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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 26 May 2024 at 02:00 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: 2024-05-25

Shi Z, Luo M, Yuan J, et al (2024)

CRISPR/Cas9-Based Functional Characterization of SfUGT50A15 Reveals Its Roles in the Resistance of Spodoptera frugiperda to Chlorantraniliprole, Emamectin Benzoate, and Benzoxazinoids.

Insects, 15(5):.

UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) are a diverse superfamily of enzymes. Insects utilize uridine diphosphate-glucose (UDP-glucose) as a glycosyl donor for glycosylation in vivo, involved in the glycosylation of lipophilic endosymbionts and xenobiotics, including phytotoxins. UGTs act as second-stage detoxification metabolizing enzymes, which are essential for the detoxification metabolism of insecticides and benzoxazine compounds. However, the UGT genes responsible for specific glycosylation functions in S. frugiperda are unclear at present. In this study, we utilized CRISPR/Cas9 to produce a SfUGT50A15-KO strain to explore its possible function in governing sensitivity to chemical insecticides or benzoxazinoids. The bioassay results suggested that the SfUGT50A15-KO strain was significantly more sensitive to chlorantraniliprole, emamectin benzoate, and benzoxazinoids than the wild-type strains. This finding suggests that the overexpression of the SfUGT50A15 gene may be linked to S. frugiperda resistance to pesticides (chlorantraniliprole and emamectin benzoate) as well as benzoxazinoids (BXDs).

RevDate: 2024-05-24

Löckener I, Behrmann LV, Reuter J, et al (2024)

The MraY Inhibitor Muraymycin D2 and Its Derivatives Induce Enlarged Cells in Obligate Intracellular Chlamydia and Wolbachia and Break the Persistence Phenotype in Chlamydia.

Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 13(5): pii:antibiotics13050421.

Chlamydial infections and diseases caused by filarial nematodes are global health concerns. However, treatment presents challenges due to treatment failures potentially caused by persisting Chlamydia and long regimens against filarial infections accompanied by low compliance. A new treatment strategy could be the targeting of the reduced peptidoglycan structures involved in cell division in the obligate intracellular bacteria Chlamydia and Wolbachia, the latter being obligate endosymbionts supporting filarial development, growth, and survival. Here, cell culture experiments with C. trachomatis and Wolbachia showed that the nucleoside antibiotics muraymycin and carbacaprazamycin interfere with bacterial cell division and induce enlarged, aberrant cells resembling the penicillin-induced persistence phenotype in Chlamydia. Enzymatic inhibition experiments with purified C. pneumoniae MraY revealed that muraymycin derivatives abolish the synthesis of the peptidoglycan precursor lipid I. Comparative in silico analyses of chlamydial and wolbachial MraY with the corresponding well-characterized enzyme in Aquifex aeolicus revealed a high degree of conservation, providing evidence for a similar mode of inhibition. Muraymycin D2 treatment eradicated persisting non-dividing C. trachomatis cells from an established penicillin-induced persistent infection. This finding indicates that nucleoside antibiotics may have additional properties that can break bacterial persistence.

RevDate: 2024-05-24
CmpDate: 2024-05-24

Scott TJ, Stephenson CJ, Rao S, et al (2024)

Unpredictable soil conditions can affect the prevalence of a microbial symbiosis.

PeerJ, 12:e17445.

The evolution of symbiotic interactions may be affected by unpredictable conditions. However, a link between prevalence of these conditions and symbiosis has not been widely demonstrated. We test for these associations using Dictyostelium discoideum social amoebae and their bacterial endosymbionts. D. discoideum commonly hosts endosymbiotic bacteria from three taxa: Paraburkholderia, Amoebophilus and Chlamydiae. Three species of facultative Paraburkholderia endosymbionts are the best studied and give hosts the ability to carry prey bacteria through the dispersal stage to new environments. Amoebophilus and Chlamydiae are obligate endosymbiont lineages with no measurable impact on host fitness. We tested whether the frequency of both single infections and coinfections of these symbionts were associated with the unpredictability of their soil environments by using symbiont presence-absence data from D. discoideum isolates from 21 locations across the eastern United States. We found that symbiosis across all infection types, symbiosis with Amoebophilus and Chlamydiae obligate endosymbionts, and symbiosis involving coinfections were not associated with any of our measures. However, unpredictable precipitation was associated with symbiosis in two species of Paraburkholderia, suggesting a link between unpredictable conditions and symbiosis.

