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Bibliography on: Wolbachia

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 27 May 2022 at 01:54 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.

Created with PubMed® Query: wolbachia NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2022-05-26

Wang L, Li C, Wang X, et al (2022)

Gut Lignocellulose Activity and Microbiota in Asian Longhorned Beetle and Their Predicted Contribution to Larval Nutrition.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:899865.

Anoplophora glabripennis (Asian longhorned beetle) is a wood-boring pest that can inhabit a wide range of healthy deciduous host trees in native and invaded areas. The gut microbiota plays important roles in the acquisition of nutrients for the growth and development of A. glabripennis larvae. Herein, we investigated the larval gut structure and studied the lignocellulose activity and microbial communities of the larval gut following feeding on different host trees. The larval gut was divided into foregut, midgut, and hindgut, of which the midgut is the longest, forming a single loop under itself. Microbial community composition and lignocellulose activity in larval gut extracts were correlated with host tree species. A. glabripennis larvae fed on the preferred host (Populus gansuensis) had higher lignocellulose activity and microbial diversity than larvae reared on either a secondary host (Salix babylonica) or a resistant host (Populus alba var. pyramidalis). Wolbachia was the most dominant bacteria in the gut of larvae fed on S. babylonica and P. alba var. pyramidalis, while Enterococcus and Gibbsiella were the most dominant in larvae fed on P. gansuensis, followed by Wolbachia. The lignocellulose-degrading fungus Fusarium solani was dominant in the larval gut fed on different host trees. Functional predictions of microbial communities in the larval gut fed on different resistant host trees suggested that they all play a role in degrading lignocellulose, detoxification, and fixing nitrogen, which likely contribute to the ability of these larvae to thrive in a broad range of host tree species.

RevDate: 2022-05-25

Harumoto T, T Fukatsu (2022)

Perplexing dynamics of Wolbachia proteins for cytoplasmic incompatibility.

PLoS biology, 20(5):e3001644 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-22-00736.

The mechanism of symbiont-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) has been a long-standing mystery. A new study on Wolbachia's Cif proteins in PLOS Biology provides supportive evidence for the "Host modification model," although the alternative "Toxin-antidote model" is still in the running.

RevDate: 2022-05-24

Waymire E, Duddu S, Yared S, et al (2022)

Wolbachia 16S rRNA haplotypes detected in wild Anopheles stephensi in eastern Ethiopia.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):178.

BACKGROUND: About two out of three Ethiopians are at risk of malaria, a disease caused by the parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Anopheles stephensi, an invasive vector typically found in South Asia and the Middle East, was recently found to be distributed across eastern and central Ethiopia and is capable of transmitting both P. falciparum and P. vivax. The detection of this vector in the Horn of Africa (HOA) coupled with widespread insecticide resistance requires that new methods of vector control be investigated in order to control the spread of malaria. Wolbachia, a naturally occurring endosymbiotic bacterium of mosquitoes, has been identified as a potential vector control tool that can be explored for the control of malaria transmission. Wolbachia could be used to control the mosquito population through suppression or potentially decrease malaria transmission through population replacement. However, the presence of Wolbachia in wild An. stephensi in eastern Ethiopia is unknown. This study aimed to identify the presence and diversity of Wolbachia in An. stephensi across eastern Ethiopia.

METHODS: DNA was extracted from An. stephensi collected from eastern Ethiopia in 2018 and screened for Wolbachia using a 16S targeted PCR assay, as well as multilocus strain typing (MLST) PCR assays. Haplotype and phylogenetic analysis of the sequenced 16S amplicons were conducted to compare with Wolbachia from countries across Africa and Asia.

RESULTS: Twenty out of the 184 mosquitoes screened were positive for Wolbachia, with multiple haplotypes detected. In addition, phylogenetic analysis revealed two superclades, representing Wolbachia supergroups A and B (bootstrap values of 81 and 72, respectively) with no significant grouping of geographic location or species. A subclade with a bootstrap value of 89 separates the Ethiopian haplotype 2 from other sequences in that superclade.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide the first evidence of natural Wolbachia populations in wild An. stephensi in the HOA. They also identify the need for further research to confirm the endosymbiotic relationship between Wolbachia and An. stephensi and to investigate its utility for malaria control in the HOA.

RevDate: 2022-05-24

Kaur R, Leigh BA, Ritchie IT, et al (2022)

The Cif proteins from Wolbachia prophage WO modify sperm genome integrity to establish cytoplasmic incompatibility.

PLoS biology, 20(5):e3001584 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-22-00124.

Inherited microorganisms can selfishly manipulate host reproduction to drive through populations. In Drosophila melanogaster, germline expression of the native Wolbachia prophage WO proteins CifA and CifB cause cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) in which embryos from infected males and uninfected females suffer catastrophic mitotic defects and lethality; however, in infected females, CifA expression rescues the embryonic lethality and thus imparts a fitness advantage to the maternally transmitted Wolbachia. Despite widespread relevance to sex determination, evolution, and vector control, the mechanisms underlying when and how CI impairs male reproduction remain unknown and a topic of debate. Here, we use cytochemical, microscopic, and transgenic assays in D. melanogaster to demonstrate that CifA and CifB proteins of wMel localize to nuclear DNA throughout the process of spermatogenesis. Cif proteins cause abnormal histone retention in elongating spermatids and protamine deficiency in mature sperms that travel to the female reproductive tract with Cif proteins. Notably, protamine gene knockouts enhance wild-type CI. In ovaries, CifA localizes to germ cell nuclei and cytoplasm of early-stage egg chambers; however, Cifs are absent in late-stage oocytes and subsequently in fertilized embryos. Finally, CI and rescue are contingent upon a newly annotated CifA bipartite nuclear localization sequence. Together, our results strongly support the Host modification model of CI in which Cifs initially modify the paternal and maternal gametes to bestow CI-defining embryonic lethality and rescue.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Ørsted M, Yashiro E, Hoffmann AA, et al (2022)

Population bottlenecks constrain host microbiome diversity and genetic variation impeding fitness.

PLoS genetics, 18(5):e1010206 pii:PGENETICS-D-21-01334 [Epub ahead of print].

It is becoming increasingly clear that microbial symbionts influence key aspects of their host's fitness, and vice versa. This may fundamentally change our thinking about how microbes and hosts interact in influencing fitness and adaptation to changing environments. Here we explore how reductions in population size commonly experienced by threatened species influence microbiome diversity. Consequences of such reductions are normally interpreted in terms of a loss of genetic variation, increased inbreeding and associated inbreeding depression. However, fitness effects of population bottlenecks might also be mediated through microbiome diversity, such as through loss of functionally important microbes. Here we utilise 50 Drosophila melanogaster lines with different histories of population bottlenecks to explore these questions. The lines were phenotyped for egg-to-adult viability and their genomes sequenced to estimate genetic variation. The bacterial 16S rRNA gene was amplified in these lines to investigate microbial diversity. We found that 1) host population bottlenecks constrained microbiome richness and diversity, 2) core microbiomes of hosts with low genetic variation were constituted from subsets of microbiomes found in flies with higher genetic variation, 3) both microbiome diversity and host genetic variation contributed to host population fitness, 4) connectivity and robustness of bacterial networks was low in the inbred lines regardless of host genetic variation, 5) reduced microbial diversity was associated with weaker evolutionary responses of hosts in stressful environments, and 6) these effects were unrelated to Wolbachia density. These findings suggest that population bottlenecks reduce hologenomic variation (combined host and microbial genetic variation). Thus, while the current biodiversity crisis focuses on population sizes and genetic variation of eukaryotes, an additional focal point should be the microbial diversity carried by the eukaryotes, which in turn may influence host fitness and adaptability with consequences for the persistence of populations.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Pollmann M, Moore LD, Krimmer E, et al (2022)

Highly transmissible cytoplasmic incompatibility by the extracellular insect symbiont Spiroplasma.

iScience, 25(5):104335 pii:S2589-0042(22)00606-X.

Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is a form of reproductive manipulation caused by maternally inherited endosymbionts infecting arthropods, like Wolbachia, whereby matings between infected males and uninfected females produce few or no offspring. We report the discovery of a new CI symbiont, a strain of Spiroplasma causing CI in the parasitoid wasp Lariophagus distinguendus. Its extracellular occurrence enabled us to establish CI in uninfected adult insects by transferring Spiroplasma-infected hemolymph. We sequenced the CI-Spiroplasma genome and did not find any homologues of any of the cif genes discovered to cause CI in Wolbachia, suggesting independent evolution of CI. Instead, the genome contains other potential CI-causing candidate genes, such as homologues of high-mobility group (HMG) box proteins that are crucial in eukaryotic development but rare in bacterial genomes. Spiroplasma's extracellular nature and broad host range encompassing medically and agriculturally important arthropods make it a promising tool to study CI and its applications.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Hien NT, Anh DD, Le NH, et al (2021)

Environmental factors influence the local establishment of Wolbachia in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in two small communities in central Vietnam.

Gates open research, 5:147.

Background: The wMel strain of Wolbachia has been successfully introduced into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and subsequently shown to reduce transmission of dengue and other pathogens, under both laboratory and field conditions. Here we describe the entomological outcomes of wMel Wolbachia mosquito releases in two small communities in Nha Trang City in central Vietnam. Methods: The wMel strain of Wolbachia was backcrossed into local Aedes aegypti genotype and mosquito releases were undertaken by community members or by staff. Field monitoring was undertaken to track Wolbachia establishment in local Ae. aegypti mosquito populations. Ecological studies were undertaken to assess relationships between environmental factors and the spatial and temporal variability in Wolbachia infection prevalence in mosquitoes. Results: Releases of wMel Wolbachia Ae. aegypti mosquitoes in two small communities in Nha Trang City resulted in the initial establishment of Wolbachia in the local Ae. aegypti mosquito populations, followed by seasonal fluctuations in Wolbachia prevalence. There was significant small-scale spatial heterogeneity in Wolbachia infection prevalence in the Tri Nguyen Village site, resulting in the loss of wMel Wolbachia infection in mosquitoes in north and center areas, despite Wolbachia prevalence remaining high in mosquitoes in the south area. In the second site, Vinh Luong Ward, Wolbachia has persisted at a high level in mosquitoes throughout this site despite similar seasonal fluctuations in wMel Wolbachia prevalence. Conclusion: Seasonal variation in Wolbachia infection prevalence in mosquitoes was associated with elevated temperature conditions, and was possibly due to imperfect maternal transmission of Wolbachia. Heterogeneity in Wolbachia infection prevalence was found throughout one site, and indicates additional factors may influence Wolbachia establishment.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Cunha A (2021)

Trojan mosquitoes control dengue.

Communications medicine, 1:17 pii:18.

Dengue virus is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and causes the disease known as dengue. In a trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Utarini and colleagues report that release of wolbachia-infected A. aegypti populations in a dengue endemic area reduces the number of symptomatic cases and of hospitalisations.

RevDate: 2022-05-22

Louzada-Flores VN, Kramer L, Brianti E, et al (2022)

Treatment with doxycycline is associated with complete clearance of circulating Wolbachia DNA in Dirofilaria immitis-naturally infected dogs.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(22)00205-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteria of the genus Wolbachia are endosymbionts of parasitic filarial nematodes, including Dirofilaria immitis, and are a target for the treatment of canine heartworm disease. In the present study, 53 naturally-infected dogs were divided in three groups, based on their positivity to D. immitis by antigen and Knott tests, to assess the efficacy of doxycycline treatment to eliminate Wolbachia from circulating blood. At T0, dogs that scored positive to both tests (G1) or to antigen test only (G2) were submitted to doxycycline (10mg/kg BID PO) treatment and 10% Imidacloprid + 2.5% Moxidectin (Advocate®), while those negative to both tests (G3) received only 10% Imidacloprid + 2.5% Moxidectin (Advocate®). All dogs were followed-up for one year, monthly treated with Advocate® and regularly monitored by antigen and Knott tests. During the whole period, all blood samples were screened for Wolbachia-D. immitis DNA load by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). At T0, 88.2% of the microfilariemic dogs were positive for Wolbachia DNA, while none of the dogs from G2 or G3 were positive. Wolbachia DNA was no longer detectable in dogs from G1 following 1 month of doxycycline treatment and microfilariae were cleared at T2. All dogs from the G1 and G2 were negative for D. immitis antigen at 12 months. Results of this study suggest that successful elimination of microfilariae by doxycycline is associated with complete clearance of Wolbachia DNA in D. immitis-naturally infected dogs.

RevDate: 2022-05-13

Thayanukul P, Lertanantawong B, Sirawaraporn W, et al (2022)

Simple, sensitive, and cost-effective detection of wAlbB Wolbachia in Aedes mosquitoes, using loop mediated isothermal amplification combined with the electrochemical biosensing method.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 16(5):e0009600 pii:PNTD-D-21-00900 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia is an endosymbiont bacterium generally found in about 40% of insects, including mosquitoes, but it is absent in Aedes aegypti which is an important vector of several arboviral diseasesdengue, chikungunya, zika, and yellow fever. The evidence that Wolbachia trans-infected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes lost their vectorial competence and became less capable of transmitting arboviruses to human hosts highlights the potential of using Wolbachia-based approaches for prevention and control of arboviral diseases. Recently, release of Wolbachia trans-infected Ae. aegypti has been deployed widely in many countries for the control of mosquito-borne viral diseases. Field surveillance and monitoring of Wolbachia presence in released mosquitoes is important for the success of these control programs. So far, a number of studies have reported the development of loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays to detect Wolbachia in mosquitoes, but the methods still have some specificity and cost issues.

We describe here the development of a LAMP assay combined with the DNA strand displacement-based electrochemical sensor (BIOSENSOR) method to detect wAlbB Wolbachia in trans-infected Ae. aegypti. Our developed LAMP primers used a low-cost dye detecting system and 4 oligo nucleotide primers which can reduce the cost of analysis while the specificity is comparable to the previous methods. The detection capacity of our LAMP technique was 1.4 nM and the detection limit reduced to 2.2 fM when combined with the BIOSENSOR. Our study demonstrates that a BIOSENSOR can also be applied as a stand-alone method for detecting Wolbachia; and it showed high sensitivity when used with the crude DNA extracts of macerated mosquito samples without DNA purification.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that both LAMP and BIOSENSOR, either used in combination or stand-alone, are robust and sensitive. The methods have good potential for routine detection of Wolbachia in mosquitoes during field surveillance and monitoring of Wolbachia-based release programs, especially in countries with limited resources.

RevDate: 2022-05-13

Chang A, J Beckham (2022)

Applying Virtual Screening for Discovery of Novel Inhibitors of Wolbachia Endosymbiont of Brugia malayi Enoyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Reductase (FabI).

FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 36 Suppl 1:.

Lymphatic filariasis, more commonly known as elephantiasis, is a tropical parasitic disease caused by nematodes. The parasite infects the lymph nodes, and the disease is endemic in 80 countries, affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. A potential target for lymphatic filariasis is the enoyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) reductase (FabI) protein of the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Brugia malayi, a filarial nematode. FabI is a significant, and relatively underutilized, drug target due to its essential role in catalyzing the last step of fatty acid elongation in the bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis pathway. The antiparasitic drug diethylcarbamazine is currently used to treat lymphatic filariasis; however, there are no known antibiotics specifically targeting FabI in the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Brugia malayi, necessitating a search for novel inhibitors of this target using virtual screening. Given that there is no published crystal structure of Wolbachia FabI in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), a 3D homology model was created for molecular docking purposes from 3K2E, an enoyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) reductase from Anaplasma phagocytophilum. A pairwise alignment of both sequences resulted in 65% identity match. Using the molecular docking program Genetic Optimization for Ligand Docking (GOLD), which utilizes a genetic algorithm for ranking, several libraries of compounds were virtually screened against the Wolbachia FabI protein and assigned a fitness score of predicted binding affinity based on binding interactions and conformations. Control ligands were GOLD docked first, resulting in a range of scores from 46.09 to 93.24. Tens of thousands of compounds were then screened from libraries including HitFinder9 and Zinc ChemBridge. The top 10% scoring compounds were screened a second time, and the resulting top 10% were saved; ultimately, the top 1% scoring compounds were analyzed. HitFinder9 and Zinc ChemBridge yielded similar results, with top 1% score ranges of 74.45 to 107.63 and 73.63 to 105.16, respectively. Neither library significantly exceeded the other in terms of high scoring compounds. Top chemical compounds from each library can be investigated further for inhibitory activity of Wolbachia FabI in enzyme assays to determine potential viability as novel inhibitors.

RevDate: 2022-05-13

Weyandt N, Aghdam SA, AMV Brown (2022)

Discovery of Early-Branching Wolbachia Reveals Functional Enrichment on Horizontally Transferred Genes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:867392.

Wolbachia is a widespread endosymbiont of insects and filarial nematodes that profoundly influences host biology. Wolbachia has also been reported in rhizosphere hosts, where its diversity and function remain poorly characterized. The discovery that plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) host Wolbachia strains with unknown roles is of interest evolutionarily, ecologically, and for agriculture as a potential target for developing new biological controls. The goal of this study was to screen communities for PPN endosymbionts and analyze genes and genomic patterns that might indicate their role. Genome assemblies revealed 1 out of 16 sampled sites had nematode communities hosting a Wolbachia strain, designated wTex, that has highly diverged as one of the early supergroup L strains. Genome features, gene repertoires, and absence of known genes for cytoplasmic incompatibility, riboflavin, biotin, and other biosynthetic functions placed wTex between mutualist C + D strains and reproductive parasite A + B strains. Functional terms enriched in group L included protoporphyrinogen IX, thiamine, lysine, fatty acid, and cellular amino acid biosynthesis, while dN/dS analysis suggested the strongest purifying selection on arginine and lysine metabolism, and vitamin B6, heme, and zinc ion binding, suggesting these as candidate roles in PPN Wolbachia. Higher dN/dS pathways between group L, wPni from aphids, wFol from springtails, and wCfeT from cat fleas suggested distinct functional changes characterizing these early Wolbachia host transitions. PPN Wolbachia had several putative horizontally transferred genes, including a lysine biosynthesis operon like that of the mitochondrial symbiont Midichloria, a spirochete-like thiamine synthesis operon shared only with wCfeT, an ATP/ADP carrier important in Rickettsia, and a eukaryote-like gene that may mediate plant systemic acquired resistance through the lysine-to-pipecolic acid system. The Discovery of group L-like variants from global rhizosphere databases suggests diverse PPN Wolbachia strains remain to be discovered. These findings support the hypothesis of plant-specialization as key to shaping early Wolbachia evolution and present new functional hypotheses, demonstrating promise for future genomics-based rhizosphere screens.

RevDate: 2022-05-11

Ugbe FA, Shallangwa GA, Uzairu A, et al (2022)

Theoretical modeling and design of some pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives as Wolbachia inhibitors, targeting lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis.

In silico pharmacology, 10(1):8 pii:123.

Lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis are two common filarial diseases caused by a group of parasitic nematodes called filarial worms, which play host to the bacteria organism Wolbachia. One good treatment approach seeks Wolbachia as drug target. Here, a QSAR study was conducted to investigate the anti-wolbachia activities (pEC50) of 52 pyrazolopyrimidine analogues, while using the built model to predict the pEC50 values of the newly designed analogues. Density Functional Theory was used for the structural optimization, while the model building was based on Genetic Function Algorithm approach. The built QSAR model was validated thus: R2 = 0.8104, R2 adj = 0.7629, Q2 cv = 0.6981, R2 test = 0.7501 and cRp2 = 0.7476. The predicted pEC50 of all newly designed compounds were higher than that of the template (43). The new compounds were; observed to pass the drug-likeness criteria, uniformly distributed to the brain, and found to be non-mutagenic. Also, the new compounds and the reference drug (doxycycline), were docked onto Ovarian Tumor (OTU) deubiquitinase receptor (PDB ID: 6W9O) using iGEMDOCK tool. This protein is known to help Wolbachia subvert host ubiquitin signaling. The resulting binding scores of the newly designed compounds except A5 were higher than that of doxycycline, while the protein-ligand interactions were majorly characterized by Hydrogen-bonding and hydrophobic interaction types. Therefore, the newly designed molecules could be developed as potential drug candidates for the treatment of lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis.

RevDate: 2022-05-10

Fallon AM (2022)

Muramidase, nuclease, or hypothetical protein genes intervene between paired genes encoding DNA packaging terminase and portal proteins in Wolbachia phages and prophages.

Virus genes [Epub ahead of print].

Genomes of the obligate intracellular alpha proteobacterium Wolbachia pipientis often encode prophage-like regions, and in a few cases, purified particles have been recovered. Because the structure of a conserved WO phage genome has been difficult to establish, we examined paired terminase and portal genes in Wolbachia phages and prophages, relative to those encoded by the gene transfer agent RcGTA from the free-living alpha proteobacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus. Terminase and portal proteins from Wolbachia have higher similarity to orthologs encoded by RcGTA than to orthologs encoded by bacteriophage lambda. In lambdoid phages, these proteins play key roles in assembly of mature phage particles, while in less well-studied gene transfer agents, terminase and portal proteins package random fragments of bacterial DNA, which could confound elucidation of WO phage genomes. In WO phages and prophages, terminase genes followed by a short gpW gene may be separated from the downstream portal gene by open-reading frames encoding a GH_25 hydrolase/muramidase, a PD-(D/E)XK nuclease, a hypothetical protein and/or a RelE/ParE toxin-antitoxin module. These aspects of gene organization, coupled with evidence for a low, non-inducible yield of WO phages, and the small size of WO phage particles described in the literature raise the possibility that Wolbachia prophage regions participate in processes that extend beyond conventional bacteriophage lysogeny and lytic replication. These intervening genes, and their possible relation to functions associated with GTAs, may contribute to variability among WO phage genomes recovered from physical particles and impact the ability of WO phages to act as transducing agents.

RevDate: 2022-05-09

Strunov A, Lerch S, Blanckenhorn WU, et al (2022)

Complex effects of environment and Wolbachia infections on the life history of Drosophila melanogaster hosts.

Journal of evolutionary biology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia bacteria are common endosymbionts of many arthropods found in gonads and various somatic tissues. They manipulate host reproduction to enhance their transmission and confer complex effects on fitness-related traits. Some of these effects can serve to increase the survival and transmission efficiency of Wolbachia in the host population. The Wolbachia-Drosophila melanogaster system represents a powerful model to study the evolutionary dynamics of host-microbe interactions and infections. Over the past decades, there has been a replacement of the ancestral wMelCS Wolbachia variant by the more recent wMel variant in worldwide D. melanogaster populations, but the reasons remain unknown. To investigate how environmental change and genetic variation of the symbiont affect host developmental and adult life-history traits, we compared effects of both Wolbachia variants and uninfected controls in wild-caught D. melanogaster strains at three developmental temperatures. While Wolbachia did not influence any developmental life-history traits, we found that both lifespan and fecundity of host females were increased without apparent fitness trade-offs. Interestingly, wMelCS-infected flies were more fecund than uninfected and wMel-infected flies. By contrast, males infected with wMel died sooner, indicating sex-specific effects of infection that are specific to the Wolbachia variant. Our study uncovered complex temperature-specific effects of Wolbachia infections, which suggests that symbiont-host interactions in nature are strongly dependent on the genotypes of both partners and the thermal environment.

RevDate: 2022-05-09

Gao S, Ren YS, Su CY, et al (2022)

High Levels of Multiple Phage WO Infections and Its Evolutionary Dynamics Associated With Wolbachia-Infected Butterflies.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:865227.

Wolbachia is a maternally inherited bacterium that is widely distributed among arthropods, in which it manipulates the reproduction of its hosts. Phage WO is the only bacteriophage known to infect Wolbachia, and may provide benefit to its host or arthropods. We screened for the presence of phage WO in Wolbachia-infected butterfly species for the first time, to investigate their diversity and evolutionary dynamics. All Wolbachia-infected butterfly species, including members of the families Hesperiidae, Lycaenidae, Nymphalidae, Papilionidae, and Pieridae, were found to harbor phage WO. Interestingly, 84% of 19 butterfly species, which were infected with a single Wolbachia strain harbored high levels of multiple phage types (ranging from 3 to 17 types), another three species harbored one or two phage types. For Wolbachia strains (ST-41, ST-19, ST-125 and ST-374) shared among various butterfly species, their host insects all harbored multiple phage types, while two Wolbachia strains (ST-297 and ST-wPcau) were found to infect one butterfly species, whose insect hosts harbored a single phage type, suggesting that horizontal transfer of Wolbachia between insects increased the likelihood of exposure to phages, resulting in increased phage genetic diversity. Twelve horizontal transmission events of phage WO were found, which shared common phage WO types among different Wolbachia strains associated with butterflies. Most horizontal transfer events involved different Wolbachia supergroups (A and B). Horizontal acquisition of phage WO might also occur between eukaryotes without Wolbachia transfer. Furthermore, 22 putative recombination events were identified in 13 of 16 butterfly species which harbored multiple phage types. These results showed that horizontal transfer of Wolbachia caused it to be exposed to the phage gene pool, and that horizontal transmission of phage WO, as well as intragenic recombination were important dynamics for phage WO genome evolution, which effectively promoted the high level of phage WO diversity associated with butterflies.

RevDate: 2022-05-08

Fujita R (2021)

[Osugoroshi virus, a male-killer virus].

Uirusu, 71(1):63-70.

In insects, sex ratio bias is sometimes introduced by feminization, parthenogenesis, cytoplasmic incompatibility, or male-killing. Some intracellular bacteria such as Wolbachia or Spiroplasma has been known as male-killing agents. Here I introduce an example of non-bacterial male-killing agent, Osugoroshi virus found in oriental tea tortrix.

RevDate: 2022-05-08

Nascimento da Silva J, Calixto Conceição C, Cristina Ramos de Brito G, et al (2022)

Wolbachia pipientis modulates metabolism and immunity during Aedes fluviatilis oogenesis.

Insect biochemistry and molecular biology pii:S0965-1748(22)00058-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia pipientis is a maternally transmitted bacterium that mostly colonizes arthropods, including the mosquito Aedes fluviatilis, potentially affecting different aspects of host physiology. This intracellular bacterium prefers gonadal tissue cells, interfering with the reproductive cycle of insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and nematodes. Wolbachia's ability to modulate the host's reproduction is related to its success in prevalence and frequency. Infecting oocytes is essential for vertical propagation, ensuring its presence in the germline. The mosquito Ae. fluviatilis is a natural host for this bacterium and therefore represents an excellent experimental model in the effort to understand host-symbiont interactions and the mutual metabolic regulation. The aim of this study was to comparatively describe metabolic changes in naturally Wolbachia-infected and uninfected ovaries of Ae. fluviatilis during the vitellogenic period of oogenesis, thus increasing the knowledge about Wolbachia parasitic/symbiotic mechanisms.

RevDate: 2022-04-30

Reyna-Lara A, Soriano-Paños D, Arias-Castro JH, et al (2022)

A metapopulation approach to identify targets for Wolbachia-based dengue control.

Chaos (Woodbury, N.Y.), 32(4):041105.

Over the last decade, the release of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti into the natural habitat of this mosquito species has become the most sustainable and long-lasting technique to prevent and control vector-borne diseases, such as dengue, zika, or chikungunya. However, the limited resources to generate such mosquitoes and their effective distribution in large areas dominated by the Aedes aegypti vector represent a challenge for policymakers. Here, we introduce a mathematical framework for the spread of dengue in which competition between wild and Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes, the cross-contagion patterns between humans and vectors, the heterogeneous distribution of the human population in different areas, and the mobility flows between them are combined. Our framework allows us to identify the most effective areas for the release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to achieve a large decrease in the global dengue prevalence.

RevDate: 2022-04-30

Wangkeeree J, Suwanchaisri K, Roddee J, et al (2022)

Selective Elimination of Wolbachia from the Leafhopper Yamatotettix flavovittatus Matsumura.

Current microbiology, 79(6):173.

Wolbachia infections affect the reproductive system and various biological traits of the host insect. There is a high frequency of Wolbachia infection in the leafhopper Yamatotettix flavovittatus Matsumura. To investigate the potential roles of Wolbachia in the host, it is important to generate a non-Wolbachia-infected line. The efficacy of antibiotics in eliminating Wolbachia from Y. flavovittatus remains unknown. This leafhopper harbors the mutualistic bacterium Candidatus Sulcia muelleri, which has an important function in the biological traits. The presence of Ca. S. muelleri raises a major concern regarding the use of antibiotics. We selectively eliminated Wolbachia, considering the influence of antibiotics on leafhopper survival and Ca. S. muelleri prevalence. The effect of artificial diets containing different doses of tetracycline and rifampicin on survival was optimized; high dose (0.5 mg/ml) of antibiotics induces a high mortality. A concentration of 0.2 mg/ml was chosen for the subsequent experiments. Antibiotic treatments significantly reduced the Wolbachia infection, and the Wolbachia density in the treated leafhoppers sharply declined. Wolbachia recurred in tetracycline-treated offspring, regardless of antibiotic exposure. However, Wolbachia is unable to be transmitted and restored in rifampicin-treated offspring. The dose and treatment duration had no significant effect on the infection and density of Ca. S. muelleri in the antibiotic-treated offspring. In conclusion, Wolbachia in Y. flavovittatus was stably eliminated using rifampicin, and the Wolbachia-free line was generated at least two generations after treatment. This report provides additional experimental procedures for removing Wolbachia from insects, particularly in host species with the coexistence of Ca. S. muelleri.

RevDate: 2022-04-26

Martín-Park A, Che-Mendoza A, Contreras-Perera Y, et al (2022)

Pilot trial using mass field-releases of sterile males produced with the incompatible and sterile insect techniques as part of integrated Aedes aegypti control in Mexico.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 16(4):e0010324 pii:PNTD-D-21-01308.

BACKGROUND: The combination of Wolbachia-based incompatible insect technique (IIT) and radiation-based sterile insect technique (SIT) can be used for population suppression of Aedes aegypti. Our main objective was to evaluate whether open-field mass-releases of wAlbB-infected Ae. aegypti males, as part of an Integrated Vector Management (IVM) plan led by the Mexican Ministry of Health, could suppress natural populations of Ae. aegypti in urbanized settings in south Mexico.

We implemented a controlled before-and-after quasi-experimental study in two suburban localities of Yucatan (Mexico): San Pedro Chimay (SPC), which received IIT-SIT, and San Antonio Tahdzibichén used as control. Release of wAlbB Ae. aegypti males at SPC extended for 6 months (July-December 2019), covering the period of higher Ae. aegypti abundance. Entomological indicators included egg hatching rates and outdoor/indoor adult females collected at the release and control sites. Approximately 1,270,000 lab-produced wAlbB-infected Ae. aegypti males were released in the 50-ha treatment area (2,000 wAlbB Ae. aegypti males per hectare twice a week in two different release days, totaling 200,000 male mosquitoes per week). The efficacy of IIT-SIT in suppressing indoor female Ae. aegypti density (quantified from a generalized linear mixed model showing a statistically significant reduction in treatment versus control areas) was 90.9% a month after initiation of the suppression phase, 47.7% two months after (when number of released males was reduced in 50% to match local abundance), 61.4% four months after (when initial number of released males was re-established), 88.4% five months after and 89.4% at six months after the initiation of the suppression phase. A proportional, but lower, reduction in outdoor female Ae. aegypti was also quantified (range, 50.0-75.2% suppression).

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study, the first open-field pilot implementation of Wolbachia IIT-SIT in Mexico and Latin-America, confirms that inundative male releases can significantly reduce natural populations of Ae. aegypti. More importantly, we present successful pilot results of the integration of Wolbachia IIT-SIT within a IVM plan implemented by Ministry of Health personnel.

RevDate: 2022-04-25

Ehrens A, Hoerauf A, MP Hübner (2022)

Current perspective of new anti-Wolbachial and direct-acting macrofilaricidal drugs as treatment strategies for human filariasis.

GMS infectious diseases, 10:Doc02 pii:id000079.

Filarial diseases like lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis belong to the Neglected Tropical Diseases and remain a public health problem in endemic countries. Lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis can lead to stigmatizing pathologies and present a socio-economic burden for affected people and their endemic countries. Current treatment recommendations by the WHO include mass drug administration with ivermectin for the treatment of onchocerciasis and a combination of ivermectin, albendazole and diethylcarbamazine (DEC) for the treatment of lymphatic filariasis in areas that are not co-endemic for onchocerciasis or loiasis. Limitations of these treatment strategies are due to potential severe adverse events in onchocerciasis and loiasis patients following DEC or ivermectin treatment, respectively, the lack of a macrofilaricidal efficacy of those drugs and the risk of drug resistance development. Thus, to achieve the elimination of transmission of onchocerciasis and the elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem by 2030, the WHO defined in its roadmap that new alternative treatment strategies with macrofilaricidal compounds are required. Within a collaboration of the non-profit organizations Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and partners from academia and industry, several new promising macrofilaricidal drug candidates were identified, which will be discussed in this review.

RevDate: 2022-04-23

Stica CJ, Barrero RA, Murray RZ, et al (2022)

Global Evolutionary History and Dynamics of Dengue Viruses Inferred from Whole Genome Sequences.

Viruses, 14(4): pii:v14040703.

Dengue is an arboviral disease caused by dengue virus (DENV), leading to approximately 25,000 deaths/year and with over 40% of the world's population at risk. Increased international travel and trade, poorly regulated urban expansion, and warming global temperatures have expanded the geographic range and incidence of the virus in recent decades. This study used phylogenetic and selection pressure analyses to investigate trends in DENV evolution, using whole genome coding sequences from publicly available databases alongside newly sequenced isolates collected between 1963-1997 from Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Results revealed very similar phylogenetic relationships when using the envelope gene and the whole genome coding sequences. Although DENV evolution is predominantly driven by negative selection, a number of amino acid sites undergoing positive selection were found across the genome, with the majority located in the envelope and NS5 genes. Some genotypes appear to be diversifying faster than others within each serotype. The results from this research improve our understanding of DENV evolution, with implications for disease control efforts such as Wolbachia-based biocontrol and vaccine design.

RevDate: 2022-04-21

Quek S, Cerdeira L, Jeffries CL, et al (2022)

Wolbachia endosymbionts in two Anopheles species indicates independent acquisitions and lack of prophage elements.

Microbial genomics, 8(4):.

RevDate: 2022-04-20

Tantowijoyo W, Tanamas SK, Nurhayati I, et al (2022)

Aedes aegypti abundance and insecticide resistance profiles in the applying Wolbachia to eliminate dengue trial.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 16(4):e0010284 pii:PNTD-D-21-01174 [Epub ahead of print].

The Applying Wolbachia to Eliminate Dengue (AWED) trial was a parallel cluster randomised trial that demonstrated Wolbachia (wMel) introgression into Ae. aegypti populations reduced dengue incidence. In this predefined substudy, we compared between treatment arms, the relative abundance of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus before, during and after wMel-introgression. Between March 2015 and March 2020, 60,084 BG trap collections yielded 478,254 Ae. aegypti and 17,623 Ae. albopictus. Between treatment arms there was no measurable difference in Ae. aegypti relative abundance before or after wMel-deployments, with a count ratio of 0.96 (95% CI 0.76, 1.21) and 1.00 (95% CI 0.85, 1.17) respectively. More Ae. aegypti were caught per trap per week in the wMel-intervention arm compared to the control arm during wMel deployments (count ratio 1.23 (95% CI 1.03, 1.46)). Between treatment arms there was no measurable difference in the Ae. albopictus population size before, during or after wMel-deployment (overall count ratio 1.10 (95% CI 0.89, 1.35)). We also compared insecticide resistance phenotypes of Ae. aegypti in the first and second years after wMel-deployments. Ae. aegypti field populations from wMel-treated and untreated arms were similarly resistant to malathion (0.8%), permethrin (1.25%) and cyfluthrin (0.15%) in year 1 and year 2 of the trial. In summary, we found no between-arm differences in the relative abundance of Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus prior to or after wMel introgression, and no between-arm difference in Ae. aegypti insecticide resistance phenotypes. These data suggest neither Aedes abundance, nor insecticide resistance, confounded the epidemiological outcomes of the AWED trial.

RevDate: 2022-04-19

Zhou JC, Shang D, Qian Q, et al (2022)

Penetrance during Wolbachia-mediated parthenogenesis of Trichogramma wasps is reduced by continuous oviposition, associated with exhaustion of Wolbachia titers in ovary and offspring eggs.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Thelytokous Wolbachia-infected Trichogramma wasps are superior to bisexual uninfected wasps regarding biological control programs. However, continuous oviposition weakens the parthenogenesis-inducing (PI) strength of Wolbachia. Whether this reduced PI strength relates to decreases in the titer of Wolbachia in the ovary and offspring eggs of Trichogramma remains unclear. Here, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and RT-qPCR methods, we investigated how the penetrance of Wolbachia-mediated parthenogenesis, Wolbachia density, and distributions of two Wolbachia-infected Trichogramma species, T. pretiosum (TP) and T. dendrolimi (TD), were influenced by different host access treatments (newly-emerged virgin females [NE], 7-day-old females without access to host eggs [NAH]), and 7-day-old virgin females with access to host eggs [AH]).

RESULTS: Continuous oviposition decreased Wolbachia PI strength and titers in TP and TD. Continuous oviposition in AH decreased Wolbachia titers in abdomen and offspring eggs of TP and TD females, compared with NAH and NE; NAH had a lower thorax Wolbachia titer than NE. The numbers of parasitized host eggs and offspring wasps, and emergence rates of offspring deposited by AH were lower than those of NE and NAH, for either species.

CONCLUSION: Weakened PI strength, driven by continuous oviposition in Trichogramma wasps, is associated with Wolbachia titer exhaustion in ovary and offspring eggs. Wolbachia density is dependent on PI strength in Trichogramma wasps, highlighting the side effects of continuous oviposition regarding thelytokous Wolbachia-infected Trichogramma in biological control programs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-04-18

Darwell CT, Souto-Vilarós D, Michalek J, et al (2022)

Predicting distributions of Wolbachia strains through host ecological contact-Who's manipulating whom?.

Ecology and evolution, 12(4):e8826 pii:ECE38826.

Reproductive isolation in response to divergent selection is often mediated via third-party interactions. Under these conditions, speciation is inextricably linked to ecological context. We present a novel framework for understanding arthropod speciation as mediated by Wolbachia, a microbial endosymbiont capable of causing host cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). We predict that sympatric host sister-species harbor paraphyletic Wolbachia strains that provide CI, while well-defined congeners in ecological contact and recently diverged noninteracting congeners are uninfected due to Wolbachia redundancy. We argue that Wolbachia provides an adaptive advantage when coupled with reduced hybrid fitness, facilitating assortative mating between co-occurring divergent phenotypes-the contact contingency hypothesis. To test this, we applied a predictive algorithm to empirical pollinating fig wasp data, achieving up to 91.60% accuracy. We further postulate that observed temporal decay of Wolbachia incidence results from adaptive host purging-adaptive decay hypothesis-but implementation failed to predict systematic patterns. We then account for post-zygotic offspring mortality during CI mating, modeling fitness clines across developmental resources-the fecundity trade-off hypothesis. This model regularly favored CI despite fecundity losses. We demonstrate that a rules-based algorithm accurately predicts Wolbachia infection status. This has implications among other systems where closely related sympatric species encounter adaptive disadvantage through hybridization.

RevDate: 2022-04-14

Rohkin Shalom S, Weiss B, Lalzar M, et al (2022)

Abundance and Localization of Symbiotic Bacterial Communities in the Fly Parasitoid Spalangia cameroni.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Multicellular eukaryotes often host multiple microbial symbionts that may cooperate or compete for host resources, such as space and nutrients. Here, we studied the abundances and localization of four bacterial symbionts, Rickettsia, Wolbachia, Sodalis, and Arsenophonus, in the parasitic wasp Spalangia cameroni. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR), we measured the symbionts' titers in wasps that harbor different combinations of these symbionts. We found that the titer of each symbiont decreased as the number of symbiont species in the community increased. Symbionts' titers were higher in females than in males. Rickettsia was the most abundant symbiont in all the communities, followed by Sodalis and Wolbachia. The titers of these three symbionts were positively correlated in some of the colonies. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was in line with the qPCR results: Rickettsia, Wolbachia, and Sodalis were observed in high densities in multiple organs, including brain, muscles, gut, Malpighian tubules, fat body, ovaries, and testes, while Arsenophonus was localized to fewer organs and in lower densities. Sodalis and Arsenophonus were observed in ovarian follicle cells but not within oocytes or laid eggs. This study highlights the connection between symbionts' abundance and localization. We discuss the possible connections between our findings to symbiont transmission success. IMPORTANCE Many insects carry intracellular bacterial symbionts (bacteria that reside within the cells of the insect). When multiple symbiont species cohabit in a host, they may compete or cooperate for space, nutrients, and transmission, and the nature of such interactions would be reflected in the abundance of each symbiont species. Given the widespread occurrence of coinfections with maternally transmitted symbionts in insects, it is important to learn more about how they interact, where they are localized, and how these two aspects affect their co-occurrence within individual insects. Here, we studied the abundance and the localization of four symbionts, Rickettsia, Wolbachia, Sodalis, and Arsenophonus, that cohabit the parasitic wasp Spalangia cameroni. We found that symbionts' titers differed between symbiotic communities. These results were corroborated by microscopy, which shows differential localization patterns. We discuss the findings in the contexts of community ecology, possible symbiont-symbiont interactions, and host control mechanisms that may shape the symbiotic community structure.

RevDate: 2022-04-14
CmpDate: 2022-04-14

Hornett EA, Kageyama D, GDD Hurst (2022)

Sex determination systems as the interface between male-killing bacteria and their hosts.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1972):20212781.

Arthropods host a range of sex-ratio-distorting selfish elements, including diverse maternally inherited endosymbionts that solely kill infected males. Male-killing heritable microbes are common, reach high frequency, but until recently have been poorly understood in terms of the host-microbe interaction. Additionally, while male killing should generate strong selection for host resistance, evidence of this has been scant. The interface of the microbe with host sex determination is integral to the understanding of how death is sex limited and how hosts can evolve evasion of male killing. We first review current knowledge of the mechanisms diverse endosymbionts use to induce male-specific death. We then examine recent evidence that these agents do produce intense selection for host nuclear suppressor elements. We argue, from our understanding of male-killing mechanisms, that suppression will commonly involve evolution of the host sex determination pathways and that the host's response to male-killing microbes thus represents an unrecognized driver of the diversity of arthropod sex determination. Further work is required to identify the genes and mechanisms responsible for male-killing suppression, which will both determine the components of sex determination (or other) systems associated with suppressor evolution, and allow insight into the mechanism of male killing itself.

RevDate: 2022-04-13

Yang Q, Chung J, Robinson KL, et al (2022)

Sex-specific distribution and classification of Wolbachia infections and mitochondrial DNA haplogroups in Aedes albopictus from the Indo-Pacific.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 16(4):e0010139 pii:PNTD-D-22-00009 [Epub ahead of print].

The arbovirus vector Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) is common throughout the Indo-Pacific region, where most global dengue transmission occurs. We analysed population genomic data and tested for cryptic species in 160 Ae. albopictus sampled from 16 locations across this region. We found no evidence of cryptic Ae. albopictus but found multiple intraspecific COI haplotypes partitioned into groups representing three Asian lineages: East Asia, Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Papua New Guinea (PNG), Vanuatu and Christmas Island shared recent coancestry, and Indonesia and Timor-Leste were likely invaded from East Asia. We used a machine learning trained on morphologically sexed samples to classify sexes using multiple genetic features and then characterized the wAlbA and wAlbB Wolbachia infections in 664 other samples. The wAlbA and wAlbB infections as detected by qPCR showed markedly different patterns in the sexes. For females, most populations had a very high double infection incidence, with 67% being the lowest value (from Timor-Leste). For males, the incidence of double infections ranged from 100% (PNG) to 0% (Vanuatu). Only 6 females were infected solely by the wAlbA infection, while rare uninfected mosquitoes were found in both sexes. The wAlbA and wAlbB densities varied significantly among populations. For mosquitoes from Torres Strait and Vietnam, the wAlbB density was similar in single-infected and superinfected (wAlbA and wAlbB) mosquitoes. There was a positive association between wAlbA and wAlbB infection densities in superinfected Ae. albopictus. Our findings provide no evidence of cryptic species of Ae. albopictus in the region and suggest site-specific factors influencing the incidence of Wolbachia infections and their densities. We also demonstrate the usefulness of ddRAD tag depths as sex-specific mosquito markers. The results provide baseline data for the exploitation of Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) in dengue control.

RevDate: 2022-04-13

Tamarozzi F, Rodari P, Salas-Coronas J, et al (2022)

A large case series of travel-related Mansonella perstans (vector-borne filarial nematode): a TropNet study in Europe.

Journal of travel medicine pii:6567953 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Infection with Mansonella perstans is a neglected filariasis, widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, characterized by an elusive clinical picture; treatment for mansonellosis is not standardized. This retrospective study aimed to describe the clinical features, treatment schemes and evolution, of a large cohort of imported cases of M. perstans infection seen in four European centers for tropical diseases.

METHODS: M. perstans infections, diagnosed by identification of blood microfilariae in migrants, expatriates and travellers, collected between 1994-2018, were retrospectively analysed. Data concerning demographics, clinical history, and laboratory examinations at diagnosis and at follow-up time points, were retrieved.

RESULTS: A total of 392 patients were included in the study. Of the 281 patients for whom information on symptoms could be retrieved, 150 (53.4%) reported symptoms, abdominal pain and itching being the most frequent. Positive serology and eosinophilia were present in 84.4% and 66.1% respectively of those patients for whom these data were available. Concomitant parasitic infections were reported in 23.5% of patients. Treatment, administered to 325 patients (82.9%), was extremely heterogeneous between and within centers; the most commonly used regimen was mebendazole 100 mg twice a day for one month. A total of 256 (65.3%) patients attended a first follow-up, median 3 months (IQR 2-12) after the first visit; 83.1% of patients having received treatment based on mebendazole and/or doxycycline targeting Wolbachia became amicrofilaremic, 41.1%-78.4% of whom within 12 months from single treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Lack of specific symptoms, together with the inconstant positivity of parasitological and antibody-based assays in the infected population, make the clinical suspicion and screening for mansonellosis particularly difficult. Prospective studies evaluating prevalence of infection in migrants from endemic areas, infection-specific morbidity, presence of Wolbachia endosymbionts in M. perstans populations from different geographical areas, and efficacy of treatment regimens are absolutely needed to optimize the clinical management of infection.

RevDate: 2022-04-13

Mejia AJ, Dutra HLC, Jones MJ, et al (2022)

Cross-tissue and generation predictability of relative Wolbachia densities in the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):128.

BACKGROUND: The insect endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia is being deployed in field populations of the mosquito Aedes aegypti for biological control. This microbe prevents the replication of human disease-causing viruses inside the vector, including dengue, Zika and chikungunya. Relative Wolbachia densities may in part predict the strength of this 'viral blocking' effect. Additionally, Wolbachia densities may affect the strength of the reproductive manipulations it induces, including cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), maternal inheritance rates or induced fitness effects in the insect host. High rates of CI and maternal inheritance and low rates of fitness effects are also key to the successful spreading of Wolbachia through vector populations and its successful use in biocontrol. The factors that control Wolbachia densities are not completely understood.

METHODS: We used quantitative PCR-based methods to estimate relative density of the Wolbachia wAlbB strain in both the somatic and reproductive tissues of adult male and female mosquitoes, as well as in eggs. Using correlation analyses, we assessed whether densities in one tissue predict those in others within the same individual, but also across generations.

RESULTS: We found little relationship among the relative Wolbachia densities of different tissues in the same host. The results also show that there was very little relationship between Wolbachia densities in parents and those in offspring, both in the same and different tissues. The one exception was with ovary-egg relationships, where there was a strong positive association. Relative Wolbachia densities in reproductive tissues were always greater than those in the somatic tissues. Additionally, the densities were consistent in females over their lifetime regardless of tissue, whereas they were generally higher and more variable in males, particularly in the testes.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that either stochastic processes or local tissue-based physiologies are more likely factors dictating Wolbachia densities in Ae. aegypti individuals, rather than shared embryonic environments or heritable genetic effects of the mosquito genome. These findings have implications for understanding how relative Wolbachia densities may evolve and/or be maintained over the long term in Ae. aegypti.

RevDate: 2022-04-11

Thengchaisri N, Inpankaew T, Arthitwong S, et al (2022)

Molecular prevalence of Dirofilaria immitis and Wolbachia infections in pet and semi-domesticated cats in Bangkok, Thailand.

Veterinary world, 15(2):239-243.

Background and Aim: Although cats are not natural hosts for heartworm infections (Dirofilaria immitis), evidence suggests that feline heartworm disease can be detrimental because of a severe inflammatory response. Recent studies have found that infection with bacteria of the genus Wolbachia is the principal cause of acute inflammatory filaria disease; nonetheless, the prevalence of cats naturally infected with heartworms and Wolbachia remains unclear. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and current distribution of feline heartworm disease and its association with Wolbachia infection in pet and semi-domesticated cats in Bangkok, Thailand.

Materials and Methods: A total of 260 cats (130 pet cats and 130 semi-domesticated cats) were enrolled in this study. Blood samples were placed into ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid tubes for hematological analysis and DNA extraction. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to analyze samples for the presence of D. immitis and Wolbachia infections.

Results: The prevalence (95% confidence interval [CI]) of D. immitis infection in pet, semi-domesticated, and all cats were 3.9% (1.3-8.8%), 27.7% (20.2-36.2%), and 19.6% (15.0-25.0%), respectively. The prevalence (95% CI) of Wolbachia infection in pet, semi-domesticated, and all cats were 18.5% (12.2-26.2%), 31.5% (23.7-40.3%), and 25.0% (19.9-30.7%), respectively. The prevalence of D. immitis and Wolbachia infections in semi-domesticated cats was significantly higher than in pet cats (p=0.002 and p=0.022, respectively). There was a significant association between D. immitis and Wolbachia infections (p<0.001). There was also a significant association between D. immitis infection and the presence of eosinophilia (p<0.045).

Conclusion: From the PCR analysis, it can be concluded that semi-domesticated cats were at higher risk for D. immitis infection than pet cats. There was a significant association between positive D. immitis infection and positive Wolbachia infection. Combinations of anthelmintic and antimicrobial therapy should be considered in heartworm-positive cats.

RevDate: 2022-04-06

Mohanty I, Rath A, Pradhan N, et al (2021)

Prevalence and transmission potential of Wolbachia in Aedes albopictus population circulating in endemic coastal districts of Odisha, India.

Journal of vector borne diseases, 58(4):297-305.

Wolbachia, known for its reproductive manipulation capabilities in insects, are being implemented to control dengue and chikungunya. To understand Wolbachia biology and its utility as a bio-control for vector mosquito's populations, we investigated its dissemination pattern in field in collected Ae. albopictus along with its maternal transmission efficacy over generations in regions of endemic dengue (DENV) transmission. Field collected Ae. albopictus were subjected to PCR for Wolbachia screening. Overall mean Wolbachia infection frequency in Ae. albopictus was found out to be 87.3% wherein a trend was observed in the pattern of maternal transmission across generations. χ2 for trend revealed a significant variation between Wolbachia infections and non-infections in Ae. albopictus generations. Linear regression analysis revealed the involvement of a strong negative correlation, implying that overall Wolbachia infection tends to decrease in places with high dengue cases.The reduction in Wolbachia infection frequency may be attributed to several environmental factors with the probability of being the cause for endemicity of dengue in the studied areas.This study reports on the transmission efficacy of naturally occurring Wolbachia in successive generations of Ae. albopictus and its correlation with dengue cases in clusters of Odisha, India. Studying the transmission trend of Wolbachia along with transovarial transmission of DENV might be indicative towards the interplay of Wolbachia infection in presence/absence of DENV.

RevDate: 2022-04-04

Quek S, Cook DAN, Wu Y, et al (2022)

Wolbachia depletion blocks transmission of lymphatic filariasis by preventing chitinase-dependent parasite exsheathment.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(15):e2120003119.

Significance Lymphatic filariasis caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori affects 51 million people, leading to severe physical and mental disabilities. A mutualistic symbiosis between these filarial nematodes and Wolbachia bacteria has been exploited as a new curative treatment. Epidemiological modeling of anti-Wolbachia treatment assumes that transmission persists due to the lag phase before microfilariae (mf) become removed from circulation. Here, we show that Wolbachia-depleted mf cannot develop within the mosquito vector-a phenotype associated with down-regulation of B. malayi mf-specific chitinase, an enzyme essential for exsheathment. Our findings add to the broad range of host biological processes dependent on Wolbachia and suggest that anti-Wolbachia treatment mediates a more accelerated impact on elimination of lymphatic filariasis than currently predicted.

RevDate: 2022-04-04

Ajendra J, JE Allen (2022)

Neutrophils: Friend or Foe in Filariasis?.

Parasite immunology [Epub ahead of print].

Infection with the filarial nematodes that cause diseases such as lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis represent major public health challenges. With millions of people at risk of infection, new strategies for treatment or prevention are urgently needed. More complete understanding of the host immune system's ability to control and eliminate the infection is an important step towards fighting these debilitating infectious diseases. Neutrophils are innate immune cells that are rapidly recruited to inflamed or infected tissues and while considered primarily anti-microbial, there is increasing recognition of their role in helminth infections. Filarial nematodes present a unique situation, as many species harbour the bacterial endosymbiont, Wolbachia. The unexpected involvement of neutrophils during filarial infections has been revealed both in human diseases and animal studies, with strong evidence for recruitment by Wolbachia. This present review will introduce the different human filarial diseases and discuss neutrophil involvement in both protective immune responses, but also in the exacerbation of pathology. Additionally, we will highlight the contributions of the murine model of filariasis, Litomosoides sigmodontis. While several studies have revealed the importance of neutrophils in these parasite infections, we will also draw attention to many questions that remain to be answered.

RevDate: 2022-04-04

Hussain S, Perveen N, Hussain A, et al (2022)

The Symbiotic Continuum Within Ticks: Opportunities for Disease Control.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:854803.

