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08 Feb 2023 at 01:53
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Bibliography on: Endosymbiosis


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 08 Feb 2023 at 01:53 Created: 


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

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Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-02-07

Haydon TD, Matthews JL, Seymour JR, et al (2023)

Metabolomic signatures of corals thriving across extreme reef habitats reveal strategies of heat stress tolerance.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(1992):20221877.

Anthropogenic stressors continue to escalate worldwide, driving unprecedented declines in reef environmental conditions and coral health. One approach to better understand how corals can function in the future is to examine coral populations that thrive within present day naturally extreme habitats. We applied untargeted metabolomics (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)) to contrast metabolite profiles of Pocillopora acuta colonies from hot, acidic and deoxygenated mangrove environments versus those from adjacent reefs. Under ambient temperatures, P. acuta predominantly associated with endosymbionts of the genera Cladocopium (reef) or Durusdinium (mangrove), exhibiting elevated metabolism in mangrove through energy-generating and biosynthesis pathways compared to reef populations. Under transient heat stress, P. acuta endosymbiont associations were unchanged. Reef corals bleached and exhibited extensive shifts in symbiont metabolic profiles (whereas host metabolite profiles were unchanged). By contrast, mangrove populations did not bleach and solely the host metabolite profiles were altered, including cellular responses in inter-partner signalling, antioxidant capacity and energy storage. Thus mangrove P. acuta populations resist periodically high-temperature exposure via association with thermally tolerant endosymbionts coupled with host metabolic plasticity. Our findings highlight specific metabolites that may be biomarkers of heat tolerance, providing novel insight into adaptive coral resilience to elevated temperatures.

RevDate: 2023-02-07

Giannotti D, Boscaro V, Husnik F, et al (2022)

At the threshold of symbiosis: the genome of obligately endosymbiotic 'Candidatus Nebulobacter yamunensis' is almost indistinguishable from that of a cultivable strain.

Microbial genomics, 8(12):.

Comparing obligate endosymbionts with their free-living relatives is a powerful approach to investigate the evolution of symbioses, and it has led to the identification of several genomic traits consistently associated with the establishment of symbiosis. 'Candidatus Nebulobacter yamunensis' is an obligate bacterial endosymbiont of the ciliate Euplotes that seemingly depends on its host for survival. A subsequently characterized bacterial strain with an identical 16S rRNA gene sequence, named Fastidiosibacter lacustris, can instead be maintained in pure culture. We analysed the genomes of 'Candidatus Nebulobacter' and Fastidiosibacter seeking to identify key differences between their functional traits and genomic structure that might shed light on a recent transition to obligate endosymbiosis. Surprisingly, we found almost no such differences: the two genomes share a high level of sequence identity, the same overall structure, and largely overlapping sets of genes. The similarities between the genomes of the two strains are at odds with their different ecological niches, confirmed here with a parallel growth experiment. Although other pairs of closely related symbiotic/free-living bacteria have been compared in the past, 'Candidatus Nebulobacter' and Fastidiosibacter represent an extreme example proving that a small number of (unknown) factors might play a pivotal role in the earliest stages of obligate endosymbiosis establishment.

RevDate: 2023-02-07

Izraeli Y, Lepetit D, Atias S, et al (2022)

Genomic characterization of viruses associated with the parasitoid Anagyrus vladimiri (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae).

The Journal of general virology, 103(12):.

Knowledge on symbiotic microorganisms of insects has increased dramatically in recent years, yet relatively little data are available regarding non-pathogenic viruses. Here we studied the virome of the parasitoid wasp Anagyrus vladimiri Triapitsyn (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), a biocontrol agent of mealybugs. By high-throughput sequencing of viral nucleic acids, we revealed three novel viruses, belonging to the families Reoviridae [provisionally termed AnvRV (Anagyrus vladimiri reovirus)], Iflaviridae (AnvIFV) and Dicistroviridae (AnvDV). Phylogenetic analysis further classified AnvRV in the genus Idnoreovirus, and AnvDV in the genus Triatovirus. The genome of AnvRV comprises 10 distinct genomic segments ranging in length from 1.5 to 4.2 kb, but only two out of the 10 ORFs have a known function. AnvIFV and AnvDV each have one polypeptide ORF, which is typical of iflaviruses but very un-common among dicistroviruses. Five conserved domains were found along both the ORFs of those two viruses. AnvRV was found to be fixed in an A. vladimiri population that was obtained from a mass rearing facility, whereas its prevalence in field-collected A. vladimiri was ~15 %. Similarly, the prevalence of AnvIFV and AnvDV was much higher in the mass rearing population than in the field population. The presence of AnvDV was positively correlated with the presence of Wolbachia in the same individuals. Transmission electron micrographs of females' ovaries revealed clusters and viroplasms of reovirus-like particles in follicle cells, suggesting that AnvRV is vertically transmitted from mother to offspring. AnvRV was not detected in the mealybugs, supporting the assumption that this virus is truly associated with the wasps. The possible effects of these viruses on A. vladimiri's biology, and on biocontrol agents in general, are discussed. Our findings identify RNA viruses as potentially involved in the multitrophic system of mealybugs, their parasitoids and other members of the holobiont.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Banerjee P, Sarkar A, Ghosh K, et al (2023)

A Metagenomic Based Approach on Abundance and Diversity of Bacterial Communities Across the Life Stages of Culicoides peregrinus (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) a Vector of Bluetongue Virus.

Journal of medical entomology pii:7028525 [Epub ahead of print].

During larval rearing of Culicoides peregrinus Kieffer (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) it was obligatory to add a small quantity of mud from larval habitat to nutrient broth in culture plates. This initiated microbial growth in rearing plates which facilitated growth and development of immature. The primary aim was to enumerate gut microbial communities across the different life stages of C. peregrinus. Amplicon sequencing of the V3-V4 hypervariable region (16S rDNA) was done on Illumina Miseq platform to detect gut bacterial communities at different life stages, while ITS regions (18S rRNA) were targeted for fungal communities of the 4th instar larvae. The major findings were: 1) Phylum Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were the most abundant throughout the life stages, along with the highest bacterial alpha diversity in the egg, 2) bacterial compositions were similar to laboratory reared and field collected adults, and 3) abundant fungal phyla associated with the larval gut were Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. Furthermore, analyses of the gut microbiome with METAGENassist might be indicative of their likely function in the natural habitat. Abundant gut-associated bacteria and/or fungal genera detected in the present study could be used as dietary supplements to establish laboratory colonies for further vectorial research. While, individual roles of the bacteria or fungi in paratransgenesis are warned for their possible utilization to frame the management strategy in upcoming works.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Chen J, Wang MK, Xie QX, et al (2023)

NDUFA8 potentially rescues Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility in Laodelphax striatellus.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

The endosymbiont Wolbachia manipulates host reproduction by several strategies, one of the most important of which is cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). CI can be rescued when Wolbachia-infected (WI) males mate with females infected with the same Wolbachia strain. However, the potential rescue mechanism of CI in the small brown planthopper Laodelphax striatellus is unclear. In this study, comparative transcriptome analysis was applied to explore the effect of Wolbachia on L. striatellus eggs. A total of 1387 differentially expressed genes were identified. RNAi of seven Wolbachia-upregulated key planthopper genes reduced egg reproduction, suggesting that Wolbachia might improve fecundity in L. striatellus by affecting these seven genes. Suppressing the expression of another upregulated gene, NDUFA8 (encoding NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] 1 alpha subcomplex subunit 8-like) by RNAi significantly increased the mortality of early embryos without affecting the number of deposited eggs. Wolbachia infection upregulated the mRNA level of NDUFA8, and dsNDUFA8 treatment of WI females re-created CI-like symptoms, suggesting that NDUFA8 is associated with the rescue phenotype. Because all L. striatellus populations worldwide are infected with Wolbachia, NDUFA8 is a potential pest control target. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Mushtaq S, Shafiq M, Tariq MR, et al (2022)

Interaction between bacterial endophytes and host plants.

Frontiers in plant science, 13:1092105.

Endophytic bacteria are mainly present in the plant's root systems. Endophytic bacteria improve plant health and are sometimes necessary to fight against adverse conditions. There is an increasing trend for the use of bacterial endophytes as bio-fertilizers. However, new challenges are also arising regarding the management of these newly discovered bacterial endophytes. Plant growth-promoting bacterial endophytes exist in a wide host range as part of their microbiome, and are proven to exhibit positive effects on plant growth. Endophytic bacterial communities within plant hosts are dynamic and affected by abiotic/biotic factors such as soil conditions, geographical distribution, climate, plant species, and plant-microbe interaction at a large scale. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate the mechanism of bacterial endophytes' interaction with plants under field conditions before their application. Bacterial endophytes have both beneficial and harmful impacts on plants but the exact mechanism of interaction is poorly understood. A basic approach to exploit the potential genetic elements involved in an endophytic lifestyle is to compare the genomes of rhizospheric plant growth-promoting bacteria with endophytic bacteria. In this mini-review, we will be focused to characterize the genetic diversity and dynamics of endophyte interaction in different host plants.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Becher H, RA Nichols (2023)

Assembly-free quantification of vagrant DNA inserts.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Inserts of DNA from extranuclear sources, such as organelles and microbes, are common in eukaryote nuclear genomes. However, sequence similarity between the nuclear and extranuclear DNA, and a history of multiple insertions, make the assembly of these regions challenging. Consequently, the number, sequence, and location of these vagrant DNAs cannot be reliably inferred from the genome assemblies of most organisms. We introduce two statistical methods to estimate the abundance of nuclear inserts even in the absence of a nuclear genome assembly. The first (intercept method) only requires low-coverage (<1x) sequencing data, as commonly generated for population studies of organellar and ribosomal DNAs. The second method additionally requires that a subset of the individuals carry extra-nuclear DNA with diverged genotypes. We validated our intercept method using simulations and by re-estimating the frequency of human NUMTs (nuclear mitochondrial inserts). We then applied it to the grasshopper Podisma pedestris, exceptional for both its large genome size and reports of numerous NUMT inserts, estimating that NUMTs make up 0.056% of the nuclear genome, equivalent to >500 times the mitochondrial genome size. We also re-analysed a museomics dataset of the parrot Psephotellus varius, obtaining an estimate of only 0.0043%, in line with reports from other species of bird. Our study demonstrates the utility of low-coverage high-throughput sequencing data for the quantification of nuclear vagrant DNAs. Beyond quantifying organellar inserts, these methods could also be used on endosymbiont-derived sequences. We provide an R implementation of our methods called "vagrantDNA" and code to simulate test datasets.

RevDate: 2023-02-03

Sweet AD, Browne DR, Hernandez AG, et al (2023)

Draft genome assemblies of the avian louse Brueelia nebulosa and its associates using long-read sequencing from an individual specimen.

G3 (Bethesda, Md.) pii:7025741 [Epub ahead of print].

Sequencing high molecular weight (HMW) DNA with long-read and linked-read technologies has promoted a major increase in more complete genome sequences for non-model organisms. Sequencing approaches that rely on HMW DNA have been limited to larger organisms or pools of multiple individuals, but recent advances have allowed for sequencing from individuals of small-bodied organisms. Here, we use HMW DNA sequencing with PacBio long-reads and TELL-Seq linked-reads to assemble and annotate the genome from a single individual feather louse (Brueelia nebulosa) from a European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). We assembled a genome with a relatively high scaffold N50 (637 kb) and with BUSCO scores (96.1%) comparable to louse genomes assembled from pooled individuals. We annotated a number of genes (10,938) similar to the human louse (Pediculus humanus) genome. Additionally, calling phased variants revealed that the Brueelia genome is more heterozygous (∼1%) then expected for a highly obligate and dispersal-limited parasite. We also assembled and annotated the mitochondrial genome and primary endosymbiont (Sodalis) genome from the individual louse, which showed evidence for heteroplasmy in the mitogenome and a reduced genome size in the endosymbiont compared to its free-living relative. Our study is a valuable demonstration of the capability to obtain high-quality genomes from individual small, non-model organisms. Applying this approach to other organisms could greatly increase our understanding of the diversity and evolution of individual genomes.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Shaw S, I Roditi (2023)

The sweet and sour sides of trypanosome social motility.

Trends in parasitology pii:S1471-4922(23)00001-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Recent studies showed that the formation of elegant geometric patterns by communities of Trypanosoma brucei on semi-solid surfaces, dubbed social motility (SoMo) by its discoverers, is a manifestation of pH taxis. This is caused by procyclic forms generating and responding to pH gradients through glucose metabolism and cAMP signalling. These findings established that trypanosomes can sense and manipulate gradients, potentially helping them to navigate through host tissues. At the same time, the host itself and bystanders such as endosymbionts have the potential to shape the environment and influence the chances of successful transmission. We postulate that the ability to sense and contribute to the gradient landscape may also underlie the tissue tropism and migration of other parasites in their hosts.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Quach QN, Clay K, Lee ST, et al (2023)

Phylogenetic patterns of bioactive secondary metabolites produced by fungal endosymbionts in morning glories (Ipomoeeae, Convolvulaceae).

Heritable fungal endosymbiosis is under-investigated in plant biology and documented in only three plant families (Convolvulaceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae). An estimated 40% of morning glory species in the tribe Ipomoeeae (Convolvulaceae) have associations with one of two distinct heritable, endosymbiotic fungi (Periglandula and Chaetothyriales) that produce the bioactive metabolites ergot alkaloids, indole diterpene alkaloids, and swainsonine, which have been of interest for their toxic effects on animals and potential medical applications. Here, we report the occurrence of ergot alkaloids, indole diterpene alkaloids, and swainsonine in the Convolvulaceae; and the fungi that produce them based on synthesis of previous studies and new indole diterpene alkaloid data from 27 additional species in a phylogenetic, geographic, and life-history context. We find that individual morning glory species host no more than one metabolite-producing fungal endosymbiont (with one possible exception), possibly due to costs to the host and overlapping functions of the alkaloids. The symbiotic morning glory lineages occur in distinct phylogenetic clades and host species have significantly larger seed size than non-symbiotic species. The distinct and widely distributed endosymbiotic relationships in the morning glory family and their alkaloids provide an accessible study system for understanding heritable plant-fungal symbiosis evolution and their potential functions for host plants.

RevDate: 2023-02-01

Sullivan TJ, Roberts H, TL Bultman (2023)

Genetic Covariation Between the Vertically Transmitted Endophyte Epichloë canadensis and Its Host Canada Wildrye.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiotic mutualisms are thought to be stabilized by correlations between the interacting genotypes which may be strengthened via vertical transmission and/or reduced genetic variability within each species. Vertical transmission, however, may weaken interactions over time as the endosymbionts would acquire mutations that could not be purged. Additionally, temporal variation in a conditional mutualism could create genetic variation and increased variation in the interaction outcome. In this study, we assessed genetic variation in both members of a symbiosis, the endosymbiotic fungal endophyte Epichloë canadensis and its grass host Canada wildrye (Elymus canadensis). Both species exhibited comparable levels of diversity, mostly within populations rather than between. There were significant differences between populations, although not in the same pattern for the two species, and the differences were not correlated with geographic distance for either species. Interindividual genetic distance matrices for the two species were significantly correlated, although all combinations of discriminant analysis of principle components (DAPC) defined multilocus genotype groups were found suggesting that strict genotype matching is not necessary. Variation in interaction outcome is common in grass/endophyte interactions, and our results suggest that the accumulation of mutations overtime combined with temporal variation in selection pressures increasing genetic variation in the symbiosis may be the cause.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Grandi G, Chiappa G, Ullman K, et al (2023)

Characterization of the bacterial microbiome of Swedish ticks through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of whole ticks and of individual tick organs.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):39 pii:10.1186/s13071-022-05638-4.

BACKGROUND: The composition of the microbial flora associated with ixodid ticks has been studied in several species, revealing the importance of geographical origin, developmental stage(s) and feeding status of the tick, as well as substantial differences between tissues and organs. Studying the microbiome in the correct context and scale is therefore necessary for understanding the interactions between tick-borne pathogens and other microorganisms as well as other aspects of tick biology.

METHODS: In the present study the microbial flora of whole Ixodes ricinus, I. persulcatus and I. trianguliceps ticks were analyzed with 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Additionally, tick organs (midguts, Malpighian tubules, ovaries, salivary glands) from flat and engorged I. ricinus female ticks were examined with the same methodology.

RESULTS: The most abundant bacteria belonged to the group of Proteobacteria (Cand. Midichloria mitochondrii and Cand. Lariskella). 16S amplicon sequencing of dissected tick organs provided more information on the diversity of I. ricinus-associated microbial flora, especially when organs were collected from engorged ticks. Bacterial genera significantly associated with tick feeding status as well as genera associated with the presence of tick-borne pathogens were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: These results contribute to the knowledge of microbial flora associated with ixodid ticks in their northernmost distribution limit in Europe and opens new perspectives for other investigations on the function of these bacteria, including those using other approaches like in vitro cultivation and in vitro models.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Nevalainen LBM, ILG Newton (2023)

Detection and Assessment of Wolbachia pipientis Infection.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2626:291-307.

Wolbachia pipientis is a widespread vertically transmitted intracellular bacterium naturally present in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. As Wolbachia is present in a large number of Drosophila lines, it is critical for researchers to be able to identify which of their stocks maintain this infection to avoid any potential confounding variables. Here, we describe methods for detecting the bacterium and assessing the infection, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of DNA, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) to identify strains, western blotting for protein detection, and immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of Drosophila ovaries to visually detect Wolbachia by fluorescence microscopy.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Niehs SP, Scherlach K, Dose B, et al (2022)

A highly conserved gene locus in endofungal bacteria codes for the biosynthesis of symbiosis-specific cyclopeptides.

PNAS nexus, 1(4):pgac152.

The tight association of the pathogenic fungus Rhizopus microsporus and its toxin-producing, bacterial endosymbionts (Mycetohabitans spp.) is distributed worldwide and has significance for agriculture, food production, and human health. Intriguingly, the endofungal bacteria are essential for the propagation of the fungal host. Yet, little is known about chemical mediators fostering the symbiosis, and universal metabolites that support the mutualistic relationship have remained elusive. Here, we describe the discovery of a complex of specialized metabolites produced by endofungal bacteria under symbiotic conditions. Through full genome sequencing and comparative genomics of eight endofungal symbiont strains from geographically distant regions, we discovered a conserved gene locus (hab) for a nonribosomal peptide synthetase as a unifying trait. Bioinformatics analyses, targeted gene deletions, and chemical profiling uncovered unprecedented depsipeptides (habitasporins) whose structures were fully elucidated. Computational network analysis and labeling experiments granted insight into the biosynthesis of their nonproteinogenic building blocks (pipecolic acid and β-phenylalanine). Deletion of the hab gene locus was shown to impair the ability of the bacteria to enter their fungal host. Our study unveils a common principle of the endosymbiotic lifestyle of Mycetohabitans species and expands the repertoire of characterized chemical mediators of a globally occurring mutualistic association.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Barman M, Samanta S, Ahmed B, et al (2022)

Transcription dynamics of heat-shock proteins (Hsps) and endosymbiont titres in response to thermal stress in whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Asia-I).

