HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Ants protect plants better when jacked up on nectar

As ants roam around on a plant, they can help their leafy companion by killing any herbivores they find. Ants often do just that, because many ants need meat in their diets.

Some species of ants are more aggressive than others, and many plants don't have any choice about which species visit.

Researchers report for the first time that when plants supply ants with nectar, it boosts the ants' desire for meat, potentially making them better bodyguards for the plant.

"If you have enough birthday cake or soda pop, you're eventually going to want something of substance," said team leader Joshua A. Ness, an ecologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

The same is true of ants, he said. And the most convenient protein packets for ants on plants are often insects that are there to munch on the plant.

Nectar isn't just found in flowers. Many plants exude nectar from little pores on the plant, called extrafloral nectaries, that attract ants.

"The plant wants ants to be protein eaters while they are on the plant," said team member Judith L. Bronstein, a professor in UA's department of ecology and evolutionary biology. "The plant gets them really jacked up on carbs so they're desperate for protein."

Ness's presentation on the team's findings, "Contrasting the diet and aggressiveness of the ant bodyguards tending an extrafloral nectary-bearing plant," will be given at 10:10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4, in Room D135 of the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore., at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Ecologist William F. Morris of Duke University in Durham, N.C., is also a team member. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Ness and his colleagues study mutualisms, beneficial partnerships between species. In this case, the team studied the behavior of four species of ants that visit extrafloral nectaries on a common Sonoran des
'"/>

Contact: Mari N. Jensen, UA News Services
mnjensen@email.arizona.edu
520-626-9635
University of Arizona
1-Aug-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Certain genes boost fish oils protection against breast cancer
2. DuPont introduces in-home personal protection from dangers of hurricanes
3. New way to protect brain from stroke damage
4. Picking prostanoids to provide protection
5. DuPont developing new protective suits for military, first responders
6. New research suggests early diet may play key role in protecting against childhood leukaemia
7. DHA-rich diet protects brain from Alzheimers damage, UCLA study shows
8. Purdue study finds antioxidant protects metal-eating plants
9. Carnegie Mellon researcher tests tools for protecting Anacostia River ecosystem from PCBs
10. Putting energy into heart protection
11. Protein vaccine fully protects mice from lethal aerosol challenge with ricin toxin

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


(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , leading ... component of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® ... security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 ... secured over 15 million users across the financial services ... home product suites and physical access represent a growing ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 The research team ... for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint ... new realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime ... affordable cost. ... A ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 The Controller General of ... Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award ... Continue Reading ... ... and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Today, 3Bar Biologics Inc ., the ... funding from an impressive group of investors, including Rev1 Ventures, Maumee Ventures, Ohio ... investment, 3Bar is broadening availability of its groundbreaking offering that uses naturally occurring ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... After spending the past two years building a state-of-the-art ... GeneFo now offers this platform to healthcare stakeholders (hospitals, foundations, biopharma ... and data collection vis a vis their members, under their own ... of this offer. ... ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Any expert in stem cell research or stem cell medicine ... half a century. Despite their essential roles in human health and regenerative medicine, ... tags developed for this purpose also tag other, more abundant, non-stem tissue cells ( ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... JULABO USA introduces ... the new website makes it easy to navigate through the site whether you’re ... find detailed product information, educational industry content and visit the company’s social media ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: