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Bibliography on: Endosymbiosis

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 27 Nov 2020 at 01:53 Created: 


A symbiotic relationship in which one of the partners lives within the other, especially if it lives within the cells of the other, is known as endosymbiosis. Mitochondria, chloroplasts, and perhaps other cellular organelles are believed to have originated from a form of endosymbiosis. The endosymbiotic origin of eukaryotes seems to have been a biological singularity — that is, it happened once, and only once, in the history of life on Earth.

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Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2020-11-25

Pimentel AC, Beraldo CS, R Cogni (2020)

Host-shift as the cause of emerging infectious diseases: Experimental approaches using Drosophila-virus interactions.

Genetics and molecular biology, 44(1 Suppl 1):e20200197 pii:S1415-47572021000200302.

Host shifts, when a cross-species transmission of a pathogen can lead to successful infections, are the main cause of emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. A complex challenge faced by the scientific community is to address the factors that determine whether the cross-species transmissions will result in spillover or sustained onwards infections. Here we review recent literature and present a perspective on current approaches we are using to understand the mechanisms underlying host shifts. We highlight the usefulness of the interactions between Drosophila species and viruses as an ideal study model. Additionally, we discuss how cross-infection experiments - when pathogens from a natural reservoir are intentionally injected in novel host species- can test the effect cross-species transmissions may have on the fitness of virus and host, and how the host phylogeny may influence this response. We also discuss experiments evaluating how cooccurrence with other viruses or the presence of the endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia may affect the performance of new viruses in a novel host. Finally, we discuss the need of surveys of virus diversity in natural populations using next-generation sequencing technologies. In the long term, these approaches can contribute to a better understanding of the basic biology of host shifts.

RevDate: 2020-11-23

Govender Y, Chan T, Yamamoto HS, et al (2020)

The Role of Small Extracellular Vesicles in Viral-Protozoan Symbiosis: Lessons From Trichomonasvirus in an Isogenic Host Parasite Model.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 10:591172.

The protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis (TV), exclusively adapted to the human genital tract, is one of the most common sexually transmitted pathogens. Adding to the complexity of the host-pathogen interactions, the parasite harbors TV-specific endosymbiont viruses (Trichomonasvirus, TVV). It was reported that small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) released by TV play a role in host immunity; however, the role of the viral endosymbiosis in this process remained unknown. We hypothesized that the virus may offer evolutionary benefit to its protozoan host at least in part by altering the immunomodulatory properties of sEVs spreading from the site of infection to non-infected immune effector cells. We infected human vaginal epithelial cells, the natural host of the parasite, with TV natively harboring TVV and an isogenic derivative of the parasite cured from the viral infection. sEVs were isolated from vaginal cell culture 24 h post TV infection and from medium where the isogenic TV strains were cultured in the absence of the human host. sEVs from TVV-negative but not TVV-positive parasites cultured alone caused NF-κB activation and increase of IL-8 and RANTES expression by uterine endocervical cells, which provide innate immune defense at the gate to the upper reproductive tract. Similarly, mononuclear leukocytes increased their IL-8, IL-6 and TNF-α output in response to sEVs from virus-negative, but not isogenic virus-positive parasites, the latter exosomes being immunosuppressive in comparison to TV medium control. The same phenomenon of suppressed immunity induced by the TVV-positive compared to TVV-negative phenotype was seen when stimulating the leukocytes with sEVs originating from infected vaginal cultures. In addition, the sEVs from the TVV-positive infection phenotype suppressed immune signaling of a toll-like receptor ligand derived from mycoplasma, another frequent TV symbiont. Quantitative comparative proteome analysis of the secreted sEVs from virus-positive versus virus-negative TV revealed differential expression of two functionally uncharacterized proteins and five proteins involved in Zn binding, protein binding, electron transfer, transferase and catalytic activities. These data support the concept that symbiosis with viruses may provide benefit to the protozoan parasite by exploiting sEVs as a vehicle for inter-cellular communications and modifying their protein cargo to suppress host immune activation.

RevDate: 2020-11-23

Feranchuk S, Belkova N, Chernogor L, et al (2018)

The signs of adaptive mutations identified in the chloroplast genome of the algae endosymbiont of Baikal sponge.

F1000Research, 7:1405.

Background: The study of ecosystems of the great lakes is important as observations can be extended to ecosystems of larger scale. The ecological crisis of Lake Baikal needs investigations to discover the molecular mechanisms involved in the crisis. The disease of Baikal sponges is one of the processes resulting in the degradation of the littoral zone of the lake. Methods: The chloroplast genome fragment for the algae endosymbiont of Baikal sponge was assembled from metagenomic sequencing data. The distributions of polymorphic sites were obtained for the genome fragment, separately for samples from healthy sponge, diseased sponge and dead sponge tissues. Results: The comparative analysis of chloroplast genome sequences suggests that the symbiotic algae from Baikal sponge is close to Choricystis genus of unicellular algae. Also, the distributions of polymorphic sites allowed detection of the signs of extensive mutations in the chloroplasts isolated from the diseased sponge tissues. Conclusions: The study demonstrate the particular case of evolution at the molecular level due to the conditions of a severe crisis of a whole ecosystem in Lake Baikal. The detection of adaptive mutations in the chloroplast genome is an important feature which could represent the behavior of an ecosystem in the event of a severe crisis.

RevDate: 2020-11-23

Amala M, Richard M, Saritha P, et al (2020)

Molecular evolution, binding site interpretation and functional divergence of aspartate semialdehyde dehydrogenase.

Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics [Epub ahead of print].

Aspartate Semialdehyde Dehydrogenase (ASDH) is an important enzyme essential for the viability of pathogenic microorganisms. ASDH is mainly involved in amino acid and cell wall biosynthesis of microorganisms, hence it is considered to be a promising target for drug design. This enzyme depicts similar mechanistic function in all microorganisms; although, the kinetic efficiency of an enzyme differs according to their active site residual composition. Therefore, understanding the residual variation and kinetic efficiency of the enzyme would pave new insights in structure-based drug discovery and a novel drug molecule against ASDH. Here, ASDH from Wolbachia endosymbiont of Brugia malayi is used as a prime enzyme to execute evolutionary studies. The phylogenetic analysis was opted to classify 400 sequences of ASDH enzymes based on their structure and electrostatic surfaces. Analysis resulted in 37 monophyletic clades of diverse pathogenic and non-pathogenic organisms. The representative structures of 37 ASDHs from different clades were further deciphered to structural homologues. These enzymes exhibited presence of more positively charged surfaces than negatively charged surfaces in the active site pocket which restrains evolutionary significance. Docking studies of NADP+ with 37 enzymes reveals that site-specific residual variation in the active site pocket modulates the binding affinity (ranges of -13 to -9 kcal/mol). Type-I and Type-II divergence studies show, no significant functional divergence among ASDH, but residual changes were found among the enzyme that modulates the biochemical characteristics and catalytic efficiency. The present study not only explores residual alteration and catalytic variability, it also aids in the design of species-specific inhibitors. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.

RevDate: 2020-11-22

Grottoli AG, Toonen RJ, van Woesik R, et al (2020)

Increasing comparability among coral bleaching experiments.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America [Epub ahead of print].

Coral bleaching is the single largest global threat to coral reefs worldwide. Integrating the diverse body of work on coral bleaching is critical to understanding and combating this global problem. Yet investigating the drivers, patterns, and processes of coral bleaching poses a major challenge. A recent review of published experiments revealed a wide range of experimental variables used across studies. Such a wide range of approaches enhances discovery, but without full transparency in the experimental and analytical methods used, can also make comparisons among studies challenging. To increase comparability but not stifle innovation, we propose a common framework for coral bleaching experiments that includes consideration of coral provenance, experimental conditions, and husbandry. For example, reporting the number of genets used, collection site conditions, the experimental temperature offset(s) from the maximum monthly mean (MMM) of the collection site, experimental light conditions, flow, and the feeding regime will greatly facilitate comparability across studies. Similarly, quantifying common response variables of endosymbiont (Symbiodiniaceae) and holobiont phenotypes (i.e., color, chlorophyll, endosymbiont cell density, mortality, and skeletal growth) could further facilitate cross-study comparisons. While no single bleaching experiment can provide the data necessary to determine global coral responses of all corals to current and future ocean warming, linking studies through a common framework as outlined here, would help increase comparability among experiments, facilitate synthetic insights into the causes and underlying mechanisms of coral bleaching, and reveal unique bleaching responses among genets, species, and regions. Such a collaborative framework that fosters transparency in methods used would strengthen comparisons among studies that can help inform coral reef management and facilitate conservation strategies to mitigate coral bleaching worldwide.

RevDate: 2020-11-21

Serra V, Gammuto L, Nitla V, et al (2020)

Morphology, ultrastructure, genomics, and phylogeny of Euplotes vanleeuwenhoeki sp. nov. and its ultra-reduced endosymbiont "Candidatus Pinguicoccus supinus" sp. nov.

Scientific reports, 10(1):20311 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-76348-z.

Taxonomy is the science of defining and naming groups of biological organisms based on shared characteristics and, more recently, on evolutionary relationships. With the birth of novel genomics/bioinformatics techniques and the increasing interest in microbiome studies, a further advance of taxonomic discipline appears not only possible but highly desirable. The present work proposes a new approach to modern taxonomy, consisting in the inclusion of novel descriptors in the organism characterization: (1) the presence of associated microorganisms (e.g.: symbionts, microbiome), (2) the mitochondrial genome of the host, (3) the symbiont genome. This approach aims to provide a deeper comprehension of the evolutionary/ecological dimensions of organisms since their very first description. Particularly interesting, are those complexes formed by the host plus associated microorganisms, that in the present study we refer to as "holobionts". We illustrate this approach through the description of the ciliate Euplotes vanleeuwenhoeki sp. nov. and its bacterial endosymbiont "Candidatus Pinguicoccus supinus" gen. nov., sp. nov. The endosymbiont possesses an extremely reduced genome (~ 163 kbp); intriguingly, this suggests a high integration between host and symbiont.

RevDate: 2020-11-20

Cormier A, Chebbi MA, Giraud I, et al (2020)

Comparative genomics of strictly vertically transmitted, feminizing microsporidia endosymbionts of amphipod crustaceans.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5995313 [Epub ahead of print].

Microsporidia are obligate intracellular eukaryotic parasites of vertebrates and invertebrates. Microsporidia are usually pathogenic and undergo horizontal transmission or a mix of horizontal and vertical transmission. However, cases of non-pathogenic microsporidia, strictly vertically transmitted from mother to offspring, have been reported in amphipod crustaceans. Some of them further evolved the ability to feminize their non-transmitting male hosts into transmitting females. However, our understanding of the evolution of feminization in microsporidia is hindered by a lack of genomic resources. We report the sequencing and analysis of three strictly vertically-transmitted microsporidia species for which feminization induction has been demonstrated (Nosema granulosis) or is strongly suspected (Dictyocoela muelleri and Dictyocoela roeselum), along with a draft genome assembly of their host Gammarus roeselii. Contrary to horizontally transmitted microsporidia that form environmental spores that can be purified, feminizing microsporidia cannot be easily isolated from their host cells. Therefore, we co-sequenced symbiont and host genomic DNA and devised a computational strategy to obtain genome assemblies for the different partners. Genomic comparison with feminizing Wolbachia bacterial endosymbionts of isopod crustaceans indicated independent evolution of feminization in microsporidia and Wolbachia at the molecular genetic level. Feminization thus represents a remarkable evolutionary convergence of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microorganisms. Furthermore, a comparative genomics analysis of microsporidia allowed us to identify several candidate genes for feminization, involving functions such as DNA binding and membrane fusion. The genomic resources we generated contribute to establish G. roeselii and its microsporidia symbionts as a new model to study the evolution of symbiont-mediated feminization.

RevDate: 2020-11-18

Lefcort H, Tsybulnik DY, Browning RJ, et al (2020)

Behavioral characteristics and endosymbionts of two potential tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever tick vectors.

Journal of vector ecology : journal of the Society for Vector Ecology, 45(2):321-332.

Due to climate change-induced alterations of temperature and humidity, the distribution of pathogen-carrying organisms such as ticks may shift. Tick survival is often limited by environmental factors such as dryness, but a predicted hotter and wetter world may allow the expansion of tick ranges. Dermacentor andersoni and D. variabilis ticks are morphologically similar, co-occur throughout the Inland Northwest of Washington State, U.S.A., and both can be injected with pathogenic Rickettsia and Francisella bacteria. Differences in behavior and the potential role of endosymbiotic Rickettsia and Francisella in these ticks are poorly studied. We wanted to measure behavioral and ecological differences between the two species and determine which, if any, Rickettsia and Francisella bacteria - pathogenic or endosymbiotic - they carried. Additionally, we wanted to determine if either tick species may be selected for if the climate in eastern Washington becomes wetter or dryer. We found that D. andersoni is more resistant to desiccation, but both species share similar questing behaviors such as climbing and attraction to bright light. Both also avoid the odor of eucalyptus and DEET but not permethrin. Although both tick species are capable of transmitting pathogenic species of Francisella and Rickettsia, which cause tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, respectively, we found primarily non-pathogenic endosymbiotic strains of Francisella and Rickettsia, and only one tick infected with F. tularensis subspecies holarctica.

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Mubarik MS, Khan SH, Ahmad A, et al (2020)

Controlling Geminiviruses before Transmission: Prospects.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(11): pii:plants9111556.

Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)-transmitted Geminiviruses cause serious diseases of crop plants in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Plants, animals, and their microbial symbionts have evolved complex ways to interact with each other that impact their life cycles. Blocking virus transmission by altering the biology of vector species, such as the whitefly, can be a potential approach to manage these devastating diseases. Virus transmission by insect vectors to plant hosts often involves bacterial endosymbionts. Molecular chaperonins of bacterial endosymbionts bind with virus particles and have a key role in the transmission of Geminiviruses. Hence, devising new approaches to obstruct virus transmission by manipulating bacterial endosymbionts before infection opens new avenues for viral disease control. The exploitation of bacterial endosymbiont within the insect vector would disrupt interactions among viruses, insects, and their bacterial endosymbionts. The study of this cooperating web could potentially decrease virus transmission and possibly represent an effective solution to control viral diseases in crop plants.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Chao LL, Castillo CT, CM Shih (2020)

Molecular detection and genetic identification of Wolbachia endosymbiont in Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks of Taiwan.

Experimental & applied acarology pii:10.1007/s10493-020-00574-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The genetic identity of Wolbachia endosymbiont in Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks was determined for the first time in Taiwan. In total 1004 Rh. sanguineus ticks were examined for Wolbachia by polymerase chain reaction assay targeting the Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) gene. The prevalence of Wolbachia infection was detected in nymphs, females, and males with an infection rate of 55.8, 39.8, and 44%, respectively. The phylogenetic relationships were analyzed by comparing the sequences of wsp gene obtained from 60 strains of Wolbachia representing 11 strains of supergroup A and 10 strains of supergroup B. In general, seven major clades of supergroup A and six major clades of supergroup B can be easily distinguished by neighbour-joining analysis and were congruent by maximum likelihood method. All these Wolbachia strains of Taiwan were genetically affiliated to supergroups A and B with high sequence similarity of 98.3-100% and 98.6-100%, respectively. Intra- and inter-group analysis based on the genetic distance (GD) values indicated a lower level (GD < 0.017) within the group A strains of Taiwan compared with the group B (GD > 0.576) of other Wolbachia strains, as well as a lower level (GD < 0.062) within the group B strains of Taiwan compared with the group A (GD > 0.246) of other Wolbachia strains. Our results provide the first genetic identification of Wolbachia endosymbiont in Rh. sanguineus ticks collected from Taiwan, and detection of Wolbachia in male and nymphal ticks may imply the possible mechanism of transstadial transmission in Rh. sanguineus ticks.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Maire J, Chouaia B, Zaidman-Rémy A, et al (2020)

Endosymbiosis morphological reorganization during metamorphosis diverges in weevils.

Communicative & integrative biology, 13(1):184-188 pii:1840707.

Virtually all animals associate with beneficial symbiotic bacteria. Whether and how these associations are modulated across a host's lifecycle is an important question in disentangling animal-bacteria interactions. We recently reported a case of complete morphological reorganization of symbiosis during metamorphosis of the cereal weevil, Sitophilus oryzae. In this model, the bacteriome, a specialized organ that houses the intracellular bacterium Sodalis pierantonius, undergoes a two-phase remodeling program synchronously driven by host and endosymbiont, resulting in a localization shift and the formation of multiple new bacteriomes. Here, we provide comparative data in a closely-related coleopteran, the red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, which is associated with the ancestral endosymbiont Nardonella. Using cell imaging experiments, we show that the red pal weevil bacteriome remains unchanged during metamorphosis, hence contrasting with what we reported in the cereal weevil S. oryzae. These findings highlight the complexity and divergence of host-symbiont interactions and their intertwining with host development, even in closely-related species. Abbreviations: DAPI: 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; FISH: Fluorescence in situ hybridization; T3SS: Type III secretion system.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Hirota B, Meng XY, T Fukatsu (2020)

Bacteriome-Associated Endosymbiotic Bacteria of Nosodendron Tree Sap Beetles (Coleoptera: Nosodendridae).

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:588841.

The family Nosodendridae is a small group of tree sap beetles with only 91 described species representing three genera from the world. In 1930s, bacteria-harboring symbiotic organs, called bacteriomes, were briefly described in a European species Nosodendron fasciculare. Since then, however, no studies have been conducted on the nosodendrid endosymbiosis for decades. Here we investigated the bacteriomes and the endosymbiotic bacteria of Nosodendron coenosum and Nosodendron asiaticum using molecular phylogenetic and histological approaches. In adults and larvae, a pair of slender bacteriomes were found along both sides of the midgut. The bacteriomes consisted of large bacteriocytes at the center and flat sheath cells on the surface. Fluorescence in situ hybridization detected preferential localization of the endosymbiotic bacteria in the cytoplasm of the bacteriocytes. In reproductive adult females, the endosymbiotic bacteria were also detected at the infection zone in the ovarioles and on the surface of growing oocytes, indicating vertical symbiont transmission via ovarial passage. Transmission electron microscopy unveiled bizarre structural features of the bacteriocytes, whose cytoplasm exhibited degenerate cytology with deformed endosymbiont cells. Molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed that the nosodendrid endosymbionts formed a distinct clade in the Bacteroidetes. The nosodendrid endosymbionts were the most closely related to the bacteriome endosymbionts of bostrichid powderpost beetles and also allied to the bacteriome endosymbionts of silvanid grain beetles, uncovering an unexpected endosymbiont relationship across the unrelated beetle families Nosodendridae, Bostrichidae and Silvanidae. Host-symbiont co-evolution and presumable biological roles of the endosymbiotic bacteria are discussed.

RevDate: 2020-11-13

Andreason SA, Shelby EA, Moss JB, et al (2020)

Whitefly Endosymbionts: Biology, Evolution, and Plant Virus Interactions.

Insects, 11(11): pii:insects11110775.

Whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) are sap-feeding global agricultural pests. These piercing-sucking insects have coevolved with intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria that help to supplement their nutrient-poor plant sap diets with essential amino acids and carotenoids. These obligate, primary endosymbionts have been incorporated into specialized organs called bacteriomes where they sometimes coexist with facultative, secondary endosymbionts. All whitefly species harbor the primary endosymbiont Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum and have a variable number of secondary endosymbionts. The secondary endosymbiont complement harbored by the cryptic whitefly species Bemisia tabaci is particularly complex with various assemblages of seven different genera identified to date. In this review, we discuss whitefly associated primary and secondary endosymbionts. We focus on those associated with the notorious B. tabaci species complex with emphasis on their biological characteristics and diversity. We also discuss their interactions with phytopathogenic begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae), which are transmitted exclusively by B. tabaci in a persistent-circulative manner. Unraveling the complex interactions of these endosymbionts with their insect hosts and plant viruses could lead to advancements in whitefly and whitefly transmitted virus management.

RevDate: 2020-11-12

Masson F, B Lemaitre (2020)

Growing Ungrowable Bacteria: Overview and Perspectives on Insect Symbiont Culturability.

Microbiology and molecular biology reviews : MMBR, 84(4):.

SUMMARYInsects are often involved in endosymbiosis, that is, the housing of symbiotic microbes within their tissues or within their cells. Endosymbionts are a major driving force in insects' evolution, because they dramatically affect their host physiology and allow them to adapt to new niches, for example, by complementing their diet or by protecting them against pathogens. Endosymbiotic bacteria are, however, fastidious and therefore difficult to manipulate outside of their hosts, especially intracellular species. The coevolution between hosts and endosymbionts leads to alterations in the genomes of endosymbionts, limiting their ability to cope with changing environments. Consequently, few insect endosymbionts are culturable in vitro and genetically tractable, making functional genetics studies impracticable on most endosymbiotic bacteria. However, recently, major progress has been made in manipulating several intracellular endosymbiont species in vitro, leading to astonishing discoveries on their physiology and the way they interact with their host. This review establishes a comprehensive picture of the in vitro tractability of insect endosymbiotic bacteria and addresses the reason why most species are not culturable. By compiling and discussing the latest developments in the design of custom media and genetic manipulation protocols, it aims at providing new leads to expand the range of tractable endosymbionts and foster genetic research on these models.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Kendra CG, Keller CM, Bruna RE, et al (2020)

Conjugal DNA Transfer in Sodalis glossinidius, a Maternally Inherited Symbiont of Tsetse Flies.

mSphere, 5(6):.

Stable associations between insects and bacterial species are widespread in nature. This is the case for many economically important insects, such as tsetse flies. Tsetse flies are the vectors of Trypanosoma brucei, the etiological agent of African trypanosomiasis-a zoonotic disease that incurs a high socioeconomic cost in regions of endemicity. Populations of tsetse flies are often infected with the bacterium Sodalis glossinidius Following infection, S. glossinidius establishes a chronic, stable association characterized by vertical (maternal) and horizontal (paternal) modes of transmission. Due to the stable nature of this association, S. glossinidius has been long sought as a means for the implementation of anti-Trypanosoma paratransgenesis in tsetse flies. However, the lack of tools for the genetic modification of S. glossinidius has hindered progress in this area. Here, we establish that S. glossinidius is amenable to DNA uptake by conjugation. We show that conjugation can be used as a DNA delivery method to conduct forward and reverse genetic experiments in this bacterium. This study serves as an important step in the development of genetic tools for S. glossinidius The methods highlighted here should guide the implementation of genetics for the study of the tsetse-Sodalis association and the evaluation of S. glossinidius-based tsetse fly paratransgenesis strategies.IMPORTANCE Tsetse flies are the insect vectors of T. brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness-a zoonotic disease that inflicts a substantial economic cost on a broad region of sub-Saharan Africa. Notably, tsetse flies can be infected with the bacterium S. glossinidius to establish an asymptomatic chronic infection. This infection can be inherited by future generations of tsetse flies, allowing S. glossinidius to spread and persist within populations. To this effect, S. glossinidius has been considered a potential expression platform to create flies which reduce T. brucei stasis and lower overall parasite transmission to humans and animals. However, the efficient genetic manipulation of S. glossinidius has remained a technical challenge due to its complex growth requirements and uncharacterized physiology. Here, we exploit a natural mechanism of DNA transfer among bacteria and develop an efficient technique to genetically manipulate S. glossinidius for future studies in reducing trypanosome transmission.

RevDate: 2020-11-05

Bell RT, Wolf YI, EV Koonin (2020)

Modified base-binding EVE and DCD domains: striking diversity of genomic contexts in prokaryotes and predicted involvement in a variety of cellular processes.

BMC biology, 18(1):159 pii:10.1186/s12915-020-00885-2.

BACKGROUND: DNA and RNA of all cellular life forms and many viruses contain an expansive repertoire of modified bases. The modified bases play diverse biological roles that include both regulation of transcription and translation, and protection against restriction endonucleases and antibiotics. Modified bases are often recognized by dedicated protein domains. However, the elaborate networks of interactions and processes mediated by modified bases are far from being completely understood.

RESULTS: We present a comprehensive census and classification of EVE domains that belong to the PUA/ASCH domain superfamily and bind various modified bases in DNA and RNA. We employ the "guilt by association" approach to make functional inferences from comparative analysis of bacterial and archaeal genomes, based on the distribution and associations of EVE domains in (predicted) operons and functional networks of genes. Prokaryotes encode two classes of EVE domain proteins, slow-evolving and fast-evolving ones. Slow-evolving EVE domains in α-proteobacteria are embedded in conserved operons, potentially involved in coupling between translation and respiration, cytochrome c biogenesis in particular, via binding 5-methylcytosine in tRNAs. In β- and γ-proteobacteria, the conserved associations implicate the EVE domains in the coordination of cell division, biofilm formation, and global transcriptional regulation by non-coding 6S small RNAs, which are potentially modified and bound by the EVE domains. In eukaryotes, the EVE domain-containing THYN1-like proteins have been reported to inhibit PCD and regulate the cell cycle, potentially, via binding 5-methylcytosine and its derivatives in DNA and/or RNA. We hypothesize that the link between PCD and cytochrome c was inherited from the α-proteobacterial and proto-mitochondrial endosymbiont and, unexpectedly, could involve modified base recognition by EVE domains. Fast-evolving EVE domains are typically embedded in defense contexts, including toxin-antitoxin modules and type IV restriction systems, suggesting roles in the recognition of modified bases in invading DNA molecules and targeting them for restriction. We additionally identified EVE-like prokaryotic Development and Cell Death (DCD) domains that are also implicated in defense functions including PCD. This function was inherited by eukaryotes, but in animals, the DCD proteins apparently were displaced by the extended Tudor family proteins, whose partnership with Piwi-related Argonautes became the centerpiece of the Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) system.

CONCLUSIONS: Recognition of modified bases in DNA and RNA by EVE-like domains appears to be an important, but until now, under-appreciated, common denominator in a variety of processes including PCD, cell cycle control, antivirus immunity, stress response, and germline development in animals.

RevDate: 2020-11-04

Mugerwa H, Wang HL, Sseruwagi P, et al (2020)

Whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism and mating compatibility studies reveal the presence of distinct species in sub-Saharan Africa Bemisia tabaci whiteflies.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

In sub-Saharan Africa cassava growing areas, two members of the Bemisia tabaci species complex termed sub-Saharan Africa 1 (SSA1) and SSA2 have been reported as the prevalent whiteflies associated with the spread of viruses that cause cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) pandemics. At the peak of CMD pandemic in the late 1990s, SSA2 was the prevalent whitefly, although its numbers have diminished over the last two decades with the resurgence of SSA1 whiteflies. Three SSA1 subgroups (SG1 to SG3) are the predominant whiteflies in East Africa and vary in distribution and biological properties. Mating compatibility between SSA1 subgroups and SSA2 whiteflies was reported as the possible driver for the resurgence of SSA1 whiteflies. In this study, a combination of both phylogenomic methods and reciprocal crossing experiments were applied to determine species status of SSA1 subgroups and SSA2 whitefly populations. Phylogenomic analyses conducted with 26 548 205 bp whole genome single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the full mitogenomes clustered SSA1 subgroups together and separate from SSA2 species. Mating incompatibility between SSA1 subgroups and SSA2 further demonstrated their distinctiveness from each other. Phylogenomic analyses conducted with SNPs and mitogenomes also revealed different genetic relationships among SSA1 subgroups. The former clustered SSA1-SG1 and SSA1-SG2 together but separate from SSA1-SG3, while the latter clustered SSA1-SG2 and SSA1-SG3 together but separate from SSA1-SG1. Mating compatibility was observed between SSA1-SG1 and SSA1-SG2, while incompatibility occurred between SSA1-SG1 and SSA1-SG3, and SSA1-SG2 and SSA1-SG3. Mating results among SSA1 subgroups were coherent with phylogenomics results based on SNPs but not the full mitogenomes. Furthermore, this study revealed that the secondary endosymbiont - Wolbachia did not mediate reproductive success in the crossing assays carried out. Overall, using genome wide SNPs together with reciprocal crossings assays, this study established accurate genetic relationships among cassava-colonizing populations, illustrating that SSA1 and SSA2 are distinct species while at least two species occur within SSA1 species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-11-03

Laidoudi Y, Levasseur A, Medkour H, et al (2020)

An Earliest Endosymbiont, Wolbachia massiliensis sp. nov., Strain PL13 from the Bed Bug (Cimex hemipterus), Type Strain of a New Supergroup T.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(21): pii:ijms21218064.

The symbiotic Wolbachia are the most sophisticated mutualistic bacterium among all insect-associated microbiota. Wolbachia-insect relationship fluctuates from the simple facultative/parasitic to an obligate nutritional-mutualistic association as it was the case of the bedbug-Wolbachia from Cimexlectularius. Understanding this association may help in the control of associated arthropods. Genomic data have proven to be reliable tools in resolving some aspects of these symbiotic associations. Although, Wolbachia appear to be fastidious or uncultivated bacteria which strongly limited their study. Here we proposed Drosophila S2 cell line for the isolation and culture model to study Wolbachia strains. We therefore isolated and characterized a novel Wolbachia strain associated with the bedbug Cimexhemipterus, designated as wChem strain PL13, and proposed Wolbachiamassiliensis sp. nov. strain wChem-PL13 a type strain of this new species from new supergroup T. Phylogenetically, T-supergroup was close to F and S-supergroups from insects and D-supergroup from filarial nematodes. We determined the 1,291,339-bp genome of wChem-PL13, which was the smallest insect-associated Wolbachia genomes. Overall, the wChem genome shared 50% of protein coding genes with the other insect-associated facultative Wolbachia strains. These findings highlight the diversity of Wolbachia genotypes as well as the Wolbachia-host relationship among Cimicinae subfamily. The wChem provides folate and riboflavin vitamins on which the host depends, while the bacteria had a limited translation mechanism suggesting its strong dependence to its hosts. However, the clear-cut distinction between mutualism and parasitism of the wChem in C. hemipterus cannot be yet ruled out.

RevDate: 2020-11-02

Ryan DG, Frezza C, LA O'Neill (2020)

TCA cycle signalling and the evolution of eukaryotes.

Current opinion in biotechnology, 68:72-88 pii:S0958-1669(20)30144-0 [Epub ahead of print].

A major question remaining in the field of evolutionary biology is how prokaryotic organisms made the leap to complex eukaryotic life. The prevailing theory depicts the origin of eukaryotic cell complexity as emerging from the symbiosis between an α-proteobacterium, the ancestor of present-day mitochondria, and an archaeal host (endosymbiont theory). A primary contribution of mitochondria to eukaryogenesis has been attributed to the mitochondrial genome, which enabled the successful internalisation of bioenergetic membranes and facilitated remarkable genome expansion. It has also been postulated that a key contribution of the archaeal host during eukaryogenesis was in providing 'archaeal histones' that would enable compaction and regulation of an expanded genome. Yet, how the communication between the host and the symbiont evolved is unclear. Here, we propose an evolutionary concept in which mitochondrial TCA cycle signalling was also a crucial player during eukaryogenesis enabling the dynamic control of an expanded genome via regulation of DNA and histone modifications. Furthermore, we discuss how TCA cycle remodelling is a common evolutionary strategy invoked by eukaryotic organisms to coordinate stress responses and gene expression programmes, with a particular focus on the TCA cycle-derived metabolite itaconate.

RevDate: 2020-10-31

Sanaei E, Charlat S, J Engelstädter (2020)

Wolbachia host shifts: routes, mechanisms, constraints and evolutionary consequences.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is one of the most abundant endosymbionts on earth, with a wide distribution especially in arthropods. Effective maternal transmission and the induction of various phenotypes in their hosts are two key features of this bacterium. Here, we review our current understanding of another central aspect of Wolbachia's success: their ability to switch from one host species to another. We build on the proposal that Wolbachia host shifts occur in four main steps: (i) physical transfer to a new species; (ii) proliferation within that host; (iii) successful maternal transmission; and (iv) spread within the host species. Host shift can fail at each of these steps, and the likelihood of ultimate success is influenced by many factors. Some stem from traits of Wolbachia (different strains have different abilities for host switching), others on host features such as genetic resemblance (e.g. host shifting is likely to be easier between closely related species), ecological connections (the donor and recipient host need to interact), or the resident microbiota. Host shifts have enabled Wolbachia to reach its enormous current incidence and global distribution among arthropods in an epidemiological process shaped by loss and acquisition events across host species. The ability of Wolbachia to transfer between species also forms the basis of ongoing endeavours to control pests and disease vectors, following artificial introduction into uninfected hosts such as mosquitoes. Throughout, we emphasise the many knowledge gaps in our understanding of Wolbachia host shifts, and question the effectiveness of current methodology to detect these events. We conclude by discussing an apparent paradox: how can Wolbachia maintain its ability to undergo host shifts given that its biology seems dominated by vertical transmission?

RevDate: 2020-10-26

Durante IM, Butenko A, Rašková V, et al (2020)

Large-scale phylogenetic analysis of trypanosomatid adenylate cyclases reveals associations with extracellular lifestyle and host-pathogen interplay.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5940001 [Epub ahead of print].

Receptor adenylate cyclases (RACs) on the surface of trypanosomatids are important players in the host-parasite interface. They detect still unidentified environmental signals that affect the parasites' responses to host immune challenge, coordination of social motility and regulation of cell division. A lesser known class of oxygen-sensing adenylate cyclases (OACs) related to RACs has been lost in trypanosomes and expanded mostly in Leishmania species and related insect-dwelling trypanosomatids. In this work, we have undertaken a large-scale phylogenetic analysis of both classes of adenylate cyclases in trypanosomatids and the free-living Bodo saltans. We observe that the expanded RAC repertoire in trypanosomatids with a two-host life cycle is not only associated with an extracellular lifestyle within the vertebrate host, but also with a complex path through the insect vector involving several life cycle stages. In Trypanosoma brucei, RACs are split into two major clades, which significantly differ in their expression profiles in the mammalian host and the insect vector. RACs of the closely related Trypanosoma congolense are intermingled within these two clades, supporting early RAC diversification. Subspecies of T. brucei that have lost the capacity to infect insects exhibit high numbers of pseudogenized RACs, suggesting many of these proteins have become redundant upon the acquisition of a single-host life cycle. OACs appear to be an innovation occurring after the expansion of RACs in trypanosomatids. Endosymbiont-harbouring trypanosomatids exhibit a diversification of OACs, whereas these proteins are pseudogenized in Leishmania subgenus Viannia. This analysis sheds light on how adenylate cyclases have evolved to allow diverse trypanosomatids to occupy multifarious niches and assume various lifestyles.

RevDate: 2020-10-25

Sandri TL, Kreidenweiss A, Cavallo S, et al (2020)

Molecular epidemiology of Mansonella species in Gabon.

The Journal of infectious diseases pii:5939539 [Epub ahead of print].

Mansonella perstans, a filarial nematode, infects large populations in Africa and Latin America. Recently, a potential new species Mansonella sp. "DEUX" was reported. Carriage of endosymbiotic Wolbachia opens treatment options for Mansonella infections. Within a cross-sectional study, we assessed the prevalence of filarial infections in 834 Gabonese individuals and the presence of the endosymbiont Wolbachia. Almost half of the participants (400/834, 48%) were infected with filarial nematodes, with Mansonella sp. "DEUX" being the most frequent (295/400, 74%), followed by Loa loa (273/400, 68%), and M. perstans (82/400, 21%). Being adult/elderly, male, and living in rural areas was associated with a higher risk of infection. Wolbachia carriage was confirmed in M. perstans and Mansonella sp. "DEUX". In silico analysis revealed that Mansonella sp. "DEUX" is not detected with currently published M. perstans specific assays. Mansonella infections are highly prevalent in Gabon and might have been underreported, likely also beyond Gabon.

RevDate: 2020-10-21

Pyle AE, Johnson AM, TA Villareal (2020)

Isolation, growth, and nitrogen fixation rates of the Hemiaulus-Richelia (diatom-cyanobacterium) symbiosis in culture.

PeerJ, 8:e10115 pii:10115.

Nitrogen fixers (diazotrophs) are often an important nitrogen source to phytoplankton nutrient budgets in N-limited marine environments. Diazotrophic symbioses between cyanobacteria and diatoms can dominate nitrogen-fixation regionally, particularly in major river plumes and in open ocean mesoscale blooms. This study reports the successful isolation and growth in monocultures of multiple strains of a diatom-cyanobacteria symbiosis from the Gulf of Mexico using a modified artificial seawater medium. We document the influence of light and nutrients on nitrogen fixation and growth rates of the host diatom Hemiaulus hauckii Grunow together with its diazotrophic endosymbiont Richelia intracellularis Schmidt, as well as less complete results on the Hemiaulus membranaceus-R. intracellularis symbiosis. The symbioses rates reported here are for the joint diatom-cyanobacteria unit. Symbiont diazotrophy was sufficient to support both the host diatom and cyanobacteria symbionts, and the entire symbiosis replicated and grew without added nitrogen. Maximum growth rates of multiple strains of H. hauckii symbioses in N-free medium with N2 as the sole N source were 0.74-0.93 div d-1. Growth rates followed light saturation kinetics in H. hauckii symbioses with a growth compensation light intensity (EC) of 7-16 µmol m-2s-1and saturation light level (EK) of 84-110 µmol m-2s-1. Nitrogen fixation rates by the symbiont while within the host followed a diel pattern where rates increased from near-zero in the scotophase to a maximum 4-6 h into the photophase. At the onset of the scotophase, nitrogen-fixation rates declined over several hours to near-zero values. Nitrogen fixation also exhibited light saturation kinetics. Maximum N2 fixation rates (84 fmol N2 heterocyst-1h-1) in low light adapted cultures (50 µmol m-2s-1) were approximately 40-50% of rates (144-154 fmol N2 heterocyst-1h-1) in high light (150 and 200 µmol m-2s-1) adapted cultures. Maximum laboratory N2 fixation rates were ~6 to 8-fold higher than literature-derived field rates of the H. hauckii symbiosis. In contrast to published results on the Rhizosolenia-Richelia symbiosis, the H. hauckii symbiosis did not use nitrate when added, although ammonium was consumed by the H. hauckii symbiosis. Symbiont-free host cell cultures could not be established; however, a symbiont-free H. hauckii strain was isolated directly from the field and grown on a nitrate-based medium that would not support DDA growth. Our observations together with literature reports raise the possibility that the asymbiotic H. hauckii are lines distinct from an obligately symbiotic H. hauckii line. While brief descriptions of successful culture isolation have been published, this report provides the first detailed description of the approaches, handling, and methodologies used for successful culture of this marine symbiosis. These techniques should permit a more widespread laboratory availability of these important marine symbioses.

RevDate: 2020-10-18

Xu S, Jiang L, Qiao G, et al (2020)

Diversity of bacterial symbionts associated with Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Aphidinae) revealed by 16S rRNA Illumina sequencing.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01622-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Aphids are known to be associated with a variety of symbiotic bacteria. To improve our knowledge of the bacterial diversity of polyphagous aphids, in the present study, we investigated the microbiota of the cosmopolitan agricultural pest Myzus persicae (Sulzer). Ninety-two aphid samples collected from different host plants in various regions of China were examined using high-throughput amplicon sequencing. We comprehensively characterized the symbiont diversity of M. persicae and assessed the variations in aphid-associated symbiont communities. We detected a higher diversity of symbionts than has been previously observed. M. persicae hosted the primary endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola and seven secondary symbionts, among which Wolbachia was the most prevalent and Rickettsia, Arsenophonus, and Spiroplasma were reported for the first time. Ordination analyses and statistical tests revealed that the symbiont flora associated with M. persicae did not change with respect to host plant or geography, which may be due to frequent migrations between different aphid populations. These findings will advance our knowledge of the microbiota of polyphagous insects and will enrich our understanding of assembly of host-microbiome systems.

RevDate: 2020-10-13

Santos-Garcia D, Mestre-Rincon N, Ouvrard D, et al (2020)

Portiera gets wild: Genome instability provides insights into the evolution of both whiteflies and their endosymbionts.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5922610 [Epub ahead of print].

Whiteflies (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aleyrodidae) are a superfamily of small phloem-feeding insects. They rely on their primary endosymbionts Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum to produce essential amino acids not present in their diet. Portiera has been co-diverging with whiteflies since their origin and therefore reflects its host's evolutionary history. Like in most primary endosymbionts, the genome of Portiera stays stable across the Aleyrodidae superfamily after millions of years of co-divergence. However, Portiera of the sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci has lost the ancestral genome order, reflecting a rare event in the endosymbiont evolution: the appearance of genome instability. To gain a better understanding of Portiera genome evolution, identify the time point in which genome instability appeared, and contribute to the reconstruction of whitefly phylogeny, we developed a new phylogenetic framework. It targeted five Portiera genes and determined the presence of the DNA polymerase proofreading subunit (dnaQ) gene, previously associated with genome instability, and two alternative gene rearrangements. Our results indicated that Portiera gene sequences provide a robust tool for studying inter-genera phylogenetic relationships in whiteflies. Using these new framework, we found that whitefly species from the Singhiella, Aleurolobus, and Bemisia genera form a monophyletic tribe, the Aleurolobini, and that their Portiera exhibit genome instability. This instability likely arose once in the common ancestor of the Aleurolobini tribe (at least 70 million years ago), drawing a link between the appearance of genome instability in Portiera and the switch from multi-bacteriocyte to a single-bacteriocyte mode of inheritance in this tribe.

RevDate: 2020-10-10

Jing Jing K, Nurul Aini H, Fang Shiang L, et al (2020)

Molecular detection of pathogens from ectoparasites recovered from peri-domestic animals, and the first description of a Candidatus Midichloria sp. from Haemaphysalis wellingtoni from rural communities in Malaysia.

Parasitology international pii:S1383-5769(20)30152-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Rural communities in Malaysia have been shown to be exposed to Coxiella, Borrelia and rickettsial infections in previous seroprevalence studies. Further research is necessary to identify the actual causative agents and the potential vectors of these infections. The arthropods parasitizing peri-domestic animals in these communities may serve as the vector in transmitting arthropod-borne and zoonotic agents to the humans. Molecular screening of bacterial and zoonotic pathogens from ticks and fleas collected from dogs, cats and chickens from six rural communities in Malaysia was undertaken. These communities were made up of mainly the indigenous people of Malaysia, known as the Orang Asli, as well as settlers in oil palm plantations. The presence of Coxiella burnetii, Borrelia, and rickettsial agents, including Rickettsia and Anaplasma, was investigated by performing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing. Candidatus Rickettsia senegalensis were detected in one out of eight pools of Ctenocephalides felis fleas. A relapsing fever group Borrelia sp. was identified from one of seven Haemaphysalis hystricis ticks tested. The results from the PCR screening for Anaplasma unexpectedly revealed the presence of Candidatus Midichloria sp., a potential tick endosymbiont, in two out of fourteen Haemaphysalis wellingtoni ticks tested. C. burnetii was not detected in any of the samples tested. The findings provide evidence for the presence of potentially novel strains of rickettsial and borrelial agents in which their impact on public health risks among the rural communities in Malaysia merit further investigation. The detection of a potential endosymbiont of ticks also suggest that presence of tick endosymbionts in the region is not fully explored.

RevDate: 2020-10-08

Horák A, Allen AE, M Oborník (2020)

Common origin of ornithine-urea cycle in opisthokonts and stramenopiles.

Scientific reports, 10(1):16687 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-73715-8.

Eukaryotic complex phototrophs exhibit a colorful evolutionary history. At least three independent endosymbiotic events accompanied by the gene transfer from the endosymbiont to host assembled a complex genomic mosaic. Resulting patchwork may give rise to unique metabolic capabilities; on the other hand, it can also blur the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships. The ornithine-urea cycle (OUC) belongs to the cornerstone of the metabolism of metazoans and, as found recently, also photosynthetic stramenopiles. We have analyzed the distribution and phylogenetic positions of genes encoding enzymes of the urea synthesis pathway in eukaryotes. We show here that metazoan and stramenopile OUC enzymes share common origins and that enzymes of the OUC found in primary algae (including plants) display different origins. The impact of this fact on the evolution of stramenopiles is discussed here.

RevDate: 2020-10-08

Bakovic V, Schebeck M, Stauffer C, et al (2020)

Wolbachia-Mitochondrial DNA Associations in Transitional Populations of Rhagoletis cerasi.

Insects, 11(10): pii:insects11100675.

The endosymbiont Wolbachia can manipulate arthropod host reproduction by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), which results in embryonic mortality when infected males mate with uninfected females. A CI-driven invasion of Wolbachia can result in a selective sweep of associated mitochondrial haplotype. The co-inheritance of Wolbachia and host mitochondrial DNA can therefore provide significant information on the dynamics of an ongoing Wolbachia invasion. Therefore, transition zones (i.e., regions where a Wolbachia strain is currently spreading from infected to uninfected populations) represent an ideal area to investigate the relationship between Wolbachia and host mitochondrial haplotype. Here, we studied Wolbachia-mitochondrial haplotype associations in the European cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi, in two transition zones in the Czech Republic and Hungary, where the CI-inducing strain wCer2 is currently spreading. The wCer2-infection status of 881 individuals was compared with the two known R. cerasi mitochondrial haplotypes, HT1 and HT2. In accordance with previous studies, wCer2-uninfected individuals were associated with HT1, and wCer2-infected individuals were mainly associated with HT2. We found misassociations only within the transition zones, where HT2 flies were wCer2-uninfected, suggesting the occurrence of imperfect maternal transmission. We did not find any HT1 flies that were wCer2-infected, suggesting that Wolbachia was not acquired horizontally. Our study provides new insights into the dynamics of the early phase of a Wolbachia invasion.

RevDate: 2020-10-07

Dabravolski SA (2020)

Evolutionary aspects of the Viridiplantae nitroreductases.

Journal, genetic engineering & biotechnology, 18(1):60 pii:10.1186/s43141-020-00073-3.

BACKGROUND: Nitroreductases are a family of evolutionarily related proteins catalyzing the reduction of nitro-substituted compounds. Nitroreductases are widespread enzymes, but nearly all modern research and practical application have been concentrated on the bacterial proteins, mainly nitroreductases of Escherichia coli. The main aim of this study is to describe the phylogenic distribution of the nitroreductases in the photosynthetic eukaryotes (Viridiplantae) to highlight their structural similarity and areas for future research and application.

RESULTS: This study suggests that homologs of nitroreductase proteins are widely presented also in Viridiplantae. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree reconstruction method and comparison of the structural models suggest close evolutional relation between cyanobacterial and Viridiplantae nitroreductases.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the first attempt to understand the evolution of nitroreductase protein family in Viridiplantae. Our phylogeny estimation and preservation of the chloroplasts/mitochondrial localization indicate the evolutional origin of the plant nitroreductases from the cyanobacterial endosymbiont. A defined high level of the similarity on the structural level suggests conservancy also for the functions. Directions for the future research and industrial application of the Viridiplantae nitroreductases are discussed.

RevDate: 2020-10-07

Hague MTJ, Caldwell CN, BS Cooper (2020)

Pervasive Effects of Wolbachia on Host Temperature Preference.

mBio, 11(5):.

Heritable symbionts can modify a range of ecologically important host traits, including behavior. About half of all insect species are infected with maternally transmitted Wolbachia, a bacterial endosymbiont known to alter host reproduction, nutrient acquisition, and virus susceptibility. Here, we broadly test the hypothesis that Wolbachia modifies host behavior by assessing the effects of eight different Wolbachia strains on the temperature preference of six Drosophila melanogaster subgroup species. Four of the seven host genotypes infected with A-group Wolbachia strains (wRi in Drosophila simulans, wHa in D. simulans, wSh in Drosophila sechellia, and wTei in Drosophila teissieri) prefer significantly cooler temperatures relative to uninfected genotypes. Contrastingly, when infected with divergent B-group wMau, Drosophila mauritiana prefers a warmer temperature. For most strains, changes to host temperature preference do not alter Wolbachia titer. However, males infected with wSh and wTei tend to experience an increase in titer when shifted to a cooler temperature for 24 h, suggesting that Wolbachia-induced changes to host behavior may promote bacterial replication. Our results indicate that Wolbachia modifications to host temperature preference are likely widespread, which has important implications for insect thermoregulation and physiology. Understanding the fitness consequences of these Wolbachia effects is crucial for predicting evolutionary outcomes of host-symbiont interactions, including how Wolbachia spreads to become common.IMPORTANCE Microbes infect a diversity of species, influencing the performance and fitness of their hosts. Maternally transmitted Wolbachia bacteria infect most insects and other arthropods, making these bacteria some of the most common endosymbionts in nature. Despite their global prevalence, it remains mostly unknown how Wolbachia influence host physiology and behavior to proliferate. We demonstrate pervasive effects of Wolbachia on Drosophila temperature preference. Most hosts infected with A-group Wolbachia prefer cooler temperatures, whereas the one host species infected with divergent B-group Wolbachia prefers warmer temperatures, relative to uninfected genotypes. Changes to host temperature preference generally do not alter Wolbachia abundance in host tissues, but for some A-group strains, adult males have increased Wolbachia titer when shifted to a cooler temperature. This suggests that Wolbachia-induced changes to host behavior may promote bacterial replication. Our results help elucidate the impact of endosymbionts on their hosts amid the global Wolbachia pandemic.

RevDate: 2020-10-06

Coates LC, Mahoney J, Ramsey JS, et al (2020)

Development on Citrus medica infected with 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' has sex-specific and -nonspecific impacts on adult Diaphorina citri and its endosymbionts.

PloS one, 15(10):e0239771 pii:PONE-D-20-19539.

Huanglongbing (HLB) is a deadly, incurable citrus disease putatively caused by the unculturable bacterium, 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' (CLas), and transmitted by Diaphorina citri. Prior studies suggest D. citri transmits CLas in a circulative and propagative manner; however, the precise interactions necessary for CLas transmission remain unknown, and the impact of insect sex on D. citri-CLas interactions is poorly understood despite reports of sex-dependent susceptibilities to CLas. We analyzed the transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, and microbiome of male and female adult D. citri reared on healthy or CLas-infected Citrus medica to determine shared and sex-specific responses of D. citri and its endosymbionts to CLas exposure. More sex-specific than shared D. citri responses to CLas were observed, despite there being no difference between males and females in CLas density or relative abundance. CLas exposure altered the abundance of proteins involved in immunity and cellular and oxidative stress in a sex-dependent manner. CLas exposure impacted cuticular proteins and enzymes involved in chitin degradation, as well as energy metabolism and abundance of the endosymbiont 'Candidatus Profftella armatura' in both sexes similarly. Notably, diaphorin, a toxic Profftella-derived metabolite, was more abundant in both sexes with CLas exposure. The responses reported here resulted from a combination of CLas colonization of D. citri as well as the effect of CLas infection on C. medica. Elucidating these impacts on D. citri and their endosymbionts contributes to our understanding of the HLB pathosystem and identifies the responses potentially critical to limiting or promoting CLas acquisition and propagation in both sexes.

RevDate: 2020-10-06

Shan H, Liu Y, Luan J, et al (2020)

New insights into the transovarial transmission of the symbiont Rickettsia in whiteflies.

Science China. Life sciences pii:10.1007/s11427-020-1801-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiont transmission via eggs to future host generations has been recognized as the main strategy for its persistence in insect hosts; however, the mechanisms for transmission have yet to be elucidated. Here, we describe the dynamic locations of Rickettsia in the ovarioles and eggs during oogenesis and embryogenesis in a globally significant pest whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Field populations of the whitefly have a high prevalence of Rickettsia, and in all Rickettsia-infected individuals, the bacterium distributes in the body cavity of the host, especially in the midgut, fat body, hemocytes, hemolymph, and near bacteriocytes. The distribution of Rickettsia was subjected to dynamic changes in the ovary during oogenesis, and our ultrastructural observations indicated that the bacteria infect host ovarioles during early developmental stages via two routes: (i) invasion of the tropharium by endocytosis and then transmission into vitellarium via nutritive cord and (ii) entry into vitellarium by hijacking bacteriocyte translocation. Most of the Rickettsia are degraded in the oocyte cytoplasm in late-stage oogenesis. However, a few reside beneath the vitelline envelope of mature eggs, spread into the embryo, and proliferate during embryogenesis to sustain high-fidelity transmission to the next generation. Our findings provide novel insights into the maternal transmission underpinning the persistence and spread of insect symbionts.

RevDate: 2020-10-06

Nakayama T, Takahashi K, Kamikawa R, et al (2020)

Putative genome features of relic green alga-derived nuclei in dinoflagellates and future perspectives as model organisms.

Communicative & integrative biology, 13(1):84-88.

Nucleomorphs, relic endosymbiont nuclei, have been studied as a model to elucidate the evolutionary process of integrating a eukaryotic endosymbiont into a host cell organelle. Recently, we reported two new dinoflagellates possessing nucleomorphs, and proposed them as new models in this research field based on the following findings: genome integration processes are incomplete, and the origins of the endosymbiont lineages were pinpointed. Here, we focused on the nucleomorph genome features in the two green dinoflagellates and compared them with those of the known nucleomorph genomes of cryptophytes and chlorarachniophytes. All nucleomorph genomes showed similar trends suggesting convergent evolution. However, the number of nucleomorph genes that are unrelated to housekeeping machineries in the two green dinoflagellates are greater than the numbers in cryptophytes and chlorarachniophytes, providing additional evidence that their genome reduction has not progressed much compared with those of cryptophytes and chlorarachniophytes. Finally, potential future work is discussed.

RevDate: 2020-10-01

Izraeli Y, Lalzar M, Netanel N, et al (2020)

Wolbachia influence on the fitness of Anagyrus vladimiri (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), a bio-control agent of mealybugs.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Like numerous other animals, biocontrol agents (BCAs) of arthropod pests carry various microorganisms that may have diverse effects on the biology of their eukaryote hosts. We postulated that it is possible to improve the efficacy of BCAs by manipulating the composition of their associated microbiota. The parasitoid wasp Anagyrus vladimiri (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) from a mass-rearing facility was chosen for testing this hypothesis.

RESULTS: High-throughput sequencing analysis indicated that fungal abundance in A. vladimiri was low and variable, whereas the bacterial community was dominated by the endosymbiont Wolbachia. Wolbachia was fixed in the mass-rearing population, whereas in field-collected A. vladimiri Wolbachia's prevalence was only ~20%. Identification of Wolbachia strains from the two populations by Multi Locus Sequence Typing, revealed two closely related but unique strains. A series of bioassays with the mass-rearing Wolbachia-fixed (W+) and a derived antibiotic-treated Wolbachia-free (W-) lines revealed that: a) Wolbachia does not induce reproductive manipulations; b) W- females have higher fecundity when reared individually, but not when reared with conspecifics; c) W+ females outcompete W- when they share hosts for oviposition; d) longevity and developmental time were similar in both lines.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that W+ A. vladimiri have no clear fitness benefit under mass-rearing conditions and may be disadvantageous under lab-controlled conditions. In a broader view, the results suggest that augmentative biological control can benefit from manipulation of the microbiome of natural enemies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-10-09

Sorroche F, Morales V, Mouffok S, et al (2020)

The ex planta signal activity of a Medicago ribosomal uL2 protein suggests a moonlighting role in controlling secondary rhizobial infection.

PloS one, 15(10):e0235446.

We recently described a regulatory loop, which we termed autoregulation of infection (AOI), by which Sinorhizobium meliloti, a Medicago endosymbiont, downregulates the root susceptibility to secondary infection events via ethylene. AOI is initially triggered by so-far unidentified Medicago nodule signals named signal 1 and signal 1' whose transduction in bacteroids requires the S. meliloti outer-membrane-associated NsrA receptor protein and the cognate inner-membrane-associated adenylate cyclases, CyaK and CyaD1/D2, respectively. Here, we report on advances in signal 1 identification. Signal 1 activity is widespread as we robustly detected it in Medicago nodule extracts as well as in yeast and bacteria cell extracts. Biochemical analyses indicated a peptidic nature for signal 1 and, together with proteomic analyses, a universally conserved Medicago ribosomal protein of the uL2 family was identified as a candidate signal 1. Specifically, MtRPuL2A (MtrunA17Chr7g0247311) displays a strong signal activity that requires S. meliloti NsrA and CyaK, as endogenous signal 1. We have shown that MtRPuL2A is active in signaling only in a non-ribosomal form. A Medicago truncatula mutant in the major symbiotic transcriptional regulator MtNF-YA1 lacked most signal 1 activity, suggesting that signal 1 is under developmental control. Altogether, our results point to the MtRPuL2A ribosomal protein as the candidate for signal 1. Based on the Mtnf-ya1 mutant, we suggest a link between root infectiveness and nodule development. We discuss our findings in the context of ribosomal protein moonlighting.

RevDate: 2020-10-02

Lu Y, Jiang J, Zhao H, et al (2020)

Clade-Specific Sterol Metabolites in Dinoflagellate Endosymbionts Are Associated with Coral Bleaching in Response to Environmental Cues.

mSystems, 5(5):.

Cnidarians cannot synthesize sterols (which play essential roles in growth and development) de novo but often use sterols acquired from endosymbiotic dinoflagellates. While sterol availability can impact the mutualistic interaction between coral host and algal symbiont, the biosynthetic pathways (in the dinoflagellate endosymbionts) and functional roles of sterols in these symbioses are poorly understood. In this study, we found that itraconazole, which perturbs sterol metabolism by inhibiting the sterol 14-demethylase CYP51 in dinoflagellates, induces bleaching of the anemone Heteractis crispa and that bleaching perturbs sterol metabolism of the dinoflagellate. While Symbiodiniaceae have clade-specific sterol metabolites, they share features of the common sterol biosynthetic pathway but with distinct architecture and substrate specificity features of participating enzymes. Tracking sterol profiles and transcripts of enzymes involved in sterol biosynthesis across time in response to different environmental cues revealed similarities and idiosyncratic features of sterol synthesis in the endosymbiont Breviolum minutum Exposure of algal cultures to high levels of light, heat, and acidification led to alterations in sterol synthesis, including blocks through downregulation of squalene synthase transcript levels accompanied by marked growth reductions.IMPORTANCE These results indicate that sterol metabolites in Symbiodiniaceae are clade specific, that their biosynthetic pathways share architectural and substrate specificity features with those of animals and plants, and that environmental stress-specific perturbation of sterol biosynthesis in dinoflagellates can impair a key mutualistic partnership for healthy reefs.

RevDate: 2020-10-02

Sperling J, MacDonald Z, Normandeau J, et al (2020)

Within-population diversity of bacterial microbiomes in winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus).

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 11(6):101535.

The bacterial microbiome of ticks is notoriously diverse, but the factors leading to this diversity are poorly understood. We sequenced bacterial 16S rRNA amplicons from individual winter ticks, Dermacentor albipictus, to assess whether their one-host life cycle is associated with reduced bacterial diversity. On average, about 100 bacterial genera were found for individual ticks. Francisella-like endosymbiont (FLE) dominated bacterial communities, particularly in female ticks and in ticks that had fed. The remainder of the winter tick microbiome was highly variable. In addition to FLE, the main bacterial genera associated with winter ticks on elk were Pseudomonas, Ehrlichia, Asinibacterium, Acinetobacter and Streptococcus, although sequences associated with hundreds of other minor bacterial genera were detected. A complex interaction between richness and evenness was revealed in comparisons among tick life stages, using the Hill number series to show trends in diversity with decreasing emphasis on rare members of the assemblage. Male ticks had a significantly greater number of bacterial genera than females or nymphs, while males had greater evenness than females and similar evenness to nymphs. We intentionally sampled ticks from a single host species, North American elk, from a single location in Alberta, Canada, to constrain the ecological and blood meal variation that individuals experience through their life cycle. In spite of this, we found that the number of bacterial genera detected in this one-host tick system was remarkably diverse. The high taxonomic variability of the minor components of the winter tick microbiome suggests that this part of their microbiome diversity should be examined for functional significance.

RevDate: 2020-10-02

Tufts DM, Sameroff S, Tagliafierro T, et al (2020)

A metagenomic examination of the pathobiome of the invasive tick species, Haemaphysalis longicornis, collected from a New York City borough, USA.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 11(6):101516.

Haemaphysalis longicornis, the Asian longhorned tick, is an invasive tick species that has spread rapidly across the northeastern and southeastern regions of the United States in recent years. This invasive pest species, known to transmit several tick-borne pathogens in its native range, is a potential threat to wildlife, livestock, domestic animals, and humans. Questing larval (n = 25), nymph (n = 10), and adult (n = 123), along with host-derived adult (n = 25) H. longicornis ticks were collected from various locations on Staten Island, NY. The pathobiome of each specimen was examined using two different high throughput sequencing approaches, virus enrichment and shotgun metagenomics. An average of 45,828,061 total reads per sample were recovered from the virus enriched samples and an average of 11,381,144 total reads per sample were obtained using shotgun metagenomics. Aside from endogenous viral sequences, no viruses were identified through either approach. Through shotgun metagenomics, Coxiella-like bacteria, Legionella, Sphingomonas, and other bacterial species were recovered. The Coxiella-like agent was ubiquitous and present at high abundances in all samples, suggesting it may be an endosymbiont. The other bacterial agents are not known to be transmitted by ticks. From these analyses, H. longicornis do not appear to host any endemic human tick-borne pathogens in the New York City region.

RevDate: 2020-10-02

Al-Khafaji AM, Bell-Sakyi L, Fracasso G, et al (2020)

Isolation of Candidatus Rickettsia vini from Belgian Ixodes arboricola ticks and propagation in tick cell lines.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 11(6):101511.

Candidatus Rickettsia vini was originally detected in Ixodes arboricola ticks from Spain, and subsequently reported from several other Western Palearctic countries including Belgium. Recently, the bacterium was isolated in mammalian (Vero) cell culture from macerated male I. arboricola from Czech Republic, but there have been no reports of propagation in tick cells. Here we report isolation in a tick cell line of three strains of Ca. R. vini from I. arboricola collected from nests of great tits (Parus major) in Belgium. Internal organs of one male and two engorged female ticks were dissected aseptically, added to cultures of the Rhipicephalus microplus cell line BME/CTVM23 and incubated at 28 °C. Rickettsia-like bacteria were first seen in Giemsa-stained cytocentrifuge smears between 2 and 15 weeks later. Two of the isolates grew rapidly, destroying the tick cells within 2-4 weeks of onward passage in BME/CTVM23 cells, while the third isolate grew much more slowly, only requiring subculture at 4-5-month intervals. PCR amplification of bacterial 16S rRNA and Rickettsia gltA, sca4, ompB, ompA and 17-kDa genes revealed that all three isolates were Ca. R. vini, with 100 % identity to each other and to published Ca. R. vini sequences from other geographical locations. Transmission electron microscopy revealed typical single Rickettsia bacteria in the cytoplasm of BME/CTVM23 cells. The Ca. R. vini strain isolated from the male I. arboricola tick, designated Boshoek1, was tested for ability to grow in a panel of Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes scapularis and R. microplus cell lines and in Vero cells. The Boshoek1 strain grew rapidly, causing severe cytopathic effect, in the R. microplus line BME26, the I. ricinus line IRE11 and Vero cells, more slowly in the I. ricinus line IRE/CTVM19, possibly established a low-level infection in the I. ricinus line IRE/CTVM20, and failed to infect cells of any of four I. scapularis lines over a 12-week observation period. This study confirmed the applicability of the simple tick organ-cell line co-cultivation technique for isolation of tick-borne Rickettsia spp. using BME/CTVM23 cells.

RevDate: 2020-09-24

Li TP, Zha SS, Zhou CY, et al (2020)

Newly-introduced Cardinium endosymbiont reduces microbial diversity in the rice brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5911095 [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiotic microorganisms in invertebrates play vital roles in host ecology and evolution. Cardinium, a common intracellular symbiont, is transinfected into the important agricultural pest Nilaparvata lugens (rice brown planthopper) to regulate its reproduction, but how this impacts its microbial community is unknown. Here, we characterized the bacterial microbiota from N. lugens, with or without Cardinium, at different developmental stages and in various adult tissues using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Upon infection with Cardinium, we found that microbial diversity in the different developmental stages of N. lugens (especially females), and in female midguts and male testes, was lower than in the uninfected control. There was a negative correlation between Cardinium and most related genera and between Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Although the microbial structure varied during Cardinium infection, Acinetobacter spp. was a core microbiome genus. The Cardinium infection enhanced the relative density of midgut-associated Acinetobacter spp., with both bacteria exhibiting tissue-specific tropism. In addition, this infection caused the changes of main microbial functions in N. lugens. These results offer insights into the effects of alien (i.e. newly-introduced from other organism) Cardinium infection on N. lugens-associated microbiotas, aiding in the development of transinfected endosymbionts for pest control.

RevDate: 2020-09-21

Ip JC, Xu T, Sun J, et al (2020)

Host-Endosymbiont Genome Integration in a Deep-Sea Chemosymbiotic Clam.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:5909661 [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiosis with chemosynthetic bacteria has enabled many deep-sea invertebrates to thrive at hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, but most previous studies on this mutualism have focused on the bacteria only. Vesicomyid clams dominate global deep-sea chemosynthesis-based ecosystems. They differ from most deep-sea symbiotic animals in passing their symbionts from parent to offspring, enabling intricate co-evolution between the host and the symbiont. Here, we sequenced the genomes of the clam Archivesica marissinica (Bivalvia: Vesicomyidae) and its bacterial symbiont to understand the genomic/metabolic integration behind this symbiosis. At 1.52 gigabases, the clam genome encodes 28 genes horizontally transferred from bacteria, a large number of pseudogenes and transposable elements whose massive expansion corresponded to the timing of the rise and subsequent divergence of symbiont-bearing vesicomyids. The genome exhibits gene family expansion in cellular processes that likely facilitate chemoautotrophy, including gas delivery to support energy and carbon production, metabolite exchange with the symbiont, and regulation of the bacteriocyte population. Contraction in cellulase genes is likely adaptive to the shift from phytoplankton-derived to bacteria-based food. It also shows contraction in bacterial recognition gene familie, indicative of suppressed immune response to the endosymbiont. The gammaproteobacterium endosymbiont has a reduced genome of 1.03 megabases but retains complete pathways for sulfur oxidation, carbon fixation, and biosynthesis of 20 common amino acids, indicating the host's high dependence on the symbiont for nutrition. Overall, the host-symbiont genomes show not only tight metabolic complementarity, but also distinct signatures of co-evolution allowing the vesicomyids to thrive in chemosynthesis-based ecosystems.

RevDate: 2020-09-18

Becker DM, NJ Silbiger (2020)

Nutrient and sediment loading affect multiple facets of coral functionality in a tropical branching coral.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:jeb.225045 [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reefs, one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, face increasing pressures from global and local anthropogenic stressors. Therefore, a better understanding of the ecological ramifications of warming and land-based inputs (e.g., sedimentation and nutrient loading) on coral reef ecosystems is necessary. In this study, we measured how a natural nutrient and sedimentation gradient affected multiple facets of coral functionality, including endosymbiont and coral host response variables, holobiont metabolic responses, and percent cover of Pocillopora acuta colonies in Mo'orea, French Polynesia. We used thermal performance curves to quantify the relationship between metabolic rates and temperature along the environmental gradient. We found that algal endosymbiont % nitrogen content, endosymbiont densities, and total chlorophyll a content increased with nutrient input, while endosymbiont nitrogen content cell-1 decreased, likely representing competition among the algal endosymbionts. Nutrient and sediment loading decreased coral metabolic responses to thermal stress in terms of their thermal performance and metabolic rate processes. The acute thermal optimum for dark respiration decreased, along with the maximal performance for gross photosynthetic and calcification rates. Gross photosynthetic and calcification rates normalized to a reference temperature (26.8 °C) decreased along the gradient. Lastly, percent cover of P. acuta colonies decreased by nearly two orders of magnitude along the nutrient gradient. These findings illustrate that nutrient and sediment loading affect multiple levels of coral functionality. Understanding how local-scale anthropogenic stressors influence the responses of corals to temperature can inform coral reef management, particularly on the mediation of land-based inputs into coastal coral reef ecosystems.

RevDate: 2020-09-16
CmpDate: 2020-09-16

Kakumanu ML, DeVries ZC, Barbarin AM, et al (2020)

Bed bugs shape the indoor microbial community composition of infested homes.

The Science of the total environment, 743:140704.

Indoor pests, and the allergens they produce, adversely affect human health. Surprisingly, however, their effects on indoor microbial communities have not been assessed. Bed bug (Cimex lectularius) infestations pose severe challenges in elderly and low-income housing. They void large amounts of liquid feces into the home environment, which might alter the indoor microbial community composition. In this study, using bed bug-infested and uninfested homes, we showed a strong impact of bed bug infestations on the indoor microbial diversity. Floor dust samples were collected from uninfested and bed bug-infested homes and their microbiomes were analyzed before and after heat interventions that eliminated bed bugs. The microbial communities of bed bug-infested homes were radically different from those of uninfested homes, and the bed bug endosymbiont Wolbachia was the major driver of this difference. After bed bugs were eliminated, the microbial community gradually shifted toward the community composition of uninfested homes, strongly implicating bed bugs in shaping the dust-associated environmental microbiome. Further studies are needed to understand the viability of these microbial communities and the potential risks that bed bug-associated microbes and their metabolites pose to human health.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Gonçalves WG, Fernandes KM, Silva APA, et al (2020)

Ultrastructure of the Bacteriocytes in the Midgut of the Carpenter ant Camponotus rufipes: Endosymbiont Control by Autophagy.

Microscopy and microanalysis : the official journal of Microscopy Society of America, Microbeam Analysis Society, Microscopical Society of Canada pii:S1431927620024484 [Epub ahead of print].

The carpenter ant Camponotus rufipes has intracellular bacteria in bacteriocytes scattered in the midgut epithelium, which have different amounts of endosymbionts, according to the developmental stages. However, there are no detailed data about the midgut cells in adult workers. The present work aimed to evaluate the morphology and cellular events that coordinate the abundance of endosymbionts in the midgut cells in C. rufipes workers. The midgut epithelium has digestive cells, bacteriocytes, and cells with intermediate morphology. The latter is similar to bacteriocytes, due to the abundance of endosymbionts, and similar to digestive cells, due to their microvilli. The digestive and intermediate cells are rich in autophagosomes and autolysosomes, both with bacteria debris in the lumen. These findings suggest that midgut cells of C. rufipes control the endosymbiont level by the autophagy pathway.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Rossbacher S, C Vorburger (2020)

Prior adaptation of parasitoids improves biological control of symbiont-protected pests.

Evolutionary applications, 13(8):1868-1876.

There is increasing demand for sustainable pest management to reduce harmful effects of pesticides on the environment and human health. For pest aphids, biological control with parasitoid wasps provides a welcome alternative, particularly in greenhouses. However, aphids are frequently infected with the heritable bacterial endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa, which increases resistance to parasitoids and thereby hampers biological control. Using the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae) and its main parasitoid Lysiphlebus fabarum, we tested whether prior adaptation of parasitoids can improve the control of symbiont-protected pests. We had parasitoid lines adapted to two different strains of H. defensa by experimental evolution, as well as parasitoids evolved on H. defensa-free aphids. We compared their ability to control caged aphid populations comprising 60% unprotected and 40% H. defensa-protected aphids, with both H. defensa strains present in the populations. Parasitoids that were not adapted to H. defensa had virtually no effect on aphid population dynamics compared to parasitoid-free controls, but one of the adapted lines and a mixture of both adapted lines controlled aphids successfully, strongly benefitting plant growth. Selection by parasitoids altered aphid population composition in a very specific manner. Aphid populations became dominated by H. defensa-protected aphids in the presence of parasitoids, and each adapted parasitoid line selected for the H. defensa strain it was not adapted to. This study shows, for the first time, that prior adaptation of parasitoids improves biological control of symbiont-protected pests, but the high specificity of parasitoid counter-resistance may represent a challenge for its implementation.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Jain SS, Afiq-Rosli L, Feldman B, et al (2020)

Homogenization of Endosymbiont Communities Hosted by Equatorial Corals during the 2016 Mass Bleaching Event.

Microorganisms, 8(9): pii:microorganisms8091370.

Thermal stress drives the bleaching of reef corals, during which the endosymbiotic relationship between Symbiodiniaceae microalgae and the host breaks down. The endosymbiont communities are known to shift in response to environmental disturbances, but how they respond within and between colonies during and following bleaching events remains unclear. In 2016, a major global-scale bleaching event hit countless tropical reefs. Here, we investigate the relative abundances of Cladocopium LaJeunesse & H.J.Jeong, 2018 and Durusdinium LaJeunesse, 2018 within and among Pachyseris speciosa colonies in equatorial Singapore that are known to host both these Symbiodiniaceae clades. Bleached and unbleached tissues from bleaching colonies, as well as healthy colonies, during and following the bleaching event were sampled and analyzed for comparison. The nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions were separately amplified and quantified using a SYBR Green-based quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method and Illumina high-throughput sequencing. We found Cladocopium to be highly abundant relative to Durusdinium. The relative abundance of Durusdinium, known to be thermally tolerant, was highest in post-bleaching healthy colonies, while bleached and unbleached tissues from bleaching colonies as well as tissue from healthy colonies during the event had depressed proportions of Durusdinium. Given the importance of Durusdinium for thermal tolerance and stress response, it is surprising that bleached tissue showed limited change over healthy tissue during the bleaching event. Moreover, colonies were invariably dominated by Cladocopium during bleaching, but a minority of colonies were Durusdinium-dominant during non-bleaching times. The detailed characterization of Symbiodiniaceae in specific colonies during stress and recovery will provide insights into this crucial symbiosis, with implications for their responses during major bleaching events.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Ciuca L, Vismarra A, Lebon W, et al (2020)

New insights into the biology, diagnosis and immune response to Dirofilaria repens in the canine host.

Veterinary parasitology: X, 4:100029.

Dogs are the primary host for Dirofilaria repens, therefore it is mandatory to accurately diagnose the canine infection and to expand our current knowledge on parasite biology and the immune response of the infected host for a better prevention.Thus, the aim of the present study was to provide new insights from experimental infections of dogs with D. repens, focusing on the evaluation of: 1) the pre-patent period and 2) the antibody response against D. repens somatic antigens and against the Wolbachia endosymbiont. Briefly, on Day 0, twenty purpose-bred Beagle dogs were experimentally infected with 50 infective larvae (L3) of D. repens. Starting from Day 58 until the last day of the study (Day 281), blood samples were collected on a monthly basis for detection of antibodies against D. repens (Dr) and recombinant Wolbachia surface protein (rWSP) by non-commercial IgG-ELISAs. Additional samples were collected on Days 220, 245 and 281 for the detection of microfilariae (mff) using the modified Knott's test and biomolecular analysis, following two PCR protocols: Gioia et al. (2010; protocol A) and Rishniw et al. (2006- protocol B). The results were analysed by univariate statistical analyses using 2 × 2 contingency tables and K Cohen was calculated to assess the agreement among all the diagnostic techniques. Overall, the outcome of the study revealed that out of the 20 dogs experimentally infected with D. repens, 16 (80 %) were microfilaraemic, 17 (85 %) were positive at DNA detection in the blood, 18 (90 %) had D. repens antibodies and 16 (80 %) had Wolbachia antibodies on the last day of the study. The overall k agreement between Knott's and PCR protocol B was 0.442 (P = 0.0001) and increased throughout the study, reaching 0.828 (P = 0.0001) on Day 281. To the authors knowledge, this is only the second study reporting antibody response to D. repens somatic antigen in experimentally infected dogs. ELISA results showed that an antibody response develops before the onset of patency, and steadily increases with time. Results would suggest that the development of an immunological response to infection could lead to application in epidemiological studies, risk assessment and as an aid in the diagnostic approach in dogs, in particular for early infections without mff.

RevDate: 2020-09-30

Lenhart PA, JA White (2020)

Endosymbionts facilitate rapid evolution in a polyphagous herbivore.

Journal of evolutionary biology [Epub ahead of print].

