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The relationship between ants and fungal agriculture

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Mutualism describes positive ecological interactions among species that benefit each other.There can be symbiosis when two different biological organisms interact closely for a longperiod of time. This symbiotic relationship can be mutualistic, communalistic, or parasitic.One such mutualistic relationship is shared between the Ants and Funguses. Thisrelationship can be tri-way symbiosis also. In that case, ecosystems rely on interactionsbetween fungi and plants, plants and ants and ants and fungi. But it is rare to find symbiosesthat involve all three partners. The cultivation of fungi thought various types of agricultural systems is considered as one of the prominentbreakthroughs in ant evolution. The fungus-growing ants are commonly called as attines. Thenests of these attines are made up of leaves and grasses, which they cut priory and then carryto their nests to growfungus on which they feed on. An ant has been found to contain a bacterial symbiont that produces certain compounds that fight against infections caused by other group of fungi. These bacterial symbionts are from the genus Pseudonocardia.


mutualism, fungal agricultural systems, symbiosis, ants and funguses, attines, ant evolution, ecological interaction