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Leaf-Cutter Ants Lend A Hand In Biofuel Research


According to a new study in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a team of American researchers has found that the active enzymes in these ants’ gardens could be refined for biofuel applications.

“All the enzymes that we found are similar to known enzymes, but they are completely new; no one had identified or characterized them until now,” said co-author Frank Aylward, a graduate student with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC).

In their study, the research team used genome sequencing technology to understand the unique roles played by both the fungi and the bacterium that co-exist in these ant gardens.

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