Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite

Charissa de Bekker1*, Lauren E Quevillon1, Philip B Smith2, Kimberly R Fleming1, Debashis Ghosh3, Andrew D Patterson24 and David P Hughes1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Entomology and Department of Biology, Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, State College, Pennsylvania 16802, PA, USA

2 Metabolomics Core Facility, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, State College, Pennsylvania 16802, PA, USA

3 Department of Statistics and Public Health Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, State College, Pennsylvania 16802, PA, USA

4 Center for Molecular Toxicology and Carcinogenesis, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, State College, Pennsylvania 16802, PA, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Evolutionary Biology 2014, 14:166  doi:10.1186/s12862-014-0166-3

Published: 29 August 2014

Additional files

Additional file 1:

Fungal growth emerging from and insideCamponotusspecies infected withO. unilateralis s.l.. (A-B) Fungal growth emerging from C. castaneus (A) and C. americanus (B) cadavers upon injection with O. unilateralis s.l. 9+ days after infection. (C-D) Microscopic pictures at a magnification of 20x (C) and 40x (D) of fungal blastospores observed in the abdomens of C. pennsylvanicus cadavers that were injected with O. unilateralis s.l. hyphal material. No fungal growth was observed emerging from C. pennsylvanicus cadavers.

Format: TIFF Size: 921KB Download file

Open Data

Additional file 2:

Manipulated biting behavior inC. castaneus. Video recording of manipulated biting behavior seen in C. castaneus.

Format: MOV Size: 11.4MB Download file

Playing the movie within this page requires QuickTime and JavaScript. Read more

Open Data

Additional file 3:

Manipulated biting behavior inC. americanus. Video recording of manipulated biting behavior seen in C. americanus.

Format: MOV Size: 7.3MB Download file

Playing the movie within this page requires QuickTime and JavaScript. Read more

Open Data

Additional file 4:

Datasheets containing unique features found in this study. Sheet a: all unique retention time / mass to charge ratio peaks that are found between 100 and 1100 m/z with retention times between 0.9 and 15 minutes of samples where O. unilateralis s.l. was grown in the presence of 4 different species’ ant brains, growth of the fungus in the supplemented insect medium that was used in this study, and the 4 species’ ant brains kept by themselves in said medium. Sheet b: all unique retention time/mass to charge ratio peaks that are found between 100 and 1100 m/z with retention times between 0.9 and 15 minutes of samples where O. unilateralis s.l. was grown in the presence of C. castaneus ant brains or muscles, growth of the fungus in the supplemented insect medium that was used in this study, and the C. castaneus ant brains and muscles kept by themselves in said medium. Sheet c: all unique retention time / mass to charge ratio peaks that are found between 100 and 1100 m/z with retention times between 0.9 and 15 minutes for all C. castaneus related samples and controls in this study.

Format: ZIP Size: 17.3MB Download file

Open Data

Additional file 5:

Enriched features inO. unilateralis s.l.– different ant species’ brains interactions. All unique m/z /retention time peaks found to be higher with a p-value <0.01 in samples where O. unilateralis s.l. was grown on 4 different species’ ant brains compared to all controls for that ant species.

Format: XLSX Size: 155KB Download file

Open Data

Additional file 6:

PCA-DA plots to determine tissue specificity ofO. unilateralis s.l.onC. castaneustissues. (A) PCA-DA plot showing the clustering of O. unilateralis s.l. secretion in Schneider’s medium, medium with ant brains and medium with mandibular muscles. (B-C) PCA-DA plots showing the clustering of O. unilateralis s.l. in the presence of (B) ant brains or (C) ant mandibular muscles versus their respective tissue controls, the medium control and fungal growth in the medium without ant tissues. (D) PCA-DA plot showing the clustering of all sample types related to O. unilateralis s.l. secretion in the presence of C. castaneus tissues that were generated across the two metabolomics data sets discussed in this study.

Format: PDF Size: 373KB Download file

This file can be viewed with: Adobe Acrobat Reader

Open Data

Additional file 7:

Enriched features inO. unilateralis s.l.C. castaneusbrains interactions across 2 independent experiments. Sheet a: All unique m/z/retention time peaks found to be higher with a p-value <0.01 in samples across two independent experiments where O. unilateralis s.l. was grown on C. castaneus brains compared to all controls for that ant species. Sheet b: All unique m/z/retention time peaks found to be higher with a p <0.05 in samples across two independent experiments where O. unilateralis s.l. was grown on C. castaneus brains compared to all controls for that ant species.

Format: XLSX Size: 299KB Download file

Open Data

Additional file 8:

Commonality between ant species of enriched features found across 2 independent studies. p < 0.01 peaks found in common for the independent biological experiments done in this study and the separate analyses of both experiments. Peaks are split up in groups as illustrated in the bar chart of Figure 4b.

Format: XLSX Size: 60KB Download file

Open Data

Additional file 9:

Mass spectra of the two candidate metabolites likely involved in brain manipulation byO. unilateralis s.l.identified in this study. (A) Mirror image of the guanidinobutyric acid found in O. unilateralis s.l.-C. castaneus brain interaction samples and a standard for 4-guanidinobutyric acid (CAS 463-00-3, Sigma Aldrich) at a concentration of 50 μg/mL (in red). (B) Mirror image of the identified sphingosine found in O. unilateralis s.l.-C. castaneus brain interaction samples and a standard for L-threo-sphingosine C-18 (CAS 25695-95-8, Cayman Chemical) at a concentration of 1 μg/mL (in red).

Format: PDF Size: 366KB Download file

This file can be viewed with: Adobe Acrobat Reader

Open Data