Friday, June 09, 2006

The Friend of my Enemy is my Friend?

UC Davis News is reporting that researchers have discovered an interesting link between the glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca coagulata) and two species of bacteria. The bacteria (Baumannia cicadellinicola and Sulcia muelleri) live on the sharpshooters in a symbiotic relationship: the bacteria provides the insect with needed amino acids, possibly in exchange for living space. Complicating things further, the two bacteria species depend on each other, with only Sulcia able to generate amino acids. The scientists noted that the bacteria could hold the key to developing an effective biological control for the sharpshooters, already a costly invasive species in California and elsewhere.

Read the full article (for free!) in the journal PLOS Biology.

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