Among blood-sucking arthropods, ticks are recognized as being of prime global importance because of their role as vectors of pathogens affecting human and animal health. Ticks carry a variety of pathogenic, commensal, and symbiotic microorganisms. For the latter, studies are available concerning the detection of endosymbionts, but their role in the physiology and ecology of ticks remains largely unexplored. This review paper focuses on tick endosymbionts of the genera Coxiella, Rickettsia, Francisella, Midichloria, and Wolbachia, and their impact on ticks and tick-pathogen interactions that drive disease risk. Tick endosymbionts can affect tick physiology by influencing nutritional adaptation, fitness, and immunity. Further, symbionts may influence disease ecology, as they interact with tick-borne pathogens and can facilitate or compete with pathogen development within the vector tissues. Rickettsial symbionts are frequently found in ticks of the genera of Ixodes, Amblyomma, and Dermacentor with relatively lower occurrence in Rhipicephalus, Haemaphysalis, and Hyalomma ticks, while Coxiella-like endosymbionts (CLEs) were reported infecting almost all tick species tested. Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs) have been identified in tick genera such as Dermacentor, Amblyomma, Ornithodoros, Ixodes, and Hyalomma, whereas Wolbachia sp. has been detected in Ixodes, Amblyomma, Hyalomma, and Rhipicephalus tick genera. Notably, CLEs and FLEs are obligate endosymbionts essential for tick survival and development through the life cycle. American dog ticks showed greater motility when infected with Rickettsia, indirectly influencing infection risk, providing evidence of a relationship between tick endosymbionts and tick-vectored pathogens. The widespread occurrence of endosymbionts across the tick phylogeny and evidence of their functional roles in ticks and interference with tick-borne pathogens suggests a significant contribution to tick evolution and/or vector competence. We currently understand relatively little on how these endosymbionts influence tick parasitism, vector capacity, pathogen transmission and colonization, and ultimately on how they influence tick-borne disease dynamics. Filling this knowledge gap represents a major challenge for future research.

RevDate: 2022-04-01

Andreychuk S, L Yakob (2022)

Mathematical modelling to assess the feasibility of Wolbachia in malaria vector biocontrol.

Journal of theoretical biology pii:S0022-5193(22)00108-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Releasing mosquitoes transinfected with the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia is a novel strategy for interrupting vector-borne pathogen transmission. Following its success in controlling arboviruses spread by Aedes aegypti, this technology is being adapted for anopheline malaria vectors. However, antagonistic interactions between Wolbachia and naturally resident Asaia bacteria in malaria vectors have been demonstrated experimentally, potentially jeopardising Wolbachia biocontrol. We developed the first mathematical model accounting for interspecific competition between endosymbionts to assess the feasibility of this novel strategy for controlling malaria. First, Asaia prevalences among natural mosquito populations were compared with simulations parametrized with rates of Asaia transmission reported from laboratory studies. Discrepancies between projections and natural Asaia prevalences indicated potential overestimation of Asaia transmissibility in artificial laboratory settings. With parametrization that matches natural Asaia prevalence, simulations identified redundancies in Asaia's many infection routes (vertical, sexual and environmental). This resilience was only overcome when Wolbachia conferred very high resistance to environmental infection with Asaia, resulting in Wolbachia fixation and Asaia exclusion. Wolbachia's simulated spread was prevented when its maternal transmission was impeded in coinfected mosquitoes and the pre-control Asaia prevalence was beyond a threshold of 60-75%. This theoretical assessment highlights critical next steps in laboratory experiments to inform this strategy's feasibility.

RevDate: 2022-04-01

Salgueiro J, Nussenbaum AL, Milla FH, et al (2022)

Analysis of the Gut Bacterial Community of Wild Larvae of Anastrepha fraterculus sp. 1: Effect of Host Fruit, Environment, and Prominent Stable Associations of the Genera Wolbachia, Tatumella, and Enterobacter.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:822990.

The genus Anastrepha (Diptera Tephritidae) includes some of the most important fruit fly pests in the Americas. Here, we studied the gut bacterial community of 3rd instar larvae of Anastrepha fraterculus sp. 1 through Next Generation Sequencing (lllumina) of the V3-V4 hypervariable region within the 16S rRNA gene. Gut bacterial communities were compared between host species (guava and peach), and geographical origins (Concordia and Horco Molle in Argentina) representing distinct ecological scenarios. In addition, we explored the effect of spatial scale by comparing the samples collected from different trees within each geographic origin and host species. We also addressed the effect of fruit size on bacterial diversity. The gut bacterial community was affected both by host species and geographic origin. At smaller spatial scales, the gut bacterial profile differed among trees of the same species and location at least in one host-location combination. There was no effect of fruit size on the larval gut bacteriome. Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) assigned to Wolbachia, Tatumella and Enterobacter were identified in all samples examined, which suggest potential, non-transient symbioses. Better knowledge on the larval gut bacteriome contributes valuable information to develop sustainable control strategies against A. fraterculus targeting key symbionts as the Achilles' heel to control this important fruit fly pest.

RevDate: 2022-03-31

Strunov A, Schmidt K, Kapun M, et al (2022)

Restriction of Wolbachia Bacteria in Early Embryogenesis of Neotropical Drosophila Species via Endoplasmic Reticulum-Mediated Autophagy.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia are maternally transmitted intracellular bacteria that are not only restricted to the reproductive organs but also found in various somatic tissues of their native hosts. The abundance of the endosymbiont in the soma, usually a dead end for vertically transmitted bacteria, causes a multitude of effects on life history traits of their hosts, which are still not well understood. Thus, deciphering the host-symbiont interactions on a cellular level throughout a host's life cycle is of great importance to understand their homeostatic nature, persistence, and spreading success. Using fluorescent and transmission electron microscopy, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of Wolbachia tropism in soma and germ line of six Drosophila species at the intracellular level during host development. Our data uncovered diagnostic patterns of infections to embryonic primordial germ cells and to particular cells of the soma in three different neotropical Drosophila species that have apparently evolved independently. We further found that restricted patterns of Wolbachia tropism are determined in early embryogenesis via selective autophagy, and their spatially restricted infection patterns are preserved in adult flies. We observed tight interactions of Wolbachia with membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum, which might play a scaffolding role for autophagosome formation and subsequent elimination of the endosymbiont. Finally, by analyzing D. simulans lines transinfected with nonnative Wolbachia, we uncovered that the host genetic background regulates tissue tropism of infection. Our data demonstrate a novel and peculiar mechanism to limit and spatially restrict bacterial infection in the soma during a very early stage of host development. IMPORTANCE All organisms are living in close and intimate interactions with microbes that cause conflicts but also cooperation between both unequal genetic partners due to their different innate interests of primarily enhancing their own fitness. However, stable symbioses often result in homeostatic interaction, named mutualism, by balancing costs and benefits, where both partners profit. Mechanisms that have evolved to balance and stably maintain homeostasis in mutualistic relationships are still quite understudied; one strategy is to "domesticate" potentially beneficial symbionts by actively controlling their replication rate below a critical and, hence, costly threshold, and/or to spatially and temporally restrict their localization in the host organism, which, in the latter case, in its most extreme form, is the formation of a specialized housing organ for the microbe (bacteriome). However, questions remain: how do these mutualistic associations become established in their first place, and what are the mechanisms for symbiont control and restriction in their early stages? Here, we have uncovered an unprecedented symbiont control mechanism in neotropical Drosophila species during early embryogenesis. The fruit fly evolved selective autophagy to restrict and control the proliferation of its intracellular endosymbiont Wolbachia in a defined subset of the stem cells as soon as the host's zygotic genome is activated.

RevDate: 2022-03-30

Li TP, Zhou CY, Wang MK, et al (2022)

Endosymbionts Reduce Microbiome Diversity and Modify Host Metabolism and Fecundity in the Planthopper Sogatella furcifera.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbionts can strongly affect bacterial microbiota in pests. The white-backed planthopper Sogatella furcifera, a notorious pest in rice, is usually co-infected with Cardinium and Wolbachia, but the effects of these endosymbionts together or individually on the host microbiome and fecundity are unclear. Here, we established three S. furcifera lines (Cardinium and Wolbachia double-infected, Cardinium single-infected, and both-uninfected lines) backcrossed to a common nuclear background and found that single and double infections reduced bacterial diversity and changed bacterial community structure across nymph and adult stages and across adult tissues. The endosymbionts differed in densities between adults and nymphs as well as across adult tissues, with the distribution of Cardinium affected by Wolbachia. Both the single infection and particularly the double infection reduced host fecundity. Lines also differed in levels of metabolites, some of which may influence fecundity (e.g., arginine biosynthesis and nicotinamide metabolism). Cardinium in the single-infected line upregulated metabolic levels, while Wolbachia in the double-infected line appeared to mainly downregulate them. Association analysis pointed to possible connections between various bacteria and differential metabolites. These results reveal that Cardinium by itself and in combination with Wolbachia affect bacterial microbiota and levels of metabolites, with likely effects on host fecundity. Many of the effects of these metabolically limited endosymbionts that are dependent on the hosts may be exerted through manipulation of the microbiome. IMPORTANCE Endosymbionts can profoundly affect the nutrition, immunity, development, and reproduction of insect hosts, but the effects of multiple endosymbiont infections on microbiota and the interaction of these effects with insect host fitness are not well known. By establishing S. furcifera lines with different endosymbiont infection status, we found that Cardinium and the combined Cardinium + Wolbachia infections differentially reduced bacterial diversity as well as changing bacterial community structure and affecting metabolism, which may connect to negative fitness effects of the endosymbionts on their host. These results established the connections between reduced bacterial diversity, decreased fecundity and metabolic responses in S. furcifera.

RevDate: 2022-03-30

Katlav A, Cook JM, M Riegler (2022)

Common endosymbionts affect host fitness and sex allocation via egg size provisioning.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1971):20212582.

It is hard to overemphasize the importance of endosymbionts in arthropod biology, ecology and evolution. Some endosymbionts can complement host metabolic function or provide defence against pathogens; others, such as ubiquitous Wolbachia and Cardinium, have evolved strategies to manipulate host reproduction. A common reproductive manipulation strategy is cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) between differently infected individuals which can result in female mortality or male development of fertilized eggs in haplodiploid hosts. Recently, an additional role of endosymbionts has been recognized in the modification of sex allocation in sexually reproducing haplodiploids. This was theoretically expected due to the maternal inheritance of endosymbionts and natural selection for them to increase infected female production, yet the underlying mechanism remained unknown. Here, we tested whether and how Cardinium and Wolbachia causing different CI types interact to increase female production in a haplodiploid thrips species where sex allocation depends on both maternal condition and egg size provisioning. We found that Cardinium augmented female production by increasing maternal fitness and egg size, thereby boosting fertilization rate and offspring fitness. Wolbachia, in contrast, reduced the beneficial effects of Cardinium. Our results demonstrate different invasion strategies and antagonistic effects of endosymbiotic bacteria on host fitness and evolution of sex allocation.

RevDate: 2022-03-29

Hochstrasser M (2022)

Cytoplasmic incompatibility: A Wolbachia toxin-antidote mechanism comes into view.

Current biology : CB, 32(6):R287-R289.

The Wolbachia cidA and cidB genes promote bacterial endosymbiont inheritance through the host female germline. CidB is now shown to load into maturing sperm nuclei. Following fertilization, it disrupts paternal chromosome condensation, triggering embryonic arrest if not countered by CidA in Wolbachia-infected eggs.

RevDate: 2022-03-29

Bazzocchi C, Genchi M, Lucchetti C, et al (2022)

Transporter gene expression and Wolbachia quantification in adults of Dirofilaria immitis treated in vitro with ivermectin or moxidectin alone or in combination with doxycycline for 12 hours.

Molecular and biochemical parasitology pii:S0166-6851(22)00029-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Due to their marked larvicidal activity, macrocyclic lactones (MLs) are used for the prevention of heartworm disease (Dirofilaria immitis) in dogs. They have also been shown to eliminate adult parasites after long-term administration, with a so-called "slow-kill" effect. In addition, recent studies have established that a combination of doxycycline, which eliminates the endosymbiont Wolbachia, and MLs has superior adulticide effects when compared to MLs alone. It has been hypothesized that the apparent synergism between doxycycline/MLs may be due to interaction with drug efflux transport proteins. The aim of the present study was to evaluate gene expression of several transport proteins in D. immitis adults treated in vitro either with doxycycline alone, ivermectin alone, moxidectin alone, or a combination of ivermectin or moxidectin with doxycycline for 12h. Quantitative PCR analysis showed a sex-dependent response to treatments. In female worms, Dim-pgp-10, Dim-haf-1 and Dim-haf-5 were upregulated compared to controls with doxycycline alone and when combined with ivermectin. Moxidectin did not induce any changes in gene expression. In males, moxidectin administered alone induced a slight increase in Dim-pgp-10, Dim-pgp-11and Di-avr-14, while ivermectin in combination with doxycycline produced significant upregulation of the ML receptor Di-avr-14. These results suggest possible synergism between the two drug classes and different susceptibility of males vs. females to adulticide effects.

RevDate: 2022-03-29

Queffelec J, Postma A, Allison JD, et al (2022)

Remnants of horizontal transfers of Wolbachia genes in a Wolbachia-free woodwasp.

BMC ecology and evolution, 22(1):36.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia is a bacterial endosymbiont of many arthropod and nematode species. Due to its capacity to alter host biology, Wolbachia plays an important role in arthropod and nematode ecology and evolution. Sirex noctilio is a woodwasp causing economic loss in pine plantations of the Southern Hemisphere. An investigation into the genome of this wasp revealed the presence of Wolbachia sequences. Due to the potential impact of Wolbachia on the populations of this wasp, as well as its potential use as a biological control agent against invasive insects, this discovery warranted investigation.

RESULTS: In this study we first investigated the presence of Wolbachia in S. noctilio and demonstrated that South African populations of the wasp are unlikely to be infected. We then screened the full genome of S. noctilio and found 12 Wolbachia pseudogenes. Most of these genes constitute building blocks of various transposable elements originating from the Wolbachia genome. Finally, we demonstrate that these genes are distributed in all South African populations of the wasp.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide evidence that S. noctilio might be compatible with a Wolbachia infection and that the bacteria could potentially be used in the future to regulate invasive populations of the wasp. Understanding the mechanisms that led to a loss of Wolbachia infection in S. noctilio could indicate which host species or host population should be sampled to find a Wolbachia strain that could be used as a biological control against S. noctilio.

RevDate: 2022-03-26

Wendt M, Kulanek D, Varga Z, et al (2022)

Pronounced mito-nuclear discordance and various Wolbachia infections in the water ringlet Erebia pronoe have resulted in a complex phylogeographic structure.

Scientific reports, 12(1):5175.

Several morphological and mitochondrial lineages of the alpine ringlet butterfly species Erebia pronoe have been described, indicating a complex phylogenetic structure. However, the existing data were insufficient and allow neither a reconstruction of the biogeographic history, nor an assessment of the genetic lineages. Therefore, we analysed mitochondrial (COI, NDI) and nuclear (EF1α, RPS5) gene sequences and compared them with sequences from the sister species Erebia melas. Additionally, we combined this information with morphometric data of the male genitalia and the infection patterns with Wolbachia strains, based on a WSP analysis. We obtained a distinct phylogeographic structure within the E. pronoe-melas complex with eight well-distinguishable geographic groups, but also a remarkable mito-nuclear discordance. The mito-nuclear discordance in E. melas and E. pronoe glottis can be explained by different ages of Wolbachia infections with different Wolbachia strains, associated selective sweeps, and hybridisation inhibition. Additionally, we found indications for incipient speciation of E. pronoe glottis in the Pyrenees and a pronounced range dynamic within and among the other high mountain systems of Europe. Our results emphasize the importance of combined approaches in reconstructing biogeographic patterns and evaluating phylogeographic splits.

RevDate: 2022-03-26

Wang H, Xiao Y, Chen X, et al (2022)

Crystal Structures of Wolbachia CidA and CidB Reveal Determinants of Bacteria-induced Cytoplasmic Incompatibility and Rescue.

Nature communications, 13(1):1608.

Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) results when Wolbachia bacteria-infected male insects mate with uninfected females, leading to embryonic lethality. "Rescue" of viability occurs if the female harbors the same Wolbachia strain. CI is caused by linked pairs of Wolbachia genes called CI factors (CifA and CifB). The co-evolution of CifA-CifB pairs may account in part for the incompatibility patterns documented in insects infected with different Wolbachia strains, but the molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we use X-ray crystallography and AlphaFold to analyze the CI factors from Wolbachia strain wMel called CidAwMel and CidBwMel. Substituting CidAwMel interface residues with those from CidAwPip (from strain wPip) enables the mutant protein to bind CidBwPip and rescue CidBwPip-induced yeast growth defects, supporting the importance of CifA-CifB interaction in CI rescue. Sequence divergence in CidAwPip and CidBwPip proteins affects their pairwise interactions, which may help explain the complex incompatibility patterns of mosquitoes infected with different wPip strains.

RevDate: 2022-03-26

Petrone JR, Muñoz-Beristain A, Glusberger PR, et al (2022)

Unamplified, Long-Read Metagenomic Sequencing Approach to Close Endosymbiont Genomes of Low-Biomass Insect Populations.

Microorganisms, 10(3): pii:microorganisms10030513.

With the current advancements in DNA sequencing technology, the limiting factor in long-read metagenomic assemblies is now the quantity and quality of input DNA. Although these requirements can be met through the use of axenic bacterial cultures or large amounts of biological material, insect systems that contain unculturable bacteria or that contain a low amount of available DNA cannot fully utilize the benefits of third-generation sequencing. The citrus greening disease insect vector Diaphorina citri is an example that exhibits both of these limitations. Although endosymbiont genomes have mostly been closed after the short-read sequencing of amplified template DNA, creating de novo long-read genomes from the unamplified DNA of an insect population may benefit communities using bioinformatics to study insect pathosystems. Here all four genomes of the infected D. citri microbiome were sequenced to closure using unamplified template DNA and two long-read sequencing technologies. Avoiding amplification bias and using long reads to assemble the bacterial genomes allowed for the circularization of the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Diaphorina citri for the first time and paralleled the annotation context of all four reference genomes without utilizing a traditional hybrid assembly. The strategies detailed here are suitable for the sequencing of other insect systems for which the input DNA, time, and cost are an issue.

RevDate: 2022-03-26

Allman MJ, Slack AJ, Abello NP, et al (2022)

Trash to Treasure: How Insect Protein and Waste Containers Can Improve the Environmental Footprint of Mosquito Egg Releases.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 11(3): pii:pathogens11030373.

Release and subsequent establishment of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti in native mosquito populations has successfully reduced mosquito-borne disease incidence. While this is promising, further development is required to ensure that this method is scalable and sustainable. Egg release is a beneficial technique that requires reduced onsite resources and increases community acceptance; however, its incidental ecological impacts must be considered to ensure sustainability. In this study, we tested a more environmentally friendly mosquito rearing and release approach through the encapsulation of diet and egg mixtures and the subsequent utilization of waste containers to hatch and release mosquitoes. An ecologically friendly diet mix was specifically developed and tested for use in capsules, and we demonstrated that using either cricket or black soldier fly meal as a substitute for beef liver powder had no adverse effects on fitness or Wolbachia density. We further encapsulated both the egg and diet mixes and demonstrated no loss in viability. To address the potential of increased waste generation through disposable mosquito release containers, we tested reusing commonly found waste containers (aluminum and tin cans, PET, and glass bottles) as an alternative, conducting a case study in Kiribati to assess the concept's cultural, political, and economic applicability. Our results showed that mosquito emergence and fitness was maintained with a variety of containers, including when tested in the field, compared to control containers, and that there are opportunities to implement this method in the Pacific Islands in a way that is culturally considerate and cost-effective.

