Send to

Choose Destination
J Insect Physiol. 2013 Feb;59(2):232-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2012.06.015. Epub 2012 Jul 4.

Insect immune system maintains long-term resident bacteria through a local response.

Author information

INSA-Lyon, UMR203 BF2I, INRA, Biologie Fonctionnelle Insectes et Interactions, Bat. Louis-Pasteur 20 ave. Albert Einstein, F-69621 Villeurbanne, France.


Long-term associations between bacteria and animals are widely represented in nature and play an important role in animal adaptation and evolution. In insects thriving on nutritionally unbalanced diets, intracellular symbiotic bacteria (endosymbionts) complement the host nutrients with amino acids and vitamins and interfere with host physiology and reproduction. Endosymbionts permanently infect host cells, called bacteriocytes, which express an adapted local immune response that permits symbiont maintenance and control. Among the immune players in bacteriocytes, the coleoptericin A (ColA) antimicrobial peptide of the cereal weevil, Sitophilus zeamais, was recently found to specifically trigger endosymbionts and to inhibit their cytokinesis, thereby limiting bacterial cell division and dispersion throughout the insect tissues. This review focuses on the biological and evolutionary features of Sitophilus symbiosis, and discusses the possible interactions of ColA with weevil endosymbiont proteins and pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center