Haney CH, Wiesmann CL, Shapiro LR, O’Sullivan LR, Khorasani S, Melnyk RA, Xiao L, Han J, Bush J, Carrillo J, et al. Rhizosphere-associated Pseudomonas induce systemic resistance to herbivores at the cost of susceptibility to bacterial pathogens. Molecular Ecology [Internet]. 2018;27 :1833-1847. Publisher's Version haney_et_al-2018-molecular_ecology.pdf
Salzman S, Whitaker M, Pierce NE. Cycad-feeding insects share a core gut microbiome. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society [Internet]. 2018;123 :728-738. Publisher's Version salzman_et_al_2018_bly017.pdf
Boyle JH, Martins DJ, Peleaz J, Musili PM, Kibet S, Ndung’u KN, Kenfack D, Pierce NE. Polygyny cannot explain the superior competitive ability of dominant ant associates in the African ant plant Acacia(Vachellia) drepanolobium. Ecology and Evolution. 2017;8 :1441-1450. boyle_et_al_2017_ece3-8-1441.pdf
Sanders JG, Lukasik P, Frederickson ME, Pierce NE. Dramatic differences in gut bacterial densities help to explain the relationship between diet and habitat in rainforest ants. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 2017;57 :705-722. sanders_et_al_2017_icx088.pdf
Wittwer B, Hefetz A, Simon T, Murphy LEK, Elgar MA, Pierce NE, Kocher SD. Solitary bees reduce investment in communication compared with their social relatives. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA [Internet]. 2017;114 :6569–6574. Publisher's Version pnas-2017-wittwer-6569-74.pdf
Baker CCM, Martins DJ, Pelaez JN, Billen JPJ, Pringle A, Frederickson ME, Pierce NE. Distinctive fungal communities in an obligate African ant plant mutualism. Proceedings of the Royal Society B [Internet]. 2017;284 (20162501). Publisher's Version 20162501.full_.pdf
Seltman KC, Cobb NS, Gall LF, Bartlett CR, Basham MA, Betancourt I, Bills C, Brandt B, Brown RL, Bundy C, et al. LepNet: The Lepidoptera of North America Network. Zootaxa [Internet]. 2017;4247 :73-77. Publisher's Version 19532-10628-1-pb.pdf
Schär S, Vila R, Petrović A, Tomanović Ž, Pierce NE, Nash DR. Molecular substitution rate increases with latitude in butterflies: Evidence for a trans‐glacial latitudinal layering of populations?. Ecography. 2017. sch-r_et_al-2016-ecography.pdf
Shukla SP, Sanders JG, Byrne MJ, Pierce NE. Gut microbiota of dung beetles correspond to dietary specializations of adults and larvae. Molecular Ecology. 2016;25 (24). shukla_et_al-2016-molecular_ecology.pdf
Baker CCM, Bittleston LS, Sanders JG, Pierce NE. Dissecting host-associated communities with DNA barcodes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 2016;371 (1702). 20150328.full_.pdf
Pohl S, Frederickson ME, Elgar MA, Pierce NE. Colony Diet Influences Ant Worker Foraging and Attendance of Myrmecophilous Lycaenid Caterpillars. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution [Internet]. 2016;4 (114). Publisher's Version fevo-04-00114.pdf
Whitaker MRL, Salzman S, Sanders J, Kaltenpoth M, Pierce NE. Microbial communities of lycaenid butterflies do not correlate with larval diet. Frontiers in Microbiology [Internet]. 2016;7 (1920). Publisher's Version fmicb-07-01920.pdf
Elgar MA, Nash DR, Pierce NE. Eavesdropping on cooperative communication within an ant-butterfly mutualism. The Science of Nature [Internet]. 2016;103 :84. Publisher's VersionAbstract

DOI 10.1007/s00114-016-1409-5 

Bittleston LS, Pierce NE, Ellison AM, Pringle A. Convergence in Multispecies Interactions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 2016;31 (4) :269-280. 2016_Bittleston_et_al.pdf
Janda MF, Matos-Maravi P, Borovanska M, Zima Jr J, Youngerman E, Pierce NE. Phylogeny and population genetic structure of the ant genus Acropyga (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) in Papua New Guinea. Invertebrate Systematics. 2016;30 :28-40. 2016_Janda_et_al.pdf
Dupont ST, Zemeitat DS, Lohman DJ, Pierce NE. The setae of parasitic Liphyra brassolis butterfly larvae form a flexible armour for resisting attack by their ant hosts (Lycaenidae: Lepidoptera). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2016;117 :607-619. 2016_dupont_et_al.pdf
Groen SC, Humphrey PT, Chevasco D, Ausubel FM, Pierce NE, Whiteman NK. Pseudomonas syringae enhances herbivory by suppressing the reactive oxygen burst in Arabidopsis. J Insect Physiol. 2016;84 :90-102.Abstract

Plant-herbivore interactions have evolved in the presence of plant-colonizing microbes. These microbes can have important third-party effects on herbivore ecology, as exemplified by drosophilid flies that evolved from ancestors feeding on plant-associated microbes. Leaf-mining flies in the genus Scaptomyza, which is nested within the paraphyletic genus Drosophila, show strong associations with bacteria in the genus Pseudomonas, including Pseudomonas syringae. Adult females are capable of vectoring these bacteria between plants and larvae show a preference for feeding on P. syringae-infected leaves. Here we show that Scaptomyza flava larvae can also vector P. syringae to and from feeding sites, and that they not only feed more, but also develop faster on plants previously infected with P. syringae. Our genetic and physiological data show that P. syringae enhances S. flava feeding on infected plants at least in part by suppressing anti-herbivore defenses mediated by reactive oxygen species.

Espeland M, Hall JPW, DeVries PJ, Lees DC, Cornwall M, Hsu YF, Wu LW, Campbell DL, Talavera G, Vila R, et al. Ancient Neotropical origin and recent recolonisation: Phylogeny, biogeography and diversification of the Riodinidae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 2015;93 :296-306.Abstract

We present the first dated higher-level phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of the butterfly family Riodinidae. This family is distributed worldwide, but more than 90% of the c. 1500 species are found in the Neotropics, while the c. 120 Old World species are concentrated in the Southeast Asian tropics, with minor Afrotropical and Australasian tropical radiations, and few temperate species. Morphologically based higher classification is partly unresolved, with genera incompletely assigned to tribes. Using 3666 bp from one mitochondrial and four nuclear markers for each of 23 outgroups and 178 riodinid taxa representing all subfamilies, tribes and subtribes, and 98 out of 145 described genera of riodinids, we estimate that Riodinidae split from Lycaenidae about 96 Mya in the mid-Cretaceous and started to diversify about 81 Mya. The Riodinidae are monophyletic and originated in the Neotropics, most likely in lowland proto-Amazonia. Neither the subfamily Euselasiinae nor the Nemeobiinae are monophyletic as currently constituted. The enigmatic, monotypic Neotropical genera Styx and Corrachia (most recently treated in Euselasiinae: Corrachiini) are highly supported as derived taxa in the Old World Nemeobiinae, with dispersal most likely occurring across the Beringia land bridge during the Oligocene. Styx and Corrachia, together with all other nemeobiines, are the only exclusively Primulaceae-feeding riodinids. The steadily increasing proliferation of the Neotropical Riodininae subfamily contrasts with the decrease in diversification in the Old World, and may provide insights into factors influencing the diversification rate of this relatively ancient clade of Neotropical insects. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Shapiro LR, Scully ED, Roberts D, Straub TJ, Geib SM, Park J, Stephenson A, Rojas ES, Liu Q, Beattie G, et al. Draft genome sequence ofErwinia tracheiphila, an economically important bacterial pathogen of cucurbits. Genome Announcements. 2015;3 (3) :e00482-15.Abstract

Erwinia tracheiphila is one of the most economically important pathogens of cucumbers, melons, squashes, pumpkins, and gourds in the northeastern and midwestern United States, yet its molecular pathology remains uninvestigated. Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of an E. tracheiphila strain isolated from an infected wild gourd (Cucurbita pepo subsp. texana) plant. The genome assembly consists of 7 contigs and includes a putative plasmid and at least 20 phage and prophage elements.

Hojo MK, Pierce NE, Tsuji K. Lycaenid Caterpillar Secretions Manipulate Attendant Ant Behavior. Current Biology. 2015;25 :2260-2264.Abstract

Mutualistic interactions typically involve the exchange of different commodities between species [1]. Nutritious secretions are produced by a number of insects and plants in exchange for services such as defense [2, 3]. These rewards are valuable metabolically and can be used to reinforce the behavior of symbiotic partners that can learn and remember them effectively [4, 5]. We show here novel effects of insect exocrine secretions produced by caterpillars in modulating the behavior of attendant ants in the food-for-defense interaction between lycaenid butterflies and ants [6]. Reward secretions from the dorsal nectary organ (DNO) of Narathura japonica caterpillars function to reduce the locomotory activities of their attendant ants, Pristomyrmex punctatus workers. Moreover, workers that feed from caterpillar secretions are significantly more likely to show aggressive responses to eversion of the tentacle organs of the caterpillars. Analysis of the neurogenic amines in the brains of workers that consumed caterpillar secretions showed a significant decrease in levels of dopamine compared with controls. Experimental treatments in which reserpine, a known inhibitor of dopamine in Drosophila, was fed to workers similarly reduced their locomotory activity. We conclude that DNO secretions of lycaenid caterpillars can manipulate attendant ant behavior by altering dopaminergic regulation and increasing partner fidelity. Unless manipulated ants also receive a net nutritional benefit from DNO secretions, this suggests that similar reward-for-defense interactions that have been traditionally considered to be mutualisms may in fact be parasitic in nature.