Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

There is growing evidence of the importance of microbial mutualistic symbioses in insect-plant interactions. Mutualists may affect host plant range and enable insects to manipulate plant physiology for their own benefit. The plant can also be a route for the horizontal transfer of mutualistic microorganisms among their host insects. Where this occurs, selection for improved transmission might cause the insect mutualist to damage the plant and become a plant pathogen. Insect microbial associates can influence ecological communities by changing the way the plant interacts with their hosts' competitors and natural enemies. We review recent research in this field and suggest that insect mutualists may be more important 'hidden players' in insect-plant interactions than is currently realised.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.tree.2012.08.013

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trends Ecol Evol

Publication Date

12/2012

Volume

27

Pages

705 - 711

Keywords

Animals, Bacteria, Bacterial Physiological Phenomena, Insecta, Plants, Symbiosis