October 3 (Tue) at 16:00 - 17:00, 2023 (JST)
  • Yoshitomo Kikuchi (Group Leader, Environmental Biofunction Research Group, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST))
  • via Zoom
Daiki Kumakura

Microbial symbiosis is omnipresent in animals and plants, playing a crucial role in the evolution of these organisms. While some organisms have developed mechanisms for vertical symbiont transmission, in most cases, these microbial partners are acquired from the surrounding environment, where the enormously diverse microorganisms inhabit. How, then, do these hosts ensure specificity with their symbiotic partners among such diverse environmental microorganisms? And how has this host-symbiont specificity evolved? We are addressing these questions using the bean bug Riptortus pedestris as our model. The insect acquires Caballeronia insecticola from the soil and symbioses with it in the gut crypts. Recently, we revealed that the entrance to the gut symbiotic organ is a narrow tube, just a few micrometers in diameter, filled with a mucus-like matrix. This constricted region helps the host insect select the symbiotic bacterium from the many other soil microbes. Notably, to pass through the constricted region, Caballeronia shows a unique motility called “drill motility”, where the bacterium wraps its flagella around its body. In this presentation, I will introduce the evolutionary process of both host insects and symbiotic bacteria and will discuss the pivotal role played by bacterial motility in the context of host-symbiont specificity.

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