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Sample records for ant fungus gardens

  1. The agricultural pathology of ant fungus gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Currie, Cameron R; Mueller, Ulrich G.; Malloch, David

    1999-01-01

    Gardens of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini) traditionally have been thought to be free of microbial parasites, with the fungal mutualist maintained in nearly pure “monocultures.” We conducted extensive isolations of “alien” (nonmutualistic) fungi from ant gardens of a phylogenetically representative collection of attine ants. Contrary to the long-standing assumption that gardens are maintained free of microbial pathogens and parasites, they are in fact host to specialized parasites th...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    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....... Conclusions: Proteinase pH optima and buffering capacities of fungal symbionts appear to have evolved remarkable adaptations to living in obligate symbiosis with farming ants. Although the functional roles of serine and metalloproteinases in fungus gardens are unknown, the differential production...... 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...... 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...

  6. Bioturbation by the Fungus-Gardening Ant, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R; Seal, Jon N

    2016-01-01

    Soil invertebrates such as ants are thought to be important manipulators of soils in temperate and tropical ecosystems. The fungus gardening ant, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis, is an important agent of biomantling, that is, of depositing soil excavated from below onto the surface, and has been suggested as an agent of bioturbation (moving soil below ground) as well. The amount of bioturbation by this ant was quantified by planting queenright colonies in sand columns consisting of 5 layers of different colored sand. The amount of each color of sand deposited on the surface was determined from April to November 2015. In November, colonies were excavated and the color and amount of sand deposited below ground (mostly as backfill in chambers) was determined. Extrapolated to one ha, T. septentrionalis deposited 800 kg of sand per annum on the surface, and an additional 200 kg (17% of the total excavated) below ground. On average, this mixes 1.3% of the sand from other layers within the top meter of soil per millennium, but this mixing is unlikely to be homogeneous, and probably occurs as "hotspots" in both horizontal and vertical space. Such mixing is discussed as a challenge to sediment dating by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). PMID:27391485

  7. Bioturbation by the Fungus-Gardening Ant, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R.; Seal, Jon N.

    2016-01-01

    Soil invertebrates such as ants are thought to be important manipulators of soils in temperate and tropical ecosystems. The fungus gardening ant, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis, is an important agent of biomantling, that is, of depositing soil excavated from below onto the surface, and has been suggested as an agent of bioturbation (moving soil below ground) as well. The amount of bioturbation by this ant was quantified by planting queenright colonies in sand columns consisting of 5 layers of different colored sand. The amount of each color of sand deposited on the surface was determined from April to November 2015. In November, colonies were excavated and the color and amount of sand deposited below ground (mostly as backfill in chambers) was determined. Extrapolated to one ha, T. septentrionalis deposited 800 kg of sand per annum on the surface, and an additional 200 kg (17% of the total excavated) below ground. On average, this mixes 1.3% of the sand from other layers within the top meter of soil per millennium, but this mixing is unlikely to be homogeneous, and probably occurs as "hotspots" in both horizontal and vertical space. Such mixing is discussed as a challenge to sediment dating by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). PMID:27391485

  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. 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.

  10. Evolutionary transitions in enzyme activity of ant fungus gardens

    OpenAIRE

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, M.; Mueller, U. G.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    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 comparat...

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. Leucoagaricus gongylophorus Produces Diverse Enzymes for the Degradation of Recalcitrant Plant Polymers in Leaf-Cutter Ant Fungus Gardens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aylward, Frank O. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Burnum-Johnson, Kristin E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Tringe, Susannah G. [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Teiling, Clotilde [Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN (United States); Tremmel, Daniel [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Moeller, Joseph [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Scott, Jarrod J. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Barry, Kerrie W. [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Piehowski, Paul D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Nicora, Carrie D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Malfatti, Stephanie [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Monroe, Matthew E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Purvine, Samuel O. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Goodwin, Lynne A. [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Smith, Richard D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Weinstock, George [Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, MS (United States); Gerardo, Nicole [Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA (United States); Suen, Garret [Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst., Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Lipton, Mary S. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Currie, Cameron R. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Smothsonian Tropical Research Inst., Balboa (Panama)

    2013-06-12

    Plants represent a large reservoir of organic carbon comprised largely 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 fungus gardens composed primarily of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, a basidiomycetous symbiont 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, metaproteomic, and phylogenetic tools we investigate its role in lignocellulose degradation in the fungus gardens of both Atta cephalotes and Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutter ants. We show that L. gongylophorus produces a diversity of lignocellulases in fungus 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 may be playing an important but previously uncharacterized role in lignocellulose degradation. Our study provides a comprehensive analysis of plant biomass degradation in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens and provides insight into the molecular dynamics underlying the symbiosis between these dominant herbivores and their obligate fungal cultivar.

  14. 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; Nash, David Richard; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

    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...... 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....

  17. Labile associations between fungus-growing ant cultivars and their garden pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerardo, Nicole M; Caldera, Eric J

    2007-09-01

    The distribution of genetic and phenotypic variation in both hosts and parasites over their geographic ranges shapes coevolutionary dynamics. Specifically, concordant host and parasite distributions facilitate localized adaptation and further specialization of parasite genotypes on particular host genotypes. We here compare genetic population structure of the cultivated fungi of the fungus-growing ant Apterostigma dentigerum and of the cultivar-attacking fungus, Escovopsis, to determine whether these microbial associations have evolved or are likely to evolve genotype-genotype specialization. Analyses based on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genotyping of host cultivars and pathogenic Escovopsis from 77 A. dentigerum colonies reveal that populations of hosts and pathogens are not similarly diverged and that host and pathogen genetic distances are uncorrelated, indicating that genetically similar parasites are not infecting genetically similar hosts. Microbial bioassays between pathogens and cultivars of different genotypes and from different populations show little pairwise specificity; most Escovopsis strains tested can successfully infect all cultivar strains with which they are paired. These molecular and experimental data suggest that Escovopsis genotypes are not tightly tracking cultivar genotypes within the A. dentigerum system. The diffuse nature of this host-pathogen association, in which pathogen genotypes are not interacting with a single host genotype but instead with many different hosts, will influence evolutionary and ecological disease dynamics of the fungus-growing ant-microbe symbiosis. PMID:18043657

  18. 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; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    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...

  19. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lange Lene

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leaf-cutting ants live in symbiosis with a fungus that they rear for food by providing it with live plant material. Until recently the fungus' main inferred function was to make otherwise inaccessible cell wall degradation products available to the ants, but new studies have shed doubt on this idea. To provide evidence for the cell wall degrading capacity of the attine ant symbiont, we designed PCR primers from conserved regions of known xylanase genes, to be used in PCR with genomic DNA from the symbiont as template. We also measured xylanase, cellulase and proteinase activities 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 The mutualistic fungus of Acromyrmex echinatior has a functional xylanase gene and is thus presumably able to at least partially degrade the cell walls of leaves. This finding supports a saprotrophic origin of the fungal symbiont. The observed distribution of enzyme activity leads us to propose that leaf-substrate degradation in fungus gardens is a multi-step process comparable to normal biodegradation of organic matter in soil ecosystems

  1. The infrabuccal pellet piles of fungus-growing ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Ainslie E F; Murakami, Takahiro; Mueller, Ulrich G; Currie, Cameron R

    2003-12-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) live in an obligate mutualism with the fungi they cultivate for food. Because of the obligate nature of this relationship, the success of the ants is directly dependent on their ability to grow healthy fungus gardens. Attine ants have evolved complex disease management strategies to reduce their garden's exposure to potential parasitic microbes, to prevent the establishment of infection in their gardens, and to remove infected garden sections. The infrabuccal pocket, a filtering device located in the oral cavity of all ants, is an integral part of the mechanisms that leaf-cutter ants use to prevent the invasion and spread of general microbial parasites and the specific fungal-garden parasite Escovopsis. Fungus-growing ants carefully groom their garden, collecting general debris and pathogenic spores of Escovopsis in their infrabuccal pocket, the contents of which are later expelled in dump chambers inside the nest or externally. In this study we examined how a phylogenetically diverse collection of attine ants treat their infrabuccal pellets. Unlike leaf-cutters that deposit their infrabuccal pellets directly in refuse piles, ants of the more basal attine lineages stack their infrabuccal pellets in piles located close to their gardens, and a separate caste of workers is devoted to the construction, management, and eventual disposal of these piles. PMID:14676952

  2. 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

    OpenAIRE

    Lange Lene; De Fine Licht Henrik H; Schiøtt Morten; Boomsma Jacobus J

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Background Leaf-cutting ants live in symbiosis with a fungus that they rear for food by providing it with live plant material. Until recently the fungus' main inferred function was to make otherwise inaccessible cell wall degradation products available to the ants, but new studies have shed doubt on this idea. To provide evidence for the cell wall degrading capacity of the attine ant symbiont, we designed PCR primers from conserved regions of known xylanase genes, to be used in PCR w...

  3. Antagonistic interactions between garden yeasts and microfungal garden pathogens of leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Andre; Cable, Rachel N; Mueller, Ulrich G; Bacci, Maurício; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2009-10-01

    We investigate the diversity of yeasts isolated in gardens of the leafcutter ant Atta texana. Repeated sampling of gardens from four nests over a 1-year time period showed that gardens contain a diverse assemblage of yeasts. The yeast community in gardens consisted mostly of yeasts associated with plants or soil, but community composition changed between sampling periods. In order to understand the potential disease-suppressing roles of the garden yeasts, we screened isolates for antagonistic effects against known microfungal garden contaminants. In vitro assays revealed that yeasts inhibited the mycelial growth of two strains of Escovopsis (a specialized attine garden parasite), Syncephalastrum racemosum (a fungus often growing in gardens of leafcutter lab nests), and the insect pathogen Beauveria bassiana. These garden yeasts add to the growing list of disease-suppressing microbes in attine nests that may contribute synergistically, together with actinomycetes and Burkholderia bacteria, to protect the gardens and the ants against diseases. Additionally, we suggest that garden immunity against problem fungi may therefore derive not only from the presence of disease-suppressing Pseudonocardia actinomycetes, but from an enrichment of multiple disease-suppressing microorganisms in the garden matrix. PMID:19449210

  4. 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

    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...

  5. 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......, showed that this enzyme is exclusively found in the gardens of leaf-cutting ants, where it is significantly upregulated in the gongylidia. I’ll discuss the possible role of this enzyme and other fungal modifications in the evolution of the leafcutter ants and their non-leafcutting attine relatives....

  6. 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......'s fungus garden, antibiotic-producing actinobacteria that help protect the fungus garden from the parasite, and a black yeast that parasitizes the ant-actinobacteria mutualism. The fungus-growing ant symbiosis serves as a particularly useful model system for studying insect-microbe symbioses, because, to...... date, it contains four well-characterized microbial symbionts, including mutualists and parasites that encompass micro-fungi, macro-fungi, yeasts, and bacteria. Here, we discuss approaches for studying insect-microbe symbioses, using the attine ant-microbial symbiosis as our framework. We draw...

  7. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    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.......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...

  8. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    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.......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...

  9. Complex host-pathogen coevolution in the Apterostigma fungus-growing ant-microbe symbiosis

    OpenAIRE

    Gerardo Nicole M; Mueller Ulrich G; Currie Cameron R

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Background The fungus-growing ant-microbe symbiosis consists of coevolving microbial mutualists and pathogens. The diverse fungal lineages that these ants cultivate are attacked by parasitic microfungi of the genus Escovopsis. Previous molecular analyses have demonstrated strong phylogenetic congruence between the ants, the ants-cultivated fungi and the garden pathogen Escovopsis at ancient phylogenetic levels, suggesting coevolution of these symbionts. However, few studies have expl...

  10. O jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção das câmaras em formigas cortadeiras? Fungus garden acts as a template for the construction of chambers in ants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto da Silva Camargo

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Os ninhos adultos das formigas cortadeiras (gênero Atta e Acromyrmex são compostos de milhares de câmaras subterrâneas, as quais abrigam o jardim de fungo, lixo e a população desses insetos. Entretanto, como as câmaras são construídas? Para responder essa questão, nós hipotetizamos que o jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção das câmaras. Assim, foram utilizadas 20 colônias de 6 meses de idade, divididas em quatro séries experimentais: padrão (quantidade normal de jardim de fungo; metade de jardim de fungo; dobro de jardim de fungo e sem jardim de fungo (Testemunha. As variáveis estudadas foram: parâmetros morfológicos das estruturas (túneis e câmara formada; fluxo das atividades das operárias; volume de solo escavado. Como se esperava, o jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção das câmaras em formigas cortadeiras. Os resultados foram: o tratamento sem jardim de fungo não apresentou nenhuma câmara, apenas túneis, em contraposição às demais séries experimentais que apresentaram no mínimo 2 câmaras, com dimensões similares; o fluxo das operárias carregando pellet de solo por minuto durante as 72 horas diferiu estatisticamente entre as séries experimentais e, finalmente, o volume do solo escavado foi resultado da taxa de escavação das operárias, diferindo estatisticamente entre as séries experimentais. Os resultados corroboram a hipótese de que o jardim de fungo atua como um molde para a construção da câmara. A ausência de uma estrutura funcional como uma câmara, quando o jardim de fungo está ausente, comprova a hipótese.Adult nests of leaf cutting ants (genus Atta and Acromyrmex are composed of thousands of underground chambers, which harbor the fungus garden, garbage and their population. However, how the chambers are constructed? To answer this question, we hypothesized that the fungus garden acts as a template for the chambers construction. Thus, we used 20 colonies of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulsen, Michael; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2005-02-01

    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, which are used for manuring newly grown fungus, elicit similar hostile reactions when applied to symbionts from other colonies. Symbiont control over new mycelial growth by manurial imprinting prevents the rearing of multiple crops in fungus gardens belonging to the same colony. PMID:15692054

  12. 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......, which are used for manuring newly grown fungus, elicit similar hostile reactions when applied to symbionts from other colonies. Symbiont control over new mycelial growth by manurial imprinting prevents the rearing of multiple crops in fungus gardens belonging to the same colony....

  13. 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 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 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....

  14. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    OpenAIRE

    Adams, R. M. M.; Liberti, J.; Illum, A. A.; Jones, T H; Nash, D R; Boomsma, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    We document the behavioral interactions among three ant species: a fungus-growing host ant, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant, and a raiding agro-predator ant. We show that the presence of guest ants becomes advantageous when host ants are attacked by raider ants, because guest ants use alkaloid venom to defend their host ant colony. Furthermore, detection of the guest ant odors is sufficient to discourage raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Guest ants likely ...

  15. Ant-gardens of tropical Asian rainforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, Eva; Maschwitz, Ulrich

    2006-05-01

    Ant-garden (AG) associations are systems of epiphytic plants and arboricolous (i.e., tree-living) ants, in which the ants build fragile carton nests containing organic material. They collect and incorporate seeds or fruits of epiphytes that then germinate and grow on the nest [sensu Corbara et al. (1999) 38:73-89]. The plant roots stabilize the nest carton. AGs have been well-known in the neotropics for more than 100 years. In contrast, reports on similar associations in the paleotropics are scarce so far. After discovering a first common AG system on giant bamboo [Kaufmann et al. (2001) 48:125-133], we started a large-scale survey for AGs in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Java, and southern Thailand. A great variety of AG systems (altogether including 18 ant species and 51 plant species) was discovered and is described in the present paper. The high number of species participating in AG associations was reflected by a great variability in the specific appearances of the nest gardens. Frequently, further groups of organisms (e.g., hemipteran trophobionts, fungi) were also involved. Preference patterns of particular ant and epiphyte species for each other and for particular phorophytes (carrier trees) were detected. We integrate domatia-producing, so-called ant-house epiphytes in our study and compare their phases of establishment, as well as other characteristics, to “classical” AGs, coming to the conclusion that they should be regarded only as a special type of AG epiphyte and not as a separate ecological category.

  16. 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

  17. 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 as...

  18. 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

    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......, we measured the changes in enzyme activity after a controlled shift in fungal substrate offered to six laboratory colonies of Atta cephalotes. An ant diet consisting exclusively of grains of parboiled rice rapidly increased the activity of endo-proteinases and some of the pectinases attacking the...... associated with cell walls, rather than toward structural cell wall components such as cellulose and hemicelluloses. Substrate constituents are also known to be sequentially degraded in different sections of the fungus garden. To test the plasticity in the extracellular expression of fungus-garden enzymes...

  19. Nest Enlargement in Leaf-Cutting Ants: Relocated Brood and Fungus Trigger the Excavation of New Chambers

    OpenAIRE

    Daniela Römer; Flavio Roces

    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,...

  20. Dentigerumycin: a bacterial mediator of an ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oh, Dong-Chan; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R; Clardy, Jon

    2009-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants engage in mutualistic associations with both the fungus they cultivate for food and actinobacteria (Pseudonocardia spp.) that produce selective antibiotics to defend that fungus from specialized fungal parasites. We have analyzed one such system at the molecular level and found...... that the bacterium associated with the ant Apterostigma dentigerum produces dentigerumycin, a cyclic depsipeptide with highly modified amino acids, to selectively inhibit the associated parasitic fungus (Escovopsis sp.)....

  1. 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...

  2. 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...... is known to include evolutionarily derived genera with obligate multiple mating (the Acromyrmex and Atta leafcutter ants) as well as phylogenetically basal genera with exclusively single mating (e.g. Apterostigma, Cyphomyrmex, Myrmicocrypta). All attine genera share the unique characteristic of...... obligate dependence on symbiotic fungus gardens for food, but the sophistication of this symbiosis differs considerably across genera. The lower attine genera generally have small, short-lived colonies and relatively non-specialized fungal symbionts (capable of living independently of their ant hosts...

  3. Fungal Garden Making inside Bamboos by a Non-Social Fungus-Growing Beetle

    OpenAIRE

    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-associa...

  4. Complex host-pathogen coevolution in the Apterostigma fungus-growing ant-microbe symbiosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerardo Nicole M

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The fungus-growing ant-microbe symbiosis consists of coevolving microbial mutualists and pathogens. The diverse fungal lineages that these ants cultivate are attacked by parasitic microfungi of the genus Escovopsis. Previous molecular analyses have demonstrated strong phylogenetic congruence between the ants, the ants-cultivated fungi and the garden pathogen Escovopsis at ancient phylogenetic levels, suggesting coevolution of these symbionts. However, few studies have explored cophylogenetic patterns between these symbionts at the recent phylogenetic levels necessary to address whether these parasites are occasionally switching to novel hosts or whether they are diversifying with their hosts as a consequence of long-term host fidelity. Results Here, a more extensive phylogenetic analysis of Escovopsis lineages infecting the gardens of Apterostigma ants demonstrates that these pathogens display patterns of phylogenetic congruence with their fungal hosts. Particular clades of Escovopsis track particular clades of cultivated fungi, and closely-related Escovopsis generally infect closely-related hosts. Discordance between host and parasite phylogenies, however, provides the first evidence for occasional host-switches or acquisitions of novel infections from the environment. Conclusion The fungus-growing ant-microbe association has a complex coevolutionary history. Though there is clear evidence of host-specificity on the part of diverse Escovopsis lineages, these pathogens have switched occasionally to novel host fungi. Such switching is likely to have profound effects on how these host and parasites adapt to one another over evolutionary time scales and may impact how disease spreads over ecological time scales.

  5. 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...... 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...

  6. 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. PMID:24728757

  7. 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...

  8. Shared Escovopsis parasites between leaf-cutting and non-leaf-cutting ants in the higher attine fungus-growing ant symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirelles, Lucas A; Solomon, Scott E; Bacci, Mauricio; Wright, April M; Mueller, Ulrich G; Rodrigues, Andre

    2015-09-01

    Fungus-gardening (attine) ants grow fungus for food in protected gardens, which contain beneficial, auxiliary microbes, but also microbes harmful to gardens. Among these potentially pathogenic microorganisms, the most consistently isolated are fungi in the genus Escovopsis, which are thought to co-evolve with ants and their cultivar in a tripartite model. To test clade-to-clade correspondence between Escovopsis and ants in the higher attine symbiosis (including leaf-cutting and non-leaf-cutting ants), we amassed a geographically comprehensive collection of Escovopsis from Mexico to southern Brazil, and reconstructed the corresponding Escovopsis phylogeny. Contrary to previous analyses reporting phylogenetic divergence between Escovopsis from leafcutters and Trachymyrmex ants (non-leafcutter), we found no evidence for such specialization; rather, gardens from leafcutters and non-leafcutters genera can sometimes be infected by closely related strains of Escovopsis, suggesting switches at higher phylogenetic levels than previously reported within the higher attine symbiosis. Analyses identified rare Escovopsis strains that might represent biogeographically restricted endemic species. Phylogenetic patterns correspond to morphological variation of vesicle type (hyphal structures supporting spore-bearing cells), separating Escovopsis with phylogenetically derived cylindrical vesicles from ancestral Escovopsis with globose vesicles. The new phylogenetic insights provide an improved basis for future taxonomic and ecological studies of Escovopsis. PMID:26473050

  9. Oligocene Termite Nests with In Situ Fungus Gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Support a Paleogene African Origin for Insect Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Eric M; Todd, Christopher N; Aanen, Duur K; Nobre, Tânia; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L; O'Connor, Patrick M; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66-24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7-10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape. PMID:27333288

  10. Oligocene Termite Nests with In Situ Fungus Gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Support a Paleogene African Origin for Insect Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Eric M.; Todd, Christopher N.; Aanen, Duur K.; Nobre, Tânia; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L.; O’Connor, Patrick M.; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66–24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7–10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape. PMID:27333288

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia E Masiulionis

    Full Text Available 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

  12. 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

  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. Pre-adaptive cadmium tolerance in the black garden ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz

    2016-04-01

    The black garden ant Lasius niger is a common component of habitats subjected to anthropological stress. The species can develop very abundant populations in metal-polluted areas. In this study, we raised the question of its tolerance to Cd pollution. Workers of L. niger were collected from 54 colonies, originating from 19 sites located along an increasing gradient of Cd pollution in Poland. Ants were exposed to a range of dietary Cd concentrations in a controlled 14-day laboratory experiment in order to test Cd-sensitivity in the investigated ants. The level of ant mortality was recorded as the endpoint of the experiment. We used much higher concentrations of dietary Cd than those the ants are most likely exposed to in field conditions. The investigated ants were highly Cd-tolerant; even a very high dietary Cd concentration of approx. 1300 mg/kg did not affect mortality of workers when compared to the control. Mortality was unrelated to Cd-pollution along the pollution gradient, meaning that high Cd-tolerance can be found even in ants from unpolluted areas. The results stress the importance of pre-adaptive mechanisms in the development of metal tolerance in ants. PMID:26820778

  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. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

    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 (Pachycondyla goeldii and Camponotus...