Maternally transmitted bacterial symbionts can be important mediators of the interactions between insect herbivores and their foodplants. These symbionts are often facultative (present in some host individuals but not others) and can have large effects on their host's phenotype, thus giving rise to heritable variation upon which selection can act. In the cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora), it has been established that the facultative endosymbiont Arsenophonus improves aphid performance on black locust trees (Robinia pseudoacacia) but not on fava (Vicia faba). Here, we tested whether this fitness differential translated into contemporaneous evolution of aphid populations associated with the different plants. In a laboratory study lasting 16 weeks, we found that the frequency of Arsenophonus-infected individuals significantly increased over time for aphid populations on black locust but declined for aphid populations on fava. By the end of the experiment, Arsenophonus infection was >3× more common on black locust than fava, which is comparable to previously described infection frequencies in natural field populations. Our results clearly demonstrate that aphid populations with mixed facultative symbiont infection status can rapidly evolve in response to the selective environments imposed by different host plants. This selection differential may be a sufficient explanation for the global association between Arsenophonus-infected cowpea aphids and black locust trees, without invoking additional assortative mechanisms. Because the aphid and plant originate from different parts of the world, we further hypothesize that Arsenophonus infection may have acted as a preadaptation that has promoted functional specialization of infected aphids on a novel host plant.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Karakaidos P, T Rampias (2020)

Mitonuclear Interactions in the Maintenance of Mitochondrial Integrity.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 10(9): pii:life10090173.

In eukaryotic cells, mitochondria originated in an α-proteobacterial endosymbiont. Although these organelles harbor their own genome, the large majority of genes, originally encoded in the endosymbiont, were either lost or transferred to the nucleus. As a consequence, mitochondria have become semi-autonomous and most of their processes require the import of nuclear-encoded components to be functional. Therefore, the mitochondrial-specific translation has evolved to be coordinated by mitonuclear interactions to respond to the energetic demands of the cell, acquiring unique and mosaic features. However, mitochondrial-DNA-encoded genes are essential for the assembly of the respiratory chain complexes. Impaired mitochondrial function due to oxidative damage and mutations has been associated with numerous human pathologies, the aging process, and cancer. In this review, we highlight the unique features of mitochondrial protein synthesis and provide a comprehensive insight into the mitonuclear crosstalk and its co-evolution, as well as the vulnerabilities of the animal mitochondrial genome.

RevDate: 2020-08-29

Li L, Wang M, Li L, et al (2020)

Endosymbionts of vent-dwelling metazoans in PACManus-diversity and potential adaptive features revealed by genome analysis.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00815-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities are dominated by invertebrates, namely bathymodiolin mussels, siboglinid tubeworms, and provannid snails. Symbiosis is considered key to successful colonization by these sedentary species in such extreme environments. In the PACManus vent fields, snails, tubeworms, and mussels each colonized a niche with distinct geochemical characteristics. To better understand the metabolic potentials and genomic features contributing to host-environment adaptation, we compared genomes of the symbionts of Bathymodiolus manusensis, Arcovestia ivanovi, and Alviniconcha boucheti sampled at PACManus and discuss their environmental adaptive features. We found that B. manusensis and A. ivanovi are colonized by γ-proteobacteria from distinct clades, whereas endosymbionts of B. manusensis feature high intraspecific heterogeneity with differing metabolic potentials. A. boucheti harbored three novel ϵ-proteobacteria symbionts, suggesting potential species-level diversity of snail symbionts . Genome comparisons revealed gene families related to low pH homeostasis, metal resistance, oxidative stress resistance, environmental sensing/responses, and chemotaxis and motility were most abundant in A. ivanovi's symbiont, followed by symbionts of the vent-mouth-dwelling snail A. boucheti, and relatively low in the vent-periphery-dwelling mussel B. manusensis, which is consistent with their environmental adaptation and host-symbiont interactions. Gene families classified to host interaction/attachment, virulence factors/toxins, and eukaryotic-like proteins were most abundant in symbionts of mussels and least abundant in those of snails, indicating these symbionts may differ in their host-colonization strategy. Comparison of ϵ-symbionts to non-symbionts demonstrated the expanded gene families in symbionts were related to VB12 synthesis, toxin-antitoxin, methylation, and lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis, suggesting these are vital to symbiotic establishment and development in ϵ-proteobacteriaImportance Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are dominated by several invertebrate species. The establishment of symbiosis has long been thought to be the key to successful colonization by these sedentary species in such harsh environments. Yet the relationships between symbiotic bacteria and their hosts, and their role in environment adaptations generally remain unclear. In this paper, we show that the distribution of three host species showed characteristic niche partitioning in the Manus Basin, giving us opportunity to understand how they adapt to their particular habitats. This study also revealed three novel genomes of symbionts from the snails of A. boucheti Combined with a dataset of other ectosymbiont and free-living bacteria, genome comparisons of the snail endosymbionts pointed to several genetic traits that may have contributed to the lifestyle shift into the epithelial cells in ϵ-proteobacteria These findings could increase our understanding of invertebrate-endosymbiont in deep-sea ecosystems.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Lu P, Sun Q, Fu P, et al (2020)

Wolbachia Inhibits Binding of Dengue and Zika Viruses to Mosquito Cells.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1750.

As traditional approaches to the control of dengue and Zika are insufficient, significant efforts have been made to develop utilization of the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia to reduce the ability of mosquitoes to transmit pathogens. Although Wolbachia is known to inhibit flaviviruses in mosquitoes, including dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV), it remains unclear how the endosymbiont interferes with viral replication cycle. In this study, we have carried out viral binding assays to investigate the impact of the Wolbachia strain wAlbB on the attachment of DENV serotype 2 (DENV-2) and ZIKV to Aedes aegypti Aag-2 cells. RNA interference (RNAi) was used to silence a variety of putative mosquito receptors of DENV that were differentially regulated by wAlbB in Aag-2 cells, in order to identify host factors involved in the inhibition of viral binding. Our results showed that, in addition to suppression of viral replication, Wolbachia strongly inhibited binding of both DENV-2 and ZIKV to Aag-2 cells. Moreover, the expression of two putative mosquito DENV receptors - dystroglycan and tubulin - was downregulated by wAlbB, and their knock-down resulted in the inhibition of DENV-2 binding to Aag-2 cells. These results will aid in understanding the Wolbachia-DENV interactions in mosquito and the development of novel control strategies for mosquito-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2020-09-23
CmpDate: 2020-09-23

Russell SL, Pepper-Tunick E, Svedberg J, et al (2020)

Horizontal transmission and recombination maintain forever young bacterial symbiont genomes.

PLoS genetics, 16(8):e1008935.

Bacterial symbionts bring a wealth of functions to the associations they participate in, but by doing so, they endanger the genes and genomes underlying these abilities. When bacterial symbionts become obligately associated with their hosts, their genomes are thought to decay towards an organelle-like fate due to decreased homologous recombination and inefficient selection. However, numerous associations exist that counter these expectations, especially in marine environments, possibly due to ongoing horizontal gene flow. Despite extensive theoretical treatment, no empirical study thus far has connected these underlying population genetic processes with long-term evolutionary outcomes. By sampling marine chemosynthetic bacterial-bivalve endosymbioses that range from primarily vertical to strictly horizontal transmission, we tested this canonical theory. We found that transmission mode strongly predicts homologous recombination rates, and that exceedingly low recombination rates are associated with moderate genome degradation in the marine symbionts with nearly strict vertical transmission. Nonetheless, even the most degraded marine endosymbiont genomes are occasionally horizontally transmitted and are much larger than their terrestrial insect symbiont counterparts. Therefore, horizontal transmission and recombination enable efficient natural selection to maintain intermediate symbiont genome sizes and substantial functional genetic variation.

RevDate: 2020-08-27

Wada N, Yuasa H, Kajitani R, et al (2020)

A ubiquitous subcuticular bacterial symbiont of a coral predator, the crown-of-thorns starfish, in the Indo-Pacific.

Microbiome, 8(1):123.

BACKGROUND: Population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci sensu lato; COTS), a primary predator of reef-building corals in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, are a major threat to coral reefs. While biological and ecological knowledge of COTS has been accumulating since the 1960s, little is known about its associated bacteria. The aim of this study was to provide fundamental information on the dominant COTS-associated bacteria through a multifaceted molecular approach.

METHODS: A total of 205 COTS individuals from 17 locations throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean were examined for the presence of COTS-associated bacteria. We conducted 16S rRNA metabarcoding of COTS to determine the bacterial profiles of different parts of the body and generated a full-length 16S rRNA gene sequence from a single dominant bacterium, which we designated COTS27. We performed phylogenetic analysis to determine the taxonomy, screening of COTS27 across the Indo-Pacific, FISH to visualize it within the COTS tissues, and reconstruction of the bacterial genome from the hologenome sequence data.

RESULTS: We discovered that a single bacterium exists at high densities in the subcuticular space in COTS forming a biofilm-like structure between the cuticle and the epidermis. COTS27 belongs to a clade that presumably represents a distinct order (so-called marine spirochetes) in the phylum Spirochaetes and is universally present in COTS throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean. The reconstructed genome of COTS27 includes some genetic traits that are probably linked to adaptation to marine environments and evolution as an extracellular endosymbiont in subcuticular spaces.

CONCLUSIONS: COTS27 can be found in three allopatric COTS species, ranging from the northern Red Sea to the Pacific, implying that the symbiotic relationship arose before the speciation events (approximately 2 million years ago). The universal association of COTS27 with COTS and nearly mono-specific association at least with the Indo-Pacific COTS provides a useful model system for studying symbiont-host interactions in marine invertebrates and may have applications for coral reef conservation. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2020-09-04

Cotes-Perdomo AP, Oviedo Á, LR Castro (2020)

Molecular detection of pathogens in ticks associated with domestic animals from the Colombian Caribbean region.

Experimental & applied acarology, 82(1):137-150.

Tick-borne diseases constitute a problem for livestock and public health. Given the socio-economic and environmental conditions of the Colombian Caribbean, ticks are particularly abundant, in turn exposing domestic animals and people in contact with them to such diseases. This study evaluates the presence of Babesia spp., Anaplasma spp., Coxiella spp. and Borrelia spp. in domestic animal ticks (Amblyomma mixtum, A. dissimile, Dermacentor nitens, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and R. microplus) by conventional PCR. Findings show a prevalence of 12.5% of Babesia, 0% of Borrelia, 39.4% of Anaplasma and 52.9% of Coxiella, whereas 6.2% of a total sample of 104 tick pools presented coinfections between Babesia and Anaplasma. Among the molecularly identified species are Ba. vogeli, Ba. bigemina and A. marginale, in addition to two Coxiella species-one being C. mudrowiae and the other similar to an undescribed endosymbiont of Rhipicephalus sp. It is necessary to evaluate the vector capacity of ticks such as A. mixtum, D. nitens and R. sanguineus in the transmission of A. marginale. Moreover, it is necessary to explore the role that bacteria of the genus Coxiella might have both in the health of humans and animals, and in the metabolism and reproduction of ticks. This is the first report on Babesia vogeli and B. bigemina in ticks from the Colombian Caribbean, representing a risk to animal and human health.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Poquita-Du RC, Goh YL, Huang D, et al (2020)

Gene Expression and Photophysiological Changes in Pocillopora acuta Coral Holobiont Following Heat Stress and Recovery.

Microorganisms, 8(8):.

The ability of corals to withstand changes in their surroundings is a critical survival mechanism for coping with environmental stress. While many studies have examined responses of the coral holobiont to stressful conditions, its capacity to reverse responses and recover when the stressor is removed is not well-understood. In this study, we investigated among-colony responses of Pocillopora acuta from two sites with differing distance to the mainland (Kusu (closer to the mainland) and Raffles Lighthouse (further from the mainland)) to heat stress through differential expression analysis of target genes and quantification of photophysiological metrics. We then examined how these attributes were regulated after the stressor was removed to assess the recovery potential of P. acuta. The fragments that were subjected to heat stress (2 °C above ambient levels) generally exhibited significant reduction in their endosymbiont densities, but the extent of recovery following stress removal varied depending on natal site and colony. There were minimal changes in chl a concentration and maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm, the proportion of variable fluorescence (Fv) to maximum fluorescence (Fm)) in heat-stressed corals, suggesting that the algal endosymbionts' Photosystem II was not severely compromised. Significant changes in gene expression levels of selected genes of interest (GOI) were observed following heat exposure and stress removal among sites and colonies, including Actin, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type IV (Camk4), kinesin-like protein (KIF9), and small heat shock protein 16.1 (Hsp16.1). The most responsive GOIs were Actin, a major component of the cytoskeleton, and the adaptive immune-related Camk4 which both showed significant reduction following heat exposure and subsequent upregulation during the recovery phase. Our findings clearly demonstrate specific responses of P. acuta in both photophysiological attributes and gene expression levels, suggesting differential capacity of P. acuta corals to tolerate heat stress depending on the colony, so that certain colonies may be more resilient than others.

RevDate: 2020-10-02

Pilgrim J, Siozios S, Baylis M, et al (2020)

Tissue Tropisms and Transstadial Transmission of a Rickettsia Endosymbiont in the Highland Midge, Culicoides impunctatus (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae).

Applied and environmental microbiology, 86(20): pii:AEM.01492-20.

Rickettsia is a genus of intracellular bacteria which can manipulate host reproduction and alter sensitivity to natural enemy attack in a diverse range of arthropods. The maintenance of Rickettsia endosymbionts in insect populations can be achieved through both vertical and horizontal transmission routes. For example, the presence of the symbiont in the follicle cells and salivary glands of Bemisia whiteflies allows Belli group Rickettsia transmission via the germ line and plants, respectively. However, the transmission routes of other Rickettsia bacteria, such as those in the Torix group of the genus, remain underexplored. Through fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) screening, this study describes the pattern of Torix Rickettsia tissue tropisms in the highland midge, Culicoides impunctatus (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Of note is the high intensity of infection of the ovarian suspensory ligament, suggestive of a novel germ line targeting strategy. Additionally, localization of the symbiont in tissues of several developmental stages suggests transstadial transmission is a major route for ensuring maintenance of Rickettsia within C. impunctatus populations. Aside from providing insights into transmission strategies, the presence of Rickettsia bacteria in the fat body of larvae indicates potential host fitness and vector capacity impacts to be investigated in the future.IMPORTANCE Microbial symbionts of disease vectors have garnered recent attention due to their ability to alter vectorial capacity. Their consideration as a means of arbovirus control depends on symbiont vertical transmission, which leads to spread of the bacteria through a population. Previous work has identified a Rickettsia symbiont present in several species of biting midges (Culicoides spp.), which transmit bluetongue and Schmallenberg arboviruses. However, symbiont transmission strategies and host effects remain underexplored. In this study, we describe the presence of Rickettsia in the ovarian suspensory ligament of Culicoides impunctatus Infection of this organ suggests the connective tissue surrounding developing eggs is important for ensuring vertical transmission of the symbiont in midges and possibly other insects. Additionally, our results indicate Rickettsia localization in the fat body of Culicoides impunctatus As the arboviruses spread by midges often replicate in the fat body, this location implies possible symbiont-virus interactions to be further investigated.

RevDate: 2020-08-15

Martinez J, Klasson L, Welch JJ, et al (2020)

Life and death of selfish genes: comparative genomics reveals the dynamic evolution of cytoplasmic incompatibility.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:5892770 [Epub ahead of print].

Cytoplasmic incompatibility is a selfish reproductive manipulation induced by the endosymbiont Wolbachia in arthropods. In males Wolbachia modifies sperm, leading to embryonic mortality in crosses with Wolbachia-free females. In females, Wolbachia rescues the cross and allows development to proceed normally. This provides a reproductive advantage to infected females, allowing the maternally-transmitted symbiont to spread rapidly through host populations. We identified homologs of the genes underlying this phenotype, cifA and cifB, in 52 of 71 new and published Wolbachia genomes sequences. They are strongly associated with cytoplasmic incompatibility. There are up to seven copies of the genes in each genome, and phylogenetic analysis shows that Wolbachia frequently acquires new copies due to pervasive horizontal transfer between strains. In many cases the genes have subsequently acquired loss-of-function mutations to become pseudogenes. As predicted by theory, this tends to occur first in cifB, whose sole function is to modify sperm, and then in cifA, which is required to rescue the cross in females. Although cif genes recombine, recombination is largely restricted to closely related homologs. This is predicted under a model of coevolution between sperm modification and embryonic rescue, where recombination between distantly related pairs of genes would create a self-incompatible strain. Together, these patterns of gene gain, loss and recombination support evolutionary models of cytoplasmic incompatibility.

RevDate: 2020-08-17
CmpDate: 2020-08-17

Pavlinec Ž, Zupičić IG, Oraić D, et al (2020)

Assessment of predominant bacteria in noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis) collected in the Eastern Adriatic Sea.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 192(9):581 pii:10.1007/s10661-020-08541-6.

Noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis) is an endemic species and the largest known bivalve in the Mediterranean Sea. By filtering large amounts of water, they maintain a high percentage of organic matter, hence playing an important role in the marine ecosystem. The ecological community of pen shells is impressive, and there are numerous microorganisms present in its soft tissues. Since this species is highly endangered due to recently described mass mortalities throughout the Mediterranean, this study was aimed at finding out more about its microbiome. In this study, we identified the predominant bacterial populations of specimens collected at three separate locations along the Eastern Adriatic coast. The predominant bacteria were isolated and 16S rRNA sequencing was performed to identify eight different bacterial genera: Aestuariibacter sp., Aliivibrio sp., Alteromonas sp., Marinobacter sp., Pseudoalteromonas sp., Rubritalea sp., Thalassospira sp. and the Vibrio splendidus clade. The identified genera are ubiquitous in the marine environment and have previously been described as both beneficial symbionts and potential pathogens in other molluscs. There was a clear difference in the predominant bacterial populations between northern and southern sampling sites, which could be linked to water temperature. These findings indicate the need for expanded sampling over a longer time period, since more exhaustive research would provide information vital to the conservation of this critically endangered species.

RevDate: 2020-08-18

Wong ML, Liew JWK, Wong WK, et al (2020)

Natural Wolbachia infection in field-collected Anopheles and other mosquito species from Malaysia.

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):414.

BACKGROUND: The endosymbiont bacterium Wolbachia is maternally inherited and naturally infects some filarial nematodes and a diverse range of arthropods, including mosquito vectors responsible for disease transmission in humans. Previously, it has been found infecting most mosquito species but absent in Anopheles and Aedes aegypti. However, recently these two mosquito species were found to be naturally infected with Wolbachia. We report here the extent of Wolbachia infections in field-collected mosquitoes from Malaysia based on PCR amplification of the Wolbachia wsp and 16S rRNA genes.

METHODS: The prevalence of Wolbachia in Culicinae mosquitoes was assessed via PCR with wsp primers. For some of the mosquitoes, in which the wsp primers failed to amplify a product, Wolbachia screening was performed using nested PCR targeting the 16S rRNA gene. Wolbachia sequences were aligned using Geneious 9.1.6 software, analyzed with BLAST, and the most similar sequences were downloaded. Phylogenetic analyses were carried out with MEGA 7.0 software. Graphs were drawn with GraphPad Prism 8.0 software.

RESULTS: A total of 217 adult mosquitoes representing 26 mosquito species were screened. Of these, infections with Wolbachia were detected in 4 and 15 mosquito species using wsp and 16S rRNA primers, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first time Wolbachia was detected using 16S rRNA gene amplification, in some Anopheles species (some infected with Plasmodium), Culex sinensis, Culex vishnui, Culex pseudovishnui, Mansonia bonneae and Mansonia annulifera. Phylogenetic analysis based on wsp revealed Wolbachia from most of the mosquitoes belonged to Wolbachia Supergroup B. Based on 16S rRNA phylogenetic analysis, the Wolbachia strain from Anopheles mosquitoes were more closely related to Wolbachia infecting Anopheles from Africa than from Myanmar.

CONCLUSIONS: Wolbachia was found infecting Anopheles and other important disease vectors such as Mansonia. Since Wolbachia can affect its host by reducing the life span and provide resistance to pathogen infection, several studies have suggested it as a potential innovative tool for vector/vector-borne disease control. Therefore, it is important to carry out further studies on natural Wolbachia infection in vector mosquitoes' populations as well as their long-term effects in new hosts and pathogen suppression.

RevDate: 2020-08-21

Curran DM, Grote A, Nursimulu N, et al (2020)

Modeling the metabolic interplay between a parasitic worm and its bacterial endosymbiont allows the identification of novel drug targets.

eLife, 9:.

The filarial nematode Brugia malayi represents a leading cause of disability in the developing world, causing lymphatic filariasis in nearly 40 million people. Currently available drugs are not well-suited to mass drug administration efforts, so new treatments are urgently required. One potential vulnerability is the endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia-present in many filariae-which is vital to the worm. Genome scale metabolic networks have been used to study prokaryotes and protists and have proven valuable in identifying therapeutic targets, but have only been applied to multicellular eukaryotic organisms more recently. Here, we present iDC625, the first compartmentalized metabolic model of a parasitic worm. We used this model to show how metabolic pathway usage allows the worm to adapt to different environments, and predict a set of 102 reactions essential to the survival of B. malayi. We validated three of those reactions with drug tests and demonstrated novel antifilarial properties for all three compounds.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Duan R, Xu H, Gao S, et al (2020)

Effects of Different Hosts on Bacterial Communities of Parasitic Wasp Nasonia vitripennis.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1435.

Parasitism is a special interspecific relationship in insects. Unlike most other ectoparasites, Nasonia vitripennis spend most of its life cycle (egg, larvae, pupae, and early adult stage) inside the pupae of flies, which is covered with hard puparium. Microbes play important roles in host development and help insect hosts to adapt to various environments. How the microbes of parasitic wasp respond to different fly hosts living in such close relationships motivated this investigation. In this study, we used N. vitripennis and three different fly pupa hosts (Lucilia sericata, Sarcophaga marshalli, and Musca domestica) to address this question, as well as to illustrate the potential transfer of bacteria through the trophic food chains. We found that N. vitripennis from different fly pupa hosts showed distinct microbiota, which means that the different fly hosts could affect the bacterial communities of their parasitic wasps. Some bacteria showed potential horizontal transfer through the trophic food chains, from the food through the fly to the parasitic wasp. We also found that the heritable endosymbiont Wolbachia could transferred from the fly host to the parasite and correlated with the bacterial communities of the corresponding parasitic wasps. Our findings provide new insight to the microbial interactions between parasite and host.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Hu FY, CW Tsai (2020)

Nutritional Relationship between Bemisia tabaci and Its Primary Endosymbiont, Portiera aleyrodidarum, during Host Plant Acclimation.

Insects, 11(8):.

Plant sap-sucking insects commonly have established mutualistic relationships with endosymbiotic bacteria that can provide nutrients lacking in their diet. Bemisia tabaci harbors one primary endosymbiont, Portiera aleyrodidarum, and up to seven secondary endosymbionts, including Hamiltonella defensa and Rickettsia sp. Portiera aleyrodidarum is already known to play a critical role in providing necessary nutrients for B. tabaci. In the present study, the relationship among B. tabaci, its primary endosymbiont, and the host plant were examined through the effects of host plant shifting and acclimation. Bemisia tabaci was transferred from Chinese kale to four different host plants, and the effects on both its performance and the expression levels of nutrient-related genes of P. aleyrodidarum were analyzed. The results showed that host shifting from Chinese kale to cotton plants led to a decrease in the performance of B. tabaci in the first generation, which was restored after 10 generations of acclimation. Furthermore, the expression levels of essential amino acid biosynthesis genes of P. aleyrodidarum were found to be differentially regulated after B. tabaci had acclimated to the cotton plants. Host plant shifting and acclimation to cucumber, poinsettia, and tomato plants did not affect the fecundity of B. tabaci and the expression levels of most examined genes. We speculate that P. aleyrodidarum may help B. tabaci improve its performance and acclimate to new hosts and that P. aleyrodidarum has a close nutritional relationship with its host during host plant acclimation.

RevDate: 2020-09-22

Ashour DS, AA Othman (2020)

Parasite-bacteria interrelationship.

Parasitology research, 119(10):3145-3164.

Parasites and bacteria have co-evolved with humankind, and they interact all the time in a myriad of ways. For example, some bacterial infections result from parasite-dwelling bacteria as in the case of Salmonella infection during schistosomiasis. Other bacteria synergize with parasites in the evolution of human disease as in the case of the interplay between Wolbachia endosymbiont bacteria and filarial nematodes as well as the interaction between Gram-negative bacteria and Schistosoma haematobium in the pathogenesis of urinary bladder cancer. Moreover, secondary bacterial infections may complicate several parasitic diseases such as visceral leishmaniasis and malaria, due to immunosuppression of the host during parasitic infections. Also, bacteria may colonize the parasitic lesions; for example, hydatid cysts and skin lesions of ectoparasites. Remarkably, some parasitic helminths and arthropods exhibit antibacterial activity usually by the release of specific antimicrobial products. Lastly, some parasite-bacteria interactions are induced as when using probiotic bacteria to modulate the outcome of a variety of parasitic infections. In sum, parasite-bacteria interactions involve intricate processes that never cease to intrigue the researchers. However, understanding and exploiting these interactions could have prophylactic and curative potential for infections by both types of pathogens.

RevDate: 2020-08-01

Takamatsu T, Arai H, Abe N, et al (2020)

Coexistence of Two Male-Killers and Their Impact on the Development of Oriental Tea Tortrix Homona magnanima.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01566-x [Epub ahead of print].

Male-killing, the death of male offspring induced by maternally transmitted microbes, is classified as early, or late, male-killing. The primary advantage afforded by early male-killing, which typically occurs during embryogenesis, is the reallocation of resources to females, that would have otherwise been consumed by males. Meanwhile, the key advantage of late male-killing, which typically occurs during late larval development, is the maximized potential for horizontal transmission. To date, no studies have reported on the associated developmental and physiological effects of host coinfection with early and late male-killers, which may have a significant impact on the population dynamics of the male-killers. Here we used a lepidopteran tea pest Homona magnanima as a model, which is a unique system wherein an early male-killer (a Spiroplasma bacterium) and a late male-killer (an RNA virus) can coexist in nature. An artificially established matriline, coinfected with both Spiroplasma and RNA virus, exhibited embryonic death (early male-killing) as seen in the host line singly infected with Spiroplasma. Moreover, the coinfected line also exhibited developmental retardation and low pupal weight similar to the host line singly infected with the RNA virus. A series of field surveys revealed that Spiroplasma-RNA virus coinfection occurs in nature at a low frequency. Hence, although the two male-killers are capable of coexisting within the H. magnanima population independently, high associated fitness cost appears to limit the prevalence of male-killer coinfection in the field host population.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Pasqualetti C, Szokoli F, Rindi L, et al (2020)

The Obligate Symbiont "Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila" Has Variable Effects on the Growth of Different Host Species.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1425.

"Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila" is a recently described member of Rickettsiaceae which comprises exclusively obligate intracellular bacteria. Interestingly, these bacteria can be found in a huge diversity of eukaryotic hosts (protist, green algae, metazoa) living in marine, brackish or freshwater habitats. Screening of amplicon datasets revealed a high frequency of these bacteria especially in freshwater environments, most likely associated to eukaryotic hosts. The relationship of "Ca. Megaira polyxenophila" with their hosts and their impact on host fitness have not been studied so far. Even less is known regarding the responses of these intracellular bacteria to potential stressors. In this study, we used two phylogenetically close species of the freshwater ciliate Paramecium, Paramecium primaurelia and Paramecium pentaurelia (Ciliophora, Oligohymenophorea) naturally infected by "Ca. Megaira polyxenophila". In order to analyze the effect of the symbiont on the fitness of these two species, we compared the growth performance of both infected and aposymbiotic paramecia at different salinity levels in the range of freshwater and oligohaline brackish water i.e., at 0, 2, and 4.5 ppt. For the elimination of "Ca. Megaira polyxenophila" we established an antibiotic treatment to obtain symbiont-free lines and confirmed its success by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The population and infection dynamics during the growth experiment were observed by cell density counts and FISH. Paramecia fitness was compared applying generalized additive mixed models. Surprisingly, both infected Paramecium species showed higher densities under all salinity concentrations. The tested salinity concentrations did not significantly affect the growth of any of the two species directly, but we observed the loss of the endosymbiont after prolonged exposure to higher salinity levels. This experimental data might explain the higher frequency of "Ca. M. polyxenophila" in freshwater habitats as observed from amplicon data.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Sato Y, Wippler J, Wentrup C, et al (2020)

High-Quality Draft Genome Sequences of the Uncultured Delta3 Endosymbiont (Deltaproteobacteria) Assembled from Metagenomes of the Gutless Marine Worm Olavius algarvensis.

Microbiology resource announcements, 9(31):.

Here, we present two high-quality, draft metagenome-assembled genomes of deltaproteobacterial OalgDelta3 endosymbionts from the gutless marine worm Olavius algarvensis Their 16S rRNA gene sequences share 98% identity with Delta3 endosymbionts of related host species Olavius ilvae (GenBank accession no. AJ620501) and Inanidrilus exumae (GenBank accession no. FM202060), for which no symbiont genomes are available.

RevDate: 2020-07-31

Satta CT, Pulina S, Reñé A, et al (2020)

Ecological, morphological and molecular characterization of Kryptoperidinium sp. (Dinophyceae) from two Mediterranean coastal shallow lagoons.

Harmful algae, 97:101855.

In this study, the field ecology of Kryptoperidinium sp. was examined in two Mediterranean shallow lagoons, Calich (CA) and Santa Giusta (SG) in Sardinia, Italy. Kryptoperidinium cell density and the environmental conditions were examined monthly from 2008 to 2015 in CA and from 2011 to 2016 in SG. Cell morphology was determined by observing specimens taken from the field and from cultures that were established by single-cell isolation from samples collected in the two lagoons. The molecular identity of strains from each lagoon was also ascertained. The growth rates of the strains were determined under three different temperature conditions and six salinity treatments. The two wild populations shared the same morphology and the cultured strains were morphologically and molecularly identical. The SSU and 5.8S phylogenies show the presence of two clusters within the available Kryptoperidinium sequences and the strains obtained in this study clustered with others from the Mediterranean and Baltic. The multiannual dynamics of Kryptoperidinium sp. in the field significantly differed in the two lagoons, showing much higher cell densities in CA than in SG. The presence of Kryptoperidinium sp. was detected throughout the year in CA, with recurrent blooms also affecting the adjacent coastal area. In contrast, Kryptoperidinium sp. was sporadically observed in SG. The variation in the environmental parameters was fairly wide during the presence and blooms of Kryptoperidinium sp., especially in CA. The application of Generalized Linear Models to the field data revealed a significant role of rainfall and dissolved inorganic nitrogen on the presence and blooms of the species. Although growth rates were similar between the two strains, significant differences were detected for the 10 and 40 salinity treatments. The results obtained in this study add to our knowledge about the ecology of a harmful species that is not well understood in transitional ecosystems such as Mediterranean lagoons.

RevDate: 2020-09-05

Garrido C, Caspari OD, Choquet Y, et al (2020)

Evidence Supporting an Antimicrobial Origin of Targeting Peptides to Endosymbiotic Organelles.

Cells, 9(8):.

Mitochondria and chloroplasts emerged from primary endosymbiosis. Most proteins of the endosymbiont were subsequently expressed in the nucleo-cytosol of the host and organelle-targeted via the acquisition of N-terminal presequences, whose evolutionary origin remains enigmatic. Using a quantitative assessment of their physico-chemical properties, we show that organelle targeting peptides, which are distinct from signal peptides targeting other subcellular compartments, group with a subset of antimicrobial peptides. We demonstrate that extant antimicrobial peptides target a fluorescent reporter to either the mitochondria or the chloroplast in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and, conversely, that extant targeting peptides still display antimicrobial activity. Thus, we provide strong computational and functional evidence for an evolutionary link between organelle-targeting and antimicrobial peptides. Our results support the view that resistance of bacterial progenitors of organelles to the attack of host antimicrobial peptides has been instrumental in eukaryogenesis and in the emergence of photosynthetic eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Tabima JF, Trautman IA, Chang Y, et al (2020)

Phylogenomic Analyses of Non-Dikarya Fungi Supports Horizontal Gene Transfer Driving Diversification of Secondary Metabolism in the Amphibian Gastrointestinal Symbiont, Basidiobolus.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 10(9):3417-3433.

Research into secondary metabolism (SM) production by fungi has resulted in the discovery of diverse, biologically active compounds with significant medicinal applications. The fungi rich in SM production are taxonomically concentrated in the subkingdom Dikarya, which comprises the phyla Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. Here, we explore the potential for SM production in Mucoromycota and Zoopagomycota, two phyla of nonflagellated fungi that are not members of Dikarya, by predicting and identifying core genes and gene clusters involved in SM. The majority of non-Dikarya have few genes and gene clusters involved in SM production except for the amphibian gut symbionts in the genus BasidiobolusBasidiobolus genomes exhibit an enrichment of SM genes involved in siderophore, surfactin-like, and terpene cyclase production, all these with evidence of constitutive gene expression. Gene expression and chemical assays also confirm that Basidiobolus has significant siderophore activity. The expansion of SMs in Basidiobolus are partially due to horizontal gene transfer from bacteria, likely as a consequence of its ecology as an amphibian gut endosymbiont.

RevDate: 2020-08-20
CmpDate: 2020-08-20

Fraser JE, O'Donnell TB, Duyvestyn JM, et al (2020)

Novel phenotype of Wolbachia strain wPip in Aedes aegypti challenges assumptions on mechanisms of Wolbachia-mediated dengue virus inhibition.

PLoS pathogens, 16(7):e1008410.

The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia is a biocontrol tool that inhibits the ability of the Aedes aegypti mosquito to transmit positive-sense RNA viruses such as dengue and Zika. Growing evidence indicates that when Wolbachia strains wMel or wAlbB are introduced into local mosquito populations, human dengue incidence is reduced. Despite the success of this novel intervention, we still do not fully understand how Wolbachia protects mosquitoes from viral infection. Here, we demonstrate that the Wolbachia strain wPip does not inhibit virus infection in Ae. aegypti. We have leveraged this novel finding, and a panel of Ae. aegypti lines carrying virus-inhibitory (wMel and wAlbB) and non-inhibitory (wPip) strains in a common genetic background, to rigorously test a number of hypotheses about the mechanism of Wolbachia-mediated virus inhibition. We demonstrate that, contrary to previous suggestions, there is no association between a strain's ability to inhibit dengue infection in the mosquito and either its typical density in the midgut or salivary glands, or the degree to which it elevates innate immune response pathways in the mosquito. These findings, and the experimental platform provided by this panel of genetically comparable mosquito lines, clear the way for future investigations to define how Wolbachia prevents Ae. aegypti from transmitting viruses.

RevDate: 2020-10-13
CmpDate: 2020-10-13

Maire J, Parisot N, Galvao Ferrarini M, et al (2020)

Spatial and morphological reorganization of endosymbiosis during metamorphosis accommodates adult metabolic requirements in a weevil.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(32):19347-19358.

Bacterial intracellular symbiosis (endosymbiosis) is widespread in nature and impacts many biological processes. In holometabolous symbiotic insects, metamorphosis entails a complete and abrupt internal reorganization that creates a constraint for endosymbiont transmission from larvae to adults. To assess how endosymbiosis copes-and potentially evolves-throughout this major host-tissue reorganization, we used the association between the cereal weevil Sitophilus oryzae and the bacterium Sodalis pierantonius as a model system. S. pierantonius are contained inside specialized host cells, the bacteriocytes, that group into an organ, the bacteriome. Cereal weevils require metabolic inputs from their endosymbiont, particularly during adult cuticle synthesis, when endosymbiont load increases dramatically. By combining dual RNA-sequencing analyses and cell imaging, we show that the larval bacteriome dissociates at the onset of metamorphosis and releases bacteriocytes that undergo endosymbiosis-dependent transcriptomic changes affecting cell motility, cell adhesion, and cytoskeleton organization. Remarkably, bacteriocytes turn into spindle cells and migrate along the midgut epithelium, thereby conveying endosymbionts to midgut sites where future mesenteric caeca will develop. Concomitantly, endosymbiont genes encoding a type III secretion system and a flagellum apparatus are transiently up-regulated while endosymbionts infect putative stem cells and enter their nuclei. Infected cells then turn into new differentiated bacteriocytes and form multiple new bacteriomes in adults. These findings show that endosymbiosis reorganization in a holometabolous insect relies on a synchronized host-symbiont molecular and cellular "choreography" and illustrates an adaptive feature that promotes bacteriome multiplication to match increased metabolic requirements in emerging adults.

RevDate: 2020-08-18

Lindsey ARI (2020)

Sensing, Signaling, and Secretion: A Review and Analysis of Systems for Regulating Host Interaction in Wolbachia.

Genes, 11(7):.

Wolbachia (Anaplasmataceae) is an endosymbiont of arthropods and nematodes that resides within host cells and is well known for manipulating host biology to facilitate transmission via the female germline. The effects Wolbachia has on host physiology, combined with reproductive manipulations, make this bacterium a promising candidate for use in biological- and vector-control. While it is becoming increasingly clear that Wolbachia's effects on host biology are numerous and vary according to the host and the environment, we know very little about the molecular mechanisms behind Wolbachia's interactions with its host. Here, I analyze 29 Wolbachia genomes for the presence of systems that are likely central to the ability of Wolbachia to respond to and interface with its host, including proteins for sensing, signaling, gene regulation, and secretion. Second, I review conditions under which Wolbachia alters gene expression in response to changes in its environment and discuss other instances where we might hypothesize Wolbachia to regulate gene expression. Findings will direct mechanistic investigations into gene regulation and host-interaction that will deepen our understanding of intracellular infections and enhance applied management efforts that leverage Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2020-08-15

Suhag A, Yadav H, Chaudhary D, et al (2020)

Biotechnological interventions for the sustainable management of a global pest, whitefly (Bemisia tabaci).

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) are polyphagous invasive hemipteran insects that cause serious losses of important crops by directly feeding on phloem sap and transmitting pathogenic viruses. These insects have emerged as a major threat to global agriculture and food security. Chemically synthesized insecticides are currently the only option to control whiteflies, but the ability of whiteflies to evolve resistance against insecticides has made the management of these insects very difficult. Natural host-plant resistance against whiteflies identified in some crop plants has not been exploited to a great extent. Genetic engineering approaches, such as transgenics and RNA interference (RNAi), are potentially useful for the control of whiteflies. Transgenic plants harboring insecticidal toxins/lectins developed via nuclear or chloroplast transformation are a promising vehicle for whitefly control. Double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) of several insect genes, delivered either through microinjection into the insect body cavity or orally via an artificial diet and transiently or stably expressed in transgenic plants, have controlled whiteflies in model plants and in some crops at the laboratory level, but not at the field level. In this review, we highlight the merits and demerits of each delivery method along with strategies for sustained delivery of dsRNAs via fungal entomopathogen/endosymbiont or nontransgenic RNAi approaches, foliar sprays, root absorption or nanocarriers as well as the factors affecting efficient RNAi and their biosafety issues. Genome sequencing and transcriptome studies of whitefly species are facilitating the selection of appropriate genes for RNAi and gene-editing technology for the efficient and resilient management of whiteflies and their transmitted viruses.

RevDate: 2020-07-21

Jorrin B, Palacios JM, Peix Á, et al (2020)

Rhizobium ruizarguesonis sp. nov., isolated from nodules of Pisum sativum L.

Systematic and applied microbiology, 43(4):126090.

Four strains, coded as UPM1132, UPM1133T, UPM1134 and UPM1135, and isolated from nodules of Pisum sativum plants grown on Ni-rich soils were characterised through a polyphasic taxonomy approach. Their 16S rRNA gene sequences were identical and showed 100% similarity with their closest phylogenetic neighbors, the species included in the 'R. leguminosarum group': R. laguerreae FB206T, R. leguminosarum USDA 2370T, R. anhuiense CCBAU 23252T, R. sophoreae CCBAU 03386T, R. acidisoli FH13T and R. hidalgonense FH14T, and 99.6% sequence similarity with R. esperanzae CNPSo 668T. The analysis of combined housekeeping genes recA, atpD and glnII sequences showed similarities of 92-95% with the closest relatives. Whole genome average nucleotide identity (ANI) values were 97.5-99.7% ANIb similarity among the four strains, and less than 92.4% with closely related species, while digital DNA-DNA hybridization average values (dDDH) were 82-85% within our strains and 34-52% with closely related species. Major fatty acids in strain UPM1133T were C18:1 ω7c / C18:1 ω6c in summed feature 8, C14:0 3OH/ C16:1 iso I in summed feature 2 and C18:0. Colonies were small to medium, pearl-white coloured in YMA at 28°C and growth was observed in the ranges 8-34°C, pH 5.5-7.5 and 0-0.7% (w/v) NaCl. The DNA G+C content was 60.8mol %. The combined genotypic, phenotypic and chemotaxonomic data support the classification of strains UPM1132, UPM1133T, UPM1134 and UPM1135 into a novel species of Rhizobium, for which the name Rhizobium ruizarguesonis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is UPM1133T (=CECT 9542T=LMG 30526T).

RevDate: 2020-07-24

Huang EYY, Wong AYP, Lee IHT, et al (2020)

Infection patterns of dengue, Zika and endosymbiont Wolbachia in the mosquito Aedes albopictus in Hong Kong.

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):361.

BACKGROUND: The mosquito Aedes albopictus is a vector of dengue and Zika viruses. Insecticide-resistant mosquito populations have evolved in recent decades, suggesting that new control strategies are needed. Hong Kong has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate, which favours the spread of mosquitoes. However, baseline information on the composition and dynamics of the occurrence of endosymbiont Wolbachia in local Ae. albopictus is lacking, hindering the development of scientifically-informed control measures. This study identifies the presence and absence of dengue and Zika viruses, and Wolbachia infection in Aedes albopictus in Hong Kong.

METHODS: Oviposition traps were set at 57 areas in Hong Kong, and both immature and adult mosquitoes were collected on a monthly basis between April 2018 and April 2019 as the study sample. Each individual mosquito in this sample was processed and screened for the presence of the dengue and Zika viruses and the endosymbionts Wolbachia wAlbA and wAlbB with PCR.

RESULTS: Totals of 967 and 984 mosquitoes were tested respectively for the presence of dengue and Zika viruses, and no trace of either infection was found in these samples. The presence of wAlbA and wAlbB was also tested in 1582 individuals. Over 80% of these individuals were found to be stably infected with Wolbachia throughout the thirteen-month collection period (~ 47% singly-infected; ~ 36.8% doubly infected with both wAlbA and wAlbB).

CONCLUSIONS: The high degree of Wolbachia wAlbA and wAlbB infection in Ae. albopictus mosquitoes in Hong Kong, coupled with the absence of any signs of infection by dengue and Zika viruses, contrasts significantly with the pattern of mosquito infection in other parts of Asia. Further studies of the infection pattern in local mosquitoes are warranted before mosquito control strategies used in other regions are implemented in Hong Kong.

RevDate: 2020-07-24

Morrow JL, Om N, Beattie GAC, et al (2020)

Characterization of the bacterial communities of psyllids associated with Rutaceae in Bhutan by high throughput sequencing.

BMC microbiology, 20(1):215.

BACKGROUND: Several plant-pathogenic bacteria are transmitted by insect vector species that often also act as hosts. In this interface, these bacteria encounter plant endophytic, insect endosymbiotic and other microbes. Here, we used high throughput sequencing to examine the bacterial communities of five different psyllids associated with citrus and related plants of Rutaceae in Bhutan: Diaphorina citri, Diaphorina communis, Cornopsylla rotundiconis, Cacopsylla heterogena and an unidentified Cacopsylla sp.

RESULTS: The microbiomes of the psyllids largely comprised their obligate P-endosymbiont 'Candidatus Carsonella ruddii', and one or two S-endosymbionts that are fixed and specific to each lineage. In addition, all contained Wolbachia strains; the Bhutanese accessions of D. citri were dominated by a Wolbachia strain first found in American isolates of D. citri, while D. communis accessions were dominated by the Wolbachia strain, wDi, first detected in D. citri from China. The S-endosymbionts from the five psyllids grouped with those from other psyllid taxa; all D. citri and D. communis individuals contained sequences matching 'Candidatus Profftella armatura' that has previously only been reported from other Diaphorina species, and the remaining psyllid species contained OTUs related to unclassified Enterobacteriaceae. The plant pathogenic 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' was found in D. citri but not in D. communis. Furthermore, an unidentified 'Candidatus Liberibacter sp.' occurred at low abundance in both Co. rotundiconis and the unidentified Cacopsylla sp. sampled from Zanthoxylum sp.; the status of this new liberibacter as a plant pathogen and its potential plant hosts are currently unknown. The bacterial communities of Co. rotundiconis also contained a range of OTUs with similarities to bacteria previously found in samples taken from various environmental sources.

CONCLUSIONS: The bacterial microbiota detected in these Bhutanese psyllids support the trends that have been seen in previous studies: psyllids have microbiomes largely comprising their obligate P-endosymbiont and one or two S-endosymbionts. In addition, the association with plant pathogens has been demonstrated, with the detection of liberibacters in a known host, D. citri, and identification of a putative new species of liberibacter in Co. rotundiconis and Cacopsylla sp.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Park J, Xi H, Park J, et al (2020)

Complete Genome Sequence of the Blochmannia Endosymbiont of Camponotus nipponensis.

Microbiology resource announcements, 9(29):.

Blochmannia endosymbionts, belonging to Gammaproteobacteria, live in bacteriocytes, which are specialized cells for these bacterial species in the Camponotus genus (carpenter ants). In this announcement, we describe the complete genome sequence of the Blochmannia endosymbiont of Camponotus nipponensis, which originated from a C. nipponensis colony collected in the Republic of Korea.

RevDate: 2020-08-31

Fan L, Wu D, Goremykin V, et al (2020)

Phylogenetic analyses with systematic taxon sampling show that mitochondria branch within Alphaproteobacteria.

Nature ecology & evolution, 4(9):1213-1219.

Though it is well accepted that mitochondria originated from an alphaproteobacteria-like ancestor, the phylogenetic relationship of the mitochondrial endosymbiont to extant Alphaproteobacteria is yet unresolved. The focus of much debate is whether the affinity between mitochondria and fast-evolving alphaproteobacterial lineages reflects true homology or artefacts. Approaches such as site exclusion have been claimed to mitigate compositional heterogeneity between taxa, but this comes at the cost of information loss, and the reliability of such methods is so far unproven. Here we demonstrate that site-exclusion methods produce erratic phylogenetic estimates of mitochondrial origin. Thus, previous phylogenetic hypotheses on the origin of mitochondria based on pretreated datasets should be re-evaluated. We applied alternative strategies to reduce phylogenetic noise by systematic taxon sampling while keeping site substitution information intact. Cross-validation based on a series of trees placed mitochondria robustly within Alphaproteobacteria, sharing an ancient common ancestor with Rickettsiales and currently unclassified marine lineages.

RevDate: 2020-09-26

Guo Y, Takashima Y, Sato Y, et al (2020)

Mycoavidus sp. Strain B2-EB: Comparative Genomics Reveals Minimal Genomic Features Required by a Cultivable Burkholderiaceae-Related Endofungal Bacterium.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 86(18):.

Obligate bacterial endosymbionts are critical to the existence of many eukaryotes. Such endobacteria are usually characterized by reduced genomes and metabolic dependence on the host, which may cause difficulty in isolating them in pure cultures. Family Burkholderiaceae-related endofungal bacteria affiliated with the Mycoavidus-Glomeribacter clade can be associated with the fungal subphyla Mortierellomycotina and Glomeromycotina. In this study, a cultivable endosymbiotic bacterium, Mycoavidus sp. strain B2-EB, present in the fungal host Mortierella parvispora was obtained successfully. The B2-EB genome (1.88 Mb) represents the smallest genome among the endofungal bacterium Mycoavidus cysteinexigens (2.64-2.80 Mb) of Mortierella elongata and the uncultured endosymbiont "Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum" (1.37 to 2.36 Mb) of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Despite a reduction in genome size, strain B2-EB displays a high genome completeness, suggesting a nondegenerative reduction in the B2-EB genome. Compared with a large proportion of transposable elements (TEs) in other known Mycoavidus genomes (7.2 to 11.5% of the total genome length), TEs accounted for only 2.4% of the B2-EB genome. This pattern, together with a high proportion of single-copy genes in the B2-EB genome, suggests that the B2-EB genome reached a state of relative evolutionary stability. These results represent the most streamlined structure among the cultivable endofungal bacteria and suggest the minimal genome features required by both an endofungal lifestyle and artificial culture. This study allows us to understand the genome evolution of Burkholderiaceae-related endosymbionts and to elucidate microbiological interactions.IMPORTANCE This study attempted the isolation of a novel endobacterium, Mycoavidus sp. B2-EB (JCM 33615), harbored in the fungal host Mortierella parvispora E1425 (JCM 39028). We report the complete genome sequence of this strain, which possesses a reduced genome size with relatively high genome completeness and a streamlined genome structure. The information indicates the minimal genomic features required by both the endofungal lifestyle and artificial cultivation, which furthers our understanding of genome reduction in fungal endosymbionts and extends the culture resources for biotechnological development on engineering synthetic microbiomes.

RevDate: 2020-08-20
CmpDate: 2020-08-20

Gunderson EL, Vogel I, Chappell L, et al (2020)

The endosymbiont Wolbachia rebounds following antibiotic treatment.

PLoS pathogens, 16(7):e1008623.

Antibiotic treatment has emerged as a promising strategy to sterilize and kill filarial nematodes due to their dependence on their endosymbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia. Several studies have shown that novel and FDA-approved antibiotics are efficacious at depleting the filarial nematodes of their endosymbiont, thus reducing female fecundity. However, it remains unclear if antibiotics can permanently deplete Wolbachia and cause sterility for the lifespan of the adult worms. Concerns about resistance arising from mass drug administration necessitate a careful exploration of potential Wolbachia recrudescence. In the present study, we investigated the long-term effects of the FDA-approved antibiotic, rifampicin, in the Brugia pahangi jird model of infection. Initially, rifampicin treatment depleted Wolbachia in adult worms and simultaneously impaired female worm fecundity. However, during an 8-month washout period, Wolbachia titers rebounded and embryogenesis returned to normal. Genome sequence analyses of Wolbachia revealed that despite the population bottleneck and recovery, no genetic changes occurred that could account for the rebound. Clusters of densely packed Wolbachia within the worm's ovarian tissues were observed by confocal microscopy and remained in worms treated with rifampicin, suggesting that they may serve as privileged sites that allow Wolbachia to persist in worms while treated with antibiotic. To our knowledge, these clusters have not been previously described and may be the source of the Wolbachia rebound.

RevDate: 2020-08-27
CmpDate: 2020-08-25

Rosenwald LC, Sitvarin MI, JA White (2020)

Endosymbiotic Rickettsiella causes cytoplasmic incompatibility in a spider host.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1930):20201107.

Many arthropod hosts are infected with bacterial endosymbionts that manipulate host reproduction, but few bacterial taxa have been shown to cause such manipulations. Here, we show that a bacterial strain in the genus Rickettsiella causes cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) between infected and uninfected hosts. We first surveyed the bacterial community of the agricultural spider Mermessus fradeorum (Linyphiidae) using high throughput sequencing and found that individual spiders can be infected with up to five different strains of maternally inherited symbiont from the genera Wolbachia, Rickettsia, and Rickettsiella. The Rickettsiella strain was pervasive, found in all 23 tested spider matrilines. We used antibiotic curing to generate uninfected matrilines that we reciprocally crossed with individuals infected only with Rickettsiella. We found that only 13% of eggs hatched when uninfected females were mated with Rickettsiella-infected males; in contrast, at least 83% of eggs hatched in the other cross types. This is the first documentation of Rickettsiella, or any Gammaproteobacteria, causing CI. We speculate that induction of CI may be much more widespread among maternally inherited bacteria than previously appreciated. Further, our results reinforce the importance of thoroughly characterizing and assessing the inherited microbiome before attributing observed host phenotypes to well-characterized symbionts such as Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2020-08-03

Heryanto C, I Eleftherianos (2020)

Nematode endosymbiont competition: Fortune favors the fittest.

Molecular and biochemical parasitology, 238:111298.

Endosymbiotic bacteria that obligately associate with entomopathogenic nematodes as a complex are a unique model system to study competition. These nematodes seek an insect host and provide entry for their endosymbionts. Through their natural products, the endosymbionts nurture their nematodes by eliminating secondary infection, providing nutrients through bioconversion of the insect cadaver, and facilitating reproduction. On one hand, they cooperatively colonize the insect host and neutralize other opportunistic biotic threats. On the other hand, inside the insect cadaver as a fighting pit, they fiercely compete for the fittest partnership that will grant them the reproductive dominance. Here, we review the protective and nurturing nature of endosymbiotic bacteria for their nematodes and how their selective preference shapes the superior nematode-endosymbiont pairs as we know today.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Lebov JF, Mattick J, Libro S, et al (2020)

Complete Genome Sequence of wBp, the Wolbachia Endosymbiont of Brugia pahangi FR3.

Microbiology resource announcements, 9(27):.

Lymphatic filariasis is a devastating disease caused by filarial nematode roundworms, which contain obligate Wolbachia endosymbionts. Here, we assembled the genome of wBp, the Wolbachia endosymbiont of the filarial nematode Brugia pahangi, from Illumina, Pacific Biosciences, and Oxford Nanopore data. The complete, circular genome is 1,072,967 bp.

RevDate: 2020-07-07

Duan XZ, Sun JT, Wang LT, et al (2020)

Recent infection by Wolbachia alters microbial communities in wild Laodelphax striatellus populations.

Microbiome, 8(1):104.

BACKGROUND: Host-associated microbial communities play an important role in the fitness of insect hosts. However, the factors shaping microbial communities in wild populations, including genetic background, ecological factors, and interactions among microbial species, remain largely unknown.

RESULTS: Here, we surveyed microbial communities of the small brown planthopper (SBPH, Laodelphax striatellus) across 17 geographical populations in China and Japan by using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Using structural equation models (SEM) and Mantel analyses, we show that variation in microbial community structure is likely associated with longitude, annual mean precipitation (Bio12), and mitochondrial DNA variation. However, a Wolbachia infection, which is spreading to northern populations of SBPH, seems to have a relatively greater role than abiotic factors in shaping microbial community structure, leading to sharp decreases in bacterial taxon diversity and abundance in host-associated microbial communities. Comparative RNA-Seq analyses between Wolbachia-infected and -uninfected strains indicate that the Wolbachia do not seem to alter the immune reaction of SBPH, although Wolbachia affected expression of metabolism genes.

CONCLUSION: Together, our results identify potential factors and interactions among different microbial species in the microbial communities of SBPH, which can have effects on insect physiology, ecology, and evolution. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Ferreira AG, Fairlie S, LA Moreira (2020)

Insect vectors endosymbionts as solutions against diseases.

Current opinion in insect science, 40:56-61.

Viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, known as arboviruses, pose a significant threat to human life and are a major burden on many health systems around the world. Currently, arbovirus control strategies rely on insecticides or vector source reduction and, in the absence of effective, accessible and affordable vaccines, mainly on symptomatic based, non-specific treatments. However, insecticides have the potential to interfere with non-target organisms, cause environmental toxicity and insecticide resistance reduces their effectiveness as a sustainable control method. Complementary and sustainable strategies are urgently needed. Wolbachia, an invertebrate endosymbiont, has been used as an alternative strategy for arboviral control, through suppression or modification of mosquito populations. Here we discuss the burden that arboviruses impose on human populations and how Wolbachia can be used as a sustainable strategy for control, in alignment with the United Nations- 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

RevDate: 2020-07-21

Sproles AE, Oakley CA, Krueger T, et al (2020)

Sub-cellular imaging shows reduced photosynthetic carbon and increased nitrogen assimilation by the non-native endosymbiont Durusdinium trenchii in the model cnidarian Aiptasia.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Hosting different symbiont species can affect inter-partner nutritional fluxes within the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis. Using nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS), we measured the spatial incorporation of photosynthetically fixed 13 C and heterotrophically derived 15 N into host and symbiont cells of the model symbiotic cnidarian Aiptasia (Exaiptasia pallida) when colonized with its native symbiont Breviolum minutum or the non-native Durusdinium trenchii. Breviolum minutum exhibited high photosynthetic carbon assimilation per cell and translocation to host tissue throughout symbiosis establishment, whereas D. trenchii assimilated significantly less carbon, but obtained more host nitrogen. These findings suggest that D. trenchii has less potential to provide photosynthetically fixed carbon to the host despite obtaining considerable amounts of heterotrophically derived nitrogen. These sub-cellular events help explain previous observations that demonstrate differential effects of D. trenchii compared to B. minutum on the host transcriptome, proteome, metabolome and host growth and asexual reproduction. Together, these differential effects suggest that the non-native host-symbiont pairing is sub-optimal with respect to the host's nutritional benefits under normal environmental conditions. This contributes to our understanding of the ways in which metabolic integration impacts the benefits of a symbiotic association, and the potential evolution of novel host-symbiont pairings.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Mateos M, Martinez Montoya H, Lanzavecchia SB, et al (2020)

Wolbachia pipientis Associated With Tephritid Fruit Fly Pests: From Basic Research to Applications.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1080.

