Disease management in two sympatric Apterostigma fungus-growing ants for controlling the parasitic fungus Escovopsis

Christopher, Yuliana, Wcislo, William T, Martínez-Luis, Sergio, Hughes, William O H, Gerardo, Nicole M and Fernández-Marín, Hermogenes (2021) Disease management in two sympatric Apterostigma fungus-growing ants for controlling the parasitic fungus Escovopsis. Ecology and Evolution, 11 (11). pp. 6041-6052. ISSN 2045-7758

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (981kB)


Antagonistic interactions between host and parasites are often embedded in networks of interacting species, in which hosts may be attacked by competing parasites species, and parasites may infect more than one host species. To better understand the evolution of host defenses and parasite counterdefenses in the context of a multihost, multiparasite system, we studied two sympatric species, of congeneric fungus-growing ants (Attini) species and their symbiotic fungal cultivars, which are attacked by multiple morphotypes of parasitic fungi in the genus, Escovopsis. To assess whether closely related ant species and their cultured fungi are evolving defenses against the same or different parasitic strains, we characterized Escovopsis that were isolated from colonies of sympatric Apterostigma dentigerum and A. pilosum. We assessed in vitro and in vivo interactions of these parasites with their hosts. While the ant cultivars are parasitized by similar Escovopsis spp., the frequency of infection by these pathogens differs between the two ant species. The ability of the host fungi to suppress Escovopsis growth, as well as ant defensive responses toward the parasites, differs depending on the parasite strain and on the host ant species.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Attini, coevolution, disease ecology, fungal symbiont, mycoparasite, parasitism
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2022 15:56
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 16:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/108876

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update