  18. 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.

  19. Comparative study of nest architecture and colony structure of the fungus-growing ants, Mycocepurus goeldii and M. smithii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabeling, C; Verhaagh, M; Engels, W

    2007-01-01

    Nest architecture and demography of the non leaf-cutting fungus-growing ant species Mycocepurus goeldii and M. smithii (Attini: Formicidae) were studied in an agroforest habitat near Manaus, Brazil during the excavation of 13 nests. Both species built their nests in two different ways. The first type possessed a "tree-like" architecture, in which a vertical tunnel led downwards and lateral tunnels branched off at 90 degrees angles from the main tunnel, with a chamber at the end of each side branch. Alternatively, other nests displayed a "necklace-like" architecture, where the main tunnel also led down vertically, but entered each chamber from the top and exited it at the bottom, resulting in an architecture where chambers appeared like pearls on a necklace. The nest systems of M. goeldii and M. smithii consisted of 1-21 or 1-15 chambers, respectively. Of 199 excavated chambers, 57 % contained fungus-gardens. Chambers not containing fungus gardens were filled with organic matter from decaying fungus gardens or earthworm feces. Only M. smithii workers deposited loose soil in abandoned chambers during the construction of new nest chambers. Workers of M. smithii constructed significantly smaller chambers than those of M. goeldii. In both species, fungus garden-containing chambers were larger than non-garden chambers and were homogenously distributed in the soil between 17 cm and 105 cm depth. Neither fungus gardens nor abandoned chambers were encountered more frequently in deeper or shallower soil strata indicating that ants of both species did not abandon shallower versus deeper chambers, or move the colony to deeper soil layers with increasing colony age. Fungus gardens were suspended from the ceiling of the subterranean chambers and originated as small mycelial tufts. Through continual addition of organic debris, the tufts first grew vertically to strands before they expanded laterally until most of the chamber volume was filled with fungus garden curtains. New

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

    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...

  1. 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

    2011-03-01

    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. PMID:21368106

  2. 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. PMID:19369264

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Poulsen

    Full Text Available Conflict within mutually beneficial associations is predicted to destabilize relationships, and theoretical and empirical work exploring this has provided significant insight into the dynamics of cooperative interactions. Within mutualistic associations, the expression and regulation of conflict is likely more complex than in intraspecific cooperative relationship, because of the potential presence of: i multiple genotypes of microbial species associated with individual hosts, ii multiple species of symbiotic lineages forming cooperative partner pairings, and iii additional symbiont lineages. Here we explore complexity of conflict expression within the ancient and coevolved mutualistic association between attine ants, their fungal cultivar, and actinomycetous bacteria (Pseudonocardia. Specifically, we examine conflict between the ants and their Pseudonocardia symbionts maintained to derive antibiotics against parasitic microfungi (Escovopsis infecting the ants' fungus garden. Symbiont assays pairing isolates of Pseudonocardia spp. associated with fungus-growing ants spanning the phylogenetic diversity of the mutualism revealed that antagonism between strains is common. In contrast, antagonism was substantially less common between more closely related bacteria associated with Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants. In both experiments, the observed variation in antagonism across pairings was primarily due to the inhibitory capabilities and susceptibility of individual strains, but also the phylogenetic relationships between the ant host of the symbionts, as well as the pair-wise genetic distances between strains. The presence of antagonism throughout the phylogenetic diversity of Pseudonocardia symbionts indicates that these reactions likely have shaped the symbiosis from its origin. Antagonism is expected to prevent novel strains from invading colonies, enforcing single-strain rearing within individual ant colonies. While this may align ant

  4. Sperm length evolution in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    -growing ants, representing 9 of the 12 recognized genera, and mapped these onto the ant phylogeny. We show that average sperm length across species is highly variable and decreases with mature colony size in basal genera with singly mated queens, suggesting that sperm production or storage constraints affect...... 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 predictor in this analysis, we conclude that sperm production trade-offs in males have been the major selective force affecting sperm length across the fungus-growing ants, rather than storage constraints in females. The relationship between sperm length and sexual dimorphism remained robust in...

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:24223958

  7. 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;

    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......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...

  8. Morphophysiological Differences between the Metapleural Glands of Fungus-Growing and Non–Fungus-Growing Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Bueno, Odair Correa; Camargo-Mathias, Maria Izabel

    2012-01-01

    The metapleural gland is an organ exclusive to ants. Its main role is to produce secretions that inhibit the proliferation of different types of pathogens. The aim of the present study was to examine the morphophysiological differences between the metapleural gland of 3 non–fungus-growing ants of the tribes Ectatommini, Myrmicini, and Blepharidattini and that of 5 fungus-growing ants from 2 basal and 3 derived attine genera. The metapleural gland of the non–fungus-growing ants and the basal a...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

    Bacterial symbionts are important fitness determinants of insects. Some hosts have independently acquired taxonomically related microbes to meet similar challenges, but whether distantly related hosts that live in tight symbiosis can maintain similar microbial communities has not been investigated...... 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 nests such as consumption of the same fungus garden food, eating of host brood by social parasites, trophallaxis and grooming interactions between the ants, or parallel acquisition from the same nest environment. Our results imply that cohabiting ant social parasites and hosts may obtain...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

    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 (Pachycondyla goeldii and Camponotus femoratus) on the physical characteristics of the plants, and, subsequently, on the diversity of the invertebrate communities that inhabit their tanks. As dispersal agents for the bromeliads, P. goeldii and C. femoratus influence the shape and size of the bromeliad by determining the location of the seedling, from exposed to partially shaded areas. By coexisting on a local scale, the two ant species generate a gradient of habitat conditions in terms of available resources (space and food) for aquatic invertebrates, the diversity of the invertebrate communities increasing with greater volumes of water and fine detritus. Two-species mutualisms are widespread in nature, but their influence on the diversity of entire communities remains largely unexplored. Because macroinvertebrates constitute an important part of animal production in all ecosystem types, further investigations should address the functional implications of such indirect effects. PMID:20503886

  12. Myrmecophily in Hesperiidae. The case of Vettius tertianus in ant gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orivel, J; Dejean, A

    2000-08-01

    The larvae of the hesperiid butterfly Vettius tertianus develop by eating the leaves of Aechmea mertensii, a bromeliad epiphyte restricted to ant gardens. The relationships between ants and V. tertianus larvae highlight the preferential association of the caterpillars with Pachycondyla goeldii (Ponerinae), an ant-garden initiator. The oviposition strategy of V. tertianus may thus imply the identification of the inhabiting ant species and not only the identification of the host plant. The caterpillars neither provide secretions to the ants, nor possess defensive devices (i.e. hairs or appendices) against ants. Their activity rhythm does not isolate them from foraging workers of P. goeldii and their shelters are also attainable by the ants. Moreover, as the cuticular lipid profiles of V. tertianus larvae are clearly different from those of the ants and also from the leaf-surface of A. mertensii, acceptance is not due to mimicry between larvae and plants or ants. However, the caterpillars deposit, on the leaf they eat, silk containing a mixture of substances very similar to those found on their own cuticle. No interaction with ants was recorded during observations, even though the ant gardens were patrolled by numerous P. goeldii individuals during their activity period. But when confronted with the caterpillar, none of the tested ant species reacted aggressively. These results suggest the existence of compounds, other than cuticular lipids, responsible for the absence of aggressiveness in the ants. The case of V. tertianus is relatively new as myrmecophily within Hesperiidae has been described only once. Moreover, it preferentially involves a member of the Ponerinae, a subfamily in which interactions with other arthropods are exceptional. PMID:11019365

  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

    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......, colony fecundity, and fungal garden volume for Acromyrmex and Sericomyrmex, but not for Trachymyrmex. Year of collection, worker number and mating frequency of Acromyrmex queens did not affect the colony sex ratios. We used a novel sensitivity analysis to compare the population sex allocation ratios 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Fungal enzymes in the attine ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex and Mycocepurus 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 as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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...

  17. 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.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    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...

  18. Antimicrobial defense shows an abrupt evolutionary transition in the fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, William O H; Pagliarini, Roberta; Madsen, Henning Bang; Dijkstra, Michiel B; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2008-01-01

    exception to this rule because they are a key first-line defense that are fixed in size in adults. Here we conduct a comparative analysis of the size of the gland reservoir across the fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini). Most attines have singly mated queens, but in two derived genera, the leaf-cutting ants...

  19. Symbiont recruitment versus ant-symbiont co-evolution in the attine ant-microbe symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Ulrich G

    2012-06-01

    The symbiosis between fungus-farming ants (Attini, Formicidae), their cultivated fungi, garden-infecting Escovopsis pathogens, and Pseudonocardia bacteria on the ant integument has been popularized as an example of ant-Escovopsis-Pseudonocardia co-evolution. Recent research could not verify earlier conclusions regarding antibiotic-secreting, integumental Pseudonocardia that co-evolve to specifically suppress Escovopsis disease in an ancient co-evolutionary arms-race. Rather than long-term association with a single, co-evolving Pseudonocardia strain, attine ants accumulate complex, dynamic biofilms on their integument and in their gardens. Emerging views are that the integumental biofilms protect the ants primarily against ant diseases, whereas garden biofilms protect primarily against garden diseases; attine ants selectively recruit ('screen in') microbes into their biofilms; and the biofilms of ants and gardens serve diverse functions beyond disease-suppression. PMID:22445196

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Towards a Better Understanding of the Evolution of Specialized Parasites of Fungus-Growing Ant Crops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sze Huei Yek

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available 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, covering both the colony/population level and comparisons between phylogenetic clades. We use a modified version of Tinbergen's four categories of evolutionary questions to structure our review in complementary approaches addressing both proximate questions of development and mechanism, and ultimate questions of (coadaptation 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.

  3. 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

    , covering both the colony/population level and comparisons between phylogenetic clades. We use a modified version of Tinbergen’s four categories of evolutionary questions to structure our review in complementary approaches addressing both proximate questions of development and mechanism, and ultimate......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...

  4. 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 a...... reliance on mutualistic Pseudonocardia are correlated with larger colony size among attine genera, raising questions about the efficacy of managing disease in large societies with chemical cocktails versus bacterial antimicrobial metabolites....

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 a...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    , 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...

  8. 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

    Abstract Multipartner mutualisms have potentially complex dynamics, with compensatory responses when one partner is lost or relegated to a minor role. Fungus-growing ants (Attini) are mutualistic associates of basidiomycete fungi and antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria; the former are...

  9. 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. PMID:17541536

  10. 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. PMID:19847109

  11. Fungal Adaptations to Mutualistic Life with Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) feed off a fungus they cultivate in a mutualistic symbiosis in underground chambers by providing it substrate they collect outside the colony. The tribe of Attine ants ranges from small colonies of the paleo- and basal Attine species with a few hundred workers that...... forage on crude substrates such as insect frass and dry plant material, to large colonies of the leaf-cutting ants with several thousands to several million workers that provide live plant material to their fungus gardens. Leaf-cutting ants are the dominant herbivores of the Neo-tropics, and have a major...... estimate that approximately half of these nuclei were represented by different genomes, giving the fungus a ploidy level of 5n-6n. In mutualistic symbioses it is important the partners stay true to each other. In fungus-growing ants, new founding queens bring a piece of fungus to build up their new colony...

  12. No effect of Zn-pollution on the energy content in the black garden ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz

    2016-05-01

    Social insects may display a response to environmental pollution at the colony level. The key trait of an ant colony is to share energy between castes in order to maintain the existing adult population and to feed the brood. In the present study we calorimetrically measured the energy content per body mass (J/mg) of adults and pupae of workers, males and females of the black garden ant Lasius niger. The ants were sampled from 37 wild colonies originating from 19 sites located along the metal pollution gradient established in a post-mining area in Poland. The cost of metal detoxification seen as a possible reduction in energy content with increasing pollution was found neither for pupae nor adults. However, a considerable part of variance in energy content is explained by belonging to the same colony. These findings stress the importance of colony-specific factors and/or the interaction of these factors with specific site in shaping the response of ants to metal-pollution stress. Colony-related factors may constrain possible selfish decisions of workers over energy allocation in workers and sexual castes. PMID:26850622

  13. 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

    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......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 (< 200 workers) colonies with probably substantially shorter lifespans. Basal attines are therefore expected to...

  14. 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...... mutual co-adaptation within a single ant population.......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...

  15. 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

    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 and minor Acromyrmex workers eliminate alien fungus fragments even in subcolonies where their resident symbiont is not present. We hypothesize that the different tasks and behaviors performed by majors and minors are likely to select for differential responses to alien fungi. Major...

  16. 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. This is...... because, all other things being equal, relatedness incentives should favour traits expressed in both workers and the queen to monopolise the production of the colony's male offspring. Microsatellite genotyping of males from these attine species shows that workers in queenless colonies are able to produce...... males, but that no worker-produced males were found in queenright colonies. Our results suggest that worker reproduction is rare or even absent in colonies with a fertile queen. This indicates that either the queen directly prevents the workers from raising their own sons, or that worker reproduction is...

  17. 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...

  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. Inquilines are usually close relatives of their host and so share ancestral characteristics (Emery’s rule). They are dependent on being fully integrated into their host’s colony throughout their lives in order to reproduce. Most inquiline ants have completely lost their sterile worker caste...

  19. 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. PMID:17301016

  20. Phylogenomics and Divergence Dating of Fungus-Farming Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Genera Sericomyrmex and Apterostigma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ješovnik, Ana; González, Vanessa L.; Schultz, Ted R.

    2016-01-01

    Fungus-farming ("attine") ants are model systems for studies of symbiosis, coevolution, and advanced eusociality. A New World clade of nearly 300 species in 15 genera, all attine ants cultivate fungal symbionts for food. In order to better understand the evolution of ant agriculture, we sequenced, assembled, and analyzed transcriptomes of four different attine ant species in two genera: three species in the higher-attine genus Sericomyrmex and a single lower-attine ant species, Apterostigma megacephala, representing the first genomic data for either genus. These data were combined with published genomes of nine other ant species and the honey bee Apis mellifera for phylogenomic and divergence-dating analyses. The resulting phylogeny confirms relationships inferred in previous studies of fungus-farming ants. Divergence-dating analyses recovered slightly older dates than most prior analyses, estimating that attine ants originated 53.6–66.7 million of years ago, and recovered a very long branch subtending a very recent, rapid radiation of the genus Sericomyrmex. This result is further confirmed by a separate analysis of the three Sericomyrmex species, which reveals that 92.71% of orthologs have 99% - 100% pairwise-identical nucleotide sequences. We searched the transcriptomes for genes of interest, most importantly argininosuccinate synthase and argininosuccinate lyase, which are functional in other ants but which are known to have been lost in seven previously studied attine ant species. Loss of the ability to produce the amino acid arginine has been hypothesized to contribute to the obligate dependence of attine ants upon their cultivated fungi, but the point in fungus-farming ant evolution at which these losses occurred has remained unknown. We did not find these genes in any of the sequenced transcriptomes. Although expected for Sericomyrmex species, the absence of arginine anabolic genes in the lower-attine ant Apterostigma megacephala strongly suggests that

  1. Chemical basis of the synergism and antagonism in microbial communities in the nests of leaf-cutting ants

    OpenAIRE

    Schoenian, Ilka; Spiteller, Michael; Ghaste, Manoj; Wirth, Rainer; Herz, Hubert; Spiteller, Dieter

    2011-01-01

    Leaf-cutting ants cultivate the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which serves as a major food source. This symbiosis is threatened by microbial pathogens that can severely infect L. gongylophorus. Microbial symbionts of leaf-cutting ants, mainly Pseudonocardia and Streptomyces, support the ants in defending their fungus gardens against infections by supplying antimicrobial and antifungal compounds. The ecological role of microorganisms in the nests of leaf-cutting ants can only be addresse...

  2. Differential gene expression in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants after challenges with two fungal pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yek, Sze H; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Schiøtt, Morten

    2013-04-01

    Social insects in general and leaf-cutting ants in particular have increased selection pressures on their innate immune system due to their social lifestyle and monoclonality of the symbiotic fungal cultivar. As this symbiosis is obligate for both parties, prophylactic behavioural defences against infections are expected to increase either ant survival or fungus-garden survival, but also to possibly trade off when specific infections differ in potential danger. We examined the effectiveness of prophylactic behaviours and modulations of innate immune defences by a combination of inoculation bioassays and genome-wide transcriptomic studies (RNA-Seq), using an ant pathogen (Metarhizium brunneum) and a fungus-garden pathogen (Escovopsis weberi) and administering inoculations both directly and indirectly (via the symbiotic partner). Upon detection of pathogen conidia, ant workers responded by increasing both general activity and the frequency of specific defence behaviours (self-grooming, allo-grooming, garden-grooming) independent of the pathogen encountered. This trend was also evident in the patterns of gene expression change. Both direct and indirect (via fungus garden) inoculations with Metarhizium induced a general up-regulation of gene expression, including a number of well-known immune-related genes. In contrast, direct inoculation of the fungus garden by Escovopsis induced an overall down-regulation of ant gene expression, whereas indirect inoculation (via the ants) did not, suggesting that increased activity of ants to remove this fungus-garden pathogen is costly and involves trade-offs with the activation of other physiological pathways. PMID:23480581

  3. 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.

  4. Low host-pathogen specificity in the leaf-cutting ant-microbe symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taerum, Stephen J; Cafaro, Matías J; Little, Ainslie E F; Schultz, Ted R; Currie, Cameron R

    2007-08-22

    Host-parasite associations are shaped by coevolutionary dynamics. One example is the complex fungus-growing ant-microbe symbiosis, which includes ancient host-parasite coevolution. Fungus-growing ants and the fungi they cultivate for food have an antagonistic symbiosis with Escovopsis, a specialized microfungus that infects the ants' fungus gardens. The evolutionary histories of the ant, cultivar and Escovopsis are highly congruent at the deepest phylogenetic levels, with specific parasite lineages exclusively associating with corresponding groups of ants and cultivar. Here, we examine host-parasite specificity at finer phylogenetic levels, within the most derived clade of fungus-growing ants, the leaf-cutters (Atta spp. and Acromyrmex spp.). Our molecular phylogeny of Escovopsis isolates from the leaf-cutter ant-microbe symbiosis confirms specificity at the broad phylogenetic level, but reveals frequent host-switching events between species and genera of leaf-cutter ants. Escovopsis strains isolated from Acromyrmex and Atta gardens occur together in the same clades, and very closely related strains can even infect the gardens of both ant genera. Experimental evidence supports low host-parasite specificity, with phylogenetically diverse strains of Escovopsis being capable of overgrowing all leaf-cutter cultivars examined. Thus, our findings indicate that this host-pathogen association is shaped by the farming ants having to protect their cultivated fungus from phylogenetically diverse Escovopsis garden pathogens. PMID:17550881

  5. 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......, indirectly, on fungal enzymes to break down the plant material brought in by the ants as fungal substrate. The more than 210 extant fungus-growing ant species differ considerably in colony size, social complexity and substrate-use. Only the derived leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves 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...