RevDate: 2024-05-24
CmpDate: 2024-05-22

Liu HQ, Li HJ, Pan Q, et al (2024)

Endosymbionts of citrus leafminer Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton among different citrus orchards in China.

Scientific data, 11(1):519.

Endosymbionts regulate the behavior of pest species, which could provide insights into their control. The citrus leafminer (Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton) is a widely distributed pest associated with diseases of citrus, especially of young trees. Here, we determined the endosymbiont composition of P. citrella in citrus orchards across China. The resulting dataset comprised average 50,430 high-quality reads for bacterial 16S rRNA V3-V4 regions of endosymbionts from 36 P. citrella larvae sampled from 12 citrus orchards across China. The sequencing depth and sampling size of this dataset were sufficient to reveal most of the endosymbionts of P. citrella. In total, 2,875 bacterial amplicon sequence variants were obtained; taxonomic analysis revealed a total of 372 bacterial genera, most of which were Proteobacteria phylum with Undibacterium being the most abundant genus. This dataset provides the first evidence of P. citrella endosymbionts that could support the development of pest management approaches in citrus orchards.

RevDate: 2024-05-22
CmpDate: 2024-05-22

Khosravi G, Akbarzadeh K, Karimian F, et al (2024)

A survey of Wolbachia infection in brachyceran flies from Iran.

PloS one, 19(5):e0301274 pii:PONE-D-23-40726.

Wolbachia is a maternally inherited intracellular bacterium that is considered to be the most plentiful endosymbiont found in arthropods. It reproductively manipulates its host to increase the chances of being transmitted to the insect progeny; and it is currently used as a means of suppressing disease vector populations or controlling vector-borne diseases. Studies of the dissemination and prevalence of Wolbachia among its arthropod hosts are important for its possible use as a biological control agent. The molecular identification of Wolbachia relies on different primers sets due to Wolbachia strain variation. Here, we screened for the presence of Wolbachia in a broad range of Brachycera fly species (Diptera), collected from different regions of Iran, using nine genetic markers (wsp, ftsZ, fbpA, gatB, CoxA, gltA, GroEL dnaA, and 16s rRNA), for detecting, assessing the sensitivity of primers for detection, and phylogeny of this bacterium. The overall incidence of Wolbachia among 22 species from six families was 27.3%. The most commonly positive fly species were Pollenia sp. and Hydrotaea armipes. However, the bacterium was not found in the most medically important flies or in potential human disease vectors, including Musca domestica, Sarcophaga spp., Calliphora vicinia, Lucilia sericata, and Chrysomya albiceps. The primer sets of 16s rRNA with 53.0% and gatB with 52.0% were the most sensitive primers for detecting Wolbachia. Blast search, phylogenetic, and MLST analysis of the different locus sequences of Wolbachia show that all the six distantly related fly species likely belonging to supergroup A. Our study showed some primer sets generated false negatives in many of the samples, emphasizing the importance of using different loci in detecting Wolbachia. The study provides the groundwork for future studies of a Wolbachia-based program for control of flies.

RevDate: 2024-05-22

Yamazaki T, Sawai K, Takahashi Y, et al (2024)

Characterization of Actin-based Genotypes and Mycoplasma Endosymbionts of Trichomonas vaginalis Isolated in Sapporo, Japan.

Acta parasitologica [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Trichomonas vaginalis is a causative agent of common non-viral sexually transmitted infections worldwide. However, the biological features, such as genotypes and endosymbionts, of T. vaginalis isolated in Japan remain unclear. The aim of this study was to characterize the actin-based genotypes and the endosymbionts of T. vaginalis isolated in Sapporo, Japan.

METHODS: Three T. vaginalis clinical strains were isolated in Sapporo, Japan between 2019 and 2022. Actin-based genotyping was conducted by sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. The endosymbionts, such as Mycoplasma sp. and Trichomonasvirus, were detected using PCR and RT-PCR, respectively. Furthermore, the detected Mycoplasma spp. were identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

RESULTS: Of the three T. vaginalis strains, two belonged to genotype E, whereas one was genotype G as determined by actin-based genotyping. Two of the T. vaginalis strains harbored Mycoplasma spp. Using nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene sequencing, both were identified as Candidatus Mycoplasma girerdii. In contrast, the Trichomonasvirus was not found in the T. vaginalis strains.

CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the first report on the characterization of actin-based genotypes and the presence of endosymbiotic Ca. M. girerdii in T. vaginalis strains in Japan. Thus, this study will provide an important impetus for future research.

RevDate: 2024-05-22
CmpDate: 2024-05-22

Leybourne DJ, Whitehead MA, T Will (2024)

Genetic diversity in vector populations influences the transmission efficiency of an important plant virus.

Biology letters, 20(5):20240095.

The transmission efficiency of aphid-vectored plant viruses can differ between aphid populations. Intra-species diversity (genetic variation, endosymbionts) is a key determinant of aphid phenotype; however, the extent to which intra-species diversity contributes towards variation in virus transmission efficiency is unclear. Here, we use multiple populations of two key aphid species that vector barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) strain PAV (BYDV-PAV), the grain aphid (Sitobion avenae) and the bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi), and examine how diversity in vector populations influences virus transmission efficiency. We use Illumina sequencing to characterize genetic and endosymbiont variation in multiple Si. avenae and Rh. padi populations and conduct BYDV-PAV transmission experiments to identify links between intra-species diversity in the vector and virus transmission efficiency. We observe limited variation in the transmission efficiency of Si. avenae, with transmission efficiency consistently low for this species. However, for Rh. padi, we observe a range of transmission efficiencies and show that BYDV transmission efficiency is influenced by genetic diversity within the vector, identifying 542 single nucleotide polymorphisms that potentially contribute towards variable transmission efficiency in Rh. padi. Our results represent an important advancement in our understanding of the relationship between genetic diversity, vector-virus interactions, and virus transmission efficiency.

RevDate: 2024-05-22

Strand EL, Wong KH, Farraj A, et al (2024)

Coral species-specific loss and physiological legacy effects are elicited by extended marine heatwave.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:352125 [Epub ahead of print].

Marine heatwaves are increasing in frequency and intensity, with potentially catastrophic consequences for marine ecosystems like coral reefs. An extended heatwave and recovery time-series that incorporates multiple stressors and is environmentally realistic can provide enhanced predictive capacity for performance under climate change conditions. We exposed common reef-building corals in Hawai'i, Montipora capitata and Pocillopora acuta, to a two-month period of high temperature and high pCO2 conditions or ambient conditions in a factorial design, followed by two months of ambient conditions. High temperature, rather than high pCO2, drove multivariate physiology shifts through time in both species, including decreases in respiration rates and endosymbiont densities. Pocillopora acuta exhibited more significantly negatively altered physiology, substantially higher bleaching, and mortality than M. capitata. The sensitivity of P. acuta appears to be driven by higher baseline rates of photosynthesis paired with lower host antioxidant capacity, creating an increased sensitivity to oxidative stress. Thermal tolerance of M. capitata may be partly due to harboring a mixture of Cladocopium and Durusdinium spp., while P. acuta was dominated by other distinct Cladocopium spp. Only M. capitata survived the experiment, but physiological state in heatwave-exposed M. capitata remained significantly diverged at the end of recovery relative to individuals that experienced ambient conditions. In future climate scenarios, particularly marine heatwaves, our results indicate a species-specific loss of corals that is driven by baseline host and symbiont physiological differences as well as Symbiodiniaceae community compositions with the surviving species experiencing physiological legacies that are likely to influence future stress responses.

RevDate: 2024-05-21
CmpDate: 2024-05-21

Miyata M, Nomura M, D Kageyama (2024)

Rapid spread of a vertically transmitted symbiont induces drastic shifts in butterfly sex ratio.

Current biology : CB, 34(10):R490-R492.

The causes and consequences of sex-ratio dynamics constitutes a pivotal subject in evolutionary biology[1]. Under conditions of evolutionary equilibrium, the male-to-female ratio tends to be approximately 1:1; however, this equilibrium is susceptible to distortion by selfish genetic elements exemplified by driving sex chromosomes and cytoplasmic elements[2][,][3]. Although previous studies have documented instances of these genetic elements distorting the sex ratio, studies specifically tracking the process with which these distorters spread within populations, leading to a transition from balanced parity to a skewed, female-biased state, are notably lacking. Herein, we present compelling evidence documenting the rapid spread of the cytoplasmic endosymbiont Wolbachia within a localized population of the pierid butterfly Eurema hecabe (Figure 1A). This spread resulted in a shift in the sex ratio from near parity to an exceedingly skewed state overwhelmingly biased toward females, reaching 93.1% within a remarkably brief period of 4 years.