Frontiers in physiology, 13:1097459.

The sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), is one of the several species complexes of whitefly that are currently significant agricultural pests. Bemisia tabaci infests more than 600 plant species and thrives under a wide range of temperature conditions. In addition to the direct damage caused by sucking plant sap, it vectors several plant viruses. Heat-shock proteins play a pivotal role in enabling the insect to extend its geographical location, survival, and reproduction under different stress conditions. B. tabaci harbours several endosymbionts under the genera Portiera, Rickettsia, Hamiltonella, Wolbachia, Arsenophonus, Cardinium, and Fritschea that directly or indirectly affect its fitness. By accelerating cuticle biosynthesis and sclerotisation, symbiotic microbes can reduce or enhance tolerance to extreme temperatures and detoxify heavy metals. Thus, symbionts or microbial communities can expand or constrain the abiotic niche space of their host and affect its ability to adapt to changing conditions. The present study delineates the effect of thermal stress on the expression of heat-shock genes and endosymbionts in B. tabaci. Studies of the expression level of heat-shock proteins with the help of quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) showed that heat- and cold-shock treatment fuels the increased expression of heat-shock proteins (Hsp40 and Hsp70). However, Hsp90 was not induced by a heat- and cold-shock treatment. A significant decrease in the relative titre of secondary endosymbionts, such as Rickettsia, Arsenophonus, and Wolbachia, were recorded in B. tabaci upon heat treatment. However, the titre of the primary symbiont, C. Portiera, was relatively unaffected by both cold and heat treatments. These results are indicative of the fact that Hsp genes and endosymbionts in B. tabaci are modulated in response to thermal stress, and this might be responsible for the adaptation of whitefly under changing climatic scenario.

RevDate: 2023-01-27

Quicray M, Wilhelm L, Enriquez T, et al (2023)

The Drosophila-parasitizing wasp Leptopilina heterotoma: A comprehensive model system in ecology and evolution.

Ecology and evolution, 13(1):e9625.

The parasitoid Leptopilina heterotoma has been used as a model system for more than 70 years, contributing greatly to diverse research areas in ecology and evolution. Here, we synthesized the large body of work on L. heterotoma with the aim to identify new research avenues that could be of interest also for researchers studying other parasitoids and insects. We start our review with a description of typical L. heterotoma characteristics, as well as that of the higher taxonomic groups to which this species belongs. We then continue discussing host suitability and immunity, foraging behaviors, as well as fat accumulation and life histories. We subsequently shift our focus towards parasitoid-parasitoid interactions, including L. heterotoma coexistence within the larger guild of Drosophila parasitoids, chemical communication, as well as mating and population structuring. We conclude our review by highlighting the assets of L. heterotoma as a model system, including its intermediate life history syndromes, the ease of observing and collecting natural hosts and wasps, as well as recent genomic advances.

RevDate: 2023-01-26

Kueneman JG, Gillung J, Van Dyke MT, et al (2022)

Solitary bee larvae modify bacterial diversity of pollen provisions in the stem-nesting bee, Osmia cornifrons (Megachilidae).

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:1057626.

Microbes, including diverse bacteria and fungi, play an important role in the health of both solitary and social bees. Among solitary bee species, in which larvae remain in a closed brood cell throughout development, experiments that modified or eliminated the brood cell microbiome through sterilization indicated that microbes contribute substantially to larval nutrition and are in some cases essential for larval development. To better understand how feeding larvae impact the microbial community of their pollen/nectar provisions, we examine the temporal shift in the bacterial community in the presence and absence of actively feeding larvae of the solitary, stem-nesting bee, Osmia cornifrons (Megachilidae). Our results indicate that the O. cornifrons brood cell bacterial community is initially diverse. However, larval solitary bees modify the microbial community of their pollen/nectar provisions over time by suppressing or eliminating rare taxa while favoring bacterial endosymbionts of insects and diverse plant pathogens, perhaps through improved conditions or competitive release. We suspect that the proliferation of opportunistic plant pathogens may improve nutrient availability of developing larvae through degradation of pollen. Thus, the health and development of solitary bees may be interconnected with pollen bacterial diversity and perhaps with the propagation of plant pathogens.

RevDate: 2023-01-25

de Gier W (2023)

Phylomorphometrics reveal ecomorphological convergence in pea crab carapace shapes (Brachyura, Pinnotheridae).

Ecology and evolution, 13(1):e9744.

Most members of the speciose pea crab family (Decapoda: Brachyura: Pinnotheridae) are characterized by their symbioses with marine invertebrates in various host phyla. The ecology of pea crabs is, however, understudied, and the degree of host dependency of most species is still unclear. With the exception of one lineage of ectosymbiotic echinoid-associated crabs, species within the subfamily Pinnotherinae are endosymbionts, living within the body cavities of mollusks, ascidians, echinoderms, and brachiopods. By contrast, most members of the two other subfamilies are considered to have an ectosymbiotic lifestyle, sharing burrows and tubes with various types of worms and burrowing crustaceans (inquilism). The body shapes within the family are extremely variable, mainly in the width and length of the carapace. The variation of carapace shapes in the family, focusing on pinnotherines, is mapped using landmark-based morphometrics. Mean carapace shapes of species groups (based on their host preference) are statistically compared. In addition, a phylomorphometric approach is used to study three different convergence events (across subfamilies; between three genera; and within one genus), and link these events with the associated hosts.

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Cooper W, Swisher Grimm K, Angelella G, et al (2023)

Acquisition and transmission of "Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum" differs among Wolbachia-infected and -uninfected haplotypes of Bactericera cockerelli.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

"Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum" (Lso) causes disease symptoms and economic losses in potato, tomato, and other solanaceous crops in North America. Lso is transmitted to plants by potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli, which occurs as distinct haplotypes named western, central, and northwestern that differ in presence or absence of the bacterial endosymbiont, Wolbachia. Previous work showed that all three vector haplotypes can transmit Lso, but it was not clear whether acquisition and transmission rates of Lso were equal among the haplotypes. The goal of our study was to compare Lso infection rates among psyllids of the western, central, and northwestern haplotypes. Using data collected from several years of periodic testing of Lso infection of laboratory-reared potato psyllid colonies, we showed that psyllids of the western and central haplotypes are more likely to harbor Lso than are psyllids of the northwestern haplotype. We then used greenhouse assays to demonstrate that psyllids of the northwestern haplotype are less likely to acquire and transmit Lso compared with those of the western haplotype. Lso infection rates corresponded with Wolbachia infection among the three psyllid haplotypes. The Wolbachia-infected central and western haplotypes were more likely to harbor and transmit Lso compared with the Wolbachia-free northwestern haplotype. Results demonstrate that potato psyllids of the western and central haplotypes pose a greater risk for spread of Lso in crops and suggest a pattern between infection with Lso and Wolbachia in potato psyllid.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Vancaester E, M Blaxter (2023)

Phylogenomic analysis of Wolbachia genomes from the Darwin Tree of Life biodiversity genomics project.

PLoS biology, 21(1):e3001972 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-22-02172 [Epub ahead of print].

The Darwin Tree of Life (DToL) project aims to sequence all described terrestrial and aquatic eukaryotic species found in Britain and Ireland. Reference genome sequences are generated from single individuals for each target species. In addition to the target genome, sequenced samples often contain genetic material from microbiomes, endosymbionts, parasites, and other cobionts. Wolbachia endosymbiotic bacteria are found in a diversity of terrestrial arthropods and nematodes, with supergroups A and B the most common in insects. We identified and assembled 110 complete Wolbachia genomes from 93 host species spanning 92 families by filtering data from 368 insect species generated by the DToL project. From 15 infected species, we assembled more than one Wolbachia genome, including cases where individuals carried simultaneous supergroup A and B infections. Different insect orders had distinct patterns of infection, with Lepidopteran hosts mostly infected with supergroup B, while infections in Diptera and Hymenoptera were dominated by A-type Wolbachia. Other than these large-scale order-level associations, host and Wolbachia phylogenies revealed no (or very limited) cophylogeny. This points to the occurrence of frequent host switching events, including between insect orders, in the evolutionary history of the Wolbachia pandemic. While supergroup A and B genomes had distinct GC% and GC skew, and B genomes had a larger core gene set and tended to be longer, it was the abundance of copies of bacteriophage WO who was a strong determinant of Wolbachia genome size. Mining raw genome data generated for reference genome assemblies is a robust way of identifying and analysing cobiont genomes and giving greater ecological context for their hosts.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Büttiker P, Weissenberger S, Esch T, et al (2022)

Dysfunctional mitochondrial processes contribute to energy perturbations in the brain and neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Frontiers in pharmacology, 13:1095923.

Mitochondria are complex endosymbionts that evolved from primordial purple nonsulfur bacteria. The incorporation of bacteria-derived mitochondria facilitates a more efficient and effective production of energy than what could be achieved based on previous processes alone. In this case, endosymbiosis has resulted in the seamless coupling of cytochrome c oxidase and F-ATPase to maximize energy production. However, this mechanism also results in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a phenomenon that can have both positive and negative ramifications on the host. Recent studies have revealed that neuropsychiatric disorders have a pro-inflammatory component in which ROS is capable of initiating damage and cognitive malfunction. Our current understanding of cognition suggests that it is the product of a neuronal network that consumes a substantial amount of energy. Thus, alterations or perturbations of mitochondrial function may alter not only brain energy supply and metabolite generation, but also thought processes and behavior. Mitochondrial abnormalities and oxidative stress have been implicated in several well-known psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BPD). As cognition is highly energy-dependent, we propose that the neuronal pathways underlying maladaptive cognitive processing and psychiatric symptoms are most likely dependent on mitochondrial function, and thus involve brain energy translocation and the accumulation of the byproducts of oxidative stress. We also hypothesize that neuropsychiatric symptoms (e.g., disrupted emotional processing) may represent the vestiges of an ancient masked evolutionary response that can be used by both hosts and pathogens to promote self-repair and proliferation via parasitic and/or symbiotic pathways.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Liu Y, He ZQ, Wen Q, et al (2022)

Parasitoid-mediated horizontal transmission of Rickettsia between whiteflies.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:1077494.

Intracellular bacterial endosymbionts of arthropods are mainly transmitted vertically from mother to offspring, but phylogenetically distant insect hosts often harbor identical endosymbionts, indicating that horizontal transmission from one species to another occurs in nature. Here, we investigated the parasitoid Encarsia formosa-mediated horizontal transmission of the endosymbiont Rickettsia between different populations of whitefly Bemisia tabaci MEAM1. Rickettsia was successfully transmitted from the positive MEAM1 nymphs (R [+]) into E. formosa and retained at least for 48 h in E. formosa adults. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) visualization results revealed that the ovipositors, mouthparts, and digestive tract of parasitoid adults get contaminated with Rickettsia. Random non-lethal probing of Rickettisia-negative (R[-]) MEAM1 nymphs by these Rickettsia-carrying E. formosa resulted in newly infected MEAM1 nymphs, and the vertical transmission of Rickettsia within the recipient females can remain at least up to F3 generation. Further phylogenetic analyses revealed that Rickettsia had high fidelity during the horizontal transmission in whiteflies and parasitoids. Our findings may help to explain why Rickettsia bacteria are so abundant in arthropods and suggest that, in some insect species that shared the same parasitoids, Rickettsia may be maintained in populations by horizontal transmission.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Hoffman T, Olsen B, Å Lundkvist (2023)

The Biological and Ecological Features of Northbound Migratory Birds, Ticks, and Tick-Borne Microorganisms in the African-Western Palearctic.

Microorganisms, 11(1): pii:microorganisms11010158.

Identifying the species that act as hosts, vectors, and vehicles of vector-borne pathogens is vital for revealing the transmission cycles, dispersal mechanisms, and establishment of vector-borne pathogens in nature. Ticks are common vectors for pathogens causing human and animal diseases, and they transmit a greater variety of pathogenic agents than any other arthropod vector group. Ticks depend on the movements by their vertebrate hosts for their dispersal, and tick species with long feeding periods are more likely to be transported over long distances. Wild birds are commonly parasitized by ticks, and their migration patterns enable the long-distance range expansion of ticks. The African-Palearctic migration system is one of the world's largest migrations systems. African-Western Palearctic birds create natural links between the African, European, and Asian continents when they migrate biannually between breeding grounds in the Palearctic and wintering grounds in Africa and thereby connect different biomes. Climate is an important geographical determinant of ticks, and with global warming, the distribution range and abundance of ticks in the Western Palearctic may increase. The introduction of exotic ticks and their microorganisms into the Western Palearctic via avian vehicles might therefore pose a greater risk for the public and animal health in the future.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Fujishima M, Kawano H, I Miyakawa (2023)

A 63-kDa Periplasmic Protein of the Endonuclear Symbiotic Bacterium Holospora obtusa Secreted to the Outside of the Bacterium during the Early Infection Process Binds Weakly to the Macronuclear DNA of the Host Paramecium caudatum.

Microorganisms, 11(1): pii:microorganisms11010155.

The Gram-negative bacterium Holospora obtusa is a macronucleus-specific symbiont of the ciliate Paramecium caudatum. It is known that an infection of this bacterium induces high level expressions of the host hsp60 and hsp70 genes, and the host cell acquires both heat-shock and high salt resistances. In addition, an infectious form of H. obtusa-specific 63-kDa periplasmic protein with a DNA-binding domain in its amino acid sequence is secreted into the host macronucleus after invasion into the macronucleus and remain within the nucleus. These facts suggest that binding of the 63-kDa protein to the host macronuclear DNA causes changes in the host gene expressions and enhances an environmental adaptability of the host cells. This 63-kDa protein was renamed as periplasmic region protein 1 (PRP1) to distinguish it from other proteins with similar molecular weights. To confirm whether PRP1 indeed binds to the host DNA, SDS-DNA PAGE and DNA affinity chromatography with calf thymus DNA and P. caudatum DNA were conducted and confirmed that PRP1 binds weakly to the P. caudatum DNA with a monoclonal antibody raised for the 63-kDa protein.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Thimmappa BC, Salhi LN, Forget L, et al (2023)

Nuclear Genome Sequence and Gene Expression of an Intracellular Fungal Endophyte Stimulating the Growth of Cranberry Plants.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:jof9010126.

Ericaceae thrive in poor soil, which we postulate is facilitated by microbes living inside those plants. Here, we investigate the growth stimulation of the American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) by one of its fungal endosymbionts, EC4. We show that the symbiont resides inside the epidermal root cells of the host but extends into the rhizosphere via its hyphae. Morphological classification of this fungus is ambiguous, but phylogenetic inference based on 28S rRNA identifies EC4 as a Codinaeella species (Chaetosphaeriaceae, Sordariomycetes, Ascomycetes). We sequenced the genome and transcriptome of EC4, providing the first 'Omics' information of a Chaetosphaeriaceae fungus. The 55.3-Mbp nuclear genome contains 17,582 potential protein-coding genes, of which nearly 500 have the capacity to promote plant growth. For comparing gene sets involved in biofertilization, we annotated the published genome assembly of the plant-growth-promoting Trichoderma hamatum. The number of proteins involved in phosphate transport and solubilization is similar in the two fungi. In contrast, EC4 has ~50% more genes associated with ammonium, nitrate/nitrite transport, and phytohormone synthesis. The expression of 36 presumed plant-growth-promoting EC4 genes is stimulated when the fungus is in contact with the plant. Thus, Omics and in-plantae tests make EC4 a promising candidate for cranberry biofertilization on nutrient-poor soils.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Akram S, Ahmed A, He P, et al (2023)

Uniting the Role of Endophytic Fungi against Plant Pathogens and Their Interaction.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:jof9010072.

Endophytic fungi are used as the most common microbial biological control agents (MBCAs) against phytopathogens and are ubiquitous in all plant parts. Most of the fungal species have roles against a variety of plant pathogens. Fungal endophytes provide different services to be used as pathogen control agents, using an important aspect in the form of enhanced plant growth and induced systemic resistance, produce a variety of antifungal secondary metabolites (lipopeptides, antibiotics and enzymes) through colonization, and compete with other pathogenic microorganisms for growth factors (space and nutrients). The purpose of this review is to highlight the biological control potential of fungal species with antifungal properties against different fungal plant pathogens. We focused on the introduction, biology, isolation, identification of endophytic fungi, and their antifungal activity against fungal plant pathogens. The endosymbionts have developed specific genes that exhibited endophytic behavior and demonstrated defensive responses against pathogens such as antibiosis, parasitism, lytic enzyme and competition, siderophore production, and indirect responses by induced systemic resistance (ISR) in the host plant. Finally, different microscopic detection techniques to study microbial interactions (endophytic and pathogenic fungal interactions) in host plants are briefly discussed.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Deng Y, Wang K, Hu Z, et al (2023)

Different Geographic Strains of Dinoflagellate Karlodinium veneficum Host Highly Diverse Fungal Community and Potentially Serve as Possible Niche for Colonization of Fungal Endophytes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(2): pii:ijms24021672.

In numerous studies, researchers have explored the interactions between fungi and their hosting biota in terrestrial systems, while much less attention has been paid to the counterpart interactions in aquatic, and particularly marine, ecosystems. Despite the growing recognition of the potential functions of fungi in structuring phytoplankton communities, the current insights were mostly derived from phytoplankton hosts, such as diatoms, green microalgae, and cyanobacteria. Dinoflagellates are the second most abundant group of phytoplankton in coastal marine ecosystems, and they are notorious for causing harmful algal blooms (HABs). In this study, we used high-throughput amplicon sequencing to capture global snapshots of specific fungal assemblages associated with laboratory-cultured marine dinoflagellate. We investigated a total of 13 clonal cultures of the dinoflagellate Karlodinium veneficum that were previously isolated from 5 geographic origins and have been maintained in our laboratory from several months to more than 14 years. The total recovered fungal microbiome, which consisted of 349 ASVs (amplicon sequencing variants, sequences clustered at a 100% sequence identity), could be assigned to 4 phyla, 18 classes, 37 orders, 65 families, 97 genera, and 131 species. The fungal consortium displayed high diversity and was dominated by filamentous fungi and ascomycetous and basidiomycetous yeasts. A core set of three genera among all the detected fungi was constitutively present in the K. veneficum strains isolated from geographically distant regions, with the top two most abundant genera, Thyridium and Pseudeurotium, capable of using hydrocarbons as the sole or major source of carbon and energy. In addition, fungal taxa previously documented as endophytes in other hosts were also found in all tested strains of K. veneficum. Because host-endophyte interactions are highly variable and strongly case-dependent, these fungal taxa were not necessarily genuine endosymbionts of K. veneficum; instead, it raised the possibility that dinoflagellates could potentially serve as an alternative ecological niche for the colonization of fungal endophytes. Our findings lay the foundation for further investigations into the potential roles or functions of fungi in the regulation of the growth dynamics and HABs of marine dinoflagellates in the field.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Wiesinger A, Wenderlein J, Ulrich S, et al (2023)

Revealing the Tick Microbiome: Insights into Midgut and Salivary Gland Microbiota of Female Ixodes ricinus Ticks.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(2): pii:ijms24021100.

The ectoparasite Ixodes ricinus is an important vector for many tick-borne diseases (TBD) in the northern hemisphere, such as Lyme borreliosis, rickettsiosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, or tick-borne encephalitis virus. As climate change will lead to rising temperatures in the next years, we expect an increase in tick activity, tick population, and thus in the spread of TBD. Consequently, it has never been more critical to understand relationships within the microbial communities in ticks that might contribute to the tick's fitness and the occurrence of TBD. Therefore, we analyzed the microbiota in different tick tissues such as midgut, salivary glands, and residual tick material, as well as the microbiota in complete Ixodes ricinus ticks using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. By using a newly developed DNA extraction protocol for tick tissue samples and a self-designed mock community, we were able to detect endosymbionts and pathogens that have been described in the literature previously. Further, this study displayed the usefulness of including a mock community during bioinformatic analysis to identify essential bacteria within the tick.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Silva RXG, Madeira D, Cartaxana P, et al (2023)

Assessing the Trophic Impact of Bleaching: The Model Pair Berghia stephanieae/Exaiptasia diaphana.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(2): pii:ani13020291.

Bleaching events associated with climate change are increasing worldwide, being a major threat to tropical coral reefs. Nonetheless, the indirect impacts promoted by the bleaching of organisms hosting photosynthetic endosymbionts, such as those impacting trophic interactions, have received considerably less attention by the scientific community. Bleaching significantly affects the nutritional quality of bleached organisms. The consequences promoted by such shifts remain largely overlooked, namely on specialized predators that have evolved to prey upon organisms hosting photosynthetic endosymbionts and benefit nutritionally, either directly or indirectly, from the available pool of photosynthates. In the present study, we advocate the use of the model predator-prey pair featuring the stenophagous nudibranch sea slug Berghia stephanieae that preys upon the photosymbiotic glass anemone Exaiptasia diaphana to study the impacts of bleaching on trophic interactions. These model organisms are already used in other research fields, and one may benefit from knowledge available on their physiology, omics, and culture protocols under controlled laboratory conditions. Moreover, B. stephanieae can thrive on either photosymbiotic or aposymbiotic (bleached) glass anemones, which can be easily maintained over long periods in the laboratory (unlike photosymbiotic corals). As such, one can investigate if and how nutritional shifts induced by bleaching impact highly specialized predators (stenophagous species), as well as if and how such effects cascade over consecutive generations. Overall, by using this model predator-prey pair one can start to truly unravel the trophic effects of bleaching events impacting coral reef communities, as well as their prevalence over time.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Chamankar B, Maleki-Ravasan N, Karami M, et al (2023)

The structure and diversity of microbial communities in Paederus fuscipes (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae): from ecological paradigm to pathobiome.

Microbiome, 11(1):11.

BACKGROUND: Paederus fuscipes is medically the most famous rove beetle, which causes dermatitis or conjunctivitis in humans, as well as gastrointestinal toxicosis in livestock, via releasing toxic hemolymph containing pederin. Pedrin biosynthesis genes have been identified in uncultured Pseudomonas-like endosymbionts that are speculated to be acquired through a horizontal transfer. However, the composition of the P. fuscipes microbial community, especially of the gut and genital microbiome, remains unclear. This study was aimed to characterize the structure and diversity of P. fuscipes-associated bacterial communities in terms of gender, organ, and location using the Illumina HiSeq platform in the southern littorals of Caspian Sea.

RESULTS: The OTUs identified from P. fuscipes specimens were collapsed into 40 phyla, 112 classes, 249 orders, 365 families, 576 genera, and 106 species. The most abundant families were Pseudomonadaceae, Spiroplasmataceae, Weeksellaceae, Enterococcaceae, and Rhizobiaceae, respectively. Thirty top genera made up > 94% of the P. fuscipes microbiome, with predominating Pseudomonas, followed by the Spiroplasma, Apibacter, Enterococcus, Dysgonomonas, Sebaldella, Ruminococcus, and Wolbachia. Interesting dissimilarities were also discovered within and between the beetle microbiomes in terms of genders and organs. Analyses showed that Spiroplasma / Apibacter as well as Pseudomonas / Pseudomonas were the most abundant in the genitals / intestines of male and female beetles, respectively. Bacterial richness did not display any significant difference in the three provinces but was higher in male beetles than in females and more in the genitals than intestines.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study identified Pseudomonas-like endobacterium as a common symbiont of P. fuscipes beetles; this bacterium begins its journey from gut and genitalia of females to reach the male rove beetles. Additionally, male and female rove beetles were characterized by distinctive microbiota in different organs, likely reflecting different functions and/or adaptation processes. Evidence of the extension of P. fuscipes microbiome from the environmental paradigm to the pathobiome was also presented herein. A comprehensive survey of P. fuscipes microbiome components may eventually lead to ecological insights into the production and utilization of defensive compound of pederin and also the management of linear dermatitis with the use of available antibiotics against bacterial pathogens released by the beetles. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Awad M, Piálková R, Haelewaters D, et al (2023)

Infection patterns of Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by ectoparasitic microfungi and endosymbiotic bacteria.

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(23)00004-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The invasive alien ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) hosts a wide range of natural enemies. Many observations have been done in nature but experimental studies of interactions of multiple enemies on Ha. axyridis are rare. In light of this knowledge gap, we tested whether the host phenotype and presence of bacterial endosymbionts Spiroplasma and Wolbachia affected parasitism of Ha. axyridis by the ectoparasitic fungus Hesperomyces harmoniae (Ascomycota: Laboulbeniales). We collected 379 Ha. axyridis in the Czech Republic, processed specimens, including screening for He. harmoniae and a molecular assessment for bacteria, and calculated fecundity and hatchability of females. We found that high hatchability rate (71%) was conditioned by high fecundity (20 eggs daily or more). The average parasite prevalence of He. harmoniae was 53%, while the infection rate of Spiroplasma was 73% in ladybirds that survived in winter conditions. Wolbachia was only present in 2% of the analyzed ladybirds. Infection by either He. harmoniae or Spiroplasma did not differ among host color morphs. In the novemdecimsignata morph, younger individuals (with orange elytra) were more heavily parasitized compared to old ones (with red elytra). Fecundity and hatchability rate of females were unaffected by infection with either He. harmoniae or Spiroplasma. However, female ladybirds co-infected with He. harmoniae and Spiroplasma had a significantly lower fecundity and hatchability compared to females with only one or no symbiont.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Mayfield AB (2023)

Multi-macromolecular Extraction from Endosymbiotic Anthozoans.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2625:17-56.

Obligately symbiotic associations between reef-building corals (anthozoan cnidarians) and photosynthetically active dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae comprise the functional basis of all coral reef ecosystems. Given the existential threats of global climate change toward these thermo-sensitive entities, there is an urgent need to better understand the physiological implications of changes in the abiotic milieu of scleractinian corals and their mutualistic algal endosymbionts. Although initially slow to leverage the immense breakthroughs in molecular biotechnology that have benefited humankind, coral biologists are making up for lost time in exploiting an array of ever-advancing molecular tools for answering key questions pertaining to the survival of corals in an ever-changing world. In order to comprehensively characterize the multi-omic landscape of the coral holobiont-the cnidarian host, its intracellular dinoflagellates, and a plethora of other microbial constituents-I introduce a series of protocols herein that yield large quantities of high-quality RNA, DNA, protein, lipids, and polar metabolites from a diverse array of reef corals and endosymbiotic sea anemones. Although numerous published articles in the invertebrate zoology field feature protocols that lead to sufficiently high yield of intact host coral macromolecules, through using the approach outlined herein one may simultaneously acquire a rich, multi-compartmental biochemical pool that truly reflects the complex and dynamic nature of these animal-plant chimeras.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Prada F, Franzellitti S, Caroselli E, et al (2023)

Acclimatization of a coral-dinoflagellate mutualism at a CO2 vent.

Communications biology, 6(1):66.

Ocean acidification caused by shifts in ocean carbonate chemistry resulting from increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations is threatening many calcifying organisms, including corals. Here we assessed autotrophy vs heterotrophy shifts in the Mediterranean zooxanthellate scleractinian coral Balanophyllia europaea acclimatized to low pH/high pCO2 conditions at a CO2 vent off Panarea Island (Italy). Dinoflagellate endosymbiont densities were higher at lowest pH Sites where changes in the distribution of distinct haplotypes of a host-specific symbiont species, Philozoon balanophyllum, were observed. An increase in symbiont C/N ratios was observed at low pH, likely as a result of increased C fixation by higher symbiont cell densities. δ[13]C values of the symbionts and host tissue reached similar values at the lowest pH Site, suggesting an increased influence of autotrophy with increasing acidification. Host tissue δ[15]N values of 0‰ strongly suggest that diazotroph N2 fixation is occurring within the coral tissue/mucus at the low pH Sites, likely explaining the decrease in host tissue C/N ratios with acidification. Overall, our findings show an acclimatization of this coral-dinoflagellate mutualism through trophic adjustment and symbiont haplotype differences with increasing acidification, highlighting that some corals are capable of acclimatizing to ocean acidification predicted under end-of-century scenarios.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Takagi T, Aoyama K, Motone K, et al (2023)

Mutualistic Interactions between Dinoflagellates and Pigmented Bacteria Mitigate Environmental Stress.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Scleractinian corals form symbiotic relationships with a variety of microorganisms, including endosymbiotic dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae, and with bacteria, which are collectively termed coral holobionts. Interactions between hosts and their symbionts are critical to the physiological status of corals. Coral-microorganism interactions have been studied extensively, but dinoflagellate-bacterial interactions remain largely unexplored. Here, we developed a microbiome manipulation method employing KAS-antibiotic treatment (kanamycin, ampicillin, and streptomycin) to favor pigmented bacteria residing on cultured Cladocopium and Durusdinium, major endosymbionts of corals, and isolated several carotenoid-producing bacteria from cell surfaces of the microalgae. Following KAS-antibiotic treatment of Cladocopium sp. strain NIES-4077, pigmented bacteria increased 8-fold based on colony-forming assays from the parental strain, and 100% of bacterial sequences retrieved through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing were affiliated with the genus Maribacter. Microbiome manipulation enabled host microalgae to maintain higher maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (variable fluorescence divided by maximum fluorescence [Fv/Fm]) under light-stress conditions, compared to the parental strain. Furthermore, by combining culture-dependent and -independent techniques, we demonstrated that species of the family Symbiodiniaceae and pigmented bacteria form strong interactions. Dinoflagellates protected bacteria from antibiotics, while pigmented bacteria protected microalgal cells from light stress via carotenoid production. Here, we describe for the first time a symbiotic relationship in which dinoflagellates and bacteria mutually reduce environmental stress. Investigations of microalgal-bacterial interactions further document bacterial contributions to coral holobionts and may facilitate development of novel techniques for microbiome-mediated coral reef conservation. IMPORTANCE Coral reefs cover less than 0.1% of the ocean floor, but about 25% of all marine species depend on coral reefs at some point in their life cycles. However, rising ocean temperatures associated with global climate change are a serious threat to coral reefs, causing dysfunction of the photosynthetic apparatus of endosymbiotic microalgae of corals, and overproducing reactive oxygen species harmful to corals. We manipulated the microbiome using an antibiotic treatment to favor pigmented bacteria, enabling their symbiotic microalgal partners to maintain higher photosynthetic function under insolation stress. Furthermore, we investigated mechanisms underlying microalgal-bacterial interactions, describing for the first time a symbiotic relationship in which the two symbionts mutually reduce environmental stress. Our findings extend current insights about microalgal-bacterial interactions, enabling better understanding of bacterial contributions to coral holobionts under stressful conditions and offering hope of reducing the adverse impacts of global warming on coral reefs.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Mata-Somarribas C, Quesada-López J, Matamoros MF, et al (2023)

Raising the suspicion of a non-autochthonous infection: identification of Leishmania guyanensis from Costa Rica exhibits a Leishmaniavirus related to Brazilian north-east and French Guiana viral genotypes.

Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 117:e220162 pii:S0074-02762022000101137.

BACKGROUND: Costa Rica has a history of neglecting prevention, control and research of leishmaniasis, including limited understanding on Leishmania species causing human disease across the country and a complete lack of knowledge on the Leishmania RNA virus, described as a factor linked to the worsening and metastasis of leishmanial lesions.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this work was to describe a case of cutaneous leishmaniasis by Leishmania (Viannia) guyanensis, bearing infection with Leishmaniavirus 1 (LRV1) in Costa Rica, raising the suspicion of imported parasites in the region.

METHODS: The Leishmania strain was previously identified by routine hsp70 polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) in Costa Rica and subsequently characterised by isoenzyme electrophoresis and Sanger sequencing in Brazil. Screening for LRV1 was conducted with a dual RT-PCR approach and sequencing of the fragment obtained.

FINDINGS: Since 2016 Costa Rica performs Leishmania isolation and typing as part of its epidemiological surveillance activities. Amongst 113 strains typed until 2019, only one was characterised as a L. (V.) guyanensis, corresponding to the first confirmed report of this species in the country. Interestingly, the same strain tested positive for LRV1. Sequencing of the viral orf1 and 2, clustered this sample with other LRV1 genotypes of South American origin, from the Northeast of Brazil and French Guiana.

MAIN CONCLUSION: The unique characteristics of this finding raised the suspicion that it was not an autochthonous strain. Notwithstanding its presumed origin, this report points to the occurrence of said endosymbiont in Central American Leishmania strains. The possibility of its local dispersion represents one more challenge faced by regional health authorities in preventing and controlling leishmaniasis.

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Sétamou M, Soto YL, Tachin M, et al (2023)

Report on the first detection of Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae) in the Republic of Benin, West Africa.

Scientific reports, 13(1):801.

The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri, was detected for the first time in the Republic of Benin, West Africa. The ACP is a known vector of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the putative causal agent of the devastating Huanglongbing (HLB; citrus greening disease). During visual surveys, ACP was only observed on residential citrus trees in southern Benin, but not in residential areas or commercial groves in the central and northern parts of the country. Its identity was confirmed morphologically and molecularly via DNA barcoding with published primers. Analysis of the obtained sequences showed that the ACP recorded in Benin clustered with the ones previously reported from Nigeria, suggesting a common origin of both populations. The ACP samples from Benin also carried Ca. Carsonella ruddii and Ca. Profftella armatura, two commonly found ACP endosymbionts. However, all the sampled ACP individuals tested negative for Ca. Liberibacter africanus, Ca. Liberibacter americanus, and CLas by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. This is the second report of the ACP in West Africa after Nigeria, the eastern bordering country of the Republic of Benin. Benin has an expanding commercial citrus industry, especially in the southern part of the country. Although the ACP samples tested negative for the HLB associated bacteria, the detection of ACP in the country requires swift actions including area-wide surveys to determine the extent of spread of this pest and the implementation of eradication or control efforts to prevent its establishment and spread of HLB in the country.

RevDate: 2023-01-13

Hussain M, Zhang G, Leitner M, et al (2023)

Wolbachia RNase HI contributes to virus blocking in the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

iScience, 26(1):105836.

The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis blocks replication of several arboviruses in transinfected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. However, the mechanism of virus blocking remains poorly understood. Here, we characterized an RNase HI gene from Wolbachia, which is rapidly induced in response to dengue virus (DENV) infection. Knocking down w RNase HI using antisense RNA in Wolbachia-transinfected mosquito cell lines and A. aegypti mosquitoes led to increased DENV replication. Furthermore, overexpression of wRNase HI, in the absence of Wolbachia, led to reduced replication of a positive sense RNA virus, but had no effect on a negative sense RNA virus, a familiar scenario in Wolbachia-infected cells. Altogether, our results provide compelling evidence for the missing link between early Wolbachia-mediated virus blocking and degradation of viral RNA. These findings and the successful pioneered knockdown of Wolbachia genes using antisense RNA in cell line and mosquitoes enable new ways to manipulate and study the complex endosymbiont-host interactions.

RevDate: 2023-01-11

Durand S, Lheraud B, Giraud I, et al (2023)

Heterogeneous distribution of sex ratio distorters in natural populations of the isopod Armadillidium vulgare.

Biology letters, 19(1):20220457.

In the isopod Armadillidium vulgare, many females produce progenies with female-biased sex ratios, owing to two feminizing sex ratio distorters (SRD): Wolbachia endosymbionts and the f element. We investigated the distribution and population dynamics of these SRD and mitochondrial DNA variation in 16 populations from Europe and Japan. Confirming and extending results from the 1990s, we found that the SRD are present at variable frequencies in populations and that the f element is overall more frequent than Wolbachia. The two SRD never co-occur at high frequency in any population, suggesting an apparent mutual exclusion. We also detected Wolbachia or the f element in some males, which probably reflects insufficient titer to induce feminization or presence of masculinizing alleles. Our results are consistent with a single integration event of a Wolbachia genome in the A. vulgare genome at the origin of the f element, which contradicts an earlier hypothesis of frequent losses and gains. We identified strong linkage between Wolbachia strains and mitochondrial haplotypes, but no association between the f element and mitochondrial background. Our results open new perspectives on SRD evolutionary dynamics in A. vulgare, the evolution of genetic conflicts and their impact on the variability of sex determination systems.

RevDate: 2023-01-11

Singh T, Sakai K, Ishida-Castañeda J, et al (2023)

Short-term improvement of heat tolerance in naturally growing Acropora corals in Okinawa.

PeerJ, 11:e14629.

Mass bleaching and subsequent mortality of reef corals by heat stress has increased globally since the late 20th century, due to global warming. Some experimental studies have reported that corals may increase heat tolerance for short periods, but only a few such studies have monitored naturally-growing colonies. Therefore, we monitored the survival, growth, and bleaching status of Acropora corals in fixed plots by distinguishing individual colonies on a heat-sensitive reef flat in Okinawa, Japan. The level of heat stress, assessed by the modified version of degree heating week duration in July and August, when the seawater temperature was the highest, was minimally but significantly higher in 2017 than in 2016; however, the same colonies exhibited less bleaching and mortality in 2017 than in 2016. Another study conducted at the same site showed that the dominant unicellular endosymbiotic algal species did not change before and after the 2016 bleaching, indicating that shifting and switching of the Symbiodiniaceae community did not contribute to improved heat tolerance. Colonies that suffered from partial mortality in 2016 were completely bleached at higher rates in 2017 than those without partial mortality in 2016. The present results suggest that either genetic or epigenetic changes in coral hosts and/or algal symbionts, or the shifting or switching of microbes other than endosymbionts, may have improved coral holobiont heat tolerance.

