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Fungal communities in gardens of dicot-cutting and grass-cutting Attine ants

Grant number: 12/07387-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2012
Effective date (End): March 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:André Rodrigues
Grantee:Jaqueline Silva Pereira
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:11/16765-0 - DNA barcoding and biotechnological potential of microfungi associated with leaf-cutting ants, AP.JP


Leaf-cutting ants cultivate mutualistic fungi for food. Considered agricultural pests in many countries of the New World, these insects comprise the genera Atta and Acromyrmex. Several studies have reported the presence of bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants, but little is known about the putative roles of these microbes in the symbiosis. The aim of the present work is to study the influence of different plant substrates on the communities of filamentous fungi associated in gardens of leaf-cutting ants. Thus, Atta sexdens rubropilosa and Atta capiguara will be evaluated as such ant species preferably forage for dicot and monocot plants, respectively. Filamentous fungi will be isolated from fungus gardens of A. sexdens rubropilosa and A. capiguara at two different sampling periods. A polyphasic approach based on morphological and molecular markers will be used in fungal identification. Upon completion of this project several DNA barcode sequences from cultivated fungi will be generated. These sequences along with all information about the authentic morphological identification of fungal cultures will boost the structuring of national sequences databases related to DNA barcoding (Brazilian Barcode of Life). Finally, this project will contribute for the structuring of the Microbial Collection of the Bioscience Institute (UNESP / Rio Claro - SP).

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
PEREIRA, Jaqueline Silva. Comunidades de fungos em jardins de formigas cortadeiras com diferentes hábitos de forrageamento. 2014. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Instituto de Biociências. Rio Claro Rio Claro.

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