Jérémie Lauth

Thèse soutenue le 8 juillet 2013

Comparative ecology and evolution of agricultural processes in mutualistic interactions involving Allomerus ants and their myrmecophyte hosts

I am interested in the ecology and evolution of tritipartite mutualistic interactions. My researches focus more specifically in understanding in which conditions each partner will interact with the two other to modulate net positive outcomes for the whole community.

My PhD thesis focuses on the comparative study of tripartite mutualisms involving ants of the genus Allomerus, the myrmecophytic plants they inhabit and a fungus the ants cultivate to build galleries on the stems of their host plants.These galleries are then used by the ants as a trap to capture prey.

The first part of my PhD consists in defining the relationship between the three ant species and their fungal partners using molecular tools and genetics population studies.

The second part consist in understand how this fungal partner can affect negatively and/or positively the mutualistic interaction between ants and plants using field experiments such as partner exclusions, ant colonies and myrmecophytes traits measurements, 15N provisioning...

Comparing three different systems involving three closely related ant species allows further investigations in understanding the proximate and ultimate mechanisms involved in these associations to provide an holistic picture of coevolution between three different partners.


Dejean A, Orivel J, Rossi V, Roux O, Lauth J, Malé PJG, Céréghino R, Leroy C . Predation success by an plant-ant indirectly favors the growth and fitness of its host myrmecophyte. Plos One (accepted)

Lauth J, Malé PJG, Voglmayr H, Mayer VE, Dejean A, Orivel J. Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci in the ant-associated fungus Trimmatostroma sp. (Ascomycota: Chaetothyriales) using pyrosequencing technology. Molecular Ecology Resources (accepted)

Ruiz-González MX, Lauth J, Leroy C, Jauneau A, Gryta H, Jargeat P, Dejean A & Orivel J. 2012. An efficient protocol for isolating melanised chaetothyrialean anamorphic fungi associated with plant-ants. Journal of Basic Microbiology, DOI 10.1002/jobm.201100539.

Lauth J, Ruiz-González MX & Orivel J. 2011. New findings in insect fungiculture: Have ants developed non-food, agricultural products ? Communicative and Integrative Biology, 4:728-730.


Lauth J, Malé PJG, Leroy C, Dejean A, Orivel J. 2012. The development of non-food agriculture in ants through the vertical transmission of a fungal symbiont. 7th International Symbiosis Society Congress, 22-28 Juillet 2012, Cracow, Poland

Lauth J, Malé PJG, Leroy C, Roux O, Dejean A, Orivel J. 2012. A mutualistic community of ants, plant and fungi : How the third partner affects plant biotic protection. 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, 19-22 juin 2012, Bonito, Brazil

FSE Guyane {PNG}Union Européenne {PNG}

Cette thèse a été cofinancée par l’Union Européenne.

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