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.


  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 2464682Freely accessible. 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. 

Further reading