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Bibliography on: Endosymbiosis

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 22 Jan 2021 at 01:48 Created: 


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

Created with PubMed® Query: endosymbiont NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-01-21

Sun Y, Liang Q, Sun J, et al (2018)

The mitochondrial genome of the deep-sea tubeworm Paraescarpia echinospica (Siboglinidae, Annelida) and its phylogenetic implications.

Mitochondrial DNA. Part B, Resources, 3(1):131-132 pii:1424576.

Paraescarpia echinospica is a conspicuous annelid living in the cold seeps and hydrothermal vents of the Western Pacific region and relying on their endosymbiont bacteria as a source of energy and organic carbon. We report the complete mitochondrial genome of P. echinospica, which is 15,280 bp in length, containing 13 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and a putative control region. The overall base composition is AT-biased. The control region contains repeated nucleotide motifs. Phylogenetic analyses of the concatenated mitochondrial genes strongly support a sister relationship of P. echinospica with a clade containing Escarpia and Seepiophila.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Castelli M, Lanzoni O, Nardi T, et al (2021)

"Candidatus Sarmatiella mevalonica" endosymbiont of the ciliate Paramecium provides insights on evolutionary plasticity among Rickettsiales.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Members of the bacterial order Rickettsiales are obligatorily associated with a wide range of eukaryotic hosts. Their evolutionary trajectories, in particular concerning the origin of shared or differential traits among distant sub-lineages, are still poorly understood. Here we characterised a novel Rickettsiales bacterium associated with the ciliate Paramecium tredecaurelia, and phylogenetically related to the Rickettsia genus. Its genome encodes significant lineage-specific features, chiefly the mevalonate pathway gene repertoire, involved in isoprenoid precursor biosynthesis. Not only this pathway has never been described in Rickettsiales, it also is very rare among bacteria, though typical in eukaryotes, thus likely representing a horizontally-acquired trait. The presence of these genes could enable an efficient exploitation of host-derived intermediates for isoprenoid synthesis. Moreover, we hypothesise the reversed reactions could have replaced canonical pathways for producing acetyl-CoA, essential for phospholipid biosynthesis. Additionally, we detected phylogenetically unrelated mevalonate pathway genes in metagenome-derived Rickettsiales sequences, likely indicating evolutionary convergent effects of independent horizontal gene transfer events. Accordingly, convergence, involving both gene acquisitions and losses, is highlighted as a relevant evolutionary phenomenon in Rickettsiales, possibly favoured by plasticity and comparable lifestyles, representing a potentially hidden origin of other more nuanced similarities among sub-lineages. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Beard D, Stannard HJ, JM Old (2021)

Morphological identification of ticks and molecular detection of tick-borne pathogens from bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus).

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):60.

BACKGROUND: Ticks are obligate haematophagous ectoparasites of vertebrate hosts and transmit the widest range of pathogenic organisms of any arthropod vector. Seven tick species are known to feed on bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus), in addition to the highly prevalent Sarcoptes scabiei mite which causes fatal sarcoptic mange in most bare-nosed wombat populations. Little is known about the pathogens carried by most wombat ticks or how they may impact wombats and wombat handlers.

METHODS: Wombat ticks were sourced from wildlife hospitals and sanctuaries across Australia and identified to species level using taxonomic keys. Genomic DNA was extracted from a subsample, and following the amplification of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene V3-V4 hypervariable region, next-generation sequencing (NGS) on the Illumina MiSeq platform was used to assess the microbial composition.

RESULTS: A total of 447 tick specimens were collected from 47 bare-nosed wombats between January 2019 and January 2020. Five species of ticks were identified comprising wombat tick Bothriocroton auruginans (n = 420), wallaby tick Haemaphysalis bancrofti (n = 8), bush tick Haemaphysalis longicornis (n = 3), common marsupial tick Ixodes tasmani (n = 12), and Australian paralysis tick Ixodes holocyclus (n = 4). Tick infestations ranged from one to 73 ticks per wombat. The wombat tick was the most prevalent tick species comprising 94% of the total number of samples and was present on 97.9% (46/47) of wombat hosts. NGS results revealed the 16S rRNA gene diversity profile was predominantly Proteobacteria (55.1%) followed by Firmicutes (21.9%) and Actinobacteria (18.4%). A species of Coxiella sharing closest sequence identity to Coxiella burnetii (99.07%), was detected in 72% of B. auruginans and a Rickettsiella endosymbiont dominated the bacterial profile for I. tasmani.

CONCLUSIONS: A new host record for H. longicornis is the bare-nosed wombat. One adult male and two engorged adult female specimens were found on an adult male wombat from Coolagolite in New South Wales, and more specimens should be collected to confirm this host record. The most prevalent tick found on bare-nosed wombats was B. auruginans, confirming previous records. Analysis of alpha-diversity showed high variability across both sample locations and instars, similar to previous studies. The detection of various Proteobacteria in this study highlights the high bacterial diversity in native Australian ticks.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-01-16

Jiang J, K Dehesh (2021)

Plastidial retrograde modulation of light and hormonal signaling: an odyssey.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

The transition from an engulfed autonomous unicellular photosynthetic bacterium to a semi-autonomous endosymbiont plastid was accompanied by the transfer of genetic material from the endosymbiont to the nuclear genome of the host, ensued by the establishment of plastids-to-nucleus (retrograde) signaling. The retrograde coordinated activities of the two subcellular genomes ensures chloroplast biogenesis and function as the photosynthetic hub, sensing and signaling center tailoring growth-regulating and adaptive processes. This review specifically focuses on the current knowledge of selected stress-induced retrograde signals, Genomes Uncoupled 1 (GUN1), methylerythritol cyclodiphosphate (MEcPP), apocarotenoid and β-cyclocitral, and 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphate (PAP), evolved to establish the photoautotrophic lifestyle, and instrumental in integration of light and hormonal signaling networks to ultimately fashion adaptive-responses in an ever-changing environment.

RevDate: 2021-01-16

Midha S, Rigden DJ, Siozios S, et al (2021)

Bodo saltans (Kinetoplastida) is dependent on a novel Paracaedibacter-like endosymbiont that possesses multiple putative toxin-antitoxin systems.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial endosymbiosis has been instrumental in eukaryotic evolution, and includes both mutualistic, dependent and parasitic associations. Here we characterize an intracellular bacterium inhabiting the flagellated protist Bodo saltans (Kinetoplastida). We present a complete bacterial genome comprising a 1.39 Mb circular chromosome with 40.6% GC content. Fluorescent in situ hybridisation confirms that the endosymbiont is located adjacent to the nuclear membrane, and a detailed model of its intracellular niche is generated using serial block-face scanning electron microscopy. Phylogenomic analysis shows that the endosymbiont belongs to the Holosporales, most closely related to other α-proteobacterial endosymbionts of ciliates and amoebae. Comparative genomics indicates that it has a limited metabolism and is nutritionally host-dependent. However, the endosymbiont genome does encode diverse symbiont-specific secretory proteins, including a type VI secretion system and three separate toxin-antitoxin systems. We show that these systems are actively transcribed and hypothesize they represent a mechanism by which B. saltans becomes addicted to its endosymbiont. Consistent with this idea, attempts to cure Bodo of endosymbionts led to rapid and uniform cell death. This study adds kinetoplastid flagellates to ciliates and amoebae as hosts of Paracaedibacter-like bacteria, suggesting that these antagonistic endosymbioses became established very early in Eukaryotic evolution.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

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

FADU: a Quantification Tool for Prokaryotic Transcriptomic Analyses.

mSystems, 6(1):.

