Hermógenes Fernández-Marín

Hermógenes Fernández-Marín
Instituto de Investigaciones Cientificas y Servicios de Alta Tecnologia | INDICASAT-AIP · Center of Biodivesity

PhD

About

56
Publications
6,859
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1,286
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - December 2011
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Description
  • Notes on Attines´s biology: nest foundation, hygiene behavior, demography, parasitoids, natural enemies, evolution
January 1999 - December 2005
University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras
Education
August 1997 - May 2006
University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras
Field of study
  • Biology, ecology, behabior, ants

Publications

Publications (56)
Article
Full-text available
Early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, many national public health authorities implemented non-pharmaceutical interventions to mitigate disease outbreaks. Panamá established mandatory mask use two months after its first documented case. Initial compliance was high, but diverse masks were used in public areas. We studied behavioral dynamics of mask use t...
Article
Full-text available
Fungi in the genus Escovopsis (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) are prevalent associates of the complex symbiosis between fungus-growing ants (Tribe Attini), the ants’ cultivated basidiomycete fungi and a consortium of both beneficial and harmful microbes found within the ants’ garden communities. Some Escovopsis spp. have been shown to attack the ants’ cu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, many national public health authorities implemented non-pharmaceutical interventions to mitigate disease outbreaks. Panama established mandatory mask use two months after its first documented case. Initial compliance was high, but diverse masks were used in public areas. We studied behavioral dynamics o...
Article
Full-text available
Antagonistic interactions between host and parasites are often embedded in networks of interacting species, in which hosts may be attacked by competing parasites species, and parasites may infect more than one host species. To better understand the evolution of host defenses and parasite counterdefenses in the context of a multihost, multiparasite...
Article
en Ants in obligate defense mutualisms with plants protect them against potentially damaging organisms. In the swollen‐thorn acacias, organisms linked to the plant inform about the interaction between the tree and the resident ant colony. Some organisms coexist with the aggressive mutualistic ants: specialized herbivores and organisms using the ene...
Article
The omnipresence of pathogens makes them a strong selective pressure for most organisms, generating a variety of defensive responses to fight them. One mechanism by which organisms can release this pressure is avoidance of the pathogens in a spatial or temporal context. To date, only a few biological systems provide evidence that habitat selection...
Article
Fungus-growing ants share a complex symbiosis with microbes, including fungal mutualists, antibiotic-producing bacteria, and fungal pathogens. The bacterial communities associated with this symbiosis are poorly understood but likely play important roles in maintaining the health and function of fungal gardens. We studied bacterial communities in ga...
Article
Full-text available
Parasites and their hosts use different strategies to overcome the defenses of the other, often resulting in an evolutionary arms race. Limited animal studies have explored the differential responses of hosts when challenged by differential parasite loads and different developmental stages of a parasite. The fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex sp. 10 e...
Article
Full-text available
Microbes associated with fungus-growing ants represent a poorly explored source of natural products. In this study, we used mass spectrometry-based dereplication techniques for identifying a set of secondary metabolites produced during the microbial interaction between Streptomyces sp. (CB0028) and Escovopsis sp. (CBAcro424). Both microorganisms we...
Article
Full-text available
The fungus-growing ant-microbe symbiosis is an ideal system to study chemistry-based microbial interactions due to the wealth of microbial interactions described, and the lack of information on the molecules involved therein. In this study, we employed a combination of MALDI imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) and MS/MS molecular networking to st...
Data
Fig. S2. Experimental design for second conidia exposure experiment.
Data
Fig. S1. Experimental design for first conidia exposure experiment.
Data
Fig. S3. Experimental design for third conidia exposure experiment.
Data
Fig. S4. Survival curves for all time points for second conidia exposure experiment.
Article
Full-text available
Adequate waste management is vital for the success of social life, because waste accumulation increases sanitary risks in dense societies. We explored why different leaf-cutting ants (LCA) species locate their waste in internal nest chambers or external piles, including ecological context and accounting for phylogenetic relations. We propose that w...
Article
Adequate waste management is vital for the success of social life, because waste accumulation increases sanitary risks in dense societies. We explored why different leaf-cutting ants (LCA) species locate their waste in internal nest chambers or external piles, including ecological context and accounting for phylogenetic relations. We propose that w...
Article
Full-text available
Fungus‐growing ants (Attini) have evolved an obligate dependency upon a basidiomycete fungus that they cultivate as their food. Less well known is that the crop fungus is also used by many attine species to cover their eggs, larvae and pupae. The adaptive functional significance of this brood covering is poorly understood. One hypothesis to account...
Article
Full-text available
Parasites are a major force in evolution, and understanding how host life history affects parasite pressure and investment in disease resistance is a general problem in evolutionary biology. The threat of disease may be especially strong in social animals, and ants have evolved the unique metapleural gland (MG), which in many taxa produce antimicro...
Data
Figure S2. Photos (top) of two plates (left: phenylacetic acid, right: bleach) showing zones around central application point in which growth of the Metarhizium fungal parasite was inhibited.
Data
Table S1. Fungus growing ant life‐history traits. Table S2. MG compounds tested as a percentage of total secretion volume for Attine genera. Table S3. Statistical results of survival analysis in six attine species with blocked or functional metapleural glands, and treated with Metarhizium pinshaense fungal parasite or control solution. Table S4....
Data
Figure S1. Experimental groups and species cohort information for Exp 1.
Data
Table S6. Experiment 1: Survival of ants treated with Triton‐X control or Metarhizium fungus with glands blocked or unblocked.
Article
Full-text available
Parasites are a major force in evolution, and understanding how host life history affects parasite pressure and investment in disease resistance is a general problem in evolutionary biology. The threat of disease may be especially strong in social animals, and ants have evolved the unique metapleural gland (MG), which in many taxa produce antimicro...
Article
Full-text available
Fungus-farming ant colonies vary four to five orders of magnitude in size. They employ compounds from actinomycete bacteria and exocrine glands as antimicrobial agents. Atta colonies have millions of ants and are particularly relevant for understanding hygienic strategies as they have abandoned their ancestors' prime dependence on antibiotic-based...
Article
Full-text available
Ant social parasites evolve adaptive relationships with their hosts. Theoretically, coevolution predicts strong selection to maximize fitness of the parasite that minimizes costs to its host, which potentially leads to the evolution of benign interactions. We studied the demographic and behavioral traits of the ant social parasite Megalomyrmex symm...
Article
Partner fidelity through vertical symbiont transmission is thought to be the primary mechanism stabilizing cooperation in the mutualism between fungus-farming (attine) ants and their cultivated fungal symbionts. An alternate or additional mechanism could be adaptive partner or symbiont choice mediating horizontal cultivar transmission or de novo do...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Mycocepurus is a phylogenetically basal attine ant, so studies of its biology may provide insight into the evolution of behaviours associated with fungus‐growing that characterize the tribe Attini. Mycocepurus smithii from Puerto Rico produces sexual females from July to September, but no males were observed in 2 years of observations, co...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Multipartner mutualisms have potentially complex dynamics, with compensatory responses when one partner is lost or relegated to a minor role. Fungus-growing ants (Attini) are mutualistic associates of basidiomycete fungi and antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria; the former are attacked by specialized fungi (Escovopsis) and diverse ge...
Article
Fungus-growing ants (Myrmicinae: Attini) live in an obligate symbiotic relationship with a fungus that they rear for food, but they can also use the fungal mycelium to cover their brood. We surveyed colonies from 20 species of fungus-growing ants and show that brood-covering behavior occurs in most species, but to varying degrees, and appears to ha...
Article
Multipartner mutualisms have potentially complex dynamics, with compensatory responses when one partner is lost or relegated to a minor role. Fungus-growing ants (Attini) are mutualistic associates of basidiomycete fungi and antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria; the former are attacked by specialized fungi (Escovopsis) and diverse generalist...
Article
Full-text available
Parental care is rare in most lower vertebrates. By selecting optimal oviposition sites, however, mothers can realize some benefits often associated with parental care. We found three ovoid reptilian eggs within a mature nest of a relatively basal fungus-growing ant, Apterostigma cf. goniodes (Attini), in central Panama. In laboratory colonies, A....
Article
To ameliorate the impact of disease, social insects combine individual innate immune defenses with collective social defenses. This implies that there are different levels of selection acting on investment in immunity, each with their own trade-offs. We present the results of a cross-fostering experiment designed to address the influences of genoty...
Article
Full-text available
Although the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia is ubiquitous in insects, it has a unique relationship with New World ants on which particular bacterial strains have specialized. However, data are from distantly related hosts and detailed phylogenetic information which could reveal transmission dynamics are lacking. Here, we investigate host-Wolbach...
Article
Full-text available
A number of wasps in the family Diapriidae, subfamily Diapriinae (Proctotrupoidea), are parasitoids that specialize on ant larvae. These wasps are abundant and diverse in the Neotropics, but little is known about their biology. We studied parasitism rates by an array of diapriine wasps that attack the larvae of fungus-growing ants, Trachymyrmex cf....
Article
Full-text available
Estudios sobre la fundación de nidos por hormigas del género Atta, muestran que hembras conducen una fundación claustral, cultivan los jardines de hongo con sus secreciones fecales y nutren las larvas con huevos tróficos. Estos estudios también muestran que las hembras algunas veces pierden sus sepas de hongos, o los jardines de hongos, antes de la...
Article
Full-text available
Interactions among the component members of different symbioses are not well studied. For example, leaf-cutting ants maintain an obligate symbiosis with their fungal garden, while the leaf material they provide to their garden is usually filled with endophytic fungi. The ants and their cultivar may interact with hundreds of endophytic fungal specie...
Article
Full-text available
Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where...
Article
Evolutionary theory predicts that hosts are selected to prevent mixing of genetically different symbionts when competition among lineages reduces the productivity of a mutualism. The symbionts themselves may also defend their interests: recent studies of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants showed that somatic incompatibility enforces single-clone gardens...
Article
Full-text available
To combat disease, most fungus-growing ants (Attini) use antibiotics from mutualistic bacteria (Pseudonocardia) that are cultured on the ants' exoskeletons and chemical cocktails from exocrine glands, especially the metapleural glands (MG). Previous work has hypothesized that (i) Pseudonocardia antibiotics are narrow-spectrum and control a fungus (...
Article
Full-text available
The nesting behavior of Trachypus petiolatus is described from central Panamá. Females nested within aggregations in bare soil; they re-used nests from a prior generation, and provisioned their nests with small bees, mainly Apidae and Halictidae. These nests had a communal social organization among resident females, and also included one or more ma...
Article
Full-text available
Physically isolating organisms from disease agents should reduce the likelihood of disease transmission and infection, and increase survival and growth, particularly in more vulnerable, early ontogenetic stages. During nest founding in fungus-growing ants, foundresses of most genera use a garden platform to isolate the incipient fungal garden from...
Article
Full-text available
Insect societies face constant challenges from disease agents. Ants deploy diverse antimicrobial compounds against pathogens and the key sources are metapleural glands (MGs). Are MG products passively secreted and used indiscriminately or are they selectively used when ants are challenged by pathogens? In 26 species from five subfamilies, ants use...
Article
Full-text available
New World diapriine wasps are abundant and diverse, but the biology of most species is unknown. We provide the first description of the biology of diapriine wasps, Acanthopria spp. and Mimopriella sp., which attack the larvae of Cyphomyrmex fungus-growing ants. In Puerto Rico, the koinobiont parasitoids Acanthopria attack Cyphomyrmex minutus, while...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary transitions to dim-light foraging (predawn matinal, crepuscular, nocturnal) have occurred repeatedly in bees, and may be associated with an escape from enemies or competitors. To date, however, little information has been available to test these hypotheses. Here we provide the first detailed information on the nesting behaviour of two...
Article
Hurricanes are important disturbance events in many forested ecosystems. They can have strong effects on both forest structure and animal populations, and yet few studies have considered the impacts on plant-animal interactions. Reduction of canopy cover by severe winds increases light availability to understory plants, providing an opportunity for...
Article
Hurricanes are important disturbance events in many forested ecosystems. They can have strong effects on both forest structure and animal populations, and yet few studies have considered the impacts on plant-animal interactions. Reduc- tion of canopy cover by severe winds increases light availability to understory plants, providing an opportunity f...
Article
Neotropical ants in the tribe Attini share the obligatory behaviour of cultivating fungi as an essential food source. Of this complex and well-studied mutualism, little is known about the biological traits of the phylogenetically basal attines, which may offer important clues to the origins and early evolution of this intricate symbiosis. In this p...
Article
Full-text available
Foundresses of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex octospinosus in central Panam forage for leaves as garden substrate (semi-claustral foundation). The fungal pellet and substrate usually are attached to rootlets, which are used as a platform for the garden. This arrangement keeps the garden suspended away from the earthen chamber of the underground ne...
Article
Typescript (photocopy). Thesis (M.S.)--Universidad de Puerto Rico, 2000. Includes bibliographical references.

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Projects (2)
Project
Estudiar la naturaleza química de interacciones microbianas entre actinobacterias asociadas a las hormigas cultivadoras de hongo contra el hongo patógeno Escovopsis como fuente de nuevas moléculas bioactivas con potencial farmacológico.