Sunday, April 4, 2010

Caterpillars + Bacteria = Interesting Relationship

Caterpillars use bacteria to produce green islands in yellowing leaves.

Wolbachia bacteria are a fascinating species, among other things, it put its entire genome into a fruit fly, gives its hosts a variety of superpowers from making them capable of asexual reproduction, causes sex changes in male butterflies, or even killing off the males of the species. So is this relationship straight parasitism (as many would argue), mutualism, or commensalism? It probably depends upon whom you ask!

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