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Bacterial symbionts as mediators of ecologically important traits of insect hosts

Title data

Feldhaar, Heike:
Bacterial symbionts as mediators of ecologically important traits of insect hosts.
In: Ecological Entomology. Vol. 36 (2011) Issue 5 . - pp. 533-543.
ISSN 0307-6946
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2311.2011.01318.x

Abstract in another language

1. Bacterial symbionts play a prominent role in insect nutritional ecology by aiding in digestion of food or providing nutrients that are limited or lacking in the diet. Thereby, endosymbionts open niches to their insect host that would otherwise be unavailable. 2. Currently, several other ecologically relevant traits mediated by endosymbionts are being investigated, including enhanced parasite resistance, enhanced heat tolerance, and influences on insect-plant interactions such as manipulation of plant physiology to the benefit of the insect. 3. Traits mediated by endosymbionts are often identified by correlative studies where traits are found to be altered in the presence of a particular symbiont. Recent developments in genomic tools offer the opportunity for studying the impact of bacteria-insect symbioses under natural conditions in a population and community ecology context. In vivo experiments specifically testing putative functions of endosymbionts in parallel to population-level studies on the prevalence of endosymbionts allow disentangling host versus symbiont contribution to phenotypic variability observed in individuals. Effects of symbionts on host phenotype are often large and relevant to host fitness, e. g. by significantly enhancing survival or fecundity in a context-dependent manner. 4. Predominantly vertically transmitted endosymbionts contribute to the heritable genetic variation present in a host species. Phenotypic variation on which selection can act may be due to differences either among host genomes, symbiont genomes, or genotype x genotype interactions. Therefore the holobiont, i.e. the host including all symbionts, should be regarded as the unit of selection as the association between host and symbionts may affect the fitness of the holobiont depending on the environment.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER102152
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology I
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Professorship Animal Population Ecology > Professorship Animal Population Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heike Feldhaar
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Professorship Animal Population Ecology
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 500 Natural sciences
500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2015 14:35
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2015 14:35
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/10784