Insect Symbiont Replacement

Red Aphids

Many aphid species have symbiotic bacteria (Buchnera spp.) housed in special cells called bacteriocytes. Insect biologists have many questions about the interaction between these symbionts and the host aphid. It is possible to selectively kill the symbionts, but that only enables study of the gross effects. Moran and Yun* have developed a way to replace the native Buchnera in the pea aphid.

First they selected a Buchnera mutant with intolerance to heat. Heating the aphids to 35 C…

Source: Living With Insects Blog

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