Trigona bee

Vulture Bees Lost and Gained Microbes

Almost all bees get their nutrients from flowers. Pollen provides protein and nectar provides carbohydrates. A group of scientists have found three closely related bees of the genus Trigona that feed off dead flesh, rather than flowers. These “vulture bees” get their protein by chewing pieces of flesh from dead animals and gain additional carbohydrates […]

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Forest Floor

Birds Go Truffling

Truffles are underground fruiting bodies, i.e. reproductive structures, of fungi that live in a symbiotic relationship with trees. They have been described as underground mushrooms. They produce spores, but unlike mushrooms and toadstools they cannot release them into the air in order to be dispersed to a new location, where they can grow. Therefore, truffles […]

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Hitchhiking Microbes Protect Plants and People

Hitchhiking microbes protect plants and people, according to articles in Science (AAAS) News 22 March 2021, and The ISME Journal, 15 March 2021. Doi 10.1038/s41396-021-00952-8.  Soil dwelling bacteria known Streptomyces are known to colonise plant roots and protect plants from damage by other microbes by producing antibiotics.  Many of these antibiotics are also used in […]

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Fungus Unchanged For 400 Million Years

Fungus unchanged for 400 million years, as reported in Botany One 29 June 2020, and Annals of Botany 24 June 2020, doi: 10.1093/aob/mcaa113.  Scientists have studied thin sections of the fossil bearing Lower Devonian Rhynie chert in Scotland, which is dated as 410 million years old.  They found exquisitely preserved reproductive structures, known as spore-saccule […]

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Coral Polyps

“Good Coral Parenting” For Reef Recovery

“Good coral parenting” for reef recovery found, according to reports in ScienceDaily 16 September 2019 and Scientific Reports 16 September 2019, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-50045-y. Corals live in a symbiotic relationship with algae – single celled plants that provide the coral with a lot of nutrients, as well as giving the corals their colour. When the corals […]

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Soft Corals

Coral Movements Disperse Oxygen

Coral movements disperse oxygen, according to a report in Inside JEB 9 August 2019 and Journal of Experimental Biology 9 August 2019 doi:10.1242/jeb.192518. Scientists in Israel have studied soft corals named Heteroxenia, which grow in the red sea. These corals have crown of feathery tentacles, arranged like a flower, that constantly fold and unfold in […]

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Giant Clam

Clams Recycle Urea for Algae

Clams recycle urea for algae, according to reports in Inside JEB 19 April 2018, and Journal of Experimental Biology 14 March 2018, doi: 10.1242/jeb.176313. Giant clams live in close symbiotic relationship with marine algae known as zooxanthellae, which produce nutrients for the clam by photosynthesis.  The algae can make sugars from carbon dioxide and water, […]

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Fluorescent Coral

Corals Light Up

Corals light up as fluoro symbiosis found, according to Nature News 5 July 2017, Nature Middle East 20 July 2017 and Proceedings of the royal Society B doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0320, published online 5 July 2017. Coral reefs have long been known as a classic example of symbiosis, consisting of a combination of coral polyps and algae. […]

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Reef Evolving Fast Enough

Reef evolving fast enough say James Cook University Marine Biologists in Science, 4 June 2005. Following a bleaching episode in 1998 involving half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef, probably due to abnormally warm water which caused the coral to die, scientists have feared global temperatures were rising so fast coral would be unable […]

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Leaves and Microbes Share the Light

Leaves and microbes share the light, according to a report in Environmental Microbiology 13, 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02554.x published online 1 September 2011 and Science vol 333, p1551 16 September 2011. The surface of leaves is a good habitat for micro-organisms and some of these collect light in the same way that plants do using a molecule named […]

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