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Research in Microbiology
Vol. 168 (3), 2017, Pages: 175–187

Riptortus pedestris and Burkholderia symbiont: an ideal model system for insect–microbe symbiotic associations

Kazutaka Takeshita, Yoshitomo Kikuchi

Bioproduction Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Hokkaido Center, Sapporo 062-8517, Japan.


A number of insects establish symbiotic associations with beneficial microorganisms in various manners. The bean bug Riptortus pedestris and allied stink bugs possess an environmentally acquired Burkholderia symbiont in their midgut crypts. Unlike other insect endosymbionts, the Burkholderia symbiont is easily culturable and genetically manipulatable outside the host. In conjunction with the experimental advantages of the host insect, the Riptortus–Burkholderia symbiosis is an ideal model system for elucidating the molecular bases underpinning insect-microbe symbioses, which opens a new window in the research field of insect symbiosis. This review summarizes current knowledge of this system and discusses future perspectives.

Keywords: Insect-microbe interaction; Gut symbiosis; Stink bugs; Riptortus pedestris; Burkholderia; Evolution.

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