About this Research Topic
The well-known phrase “The Creator, if He exists, has an inordinate fondness for beetles” symbolizes the enormous diversity of insects representing the order Coleoptera, which contains over 400,000 described species (though nobody knows the actual number) and accounts for the majority of the macroscopic biodiversity in the terrestrial ecosystem. However, microbiologists know that the “real” biodiversity resides in the microbial diversity. Needless to say, almost all beetles are associated with a variety of microbes, including bacteria, fungi, protists, viruses, etc., in their gut, body cavity and/or cells, or on their body surface and surrounding environments. Some beetle-microbe associations, such as cultivation mutualism in bark beetles and ambrosia fungi, bacteriocyte endosymbiosis in Sitophilus grain weevils, etc., have been recognized as conventional model systems, but recent explosive development of microbiome studies, particularly those boosted by high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies, opened new windows to look into diverse beetle-microbe associations in more depth and breadth.
Here we propose the research topic “Diversity of Beetles and Associated Microorganisms” to provide a forum to compile and overview exciting achievements emerging in this research field.
Any scientifically sound, solid and competent submissions of high quality on beetle-microbe associations are very welcome, including:
1) Mutualistic, commensalistic and/or parasitic microbial associations with beetles
2) Beetle-associated microbiomes, and their relevance to physiology, ecology, behavior and evolution of beetles
3) Endosymbiotic/bacteriocyte-associated bacteria/fungi of beetles
4) Gut symbiotic bacteria/fungi/protists of beetles
5) Ectosymbiotic/mycetangium-borne fungi/bacteria of beetles.
6) Fungal/bacterial/protist pathogens of beetles
7) Viral infections in beetles
8) Beetle-associated environmental microorganisms
9) Microbial control of pest beetles
Keywords: Coleoptera, Insects, beetles, endosymbionts, gut symbionts, ectosymbionts, pathogens, parasites, bacteriocytes, bacteriomes, mycangia, mycetangium, vertical transmission, horizontal transmission, environmental acquisition, biological control
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.