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

RevDate: 2021-01-13

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

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

mBio, 12(1):.

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

RevDate: 2021-01-12

Harada R, Y Inagaki (2021)

Phage origin of mitochondrion-localized family A DNA polymerases in kinetoplastids and diplonemids.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6081025 [Epub ahead of print].

Mitochondria retain their own genomes as other bacterial endosymbiont-derived organelles. Nevertheless, no protein for DNA replication and repair is encoded in any mitochondrial genomes (mtDNAs) assessed to date, suggesting that the nucleus primarily governs the maintenance of mtDNA. As the proteins of diverse evolutionary origins occupy a large proportion of the current mitochondrial proteomes, we anticipate finding the same evolutionary trend in the nucleus-encoded machinery for mtDNA maintenance. Indeed, none of the DNA polymerases (DNAPs) in the mitochondrial endosymbiont, a putative α-proteobacterium, seemingly had been inherited by their descendants (mitochondria), as none of the known types of mitochondrion-localized DNAP showed a specific affinity to the α-proteobacterial DNAPs. Nevertheless, we currently have no concrete idea of how and when the known types of mitochondrion-localized DNAPs emerged. We here explored the origins of mitochondrion-localized DNAPs after the improvement of the samplings of DNAPs from bacteria and phages/viruses. Past studies have revealed that a set of mitochondrion-localized DNAPs in kinetoplastids and diplonemids, namely PolIB, PolIC, PolID, PolI-Perk1/2, and PolI-dipl (henceforth designated collectively as "PolIBCD+") have emerged from a single DNAP. In this study, we recovered an intimate connection between PolIBCD+ and the DNAPs found in a particular group of phages. Thus, the common ancestor of kinetoplastids and diplonemids most likely converted a laterally acquired phage DNAP into a mitochondrion-localized DNAP that was ancestral to PolIBCD+. The phage origin of PolIBCD+ hints at a potentially large contribution of proteins acquired via non-vertical processes to the machinery for mtDNA maintenance in kinetoplastids and diplonemids.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:608763.

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

RevDate: 2021-01-09

Hermes C, Richarz R, Wirtz DA, et al (2021)

Thioesterase-mediated side chain transesterification generates potent Gq signaling inhibitor FR900359.

Nature communications, 12(1):144.

The potent and selective Gq protein inhibitor depsipeptide FR900359 (FR), originally discovered as the product of an uncultivable plant endosymbiont, is synthesized by a complex biosynthetic system comprising two nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) assembly lines. Here we characterize a cultivable bacterial FR producer, enabling detailed investigations into biosynthesis and attachment of the functionally important FR side chain. We reconstitute side chain assembly by the monomodular NRPS FrsA and the non-heme monooxygenase FrsH, and characterize intermolecular side chain transesterification to the final macrocyclic intermediate FR-Core, mediated by the FrsA thioesterase domain. We harness FrsA substrate promiscuity to generate FR analogs with altered side chains and demonstrate indispensability of the FR side chain for efficient Gq inhibition by comparative bioactivity, toxicity and docking studies. Finally, evolution of FR and side chain biosynthesis is discussed based on bioinformatics analyses. Side chain transesterification boosts potency and target affinity of selective Gq inhibitor natural products.

RevDate: 2021-01-09

Shore A, Day RD, Stewart JA, et al (2021)

Dichotomy between regulation of coral bacterial communities and calcification physiology under ocean acidification conditions.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.02189-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Ocean acidification (OA) threatens the growth and function of coral reef ecosystems. A key component to coral health is the microbiome, but little is known about the impact of OA on coral microbiomes. A submarine CO2 vent at Maug Island in the Northern Marianas Islands provides a natural pH gradient to investigate coral responses to long-term OA conditions. Three coral species (Pocillopora eydouxi, Porites lobata, and Porites rus) were sampled from three sites where mean seawater pH is 8.04, 7.98, and 7.94. We characterized coral bacterial communities (using 16S rRNA gene sequencing) and determined pH of the extracellular calcifying fluid (ECF) (using skeletal boron isotopes) across the seawater pH gradient. Bacterial communities of both Porites species stabilized (decreases in community dispersion) with decreased seawater pH, coupled with large increases in the abundance of Endozoicomonas, an endosymbiont. P. lobata experienced a significant decrease in ECF pH near the vent, whereas P. rus experienced a trending decrease in ECF pH near the vent. By contrast, Pocillopora exhibited bacterial community destabilization (increases in community dispersion), with significant decreases in Endozoicomonas abundance, while its ECF pH remained unchanged across the pH gradient. Our study shows that OA has multiple consequences on Endozoicomonas abundance and suggests that Endozoicomonas abundance may be an indicator of coral response to OA. We reveal an interesting dichotomy between two facets of coral physiology (regulation of bacterial communities and regulation of calcification), highlighting the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to understanding coral health and function in a changing ocean.IMPORTANCEOcean acidification (OA) is a consequence of anthropogenic CO2 emissions that is negatively impacting marine ecosystems such as coral reefs. OA affects many aspects of coral physiology, including growth (i.e. calcification) and disrupting associated bacterial communities. Coral-associated bacteria are important for host health, but it remains unclear how coral-associated bacterial communities will respond to future OA conditions. We document changes in coral-associated bacterial communities and changes to calcification physiology with long-term exposure to decreases in seawater pH that are environmentally relevant under mid-range IPCC emission scenarios (0.1 pH units). We also find species-specific responses that may reflect different responses to long-term OA. In Pocillopora, calcification physiology was highly regulated despite changing seawater conditions. In Porites spp., changes in bacterial communities do not reflect a breakdown of coral-bacterial symbiosis. Insights into calcification and host-microbe interactions are critical to predicting the health and function of different coral taxa to future OA conditions.

RevDate: 2021-01-09

Lacerna NM, Ramones CMV, Robes JMD, et al (2020)

Inhibition of Biofilm Formation by Modified Oxylipins from the Shipworm Symbiont Teredinibacter turnerae.

Marine drugs, 18(12): pii:md18120656.

The bioactivity-guided purification of the culture broth of the shipworm endosymbiont Teredinibacter turnerae strain 991H.S.0a.06 yielded a new fatty acid, turneroic acid (1), and two previously described oxylipins (2-3). Turneroic acid (1) is an 18-carbon fatty acid decorated by a hydroxy group and an epoxide ring. Compounds 1-3 inhibited bacterial biofilm formation in Staphylococcus epidermidis, while only 3 showed antimicrobial activity against planktonic S. epidermidis. Comparison of the bioactivity of 1-3 with structurally related compounds indicated the importance of the epoxide moiety for selective and potent biofilm inhibition.

RevDate: 2021-01-08

Díaz-Sánchez S, Fernández AM, Habela MA, et al (2020)

Microbial community of Hyalomma lusitanicum is dominated by Francisella-like endosymbiont.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 12(2):101624 pii:S1877-959X(20)30494-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Exploring tick associations with complex microbial communities and single-microbial partners, especially intracellular symbionts, has become crucial to understand tick biology. Of particular interest are the underlying interactions with biological consequences i.e. tick fitness, vector competence. In this study, we first sequenced the 16S rRNA bacterial phylogenetic marker in adult male ticks of Hyalomma lusitanicum collected from 5 locations in the province of Cáceres to explore the composition of its microbial community. Overall, 16S rRNA sequencing results demonstrated that the microbial community of H. lusitanicum is mostly dominated by Francisella-like endosymbionts (FLEs) (ranging from 52% to 99% of relative abundance) suggesting it is a key taxon within the microbial community and likely a primary endosymbiont. However, further research is required to explore the mechanisms underlying the interaction between FLEs and H. lusitanicum.