  6. 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. PMID:26536874

  7. Small genome of the fungus Escovopsis weberi, a specialized disease agent of ant agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Man, Tom J B; Stajich, Jason E; Kubicek, Christian P; Teiling, Clotilde; Chenthamara, Komal; Atanasova, Lea; Druzhinina, Irina S; Levenkova, Natasha; Birnbaum, Stephanie S L; Barribeau, Seth M; Bozick, Brooke A; Suen, Garret; Currie, Cameron R; Gerardo, Nicole M

    2016-03-29

    Many microorganisms with specialized lifestyles have reduced genomes. This is best understood in beneficial bacterial symbioses, where partner fidelity facilitates loss of genes necessary for living independently. Specialized microbial pathogens may also exhibit gene loss relative to generalists. Here, we demonstrate that Escovopsis weberi, a fungal parasite of the crops of fungus-growing ants, has a reduced genome in terms of both size and gene content relative to closely related but less specialized fungi. Although primary metabolism genes have been retained, the E. weberi genome is depleted in carbohydrate active enzymes, which is consistent with reliance on a host with these functions. E. weberi has also lost genes considered necessary for sexual reproduction. Contrasting these losses, the genome encodes unique secondary metabolite biosynthesis clusters, some of which include genes that exhibit up-regulated expression during host attack. Thus, the specialized nature of the interaction between Escovopsis and ant agriculture is reflected in the parasite's genome. PMID:26976598

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pagnocca, Fernando C.; Ifeloju Dayo-Owoyemi; Marson, Fernando A L; Mendes, Thais D.; André Rodrigues

    2012-01-01

    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 cellu...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Aylward, Frank O.; Garret Suen; Currie, Cameron R.

    2012-01-01

    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 cul...

  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. 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...... basidiomycete genus Termitomyces - whereas the ants are associated with a larger diversity of fungal lineages (all basidiomycetes). The ants and termites forage for plant material to provision their fungus gardens. Their crops convert this carbon-rich plant material into nitrogen-rich fungal biomass to provide...

  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. 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...... of L. neglectus workers towards three native Lasius ant species that occur at the edge of a L. neglectus supercolony in Seva, Spain. Our results show that L. neglectus is highly aggressive against all three native Lasius species tested (L. grandis FOREL, 1909, L. emarginatus (OLIVIER, 1792), and L...... these two species. This could be due to the largest difference in body size, or due to a greater overlap in ecological niche between L. neglectus and L. grandis com-pared to the other two native species. There was only weak support for L. neglectus workers from the periphery of the supercolony to be more...

  14. [The amplification of CYP9 genes as a preadaptation of the black garden ant Lasius niger to urban conditions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konorov, E A; Nikitin, M A

    2015-01-01

    Ants are one of the most ancient and successful groups of eusocial animals and they are spread all over the world. The nucleotide sequences of the genomes of eight ant species were determined by the year 2014. In these species, the mechanisms of ecological success, cast differentiation, and social communication were studied at genomic level. In ants, the genes of the cytochromes P450 involved in metabolism of xenobiotics and various endogenic substances are amplified. Although the substrates for several cytochrome P450 families have been identified, the functions of the ninth family, which is one of the most amplified, remain unknown. The black garden ant Lasius niger is one of the spices that have successfully adapted to urban conditions. To study the mechanisms of adaptation, we have read and annotated the nucleotide sequence of the L. niger genome; we have predicted the functions of the CYP9 genes using virtual screening. The obtained data allow us to suggest that cytochromes P450 are involved in the metabolism of various xenobiotics such as phytotoxins, mycotoxins, and insecticides. We assume that the functional divergence of the new CYP9 duplications was initially aimed at developing resistance to various mycotoxins, in particular to those produced by Fusarium fungi and, subsequently, to other xenobiotics. PMID:26107899

  15. 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

    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...... 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...

  16. 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

    Partners in obligate mutualisms often contribute complementary elements to joint pathways for synthesizing or degrading metabolites. Their committed cooperation can make new niches accessible, with evolutionary diversification and speciation as possible consequences. However, when individual part...... appear to be analogous to a diverse array of subsistence farming practices at the mercy of local conditions, whereas the latter resemble large-scale, low-diversity “industrial” farming....

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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. PMID:27206570

  1. 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.

  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. 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

    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 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 gongylophorus, but only a single copy of these multiple laccase genes...

  4. 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

    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 and...... partner species. Here we document such a sequence that was connected to a major evolutionary transition in the fungus-growing ants, when the ancestor of the derived leaf-cutting ants shifted from a diet of dry vegetative material to the almost exclusive use of freshly cut leaves. This shift generated...... 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    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......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...... 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...

  6. 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...... 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...... 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...

  7. Slowing them down will make them lose: a role for attine ant crop fungus in defending pupae against infections?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Wcislo, William T

    2016-09-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) have evolved an obligate dependency upon a basidiomycete fungus that they cultivate as their food. Less well known is that the crop fungus is also used by many attine species to cover their eggs, larvae and pupae. The adaptive functional significance of this brood covering is poorly understood. One hypothesis to account for this behaviour is that it is part of the pathogen protection portfolio when many thousands of sister workers live in close proximity and larvae and pupae are not protected by cells, as in bees and wasps, and are immobile. We performed behavioural observations on brood covering in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior, and we experimentally manipulated mycelial cover on pupae and exposed them to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum to test for a role in pathogen resistance. Our results show that active mycelial brood covering by workers is a behaviourally plastic trait that varies temporally, and across life stages and castes. The presence of a fungal cover on the pupae reduced the rate at which conidia appeared and the percentage of pupal surface that produced pathogen spores, compared to pupae that had fungal cover experimentally removed or naturally had no mycelial cover. Infected pupae with mycelium had higher survival rates than infected pupae without the cover, although this depended upon the time at which adult sister workers were allowed to interact with pupae. Finally, workers employed higher rates of metapleural gland grooming to infected pupae without mycelium than to infected pupae with mycelium. Our results imply that mycelial brood covering may play a significant role in suppressing the growth and subsequent spread of disease, thus adding a novel layer of protection to their defence portfolio. PMID:27136600

  8. Comparative Study of Nest Architecture and Colony Structure of the Fungus-Growing Ants, Mycocepurus goeldii and M. smithii

    OpenAIRE

    Rabeling, C.; Verhaagh, M.; Engels, W

    2007-01-01

    Nest architecture and demography of the non leaf-cutting fungus-growing ant species Mycocepurus goeldii and M. smithii (Attini: Formicidae) were studied in an agroforest habitat near Manaus, Brazil during the excavation of 13 nests. Both species built their nests in two different ways. The first type possessed a “tree-like” architecture, in which a vertical tunnel led downwards and lateral tunnels branched off at 90° angles from the main tunnel, with a chamber at the end of each side branch. ...

  9. Social immune defence in ants - Different aspects of hygienic behaviour and the infestation with Laboulbeniales in Lasius neglectus ants

    OpenAIRE

    Tragust, Simon

    2013-01-01

    To study how immunity is achieved in insect societies I investigated the antiparasite defence of mainly the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus when exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. In the first three chapters I focused on behavioural aspects of the social immune system with special reference to hygienic actions toward brood. In Chapter I I could first demonstrate a potential protective function of the cocoon-enclosure around pupae in ants when exposed to fun...

  10. 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

    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......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...... 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...

  11. Comparative dating of attine ant and lepiotaceous cultivar phylogenies reveals coevolutionary synchrony and discord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikheyev, Alexander S; Mueller, Ulrich G; Abbot, Patrick

    2010-06-01

    The mutualistic symbiosis between fungus-gardening ants and their cultivars has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the coevolution of complex species interactions. Reciprocal specialization and vertical symbiont cotransmission are thought to promote a pattern of largely synchronous coevolutionary diversification in attines. Here we test this hypothesis by inferring the first time-calibrated multigene phylogeny of the lepiotaceous attine cultivars and comparing it with the recently published fossil-anchored phylogeny of the attine ants. While this comparison reveals some possible cases of synchronous origins of ant and fungal clades, there were a number of surprising asynchronies. For example, leaf-cutter cultivars appear to be significantly younger than the corresponding ant genera. Similarly, a clade of fungi interacting with primitive fungus-gardening ants--thought to be ancestral to the more derived leaf-cutter symbionts--appears instead to be a more recent acquisition from free-living stock. These macroevolutionary patterns are consistent with recent population-level studies suggesting occasional acquisition of novel cultivar types from environmental sources and horizontal transmission of cultivars between different ant species. Horizontal transmission events, even if rare, appear to form loose ecological connections between diffusely coevolving ant and fungus lineages that permit punctuated changes in the topology of the mutualistic ant-fungus interaction network. PMID:20415533

  12. 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

    2016-09-01

    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

  13. 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. PMID:24992532

  14. Variation in the outcomes of an ant-plant system: fire and leaf fungus infection reduce benefits to plants with extrafloral nectaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, L P; Del-Claro, K

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between species are evolutionary malleable and may suffer changes in small timescales. Environmental disturbances, such as fire, can deeply affect species interactions, but how they influence the outcome of a mutualistic interaction has yet to be studied. In order to test the hypothesis that an environmental disturbance, in this case fire, may produce differences in the outcome of the association of ants with the extrafloral-nectaries-bearing plant Qualea multiflora Mart. (Myrtales: Vochysiaceae), a previous study was replicated, but this time after fire incidence, at the same study site and with the same plant species. Eight ant species visited Q. multiflora, and the most abundant genera were Crematogaster, Cephalotes, and Camponotus. Herbivores were found in branches with and without ants with no statistical difference, but foliar herbivory was always higher in branchs where ants were absent. Leaves were infested by fungi, and fungi spots were higher in branches where ants were present. Compared to the previous study, it was clearly observed that ant benefits to Q. multiflora varied over time. The most common ant species still protected leaves against chewing herbivores, but a new kind of leaf damage appeared, namely fungi spots. Data also support that ants may be acting as vectors of fungi spores on plants, as ant visited branches had higher fungus incidence than non-visited branches. Fire is a major source of disturbance in tropical savannas, and we suggest that it can cause strong variation in the outcomes of interactions between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries in the Brazilian tropical savanna. PMID:25368040

  15. 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

    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 but not in......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...

  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. PMID:27166549

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    . Here we explore complexity of conflict expression within the ancient and coevolved mutualistic association between attine ants, their fungal cultivar, and actinomycetous bacteria (Pseudonocardia). Specifically, we examine conflict between the ants and their Pseudonocardia symbionts maintained to derive...... was substantially less common between more closely related bacteria associated with Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants. In both experiments, the observed variation in antagonism across pairings was primarily due to the inhibitory capabilities and susceptibility of individual strains, but also the...

  19. Ectosymbionts and immunity in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus

    OpenAIRE

    José De Souza, Danival; Lenoir, Alain; Megumi Kasuya, Maria Catarina; Marques Ramos Ribeiro, Myriam; Devers, Séverine; Couceiro, Joel da Cruz; Castro Della Lucia, Terezinha Maria

    2012-01-01

    International audience Associations with symbiotic organisms can serve as a strategy for social insects to resist pathogens. Antibiotics produced by attine ectosymbionts (Actinobacteria) suppress the growth of Escovopsis spp., the specialized parasite of attine fungus gardens. Our objective was to evaluate whether the presence or absence of symbiotic actinobacteria covering the whole ant cuticle is related to differential immunocompetence, respiratory rate and cuticular hydrocarbons (CHs)....

  20. A colony-level response to disease control in a leaf-cutting ant

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, Mark

    2002-01-01

    PUBLISHED Parasites and pathogens often impose significant costs on their hosts. This is particularly true for social organisms, where the genetic structure of groups and the accumulation of contaminated waste facilitate disease transmission. In response, hosts have evolved many mechanisms of defence against parasites. Here we present evidence that Atta colombica, a leaf-cutting ant, may combat Escovopsis, a dangerous parasite of Atta?s garden fungus, through a colony-level behavioural res...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Chemical basis of the synergism and antagonism in microbial communities in the nests of leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenian, Ilka; Spiteller, Michael; Ghaste, Manoj; Wirth, Rainer; Herz, Hubert; Spiteller, Dieter

    2011-02-01

    Leaf-cutting ants cultivate the fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, which serves as a major food source. This symbiosis is threatened by microbial pathogens that can severely infect L. gongylophorus. Microbial symbionts of leaf-cutting ants, mainly Pseudonocardia and Streptomyces, support the ants in defending their fungus gardens against infections by supplying antimicrobial and antifungal compounds. The ecological role of microorganisms in the nests of leaf-cutting ants can only be addressed in detail if their secondary metabolites are known. Here, we use an approach for the rapid identification of established bioactive compounds from microorganisms in ecological contexts by combining phylogenetic data, database searches, and liquid chromatography electrospray ionisation high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-HR-MS) screening. Antimycins A(1)-A(4), valinomycins, and actinomycins were identified in this manner from Streptomyces symbionts of leaf-cutting ants. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging revealed the distribution of valinomycin directly on the integument of Acromyrmex echinatior workers. Valinomycins and actinomycins were also directly identified in samples from the waste of A. echinatior and A. niger leaf-cutting ants, suggesting that the compounds exert their antimicrobial and antifungal potential in the nests of leaf-cutting ants. Strong synergistic effects of the secondary meta-bolites produced by ant-associated Streptomyces were observed in the agar diffusion assay against Escovopsis weberi. Actinomycins strongly inhibit soil bacteria as well as other Streptomyces and Pseudonocardia symbionts. The antifungal antimycins are not only active against pathogenic fungi but also the garden fungus L. gongylophorus itself. In conclusion, secondary metabolites of microbial symbionts of leaf-cutting ants contribute to shaping the microbial communities within the nests of leaf-cutting ants. PMID:21245311

  4. 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...... approximately half the number of gland cells of large workers, despite being only one-fifteenth their body mass. Here we present results showing that when the two worker castes of A. echinatior are treated with spores of the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus nomius in doses that correspond to the difference in...... glands in small workers makes this caste particularly well adapted to preventing pathogenic microorganisms from entering the colony....

  5. 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. PMID:20883129

  6. 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.

  7. Unraveling Trichoderma species in the attine ant environment: description of three new taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, Quimi Vidaurre; Meirelles, Lucas Andrade; Chaverri, Priscila; Rodrigues, Andre

    2016-05-01

    Fungus-growing "attine" ants forage diverse substrates to grow fungi for food. In addition to the mutualistic fungal partner, the colonies of these insects harbor a rich microbiome composed of bacteria, filamentous fungi and yeasts. Previous work reported some Trichoderma species in the fungus gardens of leafcutter ants. However, no studies systematically addressed the putative association of Trichoderma with attine ants, especially in non-leafcutter ants. Here, a total of 62 strains of Trichoderma were analyzed using three molecular markers (ITS, tef1 and rpb2). In addition, 30 out of 62 strains were also morphologically examined. The strains studied correspond to the largest sampling carried out so far for Trichoderma in the attine ant environment. Our results revealed the richness of Trichoderma in this environment, since we found 20 Trichoderma species, including three new taxa described in the present work (Trichoderma attinorum, Trichoderma texanum and Trichoderma longifialidicum spp. nov.) as well as a new phylogenetic taxon (LESF 545). Moreover, we show that all 62 strains grouped within different clades across the Trichoderma phylogeny, which are identical or closely related to strains derived from several other environments. This evidence supports the transient nature of the genus Trichoderma in the attine ant colonies. The discovery of three new species suggests that the dynamic foraging behavior of these insects might be responsible for accumulation of transient fungi into their colonies, which might hold additional fungal taxa still unknown to science. PMID:26885975

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:25925100

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

    OpenAIRE

    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.

    2011-01-01

    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...

  11. 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

    OpenAIRE

    Heraldo L. Vasconcelos; Bruna B. Araújo; Antonio J. Mayhé-Nunes

    2008-01-01

    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 ...

  12. Placement of attine ant-associated Pseudonocardia in a global Pseudonocardia phylogeny (Pseudonocardiaceae, Actinomycetales): a test of two symbiont-association models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Ulrich G; Ishak, Heather; Lee, Jung C; Sen, Ruchira; Gutell, Robin R

    2010-08-01

    We reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships within the bacterial genus Pseudonocardia to evaluate two models explaining how and why Pseudonocardia bacteria colonize the microbial communities on the integument of fungus-gardening ant species (Attini, Formicidae). The traditional Coevolution-Codivergence model views the integument-colonizing Pseudonocardia as mutualistic microbes that are largely vertically transmitted between ant generations and that supply antibiotics that specifically suppress the garden pathogen Escovopsis. The more recent Acquisition model views Pseudonocardia as part of a larger integumental microbe community that frequently colonizes the ant integument from environmental sources (e.g., soil, plant material). Under this latter model, ant-associated Pseudonocardia may have diverse ecological roles on the ant integument (possibly ranging from pathogenic, to commensal, to mutualistic) and are not necessarily related to Escovopsis suppression. We test distinct predictions of these two models regarding the phylogenetic proximity of ant-associated and environmental Pseudonocardia. We amassed 16S-rRNA gene sequence information for 87 attine-associated and 238 environmental Pseudonocardia, aligned the sequences with the help of RNA secondary structure modeling, and reconstructed phylogenetic relationships using a maximum-likelihood approach. We present 16S-rRNA secondary structure models of representative Pseudonocardia species to improve sequence alignments and identify sequencing errors. Our phylogenetic analyses reveal close affinities and even identical sequence matches between environmental Pseudonocardia and ant-associated Pseudonocardia, as well as nesting of environmental Pseudonocardia in subgroups that were previously thought to be specialized to associate only with attine ants. The great majority of ant-associated Pseudonocardia are closely related to autotrophic Pseudonocardia and are placed in a large subgroup of Pseudonocardia that is

  13. 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....

  14. A colony-level response to disease control in a leaf-cutting ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Adam; Bot, A. N. M.; Brown, Mark

    2002-03-01

    Parasites and pathogens often impose significant costs on their hosts. This is particularly true for social organisms, where the genetic structure of groups and the accumulation of contaminated waste facilitate disease transmission. In response, hosts have evolved many mechanisms of defence against parasites. Here we present evidence that Atta colombica, a leaf-cutting ant, may combat Escovopsis, a dangerous parasite of Atta's garden fungus, through a colony-level behavioural response. In A. colombica, garden waste is removed from within the colony and transported to the midden - an external waste dump - where it is processed by a group of midden workers. We found that colonies infected with Escovopsis have higher numbers of workers on the midden, where Escovopsis is deposited. Further, midden workers are highly effective in dispersing newly deposited waste away from the dumping site. Thus, the colony-level task allocation strategies of the Atta superorganism may change in response to the threat of disease to a third, essential party.

  15. Gardening from a Wheelchair

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Paralysis > Health > Staying active > Gardening from a wheelchair Gardening from a wheelchair ☷ ▾ Page contents Tips from community ... round handles) on gate latches, doors, and faucets. Gardening as therapy For Gene Rothert gardening is a ...

  16. Hanging Gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Boham, Brett

    2013-01-01

    This thesis contains the first three chapters of a novel entitled "Hanging Gardens." "Hanging Gardens" tells the story of Paul Cronin, an aimless MBA student in his late twenties who returns home to Philadelphia after his parents' double suicide to take ownership of their real estate holdings: a single seven-story apartment building in a run-down part of the city.After receiving privileged information from a family member involved in state politics that Pennsylvania is on the verge of legaliz...

  17. 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)

  18. 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; Li, Cai; Wurm, Yannick; Hu, Haofu; Zhou, Jiajian; Ji, Lu; Qiu, Feng; Rasmussen, Morten; Pan, Hailin; Hauser, Frank; Krogh, Anders; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P; Wang, Jun; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2011-01-01

    . The third is sex determination, where we could identify only a single homolog of the feminizer gene. As other ants and the honeybee have duplications of this gene, we hypothesize that this may partly explain the frequent production of diploid male larvae in A. echinatior. The fourth is the evolution...... agricultural food production 50 million years ago, and the transition from single to multiple queen mating 10 million years ago....

  19. 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,…

  20. Garden Computer

    OpenAIRE

    Podsedník, Marek

    2014-01-01

    This thesis describes design and realization of the system for garden device control via a touch display of a mobile phone or a tablet. Thesis begins with introduction to available solutions on market, Java and C++ programming languages and Android platform. Then the more detailed design of all parts of the system follows and a description of communication between those parts and the server's hardware selection. Then the implementation and the set of test used for testing follows.

  1. 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

    -cutting ants 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 of the compounds found in the Trachymyrmex species examined were terpenes. In one species, the major component was a,a-acariolide, the first example of this compound, which was only previously reported in mites, from an insect. Additionally, 3-octanol, 3-octanone, and 4-methyl-3-heptanone were...

  2. Allergy-Friendly Gardening

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Allergy Library ▸ Allergy-friendly gardening Share | Allergy-Friendly Gardening This article has been reviewed by Thanai Pongdee, ... of pollen spores that you breathe in. Leave gardening tools and clothing (such as gloves and shoes) ...

  3. Neuroretinitis following bull ant sting

    OpenAIRE

    Ullrich, Katja; Saha, Niladri; Lake, Stewart

    2012-01-01

    Cat scratch disease causes the majority of cases of neuroretinitis. Neuroretinitis is characterised by clinical features of papillitis, macular oedema and macular star. We report a case study of infection with Bartonella henselae most likely transmitted by a bull ant sting. The patient presented with blurred vision and reduced visual acuity after being stung by an ant in her garden some 7 days earlier. Further testing revealed positive serology to B henselae and the patient improved with appr...

  4. Measuring your Garden Footprint

    OpenAIRE

    Davies, Gareth; Schmutz, Ulrich

    2007-01-01

    The work reports on a Garden Organic (working name of Henry Doubleday Research Association, Coventry UK) members experiment in 2007. Garden Organic members were surveyed with a detailed paper questionnaire to calculate an average gardening footprint of committed (self-selected) organic gardeners in the UK. This was used to develop a garden footprinting methodology and to create a benchmark of committed organic gardening in the UK. This was then compared to commerical orangic growing and to ot...

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Great Lakes: Great Gardening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    New York Sea Grant Inst., Albany, NY.

    This folder contains 12 fact sheets designed to improve the quality of gardens near the Great Lakes. The titles are: (1) "Your Garden and the Great Lakes"; (2) "Organic Gardening"; (3) "Fruit and Vegetable Gardening"; (4) "Composting Yard Wastes"; (5) "Herbicides and Water Quality"; (6) "Watering"; (7) "Soil Erosion by Water"; (8) "Soil…

  8. Extrações de óleos de sementes de citros e suas atividades sobre a formiga cortadeira Atta sexdens e seu fungo simbionte Citrus seed oils extractions and their activity against leaf cutting ant Atta sexdens and its symbiotic fungus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João B. Fernandes

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Seeds Citrus oils (C. sinensis, C. limon and C. reticulata extraction with hexane in a soxhlet apparatus and through supercritical fluid (CO2 were done. Besides triglycerides, the oils obtained with hexane comprised volatile compounds such as terpenes and fatty alcohols, esters, and aldehydes. However, the oils obtained by extraction with supercritical fluid presented only triglycerides. These results indicate that the extraction using supercritical fluid presents better selectivity. The activity of the oils on the development of the ant symbiotic fungus, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, showed week activity and the topic insecticide assay showed better activity for the tangerine seed oil.

  9. 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...... decomposition enzymes....

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooij, Pepijn W; Liberti, Joanito; Giampoudakis, Konstantinos; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24718261

  13. 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…

  14. Ectosymbionts and immunity in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Souza, Danival José; Lenoir, Alain; Kasuya, Maria Catarina Megumi; Ribeiro, Myriam Marques Ramos; Devers, Séverine; Couceiro, Joel da Cruz; Della Lucia, Terezinha Maria Castro

    2013-02-01

    Associations with symbiotic organisms can serve as a strategy for social insects to resist pathogens. Antibiotics produced by attine ectosymbionts (Actinobacteria) suppress the growth of Escovopsis spp., the specialized parasite of attine fungus gardens. Our objective was to evaluate whether the presence or absence of symbiotic actinobacteria covering the whole ant cuticle is related to differential immunocompetence, respiratory rate and cuticular hydrocarbons (CHs). We evaluated these parameters in three worker groups of Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus: External workers (EXT), internal workers with actinobacteria covering the whole body (INB) and internal workers without actinobacteria covering the whole body (INØ). We also eliminated the actinobacteria by antibiotic treatment and examined worker encapsulation response. INB ants showed lower rates of encapsulation and respiration than did the EXT and INØ ants. The lower encapsulation rate did not seem to be a cost imposed by actinomycetes because the elimination of the actinomycetes did not increase the encapsulation rate. Instead, we propose that actinobacteria confer protection to young workers until the maturation of their immune system. Actinobacteria do not seem to change nestmate recognition in these colonies. Although it is known that actinobacteria have a specific action against Escovopsis spp., our studies, along with other independent studies, indicate that actinomycetes may also be important for the individual health of the workers. PMID:23207105

  15. Immune defense in leaf-cutting ants: a cross-fostering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Broch, Jens F; Marín, Hermogenes Fernández; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2011-06-01

    To ameliorate the impact of disease, social insects combine individual innate immune defenses with collective social defenses. This implies that there are different levels of selection acting on investment in immunity, each with their own trade-offs. We present the results of a cross-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 both individual innate immunity (constitutive antibacterial activity) and the size of the metapleural gland, which secretes antimicrobial compounds and functions in individual and social defense, indicating multiple mating could have important consequences for both defense types. However, the primarily 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 for this pattern would be co-adaptation between host colonies and their vertically transmitted mutualist. These results illustrate the complexity of the selection pressures that affect the expression of multilevel immune defenses. PMID:21644963

  16. Alate susceptibility in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-11-01

    Pathogens are predicted to pose a particular threat to eusocial insects because infections can spread rapidly in colonies with high densities of closely related individuals. In ants, there are two major castes: workers and reproductives. Sterile workers receive no direct benefit from investing in immunity, but can gain indirect fitness benefits if their immunity aids the survival of their fertile siblings. Virgin reproductives (alates), on the other hand, may be able to increase their investment in reproduction, rather than in immunity, because of the protection they receive from workers. Thus, we expect colonies to have highly immune workers, but relatively more susceptible alates. We examined the survival of workers, gynes, and males of nine ant species collected in Peru and Canada when exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. For the seven species in which treatment with B. bassiana increased ant mortality relative to controls, we found workers were significantly less susceptible compared with both alate sexes. Female and male alates did not differ significantly in their immunocompetence. Our results suggest that, as with other nonreproductive tasks in ant colonies like foraging and nest maintenance, workers have primary responsibility for colony immunity, allowing alates to specialize on reproduction. We highlight the importance of colony-level selection on individual immunity in ants and other eusocial organisms. PMID:25540683

  17. 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…

  18. Correlation between virulence and genetic structure of Escovopsis strains from leaf-cutting ant colonies in Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Diego E Elizondo; Asensio, Juan G Vargas; Tomás, Adrián A Pinto

    2014-08-01

    Leaf-cutting ants (genera Atta and Acromyrmex) cultivate a specialized fungus for food in underground chambers employing cut plant material as substrate. Parasitism occurs in this agricultural system and plays an important role in colony fitness. The microfungi Escovopsis, a specialized mycoparasite of the fungal cultivar, is highly prevalent among colonies. In this study, we tested the antagonistic activity of several Escovopsis strains from different geographical areas in Costa Rica. We employed a combination of laboratory tests to evaluate virulence, including pure culture challenges, toxicity to fungus garden pieces and subcolony bioassays. We also performed a phylogenetic analysis of these strains in order to correlate their virulence with the genetic structure of this population. The bioassays yielded results consistent between each other and showed significant differences in antagonistic activity among the parasites evaluated. However, no significant differences were found when comparing the results of the bioassays according to the source of the ants' fungal cultivar. The phylogenetic analyses were consistent with these results: whilst the fungal cultivar phylogeny showed a single clade with limited molecular variation, the Escovopsis phylogeny yielded several clades with the most virulent isolates grouping in the same well-supported clade. These results indicate that there are Escovopsis strains better suited to establish their antagonistic effect, whilst the genetic homogeneity of the fungal cultivars limits their ability to modulate Escovopsis antagonism. These findings should be taken into consideration when evaluating the potential of Escovopsis isolates as biocontrol agents for this important agricultural pest in the Neotropics. PMID:24836623

  19. Uncoupling Flight and Reproduction in Ants: Evolution of Ergatoid Queens in Two Lineages of Megalomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Christian; Adams, Rachelle M M

    2016-01-01

    Megalomyrmex Forel (Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) consists of 44 species with diverse life history strategies. Most species are predatory and may also tend honeydew-producing insects. A morphologically derived group of species are social parasites that consume the brood and fungus garden within fungus-growing ant nests. The reproductive strategies of Megalomyrmex queens are somewhat aligned with these life-style patterns. Predatory species in the leoninus species group are large in body size and have ergatoid (i.e., permanently wingless) queens whereas the social parasitic species are smaller and typically have winged queens. We examined two ergatoid phenotypes of Megalomyrmex foreli Emery and Megalomyrmex wallacei Mann and compared them to winged species, one a social lestobiotic or "thief ant" parasite (Megalomyrmex mondabora Brandão) and the other a predator (Megalomyrmex modestus Emery). Megalomyrmex foreli colonies have a single queen with an enlarged gaster that is morphologically distinct from workers. Megalomyrmex wallacei colonies have several queens that are similar in body size to workers. Queens in both species showed a simplification of the thorax, but there was a dramatic difference in the number of ovarioles. Megalomyrmex foreli had 60-80 ovarioles compared to eight in M. wallacei and M. mondabora and M. modestus had 22-28. Along with flight loss in queens, there is an obligate shift to dependent colony founding (also called budding or fission) consequently influencing dispersal patterns. These constraints in life history traits may help explain the variation in nesting biology among Megalomyrmex species. PMID:27620557

  20. In a walled garden

    OpenAIRE

    Mullaniff, Kathleen

    2009-01-01

    Mullaniff exhibited one painting from the series, ‘in a walled garden’. These works are based on a Victorian garden at St Leonards on Sea. An investigation into the history of the house and garden built 1860. This research endeavors to explore the progression of restoring the original Victorian garden, as recorded through the painting and drawing process This involves forming links between the past domestic histories and the current site. The research is based on the botanical paintings of Ma...

  1. Gardening Health and Safety Tips

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Health History Parent Information Vaccines & Immunizations Healthy Living Gardening Health and Safety Tips Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Gardening can be a great way to enjoy the ...

  2. A Garden of Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirby, Tasha

    2008-01-01

    In order to beautify the school environment and further student learning, fourth-graders cultivated a Native Plant Learning Garden. They were responsible for designing a layout, researching garden elements, preparing the area, and planting a variety of native plants. By the completion of this inquiry-based project, students were able to clearly…

  3. Gardening in Clay Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Wagner, Katie; Kuhns, Michael; Cardon, Grant

    2015-01-01

    This fact sheet covers the basics of clay, silt and sand soils with an emphasis on gardening in soils with a high clay content. It includes information on the composition of clay soils, gardening tips for managing clay soils, and the types of plants that grow best in clay soils.

  4. Gardening in Sandy Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Wagner, Katie; Kuhns, Michael; Cardon, Grant

    2015-01-01

    This fact sheet covers the basics of clay, silt and sand soils with an emphasis on gardening in soils with a high sand content. It includes information on the composition of sandy soils, gardening tips for managing sandy soils, and the types of plants that grow best in sandy soils.

  5. Paul Glowaski: Garden Director, Homeless Garden Project

    OpenAIRE

    Reti, Irene H.

    2010-01-01

    Paul Glowaski, Garden Director for the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz, California, was born in 1979 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. During the summers, he helped on his grandfather’s grain and cattle farm. Glowaski studied Latin American history at DePauw University in Indiana, and traveled to Mexico as part of a delegation of college students to Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chiapas shortly after the Zapatista uprising. He was part of the Chiapas Media Project in the Mexico Solidarity Network. His ex...

  6. The principles of garden design

    OpenAIRE

    Turner, Tom

    2008-01-01

    This ebook explains the 3 classic design principles: gardens should be useful, gardens should be well-made and gardens should be beautiful. They derive from Vitruvius and have influenced the design of gardens since ancient times and are as important today as they have always been.

  7. 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…

  8. DEVELOPING A NEW BOTANIC GARDEN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Richardson

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Building a new botanical garden is a valuable opportunity that should be implemented as well as possible. The new botanical garden should not simply a clone of the botanical gardens botanical gardens already established, but it should have its own uniqueness, for example in terms of collecting local plant species. There are several things to be considered that the development of new botanical gardens can have a clear direction and goals, including the founding mission of botanical gardens, involvement in conservation and interpretation, as well as the continuity of the existence of botanical gardens in the future.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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....

  12. 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.

  13. Modern garden delphiniums

    OpenAIRE

    Bassett, Shirley E.

    1990-01-01

    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.

  14. Ant Species Diversity According To Disturbance Gradients In And Around Shegaon Maharashtra India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shriram N. Ghait

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Study is carried out at three locations in and around Shegaon. Totally there found 7 species belonging to 6 genera under 4 subfamilies at all three sites. All out search and baiting methods were used to observe ants. Ant species diversity mostly found in AnandSagar Garden. Garden area showed the maximum percentage 85.72 since there found well maintained natural condition and verity of plantation with fewer disturbances. As the disturbance goesincreasing the diversity becomes decreasing.

  15. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Santos de Jesus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common causative agent of cryptococcosis worldwide. Although this fungus has been isolated from a variety of organic substrates, several studies suggest that hollow trees constitute an important natural niche for C. neoformans. A previously surveyed hollow of a living pink shower tree (Cassia grandis positive for C. neoformans in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen for further investigation. Odontomachus bauri ants (trap-jaw ants found inside the hollow were collected for evaluation as possible carriers of Cryptococcus spp. Two out of 10 ants were found to carry phenoloxidase-positive colonies identified as C. neoformans molecular types VNI and VNII. The ants may have acted as a mechanical vector of C. neoformans and possibly contributed to the dispersal of the fungi from one substrate to another. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of C. neoformans with ants of the genus Odontomachus.

  16. Gardening's Socioeconomic Impacts: Community Gardening in an Urban Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Ishwarbhai C.

    1991-01-01

    Discusses a survey of 178 gardeners from Newark, New Jersey, and describes Extension's role in improving the life quality and socioeconomic well-being of individuals, families, and neighborhoods through community gardening in an urban environment. (Author)

  17. 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...... 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...... comparative survey showed that the pupae of many ant species have protective cocoons but that those in the subfamily Myrmicinae do not. We therefore evaluated the previously proposed hypothesis that mycelial covering of attine ant brood evolved to provide cocoon-like protection for the brood....

  18. Radical Gardening : Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden

    OpenAIRE

    Mckay, George

    2011-01-01

    In the common public perception, contemporary gardening is understood as suburban, as leisure activity, as television makeover opportunity. Its origins are seen as religious or spiritual (Garden of Eden), military (the clipped lawn, the ha-ha and defensive ditches), aristocratic or monarchical (the stately home, the Royal Horticultural Society). Radical Gardening travels an alternative route, through history and across landscape, linking propagation with propaganda. For everyday garden life i...

  19. French intensive truck garden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edwards, T D

    1983-01-01

    The French Intensive approach to truck gardening has the potential to provide substantially higher yields and lower per acre costs than do conventional farming techniques. It was the intent of this grant to show that there is the potential to accomplish the gains that the French Intensive method has to offer. It is obvious that locally grown food can greatly reduce transportation energy costs but when there is the consideration of higher efficiencies there will also be energy cost reductions due to lower fertilizer and pesticide useage. As with any farming technique, there is a substantial time interval for complete soil recovery after there have been made substantial soil modifications. There were major crop improvements even though there was such a short time since the soil had been greatly disturbed. It was also the intent of this grant to accomplish two other major objectives: first, the garden was managed under organic techniques which meant that there were no chemical fertilizers or synthetic pesticides to be used. Second, the garden was constructed so that a handicapped person in a wheelchair could manage and have a higher degree of self sufficiency with the garden. As an overall result, I would say that the garden has taken the first step of success and each year should become better.

  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. Consumer Statistics: Who Gardens? Why?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ivan

    1995-01-01

    According to a recent study, gardening is America's most popular outdoor leisure-time activity. Examines this trend and identifies growth areas in the gardening market and consumer spending habits. (LZ)

  2. The king's garden

    OpenAIRE

    Fronistas, Phoebe P.

    2001-01-01

    The King’s Garden is a half-hour documentary short that has one foot in the Bible and the other in the “volcanic core” of the Middle East conflict: the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Following multiple storylines and using the accounts of archaeologists, residents and legal experts, The King’s Garden tells the story of how one impoverished village became the epicenter of the battle for land between Palestinians and Israelis – and shows how dangerously alive the past can becom...

  3. The King's Garden

    OpenAIRE

    Fronistas, Phoebe P.

    2011-01-01

    The King’s Garden is a half-hour documentary short that has one foot in the Bible and the other in the “volcanic core” of the Middle East conflict: the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. Following multiple storylines and using the accounts of archaeologists, residents and legal experts, The King’s Garden tells the story of how one impoverished village became the epicenter of the battle for land between Palestinians and Israelis – and shows how dangerously alive the past can becom...

  4. Variability of the cleistothecia and distribution of Erysiphe magnifica (U. Braun U. Braun & S. Takam. on Magnolia L. plants in O.V. Fomin Botanical garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petro Chumak

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The variability of morphometrie characteristics of the cleistothecia of fungus Erysiphe magnifica on different species from the genus Magnolia L. has been considered. It has been shown that on the different nutrient plants are forming the micropopulations of fungus which are notable for the cleistothecia parameters frequency of distribution and variability of their indices. The invasion activity of fungus increases in сonditions of the Botanical garden, it dеmages 8 species of plants of the genus Magnolia.

  5. Community gardening and social cohesion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. The suburban landscape: 200 years of gardens and gardening.

    OpenAIRE

    Lebas, Elizabeth; Mullen, Michael Ann; Hendon, Zoë

    2008-01-01

    Gardens are a vital part of what defines the suburban landscape. Gardened spaces between the houses, roads and stations help define the suburb as ‘suburban’ – at the heart of which is the private garden, at both the front and back of the dwelling. This exhibition considered the significance of gardens and gardening in the making of what has become the most ‘English’ of landscape environments. The first part looked at the evolution of the landscape as a whole, including the develop...

  7. 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...

  8. A Haunted Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSimone, Jana

    2009-01-01

    It's funny to think of the way an idea for an art lesson begins and how it has a way of changing into something completely different. That is what happened with this lesson, which was originally going to be about a springtime garden. In this article, the author describes an art lesson on collograph printmaking inspired by the poem "A Vampire's…

  9. 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…

  10. Growing Gardens, Growing Minds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebert, Terri; Martin, Deb; Slattery, Tracy

    2014-01-01

    The authors present a program where students and family members were involved in a taste-testing to select the items to be planted in the school's garden at Stephenson Elementary. A simple rubric of facial recognition is used. Smiles for the favorites; frowns for the disqualifiers. With the help of the school's leadership team consisting…

  11. 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...

  12. 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...... 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...... owners’ understanding of nature. It will, however, require input from nursery workers, advice pages, magazines and all the other sources that garden owners rely on when maintaining their dwelling if gardening practices are to be adjusted in order to preserve and enhance biodiversity....

  13. 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....

  14. [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

  15. Patterns of Insect Abundance and Distribution in Urban Domestic Gardens in Bangalore, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madhumitha Jaganmohan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Domestic gardens may play a vital role in supporting urban insect biodiversity, despite their small size. This paper assesses the abundance, diversity and distribution of insects in urban domestic gardens in the tropics, through a study in the rapidly expanding Indian city of Bangalore. Fifty domestic gardens were studied using a combination of light traps and pitfall traps. We recorded a large number of insects, 2,185 insects from 10 orders, of which ants, bugs, beetles and flies were the most common. We found 25 species of trees (from 160 individuals and 117 species of herbs and shrubs in the 50 sampled domestic gardens. The number of insect orders encountered was significantly related to the number of tree and herb/shrub species. Garden management practices also influenced the abundance and richness of insect orders. Thus, greater numbers of insects were observed in gardens with a greater proportion of bare soil relative to grass area and with less intensive weeding practices. More insect orders were encountered in gardens with a composting pit. Insect numbers were significantly reduced in gardens subjected to pesticide application. Most residents avoided application of pesticides and herbicides, citing health concerns.

  16. The experiences of gardens and gardening at the housing surroundings

    OpenAIRE

    Paris, Magali

    2008-01-01

    International audience How does gardening the housing surroundings –as done by the residents- contribute to rediscover a sense of time that could help to manage spatial proximity? Our research, conducted within the architectural and urban ambiances research center (Grenoble, France), focuses on this question. More precisely, we theorize that: Gardening a doorstep garden is an everyday life experiment in the modeling of sensorial materials with human relationships. This experiment leads to ...

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  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. Patterns of functional enzyme activity in fungus farming ambrosia beetles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De Fine Licht Henrik H

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction In wood-dwelling fungus-farming weevils, the so-called ambrosia beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae and Platypodinae, wood in the excavated tunnels is used as a medium for cultivating fungi by the combined action of digging larvae (which create more space for the fungi to grow and of adults sowing and pruning the fungus. The beetles are obligately dependent on the fungus that provides essential vitamins, amino acids and sterols. However, to what extent microbial enzymes support fungus farming in ambrosia beetles is unknown. Here we measure (i 13 plant cell-wall degrading enzymes in the fungus garden microbial consortium of the ambrosia beetle Xyleborinus saxesenii, including its primary fungal symbionts, in three compartments of laboratory maintained nests, at different time points after gallery foundation and (ii four specific enzymes that may be either insect or microbially derived in X. saxesenii adult and larval individuals. Results We discovered that the activity of cellulases in ambrosia fungus gardens is relatively small compared to the activities of other cellulolytic enzymes. Enzyme activity in all compartments of the garden was mainly directed towards hemicellulose carbohydrates such as xylan, glucomannan and callose. Hemicellulolytic enzyme activity within the brood chamber increased with gallery age, whereas irrespective of the age of the gallery, the highest overall enzyme activity were detected in the gallery dump material expelled by the beetles. Interestingly endo-β-1,3(4-glucanase activity capable of callose degradation was identified in whole-body extracts of both larvae and adult X. saxesenii, whereas endo-β-1,4-xylanase activity was exclusively detected in larvae. Conclusion Similar to closely related fungi associated with bark beetles in phloem, the microbial symbionts of ambrosia beetles hardly degrade cellulose. Instead, their enzyme activity is directed mainly towards comparatively more easily

  3. Community Gardening, Motivation and Health Benefits.

    OpenAIRE

    Corrigan, Noelle

    2011-01-01

    community gardens have been described as locally organized initiatives where land is used to produce food, flowers or both in an urban environment (Glover, 2003)' community gardens are diverse and may vary enornously in what they offer, according to local needs and circumstance (Ferris, Norman & Sempik, 2001)' Garden size is dependant on many factors, including location, land available gardening, demand, physical and time limitations of the gardeners and thus standard community garden size ex...

