Ophiocordyceps

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Ophiocordyceps
Ophiocordyceps unilateralis.png
Dead ants infected with Ophiocordyceps unilateralis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Hypocreales
Family: Ophiocordycipitaceae
Genus: Ophiocordyceps
Petch (1931)
Type species
Ophiocordyceps blattae
(Petch) Petch (1931)
Synonyms[1]

Cordycepioideus Stifler (1941)

Ophiocordyceps is a genus of fungi within the Ophiocordycipitaceae family.[2] The widespread genus, first described scientifically by British mycologist Tom Petch in 1931,[3] contains about 140 species that grow on insects.[4] Anamorphic genera that correspond with Ophiocordyceps species are Hirsutella, Hymenostilbe, Paraisaria, and Syngliocladium.[5]

The fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is known for its parasitism on ants, in which it alters the behavior of the ants in such a way as to propagate itself more effectively.[6] The fungus attacks the brain of the ant, causing it to abandon its colony. The ant then bites into the main vascular vein on the underside of a leaf and stays locked in that position until it dies. The fungus is then able to spread from the ant's body to the leaf in order to repeat the cycle.[7] In 2011, four new Ophiocordyceps species were described from carpenter ants (Camponotus) in Brazil.[8]

Species[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ophiocordyceps Petch 1931". MycoBank. Internationaol Mycological Association. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  2. ^ Lumbsch TH, Huhndorf SM. (December 2007). "Outline of Ascomycota – 2007". Myconet (The Field Museum, Department of Botany, Chicago, USA) 13: 1–58. 
  3. ^ Petch T. (1931). "Notes on entomogenous fungi". Transactions of the British Mycological Society 16 (1): 55–75. doi:10.1016/S0007-1536(31)80006-3. 
  4. ^ Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA. (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford, UK: CABI. p. 483. ISBN 978-0-85199-826-8. 
  5. ^ Sung G-H, Hywel-Jones NL, Sung J-M, Luangsa-ard JJ, Shrestha B, Spatafora JW. (2007). "Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi". Studies in Mycology 57: 5–59. doi:10.3114/sim.2007.57.01. PMC 2104736. PMID 18490993. 
  6. ^ Pontoppidan M-B, Himaman W, Hywel-Jones NL, Boomsma JJ, Hughes DP. (2009). "Graveyards on the Move: The Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Dead Ophiocordyceps-Infected Ants". PLoS ONE 4 (3): e4835. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004835. PMC 2652714. PMID 19279680. 
  7. ^ In Fossilized Leaf, Clues to a Zombie Ant, by Sindya N Bhanoo New York Times 24 August, 2010
  8. ^ H. C. Evans, Simon L. Elliot, David P. Hughes (2011). "Hidden Diversity Behind the Zombie-Ant Fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: Four New Species Described from Carpenter Ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil". PLoS ONE 6 (3): e17024. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017024. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 

External links[edit]