Isolation and growth of the symbiotic fungus of Atta capiguara (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
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This work's objectives were to isolate and evaluate the growth of the symbiotic fungus of Atta capiguara Gonçalves on artificial medium, under different pH and temperature conditions. Isolation was accomplished using the following media: Sabouraud, oat-agar, PDA, and PDA with the addition of extracts from the grasses Paspalum sp. Flügge and Hyparrhenia rufa (Nees) Stapf.. The medium used in the growth study was PDA with the addition of a Paspalum sp. (0.22%, w/v) extract at initial pH values of 4.5, 6.0, and 7.5. Mycelium disks were transferred to plates containing the culture medium. The plates were maintained at temperatures of 20, 23, and 26 ± 1°C. Mycelial radial growth evaluations were performed at 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 days of incubation. Fungus isolation was obtained in all media studied. The highest radial means were obtained at initial pH values of 6.0 and 7.5 and temperatures of 23 and 26± 1°C. Greater plot losses occurred at the initial pH condition of 7.5. In general, A. capiguara fungi can be grown in the medium studied, at an initial pH of 6.0 and temperatures of 23 or 26± 1°C. Radial growth evaluations at 14 and 28 days of incubation can be recommended for substrate studies involving the symbiotic fungus.