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Bibliography on: Endosymbiosis

The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project: Providing world-wide, free access to classic scientific papers and other scholarly materials, since 1993.


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 31 Mar 2023 at 01:52 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: 2023-03-30

Beckmann J, Gillespie J, D Tauritz (2023)

Modelling Emergence of Wolbachia Toxin-Antidote Protein Functions with an Evolutionary Algorithm.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.03.23.533954.

Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) simulate Darwinian evolution and adeptly mimic natural evolution. Most EA applications in biology encode high levels of abstraction in top-down ecological population models. In contrast, our research merges protein alignment algorithms from bioinformatics into codon based EAs that simulate molecular protein string evolution from the bottom up. We apply our EA to reconcile a problem in the field of Wolbachia induced cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). Wolbachia is a microbial endosymbiont that lives inside insect cells. CI is conditional insect sterility that operates as a toxin antidote (TA) system. Although, CI exhibits complex phenotypes not fully explained under a single discrete model. We instantiate in-silico genes that control CI, CI factors (cifs), as strings within the EA chromosome. We monitor the evolution of their enzymatic activity, binding, and cellular localization by applying selective pressure on their primary amino acid strings. Our model helps rationalize why two distinct mechanisms of CI induction might coexist in nature. We find that nuclear localization signals (NLS) and Type IV secretion system signals (T4SS) are of low complexity and evolve fast, whereas binding interactions have intermediate complexity, and enzymatic activity is the most complex. Our model predicts that as ancestral TA systems evolve into eukaryotic CI systems, the placement of NLS or T4SS signals can stochastically vary, imparting effects that might impact CI induction mechanics. Our model highlights how preconditions, genetic diversity, and sequence length can bias evolution of cifs towards one mechanism or another.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Weisse T, Scheffel U, P Stadler (2023)

Temperature-dependent resistance to starvation of three contrasting freshwater ciliates.

European journal of protistology, 88:125973 pii:S0932-4739(23)00018-4 [Epub ahead of print].

We investigated the temperature-dependent response to starvation of three contrasting freshwater ciliates (Ciliophora). The cyst-forming algivorous species Meseres corlissi and the bactivorous species Glaucomides bromelicola, which cannot form cysts, co-occur in the reservoirs (tanks) of tree bromeliads. The mixotrophic species Coleps spetai is common in many lakes. We hypothesized that the ciliates' different traits and life strategies would affect their survival rates and temperature sensitivity under food depleted conditions. We measured the decline of the ciliate populations in microcosm experiments at different temperatures for several days. We used an imaging flow cytometer to size the ciliates and documented their morphological and physiological changes in response to starvation. We found that the cyst-forming species had the highest mortality rates but may endure long-term starvation by encystment. The sympatric, non-encysting species suffered the lowest mortality rates and could survive for more than three weeks without food. The mixotrophic species had intermediate mortality rates but showed the highest phenotypic plasticity in response to starvation. A significant fraction of the C. spetai population appeared unaffected by starvation, suggesting that the endosymbionts provided some resources to the host cells. The mean mortality rate per day of all three species increased with temperature by 0.09 °C[-1].

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Moore C, Lashnits E, Neupane P, et al (2023)

Feeding on a Bartonella henselae Infected Host Triggers Temporary Changes in the Ctenocephalides felis Microbiome.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 12(3): pii:pathogens12030366.

The effect of Bartonella henselae on the microbiome of its vector, Ctenocephalides felis (the cat flea) is largely unknown, as the majority of C. felis microbiome studies have utilized wild-caught pooled fleas. We surveyed the microbiome of laboratory-origin C. felis fed on B. henselae-infected cats for 24 h or 9 days to identify changes to microbiome diversity and microbe prevalence compared to unfed fleas, and fleas fed on uninfected cats. Utilizing Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) on the Illumina platform, we documented an increase in microbial diversity in C. felis fed on Bartonella-infected cats for 24 h. These changes returned to baseline (unfed fleas or fleas fed on uninfected cats) after 9 days on the host. Increased diversity in the C. felis microbiome when fed on B. henselae-infected cats may be related to the mammalian, flea, or endosymbiont response. Poor B. henselae acquisition was documented with only one of four infected flea pools having B. henselae detected by NGS. We hypothesize this is due to the use of adult fleas, flea genetic variation, or lack of co-feeding with B. henselae-infected fleas. Future studies are necessary to fully characterize the effect of endosymbionts and C. felis diversity on B. henselae acquisition.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Huynh LN, Diarra AZ, Pham QL, et al (2023)

Identification of Vietnamese Flea Species and Their Associated Microorganisms Using Morphological, Molecular, and Protein Profiling.

Microorganisms, 11(3): pii:microorganisms11030716.

Fleas are obligatory blood-sucking ectoparasites of medical and veterinary importance. The identification of fleas and associated flea-borne microorganisms, therefore, plays an important role in controlling and managing these vectors. Recently, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has been reported as an innovative and effective approach to the identification of arthropods, including fleas. This study aims to use this technology to identify ethanol-preserved fleas collected in Vietnam and to use molecular biology to search for microorganisms associated with these fleas. A total of 502 fleas were collected from wild and domestic animals in four provinces in Vietnam. Morphological identification led to the recognition of five flea species, namely Xenopsylla cheopis, Xenopsylla astia, Pulex irritans, Ctenocephalides canis, and Ctenocephalides felis. The cephalothoraxes of 300 individual, randomly selected fleas were tested using MALDI-TOF MS and molecular analysis for the identification and detection of microorganisms. A total of 257/300 (85.7%) of the obtained spectra from the cephalothoraxes of each species were of good enough quality to be used for our analyses. Our laboratory MALDI-TOF MS reference database was upgraded with spectra achieved from five randomly selected fleas for every species of Ctenocephalides canis and Ctenocephalides felis. The remaining spectra were then queried against the upgraded MALDI-TOF MS database, which showed 100% correspondence between morphology and MALDI-TOF MS identification for two flea species (Ctenocephalides canis and Ctenocephalides felis). The MS spectra of the remaining species (three P. irritans, five X. astia, and two X. cheopis) were visually generated low-intensity MS profiles with high background noise that could not be used to update our database. Bartonella and Wolbachia spp. were detected in 300 fleas from Vietnam using PCR and sequencing with primers derived from the gltA gene for Bartonella and the 16S rRNA gene for Wolbachia, including 3 Bartonella clarridgeiae (1%), 3 Bartonella rochalimae (1%), 1 Bartonella coopersplainsensis (0.3%), and 174 Wolbachia spp. endosymbionts (58%).

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Cossu CA, Collins NE, Oosthuizen MC, et al (2023)

Distribution and Prevalence of Anaplasmataceae, Rickettsiaceae and Coxiellaceae in African Ticks: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Microorganisms, 11(3): pii:microorganisms11030714.

In Africa, ticks continue to be a major hindrance to the improvement of the livestock industry due to tick-borne pathogens that include Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia and Coxiella species. A systemic review and meta-analysis were conducted here and highlighted the distribution and prevalence of these tick-borne pathogens in African ticks. Relevant publications were searched in five electronic databases and selected using inclusion/exclusion criteria, resulting in 138 and 78 papers included in the qualitative and quantitative analysis, respectively. Most of the studies focused on Rickettsia africae (38 studies), followed by Ehrlichia ruminantium (27 studies), Coxiella burnetii (20 studies) and Anaplasma marginale (17 studies). A meta-analysis of proportions was performed using the random-effects model. The highest prevalence was obtained for Rickettsia spp. (18.39%; 95% CI: 14.23-22.85%), R. africae (13.47%; 95% CI: 2.76-28.69%), R. conorii (11.28%; 95% CI: 1.77-25.89%), A. marginale (12.75%; 95% CI: 4.06-24.35%), E. ruminantium (6.37%; 95% CI: 3.97-9.16%) and E. canis (4.3%; 95% CI: 0.04-12.66%). The prevalence of C. burnetii was low (0%; 95% CI: 0-0.25%), with higher prevalence for Coxiella spp. (27.02%; 95% CI: 10.83-46.03%) and Coxiella-like endosymbionts (70.47%; 95% CI: 27-99.82%). The effect of the tick genera, tick species, country and other variables were identified and highlighted the epidemiology of Rhipicephalus ticks in the heartwater; affinity of each Rickettsia species for different tick genera; dominant distribution of A. marginale, R. africae and Coxiella-like endosymbionts in ticks and a low distribution of C. burnetii in African hard ticks.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Djondji Kamga FM, Mugenzi LMJ, Tchouakui M, et al (2023)

Contrasting Patterns of Asaia Association with Pyrethroid Resistance Escalation between the Malaria Vectors Anopheles funestus and Anopheles gambiae.

Microorganisms, 11(3): pii:microorganisms11030644.

Microbiome composition has been associated with insecticide resistance in malaria vectors. However, the contribution of major symbionts to the increasingly reported resistance escalation remains unclear. This study explores the possible association of a specific endosymbiont, Asaia spp., with elevated levels of pyrethroid resistance driven by cytochrome P450s enzymes and voltage-gated sodium channel mutations in Anopheles funestus and Anopheles gambiae. Molecular assays were used to detect the symbiont and resistance markers (CYP6P9a/b, 6.5 kb, L1014F, and N1575Y). Overall, genotyping of key mutations revealed an association with the resistance phenotype. The prevalence of Asaia spp. in the FUMOZ_X_FANG strain was associated with the resistance phenotype at a 5X dose of deltamethrin (OR = 25.7; p = 0.002). Mosquitoes with the resistant allele for the markers tested were significantly more infected with Asaia compared to those possessing the susceptible allele. Furthermore, the abundance correlated with the resistance phenotype at 1X concentration of deltamethrin (p = 0.02, Mann-Whitney test). However, for the MANGOUM_X_KISUMU strain, findings rather revealed an association between Asaia load and the susceptible phenotype (p = 0.04, Mann-Whitney test), demonstrating a negative link between the symbiont and permethrin resistance. These bacteria should be further investigated to establish its interactions with other resistance mechanisms and cross-resistance with other insecticide classes.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Stączek S, Cytryńska M, A Zdybicka-Barabas (2023)

Unraveling the Role of Antimicrobial Peptides in Insects.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(6): pii:ijms24065753.

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are short, mainly positively charged, amphipathic molecules. AMPs are important effectors of the immune response in insects with a broad spectrum of antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic activity. In addition to these well-known roles, AMPs exhibit many other, often unobvious, functions in the host. They support insects in the elimination of viral infections. AMPs participate in the regulation of brain-controlled processes, e.g., sleep and non-associative learning. By influencing neuronal health, communication, and activity, they can affect the functioning of the insect nervous system. Expansion of the AMP repertoire and loss of their specificity is connected with the aging process and lifespan of insects. Moreover, AMPs take part in maintaining gut homeostasis, regulating the number of endosymbionts as well as reducing the number of foreign microbiota. In turn, the presence of AMPs in insect venom prevents the spread of infection in social insects, where the prey may be a source of pathogens.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Li H, Jiang Z, Zhou J, et al (2023)

Ecological Factors Associated with the Distribution of Bemisia tabaci Cryptic Species and Their Facultative Endosymbionts.

Insects, 14(3): pii:insects14030252.

The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci species complex, comprises at least 44 morphologically indistinguishable cryptic species, whose endosymbiont infection patterns often varied at the spatial and temporal dimension. However, the effects of ecological factors (e.g., climatic or geographical factors) on the distribution of whitefly and the infection frequencies of their endosymbionts have not been fully elucidated. We, here, analyzed the associations between ecological factors and the distribution of whitefly and their three facultative endosymbionts (Candidatus Cardinium hertigii, Candidatus Hamiltonella defensa, and Rickettsia sp.) by screening 665 individuals collected from 29 geographical localities across China. The study identified eight B. tabaci species via mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI) gene sequence alignment: two invasive species, MED (66.9%) and MEAM1 (12.2%), and six native cryptic species (20.9%), which differed in distribution patterns, ecological niches, and high suitability areas. The infection frequencies of the three endosymbionts in different cryptic species were distinct and multiple infections were relatively common in B. tabaci MED populations. Furthermore, the annual mean temperature positively affected Cardinium sp. and Rickettsia sp. infection frequencies in B. tabaci MED but negatively affected the quantitative distribution of B. tabaci MED, which indicates that Cardinium sp. and Rickettsia sp. maybe play a crucial role in the thermotolerance of B. tabaci MED, although the host whitefly per se exhibits no resistance to high temperature. Our findings revealed the complex effects of ecological factors on the expansion of the invasive whitefly.

RevDate: 2023-03-25

Speijer D (2023)

How mitochondria showcase evolutionary mechanisms and the importance of oxygen.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology [Epub ahead of print].

Darwinian evolution can be simply stated: natural selection of inherited variations increasing differential reproduction. However, formulated thus, links with biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, and population dynamics remain unclear. To understand interactive contributions of chance and selection, higher levels of biological organization (e.g., endosymbiosis), complexities of competing selection forces, and emerging biological novelties (such as eukaryotes or meiotic sex), we must analyze actual examples. Focusing on mitochondria, I will illuminate how biology makes sense of life's evolution, and the concepts involved. First, looking at the bacterium - mitochondrion transition: merging with an archaeon, it lost its independence, but played a decisive role in eukaryogenesis, as an extremely efficient aerobic ATP generator and internal ROS source. Second, surveying later mitochondrion adaptations and diversifications illustrates concepts such as constructive neutral evolution, dynamic interactions between endosymbionts and hosts, the contingency of life histories, and metabolic reprogramming. Without oxygen, mitochondria disappear; with (intermittent) oxygen diversification occurs in highly complex ways, especially upon (temporary) phototrophic substrate supply. These expositions show the Darwinian model to be a highly fruitful paradigm.

RevDate: 2023-03-23

Verhulst EC, Pannebakker BA, E Geuverink (2023)

Variation in sex determination mechanisms may constrain parthenogenesis-induction by endosymbionts in haplodiploid systems.

Current opinion in insect science pii:S2214-5745(23)00020-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbionts are maternally transmitted, and therefore benefit from maximizing female offspring numbers. Parthenogenesis-induction (PI) is the most effective type of manipulation for transmission, but has solely been detected in haplodiploid species, whereas cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is detected frequently across the arthropod phylum, including haplodiploids. This puzzling observation led us to hypothesize that the molecular sex-determination mechanism of the haplodiploid host may be a constraining factor in the ability of endosymbionts to induce parthenogenesis. Recent insights indicate that PI-endosymbionts may be able to directly manipulate sex-determination genes to induce the necessary steps required for PI in haplodiploids. However, sex-determination cascades vary extensively, so PI-induction would require a specialized and host-dependent tool set. Contrastingly, CI-related genes target conserved cell-cycle mechanisms, are located on mobile elements, and spread easily. Finally, endosymbiont-manipulations may have a strong impact on the effectiveness of haplodiploid biocontrol agents, but can also be used to enhance their efficacy.

RevDate: 2023-03-23

Moore C, Breitschwerdt EB, Kim L, et al (2023)

The association of host and vector characteristics with Ctenocephalides felis pathogen and endosymbiont infection.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1137059.

Surveillance of the fleas and flea-borne pathogens infecting cats is important for both human and animal health. Multiple zoonotic Bartonella and Rickettsia species are known to infect the most common flea infesting cats and dogs worldwide: Ctenocephalides felis, the cat flea. The ability of other flea species to transmit pathogens is relatively unexplored. We aimed to determine cat host and flea factors independently associated with flea Bartonella and Rickettsia infection. We also assessed flea and cat infection by flea-host pair and location. To accomplish these aims, we performed qPCR for the detection of Bartonella, hemotropic Mycoplasma, Rickettsia, and Wolbachia DNA using paired cat and flea samples obtained from free-roaming cats presenting for spay or neuter across four locations in the United States. A logistic regression model was employed to identify the effect of cat (sex, body weight, geographic location, and Bartonella, hemotropic Mycoplasma, and Rickettsia spp., infection) and flea (clade and Rickettsia and Wolbachia infection) factors on C. felis Bartonella clarridgeiae infection. From 189 free roaming cats, we collected 84 fleas: Ctenocephalides felis (78/84), Cediopsylla simplex (4/84), Orchopeas howardi (1/84), and Nosopsyllus fasciatus (1/84). Ctenocephalides felis were phylogenetically assigned to Clades 1, 4, and 6 by cox1 gene amplification. Rickettsia asembonensis (52/84) and B. clarridgeiae (16/84) were the most common pathogenic bacteria detected in fleas. Our model identified host cat sex and weight as independently associated with B. clarridgeiae infection in fleas. Rickettsia asembonensis (52/84), Rickettsia felis (7/84) and Bartonella henselae (7/84) were detected in specific clades: R. felis was detected only in Clades 1 and 6 while B. henselae and R. asembonensis were detected only in Clade 4. Wolbachia spp., also displayed clade specificity with strains other than Wolbachia wCfeT only infecting fleas from Clade 6. There was poor flea and host agreement for Bartonella spp., infection; however, there was agreement in the Bartonella species detected in cats and fleas by geographic location. These findings reinforce the importance of considering reservoir host attributes and vector phylogenetic diversity in epidemiological studies of flea-borne pathogens. Widespread sampling is necessary to identify the factors driving flea-borne pathogen presence and transmission.

RevDate: 2023-03-23

Ou D, Qiu JH, Su ZQ, et al (2023)

The phylogeny and distribution of Wolbachia in two pathogen vector insects, Asian citrus psyllid and Longan psyllid.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 13:1121186.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia is the most abundant bacterial endosymbiont among insects. It can play a prominent role in the development, reproduction and immunity of its given insect host. To date, Wolbachia presence is well studied within aphids, whiteflies and planthoppers, but relatively few studies have investigated its presence in psyllids.

METHODS: Here, the infection status of Wolbachia in five species of psyllid, including Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri and longan psyllid Cornegenapsylla sinica was investigated. The phylogenetic relationships of different Wolbachia lines and their infection density and patterns in D. citri and C. sinica from different countries was also examined.

RESULTS: The infection rates of Wolbachia in D. citri and C. sinica were both 100%, and their sequencing types are ST173 and ST532 respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Wolbachia lines in D. citri and C. sinica both belong to the Con subgroup of Wolbachia supergroup B. In addition, Wolbachia displayed a scattered localization pattern in the 5th instar nymphs and in the reproductive organs of both D. citri and C. sinica but differed in other tissues; it was highest in the midgut, lowest in the salivary glands and medium in both the testes and ovaries.

CONCLUSION: Our findings assist in further understanding the coevolution of Wolbachia and its psyllid hosts. Given that Wolbachia could play an important role in insect pest control and pathogen transmission inhibition, our findings may also provide new insights for development of control strategies for D. citri and C. sinica.

RevDate: 2023-03-22

Richardson KM, Ross PA, Cooper BS, et al (2023)

A male-killing Wolbachia endosymbiont is concealed by another endosymbiont and a nuclear suppressor.

