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Small genome symbiont underlies cuticle hardness in beetles [PNAS]

Keywords : weevil, Nardonella, symbiont, genome, tyrosine

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Beetles are successful in the terrestrial ecosystem, which is attributable to, at least partly, their highly sclerotized exoskeleton. Here, we report a bacterial symbiont extremely specialized for underpinning the beetle’s hardness. The ancient endosymbiont Nardonella associated with weevils has an extremely small genome devoted to a single biological function, tyrosine provisioning, which is needed for insect’s cuticle formation and hardening.(...)

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