Understanding regulation of the host-mediated gut symbiont population and the symbiont-mediated host immunity in theRiptortus-Burkholderiasymbiosis system

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Valuable insect models have tremendously contributed to our understanding of innate immunity and symbiosis. Bean bug, Riptortus pedestris, is a useful insect symbiosis model due to harboring cultivable monospecific gut symbiont, genus Burkholderia. Bean bug is a hemimetabolous insect whose immunity is not well-understood. However, we recently identified three major antimicrobial peptides of Riptortus and examined the relationship between gut symbiosis and host immunity. We found that the presence of Burkholderia gut symbiont positively affects Riptortus immunity. From studying host regulation mechanisms of symbiont population, we revealed that the symbiotic Burkholderia cells are much more susceptible to Riptortus immune responses than the cultured cells. We further elucidated that the immune-susceptibility of the Burkholderia gut symbionts is due to the drastic change of bacterial cell envelope. Finally, we show that the immune-susceptible Burkholderia symbionts are able to prosper in host owing to the suppression of immune responses of the symbiotic midgut.

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