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Bibliography on: Endosymbiosis

The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project: Providing world-wide, free access to classic scientific papers and other scholarly materials, since 1993.


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 02 Dec 2023 at 01:54 Created: 


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

Created with PubMed® Query: endosymbiont NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-12-01

Bawm S, Khaing Y, Chel HM, et al (2023)

Molecular detection of Dirofilaria immitis and its Wolbachia endosymbionts in dogs from Myanmar.

Current research in parasitology & vector-borne diseases, 4:100148.

Heartworm disease in dogs and cats caused by Dirofilaria immitis continues to be a major clinical issue globally. This study focused on dogs suspicious of having tick-borne diseases (TBD) brought to a clinic and a veterinary teaching hospital in Myanmar. Blood samples were collected and initially screened using SNAP® 4Dx® Plus test kit. All dog blood samples were subjected to conventional PCR to detect both Dirofilaria spp. (cox1 gene) and Wolbachia spp. (16S rDNA) infections. Infection with D. immitis was detected in 14 (28.0%) of 50 examined samples, while the detection rate of TBD causative agents, including Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia canis, was 26.0% (13/50) and 26.0% (13/50), respectively, as determined by ELISA rapid test. In this study, D. immitis infection was moderately but significantly correlated with TBD infections (Pearson's r = 0.397, P = 0.008). Comparative sequence and phylogenetic analyses provided molecular identification of D. immitis in Myanmar and confirmed the identity of its Wolbachia endosymbiont with Wolbachia endosymbionts isolated from D. immitis, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Aedes aegypti. The present study contributes to our understanding of the coexistence of D. immitis and Wolbachia endosymbiosis in dogs, and the findings may benefit the future prevention and control of dirofilariasis in dogs.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Sperandio NDC, Tunholi VM, Amaral LS, et al (2023)

Influence of exposure Heterorhabditis bacteriophora HP88, (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) on biological and physiological parameters of Pseudosuccinea columella (Basommatophora: Lymnaeidae).

Revista brasileira de parasitologia veterinaria = Brazilian journal of veterinary parasitology : Orgao Oficial do Colegio Brasileiro de Parasitologia Veterinaria, 32(4):e007023 pii:S1984-29612023000400403.

Many studies about fasciolosis control have been carried out, whether acting on the adult parasite or in Pseudosuccinea columella, compromising the development of the larval stages. The present study aimed to evaluate, under laboratory conditions, the susceptibility of P. columella to Heterorhabditis bacteriophora HP88, during for 24 and 48 hours of exposure. The snails were evaluated for 21 days for accumulated mortality; number of eggs laid; hatchability rate; biochemical changes; and histopathological analysis. We found that exposure induced a reduction in glucose and glycogen levels, characterizing a negative energy balance, due to the depletion of energy reserves as a result of the direct competition established by the nematode/endosymbiont bacteria complex in such substrates. A mortality rate of 48.25% and 65.52% was observed in the group exposed for 24 h and 48 h, respectively, along with significant impairment of reproductive biology in both exposed groups in relation to the respective controls. The results presented here show that P. columella is susceptible to the nematode H. bacteriophora, with the potential to be used as an alternative bioagent in the control of this mollusk, especially in areas considered endemic for fascioliasis, in line with the position expressed by the World Health Organization Health.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Azarm A, Koosha M, Dalimi A, et al (2023)

Association Between Wolbachia Infection and Susceptibility to Deltamethrin Insecticide in Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae), the Main Vector of Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

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

Background: Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) is the main vector of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis. Wolbachia is a symbiotic alphaproteobacteria of arthropods that can be involved in susceptibility or resistance. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between Wolbachia and Deltamethrin susceptibility/resistance in Ph. papatasi. Deltamethrin filter papers (0.00002%) were used to test sand fly field collected from southern Iran. After the test, PCR amplification of the Wolbachia surface protein gene (wsp) was used to measure Wolbachia infection rate in the killed, surviving, and control groups. Result: The rates of infection by Wolbachia strain (wPap, super group A) differed between killed (susceptible) and surviving (resistant) Ph. papatasi specimens. The rate of Wolbachia infection in susceptible individuals was more than twice (2.3) (39% vs. 17%) in resistant individuals with the same genetic background. This difference was highly significant (p < 0.001), indicating a positive association between Wolbachia infection and susceptibility to Deltamethrin. In addition, the results showed that Deltamethrin can act as a PCR inhibitor during detection of Wolbachia in Ph. papatasi. Conclusion: Results of this study show that Wolbachia is associated with Deltamethrin susceptibility level in Ph. papatasi. Also, as Deltamethrin has been identified as a PCR inhibitor, great care must be taken in interpreting Wolbachia infection status in infected populations. The results of this study may provide information for a better understanding of the host-symbiont relationship, as well as application of host symbiosis in pest management.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Espada-Hinojosa S, Karthäuser C, Srivastava A, et al (2023)

Comparative genomics of a vertically transmitted thiotrophic bacterial ectosymbiont and its close free-living relative.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Thiotrophic symbioses between sulphur-oxidizing bacteria and various unicellular and metazoan eukaryotes are widespread in reducing marine environments. The giant colonial ciliate Zoothamnium niveum, however, is the only host of thioautotrophic symbionts that has been cultivated along with its symbiont, the vertically transmitted ectosymbiont Candidatus Thiobius zoothamnicola (short Thiobius). Because theoretical predictions posit a smaller genome in vertically transmitted endosymbionts compared to free-living relatives, we investigated whether this is true also for an ectosymbiont. We used metagenomics to recover the high-quality draft genome of this bacterial symbiont. For comparison we have also sequenced a closely related free-living cultured but not formally described strain Milos ODIII6 (short ODIII6). We then performed comparative genomics to assess the functional capabilities at gene, metabolic pathway and trait level. 16S rRNA gene trees and average amino acid identity confirmed the close phylogenetic relationship of both bacteria. Indeed, Thiobius has about a third smaller genome than its free-living relative ODIII6, with reduced metabolic capabilities and fewer functional traits. The functional capabilities of Thiobius were a subset of those of the more versatile ODIII6, which possessed additional genes for oxygen, sulphur and hydrogen utilization and for the acquisition of phosphorus illustrating features that may be adaptive for the unstable environmental conditions at hydrothermal vents. In contrast, Thiobius possesses genes potentially enabling it to utilize lactate and acetate heterotrophically, compounds that may be provided as byproducts by the host. The present study illustrates the effect of strict host-dependence of a bacterial ectosymbiont on genome evolution and host adaptation.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Naka H, MG Haygood (2023)

The dual role of TonB genes in turnerbactin uptake and carbohydrate utilization in the shipworm symbiont Teredinibacter turnerae.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

This study highlights diversity in iron acquisition and regulation in bacteria. The mechanisms of iron acquisition and its regulation in Teredinibacter turnerae, as well as its connection to cellulose utilization, a hallmark phenotype of T. turnerae, expand the paradigm of bacterial iron acquisition. Two of the four TonB genes identified in T. turnerae exhibit functional redundancy and play a crucial role in siderophore-mediated iron transport. Unlike typical TonB genes in bacteria, none of the TonB genes in T. turnerae are clearly iron regulated. This unusual regulation could be explained by another important finding in this study, namely, that the two TonB genes involved in iron transport are also essential for cellulose utilization as a carbon source, leading to the expression of TonB genes even under iron-rich conditions.

RevDate: 2023-11-27
CmpDate: 2023-11-27

Serbus LR (2024)

A Light in the Dark: Uncovering Wolbachia-Host Interactions Using Fluorescence Imaging.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:349-373.

The success of microbial endosymbionts, which reside naturally within a eukaryotic "host" organism, requires effective microbial interaction with, and manipulation of, the host cells. Fluorescence microscopy has played a key role in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of endosymbiosis. For 30 years, fluorescence analyses have been a cornerstone in studies of endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria, focused on host colonization, maternal transmission, reproductive parasitism, horizontal gene transfer, viral suppression, and metabolic interactions in arthropods and nematodes. Fluorescence-based studies stand to continue informing Wolbachia-host interactions in increasingly detailed and innovative ways.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Valerio F, Twort VG, A Duplouy (2024)

A Worked Example of Screening Genomic Material for the Presence of Wolbachia Infection.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:275-299.

This chapter gives a brief overview of how to screen existing host genomic data for the presence of endosymbionts, such as Wolbachia. The various programs used provide test examples, and the corresponding manuals and discussion boards provide invaluable information. Please do consult these resources.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Walker T (2024)

Detection of Natural Wolbachia Strains in Anopheles Mosquitoes.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:205-218.

Wolbachia is an endosymbiotic bacterium that naturally infects many insect species, including mosquitoes that transmit human diseases. Wolbachia strains have been shown to inhibit the transmission of both arboviruses and malaria Plasmodium parasites. The existence of natural strains in wild Anopheles (An.) mosquitoes, the vectors of malaria parasites, in an endosymbiotic relationship is still to be fully determined. Although Wolbachia has been reported to be present in wild populations of the An. gambiae complex, the primary vectors of malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, Wolbachia DNA sequence density and infection frequencies are low. As most studies have used highly sensitive nested PCR as the only detection method, more robust evidence is required to determine whether Wolbachia strains are established as endosymbionts in Anopheles species. Techniques such as fluorescent in situ hybridization, microbiome sequencing, and Wolbachia whole genome sequencing have provided concrete evidence for genuine Wolbachia strains in two mosquito species: An. moucheti and An. demeilloni. In this chapter, the current methodology used to determine if resident strains exist in Anopheles mosquitoes will be reviewed, including both PCR- and non-PCR-based protocols.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Kakumanu ML, Hickin ML, C Schal (2024)

Detection, Quantification, and Elimination of Wolbachia in Bed Bugs.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:97-114.

Wolbachia is an obligatory nutritional symbiont of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, providing B-vitamins to its host. The biological significance of Wolbachia to bed bugs is investigated primarily by eliminating the symbiont with antibiotics, which is followed by confirmation with molecular assays. In this chapter, we describe a protocol for eliminating Wolbachia in bed bugs using the ansamycin antibiotic rifampicin (also known as rifampin) and three molecular methods to accurately detect and quantify the Wolbachia gene copies in bed bug samples. We describe the digital droplet PCR (ddPCR), a highly sensitive technique for absolute quantification of low abundance target genes, which has proven to be a valuable technique for confirmation of the elimination of Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Fallon AM (2024)

Wolbachia: Advancing into a Second Century.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:1-13.

Wolbachia pipientis had its scientific debut nearly a century ago and has recently emerged as a target for therapeutic treatment of filarial infections and an attractive tool for control of arthropod pests. Wolbachia was known as a biological entity before DNA was recognized as the molecule that carries the genetic information on which life depends, and before arthropods and nematodes were grouped in the Ecdysozoa. Today, some investigators consider Wolbachia the most abundant endosymbiont on earth, given the numbers of its hosts and its diverse mutualistic, commensal, and parasitic roles in their life histories. Recent advances in molecular technologies have revolutionized our understanding of Wolbachia and its associated reproductive phenotypes. New models have emerged for its investigation, and substantial progress has been made towards Wolbachia-based interventions in medicine and agriculture. Here I introduce Wolbachia, with a focus on aspects of its biology that are covered in greater detail in subsequent chapters.

RevDate: 2023-11-26

Lei T, Luo N, Song C, et al (2023)

Comparative Genomics Reveals Three Genetic Groups of the Whitefly Obligate Endosymbiont Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum.

Insects, 14(11):.

Maternally inherited obligate endosymbionts codiverge with their invertebrate hosts and reflect their host's evolutionary history. Whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) harbor one obligate endosymbiont, Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum (hereafter Portiera). Portiera was anciently acquired by whitefly and has been coevolving with its host ever since. Uncovering the divergence of endosymbionts provides a fundamental basis for inspecting the coevolutionary processes between the bacteria and their hosts. To illustrate the divergence of Portiera lineages across different whitefly species, we sequenced the Portiera genome from Aleyrodes shizuokensis and conducted a comparative analysis on the basic features and gene evolution with bacterial genomes from five whitefly genera, namely Aleurodicus, Aleyrodes, Bemisia, Pealius, and Trialeurodes. The results indicated that Portiera from Bemisia possessed significantly larger genomes, fewer coding sequences (CDSs), and a lower coding density. Their gene arrangement differed notably from those of other genera. The phylogeny of the nine Portiera lineages resembled that of their hosts. Moreover, the lineages were classified into three distinct genetic groups based on the genetic distance, one from Aleurodicus (Aleurodicinae), one from Bemisia (Aleyrodinae), and another from Aleyrodes, Pealius, and Trialeurrodes (Aleyrodinae). Synonymous and nonsynonymous rate analyses, parity rule 2 plot analyses, neutrality plot analyses, and effective number of codons analyses supported the distinction of the three genetic groups. Our results indicated that Portiera from distant hosts exhibit distinct genomic contents, implying codivergence between hosts and their endosymbionts. This work will enhance our understanding of coevolution between hosts and their endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

Strunov A, Kirchner S, Schindelar J, et al (2023)

Historic museum samples provide evidence for a recent replacement of Wolbachia types in European Drosophila melanogaster.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:7444904 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is one of the most common bacterial endosymbionts, which is frequently found in numerous arthropods and nematode taxa. Wolbachia infections can have a strong influence on the evolutionary dynamics of their hosts since these bacteria are reproductive manipulators that affect the fitness and life history of their host species for their own benefit. Host-symbiont interactions with Wolbachia are perhaps best studied in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, which is naturally infected with at least five different variants among which wMel and wMelCS are the most frequent ones. Comparisons of infection types between natural flies and long-term lab stocks have previously indicated that wMelCS represents the ancestral type, which was only very recently replaced by the nowadays dominant wMel in most natural populations. In this study, we took advantage of recently sequenced museum specimens of D. melanogaster that have been collected 90-200 years ago in Northern Europe to test this hypothesis. Our comparison to contemporary Wolbachia samples provides compelling support for the replacement hypothesis. Our analyses show that sequencing data from historic museum specimens and their bycatch are an emerging and unprecedented resource to address fundamental questions about evolutionary dynamics in host-symbiont interactions. However, we also identified contamination with DNA from crickets which resulted in co-contamination with cricket-specific Wolbachia in several samples. These results underpin the need for rigorous quality assessments of museomics datasets to account for contamination as a source of error which may strongly influence biological interpretations if it remains undetected.

RevDate: 2023-11-19

Sanches P, De Moraes CM, MC Mescher (2023)

Endosymbionts modulate virus effects on aphid-plant interactions.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Vector-borne pathogens frequently modify traits of their primary hosts and vectors in ways that influence disease transmission. Such effects can themselves be altered by the presence of other microbial symbionts, yet we currently have limited understanding of these interactions. Here we show that effects of pea enation mosaic virus (PEMV) on interactions between host plants and aphid vectors are modulated by the presence of different aphid endosymbionts. In a series of laboratory assays, we found strong interactive effects of virus infection and endosymbionts on aphid metabolomic profiles, population growth, behavior, and virus transmission during aphid feeding. Furthermore, the strongest effects-and those predicted to favor virus transmission-were most apparent in aphid lines harboring particular endosymbionts. These findings show that virus effects on host-vector interactions can be strongly influenced by other microbial symbionts and suggest a potentially important role for such interactions in disease ecology and evolution.

RevDate: 2023-11-18

Pascar J, Middleton H, S Dorus (2023)

Aedes aegypti microbiome composition covaries with the density of Wolbachia infection.

Microbiome, 11(1):255.

BACKGROUND: Wolbachia is a widespread bacterial endosymbiont that can inhibit vector competency when stably transinfected into the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, a primary vector of the dengue virus (DENV) and other arboviruses. Although a complete mechanistic understanding of pathogen blocking is lacking, it is likely to involve host immunity induction and resource competition between Wolbachia and DENV, both of which may be impacted by microbiome composition. The potential impact of Wolbachia transinfection on host fitness is also of importance given the widespread release of mosquitos infected with the Drosophila melanogaster strain of Wolbachia (wMel) in wild populations. Here, population-level genomic data from Ae. aegypti was surveyed to establish the relationship between the density of wMel infection and the composition of the host microbiome.

RESULTS: Analysis of genomic data from 172 Ae. aegypti females across six populations resulted in an expanded and quantitatively refined, species-level characterization of the bacterial, archaeal, and fungal microbiome. This included 844 species of bacteria across 23 phyla, of which 54 species were found to be ubiquitous microbiome members across these populations. The density of wMel infection was highly variable between individuals and negatively correlated with microbiome diversity. Network analyses revealed wMel as a hub comprised solely of negative interactions with other bacterial species. This contrasted with the large and highly interconnected network of other microbiome species that may represent members of the midgut microbiome community in this population.

CONCLUSION: Our bioinformatic survey provided a species-level characterization of Ae. aegypti microbiome composition and variation. wMel load varied substantially across populations and individuals and, importantly, wMel was a major hub of a negative interactions across the microbiome. These interactions may be an inherent consequence of heightened pathogen blocking in densely infected individuals or, alternatively, may result from antagonistic Wolbachia-incompatible bacteria that could impede the efficacy of wMel as a biological control agent in future applications. The relationship between wMel infection variation and the microbiome warrants further investigation in the context of developing wMel as a multivalent control agent against other arboviruses. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-11-17

Sun Y, Wang M, Cao L, et al (2023)

Mosaic environment-driven evolution of the deep-sea mussel Gigantidas platifrons bacterial endosymbiont.

Microbiome, 11(1):253.

BACKGROUND: The within-species diversity of symbiotic bacteria represents an important genetic resource for their environmental adaptation, especially for horizontally transmitted endosymbionts. Although strain-level intraspecies variation has recently been detected in many deep-sea endosymbionts, their ecological role in environmental adaptation, their genome evolution pattern under heterogeneous geochemical environments, and the underlying molecular forces remain unclear.

RESULTS: Here, we conducted a fine-scale metagenomic analysis of the deep-sea mussel Gigantidas platifrons bacterial endosymbiont collected from distinct habitats: hydrothermal vent and methane seep. Endosymbiont genomes were assembled using a pipeline that distinguishes within-species variation and revealed highly heterogeneous compositions in mussels from different habitats. Phylogenetic analysis separated the assemblies into three distinct environment-linked clades. Their functional differentiation follows a mosaic evolutionary pattern. Core genes, essential for central metabolic function and symbiosis, were conserved across all clades. Clade-specific genes associated with heavy metal resistance, pH homeostasis, and nitrate utilization exhibited signals of accelerated evolution. Notably, transposable elements and plasmids contributed to the genetic reshuffling of the symbiont genomes and likely accelerated adaptive evolution through pseudogenization and the introduction of new genes.

CONCLUSIONS: The current study uncovers the environment-driven evolution of deep-sea symbionts mediated by mobile genetic elements. Its findings highlight a potentially common and critical role of within-species diversity in animal-microbiome symbioses. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-11-17

Awori RM, Hendre P, NO Amugune (2023)

The genome of a steinernematid-associated Pseudomonas piscis bacterium encodes the biosynthesis of insect toxins.

Access microbiology, 5(10):.

Several species of soil-dwelling Steinernema nematodes are used in the biocontrol of crop pests, due to their natural capacity to kill diverse lepidopteran species. Although this insect-killing trait is known to be augmented by the nematodes' Xenorhabdus endosymbionts, the role of other steinernematid-associated bacterial genera in the nematode lifecycle remains unclear. This genomic study aimed to determine the potential of Pseudomonas piscis to contribute to the entomopathogenicity of its Steinernema host. Insect larvae were infected with three separate Steinernema cultures. From each of the three treatments, the prevalent bacteria in the haemocoel of cadavers, four days post-infection, were isolated. These three bacterial isolates were morphologically characterised. DNA was extracted from each of the three bacterial isolates and used for long-read genome sequencing and assembly. Assemblies were used to delineate species and identify genes that encode insect toxins, antimicrobials, and confer antibiotic resistance. We assembled three complete genomes. Through digital DNA-DNA hybridisation analyses, we ascertained that the haemocoels of insect cadavers previously infected with Steinernema sp. Kalro, Steinernema sp. 75, and Steinernema sp. 97 were dominated by Xenorhabdus griffiniae Kalro, Pseudomonas piscis 75, and X. griffiniae 97, respectively. X. griffiniae Kalro and X. griffiniae 97 formed a subspecies with other X. griffiniae symbionts of steinernematids from Kenya. P. piscis 75 phylogenetically clustered with pseudomonads that are characterised by high insecticidal activity. The P. piscis 75 genome encoded the production pathway of insect toxins such as orfamides and rhizoxins, antifungals such as pyrrolnitrin and pyoluteorin, and the broad-spectrum antimicrobial 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol. The P. piscis 75 genome encoded resistance to over ten classes of antibiotics, including cationic lipopeptides. Steinernematid-associated P. piscis bacteria hence have the biosynthetic potential to contribute to nematode entomopathogenicity.

RevDate: 2023-11-16
CmpDate: 2023-11-16

Takasu R, Yasuda Y, Izu T, et al (2023)

Diaphorin, a polyketide produced by a bacterial endosymbiont of the Asian citrus psyllid, adversely affects the in vitro gene expression with ribosomes from Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis.

PloS one, 18(11):e0294360.

Diaphorin is a polyketide produced by "Candidatus Profftella armatura" (Gammaproteobacteria), an obligate mutualist of an important agricultural pest, the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera). Our previous study demonstrated that diaphorin, at physiological concentrations in D. citri, inhibits the growth and cell division of Bacillus subtilis (Firmicutes) but promotes the growth and metabolic activity of Escherichia coli (Gammaproteobacteria). This unique property of diaphorin may aid microbial mutualism in D. citri, potentially affecting the transmission of "Candidatus Liberibacter spp." (Alphaproteobacteria), the pathogens of the most destructive citrus disease Huanglongbing. Moreover, this property may be exploited to promote microbes' efficiency in producing industrial materials. However, the mechanism underlying this activity is unknown. Diaphorin belongs to the family of pederin-type compounds, which inhibit protein synthesis in eukaryotes by binding to eukaryotic ribosomes. Therefore, as a first step to assess diaphorin's direct influence on bacterial gene expression, this study examined the effect of diaphorin on the in vitro translation using ribosomes of B. subtilis and E. coli, quantifying the production of the green fluorescent protein. The results showed that the gene expression involving B. subtilis and E. coli ribosomes along with five millimolar diaphorin was 29.6% and 13.1%, respectively, less active than the control. This suggests that the diaphorin's adverse effects on B. subtilis are attributed to, at least partly, its inhibitory effects on gene expression. Moreover, as ingredients of the translation system were common other than ribosomes, the greater inhibitory effects observed with the B. subtilis ribosome imply that the ribosome is among the potential targets of diaphorin. On the other hand, the results also imply that diaphorin's positive effects on E. coli are due to targets other than the core machinery of transcription and translation. This study demonstrated for the first time that a pederin congener affects bacterial gene expression.

RevDate: 2023-11-14

Karim S, Zenzal TJ, Beati L, et al (2023)

Ticks without borders: Microbial communities of immature Neotropical tick species parasitizing migratory landbirds along northern Gulf of Mexico.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.10.22.563347.

The long-distance, seasonal migrations of birds make them an effective ecological bridge for the movement of ticks. The introduction of exotic tick species to new geographical regions can lead to the emergence of novel tick-borne pathogens or the re-emergence of previously eradicated ones. This study assessed the prevalence of exotic tick species parasitizing resident, short-distance, and long-distance songbirds during spring and autumn at stopover sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico using the mitochondrial 12S rDNA gene. Birds were captured for tick collection from six different sites from late August to early November in both 2018 and 2019. The highest number of ticks were collected in the 2019 season. Most ticks were collected off the Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) and Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), and 54% of the total ticks collected were from Grand Chenier, LA. A high throughput 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing approach was followed to characterize the microbial communities and identify pathogenic microbes in all tick samples. Tick microbial communities, diversity, and community structure were determined using quantitative insight into microbial ecology (QIIME). The sparse correlations for compositional data (SparCC) approach was then used to construct microbial network maps and infer microbial correlations. A total of 421 individual ticks in the genera Amblyomma, Haemaphysalis, and Ixodes were recorded from 28 songbird species, of which Amblyomma and Amblyomma longirostre was the most abundant tick genus and species, respectively. Microbial profiles showed that Proteobacteria was the most abundant phylum. The most abundant bacteria include the pathogenic Rickettsia and endosymbiont Francisella, Candidatus Midichloria, and Spiroplasma . BLAST analysis and phylogenetic reconstruction of the Rickettsia sequences revealed the highest similarities to pathogenic spotted and non-spotted fever groups, including R . buchneri, R. conorii, R. prowazekii, R. bellii, R. australis, R. parkeri, R. monacensis, and R. monteiroi . Permutation multivariate analysis of variance revealed that the relative abundance of Francisella and Rickettsia drives microbial patterns across the tick genera. We also observed a higher percentage of positive correlations in microbe-microbe interactions among members of the microbial communities. Network analysis suggested a negative correlation between a) Francisella and Rickettsia and, b) Francisella and Cutibacterium . Lastly, mapping the distributions of bird species parasitized during spring migrations highlighted geographic hotspots where migratory songbirds could disperse ticks and their pathogens at stopover sites or upon arrival to their breeding grounds, the latter showing means dispersal distances from 421-5003 kilometers. These findings strongly highlight the potential role of migratory birds in the epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens.

RevDate: 2023-11-13

Whittle M, Bonsall MB, Barreaux AMG, et al (2023)

A theoretical model for host-controlled regulation of symbiont density.

Journal of evolutionary biology [Epub ahead of print].

There is growing empirical evidence that animal hosts actively control the density of their mutualistic symbionts according to their requirements. Such active regulation can be facilitated by compartmentalization of symbionts within host tissues, which confers a high degree of control of the symbiosis to the host. Here, we build a general theoretical framework to predict the underlying ecological drivers and evolutionary consequences of host-controlled endosymbiont density regulation for a mutually obligate association between a host and a compartmentalized, vertically transmitted symbiont. Building on the assumption that the costs and benefits of hosting a symbiont population increase with symbiont density, we use state-dependent dynamic programming to determine an optimal strategy for the host, i.e., that which maximizes host fitness, when regulating the density of symbionts. Simulations of active host-controlled regulation governed by the optimal strategy predict that the density of the symbiont should converge to a constant level during host development, and following perturbation. However, a similar trend also emerges from alternative strategies of symbiont regulation. The strategy which maximizes host fitness also promotes symbiont fitness compared to alternative strategies, suggesting that active host-controlled regulation of symbiont density could be adaptive for the symbiont as well as the host. Adaptation of the framework allowed the dynamics of symbiont density to be predicted for other host-symbiont ecologies, such as for non-essential symbionts, demonstrating the versatility of this modelling approach.

RevDate: 2023-11-13

Furtado DP, Vieira EA, Nascimento WF, et al (2023)

#DeOlhoNosCorais: a polygonal annotated dataset to optimize coral monitoring.

PeerJ, 11:e16219.

Corals are colonial animals within the Phylum Cnidaria that form coral reefs, playing a significant role in marine environments by providing habitat for fish, mollusks, crustaceans, sponges, algae, and other organisms. Global climate changes are causing more intense and frequent thermal stress events, leading to corals losing their color due to the disruption of a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic endosymbionts. Given the importance of corals to the marine environment, monitoring coral reefs is critical to understanding their response to anthropogenic impacts. Most coral monitoring activities involve underwater photographs, which can be costly to generate on large spatial scales and require processing and analysis that may be time-consuming. The Marine Ecology Laboratory (LECOM) at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) developed the project "#DeOlhoNosCorais" which encourages users to post photos of coral reefs on their social media (Instagram) using this hashtag, enabling people without previous scientific training to contribute to coral monitoring. The laboratory team identifies the species and gathers information on coral health along the Brazilian coast by analyzing each picture posted on social media. To optimize this process, we conducted baseline experiments for image classification and semantic segmentation. We analyzed the classification results of three different machine learning models using the Local Interpretable Model-agnostic Explanations (LIME) algorithm. The best results were achieved by combining EfficientNet for feature extraction and Logistic Regression for classification. Regarding semantic segmentation, the U-Net Pix2Pix model produced a pixel-level accuracy of 86%. Our results indicate that this tool can enhance image selection for coral monitoring purposes and open several perspectives for improving classification performance. Furthermore, our findings can be expanded by incorporating other datasets to create a tool that streamlines the time and cost associated with analyzing coral reef images across various regions.

RevDate: 2023-11-12

El Hamss H, Maruthi MN, Omongo CA, et al (2023)

Microbiome diversity and composition in Bemisia tabaci SSA1-SG1 whitefly are influenced by their host's life stage.

Microbiological research, 278:127538 pii:S0944-5013(23)00240-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Within the Bemisia tabaci group of cryptic whitefly species, many are damaging agricultural pests and plant-virus vectors, conferring upon this group the status of one of the world's top 100 most invasive and destructive species, affecting farmers' income and threatening their livelihoods. Studies on the microbiome of whitefly life stages are scarce, although their composition and diversity greatly influence whitefly fitness and development. We used high-throughput sequencing to understand microbiome diversity in different developmental stages of the B. tabaci sub-Saharan Africa 1 (SSA1-SG1) species of the whitefly from Uganda. Endosymbionts (Portiera, Arsenophonus, Wolbachia, and Hemipteriphilus were detected but excluded from further statistical analysis as they were not influenced by life stage using Permutational Multivariate Analysis of Variance Using Distance Matrices (ADONIS, p = 0.925 and Bray, p = 0.903). Our results showed significant differences in the meta microbiome composition in different life stages of SSA1-SG1. The diversity was significantly higher in eggs (Shannon, p = 0.024; Simpson, p = 0.047) than that in nymphs and pupae, while the number of microbial species observed by the amplicon sequence variant (ASV) was not significant (n(ASV), p = 0.094). At the phylum and genus levels, the dominant constituents in the microbiome changed significantly during various developmental stages, with Halomonas being present in eggs, whereas Bacillus and Caldalkalibacillus were consistently found across all life stages. These findings provide the first description of differing meta microbiome diversity in the life stage of whiteflies, suggesting their putative role in whitefly development.

RevDate: 2023-11-11

Miyagishima SY (2023)

Taming the perils of photosynthesis by eukaryotes: constraints on endosymbiotic evolution in aquatic ecosystems.

Communications biology, 6(1):1150.

An ancestral eukaryote acquired photosynthesis by genetically integrating a cyanobacterial endosymbiont as the chloroplast. The chloroplast was then further integrated into many other eukaryotic lineages through secondary endosymbiotic events of unicellular eukaryotic algae. While photosynthesis enables autotrophy, it also generates reactive oxygen species that can cause oxidative stress. To mitigate the stress, photosynthetic eukaryotes employ various mechanisms, including regulating chloroplast light absorption and repairing or removing damaged chloroplasts by sensing light and photosynthetic status. Recent studies have shown that, besides algae and plants with innate chloroplasts, several lineages of numerous unicellular eukaryotes engage in acquired phototrophy by hosting algal endosymbionts or by transiently utilizing chloroplasts sequestrated from algal prey in aquatic ecosystems. In addition, it has become evident that unicellular organisms engaged in acquired phototrophy, as well as those that feed on algae, have also developed mechanisms to cope with photosynthetic oxidative stress. These mechanisms are limited but similar to those employed by algae and plants. Thus, there appear to be constraints on the evolution of those mechanisms, which likely began by incorporating photosynthetic cells before the establishment of chloroplasts by extending preexisting mechanisms to cope with oxidative stress originating from mitochondrial respiration and acquiring new mechanisms.

RevDate: 2023-11-10

Bickerstaff JRM, Jordal BH, M Riegler (2023)

Two sympatric lineages of Australian Cnestus solidus share Ambrosiella symbionts but not Wolbachia.

Heredity [Epub ahead of print].

Sympatric lineages of inbreeding species provide an excellent opportunity to investigate species divergence patterns and processes. Many ambrosia beetle lineages (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) reproduce by predominant inbreeding through sib mating in nests excavated in woody plant parts wherein they cultivate symbiotic ambrosia fungi as their sole source of nutrition. The Xyleborini ambrosia beetle species Cnestus solidus and Cnestus pseudosolidus are sympatrically distributed across eastern Australia and have overlapping morphological variation. Using multilocus sequencing analysis of individuals collected from 19 sites spanning their sympatric distribution, we assessed their phylogenetic relationships, taxonomic status and microbial symbionts. We found no genetic differentiation between individuals morphologically identified as C. solidus and C. pseudosolidus confirming previous suggestions that C. pseudosolidus is synonymous to C. solidus. However, within C. solidus we unexpectedly discovered the sympatric coexistence of two morphologically indistinguishable but genetically distinct lineages with small nuclear yet large mitochondrial divergence. At all sites except one, individuals of both lineages carried the same primary fungal symbiont, a new Ambrosiella species, indicating that fungal symbiont differentiation may not be involved in lineage divergence. One strain of the maternally inherited bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia was found at high prevalence in individuals of the more common lineage but not in the other, suggesting that it may influence host fitness. Our data suggest that the two Australian Cnestus lineages diverged allopatrically, and one lineage then acquired Wolbachia. Predominant inbreeding and Wolbachia infection may have reinforced reproductive barriers between these two lineages after their secondary contact contributing to their current sympatric distribution.

RevDate: 2023-11-10

Hussain M, Zhong Y, Tao T, et al (2023)

Effect of tree height and spraying methods on Diaphorina citri kuwayama endosymbionts in the context of Huanglongbing disease management in citrus orchards.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Huanglongbing (caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus) is the most damaging disease of citrus around the world. This study investigated the effects of citrus tree age on Diaphorina citri Kuwayama mortality, endosymbiont responses, and Huanglongbing distribution.

RESULTS: The results reveal that the age of citrus trees plays a significant role in psyllid mortality. Notably, four-year-old plants exhibited higher psyllid mortality (31.50%) compared to thirteen-year-old trees (9.10% and 0.09%, respectively). Our findings also revealed that psyllids from both 4 and 13-year-old citrus trees carried Candidatus Carsonella ruddii species and Wolbachia, the primary and secondary endosymbionts, respectively. Surprisingly, infection rates of these endosymbionts remained consistent across different age groups, as confirmed by qPCR analysis. Furthermore, our study highlights the significance of tree height as a proxy for tree age in influencing Huanglongbing occurrence. Specifically, 4-year-old trees subjected to the US-SMART mechanical sprayer for citrus psyllid control demonstrated effective disease management compared to 13-year-old trees treated with handheld gun sprayers. Additionally, the investigation explored the impact of tree height on HLB distribution. In four-year-old trees, no significant correlation between HLB disease and tree height was observed, potentially due to effective spray coverage. However, in thirteen-year-old trees, a negative correlation between tree height and HLB disease was evident.

CONCLUSION: This research provides valuable insights into the complex interaction between citrus tree age, psyllid endosymbionts responses, and HLB distribution. These results emphasize effective HLB management strategies, especially in orchards with diverse tree age populations, ultimately contributing to the long-term sustainability of citrus cultivation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-11-09

Chaves-Olarte E, Meza-Torres J, Herrera-Rodríguez F, et al (2023)

A sensor histidine kinase from a plant-endosymbiont bacterium restores the virulence of a mammalian intracellular pathogen.

Microbial pathogenesis pii:S0882-4010(23)00475-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Alphaproteobacteria include organisms living in close association with plants or animals. This interaction relies partly on orthologous two-component regulatory systems (TCS), with sensor and regulator proteins modulating the expression of conserved genes related to symbiosis/virulence. We assessed the ability of the exoS[+]Sm gene, encoding a sensor protein from the plant endosymbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti to substitute its orthologous bvrS in the related animal/human pathogen Brucella abortus. ExoS phosphorylated the B. abortus regulator BvrR in vitro and in cultured bacteria, showing conserved biological function. Production of ExoS in a B. abortus bvrS mutant reestablished replication in host cells and the capacity to infect mice. Bacterial outer membrane properties, the production of the type IV secretion system VirB, and its transcriptional regulators VjbR and BvrR were restored as compared to parental B. abortus. These results indicate that conserved traits of orthologous TCS from bacteria living in and sensing different environments are sufficient to achieve phenotypic plasticity and support bacterial survival. The knowledge of bacterial genetic networks regulating host interactions allows for an understanding of the subtle differences between symbiosis and parasitism. Rewiring these networks could provide new alternatives to control and prevent bacterial infection.

RevDate: 2023-11-08

Luo H, Wang J, Goes JI, et al (2022)

A grazing-driven positive nutrient feedback loop and active sexual reproduction underpin widespread Noctiluca green tides.

ISME communications, 2(1):103.

The mixoplankton green Noctiluca scintillans (gNoctiluca) is known to form extensive green tides in tropical coastal ecosystems prone to eutrophication. In the Arabian Sea, their recent appearance and annual recurrence have upended an ecosystem that was once exclusively dominated by diatoms. Despite evidence of strong links to eutrophication, hypoxia and warming, the mechanisms underlying outbreaks of this mixoplanktonic dinoflagellate remain uncertain. Here we have used eco-physiological measurements and transcriptomic profiling to ascribe gNoctiluca's explosive growth during bloom formation to the form of sexual reproduction that produces numerous gametes. Rapid growth of gNoctiluca coincided with active ammonium and phosphate release from gNoctiluca cells, which exhibited high transcriptional activity of phagocytosis and metabolism generating ammonium. This grazing-driven nutrient flow ostensibly promotes the growth of phytoplankton as prey and offers positive support successively for bloom formation and maintenance. We also provide the first evidence that the host gNoctiluca cell could be manipulating growth of its endosymbiont population in order to exploit their photosynthetic products and meet critical energy needs. These findings illuminate gNoctiluca's little known nutritional and reproductive strategies that facilitate its ability to form intense and expansive gNoctiluca blooms to the detriment of regional water, food and the socio-economic security in several tropical countries.

RevDate: 2023-11-08

Hakobyan A, Velte S, Sickel W, et al (2023)

Tillandsia landbeckii phyllosphere and laimosphere as refugia for bacterial life in a hyperarid desert environment.

Microbiome, 11(1):246.