RevDate: 2023-01-10

Husnik F (2023)

Organellogenesis: Host proteins control symbiont cell divisions.

Current biology : CB, 33(1):R22-R25.

Understanding the order and importance of events through which endosymbionts transition into cellular organelles (organellogenesis) is central to hypotheses about the origin of the eukaryotic cell. A new study on host-symbiont integration in a unicellular eukaryote reveals host-derived cell-division proteins that are targeted to the cell envelope of a bacterial endosymbiont and involved in its cell division.

RevDate: 2023-01-09

Zhang S, Wang T, Lima RM, et al (2023)

Widely conserved AHL transcription factors are essential for NCR gene expression and nodule development in Medicago.

Nature plants [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiotic nitrogen fixation by Rhizobium bacteria in the cells of legume root nodules alleviates the need for nitrogen fertilizers. Nitrogen fixation requires the endosymbionts to differentiate into bacteroids which can be reversible or terminal. The latter is controlled by the plant, it is more beneficial and has evolved in multiple clades of the Leguminosae family. The plant effectors of terminal differentiation in inverted repeat-lacking clade legumes (IRLC) are nodule-specific cysteine-rich (NCR) peptides, which are absent in legumes such as soybean where there is no terminal differentiation of rhizobia. It was assumed that NCRs co-evolved with specific transcription factors, but our work demonstrates that expression of NCR genes does not require NCR-specific transcription factors. Introduction of the Medicago truncatula NCR169 gene under its own promoter into soybean roots resulted in its nodule-specific expression, leading to bacteroid changes associated with terminal differentiation. We identified two AT-Hook Motif Nuclear Localized (AHL) transcription factors from both M. truncatula and soybean nodules that bound to AT-rich sequences in the NCR169 promoter inducing its expression. Whereas mutation of NCR169 arrested bacteroid development at a late stage, the absence of MtAHL1 or MtAHL2 completely blocked bacteroid differentiation indicating that they also regulate other NCR genes required for the development of nitrogen-fixing nodules. Regulation of NCRs by orthologous transcription factors in non-IRLC legumes opens up the possibility of increasing the efficiency of nitrogen fixation in legumes lacking NCRs.

RevDate: 2023-01-09

Torp MK, Vaage J, KO Stensløkken (2023)

Mitochondria-derived damage associated molecular patterns and inflammation in the ischemic-reperfused heart.

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

Cardiac cell death after myocardial infarction release endogenous structures termed damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that trigger the innate immune system and initiate a sterile inflammation in the myocardium. Cardiomyocytes are energy demanding cells and 30% of their volume are mitochondria. Mitochondria are evolutionary endosymbionts originating from bacteria containing molecular patterns similar to bacteria, termed mitochondrial DAMPs (mDAMPs). Consequently, mitochondrial debris may be particularly immunogenic and damaging. However, the role of mDAMPs in myocardial infarction is not clarified. Identifying the most harmful mDAMPs and inhibiting their early inflammatory signaling may reduce infarct size and the risk of developing post-infarct heart failure. The focus of this review is the role of mDAMPs in the immediate pro-inflammatory phase after myocardial infarction before arrival of immune cells in the myocardium. We discuss different mDAMPs, their role in physiology and present knowledge regarding their role in the inflammatory response of acute myocardial infarction.

RevDate: 2023-01-06

Büttner H, Pidot SJ, Scherlach K, et al (2022)

Endofungal bacteria boost anthelminthic host protection with the biosurfactant symbiosin.

Chemical science, 14(1):103-112.

Effective protection of soil fungi from predators is crucial for their survival in the niche. Thus, fungi have developed efficient defence strategies. We discovered that soil beneficial Mortierella fungi employ a potent cytotoxin (necroxime) against fungivorous nematodes. Interestingly, this anthelminthic agent is produced by bacterial endosymbionts (Candidatus Mycoavidus necroximicus) residing within the fungus. Analysis of the symbiont's genome indicated a rich biosynthetic potential, yet nothing has been known about additional metabolites and their potential synergistic functions. Here we report that two distinct Mortierella endosymbionts produce a novel cyclic lipodepsipeptide (symbiosin), that is clearly of bacterial origin, but has striking similarities to various fungal specialized metabolites. The structure and absolute configuration of symbiosin were fully elucidated. By comparative genomics of symbiosin-positive strains and in silico analyses of the deduced non-ribosomal synthetases, we assigned the (sym) biosynthetic gene cluster and proposed an assembly line model. Bioassays revealed that symbiosin is not only an antibiotic, in particular against mycobacteria, but also exhibits marked synergistic effects with necroxime in anti-nematode tests. By functional analyses and substitution experiments we found that symbiosin is a potent biosurfactant and that this particular property confers a boost in the anthelmintic action, similar to formulations of therapeutics in human medicine. Our findings illustrate that "combination therapies" against parasites already exist in ecological contexts, which may inspire the development of biocontrol agents and therapeutics.

RevDate: 2023-01-05

Dharamshi JE, Köstlbacher S, Schön ME, et al (2023)

Gene gain facilitated endosymbiotic evolution of Chlamydiae.

Nature microbiology, 8(1):40-54.

Chlamydiae is a bacterial phylum composed of obligate animal and protist endosymbionts. However, other members of the Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae superphylum are primarily free living. How Chlamydiae transitioned to an endosymbiotic lifestyle is still largely unresolved. Here we reconstructed Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae species relationships and modelled superphylum genome evolution. Gene content reconstruction from 11,996 gene families suggests a motile and facultatively anaerobic last common Chlamydiae ancestor that had already gained characteristic endosymbiont genes. Counter to expectations for genome streamlining in strict endosymbionts, we detected substantial gene gain within Chlamydiae. We found that divergence in energy metabolism and aerobiosis observed in extant lineages emerged later during chlamydial evolution. In particular, metabolic and aerobic genes characteristic of the more metabolically versatile protist-infecting chlamydiae were gained, such as respiratory chain complexes. Our results show that metabolic complexity can increase during endosymbiont evolution, adding an additional perspective for understanding symbiont evolutionary trajectories across the tree of life.

RevDate: 2023-01-05

Xiao B, Li D, Liao B, et al (2023)

Effects of microplastic combined with Cr(III) on apoptosis and energy pathway of coral endosymbiont.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

The combined effect of polyethylene (PE) microplastics and chromium (Cr(III)) on the scleractinian coral Acropora pruinosa (A. pruinosa) was investigated. The endpoints analysed in this study included the endosymbiont density, the chlorophyll a + c content, and the activity of enzymes involved in apoptosis (caspase-1, caspase-3), glycolysis (lactate dehydrogenase, LDH), the pentose phosphate pathway (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, G6PDH) and electron transfer coenzyme (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, NAD[+]/NADH). During the 7-day exposure to PE and Cr(III) stress, the endosymbiont density and chlorophyll content decreased gradually. The caspase-1 and caspase-3 activities increased in the high-concentration Cr(III) exposure group. Furthermore, the LDH and G6PDH activities decreased significantly, and the NAD[+]/NADH was decreased significantly. In summary, the results showed that PE and Cr(III) stress inhibited the endosymbiont energy metabolism enzymes and further led to endosymbiont apoptosis in coral. In addition, under exposure to the combination of stressors, when the concentration of Cr(III) remained at 1 × 10[-2] mg/L, the toxic effects of heavy metals on the endosymbiont were temporarily relieved with elevated PE concentrations. In contrast, when coral polyps were exposed to 5 mg/L PE and increasing Cr(III) concentrations, their metabolic activities were seriously disturbed, which increased the burden of energy consumption. In the short term, the toxic effect of Cr(III) was more obvious than that of PE because Cr(III) exposure leads to endosymbiont apoptosis and irreversible damage. This is the first study to provide insights into the combined effect of microplastic and Cr(III) stress on the apoptosis and energy pathways of coral endosymbionts. This study suggested that microplastics combined with Cr(III) are an important factor affecting the apoptosis and energy metabolism of endosymbionts, accelerating the collapse of the balance between the coral host and symbiotic endosymbiont.

RevDate: 2023-01-05

Jin L, Zhang BW, Lu JW, et al (2023)

The mechanism of Cry41-related toxin against Myzus persicae based on its interaction with Buchnera-derived ATP-dependent-6-phosphofructokinase.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is one of the most notorious pests to many crops worldwide. Most Cry toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis show very low toxicity to M. persicae; however, a study showed that Cry41-related toxin had moderate toxic activity against M. persicae. In our previous work, potential Cry41-related toxin binding proteins in M. persicae were identified, including Cathepsin B, calcium-transporting ATPase, and Buchnera-derived ATP-dependent-6-phosphofructokinase (PFKA). Buchnera is an endosymbiont present in almost all aphids and it provides necessary nutrients for aphid's growth. This study investigated the role of Buchnera-derived PFKA in Cry41-related toxicity against M. persicae.

RESULTS: In this study, recombinant PFKA was expressed and purified, and in vitro assays revealed that PFKA bound to Cry41-related toxin, and Cry41-related toxin at 25 μg/mL significantly inhibited the activity of PFKA. Additionally, when M. persicae was treated with 30 μg/mL of Cry41-related toxin for 24 h, the expression of dnak, a single-copy gene in Buchnera, was significantly decreased, indicating a decrease in the number of Buchnera.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that Cry41-related toxin interacts with Buchnera-derived PFKA to inhibit its enzymatic activity and likely impair cell viability, resulting in a decrease in the number of Buchnera, and finally leading to M. persicae death. These findings open new perspectives in understanding the mode of action of Cry toxins and are useful to help improve the Cry toxicity for aphid control. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-01-04

Scholz H (2023)

From Natural Behavior to Drug Screening: Invertebrates as Models to Study Mechanisms Associated with Alcohol Use Disorders.

Current topics in behavioral neurosciences [Epub ahead of print].

Humans consume ethanol-containing beverages, which may cause an uncontrollable or difficult-to-control intake of ethanol-containing liquids and may result in alcohol use disorders. How the transition at the molecular level from "normal" ethanol-associated behaviors to addictive behaviors occurs is still unknown. One problem is that the components contributing to normal ethanol intake and their underlying molecular adaptations, especially in neurons that regulate behavior, are not clear. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the earthworm Caenorhabditis elegans show behavioral similarities to humans such as signs of intoxication, tolerance, and withdrawal. Underlying the phenotypic similarities, invertebrates and vertebrates share mechanistic similarities. For example in Drosophila melanogaster, the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system regulates the positive reinforcing properties of ethanol and in Caenorhabditis elegans, serotonergic neurons regulate feeding behavior. Since these mechanisms are fundamental molecular mechanisms and are highly conserved, invertebrates are good models for uncovering the basic principles of neuronal adaptation underlying the behavioral response to ethanol. This review will focus on the following aspects that might shed light on the mechanisms underlying normal ethanol-associated behaviors. First, the current status of what is required at the behavioral and cellular level to respond to naturally occurring levels of ethanol is summarized. Low levels of ethanol delay the development and activate compensatory mechanisms that in turn might be beneficial for some aspects of the animal's physiology. Repeated exposure to ethanol however might change brain structures involved in mediating learning and memory processes. The smell of ethanol is already a key component in the environment that is able to elicit behavioral changes and molecular programs. Minimal networks have been identified that regulate normal ethanol consumption. Other environmental factors that influence ethanol-induced behaviors include the diet, dietary supplements, and the microbiome. Second, the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal adaptation to the cellular stressor ethanol are discussed. Components of the heat shock and oxidative stress pathways regulate adaptive responses to low levels of ethanol and in turn change behavior. The adaptive potential of the brain cells is challenged when the organism encounters additional cellular stressors caused by aging, endosymbionts or environmental toxins or excessive ethanol intake. Finally, to underline the conserved nature of these mechanisms between invertebrates and higher organisms, recent approaches to identify drug targets for ethanol-induced behaviors are provided. Already approved drugs regulate ethanol-induced behaviors and they do so in part by interfering with cellular stress pathways. In addition, invertebrates have been used to identify new compounds targeting molecules involved in the regulation in ethanol withdrawal-like symptoms. This review primarily highlights the advances of the last 5 years concerning Drosophila melanogaster, but also provides intriguing examples of Caenorhabditis elegans and Apis mellifera in support.

RevDate: 2023-01-04

Mahdhi A, Mars M, M Rejili (2023)

Members of Ensifer and Rhizobium genera are new bacterial endosymbionts nodulating Pisum sativum (L.).

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:6967906 [Epub ahead of print].

Eighty-four Pisum sativum legume nodulating bacteria (LNB) were isolated from seven geographical sites from southern Tunisia. Phylogenetic analyses based on partial sequences of 16S rRNA gene and the housekeeping genes glnII, and recA grouped strains into six clusters, four of which belonged to the genus Rhizobium and two to the Ensifer genus. Among Rhizobium clusters, 41 strains were affiliated to Rhizobium leguminosarum, two strains to R. pisi, two strains to R. etli, and interestingly two strains belonged to previously undescribed Rhizobium species. The remaining two strains were closely related to Ensifer medicae (two strains) and Ensifer meliloti (two strains). A symbiotic nodC gene-based phylogeny and host specificity test showed that all Rhizobium strains nodulating pea belonged to the symbiovar viciae, whereas the Ensifer strains were associated with the symbiovar meliloti never described to date. All strains under investigation differed in the number of induced root nodules and the effectiveness of atmospheric nitrogen fixation. The R. leguminosarum PsZA23, R. leguminosarum PsGBL42 and E. medicae PsTA22a, forming the most effective symbiosis with the plant host, are potential candidates for inoculation programs.

RevDate: 2023-01-02

Uni S, Mat Udin AS, Tan PE, et al (2022)

Description and molecular characterisation of Pelecitus copsychi Uni, Mat Udin & Martin n. sp. (Nematoda: Onchocercidae) from the white-rumped shama Copsychus malabaricus (Scopoli) (Passeriformes: Muscicapidae) of Pahang, Malaysia.

Current research in parasitology & vector-borne diseases, 2:100078.

Species of the genus Pelecitus Railliet & Henry, 1910 the most widely distributed avian filariae in Africa and South America. Zoonotic cases in humans were reported in South America. While investigating the filarial fauna of wild animals in Malaysia, we discovered an undescribed filaria from the swollen footpad of the left leg of Copsychus malabaricus (Scopoli) in Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. Adults of both sexes have a corkscrew-shaped body. Based on comparison of their morphological characteristics (i.e. pre-oesophageal cuticular ring distinct, oesophagus divided, vulva protuberant and situated at the level of anterior half of oesophagus, spicules strongly sclerotized and left spicule with broad blade) with other Pelecitus species, they are here described as Pelecitus copsychi Uni, Mat Udin & Martin n. sp. Multi-locus sequence analyses based on seven genes (12S rDNA, cox1, 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, MyoHC, rbp1 and hsp70) were performed to determine the phylogenetic position of the new species. The calculated p-distance between the cox1 gene sequences for P. copsychi n. sp. and Pelecitus fulicaeatrae (Diesing, 1861) was 14.1%. Intraspecific genetic variation between two individuals of the new species was 0.4%. In both the Bayesian inference and maximum-likelihood trees, P. copsychi n. sp. was positioned in the second clade of ONC5, containing three genera of the subfamily Dirofilariinae (Foleyella Seurat, 1917, Pelecitus and Loa Stiles, 1905). Immunostaining and molecular analyses remained negative for the presence of Wolbachia endosymbionts. Our findings corroborate the division of the subfamily Dirofilariinae into ONC3 with Dirofilaria Railliet & Henry, 1911 and ONC5 with Pelecitus.

RevDate: 2022-12-30

Minahan NT, Wu WJ, KH Tsai (2022)

Rickettsia felis is an emerging human pathogen associated with cat fleas: A review of findings in Taiwan.

Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection = Wei mian yu gan ran za zhi pii:S1684-1182(22)00287-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Rickettsia felis is an emerging rickettsial agent principally associated with cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis), formerly discovered in 1990. Since then, clinical cases of R. felis infection have been identified globally by specific DNA sequences in patients with undifferentiated febrile illness, including in Taiwan, but such evidence is limited. R. felis rickettsiosis is self-limiting and easily treated with doxycycline, but its diagnosis remains a challenge. Environmental risk factors for R. felis rickettsiosis have yet to be clearly demonstrated, and its transmission biology is incompletely understood. Cat fleas are naturally infected with R. felis at varying rates, and vector competence in the transmission of R. felis has been demonstrated in animal models, including dogs, which may serve as reservoir hosts. In northern Taiwan, despite ∼20% of cat fleas infesting companion animals consistently found to be infected with R. felis, only a few cases of potential R. felis infection have been identified through a retrospective serological investigation, though without molecular confirmation. Ecological studies have identified divergent R. felis-like organisms in different arthropod hosts, but these strains appear to serve as nonpathogenic endosymbionts. Although its association with disease is limited, we believe cat flea-borne R. felis warrants increased recognition in an aging population due to immunosenescence and the proximity of companion animals to the elderly. Adopting a One Health approach involving collaboration and communication between clinicians, veterinarians, public health practitioners, and environmental scientists will improve our knowledge about this neglected pathogen and promote the prevention and control of vector-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2022-12-26

Obert T, Zhang T, Rurik I, et al (2022)

First molecular evidence of hybridization in endosymbiotic ciliates (Protista, Ciliophora).

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:1067315.

Hybridization is an important evolutionary process that can fuel diversification via formation of hybrid species or can lead to fusion of previously separated lineages by forming highly diverse species complexes. We provide here the first molecular evidence of hybridization in wild populations of ciliates, a highly diverse group of free-living and symbiotic eukaryotic microbes. The impact of hybridization was studied on the model of Plagiotoma, an obligate endosymbiont of the digestive tube of earthworms, using split decomposition analyses and species networks, 2D modeling of the nuclear rRNA molecules and compensatory base change analyses as well as multidimensional morphometrics. Gene flow slowed down and eventually hampered the diversification of Lumbricus-dwelling plagiotomids, which collapsed into a single highly variable biological entity, the P. lumbrici complex. Disruption of the species boundaries was suggested also by the continuum of morphological variability in the phenotypic space. On the other hand, hybridization conspicuously increased diversity in the nuclear rDNA cistron and somewhat weakened the host structural specificity of the P. lumbrici complex, whose members colonize a variety of phylogenetically closely related anecic and epigeic earthworms. By contrast, another recorded species, P. aporrectodeae sp. n., showed no signs of introgression, no variability in the rDNA cistron, and very high host specificity. These contrasting eco-evolutionary patterns indicate that hybridization might decrease the alpha-diversity by dissolving species boundaries, weaken the structural host specificity by broadening ecological amplitudes, and increase the nuclear rDNA variability by overcoming concerted evolution within the P. lumbrici species complex.

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Cabezas-Cruz A, AC Fogaça (2022)

Lock and Key: Why Rickettsia Endosymbionts Do Not Harm Vertebrate Hosts?.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 11(12):.

Are tick endosymbionts transmitted to and able to injure vertebrate hosts [...].

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Fan ZY, Liu Y, He ZQ, et al (2022)

Rickettsia Infection Benefits Its Whitefly Hosts by Manipulating Their Nutrition and Defense.

Insects, 13(12):.

Endosymbionts play an essential role in the biology, physiology and immunity of insects. Many insects, including the whitefly Bemisia&nbsp;tabaci, are infected with the facultative endosymbiont Rickettsia. However, the mutualism between Rickettsia and its whitefly host remains unclear. This study investigated the biological and physiological benefits of Rickettsia infection to B. tabaci. Results revealed that infection of Rickettsia increased the fertility, the survival rate from nymph to adult and the number of female whiteflies. In addition, this facilitation caused a significant reduction in nymphal developmental duration but did not affect percentage rate of egg hatching. Rickettsia infected B. tabaci had significantly higher glycogen, soluble sugar and trehalose contents than Rickettsia negative B. tabaci individuals. Rickettsia also improved the immunity of its whitefly hosts. Rickettsia infested B. tabaci had lower mortality rates and higher semi-lethal concentrations (LC50) when exposed to the fungus Akanthomyces&nbsp;attenuatus and the insecticides imidacloprid and spirotetramat. The percentage of parasitism by Encarsia&nbsp;formosa was also reduced by Rickettsia infection. Overall, Rickettsia infection benefits B. tabaci by improving the nutritional composition of its host, and also protects B. tabaci by enhancing its resistance towards insecticides (imidacloprid and spirotetramat), entomopathogenic fungi (A. attenuatus) and its main parasitoid (E.&nbsp;formosa); all of which could significantly impact on current management strategies.

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Tomanović Ž, Kavallieratos NG, Ye Z, et al (2022)

Cereal Aphid Parasitoids in Europe (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae): Taxonomy, Biodiversity, and Ecology.

Insects, 13(12):.

Cereals are very common and widespread crops in Europe. Aphids are a diverse group of herbivorous pests on cereals and one of the most important limiting factors of cereal production. Here, we present an overview of knowledge about the taxonomy, biodiversity, and ecology of cereal aphid parasitoids in Europe, an important group of natural enemies contributing to cereal aphid control. We review the knowledge obtained from the integrative taxonomy of 26 cereal aphid primary parasitoid species, including two allochthonous species (Lysiphlebus testaceipes and Trioxys sunnysidensis) and two recently described species (Lipolexis labialis and Paralipsis brachycaudi). We further review 28 hyperparasitoid species belonging to three hymenopteran superfamilies and four families (Ceraphronoidea: Megaspillidae; Chalcidoidea: Pteromalidae, Encyrtidae; Cynipoidea: Figitidae). We also compile knowledge on the presence of secondary endosymbionts in cereal aphids, as these are expected to influence the community composition and biocontrol efficiency of cereal aphid parasitoids. To study aphid-parasitoid-hyperparasitoid food webs more effectively, we present two kinds of DNA-based approach: (i) diagnostic PCR (mainly multiplex PCR), and (ii) DNA sequence-based methods. Finally, we also review the effects of landscape complexity on the different trophic levels in the food webs of cereal aphids and their associated parasitoids, as well as the impacts of agricultural practices and environmental variation.

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Gümüşsoy A, Yüksel E, Özer G, et al (2022)

Identification and Biocontrol Potential of Entomopathogenic Nematodes and Their Endosymbiotic Bacteria in Apple Orchards against the Codling Moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

Insects, 13(12):.

The codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is one of the major pests in pome fruit production worldwide. Heavy treatment of the larvae of C. pomonella with insecticides triggered the development of resistance to many groups of insecticides. In addition, the increasing concern about the adverse effects of synthetic insecticides on human health and the environment has led to the development of sustainable and eco-friendly control practices for C. pomonella. The entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) (Steinernema and Heterorhabditis spp.) and their endosymbionts (Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus spp.) represent a newly emerging approach to controlling a wide range of insect pests. In the present study, field surveys were conducted in apple orchards to isolate and identify EPNs and their endosymbionts and evaluate their insecticidal efficacy on the larvae of C. pomonella. EPNs were isolated from 12 of 100 soil samples (12%). Seven samples were identified as Steinernema feltiae (Filipjev, 1934) (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), whereas five samples were assigned to Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Poinar, 1976) (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae). The pathogenicity of the EPN species/isolates was screened on the last instar larvae of G. mellonella. The two most pathogenic isolates from each EPN species were tested against fifth instar larvae of C. pomonella under controlled conditions. The maximum mortality (100%) was achieved by all EPN species/isolates at a concentration of 100 IJs/larva 96 h after treatment. The endosymbionts of selected H. bacteriophora and S. feltiae species were identified as Photorhabdus luminescens subsp. kayaii and Xenorhabdus bovienii, respectively. The mortality rates ranged between 25 and 62% when the fifth larval instar larvae of C. pomonella were exposed to the treatment of cell-free supernatants of symbiotic bacteria. In essence, the present survey indicated that EPNs and their symbiotic bacteria have good potential for biological control of C. pomonella.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Zeng W, Li Z, Jiang T, et al (2022)

Identification of Bacterial Communities and Tick-Borne Pathogens in Haemaphysalis spp. Collected from Shanghai, China.

Tropical medicine and infectious disease, 7(12): pii:tropicalmed7120413.

Ticks can carry and transmit a large number of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and protozoa, posing a huge threat to human health and animal husbandry. Previous investigations have shown that the dominant species of ticks in Shanghai are Haemaphysalis flava and Haemaphysalis longicornis. However, no relevant investigations and research have been carried out in recent decades. Therefore, we investigated the bacterial communities and tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) in Haemaphysalis spp. from Shanghai, China. Ixodid ticks were collected from 18 sites in Shanghai, China, and identified using morphological and molecular methods. The V3-V4 hypervariable regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene were amplified from the pooled tick DNA samples and subject to metagenomic analysis. The microbial diversity in the tick samples was estimated using the alpha diversity that includes the observed species index and Shannon index. The Unifrac distance matrix as determined using the QIIME software was used for unweighted Unifrac Principal coordinates analysis (PCoA). Individual tick DNA samples were screened with genus-specific or group-specific nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for these TBPs and combined with a sequencing assay to confirm the results of the V3-V4 hypervariable regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. We found H. flava and H. longicornis to be the dominant species of ticks in Shanghai in this study. Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria are the main bacterial communities of Haemaphysalis spp. The total species abundances of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, are 48.8%, 20.8% and 18.1%, respectively. At the level of genus analysis, H. longicornis and H. flava carried at least 946 genera of bacteria. The bacteria with high abundance include Lactobacillus, Coxiella, Rickettsia and Muribaculaceae. Additionally, Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia japonica, Candidatus Rickettsia jingxinensis, Anaplasma bovis, Ehrlichia ewingii, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Coxiella spp. and Coxiella-like endosymbiont were detected in Haemaphysalis spp. from Shanghai, China. This study is the first report of bacterial communities and the prevalence of some main pathogens in Haemaphysalis spp. from Shanghai, China, and may provide insights and evidence for bacterial communities and the prevalence of the main pathogen in ticks. This study also indicates that people and other animals in Shanghai, China, are exposed to several TBPs.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Fujiwara A, Meng XY, Kamagata Y, et al (2022)

Subcellular Niche Segregation of Co-Obligate Symbionts in Whiteflies.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Many insects contain endosymbiotic bacteria within their bodies. In multiple endosymbiotic systems comprising two or more symbionts, each of the symbionts is generally localized in a different host cell or tissue. Bemisia tabaci (Sweet potato whitefly) possesses a unique endosymbiotic system where co-obligate symbionts are localized in the same bacteriocytes. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we found that endosymbionts in B. tabaci MEAM1 occupy distinct subcellular habitats, or niches, within a single bacteriocyte. Hamiltonella was located adjacent to the nucleus of the bacteriocyte, while Portiera was present in the cytoplasm surrounding Hamiltonella. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the endoplasmic reticulum separates the two symbionts. Habitat segregation was maintained for longer durations in female bacteriocytes. The same segregation was observed in three genetically distinct B. tabaci groups (MEAM1, MED Q1, and Asia II 6) and Trialeurodes vaporariorum, which shared a common ancestor with Bemisia over 80 million years ago, even though the coexisting symbionts and the size of bacteriocytes were different. These results suggest that the habitat segregation system existed in the common ancestor and was conserved in both lineages, despite different bacterial partners coexisting with Portiera. Our findings provide insights into the evolution and maintenance of complex endosymbiotic systems and highlight the importance of organelles for the construction of separate niches for endosymbionts. IMPORTANCE Co-obligate endosymbionts in B. tabaci are exceptionally localized within the same bacteriocyte (a specialized cell for endosymbiosis), but the underlying mechanism for their coexistence remains largely unknown. This study provides evidence for niche segregation at the subcellular level between the two symbionts. We showed that the endoplasmic reticulum is a physical barrier separating the two species. Despite differences in co-obligate partners, this subcellular niche segregation was conserved across various whitefly species. The physical proximity of symbionts may enable the efficient biosynthesis of essential nutrients via shared metabolic pathways. The expression "Good fences make good neighbors" appears to be true for insect endosymbiotic systems.

RevDate: 2022-12-19

Espino-Vázquez AN, Córdova-López G, Cabrera-Rangel JF, et al (2023)

The Rhizopus Holobiont: A Model to Decipher Fungal-Bacterial-Viral Symbioses.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2610:137-147.

Rhizopus microsporus is an early-diverging fungal species that inhabits the soil, is used for the fermentation of diverse Asian and African foods, and can be a pathogen of plants, animals, and humans.Toxin-producing strains of R. microsporus live in symbiosis with Gram-negative betaproteobacteria from the genus Mycetohabitans (Burkholderia sensu lato). These bacterial endosymbionts increase the metabolic plasticity of the fungal holobiont by producing the "mycotoxins," control their asexual reproduction, and influence their sexual success. Recently, we identified two viruses of the genus Narnavirus in some R. microsporus strains that harbor Mycetohabitans. By eliminating bacteria and/or viruses from host R. microsporus strains, we have been able to study the role of these symbionts in fungal biology. Remarkably, the absence of these bacterial and viral symbionts decreases sexual reproduction. In this chapter, the method developed to eliminate and genotype the Narnavirus RmNV-20S and RmNV-23S in R. microsporus is described in detail.

RevDate: 2022-12-19

Zucker F, Bischoff V, Olo Ndela E, et al (2022)

New Microviridae isolated from Sulfitobacter reveals two cosmopolitan subfamilies of single-stranded DNA phages infecting marine and terrestrial Alphaproteobacteria.

Virus evolution, 8(2):veac070.

The Microviridae family represents one of the major clades of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) phages. Their cultivated members are lytic and infect Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Chlamydiae. Prophages have been predicted in the genomes from Bacteroidales, Hyphomicrobiales, and Enterobacteriaceae and cluster within the 'Alpavirinae', 'Amoyvirinae', and Gokushovirinae. We have isolated 'Ascunsovirus oldenburgi' ICBM5, a novel phage distantly related to known Microviridae. It infects Sulfitobacter dubius SH24-1b and uses both a lytic and a carrier-state life strategy. Using ICBM5 proteins as a query, we uncovered in publicly available resources sixty-five new Microviridae prophages and episomes in bacterial genomes and retrieved forty-seven environmental viral genomes (EVGs) from various viromes. Genome clustering based on protein content and phylogenetic analysis showed that ICBM5, together with Rhizobium phages, new prophages, episomes, and EVGs cluster within two new phylogenetic clades, here tentatively assigned the rank of subfamily and named 'Tainavirinae' and 'Occultatumvirinae'. They both infect Rhodobacterales. Occultatumviruses also infect Hyphomicrobiales, including nitrogen-fixing endosymbionts from cosmopolitan legumes. A biogeographical assessment showed that tainaviruses and occultatumviruses are spread worldwide, in terrestrial and marine environments. The new phage isolated here sheds light onto new and diverse branches of the Microviridae tree, suggesting that much of the ssDNA phage diversity remains in the dark.

RevDate: 2022-12-19

Zhang H, Gao J, Ma Z, et al (2022)

Wolbachia infection in field-collected Aedes aegypti in Yunnan Province, southwestern China.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:1082809.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia is gram-negative and common intracellular bacteria, which is maternally inherited endosymbionts and could expand their propagation in host populations by means of various manipulations. Recent reports reveal the natural infection of Wolbachia in Aedes Aegypti in Malaysia, India, Philippines, Thailand and the United States. At present, none of Wolbachia natural infection in Ae. aegypti has been reported in China.

METHODS: A total of 480 Ae. aegypti adult mosquitoes were collected from October and November 2018 based on the results of previous investigations and the distribution of Ae. aegypti in Yunnan. Each individual sample was processed and screened for the presence of Wolbachia by PCR with wsp primers. Phylogenetic trees for the wsp gene was constructed using the neighbour-joining method with 1,000 bootstrap replicates, and the p-distance distribution model of molecular evolution was applied.

RESULTS: 24 individual adult mosquito samples and 10 sample sites were positive for Wolbachia infection. The Wolbachia infection rate (IR) of each population ranged from 0 - 41.7%. The infection rate of group A alone was 0%-10%, the infection rate of group B alone was 0%-7.7%, and the infection rate of co-infection with A and B was 0-33.3%.

CONCLUSIONS: Wolbachia infection in wild Ae. aegypti in China is the first report based on PCR amplification of the Wolbachia wsp gene. The Wolbachia infection is 5%, and the wAlbA and wAlbB strains were found to be prevalent in the natural population of Ae. aegypti in Yunnan Province.

RevDate: 2022-12-15

Arai H, Inoue MN, D Kageyama (2022)

Male-killing mechanisms vary between Spiroplasma species.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:1075199.

Male-killing, a male-specific death of arthropod hosts during development, is induced by Spiroplasma (Mollicutes) endosymbionts of the Citri-Poulsonii and the Ixodetis groups, which are phylogenetically distant groups. Spiroplasma poulsonii induces male-killing in Drosophila melanogaster (Diptera) using the Spaid toxin that harbors ankyrin repeats, whereas little is known about the origin and mechanisms of male-killing induced by Spiroplasma ixodetis. Here, we analyzed the genome and the biological characteristics of a male-killing S. ixodetis strain sHm in the moth Homona magnanima (Tortricidae, Lepidoptera). Strain sHm harbored a 2.1 Mb chromosome and two potential plasmids encoding Type IV effectors, putatively involved in virulence and host-symbiont interactions. Moreover, sHm did not harbor the spaid gene but harbored 10 ankyrin genes that were homologous to those in other S. ixodetis strains. In contrast to the predominant existence of S. poulsonii in hemolymph, our quantitative PCR assays revealed a systemic distribution of strain sHm in H. magnanima, with particularly high titers in Malpighian tubules but low titers in hemolymph. Furthermore, transinfection assays confirmed that strain sHm can infect cultured cells derived from distantly related insects, namely Aedes albopictus (Diptera) and Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera). These results suggest different origins and characteristics of S. ixodetis- and S. poulsonii-induced male-killing.

RevDate: 2022-12-14

Roldán EL, Stelinski LL, KS Pelz-Stelinski (2022)

Foliar Antibiotic Treatment Reduces Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus Acquisition by the Asian Citrus Psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae), but Does not Reduce Tree Infection Rate.

Journal of economic entomology pii:6901991 [Epub ahead of print].

Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, is the most destructive disease of cultivated citrus worldwide. Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the putative causal agent of HLB, is transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae). In Florida, D. citri was first reported in 1998, and CLas was confirmed in 2005. Management of HLB relies on the use of insecticides to reduce vector populations. In 2016, antibiotics were approved to manage CLas infection in citrus. Diaphorina citri is host to several bacterial endosymbionts and reducing endosymbiont abundance is known to cause a corresponding reduction in host fitness. We hypothesized that applications of oxytetracycline and streptomycin would reduce: CLas populations in young and mature citrus trees, CLas acquisition by D. citri, and D. citri abundance. Our results indicate that treatment of citrus with oxytetracycline and streptomycin reduced acquisition of CLas by D. citri adults and emerging F1 nymphs as compared with that observed in trees treated only with insecticides, but not with antibiotics. However, under field conditions, neither antibiotic treatment frequency tested affected CLas infection of young or mature trees as compared with insecticide treatment alone (negative control); whereas trees enveloped with mesh screening that excluded vectors did prevent bacterial infection (positive control). Populations of D. citri were not consistently affected by antibiotic treatment under field conditions, as compared with an insecticide only comparison. Collectively, our results suggest that while foliar application of oxytetracycline and streptomycin to citrus reduces acquisition of CLas bacteria by the vector, even high frequency applications of these formulations under field conditions do not prevent or reduce tree infection.

RevDate: 2022-12-14

Wang D, He H, C Wei (2022)

Cellular and potential molecular mechanisms underlying transovarial transmission of the obligate symbiont Sulcia in cicadas.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Vertical transmission of symbionts in insects is critical to persistence of symbioses across host generations. The key time point and related cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying the transmission in most insects remain unclear. Here, we reveal that in the bacteriome-endosymbiont system of the cicada Meimuna mongolica, the obligate symbiont Candidatus Sulcia muelleri (hereafter Sulcia) proliferates and migrates to the ovaries mainly after the adult emergence of cicadas. Sulcia cells swell to approximately twice their previous size with the outer membrane changed to be more irregular during this process. Almost all the Sulcia genes involved in biosynthesis of essential amino acids, heat shock protein, energy metabolism, DNA replication and repair and protein export were highly expressed in all life stages of cicadas. Among which, genes involved in DNA replication and synthesis of leucine and arginine were up-regulated in the newly emerged adults relative to 5[th] -instar nymphs. Signal transduction is the pronounced function exhibited in both Sulcia and the cicada bacteriomes in newly emerged adults. The results suggest host sensing of arginine and leucine integrate Sulcia's output of host-EAAs into mTORC1 signaling. This study highlights the importance of signaling pathways in regulating the host/symbiont interaction and symbiont transmission in sap-feeding auchenorrhynchous insects. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Elder H, Million WC, Bartels E, et al (2022)

Long-term maintenance of a heterologous symbiont association in Acropora palmata on natural reefs.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

The sensitivity of reef-building coral to elevated temperature is a function of their symbiosis with dinoflagellate algae in the family Symbiodiniaceae. Changes in the composition of the endosymbiont community in response to thermal stress can increase coral thermal tolerance. Consequently, this mechanism is being investigated as a human-assisted intervention for rapid acclimation of coral in the face of climate change. Successful establishment of novel symbioses that increase coral thermal tolerance have been demonstrated in laboratory conditions; however, it is unclear how long these heterologous relationships persist in nature. Here, we test the persistence of a novel symbiosis between Acropora palmata and Durusdinium spp. from Mote Marine Laboratory's ex situ nursery by outplanting clonal replicates (ramets) of five A. palmata host genotypes to natural reefs in the lower Florida Keys. Amplicon sequencing analysis of ITS2-type profiles revealed that the majority of surviving ramets remained dominated by Durusdinium spp. two years after transplantation. However, 15% of ramets, including representatives of all genotypes, exhibited some degree of symbiont shuffling or switching at six of eight sites, including complete takeover by site-specific strains of the native symbiont, Symbiodinium fitti. The predominant long-term stability of the novel symbiosis supports the potential effectiveness of symbiont modification as a management tool. Although, the finding that 6-7 year-old coral can alter symbiont community composition in the absence of bleaching indicates that Symbiodiniaceae communities are indeed capable of great flexibility under ambient conditions.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Alarcón ME, Polo PG, Akyüz SN, et al (2022)

Evolution and ontogeny of bacteriocytes in insects.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:1034066.

The ontogenetic origins of the bacteriocytes, which are cells that harbour bacterial intracellular endosymbionts in multicellular animals, are unknown. During embryonic development, a series of morphological and transcriptional changes determine the fate of distinct cell types. The ontogeny of bacteriocytes is intimately linked with the evolutionary transition of endosymbionts from an extracellular to an intracellular environment, which in turn is linked to the diet of the host insect. Here we review the evolution and development of bacteriocytes in insects. We first classify the endosymbiotic occupants of bacteriocytes, highlighting the complex challenges they pose to the host. Then, we recall the historical account of the discovery of bacteriocytes. We then summarize the molecular interactions between the endosymbiont and the host. In addition, we illustrate the genetic contexts in which the bacteriocytes develop, with examples of the genetic changes in the hosts and endosymbionts, during specific endosymbiotic associations. We finally address the evolutionary origin as well as the putative ontogenetic or developmental source of bacteriocytes in insects.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Li T, Wei Y, Zhao C, et al (2022)

Facultative symbionts are potential agents of symbiont-mediated RNAi in aphids.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:1020461.

Aphids are major crop pests, and they can be controlled through the application of the promising RNA interference (RNAi) techniques. However, chemical synthesis yield of dsRNA for RNAi is low and costly. Another sustainable aphid pest control strategy takes advantage of symbiont-mediated RNAi (SMR), which can generate dsRNA by engineered microbes. Aphid host the obligate endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola and various facultative symbionts that not only have a wide host range but are also vertically and horizontally transmitted. Thus, we described the potential of facultative symbionts in aphid pest control by SMR. We summarized the community and host range of these facultative symbionts, and then reviewed their probable horizontal transmitted routes and ecological functions. Moreover, recent advances in the cultivation and genetic engineering of aphid facultative symbionts were discussed. In addition, current legislation of dsRNA-based pest control strategies and their safety assessments were reviewed.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Liberman R, Benayahu Y, D Huchon (2022)

Octocorals in the Gulf of Aqaba exhibit high photosymbiont fidelity.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:1005471.

Symbiotic associations, widespread in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, are of considerable ecological importance. Many tropical coral species are holobionts, formed by the obligate association between a cnidarian host and endosymbiotic dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae. The latter are abundant on coral reefs from very shallow water down to the upper mesophotic zone (30-70 m). The research on scleractinians has revealed that the photosymbiont lineages present in the cnidarian host play an important role in the coral's ability to thrive under different environmental conditions, such as light regime and temperature. However, little is known regarding octocoral photosymbionts, and in particular regarding those found deeper than 30 m. Here, we used ribosomal (ITS2) and chloroplast (23S) markers to uncover, for the first time, the dominant Symbiodiniaceae taxa present in 19 mesophotic octocoral species (30-70 m depth) from the Gulf of Aqaba/Eilat (northern Red Sea). In addition, using high-throughput sequencing of the ITS2 region we characterized both the dominant and the rare Symbiodiniaceae lineages found in several species across depth. The phylogenetic analyses of both markers were in agreement and revealed that most of the studied mesophotic octocorals host the genus Cladocopium. Litophyton spp. and Klyxum utinomii were exceptions, as they harbored Symbiodinium and Durusdinium photosymbionts, respectively. While the dominant algal lineage of each coral species did not vary across depth, the endosymbiont community structure significantly differed between host species, as well as between different depths for some host species. The findings from this study contribute to the growing global-catalogue of Cnidaria-Symbiodiniaceae associations. Unravelling the Symbiodiniaceae composition in octocoral holobionts across environmental gradients, depth in particular, may enable a better understanding of how specialized those associations are, and to what extent coral holobionts are able to modify their photosymbionts.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

V Venkataravanappa , Kodandaram MH, Prasanna HC, et al (2022)

Unraveling different begomoviruses, DNA satellites and cryptic species of Bemisia tabaci and their endosymbionts in vegetable ecosystem.

Microbial pathogenesis pii:S0882-4010(22)00505-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Bemisia tabaci species complex contains more than 46 cryptic species. It has emerged as an important pest causing significant yield loss in many cultivated crops. This pest is also a vector for more than 100 species of begomoviruses, that are a major threat for the cultivation of many crops in different regions of the world. The relation between cryptic species of the B. tabaci species complex and associated begomoviruses that infect different crops remains unclear. In the present study, four cryptic species (Asia I, China 3, Asia II 5 and Asia II-1) of B. tabaci and four associated endosymbionts (Arsenophonus, Cardinium, Rickettsia and Wolbachia) were identified in different vegetable crops. The vector-based PCR detection revealed five different begomoviruses such as okra enation leaf curl virus (OELCuV), tomato leaf curl Palampur virus (ToLCPalV), squash leaf curl China virus (SLCCNV), chilli leaf curl virus (ChiLCuV), and tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV). Of these begomoviruses, the maximum infection rate was observed (9.1%) for OELCuV, followed by 7.3% for ToLCNDV. The infection rate of the other three viruses (SLCCNV, ChiLCuV, ToLCPalV) ranged from 0.9 to 2.7% in cryptic species of B. tabaci. Further, each cryptic species was infected with multiple virus species and the virus infection rate of Asia I, Asia II-5, China 3 and Asia II-1 was 21.2%, 15.1%, 15.1% and 0.6% respectively. Similarly, in case of betasatellites the highest infection rate was 12% for ToLCBDB, followed by 6% for OLCuB and PaLCB. With regard to alphasatellites, the highest infection rate was 18.2% for AEV and 3% for CLCuMuA. This study demonstrates the distribution of cryptic species of whitefly and their endosymbionts, and associated begomoviruses and DNA satellites in vegetable ecosystem. We believe that the information generated here is useful for evolving an effective pest management strategies for vegetable production.

RevDate: 2022-12-11

Yu W, Bosquée E, Fan J, et al (2022)

Proteomic and Transcriptomic Analysis for Identification of Endosymbiotic Bacteria Associated with BYDV Transmission Efficiency by Sitobion miscanthi.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(23): pii:plants11233352.

Sitobion miscanthi, an important viral vector of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV), is also symbiotically associated with endosymbionts, but little is known about the interactions between endosymbionts, aphid and BYDV. Therefore, two aphids' geographic populations, differing in their BYDV transmission efficiency, after characterizing their endosymbionts, were treated with antibiotics to investigate how changes in the composition of their endosymbiont population affected BYDV transmission efficiency. After antibiotic treatment, Rickettsia was eliminated from two geographic populations. BYDV transmission efficiency by STY geographic population dropped significantly, by -44.2% with ampicillin and -25.01% with rifampicin, but HDZ geographic population decreased by only 14.19% with ampicillin and 23.88% with rifampicin. Transcriptomic analysis showed that the number of DEGs related to the immune system, carbohydrate metabolism and lipid metabolism did increase in the STY rifampicin treatment, while replication and repair, glycan biosynthesis and metabolism increased in the STY ampicillin treatment. Proteomic analysis showed that the abundance of symbionin symL, nascent polypeptide-associated complex subunit alpha and proteasome differed significantly between the two geographic populations. We found that the endosymbionts can mediate vector viral transmission. They should therefore be included in investigations into aphid-virus interactions and plant disease epidemiology. Our findings should also help with the development of strategies to prevent virus transmission.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Morales J, Ehret G, Poschmann G, et al (2022)

Host-symbiont interactions in Angomonas deanei include the evolution of a host-derived dynamin ring around the endosymbiont division site.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(22)01776-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The trypanosomatid Angomonas deanei is a model to study endosymbiosis. Each cell contains a single β-proteobacterial endosymbiont that divides at a defined point in the host cell cycle and contributes essential metabolites to the host metabolism. Additionally, one endosymbiont gene, encoding an ornithine cyclodeaminase (OCD), was transferred by endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT) to the nucleus. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating the intricate host/symbiont interactions are largely unexplored. Here, we used protein mass spectrometry to identify nucleus-encoded proteins that co-purify with the endosymbiont. Expression of fluorescent fusion constructs of these proteins in A. deanei confirmed seven host proteins to be recruited to specific sites within the endosymbiont. These endosymbiont-targeted proteins (ETPs) include two proteins annotated as dynamin-like protein and peptidoglycan hydrolase that form a ring-shaped structure around the endosymbiont division site that remarkably resembles organellar division machineries. The EGT-derived OCD was not among the ETPs, but instead localizes to the glycosome, likely enabling proline production in the glycosome. We hypothesize that recalibration of the metabolic capacity of the glycosomes that are closely associated with the endosymbiont helps to supply the endosymbiont with metabolites it is auxotrophic for and thus supports the integration of host and endosymbiont metabolic networks. Hence, scrutiny of endosymbiosis-induced protein re-localization patterns in A. deanei yielded profound insights into how an endosymbiotic relationship can stabilize and deepen over time far beyond the level of metabolite exchange.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Adegoke A, Kumar D, Budachetri K, et al (2022)

Hematophagy and tick-borne Rickettsial pathogen shape the microbial community structure and predicted functions within the tick vector, Amblyomma maculatum.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:1037387.

BACKGROUND: Ticks are the primary vectors of emerging and resurging pathogens of public health significance worldwide. Analyzing tick bacterial composition, diversity, and functionality across developmental stages and tissues is crucial for designing new strategies to control ticks and prevent tick-borne diseases.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Here, we explored the microbial communities across the developmental timeline and in different tissues of the Gulf-Coast ticks (Amblyomma maculatum). Using a high-throughput sequencing approach, the influence of blood meal and Rickettsia parkeri, a spotted fever group rickettsiae infection in driving changes in microbiome composition, diversity, and functionality was determined.

RESULTS: This study shows that the core microbiome of Am. maculatum comprises ten core bacterial genera. The genus Rickettsia, Francisella, and Candidatus_Midichloria are the key players, with positive interactions within each developmental stage and adult tick organ tested. Blood meal and Rickettsia parkeri led to an increase in the bacterial abundance in the tissues. According to functional analysis, the increase in bacterial numbers is positively correlated to highly abundant energy metabolism orthologs with blood meal. Correlation analysis identified an increase in OTUs identified as Candidatus Midichloria and a subsequent decrease in Francisella OTUs in Rickettsia parkeri infected tick stages and tissues. Results demonstrate the abundance of Rickettsia and Francisella predominate in the core microbiome of Am. maculatum, whereas Candidatus_Midichloria and Cutibacterium prevalence increase with R. parkeri-infection. Network analysis and functional annotation suggest that R. parkeri interacts positively with Candidatus_Midichloria and negatively with Francisella.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that tick-transmitted pathogens, such as R. parkeri establishes infection by interacting with the core microbiome of the tick vector.

RevDate: 2022-12-06

Liu L, Sonenshine DE, Sultana H, et al (2022)

Identification of a rickettsial endosymbiont in a soft tick Ornithodoros turicata americanus.

PloS one, 17(12):e0278582 pii:PONE-D-22-23595.

Bacterial endosymbionts are abundantly found in both hard and soft ticks. Occidentia massiliensis, a rickettsial endosymbiont, was first identified in the soft tick Ornithodoros sonrai collected from Senegal and later was identified in a hard tick Africaniella transversale. In this study, we noted the presence of Occidentia species, designated as Occidentia-like species, in a soft tick O. turicata americanus. Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of the two genetic markers, 16S rRNA and groEL confirmed the presence of Occidentia-like species in O. turicata americanus ticks. The Occidentia-like species was noted to be present in all developmental stages of O. turicata americanus and in different tick tissues including ovaries, synganglion, guts and salivary gland. The levels of Occidentia-like species 16S rRNA transcripts were noted to be significantly higher in ovaries than in a gut tissue. In addition, Occidentia-like species groEL expression was noted to be significantly higher in tick synganglion than in ovaries and gut tissues. Furthermore, levels of Occidentia-like species 16S rRNA transcripts increased significantly upon O. turicata americanus blood feeding. Taken together, our study not only shows that Occidentia-like species is present in O. turicata americanus but also suggests that this bacterium may play a role in tick-bacteria interactions.

RevDate: 2022-12-06

Pilgrim J (2022)

The opportunities of research parasitism: A case study using the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD).

GigaScience, 11:.

The Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD) is primarily used to identify biological specimens based on a mitochondrial gene sequence and has been an underpinning resource for life science researchers. Importantly, curators of BOLD archive DNA extracts where possible, and also record contaminant sequences that can be made available on request. This collegial offering of samples and data led to our work describing the serendipitous discovery of new interactions between a Torix Rickettsia bacterium and their arthropod hosts and resulted in winning the 2022 Junior Research Parasite Award. A case study of this work is presented, which discusses the opportunities provided by secondary data and how careful maintenance of such large-scale repositories plays a vital role in scientific research that goes beyond obvious lines of enquiry.

RevDate: 2022-12-06
CmpDate: 2022-12-06

Hodosi R, Kazimirova M, K Soltys (2022)

What do we know about the microbiome of I. ricinus?.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:990889.

I. ricinus is an obligate hematophagous parasitic arthropod that is responsible for the transmission of a wide range of zoonotic pathogens including spirochetes of the genus Borrelia, Rickettsia spp., C. burnetii, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Francisella tularensis, which are part the tick´s microbiome. Most of the studies focus on "pathogens" and only very few elucidate the role of "non-pathogenic" symbiotic microorganisms in I. ricinus. While most of the members of the microbiome are leading an intracellular lifestyle, they are able to complement tick´s nutrition and stress response having a great impact on tick´s survival and transmission of pathogens. The composition of the tick´s microbiome is not consistent and can be tied to the environment, tick species, developmental stage, or specific organ or tissue. Ovarian tissue harbors a stable microbiome consisting mainly but not exclusively of endosymbiotic bacteria, while the microbiome of the digestive system is rather unstable, and together with salivary glands, is mostly comprised of pathogens. The most prevalent endosymbionts found in ticks are Rickettsia spp., Ricketsiella spp., Coxiella-like and Francisella-like endosymbionts, Spiroplasma spp. and Candidatus Midichloria spp. Since microorganisms can modify ticks' behavior, such as mobility, feeding or saliva production, which results in increased survival rates, we aimed to elucidate the potential, tight relationship, and interaction between bacteria of the I. ricinus microbiome. Here we show that endosymbionts including Coxiella-like spp., can provide I. ricinus with different types of vitamin B (B2, B6, B7, B9) essential for eukaryotic organisms. Furthermore, we hypothesize that survival of Wolbachia spp., or the bacterial pathogen A. phagocytophilum can be supported by the tick itself since coinfection with symbiotic Spiroplasma ixodetis provides I. ricinus with complete metabolic pathway of folate biosynthesis necessary for DNA synthesis and cell division. Manipulation of tick´s endosymbiotic microbiome could present a perspective way of I. ricinus control and regulation of spread of emerging bacterial pathogens.

RevDate: 2022-12-06

El Hamss H, Maruthi MN, Ally HM, et al (2022)

Spatio-temporal changes in endosymbiont diversity and composition in the African cassava whitefly, Bemisia tabaci SSA1.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:986226.

Sap-sucking insects, including whiteflies, are amongst the most devastating and widely distributed organisms on the planet. They are often highly invasive and endosymbiont communities within these insects help them adapt to new or changing environments. Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius; Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) whitefly species are vectors of more than 500 known plant-viruses and harbour highly diverse endosymbionts communities. To date, however, whitefly-endosymbiont interactions, community structure and their spatio-temporal changes are still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the spatio-temporal changes in the composition and diversity of bacterial endosymbionts in the agricultural crop pest whitefly species, Bemisia tabaci sub-Saharan Africa 1-subgroup 1 and 2 (SSA1-SG1 and SSA1-SG2). 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing analysis was carried out to characterise endosymbiont compositionsin field-collected SSA1 (SSA1-SG1 and SSA1-SG2) populations infesting cassava in Uganda in 1997 and 2017. We detected Portiera, Arsenophonus, Wolbachia, Hamiltonella and Hemipteriphilus, with Arsenophonus and Wolbachia infections being predominant. Hemipteriphilus and Hamiltonella frequencies were very low and were detected in seven and two samples, respectively. Bacterial diversity based on three independent parameters including Simpson index, number of haplotypes and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity matrix was significantly higher in 1997 than in 2017. This period also coincided with the advent of super-abundant cassava-whitefly populations on cassava crops in Uganda. We discuss how endosymbionts may influence the biology and behaviour of whiteflies leading to population explosions.

RevDate: 2022-12-02

Higashi CHV, Nichols WL, Chevignon G, et al (2022)

An aphid symbiont confers protection against a specialized RNA virus, another increases vulnerability to the same pathogen.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Insects often harbor heritable symbionts that provide defense against specialized natural enemies, yet little is known about symbiont protection when hosts face simultaneous threats. In pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum), the facultative endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa confers protection against the parasitoid, Aphidius ervi, and Regiella insecticola protects against aphid-specific fungal pathogens, including Pandora neoaphidis. Here we investigated whether these two common aphid symbionts protect against a specialized virus A. pisum virus (APV), and whether their anti-fungal and anti-parasitoid services are impacted by APV infection. We found that APV imposed large fitness costs on symbiont-free aphids and these costs were elevated in aphids also housing H. defensa. In contrast, APV titers were significantly reduced and costs to APV infection were largely eliminated in aphids with R. insecticola. To our knowledge, R. insecticola is the first aphid symbiont shown to protect against a viral pathogen, and only the second arthropod symbiont reported to do so. In contrast, APV infection did not impact the protective services of either R. insecticola or H. defensa. To better understand APV biology, we produced five genomes and examined transmission routes. We found that moderate rates of vertical transmission, combined with horizontal transfer through food plants, were the major route of APV spread, although lateral transfer by parasitoids also occurred. Transmission was unaffected by facultative symbionts. In summary, the presence and species identity of facultative symbionts resulted in highly divergent outcomes for aphids infected with APV, while not impacting defensive services that target other enemies. These findings add to the diverse phenotypes conferred by aphid symbionts, and to the growing body of work highlighting extensive variation in symbiont-mediated interactions.

RevDate: 2022-12-05
CmpDate: 2022-12-05

Milenovic M, Gouttepifre A, Eickermann M, et al (2022)

Plant-mediated rifampicin treatment of Bemisia tabaci disrupts but does not eliminate endosymbionts.

Scientific reports, 12(1):20766.

Whiteflies are among the most important global insect pests in agriculture; their sustainable control has proven challenging and new methods are needed. Bacterial symbionts of whiteflies are poorly understood potential target of novel whitefly control methods. Whiteflies harbour an obligatory bacterium, Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum, and a diverse set of facultative bacterial endosymbionts. Function of facultative microbial community is poorly understood largely due to the difficulty in their selective elimination without removal of the primary endosymbiont. Since the discovery of secondary endosymbionts, antibiotic rifampicin has emerged as the most used tool for their manipulation. Its effectiveness is however much less clear, with contrasting reports on its effects on the endosymbiont community. The present study builds upon most recent method of rifampicin application in whiteflies and evaluates its ability to eliminate obligatory Portiera and two facultative endosymbionts (Rickettsia and Arsenophnus). Our results show that rifampicin reduces but does not eliminate any of the three endosymbionts. Additionally, rifampicin causes direct negative effect on whiteflies, likely by disrupting mitochondria. Taken together, results signify the end of a rifampicin era in whitefly endosymbiont studies. Finally, we propose refinement of current quantification and data analysis methods which yields additional insights in cellular metabolic scaling.

RevDate: 2022-12-01
CmpDate: 2022-12-01

Dieng MM, Augustinos AA, Demirbas-Uzel G, et al (2022)

Interactions between Glossina pallidipes salivary gland hypertrophy virus and tsetse endosymbionts in wild tsetse populations.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):447.

BACKGROUND: Tsetse control is considered an effective and sustainable tactic for the control of cyclically transmitted trypanosomosis in the absence of effective vaccines and inexpensive, effective drugs. The sterile insect technique (SIT) is currently used to eliminate tsetse fly populations in an area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) context in Senegal. For SIT, tsetse mass rearing is a major milestone that associated microbes can influence. Tsetse flies can be infected with microorganisms, including the primary and obligate Wigglesworthia glossinidia, the commensal Sodalis glossinidius, and Wolbachia pipientis. In addition, tsetse populations often carry a pathogenic DNA virus, the Glossina pallidipes salivary gland hypertrophy virus (GpSGHV) that hinders tsetse fertility and fecundity. Interactions between symbionts and pathogens might affect the performance of the insect host.

METHODS: In the present study, we assessed associations of GpSGHV and tsetse endosymbionts under field conditions to decipher the possible bidirectional interactions in different Glossina species. We determined the co-infection pattern of GpSGHV and Wolbachia in natural tsetse populations. We further analyzed the interaction of both Wolbachia and GpSGHV infections with Sodalis and Wigglesworthia density using qPCR.

RESULTS: The results indicated that the co-infection of GpSGHV and Wolbachia was most prevalent in Glossina austeni and Glossina morsitans morsitans, with an explicit significant negative correlation between GpSGHV and Wigglesworthia density. GpSGHV infection levels > 10[3.31] seem to be absent when Wolbachia infection is present at high density (> 10[7.36]), suggesting a potential protective role of Wolbachia against GpSGHV.

CONCLUSION: The result indicates that Wolbachia infection might interact (with an undefined mechanism) antagonistically with SGHV infection protecting tsetse fly against GpSGHV, and the interactions between the tsetse host and its associated microbes are dynamic and likely species specific; significant differences may exist between laboratory and field conditions.

RevDate: 2022-12-01
CmpDate: 2022-12-01

Ramirez P, Leavitt JC, Gill JJ, et al (2022)

Preliminary Characterization of Phage-Like Particles from the Male-Killing Mollicute Spiroplasma poulsonii (an Endosymbiont of Drosophila).

Current microbiology, 80(1):6.

Bacteriophages are vastly abundant, diverse, and influential, but with few exceptions (e.g. the Proteobacteria genera Wolbachia and Hamiltonella), the role of phages in heritable bacteria-arthropod interactions, which are ubiquitous and diverse, remains largely unexplored. Despite prior studies documenting phage-like particles in the mollicute Spiroplasma associated with Drosophila flies, genomic sequences of such phage are lacking, and their effects on the Spiroplasma-Drosophila interaction have not been comprehensively characterized. We used a density step gradient to isolate phage-like particles from the male-killing bacterium Spiroplasma poulsonii (strains NSRO and MSRO-Br) harbored by Drosophila melanogaster. Isolated particles were subjected to DNA sequencing, assembly, and annotation. Several lines of evidence suggest that we recovered phage-like particles of similar features (shape, size, DNA content) to those previously reported in Drosophila-associated Spiroplasma strains. We recovered three ~ 19 kb phage-like contigs (two in NSRO and one in MSRO-Br) containing 21-24 open reading frames, a read-alignment pattern consistent with circular permutation, and terminal redundancy (at least in NSRO). Although our results do not allow us to distinguish whether these phage-like contigs represent infective phage-like particles capable of transmitting their DNA to new hosts, their encoding of several typical phage genes suggests that they are at least remnants of functional phage. We also recovered two smaller non-phage-like contigs encoding a known Spiroplasma toxin (Ribosome Inactivating Protein; RIP), and an insertion element, suggesting that they are packaged into particles. Substantial homology of our particle-derived contigs was found in the genome assemblies of members of the Spiroplasma poulsonii clade.

RevDate: 2022-11-29

Kang ZW, Zhang M, Cao HH, et al (2022)

Facultative Endosymbiont Serratia symbiotica Inhibits the Apterization of Pea Aphid To Enhance Its Spread.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Aphids display wing polyphenism, and the mother can produce a wingless morph for reproduction and a winged morph for dispersal. It is believed that the wingless morph is an adaptive status under favorable conditions and is determined prenatally. In this study, we have found that winged nymphs of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, can change from winged to wingless during normal development. Our results showed that winged nymphs could become the wingless morph by apterization in response to changes from stressful to favorable conditions. The acquired wingless aphids had higher fecundity than the winged morph. However, this process of regression from winged to wingless morph was inhibited by Serratia symbiotica. The existence of the symbiont did not affect the body mass and fecundity of adult aphids, but it increased the body weight of nymphs and temporally increased the quantity of a primary symbiont, Buchnera aphidicola. Our results showed that despite temporal improvement of living conditions causing the induction of apterization of winged nymphs, the inhibition effect of S. symbiotica on this process was activated simultaneously. This finding, for the first time, reveals that the wingless morph can be changed postnatally, which explains a novel regulating mechanism of wing polyphenism driven by external abiotic stimuli and internal biotic regulation together in aphids. IMPORTANCE Wing polyphenism is an important adaptative response to environmental changes for aphids. Endosymbionts are widespread in aphids and also confer the ability to withstand unfavorable conditions. However, little is known about whether endosymbionts are involved in the wing polyphenism. In this study, we report a new finding that winged nymphs of the pea aphid could turn into adults without wings or wing-related structures through apterization when winged nymphs escaped from stressful to favorable environments. Further analysis revealed that the facultative symbiont S. symbiotica could prevent the temporal determination of the host in wing suppression by inhibiting apterization, to enhance its spread. Our findings provide a novel angle to understanding the wing polyphenism regulation of aphids.

RevDate: 2022-11-28

Runyen-Janecky LJ, Scheutzow JD, Farsin R, et al (2022)

Heme-induced genes facilitate endosymbiont (Sodalis glossinidius) colonization of the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans) midgut.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 16(11):e0010833 pii:PNTD-D-22-01218 [Epub ahead of print].

Tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) feed exclusively on vertebrate blood. After a blood meal, the enteric endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius is exposed to various environmental stressors including high levels of heme. To investigate how S. glossinidius morsitans (Sgm), the Sodalis subspecies that resides within the gut of G. morsitans) tolerates the heme-induced oxidative environment of tsetse's midgut, we used RNAseq to identify bacterial genes that are differentially expressed in cells cultured in high versus lower heme environments. Our analysis identified 436 genes that were significantly differentially expressed (> or < 2-fold) in the presence of high heme [219 heme-induced genes (HIGs) and 217 heme-repressed genes (HRGs)]. HIGs were enriched in Gene Ontology (GO) terms related to regulation of a variety of biological functions, including gene expression and metabolic processes. We observed that 11 out of 13 Sgm genes that were heme regulated in vitro were similarly regulated in bacteria that resided within tsetse's midgut 24 hr (high heme environment) and 96 hr (low heme environment) after the flies had consumed a blood meal. We used intron mutagenesis to make insertion mutations in 12 Sgm HIGs and observed no significant change in growth in vitro in any of the mutant strains in high versus low heme conditions. However, Sgm strains that carried mutations in genes encoding a putative undefined phosphotransferase sugar (PTS) system component (SG2427), fucose transporter (SG0182), bacterioferritin (SG2280), and a DNA-binding protein (SGP1-0002) presented growth and/or survival defects in tsetse midguts as compared to normal Sgm. These findings suggest that the uptake up of sugars and storage of iron represent strategies that Sgm employs to successfully reside within the high heme environment of its tsetse host's midgut. Our results are of epidemiological relevance, as many hematophagous arthropods house gut-associated bacteria that mediate their host's competency as a vector of disease-causing pathogens.

RevDate: 2022-11-29
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Rialch A, Sankar M, Silamparasan M, et al (2022)

Molecular detection of Coxiella-like endosymbionts in Rhipicephalus microplus from north India.

Veterinary parasitology, regional studies and reports, 36:100803.

Apart from the tick-borne pathogens affecting human and animal health, ticks also harbor various non-pathogenic endosymbionts with dynamic ecological interactions. These endosymbionts are unexplored from the Indian ticks; hence this pilot study was conducted. Seventy-nine ticks were collected from Nainital district of Uttarakhand state of north India and were identified as Rhipicephalus microplus morphologically and by molecular analysis. PCR and sequence analysis were carried out to detect the presence of Rickettsia-like, Coxiella-like and Francisella-like endosymbionts in these ticks. Based on the partial 16S rRNA gene sequence, Coxiella-like endosymbiont (CLE) was detected in the adult and other life-cycle stages of ticks with 96.6-97.7% nucleotide sequence identity with the published CLE sequences from GenBank. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the CLE from R. microplus were clustered with the CLE from other Rhipicephalus species. All these CLE formed distinct clades from the pathogenic Coxiella burnetii. None of the tick samples was found positive for Rickettsia-like and Francisella-like endosymbionts in the present study. We also demonstrated the vertical transmission of CLE from surface sterilized and laboratory reared fully engorged adult females to the eggs and the larvae. However, large scale studies are to be conducted to detect various endosymbionts and endosymbiont-tick associations in the Indian tick species and to explore these associations for tick and tick-borne disease control.

RevDate: 2022-11-29
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Chen K, Roe RM, L Ponnusamy (2022)

Biology, Systematics, Microbiome, Pathogen Transmission and Control of Chiggers (Acari: Trombiculidae, Leeuwenhoekiidae) with Emphasis on the United States.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(22): pii:ijerph192215147.

Chiggers are the larval stage of Trombiculidae and Leeuwenhoekiidae mites of medical and veterinary importance. Some species in the genus Leptotrombidium and Herpetacarus vector Orientia species, the bacteria that causes scrub typhus disease in humans. Scrub typhus is a life-threatening, febrile disease. Chigger bites can also cause dermatitis. There were 248 chigger species reported from the US from almost every state. However, there are large gaps in our knowledge of the life history of other stages of development. North American wide morphological keys are needed for better species identification, and molecular sequence data for identification are minimal and not clearly matched with morphological data. The role of chiggers in disease transmission in the US is especially understudied, and the role of endosymbionts in Orientia infection are suggested in the scientific literature but not confirmed. The most common chiggers in the eastern United States were identified as Eutrombicula alfreddugesi but were likely misidentified and should be replaced with Eutrombicula cinnabaris. Scrub typhus was originally believed to be limited to the Tsutsugamushi Triangle and the chigger genus, Leptotrombidium, but there is increasing evidence this is not the case. The potential of Orientia species establishing in the US is high. In addition, several other recognized pathogens to infect humans, namely Hantavirus, Bartonella, Borrelia, and Rickettsia, were also detected in chiggers. The role that chiggers play in these disease transmissions in the US needs further investigation. It is possible some of the tick-borne diseases and red meat allergies are caused by chiggers.

RevDate: 2022-11-24

Zhang J, Li T, Hong Z, et al (2022)

Biosynthesis of Hybrid Neutral Lipids with Archaeal and Eukaryotic Characteristics in Engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English) [Epub ahead of print].

Discovery of the Asgard superphylum of archaea provides new evidence supporting the two-domain model of life: eukaryotes originated from an Asgard-related archaeon that engulfed a bacterial endosymbiont. However, how eukaryotes acquired bacterial-like membrane lipids with a sn-glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P) backbone instead of the archaeal-like sn-glycerol-1-phosphate (G1P) backbone remains unknown. Here we reconstituted archaeal lipid production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by expressing unsaturated archaeol-synthesizing enzymes. Using Golden Gate cloning for pathway assembly, modular gene replacement was performed, revealing the potential biosynthesis of both G1P- and G3P-based unsaturated archaeol by uncultured Asgard archaea. Unexpectedly, hybrid neutral lipids containing both archaeal isoprenoids and eukaryotic fatty acids were observed in recombinant S. cerevisiae. The ability of yeast and archaeal diacylglycerol acyltransferases to synthesize such hybrid lipids was demonstrated.

RevDate: 2022-11-28

Villacorta JB, Rodriguez CV, Peran JE, et al (2022)

Mining Small Molecules from Teredinibacter turnerae Strains Isolated from Philippine Teredinidae.

Metabolites, 12(11):.

Endosymbiotic relationship has played a significant role in the evolution of marine species, allowing for the development of biochemical machinery for the synthesis of diverse metabolites. In this work, we explore the chemical space of exogenous compounds from shipworm endosymbionts using LC-MS-based metabolomics. Priority T. turnerae strains (1022X.S.1B.7A, 991H.S.0A.06B, 1675L.S.0A.01) that displayed antimicrobial activity, isolated from shipworms collected from several sites in the Philippines were cultured, and fractionated extracts were subjected for profiling using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography with high-resolution mass spectrometry quadrupole time-of-flight mass analyzer (UHPLC-HRMS QTOF). T. turnerae T7901 was used as a reference microorganism for dereplication analysis. Tandem MS data were analyzed through the Global Natural Products Social (GNPS) molecular networking, which resulted to 93 clusters with more than two nodes, leading to four putatively annotated clusters: lipids, lysophosphatidylethanolamines, cyclic dipeptides, and rhamnolipids. Additional clusters were also annotated through molecular networking with cross-reference to previous publications. Tartrolon D cluster with analogues, turnercyclamycins A and B; teredinibactin A, dechloroteredinibactin, and two other possible teredinibactin analogues; and oxylipin (E)-11-oxooctadec-12-enoic acid were putatively identified as described. Molecular networking also revealed two additional metabolite clusters, annotated as lyso-ornithine lipids and polyethers. Manual fragmentation analysis corroborated the putative identification generated from GNPS. However, some of the clusters remained unclassified due to the limited structural information on marine natural products in the public database. The result of this study, nonetheless, showed the diversity in the chemical space occupied by shipworm endosymbionts. This study also affirms the use of bioinformatics, molecular networking, and fragmentation mechanisms analysis as tools for the dereplication of high-throughput data to aid the prioritization of strains for further analysis.

RevDate: 2022-11-25

Li J, Chen D, Yu B, et al (2022)

Batch and sampling time exert a larger influence on the fungal community than gastrointestinal location in model animals: A meaningful case study.

Frontiers in nutrition, 9:1021215.

Fungi play a fundamental role in the intestinal ecosystem and health, but our knowledge of fungal composition and distribution in the whole gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is very limited. The physiological similarity between humans and pigs in terms of digestive and associated metabolic processes places, the pig in a superior position over other non-primate models. Here, we aimed to characterize the diversity and composition of fungi in the GIT of pigs. Using high-throughput sequencing, we evaluated the fungal community in different locations of GIT of 11 pigs with 128.41 ± 1.25 kg body weight acquired successively. Among them, five pigs are sacrificed in April 2019 (Batch 1) and the other six are sacrificed in January 2020 (Batch 2). All subjects with similar genetic backgrounds, housing, management, and diet. Finally, no significant difference is found in the α-diversity (Richness) of the fungal community among all intestinal segments. Basidiomycota and Ascomycota are the two predominant fungal phyla, but Batch 1 harbored a notably high abundance of Basidiomycota and Batch 2 harbored a high abundance of Ascomycota. Moreover, the two batches harbored completely different fungal compositions and core fungal genera. FUNGuild (Fungal Functional Guild) analysis revealed that most of the fungal species present in the GIT are saprotroph, plant pathogen, and animal endosymbiont. Our study is the first to report that even under the same condition, large variations in fungal composition in the host GIT still occur from batch-to-batch and sampling time. The implications of our observations serve as references to the development of better models of the human gut.

RevDate: 2022-11-25
CmpDate: 2022-11-25

Lin YT, Xu T, Ip JC, et al (2023)

Interactions among deep-sea mussels and their epibiotic and endosymbiotic chemoautotrophic bacteria: Insights from multi-omics analysis.

Zoological research, 44(1):106-125.

Endosymbiosis with Gammaproteobacteria is fundamental for the success of bathymodioline mussels in deep-sea chemosynthesis-based ecosystems. However, the recent discovery of Campylobacteria on the gill surfaces of these mussels suggests that these host-bacterial relationships may be more complex than previously thought. Using the cold-seep mussel (Gigantidas haimaensis) as a model, we explored this host-bacterial system by assembling the host transcriptome and genomes of its epibiotic Campylobacteria and endosymbiotic Gammaproteobacteria and quantifying their gene and protein expression levels. We found that the epibiont applies a sulfur oxidizing (SOX) multienzyme complex with the acquisition of soxB from Gammaproteobacteria for energy production and switched from a reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycle to a Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle for carbon assimilation. The host provides metabolic intermediates, inorganic carbon, and thiosulfate to satisfy the materials and energy requirements of the epibiont, but whether the epibiont benefits the host is unclear. The endosymbiont adopts methane oxidation and the ribulose monophosphate pathway (RuMP) for energy production, providing the major source of energy for itself and the host. The host obtains most of its nutrients, such as lysine, glutamine, valine, isoleucine, leucine, histidine, and folate, from the endosymbiont. In addition, host pattern recognition receptors, including toll-like receptors, peptidoglycan recognition proteins, and C-type lectins, may participate in bacterial infection, maintenance, and population regulation. Overall, this study provides insights into the complex host-bacterial relationships that have enabled mussels and bacteria to thrive in deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems.

RevDate: 2022-11-23

Power RI, J Šlapeta (2022)

Exploration of the sensitivity to macrocyclic lactones in the canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in Australia using phenotypic and genotypic approaches.

International journal for parasitology. Drugs and drug resistance, 20:145-158 pii:S2211-3207(22)00030-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Canine heartworm disease is a potentially deadly cardiopulmonary disease caused by the mosquito-borne filarial nematode Dirofilaria immitis. In Australia, the administration of macrocyclic lactone (ML) drugs has successfully reduced the prevalence of D. immitis infection. However, the recent re-emergence of D. immitis in dogs in Queensland, Australia and the identification of ML-resistant isolates in the USA poses an important question of whether ML-resistance has emerged in this parasite in Australia. The aim of this study was to utilise phenotypic and genotypic approaches to examine the sensitivity to ML drugs in D. immitis in Australia. To do this, we surveyed 45 dogs from Queensland and New South Wales across 3 years (2019-2022) for the presence of D. immitis infection using an antigen test, quantitative Modified Knott's test, and qPCR targeting both D. immitis and the D. immitis symbiont Wolbachia. A phenotype observed by utilising sequential quantification of microfilariae for 23/45 dogs was coupled with genetic testing of filtered microfilariae for SNPs previously associated with ML-resistance in isolates from the USA. Sixteen (16/45) dogs tested positive for D. immitis infection despite reportedly receiving 'rigorous' heartworm prevention for 12 months prior to the study, according to the owners' assessment. The phenotype and genotypic assays in this study did not unequivocally demonstrate the presence of ML-resistant D. immitis in Australia. Although the failure of 16 dogs to reduce microfilaremia by >90% after ML treatment was considered a suspect phenotype of ML-resistance, no genotypic evidence was discovered using the genetic SNP analysis. The traditional quantitative Modified Knott's test can be substituted by qPCR targeting D. immitis or associated Wolbachia endosymbiont DNA for a more rapid measurement of microfilariae levels. More definitive phenotypic evidence of resistance is critically needed before the usefulness of SNPs for the detection of ML-resistance in Australia can be properly assessed.

RevDate: 2022-11-22

Shimpi GG, B Bentlage (2022)

Ancient endosymbiont-mediated transmission of a selfish gene provides a model for overcoming barriers to gene transfer into animal mitochondrial genomes.

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

In contrast to bilaterian animals, non-bilaterian mitochondrial genomes contain atypical genes, often attributed to horizontal gene transfer (HGT) as an ad hoc explanation. Although prevalent in plants, HGT into animal mitochondrial genomes is rare, lacking suitable explanatory models for their occurrence. HGT of the mismatch DNA repair gene (mtMutS) from giant viruses to octocoral (soft corals and their kin) mitochondrial genomes provides a model for how barriers to HGT to animal mitochondria may be overcome. A review of the available literature suggests that this HGT was mediated by an alveolate endosymbiont infected with a lysogenic phycodnavirus that enabled insertion of the homing endonuclease containing mtMutS into octocoral mitochondrial genomes. We posit that homing endonuclease domains and similar selfish elements play a crucial role in such inter-domain gene transfers. Understanding the role of selfish genetic elements in HGT has the potential to aid development of tools for manipulating animal mitochondrial DNA.

RevDate: 2022-11-22

An Y, Wang Y, Wang X, et al (2022)

Development of chloroplast transformation and gene expression regulation technology in land plants.

Frontiers in plant science, 13:1037038.

Chloroplasts in land plants have their own small circular DNA that is presumed to have originated from cyanobacteria-related endosymbionts, and the chloroplast genome is an attractive target to improve photosynthetic ability and crop yield. However, to date, most transgenic or genetic engineering technologies for plants are restricted to manipulations of the nuclear genome. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of chloroplast genetic engineering and regulation of gene expression from the perspective of history and biology, focusing on current and latest methods. In addition, we suggest techniques that may regulate the chloroplast gene expression at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level.

RevDate: 2022-11-22

Yorimoto S, Hattori M, Kondo M, et al (2022)

Complex host/symbiont integration of a multi-partner symbiotic system in the eusocial aphid Ceratovacuna japonica.

iScience, 25(12):105478.

Some hemipteran insects rely on multiple endosymbionts for essential nutrients. However, the evolution of multi-partner symbiotic systems is not well-established. Here, we report a co-obligate symbiosis in the eusocial aphid, Ceratovacuna japonica. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing unveiled co-infection with a novel Arsenophonus sp. symbiont and Buchnera aphidicola, a common obligate endosymbiont in aphids. Both symbionts were housed within distinct bacteriocytes and were maternally transmitted. The Buchnera and Arsenophonus symbionts had streamlined genomes of 432,286 bp and 853,149 bp, respectively, and exhibited metabolic complementarity in riboflavin and peptidoglycan synthesis pathways. These anatomical and genomic properties were similar to those of independently evolved multi-partner symbiotic systems, such as Buchnera-Serratia in Lachninae and Periphyllus aphids, representing remarkable parallelism. Furthermore, symbiont populations and bacteriome morphology differed between reproductive and soldier castes. Our study provides the first example of co-obligate symbiosis in Hormaphidinae and gives insight into the evolutionary genetics of this complex system.

RevDate: 2022-11-19

Wang P, Ding L, Li F, et al (2022)

Herbivore camping reshapes the taxonomy, function and network of pasture soil microbial communities.

PeerJ, 10:e14314.

Although the effects of herbivore camping on soil physicochemical properties have been studied, whether the effects alter the soil microbial communities (e.g., composition, functions, taxonomic and functional diversities, network) remain unknown, especially below the surface. Here, using paired subsoil samples from half month-camping and non-camping, we showed for the first time that camping significantly changed the relative abundance of 21 bacterial phylotypes and five fungal phylotypes. Specifically, we observed significant increases in the relative abundance of putative chitinase and terpenes vanillin-decomposition genes, nitrite reduction function (nirB, nasA), decreases in the relative abundance of putative carbon fixation genes (ackA, PGK, and Pak), starch-decomposition gene (dexB), gene coding nitrogenase (anfG), and tetracycline resistance gene (tetB) for bacterial communities, and significant decreases in the relative abundance of animal endosymbiont and increases in the relative abundance of litter saprotroph and endophyte for fungal communities. However, camping did not significantly impact the taxonomic and functional diversity. The niche restriction was the main driving force of bacterial and fungal community assembly. Compared to no camping, camping increased the stability of bacterial networks but decreased the stability of fungal networks. Camping exerted a positive effect on the network by compressing the niche width and reduced the change in the network by reducing the niche overlap. Our results suggest that camping restructures the soil microbial composition, function, and network, and provides a novel insight into the effect of animal camping on soil microbial communities in grassland.

RevDate: 2022-11-23
CmpDate: 2022-11-23

Alves R, Pazos-Gil M, Medina-Carbonero M, et al (2022)

Evolution of an Iron-Detoxifying Protein: Eukaryotic and Rickettsia Frataxins Contain a Conserved Site Which Is Not Present in Their Bacterial Homologues.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(21):.

Friedreich's ataxia is a neurodegenerative disease caused by mutations in the frataxin gene. Frataxin homologues, including bacterial CyaY proteins, can be found in most species and play a fundamental role in mitochondrial iron homeostasis, either promoting iron assembly into metaloproteins or contributing to iron detoxification. While several lines of evidence suggest that eukaryotic frataxins are more effective than bacterial ones in iron detoxification, the residues involved in this gain of function are unknown. In this work, we analyze conservation of amino acid sequence and protein structure among frataxins and CyaY proteins to identify four highly conserved residue clusters and group them into potential functional clusters. Clusters 1, 2, and 4 are present in eukaryotic frataxins and bacterial CyaY proteins. Cluster 3, containing two serines, a tyrosine, and a glutamate, is only present in eukaryotic frataxins and on CyaY proteins from the Rickettsia genus. Residues from cluster 3 are blocking a small cavity of about 40 Å present in E. coli's CyaY. The function of this cluster is unknown, but we hypothesize that its tyrosine may contribute to prevent formation of reactive oxygen species during iron detoxification. This cluster provides an example of gain of function during evolution in a protein involved in iron homeostasis, as our results suggests that Cluster 3 was present in the endosymbiont ancestor of mitochondria and was conserved in eukaryotic frataxins.

RevDate: 2022-11-26
CmpDate: 2022-11-14

Montes-Rodríguez IM, Cadilla CL, López-Garriga J, et al (2022)

Bioinformatic Characterization and Molecular Evolution of the Lucina pectinata Hemoglobins.

Genes, 13(11):.

(1) Introduction: Lucina pectinata is a clam found in sulfide-rich mud environments that has three hemoglobins believed to be responsible for the transport of hydrogen sulfide (HbILp) and oxygen (HbIILp and HbIIILp) to chemoautotrophic endosymbionts. The physiological roles and evolution of these globins in sulfide-rich environments are not well understood. (2) Methods: We performed bioinformatic and phylogenetic analyses with 32 homologous mollusk globin sequences. Phylogenetics suggests a first gene duplication resulting in sulfide binding and oxygen binding genes. A more recent gene duplication gave rise to the two oxygen-binding hemoglobins. Multidimensional scaling analysis of the sequence space shows evolutionary drift of HbIILp and HbIIILp, while HbILp was closer to the Calyptogena hemoglobins. Further corroboration is seen by conservation in the coding region of hemoglobins from L. pectinata compared to those from Calyptogena. (3) Conclusions: Presence of glutamine in position E7 in organisms living in sulfide-rich environments can be considered an adaptation to prevent loss of protein function. In HbILp a substitution of phenylalanine in position B10 is accountable for its unique reactivity towards H2S. It appears that HbILp has been changing over time, apparently not subject to functional constraints of binding oxygen, and acquired a unique function for a specialized environment.

RevDate: 2022-11-16
CmpDate: 2022-11-14

Raval PK, Garg SG, SB Gould (2022)

Endosymbiotic selective pressure at the origin of eukaryotic cell biology.

eLife, 11:.

The dichotomy that separates prokaryotic from eukaryotic cells runs deep. The transition from pro- to eukaryote evolution is poorly understood due to a lack of reliable intermediate forms and definitions regarding the nature of the first host that could no longer be considered a prokaryote, the first eukaryotic common ancestor, FECA. The last eukaryotic common ancestor, LECA, was a complex cell that united all traits characterising eukaryotic biology including a mitochondrion. The role of the endosymbiotic organelle in this radical transition towards complex life forms is, however, sometimes questioned. In particular the discovery of the asgard archaea has stimulated discussions regarding the pre-endosymbiotic complexity of FECA. Here we review differences and similarities among models that view eukaryotic traits as isolated coincidental events in asgard archaeal evolution or, on the contrary, as a result of and in response to endosymbiosis. Inspecting eukaryotic traits from the perspective of the endosymbiont uncovers that eukaryotic cell biology can be explained as having evolved as a solution to housing a semi-autonomous organelle and why the addition of another endosymbiont, the plastid, added no extra compartments. Mitochondria provided the selective pressures for the origin (and continued maintenance) of eukaryotic cell complexity. Moreover, they also provided the energetic benefit throughout eukaryogenesis for evolving thousands of gene families unique to eukaryotes. Hence, a synthesis of the current data lets us conclude that traits such as the Golgi apparatus, the nucleus, autophagosomes, and meiosis and sex evolved as a response to the selective pressures an endosymbiont imposes.

RevDate: 2022-11-29

Ali S, Sajjad A, Shakeel Q, et al (2022)

Influence of Bacterial Secondary Symbionts in Sitobion avenae on Its Survival Fitness against Entomopathogenic Fungi, Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium brunneum.

Insects, 13(11):.

The research was focused on the ability of wheat aphids Sitobion avenae, harboring bacterial secondary symbionts (BSS) Hamiltonella defensa or Regiella insecticola, to withstand exposure to fungal isolates of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium brunneum. In comparison to aphids lacking bacterial secondary symbionts, BSS considerably increased the lifespan of wheat aphids exposed to B. bassiana strains (Bb1022, EABb04/01-Tip) and M. brunneum strains (ART 2825 and BIPESCO 5) and also reduced the aphids' mortality. The wheat aphid clones lacking bacterial secondary symbionts were shown to be particularly vulnerable to M. brunneum strain BIPESCO 5. As opposed to wheat aphids carrying bacterial symbionts, fungal pathogens infected the wheat aphids lacking H. defensa and R. insecticola more quickly. When treated with fungal pathogens, bacterial endosymbionts had a favorable effect on the fecundity of their host aphids compared to the aphids lacking these symbionts, but there was no change in fungal sporulation on the deceased aphids. By defending their insect hosts against natural enemies, BSS increase the population of their host society and may have a significant impact on the development of their hosts.

RevDate: 2022-11-09

Xing R, Zhang HC, Gao QB, et al (2022)

Bacterial communities associated with mushrooms in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are shaped by soil parameters.

International microbiology : the official journal of the Spanish Society for Microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Fungi capable of producing fruit bodies are essential food and medicine resources. Despite recent advances in the study of microbial communities in mycorrhizospheres, little is known about the bacterial communities contained in fruit bodies. Using high-throughput sequencing, we investigated the bacterial communities in four species of mushrooms located on the alpine meadow and saline-alkali soil of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). Proteobacteria (51.7% on average) and Actinobacteria (28.2% on average) were the dominant phyla in all of the sampled fairy ring fruit bodies, and Acidobacteria (27.5% on average) and Proteobacteria (25.7% on average) dominated their adjacent soils. For the Agria. Bitorquis, Actinobacteria was the dominant phylum in its fruit body (67.5% on average) and adjacent soils (65.9% on average). The alpha diversity (i.e., Chao1, Shannon, Richness, and Simpson indexes) of the bacterial communities in the fruit bodies were significantly lower than those in the soil samples. All of the fungi shared more than half of their bacterial phyla and 16.2% of their total operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with their adjacent soil. Moreover, NH4[+] and pH were the key factors associated with bacterial communities in the fruit bodies and soils, respectively. These results indicate that the fungi tend to create a unique niche that selects for specific members of the bacterial community. Using culture-dependent methods, we also isolated 27 bacterial species belonging to three phyla and five classes from fruit bodies and soils. The strains isolated will be useful for future research on interactions between mushroom-forming fungi and their bacterial endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2022-11-08

Compton A, Z Tu (2022)

Natural and Engineered Sex Ratio Distortion in Insects.

Frontiers in ecology and evolution, 10:.

Insects have evolved highly diverse genetic sex-determination mechanisms and a relatively balanced male to female sex ratio is generally expected. However, selection may shift the optimal sex ratio while meiotic drive and endosymbiont manipulation can result in sex ratio distortion (SRD). Recent advances in sex chromosome genomics and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing brought significant insights into the molecular regulators of sex determination in an increasing number of insects and provided new ways to engineer SRD. We review these advances and discuss both naturally occurring and engineered SRD in the context of the Anthropocene. We emphasize SRD-mediated biological control of insects to help improve One Health, sustain agriculture, and conserve endangered species.

RevDate: 2022-11-10
CmpDate: 2022-11-08

McIlroy SE, terHorst CP, Teece M, et al (2022)

Nutrient dynamics in coral symbiosis depend on both the relative and absolute abundance of Symbiodiniaceae species.

Microbiome, 10(1):192.

BACKGROUND: Symbionts provide a variety of reproductive, nutritional, and defensive resources to their hosts, but those resources can vary depending on symbiont community composition. As genetic techniques open our eyes to the breadth of symbiont diversity within myriad microbiomes, symbiosis research has begun to consider what ecological mechanisms affect the identity and relative abundance of symbiont species and how this community structure impacts resource exchange among partners. Here, we manipulated the in hospite density and relative ratio of two species of coral endosymbionts (Symbiodinium microadriaticum and Breviolum minutum) and used stable isotope enrichment to trace nutrient exchange with the host, Briareum asbestinum.

RESULTS: The patterns of uptake and translocation of carbon and nitrogen varied with both density and ratio of symbionts. Once a density threshold was reached, carbon acquisition decreased with increasing proportions of S. microadriaticum. In hosts dominated by B. minutum, nitrogen uptake was density independent and intermediate. Conversely, for those corals dominated by S. microadriaticum, nitrogen uptake decreased as densities increased, and as a result, these hosts had the overall highest (at low density) and lowest (at high density) nitrogen enrichment.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that the uptake and sharing of nutrients was strongly dependent on both the density of symbionts within the host, as well as which symbiont species was dominant. Together, these complex interactive effects suggest that host regulation and the repression of in hospite symbiont competition can ultimately lead to a more productive mutualism. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2022-11-05

Beekman MM, Donner SH, Litjens JJH, et al (2022)

Do aphids in Dutch sweet pepper greenhouses carry heritable elements that protect them against biocontrol parasitoids?.

Evolutionary applications, 15(10):1580-1593.

Biological control (biocontrol) of crop pests is a sustainable alternative to the use of biodiversity and organismal health-harming chemical pesticides. Aphids can be biologically controlled with parasitoid wasps; however, variable results of parasitoid-based aphid biocontrol in greenhouses are reported. Aphids may display genetically encoded (endogenous) defences that increase aphid resistance against parasitoids as under high parasitoid pressure there will be selection for parasitoid-resistant aphids, potentially affecting the success of parasitoid-based aphid biocontrol in greenhouses. Additionally, aphids may carry secondary bacterial endosymbionts that protect them against parasitoids. We studied whether there is variation in either of these heritable elements in aphids in greenhouses of sweet pepper, an agro-economically important crop in the Netherlands that is prone to aphid pests and where pest management heavily relies on biocontrol. We sampled aphid populations in organic (biocontrol only) and conventional (biocontrol and pesticides) sweet pepper greenhouses in the Netherlands during the 2019 crop growth season. We assessed the aphid microbiome through both diagnostic PCR and 16S rRNA sequencing and did not detect any secondary endosymbionts in the two most encountered aphid species, Myzus persicae and Aulacorthum solani. We also compared multiple aphid lines collected from different greenhouses for variation in levels of endogenous-based resistance against the parasitoids commonly used as biocontrol agents. We found no differences in the levels of endogenous-based resistance between different aphid lines. This study does not support the hypothesis that protective endosymbionts or the presence of endogenous resistant aphid lines affects the success of parasitoid-based biocontrol of aphids in Dutch greenhouses. Future investigations will need to address what is causing the variable successes of aphid biocontrol and what (biological and management-related) lessons can be learned for aphid control in other crops, and biocontrol in general.


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

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )