Posted on April 30, 2010 by Erika Lenz
How cool is this? A species of pea aphid appears to have picked up the genes for making carotenoids from fungi–making it the first known animal to manufacture their own. This adds to the evidence that DNA can transfer laterally from bacteria, yeast, or fungi to animals. The evolutionary story is just getting more and more interesting!
N.A. Moran and T. Jarvik, “Lateral transfer of genes from fungi underlies carotenoid production in aphids,” Science:328:624-7, 2010.
Filed under: Biology, Hemiptera, Insect research news, Plant-insect relationships, Trends | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 28, 2009 by Erika Lenz
The mutually beneficial relationship between acacias and the ants that guard them is a little better understood, thanks to researchers in the UK and Sweden. They found that the ants are deterred from entering the flowers–and thus competing with pollinators–by a chemical the plant produces. This chemical is produced in addition to the food rewards provided to the ants. Continue reading
Filed under: Ants, Hymenoptera, Insect research news, Plant-insect relationships | Leave a comment »