Mechanisms Underlying Microbial Symbiosis

Mechanisms Underlying Microbial Symbiosis

1st Edition - May 27, 2020

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  • Editors: Kerry Oliver, Jacob Russell
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780081029879
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081029886

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Insects engage in intimate associations with microbial symbionts that colonize their digestive systems or internal cells and tissues. The stability and near ubiquity of many of these "symbioses" implies their importance, a prediction supported through experimentation. With the advancing power of experimental methodologies and the growing accessibility of genomic techniques, insect science has reached a powerful new stage enabling the study of previously recalcitrant symbioses, including several with medical and agricultural significance. In this volume we publish a collection of chapters focused on the physiology of insect-microbe symbioses, emphasizing their mechanistic underpinnings, and the ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences of these interactions. Resident microbes modulate insect digestion, nutrition, detoxification, reproduction, interspecies signaling, and host-parasite interactions, and these chapters synthesize impactful, state-of-the art research on insect-microbe symbioses. Through discussions of the mechanisms that both stabilize and regulate these symbioses, these chapters yield further insight into the physiological integration between many insects and their influential microbial partners.

Key Features

  • A broad look at the wide range of symbiont roles and impacts throughout Insecta
  • Molecular and genomic-assisted insights into the diversity and function of symbioses
  • Insights into the influence and integration of symbionts from medically and agriculturally important insects


Entomologists, Microbiologists, Molecular Ecologists, Biology-themed undergraduates and graduate students

Table of Contents

  • 1. Editorial overview: Mechanisms underlying microbial symbiosis
    Kerry Oliver and Jacob A. Russell
    2. Symbiotic solutions to nitrogen limitation: diversity, genomics, and integration of nitrogen-provisioning symbioses
    Allison Hansen
    3. Symbiont mediated degradation of recalcitrant polysaccharides in herbivorous insects
    John Wertz
    4. Regulation of an insect endosymbiosis
    Alexandra C. C. Wilson
    5. Host-symbiont specificity in insects: underpinning mechanisms and evolution
    Yoshitomo Kikuchi
    6. Common themes in intracellular reproductive manipulators of arthropods
    Martha Hunter
    7. Insect symbionts at the interface of plant-insect interactions
    Enric Frago
    8. Functions and mechanisms of symbionts of insect disease vectors
    Kevin Vogel
    9. Offensive symbioses: co-option of viruses by parasitoids
    Elisabeth Huguet
    10. Symbiont produced allelochemicals used in host defense
    Steven Perlman

Product details

  • No. of pages: 364
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2020
  • Published: May 27, 2020
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780081029879
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081029886

About the Serial Volume Editors

Kerry Oliver

Kerry Oliver
Originally from small town Alabama, Kerry Oliver completed his BS in Biology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He subsequently moved to the University of Arizona in Tucson where he became interested in insect symbiosis working under the sage guidance of Molly Hunter and Nancy Moran as a PhD student (2005) and postdoc, respectively. He accepted a host-microbe interactions position in Entomology at the University of Georgia in 2009 and established a lab studying facultative, heritable symbionts in insects, with a focus on defensive symbiosis. As noted above, he and co-editor Jake Russell have a long term, fruitful collaboration taking a multidisciplinary approach to studying ecological symbiosis at scales ranging from molecules to communities. Kerry also actively collaborates with Mike Strand at UGA and Tony Ives from the University of Wisconsin. Outside the lab, Kerry has a strong interest in regional native plants and habitat restoration. He lives in Athens in a tripartite symbiosis involving an obligate partner Becky and a conditionally beneficial interaction with the cat Samsquanch. Together they live on 14 acres of hardwood forest where these interests are regularly put into practice.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Georgia, USA

Jacob Russell

Jacob Russell
Jacob Russell is a first-generation college student who got his start at the University of Rochester. Working in a variety of Biology labs, he found a second home in the labs of John Jaenike and Wolfgang Stefan, where he developed interests in symbiosis, insects, and molecular ecology. He earned a BS, and went on to a PhD program, training with Nancy Moran at the University of Arizona, where he began a long-term collaboration with Kerry Oliver focusing on facultative heritable symbionts of the pea aphid. From there, Jake trained with Naomi Pierce at Harvard University, striking up another fruitful, long-term collaboration with Corrie Moreau on gut symbionts of ants. Hired at Drexel University, in 2007, Jake has since established a research lab that studies these two very different types of symbioses in ants vs. aphids. His questions are united by a drive to understand how symbionts shape insect evolution, and how symbioses evolve on very rapid and ancient timescales. Hhis lab employs tools ranging from manipulative live insect experiments, extensive field sampling, phylogenetics, and genomics. When not in the lab, field, office, or classroom, Jake enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys. They play a lot of soccer, read a lot of great books, fervently root for Syracuse sports, and enjoy their time sampling beverages and pastries from the Philadelphia-area’s finest coffee shops.

Affiliations and Expertise

Drexel University, PA, USA

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