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Bibliography on: Wolbachia

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 25 Sep 2022 at 02:14 Created: 


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

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Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2022-09-24

Bing XL, Xia CB, Ye QT, et al (2022)

Wolbachia manipulates reproduction of spider mites by influencing herbivore salivary proteins.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The endosymbiont Wolbachia is known for manipulating host reproduction. Wolbachia can also affect host fitness by mediating interactions between plant and herbivores. However, it remains unclear whether saliva proteins are involved in this process.

RESULTS: We found that Wolbachia infection decreased the number of deposited eggs but increased the egg hatching rate in the spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae), a cosmopolitan pest that infects more than 1000 species of plants. Transcriptomic and proteomic analyses revealed that Wolbachia-infected mites upregulated the gene expression levels of many T. urticae salivary proteins including a cluster of Tetranychidae-specific, functionally uncharacterized SHOT1s (secreted host-responsive proteins of Tetranychidae). The SHOT1 genes were expressed more in the feeding stages (nymphs and adults) of miters than in eggs and highly enriched in the proterosomas. RNA interference experiments showed knockdown of SHOT1s significantly decreased Wolbachia density, increased the number of deposited eggs and decreased the egg hatching rate.

CONCLUSION: Together, these results indicate that SHOT1s are positively correlated with Wolbachia density and account for Wolbachia-mediated phenotypes. Our results provide new evidence that herbivore salivary proteins are related to Wolbachia-mediated manipulations of host performance on plants. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Warecki B, Titen SWA, Alam MS, et al (2022)

Wolbachia action in the sperm produces developmentally deferred chromosome segregation defects during the Drosophila mid-blastula transition.

eLife, 11: pii:81292.

Wolbachia, a vertically transmitted endosymbiont infecting many insects, spreads rapidly through uninfected populations by a mechanism known as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). In CI, a paternally delivered modification of the sperm leads to chromatin defects and lethality during and after the first mitosis of embryonic development in multiple species. However, whether CI-induced defects in later stage embryos are a consequence of the first division errors or caused by independent defects remains unresolved. To address this question, we focused on ~1/3 of embryos from CI crosses in Drosophila simulans that develop apparently normally through the first and subsequent pre-blastoderm divisions before exhibiting mitotic errors during the mid-blastula transition and gastrulation. We performed single embryo PCR and whole genome sequencing to find a large percentage of these developed CI-derived embryos bypass the first division defect. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we find increased chromosome segregation errors in gastrulating CI-derived embryos that had avoided the first division defect. Thus, Wolbachia action in the sperm induces developmentally deferred defects that are not a consequence of the first division errors. Like the immediate defect, the delayed defect is rescued through crosses to infected females. These studies inform current models on the molecular and cellular basis of CI.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Guo L, Tang C, Gao C, et al (2022)

Bacterial and fungal communities within and among geographic samples of the hemp pest Psylliodes attenuata from China.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:964735.

The hemp flea beetle Psylliodes attenuata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Psylliodes) is a common pest of Cannabis sativa, including cultivars of both medicinal marijuana and industrial hemp. Both the larval and adult stages of this beetle can cause significant damages to C. sativa, resulting in substantial crop losses. At present, little is known about the bacterial and fungal community diversity among populations of this pest insect. In the present study, we obtained P. attenuata samples from nine field sites representing broad industrial hemp productions in China and analyzed their microbial communities using DNA metabarcoding. Bacterial sequences of all the samples were assigned to 3728 OTUs, which belonged to 45 phyla, 1058 genera and 1960 known species. The most common genera were Rickettsia, Wolbachia, and Candidatus_Brownia. Fungal sequences of all the samples were assigned to 910 OTUs, which belonged to 9 phyla, 308 genera and 464 known species. The most common fungal genera were Cladosporium, Cutaneotrichosporon, and Aspergillus. Principal coordinate analysis revealed a significant difference in the bacterial and fungal community structure among the nine P. attenuata populations. Understanding the microbial symbionts may provide clues to help develop potential biocontrol techniques against this pest.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Liu YH, Ma YM, Tian HO, et al (2022)

First determination of DNA virus and some additional bacteria from Melophagus ovinus (sheep ked) in Tibet, China.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:988136.

Melophagus ovinus (sheep ked) is one of the common ectoparasites in sheep. In addition to causing direct damage to the host through biting and sucking blood, sheep ked is a potential vector of helminths, protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. Sheep M. ovinus samples from three regions in Tibet were selected for DNA extraction. The 16S rDNA V3-V4 hypervariable region was amplified, after genomic DNA fragmentation, Illumina Hiseq libraries were constructed. The 16S rRNA sequencing and viral metagenomics sequencing were separately conducted on the Illumina Novaseq 6000 platform and molecular biology software and platforms were employed to analyze the sequencing data. Illumina PE250 sequencing results demonstrated that the dominant bacteria phylum in M. ovinus from Tibet, China was Proteobacteria, where 29 bacteria genera were annotated. The dominant bacterial genera were Bartonella, Wolbachia, and Arsenophonus; Bartonella chomelii, Wolbachia spp., and Arsenophonus spp. were the dominant bacterial species in M. ovinus from Tibet, China. We also detected Kluyvera intermedia, Corynebacterium maris DSM 45190, Planomicrobium okeanokoites, and Rhodococcus erythropolis, of which the relative abundance of Kluyvera intermedia was high. Illumina Hiseq sequencing results demonstrated that 4 virus orders were detected in M. ovinus from Tibet, China, and 3 samples were annotated into 29 families, 30 families, and 28 families of viruses, respectively. Virus families related to vertebrates and insects mainly included Mimiviridae, Marseilleviridae, Poxviridae, Ascoviridae, Iridoviridae, Baculoviridae, Hytrosaviridae, Nudiviridae, Polydnaviridae, Adomaviridae, Asfarviridae, Hepeviridae, Herpesviridae, and Retroviridae; at the species level, the relative abundance of Tupanvirus_soda_lake, Klosneuvirus_KNV1, and Indivirus_ILV1 was higher. African swine fever virus and many poxviruses from the family Poxviridae were detected, albeit their relative abundance was low. The dominant bacterial phylum of M. ovinus from Tibet, China was Proteobacteria, and the dominant bacterial genera were Bartonella, Wolbachia, and Arsenophonus, where 23 out of 29 annotated bacteria genera were first reported in M. ovinus. Kluyvera intermedia, Corynebacterium maris DSM 45190, Planomicrobium okeanokoites, and Rhodococcus erythropolis were detected for the first time. All DNA viruses detected in this study have been reported in M. ovinus for the first time.

RevDate: 2022-09-22

Liu Q, Zhang H, X Huang (2022)

Strong Linkage Between Symbiotic Bacterial Community and Host Age and Morph in a Hemipteran Social Insect.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The relationships between symbionts and insects are complex, and symbionts usually have diverse ecological and evolutionary effects on their hosts. The phloem sap-sucking aphids are good models to study the interactions between insects and symbiotic microorganisms. Although aphids usually exhibit remarkable life cycle complexity, most previous studies on symbiotic diversity sampled only apterous viviparous adult females or very few morphs. In this study, high-throughput 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing was used to assess the symbiotic bacterial communities of eleven morphs or developmental stages of the social aphid Pseudoregma bambucicola. We found there were significant differences in bacterial composition in response to different morphs and developmental stages, and for the first time, we revealed male aphids hosted very different symbiotic composition featured with low abundance of dominant symbionts but high diversity of total symbionts. The relative abundance of Pectobacterium showed relatively stable across different types of samples, while that of Wolbachia fluctuated greatly, indicating the former may have a consistent function in this species and the latter may provide specific function for certain morphs or developmental stages. Our study presents new evidence of complexity of symbiotic associations and indicates strong linkage between symbiotic bacterial community and host age and morph.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Andrianto E, A Kasai (2022)

Wolbachia in Black Spiny Whiteflies and Their New Parasitoid Wasp in Japan: Evidence of the Distinct Infection Status on Aleurocanthus camelliae Cryptic Species Complex.

Insects, 13(9): pii:insects13090788.

Wolbachia, an alphaproteobacterial reproductive parasite, can cause profound mitochondrial divergence in insects, which might eventually be a part of cryptic speciation. Aleurocanthus camelliae is a cryptic species complex consisting of several morphospecies and/or haplotypes that are genetically different but morphologically indistinctive. However, little is known about the Wolbachia infection status in these tea and Citrus pests. Thus, this study aimed to profile the diversity and phenotypic characteristics of Wolbachia natural infections in the A. camelliae cryptic species complex. A monophyletic strain of Wolbachia that infected the A. camelliae cryptic species complex (wAlec) with different patterns was discovered. Whiteflies that are morphologically identical to Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Aleurocanthus cf. A. spiniferus in Eurya japonica and A. spiniferus in Citrus) were grouped into uninfected populations, whereas the fixed infection was detected in A. camelliae B1 from Theaceae. The rapid evolution of wAlec was also found to occur through a high recombination event, which produced subgroups A and B in wAlec. It may also be associated with the non-cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) phenotype of wAlec due to undetectable CI-related genes from phage WO (WOAlec). The current discovery of a novel cryptic species of A. camelliae led to a discussion about the oscillation hypothesis, which may provide insights on cryptic speciation, particularly on how specialization and host expansion have been recorded among these species. This study also identified a parasitoid wasp belonging to the genus Eretmocerus in A. camelliae, for the first time in Japan.

RevDate: 2022-09-21

Brinker P, Chen F, Chehida YB, et al (2022)

Microbiome composition is shaped by geography and population structure in the parasitic wasp Asobara japonica, but not in the presence of the endosymbiont Wolbachia.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The microbial community composition is crucial for diverse life-history traits in many organisms. However, we still lack a sufficient understanding of how the host microbiome is acquired and maintained, a pressing issue in times of global environmental change. Here we investigated to what extent host genotype, environmental conditions, and the endosymbiont Wolbachia influence the bacterial communities in the parasitic wasp Asobara japonica. We sampled multiple wasp populations across ten locations in their natural distribution range in Japan and sequenced the host genome (whole genome sequencing) and microbiome (16S rRNA gene). We compared the host population structure and bacterial community composition of wasps that reproduce sexually and are uninfected with Wolbachia with wasps that reproduce asexually and carry Wolbachia. The bacterial communities in asexual wasps were highly similar due to a strong effect of Wolbachia rather than host genomic structure. In contrast, in sexual wasps, bacterial communities appear primarily shaped by a combination of population structure and environmental conditions. Our research highlights that multiple factors shape the bacterial communities of an organism and that the presence of a single endosymbiont can strongly alter their compositions. This information is crucial to understanding how organisms and their associated microbiome will react in the face of environmental change.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Chinnathambi R, FA Rihan (2022)

Analysis and control of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes using sterile-insect techniques with Wolbachia.

Mathematical biosciences and engineering : MBE, 19(11):11154-11171.

Combining Sterile and Incompatible Insect techniques can significantly reduce mosquito populations and prevent the transmission of diseases between insects and humans. This paper describes impulsive differential equations for the control of a mosquito with Wolbachia. Several interesting conditions are created when sterile male mosquitoes are released impulsively, ensuring both open- and closed-loop control. To determine the wild mosquito population size in real-time, we propose an open-loop control system, which uses impulsive and constant releases of sterile male mosquitoes. A closed-loop control scheme is also being investigated, which specifies the release of sterile mosquitoes according to the size of the wild mosquito population. To eliminate or reduce a mosquito population below a certain threshold, the Sterile insect technique involves mass releases of sterile insects. Numerical simulations verify the theoretical results.

RevDate: 2022-09-19

Martinez J, Ant TH, Murdochy SM, et al (2022)

Genome sequencing and comparative analysis of Wolbachia strain wAlbA reveals Wolbachia-associated plasmids are common.

PLoS genetics, 18(9):e1010406 pii:PGENETICS-D-22-00790 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia are widespread maternally-transmitted bacteria of arthropods that often spread by manipulating their host's reproduction through cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). Their invasive potential is currently being harnessed in field trials aiming to control mosquito-borne diseases. Wolbachia genomes commonly harbour prophage regions encoding the cif genes which confer their ability to induce CI. Recently, a plasmid-like element was discovered in wPip, a Wolbachia strain infecting Culex mosquitoes; however, it is unclear how common such extra-chromosomal elements are in Wolbachia. Here we sequenced the complete genome of wAlbA, a strain of the symbiont found in Aedes albopictus, after eliminating the co-infecting and higher density wAlbB strain that previously made sequencing of wAlbA challenging. We show that wAlbA is associated with two new plasmids and identified additional Wolbachia plasmids and related chromosomal islands in over 20% of publicly available Wolbachia genome datasets. These plasmids encode a variety of accessory genes, including several phage-like DNA packaging genes as well as genes potentially contributing to host-symbiont interactions. In particular, we recovered divergent homologues of the cif genes in both Wolbachia- and Rickettsia-associated plasmids. Our results indicate that plasmids are common in Wolbachia and raise fundamental questions around their role in symbiosis. In addition, our comparative analysis provides useful information for the future development of genetic tools to manipulate and study Wolbachia symbionts.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Power NR, Rugman-Jones PF, Stouthamer R, et al (2022)

High temperature mortality of Wolbachia impacts the sex ratio of the parasitoid Ooencyrtus mirus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae).

PeerJ, 10:e13912.

Background: Wolbachia bacteria are estimated to occur in more than half of all insect species. In Hymenoptera, Wolbachia often manipulates its host's reproduction to its own advantage. Wolbachia is likely the reason that males are rare in the uniparental Ooencyrtus mirus Triapitsyn & Power (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). The likelihood of producing male offspring can be increased by giving mothers a continuous supply of Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) host eggs to parasitize for 2-3 weeks, by feeding the parents antibiotics, or by rearing parent wasps at high temperatures; all variables that have been shown to correlate with depleting Wolbachia titers in other organisms. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether thelytoky in O. mirus is due to Wolbachia, and if so, at what time in development the sex change occurs. We also wished to determine if Wolbachia removal results in the production of intersexes, as in some other hymenopterans. Finally, mating behavior was observed to see if and where it breaks down as a result of the species becoming thelytokous.

Methods: Females were collected from parental lines of O. mirus reared at 26, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 36 °C. The offspring of these females were reared at 26 °C, and their sex-ratio was determined. In a subsequent experiment, the parental generation was switched between 26 °C and 36 °C during development to narrow down the critical period at which changes occurred that subsequently affected the sex-ratio of their offspring.

Results: The sex ratio was male biased in the offspring of O. mirus parents reared at 34 °C and 36 °C (high temperatures), even if the offspring themselves were reared at 26 °C. The constant temperature at which the percentage of males started to increase after two generations was 31 °C (10% males), rising to 39% males at 33 °C, and 100% males at 34 °C and 36 °C. Lasting more than 2 days, the critical period for the change toward a male biased sex ratio was during the second half of the parent's development. Molecular diagnostic assays confirmed that O. mirus females contain Wolbachia and males do not. Examination of preserved males and male-female pairs under a dissecting microscope showed no signs of intersex characters. Observation of the mating behavior of live O. mirus showed that males initiate courtship by drumming their antennae on a female's antennae, but after a few seconds, the females typically turn and walk away. However, a few instances of possible copulation were noted.

Conclusions: As hypothesized, the results indicated that thelytoky in O. mirus is likely mediated by Wolbachia bacteria. To maximize the population growth rate without generating males, the best temperature for mass rearing this species is 30 °C.

RevDate: 2022-09-17

Li J, He P, He P, et al (2022)

Potential of citrus endophyte Bacillus subtilis L1-21 in the control of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus in Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), also known as Diaphorina citri, is the natural vector of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), which is responsible for Huanglongbing (HLB), a devastating citrus disease. Previously, the pathogen was successfully excluded from diseased citrus plants by using the indigenous endophyte Bacillus subtilis L1-21. However, the pathogen elimination and colonization potential of B. subtilis L1-21 in the carrier vector ACP, as well as the recruitment of native microbial communities of psyllid in the presence of endophytes, are still unknown.

RESULTS: Initially, we suggested that endophyte L1-21 reduced the CLas copies in ACP from 6.58 × 106 to 5.04 × 104 per insect after 48 h, however, the pathogen copies remained stable in the negative control. The endophyte was stable for 48 h after application. Among the bacterial genera those highlighted in ACP were Candidatus Liberibacter, Pseudomonas, Candidatus Profftella, Methylobacterium-Methylorubrum, Pantoea, Curtobacterium, Wolbachia, Actinomycetospora, and Bacillus. Interestingly, B. subtilis L1-21 easily colonizes the midgut of ACP but cannot be detected in eggs. When ACP with endophyte L1-21 was allowed to feed on new citrus leaves, the highest colonization was observed. We also found that psyllids carrying endophyte L1-21 after feeding on citrus leaves reduced the CLas copies in leaves on the 0, 3rd and 5th day from 8.18 × 10,4 2.6 × 10,3 and 0 pathogen copies/g fresh midvein, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: We propose that B. subtilis L1-21 is a native endophyte in citrus and psyllid, which efficiently reduces the CLas pathogen in both citrus and psyllids, provides a more protective effect by increasing the number of cultivable endophytes, and successfully colonizes the midgut of ACP.

RevDate: 2022-09-20
CmpDate: 2022-09-20

Liu Y, Yu J, J Li (2022)

A Mosquito Population Suppression Model by Releasing Wolbachia-Infected Males.

Bulletin of mathematical biology, 84(11):121.

Due to the role of cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), releasing Wolbachia-infected male mosquitoes into the wild becomes a very promising strategy to suppress the wild mosquito population. When developing a mosquito suppression strategy, our main concerns are how often, and in what amount, should Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes be released under different CI intensity conditions, so that the suppression is most effective and cost efficient. In this paper, we propose a mosquito population suppression model that incorporates suppression and self-recovery under different CI intensity conditions. We adopt the new modeling idea that only sexually active Wolbachia-infected male mosquitoes are considered in the model and assume the releases of Wolbachia-infected male mosquitoes are impulsive and periodic with period T. We particularly study the case where the release period is greater than the sexual lifespan of the Wolbachia-infected male mosquitoes. We define the CI intensity threshold, mosquito release thresholds, and the release period threshold to characterize the model dynamics. The global and local asymptotic stability of the origin and the existence and stability of T-periodic solutions are investigated. Our findings provide useful guidance in designing practical release strategies to control wild mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2022-09-17

Zhang HD, Gao J, Xing D, et al (2022)

Fine-scale genetic structure and wolbachia infection of aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Nanjing city, China.

Frontiers in genetics, 13:827655.

Background: Aedes albopictus is an indigenous primary vector of dengue and Zika viruses in China. Wolbachia is a gram-negative and common intracellular bacteria, which is maternally inherited endosymbionts and could expand their propagation in host populations by means of various manipulations. Compared with research on the dispersion of Ae. albopictus at the macrospatial level (mainly at the country or continent level), little is known about its variation and Wolbachia infection at the microspatial level, which is essential for its management. Meanwhile, no local cases of dengue fever have been recorded in the history of Nanjing, which implies that few adulticides have been applied in the city. Thus, the present study examines how the Ae. albopictus population varies and the Wolbachia infection status of each population among microspatial regions of Nanjing City. Methods: The genetic structure of 17 Aedes albopictus populations collected from urban, urban fringe, and rural regions of Nanjing City was investigated based on 9 microsatellite loci and the mitochondrial coxI gene. The Wolbachia infection status of each population was also assessed with Wolbachia A- and Wolbachia B-specific primers. Results: Nine out of 58 tested pairs of microsatellite markers were highly polymorphic, with a mean PIC value of 0.560, and these markers were therefore chosen for microsatellite genotyping analysis. The Na value of each Ae. albopictus population was very high, and the urban area populations (7.353 ± 4.975) showed a lower mean value than the urban fringe region populations (7.866 ± 5.010). A total of 19 coxI haplotypes were observed among 329 Ae. albopictus individuals via haplotype genotyping, with the highest diversity observed among the urban fringe Ae. albopictus populations (Hd = 0.456) and the lowest among the urban populations (Hd = 0.277). Each Ae. albopictus population showed significant departure from HWE, and significant population expansion was observed in only three populations from the urban (ZSL), urban fringe (HAJY), and rural areas (HSZY) (p < 0.05). Combined with DAPC analysis, all the Ae. albopictus populations were adequately allocated to two clades with significant genetic differences according to population structure analysis, and the best K value was equal to two. AMOVA results showed that most (96.18%) of the genetic variation detected in Ae. albopictus occurred within individuals (FIT = 0.22238, p < 0.0001), while no significant positive correlation was observed via isolation by distance (IBD) analysis (R 2 = 0.03262, p = 0.584). The TCS network of all haplotypes showed that haplotype 1 (H1) and haplotype 4 (H4) were the most frequent haplotypes among all populations, and the haplotype frequency significantly increased from urban regions (36.84%) to rural regions (68.42%). Frequent migration was observed among Ae. albopictus populations from rural to urban regions via the urban fringe region, with four direct migration routes between rural and urban regions. Furthermore, Wolbachia genotyping results showed that most of the individuals of each population were coinfected with Wolbachia A and Wolbachia B. The independent infection rate of Wolbachia A was slightly higher than that of Wolbachia B, and no significant differences were observed among different regions. Conclusion: In the microspatial environment of Nanjing City, the urban fringe region is an important region for the dispersion of Ae. albopictus populations between rural and urban areas, and Wolbachia A and Wolbachia B coinfection is the most common Wolbachia infection status in all Ae. albopictus populations among different regions.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-09-13

Bishop C, Hussain M, Hugo LE, et al (2022)

Analysis of Aedes aegypti microRNAs in response to Wolbachia wAlbB infection and their potential role in mosquito longevity.

Scientific reports, 12(1):15245.

The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of a range of medically important viruses including dengue, Zika, West Nile, yellow fever, and chikungunya viruses. The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis wAlbB strain is a promising biocontrol agent for blocking viral transmission by Ae. aegypti. To predict the long-term efficacy of field applications, a thorough understanding of the interactions between symbiont, host, and pathogen is required. Wolbachia influences host physiology in a variety of ways including reproduction, immunity, metabolism, and longevity. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are highly conserved small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression in eukaryotes and viruses. Several miRNAs are known to regulate biological processes in Drosophila and mosquitoes, including facilitating Wolbachia maintenance. We generated the first chromosomal map of Ae. aegypti miRNAs, and compared miRNA expression profiles between a wAlbB-transinfected Ae. aegypti mosquito line and a tetracycline cleared derivative, using deep small RNA-sequencing. We found limited modulation of miRNAs in response to wAlbB infection. Several miRNAs were modulated in response to age, some of which showed greater upregulation in wAlbB-infected mosquitoes than in tetracycline cleared ones. By selectively inhibiting some differentially expressed miRNAs, we identified miR-2946-3p and miR-317-3p as effecting mosquito longevity in Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2022-09-06
CmpDate: 2022-09-02

Twort VG, Blande D, A Duplouy (2022)

One's trash is someone else's treasure: sequence read archives from Lepidoptera genomes provide material for genome reconstruction of their endosymbionts.

BMC microbiology, 22(1):209.

BACKGROUND: Maternally inherited bacterial symbionts are extremely widespread in insects. They owe their success to their ability to promote their own transmission through various manipulations of their hosts' life-histories. Many symbionts however very often go undetected. Consequently, we have only a restricted idea of the true symbiont diversity in insects, which may hinder our understanding of even bigger questions in the field such as the evolution or establishment of symbiosis.

RESULTS: In this study, we screened publicly available Lepidoptera genomic material for two of the most common insect endosymbionts, namely Wolbachia and Spiroplasma, in 1904 entries, encompassing 106 distinct species. We compared the performance of two screening software, Kraken2 and MetaPhlAn2, to identify the bacterial infections and using a baiting approach we reconstruct endosymbiont genome assemblies. Of the 106 species screened, 20 (19%) and nine (8.5%) were found to be infected with either Wolbachia or Spiroplasma, respectively. Construction of partial symbiotic genomes and phylogenetic analyses suggested the Wolbachia strains from the supergroup B were the most prevalent type of symbionts, while Spiroplasma infections were scarce in the Lepidoptera species screened here.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that many of the host-symbiont associations remain largely unexplored, with the majority of associations we identify never being recorded before. This highlights the usefulness of public databases to explore the hidden diversity of symbiotic entities, allowing the development of hypotheses regarding host-symbiont associations. The ever-expanding genomic databases provide a diverse databank from which one can characterize and explore the true diversity of symbiotic entities.

RevDate: 2022-09-14
CmpDate: 2022-09-02

Conjard S, Meyer DF, Aprelon R, et al (2022)

Evidence of new strains of Wolbachia symbiont colonising semiaquatic bugs (Hemiptera: Gerroidea) in mangrove environment of the Lesser Antilles.

PloS one, 17(8):e0273668.

Wolbachia Hertig, 1936 is an intracellular bacterial symbiont colonizing many arthropods. Of the studies done on the bacteria present in the superfamily Gerroidea Leach, 1815, no report of Wolbachia infection had yet been made. Thus, we checked the presence of Wolbachia in six Gerroidea species which colonize tropical aquatic environments by PCR using wsp primer set before sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Insects were collected in the marine fringe of mangroves, in river estuaries, in swampy mangroves, and in ponds from Guadeloupe islands (Caribbean). Two new strains of Wolbachia were detected in these Gerroidea. They were named wLfran and wRmang. The wsp sequences suggest that the strains belong to the already described E supergroup or similar. wLfran is present in Limnogonus franciscanus Stål, 1859 and Rheumatobates trinitatis (China, 1943) while wRmang appears to be present exclusively in R. mangrovensis (China, 1943). Three other species were analysed, but did not appear to be infected: Brachymetra albinerva (Amyot & Serville, 1843), Halobates micans Eschscheltz, 1822, and Microvelia pulchella Westwood, 1834. The results presented here highlight for the first time the presence of new intracellular Wolbachia strains in Gerroidea colonising tropical aquatic environments like mangrove habitats from inlands to sea shore.

RevDate: 2022-09-02
CmpDate: 2022-08-31

Formisano G, Iodice L, Cascone P, et al (2022)

Wolbachia infection and genetic diversity of Italian populations of Philaenus spumarius, the main vector of Xylella fastidiosa in Europe.

PloS one, 17(8):e0272028.

Philaenus spumarius is a cosmopolitan species that has become a major threat to European agriculture being recognized as the main vector of the introduced plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, the agent of the "olive quick decline syndrome", a disease which is devastating olive orchards in southern Italy. Wolbachia are bacterial symbionts of many insects, frequently as reproductive parasites, sometime by establishing mutualistic relationships, able to spread within host populations. Philaenus spumarius harbors Wolbachia, but the role played by this symbiont is unknown and data on the infection prevalence within host populations are limited. Here, the Wolbachia infection rate was analyzed in relation to the geographic distribution and the genetic diversity of the Italian populations of P. spumarius. Analysis of the COI gene sequences revealed a geographically structured distribution of the three main mitochondrial lineages of P. spumarius. Wolbachia was detected in half of the populations sampled in northern Italy where most individuals belonged to the western-Mediterranean lineage. All populations sampled in southern and central Italy, where the individuals of the eastern-Mediterranean lineage were largely prevalent, were uninfected. Individuals of the north-eastern lineage were found only in populations from the Alps in the northernmost part of Italy, at high altitudes. In this area, Wolbachia infection reached the highest prevalence, with no difference between north-eastern and western-Mediterranean lineage. Analysis of molecular diversity of COI sequences suggested no significant effect of Wolbachia on population genetics of P. spumarius. Using the MLST approach, six new Wolbachia sequence types were identified. Using FISH, Wolbachia were observed within the host's reproductive tissues and salivary glands. Results obtained led us to discuss the role of Wolbachia in P. spumarius, the factors influencing the geographic distribution of the infection, and the exploitation of Wolbachia for the control of the vector insect to reduce the spread of X. fastidiosa.

RevDate: 2022-08-30
CmpDate: 2022-08-29

Zong Q, Mao B, Zhang HB, et al (2022)

Comparative Ubiquitome Analysis Reveals Deubiquitinating Effects Induced by Wolbachia Infection in Drosophila melanogaster.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(16):.

The endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria frequently cause cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) in their insect hosts, where Wolbachia-infected males cross with uninfected females, leading to no or fewer progenies, indicating a paternal modification by Wolbachia. Recent studies have identified a Wolbachia protein, CidB, containing a DUB (deubiquitylating enzyme) domain, which can be loaded into host sperm nuclei and involved in CI, though the DUB activity is not necessary for CI in Drosophila melanogaster. To investigate whether and how Wolbachia affect protein ubiquitination in testes of male hosts and are thus involved in male fertility, we compared the protein and ubiquitinated protein expressions in D. melanogaster testes with and without Wolbachia. A total of 643 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) and 309 differentially expressed ubiquitinated proteins (DEUPs) were identified to have at least a 1.5-fold change with a p-value of <0.05. Many DEPs were enriched in metabolic pathway, ribosome, RNA transport, and post-translational protein modification pathways. Many DEUPs were involved in metabolism, ribosome, and proteasome pathways. Notably, 98.1% DEUPs were downregulated in the presence of Wolbachia. Four genes coding for DEUPs in ubiquitin proteasome pathways were knocked down, respectively, in Wolbachia-free fly testes. Among them, Rpn6 and Rpn7 knockdown caused male sterility, with no mature sperm in seminal vesicles. These results reveal deubiquitylating effects induced by Wolbachia infection, suggesting that Wolbachia can widely deubiquitinate proteins that have crucial functions in male fertility of their hosts, but are not involved in CI. Our data provide new insights into the regulatory mechanisms of endosymbiont/host interactions and male fertility.

RevDate: 2022-08-30

Suo P, Wang K, Yu H, et al (2022)

Seasonal Variation of Midgut Bacterial Diversity in Culexquinquefasciatus Populations in Haikou City, Hainan Province, China.

Biology, 11(8):.

Culex quinquefasciatus, one of the most significant mosquito vectors in the world, is widespread in most parts of southern China. A variety of diseases including Bancroft's filariasis, West Nile disease, and St. Louis encephalitis could be transmitted by the vector. Mosquitoes have been shown to host diverse bacterial communities that vary depending on environmental factors such as temperature and rainfall. In this work, 16S rDNA sequencing was used to analyze the seasonal variation of midgut bacterial diversity of Cx. Quinquefasciatus in Haikou City, Hainan Province, China. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum, accounting for 79.7% (autumn), 73% (winter), 80.4% (spring), and 84.5% (summer). The abundance of Bacteroidetes in autumn and winter was higher than in others. Interestingly, Epsilonbacteraeota, which only exists in autumn and winter, was discovered accidentally in the midgut. We speculated that this might participate in the nutritional supply of adult mosquitoes when temperatures drop. Wolbachia is the most abundant in autumn, accounting for 31.6% of bacteria. The content of Pantoea was highest in the summer group, which might be related to the enhancement of the ability of mosquitoes as temperatures increased. Pseudomonas is carried out as the highest level in winter. On the contrary, in spring and summer, the genus in highest abundance is Enterobacter. Acinetobacter enriches in the spring when it turns from cold to hot. By studying the diversity of midgut bacteria of Cx. quinquefasciatus, we can further understand the co-evolution of mosquitoes and their symbiotic microbes. This is necessary to discuss the seasonal variation of microorganisms and ultimately provide a new perspective for the control of Cx. quinquefasciatus to reduce the spread of the diseases which have notably vital practical significance for the effective prevention of Cx. quinquefasciatus.

RevDate: 2022-08-28

Fallon AM (2022)

From Mosquito Ovaries to Ecdysone; from Ecdysone to Wolbachia: One Woman's Career in Insect Biology.

Insects, 13(8):.

In anautogenous mosquitoes, synchronous development of terminal ovarian follicles after a blood meal provides an important model for studies on insect reproduction. Removal and implantation of ovaries, in vitro culture of dissected tissues and immunological assays for vitellogenin synthesis by the fat body showed that the Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera, Culicidae) mosquito ovary produces a factor essential for egg production. The discovery that the ovarian factor was the insect steroid hormone, ecdysone, provided a model for co-option of the larval hormones as reproductive hormones in adult insects. In later work on cultured mosquito cells, ecdysone was shown to arrest the cell cycle, resulting in an accumulation of diploid cells in G1, prior to initiation of DNA synthesis. Some mosquito species, such as Culex pipiens L. (Diptera, Culicidae), harbor the obligate intracellular bacterium, Wolbachia pipientis Hertig (Rickettsiales, Anaplasmataceae), in their reproductive tissues. When maintained in mosquito cell lines, Wolbachia abundance increases in ecdysone-arrested cells. This observation facilitated the recovery of high levels of Wolbachia from cultured cells for microinjection and genetic manipulation. In female Culex pipiens, it will be of interest to explore how hormonal cues that support initiation and progression of the vitellogenic cycle influence Wolbachia replication and transmission to subsequent generations via infected eggs.

RevDate: 2022-08-28

Kyritsis GA, Koskinioti P, Bourtzis K, et al (2022)

Effect of Wolbachia Infection and Adult Food on the Sexual Signaling of Males of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly Ceratitis capitata.

Insects, 13(8):.

Sexual signaling is a fundamental component of sexual behavior of Ceratitis capitata that highly determines males' mating success. Nutritional status and age are dominant factors known to affect males' signaling performance and define the female decision to accept a male as a sexual partner. Wolbachia pipientis, a widespread endosymbiotic bacterium of insects and other arthropods, exerts several biological effects on its hosts. However, the effects of Wolbachia infection on the sexual behavior of medfly and the interaction between Wolbachia infection and adult food remain unexplored. This study was conducted to determine the effects of Wolbachia on sexual signaling of protein-fed and protein-deprived males. Our findings demonstrate that: (a) Wolbachia infection reduced male sexual signaling rates in both food regimes; (b) the negative effect of Wolbachia infection was more pronounced on protein-fed than protein-deprived males, and it was higher at younger ages, indicating that the bacterium regulates male sexual maturity; (c) Wolbachia infection alters the daily pattern of sexual signaling; and (d) protein deprivation bears significant descent on sexual signaling frequency of the uninfected males, whereas no difference was observed for the Wolbachia-infected males. The impact of our findings on the implementation of Incompatible Insect Technique (IIT) or the combined SIT/IIT towards controlling insect pests is discussed.

RevDate: 2022-08-26

Sharma M, V Kumar (2022)

Mosquito-larvicidal Binary (BinA/B) proteins for mosquito control programs -advancements, challenges, and possibilities.

Current research in insect science, 2:100028.

