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Bibliography on: Endosymbiosis

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


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 18 Apr 2021 at 01:43 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.

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Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-04-16

Brandeis M (2021)

Were eukaryotes made by sex?: Sex might have been vital for merging endosymbiont and host genomes giving rise to eukaryotes.

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

I hypothesize that the appearance of sex facilitated the merging of the endosymbiont and host genomes during early eukaryote evolution. Eukaryotes were formed by symbiosis between a bacterium that entered an archaeon, eventually giving rise to mitochondria. This entry was followed by the gradual transfer of most bacterial endosymbiont genes into the archaeal host genome. I argue that the merging of the mitochondrial genes into the host genome was vital for the evolution of genuine eukaryotes. At the time this process commenced it was unprecedented and required a novel mechanism. I suggest that this mechanism was meiotic sex, and that its appearance might have been THE crucial step that enabled the evolution of proper eukaryotes from early endosymbiont containing proto-eukaryotes. Sex might continue to be essential today for keeping genome insertions in check.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Moore WM, Chan C, Ishikawa T, et al (2021)

Reprogramming sphingolipid glycosylation is required for endosymbiont persistence in Medicago truncatula.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(21)00440-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Plant endosymbiosis relies on the development of specialized membranes that encapsulate the endosymbiont and facilitate nutrient exchange. However, the identity and function of lipids within these membrane interfaces is largely unknown. Here, we identify GLUCOSAMINE INOSITOL PHOSPHORYLCERAMIDE TRANSFERASE1 (GINT1) as a sphingolipid glycosyltransferase highly expressed in Medicago truncatula root nodules and roots colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and further demonstrate that this enzyme functions in the synthesis of N-acetyl-glucosamine-decorated glycosyl inositol phosphoryl ceramides (GIPCs) in planta. MtGINT1 expression was developmentally regulated in symbiotic tissues associated with the development of symbiosome and periarbuscular membranes. RNAi silencing of MtGINT1 did not affect overall root growth but strongly impaired nodulation and AM symbiosis, resulting in the senescence of symbiosomes and arbuscules. Our results indicate that, although M. truncatula root sphingolipidome predominantly consists of hexose-decorated GIPCs, local reprogramming of GIPC glycosylation by MtGINT1 is required for the persistence of endosymbionts within the plant cell.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Carrier TJ, Leigh BA, Deaker DJ, et al (2021)

Microbiome reduction and endosymbiont gain from a switch in sea urchin life history.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(16):.

Animal gastrointestinal tracts harbor a microbiome that is integral to host function, yet species from diverse phyla have evolved a reduced digestive system or lost it completely. Whether such changes are associated with alterations in the diversity and/or abundance of the microbiome remains an untested hypothesis in evolutionary symbiosis. Here, using the life history transition from planktotrophy (feeding) to lecithotrophy (nonfeeding) in the sea urchin Heliocidaris, we demonstrate that the lack of a functional gut corresponds with a reduction in microbial community diversity and abundance as well as the association with a diet-specific microbiome. We also determine that the lecithotroph vertically transmits a Rickettsiales that may complement host nutrition through amino acid biosynthesis and influence host reproduction. Our results indicate that the evolutionary loss of a functional gut correlates with a reduction in the microbiome and the association with an endosymbiont. Symbiotic transitions can therefore accompany life history transitions in the evolution of developmental strategies.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Pang HE, Poquita-Du RC, Jain SS, et al (2021)

Among-genotype responses of the coral Pocillopora acuta to emersion: implications for the ecological engineering of artificial coastal defences.

Marine environmental research, 168:105312 pii:S0141-1136(21)00068-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Stony corals are promising transplant candidates for the ecological engineering of artificial coastal defences such as seawalls as they attract and host numerous other organisms. However, seawalls are exposed to a wide range of environmental stressors associated with periods of emersion during low tide such as desiccation and changes in salinity, temperature, and solar irradiance. All of these variables have known deleterious effects on coral physiology, growth, and fitness. In this study, we performed parallel experiments (in situ and ex situ) to examine among-genotype responses of Pocillopora acuta to emersion by quantifying growth, photophysiological metrics (Fv/Fm, non-photochemical quenching [NPQ], endosymbiont density, and chlorophyll [chl] a concentration) and survival, following different emersion periods. Results showed that coral fragments emersed for longer durations (>2 h) exhibited reduced growth and survival. Endosymbiont density and NPQ, but not Fv/Fm and chl a concentration, varied significantly among genotypes across different durations of emersion. Overall, the ability of P. acuta to tolerate emersion for up to 2 h suggests its potential to serve as a 'starter species' for transplantation efforts on seawalls. Further, careful characterisation and selection of genotypes with a high capacity to withstand emersion can help maximise the efficacy of ecological engineering using coral transplants.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Lhee D, Bhattacharya D, HS Yoon (2021)

Independent evolution of the thioredoxin system in photosynthetic Paulinella species.

Current biology : CB, 31(7):R328-R329.

Redox regulation allows phytoplankton to monitor and stabilize metabolic pathways under changing conditions1. In plastids, the thioredoxin (TRX) system is linked to photosynthetic electron transport and fine tuning of metabolic pathways to fluctuating light levels. Expansion of the number of redox signal transmitters and their protein targets, as seen in plants, is believed to increase cell robustness2. In this study, we searched for genes related to redox regulation in the photosynthetic amoeba Paulinella micropora KR01 (hereafter, KR01). The genus Paulinella includes testate filose amoebae, in which a single clade acquired a photosynthetic organelle, the chromatophore, from an alpha-cyanobacterial donor3. This independent primary endosymbiosis occurred relatively recently (∼124 million years ago) when compared to Archaeplastida (>1 billion years ago), making photosynthetic Paulinella a valuable model for studying the early stages of primary endosymbiosis4. Our comparative analysis demonstrates that this lineage has evolved a TRX system similar to other algae, relying, however, on genes with diverse phylogenetic origins (including the endosymbiont, host, bacteria, and red algae). One TRX of eukaryotic provenance is targeted to the chromatophore, implicating host-endosymbiont coordination of redox regulation. A chromatophore-targeted glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) of red algal origin suggests that Paulinella exploited the existing redox regulation system in Archaeplastida to foster integration. Our study elucidates the independent evolution of the TRX system in photosynthetic Paulinella, whose parts derive from the existing genetic toolkit in diverse organisms.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Beliavskaia A, Hönig V, Erhart J, et al (2021)

Spiroplasma Isolated From Third-Generation Laboratory Colony Ixodes persulcatus Ticks.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 8:659786.

Spiroplasma are vertically-transmitted endosymbionts of ticks and other arthropods. Field-collected Ixodes persulcatus have been reported to harbour Spiroplasma, but nothing is known about their persistence during laboratory colonisation of this tick species. We successfully isolated Spiroplasma from internal organs of 6/10 unfed adult ticks, belonging to the third generation of an I. persulcatus laboratory colony, into tick cell culture. We screened a further 51 adult male and female ticks from the same colony for presence of Spiroplasma by genus-specific PCR amplification of fragments of the 16S rRNA and rpoB genes; 100% of these ticks were infected and the 16S rRNA sequence showed 99.8% similarity to that of a previously-published Spiroplasma isolated from field-collected I. persulcatus. Our study shows that Spiroplasma endosymbionts persist at high prevalence in colonised I. persulcatus through at least three generations, and confirms the usefulness of tick cell lines for isolation and cultivation of this bacterium.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Pers D, AK Hansen (2021)

The boom and bust of the aphid's essential amino acid metabolism across nymphal development.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:6217830 [Epub ahead of print].

Within long term symbioses animals integrate their physiology and development with their symbiont. In a model nutritional mutualism, aphids harbor the endosymbiont, Buchnera, within specialized bacteriocyte cells. Buchnera synthesizes essential amino acids (EAA) and vitamins for their host, which are lacking from the aphid's plant sap diet. It is unclear if the aphid host differentially expresses aphid EAA metabolism pathways and genes that collaborate with Buchnera for the production of EAA and vitamins throughout nymphal development when feeding on plants. It is also unclear if aphid bacteriocytes are differentially methylated throughout aphid development as DNA methylation may play a role in gene regulation. By analyzing aphid gene expression, we determined that the bacteriocyte is metabolically more active in metabolizing Buchnera's EAAs and vitamins early in nymphal development compared to intermediate or later immature and adult lifestages. The largest changes in aphid bacteriocyte gene expression, especially for aphid genes that collaborate with Buchnera, occurred during the 3rd to 4th instar transition. During this transition there is a huge shift in the bacteriocyte from a high energy 'nutrient-consuming state' to a 'recovery and growth state' where patterning and signaling genes and pathways are upregulated and differentially methylated, and de novo methylation is reduced as evidenced by homogenous DNA methylation profiles after the 2nd instar. Moreover, bacteriocyte number increased and Buchnera's titer decreased throughout aphid nymphal development. These data suggest in combination that bacteriocytes of older nymphal and adult lifestages depend less on the nutritional symbiosis compared to early nymphal lifestages.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Vera-Ponce León A, Dominguez-Mirazo M, Bustamante-Brito R, et al (2021)

Functional genomics of a Spiroplasma associated with the carmine cochineals Dactylopius coccus and Dactylopius opuntiae.

