Ant-cultivated Chaetothyriales in hollow stems of myrmecophytic Cecropia sp. trees – diversity and patterns

Author(s)
Maximilian Nepel, Hermann Voglmayr, Rumsais Blatrix, John T. Longino, Konrad Fiedler, Jürg Schönenberger, Veronika Mayer
Abstract

Five Cecropia tree species occupied by four Azteca ant species from Costa Rica and French Guiana were investigated to assess the diversity and host specificity of chaetothyrialean fungal symbionts. The ITS rDNA region of the symbiotic fungi was sequenced either from pure culture isolation, or from environmental samples obtained from ant colonies nesting in hollow stems of the Cecropia host plants. The investigation revealed six closely related OTUs of Chaetothyriales. Neither the four Azteca species nor the six fungal OTUs were associated with specific Cecropia species. In contrast, ants and fungi showed an association. Azteca alfari was associated with a particular OTU, and often contained only one. Azteca coeruleipennis, Azteca constructor and Azteca xanthochroa were associated with a different set of OTUs and often had multiple OTUs within colonies. Possible reasons for these differences and the role of the fungi for the Azteca-Cecropia symbiosis are discussed.

Organisation(s)
Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research
External organisation(s)
Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE), CNRS-UMR 5175, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, Evergreen State College
Journal
Fungal Ecology
Volume
23
Pages
131-140
ISSN
1754-5048
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funeco.2016.07.007
Publication date
2016
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106003 Biodiversity research, 106007 Biostatistics, 106042 Systematic botany, 106008 Botany
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/antcultivated-chaetothyriales-in-hollow-stems-of-myrmecophytic-cecropia-sp-trees--diversity-and-patterns(8ad46c7e-f288-401f-bd96-7dcdb6b27b1b).html