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  Antibiotic-producing symbionts dynamically transition between plant pathogenicity and insect-defensive mutualism

Flórez, L. V., Scherlach, K., Gaube, P., Ross, C., Sitte, E., Hermes, C., et al. (2017). Antibiotic-producing symbionts dynamically transition between plant pathogenicity and insect-defensive mutualism. Nature Communications, 8: 15172. doi:10.1038/ncomms15172.

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Flórez, Laura V.1, 2, Author           
Scherlach, Kirstin, Author
Gaube, Paul1, Author           
Ross, Claudia, Author
Sitte, Elisabeth, Author
Hermes, Cornelia, Author
Rodrigues, Andre, Author
Hertweck, Christian, Author
Kaltenpoth, Martin1, Author           
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Insect Symbiosis, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society, ou_421897              
2IMPRS on Ecological Interactions, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society, Jena, DE, ou_421900              

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 Abstract: Pathogenic and mutualistic bacteria associated with eukaryotic hosts often lack distinctive genomic features, suggesting regular transitions between these lifestyles. Here we present evidence supporting a dynamic transition from plant pathogenicity to insect-defensive mutualism in symbiotic Burkholderia gladioli bacteria. In a group of herbivorous beetles, these symbionts protect the vulnerable egg stage against detrimental microbes. The production of a blend of antibiotics by B. gladioli, including toxoflavin, caryoynencin and two new antimicrobial compounds, the macrolide lagriene and the isothiocyanate sinapigladioside, likely mediate this defensive role. In addition to vertical transmission, these insect symbionts can be exchanged via the host plant and retain the ability to initiate systemic plant infection at the expense of the plant’s fitness. Our findings provide a paradigm for the transition between pathogenic and mutualistic lifestyles and shed light on the evolution and chemical ecology of this defensive mutualism.

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 Dates: 2017-03-062017-04-28
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: Other: KAL075
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15172
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Title: Nature Communications
  Abbreviation : Nat. Commun.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 8 Sequence Number: 15172 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2041-1723
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2041-1723