Insect endosymbionts: manipulators of insect herbivore trophic interactions?

Emily L. Clark, Alison J. Karley, Stephen F. Hubbard

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Throughout their evolutionary history, insects have formed multiple relationships with bacteria. Although many of these bacteria are pathogenic, with deleterious effects on the fitness of infected insects, there are also numerous examples of symbiotic bacteria that are harmless or even beneficial to their insect host. Symbiotic bacteria that form obligate or facultative associations with insects and that are located intracellularly in the host insect are known as endosymbionts. Endosymbiosis can be a strong driving force for evolution when the acquisition and maintenance of a microorganism by the insect host results in the formation of novel structures or changes in physiology and metabolism. The complex evolutionary dynamics of vertically transmitted symbiotic bacteria have led to distinctive symbiont genome characteristics that have profound effects on the phenotype of the host insect. Symbiotic bacteria are key players in insect-plant interactions influencing many aspects of insect ecology and playing a key role in shaping the diversification of many insect groups. In this review, we discuss the role of endosymbionts in manipulating insect herbivore trophic interactions focussing on their impact on plant utilisation patterns and parasitoid biology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-51
    Number of pages27
    JournalProtoplasma
    Volume244
    Issue number1-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

    Keywords

    • Endosymbiont
    • Facultative
    • Herbivore
    • Insect
    • Obligate
    • Parasitoid
    • APHID ACYRTHOSIPHON-PISUM
    • BACTERIUM BUCHNERA-APHIDICOLA
    • HOST-PLANT SPECIALIZATION
    • AMINO-ACID-COMPOSITION
    • BLACK BEAN APHID
    • REDUCTIVE GENOME EVOLUTION
    • LACKING SYMBIOTIC BACTERIA
    • SAP-SUCKING INSECTS
    • LIFE-HISTORY TRAITS
    • PEA APHID

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