News From the Field
Aphids Saved From Gruesome Death By Virus-infected Bacteria
August 21, 2009
The term "beneficial virus" sounds like an oxymoron. But pea aphids whose symbiotic bacteria have viral infections gain protection against parasitic wasps. Aphids without the infected bacteria were eaten alive from the inside out by wasp larvae. The research is the first demonstration that a virus that infects bacteria can help rather than harm the bacteria's animal host, according to a report to be published in the journal Science.
University of Arizona
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