HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Ant-Fungus Relationship May Provide New Clues About Antibiotics

The discovery of an ancient association between an antibiotic-producing bacterium and fungus-growing ants may provide new insight into the identification, production and use of antibiotics, according to a study in the April 22 issue of Nature.

The 50-million-year-old relationship between fungus-growing, or attine, ants and the fungus they cultivate and eat has long been considered a model of symbiosis. But researchers at the University of Toronto have found that another factor-- Streptomyces bacteria-- maintains this mutualism. Carried on the ants' bodies, the bacterium produces an antibiotic that specifically targets the virulent parasite that invades the fungal gardens, thereby protecting the fungus that sustains the ants.

"Since the complexity of this well-studied symbiotic relationship was greatly underestimated this suggests that antibiotic-producing bacteria may also be key components in symbiotic associations of other organisms," said principal investigator Cameron Currie, a graduate student in the department of botany.

Currie and his team studied 22 species of attine ants in Panama in 1997 and 1998, all of which had the bacterium. "The type of bacteria found on the ants are a well-known source for human antibiotics," he said, "so further study of these chemical interactions may provide valuable new knowledge about the discovery and application of antibiotics."

Currie's co-investigators were graduate student James Scott and Professor David Malloch of botany and Dr. Richard Summerbell of U of T's department of laboratory medicine and pathobiology and the Ontario Ministry of Health. While in Panama Currie worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Funding was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.


'"/>

Contact: Megan Easton
megan.easton@utoronto.ca
416-978-0260
University of Toronto
22-Apr-1999


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Relationships in a Changing World -- call for papers
2. UB Study Finds No Relationship Between Male Consumption Of Lake Ontario Fish And Conception Delay
3. Virus May Be Linked To Obesity -- Early Findings Hint At Relationship
4. Quadrennial joint annual meetings of American Society of Plant Biologists and Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists in Providence July 21-25 will present latest advances in plant science
5. Presentation of Dr. Ingo Potrykus July 21 in Providence
6. New Age Of Nutrition To Provide Food For Thought
7. Scientists Use Fossilized Emu Eggshells To Discern Changes In Vegetation, Provide Additional Evidence Of Human Impact On Australian Landscape
8. Yeast Provides Evidence For Continuous Membrane Theory
9. In Colorado States Veterinary Foal Care Program, Student Volunteers Provide All-Night Care For Sick And Very Needy Patients
10. Video And Data Link Provide Unique "Seals Eye View" Of The World
11. Exercising Just Three Days May Provide Heart Attack Protection

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/4/2020)... ... July 03, 2020 , ... Aesthetics ... recognition and multiple awards for not only the products and treatments developed, but ... and Vivace® Microneedle RF. All the brands built by ABM have received several ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... Md. (PRWEB) , ... July ... ... Molecular Biology Systems, B.V. (MBS) has announced a publication detailing the use ... one-step reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 16 minutes. The article, ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... Cure Glioblastoma, a ... most common and aggressive adult brain cancer—announced today the appointments of its first ... charged with supporting the organization’s initiatives and overall vision. , "Senior Fellows are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2020)... , ... August 13, 2020 , ... True Terpenes ... creation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to research the medical potential of terpenes ... be enhanced when combined with terpenes. The board is focused on expanding the recently ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... 11, 2020 , ... The FSHD Society announced today that ... Clinical Trial Research Network (FSHD CTRN), with consideration of follow-on funding of ... academic research centers in the United States and Europe with expertise in FSHD ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 12, 2020 , ... Inc. magazine ... global leader in FDA compliance consulting has been named on its annual Inc. ... list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... PHILADELPHIA (PRWEB) , ... August 03, 2020 , ... ... data collection, today announced Jim Corrigan, President and CEO has been named one ... a broad cross-section of industry sectors, PharmaVoice 100 honorees are selected based on ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: