Microbiological characterization of gut symbiotic bacteria in a limited number of stinkbugs of the families Acanthosomatidae, Plataspidae, Pentatomidae, Scutelleridae, Parastrachiidae, Alydidae and Pyrrhocoridae has shown symbiotic association with midgut bacteria to be common in phytophagous taxa of these heteropteran insects. Here we investigated the midgut bacterial symbiont of Eucorysses grandis, a stinkbug of the family Scutelleridae. A specific gammaproteobacterium was consistently identified in insects from five different geographic origins. The bacterium was detected in 64 of 64 insects sampled from three host populations. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the bacterium constitutes a distinct lineage in the Gammaproteobacteria, neither closely related to the gut symbiont of another scutellerid stinkbug, Cantao ocellatus, nor to gut symbionts of other stinkbugs. Diagnostic PCR, in situ hybridization and electron microscopy demonstrated that the bacterium is located extracelluarly, in the midgut fourth section, which possesses crypts. These results indicate that the primary gut symbionts have multiple evolutionary origins in the Scutelleridae. A Sodalis-allied facultative symbiont was also identified in some insects from natural populations. Biological aspects of the primary gut symbiont and the secondary Sodalis-allied symbiont are discussed.
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