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Journal Article

Transmission of mutualistic bacteria in social and gregarious insects

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Onchuru, T. O., Martinez, A. J., Ingham, C. S., & Kaltenpoth, M. (2018). Transmission of mutualistic bacteria in social and gregarious insects. Current Opinion in Insect Science, 28, 50-58. doi:10.1016/j.cois.2018.05.002.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-E2C7-9
Symbiotic microbes can confer a range of benefits to social, sub-social, and gregarious insects that include contributions to nutrition, digestion, and defense. Transmission of beneficial symbionts to the next generation in these insects sometimes occurs transovarially as in many solitary insects, but primarily through social contact such as coprophagy in gregarious taxa, and trophallaxis in eusocial insects. While these behaviors benefit reliable transmission of multi-microbial assemblages, they may also come at the cost of inviting the spread of parasites and pathogens. Nonetheless, the overall benefit of social symbiont transmission may be one of several important factors that reinforce the evolution of social behaviors and insect eusociality.