The presence of conifer resin decreases the use of the immune system in wood ants

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Etat: Public
Version: de l'auteur
ID Serval
serval:BIB_CF24681E82F6
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Titre
The presence of conifer resin decreases the use of the immune system in wood ants
Périodique
Ecological Entomology
Auteur(s)
Castella G., Chapuisat M., Moret Y., Christe P.
ISSN
0307-6946
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
2008
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
33
Numéro
3
Pages
408-412
Langue
anglais
Résumé
1. Wood ants (Formica paralugubris) incorporate large amounts of solidified conifer resin into their nest, which reduces the density of many bacteria and fungi and protects the ants against some detrimental micro-organisms. By inducing an environment unfavourable to pathogens, the presence of resin may allow workers to reduce the use of their immune system.
2. The present study tested the hypothesis that the presence of resin decreases the immune activity of wood ants. Specifically, three components of the humoral immune defences of workers kept in resin-rich and resin-free experimental nests (antibacterial, lytic, and prophenoloxidase activities) were compared.
3. The presence of resin was associated with reduced bacterial and fungal densities in nest material and with a small decrease in worker antibacterial and lytic activities. The prophenoloxidase activity was very low in all workers and was not affected by the presence of resin.
4. These results suggest that collective medication with resin reduces pathogen pressure, which in turn decreases the use of the inducible part of the immune system. More generally, the use of plant secondary compounds might be an efficient and economical way to fight pathogens.
Mots-clé
antibacterial activity, Formica paralugubris, immunity, lytic activity, medication, plant secondary metabolites, prophenoloxidase
Web of science
Open Access
Oui
Création de la notice
26/02/2008 14:02
Dernière modification de la notice
20/08/2019 15:49
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