed ants before fungal conidia firmly attached to their cuticle suggested passage of the pathogen from the exposed individuals to their nestmates. By tracing fluorescence-labelled conidia we indeed detected frequent pathogen transfer to the nestmates, where they caused low-level infections as revealed by growth of small numbers of fungal colony forming units from their dissected body content. These infections rarely led to death, but instead promoted an enhanced ability to inhibit fungal growth and an active upregulation of immune genes involved in antifungal defences (defensin and prophenoloxidase, PPO. Contrarily, there was no upregulation of the gene cathepsin L, which is associated with antibacterial and antiviral defences, and we found no increased antibacterial activity of nestmates of fungus-exposed ants. This indicates that social immunisation after fungal exposure is specific, similar to recent findings for individual-level immune priming in invertebrates. Epidemiological modeling further suggests that active social immunisation is adaptive, as it leads to faster elimination of the disease and lower

  11. Variable genetic architectures produce virtually identical molecules in bacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sit, Clarissa S; Ruzzini, Antonio C; Van Arnam, Ethan B; Ramadhar, Timothy R; Currie, Cameron R; Clardy, Jon

    2015-10-27

    Small molecules produced by Actinobacteria have played a prominent role in both drug discovery and organic chemistry. As part of a larger study of the actinobacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants, we discovered a small family of three previously unreported piperazic acid-containing cyclic depsipeptides, gerumycins A-C. The gerumycins are slightly smaller versions of dentigerumycin, a cyclic depsipeptide that selectively inhibits a common fungal pathogen, Escovopsis. We had previously identified this molecule from a Pseudonocardia associated with Apterostigma dentigerum, and now we report the molecule from an associate of the more highly derived ant Trachymyrmex cornetzi. The three previously unidentified compounds, gerumycins A-C, have essentially identical structures and were produced by two different symbiotic Pseudonocardia spp. from ants in the genus Apterostigma found in both Panama and Costa Rica. To understand the similarities and differences in the biosynthetic pathways that produced these closely related molecules, the genomes of the three producing Pseudonocardia were sequenced and the biosynthetic gene clusters identified. This analysis revealed that dramatically different biosynthetic architectures, including genomic islands, a plasmid, and the use of spatially separated genetic loci, can lead to molecules with virtually identical core structures. A plausible evolutionary model that unifies these disparate architectures is presented.

  12. Cyatta abscondita: taxonomy, evolution, and natural history of a new fungus-farming ant genus from Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Sosa-Calvo

    Full Text Available Cyatta abscondita, a new genus and species of fungus-farming ant from Brazil, is described based on morphological study of more than 20 workers, two dealate gynes, one male, and two larvae. Ecological field data are summarized, including natural history, nest architecture, and foraging behavior. Phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequence data from four nuclear genes indicate that Cyatta abscondita is the distant sister taxon of the genus Kalathomyrmex, and that together they comprise the sister group of the remaining neoattine ants, an informal clade that includes the conspicuous and well-known leaf-cutter ants. Morphologically, Cyatta abscondita shares very few obvious character states with Kalathomyrmex. It does, however, possess a number of striking morphological features unique within the fungus-farming tribe Attini. It also shares morphological character states with taxa that span the ancestral node of the Attini. The morphology, behavior, and other biological characters of Cyatta abscondita are potentially informative about plesiomorphic character states within the fungus-farming ants and about the early evolution of ant agriculture.

  13. Sex allocation in fungus-growing ants: worker or queen control without symbiont-induced female bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2008-01-01

    with the theoretical queen and worker optima for a range of values of k, the correction factor for sex differences in metabolic rate and fat content. The results were consistent with either worker or queen control, but never with fungal control for any realistic value of k. We conclude that the fungal symbiont does......The fungal cultivars of fungus-growing ants are vertically transmitted by queens but not males. Selection would therefore favor cultivars that bias the ants' sex ratio towards gynes, beyond the gyne bias that is optimal for workers and queens. We measured sex allocation in 190 colonies of six...... sympatric fungus-growing ant species. As predicted from relatedness, female bias was greater in four singly mated Sericomyrmex and Trachymyrmex species than in two multiply mated Acromyrmex species. Colonies tended to raise mainly a single sex, which could be partly explained by variation in queen number...

  14. Evolution of Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    The attine ant symbiosis is characterized by ancient but varying degrees of diffuse co-evolution between the ants and their fungal cultivars. Domesticated fungi became dependent on vertical transmission by queens and the ant colonies came to rely on their symbiotic fungus for food and thus...... as garden substrate, whereas the more basal genera use leaf litter, insect feces and insect carcasses. We hypothesized that enzyme activity of fungal symbionts has co-evolved with substrate use and we measured enzyme activities of fungus gardens in the field to test this, focusing particularly on plant...... decomposing enzymes. We further obtained gene sequences coding for specific enzymes and used them to reconstruct the fungal symbiont phylogeny and to compare the trees obtained with those known from sequence information of genes that have no specific link to enzyme function. Differences in fungus garden...

  15. Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in the Fungus Gardens of Leaf-Cutter Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacteria-mediated acquisition of atmospheric dinitrogen by plants serves as a critical nitrogen source in terrestrial ecosystems, and through its key role in agriculture, this phenomenon has shaped the development of human civilizations. Here we show that, paralleling human agriculture, cultivation ...

  16. Specificity in chemical profiles of workers, brood and mutualistic fungi in Atta, Acromyrmex, and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Drijfhout, Falko; Jones, Graeme; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2007-12-01

    Neotropical attine ants live in obligatory symbiosis with a fungus that they grow for food on a substrate of primarily plant material harvested by workers. Nestmate recognition is likely based on chemical cues as in most other social insects, but recent studies have indicated that both the ants and their mutualistic fungi may contribute to the recognition templates. To investigate the within-colony variation in chemical profiles, we extracted and identified compounds from the cuticle of workers, the postpharyngeal gland of workers, ant pupae and larvae, and the fungal symbiont of three species of higher attine ants: Atta colombica, Acromyrmex echinatior, and Sericomyrmex amabilis. The relative proportions of identified compounds were compared and represented 11 classes: n-alkanes, alkenes, branched methylalkanes, branched dimethylalkanes, trimethylalkanes, branched alkenes, aldehydes, alcohols, acetates, acids, and esters. The chemical profiles in all three species are likely to be sufficiently different to allow discrimination at the species and colony level and sufficiently similar within colonies to generate a relatively constant colony-specific chemical gestalt. The relative likelihood of individual compounds being derived from the ants, the ant brood, or the fungal symbiont are discussed. We hypothesize that hydrocarbons are particularly important as recognition cues because they appear to simultaneously allow the assessment of developmental stages and the identification of symbiont, colony, and species.

  17. Variable interaction specificity and symbiont performance in Panamanian Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2014-01-01

    spectra were significantly affected by both cultivar species and farming ant species, and more so for certain ant-cultivar combinations than others. However, relative changes in activity of single enzymes only depended on cultivar genotype and not on the ant species farming a cultivar. Conclusions Ant...

  18. Actinomycetes inhibit filamentous fungi from the cuticle of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dângelo, Rômulo Augusto Cotta; de Souza, Danival José; Mendes, Thais Demarchi; Couceiro, Joel da Cruz; Lucia, Terezinha Maria Castro Della

    2016-03-01

    Actinomycetes bacteria associated with leafcutter ants produce secondary metabolites with antimicrobial properties against Escovopsis, a fungus specialized in attacking the gardens of fungus-growing ants, which denies the ants their food source. Because previous studies have used fungi isolated from fungus gardens but not from ant integument, the aims of the present study were to isolate actinomycetes associated with the cuticle of the Acromyrmex spp. and to quantify their inhibition abilities against the filamentous fungal species carried by these ants. The results demonstrated that actinomycetes had varied strain-dependent effects on several filamentous fungal species in addition to antagonistic activity against Escovopsis. The strain isolated from Acromyrmex balzani was identified as a Streptomyces species, whereas the remaining isolates were identified as different strains belonging to the genus Pseudonocardia. These findings corroborate the hypothesis that actinomycetes do not act specifically against Escovopsis mycoparasites and may have the ability to inhibit other species of pathogenic fungi.

  19. Common-garden experiments reveal geographical variation in the interaction among Crotalaria pallida (Leguminosae: Papilionideae), Utetheisa ornatrix L. (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae), and extrafloral nectary visiting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, M S; Cogni, R

    2013-06-01

    The study of geographical variation is a key approach to understand evolution of ecological interactions. We investigated geographical variation in the interaction among Crotalaria pallida (Leguminosae: Papilionideae), its specialized herbivore, Utetheisa ornatrix L. (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae), and ants attracted to extrafloral nectaries (EFNs). First, we used common-garden experiments with plants collected in different sites at different geographical scales to test for differences among populations in C. pallida attractiveness to ants. When we compared three populations from Southeast Brazil (150 km apart), the number of visiting ants per plant, and the percent of termite baits attacked by ants, were significantly different among plant populations. In a comparison of populations from SE Brazil and Florida (USA), there was no significant difference between the populations in the number of ants per plant or the frequency of baits attacked. Second, we tested in a common garden if U. ornatrix larvae present any behavior to avoid ant predation, and if there were genetic differences among populations. We observed that most larvae moved away from the vicinity of the EFNs (flowers and fruits) to the plant leaves. Of the larvae that moved to leaves, only 10% were attacked by ants while 89% of larvae that stayed near the fruit/flower were attacked. There was a significant difference among populations in the frequency of larvae that moved to the leaves and the frequency of larvae attacked by ants. We discuss the possible causes of the geographical differences observed and propose future research directions in this system.

  20. Activity of Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae) and ricinine against the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the symbiotic fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigi, Maria Fátima; Torkomian, Vera L V; de Groote, Suzanne T C S; Hebling, Maria José A; Bueno, Odair C; Pagnocca, Fernando C; Fernandes, João B; Vieira, Paulo C; da Silva, Maria Fátima G F

    2004-09-01

    The focus of this study was the identification of compounds from plant extracts for use in crop protection. This paper reports on the toxic activity of fractions of leaf extracts of Ricinus communis L (Euphorbiaceae) and isolated active compounds in the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel and its symbiotic fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus (Singer) Möller. The main compounds responsible for activity against the fungus and ant in leaf extracts of R communis were found to be fatty acids for the former and ricinine for the ants.

  1. Leaf endophyte load and fungal garden development in leaf-cutting ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Previous work has shown that leaf-cutting ants prefer to cut leaf material that is relatively low in fungal endophyte content. Such a preference suggests that fungal endophytes exact a cost on the ants or on the development of their colonies. We hypothesized that endophytes may play a role in thei...

  2. Hidden diversity behind the zombie-ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: four new species described from carpenter ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harry C Evans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Clavicipitaceae: Hypocreales is a fungal pathogen specific to ants of the tribe Camponotini (Formicinae: Formicidae with a pantropical distribution. This so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungus alters the behaviour of the ant host, causing it to die in an exposed position, typically clinging onto and biting into the adaxial surface of shrub leaves. We (HCE and DPH are currently undertaking a worldwide survey to assess the taxonomy and ecology of this highly variable species. METHODS: We formally describe and name four new species belonging to the O. unilateralis species complex collected from remnant Atlantic rainforest in the south-eastern region (Zona da Mata of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Fully illustrated descriptions of both the asexual (anamorph and sexual (teleomorph stages are provided for each species. The new names are registered in Index Fungorum (registration.indexfungorum.org and have received IF numbers. This paper is also a test case for the electronic publication of new names in mycology. CONCLUSIONS: We are only just beginning to understand the taxonomy and ecology of the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis species complex associated with carpenter ants; macroscopically characterised by a single stalk arising from the dorsal neck region of the ant host on which the anamorph occupies the terminal region and the teleomorph occurs as lateral cushions or plates. Each of the four ant species collected--Camponotus rufipes, C. balzani, C. melanoticus and C. novogranadensis--is attacked by a distinct species of Ophiocordyceps readily separated using traditional micromorphology. The new taxa are named according to their ant host.

  3. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus uses leaf-cutting ants to vector proteolytic enzymes towards new plant substrate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Hoffmann, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    The mutualism between leaf-cutting ants and their fungal symbionts revolves around processing and inoculation of fresh leaf pulp in underground fungus gardens, mediated by ant fecal fluid deposited on the newly added plant substrate. As herbivorous feeding often implies that growth is nitrogen...

  4. High temperature and temperature variation undermine future disease susceptibility in a population of the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamminger, Tobias; Steier, Thomas; Tragust, Simon

    2016-06-01

    Environmental temperature and temperature variation can have strong effects on the outcome of host-parasite interactions. Whilst such effects have been reported for different host systems, long-term consequences of pre-infection temperatures on host susceptibility and immunity remain understudied. Here, we show that experiencing both a biologically relevant increase in temperature and temperature variation undermines future disease susceptibility of the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus when challenged with a pathogen under a constant temperature regime. In light of the economic and ecological importance of many social insects, our results emphasise the necessity to take the hosts' temperature history into account when studying host-parasite interactions under both natural and laboratory conditions, especially in the face of global change.

  5. Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leaf-cutting (attine ants use their own fecal material to manure fungus gardens, which consist of leaf material overgrown by hyphal threads of the basidiomycete fungus Leucocoprinus gongylophorus that lives in symbiosis with the ants. Previous studies have suggested that the fecal droplets contain proteins that are produced by the fungal symbiont to pass unharmed through the digestive system of the ants, so they can enhance new fungus garden growth. Results We tested this hypothesis by using proteomics methods to determine the gene sequences of fecal proteins in Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants. Seven (21% of the 33 identified proteins were pectinolytic enzymes that originated from the fungal symbiont and which were still active in the fecal droplets produced by the ants. We show that these enzymes are found in the fecal material only when the ants had access to fungus garden food, and we used quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis to show that the expression of six of these enzyme genes was substantially upregulated in the fungal gongylidia. These unique structures serve as food for the ants and are produced only by the evolutionarily advanced garden symbionts of higher attine ants, but not by the fungi reared by the basal lineages of this ant clade. Conclusions Pectinolytic enzymes produced in the gongylidia of the fungal symbiont are ingested but not digested by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants so that they end up in the fecal fluid and become mixed with new garden substrate. Substantial quantities of pectinolytic enzymes are typically found in pathogenic fungi that attack live plant tissue, where they are known to breach the cell walls to allow the fungal mycelium access to the cell contents. As the leaf-cutting ant symbionts are derived from fungal clades that decompose dead plant material, our results suggest that their pectinolytic enzymes represent secondarily evolved adaptations that are convergent to

  6. A Brazilian Population of the Asexual Fungus-Growing Ant Mycocepurus smithii (Formicidae, Myrmicinae, Attini) Cultivates Fungal Symbionts with Gongylidia-Like Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Masiulionis, Virginia E.; Rabeling, Christian; de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard

    2014-01-01

    lower Attini cultivars. Given that M. smithii is capable of cultivating a morphologically and genetically diverse array of fungal symbionts, we discuss whether asexuality of the ant host maybe correlated with low partner fidelity and active symbiont choice between fungus and ant mutualists....... ants have acquired a variety of fungal mutualists in the Leucocoprineae and the distantly related Pterulaceae. The most specialized symbiotic interaction is referred to as ‘‘higher agriculture’’ and includes leafcutter ant agriculture in which the ants cultivate the single species Leucoagaricus...... gongylophorus. Higher agriculture fungal cultivars are characterized by specialized hyphal tip swellings, so-called gongylidia, which are considered a unique, derived morphological adaptation of higher attine fungi thought to be absent in lower attine fungi. Rare reports of gongylidia-like structures in fungus...

  7. Isolation of xanthyletin, an inhibitor of ants' symbiotic fungus, by high-speed counter-current chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazal, Cristiane de Melo; Domingues, Vanessa de Cássia; Batalhão, Jaqueline Raquel; Bueno, Odair Corrêa; Filho, Edson Rodrigues; da Silva, Maria Fátima G Fernandes; Vieira, Paulo Cezar; Fernandes, João Batista

    2009-05-08

    Xanthyletin, an inhibitor of symbiotic fungus (Leucoagaricus gongylophorus) of leaf-cutting ant (Atta sexdens rubropilosa), as well as suberosin, seselin and xanthoxyletin were isolated from Citrus sinensis grafted on Citrus limonia. A two-phase solvent system composed of hexane/ethanol/acetonitrile/water (10:8:1:1, v/v) was used for the high-speed counter-current chromatographic isolation of xanthyletin with high yield and over 99% purity as determined by liquid and gas chromatography with mass spectrometry detection. Identifications were performed by UV spectra, IR spectra, (1)H NMR and (13)C NMR.

  8. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus uses leaf-cutting ants to vector proteolytic enzymes towards new plant substrate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Hoffmann, Daniel;

    2014-01-01

    The mutualism between leaf-cutting ants and their fungal symbionts revolves around processing and inoculation of fresh leaf pulp in underground fungus gardens, mediated by ant fecal fluid deposited on the newly added plant substrate. As herbivorous feeding often implies that growth is nitrogen li...... fungi, consistent with previous indications of convergent evolution of decomposition enzymes in attine ant fungal symbionts and phytopathogenic fungi.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 9 January 2014; doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.231....

  9. Symbiont recognition of mutualistic bacteria by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Mingzi; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2007-01-01

    Symbiont choice has been proposed to play an important role in shaping many symbiotic relationships, including the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism. Over millions of years, fungus-growing ants have defended their fungus gardens from specialized parasites with antibiotics produced...... by an actinomycete bacterial mutualist (genus Pseudonocardia). Despite the potential of being infected by phylogenetically diverse strains of parasites, each ant colony maintains only a single Pseudonocardia symbiont strain, which is primarily vertically transmitted between colonies by the founding queens....... In this study, we show that Acromyrmex leaf-cutter ants are able to differentiate between their native actinomycete strain and a variety of foreign strains isolated from sympatric and allopatric Acromyrmex species, in addition to strains originating from other fungus-growing ant genera. The recognition...

  10. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández;

    2011-01-01

    -fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genotype and social rearing environment upon individual and social immune defenses. We used a multiply mating leaf-cutting ant, enabling us to test for patriline effects within a colony, as well as cross-colony matriline effects. The worker's father influenced...... social defense, a Pseudonocardia bacteria that helps to control pathogens in the ants' fungus garden, showed a significant colony of origin by rearing environment interaction, whereby ants that acquired the bacteria of a foster colony obtained a less abundant cover of bacteria: one explanation...

  11. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    the more basal attine genera use substrates such as flowers, plant debris, small twigs, insect feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down the plant material that the ants provide...... or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Fungal enzymes that degrade plant cell walls may have functionally co-evolved with the ants in this scenario. We explore this hypothesis with direct measurements of enzyme activity in fungus gardens in 12 species across 8 genera spanning the entire phylogeny...... and diversity of life-styles within the attine clade. We find significant differences in enzyme activity between different genera and life-styles of the ants. How these findings relate to attine ant coevolution and crop optimization are discussed....

  12. Interaction specificity between leaf-cutting ants and vertically transmitted Pseudonocardia bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Breum Andersen, Sandra; Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R.;

    2015-01-01

    Background: The obligate mutualism between fungus-growing ants and microbial symbionts offers excellent opportunities to study the specificity and stability of multi-species interactions. In addition to cultivating fungus gardens, these ants have domesticated actinomycete bacteria to defend gardens...... against the fungal parasite Escovopsis and possibly other pathogens. Panamanian Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants primarily associate with actinomycetes of the genus Pseudonocardia. Colonies are inoculated with one of two vertically transmitted phylotypes (Ps1 or Ps2), and maintain the same...... phylotype over their lifetime. We performed a cross-fostering experiment to test whether co-adaptations between ants and bacterial phylotypes have evolved, and how this affects bacterial growth and ant prophylactic behavior after infection with Escovopsis.Results: We show that Pseudonocardia readily...

  13. Cryptic sexual populations account for genetic diversity and ecological success in a widely distributed, asexual fungus-growing ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabeling, Christian; Gonzales, Omar; Schultz, Ted R; Bacci, Maurício; Garcia, Marcos V B; Verhaagh, Manfred; Ishak, Heather D; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-07-26

    Sex and recombination are central processes in life generating genetic diversity. Organisms that rely on asexual propagation risk extinction due to the loss of genetic diversity and the inability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The fungus-growing ant species Mycocepurus smithii was thought to be obligately asexual because only parthenogenetic populations have been collected from widely separated geographic localities. Nonetheless, M. smithii is ecologically successful, with the most extensive distribution and the highest population densities of any fungus-growing ant. Here we report that M. smithii actually consists of a mosaic of asexual and sexual populations that are nonrandomly distributed geographically. The sexual populations cluster along the Rio Amazonas and the Rio Negro and appear to be the source of independently evolved and widely distributed asexual lineages, or clones. Either apomixis or automixis with central fusion and low recombination rates is inferred to be the cytogenetic mechanism underlying parthenogenesis in M. smithii. Males appear to be entirely absent from asexual populations, but their existence in sexual populations is indicated by the presence of sperm in the reproductive tracts of queens. A phylogenetic analysis of the genus suggests that M. smithii is monophyletic, rendering a hybrid origin of asexuality unlikely. Instead, a mitochondrial phylogeny of sexual and asexual populations suggests multiple independent origins of asexual reproduction, and a divergence-dating analysis indicates that M. smithii evolved 0.5-1.65 million years ago. Understanding the evolutionary origin and maintenance of asexual reproduction in this species contributes to a general understanding of the adaptive significance of sex.

  14. Nutrition mediates the expression of cultivar–farmer conflict in a fungus-growing ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shik, Jonathan Z.; Gomez, Ernesto B.; Kooij, Pepijn W.; Santos, Juan C.; Wcislo, William T.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2016-01-01

    Attine ants evolved farming 55–60 My before humans. Although evolutionarily derived leafcutter ants achieved industrial-scale farming, extant species from basal attine genera continue to farm loosely domesticated fungal cultivars capable of pursuing independent reproductive interests. We used feeding experiments with the basal attine Mycocepurus smithii to test whether reproductive allocation conflicts between farmers and cultivars constrain crop yield, possibly explaining why their mutualism has remained limited in scale and productivity. Stoichiometric and geometric framework approaches showed that carbohydrate-rich substrates maximize growth of both edible hyphae and inedible mushrooms, but that modest protein provisioning can suppress mushroom formation. Worker foraging was consistent with maximizing long-term cultivar performance: ant farmers could neither increase carbohydrate provisioning without cultivars allocating the excess toward mushroom production, nor increase protein provisioning without compromising somatic cultivar growth. Our results confirm that phylogenetically basal attine farming has been very successful over evolutionary time, but that unresolved host–symbiont conflict may have precluded these wild-type symbioses from rising to ecological dominance. That status was achieved by the evolutionarily derived leafcutter ants following full domestication of a coevolving cultivar 30–35 Mya after the first attine ants committed to farming. PMID:27551065

  15. Nesting biology and fungiculture of the fungus-growing ant, Mycetagroicus cerradensis: new light on the origin of higher attine agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Scott E; Lopes, Cauê T; Mueller, Ulrich G; Rodrigues, Andre; Sosa-Calvo, Jeffrey; Schultz, Ted R; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L

    2011-01-01

    The genus Mycetagroicus is perhaps the least known of all fungus-growing ant genera, having been first described in 2001 from museum specimens. A recent molecular phylogenetic analysis of the fungus-growing ants demonstrated that Mycetagroicus is the sister to all higher attine ants (Trachymyrmex, Sericomyrmex, Acromyrmex, Pseudoatta, and Atta), making it of extreme importance for understanding the transition between lower and higher attine agriculture. Four nests of Mycetagroicus cerradensis near Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil were excavated, and fungus chambers for one were located at a depth of 3.5 meters. Based on its lack of gongylidia (hyphal-tip swellings typical of higher attine cultivars), and a phylogenetic analysis of the ITS rDNA gene region, M. cerradensis cultivates a lower attine fungus in Clade 2 of lower attine (G3) fungi. This finding refines a previous estimate for the origin of higher attine agriculture, an event that can now be dated at approximately 21-25 mya in the ancestor of extant species of Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex.

  16. Analysis of Insect toxicity and repellent activity of Phytochemicals from "Skimmia laureola, Nair" against "Black garden ant, Lasius niger" of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehmood, Ferhat; Khan, Zaheer-ud-Din; Manzoor, Farkhanda; Jamil, Muhammad

    2016-05-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the toxicity and repellency of essential oils from root, stem and leaves of Nazar panra, Skimmia laureola (DC.) Zucc. Ex Walp. of family (Sapindales: Rutaceae) ver. Nair of Pakistan. The oils were tested at three concentrations i.e. 1, 5 and 10%. Black garden ant, Lasius niger L. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Pakistan were selected and exposed to essential oils at room temperature. All essential oils showed Insecticidal activity with LC(50)=10.15, while dose dependant effect was significant with R(2)=0.98. It can be concluded that the three Essential oils in this study have both Insecticidal as well as repellent effect.

  17. Production of polysaccharidases in different carbon sources by Leucoagaricus gongylophorus Möller (Singer), the symbiotic fungus of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens Linnaeus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Aline; Bacci, Maurício; Pagnocca, Fernando C; Bueno, Odair C; Hebling, Maria J A

    2006-07-01

    Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, the fungus cultured by the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens, produces polysaccharidases that degrade leaf components by generating nutrients believed to be essential for ant nutrition. We evaluated pectinase, amylase, xylanase, and cellulase production by L. gongylophorus in laboratory cultures and found that polysaccharidases are produced during fungal growth on pectin, starch, cellulose, xylan, or glucose but not cellulase, whose production is inhibited during fungal growth on xylan. Pectin was the carbon source that best stimulated the production of enzymes, which showed that pectinase had the highest production activity of all of the carbon sources tested, indicating that the presence of pectin and the production of pectinase are key features for symbiotic nutrition on plant material. During growth on starch and cellulose, polysaccharidase production level was intermediate, although during growth on xylan and glucose, enzyme production was very low. We propose a possible profile of polysaccharide degradation inside the nest, where the fungus is cultured on the foliar substrate.

  18. Specificity of the mutualistic association between actinomycete bacteria and two sympatric species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, M; Cafaro, M; Boomsma, J J;

    2005-01-01

    Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants maintain two highly specialized, vertically transmitted mutualistic ectosymbionts: basidiomycete fungi that are cultivated for food in underground gardens and actinomycete Pseudonocardia bacteria that are reared on the cuticle to produce antibiotics that suppress...... the growth of Escovopsis parasites of the fungus garden. Mutualism stability has been hypothesized to benefit from genetic uniformity of symbionts, as multiple coexisting strains are expected to compete and, thus, reduce the benefit of the symbiosis. However, the Pseudonocardia symbionts are likely...

  19. Dynamic disease management in trachymyrmex fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Bruner, Gaspar; Gomez, Ernesto B.;

    2013-01-01

    are attacked by specialized fungi (Escovopsis) and diverse generalist microbes. Ants deploy biochemical defenses from bacteria and metapleural glands (MGs) and express different behaviors to control contaminants. We studied four Trachymyrmex species that differed in relative abundance of actinomycetes...... to understand interactions among antimicrobial tactics that are contingent on the nature of infection. MG grooming rate and actinomycete abundance were negatively correlated. The two species with high MG grooming rates or abundant actinomycetes made relatively little use of behavioral defenses. Conversely......, the two species with relatively modest biochemical defenses relied heavily on behavior. Trade-offs suggest that related species can evolutionarily diverge to rely on different defense mechanisms against the same threat. Neither bacterial symbionts nor MG secretions thus appear to be essential for mounting...

  20. New distribution records of the savanna specialist fungus-farming ant Cyatta Sosa-Calvo et al. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feitosa, Rodrigo Machado; Vasconcelos, Heraldo Luis; Maravalhas, Jonas

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The fungus-farming ant genus Cyatta (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) is represented by a single species, C. abscondita Sosa-Calvo et al., known from a few localities in Brazil (in the states of Ceará, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and the Distrito Federal), and a single locality in the Misiones province, Argentina. Cyatta is known to occur predominantly in savanna habitats and occasionally in the transition zones between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado. New information The new records reported here significantly expand the previously known distribution of Cyatta abscondita and provide further support for the intimate relation between this species and the savannas of South America. We report the first occurrence of the genus in southern Brazil (Paraná state) and the westernmost occurrence (Bolivia) of Cyatta abscondita, which extend its distribution approximately 1450 km to the west. Finally, we discuss the importance of mapping inconspicuous species in order to develop strategies for protecting endangered areas and to increase our understanding of the evolutionary history of organisms and biomes. PMID:27932931

  1. Broad Escovopsis-inhibition activity of Pseudonocardia associated with Trachymyrmex ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirelles, Lucas A; Mendes, Thaís D; Solomon, Scott E; Bueno, Odair C; Pagnocca, Fernando C; Rodrigues, Andre

    2014-08-01

    Attine ants maintain an association with antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria found on their integuments. Evidence supports these bacteria as auxiliary symbionts that help ants to defend the fungus gardens against pathogens. Using Pseudonocardia strains isolated from Trachymyrmex ants, we tested whether the inhibitory capabilities of such strains are restricted to Escovopsis parasites that infect gardens of this ant genus. Twelve Pseudonocardia strains were tested in in vitro bioassays against Escovopsis strains derived from fungus gardens of Trachymyrmex (n = 1) and leaf-cutting ants (n = 3). Overall, significant differences were observed in the mycelial growth among each Escovopsis strain in the presence of Pseudonocardia. Particularly, Escovopsis from Acromyrmex and Trachymyrmex were the most inhibited strains in comparison to Escovopsis isolated from Atta. This result suggests that Pseudonocardia isolated from Trachymyrmex possibly secrete antimicrobial compounds effective against diverse Escovopsis strains. The fact that Trachymyrmex ants harbour Pseudonocardia strains with broad spectrum of activity and its defensive role on attine gardens are discussed.

  2. From so simple a beginning: Enzymatic innovation in fungus-growing ants involved a transition from individual symbiont selection to colony-level selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    Obligate mutualistic relationships are often inferred to be the result of higher levels of selection. However, because such mutualists consist of separate gene pools, innovative group-selected traits can only become established when they first provide a decisive fitness advantage to one...... visible adaptations in the host ants, such as increased worker dimorphism allowing large workers to cut fresh leaves, but comparative studies of the specific fungal adaptations that accompanied the transition have not been done. Here we report the first large comparative data set on enzymatic fungus...... the ants increased the share of fresh leaves in their forage. However, once in place, this novel enzyme function gave the entire mutualism a significant colony-level advantage, which allowed the leaf-cutting ants to evolve very large long-lived colonies and to become one of the most important...

  3. Abundance and dynamics of filamentous fungi in the complex ambrosia gardens of the primitively eusocial beetle Xyleborinus saxesenii Ratzeburg (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biedermann, Peter H W; Klepzig, Kier D; Taborsky, Michael; Six, Diana L

    2013-03-01

    Insect fungus gardens consist of a community of interacting microorganisms that can have either beneficial or detrimental effects to the farmers. In contrast to fungus-farming ants and termites, the fungal communities of ambrosia beetles and the effects of particular fungal species on the farmers are largely unknown. Here, we used a laboratory rearing technique for studying the filamentous fungal garden community of the ambrosia beetle, Xyleborinus saxesenii, which cultivates fungi in tunnels excavated within dead trees. Raffaelea sulfurea and Fusicolla acetilerea were transmitted in spore-carrying organs by gallery founding females and established first in new gardens. Raffaelea sulfurea had positive effects on egg-laying and larval numbers. Over time, four other fungal species emerged in the gardens. Prevalence of one of them, Paecilomyces variotii, correlated negatively with larval numbers and can be harmful to adults by forming biofilms on their bodies. It also comprised the main portion of garden material removed from galleries by adults. Our data suggest that two mutualistic, several commensalistic and one to two pathogenic filamentous fungi are associated with X. saxesenii. Fungal diversity in gardens of ambrosia beetles appears to be much lower than that in gardens of fungus-culturing ants, which seems to result from essential differences in substrates and behaviours.

  4. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus uses leaf-cutting ants to vector proteolytic enzymes towards new plant substrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooij, Pepijn W; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Hoffmann, Daniel; Roepstorff, Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Schiøtt, Morten

    2014-05-01

    The mutualism between leaf-cutting ants and their fungal symbionts revolves around processing and inoculation of fresh leaf pulp in underground fungus gardens, mediated by ant fecal fluid deposited on the newly added plant substrate. As herbivorous feeding often implies that growth is nitrogen limited, we cloned and sequenced six fungal proteases found in the fecal fluid of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and identified them as two metalloendoproteases, two serine proteases and two aspartic proteases. The metalloendoproteases and serine proteases showed significant activity in fecal fluid at pH values of 5-7, but the aspartic proteases were inactive across a pH range of 3-10. Protease activity disappeared when the ants were kept on a sugar water diet without fungus. Relative to normal mycelium, both metalloendoproteases, both serine proteases and one aspartic protease were upregulated in the gongylidia, specialized hyphal tips whose only known function is to provide food to the ants. These combined results indicate that the enzymes are derived from the ingested fungal tissues. We infer that the five proteases are likely to accelerate protein extraction from plant cells in the leaf pulp that the ants add to the fungus garden, but regulatory functions such as activation of proenzymes are also possible, particularly for the aspartic proteases that were present but without showing activity. The proteases had high sequence similarities to proteolytic enzymes of phytopathogenic fungi, consistent with previous indications of convergent evolution of decomposition enzymes in attine ant fungal symbionts and phytopathogenic fungi.

  5. Antagonistic bacterial interactions help shape host-symbiont dynamics within the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Erhardt, Daniel P; Molinaro, Daniel J;

    2007-01-01

    to prevent novel strains from invading colonies, enforcing single-strain rearing within individual ant colonies. While this may align ant-actinomycete interests in the bipartite association, the presence of single strains of Pseudonocardia within colonies may not be in the best interest of the ants, because...

  6. The fungal cultivar of leaf-cutter ants produces specific enzymes in response to different plant substrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khadempour, Lily [Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Baker, Erin S. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Nicora, Carrie D. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; White, Richard A. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Monroe, Matthew E. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Huang, Eric L. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Smith, Richard D. [Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA 99352 USA; Currie, Cameron R. [Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA; Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706 USA

    2016-10-26

    Herbivores use symbiotic microbes to help gain access to energy and nutrients from plant material. Leaf-cutter ants are a paradigmatic example, having tremendous impact on their ecosystems as dominant generalist herbivores through cultivation of a fungus, Leucoagaricus gongylophorous. Here we examine how this mutualism could facilitate the flexible substrate incorporation of the ants by providing leaf-cutter ant subcolonies four substrate types: leaves, flowers, oats, and a mixture of all three. Through metaproteomic analysis of the fungus gardens, we were able to identify and quantify 1766 different fungal proteins, including 161 biomass-degrading enzymes. This analysis revealed that fungal protein profiles were significantly different between subcolonies fed different substrates with the highest abundance of cellulolytic enzymes observed in the leaf and flower treatments. When the fungus garden is provided with leaves and flowers, which contain the majority of their energy in recalcitrant material, it increases its production of proteins that break down cellulose: endoglucanases, exoglucanase and β-glucosidase. Further, the complete metaproteomes for the leaves and flowers treatments were very similar, the mixed treatment closely resembled the treatment with oats alone. This suggests that when provided a mixture of substrates, the fungus garden preferentially produces enzymes necessary for breakdown of simpler, more digestible substrates. This flexible, substrate-specific response of the fungal cultivar allows the leaf-cutter ants to derive energy from a wide range of substrates, which may contribute to their ability to be dominant generalist herbivores.

  7. Assessment of Gardening Wastes as a Co-Substrate for Diapers Degradation by the Fungus Pleurotus ostreatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa María Espinosa-Valdemar

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Waste with high biomass content generated in cities in developing countries is sent to landfills or open dumps. This research aims to degrade biomass content in urban waste through cultivation, at pilot scale, of the edible mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus. First, the number of diapers used by one baby per week was measured with a survey in day care facilities. Then, cellulose content of diapers was assessed. Finally, cultivation of P. ostreatus was carried out using as substrate a mixture of diapers with gardening waste, a co-substrate readily available at urban settings. The factors assessed were strain of P. ostreatus (grey BPR-81, white BPR-5, conditioning of the substrate (diapers with and without plastic and co-substrate (wheat straw, grass, and withered leaves. Results show that diapers are a valuable source of biomass, as generation of diapers with urine is 15.3 kg/child/month and they contain 50.2% by weight of cellulose. The highest reductions in dry weight and volume (>64% of substrates was achieved with the substrate diaper without plastic and co-substrate wheat straw. Although diapers with plastic and grass and leaves showed lower degradation, they achieved efficiencies that make them suitable as a co-substrate (>40%, considering that their biomass is currently confined in landfills.

  8. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus uses leaf-cutting ants to vector proteolytic enzymes towards new plant substrate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Hoffmann, Daniel;

    2014-01-01

    upregulated in the gongylidia, specialized hyphal tips whose only known function is to provide food to the ants. These combined results indicate that the enzymes are derived from the ingested fungal tissues. We infer that the five proteases are likely to accelerate protein extraction from plant cells...... in the leaf pulp that the ants add to the fungus garden, but regulatory functions such as activation of proenzymes are also possible, particularly for the aspartic proteases that were present but without showing activity. The proteases had high sequence similarities to proteolytic enzymes of phytopathogenic...... fungi, consistent with previous indications of convergent evolution of decomposition enzymes in attine ant fungal symbionts and phytopathogenic fungi....

  9. Enrichment and Broad Representation of Plant Biomass-Degrading Enzymes in the Specialized Hyphal Swellings of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, the Fungal Symbiont of Leaf-Cutter Ants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aylward, Frank O.; Khadempour, Lily; Tremmel, Daniel; McDonald, Bradon R.; Nicora, Carrie D.; Wu, Si; Moore, Ronald J.; Orton, Daniel J.; Monroe, Matthew E.; Piehowski, Paul D.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Smith, Richard D.; Lipton, Mary S.; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2015-08-28

    Leaf-cutter ants are prolific and conspicuous Neotropical herbivores that derive energy from specialized fungus gardens they cultivate using foliar biomass. The basidiomycetous cultivar of the ants, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, produces specialized hyphal swellings called gongylidia that serve as the primary food source of ant colonies. Gongylidia also contain lignocellulases that become concentrated in ant digestive tracts and are deposited within fecal droplets onto fresh foliar material as it is foraged by the ants. Although the enzymes concentrated by L. gongylophorus within gongylidia are thought to be critical to the initial degradation of plant biomass, only a few enzymes present in these hyphal swellings have been identified. Here we use proteomic methods to identify proteins present in the gongylidia of three Atta cephalotes colonies. Our results demonstrate that a diverse but consistent set of enzymes is present in gongylidia, including numerous lignocellulases likely involved in the degradation of polysaccharides, plant toxins, and proteins. Overall, gongylidia contained over three-quarters of all lignocellulases identified in the L. gongylophorus genome, demonstrating that the majority of the enzymes produced by this fungus for biomass breakdown are ingested by the ants. We also identify a set of 23 lignocellulases enriched in gongylidia compared to whole fungus garden samples, suggesting that certain enzymes may be particularly important in the initial degradation of foliar material. Our work sheds light on the complex interplay between leaf-cutter ants and their fungal symbiont that allows for the host insects to occupy an herbivorous niche by indirectly deriving energy from plant biomass.

  10. Biodiversity and spatial distribution patterns of ant species in Chongqing City tea gardens%重庆市茶园蚂蚁物种多样性及空间分布格局

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭萧; 林强; 崔晋波; 高冬梅; 许姗姗; 盛忠雷

    2014-01-01

    In order to select tea pest predatory ants in Chongqing tea gardens, a sample-plot survey method was used to study the biodiversity and spatial distribution patterns of ant species in tea gardens in the main tea-growing areas of Chongqing (altitude from 371 to 1 068 m). A total of 3 vertical bands were investigated. Three horizontal bands were designed along the above 3 vertical bands at three altitude ranks of 300-500 m, 500-700 m and 700-1 100 m. A total of 39 species, belonging to 4 subfamilies of Formicidae were identified in tea gardens in the main tea-growing areas of Chongqing. In different altitude tea gardens in the main tea-growing areas of Chongqing, the amounts of dominant ant species, common species, rare species and species richness of ant communities were 1-3, 1-6, 5-17 and 7-13, respectively. The Shannon-Wiener diversity, Pielou evenness and Simpson dominance indexes were in the ranges of 0.55-1.25, 0.08-0.16 and 0.26-0.65, respectively. In the same horizontal band, the Simpson dominance of Yongchuan-Rongchang vertical band was the minimum. The Banan-Nanchuan vertical band had the highest Simpson dominance index. The indexes of biodiversity were not significantly different among the different horizontal bands, which suggested that ant community biodiversities were on the same level. In contrast to a similar research in forest environment, ant species biodiversity was least in tea gardens in the main tea-growing areas of Chongqing. The range of the Jaccard indexes of community similarity was 0.22-0.48 and most communities had medium Jaccard index, moderately dissimilar in the tea gardens. In main tea-growing areas of Chongqing, 7 dominant species [e.g. Tetramorium caespitum (Linnaeus)] were found. Seventeen ant species had widened vertical distribution range, with activity range including canopy, ground and underground. They were potential resources of natural enemy insects of tea plant pests existed. With respect to ant species distribution, only 9

  11. Generation of Nutrients and Detoxification: Possible Roles of Yeasts in Leaf-Cutting Ant Nests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando C. Pagnocca

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The possible roles played by yeasts in attine ant nests are mostly unknown. Here we present our investigations on the plant polysaccharide degradation profile of 82 yeasts isolated from fungus gardens of Atta and Acromyrmex species to demonstrate that yeasts found in ant nests may play the role of making nutrients readily available throughout the garden and detoxification of compounds that may be deleterious to the ants and their fungal cultivar. Among the yeasts screened, 65% exhibited cellulolytic enzymes, 44% exhibited pectinolytic activity while 27% and 17% possess enzyme systems for the degradation of protease and amylase, respectively. Galacturonic acid, which had been reported in previous work to be poorly assimilated by the ant fungus and also to have a negative effect on ants’ survival, was assimilated by 64% and 79% of yeasts isolated from nests of A. texana and Acromyrmex respectively. Our results suggest that yeasts found in ant nests may participate in generation of nutrients and removal of potentially toxic compounds, thereby contributing to the stability of the complex microbiota found in the leaf-cutting ant nests.

  12. Enrichment and Broad Representation of Plant Biomass-Degrading Enzymes in the Specialized Hyphal Swellings of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, the Fungal Symbiont of Leaf-Cutter Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aylward, Frank O; Khadempour, Lily; Tremmel, Daniel M; McDonald, Bradon R; Nicora, Carrie D; Wu, Si; Moore, Ronald J; Orton, Daniel J; Monroe, Matthew E; Piehowski, Paul D; Purvine, Samuel O; Smith, Richard D; Lipton, Mary S; Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E; Currie, Cameron R

    2015-01-01

    Leaf-cutter ants are prolific and conspicuous constituents of Neotropical ecosystems that derive energy from specialized fungus gardens they cultivate using prodigious amounts of foliar biomass. The basidiomycetous cultivar of the ants, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, produces specialized hyphal swellings called gongylidia that serve as the primary food source of ant colonies. Gongylidia also contain plant biomass-degrading enzymes that become concentrated in ant digestive tracts and are deposited within fecal droplets onto fresh foliar material as ants incorporate it into the fungus garden. Although the enzymes concentrated by L. gongylophorus within gongylidia are thought to be critical to the initial degradation of plant biomass, only a few enzymes present in these hyphal swellings have been identified. Here we use proteomic methods to identify proteins present in the gongylidia of three Atta cephalotes colonies. Our results demonstrate that a diverse but consistent set of enzymes is present in gongylidia, including numerous plant biomass-degrading enzymes likely involved in the degradation of polysaccharides, plant toxins, and proteins. Overall, gongylidia contained over three quarters of all biomass-degrading enzymes identified in the L. gongylophorus genome, demonstrating that the majority of the enzymes produced by this fungus for biomass breakdown are ingested by the ants. We also identify a set of 40 of these enzymes enriched in gongylidia compared to whole fungus garden samples, suggesting that certain enzymes may be particularly important in the initial degradation of foliar material. Our work sheds light on the complex interplay between leaf-cutter ants and their fungal symbiont that allows for the host insects to occupy an herbivorous niche by indirectly deriving energy from plant biomass.

  13. The thermoregulatory function of thatched nests in the South American grass-cutting ant, Acromyrmex heyeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bollazzi, Martin; Roces, Flavio

    2010-01-01

    The construction of mound-shaped nests by ants is considered as a behavioral adaptation to low environmental temperatures, i.e., colonies achieve higher and more stables temperatures than those of the environment. Besides the well-known nests of boreal Formica wood-ants, several species of South American leaf-cutting ants of the genus Acromyrmex construct thatched nests. Acromyrmex workers import plant fragments as building material, and arrange them so as to form a thatch covering a central chamber, where the fungus garden is located. Thus, the degree of thermoregulation attained by the fungus garden inside the thatched nest largely depends on how the thatch affects the thermal relations between the fungus and the environment. This work was aimed at studying the thermoregulatory function of the thatched nests built by the grass-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Nest and environmental temperatures were measured as a function of solar radiation on the long-term. The thermal diffusivity of the nest thatch was measured and compared to that of the surrounding soil, in order to assess the influence of the building material on the nest's thermoregulatory ability. The results showed that the average core temperature of thatched nests was higher than that of the environment, but remained below values harmful for the fungus. This thermoregulation was brought about by the low thermal diffusivity of the nest thatch built by workers with plant fragments, instead of the readily-available soil particles that have a higher thermal diffusivity. The thatch prevented diurnal nest overheating by the incoming solar radiation, and avoided losses of the accumulated daily heat into the cold air during the night. The adaptive value of thatching behavior in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants occurring in the southernmost distribution range is discussed.

  14. Revisionary notes on the fungus-growing ant genus Mycetarotes Emery (Hymenoptera, Formicidae Notas sobre as formigas cultivadoras de fungos do gênero Mycetarotes Emery (Hymenoptera, Formicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio José Mayhé-Nunes

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Mycetarotes is a small genus of the exclusively Neotropical fungus-growing ants, that includes M. parallelus (Emery, M. senticosus Kempf, M. acutus Mayhé-Nunes and M. carinatus Mayhé-Nunes. We hereby revise historical and recent information regarding Mycetarotes species for the first time, providing an identification key to workers, diagnoses, synoptic illustrated redescriptions of the species, including those of sexuals when known, updates of distributional records, and nest pictures of M. carinatus and M. parallelus. We comment the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships among Mycetarotes and related genera, and on their geographical distribution. The available biological information on the genus is summarized.O gênero Mycetarotes inclui quatro espécies de formigas cultivadoras de fungos, exclusivamente encontradas na região Neotropical: M. parallelus (Emery, M. senticosus Kempf, M. acutus Mayhé-Nunes and M. carinatus Mayhé-Nunes. Apresentamos pela primeira vez um resumo sobre as informações disponíveis para as espécies do gênero, fornecendo uma chave para a identificação das operárias, diagnoses e redescrições sinópticas ilustradas das espécies, incluindo as dos alados, quando conhecidos, atualização dos registros de distribuição e fotografias dos ninhos de M. carinatus e M. parallelus. Comentamos a taxonomia e as relações de parentesco entre Mycetarotes e gêneros cognatos, e sobre sua distribuição geográfica. As informações biológicas disponíveis sobre o gênero também foram resumidas.

  15. The genome sequence of the leaf-cutter ant Atta cephalotes reveals insights into its obligate symbiotic lifestyle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garret Suen

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutter ants are one of the most important herbivorous insects in the Neotropics, harvesting vast quantities of fresh leaf material. The ants use leaves to cultivate a fungus that serves as the colony's primary food source. This obligate ant-fungus mutualism is one of the few occurrences of farming by non-humans and likely facilitated the formation of their massive colonies. Mature leaf-cutter ant colonies contain millions of workers ranging in size from small garden tenders to large soldiers, resulting in one of the most complex polymorphic caste systems within ants. To begin uncovering the genomic underpinnings of this system, we sequenced the genome of Atta cephalotes using 454 pyrosequencing. One prediction from this ant's lifestyle is that it has undergone genetic modifications that reflect its obligate dependence on the fungus for nutrients. Analysis of this genome sequence is consistent with this hypothesis, as we find evidence for reductions in genes related to nutrient acquisition. These include extensive reductions in serine proteases (which are likely unnecessary because proteolysis is not a primary mechanism used to process nutrients obtained from the fungus, a loss of genes involved in arginine biosynthesis (suggesting that this amino acid is obtained from the fungus, and the absence of a hexamerin (which sequesters amino acids during larval development in other insects. Following recent reports of genome sequences from other insects that engage in symbioses with beneficial microbes, the A. cephalotes genome provides new insights into the symbiotic lifestyle of this ant and advances our understanding of host-microbe symbioses.

  16. Garden Documents

    Science.gov (United States)

    As a gardener, you have the potential to contribute to nutrient pollution, but you also have the power to help prevent it. There are several easy things you can do to reduce nutrient pollution from your yards and gardens.

  17. Research Progress of Utilization of Medicinal and Edible Insects-Ground Beetle, Caterpillar Fungus and Ants%三种药食两用昆虫的研究与利用综述

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    葛正焱

    2012-01-01

    综述了三种药食两用昆虫地鳖虫、冬虫夏草和蚂蚁研究及利用现状,介绍它们的药用和营养保健价值以及使用方法,为进一步研究开发提供科学依据。%The paper summarized the research advancement and utilization status of medicinal and edible insects such as ground beetle, caterpillar fungus and ants, and their nutritional value, healthy function and use methods were included, which could be helpful to further research and development.

  18. The effect of metapleural gland secretion on the growth of a mutualistic bacterium on the cuticle of leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Bot, Adrianne N M; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2003-01-01

    In Acromyrmex octospinosus leaf-cutting ants the metapleural glands produce an array of antibiotic compounds that serve as a general defence against unwanted microbes on the cuticle. Leaf-cutting ants also grow mutualistic Pseudonocardiaceae bacteria on their cuticle that produce antibiotics...... controlling a microfungal parasite of their fungus gardens. Interaction between this bacterium and gland secretion therefore seems unavoidable. We document the typical development of bacterial growth on the cuticle of young major workers, show that growth starts a few days after eclosion, and that the maximal...

  19. Differential resistance and the importance of antibiotic production in Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ant castes towards the entomopathogenic fungus Aspergillus nomius

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    Paired exocrine metapleural glands are present in almost all ants and produce compounds with antibiotic properties towards a variety of pathogenic fungi and bacteria. In Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants, small workers have relatively large metapleural glands compared to large workers, and thus harbour...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David R; Higginbotham, Sarah; Estrada, Catalina; van Zweden, Jelle S; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Wcislo, William T; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2015-05-22

    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' 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' 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.

  1. Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Currie, Cameron R.

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that hosts are selected to prevent mixing of genetically different symbionts when competition among lineages reduces the productivity of a mutualism. The symbionts themselves may also defend their interests: recent studies of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants showed...... that somatic incompatibility enforces single-clone gardens within mature colonies, thereby constraining horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts. However, phylogenetic analyses indicate that symbiont switches occur frequently enough to remove most signs of host-symbiont cocladogenesis. Here we resolve...... this paradox by showing that transmission among newly founded Acromyrmex colonies is not constrained. All tested queens of sympatric A. octospinosus and A. echinatior offered a novel fragment of fungus garden accepted the new symbiont. The outcome was unaffected by genetic distance between the novel...

  2. A Brazilian Population of the Asexual Fungus-Growing Ant Mycocepurus smithii (Formicidae, Myrmicinae, Attini) Cultivates Fungal Symbionts with Gongylidia-Like Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Masiulionis, Virginia E.; Rabeling, Christian; de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard;

    2014-01-01

    gongylophorus. Higher agriculture fungal cultivars are characterized by specialized hyphal tip swellings, so-called gongylidia, which are considered a unique, derived morphological adaptation of higher attine fungi thought to be absent in lower attine fungi. Rare reports of gongylidia-like structures in fungus...

  3. Specificity in chemical profiles of workers, brood and mutualistic fungi in Atta, Acromyrmex, and Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Drijfhout, Falko

    2007-01-01

    , acids, and esters. The chemical profiles in all three species are likely to be sufficiently different to allow discrimination at the species and colony level and sufficiently similar within colonies to generate a relatively constant colony-specific chemical gestalt. The relative likelihood of individual...... compounds being derived from the ants, the ant brood, or the fungal symbiont are discussed. We hypothesize that hydrocarbons are particularly important as recognition cues because they appear to simultaneously allow the assessment of developmental stages and the identification of symbiont, colony...

  4. Kitchen gardens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hilton, Annette; Hilton, Geoff; Dole, Shelley

    2013-01-01

    Numeracy is the practical application of mathematics in context. In schools, contexts such as kitchen gardens can provide a real world and exciting environment for engaging students in mathematical thinking and discussion associated with situations of proportion. This article presents examples from...... a primary school kitchen garden project in which Year 5 students engaged in tasks requiring proportional reasoning, which is a key aspect of numeracy....

  5. The genome of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior suggests key adaptations to advanced social life and fungus farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Zhang, Guojie; Schiøtt, Morten

    2011-01-01

    on aspects of the genome likely to be associated with known evolutionary changes. The first is the specialized fungal diet of A. echinatior, where we find gene loss in the ant's arginine synthesis pathway, loss of detoxification genes, and expansion of a group of peptidase proteins. One of these is a unique...

  6. Entomology: A Bee Farming a Fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Aanen, Duur K

    2015-11-16

    Farming is done not only by humans, but also by some ant, beetle and termite species. With the discovery of a stingless bee farming a fungus that provides benefits to its larvae, bees can be added to this list.

  7. Nail Fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... problems, a weakened immune system or, in children, Down syndrome A severe case of nail fungus can be ... possibly effective in treating nail fungus, but more study is needed. ... and file down thickened areas. Wear socks that absorb sweat. Fabrics ...

  8. Hydroponic Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julinor, Helmut

    1976-01-01

    In addition to being an actual source of foodstuffs in inhospitable climates and a potential source of a large portion of the world's food supply, hydroponic gardening is a useful technique in the classroom for illustrating the role of plant life in the world's food chain. (MB)

  9. Ant-plants and fungi: a new threeway symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defossez, Emmanuel; Selosse, Marc-André; Dubois, Marie-Pierre; Mondolot, Laurence; Faccio, Antonella; Djieto-Lordon, Champlain; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2009-06-01

    Symbioses between plants and fungi, fungi and ants, and ants and plants all play important roles in ecosystems. Symbioses involving all three partners appear to be rare. Here, we describe a novel tripartite symbiosis in which ants and a fungus inhabit domatia of an ant-plant, and present evidence that such interactions are widespread. We investigated 139 individuals of the African ant-plant Leonardoxa africana for occurrence of fungus. Behaviour of mutualist ants toward the fungus within domatia was observed using a video camera fitted with an endoscope. Fungi were identified by sequencing a fragment of their ribosomal DNA. Fungi were always present in domatia occupied by mutualist ants but never in domatia occupied by opportunistic or parasitic ants. Ants appear to favour the propagation, removal and maintenance of the fungus. Similar fungi were associated with other ant-plants in Cameroon. All belong to the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales; those from L. africana formed a monophyletic clade. These new plant-ant-fungus associations seem to be specific, as demonstrated within Leonardoxa and as suggested by fungal phyletic identities. Such tripartite associations are widespread in African ant-plants but have long been overlooked. Taking fungal partners into account will greatly enhance our understanding of symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms.

  10. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; Lefevre, T.; Jensen, A.B.;

    2012-01-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we...... show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from...... day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results...

  11. Sick ants become unsociable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, N; Lefèvre, T; Jensen, A B; d'Ettorre, P

    2012-02-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results provide evidence for the evolution of unsociability following pathogen infection in a social animal and suggest an important role of inclusive fitness in driving such evolution.

  12. Reading a Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang-Jensen, Valerie

    2012-01-01

    School gardens--and efforts to connect gardening to K-12 learning--are burgeoning. Children's gardens--green spaces that keep in mind the way children play and explore an outdoor space--have been one of the biggest recent trends in gardening. Progressive educators have long promoted gardening as an opportunity to connect knowledge about plants,…

  13. Fungus-Growing Termites Originated in African Rain Forest

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanen, Duur Kornelis; Eggleton, Paul

    2005-01-01

    are consumed (cf. [ [1] and [2] ]). Fungus-growing termites are found throughout the Old World tropics, in rain forests and savannas, but are ecologically dominant in savannas [ 3 ]. Here, we reconstruct the ancestral habitat and geographical origin of fungus-growing termites. We used a statistical model......Fungus-growing termites (subfamily Macrotermitinae, Isoptera) cultivate fungal crops (genus Termitomyces, Basidiomycotina) in gardens inside their colonies. Those fungus gardens are continuously provided with plant substrates, whereas older parts that have been well decomposed by the fungus...... extant savanna species are found in most genera, this moreover suggests that the savanna has repeatedly been colonized by fungus-growing termites. Furthermore, at least four independent "out-of-Africa" migrations into Asia, and at least one independent migration to Madagascar, have occurred. Although...

  14. Gardening from a Wheelchair

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... your reach limits are," says Gene Rothert, HTR, Horticultural Therapy Services, Chicago Botanic Garden. "You don't want ... that specialize in adaptive gardening techniques, including: American Horticultural Therapy Association : the therapeutic benefits of peaceful garden environments ...

  15. Pseudoxylaria as stowaway of the fungus-growing termite nest: Interaction asymmetry between Pseudoxylaria, Termitomyces and free-living relatives.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, A.A.; Kooij, P.W.; Debets, A.J.M.; Kuyper, T.W.; Aanen, D.K.

    2011-01-01

    Though inconspicuous in healthy nests, Pseudoxylaria species are almost always present and overgrow deteriorating fungus-growing termite gardens. Whether these fungi are detrimental to the fungus-garden, benign, or even beneficial is unclear. We hypothesize that Pseudoxylaria is a stowaway that prac

  16. Honey Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

    Provides background information on honey ants. These ants are found in dry or desert regions of North America, Africa, and Australia. Also provides a list of activities using local species of ants. (JN)

  17. Differences in forage-acquisition and fungal enzyme activity contribute to niche segregation in Panamanian leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Liberti, Joanito; Giampoudakis, Konstantinos;

    2014-01-01

    activities of twelve fungus garden decomposition enzymes, belonging to the amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, pectinases and proteinases, and show that average enzyme activity per unit of fungal mass in Atta gardens is lower than in Acromyrmex gardens. Expression profiles of fungal enzymes in Atta also...... for decomposition enzymes....

  18. Differences in forage-acquisition and fungal enzyme activity contribute to niche segregation in Panamanian leaf-cutting ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pepijn W Kooij

    Full Text Available The genera Atta and Acromyrmex are often grouped as leaf-cutting ants for pest management assessments and ecological surveys, although their mature colony sizes and foraging niches may differ substantially. Few studies have addressed such interspecific differences at the same site, which prompted us to conduct a comparative study across six sympatric leaf-cutting ant species in Central Panama. We show that foraging rates during the transition between dry and wet season differ about 60 fold between genera, but are relatively constant across species within genera. These differences appear to match overall differences in colony size, especially when Atta workers that return to their nests without leaves are assumed to carry liquid food. We confirm that Panamanian Atta specialize primarily on tree-leaves whereas Acromyrmex focus on collecting flowers and herbal leaves and that species within genera are similar in these overall foraging strategies. Species within genera tended to be spaced out over the three habitat categories that we distinguished (forest, forest edge, open grassland, but each of these habitats normally had only a single predominant Atta and Acromyrmex species. We measured activities of twelve fungus garden decomposition enzymes, belonging to the amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, pectinases and proteinases, and show that average enzyme activity per unit of fungal mass in Atta gardens is lower than in Acromyrmex gardens. Expression profiles of fungal enzymes in Atta also appeared to be more specialized than in Acromyrmex, possibly reflecting variation in forage material. Our results suggest that species- and genus-level identities of leaf-cutting ants and habitat-specific foraging profiles may give predictable differences in the expression of fungal genes coding for decomposition enzymes.

  19. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    . However, in rare occasions fungal symbionts might come into contact with symbionts from other colonies. I showed that in both leaf-cutting ant genera incompatibility reactions between fungal strains can avoid intermixing of different strains, and that these reactions strengthen when genetic distance...... successful. To understand the evolutionary development of domestication of the fungus over the phylogeny of the Attine ants, I compared the average number of nuclei per cell for the fungal symbionts, for each of the different groups of fungus-growing ants. I found that the fungal symbionts of the paleo...... is increased. This pattern, however, becomes distorted when fungal symbionts are contested across ant genera. The most important mechanism in the succession of this mutualism of leaf-cutting ants is the controlled degradation of plant material. I show that in the area of Gamboa, Panama, the two leaf...

  20. Composition of vertical gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Sandeva, Vaska; Despot, Katerina

    2013-01-01

    Vertical gardens are fully functional gardens in areas where there is less oxygen and space, ideal for residential and urban cities where there is no vegetation; occupy a special place in interiors furniture. The gardens occupy an important aesthetic problem. Aesthetic task in vertical gardens can be achieved by forming sectors of identification in the urban landscape through the choice of a particular plant spatial composition and composition, to create comfort and representation in commu...

  1. Pseudoxylaria as stowaway of the fungus-growing termite nest:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visser, Anna A.; Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Debets, Alfons J. M.

    2011-01-01

    Though inconspicuous in healthy nests, Pseudoxylaria species are almost always present and overgrow deteriorating fungus-growing termite gardens. Whether these fungi are detrimental to the fungus-garden, benign, or even beneficial is unclear. We hypothesize that Pseudoxylaria is a stowaway...... that practices a sit-and-wait strategy to survive in the termite nest. Using isolates from three different termite genera to test our hypothesis, we compared Pseudoxylaria’s growth on 40 carbon sources with that of Termitomyces and tested its interaction with Termitomyces. The C-source use of both fungi largely...

  2. Gardening: A Growing Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Phyllis

    2011-01-01

    While Americans are as eager as ever to beautify their homes and yards with attractive landscaping, more and more gardeners are looking to the practical aspects of gardening--raising plants for food and choosing easy-care ornamental plants that are friendly to the environment. For some gardeners, raising their own food is a lifestyle choice. With…

  3. Fungus Amongus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakeley, Deidra

    2005-01-01

    This role-playing simulation is designed to help teach middle level students about the typical lifecycle of a fungus. In this interactive simulation, students assume the roles of fungi, spores, living and dead organisms, bacteria, and rain. As they move around a playing field collecting food and water chips, they discover how the organisms…

  4. Survey reveals the situation of Chinese caterpillar fungus resources

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    @@ Following its investigation of aweto (or Chinese caterpillar fungus) resources carried out from May to July 2007 on the Tibetan(or Qinghai-Tibet) Plateau,the central producing area of this precious ingredient for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM),the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG)under CAS conducted a further survey from May to July 2008 in the marginal habitats of this fungus.

  5. School gardens in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dyg, Pernille Malberg

    2016-01-01

    Studies show that school gardening helps children enhance their understanding of science and promotes their interaction with the environment gaining historical, cultural and ecological understandings (Dyg 2014; Chenhall 2010; Green 2013; Johnson 2012; Sloan 2013; McCarty 2010; Hess & Trexler 2011......). School gardens are sprouting in rural and urban areas across Denmark. This case study research sheds new light on various school garden models under the Gardens for Bellies program in Denmark, including school-, community-based and central school gardens. This study aims to document the organization...... of school gardens, which is not studied in international research. It also analyses immediate effects according to pupils and other stakeholders. The research is based on five explorative case studies, involving observations and interviews. The findings show that school gardens open up opportunities...

  6. Toxocara infection in gardener

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Beuy; Joob; Viroj; Wiwanitkit

    2015-01-01

    <正>To the editor,The report on Toxocara infection in gardener is very interesting[1].Esquivel et al.concluded that"gardeners do not have a higher risk for Toxocara infection than subjects of the general population in Durango City,Mexico"[1].In fact,considering the source of infection of Toxocara,it can be at risk for anyone who contacts it.As an occupation,gardener might have a chance to contact soil.In fact,everyone has to contact soil and the gardener does not live all day but part of

  7. The Garden of Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Karen

    2012-01-01

    This article describes a garden that grows more than vegetables. The grounds of McKinley Elementary School in San Diego, California, was a neglected area for years, until recently when an organic garden was planted to revive and brighten the dreary area behind the school's bungalow classrooms. Each grade now has its own wood-bordered plot where a…

  8. Herbaria, gardens, organisations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    NN,

    2002-01-01

    An alphabetical list of plant species cultivated in the Cibodas Botanical Garden (2000) shows the richness of this garden in the wet highland and montane climate at 1425 m alt. of W Java: 180 families, 579 genera, 1120 species represented by 6001 specimens Darwin Initiative Papuan Plant Diversity Pr

  9. A new species of the fungus-farming ant genus Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Attini Uma nova espécie de formiga cultivadora de fungo, do gênero Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Attini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Roberto Ferreira Brandão

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The fungus-farming ant genus Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes was proposed based on three species from the Brazilian "Cerrado": M. cerradensis, M. triangularis and M. urbanus. Here we describe a new species of Attini ant of the genus Mycetagroicus, M. inflatus n. sp., based on two workers collected in eastern Pará State, Brazil. A new key for species identification, comments on differences among species and new geographical distribution data are furnished.O gênero de formigas cultivadoras de fungos, Mycetagroicus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes, foi proposto com base em três espécies do Cerrado: M. cerradensis, M. triangularis e M. urbanus. Neste trabalho descrevemos uma nova espécie de Attini do gênero Mycetagroicus, M. inflatus n. sp., baseada em duas operárias coletadas no leste do Pará, Brasil. Apresentamos uma nova chave para a identificação das espécies, comentários sobre as diferenças entre as espécies e novos dados sobre a distribuição geográfica.

  10. Association between Pseudonocardia symbionts and Atta leaf-cutting ants suggested by improved isolation methods

    OpenAIRE

    Marsh, Sarah E.; Poulsen, Michael; Gorosito, Norma B.; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Masiulionis, Virginia E. [UNESP; Currie, Cameron R

    2013-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However, given that fungus-growing ants in the genus Atta do not carry visible Actinobacteria on their cuticle, it is unclear if this genus engages in the symbiosis with Pseudonocardia. Here we explore whether...

  11. Fostering Children's Interests in Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lekies, Kristi S.; Sheavly, Marcia Eames

    2007-01-01

    Despite the rapidly growing interest in children's gardens and attention to the positive benefits of gardening for children, little is known about the ways in which young people actually form interests in gardening. Using a sample of 9- and 10-year-old children at a school garden site in New York State, this study examined the ways in which…

  12. Struggling Ants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Some of China’s college graduates are barely scraping by The village of Tangjialing, 20 km north of down town Beijing, was thrust into the public consciousness in November. Publishers that month released a book titled Ants

  13. Garden of cosmic speculation

    CERN Document Server

    Jencks, Charles

    2005-01-01

    This book tells the story of one of the most important gardens in Europe, created by the architectural critic and designer Charles Jencks and his late wife, the landscape architect and author Maggie Keswick. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a landscape that celebrates the new sciences of complexity and chaos theory and consists of a series of metaphors exploring the origins, the destiny and the substance of the Universe. The book is illustrated with year-round photography, bringing the garden's many dimensions vividly to life.

  14. Association between Pseudonocardia symbionts and Atta leaf-cutting ants suggested by improved isolation methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Sarah E; Poulsen, Michael; Gorosito, Norma B; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Masiulionis, Virginia E; Currie, Cameron R

    2013-03-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However, given that fungus-growing ants in the genus Atta do not carry visible Actinobacteria on their cuticle, it is unclear if this genus engages in the symbiosis with Pseudonocardia. Here we explore whether improving culturing techniques can allow for successful isolation of Pseudonocardia from Atta cephalotes leaf-cutting ants. We obtained Pseudonocardia from 9 of 11 isolation method/colony component combinations from all 5 colonies intensively sampled. The most efficient technique was bead-beating workers in phosphate buffer solution, then plating the suspension on carboxymethylcellulose medium. Placing these strains in a fungus-growing ant-associated Pseudonocardia phylogeny revealed that while some strains grouped with clades of Pseudonocardia associated with other genera of fungus-growing ants, a large portion of the isolates fell into two novel phylogenetic clades previously not identified from this ant-microbe symbiosis. Our findings suggest that Pseudonocardia may be associated with Atta fungus-growing ants, potentially internalized, and that localizing the symbiont and exploring its role is necessary to shed further light on the association.

  15. A plant needs ants like a dog needs fleas: Myrmelachista schumanni ants gall many tree species to create housing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, David P; Frederickson, Megan E; Shepard, Glenn H; Yu, Douglas W

    2009-11-01

    Hundreds of tropical plant species house ant colonies in specialized chambers called domatia. When, in 1873, Richard Spruce likened plant-ants to fleas and asserted that domatia are ant-created galls, he incited a debate that lasted almost a century. Although we now know that domatia are not galls and that most ant-plant interactions are mutualisms and not parasitisms, we revisit Spruce's suggestion that ants can gall in light of our observations of the plant-ant Myrmelachista schumanni, which creates clearings in the Amazonian rain forest called "supay-chakras," or "devil's gardens." We observed swollen scars on the trunks of nonmyrmecophytic canopy trees surrounding supay-chakras, and within these swellings, we found networks of cavities inhabited by M. schumanni. Here, we summarize the evidence supporting the hypothesis that M. schumanni ants make these galls, and we hypothesize that the adaptive benefit of galling is to increase the amount of nesting space available to M. schumanni colonies.

  16. The Slate Garden

    CERN Multimedia

    Alexandre Pelletier and Anaïs Schaeffer

    2011-01-01

    On the patio of the Main Building, a new garden has been unveiled. Inspired by physicists themselves, the garden uses a clever combination of flower arrangements and slate slabs to create the shape of the CMS particle tracker.   Scribbling, crossing out, and writing over it again. In an age of digital "tablets", scientists have remained faithful to the traditional blackboard... the inspiration for the Slate Garden. Completed just a few days ago on the Main Building patio (Building 500), the garden was designed by landscape architect Laurent Essig – who also created the InGRID installation outside Building 33 – and is the perfect combination of organic and mineral materials. Composed of 100 pieces of slate laid across three concentric circles, the work recalls the elegant lines of the CMS particle tracker. The project was completed thanks to the collaboration of a number of CERN technical services, in particular the Green Spaces Service, the Transport Serv...

  17. The Garden Ambassadors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Suzhou’s gardens blend culture into nature, and are a quiet and beautiful retreat from the bustling city life around them With a history of more than 2,500 years, Suzhou, in east China’s Jiangsu Province,

  18. School Gardens and Learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tiemensma, Britt Due

    2015-01-01

    This paper outlines the changing discourse on school gardens as a learning object as well as a learning environment in urban and rural schools in Denmark and Norway, two small states in Northern Europe. School and community gardens are to be found all over the world, and in Scandinavian...... they are not only regarded as a source of health and fresh food for the students and their families, but also as an alternative arena for learning to cope with issues like sustainability, innovation and democracy. The success of school gardening was always based on dedicated teachers who saw the added value...... of children learning to plant and care for plants in a school garden....

