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19 Jun 2021 at 01:35
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Bibliography on: Endosymbiosis


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 19 Jun 2021 at 01:35 Created: 


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

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Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-06-15

Dukes HE, Dyer JE, EA Ottesen (2021)

Establishment and Maintenance of Gnotobiotic American Cockroaches (Periplaneta americana).

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

Gnotobiotic animals are a powerful tool for the study of controls on microbiome structure and function. Presented here is a protocol for the establishment and maintenance of gnotobiotic American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana). This approach includes built-in sterility checks for ongoing quality control. Gnotobiotic insects are defined here as cockroaches that still contain their vertically transmitted endosymbiont (Blattabacterium) but lack other microbes that normally reside on their surface and in their digestive tract. For this protocol, egg cases (oothecae) are removed from a (nonsterile) stock colony and surface sterilized. Once collected and sterilized, the oothecae are incubated at 30 °C for approximately 4-6 weeks on brain-heart infusion (BHI) agar until they hatch or are removed due to contamination. Hatched nymphs are transferred to an Erlenmeyer flask containing a BHI floor, sterile water, and sterile rat food. To ensure that the nymphs are not housing microbes that are unable to grow on BHI in the given conditions, an additional quality control measure uses restriction fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP) to test for nonendosymbiotic microbes. Gnotobiotic nymphs generated using this approach can be inoculated with simple or complex microbial communities and used as a tool in gut microbiome studies.

RevDate: 2021-06-14

Baaziz H, Compton KK, Hildreth SB, et al (2021)

McpT, a broad range carboxylate chemoreceptor in Sinorhizobium meliloti.

Journal of bacteriology [Epub ahead of print].

Chemoreceptors enable the legume symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti to detect and respond to specific chemicals released from their host plant alfalfa, which allows the establishment of a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis. The periplasmic region (PR) of transmembrane chemoreceptors act as the sensory input module for chemotaxis systems via binding of specific ligands, either directly or indirectly. S. meliloti has six transmembrane and two cytosolic chemoreceptors. However, only the function of three of the transmembrane receptors have been characterized so far, with McpU, McpV, and McpX serving as general amino acid, short-chain carboxylate, and quaternary ammonium compound sensors, respectively. In the present study, we analyzed the S. meliloti chemoreceptor McpT. High-throughput differential scanning fluorimetry assays, using Biolog Phenotype MicroarrayTM plates, identified fifteen potential ligands for McpTPR, the majority classified as mono-, di-, and tri-carboxylates. S. meliloti exhibited positive chemotaxis toward seven selected carboxylates, namely, α-ketobutyrate, citrate, glyoxylate, malate, malonate, oxalate, and succinate. These carboxylates were detected in seed exudates of the alfalfa host. Deletion of mcpT resulted in a significant decrease of chemotaxis to all carboxylates except for citrate. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that McpTPR bound preferentially to the monocarboxylate glyoxylate, and with lower affinity to the dicarboxylates malate, malonate and oxalate. However, no direct binding was detected for the remaining three carboxylates that elicited an McpT-dependent chemotaxis response. Taken together, these results demonstrate that McpT is a broad range carboxylate chemoreceptor that mediates chemotactic response via direct ligand binding and an indirect mechanism that yet needs to be identified. IMPORTANCE Nitrate pollution is one of the most widespread and challenging environmental problems, mainly caused by the agricultural over-application of nitrogen fertilizers. Biological nitrogen fixation by the endosymbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti enhances the growth of its host Medicago sativa (alfalfa), which also efficiently supplies the soil with nitrogen. Establishment of the S. meliloti-alfalfa symbiosis relies on the early exchange and recognition of chemical signals. The present study contributes to the disclosure of this complex molecular dialogue by investigating the underlying mechanisms of carboxylate sensing in S. meliloti. Understanding individual steps that govern S. meliloti-alfalfa molecular cross-talk helps in the development of efficient, commercial bacterial inoculants that promote the growth of this most cultivated forage legume in the world and improves soil fertility.

RevDate: 2021-06-10

Novelo M, Audsley MD, EA McGraw (2021)

The effects of DENV serotype competition and co-infection on viral kinetics in Wolbachia-infected and uninfected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):314.

BACKGROUND: The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for the transmission of several medically important arthropod-borne viruses, including multiple serotypes of dengue virus (DENV-1, -2, -3, and -4). Competition within the mosquito between DENV serotypes can affect viral infection dynamics, modulating the transmission potential of the pathogen. Vector control remains the main method for limiting dengue fever. The insect endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis is currently being trialed in field releases globally as a means of biological control because it reduces virus replication inside the mosquito. It is not clear how co-infection between DENV serotypes in the same mosquito might alter the pathogen-blocking phenotype elicited by Wolbachia in Ae. aegypti.

METHODS: Five- to 7-day-old female Ae. aegypti from two lines, namely, with (wMel) and without Wolbachia infection (WT), were fed virus-laden blood through an artificial membrane with either a mix of DENV-2 and DENV-3 or the same DENV serotypes singly. Mosquitoes were subsequently incubated inside environmental chambers and collected on the following days post-infection: 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 13. Midgut, carcass, and salivary glands were collected from each mosquito at each timepoint and individually analyzed to determine the percentage of DENV infection and viral RNA load via RT-qPCR.

RESULTS: We saw that for WT mosquitoes DENV-3 grew to higher viral RNA loads across multiple tissues when co-infected with DENV-2 than when it was in a mono-infection. Additionally, we saw a strong pathogen-blocking phenotype in wMel mosquitoes independent of co-infection status.

CONCLUSION: In this study, we demonstrated that the wMel mosquito line is capable of blocking DENV serotype co-infection in a systemic way across the mosquito body. Moreover, we showed that for WT mosquitoes, serotype co-infection can affect infection frequency in a tissue- and time-specific manner and that both viruses have the potential of being transmitted simultaneously. Our findings suggest that the long-term efficacy of Wolbachia pathogen blocking is not compromised by arthropod-borne virus co-infection.

RevDate: 2021-06-09

Yang L, Weiss BL, Williams AE, et al (2021)

Paratransgenic manipulation of a tsetse microRNA alters the physiological homeostasis of the fly's midgut environment.

PLoS pathogens, 17(6):e1009475 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-21-00521 [Epub ahead of print].

Tsetse flies are vectors of parasitic African trypanosomes, the etiological agents of human and animal African trypanosomoses. Current disease control methods include fly-repelling pesticides, fly trapping, and chemotherapeutic treatment of infected people and animals. Inhibiting tsetse's ability to transmit trypanosomes by strengthening the fly's natural barriers can serve as an alternative approach to reduce disease. The peritrophic matrix (PM) is a chitinous and proteinaceous barrier that lines the insect midgut and serves as a protective barrier that inhibits infection with pathogens. African trypanosomes must cross tsetse's PM in order to establish an infection in the fly, and PM structural integrity negatively correlates with trypanosome infection outcomes. Bloodstream form trypanosomes shed variant surface glycoproteins (VSG) into tsetse's gut lumen early during the infection establishment, and free VSG molecules are internalized by the fly's PM-producing cardia. This process results in a reduction in the expression of a tsetse microRNA (miR275) and a sequential molecular cascade that compromises PM integrity. miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that are critical in regulating many physiological processes. In the present study, we investigated the role(s) of tsetse miR275 by developing a paratransgenic expression system that employs tsetse's facultative bacterial endosymbiont, Sodalis glossinidius, to express tandem antagomir-275 repeats (or miR275 sponges). This system induces a constitutive, 40% reduction in miR275 transcript abundance in the fly's midgut and results in obstructed blood digestion (gut weights increased by 52%), a significant increase (p-value < 0.0001) in fly survival following infection with an entomopathogenic bacteria, and a 78% increase in trypanosome infection prevalence. RNA sequencing of cardia and midgut tissues from paratransgenic tsetse confirmed that miR275 regulates processes related to the expression of PM-associated proteins and digestive enzymes as well as genes that encode abundant secretory proteins. Our study demonstrates that paratransgenesis can be employed to study microRNA regulated pathways in arthropods that house symbiotic bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-06-09

Elston KM, Leonard SP, Geng P, et al (2021)

Engineering insects from the endosymbiont out.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(21)00126-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Insects are an incredibly diverse group of animals with species that benefit and harm natural ecosystems, agriculture, and human health. Many insects have consequential associations with microbes: bacterial symbionts may be embedded in different insect tissues and cell types, inherited across insect generations, and required for insect survival and reproduction. Genetically engineering insect symbionts is key to understanding and harnessing these associations. We summarize different types of insect-bacteria relationships and review methods used to genetically modify endosymbiont and gut symbiont species. Finally, we discuss recent studies that use this approach to study symbioses, manipulate insect-microbe interactions, and influence insect biology. Further progress in insect symbiont engineering promises to solve societal challenges, ranging from controlling pests to protecting pollinator health.

RevDate: 2021-06-03

Gao X, Hu F, Zhang S, et al (2021)

Glyphosate exposure disturbs the bacterial endosymbiont community and reduces body weight of the predatory ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).

The Science of the total environment, 790:147847 pii:S0048-9697(21)02918-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The predatory ladybird beetle, Harmonia axyridis, is a predominant natural enemy of pest insects in cotton fields. Commercialization of genetically modified crops has promoted the increased use of the herbicide glyphosate. In this study, to assess potential negative effects of glyphosate on beneficial non-target organisms in cotton fields, we first examined how glyphosate exposure affected the development and endosymbiotic bacterial community of H. axyridis. The results showed that the survival rate, development duration, pupation rate and emergence rate of H. axyridis under low and high concentrations of glyphosate exposure were not significantly changed, but glyphosate did significantly reduce the body weight of H. axyridis. Based on 16S rRNA sequencing, there were no significant differences in the diversity or richness of the endosymbiotic bacteria of H. axyridis before and after glyphosate exposure. The dominant bacterial phyla Firmicutes and Proteobacteria and genera Staphylococcus and Enterobacter remained the same regardless of treatment with glyphosate, however the abundance and copy number of these bacteria were altered. Glyphosate treatment significantly reduced the abundance and gene copy number of Staphylococcus and increased the abundance and gene copy number of Enterobacter. This is the first report demonstrating that glyphosate can reduce the body weight H. axyridis and alter the bacterial endosymbiont community by affecting the abundance and gene copy number of dominant bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-06-03

Alickovic L, Johnson KP, BM Boyd (2021)

The reduced genome of a heritable symbiont from an ectoparasitic feather feeding louse.

BMC ecology and evolution, 21(1):108.

BACKGROUND: Feather feeding lice are abundant and diverse ectoparasites that complete their entire life cycle on an avian host. The principal or sole source of nutrition for these lice is feathers. Feathers appear to lack four amino acids that the lice would require to complete development and reproduce. Several insect groups have acquired heritable and intracellular bacteria that can synthesize metabolites absent in an insect's diet, allowing insects to feed exclusively on nutrient-poor resources. Multiple species of feather feeding lice have been shown to harbor heritable and intracellular bacteria. We expected that these bacteria augment the louse's diet with amino acids and facilitated the evolution of these diverse and specialized parasites. Heritable symbionts of insects often have small genomes that contain a minimal set of genes needed to maintain essential cell functions and synthesize metabolites absent in the host insect's diet. Therefore, we expected the genome of a bacterial endosymbiont in feather lice would be small, but encode pathways for biosynthesis of amino acids.

RESULTS: We sequenced the genome of a bacterial symbiont from a feather feeding louse (Columbicola wolffhuegeli) that parasitizes the Pied Imperial Pigeon (Ducula bicolor) and used its genome to predict metabolism of amino acids based on the presence or absence of genes. We found that this bacterial symbiont has a small genome, similar to the genomes of heritable symbionts described in other insect groups. However, we failed to identify many of the genes that we expected would support metabolism of amino acids in the symbiont genome. We also evaluated other gene pathways and features of the highly reduced genome of this symbiotic bacterium.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the data collected in this study, it does not appear that this bacterial symbiont can synthesize amino acids needed to complement the diet of a feather feeding louse. Our results raise additional questions about the biology of feather chewing lice and the roles of symbiotic bacteria in evolution of diverse avian parasites.

RevDate: 2021-06-02

Zhou X, Ling X, Guo H, et al (2021)

Serratia symbiotica Enhances Fatty Acid Metabolism of Pea Aphid to Promote Host Development.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(11): pii:ijms22115951.

Bacterial symbionts associated with insects are often involved in host development and ecological adaptation. Serratia symbiotica, a common facultative endosymbiont harbored in pea aphids, improves host fitness and heat tolerance, but studies concerning the nutritional metabolism and impact on the aphid host associated with carrying Serratia are limited. In the current study, we showed that Serratia-infected aphids had a shorter nymphal developmental time and higher body weight than Serratia-free aphids when fed on detached leaves. Genes connecting to fatty acid biosynthesis and elongation were up-regulated in Serratia-infected aphids. Specifically, elevated expression of fatty acid synthase 1 (FASN1) and diacylglycerol-o-acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2) could result in accumulation of myristic acid, palmitic acid, linoleic acid, and arachidic acid in fat bodies. Impairing fatty acid synthesis in Serratia-infected pea aphids either by a pharmacological inhibitor or through silencing FASN1 and DGAT2 expression prolonged the nymphal growth period and decreased the aphid body weight. Conversely, supplementation of myristic acid (C14:0) to these aphids restored their normal development and weight gain. Our results indicated that Serratia promoted development and growth of its aphid host through enhancing fatty acid biosynthesis. Our discovery has shed more light on nutritional effects underlying the symbiosis between aphids and facultative endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2021-06-02

Sato N (2021)

Are Cyanobacteria an Ancestor of Chloroplasts or Just One of the Gene Donors for Plants and Algae?.

Genes, 12(6): pii:genes12060823.

Chloroplasts of plants and algae are currently believed to originate from a cyanobacterial endosymbiont, mainly based on the shared proteins involved in the oxygenic photosynthesis and gene expression system. The phylogenetic relationship between the chloroplast and cyanobacterial genomes was important evidence for the notion that chloroplasts originated from cyanobacterial endosymbiosis. However, studies in the post-genomic era revealed that various substances (glycolipids, peptidoglycan, etc.) shared by cyanobacteria and chloroplasts are synthesized by different pathways or phylogenetically unrelated enzymes. Membranes and genomes are essential components of a cell (or an organelle), but the origins of these turned out to be different. Besides, phylogenetic trees of chloroplast-encoded genes suggest an alternative possibility that chloroplast genes could be acquired from at least three different lineages of cyanobacteria. We have to seriously examine that the chloroplast genome might be chimeric due to various independent gene flows from cyanobacteria. Chloroplast formation could be more complex than a single event of cyanobacterial endosymbiosis. I present the "host-directed chloroplast formation" hypothesis, in which the eukaryotic host cell that had acquired glycolipid synthesis genes as an adaptation to phosphate limitation facilitated chloroplast formation by providing glycolipid-based membranes (pre-adaptation). The origins of the membranes and the genome could be different, and the origin of the genome could be complex.

RevDate: 2021-06-02

Vallino M, Rossi M, Ottati S, et al (2021)

Bacteriophage-Host Association in the Phytoplasma Insect Vector Euscelidius variegatus.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(5): pii:pathogens10050612.

Insect vectors transmit viruses and bacteria that can cause severe diseases in plants and economic losses due to a decrease in crop production. Insect vectors, like all other organisms, are colonized by a community of various microorganisms, which can influence their physiology, ecology, evolution, and also their competence as vectors. The important ecological meaning of bacteriophages in various ecosystems and their role in microbial communities has emerged in the past decade. However, only a few phages have been described so far in insect microbiomes. The leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus is a laboratory vector of the phytoplasma causing Flavescence dorée, a severe grapevine disease that threatens viticulture in Europe. Here, the presence of a temperate bacteriophage in E. variegatus (named Euscelidius variegatus phage 1, EVP-1) was revealed through both insect transcriptome analyses and electron microscopic observations. The bacterial host was isolated in axenic culture and identified as the bacterial endosymbiont of E. variegatus (BEV), recently assigned to the genus Candidatus Symbiopectobacterium. BEV harbors multiple prophages that become active in culture, suggesting that different environments can trigger different mechanisms, finely regulating the interactions among phages. Understanding the complex relationships within insect vector microbiomes may help in revealing possible microbe influences on pathogen transmission, and it is a crucial step toward innovative sustainable strategies for disease management in agriculture.

RevDate: 2021-06-02

Liu Q, Zhang H, Zeng L, et al (2021)

Coexistence of Three Dominant Bacterial Symbionts in a Social Aphid and Implications for Ecological Adaptation.

Insects, 12(5): pii:insects12050416.

Aphids are associated with an array of symbionts that have diverse ecological and evolutionary effects on their hosts. To date, symbiont communities of most aphid species are still poorly characterized, especially for the social aphids. In this study, high-throughput 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing was used to assess the bacterial communities of the social aphid Pseudoregma bambucicola, and the differences in bacterial diversity with respect to ant attendance and time series were also assessed. We found that the diversity of symbionts in P. bambucicola was low and three dominant symbionts (Buchnera, Pectobacterium and Wolbachia) were stably coexisting. Pectobacterium may help P. bambucicola feed on the hard bamboo stems, and genetic distance analysis suggests that the Pectobacterium in P. bambucicola may be a new symbiont species. Wolbachia may be associated with the transition of reproduction mode or has a nutritional role in P. bambucicola. Statistical tests on the diversity of bacterial communities in P. bambucicola suggest that aphid populations attended by ants usually have a significantly higher evenness than populations without ant attendance but there was no significant difference among aphid populations from different seasons.

RevDate: 2021-06-01

Yamashita H, Koike K, Shinzato C, et al (2021)

Can Acropora tenuis larvae attract native Symbiodiniaceae cells by green fluorescence at the initial establishment of symbiosis?.

PloS one, 16(6):e0252514 pii:PONE-D-20-25327.

