Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Feb 18;100(4):1803-7. Epub 2003 Jan 31.

Facultative bacterial symbionts in aphids confer resistance to parasitic wasps.

Author information

  • 1Department of Entomology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.

Abstract

Symbiotic relationships between animals and microorganisms are common in nature, yet the factors controlling the abundance and distributions of symbionts are mostly unknown. Aphids have an obligate association with the bacterium Buchnera aphidicola (the primary symbiont) that has been shown to contribute directly to aphid fitness. In addition, aphids sometimes harbor other vertically transmitted bacteria (secondary symbionts), for which few benefits of infection have been previously documented. We carried out experiments to determine the consequences of these facultative symbioses in Acyrthosiphon pisum (the pea aphid) for vulnerability of the aphid host to a hymenopteran parasitoid, Aphidius ervi, a major natural enemy in field populations. Our results show that, in a controlled genetic background, infection confers resistance to parasitoid attack by causing high mortality of developing parasitoid larvae. Compared with uninfected controls, experimentally infected aphids were as likely to be attacked by ovipositing parasitoids but less likely to support parasitoid development. This strong interaction between a symbiotic bacterium and a host natural enemy provides a mechanism for the persistence and spread of symbiotic bacteria.

PMID:
12563031
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC149914
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk