Congratulations to Sudarshan, Dihong, Kathleen, Lauren, and Carter on the recent publication of their work on sand crickets. We are excited that this paper includes 3 undergraduate students as co-authors. We are eager to continue our research on S. scapterisci and its relationship with its bacterial symbiont X. innexi. This specialist parasite is becoming more interesting the more we learn about it.
Today our study of the X. innexi genome was published in BMC Genomics. Sudarshan Aryal, who is now a Senior Scientist in Nematology at Marrone Bio Innovations, was 2nd author on the paper. Specialist parasites are particularly interesting and Steinernema scapterisci is one of the few known specialist EPN parasites. We were interested to find that its bacterial symbiont, X. innexi, seems to be virtually avirulent to insect hosts, suggesting that the nematodes no longer rely on the bacteria to kill their insect hosts. Congratulations Sudarshan and our collaborators on this nice genomic study.