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News From the Field

Aphids Saved From Gruesome Death By Virus-infected Bacteria

August 21, 2009

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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.Full Story

University of Arizona

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