Members of the true fruit flies (family Tephritidae) are among the most serious agricultural pests worldwide, whose control and management demands large and costly international efforts. The need for cost-effective and environmentally friendly integrated pest management (IPM) has led to the development and implementation of autocidal control strategies. These approaches include the widely used sterile insect technique and the incompatible insect technique (IIT). IIT relies on maternally transmitted bacteria (namely Wolbachia) to cause a conditional sterility in crosses between released mass-reared Wolbachia-infected males and wild females, which are either uninfected or infected with a different Wolbachia strain (i.e., cytoplasmic incompatibility; CI). Herein, we review the current state of knowledge on Wolbachia-tephritid interactions including infection prevalence in wild populations, phenotypic consequences, and their impact on life history traits. Numerous pest tephritid species are reported to harbor Wolbachia infections, with a subset exhibiting high prevalence. The phenotypic effects of Wolbachia have been assessed in very few tephritid species, due in part to the difficulty of manipulating Wolbachia infection (removal or transinfection). Based on recent methodological advances (high-throughput DNA sequencing) and breakthroughs concerning the mechanistic basis of CI, we suggest research avenues that could accelerate generation of necessary knowledge for the potential use of Wolbachia-based IIT in area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) strategies for the population control of tephritid pests.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Mannella CA (2020)

Consequences of Folding the Mitochondrial Inner Membrane.

Frontiers in physiology, 11:536.

A fundamental first step in the evolution of eukaryotes was infolding of the chemiosmotic membrane of the endosymbiont. This allowed the proto-eukaryote to amplify ATP generation while constraining the volume dedicated to energy production. In mitochondria, folding of the inner membrane has evolved into a highly regulated process that creates specialized compartments (cristae) tuned to optimize function. Internalizing the inner membrane also presents complications in terms of generating the folds and maintaining mitochondrial integrity in response to stresses. This review describes mechanisms that have evolved to regulate inner membrane topology and either preserve or (when appropriate) rupture the outer membrane.

RevDate: 2020-07-15

Miller JW, Bocke CR, Tresslar AR, et al (2020)

Paraburkholderia Symbionts Display Variable Infection Patterns That Are Not Predictive of Amoeba Host Outcomes.

Genes, 11(6):.

Symbiotic interactions exist within a parasitism to mutualism continuum that is influenced, among others, by genes and context. Dynamics of intracellular invasion, replication, and prevalence may underscore both host survivability and symbiont stability. More infectious symbionts might exert higher corresponding costs to hosts, which could ultimately disadvantage both partners. Here, we quantify infection patterns of diverse Paraburkholderia symbiont genotypes in their amoeba host Dictyostelium discoideum and probe the relationship between these patterns and host outcomes. We exposed D. discoideum to thirteen strains of Paraburkholderia each belonging to one of the three symbiont species found to naturally infect D. discoideum: Paraburkholderia agricolaris, Paraburkholderia hayleyella, and Paraburkholderia bonniea. We quantified the infection prevalence and intracellular density of fluorescently labeled symbionts along with the final host population size using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. We find that infection phenotypes vary across symbiont strains. Symbionts belonging to the same species generally display similar infection patterns but are interestingly distinct when it comes to host outcomes. This results in final infection loads that do not strongly correlate to final host outcomes, suggesting other genetic factors that are not a direct cause or consequence of symbiont abundance impact host fitness.

RevDate: 2020-07-31

Lucek K, Butlin RK, T Patsiou (2020)

Secondary contact zones of closely-related Erebia butterflies overlap with narrow phenotypic and parasitic clines.

Journal of evolutionary biology [Epub ahead of print].

Zones of secondary contact between closely related taxa are a common legacy of the Quaternary ice ages. Despite their abundance, the factors that keep species apart and prevent hybridization are often unknown. Here, we study a very narrow contact zone between three closely related butterfly species of the Erebia tyndarus species complex. Using genomic data, we first determined whether gene flow occurs and then assessed whether it might be hampered by differences in chromosome number between some species. We found interspecific gene flow between sibling species that differ in karyotype by one chromosome. Conversely, only F1 hybrids occurred between two species that have the same karyotype, forming a steep genomic cline. In a second step, we fitted clines to phenotypic, ecological and parasitic data to identify the factors associated with the genetic cline. We found clines for phenotypic data and the prevalence of the endosymbiont parasite Wolbachia to overlap with the genetic cline, suggesting that they might be drivers for separating the two species. Overall, our results highlight that some gene flow is possible between closely related species despite different chromosome numbers, but that other barriers restrict such gene flow.

RevDate: 2020-09-01
CmpDate: 2020-09-01

Bagnaresi P, L Cattivelli (2020)

Ab initio GO-based mining for non-tandem-duplicated functional clusters in three model plant diploid genomes.

PloS one, 15(6):e0234782.

A functional Non-Tandem Duplicated Cluster (FNTDC) is a group of non-tandem-duplicated genes that are located closer than expected by mere chance and have a role in the same biological function. The identification of secondary-compounds-related FNTDC has gained increased interest in recent years, but little ab-initio attempts aiming to the identification of FNTDCs covering all biological functions, including primary metabolism compounds, have been carried out. We report an extensive FNTDC dataset accompanied by a detailed assessment on parameters used for genome scanning and their impact on FNTDC detection. We propose 70% identity and 70% alignment coverage as intermediate settings to exclude tandem duplicated genes and a dynamic scanning window of 24 genes. These settings were applied to rice, arabidopsis and grapevine genomes to call for FNTDCs. Besides the best-known secondary metabolism clusters, we identified many FNTDCs associated to primary metabolism ranging from macromolecules synthesis/editing, TOR signalling, ubiquitination, proton and electron transfer complexes. Using the intermediate FNTDC setting parameters (at P-value 1e-6), 130, 70 and 140 candidate FNTDCs were called in rice, arabidopsis and grapevine, respectively, and 20 to 30% of GO tags associated to called FNTDC were common among the 3 genomes. The datasets developed along with this work provide a rich framework for pinpointing candidate FNTDCs reflecting all GO-BP tags covering both primary and secondary metabolism with large macromolecular complexes/metabolons as the most represented FNTDCs. Noteworthy, several FNTDCs are tagged with GOs referring to organelle-targeted multi-enzyme complex, a finding that suggest the migration of endosymbiont gene chunks towards nuclei could be at the basis of these class of candidate FNTDCs. Most FNTDC appear to have evolved prior of genome duplication events. More than one-third of genes interspersed/adjacent to called FNTDCs lacked any functional annotation; however, their co-localization may provide hints towards a candidate biological role.

RevDate: 2020-08-11
CmpDate: 2020-08-11

Bhattacharya T, Newton ILG, RW Hardy (2020)

Viral RNA is a target for Wolbachia-mediated pathogen blocking.

PLoS pathogens, 16(6):e1008513.

The ability of the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis to restrict RNA viruses is presently being leveraged to curb global transmission of arbovirus-induced diseases. Past studies have shown that virus replication is limited early in arthropod cells colonized by the bacterium, although it is unclear if this phenomenon is replicated in mosquito cells that first encounter viruses obtained through a vertebrate blood meal. Furthermore, these cellular events neither explain how Wolbachia limits dissemination of viruses between mosquito tissues, nor how it prevents transmission of infectious viruses from mosquitoes to vertebrate host. In this study, we try to address these issues using an array of mosquito cell culture models, with an additional goal being to identify a common viral target for pathogen blocking. Our results establish the viral RNA as a cellular target for Wolbachia-mediated inhibition, with the incoming viral RNA experiencing rapid turnover following internalization in cells. This early block in replication in mosquito cells initially infected by the virus thus consequently reduces the production of progeny viruses from these same cells. However, this is not the only contributor to pathogen blocking. We show that the presence of Wolbachia reduces the per-particle infectivity of progeny viruses on naïve mosquito and vertebrate cells, consequently limiting virus dissemination and transmission, respectively. Importantly, we demonstrate that this aspect of pathogen blocking is independent of any particular Wolbachia-host association and affects viruses belonging to Togaviridae and Flaviviridae families of RNA viruses. Finally, consistent with the idea of the viral RNA as a target, we find that the encapsidated virion RNA is less infectious for viruses produced from Wolbachia-colonized cells. Collectively, our findings present a common mechanism of pathogen blocking in mosquitoes that establish a link between virus inhibition in the cell to virus dissemination and transmission.

RevDate: 2020-06-19

Pirritano M, Zaburannyi N, Grosser K, et al (2020)

Dual-Seq reveals genome and transcriptome of Caedibacter taeniospiralis, obligate endosymbiont of Paramecium.

Scientific reports, 10(1):9727.

Interest in host-symbiont interactions is continuously increasing, not only due to the growing recognition of the importance of microbiomes. Starting with the detection and description of novel symbionts, attention moves to the molecular consequences and innovations of symbioses. However, molecular analysis requires genomic data which is difficult to obtain from obligate intracellular and uncultivated bacteria. We report the identification of the Caedibacter genome, an obligate symbiont of the ciliate Paramecium. The infection does not only confer the host with the ability to kill other cells but also renders them immune against this effect. We obtained the C. taeniospiralis genome and transcriptome by dual-Seq of DNA and RNA from infected paramecia. Comparison of codon usage and expression level indicates that genes necessary for a specific trait of this symbiosis, i.e. the delivery of an unknown toxin, result from horizontal gene transfer hinting to the relevance of DNA transfer for acquiring new characters. Prediction of secreted proteins of Caedibacter as major agents of contact with the host implies, next to several toxin candidates, a rather uncharacterized secretome which appears to be highly adapted to this symbiosis. Our data provides new insights into the molecular establishment and evolution of this obligate symbiosis and for the pathway characterization of toxicity and immunity.

RevDate: 2020-10-05

Ng KT, Tay HW, Namkabir S, et al (2020)

An Unwanted Kiss by Charlie Beetle: An Unusual Case Report.

Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery : official journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 78(10):1766-1769.

Pederin, a vesicant chemical and one of the most powerful animal toxins in the world, is produced by an endosymbiont bacteria (Pseudomonas spp) found on the beetle Paederus fuscipes. This small, red- and black-striped beetle is also commonly known as the Charlie or rove beetle. Accidental contact with skin causes Paederus dermatitis, with the clinical presentation ranging from mild dermatitis to more severe vesiculobullous lesions. We report a rare case of severe lip destruction caused by the Charlie beetle in a 24-year-old man. Treatment involved intravenous antibiotics in addition to local wound debridement. The thinner stratum corneum on the lips and close proximity to the oral cavity could have resulted in the severe tissue destruction encountered.

RevDate: 2020-10-01

Hall RJ, Thorpe S, Thomas GH, et al (2020)

Simulating the evolutionary trajectories of metabolic pathways for insect symbionts in the genus Sodalis.

Microbial genomics, 6(7):.

Insect-bacterial symbioses are ubiquitous, but there is still much to uncover about how these relationships establish, persist and evolve. The tsetse endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius displays intriguing metabolic adaptations to its microenvironment, but the process by which this relationship evolved remains to be elucidated. The recent chance discovery of the free-living species of the genus Sodalis, Sodalis praecaptivus, provides a serendipitous starting point from which to investigate the evolution of this symbiosis. Here, we present a flux balance model for S. praecaptivus and empirically verify its predictions. Metabolic modelling is used in combination with a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm to explore the trajectories that S. glossinidius may have undertaken from this starting point after becoming internalized. The order in which key genes are lost is shown to influence the evolved populations, providing possible targets for future in vitro genetic manipulation. This method provides a detailed perspective on possible evolutionary trajectories for S. glossinidius in this fundamental process of evolutionary and ecological change.

RevDate: 2020-10-07

Cornwell BH (2020)

Gene flow in the anemone Anthopleura elegantissima limits signatures of local adaptation across an extensive geographic range.

Molecular ecology, 29(14):2550-2566.

Species inhabiting marine environments face a wide range of environmental conditions that vary spatially across several orders of magnitude. The selective pressures that these conditions impose on marine organisms, in combination with potentially high rates of gene flow between distant populations, make it difficult to predict the extent to which these populations can locally adapt. Here, I identify how selection and gene flow influence the population genetic structure of the anemone Anthopleura elegantissima along the Pacific coast of North America. Isolation by distance is the dominant pattern across the range of this species, with a genetic break near Pt. Conception, CA. Furthermore, demographic modelling suggests that this species was historically confined to southerly latitudes before expanding northward. Outlier analyses identify 24 loci under selection (out of ~1,100), but the same analysis on simulated genetic data generated using the most likely demographic model erroneously identified the same number of loci under selection, if not more. Taken together, these results suggest that demographic processes are the dominant force shaping population genetic patterns in A. elegantissima along the Pacific coast of North America. I discuss these patterns in terms of the evolutionary history of A. elegantissima, the potential for local adaptation, and their consequences with respect to interactions with the endosymbiont Breviolum muscatinei across their geographic range.

RevDate: 2020-06-13

Madhav M, Brown G, Morgan JAT, et al (2020)

Transinfection of buffalo flies (Haematobia irritans exigua) with Wolbachia and effect on host biology.

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):296.

BACKGROUND: Buffalo flies (Haematobia irritans exigua) (BF) and closely related horn flies (Haematobia irritans irritans) (HF) are invasive haematophagous parasites with significant economic and welfare impacts on cattle production. Wolbachia are intracellular bacteria found widely in insects and currently of much interest for use in novel strategies for the area wide control of insect pests and insect-vectored diseases. In this paper, we report the transinfection of BF towards the development of area-wide controls.

METHODS: Three stages of BF; embryos, pupae and adult female flies, were injected with different Wolbachia strains (wAlbB, wMel and wMelPop). The success of transinfection and infection dynamics was compared by real-time PCR and FISH and fitness effects were assessed in transinfected flies.

RESULTS: BF eggs were not easily injected because of their tough outer chorion and embryos were frequently damaged with less than 1% hatch rate of microinjected eggs. No Wolbachia infection was recorded in flies successfully reared from injected eggs. Adult and pupal injection resulted in higher survival rates and somatic and germinal tissue infections, with transmission to the succeeding generations on some occasions. Investigations of infection dynamics in flies from injected pupae confirmed that Wolbachia were actively multiplying in somatic tissues. Ovarian infections were confirmed with wMel and wMelPop in a number of instances, though not with wAlbB. Measurement of fitness traits indicated reduced longevity, decreased and delayed adult emergence, and reduced fecundity in Wolbachia-infected flies compared to mock-injected flies. Effects varied with the Wolbachia strain injected with most marked changes seen in the wMelPop-injected flies and least severe effects seen with wAlbB.

CONCLUSIONS: Adult and pupal injection were the most suitable methods for transinfecting BF and all three strains of Wolbachia successfully replicated in somatic tissues. The Wolbachia-induced fitness effects seen in transinfected BF suggest potential for use of the wMel or wMelPop strains in Wolbachia-based biocontrol programmes for BF.

RevDate: 2020-07-21

Bigiotti G, Sacchetti P, Pastorelli R, et al (2020)

Bacterial symbiosis in Bactrocera oleae, an Achilles' heel for its pest control.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Investigations on microbial symbioses in Tephritidae have increased over the past 30 years owing to the potential use of these relationships in developing new control strategies for economically important fruit flies. Bactrocera oleae (Rossi)-the olive fruit fly-is a monophagous species strictly associated with the olive tree, and among all the tephritids, its symbionts are the most investigated. The bacterium Candidatus Erwinia dacicola is the major persistent resident endosymbiont in wild B. oleae populations. Its relationship with B. oleae has been investigated since being identified in 2005. This endosymbiont is vertically transmitted through generations from the female to the egg. It exists at every developmental stage, although it is more abundant in larvae and ovipositing females, and is necessary for both larvae and adults. Studying B. oleae-Ca. E. dacicola, or other B. oleae-microbe interactions, will allow us to develop modern biological control systems for area-wide olive protection and set an example for similar programs in other important food crops. This review summarizes the information available on tephritid-microbe interactions and investigates relationships among fruit flies, bacteria and host plants; however, its focus is on B. oleae and its strict association with Ca. E. dacicola to promote environmentally friendly control strategies for area-wide pest management.

RevDate: 2020-08-24

Carretón E, Morchón R, Falcón-Cordón Y, et al (2020)

Evaluation of different dosages of doxycycline during the adulticide treatment of heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in dogs.

Veterinary parasitology, 283:109141.

The endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia plays an important role in the pathogenesis and inflammatory immune response to heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) infection in dogs. Doxycycline is used to reduce Wolbachia from all life stages of heartworm to avoid large releases of the bacteria during the death of the worms. However, the dose and duration currently recommended have been extrapolated from the treatment of other rickettsial infections. Therefore, the aim was to study the dynamics of Wolbachia IgG antibodies in heartworm-infected dogs under adulticide treatment using different dosages of doxycycline. Forty-nine heartworm-infected dogs were recruited. On day 0 (diagnosis), monthly ivermectin (6 μg/kg) was prescribed, as well as daily doxycycline for 30 days, at 10 mg/kg/12 h (n = 13), 5 mg/kg/12 h (n = 19), and 10 mg/kg/24 h (n = 17). Dogs underwent adulticide treatment and blood samples were collected on days 0, 30, 90, and 120. All dogs had antibodies against recombinant Wolbachia surface protein (rWSP), confirming the important role of the bacteria in heartworm. No significant differences were found in anti-rWSP response by presence/absence of microfilariae, or by parasite burden on day 0. In all treated groups, the anti-rWSP antibody response was not significantly different between days 0 and 30 but was significantly lower between days 0 and 120 (p < 0.05). The results of the present study suggest that the administration of a lower dose than currently recommended is sufficient to achieve a significant reduction of Wolbachia in dogs infected by D. immitis.

RevDate: 2020-08-26
CmpDate: 2020-08-26

McCabe RA, Receveur JP, Houtz JL, et al (2020)

Characterizing the microbiome of ectoparasitic louse flies feeding on migratory raptors.

PloS one, 15(6):e0234050.

Louse flies (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) are obligate ectoparasites that often cause behavioral, pathogenic, and evolutionary effects on their hosts. Interactions between ectoparasites and avian hosts, especially migrating taxa, may influence avian pathogen spread in tropical and temperate ecosystems and affect long-term survival, fitness and reproductive success. The purpose of this study was to characterize the vector-associated microbiome of ectoparasitic louse flies feeding on migrating raptors over the fall migration period. Surveys for louse flies occurred during fall migration (2015-2016) at a banding station in Pennsylvania, United States; flies were collected from seven species of migrating raptors, and we sequenced their microbial (bacteria and archaea) composition using high-throughput targeted amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene (V4 region). All louse flies collected belonged to the same species, Icosta americana. Our analysis revealed no difference in bacterial communities of louse flies retrieved from different avian host species. The louse fly microbiome was dominated by a primary endosymbiont, suggesting that louse flies maintain a core microbial structure despite receiving blood meals from different host species. Thus, our findings highlight the importance of characterizing both beneficial and potentially pathogenic endosymbionts when interpreting how vector-associated microbiomes may impact insect vectors and their avian hosts.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )