mealybug

noun
mealy·​bug | \ ˈmē-lē-ˌbəg How to pronounce mealybug (audio) \

Definition of mealybug

: any of a family (Pseudococcidae) of scale insects that have a white cottony or waxy covering and are destructive pests especially of fruit trees

Examples of mealybug in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tremblaya helps to supply the mealybug with essential amino acids and likely receives nutrients and other life-sustaining molecules in return. Quanta Magazine, "Tiny Genomes May Offer Clues to First Plants and Animals," 20 June 2013 One such Russian-doll merger occurred about 100 million years ago, when the small insect pests called mealybugs acquired a bacterial endosymbiont, Tremblaya. Quanta Magazine, "Cell-Bacteria Mergers Offer Clues to How Organelles Evolved," 3 Oct. 2019 Phillip and Beazley have found mango weevil, pink hibiscus mealybug and citrus canker. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, "Ham’s best friend: The beagle brigade is the last line of defense against African swine fever in U.S.," 27 Nov. 2019 Thus, Tremblaya and Moranella work together to produce essential amino acids for themselves as well as the ones that the mealybug cannot find in its strict sap diet. Quanta Magazine, "Cell-Bacteria Mergers Offer Clues to How Organelles Evolved," 3 Oct. 2019 Examine houseplants and tropicals before bringing them indoors and discard any that are full of whitefly, scale, mealybugs or other tenacious pests. Washington Post, "How the National Arboretum got its ferns and became a civic treasure," 29 Oct. 2019 The result is that the mealybug cell contains a bacterium that contains another bacterium – an arrangement discovered back in 2001 by Carol von Dohlen, a biologist at Utah State University. Quanta Magazine, "Cell-Bacteria Mergers Offer Clues to How Organelles Evolved," 3 Oct. 2019 Yet that often has little effect in containing the disease, which is spread by tiny white insects called mealybugs. Olivia Konotey-ahulu / Bloomberg, Time, "Cocoa Trees in West Africa Are Being Ravaged By a Disease With No Known Cure," 6 Sep. 2019 With just 121 protein-coding genes, the diminutive Tremblaya princeps, a symbiotic bacterium that lives inside specialized cells of the sap-eating mealybug, has the smallest known genome of any cellular organism on the planet. Quanta Magazine, "Tiny Genomes May Offer Clues to First Plants and Animals," 20 June 2013

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mealybug.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mealybug

1824, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of mealybug was in 1824

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Cite this Entry

“Mealybug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mealybug. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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