RevDate: 2022-03-24

Kaczmarczyk-Ziemba A, Kucharczyk H, Kucharczyk M, et al (2022)

Integrative Insight into Relationships between Florivorous Thrips Haplothrips leucanthemi and H. niger (Insecta, Thysanoptera).

Insects, 13(3): pii:insects13030279.

Haplothrips niger is recognized as a parthenogenetic form of H. leucanthemi and is also considered to be a pest in clover-seed plantations. On the contrary, some researchers highlight the distinctiveness of H. niger and H. leucanthemi. Taking into account these two points of view, as well as the lack of molecular studies investigating the relationship between the mentioned thrips, we decided to perform analyses of both mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear markers (28S and ITS2) to determine the genetic diversity of H. leucanthemi and H. niger. Additionally, as a part of an integrative approach, we determined and analyzed their microbiota profiles, based on high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The results of the molecular analyses revealed high intraspecific diversity of H. leucanthemi and did not support the distinctiveness of H. niger. The identified microbiota profiles were similar in both species and the performed analyses also did not support the distinctiveness of H. niger. Significant differences were, in turn, observed between H. leucanthemi and H. niger larvae. Moreover, two known endosymbiotic bacteria were found in the analyzed microbiota profiles (i.e., Wolbachia and Rickettsia). Nevertheless, these symbionts were not predominantly found in the bacterial communities that are associated with H. niger and thus, its impact on the parthenogenetic mode of its reproduction seems less likely.

RevDate: 2022-03-23

Gu X, Ross PA, Rodriguez-Andres J, et al (2022)

A wMel Wolbachia variant in Aedes aegypti from field-collected Drosophila melanogaster with increased phenotypic stability under heat stress.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Mosquito-borne diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Population replacement strategies involving the wMel strain of Wolbachia are being used widely to control mosquito-borne diseases. However, these strategies may be influenced by temperature because wMel is vulnerable to heat. wMel infections in Drosophila melanogaster are genetically diverse, but few transinfections of wMel variants have been generated in Aedes aegypti. Here, we successfully transferred a wMel variant (termed wMelM) originating from a field-collected D. melanogaster into Ae. aegypti. The new wMelM variant (clade I) is genetically distinct from the original wMel transinfection (clade III), and there are no genomic differences between wMelM in its original and transinfected host. We compared wMelM with wMel in its effects on host fitness, temperature tolerance, Wolbachia density, vector competence, cytoplasmic incompatibility and maternal transmission under heat stress in a controlled background. wMelM showed a higher heat tolerance than wMel, likely due to higher overall densities within the mosquito. Both wMel variants had minimal host fitness costs, complete cytoplasmic incompatibility and maternal transmission, and dengue virus blocking under laboratory conditions. Our results highlight phenotypic differences between Wolbachia variants and wMelM shows potential as an alternative strain in areas with strong seasonal temperature fluctuations.

RevDate: 2022-03-23

Soh LS, G Veera Singham (2022)

Bacterial symbionts influence host susceptibility to fenitrothion and imidacloprid in the obligate hematophagous bed bug, Cimex hemipterus.

Scientific reports, 12(1):4919.

The use of insecticides remains important in managing pest insects. Over the years, many insects manifested physiological and behavioral modifications resulting in reduced efficacy of insecticides targeted against them. Emerging evidence suggests that bacterial symbionts could modulate susceptibility of host insects against insecticides. Here, we explore the influence of host microbiota in affecting the susceptibility of insect host against different insecticides in the blood-sucking bed bug, Cimex hemipterus. Rifampicin antibiotic treatment resulted in increased susceptibility to fenitrothion and imidacloprid, but not against deltamethrin. Meanwhile, the host fitness parameters measured in the present study were not significantly affected by rifampicin treatment, suggesting the role of bacterial symbionts influencing susceptibility against the insecticides. 16S metagenomics sequencing revealed a drastic shift in the composition of several bacterial taxa following rifampicin treatment. The highly abundant Alphaproteobacteria (Wolbachia > 90%) and Gammaproteobacteria (Yersinia > 6%) in control bed bugs were significantly suppressed and replaced by Actinobacteria, Bacilli, and Betaproteobacteria in the rifampicin treated F1 bed bugs, suggesting possibilities of Wolbachia mediating insecticide susceptibility in C. hemipterus. However, no significant changes in the total esterase, GST, and P450 activities were observed following rifampicin treatment, indicating yet unknown bacterial mechanisms explaining the observed phenomena. Re-inoculation of microbial content from control individuals regained the tolerance of rifampicin treated bed bugs to imidacloprid and fenitrothion. This study provides a foundation for a symbiont-mediated mechanism in influencing insecticide susceptibility that was previously unknown to bed bugs.

RevDate: 2022-03-22

Wang GH, Du J, Chu CY, et al (2022)

Symbionts and gene drive: two strategies to combat vector-borne disease.

Trends in genetics : TIG pii:S0168-9525(22)00040-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Mosquitoes bring global health problems by transmitting parasites and viruses such as malaria and dengue. Unfortunately, current insecticide-based control strategies are only moderately effective because of high cost and resistance. Thus, scalable, sustainable, and cost-effective strategies are needed for mosquito-borne disease control. Symbiont-based and genome engineering-based approaches provide new tools that show promise for meeting these criteria, enabling modification or suppression approaches. Symbiotic bacteria like Wolbachia are maternally inherited and manipulate mosquito host reproduction to enhance their vertical transmission. Genome engineering-based gene drive methods, in which mosquitoes are genetically altered to spread drive alleles throughout wild populations, are also proving to be a potentially powerful approach in the laboratory. Here, we review the latest developments in both symbionts and gene drive-based methods. We describe some notable similarities, as well as distinctions and obstacles, relating to these promising technologies.

RevDate: 2022-03-19

Hosseini SH, Manshori-Ghaishghorshagh F, Ramezani M, et al (2022)

Canine microfilaraemia in some regions of Iran.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):90.

BACKGROUND: Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens are vector-borne zoonotic parasites which affect mainly dogs and humans worldwide. In Iran, information about the distribution of those nematodes is scant in several regions. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of these filarial parasites in stray dogs from five Iranian provinces where no information about these parasites is available.

METHODS: Blood samples were collected from 344 stray dogs in five provinces of Iran (i.e. Mazandaran, Gilan, Esfahan, Qazvin and Loresan). The presence of microfilariae was assessed using direct smear, modified Knott's test, molecular detection of filarial DNA (cox1 gene) and Wolbachia endosymbiont of parasitic nematodes (ftsZ gene) by conventional PCR (cPCR). All of the PCR products were sequenced and phylogenetic analysis was performed.

RESULTS: In total, 75 dogs (21.8%) were found to be positive for D. immitis by cPCR. Infection was detected in all provinces, with the highest prevalence in Gilan province (22/28; 78.6%). Acanthocheilonema reconditum was diagnosed in five dogs (1.4%) from three provinces (i.e. Esfahan, Mazandaran, Gilan). Two dogs were infected with both parasites and three were only infected with A. reconditum. Dirofilaria repens infection was not found in the examined population. Representative sequences of the D. immitis cox1 gene from dogs from the northern provinces (Mazandaran, Gilan, Qazvin) were grouped together and distinctly separate from the ones from western and central provinces (Lorestan and Esfahan), suggesting that different nematode populations are present in the country.

CONCLUSION: The data reported herein fill existing gaps in knowledge about canine filarial infection in two Iranian provinces and record the highest prevalence of D. immitis ever reported in the country (i.e. 78.6%). A geographical review of the literature about Dirofilaria spp. and A. reconditum infections in dogs and humans has also been summarized, indicating that D. immitis and D. repens are distributed in 22 of 31 provinces in Iran, whereas A. reconditum is present in fewer regions. Effective control strategies are advocated for owned dogs, and a national program for the management of stray dogs is needed to minimize the risk of infection in animals and humans.

RevDate: 2022-03-16

Bhattacharya T, Yan L, Crawford JM, et al (2022)

Differential viral RNA methylation contributes to pathogen blocking in Wolbachia-colonized arthropods.

PLoS pathogens, 18(3):e1010393 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-21-02075 [Epub ahead of print].

Arthropod endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis is part of a global biocontrol strategy to reduce the replication of mosquito-borne RNA viruses such as alphaviruses. We previously demonstrated the importance of a host cytosine methyltransferase, DNMT2, in Drosophila and viral RNA as a cellular target during pathogen-blocking. Here we report a role for DNMT2 in Wolbachia-induced alphavirus inhibition in Aedes species. Expression of DNMT2 in mosquito tissues, including the salivary glands, is elevated upon virus infection. Notably, this is suppressed in Wolbachia-colonized animals, coincident with reduced virus replication and decreased infectivity of progeny virus. Ectopic expression of DNMT2 in cultured Aedes cells is proviral, increasing progeny virus infectivity, and this effect of DNMT2 on virus replication and infectivity is dependent on its methyltransferase activity. Finally, examining the effects of Wolbachia on modifications of viral RNA by LC-MS show a decrease in the amount of 5-methylcytosine modification consistent with the down-regulation of DNMT2 in Wolbachia colonized mosquito cells and animals. Collectively, our findings support the conclusion that disruption of 5-methylcytosine modification of viral RNA is a vital mechanism operative in pathogen blocking. These data also emphasize the essential role of epitranscriptomic modifications in regulating fundamental alphavirus replication and transmission processes.

RevDate: 2022-03-16

Weck BC, Serpa MCA, Ramos VN, et al (2022)

Novel genotypes of Hepatozoon spp. in small mammals, Brazil.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):87.

BACKGROUND: Small mammals (rodents and marsupials) have been poorly explored for the occurrence of apicomplexan (genus Hepatozoon and genera of the order Piroplasmorida) and Anaplasmataceae agents in Brazil. Thus, this study investigated the occurrence of Hepatozoon spp., Piroplasmorida, and Anaplasmataceae agents in small mammals in seven forest fragments in Brazil.

METHODS: During 2015-2018, small mammals were captured in six forest fragments in the State of São Paulo (Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes) and one fragment in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul (Pantanal biome). Mammal blood, liver, spleen, and lung samples were tested molecularly for the presence of DNA of Hepatozoon, Piroplasmorida, and Anaplasmataceae agents.

RESULTS: A total of 524 mammals were captured, comprising seven species of marsupials, 14 rodents, two carnivores, and one Cingulata. Four novel haplotypes (1, 2, 3, 4) of Hepatozoon spp. were detected in small mammals from different biomes. In São Paulo state, haplotype 1 was detected in rodents from Cerrado and a transition area of Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes, whereas haplotype 2 was detected in rodents from the Atlantic Forest biome. On the other hand, haplotypes 3 and 4 were restricted to rodents and marsupials, respectively, from the Pantanal biome of Mato Grosso do Sul. No host species shared more than one haplotype. Despite these distinct geographical and host associations, our phylogenetic analyses indicated that the four Hepatozoon haplotypes belonged to the same clade that contained nearly all haplotypes previously reported on rodents and marsupials, in addition to several reptile-associated haplotypes from different parts of the world. No mammal samples yielded detectable DNA of Piroplasmorida agents. On the other hand, the Anaplasmataceae-targeted polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay amplified a sequence 100% identical to the Wolbachia pipientis endosymbiont of the rodent filarid Litomosoides galizai.

CONCLUSIONS: We report a variety of Hepatozoon haplotypes associated with small mammals in three Brazilian biomes: Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, and Pantanal. Through phylogenetic analyses, the Hepatozoon agents grouped in the rodent-marsupial-reptile large clade of Hepatozoon spp. from the world. The detection of a W. pipientis associated with the rodent filarid L. galizai indicates that the rodent was infected by filarial nematodes.

RevDate: 2022-03-14

Ndiaye EHI, Diatta G, Diarra AZ, et al (2022)

Morphological, Molecular and MALDI-TOF MS Identification of Bedbugs and Associated Wolbachia Species in Rural Senegal.

Journal of medical entomology pii:6548314 [Epub ahead of print].

Bed bugs are known to carry several microorganisms. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of bed bug infestation in two rural areas of Senegal and determine the species present in the population. A screening was conducted to detect some arthropod associated pathogenic bacteria in bed bugs and to evaluate the prevalence of endosymbiont carriage. One survey took place in 17 villages in Niakhar and two surveys in Dielmo and Ndiop and surroundings area in the same 20 villages. Bed bugs collected were identified morphologically and by MALDI-TOF MS tools. Microorganisms screening was performed by qPCR and confirmed by sequencing. During the survey in the Niakhar region, only one household 1/255 (0.4%) in the village of Ngayokhem was found infested by bed bugs. In a monitoring survey of the surroundings of Dielmo and Ndiop area, high prevalence was found during the two rounds of surveys in 65/314 (21%) in 16/20 villages (January-March) and 93/351 (26%) in 19/20 villages (December). All bed bugs were morphologically identified as the species Cimex hemipterus, of which 285/1,637 (17%) were randomly selected for MALDI-TOF MS analysis and bacteria screening. Among the Bacteria tested only Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria, Rickettsiales, Rickettsiaceae) DNA was found in 248/276 (90%) of the bedbugs. We briefly describe a high level of non-generalized bed bug infestation in rural Senegal and the diversity of Wolbachia strains carried by C. hemipterus. This study opens perspectives for raising household awareness of bed bug infestations and possibilities for appropriate control.

RevDate: 2022-03-14
CmpDate: 2022-03-14

Doremus MR, Stouthamer CM, Kelly SE, et al (2022)

Quality over quantity: unraveling the contributions to cytoplasmic incompatibility caused by two coinfecting Cardinium symbionts.

Heredity, 128(3):187-195.

Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is a common form of reproductive sabotage caused by maternally inherited bacterial symbionts of arthropods. CI is a two-step manipulation: first, the symbiont modifies sperm in male hosts which results in the death of fertilized, uninfected embryos. Second, when females are infected with a compatible strain, the symbiont reverses sperm modification in the fertilized egg, allowing offspring of infected females to survive and spread the symbiont to high frequencies in a population. Although CI plays a role in arthropod evolution, the mechanism of CI is unknown for many symbionts. Cardinium hertigii is a common CI-inducing symbiont of arthropods, including parasitoid wasps like Encarsia partenopea. This wasp harbors two Cardinium strains, cEina2 and cEina3, and exhibits strong CI. The strains infect wasps at different densities, with the cEina3 present at a lower density than cEina2, and it was previously not known which strain caused CI. By differentially curing wasps of cEina3, we found that this low-density symbiont is responsible for CI and modifies males during their pupal stage. cEina2 does not modify host reproduction and may spread by 'hitchhiking' with cEina3 CI or by conferring an unknown benefit. The cEina3 strain also shows a unique localization pattern in male reproductive tissues. Instead of infecting sperm like other CI-inducing symbionts, cEina3 cells are found in somatic cells at the testis base and around the seminal vesicle. This may allow the low-density cEina3 to efficiently modify host males and suggests that cEina3 uses a different modification strategy than sperm-infecting CI symbionts.

RevDate: 2022-03-10

Mao B, Zhang W, Zheng Y, et al (2022)

Comparative phosphoproteomics reveal new candidates in the regulation of spermatogenesis of Drosophila melanogaster.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

The most common phenotype induced by the endosymbiont Wolbachia in insects is cytoplasmic incompatibility, where none or fewer progenies can be produced when Wolbachia-infected males mate with uninfected females. This suggests that some modifications are induced in host sperms during spermatogenesis by Wolbachia. To identify the proteins whose phosphorylation states play essential roles in male reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster, we applied an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based proteomic strategy combined with titanium dioxide (TiO2) enrichment to compare the phosphoproteome of Wolbachia-infected with that of uninfected male reproductive systems in D. melanogaster. We identified 182 phosphopeptides, defining 140 phosphoproteins, that have at least a 1.2 fold change in abundance with a P-value < 0.05. Most of the differentially abundant phosphoproteins (DAPPs) were associated with microtubule cytoskeleton organization and spermatid differentiation. The DAPPs included proteins already associated with spermatogenesis, as well as many not previously studied during this process. Six genes coding for DAPPs were knocked down, respectively, in Wolbachia-free fly testes. Among them, Slmap knockdown caused the most severe damage in spermatogenesis, with no mature sperm observed in seminal vesicles. Immunofluorescence staining showed that the formation of individualization complex composed of actin cones was completely disrupted. These results suggest that Wolbachia may induce wide changes in the abundance of phosphorylated proteins which are closely related to male reproduction. By identifying phospho-modulated proteins we also provide a significant candidate set for future studies on their roles in spermatogenesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-03-10

Matthews ML, Covey HO, Drolet BS, et al (2022)

Wolbachia wAlbB inhibits bluetongue and epizootic hemorrhagic fever viruses in Culicoides midge cells.

Medical and veterinary entomology [Epub ahead of print].

Culicoides midges are hematophagous insects that transmit arboviruses of veterinary importance. These viruses include bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic fever virus (EHDV). The endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis Hertig spreads rapidly through insect host populations and has been demonstrated to inhibit viral pathogen transmission in multiple mosquito vectors. Here, we have demonstrated a replication inhibitory effect on BTV and EHDV in a Wolbachia (wAlbB strain)-infected Culicoides sonorensis Wirth and Jones W8 cell line. Viral replication was significantly reduced by day 5 for BTV and by day 2 for EHDV as detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) of the non-structural NS3 gene of both viruses. Evaluation of innate cellular immune responses as a cause of the inhibitory effect showed responses associated with BTV but not with EHDV infection. Wolbachia density also did not play a role in the observed pathogen inhibitory effects, and an alternative hypothesis is suggested. Applications of Wolbachia-mediated pathogen interference to impact disease transmission by Culicoides midges are discussed.

RevDate: 2022-03-10

Klimov PB, Chetverikov PE, Dodueva IE, et al (2022)

Symbiotic bacteria of the gall-inducing mite Fragariocoptes setiger (Eriophyoidea) and phylogenomic resolution of the eriophyoid position among Acari.

Scientific reports, 12(1):3811.

