EditorialSanctorum

Food for thought

 Ants belonging to a South American group switched from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to subsistence farming of fungi that grew on decomposing, woody plant matter some 55 to 60m years ago, shortly after the dinosaurs died out. By contrast, humans began subsistence farming around 10,000 years ago, progressing to industrialised agriculture only in the past century.  Genes of the ant farmers and their fungal crops revealed a surprisingly ancient history of mutual adaptations. Key chapters of history of ant agriculture were written into the genes of both the insects and their crop fungi. 

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