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Bibliography on: Wolbachia

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 14 May 2021 at 01:51 Created: 


WIKIPEDIA: Wolbachia is a genus of bacteria which "infects" (usually as intracellular symbionts) arthropod species, including a high proportion of insects, as well as some nematodes. It is one of the world's most common parasitic microbes and is possibly the most common reproductive parasite in the biosphere. Its interactions with its hosts are often complex, and in some cases have evolved to be mutualistic rather than parasitic. Some host species cannot reproduce, or even survive, without Wolbachia infection. One study concluded that more than 16% of neotropical insect species carry bacteria of this genus, and as many as 25 to 70 percent of all insect species are estimated to be potential hosts. Wolbachia also harbor a temperate bacteriophage called WO. Comparative sequence analyses of bacteriophage WO offer some of the most compelling examples of large-scale horizontal gene transfer between Wolbachia coinfections in the same host. It is the first bacteriophage implicated in frequent lateral transfer between the genomes of bacterial endosymbionts. Gene transfer by bacteriophages could drive significant evolutionary change in the genomes of intracellular bacteria that were previously considered highly stable or prone to loss of genes overtime. Outside of insects, Wolbachia infects a variety of isopod species, spiders, mites, and many species of filarial nematodes (a type of parasitic worm), including those causing onchocerciasis ("River Blindness") and elephantiasis in humans as well as heartworms in dogs. Not only are these disease-causing filarial worms infected with Wolbachia, but Wolbachia seem to play an inordinate role in these diseases. A large part of the pathogenicity of filarial nematodes is due to host immune response toward their Wolbachia. Elimination of Wolbachia from filarial nematodes generally results in either death or sterility of the nematode.

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Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-05-12

Gesto JSM, Ribeiro GS, Rocha MN, et al (2021)

Reduced competence to arboviruses following the sustainable invasion of Wolbachia into native Aedes aegypti from Southeastern Brazil.

Scientific reports, 11(1):10039.

Field release of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti has emerged as a promising solution to manage the transmission of dengue, Zika and chikungunya in endemic areas across the globe. Through an efficient self-dispersing mechanism, and the ability to induce virus-blocking properties, Wolbachia offers an unmatched potential to gradually modify wild Ae. aegypti populations turning them unsuitable disease vectors. Here we describe a proof-of-concept field trial carried out in a small community of Niterói, greater Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Following the release of Wolbachia-infected eggs, we report here a successful invasion and long-term establishment of the bacterium across the territory, as denoted by stable high-infection indexes (> 80%). We have also demonstrated that refractoriness to dengue and Zika viruses, either thorough oral-feeding or intra-thoracic saliva challenging assays, was maintained over the adaptation to the natural environment of Southeastern Brazil. These findings further support Wolbachia's ability to invade local Ae. aegypti populations and impair disease transmission, and will pave the way for future epidemiological and economic impact assessments.

RevDate: 2021-05-10

Nasehi SF, Fathipour Y, Asgari S, et al (2021)

Environmental Temperature, but Not Male Age, Affects Wolbachia and Prophage WO Thereby Modulating Cytoplasmic Incompatibility in the Parasitoid Wasp, Habrobracon Hebetor.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is an endosymbiotic bacterium found in many species of arthropods and manipulates its host reproduction. Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is one of the most common manipulations that is induced when an uninfected female mates with a Wolbachia-infected male. The CI factors (cifA and cifB genes) are encoded by phage WO that naturally infects Wolbachia. Here, we questioned whether an environmental factor (temperature) or host factor (male age) affected the strength of the CI phenotype in the ectoparasitoid wasp, Habrobracon hebetor. We found that temperature, but not male age, results in reduced CI penetrance. Consistent with these results, we also found that the expression of the cif CI factors decreased in temperature-exposed males but was consistent across aging male wasps. Similar to studies of other insect systems, cifA showed a higher expression level than cifB, and male hosts showed increased cif expression relative to females. Our results suggest that prophage WO is present in the Wolbachia-infected wasps and expression of cif genes contributes to the induction of CI in this insect. It seems that male aging has no effect on the intensity of CI; however, temperature affects Wolbachia and prophage WO titers as well as expression levels of cif genes, which modulate the CI level.

RevDate: 2021-05-10

Manoj RRS, Latrofa MS, Epis S, et al (2021)

Wolbachia: endosymbiont of onchocercid nematodes and their vectors.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):245.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia is an obligate intracellular maternally transmitted, gram-negative bacterium which forms a spectrum of endosymbiotic relationships from parasitism to obligatory mutualism in a wide range of arthropods and onchocercid nematodes, respectively. In arthropods Wolbachia produces reproductive manipulations such as male killing, feminization, parthenogenesis and cytoplasmic incompatibility for its propagation and provides an additional fitness benefit for the host to protect against pathogens, whilst in onchocercid nematodes, apart from the mutual metabolic dependence, this bacterium is involved in moulting, embryogenesis, growth and survival of the host.

METHODS: This review details the molecular data of Wolbachia and its effect on host biology, immunity, ecology and evolution, reproduction, endosymbiont-based treatment and control strategies exploited for filariasis. Relevant peer-reviewed scientic papers available in various authenticated scientific data bases were considered while writing the review.

CONCLUSIONS: The information presented provides an overview on Wolbachia biology and its use in the control and/or treatment of vectors, onchocercid nematodes and viral diseases of medical and veterinary importance. This offers the development of new approaches for the control of a variety of vector-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Tuda M, Iwase SI, Kébé K, et al (2021)

Diversification, selective sweep, and body size in the invasive Palearctic alfalfa weevil infected with Wolbachia.

Scientific reports, 11(1):9664.

The alfalfa weevil Hypera postica, native to the Western Palearctic, is an invasive legume pest with two divergent mitochondrial clades in its invading regions, the Western clade and the Eastern/Egyptian clade. However, knowledge regarding the native populations is limited. The Western clade is infected with the endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia that cause cytoplasmic incompatibility in host weevils. Our aim was to elucidate the spatial genetic structure of this insect and the effect of Wolbachia on its population diversity. We analyzed two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes of the weevil from its native ranges. The Western clade was distributed in western/central Europe, whereas the Eastern/Egyptian clade was distributed from the Mediterranean basin to central Asia. Intermediate mitotypes were found from the Balkans to central Asia. Most Western clade individuals in western Europe were infected with an identical Wolbachia strain. Mitochondrial genetic diversity of the infected individuals was minimal. The infected clades demonstrated a higher nonsynonymous/synonymous substitution rate ratio than the uninfected clades, suggesting a higher fixation of nonsynonymous mutations due to a selective sweep by Wolbachia. Trans-Mediterranean and within-European dispersal routes were supported. We suggest that the ancestral populations diversified by geographic isolation due to glaciations and that the diversity was reduced in the west by a recent Wolbachia-driven sweep(s). The intermediate clade exhibited a body size and host plant that differed from the other clades. Pros and cons of the possible use of infected-clade males to control uninfected populations are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-05-06

Pilgrim J, Siozios S, Baylis M, et al (2021)

Identifying potential candidate Culicoides spp. for the study of interactions with Candidatus Cardinium hertigii.

Medical and veterinary entomology [Epub ahead of print].

Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are vectors responsible for the transmission of several viruses of veterinary importance. Previous screens of Culicoides have described the presence of the endosymbiont Candidatus Cardinium hertigii (Bacteroidetes). However, any impacts of this microbe on vectorial capacity, akin to those conferred by Wolbachia in mosquitoes, are yet to be uncovered and await a suitable system to study Cardinium-midge interactions. To identify potential candidate species to investigate these interactions, accurate knowledge of the distribution of the endosymbiont within Culicoides populations is needed. We used conventional and nested PCR assays to screen Cardinium infection in 337 individuals of 25 Culicoides species from both Palearctic and Afrotropical regions. Infections were observed in several vector species including C. imicola and the Pulicaris complex (C. pulicaris, C. bysta, C. newsteadi and C. punctatus) with varying prevalence. Phylogenetic analysis based on the Gyrase B gene grouped all new isolates within 'group C' of the genus, a clade that has to date been exclusively described in Culicoides. Through a comparison of our results with previous screens, we suggest C. imicola and C. sonorensis represent good candidates for onward study of Cardinium-midge interactions.

RevDate: 2021-05-05

Manoj RRS, Latrofa MS, Cavalera MA, et al (2021)

Molecular detection of zoonotic filarioids in Culex spp. from Portugal.

Medical and veterinary entomology [Epub ahead of print].

To investigate the role of dipterans in the transmission of Onchocerca lupi and other zoonotic filarioids, samples were collected from different sites in Algarve, southern Portugal, morphologically identified and molecularly tested for filarioids. Culex sp. (72.8%) represented the predominant genus followed by Culicoides sp. (11.8%), Ochlerotatus sp. (9.7%), Culiseta sp. (4.5%), Aedes sp. (0.9%) and Anopheles sp. (0.3%). Nineteen (2.8%) specimens scored positive for filarioids, with Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus (2%) positive for Dirofilaria immitis (1.4%), Dirofilaria repens, Acanthocheilonema reconditum, Onchocerca lupi, unidentified species of Filarioidea (0.2%, each) and Onchocercidae (0.6%). Additionally, Culiseta longiareolata (6.5%), Ochlerotatus caspius (3%) and Culex laticinctus (0.2%) scored positive for unidentified Onchocercidae, A. reconditum and for O. lupi, respectively. This is the first report of the occurrence of DNA of O. lupi, D. repens and A. reconditum in Culex spp. in Portugal. Information regarding the vectors and the pathogens they transmit may help to adopt proper prophylactic and control measures.

RevDate: 2021-05-05

Hague MTJ, Woods HA, BS Cooper (2021)

Pervasive effects of Wolbachia on host activity.

Biology letters, 17(5):20210052.

Heritable symbionts have diverse effects on the physiology, reproduction and fitness of their hosts. Maternally transmitted Wolbachia are one of the most common endosymbionts in nature, infecting about half of all insect species. We test the hypothesis that Wolbachia alter host behaviour by assessing the effects of 14 different Wolbachia strains on the locomotor activity of nine Drosophila host species. We find that Wolbachia alter the activity of six different host genotypes, including all hosts in our assay infected with wRi-like Wolbachia strains (wRi, wSuz and wAur), which have rapidly spread among Drosophila species in about the last 14 000 years. While Wolbachia effects on host activity were common, the direction of these effects varied unpredictably and sometimes depended on host sex. We hypothesize that the prominent effects of wRi-like Wolbachia may be explained by patterns of Wolbachia titre and localization within host somatic tissues, particularly in the central nervous system. Our findings support the view that Wolbachia have wide-ranging effects on host behaviour. The fitness consequences of these behavioural modifications are important for understanding the evolution of host-symbiont interactions, including how Wolbachia spread within host populations.

RevDate: 2021-05-04

Kaur R, Shropshire JD, Cross KL, et al (2021)

Living in the endosymbiotic world of Wolbachia: A centennial review.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(21)00134-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The most widespread intracellular bacteria in the animal kingdom are maternally inherited endosymbionts of the genus Wolbachia. Their prevalence in arthropods and nematodes worldwide and stunning arsenal of parasitic and mutualistic adaptations make these bacteria a biological archetype for basic studies of symbiosis and applied outcomes for curbing human and agricultural diseases. Here, we conduct a summative, centennial analysis of living in the Wolbachia world. We synthesize literature on Wolbachia's host range, phylogenetic diversity, genomics, cell biology, and applications to filarial, arboviral, and agricultural diseases. We also review the mobilome of Wolbachia including phage WO and its essentiality to hallmark reproductive phenotypes in arthropods. Finally, the Wolbachia system is an exemplar for discovery-based science education using biodiversity, biotechnology, and bioinformatics lessons. As we approach a century of Wolbachia research, the interdisciplinary science of this symbiosis stands as a model for consolidating and teaching the integrative rules of endosymbiotic life.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Farahani HK, Ashouri A, Abroon P, et al (2021)

Wolbachia manipulate fitness benefits of olfactory associative learning in a parasitoid wasp.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:261712 [Epub ahead of print].

Upon encountering a host, a female parasitoid wasp has to decide whether to learn positive or negative cues related to a host. The optimal female decision will depend on the fitness costs and benefits of learned stimuli. Reward quality is positively related to the rate of behavioral acquisition in processes such as associative learning. Wolbachia, an endosymbiotic bacterium, often plays an impressive role in the manipulation of its arthropod host's biology. Here we studied the responses of two natural Wolbachia infected/uninfected Trichogramma brassicae populations to theoretically high- and low- reward values during a conditioning process and the consequences of their responses in terms of memory duration. According to our results, uninfected wasps showed an attraction response to high value rewards, but showed aversive learning in response to low value rewards. Memory span of uninfected wasps after conditioning by low-value rewards was significantly shorter compared to high-value rewards. As our results revealed, responses to high quality hosts will bring more benefits (bigger size, increased fecundity and enhanced survival) compared to low-quality hosts for uninfected wasps. Infected wasps were attracted to conditioned stimuli with the same memory duration after conditioning by both types of hosts. This was linked to the fact that parasitoids emerging from both types of hosts present the same life-history traits. Therefore, these hosts represent the same quality reward for infected wasps. According to obtained results it can be concluded that Wolbachia manipulates the learning ability of its host resulting in the wasp responding to all reward values similarly.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Pereira TN, Carvalho FD, Rugani JN, et al (2021)

Mayaro Virus: The Potential Role of Microbiota and Wolbachia.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(5): pii:pathogens10050525.

The Mayaro virus (MAYV) is an arbovirus that circulates mainly in tropical forests or rural areas in Latin America and is transmitted mainly by Haemagogus mosquitoes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the vector competence, microbiome, and the presence of Wolbachia in three Aedes albopictus populations infected with MAYV. The vector competence was assessed based on viral infection and transmission by RT-qPCR. In addition, the microbiome was evaluated by amplification of the 16S rRNA V4 region and PCR to detect the presence of Wolbachia (strain wAlbA/wAlbB). Our results show that all three populations were susceptible to MAYV infection. The potential transmission of the MAYV was consistent in all populations of naïve mosquitoes injected (more than 50%). The microbiome analysis revealed 118 OTUs (operational taxonomic unit) from the three populations, 8 phyla, 15 classes, 26 orders, 35 families, 65 genera, and 53 species. All populations had Pseudomonas and Wolbachia as predominant genera. There was no difference between the variables for MAYV and Wolbachia (wAlbA or wAlbB) in the abdomen. However, in the head + thorax samples at 14 dpi, there was a difference between the two populations, indicating a possible correlation between the presence of Wolbachia (wAlbB) and infection. Overall, we show evidence that Ae. albopictus displays significant infection and transmission competence for the MAYV in the laboratory, and its bacterial microbiota play an important role in the host, mainly the strains of Wolbachia. The influence of the intestinal microbiota of Ae. albopictus is poorly known, and a better understanding of these interactions would open new perspectives for disease control through the manipulation of microbial communities. The exact contribution of this mosquito species to the transmission of the MAYV in the field remains to be confirmed.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Guad RM, Wu YS, Aung YN, et al (2021)

Different Domains of Dengue Research in Malaysia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Questionnaire-Based Studies.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(9): pii:ijerph18094474.

This review provided a systematic overview of the questionnaire-related dengue studies conducted in Malaysia and evaluated their reliability and validity used in the questionnaires. An extensive literature search was conducted using various electronic databases, including PubMed, EMBASE, Medline, and ScienceDirect. Systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) were selected as the preferred item reporting method. Out of 88 identified dengue-related, 57 published from 2000 to April 2020 met the inclusion criteria and were included. Based on the meta-analysis, a poor mean score was obtained for knowledge (49%), attitude (44%), and preventive practice (55%). The study showed that the level of knowledge on cardinal signs and modes of transmission for dengue virus were highest among health care workers, followed by students (international and local) and lastly community residents. In treatment-seeking behaviours, only half of the respondents (50.8%) would send their child to the nearest health clinics or hospitals when a child became restless or lethargic. The acceptance rate for dengue vaccine, bacteria (Wolbachia), as a vector for dengue control and self-test diagnostic kit for dengue showed considerably high (88.4%, 70%, and 44.8%, respectively). Health belief model (HBM) constructs, such as perceived barriers, perceived severity, perceived susceptibility, self-efficacy, and perceived benefit influence prevention practices. Lastly, only 23 articles (40.3%) had piloted or pretested the questionnaire before surveying, in which three reported Cronbach's alpha coefficient (0.70-0.90). A need for active participation of communities and healthcare personnel, promotion of awareness, and safe complementary medicines, as well as assessment of psychometric properties of questionnaire use in dengue surveys in Malaysia, in order for assessing dengue reliably and valid.

RevDate: 2021-05-02

Luu L, Palomar AM, Farrington G, et al (2021)

Bacterial Pathogens and Symbionts Harboured by Ixodes ricinus Ticks Parasitising Red Squirrels in the United Kingdom.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(4):.

Red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) are native to most of Eurasia; in much of the United Kingdom, they have been supplanted by the non-native grey squirrel, and are considered an endangered species. Very little is known about the range of tick-borne pathogens to which UK red squirrels are exposed. As part of trap-and-release surveys examining prevalence of Mycobacterium spp. in red squirrel populations on two UK islands, Ixodes ricinus ticks were removed from squirrels and PCR screened for Borrelia spp., intracellular arthropod-borne bacteria and the parasitic wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri. At both sites, the most commonly encountered tick-transmitted bacterium was Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (overall minimum prevalence 12.7%), followed by Anaplasma phagocytophilum (overall minimum prevalence 1.6%). Single ticks infected with Spiroplasma were found at both sites, and single ticks infected with Borrelia miyamotoi or an Ehrlichia sp. at one site. Ticks harbouring Wolbachia (overall minimum prevalence 15.2%) were all positive for I. hookeri. Our study shows that UK red squirrels are potentially exposed to a variety of bacterial pathogens via feeding ticks. The effects on the health and survival of this already vulnerable wildlife species are unknown, and further studies are needed to evaluate the threat posed to red squirrels by Borrelia and other tick-borne pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-05-02

Liu G, Zheng X, Long H, et al (2021)

Gut Bacterial and Fungal Communities of the Wild and Laboratory-Reared Thitarodes Larvae, Host of the Chinese Medicinal Fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis on Tibetan Plateau.

Insects, 12(4):.

By employing a culture-dependent and -independent 16S rRNA and ITS gene high-throughput sequencing analyses, comprehensive information was obtained on the gut bacterial and fungal communities in the ghost moth larvae of three different geographic locations from high-altitude on Tibet plateau and from low-altitude laboratory. Twenty-six culturable bacterial species belonging to 21 genera and 14 fungal species belonging to 12 genera were identified from six populations by culture-dependent method. Carnobacterium maltaromaticum was the most abundant bacterial species from both the wild and laboratory-reared larvae. The most abundant OTUs in the wild ghost moth populations were Carnobacteriaceae, Enterobacteriaceae for bacteria, and Ascomycota and Basidiomycota for fungi. Larval microbial communities of the wild ghost moth from different geographic locations were not significantly different from each other but significant difference in larval microbial community was detected between the wild and laboratory-reared ghost moth. The larval gut of the wild ghost moth was dominated by the culturable Carnobacterium. However, that of the laboratory-reared ghost moth exhibited significantly abundant Wolbachia, Rhizobium, Serratia, Pseudomonas, and Flavobacterium. Furthermore, the larval gut of the wild ghost moth had a significantly higher abundance of Ophiocordyceps but lower abundance of Candida and Aspergillus than that of the laboratory-reared ghost moth.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Shemshadian A, Vatandoost H, Oshaghi MA, et al (2021)

Relationship between Wolbachia infection in Culex quinquefasciatus and its resistance to insecticide.

Heliyon, 7(4):e06749.

Many studies have been done on the various factors affecting resistance to insecticides. The relationship between Wolbachia bacteria and resistance to insecticides is one of the factors that has attracted a lot of attentions. Wolbachia are obligatory intracellular endosymbionts that naturally occur in a wide range of arthropods and nematodes, including the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. Initially, the presence of bacteria was proved by molecular assays. Then the resistance level of this species was evaluated in adults against DDT 4.0% and deltamethrin 0.05% using the standard WHO guideline. After elimination of Wolbachia by tetracycline and its proof by molecular assays, the susceptibility tests were conducted again on uninfected line. Finally, the two lines were compared in terms of responding to insecticides. The findings indicated that there is no significant correlation between susceptibility of two lines in response to DDT 4.0% while they represented a significant correlation for deltamethrin (P =0.00). We propose that Wolbachia bacteria increase the susceptibility to deltamethrin but they show neutral effect on DDT susceptibility in Cx. quinquefasciatus. However, more studies on other vectors and insecticides still need to be done.

RevDate: 2021-05-02

Knerer G, Currie CSM, SC Brailsford (2021)

Reducing dengue fever cases at the lowest budget: a constrained optimization approach applied to Thailand.

BMC public health, 21(1):807.

BACKGROUND: With the challenges that dengue fever (DF) presents to healthcare systems and societies, public health officials must determine where best to allocate scarce resources and restricted budgets. Constrained optimization (CO) helps to address some of the acknowledged limitations of conventional health economic analyses and has typically been used to identify the optimal allocation of resources across interventions subject to a variety of constraints.

METHODS: A dynamic transmission model was developed to predict the number of dengue cases in Thailand at steady state. A CO was then applied to identify the optimal combination of interventions (release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes and paediatric vaccination) within the constraints of a fixed budget, set no higher than cost estimates of the current vector control programme, to minimize the number of dengue cases and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost. Epidemiological, cost, and effectiveness data were informed by national data and the research literature. The time horizon was 10 years. Scenario analyses examined different disease management and intervention costs, budget constraints, vaccine efficacy, and optimization time horizon.

RESULTS: Under base-case budget constraints, the optimal coverage of the two interventions to minimize dengue incidence was predicted to be nearly equal (Wolbachia 50%; paediatric vaccination 49%) with corresponding coverages under lower bound (Wolbachia 54%; paediatric vaccination 10%) and upper bound (Wolbachia 67%; paediatric vaccination 100%) budget ceilings. Scenario analyses indicated that the most impactful situations related to the costs of Wolbachia and paediatric vaccination with decreases/ increases in costs of interventions demonstrating a direct correlation with coverage (increases/ decreases) of the respective control strategies under examination.

CONCLUSIONS: Determining the best investment strategy for dengue control requires the identification of the optimal mix of interventions to implement in order to maximize public health outcomes, often under fixed budget constraints. A CO model was developed with the objective of minimizing dengue cases (and DALYs lost) over a 10-year time horizon, within the constraints of the estimated budgets for vector control in the absence of vaccination and Wolbachia. The model provides a tool for developing estimates of optimal coverage of combined dengue control strategies that minimize dengue burden at the lowest budget.

RevDate: 2021-05-10

Zurita A, Benkacimi L, El Karkouri K, et al (2021)

New records of bacteria in different species of fleas from France and Spain.

Comparative immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases, 76:101648 pii:S0147-9571(21)00040-0 [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, we assessed the presence of vector-borne microorganisms in different species of fleas collected from different hosts in diverse areas of South-Western Europe by molecular methods. A total of 319 fleas belonging to eight different species was tested for the presence of eight microorganisms. Wolbachia spp. endosymbionts were detected in Ctenocephalides felis, Pulex irritans, Archaeopsylla erinacei and Ctenophthalmus baeticus boisseauorum specimens. Rickettsia felis, an emerging pathogen, was detected in C. felis, A. erinacei and Ct. b. boisseauorum. Rickettsia typhi, the agent of murine typhus was detected for the first time in A. erinacei and Mycobacterium spp. were detected for the first time in fleas (C. felis, P. irritans and A. erinacei). Lastly, five different species of Bartonella were detected in fleas' DNA in this study, including a possible new bacterium belonging to this genus. With this study, we updated the knowledge of the flea-borne bacteria present in the South-West of Europe reinforcing the idea about the necessity to expand and increase the current knowledge on flea-borne pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Cardona-Salgado D, Campo-Duarte DE, Sepulveda-Salcedo LS, et al (2021)

Optimal release programs for dengue prevention using Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transinfected with wMel or wMelPop Wolbachia strains.

Mathematical biosciences and engineering : MBE, 18(3):2952-2990.

In this paper, we propose a dengue transmission model of SIR(S)-SI type that accounts for two sex-structured mosquito populations: the wild mosquitoes (males and females that are Wolbachia-free), and those deliberately infected with either wMel or wMelPop strain of Wolbachia. This epidemiological model has four possible outcomes: with or without Wolbachia and with or without dengue. To reach the desired outcome, with Wolbachia and without dengue, we employ the dynamic optimization approach and then design optimal programs for releasing Wolbachia-carrying male and female mosquitoes. Our discussion is focused on advantages and drawbacks of two Wolbachia strains, wMelPop and wMel, that are recommended for dengue prevention and control. On the one hand, the wMel strain guarantees a faster population replacement, ensures durable Wolbachia persistence in the wild mosquito population, and requiters fewer releases. On the other hand, the wMelPop strain displays better results for averting dengue infections in the human population.

RevDate: 2021-04-24

Gabrieli P, Caccia S, Varotto-Boccazzi I, et al (2021)

Mosquito Trilogy: Microbiota, Immunity and Pathogens, and Their Implications for the Control of Disease Transmission.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:630438.

In mosquitoes, the interaction between the gut microbiota, the immune system, and the pathogens that these insects transmit to humans and animals is regarded as a key component toward the development of control strategies, aimed at reducing the burden of severe diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever. Indeed, different microorganisms from the mosquito microbiota have been investigated for their ability to affect important traits of the biology of the host insect, related with its survival, development and reproduction. Furthermore, some microorganisms have been shown to modulate the immune response of mosquito females, significantly shaping their vector competence. Here, we will review current knowledge in this field, focusing on i) the complex interaction between the intestinal microbiota and mosquito females defenses, both in the gut and at humoral level; ii) how knowledge on these issues contributes to the development of novel and targeted strategies for the control of mosquito-borne diseases such as the use of paratransgenesis or taking advantage of the relationship between Wolbachia and mosquito hosts. We conclude by providing a brief overview of available knowledge on microbiota-immune system interplay in major insect vectors.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Wolfe TM, Bruzzese DJ, Klasson L, et al (2021)

Comparative genome sequencing reveals insights into the dynamics of Wolbachia in native and invasive cherry fruit flies.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is a maternally inherited obligate endosymbiont that can induce a wide spectrum of effects in its host, ranging from mutualism to reproductive parasitism. At the genomic level, recombination within and between strains, transposable elements, and horizontal transfer of strains between host species make Wolbachia an evolutionarily dynamic bacterial system. The invasive cherry fruit fly Rhagoletis cingulata arrived in Europe from North America ~40 years ago, where it now co-occurs with the native cherry pest R. cerasi. This shared distribution has been proposed to have led to the horizontal transfer of different Wolbachia strains between the two species. To better understand transmission dynamics, we performed a comparative genome study of the strain wCin2 in its native United States and invasive European populations of R. cingulata with wCer2 in European R. cerasi. Previous multilocus sequence genotyping (MLST) of six genes implied that the source of wCer2 in R. cerasi was wCin2 from R. cingulata. However, we report genomic evidence discounting the recent horizontal transfer hypothesis for the origin of wCer2. Despite near identical sequences for the MLST markers, substantial sequence differences for other loci were found between wCer2 and wCin2, as well as structural rearrangements, and differences in prophage, repetitive element, gene content, and cytoplasmic incompatibility inducing genes. Our study highlights the need for whole-genome sequencing rather than relying on MLST markers for resolving Wolbachia strains and assessing their evolutionary dynamics.

RevDate: 2021-05-10

Liu XC, ZX Li (2021)

Transmission of the wMel Wolbachia strain is modulated by its titre and by immune genes in Drosophila melanogaster (Wolbachia density and transmission).

Journal of invertebrate pathology, 181:107591.

Wolbachia are common intracellular endosymbionts of arthropods, but the interactions between Wolbachia and arthropods are only partially understood. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a model insect for understanding Wolbachia-host interactions. Here the native wMel strain of D. melanogaster was isolated and then different initial titres of wMel were artificially transferred back into antibiotics-treated fruit flies. Our purpose was to examine the interactions between the injected wMel in a density gradient and the recipient host during trans-generational transmission. The results showed that the trans-generational transmission rates of wMel and titres of wMel exhibited a fluctuating trend over nine generations, and the titres of wMel displayed a similar fluctuating trans-generational trend. There was a significant positive correlation between the transmission rate and the titre of wMel. Reciprocal crossings between wMel-transinfected and uninfected fruit flies revealed that wMel could induce cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) at different initial titres, but the intensity of CI was not significantly correlated with the initial titre of wMel. Quantitative PCR analysis showed that the immune genes Drsl5 and Spn38F displayed a significant transcriptional response to wMel transfection, with an obvious negative correlation with the titre of wMel at the 3rd and 4th generations. Furthermore, RNA interference-mediated knockdown of Drsl5 and Spn38F elicited a drastic increase in the titre of wMel. In combination, our study suggests that the trans-generational transmission of wMel is modulated by its density, and the immune genes are involved in the regulation of Wolbachia density.

RevDate: 2021-04-21

Li C, He M, Cui Y, et al (2021)

Insights into the mechanism of shortened developmental duration and accelerated weight gain associated with Wolbachia infection in Hylyphantes graminicola.

Integrative zoology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia infection is known to affect host reproduction and development. To date, however, the underlying mechanism related to the effects of Wolbachia on host development has not yet been reported. Here, we compared the developmental duration and body weight in different instars of Wolbachia-positive (W+) and Wolbachia-negative (W-) spiders (Hylyphantes graminicola) and detected the relative expression levels of six insulin-related genes and three ecdysone-related genes using reverse transcription qPCR (RT-qPCR). Results showed that the developmental duration was significantly shortened in W+ spiders compared with W- spiders. Furthermore, W+ spiders were significantly heavier than W- spiders at the 3rd and 4th instars, although no significant differences in body weight were observed after maturity. We also found that the expression levels of insulin-like growth factor-2 mRNA-binding protein-1, insulin-degrading enzyme, and ecdysone-inducible protein-1 genes were significantly down-regulated in W+ spiders compared with W- spiders, whereas the expression levels of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1, insulin-like peptide receptor, insulin receptor substrate 2-B, insulin-like, ecdysone-induced protein-2, and ecdysone receptor genes were significantly up-regulated in W+ spiders. Our results suggest that Wolbachia may influence host development by affecting insulin and ecdysone signaling pathways. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Tain LS, Sehlke R, Meilenbrock RL, et al (2021)

Tissue-specific modulation of gene expression in response to lowered insulin signalling in Drosophila.

eLife, 10:.

Reduced activity of the insulin/IGF signalling network increases health during ageing in multiple species. Diverse and tissue-specific mechanisms drive the health improvement. Here, we performed tissue-specific transcriptional and proteomic profiling of long-lived Drosophila dilp2-3,5 mutants, and identified tissue-specific regulation of >3600 transcripts and >3700 proteins. Most expression changes were regulated post-transcriptionally in the fat body, and only in mutants infected with the endosymbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia pipientis, which increases their lifespan. Bioinformatic analysis identified reduced co-translational ER targeting of secreted and membrane-associated proteins and increased DNA damage/repair response proteins. Accordingly, age-related DNA damage and genome instability were lower in fat body of the mutant, and overexpression of a minichromosome maintenance protein subunit extended lifespan. Proteins involved in carbohydrate metabolism showed altered expression in the mutant intestine, and gut-specific overexpression of a lysosomal mannosidase increased autophagy, gut homeostasis, and lifespan. These processes are candidates for combatting ageing-related decline in other organisms.

RevDate: 2021-04-23

Kwarteng A, Asiedu E, Sylverken A, et al (2021)

In silico drug repurposing for filarial infection predicts nilotinib and paritaprevir as potential inhibitors of the Wolbachia 5'-aminolevulinic acid synthase.

Scientific reports, 11(1):8455.

Filarial infections affect millions of individuals and are responsible for some notorious disabilities. Current treatment options involve repeated mass drug administrations, which have been met with several challenges despite some successes. Administration of doxycycline, an anti-Wolbachia agent, has shown clinical effectiveness but has several limitations, including long treatment durations and contraindications. We describe the use of an in silico drug repurposing approach to screening a library of over 3200 FDA-approved medications against the filarial endosymbiont, Wolbachia. We target the enzyme which catalyzes the first step of heme biosynthesis in the Wolbachia. This presents an opportunity to inhibit heme synthesis, which leads to depriving the filarial worm of heme, resulting in a subsequent macrofilaricidal effect. High throughput virtual screening, molecular docking and molecular simulations with binding energy calculations led to the identification of paritaprevir and nilotinib as potential anti-Wolbachia agents. Having higher binding affinities to the catalytic pocket than the natural substrate, these drugs have the structural potential to bind and engage active site residues of the wolbachia 5'-Aminolevulinic Acid Synthase. We hereby propose paritaprevir and nilotinib for experimental validations as anti-Wolbachia agents.

RevDate: 2021-04-23

Lim L, AH Ab Majid (2021)

Characterization of bacterial communities associated with blood-fed and starved tropical bed bugs, Cimex hemipterus (F.) (Hemiptera): a high throughput metabarcoding analysis.

Scientific reports, 11(1):8465.

With the development of new metagenomic techniques, the microbial community structure of common bed bugs, Cimex lectularius, is well-studied, while information regarding the constituents of the bacterial communities associated with tropical bed bugs, Cimex hemipterus, is lacking. In this study, the bacteria communities in the blood-fed and starved tropical bed bugs were analysed and characterized by amplifying the v3-v4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene region, followed by MiSeq Illumina sequencing. Across all samples, Proteobacteria made up more than 99% of the microbial community. An alpha-proteobacterium Wolbachia and gamma-proteobacterium, including Dickeya chrysanthemi and Pseudomonas, were the dominant OTUs at the genus level. Although the dominant OTUs of bacterial communities of blood-fed and starved bed bugs were the same, bacterial genera present in lower numbers were varied. The bacteria load in starved bed bugs was also higher than blood-fed bed bugs.

RevDate: 2021-04-21

Jeffries CL, Cansado-Utrilla C, Beavogui AH, et al (2021)

Evidence for natural hybridization and novel Wolbachia strain superinfections in the Anopheles gambiae complex from Guinea.

Royal Society open science, 8(4):202032.

Wolbachia, a widespread bacterium which can influence mosquito-borne pathogen transmission, has recently been detected within Anopheles (An.) species that are malaria vectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although studies have reported Wolbachia strains in the An. gambiae complex, apparent low density and prevalence rates require confirmation. In this study, wild Anopheles mosquitoes collected from two regions of Guinea were investigated. In contrast with previous studies, RNA was extracted from adult females (n = 516) to increase the chances for the detection of actively expressed Wolbachia genes, determine Wolbachia prevalence rates and estimate relative strain densities. Molecular confirmation of mosquito species and Wolbachia multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were carried out to analyse phylogenetic relationships of mosquito hosts and newly discovered Wolbachia strains. Strains were detected in An. melas (prevalence rate of 11.6%-16/138) and hybrids between An. melas and An. gambiae sensu stricto (prevalence rate of 40.0%-6/15) from Senguelen in the Maferinyah region. Furthermore, a novel high-density strain, termed wAnsX, was found in an unclassified Anopheles species. The discovery of novel Wolbachia strains (particularly in members, and hybrids, of the An. gambiae complex) provides further candidate strains that could be used for future Wolbachia-based malaria biocontrol strategies.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Walker T, Quek S, Jeffries CL, et al (2021)

Stable high-density and maternally inherited Wolbachia infections in Anopheles moucheti and Anopheles demeilloni mosquitoes.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(21)00429-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia, a widespread bacterium that can reduce pathogen transmission in mosquitoes, has recently been reported to be present in Anopheles (An.) species. In wild populations of the An. gambiae complex, the primary vectors of Plasmodium malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, Wolbachia DNA sequences at low density and infection frequencies have been detected. As the majority of studies have used highly sensitive nested PCR as the only method of detection, more robust evidence is required to determine whether Wolbachia strains are established as endosymbionts in Anopheles species. Here, we describe high-density Wolbachia infections in geographically diverse populations of An. moucheti and An. demeilloni. Fluorescent in situ hybridization localized a heavy infection in the ovaries of An.moucheti, and maternal transmission was observed. Genome sequencing of both Wolbachia strains obtained genome depths and coverages comparable to those of other known infections. Notably, homologs of cytoplasmic incompatibility factor (cif) genes were present, indicating that these strains possess the capacity to induce the cytoplasmic incompatibility phenotype, which allows Wolbachia to spread through host populations. These strains should be further investigated as candidates for use in Wolbachia biocontrol strategies in Anopheles aiming to reduce the transmission of malaria.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Edenborough KM, Flores HA, Simmons CP, et al (2021)

Using Wolbachia to eliminate dengue - will the virus fight back?.

