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Authors: Engl, Tobias
Schmidt, Thorsten H. P.
Kanyile, Sthandiwe Nomthandazo
Klebsch, Dagmar
Title: Metabolic cost of a nutritional symbiont manifests in delayed reproduction in a grain pest beetle
Online publication date: 8-Jan-2021
Year of first publication: 2020
Language: english
Abstract: Animals engage in a plethora of mutualistic interactions with microorganisms that can confer various benefits to their host but can also incur context-dependent costs. The sawtoothed grain beetle Oryzaephilus surinamensis harbors nutritional, intracellular Bacteroidetes bacteria that supplement precursors for the cuticle synthesis and thereby enhance desiccation resistance of its host. Experimental elimination of the symbiont impairs cuticle formation and reduces fitness under desiccation stress but does not disrupt the host’s life cycle. For this study, we first demonstrated that symbiont populations showed the strongest growth at the end of metamorphosis and then declined continuously in males, but not in females. The symbiont loss neither impacted the development time until adulthood nor adult mortality or lifespan. Furthermore, lifetime reproduction was not influenced by the symbiont presence. However, symbiotic females started to reproduce almost two weeks later than aposymbiotic ones. Thus, symbiont presence incurs a metabolic and context-dependent fitness cost to females, probably due to a nutrient allocation trade-off between symbiont growth and sexual maturation. The O. surinamensis symbiosis thereby represents an experimentally amenable system to study eco-evolutionary dynamics under variable selection pressures.
DDC: 570 Biowissenschaften
570 Life sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 10 Biologie
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY
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Journal: Insects
Pages or article number: 717
Publisher: MDPI
Publisher place: Basel
Issue date: 2020
ISSN: 2075-4450
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.3390/insects11100717
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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