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  The digestive and defensive basis of carcass utilization by the burying beetle and its microbiota

Vogel, H., Shukla, S., Engl, T., Weiss, B., Fischer, R., Steiger, S., et al. (2017). The digestive and defensive basis of carcass utilization by the burying beetle and its microbiota. Nature Communications, 8: 15186. doi:10.1038/ncomms15186.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15186 (Publisher version)
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 Creators:
Vogel, Heiko1, Author              
Shukla, Shantanu1, Author              
Engl, Tobias2, Author              
Weiss, Benjamin2, Author              
Fischer, Rainer, Author
Steiger, Sandra, Author
Heckel, David G.1, Author              
Kaltenpoth, Martin2, Author              
Vilcinskas, Andreas, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Entomology, Prof. D. G. Heckel, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society, ou_421895              
2Max Planck Research Group Insect Symbiosis, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society, ou_421897              

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 Abstract: Insects that use ephemeral resources must rapidly digest nutrients and simultaneously protect them from competitors. Here we use burying beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides), which feed their offspring on vertebrate carrion, to investigate the digestive and defensive basis of carrion utilization. We characterize gene expression and microbiota composition in the gut, anal secretions, and on carcasses used by the beetles. We find a strict functional compartmentalization of the gut involving differential expression of immune effectors (antimicrobial peptides and lysozymes), as well as digestive and detoxifying enzymes. A distinct microbial community composed of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and a clade of ascomycetous yeasts (genus Yarrowia) is present in larval and adult guts, and is transmitted to the carcass via anal secretions, where the yeasts express extracellular digestive enzymes and produce antimicrobial compounds. Our results provide evidence of potential metabolic cooperation between the host and its microbiota for digestion, detoxification and defence that extends from the beetle’s gut to its nutritional resource.

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 Dates: 2017-03-072017-05-09
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: Other: HEC369
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15186
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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: 15186 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2041-1723
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2041-1723