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Chemical language and warfare of bacterial natural products in bacteria–nematode–insect interactions

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Abstract

Covering: up to November 2017

Organismic interaction is one of the fundamental principles for survival in any ecosystem. Today, numerous examples show the interaction between microorganisms like bacteria and higher eukaryotes that can be anything between mutualistic to parasitic/pathogenic symbioses. There is also increasing evidence that microorganisms are used by higher eukaryotes not only for the supply of essential factors like vitamins but also as biological weapons to protect themselves or to kill other organisms. Excellent examples for such systems are entomopathogenic nematodes of the genera Heterorhabditis and Steinernema that live in mutualistic symbiosis with bacteria of the genera Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus, respectively. Although these systems have been used successfully in organic farming on an industrial scale, it was only shown during the last 15 years that several different natural products (NPs) produced by the bacteria play key roles in the complex life cycle of the bacterial symbionts, the nematode host and the insect prey that is killed by and provides nutrients for the nematode–bacteria pair. Since the bacteria can switch from mutualistic to pathogenic lifestyle, interacting with two different types of higher eukaryotes, and since the full system with all players can be established in the lab, they are promising model systems to elucidate the natural function of microbial NPs. This review summarizes the current knowledge as well as open questions for NPs from Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus and tries to assign their roles in the tritrophic relationship.

Graphical abstract: Chemical language and warfare of bacterial natural products in bacteria–nematode–insect interactions

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Nov 2017 and first published on 23 Jan 2018


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7NP00054E
Citation: Nat. Prod. Rep., 2018, Advance Article
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    Chemical language and warfare of bacterial natural products in bacteria–nematode–insect interactions

    Y. Shi and H. B. Bode, Nat. Prod. Rep., 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NP00054E

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