Yeasts associated with the infrabuccal pocket and colonies of the carpenter ant Camponotus vicinus
M E Mankowski, J J Morrell
Yeast associations in three colonies of Camponotus vicinus were examined in two different areas of western Oregon. We sampled the exo-cuticle, infrabuccal pocket contents of worker ants, interior galleries of each colony and detritus and soil in the area adjacent to the nest. Samples were plated on yeast-extract-malt-extract agar augmented with 1M hydrochloric acid and incubated at 25°C. Yeasts were identified on the basis of morphological characteristics and physiological attributes using the BIOLOG microbial identification system. Yeast populations from carpenter ant nest material and material surrounding the nest differed from those obtained from the infrabuccal pocket. Yeasts were isolated from infrabuccal pockets, colony galleries, and the surrounding soil. Debaryomyces polymorphus was isolated from both colony material and the infrabuccal pocket. This species has also been isolated from other ant species, but its role in colony nutrition is unknown. Scanning electron microscope examination indicated that the infrabuccal pocket contained numerous yeast-like cells. Further characterization of the isolates is underway.
Keywords: CAMPONOTUS VICINUS; CARPENTER ANTS; INFRABUCCAL POCKET; YEASTS