  19. Lawn and Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    The most effective strategy for controlling pests in your lawn and garden may be to combine methods in an approach known as Integrated Pest Management. See videos and find tips for implementing IPM at your residence.

  20. Urban Infestation Patterns of Argentine Ants, Linepithema humile, in Los Angeles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smadar Gilboa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Infestations of buildings by Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr, were monitored on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. Foraging ant activity peaked during the hotter months of the year. The mean monthly maximum temperature, but not rainfall, positively correlated with indoor infestation frequency. Neither garden size nor the predominant groundcover vegetation correlated with the number of foraging ants at baits within gardens. Although the number of foraging ants outside a building varied over 40-fold, ant density in gardens did not predict the likelihood of infestation within the building. Also, the type of vegetative groundcover employed did not predict infestation frequency. There was, however, a significant negative relationship between the size of the garden outside of a building and the number of infestations. Given the large foraging area of L. humile workers, buildings next to small gardens may be infested simply because they lie within the “normal” foraging area of a colony. The best predictor of which rooms were infested within buildings was the presence of a water source. Thus providing water for ant colonies outside and away from buildings may be one method of integrated pest management to reduce the proclivity of ants to infest structures.

  1. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2016-01-01

    Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) offers an ‘infra-language’ of the social that allows one to trace social relations very dynamically, while at the same time dissolving human agency, thus providing a flat and de-centred way into sociology. However, ANT struggles with its theoretical design that may lead...... us to reduce agency to causation and to conceptualize actor-networks as homogeneous ontologies of force. This article proposes to regard ANT’s inability to conceptualize reflexivity and the interrelatedness of different ontologies as the fundamental problem of the theory. Drawing on Günther......, it offers an ‘infra-language’ of reflexive relations while maintaining ANT’s de-centred approach. This would enable us to conceptualize actor-networks as non-homogeneous, dynamic and connecting different societal rationales while maintaining the main strengths of ANT....

  2. Ant Farm

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Publié à l’occasion de l’exposition d’Ant Farm au Frac Centre du 12 au 23 décembre 2007, ce très beau catalogue, qui fait état des dix ans de création du collectif californien, propose un nombre important de documents iconographiques, de notices et de textes concernant leurs différents projets. Fondé en 1968 par Doug Michels et Chip Lord, rejoints par la suite par Curtis Schreier, Hudson Marquez, Douglas Hurr et d’autres encore, le collectif Ant Farm a marqué les esprits par quelques œuvres s...

  3. Linnaeus garden. [Spanish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Delaporte

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Since XVIII century, garden is the place of both the know-how and the knowledge accomplished by experimental botanic. Starting from this point a definition will be advanced of what a technical environment is: an environment of culture made of norms and laws. But this technical environment should be distinguished from the natural environment. This one refers to an environment occupied by wild species. The point is, therefore, to determine the nature of the relationship between technical and natural environment. Linnaeus used to assign the products of culture a positive value. Rousseau goes the opposite way. He assigns nature a positive value. Linnaeus valuates the garden, he stands for the culture. Rousseau devaluates the garden, he stands for nature. The debate about modified organisms may begin.

  4. An evaluation of the possible adaptive function of fungal brood covering by attine ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Armitage, Sophie Alice Octavia; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Wcislo, William T.;

    2012-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Myrmicinae: Attini) live in an obligate symbiotic relationship with a fungus that they rear for food, but they can also use the fungal mycelium to cover their brood. We surveyed colonies from 20 species of fungus-growing ants and show that brood-covering behavior occurs in most...... species, but to varying degrees, and appears to have evolved shortly after the origin of fungus farming, but was partly or entirely abandoned in some genera. To understand the evolution of the trait we used quantitative phylogenetic analyses to test whether brood-covering behavior covaries among attine...... ant clades and with two hygienic traits that reduce risk of disease: mycelial brood cover did not correlate with mutualistic bacteria that the ants culture on their cuticles for their antibiotics, but there was a negative relationship between metapleural gland grooming and mycelial cover. A broader...

  5. Legionnaires' disease and gardening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    den Boer, J W; Yzerman, E P F; Jansen, R; Bruin, J P; Verhoef, L P B; Neve, G; van der Zwaluw, K

    2007-01-01

    Legionella longbeachae was cultured from the sputum of a patient suffering from Legionnaires' disease. Source identification efforts included analysis of samples of potting soil from the patient's garden, and a genotypically indistinguishable strain of L. longbeachae was cultured from this material. Following examination of a national collection of Legionella isolates, two more patients with indistinguishable genotypes were identified. One of these patients had visited a garden centre in the same municipality in which the index patient had acquired his potting soil. The study demonstrated the value of systematic collection of identification data and patient isolates over a prolonged period.

  6. Community gardening and social cohesion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, E.J.; Bock, B.B.; Berg, Van den W.; Visser, A.J.; Wiskerke, J.S.C.

    2016-01-01

    Community gardens vary in several ways: they are cultivated by different kinds of communities in various locations, entail individual or communal plots and the extent of active participation (e.g. gardening) differs. In this paper, we study seven community gardens with varying organisational desi

  7. Association between Pseudonocardia symbionts and Atta leaf-cutting ants suggested by improved isolation methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marsh, Sarah E.; Poulsen, Michael; Gorosito, Norma B.;

    2013-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However, ...

  8. Gardening with Greenhouses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeler, Rusty

    2010-01-01

    Greenhouses come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges: from simple hand-built plastic-covered frames to dazzling geodesic domes. Some child care centers install greenhouses as a part of their outdoor garden space. Other centers have incorporated a greenhouse into the building itself. Greenhouses provide a great opportunity for children to grow…

  9. The chemistry, recognition behaviors, and population genetics of Neotropical parabiotic ants

    OpenAIRE

    Emery, Virginia Jayne

    2013-01-01

    In my dissertation, I have explored behavioral, chemical and genetic aspects of a unique nesting symbiosis called parabiosis. In parabiosis, two unrelated ant species share a nest and foraging trails in a potentially mutualistic association. I have focused on the Neotropical parabiosis between Camponotus femoratus (Subfamily: Formicinae) and Crematogaster levior (Subfamily: Myrmicinae), which occur in ant- gardens throughout Amazonia. These two ants share a common nest but keep their brood in...

  10. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the economic and ecological importance of ants, genomic tools for this family (Formicidae remain woefully scarce. Knowledge of genome size, for example, is a useful and necessary prerequisite for the development of many genomic resources, yet it has been reported for only one ant species (Solenopsis invicta, and the two published estimates for this species differ by 146.7 Mb (0.15 pg. Results Here, we report the genome size for 40 species of ants distributed across 10 of the 20 currently recognized subfamilies, thus making Formicidae the 4th most surveyed insect family and elevating the Hymenoptera to the 5th most surveyed insect order. Our analysis spans much of the ant phylogeny, from the less derived Amblyoponinae and Ponerinae to the more derived Myrmicinae, Formicinae and Dolichoderinae. We include a number of interesting and important taxa, including the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile, Neotropical army ants (genera Eciton and Labidus, trapjaw ants (Odontomachus, fungus-growing ants (Apterostigma, Atta and Sericomyrmex, harvester ants (Messor, Pheidole and Pogonomyrmex, carpenter ants (Camponotus, a fire ant (Solenopsis, and a bulldog ant (Myrmecia. Our results show that ants possess small genomes relative to most other insects, yet genome size varies three-fold across this insect family. Moreover, our data suggest that two whole-genome duplications may have occurred in the ancestors of the modern Ectatomma and Apterostigma. Although some previous studies of other taxa have revealed a relationship between genome size and body size, our phylogenetically-controlled analysis of this correlation did not reveal a significant relationship. Conclusion This is the first analysis of genome size in ants (Formicidae and the first across multiple species of social insects. We show that genome size is a variable trait that can evolve gradually over long time spans, as well as rapidly, through processes that may

  11. The Ants Have It!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugherty, Belinda

    2001-01-01

    Uses the GEMS guide, "Ants at Home Underground", to explore the life of ants and teach about them in a classroom setting. The activity applies students' knowledge of ants and students learn about ant colonies, what ants eat, and how they live. (SAH)

  12. [Healing garden: Primary concept].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringuey-Criou, F

    2015-10-01

    Since ancient times the relationship between mankind and plants occupies medicine and philosophy. From the first tablets of herbal medicine to Asclepius gardens, those of cloisters and bimaristans to cosmological gardens in Asia, from the largest public park to asylum institutions of the nineteenth century, the garden is proposed as a place of care, a promoter of restoration of the human being. If the advent of technology and drugs have for a time relegated it to the level of empirical care, results in neuroscience ultimately provide it on a scientific basis. The early evolutionary theories, the Savanah theory from Orians, the biophilia hypothesis from Wilson, are relayed by the famous Ulrich' study showing the positive influence of a view of nature through the window on the recovery of in patients. Mechanisms leading stress regulation, level of attention and organisation, focus and fascination, are recognized at the origin of restoration processes. Human capacities to respond to the recuperating function of a natural environment connect to grounded behaviour for adaptation to natural selection process and survival. The mechanisms of our immune system are essential to maintain our vitality. Phyto-resonance, felt or unconsciously perceived in appearance, according to Shepard is an emotion that structures well beyond the archaic behaviour. Recovery, in terms of phenomenological experience of the presence, is a philosophical demonstration of the environmental i.e. multisensory, spatial and temporal approach. Its emotional and affective experience connects to the vitality and creativity. The phyto-resonance hypothesis according to the Konrad Neuberger's point of view induces strategies catering to all levels of the organisation of the human being. It confirms the multidisciplinary nature of hortitherapy and places the mechanism of relationships between man and plant at the centre of discipline. It is also a source of inspiration and inexhaustible work for caregivers

  13. Herbaria, gardens, organisations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    NN,

    1999-01-01

    Organizing Committee: Dr. B.J. Conn, Mr. L.A. Craven, Mr. J.R. Croft, Dr. A. Hay (cochair), Dr. R.P.J. de Kok, Dr. D.J. Mabberley, Dr. J.G. West (co-chair), Dr. P.G. Wilson. The Symposium & Mid-Conferences Tours will be held at and near the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney between 9-14 September 2001. T

  14. The Life of a Dead Ant : The Expression of an Adaptive Extended Phenotype

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andersen, Sandra B.; Gerritsma, Sylvia; Yusah, Kalsum M.; Mayntz, David; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.; Billen, Johan; Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Hughes, David P.

    2009-01-01

    Specialized parasites are expected to express complex adaptations to their hosts. Manipulation of host behavior is such an adaptation. We studied the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a locally specialized parasite of arboreal Camponotus leonardi ants. Ant-infecting Ophiocordyceps are known to mak

  15. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Name: Category: Share: Yes No, Keep Private Fire Ant Bites Share | Fire ants are aggressive, venomous insects that have pinching mandibles ... the United States, even into Puerto Rico. Fire ant stings usually occur on the feet or legs ...

  16. A Garden of Possibilities

    CERN Multimedia

    Carolyn Lee

    2010-01-01

    Renowned landscape architect and designer Charles Jencks recently visited CERN along with the architect of the Globe, Hervé Dessimoz, to investigate the possibility of creating a cosmic-inspired garden at the entrance to the Laboratory.   Left to right: Charles Jencks, Peter Higgs, Rolf Heuer in the garden of cosmic speculation. Photo credit: University of Edinburgh/Maverick photo agency Charles Jencks is a master at designing whimsical, intriguing outdoor spaces that hold a much deeper meaning than just an interesting view. His Garden of Cosmic Speculation at his home in Scotland uses designs recalling cosmic forces, DNA, organic cells, spirals of time, black holes and the Universe, made with landform, plants, sculpture and water to re-shape the natural landscape. One of the possible symbols for CERN that came to his mind was the cosmic uroborus, an ancient Egyptian symbol of a snake eating its own tail dating back to 1600 BC. “Many scientists have discussed this as a poss...

  17. Transcriptome of an entomophthoralean fungus (Pandora formicae) shows molecular machinery adjusted for successful host exploitation and transmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Małagocka, Joanna; Grell, Morten N.; Lange, Lene;

    2015-01-01

    Pandora formicae is an obligate entomopathogenic fungus from the phylum Entomophthoromycota, known to infect only ants from the genus Formica. In the final stages of infection, the fungus induces the so-called summit disease syndrome, manipulating the host to climb up vegetation prior to death an...

  18. White Fungus Soup

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1994-01-01

    Ingredients: two pieces of white fungus, a handful of Chinese wolfberry fruit, dates, dried longan, lotus seeds and peanuts. Directions: 1. Soak the dried fungus in water, remove the roots and then cook. 2. Steep the Chinese wolfberry fruit, dates, dried longan, lotus seeds and peanuts in water for a while.

  19. Humble Opinion of Roof Gardens

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANGXiaoxiao; MAQiangqiang; CAOXiaojun

    2005-01-01

    With the swift development of urban construction in China and the boost in people's demands for green environments in cities, roof gardens are widely used as a new way of greening. This paper deals chiefly with the functions, building principle, classification and composing elements of roof gardens, an analysis of main ecological factors, loads, and waterproof. It suggests that roof gardens will bring about a comparatively big leap in city greening both quantitatively and qualitatively.

  20. The Garden and the Machine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Thomas Juel

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to explore how the concepts of garden and machine might inform our understanding of the complex relationship between infrastructure and nature. The garden is introduced as a third nature and used to shed a critical light on the promotion of landscape ‘as’ infrastructure...... in relation to the environmental problems being addressed, and that we need gardens of reflection, interrogation and doubt, in order to engage with the deeper complexities of territorial transformations....

  1. THE GARDEN AND THE MACHINE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Thomas Juel

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to explore how the concepts of garden and machine might inform our understanding of the complex relationship between infrastructure and nature. The garden is introduced as a third nature and used to shed a critical light on the promotion of landscape as infrastructure...... in relation to the environmental problems being addressed, and that we need gardens of reflection, interrogation and doubt, in order to engage with the deeper complexities of territorial transformations....

  2. Backyard Gardens: Homegrown Hope for the Hungry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foegen, J. H.

    1983-01-01

    In times of world crisis, home gardens can become a precious resource. Discussed are: corporate and government gardens; gardens of necessity; threats to the food supply; and a new kind of soil bank. Resource organizations are listed. (NW)

  3. Gardening with Children: My Summers at Beanstalk Children's Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoecklin, Vicki L.

    2009-01-01

    There has been increased interest in recent years on gardening with children and a variety of programs have been started to support different types of programmatic goals. Goals of gardening programs include environmental stewardship, personal growth/social skills, an integrated learning environment, nutrition/health, science education, practical…

  4. Patterns of diversity and abundance of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini in areas of the Brazilian Cerrado Padrões de diversidade e abundância de formigas cultivadoras de fungo (Formicidade: Attini em áreas do Cerrado Brasileiro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heraldo L. Vasconcelos

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini are characteristic elements of the New World fauna. However, there is little information on the patterns of diversity, abundance, and distribution of attine species in their native ecosystems, especially for the so-called "lower" genera of the tribe. A survey of attine ant nests (excluding Atta Fabricus, 1804 and Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 was conducted in a variety of savanna and forest habitats of the Cerrado biome near Uberlândia, Brazil. In total, 314 nests from 21 species of nine genera were found. Trachymyrmex Forel, 1893 was the most diverse genus with 10 species. Eighteen species were found in the savannas, including Mycetagroicus cerradensis Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes, 2001, a species from a recently-described genus of Attini, whereas in the forests only 12 species were found. Forest and savannas support relatively distinct faunas, each with a number of unique species; the species present in the forest habitats did not represent a nested subset of the species found in the savannas. Furthermore, although many species were common to both types of vegetation, their abundances were quite different. The density of attine nests is relatively high at some sites, exceeding an estimated 4,000 nests per hectare. In this sense, attine ants can be regarded as prevalent invertebrate taxa in the Brazilian Cerrado.As formigas cultivadoras de fungos (tribo Attini são exclusivas da fauna do Novo Mundo. Entretanto, existem poucas informações sobre os padrões de diversidade, abundância e distribuição das espécies de Attini em seus ecossistemas nativos, em especial para os gêneros menos derivados desta tribo. Um levantamento de ninhos de Attini (excluindo Atta Fabricius, 1804 e Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 foi realizado em diversos ambientes savânicos e de floresta do bioma Cerrado próximos à Uberlândia, Brasil. Encontramos 314 ninhos de 21 espécies pertencentes a nove gêneros da tribo. Trachymyrmex Forel, 1893 foi o g

  5. Regulation and specificity of antifungal metapleural gland secretion in leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David R; Jensen, Annette B; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2012-10-22

    Ants have paired metapleural glands (MGs) to produce secretions for prophylactic hygiene. These exocrine glands are particularly well developed in leaf-cutting ants, but whether the ants can actively regulate MG secretion is unknown. In a set of controlled experiments using conidia of five fungi, we show that the ants adjust the amount of MG secretion to the virulence of the fungus with which they are infected. We further applied fixed volumes of MG secretion of ants challenged with constant conidia doses to agar mats of the same fungal species. This showed that inhibition halos were significantly larger for ants challenged with virulent and mild pathogens/weeds than for controls and Escovopsis-challenged ants. We conclude that the MG defence system of leaf-cutting ants has characteristics reminiscent of an additional cuticular immune system, with specific and non-specific components, of which some are constitutive and others induced.

  6. Garden Gnomes: Magical or Tacky?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynt, Deborah

    2012-01-01

    Garden gnomes: magical or tacky? Well, art is in the eye of the beholder, and for the author's advanced seventh-grade art class, garden gnomes are magical. Gnomes have a very long history, dating back to medieval times. A fairytale describes them as brownie-like creatures that are nocturnal helpers. In this article, the author describes how her…

  7. Evolutionarily advanced ant farmers rear polyploid fungal crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Aanen, D.K.; Schiøtt, Morten

    2015-01-01

    Innovative evolutionary developments are often related to gene or genome duplications. The crop fungi of attine fungus-growing ants are suspected to have enhanced genetic variation reminiscent of polyploidy, but this has never been quantified with cytological data and genetic markers. We estimated...... the number of nuclei per fungal cell for 42 symbionts reared by 14 species of Panamanian fungus-growing ants. This showed that domesticated symbionts of higher attine ants are polykaryotic with 7-17 nuclei per cell, whereas nonspecialized crops of lower attines are dikaryotic similar to most free......-living basidiomycete fungi. We then investigated how putative higher genetic diversity is distributed across polykaryotic mycelia, using microsatellite loci and evaluating models assuming that all nuclei are either heterogeneously haploid or homogeneously polyploid. Genetic variation in the polykaryotic symbionts...

  8. Social dynamics of garden biodiveristy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Lars Kjerulf

    2015-01-01

    Based on an empirical study in Copenhagen Denmark this article investigates the social dynamics of garden biodiversity. Is concern for biodiversity part of the engagements inherent in gardening practices, and are such engagements integrated in the embodied competences of garden owners? Drawing...... on and discussing the theoretical approaches applied in affordance theory, Tim Ingold’s dwelling perspective and practice theory the article asks whether humans only respond to practical, hands-on and personal experiences when they interact with the environment or if secondary and mediated experiences as well...... as abstract concerns may play a role. The article concludes that concern for biodiversity is not integrated in the current competences and common practices of garden owners but it is not completely alien to them either. It has a slumbering presence among the conceptions and ideals that are involved in garden...

  9. Modern garden delphiniums

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bassett, Shirley E.

    1990-12-01

    Full Text Available The characteristic features or modern English garden hybrid delphiniums are described. The development by Reinelt of the «Pacific» seed strain in America, and the successful introduction or red colours by Legro in Holland are discussed. The evolution of the tetraploid garden hybrid is considered in the light of species available to early breeders. The role of the Delphinium Society in the promotion of the flower and the encouragement or breeding programs is reviewed.

    [ca] Es descriuen les característiques dels delphiniums híbrids de jardí anglesos moderns. Es discuteix el desenvolupament de la raça de granes «Pacific» a Amèrica per Reinelt i l'èxit de la introducció de colors vermells a Holanda per Legro. L'evolució dels híbrids de jardineria tetraploides és considerada a la llum de les espècies que eren disponibles per als primers milloradors. Es revisa el paper de la Delphinium Society en la promoció de la flor i en la promoció dels programes de millora.

  10. Pressure Controlled Chemical Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, Megan R; Batista, Bruno C; Steinbock, Oliver

    2016-06-30

    The dissolution of metal salts in silicate solution can result in the growth of hollow precipitate tubes. These "chemical gardens" are a model of self-organization far from the equilibrium and create permanent macroscopic structures. The reproducibility of the growth process is greatly improved if the solid salt seed is replaced by a salt solution that is steadily injected by a pump; however, this modification of the original experiment eliminates the membrane-based osmotic pump at the base of conventional chemical gardens and does not allow for analyses in terms of the involved pressure. Here we describe a new experimental method that delivers the salt solution according to a controlled hydrostatic pressure. In one form of the experiment, this pressure slowly decreases as zinc sulfate solution flows into the silicate-containing reaction vessel, whereas a second version holds the respective solution heights constant. In addition to three known growth regimes (jetting, popping, budding), we observe single tubes that fill the vessel in a horizontally undulating but vertically layered fashion (crowding). The resulting, dried product has a cylindrical shape, very low density, and one continuous connection from top to bottom. We also present phase diagrams of these growth modes and show that the flow characteristics of our experiments follow a reaction-independent Hagen-Poiseuille equation.

  11. Tremella with Edible Fungus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    (Meiwei Shuang’er)Remove the tremella and edible fungus roots, clean and drain. Slice green peppers and carrots.Heat some oil in a wok, add tremella, edible fungus, green peppers and carrots, and clear stock, salt and sugar. Simmer for two minutes. Add MSG and pepper, remove to a plate, and serve.Features: Attractively black and white.Taste: Crisp and savory.

  12. The Child in the Garden: An Evaluative Review of the Benefits of School Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Dorothy

    2009-01-01

    Although educators widely use school gardens for experiential education, researchers have not systematically examined the evaluative literature on school-gardening outcomes. The author reviewed the U.S. literature on children's gardening, taking into account potential effects, school-gardening outcomes, teacher evaluations of gardens as learning…

  13. Involving Families and Community through Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starbuck, Sara; Olthof, Maria

    2008-01-01

    Gardens are complex and require a variety of skills. Gross- and fine-motor activities, science concepts, language and literacy development, math, and community involvement are all part of the preschool gardening project the authors describe. They list gardening books for children and suggest container gardens for urban school settings. The authors…

  14. Gardens of paradise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Wille, S

    2001-06-01

    Two hundred and fifty years ago, the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) published his Philosophia botanica. This textbook in botanical science was widely read well into the 19th century. Today it is remembered mainly for two things: the introduction of binomial nomenclature and the formulation of a fixist and creationist species concept. While the former achievement is seen as a practical tool, still applicable for purposes of identification and information retrieval, the latter is usually deemed to have been one of the main obstacles to scientific progress in biology. That both achievements were not independent of each other, but interlocked theoretically and grounded in a specific scientific practice still thriving today--the collection of plant specimens in botanical gardens--is usually overlooked. The following article tries to uncover these connections and to demonstrate the significance that Linnaeus' achievements had for modern biology.

  15. A Brazilian social bee must cultivate fungus to survive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menezes, Cristiano; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Marsaioli, Anita Jocelyne; Zampieri, Davila; Fontoura, Isabela Cardoso; Luchessi, Augusto Ducati; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia

    2015-11-02

    The nests of social insects provide suitable microenvironments for many microorganisms as they offer stable environmental conditions and a rich source of food [1-4]. Microorganisms in turn may provide several benefits to their hosts, such as nutrients and protection against pathogens [1, 4-6]. Several examples of symbiosis between social insects and microorganisms have been found in ants and termites. These symbioses have driven the evolution of complex behaviors and nest structures associated with the culturing of the symbiotic microorganisms [5, 7, 8]. However, while much is known about these relationships in many species of ants and termites, symbiotic relationships between microorganisms and social bees have been poorly explored [3, 4, 9, 10]. Here, we report the first case of an obligatory relationship between the Brazilian stingless bee Scaptotrigona depilis and a fungus of the genus Monascus (Ascomycotina). Fungal mycelia growing on the provisioned food inside the brood cell are eaten by the larva. Larvae reared in vitro on sterilized larval food supplemented with fungal mycelia had a much higher survival rate (76%) compared to larvae reared under identical conditions but without fungal mycelia (8% survival). The fungus was found to originate from the material from which the brood cells are made. Since the bees recycle and transport this material between nests, fungus would be transferred to newly built cells and also to newly founded nests. This is the first report of a fungus cultivation mutualism in a social bee.

  16. Biomedical exploitation of the fungus-growing ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael

    2010-01-01

    There is a constant need for discovering novel sources of compounds with antimicrobial properties, and recent studies support that symbiotic associations involving chemically mediated interactions may be a prominent source of novel compound discovery. Here I review a particularly promising natura...... the process of natural product discovery of biomedical interest....

  17. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A.

    2013-01-01

    colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when...

  18. Exploitation Strategies in Social Parasites of Fungus Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clement, Janni Dolby

    to increase its own fitness. The host will use a sophisticated recognition system in order to accept nestmates and expel intruders from their societies. However this defence barrier can be overcome by parasites. Among the most specialized social parasites are the inquilines that exploit social insect colonies...... of the host colony. The parasite distribute itself where it is most advantageous and where manipulation and host control could be archived most efficiently. We conduct experiments showing that parasite gynes (female reproductive individuals), unlike the host, would not perform worker related behaviours......-parasitized colonies. Finally we investigate the reproductive competition between polygynous parasite queens and discuss the potential for hyperparasitism...

  19. Soundscape of classical Chinese garden

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    With deep humanized connotation,the classical Chinese garden uses human intuitive sensation and personal poetic observation to express natural sound phenomena.It differs from the rational modern soundscape in western countries.

  20. Novel fungal disease in complex leaf-cutting ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, David Peter; Evans, Harry C.; Hywel-Jones, Nigel

    2009-01-01

    1. The leaf-cutting ants practise an advanced system of mycophagy where they grow a fungus as a food source. As a consequence of parasite threats to their crops, they have evolved a system of morphological, behavioural, and chemical defences, particularly against fungal pathogens (mycopathogens). 2....... Specific fungal diseases of the leaf-cutting ants themselves have not been described, possibly because broad spectrum anti-fungal defences against mycopathogens have reduced their susceptibility to entomopathogens. 3. Using morphological and molecular tools, the present study documents three rare infection...... among the five host ants, the ability of Ophiocordyceps to shift between such distant hosts is remarkable; the results are discussed in the context of ant ecological immunology and fungal invasion strategies....

  1. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular biological techniques are dramatically changing our view of microbial diversity in almost any environment that has so far been investigated. This study presents a systematic survey of the microbial diversity associated with a population of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants. In contrast to previous studies on social insects, which targeted specific groups of symbionts occurring in the gut (termites, Tetraponera ants or in specialised cells (Camponotus ants the objective of our present study was to do a total screening of all possible micro-organisms that can be found inside the bodies of these leafcutter ants. Results We amplified, cloned and sequenced SSU rRNA encoding gene fragments from 9 microbial groups known to have insect-associated representatives, and show that: (1 representatives of 5 out of 9 tested groups are present, (2 mostly several strains per group are present, adding up to a total of 33 different taxa. We present the microbial taxa associated with Acromymex ants in a phylogenetic context (using sequences from GenBank to assess and illustrate to which known microorganisms they are closely related. The observed microbial diversity is discussed in the light of present knowledge on the evolutionary history of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants and their known mutualistic and parasitic symbionts. Conclusions The major merits of the screening approach documented here is its high sensitivity and specificity, which allowed us to identify several microorganisms that are promising candidates for further study of their interactions with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants or their gardens.

  2. Is the postpharyngeal gland of a solitary digger wasp homologous to ants? Evidence from chemistry and physiology

    OpenAIRE

    Strohm, E.; Kaltenpoth, M.; Herzner, G.

    2010-01-01

    The postpharyngeal gland (PPG) was thought to be restricted to ants where it serves a crucial function in the generation of the colony odour. Recently, head glands that closely resemble the PPG of ants were discovered in females of a solitary digger wasp, the European beewolf. The function of this gland necessarily differs from ants: beewolf females apply the secretion of their PPG onto the bodies of paralysed honeybees that serve as larval provisions in order to delay fungus growth. Since an...

  3. Antibiotic Resistance and Fungus

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2017-02-28

    Dr. David Denning, President of the Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections and an infectious diseases clinician, discusses antimicrobial resistance and fungus.  Created: 2/28/2017 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 2/28/2017.

  4. High diversity and low specificity of chaetothyrialean fungi in carton galleries in a neotropical ant-plant association.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximilian Nepel

    Full Text Available New associations have recently been discovered between arboreal ants that live on myrmecophytic plants, and different groups of fungi. Most of the - usually undescribed - fungi cultured by the ants belong to the order Chaetothyriales (Ascomycetes. Chaetothyriales occur in the nesting spaces provided by the host plant, and form a major part of the cardboard-like material produced by the ants for constructing nests and runway galleries. Until now, the fungi have been considered specific to each ant species. We focus on the three-way association between the plant Tetrathylacium macrophyllum (Salicaceae, the ant Azteca brevis (Formicidae: Dolichoderinae and various chaetothyrialean fungi. Azteca brevis builds extensive runway galleries along branches of T. macrophyllum. The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae. In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences. This gave 128 different fungal genotypes, 78% of which were clustered into three monophyletic groups. The most common fungus (either genotype or approximate species-level OTU was found in the runway galleries of 63% of the investigated ant colonies. This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

  5. The Role of Symbiont Genetic Distance and Potential Adaptability in Host Preference Towards Pseudonocardia Symbionts in Acromyrmex Leaf-Cutting Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Maynard, Janielle; Roland, Damien L; Currie, Cameron R

    2011-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants display symbiont preference in behavioral assays, both towards the fungus they cultivate for food and Actinobacteria they maintain on their cuticle for antibiotic production against parasites. These Actinobacteria, genus Pseudonocardia Henssen (Pseudonocardiacea: Actinomycetales), help defend the ants’ fungal mutualist from specialized parasites. In Acromyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) leaf-cutting ants, individual colonies maintain either a single or a few strains of...

  6. The role of symbiont genetic distance and potential adaptability in host preference towards Pseudonocardia symbionts in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Maynard, Janielle; Roland, Damien L.;

    2011-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants display symbiont preference in behavioral assays, both towards the fungus they cultivate for food and Actinobacteria they maintain on their cuticle for antibiotic production against parasites. These Actinobacteria, genus Pseudonocardia Henssen (Pseudonocardiacea: Actinomycetales...... with two non-native strains, elucidating the role of genetic distance on preference between strains and Pseudonocardia origin. Our findings suggest that ants tend to prefer bacteria more closely related to their native bacterium and that genetic similarity is probably more important than whether symbionts...

  7. China's first Australian Garden opens in Guangzhou

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    @@ The opening for the Australian Garden was jointly held by the BHP Billiton China and the CAS South China Botanical Garden (SCBG) in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province on 18 January.

  8. Myriad botanical garden blossoming in southwest China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    @@ High scientific significances and economic returns have been reaped by the Myriad Botanical Garden (MBG), a joint initiative between CAS and Yunnan Province for ex situ plant preservation at the CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG).

  9. Entomopathogens Isolated from Invasive Ants and Tests of Their Pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Fernanda Miori de Zarzuela

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Some ant species cause severe ecological and health impact in urban areas. Many attempts have been tested to control such species, although they do not always succeed. Biological control is an alternative to chemical control and has gained great prominence in research, and fungi and nematodes are among the successful organisms controlling insects. This study aimed to clarify some questions regarding the biological control of ants. Invasive ant species in Brazil had their nests evaluated for the presence of entomopathogens. Isolated entomopathogens were later applied in colonies of Monomorium floricola under laboratory conditions to evaluate their effectiveness and the behavior of the ant colonies after treatment. The entomopathogenic nematodes Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp. and the fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Paecilomyces sp. were isolated from the invasive ant nests. M. floricola colonies treated with Steinernema sp. and Heterorhabditis sp. showed a higher mortality of workers than control. The fungus Beauveria bassiana caused higher mortality of M. floricola workers. However, no colony reduction or elimination was observed in any treatment. The defensive behaviors of ants, such as grooming behavior and colony budding, must be considered when using fungi and nematodes for biological control of ants.

  10. Shikina Garden in Image and Text

    OpenAIRE

    Farrokh, Shayesteh; Meghan, ,Kuckelman; ファロック, シャイヤステ; メーガン, クックルマン; 名桜大学国際学群

    2015-01-01

    This representational expression of Okinawa's Shikina Garden is an interdisciplinary project that will be completed over the next few years, after which it will be exhibited and published. The initial idea for the project, which will combine visual representation with an extensive introduction of the garden in English, began to take shape during Farrokh Shayesteh's research on the garden's design aspects, which incorporate both Japanese and Chinese influences. Although Shikina Garden was desi...

  11. Produce Your Own: A Community Gardening Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, JoLynn; Arnold, Shannon

    2012-01-01

    Many County Extension offices offer an adult Master Gardener Program, which includes advanced gardening training, short courses, newsletters, and conferences. However, with the comprehensive training provided comes a large time commitment. The Produce Your Own program was created to introduce adults to gardening in a similar manner, but with…

  12. What's Cooking in America's Schoolyard Gardens?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salter, Cathy

    2010-01-01

    This article discusses what's cooking in America's schoolyard gardens. From First Lady Michelle Obama's world-famous Kitchen Garden, to Alice Waters' groundbreaking Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California, to a nationally recognized elementary school learning garden in the small Midwestern town of Ashland, Missouri, school children are planting…

  13. Our Friendship Gardens: Healing Our Mother, Ourselves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Madhu Suri

    2015-01-01

    Embracing the best ideals of Victory Gardens, this essay celebrates Friendship Gardens. The latter go further: collapsing the dualisms separating victors from losers. Friendships that transcend differences and honor diversity are among the many fruits and organic gifts harvested and shared in the commons created by Friendship Gardens. This essay…

  14. Food Safety For School and Community Gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Boyer, Renee Raiden; Chapman, Benjamin

    2013-01-01

    This document outlines the recommended agricultural practices for food safety in school and community gardens. Topics include food safety, site selection, pesticides and fertilizers, handwashing, water and irrigation, composting, garden design and animals, sanitation and tools, sample layout for a community garden, FAQ, and a glossary.

  15. The Children's Garden Project at River Farm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heffernan, Maureen

    1994-01-01

    A national children's gardening symposium was held August 12-14, 1993, to enable educators of grades K through 8 to begin or improve gardening programs for children. Discusses some of the conference results and describes 12 model gardens for both recreational and educational purposes at school, backyard, and community sites. (LZ)

  16. Urban domestic gardens: the effects of human interventions on garden composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loram, Alison; Warren, Philip; Thompson, Ken; Gaston, Kevin

    2011-10-01

    Private domestic gardens contribute substantially to the biodiversity of urban areas and benefit human health and well-being. We previously reported a study of 267 gardens across five cities in the United Kingdom in which variation in geographical and climatic factors had little bearing on the richness, diversity and composition of plant species. We therefore hypothesise that garden management is an important factor in determining garden characteristics. Here, from the same sample of gardens, we investigate potential associations between the uses to which people put their gardens, the types of management activities they undertake, and the characteristics of those gardens. Householders (n = 265) completed a questionnaire detailing various aspects of garden use and management activities. The majority of respondents used their gardens chiefly for relaxation, recreation, and eating. Fewer than one fifth included "gardening" amongst their garden uses even though all performed some garden management, suggesting that not all management activity resulted from an interest in gardening. Garden-watering and lawn-mowing were the most prevalent activities and were predictors of other types of management including weeding, vegetation-cutting, leaf-collection, and dead-heading flowers. A number of these activities were associated with one another, the richness and composition of plant species, and the number of land uses in gardens. However, relationships between management activities and the amount of tall vegetation were less consistent, and garden management appeared to be independent of garden area. More species of amphibians, birds, and mammals were observed in gardens with ponds and in which efforts were made to attract wildlife, particularly by providing drinking water. This study supports the hypothesis that garden use and management is associated with garden characteristics.

  17. The tobacco gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Rovetto

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In 2008 it was closed and dismantled the spectacular Duke Gar­dens near Princeton University. They were created by the famous heiress Doris Duke, in honor of her father, James Buchanan Duke. This last gentleman caused 100-million deaths during the 20th century. The gardens mentioned demonstrated, perhaps trivially, what was stated by philosopher Walter Benjamin: There has never been a document of culture, which is not simultaneously one of barbarism”. “Buck” Duke was the inventor of the modern cigarette. By the end of the 20th century, this astute manufacturer entered the instantly ready-to-smoke tobacco market (without having to roll in small pieces of paper or cut off the cigarette tips with the automated production of cigarettes. Without a cigarette maker like Carmen from opera by Bizet who rolled a maximum of 200 cigarettes per day, the machine he perfected with a mechanic named Bonsack produced 120,000 “cigarettes” during the same time. Thereby, rea­ching a oversupply that had to be sold – creating a demand for it. The solution was cigarette marketing and advertising. These were placed in restaurants, bars, and cigar stores; thus, making them an important part of the worker’s period of rest and dining. Although, in principle, they were associated to women of free morals (“Smo­king is a great sensual pleasure. While smoking, I a wait for the man I love …” sang Sarita Montiel in the 1950s in a stroke of clever advertising these were transformed into symbols of women’s libe­ration. Toward the late 1920s, young women were seen marching and brandishing their freedom torches, the cigarettes. During the two world wars, cigarettes were distributed to hundreds of thou­sands of soldiers as part of their daily nutritional ration. During the immediate post-war, packs of Camel and Lucky Strike were the most used Exchange currency in Europe. With all these publi­city maneuvers, Mr. Duke and his partners have caused, as we al

  18. An Experience in Froebel's Garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Elizabeth S.

    1990-01-01

    Describes the activities of a classroom teacher and her students at Addison Gardens British Nursery School in London, England, which was influenced by, and incorporated the tenets of, Friedrich Froebel's educational philosophy of children's learning. Discusses the application of Froebel's principles to art education. (BB)

  19. Edinburgh doctors and their physic gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, D

    2008-12-01

    Edinburgh has had eight physic gardens on different sites since its first one was created by the Incorporation of Barbers and Surgeons in 1656. As the gardens grew in size, they evolved from herb gardens to botanic gardens with small herbaria for the supply of medical herbs. They were intended for the instruction of medical, surgical and apothecary students and, in the case of the physicians, to demonstrate the need for a physicians' college and a pharmacopoeia. Some of the doctors in charge of them were equally famous and influential in botany as in medicine, and while Edinburgh Town Council enjoyed the fame the gardens brought to the city it was parsimonious and slow to support its botanical pioneers. The gardens are celebrated today in the Sibbald Garden within the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

  20. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A.P.M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N.C.; Groenewald, J.Z.; Crous, P.W.; Pagnocca, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus Xenope

  1. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A. P. M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N. C.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Crous, Pedro W.; Pagnocca, F. C.

    2016-01-01

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus Xenope

  2. Antimicrobial properties of nest volatiles in red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (hymenoptera: formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Elliott, Brad; Jin, Xixuan; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-12-01

    The antimicrobial property of volatiles produced by red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, against Beauveria bassiana, a common entomopathogenic fungus, was demonstrated. The germination rate of B. bassiana spores was significantly reduced after they were exposed to volatiles within an artificial ant nest. Since the air that contained the same level of O2 and CO2 as that in artificial fire ant nests did not suppress the germination rate of B. bassiana, the observed reduction of germination rate must be caused by the toxicity of nest volatiles. Nest fumigation may be an important component of the social immune system in S. invicta.

  3. Variación espacial y temporal de la diversidad de hormigas en el Jardín Botánico del valle de Zapotitlán de las Salinas, Puebla Spatial and temporal variation of the diversity ants in the Botanic Garden from Zapotitlán de las Salinas Valley, Puebla

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Guzmán-Mendoza

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Debido al escaso conocimiento que se tiene de las hormigas de las zonas áridas de México, se evaluó la biodiversidad de este taxón en el Jardín Botánico de Zapotitlán de las Salinas, Puebla. Se realizaron 2 colectas, una en época de lluvias (agosto de 2004 y otra en la temporada de secas (febrero de 2005. En ambas ocasiones se seleccionaron 2 sitios contrastantes en estructura vegetal y se colocaron 10 trampas de caída para cada sitio. La captura fue más abundante en temporada de lluvias. El sitio con menor diversidad y cobertura vegetal mostró una mayor diversidad de hormigas durante el estudio. Comparado con otras zonas áridas de México, el valle de Zapotitlán de las Salinas resultó ser una de las zonas semiáridas con mayor riqueza en especies de hormigas; con 12 nuevos registros se incrementó a 27 el número de especies, sólo una por debajo de otras localidades cercanas al valle. Los datos sugieren que con un mayor esfuerzo de muestreo y la aplicación combinada de otras técnicas de recolección, la riqueza de especies en el área podría elevarse considerablemente.The knowledge about ants of arid zones of Mexico is very poor. For this reason we assessed the biodiversity of this taxon in 2 sites with different vegetation structure. Ten pitfall traps were placed in each site, and 2 surveys were conducted, 1 in August (rainy season, 2004 and another in February (dry season, 2005. The capture was more abundant in the rainy season; however, during the study, a higher ant diversity was observed in the site with low vegetation cover and few plant diversity. Compared with other arid zones of Mexico, the Zapotitlán de las Salinas Valley is the site with the highest ant species richness. The new records have increased richness to 27 ant species, which is very close to the number of species registered in other localities near Zapotitlan. Our data suggest that increasing sampling effort and application of different sampling

  4. Ants in Tropical Urban Habitats: The Myrmecofauna in a Densely Populated Area of Bogor, West Java, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AKHMAD RIZALI

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Ants are the most abundant animals in tropical habitats and have been widely studied in natural and semi-natural tropical systems. However, species in urban tropical habitats remain poorly studied, despite their abundance and potentially important roles in urban ecosystems and pest dynamics. We investigated the ant fauna of Bogor and its surroundings to contribute to the characterization of the myrmecofauna of one of Southeast Asia’s most densely populated regions. Ants were collected both by hand collection and from honey baits in the most common habitats: garbage dumps, households, and home gardens. In total, 94 species were recorded, over two thirds of which occurred in home gardens, which underlines the importance of vegetated habitats for urban planning to support complex ant assemblages. Twelve sampled species are well-known as tramp species that occur primarily in human-dominated landscapes. The two tramp species Anoplolepis gracilipes and Paratrechina longicornis dominated ant assemblages in all locations and most habitat types. The assemblages of tramp species were affected by habitat type, whereas that of non tramp species were not. Forty-five species were also recorded in the Bogor Botanical Garden and five species are also known to be common in cacao agroforests. Hence, research in urban tropical habitats can increase our knowledge of the occurrence of ant species, allowing us to better assess the biodiversity and conservation potential of semi-natural habitats.

  5. Alkaloid venom weaponry of three Megalomyrmex thief ants and the behavioral response of Cyphomyrmex costatus host ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Jones, Tappey H; Longino, John T; Weatherford, Robert G; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-04-01

    Social parasites exploit other societies by invading and stealing resources. Some enter protected nests using offensive chemical weaponry made from alkaloid-based venom. We characterized the venoms of three Megalomyrmex thief ant species (M. mondabora, M. mondaboroides, and M. silvestrii) that parasitize the fungus-growing ants, and developed an ethogram to describe host ant reactions to raiding M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii parasites. We compared piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrolizidine venom alkaloid structures with synthetic samples from previous studies, and describe the novel stereochemistry of trans 2-hexyl-5-[8-oxononyl]-pyrrolidine (3) from M. mondabora. We showed that workers of Cyphomyrmex costatus, the host of M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii, react to a sting by Megalomyrmex parasites mainly with submissive behavior, playing dead or retreating. Host submission also followed brief antennal contact. The behavior of C. costatus ants observed in this study was similar to that of Cyphomyrmex cornutus, host of M. mondabora, suggesting that the alkaloidal venoms with pyrrolidines from M. mondabora, piperidines from M. mondaboroides, and pyrolizidines from M. silvestrii may function similarly as appeasement and repellent allomones against host ants, despite their different chemical structure. With the use of these chemical weapons, the Megalomyrmex thief ants are met with little host resistance and easily exploit host colony resources.

  6. Species-specific seed dispersal in an obligate ant-plant mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

    Full Text Available Throughout lowland Amazonia, arboreal ants collect seeds of specific plants and cultivate them in nutrient-rich nests, forming diverse yet obligate and species-specific symbioses called Neotropical ant-gardens (AGs. The ants depend on their symbiotic plants for nest stability, and the plants depend on AGs for substrate and nutrients. Although the AGs are limited to specific participants, it is unknown at what stage specificity arises, and seed fate pathways in AG epiphytes are undocumented. Here we examine the specificity of the ant-seed interaction by comparing the ant community observed at general food baits to ants attracted to and removing seeds of the AG plant Peperomia macrostachya. We also compare seed removal rates under treatments that excluded vertebrates, arthropods, or both. In the bait study, only three of 70 ant species collected P. macrostachya seeds, and 84% of observed seed removal by ants was attributed to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. In the exclusion experiment, arthropod exclusion significantly reduced seed removal rates, but vertebrate exclusion did not. We provide the most extensive empirical evidence of species specificity in the AG mutualism and begin to quantify factors that affect seed fate in order to understand conditions that favor its departure from the typical diffuse model of plant-animal mutualism.

  7. Oscillations of a chemical garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantaleone, J.; Toth, A.; Horvath, D.; Rother McMahan, J.; Smith, R.; Butki, D.; Braden, J.; Mathews, E.; Geri, H.; Maselko, J.

    2008-04-01

    When soluble metal salts are placed in a silicate solution, chemical gardens grow. These gardens are treelike structures formed of long, thin, hollow tubes. Here we study one particular case: a calcium nitrate pellet in a solution of sodium trisilicate. We observe that tube growth results from a relaxation oscillation. The average period and the average growth rate are approximately constant for most of the structures growth. The period does fluctuate from cycle to cycle, with the oscillation amplitude proportional to the period. Based on our observations, we develop a model of the relaxation oscillations which calculates the average oscillation period and the average tube radius in terms of fundamental membrane parameters. We also propose a model for the average tube growth rate. Predictions are made for future experiments.

  8. The first mesozoic ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, E O; Carpenter, F M; Brown, W L

    1967-09-01

    Two worker ants preserved in amber of Upper Cretaceous age have been found in New Jersey. They are the first undisputed remains of social insects of Mesozoic age, extending the existence of social life in insects back to approximately 100 million years. They are also the earliest known fossils that can be assigned with certainty to aculeate Hymenoptera. The species, Sphecomyrma freyi, is considered to represent a new subfamily (Sphecomyrminae), more primitive than any previously known ant group. It forms a near-perfect link between certain nonsocial tiphiid wasps and the most primitive myrmecioid ants.

  9. The Force of Gardening: Investigating Children's Learning in a Food Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Monica; Duhn, Iris

    2015-01-01

    School gardens are becoming increasingly recognised as important sites for learning and for bringing children into relationship with food. Despite the well-known educational and health benefits of gardening, children's interactions with the non-human entities and forces within garden surroundings are less understood and examined in the wider…

  10. Perceived Effects of Community Gardening in Lower Mississippi Delta Gardening Participants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landry, Alicia S.; Chittendon, Nikki; Coker, Christine E. H.; Weiss, Caitlin

    2015-01-01

    This article describes the perceived physical and psychological health impacts of community gardening on participants in the Mississippi Delta. Themes identified include the use of gardening as an educational tool and as a means to increase self-efficacy and responsibility for personal and community health. Additional benefits of gardening as…

  11. Multicultural School Gardens: Creating Engaging Garden Spaces in Learning about Language, Culture, and Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutter-Mackenzie, Amy

    2009-01-01

    Children's gardening programs have enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years. An Australian environmental education non-profit organization implemented a program, entitled Multicultural Schools Gardens, in disadvantaged (low-income) schools that used food gardening as a focus for implementing a culturally-focused environmental education…

  12. School Gardens – Cultivating Children's Well-being and Social Skills: Effects of The Danish School Garden Program Gardens for Bellies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wistoft, Karen; Dyg, Pernille Malberg

    2016-01-01

    This article examines the effect on the so-called "Gardens for Bellies" school gardens program on pupils’ wellbeing and social relations. The research is based on explorative case study research involving 5 cases under the Gardens for Bellies school garden program in Denmark. The research shows...... that the school garden program promotes pupils' desire to learn and social relations. Successful experiences, the open space in the gardens and a different way of learning and working together, promote pupils' wellbeing. The recognition by teachers, garden educators and classmates also enhances pupils' wellbeing...

  13. Specificity and transmission mosaic of ant nest-wall fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C; Steiner, Florian M; Konrad, Heino; Seifert, Bernhard; Christian, Erhard; Moder, Karl; Stauffer, Christian; Crozier, Ross H

    2008-01-22

    Mutualism, whereby species interact to their mutual benefit, is extraordinary in a competitive world. To recognize general patterns of origin and maintenance from the plethora of mutualistic associations proves a persisting challenge. The simplest situation is believed to be that of a single mutualist specific to a single host, vertically transmitted from one host generation to the next. We characterized ascomycete fungal associates cultured for nest architecture by the ant subgenera Dendrolasius and Chthonolasius. The ants probably manage their fungal mutualists by protecting them against fungal competitors. The ant subgenera display different ant-to-fungus specificity patterns, one-to-two and many-to-one, and we infer vertical transmission, in the latter case overlaid by horizontal transmission. Possible evolutionary trajectories include a reversal from fungiculture by other Lasius subgenera and inheritance of fungi through life cycle interactions of the ant subgenera. The mosaic indicates how specificity patterns can be shaped by an interplay between host life-cycles and transmission adaptations.

  14. Social prophylaxis: group interaction promotes collective immunity in ant colonies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line V; Cremer, Sylvia

    2007-01-01

    Life in a social group increases the risk of disease transmission. To counteract this threat, social insects have evolved manifold antiparasite defenses, ranging from social exclusion of infected group members to intensive care. It is generally assumed that individuals performing hygienic behaviors...... risk infecting themselves, suggesting a high direct cost of helping. Our work instead indicates the opposite for garden ants. Social contact with individual workers, which were experimentally exposed to a fungal parasite, provided a clear survival benefit to nontreated, naive group members upon later...... challenge with the same parasite. This first demonstration of contact immunity in Social Hymenoptera and complementary results from other animal groups and plants suggest its general importance in both antiparasite and antiherbivore defense. In addition to this physiological prophylaxis of adult ants...

  15. Designed Natural Spaces: Informal Gardens Are Perceived to Be More Restorative than Formal Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twedt, Elyssa; Rainey, Reuben M; Proffitt, Dennis R

    2016-01-01

    Experimental research shows that there are perceived and actual benefits to spending time in natural spaces compared to urban spaces, such as reduced cognitive fatigue, improved mood, and reduced stress. Whereas past research has focused primarily on distinguishing between distinct categories of spaces (i.e., nature vs. urban), less is known about variability in perceived restorative potential of environments within a particular category of outdoor spaces, such as gardens. Conceptually, gardens are often considered to be restorative spaces and to contain an abundance of natural elements, though there is great variability in how gardens are designed that might impact their restorative potential. One common practice for classifying gardens is along a spectrum ranging from "formal or geometric" to "informal or naturalistic," which often corresponds to the degree to which built or natural elements are present, respectively. In the current study, we tested whether participants use design informality as a cue to predict perceived restorative potential of different gardens. Participants viewed a set of gardens and rated each on design informality, perceived restorative potential, naturalness, and visual appeal. Participants perceived informal gardens to have greater restorative potential than formal gardens. In addition, gardens that were more visually appealing and more natural-looking were perceived to have greater restorative potential than less visually appealing and less natural gardens. These perceptions and precedents are highly relevant for the design of gardens and other similar green spaces intended to provide relief from stress and to foster cognitive restoration.

  16. Exercise intensities of gardening tasks within older adult allotment gardeners in Wales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Jemma L; Smith, Alexander; Backx, Karianne; Clayton, Deborah A

    2015-04-01

    Previous research has suggested that gardening activity could be an effective form of regular exercise for improving physical and psychological health in later life. However, there is a lack of data regarding the exercise intensities of various gardening tasks across different types of gardening and different populations. The purpose of this study was to examine the exercise intensity of gardening activity for older adult allotment gardeners in Wales, United Kingdom following a similar procedure used in previous studies conducted in the United States and South Korea by Park and colleagues (2008a; 2011). Oxygen consumption (VO2) and energy expenditure for six gardening tasks were measured via indirect calorimetery using the portable Oxycon mobile device. From these measures, estimated metabolic equivalent units (METs) were calculated. Consistent with Park et al. (2008a; 2011) the six gardening tasks were classified as low to moderate-high intensity physical activities based on their metabolic values (1.9-5.7 METs).

  17. "The Secret Garden": A Literary Journey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Anne Devereaux

    1998-01-01

    Outlines the life of Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of "The Secret Garden." Argues that it not only tells an enthralling tale, but takes readers on a journey through the history of English literature. Discusses the gothic tradition and romanticism of "The Secret Garden." Lists classic elements in the book and offers five ideas…

  18. School Gardens: Raising Environmental Awareness in Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brynjegard, Shira

    This paper explores the reasons for gardens and natural spaces on school campuses and the effects that such exposure to the natural world has on the students. Blending case studies, observational data, and personal experience, the paper discusses the impacts a garden has on the students who participate in it. During the evolution from rough…

  19. School Food Gardens: Fertile Ground for Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beery, Moira; Adatia, Rachel; Segantin, Orsola; Skaer, Chantal-Fleur

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to respond to food insecurity and environmental sustainability through school food gardens in Johannesburg, South Africa. Design/Methodology/Approach: Permaculture is a method of organic agriculture where the garden design maintains a stable and productive ecosystem, mimicking natural processes and thereby…

  20. Teaching through Trade Books: Growing a Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royce, Christine Anne

    2008-01-01

    Many people look forward to planting their own garden and enjoying its fruitage throughout the summer months. Gardening can be an excellent learning experience in many ways because it offers opportunities to learn about plants and to observe changes over time. This column focuses on a long-term project of understanding plant growth and planting…

  1. Roots and Research in Urban School Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaylie, Veronica

    2011-01-01

    This book explores the urban school garden as a bridge between environmental action and thought. As a small-scale response to global issues around access to food and land, urban school gardens promote practical knowledge of farming as well as help renew cultural ideals of shared space and mutual support for the organic, built environment. Through…

  2. Growing Healing One Garden at a Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashman, Julann

    2016-01-01

    Evidence exists regarding the effect of horticultural therapy on improving human well-being, including promotion of overall health and quality of life, physical strength, and cardiac function. This article shares how a nurse created a healing garden at Lourdes Hospital, where she works. Resource information about therapeutic gardens is included.

  3. Kitchen Gardens: Contexts for Developing Proportional Reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Annette; Hilton, Geoff; Dole, Shelley; Goos, Merrilyn; O'Brien, Mia

    2013-01-01

    It is great to see how the sharing of ideas sparks new ideas. In 2011 Lyon and Bragg wrote an "Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom" (APMC) article on the mathematics of kitchen gardens. In this article the authors show how the kitchen garden may be used as a starting point for proportional reasoning. The authors highlight different…

  4. I Love A School Garden Of English

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘丹

    2004-01-01

    A School Garden Of English is my best friend.Three years ago, when I was a junior middleschool student, my English was so poor that Ialways failed in tests. One day by chance,I saw a copy of A School Garden Of English in the school library. I took it

  5. Repeated evolution of crop theft in fungus-farming ambrosia beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulcr, Jiri; Cognato, Anthony I

    2010-11-01

    Ambrosia beetles, dominant wood degraders in the tropics, create tunnels in dead trees and employ gardens of symbiotic fungi to extract nutrients from wood. Specificity of the beetle-fungus relationship has rarely been examined, and simple vertical transmission of a specific fungal cultivar by each beetle species is often assumed in literature. We report repeated evolution of fungal crop stealing, termed mycocleptism, among ambrosia beetles. The mycocleptic species seek brood galleries of other species, and exploit their established fungal gardens by tunneling through the ambient mycelium-laden wood. Instead of carrying their own fungal sybmbionts, mycocleptae depend on adopting the fungal assemblages of their host species, as shown by an analysis of fungal DNA from beetle galleries. The evidence for widespread horizontal exchange of fungi between beetles challenges the traditional concept of ambrosia fungi as species-specific symbionts. Fungus stealing appears to be an evolutionarily successful strategy. It evolved independently in several beetle clades, two of which have radiated, and at least one case was accompanied by a loss of the beetles' fungus-transporting organs. We demonstrate this using the first robust phylogeny of one of the world's largest group of ambrosia beetles, Xyleborini.

  6. Record dynamics in ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O Richardson

    Full Text Available The success of social animals (including ourselves can be attributed to efficiencies that arise from a division of labour. Many animal societies have a communal nest which certain individuals must leave to perform external tasks, for example foraging or patrolling. Staying at home to care for young or leaving to find food is one of the most fundamental divisions of labour. It is also often a choice between safety and danger. Here we explore the regulation of departures from ant nests. We consider the extreme situation in which no one returns and show experimentally that exiting decisions seem to be governed by fluctuating record signals and ant-ant interactions. A record signal is a new 'high water mark' in the history of a system. An ant exiting the nest only when the record signal reaches a level it has never perceived before could be a very effective mechanism to postpone, until the last possible moment, a potentially fatal decision. We also show that record dynamics may be involved in first exits by individually tagged ants even when their nest mates are allowed to re-enter the nest. So record dynamics may play a role in allocating individuals to tasks, both in emergencies and in everyday life. The dynamics of several complex but purely physical systems are also based on record signals but this is the first time they have been experimentally shown in a biological system.

  7. William Keit and the Durban Botanic Garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. P. McCracken

    1986-12-01

    Full Text Available William Keit was born in Saxony in 1841 and in early life travelled across Europe working in many famous nurseries and gardens. In 1872 on the recommendation of the director of Kew Gardens, Keit emigrated to Natal to become curator of the Durban Botanic Garden. So dilapidated was this garden that Keit was faced with the task of virtually re-establishing it.Though he was largely successful in this endeavour, as he was in fortifying the link between Natal and Kew, Keit could not solve the problems of a severe drought,a labour shortage and a scarcity of funds. In 1881 he resigned his position leaving a solid foundation on which the renowned botanist, John Medley Wood was to build. Keit in later Ufe ran a successful nursery in Durban and for 30 years was curator of the Parks and Gardens Department,in which capacity he did more than anyone else to beautify Durban.

  8. Ozone Gardens for the Citizen Scientist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pippin, Margaret; Reilly, Gay; Rodjom, Abbey; Malick, Emily

    2016-01-01

    NASA Langley partnered with the Virginia Living Museum and two schools to create ozone bio-indicator gardens for citizen scientists of all ages. The garden at the Marshall Learning Center is part of a community vegetable garden designed to teach young children where food comes from and pollution in their area, since most of the children have asthma. The Mt. Carmel garden is located at a K-8 school. Different ozone sensitive and ozone tolerant species are growing and being monitored for leaf injury. In addition, CairClip ozone monitors were placed in the gardens and data are compared to ozone levels at the NASA Langley Chemistry and Physics Atmospheric Boundary Layer Experiment (CAPABLE) site in Hampton, VA. Leaf observations and plant measurements are made two to three times a week throughout the growing season.

  9. Utilization of Anting-Anting (Acalypha indica) Leaves as Antibacterial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batubara, Irmanida; Wahyuni, Wulan Tri; Firdaus, Imam

    2016-01-01

    Anting-anting (Acalypha indica) plants is a species of plant having catkin type of inflorescence. This research aims to utilize anting-anting as antibacterial toward Streptococcus mutans and degradation of biofilm on teeth. Anting-anting leaves were extracted by maceration technique using methanol, chloroform, and n-hexane. Antibacterial and biofilm degradation assays were performed using microdilution technique with 96 well. n-Hexane extracts of anting-anting leaves gave the best antibacterial potency with minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration value of 500 μg/mL and exhibited good biofilm degradation activity. Fraction of F3 obtained from fractionation of n-hexane's extract with column chromatography was a potential for degradation of biofilm with IC50 value of 56.82 μg/mL. Alkaloid was suggested as antibacterial and degradation of biofilm in the active fraction.

  10. Influence of weeds on Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and obscure mealybug (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in a central California vineyard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costello, Michael J; Welch, Mark D

    2014-06-01

    Obscure mealybug is a pest of grapes in the cool climate regions of coastal California, is found on some vineyard weeds, and is tended by the Argentine ant. A study was conducted at a vineyard in Arroyo Grande, CA, to evaluate the impact of weeds on ant activity on grapevines, and the role that ants and weeds have on obscure mealybug infestation in grape clusters. The incidence of the fungus Botrytis cinerea was recorded as well. Treatments were weed exclusion versus the presence of weeds, and ant exclusion versus the presence of ants. Ant activity was evaluated weekly using sugar-based monitoring stations, and mealybug infestation and Botrytis incidence of clusters were evaluated at harvest. Ant exclusion reduced the overall number of ant visits by 82%, and ants increased mealybug infestation of clusters by 53%. Ant activity was 33% higher in the weeds treatment, but there was no impact of weeds on mealybug infestation. We suggest that the higher ant activity recorded in the weeds treatment may have been an artifact of the sugar-based sampling method. Botrytis incidence was three times higher with ants, but did not differ between weeds and weed exclusion treatments. The study supports other research showing a relationship between mealybug infestation and the presence of ants, as well as the lack of impact of floor vegetation on mealybug infestation of grape clusters. It is the first report of a relationship between ants and Botrytis, although it is more likely that the higher Botrytis incidence found here is a result of increased mealybug density than a direct effect by ants.

  11. Grow Science Achievement in Your Library with School Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackey, Bonnie; Stewart, Jeniffer Mackey

    2008-01-01

    Over the past decade or so, gardens have been blossoming in schools all across the United States. These gardens are as varied as their schools and are as unique as each child who tends to them. Some are bountiful vegetable gardens, and others are arid natural habitat gardens. Some are acres of land with entire classes devoted to their teachings…

  12. Use of Demonstration Gardens in Extension: Challenges and Benefits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glen, Charlotte D.; Moore, Gary E.; Jayaratne, K. S. U.; Bradley, Lucy K.

    2014-01-01

    Extension agents' use of demonstration gardens was studied to determine how gardens are employed in horticultural programming, perceived benefits and challenges of using gardens for Extension programming, and desired competencies. Gardens are primarily used to enhance educational efforts by providing hands-on learning experiences. Greatest…

  13. ANT i arbejdslivsforskningen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

    for Tidsskrift for Arbejdsliv at stille skarpt på, hvorledes teknologi kan forstås og udforskes, og her står nyere teoridannelser som STS (Science- and Technology Studies) og ANT (Actor-Network Theory) centralt. Dette temanummer af tidsskriftet har derfor disse teorier og deres anvendelse i studier af arbejdsliv...

  14. Tiny, Powerful, Awesome Ants!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Kathleen

    2007-01-01

    Peering through a thematic science lens--elementary students embarked on a one-week study of ants during a month-long summer school program. This integrated unit addressed reading and writing skills while developing the science-process skills of observation, inferring, and communicating in a motivating and authentic way. Pre- and post-assessments…

  15. Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Den Berg, Agnes E; Custers, Mariëtte H G

    2011-01-01

    Stress-relieving effects of gardening were hypothesized and tested in a field experiment. Thirty allotment gardeners performed a stressful Stroop task and were then randomly assigned to 30 minutes of outdoor gardening or indoor reading on their own allotment plot. Salivary cortisol levels and self-reported mood were repeatedly measured. Gardening and reading each led to decreases in cortisol during the recovery period, but decreases were significantly stronger in the gardening group. Positive mood was fully restored after gardening, but further deteriorated during reading. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that gardening can promote relief from acute stress.

  16. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The very basis of this thesis is the collective behavior of ants in colonies. Ants are an excellent example of how rather simple behavior on a local level can lead to complex behavior on a global level that is beneficial for the individuals. The key in the self-organization of ants is communication

  17. The Botanic Garden of Tver State University

    OpenAIRE

    2004-01-01

    The Botanic Garden of Tver State University is situated at the meeting place of the Volga and Tvertza rivers. It is one of the main green spaces of Tver. The history of the Garden goes back to 1879. It was planted by the merchant Ilya Bobrov at the former territory of Otroch monastery. After the October Revolution the Garden be- came national property and was used as a leisure center. The main planting occurred between 1938 and 1941 but a great number of plants disappeared during ...

  18. Tag Gardening for Folksonomy Enrichment and Maintenance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin Weller

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available As social tagging applications continuously gain in popularity, it becomes more and more accepted that models and tools for (re-organizing tags are needed. Some first approaches are already practically implemented. Recently, activities to edit and organize tags have been described as "tag gardening". We discuss different ways to subsequently revise and reedit tags and thus introduce different "gardening activities"; among them models that allow gradually adding semantic structures to folksonomies and/or that combine them with more complex forms of knowledge organization systems. Moreover, power tags are introduced as tag gardening candidates and the personal tag repository TagCare is presented.

  19. Pressure oscillations in a chemical garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantaleone, J.; Toth, A.; Horvath, D.; Rosefigura, L.; Morgan, W.; Maselko, J.

    2009-05-01

    When soluble metal salts are placed in a silicate solution, chemical gardens grow. These gardens are treelike structures formed of long thin hollow tubes. The growth is driven by the increase in internal pressure from osmosis. One particular case is examined here, calcium chloride in a solution of sodium trisilicate. We directly measure the internal pressure of a silicate garden as it grows via a series of relaxation oscillations. From these observations we deduce the stresses in the membrane and discuss how they influence the growth of tubes. Also we estimate the critical stress and the average Young’s modulus for the silicate garden’s membrane.

  20. Ruins of Yuanmingyuan(Garden of Perfect Splendor)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    LOCATED in the northwestern outskirts of Beijing, the world-renowned Yuanmingyuan was built as an imperial playground during the flourishing period of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Yuanmingyuan included three separate areas: The Garden of Perfect Splendor, The Garden of Everlasting Spring and The Garden of Blossoming Sping (later renamed as the Garden of Ten Thousand Spring Seasons). The three gardens covered an area of nearly

  1. Urban domestic gardens (XIV): the characteristics of gardens in five cities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loram, Alison; Warren, Philip H; Gaston, Kevin J

    2008-09-01

    Domestic gardens make substantial contributions to the provision of green space in urban areas. However, the ecological functions provided by such gardens depend critically on their configuration and composition. Here, we present the first detailed analysis of variation in the composition of urban gardens, in relation to housing characteristics and the nature of the surrounding landscape, across different cities in the United Kingdom. In all five cities studied (Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leicester, and Oxford), garden size had an overwhelming influence on garden composition. Larger gardens supported more of the land-use types recorded, in greater extents, and were more likely to contain particular features, including tall trees and mature shrubs, areas of unmown grass and uncultivated land, vegetable patches, ponds, and composting sites. The proportional contribution of non-vegetated land-uses decreased as garden area increased. House age was less significant in determining the land-use within gardens, although older houses, which were more likely to be found further from the urban edge of the city, contained fewer hedges and greater areas of vegetation canopy >2 m in height. Current UK government planning recommendations will ultimately reduce the area of individual gardens and are thus predicted to result in fewer tall trees and, in particular, less vegetation canopy >2 m. This might be detrimental from ecological, aesthetic, social, and economic stand points.

  2. A metabolic pathway assembled by enzyme selection may support herbivory of leaf-cutter ants on plant starch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacci, Maurício; Bueno, Odair Correa; Rodrigues, André; Pagnocca, Fernando Carlos; Somera, Alexandre Favarin; Silva, Aline

    2013-05-01

    Mutualistic associations shape the evolution in different organism groups. The association between the leaf-cutter ant Atta sexdens and the basidiomycete fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus has enabled them to degrade starch from plant material generating glucose, which is a major food source for both mutualists. Starch degradation is promoted by enzymes contained in the fecal fluid that ants deposit on the fungus culture in cut leaves inside the nests. To understand the dynamics of starch degradation in ant nests, we purified and characterized starch degrading enzymes from the ant fecal fluid and from laboratory cultures of L. gongylophorus and found that the ants intestine positively selects fungal α-amylase and a maltase likely produced by the ants, as a negative selection is imposed to fungal maltase and ant α-amylases. Selected enzymes are more resistant to catabolic repression by glucose and proposed to structure a metabolic pathway in which the fungal α-amylase initiates starch catalysis to generate byproducts which are sequentially degraded by the maltase to produce glucose. The pathway is responsible for effective degradation of starch and proposed to represent a major evolutionary innovation enabling efficient starch assimilation from plant material by leaf-cutters.

  3. Urea in Weaver Ant Feces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidkjaer, Nanna H.; Wollenweber, Bernd; Jensen, Karl-Martin V.;

    2016-01-01

    investigate the interactions of weaver ants with the host plants with respect to plant nutrition. Here, we report the identification and quantification of urea, a highly effective foliar nutrient present in the fecal depositions of O. smaragdina. Feces samples obtained from six O. smaragdina colonies were......Weaver ants are tropical insects that nest in tree canopies, and for centuries these ants have been used for pest control in tropical orchards. Trees hosting weaver ants might benefit not only from the pest protective properties of these insects but also an additional supply of nutrients from ant...

  4. Caterpillars and fungal pathogens: two co-occurring parasites of an ant-plant mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Roux

    Full Text Available In mutualisms, each interacting species obtains resources from its partner that it would obtain less efficiently if alone, and so derives a net fitness benefit. In exchange for shelter (domatia and food, mutualistic plant-ants protect their host myrmecophytes from herbivores, encroaching vines and fungal pathogens. Although selective filters enable myrmecophytes to host those ant species most favorable to their fitness, some insects can by-pass these filters, exploiting the rewards supplied whilst providing nothing in return. This is the case in French Guiana for Cecropia obtusa (Cecropiaceae as Pseudocabima guianalis caterpillars (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae can colonize saplings before the installation of their mutualistic Azteca ants. The caterpillars shelter in the domatia and feed on food bodies (FBs whose production increases as a result. They delay colonization by ants by weaving a silk shield above the youngest trichilium, where the FBs are produced, blocking access to them. This probable temporal priority effect also allows female moths to lay new eggs on trees that already shelter caterpillars, and so to occupy the niche longer and exploit Cecropia resources before colonization by ants. However, once incipient ant colonies are able to develop, they prevent further colonization by the caterpillars. Although no higher herbivory rates were noted, these caterpillars are ineffective in protecting their host trees from a pathogenic fungus, Fusarium moniliforme (Deuteromycetes, that develops on the trichilium in the absence of mutualistic ants. Therefore, the Cecropia treelets can be parasitized by two often overlooked species: the caterpillars that shelter in the domatia and feed on FBs, delaying colonization by mutualistic ants, and the fungal pathogen that develops on old trichilia. The cost of greater FB production plus the presence of the pathogenic fungus likely affect tree growth.

