Bacterial infection increases reproductive investment in burying beetles

Reavey, Catherine E. and Silva, Farley W. S. and Cotter, Sheena C. (2015) Bacterial infection increases reproductive investment in burying beetles. Insects, 6 (4). pp. 926-942. ISSN 2075-4450

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/insects6040926

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Bacterial infection increases reproductive investment in burying beetles

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

The Nicrophorus genus lives and breeds in a microbe rich environment. As such, it would be expected that strategies should be in place to counter potentially negative effects of the microbes common to this environment. In this study we show the response of Nicrophorus vespilloides to the common soil bacterium, Bacillus subtilis. Phenoloxidase (PO) levels are not upregulated in response to the challenge and the bacteria are observed to multiply within the haemolymph of the host. Despite the growth of B. subtilis, survival is not affected, either in virgin or in breeding beetles. Some limit on bacterial growth in the haemolymph does seem to be occurring, suggesting mechanisms of resistance, in addition to tolerance mechanisms. Despite limited detrimental effects on the individual, challenge by Bacillus subtilis appears to act as a cue to increase reproductive investment. The challenge may indicate a suite of negative environmental conditions that could compromise future breeding opportunities. This could act as a cue to increase parental investment in the current bout.

Additional Information:This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasite-Insect Interactions
Keywords:insect, Nicrophorus, parental care, Immunity, Reproduction, Trade-off, Phenoloxidase, Wounding, Senescence, Social, bmjgoldcheck, librarypaid, bacteria, ecological immunology, lysozyme, survival, tolerance, JCOpen
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C550 Immunology
C Biological Sciences > C111 Parasitology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C150 Environmental Biology
C Biological Sciences > C340 Entomology
C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
C Biological Sciences > C110 Applied Biology
C Biological Sciences > C100 Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:19316
Deposited On:28 Oct 2015 16:19

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