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
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
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Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
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Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
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16.11.2018 | Life Sciences