Beetle Farmers 2.0: A Super-symbiont Fungus Supports a Complex Beetle Society

By Jiri Hulcr and Matt Kasson Eating wood is really tough. Many insects are pretty good at chewing wood with their mandibles, but they can’t produce the right concoction of enzymes to digest the chains of cellulose and lignin. That’s what fungi are good at, and that’s why most wood on this planet is not […]

Root Fungi on Milkweed Affects Monarch Butterfly Health

It’s been known for some time that toxins produced by milkweed plants can protect monarch butterlfy caterpillars from predators, such as birds, and from various parasites. Now researchers from the University of Michigan and Emory University have shown that root fungi that form a symbiotic relationship with milkweed plants also play a role in disease […]

Competition among Fungi and Bacteria in the Guts of Bees

A clearer picture is emerging of microorganisms that colonize the guts of some bee species, thanks to studies by a team of scientists with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the University of Texas-Austin (UTA). The effort, which examined competition among fungi and bacteria, could shed new light on how the microbes affect bee […]