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 Zeolite catalysts pave the road to decentral chemical processes Confined space increases reactivity
28.06.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Extensive Funding for Research on Chromatin, Adrenal Gland, and Cancer Therapy

28.06.2017 | Awards Funding

Predicting eruptions using satellites and math

28.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

Extremely fine measurements of motion in orbiting supermassive black holes

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>