Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Symbiotic bacteria protect hunting wasps from fungal infestation

08.03.2005


Researchers have discovered a fascinating symbiotic relationship between a wasp species and a newly discovered bacterial species – a relationship that potentially sheds light on how bacteria can be successfully utilized by higher organisms in defensive mechanisms against other microbes. In the new work, researchers show that a solitary ground-nesting wasp, the European beewolf, harbors Streptomyces bacteria in unique structures within its antennae and that females utilize these bacterial symbionts to protect the wasp larvae against pathogenic fungi.





Detrimental microorganisms are a permanent threat to higher organisms, and because of their high reproductive potential and adaptability, they are extremely difficult to control. Ironically, the best counteragents against microbes are often other microbes that produce very potent antibiotics. Thus, an effective and elegant way to counter the threat caused by bacteria and fungi is to establish a symbiotic relationship with innocuous antibiotic-producing bacteria that provide protection against the most dangerous pathogens. As yet, only a few cases of defensive symbioses between higher organisms and bacteria have been reported.

In their new paper, Martin Kaltenpoth and his colleagues at the Biocenter of the University of Würzburg show that the European beewolf Philanthus triangulum has evolved a defensive symbiosis with a new species of bacteria of the genus Streptomyces. Interestingly, this genus comprises the most important group of bacteria for the production of antibiotics for human medicine.


Female beewolves provision their larvae with paralyzed honeybees in brood cells in the soil. As part of this process, the researchers show, they use their antennae to deliver the symbiotic bacteria to the ceiling of the brood cell before finally closing off the cell. The larvae then take up the bacteria and apply them to the silk threads of their cocoons. The researchers found that experimental removal of the bacteria caused increased fungal infestations and increased larval mortality – in fact, little larval survival – suggesting that the bacteria produce antibiotics that work against pathogenic fungi. These findings broaden our understanding of the evolution and functioning of symbioses that involve protective bacteria, and they may ultimately provide insight into strategies for dealing with antibiotic resistance in our own species’s efforts to combat harmful microbes.

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com
http://www.current-biology.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University

nachricht Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>