  4. 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…

  5. 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)

  6. Ants mediate foliar structure and nitrogen acquisition in a tank-bromeliad.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Aechmea mertensii is a tank-bromeliad that roots on ant-gardens initiated by the ants Camponotus femoratus and Pachycondyla goeldii. Its leaves form compartments acting as phytotelmata that hold rainwater and provide habitats for invertebrates. In this article, we aimed to determine whether the association with either C. femoratus or P. goeldii influenced the vegetative traits of A. mertensii, invertebrate diversity and nutrient assimilation by the leaves. Transmitted light, vegetative traits and phytotelmata contents were compared between the two A. mertensii ant-gardens. Camponotus femoratus colonized partially shaded areas, whereas P. goeldii colonized exposed areas. The bromeliads' rosettes had a large canopy (C. femoratus ant-gardens), or were smaller and amphora shaped (P. goeldii ant-gardens). There were significant differences in leaf anatomy, as shaded leaves were thicker than exposed leaves. The mean volumes of water, fine particulate organic matter and detritus in C. femoratus-associated bromeliads were three to five times higher than in P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Moreover, the highest invertebrate diversity and leaf delta(15)N values were found in C. femoratus-associated bromeliads. This study enhances our understanding of the dynamics of biodiversity, and shows how ant-plant interactions can have trophic consequences and thus influence the architecture of the interacting plant via a complex feedback loop. PMID:19500265

  7. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Nash, David Richard; Jensen, Annette Bruun;

    2012-01-01

    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...... 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......, 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. Agrobotanical Exhibition Garden of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tkachenko Kirill Gavriilovich

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Every once in a while, when I have a rare opportunity to visit unique natural and botanical sites, I publish my "Notes of a Hunter of plants" based on what I’ve seen in our country (Tkachenko, 2002, and 2012 a and abroad (Tkachenko, 2007, 2008 a, and 2013. However, I believe it is more important to share what I’ve managed to see and understand, i.e. what such visits, especially visits to botanical gardens around the world, mean to me. Analysis and discussion of such visits to foreign gardens are important and useful for the colleagues, who work in that field; I hope my personal experience and the knowledge it brings would be interesting and helpful. First of all, I believe it will help us evaluate and understand future perspectives and to implement best ideas and know-hows in our botanical gardens, what will help our gardens to evolve and to keep stakes high (Tkachenko, 2008 b, 2009 and , b, 2010 a, b, c, d, 2012 b, 2014. The significance of discussing world experience in creating botanical gardens and public gardens is vital. This article presents unique and relatively new creation of our Chinese colleagues―Agrobotanical Exhibition Garden near the city of Ürümqi (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

  12. Infections Acquired in the Garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, Cheston B; Cunha, Burke A

    2015-10-01

    Gardening is a wonderful pastime, and the garden is a very peaceful place to enjoy one's vacation. However, the garden may be a treacherous place for very young or compromised hosts when one takes into account the infectious potential residing in the soil, as well as the insect vectors on plants and animals. Even normal hosts may acquire a variety of infections from the soil, animals, or animal-related insect bites. The location of the garden, its natural animal and insect inhabitants, and the characteristics of the soil play a part in determining its infectious potential. The most important factor making the garden an infectious and dangerous place is the number and interaction of animals, whether they are pets or wild, that temporarily use the garden for part of their daily activities. The clinician should always ask about garden exposure, which will help in eliminating the diagnostic possibilities for the patient. The diagnostic approach is to use epidemiological principles in concert with clinical clues, which together should suggest a reasonable list of diagnostic possibilities. Organ involvement and specific laboratory tests help further narrow the differential diagnosis and determine the specific tests necessary to make a definitive diagnosis. PMID:26542044

  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. 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.

  15. Sweet Corn in the Garden

    OpenAIRE

    Drost, Dan

    2010-01-01

    This fact sheet describes growing sweet corn in Utah gardens. It includes varieties, how to grow them, how to control pests, harvesting and storage, productivity, nutrition and answers to frequently asked questions.

  16. The Economics of Community Gardening

    OpenAIRE

    Amelia Garrett; Michael A. Leeds

    2015-01-01

    We evaluate determinants of community gardens in Philadelphia census tracts by developing a model of community gardening and testing it with negative binomial regression techniques. We find that home vacancy rates, labor force participation rates, poverty rates, and the number of healthy food stores have a positive impact. Theft rates, unemployment rates, the percentage of African Americans and non-citizens, home ownership rates, assault rates, and the existence of parkland all have a negativ...

  17. Urban Community Gardening and Gentrification

    OpenAIRE

    Dalmasso, Nina Adelhardt; Jensen, Riikki; Sandbukt, Gorm Torarin Østergaard; Schwartz, Maya Kitra; Tuomainen, Annika Emeliina

    2015-01-01

    This project seeks to understand the relation between urban community gardens and gentrification in the Lower East Side, New York between 1970-2000, and what this tells us about the interactions between alternative social models situated and the hegemonic systems they are embedded in. We use Neil Smith’s rent gap model and London and Palen’s sociocultural approach to study how community gardens contributed to gentrification, and material mainly provided by Martinez, Staeheli et al and Schm...

  18. Ant colony for TSP

    OpenAIRE

    Feng, Yinda

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this work is to investigate Ant Colony Algorithm for the traveling salesman problem (TSP). Ants of the artificial colony are able to generate successively shorter feasible tours by using information accumulated in the form of a pheromone trail deposited on the edges of the TSP graph. This paper is based on the ideas of ant colony algorithm and analysis the main parameters of the ant colony algorithm. Experimental results for solving TSP problems with ant colony algorithm show great...

  19. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Linksvayer, Timothy A

    2014-01-01

    During colony relocation, the selection of a new nest involves exploration and assessment of potential sites followed by colony movement on the basis of a collective decision making process. Hygiene and pathogen load of the potential nest sites are factors worker scouts might evaluate, given the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial) with frequent relocation into new nest sites and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown with sporulating mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (infected nests), nests containing nestmates killed by freezing (uninfected nests), and empty nests. In contrast to the expectation pharaoh ant colonies preferentially (84%) moved into the infected nest when presented with the choice of an infected and an uninfected nest. The ants had an intermediate preference for empty nests. Pharaoh ants display an overall preference for infected nests during colony relocation. While we cannot rule out that the ants are actually manipulated by the pathogen, we propose that this preference might be an adaptive strategy by the host to "immunize" the colony against future exposure to the same pathogenic fungus. PMID:25372856

  20. Ant colonies prefer infected over uninfected nest sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi Pontieri

    Full Text Available During colony relocation, the selection of a new nest involves exploration and assessment of potential sites followed by colony movement on the basis of a collective decision making process. Hygiene and pathogen load of the potential nest sites are factors worker scouts might evaluate, given the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial with frequent relocation into new nest sites and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown with sporulating mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (infected nests, nests containing nestmates killed by freezing (uninfected nests, and empty nests. In contrast to the expectation pharaoh ant colonies preferentially (84% moved into the infected nest when presented with the choice of an infected and an uninfected nest. The ants had an intermediate preference for empty nests. Pharaoh ants display an overall preference for infected nests during colony relocation. While we cannot rule out that the ants are actually manipulated by the pathogen, we propose that this preference might be an adaptive strategy by the host to "immunize" the colony against future exposure to the same pathogenic fungus.

  1. Levels of specificity of Xylaria species associated with fungus-growing termites: a phylogenetic approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Visser, Andre; Ros, V I D; De Beer, Z. W.;

    2009-01-01

    Fungus-growing termites live in obligate mutualistic symbiosis with species of the basidiomycete genus Termitomyces, which are cultivated on a substrate of dead plant material. When the termite colony dies, or when nest material is incubated without termites in the laboratory, fruiting bodies of...... the ascomycete genus Xylaria appear and rapidly cover the fungus garden. This raises the question whether certain Xylaria species are specialised in occupying termite nests or whether they are just occasional visitors. We tested Xylaria specificity at four levels: (1) fungus-growing termites, (2......) termite genera, (3) termite species, and (4) colonies. In South Africa, 108 colonies of eight termite species from three termite genera were sampled for Xylaria. Xylaria was isolated from 69% of the sampled nests and from 57% of the incubated fungus comb samples, confirming high prevalence. Phylogenetic...

  2. Anti-pathogen protection versus survival costs mediated by an ectosymbiont in an ant host

    OpenAIRE

    Konrad, Matthias; Grasse, Anna V.; Tragust, Simon; Cremer, Sylvia

    2015-01-01

    The fitness effects of symbionts on their hosts can be context-dependent, with usually benign symbionts causing detrimental effects when their hosts are stressed, or typically parasitic symbionts providing protection towards their hosts (e.g. against pathogen infection). Here, we studied the novel association between the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus and its fungal ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum for potential costs and benefits. We tested ants with different Laboulbenia levels for...

  3. The Population Structure of Antibiotic-Producing Bacterial Symbionts of Apterostigma dentigerum Ants: Impacts of Coevolution and Multipartite Symbiosis

    OpenAIRE

    Caldera, Eric J.; Currie, Cameron R

    2012-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) are part of a complex symbiosis with Basidiomycetous fungi, which the ants cultivate for food, Ascomycetous fungal pathogens (Escovopsis), which parasitize cultivars, and Actinobacteria, which produce antibiotic compounds that suppress pathogen growth. Earlier studies that have characterized the association between attine ants and their bacterial symbionts have employed broad phylogenetic approaches, with conclusions ranging from a diffuse coevolved mutualism to n...

  4. Sequential Soil Transport and Its Influence on the Spatial Organisation of Collective Digging in Leaf-Cutting Ants

    OpenAIRE

    Steffen Pielström; Flavio Roces

    2013-01-01

    The Chaco leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri (Forel) inhabits large and deep subterranean nests composed of a large number of fungus and refuse chambers. The ants dispose of the excavated soil by forming small pellets that are carried to the surface. For ants in general, the organisation of underground soil transport during nest building remains completely unknown. In the laboratory, we investigated how soil pellets are formed and transported, and whether their occurrence influences the spat...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...... events of Acromyrmex and Atta leaf-cutting ants by Ophiocordyceps fungi, agenus of entomopathogens that is normally highly specific in its host choice. 4. As leaf-cutting ants have been intensively studied, the absence of prior records of Ophiocordyceps suggests that these infections may be a novel event...

  7. Bat aggregation mediates the functional structure of ant assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Groc, Sarah; Hérault, Bruno; Rodriguez-Pérez, Héctor; Touchard, Axel; Céréghino, Régis; Delabie, Jacques H C; Corbara, Bruno

    2015-10-01

    In the Guianese rainforest, we examined the impact of the presence of guano in and around a bat roosting site (a cave). We used ant communities as an indicator to evaluate this impact because they occupy a central place in the functioning of tropical rainforest ecosystems and they play different roles in the food web as they can be herbivores, generalists, scavengers or predators. The ant species richness around the cave did not differ from a control sample situated 500m away. Yet, the comparison of functional groups resulted in significantly greater numbers of detritivorous fungus-growing and predatory ant colonies around the cave compared to the control, the contrary being true for nectar and honeydew feeders. The role of bats, through their guano, was shown using stable isotope analyses as we noted significantly greater δ(15)N values for the ant species captured in and around the cave compared to controls. PMID:26302832

  8. Ant species identity mediates reproductive traits and allocation in an ant-garden bromeliad

    OpenAIRE

    Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Pelozuelo, Laurent; Carrias, Jean-François; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Determining the sources of variation in floral morphology is crucial to understanding the mechanisms underlying Angiosperm evolution. The selection of floral and reproductive traits is influenced by the plant's abiotic environment, florivores and pollinators. However, evidence that variations in floral traits result from mutualistic interactions with insects other than pollinators is lacking in the published literature and has rarely been investigated. We aimed to determin...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Biomedical exploitation of the fungus-growing ant symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael

    2010-01-01

    well as the efforts made in identifying and characterizing chemical compounds mediating these interactions. Finally, I outline the prospects for future natural product discoveries from the system, touching on how advances in chemical analyses and whole-genome sequencing techniques will facilitate the...... process of natural product discovery of biomedical interest....

  12. 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.

  13. Parabiotic associations between tropical ants: equal partnership or parasitic exploitation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, F; Blüthgen, N

    2010-01-01

    1. The huge diversity of symbiotic associations among animals and/or plants comprises both mutualisms and parasitisms. Most symbioses between social insect species, however, involve social parasites, while mutual benefits have been only suspected for some parabiotic associations - two colonies that share a nest. 2. In the rainforest of Borneo, we studied parabiotic associations between the ants Crematogaster modiglianii and Camponotus rufifemur. Parabiotic nests were regularly found inside hollow tree trunks, most likely initiated by Cr. modiglianii. This species frequently nested without its partner, whereas we never found non-parabiotic Ca. rufifemur nests. We experimentally investigated potential benefits, potential interference competition for food (as a probable cost), and foraging niches of both species. 3. The two species never showed aggressive interactions and amicably shared food resources. However, Cr. modiglianii had a wider temporal and spatial foraging range than Ca. rufifemur, always found baits before Ca. rufifemur and recruited more efficiently. Camponotus rufifemur probably benefited from following pheromone trails of Cr. modiglianii. In turn, Ca. rufifemur was significantly more successful in defending the nest against alien ants. Crematogaster modiglianii hence may profit from its partner's defensive abilities. 4. In neotropical parabioses, epiphytes grown in 'ant-gardens' play a crucial role in the association, e.g. by stabilization of nests. Hemiepiphytic Poikilospermum cordifolium (Cecropiaceae) seedlings and saplings frequently grew in the entrances of parabiotic nests in Borneo, obviously dispersed by the ants. In cafeteria experiments, both parabiotic ants carried its elaiosome-bearing seeds into the nest. However, P. cordifolium does not provide additional nest space, contrasting with neotropical ant-gardens. 5. The parabiotic association appears beneficial for both ant species, the main benefits being nest initiation by Cr. modiglianii

  14. Velvet Ants: Hymenoptera: Mutillidae

    OpenAIRE

    Dellinger, Theresa A.; Day, Eric R.

    2012-01-01

    Describes Velvet Ants, their life cycle, habitats, and discusses control if necessary, although they are generally not regarded as pests. Caution is noted in handling velvet ants, since their stings are very painful.

  15. Indoor robot gardening: design and implementation

    OpenAIRE

    Correll, Nikolaus; Arechiga, Nikos; Bolger, Adrienne M.; Bollini, Mario A.; Charrow, Ben; CLAYTON, Adam; Dominguez, Felipe A.; Donahue, Kenneth M.; Dyar, Samuel S.; Johnson, Luke B.; Liu, Huan; Patrikalakis, Alexander; Robertson, Timothy; Smith, Jeremy; Soltero, Daniel Eduardo

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes the architecture and implementation of a distributed autonomous gardening system with applications in urban/indoor precision agriculture. The garden is a mesh network of robots and plants. The gardening robots are mobile manipulators with an eye-in-hand camera. They are capable of locating plants in the garden, watering them, and locating and grasping fruit. The plants are potted cherry tomatoes enhanced with sensors and computation to monitor their well-being (e.g. soil ...

  16. Factors Influencing Consumers' Selection of Garden Centers

    OpenAIRE

    Safley, Charles D.; Wohlgenant, Michael K.

    1995-01-01

    A consumer-oriented survey at eighteen independently owned garden centers in North Carolina focused on why consumers selected a particular garden center and why they purchased the particular products they selected. Results indicate that potential customers are looking for garden centers that offer good quality plants, a wide selection of plant material, a knowledgeable sales staff, and a convenient location. There is also evidence that most shopping trips are planned and garden centers may be...

  17. Mulberry Garden Restaurant: Wine List

    OpenAIRE

    Mulberry Garden Restaurant

    2013-01-01

    Mulberry Garden is located in Mulberry Lane, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 opposite the Bang and Olufsen Store in Donnybrook where Morehampton Road meets Donnybrook Road. The proprietor is John Wyer. It opens three evenings a week Thursday to Saturday. The menu changes every week with a choice of two starters, two main courses, a pudding and a cheese plates. The cost is €40 per person. “At Mulberry Garden, we serve one menu based around the finest and freshest seasonal, Irish produce. Our chefs are...

  18. ACO - Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Žumer, Viljem; Brest, Janez; Pešl, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is a relatively new approach to solving NP-Hard problems. It is based on the behavior of real ants, which always find the shortest path between their nest and a food source. Such behavior can be transferred into the discrcte world, were real ants are replaced by simple agents. Such simple agents are placed into the environment where different combinatorial problems can be solved In this paper we describe an artificial ant colony capable of solving the travelling salesm...

  19. 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…

  20. Rain garden guidelines for southwest Ohio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rain gardens are a unique and practical landscape feature that can enhance the beauty of home gardens. When properly installed, they are one method of limiting the negative effects of rainfall runoff in urban areas. Indeed, rain gardens turn a "negative" into a "positive" by capt...

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. Metropolitan gardens: gardens in the interstices of the metropolitan tissue

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Wit, S.I.

    2013-01-01

    The heterogeneity of the contemporary metropolitan landscape has led to a multiplicity of intermediate spaces, in between and within the different tissues of the metropolitan landscape. These interstices can provide favourable conditions to be transformed into gardens. What design instruments can be

  4. 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.

  5. Guerilla Gardening I Byens Sociale Rum

    OpenAIRE

    Wegeberg, Pelle

    2013-01-01

    This project investigates the concept guerilla gardening in a context of city space and the right to the city. Guerilla gardening is the action of illicit cultivation of an area that you don’t have legal right to cultivate. This is a new term for an old concept that usually takes form as vegetable gardens or flowers, planted on abandoned or neglected land. The goal of guerilla gardening is a more green and beautiful city space or production of vegetables, but guerilla gardeners often send a p...

  6. 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.

  7. Pupal cocoons affect sanitary brood care and limit fungal infections in ant colonies

    OpenAIRE

    Tragust, Simon; Ugelvig, Line V.; Chapuisat, Michel; Heinze, Jürgen; Cremer, Sylvia

    2013-01-01

    Background: The brood of ants and other social insects is highly susceptible to pathogens, particularly those that penetrate the soft larval and pupal cuticle. We here test whether the presence of a pupal cocoon, which occurs in some ant species but not in others, affects the sanitary brood care and fungal infection patterns after exposure to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum. We use a) a comparative approach analysing four species with either naked or cocooned pupae and b) a w...

  8. 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 estimate...... in fungi domesticated by termites and plants, where gene or genome duplications were typically associated with selection for higher productivity, but allopolyploid chimerism was incompatible with sexual reproduction....

  9. Ant- and Ant-Colony-Inspired ALife Visual Art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

    Ant- and ant-colony-inspired ALife art is characterized by the artistic exploration of the emerging collective behavior of computational agents, developed using ants as a metaphor. We present a chronology that documents the emergence and history of such visual art, contextualize ant- and ant-colony-inspired art within generative art practices, and consider how it relates to other ALife art. We survey many of the algorithms that artists have used in this genre, address some of their aims, and explore the relationships between ant- and ant-colony-inspired art and research on ant and ant colony behavior. PMID:26280070

  10. An ant-plant mutualism induces shifts in the protist community structure of a tank-bromeliad

    OpenAIRE

    Carrias, Jean-François; Brouard, Olivier; Leroy, Céline; Céréghino, Régis; Pelozuelo, Laurent; Dejean, Alain; Corbara, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    Although ants may induce community-wide effects via changes in physical habitats in terrestrial environments, their influence on aquatic communities living in plant-held waters remains largely underexplored. The neotropical tank-bromeliad Aechmea mertensii (Bromeliaceae) occurs along forest edges in ant-gardens initiated by Camponotus femoratus or by Pachycondyla goeldii. Its leaves form wells that hold rainwater and provide suitable habitats for many aquatic organisms. We postulated that the...

  11. Fertilizing for a Successful Garden

    OpenAIRE

    Hatch, Duane

    1985-01-01

    Properly grown vegetables require high levels of minerals and water. They grow rapidly and produce their edible portion in 25-100 days. We appreciate vegetables because they are tender and crisp or have succulent fruits of various kinds. Plants grown under stress, lacking water and fertility are not as productive nor as desirable to the palate. By following these guidelines you may be rewarded with a productive garden of quality vegetables without obtaining a soil test. If the soil has not be...

  12. Ant Colony Optimization

    OpenAIRE

    Zahálka, Jaroslav

    2007-01-01

    This diploma thesis deals with Ant Colony algorithms and their usage for solving Travelling Salesman Problems and Vehicle Routing Problems. These algorithms are metaheuristics offering new approach to solving NP-hard problems. Work begins with a description of the forementioned tasks including ways to tackle them. Next chapter analyses Ant Colony metaheuristic and its possible usage and variations. The most important part of the thesis is practical and is represented by application Ant Colony...

