The life cycle of fecal droplet proteins. (a) Degradation enzymes produced in the gongylidia are passed through the ant alimentary system to end up in the fecal fluid, fecal droplets of which are mixed with the new plant substrate to form leaf pulp that the ants add to the fungus garden. (b) Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of ant fecal fluid. M, molecular size marker. F, fecal fluid. Excised bands are indicated by numbered boxes in the right-hand version of duplicated lane F.