The role of chemical signalling in maintenance of the fungus garden by leaf-cutting ants

The role of chemical signalling in maintenance of the fungus garden by leaf-cutting ants How foraging trails are formed and the chemical communication between individual ants is well known. However, communication between partners in mutualistic relationships, such as the leaf-cutting ants (LCA) and their symbiotic fungus, is less studied. There is a feedback mechanism that operates in LCA colonies, with the fungus garden communicating its condition to the ants, most probably using chemicals. We discuss the literature on the chemistry of the LCA–forage–fungus system starting from selection of plants and its effect on the fungus garden. We suggest, using chemical examples, how the fungus might communicate with attendant ants and suggest areas for future research into this fascinating and complex system. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Chemoecology Springer Journals

The role of chemical signalling in maintenance of the fungus garden by leaf-cutting ants

Chemoecology , Volume OnlineFirst – May 30, 2018

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Crown
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Entomology; Nature Conservation
ISSN
0937-7409
eISSN
1423-0445
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00049-018-0260-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

How foraging trails are formed and the chemical communication between individual ants is well known. However, communication between partners in mutualistic relationships, such as the leaf-cutting ants (LCA) and their symbiotic fungus, is less studied. There is a feedback mechanism that operates in LCA colonies, with the fungus garden communicating its condition to the ants, most probably using chemicals. We discuss the literature on the chemistry of the LCA–forage–fungus system starting from selection of plants and its effect on the fungus garden. We suggest, using chemical examples, how the fungus might communicate with attendant ants and suggest areas for future research into this fascinating and complex system.

Journal

ChemoecologySpringer Journals

Published: May 30, 2018

References

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