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The digestive and defensive basis of carcass utilization by the burying beetle and its microbiota

Title data

Vogel, Heiko ; Shukla, Shantanu P. ; Engl, Tobias ; Weiss, Benjamin ; Fischer, Rico ; Steiger, Sandra ; Heckel, David G. ; Kaltenpoth, Martin ; Vilcinskas, Andreas:
The digestive and defensive basis of carcass utilization by the burying beetle and its microbiota.
In: Nature Communications. Vol. 8 (2017) . - No. 15186.
ISSN 2041-1723
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15186

Abstract in another language

Insects that use ephemeral resources must rapidly digest nutrients and simultaneously protect them from competitors. Here we use burying beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides), which feed their offspring on vertebrate carrion, to investigate the digestive and defensive basis of carrion utilization. We characterize gene expression and microbiota composition in the gut, anal secretions, and on carcasses used by the beetles. We find a strict functional compartmentalization of the gut involving differential expression of immune effectors (antimicrobial peptides and lysozymes), as well as digestive and detoxifying enzymes. A distinct microbial community composed of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and a clade of ascomycetous yeasts (genus Yarrowia) is present in larval and adult guts, and is transmitted to the carcass via anal secretions, where the yeasts express extracellular digestive enzymes and produce antimicrobial compounds. Our results provide evidence of potential metabolic cooperation between the host and its microbiota for digestion, detoxification and defence that extends from the beetle’s gut to its nutritional resource.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER147437
Institutions of the University: 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 > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2019 14:42
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2019 14:42
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48329