Annual Review of Entomology (2020) 65, 431-455

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Peter H.W. Biedermann and Fernando E. Vega (2020)
Ecology and evolution of insect–fungus mutualisms
Annual Review of Entomology 65, 431-455
Abstract: The evolution of a mutualism requires reciprocal interactions whereby one species provides a service that the other species cannot perform or performs less efficiently. Services exchanged in insect–fungus mutualisms include nutrition, protection, and dispersal. In ectosymbioses, which are the focus of this review, fungi can be consumed by insects or can degrade plant polymers or defensive compounds, thereby making a substrate available to insects. They can also protect against environmental factors and produce compounds antagonistic to microbial competitors. Insects disperse fungi and can also provide fungal growth substrates and protection. Insect–fungus mutualisms can transition from facultative to obligate, whereby each partner is no longer viable on its own. Obligate dependency has (a) resulted in the evolution of morphological adaptations in insects and fungi, (b) driven the evolution of social behaviors in some groups of insects, and (c) led to the loss of sexuality in some fungal mutualists.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
(original language: English)
Link to article at publishers website

Database assignments for author(s): Peter H.W. Biedermann

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general biology - morphology - evolution

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