RevDate: 2021-01-06

Makhulu EE, Villinger J, Adunga VO, et al (2021)

Tsetse blood-meal sources, endosymbionts and trypanosome-associations in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, a wildlife-human-livestock interface.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(1):e0008267 pii:PNTD-D-20-00501 [Epub ahead of print].

African trypanosomiasis (AT) is a neglected disease of both humans and animals caused by Trypanosoma parasites, which are transmitted by obligate hematophagous tsetse flies (Glossina spp.). Knowledge on tsetse fly vertebrate hosts and the influence of tsetse endosymbionts on trypanosome presence, especially in wildlife-human-livestock interfaces, is limited. We identified tsetse species, their blood-meal sources, and correlations between endosymbionts and trypanosome presence in tsetse flies from the trypanosome-endemic Maasai Mara National Reserve (MMNR) in Kenya. Among 1167 tsetse flies (1136 Glossina pallidipes, 31 Glossina swynnertoni) collected from 10 sampling sites, 28 (2.4%) were positive by PCR for trypanosome DNA, most (17/28) being of Trypanosoma vivax species. Blood-meal analyses based on high-resolution melting analysis of vertebrate cytochrome c oxidase 1 and cytochrome b gene PCR products (n = 354) identified humans as the most common vertebrate host (37%), followed by hippopotamus (29.1%), African buffalo (26.3%), elephant (3.39%), and giraffe (0.84%). Flies positive for trypanosome DNA had fed on hippopotamus and buffalo. Tsetse flies were more likely to be positive for trypanosomes if they had the Sodalis glossinidius endosymbiont (P = 0.0002). These findings point to complex interactions of tsetse flies with trypanosomes, endosymbionts, and diverse vertebrate hosts in wildlife ecosystems such as in the MMNR, which should be considered in control programs. These interactions may contribute to the maintenance of tsetse populations and/or persistent circulation of African trypanosomes. Although the African buffalo is a key reservoir of AT, the higher proportion of hippopotamus blood-meals in flies with trypanosome DNA indicates that other wildlife species may be important in AT transmission. No trypanosomes associated with human disease were identified, but the high proportion of human blood-meals identified are indicative of human African trypanosomiasis risk. Our results add to existing data suggesting that Sodalis endosymbionts are associated with increased trypanosome presence in tsetse flies.

RevDate: 2021-01-05

Shih CM, Ophine L, LL Chao (2021)

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

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-01-04

Manullang C, Millyaningrum IH, Iguchi A, et al (2020)

Responses of branching reef corals Acropora digitifera and Montipora digitata to elevated temperature and pCO2.

PeerJ, 8:e10562 pii:10562.

Anthropogenic emission of CO2 into the atmosphere has been increasing exponentially, causing ocean acidification (OA) and ocean warming (OW). The "business-as-usual" scenario predicts that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 may exceed 1,000 µatm and seawater temperature may increase by up to 3 °C by the end of the 21st century. Increases in OA and OW may negatively affect the growth and survival of reef corals. In the present study, we separately examined the effects of OW and OA on the corals Acropora digitifera and Montipora digitata, which are dominant coral species occurring along the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan, at three temperatures (28 °C, 30 °C, and 32 °C) and following four pCO2 treatments (400, 600, 800, and 1,000 µatm) in aquarium experiments. In the OW experiment, the calcification rate (p = 0.02), endosymbiont density, and maximum photosynthetic efficiency (Fv/Fm) (both p < 0.0001) decreased significantly at the highest temperature (32 °C) compared to those at the lower temperatures (28 °C and 30 °C) in both species. In the OA experiment, the calcification rate decreased significantly as pCO2 increased (p < 0.0001), whereas endosymbiont density, chlorophyll content, and Fv/Fm were not affected. The calcification rate of A. digitifera showed greater decreases from 30 °C to 32 °C than that of M. digitata. The calcification of the two species responded differently to OW and OA. These results suggest that A. digitifera is more sensitive to OW than M. digitata, whereas M. digitata is more sensitive to OA. Thus, differences in the sensitivity of the two coral species to OW and OA might be attributed to differences in the endosymbiont species and high calcification rates, respectively.

RevDate: 2021-01-02

Conner WR, Delaney EK, Bronski MJ, et al (2020)

A phylogeny for the Drosophila montium species group: a model clade for comparative analyses.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution pii:S1055-7903(20)30333-X [Epub ahead of print].

The Drosophila montium species group is a clade of 94 named species closely related to the model species D. melanogaster. The montium species group is distributed over a broad geographic range throughout Asia, Africa, and Australasia. Species of this group possess a wide range of morphologies, mating behaviors, and endosymbiont associations, making this clade useful for comparative analyses. We use genomic data from 42 available species to estimate the phylogeny and relative divergence times within the montium species group, and its relative divergence time from D. melanogaster. To assess the robustness of our phylogenetic inferences, we use 3 non-overlapping sets of 20 single-copy coding sequences and analyze all 60 genes with both Bayesian and maximum likelihood methods. Our analyses support monophyly of the group. Apart from the uncertain placement of a single species, D. baimaii, our analyses also support the monophyly of all seven subgroups proposed within the montium group. Our phylograms and relative chronograms provide a highly resolved species tree, with discordance restricted to estimates of relatively short branches deep in the tree. In contrast, age estimates for the montium crown group, relative to its divergence from D. melanogaster, depend critically on prior assumptions concerning variation in rates of molecular evolution across branches, and hence have not been reliably determined. We discuss methodological issues that limit phylogenetic resolution - even when complete genome sequences are available - as well as the utility of the current phylogeny for understanding the evolutionary and biogeographic history of this clade.

RevDate: 2020-12-30

Barradas PF, Lima C, Cardoso L, et al (2020)

Molecular Evidence of Hemolivia mauritanica, Ehrlichia spp. and the Endosymbiont Candidatus Midichloria Mitochondrii in Hyalomma aegyptium Infesting Testudo graeca Tortoises from Doha, Qatar.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(1): pii:ani11010030.

Tick-borne agents constitute a growing concern for human and animal health worldwide. Hyalomma aegyptium is a hard tick with a three-host life cycle, whose main hosts for adults are Palearctic tortoises of genus Testudo. Nevertheless, immature ticks can feed on a variety of hosts, representing an important eco-epidemiological issue regarding H. aegyptium pathogens circulation. Hyalomma aegyptium ticks are vectors and/or reservoirs of various pathogenic agents, such as Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Babesia and Hepatozoon/Hemolivia. Ehrlichia and Anaplasma are emergent tick-borne bacteria with a worldwide distribution and zoonotic potential, responsible for diseases that cause clinical manifestations that grade from acute febrile illness to a fulminant disease characterized by multi-organ system failure, depending on the species. Babesia and Hepatozoon/Hemolivia are tick-borne parasites with increasing importance in multiple species. Testudo graeca tortoises acquired in a large animal market in Doha, Qatar, were screened for a panel of tick-borne pathogens by conventional PCR followed by bidirectional sequencing. The most prevalent agent identified in ticks was Hemolivia mauritanica (28.6%), followed by Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii (9.5%) and Ehrlichia spp. (4.7%). All samples were negative for Babesia spp. and Hepatozoon spp. Overall, 43% of the examined adult ticks were infected with at least one agent. Only 4.7% of the ticks appeared to be simultaneously infected with two agents, i.e., Ehrlichia spp. and H. mauritanica. This is the first detection of H. mauritanica, Ehrlichia spp. and Candidatus M. mitochondrii in H. aegyptium ticks collected from pet spur-thighed tortoises, in Qatar, a fact which adds to the geographical extension of these agents. The international trade of Testudo tortoises carrying ticks infected with pathogens of veterinary and medical importance deserves strict control, in order to reduce potential exotic diseases.

