4 years ago

On the bright side of a forest pest-the metabolic potential of bark beetles' bacterial associates

On the bright side of a forest pest-the metabolic potential of bark beetles' bacterial associates
Bark beetles reproduce and overwinter under the bark of trees, and are associated with bacteria that may influence the fitness of their hosts. As regard the aim of this study was to test the metabolic potential of bacterial strains, isolated from the bark beetle species Cryphalus piceae, Ips typographus and Pityophthorus pityophthorus and collected in the Czech Republic from fir, spruce and pine trees, respectively, to degrade plant cell compounds. The bacterial strains were identified as belonging to the genera Curtobacterium, Erwinia, Pantoea, Pseudomonas, Rahnella, Staphylococcus, and Yersinia. Several activities related to the degradation of lignocellulosic materials, such as cellulose, xylan and starch, were found. Moreover, the genomes of three of these strains were sequenced and analyzed, and the presence of the enzymatic machinery required for biomass hydrolysis was discovered. This finding supports the idea that bacteria aid in the provision of nutrients to the beetle from the hydrolysis of tree compounds, results that are relevant for studying the ecological implication of bacterial strains in the bark beetle life cycle. In addition, the activities found in association with the bacterial strains could be useful in biotechnological processes, such as the production of biofuels from biomass, colorant degradation, in the textile industry and for wastewater treatments. Furthermore, the gene sequences of the lignocellulolytic enzymes found within the genomes serve as a basis for future studies regarding the potential application of these bacteria, and their metabolic machinery, in processes such as biomass hydrolysis and bioremediation.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0048969717331315

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