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Research Article

The Genome Sequence of the Leaf-Cutter Ant Atta cephalotes Reveals Insights into Its Obligate Symbiotic Lifestyle

  • Garret Suen mail,

    gsuen@wisc.edu (GS); currie@bact.wisc.edu (CRC)

    Affiliations: Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America

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  • Clotilde Teiling equal contributor,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Clotilde Teiling, Lewyn Li

    Affiliation: Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America

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  • Lewyn Li equal contributor,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Clotilde Teiling, Lewyn Li

    Affiliation: 454 Life Sciences, Branford, Connecticut, United States of America

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  • Carson Holt,

    Affiliation: Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America

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  • Ehab Abouheif,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

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  • Erich Bornberg-Bauer,

    Affiliation: Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Münster, Münster, Germany

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  • Pascal Bouffard,

    Affiliation: 454 Life Sciences, Branford, Connecticut, United States of America

    Current address: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Tarrytown, New York, United States of America

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  • Eric J. Caldera,

    Affiliations: Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America

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  • Elizabeth Cash,

    Affiliation: School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America

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  • Amy Cavanaugh,

    Affiliations: Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Department of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Rock County, Janesville, Wisconsin, United States of America

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  • Olgert Denas,

    Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

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  • Eran Elhaik,

    Affiliation: The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

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  • Marie-Julie Favé,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

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  • Jürgen Gadau,

    Affiliation: School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America

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  • Joshua D. Gibson,

    Affiliation: School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America

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  • Dan Graur,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States of America

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  • Kirk J. Grubbs,

    Affiliations: Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America

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  • Darren E. Hagen,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States of America

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  • Timothy T. Harkins,

    Affiliation: Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America

    Current address: Life Technologies Corporation, Carlsbad, California, United States of America

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  • Martin Helmkampf,

    Affiliation: School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America

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  • Hao Hu,

    Affiliation: Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America

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  • Brian R. Johnson,

    Affiliation: Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America

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  • Jay Kim,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Sarah E. Marsh,

    Affiliations: Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America

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  • Joseph A. Moeller,

    Affiliations: Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America

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  • Mónica C. Muñoz-Torres,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States of America

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  • Marguerite C. Murphy,

    Affiliation: Department of Computer Science, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Meredith C. Naughton,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, United States of America

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  • Surabhi Nigam,

    Affiliation: Department of Computer Science, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • Rick Overson,

    Affiliation: School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America

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  • Rajendhran Rajakumar,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

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  • Justin T. Reese,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States of America

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  • Jarrod J. Scott,

    Affiliations: Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Ancon, Panama

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  • Chris R. Smith,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, United States of America

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  • Shu Tao,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States of America

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  • Neil D. Tsutsui,

    Affiliation: Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America

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  • Lumi Viljakainen,

    Affiliation: Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America

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  • Lothar Wissler,

    Affiliation: Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Münster, Münster, Germany

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  • Mark D. Yandell,

    Affiliation: Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America

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  • Fabian Zimmer,

    Affiliation: Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Münster, Münster, Germany

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  • James Taylor,

    Affiliations: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

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  • Steven C. Slater,

    Affiliations: Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America

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  • Sandra W. Clifton,

    Affiliation: The Genome Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

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  • Wesley C. Warren,

    Affiliation: The Genome Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

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  • Christine G. Elsik,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States of America

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  • Christopher D. Smith,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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  • George M. Weinstock,

    Affiliation: The Genome Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

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  • Nicole M. Gerardo,

    Affiliation: Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

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  • Cameron R. Currie mail

    gsuen@wisc.edu (GS); currie@bact.wisc.edu (CRC)

    Affiliations: Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Ancon, Panama

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  • Published: February 10, 2011
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002007

About the Authors

Garret Suen, Eric J. Caldera, Amy Cavanaugh, Kirk J. Grubbs, Sarah E. Marsh, Joseph A. Moeller, Jarrod J. Scott, Steven C. Slater, Cameron R. Currie
Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
Garret Suen, Joseph A. Moeller, Jarrod J. Scott, Steven C. Slater, Cameron R. Currie
Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
Clotilde Teiling, Timothy T. Harkins
Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America
Lewyn Li, Pascal Bouffard
454 Life Sciences, Branford, Connecticut, United States of America
Carson Holt, Hao Hu, Mark D. Yandell
Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
Ehab Abouheif, Marie-Julie Favé, Rajendhran Rajakumar
Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Erich Bornberg-Bauer, Lothar Wissler, Fabian Zimmer
Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Münster, Münster, Germany
Eric J. Caldera
Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
Elizabeth Cash, Jürgen Gadau, Joshua D. Gibson, Martin Helmkampf, Rick Overson
School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, United States of America
Amy Cavanaugh
Department of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Rock County, Janesville, Wisconsin, United States of America
Olgert Denas, James Taylor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
Eran Elhaik
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
Dan Graur
Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States of America
Kirk J. Grubbs
Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
Darren E. Hagen, Mónica C. Muñoz-Torres, Justin T. Reese, Shu Tao, Christine G. Elsik
Department of Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States of America
Brian R. Johnson, Neil D. Tsutsui
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America
Jay Kim, Christopher D. Smith
Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America
Sarah E. Marsh
Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
Marguerite C. Murphy, Surabhi Nigam
Department of Computer Science, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, United States of America
Meredith C. Naughton, Chris R. Smith
Department of Biology, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, United States of America
Jarrod J. Scott, Cameron R. Currie
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Ancon, Panama
Lumi Viljakainen
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America
James Taylor, Nicole M. Gerardo
Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America
Sandra W. Clifton, Wesley C. Warren, George M. Weinstock
The Genome Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

Corresponding Authors

Competing Interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: GS LL CT TTH JT SCS SWC WCW CGE GMW NMG CRC. Performed the experiments: CT LL PB EJC SEM WCW. Analyzed the data: GS LL CH EA EBB EJC EC AC EE HH MJF JG JDG DG KJG DEH MH CH HH BRJ JK SEM JAM MCM MCMT MCN SN RO RR JTR CRS ST NDT LW MDY LV FZ CGE CDS NMG CRC. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: CT LL CH PB HH JJS MDY TTH SWC WCW CGE CDS GMW. Wrote the paper: GS. Project Management: GS CT TTH JT SCS SWC CGE GMW NMG CRC.