Bed Bug Bacterial Genes

Bed Bug

Underside of Immature Bed Bug

Lateral gene transfer, the movement of genes from one organism to another is a relatively frequent occurrence in host/symbiont relationships. Lateral gene transfers can be detected by comparing the sequence of bacterial genes to DNA sequence in the host. A comparison of bed bug DNA with the genes associated bacteria* found 805 sequences that could have arisen from lateral gene transfer. This is a large number for an insect species. Most lateral gene transfers from bacteria to insects are lost over time, but some occasionally evolve into insect genes that provide a novel function.

*Benoit & Colleagues. Unique features of a global human ectoparasite identified through sequencing of the bed bug genome. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 7:10165 2 Feb 2016
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10165

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Bed Bug Bacterial Genes

  1. Pingback: Bed Bug Bacterial Genes – Entomo Planet

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