Viewport Size Code:
Login | Create New Account


About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot

About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot


Bibliography Options Menu

Hide Abstracts   |   Hide Additional Links
Long bibliographies are displayed in blocks of 100 citations at a time. At the end of each block there is an option to load the next block.

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 29 May 2020 at 01:48 Created: 


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

Created with PubMed® Query: endosymbiont NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2020-05-27

Guizzo MG, Neupane S, Kucera M, et al (2020)

Poor Unstable Midgut Microbiome of Hard Ticks Contrasts With Abundant and Stable Monospecific Microbiome in Ovaries.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 10:211.

Culture-independent metagenomic methodologies have enabled detection and identification of microorganisms in various biological systems and often revealed complex and unknown microbiomes. In many organisms, the microbiome outnumbers the host cells and greatly affects the host biology and fitness. Ticks are hematophagous ectoparasites with a wide host range. They vector a number of human and animal pathogens and also directly cause major economic losses in livestock. Although several reports on a tick midgut microbiota show a diverse bacterial community, in most cases the size of the bacterial population has not been determined. In this study, the microbiome was quantified in the midgut and ovaries of the ticks Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus microplus before, during, and after blood feeding. Although the size of bacterial community in the midgut fluctuated with blood feeding, it was overall extremely low in comparison to that of other hematophagous arthropods. In addition, the tick ovarian microbiome of both tick species exceeded the midgut 16S rDNA copy numbers by several orders of magnitude. This indicates that the ratio of a tick midgut/ovary microbiome represents an exception to the general biology of other metazoans. In addition to the very low abundance, the tick midgut diversity in I. ricinus was variable and that is in contrast to that found in the tick ovary. The ovary of I. ricinus had a very low bacterial diversity and a very high and stable bacterial abundance with the dominant endosymbiont, Midichloria sp. The elucidation of this aspect of tick biology highlights a unique tissue-specific microbial-invertebrate host interaction.

RevDate: 2020-05-27

Laidoudi Y, Marie JL, Tahir D, et al (2020)

Detection of Canine Vector-Borne Filariasis and Their Wolbachia Endosymbionts in French Guiana.

Microorganisms, 8(5): pii:microorganisms8050770.

In French Guiana, canine heartworm disease is well known, but the diversity of filarial parasites of dogs remains largely unknown. A total of 98 canine blood samples from Cayenne and Kourou were assessed by a blood wet mount preparation, heartworm antigen test and molecular exploration of filarioid and Wolbachia DNAs, followed by a multiplex species-specific qPCR's identification and a subsequent sequencing analysis. Thereafter, a phylogeny based on maximum likelihood was carried out to facilitate specific identification. Five dogs were microfilaremic. Heartworm antigens were detected in 15 (15.3%) dogs. Of these, six (6.1%) were considered as occult infections as neither microfilariae nor Dirofilaria immitis DNA were detected. The 11 (11.2%) D. immitis isolates corresponded to a low virulent strain. Six of the D. immitis isolates were positive for Wolbachia endosymbionts of D. immitis belonging to the clade C DNA. Acanthocheilonema reconditum DNA was detected in 3 (3.1%) samples. Of these latter, one was found co-infected with the Brugia sp. genotype and the DNA of the clade D of the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Brugia species. This latter was also detected in two filarioid DNA-free samples. Finally, two samples were positive for Cercopithifilaria bainae genotype, which is distinct from those identified in Europe. The present study highlights the urgent need to implement chemoprophylaxis associated with anti-Wolbachia drugs to control these potential zoonoses.

RevDate: 2020-05-25

Li J, Kelly P, Guo W, et al (2020)

Molecular detection of Rickettsia, Hepatozoon, Ehrlichia and SFTSV in goat ticks.

Veterinary parasitology, regional studies and reports, 20:100407.

Ticks are vectors of various pathogens to people, livestock, companion animals and wildlife. We describe here the ticks found on goats in Anhui province of China and the results of molecular studies on six tick-borne pathogens they might harbor. Among 125 ticks collected (119 Haemaphysalis longicornis, n = 119; Rhipicephalus microplus, n = 6), we detected four of the six tick-borne agents for which we tested. In total, 16.8% of the H. longicornis were positive for Candidatus Rickettsia longicornii (18/119), Rickettsia endosymbiont of Leptocybe invasa (1/119) and Rickettsia sibirica (1/119). Hepatozoon canis was positive for 41.6% of the ticks (H. longicornis 42.0%, 50/119; R. microplus 12.5%, 2/6). Only 5.6% of the ticks were positive for Ehrlichia (H. longicornis 5.0%, 6/119; R. microplus 16.7%, 1/6). The Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus was only identified in one H. longicornis. Such data is important in developing effective, integrated and strategic control measures for ticks and the pathogens they transmit.

RevDate: 2020-05-25

Sass K, Güllert S, Streit WR, et al (2020)

A hydrogen-oxidizing bacterium enriched from the open ocean resembling a symbiont.

Environmental microbiology reports [Epub ahead of print].

A new autotrophic hydrogen-oxidizing Chromatiaceae bacterium, namely bacterium CTD079, was enriched from a water column sample at 1500 m water depth in the southern Pacific Ocean. Based on the phylogeny of 16S rRNA genes, it was closely related to a scaly snail endosymbiont (99.2% DNA sequence identity) whose host so far is only known to colonize hydrothermal vents along the Indian ridge. The average nucleotide identity between the genomes of CTD079 and the snail endosymbiont was 91%. The observed differences likely reflect adaptations to their specific habitats. For example, CTD079 encodes additional enzymes like the formate dehydrogenase increasing the organism's spectrum of energy generation pathways. Other additional physiological features of CTD079 included the increase of viral defence strategies, secretion systems and specific transporters for essential elements. These important genome characteristics suggest an adaptation to life in the open ocean.

RevDate: 2020-05-23

Masson F, Schüpfer F, Jollivet C, et al (2020)

Transformation of the Drosophila sex-manipulative endosymbiont Spiroplasma poulsonii and persisting hurdles for functional genetics studies.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.00835-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Insects are frequently infected by bacterial symbionts that greatly affect their physiology and ecology. Most of these endosymbionts are however barely tractable outside of their native host, rendering functional genetics studies difficult or impossible. Spiroplasma poulsonii is a facultative bacterial endosymbiont of Drosophila melanogaster that manipulates its host reproduction by killing its male progeny at the embryonic stage. S. poulsonii, although being a very fastidious bacteria, is closely related to pathogenic Spiroplasma species that are cultivable and genetically modifiable. In this work, we present the transformation of S. poulsonii with a plasmid bearing a fluorescence cassette, leveraging techniques adapted from those used to modify the pathogenic species S. citri. We demonstrate the feasibility of S. poulsonii transformation and discuss approaches for mutant selection and fly colonization, which are persisting hurdles that will need to be overcome to allow functional bacterial genetics studies of this endosymbiont in vivo.Importance Dozens of bacterial endosymbiont species are described and estimated to infect about the half of all insect species. Yet only a handful of them are tractable in vitro, which hampers the understanding of the bacterial determinants of the host-symbiont interaction. Developing a transformation method for S. poulsonii is a major step towards genomic engineering of this symbiont, which will foster basic research on endosymbiosis. This could also open the way to practical uses of endosymbiont engineering through paratransgenesis of vector or pest insects.

RevDate: 2020-05-23

Manzano-Marín A (2020)

No evidence for Wolbachia as a nutritional co-obligate endosymbiont in the aphid Pentalonia nigronervosa.

Microbiome, 8(1):72 pii:10.1186/s40168-020-00865-2.

Obligate symbiotic associations are present in a wide variety of animals with a nutrient-restricted diet. Aphids (hemiptera: Aphididae) almost-universally host Buchnera aphidicola bacteria in specialised organs (called bacteriomes). These bacteria supply the aphid with essential nutrients lacking from their diet (i.e. essential amino acids and some B vitamins). Some aphid lineages, such as species from the Lacninae subfamily, have evolved co-obligate associations with secondary endosymbionts, deriving from a loss of biotin- and riboflavin-biosynthetic genes. In this study, I re-analyse previously published sequencing data from the banana aphid Pentalonia nigronervosa. I show that the metabolic inference results from De Clerck et al. (Microbiome 3:63, 2015) are incorrect and possibly arise from the use of inadequate methods. Additionally, I discuss how the seemingly biased interpretation of their antibiotic treatment analyses together with an incorrect genome-based metabolic inference resulted in the erroneous suggestion "that a co-obligatory symbiosis between B. aphidicola and Wolbachia occurs in the banana aphid".

RevDate: 2020-05-21

Goñi P, Benito M, LaPlante D, et al (2020)

Identification of free-living amoebas and amoeba-resistant bacteria accumulated in Dreissena polymorpha.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

To identify the free-living amoeba (FLA) and amoeba resistant bacteria (ARB) accumulated in zebra mussels and in the water in which they are found, mussels were collected at two locations in the Ebro river basin (North East Spain). Free-living amoebas and bacteria were isolated from mussel extracts and from natural water. PCR techniques were used to identify the FLAs and endosymbiont bacteria (Legionella, Mycobacterium, Pseudomonas and cyanobacteria), and to detect Giardia and Cryptosporidium. The most frequently found FLAs were Naegleria spp. The presence of Legionella, Mycobacterium, and Pseudomonas inside the FLA was demonstrated, and in some cases both Legionella and Pseudomonas were found together. Differences between FLAs and ARB identified inside the mussels and in the water were detected. In addition, Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, Salmonella spp. and Enterococcus spp. were accumulated in mussels in concentrations unconnected with those found in water. The results show the ability of the zebra mussel to act as a reservoir of potentially pathogenic FLAs, which are associated with potentially pathogenic amoeba-resistant bacteria, although the lack of association between microorganisms inside the mussels and in the water suggests that they are not useful for monitoring microbiological contamination at a specific time. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-05-19

Lane N (2020)

How energy flow shapes cell evolution.

Current biology : CB, 30(10):R471-R476.

How mitochondria shaped the evolution of eukaryotic complexity has been controversial for decades. The discovery of the Asgard archaea, which harbor close phylogenetic ties to the eukaryotes, supports the idea that a critical endosymbiosis between an archaeal host and a bacterial endosymbiont transformed the selective constraints present at the origin of eukaryotes. Cultured Asgard archaea are typically prokaryotic in both size and internal morphology, albeit featuring extensive protrusions. The acquisition of the mitochondrial predecessor by an archaeal host cell fundamentally altered the topology of genes in relation to bioenergetic membranes. Mitochondria internalised not only the bioenergetic membranes but also the genetic machinery needed for local control of oxidative phosphorylation. Gene loss from mitochondria enabled expansion of the nuclear genome, giving rise to an extreme genomic asymmetry that is ancestral to all extant eukaryotes. This genomic restructuring gave eukaryotes thousands of fold more energy availability per gene. In principle, that difference can support more and larger genes, far more non-coding DNA, greater regulatory complexity, and thousands of fold more protein synthesis per gene. These changes released eukaryotes from the bioenergetic constraints on prokaryotes, facilitating the evolution of morphological complexity.

RevDate: 2020-05-19

Buerger P, Alvarez-Roa C, Coppin CW, et al (2020)

Heat-evolved microalgal symbionts increase coral bleaching tolerance.

Science advances, 6(20):eaba2498 pii:aba2498.

Coral reefs worldwide are suffering mass mortalities from marine heat waves. With the aim of enhancing coral bleaching tolerance, we evolved 10 clonal strains of a common coral microalgal endosymbiont at elevated temperatures (31°C) for 4 years in the laboratory. All 10 heat-evolved strains had expanded their thermal tolerance in vitro following laboratory evolution. After reintroduction into coral host larvae, 3 of the 10 heat-evolved endosymbionts also increased the holobionts' bleaching tolerance. Although lower levels of secreted reactive oxygen species (ROS) accompanied thermal tolerance of the heat-evolved algae, reduced ROS secretion alone did not predict thermal tolerance in symbiosis. The more tolerant symbiosis exhibited additional higher constitutive expression of algal carbon fixation genes and coral heat tolerance genes. These findings demonstrate that coral stock with enhanced climate resilience can be developed through ex hospite laboratory evolution of their microalgal endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2020-05-17

Bodnar J, Fitch S, Sanchez J, et al (2020)

GTP cyclohydrolase I activity from Rickettsia monacensis strain Humboldt, a rickettsial endosymbiont of Ixodes pacificus.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases pii:S1877-959X(19)30506-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The complete folate biosynthesis pathway exists in the genome of a rickettsial endosymbiont of Ixodes pacificus, Rickettsia monacensis strain Humboldt (formerly known as Rickettsia species phylotype G021). Recently, our lab demonstrated that the folA gene of strain Humboldt, the final gene in the folate biosynthesis pathway, encodes a functional dihydrofolate reductase enzyme. In this study, we report R. monacensis strain Humboldt has a functional GTP cyclohydrolase I (GCH1), an enzyme required for the hydrolysis of GTP to form 7,8-dihydroneopterin triphosphate in the folate biosynthesis pathway. The GCH1 gene of R. monacensis, folE, share homology with the folE gene of R. monacensis strain IrR/Munich, with a nucleotide sequence identity of 99%. Amino acid alignment and comparative protein structure modeling have shown that the FolE protein of R. monacensis has a conserved core subunit of GCH1 from the T-fold structural superfamily. All amino acid residues, including conserved GTP binding sites and zinc binding sites, are preserved in the FolE protein of R. monacensis. A recombinant GST-FolE protein from R. monacensis was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified by affinity chromatography, and assayed for enzyme activity in vitro. The in vitro enzymatic assay described in this study accorded the recombinant GCH1 enzyme of R. monacensis with a specific activity of 0.81 U/mg. Our data suggest folate genes of R. monacensis strain Humboldt have the potential to produce biochemically active enzymes for de novo folate synthesis, addressing the physioecological underpinnings behind tick-Rickettsia symbioses.

RevDate: 2020-05-13

Sibbald SJ, JM Archibald (2020)

Genomic insights into plastid evolution.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5836826 [Epub ahead of print].

The origin of plastids (chloroplasts) by endosymbiosis stands as one of the most important events in the history of eukaryotic life. The genetic, biochemical, and cell biological integration of a cyanobacterial endosymbiont into a heterotrophic host eukaryote more than a billion years ago paved the way for the evolution of diverse algal groups in a wide range of aquatic and, eventually, terrestrial environments. Plastids have on multiple occasions also moved horizontally from eukaryote to eukaryote by secondary and tertiary endosymbiotic events. The overall picture of extant photosynthetic diversity can best be described as 'patchy': plastid-bearing lineages are spread far and wide across the eukaryotic tree of life, nested within heterotrophic groups. The algae do not constitute a monophyletic entity and understanding how, and how often, plastids have moved from branch to branch on the eukaryotic tree remains one of the most fundamental unsolved problems in the field of cell evolution. In this review we provide an overview of recent advances in our understanding of the origin and spread of plastids from the perspective of comparative genomics. Recent years have seen significant improvements in genomic sampling from photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic lineages, both of which have provided important pieces to add to the puzzle of plastid evolution. Comparative genomics has also allowed us to better understand how endosymbionts become organelles.

RevDate: 2020-05-13

Ghosh S, Sela N, Kontsedalov S, et al (2020)

An Intranuclear Sodalis-Like Symbiont and Spiroplasma Coinfect the Carrot Psyllid, Bactericera trigonica (Hemiptera, Psylloidea).

Microorganisms, 8(5): pii:microorganisms8050692.

Endosymbionts harbored inside insects play critical roles in the biology of their insect host and can influence the transmission of pathogens by insect vectors. Bactericeratrigonica infests umbelliferous plants and transmits the bacterial plant pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso), causing carrot yellows disease. To characterize the bacterial diversity of B. trigonica, as a first step, we used PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analyses of 16S rDNA to identify Sodalis and Spiroplasma endosymbionts. The prevalence of both symbionts in field-collected psyllid populations was determined: Sodalis was detected in 100% of field populations, while Spiroplasma was present in 82.5% of individuals. Phylogenetic analysis using 16S rDNA revealed that Sodalis infecting B. trigonica was more closely related to symbionts infecting weevils, stink bugs and tsetse flies than to those from psyllid species. Using fluorescent in situ hybridization and immunostaining, Sodalis was found to be localized inside the nuclei of the midgut cells and bacteriocytes. Spiroplasma was restricted to the cytoplasm of the midgut cells. We further show that a recently reported Bactericera trigonica densovirus (BtDNV), a densovirus infecting B. trigonica was detected in 100% of psyllids and has reduced titers inside CLso-infected psyllids by more than two-fold compared to CLso uninfected psyllids. The findings of this study will help to increase our understanding of psyllid-endosymbiont interactions.

RevDate: 2020-05-11

Kaur R, Martinez J, Rota-Stabelli O, et al (2020)

Age, tissue, genotype and virus infection regulate Wolbachia levels in Drosophila.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The bacterial symbiont Wolbachia can protect insects against viral pathogens, and the varying levels of antiviral protection are correlated with the endosymbiont load within the insects. To understand why Wolbachia strains differ in their antiviral effects, we investigated the factors controlling Wolbachia density in five closely related strains in their natural Drosophila hosts. We found that Wolbachia density varied greatly across different tissues and between flies of different ages, and these effects depended on the host-symbiont association. Some endosymbionts maintained largely stable densities as flies aged while others increased, and these effects in turn depended on the tissue being examined. Measuring Wolbachia rRNA levels in response to viral infection, we found that viral infection itself also altered Wolbachia levels, with FHV causing substantial reductions in symbiont loads late in the infection. This effect, however, was virus-specific as DCV had little impact on Wolbachia in all of the five host systems. Since viruses have strong tissue tropisms and antiviral protection is thought to be cell-autonomous, these effects are likely to affect the virus-blocking phenomenon. However, we were unable to find any evidence of a correlation between Wolbachia and viral titers within the same tissues. We conclude that Wolbachia levels within flies are regulated in a complex host-symbiont-virus dependent manner and this trinity is likely to influence the antiviral effects of Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2020-05-11

Ben-Yosef M, Rot A, Mahagna M, et al (2020)

Coxiella-Like Endosymbiont of Rhipicephalus sanguineus Is Required for Physiological Processes During Ontogeny.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:493.

Obligatory hematophagous arthropods such as lice, bugs, flies, and ticks harbor bacterial endosymbionts that are expected to complement missing essential nutrients in their diet. Genomic and some experimental evidence support this expectation. Hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) are associated with several lineages of bacterial symbionts, and very few were experimentally shown to be essential to some aspects of tick's fitness. In order to pinpoint the nature of interactions between hard ticks and their symbionts, we tested the effect of massive elimination of Coxiella-like endosymbionts (CLE) by antibiotics on the development and fitness of the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus). Administration of ofloxacin to engorged (blood fed) nymphs resulted in significant and acute reduction of their CLE loads - an effect that also persisted in subsequent life stages (aposymbiotic ticks). As a result, the post-feeding development of aposymbiotic female (but not male) nymphs was delayed. Additionally, aposymbiotic adult females needed a significantly prolonged feeding period in order to replete (detach from host), and had reduced engorgement weight and a lower capacity to produce eggs. Consequently, their fecundity and fertility were significantly reduced. Eggs produced by aposymbiotic females were free of CLE, and the resulting aposymbiotic larvae were unable to feed successfully. Our findings demonstrate that the observed fitness effects are due to CLE reduction and not due to antibiotic administration. Additionally, we suggest that the contribution of CLE is not mandatory for oocyte development and embryogenesis, but is required during feeding in females, when blood meal processing and tissue buildup are taking place. Presumably, under these extreme physiological demands, CLE contribute to R. sanguineus through supplementing essential micro- and macronutrients. Further nutrient complementary studies are required to support this hypothesis.