BMC genomics, 22(1):240.

BACKGROUND: Spiroplasma is a widely distributed endosymbiont of insects, arthropods, and plants. In insects, Spiroplasma colonizes the gut, hemolymph, and reproductive organs of the host. Previous metagenomic surveys of the domesticated carmine cochineal Dactylopius coccus and the wild cochineal D. opuntiae reported sequences of Spiroplasma associated with these insects. However, there is no analysis of the genomic capabilities and the interaction of this Spiroplasma with Dactylopius.

RESULTS: Here we present three Spiroplasma genomes independently recovered from metagenomes of adult males and females of D. coccus, from two different populations, as well as from adult females of D. opuntiae. Single-copy gene analysis showed that these genomes were > 92% complete. Phylogenomic analyses classified these genomes as new members of Spiroplasma ixodetis. Comparative genome analysis indicated that they exhibit fewer genes involved in amino acid and carbon catabolism compared to other spiroplasmas. Moreover, virulence factor-encoding genes (i.e., glpO, spaid and rip2) were found incomplete in these S. ixodetis genomes. We also detected an enrichment of genes encoding the type IV secretion system (T4SS) in S. ixodetis genomes of Dactylopius. A metratranscriptomic analysis of D. coccus showed that some of these T4SS genes (i.e., traG, virB4 and virD4) in addition to the superoxide dismutase sodA of S. ixodetis were overexpressed in the ovaries.

CONCLUSION: The symbiont S. ixodetis is a new member of the bacterial community of D. coccus and D. opuntiae. The recovery of incomplete virulence factor-encoding genes in S. ixodetis of Dactylopius suggests that this bacterium is a non-pathogenic symbiont. A high number of genes encoding the T4SS, in the S. ixodetis genomes and the overexpression of these genes in the ovary and hemolymph of the host suggest that S. ixodetis use the T4SS to interact with the Dactylopius cells. Moreover, the transcriptional differences of S. ixodetis among the gut, hemolymph and ovary tissues of D. coccus indicate that this bacterium can respond and adapt to the different conditions (e.g., oxidative stress) present within the host. All this evidence proposes that there is a strong interaction and molecular signaling in the symbiosis between S. ixodetis and the carmine cochineal Dactylopius.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Daveu R, Laurence C, Bouju-Albert A, et al (2021)

Symbiont dynamics during the blood meal of Ixodes ricinus nymphs differ according to their sex.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 12(4):101707 pii:S1877-959X(21)00060-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Ticks harbour rich and diverse microbiota and, among the microorganisms associated with them, endosymbionts are the subject of a growing interest due to their crucial role in the biology of their arthropod host. Midichloria mitochondrii is the main endosymbiont of the European tick Ixodes ricinus and is found in abundance in all I. ricinus females, while at a much lower density in males, where it is even absent in 56 % of the individuals. This endosymbiont is also known to increase in numbers after the blood meal of larvae, nymphs or females. Because of this difference in the prevalence of M. mitochondrii between the two sexes, surveying the density of these bacteria in nymphs that will become either females or males could help to understand the behaviour of Midichloria in its arthropod host. To this aim, we have set up an experimental design by building 3 groups of unfed nymphs based on their scutum and hypostome lengths. After engorgement, weighing and moulting of a subset of the nymphs, a significant difference in sex-ratio among the 3 groups was observed. In parallel, Midichloria load in individual nymphs was quantified by qPCR both before and after engorgement. No difference in either body mass or Midichloria load was observed at the unfed stage, but following engorgement, both features were significantly different between each size group. Our results demonstrate that symbiont dynamics during nymphal engorgement is different between the two sexes, resulting in a significantly higher Midichloria load in nymphs that will become females. The consequences of those findings on our understanding of the interplay between the endosymbiont and its arthropod host are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Greczek-Stachura M, Leśnicka PZ, Tarcz S, et al (2021)

Genetic Diversity of Symbiotic Green Algae of Paramecium bursaria Syngens Originating from Distant Geographical Locations.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(3):.

Paramecium bursaria (Ehrenberg 1831) is a ciliate species living in a symbiotic relationship with green algae. The aim of the study was to identify green algal symbionts of P. bursaria originating from distant geographical locations and to answer the question of whether the occurrence of endosymbiont taxa was correlated with a specific ciliate syngen (sexually separated sibling group). In a comparative analysis, we investigated 43 P. bursaria symbiont strains based on molecular features. Three DNA fragments were sequenced: two from the nuclear genomes-a fragment of the ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2 region and a fragment of the gene encoding large subunit ribosomal RNA (28S rDNA), as well as a fragment of the plastid genome comprising the 3'rpl36-5'infA genes. The analysis of two ribosomal sequences showed the presence of 29 haplotypes (haplotype diversity Hd = 0.98736 for ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2 and Hd = 0.908 for 28S rDNA) in the former two regions, and 36 haplotypes in the 3'rpl36-5'infA gene fragment (Hd = 0.984). The following symbiotic strains were identified: Chlorella vulgaris, Chlorella variabilis, Chlorella sorokiniana and Micractinium conductrix. We rejected the hypotheses concerning (i) the correlation between P. bursaria syngen and symbiotic species, and (ii) the relationship between symbiotic species and geographic distribution.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Zepeda-Paulo F, B Lavandero (2021)

Effect of the Genotypic Variation of an Aphid Host on the Endosymbiont Associations in Natural Host Populations.

Insects, 12(3):.

Understanding the role of facultative endosymbionts on the host's ecology has been the main aim of the research in symbiont-host systems. However, current research on host-endosymbiont dynamics has failed to examine the genetic background of the hosts and its effect on host-endosymbiont associations in real populations. We have addressed the seasonal dynamic of facultative endosymbiont infections among different host clones of the grain aphid Sitobion avenae, on two cereal crops (wheat and oat) and whether their presence affects the total hymenopteran parasitism of aphid hosts at the field level. We present evidence of rapid seasonal shifts in the endosymbiont frequency, suggesting a positive selection of endosymbionts at the host-level (aphids) through an agricultural growing season, by two mechanisms; (1) an increase of aphid infections with endosymbionts over time, and (2) the seasonal replacement of host clones within natural populations by increasing the prevalence of aphid clones closely associated to endosymbionts. Our results highlight how genotypic variation of hosts can affect the endosymbiont prevalence in the field, being an important factor for understanding the magnitude and direction of the adaptive and/or maladaptive responses of hosts to the environment.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Nooroong P, Trinachartvanit W, Baimai V, et al (2021)

Partial DnaK protein expression from Coxiella-like endosymbiont of Rhipicephalus annulatus tick.

PloS one, 16(4):e0249354.

Q fever is one of the most important zoonotic diseases caused by the obligate intracellular bacteria, Coxiella burnetii. This bacterial infection has been frequently reported in both humans and animals, especially ruminants. Ticks are important ectoparasite and serve as reservoir hosts of Coxiella-like endosymbionts (CLEs). In this study, we have attempted to express chaperone-coding genes from CLEs of Rhipicephalus annulatus ticks collected fromcow path. The partial DnaK coding sequence has been amplified and expressed by Escherichia coli. Amino acid sequences have been analyzed by MS-MS spectrometry and the UniProt database. Despites nucleotide sequences indicating high nucleotide variation and diversity, many nucleotide substitutions are synonymous. In addition, amino acid substitutions compensate for the physicochemical properties of the original amino acids. Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource (IEDB-AR) was employed to indicate the antigenicity of the partial DnaK protein and predict the epitopes of B-and T-cells. Interestingly, some predicted HLA-A and B alleles of the MHC-I and HLA-DR alleles belonging to MHC-II were similar to T-cell responses to C. burnetii in Q fever patients. Therefore, the partial DnaK protein of CLE from R. annulatus could be considered a vaccine candidate and immunogenic marker with future prospects.

RevDate: 2021-04-02
CmpDate: 2021-04-02

Ribeiro MF, Carvalho VR, Favoreto AL, et al (2021)

Yersinia massiliensis (Enterobacteriales: Enterobacteriaceae) in the host Anaphes nitens (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae): first report of association with insects.

Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia, 82:e237098 pii:S1519-69842022000100218.

Endosymbiont bacteria can affect biological parameters and reduce the effectiveness of natural enemies in controlling the target insect. The objective of this work was to identify endosymbiont bacteria in Anaphes nitens (Girault, 1928) (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae), the main natural enemy used to manage Gonipterus platensis (Marelli, 1926) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Genomic DNA from six A. nitens populations was extracted and polymerase chain reactions (PCR) were performed with the primers to detect endosymbiont bacteria in this insect. The PCR products were amplified, sequenced, and compared with sequences deposited in the GenBank for the bacteria identification. All A. nitens populations had the bacterium Yersinia massiliensis (Enterobacteriales: Enterobacteriaceae). This bacterium was originally described as free-living, and it is associated with and composes part of the A. nitens microbiota. This is the first report of Y. massiliensis in an insect host.