BACKGROUND: The lack of water is a major constraint for microbial life in hyperarid deserts. Consequently, the abundance and diversity of microorganisms in common habitats such as soil are strongly reduced, and colonization occurs primarily by specifically adapted microorganisms that thrive in particular refugia to escape the harsh conditions that prevail in these deserts. We suggest that plants provide another refugium for microbial life in hyperarid deserts. We studied the bacterial colonization of Tillandsia landbeckii (Bromeliaceae) plants, which occur in the hyperarid regions of the Atacama Desert in Chile, one of the driest and oldest deserts on Earth.

RESULTS: We detected clear differences between the bacterial communities being plant associated to those of the bare soil surface (PERMANOVA, R[2] = 0.187, p = 0.001), indicating that Tillandsia plants host a specific bacterial community, not only dust-deposited cells. Moreover, the bacterial communities in the phyllosphere were distinct from those in the laimosphere, i.e., on buried shoots (R[2] = 0.108, p = 0.001), indicating further habitat differentiation within plant individuals. The bacterial taxa detected in the phyllosphere are partly well-known phyllosphere colonizers, but in addition, some rather unusual taxa (subgroup2 Acidobacteriae, Acidiphilum) and insect endosymbionts (Wolbachia, "Candidatus Uzinura") were found. The laimosphere hosted phyllosphere-associated as well as soil-derived taxa. The phyllosphere bacterial communities showed biogeographic patterns across the desert (R[2] = 0.331, p = 0.001). These patterns were different and even more pronounced in the laimosphere (R[2] = 0.467, p = 0.001), indicating that different factors determine community assembly in the two plant compartments. Furthermore, the phyllosphere microbiota underwent temporal changes (R[2] = 0.064, p = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that T. landbeckii plants host specific bacterial communities in the phyllosphere as well as in the laimosphere. Therewith, these plants provide compartment-specific refugia for microbial life in hyperarid desert environments. The bacterial communities show biogeographic patterns and temporal variation, as known from other plant microbiomes, demonstrating environmental responsiveness and suggesting that bacteria inhabit these plants as viable microorganisms. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-11-07
CmpDate: 2023-11-07

Henry E, Carlson CR, YW Kuo (2023)

Candidatus Kirkpatrickella diaphorinae gen. nov., sp. nov., an uncultured endosymbiont identified in a population of Diaphorina citri from Hawaii.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology, 73(11):.

Diaphorina citri is the hemipteran pest and vector of a devastating bacterial pathogen of citrus worldwide. In addition to the two core bacterial endosymbionts of D. citri, Candidatus Carsonella ruddii and Candidatus Profftella armatura, the genome of a novel endosymbiont and as of yet undescribed microbe was discovered in a Hawaiian D. citri population through deep sequencing of multiple D. citri populations. Found to be closely related to the genus Asaia in the family Acetobacteraceae by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, it forms a sister clade along with other insect-associated 16S rRNA gene sequences from uncultured bacterium found associated with Aedes koreicus and Sogatella furcifera. Multilocus sequence analysis confirmed the phylogenetic placement sister to the Asaia clade. Despite the culturable Asaia clade being the closest phylogenetic neighbour, attempts to culture this newly identified bacterial endosymbiont were unsuccessful. On the basis of these distinct genetic differences, the novel endosymbiont is proposed to be classified into a candidate genus and species 'Candidatus Kirkpatrickella diaphorinae'. The full genome was deposited in GenBank (accession number CP107052; prokaryotic 16S rRNA OP600170).

RevDate: 2023-11-03

Zhang Y, Liu S, Huang X-y, et al (2023)

Altitude as a key environmental factor shaping microbial communities of tea green leafhoppers (Matsumurasca onukii).

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

The tea green leafhopper, Matsumurasca onukii Matsuda, is the most destructive insect pest of tea plantations in East Asia. While several microbes in M. onukii have been characterized, the microbial community compositions in wild M. onukii populations and the environmental factors that shape them are mostly unknown. In this study, M. onukii populations were collected from major tea growing regions in China. Following high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene fragments for bacteria and the internal transcribed spacer region for fungi, association analyses were performed within the microbial communities associated with M. onukii and their environmental drivers. We found that the bacterial community structures differed in various regions, and the abundance of dominant bacteria such as Wolbachia, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Pantoea, Enterobacter, and Methylobacterium varied widely. Moreover, wild populations of M. onukii can be infected with facultative symbionts from six genera (Wolbachia, Rickettsia, Asaia, Serratia, Arsenophonus, and Cardinium) with divergent relative abundances. Correlation analysis indicated that altitude was a key environmental factor that shaped bacterial communities of M. onukii. Furthermore, longitude, temperature, and rainfall are also significantly correlated with the bacterial communities. The fungal communities of M. onukii populations were dominated by Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, of which most genera are considered to be plant endophytes or plant pathogens, such as Cladosporium, Fusarium, Alternaria, and Gibberella. We demonstrated that M. onukii carry a complex and variable microbial community, which is influenced by altitude as well as climate-related factors. Our results provide novel insights into the bacteria and fungi of M. onukii.IMPORTANCEHost-associated microbial communities play an important role in the fitness of insect hosts. However, the factors shaping microbial communities in wild populations, including environmental factors and interactions among microbial species, remain largely unknown. The tea green leafhopper has a wide geographical distribution and is highly adaptable, providing a suitable model for studying the effect of ecological drivers on microbiomes. This is the first large-scale culture-independent study investigating the microbial communities of M. onukii sampled from different locations. Altitude as a key environmental factor may have shaped microbial communities of M. onukii by affecting the relative abundance of endosymbionts, especially Wolbachia. The results of this study, therefore, offer not only an in-depth view of the microbial diversity of this species but also an insight into the influence of environmental factors.

RevDate: 2023-11-03
CmpDate: 2023-11-03

Liu W, Xia X, Hoffmann AA, et al (2023)

Evolution of Wolbachia reproductive and nutritional mutualism: insights from the genomes of two novel strains that double infect the pollinator of dioecious Ficus hirta.

BMC genomics, 24(1):657.

Wolbachia is a genus of maternally inherited endosymbionts that can affect reproduction of their hosts and influence metabolic processes. The pollinator, Valisia javana, is common in the male syconium of the dioecious fig Ficus hirta. Based on a high-quality chromosome-level V. javana genome with PacBio long-read and Illumina short-read sequencing, we discovered a sizeable proportion of Wolbachia sequences and used these to assemble two novel Wolbachia strains belonging to supergroup A. We explored its phylogenetic relationship with described Wolbachia strains based on MLST sequences and the possibility of induction of CI (cytoplasmic incompatibility) in this strain by examining the presence of cif genes known to be responsible for CI in other insects. We also identified mobile genetic elements including prophages and insertion sequences, genes related to biotin synthesis and metabolism. A total of two prophages and 256 insertion sequences were found. The prophage WOjav1 is cryptic (structure incomplete) and WOjav2 is relatively intact. IS5 is the dominant transposon family. At least three pairs of type I cif genes with three copies were found which may cause strong CI although this needs experimental verification; we also considered possible nutritional effects of the Wolbachia by identifying genes related to biotin production, absorption and metabolism. This study provides a resource for further studies of Wolbachia-pollinator-host plant interactions.

RevDate: 2023-11-02

Rädecker N, Escrig S, Spangenberg JE, et al (2023)

Coupled carbon and nitrogen cycling regulates the cnidarian-algal symbiosis.

Nature communications, 14(1):6948.

Efficient nutrient recycling underpins the ecological success of cnidarian-algal symbioses in oligotrophic waters. In these symbioses, nitrogen limitation restricts the growth of algal endosymbionts in hospite and stimulates their release of photosynthates to the cnidarian host. However, the mechanisms controlling nitrogen availability and their role in symbiosis regulation remain poorly understood. Here, we studied the metabolic regulation of symbiotic nitrogen cycling in the sea anemone Aiptasia by experimentally altering labile carbon availability in a series of experiments. Combining [13]C and [15]N stable isotope labeling experiments with physiological analyses and NanoSIMS imaging, we show that the competition for environmental ammonium between the host and its algal symbionts is regulated by labile carbon availability. Light regimes optimal for algal photosynthesis increase carbon availability in the holobiont and stimulate nitrogen assimilation in the host metabolism. Consequently, algal symbiont densities are lowest under optimal environmental conditions and increase toward the lower and upper light tolerance limits of the symbiosis. This metabolic regulation promotes efficient carbon recycling in a stable symbiosis across a wide range of environmental conditions. Yet, the dependence on resource competition may favor parasitic interactions, explaining the instability of the cnidarian-algal symbiosis as environmental conditions in the Anthropocene shift towards its tolerance limits.

RevDate: 2023-11-01

Grossi AA, Tian C, Ren M, et al (2023)

Co-phylogeny of a hyper-symbiotic system: endosymbiotic bacteria (Gammaproteobacteria), chewing lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) and birds (Passeriformes).

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution pii:S1055-7903(23)00257-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Chewing lice are hosts to endosymbiotic bacteria as well as themselves being permanent parasites. This offers a unique opportunity to examine the cophylogenetic relationships between three ecologically interconnected organismal groups: birds, chewing lice, and bacteria. Here, we examine the cophylogenetic relationships between lice in the genus Guimaraesiella Eichler, 1949, their endosymbiotic Sodalis-allied bacteria, and a range of bird species from across South China. Both event and distance-based cophylogenetic analyses were explored to compare phylogenies of the three organismal groups. Pair-wise comparisons between lice-endosymbionts and bird-endosymbionts indicated that their evolutionary histories are not independent. However, comparisons between lice and birds, showed mixed results; the distance-based method of ParaFit indicated that their evolutionary histories are not independent, while the event-based method of Jane indicated that their phylogenies were no more congruent than expected by chance. Notably, louse host-switching does not seem to have affected bacterial strains, as conspecific lice sampled from distantly related hosts share bacteria belonging to the same clade.

RevDate: 2023-11-02
CmpDate: 2023-11-02

Pfarr KM, Krome AK, Al-Obaidi I, et al (2023)

The pipeline for drugs for control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases: 2. Oral anti-infective drugs and drug combinations for off-label use.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):394.

In its 'Road map for neglected tropical diseases 2021-2030', the World Health Organization outlined its targets for control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and research needed to achieve them. For many NTDs, this includes research for new treatment options for case management and/or preventive chemotherapy. Our review of small-molecule anti-infective drugs recently approved by a stringent regulatory authority (SRA) or in at least Phase 2 clinical development for regulatory approval showed that this pipeline cannot deliver all new treatments needed. WHO guidelines and country policies show that drugs may be recommended for control and elimination for NTDs for which they are not SRA approved (i.e. for 'off-label' use) if efficacy and safety data for the relevant NTD are considered sufficient by WHO and country authorities. Here, we are providing an overview of clinical research in the past 10 years evaluating the anti-infective efficacy of oral small-molecule drugs for NTD(s) for which they are neither SRA approved, nor included in current WHO strategies nor, considering the research sponsors, likely to be registered with a SRA for that NTD, if found to be effective and safe. No such research has been done for yaws, guinea worm, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), rabies, trachoma, visceral leishmaniasis, mycetoma, T. b. rhodesiense HAT, echinococcosis, taeniasis/cysticercosis or scabies. Oral drugs evaluated include sparfloxacin and acedapsone for leprosy; rifampicin, rifapentin and moxifloxacin for onchocerciasis; imatinib and levamisole for loiasis; itraconazole, fluconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, ravuconazole and disulfiram for Chagas disease, doxycycline and rifampicin for lymphatic filariasis; arterolane, piperaquine, artesunate, artemether, lumefantrine and mefloquine for schistosomiasis; ivermectin, tribendimidine, pyrantel, oxantel and nitazoxanide for soil-transmitted helminths including strongyloidiasis; chloroquine, ivermectin, balapiravir, ribavirin, celgosivir, UV-4B, ivermectin and doxycycline for dengue; streptomycin, amoxicillin, clavulanate for Buruli ulcer; fluconazole and isavuconazonium for mycoses; clarithromycin and dapsone for cutaneous leishmaniasis; and tribendimidine, albendazole, mebendazole and nitazoxanide for foodborne trematodiasis. Additional paths to identification of new treatment options are needed. One promising path is exploitation of the worldwide experience with 'off-label' treatment of diseases with insufficient treatment options as pursued by the 'CURE ID' initiative.

RevDate: 2023-11-01

He LS, Qi Y, Allard CAH, et al (2023)

Molecular tuning of sea anemone stinging.

eLife, 12:.

Jellyfish and sea anemones fire single-use, venom-covered barbs to immobilize prey or predators. We previously showed that the anemone Nematostella vectensis uses a specialized voltage-gated calcium (CaV) channel to trigger stinging in response to synergistic prey-derived chemicals and touch (Weir et al., 2020). Here, we use experiments and theory to find that stinging behavior is suited to distinct ecological niches. We find that the burrowing anemone Nematostella uses uniquely strong CaV inactivation for precise control of predatory stinging. In contrast, the related anemone Exaiptasia diaphana inhabits exposed environments to support photosynthetic endosymbionts. Consistent with its niche, Exaiptasia indiscriminately stings for defense and expresses a CaV splice variant that confers weak inactivation. Chimeric analyses reveal that CaVβ subunit adaptations regulate inactivation, suggesting an evolutionary tuning mechanism for stinging behavior. These findings demonstrate how functional specialization of ion channel structure contributes to distinct organismal behavior.

RevDate: 2023-10-31

Radice VZ, Martinez A, Paytan A, et al (2023)

Complex dynamics of coral gene expression responses to low pH across species.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Coral capacity to tolerate low pH affects coral community composition and, ultimately, reef ecosystem function. Low pH submarine discharges ('Ojo'; Yucatán, México) represent a natural laboratory to study plasticity and acclimatization to low pH in relation to ocean acidification. A previous >2-year coral transplant experiment to ambient and low pH common garden sites revealed differential survivorship across species and sites, providing a framework to compare mechanistic responses to differential pH exposures. Here, we examined gene expression responses of transplants of three species of reef-building corals (Porites astreoides, Porites porites and Siderastrea siderea) and their algal endosymbiont communities (Symbiodiniaceae) originating from low pH (Ojo) and ambient pH native origins (Lagoon or Reef). Transplant pH environment had the greatest effect on gene expression of Porites astreoides hosts and symbionts and P. porites hosts. Host P. astreoides Ojo natives transplanted to ambient pH showed a similar gene expression profile to Lagoon natives remaining in ambient pH, providing evidence of plasticity in response to ambient pH conditions. Although origin had a larger effect on host S. siderea gene expression due to differences in symbiont genera within Reef and Lagoon/Ojo natives, subtle effects of low pH on all origins demonstrated acclimatization potential. All corals responded to low pH by differentially expressing genes related to pH regulation, ion transport, calcification, cell adhesion and stress/immune response. This study demonstrates that the magnitude of coral gene expression responses to pH varies considerably among populations, species and holobionts, which could differentially affect acclimatization to and impacts of ocean acidification.

RevDate: 2023-10-31
CmpDate: 2023-10-30

Matthews JL, Khalil A, Siboni N, et al (2023)

Coral endosymbiont growth is enhanced by metabolic interactions with bacteria.

Nature communications, 14(1):6864.

Bacteria are key contributors to microalgae resource acquisition, competitive performance, and functional diversity, but their potential metabolic interactions with coral microalgal endosymbionts (Symbiodiniaceae) have been largely overlooked. Here, we show that altering the bacterial composition of two widespread Symbiodiniaceae species, during their free-living stage, results in a significant shift in their cellular metabolism. Indeed, the abundance of monosaccharides and the key phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) were correlated with the presence of specific bacteria, including members of the Labrenzia (Roseibium) and Marinobacter genera. Single-cell stable isotope tracking revealed that these two bacterial genera are involved in reciprocal exchanges of carbon and nitrogen with Symbiodiniaceae. We identified the provision of IAA by Labrenzia and Marinobacter, and this metabolite caused a significant growth enhancement of Symbiodiniaceae. By unravelling these interkingdom interactions, our work demonstrates how specific bacterial associates fundamentally govern Symbiodiniaceae fitness.

RevDate: 2023-10-27

Giorgini M, Formisano G, García-García R, et al (2023)

The Susceptibility of Bemisia tabaci Mediterranean (MED) Species to Attack by a Parasitoid Wasp Changes between Two Whitefly Strains with Different Facultative Endosymbiotic Bacteria.

Insects, 14(10):.

In this study, two strains of the mitochondrial lineage Q1 of Bemisia tabaci MED species, characterized by a different complement of facultative bacterial endosymbionts, were tested for their susceptibility to be attacked by the parasitoid wasp Eretmocerus mundus, a widespread natural enemy of B. tabaci. Notably, the BtHC strain infected with Hamiltonella and Cardinium was more resistant to parasitization than the BtHR strain infected with Hamiltonella and Rickettsia. The resistant phenotype consisted of fewer nymphs successfully parasitized (containing the parasitoid mature larva or pupa) and in a lower percentage of adult wasps emerging from parasitized nymphs. Interestingly, the resistance traits were not evident when E. mundus parasitism was compared between BtHC and BtHR using parasitoids originating from a colony maintained on BtHC. However, when we moved the parasitoid colony on BtHR and tested E. mundus after it was reared on BtHR for four and seven generations, we saw then that BtHC was less susceptible to parasitization than BtHR. On the other hand, we did not detect any difference in the parasitization of the BtHR strain between the three generations of E. mundus tested. Our findings showed that host strain is a factor affecting the ability of E. mundus to parasitize B. tabaci and lay the basis for further studies aimed at disentangling the role of the facultative endosymbiont Cardinium and of the genetic background in the resistance of B. tabaci MED to parasitoid attack. Furthermore, they highlight that counteradaptations to the variation of B. tabaci defence mechanisms may be rapidly selected in E. mundus to maximize the parasitoid fitness.

RevDate: 2023-10-26

Głowska E, M Gerth (2023)

Draft genome sequence of a Wolbachia endosymbiont from Syringophilopsis turdi (Fritsch, 1958) (Acari, Syringophilidae).

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

We present the draft genome of a Wolbachia endosymbiont from quill mites. This is the first representative of a recently discovered distinct Wolbachia lineage (supergroup P). We hope the genome will be a useful resource for comparative evolutionary and genomic studies across the globally distributed symbiont Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2023-10-24

Russell SL, Castillo JR, WT Sullivan (2023)

Wolbachia endosymbionts manipulate the self-renewal and differentiation of germline stem cells to reinforce fertility of their fruit fly host.

PLoS biology, 21(10):e3002335.

The alphaproteobacterium Wolbachia pipientis infects arthropod and nematode species worldwide, making it a key target for host biological control. Wolbachia-driven host reproductive manipulations, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), are credited for catapulting these intracellular bacteria to high frequencies in host populations. Positive, perhaps mutualistic, reproductive manipulations also increase infection frequencies, but are not well understood. Here, we identify molecular and cellular mechanisms by which Wolbachia influences the molecularly distinct processes of germline stem cell (GSC) self-renewal and differentiation. We demonstrate that wMel infection rescues the fertility of flies lacking the translational regulator mei-P26 and is sufficient to sustain infertile homozygous mei-P26-knockdown stocks indefinitely. Cytology revealed that wMel mitigates the impact of mei-P26 loss through restoring proper pMad, Bam, Sxl, and Orb expression. In Oregon R files with wild-type fertility, wMel infection elevates lifetime egg hatch rates. Exploring these phenotypes through dual-RNAseq quantification of eukaryotic and bacterial transcripts revealed that wMel infection rescues and offsets many gene expression changes induced by mei-P26 loss at the mRNA level. Overall, we show that wMel infection beneficially reinforces host fertility at mRNA, protein, and phenotypic levels, and these mechanisms may promote the emergence of mutualism and the breakdown of host reproductive manipulations.

