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Male-killing bacteria in insects: mechanisms, incidence and implications

Hurst, GDD; Jiggins, FM; (2000) Male-killing bacteria in insects: mechanisms, incidence and implications. Emerging Infectious Diseases , 6 (4) 329 - 336. 10.3201/eid0604.000402. Green open access

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Abstract

Bacteria that are vertically transmitted through female hosts and kill male hosts that inherit them were first recorded in insects during the 1950s. Recent studies have shown these "male-killers" to be diverse and have led to a reappraisal of the biology of many groups of bacteria. Rickettsia, for instance, have been regarded as human pathogens transmitted by arthropods. The finding of a male-killing Rickettsia obligately associated with an insect suggests that the genus' members may be primarily associated with arthropods and are only sometimes pathogens of vertebrates. We examined both how killing of male hosts affects the dynamics of inherited bacteria and how male-killing bacteria affect their host populations. Finally, we assessed the potential use of these microorganisms in the control of insect populations.

Type: Article
Title: Male-killing bacteria in insects: mechanisms, incidence and implications
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3201/eid0604.000402
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid0604.000402
Language: English
Additional information: Emerging Infectious Diseases is published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a U.S. Government agency. Therefore, all materials published in Emerging Infectious Diseases are in the public domain and can be used without permission. Proper citation, however, is required.
Keywords: Bacteria, Mechanisms
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/22655
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