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Better together: Bacterial endosymbionts are essential for the reproduction of a fungus

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In collaboration with researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Age Research, Jena, the team also made progress in understanding how the endosymbiotic bacteria influence reproduction by their host. Using a laser gun to introduce Burkholderia that had been specially labeled with a marker known as green fluorescent protein, the researchers were able to detect the bacteria within both myceliumthe vegetative portion of the fungusand fungal spores.

On the basis of their findings, the authors conclude that the symbiont-dependent spore formation they observe is a means to maintain the symbiosis between the two species. Although the fungus has lost control over its reproduction, the endofungal bacteria in return provide a highly potent toxin for defending the habitat and accessing nutrients from decaying plants.


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Contact: Erin Doonan
edoonan@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
5-Apr-2007


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