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26 Jan 2022 at 01:36
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Bibliography on: Endosymbiosis


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 26 Jan 2022 at 01:36 Created: 


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

Created with PubMed® Query: endosymbiont NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2022-01-10

Schlabe S, Korir P, Lämmer C, et al (2022)

A qPCR to quantify Wolbachia from few Onchocerca volvulus microfilariae as a surrogate for adult worm histology in clinical trials of antiwolbachial drugs.

Parasitology research [Epub ahead of print].

The filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus causes onchocerciasis (river blindness), a neglected tropical disease affecting 21 million people, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Targeting the endosymbiont Wolbachia with antibiotics leads to permanent sterilization and killing of adult worms. The gold standard to assess Wolbachia depletion is the histological examination of adult worms in nodules beginning at 6 months post-treatment. However, nodules can only be used once, limiting the time points to monitor Wolbachia depletion. A diagnostic to longitudinally monitor Wolbachia depletion from microfilariae (MF) at more frequent intervals < 6 months post-treatment would accelerate clinical trials of antiwolbachials. We developed a TaqMan qPCR amplifying the single-copy gene wOvftsZ to quantify Wolbachia from as few as one MF that had migrated from skin biopsies and compared quantification using circular and linearized plasmids or synthetic dsDNA (gBlock®). qPCR for MF from the rodent nematode Litomosoides sigmodontis was used to support the reproducibility and validate the principle. The qPCR using as few as 2 MF from O. volvulus and L. sigmodontis reproducibly quantified Wolbachia. Use of a linearized plasmid standard or synthesized dsDNA resulted in numbers of Wolbachia/MF congruent with biologically plausible estimates in O. volvulus and L. sigmodontis MF. The qPCR assay yielded a median of 48.8 (range 1.5-280.5) Wolbachia/O. volvulus MF. The qPCR is a sensitive tool for quantifying Wolbachia in a few MF from skin biopsies and allows for establishing the qPCR as a surrogate parameter for monitoring Wolbachia depletion in adult worms of new antiwolbachial candidates.

RevDate: 2022-01-10

Leitner M, Etebari K, S Asgari (2022)

Transcriptional response of Wolbachia-transinfected Aedes aegypti mosquito cells to dengue virus at early stages of infection.

The Journal of general virology, 103(1):.

Mosquito-borne flaviviruses are responsible for viral infections and represent a considerable public health burden. Aedes aegypti is the principal vector of dengue virus (DENV), therefore understanding the intrinsic virus-host interactions is vital, particularly in the presence of the endosymbiont Wolbachia, which blocks virus replication in mosquitoes. Here, we examined the transcriptional response of Wolbachia-transinfected Ae. aegypti Aag2 cells to DENV infection. We identified differentially expressed immune genes that play a key role in the activation of anti-viral defence such as the Toll and immune deficiency pathways. Further, genes encoding cytosine and N6-adenosine methyltransferases and SUMOylation, involved in post-transcriptional modifications, an antioxidant enzyme, and heat-shock response were up-regulated at the early stages of DENV infection and are reported here for the first time. Additionally, several long non-coding RNAs were among the differentially regulated genes. Our results provide insight into Wolbachia-transinfected Ae. aegypti's initial virus recognition and transcriptional response to DENV infection.

RevDate: 2022-01-10

El Hamss H, Ghosh S, Maruthi MN, et al (2021)

Microbiome diversity and reproductive incompatibility induced by the prevalent endosymbiont Arsenophonus in two species of African cassava Bemisia tabaci whiteflies.

Ecology and evolution, 11(24):18032-18041 pii:ECE38400.

A minimum of 13 diverse whitefly species belonging to the Bemisia tabaci (B. tabaci) species complex are known to infest cassava crops in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), designated as SSA1-13. Of these, the SSA1 and SSA2 are the predominant species colonizing cassava crops in East Africa. The SSA species of B. tabaci harbor diverse bacterial endosymbionts, many of which are known to manipulate insect reproduction. One such symbiont, Arsenophonus, is known to drive its spread by inducing reproductive incompatibility in its insect host and are abundant in SSA species of B. tabaci. However, whether Arsenophonus affects the reproduction of SSA species is unknown. In this study, we investigated both the reproductive compatibility between Arsenophonus infected and uninfected whiteflies by inter-/intraspecific crossing experiments involving the sub-group three haplotypes of the SSA1 (SSA1-SG3), SSA2 species, and their microbial diversity. The number of eggs, nymphs, progenies produced, hatching rate, and survival rate were recorded for each cross. In intra-specific crossing trials, both male and female progenies were produced and thus demonstrated no reproductive incompatibility. However, the total number of eggs laid, nymphs hatched, and the emerged females were low in the intra-species crosses of SSA1-SG3A+, indicating the negative effect of Arsenophonus on whitefly fitness. In contrast, the inter-species crosses between the SSA1-SG3 and SSA2 produced no female progeny and thus demonstrated reproductive incompatibility. The relative frequency of other bacteria colonizing the whiteflies was also investigated using Illumina sequencing of 16S rDNA and diversity indices were recorded. Overall, SSA1-SG3 and SSA2 harbored high microbial diversity with more than 137 bacteria discovered. These results described for the first time the microbiome diversity and the reproductive behaviors of intra-/inter-species of Arsenophonus in whitefly reproduction, which is crucial for understanding the invasion abilities of cassava whiteflies.

RevDate: 2022-01-08

Neupane S, Bonilla SI, Manalo AM, et al (2022)

Complete de novo assembly of Wolbachia endosymbiont of Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae) using long-read genome sequencing.

Scientific reports, 12(1):125.

Wolbachia, a gram-negative [Formula: see text]-proteobacterium, is an endosymbiont found in some arthropods and nematodes. Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, the vector of 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' (CLas), are naturally infected with a strain of Wolbachia (wDi), which has been shown to colocalize with the bacteria pathogens CLas, the pathogen associated with huanglongbing (HLB) disease of citrus. The relationship between wDi and CLas is poorly understood in part because the complete genome of wDi has not been available. Using high-quality long-read PacBio circular consensus sequences, we present the largest complete circular wDi genome among supergroup-B members. The assembled circular chromosome is 1.52 megabases with 95.7% genome completeness with contamination of 1.45%, as assessed by checkM. We identified Insertion Sequences (ISs) and prophage genes scattered throughout the genomes. The proteins were annotated using Pfam, eggNOG, and COG that assigned unique domains and functions. The wDi genome was compared with previously sequenced Wolbachia genomes using pangenome and phylogenetic analyses. The availability of a complete circular chromosome of wDi will facilitate understanding of its role within the insect vector, which may assist in developing tools for disease management. This information also provides a baseline for understanding phylogenetic relationships among Wolbachia of other insect vectors.

RevDate: 2022-01-04

Yang Y, Sun J, Chen C, et al (2022)

Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses reveal minor-yet-crucial roles of gut microbiome in deep-sea hydrothermal vent snail.

Animal microbiome, 4(1):3.

BACKGROUND: Marine animals often exhibit complex symbiotic relationship with gut microbes to attain better use of the available resources. Many animals endemic to deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems host chemoautotrophic bacteria endocellularly, and they are thought to rely entirely on these symbionts for energy and nutrition. Numerous investigations have been conducted on the interdependence between these animal hosts and their chemoautotrophic symbionts. The provannid snail Alviniconcha marisindica from the Indian Ocean hydrothermal vent fields hosts a Campylobacterial endosymbiont in its gill. Unlike many other chemosymbiotic animals, the gut of A. marisindica is reduced but remains functional; yet the contribution of gut microbiomes and their interactions with the host remain poorly characterised.

RESULTS: Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses showed that the gut microbiome of A. marisindica plays key nutritional and metabolic roles. The composition and relative abundance of gut microbiota of A. marisindica were different from those of snails that do not depend on endosymbiosis. The relative abundance of microbial taxa was similar amongst three individuals of A. marisindica with significant inter-taxa correlations. These correlations suggest the potential for interactions between taxa that may influence community assembly and stability. Functional profiles of the gut microbiome revealed thousands of additional genes that assist in the use of vent-supplied inorganic compounds (autotrophic energy source), digest host-ingested organics (carbon source), and recycle the metabolic waste of the host. In addition, members of five taxonomic classes have the potential to form slime capsules to protect themselves from the host immune system, thereby contributing to homeostasis. Gut microbial ecology and its interplay with the host thus contribute to the nutritional and metabolic demands of A. marisindica.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings advance the understanding of how deep-sea chemosymbiotic animals use available resources through contributions from gut microbiota. Gut microbiota may be critical in the survival of invertebrate hosts with autotrophic endosymbionts in extreme environments.

RevDate: 2021-12-25

Røed ES, J Engelstädter (2021)

Cytoplasmic incompatibility in hybrid zones: infection dynamics and resistance evolution.

Journal of evolutionary biology [Epub ahead of print].

Cytoplasmic incompatibility is an endosymbiont-induced mating incompatibility common in arthropods. Unidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility impairs crosses between infected males and uninfected females, whereas bidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility occurs when two host lineages are infected with reciprocally in compatible endosymbionts. Bidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility is unstable in unstructured populations, but may be stable in hybrid zones. Stable coexistence of incompatible host lineages should generate frequent incompatible crosses. Therefore, hosts are expected to be under selection to resist their endosymbionts. Here, we for mulate a mathematical model of hybrid zones where two bidirectionally incompatible host lineages meet. We expand this model to consider the invasion of a hypothetical resistance allele. To corroborate our mathematical predictions, we test each prediction with stochastic, individual-based simulations. Our models suggest that hybrid zones may sustain stable coinfections of bidirectionally incompatible endosymbiont strains. Over a range of conditions, host are under selection for resistance against cytoplasmic incompatibility. Under asymetric migration, a resistance allele can facilitate infection turnover and subsequently either persist or become lost. The predictions we present may inform our understanding of the cophylogenetic relationship between the endosym biont Wolbachia and its hosts.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Moran NA (2021)

Microbe Profile: Buchnera aphidicola: ancient aphid accomplice and endosymbiont exemplar.

Microbiology (Reading, England), 167(12):.

Buchnera aphidicola is an obligate endosymbiont of aphids that cannot be cultured outside of hosts. It exists as diverse strains in different aphid species, and phylogenetic reconstructions show that it has been maternally transmitted in aphids for >100 million years. B. aphidicola genomes are highly reduced and show conserved gene order and no gene acquisition, but encoded proteins undergo rapid evolution. Aphids depend on B. aphidicola for biosynthesis of essential amino acids and as an integral part of embryonic development. How B. aphidicola populations are regulated within hosts remains little known.

RevDate: 2021-12-29

Smith TE, Lee M, Person MD, et al (2021)

Horizontal-Acquisition of a Promiscuous Peptidoglycan-Recycling Enzyme Enables Aphids To Influence Symbiont Cell Wall Metabolism.

mBio, 12(6):e0263621.

During evolution, enzymes can undergo shifts in preferred substrates or in catalytic activities. An intriguing question is how enzyme function changes following horizontal gene transfer, especially for bacterial genes that have moved to animal genomes. Some insects have acquired genes that encode enzymes for the biosynthesis of bacterial cell wall components and that appear to function to support or control their obligate endosymbiotic bacteria. In aphids, the bacterial endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola provides essential amino acids for aphid hosts but lacks most genes for remodeling of the bacterial cell wall. The aphid genome has acquired seven genes with putative functions in cell wall metabolism that are primarily expressed in the aphid cells harboring Buchnera. In analyses of aphid homogenates, we detected peptidoglycan (PGN) muropeptides indicative of the reactions of PGN hydrolases encoded by horizontally acquired aphid genes but not by Buchnera genes. We produced one such host enzyme, ApLdcA, and characterized its activity with both cell wall derived and synthetic PGN. Both ApLdcA and the homologous enzyme in Escherichia coli, which functions as an l,d-carboxypeptidase in the cytoplasmic PGN recycling pathway, exhibit turnover of PGN substrates containing stem pentapeptides and cross-linkages via l,d-endopeptidase activity, consistent with a potential role in cell wall remodeling. Our results suggest that ApLdcA derives its functions from the promiscuous activities of an ancestral LdcA enzyme, whose acquisition by the aphid genome may have enabled hosts to influence Buchnera cell wall metabolism as a means to control symbiont growth and division. IMPORTANCE Most enzymes are capable of performing biologically irrelevant side reactions. During evolution, promiscuous enzyme activities may acquire new biological roles, especially after horizontal gene transfer to new organisms. Pea aphids harbor obligate bacterial symbionts called Buchnera and encode horizontally acquired bacterial genes with putative roles in cell wall metabolism. Though Buchnera lacks cell wall endopeptidase genes, we found evidence of endopeptidase activity among peptidoglycan muropeptides purified from aphids. We characterized a multifunctional, aphid-encoded enzyme, ApLdcA, which displays l,d-endopeptidase activities considered promiscuous for the Escherichia coli homolog, for which these activities do not contribute to its native role in peptidoglycan recycling. These results exemplify the roles of enzyme promiscuity and horizontal gene transfer in enzyme evolution and demonstrate how aphids influence symbiont cell wall metabolism.

RevDate: 2021-12-21

Suzuki S, Kawachi M, Tsukakoshi C, et al (2021)

Unstable Relationship Between Braarudosphaera bigelowii (= Chrysochromulina parkeae) and Its Nitrogen-Fixing Endosymbiont.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:749895.

Marine phytoplankton are major primary producers, and their growth is primarily limited by nitrogen in the oligotrophic ocean environment. The haptophyte Braarudosphaera bigelowii possesses a cyanobacterial endosymbiont (UCYN-A), which plays a major role in nitrogen fixation in the ocean. However, host-symbiont interactions are poorly understood because B. bigelowii was unculturable. In this study, we sequenced the complete genome of the B. bigelowii endosymbiont and showed that it was highly reductive and closely related to UCYN-A2 (an ecotype of UCYN-A). We succeeded in establishing B. bigelowii strains and performed microscopic observations. The detailed observations showed that the cyanobacterial endosymbiont was surrounded by a single host derived membrane and divided synchronously with the host cell division. The transcriptome of B. bigelowii revealed that B. bigelowii lacked the expression of many essential genes associated with the uptake of most nitrogen compounds, except ammonia. During cultivation, some of the strains completely lost the endosymbiont. Moreover, we did not find any evidence of endosymbiotic gene transfer from the endosymbiont to the host. These findings illustrate an unstable morphological, metabolic, and genetic relationship between B. bigelowii and its endosymbiont.

RevDate: 2021-12-17

Hague MTJ, Shropshire JD, Caldwell CN, et al (2021)

Temperature effects on cellular host-microbe interactions explain continent-wide endosymbiont prevalence.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(21)01651-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbioses influence host physiology, reproduction, and fitness, but these relationships require efficient microbe transmission between host generations to persist. Maternally transmitted Wolbachia are the most common known endosymbionts,1 but their frequencies vary widely within and among host populations for unknown reasons.2,3 Here, we integrate genomic, cellular, and phenotypic analyses with mathematical models to provide an unexpectedly simple explanation for global wMel Wolbachia prevalence in Drosophila melanogaster. Cooling temperatures decrease wMel cellular abundance at a key stage of host oogenesis, producing temperature-dependent variation in maternal transmission that plausibly explains latitudinal clines of wMel frequencies on multiple continents. wMel sampled from a temperate climate targets the germline more efficiently in the cold than a recently differentiated tropical variant (∼2,200 years ago), indicative of rapid wMel adaptation to climate. Genomic analyses identify a very narrow list of wMel alleles-most notably, a derived stop codon in the major Wolbachia surface protein WspB-that underlie thermal sensitivity of cellular Wolbachia abundance and covary with temperature globally. Decoupling temperate wMel and host genomes further reduces transmission in the cold, a pattern that is characteristic of host-microbe co-adaptation to a temperate climate. Complex interactions among Wolbachia, hosts, and the environment (GxGxE) mediate wMel cellular abundance and maternal transmission, implicating temperature as a key determinant of Wolbachia spread and equilibrium frequencies, in conjunction with Wolbachia effects on host fitness and reproduction.4,5 Our results motivate the strategic use of locally selected wMel variants for Wolbachia-based biocontrol efforts, which protect millions of individuals from arboviruses that cause human disease.6.

RevDate: 2021-12-11

de Oliveira AL, Mitchell J, Girguis P, et al (2021)

Novel insights on obligate symbiont lifestyle and adaptation to chemosynthetic environment as revealed by the giant tubeworm genome.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:6454105 [Epub ahead of print].

The mutualism between the giant tubeworm Riftia pachyptila and its endosymbiont Candidatus Endoriftia persephone has been extensively researched over the past 40 years. However, the lack of the host whole genome information has impeded the full comprehension of the genotype/phenotype interface in Riftia. Here we described the high-quality draft genome of Riftia, its complete mitogenome, and tissue-specific transcriptomic data. The Riftia genome presents signs of reductive evolution, with gene family contractions exceeding expansions. Expanded gene families are related to sulphur metabolism, detoxification, anti-oxidative stress, oxygen transport, immune system, and lysosomal digestion, reflecting evolutionary adaptations to the vent environment and endosymbiosis. Despite the derived body plan, the developmental gene repertoire in the gutless tubeworm is extremely conserved with the presence of a near intact and complete Hox cluster. Gene expression analyses establishes that the trophosome is a multi-functional organ marked by intracellular digestion of endosymbionts, storage of excretory products and haematopoietic functions. Overall, the plume and gonad tissues both in contact to the environment harbour highly expressed genes involved with cell cycle, programmed cell death, and immunity indicating a high cell turnover and defence mechanisms against pathogens. We posit that the innate immune system plays a more prominent role into the establishment of the symbiosis during the infection in the larval stage, rather than maintaining the symbiostasis in the trophosome. This genome bridges four decades of physiological research in Riftia, whilst simultaneously provides new insights into the development, whole organism functions and evolution in the giant tubeworm.

RevDate: 2021-12-27
CmpDate: 2021-12-13

Gürelli G, ARA Mohamed (2021)

Comparative Study of Rumen Ciliate Fauna of Goat and Sheep in Libya.

Turkiye parazitolojii dergisi, 45(4):274-279.

Objective: This study aims to provide comparative information on the rumen ciliate fauna of goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) and sheep (Ovis aries) living in Zawiya, Libya.

Methods: We obtained rumen samples from 16 goats and 17 sheep after the slaughter in Zawiya, Libya between June and August 2016. We immediately fixed the well-mixed samples with an equal volume of 18.5% formalin. We filtered and stained the samples in the laboratory with methyl green formalin saline solution to determine the nuclei and added 2% Lugol's iodine solution to visualize the skeletal plates.

Results: We found that the mean number (± standard deviation) of ciliates in the rumen contents from goats and sheep was 70.9±61.6×104 cells mL-1 (minimum-maximum value, 4.0-187.0×104 cells mL-1) and 96.3±49.3×104 cells mL-1 (minimum-maximum value, 19.5-235.0×104 cells mL-1), respectively. Results also showed that the total number of species per goat and sheep was 1-17 (mean, 8.2±4.7) and 1-13 (mean, 7.9±3.8), respectively. We identified 10 genera, 19 species, and 11 morphotypes in goats and 9 genera, 16 species, and 13 morphotypes in sheep. Additionally, we found that Entodinium simulans prevalence in all goats and sheep was 100%. On the other hand, we observed Hsiungia triciliata and Ostracodinium gracile in only one goat (6.3% prevalence) and Polyplastron multivesiculatum in only one sheep (5.9% prevalence). Overall, the ruminal ciliate fauna of goat and sheep in Libya comprised Entodinium species (mean for goats, 85.9%; mean for sheep, 83.5%).

Conclusion: This study recorded Hsiungia triciliata as a new endosymbiont in goats. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report all of the species detected in goats from Libya. Similarly, this is the first to detect Diplodinium anisacanthum, Entodinium bursa, E. ellipsoideum, E. longinucleatum, E. simulans, Isotricha prostoma, Ophryoscolex caudatus, Ostracodinium gracile, and Polyplastron multivesiculatum in sheep from Libya.

RevDate: 2021-12-11

Takhampunya R, Sakolvaree J, Chanarat N, et al (2021)

The Bacterial Community in Questing Ticks From Khao Yai National Park in Thailand.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 8:764763.

Ticks are known vectors for a variety of pathogens including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. In this study, bacterial communities were investigated in active life stages of three tick genera (Haemaphysalis, Dermacentor, and Amblyomma) collected from Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. Four hundred and thirty-three questing ticks were selected for pathogen detection individually using real-time PCR assays, and 58 of these were subjected to further metagenomics analysis. A total of 62 ticks were found to be infected with pathogenic bacteria, for a 14.3% prevalence rate, with Amblyomma spp. exhibiting the highest infection rate (20.5%), followed by Haemaphysalis spp. (14.5%) and Dermacentor spp. (8.6%). Rickettsia spp. were the most prevalent bacteria (7.9%) found, followed by Ehrlichia spp. (3.2%), and Anaplasma spp. and Borrelia spp. each with a similar prevalence of 1.6%. Co-infection between pathogenic bacteria was only detected in three Haemaphysalis females, and all co-infections were between Rickettsia spp. and Anaplasmataceae (Ehrlichia spp. or Anaplasma spp.), accounting for 4.6% of infected ticks or 0.7% of all examined questing ticks. The prevalence of the Coxiella-like endosymbiont was also investigated. Of ticks tested, 65.8% were positive for the Coxiella-like endosymbiont, with the highest infection rate in nymphs (86.7%), followed by females (83.4%). Among tick genera, Haemaphysalis exhibited the highest prevalence of infection with the Coxiella-like endosymbiont. Ticks harboring the Coxiella-like endosymbiont were more likely to be infected with Ehrlichia spp. or Rickettsia spp. than those without, with statistical significance for Ehrlichia spp. infection in particular (p-values = 0.003 and 0.917 for Ehrlichia spp. and Rickettsia spp., respectively). Profiling the bacterial community in ticks using metagenomics revealed distinct, predominant bacterial taxa in tick genera. Alpha and beta diversities analyses showed that the bacterial community diversity and composition in Haemaphysalis spp. was significantly different from Amblyomma spp. However, when examining bacterial diversity among tick life stages (larva, nymph, and adult) in Haemaphysalis spp., no significant difference among life stages was detected. These results provide valuable information on the bacterial community composition and co-infection rates in questing ticks in Thailand, with implications for animal and human health.

RevDate: 2021-12-08

Byrne S, Schughart M, Carolan JC, et al (2021)

Genome sequence of the English grain aphid, Sitobion avenae and its endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:6456306 [Epub ahead of print].

The English grain aphid, Sitobion avenae, is a major agricultural pest of wheat, barley and oats, and one of the principal vectors of Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) leading to significant reductions in grain yield, annually. Emerging resistance to and increasing regulation of insecticides has resulted in limited options for their control. Using PacBio HiFi data, we have produced a high quality draft assembly of the S. avenae genome; generating a primary assembly with a total assembly size of 475.7 Mb, and an alternate assembly with a total assembly size of 430.8 Mb. Our primary assembly was highly contiguous with only 326 contigs and a contig N50 of 15.95 Mb. Assembly completeness was estimated at 97.7% using BUSCO analysis and 31,007 and 29,037 protein coding genes were predicted from the primary and alternate assemblies, respectively. This assembly, which is to our knowledge the first for an insecticide resistant clonal lineage of English grain aphid, will provide novel insight into the molecular and mechanistic determinants of resistance and will facilitate future research into mechanisms of viral transmission and aphid behavior.

RevDate: 2021-12-07

Ding L, Zhang SD, Haidar AK, et al (2021)

Polycyclic Tetramate Macrolactams-A Group of Natural Bioactive Metallophores.

Frontiers in chemistry, 9:772858.

New infectious diseases and increase in drug-resistant microbial pathogens emphasize the need for antibiotics with novel mode-of-action. Tetramates represented by fungi-derived tenuazonic acid and bacterial polycyclic tetramate macrolactams (PTMs) are an important family of natural products with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activities. Despite their potential application as new antibiotics, it remains unknown how PTMs function. In this study, genomic mining revealed that PTM biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) are widespread in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and we investigated a sponge endosymbiont Actinoalloteichus hymeniacidonis harboring a potential PTM-BGC. Xanthobaccin A that previously has only been isolated from a Gram-negative bacterium was obtained after a scale-up fermentation, isolation, and structure elucidation through mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Xanthobaccin A as well as two previously reported tetramates, equisetin and ikarugamycin, exhibited antibacterial activities against Bacillus subtilis. In addition, these three tetramates were for the first time to be confirmed as metallophores and the stoichiometry of the complexes were shown to be Fe(III)(equisetin)3/Fe(III)(equisetin)2 and Fe(III)(ikarugamycin)2, respectively. Meanwhile, we found that all three tetramates could reduce ferric into ferrous iron, which triggers the Fenton chemistry reaction. Their antibacterial activity was reduced by adding the radical scavenger, vitamin C. Altogether, our work demonstrates that equisetin and PTMs can act as metallophores and their antimicrobial mechanism is possibly mediated through Fenton chemistry.

RevDate: 2021-12-05

Nobs SJ, MacLeod FI, Wong HL, et al (2021)

Eukarya the chimera: eukaryotes, a secondary innovation of the two domains of life?.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(21)00269-9 [Epub ahead of print].

One of the most significant events in the evolution of life is the origin of the eukaryotic cell, an increase in cellular complexity that occurred approximately 2 billion years ago. Ground-breaking research has centered around unraveling the characteristics of the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor (LECA) and the nuanced archaeal and bacterial contributions in eukaryogenesis, resulting in fundamental changes in our understanding of the Tree of Life. The archaeal and bacterial roles are covered by theories of endosymbiogenesis wherein an ancestral host archaeon and a bacterial endosymbiont merged to create a new complex cell type - Eukarya - and its mitochondrion. Eukarya is often regarded as a unique and distinct domain due to complex innovations not found in archaea or bacteria, despite housing a chimeric genome containing genes of both archaeal and bacterial origin. However, the discovery of complex cell machineries in recently described Asgard archaeal lineages, and the growing support for diverse bacterial gene transfers prior to and during the time of LECA, is redefining our understanding of eukaryogenesis. Indeed, the uniqueness of Eukarya, as a domain, is challenged. It is likely that many microbial syntrophies, encompassing a 'microbial village', were required to 'raise' a eukaryote during the process of eukaryogenesis.

RevDate: 2021-12-15

Armstrong EE, Perez-Lamarque B, Bi K, et al (2021)

A holobiont view of island biogeography: Unravelling patterns driving the nascent diversification of a Hawaiian spider and its microbial associates.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The diversification of a host lineage can be influenced by both the external environment and its assemblage of microbes. Here, we use a young lineage of spiders, distributed along a chronologically arranged series of volcanic mountains, to investigate how their associated microbial communities have changed as the spiders colonized new locations. Using the stick spider Ariamnes waikula (Araneae, Theridiidae) on the island of Hawai'i, and outgroup taxa on older islands, we tested whether each component of the "holobiont" (spider hosts, intracellular endosymbionts and gut microbial communities) showed correlated signatures of diversity due to sequential colonization from older to younger volcanoes. To investigate this, we generated ddRAD data for the host spiders and 16S rRNA gene amplicon data from their microbiota. We expected sequential colonizations to result in a (phylo)genetic structuring of the host spiders and in a diversity gradient in microbial communities. The results showed that the host A. waikula is indeed structured by geographical isolation, suggesting sequential colonization from older to younger volcanoes. Similarly, the endosymbiont communities were markedly different between Ariamnes species on different islands, but more homogeneous among A. waikula populations on the island of Hawai'i. Conversely, the gut microbiota, which we suspect is generally environmentally derived, was largely conserved across all populations and species. Our results show that different components of the holobiont respond in distinct ways to the dynamic environment of the volcanic archipelago. This highlights the necessity of understanding the interplay between different components of the holobiont, to properly characterize its evolution.

RevDate: 2021-12-04

Bauer DuMont VL, White SL, Zinshteyn D, et al (2021)

Molecular population genetics of Sex-lethal (Sxl) in the Drosophila melanogaster species group: a locus that genetically interacts with Wolbachia pipientis in Drosophila melanogaster.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 11(8):.

Sex-lethal (Sxl) is the sex determination switch in Drosophila, and also plays a critical role in germ-line stem cell daughter differentiation in Drosophila melanogaster. Three female-sterile alleles at Sxl in D. melanogaster were previously shown to genetically interact to varying degrees with the maternally inherited endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis. Given this genetic interaction and W. pipientis' ability to manipulate reproduction in Drosophila, we carried out a careful study of both the population genetics (within four Drosophila species) and molecular evolutionary analysis (across 20 Drosophila species) of Sxl. Consistent with earlier studies, we find that selective constraint has played a prominent role in Sxl's molecular evolution within Drosophila, but we also observe patterns that suggest both episodic bursts of protein evolution and recent positive selection at Sxl. The episodic nature of Sxl's protein evolution is discussed in light of its genetic interaction with W. pipientis.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Watanabe K, Motonaga A, Tachibana M, et al (2021)

Francisella novicida can utilize Paramecium bursaria as its potential host.

Environmental microbiology reports [Epub ahead of print].

Francisella novicida is a facultative intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia. Although cases of infection caused by exposure to contaminated water have been reported, its natural host and ecology in the environment remain unclear. In this study, we investigated in vitro the possibility that Paramecium bursaria may be a useful tool as a protist host model of F. novicida. Experimental infection with F. novicida resulted in a stable intracellular relationship within P. bursaria. This symbiotic intracellular relationship was not observed in experimental infections with other Francisella species and Legionella pneumophila. We found that F. novicida showed similar behaviour to that of the eukaryotic endosymbiont of P. bursaria, the green algae Chlorella, in the internalization process. In addition, stable intracellular localization of F. novicida was possible only when Chlorella was not present. Although we investigated the type VI secretion system of F. novicida as a candidate for the bacterial factor, we found that it was not involved in the establishment of an intracellular relationship with P. bursaria. These results suggested that P. bursaria is potentially a protist host model for F. novicida and may be a useful tool for understanding the relationship between protist hosts and their symbionts.

RevDate: 2021-12-30

Manoj RRS, Latrofa MS, Bezerra-Santos MA, et al (2021)

Molecular detection and characterization of the endosymbiont Wolbachia in the European hedgehog flea, Archaeopsylla erinacei.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 97:105161 pii:S1567-1348(21)00461-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia, the endosymbiont of arthropods and onchocercid nematodes is present in many medically important insect species, being also considered for the indirect control of parasitic ones. Archaeopsylla erinacei is a flea species infesting hedgehogs acting as vector of Rickettsia felis, Bartonella henselae, and Rickettsia helvetica, thus having public health relevance. The Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) and 16S rRNA genes were used to determine the presence, prevalence and molecular typing of Wolbachia in this flea species collected in two regions of southern Italy. Of the 45 fleas tested (n = 16 males, 35.6%; n = 29 females, 64.4%), 43 (95.6%; 95% CI: 84.8-99.2) scored positive for Wolbachia, of which 15 (33.3%) and 28 (62.2%) were males and females, respectively. The sex-wise prevalence of this endosymbiont was almost equal in both sexes (males 93.8%; 95% CI: 69.5-99.7; females 96.7%; 95% CI: 83.1-99.8). Single locus sequence analysis (SLST) of Wolbachia revealed two sequence types for 16S rRNA gene, named as wAr_15227 and wAr_15234, which came from two different areas, equally distributed in male and female fleas, whilst only one sequence type was identified for wsp gene. The phylogenetic analysis placed the two 16S rRNA sequence types in paraphyletic clades belonging to the supergroup A and B, respectively. Whilst, the tree of wsp gene clustered the corresponding sequence in the same clade including those of Wolbachia supergroup A. In MLST analyses, both Wolbachia sequence types clustered in a monophyletic clade with Drosophila nikananu (wNik) and Drosophila sturtevanti (wStv) from supergroup A. ClonalFrame analysis revealed a recombination event in the wAr_15234 strain which came from Apulia region. Scientific knowledge of the presence/prevalence of Wolbachia among medically important fleas, may contribute to develop an alternative biological method for the vector control.

RevDate: 2021-12-17

Singh I, Kaur R, Kumar A, et al (2021)

Differential expression of gut protein genes and population density of Arsenophonus contributes to sex-biased transmission of Bemisia tabaci vectored Cotton leaf curl virus.

PloS one, 16(11):e0259374.

Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is an important pest of cotton causing direct damage as sap feeder and vector of Cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV). Previous few studies suggest that female whiteflies are more efficient vector of begomovirusthan males, however the sex-biased transmission efficiency is still not clearly understood. Present studies with B. tabaci AsiaII-1 haplotype showed higher virus transmission efficiency of females compared to males. This variable begomovirus transmission efficiency has been related to previously identifiedkey factors associated with B. tabaci. The higher density of endosymbiont Arsenophonus and variable expression of some midgut proteins genes i.e. Cyclophilin, Knottin, Hsp40, Hsp70 may be possibly imparting higher vector competency to the females compared to males. The present studies suggest low abundance of Arsenophonus spp. as well as lower expressionof Cyclophilin genein males as compared to females. This is further supplemented by overexpression of Knottin, Hsp40, and Hsp70 genes in males compared to females and thus collectively all these factors might be playing a key role in low virus transmission efficiency of males. The relative density of Arsenophonus spp. and expression of midgut proteins genes in male and female whitefly first time enriches our understanding about sex-biased transmission efficiency of begomovirus.

RevDate: 2021-11-29

Kwofie SK, Broni E, Yunus FU, et al (2021)

Molecular Docking Simulation Studies Identifies Potential Natural Product Derived-Antiwolbachial Compounds as Filaricides against Onchocerciasis.

Biomedicines, 9(11):.

Onchocerciasis is the leading cause of blindness and severe skin lesions which remain a major public health problem, especially in tropical areas. The widespread use of antibiotics and the long duration required for effective treatment continues to add to the increasing global menace of multi-resistant pathogens. Onchocerca volvulus harbors the endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia, essential for the normal development of embryos, larvae and long-term survival of the adult worm, O. volvulus. We report here results of using structure-based drug design (SBDD) approach aimed at identifying potential novel Wolbachia inhibitors from natural products against the Wolbachia surface protein (WSP). The protein sequence of the WSP with UniProtKB identifier Q0RAI4 was used to model the three-dimensional (3D) structure via homology modelling techniques using three different structure-building algorithms implemented in Modeller, I-TASSER and Robetta. Out of the 15 generated models of WSP, one was selected as the most reasonable quality model which had 82, 15.5, 1.9 and 0.5% of the amino acid residues in the most favored regions, additionally allowed regions, generously allowed regions and disallowed regions, respectively, based on the Ramachandran plot. High throughput virtual screening was performed via Autodock Vina with a library comprising 42,883 natural products from African and Chinese databases, including 23 identified anti-Onchocerca inhibitors. The top six compounds comprising ZINC000095913861, ZINC000095486235, ZINC000035941652, NANPDB4566, acetylaleuritolic acid and rhemannic acid had binding energies of -12.7, -11.1, -11.0, -11, -10.3 and -9.5 kcal/mol, respectively. Molecular dynamics simulations including molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann (MMPBSA) calculations reinforced the stability of the ligand-WSP complexes and plausible binding mechanisms. The residues Arg45, Tyr135, Tyr148 and Phe195 were predicted as potential novel critical residues required for ligand binding in pocket 1. Acetylaleuritolic acid and rhemannic acid (lantedene A) have previously been shown to possess anti-onchocercal activity. This warrants the need to evaluate the anti-WSP activity of the identified molecules. The study suggests the exploitation of compounds which target both pockets 1 and 2, by investigating their potential for effective depletion of Wolbachia. These compounds were predicted to possess reasonably good pharmacological profiles with insignificant toxicity and as drug-like. The compounds were computed to possess biological activity including antibacterial, antiparasitic, anthelmintic and anti-rickettsials. The six natural products are potential novel antiwolbachial agents with insignificant toxicities which can be explored further as filaricides for onchocerciasis.

RevDate: 2021-11-30
CmpDate: 2021-11-29

Bleidorn C, K Henze (2021)

A new primer pair for barcoding of bees (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) without amplifying the orthologous coxA gene of Wolbachia bacteria.

BMC research notes, 14(1):427.

OBJECTIVES: DNA barcoding became an effective method for the identification and monitoring of bees. However, standard primer pairs used for barcoding often result in (co-) amplification of bacterial endosymbionts of the genus Wolbachia, which are widespread among bee species. Here we designed a new primer pair and compared it with the performance of the standard Folmer-primers for a small sample set of bees representing the main taxonomic groups of bees.

RESULTS: The newly designed primer pair (BeeCox1F1/BeeCox1R2) outperformed the standard barcoding primer (LCO1490/HCO2198). By generating barcodes for a small test set of bees we found that the new primer pair produced high-quality sequences in all cases for unambiguous species identification using BOLD. Conversely, the standard barcoding primers often co-amplified the homologous Wolbachia gene and resulted in mixed chromatogram signals. These sequences showed high similarity with the bacterial endosymbiont instead of the host.

RevDate: 2021-11-30

Thorpe CJ, Wang XR, Munderloh UG, et al (2021)

Tick Cell Culture Analysis of Growth Dynamics and Cellular Tropism of Rickettsia buchneri, an Endosymbiont of the Blacklegged Tick, Ixodes scapularis.

Insects, 12(11):.

The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, a species of significant importance to human and animal health, harbors an endosymbiont Rickettsia buchneri sensu stricto. The symbiont is largely restricted to the ovaries, but all life stages can harbor various quantities or lack R. buchneri entirely. The endosymbiont is cultivable in cell lines isolated from embryos of Ixodes ticks. Rickettsia buchneri most readily grows and is maintained in the cell line IRE11 from the European tick, Ixodes ricinus. The line was characterized by light and electron microscopy and used to analyze the growth dynamics of wildtype and GFPuv-expressing R. buchneri. qPCR indicated that the genome copy doubling time in IRE11 was >7 days. Measurements of fluorescence using a plate reader indicated that the amount of green fluorescent protein doubled every 11 days. Two 23S rRNA probes were tested via RNA FISH on rickettsiae grown in vitro and adapted to evaluate the tissue tropism of R. buchneri in field-collected female I. scapularis. We observed strong positive signals of R. buchneri in the ovaries and surrounding the nucleus of the developing oocytes. Tissue tropism in I. scapularis and in vitro growth dynamics strengthen the contemporary understanding of R. buchneri as a transovarially transmitted, non-pathogenic endosymbiont.

RevDate: 2021-11-26

Price DC, Brennan JR, Wagner NE, et al (2021)

Comparative hologenomics of two Ixodes scapularis tick populations in New Jersey.

PeerJ, 9:e12313.

Tick-borne diseases, such as those transmitted by the blacklegged tick Ixodes scapularis, are a significant and growing public health problem in the US. There is mounting evidence that co-occurring non-pathogenic microbes can also impact tick-borne disease transmission. Shotgun metagenome sequencing enables sampling of the complete tick hologenome-the collective genomes of the tick and all of the microbial species contained therein, whether pathogenic, commensal or symbiotic. This approach simultaneously uncovers taxonomic composition and allows the detection of intraspecific genetic variation, making it a useful tool to compare spatial differences across tick populations. We evaluated this approach by comparing hologenome data from two tick samples (N = 6 ticks per location) collected at a relatively fine spatial scale, approximately 23 km apart, within a single US county. Several intriguing variants in the data between the two sites were detected, including polymorphisms in both in the tick's own mitochondrial DNA and that of a rickettsial endosymbiont. The two samples were broadly similar in terms of the microbial species present, including multiple known tick-borne pathogens (Borrelia burgdorferi, Babesia microti, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum), filarial nematodes, and Wolbachia and Babesia species. We assembled the complete genome of the rickettsial endosymbiont (most likely Rickettsia buchneri) from both populations. Our results provide further evidence for the use of shotgun metagenome sequencing as a tool to compare tick hologenomes and differentiate tick populations across localized spatial scales.

RevDate: 2021-11-22

Chowdanayaka R, RN Basappa (2021)

Rapid Divergence of Key Spermatogenesis Genes in nasuta-Subgroup of Drosophila.

Journal of molecular evolution [Epub ahead of print].

The crosses between closely related Drosophila species usually produce sterile hybrid males with spermatogenesis disrupted at post-meiotic phase, especially in sperm individualization stage than the pre-meiotic stage. This is possibly due to the rapid interspecies divergence of male sex and reproduction-related genes. Here we annotated 11 key spermatogenesis genes in 35 strains of species belonging to nasuta-subgroup of Drosophila, where many interspecies crosses produce sterile males. We characterized the divergence and polymorphism in the protein coding regions by employing gene-wide, codon-wide, and lineage-specific selection analysis to test the mode and strength of selection acting on these genes. Our analysis showed signature of positive selection at bag of marbles (bam) and benign gonial cell neoplasma (bgcn) despite the selection constrains and the absence of endosymbiont infection which could potentially drive rapid divergence due to an arms race while roughex (rux) showed lineage-specific rapid divergence in frontal sheen complex of nasuta-subgroup. cookie monster (comr) showed rapid divergence consistent with the possibility of meiotic arrest observed in sterile hybrids of Drosophila species. Rapid divergence observed at don juan (dj) and Mst98Ca-like was consistent with fused sperm-tail abnormality observed in the hybrids of Drosophila nasuta and Drosophila albomicans. These findings highlight the potential role of rapid nucleotide divergence in bringing about hybrid incompatibility in the form of male sterility; however, additional genetic manipulation studies can widen our understanding of hybrid incompatibilities. Furthermore, our study emphasizes the importance of young species belonging to nasuta-subgroup of Drosophila in studying post-zygotic reproductive isolation mechanisms.

RevDate: 2021-12-08

Duan DY, Liu YK, Liu L, et al (2022)

Microbiome analysis of the midguts of different developmental stages of Argas persicus in China.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 13(1):101868.

Argas persicus is an ectoparasite of poultry. The bacterial community structure and the pathogenic bacteria associated with different developmental stages of A. persicus have implications for control. Argas persicus were collected from chickens in the city of Jiuquan in Gansu, China. Bacterial DNA was extracted from the midgut contents of blood engorged larvae, nymphs and adult females. The V3-V4 hypervariable regions of 16S rRNA genes were sequenced using the IonS5™XL platform. Identification of Rickettsia spp. and detection of Coxiella burnetii were performed using PCR on target genes. The bacterial diversity within larvae was the highest and the bacterial diversity within nymphs was greater than that of adults. At different classification levels, seven bacterial phyla were common phyla, 27 genera were common genera, and 18 species were common species in the three samples. At the phylum level, Proteobacteria showed a marked predominance in all samples. Rickettsia, Stenotrophomonas, Spiroplasma, and Coxiella were the dominant bacteria at the genus level. The Rickettsia species in A. persicus was identified as Rickettsia hoogstraalii and the Coxiella species was identified as a Coxiella-like endosymbiont. Additionally, some bacterial species such as Pseudomonas geniculata, Sphingomonas koreensis, and Acinetobacter haemolyticus were reported here for the first time in A. persicus.

RevDate: 2021-12-08

Mumcuoglu KY, Arslan-Akveran G, Aydogdu S, et al (2022)

Pathogens in ticks collected in Israel: I. Bacteria and protozoa in Hyalomma aegyptium and Hyalomma dromedarii collected from tortoises and camels.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 13(1):101866.

Ticks were collected from 30 Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca), and 10 Arabian camels (dromedary) (Camelus dromedarius) in Israel. All those collected from Greek tortoises belonged to Hyalomma aegyptium, while all specimens collected from the camels belonged to Hyalomma dromedarii. Out of 84 specimens of H. aegyptium, 31 pools were examined by PCR, while from 75 H. dromedarii specimens nine pools were studied. Out of 31 pools of H. aegyptium 26 were positive for pathogens or endosymbiont; 14 for one, 11 for two and one for three pathogens. Out of nine pools prepared from H. dromedarii, seven were positive for pathogens (two for C. burnetii and five for Leishmania infantum). In H. aegyptium, Rickettsia africae, Rickettsia aeschlimannii, Rickettsia endosymbiont, Coxiella burnetii, Hemolivia mauritanica, Babesia microti, Theileria sp., and Leishmania infantum was detected, while in H. dromedarii C. burnetii and L. infantum were found. None of the ticks were positive for Anaplasma/Ehrlichia, Listeria monocytogenes, Bartonella spp., Hepatozoon spp. and Toxoplasma gondii. H Rickettsia endosymbionts, C. burnetii, B. microti, Theileria sp. and L. infantum are reported for the first time in H. aegyptium, and C. burnetii and L. infantum for the first time in H. dromedarii.

RevDate: 2021-11-18

Kundu A, Mishra S, Kundu P, et al (2021)

Piriformospora indica recruits host-derived putrescine for growth promotion in plants.

Plant physiology pii:6429285 [Epub ahead of print].

Growth promotion induced by the endosymbiont Piriformospora indica has been observed in various plants; however, except growth phytohormones, specific functional metabolites involved in P. indica-mediated growth promotion are unknown. Here, we used a GC-MS based untargeted metabolite analysis to identify tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) metabolites whose levels were altered during P. indica-mediated growth promotion. Metabolomic multivariate analysis revealed several primary metabolites with altered levels, with putrescine induced most significantly in roots during the interaction. Further, our results indicated that P. indica modulates the arginine decarboxylase (ADC)-mediated putrescine biosynthesis pathway via induction of SlADC1 in tomato. P. indica did not promote growth in Sladc1-VIGS (virus-induced gene silencing of SlADC1) lines of tomato tomato and showed less colonization. Furthermore, using LC-MS/MS we showed that putrescine promoted growth by elevation of auxin (indole-3-acetic acid) and gibberellin (GA4, GA7) levels in tomato. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) adc knock-out mutants, P. indica colonization also decreased and showed no plant growth promotion, and this response was rescued upon exogenous application of putrescine. Putrescine is also important for hyphal growth of P. indica, indicating that it is co-adapted by both host and microbe. Taken together, we conclude that putrescine is an essential metabolite and its biosynthesis in plants is crucial for P. indica-mediated plant growth promotion and fungal growth.

RevDate: 2021-11-18

Mostoufi SL, ND Singh (2021)

Diet-induced changes in titer support a discrete response of Wolbachia-associated plastic recombination in Drosophila melanogaster.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:6428536 [Epub ahead of print].

Plastic recombination in Drosophila melanogaster has been associated with a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic factors such as temperature, starvation, and parasite infection. The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis has also been associated with plastic recombination in D. melanogaster. Wolbachia infection is pervasive in arthropods and this infection induces a variety of phenotypes in its hosts, the strength of which can depend on bacterial titer. Here we test the hypothesis that the magnitude of Wolbachia-associated plastic recombination in D. melanogaster depends on titer. To manipulate titer, we raised Wolbachia-infected and uninfected flies on diets that have previously been shown to increase or decrease Wolbachia titer relative to controls. We measured recombination in treated and control individuals using a standard backcrossing scheme with two X-linked visible markers. Our results recapitulate previous findings that Wolbachia infection is associated with increased recombination rate across the yellow-vermillion interval of the X chromosome. Our data show no significant effect of diet or diet by Wolbachia interactions on recombination, suggesting that diet-induced changes in Wolbachia titer have no effect on the magnitude of plastic recombination. These findings represent one of the first steps toward investigating Wolbachia-associated plastic recombination and demonstrate that the phenotype is a discrete response rather than a continuous one.

RevDate: 2021-11-13

Gupta M, Kaur R, Gupta A, et al (2021)

Are ecological communities the seat of endosymbiont horizontal transfer and diversification? A case study with soil arthropod community.

Ecology and evolution, 11(21):14490-14508.

Maternally inherited endosymbionts of arthropods are one of the most abundant and diverse group of bacteria. These bacterial endosymbionts also show extensive horizontal transfer to taxonomically unrelated hosts and widespread recombination in their genomes. Such horizontal transfers can be enhanced when different arthropod hosts come in contact like in an ecological community. Higher rates of horizontal transfer can also increase the probability of recombination between endosymbionts, as they now share the same host cytoplasm. However, reports of community-wide endosymbiont data are rare as most studies choose few host taxa and specific ecological interactions among the hosts. To better understand endosymbiont spread within host populations, we investigated the incidence, diversity, extent of horizontal transfer, and recombination of three endosymbionts (Wolbachia, Cardinium, and Arsenophonus) in a specific soil arthropod community. Wolbachia strains were characterized with MLST genes whereas 16S rRNA gene was used for Cardinium and Arsenophonus. Among 3,509 individual host arthropods, belonging to 390 morphospecies, 12.05% were infected with Wolbachia, 2.82% with Cardinium and 2.05% with Arsenophonus. Phylogenetic incongruence between host and endosymbiont indicated extensive horizontal transfer of endosymbionts within this community. Three cases of recombination between Wolbachia supergroups and eight incidences of within-supergroup recombination were also found. Statistical tests of similarity indicated supergroup A Wolbachia and Cardinium show a pattern consistent with extensive horizontal transfer within the community but not for supergroup B Wolbachia and Arsenophonus. We highlight the importance of extensive community-wide studies for a better understanding of the spread of endosymbionts across global arthropod communities.

RevDate: 2021-11-10

Milenovic M, Ghanim M, Hoffmann L, et al (2021)

Whitefly endosymbionts: IPM opportunity or tilting at windmills?.

Journal of pest science [Epub ahead of print].

Whiteflies are sap-sucking insects responsible for high economic losses. They colonize hundreds of plant species and cause direct feeding damage and indirect damage through transmission of devastating viruses. Modern agriculture has seen a history of invasive whitefly species and populations that expand to novel regions, bringing along fierce viruses. Control efforts are hindered by fast virus transmission, insecticide-resistant populations, and a wide host range which permits large natural reservoirs for whiteflies. Augmentative biocontrol by parasitoids while effective in suppressing high population densities in greenhouses falls short when it comes to preventing virus transmission and is ineffective in the open field. A potential source of much needed novel control strategies lays within a diverse community of whitefly endosymbionts. The idea to exploit endosymbionts for whitefly control is as old as identification of these bacteria, yet it still has not come to fruition. We review where our knowledge stands on the aspects of whitefly endosymbiont evolution, biology, metabolism, multitrophic interactions, and population dynamics. We show how these insights are bringing us closer to the goal of better integrated pest management strategies. Combining most up to date understanding of whitefly-endosymbiont interactions and recent technological advances, we discuss possibilities of disrupting and manipulating whitefly endosymbionts, as well as using them for pest control.

RevDate: 2021-11-08

Marzonie M, Flores F, Sadoun N, et al (2021)

Toxicity thresholds of nine herbicides to coral symbionts (Symbiodiniaceae).

Scientific reports, 11(1):21636.

Over 30 herbicides have been detected in catchments and waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and their toxicity to key tropical species, including the coral endosymbiotic algae Symbiodiniaceae, is not generally considered in current water quality guideline values (WQGVs). Mutualistic symbionts of the family Symbiodiniaceae are essential for the survival of scleractinian corals. We tested the effects of nine GBR-relevant herbicides on photosynthetic efficiency (ΔF/Fm') and specific growth rate (SGR) over 14 days of cultured coral endosymbiont Cladocopium goreaui (formerly Symbiodinium clade C1). All seven Photosystem II (PSII) herbicides tested inhibited ΔF/Fm' and SGR, with toxicity thresholds for SGR ranging between 2.75 and 320 µg L-1 (no effect concentration) and 2.54-257 µg L-1 (EC10). There was a strong correlation between EC50s for ΔF/Fm' and SGR for all PSII herbicides indicating that inhibition of ΔF/Fm' can be considered a biologically relevant toxicity endpoint for PSII herbicides to this species. The non-PSII herbicides haloxyfop and imazapic did not affect ΔF/Fm' or SGR at the highest concentrations tested. The inclusion of this toxicity data for Symbiodiniaceae will contribute to improving WQGVs to adequately inform risk assessments and the management of herbicides in tropical marine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-11-05

Solak CN, Gastineau R, Lemieux C, et al (2021)

Nitzschia anatoliensis sp. nov., a cryptic diatom species from the highly alkaline Van Lake (Turkey).

PeerJ, 9:e12220.

In this article we describe Nitzschia anatoliensis Górecka, Gastineau & Solak sp. nov., an example of a diatom species inhabiting extreme habitats. The new species has been isolated and successfully grown from the highly alkaline Van Lake in East Turkey. The description is based on morphology (light and scanning electron microscopy), the sequencing of its organellar genomes and several molecular phylogenies. This species could easily be overlooked because of its extreme similarity to Nitzschia aurariae but molecular phylogenies indicate that they are only distantly related. Furthermore, molecular data suggest that N. anatoliensis may occur in several alkaline lakes of Asia Minor and Siberia, but was previously misidentified as Nitzschia communis. It also revealed the very close genetic proximity between N. anatoliensis and the endosymbiont of the dinotom Kryptoperidinium foliaceum, providing additional clues on what might have been the original species of diatoms to enter symbiosis.

RevDate: 2021-11-03

Cummings TFM, Gori K, Sanchez-Pulido L, et al (2021)

Citrullination was introduced into animals by horizontal gene transfer from cyanobacteria.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:6420225 [Epub ahead of print].

Protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) add great sophistication to biological systems. Citrullination, a key regulatory mechanism in human physiology and pathophysiology, is enigmatic from an evolutionary perspective. Although the citrullinating enzymes peptidylarginine deiminases (PADIs) are ubiquitous across vertebrates, they are absent from yeast, worms and flies. Based on this distribution PADIs were proposed to have been horizontally transferred, but this has been contested. Here, we map the evolutionary trajectory of PADIs into the animal lineage. We present strong phylogenetic support for a clade encompassing animal and cyanobacterial PADIs that excludes fungal and other bacterial homologues. The animal and cyanobacterial PADI proteins share functionally relevant primary and tertiary synapomorphic sequences that are distinct from a second PADI type present in fungi and actinobacteria. Molecular clock calculations and sequence divergence analyses using the fossil record estimate the last common ancestor of the cyanobacterial and animal PADIs to be less than one billion years old. Additionally, under an assumption of vertical descent, PADI sequence change during this evolutionary time frame is anachronistically low, even when compared to products of likely endosymbiont gene transfer, mitochondrial proteins and some of the most highly conserved sequences in life. The consilience of evidence indicates that PADIs were introduced from cyanobacteria into animals by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). The ancestral cyanobacterial PADI is enzymatically active and can citrullinate eukaryotic proteins, suggesting that the PADI HGT event introduced a new catalytic capability into the regulatory repertoire of animals. This study reveals the unusual evolution of a pleiotropic protein modification.

RevDate: 2021-12-22
CmpDate: 2021-12-22

Sun Y, Jiang L, Gong S, et al (2022)

Changes in physiological performance and protein expression in the larvae of the coral Pocillopora damicornis and their symbionts in response to elevated temperature and acidification.

The Science of the total environment, 807(Pt 2):151251.

Climate change causes ocean warming and acidification, which threaten coral reef ecosystems. Ocean warming and acidification cause bleaching and mortality, and decrease calcification in adult corals, leading to changes in the composition of coral communities; however, their interactive effects on coral larvae are not comprehensively understood. To examine the underlying molecular mechanisms of larval responses to elevated temperature and pCO2, we examined the physiological performance and protein expression profiles of Pocillopora damicornis at two temperatures (29 and 33 °C) and pCO2 levels (500 and 1000 μatm) for 5 d. Extensive physiological and proteomic changes were observed in coral larvae. The results indicated a significant decrease in net photosynthesis (PNET) and autotrophic capability (PNET/RD) of larvae exposed to elevated temperature but a marked increase in PNET and PNET/RD of larvae exposed to high pCO2 levels. Elevated temperature significantly reduced endosymbiont densities by 70% and photochemical efficiency, indicating that warming impaired host-symbiont symbiosis. Expression of photosynthesis-related proteins, the photosystem (PS) I reaction center subunits IV and XI as well as oxygen-evolving enhancer 1, was downregulated at higher temperatures in symbionts, whereas expression of the PS I iron‑sulfur center protein was increased under high pCO2 conditions. Furthermore, expression of phosphoribulokinase (involved in the Calvin cycle) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (related to the C4 pathway) was downregulated in symbionts under thermal stress; this finding suggests reduced carbon fixation at high temperatures. The abundance of carbonic anhydrase-associated proteins, which are predicted to exert biochemical roles in dissolved inorganic carbon transport in larvae, was reduced in coral host and symbionts at high temperatures. These results elucidate potential mechanisms underlying the responses of coral larvae exposed to elevated temperature and acidification and suggest an important role of symbionts in the response to warming and acidification.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Urrutia A, Mitsi K, Foster R, et al (2021)

Txikispora philomaios n. sp., n. g., a micro-eukaryotic pathogen of amphipods, reveals parasitism and hidden diversity in Class Filasterea.

The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

This study provides a morphological, ultrastructural, and phylogenetic characterization of a novel micro-eukaryotic parasite (2.3-2.6 µm) infecting amphipod genera Echinogammarus and Orchestia. Longitudinal studies across two years revealed that infection prevalence peaked in late April and May, reaching 64% in Echinogammarus sp. and 15% in Orchestia sp., but was seldom detected during the rest of the year. The parasite infected predominantly hemolymph, connective tissue, tegument, and gonad, although hepatopancreas and nervous tissue were affected in heavier infections, eliciting melanization and granuloma formation. Cell division occurred inside walled parasitic cysts, often within host hemocytes, resulting in hemolymph congestion. Small subunit (18S) rRNA gene phylogenies including related environmental sequences placed the novel parasite as a highly divergent lineage within Class Filasterea, which together with Choanoflagellatea represent the closest protistan relatives of Metazoa. We describe the new parasite as Txikispora philomaios n. sp. n. g., the first confirmed parasitic filasterean lineage, which otherwise comprises four free-living flagellates and a rarely observed endosymbiont of snails. Lineage-specific PCR probing of other hosts and surrounding environments only detected T. philomaios in the platyhelminth Procerodes sp. We expand the known diversity of Filasterea by targeted searches of metagenomic datasets, resulting in 13 previously unknown lineages from environmental samples.

RevDate: 2021-12-22

Hubert J, Nesvorna M, Klimov PB, et al (2021)

Interactions of the Intracellular Bacterium Cardinium with Its Host, the House Dust Mite Dermatophagoides farinae, Based on Gene Expression Data.

mSystems, 6(6):e0091621.

Dermatophagoides farinae is inhabited by an intracellular bacterium, Cardinium. Using correlations between host and symbiont gene expression profiles, we identified several important molecular pathways that potentially regulate/facilitate their interactions. The expression of Cardinium genes collectively explained 95% of the variation in the expression of mite genes assigned to pathways for phagocytosis, apoptosis, the MAPK signaling cascade, endocytosis, the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) pathway, the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) pathway, lysozyme, and the Toll/Imd pathway. In addition, expression of mite genes explained 76% of the variability in Cardinium gene expression. In particular, the expression of the Cardinium genes encoding the signaling molecules BamD, LepA, SymE, and VirD4 was either positively or negatively correlated with the expression levels of mite genes involved in endocytosis, phagocytosis, and apoptosis. We also found that Cardinium possesses a complete biosynthetic pathway for lipoic acid and may provide lipoate, but not biotin, to mites. Cardinium gene expression collectively explained 84% of the variation in expression related to several core mite metabolic pathways, and, most notably, a negative correlation was observed between bacterial gene expression and expression of mite genes assigned to the glycolysis and citric acid cycle pathways. Furthermore, we showed that Cardinium gene expression is correlated with expression levels of genes associated with terpenoid backbone biosynthesis. This pathway is important for the synthesis of pheromones, thus providing an opportunity for Cardinium to influence mite reproductive behavior to facilitate transmission of the bacterium. Overall, our study provided correlational gene expression data that can be useful for future research on mite-Cardinium interactions. IMPORTANCE The molecular mechanisms of mite-symbiont interactions and their impacts on human health are largely unknown. Astigmatid mites, such as house dust and stored-product mites, are among the most significant allergen sources worldwide. Although mites themselves are the main allergen sources, recent studies have indicated that mite-associated microbiomes may have implications for allergen production and human health. The major medically important house dust mite, D. farinae, is known to harbor a highly abundant intracellular bacterium belonging to the genus Cardinium. Expression analysis of the mite and symbiont genes can identify key mite molecular pathways that facilitate interactions with this endosymbiont and possibly shed light on how this bacterium affects mite allergen production and physiology in general.

RevDate: 2021-11-29

Malkeyeva D, Kiseleva E, SA Fedorova (2021)

Loss of Hsp67Bc leads to autolysosome enlargement in the Drosophila brain.

Cell biology international [Epub ahead of print].

Hsp67Bc is a small heat shock protein found in Drosophila melanogaster. Apart from performing a function (common for all small heat shock proteins) of preventing aggregation of misfolded proteins, it is involved in macroautophagy regulation alongside the Starvin protein. Overexpression of the D. melanogaster Hsp67Bc gene has been shown to stimulate macroautophagy in S2 cell culture. Nonetheless, it has been unknown how the absence of the Hsp67Bc gene may affect it. Here, we studied the effect of Hsp67Bc gene deletion on the macroautophagy induced by the pathogenic Wolbachia wMelPop strain in D. melanogaster. We detected Wolbachia inside autophagic vacuoles in fly neurons, thereby proving that these endosymbionts were being eliminated via macroautophagy. Nevertheless, we did not register any difference in brain bacterial load between Hsp67Bc-null and control flies at all tested stages of ontogenesis. Moreover, the abundance of autophagic vacuoles was similar between neurons of the mutant and control flies, yet the cross-sectional area of autolysosomes on ultrathin sections was more than 1.5-fold larger in Hsp67Bc-null fly brains than in the control line. Our findings suggest that the product of the Hsp67Bc gene does not participate in the initiation of endosymbiont-induced macroautophagy but may mediate autophagosome maturation: the deletion of the Hsp67Bc gene leads to the increase in autolysosome size.

RevDate: 2021-11-23
CmpDate: 2021-11-19

Ortiz-Baez AS, Shi M, Hoffmann AA, et al (2021)

RNA virome diversity and Wolbachia infection in individual Drosophila simulans flies.

The Journal of general virology, 102(10):.

The endosymbiont bacteria of the genus Wolbachia are associated with multiple mutualistic effects on insect biology, including nutritional and antiviral properties. Members of the genus Wolbachia naturally occur in fly species of the genus Drosophila, providing an operational model host for studying how virome composition may be affected by its presence. Drosophila simulans populations can carry a variety of strains of members of the genus Wolbachia, with the wAu strain associated with strong antiviral protection under experimental conditions. We used D. simulans sampled from the Perth Hills, Western Australia, to investigate the potential virus protective effect of the wAu strain of Wolbachia on individual wild-caught flies. Our data revealed no appreciable variation in virus composition and abundance between individuals infected or uninfected with Wolbachia associated with the presence or absence of wAu. However, it remains unclear whether wAu might affect viral infection and host survival by increasing tolerance rather than inducing complete resistance. These data also provide new insights into the natural virome diversity of D. simulans. Despite the small number of individuals sampled, we identified a repertoire of RNA viruses, including nora virus, galbut virus, thika virus and La Jolla virus, that have been identified in other species of the genus Drosophila. Chaq virus-like sequences associated with galbut virus were also detected. In addition, we identified five novel viruses from the families Reoviridae, Tombusviridae, Mitoviridae and Bunyaviridae. Overall, this study highlights the complex interaction between Wolbachia and RNA virus infections and provides a baseline description of the natural virome of D. simulans.

RevDate: 2021-12-30
CmpDate: 2021-12-30

Gimmi E, C Vorburger (2021)

Strong genotype-by-genotype interactions between aphid-defensive symbionts and parasitoids persist across different biotic environments.

Journal of evolutionary biology, 34(12):1944-1953.

The dynamics of coevolution between hosts and parasites are influenced by their genetic interactions. Highly specific interactions, where the outcome of an infection depends on the precise combination of host and parasite genotypes (G × G interactions), have the potential to maintain genetic variation by inducing negative frequency-dependent selection. The importance of this effect also rests on whether such interactions are consistent across different environments or modified by environmental variation (G × G × E interaction). In the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae, resistance to its parasitoid Lysiphlebus fabarum is largely determined by the possession of a heritable bacterial endosymbiont, Hamiltonella defensa, with strong G × G interactions between H. defensa and L. fabarum. A key environmental factor in this system is the host plant on which the aphid feeds. Here, we exposed genetically identical aphids harbouring three different strains of H. defensa to three asexual genotypes of L. fabarum and measured parasitism success on three common host plants of A. fabae, namely Vicia faba, Chenopodium album and Beta vulgaris. As expected, we observed the pervasive G × G interaction between H. defensa and L. fabarum, but despite strong main effects of the host plants on average rates of parasitism, this interaction was not altered significantly by the host plant environment (no G × G × E interaction). The symbiont-conferred specificity of resistance is thus likely to mediate the coevolution of A. fabae and L. fabarum, even when played out across diverse host plants of the aphid.

RevDate: 2021-10-26

Muñoz-Benavent M, Latorre A, Alemany-Cosme E, et al (2021)

Gut Microbiota Cannot Compensate the Impact of (quasi) Aposymbiosis in Blattella germanica.

Biology, 10(10):.

Blattella germanica presents a very complex symbiotic system, involving the following two kinds of symbionts: the endosymbiont Blattabacterium and the gut microbiota. Although the role of the endosymbiont has been fully elucidated, the function of the gut microbiota remains unclear. The study of the gut microbiota will benefit from the availability of insects deprived of Blattabacterium. Our goal is to determine the effect of the removal (or, at least, the reduction) of the endosymbiont population on the cockroach's fitness, in a normal gut microbiota community. For this purpose, we treated our cockroach population, over several generations, with rifampicin, an antibiotic that only affects the endosymbiont during its extracellular phase, and decreases its amount in the following generation. As rifampicin also affects gut bacteria that are sensitive to this antibiotic, the treatment was performed during the first 12 days of the adult stage, which is the period when the endosymbiont infects the oocytes and lacks bacteriocyte protection. We found that after this antibiotic treatment, the endosymbiont population remained extremely reduced and only the microbiota was able to recover, although it could not compensate for the endosymbiont role, and the host's fitness was drastically affected. This accomplished reduction, however, is not homogenous and requires further study to develop stable quasi-aposymbiotic cockroaches.

RevDate: 2021-10-26

Chen XD, Kaur N, Horton DR, et al (2021)

Crude Extracts and Alkaloids Derived from Ipomoea-Periglandula Symbiotic Association Cause Mortality of Asian Citrus Psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae).

Insects, 12(10):.

Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) is an important economic pest of citrus crops because it vectors the causal pathogen of huanglongbing (HLB; aka citrus greening). Population suppression of D. citri with insecticides has been disproportionally relied on for HLB management and a greater diversity of more sustainable tools is needed. Periglandula spp. is a fungal endosymbiont (family Clavicipitaceae) that forms a mutualistic relationship with members of plants in family Convolvulaceae. This association results in the production of ergot alkaloids that were previously documented as having psyllicidal properties. We investigated the mortality and behavior of D. citri exposed to crude extracts from morning glories in the plant family Convolvulaceae, as well as synthetic ergot alkaloids. Nymphs and adults were exposed to the crude plant extracts from Periglandula positive species of Convolvulaceae, as well as five synthetic ergot alkaloids. Treatments were prepared by exposing clippings of citrus to 100 ng/µL of crude extract from Periglandula-positive species of Ipomoea (I. imperati, I. leptophylla, I. pandurata and I. tricolor), and Turbina corymbosa, and from one Periglandula-negative species (I. alba) (100 ng/µL). Mortality of adult and nymphal D. citri was significantly higher than the control after exposure to extracts from I. tricolor and I. imperati. The synthetic ergot alkaloids, lysergol (10-100 ng/µL), ergonovine maleate (100 ng/µL), agroclavine (10-100 ng/µL), and ergosine (10-100 ng/µL) increased mortality of D. citri nymphs, while ergosine (100 ng/µL) and agroclavine (100 ng/µL) increased mortality of adults compared to water controls. Fewer D. citri adults settled on plants treated with crude extracts or synthetic ergot alkaloids than on water controls at 48 h after release. D. citri that fed on citrus leaves treated with 10 ng/μL solution of crude extract from the Periglandula-positive species Ipomoea (I. imperati, I. leptophylla, I. pandurata, I. tricolor), and Turbina corymbosa excreted significantly less honeydew compared with a negative water control and extract from Periglandula-negative species (I. alba). Our results indicate that crude extracts and ergot alkaloids exhibit toxic and sub-lethal effects on D. citri that could be useful for management of this pest.

RevDate: 2021-12-08

Bell-Sakyi L, Beliavskaia A, Hartley CS, et al (2021)

Isolation in Natural Host Cell Lines of Wolbachia Strains wPip from the Mosquito Culex pipiens and wPap from the Sand Fly Phlebotomus papatasi.

Insects, 12(10):.

Endosymbiotic intracellular bacteria of the genus Wolbachia are harboured by many species of invertebrates. They display a wide range of developmental, metabolic and nutritional interactions with their hosts and may impact the transmission of arboviruses and protozoan parasites. Wolbachia have occasionally been isolated during insect cell line generation. Here, we report the isolation of two strains of Wolbachia, wPip and wPap, during cell line generation from their respective hosts, the mosquito Culex pipiens and the sand fly Phlebotomus papatasi. wPip was pathogenic for both new C. pipiens cell lines, CPE/LULS50 and CLP/LULS56, requiring tetracycline treatment to rescue the lines. In contrast, wPap was tolerated by the P. papatasi cell line PPL/LULS49, although tetracycline treatment was applied to generate a Wolbachia-free subline. Both Wolbachia strains were infective for a panel of heterologous insect and tick cell lines, including two novel lines generated from the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis, LLE/LULS45 and LLL/LULS52. In all cases, wPip was more pathogenic for the host cells than wPap. These newly isolated Wolbachia strains, and the novel mosquito and sand fly cell lines reported here, will add to the resources available for research on host-endosymbiont relationships, as well as on C. pipiens, P. papatasi, L. longipalpis and the pathogens that they transmit.

RevDate: 2021-10-26

Shapoval NA, Nokkala S, Nokkala C, et al (2021)

The Incidence of Wolbachia Bacterial Endosymbiont in Bisexual and Parthenogenetic Populations of the Psyllid Genus Cacopsylla (Hemiptera, Psylloidea).

Insects, 12(10):.

Wolbachia is one of the most common intracellular bacteria; it infects a wide variety of insects, other arthropods, and some nematodes. Wolbachia is ordinarily transmitted vertically from mother to offspring and can manipulate physiology and reproduction of their hosts in different ways, e.g., induce feminization, male killing, and parthenogenesis. Despite the great interest in Wolbachia, many aspects of its biology remain unclear and its incidence across many insect orders, including Hemiptera, is still poorly understood. In this report, we present data on Wolbachia infection in five jumping plant-lice species (Hemiptera, Psylloidea) of the genus Cacopsylla Ossiannilsson, 1970 with different reproductive strategies and test the hypothesis that Wolbachia mediates parthenogenetic and bisexual patterns observed in some Cacopsylla species. We show that the five species studied are infected with a single Wolbachia strain, belonging to the supergroup B. This strain has also been found in different insect orders (Lepidoptera, Hemiptera, Plecoptera, Orthoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera) and even in acariform mites (Trombidiformes), suggesting extensive horizontal transmission of Wolbachia between representatives of these taxa. Our survey did not reveal significant differences in infection frequency between parthenogenetic and bisexual populations or between males and females within bisexual populations. However, infection rate varied notably in different Cacopsylla species or within distinct populations of the same species. Overall, we demonstrate that Wolbachia infects a high proportion of Cacopsylla individuals and populations, suggesting the essential role of this bacterium in their biology.

RevDate: 2021-10-20

Mendiola SY, Stoy KS, DiSalvo S, et al (2021)

Competitive exclusion of phytopathogenic Serratia marcescens from squash bug vectors by the gut endosymbiont Caballeronia.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Many insects harbor microbial symbiotic partners that offer protection against pathogens, parasitoids, and other natural enemies. Mounting evidence suggests that these symbiotic microbes can play key roles in determining infection outcomes in insect vectors, making them important players in the quest to develop novel vector control strategies. Using the squash bug Anasa tristis, we investigated how the presence of Caballeronia symbionts affected the persistence and intensity of phytopathogenic Serratia marcescens within the insect vector. We reared insects aposymbiotically and with different Caballeronia isolates, infected them with S. marcescens, then sampled the insects periodically to assess the intensity and persistence of pathogen infection. Squash bugs harboring Caballeronia consistently had much lower-intensity infections and cleared S. marcescens significantly faster than their aposymbiotic counterparts. These patterns held even when we reversed the timing of exposure to symbiont and pathogen. Taken together, these results indicate that Caballeronia symbionts play an essential role in S. marcescens infection outcomes in squash bugs and could be used to alter vector competence to enhance agricultural productivity in the future. Importance Insect-microbe symbioses have repeatedly been shown to profoundly impact an insect's ability to vector pathogens to other hosts. The use of symbiotic microbes to control insect vector populations is of growing interest in agricultural settings. Our study examines how symbiotic microbes affect the dynamics of a plant pathogen infection within the squash bug vector Anasa tristis-a well-documented pest of squash and other cucurbit plants and vector of Serratia marcescens, causative agent of Cucurbit Yellow Vine Disease. We provide evidence that the symbiont Caballeronia prevents successful, long-term establishment of S. marcescens in the squash bug. These findings give us insight into symbiont-pathogen dynamics within the squash bug that could ultimately determine its ability to transmit pathogens and be leveraged to interrupt disease transmission in this system.

RevDate: 2021-10-26

Zülfikaroğlu T, Turgay-İzzetoğlu G, Yikilmaz MS, et al (2021)

Demonstrating the general structure and cell types of the fat body in Blatta orientalis (Oriental Cockroach).

Anatomia, histologia, embryologia [Epub ahead of print].

The fat body is a tissue that originates from mesoderm in insects. It consists of several cell types. The basic cell of the fat body is trophocyte. Glycogen, protein and lipid which are required for energy are stored in these cells. Mycetocyte, urocyte, chromotocyte and haemoglobin cells are the other cell types which originate from differentiated trophocytes. Of the cells found in cockroaches, mycetocytes contain an endosymbiont species of bacteria while urocytes are specialized cells for storing and discharging uric acid. Oenocyte, which is not the fat body cell type but associated with epidermis and the fat body cells, is also found in cockroaches. In this research, the fat body distribution was shown for the first time in three selected sections (thorax, beginning and end of abdomen) in all stages of Blatta orientalis (Linnaeus, 1758). In addition, the fat body cell types and distribution were determined by histological, histochemical and ultrastructural studies. As a result, trophocytes, mycetocytes, urocytes of the fat body and oenocytes which are related to the fat body were determined in B. orientalis. Also, it was revealed that the fat body content increased in the selected regions of the stages depending on the development. We hope that these findings will contribute to data about the fat body and give some directions to insecticide studies.

RevDate: 2021-12-03

Poopandi S, Sundaraj R, Rajmichael R, et al (2021)

Computational screening of potential inhibitors targeting MurF of Brugia malayi Wolbachia through multi-scale molecular docking, molecular dynamics and MM-GBSA analysis.

Molecular and biochemical parasitology, 246:111427.

Lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease caused by the worms Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi and Brugia timori. Three anti-filarial drugs namely Diethylcarbamazine, Ivermectin and Albendazole and their combinations are used as the control strategies for filariasis. The disease has received much attention in drug discovery due to the unavailability of vaccines and the toxic pharmaceutical properties of the existing drugs. In Wolbachia endosymbiont Brugia malayi, the UDP-N-acetylmuramoyl-tripeptide-d-alanyl-d-alanine ligase (MurF) plays a key role in peptidoglycan biosynthesis pathway and therefore can be considered as effective drug target against filariasis disease. Therefore, in the present study, MurF was selected as the therapeutic target to identify specific inhibitors against filariasis. Homology modeling was performed to predict the three-dimensional structure of MurF due to the absence of the experimental structure. Further molecular dynamics simulation and structure-based high throughput virtual screening with three different chemical databases (Zinc, Maybridge and Specs) were carried out to identify potent inhibitors and also to check their conformations inside the binding site of MurF, respectively. Top three compounds with high docking score and high relative binding affinity against MurF were selected. Further, validation studies, including predicted ADME (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion) assessment, binding free energy using MM-GBSA (Molecular Mechanics Generalized Born Surface Area) and DFT (Density Functional Theory) calculations were performed for the top three compounds. From the results, it was observed that all the three compounds were predicted to show high reactivity, acceptable range of pharmacokinetic properties and high binding affinity with the drug target MurF. Overall, the results could provide more understanding on the inhibition of MurF enzyme and the screened compounds could lead to the development of new specific anti-filarial drugs.

RevDate: 2021-10-22

Sarkar S, Dey A, Kumar V, et al (2021)

Fungal Endophyte: An Interactive Endosymbiont With the Capability of Modulating Host Physiology in Myriad Ways.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:701800.

Endophytic fungi ubiquitously dwell inside the tissue-spaces of plants, mostly asymptomatically. They grow either intercellularly or intracellularly in a particular host plant to complete the whole or part of their life cycle. They have been found to be associated with almost all the plants occurring in a natural ecosystem. Due to their important role in the survival of plants (modulate photosynthesis, increase nutrient uptake, alleviate the effect of various stresses) they have been selected to co-evolve with their hosts through the course of evolution. Many years of intense research have discovered their tremendous roles in increasing the fitness of the plants in both normal and stressed conditions. There are numerous literature regarding the involvement of various endophytic fungi in enhancing plant growth, nutrient uptake, stress tolerance, etc. But, there are scant reports documenting the specific mechanisms employed by fungal endophytes to manipulate plant physiology and exert their effects. In this review, we aim to document the probable ways undertaken by endophytic fungi to alter different physiological parameters of their host plants. Our objective is to present an in-depth elucidation about the impact of fungal endophytes on plant physiology to make this evolutionarily conserved symbiotic interaction understandable from a broader perspective.

RevDate: 2021-10-22

Kwak Y, Sun P, Meduri VR, et al (2021)

Uncovering Symbionts Across the Psyllid Tree of Life and the Discovery of a New Liberibacter Species, "Candidatus" Liberibacter capsica.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:739763.

Sap-feeding insects in the order Hemiptera associate with obligate endosymbionts that are required for survival and facultative endosymbionts that can potentially modify resistance to stress, enemies, development, and reproduction. In the superfamily Psylloidea, the jumping plant lice (psyllids), less is known about the diversity and prevalence of their endosymbionts compared to other sap-feeding pests such as aphids (Aphididae). To address this knowledge gap, using 16S rRNA sequencing we identify symbionts across divergent psyllid host lineages from around the world. Taking advantage of a new comprehensive phylogenomic analyses of Psylloidea, we included psyllid samples from 44 species of 35 genera of five families, collected from 11 international locations for this study. Across psyllid lineages, a total of 91 OTUs were recovered, predominantly of the Enterobacteriaceae (68%). The diversity of endosymbionts harbored by each psyllid species was low with an average of approximately 3 OTUs. Two clades of endosymbionts (clade 1 and 2), belonging to Enterobacteriaceae, were identified that appear to be long term endosymbionts of the psyllid families Triozidae and Psyllidae, respectively. We also conducted high throughput metagenomic sequencing on three Ca. Liberibacter infected psyllid species (Russelliana capsici, Trichochermes walkeri, and Macrohomotoma gladiata), initially identified from 16S rRNA sequencing, to obtain more genomic information on these putative Liberibacter plant pathogens. The phylogenomic analyses from these data identified a new Ca. Liberibacter species, Candidatus Liberibacter capsica, that is a potential pathogen of solanaceous crops. This new species shares a distant ancestor with Ca. L. americanus, which occurs in the same range as R. capsici in South America. We also detected the first association between a psyllid specializing on woody hosts and the Liberibacter species Ca. L. psyllaurous, which is a globally distributed pathogen of herbaceous crop hosts in the Solanaceae. Finally, we detected a potential association between a psyllid pest of figs (M. gladiata) and a Ca. Liberibacter related to Ca. L. asiaticus, which causes severe disease in citrus. Our findings reveal a wider diversity of associations between facultative symbionts and psyllids than previously reported and suggest numerous avenues for future work to clarify novel associations of ecological, evolutionary, and pathogenic interest.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Maffo CGT, Sandeu MM, Fadel AN, et al (2021)

Molecular detection and maternal transmission of a bacterial symbiont Asaia species in field-caught Anopheles mosquitoes from Cameroon.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):539.

BACKGROUND: Malaria control relies mainlyon insecticide-based tools. However, the effectiveness of these tools is threatened by widespread insecticide resistance in malaria vectors, highlighting the need for alternative control approaches. The endosymbiont Asaia has emerged as a promising candidate for paratransgenic control of malaria, but its biology and genetics still need to be further analyzed across Africa. Here, we investigated the prevalence of Asaia and its maternal transmission in the natural population of Anopheles mosquitoes in Cameroon.

METHODS: Indoor-resting adult mosquitoes belonging to four species (An. coluzzii, An. arabiensis, An. funestus and An. gambiae) were collected from eight localities across Cameroon from July 2016 to February 2020. PCR was performed on the Asaia-specific 16S ribosomal RNA gene, and samples positive by PCR for Asaia were confirmed by Sanger sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The vertical transmission of Asaia was investigated by screening F1 mosquitoes belonging to F0 Asaia-positive females.

RESULTS: A total of 895 mosquitoes were screened. We found 43% (384) Asaia infection prevalence in four mosquito species. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Asaia from Cameroon clustered together with the strains of Asaia isolated from other parts of the world. In addition, seven nucleotide sequence variants were found with low genetic diversity (π = 0.00241) and nucleotide sequence variant diversity (Hd = 0.481). Asaia was vertically transmitted with high frequency (range from 42.5 to 100%).

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides field-based evidence of the presence of Asaia in Anopheles mosquitoes in Cameroon for exploitation as a symbiont in the control of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.

RevDate: 2021-11-25
CmpDate: 2021-11-25

Ngwewondo A, Scandale I, S Specht (2021)

Onchocerciasis drug development: from preclinical models to humans.

Parasitology research, 120(12):3939-3964.

Twenty diseases are recognized as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by World Health Assembly resolutions, including human filarial diseases. The end of NTDs is embedded within the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, under target 3.3. Onchocerciasis afflicts approximately 20.9 million people worldwide with > 90% of those infected residing in Africa. Control programs have made tremendous efforts in the management of onchocerciasis by mass drug administration and aerial larviciding; however, disease elimination is not yet achieved. In the new WHO roadmap, it is recognized that new drugs or drug regimens that kill or permanently sterilize adult filarial worms would significantly improve elimination timelines and accelerate the achievement of the program goal of disease elimination. Drug development is, however, handicapped by high attrition rates, and many promising molecules fail in preclinical development or in subsequent toxicological, safety and efficacy testing; thus, research and development (R&D) costs are, in aggregate, very high. Drug discovery and development for NTDs is largely driven by unmet medical needs put forward by the global health community; the area is underfunded and since no high return on investment is possible, there is no dedicated drug development pipeline for human filariasis. Repurposing existing drugs is one approach to filling the drug development pipeline for human filariasis. The high cost and slow pace of discovery and development of new drugs has led to the repurposing of "old" drugs, as this is more cost-effective and allows development timelines to be shortened. However, even if a drug is marketed for a human or veterinary indication, the safety margin and dosing regimen will need to be re-evaluated to determine the risk in humans. Drug repurposing is a promising approach to enlarging the pool of active molecules in the drug development pipeline. Another consideration when providing new treatment options is the use of combinations, which is not addressed in this review. We here summarize recent advances in the late preclinical or early clinical stage in the search for a potent macrofilaricide, including drugs against the nematode and against its endosymbiont, Wolbachia pipientis.

RevDate: 2021-10-27

Jiménez NE, Gerdtzen ZP, Olivera-Nappa Á, et al (2021)

Novel Symbiotic Genome-Scale Model Reveals Wolbachia's Arboviral Pathogen Blocking Mechanism in Aedes aegypti.

mBio, 12(5):e0156321.

Wolbachia are endosymbiont bacteria known to infect arthropods causing different effects, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility and pathogen blocking in Aedes aegypti. Although several Wolbachia strains have been studied, there is little knowledge regarding the relationship between this bacterium and their hosts, particularly on their obligate endosymbiont nature and its pathogen blocking ability. Motivated by the potential applications on disease control, we developed a genome-scale model of two Wolbachia strains: wMel and the strongest Dengue blocking strain known to date: wMelPop. The obtained metabolic reconstructions exhibit an energy metabolism relying mainly on amino acids and lipid transport to support cell growth that is consistent with altered lipid and cholesterol metabolism in Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes. The obtained metabolic reconstruction was then coupled with a reconstructed mosquito model to retrieve a symbiotic genome-scale model accounting for 1,636 genes and 6,408 reactions of the Aedes aegypti-Wolbachia interaction system. Simulation of an arboviral infection in the obtained novel symbiotic model represents a metabolic scenario characterized by pathogen blocking in higher titer Wolbachia strains, showing that pathogen blocking by Wolbachia infection is consistent with competition for lipid and amino acid resources between arbovirus and this endosymbiotic bacteria. IMPORTANCE Arboviral diseases such as Zika and Dengue have been on the rise mainly due to climate change, and the development of new treatments and strategies to limit their spreading is needed. The use of Wolbachia as an approach for disease control has motivated new research related to the characterization of the mechanisms that underlie its pathogen-blocking properties. In this work, we propose a new approach for studying the metabolic interactions between Aedes aegypti and Wolbachia using genome-scale models, finding that pathogen blocking is mainly influenced by competition for the resources required for Wolbachia and viral replication.

RevDate: 2021-10-09

Jiao J, Zhang J, He P, et al (2021)

Identification of Tick-Borne Pathogens and Genotyping of Coxiella burnetii in Rhipicephalus microplus in Yunnan Province, China.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:736484.

Rhipicephalus microplus, a vector that can transmit many pathogens to humans and domestic animals, is widely distributed in Yunnan province, China. However, few reports on the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) in Rh. microplus in Yunnan are available. The aim of this study was to detect TBPs in Rh. microplus in Yunnan and to analyze the phylogenetic characterization of TBPs detected in these ticks. The adult Rh. microplus (n = 516) feeding on cattle were collected. The pooled DNA samples of these ticks were evaluated using metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) and then TBPs in individual ticks were identified using genus- or group-specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) combined with DNA sequencing assay. As a result, Candidatus Rickettsia jingxinensis (24.61%, 127/516), Anaplasma marginale (13.18%, 68/516), Coxiella burnetii (3.10%, 16/516), and Coxiella-like endosymbiont (CLE) (8.33%, 43/516) were detected. The dual coinfection with Ca. R. jingxinensis and A. marginale and the triple coinfection with Ca. R. jingxinensis, A. marginale, and CLE were most frequent and detected in 3.68% (19/516) and 3.10% (16/516) of these ticks, respectively. The results provide insight into the diversity of TBPs and their coinfections in Rh. microplus in Yunnan province of China, reporting for the first time that C. burnetii had been found in Rh. microplus in China. Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis with 6 loci (MLVA-6) discriminated the C. burnetii detected in Rh. microplus in Yunnan into MLVA genotype 1, which is closely related to previously described genotypes found primarily in tick and human samples from different regions of the globe, indicating a potential public health threat posed by C. burnetii in Rh. microplus in Yunnan.

RevDate: 2021-12-28
CmpDate: 2021-12-28

Kuroyanagi A, Irie T, Kinoshita S, et al (2021)

Decrease in volume and density of foraminiferal shells with progressing ocean acidification.

Scientific reports, 11(1):19988.

Rapid increases in anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 partial pressure have led to a decrease in the pH of seawater. Calcifying organisms generally respond negatively to ocean acidification. Foraminifera are one of the major carbonate producers in the ocean; however, whether calcification reduction by ocean acidification affects either foraminiferal shell volume or density, or both, has yet to be investigated. In this study, we cultured asexually reproducing specimens of Amphisorus kudakajimensis, a dinoflagellate endosymbiont-bearing large benthic foraminifera (LBF), under different pH conditions (pH 7.7-8.3, NBS scale). The results suggest that changes in seawater pH would affect not only the quantity (i.e., shell volume) but also the quality (i.e., shell density) of foraminiferal calcification. We proposed that pH and temperature affect these growth parameters differently because (1) they have differences in the contribution to the calcification process (e.g., Ca2+-ATPase and Ω) and (2) pH mainly affects calcification and temperature mainly affects photosynthesis. Our findings also suggest that, under the IPCC RCP8.5 scenario, both ocean acidification and warming will have a significant impact on reef foraminiferal carbonate production by the end of this century, even in the tropics.

RevDate: 2021-10-06

Uthanumallian K, Iha C, Repetti SI, et al (2021)

Tightly constrained genome reduction and relaxation of purifying selection during secondary plastid endosymbiosis.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:6382316 [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbiosis, the establishment of a former free-living prokaryotic or eukaryotic cell as an organelle inside a host cell, can dramatically alter the genomic architecture of the endosymbiont. Plastids or chloroplasts, the light-harvesting organelle of photosynthetic eukaryotes, are excellent models to study this phenomenon because plastid origin has occurred multiple times in evolution. Here, we investigate the genomic signature of molecular processes acting through secondary plastid endosymbiosis-the origination of a new plastid from a free-living eukaryotic alga. We used phylogenetic comparative methods to study gene loss and changes in selective regimes on plastid genomes, focusing on green algae that have given rise to three independent lineages with secondary plastids (euglenophytes, chlorarachniophytes, and Lepidodinium). Our results show an overall increase in gene loss associated with secondary endosymbiosis, but this loss is tightly constrained by retention of genes essential for plastid function. The data show that secondary plastids have experienced temporary relaxation of purifying selection during secondary endosymbiosis. However, this process is tightly constrained, with selection relaxed only relative to the background in primary plastids. Purifying selection remains strong in absolute terms even during the endosymbiosis events. Selection intensity rebounds to pre-endosymbiosis levels following endosymbiosis events, demonstrating the changes in selection efficiency during different origin phases of secondary plastids. Independent endosymbiosis events in the euglenophytes, chlorarachniophytes, and Lepidodinium differ in their degree of relaxation of selection, highlighting the different evolutionary contexts of these events. This study reveals the selection-drift interplay during secondary endosymbiosis, and evolutionary parallels during organellogenesis.

RevDate: 2021-12-27
CmpDate: 2021-12-27

Hertaeg C, Risse M, Vorburger C, et al (2021)

Aphids harbouring different endosymbionts exhibit differences in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles that can be recognized by ant mutualists.

Scientific reports, 11(1):19559.

Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) have important communicative functions for ants, which use CHC profiles to recognize mutualistic aphid partners. Aphid endosymbionts can influence the quality of their hosts as ant mutualists, via effects on honeydew composition, and might also affect CHC profiles, suggesting that ants could potentially use CHC cues to discriminate among aphid lines harbouring different endosymbionts. We explored how several strains of Hamiltonella defensa and Regiella insecticola influence the CHC profiles of host aphids (Aphis fabae) and the ability of aphid-tending ants (Lasius niger) to distinguish the profiles of aphids hosting different endosymbionts. We found significant compositional differences between the CHCs of aphids with different infections. Some endosymbionts changed the proportions of odd-chain linear alkanes, while others changed primarily methyl-branched compounds, which may be particularly important for communication. Behavioural assays, in which we trained ants to associate CHC profiles of endosymbiont infected or uninfected aphids with food rewards, revealed that ants readily learned to distinguish differences in aphid CHC profiles associated with variation in endosymbiont strains. While previous work has documented endosymbiont effects on aphid interactions with antagonists, the current findings support the hypothesis that endosymbionts also alter traits that influence communicative interactions with ant mutualists.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Tyagi K, Tyagi I, V Kumar (2021)

Insights into the gut bacterial communities of spider from wild with no evidence of phylosymbiosis.

Saudi journal of biological sciences, 28(10):5913-5924.

In the present study, an effort has been made to elucidate the gut bacterial diversity of twelve species of the family Araneidae under three subfamilies collected from 5 states of India along with their predicted metabolic role in functional metabolism. Further, we also compared the host species phylogeny based on partial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences with the gut bacteria composition dendrogram to decipher the phylosymbiotic relationships. Analysis revealed the presence of 22 bacterial phyla, 145 families, and 364 genera in the gut, with Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Deinococcus-Thermus as the highest abundant phyla. Moreover, phylum Bacteriodetes was dominated only in Cyclosa mulmeinensis and Chlamydiae in Neoscona bengalensis. At the genus level, Bacillus, Acinetobacter, Cutibacterium, Pseudomonas, and Staphylococcus were the most dominant genera. Furthermore, the genus Prevotella was observed only in Cyclosa mulmeinensis, and endosymbiont Wolbachia only in Eriovixia laglaizei. The differential abundance analysis (DeSeq2) revealed the 19 significant ASVs represented by the genera like Acinetobacter, Vagoccoccus, Prevotella, Staphylococcus, Curvibacter, Corynebacterium, Paracoccus, Streptococcus, Microbacterium, and Pseudocitrobacter. The inter- and intra-subfamilies comparison based on diversity indices (alpha and beta diversity) revealed that the subfamily Araneinae have high richness and diversity than Argiopinae and Gasteracanthinae. The phylosymbiotic analysis revealed that there is no congruence between the gut bacteria composition dendrogram with their host phylogeny.

RevDate: 2021-12-15

Bubnell JE, Fernandez-Begne P, Ulbing CKS, et al (2021)

Diverse wMel variants of Wolbachia pipientis differentially rescue fertility and cytological defects of the bag of marbles partial loss of function mutation in Drosophila melanogaster.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.), 11(12):.

In Drosophila melanogaster, the maternally inherited endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis interacts with germline stem cell genes during oogenesis. One such gene, bag of marbles (bam) is the key switch for differentiation and also shows signals of adaptive evolution for protein diversification. These observations have led us to hypothesize that W. pipientis could be driving the adaptive evolution of bam for control of oogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we must understand the specificity of the genetic interaction between bam and W. pipientis. Previously, we documented that the W. pipientis variant, wMel, rescued the fertility of the bamBW hypomorphic mutant as a transheterozygote over a bam null. However, bamBW was generated more than 20 years ago in an uncontrolled genetic background and maintained over a balancer chromosome. Consequently, the chromosome carrying bamBW accumulated mutations that have prevented controlled experiments to further assess the interaction. Here, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to engineer the same single amino acid bam hypomorphic mutation (bamL255F) and a new bam null disruption mutation into the w1118 isogenic background. We assess the fertility of wildtype bam, bamL255F/bamnull hypomorphic, and bamL255F/bamL255F mutant females, each infected individually with 10 W. pipientis wMel variants representing three phylogenetic clades. Overall, we find that all of the W. pipientis variants tested here rescue bam hypomorphic fertility defects with wMelCS-like variants exhibiting the strongest rescue effects. In addition, these variants did not increase wildtype bam female fertility. Therefore, both bam and W. pipientis interact in genotype-specific ways to modulate female fertility, a critical fitness phenotype.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Cantanhêde LM, Mattos CB, Cruz AK, et al (2021)

Overcoming the Negligence in Laboratory Diagnosis of Mucosal Leishmaniasis.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(9):.

The northern region of Brazil, which has the largest number of cases of tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) in the country, is also the region that has the highest diversity of species of vectors and Leishmania parasites. In this region, cases of mucosal leishmaniasis (ML), a clinical form of TL, exceed the national average of cases, reaching up to 12% of the total annual TL notifications. ML is associated with multiple factors, such as the parasite species and the viral endosymbiont Leishmania RNA virus 1 (LRV1). Being a chronic parasitological disease, laboratory diagnosis of ML poses a challenge for health services. Here, we evaluated more than 700 clinical samples from patients with clinical suspicion of TL, including patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and mucosal leishmaniasis, comparing the results of parasitological tests-direct parasitological examination by microscopy (DP) and conventional PCR (cPCR) targeting of both kDNA and hsp70. The DP was performed by collecting material from lesions through biopsies (mucosal lesions) or scarification (cutaneous lesions); for PCR, a cervical brush was used for sample collection. Blood samples were tested employing standardized real-time PCR (qPCR) protocol targeting the HSP70 gene. PCR tests showed higher sensitivity than DP for both CL and ML samples. Considering ML samples only (N = 89), DP showed a sensitivity of 49.4% (N = 44) against 98.8% (N = 88) for kDNA PCR. The qPCR hsp70 for blood samples from patients with ML (N = 14) resulted in superior sensitivity (50%; N = 7) compared to DP (21.4%; N = 3) for samples from the same patients. Our results reinforced the need to implement a molecular test for the diagnosis of ML, in addition to proposing methods less invasive for collecting material from TL patients. Sample collection using a cervical brush in lesions observed in CL and ML patients is easy to perform and less invasive, compared to scarification and biopsies. Blood samples could be a good source for qPCR diagnosis for ML patients. Thus, we propose here a standardized method for collection and for performing of molecular diagnosis of clinical samples from suspicious ML patients that can be applied in reference services for improving ML diagnosis.

RevDate: 2021-10-28
CmpDate: 2021-10-27

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: 2021-09-30

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

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

Insects, 12(9):.

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: 2021-09-30

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):.

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: 2021-10-28
CmpDate: 2021-10-27

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: 2021-12-24
CmpDate: 2021-12-24

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

Copper nitrite reductase from Sinorhizobium meliloti 2011: Crystal structure and interaction with the physiological versus a nonmetabolically related cupredoxin-like mediator.

Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society, 30(11):2310-2323.

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.

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: 2021-11-22
CmpDate: 2021-11-22

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: 2021-12-23
CmpDate: 2021-12-23

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.

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: 2021-12-18
CmpDate: 2021-12-09

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

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

Cancer science, 112(12):4834-4843.

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 are 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 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, using the sequence-specific properties of pyrrole-imidazole polyamide-triphenylphosphonium conjugates, against cancer for clearing abnormal mtDNA by reactivating mitochondrial quality control surveillance.

RevDate: 2021-12-21

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

Symbiont-regulated serotonin biosynthesis modulates tick feeding activity.

Cell host & microbe, 29(10):1545-1557.e4.

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: 2021-10-25

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 CSD 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 Leptopilina 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.

RevDate: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-14

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: 2021-10-13

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

Symbiodinium microadriaticum (coral microalgal endosymbiont).

Trends in genetics : TIG, 37(11):1044-1045.

RevDate: 2021-10-19
CmpDate: 2021-10-19

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: 2021-11-19
CmpDate: 2021-11-19

Sun Y, Wang M, Zhong Z, et al (2022)

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.

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: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-14

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: 2021-09-28

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: 2021-11-15
CmpDate: 2021-11-15

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, 114(5):2043-2050.

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: 2021-11-30
CmpDate: 2021-11-30

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, 58(6):2186-2195.

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: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-03

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: 2021-12-14

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, 38(12):5241-5254.

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 repurposed or were completely abandoned. This review follows the evolutionary fates of three prokaryotic inner membrane translocases Sec, Tat, and YidC. Homologs of all three translocases can still be found in current mitochondria, but with different importance for mitochondrial function. Although the mitochondrial YidC homolog, 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 paralogs operating in the plastids and the endomembrane system.

RevDate: 2021-10-07
CmpDate: 2021-10-05

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: 2021-10-20
CmpDate: 2021-10-20

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, 30(20):5196-5213.

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: 2021-12-15

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

Calderon RH, Å Strand (2021)

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

Current opinion in plant biology, 63:102093.

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: 2021-12-14
CmpDate: 2021-12-13

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.


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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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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