RevDate: 2020-05-10

Zhu YX, Song ZR, Song YL, et al (2020)

Double infection of Wolbachia and Spiroplasma alters induced plant defense and spider mite fecundity.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Herbivore-associated bacterial symbionts can change plant physiology and influence the herbivore's fitness. The spider mite Tetranychus truncatus is a notorious pest harboring various bacterial symbionts, however, the effect of bacterial symbionts on host plant physiology remains unclear. Here, we investigated whether infection with the endosymbionts Wolbachia and Spiroplasma altered spider mite performance on particular tomato plants and affected the plant induced defenses.

RESULTS: Wolbachia and Spiroplasma were mainly located at the gnathosoma and ovaries of spider mite hosts. Wolbachia and Spiroplasma significantly improved spider mite reproductive performance in cultivated and wild-type tomato. However, in jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA)-deficient plants, there were no significant differences in the reproduction between Wolbachia and Spiroplasma-infected and uninfected spider mites. The results indicated that the reproduction benefits conferred by endosymbionts may relate to plant defenses. Both Wolbachia and Spiroplasma-infected and uninfected spider mites induced similar levels of JA and SA accumulation in tomato, whereas tomato plants damaged by Wolbachia and Spiroplasma-infected spider mites showed lower the expression levels of the JA and SA-responsive genes than those damaged by uninfected spider mites. Additionally, Wolbachia and Spiroplasma-infected mites consumed much tomato amino acid compared to uninfected spider mites, which may have contributed to host fecundity.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the reproduction benefits conferred by endosymbionts may be associated with changes in plant defense parameters and the concentrations of plant amino acids. The results highlight the importance of endosymbionts in the interactions between spider mites and their host plants. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-05-09

Rouïl J, Jousselin E, Coeur d'Acier A, et al (2020)

The protector within: Comparative genomics of APSE phages across aphids reveals rampant recombination and diverse toxin arsenals.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5835279 [Epub ahead of print].

Phages can fundamentally alter the physiology and metabolism of their hosts. While ubiquitous in the bacterial world, they have seldom been described among endosymbiotic bacteria. One notable exception in the APSE phage that is found associated with the gammaproteobacterial Hamiltonella defensa, hosted by several insect species. This secondary facultative endosymbiont is not necessary for the survival of its hosts but can infect certain individuals or even whole populations. Its infection in aphids is often associated with protection against parasitoid wasps. This protective phenotype has actually been linked to the infection of the symbiont strain with an APSE, which carries a toxin cassette that varies among so-called "types". In the present work, we seek to expand our understanding of the diversity of APSE phages as well as the relations of their Hamiltonella hosts. For this, we assembled and annotated the full genomes of 16 APSE phages infecting Hamiltonella symbionts across 10 insect species. Molecular and phylogenetic analyses suggest that recombination has occurred repeatedly among lineages. Comparative genomics of the phage genomes revealed two variable regions that are useful for phage typing. Additionally, we find that mobile elements could play a role in the acquisition of new genes in the toxin cassette. Altogether, we provide an unprecedented view of APSE diversity and their genome evolution across aphids. This genomic investigation will provide a valuable resource for the design and interpretation of experiments aiming at understanding the protective phenotype these phages confer to their insect hosts.

RevDate: 2020-05-02

Sinno M, Bézier A, Vinale F, et al (2020)

Symbiosis disruption in the olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi), as a potential tool for sustainable control.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The olive fruit fly Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (OLF) is a major agricultural pest, whose control primarily relies on the use of chemical insecticides. Therefore, the development of sustainable control strategies is highly desirable. The primary endosymbiotic bacterium of the OLF, "Candidatus Erwinia dacicola", is essential for successful larval development in unripe olive fruits. Then, targeting this endosymbiont with antimicrobial compounds may result in OLF fitness reduction and may exert a control action of its natural populations.

RESULTS: Here we evaluate the impact of compounds with antimicrobial activity on OLF endosymbiont. Copper Oxychloride (CO) and the fungal metabolite Viridiol (Vi), produced by Trichoderma spp., were used. Laboratory bioassays were carried out to assess the effect of the oral administration of these compounds on OLF fitness and molecular analyses (qPCR) were conducted to measure the load of OLF-associated microorganisms in treated flies. CO and Vi were both able to disrupt the symbiotic association between OLF and its symbiotic bacteria, determining a significant reduction of the endosymbiont and gut microbiota load as well as an OLF fitness decrease. CO had a direct negative effect on OLF adults. Conversely, exposure to Vi significantly undermined the larval development of the treated females' progeny but did not show any toxicity in OLF adults.

CONCLUSIONS: These results provide new insights on the symbiotic control of the OLF and pave the way toward the development of more sustainable strategies of pest control based on the use of natural compounds with antimicrobial activity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-04-30

Modeo L, Salvetti A, Rossi L, et al (2020)

"Candidatus Trichorickettsia mobilis", a Rickettsiales bacterium, can be transiently transferred from the unicellular eukaryote Paramecium to the planarian Dugesia japonica.

PeerJ, 8:e8977 pii:8977.

Most of the microorganisms responsible for vector-borne diseases (VBD) have hematophagous arthropods as vector/reservoir. Recently, many new species of microorganisms phylogenetically related to agents of VBD were found in a variety of aquatic eukaryotic hosts; in particular, numerous new bacterial species related to the genus Rickettsia (Alphaproteobacteria, Rickettsiales) were discovered in protist ciliates and other unicellular eukaryotes. Although their pathogenicity for humans and terrestrial animals is not known, several indirect indications exist that these bacteria might act as etiological agents of possible VBD of aquatic organisms, with protists as vectors. In the present study, a novel strain of the Rickettsia-Like Organism (RLO) endosymbiont "Candidatus (Ca.) Trichorickettsia mobilis" was identified in the macronucleus of the ciliate Paramecium multimicronucleatum. We performed transfection experiments of this RLO to planarians (Dugesia japonica) per os. Indeed, the latter is a widely used model system for studying bacteria pathogenic to humans and other Metazoa. In transfection experiments, homogenized paramecia were added to food of antibiotic-treated planarians. Treated and non-treated (i.e. control) planarians were investigated at day 1, 3, and 7 after feeding for endosymbiont presence by means of PCR and ultrastructural analyses. Obtained results were fully concordant and suggest that this RLO endosymbiont can be transiently transferred from ciliates to metazoans, being detected up to day 7 in treated planarians' enterocytes. Our findings might offer insights into the potential role of ciliates or other protists as putative vectors for diseases caused by Rickettsiales or other RLOs and occurring in fish farms or in the wild.

RevDate: 2020-04-30

Ganyukova AI, Frolov AO, Malysheva MN, et al (2020)

A novel endosymbiont-containing trypanosomatid Phytomonas borealis sp. n. from the predatory bug Picromerus bidens (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae).

Folia parasitologica, 67:.

Here we describe the new trypanosomatid, Phytomonas borealis sp. n., from the midgut of the spiked shieldbugs, Picromerus bidens (Linnaeus), collected in two locations, Novgorod and Pskov Oblasts of Russia. The phylogenetic analyses, based on the 18S rRNA gene, demonstrated that this flagellate is a sister species to the secondary monoxenous Phytomonas nordicus Frolov et Malysheva, 1993, which was concurrently documented in the same host species in Pskov Oblast. Unlike P. nordicus, which can complete its development (including exit to haemolymph and penetration into salivary glands) in Picromerus bidens, the new species did not form any extraintestinal stages in the host. It also did not produce endomastigotes, indispensable for transmission in other Phytomonas spp. These observations, along with the fact that P. bidens overwinters at the egg stage, led us to the conclusion that the examined infections with P. borealis were non-specific. Strikingly, the flagellates from the Novgorod population contained prokaryotic endosymbionts, whereas the parasites from the second locality were endosymbiont-free. This is a first case documenting presence of intracellular symbiotic bacteria in Phytomonas spp. We suggest that this novel endosymbiotic association arose very recently and did not become obligate yet. Further investigation of P. borealis and its intracellular bacteria may shed light on the origin and early evolution of endosymbiosis in trypanosomatids.

RevDate: 2020-04-27

Lv N, Peng J, Chen XY, et al (2020)

Antagonistic interaction between male-killing and cytoplasmic incompatibility induced by Cardinium and Wolbachia in the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Cardinium and Wolbachia are maternally inherited bacterial symbionts of arthropods that can manipulate host reproduction by increasing the fitness of infected females. Here, we report that Cardinium and Wolbachia coinfection induced male-killing and cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) when they coexisted in a cryptic species of whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Asia II7. Cardinium and Wolbachia symbionts were either singly or simultaneously localized in the bacteriocytes placed in the abdomen of B. tabaci nymphs and adults. Cardinium-Wolbachia coinfection induced male-killing and resulted in a higher female sex ratio in the intraspecific amphigenetic progeny of Asia II7 ICWH and ICWL lines; interestingly, male-killing induction was enhanced with increased Cardinium titer. Moreover, single infection of Wolbachia induced partial CI in the Asia II7 IW line and resulted in reduced fecundity, higher embryonic mortality, and lower female sex ratio. The uninfected Asia II7 IU line had significantly higher fecundity, lower embryonic and nymphal mortalities, and a lower level of CI than both the Wolbachia-infected Asia II7 IW line and the Cardinium-Wolbachia-coinfected Asia II7 ICWH line. Our findings indicate that Cardinium-Wolbachia coinfection induced male-killing, which may have had antagonistic effects on Wolbachia-induced CI in the Asia II7 whiteflies. For the first time, our study revealed that B. tabaci Asia II7 reproduction is co-manipulated by Cardinium and Wolbachia endosymbionts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-04-24

Coimbra-Dores MJ, Jaarsma RI, Carmo AO, et al (2020)

Mitochondrial sequences of Rhipicephalus and Coxiella endosymbiont reveal evidence of lineages co-cladogenesis.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5824628 [Epub ahead of print].

Rhipicephalus ticks are competent vectors of several pathogens, such as Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae (SFGR) and many Babesia species. Within this genus, different R. sanguineus s.l. lineages show an unequal vector competence and resistance regarding some pathogenic strains. Current literature supports that tick endosymbionts may play an essential role in the transmission ability of a vector. Indeed, the microbial community of Rhipicephalus seems to be dominated by Coxiella-like endosymbionts (CLE). Still, their co-evolutionary associations with the complicated phylogeny of Rhipicephalus lineages and their transmissible pathogens remain unclear. We performed a phylogenetic congruence analysis to address whether divergent R. sanguineus s.l. lineages had a different symbiont composition. For that, we applied a PCR based approach to screen part of the microbial community present in 279 Rhipicephalus ticks from the Iberian Peninsula and Africa. Our analyses detected several qPCR-positive signals for both SFGR and Babesia species, of which we suggest R. sanguineus-tropical lineage as a natural vector of Babesia vogeli and R. sanguineus-temperate lineage of SFGR. The acquisition of 190 CLE sequences allowed to evaluate co-phylogenetic associations between the tick and the symbiont. With this data, we observed a strong but incomplete co-cladogenesis between CLE strains and their Rhipicephalus tick lineages hosts.

RevDate: 2020-04-22

Koto A, Nobu MK, R Miyazaki (2020)

Deep Sequencing Uncovers Caste-Associated Diversity of Symbionts in the Social Ant Camponotus japonicus.

mBio, 11(2): pii:mBio.00408-20.

Symbiotic microorganisms can have a profound impact on the host physiology and behavior, and novel relationships between symbionts and their hosts are continually discovered. A colony of social ants consists of various castes that exhibit distinct lifestyles and is, thus, a unique model for investigating how symbionts may be involved in host eusociality. Yet our knowledge of social ant-symbiont dynamics has remained rudimentary. Through 16S rRNA gene deep sequencing of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus symbiont community across various castes, we here report caste-dependent diversity of commensal gut microbiota and lineage divergence of "Candidatus Blochmannia," an obligate endosymbiont. While most prevalent gut-associated bacterial populations are found across all castes (Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Cyanobacteria), we also discovered uncultured populations that are found only in males (belonging to Corynebacteriales, Alkanindiges, and Burkholderia). Most of those populations are not detected in laboratory-maintained queens and workers, suggesting that they are facultative gut symbionts introduced via environmental acquisition. Further inspection of "Ca. Blochmannia" endosymbionts reveals that two populations are dominant in all individuals across all castes but that males preferentially contain two different sublineages that are diversified from others. Clearly, each caste has distinct symbiont communities, suggesting an overlooked biological aspect of host-symbiont interaction in social insects.IMPORTANCE Social animals, such as primates and some insects, have been shown to exchange symbiotic microbes among individuals through sharing diet or habitats, resulting in increased consistency of microbiota among social partners. The ant is a representative of social insects exhibiting various castes within a colony; queens, males, and nonreproductive females (so-called workers) show distinct morphologies, physiologies, and behaviors but tightly interact with each other in the nest. However, how this social context affects their gut microbiota has remained unclear. In this study, we deeply sequenced the gut symbiont community across various castes of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus We report caste-dependent diversity of commensal gut microbial community and lineage divergence of the mutualistic endosymbiont "Candidatus Blochmannia." This report sheds light on the hidden diversity in microbial populations and community structure associated with guts of males in social ants.

RevDate: 2020-04-14

Gabr A, Grossman AR, D Bhattacharya (2020)

Paulinella, a model for understanding plastid primary endosymbiosis.

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

The uptake and conversion of a free-living cyanobacterium into a photosynthetic organelle by the single-celled Archaeplastida ancestor helped transform the biosphere from low to high oxygen. There are two documented, independent cases of plastid primary endosymbiosis. The first is the well-studied instance in Archaeplastida that occurred ca. 1.6 billion years ago, whereas the second occurred 90-140 million years ago establishing a permanent photosynthetic compartment (the chromatophore) in amoebae in the genus Paulinella. Here, we briefly summarize knowledge about plastid origin in the Archaeplastida and then focus on the Paulinella model. In particular, we describe features of the Paulinella chromatophore that make it a model for examining earlier events in the evolution of photosynthetic organelles. Our review stresses recently gained insights into the evolution of chromatophore and nuclear encoded DNA sequences in Paulinella, metabolic connectivity between the endosymbiont and cytoplasm, and systems that target proteins into the chromatophore. We also describe future work with Paulinella, and the potential rewards and challenges associated with developing further this model system.

RevDate: 2020-04-11

Huang Z, Wang D, Li J, et al (2020)

Transovarial transmission of bacteriome-associated symbionts in the cicada Pycna repanda (Hemiptera: Cicadidae).

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.02957-19 [Epub ahead of print].

Although transovarial transmission of bacteriome-associated symbionts in hemipteran insects is extremely important for maintaining intimate host-symbiont associations, our knowledge of cellular mechanisms underlying the transmission process is quite limited. We investigated bacterial communities of salivary glands, bacteriomes and digestive and reproductive organs, and clarified the transovarial transmission of bacteriome-associated symbionts of the mountain-habitat specialist Pycna repanda using integrated methods. The bacterial communities among different gut tissues and those of bacteriomes of males and females both show similarity, whereas differences are exhibited among testes and ovaries. The primary symbionts Candidatus Sulcia muelleri (hereafter Sulcia) and Candidatus Hodgkinia cicadicola (hereafter Hodgkinia) were not only restricted to but also dominant in the bacteriomes and ovaries. Hodgkinia cells in the bacteriomes of both sexes exhibited different colors under histological and electron microscopy. Combined with the results of RFLP-based cloning approach, we hypothesize that Hodgkinia may have split into cytologically different cellular lineages within this cicada species. Regarding the dominant secondary symbionts, Rickettsia was detected in the salivary glands, digestive organs and testes, whereas Arsenophonus was in the bacteriomes and ovaries. Our results show that Arsenophonus can coexist with Sulcia and Hodgkinia within bacteriomes and can be transovarially transmitted with these obligate symbionts together from mother to offspring in cicadas, but it is not harbored in the cytoplasm of Sulcia. Sulcia and Hodgkinia shape change during the transovarial transmission process is hypothesized to be related to the limited space and novel microenvironment.IMPORTANCE Cicadas establish intimate symbiosis with microorganisms to obtain essential nutrients that are extremely deficient in the host plant sap. Previous studies on bacterial communities of cicadas mainly focused on a few widely distributed species, but knowledge is quite poor about the mountain-habitat species. We initially revealed the physical distribution of the primary symbionts Sulcia and Hodgkinia and the dominant secondary symbionts Rickettsia and Arsenophonus in the mountain-habitat specialist Pycna repanda, then clarified the transovarial transmission process of bacteriome-associated symbionts in this species. Our observations suggest that Hodgkinia may have split into cytologically distinct lineages within this cicada species, and related cicadas might have developed complex mechanisms for vertically transmitting of the bacteriome-associated symbionts. We also revealed that Arsenophonus can be transovarially transmitted in Auchenorrhynchan insects when it is not harbored in the cytoplasm of other endosymbiont. Our results highlight transovarial transmission mechanisms of bacteriome-associated symbionts in sap-feeding insects.

RevDate: 2020-04-11

Serteyn L, Quaghebeur C, Ongena M, et al (2020)

Induced Systemic Resistance by a Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacterium Impacts Development and Feeding Behavior of Aphids.

Insects, 11(4): pii:insects11040234.

The effects of microorganisms on plant-insect interactions have usually been underestimated. While plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are known to induce plant defenses, endosymbiotic bacteria hosted by herbivorous insects are often beneficial to the host. Here, we aimed to assess whether PGPR-induced defenses in broad bean plants impact the pea aphid, depending on its genotype and the presence of endosymbionts. We estimated aphid reproduction, quantified defense- and growth-related phytohormones by GC-MS, and measured different plant growth and physiology parameters, after PGPR treatment. In addition, we recorded the feeding behavior of aphids by electropenetrography. We found that the PGPR treatment of broad bean plants reduced the reproduction of one of the pea aphid clones. We highlighted a phenomenon of PGPR-induced plant defense priming, but no noticeable plant growth promotion. The main changes in aphid probing behavior were related to salivation events into phloem sieve elements. We suggest that the endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa played a key role in plant-insect interactions, possibly helping aphids to counteract plant-induced resistance and allowing them to develop normally on PGPR-treated plants. Our results imply that plant- and aphid-associated microorganisms add greater complexity to the outcomes of aphid-plant interactions.

RevDate: 2020-04-09

Domínguez-Santos R, Pérez-Cobas AE, Artacho A, et al (2020)

Unraveling Assemblage, Functions and Stability of the Gut Microbiota of Blattella germanica by Antibiotic Treatment.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:487.

