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Mollicutes in Blattschneiderameisen: Was ist das?

BeitragVerfasst: Sonntag 5. Mai 2019, 09:42
von Merkur
Gefunden auf:

Panagiotis Sapountzis, Mariya Zhukova, Jonathan Z Shik, Morten Schiott, Jacobus J Boomsma (2018): Reconstructing the functions of endosymbiotic Mollicutes in fungus-growing ants. - eLife 2018;7:e39209 doi: 10.7554/eLife.39209
(Der komplette Artikel ist online: )
Mollicutes, a widespread class of bacteria associated with animals and plants, were recently identified as abundant abdominal endosymbionts in healthy workers of attine fungus-farming leaf-cutting ants. We obtained draft genomes of the two most common strains harbored by Panamanian fungus-growing ants. Reconstructions of their functional significance showed that they are independently acquired symbionts, most likely to decompose excess arginine consistent with the farmed fungal cultivars providing this nitrogen-rich amino-acid in variable quantities. Across the attine lineages, the relative abundances of the two Mollicutes strains are associated with the substrate types that foraging workers offer to fungus gardens. One of the symbionts is specific to the leaf-cutting ants and has special genomic machinery to catabolize citrate/glucose into acetate, which appears to deliver direct metabolic energy to the ant workers. Unlike other Mollicutes associated with insect hosts, both attine ant strains have complete phage-defense systems, underlining that they are actively maintained as mutualistic symbionts.

Eine kurze Darstellung findet sich in Wikipedia.
Es ist eine Klasse innerhalb der Bakterien, vielleicht besser bekannt unter der Bezeichnung „Mycoplasmen“. Nun hat man sie also auch in Blattschneiderameisen gefunden, wo sie in großen Mengen im Hinterleib gesunder Individuen leben. Es sind Symbionten, die wichtige Stoffwechselleistungen erbringen. - Das Symbiosesystem der Blattschneider wird immer komplexer! :)