Eriophyoid mites represent a hyperdiverse, phytophagous lineage with an unclear phylogenetic position. These mites have succeeded in colonizing nearly every seed plant species, and this evolutionary success was in part due to the mites' ability to induce galls in plants. A gall is a unique niche that provides the inducer of this modification with vital resources. The exact mechanism of gall formation is still not understood, even as to whether it is endogenic (mites directly cause galls) or exogenic (symbiotic microorganisms are involved). Here we (i) investigate the phylogenetic affinities of eriophyoids and (ii) use comparative metagenomics to test the hypothesis that the endosymbionts of eriophyoid mites are involved in gall formation. Our phylogenomic analysis robustly inferred eriophyoids as closely related to Nematalycidae, a group of deep-soil mites belonging to Endeostigmata. Our comparative metagenomics, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and electron microscopy experiments identified two candidate endosymbiotic bacteria shared across samples, however, it is unlikely that they are gall inducers (morphotype1: novel Wolbachia, morphotype2: possibly Agrobacterium tumefaciens). We also detected an array of plant pathogens associated with galls that may be vectored by the mites, and we determined a mite pathogenic virus (Betabaculovirus) that could be tested for using in biocontrol of agricultural pest mites.

RevDate: 2022-03-08

Adams KL, Abernathy DG, Willett BC, et al (2022)

Author Correction: Wolbachia cifB induces cytoplasmic incompatibility in the malaria mosquito vector.

RevDate: 2022-03-07

Yu S, Wang J, Luo X, et al (2022)

Transmission-Blocking Strategies Against Malaria Parasites During Their Mosquito Stages.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:820650.

Malaria is still the most widespread parasitic disease and causes the most infections globally. Owing to improvements in sanitary conditions and various intervention measures, including the use of antimalarial drugs, the malaria epidemic in many regions of the world has improved significantly in the past 10 years. However, people living in certain underdeveloped areas are still under threat. Even in some well-controlled areas, the decline in malaria infection rates has stagnated or the rates have rebounded because of the emergence and spread of drug-resistant malaria parasites. Thus, new malaria control methods must be developed. As the spread of the Plasmodium parasite is dependent on the part of its life cycle that occurs in mosquitoes, to eliminate the possibility of malaria infections, transmission-blocking strategies against the mosquito stage should be the first choice. In fact, after the gametocyte enters the mosquito body, it undergoes a series of transformation processes over a short period, thus providing numerous potential blocking targets. Many research groups have carried out studies based on targeting the blocking of transmission during the mosquito phase and have achieved excellent results. Meanwhile, the direct killing of mosquitoes could also significantly reduce the probability of malaria infections. Microorganisms that display complex interactions with Plasmodium, such as Wolbachia and gut flora, have shown observable transmission-blocking potential. These could be used as a biological control strategy and play an important part in blocking the transmission of malaria.

RevDate: 2022-03-05

Bojko J, McCoy KA, A M H Blakeslee (2022)

'Candidatus Mellornella promiscua' n. gen. n. sp. (Alphaproteobacteria: Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae): an intracytoplasmic, hepatopancreatic, pathogen of the flatback mud crab, Eurypanopeus depressus.

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(22)00022-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial pathogens are a long-standing threat to the longevity and survival of crustacean hosts. Their presence and continuing emergence require close monitoring to understand their impact on fished, cultured, and wild crustacean populations. We describe a new bacterial pathogen belonging to the Anaplasmataceae family (Alphaproteobacteria: Rickettsiales), providing pathological, ultrastructural, phylogenetic, and genomic evidence to determine a candidate genus and species ('Candidatus Mellornella promiscua'). This bacterium was found to infect the mud crab, Eurypanopeus depressus, on the North Carolina coastline (USA) at a prevalence of 10.8%. 'Candidatus Mellornella promiscua' was often observed in co-infection with the rhizocephalan barnacle, Loxothylacus panopaei. The bacterium was only found in the hepatopancreas of the mud crab host, causing cytoplasmic hypertrophy, tubule necrosis, large plaques within the cytoplasm of the host cell, and an abundance of sex-pili. The circular genome of the bacterium is 1,013,119bp and encodes 939 genes in total. Phylogenetically, the new bacterium branches within the Anaplasmataceae. The genome is dissimilar from other described bacteria, with 16S gene similarity observed at a maximum of 85.3% to a Wolbachia endosymbiont. We explore this novel bacterial pathogen using genomic, phylogenetic, ultrastructural, and pathological methods, discussing these results in light of current bacterial taxonomy, similarity to other bacterial pathogens, and the potential impact upon the surrounding disease ecology of the host and benthic ecosystem.

RevDate: 2022-03-04

Vatandoost H, Hanafi-Bojd AA, Nikpoor F, et al (2022)

Situation of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors in the World Health Organization of Eastern Mediterranean region 1990-2020.

Toxicology research, 11(1):1-21.

Malaria is the most important mosquito-borne disease, which is transmitted by Anopheles species. According to the recent report of World Health Organization, there were an estimated 229 million malaria cases in 2019 in 87 malaria endemic countries. There are several vector control method specially using pesticides. The aim of this study was to collect all the data about insecticide resistant of malaria vectors in the Eastern Mediterranean region countries. In this study, all the published papers related to insecticide resistance of malaria vectors in the region were collected and resistant status of vectors in the countries was mapped. Resistance to different insecticide classes such as pyrethroids, organophosphate, organochlorine and carbamates were evaluated using World Health Organization guidelines. Results showed a wide variety of susceptibility/resistance status to these chemicals according to the location, historical context of pesticide used, genetic background of vectors, age and abdominal conditions of adults may play a role in the susceptibility status of these species to different insecticides. The results of this study is providing a guideline for countries to manage their vector control activities against insecticide resistance of malaria vectors and provide novel approaches such as male sterility, using Wolbachia, using new insecticide with new mode of action.

RevDate: 2022-03-04

Li J, Wei X, Huang D, et al (2021)

The Phylosymbiosis Pattern Between the Fig Wasps of the Same Genus and Their Associated Microbiota.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:800190.

Microbial communities can be critical for many metazoans, which can lead to the observation of phylosymbiosis with phylogenetically related species sharing similar microbial communities. Most of the previous studies on phylosymbiosis were conducted across the host families or genera. However, it is unclear whether the phylosymbiosis signal is still prevalent at lower taxonomic levels. In this study, 54 individuals from six species of the fig wasp genus Ceratosolen (Hymenoptera: Agaonidae) collected from nine natural populations and their associated microbiota were investigated. The fig wasp species were morphologically identified and further determined by mitochondrial CO1 gene fragments and nuclear ITS2 sequences, and the V4 region of 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to analyze the bacterial communities. The results suggest a significant positive correlation between host genetic characteristics and microbial diversity characteristics, indicating the phylosymbiosis signal between the phylogeny of insect hosts and the associated microbiota in the lower classification level within a genus. Moreover, we found that the endosymbiotic Wolbachia carried by fig wasps led to a decrease in bacterial diversity of host-associated microbial communities. This study contributes to our understanding of the role of host phylogeny, as well as the role of endosymbionts in shaping the host-associated microbial community.

RevDate: 2022-03-04
CmpDate: 2022-03-04

Collins MH, Potter GE, Hitchings MDT, et al (2022)

EVITA Dengue: a cluster-randomized controlled trial to EValuate the efficacy of Wolbachia-InfecTed Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in reducing the incidence of Arboviral infection in Brazil.

Trials, 23(1):185.

BACKGROUND: Arboviruses transmitted by Aedes aegypti including dengue, Zika, and chikungunya are a major global health problem, with over 2.5 billion at risk for dengue alone. There are no licensed antivirals for these infections, and safe and effective vaccines are not yet widely available. Thus, prevention of arbovirus transmission by vector modification is a novel approach being pursued by multiple researchers. However, the field needs high-quality evidence derived from randomized, controlled trials upon which to base the implementation and maintenance of vector control programs. Here, we report the EVITA Dengue trial design (DMID 17-0111), which assesses the efficacy in decreasing arbovirus transmission of an innovative approach developed by the World Mosquito Program for vector modification of Aedes mosquitoes by Wolbachia pipientis.

METHODS: DMID 17-0111 is a cluster-randomized trial in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, with clusters defined by primary school catchment areas. Clusters (n = 58) will be randomized 1:1 to intervention (release of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes) vs. control (no release). Standard vector control activities (i.e., insecticides and education campaigns for reduction of mosquito breeding sites) will continue as per current practice in the municipality. Participants (n = 3480, 60 per cluster) are children aged 6-11 years enrolled in the cluster-defining school and living within the cluster boundaries who will undergo annual serologic surveillance for arboviral infection. The primary objective is to compare sero-incidence of arboviral infection between arms.

DISCUSSION: DMID 17-0111 aims to determine the efficacy of Wolbachia-infected mosquito releases in reducing human infections by arboviruses transmitted by Aedes aegypti and will complement the mounting evidence for this method from large-scale field releases and ongoing trials. The trial also represents a critical step towards robustness and rigor for how vector control methods are assessed, including the simultaneous measurement and correlation of entomologic and epidemiologic outcomes. Data from this trial will inform further the development of novel vector control methods.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT04514107 . Registered on 17 August 2020 Primary sponsor: National Institute of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

RevDate: 2022-03-01

Stuckert AMM, DR Matute (2022)

Evolution: Environmental conditions determine how Wolbachia interacts with its host.

Current biology : CB, 32(4):R178-R180.

Wolbachia is a genus of globally distributed endosymbiotic bacteria found in thousands of species of arthropods and nematodes. One strain, wMel, has spread globally but varies dramatically in frequency. In a new paper, Hague et al. discovered that the interaction of host genotype, symbiont genotype, and environment explains natural wMel variation.

RevDate: 2022-03-01

Ashraf HJ, Ramos Aguila LC, Akutse KS, et al (2022)

Comparative microbiome analysis of Diaphorina citri and its associated parasitoids Tamarixia radiata and Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis reveals Wolbachia as a dominant endosymbiont.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Microbiome analysis in a host-parasitoid interaction network was conducted to compare the taxonomic composition of bacterial communities of Diaphornia citri, Tamarixia radiata, and Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis. The comparative analysis revealed differences in the composition and diversity of the symbiont populations across the host and its associated parasitoids. Proteobacteria was the most dominant phylum, representing 67.80% of the total bacterial community, while Candidatus Profftella armature and Wolbachia were the dominant genera across the host and parasitoids. There were clear differences observed in alpha and beta diversity of microbiota through the host and its associated parasitoids. The function prediction of bacterial communities and Pearson correlation analysis showed that specific bacterial communities displayed positive correlations with the carbohydrate metabolism pathway. Furthermore, when symbiotic bacteria were eliminated using a broad-spectrum antibiotic, tetracycline hydrochloride, the parasitoids' median survival time and longevity were significantly reduced. We confirmed the physiological effects of symbiotic bacteria on the fitness of parasitoids and demonstrated the effect of antibiotics in decreasing the food intake and measurement of amino acids in the hemolymph. This study sheds light on basic information about the mutualism between parasitoids and bacteria, which may be a potential source for biocontrol strategies for citrus psyllid, especially D. citri. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-02-28
CmpDate: 2022-02-28

Perreau J, NA Moran (2022)

Genetic innovations in animal-microbe symbioses.

Nature reviews. Genetics, 23(1):23-39.

Animal hosts have initiated myriad symbiotic associations with microorganisms and often have maintained these symbioses for millions of years, spanning drastic changes in ecological conditions and lifestyles. The establishment and persistence of these relationships require genetic innovations on the parts of both symbionts and hosts. The nature of symbiont innovations depends on their genetic population structure, categorized here as open, closed or mixed. These categories reflect modes of inter-host transmission that result in distinct genomic features, or genomic syndromes, in symbionts. Although less studied, hosts also innovate in order to preserve and control symbiotic partnerships. New capabilities to sequence host-associated microbial communities and to experimentally manipulate both hosts and symbionts are providing unprecedented insights into how genetic innovations arise under different symbiont population structures and how these innovations function to support symbiotic relationships.

RevDate: 2022-02-25

Moretti R, Lampazzi E, Damiani C, et al (2022)

Increased biting rate and decreased Wolbachia density in irradiated Aedes mosquitoes.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):67.

BACKGROUND: Releasing considerable numbers of radiation-sterilized males is a promising strategy to suppress mosquito vectors. However, releases may also include small percentages of biting females, which translate to non-negligible numbers when releases are large. Currently, the effects of irradiation on host-seeking and host-biting behaviors have not been exhaustively investigated. Information is also lacking regarding the effects of sterilizing treatment on the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia, which is known to affect the vector competence of infected mosquitos.

METHODS: To ascertain the effects of irradiation on females, the pupae of two Aedes albopictus strains, differing in their natural or artificial Wolbachia infection type, and Aedes aegypti-which is not infected by Wolbachia-were treated with various doses of X-rays and monitored for key fitness parameters and biting behavior over a period of 2 weeks. The effect of radiation on Wolbachia was investigated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis.

RESULTS: Partial Aedes albopictus female sterility was achieved at 28 Gy, but the number of weekly bites more than doubled compared to that of the controls. Radiation doses of 35 and 45 Gy completely inhibited progeny production but did not significantly affect the survival or flight ability of Ae. albopictus females and caused a tripling of the number of bites per female per week (compared to untreated controls). These results were also confirmed in Ae. aegypti after treatment at 50 Gy. Wolbachia density decreased significantly in 45-Gy-irradiated females, with the greatest decreases in the early irradiation group (26 ± 2-h-old pupae). Wolbachia density also decreased as adults aged. This trend was confirmed in ovaries but not in extra-ovarian tissues. FISH analysis showed a strongly reduced Wolbachia-specific fluorescence in the ovaries of 13 ± 1-day-old females.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that, under sterile insect technique (SIT) programs, the vector capacity of a target population could increase with the frequency of the irradiated females co-released with the sterile males due to an increased biting rate. In the context of successful suppression, the related safety issues are expected to be generally negligible, but they should be conservatively evaluated when large-scale programs relying on imperfect sexing and high overflooding release ratios are run for long periods in areas endemic for arboviral diseases. Also, the effects of irradiation on the vector competence deserve further investigation.

RevDate: 2022-02-25

Damiani C, Cappelli A, Comandatore F, et al (2022)

Wolbachia in Aedes koreicus: Rare Detections and Possible Implications.

Insects, 13(2): pii:insects13020216.

The emerging distribution of new alien mosquito species was recently described in Europe. In addition to the invasion of Aedes albopictus, several studies have focused on monitoring and controlling other invasive Aedes species, as Aedes koreicus and Aedes japonicus. Considering the increasing development of insecticide resistance in Aedes mosquitoes, new control strategies, including the use of bacterial host symbionts, are proposed. However, little is known about the bacterial communities associated with these species, thus the identification of possible candidates for Symbiotic Control is currently limited. The characterization of the natural microbiota of field-collected Ae. koreicus mosquitoes from North-East Italy through PCR screening, identified native infections of Wolbachia in this species that is also largely colonized by Asaia bacteria. Since Asaia and Wolbachia are proposed as novel tools for Symbiotic Control, our study supports their use for innovative control strategies against new invasive species. Although the presence of Asaia was previously characterized in Ae. koreicus, our study characterized this Wolbachia strain, also inferring its phylogenetic position. The co-presence of Wolbachia and Asaia may provide additional information about microbial competition in mosquito, and to select suitable phenotypes for the suppression of pathogen transmission and for the manipulation of host reproduction in Ae. koreicus.

RevDate: 2022-02-25

Ilinsky Y, Lapshina V, Verzhutsky D, et al (2022)

Genetic Evidence of an Isolation Barrier between Flea Subspecies of Citellophilus tesquorum (Wagner, 1898) (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae).

Insects, 13(2): pii:insects13020126.

This study investigated the relationship between two subspecies of the Citellophilus tesquorum flea, C. t. altaicus and C. t. sungaris, which are vectors of the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes human plague across the vast territories of the Palearctic. Adult fleas were collected from 16 localities and 11 populations in 2019 and 2020. Specimens were morphologically verified for subspecies status and analysed for mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) DNA, nuclear ribosomal cluster internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) and ITS2, and Wolbachia-infection status. Our results demonstrated a genetic difference between C. t. altaicus and C. t. sungaris. According to mitochondrial data, the genetic distance between clades of C. t. altaicus and C. t. sungaris was comparable with the species divergence of the genus Callopsylla, which is closely related to Citellophilus. All studied populations of C. t. altaicus were Wolbachia-infected, whereas all studied populations of C. t. sungaris were symbiont-free. Data for ITS1 and ITS2 had much lower phylogenetic signals than mitochondrial data; however, diagnostic substitutions for C. t. altaicus and C. t. sungaris delimitation were also revealed. Analysis of a hardly accessible report on cross experiments allowed us to conclude the partial postzygotic isolation between these subspecies. Taken together, the molecular-genetic, geographical, morphological, and reproductive isolation findings verified that C. t. altaicus and C. t. sungaris subspecies could be considered as different species.

RevDate: 2022-02-23

Ross PA, Robinson KL, Yang Q, et al (2022)

A decade of stability for wMel Wolbachia in natural Aedes aegypti populations.

PLoS pathogens, 18(2):e1010256 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-21-02191 [Epub ahead of print].

Mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia endosymbionts are being released in many countries for arbovirus control. The wMel strain of Wolbachia blocks Aedes-borne virus transmission and can spread throughout mosquito populations by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carrying wMel were first released into the field in Cairns, Australia, over a decade ago, and with wider releases have resulted in the near elimination of local dengue transmission. The long-term stability of Wolbachia effects is critical for ongoing disease suppression, requiring tracking of phenotypic and genomic changes in Wolbachia infections following releases. We used a combination of field surveys, phenotypic assessments, and Wolbachia genome sequencing to show that wMel has remained stable in its effects for up to a decade in Australian Ae. aegypti populations. Phenotypic comparisons of wMel-infected and uninfected mosquitoes from near-field and long-term laboratory populations suggest limited changes in the effects of wMel on mosquito fitness. Treating mosquitoes with antibiotics used to cure the wMel infection had limited effects on fitness in the next generation, supporting the use of tetracycline for generating uninfected mosquitoes without off-target effects. wMel has a temporally stable within-host density and continues to induce complete cytoplasmic incompatibility. A comparison of wMel genomes from pre-release (2010) and nine years post-release (2020) populations show few genomic differences and little divergence between release locations, consistent with the lack of phenotypic changes. These results indicate that releases of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes for population replacement are likely to be effective for many years, but ongoing monitoring remains important to track potential evolutionary changes.