  13. Comparative morpho-physiology of the metapleural glands of two Atta leaf-cutting ant queens nesting in clayish and organic soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Camargo-Mathias, Maria Izabel; Roces, Flavio

    2015-09-01

    Queens of leaf-cutting ants found their nests singly, each consisting of a vertical tunnel and a final horizontal chamber. Because of the claustral mode of nest founding, the queen and/or her initial fungus garden are exposed to threats imposed by several soil pathogens, and the antibiotic secretions produced by their metapleural glands are considered a main adaptation to deal with them. Nests of two Atta leaf-cutting ant species, Atta vollenweideri and Atta sexdens rubropilosa, occur in different soil types, alfisols and oxisols. Their queens are known to excavate the initial nest in different soil horizons, clayish and organic, respectively, which differ in their fertility and associated microbiota. The aim of the present study was to comparatively investigate the morpho-physiology of the metapleural glands in queens of A. vollenweideri and A. sexdens rubropilosa, addressing the question whether the distinct selective pressure imposed by the microbiota in the two different soil types led to morpho-physiological differences in the metapleural glands that were consistent with their antiseptic function. The results revealed that metapleural glands of A. sexdens rubropilosa have a larger number of secretory cells, and consequently a higher production of antibiotic secretions, which may have been selected to allow nest founding at the superficial horizon of oxisols rich in organic matter and microorganisms. Glands of A. vollenweideri, on the contrary, presented fewer secretory cells, suggesting less production of antibiotic secretions. We argue that the excavation of deep founding nests in A. vollenweideri was primarily selected for during evolution to avoid the risk posed by flooding, and further hypothesize that a reduced number of cells in their metapleural glands occurred because of a weak pathogen-driven selective pressure at the preferred soil depth. PMID:26145506

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Baca, Jeniffer Alvarez; Osborne, Jason; Schal, Coby

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19194502

  18. Perception of Garden in Turkish Culture

    OpenAIRE

    Kırca, Simay; Çınar, Sanem

    2010-01-01

    In the historical process, garden culture has been developed generally with the essence of “watching it” in the west and “living its inside” in the east. It is well known that every civilization has cultivated a unique garden strategy and gardens have been transformed according to the dominant social, cultural, ecological and topographic qualities of the land they are situated. The Turkish garden culture has also been transmuted in a mystical and literary approach parallel to the changes in d...

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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. PMID:25833216

  3. Ant Ballet: Phase I

    OpenAIRE

    Ollie Palmer

    2014-01-01

    The Ant Ballet project aims to create a precisely choreographed movement from a colony of ants through the use of artificial pheromones. This article presents an annotated storyboard of the film that documents the first set of experiments within the project. The full film can be viewed online at href="http://www.antballet.org"www.antballet.org.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Frederickson, Megan E; Deborah M Gordon

    2007-01-01

    ‘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...

  5. Urban Gardening and Civic Cultivation

    OpenAIRE

    Nurmenniemi, Veera

    2013-01-01

    Changing individuals’ behavior and involving them in environmentally sound practices is a central issue in environmental and climate politics. This master’s thesis takes a closer look at how civic organizations can work beside the public sector toward this goal, and hence discusses the third sector’s participation in climate change mitigation. The environmental organization Dodo’s work for promoting urban gardening serves as the case of the study. The research questions are: What mean...

  6. PLANTING PRINCIPLES OF ROOF GARDENS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nizamettin KOÇ

    1998-02-01

    Full Text Available Planting on the roof gardens is rather different than that of ground level. Because, ecological conditions in these areas are artificial and they have some extreme conditions which are not suitable for plants. That is why, plants would be used in the planning, should be chosen from the varieties resistant to cold, windy and dry conditions. Additionally, large plants should be anchoraged and shaded againist to loosing much water. It Should be considered that carriying capacity of the roof whether is suitable for planning.

  7. 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. PMID:26903899

  8. Home Gardening: Quick Tips to Efficient Watering

    OpenAIRE

    Burningham, Jordan; Brain, Roslynn

    2013-01-01

    In Utah’s dry climate, water is a gardener’s best friend. Water conservation is an important aspect of the home garden, and understanding efficient water management techniques can save you time and money. Knowing how to water properly will help you to maintain a more productive, sustainable garden and help the environment by reducing your consumption of this precious resource.

  9. SUBMERGED AQUATIC VEGETATION GARDENING MX974861

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Gardening project will acquire the seed/seedlings of SAVs for planting, will create an SAV gardening guide; and will create SAV plots at volunteers waterfront properties. Volunteers will gather data on plant size and spacing. Water quality test ...

  10. 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…

  11. 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. PMID:26817369

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. "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 for stimulating…

  15. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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 phenylace...

  17. The origin of the chemical profiles of fungal symbionts and their significance for nestmate recognition in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Poulsen, Michael; Hefetz, Abraham;

    2007-01-01

    less aggression when they are later introduced into that colony. It appears, therefore, that fungus gardens are an independent and significant source of chemical compounds, potentially contributing a richer and more abundant blend of recognition cues to the colony ¿gestalt¿ than the innate chemical...

  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

    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. Trace element analysis in ants collected in Japan, Finland and Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Particle induced x-ray emission has been used to determine the concentration of trace elements in ants (Formicidae). Scanning PIXE analysis was also used to determine the distribution of these elements. Samples of ants were collected from gardens, buildings or from the roadway in Japan. Finland and Sweden. The only pre-treatments were dusting and washing. In each run of experiments we used only one individual ant and have obtained the analytical results of a reasonable accuracy. We have detected chemical minor elements, i.e., Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Rb, Br and Sr. The PIXE, and scanning PIXE method proved to be useful and sensitive enough to measure trace elements in such small insects as ants. (author)

  20. The Cocktail ant count

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A better understanding of Cocktail ant populations (Crematogaster) is engendered by the use of 32P labelling to measure the population density of the colonies, once the biology of the species is known

  1. 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. PMID:20633043

  2. Ant traffic rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fourcassié, Vincent; Dussutour, Audrey; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2010-07-15

    Many animals take part in flow-like collective movements. In most species, however, the flow is unidirectional. Ants are one of the rare group of organisms in which flow-like movements are predominantly bidirectional. This adds to the difficulty of the task of maintaining a smooth, efficient movement. Yet, ants seem to fare well at this task. Do they really? And if so, how do such simple organisms succeed in maintaining a smooth traffic flow, when even humans experience trouble with this task? How does traffic in ants compare with that in human pedestrians or vehicles? The experimental study of ant traffic is only a few years old but it has already provided interesting insights into traffic organization and regulation in animals, showing in particular that an ant colony as a whole can be considered as a typical self-organized adaptive system. In this review we will show that the study of ant traffic can not only uncover basic principles of behavioral ecology and evolution in social insects but also provide new insights into the study of traffic systems in general. PMID:20581264

  3. 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…

  4. The Botanic Garden of Tver State University

    OpenAIRE

    Volkova O M; Notov A A

    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 ...

  5. Our friendship gardens: healing our mother, ourselves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Madhu Suri

    2015-03-01

    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 shares the hope of transforming enemies into friends and neighbors. It also joins many millions whose dreams are already taking flight while getting grounded: seeking to transform all our toxic lawnscapes into foodscapes; ending the dis-ease of billions going to bed starving amidst the mountains of food wasted for growing Wall Street profits in the twenty first century.

  6. 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.

  7. In a walled garden: an artist book

    OpenAIRE

    Mullaniff, Kathleen

    2014-01-01

    Kathleen Mullaniff, Senior Lecturer BA Fine Art, exhibited her artist book ‘in a walled garden’ on the London Art Book Fair. The artist book ‘in a walled garden’ is a compilation of images of recent paintings. These works are based on a Victorian garden at St Leonards on Sea. An investigation into the history of the house and garden built 1860. This research explores the progression of restoring the original Victorian garden, as recorded through the painting and drawing process. Kathleen’...

  8. The Early History of UC Santa Cruz's Farm and Garden

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Paul; Norris, Phyllis; Martin, Orin; Tamura, Dennis; Hagege, Maya; Jarrell, Randall; Regional History Project, UCSC Library

    2002-01-01

    The Early History of UCSC's Farm and Garden documents the emergence of the organic gardening and farming movement in Santa Cruz. It includes interviews with Paul Lee, Phyllis Norris, Orin Martin, and Dennis Tamura, who were involved in the early years of the Garden. Maya Hagege, a former Farm and Garden apprentice and UCSC alumna, conducted the interviews, which were edited by Jarrell. Established in 1967 by master gardener Alan Chadwick, the original site was a neglected 4-acre plot...

  9. Design and Construction of Grape Theme Sightseeing Garden

    OpenAIRE

    LIU Jun; Yu, Yifei; Li, Jingchuan; Han, Ruifeng; Wang, Ying

    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, pick...

  10. 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

  11. Civil War, Revolutionary Heritage, and the Chinese Garden

    OpenAIRE

    Tobie Meyer-Fong

    2014-01-01

    The Chinese garden now symbolizes timeless national, cultural, and aesthetic values. But as real property in the past, gardens inevitably were subject to the vicissitudes of their times. This article focuses on gardens and the Taiping Civil War (1851–1864). During the war, many gardens were reduced to tile shards and ash. Surviving gardens functioned as objects of longing and nostalgia, sites of refuge (physical and emotional), or a means to display status under the new regime. In the postwar...

  12. 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.

  13. Gardening and Your Health. Plant Allergies

    OpenAIRE

    Predny, Mary Lorraine

    2009-01-01

    Allergic reactions are caused by an overactive immune system response to a foreign substance such as pollen, dust, or molds. This publication goes over the common plants that cause allergies and ways to prevent allergies while gardening.

  14. Experimental Garden Plots for Botany Lessons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorodnicheva, V. V.; Vasil'eva, E. I.

    1976-01-01

    Discussion of the botany lessons used at two schools points out the need for fifth and sixth grade students to be taught the principles of plant life through observations made at an experimental garden plot at the school. (ND)

  15. From Urban Food Gardening to Urban Farming

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Simon-Rojo, M.; Recasens, X.; Callau, C.; Duží, Barbora; Eiter, S.; Hernández-Jiménez, V.; Laviscio, R.; Lohrberg, F.; Pickard, D.; Scazzosi, L.; Vejre, H.

    1. Berlin: JOVIS, 2015, s. 22-28. ISBN 978-3-86859-371-6 Institutional support: RVO:68145535 Keywords : urban food gardening * urban farming * food production Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Nash, David Richard; Higginbotham, Sarah;

    2015-01-01

    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 associatedwith unique evolutionary innovations in chemical pest management that appear robust against selection pressure for resistance by specialized...

  17. Persian Gardens: Meanings, Symbolism, and Design

    OpenAIRE

    Leila Mahmoudi Farahani; Bahareh Motamed; Elmira Jamei

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  18. Urban exterior graphical design in botanical garden

    OpenAIRE

    Despot, Katerina; Sandeva, Vaska

    2013-01-01

    Botanical Garden as an art picture and all the content is a strong source of inspiration for the creation of advertising graphics, which is an important segment for the garden, attracting tourists and description of contents. Graphic design is an activity in which a quantity of information gives a comfortable and aesthetic form. This often involves the use of typography, images, colors, and others. Graphic design incorporates in-depth knowledge of the composition and shape, color, color...

  19. Rediscovering community: Interethnic relationships and community gardening

    OpenAIRE

    August John Hoffman; Julie Wallach; Eduardo Sanchez

    2010-01-01

    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 ...

  20. Tag Gardening for Folksonomy Enrichment and Maintenance

    OpenAIRE

    Katrin Weller; Isabella Peters

    2008-01-01

    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 folkson...

  1. 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.

  2. Evaluation of the Gardening Economic Efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kutkovetska T. O.

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In terms of industrial gardening market transformation and current difficult situation as to agricultural prices, it is objective to have new methodological approaches to the economic evaluation of all components when producing fruits, berries, plant material and the gardening enterprises and their subdivisions’ determination of the overall economic performance as well.The gardening efficiency as a component of the agricultural production’s efficiency is a complex economic category which reflects the efficiency of production. The main role in this concept is given to the gardening intensification which is the process of improving the use of all resources resulting in the enhanced loading of the production process per unit time.The need to evaluate the gardening economic efficiency, which is considered in this paper, is that there is a need in the appropriate unified system of indicators. In the gardening such indicators are: yield, relative value of gross output, cost of grown products, labor costs, production on 1 man-hour in physical and value terms, the selling price, profit per unit area and unit mass, etc. All these indicators are closely interrelated and have a great impact on the economic efficiency of the branch and its growth.

  3. Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pontoppidan, Maj-Britt; Himaman, Winanda; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L.;

    2009-01-01

    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 m2 of primary......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...... rainforest. We established that high density aggregations exist (up to 26 dead ants/m2), 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...

  4. 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

  5. The Ants Go Marching Millions by Millions: Invasive Ant Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive ants are a worldwide problem that is expanding both geographically and in intensity. Population explosions of invasive ants can overrun landscapes and inundate structures. Pest management professionals are often the first responders to complaints about invading ants. This session will fo...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, Olivier; Céréghino, Régis; Solano, Pascal J; Dejean, Alain

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21655182

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Characterization of actinobacteria associated with three ant-plant mutualisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanshew, Alissa S; McDonald, Bradon R; Díaz Díaz, Carol; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Currie, Cameron R

    2015-01-01

    Ant-plant mutualisms are conspicuous and ecologically important components of tropical ecosystems that remain largely unexplored in terms of insect-associated microbial communities. Recent work has revealed that ants in some ant-plant systems cultivate fungi (Chaetothyriales) within their domatia, which are fed to larvae. Using Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. from French Guiana and Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana and Crematogaster margaritae/Keetia hispida, both from Cameroon, as models, we tested the hypothesis that ant-plant-fungus mutualisms co-occur with culturable Actinobacteria. Using selective media, we isolated 861 putative Actinobacteria from the three systems. All C. margaritae/K. hispida samples had culturable Actinobacteria with a mean of 10.0 colony forming units (CFUs) per sample, while 26 % of P. penetrator/Tachigali samples (mean CFUs 1.3) and 67 % of P. phylax/L. africana samples (mean CFUs 3.6) yielded Actinobacteria. The largest number of CFUs was obtained from P. penetrator workers, P. phylax alates, and C. margaritae pupae. 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of four main clades of Streptomyces and one clade of Nocardioides within these three ant-plant mutualisms. Streptomyces with antifungal properties were isolated from all three systems, suggesting that they could serve as protective symbionts, as found in other insects. In addition, a number of isolates from a clade of Streptomyces associated with P. phylax/L. africana and C. margaritae/K. hispida were capable of degrading cellulose, suggesting that Streptomyces in these systems may serve a nutritional role. Repeated isolation of particular clades of Actinobacteria from two geographically distant locations supports these isolates as residents in ant-plant-fungi niches. PMID:25096989

  13. 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

  14. [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. PMID

  15. 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...

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontoppidan, Maj-Britt; Himaman, Winanda; Hywel-Jones, Nigel L; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Hughes, David P

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19279680

  20. Long-term field trial to control the invasive Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with synthetic trail pheromone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishisue, K; Sunamura, E; Tanaka, Y; Sakamoto, H; Suzuki, S; Fukumoto, T; Terayama, M; Tatsuki, S

    2010-10-01

    Previous short-term experiments showed that trail following behavior of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), can be disrupted by a high concentration of synthetic trail pheromone component (Z)-9-hexadecenal. In this study, a long-term field trial was conducted in 100-m2 plots of house gardens in an urban area of Japan to see whether the control effect on Argentine ants can be obtained by permeating synthetic trail pheromone from dispensers. The dispensers were placed in the experimental plots during the ant's active season (April-November) for 2 yr with monthly renewal. To estimate Argentine ant population density, foraging activity of Argentine ants in the study plots was monitored by monthly bait surveys. Throughout the study period, Argentine ant foraging activity was suppressed in the presence of the dispensers, presumably via trail forming inhibition. In contrast, the level of foraging activity was not different between treatment and no-treatment plots when the dispensers were temporarily removed, suggesting that treatment with pheromone dispensers did not suppress Argentine ant density in the treatment plots. Population decline may be expected with larger-scale treatment that covers a significant portion of the ant colony or with improvement in the potency of the disruptant. PMID:21061980

  1. 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.

  2. Even Gardening or Dancing Might Cut Alzheimer's Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 157731.html Even Gardening or Dancing Might Cut Alzheimer's Risk Any regular physical activity is linked to ... physical activity, including gardening or dancing, may cut Alzheimer's risk by as much as 50 percent, a ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure after gardening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vucicevic, Zeljko

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25954536

  8. 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.

  9. Ant Colony Optimization: A Review and Comparison

    OpenAIRE

    Sundus Shaukat; Riaz Ahmed Bhatti; Khalid Ibrahim Qureshi; Shafqat Ali Shad

    2014-01-01

    Many optmization algorithms are developed over period of time, among these most famous and widely used is Ant Colony systems (ACA). Ant Colony Systems (ACS) are the collection of different ant colony optimization algorithms. Different algorithms are used for solve the Travelling salesmen Problem (TCP) but ant colony algorithm is more preferred to solve the travelling salesmen problem. In ant colony best solution is found with the help of cooperating agents called ants. Ants cooperate with eac...

  10. IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF KITCHEN GARDENING TRAINING UNDER WATERSHED PROGRAMME

    OpenAIRE

    Tabinda Qaiser; Hassnain Shah; Sajida Taj; Murad Ali

    2013-01-01

    Kitchen Gardening Project is the revolutionary step to increase vegetables production as well as provision of cheap vegetables to the consumers. The main focus of the study was to assess the impact of kitchen gardening training given by Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) under watershed project in Arokas and Ghoragali. Capacity building of rural women in Kitchen Gardening was the focus and twenty trainees of kitchen gardening were selected randomly from each location to assess the impa...

  11. Urban Community Gardeners' Knowledge and Perceptions of Soil Contaminant Risks

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Brent F.; Poulsen, Melissa N.; Margulies, Jared D.; Katie L Dix; 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 quanti...

  12. Tea Effects and Landscape Design of Tea Garden

    OpenAIRE

    Yue Liu; Bingqing Yang

    2015-01-01

    This study analyzes tea effects via the study of the influence of tea polyphenol on rats. Having summarized and generalized the landscape design of tea culture garden, the study ends up with explicit significance of tea garden. During the research, the paper finds that lacking facilities, garden zones are not fully fictionalized with common and ordinary landscapes and not obviously characterized by local cultures. To solve mentioned problems, it is proposed that tea gardens should break throu...

  13. Learning about animals in the preschool eco garden

    OpenAIRE

    Rozman, Maja

    2015-01-01

    Gardening is an activity that provides a number of incentives for progress of preschool children in the field of early science and in many other fields. Children in numerous kindergartens tend their gardens, but experience suggest that more attention is devoted to the flora of the garden than to its fauna. But the role of animals in an eco garden is very important because some of them destroy crops, while others are beneficial, such as predators, pollinators or animals involved in the circula...

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

    OpenAIRE

    WRIGHT, SCOTT D.; Amy Maida Wadsworth

    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 activit...

  15. 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

  16. Identification of an ant queen pheromone regulating worker sterility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, Luke; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2010-12-22

    The selective forces that shape and maintain eusocial societies are an enduring puzzle in evolutionary biology. Ordinarily sterile workers can usually reproduce given the right conditions, so the factors regulating reproductive division of labour may provide insight into why eusociality has persisted over evolutionary time. Queen-produced pheromones that affect worker reproduction have been implicated in diverse taxa, including ants, termites, wasps and possibly mole rats, but to date have only been definitively identified in the honeybee. Using the black garden ant Lasius niger, we isolate the first sterility-regulating ant queen pheromone. The pheromone is a cuticular hydrocarbon that comprises the majority of the chemical profile of queens and their eggs, and also affects worker behaviour, by reducing aggression towards objects bearing the pheromone. We further show that the pheromone elicits a strong response in worker antennae and that its production by queens is selectively reduced following an immune challenge. These results suggest that the pheromone has a central role in colony organization and support the hypothesis that worker sterility represents altruistic self-restraint in response to an honest quality signal. PMID:20591861

  17. Orin Martin: Manager, Alan Chadwick Garden, CASFS

    OpenAIRE

    Rabkin, Sarah

    2010-01-01

    Orin Martin manages the Alan Chadwick Garden at UC Santa Cruz, where he is widely admired for his skills as a master orchardist, horticulturalist, and teacher. Martin grew up an athletic and outdoors-oriented child in Massachusetts, Florida, New York State, and Ohio—without any interest in gardening, which struck him as “an onerous chore, and kind of sissy stuff, actually.” While he was in Washington, D.C. in the late 1960s, as a student at American University, he “got politicized” by curren...

  18. Antártida

    OpenAIRE

    Ricardo Felicio

    2007-01-01

    No extremo Sul do planeta Terra há a última fronteira ao avanço e controle total do homem. Se já são tantas as dificuldades para a sobrevivência em um ambiente hostil, podemos imaginar o esforço maior para a permanência total e indefinida. Tal território, sempre idealizado pelos antigos gregos, cerca de 300 a.C., mas descoberto há pouco mais de um século é a Antártida. Suas diferenças são marcantes em relação ao seu par, no pólo Norte, em todos os sentidos. O mais importante é o fato de a Ant...

  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. 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…

  1. 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. PMID:24516570

  2. 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.

