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Insect Infection and ImmunityEvolution, Ecology, and Mechanisms$
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Jens Rolff and Stuart Reynolds

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199551354

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199551354.001.0001

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The inherited microbiota of arthropods, and their importance in understanding resistance and immunity

The inherited microbiota of arthropods, and their importance in understanding resistance and immunity

Chapter:
(p.119) CHAPTER 8 The inherited microbiota of arthropods, and their importance in understanding resistance and immunity
Source:
Insect Infection and Immunity
Author(s):

Gregory D.D. Hurst

Alistair C. Darby

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199551354.003.0008

This chapter begins with a brief review of the diversity of insect–symbiont interactions. It then proposes that symbionts are similar to constitutive defences: the insect always pays a metabolic cost. However, secondary symbionts can be lost easily if the selection pressure exerted by a parasitoid relaxes, for example. Aside from protection, there is another twist to the story. In most cases, these symbionts will be expressing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) similar to, or the same as, those of the pathogen. Moreover, the host needs to ensure that the symbionts cooperate. This establishes a very interesting perspective on the evolution of the insect's immune system: maintaining and managing symbionts could constitute a formidable selection pressure for the evolution of a policing system, such as immunity.

Keywords:   insect immunity, bacterial symbionts, hosts, immune response, selection, evolution

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