Presence and diversity of Streptomyces in Dendroctonus and sympatric bark beetle galleries across North America

Microb Ecol. 2011 May;61(4):759-68. doi: 10.1007/s00248-010-9797-0. Epub 2011 Jan 20.


Recent studies have revealed several examples of intimate associations between insects and Actinobacteria, including the Southern Pine Beetle Dendroctonus frontalis and the Spruce Beetle Dendroctonus rufipennis. Here, we surveyed Streptomyces Actinobacteria co-occurring with 10 species of Dendroctonus bark beetles across the United States, using both phylogenetic and community ecology approaches. From these 10 species, and 19 other scolytine beetles that occur in the same trees, we obtained 154 Streptomyces-like isolates and generated 16S sequences from 134 of those. Confirmed 16S sequences of Streptomyces were binned into 36 distinct strains using a threshold of 0.2% sequence divergence. The 16S rDNA phylogeny of all isolates does not correlate with the distribution of strains among beetle species, localities, or parts of the beetles or their galleries. However, we identified three Streptomyces strains occurring repeatedly on Dendroctonus beetles and in their galleries. Identity of these isolates was corroborated using a house-keeping gene sequence (efTu). These strains are not confined to a certain species of beetle, locality, or part of the beetle or their galleries. However, their role as residents in the woodboring insect niche is supported by the repeated association of their 16S and efTu from across the continent, and also having been reported in studies of other subcortical insects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biodiversity*
  • Coleoptera / microbiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • North America
  • Phylogeny
  • Streptomyces / classification
  • Streptomyces / genetics
  • Streptomyces / isolation & purification*