Most corals acquire symbiodiniacean symbionts from the surrounding environment to initiate symbiosis. The cell densities of Symbiodiniaceae in the environment are usually low, and mechanisms may exist by which new coral generations attract suitable endosymbionts. Phototaxis of suitable symbiodiniacean cells toward green fluorescence in corals has been proposed as one such mechanism. In the present study, we observed the phototaxis action wavelength of various strains of Symbiodiniaceae and the fluorescence spectra of aposymbiotic Acropora tenuis larvae at the time of endosymbiont uptake. The phototaxis patterns varied among the Symbiodiniaceae species and "native" endosymbionts-commonly found in Acropora juveniles present in natural environments; that is, Symbiodinium microadriaticum was attracted to blue light rather than to green light. Another native endosymbiont, Durusdinium trenchii, showed no phototaxis specific to any wavelength. Although the larvae exhibited green and broad orange fluorescence under blue-violet excitation light, the maximum green fluorescence peak did not coincide with that of the phototaxis action spectrum of S. microadriaticum. Rather, around the peak wavelength of larval green fluorescence, this native endosymbiont showed slightly negative phototaxis, suggesting that the green fluorescence of A. tenuis larvae may not play a role in the initial attraction of native endosymbionts. Conversely, broad blue larval fluorescence under UV-A excitation covered the maximum phototaxis action wavelength of S. microadriaticum. We also conducted infection tests using native endosymbionts and aposymbiotic larvae under red LED light that does not excite visible larval fluorescence. Almost all larvae failed to acquire S. microadriaticum cells, whereas D. trenchii cells were acquired by larvae even under red illumination. Thus, attraction mechanisms other than visible fluorescence might exist, at least in the case of D. trenchii. Our results suggest that further investigation and discussion, not limited to green fluorescence, would be required to elucidate the initial attraction mechanisms.

RevDate: 2021-06-01

Garber AI, Kupper M, Laetsch DR, et al (2021)

The evolution of interdependence in a four-way mealybug symbiosis.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6290711 [Epub ahead of print].

Mealybugs are insects that maintain intracellular bacterial symbionts to supplement their nutrient-poor plant sap diets. Some mealybugs have a single betaproteobacterial endosymbiont, a Candidatus Tremblaya species (hereafter Tremblaya) that alone provides the insect with its required nutrients. Other mealybugs have two nutritional endosymbionts that together provision these same nutrients, where Tremblaya has gained a gammaproteobacterial partner that resides in its cytoplasm. Previous work had established that Pseudococcus longispinus mealybugs maintain not one but two species of gammaproteobacterial endosymbionts along with Tremblaya. Preliminary genomic analyses suggested that these two gammaproteobacterial endosymbionts have large genomes with features consistent with a relatively recent origin as insect endosymbionts, but the patterns of genomic complementarity between members of the symbiosis and their relative cellular locations were unknown. Here, using long-read sequencing and various types of microscopy, we show that the two gammaproteobacterial symbionts of Pseudococcus longispinus are mixed together within Tremblaya cells, and that their genomes are somewhat reduced in size compared to their closest non-endosymbiotic relatives. Both gammaproteobacterial genomes contain thousands of pseudogenes, consistent with a relatively recent shift from a free-living to an endosymbiotic lifestyle. Biosynthetic pathways of key metabolites are partitioned in complex interdependent patterns among the two gammaproteobacterial genomes, the Tremblaya genome, and horizontally acquired bacterial genes that are encoded on the mealybug nuclear genome. Although these two gammaproteobacterial endosymbionts have been acquired recently in evolutionary time, they have already evolved co-dependencies with each other, Tremblaya, and their insect host.

RevDate: 2021-05-30

Maeda I, Kudou S, S Iwai (2021)

Efficient isolation and cultivation of endosymbiotic Chlorella from Paramecium bursaria on agar plates by co-culture with yeast cells.

Journal of microbiological methods pii:S0167-7012(21)00122-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Paramecium bursaria is a ciliate that harbors Chlorella-like unicellular green algae as endosymbionts. The relationship between the host P. bursaria and the endosymbiotic Chlorella is facultative; therefore, both partners can be cultured independently and re-combined to re-establish symbiosis, making this system suitable for studying algal endosymbiosis. However, despite many previous studies, cultivation of endosymbiotic Chlorella remains difficult, particularly on agar plates. Here we describe a simple agar plate method for efficiently isolating and culturing cells of the endosymbiotic alga Chlorella variabilis from an individual P. bursaria cell, by co-culturing them with yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The co-culture with the yeast significantly improved the colony-forming efficiency of the alga on agar. Growth assays suggest that the main role of the co-cultured yeast cells is not to provide nutrients for the algal cells, but to protect the algal cells from some environmental stresses on the agar surface. Using the algal cells grown on the plates and a set of specially designed primers, direct colony PCR can be performed for screening of multiple endosymbiont clones isolated from a single host ciliate. These methods may provide a useful tool for studying endosymbiotic Chlorella species within P. bursaria and various other protists.

RevDate: 2021-05-28

Ün Ç, Schultner E, Manzano-Marín A, et al (2021)

Cytoplasmic incompatibility between Old and New World populations of a tramp ant.

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

Reproductive manipulation by endosymbiotic Wolbachia can cause unequal inheritance, allowing the manipulator to spread and potentially impacting evolutionary dynamics in infected hosts. Tramp and invasive species are excellent models to study the dynamics of host-Wolbachia associations because introduced populations often diverge in their microbiomes after colonizing new habitats, resulting in infection polymorphisms between native and introduced populations. Ants are the most abundant group of insects on earth, and numerous ant species are classified as highly invasive. However, little is known about the role of Wolbachia in these ecologically dominant insects. Here, we provide the first description of reproductive manipulation by Wolbachia in an ant. We show that Old and New World populations of the cosmotropic tramp ant Cardiocondyla obscurior harbor distinct Wolbachia strains, and that only the Old World strain manipulates host reproduction by causing cytoplasmic incompatibility in hybrid crosses. By uncovering a symbiont-induced mechanism of reproductive isolation in a social insect, our study provides a novel perspective on the biology of tramp ants and introduces a new system for studying the evolutionary consequences of cytoplasmic incompatibility. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-05-28

Jiao J, Lu Z, Yu Y, et al (2021)

Identification of tick-borne pathogens by metagenomic next-generation sequencing in Dermacentor nuttalli and Ixodes persulcatus in Inner Mongolia, China.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):287.

BACKGROUND: Hard ticks act as arthropod vectors in the transmission of human and animal pathogens and are widely distributed in northern China. The aim of this study is to screen the important tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) carried by hard ticks in Inner Mongolia using metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) and to estimate the risk of human infection imposed by tick bites.

METHODS: The adult Dermacentor nuttalli (n = 203) and Ixodes persulcatus (n = 36) ticks feeding on cattle were collected. The pooled DNA samples prepared from these ticks were sequenced as the templates for mNGS to survey the presence of TBPs at the genus level. Individual tick DNA samples were detected by genus--specific or group-specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of these TBPs and combined with DNA sequencing assay to confirm the results of mNGS.

RESULTS: R. raoultii (45.32%, 92/203), Candidatus R. tarasevichiae (5.42%, 11/203), Anaplasma sp. Mongolia (26.60%, 54/203), Coxiella-like endosymbiont (CLE) (53.69%, 109/203), and Babesia venatorum (7.88%, 16/203) were detected in D. nuttalli, while R. raoultii (30.56%, 11/36), Anaplasma sp. Mongolia (27.80%, 10/36), and CLE (27.80%, 10/36) were detected in I. persulcatus. The double- and triple-pathogen/endosymbiont co-infections were detected in 40.39% of D. nuttalli and 13.89% of I. persulcatus, respectively. The dual co-infection with R. raoultii and CLE (14.29%, 29/203) and triple co-infection with R. raoultii, Anaplasma sp. Mongolia, and CLE (13.79%, 28/203) were most frequent in D. nuttalli.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insight into the microbial diversity of D. nuttalli and I. persulcatus in Inner Mongolia, China, reporting for the first time that Candidatus R. tarasevichiae had been found in D. nuttalli in China, and for the first time in the world that Anaplasma sp. Mongolia has been detected in I. persulcatus. This study proves that various vertically transmitted pathogens co-inhabit D. nuttalli and I. persulcatus, and indicates that cattle in Inner Mongolia are exposed to several TBPs.

RevDate: 2021-05-26

Kinjo Y, Lo N, Villa Martín P, et al (2021)

Enhanced mutation rate, relaxed selection, and the 'domino effect' drive gene loss in Blattabacterium, a cockroach endosymbiont.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:6284969 [Epub ahead of print].

Intracellular endosymbionts have reduced genomes that progressively lose genes at a timescale of tens of million years. We previously reported that gene loss rate is linked to mutation rate in Blattabacterium, however, the mechanisms causing gene loss are not yet fully understood. Here, we carried out comparative genomic analyses on the complete genome sequences of a representative set of 67 Blattabacterium strains, with sizes ranging between 511kbp and 645kbp. We found that 200 of the 566 analysed protein-coding genes were lost in at least one lineage of Blattabacterium, with the most extreme case being one gene that was lost independently in 24 lineages. We found evidence for three mechanisms influencing gene loss in Blattabacterium. First, gene loss rates were found to increase exponentially with the accumulation of substitutions. Second, genes involved in vitamin and amino acid metabolism experienced relaxed selection in Cryptocercus and Mastotermes, possibly triggered by their vertically-inherited gut symbionts. Third, we found evidences of epistatic interactions among genes leading to a 'domino effect' of gene loss within pathways. Our results highlight the complexity of the process of genome erosion in an endosymbiont.

