Animals often house substantial microbial populations within their bodies. While in some cases the microorganisms are necessary for host survival or reproduction, in the preponderance of cases they are not. It is of great interest to understand whether facultative associations with microorganisms ever benefit the host in lesser ways. Previously, a facultative symbiont was identified in pea aphid which was associated with host plant specialization - there was a dramatic increase in fecundity on clover, coupled with failure to survive on alfalfa.
In a study by Leonardo in the June issue of Ecology Letters, antibiotic treatment was used to selectively remove the specialization-associated symbiont, and found that the aphids remained specialized in its absence. In combination with genetic data presented in the paper, this implies that the aphid, rather than symbiont, genome is responsible for causing the observed specialization. Specialization is symbiont associated because closely related aphids tend to share the same symbionts. Interestingly, other recent work (Science 303: 1989) has found that this same symbiont increased aphid fecundity on clover when injected into a novel host lineage. Together, these experiments suggest the symbiont may have played an initial role in host plant specialization, but that it is no longer necessary for maintaining specialization in some parts of the aphids range.
Kate Stinchcombe | alfa
A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
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18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
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An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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