Nematode-Bacterium Symbiosis

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Entomopathogenic nematodes of the families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae are lethal insect endoparasites signified by their mutualism with symbiotic bacteria in the genera Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus, respectively. This association is an obligate mutualism in nature with each partner wanting the other to complete its life cycle. Steinernema species form symbiosis with only one Xenorhabdus species, whereas Photorhabdus species form symbiosis with many Heterorhabditis species. Steinernema carry their symbiotic bacteria in a specialized vesicle called the receptacle. Heterorhabditis use their intestinal lumen to harbor its symbiotic bacteria. These bacteria produce anti-immune proteins to help the nematode in evading host defenses, and antimicrobials to subdue competitors.


Obligate mutualism Gut Intestinal lumen Symbiosis Nematode-bacterium complex 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyMother Teresa Women’s UniversityKodaikanalIndia

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