Journal of virology pii:JVI.02203-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Recent field trials have demonstrated that dengue incidence can be substantially reduced by introgressing strains of the endosymbiotic bacterium, Wolbachia into Aedes aegypti mosquito populations. This strategy relies on Wolbachia reducing the susceptibility of Ae. aegypti to disseminated infection by positive-sense RNA viruses like dengue. However, RNA viruses are well known to adapt to antiviral pressures. Here we review the viral infection stages where selection for Wolbachia-resistant virus variants could occur. We also consider the genetic constraints imposed on viruses that alternate between vertebrate and invertebrate hosts, and the likely selection pressures that dengue virus might adapt to in order to be effectively transmitted by Ae. aegypti that carry Wolbachia Whilst there are hurdles to dengue viruses developing resistance to Wolbachia, we suggest that long-term surveillance for resistant viruses should be an integral component of Wolbachia-introgression biocontrol programs.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Hu L, Yang C, Hui Y, et al (2021)

Mosquito Control Based on Pesticides and Endosymbiotic Bacterium Wolbachia.

Bulletin of mathematical biology, 83(5):58.

Mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever and Zika, have posed a serious threat to human health around the world. Controlling vector mosquitoes is an effective method to prevent these diseases. Spraying pesticides has been the main approach of reducing mosquito population, but it is not a sustainable solution due to the growing insecticide resistance. One promising complementary method is the release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes into wild mosquito populations, which has been proven to be a novel and environment-friendly way for mosquito control. In this paper, we incorporate consideration of releasing infected sterile mosquitoes and spraying pesticides to aim to reduce wild mosquito populations based on the population replacement model. We present the estimations for the number of wild mosquitoes or infection density in a normal environment and then discuss how to offset the effect of the heatwave, which can cause infected mosquitoes to lose Wolbachia infection. Finally, we give the waiting time to suppress wild mosquito population to a given threshold size by numerical simulations.

RevDate: 2021-04-10

Wei Y, Wang J, Wei YH, et al (2021)

Vector Competence for DENV-2 Among Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) Populations in China.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:649975.

Aedes albopictus is a vector of over 20 arboviruses that has spread throughout the world, mainly in the second half of the twentieth century. Approximately 50-100 million people are infected with dengue virus (DENV) transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes each year, leading to heavy economic burdens for both governments and individuals, among countless other negative consequences. Understanding the vector competence of vector species is critical for effectively preventing and controlling vector-borne diseases. Accordingly, in this study, vector competence was evaluated by quantitative analysis of DENV-2 loads in mosquito tissues (midguts, heads, and salivary glands) and whole mosquitoes through real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis. Wolbachia and the expression of immune-associated genes (Rel1, Rel2, Dicer2, and STAT) in mosquitoes were also detected by RT-qPCR to explore their impact on vector competence. The amount of DENV-2 in the mosquito midguts, heads, and salivary glands from southern-western China were found to be lower than those from eastern-central-northern China. The DENV-2 loads in whole mosquitoes showed a negative correlation with Rel1 gene (r = -0.285, P = 0.011) and STAT gene expression levels (r = -0.289, P = 0.009). In terms of Wolbachia strains, the density of the wAlbB strain was found to be significantly higher than that of the wAlbA strain in the eight Ae. albopictus populations, and the relative density of the wAlbB strain in mosquitoes from southern-western China was higher than those from eastern-central-northern China. The relative density of the wAlbB strain showed a negative correlation with the mean loads of DENV-2 in the heads (r = -0.729, P = 0.040), salivary glands (r = -0.785, P = 0.021), and whole mosquitoes (r = -0.909, P = 0.002). Thus, there are lower DENV-2 loads in the mosquitoes from southern-western China, which may be related to the innate immunity of mosquitoes as affected by Rel1 in the Toll pathway, STAT in the JAK-STAT pathway, and the relative density of the wAlbB strain.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Che-Mendoza A, Martin-Park A, Chávez-Trava JM, et al (2021)

Abundance and Seasonality of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) in Two Suburban Localities of South Mexico, With Implications for Wolbachia (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae)-Carrying Male Releases for Population Suppression.

Journal of medical entomology pii:6208904 [Epub ahead of print].

We conducted a baseline characterization of the abundance and seasonality of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762)-a vector of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika-in two suburban localities of Yucatan, Mexico, as the first step in the implementation of an integrated vector management (IVM) plan combining 'traditional Aedes control' (source reduction/truck-mounted ultra-low volume [ULV] spraying) and incompatible insect technique/sterile insect technique for population suppression in Yucatan, Mexico. Weekly entomological collections with ovitraps and BG-sentinel traps were performed in 1-ha quadrants of both localities for 1 yr. Three distinct periods/phases were identified, closely associated with precipitation: 1) a phase of low population abundance during the dry season (weekly average of Aedes eggs per ovitrap and adults per BG trap = 15.51 ± 0.71 and 10.07 ± 0.88, respectively); 2) a phase of population growth and greatest abundance of Aedes (49.03 ± 1.48 eggs and 25.69 ± 1.31 adults) during the rainy season; and finally 3) a phase of decline among populations (20.91 ± 0.97 eggs and 3.24 ± 0.21 adults) after the peak of the rainy season. Seasonal abundance and dynamics of Ae. aegypti populations suggest that it is feasible to develop and implement time-specific actions as part of an IVM approach incorporating integrating novel technologies (such as rear-and-release of Wolbachia-infected males) with classic (insecticide-based) approaches implemented routinely for vector control. In agreement with the local vector control program, we propose a pilot IVM strategy structured in a preparation phase, an attack phase with traditional vector control, and a suppression phase with inundative releases, which are described in this paper.

RevDate: 2021-05-09

Jiang N, Xue DY, Han HX, et al (2021)

Estimating hybridization as a consequence of climatic fluctuations: A case study of two geometridae species.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 161:107168 pii:S1055-7903(21)00101-9 [Epub ahead of print].

In some cases, the phylogenetic analysis based on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the nuclear DNA (ncDNA) are discordant. There are three major causes of the discordance within insects, including hybridization, incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) and infection by Wolbachia. In this study, we used a combination of multilocus and coalescent analyses to explore these processes occurred during the evolutionary history of Limbatochlamys rosthorni Rothschild, 1894 and Limbatochlamys pararosthorni Han and Xue, 2005. The ncDNA phylogenetic tree supported two reciprocally monophyletic species, whereas the mtDNA results failed to reveal such a structure and revealed an extensive level of admixture between two species. Because of very low Wolbachia infection rates (<20%), we firstly excluded this reason for the discordance. The fixed nucleotide differences and large genetic distances (1.5-2.5%) at the ncDNA genes suggested that the lineage sorting process between these two species is nearly complete and two species have experienced a prolonged period of independent evolution. Thus, we secondly excluded ILS. Sharing haplotypes, mtDNA gene flow occurring and the transitional samples with morphological features supported hybridization. The distribution contraction during glaciations and postglacial distribution expansion might have facilitated hybridization. Taken together, our study indicates that the current genetic structure of L. rosthorni and L. pararosthorni is the results of contraction and fragmentation into separated refugia during glaciations, followed by postglacial expansion and admixture.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Konecka E, Z Olszanowski (2021)

Wolbachia supergroup E found in Hypochthonius rufulus (Acari: Oribatida) in Poland.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 91:104829 pii:S1567-1348(21)00126-X [Epub ahead of print].

Data on the spread of intracellular bacteria in oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) are scarce. Our work fills a gap in the research on endosymbionts in this group of invertebrates and provides information on Wolbachia infection in Hypochthonius rufulus (Acari: Oribatida) from soil, litter and moss sample collected in south-eastern Poland. This is the first report of Wolbachia in H. rufulus. Phylogeny based on the analysis of the 16S rRNA, gatB, fbpA, gltA, ftsZ and hcpA gene sequences revealed that Wolbachia from H. rufulus represented supergroup E and was related to bacterial endosymbionts of Collembola. The unique sequence within Wolbachia supergroup E was detected for the 16S rRNA gene of the bacteria from H. rufulus. The sequences of Wolbachia 16S rRNA and housekeeping genes have been deposited in publicly available databases and are an important source of molecular data for comparative studies.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Flatau R, Segoli M, H Hawlena (2021)

Wolbachia Endosymbionts of Fleas Occur in All Females but Rarely in Males and Do Not Show Evidence of Obligatory Relationships, Fitness Effects, or Sex-Distorting Manipulations.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:649248.

The widespread temporal and spatial persistence of endosymbionts in arthropod host populations, despite potential conflicts with their hosts and fluctuating environmental conditions, is puzzling. Here, we disentangled three main mechanisms that are commonly proposed to explain such persistence, namely, obligatory relationships, in which the host is fully dependent on its endosymbiont, fitness advantages conferred by the endosymbiont, and reproductive manipulations imposed by the endosymbiont. Our model system reflects an extreme case, in which the Wolbachia endosymbiont persists in all female flea hosts but rarely in male ones. We cured fleas of both sexes of Wolbachia but found no indications for either lower reproduction, offspring survival, or a change in the offspring sex ratio, compared to Wolbacia-infected fleas. These results do not support any of the suggested mechanisms. We highlight future directions to advance our understanding of endosymbiont persistence in fleas, as well as in other model systems, with extreme sex-differences in endosymbiont persistence. Insights from such studies are predicted to shed light on the evolution and ecology of arthropod-endosymbiont interactions in nature.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Pilgrim J, Thongprem P, Davison HR, et al (2021)

Torix Rickettsia are widespread in arthropods and reflect a neglected symbiosis.

GigaScience, 10(3):.

BACKGROUND: Rickettsia are intracellular bacteria best known as the causative agents of human and animal diseases. Although these medically important Rickettsia are often transmitted via haematophagous arthropods, other Rickettsia, such as those in the Torix group, appear to reside exclusively in invertebrates and protists with no secondary vertebrate host. Importantly, little is known about the diversity or host range of Torix group Rickettsia.

RESULTS: This study describes the serendipitous discovery of Rickettsia amplicons in the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD), a sequence database specifically designed for the curation of mitochondrial DNA barcodes. Of 184,585 barcode sequences analysed, Rickettsia is observed in ∼0.41% of barcode submissions and is more likely to be found than Wolbachia (0.17%). The Torix group of Rickettsia are shown to account for 95% of all unintended amplifications from the genus. A further targeted PCR screen of 1,612 individuals from 169 terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate species identified mostly Torix strains and supports the "aquatic hot spot" hypothesis for Torix infection. Furthermore, the analysis of 1,341 SRA deposits indicates that Torix infections represent a significant proportion of all Rickettsia symbioses found in arthropod genome projects.

CONCLUSIONS: This study supports a previous hypothesis that suggests that Torix Rickettsia are overrepresented in aquatic insects. In addition, multiple methods reveal further putative hot spots of Torix Rickettsia infection, including in phloem-feeding bugs, parasitoid wasps, spiders, and vectors of disease. The unknown host effects and transmission strategies of these endosymbionts make these newly discovered associations important to inform future directions of investigation involving the understudied Torix Rickettsia.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Abrun P, Ashouri A, Duplouy A, et al (2021)

Wolbachia impairs post-eclosion host preference in a parasitoid wasp.

Die Naturwissenschaften, 108(2):13.

Host preference behavior can result in adaptive advantages with important consequences for the fitness of individuals. Hopkin's host-selection principle (HHSP) suggests that organisms at higher trophic levels demonstrate a preference for the host species on which they developed during their own larval stage. Although investigated in many herbivorous and predatory insects, the HHSP has, to our knowledge, never been tested in the context of insects hosting selfish endosymbiotic passengers. Here, we investigated the effect of infection with the facultative bacterial symbiont Wolbachia on post-eclosion host preference in the parasitoid wasp Trichogramma brassicae (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae). We compared host preference in Wolbachia-infected individuals and uninfected adult female parasitoids after rearing them on two different Lepidopteran hosts, namely the flour moth Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) or the grain moth Sitotroga cerealella (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in choice and no choice experimental design (n = 120 wasps per each choice/no choice experiments). We showed that in T. brassicae, Wolbachia affects the post-eclosion host preference of female wasps. Wolbachia-infected wasps did not show any host preference and more frequently switched hosts in the laboratory, while uninfected wasps significantly preferred to lay eggs on the host species they developed on. Additionally, Wolbachia significantly improved the emergence rate of infected wasps when reared on new hosts. Altogether, our results revealed that the wasp's infection with Wolbachia may lead to impairment of post-eclosion host preference and facilitates growing up on different host species. The impairment of host preference by Wolbachia may allow T. brassicae to shift between hosts, a behavior that might have important evolutionary consequences for the wasp and its symbiont.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Wang YT, Shen RX, Xing D, et al (2021)

Metagenome Sequencing Reveals the Midgut Microbiota Makeup of Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus and Its Possible Relationship With Insecticide Resistance.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:625539.

Midgut microbiota can participate in the detoxification and metabolism processes in insects, but there are few reports on the relationship between midgut microbiota and insecticide resistance in mosquitoes. In this study, we performed metagenomic sequencing on a susceptible strain (SS), a field-collected Hainan strain (HN), and a deltamethrin-resistant strain (RR) of Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus to understand the diversity and functions of their midgut microbiota. The results revealed differences in midgut microbiota among the three strains of Cx. pipiens quinquefasciatus. At the phylum level, Proteobacteria was the most prominent, accounting for nearly 70% of their midgut microbes. At the genus level, Aeromonas made up the highest proportion. In addition, Aeromonas, Morganella, Elizabethkingia, Enterobacter, Cedecea, and Thorsellia showed significant differences between strains. At the species level, Bacillus cereus, Enterobacter cloacae complex sp. 4DZ3-17B2, Streptomyces sp. CNQ329, and some species of Pseudomonas and Wolbachia were more abundant in the two resistant strains. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the SS strain had significantly different metagenomic functions than the two deltamethrin-resistant strains (HN and RR strain). The HN and RR strains differed from the SS strain in more than 10 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways. The analysis of species abundance and functional diversity can provide directions for future studies.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Martins M, Ramos LFC, Murillo JR, et al (2021)

Comprehensive Quantitative Proteome Analysis of Aedes aegypti Identifies Proteins and Pathways Involved in Wolbachia pipientis and Zika Virus Interference Phenomenon.

Frontiers in physiology, 12:642237.

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a global public health emergency due to its association with microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy, and myelitis in children and adults. A total of 87 countries have had evidence of autochthonous mosquito-borne transmission of ZIKV, distributed across four continents, and no antivirus therapy or vaccines are available. Therefore, several strategies have been developed to target the main mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, to reduce the burden of different arboviruses. Among such strategies, the use of the maternally-inherited endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis has been applied successfully to reduce virus susceptibility and decrease transmission. However, the mechanisms by which Wolbachia orchestrate resistance to ZIKV infection remain to be elucidated. In this study, we apply isobaric labeling quantitative mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics to quantify proteins and identify pathways altered during ZIKV infection; Wolbachia infection; co-infection with Wolbachia/ZIKV in the A. aegypti heads and salivary glands. We show that Wolbachia regulates proteins involved in reactive oxygen species production, regulates humoral immune response, and antioxidant production. The reduction of ZIKV polyprotein in the presence of Wolbachia in mosquitoes was determined by MS and corroborates the idea that Wolbachia helps to block ZIKV infections in A. aegypti. The present study offers a rich resource of data that may help to elucidate mechanisms by which Wolbachia orchestrate resistance to ZIKV infection in A. aegypti, and represents a step further on the development of new targeted methods to detect and quantify ZIKV and Wolbachia directly in complex tissues.

RevDate: 2021-03-11

Dobson SL (2021)

When More is Less: Mosquito Population Suppression Using Sterile, Incompatible and Genetically Modified Male Mosquitoes.

Journal of medical entomology pii:6168294 [Epub ahead of print].

The current review of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is motivated by new technologies and the recent renaissance of male release field trials, which is driving an evolution in mosquito control and regulation. Practitioners that are releasing male mosquitoes would do well to learn from past successes and failures, including political and public engagement complications. With examples that include nuanced integrations of the different technologies, e.g., combinations of Wolbachia and irradiation, it is critical that scientists understand and communicate accurately about the technologies, including their evolving management by different regulatory agencies in the USA. Some male release approaches are considered 'pesticides' and regulated by federal and state agencies, while other male release approaches are unregulated. It is important to consider how the new technologies fit with the more 'traditional' chemical applications of adulticides and larvicides. The economics of male release programs are substantially different from traditional control costs, which can be a challenge to their adoption by abatement districts. However, there is substantial need to overcome these complications and challenges, because the problem with invasive mosquitoes grows ever worse with factors that include insecticide resistance, globalization and climate change.

RevDate: 2021-03-10

Shropshire JD, Rosenberg R, SR Bordenstein (2021)

The impacts of cytoplasmic incompatibility factor (cifA and cifB) genetic variation on phenotypes.

Genetics, 217(1):1-13.

Wolbachia are maternally transmitted, intracellular bacteria that can often selfishly spread through arthropod populations via cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). CI manifests as embryonic death when males expressing prophage WO genes cifA and cifB mate with uninfected females or females harboring an incompatible Wolbachia strain. Females with a compatible cifA-expressing strain rescue CI. Thus, cif-mediated CI confers a relative fitness advantage to females transmitting Wolbachia. However, whether cif sequence variation underpins incompatibilities between Wolbachia strains and variation in CI penetrance remains unknown. Here, we engineer Drosophila melanogaster to transgenically express cognate and non-cognate cif homologs and assess their CI and rescue capability. Cognate expression revealed that cifA;B native to D. melanogaster causes strong CI, and cognate cifA;B homologs from two other Drosophila-associated Wolbachia cause weak transgenic CI, including the first demonstration of phylogenetic type 2 cifA;B CI. Intriguingly, non-cognate expression of cifA and cifB alleles from different strains revealed that cifA homologs generally contribute to strong transgenic CI and interchangeable rescue despite their evolutionary divergence, and cifB genetic divergence contributes to weak or no transgenic CI. Finally, we find that a type 1 cifA can rescue CI caused by a genetically divergent type 2 cifA;B in a manner consistent with unidirectional incompatibility. By genetically dissecting individual CI functions for type 1 and 2 cifA and cifB, this work illuminates new relationships between cif genotype and CI phenotype. We discuss the relevance of these findings to CI's genetic basis, phenotypic variation patterns, and mechanism.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Zheng Z, Hu X, Xu Y, et al (2021)

Bacterial Composition and Diversity of the Digestive Tract of Odontomachus monticola Emery and Ectomomyrmex javanus Mayr.

Insects, 12(2):.

Ponerine ants are generalist predators feeding on a variety of small arthropods, annelids, and isopods; however, knowledge of their bacterial communities is rather limited. This study investigated the bacterial composition and diversity in the digestive tract (different gut sections and the infrabuccal pockets (IBPs)) of two ponerine ant species (Odontomachus monticola Emery and Ectomomyrmex javanus Mayr) distributed in northwestern China using high-throughput sequencing. We found that several dominant bacteria that exist in other predatory ants were also detected in these two ponerine ant species, including Wolbachia, Mesoplasma, and Spiroplasma. Bacterial communities of these two ant species were differed significantly from each other, and significant differences were also observed across their colonies, showing distinctive inter-colony characteristics. Moreover, bacterial communities between the gut sections (crops, midguts, and hindguts) of workers were highly similar within colony, but they were clearly different from those in IBPs. Further, bacterial communities in the larvae of O. monticola were similar to those in the IBPs of workers, but significantly different from those in gut sections. We presume that the bacterial composition and diversity in ponerine ants are related to their social behavior and feeding habits, and bacterial communities in the IBPs may play a potential role in their social life.

RevDate: 2021-03-10

Ma YJ, He HP, Zhao HM, et al (2021)

Microbiome diversity of cotton aphids (Aphis gossypii) is associated with host alternation.

Scientific reports, 11(1):5260.

Aphids are infected by a series of bacteria that can help them survive on specific host plants. However, the associations between aphids and these bacteria are not clear, and the bacterial communities in many aphid species are poorly characterized. Here, we investigated the bacterial communities of cotton aphids (Aphis gossypii) on 2 representative winter host plants and transferred to 3 summer host plants by 16S rDNA sequencing using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Our results revealed that the bacterial communities varied among cotton aphids on hibiscus, cotton aphids on pomegranate, cotton aphids on cotton transferred from hibiscus, cotton aphids on muskmelon transferred from hibiscus, cotton aphids on cucumber transferred from hibiscus,. The diversity and richness of the bacterial communities were significantly higher in aphids on muskmelon and aphids on cucumber than in the other treatments. There were two main factors influencing the distribution of internal bacterial OTUs revealed by principal component analysis, including the differences among Punicaceae, Malvaceae and Cucurbitaceae. There were 28 bacterial communities with significant differences between two arbitrary treatments, which could be grouped into 6 main clusters depending on relative abundance. Moreover, our results indicated that in addition to the obligate endosymbiont Buchnera, with a dominant position (> 52%), A. gossypii also harbored 3 facultative endosymbiotic bacteria (Serratia, Arsenophonus, and Wolbachia) and 3 possibly symbiotic bacteria (Acinetobacter, Pantoea, and Flavobacterium). There were several correspondences between the symbiotic bacteria in cotton aphids and the specific host plants of the aphids. This study provides a better understanding of the interactions among symbiotic bacteria, aphids and host plants, suggesting that the selection pressure on aphid bacterial communities is likely to be exerted by the species of host plants.

RevDate: 2021-03-04

Romanov DA, Zakharov IA, EV Shaikevich (2020)

Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, and Rickettsia symbiotic bacteria in aphids (Aphidoidea).

Vavilovskii zhurnal genetiki i selektsii, 24(6):673-682.

Aphids are a diverse family of crop pests. Aphids formed a complex relationship with intracellular bacteria. Depending on the region of study, the species composition of both aphids and their facultative endosymbionts varies. The aim of the work was to determine the occurrence and genetic diversity of Wolbachia, Spiroplasma and Rickettsia symbionts in aphids collected in 2018-2019 in Moscow. For these purposes, 578 aphids from 32 collection sites were tested by PCR using specific primers. At least 21 species of aphids from 14 genera and four families were identified by barcoding method, of which 11 species were infected with endosymbionts. Rickettsia was found in six species, Wolbachia in two species, Spiroplasma in one species. The presence of Rickettsia in Impatientinum asiaticum, Myzus cerasi, Hyalopterus pruni, Eucallipterus tiliae, Chaitophorus tremulae and Wolbachia in Aphis pomi and C. tremulae has been described for the first time. A double infection with Rickettsia and Spiroplasma was detected in a half of pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) individuals. For the first time was found that six species of aphids are infected with Rickettsia that are genetically different from previously known. It was first discovered that A. pomi is infected with two Wolbachia strains, one of which belongs to supergroup B and is genetically close to Wolbachia from C. tremulae. The second Wolbachia strain from A. pomi belongs to the supergroup M, recently described in aphid species. Spiroplasma, which we observed in A. pisum, is genetically close to male killing Spiroplasma from aphids, ladybirds and moths. Both maternal inheritance and horizontal transmission are the pathways for the distribution of facultative endosymbiotic bacteria in aphids.

RevDate: 2021-03-29

Wangkeeree J, Sanit P, Roddee J, et al (2021)

Phylogeny and Strain Typing of Wolbachia from Yamatotettix flavovittatus Matsumura Leafhoppers.

Current microbiology, 78(4):1367-1376.

Wolbachia is a maternally inherited bacterium of insects that can alter the reproduction, biology, and fitness of the hosts. It was detected in natural populations of the Yamatotettix flavovittatus Matsumura leafhoppers, the vector of phytoplasma, which is responsible for sugarcane white leaf disease. Wolbachia infection prolongs the longevity of female leafhoppers and promotes a strong reproductive incompatibility; importantly, highly maternal transmission rate was observed. However, limited data on the diversity or strain typing of Wolbachia in Y. flavovittatus are available. We aimed here to detect the presence of Wolbachia in different populations by amplification of the wsp gene, which was then sequenced. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was also performed to explore the diversity of the Wolbachia strains. Based on the wsp sequences, Wolbachia in the Y. flavovittatus leafhoppers belonged to supergroup B, and formed a distinct evolutionary lineage; therefore, we designated this new specific strain as wYfla. The MLST profiles revealed ten potential new sequence types (STs) in different leafhopper populations. Multiple STs were detected in individual leafhoppers, among which the ST-wYfla1 strain was predominant. Furthermore, we obtained congruent results for the phylogenetic analyses using the wsp gene and MLST loci. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study characterizing Wolbachia strains in Y. flavovittatus. Our results reveal a novel strain and multiple STs of Wolbachia, and these data may prove useful in the exploitation of Wolbachia as a biological Y. flavovittatus control agent.

RevDate: 2021-04-09
CmpDate: 2021-04-09

Burdina EV, Bykov RA, Menshanov PN, et al (2021)

Unique Wolbachia strain wMelPlus increases heat stress resistance in Drosophila melanogaster.

Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology, 106(4):e21776.

Maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia infects Drosophila melanogaster populations worldwide. Its genetic diversity includes several closely related genotypes, which can be attributed to two main genotype groups: wMel and wMelCS. Here, we studied eight D. melanogaster lines carrying the nuclear background of wild type interbred Bi90 line and cytoplasmic backgrounds with or without Wolbachia of different origin, each of which belongs to wMelCS genotype group. We analyzed the effect these seven Wolbachia strains had on the heat stress resistance and dopamine metabolism in D. melanogaster females. Survival under heat stress (38°C, 3 h 30 min) was increased only in the line infected with bacteria of the wMelPlus strain. At the same time, the activity of alkaline phosphatase (an enzyme regulating the pool of dopamine precursor tyrosine) was increased under normal conditions in females infected with all strains under study and retained the response to heat stress typical for the uninfected line. Thus, we found the unique Wolbachia strain that provides an increase of the host stress resistance, and demonstrated that the mechanism of this resistance is not dopamine-mediated.

RevDate: 2021-02-25

Benedict MQ (2021)

Sterile Insect Technique: Lessons From the Past.

Journal of medical entomology pii:6149427 [Epub ahead of print].

When E.F. Knipling conceived of the release of sexually sterile insects to suppress wild populations, he laid down several fundamental qualities that characterized suitable target species-some of which mosquitoes generally violate-including high reproductive rates and large population numbers. Regardless of this, their global importance in public health has led numerous research teams to attempt to use the mosquito sterile insect technique against several species. Because of the degree of financial commitment required for suppression programs, most releases have consisted of preliminary investigations of male performance, population characteristics, and production methods. Those that have accomplished suppression provide important insights regarding the challenges of production, dispersal, and immigration. Insights gained from these studies remain relevant today, regardless of the genetic control technology being applied. In this article, I highlight studies that were notable for the insights that were gained, the intrinsic difficulties that mosquitoes present, and synthesize these into recommendations for successful applications of the sterile insect technique and newer technologies to mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2021-02-28

Bulman CA, Chappell L, Gunderson E, et al (2021)

The Eagle effect in the Wolbachia-worm symbiosis.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):118.

BACKGROUND: Onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) are two human neglected tropical diseases that cause major disabilities. Mass administration of drugs targeting the microfilarial stage has reduced transmission and eliminated these diseases in several countries but a macrofilaricidal drug that kills or sterilizes the adult worms is critically needed to eradicate the diseases. The causative agents of onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis are filarial worms that harbor the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia. Because filarial worms depend on Wolbachia for reproduction and survival, drugs targeting Wolbachia hold great promise as a means to eliminate these diseases.

METHODS: To better understand the relationship between Wolbachia and its worm host, adult Brugia pahangi were exposed to varying concentrations of doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline and rifampicin in vitro and assessed for Wolbachia numbers and worm motility. Worm motility was monitored using the Worminator system, and Wolbachia titers were assessed by qPCR of the single copy gene wsp from Wolbachia and gst from Brugia to calculate IC50s and in time course experiments. Confocal microscopy was also used to quantify Wolbachia located at the distal tip region of worm ovaries to assess the effects of antibiotic treatment in this region of the worm where Wolbachia are transmitted vertically to the microfilarial stage.

RESULTS: Worms treated with higher concentrations of antibiotics had higher Wolbachia titers, i.e. as antibiotic concentrations increased there was a corresponding increase in Wolbachia titers. As the concentration of antibiotic increased, worms stopped moving and never recovered despite maintaining Wolbachia titers comparable to controls. Thus, worms were rendered moribund by the higher concentrations of antibiotics but Wolbachia persisted suggesting that these antibiotics may act directly on the worms at high concentration. Surprisingly, in contrast to these results, antibiotics given at low concentrations reduced Wolbachia titers.

CONCLUSION: Wolbachia in B. pahangi display a counterintuitive dose response known as the "Eagle effect." This effect in Wolbachia suggests a common underlying mechanism that allows diverse bacterial and fungal species to persist despite exposure to high concentrations of antimicrobial compounds. To our knowledge this is the first report of this phenomenon occurring in an intracellular endosymbiont, Wolbachia, in its filarial host.

RevDate: 2021-04-23
CmpDate: 2021-04-23

Guo H, Wang N, Niu H, et al (2021)

Interaction of Arsenophonus with Wolbachia in Nilaparvata lugens.

BMC ecology and evolution, 21(1):31.

BACKGROUND: Co-infection of endosymbionts in the same host is ubiquitous, and the interactions of the most common symbiont Wolbachia with other symbionts, including Spiroplasma, in invertebrate organisms have received increasing attention. However, the interactions between Wolbachia and Arsenophonus, another widely distributed symbiont in nature, are poorly understood. We tested the co-infection of Wolbachia and Arsenophonus in different populations of Nilaparvata lugens and investigated whether co-infection affected the population size of the symbionts in their host.

RESULTS: A significant difference was observed in the co-infection incidence of Wolbachia and Arsenophonus among 5 populations of N. lugens from China, with nearly half of the individuals in the Zhenjiang population harbouring the two symbionts simultaneously, and the rate of occurrence was significantly higher than that of the other 4 populations. The Arsenophonus density in the superinfection line was significantly higher only in the Maanshan population compared with that of the single-infection line. Differences in the density of Wolbachia and Arsenophonus were found in all the tested double-infection lines, and the dominant symbiont species varied with the population only in the Nanjing population, with Arsenophonus the overall dominant symbiont.

CONCLUSIONS: Wolbachia and Arsenophonus could coexist in N. lugens, and the co-infection incidence varied with the geographic populations. Antagonistic interactions were not observed between Arsenophonus and Wolbachia, and the latter was the dominant symbiont in most populations.

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Costa GB, Smithyman R, O'Neill SL, et al (2020)

How to engage communities on a large scale? Lessons from World Mosquito Program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Gates open research, 4:109.

One of the pillars of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Vector Control Response 2017-2030 strategy is the engagement of communities. Among the priority activities, defined by 2022 by the WHO, is the development of plans for the effective engagement and mobilisation of communities in vector control. Novel technologies for arboviruses control are being developed, such as the Wolbachia method, implemented by the World Mosquito Program (WMP). Here we discuss and analyse the framework for community engagement implemented by the WMP in Brazil, during the large-scale deployment of the method in the municipalities of Niterói and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Our experience indicates that the community engagement work for arboviruses control should be understood as an opportunity for local development. It is necessary, based on an integrated analysis of the territory, to understand that the actions for arboviruses control could be a catalyst for the necessary socioenvironmental, cultural and public health changes. Furthermore, it is essential to understand that community engagement goes beyond informing or asking for population consent, but it constitutes a possibility for dialogue and exchange between the various stakeholders present in the territories, to build on cooperation for mosquito-borne disease control.

RevDate: 2021-03-08

Lau MJ, Ross PA, AA Hoffmann (2021)

Infertility and fecundity loss of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti hatched from quiescent eggs is expected to alter invasion dynamics.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(2):e0009179.

The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia shows viral blocking in its mosquito host, leading to its use in arboviral disease control. Releases with Wolbachia strains wMel and wAlbB infecting Aedes aegypti have taken place in several countries. Mosquito egg survival is a key factor influencing population persistence and this trait is also important when eggs are stored prior to releases. We therefore tested the viability of mosquitoes derived from Wolbachia wMel and wAlbB-infected as well as uninfected eggs after long-term storage under diurnal temperature cycles of 11-19°C and 22-30°C. Eggs stored at 11-19°C had higher hatch proportions than those stored at 22-30°C. Adult Wolbachia density declined when they emerged from eggs stored for longer, which was associated with incomplete cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) when wMel-infected males were crossed with uninfected females. Females from stored eggs at both temperatures continued to show perfect maternal transmission of Wolbachia, but storage reduced the fecundity of both wMel and wAlbB-infected females relative to uninfected mosquitoes. Furthermore, we found a very strong negative impact of the wAlbB infection on the fertility of females stored at 22-30°C, with almost 80% of females hatching after 11 weeks of storage being infertile. Our findings provide guidance for storing Wolbachia-infected A. aegypti eggs to ensure high fitness adult mosquitoes for release. Importantly, they also highlight the likely impact of egg quiescence on the population dynamics of Wolbachia-infected populations in the field, and the potential for Wolbachia to suppress mosquito populations through cumulative fitness costs across warm and dry periods, with expected effects on dengue transmission.

RevDate: 2021-02-23

Farnesi LC, Carvalho FD, Lacerda APC, et al (2021)

Correction to: The influence of different sources of blood meals on the physiology of Aedes aegypti harboring Wolbachia wMel: mouse blood as an alternative for mosquito rearing.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):109.

RevDate: 2021-02-16

Pimentel AC, Cesar CS, Martins M, et al (2020)

The Antiviral Effects of the Symbiont Bacteria Wolbachia in Insects.

Frontiers in immunology, 11:626329.

Wolbachia is a maternally transmitted bacterium that lives inside arthropod cells. Historically, it was viewed primarily as a parasite that manipulates host reproduction, but more recently it was discovered that Wolbachia can also protect Drosophila species against infection by RNA viruses. Combined with Wolbachia's ability to invade insect populations due to reproductive manipulations, this provides a way to modify mosquito populations to prevent them transmitting viruses like dengue. In this review, we discuss the main advances in the field since Wolbachia's antiviral effect was discovered 12 years ago, identifying current research gaps and potential future developments. We discuss that the antiviral effect works against a broad range of RNA viruses and depends on the Wolbachia lineage. We describe what is known about the mechanisms behind viral protection, and that recent studies suggest two possible mechanisms: activation of host immunity or competition with virus for cellular resources. We also discuss how association with Wolbachia may influence the evolution of virus defense on the insect host genome. Finally, we investigate whether the antiviral effect occurs in wild insect populations and its ecological relevance as a major antiviral component in insects.

RevDate: 2021-02-16

Scolari F, Sandionigi A, Carlassara M, et al (2021)

Exploring Changes in the Microbiota of Aedes albopictus: Comparison Among Breeding Site Water, Larvae, and Adults.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:624170.

The mosquito body hosts highly diverse microbes, which influence different physiological traits of both larvae and adults. The composition of adult mosquito microbiota is tightly linked to that of larvae, which are aquatic and feed on organic detritus, algae and prokaryotic microorganisms present in their breeding sites. Unraveling the ecological features of larval habitats that shape the structure of bacterial communities and their interactions with the mosquito host is still a poorly investigated topic in the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus, a highly invasive species that is vector of numerous arboviruses, including Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika viruses. In this study, we investigated the composition of the bacterial community present in the water from a natural larval breeding site in which we separately reared wild-collected larvae and hatched eggs of the Foshan reference laboratory strain. Using sequence analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicons, we comparatively analyzed the microbiota of the larvae and that of adult mosquitoes, deriving information about the relative impact of the breeding site water on shaping mosquito microbiota. We observed a higher bacterial diversity in breeding site water than in larvae or adults, irrespective of the origin of the sample. Moreover, larvae displayed a significantly different and most diversified microbial community than newly emerged adults, which appeared to be dominated by Proteobacteria. The microbiota of breeding site water significantly increased its diversity over time, suggesting the presence of a dynamic interaction among bacterial communities, breeding sites and mosquito hosts. The analysis of Wolbachia prevalence in adults from Foshan and five additional strains with different geographic origins confirmed the described pattern of dual wAlbA and wAlbB strain infection. However, differences in Wolbachia prevalence were detected, with one strain from La Reunion Island showing up to 18% uninfected individuals. These findings contribute in further understanding the dynamic interactions between the ecology of larval habitats and the structure of host microbiota, as well as providing additional information relative to the patterns of Wolbachia infection.

RevDate: 2021-03-23

Kwarteng A, Sylverken A, Asiedu E, et al (2021)

Genome editing as control tool for filarial infections.

Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 137:111292.

Human filarial infections are vector-borne nematode infections, which include lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, loiasis, and mansonella filariasis. With a high prevalence in developing countries, filarial infections are responsible for some of the most debilitating morbidities and a vicious cycle of poverty and disease. Global initiatives set to eradicate these infections include community mass treatments, vector control, provision of care for morbidity, and search for vaccines. However, there are growing challenges associated with mass treatments, vector control, and antifilarial vaccine development. With the emergence of genome editing tools and successful applications in other infectious diseases, the integration of genetic editing techniques in future control strategies for filarial infections would offer the best option for eliminating filarial infections. In this review, we briefly discuss the mechanisms of the three main genetic editing techniques and explore the potential applications of these powerful tools to control filarial infections.

RevDate: 2021-02-17

Kapantaidaki DE, Antonatos S, Evangelou V, et al (2021)

Genetic and endosymbiotic diversity of Greek populations of Philaenus spumarius, Philaenus signatus and Neophilaenus campestris, vectors of Xylella fastidiosa.

Scientific reports, 11(1):3752.

The plant-pathogenic bacterium Xylella fastidiosa which causes significant diseases to various plant species worldwide, is exclusively transmitted by xylem sap-feeding insects. Given the fact that X. fastidiosa poses a serious potential threat for olive cultivation in Greece, the main aim of this study was to investigate the genetic variation of Greek populations of three spittlebug species (Philaenus spumarius, P. signatus and Neophilaenus campestris), by examining the molecular markers Cytochrome Oxidase I, cytochrome b and Internal Transcribed Spacer. Moreover, the infection status of the secondary endosymbionts Wolbachia, Arsenophonus, Hamiltonella, Cardinium and Rickettsia, among these populations, was determined. According to the results, the ITS2 region was the less polymorphic, while the analyzed fragments of COI and cytb genes, displayed high genetic diversity. The phylogenetic analysis placed the Greek populations of P. spumarius into the previously obtained Southwest clade in Europe. The analysis of the bacterial diversity revealed a diverse infection status. Rickettsia was the most predominant endosymbiont while Cardinium was totally absent from all examined populations. Philaenus spumarius harbored Rickettsia, Arsenophonus, Hamiltonella and Wolbachia, N. campestris carried Rickettsia, Hamiltonella and Wolbachia while P. signatus was infected only by Rickettsia. The results of this study will provide an important knowledge resource for understanding the population dynamics of vectors of X. fastidiosa with a view to formulate effective management strategies towards the bacterium.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Hou HX, Zhao D, Xiao JH, et al (2021)

Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals the Sexually Divergent Host-Wolbachia Interaction Patterns in a Fig Wasp.

Microorganisms, 9(2):.

Wolbachia are widely distributed in arthropods and nematodes, acquiring nutrients from the hosts, and inducing remarkable reproductive modulations on the hosts. To investigate the interaction of Wolbachia and insects, Wolbachia are often artificially eliminated from Wolbachia-infected hosts, which may produce negative effects of antibiotics. In the present study, based on the transcriptomic data of a fig wasp species Ceratosolen solmsi with two sibling lineages, one natively infected and the other noninfected with Wolbachia, we investigated the expression patterns of genes. The comparison results of differently expressed genes (DEGs) between Wolbachia infected and noninfected samples show that males have many more DEGs than females. The male unique upregulated genes are enriched in biological processes mainly related to biosynthesis, transport, positive regulation of I-kappaB kinase/NF-kappaB signaling, MAPK cascade, and pathogenesis; the male unique downregulated genes are enriched in biological processes mainly related to transport, oxidation-reduction, cellular responses to oxidative stress, lipid oxidation, cytoskeleton organization, actin filament-based process, and localization. In addition, for the Wolbachia's gene expression, the number of genes up-regulated in males is higher than that in females. The results revealed divergent patterns of the host-Wolbachia interactions between males and females in the fig wasp species.

RevDate: 2021-02-10

Salje J (2021)

Cells within cells: Rickettsiales and the obligate intracellular bacterial lifestyle.

Nature reviews. Microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The Rickettsiales are a group of obligate intracellular vector-borne Gram-negative bacteria that include many organisms of clinical and agricultural importance, including Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Wolbachia, Rickettsia spp. and Orientia tsutsugamushi. This Review provides an overview of the current state of knowledge of the biology of these bacteria and their interactions with host cells, with a focus on pathogenic species or those that are otherwise important for human health. This includes a description of rickettsial genomics, bacterial cell biology, the intracellular lifestyles of Rickettsiales and the mechanisms by which they induce and evade the innate immune response.

RevDate: 2021-02-21

Lindsey ARI, Bhattacharya T, Hardy RW, et al (2021)

Wolbachia and Virus Alter the Host Transcriptome at the Interface of Nucleotide Metabolism Pathways.

mBio, 12(1):.

Wolbachia is a maternally transmitted bacterium that manipulates arthropod and nematode biology in myriad ways. The Wolbachia strain colonizing Drosophila melanogaster creates sperm-egg incompatibilities and protects its host against RNA viruses, making it a promising tool for vector control. Despite successful trials using Wolbachia-transfected mosquitoes for dengue control, knowledge of how Wolbachia and viruses jointly affect insect biology remains limited. Using the Drosophila melanogaster model, transcriptomics and gene expression network analyses revealed pathways with altered expression and splicing due to Wolbachia colonization and virus infection. Included are metabolic pathways previously unknown to be important for Wolbachia-host interactions. Additionally, Wolbachia-colonized flies exhibit a dampened transcriptomic response to virus infection, consistent with early blocking of virus replication. Finally, using Drosophila genetics, we show that Wolbachia and expression of nucleotide metabolism genes have interactive effects on virus replication. Understanding the mechanisms of pathogen blocking will contribute to the effective development of Wolbachia-mediated vector control programs.IMPORTANCE Recently developed arbovirus control strategies leverage the symbiotic bacterium Wolbachia, which spreads in insect populations and blocks viruses from replicating. While this strategy has been successful, details of how this "pathogen blocking" works are limited. Here, we use a combination of virus infections, fly genetics, and transcriptomics to show that Wolbachia and virus interact at host nucleotide metabolism pathways.

RevDate: 2021-02-20

Sicard M, Namias A, Perriat-Sanguinet M, et al (2021)

Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Variations in Relation with Wolbachia cid Genes Divergence in Culex pipiens.

mBio, 12(1):.

In arthropods, Wolbachia endosymbionts induce conditional sterility, called cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), resulting from embryonic lethality. CI penetrance (i.e., embryonic death rate) varies depending on host species and Wolbachia strains involved. All Culex pipiens mosquitoes are infected by the endosymbiotic alphaproteobacteria Wolbachia wPip. CI in Culex, characterized as a binary "compatible/incompatible" phenomenon, revealed an unparalleled diversity of patterns linked to the amplification-diversification of cidA and cidB genes. Here, we accurately studied CI penetrance variations in the light of cid genes divergence by generating a C. pipiens compatibility matrix between 11 lines hosting different phylogenetic wPip groups and exhibiting distinct cid gene repertoires. We showed, as expected, that crosses involving wPip from the same group were mostly compatible. In contrast, only 22% of the crosses involving different wPip groups were compatible, while 54% were fully incompatible. For the remaining 24% of the crosses, "intermediate" compatibilities were reported, and a cytological observation of the first zygotic division confirmed the occurrence of "canonical" CI phenotypes in a fraction of the eggs. Backcross experiments demonstrated that intermediate compatibilities were not linked to host genetic background but to the Wolbachia strains involved. This previously unstudied intermediate penetrance CI was more severe and frequent in crosses involving wPip-IV strains exhibiting cid variants markedly divergent from other wPip groups. Our data demonstrate that CI is not always a binary compatible/incompatible phenomenon in C. pipiens but that intermediate compatibilities putatively resulting from partial mismatch due to Cid proteins divergence exist in this species complex.IMPORTANCECulex pipiens mosquitoes are infected with wPip. These endosymbionts induce a conditional sterility called CI resulting from embryonic deaths, which constitutes a cornerstone for Wolbachia antivectorial methods. Recent studies revealed that (i) two genes, cidA and cidB, are central in Wolbachia-CI mechanisms, and (ii) compatibility versus incompatibility between mosquito lines depends on the wPip phylogenetic groups at play. Here, we studied CI variations in relation to wPip groups and cid genes divergence. We showed, as expected, that the crosses involving wPip from the same group were compatible. In contrast, 78% of the crosses involving different wPip groups were partially or fully incompatible. In such crosses, we reported defects during the first zygotic division, a hallmark of CI. We showed that CI was more severe and frequent in crosses involving wPip-IV strains exhibiting cid variants, which markedly diverge from those of other wPip groups.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Moo-Llanes DA, López-Ordóñez T, Torres-Monzón JA, et al (2021)

Assessing the Potential Distributions of the Invasive Mosquito Vector Aedes albopictus and Its Natural Wolbachia Infections in México.

Insects, 12(2):.

The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is currently the most invasive vector species, with a widespread global distribution. Aedes albopictus is the potential vector of diverse arboviruses, including Zika and dengue. This study updated the ecological niche model of Ae. albopictus and inferred the potential distribution of natural Wolbachia infections in Ae. albopictus in México. The ecological niche models were constructed based on diverse model settings to better estimate the potential distributions and uncertainty indices of both Ae. albopictus and its natural Wolbachia infections in México. The distribution of Ae. albopictus covered the states across Northern México, the Gulf of México, the Pacific Coast of México, Central México, and the southeast of México. The ecological niche model of the natural Wolbachia infections in Ae. albopictus populations anticipated the occurrence of natural Wolbachia infections in the southeast of México, the Chiapas border with Guatemala, and Veracruz. These results can be used to prioritize vector surveillance and control programs in México for strategic and future decision-making; however, it is still necessary to establish active surveillance programs to assess model predictions based on the independent sampling of Ae. albopictus from different invasion zones in México. Finally, vector surveillance should also screen the natural Wolbachia infections in Ae. albopictus to validate Wolbachia predictions across México, particularly in the southeast of México.

RevDate: 2021-02-08

Dou W, Miao Y, Xiao J, et al (2021)

Association of Wolbachia with Gene Expression in Drosophila Testes.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is a genus of intracellular symbiotic bacteria that are widely distributed in arthropods and nematodes. These maternally inherited bacteria regulate host reproductive systems in various ways to facilitate their vertical transmission. Since the identification of Wolbachia in many insects, the relationship between Wolbachia and the host has attracted great interest. Numerous studies have indicated that Wolbachia modifies a variety of biological processes in the host. Previous studies in Drosophila melanogaster (D. melanogaster) have demonstrated that Wolbachia can affect spermatid differentiation, chromosome deposition, and sperm activity in the early stages of spermatogenesis, leading to sperm dysfunction. Here, we explored the putative effect of Wolbachia in sperm maturation using transcriptomic approaches to compare gene expression in Wolbachia-infected and Wolbachia-free D. melanogaster adult testes. Our findings show that Wolbachia affects many biological processes in D. melanogaster adult testes, and most of the differentially expressed genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, lysosomal degradation, proteolysis, lipid metabolism, and immune response were upregulated in the presence of Wolbachia. In contrast, some genes that are putatively associated with cutin and wax biosynthesis and peroxisome pathways were downregulated. We did not find any differentially expressed genes that are predicted to be related to spermatogenesis in the datasets. This work provides additional information for understanding the Wolbachia-host intracellular relationships.

RevDate: 2021-02-08

Anonymous (2021)

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

RevDate: 2021-02-10

Sucháčková Bartoňová A, Konvička M, Marešová J, et al (2021)

Wolbachia affects mitochondrial population structure in two systems of closely related Palaearctic blue butterflies.

Scientific reports, 11(1):3019.

The bacterium Wolbachia infects many insect species and spreads by diverse vertical and horizontal means. As co-inherited organisms, these bacteria often cause problems in mitochondrial phylogeny inference. The phylogenetic relationships of many closely related Palaearctic blue butterflies (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Polyommatinae) are ambiguous. We considered the patterns of Wolbachia infection and mitochondrial diversity in two systems: Aricia agestis/Aricia artaxerxes and the Pseudophilotes baton species complex. We sampled butterflies across their distribution ranges and sequenced one butterfly mitochondrial gene and two Wolbachia genes. Both butterfly systems had uninfected and infected populations, and harboured several Wolbachia strains. Wolbachia was highly prevalent in A. artaxerxes and the host's mitochondrial structure was shallow, in contrast to A. agestis. Similar bacterial alleles infected both Aricia species from nearby sites, pointing to a possible horizontal transfer. Mitochondrial history of the P. baton species complex mirrored its Wolbachia infection and not the taxonomical division. Pseudophilotes baton and P. vicrama formed a hybrid zone in Europe. Wolbachia could obscure mitochondrial history, but knowledge on the infection helps us to understand the observed patterns. Testing for Wolbachia should be routine in mitochondrial DNA studies.

RevDate: 2021-02-06

Sandoval-Mojica AF, Hunter WB, Aishwarya V, et al (2021)

Antibacterial FANA oligonucleotides as a novel approach for managing the Huanglongbing pathosystem.

Scientific reports, 11(1):2760.

Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), a bacterium transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, is the causal agent of citrus greening disease, or Huanglongbng (HLB). Currently, vector population suppression with insecticides and tree removal are the most effective strategies for managing the HLB pathosystem. In this study, we assessed the bactericidal capabilities of 2'-deoxy-2'-fluoro-D-arabinonucleic acid antisense oligonucleotides (FANA ASO) both in vitro and in vivo by (1) confirming their capacity to penetrate insect cells, (2) silencing bacterial essential genes, and (3) quantifying reductions in bacterial titer and D. citri transmission. We confirmed that FANA ASO are able to penetrate insect cells without the use of a delivery agent. Expression of an essential gene in the D. citri endosymbiont, Wolbachia (wDi), significantly decreased by 30% following incubation with a wDi-specific FANA ASO. Viability of isolated wDi cells also decreased in response to the FANA ASO treatment. Delivery of a CLas-specific FANA ASO to infected adult D. citri in feeding assays resulted in significant silencing of a CLas essential gene. CLas relative density and transmission were significantly lower among D. citri fed FANA ASO in diet compared to untreated insects. Root infusions of a CLas-specific FANA ASO into infected Citrus trees significantly reduced CLas titer during a 30-day trial. Our results suggest that FANA ASO targeting insect-transmitted plant bacteria or insect endosymbionts may be useful tool for integrated management of agricultural pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-02-25
CmpDate: 2021-02-25

Fallon AM (2021)

DNA recombination and repair in Wolbachia: RecA and related proteins.

Molecular genetics and genomics : MGG, 296(2):437-456.

Wolbachia is an obligate intracellular bacterium that has undergone extensive genomic streamlining in its arthropod and nematode hosts. Because the gene encoding the bacterial DNA recombination/repair protein RecA is not essential in Escherichia coli, abundant expression of this protein in a mosquito cell line persistently infected with Wolbachia strain wStri was unexpected. However, RecA's role in the lytic cycle of bacteriophage lambda provides an explanation for retention of recA in strains known to encode lambda-like WO prophages. To examine DNA recombination/repair capacities in Wolbachia, a systematic examination of RecA and related proteins in complete or nearly complete Wolbachia genomes from supergroups A, B, C, D, E, F, J and S was undertaken. Genes encoding proteins including RecA, RecF, RecO, RecR, RecG and Holliday junction resolvases RuvA, RuvB and RuvC are uniformly absent from Wolbachia in supergroup C and have reduced representation in supergroups D and J, suggesting that recombination and repair activities are compromised in nematode-associated Wolbachia, relative to strains that infect arthropods. An exception is filarial Wolbachia strain wMhie, assigned to supergroup F, which occurs in a nematode host from a poikilothermic lizard. Genes encoding LexA and error-prone polymerases are absent from all Wolbachia genomes, suggesting that the SOS functions induced by RecA-mediated activation of LexA do not occur, despite retention of genes encoding a few proteins that respond to LexA induction in E. coli. Three independent E. coli accessions converge on a single Wolbachia UvrD helicase, which interacts with mismatch repair proteins MutS and MutL, encoded in nearly all Wolbachia genomes. With the exception of MutL, which has been mapped to a eukaryotic association module in Phage WO, proteins involved in recombination/repair are uniformly represented by single protein annotations. Putative phage-encoded MutL proteins are restricted to Wolbachia supergroups A and B and show higher amino acid identity than chromosomally encoded MutL orthologs. This analysis underscores differences between nematode and arthropod-associated Wolbachia and describes aspects of DNA metabolism that potentially impact development of procedures for transformation and genetic manipulation of Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2021-01-29

Zimmermann BL, Cardoso GM, Bouchon D, et al (2021)

Supergroup F Wolbachia in terrestrial isopods: Horizontal transmission from termites?.