PLoS biology, 21(3):e3001879 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-22-02180 [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteria that live inside the cells of insect hosts (endosymbionts) can alter the reproduction of their hosts, including the killing of male offspring (male killing, MK). MK has only been described in a few insects, but this may reflect challenges in detecting MK rather than its rarity. Here, we identify MK Wolbachia at a low frequency (around 4%) in natural populations of Drosophila pseudotakahashii. MK Wolbachia had a stable density and maternal transmission during laboratory culture, but the MK phenotype which manifested mainly at the larval stage was lost rapidly. MK Wolbachia occurred alongside a second Wolbachia strain expressing a different reproductive manipulation, cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). A genomic analysis highlighted Wolbachia regions diverged between the 2 strains involving 17 genes, and homologs of the wmk and cif genes implicated in MK and CI were identified in the Wolbachia assembly. Doubly infected males induced CI with uninfected females but not females singly infected with CI-causing Wolbachia. A rapidly spreading dominant nuclear suppressor genetic element affecting MK was identified through backcrossing and subsequent analysis with ddRAD SNPs of the D. pseudotakahashii genome. These findings highlight the complexity of nuclear and microbial components affecting MK endosymbiont detection and dynamics in populations and the challenges of making connections between endosymbionts and the host phenotypes affected by them.

RevDate: 2023-03-20

Macher JN, Coots NL, Poh YP, et al (2023)

Single-Cell Genomics Reveals the Divergent Mitochondrial Genomes of Retaria (Foraminifera and Radiolaria).

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Mitochondria originated from an ancient bacterial endosymbiont that underwent reductive evolution by gene loss and endosymbiont gene transfer to the nuclear genome. The diversity of mitochondrial genomes published to date has revealed that gene loss and transfer processes are ongoing in many lineages. Most well-studied eukaryotic lineages are represented in mitochondrial genome databases, except for the superphylum Retaria-the lineage comprising Foraminifera and Radiolaria. Using single-cell approaches, we determined two complete mitochondrial genomes of Foraminifera and two nearly complete mitochondrial genomes of radiolarians. We report the complete coding content of an additional 14 foram species. We show that foraminiferan and radiolarian mitochondrial genomes contain a nearly fully overlapping but reduced mitochondrial gene complement compared to other sequenced rhizarians. In contrast to animals and fungi, many protists encode a diverse set of proteins on their mitochondrial genomes, including several ribosomal genes; however, some aerobic eukaryotic lineages (euglenids, myzozoans, and chlamydomonas-like algae) have reduced mitochondrial gene content and lack all ribosomal genes. Similar to these reduced outliers, we show that retarian mitochondrial genomes lack ribosomal protein and tRNA genes, contain truncated and divergent small and large rRNA genes, and contain only 14 or 15 protein-coding genes, including nad1, -3, -4, -4L, -5, and -7, cob, cox1, -2, and -3, and atp1, -6, and -9, with forams and radiolarians additionally carrying nad2 and nad6, respectively. In radiolarian mitogenomes, a noncanonical genetic code was identified in which all three stop codons encode amino acids. Collectively, these results add to our understanding of mitochondrial genome evolution and fill in one of the last major gaps in mitochondrial sequence databases. IMPORTANCE We present the reduced mitochondrial genomes of Retaria, the rhizarian lineage comprising the phyla Foraminifera and Radiolaria. By applying single-cell genomic approaches, we found that foraminiferan and radiolarian mitochondrial genomes contain an overlapping but reduced mitochondrial gene complement compared to other sequenced rhizarians. An alternative genetic code was identified in radiolarian mitogenomes in which all three stop codons encode amino acids. Collectively, these results shed light on the divergent nature of the mitochondrial genomes from an ecologically important group, warranting further questions into the biological underpinnings of gene content variability and genetic code variation between mitochondrial genomes.

RevDate: 2023-03-20

Xiong Q, Fung CS, Xiao X, et al (2023)

Endogenous Plasmids and Chromosomal Genome Reduction in the Cardinium Endosymbiont of Dermatophagoides farinae.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

Cardinium bacteria are well known as endosymbionts that infect a wide range of arthropods and can manipulate host reproduction to promote their vertical transmission. As intracellular bacteria, Cardinium species undergo dramatic genome evolution, especially their chromosomal genome reduction. Although Cardinium plasmids have been reported to harbor important genes, the role of these plasmids in the genome evolution is yet to be fully understood. In this study, 2 genomes of Cardinium endosymbiont bacteria in astigmatic mites were de novo assembled, including the complete circular chromosomal genome of Cardinium sp. DF that was constructed in high quality using high-coverage long-read sequencing data. Intriguingly, 2 circular plasmids were assembled in Cardinium sp. DF and were identified to be endogenous for over 10 homologous genes shared with the chromosomal genome. Comparative genomics analysis illustrated an outline of the genome evolution of Cardinium bacteria, and the in-depth analysis of Cardinium sp. DF shed light on the multiple roles of endogenous plasmids in the molecular process of the chromosomal genome reduction. The endogenous plasmids of Cardinium sp. DF not only harbor massive homologous sequences that enable homologous recombination with the chromosome, but also can provide necessary functional proteins when the coding genes decayed in the chromosomal genome. IMPORTANCE As bacterial endosymbionts, Cardinium typically undergoes genome reduction, but the molecular process is still unclear, such as how plasmids get involved in chromosome reduction. Here, we de novo assembled 2 genomes of Cardinium in astigmatic mites, especially the chromosome of Cardinium sp. DF was assembled in a complete circular DNA using high-coverage long-read sequencing data. In the genome assembly of Cardinium sp. DF, 2 circular endogenous plasmids were identified to share at least 10 homologous genes with the chromosomal genome. In the comparative analysis, we identified a range of genes decayed in the chromosomal genome of Cardinium sp. DF but preserved in the 2 plasmids. Taken together with in-depth analyses, our results unveil that the endogenous plasmids harbor homologous sequences of chromosomal genome and can provide a structural basis of homologous recombination. Overall, this study reveals that endogenous plasmids participate in the ongoing chromosomal genome reduction of Cardinium sp. DF.

RevDate: 2023-03-19

Allman MJ, Lin YH, Joubert DA, et al (2023)

Enhancing the scalability of Wolbachia-based vector-borne disease management: time and temperature limits for storage and transport of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti eggs for field releases.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):108.

BACKGROUND: Introgression of the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia into Aedes aegypti populations is a biocontrol approach being used to reduce arbovirus transmission. This requires mass release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes. While releases have been conducted using a variety of techniques, egg releases, using water-soluble capsules containing mosquito eggs and larval food, offer an attractive method due to its potential to reduce onsite resource requirements. However, optimisation of this approach is required to ensure there is no detrimental impact on mosquito fitness and to promote successful Wolbachia introgression.

METHODS: We determined the impact of storage time and temperature on wild-type (WT) and Wolbachia-infected (wMel or wAlbB strains) Ae. aegypti eggs. Eggs were stored inside capsules over 8 weeks at 18 °C or 22 °C and hatch rate, emergence rate and Wolbachia density were determined. We next examined egg quality and Wolbachia density after exposing eggs to 4-40 °C to determine how eggs may be impacted if exposed to extreme temperatures during shipment.

RESULTS: Encapsulating eggs for 8 weeks did not negatively impact egg viability or resulting adult emergence and Wolbachia density compared to controls. When eggs were exposed to temperatures within 4-36 °C for 48 h, their viability and resulting adult Wolbachia density were maintained; however, both were significantly reduced when exposed to 40 °C.

CONCLUSIONS: We describe the time and temperature limits for maintaining viability of Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti eggs when encapsulated or exposed to extreme temperatures. These findings could improve the efficiency of mass releases by providing transport and storage constraints to ensure only high-quality material is utilised during field releases.

RevDate: 2023-03-17

Eugénio AT, Marialva MSP, P Beldade (2023)

Effects of Wolbachia on transposable element expression vary between Drosophila melanogaster host genotypes.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7059559 [Epub ahead of print].

Transposable elements (TEs) are repetitive DNA sequences capable of changing position in host genomes, thereby causing mutations. TE insertions typically have deleterious effects but they can also be beneficial. Increasing evidence of the contribution of TEs to adaptive evolution further raises interest in understanding what factors impact TE activity. Based on previous studies associating the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia to changes in the abundance of piRNAs, a mechanism for TE repression, and to transposition of specific TEs, we hypothesized that Wolbachia infection would interfere with TE activity. We tested this hypothesis by studying expression of 14 TEs in a panel of 25 Drosophila melanogaster host genotypes, naturally infected with Wolbachia and annotated for TE insertions. The host genotypes differed significantly in Wolbachia titers inside individual flies, with broad-sense heritability around 20%, and in the number of TE insertions, which depended greatly on TE identity. By removing Wolbachia from the target host genotypes, we generated a panel of 25 pairs of Wolbachia-positive and Wolbachia-negative lines in which we quantified transcription levels our target TEs. We found variation in TE expression that was dependent on Wolbachia status, TE identity, and host genotype. Comparing between pairs of Wolbachia-positive and Wolbachia-negative flies, we found that Wolbachia removal affected TE expression in 21.1% of the TE-genotype combinations tested, with up to 2.3 times differences in median level of transcript. Our data shows that Wolbachia can impact TE activity in host genomes, underscoring the importance this endosymbiont can have in the generation of genetic novelty in hosts.

RevDate: 2023-03-17

Terretaz K, Horard B, Weill M, et al (2023)

Functional analysis of Wolbachia Cid effectors unravels cooperative interactions to target host chromatin during replication.

PLoS pathogens, 19(3):e1011211 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-22-01532 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia are common bacteria among terrestrial arthropods. These endosymbionts transmitted through the female germline manipulate their host reproduction through several mechanisms whose most prevalent form called Cytoplasmic Incompatibility -CI- is a conditional sterility syndrome eventually favoring the infected progeny. Upon fertilization, the sperm derived from an infected male is only compatible with an egg harboring a compatible Wolbachia strain, this sperm leading otherwise to embryonic death. The Wolbachia Cif factors CidA and CidB responsible for CI and its neutralization function as a Toxin-Antitoxin system in the mosquito host Culex pipiens. However, the mechanism of CidB toxicity and its neutralization by the CidA antitoxin remain unexplored. Using transfected insect cell lines to perform a structure-function analysis of these effectors, we show that both CidA and CidB are chromatin interactors and CidA anchors CidB to the chromatin in a cell-cycle dependent-manner. In absence of CidA, the CidB toxin localizes to its own chromatin microenvironment and acts by preventing S-phase completion, independently of its deubiquitylase -DUB- domain. Experiments with transgenic Drosophila show that CidB DUB domain is required together with CidA during spermatogenesis to stabilize the CidA-CidB complex. Our study defines CidB functional regions and paves the way to elucidate the mechanism of its toxicity.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Radousky YA, Hague MTJ, Fowler S, et al (2023)

Distinct Wolbachia localization patterns in oocytes of diverse host species reveal multiple strategies of maternal transmission.

Genetics pii:7076391 [Epub ahead of print].

A broad array of endosymbionts radiate through host populations via vertical transmission, yet much remains unknown concerning the cellular basis, diversity and routes underlying this transmission strategy. Here we address these issues, by examining the cellular distributions of Wolbachia strains that diverged up to 50 million years ago in the oocytes of 18 divergent Drosophila species. This analysis revealed three Wolbachia distribution patterns: 1) a tight clustering at the posterior pole plasm (the site of germline formation); 2) a concentration at the posterior pole plasm, but with a significant bacteria population distributed throughout the oocyte; 3) and a distribution throughout the oocyte, with none or very few located at the posterior pole plasm. Examination of this latter class indicates Wolbachia accesses the posterior pole plasm during the interval between late oogenesis and the blastoderm formation. We also find that one Wolbachia strain in this class concentrates in the posterior somatic follicle cells that encompass the pole plasm of the developing oocyte. In contrast, strains in which Wolbachia concentrate at the posterior pole plasm generally exhibit no or few Wolbachia in the follicle cells associated with the pole plasm. Taken together, these studies suggest that for some Drosophila species, Wolbachia invade the germline from neighboring somatic follicle cells. Phylogenomic analysis indicates that closely related Wolbachia strains tend to exhibit similar patterns of posterior localization, suggesting that specific localization strategies are a function of Wolbachia-associated factors. Previous studies revealed that endosymbionts rely on one of two distinct routes of vertical transmission: continuous maintenance in the germline (germline-to-germline) or a more circuitous route via the soma (germline-to-soma-to-germline). Here we provide compelling evidence that Wolbachia strains infecting Drosophila species maintain the diverse arrays of cellular mechanisms necessary for both of these distinct transmission routes. This characteristic may account for its ability to infect and spread globally through a vast range of host insect species.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Murugesan RK, Balakrishnan R, Natesan S, et al (2022)

Identification of coral endosymbionts of Veedhalai and Mandapam coasts of Palk Bay, India using small subunit rDNA.

Bioinformation, 18(4):318-324.

Coral endosymbionts act as a bio-indicator of coral ecosystem under extreme environmental conditions. The health of the coral ecosystem depends on the endosymbiont cell density of the coral hosts. Therefore, it is of interest to analyze ten coral fragments found to be under the genera Acropora, Favites, Favia, and Porites collected at various locations from Veedhalai to Mandapam, southeast coast of India during January 2019 to March 2019. The zooxanthellae cell count ranged between 4.08 (Porites sp.9) and 13.75x105 cells cm2 -1 (Favites sp.3). This indicates the health of the corals in the region. The genus (clade) level identification of endosymbionts was detected using the host excluding primers of small subunit DNA (nssrDNA). Bidirectional sequencing of 18S nrDNA gene (SSU) of all ten coral fragments show that the Veedhalai corals is associated with the genus Durusdinium (Clade D) but the corals of Mandapam is associated with the genera, Cladocopium (Clade C) and Durusdinium (Clade D). It is known that the thermal stress has negative impact on coral reef ecosystem of the world. The dominance of the genus Durusdinium in the scleractinian corals of Palk Bay may be due to frequent exposure to thermal stress. This thermotolerant endosymbionts is opportunistic. Thus, the corals of Veedhalai and Mandapam coasts, Palk Bay, India are necessarily packed with thermotolerant endosymbionts enabling conservation.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Verhoeve VI, Lehman SS, Driscoll TP, et al (2023)

Metagenome diversity illuminates origins of pathogen effectors.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.02.26.530123.

Recent metagenome assembled genome (MAG) analyses have profoundly impacted Rickettsiology systematics. Discovery of basal lineages (Mitibacteraceae and Athabascaceae) with predicted extracellular lifestyles reveals an evolutionary timepoint for the transition to host dependency, which occurred independent of mitochondrial evolution. Notably, these basal rickettsiae carry the Rickettsiales vir homolog (rvh) type IV secretion system (T4SS) and purportedly use rvh to kill congener microbes rather than parasitize host cells as described for derived rickettsial pathogens. MAG analysis also substantially increased diversity for genus Rickettsia and delineated a basal lineage (Tisiphia) that stands to inform on the rise of human pathogens from protist and invertebrate endosymbionts. Herein, we probed Rickettsiales MAG and genomic diversity for the distribution of Rickettsia rvh effectors to ascertain their origins. A sparse distribution of most Rickettsia rvh effectors outside of Rickettsiaceae lineages indicates unique rvh evolution from basal extracellular species and other rickettsial families. Remarkably, nearly every effector was found in multiple divergent forms with variable architectures, illuminating profound roles for gene duplication and recombination in shaping effector repertoires in Rickettsia pathogens. Lateral gene transfer plays a prominent role shaping the rvh effector landscape, as evinced by the discover of many effectors on plasmids and conjugative transposons, as well as pervasive effector gene exchange between Rickettsia and Legionella species. Our study exemplifies how MAGs can provide incredible insight on the origins of pathogen effectors and how their architectural modifications become tailored to eukaryotic host cell biology.

RevDate: 2023-03-12

Ruiz A, Gutiérrez-Bugallo G, Rodríguez-Roche R, et al (2023)

First report of natural Wolbachia infections in mosquitoes from Cuba.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(23)00078-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Mosquitoes are extensively responsible for the transmission of pathogens. Novel strategies using Wolbachia could transform that scenario, since these bacteria manipulate mosquito reproduction, and can confer a pathogen transmission-blocking phenotype in culicids. Here, we screened the Wolbachia surface protein region by PCR in eight Cuban mosquito species. We confirmed the natural infections by sequencing and assessed the phylogenetic relationships among the Wolbachia strains detected. We identified four Wolbachia hosts: Aedes albopictus, Culex quinquefasciatus, Mansonia titillans, and Aedes mediovittatus (first report worldwide). Knowledge of Wolbachia strains and their natural hosts is essential for future operationalization of this vector control strategy in Cuba.

RevDate: 2023-03-10

Reich HG, Camp EF, Roger LM, et al (2023)

The trace metal economy of the coral holobiont: supplies, demands and exchanges.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 98(2):623-642.

The juxtaposition of highly productive coral reef ecosystems in oligotrophic waters has spurred substantial interest and progress in our understanding of macronutrient uptake, exchange, and recycling among coral holobiont partners (host coral, dinoflagellate endosymbiont, endolithic algae, fungi, viruses, bacterial communities). By contrast, the contribution of trace metals to the physiological performance of the coral holobiont and, in turn, the functional ecology of reef-building corals remains unclear. The coral holobiont's trace metal economy is a network of supply, demand, and exchanges upheld by cross-kingdom symbiotic partnerships. Each partner has unique trace metal requirements that are central to their biochemical functions and the metabolic stability of the holobiont. Organismal homeostasis and the exchanges among partners determine the ability of the coral holobiont to adjust to fluctuating trace metal supplies in heterogeneous reef environments. This review details the requirements for trace metals in core biological processes and describes how metal exchanges among holobiont partners are key to sustaining complex nutritional symbioses in oligotrophic environments. Specifically, we discuss how trace metals contribute to partner compatibility, ability to cope with stress, and thereby to organismal fitness and distribution. Beyond holobiont trace metal cycling, we outline how the dynamic nature of the availability of environmental trace metal supplies can be influenced by a variability of abiotic factors (e.g. temperature, light, pH, etc.). Climate change will have profound consequences on the availability of trace metals and further intensify the myriad stressors that influence coral survival. Lastly, we suggest future research directions necessary for understanding the impacts of trace metals on the coral holobiont symbioses spanning subcellular to organismal levels, which will inform nutrient cycling in coral ecosystems more broadly. Collectively, this cross-scale elucidation of the role of trace metals for the coral holobiont will allow us to improve forecasts of future coral reef function.

RevDate: 2023-03-10

McKnight KS, Gissi F, Adams MS, et al (2023)

The Effects of Nickel and Copper on Tropical Marine and Freshwater Microalgae Using Single and Multispecies Tests.

Environmental toxicology and chemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Microalgae are key components of aquatic food chains and are known to be sensitive to a range of contaminants. Much of the available data on metal toxicity to microalgae have been derived from temperate single-species tests with temperate data used to supplement tropical toxicity data sets to derive guideline values. In the present study, we used single-species and multispecies tests to investigate the toxicity of nickel and copper to tropical freshwater and marine microalgae, including the free-swimming stage of Symbiodinium sp., a worldwide coral endosymbiont. Based on the 10% effect concentration (EC10) for growth rate, copper was two to four times more toxic than nickel to all species tested. The temperate strain of Ceratoneis closterium was eight to 10 times more sensitive to nickel than the two tropical strains. Freshwater Monoraphidium arcuatum was less sensitive to copper and nickel in the multispecies tests compared with the single-species tests (EC10 values increasing from 0.45 to 1.4 µg Cu/L and from 62 to 330 µg Ni/L). The Symbiodinium sp. was sensitive to copper (EC10 of 3.1 µg Cu/L) and less sensitive to nickel (EC50 >1600 µg Ni/L). This is an important contribution of data on the chronic toxicity of nickel to Symbiodinium sp. A key result from the present study was that three microalgal species had EC10 values below the current copper water quality guideline value for 95% species protection in slightly to moderately disturbed systems in Australia and New Zealand, indicating that they may not be adequately protected by the current copper guideline value. By contrast, toxicity of nickel to microalgae is unlikely to occur at exposure concentrations typically found in fresh and marine waters. Environ Toxicol Chem 2023;00:1-13. © 2023 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of SETAC.

RevDate: 2023-03-08

Zhu X, Liu T, He A, et al (2023)

Diversity of Wolbachia infection and its influence on mitochondrial DNA variation in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution pii:S1055-7903(23)00051-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Plutella xylostella is a pest that severely damages cruciferous vegetables worldwide and has been shown to be infected with the maternally inherited bacteria Wolbachia, with the main infected strain was plutWB1. In this study, we performed a large-scale global sampling of P. xylostella and amplified 3 mtDNA genes of P. xylostella and 6 Wolbachia genes to analyze the infection status, diversity of Wolbachia in P. xylostella, and its effect on mtDNA variation in P. xylostella. This study provides a conservative estimate of Wolbachia infection rates in P. xylostella, which was found to be 7% (104/1440). The ST 108 (plutWB1) was shared among butterfly species and the moth species P. xylostella, revealing that Wolbachia strain plutWB1 acquisition in P. xylostella may be through horizontal transmission. The Parafit analyses indicated a significant association between Wolbachia and Wolbachia-infected P. xylostella individuals, and individuals infected with plutWB1 tended to cluster in the basal positions of the phylogenetic tree based on the mtDNA data. Additionally, Wolbachia infections were associated with increased mtDNA polymorphism in the infected P. xylostella population. These data suggest that Wolbachia endosymbionts may have a potential effect on mtDNA variation of P. xylostella.

RevDate: 2023-03-07

Tholl D, Rebholz Z, Morozov AV, et al (2023)

Terpene synthases and pathways in animals: enzymology and structural evolution in the biosynthesis of volatile infochemicals.

Natural product reports [Epub ahead of print].

Covering: up to the beginning of 2023Many animals release volatile or semi-volatile terpenes as semiochemicals in intra- and inter-specific interactions. Terpenes are important constituents of pheromones and serve as chemical defenses to ward off predators. Despite the occurrence of terpene specialized metabolites from soft corals to mammals, the biosynthetic origin of these compounds has largely remained obscure. An increasing number of animal genome and transcriptome resources is facilitating the identification of enzymes and pathways that allow animals to produce terpenes independent of their food sources or microbial endosymbionts. Substantial evidence has emerged for the presence of terpene biosynthetic pathways such as in the formation of the iridoid sex pheromone nepetalactone in aphids. In addition, terpene synthase (TPS) enzymes have been discovered that are evolutionary unrelated to canonical plant and microbial TPSs and instead resemble precursor enzymes called isoprenyl diphosphate synthases (IDSs) in central terpene metabolism. Structural modifications of substrate binding motifs in canonical IDS proteins presumably facilitated the transition to TPS function at an early state in insect evolution. Other arthropods such as mites appear to have adopted their TPS genes from microbial sources via horizontal gene transfer. A similar scenario likely occurred in soft corals, where TPS families with closer resemblance to microbial TPSs have been discovered recently. Together, these findings will spur the identification of similar or still unknown enzymes in terpene biosynthesis in other lineages of animals. They will also help develop biotechnological applications for animal derived terpenes of pharmaceutical value or advance sustainable agricultural practices in pest management.

RevDate: 2023-03-04

Cooper WR, Walker WB, Angelella GM, et al (2023)

Bacterial Endosymbionts Identified From Leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) Vectors of Phytoplasmas.

Environmental entomology pii:7069634 [Epub ahead of print].

Insects often harbor bacterial endosymbionts that provide them with nutritional benefit or with protection against natural enemies, plant defenses, insecticides, and abiotic stresses. Certain endosymbionts may also alter acquisition and transmission of plant pathogens by insect vectors. We identified bacterial endosymbionts from four leafhopper vectors (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' species by direct sequencing 16S rDNA and confirmed endosymbiont presence and identity by species-specific conventional PCR. We examined three vectors of Ca. Phytoplasma pruni, causal agent of cherry X-disease [Colladonus geminatus (Van Duzee), Colladonus montanus reductus (Van Duzee), Euscelidius variegatus (Kirschbaum)] - and a vector of Ca. Phytoplasma trifolii, the causal agent of potato purple top disease [Circulifer tenellus (Baker)]. Direct sequencing of 16S identified the two obligate endosymbionts of leafhoppers, 'Ca. Sulcia' and 'Ca. Nasuia', which are known to produce essential amino acids lacking in the leafhoppers' phloem sap diet. About 57% of C. geminatus also harbored endosymbiotic Rickettsia. We identified 'Ca. Yamatotoia cicadellidicola' in Euscelidius variegatus, providing just the second host record for this endosymbiont. Circulifer tenellus harbored the facultative endosymbiont Wolbachia, although the average infection rate was only 13% and all males were Wolbachia-uninfected. A significantly greater percentage of Wolbachia-infected Ci. tenellus adults than uninfected adults carried Ca. P. trifolii, suggesting that Wolbachia may increase this insect's ability to tolerate or acquire this pathogen. Results of our study provide a foundation for continued work on interactions between leafhoppers, bacterial endosymbionts, and phytoplasma.

RevDate: 2023-03-02

Gossett JM, Porter ML, Vasquez Y, et al (2023)

Genomic comparisons reveal selection pressure and functional variation between nutritional endosymbionts of cave-adapted and epigean Hawaiian planthoppers.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7067397 [Epub ahead of print].

Planthoppers in the family Cixiidae (Hempitera: Auchenorrhyncha: Fulgoromorpha) harbor a diverse set of obligate bacterial endosymbionts that provision essential amino acids and vitamins that are missing from their plant-sap diet. "Candidatus Sulcia muelleri", and "Ca. Vidania fulgoroidea" have been associated with cixiid planthoppers since their origin within the Auchenorrhyncha, while "Ca. Purcelliella pentastirinorum" is a more recent endosymbiotic acquisition. Hawaiian cixiid planthoppers occupy diverse habitats including lava tube caves and shrubby surface landscapes, which offer different nutritional resources and environmental constraints. Genomic studies have focused on understanding the nutritional provisioning roles of cixiid endosymbionts more broadly, yet it is still unclear how selection pressures on endosymbiont genes might differ between cixiid host species inhabiting such diverse landscapes, or how variation in selection might impact symbiont evolution. In this study, we sequenced the genomes of Sulcia, Vidania, and Purcelliella isolated from both surface and cave-adapted planthopper hosts from the genus Oliarus. We found that nutritional biosynthesis genes were conserved in Sulcia and Vidania genomes in inter- and intra-host species comparisons. In contrast, Purcelliella genomes retain different essential nutritional biosynthesis genes between surface- and cave-adapted planthopper species. Finally, we see variation in selection pressures on symbiont genes both within and between host species suggesting that strong coevolution between host and endosymbiont is associated with different patterns of molecular evolution on a fine scale that may be associated with host diet.

RevDate: 2023-02-28

Latrofa MS, Varotto-Boccazzi I, Louzada-Flores VN, et al (2023)

Interaction between Wolbachia pipientis and Leishmania infantum in heartworm infected dogs.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):77.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia is a Gram-negative endosymbiont associated with several species of arthropods and filarioid nematodes, including Dirofilaria immitis. This endosymbiont may elicit a Th1 response, which is a component of the immunity against Leishmania infantum.

METHODS: To investigate the interactions between Wolbachia of D. immitis and L. infantum in naturally infected dogs and cytokine circulation, dogs without clinical signs (n = 187) were selected. Dogs were tested for microfilariae (mfs) by Knott, for female antigens of D. immitis by SNAP, and for anti-L. infantum antibodies by IFAT and assigned to four groups. Dogs of group 1 (G1) and 2 (G2) were positive for D. immitis and positive or negative to L. infantum, respectively. Dogs of group 3 (G3) and 4 (G4) were negative to D. immitis and positive or negative to L. infantum, respectively. Wolbachia and L. infantum DNA was quantified by real-time PCR (qPCR) in dog blood samples. A subset of dogs (n = 65) was examined to assess pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine production using an ELISA test.

RESULTS: Of 93 dogs positive to D. immitis with circulating mfs, 85% were positive to Wolbachia, with the highest amount of DNA detected in G1 and the lowest in dogs with low mfs load in G1 and G2. Among dogs positive to L. infantum, 66% from G1 showed low antibody titer, while 48.9% from G3 had the highest antibody titer. Of 37 dogs positive to Wolbachia from G1, 26 (70.3%) had low antibody titers to L. infantum (1:160). Among cytokines, TNFα showed the highest mean concentration in G1 (246.5 pg/ml), IFNγ being the one most represented (64.3%). IL-10 (1809.5 pg/ml) and IL-6 (123.5 pg/ml) showed the highest mean concentration in dogs from G1. A lower percentage of dogs producing IL-4 was observed in all groups examined, with the highest mean concentration (2794 pg/ml) recorded in G2.

CONCLUSION: Results show the association of D. immitis and Wolbachia with the lower antibody titers of L. infantum in co-infected dogs, suggesting the hypothesis that the endosymbiont may affect the development of the patent leishmaniosis. However, due to the limitations associated with the heterogeneity of naturally infected dogs in field conditions, results should be validated by investigation on experimental models.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Nencioni A, Pastorelli R, Bigiotti G, et al (2023)

Diversity of the Bacterial Community Associated with Hindgut, Malpighian Tubules, and Foam of Nymphs of Two Spittlebug Species (Hemiptera: Aphrophoridae).

Microorganisms, 11(2): pii:microorganisms11020466.

Spittlebugs are xylem-sap feeding insects that can exploit a nutrient-poor diet, thanks to mutualistic endosymbionts residing in various organs of their body. Although obligate symbioses in some spittlebug species have been quite well studied, little is known about their facultative endosymbionts, especially those inhabiting the gut. Recently, the role played by spittlebugs as vectors of the phytopathogenetic bacterium Xylella fastidiosa aroused attention to this insect group, boosting investigations aimed at developing effective yet sustainable control strategies. Since spittlebug nymphs are currently the main target of applied control, the composition of gut bacterial community of the juveniles of Philaenus spumarius and Lepyronia coleoptrata was investigated using molecular techniques. Moreover, bacteria associated with their froth, sampled from different host plants, were studied. Results revealed that Sodalis and Rickettsia bacteria are the predominant taxa in the gut of P. spumarius and L. coleoptrata nymphs, respectively, while Rhodococcus was found in both species. Our investigations also highlighted the presence of recurring bacteria in the froth. Furthermore, the foam hosted several bacterial species depending on the host plant, the insect species, or on soil contaminant. Overall, first findings showed that nymphs harbor a large and diverse bacterial community in their gut and froth, providing new accounts to the knowledge on facultative symbionts of spittlebugs.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Picciotti U, Araujo Dalbon V, Ciancio A, et al (2023)

"Ectomosphere": Insects and Microorganism Interactions.

Microorganisms, 11(2): pii:microorganisms11020440.

This study focuses on interacting with insects and their ectosymbiont (lato sensu) microorganisms for environmentally safe plant production and protection. Some cases help compare ectosymbiont microorganisms that are insect-borne, -driven, or -spread relevant to endosymbionts' behaviour. Ectosymbiotic bacteria can interact with insects by allowing them to improve the value of their pabula. In addition, some bacteria are essential for creating ecological niches that can host the development of pests. Insect-borne plant pathogens include bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These pathogens interact with their vectors to enhance reciprocal fitness. Knowing vector-phoront interaction could considerably increase chances for outbreak management, notably when sustained by quarantine vector ectosymbiont pathogens, such as the actual Xylella fastidiosa Mediterranean invasion episode. Insect pathogenic viruses have a close evolutionary relationship with their hosts, also being highly specific and obligate parasites. Sixteen virus families have been reported to infect insects and may be involved in the biological control of specific pests, including some economic weevils. Insects and fungi are among the most widespread organisms in nature and interact with each other, establishing symbiotic relationships ranging from mutualism to antagonism. The associations can influence the extent to which interacting organisms can exert their effects on plants and the proper management practices. Sustainable pest management also relies on entomopathogenic fungi; research on these species starts from their isolation from insect carcasses, followed by identification using conventional light or electron microscopy techniques. Thanks to the development of omics sciences, it is possible to identify entomopathogenic fungi with evolutionary histories that are less-shared with the target insect and can be proposed as pest antagonists. Many interesting omics can help detect the presence of entomopathogens in different natural matrices, such as soil or plants. The same techniques will help localize ectosymbionts, localization of recesses, or specialized morphological adaptation, greatly supporting the robust interpretation of the symbiont role. The manipulation and modulation of ectosymbionts could be a more promising way to counteract pests and borne pathogens, mitigating the impact of formulates and reducing food insecurity due to the lesser impact of direct damage and diseases. The promise has a preventive intent for more manageable and broader implications for pests, comparing what we can obtain using simpler, less-specific techniques and a less comprehensive approach to Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Mashini AG, Oakley CA, Beepat SS, et al (2023)

The Influence of Symbiosis on the Proteome of the Exaiptasia Endosymbiont Breviolum minutum.

Microorganisms, 11(2): pii:microorganisms11020292.

The cellular mechanisms responsible for the regulation of nutrient exchange, immune response, and symbiont population growth in the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis are poorly resolved. Here, we employed liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to elucidate proteomic changes associated with symbiosis in Breviolum minutum, a native symbiont of the sea anemone Exaiptasia diaphana ('Aiptasia'). We manipulated nutrients available to the algae in culture and to the holobiont in hospite (i.e., in symbiosis) and then monitored the impacts of our treatments on host-endosymbiont interactions. Both the symbiotic and nutritional states had significant impacts on the B. minutum proteome. B. minutum in hospite showed an increased abundance of proteins involved in phosphoinositol metabolism (e.g., glycerophosphoinositol permease 1 and phosphatidylinositol phosphatase) relative to the free-living alga, potentially reflecting inter-partner signalling that promotes the stability of the symbiosis. Proteins potentially involved in concentrating and fixing inorganic carbon (e.g., carbonic anhydrase, V-type ATPase) and in the assimilation of nitrogen (e.g., glutamine synthase) were more abundant in free-living B. minutum than in hospite, possibly due to host-facilitated access to inorganic carbon and nitrogen limitation by the host when in hospite. Photosystem proteins increased in abundance at high nutrient levels irrespective of the symbiotic state, as did proteins involved in antioxidant defences (e.g., superoxide dismutase, glutathione s-transferase). Proteins involved in iron metabolism were also affected by the nutritional state, with an increased iron demand and uptake under low nutrient treatments. These results detail the changes in symbiont physiology in response to the host microenvironment and nutrient availability and indicate potential symbiont-driven mechanisms that regulate the cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Solanki S, Lakshmi GBVS, Dhiman T, et al (2023)

Co-Application of Silver Nanoparticles and Symbiotic Fungus Piriformospora indica Improves Secondary Metabolite Production in Black Rice.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:jof9020260.

In the current research, unique Nano-Embedded Fungus (NEF), made by the synergic association of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and endophytic fungus (Piriformospora indica), is studied, and the impact of NEF on black rice secondary metabolites is reported. AgNPs were synthesized by chemical reduction process using the temperature-dependent method and characterized for morphological and structural features through UV visible absorption spectroscopy, zeta potential, XRD, SEM-EDX, and FTIR spectroscopy. The NEF, prepared by optimizing the AgNPs concentration (300 ppm) in agar and broth media, showed better fungal biomass, colony diameter, spore count, and spore size than the control P. indica. Treatment with AgNPs, P. indica, and NEF resulted in growth enhancement in black rice. NEF and AgNPs stimulated the production of secondary metabolites in its leaves. The concentrations of chlorophyll, carotenoids, flavonoids, and terpenoids were increased in plants inoculated with P. indica and AgNPs. The findings of the study highlight the synergistic effect of AgNPs and the fungal symbionts in augmenting the secondary metabolites in leaves of black rice.

RevDate: 2023-02-24

Kallu SA, Ndebe J, Qiu Y, et al (2023)

Prevalence and Association of Trypanosomes and Sodalis glossinidius in Tsetse Flies from the Kafue National Park in Zambia.

Tropical medicine and infectious disease, 8(2): pii:tropicalmed8020080.

Tsetse flies are obligate hematophagous vectors of animal and human African trypanosomosis. They cyclically transmit pathogenic Trypanosoma species. The endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius is suggested to play a role in facilitating the susceptibility of tsetse flies to trypanosome infections. Therefore, this study was aimed at determining the prevalence of S. glossinidius and trypanosomes circulating in tsetse flies and checking whether an association exists between trypanosomes and Sodalis infections in tsetse flies from Kafue National Park in Zambia. A total of 326 tsetse flies were sampled from the Chunga and Ngoma areas of the national park. After DNA extraction was conducted, the presence of S. glossinidius and trypanosome DNA was checked using PCR. The Chi-square test was carried out to determine whether there was an association between the presence of S. glossinidius and trypanosome infections. Out of the total tsetse flies collected, the prevalence of S. glossinidius and trypanosomes was 21.8% and 19.3%, respectively. The prevalence of S. glossinidius was 22.2% in Glossina morsitans and 19.6% in Glossina pallidipes. In relation to sampling sites, the prevalence of S. glossinidius was 26.0% in Chunga and 21.0% in Ngoma. DNA of trypanosomes was detected in 18.9% of G. morsitans and 21.4% of G. pallidipes. The prevalence of trypanosomes was 21.7% and 6.0% for Ngoma and Chunga, respectively. The prevalences of trypanosome species detected in this study were 6.4%, 4.6%, 4.0%, 3.7%, 3.1%, and 2.5% for T. vivax, T. simiae, T. congolense, T. godfreyi, T. simiae Tsavo, and T. b. brucei, respectively. Out of 63 trypanosome infected tsetse flies, 47.6% of the flies also carried S. glossinidius, and the remaining flies were devoid of S. glossinidius. A statistically significant association was found between S. glossinidius and trypanosomes (p < 0.001) infections in tsetse flies. Our findings indicated that presence of S. glossinidius increases the susceptibility of tsetse flies to trypanosome infections and S. glossinidius could be a potential candidate for symbiont-mediated vector control in these tsetse species.

RevDate: 2023-02-24

Teal E, Herrera C, E Dumonteil (2023)

Metabolomics of developmental changes in Triatoma sanguisuga gut microbiota.

PloS one, 18(2):e0280868 pii:PONE-D-22-29767.

