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High diversity and low specificity of chaetothyrialean fungi in carton galleries in a neotropical ant-plant association.

Nepel M, Voglmayr H, Schönenberger J, Mayer VE - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae.In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences.This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Structural and Functional Botany, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT
New associations have recently been discovered between arboreal ants that live on myrmecophytic plants, and different groups of fungi. Most of the - usually undescribed - fungi cultured by the ants belong to the order Chaetothyriales (Ascomycetes). Chaetothyriales occur in the nesting spaces provided by the host plant, and form a major part of the cardboard-like material produced by the ants for constructing nests and runway galleries. Until now, the fungi have been considered specific to each ant species. We focus on the three-way association between the plant Tetrathylacium macrophyllum (Salicaceae), the ant Azteca brevis (Formicidae: Dolichoderinae) and various chaetothyrialean fungi. Azteca brevis builds extensive runway galleries along branches of T. macrophyllum. The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae. In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences. This gave 128 different fungal genotypes, 78% of which were clustered into three monophyletic groups. The most common fungus (either genotype or approximate species-level OTU) was found in the runway galleries of 63% of the investigated ant colonies. This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

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Correlation analysis of genotype sets and collection sites.Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) plot based on Bray–Curtis similarities between fungal genotype sets occurring on carton material of 18 sampled Tetrathylacium macrophyllum trees, and one Lonchocarpus sp., colonised by Azteca brevis. Different symbols represent trees from different collection sites (squares: Waterfall Trail; triangles: Bird Trail; circle: Río Gamba; diamonds: Río Bolsa; inverted triangle: Río Sardinal).
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pone-0112756-g004: Correlation analysis of genotype sets and collection sites.Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) plot based on Bray–Curtis similarities between fungal genotype sets occurring on carton material of 18 sampled Tetrathylacium macrophyllum trees, and one Lonchocarpus sp., colonised by Azteca brevis. Different symbols represent trees from different collection sites (squares: Waterfall Trail; triangles: Bird Trail; circle: Río Gamba; diamonds: Río Bolsa; inverted triangle: Río Sardinal).

Mentions: Bray–Curtis similarity indices between sampled trees were calculated to investigate the correlation between genotype composition and collection site. The non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) plot showed no clustering of trees from the same collection site (Figure 4), and the analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) showed a significance level of only P = 0.32. A correlation between genotype composition and collection site can therefore be ruled out. One sampled tree (Tm10) had to be excluded because only a single, unique fungus could be isolated, and the Bray–Curtis distance to the other sampled trees was too great for Tm10 to be displayed without clustering all remaining trees too tightly together.


High diversity and low specificity of chaetothyrialean fungi in carton galleries in a neotropical ant-plant association.

Nepel M, Voglmayr H, Schönenberger J, Mayer VE - PLoS ONE (2014)

Correlation analysis of genotype sets and collection sites.Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) plot based on Bray–Curtis similarities between fungal genotype sets occurring on carton material of 18 sampled Tetrathylacium macrophyllum trees, and one Lonchocarpus sp., colonised by Azteca brevis. Different symbols represent trees from different collection sites (squares: Waterfall Trail; triangles: Bird Trail; circle: Río Gamba; diamonds: Río Bolsa; inverted triangle: Río Sardinal).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4232418&req=5

pone-0112756-g004: Correlation analysis of genotype sets and collection sites.Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) plot based on Bray–Curtis similarities between fungal genotype sets occurring on carton material of 18 sampled Tetrathylacium macrophyllum trees, and one Lonchocarpus sp., colonised by Azteca brevis. Different symbols represent trees from different collection sites (squares: Waterfall Trail; triangles: Bird Trail; circle: Río Gamba; diamonds: Río Bolsa; inverted triangle: Río Sardinal).
Mentions: Bray–Curtis similarity indices between sampled trees were calculated to investigate the correlation between genotype composition and collection site. The non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) plot showed no clustering of trees from the same collection site (Figure 4), and the analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) showed a significance level of only P = 0.32. A correlation between genotype composition and collection site can therefore be ruled out. One sampled tree (Tm10) had to be excluded because only a single, unique fungus could be isolated, and the Bray–Curtis distance to the other sampled trees was too great for Tm10 to be displayed without clustering all remaining trees too tightly together.

Bottom Line: The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae.In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences.This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Structural and Functional Botany, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT
New associations have recently been discovered between arboreal ants that live on myrmecophytic plants, and different groups of fungi. Most of the - usually undescribed - fungi cultured by the ants belong to the order Chaetothyriales (Ascomycetes). Chaetothyriales occur in the nesting spaces provided by the host plant, and form a major part of the cardboard-like material produced by the ants for constructing nests and runway galleries. Until now, the fungi have been considered specific to each ant species. We focus on the three-way association between the plant Tetrathylacium macrophyllum (Salicaceae), the ant Azteca brevis (Formicidae: Dolichoderinae) and various chaetothyrialean fungi. Azteca brevis builds extensive runway galleries along branches of T. macrophyllum. The carton of the gallery walls consists of masticated plant material densely pervaded by chaetothyrialean hyphae. In order to characterise the specificity of the ant-fungus association, fungi from the runway galleries of 19 ant colonies were grown as pure cultures and analyzed using partial SSU, complete ITS, 5.8S and partial LSU rDNA sequences. This gave 128 different fungal genotypes, 78% of which were clustered into three monophyletic groups. The most common fungus (either genotype or approximate species-level OTU) was found in the runway galleries of 63% of the investigated ant colonies. This indicates that there can be a dominant fungus but, in general, a wider guild of chaetothyrialean fungi share the same ant mutualist in Azteca brevis.

Show MeSH