Communities of microbes that inhabit the changing hindgut landscape of a subsocial beetle

James B. Nardi, Charles Mark Bee, Lou Ann Miller, Nhu H. Nguyen, Sung Oui Suh, Meredith Blackwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Microbes that have adopted endosymbiotic life styles not only have evolved to live in specialized habitats within living organisms, but the living habitats also have evolved to accommodate them. The hindgut of the passalid beetle (Odontotaenius disjunctus) is lined with a cuticle that undergoes dramatic topographic changes during the life cycle of the beetle. This manuscript addresses the changes that have been observed in time and space for the cuticular landscape of the hindgut as well as for the microbial communities within the hindgut. Microbial identity is based on morphology, culture, and extrapolation from previously reported passalid gut inhabitants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
JournalArthropod Structure and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We appreciate the help of Kristen A. Baum in collecting beetles. M. Blackwell and S.-O. Suh are grateful for research funding from the National Science Foundation Biodiversity Surveys and Inventories Program (DEB-0072741 and DEB-0417180 as well as REU supplements).


  • Endosymbionts
  • Fungi
  • Hindgut
  • Microbes
  • Passalid beetles
  • Protists


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