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Bibliography on: Endosymbiosis

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 19 Sep 2018 at 01:42 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.

Created with PubMed® Query: endosymbiont NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2018-09-16

Zélé F, Santos JL, Godinho DP, et al (2018)

Wolbachia both aids and hampers the performance of spider mites on different host plants.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5097780 [Epub ahead of print].

In the last decades, many studies had revealed the potential role of arthropod bacterial endosymbionts in shaping the host range of generalist herbivores and their performance on different host plants, which, in turn, might affect endosymbiont distribution in herbivores populations. We tested this by measuring the prevalence of endosymbionts in natural populations of the generalist spider mite Tetranychus urticae on different host plants. Focusing on Wolbachia, we then analysed how symbionts affected mite life-history traits on the same host-plants in the laboratory. Overall, the prevalences of Cardinium and Rickettsia were low, whereas that of Wolbachia was high, with the highest values on bean and eggplant and the lowest on morning glory, tomato and zuchini. Although most mite life-history traits were affected by the plant species only, Wolbachia infection was detrimental for egg hatching rate on morning glory and zucchini, and led to a more female-biased sex ratio on morning glory and eggplant. These results suggest that endosymbionts may affect the host range of polyphagous herbivores, both by aiding and hampering their performance, depending on the host plant and on the life-history trait that affects performance the most. Conversely, endosymbiont spread may be facilitated or hindered by the plants on which infected herbivores occur.

RevDate: 2018-09-12

Humphreys AF, Halfar J, Ingle JC, et al (2018)

Effect of seawater temperature, pH, and nutrients on the distribution and character of low abundance shallow water benthic foraminifera in the Galápagos.

PloS one, 13(9):e0202746 pii:PONE-D-18-00255.

In order to help predict the effects of anthropogenic stressors on shallow water carbonate environments, it is important to focus research on regions containing natural oceanographic gradients, particularly with respect to interactions between oceanography and ecologically sensitive carbonate producers. The Galápagos Archipelago, an island chain in the eastern equatorial Pacific, spans a natural nutrient, pH, and temperature gradient due to the interaction of several major ocean currents. Further, the region is heavily impacted by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Galápagos exhibited widespread coral bleaching and degradation following the strong ENSO events of 1982-1983 and 1997-1998. These findings are coupled with reports of unusually low abundances of time-averaged benthic foraminiferal assemblages throughout the region. Foraminifera, shelled single-celled protists, are sensitive to environmental change and rapidly respond to alterations to their surrounding environment, making them ideal indicator species for the study of reef water quality and health. Here, statistical models and analyses were used to compare modern shallow water benthic foraminiferal assemblages from 19 samples spanning the Galápagos Archipelago to predominant oceanographic parameters at each collection site. Fisher α diversity indices, Ternary diagrams, Canonical Correspondence Analysis, regression tree analysis and FORAM-Index (FI; a single metric index for evaluating water quality associated with reef development) implied a combined impact from ENSO and upwelling from Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) waters to primarily impact foraminiferal abundances and drive assemblage patterns throughout the archipelago. For instance, repeated ENSO temperature anomalies might be responsible for low foraminiferal density, while chronically high nutrients and low aragonite saturation and low pH-induced by EUC upwelling and La Niña anomalies-likely inhibited post-ENSO recovery, and caused foraminiferal assemblages to exhibit a heterotrophic dominance in the southern archipelago. What resulted are low FI values in the southern collection sites, indicating environments not conducive to endosymbiont development and/or recovery.

RevDate: 2018-09-11

Pascar J, CH Chandler (2018)

A bioinformatics approach to identifying Wolbachia infections in arthropods.

PeerJ, 6:e5486 pii:5486.

Wolbachia is the most widespread endosymbiont, infecting >20% of arthropod species, and capable of drastically manipulating the host's reproductive mechanisms. Conventionally, diagnosis has relied on PCR amplification; however, PCR is not always a reliable diagnostic technique due to primer specificity, strain diversity, degree of infection and/or tissue sampled. Here, we look for evidence of Wolbachia infection across a wide array of arthropod species using a bioinformatic approach to detect the Wolbachia genes ftsZ, wsp, and the groE operon in next-generation sequencing samples available through the NCBI Sequence Read Archive. For samples showing signs of infection, we attempted to assemble entire Wolbachia genomes, and in order to better understand the relationships between hosts and symbionts, phylogenies were constructed using the assembled gene sequences. Out of the 34 species with positively identified infections, eight species of arthropod had not previously been recorded to harbor Wolbachia infection. All putative infections cluster with known representative strains belonging to supergroup A or B, which are known to only infect arthropods. This study presents an efficient bioinformatic approach for post-sequencing diagnosis and analysis of Wolbachia infection in arthropods.

RevDate: 2018-09-11

Compton KK, Hildreth SB, Helm RF, et al (2018)

Sinorhizobium meliloti chemoreceptor McpV senses short chain carboxylates via direct binding.

Journal of bacteriology pii:JB.00519-18 [Epub ahead of print].

Sinorhizobium meliloti is a soil-dwelling endosymbiont of alfalfa with eight chemoreceptors to sense environmental stimuli during its free-living state. The functions of two receptors have been characterized, with McpU and McpX serving as general amino acid and quaternary ammonium compound sensors, respectively. Both receptors use a dual Cache domain for ligand binding. We identified that the ligand-binding, periplasmic region (PR) of McpV contains a single Cache domain. Homology modeling revealed that McpVPR is structurally similar to a sensor domain of a chemoreceptor with unknown function from Anaeromyxobacter dehalogenans, which crystallized with acetate in its binding pocket. We therefore assayed McpV for carboxylate binding and S. meliloti for carboxylate sensing. Differential scanning fluorimetry identified ten potential ligands for McpVPR Nine of these are monocarboxylates with chain lengths between two and four carbons. We selected seven compounds for capillary assay analysis, which established positive chemotaxis of S. meliloti wild type with concentrations of peak attraction at 1 mM for acetate, propionate, pyruvate, and glycolate, and 100 mM for formate and acetoacetate. Deletion of mcpV or mutation of residues essential for ligand coordination abolished positive chemotaxis to carboxylates. Using microcalorimetry we determined that dissociation constants of the seven ligands with McpVPR were in the micromolar range. An McpVPR variant with a mutation in the ligand coordination site displayed no binding to isobutyrate or propionate. Of all the carboxylates tested as attractants, only glycolate was detected in alfalfa seed exudates. This work examines the relevance of carboxylates and their sensor to the rhizobium-legume interaction.IMPORTANCE Legumes share a unique association with certain soil-dwelling bacteria known broadly as the rhizobia. Through concerted interorganismal communication, a legume allows the intracellular infection by its cognate rhizobial species. The plant then forms an organ, the root nodule, dedicated to housing and supplying fixed carbon and nutrients to the bacteria. In return, the engulfed rhizobia, differentiated into bacteroids, fix atmospheric N2 into ammonium for the plant host. This interplay is of great benefit to the cultivation of legumes, such as alfalfa and soybeans, and is initiated by chemotaxis to the host plant. This study on carboxylate chemotaxis contributes to the understanding of rhizobial survival and competition in the rhizosphere and aids the development of commercial inoculants.

RevDate: 2018-09-10

Lin Z, Wang L, Chen M, et al (2018)

The acute transcriptomic response of coral-algae interactions to pH fluctuation.

Marine genomics pii:S1874-7787(18)30147-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Little is known about how the coral host and its endosymbiont interactions change when they are exposed to a sudden nonlinear environmental transformation, yet this is crucial to coral survival in extreme events. Here, we present a study that investigates the transcriptomic response of corals and their endosymbionts to an abrupt change in pH (pH 7.60 and 8.35). The transcriptome indicates that the endosymbiont demonstrates a synchronized downregulation in carbon acquisition and fixation processes and may result in photosynthetic dysfunction in endosymbiotic Symbiodinium, suggesting that the mutualistic continuum of coral-algae interactions is compromised in response to high-CO2 exposure. Transcriptomic data also shows that corals are still capable of calcifying in response to the low pH but could experience a series of negative effects on their energy dynamics, which including protein damage, DNA repair, ion transport, cellular apoptosis, calcification acclimation and maintenance of intracellular pH homeostasis and stress tolerance to pH swing. This suggests enhanced energy costs for coral metabolic adaptation. This study provides a deeper understanding of the biological basis related to the symbiotic corals in response to extreme future climate change and environmental variability.

RevDate: 2018-09-08

Alleman A, Hertweck KL, S Kambhampati (2018)

Random Genetic Drift and Selective Pressures Shaping the Blattabacterium Genome.

Scientific reports, 8(1):13427 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-31796-6.

Estimates suggest that at least half of all extant insect genera harbor obligate bacterial mutualists. Whereas an endosymbiotic relationship imparts many benefits upon host and symbiont alike, the intracellular lifestyle has profound effects on the bacterial genome. The obligate endosymbiont genome is a product of opposing forces: genes important to host survival are maintained through physiological constraint, contrasted by the fixation of deleterious mutations and genome erosion through random genetic drift. The obligate cockroach endosymbiont, Blattabacterium - providing nutritional augmentation to its host in the form of amino acid synthesis - displays radical genome alterations when compared to its most recent free-living relative Flavobacterium. To date, eight Blattabacterium genomes have been published, affording an unparalleled opportunity to examine the direction and magnitude of selective forces acting upon this group of symbionts. Here, we find that the Blattabacterium genome is experiencing a 10-fold increase in selection rate compared to Flavobacteria. Additionally, the proportion of selection events is largely negative in direction, with only a handful of loci exhibiting signatures of positive selection. These findings suggest that the Blattabacterium genome will continue to erode, potentially resulting in an endosymbiont with an even further reduced genome, as seen in other insect groups such as Hemiptera.

RevDate: 2018-09-07

Chung M, Teigen L, Liu H, et al (2018)

Targeted enrichment outperforms other enrichment techniques and enables more multi-species RNA-Seq analyses.

Scientific reports, 8(1):13377 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-31420-7.

Enrichment methodologies enable the analysis of minor members in multi-species transcriptomic data. We compared the standard enrichment of bacterial and eukaryotic mRNA to a targeted enrichment using an Agilent SureSelect (AgSS) capture for Brugia malayi, Aspergillus fumigatus, and the Wolbachia endosymbiont of B. malayi (wBm). Without introducing significant systematic bias, the AgSS quantitatively enriched samples, resulting in more reads mapping to the target organism. The AgSS-enriched libraries consistently had a positive linear correlation with their unenriched counterparts (r2 = 0.559-0.867). Up to a 2,242-fold enrichment of RNA from the target organism was obtained following a power law (r2 = 0.90), with the greatest fold enrichment achieved in samples with the largest ratio difference between the major and minor members. While using a single total library for prokaryote and eukaryote enrichment from a single RNA sample could be beneficial for samples where RNA is limiting, we observed a decrease in reads mapping to protein coding genes and an increase in multi-mapping reads to rRNAs in AgSS enrichments from eukaryotic total RNA libraries compared to eukaryotic poly(A)-enriched libraries. Our results support a recommendation of using AgSS targeted enrichment on poly(A)-enriched libraries for eukaryotic captures, and total RNA libraries for prokaryotic captures, to increase the robustness of multi-species transcriptomic studies.

RevDate: 2018-09-06

Tang XT, Cai L, Shen Y, et al (2018)

Diversity and evolution of the endosymbionts of Bemisia tabaci in China.

PeerJ, 6:e5516 pii:5516.

The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a cryptic species complex, including members that are pests of global importance. This study presents a screening of B. tabaci species in China for infection by the primary endosymbiont, Portiera aleyrodidarum, and two secondary endosymbionts, Arsenophonus and Cardinium. The results showed that P. aleyrodidarum was detected in all B. tabaci individuals, while Arsenophonus was abundant in indigenous species of B. tabaci Asia II 1, Asia II 3, and China 1 but absent in the invasive species, Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1); Cardinium presented in the Mediterranean (MED), Asia II 1 and Asia II 3 species but was rarely detected in the MEAM1 and China 1 species. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses revealed that the P. aleyrodidarum and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (mtCO1) phylograms were similar and corresponding with the five distinct cryptic species clades to some extent, probably indicating an ancient infection followed by vertical transmission and subsequent co-evolutionary diversification. In contrast, the phylogenetic trees of Arsenophonus and Cardinium were incongruent with the mtCO1 phylogram, potentially indicating horizontal transmission in B. tabaci cryptic species complex. Taken together, our study showed the distinct infection status of endosymbionts in invasive and indigenous whiteflies; we also most likely indicated the co-evolution of primary endosymbiont and its host as well as the potential horizontal transfer of secondary endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2018-08-30

Cevidanes A, Di Cataldo S, Vera F, et al (2018)

Molecular Detection of Vector-Borne Pathogens in Rural Dogs and Associated Ctenophalides felis Fleas (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) in Easter Island (Chile).

Journal of medical entomology pii:5079313 [Epub ahead of print].

The presence of vector-borne pathogens of veterinary and public health interest have received little attention in Chile. In Easter Island, in particular, a Chilean territory in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, no information is available. To fill this gap, 153 rural dogs were inspected for ectoparasites during a sterilization campaign carried out in 2016. Fleas were observed in 46% of the dogs, and Ctenophalides felis (Bouché, 1835) was the only species present. Morphological identification of fleas was genetically confirmed using conventional polymerase chain reaction targeting the cox2 gene. No tick was observed in any dog. The presence of DNA of Rickettsia sp. (gltA and ompA fragment genes), Anaplasmataceae (16S rRNA), and Bartonella sp. (16S-23S ribosomal RNA intergenic spacer) was investigated in blood samples of 70 of the dogs and in 126 fleas analyzed in 68 pools that included 1-5 fleas. Rickettsial DNA was detected in 97% (n = 66) of the flea pools. Of these, 57 showed between 99 and 100% identity for both genes with published sequences of Candidatus Rickettsia asemboensis (CRa), six with Rickettsia felis, and one with Candidatus Rickettsia senegalensis. For two pools, gltA amplicons were identical to CRa but ompB amplicions showed 99-100% identity with R. felis. Anaplasmataceae DNA was detected in 16% (n = 11) pools. Sequenced amplicons showed highest identity with the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis. Bartonella DNA, showing 99% identity to Bartonella clarridgeiae, was detected in one pool (1.4%). No positive reaction was observed for any dog. This is the first detection of members of the 'R. felis-like' group other than R. felis in Chile.

RevDate: 2018-08-30

Dose B, Niehs SP, Scherlach K, et al (2018)

Unexpected Bacterial Origin of the Antibiotic Icosalide: Two-Tailed Depsipeptide Assembly in Multifarious Burkholderia Symbionts.

ACS chemical biology [Epub ahead of print].

Icosalide is an unusual two-tailed lipocyclopeptide antibiotic that was originally isolated from a fungal culture. Yet, its biosynthesis and ecological function have remained enigmatic. By genome mining and metabolic profiling of a bacterial endosymbiont (Burkholderia gladioli) of the pest beetle Lagria villosa we unveiled a bacterial origin of icosalide. Functional analysis of the biosynthetic gene locus revealed an unprecedented nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) that incorporates two β-hydroxy acids by means of two starter condensation domains in different modules. This unusual assembly line, which may inspire new synthetic biology approaches, is widespread among many symbiotic Burkholderia species from diverse habitats. Biological assays showed that icosalide is active against entomopathogenic bacteria, thus adding to the chemical armory protecting beetle offspring. By creating a null mutant we found that icosalide is a swarming inhibitor, which may play a role in symbiotic interactions and bears the potential for therapeutic applications.

RevDate: 2018-08-29

Cafiso A, Sassera D, Romeo C, et al (2018)

Midichloria mitochondrii, endosymbiont of Ixodes ricinus: evidence for the transmission to the vertebrate host during the tick blood meal.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases pii:S1877-959X(18)30247-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Ticks are important vectors of a variety of pathogens affecting humans and other animals, but they also harbor numerous microorganisms whose role is still limitedly investigated. Ixodes ricinus harbors the endosymbiont Midichloria mitochondrii, which is localized in ovaries and in salivary glands. The bacterium is vertically transmitted and is present in 100% of wild adult females, while prevalence values drop after some generations under laboratory conditions. Molecular and serological evidences showed that M. mitochondrii molecules are transmitted to the vertebrate hosts by I. ricinus during the blood meal. Our work was focused on monitoring M. mitochondrii antigens and DNA in a vertebrate model after infestation with I. ricinus for a time-span of four months. Two groups of rabbits were infested with I. ricinus females, respectively from the wild (naturally infected with the symbiont) and laboratory strain (lab; considered devoid of M. mitochondrii after quantitative PCR investigations) and screened using molecular and serological assays at nine time points. M. mitochondrii presence was detected in rabbits infested with wild I. ricinus ticks, but surprisingly also in those infested with lab ticks, albeit at later time points. This result prompted a more sensitive molecular screening of lab ticks, which were found to harbor very low symbiont loads. Our results indicate that transmission of the bacterium occurs even at low bacterial loads, and that antibody response against M. mitochondrii antigens begins within one week post-infestation with wild I. ricinus. Circulating DNA was detected in the blood of rabbits belonging to both groups up to the end of the experiment, suggesting a replication of the symbiont inside the vertebrate host.

RevDate: 2018-08-28

Brown AMV (2018)

Endosymbionts of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes.

Annual review of phytopathology, 56:225-242.

Some of the most agriculturally important plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) harbor endosymbionts. Extensive work in other systems has shown that endosymbionts can have major effects on host virulence and biology. This review highlights the discovery, development, and diversity of PPN endosymbionts, incorporating inferences from genomic data. Cardinium, reported from five PPN hosts to date, is characterized by its presence in the esophageal glands and other tissues, with a discontinuous distribution across populations, and genomic data suggestive of horizontal gene exchange. Xiphinematobacter occurs in at least 27 species of dagger nematode in the ovaries and gut epithelial cells, where genomic data suggest it may serve in nutritional supplementation. Wolbachia, reported in just three PPNs, appears to have an ancient history in the Pratylenchidae and displays broad tissue distribution and genomic features intermediate between parasitic and reproductive groups. Finally, a model is described that integrates these insights to explain patterns of endosymbiont replacement.

RevDate: 2018-08-27

Takagi H, Kimoto K, Fujiki T, et al (2018)

Effect of nutritional condition on photosymbiotic consortium of cultured Globigerinoides sacculifer (Rhizaria, Foraminifera).

Symbiosis (Philadelphia, Pa.), 76(1):25-39.

Several foraminifers found in warm and low-nutrient ocean surface water have photosynthetic algae as endosymbionts (photosymbiosis). To understand the trophic interactions, we studied Globigerinoides sacculifer, a spinose planktic foraminifer that has a dinoflagellate endosymbiont. We controlled two nutritional factors, feeding and inorganic nutrients in the seawater. The growth of the host and the symbionts and the photophysiological parameters were monitored under four experimental conditions. The results demonstrated that the holobionts primarily relied on phagotrophy for growth. The foraminifers grew considerably, and the chlorophyll a content per foraminifer, which is an indicator of the symbiont population, increased in the fed groups, but not in the unfed groups. The nutrient-rich seawater used for some of the cultures made no difference in either the growth or photophysiology of the holobionts. These observations indicated that the symbionts mainly utilized metabolites from the hosts for photosynthesis rather than inorganic nutrients in the seawater. Additionally, we observed that the symbionts in the starved hosts maintained their photosynthetic capability for at least 12 days, and that the hosts maintained at least some symbionts until gametogenesis was achieved. This suggests that the hosts have to retain the symbionts as an energy source for reproduction. The symbionts may also play an indispensable role in the metabolic activities of the hosts including waste transport or essential compound synthesis. Overall, our results revealed a novel mode of photosymbiosis in planktic foraminifers which contrasts with that found in benthic photosymbiotic foraminifers and corals.

RevDate: 2018-08-24

Richardson KM, Griffin PC, Lee SF, et al (2018)

A Wolbachia infection from Drosophila that causes cytoplasmic incompatibility despite low prevalence and densities in males.

Heredity pii:10.1038/s41437-018-0133-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia bacteria are common insect endosymbionts transmitted maternally and capable of spreading through insect populations by cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) when infected males cause embryo death after mating with uninfected females. Selection in the Wolbachia endosymbiont occurs on female hosts and is expected to favour strong maternal transmission to female offspring, even at the cost of reduced CI. With maternal leakage, nuclear genes are expected to be selected to suppress cytoplasmic incompatibility caused by males while also reducing any deleterious effects associated with the infection. Here we describe a new type of Wolbachia strain from Drosophila pseudotakahashii likely to have arisen from evolutionary processes on host and/or Wolbachia genomes. This strain is often absent from adult male offspring, but always transmitted to females. It leads to males with low or non-detectable Wolbachia that nevertheless show CI. When detected in adult males, the infection has a low density relative to that in females, a phenomenon not previously seen in Wolbachia infections of Drosophila. This Wolbachia strain is common in natural populations, and shows reduced CI when older (infected) males are crossed. These patterns highlight that endosymbionts can have strong sex-specific effects and that high frequency Wolbachia strains persist through effects on female reproduction. Female-limited Wolbachia infections may be of applied interest if the low level of Wolbachia in males reduces deleterious fitness effects on the host.

RevDate: 2018-08-23

Shi PQ, Wang L, Liu Y, et al (2018)

Infection dynamics of endosymbionts reveal three novel localization patterns of Rickettsia during the development of whitefly Bemisia tabaci.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5076031 [Epub ahead of print].

The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a severe agricultural pest that harbors at least seven endosymbionts. Many important aspects of the symbiosis mechanism between these bacterial endosymbionts and their hosts are poorly understood, such as endosymbiont proliferation dynamics, spatial distribution, and titer regulation during their host development. In this study, the bacterial endosymbionts infection in the whitefly B. tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor-1 (MEAM1, formerly B biotype) South China population, their infection titers in various stages of whitefly host development, and their spatial localization were investigated. Results revealed that the MEAM1 B. tabaci harbors primary symbiont Portiera and secondary symbiont Rickettsia and Hamiltonella. The titers of these three endosymbionts increased with the development of their B. tabaci host. Significant proliferation of Portiera and Hamiltonella mainly occurred during the 2nd to 4th instar nymphal stages, while Rickettsia proliferated mainly during adult eclosion. FISH analysis of B. tabaci adults revealed three novel infection patterns of Rickettsia: assemblage in the bacteriocytes that scattered through the entire abdomen of the female host, localization in wax glands, and localization in the colleterial gland. These novel infection patterns may help to uncover the function of Rickettsia in its insect hosts.

RevDate: 2018-08-21

Anderson EE, Wilson C, Knap AH, et al (2018)

Summer diatom blooms in the eastern North Pacific gyre investigated with a long-endurance autonomous surface vehicle.

PeerJ, 6:e5387 pii:5387.

Satellite chlorophyll a (chl a) observations have repeatedly noted summertime phytoplankton blooms in the North Pacific subtropical gyre (NPSG), a region of open ocean that is far removed from any land-derived or Ekman upwelling nutrient sources. These blooms are dominated by N2-fixing diatom-cyanobacteria associations of the diatom genera Rhizosolenia Brightwell and Hemiaulus Ehrenberg. Their nitrogen fixing endosymbiont, Richelia intracellularis J.A. Schmidt, is hypothesized to be critical to the development of blooms in this nitrogen limited region. However, due to the remote location and unpredictable duration of the summer blooms, prolonged in situ observations are rare outside of the Station ALOHA time-series off of Hawai'i. In summer, 2015, a proof-of-concept mission using the autonomous vehicle, Honey Badger (Wave Glider SV2; Liquid Robotics, a Boeing company, Sunnyvale, CA, USA), collected near-surface (<20 m) observations in the NPSG using hydrographic, meteorological, optical, and imaging sensors designed to focus on phytoplankton abundance, distribution, and physiology of this bloom-forming region. Hemiaulus and Rhizosolenia cell abundance was determined using digital holography for the entire June-November mission. Honey Badger was not able to reach the 30°N subtropical front region where most of the satellite chl a blooms have been observed, but near-real time navigational control allowed it to transect two blooms near 25°N. The two taxa did not co-occur in large numbers, rather the blooms were dominated by either Hemiaulus or Rhizosolenia. The August 2-4, 2015 bloom was comprised of 96% Hemiaulus and the second bloom, August 15-17, 2015, was dominated by Rhizosolenia (75%). The holograms also imaged undisturbed, fragile Hemiaulus aggregates throughout the sampled area at ∼10 L-1. Aggregated Hemiaulus represented the entire observed population at times and had a widespread distribution independent of the summer export pulse, a dominant annual event suggested to be mediated by aggregate fluxes. Aggregate occurrence was not consistent with a density dependent formation mechanism and may represent a natural growth form in undisturbed conditions. The photosynthetic potential index (Fv:Fm) increased from ∼0.4 to ∼0.6 during both blooms indicating a robust, active phytoplankton community in the blooms. The diel pattern of Fv:Fm (nocturnal maximum; diurnal minimum) was consistent with macronutrient limitation throughout the mission with no evidence of Fe-limitation despite the presence of nitrogen fixing diatom-diazotroph assemblages. During the 5-month mission, Honey Badger covered ∼5,690 km (3,070 nautical miles), acquired 9,336 holograms, and reliably transmitted data onshore in near real-time. Software issues developed with the active fluorescence sensor that terminated measurements in early September. Although images were still useful at the end of the mission, fouling of the LISST-Holo optics was considerable, and appeared to be the most significant issue facing deployments of this duration.

RevDate: 2018-08-14

Wang Y, Mao L, Sun Y, et al (2018)

A Novel Francisella-Like Endosymbiont in Haemaphysalis longicornis and Hyalomma asiaticum, China.

Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.) [Epub ahead of print].

Francisella tularensis causes a highly infectious zoonotic disease tularemia. Both Haemaphysalis longicornis and Hyalomma asiaticum are widely distributed in China, but the presence of Francisella and Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs) in the two tick species is poorly understood. Therefore, a total of 627 H. longicornis (471 adults and 156 nymphs) and 88 Hy. asiaticum ticks (adults) were collected, of which 88 were from Bole of Xinjiang, 236 from Liaoyang, and 176 from Shenyang of Liaoning, and 215 from Wuhan of Hubei. Notably, five H. longicornis pools from Liaoyang of Liaoning province might have harbored F. tularensis, showing a minimum prevalence of 2.12% (5/236). This study should alert the health department and veterinarians working within the region to prevent and control the emergence of tularemia. After the screening of 16S rRNA and tul4 genes, the results revealed that FLEs were detected in Hy. asiaticum ticks in Bole and in H. longicornis ticks in Liaoyang and Shenyang. Their infection rate was 100% (88/88), 3.39% (8/236 is a minimum), and 8.52% (15/176), respectively. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that the sequence named bole in Hy. Asiaticum from Bole, the sequence named liaoyang1 in H. longicornis from Liaoyang, and the sequence named shanyang1 in H. longicornis from Shenyang shared consistent 16S rRNA sequence, and the difference between Chinese FLEs and the known FLEs was obvious. These findings suggest that this FLE species might be a potentially novel FLE circulating in H. longicornis and Hy. asiaticum from China.

RevDate: 2018-08-14

Kruse A, Ramsey JS, Johnson R, et al (2018)

'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' minimally alters expression of immunity and metabolism proteins in the hemolymph of Diaphorina citri, the insect vector of Huanglongbing.

Journal of proteome research [Epub ahead of print].

Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease, is the most serious disease of citrus plants. It is associated with the Gram-negative bacterium 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' (CLas), which is transmitted between host plants by the hemipteran insect vector Diaphorina citri in a circulative, propagative manner involving specific interactions with various insect tissues, including the hemolymph, fluid that occupies the body cavity akin to insect blood. High resolution quantitative mass spectrometry was performed to investigate the effect of CLas exposure on D. citri hemolymph at the proteome level. In contrast to the broad proteome effects on hundreds of proteins and a diverse array of metabolic pathways previously reported in gut and whole insect proteome analyses, the effect of CLas on the hemolymph was observed to be highly specific, restricted to key immunity and metabolism pathways, and lower in magnitude than that previously observed in the whole insect body and gut. Vitellogenins were abundantly expressed and CLas-responsive. Gene-specific RNA expression analysis suggests that these proteins are expressed in both male and female insects, and may have roles outside of reproductive vitellogenesis. Proteins for fatty acid synthesis were found to be up-regulated, along with metabolic proteins associated with energy production, supported at the organismal level by the previously published observation that D. citri individuals experience a higher level of hunger when reared on CLas-infected plants. Prediction of post-translational modifications identified hemolymph proteins with phosphorylation and acetylation upon CLas exposure. Proteins derived from the three most prominent bacterial endosymbionts of the psyllid were also detected in the hemolymph, and several of these have predicted secretion signals. A DNAK protein, the bacterial HSP70, detected in the hemolymph expressed from Wolbachia pipientis was predicted to encode a eukaryotic nuclear localization signal. Taken together, these data show specific changes to immunity and metabolism in D. citri hemolymph involving host and endosymbiont proteins. These data provide a novel context for proteomic changes seen in other D. citri tissues in response to CLas and align with organismal data on the effects of CLas on D. citri metabolism and reproduction.

RevDate: 2018-08-14

Mukherjee S, Joardar N, Mondal S, et al (2018)

Quinolone-fused cyclic sulfonamide as a novel benign antifilarial agent.

Scientific reports, 8(1):12073 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-30610-7.

Search of potent antifilarial drugs has been a major thrust area in tropical medicine research over the decades. Herein, we report 4,7-dimethyl-3,4,7,8-tetrahydro-3λ6-[1,2]thiazino[4,3-f]quinoline-3,3,8-trione (8l) as a new class of antifilarial agent which is extremely potent, with lethality against all the developmental stages (oocyte, microfilaria and adult) of the filarial parasite Setaria cervi. Molecular investigation on its mode of action revealed that 8l is a typical inducer of reactive oxygen species that triggers oxidative stress inside the filarid and further signals induction of apoptosis by activating both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. Moreover, 8l is also active against Wolbachia, the essential endosymbiont of several human infectious filarids. Selective toxicity against filarial parasites and non-toxic nature in rat model were found as unique traits of 8l to be a future medicine. Taken en masse, this maiden report on a novel quinolone fused cyclic sulfonamide presents a promising therapeutic lead for lymphatic filariasis in future.

RevDate: 2018-08-14

Budachetri K, Kumar D, Crispell G, et al (2018)

The tick endosymbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii and selenoproteins are essential for the growth of Rickettsia parkeri in the Gulf Coast tick vector.

Microbiome, 6(1):141 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0524-2.

BACKGROUND: Pathogen colonization inside tick tissues is a significant aspect of the overall competence of a vector. Amblyomma maculatum is a competent vector of the spotted fever group rickettsiae, Rickettsia parkeri. When R. parkeri colonizes its tick host, it has the opportunity to dynamically interact with not just its host but with the endosymbionts living within it, and this enables it to modulate the tick's defenses by regulating tick gene expression. The microbiome in A. maculatum is dominated by two endosymbiont microbes: a Francisella-like endosymbiont (FLE) and Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii (CMM). A range of selenium-containing proteins (selenoproteins) in A. maculatum ticks protects them from oxidative stress during blood feeding and pathogen infections. Here, we investigated rickettsial multiplication in the presence of tick endosymbionts and characterized the functional significance of selenoproteins during R. parkeri replication in the tick.

RESULTS: FLE and CMM were quantified throughout the tick life stages by quantitative PCR in R. parkeri-infected and uninfected ticks. R. parkeri infection was found to decrease the FLE numbers but CMM thrived across the tick life cycle. Our qRT-PCR analysis indicated that the transcripts of genes with functions related to redox (selenogenes) were upregulated in ticks infected with R. parkeri. Three differentially expressed proteins, selenoprotein M, selenoprotein O, and selenoprotein S were silenced to examine their functional significance during rickettsial replication within the tick tissues. Gene silencing of the target genes was found to impair R. parkeri colonization in the tick vector. Knockdown of the selenogenes triggered a compensatory response from other selenogenes, as observed by changes in gene expression, but oxidative stress levels and endoplasmic reticulum stress inside the ticks were also found to have heightened.

CONCLUSIONS: This study illustrates the potential of this new research model for augmenting our understanding of the pathogen interactions occurring within tick hosts and the important roles that symbionts and various tick factors play in regulating pathogen growth.

RevDate: 2018-08-13

Manzano-Marín A, Coeur d'Acier A, Clamens AL, et al (2017)

A Freeloader?: The Highly Eroded Yet large Genome of the Serratia symbiotica symbiont of Cinara strobi.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5068483 [Epub ahead of print].

Genome reduction is pervasive among maternally-inherited bacterial endosymbionts. This genome reduction can eventually lead to serious deterioration of essential metabolic pathways, thus rendering an obligate endosymbiont unable to provide essential nutrients to its host. This loss of essential pathways can lead to either symbiont complementation (sharing of the nutrient production with a novel co-obligate symbiont) or symbiont replacement (complete takeover of nutrient production by the novel symbiont). However, the process by which these two evolutionary events happen remains somewhat enigmatic by the lack of examples of intermediate stages of this process. Cinara aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) typically harbour two obligate bacterial symbionts: Buchnera and Serratia symbiotica. However, the latter has been replaced by different bacterial taxa in specific lineages, and thus species within this aphid lineage could provide important clues into the process of symbiont replacement. In the present study, using 16S rRNA high-throughput amplicon sequencing, we determined that the aphid Cinara strobi harbours not two, but three fixed bacterial symbionts: Buchnera aphidicola, a Sodalis sp., and S. symbiotica. Through genome assembly and genome-based metabolic inference, we have found that only the first two symbionts (Buchnera and Sodalis) actually contribute to the hosts' supply of essential nutrients while S. symbiotica has become unable to contribute towards this task. We found that S. symbiotica has a rather large and highly eroded genome which codes only for a few proteins and displays extensive pseudogenisation. Thus, we propose an ongoing symbiont replacement within C. strobi, in which a once "competent" S. symbiotica does no longer contribute towards the beneficial association. These results suggest that in dual symbiotic systems, when a substitute co-symbiont is available, genome deterioration can precede genome reduction and a symbiont can be maintained despite the apparent lack of benefit to its host.

RevDate: 2018-08-09

Jiang W, Zhu J, Wu Y, et al (2018)

Influence of Wolbachia Infection on Mitochondrial DNA Variation in the Genus Polytremis (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae).

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution pii:S1055-7903(18)30242-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The maternally inherited obligate bacteria Wolbachia is known for infecting the reproductive tissues of a wide range of arthropods and can contribute to phylogenetically discordant patterns between mtDNA and nDNA. In this study, we tested for an association between mito-nuclear discordance in Polytremis and Wolbachia infection. Six of the 17 species of Polytremis were found to be infected with Wolbachia. Overall, 34% (70/204) of Polytremis specimens were Wolbachia positive and three strains of Wolbachia identified using a wsp marker were further characterized as six strains based on MLST markers. Wolbachia acquisition in Polytremis appears to occur mainly through horizontal transmission rather than codivergence based on comparison of the divergence times of Wolbachia and Polytremis species. At the intraspecific level, one of the Wolbachia infections (wNas1) is associated with reduced mtDNA polymorphism in the infected Polytremis population. At the interspecific level, there is one case of mito-nuclear discordance likely caused by introgression of P. fukia mtDNA into P. nascens driven by another Wolbachia strain (wNas3). Based on an absence of infected males, we suspect that one Wolbachia strain (wNas2) affects sex ratio, but the phenotypic effects of the other strains are unclear. These data reveal a dynamic interaction between Polytremis and Wolbachia endosymbionts affecting patterns of mtDNA variation.

RevDate: 2018-08-08

Yurchenko V, J Lukeš (2018)

Parasites and their (endo)symbiotic microbes.

Parasitology pii:S0031182018001257 [Epub ahead of print].

Thanks to modern molecular biology methods, our understanding of the impact of (endo)symbiotic bacteria on parasitic protists and helminths is growing fast. In this issue, 9 papers have been brought together that describe various facets of the relationships between these microorganisms, reveal their range and high frequency, as well as their capacity to create novel biological complexity. Comparative analyses of these host-endosymbiont interactions indicate that there may be no discrete types of relationships but rather a continuum ranging from a dispensable endosymbiont minimally integrated within the host cell to organelles, such as mitochondria and plastids that evolved into an indispensable, deeply integrated components of the cell. We hope that this series of studies on parasites and (endo)symbiotic bacteria will increase awareness about these relationships and their representation in microbial ecology models.

RevDate: 2018-08-07

Grosche C, Diehl A, Rensing SA, et al (2018)

Iron-Sulfur Cluster Biosynthesis in Algae with Complex Plastids.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5063867 [Epub ahead of print].

Plastids surrounded by four membranes harbour a special compartment between the outer and inner plastid membrane pair, the so-called periplastidal compartment (PPC). This cellular structure is usually presumed to be the reduced cytoplasm of a eukaryotic phototrophic endosymbiont, which was integrated into a host cell and streamlined into a plastid with a complex membrane structure. Up to date, no mitochondrion or mitochondrion-related organelle has been identified in the PPC of any representative. However, two prominent groups, the cryptophytes and the chlorarachniophytes, still harbour a reduced cell nucleus of symbiont origin, the nucleomorph, in their PPCs. Generally, many cytoplasmic and nucleus-located eukaryotic proteins need an iron-sulfur cofactor for their functionality. Beside some exceptions, their synthesis is depending on a so-called iron-sulfur complex (ISC) assembly machinery located in the mitochondrion. This machinery provides the cytoplasm with a still unknown sulfur component, which is then converted into iron-sulfur clusters via a cytosolic iron-sulfur protein assembly (CIA) machinery. Here we investigated if a CIA machinery is present in mitochondrion-lacking PPCs. By using bioinformatic screens and in vivo-localizations of candidate proteins we show that the presence of a PPC-specific CIA machinery correlates with the presence of a nucleomorph. Phylogenetic analyses of PPC- and host specific CIA components additionally indicate a complex evolution of the CIA machineries in organisms having plastids surrounded by four membranes.

RevDate: 2018-08-07

Matsuo E, Y Inagaki (2018)

Patterns in evolutionary origins of heme, chlorophyll a and isopentenyl diphosphate biosynthetic pathways suggest non-photosynthetic periods prior to plastid replacements in dinoflagellates.

PeerJ, 6:e5345 pii:5345.

Background: The ancestral dinoflagellate most likely established a peridinin-containing plastid, which have been inherited in the extant photosynthetic descendants. However, kareniacean dinoflagellates and Lepidodinium species were known to bear "non-canonical" plastids lacking peridinin, which were established through haptophyte and green algal endosymbioses, respectively. For plastid function and maintenance, the aforementioned dinoflagellates were known to use nucleus-encoded proteins vertically inherited from the ancestral dinoflagellates (vertically inherited- or VI-type), and those acquired from non-dinoflagellate organisms (including the endosymbiont). These observations indicated that the proteomes of the non-canonical plastids derived from a haptophyte and a green alga were modified by "exogenous" genes acquired from non-dinoflagellate organisms. However, there was no systematic evaluation addressing how "exogenous" genes reshaped individual metabolic pathways localized in a non-canonical plastid.

Results: In this study, we surveyed transcriptomic data from two kareniacean species (Karenia brevis and Karlodinium veneficum) and Lepidodinium chlorophorum, and identified proteins involved in three plastid metabolic pathways synthesizing chlorophyll a (Chl a), heme and isoprene. The origins of the individual proteins of our interest were investigated, and we assessed how the three pathways were modified before and after the algal endosymbioses, which gave rise to the current non-canonical plastids. We observed a clear difference in the contribution of VI-type proteins across the three pathways. In both Karenia/Karlodinium and Lepidodinium, we observed a substantial contribution of VI-type proteins to the isoprene and heme biosynthesises. In sharp contrast, VI-type protein was barely detected in the Chl a biosynthesis in the three dinoflagellates.

Discussion: Pioneering works hypothesized that the ancestral kareniacean species had lost the photosynthetic activity prior to haptophyte endosymbiosis. The absence of VI-type proteins in the Chl a biosynthetic pathway in Karenia or Karlodinium is in good agreement with the putative non-photosynthetic nature proposed for their ancestor. The dominance of proteins with haptophyte origin in the Karenia/Karlodinium pathway suggests that their ancestor rebuilt the particular pathway by genes acquired from the endosymbiont. Likewise, we here propose that the ancestral Lepidodinium likely experienced a non-photosynthetic period and discarded the entire Chl a biosynthetic pathway prior to the green algal endosymbiosis. Nevertheless, Lepidodinium rebuilt the pathway by genes transferred from phylogenetically diverse organisms, rather than the green algal endosymbiont. We explore the reasons why green algal genes were barely utilized to reconstruct the Lepidodinium pathway.

RevDate: 2018-07-31

Fisher ML, Watson DW, Osborne JA, et al (2018)

Growth kinetics of endosymbiont Wolbachia in the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius.

Scientific reports, 8(1):11444 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-29682-2.

The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius harbors the endosymbiotic microorganism, Wolbachia (wCle), in a gonad-associated bacteriome as an obligate nutritional mutualist. The obligatory nature of this association suggests that all individuals in C. lectularius populations would be infected with wCle. However, studies spanning the past several decades have reported variation in both infection frequency and relative abundance of wCle in field-collected samples of bed bugs. Since the growth kinetics of wCle is poorly understood, the objective of this study was to quantify wCle over the life cycle of two strains of C. lectularius. Our results highlight that wCle is dynamic during bed bug development, changing relative to life stage, intermolt stage, and blood-fed status. These results suggest new hypotheses about the coordination of Wolbachia growth and regression with its host's physiology and endocrine events. The observed quantitative modulation of wCle during the bed bug life cycle and during periods of starvation may explain the disparities in wCle infections reported in field-collected C. lectularius.

RevDate: 2018-07-30

Bártulos CR, Rogers MB, Williams TA, et al (2018)

Mitochondrial glycolysis in a major lineage of eukaryotes.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5061552 [Epub ahead of print].

The establishment of the mitochondrion is seen as a transformational step in the origin of eukaryotes. With the mitochondrion came bioenergetic freedom to explore novel evolutionary space leading to the eukaryotic radiation known today. The tight integration of the bacterial endosymbiont with its archaeal host was accompanied by a massive endosymbiotic gene transfer resulting in a small mitochondrial genome which is just a ghost of the original incoming bacterial genome. This endosymbiotic gene transfer resulted in the loss of many genes, both from the bacterial symbiont as well the archaeal host. Loss of genes encoding redundant functions resulted in a replacement of the bulk of the host's metabolism for those originating from the endosymbiont. Glycolysis is one such metabolic pathway in which the original archaeal enzymes have been replaced by the bacterial enzymes from the endosymbiont. Glycolysis is a major catabolic pathway that provides cellular energy from the breakdown of glucose. The glycolytic pathway of eukaryotes appears to be bacterial in origin, and in well-studied model eukaryotes it takes place in the cytosol. In contrast, here we demonstrate that the latter stages of glycolysis take place in the mitochondria of stramenopiles, a diverse and ecologically important lineage of eukaryotes. Although our work is based on a limited sample of stramenopiles, it leaves open the possibility that the mitochondrial targeting of glycolytic enzymes in stramenopiles might represent the ancestral state for eukaryotes.

RevDate: 2018-07-28

Rangsrikitphoti P, DG Durnford (2018)

Transcriptome Profiling of Bigelowiella natans in Response to Light Stress.

The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Bigelowiella natans is a marine chlorarachniophyte whose plastid was acquired secondarily via endosymbiosis with a green alga. During plastid evolution, the photosynthetic endosymbiont would have integrated with the host metabolic pathways. This would require the evolution and coordination of strategies to cope with changes in light intensity that includes changes in the expression of both endosymbiont and host-derived genes. To investigate the transcriptional response to light intensity in chlorarachniophytes, we conducted an RNA-seq experiment to identify differentially-expressed genes following a four-hour shift to high or very-low light. A shift to high light altered the expression of over 2000 genes, many involved with photosynthesis, PSII-assembly, primary metabolism, and reactive-oxygen scavenging. These changes are an attempt to optimize photosynthesis and increase energy sinks for excess reductant, while minimizing photo-oxidative stress. A transfer to very-low light resulted in a lower photosynthetic performance and metabolic alteration, reflecting an energy-limited state. Genes located on the nucleomorph, the vestigial nucleus in the plastid, had few changes in expression in either light treatment, indicating this organelle has relinquished most transcriptional control to the nucleus. Overall, during plastid origin, both host and transferred endosymbiont genes evolved a harmonized transcriptional network to respond to a classic photosynthetic stress. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-07-27

Rossitto De Marchi B, Kinene T, Mbora Wainaina J, et al (2018)

Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals genetic diversity in the endosymbiont Hamiltonella between native and exotic populations of Bemisia tabaci from Brazil.

PloS one, 13(7):e0201411 pii:PONE-D-18-08374.

The whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, is a species complex of more than 40 cryptic species and a major agricultural pest. It causes extensive damage to plants mainly by transmitting plant viruses. There is still a lack of genomic data available for the different whitefly species found in Brazil and their bacterial endosymbionts. Understanding the genetic and transcriptomic composition of these insect pests, the viruses they transmit and the microbiota is crucial to sustainable solutions for farmers to control whiteflies. Illumina RNA-Seq was used to obtain the transcriptome of individual whiteflies from 10 different populations from Brazil including Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1), Mediterranean (MED) and New World 2 (NW2). Raw reads were assembled using CLC Genomics Workbench and subsequently mapped to reference genomes. We obtained whitefly complete mitochondrial genomes and draft genomes from the facultative bacterial endosymbiont Hamiltonella for further phylogenetic analyses. In addition, nucleotide sequences of the GroEL chaperonin gene from Hamiltonella from different populations were obtained and analysed. There was concordance in the species clustering using the whitefly complete mitogenome and the mtCOI gene tree. On the other hand, the phylogenetic analysis using the 12 ORF's of Hamiltonella clustered the native species NW2 apart from the exotics MEAM1 and MED. In addition, the amino acid analysis of GroEL chaperonin revealed a deletion only in Hamiltonella infecting NW2 among whiteflies populations analysed which was further confirmed by PCR and Sanger sequencing. The genomic data obtained in this study will aid understanding the functions that Hamiltonella may have in whitefly biology and serve as a reference for further studies regarding whiteflies in Brazil.

RevDate: 2018-07-27

James EB, Feng H, ACC Wilson (2018)

mTOR Complex 1 Implicated in Aphid/Buchnera Host/Symbiont Integration.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:g3.118.200398 [Epub ahead of print].

Obligate nutritional endosymbioses are arguably the most intimate of all interspecific associations. While many insect nutritional endosymbioses are well studied, a full picture of how two disparate organisms, a bacterial endosymbiont and a eukaryotic host, are integrated is still lacking. The mTOR pathway is known to integrate nutritional conditions with cell growth and survival in eukaryotes. Characterization and localization of amino acid transporters in aphids suggest the mTOR pathway as point of integration between an aphid host and its amino acid-provisioning endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola The mTOR pathway is unannotated in aphids and unstudied in any nutritional endosymbiosis. We annotated mTOR pathway genes in two aphid species, Acyrthosiphon pisum and Myzus persicae, using both BLASTp searches and Hidden Markov Models. Using previously collected RNAseq data we constructed new reference transcriptomes for bacteriocyte, gut, and whole insect tissue for three lines of M. persicae Annotation of the mTOR pathway identified homologs of all known invertebrate mTOR genes in both aphid species with some duplications. Differential expression analysis showed that genes specific to the amino acid-sensitive mTOR Complex 1 were more highly expressed in bacteriocytes than genes specific to the amino acid-insensitive mTOR Complex 2. Almost all mTOR genes involved in sensing amino acids showed higher expression in bacteriocytes than in whole insect tissue. When compared to gut, the putative glutamine/arginine sensing transporter ACYPI000333, an ortholog of SLC38A9, showed 6.5 times higher expression in bacteriocytes. Our results suggest that the mTOR pathway may be functionally important in mediating integration of Buchnera into aphid growth and reproduction.

RevDate: 2018-07-26

Wei Z, Liu Y, Feng K, et al (2018)

The divergence between fungal and bacterial communities in seasonal and spatial variations of wastewater treatment plants.

The Science of the total environment, 628-629:969-978.

In this study, quantitative PCR (qPCR) and high-throughput sequencing were used to simultaneously examine both bacteria and fungi across temporal and spatial scales in activated sludge from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The ratio of fungi to bacteria was 0.43% on average after accounting for the multicopies in 16S rRNA gene (54.63%), indicating the number of fungi was far lower than bacteria in active sludge. The Miseq sequencing results revealed obvious seasonal and spatial variations in bacterial and fungal distribution patterns in WWTPs. Compared to bacteria, fungi showed a lower divergence in alpha and beta diversity, and exhibited less taxonomic diversity in both abundant and rare subcommunities at the class level, suggesting that the fungal community was less variable in this artificial ecosystem. Such variation of microbial communities was significantly correlated with geographical distance, DO, temperature, HRT, SRT, COD, TN and TP. In activated sludge, the main function of bacteria was chemoheterotrophy, fermentation, and nitrogen cycling processes, while the dominant functional guilds of fungi were saprotroph, animal pathogen, and animal endosymbiont. Moreover, both bacteria and fungi could play important roles in the degradation of toxicants, like hydrocarbon and aromatic compounds.

RevDate: 2018-07-19

Li Y, Liles MR, KM Halanych (2018)

Endosymbiont genomes yield clues of tubeworm success.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-018-0220-z [Epub ahead of print].

Forty years after discovery of chemosynthetic symbiosis in the tubeworm Riftia pachyptila, how organisms maintain their unique host-symbiont associations at the cellular level is still largely unknown. Previous studies primarily focus on symbionts associated with host lineages living in hydrothermal vents. To understand physiological adaptations and evolution in these holobiont systems in markedly different habitats, we characterized four novel siboglinid-symbiont genomes spanning deep-sea seep and sedimented environments. Our comparative analyses suggest that all sampled siboglinid chemoautotrophic symbionts, except for frenulate symbionts, can use both rTCA and Calvin cycle for carbon fixation. We hypothesize that over evolutionary time siboglinids have been able to utilize different bacterial lineages allowing greater metabolic flexibility of carbon fixation (e.g., rTCA) enabling tubeworms to thrive in more reducing habitats, such as vents and seeps. Moreover, we show that sulfur metabolism and molecular mechanisms related to initial infection are remarkably conserved across chemoautotrophic symbionts in different habitats. Unexpectedly, we find that the ability to use hydrogen, as an additional energy source, is potentially more widespread than previously recognized. Our comparative genomic results help elucidate potential mechanisms used to allow chemosynthetically dependent holobionts adapt to, and evolve in, different environments.

RevDate: 2018-07-18

Moretti R, Yen PS, Houé V, et al (2018)

Combining Wolbachia-induced sterility and virus protection to fight Aedes albopictus-borne viruses.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 12(7):e0006626 pii:PNTD-D-18-00260 [Epub ahead of print].

Among the strategies targeting vector control, the exploitation of the endosymbiont Wolbachia to produce sterile males and/or invasive females with reduced vector competence seems to be promising. A new Aedes albopictus transinfection (ARwP-M) was generated by introducing wMel Wolbachia in the ARwP line which had been established previously by replacing wAlbA and wAlbB Wolbachia with the wPip strain. Various infection and fitness parameters were studied by comparing ARwP-M, ARwP and wild-type (SANG population) Ae. albopictus sharing the same genetic background. Moreover, the vector competence of ARwP-M related to chikungunya, dengue and zika viruses was evaluated in comparison with ARwP. ARwP-M showed a 100% rate of maternal inheritance of wMel and wPip Wolbachia. Survival, female fecundity and egg fertility did not show to differ between the three Ae. albopictus lines. Crosses between ARwP-M males and SANG females were fully unfertile regardless of male age while egg hatch in reverse crosses increased from 0 to about 17% with SANG males aging from 3 to 17 days. When competing with SANG males for SANG females, ARwP-M males induced a level of sterility significantly higher than that expected for an equal mating competitiveness (mean Fried index of 1.71 instead of 1). The overall Wolbachia density in ARwP-M females was about 15 fold higher than in ARwP, mostly due to the wMel infection. This feature corresponded to a strongly reduced vector competence for chikungunya and dengue viruses (in both cases, 5 and 0% rates of transmission at 14 and 21 days post infection) with respect to ARwP females. Results regarding Zika virus did not highlight significant differences between ARwP-M and ARwP. However, none of the tested ARwP-M females was capable at transmitting ZIKV. These findings are expected to promote the exploitation of Wolbachia to suppress the wild-type Ae. albopictus populations.

RevDate: 2018-07-18

Kamani J, Harrus S, Nachum-Biala Y, et al (2018)

Pathogenic and endosymbiont apicomplexans in Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) from cats in Jerusalem, Israel.

Comparative immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases, 57:29-33.

This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of pathogenic and endosymbiont apicomplexans in the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) infesting 185 stray cats in Jerusalem, Israel using PCR assay and sequencing approach. Two pathogens, Hepatozoon felis and Babesia vogeli and an endosymbiont Steinina ctenocephali were detected in 1.9%, 0.2% and 5.8% of 685 C. felis evaluated respectively. There was a significant association (p < 0.05) between the prevalence of H. felis and the sex of cats hosting the fleas as well as the season of sampling but not for age or health status of the cats or sex of the fleas tested. Prevalence of S. ctenocephali was significantly (p < 0.001) associated with season, being higher in the warm season. This report represents the first molecular detection of S. ctenocephali in C. felis. Further studies to determine the potential role of C. felis in the epidemiology of H. felis and B. vogeli are warranted.

RevDate: 2018-07-20

Li LH, Zhang Y, Zhu D, et al (2018)

Endosymbionts Alter Larva-to-Nymph Transstadial Transmission of Babesia microti in Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides Ticks.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:1415.

Maternally inherited endosymbionts inhabit a variety of arthropods. Some of them can protect the arthropod host against a wide range of pathogens. However, very little is known about the association between endosymbionts and pathogen susceptibility in ticks. The present study investigated the effect of endosymbionts on larva-to-nymph transstadial transmission of Babesia microti by Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides ticks. Engorged female ticks were injected with PBS, ciprofloxacin or kanamycin. The offspring larvae were used to infest B. microti-positive mice. Prevalence of B. microti among the nymphs in different treatment groups and its association with endosymbiont density in the larvae were analyzed. The results showed that the prevalence of B. microti in the kanamycin-treated group (63.9%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 52.8-75.0%) was higher than that in the PBS (23.6%, 95% CI: 13.8-33.4%) or ciprofloxacin-treated (25.0%, 95% CI: 15.0-35.0%) groups. This increased prevalence was associated with reduced density of Coxiella-like endosymbiont but was not related to the density of Rickettsia-like endosymbiont. No direct evidence has previously been reported about the impact of Coxiella-like endosymbiont on pathogen susceptibility in ticks. This study reveals that endosymbionts are potentially important defensive symbionts of R. haemaphysaloides which may influence the colonization or susceptibility of B. microti in the tick host.

RevDate: 2018-07-11

Lind AE, Lewis WH, Spang A, et al (2018)

Genomes of two archaeal endosymbionts show convergent adaptations to an intracellular lifestyle.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-018-0207-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiosis is a widespread phenomenon in the microbial world and can be based on diverse interactions between endosymbiont and host cell. The vast majority of the known endosymbiotic interactions involve bacteria that have invaded eukaryotic host cells. However, methanogenic archaea have been found to thrive in anaerobic, hydrogenosome-containing protists and it was suggested that this symbiosis is based on the transfer of hydrogen. Here, we used culture-independent genomics approaches to sequence the genomes of two distantly related methanogenic endosymbionts that have been acquired in two independent events by closely related anaerobic ciliate hosts Nyctotherus ovalis and Metopus contortus, respectively. The sequences obtained were then validated as originating from the ciliate endosymbionts by in situ probing experiments. Comparative analyses of these genomes and their closest free-living counterparts reveal that the genomes of both endosymbionts are in an early stage of adaptation towards endosymbiosis as evidenced by the large number of genes undergoing pseudogenization. For instance, the observed loss of genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis in both endosymbiont genomes indicates that the endosymbionts rely on their hosts for obtaining several essential nutrients. Furthermore, the endosymbionts appear to have gained significant amounts of genes of potentially secreted proteins, providing targets for future studies aiming to elucidate possible mechanisms underpinning host-interactions. Altogether, our results provide the first genomic insights into prokaryotic endosymbioses from the archaeal domain of life.

RevDate: 2018-07-10

Guo Y, Hoffmann AA, Xu XQ, et al (2018)

Wolbachia-induced Apoptosis Associated with Increased Fecundity in Laodelphax striatellus (Hemiptera: Delphacidae).

Insect molecular biology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia influence the fitness of their invertebrate hosts. They have effects on reproductive incompatibility and egg production. Although the former are well characterized, the mechanistic basis of the latter is unclear. Here, we investigate whether apoptosis, which has been implicated in fecundity in model insects, influences the interaction between fecundity and Wolbachia in the planthopper, Laodelphax striatellus. Wolbachia-infected females produced about 30% more eggs than uninfected females. We used TUNEL staining to visualize apoptosis. Microscopic observations indicated that the Wolbachia strain wStri increased the number of ovarioles that contained apoptotic nurse cells in both young and aged adult females. The frequency of apoptosis was much higher in the infected females. The increased fecundity appeared to be due to apoptosis of nurse cells, which provides nutrients to the growing oocytes. In addition, cell apoptosis inhibition by caspase mRNA interference (RNAi) in Wolbachia infected L. striatellus markedly decreased egg numbers. Together, these data suggest that wStri might enhance fecundity by increasing the number of apoptotic cells in the ovaries in a caspase-dependent manner. Our findings establish a link between Wolbachia-induced apoptosis and egg production effects mediated by Wolbachia, although the way that the endosymbiont influences caspase levels remains to be determined. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-07-12

Rana G (2018)

Inhibition efficiency of a newly isolated flavonoid compound from Vitex negundo L. leaves against cattle-endosymbiont Setaria cervi: Phytomedicine for lymphatic filariasis.

Parasite epidemiology and control, 3(2):88-95 pii:S2405-6731(17)30057-0.

Experimental studies has been carried out to isolate and identify an active antifilarial compound from Vitex negundo L. plant as it has been used for treatment against filariasis in Indian traditional system of medicine. In vitro antifilarial assay has been carried out against adult filarial parasite Setaria cervi worms by both worm motility and MTT reduction assays. Levels of oxidative stress parameters MDA, carbonyl content and nitric oxide levels have been detected. The isolated compound exhibited significant antifilarial activity in dose dependent manner. The active compound has been chemically characterized and identified as 4,5-diethyl-3'-ethoxy-pyro-flavone.

RevDate: 2018-07-10

Füssy Z, M Oborník (2018)

Complex Endosymbioses I: From Primary to Complex Plastids, Multiple Independent Events.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 1829:17-35.

A substantial portion of eukaryote diversity consists of algae with complex plastids, i.e., plastids originating from eukaryote-to-eukaryote endosymbioses. These plastids are characteristic by a deviating number of envelope membranes (higher than two), and sometimes a remnant nucleus of the endosymbiont alga, termed the nucleomorph, is present. Complex plastid-bearing algae are therefore much like living matryoshka dolls, eukaryotes within eukaryotes. In comparison, primary plastids of Archaeplastida (plants, green algae, red algae, and glaucophytes) arose upon a single endosymbiosis event with a cyanobacterium and are surrounded by two membranes. Complex plastids were acquired several times by unrelated groups nested within eukaryotic heterotrophs, suggesting complex plastids are somewhat easier to obtain than primary plastids. This is consistent with the existence of higher-order and serial endosymbioses, i.e., engulfment of complex plastid-bearing algae by (tertiary) eukaryotic hosts and functional plastid replacements, respectively. Plastid endosymbiosis is typical by a massive transfer of genetic material from the endosymbiont to the host nucleus and metabolic rearrangements related to the trophic switch to phototrophy; this is necessary to establish metabolic integration of the plastid and control over its division. Although photosynthesis is the main advantage of plastid acquisition, algae that lost photosynthesis often maintain complex plastids, suggesting their roles beyond photosynthesis. This chapter summarizes basic knowledge on acquisition and functions of complex plastid.

RevDate: 2018-07-04

Truitt AM, Kapun M, Kaur R, et al (2018)

Wolbachia modifies thermal preference in Drosophila melanogaster.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Environmental variation can have profound and direct effects on fitness, fecundity, and host-symbiont interactions. Replication rates of microbes within arthropod hosts, for example, are correlated with incubation temperature but less is known about the influence of host-symbiont dynamics on environmental preference. Hence, we conducted thermal preference (Tp) assays and tested if infection status and genetic variation in endosymbiont bacterium Wolbachia affected temperature choice of Drosophila melanogaster. We demonstrate that isogenic flies infected with Wolbachia preferred lower temperatures compared to uninfected Drosophila. Moreover, Tp varied with respect to three investigated Wolbachia variants (wMel, wMelCS and wMelPop). While uninfected individuals preferred 24.4°C, we found significant shifts of -1.2°C in wMel- and -4°C in flies infected either with wMelCS or wMelPop. We, therefore, postulate that Wolbachia-associated Tp variation within a host species might represent a behavioral accommodation to host-symbiont interactions and trigger behavioral self-medication and bacterial titer regulation by the host. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-07-08

Showmaker KC, Walden KKO, Fields CJ, et al (2018)

Genome Sequence of the Soybean Cyst Nematode (Heterodera glycines) Endosymbiont "Candidatus Cardinium hertigii" Strain cHgTN10.

Genome announcements, 6(26): pii:6/26/e00624-18.

In this study, we present the genome sequence of the "Candidatus Cardinium hertigii" strain cHgTN10, an endosymbiotic bacterium of the plant-parasitic nematode Heterodera glycines This is the first genome assembly reported for an endosymbiont directly sequenced from a tylenchid nematode.

RevDate: 2018-06-27

Faria VG, Martins NE, Schlötterer C, et al (2018)

Re-adapting to DCV infection without Wolbachia: frequency changes of Drosophila anti-viral alleles can replace endosymbiont protection.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5045875 [Epub ahead of print].

There is now ample evidence that endosymbionts can contribute to host adaptation to environmental challenges. However, how endosymbiont presence affects the adaptive trajectory and outcome of the host is yet largely unexplored. In Drosophila, Wolbachia confers protection to RNA virus infection, an effect that differs between Wolbachia strains and can be targeted by selection. Adaptation to RNA virus infections is mediated by both Wolbachia and the host, raising the question of whether adaptive genetic changes in the host vary with the presence/absence of the endosymbiont. Here, we address this question using a polymorphic D. melanogaster population previously adapted to DCV infection for 35 generations in the presence of Wolbachia, from which we removed the endosymbiont and followed survival over the subsequent 20 generations of infection. After an initial severe drop, survival frequencies upon DCV selection increased significantly, as seen before in the presence of Wolbachia. Whole-genome sequencing, revealed that the major genes involved in the first selection experiment, pastrel and Ubc-E2H, continued to be selected in Wolbachia-free D. melanogaster, with the frequencies of protective alleles being closer to fixation in the absence of Wolbachia. Our results suggest that heterogeneity in Wolbachia infection status may be sufficient to maintain polymorphisms even in the absence of costs.

RevDate: 2018-07-16

Ye Z, Vollhardt IMG, Parth N, et al (2018)

Facultative bacterial endosymbionts shape parasitoid food webs in natural host populations: A correlative analysis.

The Journal of animal ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Facultative bacterial endosymbionts can protect their aphid hosts from natural enemies such as hymenopteran parasitoids. As such, they have the capability to modulate interactions between aphids, parasitoids and hyperparasitoids. However, the magnitude of these effects in natural aphid populations and their associated parasitoid communities is currently unknown. Moreover, environmental factors such as plant fertilization and landscape complexity are known to affect aphid-parasitoid interactions but it remains unclear how such environmental factors affect the interplay between aphids, parasitoids and endosymbionts. Here, we tested whether facultative endosymbionts confer protection to parasitoids in natural populations of the English grain aphid, Sitobion avenae, and if this is affected by plant fertilization and landscape complexity. Furthermore, we examined whether the effects of facultative endosymbionts can cascade up to the hyperparasitoid level and increase primary-hyperparasitoid food web specialization. Living aphids and mummies were collected in fertilized and unfertilized plots within 13 wheat fields in Central Germany. We assessed the occurrence of primary parasitoid, hyperparasitoid and endosymbiont species in aphids and mummies using a newly established molecular approach. Facultative endosymbiont infection rates were high across fields (~80%), independent of whether aphids were parasitized or unparasitized. Aphid mummies exhibited a significantly lower share of facultative endosymbiont infection (~38%). These findings suggest that facultative endosymbionts do not affect parasitoid oviposition behaviour, but decrease parasitoid survival in the host. Facultative endosymbiont infection rates were lower in mummies collected from fertilized compared to unfertilized plants, indicating that plant fertilization boosts the facultative endosymbiont protective effect. Furthermore, we found strong evidence for species-specific and negative cascading effects of facultative endosymbionts on primary and hyperparasitoids, respectively. Facultative endosymbionts impacted parasitoid assemblages and increased the specialization of primary-hyperparasitoid food webs: these effects were independent from and much stronger than other environmental factors. The current findings strongly suggest that facultative endosymbionts act as a driving force in aphid-parasitoid-hyperparasitoid networks: they shape insect community composition at different trophic levels and modulate, directly and indirectly, the interactions between aphids, parasitoids and their environment.

RevDate: 2018-06-26

Cantanhêde LM, Fernandes FG, Ferreira GEM, et al (2018)

New insights into the genetic diversity of Leishmania RNA Virus 1 and its species-specific relationship with Leishmania parasites.

PloS one, 13(6):e0198727 pii:PONE-D-18-15314.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a neglected parasitic disease that manifests in infected individuals under different phenotypes, with a range of factors contributing to its broad clinical spectrum. One factor, Leishmania RNA Virus 1 (LRV1), has been described as an endosymbiont present in different species of Leishmania. LRV1 significantly worsens the lesion, exacerbating the immune response in both experimentally infected animals and infected individuals. Little is known about the composition and genetic diversity of these viruses. Here, we investigated the relationship between the genetic composition of LRV1 detected in strains of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and L. (V.) guyanensis and the interaction between the endosymbiont and the parasitic species, analyzing an approximately 850 base pair region of the viral genome. We also included one LRV1 sequence detected in L. (V.) shawi, representing the first report of LRV1 in a species other than L. braziliensis and L. guyanensis. The results illustrate the genetic diversity of the LRV1 strains analyzed here, with smaller divergences detected among viral sequences from the same parasite species. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the LRV1 sequences are grouped according to the parasite species and possibly according to the population of the parasite in which the virus was detected, corroborating the hypothesis of joint evolution of the viruses with the speciation of Leishmania parasites.

RevDate: 2018-06-14

Gloria-Soria A, Chiodo TG, JR Powell (2018)

Lack of Evidence for Natural Wolbachia Infections in Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae).

Journal of medical entomology pii:5026263 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is a genus of endosymbiotic bacteria that infects 66% of all insect species. Its major impact on insects is in reproduction: sterility, production of one sex, and/or parthenogenesis. Another effect was discovered when the disease-transmitting mosquito, Aedes aegypti Linnaeus (Diptera: Culicidae), was infected with Wolbachia isolated from Drosophila: infected female mosquitoes became less capable of transmitting diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya. This has led to releases of Ae. aegypti carrying Wolbachia in an attempt to control disease. An open question is whether there are natural Wolbachia infections of this mosquito. We assayed DNA from 2,663 Ae. aegypti from 27 countries on six continents, 230 from laboratory strains, and 72 Aedes mascarensis MacGregor (Diptera: Culicidae) for presence of Wolbachia DNA. Within the limits of our polymerase chain reaction-based assay, we found no evidence of Wolbachia, suggesting that natural infections of this endosymbiont are unlikely to occur throughout the worldwide distribution of Ae. aegypti.

RevDate: 2018-06-27

Nikoh N, Tsuchida T, Maeda T, et al (2018)

Genomic Insight into Symbiosis-Induced Insect Color Change by a Facultative Bacterial Endosymbiont, "Candidatus Rickettsiella viridis".

mBio, 9(3): pii:mBio.00890-18.

Members of the genus Rickettsiella are bacterial pathogens of insects and other arthropods. Recently, a novel facultative endosymbiont, "Candidatus Rickettsiella viridis," was described in the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, whose infection causes a striking host phenotype: red and green genetic color morphs exist in aphid populations, and upon infection with the symbiont, red aphids become green due to increased production of green polycyclic quinone pigments. Here we determined the complete genome sequence of the symbiont. The 1.6-Mb circular genome, harboring some 1,400 protein-coding genes, was similar to the genome of entomopathogenic Rickettsiella grylli (1.6 Mb) but was smaller than the genomes of phylogenetically allied human pathogens Coxiella burnetii (2.0 Mb) and Legionella pneumophila (3.4 Mb). The symbiont's metabolic pathways exhibited little complementarity to those of the coexisting primary symbiont Buchnera aphidicola, reflecting the facultative nature of the symbiont. The symbiont genome harbored neither polyketide synthase genes nor the evolutionarily allied fatty acid synthase genes that are suspected to catalyze the polycyclic quinone synthesis, indicating that the green pigments are produced not by the symbiont but by the host aphid. The symbiont genome retained many type IV secretion system genes and presumable effector protein genes, whose homologues in L. pneumophila were reported to modulate a variety of the host's cellular processes for facilitating infection and virulence. These results suggest the possibility that the symbiont is involved in the green pigment production by affecting the host's metabolism using the secretion machineries for delivering the effector molecules into the host cells.IMPORTANCE Insect body color is relevant to a variety of biological aspects such as species recognition, sexual selection, mimicry, aposematism, and crypsis. Hence, the bacterial endosymbiont "Candidatus Rickettsiella viridis," which alters aphid body color from red to green, is of ecological interest, given that different predators preferentially exploit either red- or green-colored aphids. Here we determined the complete 1.6-Mb genome of the symbiont and uncovered that, although the red-green color transition was ascribed to upregulated production of green polycyclic quinone pigments, the symbiont genome harbored few genes involved in the polycyclic quinone biosynthesis. Meanwhile, the symbiont genome contained type IV secretion system genes and presumable effector protein genes, whose homologues modulate eukaryotic cellular processes for facilitating infection and virulence in the pathogen Legionella pneumophila We propose the hypothesis that the symbiont may upregulate the host's production of polycyclic quinone pigments via cooption of secretion machineries and effector molecules for pathogenicity.

RevDate: 2018-06-12

Vasconcelos EJR, Billeter SA, Jett LA, et al (2018)

Assessing Cat Flea Microbiomes in Northern and Southern California by 16S rRNA Next-Generation Sequencing.

Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.) [Epub ahead of print].

Flea-borne diseases (FBDs) impact both human and animal health worldwide. Because adult fleas are obligately hematophagous and can harbor potential pathogens, fleas act as ectoparasites of vertebrates, as well as zoonotic disease vectors. Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) are important vectors of two zoonotic bacterial genera listed as priority pathogens by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID-USA): Bartonella spp. and Rickettsia spp., causative agents of bartonelloses and rickettsioses, respectively. In this study, we introduce the first microbiome analysis of C. felis samples from California, determining the presence and abundance of relevant pathogenic genera by characterizing the cat flea microbiome through 16S rRNA next-generation sequencing (16S-NGS). Samples from both northern (NoCal) and southern (SoCal) California were assessed to expand current knowledge regarding FBDs in the state. We identified Rickettsia and Bartonella, as well as the endosymbiont Wolbachia, as the most abundant genera, followed by less abundant taxa. In comparison to our previous study screening Californian cat fleas for rickettsiae using PCR/digestion/sequencing of the ompB gene, the 16S-NGS approach applied herein showed a 95% level of agreement in detecting Rickettsia spp. There was no overall difference in microbiome diversity between NoCal and SoCal samples. Bacterial taxa identified by 16S-NGS in this study may help to improve epidemiological investigations, pathogen surveillance efforts, and clinical diagnostics of FBDs in California and elsewhere.

RevDate: 2018-06-15

Frommlet JC, Wangpraseurt D, Sousa ML, et al (2018)

Symbiodinium-Induced Formation of Microbialites: Mechanistic Insights From in Vitro Experiments and the Prospect of Its Occurrence in Nature.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:998.

Dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium exhibit a variety of life styles, ranging from mutualistic endosymbioses with animal and protist hosts to free-living life styles. In culture, Symbiodinium spp. and naturally associated bacteria are known to form calcifying biofilms that produce so-called symbiolites, i.e., aragonitic microbialites that incorporate Symbiodinium as endolithic cells. In this study, we investigated (i) how algal growth and the combined physiological activity of these bacterial-algal associations affect the physicochemical macroenvironment in culture and the microenvironment within bacterial-algal biofilms, and (ii) how these interactions induce the formation of symbiolites. In batch culture, calcification typically commenced when Symbiodinium spp. growth approached stationary phase and when photosynthetic activity and its influence on pH and the carbonate system of the culture medium had already subsided, indicating that symbiolite formation is not simply a function of photosynthetic activity in the bulk medium. Physical disturbance of bacteria-algal biofilms, via repeated detaching and dispersing of the developing biofilm, generally impeded symbiolite formation, suggesting that the structural integrity of biofilms plays an important role in generating conditions conducive to calcification. Microsensor measurements of pH and O2 revealed a biofilm microenvironment characterized by high photosynthetic rates and by dynamic changes in photosynthesis and respiration with light intensity and culture age. Ca2+ microsensor measurements confirmed the significance of the biofilm microenvironment in inducing calcification, as photosynthesis within the biofilm induced calcification without the influence of batch culture medium and under environmentally relevant flow conditions. Furthermore, first quantitative data on calcification from 26 calcifying cultures enabled a first broad comparison of Symbiodinium-induced bacterial-algal calcification with other calcification processes. Our findings support the idea that symbiolite formation is a typical, photosynthesis-induced, bacterial-algal calcification process that is likely to occur under natural conditions.

RevDate: 2018-07-15

Badawi M, Moumen B, Giraud I, et al (2018)

Investigating the Molecular Genetic Basis of Cytoplasmic Sex Determination Caused by Wolbachia Endosymbionts in Terrestrial Isopods.

Genes, 9(6): pii:genes9060290.

In animals, sexual differences between males and females are usually determined by sex chromosomes. Alternatively, sex may also be determined by vertically transmitted intracellular microbial endosymbionts. The best known cytoplasmic sex manipulative endosymbiont is Wolbachia which can, for instance, feminize genetic males into phenotypic females in the terrestrial isopod Armadillidium vulgare. However, the molecular genetic basis of cytoplasmic sex determination is unknown. To identify candidate genes of feminization induced by Wolbachia strain wVulC from A. vulgare, we sequenced the genome of Wolbachia strain wCon from Cylisticus convexus, the most closely related known Wolbachia strain to wVulC that does not induce feminization, and compared it to the wVulC genome. Then, we performed gene expression profiling of the 216 resulting wVulC candidate genes throughout host developmental stages in A. vulgare and the heterologous host C. convexus. We identified a set of 35 feminization candidate genes showing differential expression during host sexual development. Interestingly, 27 of the 35 genes are present in the f element, which is a piece of a feminizing Wolbachia genome horizontally transferred into the nuclear genome of A. vulgare and involved in female sex determination. Assuming that the molecular genetic basis of feminization by Wolbachia and the f element is the same, the 27 genes are candidates for acting as master sex determination genes in A. vulgare females carrying the f element.

RevDate: 2018-06-08

Yurchenko T, Ševčíková T, Přibyl P, et al (2018)

A gene transfer event suggests a long-term partnership between eustigmatophyte algae and a novel lineage of endosymbiotic bacteria.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-018-0177-y [Epub ahead of print].

