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Bacteria that infect insects kill male embryos and themselves in "adaptive suicide", say researchers.
Wolbachia bacteria inhabit the cells of many small creatures, and females can transmit that infection to their offspring in their eggs.
the bacteria selectively kill unborn males, to increase the number of females born.
Wolbachia are cellular endosymbionts, meaning that they can only survive inside the cells of their hosts.
Researchers estimate that two thirds of insect species ha
They found that the infected females gave birth to an average of 20 daughters for every son.
Interestingly, some rare feminized males, which are characterised by an extremely low bacterium density, maintain testes and a male genome-methylation pattern.
Our data show that Wolbachia infection disrupts male imprinting, and the alteration occurs only if the bacterium exceeds a threshold density.
The complete asexuality of a widespread fungus-gardening ant, the only ant species in the world known to have dispensed with males entirely
Urban legend holds that lovebugs are synthetic — the result of a University of Florida genetics experiment gone wrong. Speculation about the lovebug abounds. This is partly due to the fact that this insect is an unseen beneficial (lives and feeds in the thatch of grasses) for most of the year. As a result, most scientists are not as concerned with the details of this insect's life cycle, biology and other facets of its existence as they are with more serious pests. For example, while various fungi are known or suspected of being natural controls for this species, time and funding do not allow for more study, except as a side interest.
Research of L. L. Buschman showed that migration explained the introduction of the lovebug into Florida and other southeastern states, contrary to the urban myth that the University of Florida created them by manipulating DNA to control mosquito populations.