Bacterial endosymbionts of insects: insights from comparative genomics

Authors

  • Rosario Gil,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva and Departament de Genètica, Universitat de València, Apartado Postal 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain.
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  • Amparo Latorre,

    1. Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva and Departament de Genètica, Universitat de València, Apartado Postal 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain.
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  • Andrés Moya

    1. Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva and Departament de Genètica, Universitat de València, Apartado Postal 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain.
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*E-mail rosario.gil@uv.es; Tel. (+34) 96 354 3629; Fax (+34) 96 354 3670.

Summary

The development of molecular techniques for the study of uncultured bacteria allowed the extensive study of the widespread association between insects and intracellular symbiotic bacteria. Most of the bacterial endosymbionts involved in such associations are γ-proteobacteria, closely related to Escherichia coli. In recent years, five genomes from insect endosymbionts have been sequenced, allowing the performance of extensive genome comparative analysis that, as a complement of phylogenetic studies, and analysis on individual genes, can help to understand the different traits of this particular association, including how the symbiotic process is established, the explanation of the special features of these microbial genomes, the bases of this intimate association and the possible future that awaits the endosymbionts with extremely reduced genomes.

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