Evolutionary ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Horizontal transmission between distantly related species has been used to explain how Wolbachia infect multiple species at astonishing rates despite the selection for resistance. Recently, a terrestrial isopod species was found to be infected by an unusual strain of supergroup F Wolbachia. However, only Wolbachia of supergroup B is typically found in isopods. One possibility is that these isopods acquired the infection because of their recurrent contact with termites-a group with strong evidence of infection by supergroup F Wolbachia. Thus, our goals were: (1) check if the infection was an isolated case in isopods, or if it revealed a broader pattern; (2) search for Wolbachia infection in the termites within Brazil; and (3) look for evidence consistent with horizontal transmission between isopods and termites. We collected Neotroponiscus terrestrial isopods and termites along the Brazilian coastal Atlantic forest. We sequenced and identified the Wolbachia strains found in these groups using coxA, dnaA, and fpbA genes. We constructed phylogenies for both bacteria and host taxa and tested for coevolution. We found the supergroup F Wolbachia in other species and populations of Neotroponiscus, and also in Nasutitermes and Procornitermes termites. The phylogenies showed that, despite the phylogenetic distance between isopods and termites, the Wolbachia strains clustered together. Furthermore, cophylogenetic analyses showed significant jumps of Wolbachia between terrestrial isopods and termites. Thus, our study suggests that the horizontal transmission of supergroup F Wolbachia between termites and terrestrial isopods is likely. Our study also helps understanding the success and worldwide distribution of this symbiont.

Supplementary information: The online version of this article (10.1007/s10682-021-10101-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

RevDate: 2021-03-18

Lozano-Sardaneta YN, Valderrama A, Sánchez-Montes S, et al (2021)

Rickettsial agents detected in the genus Psathyromyia (Diptera:Phlebotominae) from a Biosphere Reserve of Veracruz, Mexico.

Parasitology international, 82:102286.

Phlebotomine sand flies are considered the main vectors of Leishmania, the causal agents of leishmaniasis, which is a serious emerging public health problem worldwide. The use of biological control alternatives, like endosymbiotic bacteria (Wolbachia and Rickettsia), have been proposed to decrease sand fly populations and reduce Leishmania transmissions, yet only few records on the detection of Wolbachia or Rickettsia in sand flies are available worldwide. The aim of this study was to perform the molecular detection of Rickettsial agents associated with sand flies from the last patch of a rainforest in south-eastern Mexico, where a high prevalence of Leishmania infantum has been reported. Sampling effort of sand flies covered 300 trap-nights between 2011 and 2013, and a total of 925 specimens from twelve species were morphologically identified. Using PCR techniques, we identified a new lineage of the endosymbionts Rickettsia in Psathyromyia aclydifera (prevalence of 19.54%), and Wolbachia in Psathyromyia shannoni and Lutzomyia sp. (prevalence of 25%). The detected Wolbachia lineage was similar to the wWhi strain found in Pa. shannoni from Colombia and Nyssomyia whitmani from Brazil; whereas the identified Rickettsia represents a new lineage worldwide. This is the first record of Rickettsial agents associated to sand flies from this region, yet it remains for analysed if these bacteria possibly play a role as vector control agents, capable of reducing the sand fly populations in Mexico.

RevDate: 2021-02-03
CmpDate: 2021-02-03

Yang K, Chen H, Bing XL, et al (2021)

Wolbachia and Spiroplasma could influence bacterial communities of the spider mite Tetranychus truncatus.

Experimental & applied acarology, 83(2):197-210.

The structures of arthropod bacterial communities are complex. These microbiotas usually provide many beneficial services to their hosts, whereas occasionally they may be parasitical. To date, little is known about the bacterial communities of Tetranychus truncatus and the factors contributing to the structure of its bacterial communities are unexplored yet. Here, we used four symbiont-infected T. truncatus strains-including one Wolbachia and Spiroplasma co-infected strain, two symbiont singly-infected strains and one symbiont uninfected strain-to investigate the influence of endosymbionts on the structure of the host mites' microbiota. Based on 16S rRNA genes sequencing analysis, we found Wolbachia and Spiroplasma were the two most abundant bacteria in T. truncatus and the presence of both symbionts could not change the diversity of bacterial communities (based on alpha-diversity indexes such as ACE, Chao1, Shannon and Simpson diversity index). Symbiont infection did alter the abundance of many other bacterial genera, such as Megamonas and Bacteroides. The structures of bacterial communities differed significantly among symbiont-infected strains. These results suggested a prominent effect of Wolbachia and Spiroplasma on bacterial communities of the host T. truncatus. These findings advance our understanding of T. truncatus microbiota and will be helpful for further study on bacterial communities of spider mites.

RevDate: 2021-05-05
CmpDate: 2021-05-05

Yoshida K, Sanada-Morimura S, Huang SH, et al (2021)

Silence of the killers: discovery of male-killing suppression in a rearing strain of the small brown planthopper, Laodelphax striatellus.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1943):20202125.

According to evolutionary theory, sex ratio distortions caused by reproductive parasites such as Wolbachia and Spiroplasma are predicted to be rapidly normalized by the emergence of host nuclear suppressors. However, such processes in the evolutionary arms race are difficult to observe because sex ratio biases will be promptly hidden and become superficially unrecognizable. The evolution of genetic suppressors has been reported in just two insect species so far. In the small brown planthopper, Laodelphax striatellus, female-biases caused by Spiroplasma, which is a 'late' male-killer, have been found in some populations. During the continuous rearing of L. striatellus, we noted that a rearing strain had a 1 : 1 sex ratio even though it harboured Spiroplasma. Through introgression crossing experiments with a strain lacking suppressors, we revealed that the L. striatellus strain had the zygotic male-killing suppressor acting as a dominant trait. The male-killing phenotype was hidden by the suppressor even though Spiroplasma retained its male-killing ability. This is the first study to demonstrate the existence of a late male-killing suppressor and its mode of inheritance. Our results, together with those of previous studies, suggest that the inheritance modes of male-killing suppressors are similar regardless of insect order or early or late male killing.

RevDate: 2021-02-25
CmpDate: 2021-02-25

Dong S, G Dimopoulos (2021)

Antiviral Compounds for Blocking Arboviral Transmission in Mosquitoes.

Viruses, 13(1):.

Mosquito-borne arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) such as the dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus (ZIKV), and chikungunya virus (CHIKV) are important human pathogens that are responsible for significant global morbidity and mortality. The recent emergence and re-emergence of mosquito-borne viral diseases (MBVDs) highlight the urgent need for safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics, and vector-control approaches to prevent MBVD outbreaks. In nature, arboviruses circulate between vertebrate hosts and arthropod vectors; therefore, disrupting the virus lifecycle in mosquitoes is a major approach for combating MBVDs. Several strategies were proposed to render mosquitoes that are refractory to arboviral infection, for example, those involving the generation of genetically modified mosquitoes or infection with the symbiotic bacterium Wolbachia. Due to the recent development of high-throughput screening methods, an increasing number of drugs with inhibitory effects on mosquito-borne arboviruses in mammalian cells were identified. These antivirals are useful resources that can impede the circulation of arboviruses between arthropods and humans by either rendering viruses more vulnerable in humans or suppressing viral infection by reducing the expression of host factors in mosquitoes. In this review, we summarize recent advances in small-molecule antiarboviral drugs in mammalian and mosquito cells, and discuss how to use these antivirals to block the transmission of MBVDs.

RevDate: 2021-01-17

Takano SI, Gotoh Y, T Hayashi (2021)

"Candidatus Mesenet longicola": Novel Endosymbionts of Brontispa longissima that Induce Cytoplasmic Incompatibility.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Intracellular bacteria that are mainly transmitted maternally affect their arthropod hosts' biology in various ways. One such effect is known as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), and three bacterial species are known to induce CI: Wolbachia, Cardinium hertigii, and a recently found alphaproteobacterial symbiont. To clarify the taxonomic status and provide the foundation for future studies to reveal CI mechanisms and other phenotypes, we investigated genetic and morphological properties of the third CI inducer that we have previously reported inducing CI in the coconut beetle Brontispa longissima. The draft genome of the bacteria was obtained from the oocytes of two isofemale lines of B. longissima infected with the bacteria: one from Japan (GL2) and the other from Vietnam (L5). Genome features of the symbionts (sGL2 and sL5) were highly similar, showing 1.3 Mb in size, 32.1% GC content, and 99.83% average nucleotide sequence. A phylogenetic study based on 43 universal and single-copy phylogenetic marker genes indicates that they formed a distinct clade in the family Anaplasmataceae. 16S rRNA gene sequences indicate that they are different from the closest known relatives, at least at the genus level. Therefore, we propose a new genus and species, "Candidatus Mesenet longicola", for the symbionts of B. longissima. Morphological analyses showed that Ca. M. longicola is an intracellular bacterium that is ellipsoidal to rod-shaped and 0.94 ± 0.26 μm (mean ± SD) in length, and accumulated in the anterior part of the oocyte. Candidates for the Ca. M. longicola genes responsible for CI induction are also described.

RevDate: 2021-01-22

Santos LMB, Mutsaers M, Garcia GA, et al (2021)

High throughput estimates of Wolbachia, Zika and chikungunya infection in Aedes aegypti by near-infrared spectroscopy to improve arbovirus surveillance.

Communications biology, 4(1):67.

Deployment of Wolbachia to mitigate dengue (DENV), Zika (ZIKV) and chikungunya (CHIKV) transmission is ongoing in 12 countries. One way to assess the efficacy of Wolbachia releases is to determine invasion rates within the wild population of Aedes aegypti following their release. Herein we evaluated the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of the Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) in estimating the time post death, ZIKV-, CHIKV-, and Wolbachia-infection in trapped dead female Ae. aegypti mosquitoes over a period of 7 days. Regardless of the infection type, time post-death of mosquitoes was accurately predicted into four categories (fresh, 1 day old, 2-4 days old and 5-7 days old). Overall accuracies of 93.2, 97 and 90.3% were observed when NIRS was used to detect ZIKV, CHIKV and Wolbachia in dead Ae. aegypti female mosquitoes indicating NIRS could be potentially applied as a rapid and cost-effective arbovirus surveillance tool. However, field data is required to demonstrate the full capacity of NIRS for detecting these infections under field conditions.

RevDate: 2021-01-17

Díaz-Nieto LM, Gil MF, Lazarte JN, et al (2021)

Culex quinquefasciatus carrying Wolbachia is less susceptible to entomopathogenic bacteria.

Scientific reports, 11(1):1094.

In an attempt to evaluate the susceptibility of the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus to bacterial agents, a population naturally infected with a Wolbachia pipientis wPipSJ native strain was tested against the action of three bacterial mosquitocides, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, Bacillus wiedmannii biovar thuringiensis and Lysinibacillus sphaericus. Tests were carried out on mosquito larvae with and without Wolbachia (controls). Cx. quinquefasciatus naturally infected with the native wPipSJ strain proved to be more resistant to the pathogenic action of the three mosquitocidal bacterial strains. Additionally, wPipSJ was fully characterised using metagenome-assembled genomics, PCR-RFLP (PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) and MLST (MultiLocus Sequence Typing) analyses. This Wolbachia strain wPipSJ belongs to haplotype I, group wPip-III and supergroup B, clustering with other mosquito wPip strains, such as wPip PEL, wPip JHB, wPip Mol, and wAlbB; showing the southernmost distribution in America. The cytoplasmic incompatibility phenotype of this strain was revealed via crosses between wildtype (Wolbachia+) and antibiotic treated mosquito populations. The results of the tests with the bacterial agents suggest that Cx. quinquefasciatus naturally infected with wPipSJ is less susceptible to the pathogenic action of mosquitocidal bacterial strains when compared with the antibiotic-treated mosquito isoline, and is more susceptible to B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis than to the other two mosquitocidal agents.

RevDate: 2021-02-26

Chung M, Adkins RS, Mattick JSA, et al (2021)

FADU: a Quantification Tool for Prokaryotic Transcriptomic Analyses.

mSystems, 6(1):.

Quantification tools for RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analyses are often designed and tested using human transcriptomics data sets, in which full-length transcript sequences are well annotated. For prokaryotic transcriptomics experiments, full-length transcript sequences are seldom known, and coding sequences must instead be used for quantification steps in RNA-Seq analyses. However, operons confound accurate quantification of coding sequences since a single transcript does not necessarily equate to a single gene. Here, we introduce FADU (Feature Aggregate Depth Utility), a quantification tool designed specifically for prokaryotic RNA-Seq analyses. FADU assigns partial count values proportional to the length of the fragment overlapping the target feature. To assess the ability of FADU to quantify genes in prokaryotic transcriptomics analyses, we compared its performance to those of eXpress, featureCounts, HTSeq, kallisto, and Salmon across three paired-end read data sets of (i) Ehrlichia chaffeensis, (ii) Escherichia coli, and (iii) the Wolbachia endosymbiont wBm. Across each of the three data sets, we find that FADU can more accurately quantify operonic genes by deriving proportional counts for multigene fragments within operons. FADU is available at Most currently available quantification tools for transcriptomics analyses have been designed for human data sets, in which full-length transcript sequences, including the untranslated regions, are well annotated. In most prokaryotic systems, full-length transcript sequences have yet to be characterized, leading to prokaryotic transcriptomics analyses being performed based on only the coding sequences. In contrast to eukaryotes, prokaryotes contain polycistronic transcripts, and when genes are quantified based on coding sequences instead of transcript sequences, this leads to an increased abundance of improperly assigned ambiguous multigene fragments, specifically those mapping to multiple genes in operons. Here, we describe FADU, a quantification tool for prokaryotic RNA-Seq analyses designed to assign proportional counts with the purpose of better quantifying operonic genes while minimizing the pitfalls associated with improperly assigning fragment counts from ambiguous transcripts.

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Deehan M, Lin W, Blum B, et al (2021)

Intracellular Density of Wolbachia Is Mediated by Host Autophagy and the Bacterial Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Gene cifB in a Cell Type-Dependent Manner in Drosophila melanogaster.

mBio, 12(1):.

Autophagy is an intracellular degradation pathway involved in innate immunity. Pathogenic bacteria have evolved several mechanisms to escape degradation or exploit autophagy to acquire host nutrients. In the case of endosymbionts, which often have commensal or mutualistic interactions with the host, autophagy is not well characterized. We utilized tissue-specific autophagy mutants to determine if Wolbachia, a vertically transmitted obligate endosymbiont of Drosophila melanogaster, is regulated by autophagy in somatic and germ line cell types. Our analysis revealed core autophagy proteins Atg1 and Atg8 and a selective autophagy-specific protein Ref(2)p negatively regulate Wolbachia in the hub, a male gonad somatic cell type. Furthermore, we determined that the Wolbachia effector protein, CifB, modulates autophagy-Wolbachia interactions, identifying a new host-related pathway which these bacterial proteins interact with. In the female germ line, the cell type necessary for inheritance of Wolbachia through vertical transmission, we discovered that bulk autophagy mediated by Atg1 and Atg8 positively regulates Wolbachia density, whereas Ref(2)p had no effect. Global metabolomics of fly ovaries deficient in germ line autophagy revealed reduced lipid and carbon metabolism, implicating metabolites from these pathways as positive regulators of Wolbachia Our work provides further understanding of how autophagy affects bacteria in a cell type-dependent manner.IMPORTANCE Autophagy is a eukaryotic intracellular degradation pathway which can act as an innate immune response to eliminate pathogens. Conversely, pathogens can evolve proteins which modulate the autophagy pathway to subvert degradation and establish an infection. Wolbachia, a vertically transmitted obligate endosymbiont which infects up to 40% of insect species, is negatively regulated by autophagy in whole animals, but the specific molecular mechanism and tissue which govern this interaction remain unknown. Our studies use cell type-specific autophagy mutants to reveal that Wolbachia is negatively regulated by selective autophagy in the soma, while nonselective autophagy positively regulates Wolbachia in the female germ line. These data provide evidence that cell type can drive different basal autophagy programs which modulate intracellular microbes differently. Additionally, we identified that the Wolbachia effector CifB acts in the selective autophagy pathway to aid in intracellular bacterial survival, providing a new function for CifB beyond its previously identified role in reproductive manipulation.

RevDate: 2021-02-18

Ogunlade ST, Meehan MT, Adekunle AI, et al (2021)

A Review: Aedes-Borne Arboviral Infections, Controls and Wolbachia-Based Strategies.

Vaccines, 9(1):.

Arthropod-borne viruses (Arboviruses) continue to generate significant health and economic burdens for people living in endemic regions. Of these viruses, some of the most important (e.g., dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever virus), are transmitted mainly by Aedes mosquitoes. Over the years, viral infection control has targeted vector population reduction and inhibition of arboviral replication and transmission. This control includes the vector control methods which are classified into chemical, environmental, and biological methods. Some of these control methods may be largely experimental (both field and laboratory investigations) or widely practised. Perceptively, one of the biological methods of vector control, in particular, Wolbachia-based control, shows a promising control strategy for eradicating Aedes-borne arboviruses. This can either be through the artificial introduction of Wolbachia, a naturally present bacterium that impedes viral growth in mosquitoes into heterologous Aedes aegypti mosquito vectors (vectors that are not natural hosts of Wolbachia) thereby limiting arboviral transmission or via Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which naturally harbour Wolbachia infection. These strategies are potentially undermined by the tendency of mosquitoes to lose Wolbachia infection in unfavourable weather conditions (e.g., high temperature) and the inhibitory competitive dynamics among co-circulating Wolbachia strains. The main objective of this review was to critically appraise published articles on vector control strategies and specifically highlight the use of Wolbachia-based control to suppress vector population growth or disrupt viral transmission. We retrieved studies on the control strategies for arboviral transmissions via arthropod vectors and discussed the use of Wolbachia control strategies for eradicating arboviral diseases to identify literature gaps that will be instrumental in developing models to estimate the impact of these control strategies and, in essence, the use of different Wolbachia strains and features.

RevDate: 2021-01-12

Thongprem P, Evison SEF, Hurst GDD, et al (2020)

Transmission, Tropism, and Biological Impacts of Torix Rickettsia in the Common Bed Bug Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae).

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:608763.

The torix group of Rickettsia have been recorded from a wide assemblage of invertebrates, but details of transmission and biological impacts on the host have rarely been established. The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is a hemipteran insect which lives as an obligatory hematophagous pest of humans and is host to a primary Wolbachia symbiont and two facultative symbionts, a BEV-like symbiont, and a torix group Rickettsia. In this study, we first note the presence of a single Rickettsia strain in multiple laboratory bed bug isolates derived from Europe and Africa. Importantly, we discovered that the Rickettsia has segregated in two laboratory strains, providing infected and uninfected isogenic lines for study. Crosses with these lines established transmission was purely maternal. Fluorescence in-situ hybridization analysis indicates Rickettsia infection in oocytes, bacteriomes, and other somatic tissues. We found no evidence that Rickettsia infection was associated with sex ratio distortion activity, but Rickettsia infected individuals developed from first instar to adult more slowly. The impact of Rickettsia on fecundity and fertility resulted in infected females producing fewer fertile eggs. However, we could not find any evidence for cytoplasmic incompatibility associated with Rickettsia presence. These data imply the existence of an unknown benefit to C. lectularius carrying Rickettsia that awaits further research.