RevDate: 2021-05-22

Kohli S, Gulati P, Narang A, et al (2021)

Genome and transcriptome analysis of the mealybug Maconellicoccus hirsutus: Correlation with its unique phenotypes.

Genomics pii:S0888-7543(21)00187-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Mealybugs are aggressive pests with world-wide distribution and are suitable for study of different phenomena like genomic imprinting and epigenetics. Genomic approaches facilitate these studies in absence of robust genetics in this system. We sequenced, de novo assembled, annotated Maconellicoccus hirsutus genome and compared it with four mealybug and eight other insect species, to identify expanded, specific and contracted gene classes that relate to pesticide and desiccation resistance. We identified horizontally transferred genes adding to the mutualism between the mealybug and its endosymbionts Male and female transcriptome analysis indicates differential expression of metabolic pathway genes correlating with their physiology and the genes for sexual dimorphism. The significantly lower expression of endosymbiont genes in males relates to the depletion of endosymbionts in males during development.

RevDate: 2021-05-22

Lucek K, Bouaouina S, Jospin A, et al (2021)

Prevalence and relationship of endosymbiotic Wolbachia in the butterfly genus Erebia.

BMC ecology and evolution, 21(1):95.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia is an endosymbiont common to most invertebrates, which can have significant evolutionary implications for its host species by acting as a barrier to gene flow. Despite the importance of Wolbachia, still little is known about its prevalence and diversification pattern among closely related host species. Wolbachia strains may phylogenetically coevolve with their hosts, unless horizontal host-switches are particularly common. We address these issues in the genus Erebia, one of the most diverse Palearctic butterfly genera.

RESULTS: We sequenced the Wolbachia genome from a strain infecting Erebia cassioides and showed that it belongs to the Wolbachia supergroup B, capable of infecting arthropods from different taxonomic orders. The prevalence of Wolbachia across 13 closely related Erebia host species based on extensive population-level genetic data revealed that multiple Wolbachia strains jointly infect all investigated taxa, but with varying prevalence. Finally, the phylogenetic relationships of Wolbachia strains are in some cases significantly associated to that of their hosts, especially among the most closely related Erebia species, demonstrating mixed evidence for phylogenetic coevolution.

CONCLUSIONS: Closely related host species can be infected by closely related Wolbachia strains, evidencing some phylogenetic coevolution, but the actual pattern of infection more often reflects historical or contemporary geographic proximity among host species. Multiple processes, including survival in distinct glacial refugia, recent host shifts in sympatry, and a loss of Wolbachia during postglacial range expansion seem to have jointly shaped the complex interactions between Wolbachia evolution and the diversification of its host among our studied Erebia species.

RevDate: 2021-05-21

Stephens TG, Gabr A, Calatrava V, et al (2021)

Why is primary endosymbiosis so rare?.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiosis is a relationship between two organisms wherein one cell resides inside the other. This affiliation, when stable and beneficial for the "host" cell, can result in massive genetic innovation with the foremost examples being the evolution of eukaryotic organelles, the mitochondria and plastids. Despite its critical evolutionary role, there is limited knowledge about how endosymbiosis is initially established and how host - endosymbiont biology is integrated. Here, we explore this issue using, as our model, the rhizarian amoeba Paulinella, which represents an independent case of primary plastid origin that occurred ~120 Mya. We propose the "chassis and engine" model that provides a theoretical framework for understanding primary plastid endosymbiosis, potentially explaining why it is so rare.

RevDate: 2021-05-20

Mioduchowska M, Nitkiewicz B, Roszkowska M, et al (2021)

Taxonomic classification of the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia based on next-generation sequencing: is there molecular evidence for its presence in tardigrades?.

Genome [Epub ahead of print].

We used high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA to test whether tardigrade species are infected with Wolbachia parasites. We applied SILVA and Greengenes databases that allowed taxonomic classification of bacterial sequences to OTUs. The results obtained from both databases differed considerably in the number of OTUs, and only the Greengenes database allowed identification of Wolbachia (infection was also supported by comparison of sequences to NCBI database). The putative bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia was discovered only in adult eutardigrades, while bacteria identified down to the order Rickettsiales were detected in both eutardigrade eggs and adult specimens. Nevertheless, the frequency of Wolbachia in the bacterial communities of the studied eutardigrades was low. Similarly, in our positive control, i.e. a fairy shrimp Streptocephalus cafer, which was found to be infected with Wolbachia in our previous study using Sanger sequencing, only the Rickettsiales were detected. We also carried out phylogenetic reconstruction using Wolbachia sequences from the SILVA and Greengenes databases, Alphaproteobacteria putative endosymbionts and Rickettsiales OTUs obtained in the previous studies on the microbial community of tardigrades as well as Rickettsiales and Wolbachia OTUs obtained in the current study. Our discovery of Wolbachia in tardigrades can fuel new research to uncover the specifics of this interaction.

RevDate: 2021-05-20

Ulrich GF, Zemp N, Vorburger C, et al (2021)

Quantitative trait locus analysis of parasitoid counteradaptation to symbiont-conferred resistance.

Heredity [Epub ahead of print].

Insect hosts and parasitoids are engaged in an intense struggle of antagonistic coevolution. Infection with heritable bacterial endosymbionts can substantially increase the resistance of aphids to parasitoid wasps, which exerts selection on parasitoids to overcome this symbiont-conferred protection (counteradaptation). Experimental evolution in the laboratory has produced counteradapted populations of the parasitoid wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum. These populations can parasitize black bean aphids (Aphis fabae) protected by the bacterial endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa, which confers high resistance against L. fabarum. We used two experimentally evolved parasitoid populations to study the genetic architecture of the counteradaptation to symbiont-conferred resistance by QTL analysis. With simple crossing experiments, we showed that the counteradaptation is a recessive trait depending on the maternal genotype. Based on these results, we designed a customized crossing scheme to genotype a mapping population phenotyped for the ability to parasitize Hamiltonella-protected aphids. Using 1835 SNP markers obtained by ddRAD sequencing, we constructed a high-density linkage map consisting of six linkage groups (LGs) with an overall length of 828.3 cM and an average marker spacing of 0.45 cM. We identified a single QTL associated with the counteradaptation to Hamiltonella in L. fabarum on linkage group 2. Out of 120 genes located in this QTL, several genes encoding putative venoms may represent candidates for counteradaptation, as parasitoid wasps inject venoms into their hosts during oviposition.

RevDate: 2021-05-19

Brenner AE, Muñoz-Leal S, Sachan M, et al (2021)

Coxiella burnetii and related tick endosymbionts evolved from pathogenic ancestors.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6278299 [Epub ahead of print].

Both symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria in the family Coxiellaceae cause morbidity and mortality in humans and animals. For instance, Coxiella-like endosymbionts (CLEs) improve the reproductive success of ticks - a major disease vector, while Coxiella burnetii causes human Q fever, and uncharacterized coxiellae infect both animals and humans. To better understand the evolution of pathogenesis and symbiosis in this group of intracellular bacteria, we sequenced the genome of a CLE present in the soft tick Ornithodoros amblus (CLEOA) and compared it to the genomes of other bacteria in the order Legionellales. Our analyses confirmed that CLEOA is more closely related to C. burnetii, the human pathogen, than to CLEs in hard ticks, and showed that most clades of CLEs contain both endosymbionts and pathogens, indicating that several CLE lineages have evolved independently from pathogenic Coxiella. We also determined that the last common ancestor of CLEOA and C. burnetii was equipped to infect macrophages, and that even though horizontal gene transfer (HGT) contributed significantly to the evolution of C. burnetii, most acquisition events occurred primarily in ancestors predating the CLEOA-C. burnetii divergence. These discoveries clarify the evolution of C. burnetii, which previously was assumed to have emerged when an avirulent tick endosymbiont recently gained virulence factors via HGT. Finally, we identified several metabolic pathways, including heme biosynthesis, that are likely critical to the intracellular growth of the human pathogen but not the tick symbiont, and show that the use of heme analog is a promising approach to controlling C. burnetii infections.

RevDate: 2021-05-19

Speijer D (2021)

Zombie ideas about early endosymbiosis: Which entry mechanisms gave us the "endo" in different endosymbionts?.

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

Recently, a review regarding the mechanics and evolution of mitochondrial fission appeared in Nature. Surprisingly, it stated authoritatively that the mitochondrial outer membrane, in contrast with the inner membrane of bacterial descent, was acquired from the host, presumably during uptake. However, it has been known for quite some time that this membrane was also derived from the Gram-negative, alpha-proteobacterium related precursor of present-day mitochondria. The zombie idea of the host membrane still surrounding the endosymbiont is not only wrong, but more importantly, might hamper the proper conception of possible scenarios of eukaryogenesis. Why? Because it steers the imagination not only with regard to possible uptake mechanisms, but also regarding what went on before. Here I critically discuss both the evidence for the continuity of the bacterial outer membrane, the reasons for the persistence of the erroneous host membrane hypothesis and the wider implications of these misconceptions for the ideas regarding events occurring during the first steps towards the evolution of the eukaryotes and later major eukaryotic differentiations. I will also highlight some of the latest insights regarding different instances of endosymbiont evolution.