RevDate: 2021-03-31

Shang J, Yao YS, Zhu XZ, et al (2021)

Evaluation of sublethal and transgenerational effects of sulfoxaflor on Aphis gossypii via life table parameters and 16S rRNA sequencing.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Aphis gossypii, a polyphagous and recurrent pest induced by pesticides, causes tremendous loss in the yield of crops each year. Previous studies of pesticide-induced sublethal effects mechanism mainly focus on gene level. The symbiotic bacteria are also important participants of this mechanism, but their roles in hormesis are still unclear.

RESULTS: In this study, life table parameters and 16S rRNA sequencing were applied to evaluate the sublethal and transgenerational effects of sulfoxaflor on adult A. gossypii after 24-h LC20 (6.96 mg L-1) concentration exposure. The results indicated that the LC20 of sulfoxaflor significantly reduced the finite rate of increase (λ) and net reproductive rate (R0) of parent generation (G0), and significantly increased mean generation time (T) of G1 and G2, but not of G3 and G4. Both reproductive period and fecundity of G1 and G2 were significantly higher than those of the control. Furthermore, our sequencing data revealed that more than 95% bacterial communities were dominated by the phylum Proteobacteria, in which the maximum proportion genus was the primary symbiont Buchnera and the facultative symbiont Arsenophonus. Compared to those of the control, the abundance and composition of symbiotic bacteria of A. gossypii for three successive generations (G0-G2) were changed after G0 A. gossypii was exposed to sulfoxaflor: the diversity of the bacterial community was decreased, but the abundance of Buchnera was increased (G0), while the abundance of Arsenophonus was decreased. Contrary to G0, G1 and G2 cotton aphid exhibited an increased relative abundance of Arsenophonus in sublethal treatment group.

CONCLUSION: Taken together, our results provide an insight into the interactions among pesticide resistance, aphids, and symbionts, which will eventually help to better manage the resurgence of A. gossypii. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Ledermann R, Emmenegger B, Couzigou JM, et al (2021)

Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens Requires Chemical Chaperones To Cope with Osmotic Stress during Soybean Infection.

mBio, 12(2):.

When engaging in symbiosis with legume hosts, rhizobia are confronted with environmental changes, including nutrient availability and stress exposure. Genetic circuits allow responding to these environmental stimuli to optimize physiological adaptations during the switch from the free-living to the symbiotic life style. A pivotal regulatory system of the nitrogen-fixing soybean endosymbiont Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens for efficient symbiosis is the general stress response (GSR), which relies on the alternative sigma factor σEcfG However, the GSR-controlled process required for symbiosis has not been identified. Here, we demonstrate that biosynthesis of trehalose is under GSR control, and mutants lacking the respective biosynthetic genes otsA and/or otsB phenocopy GSR-deficient mutants under symbiotic and selected free-living stress conditions. The role of trehalose as a cytoplasmic chemical chaperone and stress protectant can be functionally replaced in an otsA or otsB mutant by introducing heterologous genetic pathways for biosynthesis of the chemically unrelated compatible solutes glycine betaine and (hydroxy)ectoine. Alternatively, uptake of exogenously provided trehalose also restores efficient symbiosis and tolerance to hyperosmotic and hyperionic stress of otsA mutants. Hence, elevated cytoplasmic trehalose levels resulting from GSR-controlled biosynthesis are crucial for B. diazoefficiens cells to overcome adverse conditions during early stages of host infection and ensure synchronization with root nodule development.IMPORTANCE The Bradyrhizobium-soybean symbiosis is of great agricultural significance and serves as a model system for fundamental research in bacterium-plant interactions. While detailed molecular insight is available about mutual recognition and early nodule organogenesis, our understanding of the host-imposed conditions and the physiology of infecting rhizobia during the transition from a free-living state in the rhizosphere to endosymbiotic bacteroids is currently limited. In this study, we show that the requirement of the rhizobial general stress response (GSR) during host infection is attributable to GSR-controlled biosynthesis of trehalose. Specifically, trehalose is crucial for an efficient symbiosis by acting as a chemical chaperone to protect rhizobia from osmostress during host infection.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Flatau R, Segoli M, H Hawlena (2021)

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:649248.

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

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Reverte M, Eren RO, Jha B, et al (2021)

The antioxidant response favors Leishmania parasites survival, limits inflammation and reprograms the host cell metabolism.

PLoS pathogens, 17(3):e1009422.

The oxidative burst generated by the host immune system can restrict intracellular parasite entry and growth. While this burst leads to the induction of antioxidative enzymes, the molecular mechanisms and the consequences of this counter-response on the life of intracellular human parasites are largely unknown. The transcription factor NF-E2-related factor (NRF2) could be a key mediator of antioxidant signaling during infection due to the entry of parasites. Here, we showed that NRF2 was strongly upregulated in infection with the human Leishmania protozoan parasites, its activation was dependent on a NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) and SRC family of protein tyrosine kinases (SFKs) signaling pathway and it reprogrammed host cell metabolism. In inflammatory leishmaniasis caused by a viral endosymbiont inducing TNF-α in chronic leishmaniasis, NRF2 activation promoted parasite persistence but limited TNF-α production and tissue destruction. These data provided evidence of the dual role of NRF2 in protecting both the invading pathogen from reactive oxygen species and the host from an excess of the TNF-α destructive pro-inflammatory cytokine.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

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

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

GigaScience, 10(3):.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-03-19

Tria FDK, Brueckner J, Skejo J, et al (2021)

Gene duplications trace mitochondria to the onset of eukaryote complexity.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6178794 [Epub ahead of print].

The last eukaryote common ancestor (LECA) possessed mitochondria and all key traits that make eukaryotic cells more complex than their prokaryotic ancestors, yet the timing of mitochondrial acquisition and the role of mitochondria in the origin of eukaryote complexity remain debated. Here we report evidence from gene duplications in LECA indicating an early origin of mitochondria. Among 163,545 duplications in 24,571 gene trees spanning 150 sequenced eukaryotic genomes, we identify 713 gene duplication events that occurred in LECA. LECA's bacterial derived genes include numerous mitochondrial functions and were duplicated significantly more often than archaeal derived and eukaryote specific genes. The surplus of bacterial derived duplications in LECA most likely reflects the serial copying of genes from the mitochondrial endosymbiont to the archaeal host's chromosomes. Clustering, phylogenies and likelihood ratio tests for 22.4 million genes from 5,655 prokaryotic and 150 eukaryotic genomes reveal no evidence for lineage specific gene acquisitions in eukaryotes, except from the plastid in the plant lineage. That finding, and the functions of bacterial genes duplicated in LECA, suggest that the bacterial genes in eukaryotes are acquisitions from the mitochondrion, followed by vertical gene evolution and differential loss across eukaryotic lineages, flanked by concomitant lateral gene transfer among prokaryotes. Overall, the data indicate that recurrent gene transfer via the copying of genes from a resident mitochondrial endosymbiont to archaeal host chromosomes preceded the onset of eukaryotic cellular complexity, favoring mitochondria-early over mitochondria-late hypotheses for eukaryote origin.

RevDate: 2021-03-18

Otto G (2021)

A new bacterial endosymbiont.

Nature reviews. Microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-03-17

Arab DA, N Lo (2021)

Evolutionary Rates are Correlated Between Buchnera Endosymbionts and the Mitochondrial Genomes of Their Aphid Hosts.

Journal of molecular evolution [Epub ahead of print].

The evolution of bacterial endosymbiont genomes is strongly influenced by host-driven selection. Factors affecting host genome evolution will potentially affect endosymbiont genomes in similar ways. One potential outcome is correlations in molecular rates between the genomes of the symbiotic partners. Recently, we presented the first evidence of such correlations between the mitochondrial genomes of cockroaches and the genomes of their endosymbiont (Blattabacterium cuenoti). Here we investigate whether similar patterns are found in additional host-symbiont partners. We use partial genome data from multiple strains of the bacterial endosymbionts Buchnera aphidicola and Sulcia muelleri, and the mitochondrial genomes of their sap-feeding insect hosts. Both endosymbionts show phylogenetic congruence with the mitochondria of their hosts, a result that is expected due to their identical mode of inheritance. We compared root-to-tip distances and branch lengths of phylogenetically independent species pairs. Both analyses showed a highly significant correlation of molecular rates between the genomes of Buchnera and the mitochondrial genomes of their hosts. A similar correlation was detected between Sulcia and their hosts, but was not statistically significant. Our results indicate that evolutionary rate correlations between hosts and long-term symbionts may be a widespread phenomenon.

