Fitness of gnotobiotic Rhodnius prolixus nymphs

Kevin Vogel, Carissa Gilliland, Vilas Patel, Ashley Dombrowski & Bradley Mackett
Kissing bugs (Hempitera: Reduviidae) are obligately and exclusively blood feeding insects. Vertebrate blood is thought to provide insufficient B vitamins to insects, which rely on obligate symbiotic relationships with bacteria that provision these nutrients. Kissing bugs harbor environmentally acquired bacteria in their gut lumen, without which they are unable to develop to adulthood. Early experiments identified a single bacterial species, Rhodococcus rhodnii, as a symbiont of Rhodnius prolixus, but modern studies of the kissing bug...
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