• Question: Can you get DNA from ants

    Asked by adrianek21 to Anna, Iain on 21 Mar 2014.
    • Photo: Anna Middleton

      Anna Middleton answered on 21 Mar 2014:

      Hi adrianek21
      yes, ants have DNA. In fact every living thing has DNA in it – trees, plants, animals, fish, bacteria. It is the DNA that gives it life and determines how it will grow and develop. It is quite easy to get DNA from every living thing too. From humans you can collect DNA from a spit sample. From ants you’d probably have to kill them first to get their DNA!

    • Photo: Iain Moal

      Iain Moal answered on 21 Mar 2014:

      Yes you can. Ants are very important in many different ecosystems, and so many scientists are interested in studying them. For this reason, they have have extracted the DNA from at least 11 species of ant, and have sequences their genome. This means that they have read all the letters in their DNA, and can use this to learn a lot about their biology and evolution.