Dr. Junbeom Lee

Dr. Junbeom Lee

Evolutionäre Ökologie

Institut für Organismische und Molekulare Evolutionsbiologie
Hanns-Dieter-Hüsch-Weg 15
55128 Mainz

phone: +49 - (0) 6131 - 39 25200
fax: +49 - (0) 6131 - 39 23731



Research      -     CV      -     Publications

Research Interest

Since recently scientific interests are increased in gut microbiota, understanding of the molecular mechanisms of how herbivorous insect can survive from the toxicity of plant-derived toxic substances and what role symbionts play in the process of detoxification is an important issue in the host-microbe interaction. In this study, to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of detoxifying reactions provided by yeast-like symbionts in tobacco-feeding beetles, I have planned the research outline as follows:

Firstly, to examine symbiont-provided benefits to the host by feeding toxin-containing food sources, host beetle will be fed in the restricted diets amended with plant toxins depending on the experiments. And then, host developmental and survival rate, and other fitness parameters will be compared between symbiotic- (harboring symbionts), aposymbiotic- (without symbionts by sterilization), and complemented-insects (re-infected with symbionts) using three insect lines.

Secondly, to investigate the influence of tobacco toxic substances on symbiont-encoded detoxification genes, I will compare the transcriptome of toxin-administered symbiont cells with none-challenged symbiont cells from both in vitro and in vivo condition. These analyses will provide a chance to identify host-derived genes on detoxification mechanisms, and symbiont-mediated genes to regulate these detoxifying reactions.

Finally, to isolate and characterize of novel detoxifying enzymes from the symbiotic organs of cigarette beetles, the in vivo-protein samples from the symbiont-colonized organs of host beetles will be purified using liquid chromatographic approaches. The purified detoxifying enzymes will supposed to raise our understanding on host-symbiont association.

Thus, this proposed project is designed to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the detoxification process and the adaptation of yeast-like symbiont-harboring beetles to the chemically well-defended tobacco plants.


at Evolutionary Ecology                                                       since 2018

Evolutionary Ecology, iOME
Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz

Ph. D. Insect symbiosis (Supervisor: Prof. Bok Luel Lee)              Mar. 2013 ~ Feb. 2017

Department of Manufacturing Pharmacy
College of Pharmacy
Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea

Title: Gut symbiont Burkholderia cells modulate expression of hemolymph proteins and juvenile hormone for development and fitness of host insect, Riptortus pedestris

Ma. Sc. Baculovirus (Supervisor: Prof. Soo Dong Woo)                   Sep. 2010 ~ Aug. 2012

Department of Agricultural Biology
College of Agriculture, Life & Environment Science
Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, South Korea

Title: Recombinant expression of porcine circovirus type 2 capsid protein by the fusion with baculovirus partial polyhedron in insect cells

Ba. Sc. Agriculture (Entomology)                                                       Mar. 2001 ~ Aug. 2007

Department of Plant Medicine
College of Agriculture, Life & Environment Science
Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, South Korea



Lee, J., Mao, X., Lee, Y.S., Lee, D.J., Kim, J., Kim, J.K., Lee, B.L. (2019) Putative host-derived growth factors inducing colonization of Burkholderia gut symbiont in Riptortus pedestris insect, Developmental & Comparative Immunology, doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2019.103570

Junbeom Lee, Chan-Hee Kim, Ho Am Jang, Jiyeun Kate Kim, Toyomi Kotaki, Tetsuro Shinoda, Tetsuro Shinada, Jin-Wook Yoo, Bok Luel Lee (2019) Burkholderia gut symbiont modulates titer of specific juvenile hormone in the bean bug Riptortus pedestris. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 99, doi.org/10.1016/j.dci.2019.103399

Park K-E, Jang SH, Lee J, Lee SA, Kikuchi Y, Seo Y-S, Lee BL (2018) The roles of antimicrobial peptide, rip-thanatin, in the midgut of Riptortus pedestris. Developmental & Comparative Immunology 78: 83-90.

Kim JK, Jang HA, Kim MS, Cho JH, Lee J, Lorenzo FD, Sturiale L, Silipo A, Molinaro A, Lee BL (2017) The lipopolysaccharide core oligosaccharide of Burkholderia plays a critical role in maintaining a proper gut symbiosis with the bean bug Riptortus pedestris. Journal of Biological Chemistry 292(47), 19226-19237.

Jang SH, Jang HA, Lee J, Kim JU, Lee SA, Park K-E, Kim BH, Jo YH, Lee BL (2017) PhaR, a negative regulatory protein of PhaP, modulates the colonization of Burkholderia gut symbiont in the midgut of the host insect, Riptortus pedestris. Appl. Environ. Microbiol 83(11), e00459-17.

Lee JB, Park K-E, Lee SA, Jang SH, Eo HJ, Jang HA, Kim C-H, Ohbayashi T, Matsuura Y, Kikuchi Y, Futahashi R, Fukatsu T, Lee BL (2017) Gut symbiotic bacteria stimulate insect growth and egg production by modulating hexamerin and vitellogenin gene expression. Developmental & Comparative Immunology 69: 12-22.

Lee DJ, Lee JB, Ferrandon D, Lee BL (2017) An antimicrobial protein of the Riptortus pedestris salivary gland was cleaved by a virulence factor of Serratia marcescens. Developmental & Comparative Immunology 67: 427-433.

Kim JK, Lee JB, Jang HA, Han YS, Fukatsu T, Lee BL (2016) Understanding regulation of the host-mediated gut symbiont population and the symbiont-mediated host immunity in the Riptortus-Burkholderia symbiosis system. Developmental & Comparative Immunology 64: 75-81.

Kim JK, Lee JB, Huh YR, Jang HA, Kim C-H, Yoo JW, Lee BL (2015) Burkholderia gut symbionts enhance the innate immunity of host Riptortus pedestris. Developmental & Comparative Immunology 53: 265-269.

Byeon JH, Seo ES, Lee JB, Lee MJ, Kim JK, Yoo JW, Jung YJ, Lee BL (2015) A specific cathepsin-L-like protease purified from an insect midgut shows antibacterial activity against gut symbiotic bacteria. Developmental & Comparative Immunology 53: 79-84.

Lee JB, Byeon JH, Jang HA, Kim JK, Yoo JW, Kikuchi Y, Lee BL (2015) Bacterial cell motility of Burkholderia gut symbiont is required to colonize the insect gut. FEBS Letters 589: 2784-2790.

Bae SM, Kim HJ, Lee JB, Choi JB, Shin TY, Koo HN, Choi JY, Lee KS, Je YH, Jin BR, Yoo SS, Woo SD (2013) Hyper-Enhanced production of foreign recombinant protein by fusion with the partial polyhedrin of nucleopolyhedrovirus. PLoS ONE 8: e60835.