When: January 20, 2016, 2:00 PM
Location: 3rd Floor Orchard View Room , Discovery Building
Contact: 608-316-4401, firstname.lastname@example.org
Evolution of mutualistic microbiome in firebugs and cotton stainers (Hemiptera; Pyrrhocoridae)
Symbiotic bacteria often play an essential nutritional role for insects, thereby allowing them to exploit novel food sources and expand into otherwise inaccessible ecological niches. The Pyrrhocoridae are a family of land bugs that comprises about 300 species, which predominantly feed on the dry seeds of plants in the order Malvales. In the Pyrrhocoridae bugs, the ventricose region of the midgut harbors a stable and distinct microbiota consisting of obligate and facultative anaerobes such as Actinobacteria (Coriobacterium glomerans and Gordonibacter sp.), Firmicutes (Clostridium sp.). The composition and localization of the symbiotic microbiota in Pyrrhocoridae differs from closely related families such as Largidae, Lygaeidae, Coreidae, and Pentatomoidae, where symbiotic beta- or gamma-proteobacteria are harbored in midgut caeca or in bacteriomes. The symbionts belonging to Actinobacteria are generally well documented for providing defense to their host. However the Actinobacterial symbionts harbored in the Pyrrhocorid bugs play an important beneficial role by contributing vitamins to supplement the existing host diet (Malvales). The Pyrrhocorid bugs diversified from their ancestral lineage during the late cretaceous period (~75 – 100 Mya) overlapping with the emergence of the Malvales plant order. Thus indicating the possibility that acquiring this cohort of symbionts enabled the pyrrhocorid bugs to occupy and exploit this unique ecological niche.
All QBio sponsored talks take place on Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. in the 3rd floor Orchard View room of the Discovery Building. Talks are open to the public. Access to the room is via the elevator behind Aldo’s Cafe in the Northeast corner of the building.