Common beetle's gut microbiome benefits forests, holds promise for bioenergy

Javier Ceja-Navarro/Berkeley Lab

Sciences
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Insects are critical contributors to ecosystem functioning, and like most living organisms their co-evolution with microbes has been essential to support these functions.

While many insects are infamous for wreaking havoc wherever they roam, many thousands of species go quietly about their business, providing important services essential to healthy ecosystems using the innovative biochemistry of their microbiomes.

New research from the U.S. Department of Energy Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) shows how one such beneficial insect common to the Eastern U.S., the long-horned passalid beetle (Odontotaenius disjunctus), has a hardy digestive tract with microbes to thank for turning its woody diet into energy, food for its young, and nutrients for forest growth.

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Source: Phys.org

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