Bark beetles are among the most destructive tree pests on the planet. Their symbiosis with fungi has consequently been studied extensively for more than a century. A recent study has identified actinomycete bacteria that are associated with the southern pine beetle and produce specific antibiotics against an antagonist of the beetles mutualistic fungus. In addition to highlighting the ecological complexity of bark-beetlemicrobial symbioses, this work reveals a potential source of novel antibiotics.
- mountain pine-beetle