Symbiont acquisition alters behaviour of stinkbug nymphs

Takahiro Hosokawa, Yoshitomo Kikuchi, Masakazu Shimada, Takema Fukatsu

研究成果: ジャーナルへの寄稿学術誌査読

67 被引用数 (Scopus)


In parasitic associations, the evolutionary interest of a symbiont contradicts that of a host, which sometimes causes the phenomena so-called 'parasite manipulation' wherein symbiont infection alters host behaviour to facilitate its vertical/horizontal transmission. In mutualistic associations, meanwhile, symbiont-induced alteration of host behaviour that enhances its transmission has been little described. Here we report such a case in the stinkbug Megacopta punctatissima associated with an obligate gut bacterium. When female stinkbugs lay eggs, small particles called 'symbiont capsules' are deposited underside of the egg mass. Newborn nymphs immediately acquire the symbiont from the capsule, and then aggregate and become quiescent. By manipulating the levels of symbiont supply to newborn nymphs experimentally, we demonstrated that (i) experimental depletion of the symbiont resulted in the occurrence of wandering nymphs, (ii) the less symbiont supply, the more wandering nymphs, and (iii) almost all wandering nymphs were either symbiont-free or symbiont-depleted, whereas the majority of resting nymphs were infected with sufficient titres of the symbiont. These results strongly suggest that the nymphal behaviour is strongly influenced by the success/failure of the symbiont acquisition, thereby ensuring transmission of the essential symbiont and minimizing the energy and time spent for the activity.

ジャーナルBiology Letters
出版ステータス出版済み - 2月 23 2008

!!!All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • 農業および生物科学(その他)
  • 農業および生物科学一般


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