RevDate: 2024-05-16

Soleymani E, Fakhar M, Davoodi L, et al (2024)

Isolation, characterization, and pathogenicity assay of Acanthamoeba and its endosymbionts in respiratory disorders and COVID-19 hospitalized patients, northern Iran.

Experimental parasitology pii:S0014-4894(24)00077-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Acanthamoeba spp., are common free-living amoebae found in nature that can serve as reservoirs for certain microorganisms. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a newly emerged respiratory infection, and the investigation of parasitic infections remains an area of limited research. Given that Acanthamoeba can act as a host for various endosymbiotic microbial pathogens and its pathogenicity assay is not fully understood, this study aimed to identify Acanthamoeba and its bacterial and fungal endosymbionts in patients with chronic respiratory disorders and hospitalized COVID-19 patients in northern Iran. Additionally, a pathogenicity assay was conducted on Acanthamoeba isolates. Urine, nasopharyngeal swab, and respiratory specimens were collected from two groups, and each sample was cultured on 1.5% non-nutrient agar medium. The cultures were then incubated at room temperature and monitored daily for a period of two weeks. Eight Acanthamoeba isolates were identified, and PCR was performed to confirm the presence of amoebae and identify their endosymbionts. Four isolates were found to have bacterial endosymbionts, including Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Achromobacter sp., while two isolates harbored fungal endosymbionts, including an uncultured fungus and Gloeotinia sp. In the pathogenicity assay, five isolates exhibited a higher degree of pathogenicity compared to the other three. This study provides significant insights into the comorbidity of acanthamoebiasis and COVID-19 on a global scale, and presents the first evidence of Gloeotinia sp. as a fungal endosymbiont. Nevertheless, further research is required to fully comprehend the symbiotic patterns and establish effective treatment protocols.

RevDate: 2024-05-16

Varasteh T, Lima MS, Silva TA, et al (2024)

The dispersant Corexit 9500 and (dispersed) oil are lethal to coral endosymbionts.

Marine pollution bulletin, 203:116491 pii:S0025-326X(24)00468-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Endosymbionts (Symbiodiniaceae) play a vital role in the health of corals. Seawater pollution can harm these endosymbionts and dispersants used during oil spill cleanup can be extremely toxic to these organisms. Here, we examined the impact of oil and a specific dispersant, Corexit-9500, on two representative endosymbionts - Symbiodinium and Cladocopium - from the Southwestern endemic coral Mussismilia braziliensis. The survival and photosynthetic potential of the endosymbionts decreased dramatically after exposure to the dispersant and oil by ~25 % after 2 h and ~50 % after 7 days. Low concentrations of dispersant (0.005 ml/l) and dispersed oil (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, 1132 μg/l; Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons, 595 μg/l) proved highly toxic to both Symbiodinium and Cladocopium. These levels triggered a reduction in growth rate, cell size, and cell wall thickness. After a few hours of exposure, cellular organelles were damaged or destroyed. These acute toxic effects underline the fragile nature of coral endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2024-05-14

Gimmi E, Wallisch J, C Vorburger (2024)

Ecological divergence despite common mating sites: Genotypes and symbiotypes shed light on cryptic diversity in the black bean aphid species complex.

Heredity [Epub ahead of print].