Triatoma sanguisuga is one of the major vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi in the southeastern US, where it sustains a robust zoonotic parasite transmission cycle and occasional human infections. A better understanding of triatomine development may allow for alternative approaches to insecticide-based vector control. Indeed, the role of the gut microbiota and bacterial endosymbionts in triatomine development and in their vectorial capacity is emerging. We investigated here the differences in microbiota among nymph and adult T. sanguisuga, to shed light on the metabolomic interactions occurring during development. Microbiota composition was assessed by 16s gene amplification and deep sequencing from field-caught adult bugs and their laboratory-raised progeny. Significant differences in microbiota bacterial diversity and composition were observed between nymphs and adults. Laboratory-raised nymphs showed a higher taxonomic diversity, and at least seven families predominated. On the other hand, field-caught adults had a lower bacterial diversity and four families comprised most of the microbiota. These differences in compositions were associated with differences in predicted metabolism, with laboratory-raised nymphs microbiota metabolizing a limited diversity of carbon sources, with potential for resource competition between bacterial families, and the production of lactic acid as a predominant fermentation product. On the other hand, field-caught adult microbiota was predicted to metabolize a broader diversity of carbon sources, with complementarity rather than competition among taxa, and produced a diverse range of products in a more balanced manner. The restricted functionality of laboratory-raised nymph microbiota may be associated with their poor development in captivity, and further understanding of the metabolic interactions at play may lead to alternative vector control strategies targeting triatomine microbiota.

RevDate: 2023-02-24

Jiang RX, Shang F, Jiang HB, et al (2023)

Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus: An important factor affecting bacterial community composition and Wolbachia titers in Asian citrus psyllid.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1109803.

Endosymbionts play crucial roles in various physiological activities within insect hosts. The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is an important vector for Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), a fatal pathogenic bacterial agent causing the disease Huanglongbing in the citrus industry. This study combines high-throughput sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA amplicons to explore how CLas affects the bacterial community in different color morphs (blue, gray), genders, and tissues (cuticle, gut, mycetome, Malpighian tubule, ovary, and testis) of ACP. We found that there was no significant differences in the bacterial community diversity and CLas acquired ratio between the different color morphs and genders of ACP adults. However, acquiring CLas could promote the adult bacterial community's diversity and richness more than in the uninfected condition. The presence of CLas could increase the Wolbachia and unclassified_Enterobacteriaceae proportions more than in the uninfected condition. The bacterial community diversity in the CLas infected tissues of ovary and cuticle, was lower than the uninfected condition, but the richness of all tissues was not different between the infected and uninfected conditions. CLas could also change the bacterial structure in different tissues and make the bacterial relationship network simpler than it is in an uninfected condition. Furthermore, we used quantitative real-time PCR to assess the dynamic changes of Wolbachia in CLas uninfected and infected color morphs and tissues of ACP. The results showed that Wolbachia titers were significantly higher in CLas infected adults than in uninfected adults. In different tissues, the Wolbachia titers in the testis, ovary, and Malpighian tubule were higher than their uninfected counterparts. Our results provide essential knowledge for understanding the symbionts of the ACP and how CLas affects the bacterial community of the ACP.

RevDate: 2023-02-24

Schultz DL, Selberherr E, Stouthamer CM, et al (2022)

Sex-based de novo transcriptome assemblies of the parasitoid wasp Encarsia suzannae, a host of the manipulative heritable symbiont Cardinium hertigii.

GigaByte (Hong Kong, China), 2022:gigabyte68 pii:68.

Parasitoid wasps in the genus Encarsia are commonly used as biological pest control agents of whiteflies and armored scale insects in greenhouses or the field. They are also hosts of the bacterial endosymbiont Cardinium hertigii, which can cause reproductive manipulation phenotypes, including parthenogenesis, feminization, and cytoplasmic incompatibility (the last is mainly studied in Encarsia suzannae). Despite their biological and economic importance, there are no published Encarsia genomes and only one public transcriptome. Here, we applied a mapping-and-removal approach to eliminate known contaminants from previously-obtained Illumina sequencing data. We generated de novo transcriptome assemblies for both female and male E. suzannae which contain 45,986 and 54,762 final coding sequences, respectively. Benchmarking Single-Copy Orthologs results indicate both assemblies are highly complete. Preliminary analyses revealed the presence of homologs of sex-determination genes characterized in other insects and putative venom proteins. Our male and female transcriptomes will be valuable tools to better understand the biology of Encarsia and their evolutionary relatives, particularly in studies involving insects of only one sex.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

Manoj RRS, Latrofa MS, Louni M, et al (2023)

In vitro maintenance of the endosymbiont Wolbachia of Dirofilaria immitis.

Parasitology research [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia has an obligatory mutualistic relationship with many onchocercid nematodes of the subfamilies Dirofilariinae and Onchocercinae. Till date, no attempts have been made for the in vitro cultivation of this intracellular bacterium from the filarioid host. Hence, the current study attempted cell co-culture method using embryonic Drosophila S2 and the LD cell lines to cultivate Wolbachia from Dirofilaria immitis microfilariae (mfs) harvested from infected dogs. Microfilariae (mfs = 1500) were inoculated in shell vials supplemented with Schneider medium using both cell lines. The establishment and multiplication of the bacterium were observed during the initial inoculation, at day 0 and before every medium change (from days 14 to 115). An aliquot (50 µl) from each time point was tested by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Comparing the average of Ct values, obtained by the tested parameters (i.e., LD/S2 cell lines and mfs with/without treatment), the S2 cell line without mechanical disruption of mfs provided the highest Wolbachia cell count by qPCR. Despite the maintenance of Wolbachia within both S2 and LD-based cell co-culture models for up to 115 days, a definitive conclusion is still far. Further trials using fluorescent microscopy and viable staining will help to demonstrate the cell line infection and viability of Wolbachia. Use of considerable amount of untreated mfs to inoculate the Drosophilia S2 cell lines, as well as the supplementation of the culture media with growth stimulants or pre-treated cells to increase their susceptibility for the infection and development of a filarioid-based cell line system are recommended for the future trials.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

Muro T, Hikida H, Fujii T, et al (2023)

Two Complete Genomes of Male-Killing Wolbachia Infecting Ostrinia Moth Species Illuminate Their Evolutionary Dynamics and Association with Hosts.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is an extremely widespread intracellular symbiont which causes reproductive manipulation on various arthropod hosts. Male progenies are killed in Wolbachia-infected lineages of the Japanese Ostrinia moth population. While the mechanism of male killing and the evolutionary interaction between host and symbiont are significant concerns for this system, the absence of Wolbachia genomic information has limited approaches to these issues. We determined the complete genome sequences of wFur and wSca, the male-killing Wolbachia of Ostrinia furnacalis and Ostrinia scapulalis. The two genomes shared an extremely high degree of homology, with over 95% of the predicted protein sequences being identical. A comparison of these two genomes revealed nearly minimal genome evolution, with a strong emphasis on the frequent genome rearrangements and the rapid evolution of ankyrin repeat-containing proteins. Additionally, we determined the mitochondrial genomes of both species' infected lineages and performed phylogenetic analyses to deduce the evolutionary dynamics of Wolbachia infection in the Ostrinia clade. According to the inferred phylogenetic relationship, two possible scenarios were proposed: (1) Wolbachia infection was established in the Ostrinia clade prior to the speciation of related species such as O. furnacalis and O. scapulalis, or (2) Wolbachia infection in these species was introgressively transferred from a currently unidentified relative. Simultaneously, the relatively high homology of mitochondrial genomes suggested recent Wolbachia introgression between infected Ostrinia species. The findings of this study collectively shed light on the host-symbiont interaction from an evolutionary standpoint.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

De la Vega P, Shimpi GG, B Bentlage (2023)

Genome Sequence of the Endosymbiont Endozoicomonas sp. Strain GU-1 (Gammaproteobacteria), Isolated from the Staghorn Coral Acropora pulchra (Cnidaria: Scleractinia).

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

Endozoicomonas sp. strain GU-1 was isolated from two separate staghorn coral (Acropora pulchra) colonies collected in Guam, Micronesia. Both isolates were grown in marine broth prior to DNA extraction and Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) sequencing. Genomes were approximately 6.1 Mbp in size, containing highly similar gene content and matching sets of rRNA sequences.

RevDate: 2023-02-21

Ogier JC, Akhurst R, Boemare N, et al (2023)

The endosymbiont and the second bacterial circle of entomopathogenic nematodes.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(23)00022-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Single host-symbiont interactions should be reconsidered from the perspective of the pathobiome. We revisit here the interactions between entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) and their microbiota. We first describe the discovery of these EPNs and their bacterial endosymbionts. We also consider EPN-like nematodes and their putative symbionts. Recent high-throughput sequencing studies have shown that EPNs and EPN-like nematodes are also associated with other bacterial communities, referred to here as the second bacterial circle of EPNs. Current findings suggest that some members of this second bacterial circle contribute to the pathogenic success of nematodes. We suggest that the endosymbiont and the second bacterial circle delimit an EPN pathobiome.

RevDate: 2023-02-17

Mills MK, McCabe LG, Rodrigue EM, et al (2023)

Wbm0076, a candidate effector protein of the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Brugia malayi, disrupts eukaryotic actin dynamics.

PLoS pathogens, 19(2):e1010777 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-22-01328 [Epub ahead of print].

Brugia malayi, a parasitic roundworm of humans, is colonized by the obligate intracellular bacterium, Wolbachia pipientis. The symbiosis between this nematode and bacterium is essential for nematode reproduction and long-term survival in a human host. Therefore, identifying molecular mechanisms required by Wolbachia to persist in and colonize B. malayi tissues will provide new essential information regarding the basic biology of this endosymbiosis. Wolbachia utilize a Type IV secretion system to translocate so-called "effector" proteins into the cytosol of B. malayi cells to promote colonization of the eukaryotic host. However, the characterization of these Wolbachia secreted proteins has remained elusive due to the genetic intractability of both organisms. Strikingly, expression of the candidate Wolbachia Type IV-secreted effector protein, Wbm0076, in the surrogate eukaryotic cell model, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, resulted in the disruption of the yeast actin cytoskeleton and inhibition of endocytosis. Genetic analyses show that Wbm0076 is a member of the family of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome proteins (WAS [p]), a well-conserved eukaryotic protein family required for the organization of actin skeletal structures. Thus, Wbm0076 likely plays a central role in the active cell-to-cell movement of Wolbachia throughout B. malayi tissues during nematode development. As most Wolbachia isolates sequenced to date encode at least partial orthologs of wBm0076, we find it likely that the ability of Wolbachia to directly manipulate host actin dynamics is an essential requirement of all Wolbachia endosymbioses, independent of host cell species.

RevDate: 2023-02-16

Matias AMA, Popovic I, Thia JA, et al (2023)

Cryptic diversity and spatial genetic variation in the coral Acropora tenuis and its endosymbionts across the Great Barrier Reef.

Evolutionary applications, 16(2):293-310.

Genomic studies are uncovering extensive cryptic diversity within reef-building corals, suggesting that evolutionarily and ecologically relevant diversity is highly underestimated in the very organisms that structure coral reefs. Furthermore, endosymbiotic algae within coral host species can confer adaptive responses to environmental stress and may represent additional axes of coral genetic variation that are not constrained by taxonomic divergence of the cnidarian host. Here, we examine genetic variation in a common and widespread, reef-building coral, Acropora tenuis, and its associated endosymbiotic algae along the entire expanse of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We use SNPs derived from genome-wide sequencing to characterize the cnidarian coral host and organelles from zooxanthellate endosymbionts (genus Cladocopium). We discover three distinct and sympatric genetic clusters of coral hosts, whose distributions appear associated with latitude and inshore-offshore reef position. Demographic modelling suggests that the divergence history of the three distinct host taxa ranges from 0.5 to 1.5 million years ago, preceding the GBR's formation, and has been characterized by low-to-moderate ongoing inter-taxon gene flow, consistent with occasional hybridization and introgression typifying coral evolution. Despite this differentiation in the cnidarian host, A. tenuis taxa share a common symbiont pool, dominated by the genus Cladocopium (Clade C). Cladocopium plastid diversity is not strongly associated with host identity but varies with reef location relative to shore: inshore colonies contain lower symbiont diversity on average but have greater differences between colonies as compared with symbiont communities from offshore colonies. Spatial genetic patterns of symbiont communities could reflect local selective pressures maintaining coral holobiont differentiation across an inshore-offshore environmental gradient. The strong influence of environment (but not host identity) on symbiont community composition supports the notion that symbiont community composition responds to habitat and may assist in the adaptation of corals to future environmental change.

RevDate: 2023-02-14

Li C, Liu S, Zhou H, et al (2023)

Metatranscriptomic Sequencing Reveals Host Species as an Important Factor Shaping the Mosquito Virome.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Mosquitoes are important vector hosts for numerous viral pathogens and harbor a large number of mosquito-specific viruses as well as human-infecting viruses. Previous studies have mainly focused on the discovery of mosquito viruses, and our understanding of major ecological factors associated with virome structure in mosquitoes remains limited. We utilized metatranscriptomic sequencing to characterize the viromes of five mosquito species sampled across eight locations in Yunnan Province, China. This revealed the presence of 52 viral species, of which 19 were novel, belonging to 15 viral families/clades. Of particular note was Culex hepacivirus 1, clustering within the avian clade of hepaciviruses. Notably, both the viromic diversity and abundance of Aedes genus mosquitoes were significantly higher than those of the Culex genus, while Aedes albopictus mosquitoes harbored a higher diversity than Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Our findings thus point to discernible differences in viromic structure between mosquito genera and even between mosquito species within the same genus. Importantly, such differences were not attributable to differences in sampling between geographical location. Our study also revealed the ubiquitous presence of the endosymbiont bacterium Wolbachia, with the genetic diversity and abundance also varying between mosquito species. In conclusion, our results suggested that the mosquito host species play an important role in shaping the virome's structure. IMPORTANCE This study revealed the huge capability of mosquitoes in harboring a rich diversity of RNA viruses, although relevant studies have characterized the intensively unparalleled diversity of RNA viruses previously. Furthermore, our findings showed discernible differences not only in viromic structure between mosquito genera and even between mosquito species within the same genus but also in the genetic diversity and abundance of Wolbachia between different mosquito populations. These findings emphasize the importance of host genetic background in shaping the virome composition of mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2023-02-14

Sanaei E, Albery GF, Yeoh YK, et al (2023)

Host phylogeny and ecological associations best explain Wolbachia host shifts in scale insects.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia are among the most prevalent and widespread endosymbiotic bacteria on earth. Wolbachia's success in infecting an enormous number of arthropod species is attributed to two features: the range of phenotypes they induce in their hosts, and their ability to switch between host species. Whilst much progress has been made in elucidating their induced phenotypes, our understanding of Wolbachia host shifting is still very limited: we lack answers to even fundamental questions concerning Wolbachia's routes of transfer and the importance of factors influencing host shifts. Here, we investigate the diversity and host-shift patterns of Wolbachia in scale insects, a group of arthropods with intimate associations with other insects that make them well-suited to studying host shifts. Using Illumina multi-target amplicon sequencing of Wolbachia-infected scale insects and their direct associates we determined the identity of all Wolbachia strains. We then fitted a Generalised Additive Mixed Model (GAMM) to our data to estimate the influence of host phylogeny and the geographic distribution on Wolbachia strain sharing among scale insect species. The model predicts no significant contribution of host geography but strong effects of host phylogeny, with high rates of Wolbachia sharing among closely related species and a sudden drop-off in sharing with increasing phylogenetic distance. We also detected the same Wolbachia strain in scale insects and several intimately associated species (ants, wasps, and flies). This indicates putative host shifts and potential routes of transfers via these associates and highlights the importance of ecological connectivity in Wolbachia host-shifting.

RevDate: 2023-02-13

Takasuka K, K Arakawa (2023)

The Method of Eliminating the Wolbachia Endosymbiont Genomes from Insect Samples Prior to a Long-Read Sequencing.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2632:101-112.

When extracting DNA of invertebrates for long-read sequencing, not only enough quantity and size of the DNA but, depending on the species, elimination of contamination of endosymbiotic Wolbachia genome also has to be achieved. These requirements become troublesome, especially in small-sized species with a limited number of individuals available for the experiment. In this chapter, using tiny parasitoid wasps (Reclinervellus nielseni) parasitizing spiders as hosts, we developed a method of eliminating the Wolbachia genomes by means of an antibiotic administration to adult wasps via honey solution. Twenty days of rifampicin treatment since their emergence from cocoons resulted in a significant decrease in the Wolbachia genomes while keeping good DNA conditions for nanopore sequencing. An adequate quantity of DNA was then gained by pooling several individuals. The method could be applied to other insects or invertebrates that can be maintained by laboratory feeding with liquid food.

RevDate: 2023-02-13

Dell'Aglio E, Lacotte V, Peignier S, et al (2023)

Weevil Carbohydrate Intake Triggers Endosymbiont Proliferation: A Trade-Off between Host Benefit and Endosymbiont Burden.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Nutritional symbioses between insects and intracellular bacteria (endosymbionts) are a major force of adaptation, allowing animals to colonize nutrient-poor ecological niches. Many beetles feeding on tyrosine-poor substrates rely on a surplus of aromatic amino acids produced by bacterial endosymbionts. This surplus of aromatic amino acids is crucial for the biosynthesis of a thick exoskeleton, the cuticle, which is made of a matrix of chitin with proteins and pigments built from tyrosine-derived molecules, providing an important defensive barrier against biotic and abiotic stress. Other endosymbiont-related advantages for beetles include faster development and improved fecundity. The association between Sitophilus oryzae and the Sodalis pierantonius endosymbiont represents a unique case study among beetles: endosymbionts undergo an exponential proliferation in young adults concomitant with the cuticle tanning, and then they are fully eliminated. While endosymbiont clearance, as well as total endosymbiont titer, are host-controlled processes, the mechanism triggering endosymbiont exponential proliferation remains poorly understood. Here, we show that endosymbiont exponential proliferation relies on host carbohydrate intake, unlike the total endosymbiont titer or the endosymbiont clearance, which are under host genetic control. Remarkably, insect fecundity was preserved, and the cuticle tanning was achieved, even when endosymbiont exponential proliferation was experimentally blocked, except in the context of a severely unbalanced diet. Moreover, a high endosymbiont titer coupled with nutrient shortage dramatically impacted host survival, revealing possible environment-dependent disadvantages for the host, likely due to the high energy cost of exponentially proliferating endosymbionts. IMPORTANCE Beetles thriving on tyrosine-poor diet sources often develop mutualistic associations with endosymbionts able to synthesize aromatic amino acids. This surplus of aromatic amino acids is used to reinforce the insect's protective cuticle. An exceptional feature of the Sitophilus oryzae/Sodalis pierantonius interaction is the exponential increase in endosymbiotic titer observed in young adult insects, in concomitance with cuticle biosynthesis. Here, we show that host carbohydrate intake triggers endosymbiont exponential proliferation, even in conditions that lead to the detriment of the host survival. In addition, when hosts thrive on a balanced diet, endosymbiont proliferation is dispensable for several host fitness traits. The endosymbiont exponential proliferation is therefore dependent on the nutritional status of the host, and its consequences on host cuticle biosynthesis and survival depend on food quality and availability.

RevDate: 2023-02-13

Sinha DK, Gupta A, Padmakumari AP, et al (2022)

Infestation of Rice by Gall Midge Influences Density and Diversity of Pseudomonas and Wolbachia in the Host Plant Microbiome.

Current genomics, 23(2):126-136.

Background: The virulence of phytophagous insects is predominantly determined by their ability to evade or suppress host defense for their survival. The rice gall midge (GM, Orseolia oryzae), a monophagous pest of rice, elicits a host defense similar to the one elicited upon pathogen attack. This could be due to the GM feeding behaviour, wherein the GM endosymbionts are transferred to the host plant via oral secretions, and as a result, the host mounts an appropriate defense response(s) (i.e., up-regulation of the salicylic acid pathway) against these endosymbionts. Methods: The current study aimed to analyze the microbiome present at the feeding site of GM maggots to determine the exchange of bacterial species between GM and its host and to elucidate their role in rice-GM interaction using a next-generation sequencing approach. Results: Our results revealed differential representation of the phylum Proteobacteria in the GM-infested and -uninfested rice tissues. Furthermore, analysis of the species diversity of Pseudomonas and Wolbachia supergroups at the feeding sites indicated the exchange of bacterial species between GM and its host upon infestation. Conclusion: As rice-GM microbial associations remain relatively unstudied, these findings not only add to our current understanding of microbe-assisted insect-plant interactions but also provide valuable insights into how these bacteria drive insect-plant coevolution. Moreover, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first report analyzing the microbiome of a host plant (rice) at the feeding site of its insect pest (GM).

RevDate: 2023-02-11

Tarlachkov SV, Efeykin BD, Castillo P, et al (2023)

Distribution of Bacterial Endosymbionts of the Cardinium Clade in Plant-Parasitic Nematodes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(3): pii:ijms24032905.

Bacteria of the genus "Candidatus Cardinium" and related organisms composing the Cardinium clade are intracellular endosymbionts frequently occurring in several arthropod groups, freshwater mussels and plant-parasitic nematodes. Phylogenetic analyses based on two gene sequences (16S rRNA and gyrB) showed that the Cardinium clade comprised at least five groups: A, B, C, D and E. In this study, a screening of 142 samples of plant-parasitic nematodes belonging to 93 species from 12 families and two orders using PCR with specific primers and sequencing, revealed bacteria of Cardinium clade in 14 nematode samples belonging to 12 species of cyst nematodes of the family Heteroderidae. Furthermore, in this study, the genome of the Cardinium cHhum from the hop cyst nematode, Heterodera humuli, was also amplified, sequenced and analyzed. The comparisons of the average nucleotide identity (ANI) and digital DNA-DNA hybridization (dDDH) values for the strain Cardinium cHhum with regard to related organisms with available genomes, combined with the data on 16S rRNA and gyrB gene sequence identities, showed that this strain represents a new candidate species within the genus "Candidatus Paenicardinium". The phylogenetic position of endosymbionts of the Cardinium clade detected in nematode hosts was also compared to known representatives of this clade from other metazoans. Phylogenetic reconstructions based on analysis of 16S rRNA, gyrB, sufB, gloEL, fusA, infB genes and genomes and estimates of genetic distances both indicate that the endosymbiont of the root-lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans represented a separate lineage and is designated herein as a new group F. The phylogenetic analysis also confirmed that endosymbionts of ostracods represent the novel group G. Evolutionary relationships of bacterial endosymbionts of the Cardinium clade within invertebrates are presented and discussed.

RevDate: 2023-02-09

Halter T, Köstlbacher S, Rattei T, et al (2023)

One to host them all: genomics of the diverse bacterial endosymbionts of the spider Oedothorax gibbosus.

Microbial genomics, 9(2):.

Bacterial endosymbionts of the groups Wolbachia, Cardinium and Rickettsiaceae are well known for their diverse effects on their arthropod hosts, ranging from mutualistic relationships to reproductive phenotypes. Here, we analysed a unique system in which the dwarf spider Oedothorax gibbosus is co-infected with up to five different endosymbionts affiliated with Wolbachia, 'Candidatus Tisiphia' (formerly Torix group Rickettsia), Cardinium and Rhabdochlamydia. Using short-read genome sequencing data, we show that the endosymbionts are heterogeneously distributed among O. gibbosus populations and are frequently found co-infecting spider individuals. To study this intricate host-endosymbiont system on a genome-resolved level, we used long-read sequencing to reconstruct closed genomes of the Wolbachia, 'Ca. Tisiphia' and Cardinium endosymbionts. We provide insights into the ecology and evolution of the endosymbionts and shed light on the interactions with their spider host. We detected high quantities of transposable elements in all endosymbiont genomes and provide evidence that ancestors of the Cardinium, 'Ca. Tisiphia' and Wolbachia endosymbionts have co-infected the same hosts in the past. Our findings contribute to broadening our knowledge about endosymbionts infecting one of the largest animal phyla on Earth and show the usefulness of transposable elements as an evolutionary 'contact-tracing' tool.

RevDate: 2023-02-09

Du S, Ye F, Xu S, et al (2022)

Apomixis for no bacteria-induced thelytoky in Diglyphus wani (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae).

Frontiers in genetics, 13:1061100.

In Hymenoptera species, the reproductive mode is usually arrhenotoky, where haploid males arise from unfertilized eggs and diploid females from fertilized eggs. In addition, a few species reproduce by thelytoky, where diploid females arise from unfertilized eggs. Diploid females can be derived through various cytological mechanisms in thelytokous Hymenoptera species. Hitherto, these mechanisms were revealed mainly in endosymbiont-induced thelytokous Hymenoptera species. In contrast, thelytokous Hymenoptera species in which a reproductive manipulator has not been verified or several common endosymbionts have been excluded were paid less attention in their cytological mechanisms, for instance, Diglyphus wani (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). Here, we investigated the cytological mechanism of D. wani using cytological methods and genetic markers. Our observations indicated that the diploid karyotypes of two strains of D. wani consist of four pairs of relatively large metacentric chromosomes and one pair of short submetacentric chromosomes (2n = 10). The arrhenotokous strains could complete normal meiosis, whereas the thelytokous strain lacked meiosis and did not expulse any polar bodies. This reproductive type of lacking meiosis is classified as apomictic thelytoky. Moreover, a total of 636 microsatellite sequences were obtained from thelytokous D. wani, dominated by dinucleotide repeats. Genetic markers results showed all three generations of offspring from thelytokous strain maintained the same genotype as their parents. Our results revealed that D. wani is the first eulophid parasitoid wasp in Hymenoptera whose thelytoky was not induced by bacteria to form an apomictic thelytoky. These findings provide a baseline for future inner molecular genetic studies of ameiotic thelytoky.

RevDate: 2023-02-08

Prigot-Maurice C, Lheraud B, Guéritault S, et al (2023)

Investigating Wolbachia symbiont-mediated host protection against a bacterial pathogen using a natural Wolbachia nuclear insert.

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(23)00010-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia bacterial endosymbionts provide protection against pathogens in various arthropod species but the underlying mechanisms remain misunderstood. By using a natural Wolbachia nuclear insert (f-element) in the isopod Armadillidium vulgare, we explored whether Wolbachia presence is mandatory to observe protection in this species or the presence of its genes is sufficient. We assessed survival of closely related females carrying or lacking the f-element (and lacking Wolbachia) challenged with the bacterial pathogen Salmonella enterica. Despite marginal significant effects, the f-element alone did not appear to confer survival benefits to its host, suggesting that Wolbachia presence in cells is crucial for protection.

RevDate: 2023-02-07

Haydon TD, Matthews JL, Seymour JR, et al (2023)

Metabolomic signatures of corals thriving across extreme reef habitats reveal strategies of heat stress tolerance.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(1992):20221877.

Anthropogenic stressors continue to escalate worldwide, driving unprecedented declines in reef environmental conditions and coral health. One approach to better understand how corals can function in the future is to examine coral populations that thrive within present day naturally extreme habitats. We applied untargeted metabolomics (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)) to contrast metabolite profiles of Pocillopora acuta colonies from hot, acidic and deoxygenated mangrove environments versus those from adjacent reefs. Under ambient temperatures, P. acuta predominantly associated with endosymbionts of the genera Cladocopium (reef) or Durusdinium (mangrove), exhibiting elevated metabolism in mangrove through energy-generating and biosynthesis pathways compared to reef populations. Under transient heat stress, P. acuta endosymbiont associations were unchanged. Reef corals bleached and exhibited extensive shifts in symbiont metabolic profiles (whereas host metabolite profiles were unchanged). By contrast, mangrove populations did not bleach and solely the host metabolite profiles were altered, including cellular responses in inter-partner signalling, antioxidant capacity and energy storage. Thus mangrove P. acuta populations resist periodically high-temperature exposure via association with thermally tolerant endosymbionts coupled with host metabolic plasticity. Our findings highlight specific metabolites that may be biomarkers of heat tolerance, providing novel insight into adaptive coral resilience to elevated temperatures.

RevDate: 2023-02-07

Giannotti D, Boscaro V, Husnik F, et al (2022)

At the threshold of symbiosis: the genome of obligately endosymbiotic 'Candidatus Nebulobacter yamunensis' is almost indistinguishable from that of a cultivable strain.

Microbial genomics, 8(12):.

Comparing obligate endosymbionts with their free-living relatives is a powerful approach to investigate the evolution of symbioses, and it has led to the identification of several genomic traits consistently associated with the establishment of symbiosis. 'Candidatus Nebulobacter yamunensis' is an obligate bacterial endosymbiont of the ciliate Euplotes that seemingly depends on its host for survival. A subsequently characterized bacterial strain with an identical 16S rRNA gene sequence, named Fastidiosibacter lacustris, can instead be maintained in pure culture. We analysed the genomes of 'Candidatus Nebulobacter' and Fastidiosibacter seeking to identify key differences between their functional traits and genomic structure that might shed light on a recent transition to obligate endosymbiosis. Surprisingly, we found almost no such differences: the two genomes share a high level of sequence identity, the same overall structure, and largely overlapping sets of genes. The similarities between the genomes of the two strains are at odds with their different ecological niches, confirmed here with a parallel growth experiment. Although other pairs of closely related symbiotic/free-living bacteria have been compared in the past, 'Candidatus Nebulobacter' and Fastidiosibacter represent an extreme example proving that a small number of (unknown) factors might play a pivotal role in the earliest stages of obligate endosymbiosis establishment.

RevDate: 2023-02-07

Izraeli Y, Lepetit D, Atias S, et al (2022)

Genomic characterization of viruses associated with the parasitoid Anagyrus vladimiri (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae).

The Journal of general virology, 103(12):.

Knowledge on symbiotic microorganisms of insects has increased dramatically in recent years, yet relatively little data are available regarding non-pathogenic viruses. Here we studied the virome of the parasitoid wasp Anagyrus vladimiri Triapitsyn (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), a biocontrol agent of mealybugs. By high-throughput sequencing of viral nucleic acids, we revealed three novel viruses, belonging to the families Reoviridae [provisionally termed AnvRV (Anagyrus vladimiri reovirus)], Iflaviridae (AnvIFV) and Dicistroviridae (AnvDV). Phylogenetic analysis further classified AnvRV in the genus Idnoreovirus, and AnvDV in the genus Triatovirus. The genome of AnvRV comprises 10 distinct genomic segments ranging in length from 1.5 to 4.2 kb, but only two out of the 10 ORFs have a known function. AnvIFV and AnvDV each have one polypeptide ORF, which is typical of iflaviruses but very un-common among dicistroviruses. Five conserved domains were found along both the ORFs of those two viruses. AnvRV was found to be fixed in an A. vladimiri population that was obtained from a mass rearing facility, whereas its prevalence in field-collected A. vladimiri was ~15 %. Similarly, the prevalence of AnvIFV and AnvDV was much higher in the mass rearing population than in the field population. The presence of AnvDV was positively correlated with the presence of Wolbachia in the same individuals. Transmission electron micrographs of females' ovaries revealed clusters and viroplasms of reovirus-like particles in follicle cells, suggesting that AnvRV is vertically transmitted from mother to offspring. AnvRV was not detected in the mealybugs, supporting the assumption that this virus is truly associated with the wasps. The possible effects of these viruses on A. vladimiri's biology, and on biocontrol agents in general, are discussed. Our findings identify RNA viruses as potentially involved in the multitrophic system of mealybugs, their parasitoids and other members of the holobiont.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Banerjee P, Sarkar A, Ghosh K, et al (2023)

A Metagenomic Based Approach on Abundance and Diversity of Bacterial Communities Across the Life Stages of Culicoides peregrinus (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) a Vector of Bluetongue Virus.

Journal of medical entomology pii:7028525 [Epub ahead of print].

During larval rearing of Culicoides peregrinus Kieffer (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) it was obligatory to add a small quantity of mud from larval habitat to nutrient broth in culture plates. This initiated microbial growth in rearing plates which facilitated growth and development of immature. The primary aim was to enumerate gut microbial communities across the different life stages of C. peregrinus. Amplicon sequencing of the V3-V4 hypervariable region (16S rDNA) was done on Illumina Miseq platform to detect gut bacterial communities at different life stages, while ITS regions (18S rRNA) were targeted for fungal communities of the 4th instar larvae. The major findings were: 1) Phylum Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were the most abundant throughout the life stages, along with the highest bacterial alpha diversity in the egg, 2) bacterial compositions were similar to laboratory reared and field collected adults, and 3) abundant fungal phyla associated with the larval gut were Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. Furthermore, analyses of the gut microbiome with METAGENassist might be indicative of their likely function in the natural habitat. Abundant gut-associated bacteria and/or fungal genera detected in the present study could be used as dietary supplements to establish laboratory colonies for further vectorial research. While, individual roles of the bacteria or fungi in paratransgenesis are warned for their possible utilization to frame the management strategy in upcoming works.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Chen J, Wang MK, Xie QX, et al (2023)

NDUFA8 potentially rescues Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility in Laodelphax striatellus.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

The endosymbiont Wolbachia manipulates host reproduction by several strategies, one of the most important of which is cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). CI can be rescued when Wolbachia-infected (WI) males mate with females infected with the same Wolbachia strain. However, the potential rescue mechanism of CI in the small brown planthopper Laodelphax striatellus is unclear. In this study, comparative transcriptome analysis was applied to explore the effect of Wolbachia on L. striatellus eggs. A total of 1387 differentially expressed genes were identified. RNAi of seven Wolbachia-upregulated key planthopper genes reduced egg reproduction, suggesting that Wolbachia might improve fecundity in L. striatellus by affecting these seven genes. Suppressing the expression of another upregulated gene, NDUFA8 (encoding NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] 1 alpha subcomplex subunit 8-like) by RNAi significantly increased the mortality of early embryos without affecting the number of deposited eggs. Wolbachia infection upregulated the mRNA level of NDUFA8, and dsNDUFA8 treatment of WI females re-created CI-like symptoms, suggesting that NDUFA8 is associated with the rescue phenotype. Because all L. striatellus populations worldwide are infected with Wolbachia, NDUFA8 is a potential pest control target. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Mushtaq S, Shafiq M, Tariq MR, et al (2022)

Interaction between bacterial endophytes and host plants.

Frontiers in plant science, 13:1092105.

Endophytic bacteria are mainly present in the plant's root systems. Endophytic bacteria improve plant health and are sometimes necessary to fight against adverse conditions. There is an increasing trend for the use of bacterial endophytes as bio-fertilizers. However, new challenges are also arising regarding the management of these newly discovered bacterial endophytes. Plant growth-promoting bacterial endophytes exist in a wide host range as part of their microbiome, and are proven to exhibit positive effects on plant growth. Endophytic bacterial communities within plant hosts are dynamic and affected by abiotic/biotic factors such as soil conditions, geographical distribution, climate, plant species, and plant-microbe interaction at a large scale. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate the mechanism of bacterial endophytes' interaction with plants under field conditions before their application. Bacterial endophytes have both beneficial and harmful impacts on plants but the exact mechanism of interaction is poorly understood. A basic approach to exploit the potential genetic elements involved in an endophytic lifestyle is to compare the genomes of rhizospheric plant growth-promoting bacteria with endophytic bacteria. In this mini-review, we will be focused to characterize the genetic diversity and dynamics of endophyte interaction in different host plants.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Becher H, RA Nichols (2023)

Assembly-free quantification of vagrant DNA inserts.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Inserts of DNA from extranuclear sources, such as organelles and microbes, are common in eukaryote nuclear genomes. However, sequence similarity between the nuclear and extranuclear DNA, and a history of multiple insertions, make the assembly of these regions challenging. Consequently, the number, sequence, and location of these vagrant DNAs cannot be reliably inferred from the genome assemblies of most organisms. We introduce two statistical methods to estimate the abundance of nuclear inserts even in the absence of a nuclear genome assembly. The first (intercept method) only requires low-coverage (<1x) sequencing data, as commonly generated for population studies of organellar and ribosomal DNAs. The second method additionally requires that a subset of the individuals carry extra-nuclear DNA with diverged genotypes. We validated our intercept method using simulations and by re-estimating the frequency of human NUMTs (nuclear mitochondrial inserts). We then applied it to the grasshopper Podisma pedestris, exceptional for both its large genome size and reports of numerous NUMT inserts, estimating that NUMTs make up 0.056% of the nuclear genome, equivalent to >500 times the mitochondrial genome size. We also re-analysed a museomics dataset of the parrot Psephotellus varius, obtaining an estimate of only 0.0043%, in line with reports from other species of bird. Our study demonstrates the utility of low-coverage high-throughput sequencing data for the quantification of nuclear vagrant DNAs. Beyond quantifying organellar inserts, these methods could also be used on endosymbiont-derived sequences. We provide an R implementation of our methods called "vagrantDNA" and code to simulate test datasets.

RevDate: 2023-02-03

Sweet AD, Browne DR, Hernandez AG, et al (2023)

Draft genome assemblies of the avian louse Brueelia nebulosa and its associates using long-read sequencing from an individual specimen.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:7025741 [Epub ahead of print].

Sequencing high molecular weight (HMW) DNA with long-read and linked-read technologies has promoted a major increase in more complete genome sequences for non-model organisms. Sequencing approaches that rely on HMW DNA have been limited to larger organisms or pools of multiple individuals, but recent advances have allowed for sequencing from individuals of small-bodied organisms. Here, we use HMW DNA sequencing with PacBio long-reads and TELL-Seq linked-reads to assemble and annotate the genome from a single individual feather louse (Brueelia nebulosa) from a European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). We assembled a genome with a relatively high scaffold N50 (637 kb) and with BUSCO scores (96.1%) comparable to louse genomes assembled from pooled individuals. We annotated a number of genes (10,938) similar to the human louse (Pediculus humanus) genome. Additionally, calling phased variants revealed that the Brueelia genome is more heterozygous (∼1%) then expected for a highly obligate and dispersal-limited parasite. We also assembled and annotated the mitochondrial genome and primary endosymbiont (Sodalis) genome from the individual louse, which showed evidence for heteroplasmy in the mitogenome and a reduced genome size in the endosymbiont compared to its free-living relative. Our study is a valuable demonstration of the capability to obtain high-quality genomes from individual small, non-model organisms. Applying this approach to other organisms could greatly increase our understanding of the diversity and evolution of individual genomes.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Shaw S, I Roditi (2023)

The sweet and sour sides of trypanosome social motility.

Trends in parasitology pii:S1471-4922(23)00001-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Recent studies showed that the formation of elegant geometric patterns by communities of Trypanosoma brucei on semi-solid surfaces, dubbed social motility (SoMo) by its discoverers, is a manifestation of pH taxis. This is caused by procyclic forms generating and responding to pH gradients through glucose metabolism and cAMP signalling. These findings established that trypanosomes can sense and manipulate gradients, potentially helping them to navigate through host tissues. At the same time, the host itself and bystanders such as endosymbionts have the potential to shape the environment and influence the chances of successful transmission. We postulate that the ability to sense and contribute to the gradient landscape may also underlie the tissue tropism and migration of other parasites in their hosts.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Quach QN, Clay K, Lee ST, et al (2023)

Phylogenetic patterns of bioactive secondary metabolites produced by fungal endosymbionts in morning glories (Ipomoeeae, Convolvulaceae).

Heritable fungal endosymbiosis is under-investigated in plant biology and documented in only three plant families (Convolvulaceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae). An estimated 40% of morning glory species in the tribe Ipomoeeae (Convolvulaceae) have associations with one of two distinct heritable, endosymbiotic fungi (Periglandula and Chaetothyriales) that produce the bioactive metabolites ergot alkaloids, indole diterpene alkaloids, and swainsonine, which have been of interest for their toxic effects on animals and potential medical applications. Here, we report the occurrence of ergot alkaloids, indole diterpene alkaloids, and swainsonine in the Convolvulaceae; and the fungi that produce them based on synthesis of previous studies and new indole diterpene alkaloid data from 27 additional species in a phylogenetic, geographic, and life-history context. We find that individual morning glory species host no more than one metabolite-producing fungal endosymbiont (with one possible exception), possibly due to costs to the host and overlapping functions of the alkaloids. The symbiotic morning glory lineages occur in distinct phylogenetic clades and host species have significantly larger seed size than non-symbiotic species. The distinct and widely distributed endosymbiotic relationships in the morning glory family and their alkaloids provide an accessible study system for understanding heritable plant-fungal symbiosis evolution and their potential functions for host plants.

RevDate: 2023-02-01

Sullivan TJ, Roberts H, TL Bultman (2023)

Genetic Covariation Between the Vertically Transmitted Endophyte Epichloë canadensis and Its Host Canada Wildrye.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiotic mutualisms are thought to be stabilized by correlations between the interacting genotypes which may be strengthened via vertical transmission and/or reduced genetic variability within each species. Vertical transmission, however, may weaken interactions over time as the endosymbionts would acquire mutations that could not be purged. Additionally, temporal variation in a conditional mutualism could create genetic variation and increased variation in the interaction outcome. In this study, we assessed genetic variation in both members of a symbiosis, the endosymbiotic fungal endophyte Epichloë canadensis and its grass host Canada wildrye (Elymus canadensis). Both species exhibited comparable levels of diversity, mostly within populations rather than between. There were significant differences between populations, although not in the same pattern for the two species, and the differences were not correlated with geographic distance for either species. Interindividual genetic distance matrices for the two species were significantly correlated, although all combinations of discriminant analysis of principle components (DAPC) defined multilocus genotype groups were found suggesting that strict genotype matching is not necessary. Variation in interaction outcome is common in grass/endophyte interactions, and our results suggest that the accumulation of mutations overtime combined with temporal variation in selection pressures increasing genetic variation in the symbiosis may be the cause.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Grandi G, Chiappa G, Ullman K, et al (2023)

Characterization of the bacterial microbiome of Swedish ticks through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of whole ticks and of individual tick organs.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):39 pii:10.1186/s13071-022-05638-4.

BACKGROUND: The composition of the microbial flora associated with ixodid ticks has been studied in several species, revealing the importance of geographical origin, developmental stage(s) and feeding status of the tick, as well as substantial differences between tissues and organs. Studying the microbiome in the correct context and scale is therefore necessary for understanding the interactions between tick-borne pathogens and other microorganisms as well as other aspects of tick biology.

METHODS: In the present study the microbial flora of whole Ixodes ricinus, I. persulcatus and I. trianguliceps ticks were analyzed with 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Additionally, tick organs (midguts, Malpighian tubules, ovaries, salivary glands) from flat and engorged I. ricinus female ticks were examined with the same methodology.

RESULTS: The most abundant bacteria belonged to the group of Proteobacteria (Cand. Midichloria mitochondrii and Cand. Lariskella). 16S amplicon sequencing of dissected tick organs provided more information on the diversity of I. ricinus-associated microbial flora, especially when organs were collected from engorged ticks. Bacterial genera significantly associated with tick feeding status as well as genera associated with the presence of tick-borne pathogens were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: These results contribute to the knowledge of microbial flora associated with ixodid ticks in their northernmost distribution limit in Europe and opens new perspectives for other investigations on the function of these bacteria, including those using other approaches like in vitro cultivation and in vitro models.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Nevalainen LBM, ILG Newton (2023)

Detection and Assessment of Wolbachia pipientis Infection.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2626:291-307.

Wolbachia pipientis is a widespread vertically transmitted intracellular bacterium naturally present in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. As Wolbachia is present in a large number of Drosophila lines, it is critical for researchers to be able to identify which of their stocks maintain this infection to avoid any potential confounding variables. Here, we describe methods for detecting the bacterium and assessing the infection, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of DNA, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) to identify strains, western blotting for protein detection, and immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of Drosophila ovaries to visually detect Wolbachia by fluorescence microscopy.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Niehs SP, Scherlach K, Dose B, et al (2022)

A highly conserved gene locus in endofungal bacteria codes for the biosynthesis of symbiosis-specific cyclopeptides.

PNAS nexus, 1(4):pgac152.

The tight association of the pathogenic fungus Rhizopus microsporus and its toxin-producing, bacterial endosymbionts (Mycetohabitans spp.) is distributed worldwide and has significance for agriculture, food production, and human health. Intriguingly, the endofungal bacteria are essential for the propagation of the fungal host. Yet, little is known about chemical mediators fostering the symbiosis, and universal metabolites that support the mutualistic relationship have remained elusive. Here, we describe the discovery of a complex of specialized metabolites produced by endofungal bacteria under symbiotic conditions. Through full genome sequencing and comparative genomics of eight endofungal symbiont strains from geographically distant regions, we discovered a conserved gene locus (hab) for a nonribosomal peptide synthetase as a unifying trait. Bioinformatics analyses, targeted gene deletions, and chemical profiling uncovered unprecedented depsipeptides (habitasporins) whose structures were fully elucidated. Computational network analysis and labeling experiments granted insight into the biosynthesis of their nonproteinogenic building blocks (pipecolic acid and β-phenylalanine). Deletion of the hab gene locus was shown to impair the ability of the bacteria to enter their fungal host. Our study unveils a common principle of the endosymbiotic lifestyle of Mycetohabitans species and expands the repertoire of characterized chemical mediators of a globally occurring mutualistic association.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Barman M, Samanta S, Ahmed B, et al (2022)

Transcription dynamics of heat-shock proteins (Hsps) and endosymbiont titres in response to thermal stress in whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Asia-I).

Frontiers in physiology, 13:1097459.

The sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), is one of the several species complexes of whitefly that are currently significant agricultural pests. Bemisia tabaci infests more than 600 plant species and thrives under a wide range of temperature conditions. In addition to the direct damage caused by sucking plant sap, it vectors several plant viruses. Heat-shock proteins play a pivotal role in enabling the insect to extend its geographical location, survival, and reproduction under different stress conditions. B. tabaci harbours several endosymbionts under the genera Portiera, Rickettsia, Hamiltonella, Wolbachia, Arsenophonus, Cardinium, and Fritschea that directly or indirectly affect its fitness. By accelerating cuticle biosynthesis and sclerotisation, symbiotic microbes can reduce or enhance tolerance to extreme temperatures and detoxify heavy metals. Thus, symbionts or microbial communities can expand or constrain the abiotic niche space of their host and affect its ability to adapt to changing conditions. The present study delineates the effect of thermal stress on the expression of heat-shock genes and endosymbionts in B. tabaci. Studies of the expression level of heat-shock proteins with the help of quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) showed that heat- and cold-shock treatment fuels the increased expression of heat-shock proteins (Hsp40 and Hsp70). However, Hsp90 was not induced by a heat- and cold-shock treatment. A significant decrease in the relative titre of secondary endosymbionts, such as Rickettsia, Arsenophonus, and Wolbachia, were recorded in B. tabaci upon heat treatment. However, the titre of the primary symbiont, C. Portiera, was relatively unaffected by both cold and heat treatments. These results are indicative of the fact that Hsp genes and endosymbionts in B. tabaci are modulated in response to thermal stress, and this might be responsible for the adaptation of whitefly under changing climatic scenario.

RevDate: 2023-01-27

Quicray M, Wilhelm L, Enriquez T, et al (2023)

The Drosophila-parasitizing wasp Leptopilina heterotoma: A comprehensive model system in ecology and evolution.

Ecology and evolution, 13(1):e9625.

The parasitoid Leptopilina heterotoma has been used as a model system for more than 70 years, contributing greatly to diverse research areas in ecology and evolution. Here, we synthesized the large body of work on L. heterotoma with the aim to identify new research avenues that could be of interest also for researchers studying other parasitoids and insects. We start our review with a description of typical L. heterotoma characteristics, as well as that of the higher taxonomic groups to which this species belongs. We then continue discussing host suitability and immunity, foraging behaviors, as well as fat accumulation and life histories. We subsequently shift our focus towards parasitoid-parasitoid interactions, including L. heterotoma coexistence within the larger guild of Drosophila parasitoids, chemical communication, as well as mating and population structuring. We conclude our review by highlighting the assets of L. heterotoma as a model system, including its intermediate life history syndromes, the ease of observing and collecting natural hosts and wasps, as well as recent genomic advances.

RevDate: 2023-01-26

Kueneman JG, Gillung J, Van Dyke MT, et al (2022)

Solitary bee larvae modify bacterial diversity of pollen provisions in the stem-nesting bee, Osmia cornifrons (Megachilidae).

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:1057626.

Microbes, including diverse bacteria and fungi, play an important role in the health of both solitary and social bees. Among solitary bee species, in which larvae remain in a closed brood cell throughout development, experiments that modified or eliminated the brood cell microbiome through sterilization indicated that microbes contribute substantially to larval nutrition and are in some cases essential for larval development. To better understand how feeding larvae impact the microbial community of their pollen/nectar provisions, we examine the temporal shift in the bacterial community in the presence and absence of actively feeding larvae of the solitary, stem-nesting bee, Osmia cornifrons (Megachilidae). Our results indicate that the O. cornifrons brood cell bacterial community is initially diverse. However, larval solitary bees modify the microbial community of their pollen/nectar provisions over time by suppressing or eliminating rare taxa while favoring bacterial endosymbionts of insects and diverse plant pathogens, perhaps through improved conditions or competitive release. We suspect that the proliferation of opportunistic plant pathogens may improve nutrient availability of developing larvae through degradation of pollen. Thus, the health and development of solitary bees may be interconnected with pollen bacterial diversity and perhaps with the propagation of plant pathogens.

RevDate: 2023-01-25

de Gier W (2023)

Phylomorphometrics reveal ecomorphological convergence in pea crab carapace shapes (Brachyura, Pinnotheridae).

Ecology and evolution, 13(1):e9744.

Most members of the speciose pea crab family (Decapoda: Brachyura: Pinnotheridae) are characterized by their symbioses with marine invertebrates in various host phyla. The ecology of pea crabs is, however, understudied, and the degree of host dependency of most species is still unclear. With the exception of one lineage of ectosymbiotic echinoid-associated crabs, species within the subfamily Pinnotherinae are endosymbionts, living within the body cavities of mollusks, ascidians, echinoderms, and brachiopods. By contrast, most members of the two other subfamilies are considered to have an ectosymbiotic lifestyle, sharing burrows and tubes with various types of worms and burrowing crustaceans (inquilism). The body shapes within the family are extremely variable, mainly in the width and length of the carapace. The variation of carapace shapes in the family, focusing on pinnotherines, is mapped using landmark-based morphometrics. Mean carapace shapes of species groups (based on their host preference) are statistically compared. In addition, a phylomorphometric approach is used to study three different convergence events (across subfamilies; between three genera; and within one genus), and link these events with the associated hosts.

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Cooper W, Swisher Grimm K, Angelella G, et al (2023)

Acquisition and transmission of "Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum" differs among Wolbachia-infected and -uninfected haplotypes of Bactericera cockerelli.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

"Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum" (Lso) causes disease symptoms and economic losses in potato, tomato, and other solanaceous crops in North America. Lso is transmitted to plants by potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli, which occurs as distinct haplotypes named western, central, and northwestern that differ in presence or absence of the bacterial endosymbiont, Wolbachia. Previous work showed that all three vector haplotypes can transmit Lso, but it was not clear whether acquisition and transmission rates of Lso were equal among the haplotypes. The goal of our study was to compare Lso infection rates among psyllids of the western, central, and northwestern haplotypes. Using data collected from several years of periodic testing of Lso infection of laboratory-reared potato psyllid colonies, we showed that psyllids of the western and central haplotypes are more likely to harbor Lso than are psyllids of the northwestern haplotype. We then used greenhouse assays to demonstrate that psyllids of the northwestern haplotype are less likely to acquire and transmit Lso compared with those of the western haplotype. Lso infection rates corresponded with Wolbachia infection among the three psyllid haplotypes. The Wolbachia-infected central and western haplotypes were more likely to harbor and transmit Lso compared with the Wolbachia-free northwestern haplotype. Results demonstrate that potato psyllids of the western and central haplotypes pose a greater risk for spread of Lso in crops and suggest a pattern between infection with Lso and Wolbachia in potato psyllid.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Vancaester E, M Blaxter (2023)

Phylogenomic analysis of Wolbachia genomes from the Darwin Tree of Life biodiversity genomics project.

PLoS biology, 21(1):e3001972 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-22-02172 [Epub ahead of print].

The Darwin Tree of Life (DToL) project aims to sequence all described terrestrial and aquatic eukaryotic species found in Britain and Ireland. Reference genome sequences are generated from single individuals for each target species. In addition to the target genome, sequenced samples often contain genetic material from microbiomes, endosymbionts, parasites, and other cobionts. Wolbachia endosymbiotic bacteria are found in a diversity of terrestrial arthropods and nematodes, with supergroups A and B the most common in insects. We identified and assembled 110 complete Wolbachia genomes from 93 host species spanning 92 families by filtering data from 368 insect species generated by the DToL project. From 15 infected species, we assembled more than one Wolbachia genome, including cases where individuals carried simultaneous supergroup A and B infections. Different insect orders had distinct patterns of infection, with Lepidopteran hosts mostly infected with supergroup B, while infections in Diptera and Hymenoptera were dominated by A-type Wolbachia. Other than these large-scale order-level associations, host and Wolbachia phylogenies revealed no (or very limited) cophylogeny. This points to the occurrence of frequent host switching events, including between insect orders, in the evolutionary history of the Wolbachia pandemic. While supergroup A and B genomes had distinct GC% and GC skew, and B genomes had a larger core gene set and tended to be longer, it was the abundance of copies of bacteriophage WO who was a strong determinant of Wolbachia genome size. Mining raw genome data generated for reference genome assemblies is a robust way of identifying and analysing cobiont genomes and giving greater ecological context for their hosts.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Büttiker P, Weissenberger S, Esch T, et al (2022)

Dysfunctional mitochondrial processes contribute to energy perturbations in the brain and neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Frontiers in pharmacology, 13:1095923.

Mitochondria are complex endosymbionts that evolved from primordial purple nonsulfur bacteria. The incorporation of bacteria-derived mitochondria facilitates a more efficient and effective production of energy than what could be achieved based on previous processes alone. In this case, endosymbiosis has resulted in the seamless coupling of cytochrome c oxidase and F-ATPase to maximize energy production. However, this mechanism also results in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a phenomenon that can have both positive and negative ramifications on the host. Recent studies have revealed that neuropsychiatric disorders have a pro-inflammatory component in which ROS is capable of initiating damage and cognitive malfunction. Our current understanding of cognition suggests that it is the product of a neuronal network that consumes a substantial amount of energy. Thus, alterations or perturbations of mitochondrial function may alter not only brain energy supply and metabolite generation, but also thought processes and behavior. Mitochondrial abnormalities and oxidative stress have been implicated in several well-known psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BPD). As cognition is highly energy-dependent, we propose that the neuronal pathways underlying maladaptive cognitive processing and psychiatric symptoms are most likely dependent on mitochondrial function, and thus involve brain energy translocation and the accumulation of the byproducts of oxidative stress. We also hypothesize that neuropsychiatric symptoms (e.g., disrupted emotional processing) may represent the vestiges of an ancient masked evolutionary response that can be used by both hosts and pathogens to promote self-repair and proliferation via parasitic and/or symbiotic pathways.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Liu Y, He ZQ, Wen Q, et al (2022)

Parasitoid-mediated horizontal transmission of Rickettsia between whiteflies.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:1077494.

Intracellular bacterial endosymbionts of arthropods are mainly transmitted vertically from mother to offspring, but phylogenetically distant insect hosts often harbor identical endosymbionts, indicating that horizontal transmission from one species to another occurs in nature. Here, we investigated the parasitoid Encarsia formosa-mediated horizontal transmission of the endosymbiont Rickettsia between different populations of whitefly Bemisia tabaci MEAM1. Rickettsia was successfully transmitted from the positive MEAM1 nymphs (R [+]) into E. formosa and retained at least for 48 h in E. formosa adults. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) visualization results revealed that the ovipositors, mouthparts, and digestive tract of parasitoid adults get contaminated with Rickettsia. Random non-lethal probing of Rickettisia-negative (R[-]) MEAM1 nymphs by these Rickettsia-carrying E. formosa resulted in newly infected MEAM1 nymphs, and the vertical transmission of Rickettsia within the recipient females can remain at least up to F3 generation. Further phylogenetic analyses revealed that Rickettsia had high fidelity during the horizontal transmission in whiteflies and parasitoids. Our findings may help to explain why Rickettsia bacteria are so abundant in arthropods and suggest that, in some insect species that shared the same parasitoids, Rickettsia may be maintained in populations by horizontal transmission.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Hoffman T, Olsen B, Å Lundkvist (2023)

The Biological and Ecological Features of Northbound Migratory Birds, Ticks, and Tick-Borne Microorganisms in the African-Western Palearctic.

Microorganisms, 11(1): pii:microorganisms11010158.

Identifying the species that act as hosts, vectors, and vehicles of vector-borne pathogens is vital for revealing the transmission cycles, dispersal mechanisms, and establishment of vector-borne pathogens in nature. Ticks are common vectors for pathogens causing human and animal diseases, and they transmit a greater variety of pathogenic agents than any other arthropod vector group. Ticks depend on the movements by their vertebrate hosts for their dispersal, and tick species with long feeding periods are more likely to be transported over long distances. Wild birds are commonly parasitized by ticks, and their migration patterns enable the long-distance range expansion of ticks. The African-Palearctic migration system is one of the world's largest migrations systems. African-Western Palearctic birds create natural links between the African, European, and Asian continents when they migrate biannually between breeding grounds in the Palearctic and wintering grounds in Africa and thereby connect different biomes. Climate is an important geographical determinant of ticks, and with global warming, the distribution range and abundance of ticks in the Western Palearctic may increase. The introduction of exotic ticks and their microorganisms into the Western Palearctic via avian vehicles might therefore pose a greater risk for the public and animal health in the future.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Fujishima M, Kawano H, I Miyakawa (2023)

A 63-kDa Periplasmic Protein of the Endonuclear Symbiotic Bacterium Holospora obtusa Secreted to the Outside of the Bacterium during the Early Infection Process Binds Weakly to the Macronuclear DNA of the Host Paramecium caudatum.

Microorganisms, 11(1): pii:microorganisms11010155.

The Gram-negative bacterium Holospora obtusa is a macronucleus-specific symbiont of the ciliate Paramecium caudatum. It is known that an infection of this bacterium induces high level expressions of the host hsp60 and hsp70 genes, and the host cell acquires both heat-shock and high salt resistances. In addition, an infectious form of H. obtusa-specific 63-kDa periplasmic protein with a DNA-binding domain in its amino acid sequence is secreted into the host macronucleus after invasion into the macronucleus and remain within the nucleus. These facts suggest that binding of the 63-kDa protein to the host macronuclear DNA causes changes in the host gene expressions and enhances an environmental adaptability of the host cells. This 63-kDa protein was renamed as periplasmic region protein 1 (PRP1) to distinguish it from other proteins with similar molecular weights. To confirm whether PRP1 indeed binds to the host DNA, SDS-DNA PAGE and DNA affinity chromatography with calf thymus DNA and P. caudatum DNA were conducted and confirmed that PRP1 binds weakly to the P. caudatum DNA with a monoclonal antibody raised for the 63-kDa protein.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Thimmappa BC, Salhi LN, Forget L, et al (2023)

Nuclear Genome Sequence and Gene Expression of an Intracellular Fungal Endophyte Stimulating the Growth of Cranberry Plants.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:jof9010126.

Ericaceae thrive in poor soil, which we postulate is facilitated by microbes living inside those plants. Here, we investigate the growth stimulation of the American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) by one of its fungal endosymbionts, EC4. We show that the symbiont resides inside the epidermal root cells of the host but extends into the rhizosphere via its hyphae. Morphological classification of this fungus is ambiguous, but phylogenetic inference based on 28S rRNA identifies EC4 as a Codinaeella species (Chaetosphaeriaceae, Sordariomycetes, Ascomycetes). We sequenced the genome and transcriptome of EC4, providing the first 'Omics' information of a Chaetosphaeriaceae fungus. The 55.3-Mbp nuclear genome contains 17,582 potential protein-coding genes, of which nearly 500 have the capacity to promote plant growth. For comparing gene sets involved in biofertilization, we annotated the published genome assembly of the plant-growth-promoting Trichoderma hamatum. The number of proteins involved in phosphate transport and solubilization is similar in the two fungi. In contrast, EC4 has ~50% more genes associated with ammonium, nitrate/nitrite transport, and phytohormone synthesis. The expression of 36 presumed plant-growth-promoting EC4 genes is stimulated when the fungus is in contact with the plant. Thus, Omics and in-plantae tests make EC4 a promising candidate for cranberry biofertilization on nutrient-poor soils.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Akram S, Ahmed A, He P, et al (2023)

Uniting the Role of Endophytic Fungi against Plant Pathogens and Their Interaction.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:jof9010072.

Endophytic fungi are used as the most common microbial biological control agents (MBCAs) against phytopathogens and are ubiquitous in all plant parts. Most of the fungal species have roles against a variety of plant pathogens. Fungal endophytes provide different services to be used as pathogen control agents, using an important aspect in the form of enhanced plant growth and induced systemic resistance, produce a variety of antifungal secondary metabolites (lipopeptides, antibiotics and enzymes) through colonization, and compete with other pathogenic microorganisms for growth factors (space and nutrients). The purpose of this review is to highlight the biological control potential of fungal species with antifungal properties against different fungal plant pathogens. We focused on the introduction, biology, isolation, identification of endophytic fungi, and their antifungal activity against fungal plant pathogens. The endosymbionts have developed specific genes that exhibited endophytic behavior and demonstrated defensive responses against pathogens such as antibiosis, parasitism, lytic enzyme and competition, siderophore production, and indirect responses by induced systemic resistance (ISR) in the host plant. Finally, different microscopic detection techniques to study microbial interactions (endophytic and pathogenic fungal interactions) in host plants are briefly discussed.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Deng Y, Wang K, Hu Z, et al (2023)

Different Geographic Strains of Dinoflagellate Karlodinium veneficum Host Highly Diverse Fungal Community and Potentially Serve as Possible Niche for Colonization of Fungal Endophytes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(2): pii:ijms24021672.

In numerous studies, researchers have explored the interactions between fungi and their hosting biota in terrestrial systems, while much less attention has been paid to the counterpart interactions in aquatic, and particularly marine, ecosystems. Despite the growing recognition of the potential functions of fungi in structuring phytoplankton communities, the current insights were mostly derived from phytoplankton hosts, such as diatoms, green microalgae, and cyanobacteria. Dinoflagellates are the second most abundant group of phytoplankton in coastal marine ecosystems, and they are notorious for causing harmful algal blooms (HABs). In this study, we used high-throughput amplicon sequencing to capture global snapshots of specific fungal assemblages associated with laboratory-cultured marine dinoflagellate. We investigated a total of 13 clonal cultures of the dinoflagellate Karlodinium veneficum that were previously isolated from 5 geographic origins and have been maintained in our laboratory from several months to more than 14 years. The total recovered fungal microbiome, which consisted of 349 ASVs (amplicon sequencing variants, sequences clustered at a 100% sequence identity), could be assigned to 4 phyla, 18 classes, 37 orders, 65 families, 97 genera, and 131 species. The fungal consortium displayed high diversity and was dominated by filamentous fungi and ascomycetous and basidiomycetous yeasts. A core set of three genera among all the detected fungi was constitutively present in the K. veneficum strains isolated from geographically distant regions, with the top two most abundant genera, Thyridium and Pseudeurotium, capable of using hydrocarbons as the sole or major source of carbon and energy. In addition, fungal taxa previously documented as endophytes in other hosts were also found in all tested strains of K. veneficum. Because host-endophyte interactions are highly variable and strongly case-dependent, these fungal taxa were not necessarily genuine endosymbionts of K. veneficum; instead, it raised the possibility that dinoflagellates could potentially serve as an alternative ecological niche for the colonization of fungal endophytes. Our findings lay the foundation for further investigations into the potential roles or functions of fungi in the regulation of the growth dynamics and HABs of marine dinoflagellates in the field.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Wiesinger A, Wenderlein J, Ulrich S, et al (2023)

Revealing the Tick Microbiome: Insights into Midgut and Salivary Gland Microbiota of Female Ixodes ricinus Ticks.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(2): pii:ijms24021100.

The ectoparasite Ixodes ricinus is an important vector for many tick-borne diseases (TBD) in the northern hemisphere, such as Lyme borreliosis, rickettsiosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, or tick-borne encephalitis virus. As climate change will lead to rising temperatures in the next years, we expect an increase in tick activity, tick population, and thus in the spread of TBD. Consequently, it has never been more critical to understand relationships within the microbial communities in ticks that might contribute to the tick's fitness and the occurrence of TBD. Therefore, we analyzed the microbiota in different tick tissues such as midgut, salivary glands, and residual tick material, as well as the microbiota in complete Ixodes ricinus ticks using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. By using a newly developed DNA extraction protocol for tick tissue samples and a self-designed mock community, we were able to detect endosymbionts and pathogens that have been described in the literature previously. Further, this study displayed the usefulness of including a mock community during bioinformatic analysis to identify essential bacteria within the tick.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Silva RXG, Madeira D, Cartaxana P, et al (2023)

Assessing the Trophic Impact of Bleaching: The Model Pair Berghia stephanieae/Exaiptasia diaphana.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(2): pii:ani13020291.

Bleaching events associated with climate change are increasing worldwide, being a major threat to tropical coral reefs. Nonetheless, the indirect impacts promoted by the bleaching of organisms hosting photosynthetic endosymbionts, such as those impacting trophic interactions, have received considerably less attention by the scientific community. Bleaching significantly affects the nutritional quality of bleached organisms. The consequences promoted by such shifts remain largely overlooked, namely on specialized predators that have evolved to prey upon organisms hosting photosynthetic endosymbionts and benefit nutritionally, either directly or indirectly, from the available pool of photosynthates. In the present study, we advocate the use of the model predator-prey pair featuring the stenophagous nudibranch sea slug Berghia stephanieae that preys upon the photosymbiotic glass anemone Exaiptasia diaphana to study the impacts of bleaching on trophic interactions. These model organisms are already used in other research fields, and one may benefit from knowledge available on their physiology, omics, and culture protocols under controlled laboratory conditions. Moreover, B. stephanieae can thrive on either photosymbiotic or aposymbiotic (bleached) glass anemones, which can be easily maintained over long periods in the laboratory (unlike photosymbiotic corals). As such, one can investigate if and how nutritional shifts induced by bleaching impact highly specialized predators (stenophagous species), as well as if and how such effects cascade over consecutive generations. Overall, by using this model predator-prey pair one can start to truly unravel the trophic effects of bleaching events impacting coral reef communities, as well as their prevalence over time.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Chamankar B, Maleki-Ravasan N, Karami M, et al (2023)

The structure and diversity of microbial communities in Paederus fuscipes (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae): from ecological paradigm to pathobiome.

Microbiome, 11(1):11.

BACKGROUND: Paederus fuscipes is medically the most famous rove beetle, which causes dermatitis or conjunctivitis in humans, as well as gastrointestinal toxicosis in livestock, via releasing toxic hemolymph containing pederin. Pedrin biosynthesis genes have been identified in uncultured Pseudomonas-like endosymbionts that are speculated to be acquired through a horizontal transfer. However, the composition of the P. fuscipes microbial community, especially of the gut and genital microbiome, remains unclear. This study was aimed to characterize the structure and diversity of P. fuscipes-associated bacterial communities in terms of gender, organ, and location using the Illumina HiSeq platform in the southern littorals of Caspian Sea.

RESULTS: The OTUs identified from P. fuscipes specimens were collapsed into 40 phyla, 112 classes, 249 orders, 365 families, 576 genera, and 106 species. The most abundant families were Pseudomonadaceae, Spiroplasmataceae, Weeksellaceae, Enterococcaceae, and Rhizobiaceae, respectively. Thirty top genera made up > 94% of the P. fuscipes microbiome, with predominating Pseudomonas, followed by the Spiroplasma, Apibacter, Enterococcus, Dysgonomonas, Sebaldella, Ruminococcus, and Wolbachia. Interesting dissimilarities were also discovered within and between the beetle microbiomes in terms of genders and organs. Analyses showed that Spiroplasma / Apibacter as well as Pseudomonas / Pseudomonas were the most abundant in the genitals / intestines of male and female beetles, respectively. Bacterial richness did not display any significant difference in the three provinces but was higher in male beetles than in females and more in the genitals than intestines.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study identified Pseudomonas-like endobacterium as a common symbiont of P. fuscipes beetles; this bacterium begins its journey from gut and genitalia of females to reach the male rove beetles. Additionally, male and female rove beetles were characterized by distinctive microbiota in different organs, likely reflecting different functions and/or adaptation processes. Evidence of the extension of P. fuscipes microbiome from the environmental paradigm to the pathobiome was also presented herein. A comprehensive survey of P. fuscipes microbiome components may eventually lead to ecological insights into the production and utilization of defensive compound of pederin and also the management of linear dermatitis with the use of available antibiotics against bacterial pathogens released by the beetles. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Awad M, Piálková R, Haelewaters D, et al (2023)

Infection patterns of Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by ectoparasitic microfungi and endosymbiotic bacteria.

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(23)00004-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The invasive alien ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) hosts a wide range of natural enemies. Many observations have been done in nature but experimental studies of interactions of multiple enemies on Ha. axyridis are rare. In light of this knowledge gap, we tested whether the host phenotype and presence of bacterial endosymbionts Spiroplasma and Wolbachia affected parasitism of Ha. axyridis by the ectoparasitic fungus Hesperomyces harmoniae (Ascomycota: Laboulbeniales). We collected 379 Ha. axyridis in the Czech Republic, processed specimens, including screening for He. harmoniae and a molecular assessment for bacteria, and calculated fecundity and hatchability of females. We found that high hatchability rate (71%) was conditioned by high fecundity (20 eggs daily or more). The average parasite prevalence of He. harmoniae was 53%, while the infection rate of Spiroplasma was 73% in ladybirds that survived in winter conditions. Wolbachia was only present in 2% of the analyzed ladybirds. Infection by either He. harmoniae or Spiroplasma did not differ among host color morphs. In the novemdecimsignata morph, younger individuals (with orange elytra) were more heavily parasitized compared to old ones (with red elytra). Fecundity and hatchability rate of females were unaffected by infection with either He. harmoniae or Spiroplasma. However, female ladybirds co-infected with He. harmoniae and Spiroplasma had a significantly lower fecundity and hatchability compared to females with only one or no symbiont.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Mayfield AB (2023)

Multi-macromolecular Extraction from Endosymbiotic Anthozoans.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2625:17-56.

Obligately symbiotic associations between reef-building corals (anthozoan cnidarians) and photosynthetically active dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae comprise the functional basis of all coral reef ecosystems. Given the existential threats of global climate change toward these thermo-sensitive entities, there is an urgent need to better understand the physiological implications of changes in the abiotic milieu of scleractinian corals and their mutualistic algal endosymbionts. Although initially slow to leverage the immense breakthroughs in molecular biotechnology that have benefited humankind, coral biologists are making up for lost time in exploiting an array of ever-advancing molecular tools for answering key questions pertaining to the survival of corals in an ever-changing world. In order to comprehensively characterize the multi-omic landscape of the coral holobiont-the cnidarian host, its intracellular dinoflagellates, and a plethora of other microbial constituents-I introduce a series of protocols herein that yield large quantities of high-quality RNA, DNA, protein, lipids, and polar metabolites from a diverse array of reef corals and endosymbiotic sea anemones. Although numerous published articles in the invertebrate zoology field feature protocols that lead to sufficiently high yield of intact host coral macromolecules, through using the approach outlined herein one may simultaneously acquire a rich, multi-compartmental biochemical pool that truly reflects the complex and dynamic nature of these animal-plant chimeras.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Prada F, Franzellitti S, Caroselli E, et al (2023)

Acclimatization of a coral-dinoflagellate mutualism at a CO2 vent.

Communications biology, 6(1):66.

Ocean acidification caused by shifts in ocean carbonate chemistry resulting from increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations is threatening many calcifying organisms, including corals. Here we assessed autotrophy vs heterotrophy shifts in the Mediterranean zooxanthellate scleractinian coral Balanophyllia europaea acclimatized to low pH/high pCO2 conditions at a CO2 vent off Panarea Island (Italy). Dinoflagellate endosymbiont densities were higher at lowest pH Sites where changes in the distribution of distinct haplotypes of a host-specific symbiont species, Philozoon balanophyllum, were observed. An increase in symbiont C/N ratios was observed at low pH, likely as a result of increased C fixation by higher symbiont cell densities. δ[13]C values of the symbionts and host tissue reached similar values at the lowest pH Site, suggesting an increased influence of autotrophy with increasing acidification. Host tissue δ[15]N values of 0‰ strongly suggest that diazotroph N2 fixation is occurring within the coral tissue/mucus at the low pH Sites, likely explaining the decrease in host tissue C/N ratios with acidification. Overall, our findings show an acclimatization of this coral-dinoflagellate mutualism through trophic adjustment and symbiont haplotype differences with increasing acidification, highlighting that some corals are capable of acclimatizing to ocean acidification predicted under end-of-century scenarios.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Takagi T, Aoyama K, Motone K, et al (2023)

Mutualistic Interactions between Dinoflagellates and Pigmented Bacteria Mitigate Environmental Stress.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Scleractinian corals form symbiotic relationships with a variety of microorganisms, including endosymbiotic dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae, and with bacteria, which are collectively termed coral holobionts. Interactions between hosts and their symbionts are critical to the physiological status of corals. Coral-microorganism interactions have been studied extensively, but dinoflagellate-bacterial interactions remain largely unexplored. Here, we developed a microbiome manipulation method employing KAS-antibiotic treatment (kanamycin, ampicillin, and streptomycin) to favor pigmented bacteria residing on cultured Cladocopium and Durusdinium, major endosymbionts of corals, and isolated several carotenoid-producing bacteria from cell surfaces of the microalgae. Following KAS-antibiotic treatment of Cladocopium sp. strain NIES-4077, pigmented bacteria increased 8-fold based on colony-forming assays from the parental strain, and 100% of bacterial sequences retrieved through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing were affiliated with the genus Maribacter. Microbiome manipulation enabled host microalgae to maintain higher maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (variable fluorescence divided by maximum fluorescence [Fv/Fm]) under light-stress conditions, compared to the parental strain. Furthermore, by combining culture-dependent and -independent techniques, we demonstrated that species of the family Symbiodiniaceae and pigmented bacteria form strong interactions. Dinoflagellates protected bacteria from antibiotics, while pigmented bacteria protected microalgal cells from light stress via carotenoid production. Here, we describe for the first time a symbiotic relationship in which dinoflagellates and bacteria mutually reduce environmental stress. Investigations of microalgal-bacterial interactions further document bacterial contributions to coral holobionts and may facilitate development of novel techniques for microbiome-mediated coral reef conservation. IMPORTANCE Coral reefs cover less than 0.1% of the ocean floor, but about 25% of all marine species depend on coral reefs at some point in their life cycles. However, rising ocean temperatures associated with global climate change are a serious threat to coral reefs, causing dysfunction of the photosynthetic apparatus of endosymbiotic microalgae of corals, and overproducing reactive oxygen species harmful to corals. We manipulated the microbiome using an antibiotic treatment to favor pigmented bacteria, enabling their symbiotic microalgal partners to maintain higher photosynthetic function under insolation stress. Furthermore, we investigated mechanisms underlying microalgal-bacterial interactions, describing for the first time a symbiotic relationship in which the two symbionts mutually reduce environmental stress. Our findings extend current insights about microalgal-bacterial interactions, enabling better understanding of bacterial contributions to coral holobionts under stressful conditions and offering hope of reducing the adverse impacts of global warming on coral reefs.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Mata-Somarribas C, Quesada-López J, Matamoros MF, et al (2023)

Raising the suspicion of a non-autochthonous infection: identification of Leishmania guyanensis from Costa Rica exhibits a Leishmaniavirus related to Brazilian north-east and French Guiana viral genotypes.

Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 117:e220162 pii:S0074-02762022000101137.

BACKGROUND: Costa Rica has a history of neglecting prevention, control and research of leishmaniasis, including limited understanding on Leishmania species causing human disease across the country and a complete lack of knowledge on the Leishmania RNA virus, described as a factor linked to the worsening and metastasis of leishmanial lesions.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this work was to describe a case of cutaneous leishmaniasis by Leishmania (Viannia) guyanensis, bearing infection with Leishmaniavirus 1 (LRV1) in Costa Rica, raising the suspicion of imported parasites in the region.

METHODS: The Leishmania strain was previously identified by routine hsp70 polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) in Costa Rica and subsequently characterised by isoenzyme electrophoresis and Sanger sequencing in Brazil. Screening for LRV1 was conducted with a dual RT-PCR approach and sequencing of the fragment obtained.

FINDINGS: Since 2016 Costa Rica performs Leishmania isolation and typing as part of its epidemiological surveillance activities. Amongst 113 strains typed until 2019, only one was characterised as a L. (V.) guyanensis, corresponding to the first confirmed report of this species in the country. Interestingly, the same strain tested positive for LRV1. Sequencing of the viral orf1 and 2, clustered this sample with other LRV1 genotypes of South American origin, from the Northeast of Brazil and French Guiana.

MAIN CONCLUSION: The unique characteristics of this finding raised the suspicion that it was not an autochthonous strain. Notwithstanding its presumed origin, this report points to the occurrence of said endosymbiont in Central American Leishmania strains. The possibility of its local dispersion represents one more challenge faced by regional health authorities in preventing and controlling leishmaniasis.

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Sétamou M, Soto YL, Tachin M, et al (2023)

Report on the first detection of Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae) in the Republic of Benin, West Africa.

Scientific reports, 13(1):801.

The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri, was detected for the first time in the Republic of Benin, West Africa. The ACP is a known vector of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the putative causal agent of the devastating Huanglongbing (HLB; citrus greening disease). During visual surveys, ACP was only observed on residential citrus trees in southern Benin, but not in residential areas or commercial groves in the central and northern parts of the country. Its identity was confirmed morphologically and molecularly via DNA barcoding with published primers. Analysis of the obtained sequences showed that the ACP recorded in Benin clustered with the ones previously reported from Nigeria, suggesting a common origin of both populations. The ACP samples from Benin also carried Ca. Carsonella ruddii and Ca. Profftella armatura, two commonly found ACP endosymbionts. However, all the sampled ACP individuals tested negative for Ca. Liberibacter africanus, Ca. Liberibacter americanus, and CLas by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. This is the second report of the ACP in West Africa after Nigeria, the eastern bordering country of the Republic of Benin. Benin has an expanding commercial citrus industry, especially in the southern part of the country. Although the ACP samples tested negative for the HLB associated bacteria, the detection of ACP in the country requires swift actions including area-wide surveys to determine the extent of spread of this pest and the implementation of eradication or control efforts to prevent its establishment and spread of HLB in the country.

RevDate: 2023-01-13

Hussain M, Zhang G, Leitner M, et al (2023)

Wolbachia RNase HI contributes to virus blocking in the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

iScience, 26(1):105836.

The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis blocks replication of several arboviruses in transinfected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. However, the mechanism of virus blocking remains poorly understood. Here, we characterized an RNase HI gene from Wolbachia, which is rapidly induced in response to dengue virus (DENV) infection. Knocking down w RNase HI using antisense RNA in Wolbachia-transinfected mosquito cell lines and A. aegypti mosquitoes led to increased DENV replication. Furthermore, overexpression of wRNase HI, in the absence of Wolbachia, led to reduced replication of a positive sense RNA virus, but had no effect on a negative sense RNA virus, a familiar scenario in Wolbachia-infected cells. Altogether, our results provide compelling evidence for the missing link between early Wolbachia-mediated virus blocking and degradation of viral RNA. These findings and the successful pioneered knockdown of Wolbachia genes using antisense RNA in cell line and mosquitoes enable new ways to manipulate and study the complex endosymbiont-host interactions.

RevDate: 2023-01-11

Durand S, Lheraud B, Giraud I, et al (2023)

Heterogeneous distribution of sex ratio distorters in natural populations of the isopod Armadillidium vulgare.

Biology letters, 19(1):20220457.

In the isopod Armadillidium vulgare, many females produce progenies with female-biased sex ratios, owing to two feminizing sex ratio distorters (SRD): Wolbachia endosymbionts and the f element. We investigated the distribution and population dynamics of these SRD and mitochondrial DNA variation in 16 populations from Europe and Japan. Confirming and extending results from the 1990s, we found that the SRD are present at variable frequencies in populations and that the f element is overall more frequent than Wolbachia. The two SRD never co-occur at high frequency in any population, suggesting an apparent mutual exclusion. We also detected Wolbachia or the f element in some males, which probably reflects insufficient titer to induce feminization or presence of masculinizing alleles. Our results are consistent with a single integration event of a Wolbachia genome in the A. vulgare genome at the origin of the f element, which contradicts an earlier hypothesis of frequent losses and gains. We identified strong linkage between Wolbachia strains and mitochondrial haplotypes, but no association between the f element and mitochondrial background. Our results open new perspectives on SRD evolutionary dynamics in A. vulgare, the evolution of genetic conflicts and their impact on the variability of sex determination systems.

RevDate: 2023-01-11

Singh T, Sakai K, Ishida-Castañeda J, et al (2023)

Short-term improvement of heat tolerance in naturally growing Acropora corals in Okinawa.

PeerJ, 11:e14629.

Mass bleaching and subsequent mortality of reef corals by heat stress has increased globally since the late 20th century, due to global warming. Some experimental studies have reported that corals may increase heat tolerance for short periods, but only a few such studies have monitored naturally-growing colonies. Therefore, we monitored the survival, growth, and bleaching status of Acropora corals in fixed plots by distinguishing individual colonies on a heat-sensitive reef flat in Okinawa, Japan. The level of heat stress, assessed by the modified version of degree heating week duration in July and August, when the seawater temperature was the highest, was minimally but significantly higher in 2017 than in 2016; however, the same colonies exhibited less bleaching and mortality in 2017 than in 2016. Another study conducted at the same site showed that the dominant unicellular endosymbiotic algal species did not change before and after the 2016 bleaching, indicating that shifting and switching of the Symbiodiniaceae community did not contribute to improved heat tolerance. Colonies that suffered from partial mortality in 2016 were completely bleached at higher rates in 2017 than those without partial mortality in 2016. The present results suggest that either genetic or epigenetic changes in coral hosts and/or algal symbionts, or the shifting or switching of microbes other than endosymbionts, may have improved coral holobiont heat tolerance.

RevDate: 2023-01-10

Husnik F (2023)

Organellogenesis: Host proteins control symbiont cell divisions.

Current biology : CB, 33(1):R22-R25.

Understanding the order and importance of events through which endosymbionts transition into cellular organelles (organellogenesis) is central to hypotheses about the origin of the eukaryotic cell. A new study on host-symbiont integration in a unicellular eukaryote reveals host-derived cell-division proteins that are targeted to the cell envelope of a bacterial endosymbiont and involved in its cell division.

RevDate: 2023-01-09

Zhang S, Wang T, Lima RM, et al (2023)

Widely conserved AHL transcription factors are essential for NCR gene expression and nodule development in Medicago.

Nature plants [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation by Rhizobium bacteria in the cells of legume root nodules alleviates the need for nitrogen fertilizers. Nitrogen fixation requires the endosymbionts to differentiate into bacteroids which can be reversible or terminal. The latter is controlled by the plant, it is more beneficial and has evolved in multiple clades of the Leguminosae family. The plant effectors of terminal differentiation in inverted repeat-lacking clade legumes (IRLC) are nodule-specific cysteine-rich (NCR) peptides, which are absent in legumes such as soybean where there is no terminal differentiation of rhizobia. It was assumed that NCRs co-evolved with specific transcription factors, but our work demonstrates that expression of NCR genes does not require NCR-specific transcription factors. Introduction of the Medicago truncatula NCR169 gene under its own promoter into soybean roots resulted in its nodule-specific expression, leading to bacteroid changes associated with terminal differentiation. We identified two AT-Hook Motif Nuclear Localized (AHL) transcription factors from both M. truncatula and soybean nodules that bound to AT-rich sequences in the NCR169 promoter inducing its expression. Whereas mutation of NCR169 arrested bacteroid development at a late stage, the absence of MtAHL1 or MtAHL2 completely blocked bacteroid differentiation indicating that they also regulate other NCR genes required for the development of nitrogen-fixing nodules. Regulation of NCRs by orthologous transcription factors in non-IRLC legumes opens up the possibility of increasing the efficiency of nitrogen fixation in legumes lacking NCRs.

RevDate: 2023-01-09

Torp MK, Vaage J, KO Stensløkken (2023)

Mitochondria-derived damage associated molecular patterns and inflammation in the ischemic-reperfused heart.

Acta physiologica (Oxford, England) [Epub ahead of print].

Cardiac cell death after myocardial infarction release endogenous structures termed damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that trigger the innate immune system and initiate a sterile inflammation in the myocardium. Cardiomyocytes are energy demanding cells and 30% of their volume are mitochondria. Mitochondria are evolutionary endosymbionts originating from bacteria containing molecular patterns similar to bacteria, termed mitochondrial DAMPs (mDAMPs). Consequently, mitochondrial debris may be particularly immunogenic and damaging. However, the role of mDAMPs in myocardial infarction is not clarified. Identifying the most harmful mDAMPs and inhibiting their early inflammatory signaling may reduce infarct size and the risk of developing post-infarct heart failure. The focus of this review is the role of mDAMPs in the immediate pro-inflammatory phase after myocardial infarction before arrival of immune cells in the myocardium. We discuss different mDAMPs, their role in physiology and present knowledge regarding their role in the inflammatory response of acute myocardial infarction.

RevDate: 2023-01-06

Büttner H, Pidot SJ, Scherlach K, et al (2022)

Endofungal bacteria boost anthelminthic host protection with the biosurfactant symbiosin.

Chemical science, 14(1):103-112.

Effective protection of soil fungi from predators is crucial for their survival in the niche. Thus, fungi have developed efficient defence strategies. We discovered that soil beneficial Mortierella fungi employ a potent cytotoxin (necroxime) against fungivorous nematodes. Interestingly, this anthelminthic agent is produced by bacterial endosymbionts (Candidatus Mycoavidus necroximicus) residing within the fungus. Analysis of the symbiont's genome indicated a rich biosynthetic potential, yet nothing has been known about additional metabolites and their potential synergistic functions. Here we report that two distinct Mortierella endosymbionts produce a novel cyclic lipodepsipeptide (symbiosin), that is clearly of bacterial origin, but has striking similarities to various fungal specialized metabolites. The structure and absolute configuration of symbiosin were fully elucidated. By comparative genomics of symbiosin-positive strains and in silico analyses of the deduced non-ribosomal synthetases, we assigned the (sym) biosynthetic gene cluster and proposed an assembly line model. Bioassays revealed that symbiosin is not only an antibiotic, in particular against mycobacteria, but also exhibits marked synergistic effects with necroxime in anti-nematode tests. By functional analyses and substitution experiments we found that symbiosin is a potent biosurfactant and that this particular property confers a boost in the anthelmintic action, similar to formulations of therapeutics in human medicine. Our findings illustrate that "combination therapies" against parasites already exist in ecological contexts, which may inspire the development of biocontrol agents and therapeutics.

RevDate: 2023-01-05

Dharamshi JE, Köstlbacher S, Schön ME, et al (2023)

Gene gain facilitated endosymbiotic evolution of Chlamydiae.

Nature microbiology, 8(1):40-54.

Chlamydiae is a bacterial phylum composed of obligate animal and protist endosymbionts. However, other members of the Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae superphylum are primarily free living. How Chlamydiae transitioned to an endosymbiotic lifestyle is still largely unresolved. Here we reconstructed Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae species relationships and modelled superphylum genome evolution. Gene content reconstruction from 11,996 gene families suggests a motile and facultatively anaerobic last common Chlamydiae ancestor that had already gained characteristic endosymbiont genes. Counter to expectations for genome streamlining in strict endosymbionts, we detected substantial gene gain within Chlamydiae. We found that divergence in energy metabolism and aerobiosis observed in extant lineages emerged later during chlamydial evolution. In particular, metabolic and aerobic genes characteristic of the more metabolically versatile protist-infecting chlamydiae were gained, such as respiratory chain complexes. Our results show that metabolic complexity can increase during endosymbiont evolution, adding an additional perspective for understanding symbiont evolutionary trajectories across the tree of life.

RevDate: 2023-01-05

Xiao B, Li D, Liao B, et al (2023)

Effects of microplastic combined with Cr(III) on apoptosis and energy pathway of coral endosymbiont.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

The combined effect of polyethylene (PE) microplastics and chromium (Cr(III)) on the scleractinian coral Acropora pruinosa (A. pruinosa) was investigated. The endpoints analysed in this study included the endosymbiont density, the chlorophyll a + c content, and the activity of enzymes involved in apoptosis (caspase-1, caspase-3), glycolysis (lactate dehydrogenase, LDH), the pentose phosphate pathway (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, G6PDH) and electron transfer coenzyme (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, NAD[+]/NADH). During the 7-day exposure to PE and Cr(III) stress, the endosymbiont density and chlorophyll content decreased gradually. The caspase-1 and caspase-3 activities increased in the high-concentration Cr(III) exposure group. Furthermore, the LDH and G6PDH activities decreased significantly, and the NAD[+]/NADH was decreased significantly. In summary, the results showed that PE and Cr(III) stress inhibited the endosymbiont energy metabolism enzymes and further led to endosymbiont apoptosis in coral. In addition, under exposure to the combination of stressors, when the concentration of Cr(III) remained at 1 × 10[-2] mg/L, the toxic effects of heavy metals on the endosymbiont were temporarily relieved with elevated PE concentrations. In contrast, when coral polyps were exposed to 5 mg/L PE and increasing Cr(III) concentrations, their metabolic activities were seriously disturbed, which increased the burden of energy consumption. In the short term, the toxic effect of Cr(III) was more obvious than that of PE because Cr(III) exposure leads to endosymbiont apoptosis and irreversible damage. This is the first study to provide insights into the combined effect of microplastic and Cr(III) stress on the apoptosis and energy pathways of coral endosymbionts. This study suggested that microplastics combined with Cr(III) are an important factor affecting the apoptosis and energy metabolism of endosymbionts, accelerating the collapse of the balance between the coral host and symbiotic endosymbiont.

RevDate: 2023-01-05

Jin L, Zhang BW, Lu JW, et al (2023)

The mechanism of Cry41-related toxin against Myzus persicae based on its interaction with Buchnera-derived ATP-dependent-6-phosphofructokinase.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is one of the most notorious pests to many crops worldwide. Most Cry toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis show very low toxicity to M. persicae; however, a study showed that Cry41-related toxin had moderate toxic activity against M. persicae. In our previous work, potential Cry41-related toxin binding proteins in M. persicae were identified, including Cathepsin B, calcium-transporting ATPase, and Buchnera-derived ATP-dependent-6-phosphofructokinase (PFKA). Buchnera is an endosymbiont present in almost all aphids and it provides necessary nutrients for aphid's growth. This study investigated the role of Buchnera-derived PFKA in Cry41-related toxicity against M. persicae.

RESULTS: In this study, recombinant PFKA was expressed and purified, and in vitro assays revealed that PFKA bound to Cry41-related toxin, and Cry41-related toxin at 25 μg/mL significantly inhibited the activity of PFKA. Additionally, when M. persicae was treated with 30 μg/mL of Cry41-related toxin for 24 h, the expression of dnak, a single-copy gene in Buchnera, was significantly decreased, indicating a decrease in the number of Buchnera.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that Cry41-related toxin interacts with Buchnera-derived PFKA to inhibit its enzymatic activity and likely impair cell viability, resulting in a decrease in the number of Buchnera, and finally leading to M. persicae death. These findings open new perspectives in understanding the mode of action of Cry toxins and are useful to help improve the Cry toxicity for aphid control. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-01-04

Scholz H (2023)

From Natural Behavior to Drug Screening: Invertebrates as Models to Study Mechanisms Associated with Alcohol Use Disorders.

Current topics in behavioral neurosciences [Epub ahead of print].

Humans consume ethanol-containing beverages, which may cause an uncontrollable or difficult-to-control intake of ethanol-containing liquids and may result in alcohol use disorders. How the transition at the molecular level from "normal" ethanol-associated behaviors to addictive behaviors occurs is still unknown. One problem is that the components contributing to normal ethanol intake and their underlying molecular adaptations, especially in neurons that regulate behavior, are not clear. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the earthworm Caenorhabditis elegans show behavioral similarities to humans such as signs of intoxication, tolerance, and withdrawal. Underlying the phenotypic similarities, invertebrates and vertebrates share mechanistic similarities. For example in Drosophila melanogaster, the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system regulates the positive reinforcing properties of ethanol and in Caenorhabditis elegans, serotonergic neurons regulate feeding behavior. Since these mechanisms are fundamental molecular mechanisms and are highly conserved, invertebrates are good models for uncovering the basic principles of neuronal adaptation underlying the behavioral response to ethanol. This review will focus on the following aspects that might shed light on the mechanisms underlying normal ethanol-associated behaviors. First, the current status of what is required at the behavioral and cellular level to respond to naturally occurring levels of ethanol is summarized. Low levels of ethanol delay the development and activate compensatory mechanisms that in turn might be beneficial for some aspects of the animal's physiology. Repeated exposure to ethanol however might change brain structures involved in mediating learning and memory processes. The smell of ethanol is already a key component in the environment that is able to elicit behavioral changes and molecular programs. Minimal networks have been identified that regulate normal ethanol consumption. Other environmental factors that influence ethanol-induced behaviors include the diet, dietary supplements, and the microbiome. Second, the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal adaptation to the cellular stressor ethanol are discussed. Components of the heat shock and oxidative stress pathways regulate adaptive responses to low levels of ethanol and in turn change behavior. The adaptive potential of the brain cells is challenged when the organism encounters additional cellular stressors caused by aging, endosymbionts or environmental toxins or excessive ethanol intake. Finally, to underline the conserved nature of these mechanisms between invertebrates and higher organisms, recent approaches to identify drug targets for ethanol-induced behaviors are provided. Already approved drugs regulate ethanol-induced behaviors and they do so in part by interfering with cellular stress pathways. In addition, invertebrates have been used to identify new compounds targeting molecules involved in the regulation in ethanol withdrawal-like symptoms. This review primarily highlights the advances of the last 5 years concerning Drosophila melanogaster, but also provides intriguing examples of Caenorhabditis elegans and Apis mellifera in support.

RevDate: 2023-01-04

Mahdhi A, Mars M, M Rejili (2023)

Members of Ensifer and Rhizobium genera are new bacterial endosymbionts nodulating Pisum sativum (L.).

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:6967906 [Epub ahead of print].

Eighty-four Pisum sativum legume nodulating bacteria (LNB) were isolated from seven geographical sites from southern Tunisia. Phylogenetic analyses based on partial sequences of 16S rRNA gene and the housekeeping genes glnII, and recA grouped strains into six clusters, four of which belonged to the genus Rhizobium and two to the Ensifer genus. Among Rhizobium clusters, 41 strains were affiliated to Rhizobium leguminosarum, two strains to R. pisi, two strains to R. etli, and interestingly two strains belonged to previously undescribed Rhizobium species. The remaining two strains were closely related to Ensifer medicae (two strains) and Ensifer meliloti (two strains). A symbiotic nodC gene-based phylogeny and host specificity test showed that all Rhizobium strains nodulating pea belonged to the symbiovar viciae, whereas the Ensifer strains were associated with the symbiovar meliloti never described to date. All strains under investigation differed in the number of induced root nodules and the effectiveness of atmospheric nitrogen fixation. The R. leguminosarum PsZA23, R. leguminosarum PsGBL42 and E. medicae PsTA22a, forming the most effective symbiosis with the plant host, are potential candidates for inoculation programs.


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
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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 )