Symbiont influence on host communication


Pheromones serve as chemical signals between individuals of the same species and play important roles for mate localization and mate choice as well as other social interactions in insects. A growing body of literature indicates that microbial symbionts can modulate their hosts' chemical profiles, mate choice decisions and social behavior. However, despite the increasing number of studies reporting on symbiont-mediated effects on insect chemical communication, experimentally validated connections between the presence of specific symbionts, changes in the host's chemistry, and behavioral effects thereof, remain limited to very few systems, highlighting the need for increased collaborative efforts between symbiosis researchers and chemical ecologists. We investigate the symbiont influence on host communication in several symbiotic associations, partially also in international collaborations.



Tobias Engl, Martin Kaltenpoth, Junbeom Lee



Schneider, D., Ehrman, L., Engl, T., Kaltenpoth, M., Hua-Van, A., Le Rouzic, A., Miller, W.J. (2019) Symbiont-driven male mating success in neotropical Drosophila paulistorum superspecies. Behavior Genetics. 49:83-98

Engl, T., Michalkova, V., Weiss, B. L., Uzel, G. D. ,Takac, P., Miller, W. J., Abd-Alla, A. M. M., Aksoy, S., and Kaltenpoth, M., (in press) Effect of antibiotic treatment and gamma-irradiation on cuticular hydrocarbon profiles and mate choice in tsetse flies (Glossina m. morsitans), BMC Microbiology. 18:145.

Engl, T., Kaltenpoth, M. (2018) Influence of microbial symbionts on insect pheromones. Natural Product Reports, 35: 386-397.