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:6/4/2019)... ... June 04, 2019 , ... ... salient features of seizure risk signals, usually based on variations of amplitude, frequency ... the only acceptable diagnostic methodology due to the complexity and variability of the ...
(Date:6/1/2019)... ... May 31, 2019 , ... The University of Vermont Health ... BioFactura’s $6M Series B Financing Round. , “With the commitment from the ... significant financial and business resources to bear as we advance our biopharmaceutical products ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 30, 2019 , ... ... in a live webinar on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 1pm ... teams, medical review teams, data management teams and contract research organizations (CROs) can ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 11, 2019 , ... A study ... stem cells (MSC-EV) are able to incorporate into human CD34+ cells, modifying their ... mice, MSC-EVs also increased the cells’ ability to lodge into bone marrow. This ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 30, 2019 , ... Object Pharma, ... the strategic acquisition of Metabiologics, Inc., a globally recognized leader in the production ... and commercialization rights to a full spectrum of botulinum neurotoxins, as well as ...
(Date:5/15/2019)... ... 16, 2019 , ... Emulsifiers are the magic bullet when ... rely on these ingredients to create stable quality food that can withstand shelf-life ... triggers food formulators to seek out alternatives for starches, gums and chemical emulsifiers. ...
(Date:5/4/2019)... ... May 03, 2019 , ... More than three thousand ... Association, the scientist and ufologist Urandir Fernandes de Oliveira, last Thursday (25), during ... results of some research carried out by the association, in partnership with scientists ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: