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28 Sep 2021 at 01:52
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Bibliography on: Endosymbiosis


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 28 Sep 2021 at 01:52 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: 2021-09-27

Ettinger CL, Byrne FJ, Collin MA, et al (2021)

Improved draft reference genome for the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis), a vector for Pierce's disease.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 11(10):.

Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), known as the glassy-winged sharpshooter, is a xylem feeding leafhopper and an important agricultural pest as a vector of Xylella fastidiosa, which causes Pierce's disease in grapes and a variety of other scorch diseases. The current H. vitripennis reference genome from the Baylor College of Medicine's i5k pilot project is a 1.4-Gb assembly with 110,000 scaffolds, which still has significant gaps making identification of genes difficult. To improve on this effort, we used a combination of Oxford Nanopore long-read sequencing technology combined with Illumina sequencing reads to generate a better assembly and first-pass annotation of the whole genome sequence of a wild-caught Californian (Tulare County) individual of H. vitripennis. The improved reference genome assembly for H. vitripennis is 1.93-Gb in length (21,254 scaffolds, N50 = 650 Mb, BUSCO completeness = 94.3%), with 33.06% of the genome masked as repetitive. In total, 108,762 gene models were predicted including 98,296 protein-coding genes and 10,466 tRNA genes. As an additional community resource, we identified 27 orthologous candidate genes of interest for future experimental work including phenotypic marker genes like white. Furthermore, as part of the assembly process, we generated four endosymbiont metagenome-assembled genomes, including a high-quality near complete 1.7-Mb Wolbachia sp. genome (1 scaffold, CheckM completeness = 99.4%). The improved genome assembly and annotation for H. vitripennis, curated set of candidate genes, and endosymbiont MAGs will be invaluable resources for future research of H. vitripennis.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

Xu X, Ridland PM, Umina PA, et al (2021)

High Incidence of Related Wolbachia across Unrelated Leaf-Mining Diptera.

Insects, 12(9): pii:insects12090788.

The maternally inherited endosymbiont, Wolbachia pipientis, plays an important role in the ecology and evolution of many of its hosts by affecting host reproduction and fitness. Here, we investigated 13 dipteran leaf-mining species to characterize Wolbachia infections and the potential for this endosymbiont in biocontrol. Wolbachia infections were present in 12 species, including 10 species where the Wolbachia infection was at or near fixation. A comparison of Wolbachia relatedness based on the wsp/MLST gene set showed that unrelated leaf-mining species often shared similar Wolbachia, suggesting common horizontal transfer. We established a colony of Liriomyza brassicae and found adult Wolbachia density was stable; although Wolbachia density differed between the sexes, with females having a 20-fold higher density than males. Wolbachia density increased during L. brassicae development, with higher densities in pupae than larvae. We removed Wolbachia using tetracycline and performed reciprocal crosses between Wolbachia-infected and uninfected individuals. Cured females crossed with infected males failed to produce offspring, indicating that Wolbachia induced complete cytoplasmic incompatibility in L. brassicae. The results highlight the potential of Wolbachia to suppress Liriomyza pests based on approaches such as the incompatible insect technique, where infected males are released into populations lacking Wolbachia or with a different incompatible infection.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

De Rinaldis G, Leone A, De Domenico S, et al (2021)

Biochemical Characterization of Cassiopea andromeda (Forsskål, 1775), Another Red Sea Jellyfish in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

Marine drugs, 19(9): pii:md19090498.

Increasing frequency of native jellyfish proliferations and massive appearance of non-indigenous jellyfish species recently concur to impact Mediterranean coastal ecosystems and human activities at sea. Nonetheless, jellyfish biomass may represent an exploitable novel resource to coastal communities, with reference to its potential use in the pharmaceutical, nutritional, and nutraceutical Blue Growth sectors. The zooxanthellate jellyfish Cassiopea andromeda, Forsskål, 1775 (Cnidaria, Rhizostomeae) entered the Levant Sea through the Suez Canal and spread towards the Western Mediterranean to reach Malta, Tunisia, and recently also the Italian coasts. Here we report on the biochemical characterization and antioxidant activity of C. andromeda specimens with a discussion on their relative biological activities. The biochemical characterization of the aqueous (PBS) and hydroalcoholic (80% ethanol) soluble components of C. andromeda were performed for whole jellyfish, as well as separately for umbrella and oral arms. The insoluble components were hydrolyzed by sequential enzymatic digestion with pepsin and collagenase. The composition and antioxidant activity of the insoluble and enzymatically digestible fractions were not affected by the pre-extraction types, resulting into collagen- and non-collagen-derived peptides with antioxidant activity. Both soluble compounds and hydrolyzed fractions were characterized for the content of proteins, phenolic compounds, and lipids. The presence of compounds coming from the endosymbiont zooxanthellae was also detected. The notable yield and the considerable antioxidant activity detected make this species worthy of further study for its potential biotechnological sustainable exploitation.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

Deng J, Assandri G, Chauhan P, et al (2021)

Wolbachia-driven selective sweep in a range expanding insect species.

BMC ecology and evolution, 21(1):181.

BACKGROUND: Evolutionary processes can cause strong spatial genetic signatures, such as local loss of genetic diversity, or conflicting histories from mitochondrial versus nuclear markers. Investigating these genetic patterns is important, as they may reveal obscured processes and players. The maternally inherited bacterium Wolbachia is among the most widespread symbionts in insects. Wolbachia typically spreads within host species by conferring direct fitness benefits, and/or by manipulating its host reproduction to favour infected over uninfected females. Under sufficient selective advantage, the mitochondrial haplotype associated with the favoured maternally-inherited symbiotic strains will spread (i.e. hitchhike), resulting in low mitochondrial genetic variation across the host species range.

METHOD: The common bluetail damselfly (Ischnura elegans: van der Linden, 1820) has recently emerged as a model organism for genetics and genomic signatures of range expansion during climate change. Although there is accumulating data on the consequences of such expansion on the genetics of I. elegans, no study has screened for Wolbachia in the damselfly genus Ischnura. Here, we present the biogeographic variation in Wolbachia prevalence and penetrance across Europe and Japan (including samples from 17 populations), and from close relatives in the Mediterranean area (i.e. I. genei: Rambur, 1842; and I. saharensis: Aguesse, 1958).

RESULTS: Our data reveal (a) multiple Wolbachia-strains, (b) potential transfer of the symbiont through hybridization, (c) higher infection rates at higher latitudes, and (d) reduced mitochondrial diversity in the north-west populations, indicative of hitchhiking associated with the selective sweep of the most common strain. We found low mitochondrial haplotype diversity in the Wolbachia-infected north-western European populations (Sweden, Scotland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy) of I. elegans, and, conversely, higher mitochondrial diversity in populations with low penetrance of Wolbachia (Ukraine, Greece, Montenegro and Cyprus). The timing of the selective sweep associated with infected lineages was estimated between 20,000 and 44,000 years before present, which is consistent with the end of the last glacial period about 20,000 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide an example of how endosymbiont infections can shape spatial variation in their host evolutionary genetics during postglacial expansion. These results also challenge population genetic studies that do not consider the prevalence of symbionts in many insects, which we show can impact geographic patterns of mitochondrial genetic diversity.

RevDate: 2021-09-25

Ramírez CS, Tolmie C, Opperman DJ, et al (2021)

Copper nitrite reductase from Sinorhizobium meliloti 2011: crystal structure and interaction with the physiological vs. a non-metabolically-related cupredoxin-like mediator.

Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society [Epub ahead of print].

We report the crystal structure of the copper-containing nitrite reductase (NirK) from the Gram-negative bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti 2011 (Sm), together with complex structural alignment and docking studies with both non-cognate and the physiologically-related pseudoazurins, SmPaz1 and SmPaz2, respectively. S. meliloti is a rhizobacterium used for the formulation of Medicago sativa bionoculants, and SmNirK plays a key role in this symbiosis through the denitrification pathway. The structure of SmNirK, solved at a resolution of 2.5 å, showed a striking resemblance with the overall structure of the well-known class I NirKs composed of two Greek key β-barrel domains. The activity of SmNirK is ~12% of the activity reported for classical NirKs, which could be attributed to several factors such as subtle structural differences in the secondary proton channel, solvent accessibility of the substrate channel, and that the denitrifying activity has to be finely regulated within the endosymbiont. In vitro kinetics performed in homogenous and heterogeneous media showed that both SmPaz1 and SmPaz2, which are coded in different regions of the genome, donate electrons to SmNirK with similar performance. Even though the energetics of the interprotein electron transfer (ET) process is not favorable with either electron donors, adduct formation mediated by conserved residues allows minimizing the distance between the copper centers involved in the interprotein ET process. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-09-25

Husain DR, R Wardhani (2021)

Antibacterial activity of endosymbiotic bacterial compound from Pheretima sp. earthworms inhibit the growth of Salmonella Typhi and Staphylococcus aureus: in vitro and in silico approach.

Iranian journal of microbiology, 13(4):537-543.

Background and Objectives: Earthworms coexist with various pathogenic microorganisms; thus, their immunity mechanisms have developed through a long process of adaptation, including through endogenous bacterial symbionts. This study aims to identify earthworm endosymbiont bacteria compounds and their antibacterial activity through an in vitro approach supported by an in silico approach.

Materials and Methods: This research was conducted using the in vitro inhibition test through agar diffusion and the in silico test using molecular docking applications, namely, PyRx and Way2Drugs Prediction of Activity Spectra for Substances (PASS).

Results: The in vitro results showed a potent inhibition activity with a clear zone diameter of 21.75 and 15.5 mm for Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella Typhi, respectively. These results are supported by chromatography and in silico tests, which showed that several compounds in endosymbiotic bacteria, cyclo (phenylalanyl-prolyl) and sedanolide, have high binding affinity values with several antibiotic-related target proteins in both pathogenic bacteria. Cyclo (phenylalanyl-prolyl) has the highest binding affinity of -6.0 to dihydropteroate synthase, -8.2 to topoisomerase, and -8.2 to the outer membrane, whereas sedanolide has the highest binding affinity to DNA gyrase with approximately -7.3. This antibiotic activity was also clarified through the Way2Drugs PASS application.

Conclusion: Ten active compounds of endosymbiont bacteria, Cyclo (phenylalanyl-prolyl) and sedanolide were potential candidates for antibacterial compounds based on the inhibition test of the agar diffusion method and the results of reverse docking and Way2Drugs PASS.

RevDate: 2021-09-25

Jorrin B, Maluk M, Atoliya N, et al (2021)

Genomic Diversity of Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp.) Endosymbionts in India and Selection of Potential Strains for Use as Agricultural Inoculants.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:680981.

Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp.) is a legume crop resilient to climate change due to its tolerance to drought. It is grown by millions of resource-poor farmers in semiarid and tropical subregions of Asia and Africa and is a major contributor to their nutritional food security. Pigeon pea is the sixth most important legume in the world, with India contributing more than 70% of the total production and harbouring a wide variety of cultivars. Nevertheless, the low yield of pigeon pea grown under dry land conditions and its yield instability need to be improved. This may be done by enhancing crop nodulation and, hence, biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) by supplying effective symbiotic rhizobia through the application of "elite" inoculants. Therefore, the main aim in this study was the isolation and genomic analysis of effective rhizobial strains potentially adapted to drought conditions. Accordingly, pigeon pea endosymbionts were isolated from different soil types in Southern, Central, and Northern India. After functional characterisation of the isolated strains in terms of their ability to nodulate and promote the growth of pigeon pea, 19 were selected for full genome sequencing, along with eight commercial inoculant strains obtained from the ICRISAT culture collection. The phylogenomic analysis [Average nucleotide identity MUMmer (ANIm)] revealed that the pigeon pea endosymbionts were members of the genera Bradyrhizobium and Ensifer. Based on nodC phylogeny and nod cluster synteny, Bradyrhizobium yuanmingense was revealed as the most common endosymbiont, harbouring nod genes similar to those of Bradyrhizobium cajani and Bradyrhizobium zhanjiangense. This symbiont type (e.g., strain BRP05 from Madhya Pradesh) also outperformed all other strains tested on pigeon pea, with the notable exception of an Ensifer alkalisoli strain from North India (NBAIM29). The results provide the basis for the development of pigeon pea inoculants to increase the yield of this legume through the use of effective nitrogen-fixing rhizobia, tailored for the different agroclimatic regions of India.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

Lau MJ, Hoffmann AA, NM Endersby-Harshman (2021)

A diagnostic primer pair to distinguish between wMel and wAlbB Wolbachia infections.

PloS one, 16(9):e0257781.

Detection of the Wolbachia endosymbiont in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes through real-time polymerase chain reaction assays is widely used during and after Wolbachia releases in dengue reduction trials involving the wMel and wAlbB strains. Although several different primer pairs have been applied in current successful Wolbachia releases, they cannot be used in a single assay to distinguish between these strains. Here, we developed a new diagnostic primer pair, wMwA, which can detect the wMel or wAlbB infection in the same assay. We also tested current Wolbachia primers and show that there is variation in their performance when they are used to assess the relative density of Wolbachia. The new wMwA primers provide an accurate and efficient estimate of the presence and density of both Wolbachia infections, with practical implications for Wolbachia estimates in field collected Ae. aegypti where Wolbachia releases have taken place.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

Tang W, Guo M, Jiang X, et al (2021)

Expression, purification, and biochemical characterization of an NAD+-dependent homoserine dehydrogenase from the symbiotic Polynucleobacter necessarius subsp. necessarius.

Protein expression and purification, 188:105977 pii:S1046-5928(21)00160-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Homoserine dehydrogenase (HSD), encoded by the hom gene, is a key enzyme in the aspartate pathway, which reversibly catalyzes the conversion of l-aspartate β-semialdehyde to l-homoserine (l-Hse), using either NAD(H) or NADP(H) as a coenzyme. In this work, we presented the first characterization of the HSD from the symbiotic Polynucleobacter necessaries subsp. necessarius (PnHSD) produced in Escherichia coli. Sequence analysis showed that PnHSD is an ACT domain-containing monofunctional HSD with 436 amnio acid residues. SDS-PAGE and Western blot demonstrated that PnHSD could be overexpressed in E. coli BL21(DE3) cell as a soluble form by using SUMO fusion technique. It could be purified to apparent homogeneity for biochemical characterization. Size-exclusion chromatography revealed that the purified PnHSD has a native molecular mass of ∼160 kDa, indicating a homotetrameric structure. The oxidation activity of PnHSD was studied in this work. Kinetic analysis revealed that PnHSD displayed an up to 1460-fold preference for NAD+ over NADP+, in contrast to its homologs. The purified PnHSD displayed maximal activity at 35 °C and pH 11. Similar to its NAD+-dependent homolog, neither NaCl and KCl activation nor L-Thr inhibition on the enzymatic activity of PnHSD was observed. These results will contribute to a better understanding of the coenzyme specificity of the HSD family and the aspartate pathway of P. necessarius.

RevDate: 2021-09-21

Price DRG, Bartley K, Blake DP, et al (2021)

A Rickettsiella Endosymbiont Is a Potential Source of Essential B-Vitamins for the Poultry Red Mite, Dermanyssus gallinae.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:695346.

Many obligate blood-sucking arthropods rely on symbiotic bacteria to provision essential B vitamins that are either missing or at sub-optimal levels in their nutritionally challenging blood diet. The poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae, an obligate blood-feeding ectoparasite, is a serious threat to the hen egg industry. Poultry red mite infestation has a major impact on hen health and welfare and causes a significant reduction in both egg quality and production. Thus far, the identity and biological role of nutrient provisioning bacterial mutualists from D. gallinae are little understood. Here, we demonstrate that an obligate intracellular bacterium of the Rickettsiella genus is detected in D. gallinae mites collected from 63 sites (from 15 countries) across Europe. In addition, we report the genome sequence of Rickettsiella from D. gallinae (Rickettsiella - D. gallinae endosymbiont; Rickettsiella DGE). Rickettsiella DGE has a circular 1.89Mbp genome that encodes 1,973 proteins. Phylogenetic analysis confirms the placement of Rickettsiella DGE within the Rickettsiella genus, related to a facultative endosymbiont from the pea aphid and Coxiella-like endosymbionts (CLEs) from blood feeding ticks. Analysis of the Rickettsiella DGE genome reveals that many protein-coding sequences are either pseudogenized or lost, but Rickettsiella DGE has retained several B vitamin biosynthesis pathways, suggesting the importance of these pathways in evolution of a nutritional symbiosis with D. gallinae. In silico metabolic pathway reconstruction revealed that Rickettsiella DGE is unable to synthesize protein amino acids and, therefore, amino acids are potentially provisioned by the host. In contrast, Rickettsiella DGE retains biosynthetic pathways for B vitamins: thiamine (vitamin B1) via the salvage pathway; riboflavin (vitamin B2) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and the cofactors: flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and coenzyme A (CoA) that likely provision these nutrients to the host.

RevDate: 2021-09-17

Nagase H, Watanabe T, Koshikawa N, et al (2021)

Mitochondria: endosymbiont bacteria DNA sequence as a target against cancer.

Cancer science [Epub ahead of print].

As the energy factory for the cell, the mitochondrion, through its role of adenosine triphosphate production by oxidative phosphorylation, can be regarded as the guardian of well-regulated cellular metabolism; the integrity of mitochondrial functions, however, is particularly vulnerable in cancer due to the lack of superstructures such as histone and lamina folds to protect the mitochondrial genome from unintended exposure, which consequently elevates risks of mutation. In cancer, mechanisms responsible for enforcing quality control surveillance for identifying and eliminating defective mitochondria is often poorly regulated, and certain uneliminated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations and polymorphisms can be advantageous for the proliferation, progression and metastasis of tumor cells. Such pathogenic mtDNA aberrations are likely to increase and occasionally be homoplasmic in cancer cells and, intriguingly, in normal cells in the proximity of tumor microenvironments (TME) as well. Distinct characteristics of these abnormalities in mtDNA may provide a new path for cancer therapy. Here we discuss a promising novel therapeutic strategy, utilizing the sequence-specific properties of pyrrole-imidazole polyamide-triphenylphosphonium conjugates, against cancer for clearing abnormal mtDNA by reactivating mitochondrial quality control surveillance.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Zhong Z, Zhong T, Peng Y, et al (2021)

Symbiont-regulated serotonin biosynthesis modulates tick feeding activity.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(21)00387-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Ticks are obligate hematophagous arthropods. Blood feeding ensures that ticks obtain nutrients essential for their survival, development, and reproduction while providing routes for pathogen transmission. However, the effectors that determine tick feeding activities remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that reduced abundance of the symbiont Coxiella (CHI) in Haemaphysalis longicornis decreases blood intake. Providing tetracycline-treated ticks with the CHI-derived tryptophan precursor chorismate, tryptophan, or 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) restores the feeding defect. Mechanistically, CHI-derived chorismate increases tick 5-HT biosynthesis by stimulating the expression of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AAAD), which catalyzes the decarboxylation of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) to 5-HT. The increased level of 5-HT in the synganglion and midgut promotes tick feeding. Inhibition of CHI chorismate biosynthesis by treating the colonized tick with the herbicide glyphosate suppresses blood-feeding behavior. Taken together, our results demonstrate an important function of the endosymbiont Coxiella in the regulation of tick 5-HT biosynthesis and feeding.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Chen F, Schenkel M, Geuverink E, et al (2021)

Absence of complementary sex determination in two Leptopilina species (Figitidae, Hymenoptera) and a reconsideration of its incompatibility with endosymbiont-induced thelytoky.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Complementary sex determination (CSD) is a widespread sex determination mechanism in haplodiploid Hymenoptera. Under CSD, sex is determined by the allelic state of one or multiple complementary sex determination loci. Heterozygosity at one or more loci leads to female development, whereas hemizygosity of haploid eggs and homozygosity of diploid eggs results in male development. Sexual (arrhenotokous) reproduction normally yields haploid male and diploid female offspring. Under asexual reproduction (thelytoky), diploidized unfertilized eggs develop into females. Thelytoky is often induced by bacterial endosymbionts that achieve egg diploidization by gamete duplication. As gamete duplication leads to complete homozygosity, endosymbiont-induced thelytokous reproduction is presumed to be incompatible with CSD, which relies on heterozygosity for female development. Previously, we excluded CSD in four Asobara (Braconidae) species and proposed a two-step mechanism for Wolbachia-induced thelytoky in Asobara japonica. Here, we conclusively reject CSD in two cynipid wasp species, Leptopilina heterotoma and L. clavipes. We further show that thelytoky in L. clavipes depends on Wolbachia titer but that diploidization and feminization steps cannot be separated, unlike in A. japonica. We discuss what these results reveal about the sex determination mechanism of L. clavipes and the presumed incompatibility between CSD and endosymbiont-induced thelytoky in the Hymenoptera. arrhenotoky, haplodiploidy, inbreeding, sex determination, thelytoky, Wolbachia bacteria This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Jenkins BH, Maguire F, Leonard G, et al (2021)

Emergent RNA-RNA interactions can promote stability in a facultative phototrophic endosymbiosis.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(38):.

Eukaryote-eukaryote endosymbiosis was responsible for the spread of chloroplast (plastid) organelles. Stability is required for the metabolic and genetic integration that drives the establishment of new organelles, yet the mechanisms that act to stabilize emergent endosymbioses-between two fundamentally selfish biological organisms-are unclear. Theory suggests that enforcement mechanisms, which punish misbehavior, may act to stabilize such interactions by resolving conflict. However, how such mechanisms can emerge in a facultative endosymbiosis has yet to be explored. Here, we propose that endosymbiont-host RNA-RNA interactions, arising from digestion of the endosymbiont population, can result in a cost to host growth for breakdown of the endosymbiosis. Using the model facultative endosymbiosis between Paramecium bursaria and Chlorella spp., we demonstrate that this mechanism is dependent on the host RNA-interference (RNAi) system. We reveal through small RNA (sRNA) sequencing that endosymbiont-derived messenger RNA (mRNA) released upon endosymbiont digestion can be processed by the host RNAi system into 23-nt sRNA. We predict multiple regions of shared sequence identity between endosymbiont and host mRNA, and demonstrate through delivery of synthetic endosymbiont sRNA that exposure to these regions can knock down expression of complementary host genes, resulting in a cost to host growth. This process of host gene knockdown in response to endosymbiont-derived RNA processing by host RNAi factors, which we term "RNAi collisions," represents a mechanism that can promote stability in a facultative eukaryote-eukaryote endosymbiosis. Specifically, by imposing a cost for breakdown of the endosymbiosis, endosymbiont-host RNA-RNA interactions may drive maintenance of the symbiosis across fluctuating ecological conditions.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Voolstra CR, Aranda M, Zhan Y, et al (2021)

Symbiodinium microadriaticum (coral microalgal endosymbiont).

Trends in genetics : TIG pii:S0168-9525(21)00232-8 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Salazar MM, Pupo MT, AMV Brown (2021)

Co-Occurrence of Viruses, Plant Pathogens, and Symbionts in an Underexplored Hemipteran Clade.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:715998.

Interactions between insect symbionts and plant pathogens are dynamic and complex, sometimes involving direct antagonism or synergy and sometimes involving ecological and evolutionary leaps, as insect symbionts transmit through plant tissues or plant pathogens transition to become insect symbionts. Hemipterans such as aphids, whiteflies, psyllids, leafhoppers, and planthoppers are well-studied plant pests that host diverse symbionts and vector plant pathogens. The related hemipteran treehoppers (family Membracidae) are less well-studied but offer a potentially new and diverse array of symbionts and plant pathogenic interactions through their distinct woody plant hosts and ecological interactions with diverse tending hymenopteran taxa. To explore membracid symbiont-pathogen diversity and co-occurrence, this study performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing on 20 samples (16 species) of treehopper, and characterized putative symbionts and pathogens using a combination of rapid blast database searches and phylogenetic analysis of assembled scaffolds and correlation analysis. Among the 8.7 billion base pairs of scaffolds assembled were matches to 9 potential plant pathogens, 12 potential primary and secondary insect endosymbionts, numerous bacteriophages, and other viruses, entomopathogens, and fungi. Notable discoveries include a divergent Brenneria plant pathogen-like organism, several bee-like Bombella and Asaia strains, novel strains of Arsenophonus-like and Sodalis-like symbionts, Ralstonia sp. and Ralstonia-type phages, Serratia sp., and APSE-type phages and bracoviruses. There were several short Phytoplasma and Spiroplasma matches, but there was no indication of plant viruses in these data. Clusters of positively correlated microbes such as yeast-like symbionts and Ralstonia, viruses and Serratia, and APSE phage with parasitoid-type bracoviruses suggest directions for future analyses. Together, results indicate membracids offer a rich palette for future study of symbiont-plant pathogen interactions.

RevDate: 2021-09-16

Sun Y, Wang M, Zhong Z, et al (2021)

Adaption to hydrogen sulfide-rich environments: Strategies for active detoxification in deep-sea symbiotic mussels, Gigantidas platifrons.

The Science of the total environment, 804:150054 pii:S0048-9697(21)05129-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The deep-sea mussel Gigantidas platifrons is a representative species that relies on nutrition provided by chemoautotrophic endosymbiotic bacteria to survive in both hydrothermal vent and methane seep environments. However, vent and seep habitats have distinct geochemical features, with vents being more harsh than seeps because of abundant toxic chemical substances, particularly hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Until now, the adaptive strategies of G. platifrons in a heterogeneous environment and their sulfide detoxification mechanisms are still unclear. Herein, we conducted 16S rDNA sequencing and metatranscriptome sequencing of G. platifrons collected from a methane seep at Formosa Ridge in the South China Sea and a hydrothermal vent at Iheya North Knoll in the Mid-Okinawa Trough to provide a model for understanding environmental adaption and sulfide detoxification mechanisms, and a three-day laboratory controlled Na2S stress experiment to test the transcriptomic responses under sulfide stress. The results revealed the active detoxification of sulfide in G. platifrons gills. First, epibiotic Campylobacterota bacteria were more abundant in vent mussels and contributed to environmental adaptation by active oxidation of extracellular H2S. Notably, a key sulfide-oxidizing gene, sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase (sqr), derived from the methanotrophic endosymbiont, was significantly upregulated in vent mussels, indicating the oxidization of intracellular sulfide by the endosymbiont. In addition, transcriptomic comparison further suggested that genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial sulfide oxidization pathway played important roles in the sulfide tolerance of the host mussels. Moreover, transcriptomic analysis of Na2S stressed mussels confirmed the upregulation of oxidative phosphorylation and sulfide oxidization genes in response to sulfide exposure. Overall, this study provided a systematic transcriptional analysis of both the active bacterial community members and the host mussels, suggesting that the epibionts, endosymbionts, and mussel host collaborated on sulfide detoxification from extracellular to intracellular space to adapt to harsh H2S-rich environments.

RevDate: 2021-09-25

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

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

Communications biology, 4(1):1079.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Büttner H, Niehs SP, Vandelannoote K, et al (2021)

Bacterial endosymbionts protect beneficial soil fungus from nematode attack.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(37):.

Fungi of the genus Mortierella occur ubiquitously in soils where they play pivotal roles in carbon cycling, xenobiont degradation, and promoting plant growth. These important fungi are, however, threatened by micropredators such as fungivorous nematodes, and yet little is known about their protective tactics. We report that Mortierella verticillata NRRL 6337 harbors a bacterial endosymbiont that efficiently shields its host from nematode attacks with anthelmintic metabolites. Microscopic investigation and 16S ribosomal DNA analysis revealed that a previously overlooked bacterial symbiont belonging to the genus Mycoavidus dwells in M. verticillata hyphae. Metabolic profiling of the wild-type fungus and a symbiont-free strain obtained by antibiotic treatment as well as genome analyses revealed that highly cytotoxic macrolactones (CJ-12,950 and CJ-13,357, syn necroxime C and D), initially thought to be metabolites of the soil-inhabiting fungus, are actually biosynthesized by the endosymbiont. According to comparative genomics, the symbiont belongs to a new species (Candidatus Mycoavidus necroximicus) with 12% of its 2.2 Mb genome dedicated to natural product biosynthesis, including the modular polyketide-nonribosomal peptide synthetase for necroxime assembly. Using Caenorhabditis elegans and the fungivorous nematode Aphelenchus avenae as test strains, we show that necroximes exert highly potent anthelmintic activities. Effective host protection was demonstrated in cocultures of nematodes with symbiotic and chemically complemented aposymbiotic fungal strains. Image analysis and mathematical quantification of nematode movement enabled evaluation of the potency. Our work describes a relevant role for endofungal bacteria in protecting fungi against mycophagous nematodes.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Prazeres M, Roberts TE, Ramadhani SF, et al (2021)

Diversity and flexibility of algal symbiont community in globally distributed larger benthic foraminifera of the genus Amphistegina.

BMC microbiology, 21(1):243.

BACKGROUND: Understanding the specificity and flexibility of the algal symbiosis-host association is fundamental for predicting how species occupy a diverse range of habitats. Here we assessed the algal symbiosis diversity of three species of larger benthic foraminifera from the genus Amphistegina and investigated the role of habitat and species identity in shaping the associated algal community.

RESULTS: We used next-generation sequencing to identify the associated algal community, and DNA barcoding to identify the diatom endosymbionts associated with species of A. lobifera, A. lessonii, and A. radiata, collected from shallow habitats (< 15 m) in 16 sites, ranging from the Mediterranean Sea to French Polynesia. Next-generation sequencing results showed the consistent presence of Ochrophyta as the main algal phylum associated with all species and sites analysed. A significant proportion of phylotypes were classified as Chlorophyta and Myzozoa. We uncovered unprecedented diversity of algal phylotypes found in low abundance, especially of the class Bacillariophyta (i.e., diatoms). We found a significant influence of sites rather than host identity in shaping algal communities in all species. DNA barcoding revealed the consistent presence of phylotypes classified within the order Fragilariales as the diatoms associated with A. lobifera and A. lessonii, while A. radiata specimens host predominately diatoms of the order Triceratiales.

CONCLUSIONS: We show that local habitat is the main factor influencing the overall composition of the algal symbiont community. However, host identity and the phylogenetic relationship among hosts is relevant in shaping the specific endosymbiont diatom community, suggesting that the relationship between diatom endosymbiont and hosts plays a crucial role in the evolutionary history of the genus Amphistegina. The capacity of Amphistegina species to associate with a diverse array of diatoms, and possibly other algal groups, likely underpins the ecological success of these crucial calcifying organisms across their extensive geographic range.

RevDate: 2021-09-03

Krishnamoorthy P, Sudhagar S, Goudar AL, et al (2021)

Molecular survey and phylogenetic analysis of tick-borne pathogens in ticks infesting cattle from two South Indian states.

Veterinary parasitology, regional studies and reports, 25:100595.

In this study, the molecular survey of cattle ticks and tick-borne pathogens in various agroclimatic zones in Karnataka and Kerala states, India, and phylogenetic analysis of gene sequences were accomplished. Overall, 240 pooled tick DNA samples from two states were used for the identification of three tick genera and nine tick-borne pathogens by using the PCR method and sequencing. The distribution of Haemaphysalis (Ha.), Hyalomma (Hy.), and Rhipicephalus (R.) species were 5.0, 17.5, and 65.8% in Karnataka and 5.8, 11.7, and 65.0% in Kerala, respectively. The prevalence of Anaplasma marginale, Babesia bovis, Rickettsia species, and Trypanosoma evansi was 8.3, 0.8, 6.7, and 0.0% in Karnataka and 14.2, 0.0, 8.3, and 8.3% in Kerala, respectively. The pooled tick DNA samples were negative for Bartonella species, Borrelia species, Coxiella burnetti, Pasteurella multocida, and Theileria species. The season-wise analysis revealed a high occurrence of Ha. species in all seasons except for post-monsoon, Hy. and Rhipicephalus species in monsoon season in Karnataka, and all three tick genera were present in monsoon season in Kerala. The sequence analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene facilitated the identification of tick species namely, Ha. bispinosa, Ha. japonica, Hy. excavatum, R. annulatus, R. decoloratus, R. microplus, and R. sanguineus. The Rhipicephalus species was a major tick in these two states, and Rickettsia endosymbiont and Trypanosoma evansi in tick were detected in this study. This study represents the first report about the presence of Rickettsia massiliae in Ha. bispinosa in Karnataka and Trypanosoma evansi in R. species in Kerala. Phylogenetic analysis revealed sequence homology between the different isolates from India and neighbouring countries. Thus, the study provides key information on the distribution of ticks and tick-borne pathogens of cattle in Karnataka and Kerala, which will aid in developing and strategizing effective control measures.

RevDate: 2021-09-02

Sasaki T, Moi ML, Saito K, et al (2021)

Aedes albopictus Strain and Dengue Virus Serotype in the Dengue Fever Outbreaks in Japan: Implications of Wolbachia Infection.

Japanese journal of infectious diseases [Epub ahead of print].

From August 27 to October 15, 2014, a dengue fever outbreak with 158 autochthonous cases occurred after nearly 70 years of no reports of autochthonous cases in Japan. The most competent mosquito vector for dengue virus (DENV) transmission in Japan is Aedes albopictus. Since A. albopictus is widely distributed throughout Japan, we examined the susceptibility of this species to infection by DENV and the relationship of the endosymbiont Wolbachia (wAlbA and wAlbB) with susceptibility to DENV. The A. albopictus YYG strain, collected from Yoyogi Park in 2014, the epicenter of the dengue fever outbreak, was found to have lower susceptibility to DENV 1 and 3 than that of indigenous Japanese strains A. albopictus EBN 201808 (F1 from the field) and A. albopictus ISG 201603. Further, the A. albopictus EBN 201808 strain showed a same susceptibility to DENV3 as A. albopictus ISG 201603tet strain (Wolbachia-free). Susceptibility to DENV3 was not related to Wolbachia strains wAlbA or wAlbB in the A. albopictus ISG 201603 strain.

RevDate: 2021-09-03

Pupić-Bakrač A, Pupić-Bakrač J, Beck A, et al (2021)

Dirofilaria repens microfilaremia in humans: Case description and literature review.

One health (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 13:100306.

Introduction: Dirofilaria repens is a vector-borne filaroid helminth of carnivorous animals, primarily domesticated dogs. Humans are considered to be accidental hosts in which D. repens rarely reach sexual maturity but induce local inflammation, mainly in subcutaneous and ocular tissues.

Methods: In the current study, we present the detection of multiple adults of D. repens, endosymbiont Wolbachia sp. and microfilariae by molecular analysis in peripheral tissues and bloodstream of a human host. A subsequent meta-analysis of published literature identified 21 cases of human infection with adult D. repens producing microfilariae.

Results: Within the study population, there were 13 (59.09%) males, eight (36.36%) females and, in one (4.55%) case, sex was not reported. A total of 11 (50.00%) cases had subcutaneous dirofilariasis, six (27.27%) had ocular dirofiliariasis, with single cases (4.55% each) of genital, mammary, lymphatic and a combination of subcutaneous and pulmonary dirofilariasis described. In one (4.55%) case, the primary anatomical site of adult D. repens could not be found. D. repens microfilariae were detected in the local tissue (local microfilariasis) in 11 (50.00%) cases and the peripheral blood (microfilaremia) in 11 (50.50%) cases. Final identification of D. repens microfilariae was based on morphological detection in 14 (63.64%) cases, and molecular detection in eight (36.36%) cases.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that humans may act as a final host for D. repens, however its role as a source of D. repens infection is less clear.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Álvarez-Lagazzi AP, Cabrera N, Francis F, et al (2021)

Bacillus subtilis (Bacillales, Bacillaceae) Spores Affect Survival and Population Growth in the Grain Aphid Sitobion avenae (Hemiptera, Aphididae) in Relation to the Presence of the Facultative Bacterial Endosymbiont Regiella insecticola (Enterobacteriales, Enterobacteriaceae).

Journal of economic entomology pii:6360364 [Epub ahead of print].

The grain aphid Sitobion avenae (Fabricius) is one of the most important cereal pests, damaging crops through sap sucking and virus transmission. Sitobion avenae harbors the secondary endosymbiont Regiella insecticola, which is highly prevalent in populations in south-central Chile and other regions of the world. In order to develop ecological alternatives for biological control, we studied the effect of applying the spores of a strain of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis on the survival and fecundity of the most prevalent genotype of S. avenae in central Chile. The strain selected was one that in previous studies had shown the ability to outcompete other bacteria. Using clones of this aphid genotype infected and uninfected with R. insecticola, we found that applying B. subtilis spores through artificial diets and spraying on leaves decreased both adult survival and nymph production. The detection of spores within the aphid body was negatively correlated with nymph production and was lower in the presence of R. insecticola when applied in diets. B. subtilis spores applied on leaves reduced the number of aphids, an effect that was stronger on aphids harboring R. insecticola. A possible interaction between endosymbiotic bacteria and bacterial antagonists within the aphid body is discussed.

RevDate: 2021-09-16

Bruzzese DJ, Schuler H, Wolfe TM, et al (2021)

Testing the potential contribution of Wolbachia to speciation when cytoplasmic incompatibility becomes associated with host-related reproductive isolation.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiont-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) may play an important role in arthropod speciation. However, whether CI consistently becomes associated or coupled with other host-related forms of reproductive isolation (RI) to impede the transfer of endosymbionts between hybridizing populations and further the divergence process remains an open question. Here, we show that varying degrees of pre- and postmating RI exist among allopatric populations of two interbreeding cherry-infesting tephritid fruit flies (Rhagoletis cingulata and R. indifferens) across North America. These flies display allochronic and sexual isolation among populations, as well as unidirectional reductions in egg hatch in hybrid crosses involving southwestern USA males. All populations are infected by a Wolbachia strain, wCin2, whereas a second strain, wCin3, only co-infects flies from the southwest USA and Mexico. Strain wCin3 is associated with a unique mitochondrial DNA haplotype and unidirectional postmating RI, implicating the strain as the cause of CI. When coupled with nonendosymbiont RI barriers, we estimate the strength of CI associated with wCin3 would not prevent the strain from introgressing from infected southwestern to uninfected populations elsewhere in the USA if populations were to come into secondary contact and hybridize. In contrast, cytoplasmic-nuclear coupling may impede the transfer of wCin3 if Mexican and USA populations were to come into contact. We discuss our results in the context of the general paucity of examples demonstrating stable Wolbachia hybrid zones and whether the spread of Wolbachia among taxa can be constrained in natural hybrid zones long enough for the endosymbiont to participate in speciation.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Kisten D, Brinkerhoff J, Tshilwane SI, et al (2021)

A Pilot Study on the Microbiome of Amblyomma hebraeum Tick Stages Infected and Non-Infected with Rickettsia africae.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(8):.

Variation in tick microbiota may affect pathogen acquisition and transmission but for many vector species, including Amblyomma hebraeum, components and determinants of the microbiome are unidentified. This pilot study aimed to determine baseline microbial community within A. hebraeum nymphs infected- and non-infected with Rickettsia africae from the environment, and within adult ticks infected- and non-infected with R. africae collected from cattle sampled from two locations in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Adult A. hebraeum ticks (N = 13) and A. hebraeum nymph (N = 15) preliminary screened for R. africae were randomly selected and subjected to Illumina sequencing targeting the v3-v4 hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. No significant difference in microbial community composition, as well as rarefied OTU richness and diversity were detected between adults and nymphs. Nymphs showed a higher richness of bacterial taxa indicating blood-feeding could have resulted in loss of microbial diversity during the moulting stage from nymph to adult. Core OTUs that were in at least 50% of nymphs and adults negative and positive for Rickettsia at 1% minimum relative abundance were Rickettsia, Coxiella and Ruminococcaceae UCG-005 with a single genus Arsenophonus occurring only in nymphs negative for Rickettsia. Ehrlichia spp. was present in only four nymphal ticks positive for Rickettsia. Interestingly, Rickettsia&nbsp;aeschlimannii was found in one nymph and one adult, indicating the first ever detection of the species in A. hebraeum. Furthermore, A. hebraeum harboured a Coxiella-like endosymbiont, which should be investigated further as Coxiella may affect the viability and transmission of other organisms.

RevDate: 2021-09-24

Verster KI, Tarnopol RL, Akalu SM, et al (2021)

Horizontal Transfer of Microbial Toxin Genes to Gall Midge Genomes.

Genome biology and evolution, 13(9):.

A growing body of evidence has underscored the role of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in animal evolution. Previously, we discovered the horizontal transfer of the gene encoding the eukaryotic genotoxin cytolethal distending toxin B (cdtB) from the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum secondary endosymbiont (APSE) phages to drosophilid and aphid nuclear genomes. Here, we report cdtB in the nuclear genome of the gall-forming "swede midge" Contarinia nasturtii (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) via HGT. We searched all available gall midge genome sequences for evidence of APSE-to-insect HGT events and found five toxin genes (aip56, cdtB, lysozyme, rhs, and sltxB) transferred horizontally to cecidomyiid nuclear genomes. Surprisingly, phylogenetic analyses of HGT candidates indicated APSE phages were often not the ancestral donor lineage of the toxin gene to cecidomyiids. We used a phylogenetic signal statistic to test a transfer-by-proximity hypothesis for animal HGT, which suggested that microbe-to-insect HGT was more likely between taxa that share environments than those from different environments. Many of the toxins we found in midge genomes target eukaryotic cells, and catalytic residues important for toxin function are conserved in insect copies. This class of horizontally transferred, eukaryotic cell-targeting genes is potentially important in insect adaptation.

RevDate: 2021-08-27

Cruz LNPD, Carvalho-Costa LF, JMM Rebêlo (2021)

Molecular Evidence Suggests That Wolbachia pipientis (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae) is Widely Associated With South American Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae).

Journal of medical entomology pii:6358339 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia pipientis (Hertig) is an endosymbiotic microorganism widespread among arthropods and other invertebrate hosts, and employed in strategies to reduce the incidence of arthropod-borne diseases. Here, we used a PCR-based approach for 16S RNA and wsp genes to investigate the prevalence, geographical distribution, and strains of Wolbachia in sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae), the main vectors of the causative agents of leishmaniasis, from three biomes in Brazil: Amazon, Cerrado, and Caatinga. We found that: 1) Wolbachia DNA is present in most (66.7%) of the sampled sand fly species, including vectors of Leishmania spp. (Ross, Trypanosomatida: Trypanosomatidae), 2) the prevalence of Wolbachia DNA varies among species and populations, 3) some strains of Wolbachia may have wider geographical and host range in South America, and 4) two phylogenetic distinct wsp sequences might represent two novel strains for Wolbachia in South America sand flies. Those findings increase the basic knowledge about Wolbachia in South American sand flies and might foster further researches on its use to reduce the transmission of sand fly-borne parasites.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Bergman A, JC Hesson (2021)

Wolbachia prevalence in the vector species Culex pipiens and Culex torrentium in a Sindbis virus-endemic region of Sweden.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):428.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia pipientis are endosymbiotic bacteria present in a large proportion of terrestrial arthropods. The species is known to sometimes affect the ability of its host to transmit vector-borne pathogens. Central Sweden is endemic for Sindbis virus (SINV), where it is mainly transmitted by the vector species Culex pipiens and Culex torrentium, with the latter established as the main vector. In this study we investigated the Wolbachia prevalence in these two vector species in a region highly endemic for SINV.

METHODS: Culex mosquitoes were collected using CDC light traps baited with carbon dioxide over 9 years at 50 collection sites across the River Dalälven floodplains in central Sweden. Mosquito genus was determined morphologically, while a molecular method was used for reliable species determination. The presence of Wolbachia was determined through PCR using general primers targeting the wsp gene and sequencing of selected samples.

RESULTS: In total, 676 Cx. pipiens and 293 Cx. torrentium were tested for Wolbachia. The prevalence of Wolbachia in Cx. pipiens was 97% (95% CI 94.8-97.6%), while only 0.7% (95% CI 0.19-2.45%) in Cx. torrentium. The two Cx. torrentium mosquitoes that were infected with Wolbachia carried different types of the bacteria.

CONCLUSIONS: The main vector of SINV in the investigated endemic region, Cx. torrentium, was seldom infected with Wolbachia, while it was highly prevalent in the secondary vector, Cx. pipiens. The presence of Wolbachia could potentially have an impact on the vector competence of these two species. Furthermore, the detection of Wolbachia in Cx. torrentium could indicate horizontal transmission of the endosymbiont between arthropods of different species.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Osuna-Mascaró C, Doña J, Johnson KP, et al (2021)

Genome-Resolved Metagenomic Analyses Reveal the Presence of a Putative Bacterial Endosymbiont in an Avian Nasal Mite (Rhinonyssidae; Mesostigmata).

Microorganisms, 9(8):.

Rhinonyssidae (Mesostigmata) is a family of nasal mites only found in birds. All species are hematophagous endoparasites, which may damage the nasal cavities of birds, and also could be potential reservoirs or vectors of other infections. However, the role of members of Rhinonyssidae as disease vectors in wild bird populations remains uninvestigated, with studies of the microbiomes of Rhinonyssidae being almost non-existent. In the nasal mite (Tinaminyssus melloi) from rock doves (Columba livia), a previous study found evidence of a highly abundant putatively endosymbiotic bacteria from Class Alphaproteobacteria. Here, we expanded the sample size of this species (two different hosts- ten nasal mites from two independent samples per host), incorporated contamination controls, and increased sequencing depth in shotgun sequencing and genome-resolved metagenomic analyses. Our goal was to increase the information regarding this mite species and its putative endosymbiont. We obtained a metagenome assembled genome (MAG) that was estimated to be 98.1% complete and containing only 0.9% possible contamination. Moreover, the MAG has characteristics typical of endosymbionts (namely, small genome size an AT bias). Overall, our results support the presence of a potential endosymbiont, which is the first described for avian nasal mites to date, and improve the overall understanding of the microbiota inhabiting these mites.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Petrů M, Dohnálek V, Füssy Z, et al (2021)

Fates of Sec, Tat and YidC translocases in mitochondria and other eukaryotic compartments.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:6358141 [Epub ahead of print].

Formation of mitochondria by the conversion of a bacterial endosymbiont was a key moment in the evolution of eukaryotes. It was made possible by outsourcing the endosymbiont's genetic control to the host nucleus, while developing the import machinery for proteins synthesized on cytosolic ribosomes. The original protein export machines of the nascent organelle remained to be re-purposed or were completely abandoned. This review follows the evolutionary fates of three prokaryotic inner membrane translocases Sec, Tat and YidC. Homologues of all three translocases can still be found in current mitochondria, but with different importance for mitochondrial function. While the mitochondrial YidC homologue, Oxa1, became an omnipresent independent insertase, the other two remained only sporadically present in mitochondria. Only a single substrate is known for the mitochondrial Tat and no function has yet been assigned for the mitochondrial Sec. Finally, this review compares these ancestral mitochondrial proteins with their paralogues operating in the plastids and the endomembrane system.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Kinjo Y, Lo N, Martín PV, et al (2021)

Enhanced Mutation Rate, Relaxed Selection, and the "Domino Effect" are associated with Gene Loss in Blattabacterium, A Cockroach Endosymbiont.

Molecular biology and evolution, 38(9):3820-3831.

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 511 and 645 kb. We found that 200 of the 566 analyzed 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 evidence 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: 2021-08-27
CmpDate: 2021-08-26

Fichorova RN, DeLong AK, Cu-Uvin S, et al (2021)

Protozoan-Viral-Bacterial Co-Infections Alter Galectin Levels and Associated Immunity Mediators in the Female Genital Tract.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:649940.

Co-infections with sexually transmittable pathogens are common and more likely in women with disturbed vaginal bacteriome. Among those pathogens, the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) is most common after accounting for the highly persistent DNA viruses human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital herpes. The parasitic infection often concurs with the dysbiotic syndrome diagnosed as bacterial vaginosis (BV) and both are associated with risks of superimposed viral infections. Yet, the mechanisms of microbial synergisms in evading host immunity remain elusive. We present clinical and experimental evidence for a new role of galectins, glycan-sensing family of proteins, in mixed infections. We assessed participants of the HIV Epidemiology Research Study (HERS) at each of their incident TV visits (223 case visits) matched to controls who remained TV-negative throughout the study. Matching criteria included age, race, BV (by Nugent score), HIV status, hysterectomy, and contraceptive use. Non-matched variables included BV status at 6 months before the matched visit, and variables examined at baseline, within 6 months of and/or at the matched visit e.g. HSV-2, HPV, and relevant laboratory and socio-demographic parameters. Conditional logistic regression models using generalized estimating equations calculated odds ratios (OR) for incident TV occurrence with each log10 unit higher cervicovaginal concentration of galectins and cytokines. Incident TV was associated with higher levels of galectin-1, galectin-9, IL-1β and chemokines (ORs 1.53 to 2.91, p <0.001). Galectin-9, IL-1β and chemokines were up and galectin-3 down in TV cases with BV or intermediate Nugent versus normal Nugent scores (p <0.001). Galectin-9, IL-1β and chemokines were up in TV-HIV and down in TV-HPV co-infections. In-vitro, TV synergized with its endosymbiont Trichomonasvirus (TVV) and BV bacteria to upregulate galectin-1, galectin-9, and inflammatory cytokines. The BV-bacterium Prevotella bivia alone and together with TV downregulated galectin-3 and synergistically upregulated galectin-1, galectin-9 and IL-1β, mirroring the clinical findings of mixed TV-BV infections. P. bivia also downregulated TVV+TV-induced anti-viral response e.g. IP-10 and RANTES, providing a mechanism for conducing viral persistence in TV-BV co-infections. Collectively, the experimental and clinical data suggest that galectin-mediated immunity may be dysregulated and exploited by viral-protozoan-bacterial synergisms exacerbating inflammatory complications from dysbiosis and sexually transmitted infections.

RevDate: 2021-08-21

Vaccaro L, Gomes TS, Izquierdo F, et al (2021)

Legionella feeleii: Ubiquitous Pathogen in the Environment and Causative Agent of Pneumonia.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:707187.

L. feeleii is one of the most frequent Legionella species isolated from natural pools of the central region of Spain. This study aimed to evaluate its ecology and to identify this Legionella species as a respiratory pathogen. A PCR assay for detecting the L. feeleii mip gene was developed to identify it in clinical and environmental samples. Culture and PCR were performed in environmental samples from four drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs). Free L. feeleii was only detected in raw water samples (3.4%), while L. feeleii as an Acanthamoeba endosymbiont was found in 30.7% of raw water, 11.5% of decanter biofilm, and 32% of finished water samples. Therefore, Acanthamoeba spp. plays an essential role in the multiplication, persistence, and spread of Legionella species in the environment. The first case of Legionnaires' disease caused by L. feeleii in Spain is described in this study. The case was diagnosed in an older woman through PCR and sequencing from urine and sputum samples. A respiratory infection could be linked with health care procedures, and the patient presented several risk factors (age, insulin-dependent diabetes, and heart disease). The detection of non-L. pneumophila, such as L. feeleii, is a factor that must be considered when establishing or reviewing measures for the control and prevention of legionellosis.

RevDate: 2021-09-04

Arif S, Gerth M, Hone-Millard WG, et al (2021)

Evidence for multiple colonisations and Wolbachia infections shaping the genetic structure of the widespread butterfly Polyommatus icarus in the British Isles.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The paradigm of isolation in southern refugia during glacial periods followed by expansions during interglacials, producing limited genetic differentiation in northern areas, dominates European phylogeography. However, the existence of complex structured populations in formerly glaciated areas, and islands connected to mainland areas during glacial maxima, call for alternative explanations. We reconstructed the mtDNA phylogeography of the widespread Polyommatus Icarus butterfly with an emphasis on the formerly glaciated and connected British Isles. We found distinct geographical structuring of CO1 haplogroups, with an ancient lineage restricted to the marginal European areas, including Northern Scotland and Outer Hebrides. Population genomic analyses, using ddRADSeq genomic markers, also reveal substantial genetic structuring within Britain. However, there is negligble mito-nuclear concordance consistent with independent demographic histories of mitochondrial versus nuclear DNA. While mtDNA-Wolbachia associations in northern Britain could account for the geographic structuring of mtDNA across most of the British Isles, for nuclear DNA markers (derived from ddRADseq data) butterflies from France cluster between northern and southern British populations - an observation consistent with a scenario of multiple recolonisation. Taken together our results suggest that contemporary mtDNA structuring in the British Isles (and potentially elsewhere in Europe) largely results from Wolbachia infections, however, nuclear genomic structuring suggests a history of at least two distinct colonisations. This two-stage colonisation scenario has previously been put forth to explain genetic diversity and structuring in other British flora and fauna. Additionally, we also present preliminary evidence for potential Wolbachia-induced feminization in the Outer Hebrides.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Zakharova A, Saura A, Butenko A, et al (2021)

A New Model Trypanosomatid, Novymonas esmeraldas: Genomic Perception of Its "Candidatus Pandoraea novymonadis" Endosymbiont.

mBio, 12(4):e0160621.

The closest relative of human pathogen Leishmania, the trypanosomatid Novymonas esmeraldas, harbors a bacterial endosymbiont "Candidatus Pandoraea novymonadis." Based on genomic data, we performed a detailed characterization of the metabolic interactions of both partners. While in many respects the metabolism of N. esmeraldas resembles that of other Leishmaniinae, the endosymbiont provides the trypanosomatid with heme, essential amino acids, purines, some coenzymes, and vitamins. In return, N. esmeraldas shares with the bacterium several nonessential amino acids and phospholipids. Moreover, it complements its carbohydrate metabolism and urea cycle with enzymes missing from the "Ca. Pandoraea novymonadis" genome. The removal of the endosymbiont from N. esmeraldas results in a significant reduction of the overall translation rate, reduced expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism and mitochondrial respiratory activity, and downregulation of several aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, enzymes involved in the synthesis of some amino acids, as well as proteins associated with autophagy. At the same time, the genes responsible for protection against reactive oxygen species and DNA repair become significantly upregulated in the aposymbiotic strain of this trypanosomatid. By knocking out a component of its flagellum, we turned N. esmeraldas into a new model trypanosomatid that is amenable to genetic manipulation using both conventional and CRISPR-Cas9-mediated approaches. IMPORTANCE Novymonas esmeraldas is a parasitic flagellate of the family Trypanosomatidae representing the closest insect-restricted relative of the human pathogen Leishmania. It bears symbiotic bacteria in its cytoplasm, the relationship with which has been established relatively recently and independently from other known endosymbioses in protists. Here, using the genome analysis and comparison of transcriptomic profiles of N. esmeraldas with and without the endosymbionts, we describe a uniquely complex cooperation between both partners on the biochemical level. We demonstrate that the removal of bacteria leads to a decelerated growth of N. esmeraldas, substantial suppression of many metabolic pathways, and increased oxidative stress. Our success with the genetic transformation of this flagellate makes it a new model trypanosomatid species that can be used for the dissection of mechanisms underlying the symbiotic relationships between protists and bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-08-17

Gesto JSM, Pinto SB, Dias FBS, et al (2021)

Large-Scale Deployment and Establishment of Wolbachia Into the Aedes aegypti Population in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:711107.

Traditional methods of vector control have proven insufficient to reduce the alarming incidence of dengue, Zika, and chikungunya in endemic countries. The bacterium symbiont Wolbachia has emerged as an efficient pathogen-blocking and self-dispersing agent that reduces the vectorial potential of Aedes aegypti populations and potentially impairs arboviral disease transmission. In this work, we report the results of a large-scale Wolbachia intervention in Ilha do Governador, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. wMel-infected adults were released across residential areas between August 2017 and March 2020. Over 131 weeks, including release and post-release phases, we monitored the wMel prevalence in field specimens and analyzed introgression profiles of two assigned intervention areas, RJ1 and RJ2. Our results revealed that wMel successfully invaded both areas, reaching overall infection rates of 50-70% in RJ1 and 30-60% in RJ2 by the end of the monitoring period. At the neighborhood-level, wMel introgression was heterogeneous in both RJ1 and RJ2, with some profiles sustaining a consistent increase in infection rates and others failing to elicit the same. Correlation analysis revealed a weak overall association between RJ1 and RJ2 (r = 0.2849, p = 0.0236), and an association at a higher degree when comparing different deployment strategies, vehicle or backpack-assisted, within RJ1 (r = 0.4676, p < 0.0001) or RJ2 (r = 0.6263, p < 0.0001). The frequency knockdown resistance (kdr) alleles in wMel-infected specimens from both areas were consistently high over this study. Altogether, these findings corroborate that wMel can be successfully deployed at large-scale as part of vector control intervention strategies and provide the basis for imminent disease impact studies in Southeastern Brazil.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Calderon RH, Å Strand (2021)

How retrograde signaling is intertwined with the evolution of photosynthetic eukaryotes.

Current opinion in plant biology, 63:102093 pii:S1369-5266(21)00093-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Chloroplasts and mitochondria evolved from free-living prokaryotic organisms that entered the eukaryotic cell through endosymbiosis. The gradual conversion from endosymbiont to organelle during the course of evolution was accompanied by the development of a communication system between the host and the endosymbiont, referred to as retrograde signaling or organelle-to-nucleus signaling. In higher plants, plastid-to-nucleus signaling involves multiple signaling pathways necessary to coordinate plastid function and cellular responses to developmental and environmental stimuli. Phylogenetic reconstructions using sequence information from evolutionarily diverse photosynthetic eukaryotes have begun to provide information about how retrograde signaling pathways were adopted and modified in different lineages over time. A tight communication system was likely a major facilitator of plants conquest of the land because it would have enabled the algal ancestors of land plants to better allocate their cellular resources in response to high light and desiccation, the major stressor for streptophyte algae in a terrestrial habitat. In this review, we aim to give an evolutionary perspective on plastid-to-nucleus signaling.

RevDate: 2021-09-22

Towett-Kirui S, Morrow JL, Close S, et al (2021)

Host-endoparasitoid-endosymbiont relationships: concealed Strepsiptera provide new twist to Wolbachia in Australian tephritid fruit flies.

Environmental microbiology, 23(9):5587-5604.

Wolbachia are widespread endosymbionts that affect arthropod reproduction and fitness. Mostly maternally inherited, Wolbachia are occasionally transferred horizontally. Previously, two Wolbachia strains were reported at low prevalence and titres across seven Australian tephritid species, possibly indicative of frequent horizontal transfer. Here, we performed whole-genome sequencing of field-caught Wolbachia-positive flies. Unexpectedly, we found complete mitogenomes of an endoparasitic strepsipteran, Dipterophagus daci, suggesting that Wolbachia in the flies are linked to concealed parasitization. We performed the first genetic characterization of D. daci and detected D. daci in Wolbachia-positive flies not visibly parasitized, and most but not all Wolbachia-negative flies were D. daci-negative, presumably reflecting polymorphism for the Wolbachia infections in D. daci. We dissected D. daci from stylopized flies and confirmed that Wolbachia infects D. daci, but also found Wolbachia in stylopized fly tissues, likely somatic, horizontally transferred, non-heritable infections. Furthermore, no Wolbachia cif and wmk genes were detected and very low mitogenomic variation in D. daci across its distribution. Therefore, Wolbachia may influence host fitness without reproductive manipulation. Our study of 13 tephritid species highlights that concealed early stages of strepsipteran parasitization led to the previous incorrect assignment of Wolbachia co-infections to tephritid species, obscuring ecological studies of this common endosymbiont and its horizontal transmission by parasitoids.

RevDate: 2021-08-18
CmpDate: 2021-08-17

Morrow JL, M Riegler (2021)

Genome analyses of four Wolbachia strains and associated mitochondria of Rhagoletis cerasi expose cumulative modularity of cytoplasmic incompatibility factors and cytoplasmic hitchhiking across host populations.

BMC genomics, 22(1):616.

BACKGROUND: The endosymbiont Wolbachia can manipulate arthropod reproduction and invade host populations by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). Some host species are coinfected with multiple Wolbachia strains which may have sequentially invaded host populations by expressing different types of modular CI factor (cif) genes. The tephritid fruit fly Rhagoletis cerasi is a model for CI and Wolbachia population dynamics. It is associated with at least four Wolbachia strains in various combinations, with demonstrated (wCer2, wCer4), predicted (wCer1) or unknown (wCer5) CI phenotypes.

RESULTS: We sequenced and assembled the draft genomes of the Wolbachia strains wCer1, wCer4 and wCer5, and compared these with the previously sequenced genome of wCer2 which currently invades R. cerasi populations. We found complete cif gene pairs in all strains: four pairs in wCer2 (three Type I; one Type V), two pairs in wCer1 (both Type I) and wCer4 (one Type I; one Type V), and one pair in wCer5 (Type IV). Wolbachia genome variant analyses across geographically and genetically distant host populations revealed the largest diversity of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in wCer5, followed by wCer1 and then wCer2, indicative of their different lengths of host associations. Furthermore, mitogenome analyses of the Wolbachia genome-sequenced individuals in combination with SNP data from six European countries revealed polymorphic mitogenome sites that displayed reduced diversity in individuals infected with wCer2 compared to those without.

CONCLUSIONS: Coinfections with Wolbachia are common in arthropods and affect options for Wolbachia-based management strategies of pest and vector species already infected by Wolbachia. Our analyses of Wolbachia genomes of a host naturally coinfected by several strains unravelled signatures of the evolutionary dynamics in both Wolbachia and host mitochondrial genomes as a consequence of repeated invasions. Invasion of already infected populations by new Wolbachia strains requires new sets of functionally different cif genes and thereby may select for a cumulative modularity of cif gene diversity in invading strains. Furthermore, we demonstrated at the mitogenomic scale that repeated CI-driven Wolbachia invasions of hosts result in reduced mitochondrial diversity and hitchhiking effects. Already resident Wolbachia strains may experience similar cytoplasmic hitchhiking effects caused by the invading Wolbachia strain.

RevDate: 2021-08-12

Ferreira V, Pavlaki MD, Martins R, et al (2021)

Effects of nanostructure antifouling biocides towards a coral species in the context of global changes.

The Science of the total environment, 799:149324 pii:S0048-9697(21)04397-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Biofouling prevention is one of the biggest challenges faced by the maritime industry, but antifouling agents commonly impact marine ecosystems. Advances in antifouling technology include the use of nanomaterials. Herein we test an antifouling nano-additive based on the encapsulation of the biocide 4,5-dichloro-2-octyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (DCOIT) in engineered silica nanocontainers (SiNC). The work aims to assess the biochemical and physiological effects on the symbiotic coral Sarcophyton cf. glaucum caused by (1) thermal stress and (2) DCOIT exposure (free or nanoencapsulated forms), in a climate change scenario. Accordingly, the following hypotheses were addressed: (H1) ocean warming can cause toxicity on S. cf. glaucum; (H2) the nanoencapsulation process decreases DCOIT toxicity towards this species; (H3) the biocide toxicity, free or encapsulated forms, can be affected by ocean warming. Coral fragments were exposed for seven days to DCOIT in both free and encapsulated forms, SiNC and negative controls, under two water temperature regimes (26 °C and 30.5 °C). Coral polyp behavior and photosynthetic efficiency were determined in the holobiont, while biochemical markers were assessed individually in the endosymbiont and coral host. Results showed transient coral polyp retraction and diminished photosynthetic efficiency in the presence of heat stress or free DCOIT, with effects being magnified in the presence of both stressors. The activity of catalase and glutathione-S-transferase were modulated by temperature in each partner of the symbiosis. The shifts in enzymatic activity were more pronounced in the presence of free DCOIT, but to a lower extent for encapsulated DCOIT. Increased levels of oxidative damage were detected under heat conditions. The findings highlight the physiological constrains elicited by the increase of seawater temperature to symbiotic corals and demonstrate that DCOIT toxicity can be minimized through encapsulation in SiNC. The presence of both stressors magnifies toxicity and confirm that ocean warming enhances the vulnerability of tropical photosynthetic corals to local stressors.

RevDate: 2021-08-09

Travanty NV, Vargo EL, Apperson CS, et al (2021)

Colonization by the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta, Modifies Soil Bacterial Communities.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The long-standing association between insects and microorganisms has been especially crucial to the evolutionary and ecological success of social insect groups. Notably, research on the interaction of the two social forms (monogyne and polygyne) of the red imported fire ant (RIFA), Solenopsis invicta Buren, with microbes in its soil habitat is presently limited. In this study, we characterized bacterial microbiomes associated with RIFA nest soils and native (RIFA-negative) soils to better understand the effects of colonization of RIFA on soil microbial communities. Bacterial community fingerprints of 16S rRNA amplicons using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis revealed significant differences in the structure of the bacterial communities between RIFA-positive and RIFA-negative soils at 0 and 10 cm depths. Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons provided fine-scale analysis to test for effects of RIFA colonization, RIFA social form, and soil depth on the composition of the bacterial microbiomes of the soil and RIFA workers. Our results showed the bacterial community structure of RIFA-colonized soils to be significantly different from native soil communities and to evidence elevated abundances of several taxa, including Actinobacteria. Colony social form was not found to be a significant factor in nest or RIFA worker microbiome compositions. RIFA workers and nest soils were determined to have markedly different bacterial communities, with RIFA worker microbiomes being characterized by high abundances of a Bartonella-like endosymbiont and Entomoplasmataceae. Cloning and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene revealed the Bartonella sp. to be a novel bacterium.

RevDate: 2021-08-09

Bellés-Sancho P, Lardi M, Liu Y, et al (2021)

Metabolomics and Dual RNA-Sequencing on Root Nodules Revealed New Cellular Functions Controlled by Paraburkholderia phymatum NifA.

Metabolites, 11(7):.

Paraburkholderia phymatum STM815 is a nitrogen-fixing endosymbiont that nodulate the agriculturally important Phaseolus vulgaris and several other host plants. We previously showed that the nodules induced by a STM815 mutant of the gene encoding the master regulator of nitrogen fixation NifA showed no nitrogenase activity (Fix-) and increased in number compared to P. vulgaris plants infected with the wild-type strain. To further investigate the role of NifA during symbiosis, nodules from P. phymatum wild-type and nifA mutants were collected and analyzed by metabolomics and dual RNA-Sequencing, allowing us to investigate both host and symbiont transcriptome. Using this approach, several metabolites' changes could be assigned to bacterial or plant responses. While the amount of the C4-dicarboxylic acid succinate and of several amino acids was lower in Fix- nodules, the level of indole-acetamide (IAM) and brassinosteroids increased. Transcriptome analysis identified P. phymatum genes involved in transport of C4-dicarboxylic acids, carbon metabolism, auxin metabolism and stress response to be differentially expressed in absence of NifA. Furthermore, P. vulgaris genes involved in autoregulation of nodulation (AON) are repressed in nodules in absence of NifA potentially explaining the hypernodulation phenotype of the nifA mutant. These results and additional validation experiments suggest that P. phymatum STM815 NifA is not only important to control expression of nitrogenase and related enzymes but is also involved in regulating its own auxin production and stress response. Finally, our data indicate that P. vulgaris does sanction the nifA nodules by depleting the local carbon allocation rather than by mounting a strong systemic immune response to the Fix- rhizobia.

RevDate: 2021-08-05

Balaji S, Deepthi KNG, SR Prabagaran (2021)

Native Wolbachia influence bacterial composition in the major vector mosquito Aedes aegypti.

Archives of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial species that inhabit mosquito microbiota play an essential role in determining vector competence. In addition to critical factors such as host genotype, feeding habit and geography, intracellular endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis modulates microbial composition considerably. In the present study, we assessed the midgut bacterial diversity of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that is either naturally carrying Wolbachia (wAegB+) or antibiotic cured (wAegB-) through a culture-independent approach. Towards this, 16S rRNA gene libraries were constructed from midgut bacterial DNA of laboratory-reared larvae and adult female mosquitoes fed with sugar or blood. Among them 33 genera comprising 65 distinct species were identified, where > 75% of bacterial taxa were commonly shared by both groups (wAegB+ and wAegB-), implying a subtle shift in the bacterial composition influenced by Wolbachia. Though the change was mostly restricted to minimally represented species, predominant taxa were observed unaltered except for certain genera. While Serratia sp. was abundant in Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes, Pseudomonas sp. and Acinetobacter sp. were predominant in Wolbachia free mosquitoes. This result demonstrates the influence of Wolbachia that could modulate the colonization of certain resident bacterial taxa through competitive interactions. Overall, this study shed more light on the impact of wAegB in altering the gut microbiota of Ae. aegypti mosquito, which might challenge host fitness and vector competence.

RevDate: 2021-08-06

Herrera M, Liew YJ, Venn A, et al (2021)

New Insights From Transcriptomic Data Reveal Differential Effects of CO2 Acidification Stress on Photosynthesis of an Endosymbiotic Dinoflagellate in hospite.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:666510.

Ocean acidification (OA) has both detrimental as well as beneficial effects on marine life; it negatively affects calcifiers while enhancing the productivity of photosynthetic organisms. To date, many studies have focused on the impacts of OA on calcification in reef-building corals, a process particularly susceptible to acidification. However, little is known about the effects of OA on their photosynthetic algal partners, with some studies suggesting potential benefits for symbiont productivity. Here, we investigated the transcriptomic response of the endosymbiont Symbiodinium microadriaticum (CCMP2467) in the Red Sea coral Stylophora pistillata subjected to different long-term (2 years) OA treatments (pH 8.0, 7.8, 7.4, 7.2). Transcriptomic analyses revealed that symbionts from corals under lower pH treatments responded to acidification by increasing the expression of genes related to photosynthesis and carbon-concentrating mechanisms. These processes were mostly up-regulated and associated metabolic pathways were significantly enriched, suggesting an overall positive effect of OA on the expression of photosynthesis-related genes. To test this conclusion on a physiological level, we analyzed the symbiont's photochemical performance across treatments. However, in contrast to the beneficial effects suggested by the observed gene expression changes, we found significant impairment of photosynthesis with increasing pCO2. Collectively, our data suggest that over-expression of photosynthesis-related genes is not a beneficial effect of OA but rather an acclimation response of the holobiont to different water chemistries. Our study highlights the complex effects of ocean acidification on these symbiotic organisms and the role of the host in determining symbiont productivity and performance.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Koskimäki JJ, Pohjanen J, Kvist J, et al (2021)

The meristem-associated endosymbiont Methylorubrum extorquens DSM13060 reprograms development and stress responses of pine seedlings.

Tree physiology pii:6330022 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbes living in plant tissues, endophytes, are mainly studied in crop plants where they typically colonize the root apoplast. Trees, a large carbon source with a high capacity for photosynthesis, provide a variety of niches for endophytic colonization. We have earlier identified a new type of plant-endophyte interaction in buds of adult Scots pine, where Methylorubrum species live inside the meristematic cells. The endosymbiont M. extorquens DSM13060 significantly increases needle and root growth of pine seedlings without producing plant hormones, but by aggregating around host nuclei. Here we studied gene expression and metabolites of the pine host induced by M. extorquens DSM13060 infection. Malic acid was produced by pine to potentially boost M. extorquens colonization and interaction. Based on gene expression, the endosymbiont activated the auxin- and ethylene (ET)-associated hormonal pathways through induction of CUL1 and HYL1, and suppressed salicylic and abscisic acid signaling of pine. Infection by the endosymbiont had an effect on pine meristem and leaf development through activation of GLP1-7 and ALE2, and suppressed flowering, root hair and lateral root formation by down-regulation of AGL8, plantacyanin, GASA7, COW1 and RALFL34. Despite of systemic infection of pine seedlings by the endosymbiont, the pine genes CUL1, ETR2, ERF3, HYL, GLP1-7, and CYP71 were highly expressed in the shoot apical meristem, rarely in needles, and not in stem or root tissues. Low expression of MERI5, CLH2, EULS3, and high quantities of ononitol suggest that endosymbiont promotes viability and protects pine seedlings against abiotic stress. Our results indicate that the endosymbiont positively affects host development and stress tolerance through mechanisms previously unknown for endophytic bacteria, manipulation of plant hormone signaling pathways, down-regulation of senescence and cell death-associated genes, and induction of ononitol biosynthesis.

RevDate: 2021-08-01

Rangel-Chávez CP, Galán-Vásquez E, Pescador-Tapia A, et al (2021)

RNA polymerases in strict endosymbiont bacteria with extreme genome reduction show distinct erosions that might result in limited and differential promoter recognition.

PloS one, 16(7):e0239350.

Strict endosymbiont bacteria present high degree genome reduction, retain smaller proteins, and in some instances, lack complete functional domains compared to free-living counterparts. Until now, the mechanisms underlying these genetic reductions are not well understood. In this study, the conservation of RNA polymerases, the essential machinery for gene expression, is analyzed in endosymbiont bacteria with extreme genome reductions. We analyzed the RNA polymerase subunits to identify and define domains, subdomains, and specific amino acids involved in precise biological functions known in Escherichia coli. We also perform phylogenetic analysis and three-dimensional models over four lineages of endosymbiotic proteobacteria with the smallest genomes known to date: Candidatus Hodgkinia cicadicola, Candidatus Tremblaya phenacola, Candidatus Tremblaya Princeps, Candidatus Nasuia deltocephalinicola, and Candidatus Carsonella ruddii. We found that some Hodgkinia strains do not encode for the RNA polymerase α subunit. The rest encode genes for α, β, β', and σ subunits to form the RNA polymerase. However, 16% shorter, on average, respect their orthologous in E. coli. In the α subunit, the amino-terminal domain is the most conserved. Regarding the β and β' subunits, both the catalytic core and the assembly domains are the most conserved. However, they showed compensatory amino acid substitutions to adapt to changes in the σ subunit. Precisely, the most erosive diversity occurs within the σ subunit. We identified broad amino acid substitution even in those recognizing and binding to the -10-box promoter element. In an overall conceptual image, the RNA polymerase from Candidatus Nasuia conserved the highest similarity with Escherichia coli RNA polymerase and their σ70. It might be recognizing the two main promoter elements (-10 and -35) and the two promoter accessory elements (-10 extended and UP-element). In Candidatus Carsonella, the RNA polymerase could recognize all the promoter elements except the -10-box extended. In Candidatus Tremblaya and Hodgkinia, due to the α carboxyl-terminal domain absence, they might not recognize the UP-promoter element. We also identified the lack of the β flap-tip helix domain in most Hodgkinia's that suggests the inability to bind the -35-box promoter element.

RevDate: 2021-09-24
CmpDate: 2021-08-04

Zhang M, Wang C, Oberstaller J, et al (2021)

The apicoplast link to fever-survival and artemisinin-resistance in the malaria parasite.

Nature communications, 12(1):4563.

The emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum parasites resistant to front-line antimalarial artemisinin-combination therapies (ACT) threatens to erase the considerable gains against the disease of the last decade. Here, we develop a large-scale phenotypic screening pipeline and use it to carry out a large-scale forward-genetic phenotype screen in P. falciparum to identify genes allowing parasites to survive febrile temperatures. Screening identifies more than 200 P. falciparum mutants with differential responses to increased temperature. These mutants are more likely to be sensitive to artemisinin derivatives as well as to heightened oxidative stress. Major processes critical for P. falciparum tolerance to febrile temperatures and artemisinin include highly essential, conserved pathways associated with protein-folding, heat shock and proteasome-mediated degradation, and unexpectedly, isoprenoid biosynthesis, which originated from the ancestral genome of the parasite's algal endosymbiont-derived plastid, the apicoplast. Apicoplast-targeted genes in general are upregulated in response to heat shock, as are other Plasmodium genes with orthologs in plant and algal genomes. Plasmodium falciparum parasites appear to exploit their innate febrile-response mechanisms to mediate resistance to artemisinin. Both responses depend on endosymbiont-derived genes in the parasite's genome, suggesting a link to the evolutionary origins of Plasmodium parasites in free-living ancestors.

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Herran B, Houdelet C, Raimond M, et al (2021)

Feminising Wolbachia disrupt Armadillidium vulgare insulin-like signalling pathway.

Cellular microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The endosymbiont Wolbachia feminises male isopods by making them refractory to the insulin-like masculinising hormone, which shunts the autocrine development of the androgenic glands. It was, therefore, proposed that Wolbachia silences the IR receptors, either by preventing their expression or by inactivating them. We describe here the two IR paralogs of Armadillidium vulgare. They displayed a conventional structure and belonged to a family widespread among isopods. Av-IR1 displayed an ubiquist expression, whereas the expression of Av-IR2 was restricted to the gonads. Both were constitutively expressed in males and females and throughout development. However, upon silencing, altered gland physiology and gene expression therein suggested antagonistic roles for Av-IR1 (androinhibiting) and Av-IR2 (androstimulating). They may function in tandem with regulating neurohormones, as a conditional platform that conveys insulin signalling. Wolbachia infection did not alter their expression patterns: leaving the IRs unscathed, the bacteria would suppress the secretion of the neurohormones, thus inducing body-wide IR deactivation and feminisation. Adult males injected with Wolbachia acquired an intersexed physiology. Their phenotypes and gene expressions mirrored the silencing of Av-IR1 only, suggesting that imperfect feminisation stems from a flawed invasion of the androstimulating centre, whereas in fully feminised males invasion would be complete in early juveniles. TAKE AWAY: Two antagonistic Insulin Receptors were characterised in Armadillidium vulgare. The IRs were involved in androstimulating and androinhibiting functions. Wolbachia-induced feminisation did not prevent the expression of the IRs. Imperfectly feminised intersexes phenocopied the silencing of Av-IR1 only. Wolbachia would deactivate the IRs by suppressing neurosecretory co-factors.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Neiers F, Saliou JM, Briand L, et al (2021)

Adaptive Variation of Buchnera Endosymbiont Density in Aphid Host Acyrthosiphon pisum Controlled by Environmental Conditions.

ACS omega, 6(28):17902-17914.

The scarcity of transcriptional regulatory genes in Buchnera aphidicola, an obligate endosymbiont in aphids, suggests the stability of expressed gene patterns and metabolic pathways. This observation argues in favor of the hypothesis that this endosymbiont bacteria might contribute little to the host adaptation when aphid hosts are facing challenging fluctuating environment. Finding evidence for the increased expression or silenced genes involved in metabolic pathways under the pressure of stress conditions and/or a given environment has been challenging for experimenters with this bacterial symbiotic model. Transcriptomic data have shown that Buchnera gene expression changes are confined to a narrow range when the aphids face brutal environmental variations. In this report, we demonstrate that instead of manipulating individual genes, the conditions may act on the relative mass of endosymbiont corresponding to the needs of the host. The control of the fluctuating number of endosymbiont cells per individual host appears to be an unexpected regulatory modality that contributes to the adaptation of aphids to their environment. This feature may account for the success of the symbiotic advantages in overcoming the drastic changes in temperature and food supplies during evolution.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Zhu YX, Song ZR, Zhang YY, et al (2021)

Spider Mites Singly Infected With Either Wolbachia or Spiroplasma Have Reduced Thermal Tolerance.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:706321.

Heritable symbionts play an essential role in many aspects of host ecology in a temperature-dependent manner. However, how temperature impacts the host and their interaction with endosymbionts remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated the impact of moderate (20°C) and high (30 and 35°C) temperatures on symbioses between the spider mite Tetranychus truncatus and two maternally inherited endosymbionts (Wolbachia and Spiroplasma). We found that the thermal tolerance of mites (as measured by survival after heat exposure) was lower for mites that were singly infected with either Wolbachia or Spiroplasma than it was for co-infected or uninfected mites. Although a relatively high temperature (30°C) is thought to promote bacterial replication, rearing at high temperature (35°C) resulted in losses of Wolbachia and particularly Spiroplasma. Exposing the mites to 20°C reduced the density and transmission of Spiroplasma but not Wolbachia. The four spider mite strains tested differed in the numbers of heat shock genes (Hsps) induced under moderate or high temperature exposure. In thermal preference (Tp) assays, the two Wolbachia-infected spider mite strains preferred a lower temperature than strains without Wolbachia. Our results show that endosymbiont-mediated spider mite responses to temperature stress are complex, involving a combination of changing endosymbiont infection patterns, altered thermoregulatory behavior, and transcription responses.

RevDate: 2021-07-24

Cano-Calle D, Saldamando-Benjumea CI, Vivero-Gómez RJ, et al (2021)

Two New Strains of Wolbachia Affecting Natural Avocado Thrips.

Indian journal of microbiology, 61(3):348-354.

Wolbachia is an obligate intracellular bacterium with a high frequency of infection and a continental distribution in arthropods and nematodes. This endosymbiont can induce various reproductive phenotypes in their hosts and has been previously found naturally in several pests including thrips (Thripidae). These insects cause physical fruit damage and economic losses in avocado. The presence of Wolbachia was evaluated for the first time in avocado thrips populations of Frankliniella sp. and Scirtothrips hansoni sp.n. from eastern Antioquia. DNA from adult thrips individuals was used to assess the detection of Wolbachia by amplifying a fragment (600 bp) of the Wolbachia major surface protein (wsp) gene. Results confirmed the presence of two new Wolbachia strains in these two thrips species, with a higher percentage of natural infection in S. hansoni sp.n. The first Wolbachia species was found in Frankliniella sp. and belongs to supergroup A and the second was detected in S. hansoni sp.n. and is part of supergroup B. Wolbachia was more frequently found in females (32.73%), and only found in one male. Analysis of phylogenetic relationships, suggests that the two new Wolbachia sequences (wFran: Frankliniella and wShan: Scirtothrips hansoni) detected here represent two new groups for this endosymbiont. The haplotype network shows the presence of two possible haplotypes for each strain. Future studies to evaluate the possible use of Wolbachia as a control agent in avocado thrips are necessary.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12088-021-00951-5.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Krueger S, G Moritz (2021)

Sperm ultrastructure in arrhenotokous and thelytokous Thysanoptera.

Arthropod structure & development, 64:101084.

Thysanoptera are haplo-diploid insects that reproduce either via arrhenotoky or thelytoky. Beside genetically based thelytoky, this reproduction mode can also be endosymbiont induced. The recovery of these females from their infection again leads to the development of males. Functionality of these males ranges widely, and this might be associated with sperm structure. We analyzed the sperm ultrastructure in three different species belonging to both suborders with different reproduction systems via electron microscopy. Beside the different reproduction modes, and adaptations to their life style, the arrhenotokous species Suocerathrips linguis (Thysanoptera: Tubulifera) and Echinothrips americanus (Thysanoptera: Terebrantia) possess typical thysanopteran-like sperm structure. But endosymbiont-cured males from the thelytokous species Hercinothrips femoralis (Thysanoptera: Terebrantia) possess several malformed spermatozoa and a large amount of secretions in their testes. Spermiophagy seems to be typical. It indicates a highly conserved mechanism of the male developmental pathways, despite the observed decay. However, this decay would explain why in some species no stable arrhenotokous line can be re-established.

RevDate: 2021-09-16

Manoj RRS, Latrofa MS, Mendoza-Roldan JA, et al (2021)

Molecular detection of Wolbachia endosymbiont in reptiles and their ectoparasites.

Parasitology research, 120(9):3255-3261.

Wolbachia, a maternally transmitted Gram-negative endosymbiont of onchocercid nematodes and arthropods, has a role in the biology of their host; thus it has been exploited for the filariasis treatment in humans. To assess the presence and prevalence of this endosymbiont in reptiles and their ectoparasites, blood and tail tissue as well as ticks and mites collected from them were molecularly screened for Wolbachia DNA using two sets of primers targeting partial 16S rRNA and Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) genes. Positive samples were screened for the partial 12S rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) genes for filarioids. Of the different species of lizards (Podarcis siculus, Podarcis muralis and Lacerta bilineata) and snakes (Elaphe quatuorlineata and Boa constrictor constrictor) screened from three collection sites, only P. siculus scored positive for Wolbachia 16S rRNA. Among ectoparasites collected from reptiles (Ixodes ricinus ticks and Neotrombicula autumnalis, Ophionyssus sauracum and Ophionyssus natricis mites), I. ricinus (n = 4; 2.8%; 95% CI, 0.9-7) from P. siculus, N. autumnalis (n = 2 each; 2.8%; 95% CI, 0.9-6.5) from P. siculus and P. muralis and O. natricis (n = 1; 14.3%; 95% CI, 0.7-55.4) from Boa constrictor constrictor scored positive for Wolbachia DNA. None of the positive Wolbachia samples scored positive for filarioids. This represents the first report of Wolbachia in reptilian hosts and their ectoparasites, which follows a single identification in the intestinal cells of a filarioid associated with a gecko. This data could contribute to better understand the reptile filarioid-Wolbachia association and to unveil the evolutionary pattern of Wolbachia in its filarial host.

