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.

© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS. Bacterial symbiosis has played a fundamental role in the evolution of eukaryotes. However, we still know little about how cooperative relationships with bacteria originate, and why they form in some host species but not others. Facultative symbionts that are beneficial, but not essential, provide unique insights into these processes. We use data from over a hundred aphid species to test if host life history is associated with the presence of facultative symbionts. We find that aphid species that have mutualistic associations with ants that protect them from natural enemies are less likely to carry symbionts that provide similar benefits. We also find one symbiont species occurs more frequently in unrelated aphid species that specialise on certain plant genera. In addition, aphid species that attack multiple plants often carry different symbiont complements. Our findings provide evidence of the ecological conditions that facilitate stable, mutually beneficial relationships between microbes and eukaryotic hosts.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/ele.12425

Type

Journal article

Journal

Ecology Letters

Publication Date

01/06/2015

Volume

18

Pages

516 - 525