  3. Hollyhocks and Honeybees: Garden Projects for Young Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starbuck, Sara; Olthof, Marla; Midden, Karen

    Children are drawn to nature and the outdoors. This guide details the inclusion of gardening in the preschool curriculum at a university child development program in Illinois. Chapter 1 of the book, "Why Garden?" details the benefits of gardening for young children, describes the project approach used, discusses the role of the teacher, and…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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. PMID:27307255

  9. Low host–pathogen specificity in the leaf-cutting ant–microbe symbiosis

    OpenAIRE

    Stephen J Taerum; Cafaro, Matías J.; Little, Ainslie E. F.; Schultz, Ted R.; Currie, Cameron R

    2007-01-01

    Host–parasite associations are shaped by coevolutionary dynamics. One example is the complex fungus-growing ant–microbe symbiosis, which includes ancient host–parasite coevolution. Fungus-growing ants and the fungi they cultivate for food have an antagonistic symbiosis with Escovopsis, a specialized microfungus that infects the ants' fungus gardens. The evolutionary histories of the ant, cultivar and Escovopsis are highly congruent at the deepest phylogenetic levels, with specific parasite li...

  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. Alate susceptibility in ants

    OpenAIRE

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Pathogens are predicted to pose a particular threat to eusocial insects because infections can spread rapidly in colonies with high densities of closely related individuals. In ants, there are two major castes: workers and reproductives. Sterile workers receive no direct benefit from investing in immunity, but can gain indirect fitness benefits if their immunity aids the survival of their fertile siblings. Virgin reproductives (alates), on the other hand, may be able to increase their investm...

  12. 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. PMID:21739253

  13. Making Interdisciplinary Connections to Your School Gardening Program. Education in Blossom: The School Garden-Community Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eames-Sheavly, Marcia

    1998-01-01

    Proposes that it is critical for children to understand and appreciate plants, and that gardening can be integrated into the regular school curriculum. Gives examples of "pizza garden" and flower garden projects related to math, science, language arts, creative arts, nutrition and health, physical education, Earth stewardship, music, social…

  14. The Learned Gardeners of the Botanical Gardens of the University of Tartu and Their Activities (1803–1918

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heldur Sander

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper discusses the individual learned gardeners and assistant learned gardeners of the Botanical Garden of the University of Tartu against the backdrop of the development of botanical research areas at the university and species diversity in the botanical garden in 1803–1918. It also addresses the university’s botany professors / garden directors and assistant directors, focusing in more detail on the learned gardeners, who were more notable for their activities prior to commencing work in Tartu or during or after their Tartu period. A total of 22 learned gardeners and 14 assistant learned gardeners have been identified. Among them were persons from Germany , as well as representatives of other nationalities, including Estonians, Poles, Russians and local Germans. The employment duration of the learned gardeners at the botanical garden lasted from a few months to 42 years. The longest serving learned gardener was Wilhelm Eduard Stelling, a local German. Among the learned gardeners, the career and activities of Johann Anton Weinmann, Ludwig Riedel and Jan Muszynski stood out. After leaving Tartu, Weinmann and Muszynski became outstanding researchersin St. Petersburg and Poland, respectively, and Riedel emerged as a sucessful plant collector, scientific organiser and developer of park culture in Brazil.

  15. Artificial Ant Species on Solving Optimization Problems

    OpenAIRE

    Pintea, Camelia-M.

    2013-01-01

    During the last years several ant-based techniques were involved to solve hard and complex optimization problems. The current paper is a short study about the influence of artificial ant species in solving optimization problems. There are studied the artificial Pharaoh Ants, Lasius Niger and also artificial ants with no special specificity used commonly in Ant Colony Optimization.

  16. Mechanics of fire ant aggregations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennenbaum, Michael; Liu, Zhongyang; Hu, David; Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Fire ants link their bodies to form aggregations; these can adopt a variety of structures, they can drip and spread, or withstand applied loads. Here, by using oscillatory rheology, we show that fire ant aggregations are viscoelastic. We find that, at the lowest ant densities probed and in the linear regime, the elastic and viscous moduli are essentially identical over the spanned frequency range, which highlights the absence of a dominant mode of structural relaxation. As ant density increases, the elastic modulus rises, which we interpret by alluding to ant crowding and subsequent jamming. When deformed beyond the linear regime, the aggregation flows, exhibiting shear-thinning behaviour with a stress load that is comparable to the maximum load the aggregation can withstand before individual ants are torn apart. Our findings illustrate the rich, collective mechanical behaviour that can arise in aggregations of active, interacting building blocks.

  17. [Maria Bandeira: a pioneering botanist at the Botanic Garden of Rio de Janeiro].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bediaga, Begonha; Peixoto, Ariane Luna; Filgueiras, Tarciso S

    2016-01-01

    This article sheds light on Maria Bandeira, the first female botanist to work at the Botanic Garden of Rio de Janeiro. She was active in the 1920s, but is absent from the historiography and little cited in the scientific literature. The significant number of plant, fungus, and lichen specimens she collected, her capacity to reach far-flung places, her extensive correspondence with foreign experts, and her studies at Sorbonne are all sources for the analysis of the way botany was practiced and the social networks at play in science at the time. The end of her scientific career, when she adopted a cloistered life with the Barefoot Carmelite nuns, can be interpreted variously, and partially explains why her contributions to Brazilian botany have been forgotten. PMID:26841840

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. Promoting nitrate removal in rain gardens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rain gardens are vegetated surface depressions, often located at low points in landscapes, designed to receive stormwater runoff from roads, roofs, and parking lots. The gardens’ sandy soils allow stormwater to drain quickly to the native soils below and eventually to groundwate...

  1. 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…

  2. 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...

  3. 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…

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. Gardening for Bees in Hampton Roads

    OpenAIRE

    Campbell, Norma; Johnson, Latarsha

    2011-01-01

    Lists plants that will grow well in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, and will serve as good nectar sources for bees. Also lists a few garden and landscaping plants that bees won't visit for nectar, or could be poisonous to bees.

  8. My Random Walks in Anderson's Garden

    CERN Document Server

    Baskaran, G

    2016-01-01

    Anderson's Garden is a drawing presented to Philip W. Anderson on the eve of his 60th birthday celebration, in 1983. This cartoon (Fig. 1), whose author is unknown, succinctly depicts some of Anderson's pre-1983 works, as a blooming garden. As an avid reader of Anderson's papers, random walk in Anderson's garden had become a part of my routine since graduate school days. This was of immense help and prepared me for a wonderful collaboration with the gardener himself, on the resonating valence bond (RVB) theory of High Tc cuprates and quantum spin liquids, at Princeton. The result was bountiful - the first (RVB mean field) theory for i) quantum spin liquids, ii) emergent fermi surfaces in Mott insulators and iii) superconductivity in doped Mott insulators. Beyond mean field theory - i) emergent gauge fields, ii) Ginzbuerg Landau theory with RVB gauge fields, iii) prediction of superconducting dome, iv) an early identification and study of a non-fermi liquid normal state of cuprates and so on. Here I narrate th...

  9. 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…

  10. Further travels with my ant

    OpenAIRE

    Gale, David; Propp, James; Sutherland, Scott; Troubetzkoy, Serge

    1995-01-01

    We discuss some properties of a class of cellular automata sometimes called a "generalized ant". This system is perhaps most easily understood by thinking of an ant which moves about a lattice in the plane. At each vertex (or "cell"), the ant turns right or left, depending on the the state of the cell, and then changes the state of the cell according to certain prescribed rule strings. (This system has been the subject of several Mathematical Entertainments columns in the Mathematical Intelli...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The centenary of the School Botanical Garden from Blaj

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leon Sorin MUNTEAN

    1982-08-01

    Full Text Available The development of the first school-botanical garden from Blaj is strongly connected with the development of botanical research at the University and Agronomy Insitute from Cluj-Napoca. The first curators of the garden A. Uilacan, A. Cheteanu, Al. Borza and I. Popu-Cimpeanu studied in Cluj. Prof. Al. Borza developed the medicinal and crop plant collections in collaboration with B. Pater, former head of our agrobotanical garden. Later the botanical garden of the University, became famous under the directorate of Al. Borza. The botanical garden of Blaj belongs today to the agroindustrial middle-school where many Romanian agronomy scientists have been educated.

  14. 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. PMID:24734179

  15. 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.

  16. Purpureocillium lilacinum, potential agent for biological control of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lundii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goffré, D; Folgarait, P J

    2015-09-01

    Many leaf-cutter ant species are well known pests in Latin America, including species of the genera Acromyrmex and Atta. An environmentally friendly strategy to reduce the number of leafcutter ants and avoid indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides is biological control. In this work we evaluated the effectiveness of a strain of the entomopathogen Purpureocillium lilacinum, against worker ants from six Acromyrmex lundii field colonies, after immersions in pure suspensions at a concentration of 1×10(6)conidiaml(-1). Survival of ants treated with P. lilacinum was significantly lower than that recorded in controls, and median lethal time (LT50) was 6-7days. P. lilacinum was responsible for 85.6% (80.6-89.7) of the mortality in inoculated ants, in which we found that the percentage of other entomopathogens that naturally infected ants decreased also, suggesting a good competitive capability of the fungus. Horizontal transmission to non-inoculated ants was also evidenced, given that 58.5% (41.9-64.2) of them died because of P. lilacinum. Moreover, we tested pathogenicity for three concentrations of this strain (1.0×10(4), 10(6) and 10(8)conidiaml(-1)) and found a significantly faster mortality of ants and greater median percentage of infection at 10(8)conidiaml(-1) of P. lilacinum. CL50 value was 2.8×10(5)conidiaml(-1). We thus propose the use of P. lilacinum as a biological control agent of leafcutter ants in crops and plantations. PMID:26205173

  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 and...... fixing the dead cadaver to the surface, all to increase efficient spore dispersal. To investigate this fascinating pathogen-host interaction, we constructed interaction transcriptome libraries from two final infection stages from the material sampled in the field: (1) when the cadavers were fixed, but...... of an entomophthoralean fungus, we detected expression of many pathogenicity-related genes, including secreted hydrolytic enzymes and genes related to morphological reorganization and nutrition uptake. Differences in expression of genes in these two infection phases were compared and showed a switch...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Civil War, Revolutionary Heritage, and the Chinese Garden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobie Meyer-Fong

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The Chinese garden now symbolizes timeless national, cultural, and aesthetic values. But as real property in the past, gardens inevitably were subject to the vicissitudes of their times. This article focuses on gardens and the Taiping Civil War (1851–1864. During the war, many gardens were reduced to tile shards and ash. Surviving gardens functioned as objects of longing and nostalgia, sites of refuge (physical and emotional, or a means to display status under the new regime. In the postwar period, gardens served as status symbols, places to commemorate loss or celebrate restoration, and venues for renewed sociability. This article uses a series of case studies to explore the multiple meanings associated with gardens, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, and the Qing dynasty—in the past and today.

  2. Geographic mosaic of plant evolution: extrafloral nectary variation mediated by ant and herbivore assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anselmo Nogueira

    Full Text Available Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT. Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant-EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1 a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2 seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated

  3. Geographic mosaic of plant evolution: extrafloral nectary variation mediated by ant and herbivore assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogueira, Anselmo; Rey, Pedro J; Alcántara, Julio M; Feitosa, Rodrigo M; Lohmann, Lúcia G

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory is an ecological process that is known to generate different patterns of selection on defensive plant traits across populations. Studies on this topic could greatly benefit from the general framework of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution (GMT). Here, we hypothesize that herbivory represents a strong pressure for extrafloral nectary (EFN) bearing plants, with differences in herbivore and ant visitor assemblages leading to different evolutionary pressures among localities and ultimately to differences in EFN abundance and function. In this study, we investigate this hypothesis by analyzing 10 populations of Anemopaegma album (30 individuals per population) distributed through ca. 600 km of Neotropical savanna and covering most of the geographic range of this plant species. A common garden experiment revealed a phenotypic differentiation in EFN abundance, in which field and experimental plants showed a similar pattern of EFN variation among populations. We also did not find significant correlations between EFN traits and ant abundance, herbivory and plant performance across localities. Instead, a more complex pattern of ant-EFN variation, a geographic mosaic, emerged throughout the geographical range of A. album. We modeled the functional relationship between EFNs and ant traits across ant species and extended this phenotypic interface to characterize local situations of phenotypic matching and mismatching at the population level. Two distinct types of phenotypic matching emerged throughout populations: (1) a population with smaller ants (Crematogaster crinosa) matched with low abundance of EFNs; and (2) seven populations with bigger ants (Camponotus species) matched with higher EFN abundances. Three matched populations showed the highest plant performance and narrower variance of EFN abundance, representing potential plant evolutionary hotspots. Cases of mismatched and matched populations with the lowest performance were associated with abundant

  4. Metarhizium anisopliae infection alters feeding and trophallactic behavior in the ant Solenopsis invicta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Hua-Long; Lu, Li-Hua; Zalucki, M P; He, Yu-Rong

    2016-07-01

    In social insects, social behavior may be changed in a way that preventing the spread of pathogens. We infected workers of the ant Solenopsis invicta with an entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae and then videotaped and/or measured worker feeding and trophallactic behavior. Results showed that fungal infected S. invicta enhanced their preference for bitter alkaloid chemical quinine on 3days after inoculation, which might be self-medication of S. invicta by ingesting more alkaloid substances in response to pathogenic infection. Furthermore, infected ants devoted more time to trophallactic behavior with their nestmates on 3days post inoculation, in return receiving more food. Increased interactions between exposed ants and their naive nestmates suggest the existence of social immunity in S. invicta. Overall, our study indicates that S. invicta may use behavioral defenses such as self-medication and social immunity in response to a M. anisopliae infection. PMID:27234423

  5. Fire ant microsporidia acquired by parasitoid flies of fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    The microsporidium Kneallhazia (formerly Thelohania) solenopsae and parasitoid flies in the genus Pseudacteon are natural enemies of the invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Pseudacteon flies oviposit into adult fire ants, where maggots that eclose from eggs migrate to the ants’ head, pupate, and...

  6. Ex Ante Allusions

    OpenAIRE

    Holt, Jason

    2015-01-01

    We tend to think of allusions as indirect references to objects that already exist. Here I argue against this post facto orthodoxy and for the view that certain cases of allusion count as ex ante allusions (i.e. allusions before the fact). I argue that the standard view conflates the epistemic dependence of allusion (knowledge of the object of allusion) with an existential dependence (the object must already exist). As an adequate account of allusion should explain both the apparent paradoxic...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Army Ants as Research and Collection Tools

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Adrian A.; Haight, Kevin L.

    2008-01-01

    Ants that fall prey to the raids of army ants commonly respond by evacuating their nests. This documented behavior has been underexploited by researchers as an efficient research tool. This study focuses on the evacuation response of the southwestern desert ant Aphaenogaster cockerelli André (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to the army ant Newamyrmex nigrescens Cresson. It is shown that army ants can be used to collect mature colonies of ants. The applicability of this tool to ecologically meaningfu...

  10. 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 behavio...... behaviors toward others, and this might explain the widely observed maintenance of social cohesion under parasite attack in insect societies.......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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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 of th...... 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...... 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...

  13. Anti-pathogen protection versus survival costs mediated by an ectosymbiont in an ant host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Matthias; Grasse, Anna V; Tragust, Simon; Cremer, Sylvia

    2015-01-22

    The fitness effects of symbionts on their hosts can be context-dependent, with usually benign symbionts causing detrimental effects when their hosts are stressed, or typically parasitic symbionts providing protection towards their hosts (e.g. against pathogen infection). Here, we studied the novel association between the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus and its fungal ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum for potential costs and benefits. We tested ants with different Laboulbenia levels for their survival and immunity under resource limitation and exposure to the obligate killing entomopathogen Metarhizium brunneum. While survival of L. neglectus workers under starvation was significantly decreased with increasing Laboulbenia levels, host survival under Metarhizium exposure increased with higher levels of the ectosymbiont, suggesting a symbiont-mediated anti-pathogen protection, which seems to be driven mechanistically by both improved sanitary behaviours and an upregulated immune system. Ants with high Laboulbenia levels showed significantly longer self-grooming and elevated expression of immune genes relevant for wound repair and antifungal responses (β-1,3-glucan binding protein, Prophenoloxidase), compared with ants carrying low Laboulbenia levels. This suggests that the ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum weakens its ant host by either direct resource exploitation or the costs of an upregulated behavioural and immunological response, which, however, provides a prophylactic protection upon later exposure to pathogens. PMID:25473011

  14. 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. PMID:17324956

  15. AntR-mediated bidirectional activation of antA and antR, anthranilate degradative genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soo-Kyoung; Im, Su-Jin; Yeom, Doo-Hwan; Lee, Joon-Hee

    2012-08-15

    Bidirectional activation of transcription is a peculiar regulation mode of gene expression. In this study, we show that genes involved in the metabolism of anthranilate, a precursor of biosynthesis of tryptophan and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) are regulated by this bidirectional activation of transcription. Anthranilate is degraded by anthranilate dioxygenase complex encoded by antABC operon, and AntR, a LysR-type regulator encoded by antR activates the transcription of antABC operon in the presence of anthranilate. In P. aeruginosa, antABC and antR are divergently located and AntR binds to the intergenic region between antA and antR to activate the antABC transcription. In this study, we determined the transcriptional start site of the antA promoter (antA(p)) and AntR-responsive elements (AREs) in P. aeruginosa. The upstream deletion analysis of antA(p) and in vitro gel shift assay with purified AntR showed that there are two AREs at -194 to -148 and -88 to -47 regions. We also found that AntR activates antR promoter (antR(p)) in the opposite direction and both AREs are important in the bidirectional activation of antA(p) and antR(p). Two AREs have different binding affinities to AntR and the strength of transcriptional activation was dramatically asymmetric depending on the direction. We suggest that the different affinities of two AREs may explain the asymmetry of the bidirectional activation by AntR. PMID:22609066

  16. An Insect Herbivore Microbiome with High Plant Biomass-Degrading Capacity

    OpenAIRE

    Suen, Garret

    2011-01-01

    Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria...

  17. An insect herbivore microbiome with high plant biomass-degrading capacity.

    OpenAIRE

    Garret Suen; Scott, Jarrod J.; Aylward, Frank O.; Adams, Sandra M.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián A.; Foster, Clifton E.; Markus Pauly; Paul J. Weimer; Kerrie W Barry; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Pascal Bouffard; Lewyn Li; Jolene Osterberger; Harkins, Timothy T.

    2010-01-01

    Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria...

  18. Scholar garden: Educational strategy for life

    OpenAIRE

    Benito Rodríguez Haros; Enriqueta Tello García; Salvador Aguilar Californias

    2013-01-01

    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' participati...

  19. From Urban Food Gardening to Urban Farming

    OpenAIRE

    Simon-Rojo, M.; Recasens, X.; Callau, C.; Duží, B. (Barbora); Eiter, S.; Hernández-Jiménez, V.; Laviscio, R.; Lohrberg, F.; Pickard, D.; Scazzosi, L.; Vejre, H.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter deals with setting up suitable typology of urban agriculture (UA). General UA typology has been worked out to understand different forms of urban agriculture in Europe and its processes. Identifying the types of UA provides better introduction of UA phenomenon to public and may play a decisive role in public policies and city-regional strategies. Three main categories have been set up – urban food gardening, urban farming and non urban farming, then further divided and their role...

  20. Economic Gardening and the Grow Kentucky Program

    OpenAIRE

    Robbins, Lynn W.; Allen, James E. IV

    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....

  1. Environmental Stewardship, Moral Psychology and Gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Marcello di Paola

    2013-01-01

    Vast and pervasive environmental problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss call every individual to active stewardship. Their magnitude and causal and strategic structures, however, pose powerful challenges to our moral psychology. Stewardship may feel overburdening, and appear hopeless. This may lead to widespread moral and political disengagement. This article proposes a resolve to garden practices as a way out of that danger, and describes the ways in which it will motivate ind...

  2. [Cutaneous mold fungus granuloma from Ulocladium chartarum].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altmeyer, P; Schon, K

    1981-01-01

    Cutaneous granulomas due to the mold fungus Ulocladium chartarum (Preuss) are described in a 58 year old woman. This fungus is usually harmless for mammalian. It is thought that a consisting immunosuppression (Brill-Symmer's disease, therapy with corticosteroids) was a priming condition for the infection. The route of infection in this patient described is unknown. PMID:7194869

  3. Refugees connecting with a new country through community food gardening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Neil; Minniss, Fiona Rowe; Somerset, Shawn

    2014-09-01

    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. PMID:25198684

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Ants for Document Clustering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priya Vaijayanthi

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The usage of computers for mass storage has become mandatory nowadays due to World Wide Web (WWW. This has placed many challenges to the Information Retrieval (IR system. Clustering of documents available improves the efficiency of IR system. The problem of clustering has become a combinatorial optimization problem in IR system due to the exponential growth in information over WWW. In this paper, a hybrid algorithm that combines the basic Ant Colony Optimization with Tabu search has been proposed. The feasibility of the proposed algorithm is tested over a few standard benchmark datasets. The experimental results reveal that the proposed algorithm yields promising quality clusters compared to other ones produced by K-means algorithm.

  8. The domestic garden: its contribution to urban green infrastructure

    OpenAIRE

    Cameron, Ross; Blanusa, Tijana; Taylor, Jane; Salisbury, Andrew; Halstead, Andrew; Henricot, Beatrice; Thompson, Ken

    2012-01-01

    Domestic gardens provide a significant component of urban green infrastructure but their relative contribution to eco-system service provision remains largely un-quantified. ‘Green infrastructure’ itself is often ill-defined, posing problems for planners to ascertain what types of green infrastructure provide greatest benefit and under what circumstances. Within this context the relative merits of gardens are unclear; however, at a time of greater urbanization where private gardens are increa...

