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Issue 5, 2018
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Detoxifying symbiosis: microbe-mediated detoxification of phytotoxins and pesticides in insects

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Abstract

Covering: up to 2018

Insects live in a world full of toxic compounds such as plant toxins and manmade pesticides. To overcome the effects of these toxins, herbivorous insects have evolved diverse, elaborate mechanisms of resistance, such as toxin avoidance, target-site alteration, and detoxification. These resistance mechanisms are thought to be encoded by the insects' own genomes, and in many cases, this holds true. However, recent omics analyses, in conjunction with classic culture-dependent analyses, have revealed that a number of insects possess specific gut microorganisms, some of which significantly contribute to resistance against phytotoxins and pesticides by degrading such chemical compounds. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding on the symbiont-mediated degradation of natural and artificial toxins, with a special emphasis on their underlying genetic basis, focus on the importance of environmental microbiota as a resource of toxin-degrading microorganisms, and discuss the ecological and evolutionary significance of these symbiotic associations.

Graphical abstract: Detoxifying symbiosis: microbe-mediated detoxification of phytotoxins and pesticides in insects

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Nov 2017 and first published on 12 Apr 2018


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7NP00051K
Citation: Nat. Prod. Rep., 2018,35, 434-454
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    Detoxifying symbiosis: microbe-mediated detoxification of phytotoxins and pesticides in insects

    H. Itoh, K. Tago, M. Hayatsu and Y. Kikuchi, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2018, 35, 434
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NP00051K

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