RevDate: 2021-05-19

Nadolny RM, Kennedy AC, Rodgers JM, et al (2021)

Carios kelleyi (Acari: Ixodida: Argasidae) Infected With Rickettsial Agents Documented Infesting Housing in Kansas, United States.

Journal of medical entomology pii:6278151 [Epub ahead of print].

During September-December 2018, 25 live ticks were collected on-post at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in a home with a history of bat occupancy. Nine ticks were sent to the Army Public Health Center Tick-Borne Disease Laboratory and were identified as Carios kelleyi (Cooley and Kohls, 1941), a species that seldom bites humans but that may search for other sources of blood meals, including humans, when bats are removed from human dwellings. The ticks were tested for numerous agents of human disease. Rickettsia lusitaniae was identified by multilocus sequence typing to be present in two ticks, marking the first detection of this Rickettsia agent in the United States and in this species of tick. Two other Rickettsia spp. were also detected, including an endosymbiont previously associated with C. kelleyi and a possible novel Rickettsia species. The potential roles of C. kelleyi and bats in peridomestic Rickettsia transmission cycles warrant further investigation.

RevDate: 2021-05-18

Becker DM, NJ Silbiger (2020)

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

The Journal of experimental biology pii:267764 [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reefs, one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, face increasing pressures from global and local anthropogenic stressors. Therefore, a better understanding of the ecological ramifications of warming and land-based inputs (e.g., sedimentation and nutrient loading) on coral reef ecosystems is necessary. In this study, we measured how a natural nutrient and sedimentation gradient affected multiple facets of coral functionality, including endosymbiont and coral host response variables, holobiont metabolic responses, and percent cover of Pocillopora acuta colonies in Mo'orea, French Polynesia. We used thermal performance curves to quantify the relationship between metabolic rates and temperature along the environmental gradient. We found that algal endosymbiont % nitrogen content, endosymbiont densities, and total chlorophyll a content increased with nutrient input, while endosymbiont nitrogen content cell-1 decreased, likely representing competition among the algal endosymbionts. Nutrient and sediment loading decreased coral metabolic responses to thermal stress in terms of their thermal performance and metabolic rate processes. The acute thermal optimum for dark respiration decreased, along with the maximal performance for gross photosynthetic and calcification rates. Gross photosynthetic and calcification rates normalized to a reference temperature (26.8 °C) decreased along the gradient. Lastly, percent cover of P. acuta colonies decreased by nearly two orders of magnitude along the nutrient gradient. These findings illustrate that nutrient and sediment loading affect multiple levels of coral functionality. Understanding how local-scale anthropogenic stressors influence the responses of corals to temperature can inform coral reef management, particularly on the mediation of land-based inputs into coastal coral reef ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-05-18

Baião GC, Janice J, Galinou M, et al (2021)

Comparative genomics reveals factors associated with phenotypic expression of Wolbachia.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6277727 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is a widespread, vertically transmitted bacterial endosymbiont known for manipulating arthropod reproduction. Its most common form of reproductive manipulation is Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), observed when a modification in the male sperm leads to embryonic lethality unless a compatible rescue factor is present in the female egg. CI attracts scientific attention due to its implications for host speciation and in the use of Wolbachia for controlling vector-borne diseases. However, our understanding of CI is complicated by the complexity of the phenotype, whose expression depends on both symbiont and host factors. In the present study, we perform a comparative analysis of nine complete Wolbachia genomes with known CI properties in the same genetic host background, Drosophila simulans STC. We describe genetic differences between closely related strains and uncover evidence that phages and other mobile elements contribute to rapid evolution of both genomes and phenotypes of Wolbachia. Additionally, we identify both known and novel genes associated with the modification and rescue functions of CI. We combine our observations with published phenotypic information and discuss how variability in cif genes, novel CI-associated genes and Wolbachia titer might contribute to poorly understood aspects of CI such as strength and bidirectional incompatibility. We speculate that high titer CI strains could be better at invading new hosts already infected with a CI Wolbachia, due to a higher rescue potential, and suggest that titer might thus be a relevant parameter to consider for future strategies using CI Wolbachia in biological control.

RevDate: 2021-05-15

Kiefer JST, Batsukh S, Bauer E, et al (2021)

Inhibition of a nutritional endosymbiont by glyphosate abolishes mutualistic benefit on cuticle synthesis in Oryzaephilus surinamensis.

Communications biology, 4(1):554.

Glyphosate is widely used as a herbicide, but recent studies begin to reveal its detrimental side effects on animals by targeting the shikimate pathway of associated gut microorganisms. However, its impact on nutritional endosymbionts in insects remains poorly understood. Here, we sequenced the tiny, shikimate pathway encoding symbiont genome of the sawtoothed grain beetle Oryzaephilus surinamensis. Decreased titers of the aromatic amino acid tyrosine in symbiont-depleted beetles underscore the symbionts' ability to synthesize prephenate as the precursor for host tyrosine synthesis and its importance for cuticle sclerotization and melanization. Glyphosate exposure inhibited symbiont establishment during host development and abolished the mutualistic benefit on cuticle synthesis in adults, which could be partially rescued by dietary tyrosine supplementation. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses indicate that the shikimate pathways of many nutritional endosymbionts likewise contain a glyphosate sensitive 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase. These findings highlight the importance of symbiont-mediated tyrosine supplementation for cuticle biosynthesis in insects, but also paint an alarming scenario regarding the use of glyphosate in light of recent declines in insect populations.

RevDate: 2021-05-12

Domínguez-Santos R, Pérez-Cobas AE, Cuti P, et al (2021)

Interkingdom Gut Microbiome and Resistome of the Cockroach Blattella germanica.

mSystems, 6(3):.

Cockroaches are intriguing animals with two coexisting symbiotic systems, an endosymbiont in the fat body, involved in nitrogen metabolism, and a gut microbiome whose diversity, complexity, role, and developmental dynamics have not been fully elucidated. In this work, we present a metagenomic approach to study Blattella germanica populations not treated, treated with kanamycin, and recovered after treatment, both naturally and by adding feces to the diet, with the aim of better understanding the structure and function of its gut microbiome along the development as well as the characterization of its resistome.IMPORTANCE For the first time, we analyze the interkingdom hindgut microbiome of this species, including bacteria, fungi, archaea, and viruses. Network analysis reveals putative cooperation between core bacteria that could be key for ecosystem equilibrium. We also show how antibiotic treatments alter microbiota diversity and function, while both features are restored after one untreated generation. Combining data from B. germanica treated with three antibiotics, we have characterized this species' resistome. It includes genes involved in resistance to several broad-spectrum antibiotics frequently used in the clinic. The presence of genetic elements involved in DNA mobilization indicates that they can be transferred among microbiota partners. Therefore, cockroaches can be considered reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and potential transmission vectors.

RevDate: 2021-05-11

Yang F, Zhang J, Cai Z, et al (2021)

Exploring the oxygenase function of Form II Rubisco for production of glycolate from CO2.

AMB Express, 11(1):65.

The oxygenase activity of Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) converts ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) into 2-phosphoglycolate, which in turn channels into photorespiration, resulting in carbon and energy loss in higher plants. We observed that glycolate can be accumulated extracellularly when two genes encoding the glycolate dehydrogenase of cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 were inactivated. This inspired us to explore the oxygenase function of Rubisco for production of glycolate, an important industrial chemical, from CO2 by engineered cyanobacteria. Since the oxygenase activity of Rubisco is generally low in CO2-rich carboxysome of cyanobacteria, we introduced Form II Rubisco, which cannot be assembled in carboxysome, into the cytoplasm of cyanobacteria. Heterologous expression of a Form II Rubisco from endosymbiont of tubeworm Riftia pachyptila (RPE Rubisco) significantly increased glycolate production. We show that the RPE Rubisco is expressed in the cytoplasm. Glycolate production increased upon addition of NaHCO3 but decreased upon supplying CO2. The titer of glycolate reached 2.8 g/L in 18 days, a 14-fold increase compared with the initial strain with glycolate dehydrogenase inactivated. This is also the highest glycolate titer biotechnologically produced from CO2 ever reported. Photosynthetic production of glycolate demonstrated the oxygenase activity of Form II Rubisco can be explored for production of chemicals from CO2.

RevDate: 2021-05-08

Skejo J, Garg SG, Gould SB, et al (2021)

Evidence for a syncytial origin of eukaryotes from ancestral state reconstruction.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6272229 [Epub ahead of print].

Modern accounts of eukaryogenesis entail an endosymbiotic encounter between an archaeal host and a proteobacterial endosymbiont, with subsequent evolution giving rise to a unicell possessing a single nucleus and mitochondria. The mononucleate state of the last eukaryotic common ancestor, LECA, is seldom, if ever, questioned, even though cells harboring multiple (syncytia, coenocytes, polykaryons) are surprisingly common across eukaryotic supergroups. Here we present a survey of multinucleated forms. Ancestral character state reconstruction for representatives of 106 eukaryotic taxa using 16 different possible roots and supergroup sister relationships, indicate that LECA, in addition to being mitochondriate, sexual, and meiotic, was multinucleate. LECA exhibited closed mitosis, which is the rule for modern syncytial forms, shedding light on the mechanics of its chromosome segregation. A simple mathematical model shows that within LECA's multinucleate cytosol, relationships among mitochondria and nuclei were neither one-to-one, nor one-to-many, but many-to-many, placing mitonuclear interactions and cytonuclear compatibility at the evolutionary base of eukaryotic cell origin. Within a syncytium, individual nuclei and individual mitochondria function as the initial lower-level evolutionary units of selection, as opposed to individual cells, during eukaryogenesis. Nuclei within a syncytium rescue each other's lethal mutations, thereby postponing selection for viable nuclei and cytonuclear compatibility to the generation of spores, buffering transitional bottlenecks at eukaryogenesis. The prokaryote-to-eukaryote transition is traditionally thought to have left no intermediates, yet if eukaryogenesis proceeded via a syncytial common ancestor, intermediate forms have persisted to the present throughout the eukaryotic tree as syncytia, but have so far gone unrecognized.

RevDate: 2021-05-11

Manoj RRS, Latrofa MS, Epis S, et al (2021)

Wolbachia: endosymbiont of onchocercid nematodes and their vectors.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):245.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia is an obligate intracellular maternally transmitted, gram-negative bacterium which forms a spectrum of endosymbiotic relationships from parasitism to obligatory mutualism in a wide range of arthropods and onchocercid nematodes, respectively. In arthropods Wolbachia produces reproductive manipulations such as male killing, feminization, parthenogenesis and cytoplasmic incompatibility for its propagation and provides an additional fitness benefit for the host to protect against pathogens, whilst in onchocercid nematodes, apart from the mutual metabolic dependence, this bacterium is involved in moulting, embryogenesis, growth and survival of the host.

METHODS: This review details the molecular data of Wolbachia and its effect on host biology, immunity, ecology and evolution, reproduction, endosymbiont-based treatment and control strategies exploited for filariasis. Relevant peer-reviewed scientic papers available in various authenticated scientific data bases were considered while writing the review.

CONCLUSIONS: The information presented provides an overview on Wolbachia biology and its use in the control and/or treatment of vectors, onchocercid nematodes and viral diseases of medical and veterinary importance. This offers the development of new approaches for the control of a variety of vector-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Park J, Lee SH, JH Kim (2021)

Complete Genome Sequence of the Endosymbiotic Bacterium "Candidatus Riesia pediculicola".

Microbiology resource announcements, 10(18):.

Human head and body lice host the obligate endosymbiotic bacterium "Candidatus Riesia pediculicola." In this announcement, we describe the complete genome sequence of a "Ca. Riesia pediculicola" strain isolated from the human head louse, Pediculus humanus subsp. capitis The inter- and intraspecific variations of endosymbiont genomes were investigated, and this strain was found to display high-level variations in its genome.

RevDate: 2021-05-06

Hensley JR, Zambrano ML, Williams-Newkirk AJ, et al (2021)

Detection of Rickettsia Species, and Coxiella-Like and Francisella-Like Endosymbionts in Amblyomma americanum and Amblyomma maculatum from a Shared Field Site in Georgia, United States of America.

Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.) [Epub ahead of print].

Two abundant species of aggressive ticks commonly feed on humans in Georgia: the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum) and the Lone Star tick (A. americanum). A. maculatum is the primary host of Rickettsia parkeri, "Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae," and a Francisella-like endosymbiont (AmacFLE), whereas A. americanum is the primary host for R. amblyommatis, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, E. ewingii, and a Coxiella-like endosymbiont (AamCLE). Horizontal transmission of R. parkeri from A. maculatum to A. americanum by co-feeding has been described, and R. amblyommatis has been found infrequently in A. maculatum ticks. We assessed the prevalence of these agents and whether exchange of tick-associated bacteria is common between A. maculatum and A. americanum collected from the same field site. Unengorged ticks were collected May-August 2014 in west-central Georgia from a 4.14 acre site by flagging and from humans and canines traversing that site. All DNA samples were screened with quantitative PCR assays for the bacteria found in both ticks, and the species of any Rickettsia detected was identified by species-specific TaqMan assays or sequencing of the rickettsial ompA gene. Only R. amblyommatis (15) and AamCLE (39) were detected in 40 A. americanum, while the 74 A. maculatum only contained R. parkeri (30), "Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae" (3), and AmacFLE (74). Neither tick species had either Ehrlichia species. Consequently, we obtained no evidence for the frequent exchange of these tick-borne agents in a natural setting despite high levels of carriage of each agent and the common observance of infestation of both ticks on both dogs and humans at this site. Based on these data, exchange of these Rickettsia, Coxiella, and Francisella agents between A. maculatum and A. americanum appears to be an infrequent event.

RevDate: 2021-05-06

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

Identifying potential candidate Culicoides spp. for the study of interactions with Candidatus Cardinium hertigii.

Medical and veterinary entomology [Epub ahead of print].

Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are vectors responsible for the transmission of several viruses of veterinary importance. Previous screens of Culicoides have described the presence of the endosymbiont Candidatus Cardinium hertigii (Bacteroidetes). However, any impacts of this microbe on vectorial capacity, akin to those conferred by Wolbachia in mosquitoes, are yet to be uncovered and await a suitable system to study Cardinium-midge interactions. To identify potential candidate species to investigate these interactions, accurate knowledge of the distribution of the endosymbiont within Culicoides populations is needed. We used conventional and nested PCR assays to screen Cardinium infection in 337 individuals of 25 Culicoides species from both Palearctic and Afrotropical regions. Infections were observed in several vector species including C. imicola and the Pulicaris complex (C. pulicaris, C. bysta, C. newsteadi and C. punctatus) with varying prevalence. Phylogenetic analysis based on the Gyrase B gene grouped all new isolates within 'group C' of the genus, a clade that has to date been exclusively described in Culicoides. Through a comparison of our results with previous screens, we suggest C. imicola and C. sonorensis represent good candidates for onward study of Cardinium-midge interactions.

RevDate: 2021-05-15

Das A, Roy A, Mandal A, et al (2021)

Inhibition of Bemisia tabaci vectored, GroEL mediated transmission of tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus by garlic leaf lectin (Allium sativum leaf agglutinin).

Virus research, 300:198443 pii:S0168-1702(21)00150-7 [Epub ahead of print].

GroEL or symbionin synthesized by the endosymbionts of whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)/ aphids play a cardinal role in the persistent, circulative transmission of plant viruses by binding to viral coat protein/ read-through protein. Allium sativum leaf agglutinin (ASAL), a Galanthus nivalis agglutinin (GNA)- related mannose-binding lectin from garlic leaf has been reported as a potent controlling agent against hemipteran insects including whitefly and aphids. GroEL related chaperonin- symbionin was previously identified as a receptor of ASAL by the present group in the brush border membrane vesicle (BBMV) of mustard aphid. In the present study similar GroEL receptor of ASAL has been identified through LC-MS/MS in the BBMV of B. tabaci which serves as a vector for several plant viruses including tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV). Ligand blot analysis of ASAL-fed B. tabaci showed that when GroEL is pre-occupied by ASAL, it completely blocks its further binding to ToLCNDV coat protein (ToLCNDV-CP). Prior feeding of ASAL hindered the co-localization of ToLCNDV-CP and GroEL in the midgut of B. tabaci. Immunoprecipitation followed by western blot with ASAL-fed B. tabaci yielded similar result. Moreover, ASAL feeding inhibited viral transmission by B. tabaci. Together, these results confirmed that the interaction of ASAL with GroEL interferes with the binding of ToLCNDV-CP and inhibits further B. tabaci mediated viral transmission.

RevDate: 2021-05-12

Nand A, Zhan Y, Salazar OR, et al (2021)

Genetic and spatial organization of the unusual chromosomes of the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium microadriaticum.

Nature genetics, 53(5):618-629.

Dinoflagellates are main primary producers in the oceans, the cause of algal blooms and endosymbionts of marine invertebrates. Much remains to be understood about their biology, including their peculiar crystalline chromosomes. We assembled 94 chromosome-scale scaffolds of the genome of the coral endosymbiont Symbiodinium microadriaticum and analyzed their organization. Genes are enriched towards the ends of chromosomes and are arranged in alternating unidirectional blocks. Some chromosomes are enriched for genes involved in specific biological processes. The chromosomes fold as linear rods and each is composed of a series of structural domains separated by boundaries. Domain boundaries are positioned at sites where transcription of two gene blocks converges and disappear when cells are treated with chemicals that block transcription, indicating correlations between gene orientation, transcription and chromosome folding. The description of the genetic and spatial organization of the S. microadriaticum genome provides a foundation for deeper exploration of the extraordinary biology of dinoflagellates and their chromosomes.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Park J, Xi H, J Park (2021)

Complete Genome Sequence of a Blochmannia Endosymbiont of Colobopsis nipponica.

Microbiology resource announcements, 10(17):.

Blochmannia endosymbionts (Gammaproteobacteria) live in bacteriocytes, which are specialized cells found in the genus Camponotus and its neighbor genera. In this announcement, we describe the complete genome sequence of the Blochmannia endosymbiont of Colobopsis nipponica, which originated from a colony collected in the Republic of Korea.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Cantanhêde LM, Mata-Somarribas C, Chourabi K, et al (2021)

The Maze Pathway of Coevolution: A Critical Review over the Leishmania and Its Endosymbiotic History.

Genes, 12(5): pii:genes12050657.

The description of the genus Leishmania as the causative agent of leishmaniasis occurred in the modern age. However, evolutionary studies suggest that the origin of Leishmania can be traced back to the Mesozoic era. Subsequently, during its evolutionary process, it achieved worldwide dispersion predating the breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent. It is assumed that this parasite evolved from monoxenic Trypanosomatidae. Phylogenetic studies locate dixenous Leishmania in a well-supported clade, in the recently named subfamily Leishmaniinae, which also includes monoxenous trypanosomatids. Virus-like particles have been reported in many species of this family. To date, several Leishmania species have been reported to be infected by Leishmania RNA virus (LRV) and Leishbunyavirus (LBV). Since the first descriptions of LRVs decades ago, differences in their genomic structures have been highlighted, leading to the designation of LRV1 in L. (Viannia) species and LRV2 in L. (Leishmania) species. There are strong indications that viruses that infect Leishmania spp. have the ability to enhance parasitic survival in humans as well as in experimental infections, through highly complex and specialized mechanisms. Phylogenetic analyses of these viruses have shown that their genomic differences correlate with the parasite species infected, suggesting a coevolutionary process. Herein, we will explore what has been described in the literature regarding the relationship between Leishmania and endosymbiotic Leishmania viruses and what is known about this association that could contribute to discussions about the worldwide dispersion of Leishmania.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Masson F, Rommelaere S, Marra A, et al (2021)

Dual proteomics of Drosophila melanogaster hemolymph infected with the heritable endosymbiont Spiroplasma poulsonii.

PloS one, 16(4):e0250524.

Insects are frequently infected with heritable bacterial endosymbionts. Endosymbionts have a dramatic impact on their host physiology and evolution. Their tissue distribution is variable with some species being housed intracellularly, some extracellularly and some having a mixed lifestyle. The impact of extracellular endosymbionts on the biofluids they colonize (e.g. insect hemolymph) is however difficult to appreciate because biofluid composition can depend on the contribution of numerous tissues. Here we investigate Drosophila hemolymph proteome changes in response to the infection with the endosymbiont Spiroplasma poulsonii. S. poulsonii inhabits the fly hemolymph and gets vertically transmitted over generations by hijacking the oogenesis in females. Using dual proteomics on infected hemolymph, we uncovered a weak, chronic activation of the Toll immune pathway by S. poulsonii that was previously undetected by transcriptomics-based approaches. Using Drosophila genetics, we also identified candidate proteins putatively involved in controlling S. poulsonii growth. Last, we also provide a deep proteome of S. poulsonii, which, in combination with previously published transcriptomics data, improves our understanding of the post-transcriptional regulations operating in this bacterium.

RevDate: 2021-04-29

Wong KH, Goodbody-Gringley G, de Putron SJ, et al (2021)

Brooded coral offspring physiology depends on the combined effects of parental press and pulse thermal history.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Reef-building corals respond to the temporal integration of both pulse events (i.e., heat waves) and press thermal history (i.e., local environment) via physiological changes, with ecological consequences. We used a "press-pulse-press" experimental framework to expose the brooding coral Porites astreoides to various thermal histories to understand the physiological response of temporal dynamics within and across generations. We collected adult colonies from two reefs (outer Rim reef and inner Patch reef) in Bermuda with naturally contrasting thermal regimes as our initial "press" scenario, followed by a 21-day ex situ "pulse" thermal stress of 30.4°C during larval brooding, and a "press" year-long adult reciprocal transplant between the original sites. Higher endosymbiont density and holobiont protein was found in corals originating from the lower thermal variability site (Rim) compared to the higher thermal variability site (Patch). The thermal pulse event drove significant declines in photosynthesis, endosymbiont density, and chlorophyll a, with bleaching phenotype convergence for adults from both histories. Following the reciprocal transplant, photosynthesis was higher in previously heated corals, indicating recovery from the thermal pulse. The effect of origin (initial press) modulated the response to transplant site for endosymbiont density and chlorophyll a, suggesting contrasting acclimation strategies. Higher respiration and photosynthetic rates were found in corals originating from the Rim site, indicating greater energy available for reproduction, supported by larger larvae released from Rim corals post-transplantation. Notably, parental exposure to the pulse thermal event resulted in increased offspring plasticity when parents were transplanted to foreign sites, highlighting the legacy of the pulse event and the importance of the environment during recovery in contributing to cross-generational or developmental plasticity. Together, these findings provide novel insight into the role of historical disturbance events in driving differential outcomes within and across generations, which is of critical importance in forecasting reef futures.

RevDate: 2021-05-18

Nichols HL, Goldstein EB, Saleh Ziabari O, et al (2021)

Intraspecific variation in immune gene expression and heritable symbiont density.

PLoS pathogens, 17(4):e1009552.

Host genetic variation plays an important role in the structure and function of heritable microbial communities. Recent studies have shown that insects use immune mechanisms to regulate heritable symbionts. Here we test the hypothesis that variation in symbiont density among hosts is linked to intraspecific differences in the immune response to harboring symbionts. We show that pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) harboring the bacterial endosymbiont Regiella insecticola (but not all other species of symbionts) downregulate expression of key immune genes. We then functionally link immune expression with symbiont density using RNAi. The pea aphid species complex is comprised of multiple reproductively-isolated host plant-adapted populations. These 'biotypes' have distinct patterns of symbiont infections: for example, aphids from the Trifolium biotype are strongly associated with Regiella. Using RNAseq, we compare patterns of gene expression in response to Regiella in aphid genotypes from multiple biotypes, and we show that Trifolium aphids experience no downregulation of immune gene expression while hosting Regiella and harbor symbionts at lower densities. Using F1 hybrids between two biotypes, we find that symbiont density and immune gene expression are both intermediate in hybrids. We propose that in this system, Regiella symbionts are suppressing aphid immune mechanisms to increase their density, but that some hosts have adapted to prevent immune suppression in order to control symbiont numbers. This work therefore suggests that antagonistic coevolution can play a role in host-microbe interactions even when symbionts are transmitted vertically and provide a clear benefit to their hosts. The specific immune mechanisms that we find are downregulated in the presence of Regiella have been previously shown to combat pathogens in aphids, and thus this work also highlights the immune system's complex dual role in interacting with both beneficial and harmful microbes.

RevDate: 2021-04-23

Knopp M, Stockhorst S, van der Giezen M, et al (2021)

The asgard archaeal-unique contribution to protein families of the eukaryotic common ancestor was 0.3.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6248096 [Epub ahead of print].

The identification of the asgard archaea has fueled speculations regarding the nature of the archaeal host in eukaryogenesis and its level of complexity prior to endosymbiosis. Here we analyzed the coding capacity of 150 eukaryotes, 1000 bacteria, and 226 archaea, including the only cultured member of the asgard archaea. Clustering methods that consistently recover endosymbiotic contributions to eukaryotic genomes, recover an asgard archaeal-unique contribution of a mere 0.3% to protein families present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor, while simultaneously suggesting that this group's diversity rivals that of all other archaea combined. The number of homologs shared exclusively between asgard archaea and eukaryotes is only 27 on average. This tiny asgard archaeal-unique contribution to the root of eukaryotic protein families, questions claims that archaea evolved complexity prior to eukaryogenesis. Genomic and cellular complexity remains a eukaryote-specific feature and is best understood as the archaeal host's solution to housing an endosymbiont.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Wolfe TM, Bruzzese DJ, Klasson L, et al (2021)

Comparative genome sequencing reveals insights into the dynamics of Wolbachia in native and invasive cherry fruit flies.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is a maternally inherited obligate endosymbiont that can induce a wide spectrum of effects in its host, ranging from mutualism to reproductive parasitism. At the genomic level, recombination within and between strains, transposable elements, and horizontal transfer of strains between host species make Wolbachia an evolutionarily dynamic bacterial system. The invasive cherry fruit fly Rhagoletis cingulata arrived in Europe from North America ~40 years ago, where it now co-occurs with the native cherry pest R. cerasi. This shared distribution has been proposed to have led to the horizontal transfer of different Wolbachia strains between the two species. To better understand transmission dynamics, we performed a comparative genome study of the strain wCin2 in its native United States and invasive European populations of R. cingulata with wCer2 in European R. cerasi. Previous multilocus sequence genotyping (MLST) of six genes implied that the source of wCer2 in R. cerasi was wCin2 from R. cingulata. However, we report genomic evidence discounting the recent horizontal transfer hypothesis for the origin of wCer2. Despite near identical sequences for the MLST markers, substantial sequence differences for other loci were found between wCer2 and wCin2, as well as structural rearrangements, and differences in prophage, repetitive element, gene content, and cytoplasmic incompatibility inducing genes. Our study highlights the need for whole-genome sequencing rather than relying on MLST markers for resolving Wolbachia strains and assessing their evolutionary dynamics.

RevDate: 2021-05-11

Smith AH, O'Connor MP, Deal B, et al (2021)

Does getting defensive get you anywhere?-Seasonal balancing selection, temperature, and parasitoids shape real-world, protective endosymbiont dynamics in the pea aphid.

Molecular ecology, 30(10):2449-2472.

Facultative, heritable endosymbionts are found at intermediate prevalence within most insect species, playing frequent roles in their hosts' defence against environmental pressures. Focusing on Hamiltonella defensa, a common bacterial endosymbiont of aphids, we tested the hypothesis that such pressures impose seasonal balancing selection, shaping a widespread infection polymorphism. In our studied pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) population, Hamiltonella frequencies ranged from 23.2% to 68.1% across a six-month longitudinal survey. Rapid spikes and declines were often consistent across fields, and we estimated that selection coefficients for Hamiltonella-infected aphids changed sign within this field season. Prior laboratory research suggested antiparasitoid defence as the major Hamiltonella benefit, and costs under parasitoid absence. While a prior field study suggested these forces can sometimes act as counter-weights in a regime of seasonal balancing selection, our present survey showed no significant relationship between parasitoid wasps and Hamiltonella prevalence. Field cage experiments provided some explanation: parasitoids drove modest ~10% boosts to Hamiltonella frequencies that would be hard to detect under less controlled conditions. They also showed that Hamiltonella was not always costly under parasitoid exclusion, contradicting another prediction. Instead, our longitudinal survey - and two overwintering studies - showed temperature to be the strongest predictor of Hamiltonella prevalence. Matching some prior lab discoveries, this suggested that thermally sensitive costs and benefits, unrelated to parasitism, can shape Hamiltonella dynamics. These results add to a growing body of evidence for rapid, seasonal adaptation in multivoltine organisms, suggesting that such adaptation can be mediated through the diverse impacts of heritable bacterial endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2021-04-23

Kwarteng A, Asiedu E, Sylverken A, et al (2021)

In silico drug repurposing for filarial infection predicts nilotinib and paritaprevir as potential inhibitors of the Wolbachia 5'-aminolevulinic acid synthase.

Scientific reports, 11(1):8455.

Filarial infections affect millions of individuals and are responsible for some notorious disabilities. Current treatment options involve repeated mass drug administrations, which have been met with several challenges despite some successes. Administration of doxycycline, an anti-Wolbachia agent, has shown clinical effectiveness but has several limitations, including long treatment durations and contraindications. We describe the use of an in silico drug repurposing approach to screening a library of over 3200 FDA-approved medications against the filarial endosymbiont, Wolbachia. We target the enzyme which catalyzes the first step of heme biosynthesis in the Wolbachia. This presents an opportunity to inhibit heme synthesis, which leads to depriving the filarial worm of heme, resulting in a subsequent macrofilaricidal effect. High throughput virtual screening, molecular docking and molecular simulations with binding energy calculations led to the identification of paritaprevir and nilotinib as potential anti-Wolbachia agents. Having higher binding affinities to the catalytic pocket than the natural substrate, these drugs have the structural potential to bind and engage active site residues of the wolbachia 5'-Aminolevulinic Acid Synthase. We hereby propose paritaprevir and nilotinib for experimental validations as anti-Wolbachia agents.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Brandeis M (2021)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-15

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-05-11

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-20

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Lhee D, Bhattacharya D, HS Yoon (2021)

Independent evolution of the thioredoxin system in photosynthetic Paulinella species.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-13

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

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

Frontiers in veterinary science, 8:659786.

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

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Pers D, AK Hansen (2021)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-05-14
CmpDate: 2021-05-14

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

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

BMC genomics, 22(1):240.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-05-13

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-13

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Zepeda-Paulo F, B Lavandero (2021)

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

Insects, 12(3):.

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

RevDate: 2021-04-09

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

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

PloS one, 16(4):e0249354.

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-17

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

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

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

CONCLUSION: Taken together, our results provide an insight into the interactions among pesticide resistance, aphids, and symbionts, which will eventually help to better manage the resurgence of A. gossypii.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

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

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

mBio, 12(2):.

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

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Flatau R, Segoli M, H Hawlena (2021)

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:649248.

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

RevDate: 2021-04-13

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

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

PLoS pathogens, 17(3):e1009422.

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

RevDate: 2021-04-02

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

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

GigaScience, 10(3):.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-03-19

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

Gene duplications trace mitochondria to the onset of eukaryote complexity.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-20

Otto G (2021)

A new bacterial endosymbiont.

Nature reviews. Microbiology, 19(5):283.

RevDate: 2021-05-13

Arab DA, N Lo (2021)

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

Journal of molecular evolution, 89(4-5):238-248.

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

RevDate: 2021-04-29

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

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

Scientific reports, 11(1):5916.

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

RevDate: 2021-03-16

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

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

Frontiers in physiology, 12:642237.

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

RevDate: 2021-05-19

Cornwell BH, L Hernández (2021)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-21
CmpDate: 2021-04-21

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

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

FEMS microbiology ecology, 97(4):.

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

RevDate: 2021-03-17

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-03-10

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

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

Scientific reports, 11(1):5260.

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

RevDate: 2021-03-31

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

Anaerobic endosymbiont generates energy for ciliate host by denitrification.

Nature, 591(7850):445-450.

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

RevDate: 2021-05-09

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

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

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-03-02

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

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

Horticulture research, 7(1):29.

Cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX) is a key enzyme responsible for the degradation of endogenous cytokinins. However, the origins and roles of CKX genes in angiosperm evolution remain unclear. Based on comprehensive bioinformatic and transgenic plant analyses, we demonstrate that the CKXs of land plants most likely originated from an ancient chlamydial endosymbiont during primary endosymbiosis. We refer to the CKXs retaining evolutionarily ancient characteristics as "ancient CKXs" and those that have expanded and functionally diverged in angiosperms as "non-ancient CKXs". We show that the expression of some non-ancient CKXs is rapidly inducible within 15 min upon the dehydration of Arabidopsis, while the ancient CKX (AtCKX7) is not drought responsive. Tobacco plants overexpressing a non-ancient CKX display improved oxidative and drought tolerance and root growth. Previous mutant studies have shown that non-ancient CKXs regulate organ development, particularly that of flowers. Furthermore, ancient CKXs preferentially degrade cis-zeatin (cZ)-type cytokinins, while non-ancient CKXs preferentially target N6-(Δ2-isopentenyl) adenines (iPs) and trans-zeatins (tZs). Based on the results of this work, an accompanying study (Wang et al. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41438-019-0211-x) and previous studies, we hypothesize that non-ancient CKXs and their preferred substrates of iP/tZ-type cytokinins regulate angiosperm organ development and environmental stress responses, while ancient CKXs and their preferred substrates of cZs play a housekeeping role, which echoes the conclusions and hypothesis described in the accompanying report (Wang, X. et al. Evolution and roles of cytokinin genes in angiosperms 1: Doancient IPTs play housekeeping while non-ancient IPTs play regulatory roles? Hortic Res 7, (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41438-019-0211-x).

RevDate: 2021-02-26

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

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

Archives of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-02-28

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

The Eagle effect in the Wolbachia-worm symbiosis.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):118.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-22

Baniya A, P DiGennaro (2021)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nature communications, 12(1):1165.

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

RevDate: 2021-04-02

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-06

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

Genetic Modification of Sodalis Species by DNA Transduction.

mSphere, 6(1):.

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

RevDate: 2021-02-16

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

The Antiviral Effects of the Symbiont Bacteria Wolbachia in Insects.

Frontiers in immunology, 11:626329.

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

RevDate: 2021-02-17

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

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

Scientific reports, 11(1):3752.

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

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

Mannella CA (2021)

VDAC-A Primal Perspective.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-03-03

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

Transcription initiation as a control point in plastid gene expression.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-15

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-02-22

Almeida C (2021)

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

Environmental microbiology reports [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-03-11

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

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

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):100.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-05-10
CmpDate: 2021-05-10

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

Nodding syndrome research revisited.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-09

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-02-06

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

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

Scientific reports, 11(1):2760.

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

RevDate: 2021-02-12

Myers KN, Conn D, AMV Brown (2021)

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

mSystems, 6(1):.

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

RevDate: 2021-02-02

Kaech H, C Vorburger (2020)

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:628755.

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

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

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

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

BMC plant biology, 21(1):67.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-04-20
CmpDate: 2021-04-20

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

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

PloS one, 16(1):e0241095.

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

RevDate: 2021-03-16

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

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

Insects, 12(2):.

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

RevDate: 2021-01-26

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:616213.

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-05-13
CmpDate: 2021-04-07

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

New Endohyphal Relationships between Mucoromycota and Burkholderiaceae Representatives.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 87(7):.

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


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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