Search - School / College / Institute

A Leaf Eating Beetle and its Relationship with Special Bacteria

A post-doctoral fellow in Emory University's Department of Biology has discovered a leaf-eating beetle that has evolved a symbiotic relationship with bacteria. The scientists stated that this bacteria allows the insect to break down pectin known as the part of a plant's cell wall that is hard to digest to most animals.

The scientists also added that the newly found insect is a leaf eater because of these bacteria that have actually become developmentally integrated into the insect's body.Additionally, two organs alongside the foregut of the beetle (Cassida rubiginosa) carry the bacteria and appear to have no other function than to maintain these microbes.

The organs are equivalent to the liver in humans, as they contain the tools to break down and process food.The scientists also explained that this bacterium has only 270000 DNA base pairs in its genome, compared to the million that are more typical for bacterial strains.


By- Priyanka Negi