Symbiosis between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is a widespread phenomenon that has contributed to the evolution of eukaryotes. In cockroaches, two types of symbionts coexist: an endosymbiont in the fat body (Blattabacterium), and a rich gut microbiota. The transmission mode of Blattabacterium is vertical, while the gut microbiota of a new generation is mainly formed by bacterial species present in feces. We have carried out a metagenomic analysis of Blattella germanica populations, treated and non-treated with two antibiotics (vancomycin and ampicillin) over two generations to (1) determine the core of bacterial communities and potential functions of the gut microbiota and (2) to gain insights into the mechanisms of resistance and resilience of the gut microbiota. Our results indicate that the composition and functions of the bacteria were affected by treatment, more severely in the case of vancomycin. Further results demonstrated that in an untreated second-generation population that comes from antibiotic-treated first-generation, the microbiota is not yet stabilized at nymphal stages but can fully recover in adults when feces of a control population were added to the diet. This signifies the existence of a stable core in either composition and functions in lab-reared populations. The high microbiota diversity as well as the observed functional redundancy point toward the microbiota of cockroach hindguts as a robust ecosystem that can recover from perturbations, with recovery being faster when feces are added to the diet.

RevDate: 2020-04-04

Xu TT, Jiang LY, Chen J, et al (2020)

Host Plants Influence the Symbiont Diversity of Eriosomatinae (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

Insects, 11(4): pii:insects11040217.

Eriosomatinae is a particular aphid group with typically heteroecious holocyclic life cycle, exhibiting strong primary host plant specialization and inducing galls on primary host plants. Aphids are frequently associated with bacterial symbionts, which can play fundamental roles in the ecology and evolution of their host aphids. However, the bacterial communities in Eriosomatinae are poorly known. In the present study, using high-throughput sequencing of the bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene, we surveyed the bacterial flora of eriosomatines and explored the associations between symbiont diversity and aphid relatedness, aphid host plant and geographical distribution. The microbiota of Eriosomatinae is dominated by the heritable primary endosymbiont Buchnera and several facultative symbionts. The primary endosymbiont Buchnera is expectedly the most abundant symbiont across all species. Six facultative symbionts were identified. Regiella was the most commonly identified facultative symbiont, and multiple infections of facultative symbionts were detected in the majority of the samples. Ordination analyses and statistical tests show that the symbiont community of aphids feeding on plants from the family Ulmaceae were distinguishable from aphids feeding on other host plants. Species in Eriosomatinae feeding on different plants are likely to carry different symbiont compositions. The symbiont distributions seem to be not related to taxonomic distance and geographical distance. Our findings suggest that host plants can affect symbiont maintenance, and will improve our understanding of the interactions between aphids, their symbionts and ecological conditions.

RevDate: 2020-04-02

Guz N, Arshad M, Cagatay NS, et al (2020)

High Prevalence of Pantoea in Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae): Vector of Citrus Huanglongbing Disease.

Current microbiology pii:10.1007/s00284-020-01969-6 [Epub ahead of print].

As an important insect vector, Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae) transmits the pathogen 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' (CLas) that is associated with citrus greening also known as Huanglongbing (HLB) disease. The bacterial endosymbionts have a potential role in shaping the host range of insect herbivores and their performance on different host plants, which might affect the endosymbiont distribution in insect populations. Here, we detected and characterized Pantoea endosymbiont in nymph and adult ACP specimens collected from Citrus reticulata Blanco and Cordia myxa L. plants. The phylogenetic tree constructed using endosymbiotic bacteria 16S ribosomal RNA sequences indicated that Pantoea sp. was closely related to Mixta calida, sharing about 98% identity and was grouped with other Mixta and Pantoea endosymbionts. Our findings showed 100% and 92.3% infection of Pantoea in adults while 61.5% and 90% infection of Pantoea in nymphs collected from C. reticulata and C. myxa plants, respectively. Understanding the interaction of endosymbiotic bacteria with ACP associated with host plants could be useful for developing an effective management strategy for both ACP and HLB disease.

RevDate: 2020-04-01

Huston DC (2019)

Collastoma esotericum (Neodalyellida: Umagillidae), a new species of sipunculan-inhabiting rhabdocoel from Queensland, Australia.

Zootaxa, 4701(6):zootaxa.4701.6.5 pii:zootaxa.4701.6.5.

The Umagillidae Wahl, represent a group of endosymbiotic Platyhelminthes which inhabit two disparate invertebrate host groups, the echinoderms and sipunculans. Sipunculan-inhabiting umagillids are morphologically distinct from those inhabiting echinoderms and have traditionally been placed in a distinct genus and subfamily, Collastoma Dörler, and the Collastominae Wahl, respectively. Although molecular data are available for umagillid species inhabiting echinoids and holothurians, species inhabiting sipunculans have yet to be evaluated with molecular data. Collastoma esotericum n. sp. from the sipunculan Phascolosoma scolops (Selenka & de Man) collected in Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland, Australia, is described. Phylogenetic analyses based on 18S rRNA gene sequences placed C. esotericum in a clade with species of the Umagillidae and the Provorticinae Luther, with strong support. However, within this clade the relationship of C. esotericum to the Umagillidae and Provorticinae was not resolved.

RevDate: 2020-03-27

Chen B, Yu K, Qin Z, et al (2020)

Dispersal, genetic variation, and symbiont interaction network of heat-tolerant endosymbiont Durusdinium trenchii: Insights into the adaptive potential of coral to climate change.

The Science of the total environment, 723:138026 pii:S0048-9697(20)31539-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Global warming has degraded coral reef ecosystems worldwide. Some corals develop thermal tolerance by associating with heat-tolerant Symbiodiniaceae. Here, we studied the mechanisms surrounding the dispersal, genetic variation and symbionts interaction of heat-tolerant Durusdinium trenchii across 13° latitudes in the South China Sea (SCS), to explore the possible mechanisms underlying these changes. Our results showed that Durusdinium trenchii are widely distributed in the seawater from the SCS. Our analyses of microsatellite loci revealed that D. trenchii has a high genetic diversity in the SCS; STRUCTURE analysis indicated that D. trenchii can be divided into four populations within the SCS; There exist positive correlations between genetic variation and geographic isolation, average sea surface temperature (SST) and variations in SST. Network modelling inferences showed that D. trenchii is a key species in the Symbiodiniaceae communities in the tropical SCS and contributes the greatest number of co-exclusion relationships. These results indicated that D. trenchii can affect the rare Symbiodiniaceae community. The long lifespan and the monsoon-driven ocean currents have shaped the wide distribution of D. trenchii. But low SST limits the ability of D. trenchii to establish stable symbioses with coral in the subtropical habitats. Geographical isolation and SST have shaped significant genetic variation of D.trenchii around the SCS. Our data reveals the biogeography and genetic population characteristics of D. trenchii in the Indo-Pacific region, and suggests that heat-tolerance and high genetic diversity of D. trenchii aid the corals with their adaptation to climate change.

RevDate: 2020-03-26

Paredes-Montero JR, Zia-Ur-Rehman M, Hameed U, et al (2020)

Genetic variability, community structure, and horizontal transfer of endosymbionts among three Asia II-Bemisia tabaci mitotypes in Pakistan.

Ecology and evolution, 10(6):2928-2943 pii:ECE36107.

Endosymbionts associated with the whitefly Bemisia tabaci cryptic species are known to contribute to host fitness and environmental adaptation. The genetic diversity and population complexity were investigated for endosymbiont communities of B. tabaci occupying different micro-environments in Pakistan. Mitotypes of B. tabaci were identified by comparative sequence analysis of the mitochondria cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI) gene sequence. Whitefly mitotypes belonged to the Asia II-1, -5, and -7 mitotypes of the Asia II major clade. The whitefly-endosymbiont communities were characterized based on 16S ribosomal RNA operational taxonomic unit (OTU) assignments, resulting in 43 OTUs. Most of the OTUs occurred in the Asia II-1 and II-7 mitotypes (r2 = .9, p < .005), while the Asia II-5 microbiome was less complex. The microbiome OTU groups were mitotype-specific, clustering with a basis in phylogeographical distribution and the corresponding ecological niche of their whitefly host, suggesting mitotype-microbiome co-adaptation. The primary endosymbiont Portiera was represented by a single, highly homologous OTU (0%-0.67% divergence). Two of six Arsenophonus OTUs were uniquely associated with Asia II-5 and -7, and one occurred exclusively in Asia II-1, two only in Asia II-5, and one in both Asia II-1 and -7. Four other secondary endosymbionts, Cardinium, Hemipteriphilus, Rickettsia, and Wolbachia OTUs, were found at ≤29% frequencies. The most prevalent Arsenophonus OTU was found in all three Asia II mitotypes (55% frequency), whereas the same strain of Cardinium and Wolbachia was found in both Asia II-1 and -5, and a single Hemipteriphilus OTU occurred in Asia II-1 and -7. This pattern is indicative of horizontal transfer, suggestive of a proximity between mitotypes sufficient for gene flow at overlapping mitotype ecological niches.

RevDate: 2020-03-19

Dionysopoulou NK, Papanastasiou SA, Kyritsis GA, et al (2020)

Effect of host fruit, temperature and Wolbachia infection on survival and development of Ceratitis capitata immature stages.

PloS one, 15(3):e0229727 pii:PONE-D-19-25021.

The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae), holds an impressive record of successful invasions promoted by the growth and development of international fruit trade. Hence, survival of immatures within infested fruit that are subjected to various conditions during transportation seems to be a crucial feature that promotes invasion success. Wolbachia pipientis is a common endosymbiont of insects and other arthropods generating several biological effects on its hosts. Existing information report the influence of Wolbachia on the fitness traits of insect host species, including the Mediterranean fruit fly. However, little is known regarding effects of Wolbachia infection on immature development in different host fruits and temperatures. This study was conducted to determine the development and survival of immature stages of four different Mediterranean fruit fly populations, either infected or uninfected with Wolbachia, in two hosts (apples, bitter oranges) under three constant temperatures (15, 25 and 30°C), constant relative humidity (45-55 ± 5%), and a photoperiod of 14L:10D. Our findings demonstrate both differential response of two fruit fly lines to Wolbachia infection and differential effects of the two Wolbachia strains on the same Mediterranean fruit fly line. Larva-to-pupa and larva-to-adult survival followed similar patterns and varied a lot among the four medfly populations, the two host fruits and the different temperatures. Pupation rates and larval developmental time were higher for larvae implanted in apples compared to bitter oranges. The survival rates of wildish medflies were higher than those of the laboratory adapted ones, particularly in bitter oranges. The Wolbachia infected medflies, expressed lower survival rates and higher developmental times, especially the wCer4 infected line. High temperatures constrained immature development and were lethal for the Wolbachia infected wCer4 medfly line. Lower temperatures inferred longer developmental times to immature stages of all medfly populations tested, in both host fruits. Implications on the ecology and survival of the fly in nature are discussed.

RevDate: 2020-03-18

García-Del Portillo F (2020)

Building peptidoglycan inside eukaryotic cells: A view from symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria.

Molecular microbiology, 113(3):613-626.

The peptidoglycan (PG), as the exoskeleton of most prokaryotes, maintains a defined shape and ensures cell integrity against the high internal turgor pressure. These important roles have attracted researchers to target PG metabolism in order to control bacterial infections. Most studies, however, have been performed in bacteria grown under laboratory conditions, leading to only a partial view on how the PG is synthetized in natural environments. As a case in point, PG metabolism and its regulation remain poorly understood in symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria living inside eukaryotic cells. This review focuses on the PG metabolism of intracellular bacteria, emphasizing the necessity of more in vivo studies involving the analysis of enzymes produced in the intracellular niche and the isolation of PG from bacteria residing within eukaryotic cells. The review also points to persistent infections caused by some intracellular bacterial pathogens and the extent at which the PG could contribute to establish such physiological state. Based on recent evidences, I speculate on the idea that certain structural features of the PG may facilitate attenuation of intracellular growth. Lastly, I discuss recent findings in endosymbionts supporting a cooperation between host and bacterial enzymes to assemble a mature PG.

RevDate: 2020-03-18

Kuroiwa T, Ohnuma M, Imoto Y, et al (2020)

Evolutionary significance of the ring-like plastid nucleus in the primitive red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae as revealed by drying.

Protoplasma pii:10.1007/s00709-020-01496-y [Epub ahead of print].

Primary plastids originated from a free-living cyanobacterial ancestor and possess their own genomes-probably a few DNA copies. These genomes, which are organized in centrally located plastid nuclei (CN-type pt-nuclei), are produced from preexisting plastids by binary division. Ancestral algae with a CN-type pt-nucleus diverged and evolved into two basal eukaryotic lineages: red algae with circular (CL-type) pt-nuclei and green algae with scattered small (SN-type) pt-nuclei. Although the molecular dynamics of pt-nuclei in green algae and plants are now being analyzed, the process of the conversion of the original algae with a CN-type pt-nucleus to red algae with a CL-type one has not been studied. Here, we show that the CN-type pt-nucleus in the primitive red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae can be changed to the CL-type by application of drying to produce slight cell swelling. This result implies that CN-type pt-nuclei are produced by compact packing of CL-type ones, which suggests that a C. merolae-like alga was the original progenitor of the red algal lineage. We also observed that the CL-type pt-nucleus has a chain-linked bead-like structure. Each bead is most likely a small unit of DNA, similar to CL-type pt-nuclei in brown algae. Our results thus suggest a C. merolae-like alga as the candidate for the secondary endosymbiont of brown algae.

RevDate: 2020-03-16

van den Bosch TJM, CU Welte (2020)

The Microbial Diversity of Cabbage Pest Delia radicum Across Multiple Life Stages.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:315.

The cabbage root fly Delia radicum is a worldwide pest that causes yield losses of many common cabbage crops. The bacteria associated with D. radicum are suggested to influence the pest status of their host. In this study, we characterized insect-associated bacteria of D. radicum across multiple life stages and of their diet plant (turnip, Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) by sequencing the V3-V4 region of 16S rRNA genes using the Illumina MiSeq platform. In total, over 1.2M paired-end reads were obtained, identifying 1006 bacterial amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) in samples obtained from the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults of D. radicum, as well as turnips that were either fresh or infested with D. radicum larvae. The microbial community in D. radicum was dominated by Wolbachia, a common endosymbiont of arthropods which we found in all of the investigated insect samples, with the pupal stage having the highest relative abundance. Moderate amounts of Firmicutes were found only in adult D. radicum flies, but not in previous life stages. Actinobacteria were mostly found on the eggs and on the skin of fresh plants on which the eggs were deposited. These plants also harbored a large amount of Pseudomonas. The bacterial diversity of the healthy turnip was low, whereas the microbial community of decaying turnips that were heavily infested by D. radicum larvae and showing symptoms of advanced soft rot was characterized by a high bacterial diversity. Taken together, this work provides insights into the bacterial communities associated with the cabbage pest D. radicum and its associated disease symptoms.

RevDate: 2020-03-14

Rossitto De Marchi B, HA Smith (2020)

Bacterial Endosymbiont Diversity Among Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Populations in Florida.

Insects, 11(3): pii:insects11030179.

The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), is a pest of many economically important agricultural crops and a vector of plant viruses. Bemisia tabaci harbors facultative endosymbiont species that have been implicated in pest status, including tolerance to insecticides, virus transmission efficiency and tolerance to high-temperatures. The facultative endosymbionts reported in B. tabaci include Arsenophonus, Hamiltonella, Wolbachia, Cardinium, Fritschea and Rickettsia. We collected whitefly populations from weed and crop hosts in south Florida and identified the whitefly species as well as the facultative endosymbionts present in these populations by molecular analysis. In addition, a phylogenetic analysis of whiteflies and their endosymbionts was performed. The only facultative endosymbionts found among the B. tabaci populations collected in Florida were Hamiltonella and Rickettsia. The phylogenetic analysis revealed the low genetic diversity of whiteflies and their endosymbionts. Additionally, the phylogenetic tree clustered Rickettsia from Florida in the R1 genetic group. The results will aid to understand the role of the bacterial endosymbionts in the whitefly host.

RevDate: 2020-03-11

Speijer D (2020)

Debating Eukaryogenesis: Part 2: How Anachronistic Reasoning Can Lure Us into Inventing Intermediates.

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

Eukaryotic origins are inextricably linked with the arrival of a pre-mitochondrion of alphaproteobacterial-like ancestry. However, the nature of the "host" cell and the mode of entry are subject to heavy debate. It is becoming clear that the mutual adaptation of a relatively simple, archaeal host and the endosymbiont has been the defining influence at the beginning of the eukaryotic lineage; however, many still resist such symbiogenic models. In part 1, it is posited that a symbiotic stage before uptake ("pre-symbiosis") seems essential to allow further metabolic integration of the two partners ending in endosymbiosis. Thus, the author argued against phagocytic mechanisms (in which the bacterium is prey or parasite) as the mode of entry. Such positions are still broadly unpopular. Here it is explained why. Evolutionary thinking, especially in the case of eukaryogenesis, is still dominated by anachronistic reasoning, in which highly derived protozoan organisms are seen as in some way representative of intermediate steps during eukaryotic evolution, hence poisoning the debate. This reasoning reflects a mind-set that ignores that Darwinian evolution is a fundamentally historic process. Numerous examples of this kind of erroneous reasoning are given, and some basic precautions against its use are formulated.

RevDate: 2020-03-06

Ebrahimi H, Siavoshi F, Heydari S, et al (2020)

Yeast engineered translucent cell wall to provide its endosymbiont cyanobacteria with light.

Archives of microbiology pii:10.1007/s00203-020-01835-w [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, relationship between translucent property of yeast cell wall and occurrence of cyanobacteria inside the yeast vacuole was examined. Microscopic observations on fruit yeast Candida tropicalis showed occurrence of bacterium-like bodies inside the yeast vacuole. Appearance of vacuoles as distinct cavities indicated the perfect harvesting of light by the yeast's cell wall. Transmission electron microscopy observation showed electron-dense outer and electron-lucent inner layers in yeast cell wall. Cyanobacteria-specific 16S rRNA gene was amplified from total DNA of yeast. Cultivation of yeast in distilled water led to excision of intracellular bacteria which grew on cyanobacteria-specific medium. Examination of wet mount and Gram-stained preparations of excised bacteria showed typical bead-like trichomes. Amplification of cyanobacteria-specific genes, 16S rRNA, cnfR and dxcf, confirmed bacterial identity as Leptolyngbya boryana. These results showed that translucent cell wall of yeast has been engineered through evolution for receiving light for vital activities of cyanobacteria.

RevDate: 2020-03-06

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, 7:29 pii:246.

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. 10.1038/s41438-019-0211-x) 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 Res7, (2020). 10.1038/s41438-019-0211-x).

RevDate: 2020-03-06

Bubici G, Prigigallo MI, Garganese F, et al (2020)

First Report of Aleurocanthus spiniferus on Ailanthus altissima: Profiling of the Insect Microbiome and MicroRNAs.

Insects, 11(3): pii:insects11030161.

We report the first occurrence of the orange spiny whitefly (Aleurocanthus spiniferus; OSW) on the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) in Bari, Apulia region, Italy. After our first observation in 2016, the infestation recurred regularly during the following years and expanded to the neighboring trees. Since then, we have also found the insect on numerous patches of the tree of heaven and other plant species in the Bari province. Nevertheless, the tree of heaven was not particularly threatened by the insect, so that a possible contribution by OSW for the control of such an invasive plant cannot be hypothesized hitherto. This work was also aimed at profiling the microbiome of OSW feeding on A. altissima. For this purpose, we used the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and the deep sequencing of small RNAs (sRNAs). Both techniques unveiled the presence of "Candidatus Portiera" (primary endosymbiont), Wolbachia sp. and Rickettsia sp., endosymbionts already reported for other Aleyrodidae. Deep sequencing data were analyzed by four computational pipelines in order to understand the reliability of the detection of fungi, bacteria, and viruses: Kraken, Kaiju, Velvet, and VelvetOptimiser. Some contigs assembled by Velvet or VelvetOptimiser were associated with insects, but not necessarily in the Aleurocanthus genus or Aleyrodidae family, suggesting the non-specificity of sRNAs or possible traces of parasitoids in the sample (e.g., Eretmocerus sp.). Finally, deep sequencing data were used to describe the microtranscriptome of OSW: 56 canonical and at least four high-confidence novel microRNAs (miRNAs) were identified. The overall miRNA abundance in OSW was in agreement with previous works on Bemisia tabaci, and bantam-3p, miR-276a-3p, miR-317-3p, miR-750-3p, and mir-8-3p were the most represented miRNAs.

RevDate: 2020-03-03

Turner JD, Marriott AE, Hong D, et al (2020)

Novel anti-Wolbachia drugs, a new approach in the treatment and prevention of veterinary filariasis?.

Veterinary parasitology, 279:109057 pii:S0304-4017(20)30037-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Filarial nematodes are tissue-dwelling parasitic worms that can cause a range of disfiguring pathologies in humans and potentially lethal infections of companion animals. The bacterial endosymbiont, Wolbachia, is present within most human and veterinary filarial pathogens, including the causative agent of heartworm disease, Dirofilaria immitis. Doxycycline-mediated drug targeting of Wolbachia leads to sterility, clearance of microfilariae and gradual death of adult filariae. This mode of action is attractive in the treatment of filariasis because it avoids severe host inflammatory adverse reactions invoked by rapid-killing anthelmintic agents. However, doxycycline needs to be taken for four weeks to exert curative activity. In this review, we discuss the evidence that Wolbachia drug targeting is efficacious in blocking filarial larval development as well as in the treatment of chronic filarial disease. We present the current portfolio of next-generation anti-Wolbachia candidates discovered through phenotypic screening of chemical libraries and validated in a range of in vitro and in vivo filarial infection models. Several novel chemotypes have been identified with selected narrow-spectrum anti-Wolbachia specificity and superior time-to-kill kinetics compared with doxycycline. We discuss the opportunities of developing these novel anti-Wolbachia agents as either cures, adjunct therapies or new preventatives for the treatment of veterinary filariasis.

RevDate: 2020-02-28

Fazeli B, Mirhosseini A, Hashemi Z, et al (2020)

Detection of Rickettsia Endosymbiont Bemisia Tabaci in the Amputated Limbs of Three Buerger's Disease Patients.

International medical case reports journal, 13:33-40 pii:225839.

Until recently, the aetiology of Buerger's disease (BD) has been unknown. Although there is a close relationship between BD and smoking, it cannot explain the low prevalence of BD among smokers or the disease's geographical distribution. Infectious pathogens, such as Rickettsial infection, have also been suggested as the trigger of BD development, but this theory has neither been proven nor ruled out. The aim of this study was to evaluate the footprint of Rickettsial infection in tissue specimens obtained from amputees with Buerger's disease. Forty-nine tissue biopsies were obtained from three below-the-knee amputees who also had a diagnosis of BD according to Olin's criteria (between 14-21 biopsies for each patient). After extraction of DNA from the tissue samples, the existence of 16srRNA was evaluated using a PCR test. The sequence of PCR products was evaluated using Geneious 11.1.2 software and NCBI blast. The 16srRNA was found in 3 to 7 samples from each patient. The sequence of the PCR products had a 98% homology with Rickettsia Tabaci. The sequences of the three patients were aligned, and no difference was found in the sequence of 16srRNA amongst the patients. Rickettsia Tabaci is a pathogen that infects tobacco leaves. Thus, BD might be an infectious disease for which smoking could be the route of pathogen entry into the bloodstreams of the sufferers. However, further studies are highly recommended to confirm this hypothesis.

RevDate: 2020-02-28

Martin SH, Singh KS, Gordon IJ, et al (2020)

Whole-chromosome hitchhiking driven by a male-killing endosymbiont.

PLoS biology, 18(2):e3000610 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-19-02265.

Neo-sex chromosomes are found in many taxa, but the forces driving their emergence and spread are poorly understood. The female-specific neo-W chromosome of the African monarch (or queen) butterfly Danaus chrysippus presents an intriguing case study because it is restricted to a single 'contact zone' population, involves a putative colour patterning supergene, and co-occurs with infection by the male-killing endosymbiont Spiroplasma. We investigated the origin and evolution of this system using whole genome sequencing. We first identify the 'BC supergene', a broad region of suppressed recombination across nearly half a chromosome, which links two colour patterning loci. Association analysis suggests that the genes yellow and arrow in this region control the forewing colour pattern differences between D. chrysippus subspecies. We then show that the same chromosome has recently formed a neo-W that has spread through the contact zone within approximately 2,200 years. We also assembled the genome of the male-killing Spiroplasma, and find that it shows perfect genealogical congruence with the neo-W, suggesting that the neo-W has hitchhiked to high frequency as the male-killer has spread through the population. The complete absence of female crossing-over in the Lepidoptera causes whole-chromosome hitchhiking of a single neo-W haplotype, carrying a single allele of the BC supergene and dragging multiple non-synonymous mutations to high frequency. This has created a population of infected females that all carry the same recessive colour patterning allele, making the phenotypes of each successive generation highly dependent on uninfected male immigrants. Our findings show how hitchhiking can occur between the physically unlinked genomes of host and endosymbiont, with dramatic consequences.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Teymournejad O, Lin M, Bekebrede H, et al (2020)

Isolation and Molecular Analysis of a Novel Neorickettsia Species That Causes Potomac Horse Fever.

mBio, 11(1): pii:mBio.03429-19.

Potomac horse fever (PHF), a severe and frequently fatal febrile diarrheal disease, has been known to be caused only by Neorickettsia risticii, an endosymbiont of digenean trematodes. Here, we report the cell culture isolation of a new Neorickettsia species found in two locations in eastern Ontario, Canada, in 2016 and 2017 (in addition to 10 variable strains of N. risticii) from N. risticii PCR-negative horses with clinical signs of PHF. Gene sequences of 16S rRNA and the major surface antigen P51 of this new Neorickettsia species were distinct from those of all previously characterized N. risticii strains and Neorickettsia species, except for those from an uncharacterized Neorickettsia species culture isolate from a horse with PHF in northern Ohio in 1991. The new Neorickettsia species nonetheless had the characteristic intramolecular repeats within strain-specific antigen 3 (Ssa3), which were found in all sequenced Ssa3s of N. risticii strains. Experimental inoculation of two naive ponies with the new Neorickettsia species produced severe and subclinical PHF, respectively, and the bacteria were reisolated from both of them, fulfilling Koch's postulates. Serological assay titers against the new Neorickettsia species were higher than those against N. risticii Whole-genome sequence analysis of the new Neorickettsia species revealed unique features of this bacterium compared with N. risticii We propose to classify this new bacterium as Neorickettsia finleia sp. nov. This finding will improve the laboratory diagnosis of and vaccine for PHF, environmental risk assessment of PHF, and understanding of PHF pathogenesis and Neorickettsia biology in general.IMPORTANCE Despite the detection of Neorickettsia species DNA sequences in various trematode species and their hosts, only three Neorickettsia species have been cell culture isolated and whole-genome sequenced and are known to infect mammals and/or cause disease. The molecular mechanisms that enable the obligatory intracellular bacterium Neorickettsia to colonize trematodes and to horizontally transmit from trematodes to mammals, as well as the virulence factors associated with specific mammalian hosts, are unknown. Potomac horse fever (PHF) is a severe and acute systemic infectious disease of horses, with clinical signs that include diarrhea. Neorickettsia risticii is the only known bacterial species that causes PHF. Ingestion of insects harboring N. risticii-infected trematodes by horses leads to PHF. Our discovery of a new Neorickettsia species that causes PHF and whole-genome sequence analysis of this bacterium will improve laboratory diagnosis and vaccine development for PHF and will contribute to our understanding of Neorickettsia ecology, pathogenesis, and biology.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Zou M, Mu Y, Chai X, et al (2020)

The critical function of the plastid rRNA methyltransferase, CMAL, in ribosome biogenesis and plant development.

Nucleic acids research pii:5755887 [Epub ahead of print].

Methylation of nucleotides in ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) is a ubiquitous feature that occurs in all living organisms. The formation of methylated nucleotides is performed by a variety of RNA-methyltransferases. Chloroplasts of plant cells result from an endosymbiotic event and possess their own genome and ribosomes. However, enzymes responsible for rRNA methylation and the function of modified nucleotides in chloroplasts remain to be determined. Here, we identified an rRNA methyltransferase, CMAL (Chloroplast MraW-Like), in the Arabidopsis chloroplast and investigated its function. CMAL is the Arabidopsis ortholog of bacterial MraW/ RsmH proteins and accounts to the N4-methylation of C1352 in chloroplast 16S rRNA, indicating that CMAL orthologs and this methyl-modification nucleotide is conserved between bacteria and the endosymbiont-derived eukaryotic organelle. The knockout of CMAL in Arabidopsis impairs the chloroplast ribosome accumulation and accordingly reduced the efficiency of mRNA translation. Interestingly, the loss of CMAL leads not only to defects in chloroplast function, but also to abnormal leaf and root development and overall plant morphology. Further investigation showed that CMAL is involved in the plant development probably by modulating auxin derived signaling pathways. This study uncovered the important role of 16S rRNA methylation mediated by CMAL in chloroplast ribosome biogenesis and plant development.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Sarai C, Tanifuji G, Nakayama T, et al (2020)

Dinoflagellates with relic endosymbiont nuclei as models for elucidating organellogenesis.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1911884117 [Epub ahead of print].

Nucleomorphs are relic endosymbiont nuclei so far found only in two algal groups, cryptophytes and chlorarachniophytes, which have been studied to model the evolutionary process of integrating an endosymbiont alga into a host-governed plastid (organellogenesis). However, past studies suggest that DNA transfer from the endosymbiont to host nuclei had already ceased in both cryptophytes and chlorarachniophytes, implying that the organellogenesis at the genetic level has been completed in the two systems. Moreover, we have yet to pinpoint the closest free-living relative of the endosymbiotic alga engulfed by the ancestral chlorarachniophyte or cryptophyte, making it difficult to infer how organellogenesis altered the endosymbiont genome. To counter the above issues, we need novel nucleomorph-bearing algae, in which endosymbiont-to-host DNA transfer is on-going and for which endosymbiont/plastid origins can be inferred at a fine taxonomic scale. Here, we report two previously undescribed dinoflagellates, strains MGD and TGD, with green algal endosymbionts enclosing plastids as well as relic nuclei (nucleomorphs). We provide evidence for the presence of DNA in the two nucleomorphs and the transfer of endosymbiont genes to the host (dinoflagellate) genomes. Furthermore, DNA transfer between the host and endosymbiont nuclei was found to be in progress in both the MGD and TGD systems. Phylogenetic analyses successfully resolved the origins of the endosymbionts at the genus level. With the combined evidence, we conclude that the host-endosymbiont integration in MGD/TGD is less advanced than that in cryptophytes/chrorarachniophytes, and propose the two dinoflagellates as models for elucidating organellogenesis.

RevDate: 2020-02-24

Binetruy F, Buysse M, Lejarre Q, et al (2020)

Microbial community structure reveals instability of nutritional symbiosis during the evolutionary radiation of Amblyomma ticks.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Mutualistic interactions with microbes have facilitated the adaptation of major eukaryotic lineages to restricted diet niches. Hence, ticks with their strictly blood-feeding lifestyle are associated with intracellular bacterial symbionts through an essential B vitamin supplementation. In this study, examination of bacterial diversity in 25 tick species of the genus Amblyomma showed that three intracellular bacteria, Coxiella-like endosymbionts (LE), Francisella-LE and Rickettsia, are remarkably common. No other bacterium is as uniformly present in Amblyomma ticks. Almost all Amblyomma species were found to harbour a nutritive obligate symbiont, Coxiella-LE or Francisella-LE, that is able to synthesize B vitamins. However, despite the co-evolved and obligate nature of these mutualistic interactions, the structure of microbiomes does not mirror the Amblyomma phylogeny, with a clear exclusion pattern between Coxiella-LE and Francisella-LE across tick species. Coxiella-LE, but not Francisella-LE, form evolutionarily stable associations with ticks, commonly leading to co-cladogenesis. We further found evidence for symbiont replacements during the radiation of Amblyomma, with recent, and probably ongoing, invasions by Francisella-LE and subsequent replacements of ancestral Coxiella-LE through transient co-infections. Nutritional symbiosis in Amblyomma ticks is thus not a stable evolutionary state, but instead arises from conflicting origins between unrelated but competing symbionts with similar metabolic capabilities.

RevDate: 2020-02-22

Elbir H, Almathen F, NA Alhumam (2019)

A glimpse of the bacteriome of Hyalomma dromedarii ticks infesting camels reveals human Helicobacter pylori pathogen.

Journal of infection in developing countries, 13(11):1001-1012.

INTRODUCTION: The tick Hyalomma dromedarii is predominant in camels of Saudi Arabia and harbor multiple pathogens causing disease in humans and animals. Knowing the bacterial community of ticks is crucial for surveillance of known and newly emerging pathogens. Yet, the bacteriome of H. dromedarii remain unexplored to date.

METHODOLOGY: In a cross-sectional survey, we used V3-V4 region of 16S rRNA to characterize the bacteriome of 62 whole H. dromedarii tick samples collected from camels found in Hofuf city in Saudi Arabia.

RESULTS: Sequencing results yielded 217 species incorporated into 114 genera, which in turn belong to the dominant phylum Proteobacteria (98%) followed by Firmicutes (1.38%), Actinobacteria (0.36%), Bacteroidetes (0.17%), meanwhile the phyla Cyanobacteria, Verrucomicrobia and unclassified bacteria were rarely detected. Francisella endosymbiont dominated the bacteriome of H. dromedarii ticks with average abundance of 94.37% and together with Salincoccus sp. accounted for 94.51% of the average sequences. The remaining bacteriome consisted of low abundance of potential pathogens and environmental bacteria. Of these pathogens, we found Helicobacter pylori in the tick H. dromedarii for the first time. Notably, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and Rickettsia pathogens known to be found in H. dromedarii ticks were not detected.

CONCLUSION: This first preliminary study advances our knowledge about the bacterial community of H. dromedarii ticks and provides a basis for pathogen surveillance and studying the influences of symbionts on vector competence. Presence of pathogens in ticks, raise concerns about potential transmission of these agents to humans or animals.

RevDate: 2020-02-21

Speijer D (2020)

Debating Eukaryogenesis-Part 1: Does Eukaryogenesis Presuppose Symbiosis Before Uptake?.

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

Eukaryotic origins are heavily debated. The author as well as others have proposed that they are inextricably linked with the arrival of a pre-mitochondrion of alphaproteobacterial-like ancestry, in a so-called symbiogenic scenario. The ensuing mutual adaptation of archaeal host and endosymbiont seems to have been a defining influence during the processes leading to the last eukaryotic common ancestor. An unresolved question in this scenario deals with the means by which the bacterium ends up inside. Older hypotheses revolve around the application of known antagonistic interactions, the bacterium being prey or parasite. Here, in reviewing the field, the author argues that such models share flaws, hence making them less likely, and that a "pre-symbiotic stage" would have eased ongoing metabolic integration. Based on this the author will speculate about the nature of the (endo) symbiosis that started eukaryotic evolution-in the context of bacterial entry being a relatively "early" event-and stress the differences between this uptake and subsequent ones. He will also briefly discuss how the mutual adaptation following the merger progressed and how many eukaryotic hallmarks can be understood in light of coadaptation.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Selim KA, Ermilova E, K Forchhammer (2020)

From Cyanobacteria to Archaeplastida: new evolutionary insights into PII signaling in the plant kingdom.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

The PII superfamily consists of signal transduction proteins found in all domains of life. Canonical PII proteins sense the cellular energy state through the competitive binding of ATP and ADP, and carbon/nitrogen balance through 2-oxoglutarate binding. The ancestor of Archaeplastida inherited its PII signal transduction protein from an ancestral cyanobacterial endosymbiont. Over the course of evolution, plant PII proteins acquired a glutamine-sensing C-terminal extension, subsequently present in all Chloroplastida PII proteins. The PII proteins of various algal strains (red, green, and non-photosynthetic algae) have been systematically investigated with respect to their sensory and regulatory properties. Comparisons of the PII proteins from different phyla of oxygenic phototrophs (cyanobacteria, red algae, Chlorophyta and higher plants) have yielded insights into their evolutionary conservation versus adaptive properties. The highly conserved role of the controlling enzyme of arginine biosynthesis, N-acetyl-L-glutamate kinase (NAGK), as a main PII-interactor has been demonstrated across oxygenic phototrophs of cyanobacteria and Archaeplastida. In addition, the PII signaling system of red algae has been identified as an evolutionary intermediate between that of Cyanobacteria and Chloroplastida. In this review, we consider recent advances in understanding metabolic signaling by PII proteins of the plant kingdom.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Ross PA, Callahan AG, Yang Q, et al (2020)

An elusive endosymbiont: Does Wolbachia occur naturally in Aedes aegypti?.

Ecology and evolution, 10(3):1581-1591 pii:ECE36012.

Wolbachia are maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacteria found within many insect species. Aedes mosquitoes experimentally infected with Wolbachia are being released into the field for Aedes-borne disease control. These Wolbachia infections induce cytoplasmic incompatibility which is used to suppress populations through incompatible matings or replace populations through the reproductive advantage provided by this mechanism. However, the presence of naturally occurring Wolbachia in target populations could interfere with both population replacement and suppression programs depending on the compatibility patterns between strains. Aedes aegypti were thought to not harbor Wolbachia naturally but several recent studies have detected Wolbachia in natural populations of this mosquito. We therefore review the evidence for natural Wolbachia infections in A. aegypti to date and discuss limitations of these studies. We draw on research from other mosquito species to outline the potential implications of natural Wolbachia infections in A. aegypti for disease control. To validate previous reports, we obtained a laboratory population of A. aegypti from New Mexico, USA, that harbors a natural Wolbachia infection, and we conducted field surveys in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where a natural Wolbachia infection has also been reported. However, we were unable to detect Wolbachia in both the laboratory and field populations. Because the presence of naturally occurring Wolbachia in A. aegypti could have profound implications for Wolbachia-based disease control programs, it is important to continue to accurately assess the Wolbachia status of target Aedes populations.

RevDate: 2020-02-19

Erban T, Klimov P, Molva V, et al (2020)

Whole genomic sequencing and sex-dependent abundance estimation of Cardinium sp., a common and hyperabundant bacterial endosymbiont of the American house dust mite, Dermatophagoides farinae.

Experimental & applied acarology pii:10.1007/s10493-020-00475-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The two common species of house dust mites (HDMs), Dermatophagoides farinae and D. pteronyssinus, are major sources of allergens in human dwellings worldwide. Many allergens from HDMs have been described, but their extracts vary in immunogens. Mite strains may differ in their microbiomes, which affect mite allergen expression and contents of bacterial endotoxins. Some bacteria, such as the intracellular symbiont Cardinium, can affect both the sex ratio and biochemical pathways of mites, resulting in abundance variations of mite allergens/immunogens. Here, we investigated the bacterial microbiomes of D. farinae and D. pteronyssinus males and females using barcode 16S rDNA sequencing, qPCR, and genomic data analysis. We found a single species of Cardinium associated with D. farinae strains from the USA, China and Europe. Cardinium had high abundance relative to other bacterial taxa and represented 99% of all bacterial DNA reads from female mites from the USA. Cardinium was also abundant with respect to the number of host cells-we estimated 10.4-11.8 cells of Cardinium per single female mite cell. In a European D. farinae strain, Cardinium was more prevalent in females than in males (representing 92 and 67% of all bacterial taxa in females and males, respectively). In contrast, D. pteronyssinus lacked any Cardinium species, and the microbiomes of male and female mites were similar. We produced a Cardinium genome assembly (1.48 Mb; GenBank: PRJNA555788, GCA_007559345.1) associated with D. farinae. The ascertained ubiquity and abundance of Cardinium strongly suggest that this intracellular bacterium plays an important biological role in D. farinae.

RevDate: 2020-02-18

Filip H, Vaclav H, D Alistair (2020)

Insect-symbiont gene expression in the midgut bacteriocytes of a blood-sucking parasite.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5739960 [Epub ahead of print].

Animals interact with a diverse array of both beneficial and detrimental microorganisms. In insects, these obligate symbioses in many cases allow feeding on nutritionally unbalanced diets. It is, however, still not clear how are obligate symbioses maintained at the cellular level for up to several hundred million years. Exact mechanisms driving host-symbiont interactions are only understood for a handful of model species and data on blood-feeding hosts with intracellular bacteria are particularly scarce. Here, we analyzed interactions between an obligately blood-sucking parasite of sheep, the louse fly Melophagus ovinus, and its obligate endosymbiont, Arsenophonus melophagi. We assembled a reference transcriptome for the insect host and used dual RNA-Seq with five biological replicates to compare expression in the midgut cells specialized for housing symbiotic bacteria (bacteriocytes) to the rest of the gut (foregut-hindgut). We found strong evidence for the importance of zinc in the system likely caused by symbionts using zinc-dependent proteases when acquiring amino acids, and for different immunity mechanisms controlling the symbionts than in closely related tsetse flies. Our results show that cellular and nutritional interactions between this blood-sucking insect and its symbionts are less intimate than what was previously found in most plant-sap sucking insects. This finding is likely interconnected to several features observed in symbionts in blood-sucking arthropods, particularly their midgut intracellular localization, intracytoplasmic presence, less severe genome reduction, and relatively recent associations caused by frequent evolutionary losses and replacements.

RevDate: 2020-02-13

Nakabachi A, Malenovský I, Gjonov I, et al (2020)

16S rRNA Sequencing Detected Profftella, Liberibacter, Wolbachia, and Diplorickettsia from Relatives of the Asian Citrus Psyllid.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01491-z [Epub ahead of print].

The Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psylloidea) is a serious pest of citrus species worldwide because it transmits Candidatus Liberibacter spp. (Alphaproteobacteria: Rhizobiales), the causative agents of the incurable citrus disease, huanglongbing or greening disease. Diaphorina citri possesses a specialized organ called a bacteriome, which harbors vertically transmitted intracellular mutualists, Ca. Carsonella ruddii (Gammaproteobacteria: Oceanospirillales) and Ca. Profftella armatura (Gammaproteobacteria: Betaproteobacteriales). Whereas Carsonella is a typical nutritional symbiont, Profftella is an unprecedented type of toxin-producing defensive symbiont, unusually sharing organelle-like features with nutritional symbionts. Additionally, many D. citri strains are infected with Wolbachia, which manipulate reproduction in various arthropod hosts. In the present study, in an effort to obtain insights into the evolution of symbioses between Diaphorina and bacteria, microbiomes of psyllids closely related to D. citri were investigated. Bacterial populations of Diaphorina cf. continua and Diaphorina lycii were analyzed using Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons and compared with data obtained from D. citri. The analysis revealed that all three Diaphorina spp. harbor Profftella as well as Carsonella lineages, implying that Profftella is widespread within the genus Diaphorina. Moreover, the analysis identified Ca. Liberibacter europaeus and Diplorickettsia sp. (Gammaproteobacteria: Diplorickettsiales) in D. cf. continua, and a total of four Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria: Rickettsiales) lineages in the three psyllid species. These results provide deeper insights into the interactions among insects, bacteria, and plants, which would eventually help to better manage horticulture.

RevDate: 2020-02-13

Miyazaki J, Ikuta T, Watsuji TO, et al (2020)

Dual energy metabolism of the Campylobacterota endosymbiont in the chemosynthetic snail Alviniconcha marisindica.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-0605-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Some deep-sea chemosynthetic invertebrates and their symbiotic bacteria can use molecular hydrogen (H2) as their energy source. However, how much the chemosynthetic holobiont (endosymbiont-host association) physiologically depends on H2 oxidation has not yet been determined. Here, we demonstrate that the Campylobacterota endosymbionts of the gastropod Alviniconcha marisindica in the Kairei and Edmond fields (kAlv and eAlv populations, respectively) of the Indian Ocean, utilize H2 in response to their physical and environmental H2 conditions, although the 16S rRNA gene sequence of both the endosymbionts shared 99.6% identity. A thermodynamic calculation using in situ H2 and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) concentrations indicated that chemosynthetic symbiosis could be supported by metabolic energy via H2 oxidation, particularly for the kAlv holobiont. Metabolic activity measurements showed that both the living individuals and the gill tissues consumed H2 and H2S at similar levels. Moreover, a combination of fluorescence in situ hybridization, quantitative transcript analyses, and enzymatic activity measurements showed that the kAlv endosymbiont expressed the genes and enzymes for both H2- and sulfur-oxidations. These results suggest that both H2 and H2S could serve as the primary energy sources for the kAlv holobiont. The eAlv holobiont had the ability to utilize H2, but the gene expression and enzyme activity for hydrogenases were much lower than for sulfur-oxidation enzymes. These results suggest that the energy acquisitions of A. marisindica holobionts are dependent on H2- and sulfur-oxidation in the H2-enriched Kairei field and that the mechanism of dual metabolism is controlled by the in situ H2 concentration.

RevDate: 2020-02-12

Zélé F, Santos I, Matos M, et al (2020)

Endosymbiont diversity in natural populations of Tetranychus mites is rapidly lost under laboratory conditions.

Heredity pii:10.1038/s41437-020-0297-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Although the diversity of bacterial endosymbionts in arthropods is well documented, whether and how such diversity is maintained remains an open question. We investigated the temporal changes occurring in the prevalence and composition of endosymbionts after transferring natural populations of Tetranychus spider mites from the field to the laboratory. These populations, belonging to three different Tetranychus species (T. urticae, T. ludeni and T. evansi) carried variable infection frequencies of Wolbachia, Cardinium, and Rickettsia. We report a rapid change of the infection status of these populations after only 6 months of laboratory rearing, with an apparent loss of Rickettsia and Cardinium, while Wolbachia apparently either reached fixation or was lost. We show that Wolbachia had variable effects on host longevity and fecundity, and induced variable levels of cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) in each fully infected population, despite no sequence divergence in the markers used and full CI rescue between all populations. This suggests that such effects are largely dependent upon the host genotype. Subsequently, we used these data to parameterize a theoretical model for the invasion of CI-inducing symbionts in haplodiploids, which shows that symbiont effects are sufficient to explain their dynamics in the laboratory. This further suggests that symbiont diversity and prevalence in the field are likely maintained by environmental heterogeneity, which is reduced in the laboratory. Overall, this study highlights the lability of endosymbiont infections and draws attention to the limitations of laboratory studies to understand host-symbiont interactions in natural populations.

RevDate: 2020-02-11

Lechner AM, Gastager H, Kern JM, et al (2020)

Case Report: Successful Treatment of a Patient with Microfilaremic Dirofilariasis Using Doxycycline.

The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene [Epub ahead of print].

We report the case of a 56-year-old woman with microfilaremic dirofilariasis due to Dirofilaria repens, which is a very rare condition in humans. Of note, just one of six large-volume blood samples of this patient was positive for microfilariae. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing of the parasite gene determined the geographic origin of the causative helminth. The patient was treated successfully with doxycycline. This drug was chosen because of the patient's reluctance to the use of ivermectin and to provide an anthelmintic effect by targeting the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia present in most filarial species.

RevDate: 2020-02-08

Adenyo C, Ohya K, Qiu Y, et al (2020)

Bacterial and protozoan pathogens/symbionts in ticks infecting wild grasscutters Thryonomys swinderianus in Ghana.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(19)31418-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Ticks and tick-borne pathogens constitute a great threat to livestock production and are a potential health hazard to humans. Grasscutters (Thryonomys swinderianus) are widely hunted for meat in Ghana and many other West and Central African countries. However, tick-borne zoonotic risks posed by wild grasscutters have not been assessed. The objective of this study was to investigate bacterial and protozoan pathogens in ticks infecting wild grasscutters. A total of 81 ticks were collected from three hunted grasscutters purchased from Katamanto, the central bushmeat market in Accra. Ticks were identified as Ixodes aulacodi and Rhipicephalus sp. based on morphological keys, which were further confirmed by sequencing mitochondrial 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and cytochrome oxidase I (COI) genes of specimens. Protozoan infections were tested by PCR amplifying 18S rDNA of Babesia/Theileria/Hepatozoon, while bacterial infections were evaluated by PCRs or real-time PCRs targeting Anaplasmataceae, Borrelia, spotted fever group rickettsiae, chlamydiae and Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii. The results of PCR screening showed that 35.5% (27 out of 76) of I. aulacodi were positive for parasite infections. Sequencing analysis of the amplified products gave one identical sequence showing similarity with Babesia spp. reported from Africa. The Ca. M. mitochondrii endosymbiont was present in 85.5% (65 out of 76) of I. aulacodi but not in the five Rhipicephalus ticks. Two Anaplasmataceae bacteria genetically related to Ehrlichia muris and Anaeplasma phagocytophilum were also detected in two I. aulacodi. None of the ticks were positive for Borrelia spp., spotted fever group rickettsiae and chlamydiae. Since I. aulacodi on wild grasscutters are potential carriers of tick-borne pathogens, some of which could be of zoonotic potential, rigorous tick control and pathogen analyses should be instituted especially when wild caught grasscutters are being used as foundation stock for breedings.

RevDate: 2020-02-07

Hundertmark A, Goodacre SL, JFY Brookfield (2020)

Alternative evolutionary outcomes following endosymbiont-mediated selection on male mating preference alleles.

Journal of evolutionary biology [Epub ahead of print].

In many arthropods, intracellular bacteria, such as those of the genus Wolbachia, may spread through host populations as a result of cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). Here, there is sterility or reduced fertility in crosses between infected males and uninfected females. As the bacterium is maternally-inherited, the reduced fertility of uninfected females increases the frequency of the infection. If the transmission fidelity of the bacterium is less than 100%, the bacterium cannot invade from a low frequency, but if its frequency exceeds a threshold, it increases to a high, stable, equilibrium frequency. We explore the expected evolutionary dynamics of mutant alleles that cause their male bearers to avoid mating with uninfected females. For alleles which create this avoidance behaviour conditional upon the male being infected, there is a wide zone of parameter space that allows the preference allele to drive Wolbachia from the population when it would otherwise stably persist. There is also a wide zone of parameter space that allows a joint stable equilibrium for the Wolbachia and a polymorphism for the preference allele. When the male's avoidance of uninfected females is unconditional, the preference allele's effect on Wolbachia frequency is reduced, but there is a narrow range of values for the transmission rate and CI fertility that allow an unconditional preference allele to drive Wolbachia from the population, in a process driven by positive linkage disequilibrium between Wolbachia and the preference allele. The possibility of the evolution of preference could hamper attempts to manipulate wild populations through Wolbachia introductions.

RevDate: 2020-02-06

de Jesus CP, Dias FBS, Villela DMA, et al (2020)

Ovitraps Provide a Reliable Estimate of Wolbachia Frequency during wMelBr Strain Deployment in a Geographically Isolated Aedes aegypti Population.

Insects, 11(2): pii:insects11020092.

Deployment of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carrying the endosymbiont bacterium Wolbachia has been identified as a promising strategy to reduce dengue, chikungunya, and Zika transmission. We investigated whether sampling larvae from ovitraps can provide reliable estimates on Wolbachia frequency during releases, as compared to the expensive adult-based BG-Sentinel. We conducted pilot releases in a semi-field system (SFS) divided into six cages of 21 m2, each with five ovitraps. Five treatments were chosen to represent different points of a hypothetical invasion curve: 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 90% of Wolbachia frequency. Collected eggs were counted and hatched, and the individuals from a net sample of 27% of larvae per treatment were screened for Wolbachia presence by RT-qPCR. Ovitrap positioning had no effect on egg hatching rate. Treatment strongly affected the number of eggs collected and also the hatching rate, especially when Wolbachia was at a 10% frequency. A second observation was done during the release of Wolbachia in Rio under a population replacement approach when bacterium frequency was estimated using 30 BG-Sentinel traps and 45 ovitraps simultaneously. By individually screening 35% (N = 3904) of larvae collected by RT-qPCR, we were able to produce a similar invasion curve to the one observed when all adults were individually screened. If sampling is reduced to 20%, monitoring Wolbachia frequency with 45 ovitraps would be roughly half the cost of screening all adult mosquitoes captured by 30 BG-Sentinels. Our findings support the scale-up of Wolbachia releases, especially in areas with limited resources to afford massive trapping with BG-Sentinel traps.

RevDate: 2020-02-03

Osman EO, Suggett DJ, Voolstra CR, et al (2020)

Coral microbiome composition along the northern Red Sea suggests high plasticity of bacterial and specificity of endosymbiotic dinoflagellate communities.

Microbiome, 8(1):8 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0776-5.

BACKGROUND: The capacity of reef-building corals to tolerate (or adapt to) heat stress is a key factor determining their resilience to future climate change. Changes in coral microbiome composition (particularly for microalgal endosymbionts and bacteria) is a potential mechanism that may assist corals to thrive in warm waters. The northern Red Sea experiences extreme temperatures anomalies, yet corals in this area rarely bleach suggesting possible refugia to climate change. However, the coral microbiome composition, and how it relates to the capacity to thrive in warm waters in this region, is entirely unknown.

RESULTS: We investigated microbiomes for six coral species (Porites nodifera, Favia favus, Pocillopora damicornis, Seriatopora hystrix, Xenia umbellata, and Sarcophyton trocheliophorum) from five sites in the northern Red Sea spanning 4° of latitude and summer mean temperature ranges from 26.6 °C to 29.3 °C. A total of 19 distinct dinoflagellate endosymbionts were identified as belonging to three genera in the family Symbiodiniaceae (Symbiodinium, Cladocopium, and Durusdinium). Of these, 86% belonged to the genus Cladocopium, with notably five novel types (19%). The endosymbiont community showed a high degree of host-specificity despite the latitudinal gradient. In contrast, the diversity and composition of bacterial communities of the surface mucus layer (SML)-a compartment particularly sensitive to environmental change-varied significantly between sites, however for any given coral was species-specific.

CONCLUSION: The conserved endosymbiotic community suggests high physiological plasticity to support holobiont productivity across the different latitudinal regimes. Further, the presence of five novel algal endosymbionts suggests selection of certain genotypes (or genetic adaptation) within the semi-isolated Red Sea. In contrast, the dynamic composition of bacteria associated with the SML across sites may contribute to holobiont function and broaden the ecological niche. In doing so, SML bacterial communities may aid holobiont local acclimatization (or adaptation) by readily responding to changes in the host environment. Our study provides novel insight about the selective and endemic nature of coral microbiomes along the northern Red Sea refugia.

RevDate: 2020-02-02

Zachar I, G Boza (2020)

Endosymbiosis before eukaryotes: mitochondrial establishment in protoeukaryotes.

Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS pii:10.1007/s00018-020-03462-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiosis and organellogenesis are virtually unknown among prokaryotes. The single presumed example is the endosymbiogenetic origin of mitochondria, which is hidden behind the event horizon of the last eukaryotic common ancestor. While eukaryotes are monophyletic, it is unlikely that during billions of years, there were no other prokaryote-prokaryote endosymbioses as symbiosis is extremely common among prokaryotes, e.g., in biofilms. Therefore, it is even more precarious to draw conclusions about potentially existing (or once existing) prokaryotic endosymbioses based on a single example. It is yet unknown if the bacterial endosymbiont was captured by a prokaryote or by a (proto-)eukaryote, and if the process of internalization was parasitic infection, slow engulfment, or phagocytosis. In this review, we accordingly explore multiple mechanisms and processes that could drive the evolution of unicellular microbial symbioses with a special attention to prokaryote-prokaryote interactions and to the mitochondrion, possibly the single prokaryotic endosymbiosis that turned out to be a major evolutionary transition. We investigate the ecology and evolutionary stability of inter-species microbial interactions based on dependence, physical proximity, cost-benefit budget, and the types of benefits, investments, and controls. We identify challenges that had to be conquered for the mitochondrial host to establish a stable eukaryotic lineage. Any assumption about the initial interaction of the mitochondrial ancestor and its contemporary host based solely on their modern relationship is rather perilous. As a result, we warn against assuming an initial mutually beneficial interaction based on modern mitochondria-host cooperation. This assumption is twice fallacious: (i) endosymbioses are known to evolve from exploitative interactions and (ii) cooperativity does not necessarily lead to stable mutualism. We point out that the lack of evidence so far on the evolution of endosymbiosis from mutual syntrophy supports the idea that mitochondria emerged from an exploitative (parasitic or phagotrophic) interaction rather than from syntrophy.

RevDate: 2020-01-30

Wang HL, Lei T, Wang XW, et al (2020)

A newly-recorded Rickettsia of the Torix group is a recent intruder and an endosymbiont in the whitefly Bemisia tabaci.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The bacterium Rickettsia is found widely in phytophagous insects and often exerts profound effects on the phenotype and fitness of its hosts. Here, we decrypt a new, independent, phylogenetically ancient Torix Rickettsia endosymbiont found constantly in a laboratory line of an economically important insect Asia II 7, a putative species of the Bemisia tabaci whitefly complex (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), and occasionally in field whitefly populations. This new Rickettsia distributes throughout the body of its whitefly host. Genetically, compared to Rickettsia_bellii_MEAM1 found earlier in whiteflies, the new Rickettsia species has more gene families and pathways, which may be important factors in shaping specific symbiotic relationships. We propose the name "Candidatus Rickettsia_Torix_Bemisia_tabaci (RiTBt)" for this new endosymbiont associated with whiteflies. Comparative genomic analyses indicate that RiTBi may be a relatively recent intruder in whiteflies given its low abundance in the field and relatively larger genome compared to Rickettsia_bellii_MEAM1.

RevDate: 2020-01-29

Maor-Landaw K, van Oppen MJH, GI McFadden (2020)

Symbiotic lifestyle triggers drastic changes in the gene expression of the algal endosymbiont Breviolum minutum (Symbiodiniaceae).

Ecology and evolution, 10(1):451-466 pii:ECE35910.

Coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis underpins the evolutionary success of corals reefs. Successful exchange of molecules between the cnidarian host and the Symbiodiniaceae algae enables the mutualistic partnership. The algae translocate photosynthate to their host in exchange for nutrients and shelter. The photosynthate must traverse multiple membranes, most likely facilitated by transporters. Here, we compared gene expression profiles of cultured, free-living Breviolum minutum with those of the homologous symbionts freshly isolated from the sea anemone Exaiptasia diaphana, a widely used model for coral hosts. Additionally, we assessed expression levels of a list of candidate host transporters of interest in anemones with and without symbionts. Our transcriptome analyses highlight the distinctive nature of the two algal life stages, with many gene expression level changes correlating to the different morphologies, cell cycles, and metabolisms adopted in hospite versus free-living. Morphogenesis-related genes that likely underpin the metamorphosis process observed when symbionts enter a host cell were up-regulated. Conversely, many down-regulated genes appear to be indicative of the protective and confined nature of the symbiosome. Our results emphasize the significance of transmembrane transport to the symbiosis, and in particular of ammonium and sugar transport. Further, we pinpoint and characterize candidate transporters-predicted to be localized variously to the algal plasma membrane, the host plasma membrane, and the symbiosome membrane-that likely serve pivotal roles in the interchange of material during symbiosis. Our study provides new insights that expand our understanding of the molecular exchanges that underpin the cnidarian-algal symbiotic relationship.

RevDate: 2020-01-24

Seo MG, Kwon OD, D Kwak (2020)

Molecular and Phylogenetic Analysis of Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ticks Parasitizing Native Korean Goats (Capra hircus coreanae) in South Korea.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:pathogens9020071.

Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) are considered zoonotic re-emerging pathogens, with ticks playing important roles in their transmission and ecology. Previous studies in South Korea have examined TBPs residing in ticks; however, there is no phylogenetic information on TBPs in ticks parasitizing native Korean goat (NKG; Capra hircus coreanae). The present study assessed the prevalence, risk factors, and co-infectivity of TBPs in ticks parasitizing NKGs. In total, 107 hard ticks, including Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ixodes nipponensis, and Haemaphysalis flava, were obtained from NKGs in South Korea between 2016 and 2019. In 40 tested tick pools, genes for four TBPs, namely Coxiella-like endosymbiont (CLE, 5.0%), Candidatus Rickettsia longicornii (45.0%), Anaplasmabovis (2.5%), and Theileria luwenshuni (5.0%) were detected. Ehrlichia, Bartonella spp., and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus were not detected. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report CLE and T. luwenshuni in H. flava ticks in South Korea. Considering the high prevalence of Candidatus R. longicornii in ticks parasitizing NKGs, there is a possibility of its transmission from ticks to animals and humans. NKG ticks might be maintenance hosts for TBPs, and we recommend evaluation of the potential public health threat posed by TBP-infected ticks.

RevDate: 2020-01-23

Pokutnaya D, Molaei G, Weinberger DM, et al (2020)

Prevalence of Infection and Co-Infection and Presence of Rickettsial Endosymbionts in Ixodes Scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Connecticut, USA.

The Journal of parasitology, 106(1):30-37.

Ixodes scapularis is currently known to transmit 7 pathogens responsible for Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, tick-borne relapsing fever, ehrlichiosis, and Powassan encephalitis. Ixodes scapularis can also be colonized by endosymbiotic bacteria including those in the genus of Rickettsia. We screened 459 I. scapularis ticks submitted to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Tick Testing Laboratory with the objectives to (1) examine differences in infection prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, and Borrelia miyamotoi, (2) evaluate whether prevalence of co-infections occur at the same frequency that would be expected based on single infection, and (3) determine the presence of rickettsial endosymbionts in I. scapularis. The prevalence of infection in I. scapularis was highest with Bo. burgdorferi sensu lato (nymph = 45.8%; female = 47.0%), followed by A. phagocytophilum (nymph = 4.0%; female = 6.9%), Ba. microti (nymph = 5.7%; female = 4.7%), and Bo. miyamotoi (nymph = 0%; female = 7.3%). We also identified rickettsial endosymbionts in 93.3% of I. scapularis. Nymphs were significantly more likely to be infected with Bo. burgdorferi if they were infected with Ba. microti, whereas adult females were significantly more likely to be infected with Bo. burgdorferi if they were infected with A. phagocytophilum. Our study suggests that the infection prevalence of Bo. burgdorferi is not independent of other co-circulating pathogens and that there is a substantially higher infection of Bo. miyamotoi in I. scapularis females compared with nymphs in this study. High prevalence of infection and co-infection with multiple pathogens in I. scapularis highlights the public health consequences in Connecticut, a state endemic for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2020-01-21

Covey H, Hall RH, Krafsur A, et al (2020)

Cryptic Wolbachia (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae) Detection and Prevalence in Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) Midge Populations in the United States.

Journal of medical entomology pii:5713395 [Epub ahead of print].

Culicoides midges vector numerous veterinary and human pathogens. Many of these diseases lack effective therapeutic treatments or vaccines to limit transmission. The only effective approach to limit disease transmission is vector control. However, current vector control for Culicoides midges is complicated by the biology of many Culicoides species and is not always effective at reducing midge populations and impacting disease transmission. The endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis Hertig may offer an alternative control approach to limit disease transmission and affect Culicoides populations. Here the detection of Wolbachia infections in nine species of Culicoides midges is reported. Infections were detected at low densities using qPCR. Wolbachia infections were confirmed with the sequencing of a partial region of the 16S gene. Fluorescence in situ hybridization of Culicoides sonorensis Wirth and Jones adults and dissected ovaries confirm the presence of Wolbachia infections in an important vector of Bluetongue and Epizootic hemorrhagic disease viruses. The presence of Wolbachia in Culicoides populations in the United States suggests the need for further investigation of Wolbachia as a strategy to limit transmission of diseases vectored by Culicoides midges.

RevDate: 2020-01-20

Agany DDM, Potts R, Hernandez JLG, et al (2020)

Microbiome Differences Between Human Head and Body Lice Ecotypes Revealed by 16S RRNA Gene Amplicon Sequencing.

The Journal of parasitology, 106(1):14-24.

Human head lice and body lice (Pediculus humanus) are neglected ectoparasites. Head lice continue to be prevalent in children worldwide, and insecticide resistance in these insects has complicated their treatment. Meanwhile, body lice, which are most common in the developing world, are resurging among marginalized populations in developed nations. Today, the microbiome is being increasingly recognized as a key mediator of insect physiology. However, the microbial communities that inhabit human lice have remained unknown beyond only a few species of bacteria. Knowledge of the microbiomes of head and body lice could improve our understanding of the observed physiological differences between the 2 ecotypes and potentially inform the development of novel interventions against lice infestations and louse-borne infectious diseases. Toward these goals, here we performed 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to characterize the microbiomes of both head and body lice and identify patterns of interest among these communities. Our data reveal that head and body lice harbor limited but distinct communities of bacteria that include known intracellular endosymbionts ("Candidatus Riesia pediculicola"), extracellular bacteria that may be horizontally acquired from the host environment, and a number of taxa of known or potential public health significance. Notably, in body lice, the relative abundance of vertically transmitted endosymbionts is lower than in head lice, which is a significant driver of greater alpha diversity. Further, several differentially abundant non-endosymbiont taxa and differences in beta diversity were observed between head lice and body lice. These findings support the hypothesis that microbiome differences could contribute to the divergence between human louse ecotypes and underscore the need for future studies to better comprehend the acquisition and physiological roles of human lice microbiomes.

RevDate: 2020-01-20

Bing XL, Zhao DS, Sun JT, et al (2020)

Genomic analysis of Wolbachia from Laodelphax striatellus (Delphacidae, Hemiptera) reveals insights into its "Jekyll and Hyde" mode of infection pattern.

Genome biology and evolution pii:5709815 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is a widely distributed intracellular bacterial endosymbiont among invertebrates. The wStriCN, the Wolbachia strain that naturally infects an agricultural pest Laodelphax striatellus, has a "Jekyll and Hyde" mode of infection pattern with positive and negative effects: it kills many offspring by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) but also significantly increases host fecundity at the same time. In this study, we assembled the draft genome of wStriCN and compared it to other Wolbachia genomes to look for clues to its Jekyll and Hyde characteristics. The assembled wStriCN draft genome is 1.79 Mb in size, which is the largest Wolbachia genome in supergroup B. Phylogenomic analysis showed wStriCN is closest to Wolbachia from Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri. These strains formed a mono-phylogentic clade within supergroup B. Compared to other Wolbachia genomes, wStriCN contains the most diverse insertion sequence families, the largest amount of prophage sequences and the most ankyrin domain protein coding genes. The wStriCN genome encodes components of multiple secretion systems, including Types I, II, IV, VI, Sec and Tac. We detected three pairs of homologs for CI factors CifA and CifB. These proteins harbor the catalytic domains responsible for CI phenotypes but are phylogenetically and structurally distinct from all known Cif proteins. The genome retains pathways for synthesizing biotin and riboflavin, which may explain the beneficial roles of wStriCN in its host planthoppers, which feed on nutrient-poor plant sap. Altogether, the genomic sequencing of wStriCN provides insight into understanding the phylogeny and biology of Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2020-01-20

Jogawat A, Meena MK, Kundu A, et al (2020)

Calcium channel CNGC19 mediates basal defense signaling to balance colonization of Piriformospora indica on Arabidopsis roots.

Journal of experimental botany pii:5709769 [Epub ahead of print].

The activation of calcium signaling is a crucial event for perceiving environmental stress. Colonization by Piriformospora indica, a growth promoting root endosymbiont activates cytosolic Ca2+ in Arabidopsis roots. In this study, we analyze the role of calcium channels responsible for Ca2+ fluxes and its functional relevance. Expression profiling revealed that CNGC19 is a early activated gene, induced by unidentified components in P. indica cell wall extract. Functional analysis revealed that loss-of-function of CNGC19 results in growth inhibition by P.indica, due to increased colonization and loss of controlled P. indica growth. P. indica cell wall extract induced cytosolic Ca2+ elevation is reduced in cngc19 mutant indicating a role in generation of Ca2+cyt elevation. MAMP-trigerred immunity (MTI) is compromised in cngc19 lines as evident from unaltered callose deposition, reduced cis-OPDA, JA and JA-Ile levels and downregulation of jasmonate and other defense related genes which contributes to shift towards pathogenic response. Loss-of-function of CNGC19 results in inability to modulate indole glucosinolate content during P. indica-colonization. CNGC19 mediated basal immunity is AtPep receptor, PEPR dependent. CNGC19 is also crucial for P. indica mediated suppression of AtPep induced immunity. Thus, Arabidopsis CNGC19 is an important Ca2+ channel, maintaining a robust innate immunity and crucial for growth promotion signalling upon P. indica colonization.

RevDate: 2020-01-18

Dergousoff SJ, Anstead CA, NB Chilton (2020)

Identification of bacteria in the Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, using single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and DNA sequencing.

Experimental & applied acarology pii:10.1007/s10493-019-00459-0 [Epub ahead of print].

PCR-based single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analyses combined with DNA sequencing of the prokaryotic 16S ribosomal (r) RNA gene encompassing the hypervariable V4 region was used to determine the bacterial composition of Rocky Mountain wood ticks (Dermacentor andersoni) attached to Richardson's ground squirrels (Urocitellus richardsonii) and questing on vegetation in southern Saskatchewan, Canada. The bacteria present in questing adult ticks from Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park included Rickettsia peacockii, a Francisella-like endosymbiont (FLE) and an Arsenophonus-like endosymbiont. Bacteria in the adult and nymphal ticks attached to U. richardsonii collected from Beechy included R. peacockii, a FLE, and several other genera (e.g., Ralstonia, Sphingobium, Comamonas and Pseudomonas). The bacteria detected in D. andersoni in the present study are consistent with the findings of other studies that have characterized the microbiome of this tick species in the USA using next generation sequencing. This result demonstrates that the SSCP-based approach used in this study is cost- and time-effective for examining bacterial composition in ticks.

RevDate: 2020-01-20

Meenatchi R, Thinesh T, Brindangnanam P, et al (2019)

Revealing the impact of global mass bleaching on coral microbiome through 16S rRNA gene-based metagenomic analysis.

Microbiological research, 233:126408 pii:S0944-5013(19)31312-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Coral bleaching, a phenomenon by which the expulsion of corals' alveolate endosymbiont (zooxanthellae) occurs when experiencing thermal stress is the major cause for devastation of corals. However, apart from this obligate symbiont of Scleractinian corals, there are different kinds of microbes that exist as stable, transient or sporadic members of the holobiont which reside within various microhabitats in the coral structures. Thus, this study aims to profile the coral bacterial community composition among different coral genera (thermally-sensitive (Acropora digetifera and A. noblis) and thermally resistant (Favites abdita) coral genera analyzed by field monitoring surveys) and also in a particular coral genus (thermally sensitive coral-A. digetifera) at two different sampling times (March 2016 and January 2017). A total of about 608695 paired end reads were obtained through Illumina MiSeq Sequencing platform. The alpha diversity indices (ACE, Chao1 and Shannon) were found to be higher in A. nobilis, followed by A. digetifera and Favites abdita, and the corresponding Simpson values were also found to follow the same trend, indicating that the samples are both rich in species diversity and species evenness. Proteobacteria was found to be the most dominant phylum and Gammaproteobacteria was the predominant class present in all the coral genera studied as also during different sampling time periods. As Vibrionaceae was previously reported to increase its abundance during bleaching stress conditions, bacterial profiling among different coral genera showed the presence of 86 % Vibrionaceae in A. digetifera colonies, and it was 93 % in A. digetifera samples collected during March 2016 whereas, it was found to decrease significantly (7 %) in same tagged colonies collected during January 2017. Thus, profiling of microbiome is of prime importance while studying the holobiont organism like the corals. Stress levels experienced by Palk Bay are even depicted in this microbiome study showing high alpha diversity indices that should alarm reef managers to pay attention to this precious stress tolerant reef community.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Zhu YX, Song ZR, Huo SM, et al (2020)

Variation in the microbiome of the spider mite Tetranychus truncatus with sex, instar, and endosymbiont infection.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5704398 [Epub ahead of print].

Most arthropod-associated bacterial communities play a crucial role in host functional traits, whose structure could be dominated by endosymbionts. The spider mite Tetranychus truncatus is a notorious agricultural pest harboring various endosymbionts, yet the effects of endosymbionts on spider mite microbiota remain largely unknown. Here, using deep sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we characterized the microbiota of male and female T. truncatus with different endosymbionts (Wolbachia and Spiroplasma) across different developmental stages. Although the spider mite microbiota composition varied across the different developmental stages, Proteobacteria were the most dominant bacteria harbored in all samples. Positive relationships among related OTUs dominated the significant coassociation networks among bacteria. Moreover, the spider mites coinfected with Wolbachia and Spiroplasma had a significantly higher daily fecundity and juvenile survival rate than the singly infected or uninfected spider mites. The possible function of spider-mite associated bacteria was discussed. Our results highlight the dynamics of spider mite microbiotas across different life stages, and the potential role of endosymbionts in shaping the microbiota of spider mites and improving host fitness.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

Pettifor BJ, Doonan J, Denman S, et al (2020)

Survival of Brenneria goodwinii and Gibbsiella quercinecans, associated with acute oak decline, in rainwater and forest soil.

Systematic and applied microbiology pii:S0723-2020(19)30347-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Acute oak decline (AOD) affects native UK oak species causing rapid decline and mortality in as little as five years. A major symptom of AOD is black weeping stem lesions associated with bacterial phytopathogens, Brenneria goodwinii and Gibbsiella quercinecans. However, there is limited knowledge on the ecological and environmental reservoirs of these phytopathogens. Rainwater and soils are common reservoirs of plant pathogens in a forest environment; therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the survival of B. goodwinii and G. quercinecans in vitro when inoculated into rainwater and forest soil using a combination of agar-based colony counts and gyrB gene-targeted quantitative PCR (qPCR). Brenneria goodwinii lost viability on inoculation into soil and rainwater, but was detectable at low abundance in soil for 28 days using qPCR, suggesting a limited ability to persist outside of the host, potentially in a viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state. Conversely, Gibbsiella quercinecans, was re-isolated from rainwater for the entire duration of the experiment (84 days) and was re-isolated from forest soil after 28 days, with qPCR analysis corroborating these trends. These data demonstrate that B. goodwinii is unable to survive in forest soils and rainwater, suggesting that it may be an endosymbiont of oak trees, whereas G. quercinecans remains viable in soil and rainwater biomes, suggesting a broad ecological distribution. These data advance understanding of the potential epidemiology of AOD-associated bacteria and their ecological reservoirs, thus increasing the overall knowledge of the pathology of AOD, which assists the development of future management strategies.

RevDate: 2020-01-10

Goodhead I, Blow F, Brownridge P, et al (2020)

Large-scale and significant expression from pseudogenes in Sodalis glossinidius - a facultative bacterial endosymbiont.

Microbial genomics [Epub ahead of print].

The majority of bacterial genomes have high coding efficiencies, but there are some genomes of intracellular bacteria that have low gene density. The genome of the endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius contains almost 50 % pseudogenes containing mutations that putatively silence them at the genomic level. We have applied multiple 'omic' strategies, combining Illumina and Pacific Biosciences Single-Molecule Real-Time DNA sequencing and annotation, stranded RNA sequencing and proteome analysis to better understand the transcriptional and translational landscape of Sodalis pseudogenes, and potential mechanisms for their control. Between 53 and 74 % of the Sodalis transcriptome remains active in cell-free culture. The mean sense transcription from coding domain sequences (CDSs) is four times greater than that from pseudogenes. Comparative genomic analysis of six Illumina-sequenced Sodalis isolates from different host Glossina species shows pseudogenes make up ~40 % of the 2729 genes in the core genome, suggesting that they are stable and/or that Sodalis is a recent introduction across the genus Glossina as a facultative symbiont. These data shed further light on the importance of transcriptional and translational control in deciphering host-microbe interactions. The combination of genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics gives a multidimensional perspective for studying prokaryotic genomes with a view to elucidating evolutionary adaptation to novel environmental niches.

RevDate: 2020-01-12

Xiang T, Lehnert E, Jinkerson RE, et al (2020)

Symbiont population control by host-symbiont metabolic interaction in Symbiodiniaceae-cnidarian associations.

Nature communications, 11(1):108.

In cnidarian-Symbiodiniaceae symbioses, algal endosymbiont population control within the host is needed to sustain a symbiotic relationship. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie such population control are unclear. Here we show that a cnidarian host uses nitrogen limitation as a primary mechanism to control endosymbiont populations. Nitrogen acquisition and assimilation transcripts become elevated in symbiotic Breviolum minutum algae as they reach high-densities within the sea anemone host Exaiptasia pallida. These same transcripts increase in free-living algae deprived of nitrogen. Symbiotic algae also have an elevated carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and shift metabolism towards scavenging nitrogen from purines relative to free-living algae. Exaiptasia glutamine synthetase and glutamate synthase transcripts concomitantly increase with the algal endosymbiont population, suggesting an increased ability of the host to assimilate ammonium. These results suggest algal growth and replication in hospite is controlled by access to nitrogen, which becomes limiting for the algae as their population within the host increases.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Masson F, Calderon Copete S, Schüpfer F, et al (2020)

Blind killing of both male and female Drosophila embryos by a natural variant of the endosymbiotic bacterium Spiroplasma poulsonii.

Cellular microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Spiroplasma poulsonii is a vertically transmitted endosymbiont of Drosophila melanogaster that causes male-killing, that is the death of infected male embryos during embryogenesis. Here we report a natural variant of S. poulsonii that is efficiently vertically transmitted yet does not selectively kill males, but kills rather a subset of all embryos regardless of their sex, a phenotype we call "blind-killing". We show that the natural plasmid of S. poulsonii has an altered structure: Spaid, the gene coding for the male-killing toxin, is deleted in the blind-killing strain, confirming its function as a male-killing factor. We then further investigate several hypotheses that could explain the sex-independent toxicity of this new strain on host embryos. As the second non-male-killing variant isolated from a male-killing original population, this new strain raises questions on how male-killing is maintained or lost in fly populations. As a natural knock-out of Spaid, which is unachievable yet by genetic engineering approaches, this variant also represents a valuable tool for further investigations on the male-killing mechanism. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Arab DA, Bourguignon T, Wang Z, et al (2020)

Evolutionary rates are correlated between cockroach symbionts and mitochondrial genomes.

Biology letters, 16(1):20190702.

Bacterial endosymbionts evolve under strong host-driven selection. Factors influencing host evolution might affect symbionts in similar ways, potentially leading to correlations between the molecular evolutionary rates of hosts and symbionts. Although there is evidence of rate correlations between mitochondrial and nuclear genes, similar investigations of hosts and symbionts are lacking. Here, we demonstrate a correlation in molecular rates between the genomes of an endosymbiont (Blattabacterium cuenoti) and the mitochondrial genomes of their hosts (cockroaches). We used partial genome data for multiple strains of B. cuenoti to compare phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary rates for 55 cockroach/symbiont pairs. The phylogenies inferred for B. cuenoti and the mitochondrial genomes of their hosts were largely congruent, as expected from their identical maternal and cytoplasmic mode of inheritance. We found a correlation between evolutionary rates of the two genomes, based on comparisons of root-to-tip distances and on comparisons of the branch lengths of phylogenetically independent species pairs. Our results underscore the profound effects that long-term symbiosis can have on the biology of each symbiotic partner.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Kaczmarek Ł, Roszkowska M, Poprawa I, et al (2020)

Integrative description of bisexual Paramacrobiotus experimentalis sp. nov. (Macrobiotidae) from republic of Madagascar (Africa) with microbiome analysis.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 145:106730 pii:S1055-7903(19)30499-3 [Epub ahead of print].

In a moss samples collected on Madagascar two populations of Paramacrobiotus experimentalis sp. nov. were found. Paramacrobiotus experimentalis sp. nov. with the presence of a microplacoid and areolatus type of eggs is similar to Pam. danielae, Pam. garynahi, Pam. hapukuensis, Pam. peteri, Pam. rioplatensis and Pam. savai, but it differs from them by some morphological and morphometric characters of the eggs. The p-distance between two COI haplotypes of Pam. experimentalis sp. nov. was 0.17%. In turn, the ranges of uncorrected genetic p-distances of all Paramacrobiotus species available in GenBank was from 18.27% (for Pam. lachowskae) to 25.26% (for Pam. arduus) with an average distance of 20.67%. We also found that Pam. experimentalis sp. nov. is bisexual. This observation was congruent on three levels: (i) morphological - specimen size dimorphism; (ii) structural (primary sexual characteristics) - females have an unpaired ovary while males have an unpaired testis and (iii) molecular - heterozygous and homozygous strains of the ITS-2 marker. Although symbiotic associations of hosts with bacteria (including endosymbiotic bacteria) are common in nature and these interactions exert various effects on the evolution, biology and reproductive ecology of hosts, there is still very little information on the bacterial community associated with tardigrades. To fill this gap and characterise the bacterial community of Pam. experimentalis sp. nov. populations and microbiome of its microhabitat, high throughput sequencing of the V3-V4 hypervariable regions in the bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragment was performed. The obtained 16S rRNA gene sequences ranged from 92,665 to 131163. In total, 135 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified across the rarefied dataset. Overall, both Pam. experimentalis sp. nov. populations were dominated by OTUs ascribed to the phylum Proteobacteria (89-92%) and Firmicutes (6-7%). In the case of samples from tardigrades' laboratory habitat, the most abundant bacterial phylum was Proteobacteria (51-90%) and Bacteroides (9-48%). In all compared microbiome profiles, only 16 of 137 OTUs were shared. We found also significant differences in beta diversity between the partly species-specific microbiome of Pam. experimentalis sp. nov. and its culturing environment. Two OTUs belonging to a putative bacterial endosymbiont were identified - Rickettsiales and Polynucleobacter. We also demonstrated that each bacterial community was rich in genes involved in membrane transport, amino acid metabolism, and carbohydrate metabolism.

RevDate: 2020-01-04

Madhav M, Parry R, Morgan JAT, et al (2020)

Wolbachia endosymbiont of the horn fly Haematobia irritans irritans: a supergroup A strain with multiple horizontally acquired cytoplasmic incompatibility genes.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.02589-19 [Epub ahead of print].

The horn fly, Haematobia irritans irritans, is a hematophagous parasite of livestock distributed throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Welfare losses on livestock due to horn fly infestation are estimated to cost between USD 1-2.5 billion annually in North America and Brazil. The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis is a maternally inherited manipulator of reproductive biology in arthropods and naturally infects laboratory colonies of horn flies from Kerrville, USA and Alberta, Canada, but has also been identified in wild-caught samples from Canada, USA, Mexico and Hungary. Re-assembly of PacBio long-read and Illumina genomic DNA libraries from the Kerrville H. i. irritans genome project allowed for a complete and circularised 1.3 Mb Wolbachia genome (wIrr). Annotation of wIrr yielded 1249 coding genes, 34 tRNAs, three rRNAs, and five prophage regions. Comparative genomics and whole genome Bayesian evolutionary analysis of wIrr compared to published Wolbachia genomes suggests that wIrr is most closely related to and diverged from Wolbachia supergroup A strains known to infect Drosophila spp. Whole-genome synteny analyses between wIrr and closely related genomes indicates that wIrr has undergone significant genome rearrangements while maintaining high nucleotide identity. Comparative analysis of the cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) genes of wIrr suggests two phylogenetically distinct CI loci and acquisition of another CifB homolog from phylogenetically distant supergroup A Wolbachia strains suggesting horizontal acquisition of these loci. The wIrr genome provides a resource for future examination of the impact Wolbachia may have in both biocontrol and potential insecticide resistance of horn flies.Importance Horn flies, Haematobia irritans irritans, are obligate hematophagous parasites of cattle having significant effects on production and animal welfare. Control of horn flies mainly relies on the use of insecticides, but issues with resistance have increased interest in development of alternative means of control. Wolbachia pipientis is an endosymbiont bacterium known to have a range of effects on host reproduction such as induction of cytoplasmic incompatibility, feminization, male killing, and also impacts on vector transmission. These characteristics of Wolbachia have been exploited in biological control approaches for a range of insect pests. Here we report the assembly and annotation of the circular genome of the Wolbachia strain of the Kerrville, USA horn fly (wIrr). Annotation of wIrr suggests its unique features including the horizontal acquisition of additional transcriptionally active cytoplasmic incompatibility loci. This study will provide the foundation for future Wolbachia-induced biological effect studies for control of horn flies.

RevDate: 2019-12-27

Aivelo T, Norberg A, B Tschirren (2019)

Bacterial microbiota composition of Ixodes ricinus ticks: the role of environmental variation, tick characteristics and microbial interactions.

PeerJ, 7:e8217.

Ecological factors, host characteristics and/or interactions among microbes may all shape the occurrence of microbes and the structure of microbial communities within organisms. In the past, disentangling these factors and determining their relative importance in shaping within-host microbiota communities has been hampered by analytical limitations to account for (dis)similar environmental preferences ('environmental filtering'). Here we used a joint species distribution modelling (JSDM) approach to characterize the bacterial microbiota of one of the most important disease vectors in Europe, the sheep tick Ixodes ricinus, along ecological gradients in the Swiss Alps. Although our study captured extensive environmental variation along elevational clines, the explanatory power of such large-scale ecological factors was comparably weak, suggesting that tick-specific traits and behaviours, microhabitat and -climate experienced by ticks, and interactions among microbes play an important role in shaping tick microbial communities. Indeed, when accounting for shared environmental preferences, evidence for significant patterns of positive or negative co-occurrence among microbes was found, which is indicative of competition or facilitation processes. Signals of facilitation were observed primarily among human pathogens, leading to co-infection within ticks, whereas signals of competition were observed between the tick endosymbiont Spiroplasma and human pathogens. These findings highlight the important role of small-scale ecological variation and microbe-microbe interactions in shaping tick microbial communities and the dynamics of tick-borne disease.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Conte CA, Segura DF, Milla FH, et al (2019)

Wolbachia infection in Argentinean populations of Anastrepha fraterculus sp1: preliminary evidence of sex ratio distortion by one of two strains.

BMC microbiology, 19(Suppl 1):289 pii:10.1186/s12866-019-1652-y.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia, one of the most abundant taxa of intracellular Alphaproteobacteria, is widespread among arthropods and filarial nematodes. The presence of these maternally inherited bacteria is associated with modifications of host fitness, including a variety of reproductive abnormalities, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility, thelytokous parthenogenesis, host feminization and male-killing. Wolbachia has attracted much interest for its role in biological, ecological and evolutionary processes as well as for its potential use in novel and environmentally-friendly strategies for the control of insect pests and disease vectors including a major agricultural pest, the South American fruit fly, Anastrepha fraterculus Wiedemann (Diptera: Tephritidae).

RESULTS: We used wsp, 16S rRNA and a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme including gatB, coxA, hcpA, fbpA, and ftsZ genes to detect and characterize the Wolbachia infection in laboratory strains and wild populations of A. fraterculus from Argentina. Wolbachia was found in all A. fraterculus individuals studied. Nucleotide sequences analysis of wsp gene allowed the identification of two Wolbachia nucleotide variants (named wAfraCast1_A and wAfraCast2_A). After the analysis of 76 individuals, a high prevalence of the wAfraCast2_A variant was found both, in laboratory (82%) and wild populations (95%). MLST analysis identified both Wolbachia genetic variants as sequence type 13. Phylogenetic analysis of concatenated MLST datasets clustered wAfraCast1/2_A in the supergroup A. Paired-crossing experiments among single infected laboratory strains showed a phenotype specifically associated to wAfraCast1_A that includes slight detrimental effects on larval survival, a female-biased sex ratio; suggesting the induction of male-killing phenomena, and a decreased proportion of females producing descendants that appears attributable to the lack of sperm in their spermathecae.

CONCLUSIONS: We detected and characterized at the molecular level two wsp gene sequence variants of Wolbachia both in laboratory and wild populations of A. fraterculus sp.1 from Argentina. Crossing experiments on singly-infected A. fraterculus strains showed evidence of a male killing-like mechanism potentially associated to the wAfraCast1_A - A. fraterculus interactions. Further mating experiments including antibiotic treatments and the analysis of early and late immature stages of descendants will contribute to our understanding of the phenotypes elicited by the Wolbachia variant wAfraCast1_A in A. fraterculus sp.1.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Sheffer MM, Uhl G, Prost S, et al (2019)

Tissue- and Population-Level Microbiome Analysis of the Wasp Spider Argiope bruennichi Identified a Novel Dominant Bacterial Symbiont.

Microorganisms, 8(1): pii:microorganisms8010008.

Many ecological and evolutionary processes in animals depend upon microbial symbioses. In spiders, the role of the microbiome in these processes remains mostly unknown. We compared the microbiome between populations, individuals, and tissue types of a range-expanding spider, using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Our study is one of the first to go beyond targeting known endosymbionts in spiders and characterizes the total microbiome across different body compartments (leg, prosoma, hemolymph, book lungs, ovaries, silk glands, midgut, and fecal pellets). Overall, the microbiome differed significantly between populations and individuals, but not between tissue types. The microbiome of the wasp spider Argiope bruennichi features a novel dominant bacterial symbiont, which is abundant in every tissue type in spiders from geographically distinct populations and that is also present in offspring. The novel symbiont is affiliated with the Tenericutes, but has low sequence identity (<85%) to all previously named taxa, suggesting that the novel symbiont represents a new bacterial clade. Its presence in offspring implies that it is vertically transmitted. Our results shed light on the processes that shape microbiome differentiation in this species and raise several questions about the implications of the novel dominant bacterial symbiont on the biology and evolution of its host.

RevDate: 2019-12-20

Dietrich EA, Kingry LC, Kugeler KJ, et al (2019)

Francisella opportunistica sp. nov., isolated from human blood and cerebrospinal fluid.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Two isolates of a Gram-negative, non-spore-forming coccobacillus cultured from the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of immunocompromised patients in the United States were described previously. Biochemical and phylogenetic analyses revealed that they belong to a novel species within the Francisella genus. Here we describe a third isolate of this species, recovered from blood of a febrile patient with renal failure, and formally name the Francisella species. Whole genome comparisons indicated the three isolates display greater than 99.9 % average nucleotide identity (ANI) to each other and are most closely related to the tick endosymbiont F. persica, with only 88.6-88.8 % ANI to the type strain of F. persica. Based on biochemical, metabolic and genomic comparisons, we propose that these three isolates should be recognized as Francisella opportunistica sp. nov, with the type strain of the species, PA05-1188T, available through the Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen (DSM 107100) and the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC BAA-2974).

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Bigiotti G, Pastorelli R, Guidi R, et al (2019)

Horizontal transfer and finalization of a reliable detection method for the olive fruit fly endosymbiont, Candidatus Erwinia dacicola.

BMC biotechnology, 19(Suppl 2):93.

BACKGROUND: The olive fly, Bactrocera oleae, is the most important insect pest in olive production, causing economic damage to olive crops worldwide. In addition to extensive research on B. oleae control methods, scientists have devoted much effort in the last century to understanding olive fly endosymbiosis with a bacterium eventually identified as Candidatus Erwinia dacicola. This bacterium plays a relevant role in olive fly fitness. It is vertically transmitted, and it benefits both larvae and adults in wild populations; however, the endosymbiont is not present in lab colonies, probably due to the antibiotics and preservatives required for the preparation of artificial diets. Endosymbiont transfer from wild B. oleae populations to laboratory-reared ones allows olive fly mass-rearing, thus producing more competitive flies for future Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) applications.

RESULTS: We tested the hypothesis that Ca. E. dacicola might be transmitted from wild, naturally symbiotic adults to laboratory-reared flies. Several trials have been performed with different contamination sources of Ca. E. dacicola, such as ripe olives and gelled water contaminated by wild flies, wax domes containing eggs laid by wild females, cages dirtied by faeces dropped by wild flies and matings between lab and wild adults. PCR-DGGE, performed with the primer set 63F-GC/518R, demonstrated that the transfer of the endosymbiont from wild flies to lab-reared ones occurred only in the case of cohabitation.

CONCLUSIONS: Cohabitation of symbiotic wild flies and non-symbiotic lab flies allows the transfer of Ca. E. dacicola through adults. Moreover, PCR-DGGE performed with the primer set 63F-GC/518R was shown to be a consistent method for screening Ca. E. dacicola, also showing the potential to distinguish between the two haplotypes (htA and htB). This study represents the first successful attempt at horizontal transfer of Ca. E. dacicola and the first step in acquiring a better understanding of the endosymbiont physiology and its relationship with the olive fly. Our research also represents a starting point for the development of a laboratory symbiotic olive fly colony, improving perspectives for future applications of the Sterile Insect Technique.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Gegner HM, Rädecker N, Ochsenkühn M, et al (2019)

High levels of floridoside at high salinity link osmoadaptation with bleaching susceptibility in the cnidarian-algal endosymbiosis.

Biology open, 8(12):.

Coral reefs are in global decline mainly due to increasing sea surface temperatures triggering coral bleaching. Recently, high salinity has been linked to increased thermotolerance and decreased bleaching in the sea anemone coral model Aiptasia. However, the underlying processes remain elusive. Using two Aiptasia host--endosymbiont pairings, we induced bleaching at different salinities and show reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) release at high salinities, suggesting a role of osmoadaptation in increased thermotolerance. A subsequent screening of osmolytes revealed that this effect was only observed in algal endosymbionts that produce 2-O-glycerol-α-D-galactopyranoside (floridoside), an osmolyte capable of scavenging ROS. This result argues for a mechanistic link between osmoadaptation and thermotolerance, mediated by ROS-scavenging osmolytes (e.g., floridoside). This sheds new light on the putative mechanisms underlying the remarkable thermotolerance of corals from water bodies with high salinity such as the Red Sea or Persian/Arabian Gulf and holds implications for coral thermotolerance under climate change.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.

RevDate: 2019-12-16

Xu TT, Chen J, Jiang LY, et al (2019)

Diversity of bacteria associated with Hormaphidinae aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteria are ubiquitous inhabitants of animals. Hormaphidinae is a particular aphid group exhibiting very diverse life history traits. However, the microbiota in this group is poorly known. In the present study, using high-throughput sequencing of bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicons, we surveyed the bacterial flora in hormaphidine aphids and explored whether the aphid tribe, host plant and geographical distribution are associated with the distribution of secondary symbionts. The most dominant bacteria detected in hormaphidine species are heritable symbionts. As expected, the primary endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola is the most abundant symbiont across all species and has cospeciated with its host aphids. Six secondary symbionts were detected in Hormaphidinae. Arsenophonus is widespread in Hormaphidinae species, suggesting the possibility of ancient acquisition of this symbiont. Ordination analyses and statistical tests show that the symbiont composition does not seem to relate to any of the aphid tribes, host plants or geographical distributions, which indicate that horizontal transfers might occur for these symbionts in Hormaphidinae. Correlation analysis exhibits negative interference between Buchnera and coexisting secondary symbionts, while the interactions between different secondary symbionts are complicated. These findings display a comprehensive picture of the microbiota in Hormaphidinae and may be helpful in understanding the symbiont diversity within a group of aphids. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Schausberger P, Gotoh T, Y Sato (2019)

Spider mite mothers adjust reproduction and sons' alternative reproductive tactics to immigrating alien conspecifics.

Royal Society open science, 6(11):191201.

Maternal effects on environmentally induced alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) are poorly understood but likely to be selected for if mothers can reliably predict offspring environments. We assessed maternal effects in two populations (Y and G) of herbivorous arrhenotokous spider mites Tetranychus urticae, where males conditionally express fighting and sneaking tactics in male-male combat and pre-copulatory guarding behaviour. We hypothesized that resident mothers should adjust their reproduction and sons' ARTs to immigrating alien conspecifics in dependence of alien conspecifics posing a fitness threat or advantage. To induce maternal effects, females were exposed to own or alien socio-environments and mated to own or alien males. Across maternal and sons' reproductive traits, the maternal socio-environment induced stronger effects than the maternal mate, and G-mothers responded more strongly to Y-influence than vice versa. G-socio-environments and Y-mates enhanced maternal egg production in both populations. Maternal exposure to G-socio-environments demoted, yet maternal Y-mates promoted, guarding occurrence and timing by sons. Sneakers guarded earlier than fighters in Y-environments, whereas the opposite happened in G-environments. The endosymbiont Cardinium, present in G, did not exert any classical effect but may have played a role via the shared plant. Our study highlights interpopulation variation in immediate and anticipatory maternal responses to immigrants.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Thompson MC, Feng H, Wuchty S, et al (2019)

The green peach aphid gut contains host plant microRNAs identified by comprehensive annotation of Brassica oleracea small RNA data.

Scientific reports, 9(1):18904.

Like all organisms, aphids, plant sap-sucking insects that house a bacterial endosymbiont called Buchnera, are members of a species interaction network. Ecological interactions across such networks can result in phenotypic change in network members mediated by molecular signals, like microRNAs. Here, we interrogated small RNA data from the aphid, Myzus persicae, to determine the source of reads that did not map to the aphid or Buchnera genomes. Our analysis revealed that the pattern was largely explained by reads that mapped to the host plant, Brassica oleracea, and a facultative symbiont, Regiella. To start elucidating the function of plant small RNA in aphid gut, we annotated 213 unique B. oleracea miRNAs; 32/213 were present in aphid gut as mature and star miRNAs. Next, we predicted targets in the B. oleracea and M. persicae genomes for these 32 plant miRNAs. We found that plant targets were enriched for genes associated with transcription, while the distribution of targets in the aphid genome was similar to the functional distribution of all genes in the aphid genome. We discuss the potential of plant miRNAs to regulate aphid gene expression and the mechanisms involved in processing, export and uptake of plant miRNAs by aphids.

RevDate: 2019-12-28

Brumin M, Lebedev G, Kontsedalov S, et al (2019)

Levels of the endosymbiont Rickettsia in the whitefly Bemisia tabaci are influenced by the expression of vitellogenin.

Insect molecular biology [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial endosymbionts play essential roles in the biology of their arthropod hosts by interacting with internal factors in the host. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is a worldwide agricultural pest and a supervector for more than 100 plant viruses. Like many other arthropods, Be. tabaci harbours a primary endosymbiont, Porteira aleyrodidarum, and an array of secondary endosymbionts that coexist with Portiera inside bacteriocyte cells. Unlike all of the other secondary symbionts that infect Be. tabaci, Rickettsia has been shown to be an exception by infecting insect organs and not colocalizing with Portiera, and has been shown to significantly impact the insect biology and its interactions with the environment. Little is known about the molecular interactions that underlie insect-symbiont interactions in general, and particularly Be. tabaci-Rickettsia interactions. Here we performed transcriptomic analysis and identified vitellogenin as an important protein that influences the levels of Rickettsia in Be. tabaci. Vitellogenin expression levels were lower in whole insects, but higher in midguts of Rickettsia-infected insects. Immunocapture-PCR assay showed interaction between vitellogenin and Rickettsia, whereas silencing of vitellogenin resulted in nearly complete disappearance of Rickettsia from midguts. Altogether, these results suggest that vitellogenin plays an important role in influencing the levels of Rickettsia in Be. tabaci.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Benítez-Malvido J, Giménez A, Graciá E, et al (2019)

Impact of habitat loss on the diversity and structure of ecological networks between oxyurid nematodes and spur-thighed tortoises (Testudo graeca L.).

PeerJ, 7:e8076.

Habitat loss and fragmentation are recognized as affecting the nature of biotic interactions, although we still know little about such changes for reptilian herbivores and their hindgut nematodes, in which endosymbiont interactions could range from mutualistic to commensal and parasitic. We investigated the potential cost and benefit of endosymbiont interactions between the spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca L.) and adult oxyurid nematodes (Pharyngodonidae order Oxyurida) in scrublands of southern Spain. For this, we assessed the association between richness and abundance of oxyurid species with tortoises' growth rates and body traits (weight and carapace length) across levels of habitat loss (low, intermediate and high). Furthermore, by using an intrapopulation ecological network approach, we evaluated the structure and diversity of tortoise-oxyurid interactions by focusing on oxyurid species infesting individual tortoises with different body traits and growth rates across habitats. Overall, tortoise body traits were not related to oxyurid infestation across habitats. Oxyurid richness and abundance however, showed contrasting relationships with growth rates across levels of habitat loss. At low habitat loss, oxyurid infestation was positively associated with growth rates (suggesting a mutualistic oxyurid-tortoise relationship), but the association became negative at high habitat loss (suggesting a parasitic relationship). Furthermore, no relationship was observed when habitat loss was intermediate (suggesting a commensal relationship). The network analysis showed that the oxyurid community was not randomly assembled but significantly nested, revealing a structured pattern for all levels of habitat loss. The diversity of interactions was lowest at low habitat loss. The intermediate level, however, showed the greatest specialization, which indicates that individuals were infested by fewer oxyurids in this landscape, whereas at high habitat loss individuals were the most generalized hosts. Related to the latter, connectance was greatest at high habitat loss, reflecting a more uniform spread of interactions among oxyurid species. At an individual level, heavier and larger tortoises tended to show a greater number of oxyurid species interactions. We conclude that there is an association between habitat loss and the tortoise-oxyurid interaction. Although we cannot infer causality in their association, we hypothesize that such oxyurids could have negative, neutral and positive consequences for tortoise growth rates. Ecological network analysis can help in the understanding of the nature of such changes in tortoise-oxyurid interactions by showing how generalized or specialized such interactions are under different environmental conditions and how vulnerable endosymbiont interactions might be to further habitat loss.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Leybourne DJ, Valentine TA, Bos JIB, et al (2020)

A fitness cost resulting from Hamiltonella defensa infection is associated with altered probing and feeding behaviour in Rhopalosiphum padi.

The Journal of experimental biology, 223(Pt 1): pii:jeb.207936.

Many herbivorous arthropods, including aphids, frequently associate with facultative endosymbiotic bacteria, which influence arthropod physiology and fitness. In aphids, endosymbionts can increase resistance against natural enemies, enhance aphid virulence and alter aphid fitness. Here, we used the electrical penetration graph technique to uncover physiological processes at the insect-plant interface affected by endosymbiont infection. We monitored the feeding and probing behaviour of four independent clonal lines of the cereal-feeding aphid Rhopalosiphum padi derived from the same multilocus genotype containing differential infection (+/-) with a common facultative endosymbiont, Hamiltonella defensa Aphid feeding was examined on a partially resistant wild relative of barley known to impair aphid fitness and a susceptible commercial barley cultivar. Compared with uninfected aphids, endosymbiont-infected aphids on both plant species exhibited a twofold increase in the number of plant cell punctures, a 50% reduction in the duration of each cellular puncture and a twofold higher probability of achieving sustained phloem ingestion. Feeding behaviour was also altered by host plant identity: endosymbiont-infected aphids spent less time probing plant tissue, required twice as many probes to reach the phloem and showed a 44% reduction in phloem ingestion when feeding on the wild barley relative compared with the susceptible commercial cultivar. Reduced feeding success could explain the 22% reduction in growth of H. defensa-infected aphids measured on the wild barley relative. This study provides the first demonstration of mechanisms at the aphid-plant interface contributing to physiological effects of endosymbiont infection on aphid fitness, through altered feeding processes on different quality host plants.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Sato N (2020)

Complex origins of chloroplast membranes with photosynthetic machineries: multiple transfers of genes from divergent organisms at different times or a single endosymbiotic event?.

Journal of plant research, 133(1):15-33.

The paradigm "cyanobacterial origin of chloroplasts" is currently viewed as an established fact. However, we may have to re-consider the origin of chloroplast membranes, because membranes are not replicated by their own. It is the genes for lipid biosynthetic enzymes that are inherited. In the current understandings, these enzymes became encoded by the nuclear genome as a result of endosymbiotic gene transfer from the endosymbiont. However, we previously showed that many enzymes involved in the synthesis of chloroplast peptidoglycan and glycolipids did not originate from cyanobacteria. Here I present results of comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of chloroplast enzymes involved in fatty acid and lipid biosynthesis, as well as additional chloroplast components related to photosynthesis and gene expression. Four types of phylogenetic relationship between chloroplast enzymes (encoded by the chloroplast and nuclear genomes) and cyanobacterial counterparts were found: type 1, chloroplast enzymes diverged from inside of cyanobacterial clade; type 2, chloroplast and cyanobacterial enzymes are sister groups; type 3, chloroplast enzymes originated from homologs of bacteria other than cyanobacteria; type 4, chloroplast enzymes diverged from eukaryotic homologs. Estimation of evolutionary distances suggested that the acquisition times of chloroplast enzymes were diverse, indicating that multiple gene transfers accounted for the chloroplast enzymes analyzed. Based on the results, I try to relax the tight logic of the endosymbiotic origin of chloroplasts involving a single endosymbiotic event by proposing alternative hypotheses. The hypothesis of host-directed chloroplast formation proposes that glycolipid synthesis ability had been acquired by the eukaryotic host before the acquisition of chloroplast ribosomes. Chloroplast membrane system could have been provided by the host, whereas cyanobacteria contributed to the genes for the genetic and photosynthesis systems, at various times, either before or after the formation of chloroplast membranes. The origin(s) of chloroplasts seems to be more complicated than the single event of primary endosymbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-12-07

Li TP, Zhou CY, Zha SS, et al (2019)

Stable Establishment of Cardinium in the Brown Planthopper Nilaparvata lugens despite Decreased Host Fitness.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.02509-19 [Epub ahead of print].

The brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens (Hemiptera), is a major pest of rice crops in Asia. Artificial transinfections of Wolbachia have recently been used for reducing host impacts, but transinfections have not yet been undertaken with another important endosymbiont, Cardinium This endosymbiont can manipulate the reproduction of hosts through phenotypes such as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), which is strong in the related white-backed planthopper, Sogatella furcifera (Hemiptera). Here, we stably infected N. lugens with Cardinium from S. furcifera and showed that it exhibits perfect maternal transmission in N. lugens The density of Cardinium varied across developmental stages and tissues of its transinfected host. Cardinium did not induce strong CI in N. lugens, likely due to its low density in testicles. The infection did decrease fecundity and hatching rate in the transinfected host, but a decrease in fecundity was not apparent when transinfected females mated with Wolbachia infected males. The experiments show the feasibility of transferring Cardinium endosymbionts across hosts, but the deleterious effects of Cardinium on N. lugens limit its potential to spread in wild populations of N. lugens in the absence of strong CI.IMPORTANCE In this study, we established a Cardinium-infected N. lugens line that possessed complete maternal transmission. Cardinium had a widespread distribution in tissues of N. lugens, and this infection can decrease the fecundity and hatching rate of the host. Our findings emphasize the feasibility of transinfection of Cardinium in insects, and this expands the range of endosymbionts that could be manipulated for pest control.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Bratovanov EV, Ishida K, Heinze B, et al (2019)

Genome Mining and Heterologous Expression Reveal Two Distinct Families of Lasso Peptides Highly Conserved in Endofungal Bacteria.

ACS chemical biology [Epub ahead of print].

Genome mining identified the fungal-bacterial endosymbiosis Rhizopus microsporus-Mycetohabitans (previously Burkholderia) rhizoxinica as a rich source of novel natural products. However, most of the predicted compounds have remained cryptic. In this study, we employed heterologous expression to isolate and characterize three ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides with lariat topology (lasso peptides) from the endosymbiont M. rhizoxinica: burhizin-23, mycetohabin-16, and mycetohabin-15. Through coexpression experiments, it was shown that an orphan gene product results in mature mycetohabin-15, albeit encoded remotely from the core biosynthetic gene cluster. Comparative genomics revealed that mycetohabins are highly conserved among M. rhizoxinica and related endosymbiotic bacteria. Gene knockout and reinfection experiments indicated that the lasso peptides are not crucial for establishing symbiosis; instead, the peptides are exported into the environment during endosymbiosis. This is the first report on lasso peptides from endosymbiotic bacteria.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Chung M, Teigen LE, Libro S, et al (2019)

Drug Repurposing of Bromodomain Inhibitors as Potential Novel Therapeutic Leads for Lymphatic Filariasis Guided by Multispecies Transcriptomics.

mSystems, 4(6):.

To better understand the transcriptomic interplay of organisms associated with lymphatic filariasis, we conducted multispecies transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) on the filarial nematode Brugia malayi, its Wolbachia endosymbiont wBm, and its laboratory vector Aedes aegypti across the entire B. malayi life cycle. In wBm, transcription of the noncoding 6S RNA suggests that it may be a regulator of bacterial cell growth, as its transcript levels correlate with bacterial replication rates. For A. aegypti, the transcriptional response reflects the stress that B. malayi infection exerts on the mosquito with indicators of increased energy demand. In B. malayi, expression modules associated with adult female samples consistently contained an overrepresentation of genes involved in chromatin remodeling, such as the bromodomain-containing proteins. All bromodomain-containing proteins encoded by B. malayi were observed to be upregulated in the adult female, embryo, and microfilaria life stages, including 2 members of the bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) protein family. The BET inhibitor JQ1(+), originally developed as a cancer therapeutic, caused lethality of adult worms in vitro, suggesting that it may be a potential therapeutic that can be repurposed for treating lymphatic filariasis.IMPORTANCE The current treatment regimen for lymphatic filariasis is mostly microfilaricidal. In an effort to identify new drug candidates for lymphatic filariasis, we conducted a three-way transcriptomics/systems biology study of one of the causative agents of lymphatic filariasis, Brugia malayi, its Wolbachia endosymbiont wBm, and its vector host Aedes aegypti at 16 distinct B. malayi life stages. B. malayi upregulates the expression of bromodomain-containing proteins in the adult female, embryo, and microfilaria stages. In vitro, we find that the existing cancer therapeutic JQ1(+), which is a bromodomain and extraterminal protein inhibitor, has adulticidal activity in B. malayi.

RevDate: 2020-01-20

Hotterbeekx A, Raimon S, Abd-Elfarag G, et al (2019)

Onchocerca volvulus is not detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of persons with onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy.

International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, 91:119-123 pii:S1201-9712(19)30469-2 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: Epidemiological evidence links onchocerciasis with the development of epilepsy. The aim of this study was to detect Onchocerca volvulus microfilariae or its bacterial endosymbiont, Wolbachia, in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of persons with onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy (OAE).

METHODS: Thirteen persons with OAE and O. volvulus skin snip densities of >80 microfilariae were recruited in Maridi County (South Sudan) and their CSF obtained. Cytospin centrifuged preparations of CSF were examined by light microscopy for the presence of O. volvulus microfilariae. DNA was extracted from CSF to detect O. volvulus (O-150 repeat) by quantitative real-time PCR, and Wolbachia (FtsZ gene) by standard PCR. To further investigate whether CSF from onchocerciasis-infected participants could induce seizures, 3- and 7-day old zebrafish larvae were injected with the CSF intracardially and intraperitoneally, respectively. For other zebrafish larvae, CSF was added directly to the larval medium.

RESULTS: No microfilariae, parasite DNA, or Wolbachia DNA were detected in any of the CSF samples by light microscopy or PCR. All zebrafish survived the procedures and none developed seizures.

CONCLUSIONS: The absence of O. volvulus in the CSF suggests that OAE is likely not caused by direct parasite invasion into the central nervous system, but by another phenomenon triggered by O. volvulus infection.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Vivero RJ, Villegas-Plazas M, Cadavid-Restrepo GE, et al (2019)

Wild specimens of sand fly phlebotomine Lutzomyia evansi, vector of leishmaniasis, show high abundance of Methylobacterium and natural carriage of Wolbachia and Cardinium types in the midgut microbiome.

Scientific reports, 9(1):17746.

Phlebotomine sand flies are remarkable vectors of several etiologic agents (virus, bacterial, trypanosomatid Leishmania), posing a heavy health burden for human populations mainly located at developing countries. Their intestinal microbiota is involved in a wide range of biological and physiological processes, and could exclude or facilitate such transmission of pathogens. In this study, we investigated the Eubacterial microbiome from digestive tracts of Lu. evansi adults structure using 16S rRNA gene sequence amplicon high throughput sequencing (Illumina MiSeq) obtained from digestive tracts of Lu. evansi adults. The samples were collected at two locations with high incidence of the disease in humans: peri-urban and forest ecosystems from the department of Sucre, Colombia. 289,068 quality-filtered reads of V4 region of 16S rRNA gene were obtained and clustered into 1,762 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with 97% similarity. Regarding eubacterial diversity, 14 bacterial phyla and 2 new candidate phyla were found to be consistently associated with the gut microbiome content. Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes were the most abundant phyla in all the samples and the core microbiome was particularly dominated by Methylobacterium genus. Methylobacterium species, are known to have mutualistic relationships with some plants and are involved in shaping the microbial community in the phyllosphere. As a remarkable feature, OTUs classified as Wolbachia spp. were found abundant on peri-urban ecosystem samples, in adult male (OTUs n = 776) and unfed female (OTUs n = 324). Furthermore, our results provide evidence of OTUs classified as Cardinium endosymbiont in relative abundance, notably higher with respect to Wolbachia. The variation in insect gut microbiota may be determined by the environment as also for the type of feeding. Our findings increase the richness of the microbiota associated with Lu. evansi. In this study, OTUs of Methylobacterium found in Lu. evansi was higher in engorged females, suggesting that there are interactions between microbes from plant sources, blood nutrients and the parasites they transmit during the blood intake.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Stouthamer CM, Kelly SE, Mann E, et al (2019)

Development of a multi-locus sequence typing system helps reveal the evolution of Cardinium hertigii, a reproductive manipulator symbiont of insects.

BMC microbiology, 19(1):266.

BACKGROUND: Cardinium is an intracellular bacterial symbiont in the phylum Bacteroidetes that is found in many different species of arthropods and some nematodes. This symbiont is known to be able to induce three reproductive manipulation phenotypes, including cytoplasmic incompatibility. Placing individual strains of Cardinium within a larger evolutionary context has been challenging because only two, relatively slowly evolving genes, 16S rRNA gene and Gyrase B, have been used to generate phylogenetic trees, and consequently, the relationship of different strains has been elucidated in only its roughest form.

RESULTS: We developed a Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) system that provides researchers with three new genes in addition to Gyrase B for inferring phylogenies and delineating Cardinium strains. From our Cardinium phylogeny, we confirmed the presence of a new group D, a Cardinium clade that resides in the arachnid order harvestmen (Opiliones). Many Cardinium clades appear to display a high degree of host affinity, while some show evidence of host shifts to phylogenetically distant hosts, likely associated with ecological opportunity. Like the unrelated reproductive manipulator Wolbachia, the Cardinium phylogeny also shows no clear phylogenetic signal associated with particular reproductive manipulations.

CONCLUSIONS: The Cardinium phylogeny shows evidence of diversification within particular host lineages, and also of host shifts among trophic levels within parasitoid-host communities. Like Wolbachia, the relatedness of Cardinium strains does not necessarily predict their reproductive phenotypes. Lastly, the genetic tools proposed in this study may help future authors to characterize new strains and add to our understanding of Cardinium evolution.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Kamm K, Osigus HJ, Stadler PF, et al (2019)

Genome analyses of a placozoan rickettsial endosymbiont show a combination of mutualistic and parasitic traits.

Scientific reports, 9(1):17561.

Symbiotic relationships between eukaryotic hosts and bacteria range from parasitism to mutualism and may deeply influence both partners' fitness. The presence of intracellular bacteria in the metazoan phylum Placozoa has been reported several times, but without any knowledge about the nature of this relationship and possible implications for the placozoan holobiont. This information may be of crucial significance since little is known about placozoan ecology and how different species adapt to different environmental conditions, despite being almost invariable at the morphological level. We here report on the novel genome of the rickettsial endosymbiont of Trichoplax sp. H2 (strain "Panama"). The combination of eliminated and retained metabolic pathways of the bacterium indicates a potential for a mutualistic as well as for a parasitic relationship, whose outcome could depend on the environmental context. In particular we show that the endosymbiont is dependent on the host for growth and reproduction and that the latter could benefit from a supply with essential amino acids and important cofactors. These findings call for further studies to clarify the actual benefit for the placozoan host and to investigate a possible role of the endosymbiont for ecological separation between placozoan species.


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 )