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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Bacteroidetes
Class: Flavobacteriia
Order: Flavobacteriales
Family: Blattabacteriaceae
Genus: Blattabacterium
Hollande & Favre, 1931
  • B. cuenoti (Mercier, 1906)
  • B. relictus Clark & Kambhampati, 2003
  • B. clevelandi Clark & Kambhampati, 2003
  • B. punctulatus Clark & Kambhampati, 2003

Blattabacterium is a genus of obligate mutualistic endosymbiont bacteria that are believed to inhabit all species of cockroach studied to date, with the exception of the genus Nocticola.[1] The genus' presence in the termite Mastotermes darwiniensis led to speculation, later confirmed, that termites and cockroaches are evolutionarily linked.[2][3] B. cuenoti was traditionally considered the only species in the genus Blattabacterium,[4] which is in turn the only genus in the family Blattabacteriaceae;[5] however, three new species have been described hosted by different species of cockroaches in the genus Cryptocercus: Blattabacterium relictus in Cryptocercus relictus, B. clevelandi in C. clevelandi and B. punctulatus in C. darwini, C. garciai, C. punctulatus and C. wrighti.

Blattabacterium lives inside the fat cells of the fat bodies (tissues in the abdominal cavity that store fat) of its insect hosts. It serves a vital role in nitrogen recycling, which is important in insects that mainly live on plant material such as wood, which are poor in nitrogen. In insects, uric acid is a waste product of protein metabolism. After breakdown of uric acid by the host (and its other microbial flora, such as gut bacteria and fungi) into urea and/or ammonia, blattabacterium recycles nitrogen by converting these products into glutamate, and using other raw materials from the host, is able to synthesize all of the essential amino acids and several vitamins.[6][7] It appears to be transmitted to succeeding generations of the host by infection of the mother's eggs prior to their fertilization.[8]


  1. ^ Nathan Lo; Tiziana Beninati; Fred Stone; James Walker; Luciano Sacchi (2007). "Cockroaches that lack Blattabacterium endosymbionts: the phylogenetically divergent genus Nocticola". Biology Letters. 3 (3): 327–330. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2006.0614. PMC 2464682. PMID 17376757.
  2. ^ Wendy Zuckerman, The roach's secret, New Scientist, 16 April 2011
  3. ^ Nathan Lo & Paul Eggleton, Termite Phylogenetics and Co-cladogenesis with Symbionts, Bignell, D., Roisin ,Y., & Lo, N., ed (2011), Biology of Termites: A Modern Synthesis: 27-50, doi:10.1007/978-90-481-3977-4-2
  4. ^ Jeffrey W. Clark & Srinivas Kambhampati (2003). "Phylogenetic analysis of Blattabacterium, endosymbiotic bacteria from the wood roach, Cryptocercus (Blattodea: Cryptocercidae), including a description of three new species". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 26 (1): 82–88. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00330-5. PMID 12470940.
  5. ^ D. R. Boone; R. W. Castenholz, eds. (2001). Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology. Volume 1. The Archaea and the deeply branching and phototrophic Bacteria (2nd ed.). New York: Springer-Verlag. pp. 465–466. ISBN 978-0-387-98771-2.
  6. ^ Nitrogen recycling and nutritional provisioning by Blattabacterium, the cockroach endosymbiont. Zakee L. Sabree, Srinivas Kambhampati, and Nancy A. Moran PNAS November 17, 2009. 106 (46) 19521-19526;
  7. ^ The cockroach Blattella germanica obtains nitrogen from uric acid through a metabolic pathway shared with its bacterial endosymbiont. Patiño-Navarrete R, Piulachs MD, Belles X, Moya A, Latorre A, Peretó J. Biol Lett. 2014 Jul;10(7). pii: 20140407. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0407.
  8. ^ Succession of the gut microbiota in the cockroach Blattella germanica. Carrasco P, Pérez-Cobas AE, van de Pol C, Baixeras J, Moya A, Latorre A. Int Microbiol. 2014 Jun;17(2):99-109. doi: 10.2436/20.1501.01.212. PMID 26418854

Further reading

This page was last edited on 1 September 2018, at 04:07
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