In recently published article in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from the MIMM team contributed to an international study to better understand the mechanisms of ant shell formation.
In this collaborative work led by researchers from the EcoFoG laboratory (AgroParisTech, CNRS, INRAE, Cirad, University of the Antilles, University of Guyana) and from Cornell University (USA), in collaboration with CEMHTI (CNRS, University of Orleans), Calvin University (USA), and Bruker (Switzerland), CEISAM researchers contributed to better understand how the shells of Cephalotes varians ants were synthesized. This international team has shown in particular that the intestinal bacteria of this species manufacture amino acids involved in the formation of the cuticle.
The NMR experiments carried out at CEISAM consisted in implementing NMR experiments adapted to complex mixtures, making it possible in particular to identify and quantify the aromatic amino acids playing a role in this mechanism.
C. Duplais, V. Sarou-Kanian, D. Massiot, A. Hassan, B. Perrone, Y. Estevez, J. T. Wertz, E. Martineau, J. Farjon, P. Giraudeau & C. S. Moreau.
Gut bacteria are essential for normal cuticle development of herbivorous turtle ants
Nature Communications (2021)