Relevance of microbial symbiosis to insect behavior

Takahiro Hosokawa, Takema Fukatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial symbiosis is widespread among insects. This article reviews our understanding of insect behaviors relevant to commensalistic and mutualistic microbial symbiosis, which has received relatively less attention compared to insect behaviors in parasitic symbiosis. First, we review our knowledge of symbiont transmission behaviors by which the host insects maintain associations with beneficial microorganisms over generations. Some insects that extracellularly harbor mutualistic symbionts exhibit particularly sophisticated behaviors for vertical symbiont transmission. Next, we highlight notable studies on behavioral changes induced by symbiont infection. In the last decade, a number of studies have demonstrated or suggested that mutualistic or commensalistic symbiont infections affect their host behaviors. Finally, future directions regarding these research topics are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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