The increasing global burden of mosquito-borne diseases require targeted, environmentally friendly, and sustainable approaches for effective vector control without endangering the non-target beneficial insect population. Biological interventions such as biopesticides, Wolbachia-mediated biological controls, or sterile insect techniques are used worldwide. Here we review Binary or BinAB toxin-the mosquito-larvicidal component of WHO-recognized Lysinibacillus sphaericus bacterium employed in mosquito control programs. Binary (BinAB) toxin is primarily responsible for the larvicidal effect of the bacterium. BinAB is a single-receptor-specific toxin and is effective against larvae of Culex and Anopheles, but not against Aedes aegypti. The receptor in Culex, the Cqm1 protein, has been extensively studied. It is a GPI-anchored amylomaltase and is located apically in the lipid rafts of the larval-midgut epithelium. The interaction of the toxin components with the receptor is crucial for the mosquito larvicidal activity of the BinAB toxin. Here we extend support for the pore formation model of BinAB toxin internalization and the role of toxin-glycan interactions in the endoplasmic reticulum in mediating larval death. BinAB is phylogenetically safe for humans, as Cqm1-like protein is not expected in the human proteome. This review aims to initiate targeted R&D efforts, such as applying fusion technologies (chimera of BinA, chemical modification of BinA), for efficient mosquito control interventions. In addition, the review also examines other areas such as bioremediation and cancer therapeutics, in which L. sphaericus is proving useful and showing potential for further development.

RevDate: 2022-08-26

Davies OK, Dorey JB, Stevens MI, et al (2022)

Unparalleled mitochondrial heteroplasmy and Wolbachia co-infection in the non-model bee, Amphylaeus morosus.

Current research in insect science, 2:100036.

Mitochondrial heteroplasmy is the occurrence of more than one type of mitochondrial DNA within a single individual. Although generally reported to occur in a small subset of individuals within a species, there are some instances of widespread heteroplasmy across entire populations. Amphylaeus morosus is an Australian native bee species in the diverse and cosmopolitan bee family Colletidae. This species has an extensive geographical range along the eastern Australian coast, from southern Queensland to western Victoria, covering approximately 2,000 km. Seventy individuals were collected from five localities across this geographical range and sequenced using Sanger sequencing for the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. These data indicate that every individual had the same consistent heteroplasmic sites but no other nucleotide variation, suggesting two conserved and widespread heteroplasmic mitogenomes. Ion Torrent shotgun sequencing revealed that heteroplasmy occurred across multiple mitochondrial protein-coding genes and is unlikely explained by transposition of mitochondrial genes into the nuclear genome (NUMTs). DNA sequence data also demonstrated a consistent co-infection of Wolbachia across the A. morosus distribution with every individual infected with both bacterial strains. Our data are consistent with the presence of two mitogenomes within all individuals examined in this species and suggest a major divergence from standard patterns of mitochondrial inheritance. Because the host's mitogenome and the Wolbachia genome are genetically linked through maternal inheritance, we propose three possible hypotheses that could explain maintenance of the widespread and conserved co-occurring bacterial and mitochondrial genomes in this species.

RevDate: 2022-08-23

Ma TC, Guo WJ, JB Wen (2022)

Effects of feeding on different parts of Ailanthus altissima on the intestinal microbiota of Eucryptorrhynchus scrobiculatus and Eucryptorrhynchus brandti (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:899313.

Eucryptorrhynchus brandti and Eucryptorrhynchus scrobiculatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) are two monophagous weevil pests that feed on Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle but differ in their diet niche. In the field, adults of E. brandti prefer to feed on the trunk of A. altissima, whereas adults of E. scrobiculatus prefer to feed on the tender parts. We conducted Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA to examine changes in bacterial diversity in the adults of these two weevil species after they fed on different parts of A. altissima (trunk, 2-3-year-old branches, annual branches, and petioles). Proteobacteria, Tenericutes, and Firmicutes were the dominant phyla in E. brandti (relative abundance was 50.64, 41.56, and 5.63%, respectively) and E. scrobiculatus (relative abundance was 78.63, 11.91, and 7.41%, respectively). At the genus level, Spiroplasma, endosymbionts2, Unclassified Enterobacteriaceae, and Lactococcus were dominant in E. brandti, and Unclassified Enterobacteriaceae, Wolbachia and Spiroplasma, and endosymbionts2 were dominant in E. scrobiculatus. Linear discriminant analysis effect size analysis revealed microbial biomarkers in the different treatment group of adults of both weevil species. Adults of E. brandti may require the trunk, and adults of E. scrobiculatus may require the petioles and annual branches to maintain the high diversity of their gut microbes. The results of this study indicate that feeding on different parts of A. altissima affects the composition and function of the microbes of E. brandti and the microbial composition of E. scrobiculatus. Variation in the abundance of Wolbachia and Spiroplasma in E. brandti and E. scrobiculatus is associated with dietary niche changes, and this might explain the evolution of reproductive isolation between these two sibling weevil species.

RevDate: 2022-08-23

Sadanandane C, Gunasekaran K, Panneer D, et al (2022)

Studies on the fitness characteristics of wMel- and wAlbB-introgressed Aedes aegypti (Pud) lines in comparison with wMel- and wAlbB-transinfected Aedes aegypti (Aus) and wild-type Aedes aegypti (Pud) lines.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:947857.

Wolbachia, an intracellular maternally transmitted endosymbiont, has been shown to interfere with the replication of dengue virus in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The Wolbachia-transinfected Ae. aegypti has been currently released in many countries to test its effectiveness in preventing the transmission of dengue virus. ICMR-Vector Control Research Centre in collaboration with World Mosquito Program Monash University, Australia, has generated two new Wolbachia-introgressed Ae. aegypti Puducherry (Pud) lines via backcrossing Ae. aegypti females of Australian (Aus) strains, infected with wMel and wAlbB Wolbachia with wild-type Ae. aegypti Puducherry (Pud) males. Wolbachia infections are known to induce a fitness cost and confer benefit on the host mosquito populations that will influence spread of the Wolbachia into native wild mosquito populations during the field release. Hence, the induced fitness cost or benefit/advantage in the two newly generated Ae. aegypti (Pud) lines was assessed in the laboratory in comparison with the wild-type Ae. aegypti (Pud) strain. In addition, maternal transmission (MT) efficiency, induced cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), and insecticide resistance status of the two (Pud) lines were determined to assess the likely frequency of wMel and wAlbB infections in the native wild population after field invasion. The study shows that wMel and wAlbB infections did not induce any fitness cost on the two newly generated (Pud) lines. Rather, in terms of wing length, fecundity, egg hatch rate, and adult survival, the Wolbachia introgression conferred fitness benefits on the (Pud) lines compared to uninfected Wolbachia free wild Ae. aegypti population. wMel and wAlbB exhibited a high maternal transmission (99-100%) and induced nearly complete (98-100%) cytoplasmic incompatibility. Both the (Pud) lines were resistant to deltamethrin, malathion, DDT, and temephos, and the level of resistance was almost the same between the two lines as in the wild type. Overall, the stable association of wMel and wAlbB established with Ae. aegypti and the reproductive advantages of the (Pud) lines encourage a pilot release in the field for population replacement potential.

RevDate: 2022-08-17

Shastry V, Bell KL, Buerkle CA, et al (2022)

A continental-scale survey of Wolbachia infections in blue butterflies reveals evidence of interspecific transfer and invasion dynamics.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:6670626 [Epub ahead of print].

Infections by maternally inherited bacterial endosymbionts, especially Wolbachia, are common in insects and other invertebrates but infection dynamics across species ranges are largely under studied. Specifically, we lack a broad understanding of the origin of Wolbachia infections in novel hosts, and the historical and geographical dynamics of infections that are critical for identifying the factors governing their spread. We used Genotype-by-Sequencing (GBS) data from previous population genomics studies for range-wide surveys of Wolbachia presence and genetic diversity in North American butterflies of the genus Lycaeides. As few as one sequence read identified by assembly to a Wolbachia reference genome provided high accuracy in detecting infections in host butterflies as determined by confirmatory PCR tests, and maximum accuracy was achieved with a threshold of only five sequence reads per host individual. Using this threshold, we detected Wolbachia in all but two of the 107 sampling localities spanning the continent, with infection frequencies within populations ranging from 0-100% of individuals, but with most localities having high infection frequencies (mean = 91% infection rate). Three major lineages of Wolbachia were identified as separate strains that appear to represent three separate invasions of Lycaeides butterflies by Wolbachia. Overall, we found extensive evidence for acquisition of Wolbachia through interspecific transfer between host lineages. Strain wLycC was confined to a single butterfly taxon, hybrid lineages derived from it, and closely adjacent populations in other taxa. While the other two strains were detected throughout the rest of the continent, strain wLycB almost always co-occurred with wLycA. Our demographic modeling suggests wLycB is a recent invasion. Within strain wLycA, the two most frequent haplotypes are confined almost exclusively to separate butterfly taxa with haplotype A1 observed largely in L. melissa and haplotype A2 observed most often in L. idas localities, consistent with either cladogenic mode of infection acquisition from a common ancestor or by hybridization and accompanying mutation. More than one major Wolbachia strain was observed in 15 localities. These results demonstrate the utility of using resequencing data from hosts to quantify Wolbachia genetic variation and infection frequency and provide evidence of multiple colonizations of novel hosts through hybridization between butterfly lineages and complex dynamics between Wolbachia strains.

RevDate: 2022-08-16

Shropshire JD, Hamant E, Conner WR, et al (2022)

cifB-transcript levels largely explain cytoplasmic incompatibility variation across divergent Wolbachia.

PNAS nexus, 1(3):pgac099.

Divergent hosts often associate with intracellular microbes that influence their fitness. Maternally transmitted Wolbachia bacteria are the most common of these endosymbionts, due largely to cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) that kills uninfected embryos fertilized by Wolbachia-infected males. Closely related infections in females rescue CI, providing a relative fitness advantage that drives Wolbachia to high frequencies. One prophage-associated gene (cifA) governs rescue, and two contribute to CI (cifA and cifB), but CI strength ranges from very strong to very weak for unknown reasons. Here, we investigate CI-strength variation and its mechanistic underpinnings in a phylogenetic context across 20 million years (MY) of Wolbachia evolution in Drosophila hosts diverged up to 50 MY. These Wolbachia encode diverse Cif proteins (100% to 7.4% pairwise similarity), and AlphaFold structural analyses suggest that CifB sequence similarities do not predict structural similarities. We demonstrate that cifB-transcript levels in testes explain CI strength across all but two focal systems. Despite phylogenetic discordance among cifs and the bulk of the Wolbachia genome, closely related Wolbachia tend to cause similar CI strengths and transcribe cifB at similar levels. This indicates that other non-cif regions of the Wolbachia genome modulate cif-transcript levels. CI strength also increases with the length of the host's larval life stage, presumably due to prolonged cif action. Our findings reveal that cifB-transcript levels largely explain CI strength, while highlighting other covariates. Elucidating CI's mechanism contributes to our understanding of Wolbachia spread in natural systems and to improving the efficacy of CI-based biocontrol of arboviruses and agricultural pests globally.

RevDate: 2022-08-11

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases Editors (2022)

Retraction: Wolbachia Transcription Elongation Factor "Wol GreA" Interacts with α2ββ'σ Subunits of RNA Polymerase through Its Dimeric C-Terminal Domain.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 16(8):e0010694.

RevDate: 2022-08-08
CmpDate: 2022-08-08

Denton JA, Joubert DA, Goundar AA, et al (2022)

International shipments of Wolbachia-infected mosquito eggs: towards the scaling-up of World Mosquito Program operations.

Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics), 41(1):91-99.

The Wolbachia insect control method, employed by the World Mosquito Program (WMP), relies on introgressing Wolbachia through target Aedes aegypti populations to reduce the incidence of dengue. Since 2010, the WMP has been producing Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes at numerous sites across the globe for release in 11 countries. As the technology has matured, greater focus has been placed on mosquito production at larger central facilities for transport to remote release sites, both domestically and internationally. Of particular note is the production of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes at the WMP's Australian production facility for successful international deployments in Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Sri Lanka. This requires careful management of both production and supply-chain processes to ensure that the quality of the mosquito eggs, specifically the hatch rate and Wolbachia infection rate, is maintained. To ensure the cost-effectiveness and scalability of the Wolbachia method, these processes will be further refined to facilitate deployment from large centralised production facilities.

RevDate: 2022-08-05

Tibbs-Cortes LE, Tibbs-Cortes BW, S Schmitz-Esser (2022)

Tardigrade Community Microbiomes in North American Orchards Include Putative Endosymbionts and Plant Pathogens.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:866930.

The microbiome of tardigrades, a phylum of microscopic animals best known for their ability to survive extreme conditions, is poorly studied worldwide and completely unknown in North America. An improved understanding of tardigrade-associated bacteria is particularly important because tardigrades have been shown to act as vectors of the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris in the laboratory. However, the potential role of tardigrades as reservoirs and vectors of phytopathogens has not been investigated further. This study analyzed the microbiota of tardigrades from six apple orchards in central Iowa, United States, and is the first analysis of the microbiota of North American tardigrades. It is also the first ever study of the tardigrade microbiome in an agricultural setting. We utilized 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to characterize the tardigrade community microbiome across four contrasts: location, substrate type (moss or lichen), collection year, and tardigrades vs. their substrate. Alpha diversity of the tardigrade community microbiome differed significantly by location and year of collection but not by substrate type. Our work also corroborated earlier findings, demonstrating that tardigrades harbor a distinct microbiota from their environment. We also identified tardigrade-associated taxa that belong to genera known to contain phytopathogens (Pseudomonas, Ralstonia, and the Pantoea/Erwinia complex). Finally, we observed members of the genera Rickettsia and Wolbachia in the tardigrade microbiome; because these are obligate intracellular genera, we consider these taxa to be putative endosymbionts of tardigrades. These results suggest the presence of putative endosymbionts and phytopathogens in the microbiota of wild tardigrades in North America.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Dereeper A, Summo M, DF Meyer (2022)

PanExplorer: A web-based tool for exploratory analysis and visualization of bacterial pan-genomes.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) [Epub ahead of print].

MOTIVATION: As pan-genome approaches are largely employed for bacterial comparative genomics and evolution analyses, but still difficult to be carried out by non-bioinformatician biologists, there is a need for an innovative tool facilitating the exploration of bacterial pan-genomes.

RESULTS: PanExplorer is a web application providing various genomic analyses and reports, giving intuitive views that enable a better understanding of bacterial pan-genomes. As an example, we produced the pan-genome for 121 Anaplasmataceae strains (including 30 Ehrlichia, 15 Anaplasma, 68 Wolbachia).

PanExplorer is written in Perl CGI and relies on several JavaScript libraries for visualization (hotmap.js, MauveViewer, CircosJS). It is freely available at The source code has been released in a GitHub repository A documentation section is available on PanExplorer website.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

RevDate: 2022-09-10
CmpDate: 2022-09-08

Wang J, Gou QY, Luo GY, et al (2022)

Total RNA sequencing of Phlebotomus chinensis sandflies in China revealed viral, bacterial, and eukaryotic microbes potentially pathogenic to humans.

Emerging microbes & infections, 11(1):2080-2092.

Phlebotomus chinensis sandfly is a neglected insect vector in China that is well-known for carrying Leishmania. Recent studies have expanded its pathogen repertoire with two novel arthropod-borne phleboviruses capable of infecting humans and animals. Despite these discoveries, our knowledge of the general pathogen diversity and overall microbiome composition of this vector species is still very limited. Here we carried out a meta-transcriptomics analysis that revealed the actively replicating/transcribing RNA viruses, DNA viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotic microbes, namely, the "total microbiome", of several sandfly populations in China. Strikingly, "microbiome" made up 1.8% of total non-ribosomal RNA and comprised more than 87 species, among which 70 were novel, including divergent members of the genera Flavivirus and of the family Trypanosomatidae. Importantly, among these microbes we were able to reveal four distinguished types of human and/or mammalian pathogens, including two phleboviruses (hedi and wuxiang viruses), one novel Spotted fever group rickettsia, as well as a member of Leishmania donovani complex, among which hedi virus and Leishmania each had > 50% pool prevalence rate and relatively high abundance levels. Our study also showed the ubiquitous presence of an endosymbiont, namely Wolbachia, although no anti-viral or anti-pathogen effects were detected based on our data. In summary, our results uncovered the much un-explored diversity of microbes harboured by sandflies in China and demonstrated that high pathogen diversity and abundance are currently present in multiple populations, implying disease potential for exposed local human population or domestic animals.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-09-13

Rosário AAD, Dias-Lima AG, Lambert SM, et al (2022)

Identification and molecular characterization of Wolbachia strains and natural infection for Leishmania sp. in neotropical Phlebotominae (Diptera: Psychodidae) species, leishmaniasis vectors.

Acta tropica, 235:106624.

Recently, Wolbachia infection has been described in leishmaniasis vector sandflies. This endosymbiont bacterium is present in 60% of insects, and has been suggested as a mechanism of biological control of vector insects, because it causes a series of changes in the invertebrate host. In addition, recent studies have shown that this bacterium can prevent the development of parasites in vector insects. In this context, the present study aims to molecularly characterize the circulating strain of this bacterium in sandflies in the State of Bahia, Brazil, as well as the natural infection rate of Leishmania sp., and to evaluate the coinfection between Wolbachia and Leishmania. Seven hundred and forty-five (745) specimens of sandflies were collected in nine municipalities of Bahia, belonging to two species, Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva, 1912) and Nyssomyia whitmani (Antunes and Coutinho, 1939). The results confirm infection by the protozoan Leishmania infantum and Wolbachia in both species collected. The identified strain of Wolbachia in sandflies was wStv MI, known to lead to a phenotype of cytoplasmic incompatibility in vector insects.

RevDate: 2022-08-29
CmpDate: 2022-08-03

Su Y, Zheng B, X Zou (2022)

Wolbachia Dynamics in Mosquitoes with Incomplete CI and Imperfect Maternal Transmission by a DDE System.

Bulletin of mathematical biology, 84(9):95.

In this paper, we propose a delay differential equation model to describe the Wolbachia infection dynamics in mosquitoes in which the key factor of cytoplasmic incompactibility (CI) is incorporated in a more natural way than those in the literature. By analyzing the dynamics of the model, we are able to obtain some information on the impact of four important parameters: the competition capabilities of the wild mosquitoes and infected mosquitoes, the maternal transmission level and the CI level. The analytic results show that there are ranges of parameters that support competition exclusion principle, and there are also ranges of parameters that allow co-persistence for both wild and infected mosquitoes. These ranges account for the scenarios of failure of invasion, invasion and suppressing the wild mosquitoes, and invasion and replacing the wild mosquitoes. We also discuss some possible future problems both in mathematics and in modeling.

RevDate: 2022-08-03
CmpDate: 2022-07-29

Calle-Tobón A, Pérez-Pérez J, Forero-Pineda N, et al (2022)

Local-scale virome depiction in Medellín, Colombia, supports significant differences between Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.

PloS one, 17(7):e0263143.

Aedes spp. comprise the primary group of mosquitoes that transmit arboviruses such as dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses to humans, and thus these insects pose a significant burden on public health worldwide. Advancements in next-generation sequencing and metagenomics have expanded our knowledge on the richness of RNA viruses harbored by arthropods such as Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus. Increasing evidence suggests that vector competence can be modified by the microbiome (comprising both bacteriome and virome) of mosquitoes present in endemic zones. Using an RNA-seq-based metataxonomic approach, this study determined the virome structure, Wolbachia presence and mitochondrial diversity of field-caught Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes in Medellín, Colombia, a municipality with a high incidence of mosquito-transmitted arboviruses. The two species are sympatric, but their core viromes differed considerably in richness, diversity, and abundance; although the community of viral species identified was large and complex, the viromes were dominated by few virus species. BLAST searches of assembled contigs suggested that at least 17 virus species (16 of which are insect-specific viruses [ISVs]) infect the Ae. aegypti population. Dengue virus 3 was detected in one sample and it was the only pathogenic virus detected. In Ae. albopictus, up to 11 ISVs and one plant virus were detected. Therefore, the virome composition appears to be species-specific. The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia was identified in all Ae. albopictus samples and in some Ae. aegypti samples collected after 2017. The presence of Wolbachia sp. in Ae. aegypti was not related to significant changes in the richness, diversity, or abundance of this mosquito's virome, although it was related to an increase in the abundance of Aedes aegypti To virus 2 (Metaviridae). The mitochondrial diversity of these mosquitoes suggested that the Ae. aegypti population underwent a change that started in the second half of 2017, which coincides with the release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in Medellín, indicating that the population of wMel-infected mosquitoes released has introduced new alleles into the wild Ae. aegypti population of Medellín. However, additional studies are required on the dispersal speed and intergenerational stability of wMel in Medellín and nearby areas as well as on the introgression of genetic variants in the native mosquito population.

RevDate: 2022-07-27

Guo Y, Guo J, Li Y, et al (2022)

Wolbachia wPip Blocks Zika Virus Transovarial Transmission in Aedes albopictus.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is being developed as a biological tool to suppress mosquito populations and/or interfere with their transmitted viruses. Adult males with an artificial Wolbachia infection have been released, successfully yielding population suppression in multiple field trials. The main characteristic of the artificial Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes used in the suppression program is the lower vector competence than that in native infected/uninfected mosquitoes in horizontal and vertical transmission. Our previous studies have demonstrated that the Aedes albopictus HC line infected with a trio of Wolbachia strains exhibited almost complete blockade of dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) in horizontal and vertical transmission. However, the extent to which Wolbachia inhibits virus transovarial transmission is unknown since no studies have been performed to determine whether Wolbachia protects ovarian cells against viral infection. Here, we employed ovarian cells of the Ae. albopictus GUA (a wild-type mosquito line superinfected with two native Wolbachia strains, wAlbA and wAlbB), HC, and GT lines (tetracycline-cured, Wolbachia-uninfected mosquitoes), which exhibit key traits, and compared them to better understand how Wolbachia inhibits ZIKV transovarial transmission. Our results showed that the infection rate of adult GT progeny was significantly higher than that of GUA progeny during the first and second gonotrophic cycles. In contrast, the infection rates of adult GT and GUA progeny were not significantly different during the third gonotrophic cycle. All examined adult HC progeny from three gonotrophic cycles were negative for ZIKV infection. A strong negative linear correlation existed between Wolbachia density and ZIKV load in the ovaries of mosquitoes. Although there is no obvious coexistence area in the ovaries for Wolbachia and ZIKV, host immune responses may play a role in Wolbachia blocking ZIKV expansion and maintenance in the ovaries of Ae. albopictus. These results will aid in understanding Wolbachia-ZIKV interactions in mosquitoes. IMPORTANCE Area-wide application of Wolbachia to suppress mosquito populations and their transmitted viruses has achieved success in multiple countries. However, the mass release of Wolbachia-infected male mosquitoes involves a potential risk of accidentally releasing fertile females. In this study, we employed ovarian cells of the Ae. albopictus GUA, HC, and GT lines, which exhibit key traits, and compared them to better understand how Wolbachia inhibits ZIKV transovarial transmission. Our results showed an almost complete blockade of ZIKV transmission in HC female mosquitoes. Wolbachia in natively infected GUA mosquitoes negative affected ZIKV, and this interference was shown by slightly lower loads than those in HC mosquitoes. Overall, our work helps show how Wolbachia blocks ZIKV expansion and maintenance in the ovaries of Ae. albopictus and aids in understanding Wolbachia-ZIKV interactions in mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2022-08-05

Schuler H, Dittmer J, Borruso L, et al (2022)

Investigating the microbial community of Cacopsylla spp. as potential factor in vector competence of phytoplasma.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Phytoplasmas are obligatory intracellular bacteria that colonize the phloem of many plant species and cause hundreds of plant diseases worldwide. In nature, phytoplasmas are primarily transmitted by hemipteran vectors. While all phloem-feeding insects could in principle transmit phytoplasmas, only a limited number of species have been confirmed as vectors. Knowledge about factors that might determine the vector capacity is currently scarce. Here, we characterized the microbiomes of vector and non-vector species of apple proliferation (AP) phytoplasma 'Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' to investigate their potential role in the vector capacity of the host. We performed high-throughput 16S rRNA metabarcoding of the two principal AP-vectors Cacopsylla picta and Cacopsylla melanoneura and eight Cacopsylla species, which are not AP-vectors but co-occur in apple orchards. The microbiomes of all species are dominated by Carsonella, the primary endosymbiont of psyllids and a second uncharacterized Enterobacteriaceae endosymbiont. Each Cacopsylla species harboured a species-specific phylotype of both symbionts. Moreover, we investigated differences between the microbiomes of AP-vector versus non-vector species and identified the predominant endosymbionts but also Wolbachia and several minor taxa as potential indicator species. Our study highlights the importance of considering the microbiome in future investigations of potential factors influencing host vector competence. We investigated the potential role of symbiotic bacteria in the acquisition and transmission of phytoplasma. By comparing the two main psyillid vector species of Apple proliferation (AP) phytoplasma and eight co-occurring species, which are not able to vector AP-phytoplasma, we found differences in the microbial communities of AP-vector and non-vector species, which appear to be driven by the predominant symbionts in both vector species and Wolbachia and several minor taxa in the non-vector species. In contrast, infection with AP-phytoplasma did not affect microbiome composition in both vector species. Our study provides new insights into the endosymbiont diversity of Cacopsylla spp. and highlights the importance of considering the microbiome when investigating potential factors influencing host vector competence.

RevDate: 2022-08-22
CmpDate: 2022-08-16

Sawadogo SP, Kabore DA, Tibiri EB, et al (2022)

Lack of robust evidence for a Wolbachia infection in Anopheles gambiae from Burkina Faso.

Medical and veterinary entomology, 36(3):301-308.

The endosymbiont Wolbachia can have major effects on the reproductive fitness, and vectorial capacity of host insects and may provide new avenues to control mosquito-borne pathogens. Anopheles gambiae s.l is the major vector of malaria in Africa but the use of Wolbachia in this species has been limited by challenges in establishing stable transinfected lines and uncertainty around native infections. High frequencies of infection of Wolbachia have been previously reported in An. gambiae collected from the Valle du Kou region of Burkina Faso in 2011 and 2014. Here, we re-evaluated the occurrence of Wolbachia in natural samples, collected from Valle du Kou over a 12-year time span, and in addition, expanded sampling to other sites in Burkina Faso. Our results showed that, in contrast to earlier reports, Wolbachia is present at an extremely low prevalence in natural population of An. gambiae. From 5341 samples analysed, only 29 were positive for Wolbachia by nested PCR representing 0.54% of prevalence. No positive samples were found with regular PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene amplicons clustered across supergroup B, with some having similarity to sequences previously found in Anopheles from Burkina Faso. However, we cannot discount the possibility that the amplicon positive samples we detected were due to environmental contamination or were false positives. Regardless, the lack of a prominent native infection in An. gambiae s.l. is encouraging for applications utilizing Wolbachia transinfected mosquitoes for malaria control.

RevDate: 2022-07-26

Chun SJ, Cui Y, Yoo SH, et al (2022)

Organic Connection of Holobiont Components and the Essential Roles of Core Microbes in the Holobiont Formation of Feral Brassica napus.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:920759.

Brassica napus (Rapeseed) is an econfomically important oil-producing crop. The microbial interactions in the plant holobiont are fundamental to the understanding of plant growth and health. To investigate the microbial dynamics in the holobiont of feral B. napus, a total of 215 holobiont samples, comprised of bulk soil, primary root, lateral root, dead leaf, caulosphere, basal leaf, apical leaf, carposphere, and anthosphere, were collected from five different grassland sites in South Korea. The soil properties differed in different sampling sites, but prokaryotic communities were segregated according to plant holobiont components. The structures of the site-specific SparCC networks were similar across the regions. Recurrent patterns were found in the plant holobionts in the recurrent network. Ralstonia sp., Massilia sp., and Rhizobium clusters were observed consistently and were identified as core taxa in the phyllosphere, dead leaf microbiome, and rhizosphere, respectively. Arthropod-related microbes, such as Wolbachia sp., Gilliamella sp., and Corynebacteriales amplicon sequence variants, were found in the anthosphere. PICRUSt2 analysis revealed that microbes also possessed specific functions related to holobiont components, such as functions related to degradation pathways in the dead leaf microbiome. Structural equation modeling analysis showed the organic connections among holobiont components and the essential roles of the core microbes in the holobiont formations in natural ecosystem. Microbes coexisting in a specific plant showed relatively stable community structures, even though the regions and soil characteristics were different. Microbes in each plant component were organically connected to form their own plant holobiont. In addition, plant-related microbes, especially core microbes in each holobiont, showed recurrent interaction patterns that are essential to an understanding of the survival and coexistence of plant microbes in natural ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-08-09
CmpDate: 2022-07-26

Ramos LFC, Martins M, Murillo JR, et al (2022)

Interspecies Isobaric Labeling-Based Quantitative Proteomics Reveals Protein Changes in the Ovary of Aedes aegypti Coinfected With ZIKV and Wolbachia.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:900608.

Zika is a vector-borne disease caused by an arbovirus (ZIKV) and overwhelmingly transmitted by Ae. aegypti. This disease is linked to adverse fetal outcomes, mostly microcephaly in newborns, and other clinical aspects such as acute febrile illness and neurologic complications, for example, Guillain-Barré syndrome. One of the most promising strategies to mitigate arbovirus transmission involves releasing Ae. aegypti mosquitoes carrying the maternally inherited endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia pipientis. The presence of Wolbachia is associated with a reduced susceptibility to arboviruses and a fitness cost in mosquito life-history traits such as fecundity and fertility. However, the mechanisms by which Wolbachia influences metabolic pathways leading to differences in egg production remains poorly known. To investigate the impact of coinfections on the reproductive tract of the mosquito, we applied an isobaric labeling-based quantitative proteomic strategy to investigate the influence of Wolbachia wMel and ZIKV infection in Ae. aegypti ovaries. To the best of our knowledge, this is the most complete proteome of Ae. aegypti ovaries reported so far, with a total of 3913 proteins identified, were also able to quantify 1044 Wolbachia proteins in complex sample tissue of Ae. aegypti ovary. Furthermore, from a total of 480 mosquito proteins modulated in our study, we discuss proteins and pathways altered in Ae. aegypti during ZIKV infections, Wolbachia infections, coinfection Wolbachia/ZIKV, and compared with no infection, focusing on immune and reproductive aspects of Ae. aegypti. The modified aspects mainly were related to the immune priming enhancement by Wolbachia presence and the modulation of the Juvenile Hormone pathway caused by both microorganism's infection.

RevDate: 2022-07-22

Mejia AJ, Jimenez L, Dutra HLC, et al (2022)

Attempts to use breeding approaches in Aedes aegypti to create lines with distinct and stable relative Wolbachia densities.

Heredity [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is an insect endosymbiont being used for biological control in the mosquito Aedes aegypti because it causes cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) and limits viral replication of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. While the genetic mechanism of pathogen blocking (PB) is not fully understood, the strength of both CI and PB are positively correlated with Wolbachia densities in the host. Wolbachia densities are determined by a combination of Wolbachia strain and insect genotype, as well as interactions with the environment. We employed both artificial selection and inbreeding with the goal of creating lines of Ae. aegypti with heritable and distinct Wolbachia densities so that we might better dissect the mechanism underlying PB. We were unable to shift the mean relative Wolbachia density in Ae. aegypti lines by either strategy, with relative densities instead tending to cycle over a narrow range. In lieu of this, we used Wolbachia densities in mosquito legs as predictors of relative densities in the remaining individual's carcass. Because we worked with outbred mosquitoes, our findings indicate either a lack of genetic variation in the mosquito for controlling relative density, natural selection against extreme densities, or a predominance of environmental factors affecting densities. Our study reveals that there are moderating forces acting on relative Wolbachia densities that may help to stabilize density phenotypes post field release. We also show a means to accurately bin vector carcasses into high and low categories for non-DNA omics-based studies of Wolbachia-mediated traits.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Sugimoto TN, Watanabe K, Akiduki G, et al (2022)

A new continuous cell line from the pest insect, Anomala cuprea (Coleoptera; Scarabaeidae): emergence of contractile cells.

In vitro cellular & developmental biology. Animal, 58(7):610-618.

Insect contractile cells frequently appear at an early phase of cell culture, but in most cases, they disappear before a continuous cell line is established, so the cell line ceases to contract. Continuous contractile insect cell lines are currently available from only one species each of Hymenoptera and Diptera. Here, we obtained a new cell line that contracted long after being established as a continuous cell line. The cell line contracted for a short period at an early phase of insect cell culture before a continuous cell line was established, but then did not contract again for several years. After this cell line entered the continuous growth phase, it produced spontaneously contractile tissues for about 4 mo but stopped contracting again. This is the first instance of a cell line that contracted after its establishment as a non-contractile continuous cell line. It is unclear whether the contractile cells survive or die after contraction ceases at an early phase of cell culture, and our results indicate that potential contractile cells survive for years after they stop to contract. The cells of this line sometimes produced complex contractile structures, such as sheet-like tissues. Only a few continuous cell lines have been derived from scarabaeid beetles. The new continuous cell line was derived from the culture of the fat bodies of the scarab beetle Anomala cuprea, which is a pest in the agriculture and forestry of Japan. The population doubling time of the new cell line was 2.5 d and thus it grows very rapidly among coleopteran continuous cell lines. Our new cell line will facilitate research on the physiology and pathology of Coleoptera, including scarab beetles, and may also contribute to research on invertebrate muscles.

RevDate: 2022-09-02
CmpDate: 2022-09-02

Voronin D, BL Makepeace (2022)

Symbionts on the Brain: How Wolbachia Is Strictly Corralled in Some Neotropical Drosophila spp.

mBio, 13(4):e0118222.

Wolbachia is a heritable alphaproteobacterial symbiont of arthropods and nematodes, famous for its repertoire of host manipulations, including cytoplasmic incompatibility. To be vertically transmitted, Wolbachia must efficiently colonize the female germ line, although somatic tissues outside the gonads are also infected. In Drosophila spp., Wolbachia is usually distributed systemically in multiple regions of the adult fly, but in some neotropical hosts, Wolbachia's only somatic niches are cerebral bacteriocyte-like structures and the ovarian follicle cells. In their recent article, Strunov and colleagues (A. Strunov, K. Schmidt, M. Kapun, and W. J. Miller. mBio 13:e03863-21, 2022, compared the development of Drosophila spp. with systemic or restricted infections and demonstrated that the restricted pattern is determined in early embryogenesis by an apparently novel autophagic process, involving intimate interactions of Wolbachia with the endoplasmic reticulum. This work has implications not only for the evolution of neotropical Drosophila spp. but also for our understanding of how Wolbachia infections are controlled in other native or artificial hosts.

RevDate: 2022-07-21

Wang W, Cui W, H Yang (2022)

Toward an accurate mechanistic understanding of Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia are the most successful intracellular bacteria in arthropods. They can manipulate host reproduction to favour infected females, which transmit Wolbachia to their progeny and increase the presence of Wolbachia in the population. The reproductive alterations caused by Wolbachia include feminization, parthenogenesis, male killing and cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), among which CI is the most common. CI leads to embryonic lethality when Wolbachia-infected males mate with uninfected females or those infected with an incompatible strain. This lethality can be rescued if females are infected with a compatible strain. Although CI was described in the 1960s and its connection to Wolbachia was made in the 1970s, the genes responsible for CI, called CI factors, were not identified until recently. Since then, significant progress has been made in understanding the molecular mechanism of CI using a combination of genetic, phylogenetic, biochemical and structural approaches. The detailed molecular mechanisms behind this fascinating endosymbiotic bacteria-induced phenotype have begun to emerge. Here, we summarize recent progress in understanding the molecular mechanism of CI, especially focusing on the recently solved CI factor structures and discussing what these new structures brought in terms of CI mechanism.

RevDate: 2022-08-18
CmpDate: 2022-08-17

Rau J, Werner D, Beer M, et al (2022)

The microbial RNA metagenome of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) from Germany.

Parasitology research, 121(9):2587-2599.

Aedes albopictus is a highly invasive mosquito species that has become widespread across the globe. In addition, it is an efficient vector of numerous pathogens of medical and veterinary importance, including dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses. Among others, the vector potential of mosquitoes is influenced by their microbiome. However, this influence is very dynamic and can vary between individuals and life stages. To obtain a rough overview on the microbiome of Ae. albopictus populations in Germany, pooled female and pooled male individuals from seven German locations were investigated by total RNA sequencing. The mosquito specimens had been collected as larvae in the field and processed immediately after adult emergence, i.e. without females having fed on blood. RNA fragments with high degrees of identity to a large number of viruses and microorganisms were identified, including, for example, Wolbachia pipientis and Acinetobacter baumannii, with differences between male and female mosquitoes. Knowledge about the natural occurrence of microorganisms in mosquitoes may be translated into new approaches to vector control, for example W. pipientis can be exploited to manipulate mosquito reproduction and vector competence. The study results show how diverse the microbiome of Ae. albopictus can be, and the more so needs to be adequately analysed and interpreted.

RevDate: 2022-08-16
CmpDate: 2022-08-02

Karimian F, Koosha M, Choubdar N, et al (2022)

Comparative analysis of the gut microbiota of sand fly vectors of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL) in Iran; host-environment interplay shapes diversity.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 16(7):e0010609.

The development of Leishmania parasites within sand fly vectors occurs entirely in the insect gut lumen, in the presence of symbiotic and commensal bacteria. The impacts of host species and environment on the gut microbiome are currently poorly understood. We employed MiSeq sequencing of the V3-16S rRNA gene amplicons to characterize and compare the gut microbiota of field-collected populations of Phlebotomus kandelakii, P. perfiliewi, P. alexandri, and P. major, the primary or secondary vectors of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL) in three distinct regions of Iran where ZVL is endemic. In total, 160,550 quality-filtered reads of the V3 region yielded a total of 72 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), belonging to 23 phyla, 47 classes, 91 orders, 131 families, and 335 genera. More than 50% of the bacteria identified were Proteobacteria, followed by Firmicutes (22%), Deinococcus-Thermus (9%), Actinobacteria (6%), and Bacteroidetes (5%). The core microbiome was dominated by eight genera: Acinetobacter, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Propionibacterium, Kocuria, and Corynebacterium. Wolbachia were found in P. alexandri and P. perfiliewi, while Asaia sp. was reported in P. perfiliewi. Substantial variations in the gut bacterial composition were found between geographically distinct populations of the same sand fly species, as well as between different species at the same location, suggesting that sand fly gut microbiota is shaped by both the host species and geographical location. Phlebotomus kandelakii and P. perfiliewi in the northwest, and P. alexandri in the south, the major ZVL vectors, harbor the highest bacterial diversity, suggesting a possible relationship between microbiome diversity and the capacity for parasite transmission. In addition, large numbers of gram-positive human or animal pathogens were found, suggesting that sand fly vectors of ZVL could pose a potential additional threat to livestock and humans in the region studied. The presence of Bacillus subtilis, Enterobacter cloacae, and Asaia sp suggests that these bacteria could be promising candidates for a paratransgenesis approach to the fight against Leishmaniasis.

RevDate: 2022-09-16
CmpDate: 2022-09-16

Chaves EB, Nascimento-Pereira AC, Pinto JLM, et al (2022)

Detection of Wolbachia in Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the State of Maranhão, Brazil.

Journal of medical entomology, 59(5):1831-1836.

Recently, the endobacteria Wolbachia has emerged as a biological tool for the control of arboviruses. Thus, we investigated the rate of natural infection by Wolbachia in Culicidae species from Maranhão, Brazil. For this, we amplified the Wolbachia surface protein gene (wsp) from mosquitoes collected in six localities of Maranhão, and positive samples were subjected to new analysis using group-specific primers. In total, 448 specimens comprising 6 genera and 18 species of mosquitoes were analyzed. Wolbachia DNA was PCR-detected in 7 species, three of which are new records: Aedes scapularis (Rondani, 1848), Coquillettidia juxtamansonia (Chagas, 1907) and Cq. venezuelensis (Theobald, 1912), in addition to Ae. albopictus (Skuse, 1894) and Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823, which are commonly described as permissive to maintain this bacterium in natural environments, and two species of the subgenera Anopheles (Nyssorhynchus) Blanchard, 1902 and Culex (Melanoconion) Theobald, 1903 which could not be identified at species level. The infection rate of all species ranged from 0 to 80%, and the average value was 16.5%. This study increases the knowledge about the prevalence of Wolbachia in the culicid fauna and may help in selecting strains for biological control purposes.

RevDate: 2022-07-15

Hubert J, Nesvorna M, Bostlova M, et al (2022)

The Effect of Residual Pesticide Application on Microbiomes of the Storage Mite Tyrophagus putrescentiae.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Arthropods can host well-developed microbial communities, and such microbes can degrade pesticides and confer tolerance to most types of pests. Two cultures of the stored-product mite Tyrophagus putrescentiae, one with a symbiotic microbiome containing Wolbachia and the other without Wolbachia, were compared on pesticide residue (organophosphate: pirimiphos-methyl and pyrethroid: deltamethrin, deltamethrin + piperonyl butoxide)-containing diets. The microbiomes from mite bodies, mite feces and debris from the spent mite diet were analyzed using barcode sequencing. Pesticide tolerance was different among mite cultures and organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides. The pesticide residues influenced the microbiome composition in both cultures but without any remarkable trend for mite cultures with and without Wolbachia. The most influenced bacterial taxa were Bartonella-like and Bacillus for both cultures and Wolbachia for the culture containing this symbiont. However, there was no direct evidence of any effect of Wolbachia on pesticide tolerance. The high pesticide concentration residues in diets reduced Wolbachia, Bartonella-like and Bacillus in mites of the symbiotic culture. This effect was low for Bartonella-like and Bacillus in the asymbiotic microbiome culture. The results showed that the microbiomes of mites are affected by pesticide residues in the diets, but the effect is not systemic. No actual detoxification effect by the microbiome was observed for the tested pesticides.

RevDate: 2022-07-27
CmpDate: 2022-07-15

Wang D, Zhang Y, Xu M, et al (2022)

Dietary Bacillus licheniformis improves the effect of Astragalus membranaceus extract on blood glucose by regulating antioxidation activity and intestinal microbiota in InR[E19]/TM2 Drosophila melanogaster.

PloS one, 17(7):e0271177.

BACKGROUND: The diabetes mellitus prevalence is rapidly increasing in most parts of the world and has become a vital health problem. Probiotic and herbal foods are valuable in the treatment of diabetes.

METHODS AND PERFORMANCE: In this study, Bacillus licheniformis (BL) and Astragalus membranaceus extract (AE) were given with food to InR[E19]/TM2 Drosophila melanogaster, and the blood glucose, antioxidation activity and intestinal microbiota were investigated. The obtained results showed that BA (BL and AE combination) supplementation markedly decreased the blood glucose concentration compared with the standard diet control group, accompanied by significantly increased enzymatic activities of catalase (CAT), decreased MDA levels and prolonged lifespan of InR[E19]/TM2 D. melanogaster. The treatments with BL, AE and BA also ameliorated intestinal microbiota equilibrium by increasing the population of Lactobacillus and significantly decreasing the abundance of Wolbachia. In addition, clearly different evolutionary clusters were found among the control, BL, AE and BA-supplemented diets, and the beneficial microbiota, Lactobacillaceae and Acetobacter, were found to be significantly increased in male flies that were fed BA. These results indicated that dietary supplementation with AE combined with BL not only decreased blood glucose but also extended the lifespan, with CAT increasing, MDA decreasing, and intestinal microbiota improving in InR[E19]/TM2 D. melanogaster.

CONCLUSION: The obtained results showed that dietary supplementation with BL and AE, under the synergistic effect of BL and AE, not only prolonged the lifespan of InR[E19]/TM2 D. melanogaster, increased body weight, and improved the body's antiaging enzyme activity but also effectively improved the types and quantities of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal flora of InR[E19]/TM2 D. melanogaster to improve the characteristics of diabetes symptoms. This study provides scientific evidence for a safe and effective dietary therapeutic method for diabetes mellitus.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Barman M, Samanta S, Upadhyaya G, et al (2022)

Unraveling the Basis of Neonicotinoid Resistance in Whitefly Species Complex: Role of Endosymbiotic Bacteria and Insecticide Resistance Genes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:901793.

Bemisia tabaci (whitefly) is one of the most detrimental agricultural insect pests and vectors of many plant viruses distributed worldwide. Knowledge of the distribution patterns and insecticide resistance of this cryptic species is crucial for its management. In this study, genetic variation of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (MtCoI) gene of B. tabaci was analyzed followed by a study of the infection profile of various endosymbionts in 26 whitefly populations collected from West Bengal, India. Phylogenetic analysis revealed Asia I as the major cryptic species (65.38%), followed by Asia II 5, China 3, and Asia II 7, which were diversified into 20 different haplotypes. In addition to the primary endosymbiont (C. poriera), each of the four whitefly species showed a variable population of three secondary endosymbionts, majorly Arsenophonus with the highest infection rate (73.07%), followed by Wolbachia and Rickettsia. Further phylogenetic analyses revealed the presence of two subgroups of Arsenophonus, viz., A1 and A2, and one each in Wolbachia (W1) and Rickettsia (R3). Resistance to thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, and acetamiprid insecticides was analyzed for a clear picture of pesticide resistance status. The highest susceptibility was noted toward thiamethoxam (LC50 = 5.36 mg/L), followed by imidacloprid and acetamiprid. The whitefly population from Purulia and Hooghly districts bearing Asia II 7 and Asia II 5 cryptic species, respectively, shows maximum resistance. The differences in mean relative titer of four symbiotic bacteria among field populations varied considerably; however, a significant positive linear correlation was observed between the resistance level and relative titer of Arsenophonus and Wolbachia in the case of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, while only Wolbachia was found in case of acetamiprid. Expression analysis demonstrated differential upregulation of insecticide resistance genes with Purulia and Hooghly populations showing maximally upregulated P450 genes. Moreover, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid resistance ratio (RR) showed a significant correlation with CYP6CM1, CYP6DZ7, and CYP4C64 genes, while acetamiprid RR correlated with CYP6CX1, CYP6DW2, CYP6DZ7, and CYP4C64 genes. Taken together, these findings suggested that P450 mono-oxygenase and symbiotic bacteria together affected whitefly resistance to neonicotinoids. Hence, a symbiont-oriented management programme could be a better alternative to control or delay resistance development in whitefly and can be used for pesticide clean-up in an agricultural field.

RevDate: 2022-07-08

Rocha FP, Ronque MUV, Lyra ML, et al (2022)

Habitat and Host Species Drive the Structure of Bacterial Communities of Two Neotropical Trap-Jaw Odontomachus Ants : Habitat and Host Species Drive the Structure of Bacterial Communities of Two Neotropical Trap-Jaw Odontomachus Ants.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Ants have long been known for their associations with other taxa, including macroscopic fungi and symbiotic bacteria. Recently, many ant species have had the composition and function of their bacterial communities investigated. Due to its behavioral and ecological diversity, the subfamily Ponerinae deserves more attention regarding its associated microbiota. Here, we used the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene to characterize the bacterial communities of Odontomachus chelifer (ground-nesting) and Odontomachus hastatus (arboreal), two ponerine trap-jaw species commonly found in the Brazilian savanna ("Cerrado") and Atlantic rainforest. We investigated habitat effects (O. chelifer in the Cerrado and the Atlantic rainforest) and species-specific effects (both species in the Atlantic rainforest) on the bacterial communities' structure (composition and abundance) in two different body parts: cuticle and gaster. Bacterial communities differed in all populations studied. Cuticular communities were more diverse, while gaster communities presented variants common to other ants, including Wolbachia and Candidatus Tokpelaia hoelldoblerii. Odontomachus chelifer populations presented different communities in both body parts, highlighting the influence of habitat type. In the Atlantic rainforest, the outcome depended on the body part targeted. Cuticular communities were similar between species, reinforcing the habitat effect on bacterial communities, which are mainly composed of environmentally acquired taxa. Gaster communities, however, differed between the two Odontomachus species, suggesting species-specific effects and selective filters. Unclassified Firmicutes and uncultured Rhizobiales variants are the main components accounting for the observed differences. Our study indicates that both host species and habitat act synergistically, but to different degrees, to shape the bacterial communities in these Odontomachus species.

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-07-11

Gharabigloozare Y, C Bleidorn (2022)

Effect of high temperature on Wolbachia density and impact on cytoplasmic incompatibility in confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae).

BMC research notes, 15(1):240.

OBJECTIVES: Environmental constraints, especially temperature, have been identified as a key in understanding host-symbiont relationships, as they can directly impact the fitness of the symbiont population and the host development. Here we investigated the effect of temperature during the host development on the density of intracellular bacteria of the Wolbachia, wTcon strain within the confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum. The wTcon can induce a complete cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) in T. confusum beetles; therefore, we observed the effect of heat stress on the symbiont-mediated CI.

RESULTS: The density of CI inducing Wolbachia in the Tribolium confusum is temperature-specific. Our observation of the beetles reared in five different temperatures (30-34 °C) measured the highest Wolbachia density at 30-31 °C and lowest at 34 °C within a single insect generation. In this species, changes in the density of Wolbachia related to higher temperature did not influence CI. However, the fertility of beetles reared in higher temperatures showed a substantial decrease in the number of laid and hatched eggs. Thus, we can confirm the effect of high temperature on lowering the wTcon density and no impact on induction of cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) in T. confusum beetles.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Wybouw N, Mortier F, D Bonte (2022)

Interacting host modifier systems control Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility in a haplodiploid mite.

Evolution letters, 6(3):255-265.

Reproductive parasites such as Wolbachia spread within host populations by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). CI occurs when parasite-modified sperm fertilizes uninfected eggs and is typified by great variation in strength across biological systems. In haplodiploid hosts, CI has different phenotypic outcomes depending on whether the fertilized eggs die or develop into males. Genetic conflict theories predict the evolution of host modulation of CI, which in turn influences the stability of reproductive parasitism. However, despite the ubiquity of CI-inducing parasites in nature, there is scarce evidence for intraspecific host modulation of CI strength and phenotype. Here, we tested for intraspecific host modulation of Wolbachia-induced CI in haplodiploid Tetranychus urticae mites. Using a single CI-inducing Wolbachia variant and mitochondrion, a nuclear panel was created that consisted of infected and cured near-isogenic lines. We performed a highly replicated age-synchronized full diallel cross composed of incompatible and compatible control crosses. We uncovered host modifier systems that cause striking variation in CI strength when carried by infected T. urticae males. We observed a continuum of CI phenotypes in our crosses and identified strong intraspecific female modulation of the CI phenotype. Crosses established a recessive genetic basis for the maternal effect and were consistent with polygenic Mendelian inheritance. Both male and female modulation interacted with the genotype of the mating partner. Our findings identify spermatogenesis as an important target of selection for host modulation of CI strength and underscore the importance of maternal genetic effects for the CI phenotype. Our findings reveal that intraspecific host modulation of CI is underpinned by complex genetic architectures and confirm that the evolution of reproductive parasitism is contingent on host genetics.

RevDate: 2022-07-01
CmpDate: 2022-07-01

Hong YH, Mai ZH, Li CJ, et al (2022)

Microbial Diversity Analyses of Fertilized Thitarodes Eggs and Soil Provide New Clues About the Occurrence of Chinese Cordyceps.

Current microbiology, 79(8):229.

Chinese cordyceps is a well-known fungus-larva complex with medicinal and economic importance. At present the occurrence of Chinese cordyceps has not been fully illuminated. In this study, the microbial diversities of fertilized Thitarodes eggs from sites A (high occurrence rates of Chinese cordyceps), B (low occurrence rates), and C (no Chinese cordyceps) were analyzed using 16S rRNA and ITS gene-sequencing technique. The previous sequencing data of soil from the same sites were conjointly analyzed. The results showed that bacterial communities among the eggs were significantly different. The bacterial diversity and evenness were much higher on site A. Wolbachia was overwhelmingly predominant in the eggs of sites B and C, while Spiroplasma showed preference on site A. The fungal between-group differences in the eggs were not as significant as that of bacteria. Purpureocillium in Cordyceps-related families showed preference on site A. Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, and Purpureocillium were inferred to be closely related to Chinese cordyceps occurrence. Intra-kingdom and inter-kingdom network analyses suggest that closer correlations of microbial communities (especially closer fungal positive correlations) in fertilized eggs might promote Chinese cordyceps occurrence. Besides, metabolic pathway analysis showed that in fertilized eggs or soil the number of bacterial metabolic pathways with significant differences in every comparison between two sites was greater than that of fungi. Collectively, this study provides novel information about the occurrence of Chinese cordyceps, contributing to the large-scale artificial cultivation of Chinese cordyceps.

RevDate: 2022-07-18
CmpDate: 2022-06-30

Weiland SO, Detcharoen M, Schlick-Steiner BC, et al (2022)

Analyses of locomotion, wing morphology, and microbiome in Drosophila nigrosparsa after recovery from antibiotics.

MicrobiologyOpen, 11(3):e1291.

Antibiotics, such as tetracycline, have been frequently used to cure arthropods of Wolbachia endosymbionts. After the symbionts have been removed, the hosts must recover for some generations from the side effects of the antibiotics. However, most studies do not assess the direct and indirect longer-term effects of antibiotics used to remove Wolbachia, which may question the exact contribution of this endosymbiont to the effects observed. Here, we used the fly Drosophila nigrosparsa treated or not with tetracycline for three generations followed by two generations of recovery to investigate the effects of this antibiotic on the fly locomotion, wing morphology, and the gut microbiome. We found that antibiotic treatment did not affect fly locomotion two generations after being treated with the antibiotic. In addition, gut-microbiome restoration was tested as a more efficient solution to reduce the potential side effects of tetracycline on the microbiome. There was no significant difference in alpha diversity between gut restoration and other treatments, but the abundance of some bacterial taxa differed significantly between the gut-restoration treatment and the control. We conclude that in D. nigrosparsa the recovery period of two generations after being treated with the antibiotic is sufficient for locomotion, and suggest a general assessment of direct and indirect effects of antibiotics after a particular recovery time.

RevDate: 2022-07-22
CmpDate: 2022-06-27

Soh S, Ho SH, Ong J, et al (2022)

Strategies to Mitigate Establishment under the Wolbachia Incompatible Insect Technique.

Viruses, 14(6):.

The Incompatible Insect Technique (IIT) strategy involves the release of male mosquitoes infected with the bacterium Wolbachia. Regular releases of male Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes can lead to the suppression of mosquito populations, thereby reducing the risk of transmission of vector-borne diseases such as dengue. However, due to imperfect sex-sorting under IIT, fertile Wolbachia-infected female mosquitoes may potentially be unintentionally released into the environment, which may result in replacement and failure to suppress the mosquito populations. As such, mitigating Wolbachia establishment requires a combination of IIT with other strategies. We introduced a simple compartmental model to simulate ex-ante mosquito population dynamics subjected to a Wolbachia-IIT programme. In silico, we explored the risk of replacement, and strategies that could mitigate the establishment of the released Wolbachia strain in the mosquito population. Our results suggest that mitigation may be achieved through the application of a sterile insect technique. Our simulations indicate that these interventions do not override the intended wild type suppression of the IIT approach. These findings will inform policy makers of possible ways to mitigate the potential establishment of Wolbachia using the IIT population control strategy.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Beld L, Jung H, Bulman CA, et al (2022)

Aspartyl Protease Inhibitors as Anti-Filarial Drugs.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 11(6):.

The current treatments for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis do not effectively kill the adult parasitic nematodes, allowing these chronic and debilitating diseases to persist in millions of people. Thus, the discovery of new drugs with macrofilaricidal potential to treat these filarial diseases is critical. To facilitate this need, we first investigated the effects of three aspartyl protease inhibitors (APIs) that are FDA-approved as HIV antiretroviral drugs on the adult filarial nematode, Brugia malayi and the endosymbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia. From the three hits, nelfinavir had the best potency with an IC50 value of 7.78 µM, followed by ritonavir and lopinavir with IC50 values of 14.3 µM and 16.9 µM, respectively. The three APIs have a direct effect on killing adult B. malayi after 6 days of exposure in vitro and did not affect the Wolbachia titers. Sequence conservation and stage-specific gene expression analysis identified Bm8660 as the most likely primary aspartic protease target for these drug(s). Immunolocalization using antibodies raised against the Bm8660 ortholog of Onchocerca volvulus showed it is strongly expressed in female B. malayi, especially in metabolically active tissues such as lateral and dorsal/ventral chords, hypodermis, and uterus tissue. Global transcriptional response analysis using adult female B. pahangi treated with APIs identified four additional aspartic proteases differentially regulated by the three effective drugs, as well as significant enrichment of various pathways including ubiquitin mediated proteolysis, protein kinases, and MAPK/AMPK/FoxO signaling. In vitro testing against the adult gastro-intestinal nematode Trichuris muris suggested broad-spectrum potential for these APIs. This study suggests that APIs may serve as new leads to be further explored for drug discovery to treat parasitic nematode infections.

RevDate: 2022-07-26
CmpDate: 2022-06-27

Morrison AC, Reiner RC, Elson WH, et al (2022)

Efficacy of a spatial repellent for control of Aedes-borne virus transmission: A cluster-randomized trial in Iquitos, Peru.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(26):e2118283119.

Over half the world's population is at risk for viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, such as dengue and Zika. The primary vector, Aedes aegypti, thrives in urban environments. Despite decades of effort, cases and geographic range of Aedes-borne viruses (ABVs) continue to expand. Rigorously proven vector control interventions that measure protective efficacy against ABV diseases are limited to Wolbachia in a single trial in Indonesia and do not include any chemical intervention. Spatial repellents, a new option for efficient deployment, are designed to decrease human exposure to ABVs by releasing active ingredients into the air that disrupt mosquito-human contact. A parallel, cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted in Iquitos, Peru, to quantify the impact of a transfluthrin-based spatial repellent on human ABV infection. From 2,907 households across 26 clusters (13 per arm), 1,578 participants were assessed for seroconversion (primary endpoint) by survival analysis. Incidence of acute disease was calculated among 16,683 participants (secondary endpoint). Adult mosquito collections were conducted to compare Ae. aegypti abundance, blood-fed rate, and parity status through mixed-effect difference-in-difference analyses. The spatial repellent significantly reduced ABV infection by 34.1% (one-sided 95% CI lower limit, 6.9%; one-sided P value = 0.0236, z = 1.98). Aedes aegypti abundance and blood-fed rates were significantly reduced by 28.6 (95% CI 24.1%, ∞); z = -9.11) and 12.4% (95% CI 4.2%, ∞); z = -2.43), respectively. Our trial provides conclusive statistical evidence from an appropriately powered, preplanned cluster-randomized controlled clinical trial of the impact of a chemical intervention, in this case a spatial repellent, to reduce the risk of ABV transmission compared to a placebo.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Nian X, Tao X, Xiao Z, et al (2022)

Effects of Sublethal Concentrations of Tetracycline Hydrochloride on the Biological Characteristics and Wolbachia Titer in Parthenogenesis Trichogramma pretiosum.

Insects, 13(6):.

Trichogramma pretiosum Riley is an important natural enemy and biological control agent of lepidopteran pests. Wolbachia is an intracellular endosymbiont that induces parthenogenesis in the parasitoid T. pretiosum. In this paper, the sublethal effects of the antibiotic tetracycline hydrochloride on the development and reproduction of T. pretiosum were studied. Emerged females were fed with sublethal concentrations (LC5, LC15, and LC35) of tetracycline for ten generations. The biological parameters (longevity, parasitized eggs, and fecundity) of treated females significantly reduced compared with the control Moreover, the percentage of female offspring in the treatments significantly reduced, but the percentage of male offspring significantly increased. In addition, the Wolbachia titer sharply reduced after two generations of antibiotic treatments, but it could still be detected even after ten successive generations of antibiotic treatments, which indicated that Wolbachia was not completely removed by sublethal concentrations of tetracycline. The control lines with higher Wolbachia titers produced more female offspring than the tetracycline treatments with lower Wolbachia titers, indicating that the Wolbachia titer affected the sex determination of T. pretiosum. Our results show that sublethal concentrations of tetracycline had adverse effects on the development of T. pretiosum, and Wolbachia titers affected the sexual development of T. pretiosum eggs.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Yan ZC, Qi GY, Yao TY, et al (2022)

Mitochondrial Genomes of Two Asexual Trichogramma (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) Strains and Comparison with Their Sexual Relatives.

Insects, 13(6):.

Despite its substantial costs, sexual reproduction dominates in animals. One popular explanation for the paradox of sex is that asexual reproduction is more likely to accumulate deleterious mutations than sexual reproduction. To test this hypothesis, we compared the mitogenomes of two asexual wasp strains, Trichogramma cacoeciae and T. pretiosum, to their sexual relatives. These two asexual strains represent two different transition mechanisms in Trichogramma from sexual to asexual reproduction. Asexual T. pretiosum is induced by Wolbachia, while T. cacoeciae presumably originated from interspecific hybridization. We sequenced and assembled complete mitochondrial genomes of asexual T. cacoeciae and T. pretiosum. Compared to four sexual relatives, we found no evidence of higher mutation accumulation in asexual Trichogramma mitogenomes than in their sexual relatives. We also did not detect any relaxed selection in asexual Trichogramma mitogenomes. In contrast, the intensified selection was detected in Nad1 and Nad4 of the asexual T. pretiosum mitogenome, suggesting more purifying selection. In summary, no higher mitochondrial mutation accumulation was detected in these two asexual Trichogramma strains. This study provides a basis for further investigating mitochondrial evolution and asexual reproduction in Trichogramma.

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-06-24

da Silva H, Oliveira TMP, Sabino EC, et al (2022)

Bacterial diversity in Haemagogus leucocelaenus (Diptera: Culicidae) from Vale do Ribeira, São Paulo, Brazil.

BMC microbiology, 22(1):161.

INTRODUCTION: Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are vectors that transmit numerous pathogens to humans and other vertebrates. Haemagogus leucocelaenus is a mosquito associated with transmission of yellow fever virus. The insect gut harbors a variety of microorganisms that can live and multiply within it, thus contributing to digestion, nutrition, and development of its host. The composition of bacterial communities in mosquitoes can be influenced by both biotic and abiotic factors. The goal of this study was to investigate the bacterial diversity of Hg. leucocelaenus and verify the differences between the bacterial communities in Hg. leucocelaenus from three different locations in the Atlantic tropical rain forest and southeastern state of São Paulo State, Brazil.

RESULTS: The phylum Proteobacteria was found in mosquitoes collected from the three selected study sites. More than 50% of the contigs belong to Wolbachia, followed by 5% Swaminathania, and 3% Acinetobacter. The genus Serratia was found in samples from two locations.

CONCLUSIONS: Wolbachia was reported for the first time in this species and may indicates that the vector competence of the populations of the species can vary along its geographical distribution area. The presence of Serratia might facilitate viral invasion caused by the disruption of the midgut barrier via action of the SmEnhancin protein, which digests the mucins present in the intestinal epithelium.

RevDate: 2022-08-03

Jones MW, Fricke LC, Thorpe CJ, et al (2022)

Infection Dynamics of Cotransmitted Reproductive Symbionts Are Mediated by Sex, Tissue, and Development.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 88(13):e0052922.

One of the most prevalent intracellular infections on earth is with Wolbachia, a bacterium in the Rickettsiales that infects a range of insects, crustaceans, chelicerates, and nematodes. Wolbachia is maternally transmitted to offspring and has profound effects on the reproduction and physiology of its hosts, which can result in reproductive isolation, altered vectorial capacity, mitochondrial sweeps, and even host speciation. Some populations stably harbor multiple Wolbachia strains, which can further contribute to reproductive isolation and altered host physiology. However, almost nothing is known about the requirements for multiple intracellular microbes to be stably maintained across generations while they likely compete for space and resources. Here, we use a coinfection of two Wolbachia strains ("wHa" and "wNo") in Drosophila simulans to define the infection and transmission dynamics of an evolutionarily stable double infection. We find that a combination of sex, tissue, and host development contributes to the infection dynamics of the two microbes and that these infections exhibit a degree of niche partitioning across host tissues. wHa is present at a significantly higher titer than wNo in most tissues and developmental stages, but wNo is uniquely dominant in ovaries. Unexpectedly, the ratio of wHa to wNo in embryos does not reflect those observed in the ovaries, indicative of strain-specific transmission dynamics. Understanding how Wolbachia strains interact to establish and maintain stable infections has important implications for the development and effective implementation of Wolbachia-based vector biocontrol strategies, as well as more broadly defining how cooperation and conflict shape intracellular communities. IMPORTANCE Wolbachia is a maternally transmitted intracellular bacterium that manipulates the reproduction and physiology of arthropods, resulting in drastic effects on the fitness, evolution, and even speciation of its hosts. Some hosts naturally harbor multiple strains of Wolbachia that are stably transmitted across generations, but almost nothing is known about the factors that limit or promote these coinfections, which can have profound effects on the host's biology and evolution and are under consideration as an insect-management tool. Here, we define the infection dynamics of a known stably transmitted double infection in Drosophila simulans with an eye toward understanding the patterns of infection that might facilitate compatibility between the two microbes. We find that a combination of sex, tissue, and development all contributes to infection dynamics of the coinfection.

RevDate: 2022-09-21

Krome AK, Becker T, Kehraus S, et al (2022)

Corallopyronin A: antimicrobial discovery to preclinical development.

Natural product reports, 39(9):1705-1720.

Covering: August 1984 up to January 2022Worldwide, increasing morbidity and mortality due to antibiotic-resistant microbial infections has been observed. Therefore, better prevention and control of infectious diseases, as well as appropriate use of approved antibacterial drugs are crucial. There is also an urgent need for the continuous development and supply of novel antibiotics. Thus, identifying new antibiotics and their further development is once again a priority of natural product research. The antibiotic corallopyronin A was discovered in the 1980s in the culture broth of the Myxobacterium Corallococcus coralloides and serves, in the context of this review, as a show case for the development of a naturally occurring antibiotic compound. The review demonstrates how a hard to obtain, barely water soluble and unstable compound such as corallopyronin A can be developed making use of sophisticated production and formulation approaches. Corallopyronin A is a bacterial DNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitor with a new target site and one of the few representatives of this class currently in preclinical development. Efficacy against Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens, e.g., Chlamydia trachomatis, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Staphylococcus aureus, and Wolbachia has been demonstrated. Due to its highly effective in vivo depletion of Wolbachia, which are essential endobacteria of most filarial nematode species, and its robust macrofilaricidal efficacy, corallopyronin A was selected as a preclinical candidate for the treatment of human filarial infections. This review highlights the discovery and production optimization approaches for corallopyronin A, as well as, recent preclinical efficacy results demonstrating a robust macrofilaricidal effect of the anti-Wolbachia candidate, and the solid formulation strategy which enhances the stability as well as the bioavailability of corallopyronin A.

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-06-23

Gunasekaran K, Sadanandane C, Panneer D, et al (2022)

Sensitivity of wMel and wAlbB Wolbachia infections in Aedes aegypti Puducherry (Indian) strains to heat stress during larval development.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):221.

BACKGROUND: ICMR-Vector Control Research Centre, Puducherry, India, developed two colonies of Aedes aegypti infected with wMel and wAlbB Wolbacia strains called Ae. aegypti (Pud) lines for dengue control. The sensitivity of wMel and wAlbB strains in Ae. aegypti (Pud) lines to heat stress was studied.

METHODS: wMel and wAlbB infected and uninfected Ae. aegypti larvae (first to fourth instars) were reared in the laboratory to adults at 26 °C, 30 °C, 36 °C and 40 °C constant temperatures and also 26-30 °C, 26-36 °C and 26-40 °C diurnal cyclic temperatures. The adults were tested for Wolbachia infection. Experiments were also carried out rearing the larvae under simulated field conditions in summer (April and June) under sunlight using fully open and half open bowls and also under sunlight and natural shade.

RESULTS: At 36 °C and 40 °C constant temperatures, complete larval mortality was observed. At 30 °C and 26 °C, no larval mortality occurred, but Wolbachia density was relatively low in wMel infected males compared to control (maintained at 26 ± 1 °C). At diurnal cyclic temperature of 26-40 °C, Wolbachia density was reduced in males of both the (Pud) lines, but not in females. At 26-36 °C, reduction in Wolbachia density was observed in wMel males but not in wAlbB males. At 26-30 °C, no significant reduction in Wolbachia density was observed with wMel and wAlbB strains. In simulated field conditions (April), under sunlight, the daytime water temperature reached a maximum of 35.7 °C in both full and half open bowls. No larval mortality occurred. Wolbachia frequency and density was reduced in wMel-infected Ae. aegypti (Pud) males from both type of bowls and in females from full open bowls, and in wAlbB males from half open bowls. In June, rearing of larvae under sunlight, the first-instar larvae experienced a maximum daytime water temperature of > 38 °C that caused complete mortality. No larval mortality was observed in bowls kept under shade (< 32 °C).

CONCLUSIONS: Exposure of larvae to higher rearing temperatures in the laboratory and simulated-field conditions reduced the densities of wMel and wAlbB strains particularly in males, but the impact was more pronounced for wMel strain. The actual effect of heat stress on the stability of these two Wolbachia strains needs to be tested under natural field conditions.

RevDate: 2022-09-08
CmpDate: 2022-09-08

Dzul-Rosado K, Maldonado-Borges JI, Puerto-Manzano FI, et al (2022)

First exploratory study of bacterial pathogens and endosymbionts in head lice from a Mayan community in southern Mexico.

Zoonoses and public health, 69(6):729-736.

Lice represent one of the most neglected group of vectors worldwide, particularly in Latin America. Records of bacterial agents related to head lice are non-existent in this region of the continent. Many of these communities often do not have adequate access to public services and/or health protection. The normalization of this condition prevents them from manifesting discomfort, such as bites and itching, which further aggravates the situation, as they can be vectors of important diseases. For this reason, the aim of this work was to identify the richness of bacterial pathogens (Acinetobacter, Bartonella, and Rickettsia) and endosymbionts (Wolbachia) in head lice of paediatric patients from the indigenous municipality of Hoctun, Yucatan, Mexico. DNA extraction was performed using the QIAamp DNA Mini Kit. For the detection of bacterial pathogens, fragments of the gltA, rpoB, and 16S rDNA genes were amplified. For the detection of Wolbachia, the wsp gene was amplified. Of the 28 lice analysed, the presence of two genera of bacterial pathogens was detected Acinetobacter (42.9% = 12/28) and Bartonella (7.14% = 2/28). We also detected the endosymbiont Wolbachia (71.42% = 20/28). Our results showed that DNA from three bacteria species (Acinetobacter baumannii, Bartonella quintana, and Wolbachia pipientis) was present with frequencies ranging from 3.57% to 71.42%. This work represents the first exploratory study of the diversity of agents associated with head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) in Mexico and Latin America. Due to the findings generated in the present study, it is important to perform surveillance of head lice populations to identify the degree of spread of these pathogens and their impact on populations in the region.

RevDate: 2022-06-20

Faulk C (2022)

De novo sequencing, diploid assembly, and annotation of the black carpenter ant, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, and its symbionts by one person for $1000, using nanopore sequencing.

Nucleic acids research pii:6611042 [Epub ahead of print].

The black carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) is a pest species found widely throughout North America. From a single individual I used long-read nanopore sequencing to assemble a phased diploid genome of 306 Mb and 60X coverage, with quality assessed by a 97.0% BUSCO score, improving upon other ant assemblies. The mitochondrial genome reveals minor rearrangements from other ants. The reads also allowed assembly of parasitic and symbiont genomes. I include a complete Wolbachia bacterial assembly with a size of 1.2 Mb, as well as a commensal symbiont Blochmannia pennsylvanicus, at 791 kb. DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation were measured at base-pair resolution level from the same reads and confirmed extremely low levels seen in the Formicidae family. There was moderate heterozygosity, with 0.16% of bases being biallelic from the parental haplotypes. Protein prediction yielded 14 415 amino acid sequences with 95.8% BUSCO score and 86% matching to previously known proteins. All assemblies were derived from a single MinION flow cell generating 20 Gb of sequence for a cost of $1047 including consumable reagents. Adding fixed costs for equipment brings the total for an ant-sized genome to less than $5000. All analyses were performed in 1 week on a single desktop computer.

RevDate: 2022-07-24
CmpDate: 2022-06-22

Chen L, Xiao Q, Shi M, et al (2022)

Detecting Wolbachia Strain wAlbB in Aedes albopictus Cell Lines.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

As a maternally harbored endosymbiont, Wolbachia infects large proportions of insect populations. Studies have recently reported the successful regulation of RNA virus transmission using Wolbachia-transfected mosquitoes. Key strategies to control viruses include the manipulation of host reproduction via cytoplasmic incompatibility and the inhibition of viral transcripts via immune priming and competition for host-derived resources. However, the underlying mechanisms of the responses of Wolbachia-transfected mosquitoes to viral infection are poorly understood. This paper presents a protocol for the in vitro identification of Wolbachia infection at the nucleic acid and protein levels in Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) Aa23 cells to enhance the understanding of the interactions between Wolbachia and its insect vectors. Through the combined use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative PCR, western blot, and immunological analytical methods, a standard morphologic protocol has been described for the detection of Wolbachia-infected cells that is more accurate than the use of a single method. This approach may also be applied to the detection of Wolbachia infection in other insect taxa.

RevDate: 2022-08-19
CmpDate: 2022-06-21

Hickin ML, Kakumanu ML, C Schal (2022)

Effects of Wolbachia elimination and B-vitamin supplementation on bed bug development and reproduction.

Scientific reports, 12(1):10270.

Obligate blood feeders, such as Cimex lectularius (common bed bug), have symbiotic associations with nutritional endosymbionts that produce B-vitamins. To quantify the symbiont's contribution to host fitness in these obligate mutualisms, the symbiont must be eliminated and its absence rigorously confirmed. We developed and validated procedures for complete elimination of Wolbachia (Wb) in bed bugs and quantified development and reproduction in bed bugs with and without Wb and with and without B-vitamins supplementation. Aposymbiotic bed bugs had slower nymphal development, reduced adult survivorship, smaller adult size, fewer eggs per female, and lower hatch rate than bed bugs that harbored Wb. In aposymbiotic bed bugs that were fed B-vitamins-supplemented blood, nymph development time, adult survivorship and hatch rate recovered to control levels, but adult size and egg number only partially recovered. These results underscore the nutritional dependence of bed bugs on their Wb symbiont and suggest that Wb may provide additional nutritional benefits beyond the B-vitamin mix that we investigated.

RevDate: 2022-07-23

Ettinger CL, Byrne FJ, Redak RA, et al (2022)

Metagenome-Assembled Genomes of Bacterial Symbionts Associated with Insecticide-Resistant and -Susceptible Individuals of the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis).

Microbiology resource announcements, 11(7):e0050622.

The role of microbes in insecticide resistance is an emerging question. Here, we describe six metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) associated with the glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis [Germar, 1821]) (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae). MAGs representing the obligate symbionts Candidatus Sulcia muelleri and Candidatus Baumannia cicadellinicola and the facultative symbiont Wolbachia were obtained from imidacloprid-resistant and imidacloprid-susceptible sharpshooters.

RevDate: 2022-08-12
CmpDate: 2022-06-16

Dufault SM, Tanamas SK, Indriani C, et al (2022)

Disruption of spatiotemporal clustering in dengue cases by wMel Wolbachia in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Scientific reports, 12(1):9890.

Dengue exhibits focal clustering in households and neighborhoods, driven by local mosquito population dynamics, human population immunity, and fine scale human and mosquito movement. We tested the hypothesis that spatiotemporal clustering of homotypic dengue cases is disrupted by introduction of the arbovirus-blocking bacterium Wolbachia (wMel-strain) into the Aedes aegypti mosquito population. We analysed 318 serotyped and geolocated dengue cases (and 5921 test-negative controls) from a randomized controlled trial in Yogyakarta, Indonesia of wMel deployments. We find evidence of spatial clustering up to 300 m among the 265 dengue cases (3083 controls) in the untreated trial arm. Participant pairs enrolled within 30 days and 50 m had a 4.7-fold increase (compared to 95% CI on permutation-based null distribution: 0.1, 1.2) in the odds of being homotypic (i.e. potentially transmission-related) as compared to pairs occurring at any distance. In contrast, we find no evidence of spatiotemporal clustering among the 53 dengue cases (2838 controls) resident in the wMel-treated arm. Introgression of wMel Wolbachia into Aedes aegypti mosquito populations interrupts focal dengue virus transmission leading to reduced case incidence; the true intervention effect may be greater than the 77% efficacy measured in the primary analysis of the Yogyakarta trial.

RevDate: 2022-07-08

Mulenga GM, Namangala B, B Gummow (2022)

Prevalence of trypanosomes and selected symbionts in tsetse species of eastern Zambia.

Parasitology pii:S0031182022000804 [Epub ahead of print].

Insect symbionts have attracted attention for their potential use as anti-parasitic gene products in arthropod disease vectors. While tsetse species of the Luangwa valley have been extensively studied, less is known about the prevalence of symbionts and their interactions with the trypanosome parasite. Polymerase chain reaction was used to investigate the presence of Wolbachia and Sodalis bacteria, in tsetse flies infected with trypanosomes (Trypanosoma vivax, Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma brucei). Out of 278 captured tsetse flies in eastern Zambia, 95.3% (n = 265, 95% CI = 92.8–97.8) carried endosymbionts: Wolbachia (79.1%, 95% CI 73.9–83.8) and Sodalis (86.3%, 95% CI 81.7–90.1). Overall, trypanosome prevalence was 25.5% (n = 71, 95% CI = 20.4–30.7), 10.8% (n = 30, 95% CI 7.1–14.4) for T. brucei, 1.4% (n = 4, 95% CI = 0.4–3.6) for both T. congolense and T. vivax, and 0.7% (n = 2, 95% CI 0.1–2.6) for T. b. rhodesiense. Out of 240 tsetse flies that were infected with Sodalis, trypanosome infection was reported in 40 tsetse flies (16.7%, 95% CI = 12.0–21.4) while 37 (16.8%, 95% CI 11.9–21.8) of the 220 Wolbachia infected tsetse flies were infected with trypanosomes. There was 1.3 times likelihood of T. brucei infection to be present when Wolbachia was present and 1.7 likelihood of T. brucei infection when Sodalis was present. Overall findings suggest absence of correlation between the presence of tsetse endosymbionts and tsetse with trypanosome infection. Lastly, the presence of pathogenic trypanosomes in tsetse species examined provided insights into the risk communities face, and the importance of African trypanosomiasis in the area.

RevDate: 2022-08-11
CmpDate: 2022-07-18

Vörös K, Becker Z, Kónya R, et al (2022)

Application of Moxidectin and Ultrasound-Aided Injection of Melarsomine During the American Heartworm Society Recommended Treatment Protocol in Dirofilaria immitis Infected Dogs.

Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.), 22(7):382-390.

The American Heartworm Society (AHS) recommends the three-dose alternate melarsomine therapeutic regimen, together with a macrocyclic lactone (ML) to reduce new infections and eliminate susceptible larvae and doxycycline against Wolbachia bacteria. Till now, only reports on ivermectin as an ML exist in the frame of this protocol. Between 2014 and 2020, the AHS protocol was used in 44 heartworm-positive dogs. Microfilaremic dogs were pretreated with prednisolone and clopidogrel for 1 week before the first moxidectin application. Moxidectin was applied on the 1st, 30th, 60th, and 90th therapeutic days. On the first day, dexamethasone and chloropyramine were used to avoid potential adverse effects caused by the destroyed microfilariae. During the 1st-28th days, doxycycline 10 mg/kg BID was given with probiotics. Adult heartworms were destroyed with melarsomine on the 60th, 90th, and 91st days. Butorphanol and dexamethasone were given just before melarsomine injections. The depth of the intramuscular injection site was determined by ultrasound examination of the lumbar muscles. From the 60th day, dalteparin was applied for 10 days to decrease the chance of pulmonary thromboembolism. Moxidectin did not cause adverse reactions, even in microfilaremic dogs. Gastrointestinal side effects of doxycycline were observed in three (6%) dogs, they recovered after symptomatic therapy and by lowering the initial dose to 5 mg/kg BID. Transient anorexia and diarrhea were found in one (2%), and coughing and mild dyspnea in one (2%) animal as systemic post-therapeutic complications of melarsomine. No local side effects were observed in 13 (30%) dogs, mild local side effects occurred in 29 (66%) patients, and severe local swelling in 2 (4%) cases. All dogs recovered clinically by the 120th day and no microfilaremia was seen that time. An antigen test performed in 37/44 animals on the 271st day was also negative in all cases.

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-07-15

Kamiyama T, Shimada-Niwa Y, Tanaka H, et al (2022)

Whole-genome sequencing analysis and protocol for RNA interference of the endoparasitoid wasp Asobara japonica.

DNA research : an international journal for rapid publication of reports on genes and genomes, 29(4):.

Asobara japonica is an endoparasitic wasp that parasitizes Drosophila flies. It synthesizes various toxic components in the venom gland and injects them into host larvae during oviposition. To identify and characterize these toxic components for enabling parasitism, we performed the whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and devised a protocol for RNA interference (RNAi) with A. japonica. Because it has a parthenogenetic lineage due to Wolbachia infection, we generated a clonal strain from a single wasp to obtain highly homogenous genomic DNA. The WGS analysis revealed that the estimated genome size was 322 Mb with a heterozygosity of 0.132%. We also performed RNA-seq analyses for gene annotation. Based on the qualified WGS platform, we cloned ebony-Aj, which encodes the enzyme N-β-alanyl dopamine synthetase, which is involved in melanin production. The microinjection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) targeting ebony-Aj led to body colour changes in adult wasps, phenocopying ebony-Dm mutants. Furthermore, we identified putative venom genes as a target of RNAi, confirming that dsRNA injection-based RNAi specifically suppressed the expression of the target gene in wasp adults. Taken together, our results provide a powerful genetic toolkit for studying the molecular mechanisms of parasitism.

RevDate: 2022-08-10
CmpDate: 2022-08-09

Szklarzewicz T, Kalandyk-Kołodziejczyk M, A Michalik (2022)

Ovary structure and symbiotic associates of a ground mealybug, Rhizoecus albidus (Hemiptera, Coccomorpha: Rhizoecidae) and their phylogenetic implications.

Journal of anatomy, 241(3):860-872.

The ovary structure and the organization of its symbiotic system of the ground mealybug, Rhizoecus albidus (Rhizoecidae), were examined by means of microscopic and molecular methods. Each of the paired elongated ovaries of R. albidus is composed of circa one hundred short telotrophic-meroistic ovarioles, which are radially arranged along the distal part of the lateral oviduct. Analysis of serial sections revealed that each ovariole contains four germ cells: three trophocytes (nurse cells) occupying the tropharium and a single oocyte in the vitellarium. The ovaries are accompanied by giant cells termed bacteriocytes which are tightly packed with large pleomorphic bacteria. Their identity as Brownia rhizoecola (Bacteroidetes) was confirmed by means of amplicon sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques. Moreover, to our knowledge, this is the first report on the morphology and ultrastructure of the Brownia rhizoecola bacterium. In the bacteriocyte cytoplasm bacteria Brownia co-reside with sporadic rod-shaped smaller bacteria, namely Wolbachia (Proteobacteria: Alphaproteobacteria). Both symbionts are transmitted to the next generation vertically (maternally), that is, via female germline cells. We documented that, at the time when ovarioles contain oocytes at the vitellogenic stage, these symbionts leave the bacteriocytes and move toward the neck region of ovarioles (i.e. the region between tropharium and vitellarium). Next, the bacteria enter the cytoplasm of follicular cells surrounding the basal part of the tropharium, leave them and enter the space between the follicular epithelium and surface of the nutritive cord connecting the tropharium and vitellarium. Finally, they gather in the deep depression of the oolemma at the anterior pole of the oocyte in the form of a 'symbiont ball'. Our results provide further arguments strongly supporting the validity of the recent changes in the classification of mealybugs, which involved excluding ground mealybugs from the Pseudococcidae family and raising them to the rank of their own family Rhizoecidae.

RevDate: 2022-06-13
CmpDate: 2022-06-13

Araújo NJS, Macêdo MJF, de Morais LP, et al (2022)

Control of arboviruses vectors using biological control by Wolbachia pipientis: a short review.

Archives of microbiology, 204(7):376.

The number of arbovirus cases has increased in recent years, demonstrating a need for investing in effective control actions. Among these actions, are strategies using biological control vectors, a field where Wolbachia pipientis has shown itself as useful. Wolbachia pipientis, an obligatory intracellular Gram-negative bacteria, which parasites arthropods naturally or through laboratory-induced infections, is capable of manipulating the reproduction of its host. A systematic literature review gathering studies on this bacteria over last 10 years (2007-2021) was performed given its important role in the reduction of insect disease vectors. 111 articles were found, from which 78 were used in this study. Information on the Wolbachia biology, mechanism of action and potential for the biological control of insect disease vectors was gathered. The present study may contribute to the knowledge surrounding the bacterium, as well as stimulate the production of other studies with the same theme.

RevDate: 2022-09-08
CmpDate: 2022-09-08

Withers AJ, Rice A, de Boer J, et al (2022)

The distribution of covert microbial natural enemies of a globally invasive crop pest, fall armyworm, in Africa: Enemy release and spillover events.

The Journal of animal ecology, 91(9):1826-1841.

Invasive species pose a significant threat to biodiversity and agriculture world-wide. Natural enemies play an important part in controlling pest populations, yet we understand very little about the presence and prevalence of natural enemies during the early invasion stages. Microbial natural enemies of fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda are known in its native region, however, they have not yet been identified in Africa where fall armyworm has been an invasive crop pest since 2016. Larval samples were screened from Malawi, Rwanda, Kenya, Zambia, Sudan and Ghana for the presence of four different microbial natural enemies; two nucleopolyhedroviruses, Spodoptera frugiperda NPV (SfMNPV) and Spodoptera exempta NPV (SpexNPV); the fungal pathogen Metarhizium rileyi; and the bacterium Wolbachia. This study aimed to identify which microbial pathogens are present in invasive fall armyworm, and determine the geographical, meteorological and temporal variables that influence prevalence. Within 3 years of arrival, fall armyworm was exposed to all four microbial natural enemies. SfMNPV probably arrived with fall armyworm from the Americas, but this is the first putative evidence of host spillover from Spodoptera exempta (African armyworm) to fall armyworm for the endemic pathogen SpexNPV and for Wolbachia. It is also the first confirmed incidence of M. rileyi infecting fall armyworm in Africa. Natural enemies were localised, with variation being observed both nationally and temporally. The prevalence of SfMNPV (the most common natural enemy) was predominantly explained by variables associated with the weather; declining with increasing rainfall and increasing with temperature. However, virus prevalence also increased as the growing season progressed. The infection of an invasive species with a natural enemy from its native range and novel pathogens specific to its new range has important consequences for understanding the population ecology of invasive species and insect-pathogen interactions. Additionally, while it is widely known that temporal and geographic factors affect insect populations, this study reveals that these are important in understanding the distribution of microbial natural enemies associated with invasive pests during the early stages of invasion, and provide baseline data for future studies.

RevDate: 2022-08-18
CmpDate: 2022-06-23

Tvedte ES, Gasser M, Zhao X, et al (2022)

Accumulation of endosymbiont genomes in an insect autosome followed by endosymbiont replacement.

Current biology : CB, 32(12):2786-2795.e5.

Eukaryotic genomes can acquire bacterial DNA via lateral gene transfer (LGT).1 A prominent source of LGT is Wolbachia,2 a widespread endosymbiont of arthropods and nematodes that is transmitted maternally through female germline cells.3,4 The DNA transfer from the Wolbachia endosymbiont wAna to Drosophila ananassae is extensive5-7 and has been localized to chromosome 4, contributing to chromosome expansion in this lineage.6 As has happened frequently with claims of bacteria-to-eukaryote LGT, the contribution of wAna transfers to the expanded size of D. ananassae chromosome 4 has been specifically contested8 owing to an assembly where Wolbachia sequences were classified as contaminants and removed.9 Here, long-read sequencing with DNA from a Wolbachia-cured line enabled assembly of 4.9 Mbp of nuclear Wolbachia transfers (nuwts) in D. ananassae and a 24-kbp nuclear mitochondrial transfer. The nuwts are <8,000 years old in at least two locations in chromosome 4 with at least one whole-genome integration followed by rapid extensive duplication of most of the genome with regions that have up to 10 copies. The genes in nuwts are accumulating small indels and mobile element insertions. Among the highly duplicated genes are cifA and cifB, two genes associated with Wolbachia-mediated Drosophila cytoplasmic incompatibility. The wAna strain that was the source of nuwts was subsequently replaced by a different wAna endosymbiont. Direct RNA Nanopore sequencing of Wolbachia-cured lines identified nuwt transcripts, including spliced transcripts, but functionality, if any, remains elusive.

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-06-21

Marriott AE, Furlong Silva J, Pionnier N, et al (2022)

A mouse infection model and long-term lymphatic endothelium co-culture system to evaluate drugs against adult Brugia malayi.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 16(6):e0010474.

The development of new drugs targeting adult-stage lymphatic filarial nematodes is hindered by the lack of a robust long-term in vitro culture model. Testing potential direct-acting and anti-Wolbachia therapeutic candidates against adult lymphatic filariae in vitro requires their propagation via chronic infection of gerbils. We evaluated Brugia malayi parasite burden data from male Mongolian gerbils compared with two immune-deficient mouse strains highly susceptible to B. malayi: CB.17 Severe-Combined Immmuno-Deficient (SCID) and interleukin-4 receptor alpha, interleukin-5 double knockout (IL-4Rα-/-IL-5-/-) mice. Adult worms generated in IL-4Rα-/-IL-5-/- mice were tested with different feeder cells (human embryonic kidney cells, human adult dermal lymphatic endothelial cells and human THP-1 monocyte differentiated macrophages) and comparative cell-free conditions to optimise and validate a long-term in vitro culture system. Cultured parasites were compared against those isolated from mice using motility scoring, metabolic viability assay (MTT), ex vivo microfilariae release assay and Wolbachia content by qPCR. A selected culture system was validated as a drug screen using reference anti-Wolbachia (doxycycline, ABBV-4083 / flubentylosin) or direct-acting compounds (flubendazole, suramin). BALB/c IL-4Rα-/-IL-5-/- or CB.17 SCID mice were superior to Mongolian gerbils in generating adult worms and supporting in vivo persistence for periods of up to 52 weeks. Adult females retrieved from BALB/c IL-4Rα-/-IL-5-/- mice could be cultured for up to 21 days in the presence of a lymphatic endothelial cell co-culture system with comparable motility, metabolic activity and Wolbachia titres to those maintained in vivo. Drug studies confirmed significant Wolbachia depletions or direct macrofilaricidal activities could be discerned when female B. malayi were cultured for 14 days. We therefore demonstrate a novel methodology to generate adult B. malayi in vivo and accurately evaluate drug efficacy ex vivo which may be adopted for drug screening with the dual benefit of reducing overall animal use and improving anti-filarial drug development.

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-06-08

Sarwar MS, Jahan N, Ali A, et al (2022)

Establishment of Wolbachia infection in Aedes aegypti from Pakistan via embryonic microinjection and semi-field evaluation of general fitness of resultant mosquito population.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):191.

BACKGROUND: Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is mainly spread by Aedes aegypti. It is prevalent on five continents, predominantly in tropical and sub-tropical zones across the world. Wolbachia bacteria have been extensively used in vector control strategies worldwide. The focus of the current study was to obtain a natural population of Ae. aegypti harbouring Wolbachia and to determine the impact of this bacteria on the new host in a semi-field environment.

METHODS: Wolbachia-infected Aedes albopictus was collected from the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, and Wolbachia were successfully introduced into laboratory-reared Ae. aegypti via embryonic microinjection. The stable vertical transmission of wAlbB in the host population was observed for eight generations, and the impact of Wolbachia on the general fitness of the host was evaluated in semi-field conditions.

RESULTS: In the laboratory and semi-field experiments, wAlbB Wolbachia presented a strong cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) effect, evidenced as zero egg hatching, in crosses between Wolbachia-infected males and wild (uninfected) females of Ae. aegypti. Wolbachia infection had no noticeable impact on the general fitness (P > 0.05), fecundity, body size (females and males) and mating competitiveness of the new host, Ae. aegypti. However, there was a significant decrease in female fertility (egg hatch) (P < 0.001). In addition, under starvation conditions, there was a remarkable decrease (P < 0.0001) in the life span of Wolbachia-infected females compared to uninfected females (4 vs. > 5 days, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Wolbachia strain wAlbB has a great potential to control the dengue vector in Ae. aegypti populations by producing 100% CI with a limited burden on its host in natural field conditions. This strain can be used as a biological tool against vector-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-06-20

Bordenstein SR, SR Bordenstein (2022)

Widespread phages of endosymbionts: Phage WO genomics and the proposed taxonomic classification of Symbioviridae.

PLoS genetics, 18(6):e1010227.

Wolbachia are the most common obligate, intracellular bacteria in animals. They exist worldwide in arthropod and nematode hosts in which they commonly act as reproductive parasites or mutualists, respectively. Bacteriophage WO, the largest of Wolbachia's mobile elements, includes reproductive parasitism genes, serves as a hotspot for genetic divergence and genomic rearrangement of the bacterial chromosome, and uniquely encodes a Eukaryotic Association Module with eukaryotic-like genes and an ensemble of putative host interaction genes. Despite WO's relevance to genome evolution, selfish genetics, and symbiotic applications, relatively little is known about its origin, host range, diversification, and taxonomic classification. Here we analyze the most comprehensive set of 150 Wolbachia and phage WO assemblies to provide a framework for discretely organizing and naming integrated phage WO genomes. We demonstrate that WO is principally in arthropod Wolbachia with relatives in diverse endosymbionts and metagenomes, organized into four variants related by gene synteny, often oriented opposite the putative origin of replication in the Wolbachia chromosome, and the large serine recombinase is an ideal typing tool to distinguish the four variants. We identify a novel, putative lytic cassette and WO's association with a conserved eleven gene island, termed Undecim Cluster, that is enriched with virulence-like genes. Finally, we evaluate WO-like Islands in the Wolbachia genome and discuss a new model in which Octomom, a notable WO-like Island, arose from a split with WO. Together, these findings establish the first comprehensive Linnaean taxonomic classification of endosymbiont phages, including non-Wolbachia phages from aquatic environments, that includes a new family and two new genera to capture the collective relatedness of these viruses.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Montoya-Alonso JA, García Rodríguez SN, Carretón E, et al (2022)

Seroprevalence of Feline Heartworm in Spain: Completing the Epidemiological Puzzle of a Neglected Disease in the Cat.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 9:900371.

Feline heartworm is a vector-borne zoonotic disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis. It is a cosmopolitan disease that is continuously expanding. Spain is considered an endemic country; however, although there are many published studies in dogs, feline heartworm has been poorly studied in this country. Thus, the objective was to analyze the exposure to D. immitis throughout Spain to complete the epidemiological map in the feline species. For this, 6,588 feline serum samples were analyzed for the presence of D. immitis antigens and antibodies against D. immitis and Wolbachia. The results were analyzed according to sex, age, breed, habitat, origin (owned or shelter cats), presence of clinical signs, use of preventive, location and climatology. The results showed a prevalence of 0.5% and a seroprevalence of 9.4%. The highest antibody seroprevalences were reported in the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands (19.2 and 16%, respectively), as well as in the autonomous communities located on the Mediterranean coast (9.2-11.2%). Seropositive cats were found in both indoor and outdoor cats, and from 6 months of age. Furthermore, only 5.8% of cats received regular prophylactic treatment. The results show that feline dirofilariasis is widely distributed throughout the national territory and corroborate that, where infected dogs are present, there are cats exposed to the parasite. It is necessary to implement efficient awareness and prophylaxis measures to control the incidence and expansion of feline heartworm in Spain.

RevDate: 2022-08-12
CmpDate: 2022-07-07

Powell JR (2022)

Modifying mosquitoes to suppress disease transmission: Is the long wait over?.

Genetics, 221(3):.

For more than 50 years it has been a dream of medical entomologists and public health workers to control diseases like malaria and dengue fever by modifying, through genetics and other methods, the arthropods that transmit them to humans. A brief synopsis of the history of these efforts as applied to mosquitoes is presented; none proved to be effective in reducing disease prevalence. Only in the last few years have novel approaches been developed or proposed that indicate the long wait may be over. Three recent developments are particularly promising: CRISPR-Cas9 driven genetic modification, shifting naturally occurring allele frequencies, and microbe-based modifications. The last is the furthest along in implementation. Dengue fever incidence has been reduced between 40% and 96% in 4 different regions of the world where Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti have been established in the field. It is not yet clear how sustainable such control programs will prove to be, but there is good reason for optimism. In light of this, the time is ripe for reinvigorated research on vectors, especially genetics. Vector-borne diseases primarily affect under-developed countries and thus have not received the attention they deserve from wealthier countries with well-developed and funded biomedical research establishments.

RevDate: 2022-07-19
CmpDate: 2022-06-21

Arguni E, Indriani C, Rahayu A, et al (2022)

Dengue virus population genetics in Yogyakarta, Indonesia prior to city-wide Wolbachia deployment.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 102:105308.

Dengue has been endemic in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for decades. Here, we report the dengue epidemiology, entomology, and virology in Yogyakarta in 2016-2017, prior to the commencement of the Applying Wolbachia to Eliminate Dengue (AWED) randomized trial. Dengue epidemiological data were compiled and blood samples from dengue-suspected patients were tested for dengue virus (DENV). Ae. aegypti mosquito samples were caught from the field using BG-Sentinel traps and tested for the presence of DENV infection. Sequencing of the DENV E gene was used to determine the phylogeny and genotypes of circulating DENV. Within the last decade, the 2016-2017 dengue incidence was considered very high. Among the 649 plasma samples collected between March 2016-February 2017; and 36,910 mosquito samples collected between December 2016-May 2017, a total of 197 and 38 samples were DENV-positive by qRT-PCR, respectively. All four DENV serotypes were detected, with DENV-3 (n = 88; 44.67%) and DENV-1 (n = 87; 44.16%) as the predominant serotype, followed by DENV-4 (n = 12; 6.09%) and DENV-2 (n = 10; 5.08%). The Yogyakarta DENV-1 isolates were classified into Genotype I and IV, while DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4 isolates were classified into the Cosmopolitan genotype, Genotype I, and Genotype II, respectively. Yogyakarta DENV isolates were closely related to Indonesian strains from neighboring Javanese cities, consistent with the endemic circulation of DENV on this highly populous island. Our study provides comprehensive baseline information on the DENV population genetic characteristics in Yogyakarta, which are useful as baseline data for the AWED trial and the future DENV surveillance in the city in the presence of a Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti population.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Lee E, Hien Nguyen T, Yen Nguyen T, et al (2022)

Transient Introgression of Wolbachia into Aedes aegypti Populations Does Not Elicit an Antibody Response to Wolbachia Surface Protein in Community Members.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 11(5):.

Wolbachia is an endosymbiotic bacterium that can restrict the transmission of human pathogenic viruses by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Recent field trials have shown that dengue incidence is significantly reduced when Wolbachia is introgressed into the local Ae. aegypti population. Female Ae. aegypti are anautogenous and feed on human blood to produce viable eggs. Herein, we tested whether people who reside on Tri Nguyen Island (TNI), Vietnam developed antibodies to Wolbachia Surface Protein (WSP) following release of Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti, as a measure of exposure to Wolbachia. Paired blood samples were collected from 105 participants before and after mosquito releases and anti-WSP titres were measured by ELISA. We determined no change in anti-WSP titres after ~30 weeks of high levels of Wolbachia-Ae. aegypti on TNI. These data suggest that humans are not exposed to the major Wolbachia surface antigen, WSP, following introgression of Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Csorba AB, Fora CG, Bálint J, et al (2022)

Endosymbiotic Bacterial Diversity of Corn Leaf Aphid, Rhopalosiphum maidis Fitch (Hemiptera: Aphididae) Associated with Maize Management Systems.

Microorganisms, 10(5):.

In this study, different maize fields cultivated under different management systems were sampled to test corn leaf aphid, Rhopalosiphum maidis, populations in terms of total and endosymbiotic bacterial diversity. Corn leaf aphid natural populations were collected from traditionally managed maize fields grown under high agricultural and natural landscape diversity as well as conventionally treated high-input agricultural fields grown in monoculture and with fertilizers use, hence with low natural landscape diversity. Total bacterial community assessment by DNA sequencing was performed using the Illumina MiSeq platform. In total, 365 bacterial genera were identified and 6 endosymbiont taxa. A high abundance of the primary endosymbiont Buchnera and secondary symbionts Serratia and Wolbachia were detected in all maize crops. Their frequency was found to be correlated with the maize management system used, probably with fertilizer input. Three other facultative endosymbionts ("Candidatus Hamiltonella", an uncultured Rickettsiales genus, and Spiroplasma) were also recorded at different frequencies under the two management regimes. Principal components analyses revealed that the relative contribution of the obligate and dominant symbiont Buchnera to the aphid endosymbiotic bacterial community was 72%, whereas for the managed system this was only 16.3%. When facultative symbionts alone were considered, the effect of management system revealed a DNA diversity of 23.3%.

RevDate: 2022-07-13
CmpDate: 2022-07-13

Agarwal A, Sarma DK, Chaurasia D, et al (2022)

Novel molecular approaches to combat vectors and vector-borne viruses: Special focus on RNA interference (RNAi) mechanisms.

Acta tropica, 233:106539.

Vector-borne diseases, such as dengue, chikungunya, zika, yellow fever etc pose significant burden among the infectious diseases globally, especially in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Globalization, deforestation, urbanization, climate change, uncontrolled population growth, inadequate waste management and poor vector-management infrastructure have all contributed to the expansion of vector habitats and subsequent increase in vector-borne diseases throughout the world. Conventional vector control methods, such as use of insecticides, have significant negative environmental repercussions in addition to developing resistance in vectors. Till date, a very few vaccines or antiviral therapies have been approved for the treatment of vector borne diseases. In this review, we have discussed emerging molecular approaches like CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas-9, sterile insect technique (SIT), release of insects carrying a dominant lethal (RIDL), Wolbachia (virus transmission blocking) and RNA interference (RNAi) to combat vector and vector-borne viruses. Due to the extensive advancements in RNAi research, a special focus has been given on its types, biogenesis, mechanism of action, delivery and experimental studies evaluating their application as anti-mosquito and anti-viral agent. These technologies appear to be highly promising in terms of contributing to vector control and antiviral drug development, and hence can be used to reduce global vector and vector-borne disease burden.

RevDate: 2022-05-26

Bouyer J, Maiga H, MJB Vreysen (2022)

Assessing the efficiency of Verily's automated process for production and release of male Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2022-05-26

Crawford JE, Hopkins KC, Buchman A, et al (2022)

Reply to: Assessing the efficiency of Verily's automated process for production and release of male Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2022-07-16

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:899865.

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

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-27

Harumoto T, T Fukatsu (2022)

Perplexing dynamics of Wolbachia proteins for cytoplasmic incompatibility.

PLoS biology, 20(5):e3001644.

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

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-26

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

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

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):178.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-26

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

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

PLoS biology, 20(5):e3001584.

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

RevDate: 2022-05-24

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

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

Gates open research, 5:147.

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

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-06-08

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

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

PLoS genetics, 18(5):e1010206.

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

RevDate: 2022-07-16

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

Highly transmissible cytoplasmic incompatibility by the extracellular insect symbiont Spiroplasma.

iScience, 25(5):104335.

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

RevDate: 2022-05-24

Cunha A (2021)

Trojan mosquitoes control dengue.

Communications medicine, 1:17.

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

RevDate: 2022-06-14
CmpDate: 2022-06-14

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

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

Acta tropica, 232:106513.

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

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-19

Gomes TMFF, Wallau GL, ELS Loreto (2022)

Multiple long-range host shifts of major Wolbachia supergroups infecting arthropods.

Scientific reports, 12(1):8131.

Wolbachia is a genus of intracellular bacterial endosymbionts found in 20-66% of all insect species and a range of other invertebrates. It is classified as a single species, Wolbachia pipientis, divided into supergroups A to U, with supergroups A and B infecting arthropods exclusively. Wolbachia is transmitted mainly via vertical transmission through female oocytes, but can also be transmitted across different taxa by host shift (HS): the direct transmission of Wolbachia cells between organisms without involving vertically transmitted gametic cells. To assess the HS contribution, we recovered 50 orthologous genes from over 1000 Wolbachia genomes, reconstructed their phylogeny and calculated gene similarity. Of 15 supergroup A Wolbachia lineages, 10 have similarities ranging from 95 to 99.9%, while their hosts' similarities are around 60 to 80%. For supergroup B, four out of eight lineages, which infect diverse and distantly-related organisms such as Acari, Hemiptera and Diptera, showed similarities from 93 to 97%. These results show that Wolbachia genomes have a much higher similarity when compared to their hosts' genes, which is a major indicator of HS. Our comparative genomic analysis suggests that, at least for supergroups A and B, HS is more frequent than expected, occurring even between distantly-related species.

RevDate: 2022-07-16
CmpDate: 2022-05-27

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

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

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 16(5):e0009600.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-07-16

Weyandt N, Aghdam SA, AMV Brown (2022)

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:867392.

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


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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