The cabbage bugs Eurydema rugosa Motschulsky and Eurydema dominulus (Scopoli) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae: Strachiini) possess a number of crypts in a posterior region of the midgut, which are filled with bacterial symbiont cells. Here we characterized the gut symbionts of Eurydema stinkbugs using molecular phylogenetic and histological techniques. Specific gammaproteobacteria were consistently identified from the posterior midgut of E. rugosa representing nine populations and E. dominulus representing six populations, respectively. The bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences were identical within the species but slightly different (98. 2% sequence identity) between the species. Molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Eurydema symbionts formed a well-defined monophyletic group in the Gammaproteobacteria. The symbionts were phylogenetically distinct from the gut symbionts of the stinkbug families Acanthosomatidae, Plataspidae, Parastrachiidae, Scutelleridae, and other pentatomid species, suggesting multiple evolutionary origins of the gut symbiotic bacteria among diverse stinkbugs. In situ hybridization confirmed that the symbiont is located in the cavity of the midgut crypts. Aposymbiotic insects of E. rugosa, which were produced by egg surface sterilization, were viable but suffered retarded growth, reduced body weight, and abnormal body color, suggesting the biological importance of the symbiont for the host.
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