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Fig. 2 | IMA Fungus

Fig. 2

From: The importance of fungi and mycology for addressing major global challenges

Fig. 2

Learning from Nature’s “green biorefinery”: Leaf cutter ants carry pieces of green leaves to the fungus garden (upper), feeding the fungal symbiont, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus, farmed in the fungal garden in the subterranean ant nest (lower; laboratory culture of Jacobus Boomsma). The fungus produces swollen tipped cells, filled with proteins and sugars, the gongylidia, organized in staphylae. The gongylidia are picked by the ants for feeding the ant colony with protein and sugar rich feed. Bottom line is that this successful and complex society, where fungal enzymes convert green leaves into accessible, highly nutritious fungal biomass provide basis for one of the most successful life forms on earth. Photo: Henrik H. De Fine Licht.

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