The genomes of 17 different ants, fungi and bacteria that eat through hundreds of pounds of leaf matter a year could ultimately lead to new techniques for making biofuels.
Scientists from the University of Wisconsin, the Joint Genome Institute and Emory University are sequencing the first-ever community genome, searching for clues to how what’s essentially a 50 million-year-old bioreactor operates.
“These leaf cutter ants, fungi and bacteria can plow through over (880 lbs.) of dry leaves each year,” said Garret Suen, a scientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison working on the project.
“We believe that the whole community effort helps achieve this,” Suen told Discovery News.
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