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Modification of Insect and Arachnid Behaviours by Vertically Transmitted Endosymbionts: Infections as Drivers of Behavioural Change and Evolutionary Novelty

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School of Biology, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK
2
ETH Zurich, Experimental Ecology, Institute for Integrative Biology, Universitätsstrasse 16, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland
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Insects 2012, 3(1), 246-261; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects3010246
Received: 29 January 2012 / Revised: 17 February 2012 / Accepted: 21 February 2012 / Published: 29 February 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symbiosis: A Source of Evolutionary Innovation in Insects)
Vertically acquired, endosymbiotic bacteria such as those belonging to the Rickettsiales and the Mollicutes are known to influence the biology of their arthropod hosts in order to favour their own transmission. In this study we investigate the influence of such reproductive parasites on the behavior of their insects and arachnid hosts. We find that changes in host behavior that are associated with endosymbiont infections are not restricted to characteristics that are directly associated with reproduction. Other behavioural traits, such as those involved in intraspecific competition or in dispersal may also be affected. Such behavioural shifts are expected to influence the level of intraspecific variation and the rate at which adaptation can occur through their effects on effective population size and gene flow amongst populations. Symbionts may thus influence both levels of polymorphism within species and the rate at which diversification can occur. View Full-Text
Keywords: reproductive parasite; host; arthropod; manipulation; bacteria reproductive parasite; host; arthropod; manipulation; bacteria
MDPI and ACS Style

Goodacre, S.L.; Martin, O.Y. Modification of Insect and Arachnid Behaviours by Vertically Transmitted Endosymbionts: Infections as Drivers of Behavioural Change and Evolutionary Novelty. Insects 2012, 3, 246-261.

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