  5. Acromyrmex ameliae sp. n. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): A new social parasite of leaf-cutting ants in Brazil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DANIVAL JOS(E) DE SOUZA; ILKA MARIA FERNANDES SOARES; TEREZINHA MARIA CASTRO BELLA LUCIA

    2007-01-01

    The fungus-growing ants (Tribe Attini) are a New World group of > 200 species, all obligate symbionts with a fungus they use for food. Four attine taxa are known to be social parasites of other attines. Acromyrmex (Pseudoatto) argentina argentina and Acromyrmex (Pseudoatta) argentina platensis (parasites of Acromyrmex lundi), and Acromyrmex sp. (a parasite of Acromyrmex rugosus) produce no worker caste. In contrast, the recently discovered Acromyrmex insinuator (a parasite of Acromyrmex echinatior) does produce workers. Here, we describe a new species, Acromyrmex ameliae, a social parasite of Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus and Acromyrmex subterraneus brunneus in Minas Gerais, Brasil. Like A. insinuator, it produces workers and appears to be closely related to its hosts. Similar social parasites may be fairly common in the fungus-growing ants, but overlooked due to the close resemblance between parasite and host workers.

  6. A teahouse in a tea garden

    OpenAIRE

    Macfarlane, Alan

    2004-01-01

    The Japanese place tea at the centre of their social and ceremonial life. In this beautiful tea garden in Kyoto, the tea mistress makes tea and offers it to Alan Macfarlane, who talks a little about its role in history.

  7. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Kåre; Enghild, Jan J; Ivarsen, Anders;

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: Hereditary congenital cataract varies immensely concerning location and form of the lens opacities. A specific and very rare phenotype is called "ant-egg" cataract first described in 1900. "Ant-eggs" have previously been examined using light microscopy, backscattered electron imaging and X......-ray scans and electron microscopy. The purpose of this study was to further characterize "ant-egg" cataract using modern technology and display the history of the "ant-eggs" after cataract extraction. METHODS: "Ant-eggs" were examined using Heidelberg SPECTRALIS Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT......-egg" structures in "ant-egg" cataract. Eighteen of these proteins are not natively found in the human lens. Moreover, "ant-eggs" do not vary over time, after cataract extraction, regarding size and location....

  8. FOLIAR OR CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS FOR GARDEN PEAS

    OpenAIRE

    Ion BOZGA; Oli mpia PANDIA; Saracin, Ion; Ioan Christi GANEA

    2015-01-01

    The main objective of this paper was the research and controlled study of the main physiological processes of the garden pea, the type Redondo, with the purpose of knowing adaptability the natural conditions in the area. In this purpose, was observed the special behavior of the garden pea Redondo, at the meteorological conditions that exist in this study (temperature, moist, light intensity) determining physiological that took place: photosynthesis, chlorophyll, perspiration, absorption and i...

  9. Allotment gardening and health: a comparative survey among allotment gardeners and their neighbors without an allotment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Winsum-Westra Marijke

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The potential contribution of allotment gardens to a healthy and active life-style is increasingly recognized, especially for elderly populations. However, few studies have empirically examined beneficial effects of allotment gardening. In the present study the health, well-being and physical activity of older and younger allotment gardeners was compared to that of controls without an allotment. Methods A survey was conducted among 121 members of 12 allotment sites in the Netherlands and a control group of 63 respondents without an allotment garden living next to the home addresses of allotment gardeners. The survey included five self-reported health measures (perceived general health, acute health complaints, physical constraints, chronic illnesses, and consultations with GP, four self-reported well-being measures (stress, life satisfaction, loneliness, and social contacts with friends and one measure assessing self-reported levels of physical activity in summer. Respondents were divided into a younger and older group at the median of 62 years which equals the average retirement age in the Netherlands. Results After adjusting for income, education level, gender, stressful life events, physical activity in winter, and access to a garden at home as covariates, both younger and older allotment gardeners reported higher levels of physical activity during the summer than neighbors in corresponding age categories. The impacts of allotment gardening on health and well-being were moderated by age. Allotment gardeners of 62 years and older scored significantly or marginally better on all measures of health and well-being than neighbors in the same age category. Health and well-being of younger allotment gardeners did not differ from younger neighbors. The greater health and well-being benefits of allotment gardening for older gardeners may be related to the finding that older allotment gardeners were more oriented towards gardening

  10. Ante la ley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kafka Franz

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Ante las puertas de la ley hay un guardian. Un campesino se llega hasta ese guardian y le pide que le permita entra en la ley, pero el guardian le dice que por ahora no se lo puede permitir. El hombre reflexiona y entonces pregunta si podria entrar despues. Es posible -dice el guardian-; pero no ahora. La puerta de entrada a la ley esta abierta como siempre.

  11. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-07

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response.

  12. Molecular phylogenies reveal host-specific divergence of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato following its host ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobmoo, N; Mongkolsamrit, S; Tasanathai, K; Thanakitpipattana, D; Luangsa-Ard, J J

    2012-06-01

    Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Hypocreales, Ascomycetes) is an entomopathogenic fungus specific to formicine ants (Formicinae, Hymenoptera). Previous works have shown that the carpenter ant Camponotus leonardi acts as the principal host with occasional infections of ants from the genus Polyrhachis (sister genus of Camponotus). Observations were made on the permanent plots of Mo Singto, Khao Yai National Park of Thailand according to which O. unilateralis was found to occur predominantly on three host species: C. leonardi, C. saundersi and P. furcata. Molecular phylogenies of the elongation factor 1-α and β-Tubulin genes indicate a separation of O. unilateralis samples into three clades, reflecting specificity to each of the three different ant species. Samples collected from P. furcata and from C. leonardi were found to form sister groups with samples from C. saundersi forming an outgroup to the latter. Additional samples collected from unidentified ant species of Camponotus and Polyrhachis were positioned as outgroups to those samples on identified species. These results demonstrate that O. unilateralis is clearly not a single phylogenetic species and comprises at least three species that are specific to different host ant species. These cryptic species may arise through recent events of speciation driven by their specificity to host ant species.

  13. Up the Garden Path: A Chemical Trail through the Cambridge University Botanic Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battle, Gary M.; Kyd, Gwenda O.; Groom, Colin R.; Allen, Frank H.; Day, Juliet; Upson, Timothy

    2012-01-01

    The living world is a rich source of chemicals with many medicines, dyes, flavorings, and foodstuffs having their origins in compounds produced by plants. We describe a chemical trail through the plant holdings of the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. Visitors to the gardens are provided with a laminated trail guide with 22 stopping points…

  14. Allotment gardening and health: a comparative survey among allotment gardeners and their neighbors without an allotment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, van den A.E.; Winsum-Westra, van M.; Vries, de S.; Dillen, van S.M.E.

    2010-01-01

    Background - The potential contribution of allotment gardens to a healthy and active life-style is increasingly recognized, especially for elderly populations. However, few studies have empirically examined beneficial effects of allotment gardening. In the present study the health, well-being and ph

  15. Exposure to creosote bush phenolic resin causes avoidance in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lobicornis (Formicidae: Attini La exposición a la resina fenólica de jarilla causa deterrencia en la hormiga cortadora de hojas Acromyrmex lobicornis (Formicidae: Attini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANA I MEDINA

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available We focused our study on the effects of Larrea cuneifolia phenolic resin on leaf-cutting ants from two populations (Sierra de las Quijadas National Park and San Roque of Acromyrmex lobicornis in San Luis, Argentina. We conducted two bioassays of food choice (field and laboratory to compare the effects of phenolic resin on ant workers from these two populations. Results of the field experiment indicated that there were no differences in preference for either leaves treated with resin or untreated leaves among colonies from both localities. However, results of the laboratory experiments with individual ants indicated a significant effect of population and treatment on the time spent in different treatments. While leaf-cutting individual workers from Quijadas preferred the phenolic resin, workers from San Roque avoided it. These results evidence that ants respond according to time of exposure to chemicals from plants (presence or absence and that the effects of resin among a population can be observed and measured on individual ant workers, even in the absence of fungus garden influences in the nest.Este estudio se ha centrado en los efectos que produce la resina fenólica de Larrea cuneifolia sobre dos poblaciones distintas (Parque Nacional de Sierra de las Quijadas y la localidad de San Roque de Acromyrmex lobicornis en San Luis, Argentina. Se disenaron dos tipos de bioensayos (a campo y en laboratorio para comparar los efectos de la resina fenólica sobre las hormigas obreras de estas dos poblaciones. Los resultados de los experimentos de elección de la oferta alimentaria en el campo, indicaron que no hubo ninguna diferencia de preferencia entre las colonias, ni por las hojas tratadas con resina ni por las hojas sin tratar para ambas localidades. Sin embargo, los resultados de los experimentos de laboratorio con las hormigas obreras individualmente indicaron efectos significativos entre las poblaciones y entre los tratamientos. Mientras que las

  16. Graveyards on the move: the spatio-temporal distribution of dead ophiocordyceps-infected ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maj-Britt Pontoppidan

    Full Text Available Parasites are likely to play an important role in structuring host populations. Many adaptively manipulate host behaviour, so that the extended phenotypes of these parasites and their distributions in space and time are potentially important ecological variables. The fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which is pan-tropical in distribution, causes infected worker ants to leave their nest and die under leaves in the understory of tropical rainforests. Working in a forest dynamic plot in Southern Thailand we mapped the occurrence of these dead ants by examining every leaf in 1,360 m(2 of primary rainforest. We established that high density aggregations exist (up to 26 dead ants/m(2, which we coined graveyards. We further established that graveyards are patchily distributed in a landscape with no or very few O. unilateralis-killed ants. At some, but not all, spatial scales of analysis the density of dead ants correlated with temperature, humidity and vegetation cover. Remarkably, having found 2243 dead ants inside graveyards we only found 2 live ants of the principal host, ant Camponotus leonardi, suggesting that foraging host ants actively avoid graveyards. We discovered that the principal host ant builds nests in high canopy and its trails only occasionally descend to the forest floor where infection occurs. We advance the hypothesis that rare descents may be a function of limited canopy access to tree crowns and that resource profitability of such trees is potentially traded off against the risk of losing workers due to infection when forest floor trails are the only access routes. Our work underscores the need for an integrative approach that recognises multiple facets of parasitism, such as their extended phenotypes.

  17. A strategy for the survey of urban garden soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, C.; Chenot, E. D.; Cortet, J.; Douay, F.; Dumat, C.; Pernin, C.; Pourrut, B.

    2012-04-01

    In France and all over the world, there is no systematic data available on the quality (fertility and contamination) of garden soils. Nevertheless, there is a growing need for a typology and for a method dedicated to national and international garden soil survey. This inventory is much needed in the context of environmental risk assessment, to predict the potential impact on human health of the direct contact with garden soils and of the consumption of vegetables from gardens. The state of the art on the international knowledge on garden soils, gardening practices and food production, shows that gardens remain poorly known and very complex ecological, economical and social systems. Their global quality is the result of a wide number of factors including environment, history, specific characteristics of the gardens, gardeners and their practices, plant and/or animal productions and socio-economic context. The aim is then to better know the determinism of the agronomic, environmental and sanitary properties of gardens as a function of gardening practices and their impact on the quality of soils and plants. We propose a definition of "garden" and more generally of all the field "garden". The system "garden" is represented by attributes (soil and plant characteristics) and factors with various impacts (e.g. environment > soil parent material > former land uses > age and sex of gardener > gardening practices > socio-professional group > type and proportion of productions > climate > age of the garden > size of the garden > education, information > cultural origin > functions of the garden > regulations). A typology of gardens including 7 selected factors and associated categories and a method for describing, sampling and characterizing a population of gardens representative (for a country) are proposed. Based on the statistical analysis on regional databases, we have determined and proposed an optimum size for the collected population of garden soils. The discussion of

  18. [Healing gardens: recommendations and criteria for design].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivasseau-Jonveaux, Thérèse; Pop, Alina; Fescharek, Reinhard; Chuzeville, Stanislas Bah; Jacob, Christel; Demarche, Laëtitia; Soulon, Laure; Malerba, Gabriel

    2012-09-01

    The French Alzheimer plan anticipates new specialized structures for cognitive rehabilitation and psycho-behavioural therapy of Alzheimer's patients: the cognitive-behavioural units as follow-care units, the units of reinforced hospitalization inside the long term care units and the adapted activities units. this plan indicates the need to make healing gardens integral parts of these units. The benefits of green space in urban environments has been demonstrated with regards to physical, psychological and sociological effects and similarly studies in hospitals have revealed objective and measurable improvements of patients well being. Although green spaces and gardens are available in many French care units, they are rarely specifically adapted to the needs of Alzheimer's patients. For the garden "art, memory and life" a specific concept guided by a neuropsychological approach was developed, complemented by an artistic vision based on cultural invariants. It is already used in the frame of non-pharmacological therapies to improve symptoms such as deambulation, sleep disorders, apathy and aggressive behaviors. Based on the literature, and our experience and research, recommendations for the design of such gardens dedicated to Alzheimer's patients can be proposed. Beyond taking into account obvious aspects relating to security, allowing for free access, a careful design of walk-ways and a conscious choice of plants is needed. A systematic analysis of the existing green spaces or garden must be conducted in order to pinpoint the weakness of the space and identify the potential for developing it into a real healing garden. Evaluation of adapted questionnaires for users and professionals allow to establish a list of requirements combining both user requests and therapeutic needs as basis for the design of the garden as well as to evaluate during the course of the project, whether the needs of the various stakeholders have been met or if adjustments are necessary.

  19. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions......-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG...... is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional...

  20. Divergent chemical cues elicit seed collecting by ants in an obligate multi-species mutualism in lowland Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Guerra Bustios, Patricia; Schal, Coby

    2010-12-30

    In lowland Amazonian rainforests, specific ants collect seeds of several plant species and cultivate them in arboreal carton nests, forming species-specific symbioses called ant-gardens (AGs). In this obligate mutualism, ants depend on the plants for nest stability and the plants depend on ant nests for substrate and nutrients. AG ants and plants are abundant, dominant members of lowland Amazonian ecosystems, but the cues ants use to recognize the seeds are poorly understood. To address the chemical basis of the ant-seed interaction, we surveyed seed chemistry in nine AG species and eight non-AG congeners. We detected seven phenolic and terpenoid volatiles common to seeds of all or most of the AG species, but a blend of the shared compounds was not attractive to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. We also analyzed seeds of three AG species (Anthurium gracile, Codonanthe uleana, and Peperomia macrostachya) using behavior-guided fractionation. At least one chromatographic fraction of each seed extract elicited retrieval behavior in C. femoratus, but the active fractions of the three plant species differed in polarity and chemical composition, indicating that shared compounds alone did not explain seed-carrying behavior. We suggest that the various AG seed species must elicit seed-carrying with different chemical cues.

  1. Divergent chemical cues elicit seed collecting by ants in an obligate multi-species mutualism in lowland Amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elsa Youngsteadt

    Full Text Available In lowland Amazonian rainforests, specific ants collect seeds of several plant species and cultivate them in arboreal carton nests, forming species-specific symbioses called ant-gardens (AGs. In this obligate mutualism, ants depend on the plants for nest stability and the plants depend on ant nests for substrate and nutrients. AG ants and plants are abundant, dominant members of lowland Amazonian ecosystems, but the cues ants use to recognize the seeds are poorly understood. To address the chemical basis of the ant-seed interaction, we surveyed seed chemistry in nine AG species and eight non-AG congeners. We detected seven phenolic and terpenoid volatiles common to seeds of all or most of the AG species, but a blend of the shared compounds was not attractive to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. We also analyzed seeds of three AG species (Anthurium gracile, Codonanthe uleana, and Peperomia macrostachya using behavior-guided fractionation. At least one chromatographic fraction of each seed extract elicited retrieval behavior in C. femoratus, but the active fractions of the three plant species differed in polarity and chemical composition, indicating that shared compounds alone did not explain seed-carrying behavior. We suggest that the various AG seed species must elicit seed-carrying with different chemical cues.

  2. Persian Gardens: Meanings, Symbolism, and Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leila Mahmoudi Farahani

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Culture and identity in a society can be represented in the architecture and the meanings intertwined with it. In this sense, the architecture and design are the interface for transferring meaning and identity to the nation and future generations. Persian gardens have been evolved through the history of Persian Empire in regard to the culture and beliefs of the society. This paper aims to investigate the patterns of design and architecture in Persian gardens and the meanings intertwined with their patterns and significant elements such as water and trees. Persian gardens are not only about geometries and shapes; but also manifest different design elements, each representing a specific symbol and its significance among the society. This paper seeks to explore Persian gardens in terms of their geometric structure, irrigation system, network construction and pavilions alongside design qualities such as hierarchy, symmetry, centrality, rhythm and harmony. In the second stage, the paper investigates the fundamental symbols and their philosophy in the creation of Persian gardens and in relation to the architecture and design.

  3. Prevalence of the genus Cladosporium on the integument of leaf-cutting ants characterized by 454 pyrosequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, A P M; Ferro, M; Rodrigues, A; Bacci, M; Nagamoto, N S; Forti, L C; Pagnocca, F C

    2016-09-01

    The relationship of attine ants with their mutualistic fungus and other microorganisms has been studied during the last two centuries. However, previous studies about the diversity of fungi in the ants' microenvironment are based mostly on culture-dependent approaches, lacking a broad characterization of the fungal ant-associated community. Here, we analysed the fungal diversity found on the integument of Atta capiguara and Atta laevigata alate ants using 454 pyrosequencing. We obtained 35,453 ITS reads grouped into 99 molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs). Data analysis revealed that A. capiguara drones had the highest diversity of MOTUs. Besides the occurrence of several uncultured fungi, the mycobiota analysis revealed that the most abundant taxa were the Cladosporium-complex, Cryptococcus laurentii and Epicoccum sp. Taxa in the genus Cladosporium were predominant in all samples, comprising 67.9 % of all reads. The remarkable presence of the genus Cladosporium on the integument of leaf-cutting ants alates from distinct ant species suggests that this fungus is favored in this microenvironment.

  4. Iglesia en Garden Grove, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neutra, Richard J.

    1964-04-01

    Full Text Available The Community Church, in Garden Grove has a ground area of 1067 m2 and provides 672 seats for the congregation. Its total planned capacity is 1000 people. The total project involves halls for cultural and social activities, church office, kitchen, as well as secondary annexes; also a Sunday school, with a nursery and schoolrooms for children of various ages. Outdoors, there is an ample parking space, where the motorcars—the Americans' second home—can be orientated facing the altar. Thus their occupants can follow the Mass visually, when the large sliding doors are opened, at the beginning of the service; then, at the end of the service these doors are slowly and solemnly closed. Furthermore, these automobile owners can also follow the service by listening to it through individual loudspeakers, which are supplied to each vehicle. Once more Mr. Neutra has designed thinking of man as a human being, and finding room for the women the children and the men who go to church not only inside the church, but also within the more intimate atmosphere of their own cars. He feels that religion must be something living, evolving with the times. The modern congregation is not that of the primitive Christians, living in their sombre catacombs, nor is it similar to the picturesque and intense believers of the Middle Ages. He has therefore created a happy solution, very apt to the anxious and hopeful people of today.La iglesia de la Comunidad de Garden Grove ocupa una superficie de 1.067,45 m2, y dispone de 672 asientos y capacidad total para 1.000 feligreses. El complejo parroquial consta, además, de una serie de dependencias anexas: salas para actividades culturales, sociales, oficinas de la parroquia, cocina..., etc., y una escuela dominical; esta última, con guardería infantil y aulas para grupos de diferentes edades. En el exterior ha sido dispuesta una zona de aparcamiento, en la que los coches familiares—segunda casa de los norteamericanos

  5. The Generation of an Organic Inverted Chemical Garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pampalakis, Georgios

    2016-05-10

    A chemical garden based on iron salt that grows in organic solvents and ions is demonstrated for the first time. This prototype chemical garden develops in an inverted orientation, thus providing evidence that downward growth is feasible.

  6. Preliminary in vitro insights into the use of natural fungal pathogens of leaf-cutting ants as biocontrol agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folgarait, Patricia; Gorosito, Norma; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2011-09-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are one of the main herbivores of the Neotropics, where they represent an important agricultural pest. These ants are particularly difficult to control because of the complex network of microbial symbionts. Leaf-cutting ants have traditionally been controlled through pesticide application, but there is a need for alternative, more environmentally friendly, control methods such as biological control. Potential promising biocontrol candidates include the microfungi Escovopsis spp. (anamorphic Hypocreales), which are specialized pathogens of the fungi the ants cultivate for food. These pathogens are suppressed through ant behaviors and ant-associated antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria. In order to be an effective biocontrol agent, Escovopsis has to overcome these defenses. Here, we evaluate, using microbial in vitro assays, whether defenses in the ant-cultivated fungus strain (Leucoagaricus sp.) and Actinobacteria from the ant pest Acromyrmex lundii have the potential to limit the use of Escovopsis in biocontrol. We also explore, for the first time, possible synergistic biocontrol between Escovopsis and the entomopathogenic fungus Lecanicillium lecanii. All strains of Escovopsis proved to overgrow A. lundii cultivar in less than 7 days, with the Escovopsis strain isolated from a different leaf-cutting ant species being the most efficient. Escovopsis challenged with a Streptomyces strain isolated from A. lundii did not exhibit significant growth inhibition. Both results are encouraging for the use of Escovopsis as a biocontrol agent. Although we found that L. lecanii can suppress the growth of the cultivar, it also had a negative impact on Escovopsis, making the success of simultaneous use of these two fungi for biocontrol of A. lundii questionable.

  7. The Austrian Botanic Gardens Work Group, an Example of Active Networking to Promote Small Botanic Gardens

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Roland K. EBERWEIN

    2011-01-01

    The continuously increasing demands on botanic gardens during the last few decades have led to a huge in increase administration and an urgent need for additional specialized personnel, especially botanists, teachers, database specialists and administrative staff. Instead of meeting these requirements, many botanic gardens are faceing a severe decrease in funding and personnel. Larger gardens provide the opportunity to distribute several tasks to different employees, whereas small gardens are short staffed and often nn by a single curator who has to fulfill all functions. In order to meet actual demands more easily, the Austrian botanic gardens are linked nationally via an active workgroup.This network not only allows the distribution of information but also facilitates the sharing of duties. A listserver speeds up the communication and correspondence within the workgroup, collection priorities and projects (e. g., GSPC) are coordinated, seedbanking becomes decentralized, printedmatters are shared and distributed, etc. Small gardens with only few employees can participate in projects by taking on small-ideally using with their special resources-in order not to fall behind. In addition, there is also an urgent need for international networking by means of plant and seed exchange (Index Semihum), BGCI membership, discussion groups, personal contacts and projects. Mission statements,special marketing strategies for public relations, integrating projects of other workgroup members and adapted public awareness programs are important to focus attention to small gardens and to help them keep alive.

  8. Social-insect fungus farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aanen, Duur Kornelis; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2006-01-01

    Which social insects rear their own food? Growing fungi for food has evolved twice in social insects: once in new-world ants about 50 million years ago; and once in old-world termites between 24 and 34 million years ago [1] and [2] . The termites domesticated a single fungal lineage - the extant...

  9. Scholar garden: Educational strategy for life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benito Rodríguez Haros

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available About five years ago, and worried about the erosion of knowledge related to the process of food production, access and safety, anagroenvironmental vegetable garden was established and named “Un pasito en grande” (A large baby step, where the use of agrochemicals (fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, etc. are forbidden. Everything takes place with the participation of boys, girls, fathers and mothers of the Colegio Ateneo nursery school of Tezoyuca, State of Mexico. Childrens' participation has helpedspread the word about the experience and little by little, the strategy has spread to other educational spaces. The school garden has become a space to raise ecological and environmental awareness that is strengthened with daily activities and specific activities that are implemented. The school garden is based on a series of philosophical principles that help reflect upon our learning-doing; in methodological terms, its implementation is based on ethics and on the principles of permaculture.

  10. A New Look for the Globe Gardens

    CERN Multimedia

    Katarina Anthony

    2010-01-01

    Designs to develop the grounds of the Globe of Science and Innovation have recently been unveiled. The plan is to extend the visitor activities on offer, transforming the area into a public arena for scientific exploration.   Design for the new Globe Gardens. © Jencks Squared and Groupe H. After months of conceptual development, plans to develop the site around the Globe are taking shape. The innovative designs were drawn up for CERN by a unique collaboration consisting of landscape architects Charles and Lily Jencks, and "Groupe H", a group of architects headed by Globe designer Hervé Dessimoz. They comprise new venues, covered walkways, a café and gift shop, a separate VIP entrance and a physics-inspired garden for visitors. The landscape itself becomes a feature – dramatically altered to create a cosmic garden formed by shaped mounds, ponds, and a natural amphitheatre for public events. “The new exhibition in the G...

  11. An Expert System Approach for Garden Designing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NiloofarMozafari

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In the recent years, the quality of human life is improved by artificial intelligencetechniques. In artificial intelligence, an expert system is a computer system that emulates thedecision-making ability of a human expert. Expert systems are designed to solve complexproblems by reasoning about knowledge, like an expert. In this paper, we propose an expertsystem with the aim of designing the garden with considering the different taste of thepeople. The proposed system can help people to design their garden themselves. Indeed, it isable to use by architectures to provide decision support system, interactive training tool andexpert advice. The system constitutes part of intelligent system of designing the garden. Aninitial evaluation of the expert system was carried out and a positive feedback was receivedfrom the users.

  12. Rhabdomyolysis and Acute Renal Failure after Gardening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeljko Vucicevic

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Acute nontraumatic exertional rhabdomyolysis may arise when the energy supply to muscle is insufficient to meet demands, particularly in physically untrained individuals. We report on a psychiatric patient who developed large bruises and hemorrhagic blisters on both hands and arms, rhabdomyolysis of both forearm muscles with a moderate compartment syndrome, and consecutive acute renal failure following excessive work in the garden. Although specifically asked, the patient denied any hard physical work or gardening, and heteroanamnestic data were not available. The diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis was easy to establish, but until reliable anamnestic data were obtained, the etiology remained uncertain. Four days after arrival, the patient recalled working hard in the garden. The etiology of rhabdomyolysis was finally reached, and the importance of anamnestic data was once more confirmed.

  13. Rediscovering community: Interethnic relationships and community gardening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    August John Hoffman

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Community service work, volunteerism and mentoring have recently become popular topics of research as effective methods in improving self-esteem and civic responsibility. In the current study we explored the relationship between participation in a community service gardening program and ethnocentrism. We hypothesised that an inverse correlation would emerge where students who participated in a community service-gardening program would increase their perceptions of the importance of community service work and decrease their scores in ethnocentrism. Results of the paired samples t-test strongly support the hypothesis that community service gardening work significantly reduces reports of ethnocentrism: t(10 = -2.52, (p < .03 for community college students. The ramifications of the study and ramifications for future research are offered.

  14. The Influence of Garden Size and Floral Cover on Pollen Deposition in Urban Community Gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin C. Matteson

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Many cucurbits, such as cucumbers, squashes and pumpkins, depend on pollinating bees in order to set fruit. However, fruit yield and progeny vigor in these plants generally decreases as heterospecific pollen deposition increases. We studied how the spatial area dedicated to cucumbers (Cucumis sativis, versus other flowering plants, influenced the deposition of conspecific and heterospecific pollen on cucumber plants in New York City community gardens. We also examined the effect of garden size on conspecific and heterospecific pollen deposition on cucumber plants. Female flowers were collected from potted cucumber plants that had been experimentally placed into the gardens, specifically for this study, or that were established in raised beds by members of the community garden. In the laboratory, pollen grains were isolated from the flower by acetolysis, and the number of heterospecific and conspecific cucumber pollen grains were quantified. Conspecific pollen deposition was positively and significantly associated with the size of a community garden, as well as with the area of each garden dedicated to non-cucumber, flowering plants (i.e. floral cover and the area of each garden dedicated to cucumber plants (i.e. cucumber cover. Although floral cover explained a greater proportion of the variance, cucumber cover had the strongest effect on conspecific pollen deposition. Heterospecific pollen deposition was positively and significantly related to garden area. However, no significant relationship was found between heterospecific pollen deposition and floral cover, or cucumber cover. Based upon these results, we hypothesize that floral cover positively impacts conspecific pollen deposition by attracting a greater number of pollinators into an urban garden, and that total cucumber area positively impacts conspecific pollen deposition when pollinators are locally foraging within a garden. We suggest that the arrangement of plants within a garden can

  15. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

    Biological processes speed up as temperature rises. Procedures for demonstrating this with ants traveling on trails, and data gathered by students on the Argentine ant ("Linepithema humile") are presented. The concepts of temperature regulation and conformity are detailed with a focus on the processes rather than on terms that label the organisms.

  16. The metapleural gland of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-11-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions of the MG, sanitation and chemical defence, have received the strongest empirical support; two additional possible functions, recognition odour and territorial marking, are less well supported. The design of the MG is unusual for insects; glandular secretions are stored in a rigid, non-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional morphology, phylogenetic transitions and chemical ecology of the MGs of both the derived and the unstudied early-branching (basal) ant lineages is needed to elucidate the evolutionary origin and diversification of the MG of ants.

  17. Gardens of Justice : Critical Legal Conference 2012

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    The theme for this year’s Critical Legal Conference is “Gardens of Justice”. Although the theme may be interpreted in different ways, it suggests thinking about law and justice as a physical as well as a social environment, created for specific purposes, at a certain distance from society and yet as an integral part of it. The theme also invites you to think about justice as a concrete metaphor rather than an abstract concept. Just like any ordinary garden, legal institutions affect both peop...

  18. Urban Water-Quality Management. Rain Garden Plants

    OpenAIRE

    French, Sue (Sue C.); Fox, Laurie; Andruczyk, Mike; Gilland, Traci; Swanson, Lynette

    2009-01-01

    A rain garden is a landscaped area specially designed to collect rainfall and storm-water runoff. The plants and soil in the rain garden clean pollutants from the water as it seeps into the ground and evaporates back into the atmosphere. For a rain garden to work, plants must be selected, installed, and maintained properly.

  19. Relating Social Inclusion and Environmental Issues in Botanic Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergou, Asimina; Willison, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Botanic gardens have been evolving, responding to the changing needs of society, from their outset as medicinal gardens of monasteries and university gardens to more recently as organizations that contribute to the conservation of plant genetic resources. Considering that social and environmental issues are deeply intertwined and cannot be tackled…

  20. Elementary School Garden Programs Enhance Science Education for All Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rye, James A.; Selmer, Sarah J.; Pennington, Sara; Vanhorn, Laura; Fox, Sarah; Kane, Sarah

    2012-01-01

    A national movement is underway to establish elementary school gardens, which can serve both academic and social purposes. These gardens can positively impact students' science achievement and provide the thematic and hands-on approach especially conducive to learning for students with disabilities. Garden-based learning (GBL) broadens the scope…

  1. Gardening Promotes Neuroendocrine and Affective Restoration from Stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Den Berg, Agnes E.; Custers, Mariette H. G.

    2011-01-01

    Stress-relieving effects of gardening were hypothesized and tested in a field experiment. Thirty allotment gardeners performed a stressful Stroop task and were then randomly assigned to 30 minutes of outdoor gardening or indoor reading on their own allotment plot. Salivary cortisol levels and self-r

  2. Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, van den A.E.; Custers, M.H.G.

    2011-01-01

    Stress-relieving effects of gardening were hypothesized and tested in a field experiment. Thirty allotment gardeners performed a stressful Stroop task and were then randomly assigned to 30 minutes of outdoor gardening or indoor reading on their own allotment plot. Salivary cortisol levels and self-r

  3. School-Community Gardening: Learning, Living, Earning, and Giving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallavan, Nancy P.; Bowles, Freddie A.

    2012-01-01

    Elementary teacher Ms. Huff realized that her third grade students were limited in their knowledge and experiences related to gardening. Most of today's young learners in the United States do not live on farms, and few families maintain gardens. Only a few of Ms. Huff's students could say they had a family garden. In schools, students learn about…

  4. Weed Garden: An Effective Tool for Extension Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Leslie; Patton, Aaron J.

    2015-01-01

    A weed garden was constructed to quantify and improve identification skills among clientele. The garden was planted with over 100 weed species based on surveys on problematic weeds. The weed garden proved useful for introducing additional hands-on learning activities into traditional lecture-based seminars. Through seminar and field day attendee…

  5. School Gardens: Teaching and Learning outside the Front Door

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passy, Rowena

    2014-01-01

    This article reports on two projects: one that investigated the impact of school gardens on primary children's learning and one that is currently exploring the pedagogies involved in teaching children in the garden. The evidence presented suggests that school gardens can be an interesting and effective way of engaging children with learning, but…

  6. Urban community gardeners' knowledge and perceptions of soil contaminant risks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent F Kim

    Full Text Available Although urban community gardening can offer health, social, environmental, and economic benefits, these benefits must be weighed against the potential health risks stemming from exposure to contaminants such as heavy metals and organic chemicals that may be present in urban soils. Individuals who garden at or eat food grown in contaminated urban garden sites may be at risk of exposure to such contaminants. Gardeners may be unaware of these risks and how to manage them. We used a mixed quantitative/qualitative research approach to characterize urban community gardeners' knowledge and perceptions of risks related to soil contaminant exposure. We conducted surveys with 70 gardeners from 15 community gardens in Baltimore, Maryland, and semi-structured interviews with 18 key informants knowledgeable about community gardening and soil contamination in Baltimore. We identified a range of factors, challenges, and needs related to Baltimore community gardeners' perceptions of risk related to soil contamination, including low levels of concern and inconsistent levels of knowledge about heavy metal and organic chemical contaminants, barriers to investigating a garden site's history and conducting soil tests, limited knowledge of best practices for reducing exposure, and a need for clear and concise information on how best to prevent and manage soil contamination. Key informants discussed various strategies for developing and disseminating educational materials to gardeners. For some challenges, such as barriers to conducting site history and soil tests, some informants recommended city-wide interventions that bypass the need for gardener knowledge altogether.

  7. Community Gardening in Rural Regions: Enhancing Food Security and Nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Ashley F.

    Community gardening projects can enhance community food security and improve the nutrition of project participants. However, limited information exists on the most effective models and methods for establishing community gardens in rural areas. A survey of 12 rural community gardening projects found a variety of program models: community gardens…

  8. Urban community gardeners' knowledge and perceptions of soil contaminant risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Brent F; Poulsen, Melissa N; Margulies, Jared D; Dix, Katie L; Palmer, Anne M; Nachman, Keeve E

    2014-01-01

    Although urban community gardening can offer health, social, environmental, and economic benefits, these benefits must be weighed against the potential health risks stemming from exposure to contaminants such as heavy metals and organic chemicals that may be present in urban soils. Individuals who garden at or eat food grown in contaminated urban garden sites may be at risk of exposure to such contaminants. Gardeners may be unaware of these risks and how to manage them. We used a mixed quantitative/qualitative research approach to characterize urban community gardeners' knowledge and perceptions of risks related to soil contaminant exposure. We conducted surveys with 70 gardeners from 15 community gardens in Baltimore, Maryland, and semi-structured interviews with 18 key informants knowledgeable about community gardening and soil contamination in Baltimore. We identified a range of factors, challenges, and needs related to Baltimore community gardeners' perceptions of risk related to soil contamination, including low levels of concern and inconsistent levels of knowledge about heavy metal and organic chemical contaminants, barriers to investigating a garden site's history and conducting soil tests, limited knowledge of best practices for reducing exposure, and a need for clear and concise information on how best to prevent and manage soil contamination. Key informants discussed various strategies for developing and disseminating educational materials to gardeners. For some challenges, such as barriers to conducting site history and soil tests, some informants recommended city-wide interventions that bypass the need for gardener knowledge altogether.

