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In addition to abiotic triggers, biotic factors such as microbial symbionts can alter development of multicellular organisms. Symbiont-mediated morphogenesis is well-investigated in plants and marine invertebrates but rarely in insects despite the enormous diversity of insect-microbe symbioses. The bean bug Riptortus pedestris is associated with Burkholderia insecticola which are acquired from the environmental soil and housed in midgut crypts. To sort symbionts from soil microbiota, the bean bug develops a specific organ called the "constricted region" (CR), a narrow and symbiont-selective channel, located in the midgut immediately upstream of the crypt-bearing region. In this study, inoculation of fluorescent protein-labeled symbionts followed by spatiotemporal microscopic observations revealed that after the initial passage of symbionts through the CR, it closes within 12-18 h, blocking any potential subsequent infection events. The "midgut closure" developmental response was irreversible, even after symbiont removal from the crypts by antibiotics. It never occurred in aposymbiotic insects, nor in insects infected with nonsymbiotic bacteria or B. insecticola mutants unable to cross the CR. However, species of the genus Burkholderia and its outgroup Pandoraea that can pass the CR and partially colonize the midgut crypts induce the morphological alteration, suggesting that the molecular trigger signaling the midgut closure is conserved in this bacterial lineage. We propose that this drastic and quick alteration of the midgut morphology in response to symbiont infection is a mechanism for stabilizing the insect-microbe gut symbiosis and contributes to host-symbiont specificity in a symbiosis without vertical transmission.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The ISME journal
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A species of BURKHOLDERIA considered to be an opportunistic human pathogen. It has been associated with various types of infections of nosocomial origin.
Infections with bacteria of the genus BURKHOLDERIA.
A group of phenotypically similar but genotypically distinct species (genomovars) in the genus BURKHOLDERIA. They are found in water, soil, and the rhizosphere of crop plants. They can act as opportunistic human pathogens and as plant growth promoting and biocontrol agents.
The tendency to perceive an incomplete pattern or object as complete or whole. This includes the Gestalt Law of Closure.
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