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Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2004 Dec;68(4):745-70.

Metabolic interdependence of obligate intracellular bacteria and their insect hosts.

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  • 1Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, Biozentrum der Universität Würzburg, Theodor-Boveri-Institut, Am Hubland, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany.


Mutualistic associations of obligate intracellular bacteria and insects have attracted much interest in the past few years due to the evolutionary consequences for their genome structure. However, much less attention has been paid to the metabolic ramifications for these endosymbiotic microorganisms, which have to compete with but also to adapt to another metabolism--that of the host cell. This review attempts to provide insights into the complex physiological interactions and the evolution of metabolic pathways of several mutualistic bacteria of aphids, ants, and tsetse flies and their insect hosts.

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