Phylogeny of the attine ant fungi based on analysis of small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences. Academic Article uri icon


  • Complete 16S-like ribosomal RNA coding regions were obtained from the fungal symbiont of five genera of attine (leaf-cutting) ants and two free-living fungi. Phylogenetic analyses with distance matrix, maximum likelihood, and parsimony methods revealed that the attine fungal symbionts are homobasidiomycetes in the order Agaricales. Comparison of the topology of the attine fungal symbiont phylogenetic tree with a tree based on attine ant morphology revealed a congruent branching pattern of the more derived attine ants and their fungal symbionts. The parallel branching pattern suggests a long-term coevolution of derived leaf-cutting attine ants and their fungal symbionts.

publication date

  • December 9, 1994