  9. First records of Laboulbeniales (Ascomycota on ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albena Lapeva-Gjonova

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The myrmecophilous fungi Rickia wasmannii Cavara, 1899 and Laboulbenia camponoti S. W. T. Batra, 1963 (Ascomycota: Laboulbeniales are reported for the first time from Bulgaria. Rickia wasmannii was found on Myrmica scabrinodis Nylander, 1846 ant workers (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in South-eastern Bulgaria near to the Black Sea coast. This is the easternmost record of Rickia wasmannii in Europe. Laboulbenia camponoti was found in six different localities in Bulgaria on the carpenter ants Camponotus aethiops (Latreille, 1798, C. universitatis Forel, 1890 and C. pilicornis (Roger, 1859. Camponotus aethiops and C. universitatis are new hosts for the fungus. For both fungi species the known distribution and host ranges summarized. This is the first record of the ant species Camponotus pilicornis for the Bulgarian fauna.

  10. Master Gardener-Led Lessons Increase Knowledge in Gardening and Environmental Science for Iowa Summer Camp Youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Bruce J.; Haynes, Cynthia; Schrock, Denny; Duerfeldt, Kevin; Litchfield, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Gardening and nutrition lessons for children can affect knowledge, actions, and behaviors that support more healthful lifestyles. The objective of the study described in this article was to determine the effectiveness of a master gardener--led education program for youth at a week-long summer camp in Iowa. Garden knowledge was assessed via a…

  11. [Genetic diversity of ancient tea gardens and tableland tea gardens from Yunnan Province as revealed by AFLP marker].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Peng-Zhang; Jiang, Hui-Bing; Huang, Xing-Qi; Zhang, Jun; Liang, Min-Zhi; Wang, Ping-Sheng

    2009-01-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the genetic diversity within and among the plants of four ancient tea gardens and two tableland tea gardens form Yunnan Province, China by AFLP technique. The percentage of polymorphic loci (P) of the plants from six tea gardens was 92.31%. The genetic diversity within the six gardens demonstrated by Nei cents genetic diversity (He) was estimated to be 0.1366, while Shannon indices (Ho) were 0.2323. The percentage of polymorphic loci of the four ancient tea populations was 45.55% on average, with a range of 36.44% (Mengsong) to 59.11% (Mengla). But the percentages of polymorphic loci of the plants from two tableland gardens were 13.77% (Yunkang 10) and 24.2% (Menghai Daye), respectively. There was a great genetic difference between ancient tea gardens and tableland tea gardens. The genetic diversity among the plants of the ancient tea garden was higher than those of the sexual tableland tea garden and the clone tableland tea garden based on P valve. The four ancient tea gardens and two tableland gardens could be differentiated with AFLP markers. The results show that AFLP marker is an effective tool in the discrimination of tea germplasm, as well as sundried green tea.

  12. On Fungus Diversity of Eucalyptus Soil by ITS Cloning Library%运用ITS克隆文库解析桉树种植地土壤真菌群落多样性

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    谭燕; 何文高; 米瑶; 朱琳慧; 黄靖; 李关荣; 胡凯

    2013-01-01

    为了研究桉树种植地土壤真菌群落多样性,该试验利用ARDRA和ITS系列分析相结合的方法,提取桉树土壤微生物DNA,构建真菌的ITS克隆文库进行阳性克隆检测,分析显示含有ITS序列的阳性克隆子95个,并归类为13个不同的类群OTUs,随机挑取各类群进行测序,构建系统发育进化树.结果表明:用限制性内切酶HinfⅢ进行酶切鉴定,检测到13种不同的分类操作单位(OTUs),其中有3种为单一基因型(OTUs),占总数的23.1%.根据库容(coverage)公式计算得出文库的库容值为97.5%.采用ARDRA酶切图谱和测序结果分析,桉树人工林地土壤真菌群落由Ant fungus garden metagenome,Freshwater metagenome,Coral metagenome,Marine metagenome 4大类群组成,这为进一步研究桉树人工林土壤微生物及环境质量的变化提供了基础资料,并为西南地区桉树与土壤微生物数量、群落之间的变化关系提供了可靠的依据.

  13. Writing Gardens - Gardening Drawings: Fung, Brunier and Garening as a model of Landscape Architectural Practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Raxworthy

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Landscape architecture is different from other design discourses, notably architecture, because of its utilisation of' dynamic' construction media such as plant materials, soils and water, compared with the 'static' materials of architecture, colloquially described as bricks and mortar. This dynamism refers to the fact that landscape materials not only change, but get better over time. While this is a material difference, its implications extend to practice, which has been modelled, from architecture, to favour a static mode of representation: the drawing. While the drawing is important for the propositional nature of landscape architecture, it may be valuable to look at other disciplines, allied to landscape architecture, which might be seen as better able to engage with change. In this essay, the garden provides just such an example. In the writings of Stanislaus Fung on the Chinese garden text the Yuan vi, an argument is made about writing being a fundamental act in the endeavour of gardening that may offer a bridge across the 'ontological disparity' that exists between representation and the subject, the landscape. To speak of writing in this context suggests that writing about gardens is actually a type of gardening in itself. This argument is extended in the current essay quickly to see if it is also appropriate to consider drawings in this way. This essay also attempts to legitimate theoretically the real possibility of modifying landscape architectural practices to engage with change, by suggesting what might be learned from gardening. In further research by this author, this argument will be used as the theoretical basis for critiquing gardens in such a way that lessons learnt from garden designers can be valuably incorporated back into the discourse of landscape architecture.

  14. Cultivating Bakhtin in the garden: Children's ecological narratives on becoming community gardeners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grugel, Annie H.

    2009-12-01

    This dissertation illustrates how a children's community garden, designed specifically to promote intergenerational, multi-sociocultural relationships, is an "ideological environment" linking individuals and their community and connecting people with nature, in order to promote feelings of belonging, social connection, and encourage a sense of stewardship and identification with the environment (Bakhtin, 1978). By spending time in a community garden, responding to the natural ecosystems which exist on this land, and reflecting, through image and story about our childhood experience, the participants and I engaged in the dialogic process of what Thomashow (1996) refers to as "doing ecological identity work." Throughout this study I question how our past experiences with nature in ideological environments shape our ecological epistemologies, and how the dialogic process of becoming a gardener within the context of a community garden shapes a person's ecological identity. To frame this exploration of ecological identity work as a dialogic process and its role in the development of an ecological identity, I draw from sociocultural theory (Holland, et al., 1998), Bakhtin's theory of dialogism, and ecological identity studies (Clayton and Opotow, 2003; Cobb, 1993; Orr, 1994, 2006; Sobel, 1996, 2008; Thomashow, 1996). A large body of scholarly writing done by environmental researchers is devoted to examining and describing how adults, who self-identify as environmentalists, developed an ecological worldview. However, only a fraction of research is devoted to theorizing how children develop an environmental epistemology. In this study, I focus on how community gardens are dialogic spaces that provide a place for elementary-aged children to "experience" the discourse of gardening. Here, I describe the discourses that shape the garden and describe how gardeners, as a result of their collaborative experiences between human and non-human actors, take up social and dialogical

  15. Gardens, knowledge and the sciences in the early modern period

    CERN Document Server

    Remmert, Volker; Wolschke-Bulmahn, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    This volume focuses on the outstanding contributions made by botany and the mathematical sciences to the genesis and development of early modern garden art and garden culture. The many facets of the mathematical sciences and botany point to the increasingly “scientific” approach that was being adopted in and applied to garden art and garden culture in the early modern period. This development was deeply embedded in the philosophical, religious, political, cultural and social contexts, running parallel to the beginning of processes of scientization so characteristic for modern European history. This volume strikingly shows how these various developments are intertwined in gardens for various purposes.

  16. Eighteenth-Century Garden Manuals: Old Practice, New Professions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Butoescu Elena

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This article sketches the cultural significance that garden manuals had in England, from exemplifying a pleasurable and an aesthetic activity to encouraging the setting up of a profitable business. By investigating gardening manuals and treatises from the period, this study argues that eighteenth-century gardening manuals played an important role in shaping the cultural meanings of English gardens, in conveying “a practical knowledge of gardening, to gentlemen and young professors, who delight in that useful and agreeable study” (Abercrombie, The Preface, 1767 and in producing an original type of discourse which was employed to describe and represent the newly created professions.

  17. Design and Construction of Grape Theme Sightseeing Garden

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jun; LIU; Yifei; YU; Jingchuan; LI; Ruifeng; HAN; Ying; WANG

    2014-01-01

    Taking the grape theme sightseeing garden of Hebei Academy of Forestry Sciences for example,this article discusses the suitable edible and wine making cultivation varieties,vineyard frame and cultivation techniques in the grape theme sightseeing garden,from the perspective of planning and design. The garden landscape design and construction is integrated with sightseeing and garden visiting to highlight the theme of grape sightseeing garden,aimed at achieving purposes of sightseeing,picking,appreciating the beautiful scenery,and enjoying palatable food.

  18. The Early Years: An Invertebrate Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashbrook, Peggy

    2008-01-01

    For farmers and gardeners, slugs and snails may be serious pests that will limit the amount of harvest, but for a child, they represent a world to be explored. To teachers, however, invertebrates are tools for broadening students' understanding about animals, the connections between animals and habitats or plants, and an engaging subject to write…

  19. Raising Butterflies from Your Own Garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howley-Pfeifer, Patricia

    2002-01-01

    Describes how raising monarch, black swallowtail, and mourning cloak butterflies in a kindergarten class garden can provide opportunities for observation experiences. Includes detailed steps for instruction and describes stages of growth. Excerpts children's journal dictations to illustrate ways to support the discovery process. Describes related…

  20. The Phonetic Rhetoric in The Garden Party

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    汪婷; 尹静

    2015-01-01

    Katherine Mansfield is a prominent modernist writer. The Garden Party is one of important short stories she wrote in 1921. The story is full of musicality. What’s more, the phonation, stress and intonation of words make the passage possess consis⁃tency with the growth of Laura’s inner heart, that is from excitement, hesitation to peaceful after realization.

  1. Confusion in the Garden of Eden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skyum, Sven

    1975-01-01

    In this paper we examine the connection between unambiguity of cellular systems and the existence of Garden of Eden configurations in cellular automata. The examination includes both finite and infinite configurations. The connections are found by examining various properties of the global...

  2. Growing Language Awareness in the Classroom Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paugh, Patricia; Moran, Mary

    2013-01-01

    For four years, Pat Paugh, a university teacher educator, and Mary Moran, a teacher researcher, collaborated on action research by systematically studying literacy development connected to the latter's third-grade community gardening and urban farming curriculum. Their goal was to support an existing classroom culture that valued…

  3. Community Gardening, Neighborhood Meetings, and Social Capital

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaimo, Katherine; Reischl, Thomas M.; Allen, Julie Ober

    2010-01-01

    This study examined associations between participation in community gardening/beautification projects and neighborhood meetings with perceptions of social capital at both the individual and neighborhood levels. Data were analyzed from a cross-sectional stratified random telephone survey conducted in Flint, Michigan (N=1916). Hierarchical linear…

  4. The tree, the garden, and the landscape:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pihl, Ole Verner

    is protected by "kami" spirits. The tree is significant as a symbol of growth and fertility, and it has its own guardian kami (god). In Japan, ornamental gardening pays homage to nature by creating a symbolic tableau; this is not so in Denmark. When watching a film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, however...

  5. Aberdeen City Garden: Beyond Landscape or Architecture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jauslin, D.

    2012-01-01

    A team around the New York based Architects Diller, Scofidio & Renfro DS+R won a competition for the Aberdeen City Garden in January 2012 together with OLIN and Keppie Design. The proposal supported by a private deed to the city passed a public referendum in the Scottish costal town in March 2012 af

  6. Students Dig for Real School Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Lacey; Emeagwali, N. Susan

    2010-01-01

    There's a lot of talk about saving the environment and going green these days. But the challenge is to turn the words into action, and that includes getting young students to become part of the discussion about sustainability. The Texas-based Rainwater Environmental Alliance for Learning (REAL) School Gardens is cultivating success by providing…

  7. Life on Guam: Farm & Garden. 1977 Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Philip H.

    As part of an updated series of activity oriented educational materials dealing with aspects of the Guam environment, this publication focuses on backyard gardening and nursery methods. Included in this "How to Do It" learning resource are such agricultural techniques as hydroponics, grafting and budding, and fertilizing. This publication includes…

  8. Gray and Green Revisited: A Multidisciplinary Perspective of Gardens, Gardening, and the Aging Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott D. Wright

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over fourteen years ago, the concept of “gray and green” was first introduced by Wright and Lund (2000 to represent a new awareness and a call for increased scholarship at the intersection of environmental issues and the aging process. This review paper revisits that concept with a fresh perspective on the specific role of gardens and gardening in the aging experience. As example, gardening is one of the most popular home-based leisure activities in the US and represents an important activity in the lives of older adults in a variety of residential settings. Yet, there has been a lack of any comprehensive and multidisciplinary (science and humanities examination of the nexus between gardening and the aging experience, and in particular with research connections to stewardship and caring. In this paper, we review contemporary articles demonstrating the multidisciplinarity of gardening and the aging process. First, we will focus on the beneficial psychological effects resulting from the cultivation of caring, including personal contentment and artistic expression. Second, we will focus on stewardship and how gardening increases health, community awareness, and a connection to future generations. On the surface, this may demonstrate a separation between the humanities and science, but we will clarify a symbiotic relationship between the two disciplines in our conclusion.

  9. Gray and green revisited: a multidisciplinary perspective of gardens, gardening, and the aging process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Scott D; Wadsworth, Amy Maida

    2014-01-01

    Over fourteen years ago, the concept of "gray and green" was first introduced by Wright and Lund (2000) to represent a new awareness and a call for increased scholarship at the intersection of environmental issues and the aging process. This review paper revisits that concept with a fresh perspective on the specific role of gardens and gardening in the aging experience. As example, gardening is one of the most popular home-based leisure activities in the US and represents an important activity in the lives of older adults in a variety of residential settings. Yet, there has been a lack of any comprehensive and multidisciplinary (science and humanities) examination of the nexus between gardening and the aging experience, and in particular with research connections to stewardship and caring. In this paper, we review contemporary articles demonstrating the multidisciplinarity of gardening and the aging process. First, we will focus on the beneficial psychological effects resulting from the cultivation of caring, including personal contentment and artistic expression. Second, we will focus on stewardship and how gardening increases health, community awareness, and a connection to future generations. On the surface, this may demonstrate a separation between the humanities and science, but we will clarify a symbiotic relationship between the two disciplines in our conclusion.

  10. "Beautiful garden made of garbage" – Beijing Garden Expo Park as an example of a modern approach to creating public botanical gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tkachenko Kirill

    2016-12-01

    A new park in Beijing is a unique project implemented at a former city waste area. The project was started in 2010. In 2013, the park was opened for its first visitors. Today, it has 69 gardens representing different Chinese provinces and major cities, as well as other countries whose designers wanted to demonstrate their class. The created gardens of 1-2 to 10-12 hectares represent both traditional styles of Chinese gardens and the latest trends in the field of garden art. The Museum of Chinese Gardens and Landscape Architecture (MCGALA is a part of the park’s vast territory of 513 hectares. The park also has the necessary infrastructure for its visitors with disabilities. Today, it has become a home for many educational institutions training specialists in the field of landscape design, as well as for the employees of the country’s parks, agronomists and gardeners.

  11. Spa Garden in Daruvar – Methods of Renewal and Reconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Šćitaroci Mladen Obad

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Spa garden in Daruvar ‘Julius’s Park’ is the oldest spa garden in continental Croatia. The counts Jankovich and their successors created the garden during the 18th and 20th century. The garden resumed its nowadays form and surface in the time of count Julius Jankovich in the mid-19th century and it was named after him. The garden is protected as a cultural heritage. The garden’s renovation is seen as an urban, architectural and landscape unity and it attempts to affirm the missing and neglected parts of the garden, to provide technological and municipal space modernization and to make a pleasant urban garden ambiance with new facilities and high space arrangement qualities, contributing to the economic development of the local community.

  12. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE OF COMMUNITY GARDEN IN ZIMBABWE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zivenge E.

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Zimbabwe has experienced an unprecedented decline of nearly all human development indicators for the past ten years. Despite the introduction of community gardens in drought-prone areas of Zimbabwe, poverty persists amongst the vulnerable groups. The potential to improve household, community and national food and nutrition security through garden activities is high if issues of water availability cost and availability of inputs, marketing and farmer empowerment can be addressed. This paper seeks to assess the community garden's cost structure to sales volume and profitability and the land use efficiency. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaire. A two stage sampling techniques was used to select respondents. The study was conducted in Zaka district. Three major crops namely tomatoes, covo and onion were chosen for the study basing on size of land under that particular crop. Cost-Volume-Profit analysis employed for analysis of cost structure to sales volume and profitability. Land use efficiency was also employed to measure the ratio yield per acre of farm to average yield of locality. The results showed that although the farmers are able to break even the margin of safety is small especially for cove and onion. The study recommends farmers to increase the size of acreage under onion production whilst reduce acreage under production of covo. Farmers should adopt technology that would improve land use efficiency of onion. There is a need for the intervention by the Government and other stakeholders to improve the profitability and efficiency of the community gardeners. Stakeholders' collaboration especially, in terms of farmer training which can improve garden activities as participants lack knowhow.

  13. Garden in Bayou or Bayou in the Garden: Design Provenance and Environmental Adaptation at Le Petit Versailles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Risk

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Tracing the design provenance and formal evolution of a garden provides a fairly narrow understanding of the garden as place. A garden is conditioned by site-specific environmental factors, as well as by broader patterns of cultural inheritance. In fact, a garden's long-term physical survival is determined as much by adaptability to localised environmental context as by sustained recognition of cultural significance. Indeed, a garden may display elements of a recognised design tradition and still be largely vernacular in its environmental expression.

  14. Arbuscular mycorrhiza of plants from the Mountain Botanical Garden in Zakopane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szymon Zubek

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The mycorrhizal status of 77 plant species collected from the Mountain Botanical Garden of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Zakopane (southern Poland was surveyed. These plants include rare, endemic and threatened species in the Tatra Mts. (the Western Carpathians and are maintained in the botanical garden in order to develop effective methods of protection and cultivation. Plants belonging to Brassicaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Dryopteridaceae, Juncaceae, Polygonaceae, Rubiaceae and Woodsiaceae families were nonmycorrhizal. 41 species formed AM symbiosis. Spores of nine AMF spccies (Glomeromycota, including Archaeospora trappei, Glomus aggregatum, G. claroideum, G. constrictum, G. deserticola, G. geosponrum, G. microcarpum, G. mosseae and G.rubiforme were isolated for the first time from this region of Poland. In addition, the occurrence of the fine endophyte, G. tenue was detected in roots of 18 species from the study area, although formation of arbuscules by this fungus was observed rarely. AM fungi were sporadically accompanied by dark septate endophytes (DSE. 70% of nonmycorrhizal plant sepcies were devoid of DSE.

  15. Risks and benefits of gardening in urban soil; heavy metals and nutrient content in Los Angeles Community Gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, L. W.; Jenerette, D.; Bain, D. J.

    2012-12-01

    The availability of soil nutrients and heavy metals in urban community gardens can influence health of crops and participants. Interactions between garden history, management, and soils are understudied in cities. In July 2011, we collected soil samples from 45 plots at 6 Los Angeles community gardens. For comparison, 3 samples were collected from uncultivated garden soils and 3 more from outside soils. Samples were then tested for major nutrients- Nitrogen(N), Potassium (K), and Phosphorous (P)- and organic matter (SOM). We also measured concentrations of 29 metals in 3 gardens using Inductively Coupled Plasma- Atomic Emission Spectroscopy. Potassium and phosphorus exceeded optimum levels in all plots, with some over twice the maximum recommended levels. Over-fertilized soils may contribute to local watershed pollution and crop micronutrient deficiencies. Low soil SOM was observed in gardens in impoverished neighborhoods, possibly due to low quality amendments. Our metals analysis showed dangerous levels of lead (Pb)-- up to 1700 ppm in outside soils and 150 ppm in garden soils-- near older gardens, indicating lead deposition legacies. California lead safety standards indicate that children should not play near soils with Pb above 200 ppm, indicating need for long term monitoring of lead contaminated gardens. Arsenic (As) levels exceeded federal risk levels (0.3 ppm) and average CA background levels (2 ppm) in all areas, with some gardens exceeding 10 ppm. Heavy metal legacies in gardens may pose risks to participants with prolonged exposure and remediation of soils may be necessary.

  16. Disease in the Society: Infectious Cadavers Result in Collapse of Ant Sub-Colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loreto, Raquel G.; Hughes, David P.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the growing number of experimental studies on mechanisms of social immunity in ant societies, little is known about how social behavior relates to disease progression within the nests of ants. In fact, when empirically studying disease in ant societies, it is common to remove dead ants from experiments to confirm infection by the studied parasite. This unfortunately does not allow disease to progress within the nest as it may be assumed would happen under natural conditions. Therefore, the approach taken so far has resulted in a limited knowledge of diseases dynamics within the nest environment. Here we introduced a single infectious cadaver killed by the fungus Beauveria bassiana into small nests of the ant Camponotus castaneus. We then observed the natural progression of the disease by not removing the corpses of the ants that died following the first entry of the disease. Because some behaviors such as social isolation of sick individuals or the removal of cadavers by nestmates are considered social immune functions and thus adaptations at the colony level that reduce disease spread, we also experimentally confined some sub-colonies to one or two chamber nests to prevent the expression of such behaviors. Based on 51 small nests and survival studies in 1,003 ants we found that a single introduced infectious cadaver was able to transmit within the nest, and social immunity did not prevent the collapse of the small sub-colonies here tested. This was true whether ants did or did not have the option to remove the infectious cadaver. Therefore, we found no evidence that the typically studied social immunity behaviors can reduce disease spread in the conditions here tested. PMID:27529548

  17. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini...

  18. ANT, tourism and situated globality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jóhannesson, Gunnar Thór; Ren, Carina Bregnholm; van der Duim, René

    2015-01-01

    are used to define as the separate spheres of nature and culture. This paper explores and relates the central tenets of ANT in tourism with regard to the concept of the Anthropocene. It presents the ANT approach as a flat and object-oriented ontology and methodology and explores its potentials to carve out......In recent years Actor-network theory (ANT) has increasingly been felt in the field of tourism studies (Van der Duim, Ren, & Jóhannesson, 2012). An important implication of the meeting between ANT and tourism studies is the notion of tourism being described as a heterogeneous assemblage of what we...... viable descriptions of the collective condition of humans and more-than-humans in the Anthropocene. Also and moving past a merely descriptive approach, it discusses it as a useful tool to engage with the situated globalities which come into being through the socio-spatial coupling of tourism...

  19. Ants Orase kultuurisõnum

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2007-01-01

    26. jaanuaril toimub Tallinna Ülikooli Akadeemilises Raamatukogus seminar silmapaistvast Eesti teadlasest ja tõlkijast Ants Orasest. Esinevad kirjandusteadlased Tallinna Ülikoolist, Tartu Ülikoolist ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseumist. Avaettekandeks on sõna Oklahoma Ülikooli professoril Vincent B. Leitchil, kes oli Ants Orase viimaseks juhendatavaks doktorandiks. Seminari korraldavad Tallinna Ülikool ja Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum. Vt ka Postimees, 26, jaan., lk. 18

  20. Growing urban health: community gardening in South-East Toronto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakefield, Sarah; Yeudall, Fiona; Taron, Carolin; Reynolds, Jennifer; Skinner, Ana

    2007-06-01

    This article describes results from an investigation of the health impacts of community gardening, using Toronto, Ontario as a case study. According to community members and local service organizations, these gardens have a number of positive health benefits. However, few studies have explicitly focused on the health impacts of community gardens, and many of those did not ask community gardeners directly about their experiences in community gardening. This article sets out to fill this gap by describing the results of a community-based research project that collected data on the perceived health impacts of community gardening through participant observation, focus groups and in-depth interviews. Results suggest that community gardens were perceived by gardeners to provide numerous health benefits, including improved access to food, improved nutrition, increased physical activity and improved mental health. Community gardens were also seen to promote social health and community cohesion. These benefits were set against a backdrop of insecure land tenure and access, bureaucratic resistance, concerns about soil contamination and a lack of awareness and understanding by community members and decision-makers. Results also highlight the need for ongoing resources to support gardens in these many roles.

  1. Spiral precipitation patterns in confined chemical gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haudin, Florence; Cartwright, Julyan H E; Brau, Fabian; De Wit, A

    2014-12-09

    Chemical gardens are mineral aggregates that grow in three dimensions with plant-like forms and share properties with self-assembled structures like nanoscale tubes, brinicles, or chimneys at hydrothermal vents. The analysis of their shapes remains a challenge, as their growth is influenced by osmosis, buoyancy, and reaction-diffusion processes. Here we show that chemical gardens grown by injection of one reactant into the other in confined conditions feature a wealth of new patterns including spirals, flowers, and filaments. The confinement decreases the influence of buoyancy, reduces the spatial degrees of freedom, and allows analysis of the patterns by tools classically used to analyze 2D patterns. Injection moreover allows the study in controlled conditions of the effects of variable concentrations on the selected morphology. We illustrate these innovative aspects by characterizing quantitatively, with a simple geometrical model, a new class of self-similar logarithmic spirals observed in a large zone of the parameter space.

  2. FOLIAR OR CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS FOR GARDEN PEAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ion BOZGA

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this paper was the research and controlled study of the main physiological processes of the garden pea, the type Redondo, with the purpose of knowing adaptability the natural conditions in the area. In this purpose, was observed the special behavior of the garden pea Redondo, at the meteorological conditions that exist in this study (temperature, moist, light intensity determining physiological that took place: photosynthesis, chlorophyll, perspiration, absorption and index of the foliar surface. During the vegetation have been realized observations regarding: moment of arising, apparition of the first real leaves, dynamics of formation leaves and their dimensions, the number of plant leaves, formation of ramification of the roots, apparition of the floral buds, opening flowers, formation of fruits and reaching full maturity.

  3. Identifying potential evolutionary relationships within a facultative lycaenid-ant system: Ant association,oviposition, and butterfly-ant conflict

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    NEIL COLLIER

    2007-01-01

    Facultative associations are commonly encountered between ants and lycaenids,although the nature and patterns of associations are typically unclear. This study investigated a facultative symbiosis involving the lycaenid Theclinesthes albocincta (Lycaenidae), its host plant Adriana quadripartita and Australian native ants. Ants in the genera Ochetellus and Iridomyrmex were most frequently found in association with T. albocincta larvae,although Iridomyrmex ants were found in much lower abundance than were ants in Ochetellus. The abundances of Ochetellus and Iridomyrmex were highly correlated with larval abundance, but not egg abundance. Observations and experiments recorded oviposition on male inflorescences on more than 95% of occasions, but oviposition was not greater on inflorescences with ants present. Behavioral assays showed that Iridomyrmex ants were aggressive towards female butterflies on significantly more occasions than were Ochetellus ants. These findings indicate potential evolutionary relationships between T. albocincta and two genera of ants that were abundant within the habitat.

  4. Variation in Pseudonocardia antibiotic defence helps govern parasite-induced morbidity in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    OpenAIRE

    Poulsen, Michael; Cafaro, Matías J.; Erhardt, Daniel P.; Little, Ainslie E. F.; Gerardo, Nicole M.; Tebbets, Brad; Klein, Bruce S.; Currie, Cameron R

    2009-01-01

    Host–parasite associations are potentially shaped by evolutionary reciprocal selection dynamics, in which parasites evolve to overcome host defences and hosts are selected to counteract these through the evolution of new defences. This is expected to result in variation in parasite-defence interactions, and the evolution of resistant parasites causing increased virulence. Fungus-growing ants maintain antibiotic-producing Pseudonocardia (Actinobacteria) that aid in protection against specializ...

  5. Economic Gardening and the Grow Kentucky Program

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    In 2014, the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) and the Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC), launched Grow Kentucky, Kentucky’s only certified Economic Gardening program. The program helps second-stage entrepreneurial growth companies penetrate existing markets, identify new markets, monitor competitors, track industry trends, locate customer clusters, use search engine optimization/social media for marketing and various other customized research....

  6. Horticultural therapy: the garden benefits everyone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, D J

    1998-10-01

    Horticulture therapy (HT) is an applied adjuctive therapy, using plants and gardening materials, to help the client with mental illness to improve social skills, self-esteem, and use of leisure time. HT provides a nonthreatening context for the development of a therapeutic alliance between client and nursing student. HT provides a group experience for the student nurse, allowing the promotion of therapeutic community, assessment of patient status, and management of a therapy session from start to finish via the nursing process.

  7. Symbiotic fungi alter plant chemistry that discourages leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrada, Catalina; Wcislo, William T; Van Bael, Sunshine A

    2013-04-01

    Fungal symbionts that live asymptomatically inside plant tissues (endophytes) can influence plant-insect interactions. Recent work has shown that damage by leaf-cutting ants, a major Neotropical defoliator, is reduced to almost half in plants with high densities of endophytes. We investigated changes in the phenotype of leaves that could influence ants' behavior to result in the reduction of foliar damage. We produced cucumber seedlings with high and low densities of one common endophyte species, Colletotrichum tropicale. We used the leaves in bioassays and to compare chemical and physical leaf characteristics important for ants' food selection. Ants cut about one-third more area of cucumber leaves with lower densities of endophytes and removed c. 20% more paper disks impregnated with the extracts of those leaves compared with leaves and disks from plants hosting the fungus. Colletotrichum tropicale colonization did not cause detectable changes in the composition of volatile compounds, cuticular waxes, nutrients or leaf toughness. Our study shows that endophytes changed leaf chemistry and suggests that compounds with relative low volatility released after leaf wounding are a major factor influencing foraging decisions by ants when choosing between plants with low or high endophyte loads.

  8. Symbiotic adaptations in the fungal cultivar of leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Tunlid, Anders

    2014-01-01

    Centuries of artificial selection have dramatically improved the yield of human agriculture; however, strong directional selection also occurs in natural symbiotic interactions. Fungus-growing attine ants cultivate basidiomycete fungi for food. One cultivar lineage has evolved inflated hyphal tips (gongylidia) that grow in bundles called staphylae, to specifically feed the ants. Here we show extensive regulation and molecular signals of adaptive evolution in gene trancripts associated with gongylidia biosynthesis, morphogenesis and enzymatic plant cell wall degradation in the leaf-cutting ant cultivar Leucoagaricus gongylophorus. Comparative analysis of staphylae growth morphology and transcriptome-wide expressional and nucleotide divergence indicate that gongylidia provide leaf-cutting ants with essential amino acids and plant-degrading enzymes, and that they may have done so for 20-25 million years without much evolutionary change. These molecular traits and signatures of selection imply that staphylae are highly advanced coevolutionary organs that play pivotal roles in the mutualism between leaf-cutting ants and their fungal cultivars.

  9. Precipitation and Crystallization Kinetics in Silica Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaab, Fabian; Rieder, Julian; Klein, Regina; Choquesillo-Lazarte, Duane; Melero-Garcia, Emilio; García-Ruiz, Juan-Manuel; Kunz, Werner; Kellermeier, Matthias

    2017-02-17

    Silica gardens are extraordinary plant-like structures resulting from the complex interplay of relatively simple inorganic components. Recent work has highlighted that macroscopic self-assembly is accompanied by the spontaneous formation of considerable chemical gradients, which induce a cascade of coupled dissolution, diffusion, and precipitation processes occurring over timescales as long as several days. In the present study, this dynamic behavior was investigated for silica gardens based on iron and cobalt chloride by means of two synchrotron-based techniques, which allow the determination of concentration profiles and time-resolved monitoring of diffraction patterns, thus giving direct insight into the progress of dissolution and crystallization phenomena in the system. On the basis of the collected data, a kinetic model is proposed to describe the relevant reactions on a fundamental physicochemical level. The results show that the choice of the metal cations (as well as their counterions) is crucial for the development of silica gardens in both the short and long term (i.e. during tube formation and upon subsequent slow equilibration), and provide important clues for understanding the properties of related structures in geochemical and industrial environments.

  10. Botanic gardens science for conservation and global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, John S

    2009-11-01

    The contributions of botanic gardens to conservation biology and global-change research need to be understood within the context of the traditional strengths of such gardens in herbarium collections, living collections and interactions with the public. Here, I propose that research in conservation planning, modelling species responses to climate change, conservation of threatened species and experimental tests of global change build on the core strengths of botanic gardens. However, there are limits to what can be achieved through traditional gardens-based programs, and some botanic gardens have adapted their research to include studies of threatening processes and to monitor and verify global-change impacts. There is an opportunity for botanic gardens to use their living collections more effectively in global-change research and for them to have a role in linking biodiversity conservation with benefits derived from ecosystem services.

  11. Teaching Material Culture and Chinese Gardens at American Colleges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Han

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The paper reflects on the experience of designing and teaching a course on material culture and Chinese gardens. Involving traditional philosophy, ethics, religion, painting, calligraphy, craft, literature, architecture and horticulture, a classical Chinese garden can be considered a microcosm of Chinese culture. This essay discusses the textbooks and general organization of the course, particularly focusing on how students study the key elements (rocks, water, plants and architecture in building a Chinese garden. Some Chinese literature with representations of gardens that can be used for this class is also introduced. In addition, this essay uses two classical Chinese gardens built in the United States (the Astor Court and the Garden of Flowing Fragrance to discuss the appropriation of “Chinese-ness” in different geographical, physical and cultural environments. Finally, some available online resources and technologies that have enhanced student understanding of the subject matter are introduced.

  12. Refugees Connecting with a New Country through Community Food Gardening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Harris

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Refugees are a particularly vulnerable population who undergo nutrition transition as a result of forced migration. This paper explores how involvement in a community food garden supports African humanitarian migrant connectedness with their new country. A cross-sectional study of a purposive sample of African refugees participating in a campus-based community food garden was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with twelve African humanitarian migrants who tended established garden plots within the garden. Interview data were thematically analysed revealing three factors which participants identified as important benefits in relation to community garden participation: land tenure, reconnecting with agri-culture, and community belonging. Community food gardens offer a tangible means for African refugees, and other vulnerable or marginalised populations, to build community and community connections. This is significant given the increasing recognition of the importance of social connectedness for wellbeing.

  13. Refugees connecting with a new country through community food gardening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Neil; Minniss, Fiona Rowe; Somerset, Shawn

    2014-09-05

    Refugees are a particularly vulnerable population who undergo nutrition transition as a result of forced migration. This paper explores how involvement in a community food garden supports African humanitarian migrant connectedness with their new country. A cross-sectional study of a purposive sample of African refugees participating in a campus-based community food garden was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with twelve African humanitarian migrants who tended established garden plots within the garden. Interview data were thematically analysed revealing three factors which participants identified as important benefits in relation to community garden participation: land tenure, reconnecting with agri-culture, and community belonging. Community food gardens offer a tangible means for African refugees, and other vulnerable or marginalised populations, to build community and community connections. This is significant given the increasing recognition of the importance of social connectedness for wellbeing.

  14. Smell and Anosmia in the Aesthetic Appreciation of Gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Tafalla

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In his Critique of the Power of Judgment, Kant defined the garden as a visual art and considered that smell plays no role in its aesthetic appreciation. If the Kantian thesis were right, then a person who has no sense of smell (who suffers from anosmia would not be impaired in his or her aesthetic appreciation of gardens. At the same time, a visually impaired person could not appreciate the beauty of gardens, although he or she could perceive them through hearing, smell, taste, and touch. In this paper I discuss the role of smell and anosmia in the aesthetic appreciation of gardens. I accept the Kantian idea that the appreciation of a garden is the appreciation of its form, but I also defend that, at least in some cases, smell can belong to the form of gardens and, consequently, the ability or inability to smell influences their aesthetic appreciation.