RevDate: 2021-03-20

Pröschold T, Rieser D, Darienko T, et al (2021)

An integrative approach sheds new light onto the systematics and ecology of the widespread ciliate genus Coleps (Ciliophora, Prostomatea).

Scientific reports, 11(1):5916.

Species of the genus Coleps are one of the most common planktonic ciliates in lake ecosystems. The study aimed to identify the phenotypic plasticity and genetic variability of different Coleps isolates from various water bodies and from culture collections. We used an integrative approach to study the strains by (i) cultivation in a suitable culture medium, (ii) screening of the morphological variability including the presence/absence of algal endosymbionts of living cells by light microscopy, (iii) sequencing of the SSU and ITS rDNA including secondary structures, (iv) assessment of their seasonal and spatial occurrence in two lakes over a one-year cycle both from morphospecies counts and high-throughput sequencing (HTS), and, (v) proof of the co-occurrence of Coleps and their endosymbiotic algae from HTS-based network analyses in the two lakes. The Coleps strains showed a high phenotypic plasticity and low genetic variability. The algal endosymbiont in all studied strains was Micractinium conductrix and the mutualistic relationship turned out as facultative. Coleps is common in both lakes over the whole year in different depths and HTS has revealed that only one genotype respectively one species, C. viridis, was present in both lakes despite the different lifestyles (mixotrophic with green algal endosymbionts or heterotrophic without algae). Our results suggest a future revision of the species concept of the genus Coleps.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

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

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

Frontiers in physiology, 12:642237.

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

RevDate: 2021-03-22

Cornwell BH, L Hernández (2021)

Genetic structure in the endosymbiont Breviolum 'muscatinei' is correlated with geographical location, environment and host species.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1946):20202896.

Corals and cnidarians form symbioses with dinoflagellates across a wide range of habitats from the tropics to temperate zones. Notably, these partnerships create the foundation of coral reef ecosystems and are at risk of breaking down due to climate change. This symbiosis couples the fitness of the partners, where adaptations in one species can benefit the holobiont. However, the scales over which each partner can match their current-and future-environment are largely unknown. We investigated population genetic patterns of temperate anemones (Anthopleura spp.) and their endosymbiont Breviolum 'muscatinei', across an extensive geographical range to identify the spatial scales over which local adaptation is possible. Similar to previously published results, two solitary host species exhibited isolation by distance across hundreds of kilometres. However, symbionts exhibited genetic structure across multiple spatial scales, from geographical location to depth in the intertidal zone, and host species, suggesting that symbiont populations are more likely than their hosts to adaptively mitigate the impact of increasing temperatures.

RevDate: 2021-04-01

Lim SJ, Davis B, Gill D, et al (2021)

Gill microbiome structure and function in the chemosymbiotic coastal lucinid Stewartia floridana.

FEMS microbiology ecology, 97(4):.

Lucinid bivalves harbor environmentally acquired, chemosynthetic, gammaproteobacterial gill endosymbionts. Lucinid gill microbiomes, which may contain other gammaproteobacterial and/or spirochete taxa, remain under-sampled. To understand inter-host variability of the lucinid gill microbiome, specifically in the bacterial communities, we analyzed the microbiome content of Stewartia floridana collected from Florida. Sampled gills contained a monospecific gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont expressing lithoautotrophic, mixotrophic, diazotrophic and C1 compound oxidation-related functions previously characterized in similar lucinid species. Another low-abundance Spirochaeta-like species in ∼72% of the sampled gills was most closely related to Spirochaeta-like species in another lucinid Phacoides pectinatus and formed a clade with known marine Spirochaeta symbionts. The spirochete expressed genes were involved in heterotrophy and the transport of sugars, amino acids, peptides and other substrates. Few muscular and neurofilament genes from the host and none from the gammaproteobacterial and spirochete symbionts were differentially expressed among quadrats predominantly covered with seagrass species or 80% bare sand. Our results suggest that spirochetes are facultatively associated with S. floridana, with potential scavenging and nutrient cycling roles. Expressed stress- and defense-related functions in the host and symbionts also suggest species-species communications, which highlight the need for further study of the interactions among lucinid hosts, their microbiomes and their environment.

RevDate: 2021-03-17

Moon EK, Park SM, Chu KB, et al (2021)

Differentially Expressed Gene Profile of Acanthamoeba castellanii Induced by an Endosymbiont Legionella pneumophila.

The Korean journal of parasitology, 59(1):67-75.

Legionella pneumophila is an opportunistic pathogen that survives and proliferates within protists such as Acanthamoeba spp. in environment. However, intracellular pathogenic endosymbiosis and its implications within Acanthamoeba spp. remain poorly understood. In this study, RNA sequencing analysis was used to investigate transcriptional changes in A. castellanii in response to L. pneumophila infection. Based on RNA sequencing data, we identified 1,211 upregulated genes and 1,131 downregulated genes in A. castellanii infected with L. pneumophila for 12 hr. After 24 hr, 1,321 upregulated genes and 1,379 downregulated genes were identified. Gene ontology (GO) analysis revealed that L. pneumophila endosymbiosis enhanced hydrolase activity, catalytic activity, and DNA binding while reducing oxidoreductase activity in the molecular function (MF) domain. In particular, multiple genes associated with the GO term 'integral component of membrane' were downregulated during endosymbiosis. The endosymbiont also induced differential expression of various methyltransferases and acetyltransferases in A. castellanii. Findings herein are may significantly contribute to understanding endosymbiosis of L. pneumophila within A. castellanii.

RevDate: 2021-03-10

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

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

Scientific reports, 11(1):5260.

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

RevDate: 2021-03-31

Graf JS, Schorn S, Kitzinger K, et al (2021)

Anaerobic endosymbiont generates energy for ciliate host by denitrification.

Nature, 591(7850):445-450.

Mitochondria are specialized eukaryotic organelles that have a dedicated function in oxygen respiration and energy production. They evolved about 2 billion years ago from a free-living bacterial ancestor (probably an alphaproteobacterium), in a process known as endosymbiosis1,2. Many unicellular eukaryotes have since adapted to life in anoxic habitats and their mitochondria have undergone further reductive evolution3. As a result, obligate anaerobic eukaryotes with mitochondrial remnants derive their energy mostly from fermentation4. Here we describe 'Candidatus Azoamicus ciliaticola', which is an obligate endosymbiont of an anaerobic ciliate and has a dedicated role in respiration and providing energy for its eukaryotic host. 'Candidatus A. ciliaticola' contains a highly reduced 0.29-Mb genome that encodes core genes for central information processing, the electron transport chain, a truncated tricarboxylic acid cycle, ATP generation and iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis. The genome encodes a respiratory denitrification pathway instead of aerobic terminal oxidases, which enables its host to breathe nitrate instead of oxygen. 'Candidatus A. ciliaticola' and its ciliate host represent an example of a symbiosis that is based on the transfer of energy in the form of ATP, rather than nutrition. This discovery raises the possibility that eukaryotes with mitochondrial remnants may secondarily acquire energy-providing endosymbionts to complement or replace functions of their mitochondria.

RevDate: 2021-03-02

Zhou Z, Zhang K, Wang L, et al (2021)

Nitrogen availability improves the physiological resilience of coral endosymbiont Cladocopium goreaui to high temperature.

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

The physiological response of symbiotic Symbiodiniaceae to high temperature is believed to result in coral bleaching. However, the potential effect of nitrogen availability on heat acclimatization of symbiotic Symbiodiniaceae is still unclear. In this study, physiological responses of Symbiodiniaceae Cladocopium goreaui to temperature and nitrogen-nutrient stress conditions were investigated. Nitrogen deficiency caused significant declines in cell concentration and chlorophyll content per cell, but significant increases in nitric oxide synthase activity, caspase3 activation level, and carbon content of C. goreaui at normal temperature. Algal cells under high temperature and nitrogen deficiency showed significant rises in Fv/Fm, catalase activity, and caspase3 activation level, but no significant changes in cell yield, cell size, chlorophyll content, superoxide dismutase, nitric oxide synthase activity, and cellular contents of nitrogen and carbon, in comparison with those under normal temperature and nitrogen deficiency. Growth, chlorophyll and nitrogen contents of algal cells under the high temperature and nitrogen-replete conditions were significantly higher than those under high temperature or nitrogen deficiency alone, whereas nitric oxide synthase activity, superoxide dismutase activity, catalase activity, carbon content, and caspase3 activation level exhibited opposite trends of variation. Transcriptomic and network analyses revealed ion transport and metabolic processes mainly involved in regulating these physiological activities under different temperature and nitrogen-nutrient. The totality of results shows that high temperature activates stress responses, induces antioxidant capacity of apoptosis, and limits the growth rate of C. goreaui. Adequate nitrogen-nutrient can improve the resilience of this Symbiodiniaceae against heat stress through repressed apoptosis, promoted ion transport, and optimized metabolism.

RevDate: 2021-03-02

Wang X, Ding J, Lin S, et al (2020)

Evolution and roles of cytokinin genes in angiosperms 2: Do ancient CKXs play housekeeping roles while non-ancient CKXs play regulatory roles?.

Horticulture research, 7(1):29.

Cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX) is a key enzyme responsible for the degradation of endogenous cytokinins. However, the origins and roles of CKX genes in angiosperm evolution remain unclear. Based on comprehensive bioinformatic and transgenic plant analyses, we demonstrate that the CKXs of land plants most likely originated from an ancient chlamydial endosymbiont during primary endosymbiosis. We refer to the CKXs retaining evolutionarily ancient characteristics as "ancient CKXs" and those that have expanded and functionally diverged in angiosperms as "non-ancient CKXs". We show that the expression of some non-ancient CKXs is rapidly inducible within 15 min upon the dehydration of Arabidopsis, while the ancient CKX (AtCKX7) is not drought responsive. Tobacco plants overexpressing a non-ancient CKX display improved oxidative and drought tolerance and root growth. Previous mutant studies have shown that non-ancient CKXs regulate organ development, particularly that of flowers. Furthermore, ancient CKXs preferentially degrade cis-zeatin (cZ)-type cytokinins, while non-ancient CKXs preferentially target N6-(Δ2-isopentenyl) adenines (iPs) and trans-zeatins (tZs). Based on the results of this work, an accompanying study (Wang et al. and previous studies, we hypothesize that non-ancient CKXs and their preferred substrates of iP/tZ-type cytokinins regulate angiosperm organ development and environmental stress responses, while ancient CKXs and their preferred substrates of cZs play a housekeeping role, which echoes the conclusions and hypothesis described in the accompanying report (Wang, X. et al. Evolution and roles of cytokinin genes in angiosperms 1: Doancient IPTs play housekeeping while non-ancient IPTs play regulatory roles? Hortic Res 7, (2020).

RevDate: 2021-02-26

Teoh MC, Furusawa G, G Veera Singham (2021)

Multifaceted interactions between the pseudomonads and insects: mechanisms and prospects.

Archives of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Insects and bacteria are the most widespread groups of organisms found in nearly all habitats on earth, establishing diverse interactions that encompass the entire range of possible symbiotic associations from strict parasitism to obligate mutualism. The complexity of their interactions is instrumental in shaping the roles of insects in the environment, meanwhile ensuring the survival and persistence of the associated bacteria. This review aims to provide detailed insight on the multifaceted symbiosis between one of the most versatile bacterial genera, Pseudomonas (Gammaproteobacteria: Pseudomonadaceae) and a diverse group of insect species. The Pseudomonas engages with varied interactions with insects, being either a pathogen or beneficial endosymbiont, as well as using insects as vectors. In addition, this review also provides updates on existing and potential applications of Pseudomonas and their numerous insecticidal metabolites as biocontrol agents against pest insects for the improvement of integrated pest management strategies. Here, we have summarized several known modes of action and the virulence factors of entomopathogenic Pseudomonas strains essential for their pathogenicity against insects. Meanwhile, the beneficial interactions between pseudomonads and insects are currently limited to a few known insect taxa, despite numerous studies reporting identification of pseudomonads in the guts and haemocoel of various insect species. The vector-symbiont association between pseudomonads and insects can be diverse from strict phoresy to a role switch from commensalism to parasitism following a dose-dependent response. Overall, the pseudomonads appeared to have evolved independently to be either exclusively pathogenic or beneficial towards insects.

RevDate: 2021-02-28

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

The Eagle effect in the Wolbachia-worm symbiosis.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):118.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Baniya A, P DiGennaro (2021)

Genome announcement of Steinernema khuongi and its associated symbiont from Florida.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 11(4):.

Citrus root weevil (Diaprepes abbreviates) causes significant yield loss in citrus, especially in Florida. A promising source of control for this pest is biological control agents, namely, native entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) within the genus Steinernema. Two species of endemic EPN in Florida are S. diaparepesi, abundant within the central ridge, and S. khuongi, dominating the flatwood regions of the state. These citrus-growing regions differ significantly in their soil habitats, which impacts the potential success of biological control measures. Although the genome sequence of S. diaprepesi is currently available, the genome sequence of S. khuongi and identity of the symbiotic bacteria is still unknown. Understanding the genomic differences between these two nematodes and their favored habitats can inform successful biological control practices. Here, MiSeq libraries were used to simultaneously sequence and assemble the draft genome of S. khuongi and its associated symbionts. The final draft genome for S. khuongi has 8,794 contigs with a total length of ∼82 Mb, a largest contig of 428,226 bp, and N50 of 46 kb; its BUSCO scores indicate that it is > 86% complete. An associated bacterial genome was assembled with a total length of ∼3.5 Mb, a largest contig at 116,532 bp, and N50 of 17,487 bp. The bacterial genome encoded 3,721 genes, similar to other Xenorhabdus genomes. Comparative genomics identified the symbiotic bacteria of S. khuongi as Xenorhabdus poinarii. These new draft genomes of a host and symbiont can be used as a valuable tool for comparative genomics with other EPNs and its symbionts to understand host range and habitat suitability.

RevDate: 2021-03-11
CmpDate: 2021-03-11

Lan Y, Sun J, Chen C, et al (2021)

Hologenome analysis reveals dual symbiosis in the deep-sea hydrothermal vent snail Gigantopelta aegis.

Nature communications, 12(1):1165.

Animals endemic to deep-sea hydrothermal vents often form obligatory symbioses with bacteria, maintained by intricate host-symbiont interactions. Most genomic studies on holobionts have not investigated both sides to similar depths. Here, we report dual symbiosis in the peltospirid snail Gigantopelta aegis with two gammaproteobacterial endosymbionts: a sulfur oxidiser and a methane oxidiser. We assemble high-quality genomes for all three parties, including a chromosome-level host genome. Hologenomic analyses reveal mutualism with nutritional complementarity and metabolic co-dependency, highly versatile in transporting and using chemical energy. Gigantopelta aegis likely remodels its immune system to facilitate dual symbiosis. Comparisons with Chrysomallon squamiferum, a confamilial snail with a single sulfur-oxidising gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont, show that their sulfur-oxidising endosymbionts are phylogenetically distant. This is consistent with previous findings that they evolved endosymbiosis convergently. Notably, the two sulfur-oxidisers share the same capabilities in biosynthesising nutrients lacking in the host genomes, potentially a key criterion in symbiont selection.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Snellgrove AN, Krapiunaya I, Scott P, et al (2021)

Assessment of the Pathogenicity of Rickettsia amblyommatis, Rickettsia bellii, and Rickettsia montanensis in a Guinea Pig Model.

Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.), 21(4):232-241.

Members of the genus Rickettsia range from nonpathogenic endosymbionts to virulent pathogens such as Rickettsia rickettsii, the causative agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Many rickettsiae are considered nonpathogenic because they have been isolated from ticks but not vertebrate hosts. We assessed the ability of three presumed endosymbionts: Rickettsia amblyommatis, Rickettsia bellii, and Rickettsia montanensis, to infect a guinea pig animal model. These species were chosen because of their high prevalence in respective tick vectors or published reports suggestive of human or animal pathogenicity. Following intraperitoneal (IP) inoculation of cell culture suspensions of R. rickettsii, R. amblyommatis, R. bellii, or R. montanensis into guinea pigs, animals were monitored for signs of clinical illness for 13 days. Ear biopsies and blood samples were taken at 2- to 3-day intervals for detection of rickettsial DNA by PCR. Animals were necropsied and internal organ samples were also tested using PCR assays. Among the six guinea pigs inoculated with R. amblyommatis, fever, orchitis, and dermatitis were observed in one, one, and three animals respectively. In R. bellii-exposed animals, we noted fever in one of six animals, orchitis in one, and dermatitis in two. No PCR-positive tissues were present in either the R. amblyommatis- or R. bellii-exposed groups. In the R. montanensis-exposed group, two of six animals became febrile, two had orchitis, and three developed dermatitis in ears or footpads. R. montanensis DNA was detected in ear skin biopsies collected on multiple days from three animals. Also, a liver specimen from one animal and spleen specimens of two animals were PCR positive. The course and severity of disease in the three experimental groups were significantly milder than that of R. rickettsii. This study suggests that the three rickettsiae considered nonpathogenic can cause either subclinical or mild infections in guinea pigs when introduced via IP inoculation.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Keller CM, Kendra CG, Bruna RE, et al (2021)

Genetic Modification of Sodalis Species by DNA Transduction.

mSphere, 6(1):.

Bacteriophages (phages) are ubiquitous in nature. These viruses play a number of central roles in microbial ecology and evolution by, for instance, promoting horizontal gene transfer (HGT) among bacterial species. The ability of phages to mediate HGT through transduction has been widely exploited as an experimental tool for the genetic study of bacteria. As such, bacteriophage P1 represents a prototypical generalized transducing phage with a broad host range that has been extensively employed in the genetic manipulation of Escherichia coli and a number of other model bacterial species. Here we demonstrate that P1 is capable of infecting, lysogenizing, and promoting transduction in members of the bacterial genus Sodalis, including the maternally inherited insect endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius While establishing new tools for the genetic study of these bacterial species, our results suggest that P1 may be used to deliver DNA to many Gram-negative endosymbionts in their insect host, thereby circumventing a culturing requirement to genetically manipulate these organisms.IMPORTANCE A large number of economically important insects maintain intimate associations with maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacteria. Due to the inherent nature of these associations, insect endosymbionts cannot be usually isolated in pure culture or genetically manipulated. Here we use a broad-host-range bacteriophage to deliver exogenous DNA to an insect endosymbiont and a closely related free-living species. Our results suggest that broad-host-range bacteriophages can be used to genetically alter insect endosymbionts in their insect host and, as a result, bypass a culturing requirement to genetically alter these bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-02-16

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

The Antiviral Effects of the Symbiont Bacteria Wolbachia in Insects.

Frontiers in immunology, 11:626329.

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

RevDate: 2021-02-17

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

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

Scientific reports, 11(1):3752.

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

RevDate: 2021-04-12
CmpDate: 2021-04-12

Mannella CA (2021)

VDAC-A Primal Perspective.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4):.

The evolution of the eukaryotic cell from the primal endosymbiotic event involved a complex series of adaptations driven primarily by energy optimization. Transfer of genes from endosymbiont to host and concomitant expansion (by infolding) of the endosymbiont's chemiosmotic membrane greatly increased output of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and placed selective pressure on the membrane at the host-endosymbiont interface to sustain the energy advantage. It is hypothesized that critical functions at this interface (metabolite exchange, polypeptide import, barrier integrity to proteins and DNA) were managed by a precursor β-barrel protein ("pβB") from which the voltage-dependent anion-selective channel (VDAC) descended. VDAC's role as hub for disparate and increasingly complex processes suggests an adaptability that likely springs from a feature inherited from pβB, retained because of important advantages conferred. It is proposed that this property is the remarkable structural flexibility evidenced in VDAC's gating mechanism, a possible origin of which is discussed.

RevDate: 2021-03-03

Puthiyaveetil S, McKenzie SD, Kayanja GE, et al (2021)

Transcription initiation as a control point in plastid gene expression.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Gene regulatory mechanisms, 1864(3):194689.

The extensive processing and protein-assisted stabilization of transcripts have been taken as evidence for a viewpoint that the control of gene expression had shifted entirely in evolution from transcriptional in the bacterial endosymbiont to posttranscriptional in the plastid. This suggestion is however at odds with many observations on plastid gene transcription. Chloroplasts of flowering plants and mosses contain two or more RNA polymerases with distinct promoter preference and division of labor for the coordinated synthesis of plastid RNAs. Plant and algal plastids further possess multiple nonredundant sigma factors that function as transcription initiation factors. The controlled accumulation of plastid sigma factors and modification of their activity by sigma-binding proteins and phosphorylation constitute additional transcriptional regulatory strategies. Plant and algal plastids also contain dedicated one- or two-component transcriptional regulators. Transcription initiation thus continues to form a critical control point at which varied developmental and environmental signals intersect with plastid gene expression.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Davey JW, Catta-Preta CMC, James S, et al (2021)

Chromosomal assembly of the nuclear genome of the endosymbiont-bearing trypanosomatid Angomonas deanei.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 11(1):.

Angomonas deanei is an endosymbiont-bearing trypanosomatid with several highly fragmented genome assemblies and unknown chromosome number. We present an assembly of the A. deanei nuclear genome based on Oxford Nanopore sequence that resolves into 29 complete or close-to-complete chromosomes. The assembly has several previously unknown special features; it has a supernumerary chromosome, a chromosome with a 340-kb inversion, and there is a translocation between two chromosomes. We also present an updated annotation of the chromosomal genome with 10,365 protein-coding genes, 59 transfer RNAs, 26 ribosomal RNAs, and 62 noncoding RNAs.

RevDate: 2021-02-22

Almeida C (2021)

A potential third-order role of the host endoplasmic reticulum as a contact site in interkingdom microbial endosymbiosis and viral infection.

Environmental microbiology reports [Epub ahead of print].

The normal functioning of eukaryotic cells depends on the compartmentalization of metabolic processes within specific organelles. Interactions among organelles, such as those between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) - considered the largest single structure in eukaryotic cells - and other organelles at membrane contact sites (MCSs) have also been suggested to trigger synergisms, including intracellular immune responses against pathogens. In addition to the ER-endogenous functions and ER-organelle MCSs, we present the perspective of a third-order role of the ER as a host contact site for endosymbiotic microbial non-pathogens and pathogens, from endosymbiont bacteria to parasitic protists and viruses. Although understudied, ER-endosymbiont interactions have been observed in a range of eukaryotic hosts, including protists, plants, algae, and metazoans. Host ER interactions with endosymbionts could be an ER function built from ancient, conserved mechanisms selected for communicating with mutualistic endosymbionts in specific life cycle stages, and they may be exploited by pathogens and parasites. The host ER-'guest' interactome and traits in endosymbiotic biology are briefly discussed. The acknowledgment and understanding of these possible mechanisms might reveal novel evolutionary perspectives, uncover the causes of unexplained cellular disorders and suggest new pharmacological targets.

RevDate: 2021-03-11

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

Cardinium symbiosis as a potential confounder of mtDNA based phylogeographic inference in Culicoides imicola (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), a vector of veterinary viruses.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):100.

BACKGROUND: Culicoides imicola (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) is an important Afrotropical and Palearctic vector of disease, transmitting viruses of animal health and economic significance including African horse sickness and bluetongue viruses. Maternally inherited symbiotic bacteria (endosymbionts) of arthropods can alter the frequency of COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) mitochondrial haplotypes (mitotypes) in a population, masking the true patterns of host movement and gene flow. Thus, this study aimed to assess the mtDNA structure of C. imicola in relation to infection with Candidatus Cardinum hertigii (Bacteroides), a common endosymbiont of Culicoides spp.

METHODS: Using haplotype network analysis, COI Sanger sequences from Cardinium-infected and -uninfected C. imicola individuals were first compared in a population from South Africa. The network was then extended to include mitotypes from a geographic range where Cardinium infection has previously been investigated.

RESULTS: The mitotype network of the South African population demonstrated the presence of two broad mitotype groups. All Cardinium-infected specimens fell into one group (Fisher's exact test, P = 0.00071) demonstrating a linkage disequilibrium between endosymbiont and mitochondria. Furthermore, by extending this haplotype network to include other C. imicola populations from the Mediterranean basin, we revealed mitotype variation between the Eastern and Western Mediterranean basins (EMB and WMB) mirrored Cardinium-infection heterogeneity.

CONCLUSIONS: These observations suggest that the linkage disequilibrium of Cardinium and mitochondria reflects endosymbiont gene flow within the Mediterranean basin but may not assist in elucidating host gene flow. Subsequently, we urge caution on the single usage of the COI marker to determine population structure and movement in C. imicola and instead suggest the complementary utilisation of additional molecular markers.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Vieri MK, Hendy A, Mokili JL, et al (2021)

Nodding syndrome research revisited.

International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, 104:739-741.

Nodding syndrome is one of several forms of onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy (OAE) seen among children in areas formerly hyperendemic for the transmission of Onchocerca volvulus. These forms of epilepsy are highly prevalent and clustered in certain villages located close to blackfly (Diptera: Simuliidae) breeding sites. OAE presents with a wide spectrum of seizures, including generalized tonic-clonic and head nodding seizures, impaired cognitive function, growth stunting and delayed puberty. In 2014, the present authors published a perspective paper in this journal which hypothesized that nodding syndrome may be caused by either a neurotropic virus transmitted by blackflies or an endosymbiont present within the O. volvulus parasite. Seven years later, this critical review presents progress in nodding syndrome research, and assesses whether it is still plausible that a neurotropic virus or endosymbiont could be the cause.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Al-Hosary A, Răileanu C, Tauchmann O, et al (2021)

Tick species identification and molecular detection of tick-borne pathogens in blood and ticks collected from cattle in Egypt.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 12(3):101676.

To address the lack of information on ticks infesting cattle in Egypt and the pathogens that they transmit, the current study aimed to (i) provide insight into tick species found on cattle in Egypt, (ii) identify the pathogens in ticks and their cattle hosts and (iii) detect pathogen associations in ticks and cattle. Tick samples and blood from their bovine hosts were collected from three different areas in Egypt (EL-Faiyum Oasis, Assiut Governorate and EL-Kharga Oasis). Tick species were identified by morphology and by sequence analysis of the cytochrome C oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene. Tick pools and blood samples from cattle were screened by the Reverse Line Blot hybridization (RLB) assay for the simultaneous detection of tick-borne pathogens, including Babesia, Theileria, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia spp., as well as the tick endosymbiont Midichloria mitochondrii. The RLB results were confirmed with specific conventional and semi-nested PCRs followed by sequencing. In total, 570 ticks (males, females and nymphs) were collected from 41 heads of cattle. Altogether 398 ticks belonged to the genus Hyalomma (397 Hyalomma excavatum and one Hyalomma scupense) while 172 ticks were identified as Rhipicephalus annulatus. Pooled H. excavatum ticks tested positive for several protozoa and bacteria with different minimum infection rates (MIRs): Theileria annulata (18.1 %), Babesia occultans (1.8 %), Anaplasma marginale (28.5 %), Anaplasma platys (0.25 %), Midichloria mitochondrii (11.6 %), Ehrlichia chaffeensis-like (1.8 %) and Ehrlichia minasensis (1 %). In R. annulatus, several agents were identified at different MIRs: T. annulata (2.3 %), B. bovis (0.6 %), A. marginale (18.0 %), A. platys (1.2 %), M. mitochondrii (2.9 %), E. minasensis (0.6 %). Pathogens co-detection in tick pools revealed A. marginale and T. annulata in 13.3 % samples followed by the co-detection of A. marginale and M. mitochondrii (8.4 %). In addition, triple co-detection with A. marginale, T. annulata and M. mitochondrii were found in 5.3 % of the tick pools. In cattle, the most common coinfection was with A. marginale and T. annulata (82.9 %) followed by the coinfection between A. marginale, T. annulata and B. bovis (4.9 %), A. marginale and B. bigemina (2.4 %) and finally the coinfection between T. annulata and B. occultans (2.4 %). Anaplasma platys, Babesia occultans, and E. minasensis were detected for the first time in Egypt in both cattle and ticks. These findings should be taken in consideration regarding human and animal wellbeing by the public health and veterinary authorities in Egypt.

RevDate: 2021-02-06

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

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

Scientific reports, 11(1):2760.

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

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Myers KN, Conn D, AMV Brown (2021)

Essential Amino Acid Enrichment and Positive Selection Highlight Endosymbiont's Role in a Global Virus-Vectoring Pest.

mSystems, 6(1):.

Host-associated microbes display remarkable convergence in genome repertoire resulting from selection to supplement missing host functions. Nutritional supplementation has been proposed in the verrucomicrobial endosymbiont Xiphinematobacter sp., which lives within a globally widespread group of plant-parasitic nematodes that vector damaging nepoviruses to plants. Only one genome sequence has been published from this symbiont, leaving unanswered questions about its diversity, host range, role, and selective pressures within its hosts. Because its hosts are exceptionally resistant to culturing, this symbiont is best studied through advanced genomic approaches. To analyze the role of Xiphinematobacter sp. in its host, sequencing was performed on nematode communities, and then genomes were extracted for comparative genomics, gene ontology enrichment tests, polymorphism analysis, de Bruijn-based genome-wide association studies, and tests of pathway- and site-specific selection on genes predicted play a role in the symbiosis. Results showed a closely clustered set of Xiphinematobacter isolates with reduced genomes of ∼917 kbp, for which a new species was proposed. Symbionts shared only 2.3% of genes with outgroup Verrucomicrobia, but comparative analyses showed high conservation of all 10 essential amino acid (EAA) biosynthesis pathways plus several vitamin pathways. These findings were supported by gene ontology enrichment tests and high polymorphisms in these pathways compared with background. Genome-wide association analysis confirmed high between-species fixation of alleles with significant functional enrichment for EAA and thiamine synthesis. Strong positive selection was detected on sites within these pathways, despite several being under increased purifying selection. Together, these results suggest that supplementation of EAAs missing in the host diet may drive this widespread symbiosis.IMPORTANCEXiphinematobacter spp. are distinctly evolved intracellular symbionts in the phylum Verrucomicrobia, which includes the important human gut-associated microbe Akkermansia muciniphila and many highly abundant free-living soil microbes. Like Akkermansia sp., Xiphinematobacter sp. is obligately associated with the gut of its hosts, which in this case consists of a group of plant-parasitic nematodes that are among the top 10 most destructive species to global agriculture, by vectoring plant viruses. This study examined the hypothesis that the key to this symbiont's stable evolutionary association with its host is through provisioning nutrients that its host cannot make that may be lacking in the nematode's plant phloem diet, such as essential amino acids and several vitamins. The significance of our research is in demonstrating, using population genomics, the signatures of selective pressure on these hypothesized roles to ultimately learn how this independently evolved symbiont functionally mirrors symbionts of phloem-feeding insects.

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Kaech H, C Vorburger (2020)

Horizontal Transmission of the Heritable Protective Endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa Depends on Titre and Haplotype.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:628755.

Secondary endosymbionts of aphids have an important ecological and evolutionary impact on their host, as they provide resistance to natural enemies but also reduce the host's lifespan and reproduction. While secondary symbionts of aphids are faithfully transmitted from mother to offspring, they also have some capacity to be transmitted horizontally between aphids. Here we explore whether 11 isolates from 3 haplotypes of the secondary endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa differ in their capacity for horizontal transmission. These isolates vary in the protection they provide against parasitoid wasps as well as the costs they inflict on their host, Aphis fabae. We simulated natural horizontal transmission through parasitoid wasps by stabbing aphids with a thin needle and assessed horizontal transmission success of the isolates from one shared donor clone into three different recipient clones. Specifically, we asked whether potentially costly isolates reaching high cell densities in aphid hosts are more readily transmitted through this route. This hypothesis was only partially supported. While transmissibility increased with titre for isolates from two haplotypes, isolates of the H. defensa haplotype 1 were transmitted with greater frequency than isolates of other haplotypes with comparable titres. Thus, it is not sufficient to be merely frequent-endosymbionts might have to evolve specific adaptations to transmit effectively between hosts.

RevDate: 2021-02-10
CmpDate: 2021-02-10

Shi XB, Yan S, Zhang C, et al (2021)

Aphid endosymbiont facilitates virus transmission by modulating the volatile profile of host plants.

BMC plant biology, 21(1):67.

BACKGROUND: Most plant viruses rely on vectors for their transmission and spread. One of the outstanding biological questions concerning the vector-pathogen-symbiont multi-trophic interactions is the potential involvement of vector symbionts in the virus transmission process. Here, we used a multi-factorial system containing a non-persistent plant virus, cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), its primary vector, green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, and the obligate endosymbiont, Buchnera aphidicola to explore this uncharted territory.

RESULTS: Based on our preliminary research, we hypothesized that aphid endosymbiont B. aphidicola can facilitate CMV transmission by modulating plant volatile profiles. Gene expression analyses demonstrated that CMV infection reduced B. aphidicola abundance in M. persicae, in which lower abundance of B. aphidicola was associated with a preference shift in aphids from infected to healthy plants. Volatile profile analyses confirmed that feeding by aphids with lower B. aphidicola titers reduced the production of attractants, while increased the emission of deterrents. As a result, M. persicae changed their feeding preference from infected to healthy plants.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that CMV infection reduces the B. aphidicola abundance in M. persicae. When viruliferous aphids feed on host plants, dynamic changes in obligate symbionts lead to a shift in plant volatiles from attraction to avoidance, thereby switching insect vector's feeding preference from infected to healthy plants.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

de Kluijver A, Nierop KGJ, Morganti TM, et al (2021)

Bacterial precursors and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids are biomarkers of North-Atlantic deep-sea demosponges.

PloS one, 16(1):e0241095.

Sponges produce distinct fatty acids (FAs) that (potentially) can be used as chemotaxonomic and ecological biomarkers to study endosymbiont-host interactions and the functional ecology of sponges. Here, we present FA profiles of five common habitat-building deep-sea sponges (class Demospongiae, order Tetractinellida), which are classified as high microbial abundance (HMA) species. Geodia hentscheli, G. parva, G. atlantica, G. barretti, and Stelletta rhaphidiophora were collected from boreal and Arctic sponge grounds in the North-Atlantic Ocean. Bacterial FAs dominated in all five species and particularly isomeric mixtures of mid-chain branched FAs (MBFAs, 8- and 9-Me-C16:0 and 10- and 11-Me-C18:0) were found in high abundance (together ≥ 20% of total FAs) aside more common bacterial markers. In addition, the sponges produced long-chain linear, mid- and a(i)-branched unsaturated FAs (LCFAs) with a chain length of 24‒28 C atoms and had predominantly the typical Δ5,9 unsaturation, although the Δ9,19 and (yet undescribed) Δ11,21 unsaturations were also identified. G. parva and S. rhaphidiophora each produced distinct LCFAs, while G. atlantica, G. barretti, and G. hentscheli produced similar LCFAs, but in different ratios. The different bacterial precursors varied in carbon isotopic composition (δ13C), with MBFAs being more enriched compared to other bacterial (linear and a(i)-branched) FAs. We propose biosynthetic pathways for different LCFAs from their bacterial precursors, that are consistent with small isotopic differences found in LCFAs. Indeed, FA profiles of deep-sea sponges can serve as chemotaxonomic markers and support the concept that sponges acquire building blocks from their endosymbiotic bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Dittmer J, Lusseau T, Foissac X, et al (2021)

Skipping the Insect Vector: Plant Stolon Transmission of the Phytopathogen 'Ca. Phlomobacter fragariae' from the Arsenophonus Clade of Insect Endosymbionts.

Insects, 12(2):.

The genus Arsenophonus represents one of the most widespread clades of insect endosymbionts, including reproductive manipulators and bacteriocyte-associated primary endosymbionts. Two strains belonging to the Arsenophonus clade have been identified as insect-vectored plant pathogens of strawberry and sugar beet. The bacteria accumulate in the phloem of infected plants, ultimately causing leaf yellows and necrosis. These symbionts therefore represent excellent model systems to investigate the evolutionary transition from a purely insect-associated endosymbiont towards an insect-vectored phytopathogen. Using quantitative PCR and transmission electron microscopy, we demonstrate that 'Candidatus Phlomobacter fragariae', bacterial symbiont of the planthopper Cixius wagneri and the causative agent of Strawberry Marginal Chlorosis disease, can be transmitted from an infected strawberry plant to multiple daughter plants through stolons. Stolons are horizontally growing stems enabling the nutrient provisioning of daughter plants during their early growth phase. Our results show that Phlomobacter was abundant in the phloem sieve elements of stolons and was efficiently transmitted to daughter plants, which rapidly developed disease symptoms. From an evolutionary perspective, Phlomobacter is, therefore, not only able to survive within the plant after transmission by the insect vector, but can even be transmitted to new plant generations, independently from its ancestral insect host.

RevDate: 2021-01-26

Henriquez FL, Mooney R, Bandel T, et al (2020)

Paradigms of Protist/Bacteria Symbioses Affecting Human Health: Acanthamoeba species and Trichomonas vaginalis.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:616213.

Ever since the publication of the seminal paper by Lynn Margulis in 1967 proposing the theory of the endosymbiotic origin of organelles, the study of the symbiotic relationships between unicellular eukaryotes and prokaryotes has received ever-growing attention by microbiologists and evolutionists alike. While the evolutionary significance of the endosymbiotic associations within protists has emerged and is intensively studied, the impact of these relationships on human health has been seldom taken into account. Microbial endosymbioses involving human eukaryotic pathogens are not common, and the sexually transmitted obligate parasite Trichomonas vaginalis and the free-living opportunistic pathogen Acanthamoeba represent two unique cases in this regard, to date. The reasons of this peculiarity for T. vaginalis and Acanthamoeba may be due to their lifestyles, characterized by bacteria-rich environments. However, this characteristic does not fully explain the reason why no bacterial endosymbiont has yet been detected in unicellular eukaryotic human pathogens other than in T. vaginalis and Acanthamoeba, albeit sparse and poorly investigated examples of morphological identification of bacteria-like microorganisms associated with Giardia and Entamoeba were reported in the past. In this review article we will present the body of experimental evidences revealing the profound effects of these examples of protist/bacteria symbiosis on the pathogenesis of the microbial species involved, and ultimately their impact on human health.

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-07
CmpDate: 2021-04-07

Okrasińska A, Bokus A, Duk K, et al (2021)

New Endohyphal Relationships between Mucoromycota and Burkholderiaceae Representatives.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 87(7):.

Mucoromycota representatives are known to harbor two types of endohyphal bacteria (EHB)-Burkholderia-related endobacteria (BRE) and Mycoplasma-related endobacteria (MRE). While both BRE and MRE occur in fungi representing all subphyla of Mucoromycota, their distribution is not well studied. Therefore, it is difficult to resolve the evolutionary history of these associations in favor of one of the following two alternative hypotheses explaining their origin: "early invasion" and "late invasion." Our main goal was to fill this knowledge gap by surveying Mucoromycota fungi for the presence of EHB. We screened 196 fungal strains from 16 genera using a PCR-based approach to detect bacterial 16S rRNA genes, complemented with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) imaging to confirm the presence of bacteria within the hyphae. We detected Burkholderiaceae in ca. 20% of fungal strains. Some of these bacteria clustered phylogenetically with previously described BRE clades, whereas others grouped with free-living Paraburkholderia Importantly, the latter were detected in Umbelopsidales, which previously were not known to harbor endobacteria. Our results suggest that this group of EHB is recruited from the environment, supporting the late invasion scenario. This pattern complements the early invasion scenario apparent in the BRE clade of EHB.IMPORTANCE Bacteria living within fungal hyphae present an example of one of the most intimate relationships between fungi and bacteria. Even though there are several well-described examples of such partnerships, their prevalence within the fungal kingdom remains unknown. Our study focused on early divergent terrestrial fungi in the phylum Mucoromycota. We found that ca. 20% of the strains tested harbored bacteria from the family Burkholderiaceae Not only did we confirm the presence of bacteria from previously described endosymbiont clades, we also identified a new group of endohyphal Burkholderiaceae representing the genus Paraburkholderia We established that more than half of the screened Umbelopsis strains were positive for bacteria from this new group. We also determined that, while previously described BRE codiverged with their fungal hosts, Paraburkholderia symbionts did not.

RevDate: 2021-03-29

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, 23(3):1684-1701.

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 characterized 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 hypothesize 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.

RevDate: 2021-02-26

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: 2021-03-03

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: 2021-04-07

Jiang J, K Dehesh (2021)

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

The New phytologist, 230(3):931-937.

The transition from an engulfed autonomous unicellular photosynthetic bacterium to a semiautonomous endosymbiont plastid was accompanied by the transfer of genetic material from the endosymbiont to the nuclear genome of the host, followed by the establishment of plastid-to-nucleus (retrograde) signaling. The retrograde coordinated activities of the two subcellular genomes ensure chloroplast biogenesis and function as the photosynthetic hub and sensing and signaling center that tailors 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), which evolved to establish the photoautotrophic lifestyle and are instrumental in the 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: 2021-02-26

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

FADU: a Quantification Tool for Prokaryotic Transcriptomic Analyses.

mSystems, 6(1):.

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

RevDate: 2021-02-12

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

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

mBio, 12(1):.

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

RevDate: 2021-02-19

Harada R, Y Inagaki (2021)

Phage Origin of Mitochondrion-Localized Family A DNA Polymerases in Kinetoplastids and Diplonemids.

Genome biology and evolution, 13(2):.

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 nonvertical processes to the machinery for mtDNA maintenance in kinetoplastids and diplonemids.

RevDate: 2021-01-12

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:608763.

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

RevDate: 2021-01-25
CmpDate: 2021-01-25

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: 2021-04-05
CmpDate: 2021-04-05

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, 87(6):.

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 Mariana 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 the 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. In 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.IMPORTANCE Ocean 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 midrange 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: 2021-02-18

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):.

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: 2021-04-09

Díaz-Sánchez S, Fernández AM, Habela MA, et al (2021)

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

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 12(2):101624.

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: 2021-02-02

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.

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: 2021-01-05

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.

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: 2021-03-12

Conner WR, Delaney EK, Bronski MJ, et al (2021)

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

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 158:107061.

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: 2021-01-26

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):.

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: 2021-01-26
CmpDate: 2021-01-26

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

Cardoso A, J Gómez-Zurita (2020)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Park HJ, Kim J, Choi YJ, et al (2021)

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

Acta tropica, 215:105794.

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

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: 2021-03-18

Waneka G, Vasquez YM, Bennett GM, et al (2021)

Mutational Pressure Drives Differential Genome Conservation in Two Bacterial Endosymbionts of Sap-Feeding Insects.

Genome biology and evolution, 13(3):.

Compared with 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 versus 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 novode 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 versus BetaSymb, and perhaps the contrasting degrees of stability of their relationships with the host, are driven by differences in mutagenesis.

RevDate: 2021-02-23

Nardi T, Olivieri E, Kariuki E, et al (2021)

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, 13(1):.

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 cocladogenesis 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 C. 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: 2021-01-27
CmpDate: 2021-01-27

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

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: 2021-04-09

Banović P, Díaz-Sánchez AA, Galon C, et al (2021)

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.

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: 2021-03-30
CmpDate: 2021-03-30

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: 2021-02-23

Cormier A, Chebbi MA, Giraud I, et al (2021)

Comparative Genomics of Strictly Vertically Transmitted, Feminizing Microsporidia Endosymbionts of Amphipod Crustaceans.

Genome biology and evolution, 13(1):.

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 nonpathogenic microsporidia, strictly vertically transmitted from mother to offspring, have been reported in amphipod crustaceans. Some of them further evolved the ability to feminize their nontransmitting 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 cosequenced 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 Gammarus 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.


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 )