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      Symbiotic association of three fungal species throughout the life cycle of the ambrosia beetle Euwallacea nr. fornicatus

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          The evolution of agriculture in beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae and Platypodinae).

          Beetles in the weevil subfamilies Scolytinae and Platypodinae are unusual in that they burrow as adults inside trees for feeding and oviposition. Some of these beetles are known as ambrosia beetles for their obligate mutualisms with asexual fungi--known as ambrosia fungi--that are derived from plant pathogens in the ascomycete group known as the ophiostomatoid fungi. Other beetles in these subfamilies are known as bark beetles and are associated with free-living, pathogenic ophiostomatoid fungi that facilitate beetle attack of phloem of trees with resin defenses. Using DNA sequences from six genes, including both copies of the nuclear gene encoding enolase, we performed a molecular phylogenetic study of bark and ambrosia beetles across these two subfamilies to establish the rate and direction of changes in life histories and their consequences for diversification. The ambrosia beetle habits have evolved repeatedly and are unreversed. The subfamily Platypodinae is derived from within the Scolytinae, near the tribe Scolytini. Comparison of the molecular branch lengths of ambrosia beetles and ambrosia fungi reveals a strong correlation, which a fungal molecular clock suggests spans 60 to 21 million years. Bark beetles have shifted from ancestral association with conifers to angiosperms and back again several times. Each shift to angiosperms is associated with elevated diversity, whereas the reverse shifts to conifers are associated with lowered diversity. The unusual habit of adult burrowing likely facilitated the diversification of these beetle-fungus associations, enabling them to use the biomass-rich resource that trees represent and set the stage for at least one origin of eusociality.
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            Ecological and Evolutionary Determinants of Bark Beetle —Fungus Symbioses

            Ectosymbioses among bark beetles (Curculionidae, Scolytinae) and fungi (primarily ophiostomatoid Ascomycetes) are widespread and diverse. Associations range from mutualistic to commensal, and from facultative to obligate. Some fungi are highly specific and associated only with a single beetle species, while others can be associated with many. In addition, most of these symbioses are multipartite, with the host beetle associated with two or more consistent partners. Mycangia, structures of the beetle integument that function in fungal transport, have evolved numerous times in the Scolytinae. The evolution of such complex, specialized structures indicates a high degree of mutual dependence among the beetles and their fungal partners. Unfortunately, the processes that shaped current day beetle-fungus symbioses remain poorly understood. Phylogeny, the degree and type of dependence on partners, mode of transmission of symbionts (vertical vs. horizontal), effects of the abiotic environment, and interactions among symbionts themselves or with other members of the biotic community, all play important roles in determining the composition, fidelity, and longevity of associations between beetles and their fungal associates. In this review, I provide an overview of these associations and discuss how evolution and ecological processes acted in concert to shape these fascinating, complex symbioses.
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              Destructive Tree Diseases Associated with Ambrosia and Bark Beetles: Black Swan Events in Tree Pathology?

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Symbiosis
                Symbiosis
                Springer Nature
                0334-5114
                1878-7665
                March 2016
                November 2015
                : 68
                : 1-3
                : 115-128
                Article
                10.1007/s13199-015-0356-9
                936a61bb-ea9a-4bc5-9e0b-798323a43780
                © 2016
                History

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