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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2000 Mar;30(3):253-8.

Genomic copy number of intracellular bacterial symbionts of aphids varies in response to developmental stage and morph of their host.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Buchnera, endosymbiotic bacteria of aphids possess many genomic copies per cell. In this study, we estimated genomic copy number per Buchnera cell from host insects at various developmental stages and of two different morphs, apterae and alatae, by fluorimetry and real-time quantitative PCR. The results indicated that the genomic copy number of Buchnera increased during postembryonic development of insects to adulthood, and that it decreased during the host's ageing. In Buchnera from alatae, the genomic copy number per cell was about twice as many as in those from apterae. DAPI-staining showed that the distribution of the genomic DNA in the Buchnera cells from old insects tended to aggregate, suggesting that intracellular structure of the genomic DNA of Buchnera varies in response to the physiological conditions of their host.

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