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Hidden diversity behind the zombie-ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: four new species described from carpenter ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
PLoS One. 2011 Mar 02; 6(3):e17024.Plos

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Clavicipitaceae: Hypocreales) is a fungal pathogen specific to ants of the tribe Camponotini (Formicinae: Formicidae) with a pantropical distribution. This so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungus alters the behaviour of the ant host, causing it to die in an exposed position, typically clinging onto and biting into the adaxial surface of shrub leaves. We (HCE and DPH) are currently undertaking a worldwide survey to assess the taxonomy and ecology of this highly variable species.

METHODS

We formally describe and name four new species belonging to the O. unilateralis species complex collected from remnant Atlantic rainforest in the south-eastern region (Zona da Mata) of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Fully illustrated descriptions of both the asexual (anamorph) and sexual (teleomorph) stages are provided for each species. The new names are registered in Index Fungorum (registration.indexfungorum.org) and have received IF numbers. This paper is also a test case for the electronic publication of new names in mycology.

CONCLUSIONS

We are only just beginning to understand the taxonomy and ecology of the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis species complex associated with carpenter ants; macroscopically characterised by a single stalk arising from the dorsal neck region of the ant host on which the anamorph occupies the terminal region and the teleomorph occurs as lateral cushions or plates. Each of the four ant species collected--Camponotus rufipes, C. balzani, C. melanoticus and C. novogranadensis--is attacked by a distinct species of Ophiocordyceps readily separated using traditional micromorphology. The new taxa are named according to their ant host.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Animal Biology, Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), Minas Gerais, Brazil. dhughes@psu.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21399679

Citation

Evans, Harry C., et al. "Hidden Diversity Behind the Zombie-ant Fungus Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis: Four New Species Described From Carpenter Ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil." PloS One, vol. 6, no. 3, 2011, pp. e17024.
Evans HC, Elliot SL, Hughes DP. Hidden diversity behind the zombie-ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: four new species described from carpenter ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil. PLoS ONE. 2011;6(3):e17024.
Evans, H. C., Elliot, S. L., & Hughes, D. P. (2011). Hidden diversity behind the zombie-ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: four new species described from carpenter ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil. PloS One, 6(3), e17024. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0017024
Evans HC, Elliot SL, Hughes DP. Hidden Diversity Behind the Zombie-ant Fungus Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis: Four New Species Described From Carpenter Ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil. PLoS ONE. 2011 Mar 2;6(3):e17024. PubMed PMID: 21399679.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Hidden diversity behind the zombie-ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: four new species described from carpenter ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil. AU - Evans,Harry C, AU - Elliot,Simon L, AU - Hughes,David P, Y1 - 2011/03/02/ PY - 2010/10/22/received PY - 2011/01/11/accepted PY - 2011/3/15/entrez PY - 2011/3/15/pubmed PY - 2011/7/6/medline SP - e17024 EP - e17024 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS ONE VL - 6 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Clavicipitaceae: Hypocreales) is a fungal pathogen specific to ants of the tribe Camponotini (Formicinae: Formicidae) with a pantropical distribution. This so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungus alters the behaviour of the ant host, causing it to die in an exposed position, typically clinging onto and biting into the adaxial surface of shrub leaves. We (HCE and DPH) are currently undertaking a worldwide survey to assess the taxonomy and ecology of this highly variable species. METHODS: We formally describe and name four new species belonging to the O. unilateralis species complex collected from remnant Atlantic rainforest in the south-eastern region (Zona da Mata) of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Fully illustrated descriptions of both the asexual (anamorph) and sexual (teleomorph) stages are provided for each species. The new names are registered in Index Fungorum (registration.indexfungorum.org) and have received IF numbers. This paper is also a test case for the electronic publication of new names in mycology. CONCLUSIONS: We are only just beginning to understand the taxonomy and ecology of the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis species complex associated with carpenter ants; macroscopically characterised by a single stalk arising from the dorsal neck region of the ant host on which the anamorph occupies the terminal region and the teleomorph occurs as lateral cushions or plates. Each of the four ant species collected--Camponotus rufipes, C. balzani, C. melanoticus and C. novogranadensis--is attacked by a distinct species of Ophiocordyceps readily separated using traditional micromorphology. The new taxa are named according to their ant host. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21399679/Hidden_diversity_behind_the_zombie_ant_fungus_Ophiocordyceps_unilateralis:_four_new_species_described_from_carpenter_ants_in_Minas_Gerais_Brazil_ L2 - http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0017024 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -