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Adopting Bacteria in Order to Adapt to Water-How Reed Beetles Colonized the Wetlands (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Donaciinae).

Kleinschmidt B, Kölsch G - Insects (2011)

Bottom Line: Reed beetles are herbivores living on wetland plants, each species being mono- or oligo-phagous.They lay their eggs on the host plant and the larvae live underwater in the sediment attached to its roots.The pupation underwater enabled the reed beetles to permanently colonize the wetlands and to diversify in this habitat underexploited by herbivorous insects (adaptive radiation).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Zoological Institute, Molecular Evolutionary Biology, University of Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany. birgit.kleinschmidt@gmx.net.

ABSTRACT
The present paper reviews the biology of reed beetles (Donaciinae), presents experimental data on the role of specific symbiotic bacteria, and describes a molecular method for the detection of those bacteria. Reed beetles are herbivores living on wetland plants, each species being mono- or oligo-phagous. They lay their eggs on the host plant and the larvae live underwater in the sediment attached to its roots. The larvae pupate there in a water-tight cocoon, which they build using a secretion that is produced by symbiotic bacteria. The bacteria are located in four blind sacs at the foregut of the larvae; in (female) adults they colonize two out of the six Malpighian tubules. Tetracycline treatment of larvae reduced their pupation rate, although the bacteria could not be fully eliminated. When the small amount of bacterial mass attached to eggs was experimentally removed before hatching, symbiont free larvae resulted, showing the external transmission of the bacteria to the offspring. Specific primers were designed to detect the bacteria, and to confirm their absence in manipulated larvae. The pupation underwater enabled the reed beetles to permanently colonize the wetlands and to diversify in this habitat underexploited by herbivorous insects (adaptive radiation).

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

(a) Adults of Donacia cf. subtilis in pre-mating position; (b) Cocoon of Donacia sp. (probably D. cincticornis) on a water lily rhizome; (c) Late instar larva of Macroplea mutica, ventral view; The small head, three pairs of rudimentary legs, and the pair of abdominal stilettos (on the right, see text) are visible (d). Phase 1 cocoon material with adhering sand, preserved in ethanol; the thin membranous material is visible between sand grains in the centre and lower right part of the formation. Scale bars: 5 mm in (a) and (b), 1 mm in (c) and (d).
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f1-insects-02-00540: (a) Adults of Donacia cf. subtilis in pre-mating position; (b) Cocoon of Donacia sp. (probably D. cincticornis) on a water lily rhizome; (c) Late instar larva of Macroplea mutica, ventral view; The small head, three pairs of rudimentary legs, and the pair of abdominal stilettos (on the right, see text) are visible (d). Phase 1 cocoon material with adhering sand, preserved in ethanol; the thin membranous material is visible between sand grains in the centre and lower right part of the formation. Scale bars: 5 mm in (a) and (b), 1 mm in (c) and (d).

Mentions: Reed beetles (Donaciinae) are a relatively basal group within the leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) [25-27]. Their habitus is similar to that of long-horned beetles (Cerambycidae): the antennae are long, and the “shoulders” (humeral angles of the elytra) are prominent (Figure 1a). Morphologically, they are well defined by the first abdominal sternite being as long as all following ones together [28]. The approximately 165 species show a Holarctic distribution, with some species occurring in Africa, Central America and Northern Australia [29-31]. Reed beetles live on herbaceous plants in wetlands, from wet sedge meadows to submerged vegetation, with most species being mono- or oligo-phagous. Adult beetles feed on the leaves of their host plant although some species are pollen feeders. The females lay the eggs in the lower parts of the plants, for example between leaf and stem, often underwater. The larvae (Figure 1c) live attached to the roots in the sediment [32,33]. Their mode of feeding is discussed in detail by Böving [32], and most if not all species live as sap suckers gnawing a hole into the root. They breathe by tapping the aerenchyme of the plant with two hollow abdominal stilettos, which are connected to their tracheal system [32,34]. The larvae pupate at the end of their second summer in a cocoon (Figure 1b). The beetle overwinters in the air filled cocoon and ecloses in the following spring. In warmer climate the larvae may pupate after their first summer. Information on the formation of the cocoon is summarized by Böving [32]. The epidermis of a mature larva produces a waxy secretion that covers the entire body prior to pupation. The larva lines this preliminary construction on the inner side using a secretion oozing from its mouth while performing spinning movements. It is not clear to which extent excretions from the anus are further involved. This explains why the wall consists of several thin layers. The completed cocoon only consists of layers produced during this second phase (14–18 in Donacia brevicornis, each 0.3 to 1.4 μm thick; [32,35]). The secretion used during the first phase is ephemeral. In late summer, cocoons isolated from sandy sediment sometimes have sand grains adhering to them, which can easily be wiped off (Figure 1d, personal observation G.K.). Older cocoons are devoid of such covering, separating from sediment in a perfectly clean manner (Figure 1b). The cocoon material is flexible and resists strong alkaline and acid solutions [32], although warm KOH leads to a partial degradation [35]. Fibrils present in the cocoon wall are predominantly oriented at 90° and 45° to the long axis of the cocoon [36]. Cocoons from at least the preceding year can be found in the field. While the waxy secretion produced during the first phase could be similar (homologous) to material used by other chrysomelid larvae for stabilizing their pupal chambers in the sediment, the phase two secretion is as unusual as the formation of a cocoon per se among chrysomelid beetles. The composition of the cocoon material is not precisely known, but preliminary results point at quinone tanned protein [35].


