Genomic revelations of a mutualism: the pea aphid and its obligate bacterial symbiont

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2011 Apr;68(8):1297-309. doi: 10.1007/s00018-011-0645-2. Epub 2011 Mar 10.


The symbiosis of the pea aphid Acyrthosphion pisum with the bacterium Buchnera aphidicola APS represents the best-studied insect obligate symbiosis. Here we present a refined picture of this symbiosis by linking pre-genomic observations to new genomic data that includes the complete genomes of the eukaryotic and prokaryotic symbiotic partners. In doing so, we address four issues central to understanding the patterns and processes operating at the A. pisum/Buchnera APS interface. These four issues include: (1) lateral gene transfer, (2) host immunity, (3) symbiotic metabolism, and (4) regulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aphids / genetics*
  • Aphids / microbiology*
  • Buchnera / genetics
  • Buchnera / physiology*
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal*
  • Symbiosis*