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Insects 2018, 9(1), 28;

Cross-Resistance: A Consequence of Bi-partite Host-Parasite Coevolution

Institute of Insect Biotechnology, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Heinrich Buff Ring 29-32, 35392 Giessen, Germany
Institute of Animal Ecology, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasite-Insect Interactions)
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Host-parasite coevolution can influence interactions of the host and parasite with the wider ecological community. One way that this may manifest is in cross-resistance towards other parasites, which has been observed to occur in some host-parasite evolution experiments. In this paper, we test for cross-resistance towards Bacillus thuringiensis and Pseudomonas entomophila in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, which was previously allowed to coevolve with the generalist entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. We combine survival and gene expression assays upon infection to test for cross-resistance and underlying mechanisms. We show that larvae of T. castaneum that evolved with B. bassiana under coevolutionary conditions were positively cross-resistant to the bacterium B. thuringiensis, but not P. entomophila. Positive cross-resistance was mirrored at the gene expression level with markers that were representative of the oral route of infection being upregulated upon B. bassiana exposure. We find that positive cross-resistance towards B. thuringiensis evolved in T. castaneum as a consequence of its coevolutionary interactions with B. bassiana. This cross-resistance appears to be a consequence of resistance to oral toxicity. The fact that coevolution with B. bassiana results in resistance to B. thuringiensis, but not P. entomophila implies that B. thuringiensis and B. bassiana may share mechanisms of infection or toxicity not shared by P. entomophila. This supports previous suggestions that B. bassiana may possess Cry-like toxins, similar to those found in B. thuringiensis, which allow it to infect orally. View Full-Text
Keywords: route of infection; RT-qPCR; Tribolium castaneum; Beauveria bassiana; Bacillus thuringiensis; Pseudomonas entomophila; multiple parasites route of infection; RT-qPCR; Tribolium castaneum; Beauveria bassiana; Bacillus thuringiensis; Pseudomonas entomophila; multiple parasites

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Biswas, T.; Joop, G.; Rafaluk-Mohr, C. Cross-Resistance: A Consequence of Bi-partite Host-Parasite Coevolution. Insects 2018, 9, 28.

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