RevDate: 2021-08-01

Tyagi K, Tyagi I, V Kumar (2021)

Interspecific variation and functional traits of the gut microbiome in spiders from the wild: The largest effort so far.

PloS one, 16(7):e0251790.

Spiders being one of the most diverse group in phylum arthropod are of great importance due to their role as predators, silk producer, and in medicinal applications. Spiders in prey-predator relationships play a crucial role in balancing the food-chain of any ecosystem; therefore it is essential to characterize the gut microbiota of spiders collected from natural environments. In the present work, the largest effort so far has been made to characterize the gut microbiota of 35 spider species belonging to four different families using 16S amplicon targeting sequencing. Further, we compared the gut microbiota composition including endosymbiont abundance in spider species collected from different geographical locations. The results obtained revealed the presence of genera like Acinetobacter (15%), V7clade (9%), Wolbachia (8%), Pseudomonas (5%), Bacillus (6%). Although comparative analysis revealed that the gut bacterial composition in all the spider families has a similar pattern, in terms of community richness and evenness. The bacterial diversity in the spider family, Lycosidae are more diverse than in Salticidae, Tetragnathidae and Araneidae. Furthermore, it was observed that the abundance of endosymbiont genera, i.e. Wolbachia and Rickettsia, leads to shift in the abundance of other bacterial taxa and may cause sexual alterations in spider species. Moreover, predicted functional analysis based on PICRUSt2 reveals that gut microbiota of spider species were involved in functions like metabolism of carbohydrates, cofactors and vitamins, amino acids; biosynthesis of organic compounds, fatty acids, lipids etc. Based on the results obtained, it can be said that different locations do not correlate with community composition of gut microbiota in spider species collected from natural environments.

RevDate: 2021-07-26
CmpDate: 2021-07-26

Palomares-Rius JE, Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez C, Mota M, et al (2021)

'Candidatus Xiphinematincola pachtaicus' gen. nov., sp. nov., an endosymbiotic bacterium associated with nematode species of the genus Xiphinema (Nematoda, Longidoridae).

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 71(7):.

An intracellular bacterium, strain IAST, was observed to infect several species of the plant-parasitic nematode genus Xiphinema (Xiphinema astaregiense, Xiphinema incertum, Xiphinema madeirense, Xiphinema pachtaicum, Xiphinema parapachydermum and Xiphinema vallense). The bacterium could not be recovered on axenic medium. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of IAST was found to be new, being related to the family Burkholderiaceae, class Betaproteobacteria. Fungal endosymbionts Mycoavidus cysteinexigens B1-EBT (92.9 % sequence identity) and 'Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum' BEG34 (89.8 % identity) are the closest taxa and form a separate phylogenetic clade inside Burkholderiaceae. Other genes (atpD, lepA and recA) also separated this species from its closest relatives using a multilocus sequence analysis approach. These genes were obtained using a partial genome of this bacterium. The localization of the bacterium (via light and fluorescence in situ hybridization microscopy) is in the X. pachtaicum females clustered around the developing oocytes, primarily found embedded inside the epithelial wall cells of the ovaries, from where they are dispersed in the intestine. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations supported the presence of bacteria inside the nematode body, where they occupy ovaries and occur inside the intestinal epithelium. Ultrastructural analysis of the bacterium showed cells that appear as mostly irregular, slightly curved rods with rounded ends, 0.8-1.2 µm wide and 2.5-6.0 µm long, possessing a typical Gram-negative cell wall. The peptidoglycan layer is, however, evident only occasionally and not detectable by TEM in most cells. Another irregularly occurring shell surrounding the endosymbiont cells or the cell clusters was also revealed, probably originating from the host cell membrane. Flagella or spore-like cells do not occur and the nucleoid is diffusely distributed throughout the cell. This endosymbiont is transmitted vertically through nematode generations. These results support the proposal of IAST as a new species, although its obligate intracellular and obligate endosymbiont nature prevented isolation of a definitive type strain. Strain IAST is therefore proposed as representing 'Candidatus Xiphinematincola pachtaicus' gen. nov., sp. nov.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Gangwar M, Jha R, Goyal M, et al (2021)

Biochemical characterization of Recombinase A from Wolbachia endosymbiont of filarial nematode Brugia malayi (wBmRecA).

International journal for parasitology, 51(10):841-853.

Lymphatic filariasis is a debilitating disease that affects over 890 million people in 49 countries. A lack of vaccines, non-availability of adulticidal drugs, the threat of emerging drug resistance against available chemotherapeutics and an incomplete understanding of the immunobiology of the disease have sustained the problem. Characterization of Wolbachia proteins, the bacterial endosymbiont which helps in the growth and development of filarial worms, regulates fecundity in female worms and mediates immunopathogenesis of Lymphatic Filariasis, is an important approach to gain insights into the immunopathogenesis of the disease. In this study, we carried out extensive biochemical characterization of Recombinase A from Wolbachia of the filarial nematode Brugia malayi (wBmRecA) using an Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay, an ATP binding and hydrolysis assay, DNA strand exchange reactions, DAPI displacement assay and confocal microscopy, and evaluated anti-filarial activity of RecA inhibitors. Confocal studies showed that wBmRecA was expressed and localised within B. malayi microfilariae (Mf) and uteri and lateral chord of adult females. Recombinant wBmRecA was biochemically active and showed intrinsic binding capacity towards both single-stranded DNA and double-stranded DNA that were enhanced by ATP, suggesting ATP-induced cooperativity. wBmRecA promoted ATP hydrolysis and DNA strand exchange reactions in a concentration-dependent manner, and its binding to DNA was sensitive to temperature, pH and salt concentration. Importantly, the anti-parasitic drug Suramin, and Phthalocyanine tetrasulfonate (PcTs)-based inhibitors Fe-PcTs and 3,4-Cu-PcTs, inhibited wBmRecA activity and affected the motility and viability of Mf. The addition of Doxycycline further enhanced microfilaricidal activity of wBmRecA, suggesting potential synergism. Taken together, the omnipresence of wBmRecA in B. malayi life stages and the potent microfilaricidal activity of RecA inhibitors suggest an important role of wBmRecA in filarial pathogenesis.

RevDate: 2021-09-17

Russell A, Borrelli S, Fontana R, et al (2021)

Evolutionary transition to XY sex chromosomes associated with Y-linked duplication of a male hormone gene in a terrestrial isopod.

Heredity, 127(3):266-277.

Sex chromosomes are highly variable in some taxonomic groups, but the evolutionary mechanisms underlying this diversity are not well understood. In terrestrial isopod crustaceans, evolutionary turnovers in sex chromosomes are frequent, possibly caused by Wolbachia, a vertically-transmitted endosymbiont causing male-to-female sex reversal. Here, we use surgical manipulations and genetic crosses, plus genome sequencing, to examine sex chromosomes in the terrestrial isopod Trachelipus rathkei. Although an earlier cytogenetics study suggested a ZZ/ZW sex chromosome system in this species, we surprisingly find multiple lines of evidence that in our study population, sex is determined by an XX/XY system. Consistent with a recent evolutionary origin for this XX/XY system, the putative male-specific region of the genome is small. The genome shows evidence of Y-linked duplications of the gene encoding the androgenic gland hormone, a major component of male sexual differentiation in isopods. Our analyses also uncover sequences horizontally acquired from past Wolbachia infections, consistent with the hypothesis that Wolbachia may have interfered with the evolution of sex determination in T. rathkei. Overall, these results provide evidence for the co-occurrence of multiple sex chromosome systems within T. rathkei, further highlighting the relevance of terrestrial isopods as models for the study of sex chromosome evolution.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Sun Y, Sun J, Yang Y, et al (2021)

Genomic signatures supporting the symbiosis and formation of chitinous tube in the deep-sea tubeworm Paraescarpia echinospica.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:6320074 [Epub ahead of print].

Vestimentiferan tubeworms are iconic animals that present as large habitat-forming chitinised tube bushes in deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. They are gutless and depend entirely on their endosymbiotic sulphide-oxidising chemoautotrophic bacteria for nutrition. Information on the genomes of several siboglinid endosymbionts has improved our understanding of their nutritional supplies. However, the interactions between tubeworms and their endosymbionts remain largely unclear due to a paucity of host genomes. Here, we report the chromosome-level genome of the vestimentiferan tubeworm Paraescarpia echinospica. We found that the genome has been remodelled to facilitate symbiosis through the expansion of gene families related to substrate transfer and innate immunity, suppression of apoptosis, regulation of lysosomal digestion and protection against oxidative stress. Furthermore, the genome encodes a programmed cell death pathway that potentially controls the endosymbiont population. Our integrated genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses uncovered matrix proteins required for the formation of the chitinous tube and revealed gene family expansion and co-option as evolutionary mechanisms driving the acquisition of this unique supporting structure for deep-sea tubeworms. Overall, our study provides novel insights into the host's support system that has enabled tubeworms to establish symbiosis, thrive in deep-sea hot vents and cold seeps and produce the unique chitinous tubes in the deep sea.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Massey JH, ILG Newton (2021)

Diversity and function of arthropod endosymbiont toxins.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(21)00140-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial endosymbionts induce dramatic phenotypes in their arthropod hosts, including cytoplasmic incompatibility, feminization, parthenogenesis, male killing, parasitoid defense, and pathogen blocking. The molecular mechanisms underlying these effects remain largely unknown but recent evidence suggests that protein toxins secreted by the endosymbionts play a role. Here, we describe the diversity and function of endosymbiont proteins with homology to known bacterial toxins. We focus on maternally transmitted endosymbionts belonging to the Wolbachia, Rickettsia, Arsenophonus, Hamiltonella, Spiroplasma, and Cardinium genera because of their ability to induce the above phenotypes. We identify at least 16 distinct toxin families with diverse enzymatic activities, including AMPylases, nucleases, proteases, and glycosyltransferases. Notably, several annotated toxins contain domains with homology to eukaryotic proteins, suggesting that arthropod endosymbionts mimic host biochemistry to manipulate host physiology, similar to bacterial pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Noroy C, DF Meyer (2021)

The super repertoire of type IV effectors in the pangenome of Ehrlichia spp. provides insights into host-specificity and pathogenesis.

PLoS computational biology, 17(7):e1008788.

The identification of bacterial effectors is essential to understand how obligatory intracellular bacteria such as Ehrlichia spp. manipulate the host cell for survival and replication. Infection of mammals-including humans-by the intracellular pathogenic bacteria Ehrlichia spp. depends largely on the injection of virulence proteins that hijack host cell processes. Several hypothetical virulence proteins have been identified in Ehrlichia spp., but one so far has been experimentally shown to translocate into host cells via the type IV secretion system. However, the current challenge is to identify most of the type IV effectors (T4Es) to fully understand their role in Ehrlichia spp. virulence and host adaptation. Here, we predict the T4E repertoires of four sequenced Ehrlichia spp. and four other Anaplasmataceae as comparative models (pathogenic Anaplasma spp. and Wolbachia endosymbiont) using previously developed S4TE 2.0 software. This analysis identified 579 predicted T4Es (228 pT4Es for Ehrlichia spp. only). The effector repertoires of Ehrlichia spp. overlapped, thereby defining a conserved core effectome of 92 predicted effectors shared by all strains. In addition, 69 species-specific T4Es were predicted with non-canonical GC% mostly in gene sparse regions of the genomes and we observed a bias in pT4Es according to host-specificity. We also identified new protein domain combinations, suggesting novel effector functions. This work presenting the predicted effector collection of Ehrlichia spp. can serve as a guide for future functional characterisation of effectors and design of alternative control strategies against these bacteria.

RevDate: 2021-07-15

Endersby-Harshman NM, Ali A, Alhumrani B, et al (2021)

Voltage-sensitive sodium channel (Vssc) mutations associated with pyrethroid insecticide resistance in Aedes aegypti (L.) from two districts of Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: baseline information for a Wolbachia release program.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):361.

BACKGROUND: Dengue suppression often relies on control of the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, through applications of insecticides of which the pyrethroid group has played a dominant role. Insecticide resistance is prevalent in Ae. aegypti around the world, and the resulting reduction of insecticide efficacy is likely to exacerbate the impact of dengue. Dengue has been a public health problem in Saudi Arabia, particularly in Jeddah, since its discovery there in the 1990s, and insecticide use for vector control is widespread throughout the city. An alternative approach to insecticide use, based on blocking dengue transmission in mosquitoes by the endosymbiont Wolbachia, is being trialed in Jeddah following the success of this approach in Australia and Malaysia. Knowledge of insecticide resistance status of mosquito populations in Jeddah is a prerequisite for establishing a Wolbachia-based dengue control program as releases of Wolbachia mosquitoes succeed when resistance status of the release population is similar to that of the wild population.

METHODS: WHO resistance bioassays of mosquitoes with deltamethrin, permethrin and DDT were used in conjunction with TaqMan® SNP Genotyping Assays to characterize mutation profiles of Ae. aegypti.

RESULTS: Screening of the voltage-sensitive sodium channel (Vssc), the pyrethroid target site, revealed mutations at codons 989, 1016 and 1534 in Ae. aegypti from two districts of Jeddah. The triple mutant homozygote (1016G/1534C/989P) was confirmed from Al Safa and Al Rawabi. Bioassays with pyrethroids (Type I and II) and DDT showed that mosquitoes were resistant to each of these compounds based on WHO definitions. An association between Vssc mutations and resistance was established for the Type II pyrethroid, deltamethrin, with one genotype (989P/1016G/1534F) conferring a survival advantage over two others (989S/1016V/1534C and the triple heterozygote). An indication of synergism of Type I pyrethroid activity with piperonyl butoxide suggests that detoxification by cytochrome P450s accounts for some of the pyrethroid resistance response in Ae. aegypti populations from Jeddah.

CONCLUSIONS: The results provide a baseline for monitoring and management of resistance as well as knowledge of Vssc genotype frequencies required in Wolbachia release populations to ensure homogeneity with the target field population. Vssc mutation haplotypes observed show some similarity with those from Ae. aegypti in southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific, but the presence of the triple mutant haplotype in three genotypes indicates that the species in this region may have a unique population history.

RevDate: 2021-07-03

Yang K, Yuan MY, Liu Y, et al (2021)

First evidence for thermal tolerance benefits of the bacterial symbiont Cardinium in an invasive whitefly, Bemisia tabaci.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUD: Cardinium symbiont is a maternally inherited bacterial endosymbiont and widely spreads in arthropods including Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). However, the potential role of Cardinium played in the biology of their hosts is largely unknown. In two genetic lines (i.e. LS and SG lines) of B. tabaci MED) collected from different locations in China, we tested the effects of Cardinium on the performance of the host whitefly under a constant high temperature (31°C) using the age-stage two-sex life table method, and explored the genes influenced by Cardinium-infection by RNA-seq.

RESULTS: We found that Cardinium did provide protection of B. tabaci against heat stress under 31°C. However, there was a significant connection between Cardinium-infection and whitefly genetic backgrounds. Performance revealed that Cardinium infection can increase the longevity of both female and male adults and oviposition periods in both lines, but it also conferred benefits of fecundity and pre-adult period to LS line. Additionally, the population parameters such as intrinsic rate of increase (r), finite rate of increase (λ) and mean generation time (T) demonstrated that Cardinium infection conferred fitness benefits to LS line but no to SG line. Transcriptome analysis indicated that several genes related to homeostasis and metamorphosis such as ubiquitin-related genes were highly expressed in Cardinium-infected B. tabaci.

CONCLUSION: The research provided the first evidence that Cardinium can increase the thermal tolerance of whitefly, which may be associated with host genetic background. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-07-17

Uwizeye C, Mars Brisbin M, Gallet B, et al (2021)

Cytoklepty in the plankton: A host strategy to optimize the bioenergetic machinery of endosymbiotic algae.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(27):.

Endosymbioses have shaped the evolutionary trajectory of life and remain ecologically important. Investigating oceanic photosymbioses can illuminate how algal endosymbionts are energetically exploited by their heterotrophic hosts and inform on putative initial steps of plastid acquisition in eukaryotes. By combining three-dimensional subcellular imaging with photophysiology, carbon flux imaging, and transcriptomics, we show that cell division of endosymbionts (Phaeocystis) is blocked within hosts (Acantharia) and that their cellular architecture and bioenergetic machinery are radically altered. Transcriptional evidence indicates that a nutrient-independent mechanism prevents symbiont cell division and decouples nuclear and plastid division. As endosymbiont plastids proliferate, the volume of the photosynthetic machinery volume increases 100-fold in correlation with the expansion of a reticular mitochondrial network in close proximity to plastids. Photosynthetic efficiency tends to increase with cell size, and photon propagation modeling indicates that the networked mitochondrial architecture enhances light capture. This is accompanied by 150-fold higher carbon uptake and up-regulation of genes involved in photosynthesis and carbon fixation, which, in conjunction with a ca.15-fold size increase of pyrenoids demonstrates enhanced primary production in symbiosis. Mass spectrometry imaging revealed major carbon allocation to plastids and transfer to the host cell. As in most photosymbioses, microalgae are contained within a host phagosome (symbiosome), but here, the phagosome invaginates into enlarged microalgal cells, perhaps to optimize metabolic exchange. This observation adds evidence that the algal metamorphosis is irreversible. Hosts, therefore, trigger and benefit from major bioenergetic remodeling of symbiotic microalgae with potential consequences for the oceanic carbon cycle. Unlike other photosymbioses, this interaction represents a so-called cytoklepty, which is a putative initial step toward plastid acquisition.

RevDate: 2021-07-03

Choi NJ, Xi H, J Park (2021)

A Comparative Analyses of the Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Fungal Endosymbionts in Sogatella furcifera, White-Backed Planthoppers.

International journal of genomics, 2021:6652508.

Sogatella furcifera Horvath, commonly known as the white-backed planthoppers (WBPH), is an important pest in East Asian rice fields. Fungal endosymbiosis is widespread among planthoppers in the infraorder Fulgoromorpha and suborder Auchenorrhyncha. We successfully obtained complete mitogenome of five WBPH fungal endosymbionts, belonging to the Ophiocordycipitaceae family, from next-generation sequencing (NGS) reads obtained from S. furcifera samples. These five mitogenomes range in length from 55,390 bp to 55,406 bp, which is shorter than the mitogenome of the fungal endosymbiont found in Ricania speculum, black planthoppers. Twenty-eight protein-coding genes (PCGs), 12 tRNAs, and 2 rRNAs were found in the mitogenomes. Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms, two insertions, and three deletions were identified among the five mitogenomes, which were fewer in number than those of four species of Ophiocordycipitaceae, Ophiocordyceps sinensis, Hirsutella thompsonii, Hirsutella rhossiliensis, and Tolypocladium inflatum. Noticeably short lengths (up to 18 bp) of simple sequence repeats were identified in the five WBPH fungal endosymbiont mitogenomes. Phylogenetic analysis based on conserved PCGs across 25 Ophiocordycipitaceae mitogenomes revealed that the five mitogenomes were clustered with that of R. speculum, forming an independent clade. In addition to providing the full mitogenome sequences, obtaining complete mitogenomes of WBPH endosymbionts can provide insights into their phylogenetic positions without needing to isolate the mtDNA from the host. This advantage is of value to future studies involving fungal endosymbiont mitogenomes.

RevDate: 2021-07-14

Ourry M, Crosland A, Lopez V, et al (2021)

Influential Insider: Wolbachia, an Intracellular Symbiont, Manipulates Bacterial Diversity in Its Insect Host.

Microorganisms, 9(6):.

Facultative intracellular symbionts like the α-proteobacteria Wolbachia influence their insect host phenotype but little is known about how much they affect their host microbiota. Here, we quantified the impact of Wolbachia infection on the bacterial community of the cabbage root fly Delia radicum by comparing the microbiota of Wolbachia-free and infected adult flies of both sexes. We used high-throughput DNA sequencing (Illumina MiSeq, 16S rRNA, V5-V7 region) and performed a community and a network analysis. In both sexes, Wolbachia infection significantly decreased the diversity of D. radicum bacterial communities and modified their structure and composition by reducing abundance in some taxa but increasing it in others. Infection by Wolbachia was negatively correlated to 8 bacteria genera (Erwinia was the most impacted), and positively correlated to Providencia and Serratia. We suggest that Wolbachia might antagonize Erwinia for being entomopathogenic (and potentially intracellular), but would favor Providencia and Serratia because they might protect the host against chemical plant defenses. Although they might seem prisoners in a cell, endocellular symbionts can impact the whole microbiota of their host, hence its extended phenotype, which provides them with a way to interact with the outside world.

RevDate: 2021-07-14

Frangoulidis D, Kahlhofer C, Said AS, et al (2021)

High Prevalence and New Genotype of Coxiella burnetii in Ticks Infesting Camels in Somalia.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(6):.

Coxiella burnetii is the causative agent of Q fever. It can infect animals, humans, and birds, as well as ticks, and it has a worldwide geographical distribution. To better understand the epidemiology of C. burnetii in Somalia, ticks infesting camels were collected from five different regions, including Bari, Nugaal, Mudug, Sool, and Sanaag, between January and March 2018. Collected ticks were tested for C. burnetii and Coxiella-like endosymbiont DNA by using IS1111, icd, and Com1-target PCR assays. Moreover, sequencing of the 16S-rRNA was conducted. Molecular characterization and typing were done by adaA-gene analysis and plasmid-type identification. Further typing was carried out by 14-marker Multi-Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeats (MLVA/VNTR) analysis. The investigated ticks (n = 237) were identified as Hyalomma spp. (n = 227, 95.8%), Amblyomma spp. (n = 8, 3.4%), and Ripicephalus spp. (n = 2, 0.8%), and 59.1% (140/237) of them were positive for Coxiella spp. While Sanger sequencing and plasmid-type identification revealed a C. burnetii that harbours the QpRS-plasmid, MLVA/VNTR genotyping showed a new genotype which was initially named D21. In conclusion, this is the first report of C. burnetii in ticks in Somalia. The findings denote the possibility that C. burnetii is endemic in Somalia. Further epidemiological studies investigating samples from humans, animals, and ticks within the context of "One Health" are warranted.

RevDate: 2021-09-21

Skalický T, Alves JMP, Morais AC, et al (2021)

Endosymbiont Capture, a Repeated Process of Endosymbiont Transfer with Replacement in Trypanosomatids Angomonas spp.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(6):.

Trypanosomatids of the subfamily Strigomonadinae bear permanent intracellular bacterial symbionts acquired by the common ancestor of these flagellates. However, the cospeciation pattern inherent to such relationships was revealed to be broken upon the description of Angomonas ambiguus, which is sister to A. desouzai, but bears an endosymbiont genetically close to that of A. deanei. Based on phylogenetic inferences, it was proposed that the bacterium from A. deanei had been horizontally transferred to A. ambiguus. Here, we sequenced the bacterial genomes from two A. ambiguus isolates, including a new one from Papua New Guinea, and compared them with the published genome of the A. deanei endosymbiont, revealing differences below the interspecific level. Our phylogenetic analyses confirmed that the endosymbionts of A. ambiguus were obtained from A. deanei and, in addition, demonstrated that this occurred more than once. We propose that coinfection of the same blowfly host and the phylogenetic relatedness of the trypanosomatids facilitate such transitions, whereas the drastic difference in the occurrence of the two trypanosomatid species determines the observed direction of this process. This phenomenon is analogous to organelle (mitochondrion/plastid) capture described in multicellular organisms and, thereafter, we name it endosymbiont capture.

RevDate: 2021-08-12

Hanke W, Patt J, Alenfelder J, et al (2021)

Feature-Based Molecular Networking for the Targeted Identification of Gq-Inhibiting FR900359 Derivatives.

Journal of natural products, 84(7):1941-1953.

Both the soil bacterium Chromobacterium vaccinii and the bacterial endosymbiont Candidatus Burkholderia crenata of the plant Ardisia crenata are producers of FR900359 (FR). This cyclic depsipeptide is a potent and selective Gq protein inhibitor used extensively to investigate the intracellular signaling of G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). In this study, the metabolomes of both FR producers were investigated and compared using feature-based molecular networking (FBMN). As a result, 30 previously unknown FR derivatives were identified, one-third being unique to C. vaccinii. Guided by MS, a novel FR derivative, FR-6 (compound 1), was isolated, and its structure unambiguously established. In a whole-cell biosensing assay based on detection of dynamic mass redistribution (DMR) as readout for Gq inhibition, FR-6 suppressed Gq signaling with micromolar potency (pIC50 = 5.56). This functional activity was confirmed in radioligand binding assays (pKi = 7.50). This work demonstrates the power of molecular networking, guiding the way to a novel Gq-inhibiting FR derivative and underlining the potency of FR as a Gq inhibitor.

RevDate: 2021-07-02

Hoecker N, Hennecke Y, Schrott S, et al (2021)

Gene Replacement in Arabidopsis Reveals Manganese Transport as an Ancient Feature of Human, Plant and Cyanobacterial UPF0016 Proteins.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:697848.

The protein family 0016 (UPF0016) is conserved through evolution, and the few members characterized share a function in Mn2+ transport. So far, little is known about the history of these proteins in Eukaryotes. In Arabidopsis thaliana five such proteins, comprising four different subcellular localizations including chloroplasts, have been described, whereas non-photosynthetic Eukaryotes have only one. We used a phylogenetic approach to classify the eukaryotic proteins into two subgroups and performed gene-replacement studies to investigate UPF0016 genes of various origins. Replaceability can be scored readily in the Arabidopsis UPF0016 transporter mutant pam71, which exhibits a functional deficiency in photosystem II. The N-terminal region of the Arabidopsis PAM71 was used to direct selected proteins to chloroplast membranes. Transgenic pam71 lines overexpressing the closest plant homolog (CMT1), human TMEM165 or cyanobacterial MNX successfully restored photosystem II efficiency, manganese binding to photosystem II complexes and consequently plant growth rate and biomass production. Thus AtCMT1, HsTMEM165, and SynMNX can operate in the thylakoid membrane and substitute for PAM71 in a non-native environment, indicating that the manganese transport function of UPF0016 proteins is an ancient feature of the family. We propose that the two chloroplast-localized UPF0016 proteins, CMT1 and PAM71, in plants originated from the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that gave rise to the organelle.

RevDate: 2021-08-16

Salsbery ME, JP DeLong (2021)

Thermal adaptation in a holobiont accompanied by phenotypic changes in an endosymbiont.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 75(8):2074-2084.

How and if organisms can adapt to changing temperatures has drastic consequences for the natural world. Thermal adaptation involves finding a match between temperatures permitting growth and the expected temperature distribution of the environment. However, if and how this match is achieved, and how tightly linked species change together, is poorly understood. Paramecium bursaria is a ciliate that has a tight physiological interaction with endosymbiotic green algae (zoochlorellae). We subjected a wild population of P. bursaria to a cold and warm climate (20 and 32℃) for ∼300 generations. We then measured the thermal performance curve (TPC) for intrinsic rate of growth (rmax) for these evolved lines across temperatures. We also evaluated number and size of the zoochlorellae populations within paramecia cells. TPCs for warm-adapted populations were shallower and broader than TPCs of cold-adapted populations, indicating that the warm populations adapted by moving along a thermal generalist/specialist trade off rather than right-shifting the TPC. Zoochlorellae populations within cold-adapted paramecia had fewer and larger zoochlorellae than hot-adapted paramecia, indicating phenotypic shifts in the endosymbiont accompany thermal adaptation in the host. Our results provide new and novel insight into how species involved in complex interactions will be affected by continuing increasing global temperatures.

RevDate: 2021-09-23
CmpDate: 2021-09-23

Leonard JM, Mitchell J, Beinart RA, et al (2021)

Cooccurring Activities of Two Autotrophic Pathways in Symbionts of the Hydrothermal Vent Tubeworm Riftia pachyptila.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 87(17):e0079421.

Genome and proteome data predict the presence of both the reductive citric acid cycle (rCAC; also called the reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle) and the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle (CBB) in "Candidatus Endoriftia persephonae," the autotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacterial endosymbiont from the giant hydrothermal vent tubeworm Riftia pachyptila. We tested whether these cycles were differentially induced by sulfide supply, since the synthesis of biosynthetic intermediates by the rCAC is less energetically expensive than that by the CBB. R. pachyptila was incubated under in situ conditions in high-pressure aquaria under low (28 to 40 μmol · h-1) or high (180 to 276 μmol · h-1) rates of sulfide supply. Symbiont-bearing trophosome samples excised from R. pachyptila maintained under the two conditions were capable of similar rates of CO2 fixation. Activities of the rCAC enzyme ATP-dependent citrate lyase (ACL) and the CBB enzyme 1,3-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) did not differ between the two conditions, although transcript abundances for ATP-dependent citrate lyase were 4- to 5-fold higher under low-sulfide conditions. δ13C values of internal dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) pools were varied and did not correlate with sulfide supply rate. In samples taken from freshly collected R. pachyptila, δ13C values of lipids fell between those collected for organisms using either the rCAC or the CBB exclusively. These observations are consistent with cooccurring activities of the rCAC and the CBB in this symbiosis. IMPORTANCE Previous to this study, the activities of the rCAC and CBB in R. pachyptila had largely been inferred from "omics" studies of R. pachyptila without direct assessment of in situ conditions prior to collection. In this study, R. pachyptila was maintained and monitored in high-pressure aquaria prior to measuring its CO2 fixation parameters. Results suggest that ranges in sulfide concentrations similar to those experienced in situ do not exert a strong influence on the relative activities of the rCAC and the CBB. This observation highlights the importance of further study of this symbiosis and other organisms with multiple CO2-fixing pathways, which recent genomics and biochemical studies suggest are likely to be more prevalent than anticipated.

RevDate: 2021-07-01

Page CE, Leggat W, Heron SF, et al (2021)

High flow conditions mediate damaging impacts of sub-lethal thermal stress on corals' endosymbiotic algae.

Conservation physiology, 9(1):coab046.

The effects of thermal anomalies on tropical coral endosymbiosis can be mediated by a range of environmental factors, which in turn ultimately influence coral health and survival. One such factor is the water flow conditions over coral reefs and corals. Although the physiological benefits of living under high water flow are well known, there remains a lack of conclusive experimental evidence characterizing how flow mitigates thermal stress responses in corals. Here we use in situ measurements of flow in a variety of reef habitats to constrain the importance of flow speeds on the endosymbiosis of an important reef building species under different thermal regimes. Under high flow speeds (0.15 m s-1) and thermal stress, coral endosymbionts retained photosynthetic function and recovery capacity for longer compared to low flow conditions (0.03 m s-1). We hypothesize that this may be due to increased rates of mass transfer of key metabolites under higher flow, putatively allowing corals to maintain photosynthetic efficiency for longer. We also identified a positive interactive effect between high flow and a pre-stress, sub-lethal pulse in temperature. While higher flow may delay the onset of photosynthetic stress, it does not appear to confer long-term protection; sustained exposure to thermal stress (eDHW accumulation equivalent to 4.9°C weeks) eventually overwhelmed the coral meta-organism as evidenced by eventual declines in photo-physiological function and endosymbiont densities. Investigating flow patterns at the scale of metres within the context of these physiological impacts can reveal interesting avenues for coral reef management. This study increases our understanding of the effects of water flow on coral reef health in an era of climate change and highlights the potential to learn from existing beneficial bio-physical interactions for the effective preservation of coral reefs into the future.

RevDate: 2021-06-29

Chigurupati S, Vijayabalan S, Selvarajan KK, et al (2020)

Bacterial endosymbiont inhabiting Leucaena leucocephala leaves and their antioxidant and antidiabetic potential.

Journal of complementary & integrative medicine, 18(2):319-325 pii:jcim-2020-0203.

OBJECTIVES: Research on endosymbionts is emerging globally and is considered as a potential source of bioactive phytochemicals. The present study examines the antioxidant and antidiabetic of the endophytic crude extract isolated from Leucaena leucocephala leaves.

METHODS: Endophytic bacteria were isolated from the leaves of L. leucocephala and 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used to establish their identity. The in vitro antioxidant effect of endophytic crude extract (LL) was evaluated using 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2, 2'-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS) free radical scavenging methods. The in vitro antidiabetic properties of LL were evaluated using α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzyme inhibition assay.

RESULTS: The isolated endophytic bacteria were identified as Cronobacter sakazakii. LL displayed potent free radical scavenging effect against ABTS and DPPH radicals with an inhibitory concentration 50% (IC50) value of 17.49 ± 0.06 and 11.3 ± 0.1 μg/mL respectively. LL exhibited α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibition with an IC50 value of 23.3 ± 0.08 and 23.4 ± 0.1 μg/mL respectively compared to the standard drug (acarbose). Both glucose loaded normoglycemic rats and STZ induced diabetic rats treated with LL (200 mg/kg) exhibited a considerable reduction in blood glucose levels p<0.01 after 8 h of treatment when compared to normal and diabetic control rats respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Thus, the study shows that LL has a wellspring of natural source of antioxidants, and antidiabetic agents and phytoconstituents present in endophytes could be the rich source for bioactive compounds.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Haselkorn TS, Jimenez D, Bashir U, et al (2021)

Novel Chlamydiae and Amoebophilus endosymbionts are prevalent in wild isolates of the model social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.

Environmental microbiology reports, 13(5):708-719.

Amoebae interact with bacteria in multifaceted ways. Amoeba predation can serve as a selective pressure for the development of bacterial virulence traits. Bacteria may also adapt to life inside amoebae, resulting in symbiotic relationships. Indeed, particular lineages of obligate bacterial endosymbionts have been found in different amoebae. Here, we screened an extensive collection of Dictyostelium discoideum wild isolates for the presence of these bacterial symbionts using endosymbiont specific PCR primers. We find that these symbionts are surprisingly common, identified in 42% of screened isolates (N = 730). Members of the Chlamydiae phylum are particularly prevalent, occurring in 27% of the amoeba isolated. They are novel and phylogenetically distinct from other Chlamydiae. We also found Amoebophilus symbionts in 8% of screened isolates (N = 730). Antibiotic-cured amoebae behave similarly to their Chlamydiae or Amoebophilus-infected counterparts, suggesting that these endosymbionts do not significantly impact host fitness, at least in the laboratory. We found several natural isolates were co-infected with multiple endosymbionts, with no obvious fitness effect of co-infection under laboratory conditions. The high prevalence and novelty of amoeba endosymbiont clades in the model organism D. discoideum opens the door to future research on the significance and mechanisms of amoeba-symbiont interactions.

RevDate: 2021-08-03
CmpDate: 2021-08-03

Scucchia F, Malik A, Zaslansky P, et al (2021)

Combined responses of primary coral polyps and their algal endosymbionts to decreasing seawater pH.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1953):20210328.

With coral reefs declining globally, resilience of these ecosystems hinges on successful coral recruitment. However, knowledge of the acclimatory and/or adaptive potential in response to environmental challenges such as ocean acidification (OA) in earliest life stages is limited. Our combination of physiological measurements, microscopy, computed tomography techniques and gene expression analysis allowed us to thoroughly elucidate the mechanisms underlying the response of early-life stages of corals, together with their algal partners, to the projected decline in oceanic pH. We observed extensive physiological, morphological and transcriptional changes in surviving recruits, and the transition to a less-skeleton/more-tissue phenotype. We found that decreased pH conditions stimulate photosynthesis and endosymbiont growth, and gene expression potentially linked to photosynthates translocation. Our unique holistic study discloses the previously unseen intricate net of interacting mechanisms that regulate the performance of these organisms in response to OA.

RevDate: 2021-07-23
CmpDate: 2021-07-23

Dângelo RAC, Michereff-Filho M, Inoue-Nagata AK, et al (2021)

Area-wide insecticide resistance and endosymbiont incidence in the whitefly Bemisia tabaci MEAM1 (B biotype): A Neotropical context.

Ecotoxicology (London, England), 30(6):1056-1070.

Agriculture insecticides are used against insect pest species, but are able to change community structure in contaminated habitats, and also the genetic pool of exposed individuals. In fact, the latter effect is a relevant tool to in situ biomonitoring of pollutant contamination and impact, besides its practical economic and management concerns. This takes place because the emergence of individuals with resistance to insecticides is particularly frequent among insect pest species and usually enhances insecticide overuse and crop losses. Pest insects of global prominence such as whiteflies are a focus of attention due to problems with insecticide resistance and association with endosymbionts, as the case of the invasive putative species Bemisia tabaci MEAM1. The scenario is particularly complex in the Neotropics, where insecticide use is ubiquitous, but whose spatial scale of occurrence is usually neglected. Here we explored the spatial-dependence of both phenomena in MEAM1 whiteflies recording resistance to two widely used insecticides, lambda-cyhalothrin and spiromesifen, and endosymbiont co-occurrence. Resistance to both insecticides was frequent exhibiting low to moderate frequency of lambda-cyhalothrin resistance and moderate to high frequency of spiromesifen resistance. Among the prevailing whitefly endosymbionts, Wolbachia, Cardinium and Arsenophonus were markedly absent. In contrast, Hamiltonella and Rickettsia prevailed and their incidence was correlated. Furthermore, Rickettsia endosymbionts were particularly associated with lambda-cyhalothrin susceptibility. These traits were spatially dependent with significant variation taking place within an area of about 700 Km2. Such findings reinforce the notion of endosymbiont-associated resistance to insecticides, and also of their local incidence allowing spatial mapping and locally-targeted mitigation.

RevDate: 2021-06-22

Xiao B, Li D, Liao B, et al (2021)

Effects of Microplastics Exposure on the Acropora sp. Antioxidant, Immunization and Energy Metabolism Enzyme Activities.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:666100.

Microplastic pollution in marine environments has increased rapidly in recent years, with negative influences on the health of marine organisms. Scleractinian coral, one of the most important species in the coral ecosystems, is highly sensitive to microplastic. However, whether microplastic causes physiological disruption of the coral, via oxidative stress, immunity, and energy metabolism, is unclear. In the present study, the physiological responses of the coral Acropora sp. were determined after exposure to polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyamide 66 (PA66), and polyethylene (PE) microplastic for 96 h. The results showed that there were approximately 4-22 items/nubbin on the surface of the coral skeleton and 2-10 items/nubbin on the inside of the skeleton in the MPs exposure groups. The density of endosymbiont decreased (1.12 × 105-1.24 × 105 cell/cm2) in MPs exposure groups compared with the control group. Meanwhile, the chlorophyll content was reduced (0.11-0.76 μg/cm2) after MPs exposure. Further analysis revealed that the antioxidant enzymes in coral tissues were up-regulated (Total antioxidant capacity T-AOC 2.35 × 10-3-1.05 × 10-2 mmol/mg prot, Total superoxide dismutase T-SOD 3.71-28.67 U/mg prot, glutathione GSH 10.21-10.51 U/mg prot). The alkaline phosphatase (AKP) was inhibited (1.44-4.29 U/mg prot), while nitric oxide (NO) increased (0.69-2.26 μmol/g prot) for cell signal. Moreover, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was down-regulated in the whole experiment period (0.19-0.22 U/mg prot), and Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) for cell the phosphate pentoses pathway was also reduced (0.01-0.04 U/mg port). Results showed that the endosymbiont was released and chlorophyll was decreased. In addition, a disruption could occur under MPs exposure, which was related to anti-oxidant, immune, and energy metabolism.

RevDate: 2021-07-10
CmpDate: 2021-06-29

Ying L, Baiming L, Hongran L, et al (2021)

Effect of Cardinium Infection on the Probing Behavior of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) MED.

Journal of insect science (Online), 21(3):.

Facultative endosymbionts can affect the growth, physiology, and behavior of their arthropod hosts. There are several endosymbionts in the invasive whitefly Bemisia tabaci Mediterranean (MED, Q biotype) that influence host fitness by altering stylet probing behavior. We investigated the probing behavior of B. tabaci MED infected with the facultative endosymbiont Candidatus Cardinium hertigii (Cardinium (Sphingobacteriales: Flexibacteraceae)). We generated genetically similar Cardinium-infected (C*+) and uninfected (C-) clonal sublines and analyzed the probing behavior of newly emerged adult on cotton (Malvales: Malvaceae), Gossypium hirsutum L., using electropenetrography (EPG). The C- subline demonstrated a longer duration of E2 (2.81-fold) and more events of E2 (2.22-fold) than the C*+ subline, indicating a greater level of sustained ingestion of plant phloem. These findings provide insight into the fitness costs (fitness of a particular genotype is lower than the average fitness of the population) of the Cardinium-infected B. tabaci.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Duarte EH, Carvalho A, López-Madrigal S, et al (2021)

Forward genetics in Wolbachia: Regulation of Wolbachia proliferation by the amplification and deletion of an addictive genomic island.

PLoS genetics, 17(6):e1009612.

Wolbachia is one of the most prevalent bacterial endosymbionts, infecting approximately 40% of terrestrial arthropod species. Wolbachia is often a reproductive parasite but can also provide fitness benefits to its host, as, for example, protection against viral pathogens. This protective effect is currently being applied to fight arboviruses transmission by releasing Wolbachia-transinfected mosquitoes. Titre regulation is a crucial aspect of Wolbachia biology. Higher titres can lead to stronger phenotypes and fidelity of transmission but can have a higher cost to the host. Since Wolbachia is maternally transmitted, its fitness depends on host fitness, and, therefore, its cost to the host may be under selection. Understanding how Wolbachia titres are regulated and other aspects of Wolbachia biology has been hampered by the lack of genetic tools. Here we developed a forward genetic screen to identify new Wolbachia over-proliferative mutant variants. We characterized in detail two new mutants, wMelPop2 and wMelOctoless, and show that the amplification or loss of the Octomom genomic region lead to over-proliferation. These results confirm previous data and expand on the complex role of this genomic region in the control of Wolbachia proliferation. Both new mutants shorten the host lifespan and increase antiviral protection. Moreover, we show that Wolbachia proliferation rate in Drosophila melanogaster depends on the interaction between Octomom copy number, the host developmental stage, and temperature. Our analysis also suggests that the life shortening and antiviral protection phenotypes of Wolbachia are dependent on different, but related, properties of the endosymbiont; the rate of proliferation and the titres near the time of infection, respectively. We also demonstrate the feasibility of a novel and unbiased experimental approach to study Wolbachia biology, which could be further adapted to characterize other genetically intractable bacterial endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2021-06-19

Zhao C, Miao S, Yin Y, et al (2021)

Tripartite parasitic and symbiotic interactions as a possible mechanism of horizontal gene transfer.

Ecology and evolution, 11(11):7018-7028.

Herbivory is a highly sophisticated feeding behavior that requires abilities of plant defense suppression, phytochemical detoxification, and plant macromolecule digestion. For plant-sucking insects, salivary glands (SGs) play important roles in herbivory by secreting and injecting proteins into plant tissues to facilitate feeding. Little is known on how insects evolved secretory SG proteins for such specialized functions. Here, we investigated the composition and evolution of secretory SG proteins in the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) and identified a group of secretory SG phospholipase C (PLC) genes with highest sequence similarity to the bacterial homologs. Further analyses demonstrated that they were most closely related to PLCs of Xenorhabdus, a genus of Gammaproteobacteria living in symbiosis with insect-parasitizing nematodes. These suggested that H. halys might acquire these PLCs from Xenorhabdus through the mechanism of horizontal gene transfer (HGT), likely mediated by a nematode during its parasitizing an insect host. We also showed that the original HGT event was followed by gene duplication and expansion, leading to functional diversification of the bacterial-origin PLC genes in H. halys. Thus, this study suggested that an herbivore might enhance adaptation through gaining genes from an endosymbiont of its parasite in the tripartite parasitic and symbiotic interactions.

RevDate: 2021-06-19

Williams TJ, Allen MA, Ivanova N, et al (2021)

Genome Analysis of a Verrucomicrobial Endosymbiont With a Tiny Genome Discovered in an Antarctic Lake.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:674758.

Organic Lake in Antarctica is a marine-derived, cold (-13∘C), stratified (oxic-anoxic), hypersaline (>200 gl-1) system with unusual chemistry (very high levels of dimethylsulfide) that supports the growth of phylogenetically and metabolically diverse microorganisms. Symbionts are not well characterized in Antarctica. However, unicellular eukaryotes are often present in Antarctic lakes and theoretically could harbor endosymbionts. Here, we describe Candidatus Organicella extenuata, a member of the Verrucomicrobia with a highly reduced genome, recovered as a metagenome-assembled genome with genetic code 4 (UGA-to-Trp recoding) from Organic Lake. It is closely related to Candidatus Pinguicocccus supinus (163,218 bp, 205 genes), a newly described cytoplasmic endosymbiont of the freshwater ciliate Euplotes vanleeuwenhoeki (Serra et al., 2020). At 158,228 bp (encoding 194 genes), the genome of Ca. Organicella extenuata is among the smallest known bacterial genomes and similar to the genome of Ca. Pinguicoccus supinus (163,218 bp, 205 genes). Ca. Organicella extenuata retains a capacity for replication, transcription, translation, and protein-folding while lacking any capacity for the biosynthesis of amino acids or vitamins. Notably, the endosymbiont retains a capacity for fatty acid synthesis (type II) and iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster assembly. Metagenomic analysis of 150 new metagenomes from Organic Lake and more than 70 other Antarctic aquatic locations revealed a strong correlation in abundance between Ca. Organicella extenuata and a novel ciliate of the genus Euplotes. Like Ca. Pinguicoccus supinus, we infer that Ca. Organicella extenuata is an endosymbiont of Euplotes and hypothesize that both Ca. Organicella extenuata and Ca. Pinguicocccus supinus provide fatty acids and Fe-S clusters to their Euplotes host as the foundation of a mutualistic symbiosis. The discovery of Ca. Organicella extenuata as possessing genetic code 4 illustrates that in addition to identifying endosymbionts by sequencing known symbiotic communities and searching metagenome data using reference endosymbiont genomes, the potential exists to identify novel endosymbionts by searching for unusual coding parameters.

RevDate: 2021-06-24
CmpDate: 2021-06-18

Kaech H, Dennis AB, C Vorburger (2021)

Triple RNA-Seq characterizes aphid gene expression in response to infection with unequally virulent strains of the endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa.

BMC genomics, 22(1):449.

BACKGROUND: Secondary endosymbionts of aphids provide benefits to their hosts, but also impose costs such as reduced lifespan and reproductive output. The aphid Aphis fabae is host to different strains of the secondary endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa, which encode different putative toxins. These strains have very different phenotypes: They reach different densities in the host, and the costs and benefits (protection against parasitoid wasps) they confer to the host vary strongly.

RESULTS: We used RNA-Seq to generate hypotheses on why four of these strains inflict such different costs to A. fabae. We found different H. defensa strains to cause strain-specific changes in aphid gene expression, but little effect of H. defensa on gene expression of the primary endosymbiont, Buchnera aphidicola. The highly costly and over-replicating H. defensa strain H85 was associated with strongly reduced aphid expression of hemocytin, a marker of hemocytes in Drosophila. The closely related strain H15 was associated with downregulation of ubiquitin-related modifier 1, which is related to nutrient-sensing and oxidative stress in other organisms. Strain H402 was associated with strong differential regulation of a set of hypothetical proteins, the majority of which were only differentially regulated in presence of H402.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our results suggest that costs of different strains of H. defensa are likely caused by different mechanisms, and that these costs are imposed by interacting with the host rather than the host's obligatory endosymbiont B. aphidicola.

RevDate: 2021-08-11

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: 2021-08-20

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

McpT, a Broad-Range Carboxylate Chemoreceptor in Sinorhizobium meliloti.

Journal of bacteriology, 203(17):e0021621.

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, the function of only 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 microarray plates, identified 15 potential ligands for McpTPR, with the majority classified as mono-, di-, and tricarboxylates. 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 needs to be identified. IMPORTANCE Nitrate pollution is one of the most widespread and challenging environmental problems that is mainly caused by the agricultural overapplication 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 the S. meliloti-alfalfa molecular cross talk helps in the development of efficient, commercial bacterial inoculants that promote the growth of alfalfa, which is the most cultivated forage legume in the world, and improves soil fertility.

RevDate: 2021-06-15

Fujiwara Y, Kawamura I, Reimer JD, et al (2021)

Zoantharian Endosymbiont Community Dynamics During a Stress Event.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:674026.

Coral reefs are complex ecosystems composed of many interacting species. One ecologically important group consists of zoantharians, which are closely related to reef-building corals. Like corals, zoantharians form mutualistic symbioses with dinoflagellate micro-algae (family Symbiodiniaceae), but their associations remain underexplored. To examine the degree to which zoantharians exhibit altered symbiont dynamics under changing environmental conditions, we reciprocally transplanted colonies of Zoanthus sansibaricus between intertidal (2 m) and subtidal (26 m) depths within a reef in Okinawa, Japan. At this location, Z. sansibaricus can associate with three Symbiodiniaceae species from two genera distributed along a light and depth gradient. We developed species-specific molecular assays and sampled colonies pre- and post-transplantation to analyze symbiont community diversity. Despite large environmental differences across depths, we detected few symbiont compositional changes resulting from transplantation stress. Colonies sourced from the intertidal zone associated with mixtures of a "shallow" Symbiodinium sp. and a "shallow" Cladocopium sp. independent of whether they were transplanted to shallow or deep waters. Colonies sourced from the subtidal zone were dominated by a "deep" Cladocopium sp. regardless of transplant depth. Subtidal colonies brought to shallow depths did not transition to the presumably high-light adapted shallow symbionts present in the new environment, but rather bleached and died. These patterns mirror observations of highly stable coral-algal associations subjected to depth transplantation. Our results indicate that Zoanthus-Symbiodiniaceae symbioses remain stable despite stress, suggesting these important reef community members have relatively low capacity to shuffle to more stress-tolerant micro-algae in response to ongoing climate change.

RevDate: 2021-06-13

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: 2021-07-03

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.

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: 2021-08-11
CmpDate: 2021-08-11

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.

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: 2021-06-25
CmpDate: 2021-06-25

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: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

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):.

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: 2021-09-15
CmpDate: 2021-09-15

Sato N (2021)

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

Genes, 12(6):.

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: 2021-06-15

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

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

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

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: 2021-06-15

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):.

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: 2021-06-12

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.

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: 2021-08-06

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

The Evolution of Interdependence in a Four-Way Mealybug Symbiosis.

Genome biology and evolution, 13(8):.

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 P. longispinus are mixed together within Tremblaya cells, and that their genomes are somewhat reduced in size compared with their closest nonendosymbiotic 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 codependencies with each other, Tremblaya, and their insect host.

RevDate: 2021-08-23

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, 186:106254.

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: 2021-07-22

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, 75(7):1775-1791.

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 (CI) 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 CI.

RevDate: 2021-06-02

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.


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

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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