First ever detailed images of the structure the southern pine beetle uses to carry the fungi that helps kill trees.
In this cooperative research between SRS scientist Dr. Kier Klepzig and researchers at Mississippi State University led by Dr. Cetin Yuceer, scientists used advanced microscopy to examine in detail the Southern pine beetle mycangia, the specialized body structures where the insects carry fungi used to help kill trees (and as a food source). To get the images, researchers had to painstakingly dissect small structures from very small beetles and use scanning electron microscopy to examine the mycangia. The images provide researchers new insight into the interactions between bark beetles and their associated fungi. This type of basic information can be used to devise new control strategies, identify new antibiotics and is applicable to other bark beetle systems.
Research results were published in Acta Zoologica, a peer reviewed journal. The results were made possible through a cooperative agreement awarded by the SRS to Mississippi State.
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