News Release 

Host and endosymbiont heat tolerance

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Researchers tested whether heat tolerance among 5 species of aphids varies with heat sensitivity of the species' endosymbionts, and found that heat exposure--37-38 °C for 3-4 hours--reduced survival and reproduction in some species of aphids, while enhancing fecundity in other species; aphid species negatively affected by heat exposure exhibited corresponding declines in numbers of Buchnera, endosymbiotic bacteria that have co-evolved with aphids for more than 100 million years, suggesting that shifts in endosymbiont heat tolerance can influence host heat sensitivity and geographic range.

Article # 19-15307: "Obligate bacterial endosymbionts limit thermal tolerance of insect host species," by Bo Zhang, Sean P. Leonard, Yiyuan Li, and Nancy A. Moran

MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Moran, University of Texas at Austin, TX; e-mail:


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