RevDate: 2021-01-12

Doremus MR, Stouthamer CM, Kelly SE, et al (2020)

Cardinium Localization During Its Parasitoid Wasp Host's Development Provides Insights Into Cytoplasmic Incompatibility.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:606399.

Arthropods harbor heritable intracellular symbionts that may manipulate host reproduction to favor symbiont transmission. In cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), the symbiont sabotages the reproduction of infected males such that high levels of offspring mortality result when they mate with uninfected females. In crosses with infected males and infected females, however (the "rescue" cross), normal numbers of offspring are produced. A common CI-inducing symbiont, Cardinium hertigii, causes variable levels of CI mortality in the parasitoid wasp, Encarsia suzannae. Previous work correlated CI-induced mortality with male development time in this system, although the timing of Cardinium CI-induction and the relationship between development time and CI mortality was not well understood. Here, using a combination of crosses, manipulation of development time, and fluorescence microscopy, we identify the localization and the timing of the CI-induction step in the Cardinium-E. suzannae system. Antibiotic treatment of adult Cardinium-infected males did not reduce the mortality associated with the CI phenotype, suggesting that CI-alteration occurs prior to adulthood. Our results suggest that the alteration step occurs during the pupal period, and is limited by the duration of pupal development: 1) Encarsia produces most sperm prior to adulthood, 2) FISH localization of Cardinium in testes showed an association with sperm nuclei throughout spermatogenesis but not with mature sperm, and 3) two methods of prolonging the pupal period (cool temperatures and the juvenile hormone analog methoprene) both caused greater CI mortality, suggesting the degree of alteration is limited by the duration of the pupal stage. Based on these results, we compare two models for potential mechanisms of Cardinium sperm modification in the context of what is known about analogous mechanisms of Wolbachia, a more extensively studied CI-inducing symbiont.

RevDate: 2021-02-18

Inácio da Silva LM, Dezordi FZ, Paiva MHS, et al (2021)

Systematic Review of Wolbachia Symbiont Detection in Mosquitoes: An Entangled Topic about Methodological Power and True Symbiosis.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(1):.

Wolbachia is an endosymbiotic bacterium that naturally infects several arthropods and nematode species. Wolbachia gained particular attention due to its impact on their host fitness and the capacity of specific Wolbachia strains in reducing pathogen vector and agricultural pest populations and pathogens transmission. Despite the success of mosquito/pathogen control programs using Wolbachia-infected mosquito release, little is known about the abundance and distribution of Wolbachia in most mosquito species, a crucial knowledge for planning and deployment of mosquito control programs and that can further improve our basic biology understanding of Wolbachia and host relationships. In this systematic review, Wolbachia was detected in only 30% of the mosquito species investigated. Fourteen percent of the species were considered positive by some studies and negative by others in different geographical regions, suggesting a variable infection rate and/or limitations of the Wolbachia detection methods employed. Eighty-three percent of the studies screened Wolbachia with only one technique. Our findings highlight that the assessment of Wolbachia using a single approach limited the inference of true Wolbachia infection in most of the studied species and that researchers should carefully choose complementary methodologies and consider different Wolbachia-mosquito population dynamics that may be a source of bias to ascertain the correct infectious status of the host species.

RevDate: 2021-03-02

Shults P, Cohnstaedt LW, Adelman ZN, et al (2021)

Next-generation tools to control biting midge populations and reduce pathogen transmission.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):31.

Biting midges of the genus Culicoides transmit disease-causing agents resulting in a significant economic impact on livestock industries in many parts of the world. Localized control efforts, such as removal of larval habitat or pesticide application, can be logistically difficult, expensive and ineffective if not instituted and maintained properly. With these limitations, a population-level approach to the management of Culicoides midges should be investigated as a means to replace or supplement existing control strategies. Next-generation control methods such as Wolbachia- and genetic-based population suppression and replacement are being investigated in several vector species. Here we assess the feasibility and applicability of these approaches for use against biting midges. We also discuss the technical and logistical hurdles needing to be addressed for each method to be successful, as well as emphasize the importance of addressing community engagement and involving stakeholders in the investigation and development of these approaches.

RevDate: 2021-02-17

Farnesi LC, Carvalho FD, Lacerda APC, et al (2021)

The influence of different sources of blood meals on the physiology of Aedes aegypti harboring Wolbachia wMel: mouse blood as an alternative for mosquito rearing.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):21.

BACKGROUND: Aedes aegypti control programs have failed to restrain mosquito population expansion and, consequently, the spread of diseases such as dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya. Wolbachia infection of mosquitoes is a new and promising complementary tool for the control of arbovirus transmission. The use of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes, mass reared using human blood, is currently being tested in several countries. However, the use of human blood for mass rearing mosquitoes, and thus expansion of this strategy, is problematic. With the aim of overcoming this problem, we tested the effect of different types of blood source on the fitness parameters of female Ae. aegypti and the Wolbachia titer over generations to be able to guarantee the suitability of an alternative source to human blood for mass rearing Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes.

METHODS: We investigated and compared essential parameters of the vector capacity of laboratory strains of Ae. aegypti with and without Wolbachia that fed on blood of different types of host (human, guinea pig, and mouse). The parameters analyzed were fecundity, fertility, pupation dynamics, and adult survival. Also, we tested whether it is possible to maintain mosquitoes with Wolbachia on mouse blood over generations without losing the bacterium titer.

RESULTS: The average number of eggs per female, egg viability and pupation dynamics in the Wolbachia-infected mosquito (wMelBr) strain were similar, regardless of the blood source. The F1 progenies of females that fed on mouse blood or human blood were analyzed. The longevity of males was lower than that of females. F1 female survival differed depending on the presence of Wolbachia in the mother. In subsequent generations analyzed up until F35, the relative Wolbachia density was even higher when mosquitoes fed on mouse blood in comparison to human blood.

CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our results provide no evidence that the different types of blood influenced the fitness of the Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes. The presence of the bacterium in the colonies of Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti after 35 generations under the conditions evaluated indicates that they can be maintained on mouse blood. Based on these results, we show that it is possible to use mouse blood to feed female mosquitoes when using human blood for this purpose is problematic.

RevDate: 2021-05-05

Chevignon G, Foray V, Pérez-Jiménez MM, et al (2021)

Dual RNAseq analyses at soma and germline levels reveal evolutionary innovations in the elephantiasis-agent Brugia malayi, and adaptation of its Wolbachia endosymbionts.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(1):e0008935.

Brugia malayi is a human filarial nematode responsible for elephantiasis, a debilitating condition that is part of a broader spectrum of diseases called filariasis, including lymphatic filariasis and river blindness. Almost all filarial nematode species infecting humans live in mutualism with Wolbachia endosymbionts, present in somatic hypodermal tissues but also in the female germline which ensures their vertical transmission to the nematode progeny. These α-proteobacteria potentially provision their host with essential metabolites and protect the parasite against the vertebrate immune response. In the absence of Wolbachia wBm, B. malayi females become sterile, and the filarial nematode lifespan is greatly reduced. In order to better comprehend this symbiosis, we investigated the adaptation of wBm to the host nematode soma and germline, and we characterized these cellular environments to highlight their specificities. Dual RNAseq experiments were performed at the tissue-specific and ovarian developmental stage levels, reaching the resolution of the germline mitotic proliferation and meiotic differentiation stages. We found that most wBm genes, including putative effectors, are not differentially regulated between infected tissues. However, two wBm genes involved in stress responses are upregulated in the hypodermal chords compared to the germline, indicating that this somatic tissue represents a harsh environment to which wBm have adapted. A comparison of the B. malayi and C. elegans germline transcriptomes reveals a poor conservation of genes involved in the production of oocytes, with the filarial germline proliferative zone relying on a majority of genes absent from C. elegans. The first orthology map of the B. malayi genome presented here, together with tissue-specific expression enrichment analyses, indicate that the early steps of oogenesis are a developmental process involving genes specific to filarial nematodes, that likely result from evolutionary innovations supporting the filarial parasitic lifestyle.

RevDate: 2021-04-23

Shih CM, Ophine L, LL Chao (2021)

Molecular Detection and Genetic Identification of Wolbachia Endosymbiont in Wild-Caught Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) Mosquitoes from Sumatera Utara, Indonesia.

Microbial ecology, 81(4):1064-1074.

The genetic identity of Wolbachia endosymbiont in wild-caught Culex quinquefasciatus was determined for the first time in Indonesia. A total of 314 Cx. quinquefasciatus were examined for Wolbachia by PCR assay targeting the Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) gene. The prevalence of Wolbachia infection was detected in 29.94% of Cx. specimens (45.86% female and 8.27% male). The group-specific infection was detected with an infection rate of 0.32%, 28.98%, and 0.64% in groups A, B, and A&B, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed all Wolbachia strains from Indonesia were genetically affiliated to the supergroup A and B with the high sequence similarity of 97.9-100% and 99.7-100%, respectively. Phylogenetic relationships can be easily distinguished by neighbor-joining analysis and were congruent by maximum likelihood method. The genetic distance (GD) values of intra- and inter-group analysis indicated a lower level (GD < 0.007 for group A and GD < 0.003 for group B) within the Indonesia strains and a higher level (GD > 1.125 for group A and GD > 1.129 for group B) as compared with other Wolbachia strains. Our results provide the first genetic identification of Wolbachia endosymbiont in Cx. quinquefasciatus collected from Indonesia, and the phylogenetic analysis revealed a new discovery of group A Wolbachia in wild-caught Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Driscoll TP, Verhoeve VI, Brockway C, et al (2020)

Evolution of Wolbachia mutualism and reproductive parasitism: insight from two novel strains that co-infect cat fleas.

PeerJ, 8:e10646.

Wolbachiae are obligate intracellular bacteria that infect arthropods and certain nematodes. Usually maternally inherited, they may provision nutrients to (mutualism) or alter sexual biology of (reproductive parasitism) their invertebrate hosts. We report the assembly of closed genomes for two novel wolbachiae, wCfeT and wCfeJ, found co-infecting cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) of the Elward Laboratory colony (Soquel, CA, USA). wCfeT is basal to nearly all described Wolbachia supergroups, while wCfeJ is related to supergroups C, D and F. Both genomes contain laterally transferred genes that inform on the evolution of Wolbachia host associations. wCfeT carries the Biotin synthesis Operon of Obligate intracellular Microbes (BOOM); our analyses reveal five independent acquisitions of BOOM across the Wolbachia tree, indicating parallel evolution towards mutualism. Alternately, wCfeJ harbors a toxin-antidote operon analogous to the wPip cinAB operon recently characterized as an inducer of cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) in flies. wCfeJ cinB and three adjacent genes are collectively similar to large modular toxins encoded in CI-like operons of certain Wolbachia strains and Rickettsia species, signifying that CI toxins streamline by fission of large modular toxins. Remarkably, the C. felis genome itself contains two CI-like antidote genes, divergent from wCfeJ cinA, revealing episodic reproductive parasitism in cat fleas and evidencing mobility of CI loci independent of WO-phage. Additional screening revealed predominant co-infection (wCfeT/wCfeJ) amongst C. felis colonies, though fleas in wild populations mostly harbor wCfeT alone. Collectively, genomes of wCfeT, wCfeJ, and their cat flea host supply instances of lateral gene transfers that could drive transitions between parasitism and mutualism.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Leftwich PT, Spurgin LG, Harvey-Samuel T, et al (2021)

Genetic pest management and the background genetics of release strains.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1818):20190805.

Genetic pest management (GPM) methods involve releasing modified versions of a pest species to mate with wild pests in the target area. Proposed for a wide range of applications in public health, agriculture and conservation, most progress has been made with pest insects. Offspring of the released modified insects and wild pests carry the modification-which might be transgenes, artificially introduced Wolbachia or genetic damage from radiation, for example-but they also carry a complete haploid genome from their laboratory-reared parent, as well as one from their wild parent. Unless these F1 hybrids are completely unable to reproduce, further mating will lead to introgression of DNA sequences from the release strain into the wild population. We discuss issues around strain selection and the potential consequences of such introgression. We conclude that such introgression is probably harmless in almost all circumstances, and could, in theory, provide specific additional benefits to the release programme. We outline population monitoring approaches that could be used, going forward, to determine how background genetics may affect GPM. This article is part of the theme issue 'Novel control strategies for mosquito-borne diseases'.

RevDate: 2021-03-17

Ahmad NA, Mancini MV, Ant TH, et al (2021)

Wolbachia strain wAlbB maintains high density and dengue inhibition following introduction into a field population of Aedes aegypti.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1818):20190809.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carrying the wAlbB Wolbachia strain show a reduced capacity to transmit dengue virus. wAlbB has been introduced into wild Ae. aegypti populations in several field sites in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where it has persisted at high frequency for more than 2 years and significantly reduced dengue incidence. Although these encouraging results indicate that wAlbB releases can be an effective dengue control strategy, the long-term success depends on wAlbB maintaining high population frequencies and virus transmission inhibition, and both could be compromised by Wolbachia-host coevolution in the field. Here, wAlbB-carrying Ae. aegypti collected from the field 20 months after the cessation of releases showed no reduction in Wolbachia density or tissue distribution changes compared to a wAlbB laboratory colony. The wAlbB strain continued to induce complete unidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility, showed perfect maternal transmission under laboratory conditions, and retained its capacity to inhibit dengue. Additionally, a field-collected wAlbB line was challenged with Malaysian dengue patient blood, and showed significant blocking of virus dissemination to the salivary glands. These results indicate that wAlbB continues to inhibit currently circulating strains of dengue in field populations of Ae. aegypti, and provides additional support for the continued scale-up of Wolbachia wAlbB releases for dengue control. This article is part of the theme issue 'Novel control strategies for mosquito-borne diseases'.

RevDate: 2020-12-22

Sullivan W (2020)

Vector Control: Wolbachia Expands Its Protective Reach from Humans to Plants.

Current biology : CB, 30(24):R1489-R1491.

RNA viral titers are often suppressed in insects co-infected with the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia. This property has been used to suppress transmission of the ragged rice stunt virus from its insect host, the brown planthopper, to the rice plant.

RevDate: 2021-01-07

Bishop C, S Asgari (2020)

Altered gene expression profile of Wolbachia pipientis wAlbB strain following transinfection from its native host Aedes albopictus to Aedes aegypti cells.

Molecular microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is an obligate intracellular bacterial symbiont prevalent among arthropods and nematodes. To survive and reproduce, Wolbachia interacts with and modifies host subcellular structures, while sensing and responding to changes within the cellular environment. In mutualistic associations, Wolbachia may provision the host with metabolites, or help to maintain the chemical homeostasis of the host cell. Some strains can rapidly invade insect populations by manipulating host reproductive biology, while also preventing viral replication, allowing their use in vector control of arthropod-borne viruses. The Aedes albopictus-derived strain wAlbB is promising in this regard. When transinfected into the Yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, wAlbB reaches high frequencies within wild populations, and strongly inhibits viral transmission. Despite its obvious potential, much is still unknown about the molecular interactions between Wolbachia and host that enable its use in vector control. Furthermore, most Wolbachia transinfection research to date has focused on host effects. In the current study, we used a cell line model to explore the effect of transinfection of wAlbB from Ae. albopictus to Ae. aegypti. Using RNA sequencing, we show that several genes associated with host-symbiont interactions were downregulated by transinfection, with the greatest downregulation exhibited by prophage-associated genes.

RevDate: 2021-01-29
CmpDate: 2021-01-29

Cardoso A, J Gómez-Zurita (2020)

Food Resource Sharing of Alder Leaf Beetle Specialists (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) as Potential Insect-Plant Interface for Horizontal Transmission of Endosymbionts.

Environmental entomology, 49(6):1402-1414.

Recent studies suggest that endosymbionts of herbivore insects can be horizontally transferred to other herbivores feeding on the same host plants, whereby the plant acts as an intermediate stage in the chain of transmission. If this mechanism operates, it is also expected that insect communities sharing the same host plant will have higher chances to share their endosymbionts. In this study, we use a high-throughput 16S rRNA metabarcoding approach to investigate the presence, diversity, and potential sharing of endosymbionts in several species of leaf beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) of a local community specialized on an alder diet in North America. Rickettsia and Wolbachia were predominant in the sample, with strong evidence for each species having their own dominant infection, of either or both types of bacteria. However, all species shared a much lower proportion of a particular Wolbachia type, compatible with the same strain dominant in one of the species of leaf beetles. Crucially, the same 16S rRNA haplotype of Wolbachia was found on alder leaf extracts. The combined evidence and the absence of this strain in a syntopic species of leaf beetle feeding on a different host plant support the hypothesis that at least the initial stages of the mechanism that would allow horizontal transmission of endosymbionts across species feeding on the same plant is possible. The accessibility and characteristics of endosymbiont associations of this system make it suitable for deeper analyses of their diversity and transmission in natural conditions.

RevDate: 2020-12-13

Ding H, Yeo H, N Puniamoorthy (2020)

Wolbachia infection in wild mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae): implications for transmission modes and host-endosymbiont associations in Singapore.

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):612.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia are intracellular bacterial endosymbionts found in most insect lineages. In mosquitoes, the influence of these endosymbionts on host reproduction and arboviral transmission has spurred numerous studies aimed at using Wolbachia infection as a vector control technique. However, there are several knowledge gaps in the literature and little is known about natural Wolbachia infection across species, their transmission modes, or associations between various Wolbachia lineages and their hosts. This study aims to address these gaps by exploring mosquito-Wolbachia associations and their evolutionary implications.

METHODS: We conducted tissue-specific polymerase chain reaction screening for Wolbachia infection in the leg, gut and reproductive tissues of wild mosquitoes from Singapore using the Wolbachia surface protein gene (wsp) molecular marker. Mosquito-Wolbachia associations were explored using three methods-tanglegram, distance-based, and event-based methods-and by inferred instances of vertical transmission and host shifts.

RESULTS: Adult mosquitoes (271 specimens) representing 14 genera and 40 species were screened for Wolbachia. Overall, 21 species (51.2%) were found positive for Wolbachia, including five in the genus Aedes and five in the genus Culex. To our knowledge, Wolbachia infections have not been previously reported in seven of these 21 species: Aedes nr. fumidus, Aedes annandalei, Uranotaenia obscura, Uranotaenia trilineata, Verrallina butleri, Verrallina sp. and Zeugnomyia gracilis. Wolbachia were predominantly detected in the reproductive tissues, which is an indication of vertical transmission. However, Wolbachia infection rates varied widely within a mosquito host species. There was no clear signal of cophylogeny between the mosquito hosts and the 12 putative Wolbachia strains observed in this study. Host shift events were also observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the mosquito-Wolbachia relationship is complex and that combinations of transmission modes and multiple evolutionary events likely explain the observed distribution of Wolbachia diversity across mosquito hosts. These findings have implications for a better understanding of the diversity and ecology of Wolbachia and for their utility as biocontrol agents.

RevDate: 2021-03-01

Lefoulon E, Clark T, Guerrero R, et al (2020)

Diminutive, degraded but dissimilar: Wolbachia genomes from filarial nematodes do not conform to a single paradigm.

Microbial genomics, 6(12):.

Wolbachia are alpha-proteobacteria symbionts infecting a large range of arthropod species and two different families of nematodes. Interestingly, these endosymbionts are able to induce diverse phenotypes in their hosts: they are reproductive parasites within many arthropods, nutritional mutualists within some insects and obligate mutualists within their filarial nematode hosts. Defining Wolbachia 'species' is controversial and so they are commonly classified into 17 different phylogenetic lineages, termed supergroups, named A-F, H-Q and S. However, available genomic data remain limited and not representative of the full Wolbachia diversity; indeed, of the 24 complete genomes and 55 draft genomes of Wolbachia available to date, 84 % belong to supergroups A and B, exclusively composed of Wolbachia from arthropods. For the current study, we took advantage of a recently developed DNA-enrichment method to produce four complete genomes and two draft genomes of Wolbachia from filarial nematodes. Two complete genomes, wCtub and wDcau, are the smallest Wolbachia genomes sequenced to date (863 988 bp and 863 427 bp, respectively), as well as the first genomes representing supergroup J. These genomes confirm the validity of this supergroup, a controversial clade due to weaknesses of the multilocus sequence typing approach. We also produced the first draft Wolbachia genome from a supergroup F filarial nematode representative (wMhie), two genomes from supergroup D (wLsig and wLbra) and the complete genome of wDimm from supergroup C. Our new data confirm the paradigm of smaller Wolbachia genomes from filarial nematodes containing low levels of transposable elements and the absence of intact bacteriophage sequences, unlike many Wolbachia from arthropods, where both are more abundant. However, we observe differences among the Wolbachia genomes from filarial nematodes: no global co-evolutionary pattern, strong synteny between supergroup C and supergroup J Wolbachia, and more transposable elements observed in supergroup D Wolbachia compared to the other supergroups. Metabolic pathway analysis indicates several highly conserved pathways (haem and nucleotide biosynthesis, for example) as opposed to more variable pathways, such as vitamin B biosynthesis, which might be specific to certain host-symbiont associations. Overall, there appears to be no single Wolbachia-filarial nematode pattern of co-evolution or symbiotic relationship.

RevDate: 2020-12-10

Fu Z, Meier AR, Epstein B, et al (2020)

Host plants and Wolbachia shape the population genetics of sympatric herbivore populations.

Evolutionary applications, 13(10):2740-2753.

Changing climate and land-use practices have the potential to bring previously isolated populations of pest insects into new sympatry. This heightens the need to better understand how differing patterns of host-plant association, and unique endosymbionts, serve to promote genetic isolation or integration. We addressed these factors in populations of potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc), a generalist herbivore that vectors a bacterial pathogen (Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum, causal pathogen of zebra chip disease) of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). Genome-wide SNP data revealed two major genetic clusters-psyllids collected from potato crops were genetically similar to psyllids found on a common weed, Lycium spp., but dissimilar from those found on another common non-crop host, Solanum dulcamara L. Most psyllids found on Lycium spp. and potato represented a single mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) haplotype that has been suggested to not be native to the region, and whose arrival may have been concurrent with zebra chip disease first emerging. The putatively introduced COI haplotype usually co-occurred with endosymbiotic Wolbachia, while the putatively resident COI haplotype generally did not. Genetic intermediates between the two genetic populations of insects were rare, consistent with recent sympatry or reproductive isolation, although admixture patterns of apparent hybrids were consistent with introgression of genes from introduced into resident populations. Our results suggest that both host-plant associations and endosymbionts are shaping the population genetic structure of sympatric psyllid populations associated with different non-crop hosts. It is of future interest to explicitly examine vectorial capacity of the two populations and their potential hybrids, as population structure and hybridization might alter regional vector capacity and disease outbreaks.

RevDate: 2020-12-10

Wöger R, Wöger R, M Nuss (2020)

DNA barcodes for Aotearoa New Zealand Pyraloidea (Lepidoptera).

Biodiversity data journal, 8:e58841.

Identification of pyraloid species is often hampered by highly similar external morphology requiring microscopic dissection of genitalia. This becomes especially obvious when mass samples from ecological studies or insect monitoring have to be analysed. DNA barcode sequences could accelerate identification, but are not available for most pyraloid species from New Zealand. Hence, we are presenting a first DNA-barcode library for this group, providing 440 COI barcodes (cytochrome C oxidase I sequences) for 73 morphologically-identified species, which is 29% of Pyraloidea known from New Zealand. Results are analysed using the Barcode Index Number system (BIN) of BOLD and the Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery method (ABGD). Using BIN, the 440 barcodes reveal 82 clusters. A perfect match between BIN assignment and morphological identification was found for 63 species (86.3%). Four species (5.5%) share BINs, each with two species in one BIN, of which Glaucocharis epiphaea and Glaucocharis harmonica even share the same barcode. In contrast, six species (8.2%) split into two or more BINs, with the highest number of five BINs for Orocrambus ramosellus. The interspecific variation of all collected specimens of New Zealand Pyraloidea averages 12.54%. There are deep intraspecific divergences (> 2%) in seven species, for instance Orocrambus vulgaris with up to 6.6% and Scoparia ustimacula with 5.5%. Using ABGD, the 440 barcodes reveal 71 or 88 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), depending on the preferred partition. A perfect match between OTU and morphological identification was found for 56 species (76.7%) or 62 species (84.9%). ABGD delivers four or seven species sharing OTUs and four or ten species split into more than one OTU. Morphological re-examination, as well as the analysis of a concatenated dataset of COI and the nuclear markers EF1α and GADPH for species split into more than one BIN or OTU, do not support a higher number of species. Likewise, there is no evidence for Wolbachia infection as a trigger for these sequence variations.

RevDate: 2021-02-11
CmpDate: 2021-02-11

Schiefer A, Hübner MP, Krome A, et al (2020)

Corallopyronin A for short-course anti-wolbachial, macrofilaricidal treatment of filarial infections.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 14(12):e0008930.

Current efforts to eliminate the neglected tropical diseases onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, caused by the filarial nematodes Onchocerca volvulus and Wuchereria bancrofti or Brugia spp., respectively, are hampered by lack of a short-course macrofilaricidal-adult-worm killing-treatment. Anti-wolbachial antibiotics, e.g. doxycycline, target the essential Wolbachia endosymbionts of filariae and are a safe prototype adult-worm-sterilizing and macrofilaricidal regimen, in contrast to standard treatments with ivermectin or diethylcarbamazine, which mainly target the microfilariae. However, treatment regimens of 4-5 weeks necessary for doxycycline and contraindications limit its use. Therefore, we tested the preclinical anti-Wolbachia drug candidate Corallopyronin A (CorA) for in vivo efficacy during initial and chronic filarial infections in the Litomosoides sigmodontis rodent model. CorA treatment for 14 days beginning immediately after infection cleared >90% of Wolbachia endosymbionts from filariae and prevented development into adult worms. CorA treatment of patently infected microfilaremic gerbils for 14 days with 30 mg/kg twice a day (BID) achieved a sustained reduction of >99% of Wolbachia endosymbionts from adult filariae and microfilariae, followed by complete inhibition of filarial embryogenesis resulting in clearance of microfilariae. Combined treatment of CorA and albendazole, a drug currently co-administered during mass drug administrations and previously shown to enhance efficacy of anti-Wolbachia drugs, achieved microfilarial clearance after 7 days of treatment at a lower BID dose of 10 mg/kg CorA, a Human Equivalent Dose of 1.4 mg/kg. Importantly, this combination led to a significant reduction in the adult worm burden, which has not yet been published with other anti-Wolbachia candidates tested in this model. In summary, CorA is a preclinical candidate for filariasis, which significantly reduces treatment times required to achieve sustained Wolbachia depletion, clearance of microfilariae, and inhibition of embryogenesis. In combination with albendazole, CorA is robustly macrofilaricidal after 7 days of treatment and fulfills the Target Product Profile for a macrofilaricidal drug.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Wang X, Xiong X, Cao W, et al (2020)

Phylogenomic Analysis of Wolbachia Strains Reveals Patterns of Genome Evolution and Recombination.

Genome biology and evolution, 12(12):2508-2520.

Wolbachia are widespread intracellular bacteria that mediate many important biological processes in arthropod species. In this study, we identified 210 conserved single-copy genes in 33 genome-sequenced Wolbachia strains in the A-F supergroups. Phylogenomic analyses with these core genes indicate that all 33 Wolbachia strains maintain the supergroup relationship, which was classified previously based on the multilocus sequence typing (MLST) genes. Using an interclade recombination screening method, 14 inter-supergroup recombination events were discovered in six genes (2.9%) among 210 single-copy orthologs. This finding suggests a relatively low frequency of intergroup recombination. Interestingly, they have occurred not only between A and B supergroups (nine events) but also between A and E supergroups (five events). Maintenance of such transfers suggests possible roles in Wolbachia infection-related functions. Comparisons of strain divergence using the five genes of the MLST system show a high correlation (Pearson correlation coefficient r = 0.98) between MLST and whole-genome divergences, indicating that MLST is a reliable method for identifying related strains when whole-genome data are not available. The phylogenomic analysis and the identified core gene set in our study will serve as a valuable foundation for strain identification and the investigation of recombination and genome evolution in Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2020-12-08

Miao YH, Xiao JH, DW Huang (2020)

Distribution and Evolution of the Bacteriophage WO and Its Antagonism With Wolbachia.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:595629.

The symbiosis system comprising eukaryotic hosts, intracellular bacterium Wolbachia, and temperate bacteriophages WO is widely spread through nearly half the number of arthropod species. The relationships between the three components of the system are extremely intricate. Even though the bacteriophage WO can have diverse influences on the ecology and evolution of Wolbachia, little is known about the distribution and evolution of the phages. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report that in infected fig wasps (Ceratosolen solmsi, Kradibia gibbosae, and Wiebesia pumilae), the genomes of all the Wolbachia strains had only one cryptic WO prophage, which contained defects in the genomic structural modules. This phenomenon was contrary to the widely accepted understanding that Wolbachia with cryptic prophages usually possesses at least one intact WO prophage consisting of gene sequences of the head, baseplate, and tail modules, through which the prophage could form intact virions. In addition to the genetic structure features, the phylogenetic relationships of WO and Wolbachia also revealed that bacteriophage WO can horizontally spread among a certain genus or a group of insect hosts, nearly free from the restriction of the affiliation of Wolbachia. Combined with the vertical transmission along with Wolbachia, the wide spread of WO phages can be explained. Furthermore, the gender preference and functional module preference for transcriptional activity of the genes in cryptic WOs implied the antagonized coevolutionary pattern between WO prophages and their Wolbachia hosts.

RevDate: 2020-12-07

Yang C, Zheng Y, Tan S, et al (2020)

Efficient COI barcoding using high throughput single-end 400 bp sequencing.

BMC genomics, 21(1):862.

BACKGROUND: Over the last decade, the rapid development of high-throughput sequencing platforms has accelerated species description and assisted morphological classification through DNA barcoding. However, the current high-throughput DNA barcoding methods cannot obtain full-length barcode sequences due to read length limitations (e.g. a maximum read length of 300 bp for the Illumina's MiSeq system), or are hindered by a relatively high cost or low sequencing output (e.g. a maximum number of eight million reads per cell for the PacBio's SEQUEL II system).

RESULTS: Pooled cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) barcodes from individual specimens were sequenced on the MGISEQ-2000 platform using the single-end 400 bp (SE400) module. We present a bioinformatic pipeline, HIFI-SE, that takes reads generated from the 5' and 3' ends of the COI barcode region and assembles them into full-length barcodes. HIFI-SE is written in Python and includes four function modules of filter, assign, assembly and taxonomy. We applied the HIFI-SE to a set of 845 samples (30 marine invertebrates, 815 insects) and delivered a total of 747 fully assembled COI barcodes as well as 70 Wolbachia and fungi symbionts. Compared to their corresponding Sanger sequences (72 sequences available), nearly all samples (71/72) were correctly and accurately assembled, including 46 samples that had a similarity score of 100% and 25 of ca. 99%.

CONCLUSIONS: The HIFI-SE pipeline represents an efficient way to produce standard full-length barcodes, while the reasonable cost and high sensitivity of our method can contribute considerably more DNA barcodes under the same budget. Our method thereby advances DNA-based species identification from diverse ecosystems and increases the number of relevant applications.

RevDate: 2021-01-27
CmpDate: 2021-01-27

Attardo GM, Scolari F, A Malacrida (2020)

Bacterial Symbionts of Tsetse Flies: Relationships and Functional Interactions Between Tsetse Flies and Their Symbionts.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 69:497-536.

Tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) act as the sole vectors of the African trypanosome species that cause Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT or African Sleeping Sickness) and Nagana in animals. These flies have undergone a variety of specializations during their evolution including an exclusive diet consisting solely of vertebrate blood for both sexes as well as an obligate viviparous reproductive biology. Alongside these adaptations, Glossina species have developed intricate relationships with specific microbes ranging from mutualistic to parasitic. These relationships provide fundamental support required to sustain the specializations associated with tsetse's biology. This chapter provides an overview on the knowledge to date regarding the biology behind these relationships and focuses primarily on four bacterial species that are consistently associated with Glossina species. Here their interactions with the host are reviewed at the morphological, biochemical and genetic levels. This includes: the obligate symbiont Wigglesworthia, which is found in all tsetse species and is essential for nutritional supplementation to the blood-specific diet, immune system maturation and facilitation of viviparous reproduction; the commensal symbiont Sodalis, which is a frequently associated symbiont optimized for survival within the fly via nutritional adaptation, vertical transmission through mating and may alter vectorial capacity of Glossina for trypanosomes; the parasitic symbiont Wolbachia, which can manipulate Glossina via cytoplasmic incompatibility and shows unique interactions at the genetic level via horizontal transmission of its genetic material into the genome in two Glossina species; finally, knowledge on recently observed relations between Spiroplasma and Glossina is explored and potential interactions are discussed based on knowledge of interactions between this bacterial Genera and other insect species. These flies have a simple microbiome relative to that of other insects. However, these relationships are deep, well-studied and provide a window into the complexity and function of host/symbiont interactions in an important disease vector.

RevDate: 2021-01-27
CmpDate: 2021-01-27

Lefoulon E, Foster JM, Truchon A, et al (2020)

The Wolbachia Symbiont: Here, There and Everywhere.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 69:423-451.

Wolbachia symbionts, first observed in the 1920s, are now known to be present in about 30-70% of tested arthropod species, in about half of tested filarial nematodes (including the majority of human filarial nematodes), and some plant-parasitic nematodes. In arthropods, they are generally viewed as parasites while in nematodes they appear to be mutualists although this demarcation is not absolute. Their presence in arthropods generally leads to reproductive anomalies, while in nematodes, they are generally required for worm development and reproduction. In mosquitos, Wolbachia inhibit RNA viral infections, leading to populational reductions in human RNA virus pathogens, whereas in filarial nematodes, their requirement for worm fertility and survival has been channeled into their use as drug targets for filariasis control. While much more research on these ubiquitous symbionts is needed, they are viewed as playing significant roles in biological processes, ranging from arthropod speciation to human health.

RevDate: 2021-04-08
CmpDate: 2021-01-27

Russell SL, JR Castillo (2020)

Trends in Symbiont-Induced Host Cellular Differentiation.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 69:137-176.

Bacteria participate in a wide diversity of symbiotic associations with eukaryotic hosts that require precise interactions for bacterial recognition and persistence. Most commonly, host-associated bacteria interfere with host gene expression to modulate the immune response to the infection. However, many of these bacteria also interfere with host cellular differentiation pathways to create a hospitable niche, resulting in the formation of novel cell types, tissues, and organs. In both of these situations, bacterial symbionts must interact with eukaryotic regulatory pathways. Here, we detail what is known about how bacterial symbionts, from pathogens to mutualists, control host cellular differentiation across the central dogma, from epigenetic chromatin modifications, to transcription and mRNA processing, to translation and protein modifications. We identify four main trends from this survey. First, mechanisms for controlling host gene expression appear to evolve from symbionts co-opting cross-talk between host signaling pathways. Second, symbiont regulatory capacity is constrained by the processes that drive reductive genome evolution in host-associated bacteria. Third, the regulatory mechanisms symbionts exhibit correlate with the cost/benefit nature of the association. And, fourth, symbiont mechanisms for interacting with host genetic regulatory elements are not bound by native bacterial capabilities. Using this knowledge, we explore how the ubiquitous intracellular Wolbachia symbiont of arthropods and nematodes may modulate host cellular differentiation to manipulate host reproduction. Our survey of the literature on how infection alters gene expression in Wolbachia and its hosts revealed that, despite their intermediate-sized genomes, different strains appear capable of a wide diversity of regulatory manipulations. Given this and Wolbachia's diversity of phenotypes and eukaryotic-like proteins, we expect that many symbiont-induced host differentiation mechanisms will be discovered in this system.

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-04

Souto-Maior C, King JG, Sartori LM, et al (2020)

Reply to: "Enhancement of Aedes aegypti susceptibility to dengue by Wolbachia is not supported".

Nature communications, 11(1):6113.


ESP Quick Facts

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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.

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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.

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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