Tetraponera ants have gut symbionts related to nitrogen-fixing root-nodule bacteria.

Last updated on 15-8-2023 by Anonymous (not verified)

Peer reviewed scientific article



Some Tetraponera ants (Formicidae, Pseudomyrmecinae) subsist almost entirely on amino acid deficient honeydew secretions of pseudococcids and harbour a dense aggregation of bacterial symbionts in a unique pouch-shaped organ at the junction of the midgut and the intestine. The organ is surrounded by a network of intruding tracheae and Malpighian tubules, suggesting that these bacteria are involved in the oxidative recycling of nitrogen-rich metabolic waste. We have examined the ultrastructure of these bacteria and have amplified, cloned and sequenced ribosomal RNA-encoding genes, showing tha…

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