Adopting Bacteria in Order to Adapt to Water-How Reed Beetles Colonized the Wetlands (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Donaciinae).

Kleinschmidt B, Kölsch G - Insects (2011)

(a) Adults of Donacia cf. subtilis in pre-mating position; (b) Cocoon of Donacia sp. (probably D. cincticornis) on a water lily rhizome; (c) Late instar larva of Macroplea mutica, ventral view; The small head, three pairs of rudimentary legs, and the pair of abdominal stilettos (on the right, see text) are visible (d). Phase 1 cocoon material with adhering sand, preserved in ethanol; the thin membranous material is visible between sand grains in the centre and lower right part of the formation. Scale bars: 5 mm in (a) and (b), 1 mm in (c) and (d).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4553447&req=5

f1-insects-02-00540: (a) Adults of Donacia cf. subtilis in pre-mating position; (b) Cocoon of Donacia sp. (probably D. cincticornis) on a water lily rhizome; (c) Late instar larva of Macroplea mutica, ventral view; The small head, three pairs of rudimentary legs, and the pair of abdominal stilettos (on the right, see text) are visible (d). Phase 1 cocoon material with adhering sand, preserved in ethanol; the thin membranous material is visible between sand grains in the centre and lower right part of the formation. Scale bars: 5 mm in (a) and (b), 1 mm in (c) and (d).
Mentions: Reed beetles (Donaciinae) are a relatively basal group within the leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) [25-27]. Their habitus is similar to that of long-horned beetles (Cerambycidae): the antennae are long, and the “shoulders” (humeral angles of the elytra) are prominent (Figure 1a). Morphologically, they are well defined by the first abdominal sternite being as long as all following ones together [28]. The approximately 165 species show a Holarctic distribution, with some species occurring in Africa, Central America and Northern Australia [29-31]. Reed beetles live on herbaceous plants in wetlands, from wet sedge meadows to submerged vegetation, with most species being mono- or oligo-phagous. Adult beetles feed on the leaves of their host plant although some species are pollen feeders. The females lay the eggs in the lower parts of the plants, for example between leaf and stem, often underwater. The larvae (Figure 1c) live attached to the roots in the sediment [32,33]. Their mode of feeding is discussed in detail by Böving [32], and most if not all species live as sap suckers gnawing a hole into the root. They breathe by tapping the aerenchyme of the plant with two hollow abdominal stilettos, which are connected to their tracheal system [32,34]. The larvae pupate at the end of their second summer in a cocoon (Figure 1b). The beetle overwinters in the air filled cocoon and ecloses in the following spring. In warmer climate the larvae may pupate after their first summer. Information on the formation of the cocoon is summarized by Böving [32]. The epidermis of a mature larva produces a waxy secretion that covers the entire body prior to pupation. The larva lines this preliminary construction on the inner side using a secretion oozing from its mouth while performing spinning movements. It is not clear to which extent excretions from the anus are further involved. This explains why the wall consists of several thin layers. The completed cocoon only consists of layers produced during this second phase (14–18 in Donacia brevicornis, each 0.3 to 1.4 μm thick; [32,35]). The secretion used during the first phase is ephemeral. In late summer, cocoons isolated from sandy sediment sometimes have sand grains adhering to them, which can easily be wiped off (Figure 1d, personal observation G.K.). Older cocoons are devoid of such covering, separating from sediment in a perfectly clean manner (Figure 1b). The cocoon material is flexible and resists strong alkaline and acid solutions [32], although warm KOH leads to a partial degradation [35]. Fibrils present in the cocoon wall are predominantly oriented at 90° and 45° to the long axis of the cocoon [36]. Cocoons from at least the preceding year can be found in the field. While the waxy secretion produced during the first phase could be similar (homologous) to material used by other chrysomelid larvae for stabilizing their pupal chambers in the sediment, the phase two secretion is as unusual as the formation of a cocoon per se among chrysomelid beetles. The composition of the cocoon material is not precisely known, but preliminary results point at quinone tanned protein [35].

Bottom Line: Reed beetles are herbivores living on wetland plants, each species being mono- or oligo-phagous.They lay their eggs on the host plant and the larvae live underwater in the sediment attached to its roots.The pupation underwater enabled the reed beetles to permanently colonize the wetlands and to diversify in this habitat underexploited by herbivorous insects (adaptive radiation).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Zoological Institute, Molecular Evolutionary Biology, University of Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany. birgit.kleinschmidt@gmx.net.

ABSTRACT
The present paper reviews the biology of reed beetles (Donaciinae), presents experimental data on the role of specific symbiotic bacteria, and describes a molecular method for the detection of those bacteria. Reed beetles are herbivores living on wetland plants, each species being mono- or oligo-phagous. They lay their eggs on the host plant and the larvae live underwater in the sediment attached to its roots. The larvae pupate there in a water-tight cocoon, which they build using a secretion that is produced by symbiotic bacteria. The bacteria are located in four blind sacs at the foregut of the larvae; in (female) adults they colonize two out of the six Malpighian tubules. Tetracycline treatment of larvae reduced their pupation rate, although the bacteria could not be fully eliminated. When the small amount of bacterial mass attached to eggs was experimentally removed before hatching, symbiont free larvae resulted, showing the external transmission of the bacteria to the offspring. Specific primers were designed to detect the bacteria, and to confirm their absence in manipulated larvae. The pupation underwater enabled the reed beetles to permanently colonize the wetlands and to diversify in this habitat underexploited by herbivorous insects (adaptive radiation).

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus