Friday, July 19, 2013
Gut Microbes and Speciation
But now there may be a new model of how species divide: gut bacteria. Seth Bordenstein and Robert Brucker of Vanderbilt investigated two species of fairy wasps that cannot interbreed to produce viable young. They showed that this is not because of genetic differences in the wasps, but different populations of gut bacteria; raise the wasps in a sterile environment and they can interbreed successfully.
The more we learn about the bacteria inside us, the more important they seem.