  15.   The fungus Trichoderma spp. on vegetables

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne

      The fungus Trichoderma spp. on vegetables   Anne Winding, National Environmental Research Institute, Roskilde, AU   Trichoderma spp. is a naturally occurring fungus in soil and T. harzianum is an active ingredient in microbial pest control agents (MPCA) active against root pathogenic fungi....... The MPCA is administered to the plants by watering. The fungus establishes in the root zone and exerts its beneficial effect by general increase of resistance against pathogenic fungi. The natural occurrence of Trichoderma spp. and the fate and survival of the introduced T. harzianum on vegetables...

  16. Malaysia as the Archetypal Garden in the British Creative Imagination

    OpenAIRE

    Siti Nuraishah Ahmad

    2014-01-01

    European travel writing (1512–1984) represented Malaysia as a tropical Garden of Eden, an image that has also percolated into literary texts concerning the region. This article examines spatial images in British fiction through the framework of archetypal literary criticism and theories of colonial representations of space to reveal the worlding (Spivak 1999) of Malaysia as a garden. In order to ascertain the ways in which the garden archetype has been deployed by the British creative imagina...

  17. Recycling urban waste as possible use for rooftop vegetable garden

    OpenAIRE

    grard, baptiste; Bel, N.; Marchal, N.; Madre, N.; Castell, Jean-François; CAMBIER, Philippe; Houot, Sabine; Manouchehri, Nastaran; Besancon, S.; Michel, J.C.; Chenu, Claire; Frascaria-Lacoste, Nathalie; Aubry, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Urban authorities in Europe are confronted with increasing demands by urban dwellers for allotment gardens, but vacant urban soil tends to be scarce and/or polluted by past industrial activities. A possible solution for local authorities could therefore be to promote rooftop gardening. However little technical information exists on certain forms of rooftop urban agriculture, called Z-Farming. In 2012, a pilot experiment was run in Paris (France). Simple and cheap systems of rooftop gardening ...

  18. The Study of Bogor Botanical Garden Ecotourism Value Chain

    OpenAIRE

    Doni Yusri; Arief Daryanto; Hadi K. Purwadaria

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study were : 1) to improve development of Bogor Botanical Garden ecotourism value chain, 2) to recommend strategies of development for Bogor Botanical Garden ecotourism value chain, and 3) to formulate programs that increase value added for Bogor Botanical Garden value chain, especially for involved SME’s. Data collected from survey, in depth interview, and literature was analyzed using descriptive analysis, value chain analysis, SWOT analysis. The results of SWOT analys...

  19. Community garden: A bridging program between formal and informal learning

    OpenAIRE

    Ranjan Datta

    2016-01-01

    Community garden activities can play a significant role in bridging formal and informal learning, particularly in urban children’s science and environmental education. It promotes relational methods of learning, discussing, and practicing that will integrate food security, social interactions, community development, environmental activism, and cultural integration. Throughout the last five years of my community garden activities, I have learned that community garden-based practices adhere to ...

  20. How ants drop out: ant abundance on tropical mountains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T Longino

    Full Text Available In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops.

  1. Malaysia as the Archetypal Garden in the British Creative Imagination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siti Nuraishah Ahmad

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available European travel writing (1512–1984 represented Malaysia as a tropical Garden of Eden, an image that has also percolated into literary texts concerning the region. This article examines spatial images in British fiction through the framework of archetypal literary criticism and theories of colonial representations of space to reveal the worlding (Spivak 1999 of Malaysia as a garden. In order to ascertain the ways in which the garden archetype has been deployed by the British creative imagination in the past and the present, novels from the colonial and postcolonial periods have been selected for analysis. Three dominant incarnations of the garden archetype can be discerned throughout novels by Joseph Conrad, W. Somerset Maugham, and Anthony Burgess: the lush, Romantic garden; the restrained, ­disciplined Victorian garden; and the barren, dried-up garden. The postcolonial British novel, for its part, deploys images of the barren garden revived (William Riviere’s Borneo Fire as well as a return to the earlier Conradian image of the Romantic locus amoenus (Frederick Lees’ Fool’s Gold. This article concludes that the representation of Malaysia in various guises of the archetypal garden negates the indigenous worldview concerning space and produces instead “knowledge” about Malaysia rooted in the white man’s perspective.

  2. The Study of Bogor Botanical Garden Ecotourism Value Chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doni Yusri

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study were : 1 to improve development of Bogor Botanical Garden ecotourism value chain, 2 to recommend strategies of development for Bogor Botanical Garden ecotourism value chain, and 3 to formulate programs that increase value added for Bogor Botanical Garden value chain, especially for involved SME’s. Data collected from survey, in depth interview, and literature was analyzed using descriptive analysis, value chain analysis, SWOT analysis. The results of SWOT analysis indicated that the strength of The Bogor Botanical Garden value chain was the well known Bogor Botanical Garden, the weakness was lack of investment to improve the Bogor Botanical Garden, the opportunity was the support of government, and the threat was the growing of ecotourism competitor. Recommended strategies were : 1 relying on the strenghts of Bogor Botanical Garden as a focal point of the plus ecoedutourism programs, 2 improving quality of human resources at each value chain, 3 increasing investment for the development of value chain, and 4 marketing Bogor Botanical Garden as past of various integrated packages with other tourism objective in Indonesia.Keywords: Bogor Botanical Garden, Ecotourism Value Chain, SWOT Analysis

  3. Discovery Garden -- Physics and Architecture Meet Outside to Talk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabor-Morris, Anne; Briles, Timothy; Froriep, Kathleen; McGuire, Catherine

    2012-02-01

    The purpose of Georgian Court University's "Discovery Garden" is to create an experience of the physical sciences for students, both science and non-science majors, in a place of serenity: an outdoor garden. Why a garden? Consider that the traditional laboratory experience for students is one of stark rooms ventilated with noisy hoods and endemic with lab coats and safety glasses, an alien environment that can be a source of anxiety for some students studying science, while the idea of a garden excites the imagination and conjures peace. The garden also serves as a reminder that ideas learned in the classroom apply to the everyday world. In addition, the garden is a model of informal learning, which can be especially interesting for pre-service teachers. Outlined here are some general suggestions for the design of a science garden, applicability of educational philosophy to full-body experiences, and activities suggested for students and future teachers in such a garden, as well as a mini-tour of our garden.

  4. Urban Gardening Realities: The Example Case Study of Portsmouth, England

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Hallsworth

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper offers an empirical case study of the potential for urban gardening to contribute to individual food security. Food security generally encompasses both availability and accessibility. In Western Europe, availability per se has declined in importance with the development of national and international transportation networks. During the past decade, urban gardening has gained political currency as a strategy to provide greater food security at the local level. However, prevailing economic and social structures hamper the likelihood that urban gardening might offer much greater food security. Realistically, contemporary urban gardening most closely resembles a middle-class pursuit for personal enjoyment.

  5. Influence of physical and chemical factors during foraging and culture of the symbiont fungus in Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SANDRA S. VERZA; LUIZ C. FORTI; JULIANE F. S. LOPES; ROBERTO S.CAMARGO; CARLOS A. O. MATOS

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to investigate the influence of physical and chemical factors on transport and use of substrate for Atta sexdens rubropilosa workers. Three types of rectangular fragments were used to study the physical influence factors: filter paper with paraffin, filter paper without paraffin and polyester film. To study the chemical factors, some fragments were impregnated with organic extract of orange albedo, others were soaked with soybean oil and for the remaining ones nothing was applied. The following parameters were evaluated: (i) attractiveness of substrate for transport and number of loading workers per treatment; (ii) foraged material incorporation; (iii) rejection by numbers of fragments deposited in the garbage or beside the fungus garden. All the polyester film fragments carried out to the fungus garden were subsequently rejected. We verified that chemical factors of the substrate were more quickly detected by the workers, whereas physical factors were used as a criterion in the decision-making to reject or accept the substrate collected:

  6. Cascading effects of a highly specialized beech-aphid–fungus interaction on forest regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan C. Cook-Patton

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Specialist herbivores are thought to often enhance or maintain plant diversity within ecosystems, because they prevent their host species from becoming competitively dominant. In contrast, specialist herbivores are not generally expected to have negative impacts on non-hosts. However, we describe a cascade of indirect interactions whereby a specialist sooty mold (Scorias spongiosa colonizes the honeydew from a specialist beech aphid (Grylloprociphilus imbricator, ultimately decreasing the survival of seedlings beneath American beech trees (Fagus grandifolia. A common garden experiment indicated that this mortality resulted from moldy honeydew impairing leaf function rather than from chemical or microbial changes to the soil. In addition, aphids consistently and repeatedly colonized the same large beech trees, suggesting that seedling-depauperate islands may form beneath these trees. Thus this highly specialized three-way beech-aphid–fungus interaction has the potential to negatively impact local forest regeneration via a cascade of indirect effects.

  7. Ants medicate to fight disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Nick; Sundström, Liselotte; Fuchs, Siiri; Freitak, Dalial

    2015-11-01

    Parasites are ubiquitous, and the ability to defend against these is of paramount importance. One way to fight diseases is self-medication, which occurs when an organism consumes biologically active compounds to clear, inhibit, or alleviate disease symptoms. Here, we show for the first time that ants selectively consume harmful substances (reactive oxygen species, ROS) upon exposure to a fungal pathogen, yet avoid these in the absence of infection. This increased intake of ROS, while harmful to healthy ants, leads to higher survival of exposed ants. The fact that ingestion of this substance carries a fitness cost in the absence of pathogens rules out compensatory diet choice as the mechanism, and provides evidence that social insects medicate themselves against fungal infection, using a substance that carries a fitness cost to uninfected individuals.

  8. A New Macrocyclic Trichochecene from Soil Fungus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TaoWANG; YiZHANG; 等

    2002-01-01

    From fermentation broth of soil fungus 254-2 obtained from Yunnan province, a new macrocylic trichochecene was isolated. The structure was determined on the basis of spectroscopie evidences especially the 2-D NMR spectra.

  9. A new macrocyclic trichochecene from soil fungus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    From fermentation broth of soil fungus 254-2 obtained from Yunnan province,a new macrocylic trichochecene was isolated.The structure was determined on the basis of spectroscopic evidences especially the 2-D NMR spectra.

  10. Metabolites from marine fungus Aspergillus sp.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wahidullah, S.; Rajmanickam, R.; DeSouza, L.

    Chemical examination of a methanolic extract of the marine fungus, Aspergillus sp., isolated from marine grass environment, yielded a steroid, ergosterol peroxide (1), and a mixture of known glyceride esters (2,3) of unsaturated fatty acids...

  11. Ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae in an urban ecosystem near the Atlantic Rainforest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CM. Kamura

    Full Text Available The relationships between an urban ecosystem located near the Atlantic Rainforest in southeastern Brazil and ant communities were studied with the objective of quantifying the ant richness and abundance in the household environment and its surroundings. Eighty residences were sampled, where 58 species and 28 genera pertaining to 7 sub-families were found to be present. Inside the residences, the species richness was found to be lower (26, although the abundance was greater (10,670, with the wash area and kitchen being the locales that contributed with the greatest number of hits. The opposite was true in the areas outside the residences, where 54 species and 3,747 ants were observed. Inside houses, the species known as Tramp ants were found, in the following order of importance: Solenopsis -saevissima, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Linepithema humile, Paratrechina fulva, Wasmannia -auropunctata, P. -longicornis, Pheidole megacephala, Monomorium pharaonis and M. floricola. Externally, mainly in the yards and gardens, species such as Octostruma rugifera, Heteroponera dolo, Hypoponera sp.1 and sp.6, Gnamptogenys sp. 4, G. striatula, Odontomachus meinerti, Pachycondyla constricta and P. striata were found. In general, a greater number of species and lower abundance of individuals were observed in the neighborhoods nearer the mountains than in those closer to the urban center.

  12. Runtime analysis of the 1-ANT ant colony optimizer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk;

    2011-01-01

    are investigated. The influence of the evaporation factor in the pheromone update mechanism and the robustness of this parameter w.r.t. the runtime behavior have been determined for the example function OneMax.This work puts forward the rigorous runtime analysis of the 1-ANT on the example functions Leading...

  13. Domestic Resistance: Gardening, Mothering, and Storytelling in Leslie Marmon Silko's "Gardens in the Dunes"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Stephanie

    2009-01-01

    Leslie Marmon Silko began her most recent work, "Gardens in the Dunes" (1999), intending to write a novel that would not be political. Following the publication of "Almanac of the Dead" (1992), which was simultaneously hailed as one of the most important books of the twentieth century and condemned for its angry self-righteousness, Silko…

  14. A Garden of Stories: An English Lesson in a Botanical Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazor, Rachel

    2011-01-01

    Five middle school teachers are among the few people wandering around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, squinting at labels describing the plants that will bloom soon. The author and her colleagues are on a reconnaissance mission, trying to plan an interdisciplinary field trip for the seventh grade. They represent different departments--science, math,…

  15. Ant opsins: sequences from the Saharan silver ant and the carpenter ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popp, M P; Grisshammer, R; Hargrave, P A; Smith, W C

    1996-03-01

    cDNA clones encoding opsins from compound eyes of carpenter ant, Camponotus abdominalis, and Saharan silver ant, Cataglyphis bombycina, were isolated from cDNA libraries. The opsin cDNAs from each species code for deduced proteins with 378 amino acids which are 92% identical. Of the 30 amino acid differences between the two proteins, 13 are non-conservative. Eight of these non-conservative substitutions are within the membrane spanning domain. The presence of a potential Schiff-base counterion in helix III in both species suggests that these opsins are the protein moiety of the visible range pigments. When compared to all known opsins, these opsins are most similar to the opsin from preying mantis (76% identity at the amino acid level). Phyletic comparisons group the two ant opsins with the other arthropod long wavelength opsins.

  16. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sibel Gokce; Ozhan Kayacan

    2013-05-01

    In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was investigated using one-dimensional cellular automata model. It is known that ants communicate with each other by dropping a chemical, called pheromone, on the substrate. Apart from the studies in the literature, it was considered in the model that (i) ant colony consists of two kinds of ants, goodand poor-smelling ants, (ii) ants might make U-turn for some special reasons. For some values of densities of good- and poor-smelling ants, the flux and mean velocity of the colony were studied as a function of density and evaporation rate of pheromone.

  17. The Feminist Consciousness in The Garden Party

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Song-zhi

    2016-01-01

    Feminist movement reaches its climax in the first two decades of the 20th century. There are many female novelists in that time and Mansfield is one of them. Most of her novels are full of feminist consciousness, and The Garden Party is a special one. The characters in the story are different from other story. The author describes how the society and its spokesman Mrs. Sher-idan restrain the nature of Laura in detail. The author uses Laura to hint the current situation of women.

  18. Mites (Acari Associated with the Desert Seed Harvester Ant, Messor pergandei (Mayr

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitlin A. Uppstrom

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Mites (Acari associated with the seed harvester ant Messor pergandei were investigated in the Sonoran desert of Arizona. At least seven representatives of the mite genera Armacarus, Lemanniella, Petalomium, Forcellinia, Histiostoma, Unguidispus, and Cosmoglyphus are phoretically associated with M. pergandei. Most of these morphospecies show preference for specific phoretic attachment sites and primarily use female alates rather than male alates for dispersal. Five mite morphospecies were found in low numbers inhabiting the chaff piles: Tydeidae sp., Procaeculus sp., Anystidae sp., Bakerdania sp., and Tetranychidae sp. The phoretic Petalomium sp. was observed consuming fungus growing on a dead queen, but the roles of the other mite species remain mostly unresolved.

  19. Front gardens to car parks: changes in garden permeability and effects on flood regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warhurst, Jennifer R; Parks, Katherine E; McCulloch, Lindsay; Hudson, Malcolm D

    2014-07-01

    This study addresses the consequences of widespread conversion of permeable front gardens to hard standing car parking surfaces, and the potential consequences in high-risk urban flooding hotspots, in the city of Southampton. The last two decades has seen a trend for domestic front gardens in urban areas to be converted for parking, driven by the lack of space and increased car ownership. Despite media and political attention, the effects of this change are unknown, but increased and more intense rainfall, potentially linked to climate change, could generate negative consequences as runoff from impermeable surfaces increases. Information is limited on garden permeability change, despite the consequences for ecosystem services, especially flood regulation. We focused on eight flooding hotspots identified by the local council as part of a wider urban flooding policy response. Aerial photographs from 1991, 2004 and 2011 were used to estimate changes in surface cover and to analyse permeability change within a digital surface model in a GIS environment. The 1, 30 and 100 year required attenuation storage volumes were estimated, which are the temporary storage required to reduce the peak flow rate given surface permeability. Within our study areas, impermeable cover in domestic front gardens increased by 22.47% over the 20-year study period (1991-2011) and required attenuation storage volumes increased by 26.23% on average. These increases suggest that a consequence of the conversion of gardens to parking areas will be a potential increase in flooding frequency and severity - a situation which is likely to occur in urban locations worldwide.

  20. Optimal cue integration in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wystrach, Antoine; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2015-10-07

    In situations with redundant or competing sensory information, humans have been shown to perform cue integration, weighting different cues according to their certainty in a quantifiably optimal manner. Ants have been shown to merge the directional information available from their path integration (PI) and visual memory, but as yet it is not clear that they do so in a way that reflects the relative certainty of the cues. In this study, we manipulate the variance of the PI home vector by allowing ants (Cataglyphis velox) to run different distances and testing their directional choice when the PI vector direction is put in competition with visual memory. Ants show progressively stronger weighting of their PI direction as PI length increases. The weighting is quantitatively predicted by modelling the expected directional variance of home vectors of different lengths and assuming optimal cue integration. However, a subsequent experiment suggests ants may not actually compute an internal estimate of the PI certainty, but are using the PI home vector length as a proxy.

  1. Assessing Changes in Virginia Master Gardener Volunteer Management

    OpenAIRE

    Dorn, Sheri T.

    1999-01-01

    ASSESSING CHANGES IN VIRGINIA MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT Sheri T. Dorn ABSTRACT Master Gardener (MG) volunteers are nonpaid, education partners with Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE). VCE MGs have assisted Extension agents in meeting VCE's educational goals and mission by following the Sustainable Landscape Management educational program objectives within the VCE Plan of Work. Local MG volunteer programs must be managed appropriately so that vol...

  2. A Rain Garden for Our School: Becoming Environmental Stewards

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadyen, Joy

    2012-01-01

    In this article, the author talks about a rain garden project at Hampton Elementary School in Bay City, Michigan. The goal of the project was to slow and filter silt-laden runoff (from parking lots, sidewalks, and playground) on its path to Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron. In addition, doing so, the rain gardens would demonstrate to the township, city,…

  3. Gardens of Situations: Learning from the Danish Modern Landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boris, Stefan Darlan

    2009-01-01

    of an interlacing of understanding and space.” (Sieverts, 2007) Learning from a series of modern Danish landscape architectural projects by Brandt, Sørensen and Andersson I will define a specific form for gardening – and more importantly a specific form for gathering – which I call „Gardens of Situations...

  4. Engaging Urban Students in a Schoolyard Beautification and Gardening Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Linda

    2012-01-01

    Community gardening provides many benefits for students like outdoor physical activity, an understanding of plant life cycles, food production and healthy eating (Blair, 2009; Whiren, 1995). Gardening also provides hands-on learning opportunities to draw parallels between what is needed for plants to grow and what students need to be healthy. When…

  5. Reconceptualising Gardening to Promote Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Susan

    2012-01-01

    The ways in which gardening has been interpreted by schools in western societies have changed over the past 150 years. The intended purpose of school gardening with children (aged 5-14) and the pedagogies which teachers have adopted has varied depending on social, cultural and political expectations. This paper argues that a reconceptualised…

  6. Economic Gardening through Entrepreneurship Education: A Service-Learning Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desplaces, David E.; Wergeles, Fred; McGuigan, Patrick

    2009-01-01

    This article outlines the implementation of a service-learning approach in an entrepreneurship programme using an "economic gardening" strategy. Economic Gardening through Service-Learning (EGS-L) is an approach to economic development that helps local businesses and students grow through a facilitated learning process. Learning is made possible…

  7. Collection Development "Southwest Gardening": The Desert Shall Bloom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, John; Mosley, Shelley; Van Winkle, Sandra

    2008-01-01

    Gardening in the American Southwest (SW) is an extreme sport. Not only are gardeners challenged by geographic extremes from tropical deserts to subalpine locales, they must also deal with a wide range of climates. Winter in the mountains and higher regions means heavy snows, frozen soils, and temperatures that can dip below zero. In contrast,…

  8. From Garden to Recipient: A Direct Approach to Nutrition Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    Maine Harvest for Hunger (MHH) involves Master Gardeners in food security through participation in gleaning and gardening projects that benefit food pantries. A statewide survey (Murphy, 2011a) indicates many food pantries face increased demand but are unable to distribute all of the donated produce. The MHH program in Oxford County is designed to…

  9. Tending a Virtual Garden: Exploring Connectivity between Cities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pakanen, Minna; Polli, Anna Maria; Lee, Stella

    2013-01-01

    their waiting time. ‘Virtual Garden’ creates the experience of ‘being connected’ by providing users with the possibility to ‘grow’ a collaborative garden using a smartphone and natural gestures as the control interaction. Lo-fi prototypes were used to gather user feedback which informed the design...... of the 'Virtual Garden'....

  10. Predicting Teacher Likelihood to Use School Gardens: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kincy, Natalie; Fuhrman, Nicholas E.; Navarro, Maria; Knauft, David

    2016-01-01

    A quantitative survey, built around the theory of planned behavior, was used to investigate elementary teachers' attitudes, school norms, perceived behavioral control, and intent in both current and ideal teaching situations toward using gardens in their curriculum. With positive school norms and teachers who garden in their personal time, 77% of…

  11. An all-inorganic polyoxometalate–polyoxocation chemical garden

    OpenAIRE

    Points, Laurie J.; Cooper, Geoffrey J.T.; Dolbecq, Anne; Mialane, Pierre; Cronin, Leroy

    2016-01-01

    Herein, we show it is possible to produce wholly inorganic chemical gardens from a cationic polyoxometalate (POM) seed in an anionic POM solution, demonstrating a wholly POM-based chemical garden system that produces architectures over a wide concentration range. Six concentration dependent growth regimes have been discovered and characterized: clouds, membranes, slugs, tubes, jetting and budding.

  12. An all-inorganic polyoxometalate-polyoxocation chemical garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Points, Laurie J; Cooper, Geoffrey J T; Dolbecq, Anne; Mialane, Pierre; Cronin, Leroy

    2016-01-31

    Herein, we show it is possible to produce wholly inorganic chemical gardens from a cationic polyoxometalate (POM) seed in an anionic POM solution, demonstrating a wholly POM-based chemical garden system that produces architectures over a wide concentration range. Six concentration dependent growth regimes have been discovered and characterized: clouds, membranes, slugs, tubes, jetting and budding.

  13. Gardening as a therapeutic intervention in mental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Mathew

    This article describes why one low-secure unit chose to initiate a horticultural therapy project and organise it as a 'workers' cooperative'. The therapeutic benefits of gardening are explored, particularly focusing on the social benefits. The article also discusses the issue of hope, which is an intrinsic requirement in gardening.

  14. School Gardens: Situating Students within a Global Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolsey, Thomas DeVere; Lapp, Diane

    2014-01-01

    School-based gardens are increasingly common. The benefits to students reflect principles of global education by modeling sustainability through responsible ecological planning and service to the community, the environment, and humanity. The authors propose a pedagogical framework for planning school gardens and related experiences that…

  15. Community Gardens as a Platform for Education for Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corkery, Linda

    2004-01-01

    Community gardens fulfil many roles, including the reclamation of public space, community building, and the facilitation of social and cultural expression. This paper discusses a nexus between research and education for sustainability that evolved out of an examination of the role of community gardens in fostering community development and…

  16. Building a World-class Botanical Garden in South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    @@ The South China Botanical Garden (SCBG) should be developed into a first-class botanical garden in Asia as the first step, and then, after development over a period of time, rank among the leading ones in the world, urges CAS President Lu Yongxiang on his recent inspection trip to SCBG,which is under large-scale reconstruction.

  17. Food for Thought: The Mathematics of the Kitchen Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Anthony; Bragg, Leicha A.

    2011-01-01

    A kitchen garden is not just a place to grow food for cooking; it is a place of sensory stimulation through extraordinary explorations and investigations into the natural world. A kitchen garden contains vegetables, fruits, herbs, edible flowers, and/or ornamental plants; and animals such as chickens for supplying eggs, as well as manure for…

  18. Ant colony optimization in continuous problem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Ling; LIU Kang; LI Kaishi

    2007-01-01

    Based on the analysis of the basic ant colony optimization and optimum problem in a continuous space,an ant colony optimization (ACO) for continuous problem is constructed and discussed. The algorithm is efficient and beneficial to the study of the ant colony optimization in a continuous space.

  19. Using Ants to Investigate the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2005-01-01

    The best place for students to begin to understand complex environmental relationships is in their own back yards. Doing investigations of ants allows students to establish a baseline survey of ant fauna, test the importance of ants in nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenance, and increase their understanding of the environment and their…

  20. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    ant species (iii) Azteca instabilis and (iv) Camponotus textor reduce herbivory by flea beetles (Margaridisa sp.), whereas (v) deposits from Solenopsis geminata, did not lead to reduced herbivory. Further evidence for the impact of ant pheromones comes from studies showing that non-herbivorous ant...

  1. The antipredatory behaviours of Neotropical ants towards army ant raids (Hymenoptera : Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Dejean, A.; Corbara, B.; Roux, Olivier; Orivel, J.

    2014-01-01

    Group hunting, nomadism, wingless queens and colony fission characterize army ants, allowing them to have become the main tropical arthropod predators, mostly of other social insects. We studied the reactions of different ant species to the New World army ants Eciton burchellii (WESTWOOD, 1842) and E. hamatum (FABRICUS, 1782) (Ecitoninae). We compiled our results with those already known in a synthetic appendix. A wide range of ant species react to the approach of army ant raids by evacuating...

  2. Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soga, Masashi; Gaston, Kevin J; Yamaura, Yuichi

    2017-03-01

    There is increasing evidence that gardening provides substantial human health benefits. However, no formal statistical assessment has been conducted to test this assertion. Here, we present the results of a meta-analysis of research examining the effects of gardening, including horticultural therapy, on health. We performed a literature search to collect studies that compared health outcomes in control (before participating in gardening or non-gardeners) and treatment groups (after participating in gardening or gardeners) in January 2016. The mean difference in health outcomes between the two groups was calculated for each study, and then the weighted effect size determined both across all and sets of subgroup studies. Twenty-two case studies (published after 2001) were included in the meta-analysis, which comprised 76 comparisons between control and treatment groups. Most studies came from the United States, followed by Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Studies reported a wide range of health outcomes, such as reductions in depression, anxiety, and body mass index, as well as increases in life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community. Meta-analytic estimates showed a significant positive effect of gardening on the health outcomes both for all and sets of subgroup studies, whilst effect sizes differed among eight subgroups. Although Egger's test indicated the presence of publication bias, significant positive effects of gardening remained after adjusting for this using trim and fill analysis. This study has provided robust evidence for the positive effects of gardening on health. A regular dose of gardening can improve public health.

  3. Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masashi Soga

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence that gardening provides substantial human health benefits. However, no formal statistical assessment has been conducted to test this assertion. Here, we present the results of a meta-analysis of research examining the effects of gardening, including horticultural therapy, on health. We performed a literature search to collect studies that compared health outcomes in control (before participating in gardening or non-gardeners and treatment groups (after participating in gardening or gardeners in January 2016. The mean difference in health outcomes between the two groups was calculated for each study, and then the weighted effect size determined both across all and sets of subgroup studies. Twenty-two case studies (published after 2001 were included in the meta-analysis, which comprised 76 comparisons between control and treatment groups. Most studies came from the United States, followed by Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Studies reported a wide range of health outcomes, such as reductions in depression, anxiety, and body mass index, as well as increases in life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community. Meta-analytic estimates showed a significant positive effect of gardening on the health outcomes both for all and sets of subgroup studies, whilst effect sizes differed among eight subgroups. Although Egger's test indicated the presence of publication bias, significant positive effects of gardening remained after adjusting for this using trim and fill analysis. This study has provided robust evidence for the positive effects of gardening on health. A regular dose of gardening can improve public health.

  4. Evolutional Ant Colony Method Using PSO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morii, Nobuto; Aiyoshi, Eitarou

    The ant colony method is one of heuristic methods capable of solving the traveling salesman problem (TSP), in which a good tour is generated by the artificial ant's probabilistic behavior. However, the generated tour length depends on the parameter describing the ant's behavior, and the best parameters corresponding to the problem to be solved is unknown. In this technical note, the evolutional strategy is presented to find the best parameter of the ant colony by using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) in the parameter space. Numerical simulations for benchmarks demonstrate effectiveness of the evolutional ant colony method.

  5. Interaction between workers during a short time window is required for bacterial symbiont transmission in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Sarah E; Poulsen, Michael; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Currie, Cameron R

    2014-01-01

    Stable associations between partners over time are critical for the evolution of mutualism. Hosts employ a variety of mechanisms to maintain specificity with bacterial associates. Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants farm a fungal cultivar as their primary nutrient source. These ants also carry a Pseudonocardia Actinobacteria exosymbiont on their bodies that produces antifungal compounds that help inhibit specialized parasites of the ants' fungal garden. Major workers emerge from their pupal cases (eclose) symbiont-free, but exhibit visible Actinobacterial coverage within 14 days post-eclosion. Using subcolony experiments, we investigate exosymbiont transmission within Acromyrmex colonies. We found successful transmission to newly eclosed major workers fostered by major workers with visible Actinobacteria in all cases (100% acquiring, n = 19). In contrast, newly eclosed major workers reared without exosymbiont-carrying major workers did not acquire visible Actinobacteria (0% acquiring, n = 73). We further show that the majority of ants exposed to major workers with exosymbionts within 2 hours of eclosion acquired bacteria (60.7% acquiring, n = 28), while normal acquisition did not occur when exposure occurred later than 2 hours post-eclosion (0% acquiring, n = 18). Our findings show that transmission of exosymbionts to newly eclosed major workers occurs through interactions with exosymbiont-covered workers within a narrow time window after eclosion. This mode of transmission likely helps ensure the defensive function within colonies, as well as specificity and partner fidelity in the ant-bacterium association.

  6. Participatory Rural Appraisal as an Approach to Environmental Education in Urban Community Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Rebekah; Krasny, Marianne

    2003-01-01

    Describes the Cornell University Garden Mosaics program in which youth learn about ethnic gardening practices in urban community gardens using research methods adapted from the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). Conducts a study to determine whether youth could effectively facilitate PRA activities with gardeners and to document any social and…

  7. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearcy, Morgan; Delescaille, Noémie; Lybaert, Pascale; Aron, Serge

    2014-06-01

    In species where females mate promiscuously, competition between ejaculates from different males to fertilize the ova is an important selective force shaping many aspects of male reproductive traits, such as sperm number, sperm length and sperm-sperm interactions. In eusocial Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants), males die shortly after mating and their reproductive success is ultimately limited by the amount of sperm stored in the queen's spermatheca. Multiple mating by queens is expected to impose intense selective pressure on males to optimize the transfer of sperm to the storage organ. Here, we report a remarkable case of cooperation between spermatozoa in the desert ant Cataglyphis savignyi. Males ejaculate bundles of 50-100 spermatozoa. Sperm bundles swim on average 51% faster than solitary sperm cells. Team swimming is expected to increase the amount of sperm stored in the queen spermatheca and, ultimately, enhance male posthumous fitness.

  8. Chemical-garden formation, morphology, and composition. II. Chemical gardens in microgravity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Julyan H E; Escribano, Bruno; Sainz-Díaz, C Ignacio; Stodieck, Louis S

    2011-04-05

    We studied the growth of metal-ion silicate chemical gardens under Earth gravity (1 g) and microgravity (μg) conditions. Identical sets of reaction chambers from an automated system (the Silicate Garden Habitat or SGHab) were used in both cases. The μg experiment was performed on board the International Space Station (ISS) within a temperature-controlled setup that provided still and video images of the experiment downlinked to the ground. Calcium chloride, manganese chloride, cobalt chloride, and nickel sulfate were used as seed salts in sodium silicate solutions of several concentrations. The formation and growth of osmotic envelopes and microtubes was much slower under μg conditions. In 1 g, buoyancy forces caused tubes to grow upward, whereas a random orientation for tube growth was found under μg conditions.

  9. Introduced fire ants can exclude native ants from critical mutualist-provided resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Barnum, Thomas R; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2013-05-01

    Animals frequently experience resource imbalances in nature. For ants, one resource that may be particularly valuable for both introduced and native species is high-carbohydrate honeydew from hemipteran mutualists. We conducted field and laboratory experiments: (1) to test if red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) competed with native ants for access to mutualisms with aphids, and (2) to quantify the effects of aphid honeydew presence or absence on colony growth of native ants. We focused on native dolichoderine ants (Formicidae, Dolichoderinae) because they are abundant ants that have omnivorous diets that frequently include mutualist-provided carbohydrates. At two sites in the southeastern US, native dolichoderine ants were far less frequent, and fire ants more frequent, at carbohydrate baits than would be expected based on their frequency in pitfall traps. A field experiment confirmed that a native ant species, Dorymyrmex bureni, was only found tending aphids when populations of S. invicta were suppressed. In the laboratory, colonies of native dolichoderine ants with access to both honeydew and insect prey had twice as many workers and over twice as much brood compared to colonies fed only ad libitum insect prey. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that introduced ants compete for access to mutualist-provided carbohydrates with native ants and that these carbohydrates represent critical resources for both introduced and native ants. These results challenge traditional paradigms of arthropod and ant nutrition and contribute to growing evidence of the importance of nutrition in mediating ecological interactions.

  10. Garden Learning: A Study on European Botanic Gardens' Collaborative Learning Processes

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    "From 2007-2013 the European 7th Framework Program Science in Society (FP7) funded a multitude of formal and informal educational institutions to join forces and engage in alternative ways to teach science—inside and outside the classroom—all over Europe. This book reports on one of these projects named INQUIRE which was developed and implemented to support 14 Botanic Gardens and Natural History Museums in 11 European countries, to establish a collaborative learning network and expand their u...

  11. A survey of community gardens in upstate New York: implications for health promotion and community development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, D

    2000-12-01

    Twenty community garden programs in upstate New York (representing 63 gardens) were surveyed to identify characteristics that may be useful to facilitate neighborhood development and health promotion. The most commonly expressed reasons for participating in gardens were access to fresh foods, to enjoy nature, and health benefits. Gardens in low-income neighborhoods (46%) were four times as likely as non low-income gardens to lead to other issues in the neighborhood being addressed; reportedly due to organizing facilitated through the community gardens. Additional research on community gardening can improve our understanding of the interaction of social and physical environments and community health, and effective strategies for empowerment, development, and health promotion.

  12. Nuclear flow in a filamentous fungus

    CERN Document Server

    Hickey, Patrick C; Read, Nick; Glass, N Louise; Roper, Marcus

    2012-01-01

    The syncytial cells of a filamentous fungus consist of a mass of growing, tube-like hyphae. Each extending tip is fed by a continuous flow of nuclei from the colony interior, pushed by a gradient in turgor pressure. The myco-fluidic flows of nuclei are complex and multidirectional, like traffic in a city. We map out the flows in a strain of the model filamentous fungus {\\it N. crassa} that has been transformed so that nuclei express either hH1-dsRed (a red fluorescent nuclear protein) or hH1-GFP (a green-fluorescent protein) and report our results in a fluid dynamics video.

  13. Garden of Ambivalence The Topology of the Mother-child Dyad in Grey Gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Defne Tüzün

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The Maysles brothers’ 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens, portrays the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith, known as Little Edie, the aunt and first cousin, respectively, of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. The mother and daughter live together in their East Hampton house that is literally falling apart. As their identical names imply, the Beales share a symbiotic relationship which is reflected in every aspect of their life. I argue that Grey Gardens calls for Julia Kristeva’s insistence on abjection as a crucial struggle with “spatial ambivalence (inside/outside uncertainty” and an attempt to mark out a space in the undifferentiated field of the mother-child symbiosis. In Powers of Horror, Kristeva (1982 states, “abjection preserves what existed in the archaism of pre-objectal relationship” (p. 10. Grey Gardens portrays the topology of the mother-child dyad, which pertains to a particular spatio-temporality: where this primordial relationship is concerned, object and subject crumble, and the distinction between past and present is irrelevant.

  14. Survival of Atta sexdens workers on different food sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Aline; Bacci, Maurício; Gomes de Siqueira, Célia; Correa Bueno, Odair; Pagnocca, Fernando Carlos; Aparecida Hebling, Maria José

    2003-04-01

    Leaf-cutting ants belonging to the tribe Attini are major herbivores and important agriculture pests in the neotropics, these ants being thought to feed on the sap which exudes from the plant material which they cut and also on the mycelium of a symbiotic fungus that grows on plant material inside their nests in what is called "the fungus garden". However, we have found that the survival of Atta sexdens worker ants on leaves, on mycelium of the ants' symbiotic fungus, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, or on plant polysaccharides was the same as that of starved A. sexdens, while, conversely, significantly longer survival was achieved by ants fed on the fungus garden material or on some of the products (especially glucose) of the hydrolysis of plant polysaccharides. We found that the fungus garden contained glucose at a higher concentration than that found in leaves or fungal mycelium, and that this glucose was consumed by the ant to the extent that it was probably responsible for up to 50% of the nutritional needs of the workers. The fungus garden contained polysaccharide degrading enzymes (pectinase, amylase, xylanase and cellulase) in proportions similar to that observed in laboratory cultures of L. gongylophorus. It thus appears that A. sexdens workers obtain a significant part of their nutrients from plant polysaccharide hydrolysis products produced by the action of extracellular enzymes released by L. gongylophorus. In this paper we discuss the symbiotic nutrition strategy of A. sexdens workers and brood and the role played by plant polysaccharides in the nutrition of attine ants.

  15. Collective efficacy in Denver, Colorado: Strengthening neighborhoods and health through community gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teig, Ellen; Amulya, Joy; Bardwell, Lisa; Buchenau, Michael; Marshall, Julie A; Litt, Jill S

    2009-12-01

    Community gardens are viewed as a potentially useful environmental change strategy to promote active and healthy lifestyles but the scientific evidence base for gardens is limited. As a step towards understanding whether gardens are a viable health promotion strategy for local communities, we set out to examine the social processes that might explain the connection between gardens, garden participation and health. We analyzed data from semi-structured interviews with community gardeners in Denver. The analysis examined social processes described by community gardeners and how those social processes were cultivated by or supportive of activities in community gardens. After presenting results describing these social processes and the activities supporting them, we discuss the potential for the place-based social processes found in community gardens to support collective efficacy, a powerful mechanism for enhancing the role of gardens in promoting health.

  16. Energy recovery from garden waste in a LCA perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naroznova, Irina; Møller, Jacob; Scheutz, Charlotte

    2015-01-01

    According to the common strategies regarding waste management and energy supply in EU countries, more efficient utilization of organic waste resources (including garden waste) with both nutrient and energy recovery is desired. Each of the most common treatments applied today – composting, direct...... use on land and incineration – only provides one of the two services. A technology ensuring both nutrient and energy utilization is anaerobic digestion (AD) that has become applicable for treatment of garden waste recently. In this study, life cycle assessment aimed to compare four garden waste...

  17. Green Team Hosts Plant Swap to Encourage Gardening | Poster

    Science.gov (United States)

    By Carolynne Keenan, Contributing Writer What started out as a way for Howard Young, Ph.D., to thin out his garden last fall turned into the NCI at Frederick Green Team’s Plant Swap. The group held its Fall Plant Swap on October 24, encouraging all members of the Fort Detrick community to pick up a free plant or swap a plant of theirs for another. “Those who love to garden introduce others to the joy of gardening,” said Dolores Winterstein, a member of the Green Team and the coordinator of the Fall Plant Swap.

  18. Kajian Potensi Taman Penyembuhan (Healing Garden) di Universitas Sumatera Utara

    OpenAIRE

    HARTINI, Sri

    2015-01-01

    A garden should give a positive influence on the physiological and psychological conditions for garden’s users. Parks in University of North Sumatera should be someplace like a natural environment so that the academic community can do such activities that blend in with the natural which can give influence healing from all fatigue academic activities. In this case, the region of USU has green open space or large garden to be developed into Healing Garden (HG). This research aim to find the mos...

  19. Anaesthetic gardens. On Metaphysics by Lech Majewski

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Baron

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Interpretation of Metaphisics – the novel written by Lech Majewski, is the subject matter of theoretical, aesthetic and antropological considerations. Synthesis of arts: literature, film, painting and theatre, which occur in the novel, opens a perspective of intertextuality and provokes questions about ekphrasis, varied materials, ways of experience mediated by dispositives and reflections on humans among other problems. The crucial point in both: Majewski’s novel and this dissertation, is a triptych painted by Hieronymus Bosch – The Garden of Earthly Delight, which gradually annexes the featured world – becomes a basic figure in trying to show, how the aesthetization of reality brings Wolfgang Welsch’s cahegory of an(aesthetics.

  20. Open-Ended Experimentation with the Fungus Pilobolus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coble, Charles R.; Bland, Charles E.

    This paper describes open-ended experimentation with the fungus Pilobolus for laboratory work by high school students. The fungus structure and reproduction is described and sources of the fungus are suggested. Four areas for investigation are suggested: the effect of a diffuse light source, the effect of a point light source, the effect of light…

  1. Environmental protection: private vegetable gardens on water protected areas in Ljubljana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Strajnar

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The areas of allotment gardens and private vegetable gardens are two types of ‘small-scale agriculture’ on water protected areas in Ljubljana and surroundings. From the environmental protection point of view, these gardens are important for the intensity of production and large number of gardeners. In author’s graduation thesis the gardening habits have been investigated in detail. We combined data from fi eld work with numerous measurements of phytopharmaceutical products and nutrients in soil and vegetables.

  2. Estimated lead (Pb) exposures for a population of urban community gardeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spliethoff, Henry M; Mitchell, Rebecca G; Shayler, Hannah; Marquez-Bravo, Lydia G; Russell-Anelli, Jonathan; Ferenz, Gretchen; McBride, Murray

    2016-08-01

    Urban community gardens provide affordable, locally grown, healthy foods and many other benefits. However, urban garden soils can contain lead (Pb) that may pose risks to human health. To help evaluate these risks, we measured Pb concentrations in soil, vegetables, and chicken eggs from New York City community gardens, and we asked gardeners about vegetable consumption and time spent in the garden. We then estimated Pb intakes deterministically and probabilistically for adult gardeners, children who spend time in the garden, and adult (non-gardener) household members. Most central tendency Pb intakes were below provisional total tolerable intake (PTTI) levels. High contact intakes generally exceeded PTTIs. Probabilistic estimates showed approximately 40 % of children and 10 % of gardeners exceeding PTTIs. Children's exposure came primarily from dust ingestion and exposure to higher Pb soil between beds. Gardeners' Pb intakes were comparable to children's (in µg/day) but were dominated by vegetable consumption. Adult household members ate less garden-grown produce than gardeners and had the lowest Pb intakes. Our results suggest that healthy gardening practices to reduce Pb exposure in urban community gardens should focus on encouraging cultivation of lower Pb vegetables (i.e., fruits) for adult gardeners and on covering higher Pb non-bed soils accessible to young children. However, the common practice of replacement of root-zone bed soil with clean soil (e.g., in raised beds) has many benefits and should also continue to be encouraged.

  3. Solanapyrone analogues from a Hawaiian fungicolous fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Four new solanayrone analogues (solanapyrones J-M; 1-4) have been isolated from an unidentified fungicolous fungus collected in Hawaii. The structures and relative configurations of these compounds were determined by analysis of ID NMR, 2D NMR, and MS data. Solanapyrone J(1) showed antifungal acti...

  4. Death from Fungus in the Soil

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2012-12-17

    Dr. Shira Shafir, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, discusses her study about fungus found in soil.  Created: 12/17/2012 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 12/18/2012.

  5. Spread of Rare Fungus from Vancouver Island

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2006-12-20

    Cryptococcus gattii, a rare fungus normally found in the tropics, has infected people and animals on Vancouver Island, Canada. Dr. David Warnock, Director, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, CDC, discusses public health concerns about further spread of this organism.  Created: 12/20/2006 by Emerging Infectious Diseases.   Date Released: 12/29/2006.

  6. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    the presence of these ants. First of all, the chemical footprint left by the high density of ants in managed host trees may results in additional benefits. (i) Ant deposits may lead to improved fruit quality, e.g. increased sugar content, (ii) ant deposits may deter important pests (chemical deterrence) from......Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from...... they convert pest insects into accessible and edible protein. In short, this review show that weaver ants in agriculture can increase crop yields, improve fruit quality, chemically deter pests, fertilize crops, reduce diseases, and produce protein for human and livestock consumption....

  7. Bio-inspired Ant Algorithms: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangita Roy

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Ant Algorithms are techniques for optimizing which were coined in the early 1990’s by M. Dorigo. The techniques were inspired by the foraging behavior of real ants in the nature. The focus of ant algorithms is to find approximate optimized problem solutions using artificial ants and their indirect decentralized communications using synthetic pheromones. In this paper, at first ant algorithms are described in details, then transforms to computational optimization techniques: the ACO metaheuristics and developed ACO algorithms. A comparative study of ant algorithms also carried out, followed by past and present trends in AAs applications. Future prospect in AAs also covered in this paper. Finally a comparison between AAs with well-established machine learning techniques were focused, so that combining with machine learning techniques hybrid, robust, novel algorithms could be produces for outstanding result in future.

  8. Construction starts for largest botanical garden in the world

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ The cornerstone was laid on 30 May for the Qinling Botanical Garden, which boasts the world's largest one in terms of space, in Zhouzhi County of Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

  9. Baseline assessment of fish communities of the Flower Garden Banks

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The work developed baseline information on fish and benthic communities within the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS). Surveys employed diving,...

  10. Cryptorchidism and hypospadias in sons of gardeners and farmers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weidner, I S; Møller, H; Jensen, Tina Kold

    1998-01-01

    Cryptorchidism and hypospadias have been related to prenatal estrogen exposure in animal models. Some chemicals used in farming and gardening have been shown to possess estrogenic and other hormone-disrupting effects. Earlier studies have indicated increased risks of urogenital malformations...... in the sons of pesticide appliers. In the present study, parental occupation in the farming and gardening industry among 6,177 cases of cryptorchidism, 1,345 cases of hypospadias, and 23,273 controls, born live from 1983 to 1992 in Denmark, was investigated in a register-based case-control study....... A significantly increased risk of cryptorchidism but not hypospadias was found in sons of women working in gardening (adjusted odds ratio = 1.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.14-2.47). The risks were not increased in sons of men working in farming or gardening. The increased risk of cryptorchidism among sons...

  11. Addressing the threat to biodiversity from botanic gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulme, Philip E

    2011-04-01

    Increasing evidence highlights the role that botanic gardens might have in plant invasions across the globe. Botanic gardens, often in global biodiversity hotspots, have been implicated in the early cultivation and/or introduction of most environmental weeds listed by IUCN as among the worst invasive species worldwide. Furthermore, most of the popular ornamental species in living collections around the globe have records as alien weeds. Voluntary codes of conduct to prevent the dissemination of invasive plants from botanic gardens have had limited uptake, with few risk assessments undertaken of individual living collections. A stronger global networking of botanic gardens to tackle biological invasions involving public outreach, information sharing and capacity building is a priority to prevent the problems of the past occurring in the future.

  12. Ühe aia saamislugu - Savills Garden / Merilen Mentaal

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Mentaal, Merilen, 1972-

    2007-01-01

    Marcus Barnetti ja Philip Nixoni kujundatud Savills Garden pälvis 2007.a. Chelsea Flower Show'l tähelepanu. Range ja lihtsa joonega veepinnad ning müüripingid loovad aiale selge struktuuri. Intervjuu aiakujundajatega

  13. Gardening and Agricultural Application in Chengde Summer Mountain Resort

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yanping; LI; Yiyong; ZHANG; Haicheng; YU

    2013-01-01

    Taking Chengde Summer Mountain Resort for example, agricultural development and application in gardening practices in the flourishing ages of Kangxi and Qianlong, and cultural connotations of valuing the fundamental role of agriculture in national economy were analyzed.

  14. Community gardens: lessons learned from California Healthy Cities and Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twiss, Joan; Dickinson, Joy; Duma, Shirley; Kleinman, Tanya; Paulsen, Heather; Rilveria, Liz

    2003-09-01

    Community gardens enhance nutrition and physical activity and promote the role of public health in improving quality of life. Opportunities to organize around other issues and build social capital also emerge through community gardens. California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) promotes an inclusionary and systems approach to improving community health. CHCC has funded community-based nutrition and physical activity programs in several cities. Successful community gardens were developed by many cities incorporating local leadership and resources, volunteers and community partners, and skills-building opportunities for participants. Through community garden initiatives, cities have enacted policies for interim land and complimentary water use, improved access to produce, elevated public consciousness about public health, created culturally appropriate educational and training materials, and strengthened community building skills.

  15. Community Gardens to grow in memory of students and faculty

    OpenAIRE

    Felker, Susan B.

    2007-01-01

    Virginia Tech students will be planting maroon and orange Hokie flower gardens throughout the region on Saturday, April 28, as a living memorial to Virginia Tech's students and faculty whose lives were lost on April 16.

  16. Leptospira Exposure and Gardeners: A Case-Control Seroprevalence Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado-Esquivel, Cosme; Hernandez-Tinoco, Jesus; Sanchez-Anguiano, Luis Francisco; Ramos-Nevarez, Agar; Cerrillo-Soto, Sandra Margarita; Guido-Arreola, Carlos Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Background Leptospira can be found in soil. However, it is unclear whether occupational exposure to soil may represent a risk for Leptospira infection in humans. Therefore, we sought to determine the association of Leptospira IgG seroprevalence with the occupation of gardener, and to determine the epidemiological characteristics of gardeners associated with Leptospira exposure. Methods We performed a case-control study in 168 gardeners and 168 age- and gender-matched control subjects without gardening occupation in Durango City, Mexico. The seroprevalence of anti-Leptospira IgG antibodies in cases and controls was determined using an enzyme immunoassay. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the association of Leptospira exposure and the characteristics of the gardeners. Results Anti-Leptospira IgG antibodies were found in 10 (6%) of 168 gardeners and in 15 (8.9%) of 168 control subjects (odds ratio (OR): 0.64; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.28 - 1.48; P = 0.40). Multivariate analysis showed that Leptospira seropositivity was positively associated with female gender (OR: 5.82; 95% CI: 1.11 - 30.46; P = 0.03), and negatively associated with eating while working (OR: 0.21; 95% CI: 0.05 - 0.87; P = 0.03). In addition, multivariate analysis showed that high anti-Leptospira levels were associated with consumption of boar meat (OR: 28.00; 95% CI: 1.20 - 648.80; P = 0.03). Conclusions This is the first case-control study of Leptospira exposure in gardeners. Results do not support an association of Leptospira exposure with the occupation of gardener. However, further studies to confirm the lack of this association are needed. The potential role of consumption of boar meat in Leptospira infection deserves further investigation. PMID:26668679

  17. How to appreciate the Gardens South of the Yangtze River

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李竹君

    2015-01-01

    The primary goal of classical Chinese garden is to provide buildings, green spaces or relaxing spaces, but it is later endowed with more functions as a carrier for showing human beings’dependence on and respect for the nature, as well as var-ious emotions of them. This article briefly discussed how to appreciate the gardens south of the Yangtze River from aspects of construction elements, artistic conception and techniques.

  18. Foraging leaf-cutting ants learn to reject Vitis vinifera ssp. vinifera plants that emit herbivore-induced volatiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiele, Theresa; Kost, Christian; Roces, Flavio; Wirth, Rainer

    2014-06-01

    Leaf-cutting ants (LCAs) are dominant herbivores of the Neotropics, as well as economically important pests. Their foraging ecology and patterns/mechanisms of food selection have received considerable attention. Recently, it has been documented that LCAs exhibit a delayed rejection of previously accepted food plants following treatment with a fungicide that makes the plants unsuitable as substrate for their symbiotic fungus. Here, we investigated whether LCAs similarly reject plants with induced chemical defenses, by combining analysis of volatile emissions with dual-choice bioassays that used LCA subcolonies (Atta sexdens L.). On seven consecutive days, foraging ants were given the choice between leaf disks from untreated control plants and test plants of Vitis vinifera ssp. vinifera L. treated with the phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) to mimic herbivore attack. Chemical analysis revealed the emission of a characteristic set of herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds (VOC) from JA-induced plants. Dual-choice experiments indicated that workers did not show any preference initially, but that they avoided JA-treated plants from day five onwards. Our finding that A. sexdens foragers learn to avoid VOC-emitting plants, which are likely detrimental to their symbiotic fungus, represents the first evidence for avoidance learning in attine ants toward plants with induced defenses.

  19. GRID SCHEDULING USING ENHANCED ANT COLONY ALGORITHM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Mathiyalagan

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Grid computing is a high performance computing used to solve larger scale computational demands. Task scheduling is a major issue in grid computing systems. Scheduling of tasks is the NP hard problem. The heuristic approach provides optimal solution for NP hard problems .The ant colony algorithm provides optimal solution. The existing ant colony algorithm takes more time to schedule the tasks. In this paper ant colony algorithm improved by enhancing pheromone updating rule such that it schedules the tasks efficiently and better resource utilization. The simulation results prove that proposed method reduces the execution time of tasks compared to existing ant colony algorithm.

  20. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schadschneider

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a model for the simulation of pedestrian dynamics inspired by the behaviour of ants in ant trails. Ants communicate by producing a pheromone that can be smelled by other ants. In this model, pedestrians produce a virtual pheromone that influences the motion of others. In this way all interactions are strictly local, and so even large crowds can be simulated very efficiently. Nevertheless, the model is able to reproduce the collective effects observed empirically, eg the formation of lanes in counterflow. As an application, we reproduce a surprising result found in experiments of evacuation from an aircraft.

  1. Enhanced ants system and its application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    NP-hard combinational optimization problem is not solved very well until now. One enhanced ants system based on ants system is advanced after analysis of the deficiencies of existing ants systems. Some improvements are made in state transfer rule and local modification rule. Furthermore, the enhanced ants system can solve NP-hard combinational optimization problem with restraints and condition path. The successful application of TSP problem and transportation net problem indicates that the proposed system has stronger function and higher efficiency than the original system.

  2. Ilmub suurmeister Evald Okase monograafia / Ants Juske

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Juske, Ants, 1956-

    2009-01-01

    22. aprillil Kumu Kunstimuuseumis esitletavast monograafiast "Evald Okas", mille on kirjutanud Ants Juske, kujundanud Tiit Jürna. Evald Okasest, tema loomingust, elust Jaroslavlis ja rindekunstnikuna

  3. Household response to environmental incentives for rain garden adoption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newburn, David A.; Alberini, Anna

    2016-02-01

    A decentralized approach to encourage the voluntary adoption of household stormwater management practices is increasingly needed to mitigate urban runoff and to comply with more stringent water quality regulations. We analyze the household response to a hypothetical rebate program to incentivize rain garden adoption using household survey data from the Baltimore-Washington corridor. We asked respondents whether the household would adopt a rain garden without a rebate or when offered a randomly assigned rebate. An interval-data model is used to estimate household demand on the willingness to pay (WTP) for a rain garden as a function of demographic factors, gardening activities, environmental attitudes, and other household characteristics. Estimation results indicate that mean WTP for a rain garden in our sample population is approximately $6.72 per square foot, corresponding to almost three-fourths of the installation cost. The expected adoption rate more than tripled when comparing no rebate versus a government rebate set at one-third of the installation cost, indicating that economic incentives matter. There is substantial heterogeneity in the WTP among households. Higher levels of WTP are estimated for households with higher environmental concern for the Chesapeake Bay and local streams, garden experience, higher income, and non-senior citizen adults. We conclude that a cost-share rebate approach is likely to significantly affect household adoption decisions, and the partial contributions paid by households can assist with lowering the substantial compliance costs for local governments to meet water quality requirements.

  4. Improved Gradation for Rain Garden of Low Impact Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sandra; Chang, Fu-Ming

    2016-04-01

    With rapid urban and economic development, living standard improves in urban areas but urban ecological environments deteriorate rapidly. Urban waterlogging and flooding have become a serious problem for urban water security. As urbanization continues, sustainability is the key to balance between urban development and healthy environment. Rain garden is recommended to be one of the best ways to reduce urban pollutants. It not only diminishes runoff flooding but also purify water in the urban area. The studies on rain gardens are mainly about how to incorporate rain garden to purify water quality, but lack of researches on runoff control. This project focuses on rain garden under Low Impact Development using indoor laboratory to test and quantify the water holding capacities of two different Taiwan indigenous rain garden plants, Taiwan Cyclosorus and Sour Grass. The results show that the water holding capacity of Sour Grass (10%-37%) is better than that of Taiwan Cyclosorus (6.8%-17.3%). The results could be a helpful reference for Low Impact Development in urban flood prevention and urban planning. Keywords: Low Impact Development; rain garden; indoor laboratory experiments; water holding capacity; porosity

  5. Individual Recognition in Ant Queens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Ettorre, Patrizia; Heinze, Jürgen

    2005-01-01

    Personal relationships are the cornerstone of vertebrate societies, but insect societies are either too large for individual recognition, or their members were assumed to lack the necessary cognitive abilities 1 and 2 . This paradigm has been challenged by the recent discovery that paper wasps...... recognize each other's unique facial color patterns [3] . Individual recognition is advantageous when dominance hierarchies control the partitioning of work and reproduction 2 and 4 . Here, we show that unrelated founding queens of the ant Pachycondyla villosa use chemical cues to recognize each other...

  6. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schöning, Caspar; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    In most social insects workers do not mate, but have retained the ability to produce haploid eggs that can develop into viable male offspring. Under what circumstances this reproductive potential is realized and how the ensuing worker-queen conflict over male production is resolved, is an area...... of active research in insect sociobiology. Here we present microsatellite data for 176 males from eight colonies of the African army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus. Comparison with worker genotypes and inferred queen genotypes from the same colonies show that workers do not or at best very rarely reproduce...

  7. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    for correlations between spot density, ant activity and the likelihood of being detected by an ant. Spots were only found on trees with ants. On ant-trees, spots were distributed throughout the trees but with higher densities in areas with high ant activity and pheromone densities were higher on twigs compared...

  8. Plants in Your Ants: Using Ant Mounds to Test Basic Ecological Principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettler, Jennifer A.; Collier, Alexander; Leidersdorf, Bil; Sanou, Missa Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Urban students often have limited access to field sites for ecological studies. Ubiquitous ants and their mounds can be used to study and test ecology-based questions. We describe how soil collected from ant mounds can be used to investigate how biotic factors (ants) can affect abiotic factors in the soil that can, in turn, influence plant growth.

  9. Conflict resolution in an ant-plant interaction: Acacia constricta traits reduce ant costs to reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicklen, E Fleur; Wagner, Diane

    2006-05-01

    Many plant species attract ants onto their foliage with food rewards or nesting space. However, ants can interfere with plant reproduction when they visit flowers. This study tests whether Acacia constricta separates visiting ant species temporally or spatially from newly opened inflorescences and pollinators. The diurnal activity patterns of ants and A. constricta pollinators peaked at different times of day, and the activity of pollinators followed the daily dehiscence of A. constricta inflorescences. In addition to being largely temporally separated, ants rarely visited open inflorescences. A floral ant repellent contributes to the spatial separation of ants and inflorescences. In a field experiment, ants of four species were given equal access to inflorescences in different developmental stages. On average, the frequency with which ants made initial, antennal contact with the floral stages did not differ, but ants significantly avoided secondary contact with newly opened inflorescences relative to buds and old inflorescences, and old inflorescences relative to buds. Ants also avoided contact with pollen alone, indicating that pollen is at least one source of the repellent. The results suggest A. constricta has effectively resolved the potential conflict between visiting ants and plant reproduction.

  10. COMMUNITY GARDENS AND FOOD SECURITY IN RURAL LIVELIHOOD DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL AND MARKET GARDENS IN MBERENGWA, ZIMBABWE

    OpenAIRE

    Bernard Chazovachii; Cephas Mutami; John Bowora

    2013-01-01

    This paper seeks to assess the contribution of community gardens on food security in rural livelihoods development in Mberengwa ward 27. Despite the introduction of community gardens in ward 27, poverty persisted amongst the vulnerable groups in the district. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used in collection of data through questionnaires, interviews and focused group discussions (FGDs). Analysis was done using descriptive statistics and content analysis. This study revealed t...

  11. Community and home gardens increase vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan Algert

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available As of 2013, 42 million American households were involved in growing their own food either at home or in a community garden plot. The purpose of this pilot study was to document the extent to which gardeners, particularly less affluent ones, increase their vegetable intake when eating from either home or community garden spaces. Eighty-five community gardeners and 50 home gardeners from San Jose, California, completed a survey providing information on demographic background, self-rated health, vegetable intake and the benefits of gardening. The gardeners surveyed were generally low income and came from a variety of ethnic and educational backgrounds. Participants in this study reported doubling their vegetable intake to a level that met the number of daily servings recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Growing food in community and home gardens can contribute to food security by helping provide access to fresh vegetables and increasing consumption of vegetables by gardeners and their families.

  12. Native and exotic woody vegetation communities in domestic gardens in relation to social and environmental factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yolanda M. van Heezik

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation in private gardens contributes significantly to plant species richness and vegetation volume across urban areas. Drivers of garden diversity and structure are complex, reflecting the diversity of social, cultural, and socioeconomic characteristics of the householders who manage their gardens, as well as their predecessors. Here we investigate the woodiness of gardens, and focus on (1 the prevalence of native versus exotic woody plants and (2 the influence of characteristics of garden owners, the gardens, and their proximity to neighborhood green spaces to identify the degree to which these factors explain patterns in native and exotic woody species communities in entire (back and front gardens in southern temperate New Zealand. We found few consistent patterns in structure in woody species community composition. Outlying gardens were characterized by low species richness and abundance. Thirty-seven species commonly occurred across most gardens: most of these were exotic. Twelve native species were common throughout most gardens. There was significant but weak matching to social and environmental variables: vegetated area, species knowledge, and education explained pattern in native communities, whereas vegetated area, species knowledge, and householder age explained variation in exotic communities. Native trees > 5 m tall occurred in only 58% of gardens. Tall tree density was 10/ha, and 29% of gardens lacked any trees > 5 m. Tree presence was weakly (positively associated with extent and proximity of neighborhood green space. We suggest that the legacy of previous owners' gardening practices is important to consider when identifying drivers of garden plant community structure.

  13. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Fuminori; Hashim, Rosli; Huei, Yek Sze; Kaufmann, Eva; Akino, Toshiharu; Billen, Johan

    2004-10-01

    The mechanism by which palatable species take advantage of their similarity in appearance to those that are unpalatable, in order to avoid predation, is called Batesian mimicry. Several arthropods are thought to be Batesian mimics of social insects; however, social insects that are Batesian mimics among themselves are rare. In Malaysia we found a possible Batesian mimic in an arboreal ant species, Camponotus sp., which was exclusively observed on foraging trails of the myrmicine ant Crematogaster inflata. The bright yellow and black colouring pattern, as well as the walking behaviour, were very similar in both species. We observed general interactions between the two species, and tested their palatability and the significance of the remarkably similar visual colour patterns for predator avoidance. Prey offered to C. inflata was also eaten by Camponotus workers in spite of their being attacked by C. inflata, indicating that Camponotus sp. is a commensal of C. inflata. An experiment with chicks as potential predators suggests that Camponotus sp. is palatable whereas C. inflata is unpalatable. After tasting C. inflata, the chicks no longer attacked Camponotus sp., indicating that Camponotus sp. is a Batesian mimic of Crematogaster inflata.

  14. COMMUNITY GARDENS AND FOOD SECURITY IN RURAL LIVELIHOOD DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF ENTREPRENEURIAL AND MARKET GARDENS IN MBERENGWA, ZIMBABWE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernard Chazovachii

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper seeks to assess the contribution of community gardens on food security in rural livelihoods development in Mberengwa ward 27. Despite the introduction of community gardens in ward 27, poverty persisted amongst the vulnerable groups in the district. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used in collection of data through questionnaires, interviews and focused group discussions (FGDs. Analysis was done using descriptive statistics and content analysis. This study revealed that the vulnerable people of Mberengwa derived income, basic horticultural skills, enriching their garden soils and food commodities from the Imbahuru community garden. Factors like all year-round production of crops, intensiveness of the activity, monitoring and evaluation by extension workers, field days in all seasons and demand of the crop varieties grown influence food security in the district. However challenges persisted due to their seclusion of these gardeners from credit facilicities, lack of irrigation equipment, unstable power relations among leaders and the project was associated with the weak in society. The research concludes that the gardening project should be done not in isolation with the Zimbabwe's agrarian reform programme which would provide all forms of capital which capacitated the vulnerable rural dwellers.

  15. The Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens and Natural Areas: A Floristic Case Study from Royal Botanical Gardens, Canada

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    David A. GALBRAITH; Natalie E. IWANYCKI; Brechann V. McGOEY; Jamie McGREGOR; James S. PRINGLE; Carl J. ROTHFELS; Tyler W. SMITH

    2011-01-01

    As leaders calling for the conservation of the world's plants, botanical gardens protect plants within living collections. Many also study, manage and restore plants in natural habitats. Royal Botanical Gardens (Ontario,Canada) has integrated both horticultural and natural heritage in its mission for decades. Envisioned by municipal leaders in the 1920s as a combination of nature sanctuaries and civic gardens, RBG now includes forests, wetlands and other habitats, gardens and built spaces. Today RBG is Canada's largest botanical garden on the basis of area.In the 1950s RBG began to inventory plant diversity. The checklist of spontaneous vascular plants now exceeds 1 170 species, of which 752 are native. This is 37% of Ontario's native vascular plants and 19% of the native vascular flora of Canada. The RBG nature sanctuaries are among the richest locations in Canada for species-level diversity.We examine the history of fioristic exploration within RBG and compare plant species-area relationships among protected natural areas in Ontario. This comparison supports the contention that the nature sanctuaries, and in particular Cootes Paradise, could be considered an important area for plants in Canada, and relative to the nation's flora, a biodiversity hotspot. The fact that a candidate vascular plant hotspot for Canada lies within a major botanical garden presents opportunities for raising public awareness of the importance of plant diversity, as well as focusing attention on the scientific and conservation biology needs of communities and individual species in this area.

  16. Heavy metals in garden soils along roads in Szeged, Hungary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szolnoki, Zsuzsanna; Farsang, Andrea

    2010-05-01

    The soils of the urban environment, owing to the various anthropogenic activities, can be contaminated by heavy metals. The traffic is well-known for more decades to be main source of heavy metals mostly in cities. The accumulation of these elements can have different effects, either directly endangering the natural soil functions, or indirectly endangering the biosphere by bio-accumulation and inclusion in the food chain. The hobby gardens and the vegetable gardens directly along roads can be potential risky for people since unknown amount of heavy metals can be accumulated into organization of local residents due to consumption of vegetables and fruits grown in their own garden. The aim of this study was to determine the heavy metal content of garden soils directly along roads with heavy traffic in order to assess possible risk for human health. The total content and the mobile content of Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn have been determined in samples from garden soils along 5 busy roads of Szeged, South Hungary. Enrichment factor has been calculated with the help of control soil samples far from roads. The soil properties basically influencing on metal mobility have also been examined. Finally, the human health risk of these garden soils has been modelled by determination of health risk quotient (HRQ). As a result of our investigations, it can be claimed that mostly Cu, Zn and to a lesser degree the Ni, Cr and Pb accumulated in garden soils along roads depending on the traffic density. In general, the topsoils (0-10 cm) had higher amount of these metals rather than the subsoils (40-50 cm). Ni of these metals has approached; Cu has exceeded limit value while Pb is under it. Cd is very high in both soils along roads and control ones far from roads. Garden soils along the roads have such basic soil parameters (pH, mechanical soil type, humus content) that prove fairly high metal-binding capacity for these soils. Total risk of usage of these gardens (ingestion of soil

  17. Hormigas como plagas potenciales en tres criaderos de mariposas del suroccidente de Colombia Ants as potential pest of butterflies in three rearing in the southwest of Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Catalina Sanabria-Blandón

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available La fauna de hormigas asociada con la zoocría de mariposas en los departamentos de Valle del Cauca y Quindío (Colombia, se colectó por captura manual en tres ambientes (mariposario, vivero y laboratorio. De 125 muestras se extrajeron 779 hormigas, pertenecientes a cinco subfamilias, 18 géneros y 24 especies. El mayor número de especies se registró en el área de laboratorio (17, seguido por vivero (16 y mariposario (13. No se encontraron diferencias significativas (Chi² = 6.019, g.l.= 10, P>0.75, al evaluar la preferencia de las hormigas por un ambiente, sin embargo se observaron tendencias de esta manera: Wasmannia auropunctata (50%, Linepithema sp. (47%, Monomorium floricola (40% fueron las más importantes en el laboratorio, mientras que en el mariposario fueron Linepithema humile (42%, Camponotus novogranadensis (39% y Paratrechina longiconis (37.5% y en el vivero W. auropunctata (37.5% y P. longicornis (37.5%. Algunas de estas hormigas son reconocidas como vagabundas y plagas urbanas, lo que podría considerarse como un riesgo potencial para las actividades de zoocría de mariposas. En el presente estudio se propuso conocer las especies de hormigas que se asocian con tres criaderos de mariposas localizados en el suroccidente colombiano.The ant fauna associated to the butterflies rearing in the departments of Cauca Valley and Quindio (Colombia was studied. The ants were collected using manual capture method in three different environments (butterfly garden, nursery and laboratory. 779 ants were extracted from 125 samples, which belonged to five sub-families, 18 genera and 24 species. The greatest number of species were registered at the laboratory (17, followed by nursery (16 and butterfly garden (13. There weren't any significant differences (Chi2 = 6.019, d.f.= 10, P> 0.75, in assessing the preference of ants for some environment, however some trends were observed, on this way: at the lab Wasmannia auropunctata (50%, Linepithema sp

  18. Dynamical Equilibrium of Interacting Ant Societies

    CERN Document Server

    Leok, B T M

    1996-01-01

    The sustainable biodiversity associated with a specific ecological niche as a function of land area is analysed computationally by considering the interaction of ant societies over a collection of islands. A power law relationship between sustainable species and land area is observed. We will further consider the effect a perturbative inflow of ants has upon the model.

  19. Open Problem: Analyzing Ant Robot Coverage

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Efficient and inefficient ant coverage methods. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 31, 41–76. The proofs can be found in the technical...Wagner, I., & Bruckstein, A. (2001). Special issue on ant robotics. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, 31. Wagner, I., Lindenbaum, M

  20. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants (Formicidae represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.