RevDate: 2022-02-22

Detcharoen M, A Nilsai (2022)

Low Endosymbiont Incidence in Drosophila Species Across Peninsula Thailand.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Arthropods are known to harbor several endosymbionts, such as Cardinium, Rickettsia, Spiroplasma, and Wolbachia. Wolbachia, for example, are the most widespread known endosymbionts in the world, which are found in about half of all arthropod species. To increase their transmission, these endosymbionts must manipulate their hosts in several ways such as cytoplasmic incompatibility and male killing. In tropical regions, endosymbiont diversity has not been studied exhaustively. Here, we checked four endosymbionts, including Cardinium, Rickettsia, Spiroplasma, and Wolbachia, in eleven Drosophila species found in Thai Peninsula. The Wolbachia strain wRi-like was found in all populations of Drosophila ananassae and Drosophila simulans. Furthermore, we found two new strains, wMalA and wMalB, in two populations of Drosophila malerkotliana. Besides Wolbachia, we did not find any of the above endosymbionts in all fly species. This work reveals the hidden diversity of endosymbionts in Drosophila and is the first exhaustive study on Drosophila in the region.

RevDate: 2022-02-20

Konecka E (2022)

Fifty shades of bacterial endosymbionts and some of them still remain a mystery: Wolbachia and Cardinium in oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida).

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(22)00018-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is the most abundant intracellular symbiont among terrestrial Arthropoda. This bacterium together with other microorganisms, i.e., Cardinium, gained fame mainly as the causative agent of host sex-ratio distortion. Across the impressive diversity of oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida), the microbes have been found in both parthenogenetic (Oppiella nova, Ceratozetes thienemanni, Hypochthonius rufulus) as well as sexually-reproducing (Gustavia microcephala, Achipteria coleoptrata, Microzetorchestes emeryi, Damaeus onustus) species. Wolbachia found in Oribatida represents supergroup E and is related to bacterial endosymbionts of springtails (Hexapoda: Collembola). Cardinium identified in O. nova and M. emeryi belongs to phylogenetic group A. In turn, Cardinium from A. coleoptrata constitutes a new separate group E. The occurrence of these bacterial endosymbionts in parthenogenetic and sexual oribatid mites species may suggests a different function other than manipulating host reproduction. Indeed, endosymbionts may have various "shades" of functions in invertebrate hosts, some of which cannot be excluded in the oribatid mites, e.g., enriching a nutrient-limited diet with B vitamins or contributing to host adaptation to colder and harsher climates. Nevertheless, the mystery behind the roles of bacteria in Oribatida still needs required to be unraveled.

RevDate: 2022-02-18

Gharabigloozare Y, Wähling A, C Bleidorn (2022)

Whole-Genome Sequence of the Wolbachia Strain wTcon, an Endosymbiont of the Confused Flour Beetle, Tribolium confusum.

Microbiology resource announcements, 11(2):e0114421.

Up to 60% of insects are infected with symbiont intracellular alphaproteobacteria of the genus Wolbachia, which are often able to manipulate their host's reproduction. Here, we report the annotated draft genome sequence of strain wTcon from the confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum, based on long- and short-read sequence data. The assembled genome is located on 12 contigs with a total size of 1,418,452 bp.

RevDate: 2022-02-16

Rutins I, Schannauer S, Orellana S, et al (2022)

Genetic Diversity and Wolbachia (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae) Prevalence Within a Remnant Population of Regal Fritillary, Argynnis idalia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), in South-Central Pennsylvania.

Journal of insect science (Online), 22(1):.

Eastern populations of the North American regal fritillary, Argynnis idalia Drury (1773), have been largely extirpated over the past half century. Here we report on the last remaining population of eastern regal fritillaries, located within a military installation in south-central Pennsylvania. Samples were obtained from field specimens during two years of annual monitoring, and from females collected for captive rearing over a five year period. Nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial sequence data do not suggest subdivision within this population, but excess nuclear homozygosity indicates negative impacts on genetic diversity likely due to small population size and potential inbreeding effects. Molecular assays did not detect Wolbachia endosymbionts in field specimens of regal fritillary, but sympatric Argynnis sister species showed high prevalence of Wolbachia infected individuals. Our results inform ongoing conservation and reintroduction projects, designed to protect the last remaining regal fritillary population from extirpation in the eastern United States.

RevDate: 2022-02-16

Gagalova KK, Whitehill JGA, Culibrk L, et al (2022)

The genome of the forest insect pest Pissodes strobi reveals genome expansion and evidence of a Wolbachia endosymbiont.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:6529542 [Epub ahead of print].

The highly diverse insect family of true weevils, Curculionidae, includes many agricultural and forest pests. Pissodes strobi, commonly known as the spruce weevil or white pine weevil, is a major pest of spruce and pine forests in North America. P. strobi larvae feed on the apical shoots of young trees, causing stunted growth and can destroy regenerating spruce or pine forests. Here we describe the nuclear and mitochondrial P. strobi genomes and their annotations, as well as the genome of an apparent Wolbachia endosymbiont. We report a substantial expansion of the weevil nuclear genome, relative to other Curculionidae species, possibly driven by an abundance of Class II DNA transposons. The endosymbiont observed belongs to a group (supergroup A) of Wolbachia species that generally form parasitic relationships with their arthropod host.

RevDate: 2022-02-15

Yan R, Q Sun (2022)

Uniqueness and stability of periodic solutions for an interactive wild and Wolbachia-infected male mosquito model.

Journal of biological dynamics [Epub ahead of print].

We investigate a mosquito population suppression model, which includes the release of Wolbachia-infected males causing incomplete cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). The model consists of two sub-equations by considering the density-dependent birth rate of wild mosquitoes. By assuming the release waiting period T is larger than the sexual lifespan T¯ of Wolbachia-infected males, we derive four thresholds: the CI intensity threshold sh∗, the release amount thresholds g∗ and c∗, and the waiting period threshold T∗. From a biological view, we assume sh>sh∗ throughout the paper. When g∗T∗, which is globally asymptotically stable. Our theoretical results are confirmed by numerical simulations.

RevDate: 2022-02-15

Skinner KM, Underwood J, Ghosh A, et al (2022)

Wolbachia Impacts Anaplasma Infection in Ixodes scapularis Tick Cells.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(3): pii:ijerph19031051.

The specific interactions of members of tick bacterial microbiota and their effects on pathogen transmission remains relatively unexplored. Here, we introduced a novel Wolbachia infection type into Ixodes scapularis tick cells and examined the antipathogenic effects on the intracellular pathogen Anaplasma phagocytophilum. An increase in A. phagocytophilum replication was observed in Wolbachia-infected tick cells. However, Wolbachia infection densities decreased when cells were serially passaged and ultimately the infection was lost. Host-cell immune response was also examined as an additional factor that could have affected A. phagocytophilum replication in Wolbachia-infected cells. In early passages post-Wolbachia infection, a decreased immune response was observed, but in later passages of cells with low Wolbachia densities, there was no change in the immune response. The results are discussed in relation to the importance of studying the interactions of the tick microbiota, the host cell, and the pathogen and the development of novel tick and tick-borne disease-control approaches.

RevDate: 2022-02-10

Schrieke H, Maignien L, Constancias F, et al (2022)

The mosquito microbiome includes habitat-specific but rare symbionts.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 20:410-420 pii:S2001-0370(21)00528-6.

Microbial communities are known to influence mosquito lifestyles by modifying essential metabolic and behavioral processes that affect reproduction, development, immunity, digestion, egg survival, and the ability to transmit pathogens. Many studies have used 16S rRNA gene amplicons to characterize mosquito microbiota and investigate factors that influence host-microbiota dynamics. However, a relatively low taxonomic resolution due to clustering methods based on arbitrary threshold and the overall dominance of Wolbachia or Asaia symbionts obscured the investigation of rare members of mosquito microbiota in previous studies. Here, we used high resolution Shannon entropy-based oligotyping approach to analyze the microbiota of Culex pipiens, Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes individuals from continental Southern France and overseas Guadeloupe as well as from laboratories with or without antibiotics treatment. Our experimental design that resulted in a series of mosquito samples with a gradient of Wolbachia density and relative abundance along with high-resolution analyses of amplicon sequences enabled the recovery of a robust signal from typically less accessible bacterial taxa. Our data confirm species-specific mosquito-bacteria associations with geography as a primary factor that influences bacterial community structure. But interestingly, they also reveal co-occurring symbiotic bacterial variants within single individuals for both Elizabethkingia and Erwinia genera, distinct and specific Asaia and Chryseobacterium in continental and overseas territories, and a putative rare Wolbachia variant. Overall, our study reveals the presence of previously overlooked microdiversity and multiple closely related symbiotic strains within mosquito individuals with a remarkable habitat-specificity.

RevDate: 2022-02-09

Zhang XL, Deng YP, Yang T, et al (2022)

Metagenomics of the midgut microbiome of Rhipicephalus microplus from China.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):48.

BACKGROUND: Ticks, which are ectoparasites of animals, may carry multiple pathogens. The cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus is an important bovine parasite in China. However, the midgut microbiome of R. microplus from China has not been characterized via metagenomic methods.

METHODS: Rhipicephalus microplus were collected from cattle in the city of Changsha in Hunan province, China. The DNA of the midgut contents was extracted from fully engorged adult female R. microplus. A DNA library was constructed and sequenced using an Illumina HiSeq sequencing platform. SOAPdenovo software was used to assemble and analyze the clean data. The latent class analysis algorithm applied to system classification by MEGAN software was used to annotate the information on the species' sequences. DIAMOND software was used to compare unigenes with the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database, and functional annotation was carried out based on the results of the comparison.

RESULTS: The dominant phyla in the five samples were Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria. Streptococcus, Mycobacterium, Anaplasma, Enterococcus, Shigella, Lactobacillus, Brachyspira, Pseudomonas, Enterobacter, Bacillus, and Lactococcus were the dominant genera in the five samples. The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia was also detected in all of the samples. Mycobacterium malmesburyense, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Enterococcus faecium, Shigella sonnei, Enterococcus faecalis, Lactobacillus casei, Brachyspira hampsonii, Pseudomonas syringae, Enterobacter cloacae, and Lactococcus garvieae were the dominant species in the five samples. In addition to these bacterial species, we also detected some eukaryotes, such as Rhizophagus irregularis, Enterospora canceri, Smittium culicis, Zancudomyces culisetae, Trachipleistophora hominis, and viruses such as orf virus, human endogenous retrovirus type W, enzootic nasal tumor virus of goats, bovine retrovirus CH15, and galidia endogenous retrovirus in all of the samples at the species level. The results of the annotated KEGG pathway predictions for the gene functions of the midgut microflora of R. microplus indicated genes involved in lipid and amino acid metabolism, infectious diseases (e.g., Streptococcus pneumonia infection, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, Shigella sonnei infection, Salmonella enterica infection, and pathogenic Escherichia coli infection), and cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed that the midgut microbiome of R. microplus is not only composed of a large number of bacteria, but that a portion also comprises eukaryotes and viruses. The data presented here enhance our understanding of this tick's midgut microbiome and provide fundamental information for the control of ticks and tick-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2022-02-08

Horard B, Terretaz K, Gosselin-Grenet AS, et al (2022)

Paternal transmission of the Wolbachia CidB toxin underlies cytoplasmic incompatibility.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(22)00114-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia are widespread endosymbiotic bacteria that manipulate the reproduction of arthropods through a diversity of cellular mechanisms. In cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), a sterility syndrome originally discovered in the mosquito Culex pipiens, uninfected eggs fertilized by sperm from infected males are selectively killed during embryo development following the abortive segregation of paternal chromosomes in the zygote. Despite the recent discovery of Wolbachia CI factor (cif) genes, the mechanism by which they control the fate of paternal chromosomes at fertilization remains unknown. Here, we have analyzed the cytological distribution and cellular impact of CidA and CidB, a pair of Cif proteins from the Culex-infecting Wolbachia strain wPip. We show that expression of CidB in Drosophila S2R+ cells induces apoptosis unless CidA is co-expressed and associated with its partner. In transgenic Drosophila testes, both effectors colocalize in germ cells until the histone-to-protamine transition in which only CidB is retained in maturing spermatid nuclei. We further show that CidB is similarly targeted to maturing sperm of naturally infected Culex mosquitoes. At fertilization, CidB associates with paternal DNA regions exhibiting DNA replication stress, as a likely cause of incomplete replication of paternal chromosomes at the onset of the first mitosis. Importantly, we demonstrate that inactivation of the deubiquitylase activity of CidB does not abolish its cell toxicity or its ability to induce CI in Drosophila. Our study thus demonstrates that CI functions as a transgenerational toxin-antidote system and suggests that CidB acts by poisoning paternal DNA replication in incompatible crosses.

RevDate: 2022-02-08

Colgan TJ, Arce AN, Gill RJ, et al (2022)

Genomic signatures of recent adaptation in a wild bumblebee.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:6521030 [Epub ahead of print].

Environmental changes threaten insect pollinators, creating risks for agriculture and ecosystem stability. Despite their importance, we know little about how wild insects respond to environmental pressures. To understand the genomic bases of adaptation in an ecologically important pollinator, we analyzed genomes of Bombus terrestris bumblebees collected across Great Britain. We reveal extensive genetic diversity within this population, and strong signatures of recent adaptation throughout the genome affecting key processes including neurobiology and wing development. We also discover unusual features of the genome, including a region containing 53 genes that lacks genetic diversity in many bee species, and a horizontal gene transfer from a Wolbachia bacteria. Overall, the genetic diversity we observe and how it is distributed throughout the genome and the population should support the resilience of this important pollinator species to ongoing and future selective pressures. Applying our approach to more species should help understand how they can differ in their adaptive potential, and to develop conservation strategies for those most at risk.

RevDate: 2022-02-08

Xu W, Wang Y, Wang YH, et al (2022)

Diversity and dynamics of bacteria at the Chrysomya megacephala pupal stage revealed by third-generation sequencing.

Scientific reports, 12(1):2006.

Characterization of the microbial community is essential for understanding the symbiotic relationships between microbes and host insects. Chrysomya megacephala is a vital resource, a forensic insect, a pollinator, and a vector for enteric bacteria, protozoa, helminths, and viruses. However, research on its microbial community is incomprehensive, particularly at the pupal stage, which comprises approximately half of the entire larval development stage and is important entomological evidence in forensic medicine. For the first time, this study investigated the bacterial communities of C. megacephala pupae at different ages using third-generation sequencing technology. The results showed that C. megacephala has a diverse and dynamic bacterial community. Cluster analysis at ≥ 97% similarity produced 154 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that belonged to 10 different phyla and were distributed into 15 classes, 28 orders, 50 families, 88 genera, and 130 species. Overall, the number of bacterial OTUs increased with the development of pupae, and the relative abundance of Wolbachia in the Day5 group was significantly lower than that in the other groups. Within the pupal stage, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla of bacteria. At the genus level, Wolbachia and Ignatzschineria coexisted, a rarely known feature. In addition, we found Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, the etiological agent of swine erysipelas, which is rarely identified in insects. This study enriches the understanding of the microbial community of C. megacephala and provides a reference for better utilization and control of C. megacephala.

RevDate: 2022-02-07

Mao W, Zeng Q, She L, et al (2021)

Wolbachia Utilizes lncRNAs to Activate the Anti-Dengue Toll Pathway and Balance Reactive Oxygen Species Stress in Aedes aegypti Through a Competitive Endogenous RNA Network.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:823403.

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA), a class of RNA molecules without protein coding potential, are more than 200 nucleotides in length and widely present in a variety of species. Although increasing progress in regard to the determination of lncRNA function has been made in vertebrates, Aedes aegypti lncRNAs were only identified recently and the functions of few lncRNAs have been annotated so far. Herein, the genome-wide alteration of the lncRNA expression profile trigged by Wolbachia wAlbB infection was investigated by comparing A. aegypti Aag2 cells and W-Aag2 cells infected with Wolbachia wAlbB. Based on lncRNA sequencing, 3035 differentially expressed lncRNAs (DE lncRNAs) in total were identified upon Wolbachia infection, which were further validated by quantitative PCR. The constructed co-expression network of DE lncRNAs and mRNAs revealed that Wolbachia-induced DE lncRNAs were highly enriched in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway via trans-activity, according to the KEGG pathway enrichment analyses. In addition, the established competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) network identifies the DE lncRNAs enriched in cellular oxidant detoxification based on GO enrichment analysis. Furthermore, silencing of aae-lnc-7598, the significantly up-regulated lncRNA with the highest fold change induced by Wolbachia, caused a significant reduction of antioxidant catalase 1B (CAT1B) gene expression as well as the enhancement of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in living cells. These findings indicate that Wolbachia manipulates lncRNA to balance intracellular ROS stress and ensure its endosymbiosis in host A. aegypti. Notably, the function assay demonstrated that aae-lnc-0165 suppressed by Wolbachia could induce expression of the REL1 gene, the key regulator of downstream Toll pathway, through the sequence-specific binding of aae-miR-980-5p, which contributes to the activation of Toll pathway. Moreover, the depletion of aae-lnc-0165 caused the suppression of mitochondrial ROS levels in living cells. Our data reveal that Wolbachia activates the anti-dengue Toll pathway through a lncRNA-ceRNA pattern. Taken together, our finding suggested that Wolbachia utilizes lncRNAs to activate host anti-dengue Toll pathway via a ceRNA network. Moreover, Wolbachia employs lncRNAs to ensure ROS homeostasis for ROS-based anti-dengue defense through either trans-regulation or the ceRNA network. This study identifies novel potential molecular biomarkers for prevention and control of epidemic dengue.

RevDate: 2022-02-07

Turelli M, NH Barton (2022)

Why did the Wolbachia transinfection cross the road? drift, deterministic dynamics, and disease control.

Evolution letters, 6(1):92-105 pii:EVL3270.

Maternally inherited Wolbachia transinfections are being introduced into natural mosquito populations to reduce the transmission of dengue, Zika, and other arboviruses. Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility provides a frequency-dependent reproductive advantage to infected females that can spread transinfections within and among populations. However, because transinfections generally reduce host fitness, they tend to spread within populations only after their frequency exceeds a critical threshold. This produces bistability with stable equilibrium frequencies at both 0 and 1, analogous to the bistability produced by underdominance between alleles or karyotypes and by population dynamics under Allee effects. Here, we analyze how stochastic frequency variation produced by finite population size can facilitate the local spread of variants with bistable dynamics into areas where invasion is unexpected from deterministic models. Our exemplar is the establishment of wMel Wolbachia in the Aedes aegypti population of Pyramid Estates (PE), a small community in far north Queensland, Australia. In 2011, wMel was stably introduced into Gordonvale, separated from PE by barriers to A. aegypti dispersal. After nearly 6 years during which wMel was observed only at low frequencies in PE, corresponding to an apparent equilibrium between immigration and selection, wMel rose to fixation by 2018. Using analytic approximations and statistical analyses, we demonstrate that the observed fixation of wMel at PE is consistent with both stochastic transition past an unstable threshold frequency and deterministic transformation produced by steady immigration at a rate just above the threshold required for deterministic invasion. The indeterminacy results from a delicate balance of parameters needed to produce the delayed transition observed. Our analyses suggest that once Wolbachia transinfections are established locally through systematic introductions, stochastic "threshold crossing" is likely to only minimally enhance spatial spread, providing a local ratchet that slightly-but systematically-aids area-wide transformation of disease-vector populations in heterogeneous landscapes.

RevDate: 2022-02-07

Zheng Z, Zhao M, Zhang Z, et al (2021)

Lactic Acid Bacteria Are Prevalent in the Infrabuccal Pockets and Crops of Ants That Prefer Aphid Honeydew.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:785016.

Ants are evolutionarily successful species and occupy diverse trophic and habitat niches on the earth. To fulfill dietary requirements, ants have established commensalism with both sap-feeding insects and bacteria. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to characterize the bacterial composition and structure of the digestive tracts in three species of Formica ants and Lasius niger (Linnaeus)-species that predominantly feed on honeydew secreted by aphids. We found that bacterial communities displayed species- and colony-level signatures, and that bacterial communities in the infrabuccal pockets and crops were different from those in the midguts and hindguts. Lactobacillus and Wolbachia were dominant in the infrabuccal pockets and crops of workers, whereas Wolbachia was dominant in the midguts, hindguts and brood (larvae, pupae and cocoons). To learn more about the dominant Lactobacillus in ants, we assessed its prevalence in a wide range of aphid-tending ants using diagnostic PCR. We found that Lactobacillus was more prevalent in Formicinae than in Myrmicinae species. We also isolated four strains of lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, Lactobacillus lindneri, Weissella cibaria and Fructobacillus sp.) from the infrabuccal pockets and crops of aphid-tending ants using a culture-dependent method. Two predominant lactic acid bacterial isolates, Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis (La2) and Weissella cibaria (La3), exhibited abilities in catabolizing sugars (sucrose, trehalose, melezitose and raffinose) known to be constituents of hemipteran honeydew. These findings contribute to further understanding the association between ants, aphids and bacteria, and provide additional information on the function of lactic acid bacteria in ants.

RevDate: 2022-02-06

Alonso AC, Stein M, Matías Hisgen C, et al (2022)

Abiotic factors affecting the prevalence of Wolbachia (Rickettsiaceae) in immature Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Culicidae).

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(22)00015-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is a genus of gram-negative endosymbiotic bacterium of maternal transmission, located mainly in the gonads of arthropods, including mosquitoes such as Aedes albopictus. The current distribution of Ae. albopictus in Argentina is restricted to the subtropical northeastern region of the country. Here, we studied the seasonal prevalence of Wolbachia detected in Ae. albopictus larvae and the relationship between the abiotic factors of the larval microhabitat and the infection status, in Eldorado city, Misiones province, subtropical region. The prevalence of Wolbachia infection found was 76.89% (n=312). From the total samples examined, 52.80% (n=214) showed double infection with the wAlbA/wAlbB strains, 23.84% (n=97) infection only with wAlbB, and 0.25% (n=1) only with wAlbA. The prevalence of double infection did not present statistically significant differences between the sites studied. For single infection, the lowest prevalence value of the wAlbB strain (13.33%) was found in the natural park, whereas the highest was found in the family dwellings and cemeteries. Tire repair shops showed an intermediate value. The wAlbA single infection was identified once. Our results also showed an association between temperature and slightly turbid waters with exposure to the sun in the larval habitats and the probability of infection by Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2022-02-04

Gendrin M, Favia G, JK Herren (2021)

Editorial: Microbiota: A Consequential Third Wheel in the Mosquito-Pathogen Relationship.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:811880.

RevDate: 2022-02-04

Raupach MJ, Rulik B, J Spelda (2022)

Surprisingly high genetic divergence of the mitochondrial DNA barcode fragment (COI) within Central European woodlice species (Crustacea, Isopoda, Oniscidea).

ZooKeys, 1082:103-125 pii:69851.

DNA barcoding has become the most popular approach for species identification in recent years. As part of the German Barcode of Life project, the first DNA barcode library for terrestrial and freshwater isopods from Germany is presented. The analyzed barcode library included 38 terrestrial (78% of the documented species of Germany) and five freshwater (63%) species. A total of 513 new barcodes was generated and 518 DNA barcodes were analyzed. This analysis revealed surprisingly high intraspecific genetic distances for numerous species, with a maximum of 29.4% for Platyarthrushoffmannseggii Brandt, 1833. The number of BINs per species ranged from one (32 species, 68%) to a maximum of six for Trachelipusrathkii (Brandt, 1833). In spite of such high intraspecific variability, interspecific distances with values between 12.6% and 29.8% allowed a valid species assignment of all analyzed isopods. The observed high intraspecific distances presumably result from phylogeographic events, Wolbachia infections, atypical mitochondrial DNAs, heteroplasmy, or various combinations of these factors. Our study represents the first step in generating an extensive reference library of DNA barcodes for terrestrial and freshwater isopods for future molecular biodiversity assessment studies.

RevDate: 2022-02-04

Katlav A, Nguyen DT, Morrow JL, et al (2022)

Endosymbionts moderate constrained sex allocation in a haplodiploid thrips species in a temperature-sensitive way.

Heredity [Epub ahead of print].

Maternally inherited bacterial endosymbionts that affect host fitness are common in nature. Some endosymbionts colonise host populations by reproductive manipulations (such as cytoplasmic incompatibility; CI) that increase the reproductive fitness of infected over uninfected females. Theory predicts that CI-inducing endosymbionts in haplodiploid hosts may also influence sex allocation, including in compatible crosses, however, empirical evidence for this is scarce. We examined the role of two common CI-inducing endosymbionts, Cardinium and Wolbachia, in the sex allocation of Pezothrips kellyanus, a haplodiploid thrips species with a split sex ratio. In this species, irrespective of infection status, some mated females are constrained to produce extremely male-biased broods, whereas other females produce extremely female-biased broods. We analysed brood sex ratio of females mated with males of the same infection status at two temperatures. We found that at 20 °C the frequency of constrained sex allocation in coinfected pairs was reduced by 27% when compared to uninfected pairs. However, at 25 °C the constrained sex allocation frequency increased and became similar between coinfected and uninfected pairs, resulting in more male-biased population sex ratios at the higher temperature. This temperature-dependent pattern occurred without changes in endosymbiont densities and compatibility. Our findings indicate that endosymbionts affect sex ratios of haplodiploid hosts beyond the commonly recognised reproductive manipulations by causing female-biased sex allocation in a temperature-dependent fashion. This may contribute to a higher transmission efficiency of CI-inducing endosymbionts and is consistent with previous models that predict that CI by itself is less efficient in driving endosymbiont invasions in haplodiploid hosts.

RevDate: 2022-02-03

Sigle LT, Jones M, Novelo M, et al (2022)

Assessing Aedes aegypti candidate genes during viral infection and Wolbachia-mediated pathogen blocking.

Insect molecular biology [Epub ahead of print].

One approach to control dengue virus transmission is the symbiont Wolbachia, that limits viral infection in mosquitoes. Despite plans for its widespread use in Aedes aegypti, Wolbachia's mode of action remains poorly understood. Many studies suggest that the mechanism is likely multifaceted, involving aspects of immunity, cellular stress, and nutritional competition. A previous study from our group used artificial selection to identify a new mosquito candidate gene related to viral blocking; alpha-mannosidase-2a (alpha-Mann-2a) with a predicted role in protein glycosylation. Protein glycosylation pathways tend to be involved in complex host-viral interactions; however, the function of alpha-mannosidases has not been described in mosquito-virus interactions. We examined alpha-Mann-2a expression in response to virus and Wolbachia infections and whether reduced gene expression, caused by RNA interference (RNAi), affected viral loads. We show that dengue virus (DENV) infection affects the expression of alpha-Mann-2a in a tissue- and time-dependent manner, whereas Wolbachia infection had no effect. In the midgut, DENV prevalence increased following knockdown of alpha-Mann-2a expression in Wolbachia-free mosquitoes, suggesting that alpha-Mann-2a interferes with infection. Expression knockdown had the same effect on the togavirus chikungunya virus (CHIKV), indicating that alpha-Mann-2a may have broad antivirus effects in the midgut. Interestingly, we were unable to knockdown the expression in Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes. We also provide evidence that alpha-Mann-2a may affect the transcriptional level of another gene predicted to be involved in viral blocking and cell adhesion; cadherin87a. These data support the hypothesis that glycosylation and adhesion pathways may broadly be involved in viral infection in Ae. aegypti. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-01-29

Rodrigues LR, Zélé F, Santos I, et al (2022)

No evidence for the evolution of mating behaviour in spider mites due to Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution [Epub ahead of print].

Arthropods are often infected with Wolbachia inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), whereby crosses between uninfected females and infected males yield unviable fertilized offspring. Although uninfected females benefit from avoiding mating with Wolbachia-infected males, this behaviour is not always present in host populations and its evolution may hinge upon various factors. Here, we used spider mites to test whether CI could select for mate preference in uninfected females in absence of kin recognition. We found that uninfected females from several field-derived populations showed no preference for infected or uninfected males, nor evolved a preference after being exposed to CI for 12-15 generations by maintaining uninfected females with both infected and uninfected males (i.e., stable 'infection polymorphism'). This suggests that Wolbachia-mediated mate choice evolution may require very specific conditions in spider mites. However, after experimental evolution, the copulation duration of Wolbachia-infected control males was significantly higher than that of uninfected control males, but not than that of uninfected males from the 'infection polymorphism' regime. This result illustrates how gene flow may oppose Wolbachia-driven divergence between infected and uninfected hosts in natural populations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-01-25

Sun G, Zhang M, Chen H, et al (2022)

The CinB Nuclease from wNo Wolbachia Is Sufficient for Induction of Cytoplasmic Incompatibility in Drosophila.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is an obligate intracellular bacterium that can alter reproduction of its arthropod hosts, often through a mechanism called cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). In CI, uninfected females fertilized by infected males yield few offspring, but if both are similarly infected, normal embryo viability results (called "rescue"). CI factors (Cifs) responsible for CI are pairs of proteins encoded by linked genes. The downstream gene in each pair encodes either a deubiquitylase (CidB) or a nuclease (CinB). The upstream gene products, CidA and CinA, bind their cognate enzymes with high specificity. Expression of CidB or CinB in yeast inhibits growth, but growth is rescued by expression of the cognate CifA protein. By contrast, transgenic Drosophila male germ line expression of both cifA and cifB was reported to be necessary to induce CI-like embryonic arrest; cifA expression alone in females is sufficient for rescue. This pattern, seen with genes from several Wolbachia strains, has been called the "2-by-1" model. Here, we show that male germ line expression of the cinB gene alone, from a distinct clade of cif genes from wNo Wolbachia, is sufficient to induce nearly complete loss of embryo viability. This male sterility is fully rescued by cognate cinAwNo expression in the female germ line. The proteins behave similarly in yeast. CinBwNo toxicity depends on its nuclease active site. These results demonstrate that highly divergent CinB nucleases can induce CI, that rescue by cognate CifA factors is a general feature of Wolbachia CI systems, and that CifA is not strictly required in males for CI induction. IMPORTANCE Wolbachia bacteria live within the cells of many insects. Like mitochondria, they are only inherited from females. Wolbachia often increases the number of infected females to promote spread of infection using a type of male sterility called cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI): when uninfected females mate with infected males, most embryos die; if both are similarly infected, embryos develop normally, giving infected females an advantage in producing offspring. CI is being used against disease-carrying mosquitoes and agricultural pests. Wolbachia proteins called CifA and CifB, which bind one another, cause CI, but how they work has been unclear. Here, we show that a CifB protein singly produced in fruit fly males causes sterility in crosses to normal females, but this is rescued if the females produce the CifA partner. These findings clarify a broad range of observations on CI and will allow more rational approaches to using it for insect control.

RevDate: 2022-01-25

Rašić G, Lobo NF, Jeffrey Gutiérrez EH, et al (2021)

Monitoring Needs for Gene Drive Mosquito Projects: Lessons From Vector Control Field Trials and Invasive Species.

Frontiers in genetics, 12:780327.

As gene drive mosquito projects advance from contained laboratory testing to semi-field testing and small-scale field trials, there is a need to assess monitoring requirements to: i) assist with the effective introduction of the gene drive system at field sites, and ii) detect unintended spread of gene drive mosquitoes beyond trial sites, or resistance mechanisms and non-functional effector genes that spread within trial and intervention sites. This is of particular importance for non-localized gene drive projects, as the potential scale of intervention means that monitoring is expected to be more costly than research, development and deployment. Regarding monitoring needs for population replacement systems, lessons may be learned from experiences with Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes, and for population suppression systems, from experiences with releases of genetically sterile male mosquitoes. For population suppression systems, assessing monitoring requirements for tracking population size and detecting rare resistant alleles are priorities, while for population replacement systems, allele frequencies must be tracked, and pressing concerns include detection of gene drive alleles with non-functional effector genes, and resistance of pathogens to functional effector genes. For spread to unintended areas, open questions relate to the optimal density and placement of traps and frequency of sampling in order to detect gene drive alleles, drive-resistant alleles or non-functional effector genes while they can still be effectively managed. Invasive species management programs face similar questions, and lessons may be learned from these experiences. We explore these monitoring needs for gene drive mosquito projects progressing through the phases of pre-release, release and post-release.

RevDate: 2022-01-25

Urfer K, Spasojevic T, Klopfstein S, et al (2021)

Incongruent molecular and morphological variation in the crab spider Synemaglobosum (Araneae, Thomisidae) in Europe.

ZooKeys, 1078:107-134.

Establishing species boundaries is one of the challenges taxonomists around the world have been tackling for centuries. The relation between intraspecific and interspecific variability is still under discussion and in many taxa it remains understudied. Here the hypothesis of single versus multiple species of the crab spider Synemaglobosum (Fabricius) is tested. The wide distribution range as well as its high morphological variability makes this species an interesting candidate for re-evaluation using an integrative approach. This study combines information from barcoding, phylogenetic reconstruction based on mitochondrial CO1 and ITS2 of more than 60 specimens collected over a wide range of European localities, and morphology. The findings show deep clades with up to 6% mean pairwise distance in the CO1 barcode without any biogeographical pattern. The nuclear ITS2 gene did not support the CO1 clades. Morphological assessment of somatic and genital characters in males and females and a morphometric analysis of the male palp uncovered high intraspecific variation that does not match the CO1 or ITS2 phylogenies or biogeography either. Screening for endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria was conducted and only a single infected specimen was found. Several scenarios might explain these inconsistent patterns. While the deep divergences in the barcoding marker might suggest cryptic or ongoing speciation or geographical isolation in the past, the lack of congruent variation in the nuclear ITS2 gene or the studied morphological character systems, especially the male palp, indicates that S.globosum might simply be highly polymorphic both in terms of its mtDNA and morphology. Therefore, more data on ecology and behaviour and full genome sequences are necessary to ultimately resolve this taxonomically intriguing case.

RevDate: 2022-01-25

Sureshan SC, Mohideen HS, TS Nair (2022)

Gut Metagenomic Profiling of Gossypol Induced Oxycarenus laetus (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae) Reveals Gossypol Tolerating Bacterial Species.

Indian journal of microbiology, 62(1):54-60.

Oxycarenus laetus is a cotton pest that primarily feeds on seeds that are rich in gossypol. Though gossypol is toxic to general herbivores, O. laetus does not show such complications and instead grows and reproduces well on cotton plants compared to its other hosts. In this study, we have fed O. laetus with natural and induced gossypol-based diets to explore the difference in its gut microbiota. We performed NGS 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform and analyzed the data using the QIIME2 pipeline supplemented with Greengenes and EZBioCloud reference databases. We also used culture-based methods to identify a few abundant gut bacteria present in O. laetus. Enterococcus faecalis, Wolbachia bourtzisii, Wolbachia pipientis, Corynebacterium glyciniphilum, Staphylococcus sciuri, and Kocuria rosea were some of the major species that formed the core gut microbiome of O. laetus. We have also observed that some species were present only in the sample with the highest concentration of gossypol, signifying that they might have the potential to degrade gossypol.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12088-021-00964-0.

RevDate: 2022-01-24

Lozano-Sardaneta YN, Jacobo-Olvera E, Ruiz-Tovar K, et al (2022)

Detection of Wolbachia and Leishmania DNA in sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae, Phlebotominae) from a focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Tabasco, Mexico.

Parasitology research [Epub ahead of print].

Phlebotomine sand flies are the main vectors of Leishmania genus species worldwide; therefore, the detection of some reproductive parasites, such as Wolbachia, has been considered a possible strategy for biological control. In Mexico, leishmaniasis cases have been recorded in 25 states, yet only two sand fly species have been related to Wolbachia spp. Although the state of Tabasco has a high number of leishmaniasis cases, only few studies have been done on sand fly species. The aim of this study was to analyze the diversity of sand fly species and to detect Wolbachia spp. and/or Leishmania spp. in the captured specimens. Sand flies were collected at the locality of Huimango, Tabasco, Mexico, during October 2019, using nine light traps (CDC) and two Shannon traps per night. The specimens were identified and females were analyzed by PCR for the DNA detection for pathogens. A total of 193 sand fly specimens belonging to five species were morphologically identified. Pintomyia ovallesi was the most abundant species (76.84%), followed by Micropygomyia cayennensis (6.40%). Furthermore, first records of four sand fly species were established for the state of Tabasco, thereby increasing the species richness in the state from four to eight. We observed a natural infection rate of 9.7% (10/103) for Leishmania and 0.91% (1/103) for Wolbachia. The importance of conducting entomological surveys in endemic areas of leishmaniasis in Mexico is highlighted, to determine whether other sand fly species may be potential vectors of Leishmania spp., and if some Wolbachia strains could be relevant for the control of leishmaniasis.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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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 )