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  Drastic genome reduction in an herbivore’s pectinolytic symbiont

Salem, H., Bauer, E., Kirsch, R., Berasategui, A., Cripps, M., Weiss, B., et al. (2017). Drastic genome reduction in an herbivore’s pectinolytic symbiont. Cell, 171, e1-e7. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2017.10.029.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2017.10.029 (Publisher version)
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 Creators:
Salem, Hassan1, 2, Author              
Bauer, Eugen, Author
Kirsch, Roy3, Author              
Berasategui, Aileen2, 4, Author              
Cripps, Michael, Author
Weiss, Benjamin1, Author              
Koga, Ryuichi, Author
Fukumori, Kayoko, Author
Vogel, Heiko3, Author              
Fukatsu, Takema, 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              
3Department of Entomology, Prof. D. G. Heckel, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society, ou_421895              
4Department of Biochemistry, Prof. J. Gershenzon, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society, ou_421893              

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 Abstract: Pectin, an integral component of the plant cell wall, is a recalcitrant substrate against enzymatic challenges by most animals. In characterizing the source of a leaf beetle’s (Cassida rubiginosa) pectin-degrading phenotype, we demonstrate its dependency on an extracellular bacterium housed in specialized organs connected to the foregut. Despite possessing the smallest genome (0.27 Mb) of any organism not subsisting within a host cell, the symbiont nonetheless retained a functional pectinolytic metabolism targeting the polysaccharide’s two most abundant classes: homogalacturonan and rhamnogalacturonan I. Comparative transcriptomics revealed pectinase expression to be enriched in the symbiotic organs, consistent with enzymatic buildup in these structures following immunostaining with pectinase- targeting antibodies. Symbiont elimination results in a drastically reduced host survivorship and a diminished capacity to degrade pectin. Collectively, our findings highlight symbiosis as a strategy for an herbivore to metabolize one of nature’s most complex polysaccharides and a universal component of plant tissues.

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 Dates: 20172017-12-14
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: Other: KAL078
DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.10.029
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Title: Cell
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge, Mass. : Cell Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 171 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: e1 - e7 Identifier: ISSN: 0092-8674
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925463183