Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants

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Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants. / Poulsen, Michael; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Currie, Cameron R.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

In: Evolution, Vol. 63, No. 9, 2009, p. 2235-2247.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Poulsen, M, Fernández-Marín, H, Currie, CR & Boomsma, JJ 2009, 'Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants', Evolution, vol. 63, no. 9, pp. 2235-2247. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00704.x

APA

Poulsen, M., Fernández-Marín, H., Currie, C. R., & Boomsma, J. J. (2009). Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants. Evolution, 63(9), 2235-2247. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00704.x

Vancouver

Poulsen M, Fernández-Marín H, Currie CR, Boomsma JJ. Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants. Evolution. 2009;63(9):2235-2247. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00704.x

Author

Poulsen, Michael ; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes ; Currie, Cameron R. ; Boomsma, Jacobus J. / Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants. In: Evolution. 2009 ; Vol. 63, No. 9. pp. 2235-2247.

Bibtex

@article{05b5e0902dcf11df8ed1000ea68e967b,
title = "Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants",
abstract = "Evolutionary theory predicts that hosts are selected to prevent mixing of genetically different symbionts when competition among lineages reduces the productivity of a mutualism. The symbionts themselves may also defend their interests: recent studies of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants showed that somatic incompatibility enforces single-clone gardens within mature colonies, thereby constraining horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts. However, phylogenetic analyses indicate that symbiont switches occur frequently enough to remove most signs of host-symbiont cocladogenesis. Here we resolve this paradox by showing that transmission among newly founded Acromyrmex colonies is not constrained. All tested queens of sympatric A. octospinosus and A. echinatior offered a novel fragment of fungus garden accepted the new symbiont. The outcome was unaffected by genetic distance between the novel and the original symbiont, and by the ant species the novel symbiont came from. The colony founding stage may thus provide an efficient but transient window for horizontal transmission, in which the fungus is unable to actively defend its partnership position before the host feeds on it, so that host fecal droplets remain compatible with alternative strains during the early stage of colony founding. We discuss how brief stages of low commitment between partners may increase the evolutionary stability of ancient coevolved mutualisms.",
keywords = "Acromyrmex, basidiomycota, fungus-growing ants, host-symbiont specificity, incompatibility, symbiont transmission",
author = "Michael Poulsen and Herm{\'o}genes Fern{\'a}ndez-Mar{\'i}n and Currie, {Cameron R.} and Boomsma, {Jacobus J.}",
note = "Keywords: Animals; Ants; Basidiomycota; Behavior, Animal; Evolution; Gene Transfer, Horizontal; Molecular Sequence Data; Phylogeny; Symbiosis",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00704.x",
language = "English",
volume = "63",
pages = "2235--2247",
journal = "Evolution",
issn = "0014-3820",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "9",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ephemeral windows of opportunity for horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts in leaf-cutting ants

AU - Poulsen, Michael

AU - Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes

AU - Currie, Cameron R.

AU - Boomsma, Jacobus J.

N1 - Keywords: Animals; Ants; Basidiomycota; Behavior, Animal; Evolution; Gene Transfer, Horizontal; Molecular Sequence Data; Phylogeny; Symbiosis

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Evolutionary theory predicts that hosts are selected to prevent mixing of genetically different symbionts when competition among lineages reduces the productivity of a mutualism. The symbionts themselves may also defend their interests: recent studies of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants showed that somatic incompatibility enforces single-clone gardens within mature colonies, thereby constraining horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts. However, phylogenetic analyses indicate that symbiont switches occur frequently enough to remove most signs of host-symbiont cocladogenesis. Here we resolve this paradox by showing that transmission among newly founded Acromyrmex colonies is not constrained. All tested queens of sympatric A. octospinosus and A. echinatior offered a novel fragment of fungus garden accepted the new symbiont. The outcome was unaffected by genetic distance between the novel and the original symbiont, and by the ant species the novel symbiont came from. The colony founding stage may thus provide an efficient but transient window for horizontal transmission, in which the fungus is unable to actively defend its partnership position before the host feeds on it, so that host fecal droplets remain compatible with alternative strains during the early stage of colony founding. We discuss how brief stages of low commitment between partners may increase the evolutionary stability of ancient coevolved mutualisms.

AB - Evolutionary theory predicts that hosts are selected to prevent mixing of genetically different symbionts when competition among lineages reduces the productivity of a mutualism. The symbionts themselves may also defend their interests: recent studies of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants showed that somatic incompatibility enforces single-clone gardens within mature colonies, thereby constraining horizontal transmission of fungal symbionts. However, phylogenetic analyses indicate that symbiont switches occur frequently enough to remove most signs of host-symbiont cocladogenesis. Here we resolve this paradox by showing that transmission among newly founded Acromyrmex colonies is not constrained. All tested queens of sympatric A. octospinosus and A. echinatior offered a novel fragment of fungus garden accepted the new symbiont. The outcome was unaffected by genetic distance between the novel and the original symbiont, and by the ant species the novel symbiont came from. The colony founding stage may thus provide an efficient but transient window for horizontal transmission, in which the fungus is unable to actively defend its partnership position before the host feeds on it, so that host fecal droplets remain compatible with alternative strains during the early stage of colony founding. We discuss how brief stages of low commitment between partners may increase the evolutionary stability of ancient coevolved mutualisms.

KW - Acromyrmex, basidiomycota, fungus-growing ants, host-symbiont specificity, incompatibility, symbiont transmission

U2 - 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00704.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00704.x

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 19473381

VL - 63

SP - 2235

EP - 2247

JO - Evolution

JF - Evolution

SN - 0014-3820

IS - 9

ER -

ID: 18584618