  9. URBAN COMMUNITY GARDENING THE IMPACT ON FRUIT AND VEGETABLE INTAKE

    OpenAIRE

    Purcell, Christina

    2011-01-01

    Urban community gardens are local projects managed for and by members of the local community. They may be run in partnership with local authorities or as part of community development or regeneration schemes (Hale et al., 2011). The gardens exist primarily in urban areas and are often established in response to a local community's lack of open green space (Viljoen et al., 2005). The scale and format of the gardens may vary. Depending on the available land and support, urban community gardenin...

  10. Community gardens as learning spaces for sustainable food practices

    OpenAIRE

    Vercauteren, C.; Quist, J.N.; Van Bueren, E.M.; Van Veen, E.

    2013-01-01

    Urban agriculture is an emerging topic and it is widely argued that it has considerable potential for sustainable consumption and production. Community gardening is a promising type of urban agriculture and questions have been raised like whether it has additional benefits for sustainable lifestyles and behavior, and we can understand community gardens from a social practices perspective. This paper aims to provide first insights to these questions by looking at community gardens in the city ...

  11. Leptospira Exposure and Gardeners: A Case-Control Seroprevalence Study

    OpenAIRE

    Alvarado-Esquivel, Cosme; Hernandez-Tinoco, Jesus; Sanchez-Anguiano, Luis Francisco; Ramos-Nevarez, Agar; Cerrillo-Soto, Sandra Margarita; Guido-Arreola, Carlos Alberto

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  12. First-grade gardeners more likely to taste vegetables

    OpenAIRE

    Morris, Jennifer L.; Neustadter, Ann; Zidenberg-Cherr, Sheri

    2001-01-01

    To encourage first-graders to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables, a garden-enhanced nutrition education program was developed and taught to them. The study was a pilot to assess the feasibility of garden-based education programs for elementary-school students. The first-grade children learned about nutrition in the classroom while growing vegetables outdoors in their own gardens. This experience resulted in the children's increased willingness to taste those vegetables grown ...

  13. COLONIAL GARDENS AND THE VALIDATION OF EMPIRE IN IMPERIAL INDIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher V. Hill

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Deccan gardens in South India during the Islamic period (1206-1756 frequently had an Edenic quality about them.  As noted by Flatt (2007, Hanaway (1976, and Inden (2007, among others, the design often represented aspects of the supernatural or paradise, with representations of the pleasures of this life and the forthcoming joys of the afterlife.  The garden often served a symbolic function, in that it represented the divine recognition of the temporal authority of the Sultan. British gardens in the Deccan in fact had a similar symbolic purpose.  The legitimacy of British rule, as represented by the garden, rested not in divine authority, however, but in the power drawn from the Enlightenment.  Reason, in the form of science and technology, increasingly became the proof that the British faced a divine mission as well: to civilize the savage.  No place represents this ideal better than the Victoria Gardens in Bombay. While the gardens focused on nature, it was a nature to be understood and classified, not to be enjoyed for pure aesthetics.  Under the leadership of Sir George Birdwood, the Victoria Gardens became a museum for British enlightenment and scientific justification for rule.  Included in the gardens were the Victoria and Albert Museum, a botanical garden, and a zoo.  Plants were imported from around Asia, Africa, and the Americas, not for their beauty, but for cataloguing.  The museum, which formed the central focus of the gardens, categorized types of South Asians through tiny models, along with catalogued examples of Indian craftsmanship. In short, in a Linnaean fashion, the gardens were there for colonial study and a superior representation.  As one colonial administrator noted, the gardens were “one of the greatest boons which England could have conferred on India” (Nicholson, 2007.

  14. 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 ...

  15. Runtime analysis of the 1-ANT ant colony optimizer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk;

    2011-01-01

    The runtime analysis of randomized search heuristics is a growing field where, in the last two decades, many rigorous results have been obtained. First runtime analyses of ant colony optimization (ACO) have been conducted only recently. In these studies simple ACO algorithms such as the 1-ANT 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......Ones and BinVal. With respect to Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs), such analyses were essential to develop methods for the analysis on more complicated problems. The proof techniques required for the 1-ANT, unfortunately, differ significantly from those for EAs, which means that a new reservoir of methods has...

  16. 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

  17. TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE PLANNING OF ROOF GARDENS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nizamettin KOÇ

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Increases in population, buildings, traffic density and air pollution is the most specific characteristics of metropol cities. These conditions effect the living quality negatively. That is why architectures and planners should find both aesthetic and functional planning approach in urban areas. Roof gardens, which affect positively urban ecology in many ways, have an important place in this approach. Planning aproach of roof gardens are rather different compare to ground level design. Structural elements under the roof gardens againist the infiltration of water. That is why it is important that roof garden plannings should have some layers shuclh as drainage, insulation, waterproofing, filter layers and irrigation andf drainage systems.

  18. 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.

  19. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    OpenAIRE

    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-review shows that four out of five tested ant species deposit pheromones that repel herbivorous prey from their host plants.

  20. Le cybercommerçant

    OpenAIRE

    Lauboué, Adongon Sylvain

    2015-01-01

    Le cybercommerçant se distingue du commerçant traditionnel à travers ladématérialisation de ses activités due à l’utilisation d’Internet. Ainsi, la dématérialisation desactivités du cybercommerçant, en dépit des avantages, pose deux séries de problèmes dues àl’ubiquité et à la dépersonnalisation. L’ubiquité se manifeste par le fait que le site Internet ducybercommerçant est accessible dans presque tous les États. La dépersonnalisation crée desrisques dus d’une part, au défaut de présence phys...

  1. State Master Gardeners Knowledge and Behavior Regarding Food Safety and Good Agricultural Practices Recommendations

    OpenAIRE

    Brennan, Christy

    2009-01-01

    Master Gardener’s (MG) are volunteers that dedicate their time and resources to complete advanced training on gardening practices. They are a valuable resource to state Cooperative Extension services, like the one in Virginia (VCE), by volunteering to share gardening knowledge with the public. MG’s assist the public in starting and maintaining personal and community fruit and vegetable gardens. Food producing gardens should be treated differently from recreational gardens. Gardening and harve...

  2. Termites, hemimetabolous diploid white ants?

    OpenAIRE

    Korb Judith

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Ants and termites are the most abundant animals on earth. Their ecological success is attributed to their social life. They live in colonies consisting of few reproducing individuals, while the large majority of colony members (workers/soldiers) forego reproduction at least temporarilly. Despite their apparent resemblance in social organisation, both groups evolved social life independently. Termites are basically social cockroaches, while ants evolved from predatory wasps. In this r...

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  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. A bundle of sticks in my garden

    OpenAIRE

    Farran, Sue

    2012-01-01

    The English law of property is often described as a ‘bundle of sticks’ in which each ‘stick’ represents a particular right. Gardens challenge these rights and wreak havoc on the ‘bundle of sticks’. This paper looks at the twenty-first century manifestations of community engagement with ground and explores how ‘gardening’ is undermining concepts of ownership, possession and management of land and how the fence between what is private and what is public is being encroached and challenged by com...

  7. 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. PMID:9793882

  8. 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.

  9. Ant larval demand reduces aphid colony growth rates in an ant-aphid interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Cook, James M.; Leather, Simon R; Oliver, Tom H.

    2012-01-01

    Ants often form mutualistic interactions with aphids, soliciting honeydew in return for protective services. Under certain circumstances, however, ants will prey upon aphids. In addition, in the presence of ants aphids may increase the quantity or quality of honeydew produced, which is costly. Through these mechanisms, ant attendance can reduce aphid colony growth rates. However, it is unknown whether demand from within the ant colony can affect the ant-aphid interaction. In a factorial exper...

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:24727599

  12. 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,…

  13. School Yard Gardening Reaps Harvest of Learning and Lettuce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasgalla, June

    1989-01-01

    Describes the experiences of a kindergarten class that conducted an extensive outdoor vegetable gardening project with the help of parent volunteers. The article presents seven steps to assist PTAs in establishing such a project and notes the value of school gardens in developing student skills. (SM)

  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. Rain Garden Research at EPA's Urban Watershed Research Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    I have been invited to give a presentation at the 2009 National Erosion Conference in Hartford, CT, on October 27-28, 2009. My presentation discusses the research on sizing of rain gardens that is being conducted using the large, parking lot rain gardens on-site. I discuss the ...

  16. 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…

  17. 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'....

  18. 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…

  19. 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,…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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...

  3. Development and pilot study findings of the Delta Garden Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    The purpose of this study was to explore how school–based gardening programs can affect health and related behaviors and to assess how such programs can be sustainable over time and replicated to more settings. Across the world, there has been a recent revitalization and reinvention of gardening eff...

  4. 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…

  5. 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...

  6. 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-review sh......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......-review shows that four out of five tested ant species deposit pheromones that repel herbivorous prey from their host plants....

  7. Using Ants as bioindicators: Multiscale Issues in Ant Community Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecological patterns and processes are characteristically scale dependent, and research findings often cannot be translated easily from one scale to another. Conservation biology is challenged by a lack of congruence between the spatial scales of ecological research (typically involving small plots and land management (typically involving whole landscapes. Here, I discuss spatial scaling issues as they relate to an understanding of ant communities and, consequently, their use as bioindicators in land management. Our perceptions of fundamental patterns and processes in ant communities depend on scale: taxa that are behaviorally dominant at one scale are not necessarily so at others, functional groups recognized at one scale are often inappropriate for others, and the role of competition in community structure depends on the scale of analysis. Patterns of species richness and composition, and the ability of total richness to be estimated by surrogates, are all also scale dependent. Ant community ecology has a tradition of detailed studies in small plots, but the use of ants as bioindicators requires a predictive understanding of community structure and dynamics at a range of spatial scales. Such an appreciation of ant communities and their most effective use as bioindicators is best served by studies integrating results from plot-scale research with the broad-scale paradigms of biogeography, systematics, and evolutionary biology.

  8. 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.

  9. Detrimental effects of highly efficient interference competition: invasive Argentine ants outcompete native ants at toxic baits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Bennett, Gary W

    2008-06-01

    The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is an invasive species that disrupts the balance of natural ecosystems by displacing indigenous ant species throughout its introduced range. Previous studies that examined the mechanisms by which Argentine ants attain ecological dominance showed that superior interference and exploitation competition are key to the successful displacement of native ant species. The objective of this research was to test the hypothesis that effective interference competition by Argentine ants may also be detrimental to the survival of Argentine ant colonies where Argentine ants and native ants compete at toxic baits used to slow the spread of Argentine ants. To study this hypothesis, we examined the competitive interactions between Argentine ants and native odorous house ants, Tapinoma sessile, in the presence and absence of toxic baits. Results showed that Argentine ants aggressively outcompete T. sessile from toxic baits through efficient interference competition and monopolize bait resources. This has severe negative consequences for the survival of Argentine ants as colonies succumb to the toxic effects of the bait. In turn, T. sessile avoid areas occupied by Argentine ants, give up baits, and consequently suffer minimal mortality. Our results provide experimental evidence that highly efficient interference competition may have negative consequences for Argentine ants in areas where toxic baits are used and may provide a basis for designing innovative management programs for Argentine ants. Such programs would have the double benefit of selectively eliminating the invasive species while simultaneously protecting native ants from the toxic effects of baits. PMID:18559180

  10. Ants as flower visitors : floral ant-repellence and the impact of ant scent-marks on pollinator behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Ballantyne, Gavin

    2011-01-01

    As flower visitors, ants rarely benefit a plant, commonly disrupting pollination by deterring other flower visitors, or stealing nectar. This thesis examines three aspects of ant-flower interactions, focusing on the occurrence of floral traits that prevent disruption of pollination and a novel means by which ants may influence pollinator behaviour. To assess which types of plant species possess ant-repelling floral traits I carried out a survey of 49 Neotropical plant species. ...

  11. Rapid anti-pathogen response in ant societies relies on high genetic diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ugelvig, Line V; Kronauer, Daniel Jan Christoph; Schrempf, Alexandra;

    2010-01-01

    fungal spores from the nest, workers from homogeneous colonies only removed sick larvae late after infection. This difference was not caused by a reduced repertoire of antiseptic behaviours or a generally decreased brood care activity in ants from homogeneous colonies. Our data instead suggest that...... behaviours (grooming and hygienic behaviour) of workers from genetically homogeneous and diverse colonies after exposure of their brood to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. While workers from diverse colonies performed intensive allogrooming and quickly removed larvae covered with live...

  12. Myrmecotrophy: Plants fed by ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, A

    1989-06-01

    Two plant genera with tubers specialized for occupation by ants absorb nutrients from waste materials accumulated by the resident colonies. The mineral resources of these host plants are augmented by colony foraging which functions as a second root system. This mutualistic interaction has become known as myrmecotrophy. Many other kinds of plant structure are apparent adaptations to accommodate ant colonies; these include pouches on leaves or petioles and hollow twigs, stems or thorns. Sometimes the ant species residing in these structures are aggressive towards enemies of the host plant and are important for plant defence. Recent research provides some evidence that myrmecotrophy may have a wider role in plant nutrition, at least when subsidizing the costs of plant defence. PMID:21227344

  13. Ants as tools in sustainable agriculture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    multiple crops. Their efficiency is comparable to chemical pesticides or higher, while at lower costs. They provide a rare example of documented efficient conservation biological control. 3. Weaver ants share beneficial traits with almost 13 000 other ant species and are unlikely to be unique in their....... Being predatory and organized as superorganisms, ants possess traits making them suitable agents in IPM. Recent works on weaver ants Oecophylla spp. showcase ants as highly efficient pest controllers. A synthesis shows that weaver ants can reduce pest numbers and their damage and increase yields in...... properties as control agents. A synthesis of applied work on other ant species illustrates potentials for control of arthropod pests, weeds and plant diseases in orchards, forestry and arable crops. 4. Synthesis and applications. By showing that ant biocontrol can match synthetic pesticides in a wide setting...

  14. 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.

  15. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Snowboarding, Skating Crushes What's a Booger? Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me! KidsHealth > For Kids > Hey! A ... Me picó una roja o colorada! What's a Fire Ant? There are many different types of fire ...

  16. 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…

  17. Garden Learning: A Study on European Botanic Gardens' Collaborative Learning Processes

    OpenAIRE

    Kapelari, Suzanne

    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...

  18. Ants defend coffee from berry borer colonization

    OpenAIRE

    Gonthier, DJ; Ennis, KK; Philpott, SM; Vandermeer, J; Perfecto, I.

    2013-01-01

    Ants frequently prevent herbivores from damaging plants. In agroecosystems they may provide pest control services, although their contributions are not always appreciated. Here we compared the ability of eight ant species to prevent the coffee berry borer from colonizing coffee berries with a field exclusion experiment. We removed ants from one branch (exclusion) and left ants to forage on a second branch (control) before releasing 20 berry borers on each branch. After 24 h, six of eight spec...

  19. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    OpenAIRE

    Axel Touchard; Aili, Samira R.; Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox; Pierre Escoubas; Jérôme Orivel; Nicholson, Graham M; Alain Dejean

    2016-01-01

    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 paralyt...

  20. The biochemical toxin arsenal from ant venoms

    OpenAIRE

    Aili, Samira R.; Fox, Eduardo Goncalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M.; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-01

    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 paralyt...

  1. Ants as Fluids: Physics-Inspired Biology

    CERN Document Server

    Streiff, Micah; Shinotsuka, Sho; Alexeev, Alex; Hu, David

    2010-01-01

    Fire ants use their claws to grip diverse surfaces, including each other. As a result of their mutual adhesion and large numbers, ant colonies flow like inanimate fluids. In this sequence of films, we demonstrate how ants behave similarly to the spreading of drops, the capillary rise of menisci, and gravity-driven flow down a wall. By emulating the flow of fluids, ant colonies can remain united under stressful conditions.

  2. cAnt-Miner: an ant colony classification algorithm to cope with continuous attributes

    OpenAIRE

    Otero, Fernando E.B.; Freitas, Alex. A.; Johnson, Colin G.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents an extension to Ant-Miner, named cAnt-Miner (Ant-Miner coping with continuous attributes), which incorporates an entropy-based discretization method in order to cope with continuous attributes during the rule construction process. By having the ability to create discrete intervals for continuous attributes "on-the-fly", cAnt-Miner does not requires a discretization method in a preprocessing step, as Ant-Miner requires. cAnt-Miner has been compared against Ant-Miner in eigh...

  3. Heidi Skolnik: Pioneering Apprentice, UCSC Farm and Garden

    OpenAIRE

    Farmer, Ellen

    2010-01-01

    Heidi Skolnik grew up in California and graduated from Santa Cruz High School. At age nineteen, she volunteered at the Chadwick Garden on the UC Santa Cruz campus, working with Alan Chadwick and Steve Kaffka in the very early 1970s. Her memories of the Garden, as well as of the neighborhood buying co-ops, buying clubs, and natural food stores of that time, are detailed, conjuring up the early history of organic foods distribution. When the Student Garden Project expanded to include a farm at ...

  4. 'The enchanted garden': a changing image in children's literature

    OpenAIRE

    Beck, Catherine

    2003-01-01

    This study is a historico-cultural examination of the role of the garden in literature written for children between 1850 and 2000. The garden is considered from two perspectives - as a setting for children's play, and as a cultural symbol that changes over time to reflect social concerns. The central assumption of this thesis is that the garden may be considered as a symbol of childhood itself. My main concern is to investigate the nature of the construct of childhood as evidenced in te...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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…

  8. FIRE ANT, BIOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND BIOCONTROL

    Science.gov (United States)

    The red fire ant Solenopsis invicta was accidentally introduced into the United States from South America sometime in the 1930s. These ants do best in open, disturbed habitats associated with human activities. Fire ants construct large earthen mounds which function as solar collecting devises. Fire...

  9. 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.

  10. Closing the Gap: Communicating to Change Gardening Practices in Support of Native Biodiversity in Urban Private Gardens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine J. M. Dickinson

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Private gardens collectively comprise the largest green space in most cities and the greatest potential for increasing the extent of wildlife-friendly and native-dominated habitat, improving the quality of ecosystem services, and providing opportunities for urban dwellers to reconnect with nature. Because attitudes and values driving landscape preferences in gardens are complex and often not conducive to biodiversity, and a gap exists between the possession of knowledge or values and the expression of pro-environmental behavior, facilitating change in gardening behavior is challenging. We attempted to improve knowledge and influence values, attitudes, and gardening behavior of 55 householders in favor of native biodiversity and environmentally friendly practices, through a two-way communication process, or interactive dialog, during a process of biodiversity documentation of their gardens. Informative feedback on their garden with a normative component was also provided. Despite being well educated and knowledgeable about common species at the start of the study, an increase in knowledge and shift in attitude was detected in 64% of householders: 40% reported a greater understanding of wildlife, and 26% made changes in their gardens, 13% to support native biodiversity. The normative component of our feedback information was of particular interest to 20% of householders. Because neighborhood norms influence gardening practices, changes adopted by a proportion of householders should be perpetuated across neighborhoods. The process of biodiversity assessment, dialog, and feedback was effective in improving knowledge of wildlife and native species, and stimulated a shift in attitude that resulted in native-friendly gardening practices. These changes were detected primarily through open self-report questions, rather than quantitative measures.

  11. Environmental protection: private vegetable gardens on water protected areas in Ljubljana

    OpenAIRE

    Sara Strajnar

    2008-01-01

    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 soi...

  12. Community and home gardens increase vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose, California

    OpenAIRE

    Susan Algert; Lucy Diekmann; Marian Renvall; Leslie Gray

    2016-01-01

    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,...

  13. 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.

  14. Matter flows and balances in urban vegetable gardens of Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso (West Africa)

    OpenAIRE

    Lompo, Désiré Jean-Pascal

    2012-01-01

    Many efforts are undertaken for sustaining urban agriculture in African cities. This study therefore investigated nutrient management practices in urban vegetable gardens of Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso (West Africa). Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and carbon (C) fluxes were quantified and nutrient balances calculated for three gardens representing the typical commercial gardening + field crops and livestock system (cGCL) and three gardens representing the commercial gardening +...

  15. Examination of the immune responses of males and workers of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and the effect of infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Krug, A.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan;

    2005-01-01

    defence mechanisms. These include the immune response, which, aside from in bumblebees, has been relatively little studied in social insects. Here we compare the immune responses of males and workers of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and examine the effect upon immunocompetence of prior......-cutting ant workers being more variable in age or more genetically diverse within colonies. When exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium, workers expressed a substantially reduced immune response 96 h after infection, suggesting that the immune system was either depleted by having to respond to the...

  16. Male parentage in army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schöning, Caspar; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    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...

  17. 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. PMID:26753554

  18. 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.

  19. Rain Garden Research at EPA's Urban Watershed Research Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rain gardens are vegetated depressions designed to capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, and roads. The potential benefits compared to traditional curb and gutter drainage systems include peak flow attenuation in receiving...

  20. Rain Garden Research of EPA's Urban Watershed Research Facility (Poster)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rain gardens are vegetated depressions designed to capture and infiltrate stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, and roads. The potential benefits compared to traditional curb and gutter drainage systems include peak flow attenuation in receiving ...