RevDate: 2020-12-22

Sullivan W (2020)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-22

Gil JC, Helal ZH, Risatti G, et al (2020)

Ixodes scapularis microbiome correlates with life stage, not the presence of human pathogens, in ticks submitted for diagnostic testing.

PeerJ, 8:e10424.

Ticks are globally distributed arthropods and a public health concern due to the many human pathogens they carry and transmit, including the causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi. As tick species' ranges increase, so do the number of reported tick related illnesses. The microbiome is a critical part of understanding arthropod biology, and the microbiome of pathogen vectors may provide critical insight into disease transmission and management. Yet we lack a comprehensive understanding of the microbiome of wild ticks, including what effect the presence of multiple tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) has on the microbiome. In this study we chose samples based on life stage (adult or nymph) and which TBPs were present. We used DNA from previously extracted Ixodes scapularis ticks that tested positive for zero, one, two or three common TBPs (B. burgdorferi, B. miyamotoi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti). We produced 16S rRNA amplicon data for the whole tick microbiome and compared samples across TBPs status, single vs multiple coinfections, and life stages. Focusing on samples with a single TBP, we found no significant differences in microbiome diversity in ticks that were infected with B. burgdorferi and ticks with no TBPs. When comparing multiple TBPs, we found no significant difference in both alpha and beta diversity between ticks with a single TBP and ticks with multiple TBPs. Removal of TBPs from the microbiome did not alter alpha or beta diversity results. Life stage significantly correlated to variation in beta diversity and nymphs had higher alpha diversity than adult ticks. Rickettsia, a common tick endosymbiont, was the most abundant genus. This study confirms that the wild tick microbiome is highly influenced by life stage and much less by the presence of human pathogenic bacteria.

RevDate: 2020-12-19

Hunter ES, Paight C, CE Lane (2020)

Metabolic Contributions of an Alphaproteobacterial Endosymbiont in the Apicomplexan Cardiosporidium cionae.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:580719.

Apicomplexa is a diverse protistan phylum composed almost exclusively of metazoan-infecting parasites, including the causative agents of malaria, cryptosporidiosis, and toxoplasmosis. A single apicomplexan genus, Nephromyces, was described in 2010 as a mutualist partner to its tunicate host. Here we present genomic and transcriptomic data from the parasitic sister species to this mutualist, Cardiosporidium cionae, and its associated bacterial endosymbiont. Cardiosporidium cionae and Nephromyces both infect tunicate hosts, localize to similar organs within these hosts, and maintain bacterial endosymbionts. Though many other protists are known to harbor bacterial endosymbionts, these associations are completely unknown in Apicomplexa outside of the Nephromycidae clade. Our data indicate that a vertically transmitted α-proteobacteria has been retained in each lineage since Nephromyces and Cardiosporidium diverged. This α-proteobacterial endosymbiont has highly reduced metabolic capabilities, but contributes the essential amino acid lysine, and essential cofactor lipoic acid to C. cionae. This partnership likely reduces resource competition with the tunicate host. However, our data indicate that the contribution of the single α-proteobacterial endosymbiont in C. cionae is minimal compared to the three taxa of endosymbionts present in the Nephromyces system, and is a potential explanation for the virulence disparity between these lineages.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Zeng M, He Y, Du H, et al (2020)

Output Regulation and Function Optimization of Mitochondria in Eukaryotes.

Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 8:598112.

The emergence of endosymbiosis between aerobic alpha-proteobacterium and anaerobic eukaryotic cell precursors opened the chapter of eukaryotic evolution. Multiple functions of mitochondria originated from the ancient precursors of mitochondria and underwent remodeling in eukaryotic cells. Due to the dependence on mitochondrial functions, eukaryotic cells need to constantly adjust mitochondrial output based on energy demand and cellular stress. Meanwhile, eukaryotes conduct the metabolic cooperation between different cells through the involvement of mitochondria. Under some conditions, mitochondria might also be transferred to nearby cells to provide a protective mechanism. However, the endosymbiont relationship determines the existence of various types of mitochondrial injury, such as proteotoxic stress, mutational meltdown, oxidative injure, and immune activation caused by released mitochondrial contents. Eukaryotes have a repertoire of mitochondrial optimization processes, including various mitochondrial quality-control proteins, regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and activation of mitochondrial autophagy. When these quality-control processes fail, eukaryotic cells can activate apoptosis to intercept uncontrolled cell death, thereby minimizing the damage to extracellular tissue. In this review, we describe the intracellular and extracellular context-based regulation of mitochondrial output in eukaryotic cells, and introduce new findings on multifaceted quality-control processes to deal with mitochondrial defects.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Yamada N, Sakai H, Onuma R, et al (2020)

Five Non-motile Dinotom Dinoflagellates of the Genus Dinothrix.

Frontiers in plant science, 11:591050.

Dinothrix paradoxa and Gymnodinium quadrilobatum are benthic dinoflagellates possessing diatom-derived tertiary plastids, so-called dinotoms. Due to the lack of available genetic information, their phylogenetic relationship remains unknown. In this study, sequencing of 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and the rbcL gene from temporary cultures isolated from natural samples revealed that they are close relatives of another dinotom, Galeidinium rugatum. The morphologies of these three dinotoms differ significantly from each other; however, they share a distinctive life cycle, in which the non-motile cells without flagella are their dominant phase. Cell division occurs in this non-motile phase, while swimming cells only appear for several hours after being released from each daughter cell. Furthermore, we succeeded in isolating and establishing two novel dinotom strains, HG180 and HG204, which show a similar life cycle and are phylogenetically closely related to the aforementioned three species. The non-motile cells of strain HG180 are characterized by the possession of a hemispheroidal cell covered with numerous nodes, while those of the strain HG204 form aggregations consisting of spherical smooth-surface cells. Based on the similarity in life cycles and phylogenetic closeness, we conclude that all five species should belong to a single genus, Dinothrix, the oldest genus within this clade. We transferred Ga. rugatum and Gy. quadrilobatum to Dinothrix, and described strains HG180 and HG204 as Dinothrix phymatodea sp. nov. and Dinothrix pseudoparadoxa sp. nov.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Venice F, Desirò A, Silva G, et al (2020)

The Mosaic Architecture of NRPS-PKS in the Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungus Gigaspora margarita Shows a Domain With Bacterial Signature.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:581313.

As obligate biotrophic symbionts, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) live in association with most land plants. Among them, Gigaspora margarita has been deeply investigated because of its peculiar features, i.e., the presence of an intracellular microbiota with endobacteria and viruses. The genome sequencing of this fungus revealed the presence of some hybrid non-ribosomal peptide synthases-polyketide synthases (NRPS-PKS) that have been rarely identified in AMF. The aim of this study is to describe the architecture of these NRPS-PKS sequences and to understand whether they are present in other fungal taxa related to G. margarita. A phylogenetic analysis shows that the ketoacyl synthase (KS) domain of one G. margarita NRPS-PKS clusters with prokaryotic sequences. Since horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has often been advocated as a relevant evolutionary mechanism for the spread of secondary metabolite genes, we hypothesized that a similar event could have interested the KS domain of the PKS module. The bacterial endosymbiont of G. margarita, Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum (CaGg), was the first candidate as a donor, since it possesses a large biosynthetic cluster involving an NRPS-PKS. However, bioinformatics analyses do not confirm the hypothesis of a direct HGT from the endobacterium to the fungal host: indeed, endobacterial and fungal sequences show a different evolution and potentially different donors. Lastly, by amplifying a NRPS-PKS conserved fragment and mining the sequenced AMF genomes, we demonstrate that, irrespective of the presence of CaGg, G. margarita, and some other related Gigasporaceae possess such a sequence.

RevDate: 2020-12-17

Mironov T, E Sabaneyeva (2020)

A Robust Symbiotic Relationship Between the Ciliate Paramecium multimicronucleatum and the Bacterium Ca. Trichorickettsia Mobilis.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:603335.

Close reciprocal interactions in symbiotic systems have suggested the holobiont concept, in which the host and its microbiota are considered as a single entity. Ciliates are known for their ability to form symbiotic associations with prokaryotes. Relationships between the partners in such systems vary from mutualism to parasitism and differ significantly in their robustness. We assessed the viability of the ciliate Paramecium multimicronucleatum and its ability to maintain its intranuclear endosymbiont Ca. Trichorickettsia mobilis (Rickettsiaceae) after treatment with antibiotics characterized by different mode of action, such as ampicillin, streptomycin, chloramphenicol, tetracycline. The presence of endosymbionts in the host cell was determined by means of living cell observations made using differential interference contrast or fluorescence in situ hybridization with the species-specific oligonucleotide probe (FISH). Administration of antibiotics traditionally used in treatments of rickettsioses, tetracycline and chloramphenicol, depending on the concentration used and the ciliate strain treated, either caused death of both, infected and control cells, or did not affect the ability of the host to maintain the intranuclear endosymbiont. The surviving cells always manifested motile bacteria in the macronucleus. Streptomycin treatment never led to the loss of endosymbionts in any of the four infected strains, and nearly all ciliates remained viable. Ampicillin treatment never caused host cell death, but resulted in formation of filamentous and immobile oval bacterial forms. Under repeated ampicillin treatments, a part of endosymbionts was registered in the host cytoplasm, as evidenced both by FISH and transmission electron microscopy. Endosymbionts located in the host cytoplasm were enclosed in vacuoles, apparently, corresponding to autophagosomes. Nevertheless, the bacteria seemed to persist in this compartment and might cause relapse of the infection. Although the antibiotic sensitivity profile of Trichorickettsia seems to resemble that of other representatives of Rickettsiaceae, causative agents of severe diseases in humans, neither of the antibiotic treatments used in this study resulted in an aposymbiotic cell line, apparently, due to the protists' sensitivity to tetracyclines, the drugs of preference in rickettsiosis treatment. The observed robustness of this symbiotic system makes it a good model for further elaboration of the holobiont concept.

RevDate: 2020-12-16

Lyndby NH, Rädecker N, Bessette S, et al (2020)

Amoebocytes facilitate efficient carbon and nitrogen assimilation in the Cassiopea-Symbiodiniaceae symbiosis.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1941):20202393.

The upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea engages in symbiosis with photosynthetic microalgae that facilitate uptake and recycling of inorganic nutrients. By contrast to most other symbiotic cnidarians, algal endosymbionts in Cassiopea are not restricted to the gastroderm but are found in amoebocyte cells within the mesoglea. While symbiont-bearing amoebocytes are highly abundant, their role in nutrient uptake and cycling in Cassiopea remains unknown. By combining isotopic labelling experiments with correlated scanning electron microscopy, and Nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) imaging, we quantified the anabolic assimilation of inorganic carbon and nitrogen at the subcellular level in juvenile Cassiopea medusae bell tissue. Amoebocytes were clustered near the sub-umbrella epidermis and facilitated efficient assimilation of inorganic nutrients. Photosynthetically fixed carbon was efficiently translocated between endosymbionts, amoebocytes and host epidermis at rates similar to or exceeding those observed in corals. The Cassiopea holobionts efficiently assimilated ammonium, while no nitrate assimilation was detected, possibly reflecting adaptation to highly dynamic environmental conditions of their natural habitat. The motile amoebocytes allow Cassiopea medusae to distribute their endosymbiont population to optimize access to light and nutrients, and transport nutrition between tissue areas. Amoebocytes thus play a vital role for the assimilation and translocation of nutrients in Cassiopea, providing an interesting new model for studies of metabolic interactions in photosymbiotic marine organisms.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Cardoso A, J Gómez-Zurita (2020)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-31

Park HJ, Kim J, Choi YJ, et al (2020)

Tick-borne rickettsiae in Midwestern region of Republic of Korea.

Acta tropica, 215:105794 pii:S0001-706X(20)31707-1 [Epub ahead of print].

To identify spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae among ticks collected by dragging at eight sites in three provinces of the midwestern region of the Republic of Korea (ROK), genus- and species-specific quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assays and sequencing were performed. DNA was extracted from a total of 2,312 ticks that were assayed individually (n=140) or in pools (n=444), resulting in a total of 584 individual and pooled tick samples. The 584 tick samples were screened with the genus-specific qPCR assay (Rick17b) and produced 265 (45.38%) positive reactions [individual (n=64) and pooled (n=101) samples]. Of these genus-specific positive samples, 57 (21.51%) were identified as Candidatus Rickettsia longicornii and 48 (18.11%) were identified as R. monacensis by species-specific qPCR assays. Subsequently, nested PCR (nPCR) was performed with 120 samples, which tested positive samples for genus-specific, but not species-specific, qPCR assays. The sequences of ompA and ompB genes showed how many close relatedness to Ca. R. longicornii and Ca. R. jingxinensis isolate Xian Hl-79, uncultured Rickettsia sp. Y27-1, Ca. R. tasmanensis strain T152, R. endosymbiont of H. longicornis tick 47, and R. koreansis strain CNH17-7. In conclusion, we successfully detected specific rickettsial agents using qPCR and a sequence-based analysis approach that demonstrated the prevalence of various tick-borne Rickettsia spp. in midwestern ROK.

RevDate: 2020-12-12

Doellman MM, Saint Jean G, Egan SP, et al (2020)

Evidence for spatial clines and mixed geographic modes of speciation for North American cherry-infesting Rhagoletis (Diptera: Tephritidae) flies.

Ecology and evolution, 10(23):12727-12744.

An important criterion for understanding speciation is the geographic context of population divergence. Three major modes of allopatric, parapatric, and sympatric speciation define the extent of spatial overlap and gene flow between diverging populations. However, mixed modes of speciation are also possible, whereby populations experience periods of allopatry, parapatry, and/or sympatry at different times as they diverge. Here, we report clinal patterns of variation for 21 nuclear-encoded microsatellites and a wing spot phenotype for cherry-infesting Rhagoletis (Diptera: Tephritidae) across North America consistent with these flies having initially diverged in parapatry followed by a period of allopatric differentiation in the early Holocene. However, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) displays a different pattern; cherry flies at the ends of the clines in the eastern USA and Pacific Northwest share identical haplotypes, while centrally located populations in the southwestern USA and Mexico possess a different haplotype. We hypothesize that the mitochondrial difference could be due to lineage sorting but more likely reflects a selective sweep of a favorable mtDNA variant or the spread of an endosymbiont. The estimated divergence time for mtDNA suggests possible past allopatry, secondary contact, and subsequent isolation between USA and Mexican fly populations initiated before the Wisconsin glaciation. Thus, the current genetics of cherry flies may involve different mixed modes of divergence occurring in different portions of the fly's range. We discuss the need for additional DNA sequencing and quantification of prezygotic and postzygotic reproductive isolation to verify the multiple mixed-mode hypothesis for cherry flies and draw parallels from other systems to assess the generality that speciation may commonly involve complex biogeographies of varying combinations of allopatric, parapatric, and sympatric divergence.

