Zombie ant fungi ‘know’ brains of their hosts

25 agosto 2014

A parasitic fungus that reproduces by manipulating the behavior of ants emits a cocktail of behavior-controlling chemicals when encountering the brain of its natural target host, but not when infecting other ant species, a new study shows. The findings, which suggest that the fungus «knows» its preferred host, provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, according to researchers.