Rickettsiales are obligate intracellular bacteria originally found in metazoans, but more recently recognized as widespread endosymbionts of various protists. One genus was detected also in several green algae, but reports on rickettsialean endosymbionts in other algal groups are lacking. Here we show that several distantly related eustigmatophytes (coccoid algae belonging to Ochrophyta, Stramenopiles) are infected by Candidatus Phycorickettsia gen. nov., a new member of the family Rickettsiaceae. The genome sequence of Ca. Phycorickettsia trachydisci sp. nov., an endosymbiont of Trachydiscus minutus CCALA 838, revealed genomic features (size, GC content, number of genes) typical for other Rickettsiales, but some unusual aspects of the gene content were noted. Specifically, Phycorickettsia lacks genes for several components of the respiration chain, haem biosynthesis pathway, or c-di-GMP-based signalling. On the other hand, it uniquely harbours a six-gene operon of enigmatic function that we recently reported from plastid genomes of two distantly related eustigmatophytes and from various non-rickettsialean bacteria. Strikingly, the eustigmatophyte operon is closely related to the one from Phycorickettsia, suggesting a gene transfer event between the endosymbiont and host lineages in early eustigmatophyte evolution. We hypothesize an important role of the operon in the physiology of Phycorickettsia infection and a long-term eustigmatophyte-Phycorickettsia coexistence.

RevDate: 2018-06-18

Heddi A, A Zaidman-Rémy (2018)

Endosymbiosis as a source of immune innovation.

Comptes rendus biologies, 341(5):290-296.

Some years ago, Lynn Margulis proposed to envision symbiosis as a source of evolutionary innovation. Here we revisit this concept in the context of insect nutritional endosymbiosis, and discuss recent data suggesting that host-endosymbiont coevolution has led to the selection of innovative strategies towards endosymbiont maintenance and control by the host immune system.

RevDate: 2018-06-08

Li J, Wang N, Liu Y, et al (2018)

Proteomics of Nasonia vitripennis and the effects of native Wolbachia infection on N. vitripennis.

PeerJ, 6:e4905 pii:4905.

Background: Nasonia vitripennis, a parasitic wasp, is a good model organism to study developmental and evolutionary genetics and to evaluate the interactions between insect hosts and their symbionts. Wolbachia may be the most prevalent endosymbiont among insect species due to their special ability to improve the fitness of the infected hosts. Transinfection of bacteria or fungi could substantially alter the expression of host immune system components. However, few studies have focused on the effects of native Wolbachia infection. Accordingly, in this study, we evaluated the proteomics of N. vitripennis following Wolbachia infection.

Methods: We studied the proteomics of N. vitripennis following native Wolbachia infection and in antibiotic-treated Wolbachia-free samples using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification-liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, accompanying with some ecological experiments.

Results: In total, 3,096 proteins were found to be associated with a wide range of biological processes, molecular functions, and cellular components. Interestingly, there were few significant changes in immune or reproductive proteins between samples with and without Wolbachia infection. Differentially expressed proteins were involved in the binding process, catalytic activity, and the metabolic process, as confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.

Discussion: Invasion of any pathogen or bacterium within a short time can cause an immunoreaction in the host. Our results implied that during the long process of coexistence, the immune system of the host was not as sensitive as when the symbiont initially infected the host, implying that the organisms had gradually adjusted to cohabitation.

RevDate: 2018-06-03

Dearth SP, Castro HF, Venice F, et al (2018)

Metabolome changes are induced in the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Gigaspora margarita by germination and by its bacterial endosymbiont.

Mycorrhiza pii:10.1007/s00572-018-0838-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Metabolomic profiling is becoming an increasingly important technique in the larger field of systems biology by allowing the simultaneous measurement of thousands of small molecules participating in and resulting from cellular reactions. In this way, metabolomics presents an opportunity to observe the physiological state of a system, which may provide the ability to monitor the whole of cellular metabolism as the technology progresses. The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Gigaspora margarita has not previously been explored with regard to metabolite composition. To develop a better understanding of G. margarita and the influences of its endosymbiont Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum, a metabolomic analysis was applied to quiescent and germinated spores with and without endobacteria. Over 100 metabolites were identified and greater than 2600 unique unidentified spectral features were observed. Multivariate analysis of the metabolomes was performed, and a differentiation between all metabolic states of spores and spores hosting the endobacteria was observed. The known metabolites were recruited to many biochemical pathways, with many being involved in maintenance of the antioxidant potential, tyrosine metabolism, and melanin production. Each of the pathways had higher metabolite abundances in the presence of the endosymbiont. These metabolomics data also agree with previously reported transcriptomics results demonstrating the capability of this technique to confirm hypotheses and showing the feasibility of multi-omic approaches for the study of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and their endobacterial communities. Challenges still exist in metabolomic analysis, e.g., the identification of compounds is demanding due to incomplete libraries. A metabolomics technique to probe the effects of bacterial endosymbionts on fungal physiology is presented herein, and this method is useful for hypothesis generation as well as testing as noted above.

RevDate: 2018-07-13

Kinjo Y, Bourguignon T, Tong KJ, et al (2018)

Parallel and Gradual Genome Erosion in the Blattabacterium Endosymbionts of Mastotermes darwiniensis and Cryptocercus Wood Roaches.

Genome biology and evolution, 10(6):1622-1630.

Almost all examined cockroaches harbor an obligate intracellular endosymbiont, Blattabacterium cuenoti. On the basis of genome content, Blattabacterium has been inferred to recycle nitrogen wastes and provide amino acids and cofactors for its hosts. Most Blattabacterium strains sequenced to date harbor a genome of ∼630 kbp, with the exception of the termite Mastotermes darwiniensis (∼590 kbp) and Cryptocercus punctulatus (∼614 kbp), a representative of the sister group of termites. Such genome reduction may have led to the ultimate loss of Blattabacterium in all termites other than Mastotermes. In this study, we sequenced 11 new Blattabacterium genomes from three species of Cryptocercus in order to shed light on the genomic evolution of Blattabacterium in termites and Cryptocercus. All genomes of Cryptocercus-derived Blattabacterium genomes were reduced (∼614 kbp), except for that associated with Cryptocercus kyebangensis, which comprised 637 kbp. Phylogenetic analysis of these genomes and their content indicates that Blattabacterium experienced parallel genome reduction in Mastotermes and Cryptocercus, possibly due to similar selective forces. We found evidence of ongoing genome reduction in Blattabacterium from three lineages of the C. punctulatus species complex, which independently lost one cysteine biosynthetic gene. We also sequenced the genome of the Blattabacterium associated with Salganea taiwanensis, a subsocial xylophagous cockroach that does not vertically transmit gut symbionts via proctodeal trophallaxis. This genome was 632 kbp, typical of that of nonsubsocial cockroaches. Overall, our results show that genome reduction occurred on multiple occasions in Blattabacterium, and is still ongoing, possibly because of new associations with gut symbionts in some lineages.

RevDate: 2018-06-02

Almeida C, Silva Pereira C, Gonzalez-Menendez V, et al (2018)

Unveiling concealed functions of endosymbiotic bacteria harboured in the Ascomycota Stachylidium bicolor.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00660-18 [Epub ahead of print].

Amongst the plethora of unusual secondary metabolites isolated from Stachylidium bicolor are the tetrapeptidic endolides A and B. Both tetrapeptides contain 3-(3-furyl)-alanine residues, previously proposed to originate from bacterial metabolism. Inspired by this observation, we aimed to identify the presence of endosymbiotic bacteria in S. bicolor and to discover the true producer of the endolides. The endobacterium Burkholderia contaminans was initially detected by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing from the fungal metagenome and was subsequently isolated. It was confirmed that the tetrapeptides were produced by the axenic B. contaminans only when in latency. Fungal colonies unable to produce conidia and the tetrapeptides were isolated and confirmed to be free of B. contaminans A second endosymbiont identified as related to Sphingomonas leidyi was also isolated. In situ imaging of the mycelium supported an endosymbiotic relationship between S. bicolor and the two endobacteria. Besides the technical novelty, our in situ analyses revealed that the two endobacteria are compartmentalised in defined fungal cells, prevailing mostly in latency when in symbiosis. Within the emerging field of intracellular bacterial symbioses, fungi are the least studied eukaryotic hosts. Our study further supports the Fungi as a valuable model for understanding endobacterial symbioses in eukaryotes.Importance Discovery of two bacterial endosymbionts harboured in Stachylidium bicolor mycelium: Burkholderia contaminans and Sphingomonas leidyi. Production of tetrapeptides inside the mycelium is ensured by B. contaminans, and fungal sporulation is influenced by the endosymbionts. Herein we illustrate the bacterial endosymbiotic origin of secondary metabolites in an Ascomycota host.

RevDate: 2018-07-05

Sinotte VM, Freedman SN, Ugelvig LV, et al (2018)

Camponotusfloridanus Ants Incur a Trade-Off between Phenotypic Development and Pathogen Susceptibility from Their Mutualistic Endosymbiont Blochmannia.

Insects, 9(2): pii:insects9020058.

Various insects engage in microbial mutualisms in which the reciprocal benefits exceed the costs. Ants of the genus Camponotus benefit from nutrient supplementation by their mutualistic endosymbiotic bacteria, Blochmannia, but suffer a cost in tolerating and regulating the symbiont. This cost suggests that the ants face secondary consequences such as susceptibility to pathogenic infection and transmission. In order to elucidate the symbiont's effects on development and disease defence, Blochmannia floridanus was reduced in colonies of Camponotus floridanus using antibiotics. Colonies with reduced symbiont levels exhibited workers of smaller body size, smaller colony size, and a lower major-to-minor worker caste ratio, indicating the symbiont's crucial role in development. Moreover, these ants had decreased cuticular melanisation, yet higher resistance to the entomopathogen Metarhizium brunneum, suggesting that the symbiont reduces the ants' ability to fight infection, despite the availability of melanin to aid in mounting an immune response. While the benefits of improved growth and development likely drive the mutualism, the symbiont imposes a critical trade-off. The ants' increased susceptibility to infection exacerbates the danger of pathogen transmission, a significant risk given ants' social lifestyle. Thus, the results warrant research into potential adaptations of the ants and pathogens that remedy and exploit the described disease vulnerability.

RevDate: 2018-06-08

Dahmani M, Tahir D, Cabre O, et al (2018)

Prevalence of Anaplasmataceae and Filariidae species in unowned and military dogs in New Caledonia.

Veterinary medicine and science, 4(2):140-149.

Dogs are competent reservoir hosts of several zoonotic agents, including Filariidae nematodes and Anaplasmataceae family bacteria. The latter family unites human and veterinary pathogens (Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and Neorickettsia bacteria) with Wolbachia, some of which are obligatory endosymbionts of pathogenic filarial nematodes. The epidemiology of Anaplasmataceae and Filariidae species infecting dogs living in kennels in New Caledonia was studied. 64 EDTA blood samples were screened for the presence of Anaplasmataceae and filarial nematodes. Molecular study was conducted using primers and probe targeting the of 23S rRNA long fragment of Anaplasmataceae species. Next, all blood sample was screened for the presence of Filariidae species targeting the primers and probe targeting the COI gene, as well as primers targeting the COI and 5S rRNA genes of all filarial worms. Anaplasma platys was identified in 8/64 (12.5, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.4-20.6%) and Wolbachia endosymbiont of Dirofilaria immitis in 8/64 (12.5%, CI: 4.4-20.6%). Filariidae species investigation was performed and showed that 11/64 (17.2%, CI: 7.9-26.4%) dogs were infected with D. immitis, whereas, 2/64 (3.1%, CI: 0.0-7.3%) were infected with Acanthocheilonema reconditum. Finally, we checked the occurrence of co-infection between Anaplasmataceae and Filariidae species. Co-occurrence with Wolbachia endosymbiont of D. immitis was observed in seven dogs, one dog was co-infected with A. platys and A. reconditum and another was co-infected with Wolbachia endosymbiont of D. immitis and A. reconditum. These results are the first report of Anaplasmataceae and Filariidae occurring in dogs in New Caledonia.

RevDate: 2018-05-31

Ote M, D Yamamoto (2018)

The Wolbachia protein TomO interacts with a host RNA to induce polarization defects in Drosophila oocytes.

Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is an endosymbiont prevalent in arthropods. To maximize its transmission thorough the female germline, Wolbachia induces in infected hosts male-to-female transformation, male killing, parthenogenesis, and cytoplasmic incompatibility, depending on the host species and Wolbachia strain involved. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these host manipulations by Wolbachia remain largely unknown. The Wolbachia strain wMel, an inhabitant of Drosophila melanogaster, impairs host oogenesis only when transplanted into a heterologous host, for example, Drosophila simulans. We found that egg polarity defects induced by wMel infection in D. simulans can be recapitulated in the natural host D. melanogaster by transgenic overexpression of a variant of the Wolbachia protein Toxic manipulator of oogenesis (TomO), TomOwMel∆HS , in the female germline. RNA immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that TomO physically associates with orb mRNA, which, as a result, fails to interact with the translation repressor Cup. This leads to precocious translation of Orb, a posterior determinant, and thereby to the misspecification of oocytes and accompanying polarity defects. We propose that the ability of TomO to bind to orb mRNA might provide a means for Wolbachia to enter the oocyte located at the posterior end of the egg chamber, thereby accomplishing secure maternal transmission thorough the female germline.

RevDate: 2018-05-30

O'Neill SL (2018)

The Use of Wolbachia by the World Mosquito Program to Interrupt Transmission of Aedes aegypti Transmitted Viruses.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1062:355-360.

The biological control of mosquito transmission by the use of the naturally occurring insect-specific bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia has been successfully tested in small field trials. The approach has been translated successfully to larger field sites in Townsville, Australia and expanded to more than 10 countries through the Eliminate Dengue Program. The broader application of the program beyond limiting the transmission of dengue and including other Aedes aegypti borne mosquitoes has seen the program growing into a global not-for-profit initiative to be known as the World Mosquito Program.

RevDate: 2018-05-29

Ali H, Muhammad A, Y Hou (2018)

Infection Density Dynamics and Phylogeny of Wolbachia Associated with Coconut Hispine Beetle, Brontispa longissima (Gestro) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), by Multilocus Sequence Type (MLST) Genotyping.

Journal of microbiology and biotechnology, 28(5):796-808.

The intracellular bacterium Wolbachia pipientis is widespread in arthropods. Recently, possibilities of novel Wolbachia-mediated hosts, their distribution, and natural rate have been anticipated, and the coconut leaf beetle Brontispa longissima (Gestro) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), which has garnered attention as a serious pest of palms, was subjected to this interrogation. By adopting Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) and multilocus sequence type (MLST) genotypic systems, we determined the Wolbachia infection density within host developmental stages, body parts, and tissues, and the results revealed that all the tested samples of B. longissima were infected with the same Wolbachia strain (wLog), suggesting complete vertical transmission. The MLST profile elucidated two new alleles (ftsZ-234 and coxA-266) that define a new sequence type (ST-483), which indicates the particular genotypic association of B. longissima and Wolbachia. The quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed a higher infection density in the eggs and adult stage, followed by the abdomen and reproductive tissues, respectively. However, no significant differences were observed in the infection density between sexes. Moreover, the wsp and concatenated MLST alignment analysis of this study with other known Wolbachia-mediated arthropods revealed similar clustering with distinct monophyletic supergroup B. This is the first comprehensive report on the prevalence, infection dynamics, and phylogeny of the Wolbachia endosymbiont in B. longissima, which demonstrated that Wolbachia is ubiquitous across all developmental stages and distributed in the entire body of B. longissima. Understanding the Wolbachia infection dynamics would provide useful insight to build a framework for future investigations, understand its impacts on host physiology, and exploit it as a potential biocontrol agent.

RevDate: 2018-07-18

Mertens J, Aliyu H, DA Cowan (2018)

LEA Proteins and the Evolution of the WHy Domain.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 84(15): pii:AEM.00539-18.

The late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) family is composed of a diverse collection of multidomain and multifunctional proteins found in all three domains of the tree of life, but they are particularly common in plants. Most members of the family are known to play an important role in abiotic stress response and stress tolerance in plants but are also part of the plant hypersensitive response to pathogen infection. The mechanistic basis for LEA protein functionality is still poorly understood. The group of LEA 2 proteins harbor one or more copies of a unique domain, the water stress and hypersensitive response (WHy) domain. This domain sequence has recently been identified as a unique open reading frame (ORF) in some bacterial genomes (mostly in the phylum Firmicutes), and the recombinant bacterial WHy protein has been shown to exhibit a stress tolerance phenotype in Escherichia coli and an in vitro protein denaturation protective function. Multidomain phylogenetic analyses suggest that the WHy protein gene sequence may have ancestral origins in the domain Archaea, with subsequent acquisition in Bacteria and eukaryotes via endosymbiont or horizontal gene transfer mechanisms. Here, we review the structure, function, and nomenclature of LEA proteins, with a focus on the WHy domain as an integral component of the LEA constructs and as an independent protein.

RevDate: 2018-05-25

Beinart RA, Rotterová J, Čepička I, et al (2018)

The genome of an endosymbiotic methanogen is very similar to those of its free-living relatives.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The methanogenic endosymbionts of anaerobic protists represent the only known intracellular archaea, yet, almost nothing is known about genome structure and content in these lineages. Here, an almost complete genome of an intracellular Methanobacterium species was assembled from a metagenome derived from its host ciliate, a Heterometopus species. Phylogenomic analysis showed that the endosymbiont was closely related to free-living Methanobacterium isolates, and when compared to the genomes of free-living Methanobacterium, the endosymbiont did not show significant reduction in genome size or GC content. Additionally, the Methanobacterium endosymbiont genome shared the majority of its genes with its closest relative, though it did also contain unique genes possibly involved in interactions with the host via membrane-associated proteins, the removal of toxic by-products from host metabolism, and the production of small signaling molecules. Though anaerobic ciliates have been shown to transmit their endosymbionts to daughter cells during division, the results presented here could suggest that the endosymbiotic Methanobacterium did not experience significant genetic isolation or drift, and/or that this lineage was only recently acquired. Altogether, comparative genomic analysis identified genes potentially involved in the establishment and maintenance of the symbiosis, as well provided insight into the genomic consequences for an intracellular archaeum. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-05-25

Leybourne DJ, Bos JIB, Valentine TA, et al (2018)

The price of protection: a defensive endosymbiont impairs nymph growth in the bird cherry-oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial endosymbionts have enabled aphids to adapt to a range of stressors, but their effects in many aphid species remain to be established. The bird cherry-oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (Linnaeus), is an important pest of cereals worldwide and has been reported to form symbiotic associations with Serratia symbiotica and Sitobion miscanthi L-type Symbiont endobacteria, although the resulting aphid phenotype has not been described. This study presents the first report of R. padi infection with the facultative bacterial endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa. Individuals of R. padi were sampled from populations in Eastern Scotland, UK, and shown to represent seven R. padi genotypes based on the size of polymorphic microsatellite markers; two of these genotypes harboured H. defensa. In parasitism assays, survival of H. defensa-infected nymphs following attack by the parasitoid wasp Aphidius colemani (Viereck) was five-fold higher than for uninfected nymphs. Aphid genotype was a major determinant of aphid performance on two Hordeum species, a modern cultivar of barley H. vulgaris and a wild relative H. spontaneum, although aphids infected with H. defensa showed 16% lower nymph mass gain on the partially-resistant wild relative compared with uninfected individuals. These findings suggest that deploying resistance traits in barley will favour the fittest R. padi genotypes, but symbiont-infected individuals will be favoured when parasitoids are abundant, although these aphids will not achieve optimal performance on a poor quality host plant. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-06-24

Bakovic V, Schebeck M, Telschow A, et al (2018)

Spatial spread of Wolbachia in Rhagoletis cerasi populations.

Biology letters, 14(5):.

The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia has been used to control insect pests owing to its ability to manipulate their life history and suppress infectious diseases. Therefore, knowledge on Wolbachia dynamics in natural populations is fundamental. The European cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi, is infected with the Wolbachia strain wCer2, mainly present in southern and central European populations, and is currently spreading into wCer2-uninfected populations driven by high unidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility. Here, we describe the distribution of wCer2 along two transition zones where the infection is spreading into wCer2-uninfected R. cerasi populations. Fine-scale sampling of 19 populations in the Czech Republic showed a smooth decrease of wCer2 frequency from south to north within a distance of less than 20 km. Sampling of 12 Hungarian populations, however, showed a sharp decline of wCer2 infection frequency within a few kilometres. We fitted a standard wave equation to our empirical data and estimated a Wolbachia wave speed of 1.9 km yr-1 in the Czech Republic and 1.0 km yr-1 in Hungary. Considering the univoltine life cycle and limited dispersal ability of R. cerasi, our study highlights a rapid Wolbachia spread in natural host populations.

RevDate: 2018-06-08

Funkhouser-Jones LJ, van Opstal EJ, Sharma A, et al (2018)

The Maternal Effect Gene Wds Controls Wolbachia Titer in Nasonia.

Current biology : CB, 28(11):1692-1702.e6.

Maternal transmission of intracellular microbes is pivotal in establishing long-term, intimate symbioses. For germline microbes that exert negative reproductive effects on their hosts, selection can theoretically favor the spread of host genes that counteract the microbe's harmful effects. Here, we leverage a major difference in bacterial (Wolbachia pipientis) titers between closely related wasp species with forward genetic, transcriptomic, and cytological approaches to map two quantitative trait loci that suppress bacterial titers via a maternal effect. Fine mapping and knockdown experiments identify the gene Wolbachia density suppressor (Wds), which dominantly suppresses bacterial transmission from mother to embryo. Wds evolved by lineage-specific non-synonymous changes driven by positive selection. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that a genetically simple change arose by positive Darwinian selection in less than a million years to regulate maternally transmitted bacteria via a dominant, maternal effect gene.

RevDate: 2018-05-25

Kaufman EL, Stone NE, Scoles GA, et al (2018)

Range-wide genetic analysis of Dermacentor variabilis and its Francisella-like endosymbionts demonstrates phylogeographic concordance between both taxa.

Parasites & vectors, 11(1):306 pii:10.1186/s13071-018-2886-5.

BACKGROUND: The American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, is an important vector of pathogens to humans, wildlife and domestic animals in North America. Although this tick species is widely distributed in the USA and Canada, knowledge of its range-wide phylogeographic patterns remains incomplete.

METHODS: We carried out a phylogenetic analysis of D. variabilis using samples collected from 26 USA states and five Canadian provinces. Tick samples (n = 1053 in total) originated from two main sources: existing archives (2000-2011), and new collections made from 2012 to 2013. We sequenced a 691 bp fragment of the cox1 gene from a subset (n = 332) of geographically diverse D. variabilis. DNA extracted from individual ticks (n = 1053) was also screened for a Francisella-like endosymbiont, using a targeted 16S rRNA sequencing approach, and important pathogens (Rickettsia spp. and Coxiella burnetii), using species-specific quantitative PCR assays.

RESULTS: Maximum parsimony analysis of cox1 sequences revealed two major groups within D. variabilis with distinct geographical distributions: one from the eastern USA/Canada (Group 1) and one from the west coast states of the USA (California and Washington; Group 2). However, genetic subdivisions within both of these two major groups were weak to moderate and not tightly correlated with geography. We found molecular signatures consistent with Francisella-like endosymbionts in 257 of the DNA extracts from the 1053 individual ticks, as well as Rickettsia spp. and Coxiella burnetii in a small number of ticks (n = 29 and 2, respectively). Phylogenetic patterns for Francisella-like endosymbionts, constructed using sequence data from the bacterial 16S rRNA locus, were similar to those for D. variabilis, with two major groups that had a nearly perfect one-to-one correlation with the two major groups within D. variabilis.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings reveal a distinct phylogenetic split between the two major D. variabilis populations. However, high levels of genetic mixture among widely separated geographical localities occur within each of these two major groups. Furthermore, our phylogenetic analyses provide evidence of long-term tick-symbiont co-evolution. This work has implications for understanding the dispersal and evolutionary ecology of D. variabilis and associated vector-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2018-07-09
CmpDate: 2018-07-09

Schebeck M, Feldkirchner L, Marín B, et al (2018)

Reproductive Manipulators in the Bark Beetle Pityogenes chalcographus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)-The Role of Cardinium, Rickettsia, Spiroplasma, and Wolbachia.

Journal of insect science (Online), 18(3):.

Heritable bacterial endosymbionts can alter the biology of numerous arthropods. They can influence the reproductive outcome of infected hosts, thus affecting the ecology and evolution of various arthropod species. The spruce bark beetle Pityogenes chalcographus (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) was reported to express partial, unidirectional crossing incompatibilities among certain European populations. Knowledge on the background of these findings is lacking; however, bacterial endosymbionts have been assumed to manipulate the reproduction of this beetle. Previous work reported low-density and low-frequency Wolbachia infections of P. chalcographus but found it unlikely that this infection results in reproductive alterations. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis of an endosymbiont-driven incompatibility, other than Wolbachia, reflected by an infection pattern on a wide geographic scale. We performed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening of 226 individuals from 18 European populations for the presence of the endosymbionts Cardinium, Rickettsia, and Spiroplasma, and additionally screened these individuals for Wolbachia. Positive PCR products were sequenced to characterize these bacteria. Our study shows a low prevalence of these four endosymbionts in P. chalcographus. We detected a yet undescribed Spiroplasma strain in a single individual from Greece. This is the first time that this endosymbiont has been found in a bark beetle. Further, Wolbachia was detected in three beetles from two Scandinavian populations and two new Wolbachia strains were described. None of the individuals analyzed were infected with Cardinium and Rickettsia. The low prevalence of bacteria found here does not support the hypothesis of an endosymbiont-driven reproductive incompatibility in P. chalcographus.

RevDate: 2018-07-05

Kim D, Minhas BF, Li-Byarlay H, et al (2018)

Key Transport and Ammonia Recycling Genes Involved in Aphid Symbiosis Respond to Host-Plant Specialization.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 8(7):2433-2443 pii:g3.118.200297.

Microbes are known to influence insect-plant interactions; however, it is unclear if host-plant diet influences the regulation of nutritional insect symbioses. The pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, requires its nutritional endosymbiont, Buchnera, for the production of essential amino acids. We hypothesize that key aphid genes that regulate the nutritional symbioses respond to host-plant diet when aphids feed on a specialized (alfalfa) compared to a universal host-plant diet (fava), which vary in amino acid profiles. Using RNA-Seq and whole genome bisulfite sequencing, we measured gene expression and DNA methylation profiles for such genes when aphids fed on either their specialized or universal host-plant diets. Our results reveal that when aphids feed on their specialized host-plant they significantly up-regulate and/or hypo-methylate key aphid genes in bacteriocytes related to the amino acid metabolism, including glutamine synthetase in the GOGAT cycle that recycles ammonia into glutamine and the glutamine transporter ApGLNT1 Moreover, regardless of what host-plant aphids feed on we observed significant up-regulation and differential methylation of key genes involved in the amino acid metabolism and the glycine/serine metabolism, a metabolic program observed in proliferating cancer cells potentially to combat oxidative stress. Based on our results, we suggest that this regulatory response of key symbiosis genes in bacteriocytes allows aphids to feed on a suboptimal host-plant that they specialize on.

RevDate: 2018-05-18

Szebenyi DM, Kriksunov I, Howe KJ, et al (2018)

Crystal structure of diaphorin methanol monosolvate isolated from Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, the insect vector of citrus greening disease.

Acta crystallographica. Section E, Crystallographic communications, 74(Pt 4):445-449 pii:su5424.

The title compound C22H39NO9·CH3OH [systematic name: (S)-N-((S)-{(2S,4R,6R)-6-[(S)-2,3-di-hydroxy-prop-yl]-4-hy-droxy-5,5-di-methyl-tetra-hydro-2H-pyran-2-yl}(hy-droxy)meth-yl)-2-hy-droxy-2-[(2R,5R,6R)-2-meth-oxy-5,6-dimeth-yl-4-methyl-ene-tetra-hydro-2H-pyran-2-yl]acetamide methanol monosolvate], was isolated from the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, and crystallizes in the space group P21. 'Candidatus Profftella armatura' a bacterial endosymbiont of D. citri, biosynthesizes diaphorin, which is a hybrid polyketide-nonribosomal peptide comprising two highly substituted tetra-hydro-pyran rings joined by an N-acyl aminal bridge [Nakabachi et al. (2013 ▸). Curr. Biol.23, 1478-1484]. The crystal structure of the title compound establishes the complete relative configuration of diaphorin, which agrees at all nine chiral centers with the structure of the methanol monosolvate of the di-p-bromo-benzoate derivative of pederin, a biogenically related compound whose crystal structure was reported previously [Furusaki et al. (1968 ▸). Tetra-hedron Lett.9, 6301-6304]. Thus, the absolute configuration of diaphorin is proposed by analogy to that of pederin.

RevDate: 2018-05-18

Hu W, Kuang F, Lu Z, et al (2018)

Killing Effects of an Isolated Serratia marcescens KH-001 on Diaphorina citri via Lowering the Endosymbiont Numbers.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:860.

Huanglongbing (HLB) is the most devastating citrus disease worldwide, and suppression of the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) is regarded as an effective method to inhibit the spread of HLB. In this study, we isolated a strain named as Serratia marcescens KH-001 from D. citri nymphs suffering from disease, and evaluated its killing effect on D. citri via toxicity test and effect on microbial community in D. citri using high-throughput sequencing. Our results indicated that S. marcescens KH-001 could effectively kill 83% of D. citri nymphs, while the fermentation products of S. marcescens KH-001 only killed 40% of the D. citrinymphs. High-throughput sequencing results indicated that the S. marcescens KH-001 increased the OTU numbers from 62.5 (PBS buffer) to 81.5, while significantly lowered the Shannon index compared with Escherichia coli DH5α (group E) (p < 0.05). OTU analysis showed that the S. marcescens KH-001 had significantly reduced the relative abundance of endosymbionts Wolbachia, Profftella, and Carsonella in group S compared with that in other groups (p < 0.05). Therefore, the direct killing effect of the fermentation products of S. marcescens KH-001 and the indirect effect via reducing the numbers of endosymbionts (Wolbachia, Profftella, and Carsonella) of D. citri endow S. marcescens KH-001 a sound killing effect on D. citri. Further work need to do before this strain is used as a sound biological control agents.

RevDate: 2018-05-17

Zepeda-Paulo F, Ortiz-Martínez S, Silva AX, et al (2018)

Low bacterial community diversity in two introduced aphid pests revealed with 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing.

PeerJ, 6:e4725 pii:4725.

Bacterial endosymbionts that produce important phenotypic effects on their hosts are common among plant sap-sucking insects. Aphids have become a model system of insect-symbiont interactions. However, endosymbiont research has focused on a few aphid species, making it necessary to make greater efforts to other aphid species through different regions, in order to have a better understanding of the role of endosymbionts in aphids as a group. Aphid endosymbionts have frequently been studied by PCR-based techniques, using species-specific primers, nevertheless this approach may omit other non-target bacteria cohabiting a particular host species. Advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies are complementing our knowledge of microbial communities by allowing us the study of whole microbiome of different organisms. We used a 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing approach to study the microbiome of aphids in order to describe the bacterial community diversity in introduced populations of the cereal aphids, Sitobion avenae and Rhopalosiphum padi in Chile (South America). An absence of secondary endosymbionts and two common secondary endosymbionts of aphids were found in the aphids R. padi and S. avenae, respectively. Of those endosymbionts, Regiella insecticola was the dominant secondary endosymbiont among the aphid samples. In addition, the presence of a previously unidentified bacterial species closely related to a phytopathogenic Pseudomonad species was detected. We discuss these results in relation to the bacterial endosymbiont diversity found in other regions of the native and introduced range of S. avenae and R. padi. A similar endosymbiont diversity has been reported for both aphid species in their native range. However, variation in the secondary endosymbiont infection could be observed among the introduced and native populations of the aphid S. avenae, indicating that aphid-endosymbiont associations can vary across the geographic range of an aphid species. In addition, we discuss the potential role of aphids as vectors and/or alternative hosts of phytopathogenic bacteria.

RevDate: 2018-07-08

Lado P, Qurollo B, Williams C, et al (2018)

The microbiome of Haemaphysalis lemuris (Acari: Ixodidae), a possible vector of pathogens of endangered lemur species in Madagascar.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 9(5):1252-1260.

Lemurs are primate species that are endemic to Madagascar. At present, about 90% of lemur species are endangered, and 5 species are among the 25 most endangered primates worldwide. Health status is a major factor impacting the viability of wild populations of many endangered species including lemurs. Given this context, we analyzed the microbiome of 24 specimens of Haemaphysalis lemuris, the most common tick parasitizing lemurs in their native habitats. Ticks were collected from 6 lemur species and microbiomes analyzed using next-generation sequencing. Our results show that the H. lemuris microbiome is highly diverse, including over 500 taxa, 267 of which were identified to genus level. Analysis of the microbiome also shows that there is a distinct "host" (lemur species) component when explaining the differences among and between microbial communities of H. lemuris. This "host" component seems to overwhelm any "locality" (geographic origin of the sample) component. In addition to the microbiome data, targeted PCR was used to test for the presence of three pathogens recently detected in the blood of wild lemurs: Borrelia sp., Candidatus Neoehrlichia sp., and Babesia sp. Overall, the presence of DNA of Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., Francisella spp., and a Babesia sp., in H. lemuris, is consistent with the hypothesis that these ectoparasites may act as vector for these pathogens. Further studies assessing vector competence are needed to confirm this hypothesis.

RevDate: 2018-06-19

Syed B, Nagendra Prasad MN, Mohan Kumar K, et al (2018)

Bioconjugated nano-bactericidal complex for potent activity against human and phytopathogens with concern of global drug resistant crisis.

The Science of the total environment, 637-638:274-281.

The present study emphasizes the need for novel antimicrobial agents to combat the global drug resistant crisis. The development of novel nanomaterials is reported to be of the alternative tool to combat drug resistant pathogens. In present investigation, bioconjugated nano-complex was developed from secondary metabolite secreted from endosymbiont. The endosymbiont capable of secreting antimicrobial metabolite was subjected to fermentation and the culture supernatant was assessed for purification of antimicrobial metabolite via bio-assay guided fraction techniques such as thin layer chromatography (TLC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and column chromatography. The metabolite was characterized as 2,4-Diacetylphloroglucinol (2,4 DAPG) which was used to develop bioconjugated nano-complex by treating with 1 mM silver nitrate under optimized conditions. The purified metabolite 2,4 DAPG reduced silver nitrate to form bioconjugated nano-complex to form association with silver nanoparticles. The oxidized form of DAPG consists of four hard ligands that can conjugate on to the surface of silver nanoparticles cluster. The bioconjugation was confirmed with UV-visible spectroscopy which displayed the shift and shoulder peak in the absorbance spectra. This biomolecular interaction was further determined by the Fourier-transform spectroscopy (FTIR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analyses which displayed different signals ascertaining the molecular binding of 2,4,DAPG with silver nanoparticles. The transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis revealed the cluster formation due to bioconjugation. The XRD analysis revealed the crystalline nature of nano-complex with the characteristic peaks indexed to Bragg's reflection occurring at 2θ angle which indicated the (111), (200), (220) and (311) planes. The activity of bioconjugated nano-complex was tested against 12 significant human and phytopathogens. Among all the test pathogens, Shigella flexneri (MTCC 1457) was the most sensitive organisms with 38.33 ± 0.33 zone of inhibition. The results obtained in the present investigation attribute development of nano-complex as one of the effective tools against multi-drug resistant infections across the globe.

RevDate: 2018-07-08

Špitalská E, Sparagano O, Stanko M, et al (2018)

Diversity of Coxiella-like and Francisella-like endosymbionts, and Rickettsia spp., Coxiella burnetii as pathogens in the tick populations of Slovakia, Central Europe.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 9(5):1207-1211.

Ticks are important vectors of pathogens affecting humans and animals worldwide. They do not only carry pathogens but diverse commensal and symbiotic microorganisms are also present in ticks. A molecular screening for tick-borne pathogens and endosymbionts was carried out in Ixodes ricinus, Dermacentor reticulatus and Haemaphysalis inermis questing ticks collected in Slovakia. The presence of Rickettsia spp., Coxiella burnetii, Coxiella-like and Francisella-like microorganisms was evaluated by PCR in 605 individuals and by randomly sequencing 66 samples. Four species of rickettsiae (R. raoultii, R. slovaca, R. helvetica and R. monacensis) were identified and reported with an overall prevalence range between 0.4 and 50.3% (±8.0) depending on tick species, sex and locality. Partial sequencing of the gltA gene of 5 chosen samples in H. inermis showed 99% identity with Candidatus Rickettsia hungarica. The total prevalence of C. burnetii in ticks was 2.2 ± 1.7%; bacteria were confirmed in I. ricinus and D. reticulatus ticks. The sequences from 2 D. reticulatus males and 1 I. ricinus female ticks were compared to GenBank submissions and a 99.8% match was obtained with the pathogenic C. burnetii. Coxiella-like endosymbionts were registered in all three species of ticks from all studied sites with an average prevalence of 32.7 ± 3.7%. A phylogenetic analysis of this Coxiella sp. showed that it does not group with the pathogenic C. burnetii. The prevalence of Francisella-like microorganisms in questing ticks was 47.9 ± 3.9%, however H. inermis (n = 108) were not infested. Obtained sequences were 98% identical with previously identified Francisella-like endosymbionts in D. reticulatus and I. ricinus. Coxiella-like and Francisella-like microorganisms were identified for the first time in Slovakia, they might be considered as a non-pathogenic endosymbiont of I. ricinus, D. reticulatus and H. inermis, and future investigations could aim to assess their role in these ticks. However, this work provided further data and broadened our knowledge on bacterial pathogens and endosymbionts present in ticks in Slovakia to help understanding co-infestations, combined treatments and public health issues linked to tick bites.

RevDate: 2018-05-15

Sorek M, Schnytzer Y, Ben-Asher HW, et al (2018)

Setting the pace: host rhythmic behaviour and gene expression patterns in the facultatively symbiotic cnidarian Aiptasia are determined largely by Symbiodinium.

Microbiome, 6(1):83 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0465-9.

BACKGROUND: All organisms employ biological clocks to anticipate physical changes in the environment; however, the integration of biological clocks in symbiotic systems has received limited attention. In corals, the interpretation of rhythmic behaviours is complicated by the daily oscillations in tissue oxygen tension resulting from the photosynthetic and respiratory activities of the associated algal endosymbiont Symbiodinium. In order to better understand the integration of biological clocks in cnidarian hosts of Symbiodinium, daily rhythms of behaviour and gene expression were studied in symbiotic and aposymbiotic morphs of the sea-anemone Aiptasia diaphana.

RESULTS: The results showed that whereas circatidal (approx. 12-h) cycles of activity and gene expression predominated in aposymbiotic morphs, circadian (approx. 24-h) patterns were the more common in symbiotic morphs, where the expression of a significant number of genes shifted from a 12- to 24-h rhythm. The behavioural experiments on symbiotic A. diaphana displayed diel (24-h) rhythmicity in body and tentacle contraction under the light/dark cycles, whereas aposymbiotic morphs showed approximately 12-h (circatidal) rhythmicity. Reinfection experiments represent an important step in understanding the hierarchy of endogenous clocks in symbiotic associations, where the aposymbiotic Aiptasia morphs returned to a 24-h behavioural rhythm after repopulation with algae.

CONCLUSION: Whilst some modification of host metabolism is to be expected, the extent to which the presence of the algae modified host endogenous behavioural and transcriptional rhythms implies that it is the symbionts that influence the pace. Our results clearly demonstrate the importance of the endosymbiotic algae in determining the timing and the duration of the extension and contraction of the body and tentacles and temporal gene expression.

RevDate: 2018-05-07

Zheng Y, Bi J, Hou MY, et al (2018)

Ocnus is essential for male germ cell development in Drosophila melanogaster.

Insect molecular biology [Epub ahead of print].

The ocnus (ocn) gene encodes a protein abundant in the testes, implying its role in testis development. When Drosophila melanogaster is infected with the endosymbiont wMel Wolbachia, which affects the spermatogenesis of its hosts, ocn is downregulated in the third-instar larval testes, suggesting a role of ocn in spermatogenesis. In this study, we knocked down ocn in the testes and found that the hatch rates of embryos derived from ocn-knockdown males were significantly decreased, and 84.38% of the testes were much smaller in comparison to controls. Analysis of the smaller testes showed no germ cells but they had an extended hub. Using RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq), we identified 69 genes with at least a twofold change (q-value < 5%) in their expression after ocn knockdown; of these, eight testes-specific and three reproduction-related genes were verified to be significantly downregulated using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. Three genes (orientation disruptor, p24-2 and CG13541) were also significantly downregulated in the presence of Wolbachia. Furthermore, 98 genes were not expressed when ocn was knocked down in testes. These results suggest that ocn plays a crucial role in male germ cell development in Drosophila, possibly by regulating the expression of multiple spermatogenesis-related genes. Our data provide important information to help understand the molecular regulatory mechanisms underlying spermatogenesis.

RevDate: 2018-05-11

Pereira TN, Rocha MN, Sucupira PHF, et al (2018)

Wolbachia significantly impacts the vector competence of Aedes aegypti for Mayaro virus.

Scientific reports, 8(1):6889 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-25236-8.

Wolbachia, an intracellular endosymbiont present in up to 70% of all insect species, has been suggested as a sustainable strategy for the control of arboviruses such as Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya. As Mayaro virus outbreaks have also been reported in Latin American countries, the objective of this study was to evaluate the vector competence of Brazilian field-collected Ae. aegypti and the impact of Wolbachia (wMel strain) upon this virus. Our in vitro studies with Aag2 cells showed that Mayaro virus can rapidly multiply, whereas in wMel-infected Aag2 cells, viral growth was significantly impaired. In addition, C6/36 cells seem to have alterations when infected by Mayaro virus. In vivo experiments showed that field-collected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes are highly permissive to Mayaro virus infection, and high viral prevalence was observed in the saliva. On the other hand, Wolbachia-harboring mosquitoes showed significantly impaired capability to transmit Mayaro virus. Our results suggest that the use of Wolbachia-harboring mosquitoes may represent an effective mechanism for the reduction of Mayaro virus transmission throughout Latin America.

RevDate: 2018-07-13

Lv ZH, Wei XY, Tao YL, et al (2018)

Differential susceptibility of whitefly-associated bacteria to antibiotic as revealed by metagenomics analysis.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 63:24-29 pii:S1567-1348(18)30203-X [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Recent reports have suggested that different symbionts of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) have differential susceptibility to antibiotic treatment. Changes in the community structure of B. tabaci-associated bacterial microbiota (BABM) following antibiotic treatment, however, remain poorly understood, although increasing numbers of B. tabaci-associated bacteria have been reported in recent years.

METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: The BABM of male or female B. tabaci Q (also known as B. tabaci MED species) were analyzed after being fed on artificial diet containing the antibiotic rifampicin and compared with untreated controls. The bacterial 16S rDNA gene amplicon metagenomic sequencing method was used in the analyses. The results showed that the BABM in male and female adults have different characteristics, and that the community structure of the BABM changes drastically following antibiotic treatment. Further analysis of the endosymbionts in B. tabaci showed that the relative abundance of the primary endosymbiont, Portiera, increased in females but was unchanged in male whiteflies, while that of the secondary endosymbiont, Hamiltonella, significantly decreased in both male and female whiteflies. The secondary endosymbionts, Cardinium and Rickettsia, were apparently not affected in either male or female whiteflies.

CONCLUSIONS: The community structure of BABM can be drastically altered following treatment with the antibiotic, rifampicin. This may be due to different antibiotic susceptibilities among the bacterial species. These results provide valuable insights into the innate differences in the BABM of male and female whiteflies, as well as structural changes that occur in the BABM in response to exposure to an antibiotic.

RevDate: 2018-05-17

Kremer JMM, Nooten SS, Cook JM, et al (2018)

Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations promote ant tending of aphids.

The Journal of animal ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Animal mutualisms, which involve beneficial interactions between individuals of different species, are common in nature. Insect-insect mutualism, for example, is widely regarded as a keystone ecological interaction. Some mutualisms are anticipated to be modified by climate change, but the focus has largely been on plant-microbe and plant-animal mutualisms rather than those between animals. Ant-aphid mutualisms, whereby ants tend aphids to harvest their honeydew excretions and, in return, provide protection for the aphids, are widespread. The mutualism is heavily influenced by the quality and quantity of honeydew produced by aphids, which is directly affected by host plant quality. As predicted increases in concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (eCO2) are widely reported to affect plant nutritional chemistry, this may also alter honeydew quality and hence the nature of ant-aphid mutualisms. Using glasshouse chambers and field-based open-top chambers, we determined the effect of eCO2 on the growth and nutritional quality (foliar amino acids) of lucerne (Medicago sativa). We determined how cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora) populations and honeydew production were impacted when feeding on such plants and how this affected the tending behaviour of ants (Iridomyrmex sp.). eCO2 stimulated plant growth but decreased concentrations of foliar amino acids by 29% and 14% on aphid-infested plants and aphid-free plants, respectively. Despite the deterioration in host plant quality under eCO2 , aphids maintained performance and populations were unchanged by eCO2 . Aphids induced higher concentrations of amino acids (glutamine, asparagine, glutamic acid and aspartic acid) important for endosymbiont-mediated synthesis of essential amino acids. Aphids feeding under eCO2 also produced over three times more honeydew than aphids feeding under ambient CO2 , suggesting they were imbibing more phloem sap at eCO2 . The frequency of ant tending of aphids more than doubled in response to eCO2 . To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the effects of atmospheric change on an ant-aphid mutualism. In particular, these results highlight how impending changes to concentrations of atmospheric CO2 may alter mutualistic behaviour between animals. These could include positive impacts, as reported here, shifts from mutualism to antagonism, partner switches and mutualism abandonment.

RevDate: 2018-05-29
CmpDate: 2018-05-29

Foray V, Pérez-Jiménez MM, Fattouh N, et al (2018)

Wolbachia Control Stem Cell Behavior and Stimulate Germline Proliferation in Filarial Nematodes.

Developmental cell, 45(2):198-211.e3.

Although symbiotic interactions are ubiquitous in the living world, examples of developmental symbioses are still scarce. We show here the crucial role of Wolbachia in the oogenesis of filarial nematodes, a class of parasites of biomedical and veterinary relevance. We applied newly developed techniques to demonstrate the earliest requirements of Wolbachia in the parasite germline preceding the production of faulty embryos in Wolbachia-depleted nematodes. We show that Wolbachia stimulate germline proliferation in a cell-autonomous manner, and not through nucleotide supplementation as previously hypothesized. We also found Wolbachia to maintain the quiescence of a pool of germline stem cells to ensure a constant delivery of about 1,400 eggs per day for many years. The loss of quiescence upon Wolbachia depletion as well as the disorganization of the distal germline suggest that Wolbachia are required to execute the proper germline stem cell developmental program in order to produce viable eggs and embryos.

RevDate: 2018-06-03

Nakai M (2018)

New Perspectives on Chloroplast Protein Import.

Plant & cell physiology, 59(6):1111-1119.

Virtually all chloroplasts in extant photosynthetic eukaryotes derive from a single endosymbiotic event that probably occurred more than a billion years ago between a host eukaryotic cell and a cyanobacterium-like ancestor. Many endosymbiont genes were subsequently transferred to the host nuclear genome, concomitant with the establishment of a system for protein transport through the chloroplast double-membrane envelope. Presently, 2,000-3,000 different nucleus-encoded chloroplast proteins must be imported into the chloroplast following their synthesis in the cytosol. The TOC (translocon at the outer envelope membrane of chloroplasts) and TIC (translocon at the inner envelope membrane of chloroplasts) complexes are protein translocation machineries at the outer and inner envelope membranes, respectively, that facilitate this chloroplast protein import with the aid of a TIC-associated ATP-driven import motor. All the essential components of this protein import system seemed to have been identified through biochemical analyses and subsequent genetic studies that initiated in the late 1990s. However, in 2013, the Nakai group reported a novel inner envelope membrane TIC complex, for which a novel ATP-driven import motor associated with this TIC complex is likely to exist. In this mini review, I will summarize these recent discoveries together with new, or reanalyzed, data presented by other groups in recent years. Whereas the precise concurrent view of chloroplast protein import is still a matter of some debate, it is anticipated that the entire TOC/TIC/ATP motor system, including any novel components, will be conclusively established in the next decade. Such findings may lead to an extensively revised view of the evolution and molecular mechanisms of chloroplast protein import.

RevDate: 2018-04-22

Baliarsingh SK, Lotliker AA, Sudheesh V, et al (2018)

Response of phytoplankton community and size classes to green Noctiluca bloom in the northern Arabian Sea.

Marine pollution bulletin, 129(1):222-230.

A comprehensive analysis on the phytoplankton ecology with special reference to different phytoplankton size classes was carried out at green Noctiluca scintillans (hereafter Noctiluca) bloom and non-bloom locations in offshore waters of the northern Arabian Sea. At the bloom locations, green Noctiluca represented a dense mono-specific proliferation with average cell density of 10.16 ± 5.806 × 104 cells-L-1 and relative abundance share of 98.63%. Active photosynthesis through prasinophytic endosymbiont was depicted from net community production magnitude reaching 85.26 mgC/m3/Day under low prey abundance. Parallel swarming of Porpita porpita, a voracious copepod feeder signified the competitive advantage of Noctiluca to have the phytoplankton prey. Average concentration of picophytoplankton biomass was eleven times lower in surface waters of non-bloom stations in comparison to bloom. Higher N:P ratio in subsurface waters of non-bloom stations signified non-utilization of nitrogenous nutrients. Green Noctiluca bloom onset subsequent to diatom rich conditions was evident from spatio-temporal ocean colour satellite imageries.

RevDate: 2018-05-03

Kim JI, Yoon HS, Yi G, et al (2018)

Comparative mitochondrial genomics of cryptophyte algae: gene shuffling and dynamic mobile genetic elements.

BMC genomics, 19(1):275 pii:10.1186/s12864-018-4626-9.

BACKGROUND: Cryptophytes are an ecologically important group of algae comprised of phototrophic, heterotrophic and osmotrophic species. This lineage is of great interest to evolutionary biologists because their plastids are of red algal secondary endosymbiotic origin. Cryptophytes have a clear phylogenetic affinity to heterotrophic eukaryotes and possess four genomes: host-derived nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, and plastid and nucleomorph genomes of endosymbiotic origin.

RESULTS: To gain insight into cryptophyte mitochondrial genome evolution, we sequenced the mitochondrial DNAs of five species and performed a comparative analysis of seven genomes from the following cryptophyte genera: Chroomonas, Cryptomonas, Hemiselmis, Proteomonas, Rhodomonas, Storeatula and Teleaulax. The mitochondrial genomes were similar in terms of their general architecture, gene content and presence of a large repeat region. However, gene order was poorly conserved. Characteristic features of cryptophyte mtDNAs included large syntenic clusters resembling α-proteobacterial operons that encode bacteria-like rRNAs, tRNAs, and ribosomal protein genes. The cryptophyte mitochondrial genomes retain almost all genes found in many other eukaryotes including the nad, sdh, cox, cob, and atp genes, with the exception of sdh2 and atp3. In addition, gene cluster analysis showed that cryptophytes possess a gene order closely resembling the jakobid flagellates Jakoba and Reclinomonas. Interestingly, the cox1 gene of R. salina, T. amphioxeia, and Storeatula species was found to contain group II introns encoding a reverse transcriptase protein, as did the cob gene of Storeatula species CCMP1868.

CONCLUSIONS: These newly sequenced genomes increase the breadth of data available from algae and will aid in the identification of general trends in mitochondrial genome evolution. While most of the genomes were highly conserved, extensive gene arrangements have shuffled gene order, perhaps due to genome rearrangements associated with hairpin-containing mobile genetic elements, tRNAs with palindromic sequences, and tandem repeat sequences. The cox1 and cob gene sequences suggest that introns have recently been acquired during cryptophyte evolution. Comparison of phylogenetic trees based on plastid and mitochondrial genome data sets underscore the different evolutionary histories of the host and endosymbiont components of present-day cryptophytes.

RevDate: 2018-06-01

Monsanto-Hearne V, KN Johnson (2018)

Wolbachia-mediated protection of Drosophila melanogaster against systemic infection with its natural viral pathogen Drosophila C virus does not involve changes in levels of highly abundant miRNAs.

The Journal of general virology, 99(6):827-831.

The presence of Wolbachia confers virus protection to insects. The molecular mechanism underlying Wolbachia-mediated protection in this tripartite host-endosymbiont-virus interaction is not yet fully understood. In the bipartite association between Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila C virus (DCV), changes in the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) influence the outcome of viral pathogenesis. Here we examined whether changes in miRNA expression are similarly involved in the Drosophila-Wolbachia-DCV association. The levels of highly abundant miRNAs in D. melanogaster, Wolbachia-mono-infected D. melanogaster, and DCV- and Wolbachia-bi-infected D. melanogaster were quantified using RT-qPCR and compared. The results show that the abundance of the 17 tested D. melanogaster miRNAs is not affected by Wolbachia endosymbiosis or by bi-infection of Wolbachia and DCV. These results suggest that the in vivo protection conferred by Wolbachia to its native host against D. melanogaster's natural pathogen DCV is not likely to be dependent on or associated with changes in the levels of highly expressed miRNAs.

RevDate: 2018-06-07
CmpDate: 2018-06-07

Rataj M, P Vďačný (2018)

Dawn of astome ciliates in light of morphology and time-calibrated phylogeny of Haptophrya planariarum, an obligate endosymbiont of freshwater turbellarians.

European journal of protistology, 64:54-71.

Morphology, systematic position and time-calibrated phylogeny of Haptophrya planariarum were investigated. This endosymbiont of freshwater turbellarians is characterized by: (i) a length of about 200-900 μm; (ii) a campanulate to truncate claviform body carrying an anterior adhesive sucker; (iii) an ellipsoidal macronucleus localized in the rear body end; (iv) a contractile canal extending along the dorsal margin; and (v) usually more than 150 meridional ciliary rows, a horseshoe-shaped suture line along the sucker, and two inconspicuous secant systems at lateral ends of the suture line. In 18S rRNA gene phylogenies, astomes were depicted as a non-monophyletic group within the scuticociliate clade, whereby H. planariarum clustered with the loxocephalid genus Dexiotricha. After considering morphological evidence, statistical tree topology tests and evolutionary distances, we find astomes as a distinct group that evolved from a free-living scuticociliate ancestor in the early Paleozoic. Molecular clock analyses indicated that astomes living in annelids diverged from those inhabiting turbellarians within about 50 Ma during the Late Cambrian and the Upper Ordovician. This comparatively short time span might have not sufficed for fixation of molecular synapomorphies in the 18S rRNA gene and/or they might have been erased by substitutions during the almost 500 Ma-long evolutionary history of astomes.

RevDate: 2018-04-22

Toro N, Martínez-Abarca F, Molina-Sánchez MD, et al (2018)

Contribution of Mobile Group II Introns to Sinorhizobium meliloti Genome Evolution.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:627.

Mobile group II introns are ribozymes and retroelements that probably originate from bacteria. Sinorhizobium meliloti, the nitrogen-fixing endosymbiont of legumes of genus Medicago, harbors a large number of these retroelements. One of these elements, RmInt1, has been particularly successful at colonizing this multipartite genome. Many studies have improved our understanding of RmInt1 and phylogenetically related group II introns, their mobility mechanisms, spread and dynamics within S. meliloti and closely related species. Although RmInt1 conserves the ancient retroelement behavior, its evolutionary history suggests that this group II intron has played a role in the short- and long-term evolution of the S. meliloti genome. We will discuss its proposed role in genome evolution by controlling the spread and coexistence of potentially harmful mobile genetic elements, by ectopic transposition to different genetic loci as a source of early genomic variation and by generating sequence variation after a very slow degradation process, through intron remnants that may have continued to evolve, contributing to bacterial speciation.

RevDate: 2018-05-09

Hayashi M, Nomura M, D Kageyama (2018)

Rapid comeback of males: evolution of male-killer suppression in a green lacewing population.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 285(1877):.

Evolutionary theory predicts that the spread of cytoplasmic sex ratio distorters leads to the evolution of host nuclear suppressors, although there are extremely few empirical observations of this phenomenon. Here, we demonstrate that a nuclear suppressor of a cytoplasmic male killer has spread rapidly in a population of the green lacewing Mallada desjardinsi An M. desjardinsi population, which was strongly female-biased in 2011 because of a high prevalence of the male-killing Spiroplasma endosymbiont, had a sex ratio near parity in 2016, despite a consistent Spiroplasma prevalence. Most of the offspring derived from individuals collected in 2016 had 1 : 1 sex ratios in subsequent generations. Contrastingly, all-female or female-biased broods appeared frequently from crossings of these female offspring with males derived from a laboratory line founded by individuals collected in 2011. These results suggest near-fixation of a nuclear suppressor against male killing in 2016 and reject the notion that a non-male-killing Spiroplasma variant has spread in the population. Consistently, no significant difference was detected in mitochondrial haplotype variation between 2011 and 2016. These findings, and earlier findings in the butterfly Hypolimnas bolina in Samoa, suggest that these quick events of male recovery occur more commonly than is generally appreciated.

RevDate: 2018-06-07

Floriano AM, Castelli M, Krenek S, et al (2018)

The Genome Sequence of "Candidatus Fokinia solitaria": Insights on Reductive Evolution in Rickettsiales.

Genome biology and evolution, 10(4):1120-1126.

