Big Role for a Tiny Genome

Cell. 2017 Dec 14;171(7):1472-1473. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.11.038.


In this issue of Cell, Salem et al. demonstrate a remarkable instance of herbivory dependent on a co-evolved mutualism with specialized bacteria. Despite having a tiny genome and limited metabolic repertoire, the bacteria in Cassida beetles produce pectinases predicted to mediate degradation of plant cell walls in the insect diet.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria
  • Coleoptera*
  • Herbivory*
  • Insecta
  • Symbiosis