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Paper on Symbiotic Wood Digestion in Beetles published!🎉

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Delighted to share the publication of a our study on symbiotic wood digestion in the bess beetle Odontotaenius disjunctus, conducted by "almost-postdoc" Melbert Schwarz and postdoc Cristian Beza-Beza.👏👏👏👏 Utilizing a range of methodological approaches, including density gradient centrifugation, electron microscopy, qPCR, enzyme assays, Illumina and PacBio sequencing, Melbert and Cristian successfully addressed how wood is digested in the beetle's gut - and also who might be digesting it. Their findings provide compelling evidence for the pivotal role of the fiber-associated microbiome in symbiotic wood digestion, challenging previous assumptions and offering fresh perspectives on the evolutionary convergence shared by wood-feeding insects like termites and passalid beetles. We are immensely proud of Melbert's and Cristian's exceptional work! 🎉

Image courtesy: Marissa Cole (2020)

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