RevDate: 2023-10-24

Perlmutter JI, Atadurdyyeva A, Schedl ME, et al (2023)

Wolbachia enhances the survival of Drosophila infected with fungal pathogens.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.09.30.560320.

UNLABELLED: Wolbachia bacteria of arthropods are at the forefront of basic and translational research on multipartite host-symbiont-pathogen interactions. These microbes are vertically inherited from mother to offspring via the cytoplasm. They are the most widespread endosymbionts on the planet due to their infamous ability to manipulate the reproduction of their hosts to spread themselves in a population, and to provide a variety of fitness benefits to their hosts. Importantly, some strains of Wolbachia can inhibit viral pathogenesis within and between arthropod hosts. Mosquitoes carrying the w Mel Wolbachia strain of Drosophila melanogaster have a greatly reduced capacity to spread viruses like dengue and Zika to humans. Therefore, Wolbachia are the basis of several global vector control initiatives. While significant research efforts have focused on viruses, relatively little attention has been given to Wolbachia -fungal interactions despite the ubiquity of fungal entomopathogens in nature. Here, we demonstrate that Wolbachia increase the longevity of their Drosophila melanogaster hosts when challenged with a spectrum of yeast and filamentous fungal pathogens. We find that this pattern can vary based on host genotype, sex, and fungal species. Further, Wolbachia correlates with higher fertility and reduced pathogen titers during initial fungal infection, indicating a significant fitness benefit. This study demonstrates Wolbachia 's role in diverse fungal pathogen interactions and determines that the phenotype is broad, but with several variables that influence both the presence and strength of the phenotype. These results enhance our knowledge of the strategies Wolbachia uses that likely contribute to such a high global symbiont prevalence.

IMPORTANCE: Wolbachia bacteria of arthropods are at the forefront of global initiatives to fight arthropod-borne viruses. Despite great success in using the symbiont to fight viruses, little research has focused on Wolbachia -fungal interactions. Here, we find that Wolbachia of Drosophila melanogaster , the same strain widely used in antiviral initiatives, can also increase the longevity of flies systemically infected with a panel of yeast and filamentous fungal pathogens. The symbiont also partially increases host fertility and reduces fungal titers during early infection, indicating a significant fitness benefit. This represents a major step forward in Wolbachia research since its pathogen blocking abilities can now be extended to a broad diversity of another major branch of microbial life. This discovery may inform basic research on pathogen blocking and has potential translational applications in areas including biocontrol in agriculture.

RevDate: 2023-10-23

Wenzel M, CF Aquadro (2023)

Wolbachia infection at least partially rescues the fertility and ovary defects of several new Drosophila melanogaster bag of marbles protein-coding mutants.

PLoS genetics, 19(10):e1011009 pii:PGENETICS-D-23-00319 [Epub ahead of print].

The D. melanogaster protein coding gene bag of marbles (bam) plays a key role in early male and female reproduction by forming complexes with partner proteins to promote differentiation in gametogenesis. Like another germline gene, Sex lethal, bam genetically interacts with the endosymbiont Wolbachia, as Wolbachia rescues the reduced fertility of a bam hypomorphic mutant. Here, we explored the specificity of the bam-Wolbachia interaction by generating 22 new bam mutants, with ten mutants displaying fertility defects. Nine of these mutants trend towards rescue by the wMel Wolbachia variant, with eight statistically significant at the fertility and/or cytological level. In some cases, fertility was increased a striking 20-fold. There is no specificity between the rescue and the known binding regions of bam, suggesting wMel does not interact with one singular bam partner to rescue the reproductive phenotype. We further tested if wMel interacts with bam in a non-specific way, by increasing bam transcript levels or acting upstream in germline stem cells. A fertility assessment of a bam RNAi knockdown mutant reveals that wMel rescue is specific to functionally mutant bam alleles and we find no obvious evidence of wMel interaction with germline stem cells in bam mutants.

RevDate: 2023-10-23

Bustamante JA, Ceron JS, Gao IT, et al (2023)

A protease and a lipoprotein jointly modulate the conserved ExoR-ExoS-ChvI signaling pathway critical in Sinorhizobium meliloti for symbiosis with legume hosts.

PLoS genetics, 19(10):e1010776 pii:PGENETICS-D-23-00529 [Epub ahead of print].

Sinorhizobium meliloti is a model alpha-proteobacterium for investigating microbe-host interactions, in particular nitrogen-fixing rhizobium-legume symbioses. Successful infection requires complex coordination between compatible host and endosymbiont, including bacterial production of succinoglycan, also known as exopolysaccharide-I (EPS-I). In S. meliloti EPS-I production is controlled by the conserved ExoS-ChvI two-component system. Periplasmic ExoR associates with the ExoS histidine kinase and negatively regulates ChvI-dependent expression of exo genes, necessary for EPS-I synthesis. We show that two extracytoplasmic proteins, LppA (a lipoprotein) and JspA (a lipoprotein and a metalloprotease), jointly influence EPS-I synthesis by modulating the ExoR-ExoS-ChvI pathway and expression of genes in the ChvI regulon. Deletions of jspA and lppA led to lower EPS-I production and competitive disadvantage during host colonization, for both S. meliloti with Medicago sativa and S. medicae with M. truncatula. Overexpression of jspA reduced steady-state levels of ExoR, suggesting that the JspA protease participates in ExoR degradation. This reduction in ExoR levels is dependent on LppA and can be replicated with ExoR, JspA, and LppA expressed exogenously in Caulobacter crescentus and Escherichia coli. Akin to signaling pathways that sense extracytoplasmic stress in other bacteria, JspA and LppA may monitor periplasmic conditions during interaction with the plant host to adjust accordingly expression of genes that contribute to efficient symbiosis. The molecular mechanisms underlying host colonization in our model system may have parallels in related alpha-proteobacteria.

RevDate: 2023-10-21

Vaurs M, Dolu EB, A Decottignies (2023)

Mitochondria and telomeres: hand in glove.

Biogerontology [Epub ahead of print].

Born as an endosymbiont, the bacteria engulfed by the proto-eukaryotic cell more than 1.45 billion years ago progressively evolved as an important organelle with multiple interactions with the host cell. In particular, strong connections between mitochondria and the chromosome ends, the telomeres, led to propose a new theory of ageing in which dysfunctional telomeres and mitochondria are the main actors of a vicious circle reducing cell fitness and promoting cellular ageing. We review the evidences that oxidative stress and dysfunctional mitochondria damage telomeres and further discuss the interrelationship between telomere biology and mitochondria through the lens of telomerase which shuttles between the nucleus and mitochondria. Finally, we elaborate on the possible role of the mitochondrial genome on the inheritance of human telomere length through the expression of mitochondrial gene variants.

RevDate: 2023-10-21

Rushidi MNA, Azhari MLH, Yaakop S, et al (2023)

Detection and Characterisation of Endosymbiont Wolbachia (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae) in Elaeidobius kamerunicus (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea), Pollinating Agent of Oil Palm, and Its Relationships between Populations.

Tropical life sciences research, 34(3):95-111.

Elaeidobius kamerunicus is the most efficient pollinator of oil palm. Wolbachia is an endosymbiotic bacteria associated with E. kamerunicus that has a potential to affect the fecundity and fitness of the E. kamerunicus. Despite their importance, no studies have been conducted to investigate its prevalence in E. kamerunicus. The objectives of this study were to detect and characterise Wolbachia in E. kamerunicus and determine the phylogenetic relationship of Wolbachia strains that infect E. kamerunicus by using three genetic markers namely Filamenting temperature-sensitive mutant Z (ftsZ), Chaperonin folding protein (groEL), and Citrate Synthase Coding Gene (gltA). DNA was extracted from 210 individuals of E. kamerunicus and the Wolbachia infections were detected using the wsp marker. The infected samples (n = 25, 11.9%) were then sequenced using ftsZ, gltA and groEL markers for strain characterization. In this study, a combination of four markers was used to construct the phylogeny of Wolbachia. Similar topologies were shown in all trees; Neighbour-Joining (NJ), Maximum Parsimony (MP), and Bayesian Inference (BI), which showed the mixing of individuals that harbor Wolbachia between populations. Interestingly, Wolbachia on E. kamerunicus was claded together with the species Drosophila simulans under supergroup B. This is the first report of Wolbachia infecting E. kamerunicus which is very valuable and significant as one of the parameters to evaluate the quality of the E. kamerunicus population for sustaining its function as a great pollinator for oil palm.

RevDate: 2023-10-20

Mannaa M, YS Seo (2023)

Improved and simplified method for aseptic isolation of nematodes and nematode-endosymbiotic bacteria from pine seedlings.

MethodsX, 11:102421.

Pine wilt disease (PWD), caused by the pinewood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, significantly impacts pine species and poses a broader ecological concern. An understanding of these nematode-associated microbes is essential for formulating sustainable PWD management strategies. We introduce a streamlined method for the aseptic extraction of B. xylophilus from pine seedlings, evolving beyond traditional Baermann funnel approaches. The method ensures optimal nematode extraction under sterile parameters, with seedling cutting discs processed using a unique sterile syringe assembly setup. The efficiency and simplicity of this method promise to significantly reduce the time and resources required. It also incorporates endosymbiotic bacterial isolation from isolated nematodes. The robustness of this method is affirmed by the successful isolation and identification of nematodes and bacterial strains as endosymbionts. Collectively, this protocol paves the way for more effective studies of nematodes and associated microbes, promoting the understanding of PWD and offering practical implications for better PWD management.•A simplified, aseptic method for extracting B. xylophilus from pine seedlings, offering a modern alternative to traditional Baermann funnel method.•Utilization of a specialized sterile syringe assembly setup, ensuring controlled and optimal nematode isolation.•Method validation achieved through the successful isolation and identification of bacterial strains as nematode endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2023-10-19

Bu XL, Zhao WS, Li ZY, et al (2023)

The energy metabolism of Balantidium polyvacuolum inhabiting the hindgut of Xenocypris davidi.

BMC genomics, 24(1):624.

Anaerobic parasitic ciliates are a specialized group of ciliates that are adapted to anoxic and oxygen-depleted habitats. Among them, Balantidium polyvacuolum, which inhabits the hindgut of Xenocyprinae fishes, has received very limited scientific attention, so the molecular mechanism of its adaptation to the digestive tract microenvironment is still unclear. In this study, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and single-cell transcriptome analysis were used to uncover the metabolism of B. polyvacuolum. Starch granules, endosymbiotic bacteria, and multiple specialized mitochondrion-related organelles (MROs) of various shapes were observed. The MROs may have completely lost the electron transport chain (ETC) complexes I, III, IV, and V and only retained succinate dehydrogenase subunit A (SDHA) of complex II. The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle was also incomplete. It can be inferred that the hypoxic intestinal environment has led to the specialization of the mitochondria in B. polyvacuolum. Moreover, carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes), including carbohydrate esterases, enzymes with a carbohydrate-binding module, glycoside hydrolases, and glycosyltransferases, were identified, which may constitute evidence that B. polyvacuolum is able to digest carbohydrates and starch. These findings can improve our knowledge of the energy metabolism and adaptive mechanisms of B. polyvacuolum.

RevDate: 2023-10-19

Hepler JR, Cooper WR, Cullum JP, et al (2023)

Do adult Magicicada (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) feed? Historical perspectives and evidence from molecular gut content analysis.

Journal of insect science (Online), 23(5):.

The periodical cicadas in the genus Magicicada are remarkable for their unusual life histories and dramatic synchronized emergences every 13 or 17 years. While aspects of their evolution, mating behaviors, and general biology have been well-characterized, there is surprising uncertainty surrounding the feeding habits of the short-lived adult stage. Despite a tentative scientific consensus to the contrary, the perception that adult Magicicada do not feed has persisted among the general public, and recent studies are lacking. We directly investigated the feeding behavior of Magicicada spp. through high-throughput sequencing (HTS)-based dietary analysis of nymphs, freshly molted (teneral) adults, and fully sclerotized adults collected from orchard and wooded habitats during the 2021 emergence of Brood X. Identifiable plant DNA (trnF, ITS amplicons) was successfully recovered from nymphs and adults. No plant DNA was recovered from teneral adults, suggesting that all DNA recovered from sclerotized adults was ingested during the post-teneral adult stage. Both nymphs and adults were found to have ingested a range of woody and herbaceous plants across 17 genera and 14 families. Significantly more plant genera per individual were recovered from adults than from nymphs, likely reflecting the greater mobility of the adult stage. We hypothesize that the demonstrated ingestion of plant sap by Magicicada adults is driven by a need to replace lost water and support specialized bacteriome-dwelling endosymbionts that cicadas depend upon for growth and development, which constitutes true feeding behavior.

RevDate: 2023-10-16

Duncan RP, Anderson CMH, Thwaites DT, et al (2023)

Co-option of a conserved host glutamine transporter facilitates aphid/Buchnera metabolic integration.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(43):e2308448120.

Organisms across the tree of life colonize novel environments by partnering with bacterial symbionts. These symbioses are characterized by intimate integration of host/endosymbiont biology at multiple levels, including metabolically. Metabolic integration is particularly important for sap-feeding insects and their symbionts, which supplement nutritionally unbalanced host diets. Many studies reveal parallel evolution of host/endosymbiont metabolic complementarity in amino acid biosynthesis, raising questions about how amino acid metabolism is regulated, how regulatory mechanisms evolve, and the extent to which similar mechanisms evolve in different systems. In the aphid/Buchnera symbiosis, the transporter ApGLNT1 (Acyrthosiphon pisum glutamine transporter 1) supplies glutamine, an amino donor in transamination reactions, to bacteriocytes (where Buchnera reside) and is competitively inhibited by Buchnera-supplied arginine-consistent with a role regulating amino acid metabolism given host demand for Buchnera-produced amino acids. We examined how ApGLNT1 evolved a regulatory role by functionally characterizing orthologs in insects with and without endosymbionts. ApGLNT1 orthologs are functionally similar, and orthology searches coupled with homology modeling revealed that GLNT1 is ancient and structurally conserved across insects. Our results indicate that the ApGLNT1 symbiotic regulatory role is derived from its ancestral role and, in aphids, is likely facilitated by loss of arginine biosynthesis through the urea cycle. Given consistent loss of host arginine biosynthesis and retention of endosymbiont arginine supply, we hypothesize that GLNT1 is a general mechanism regulating amino acid metabolism in sap-feeding insects. This work fills a gap, highlighting the broad importance of co-option of ancestral proteins to novel contexts in the evolution of host/symbiont systems.

RevDate: 2023-10-17

Sounart H, Voronin D, Masarapu Y, et al (2023)

Miniature spatial transcriptomics for studying parasite-endosymbiont relationships at the micro scale.

Nature communications, 14(1):6500.

Several important human infectious diseases are caused by microscale-sized parasitic nematodes like filarial worms. Filarial worms have their own spatial tissue organization; to uncover this tissue structure, we need methods that can spatially resolve these miniature specimens. Most filarial worms evolved a mutualistic association with endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia. However, the mechanisms underlying the dependency of filarial worms on the fitness of these bacteria remain unknown. As Wolbachia is essential for the development, reproduction, and survival of filarial worms, we spatially explored how Wolbachia interacts with the worm's reproductive system by performing a spatial characterization using Spatial Transcriptomics (ST) across a posterior region containing reproductive tissue and developing embryos of adult female Brugia malayi worms. We provide a proof-of-concept for miniature-ST to explore spatial gene expression patterns in small sample types, demonstrating the method's ability to uncover nuanced tissue region expression patterns, observe the spatial localization of key B. malayi - Wolbachia pathway genes, and co-localize the B. malayi spatial transcriptome in Wolbachia tissue regions, also under antibiotic treatment. We envision our approach will open up new avenues for the study of infectious diseases caused by micro-scale parasitic worms.

RevDate: 2023-10-12

Butterworth S, Kordova K, Chandrasekaran S, et al (2023)

High-throughput identification of Toxoplasma gondii effector proteins that target host cell transcription.

Cell host & microbe, 31(10):1748-1762.e8.

Intracellular pathogens and other endosymbionts reprogram host cell transcription to suppress immune responses and recalibrate biosynthetic pathways. This reprogramming is critical in determining the outcome of infection or colonization. We combine pooled CRISPR knockout screening with dual host-microbe single-cell RNA sequencing, a method we term dual perturb-seq, to identify the molecular mediators of these transcriptional interactions. Applying dual perturb-seq to the intracellular pathogen Toxoplasma gondii, we are able to identify previously uncharacterized effector proteins and directly infer their function from the transcriptomic data. We show that TgGRA59 contributes to the export of other effector proteins from the parasite into the host cell and identify an effector, TgSOS1, that is necessary for sustained host STAT6 signaling and thereby contributes to parasite immune evasion and persistence. Together, this work demonstrates a tool that can be broadly adapted to interrogate host-microbe transcriptional interactions and reveal mechanisms of infection and immune evasion.

RevDate: 2023-10-11

Thanchomnang T, Rodpai R, Thinnabut K, et al (2023)

Characterization of the bacterial microbiota of cattle ticks in northeastern Thailand through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases pii:S1567-1348(23)00109-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Ticks are vectors of a variety of pathogens that can infect humans and animals. Ticks also harbor non-pathogenic microbiota. This study characterized the microbiota of the ticks infesting beef cattle in Thailand. Two species of ticks; Rhipicephalus microplus (n = 15) and Haemaphysalis bispinosa (n = 5), were collected in seven provinces in northeastern Thailand. Microbial community profile of ticks was examined based on sequences of the V3-V4 region of 16S rRNA gene. Proteobacteria (Pseudomonadota) was the most abundant phylum, followed by Firmicutes (Bacillota), and Actinobacteriota. Coxiella-like endosymbiont was the most abundant bacterial taxon overall (49% of sequence reads), followed by Anaplasma (8.5%), Corynebacterium (5.5%), Ehrlichia (3.9%), and Castellaniella (3.4%). Co-infections of the pathogenic bacteria Ehrlichia and Anaplasma were detected in 19/20 (95%) female ticks. The tick with the lowest number of bacteria had the lowest abundance of the Coxiella-like endosymbiont, and the pathogenic bacteria Anaplasma and Ehrlichia were absent. This study provides baseline information of the microbiota of cattle ticks in northeastern Thailand, suggesting that ticks carry a few dominant bacterial taxa that are primarily non-pathogenic but can co-occur with pathogenic microorganisms. The information obtained is useful for monitoring disease outbreaks in the future and informing prevention and control strategies against cattle tick-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2023-10-11

Haghshenas-Gorgabi N, Poorjavd N, Khajehali J, et al (2023)

Cardinium symbionts are pervasive in Iranian populations of the spider mite Panonychus ulmi despite inducing an infection cost and no demonstrable reproductive phenotypes when Wolbachia is a symbiotic partner.

Experimental & applied acarology [Epub ahead of print].

Maternally transmitted symbionts such as Cardinium and Wolbachia are widespread in arthropods. Both Cardinium and Wolbachia can cause cytoplasmic incompatibility, a reproductive phenotype that interferes with the development of uninfected eggs that are fertilized by infected sperm. In haplodiploid hosts, these symbionts can also distort sex allocation to facilitate their spread through host populations. Without other fitness effects, symbionts that induce strong reproductive phenotypes tend to spread to high and stable infection frequencies, whereas variants that induce weak reproductive phenotypes are typically associated with intermediate and variable frequencies. To study the spread of Cardinium in a haplodiploid host, we sampled Iranian populations of the economically important spider mite Panonychus ulmi in apple orchards. Within several field populations, we also studied the Wolbachia infection frequencies. All P. ulmi field populations carried a Cardinium infection and exhibited high infection frequencies. In contrast, Wolbachia frequency ranged between ca. 10% and ca. 70% and was only found in co-infected mites. To test whether Cardinium induce reproductive phenotypes in P. ulmi, a Cardinium-cured derived line was generated by antibiotic treatment from a co-infected field population. Genetic crosses indicated that Cardinium do not induce demonstrable levels of cytoplasmic incompatibility and sex allocation distortion in co-infected P. ulmi. However, Cardinium infection was associated with a longer developmental time and reduced total fecundity for co-infected females. We hypothesize that Cardinium spread through P. ulmi populations via uncharacterized fitness effects and that co-infection with Wolbachia might impact these drive mechanisms.

RevDate: 2023-10-10

Margarita V, Carboni G, Diaz N, et al (2023)

Patterns of antibiotic resistance of Mycoplasma hominis endosymbiont of Trichomonas vaginalis and the influence of bacterial intracellular location on drugs susceptibility.

Journal of global antimicrobial resistance pii:S2213-7165(23)00171-6 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: Mycoplasma hominis, an opportunistic pathogen of the human lower urogenital tract, can survive and replicate within the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis, establishing an endosymbiotic relationship. The intracellular location may provide a means for the bacteria to evade the immune system and protection from antimicrobial activities. Our aim was to investigate the influence of the endosymbiotic association of M. hominis with trichomonad cells on bacterial antibiotic susceptibility.

METHODS: We evaluated antibiotic resistance patterns in a group of M. hominis isolated from T. vaginalis clinical specimens as well as in M. hominis isolated from patients without trichomoniasis. Using an experimental model system, we compared the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and lethal concentration (MLC) of tetracycline on M. hominis endosymbionts of T. vaginalis and extracellular bacteria.

RESULTS: The incidence rate of M. hominis strains resistant to C14 and C15 macrolide antibiotics was higher in intracellular strains associated with T. vaginalis compared to extracellular bacteria isolated from women not affected by trichomoniasis. However, sensitivity to tetracycline and quinolones was similar in both groups. In vitro experiments demonstrated that M. hominis strains, when isolated as endosymbionts from T. vaginalis, exhibited reduced sensitivity to tetracycline when cultured extracellularly for at least 8 weeks.

CONCLUSION: The intracellular localization of bacteria within trichomonad cells may impact antibiotic susceptibility.

RevDate: 2023-10-09

Oundo JW, Kalayou S, Bosch QT, et al (2023)

Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting cattle in coastal Kenya harbor a diverse array of tick-borne pathogens.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 15(1):102266 pii:S1877-959X(23)00147-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Ticks and the microbes they transmit have emerged in sub-Saharan Africa as a major threat to veterinary and public health. Although progress has been made in detecting and identifying tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) across vast agroecologies of Kenya, comprehensive information on tick species infesting cattle and their associated pathogens in coastal Kenya needs to be updated and expanded. Ticks infesting extensively grazed zebu cattle in 14 villages were sampled and identified based on morphology and molecular methods and tested for the presence of bacterial and protozoan TBPs using PCR with high-resolution melting analysis and gene sequencing. In total, 3,213 adult ticks were collected and identified as Rhipicephalus appendiculatus (15.8%), R. evertsi (12.8%), R. microplus (11.3%), R. pulchellus (0.1%), Amblyomma gemma (24.1%), A. variegatum (35.1%), Hyalomma rufipes (0.6%), and H. albiparmatum (0.2%). Ticks were infected with Rickettsia africae, Ehrlichia ruminantium, E. minasensis, Theileria velifera and T. parva. Coxiella sp. endosymbionts were detected in the Rhipicephalus and Amblyomma ticks. Co-infections with two and three different pathogens were identified in 6.9% (n = 95/1382) and 0.1% (n = 2/1382) of single tick samples, respectively, with the most common co-infection being R. africae and E. ruminantium (7.2%, CI: 4.6 - 10.6). All samples were negative for Coxiella burnetii, Anaplasma spp. and Babesia spp. Our study provides an overview of tick and tick-borne microbial diversities in coastal Kenya.

RevDate: 2023-10-09

Kwak Y, AK Hansen (2023)

Unveiling metabolic integration in psyllids and their nutritional endosymbionts through comparative transcriptomics analysis.

iScience, 26(10):107930.

Psyllids, a group of insects that feed on plant sap, have a symbiotic relationship with an endosymbiont called Carsonella. Carsonella synthesizes essential amino acids and vitamins for its psyllid host, but lacks certain genes required for this process, suggesting a compensatory role of psyllid host genes. To investigate this, gene expression was compared between two psyllid species, Bactericera cockerelli and Diaphorina citri, in specialized cells where Carsonella resides (bacteriomes). Collaborative psyllid genes, including horizontally transferred genes, showed patterns of conserved gene expression; however, species-specific patterns were also observed, suggesting differences in the nutritional metabolism between psyllid species. Also, the recycling of nitrogen in bacteriomes may primarily rely on glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH). Additionally, lineage-specific gene clusters were differentially expressed in B. cockerelli and D. citri bacteriomes and are highlighted here. These findings shed light on potential host adaptations for the regulation of this symbiosis due to host, microbiome, and environmental differences.

RevDate: 2023-10-09

Cui X, Liu Y, Zhang J, et al (2023)

Variation of endosymbiont and citrus tristeza virus (CTV) titers in the Huanglongbing insect vector, Diaphorina citri, on CTV-infected plants.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1236731.

"Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus" (CLas) is a notorious agent that causes Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), which is transmitted by Diaphorina citri (D. citri). We recently found that the acquisition and transmission of CLas by D. citri was facilitated by Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), a widely distributed virus in the field. In this study, we further studied whether different CTV strains manipulate the host preference of D. citri, and whether endosymbionts variation is related to CTV strains in D. citri. The results showed that the non-viruliferous D. citri preferred to select the shoots infected with CTV, without strain differences was observed in the selection. However, the viruliferous D. citri prefered to select the mixed strain that is similar to the field's. Furthermore, D. citri effectively acquired the CTV within 2-12 h depending on the strains of the virus. The persistence period of CTV in D. citri was longer than 24 days, without reduction of the CTV titers being observed. These results provide a foundation for understanding the transmission mode of D. citri on CTV. During the process of CTV acquisition and persistence, the titers of main endosymbionts in D. citri showed similar variation trend, but their relative titers were different at different time points. The titers of the "Candidatus Profftella armatura" and CTV tended to be positively correlated, and the titers of Wolbachia and "Candidatus Carsonella ruddii" were mostly negatively related with titers of CT31. These results showed the relationship among D. citri, endosymbionts, and CTV and provided useful information for further research on the interactions between D. citri and CLas, which may benefit the development of approaches for the prevention of CLas transmission and control of citrus HLB.

RevDate: 2023-10-09

Pikula J, Piacek V, Bandouchova H, et al (2023)

Case report: Filarial infection of a parti-coloured bat: Litomosa sp. adult worms in abdominal cavity and microfilariae in bat semen.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 10:1284025.

BACKGROUND: Filarial infections have been understudied in bats. Likewise, little is known about pathogens associated with the reproductive system in chiropterans. While semen quality is critical for reproductive success, semen-borne pathogens may contribute to reproductive failure.

METHODS: For the first time we performed electroejaculation and used computer-assisted semen analysis to provide baseline data on semen quality in a parti-coloured bat (Vespertilio murinus).

RESULTS: The semen quality values measured in the V. murinus male appeared high (semen concentration = 305.4 × 10[6]/mL; progressive and motile sperm = 46.58 and 60.27%, respectively). As an incidental finding, however, microfilariae were observed in the bat semen examined. At necropsy, eight adult filarial worms, later genetically identified as Litomosa sp., were found in the peritoneal cavity, close to the stomach, of the same particoloured bat male dying as a result of dysmicrobia and haemorrhagic gastroenteritis in a wildlife rescue centre. Histopathology revealed microfilariae in the testicular connective tissue and the epidydimal connective and fat tissues. A PCR assay targeting cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 confirmed that adult worms from the peritoneal cavity and testicular microfilariae were of the same filarial species. Mildly engorged argasid mite larvae attached to the bat skin proved negative for filarial DNA and the adult filarial worms proved negative for endosymbiont Wolbachia.

CONCLUSION: While the standard filarial life cycle pattern involves a vertebrate definitive host and an invertebrate vector, represented by a blood-sucking ectoparasite, our finding suggests that microfilariae of this nematode species may also be semen-borne, with transmission intensity promoted by the polygynous mating system of vespertilionid bats in which an infected male mates with many females during the autumn swarming. Presence of microfilariae may be expected to decrease semen quality and transmission via this route may challenge the success of reproductive events in females after mating. Further investigation will be necessary to better understand the bat-parasite interaction and the life cycle of this filarial worm.

RevDate: 2023-10-04

Hettiarachchi A, Cnockaert M, Joossens M, et al (2023)

The wild solitary bees Andrena vaga, Anthophora plumipes, Colletes cunicularius, and Osmia cornuta microbiota are host specific and dominated by endosymbionts and environmental microorganisms.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

We characterized the microbial communities of the crop, midgut, hindgut, and ovaries of the wild solitary bees Andrena vaga, Anthophora plumipes, Colletes cunicularius, and Osmia cornuta through 16S rRNA gene and ITS2 amplicon sequencing and a large-scale isolation campaign. The bacterial communities of these bees were dominated by endosymbionts of the genera Wolbachia and Spiroplasma. Bacterial and yeast genera representing the remaining predominant taxa were linked to an environmental origin. While only a single sampling site was examined for Andrena vaga, Anthophora plumipes, and Colletes cunicularius, and two sampling sites for Osmia cornuta, the microbiota appeared to be host specific: bacterial, but not fungal, communities generally differed between the analyzed bee species, gut compartments and ovaries. This may suggest a selective process determined by floral and host traits. Many of the gut symbionts identified in the present study are characterized by metabolic versatility. Whether they exert similar functionalities within the bee gut and thus functional redundancy remains to be elucidated.

RevDate: 2023-10-01

Datki Z, Darula Z, Vedelek V, et al (2023)

Biofilm formation initiating rotifer-specific biopolymer and its predicted components.

International journal of biological macromolecules pii:S0141-8130(23)04054-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The rotifer-specific biopolymer, namely Rotimer, is a recently discovered group of the biomolecule family. Rotimer has an active role in the biofilm formation initiated by rotifers (e.g., Euchlanis dilatata or Adineta vaga) or in the female-male sexual interaction of monogononts. To understand the Ca[2+]- and polarity-dependent formation of this multifunctional viscoelastic material, it is essential to explore its molecular composition. The investigation of the rotifer-enhanced biofilm and Rotimer-inductor conglomerate (RIC) formation yielded several protein candidates to predict the Rotimer-specific main components. The exudate of E. dilatata males was primarily applied from different biopolimer-containing samples (biofilm or RIC). The advantage of males over females lies in their degenerated digestive system and simple anatomy. Thus, their exudate is less contaminated with food and endosymbiont elements. The sequenced and annotated genome and transcriptome of this species opened the way for identifying Rotimer proteins by mass spectrometry. The predicted rotifer-biopolymer forming components are SCO-spondins and 14-3-3 protein. The characteristics of Rotimer are similar to Reissner's fiber, which is found in the central nervous system of vertebrates and is mainly formed from SCO-spondins. This molecular information serves as a starting point for its interdisciplinary investigation and application in biotechnology, biomedicine, or neurodegeneration-related drug development.

RevDate: 2023-09-30

Chebbah D, Hamarsheh O, Sereno D, et al (2023)

Molecular characterization and genetic diversity of Wolbachia endosymbionts in bed bugs (Hemiptera; Cimicidae) collected in Paris.

PloS one, 18(9):e0292229.

PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the genetic diversity of Wolbachia in field-caught bed bug species in Paris areas.

METHODS: The bed bug specimens were captured from various infested localities in Paris and surrounding cities. They belonged to diverse life stages, including egg, nymph, and adult. They were then identified using morphological and molecular approaches. Furthermore, Wolbachia was detected, and its genetic diversity was investigated by conventional PCR of 16S-rRNA and Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) genes.

RESULTS: A total of 256 bed bug specimens belonging to various life stages [adult (183 specimens), nymph (48), and egg (25)] were captured from seven private apartments, five social apartments, three houses, two immigrant residences, and one retirement home situated in 10 districts of Paris and 8 surrounding cities. They were identified as Cimex lectularius (237 specimens) and C. hemipterus (19) using morphological and molecular approaches. The presence and diversity of Wolbachia were ascertained by targeting 16S-rRNA and wsp genes. Based on molecular analysis, 182 and 148 out of 256 processed specimens were positive by amplifying 16S-rRNA and wsp fragments, respectively. The inferred phylogenetic analysis with 16S-rRNA and wsp sequences displayed monophyletic Wolbachia strains clustering each one in three populations. The median-joining network, including the Wolbachia 16S-rRNA and wsp sequences of C. lectularius and C. hemipterous specimens, indicated a significant genetic differentiation among these populations in Paris areas which was consent with Neighbor-Joining analyses. A phylogenetic analysis of our heterogenic Wolbachia sequences with those reported from other arthropod species confirmed their belonging to supergroup F. Moreover, no difference between Wolbachia sequences from eggs, nymphs, and adults belonging to the same clade and between Wolbachia sequences of C. lectularius and C. hemipterus were observed after sequence alignment. Furthermore, no significant correlation was found between multiple geographical locations (or accomodation type) where bed bugs were collected and the genetic diversity of Wolbachia.

CONCLUSIONS: We highlight a significant heterogeneity within Wolbachia symbionts detected in C. lectularius and C. hemipterus. No correlation between Wolbachia species and bed bug species (C. lectularius versus C. hemipterus), physiological stages (egg, nymph, and adult), and sampling location was recorded in this study.

RevDate: 2023-09-28

Dittmer J, Corretto E, Štarhová Serbina L, et al (2023)

Division of labor within psyllids: metagenomics reveals an ancient dual endosymbiosis with metabolic complementarity in the genus Cacopsylla.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Hemipteran insects are well-known for their ancient associations with beneficial bacterial endosymbionts, particularly nutritional symbionts that provide the host with essential nutrients such as amino acids or vitamins lacking in the host's diet. Therefore, these primary endosymbionts enable the exploitation of nutrient-poor food sources such as plant sap or vertebrate blood. In turn, the strictly host-associated lifestyle strongly impacts the genome evolution of the endosymbionts, resulting in small and degraded genomes. Over time, even the essential nutritional functions can be compromised, leading to the complementation or replacement of an ancient endosymbiont by another, more functionally versatile bacterium. Herein, we provide evidence for a dual primary endosymbiosis in several psyllid species. Using metagenome sequencing, we produced the complete genome sequences of both the primary endosymbiont "Candidatus Carsonella ruddii" and an as yet uncharacterized Enterobacteriaceae bacterium from four species of the genus Cacopsylla. The latter represents a new psyllid-associated endosymbiont clade for which we propose the name "Candidatus Psyllophila symbiotica." Fluorescent in situ hybridization confirmed the co-localization of both endosymbionts in the bacteriome. The metabolic repertoire of Psyllophila is highly conserved across host species and complements the tryptophan biosynthesis pathway that is incomplete in the co-occurring Carsonella. Unlike co-primary endosymbionts in other insects, the genome of Psyllophila is almost as small as the one of Carsonella, indicating an ancient co-obligate endosymbiosis rather than a recent association to rescue a degrading primary endosymbiont. IMPORTANCE Heritable beneficial bacterial endosymbionts have been crucial for the evolutionary success of numerous insects by enabling the exploitation of nutritionally limited food sources. Herein, we describe a previously unknown dual endosymbiosis in the psyllid genus Cacopsylla, consisting of the primary endosymbiont "Candidatus Carsonella ruddii" and a co-occurring Enterobacteriaceae bacterium for which we propose the name "Candidatus Psyllophila symbiotica." Its localization within the bacteriome and its small genome size confirm that Psyllophila is a co-primary endosymbiont widespread within the genus Cacopsylla. Despite its highly eroded genome, Psyllophila perfectly complements the tryptophan biosynthesis pathway that is incomplete in the co-occurring Carsonella. Moreover, the genome of Psyllophila is almost as small as Carsonella's, suggesting an ancient dual endosymbiosis that has now reached a precarious stage where any additional gene loss would make the system collapse. Hence, our results shed light on the dynamic interactions of psyllids and their endosymbionts over evolutionary time.

RevDate: 2023-09-28

Yüksel E, Yıldırım A, İmren M, et al (2023)

Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus Bacteria as Potential Candidates for the Control of Culex pipiens L. (Diptera: Culicidae), the Principal Vector of West Nile Virus and Lymphatic Filariasis.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 12(9): pii:pathogens12091095.

Vector-borne diseases pose a severe threat to human and animal health. Culex pipiens L. (Diptera: Culicidae) is a widespread mosquito species and serves as a vector for the transmission of infectious diseases such as West Nile disease and Lymphatic Filariasis. Synthetic insecticides have been the prime control method for many years to suppress Cx. pipiens populations. However, recently, the use of insecticides has begun to be questioned due to the detrimental impact on human health and the natural environment. Therefore, many authorities urge the development of eco-friendly control methods that are nontoxic to humans. The bacterial associates [Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus spp. (Enterobacterales: Morganellaceae)] of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) (Sterinernema spp. and Heterorhabditis spp.) (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae) are one of the green approaches to combat a variety of insect pests. In the present study, the mosquitocidal activity of the cell-free supernatants and cell suspension (4 × 10[7] cells mL[-1]) of four different symbiotic bacteria (Xenorhabdus nematophila, X. bovienii, X. budapestensis, and P. luminescens subsp. kayaii) was assessed against different development stages of Cx. pipiens (The 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th instar larvae and pupa) under laboratory conditions. The bacterial symbionts were able to kill all the development stages with varying levels of mortality. The 1st/2nd instar larvae exhibited the highest susceptibility to the cell-free supernatants and cell suspensions of symbiotic bacteria and the efficacy of the cell-free supernatants and cell suspensions gradually declined with increasing phases of growth. The highest effectiveness was achieved by the X. bovienii KCS-4S strain inducing 95% mortality to the 1st/2nd instar larvae. The results indicate that tested bacterial symbionts have great potential as an eco-friendly alternative to insecticides.

RevDate: 2023-09-28

Margarita V, Congiargiu A, Diaz N, et al (2023)

Mycoplasma hominis and Candidatus Mycoplasma girerdii in Trichomonas vaginalis: Peaceful Cohabitants or Contentious Roommates?.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 12(9): pii:pathogens12091083.

Trichomonas vaginalis is a pathogenic protozoan diffused worldwide capable of infecting the urogenital tract in humans, causing trichomoniasis. One of its most intriguing aspects is the ability to establish a close relationship with endosymbiotic microorganisms: the unique association of T. vaginalis with the bacterium Mycoplasma hominis represents, to date, the only example of an endosymbiosis involving two true human pathogens. Since its discovery, several aspects of the symbiosis between T. vaginalis and M. hominis have been characterized, demonstrating that the presence of the intracellular guest strongly influences the pathogenic characteristics of the protozoon, making it more aggressive towards host cells and capable of stimulating a stronger proinflammatory response. The recent description of a further symbiont of the protozoon, the newly discovered non-cultivable mycoplasma Candidatus Mycoplasma girerdii, makes the picture even more complex. This review provides an overview of the main aspects of this complex microbial consortium, with particular emphasis on its effect on protozoan pathobiology and on the interplays among the symbionts.

RevDate: 2023-09-28

Santana MCO, Chourabi K, Cantanhêde LM, et al (2023)

Exploring Host-Specificity: Untangling the Relationship between Leishmania (Viannia) Species and Its Endosymbiont Leishmania RNA Virus 1.

Microorganisms, 11(9): pii:microorganisms11092295.

A relevant aspect in the epidemiology of Tegumentary Leishmaniasis (TL) are the Leishmania parasites carrying a viral endosymbiont, Leishmania RNA Virus 1 (LRV1), a dsRNA virus. Leishmania parasites carrying LRV1 are prone to causing more severe TL symptoms, increasing the likelihood of unfavorable clinical outcomes. LRV1 has been observed in the cultured strains of five L. (Viannia) species, and host specificity was suggested when studying the LRV1 from L. braziliensis and L. guyanensis strains. The coevolution hypothesis of LRV1 and Leishmania was based on phylogenetic analyses, implying an association between LRV1 genotypes, Leishmania species, and their geographic origins. This study aimed to investigate LRV1 specificity relative to Leishmania (Viannia) species hosts by analyzing LRV1 from L. (Viannia) species. To this end, LRV1 was screened in L. (Viannia) species other than L. braziliensis or L. guyanensis, and it was detected in 11 out of 15 L. naiffi and two out of four L. shawi. Phylogenetic analyses based on partial LRV1 genomic sequencing supported the hypothesis of host specificity, as LRV1 clustered according to their respective Leishmania species' hosts. These findings underscore the importance of investigating Leishmania and LRV1 coevolution and its impact on Leishmania (Viannia) species dispersion and pathogenesis in the American Continent.

RevDate: 2023-09-27

Garcia Guizzo M, Meneses C, Amado Cecilio P, et al (2023)

Optimizing tick artificial membrane feeding for Ixodes scapularis.

Scientific reports, 13(1):16170.

Artificial membrane feeding (AMF) is a powerful and versatile technique with a wide range of applications in the study of disease vectors species. Since its first description, AMF has been under constant optimization and standardization for different tick species and life stages. In the USA, Ixodes scapularis is the main vector of tick-borne zoonoses including the pathogens causing Lyme disease in humans and animals. Seeking to improve the overall fitness of I. scapularis adult females fed artificially, here, we have optimized the AMF technique, considerably enhancing attachment rate, engorgement success, egg laying, and egg hatching compared to those described in previous studies. Parameters such as the membrane thickness and the light/dark cycle to which the ticks were exposed were refined to more closely reflect the tick's natural behavior and life cycle. Additionally, ticks were fed on blood only, blood + ATP or blood + ATP + gentamicin. The artificial feeding of ticks on blood only was successful and generated a progeny capable of feeding naturally on a host, i.e., mice. Adding ATP as a feeding stimulant did not improve tick attachment or engorgement. Notably, the administration of gentamicin, an antibiotic commonly used in tick AMF to prevent microbial contamination, negatively impacted Rickettsia buchneri endosymbiont levels in the progeny of artificially fed ticks. In addition, gentamicin-fed ticks showed a reduction in oviposition success compared to ticks artificially fed on blood only, discouraging the use of antibiotics in AMF. Overall, our data suggest that the AMF of adult females on blood only, in association with the natural feeding of their progeny on mice, might be used as an integrated approach in tick rearing, eliminating the use of protected species under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Of note, although optimized for I. scapularis adult ticks, I. scapularis nymphs, other tick species, and sand flies could also be fed using the membrane described in this study, indicating that it might be a suitable alternative for the artificial feeding of a variety of hematophagous species.

RevDate: 2023-09-27

Heidari Latibari M, Moravvej G, Rakhshani E, et al (2023)

Arsenophonus: A Double-Edged Sword of Aphid Defense against Parasitoids.

Insects, 14(9): pii:insects14090763.

It is widely accepted that endosymbiont interactions with their hosts have significant effects on the fitness of both pests and beneficial species. A particular type of endosymbiosis is that of beneficial associations. Facultative endosymbiotic bacteria are associated with elements that provide aphids with protection from parasitoids. Arsenophonus (Enterobacterales: Morganellaceae) is one such endosymbiont bacterium, with infections being most commonly found among the Hemiptera species. Here, black cowpea aphids (BCAs), Aphis craccivora Koch (Hemiptera: Aphididae), naturally infected with Arsenophonus, were evaluated to determine the defensive role of this bacterium in BCAs against two parasitoid wasp species, Binodoxys angelicae and Lysiphlebus fabarum (both in Braconidae: Aphidiinae). Individuals of the black cowpea aphids infected with Arsenophonus were treated with a blend of ampicillin, cefotaxime, and gentamicin (Arsenophonus-reduced infection, AR) and subsequently subjected to parasitism assays. The results showed that the presence of Arsenophonus does not prevent BCAs from being parasitized by either B. angelicae or L. fabarum. Nonetheless, in BCA colonies parasitized by B. angelicae, the endosymbiont delayed both the larval maturation period and the emergence of the adult parasitoid wasps. In brief, Arsenophonus indirectly limits the effectiveness of B. angelicae parasitism by decreasing the number of emerged adult wasps. Therefore, other members of the BCA colony can survive. Arsenophonus acts as a double-edged sword, capturing the complex dynamic between A. craccivora and its parasitoids.

RevDate: 2023-09-27

Scharfenstein HJ, Alvarez-Roa C, Peplow LM, et al (2023)

Chemical mutagenesis and thermal selection of coral photosymbionts induce adaptation to heat stress with trait trade-offs.

Evolutionary applications, 16(9):1549-1567.

Despite the relevance of heat-evolved microalgal endosymbionts to coral reef restoration, to date, few Symbiodiniaceae strains have been thermally enhanced via experimental evolution. Here, we investigated whether the thermal tolerance of Symbiodiniaceae can be increased through chemical mutagenesis followed by thermal selection. Strains of Durusdinium trenchii, Fugacium kawagutii and Symbiodinium pilosum were exposed to ethyl methanesulfonate to induce random mutagenesis, and then underwent thermal selection at high temperature (31/33°C). After 4.6-5 years of experimental evolution, the in vitro thermal tolerance of these strains was assessed via reciprocal transplant experiments to ambient (27°C) and elevated (31/35°C) temperatures. Growth, photosynthetic efficiency, oxidative stress and nutrient use were measured to compare thermal tolerance between strains. Heat-evolved D. trenchii, F. kawagutii and S. pilosum strains all exhibited increased photosynthetic efficiency under thermal stress. However, trade-offs in growth rates were observed for the heat-evolved D. trenchii lineage at both ambient and elevated temperatures. Reduced phosphate and nitrate uptake rates in F. kawagutii and S. pilosum heat-evolved lineages, respectively, suggest alterations in nutrition resource usage and allocation processes may have occurred. Increased phosphate uptake rates of the heat-evolved D. trenchii strain indicate that experimental evolution resulted in further trade-offs in this species. These findings deepen our understanding of the physiological responses of Symbiodiniaceae cultures to thermal selection and their capacity to adapt to elevated temperatures. The new heat-evolved Symbiodiniaceae developed here may be beneficial for coral reef restoration efforts if their enhanced thermal tolerance can be conferred in hospite.

RevDate: 2023-09-27

Lyndby NH, Murthy S, Bessette S, et al (2023)

Non-invasive investigation of the morphology and optical properties of the upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea with optical coherence tomography.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2007):20230127.

The jellyfish Cassiopea largely cover their carbon demand via photosynthates produced by microalgal endosymbionts, but how holobiont morphology and tissue optical properties affect the light microclimate and symbiont photosynthesis in Cassiopea remain unexplored. Here, we use optical coherence tomography (OCT) to study the morphology of Cassiopea medusae at high spatial resolution. We include detailed 3D reconstructions of external micromorphology, and show the spatial distribution of endosymbionts and white granules in the bell tissue. Furthermore, we use OCT data to extract inherent optical properties from light-scattering white granules in Cassiopea, and show that granules enhance local light-availability for symbionts in close proximity. Individual granules had a scattering coefficient of µs = 200-300 cm[-1], and scattering anisotropy factor of g = 0.7, while large tissue-regions filled with white granules had a lower µs = 40-100 cm[-1], and g = 0.8-0.9. We combined OCT information with isotopic labelling experiments to investigate the effect of enhanced light-availability in whitish tissue regions. Endosymbionts located in whitish tissue exhibited significantly higher carbon fixation compared to symbionts in anastomosing tissue (i.e. tissue without light-scattering white granules). Our findings support previous suggestions that white granules in Cassiopea play an important role in the host modulation of the light-microenvironment.

RevDate: 2023-09-26

Ward PS, Cash EI, Ferger K, et al (2023)

Reference genome of the bicolored carpenter ant, Camponotus vicinus.

The Journal of heredity pii:7282457 [Epub ahead of print].

Carpenter ants in the genus Camponotus are large, conspicuous ants that are abundant and ecologically influential in many terrestrial ecosystems. The bicolored carpenter ant, C. vicinus Mayr, is distributed across a wide range of elevations and latitudes in western North America, where it is a prominent scavenger and predator. Here, we present a high-quality genome assembly of C. vicinus from a sample collected in Sonoma County, California, near the type locality of the species. This genome assembly consists of 38 scaffolds spanning 302.74 Mb, with contig N50 of 15.9Mb, scaffold N50 of 19.9 Mb, and BUSCO completeness of 99.2%. This genome sequence will be a valuable resource for exploring the evolutionary ecology of C. vicinus and carpenter ants generally. It also provides an important tool for clarifying cryptic diversity within the C. vicinus species complex, a genetically diverse set of populations, some of which are quite localized and of conservation interest.

RevDate: 2023-09-25

Štarhová Serbina L, Corretto E, Enciso Garcia JS, et al (2023)

Seasonal wild dance of dual endosymbionts in the pear psyllid Cacopsylla pyricola (Hemiptera: Psylloidea).

Scientific reports, 13(1):16038.

Most sap-feeding insects maintain obligate relationships with endosymbiotic bacteria that provide their hosts with essential nutrients. However, knowledge about the dynamics of endosymbiont titers across seasons in natural host populations is scarce. Here, we used quantitative PCR to investigate the seasonal dynamics of the dual endosymbionts "Candidatus Carsonella ruddii" and "Ca. Psyllophila symbiotica" in a natural population of the pear psyllid Cacopsylla pyricola (Hemiptera: Psylloidea: Psyllidae). Psyllid individuals were collected across an entire year, covering both summer and overwintering generations. Immatures harboured the highest titers of both endosymbionts, while the lowest endosymbiont density was observed in males. The density of Carsonella remained high and relatively stable across the vegetative period of the pear trees, but significantly dropped during the non-vegetative period, overlapping with C. pyricola's reproductive diapause. In contrast, the titer of Psyllophila was consistently higher than Carsonella's and exhibited fluctuations throughout the sampling year, which might be related to host age. Despite a tightly integrated metabolic complementarity between Carsonella and Psyllophila, our findings highlight differences in their density dynamics throughout the year, that might be linked to their metabolic roles at different life stages of the host.

RevDate: 2023-09-25

Maegele I, Rupp S, Özbek S, et al (2023)

A predatory gastrula leads to symbiosis-independent settlement in Aiptasia.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(40):e2311872120.

The planula larvae of the sea anemone Aiptasia have so far not been reported to complete their life cycle by undergoing metamorphosis into adult forms. This has been a major obstacle in their use as a model for coral-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis. Here, we show that Aiptasia larvae actively feed on crustacean nauplii, displaying a preference for live prey. This feeding behavior relies on functional stinging cells, indicative of complex neuronal control. Regular feeding leads to significant size increase, morphological changes, and efficient settlement around 14 d postfertilization. Surprisingly, the presence of dinoflagellate endosymbionts does not affect larval growth or settlement dynamics but is crucial for sexual reproduction. Our findings finally close Aiptasia's life cycle and highlight the functional nature of its larvae, as in Haeckel's Gastrea postulate, yet reveal its active carnivory, thus contributing to our understanding of early metazoan evolution.

RevDate: 2023-09-25

Zhao C, Wang L, Zhang K, et al (2023)

Variation of Helicoverpa armigera symbionts across developmental stages and geographic locations.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1251627.

Cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) poses a global problem, causing substantial economic and ecological losses. Endosymbionts in insects play crucial roles in multiple insect biological processes. However, the interactions between H. armigera and its symbionts have not been well characterized to date. We investigated the symbionts of H. armigera in the whole life cycle from different geographical locations. In the whole life cycle of H. armigera, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria were the dominant bacteria at the phylum level, while Enterococcus, Enterobacter, Glutamicibacter, and Bacillus were the four dominant bacteria at the genus level. Furthermore, high similarity in symbiotic bacterial community was observed in different stages of H. armigera, which were dominated by Enterococcus and Enterobacter. In fields, the dominant bacteria were Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes, whereas, in the laboratory, the dominant bacteria were Proteobacteria. At the genus level, the dominant bacteria in cotton bollworm eggs of wild populations were Enterobacter, Morganella, Lactococcus, Asaia, Apibacter, and Enterococcus, and the subdominant bacteria were Bartonella, Pseudomonas, and Orbus. Moreover, the symbionts varied with geographical locations, and the closer the geographical distance, the more similar the microbial composition. Taken together, our study identifies and compares the symbiont variation along with geographical gradients and host development dynamic and reveals the high flexibility of microbiome communities in H. armigera, which probably benefits for the successful survival in a complicated changing environment.

RevDate: 2023-09-25
CmpDate: 2023-09-25

Kumar V, CS Nautiyal (2023)

Endophytes Modulate Plant Genes: Present Status and Future Perspectives.

Current microbiology, 80(11):353.

Interactions among endophytes and plants are widespread and can vary from neutral or positive or negative. Plants are continually in a functionally dynamic state due to interactions with diverse endophytic microorganisms, which produce various metabolic substances. Through quorum sensing, these substances not only help endophytes to outcompete other host-associated pathogens or microbes but also allow them to overcome the plant immune system. Manifold interactions between endophytic microbiota cause a reflective impact on the host plant functioning and the development of 'endobiomes,' by synthesizing chemicals that fill the gap between host and endophytes. Despite the advances in the field, specific mechanisms for the endophytes' precise methods to modulate plant genome and their effects on host plants remain poorly understood. Deeper genomic exploration can provide a locked away understanding of the competencies of endophytes and their conceivable function in host growth and health. Endophytes also can modify host metabolites, which could manipulate plants' growth, adaptation, and proliferation, and can be a more exciting and puzzling topic that must be properly investigated. The consequence of the interaction of endophytes on the host genome was analyzed as it can help unravel the gray areas of endophytes about which very little or no knowledge exists. This review discusses the recent advances in understanding the future challenges in the emerging research investigating how endosymbionts affect the host's metabolism and gene expression as an effective strategy for imparting resistance to biotic and abiotic challenges.

RevDate: 2023-09-19

Wagner T, Bangoura B, Wiedmer S, et al (2023)

Phytohormones regulate asexual Toxoplasma gondii replication.

Parasitology research [Epub ahead of print].

The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a zoonotic disease agent causing systemic infection in warm-blooded intermediate hosts including humans. During the acute infection, the parasite infects host cells and multiplies intracellularly in the asexual tachyzoite stage. In this stage of the life cycle, invasion, multiplication, and egress are the most critical events in parasite replication. T. gondii features diverse cell organelles to support these processes, including the apicoplast, an endosymbiont-derived vestigial plastid originating from an alga ancestor. Previous studies have highlighted that phytohormones can modify the calcium-mediated secretion, e.g., of adhesins involved in parasite movement and cell invasion processes. The present study aimed to elucidate the influence of different plant hormones on the replication of asexual tachyzoites in a human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) host cell culture. T. gondii replication was measured by the determination of T. gondii DNA copies via qPCR. Three selected phytohormones, namely abscisic acid (ABA), gibberellic acid (GIBB), and kinetin (KIN) as representatives of different plant hormone groups were tested. Moreover, the influence of typical cell culture media components on the phytohormone effects was assessed. Our results indicate that ABA is able to induce a significant increase of T. gondii DNA copies in a typical supplemented cell culture medium when applied in concentrations of 20 ng/μl or 2 ng/μl, respectively. In contrast, depending on the culture medium composition, GIBB may potentially serve as T. gondii growth inhibitor and may be further investigated as a potential treatment for toxoplasmosis.

RevDate: 2023-09-18

Longley R, Robinson A, Liber JA, et al (2023)

Comparative genomics of Mollicutes-related endobacteria supports a late invasion into Mucoromycota fungi.

Communications biology, 6(1):948.

Diverse members of early-diverging Mucoromycota, including mycorrhizal taxa and soil-associated Mortierellaceae, are known to harbor Mollicutes-related endobacteria (MRE). It has been hypothesized that MRE were acquired by a common ancestor and transmitted vertically. Alternatively, MRE endosymbionts could have invaded after the divergence of Mucoromycota lineages and subsequently spread to new hosts horizontally. To better understand the evolutionary history of MRE symbionts, we generated and analyzed four complete MRE genomes from two Mortierellaceae genera: Linnemannia (MRE-L) and Benniella (MRE-B). These genomes include the smallest known of fungal endosymbionts and showed signals of a tight relationship with hosts including a reduced functional capacity and genes transferred from fungal hosts to MRE. Phylogenetic reconstruction including nine MRE from mycorrhizal fungi revealed that MRE-B genomes are more closely related to MRE from Glomeromycotina than MRE-L from the same host family. We posit that reductions in genome size, GC content, pseudogene content, and repeat content in MRE-L may reflect a longer-term relationship with their fungal hosts. These data indicate Linnemannia and Benniella MRE were likely acquired independently after their fungal hosts diverged from a common ancestor. This work expands upon foundational knowledge on minimal genomes and provides insights into the evolution of bacterial endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2023-09-18

Kolo AO, R Raghavan (2023)

Impact of endosymbionts on tick physiology and fitness.

Parasitology pii:S0031182023000793 [Epub ahead of print].

Ticks transmit pathogens and harbour non-pathogenic, vertically transmitted intracellular bacteria termed endosymbionts. Almost all ticks studied to date contain 1 or more of Coxiella, Francisella, Rickettsia or Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii endosymbionts, indicative of their importance to tick physiology. Genomic and experimental data suggest that endosymbionts promote tick development and reproductive success. Here, we review the limited information currently available on the potential roles endosymbionts play in enhancing tick metabolism and fitness. Future studies that expand on these findings are needed to better understand endosymbionts’ contributions to tick biology. This knowledge could potentially be applied to design novel strategies that target endosymbiont function to control the spread of ticks and pathogens they vector.

RevDate: 2023-09-18

Castañeda-Molina Y, Marulanda-Moreno SM, Saldamando-Benjumea C, et al (2023)

Microbiome analysis of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) larvae exposed to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) endotoxins.

PeerJ, 11:e15916.

BACKGROUND: Spodoptera frugiperda (or fall armyworm, FAW) is a polyphagous pest native to Western Hemisphere and recently discovered in the Eastern Hemisphere. In Colombia, S. frugiperda is recognized as a pest of economic importance in corn. The species has genetically differentiated into two host populations named "corn" and "rice" strains. In 2012, a study made in central Colombia demonstrated that the corn strain is less susceptible to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) endotoxins (Cry1Ac and Cry 1Ab) than the rice strain. In this country, Bt transgenic corn has been extensively produced over the last 15 years. Since gut microbiota plays a role in the physiology and immunity of insects, and has been implicated in promoting the insecticidal activity of Bt, in this study an analysis of the interaction between Bt endotoxins and FAW gut microbiota was made. Also, the detection of endosymbionts was performed here, as they might have important implications in the biological control of a pest.

METHODS: The composition and diversity of microbiomes associated with larval specimens of S. frugiperda(corn strain) was investigated in a bioassay based on six treatments in the presence/absence of Bt toxins and antibiotics (Ab) through bacterial isolate analyses and by high throughput sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Additionally, species specific primers were used, to detect endosymbionts from gonads in S. frugiperda corn strain.

RESULTS: Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidota were the most dominant bacterial phyla found in S. frugiperda corn strain. No significant differences in bacteria species diversity and richness among the six treatments were found. Two species of Enterococcus spp., E. mundtii and E. casseliflavus were detected in treatments with Bt and antibiotics, suggesting that they are less susceptible to both of them. Additionally, the endosymbiont Arsenophonus was also identified on treatments in presence of Bt and antibiotics. The results obtained here are important since little knowledge exists about the gut microbiota on this pest and its interaction with Bt endotoxins. Previous studies made in Lepidoptera suggest that alteration of gut microbiota can be used to improve the management of pest populations, demonstrating the relevance of the results obtained in this work.

RevDate: 2023-09-18
CmpDate: 2023-09-18

Mfopit YM, Engel JS, Chechet GD, et al (2023)

Molecular detection of Sodalis glossinidius, Spiroplasma species and Wolbachia endosymbionts in wild population of tsetse flies collected in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria.

BMC microbiology, 23(1):260.

BACKGROUND: Tsetse flies are cyclical vectors of African trypanosomiasis (AT). The flies have established symbiotic associations with different bacteria that influence certain aspects of their physiology. Vector competence of tsetse flies for different trypanosome species is highly variable and is suggested to be affected by bacterial endosymbionts amongst other factors. Symbiotic interactions may provide an avenue for AT control. The current study provided prevalence of three tsetse symbionts in Glossina species from Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria.

RESULTS: Tsetse flies were collected and dissected from five different locations. DNA was extracted and polymerase chain reaction used to detect presence of Sodalis glossinidius, Spiroplasma species and Wolbachia endosymbionts, using species specific primers. A total of 848 tsetse samples were analysed: Glossina morsitans submorsitans (47.52%), Glossina palpalis palpalis (37.26%), Glossina fuscipes fuscipes (9.08%) and Glossina tachinoides (6.13%). Only 95 (11.20%) were infected with at least one of the three symbionts. Among infected flies, six (6.31%) had Wolbachia and Spiroplasma mixed infection. The overall symbiont prevalence was 0.88, 3.66 and 11.00% respectively, for Sodalis glossinidius, Spiroplasma species and Wolbachia endosymbionts. Prevalence varied between countries and tsetse fly species. Neither Spiroplasma species nor S. glossinidius were detected in samples from Cameroon and Nigeria respectively.

CONCLUSION: The present study revealed, for the first time, presence of Spiroplasma species infections in tsetse fly populations in Chad and Nigeria. These findings provide useful information on repertoire of bacterial flora of tsetse flies and incite more investigations to understand their implication in the vector competence of tsetse flies.

RevDate: 2023-09-16

Amses K, Desiró A, Bryson A, et al (2023)

Convergent reductive evolution and host adaptation in Mycoavidus bacterial endosymbionts of Mortierellaceae fungi.

Fungal genetics and biology : FG & B pii:S1087-1845(23)00069-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Intimate associations between fungi and intracellular bacterial endosymbionts are becoming increasingly well understood. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that bacterial endosymbionts of Mucoromycota fungi are related either to free-living Burkholderia or Mollicutes species. The so-called Burkholderia-related endosymbionts or BRE comprise Mycoavidus, Mycetohabitans and Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum. These endosymbionts are marked by genome contraction thought to be associated with intracellular selection. However, the conclusions drawn thus far are based on a very small subset of endosymbiont genomes, and the mechanisms leading to genome streamlining are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to better understand how intracellular existence shapes Mycoavidus and BRE functionally at the genome level. To this end we generated and analyzed 14 novel draft genomes for Mycoavidus living within the hyphae of Mortierellomycotina fungi. We found that our novel Mycoavidus genomes were significantly reduced compared to free-living Burkholderiales relatives. Using a genome-scale phylogenetic approach including the novel and available existing genomes of Mycoavidus, we show that the genus is an assemblage composed of two independently derived lineages including three well supported clades of Mycoavidus. Using a comparative genomic approach, we shed light on the functional implications of genome reduction, documenting shared and unique gene loss patterns between the three Mycoavidus clades. We found that many endosymbiont isolates demonstrate patterns of vertical transmission and host-specificity, but some are present in phylogenetically disparate hosts. We discuss how reductive evolution and host specificity reflect convergent adaptation to the intrahyphal selective landscape and commonalities of eukaryotic endosymbiont genome evolution.

RevDate: 2023-09-16

Bharathi MD, Muthukumar C, Sathishkumar RS, et al (2023)

First report on the occurrence of Gonyaulax polygramma bloom during the onset of Noctiluca scintillans bloom along the Tuticorin coast, southeast coast of India.

Marine pollution bulletin, 195:115523 pii:S0025-326X(23)00957-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Dense and green-coloured patches were encountered on the sea surface waters of the Tuticorin coast on 22[nd] October 2022. Microscopic investigation revealed that the discoloration is caused by plankton, green Noctiluca scintillans. In order to find out the causes that trigger the bloom of N. scintillans, plankton samples were collected for 5 days in fourteen days duration from 22[nd] October to 4[th] November. During the peak bloom period, the abundance and biovolume of N. scintillans reached 1.56 × 10[4] cells/L and 21.8 × 10[10]μm[3]/L, respectively. The highest concentration (73.65 mg/m[3]) of chlorophyll-a was recorded during blooming period that was caused by Gonyaulax polygramma and endosymbiont, Pedinomonas noctilucae in N. scintillans. Formation of G. polygramma bloom is being reported for the first time in Tuticorin, southeast coast of India, with a species abundance of 36.9 × 10[4] cells/L. Present study concluded that besides the optimum hydrological conditions and eutrophic nature of the system, abundant prey (G. polygramma) facilitated the N. scintillans bloom.

RevDate: 2023-09-15

ElKraly OA, Awad M, El-Saadany HM, et al (2023)

Impact of gut microbiota composition on black cutworm, Agrotis ipsilon (hufnagel) metabolic indices and pesticide degradation.

Animal microbiome, 5(1):44.

Endosymbionts are known to have significant effects on their insect hosts, including nutrition, reproduction, and immunity. Insects gut microbiota is a critical component that affects their physiological and behavioral characteristics. The black cutworm (BCW), Agrotis ipsilon, is an economically important lepidopteran pest that has a diverse gut microbiome composed of nine species belonging to three phyla: Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes. This study was conducted to investigate the diversity of gut bacteria isolated from BCW larvae and moths and their effects on metabolism and pesticide degradation. The bacterial isolates were identified using the 16 S rRNA gene. The study showed that the gut microbiome composition significantly affected the metabolism of BCW larvae. Based on the screening results of synthesis of digestive enzymes and pesticide degradation, Brachybacterium conglomeratum and Glutamicibacter sp were selected to perform the remaining experiments as single isolates and consortium. The consortium-fed larvae showed high metabolic indices compared to antibiotic-fed larvae and the control. The gut bacteria were also shown to degrade three pesticide groups. Concerns regarding the health risk of chlorpyrifos have been raised due to its extensive use in agriculture. The isolated B. conglomeratum was more effective in chlorpyrifos degradation than the consortium. Furthermore, the study also examined the presence of sex related endosymbionts (Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, and Rickettsia) in the reproductive tissues of adults. The outcomes demonstrated that none of the examined endosymbionts existed. In conclusion, the study highlights the importance of the gut microbiome in insect physiology and behavior and its potential applications in biotechnology. It provides insights into developing eco-friendly pest control and bioremediation strategies using gut bacteria.

RevDate: 2023-09-15

Nuschke A, Sobey-Skelton C, Dawod B, et al (2023)

Use of Magnetotactic Bacteria as an MRI Contrast Agent for In Vivo Tracking of Adoptively Transferred Immune Cells.

Molecular imaging and biology [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: In vivo immune cell tracking using MRI can be a valuable tool for studying the mechanisms underlying successful cancer therapies. Current cell labeling methods using superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) lack the persistence to track the fate and location of transplanted cells long-term. Magnetospirillum magneticum is a commercially available, iron-producing bacterium that can be taken up by and live harmoniously within mammalian cells as magneto-endosymbionts (MEs). MEs have shown promise as labeling agents for in vivo stem and cancer cell tracking but have yet to be evaluated in immune cells. This pilot study examined ME labeling in myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), and dendritic cells (DCs) and its effects on cell purity, function, and MRI contrast.

PROCEDURES: MDSCs, CTLs, and DCs were incubated with MEs at various ME labeling ratios (MLR), and various biological metrics and iron uptake were assessed. For in vivo imaging, MDSCs were labeled overnight with either MEs or SPIO (Molday ION Rhodamine B) and injected into C3 tumor-bearing mice via tail vein injection 24 days post-implant and scanned daily with MRI for 1 week to assess cellular quantification.

RESULTS: Following incubations, MDSCs contained > 0.6 pg Fe/cell. CTLs achieved Fe loading of < 0.5 pg/cell, and DCs achieved Fe loading of ~ 1.4 pg/cell. The suppressive functionality of MDSCs at 1000 MLR was not affected by ME labeling but was affected at 2000 MLR. Markers of CTL dysfunction were not markedly affected by ME labeling nor were DC markers. In vivo data demonstrated that the MDSCs labeled with MEs generated sufficient contrast to be detectable using TurboSPI, similar to SPIO-labeled cells.

CONCLUSIONS: Cells can be labeled with sufficient numbers of MEs to be detectable with MRI without compromising cell viability. Care must be taken at higher concentrations of MEs, which may affect some cell types' functional activity and/or morphology. Immune cells with minimal phagocytic behavior have much lower iron content per cell after incubation with MEs vs SPIO; however, MEs can successfully be used as a contrast agent for phagocytic immune cells.

RevDate: 2023-09-13

Sakamoto W, T Takami (2023)

Plastid inheritance revisited: emerging role of organelle DNA degradation in angiosperms.

Plant & cell physiology pii:7272704 [Epub ahead of print].

Plastids are essential organelles in angiosperms and show non-Mendelian inheritance due to their evolution as endosymbionts. In approximately 80% of angiosperms, plastids are thought to be inherited from the maternal parent, whereas other species transmit plastids biparentally. Maternal inheritance can be generally explained by the stochastic segregation of maternal plastids after fertilization because the zygote is overwhelmed by the maternal cytoplasm. In contrast, biparental inheritance shows transmission of organelles from both parents. In some species, maternal inheritance is not absolute and paternal leakage occurs at a very low frequency (~10-5). A key process controlling the inheritance mode lies in the behavior of plastids during male gametophyte (pollen) development, with accumulating evidence indicating that the plastids themselves or their DNAs are eliminated during pollen maturation or at fertilization. Cytological observations in numerous angiosperm species have revealed several critical steps that mutually influence the degree of plastid transmission quantitatively among different species. This review revisits plastid inheritance and focuses on the mechanistic viewpoint. Particularly, we focus on a recent finding demonstrating that both low temperature and plastid DNA degradation mediated by the organelle exonuclease DPD1 influence the degree of paternal leakage significantly in tobacco. Given these findings, we also highlight the emerging role of DPD1 in organelle DNA degradation.

RevDate: 2023-09-11

Kryukova NA, Kryukov VY, Polenogova OV, et al (2023)

The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia (Rickettsiales) alters larval metabolism of the parasitoid Habrobracon hebetor (Hymenoptera: Braconidae).

Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology [Epub ahead of print].

Infection of intestinal tissues with Wolbachia has been found in Habrobracon hebetor. There are not many studies on the relationship between Habrobracon and Wolbachia, and they focus predominantly on the sex index of an infected parasitoid, its fertility, and behavior. The actual role of Wolbachia in the biology of Habrobracon is not yet clear. The method of complete eradication of Wolbachia in the parasitoid was developed here, and effects of the endosymbiont on the host's digestive metabolism were compared between two lines of the parasitoid (Wolbachia-positive and Wolbachia-negative). In the gut of Wolbachia[+] larvae, lipases' activity was higher almost twofold, and activities of acid proteases, esterases, and trehalase were 1.5-fold greater than those in the Wolbachia[-] line. Analyses of larval homogenates revealed that Wolbachia[+] larvae accumulate significantly more lipids and have a lower amount of pyruvate as compared to Wolbachia[-] larvae. The presented results indicate significant effects of the intracellular symbiotic bacterium Wolbachia on the metabolism of H. hebetor larvae and on the activity of its digestive enzymes.

RevDate: 2023-09-10

Manzano-Marn A, Kvist S, A Oceguera-Figueroa (2023)

Evolution of an alternative genetic code in the Providencia symbiont of the haematophagous leech Haementeria acuecueyetzin.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7266794 [Epub ahead of print].

Strict blood-feeding animals are confronted with a strong B vitamin de_ciency. Blood-feeding leeches from the Glossiphoniidae family, similarly to haematophagous insects, have evolved specialised organs called bacteriomes to harbour symbiotic bacteria. Leeches of the Haementeria genus have two pairs of globular bacteriomes attached to the oesophagus which house intracellular 'Candidatus Providencia siddallii' bacteria. Previous work analysing a draft genome of the Providencia symbiont of the Mexican leech Haementeria officinalis showed that, in this species, the bacteria hold a reduced genome capable of synthesising B vitamins. In this work, we aimed to expand our knowledge on the diversity and evolution of Providencia symbionts of Haementeria. For this purpose, we sequenced the symbiont genomes of three selected leech species. We found that all genomes are highly syntenic and have kept a stable genetic repertoire, mirroring ancient insect endosymbionts. Additionally, we found B vitamin pathways to be conserved among these symbionts, pointing to a conserved symbiotic role. Lastly and most notably, we found that the symbiont of Haementeria acuecueyetzin has evolved an alternative genetic code, affecting a portion of its proteome and showing evidence of a lineage-specific and likely intermediate stage of genetic code reassignment.

RevDate: 2023-09-09

Zhang Z, Zhang J, Chen Q, et al (2023)

Complete De Novo Assembly of Wolbachia Endosymbiont of Frankliniella intonsa.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(17): pii:ijms241713245.

As an endosymbiont, Wolbachia exerts significant effects on the host, including on reproduction, immunity, and metabolism. However, the study of Wolbachia in Thysanopteran insects, such as flower thrips Frankliniella intonsa, remains limited. Here, we assembled a gap-free looped genome assembly of Wolbachia strain wFI in a length of 1,463,884 bp (GC content 33.80%), using Nanopore long reads and Illumina short reads. The annotation of wFI identified a total of 1838 protein-coding genes (including 85 pseudogenes), 3 ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), 35 transfer RNAs (tRNAs), and 1 transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA). Beyond this basic description, we identified mobile genetic elements, such as prophage and insertion sequences (ISs), which make up 17% of the entire wFI genome, as well as genes involved in riboflavin and biotin synthesis and metabolism. This research lays the foundation for understanding the nutritional mutualism between Wolbachia and flower thrips. It also serves as a valuable resource for future studies delving into the intricate interactions between Wolbachia and its host.

RevDate: 2023-09-06

Harumoto T (2023)

Self-stabilization mechanism encoded by a bacterial toxin facilitates reproductive parasitism.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(23)01075-8 [Epub ahead of print].

A wide variety of maternally transmitted endosymbionts in insects are associated with reproductive parasitism, whereby they interfere with host reproduction to increase the ratio of infected females and spread within populations.[1][,][2] Recent successes in identifying bacterial factors responsible for reproductive parasitism[3][,][4][,][5][,][6][,][7] as well as further omics approaches[8][,][9][,][10][,][11][,][12] have highlighted the common appearance of deubiquitinase domains, although their biological roles-in particular, how they link to distinct manipulative phenotypes-remain poorly defined. Spiroplasma poulsonii is a helical and motile bacterial endosymbiont of Drosophila,[13][,][14] which selectively kills male progeny with a male-killing toxin Spaid (S. poulsonii androcidin), which encodes an ovarian tumor (OTU) deubiquitinase domain.[6] Artificial expression of Spaid in flies reproduces male-killing-associated pathologies that include abnormal apoptosis and neural defects during embryogenesis[6][,][15][,][16][,][17][,][18][,][19]; moreover, it highly accumulates on the dosage-compensated male X chromosome,[20] congruent with cellular defects such as the DNA damage/chromatin bridge breakage specifically induced upon that chromosome.[6][,][21][,][22][,][23] Here, I show that without the function of OTU, Spaid is polyubiquitinated and degraded through the host ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, leading to the attenuation of male-killing activity as shown previously.[6] Furthermore, I find that Spaid utilizes its OTU domain to deubiquitinate itself in an intermolecular manner. Collectively, the deubiquitinase domain of Spaid serves as a self-stabilization mechanism to facilitate male killing in flies, optimizing a molecular strategy of endosymbionts that enables the efficient manipulation of the host at a low energetic cost.

RevDate: 2023-09-05

Lau MJ, Dutra HLC, Jones MJ, et al (2023)

Jamestown Canyon virus is transmissible by Aedes aegypti and is only moderately blocked by Wolbachia co-infection.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 17(9):e0011616 pii:PNTD-D-23-00701 [Epub ahead of print].

Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV), a negative-sense arbovirus, is increasingly common in the upper Midwest of the USA. Transmitted by a range of mosquito genera, JCV's primary amplifying host is white-tailed deer. Aedes aegypti is responsible for transmitting various positive-sense viruses globally including dengue (DENV), Zika, chikungunya, and Yellow Fever. Ae. aegypti's distribution, once confined to the tropics, is expanding, in part due to climate change. Wolbachia, an insect endosymbiont, limits the replication of co-infecting viruses inside insects. The release and spread of the symbiont into Ae. aegypti populations have been effective in reducing transmission of DENV to humans, although the mechanism of Wolbachia-mediated viral blocking is still poorly understood. Here we explored JCV infection potential in Ae. aegypti, the nature of the vector's immune response, and interactions with Wolbachia infection. We show that Ae. aegypti is highly competent for JCV, which grows to high loads and rapidly reaches the saliva after an infectious blood meal. The mosquito immune system responds with strong induction of RNAi and JAK/STAT. Neither the direct effect of viral infection nor the energetic investment in immunity appears to affect mosquito longevity. Wolbachia infection blocked JCV only in the early stages of infection. Wolbachia-induced immunity was small compared to that of JCV, suggesting innate immune priming does not likely explain blocking. We propose two models to explain why Wolbachia's blocking of negative-sense viruses like JCV may be less than that of positive-sense viruses, relating to the slowdown of host protein synthesis and the triggering of interferon-like factors like Vago. In conclusion, we highlight the risk for increased human disease with the predicted future overlap of Ae. aegypti and JCV ranges. We suggest that with moderate Wolbachia-mediated blocking and distinct biology, negative-sense viruses represent a fruitful comparator model to other viruses for understanding blocking mechanisms in mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2023-09-05

Lin C, Li LJ, Ren K, et al (2023)

Phagotrophic protists preserve antibiotic-resistant opportunistic human pathogens in the vegetable phyllosphere.

ISME communications, 3(1):94.

Food safety of leafy greens is an emerging public health issue as they can harbor opportunistic human pathogens (OHPs) and expose OHPs to consumers. Protists are an integral part of phyllosphere microbial ecosystems. However, our understanding of protist-pathogen associations in the phyllosphere and their consequences on public health remains poor. Here, we examined phyllosphere protists, human pathogen marker genes (HPMGs), and protist endosymbionts from four species of leafy greens from major supermarkets in Xiamen, China. Our results showed that Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae were the dominant human pathogens in the vegetable phyllosphere. The distribution of HPMGs and protistan communities differed between vegetable species, of which Chinese chive possessed the most diverse protists and highest abundance of HPMGs. HPMGs abundance positively correlated with the diversity and relative abundance of phagotrophic protists. Whole genome sequencing further uncovered that most isolated phyllosphere protists harbored multiple OHPs which carried antibiotic resistance genes, virulence factors, and metal resistance genes and had the potential to HGT. Colpoda were identified as key phagotrophic protists which positively linked to OHPs and carried diverse resistance and virulence potential endosymbiont OHPs including Pseudomonas nitroreducens, Achromobacter xylosoxidans, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. We highlight that phyllosphere protists contribute to the transmission of resistant OHPs through internalization and thus pose risks to the food safety of leafy greens and human health. Our study provides insights into the protist-OHP interactions in the phyllosphere, which will help in food safety surveillance and human health.

RevDate: 2023-09-02

Owashi Y, Minami T, Kikuchi T, et al (2023)

Microbiome of Zoophytophagous Biological Control Agent Nesidiocoris tenuis.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Many insects are associated with endosymbionts that influence the feeding, reproduction, and distribution of their hosts. Although the small green mirid, Nesidiocoris tenuis (Reuter) (Hemiptera: Miridae), a zoophytophagous predator that feeds on plants as well as arthropods, is a globally important biological control agent, its microbiome has not been sufficiently studied. In the present study, we assessed the microbiome variation in 96 N. tenuis individuals from 14 locations throughout Japan, based on amplicon sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. Nine major bacteria associated with N. tenuis were identified: Rickettsia, two strains of Wolbachia, Spiroplasma, Providencia, Serratia, Pseudochrobactrum, Lactococcus, and Stenotrophomonas. Additionally, a diagnostic PCR analysis for three typical insect reproductive manipulators, Rickettsia, Wolbachia, and Spiroplasma, was performed on a larger sample size (n = 360) of N. tenuis individuals; the most prevalent symbiont was Rickettsia (69.7%), followed by Wolbachia (39.2%) and Spiroplasma (6.1%). Although some symbionts were co-infected, their prevalence did not exhibit any specific tendency, such as a high frequency in specific infection combinations. The infection frequency of Rickettsia was significantly correlated with latitude and temperature, while that of Wolbachia and Spiroplasma was significantly correlated with host plants. The predominance of these bacteria and the absence of obligate symbionts suggested that the N. tenuis microbiome is typical for predatory arthropods rather than sap-feeding insects. Rickettsia and Wolbachia were vertically transmitted rather than horizontally transmitted from the prey. The functional validation of each symbiont would be warranted to develop N. tenuis as a biological control agent.

RevDate: 2023-09-02

Duong Thi Hue K, da Silva Goncalves D, Tran Thuy V, et al (2023)

Wolbachia wMel strain-mediated effects on dengue virus vertical transmission from Aedes aegypti to their offspring.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):308.

BACKGROUND: Dengue virus serotypes (DENV-1 to -4) can be transmitted vertically in Aedes aegpti mosquitoes. Whether infection with the wMel strain of the endosymbiont Wolbachia can reduce the incidence of vertical transmission of DENV from infected females to their offspring is not well understood.

METHODS: A laboratory colony of Vietnamese Ae. aegypti, both with and without wMel infection, were infected with DENV-1 by intrathoracic injection (IT) to estimate the rate of vertical transmission (VT) of the virus. VT in the DENV-infected mosquitoes was calculated via the infection rate estimation from mosquito pool data using maximum likelihood estimation (MLE).

RESULTS: In 6047 F1 Vietnamese wild-type Ae. aegypti, the MLE of DENV-1 infection was 1.49 per 1000 mosquitoes (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73-2.74). In 5500 wMel-infected Ae. aegypti, the MLE infection rate was 0 (95% CI 0-0.69). The VT rates between mosquito lines showed a statistically significant difference.

CONCLUSIONS: The results reinforce the view that VT is a rare event in wild-type mosquitoes and that infection with wMel is effective in reducing VT.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Takahashi K, Kuwahara H, Horikawa Y, et al (2023)

Emergence of putative energy parasites within Clostridia revealed by genome analysis of a novel endosymbiotic clade.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

The Clostridia is a dominant bacterial class in the guts of various animals and are considered to nutritionally contribute to the animal host. Here, we discovered clostridial endosymbionts of cellulolytic protists in termite guts, which have never been reported with evidence. We obtained (near-)complete genome sequences of three endosymbiotic Clostridia, each associated with a different parabasalid protist species with various infection rates: Trichonympha agilis, Pseudotrichonympha grassii, and Devescovina sp. All these protists are previously known to harbor permanently-associated, mutualistic Endomicrobia or Bacteroidales that supplement nitrogenous compounds. The genomes of the endosymbiotic Clostridia were small in size (1.0-1.3 Mbp) and exhibited signatures of an obligately-intracellular parasite, such as an extremely limited capability to synthesize amino acids, cofactors, and nucleotides and a disrupted glycolytic pathway with no known net ATP-generating system. Instead, the genomes encoded ATP/ADP translocase and, interestingly, regulatory proteins that are unique to eukaryotes in general and are possibly used to interfere with host cellular processes. These three genomes formed a clade with metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) derived from the guts of other animals, including human and ruminants, and the MAGs shared the characteristics of parasites. Gene flux analysis suggested that the acquisition of the ATP/ADP translocase gene in a common ancestor was probably key to the emergence of this parasitic clade. Taken together, we provide novel insights into the multilayered symbiotic system in the termite gut by adding the presence of parasitism and present an example of the emergence of putative energy parasites from a dominant gut bacterial clade.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Ho HVN, Dunigan DD, Salsbery ME, et al (2023)

Viral Chemotaxis of Paramecium Bursaria Altered by Algal Endosymbionts.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Chemotaxis is widespread across many taxa and often aids resource acquisition or predator avoidance. Species interactions can modify the degree of movement facilitated by chemotaxis. In this study, we investigated the influence of symbionts on Paramecium bursaria's chemotactic behavior toward chloroviruses. To achieve this, we performed choice experiments using chlorovirus and control candidate attractors (virus stabilization buffer and pond water). We quantified the movement of Paramecia grown with or without algal and viral symbionts toward each attractor. All Paramecia showed some chemotaxis toward viruses, but cells without algae and viruses showed the most movement toward viruses. Thus, the endosymbiotic algae (zoochlorellae) appeared to alter the movement of Paramecia toward chloroviruses, but it was not clear that ectosymbiotic viruses (chlorovirus) also had this effect. The change in behavior was consistent with a change in swimming speed, but a change in attraction remains possible. The potential costs and benefits of chemotactic movement toward chloroviruses for either the Paramecia hosts or its symbionts remain unclear.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Ehinger F, Niehs S, Dose B, et al (2023)

Analysis of Rhizonin Biosynthesis Reveals Origin of Pharmacophoric Furylalanine Moieties in Diverse Cyclopeptides.

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

Rhizonin A and B are hepatotoxic cyclopeptides produced by bacterial endosymbionts (Mycetohabitans endofungorum) of the fungus Rhizopus microsporus. Their toxicity critically depends on the presence of 3-furylalanine (Fua) residues, which also occur in pharmaceutically relevant cyclopeptides of the endolide and bingchamide families. The biosynthesis and incorporation of Fua by non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), however, has remained elusive. By genome sequencing and gene inactivation we elucidated the gene cluster responsible for rhizonin biosynthesis. A suite of isotope labeling experiments identified tyrosine and l-DOPA as Fua precursors and provided the first mechanistic insights. Bioinformatics, mutational analysis and heterologous reconstitution identified dioxygenase RhzB as necessary and sufficient for Fua formation. RhzB is a novel type of heme-dependent aromatic oxygenases (HDAO) that enabled the discovery of the bingchamide biosynthesis gene cluster through genome mining.

RevDate: 2023-08-30

Wenzel M, CF Aquadro (2023)

Wolbachia infection at least partially rescues the fertility and ovary defects of several new Drosophila melanogaster bag of marbles protein-coding mutants.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.03.20.532813.

UNLABELLED: The D. melanogaster protein coding gene bag of marbles (bam) plays a key role in early male and female reproduction by forming complexes with partner proteins to promote differentiation in gametogenesis. Like another germline gene, Sex lethal , bam genetically interacts with the endosymbiont Wolbachia , as Wolbachia rescues the reduced fertility of a bam hypomorphic mutant. Here, we explored the specificity of the bam-Wolbachia interaction by generating 22 new bam mutants, with ten mutants displaying fertility defects. Nine of these mutants trend towards rescue by the w Mel Wolbachia variant, with eight statistically significant at the fertility and/or cytological level. In some cases, fertility was increased a striking 20-fold. There is no specificity between the rescue and the known binding regions of bam , suggesting w Mel does not interact with one singular bam partner to rescue the reproductive phenotype. We further tested if w Mel interacts with bam in a non-specific way, by increasing bam transcript levels or acting upstream in germline stem cells. A fertility assessment of a bam RNAi knockdown mutant reveals that w Mel rescue is specific to functionally mutant bam alleles and we find no obvious evidence of w Mel interaction with germline stem cells in bam mutants.

AUTHOR SUMMARY: Reproduction in the Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly is dependent on the bag of marbles (bam) gene, which acts early in the process of generating eggs and sperm. Mutations to this gene negatively impact the fertility of the fly, causing it to be sterile or have fewer progeny. Interestingly, we find that the bacteria Wolbachia , which resides within reproductive cells across a wide range of insects, partially restores the fertility and ovary phenotype of several bam mutants of which the resultant Bam protein is altered from wildtype. The protein function of Bam is further suggested to be important by the lack of rescue for a fly that has a fertility defect due to low expression of a non-mutated bam gene. Previous work makes similar conclusions about Wolbachia with another reproductive gene, Sex lethal (Sxl), highlighting the potential for rescue of fertility mutants to occur in a similar way across different genes. An understanding of the ways in which Wolbachia can affect host reproduction provides us with context with which to frame Wolbachia 's impact on host genes, such as bam and Sxl, and consider the evolutionary implications of Wolbachia 's infection in D. melanogaster fruit flies.

RevDate: 2023-08-29

Sheibani P, Jamshidi M, Khakvar R, et al (2023)

Genomic Characterization of Endosymbiotic Bacteria Associated With Helicoverpa armigera in Iran Using Next-Generation Sequencing.

Bioinformatics and biology insights, 17:11779322231195457.

Several species of the Helicoverpa genus have been recognized as major agricultural pests from different regions of the world, among which Helicoverpa armigera species has been reported as the most destructive and cosmopolitan species in most regions of the world, including Iran. This pest is a polyphagous species and can cause damage to more than 120 plant species. Studying the internal microbiome of pests is very important in identifying species' weaknesses and natural enemies and potential biological control agents. For genomic characterization of the microbial community associated with H armigera, the whole genome of insect larvae collected from vegetable fields in the northwest of Iran was sequenced using next-generation sequencing Illumina platform. Finally, about 2 GB of raw data were obtained. Using the MetaPhlAn2 pipeline, it was predicted that 2 endosymbiont bacterial species including Buchnera aphidicola and Serratia symbiotica were associated with H armigera. Alignment of reference strains sequences related to both endosymbiotic bacteria with raw data and subsequently, assembly analyses resulted in 2 genomes with 657 623 bp length with GC content of 27.4% for B aphidicola and 1 595 135 bp length with GC content of 42.90% for S symbiotica. This research is the first report on the association of B aphidicola and S symbiotica as endosymbiotic bacteria with H armigera worldwide.

RevDate: 2023-08-26

Treitli SC, Hanousková P, Beneš V, et al (2023)

Hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis is the key process in the obligately syntrophic consortium of the anaerobic ameba Pelomyxa schiedti.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Pelomyxa is a genus of anaerobic amoebae that live in consortia with multiple prokaryotic endosymbionts. Although the symbionts represent a large fraction of the cellular biomass, their metabolic roles have not been investigated. Using single-cell genomics and transcriptomics, we have characterized the prokaryotic community associated with P. schiedti, which is composed of two bacteria, Candidatus Syntrophus pelomyxae (class Deltaproteobacteria) and Candidatus Vesiculincola pelomyxae (class Clostridia), and a methanogen, Candidatus Methanoregula pelomyxae. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and electron microscopy showed that Ca. Vesiculincola pelomyxae is localized inside vesicles, whereas the other endosymbionts occur freely in the cytosol, with Ca. Methanoregula pelomyxae enriched around the nucleus. Genome and transcriptome-based reconstructions of the metabolism suggests that the cellulolytic activity of P. schiedti produces simple sugars that fuel its own metabolism and the metabolism of a Ca. Vesiculincola pelomyxae, while Ca. Syntrophus pelomyxae energy metabolism relies on degradation of butyrate and isovalerate from the environment. Both species of bacteria and the ameba use hydrogenases to transfer the electrons from reduced equivalents to hydrogen, a process that requires a low hydrogen partial pressure. This is achieved by the third endosymbiont, Ca. Methanoregula pelomyxae, which consumes H2 and formate for methanogenesis. While the bacterial symbionts can be successfully eliminated by vancomycin treatment without affecting the viability of the amoebae, treatment with 2-bromoethanesulfonate, a specific inhibitor of methanogenesis, killed the amoebae, indicating the essentiality of the methanogenesis for this consortium.

RevDate: 2023-08-26

Mancuso E, Di Domenico M, Di Gialleonardo L, et al (2023)

Tick Species Diversity and Molecular Identification of Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae Collected from Migratory Birds Arriving from Africa.

Microorganisms, 11(8):.

The role of migratory birds in the spread of ticks and tick-borne pathogens along their routes from Africa to Europe is increasingly emerging. Wild birds can host several tick species, often infected by bacteria responsible for zoonoses. The aim of the study is to assess the possible introduction of exotic ticks carried by migratory birds into Italy from Africa and to detect the presence of Rickettsia species and Coxiella burnetii they may harbor. During a two-year survey, we collected ticks from migratory birds captured during their short stop-over on Ventotene Island. Specimens were first identified by morphology or sequencing molecular targets when needed, and then tested by real-time PCR for the presence of selected pathogens. A total of 91% of the collection consisted of sub-Saharan ticks, more than 50% of which were infected by Rickettsia species belonging to the spotted fever group, mainly represented by R. aeschlimannii. In contrast, the suspected C. burnetii detected in two soft ticks were confirmed as Coxiella-like endosymbionts and not the pathogen. Although there are still gaps in the knowledge of this dispersal process, our findings confirm the role of migratory birds in the spread of ticks and tick-borne pathogens, suggesting the need for a continuous surveillance to monitor the potential emergence of new diseases in Europe.

RevDate: 2023-08-26

Namina A, Kazarina A, Lazovska M, et al (2023)

Comparative Microbiome Analysis of Three Epidemiologically Important Tick Species in Latvia.

Microorganisms, 11(8): pii:microorganisms11081970.

(1) Background: Amplicon-based 16S rRNA profiling is widely used to study whole communities of prokaryotes in many niches. Here, we comparatively examined the microbial composition of three tick species, Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes persulcatus and Dermacentor reticulatus, which were field-collected in Latvia. (2) Methods: Tick DNA samples were used for microbiome analysis targeting bacterial 16S rDNA using next-generation sequencing (NGS). (3) Results: The results showed significant differences in microbial species diversity and composition by tick species and life stage. A close similarity between microbiomes of I. ricinus and I. persulcatus ticks was observed, while the D. reticulatus microbiome composition appeared to be more distinct. Significant differences in alpha and beta microbial diversity were observed between Ixodes tick life stages and sexes, with lower taxa richness indexes obtained for female ticks. The Francisella genus was closely associated with D. reticulatus ticks, while endosymbionts Candidatus Midichlorii and Candidatus Lariskella were associated with I. ricinus and I. persulcatus females, respectively. In I. ricinus females, the endosymbiont load negatively correlated with the presence of the Rickettsia genus. (4) Conclusions: The results of this study revealed important associations between ticks and their microbial community and highlighted the microbiome features of three tick species in Latvia.

RevDate: 2023-08-26

Chao LL, CM Shih (2023)

First Detection and Genetic Identification of Wolbachia Endosymbiont in Field-Caught Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Mosquitoes Collected from Southern Taiwan.

Microorganisms, 11(8): pii:microorganisms11081911.

The prevalence and genetic character of Wolbachia endosymbionts in field-collected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were examined for the first time in Taiwan. A total of 665 Ae. aegypti were screened for Wolbachia infection using a PCR assay targeting the Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) gene. In general, the prevalence of Wolbachia infection was detected in 3.3% Ae. aegypti specimens (2.0% female and 5.2% male). Group-specific Wolbachia infection was detected with an infection rate of 1.8%, 0.8% and 0.8% in groups A, B and A&B, respectively. Genetic analysis demonstrated that all Wolbachia strains from Taiwan were phylogenetically affiliated with Wolbachia belonging to the supergroups A and B, with high sequence similarities of 99.4-100% and 99.2-100%, respectively. Phylogenetic relationships can be easily distinguished by maximum likelihood (ML) analysis and were congruent with the unweighted pair group with the arithmetic mean (UPGMA) method. The intra- and inter-group analysis of genetic distance (GD) values revealed a lower level within the Taiwan strains (GD < 0.006 for group A and GD < 0.008 for group B) and a higher level (GD > 0.498 for group A and GD > 0.286 for group B) as compared with other Wolbachia strains. Our results describe the first detection and molecular identification of Wolbachia endosymbiont in field-caught Ae. aegypti mosquitoes collected from Taiwan, and showed a low Wolbachia infection rate belonging to supergroups A and B in Ae. aegypti mosquitoes.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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