Global warming could kill off ‘good bacteria’, exposing an ‘Achilles’ heel’ in the ecosystem

| October 4, 2016 | Leave a Comment

Nezara viridula by Eran Finkle | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: News / Op - Ed

Date of Publication: October 4, 2016

Year of Publication: 2016

Publication City: London, UK

Publisher: Independent Digital News & Media

Author(s): Ian Johnston

Newspaper: The Independent

Categories: ,

Rising temperatures may be too much for bacteria that form a mutually beneficial relationship with many animals

Science Correspondent Ian Johnston reports on the recent study by Yoshitomo Kikuchi et al. published in mBio, which found that southern green stinkbugs kept in an incubator 2.5 degrees C warmer than the temperature outside experienced a significant reduction in the ‘good bacteria’ in their guts.

The stinkbugs, like most animals, have a beneficial symbiotic relationship with specific bacterium of their guts. Young stinkbugs in the higher temperature incubator grew to be smaller than normal, a result consistent with the observed affects of antibiotic treatment that also suppresses gut bacteria.

The study raises the question of how climate change might be affecting animals and ecosystems indirectly through suppression of bacteria.

Read Ian Johnston’s full report here, and access the mBio article through the MAHB Library: Collapse of Insect Gut Symbiosis under Simulated Climate Change

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