"Candidatus Fokinia solitaria" is an obligate intracellular endosymbiont of a unicellular eukaryote, a ciliate of the genus Paramecium. Here, we present the genome sequence of this bacterium and subsequent analysis. Phylogenomic analysis confirmed the previously reported positioning of the symbiont within the "Candidatus Midichloriaceae" family (order Rickettsiales), as well as its high sequence divergence from other members of the family, indicative of fast sequence evolution. Consistently with this high evolutionary rate, a comparative genomic analysis revealed that the genome of this symbiont is the smallest of the Rickettsiales to date. The reduced genome does not present flagellar genes, nor the pathway for the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharides (present in all the other so far sequenced members of the family "Candidatus Midichloriaceae") or genes for the Krebs cycle (present, although not always complete, in Rickettsiales). These results indicate an evolutionary trend toward a stronger dependence on the host, in comparison with other members of the family. Two alternative scenarios are compatible with our results; "Candidatus Fokinia solitaria" could be either a recently evolved, vertically transmitted mutualist, or a parasite with a high host-specificity.

RevDate: 2018-04-16

Kramer L, Crosara S, Gnudi G, et al (2018)

Wolbachia, doxycycline and macrocyclic lactones: New prospects in the treatment of canine heartworm disease.

Veterinary parasitology, 254:95-97.

Melarsomine dihydrochloride (Immiticide®, Merial) is the only approved adulticidal drug for the treatment of canine heartworm disease (HWD). However, in cases where arsenical therapy is not possible or is contraindicated, a monthly heartworm preventive along with doxycycline for a 4-week period, which targets the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia, might be considered. There are published reports on the efficacy of ivermectin and doxycycline in both experimentally and naturally infected dogs, but no data on the use of other macrocyclic lactones (MLs) with a similar treatment regime. Preliminary results of studies in dogs show that a topical formulation of moxidectin, the only ML currently registered as a microfilaricide, is also adulticidal when combined with doxycycline. It is not yet known if the efficacy of these combination therapies is due to pharmacokinetic synergism. A recent study showed that serum levels of doxycycline in dogs treated with the combination protocol were not statistically different compared to dogs treated with doxycycline alone. However, lungs from dogs treated with the combination therapy showed a marked reduction in T regulatory cells, indicating that treatment efficacy may be due to a heightened immune response against the parasite. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the long-term clinical outcome of combination protocols and to establish the most efficient treatment for HWD in dogs.

RevDate: 2018-05-24

Li LH, Zhang Y, D Zhu (2018)

Effects of antibiotic treatment on the fecundity of Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides ticks.

Parasites & vectors, 11(1):242 pii:10.1186/s13071-018-2807-7.

BACKGROUND: Endosymbiotic bacteria inhabit a variety of arthropods including ticks and may have multiple effects on the host's survival, reproduction or pathogen acquisition and transmission. Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides is one of the most widely distributed tick species in China. The symbiotic bacteria composition and their impacts to R. haemaphysaloides ticks have not been studied. The present study investigated the composition of microbial community in R. haemaphysaloides ticks and then assessed the effects of endosymbionts on the host's fecundity by antibiotic treatment experiments.

METHODS: The microbial population of female and male R. haemaphysaloides ticks was analyzed using Illumina Miseq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene. Thirty engorged female ticks were then randomly divided into five groups and injected with ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, kanamycin, tetracycline, or phosphate-buffered solution (PBS), respectively. Effects of antibiotic treatments on maternal oviposition, egg hatching and density of endosymbionts were evaluated.

RESULTS: Illumina Miseq sequencing showed that Coxiella and Rickettsia were the predominant bacterial genera inhabiting R. haemaphysaloides ticks. Antibiotic treatment experiments found that kanamycin reduced the density of Coxiella-like endosymbiont (Coxiella-LE hereafter) in eggs, ciprofloxacin reduced the density of Rickettsia-like endosymbiont (Rickettsia-LE), and tetracycline had effect on both endosymbionts, while ampicillin affected neither. Meanwhile hatching rates of eggs were observed to decrease greatly in the kanamycin or tetracycline-treated group but maintained in the ampicillin or ciprofloxacin-treated group. Furthermore, the reduced hatching rates were found to be associated with density of Coxiella-LE in eggs.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that Coxiella-LE is essential for the reproduction of R. haemaphysaloides ticks, and that kanamycin can be used to study the role of Coxiella-LE on ticks.

RevDate: 2018-05-06

Dietel AK, Kaltenpoth M, C Kost (2018)

Convergent Evolution in Intracellular Elements: Plasmids as Model Endosymbionts.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(18)30067-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbionts are organisms that live inside the cells of other species. This lifestyle is ubiquitous across the tree of life and is featured by unicellular eukaryotes, prokaryotes, and by extrachromosomal genetic elements such as plasmids. Given that all of these elements dwell in the cytoplasm of their host cell, they should be subject to similar selection pressures. Here we show that strikingly similar features have evolved in both bacterial endosymbionts and plasmids. Since host and endosymbiont are often metabolically tightly intertwined, they are difficult to disentangle experimentally. We propose that using plasmids as tractable model systems can help to solve this problem, thus allowing fundamental questions to be experimentally addressed about the ecology and evolution of endosymbiotic interactions.

RevDate: 2018-04-12

Silva FM, Kostygov AY, Spodareva VV, et al (2018)

The reduced genome of Candidatus Kinetoplastibacterium sorsogonicusi, the endosymbiont of Kentomonas sorsogonicus (Trypanosomatidae): loss of the haem-synthesis pathway.

Parasitology pii:S003118201800046X [Epub ahead of print].

Trypanosomatids of the genera Angomonas and Strigomonas (subfamily Strigomonadinae) have long been known to contain intracellular beta-proteobacteria, which provide them with many important nutrients such as haem, essential amino acids and vitamins. Recently, Kentomonas sorsogonicus, a divergent member of Strigomonadinae, has been described. Herein, we characterize the genome of its endosymbiont, Candidatus Kinetoplastibacterium sorsogonicusi. This genome is completely syntenic with those of other known Ca. Kinetoplastibacterium spp., but more reduced in size (~742 kb, compared with 810-833 kb, respectively). Gene losses are not concentrated in any hot-spots but are instead distributed throughout the genome. The most conspicuous loss is that of the haem-synthesis pathway. For long, removing haemin from the culture medium has been a standard procedure in cultivating trypanosomatids isolated from insects; continued growth was considered as an evidence of endosymbiont presence. However, we demonstrate that, despite bearing the endosymbiont, K. sorsogonicus cannot grow in culture without haem. Thus, the traditional test cannot be taken as a reliable criterion for the absence or presence of endosymbionts in trypanosomatid flagellates. It remains unclear why the ability to synthesize such an essential compound was lost in Ca. K. sorsogonicusi, whereas all other known bacterial endosymbionts of trypanosomatids retain them.

RevDate: 2018-06-20
CmpDate: 2018-06-19

Asad S, Hussain M, Hugo L, et al (2018)

Suppression of the pelo protein by Wolbachia and its effect on dengue virus in Aedes aegypti.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 12(4):e0006405 pii:PNTD-D-17-00001.

The endosymbiont Wolbachia is known to block replication of several important arboviruses, including dengue virus (DENV), in the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti. So far, the exact mechanism of this viral inhibition is not fully understood. A recent study in Drosophila melanogaster has demonstrated an interaction between the pelo gene and Drosophila C virus. In this study, we explored the possible involvement of the pelo protein, that is involved in protein translation, in Wolbachia-mediated antiviral response and mosquito-DENV interaction. We found that pelo is upregulated during DENV replication and its silencing leads to reduced DENV virion production suggesting that it facilities DENV replication. However, in the presence of Wolbachia, specifically in female mosquitoes, the pelo protein is downregulated and its subcellular localization is altered, which could contribute to reduction in DENV replication in Ae. aegypti. In addition, we show that the microRNA aae-miR-2940-5p, whose abundance is highly enriched in Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes, might mediate regulation of pelo. Our data reveals identification of pelo as a host factor that is positively involved in DENV replication, and its suppression in the presence of Wolbachia may contribute to virus blocking exhibited by the endosymbiont.

RevDate: 2018-05-24

Guo Y, Song Z, Luo L, et al (2018)

Molecular evidence for new sympatric cryptic species of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in China: A new threat from Aedes albopictus subgroup?.

Parasites & vectors, 11(1):228 pii:10.1186/s13071-018-2814-8.

BACKGROUND: Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) is an indigenous species and the predominant vector of dengue fever in China. Understanding of genetic diversity and structure of the mosquito would facilitate dengue prevention and vector control. Sympatric cryptic species have been identified in the Ae. albopictus subgroup in Southeast Asia; however, little is known about the presence and distribution of cryptic species in China. This study aimed to examine the genetic diversity, evaluate potential new cryptic sibling species, and assess the prevalence of Wolbachia infections in field populations.

METHODS: Aedes adult female specimens were collected from five provinces in southern and central China during 2015-2016. Morphological identification was performed under dissection microscope. The mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1, DNA barcoding) locus and the ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer region 2 (ITS2) marker were used to examine the genetic variation, evaluate cryptic sibling species, and population structure in the field populations. Screening for the presence of Wolbachia was performed using multiplex PCR.

RESULTS: A total of 140 individual specimens with morphological characteristics similar to Ae. albopictus were sequenced for DNA barcoding. Among these, 129 specimens (92.1%) were confirmed and identified as Ae. albopictus. The remaining 11 specimens, from 2 provinces, were identified as 2 distinct sequence groups, which were confirmed by ITS2 marker sequencing, suggesting the existence of potential cryptic species of Ae. albopictus. In Ae. albopictus, we found significant genetic differentiation and population structure between populations collected from different climate zones. Medium to high frequencies of Wolbachia infections were observed in natural Ae. albopictus populations, whereas Wolbachia was infrequent or absent in cryptic species populations.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight the population differentiation by climate zone and the presence of novel, cryptic Aedes species in China. The low prevalence of Wolbachia infections in cryptic species populations could reflect either a recent invasion of Wolbachia in Ae. albopictus or different host immune responses to this symbiont in the cryptic species. The study provides useful information for vector control and host-symbiont coevolution. Further study is needed to investigate the potential for arbovirus infection and disease transmission in the emerged cryptic species.

RevDate: 2018-06-07

Okubo T, Matsushita M, Nakamura S, et al (2018)

Acanthamoeba S13WT relies on its bacterial endosymbiont to backpack human pathogenic bacteria and resist Legionella infection on solid media.

Environmental microbiology reports, 10(3):344-354.

Soil-borne amoeba Acanthamoeba S13WT has an endosymbiotic relationship with an environmental Neochlamydia bacterial strain. However, regardless of extensive experiments in liquid media, the biological advantage of the symbiosis remained elusive. We therefore explored the role of the endosymbiont in predator-prey interactions on solid media. A mixed culture of the symbiotic or aposymbiotic amoebae and GFP-expressing Escherichia coli or Salmonella Enteritidis was spotted onto the centre of a LB or B-CYE agar plate preinoculated with a ring of mCherry-expressing Legionella pneumophila (Legionella 'wall'). The spread of the amoebae on the plate was assessed using a fluorescence imaging system or scanning electron microscopy. As a result, in contrast to the aposymbiotic amoebae, the symbiotic amoebae backpacked these GFP-expressing bacteria and formed flower-like fluorescence patterns in an anticlockwise direction. Other bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia), but not Staphylococcus aureus, were also backpacked by the symbiotic amoebae on LB agar, although lacked the movement to anticlockwise direction. Furthermore, in contrast to the aposymbiotic amoebae, the symbiotic amoebae backpacking the E. coli broke through the Legionella 'wall' on B-CYE agar plates. Thus, we concluded that Acanthamoeba S13WT required the Neochlamydia endosymbiont to backpack human pathogenic bacteria and resist Legionella infection on solid agar.

RevDate: 2018-05-21

Nooroong P, Trinachartvanit W, Baimai V, et al (2018)

Phylogenetic studies of bacteria (Rickettsia, Coxiella, and Anaplasma) in Amblyomma and Dermacentor ticks in Thailand and their co-infection.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 9(4):963-971.

In this study, we attempted to detect Rickettsia, Coxiella and Anaplasma bacteria in one hundred and fourteen-Dermacentor and thirty three-Amblyomma unfed adult ticks that were collected from under leaves along animal trails at different places across Thailand. PCR amplification was used to identify bacterial infection with general conserved sequences of bacteria. The results revealed single infection in Amblyomma testudinarium ticks with Rickettsia (24%) and Coxiella (6%). Anaplasma bacteria were often detected in Dermacentor auratus ticks (32%). Coxiella spp. were detected in Dermacentor atrosignatus (6%) and D. auratus ticks (3%) in this study. Moreover, we found co-infection by Coxiella and Rickettsia bacteria (39%) in Am. testudinarium. In contrast, D. atrosignatus ticks were co-infected with Coxiella and Anaplasma bacteria (3%) and Dermacentor compactus ticks were co-infected with Rickettsia and Anaplasma spp. (25%). Interestingly, Am. testudinarium ticks (12%) were found for the first time to exhibit triple infection by these three bacteria. Phylogenetic studies showed the rickettsiae from ticks causing both single and multiple infections had sequence similarity with spotted fever group rickettsial strains, including Rickettsia massilliae, R. raoultii and R. tamurae. In addition, the phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of Coxiella bacteria showed that they were closely grouped with Coxiella endosymbionts in both Dermacentor and Amblyomma. Moreover, the Anaplasma identified in a D. auratus tick was grouped in the same clade with the pathogenic bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Bacterial co-infections in Dermacentor and Amblyomma ticks may cause co-transmission of some tick-borne microorganisms (pathogen and endosymbiont, whether enhance or reduce) in humans and animals and they could affect medical and veterinary health.

RevDate: 2018-04-04

Sseruwagi P, Wainaina J, Ndunguru J, et al (2018)

The first transcriptomes from field-collected individual whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci, Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae): a case study of the endosymbiont composition.

Gates open research, 1:16.

Background:Bemisia tabaci species (B. tabaci), or whiteflies, are the world's most devastating insect pests. They cause billions of dollars (US) of damage each year, and are leaving farmers in the developing world food insecure. Currently, all publically available transcriptome data for B. tabaci are generated from pooled samples, which can lead to high heterozygosity and skewed representation of the genetic diversity. The ability to extract enough RNA from a single whitefly has remained elusive due to their small size and technological limitations. Methods: In this study, we optimised a single whitefly RNA extraction procedure, and sequenced the transcriptome of four individual adult Sub-Saharan Africa 1 (SSA1) B. tabaci. Transcriptome sequencing resulted in 39-42 million raw reads. De novo assembly of trimmed reads yielded between 65,000-162,000 Contigs across B. tabaci transcriptomes. Results: Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrion cytochrome I oxidase (mtCOI) grouped the four whiteflies within the SSA1 clade. BLASTn searches on the four transcriptomes identified five endosymbionts; the primary endosymbiont Portieraaleyrodidarum and four secondary endosymbionts: Arsenophonus, Wolbachia, Rickettsia, and Cardinium spp. that were predominant across all four SSA1 B. tabaci samples with prevalence levels of between 54.1 to 75%. Amino acid alignments of the NusG gene of P. aleyrodidarum for the SSA1 B. tabaci transcriptomes of samples WF2 and WF2b revealed an eleven amino acid residue deletion that was absent in samples WF1 and WF2a. Comparison of the protein structure of the NusG protein from P. aleyrodidarum in SSA1 with known NusG structures showed the deletion resulted in a shorter D loop. Conclusions: The use of field-collected specimens means time and money will be saved in future studies using single whitefly transcriptomes in monitoring vector and viral interactions. Our method is applicable to any small organism where RNA quantity has limited transcriptome studies.

RevDate: 2018-07-12

Mariño YA, Ospina OE, Verle Rodrigues JC, et al (2018)

High diversity and variability in the bacterial microbiota of the coffee berry borer (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), with emphasis on Wolbachia.

Journal of applied microbiology, 125(2):528-543.

AIMS: Variation in microbiota of the coffee berry borer (CBB) Hypothenemus hampei was studied. Diversity, structure and function of bacterial communities were compared between eggs vs adults, CBBs from shade coffee vs sun coffee, CBBs from the field vs raised in the laboratory, and CBBs with and without the antibiotic tetracycline.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We sequenced the region V4 of the gene 16 S rRNA. Pseudomonadaceae and Enterobacteriaceae, particularly Pseudomonas and Pantoea, dominated microbiotas of the CBB. Comparative functional inferences with PICRUSt suggested that samples from the field were enriched for genes involved in carbohydrate and protein digestion and absorption, while laboratory-reared samples were higher in genes for melanization and caffeine metabolism.

CONCLUSIONS: Microbiotas of the CBB were diverse and dominated by the genus Pseudomonas, several species of which have been previously associated with caffeine degradation in this insect. Wolbachia was the only endosymbiont detected with known ability to manipulate host reproduction.

This study demonstrates that stage of development and origin of samples affected the structure and function of the CBB's bacterial communities. This is the first attempt to predict functional significance of the CBB microbiota in nutrition, reproduction and defence.

RevDate: 2018-04-08

Ramaiah A, GA Dasch (2018)

Genome Sequence of Coxiella-Like Endosymbiont Strain CLE-RmD, a Bacterial Agent in the Cattle Tick (Rhipicephalus microplus) Deutsch Strain.

Genome announcements, 6(13): pii:6/13/e00003-18.

We report a partial genome sequence for the Coxiella-like endosymbiont strain CLE-RmD, assembled from metagenomics data obtained from the southern cattle tick (Rhipicephalus microplus) Deutsch strain.

RevDate: 2018-06-25
CmpDate: 2018-06-25

Teixeira MA, Sela N, Atamian HS, et al (2018)

Sequence analysis of the potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae transcriptome identified two new viruses.

PloS one, 13(3):e0193239 pii:PONE-D-17-20870.

The potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, is an important agricultural pest that causes economic losses to potato and tomato production. To establish the transcriptome for this aphid, RNA-Seq libraries constructed from aphids maintained on tomato plants were used in Illumina sequencing generating 52.6 million 75-105 bp paired-end reads. The reads were assembled using Velvet/Oases software with SEED preprocessing resulting in 22,137 contigs with an N50 value of 2,003bp. After removal of contigs from tomato host origin, 20,254 contigs were annotated using BLASTx searches against the non-redundant protein database from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) as well as IntereProScan. This identified matches for 74% of the potato aphid contigs. The highest ranking hits for over 12,700 contigs were against the related pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Gene Ontology (GO) was used to classify the identified M. euphorbiae contigs into biological process, cellular component and molecular function. Among the contigs, sequences of microbial origin were identified. Sixty five contigs were from the aphid bacterial obligate endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola origin and two contigs had amino acid similarities to viruses. The latter two were named Macrosiphum euphorbiae virus 2 (MeV-2) and Macrosiphum euphorbiae virus 3 (MeV-3). The highest sequence identity to MeV-2 had the Dysaphis plantaginea densovirus, while to MeV-3 is the Hubei sobemo-like virus 49. Characterization of MeV-2 and MeV-3 indicated that both are transmitted vertically from adult aphids to nymphs. MeV-2 peptides were detected in the aphid saliva and only MeV-2 and not MeV-3 nucleic acids were detected inside tomato leaves exposed to virus-infected aphids. However, MeV-2 nucleic acids did not persist in tomato leaf tissues, after clearing the plants from aphids, indicating that MeV-2 is likely an aphid virus.


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
21454 NE 143rd Street
Woodinville, WA 98077

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 )