Ants account for an enormous portion of biomass in tropical and subtropical systems and play important roles as decomposers, herbivores and predators. To continue HGD's mission to serve as data repository for genomic resources of all available species of Hymenoptera, we have added the ant genomes to our site. Sequencing consortia recently published the genomes of the fungus eating ant Acromyrmex echinatior, the leaf cutter ant Atta cephalotes, the Florida Carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, Jerdon's Jumping ant Harpegnathos saltator, the Argentine ant Linepithema humile, the red harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus and the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. These genomes have now joined HGD.
Their natural histories vary greatly, from widely distributed invasive species established in nearly every Mediterranean-type climate in the world to exclusive granivores found only in North and South America. Researchers studying these species have opened the gate to better understanding processes such as foraging, reproductive division of labor due to unique genetic caste determination systems, mutualistic relationships formed between leaf cutter ants and the fungus they grow for food, or the evolution of social behavior, among many other subjects.
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