RevDate: 2020-12-10

Lubova VA, Leonova GN, Shutikova AL, et al (2020)

Indication Q fever pathogen in the south of Far east.

Klinicheskaia laboratornaia diagnostika, 65(11):724-728.

Q fever (coxiellosis) is a widespread natural focal disease in the world. The causative agent of coxiellosis is the gram-negative bacterium Coxiella burnetii, which is highly contagious and low virulence. The main carriers of C. burnetii are ixodid ticks, which feed on domestic and farm animals in anthropurgic foci. To address the possible circulation of the Q fever pathogen in the territory of the Primorsky Territory, 334 samples of various natural material collected in the spring-summer period of 2019 were studied. In the vicinity of the Vladivostok (on Reineke island), genetic markers of C. burnetii were detected in 19.7% of all tick species. In the Khankaisk region, coxiella DNA was detected more often (in 6.3%) in ticks of D. silvarum, in ticks of I. persulcatus and H. japonica, 1 case was detected. From 56 copies. ixodid ticks sucked to humans, C. burnetii DNA was detected in ticks of I. persulcatus in 38.8%, H. concinna - in 14.3%. In the serum of farm animals, the presence of coxiella in sheep in 3 samples was detected, in horses - in two. Sequencing of the obtained sequences showed the presence of the pathogen C. burnetii in the blood serum of animals. The ticks have stuck to people in 6 samples were identified C. burnetii and 6 samples - Coxiella-like endosymbiont. The presented results indicate the circulation of the causative agent of Q fever in the territory of the Primorsky Territory. To obtain a more complete description of the current epidemiological situation, it is necessary to conduct more extensive studies of natural material and blood of people with suspected Q fever.

RevDate: 2020-12-13

Ding H, Yeo H, N Puniamoorthy (2020)

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

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):612.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-26

Sontowski R, Gerth M, Richter S, et al (2020)

Infection Patterns and Fitness Effects of Rickettsia and Sodalis Symbionts in the Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea.

Insects, 11(12):.

Endosymbionts are widely distributed in insects and can strongly affect their host ecology. The common green lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea) is a neuropteran insect which is widely used in biological pest control. However, their endosymbionts and their interactions with their hosts have not been very well studied. Therefore, we screened for endosymbionts in natural and laboratory populations of Ch. carnea using diagnostic PCR amplicons. We found the endosymbiont Rickettsia to be very common in all screened natural and laboratory populations, while a hitherto uncharacterized Sodalis strain was found only in laboratory populations. By establishing lacewing lines with no, single or co-infections of Sodalis and Rickettsia, we found a high vertical transmission rate for both endosymbionts (>89%). However, we were only able to estimate these numbers for co-infected lacewings. Sodalis negatively affected the reproductive success in single and co-infected Ch. carnea, while Rickettsia showed no effect. We hypothesize that the fitness costs accrued by Sodalis infections might be more tolerable in the laboratory than in natural populations, as the latter are also prone to fluctuating environmental conditions and natural enemies. The economic and ecological importance of lacewings in biological pest control warrants a more profound understanding of its biology, which might be influenced by symbionts.

RevDate: 2020-12-10

Olafson PU, Buckmeier BG, May MA, et al (2020)

Molecular screening for rickettsial bacteria and piroplasms in ixodid ticks surveyed from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and nilgai antelope (Boselaphus tragocamelus) in southern Texas.

International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, 13:252-260.

A survey of ixodid ticks parasitizing white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and nilgai antelope (Boselaphus tragocamelus) was completed during the 2018-2019 public hunt season on the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (Cameron County, Texas) and the East Foundation's El Sauz Ranch in nearby Willacy County (Texas). Anocenter nitens was the predominant tick species identified with 5% of these ticks collected from nilgai. All life stages were encountered in high numbers on white-tailed deer, indicating that deer may be a primary host in this region. Amblyomma maculatum and Amblyomma inornatum were identified from both hosts, while Ixodes scapularis was encountered only on white-tailed deer. This is the first published record of A. inornatum on nilgai. A subset of ticks was used in PCR assays to detect Rickettsia spp., family Anaplasmataceae, Borrelia spp., and Theileria-Babesia spp. Borrelia spp. were not detected in any of the ticks analyzed. Rickettsia parkeri was detected in three A. maculatum adult ticks from deer, Rickettsia sp. endosymbiont sequences were present in all I. scapularis ticks, and Rickettsia amblyommatis was detected in three A. inornatum adult ticks from deer. Sequence analysis of Anaplasmataceae-positive amplicons from A. nitens and A. maculatum had low percent identity to published Anaplasma spp. sequences, suggesting a unique Anaplasma sp. may be circulating in the population. Anaplasma platys was detected from A. nitens larvae and an Ehrlichia sp. Delta strain was present in A. maculatum, both of unknown pathogenicity towards deer. Theileria cervi was detected in all stages of A. nitens ticks, and positive ticks originated from 27 of 31 deer and a single nilgai sampled from throughout the survey site. The primary vector for T. cervi is absent from this region, suggesting T. cervi is possibly maintained by a different tick species.

RevDate: 2020-12-04

Waneka G, Vasquez YM, Bennett GM, et al (2020)

Mutational pressure drives differential genome conservation in two bacterial endosymbionts of sap feeding insects.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6020258 [Epub ahead of print].

Compared to free-living bacteria, endosymbionts of sap-feeding insects have tiny and rapidly evolving genomes. Increased genetic drift, high mutation rates, and relaxed selection associated with host control of key cellular functions all likely contribute to genome decay. Phylogenetic comparisons have revealed massive variation in endosymbiont evolutionary rate, but such methods make it difficult to partition the effects of mutation vs. selection. For example, the ancestor of Auchenorrhynchan insects contained two obligate endosymbionts, Sulcia and a betaproteobacterium (BetaSymb; called Nasuia in leafhoppers) that exhibit divergent rates of sequence evolution and different propensities for loss and replacement in the ensuing ~300 Ma. Here, we use the auchenorrhynchan leafhopper Macrosteles sp. nr. severini, which retains both of the ancestral endosymbionts, to test the hypothesis that differences in evolutionary rate are driven by differential mutagenesis. We used a high-fidelity technique known as duplex sequencing to measure and compare low-frequency variants in each endosymbiont. Our direct detection of de novo mutations reveals that the rapidly evolving endosymbiont (Nasuia) has a much higher frequency of single-nucleotide variants than the more stable endosymbiont (Sulcia) and a mutation spectrum that is potentially even more AT-biased than implied by the 83.1% AT content of its genome. We show that indels are common in both endosymbionts but differ substantially in length and distribution around repetitive regions. Our results suggest that differences in long-term rates of sequence evolution in Sulcia vs. BetaSymb, and perhaps the contrasting degrees of stability of their relationships with the host, are driven by differences in mutagenesis.

RevDate: 2020-12-04

Nardi T, Olivieri E, Kariuki E, et al (2020)

Sequence of a Coxiella endosymbiont of the tick Amblyomma nuttalli suggests a pattern of convergent genome reduction in the Coxiella genus.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6020259 [Epub ahead of print].

Ticks require bacterial symbionts for the provision of necessary compounds that are absent in their hematophagous diet. Such symbionts are frequently vertically transmitted and, most commonly, belong to the Coxiella genus, which also includes the human pathogen Coxiella burnetii. This genus can be divided in four main clades, presenting partial but incomplete co-cladogenesis with the tick hosts. Here we report the genome sequence of a novel Coxiella, endosymbiont of the African tick Amblyomma nuttalli, and the ensuing comparative analyses. Its size (~1 Mb) is intermediate between symbionts of Rhipicephalus species and other Amblyomma species. Phylogenetic analyses show that the novel sequence is the first genome of the B clade, the only one for which no genomes were previously available. Accordingly, it allows to draw an enhanced scenario of the evolution of the genus, one of parallel genome reduction of different endosymbiont lineages, which are now at different stages of reduction from a more versatile ancestor. Gene content comparison allows to infer that the ancestor could be reminiscent of Coxiella burnetii. Interestingly, the convergent loss of mismatch repair could have been a major driver of such reductive evolution. Predicted metabolic profiles are rather homogenous among Coxiella endosymbionts, in particular vitamin biosynthesis, consistently with a host-supportive role. Concurrently, similarities among Coxiella endosymbionts according to host genus and despite phylogenetic unrelatedness hint at possible host-dependent effects.

RevDate: 2020-12-03

Ye S, E Siemann (2020)

Endosymbiont-Mediated Adaptive Responses to Stress in Holobionts.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 69:559-580.

Endosymbiosis is found in all types of ecosystems and it can be sensitive to environmental changes due to the intimate interaction between the endosymbiont and the host. Indeed, global climate change disturbs the local ambient environment and threatens endosymbiotic species, and in some cases leads to local ecosystem collapse. Recent studies have revealed that the endosymbiont can affect holobiont (endosymbiont and host together) stress tolerance as much as the host does, and manipulation of the microbial partners in holobionts may mitigate the impacts of the environmental stress. Here, we first show how the endosymbiont presence affects holobiont stress tolerance by discussing three well-studied endosymbiotic systems, which include plant-fungi, aquatic organism-algae, and insect-bacteria systems. We then review how holobionts are able to alter their stress tolerance via associated endosymbionts by changing their endosymbiont composition, by adaptation of their endosymbionts, or by acclimation of their endosymbionts. Finally, we discuss how different transmission modes (vertical or horizontal transmission) might affect the adaptability of holobionts. We propose that the endosymbiont is a good target for modifying holobiont stress tolerance, which makes it critical to more fully investigate the role of endosymbionts in the adaptive responses of holobionts to stress.

RevDate: 2020-12-03

Dunn CD, Somborac T, BA Akpınar (2020)

We're in this Together: Sensation of the Host Cell Environment by Endosymbiotic Bacteria.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 69:179-197.

Bacteria inhabit diverse environments, including the inside of eukaryotic cells. While a bacterial invader may initially act as a parasite or pathogen, a subsequent mutualistic relationship can emerge in which the endosymbiotic bacteria and their host share metabolites. While the environment of the host cell provides improved stability when compared to an extracellular environment, the endosymbiont population must still cope with changing conditions, including variable nutrient concentrations, the host cell cycle, host developmental programs, and host genetic variation. Furthermore, the eukaryotic host can deploy mechanisms actively preventing a bacterial return to a pathogenic state. Many endosymbionts are likely to use two-component systems (TCSs) to sense their surroundings, and expanded genomic studies of endosymbionts should reveal how TCSs may promote bacterial integration with a host cell. We suggest that studying TCS maintenance or loss may be informative about the evolutionary pathway taken toward endosymbiosis, or even toward endosymbiont-to-organelle conversion.

RevDate: 2020-12-30

Banović P, Díaz-Sánchez AA, Galon C, et al (2020)

Humans infested with Ixodes ricinus are exposed to a diverse array of tick-borne pathogens in Serbia.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 12(2):101609 pii:S1877-959X(20)30479-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) pose a major threat to human health in Europe and the whole northern hemisphere. Despite a high prevalence of TBPs in Ixodes ricinus ticks, knowledge on the incidence of tick-borne diseases in humans infested by this tick species is limited. This study was conducted in the year 2019 on patients who presented themselves to the Pasteur Institute Novi Sad with tick infestations. Ticks (n = 31) feeding on human (n = 30) and blood samples from the same individuals were collected by physicians and a microfluidic real-time high-throughput PCR system was used to test the genomic DNA of the samples for the presence of 27 bacterial and eight parasitic microorganisms in Serbia. Except for one Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l. adult male tick, all ticks infesting humans were morphologically identified as I. ricinus. A high proportion of ticks (74 %, 23/31) were infected with at least one of the tested TB microorganisms, being Rickettsia helvetica (54 %, 17/31) the most common pathogen, but Borrelia afzelii (9 %, 3/31), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (6 %, 2/31), Borrelia miyamotoi (6 %, 2/31), and Francisella like-endosymbiont (6 %, 2/31), Borrelia valaisiana (3 %, 1/31), Borrelia lusitaniae (3 %, 1/31), Rickettsia felis (3 %, 1/31) and Rickettsia aeschlimannii (3 %, 1/31) were also identified. Despite the high infection rate of TBPs in ticks, only two human blood samples (6 %, 2/30) tested positive for the presence of TBPs, one patient (code H12, 67 years old female) was diagnosed with Borrelia spp. and the other patient was diagnosed (code H17, 71 years old female) with R. felis infection. The tick infesting patient H12 tested positive for B. afzelii, and R. helvetica and the tick infesting patient H17 tested positive for R. felis. Upon clinical examination, both patients were diagnosed with erythema migrans. No additional discomfort was reported by the patient and no additional pathology was observed by the physician. We concluded that humans bitten by I. ricinus in Serbia are exposed to a diverse array of TBPs with clinical impact in the Serbian cohort studied.

RevDate: 2020-12-10

Madhav M, Baker D, Morgan JAT, et al (2020)

Wolbachia: A tool for livestock ectoparasite control.

Veterinary parasitology, 288:109297.

Ectoparasites and livestock-associated insects are a major concern throughout the world because of their economic and welfare impacts. Effective control is challenging and relies mainly on the use of chemical insecticides and acaricides. Wolbachia, an arthropod and nematode-infecting, maternally-transmitted endosymbiont is currently of widespread interest for use in novel strategies for the control of a range of arthropod-vectored human diseases and plant pests but to date has received only limited consideration for use in the control of diseases of veterinary concern. Here, we review the currently available information on Wolbachia in veterinary ectoparasites and disease vectors, consider the feasibility for use of Wolbachia in the control of livestock pests and diseases and highlight critical issues which need further investigation.

RevDate: 2020-12-19

Pimentel AC, Beraldo CS, R Cogni (2020)

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

Genetics and molecular biology, 44(1 Suppl 1):e20200197.

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

RevDate: 2020-12-08

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

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

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 10:591172.

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

RevDate: 2020-11-23

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-11-22

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

Increasing comparability among coral bleaching experiments.

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-08

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

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

Scientific reports, 10(1):20311.

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

RevDate: 2020-11-20

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-08

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-01

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

Controlling Geminiviruses before Transmission: Prospects.

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-21
CmpDate: 2020-12-21

Chao LL, Castillo CT, CM Shih (2021)

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

Experimental & applied acarology, 83(1):115-130.

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

RevDate: 2020-11-17

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

Endosymbiosis morphological reorganization during metamorphosis diverges in weevils.

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

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

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Hirota B, Meng XY, T Fukatsu (2020)

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:588841.

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

RevDate: 2020-12-01

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

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

Insects, 11(11):.

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

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Masson F, B Lemaitre (2020)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-11-19

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

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

mSphere, 5(6):.

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

RevDate: 2020-12-22

Bell RT, Wolf YI, EV Koonin (2020)

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

BMC biology, 18(1):159.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-01

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

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

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2020-11-14

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-30

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

TCA cycle signalling and the evolution of eukaryotes.

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

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

RevDate: 2020-10-31

Sanaei E, Charlat S, J Engelstädter (2020)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-10

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

Large-Scale Phylogenetic Analysis of Trypanosomatid Adenylate Cyclases Reveals Associations with Extracellular Lifestyle and Host-Pathogen Interplay.

Genome biology and evolution, 12(12):2403-2416.

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

RevDate: 2020-10-25

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

Molecular epidemiology of Mansonella species in Gabon.

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

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

RevDate: 2020-10-22

Pyle AE, Johnson AM, TA Villareal (2020)

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

PeerJ, 8:e10115.

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

RevDate: 2020-10-18

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-07

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

Portiera Gets Wild: Genome Instability Provides Insights into the Evolution of Both Whiteflies and Their Endosymbionts.

Genome biology and evolution, 12(11):2107-2124.

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

RevDate: 2020-11-30

Khoo JJ, Husin NA, Lim FS, et al (2021)

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

Parasitology international, 80:102202.

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

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

Horák A, Allen AE, M Oborník (2020)

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

Scientific reports, 10(1):16687.

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

RevDate: 2020-11-10

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

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

Insects, 11(10):.

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

RevDate: 2020-10-20

Dabravolski SA (2020)

Evolutionary aspects of the Viridiplantae nitroreductases.

Journal, genetic engineering & biotechnology, 18(1):60.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Hague MTJ, Caldwell CN, BS Cooper (2020)

Pervasive Effects of Wolbachia on Host Temperature Preference.

mBio, 11(5):.

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

RevDate: 2020-11-20
CmpDate: 2020-11-20

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

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

PloS one, 15(10):e0239771.

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

RevDate: 2020-10-06

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-10-06

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-10-24

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

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

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-11-12
CmpDate: 2020-11-12

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

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

PloS one, 15(10):e0235446.

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

RevDate: 2020-10-02

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

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

mSystems, 5(5):.

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

RevDate: 2020-12-15

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-15

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-15

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-10

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

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

FEMS microbiology ecology, 96(12):.

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

RevDate: 2020-09-21

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-11-10

Becker DM, NJ Silbiger (2020)

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

The Journal of experimental biology, 223(Pt 21): pii:jeb.225045.

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

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

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

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

The Science of the total environment, 743:140704.

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

RevDate: 2020-12-08

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

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

Microscopy and microanalysis : the official journal of Microscopy Society of America, Microbeam Analysis Society, Microscopical Society of Canada, 26(6):1236-1244.

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

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Rossbacher S, C Vorburger (2020)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-10-27

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

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

Microorganisms, 8(9):.

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

RevDate: 2020-09-28

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

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

Veterinary parasitology: X, 4:100029.

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

RevDate: 2020-12-07

Lenhart PA, JA White (2020)

Endosymbionts facilitate rapid evolution in a polyphagous herbivore.

Journal of evolutionary biology, 33(10):1507-1511.

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

RevDate: 2020-10-20

Karakaidos P, T Rampias (2020)

Mitonuclear Interactions in the Maintenance of Mitochondrial Integrity.

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-01
CmpDate: 2020-12-01

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

Endosymbionts of Metazoans Dwelling in the PACManus Hydrothermal Vent: Diversity and Potential Adaptive Features Revealed by Genome Analysis.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 86(21):.

Deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities are dominated by invertebrates, namely, bathymodiolin mussels, siboglinid tubeworms, and provannid snails. Symbiosis is considered key to successful colonization by these sedentary species in such extreme environments. In the PACManus vent fields, snails, tubeworms, and mussels each colonized a niche with distinct geochemical characteristics. To better understand the metabolic potentials and genomic features contributing to host-environment adaptation, we compared the genomes of the symbionts of Bathymodiolus manusensis, Arcovestia ivanovi, and Alviniconcha boucheti sampled at PACManus, and we discuss their environmentally adaptive features. We found that B. manusensis and A. ivanovi are colonized by Gammaproteobacteria from distinct clades, whereas endosymbionts of B. manusensis feature high intraspecific heterogeneity with differing metabolic potentials. A. boucheti harbored three novel Epsilonproteobacteria symbionts, suggesting potential species-level diversity of snail symbionts. Genome comparisons revealed that the relative abundance of gene families related to low-pH homeostasis, metal resistance, oxidative stress resistance, environmental sensing/responses, and chemotaxis and motility was the highest in A. ivanovi's symbiont, followed by symbionts of the vent-mouth-dwelling snail A. boucheti, and was relatively low in the symbiont of the vent-periphery-dwelling mussel B. manusensis, which is consistent with their environmental adaptations and host-symbiont interactions. Gene families classified as encoding host interaction/attachment, virulence factors/toxins, and eukaryotic-like proteins were most abundant in symbionts of mussels and least abundant in those of snails, indicating that these symbionts may differ in their host colonization strategies. Comparison of Epsilonproteobacteria symbionts to nonsymbionts demonstrated that the expanded gene families in symbionts were related to vitamin B12 synthesis, toxin-antitoxin systems, methylation, and lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis, suggesting that these are vital to symbiont establishment and development in EpsilonproteobacteriaIMPORTANCE Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are dominated by several invertebrate species. The establishment of symbiosis has long been thought to be the key to successful colonization by these sedentary species in such harsh environments. However, the relationships between symbiotic bacteria and their hosts and their role in environmental adaptations generally remain unclear. In this paper, we show that the distribution of three host species showed characteristic niche partitioning in the Manus Basin, giving us the opportunity to understand how they adapt to their particular habitats. This study also revealed three novel genomes of symbionts from the snails of A. boucheti Combined with a data set on other ectosymbiont and free-living bacteria, genome comparisons for the snail endosymbionts pointed to several genetic traits that may have contributed to the lifestyle shift of Epsilonproteobacteria into the epithelial cells. These findings could increase our understanding of invertebrate-endosymbiont relationships in deep-sea ecosystems.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1750.

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

RevDate: 2020-10-27
CmpDate: 2020-09-23

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

Horizontal transmission and recombination maintain forever young bacterial symbiont genomes.

PLoS genetics, 16(8):e1008935.

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

RevDate: 2020-11-02

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

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

Microbiome, 8(1):123.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-11-25
CmpDate: 2020-11-25

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-09-28

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

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

Microorganisms, 8(8):.

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

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-11

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

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

Applied and environmental microbiology, 86(20):.

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

RevDate: 2020-08-15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-08-18

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

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

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):414.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-08-21

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

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

eLife, 9:.

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

RevDate: 2020-09-28

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1435.

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


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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