Different host plants represent ecologically dissimilar environments for phytophagous insects. The resulting divergent selection can promote the evolution of specialized host races, provided that gene flow is reduced between populations feeding on different plants. In black bean aphids belonging to the Aphis fabae complex, several morphologically cryptic taxa have been described based on their distinct host plant preferences. However, host choice and mate choice are largely decoupled in these insects: they are host-alternating and migrate between specific summer host plants and shared winter hosts, with mating occurring on the shared hosts. This provides a yearly opportunity for gene flow among aphids using different summer hosts, and raises the question if and to what extent the ecologically defined taxa are reproductively isolated. Here, we analyzed a geographically and temporally structured dataset of microsatellite genotypes from A. fabae that were mostly collected from their main winter host Euonymus europaeus, and additionally from another winter host and fourteen summer hosts. The data reveals multiple, strongly differentiated genetic clusters, which differ in their association with different summer and winter hosts. The clusters also differ in the frequency of infection with two heritable, facultative endosymbionts, separately hinting at reproductive isolation and divergent ecological selection. Furthermore, we found evidence for occasional hybridization among genetic clusters, with putative hybrids collected more frequently in spring than in autumn. This suggests that similar to host races in other phytophagous insects, both prezygotic and postzygotic barriers including selection against hybrids maintain genetic differentiation among A. fabae taxa, despite a common mating habitat.

RevDate: 2024-05-14
CmpDate: 2024-05-14

Felipin KP, Paloschi MV, Silva MDS, et al (2024)

Transcriptomics analysis highlights potential ways in human pathogenesis in Leishmania braziliensis infected with the viral endosymbiont LRV1.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 18(5):e0012126 pii:PNTD-D-23-00588.

The parasite Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis is widely distributed in Brazil and is one of the main species associated with human cases of different forms of tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) such as cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and mucosal leishmaniasis (ML). The mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of TL are still not fully understood, but it is known that factors related to the host and the parasite act in a synergistic and relevant way to direct the response to the infection. In the host, macrophages have a central connection with the parasite and play a fundamental role in the defense of the organism due to their ability to destroy intracellular parasites and present antigens. In the parasite, some intrinsic factors related to the species or even the strain analyzed are fundamental for the outcome of the disease. One of them is the presence of Leishmania RNA Virus 1 (LRV1), an endosymbiont virus that parasitizes some species of Leishmania that triggers a cascade of signals leading to a more severe TL phenotype, such as ML. One of the strategies for understanding factors associated with the immune response generated after Leishmania/host interaction is through the analysis of molecular patterns after infection. Thus, the gene expression profile in human monocyte-derived macrophages obtained from healthy donors infected in vitro with L. braziliensis positive (LbLRV1+) and negative (LbLRV1-) for LRV1 was evaluated. For this, the microarray assay was used and 162 differentially expressed genes were identified in the comparison LbLRV1+ vs. LbLRV1-, 126 upregulated genes for the type I and II interferons (IFN) signaling pathway, oligoadenylate synthase OAS/RNAse L, non-genomic actions of vitamin D3 and RIG-I type receptors, and 36 down-regulated. The top 10 downregulated genes along with the top 10 upregulated genes were considered for analysis. Type I interferon (IFNI)- and OAS-related pathways results were validated by RT-qPCR and Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokines were analyzed by Cytometric Bead Array (CBA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The microarray results validated by RT-qPCR showed differential expression of genes related to IFNI-mediated pathways with overexpression of different genes in cells infected with LbLRV1+ compared to LbLRV1- and to the control. No significant differences were found in cytokine levels between LbLRV1+ vs. LbLRV1- and control. The data suggest the activation of gene signaling pathways associated with the presence of LRV1 has not yet been reported so far. This study demonstrates, for the first time, the activation of the OAS/RNase L signaling pathway and the non-genomic actions of vitamin D3 when comparing infections with LbLRV1+ versus LbLRV1- and the control. This finding emphasizes the role of LRV1 in directing the host's immune response after infection, underlining the importance of identifying LRV1 in patients with TL to assess disease progression.

RevDate: 2024-05-14

Martyn C, Hayes BM, Lauko D, et al (2024)

Metatranscriptomic investigation of single Ixodes pacificus ticks reveals diverse microbes, viruses, and novel mRNA-like endogenous viral elements.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

UNLABELLED: Ticks are increasingly important vectors of human and agricultural diseases. While many studies have focused on tick-borne bacteria, far less is known about tick-associated viruses and their roles in public health or tick physiology. To address this, we investigated patterns of bacterial and viral communities across two field populations of western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus). Through metatranscriptomic analysis of 100 individual ticks, we quantified taxon prevalence, abundance, and co-occurrence with other members of the tick microbiome. In addition to commonly found tick-associated microbes, we assembled 11 novel RNA virus genomes from Rhabdoviridae, Chuviridae, Picornaviridae, Phenuiviridae, Reoviridae, Solemovidiae, Narnaviridae and two highly divergent RNA virus genomes lacking sequence similarity to any known viral families. We experimentally verified the presence of these in I. pacificus ticks across several life stages. We also unexpectedly identified numerous virus-like transcripts that are likely encoded by tick genomic DNA, and which are distinct from known endogenous viral element-mediated immunity pathways in invertebrates. Taken together, our work reveals that I. pacificus ticks carry a greater diversity of viruses than previously appreciated, in some cases resulting in evolutionarily acquired virus-like transcripts. Our findings highlight how pervasive and intimate tick-virus interactions are, with major implications for both the fundamental biology and vectorial capacity of I. pacificus ticks.

IMPORTANCE: Ticks are increasingly important vectors of disease, particularly in the United States where expanding tick ranges and intrusion into previously wild areas has resulted in increasing human exposure to ticks. Emerging human pathogens have been identified in ticks at an increasing rate, and yet little is known about the full community of microbes circulating in various tick species, a crucial first step to understanding how they interact with each and their tick host, as well as their ability to cause disease in humans. We investigated the bacterial and viral communities of the Western blacklegged tick in California and found 11 previously uncharacterized viruses circulating in this population.

RevDate: 2024-05-14

Mies US, Hervé V, Kropp T, et al (2024)

Genome reduction and horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of Endomicrobia-rise and fall of an intracellular symbiosis with termite gut flagellates.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial endosymbionts of eukaryotic hosts typically experience massive genome reduction, but the underlying evolutionary processes are often obscured by the lack of free-living relatives. Endomicrobia, a family-level lineage of host-associated bacteria in the phylum Elusimicrobiota that comprises both free-living representatives and endosymbionts of termite gut flagellates, are an excellent model to study evolution of intracellular symbionts. We reconstructed 67 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) of Endomicrobiaceae among more than 1,700 MAGs from the gut microbiota of a wide range of termites. Phylogenomic analysis confirmed a sister position of representatives from termites and ruminants, and allowed to propose eight new genera in the radiation of Endomicrobiaceae. Comparative genome analysis documented progressive genome erosion in the new genus Endomicrobiellum, which comprises all flagellate endosymbionts characterized to date. Massive gene losses were accompanied by the acquisition of new functions by horizontal gene transfer, which led to a shift from a glucose-based energy metabolism to one based on sugar phosphates. The breakdown of glycolysis and many anabolic pathways for amino acids and cofactors in several subgroups was compensated by the independent acquisition of new uptake systems, including an ATP/ADP antiporter, from other gut microbiota. The putative donors are mostly flagellate endosymbionts from other bacterial phyla, including several, hitherto unknown lineages of uncultured Alphaproteobacteria, documenting the importance of horizontal gene transfer in the convergent evolution of these intracellular symbioses. The loss of almost all biosynthetic capacities in some lineages of Endomicrobiellum suggests that their originally mutualistic relationship with flagellates is on its decline.IMPORTANCEUnicellular eukaryotes are frequently colonized by bacterial and archaeal symbionts. A prominent example are the cellulolytic gut flagellates of termites, which harbor diverse but host-specific bacterial symbionts that occur exclusively in termite guts. One of these lineages, the so-called Endomicrobia, comprises both free-living and endosymbiotic representatives, which offers the unique opportunity to study the evolutionary processes underpinning the transition from a free-living to an intracellular lifestyle. Our results revealed a progressive gene loss in energy metabolism and biosynthetic pathways, compensated by the acquisition of new functions via horizontal gene transfer from other gut bacteria, and suggest the eventual breakdown of an initially mutualistic symbiosis. Evidence for convergent evolution of unrelated endosymbionts reflects adaptations to the intracellular environment of termite gut flagellates.

RevDate: 2024-05-13
CmpDate: 2024-05-11

Zhang J, Liu Q, Dai L, et al (2024)

Pan-Genome Analysis of Wolbachia, Endosymbiont of Diaphorina citri, Reveals Independent Origin in Asia and North America.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(9):.

Wolbachia, a group of Gram-negative symbiotic bacteria, infects nematodes and a wide range of arthropods. Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, the vector of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) that causes citrus greening disease, is naturally infected with Wolbachia (wDi). However, the interaction between wDi and D. citri remains poorly understood. In this study, we performed a pan-genome analysis using 65 wDi genomes to gain a comprehensive understanding of wDi. Based on average nucleotide identity (ANI) analysis, we classified the wDi strains into Asia and North America strains. The ANI analysis, principal coordinates analysis (PCoA), and phylogenetic tree analysis supported that the D. citri in Florida did not originate from China. Furthermore, we found that a significant number of core genes were associated with metabolic pathways. Pathways such as thiamine metabolism, type I secretion system, biotin transport, and phospholipid transport were highly conserved across all analyzed wDi genomes. The variation analysis between Asia and North America wDi showed that there were 39,625 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 2153 indels, 10 inversions, 29 translocations, 65 duplications, 10 SV-based insertions, and 4 SV-based deletions. The SV-based insertions and deletions involved genes encoding transposase, phage tail tube protein, ankyrin repeat (ANK) protein, and group II intron-encoded protein. Pan-genome analysis of wDi contributes to our understanding of the geographical population of wDi, the origin of hosts of D. citri, and the interaction between wDi and its host, thus facilitating the development of strategies to control the insects and huanglongbing (HLB).

RevDate: 2024-05-11

Setegn A, Amare GA, Y Mihret (2024)

Wolbachia and Lymphatic Filarial Nematodes and Their Implications in the Pathogenesis of the Disease.

Journal of parasitology research, 2024:3476951.

Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is an infection of three closely related filarial worms such as Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori. These worms can cause a devastating disease that involves acute and chronic lymphoedema of the extremities, which can cause elephantiasis in both sexes and hydroceles in males. These important public health nematodes were found to have a mutualistic relationship with intracellular bacteria of the genus Wolbachia, which is essential for the development and survival of the nematode. The host's inflammatory response to parasites and possibly also to the Wolbachia endosymbiont is the cause of lymphatic damage and disease pathogenesis. This review tried to describe and highlight the mutualistic associations between Wolbachia and lymphatic filarial nematodes and the role of bacteria in the pathogenesis of lymphatic filariasis. Articles for this review were searched from PubMed, Google Scholar, and other databases. Article searching was not restricted by publication year; however, only English version full-text articles were included.

RevDate: 2024-05-10

Nahusenay G, Wolde G, Tena W, et al (2024)

Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) growth, nodulation, and yield as affected by varieties, Mesorhizobium strains, and NPSB fertilizer in Southern Ethiopia.

Frontiers in plant science, 15:1372082.

A significant legume crop in Ethiopia, chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) have several advantages, including high nutritional value and the capacity to improve soils deficient in nitrogen through biological nitrogen fixation using several endosymbiotic Mesorhizobium spp. strains. However, the host variety, the soil's capacity to hold nutrients, and the endosymbiont's innate physiological traits all affect how efficient the strains are. The primary obstacles to its cultivation in the research area are inadequate agronomic methods and low soil fertility [low nitrogen (N), low soil organic matter (OM), low accessible phosphorous (P), sulfur (S), and boron (B)], which results in ineffective nodulation. To evaluate the effects of NPSB fertilization and inoculation, a field experiment was carried out in Buchach Kebele's Cheha area during the primary cropping season of 2021/22. The trial included two chickpea kinds (Local and Arerti), two NPSB levels (zero and 121 kg NPSB ha[-1]), and four levels of Mesorhizobium strains (CP-M41, CP-EAL 029, CP-M20b, and un-inoculated control). A randomized complete block design (RCBD) was used to organize the treatments in a factorial form with three replications. In comparison to the single application and the control, the interaction impact of strains, NPSB fertilizer, and variety greatly increased nodulation parameters, growth parameters, yield, and yield components. The Arerti variety combined with the CP-M41 Mesorhizobium strain and NPSB fertilizer had the maximum grain production (3177.16 kg ha[-1]). It yielded 15.96%, 24.06%, and 37.93% more than the Arerti with CP-M41 strain, Arerti with NPSB, and the control treatments, respectively. The partial budget analysis of the study treatments showed that the Arerti variety with the combined application of 121 kg NPSB ha-1 and Mesorhizobium strain CP-M41 inoculation produced the highest net return (102,092.6 ETB ha[-1]) with an acceptable marginal rate of return (618%). It has been found that the CP-M41 strain and the Arerti variety, when combined with 121 kg NPSB ha[-1] application, is a suitable treatment combination to achieve increased chickpea crop yield and profit in the studied area. However, the results need further validation in the farmer's field before recommending to farmers.

RevDate: 2024-05-08
CmpDate: 2024-05-08

Zhang Y, Chen H, Lian C, et al (2024)

Insights into phage-bacteria interaction in cold seep Gigantidas platifrons through metagenomics and transcriptome analyses.

Scientific reports, 14(1):10540.

Viruses are crucial for regulating deep-sea microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles. However, their roles are still less characterized in deep-sea holobionts. Bathymodioline mussels are endemic species inhabiting cold seeps and harboring endosymbionts in gill epithelial cells for nutrition. This study unveiled a diverse array of viruses in the gill tissues of Gigantidas platifrons mussels and analyzed the viral metagenome and transcriptome from the gill tissues of Gigantidas platifrons mussels collected from a cold seep in the South Sea. The mussel gills contained various viruses including Baculoviridae, Rountreeviridae, Myoviridae and Siphovirdae, but the active viromes were Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, and Podoviridae belonging to the order Caudovirales. The overall viral community structure showed significant variation among environments with different methane concentrations. Transcriptome analysis indicated high expression of viral structural genes, integrase, and restriction endonuclease genes in a high methane concentration environment, suggesting frequent virus infection and replication. Furthermore, two viruses (GP-phage-contig14 and GP-phage-contig72) interacted with Gigantidas platifrons methanotrophic gill symbionts (bathymodiolin mussels host intracellular methanotrophic Gammaproteobacteria in their gills), showing high expression levels, and have huge different expression in different methane concentrations. Additionally, single-stranded DNA viruses may play a potential auxiliary role in the virus-host interaction using indirect bioinformatics methods. Moreover, the Cro and DNA methylase genes had phylogenetic similarity between the virus and Gigantidas platifrons methanotrophic gill symbionts. This study also explored a variety of viruses in the gill tissues of Gigantidas platifrons and revealed that bacteria interacted with the viruses during the symbiosis with Gigantidas platifrons. This study provides fundamental insights into the interplay of microorganisms within Gigantidas platifrons mussels in deep sea.

RevDate: 2024-05-08
CmpDate: 2024-05-08

Ali M, Rice CA, Byrne AW, et al (2024)

Modelling dynamics between free-living amoebae and bacteria.

Environmental microbiology, 26(5):e16623.

Free-living amoebae (FLA) serve as hosts for a variety of endosymbionts, which are microorganisms that reside and multiply within the FLA. Some of these endosymbionts pose a pathogenic threat to humans, animals, or both. The symbiotic relationship with FLA not only offers these microorganisms protection but also enhances their survival outside their hosts and assists in their dispersal across diverse habitats, thereby escalating disease transmission. This review is intended to offer an exhaustive overview of the existing mathematical models that have been applied to understand the dynamics of FLA, especially concerning their interactions with bacteria. An extensive literature review was conducted across Google Scholar, PubMed, and Scopus databases to identify mathematical models that describe the dynamics of interactions between FLA and bacteria, as published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The literature search revealed several FLA-bacteria model systems, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pasteurella multocida, and Legionella spp. Although the published mathematical models account for significant system dynamics such as predator-prey relationships and non-linear growth rates, they generally overlook spatial and temporal heterogeneity in environmental conditions, such as temperature, and population diversity. Future mathematical models will need to incorporate these factors to enhance our understanding of FLA-bacteria dynamics and to provide valuable insights for future risk assessment and disease control measures.

RevDate: 2024-05-07

Maeda GP, Kelly MK, Sundar A, et al (2024)

Intracellular defensive symbiont is culturable and capable of transovarial, vertical transmission.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

UNLABELLED: Insects frequently form heritable associations with beneficial bacteria that are vertically transmitted from parent to offspring. Long-term vertical transmission has repeatedly resulted in genome reduction and gene loss, rendering many such bacteria incapable of establishment in axenic culture. Among aphids, heritable endosymbionts often provide context-specific benefits to their hosts. Although these associations have large impacts on host phenotypes, experimental approaches are often limited by an inability to cultivate these microbes. Here, we report the axenic culture of Candidatus Fukatsuia symbiotica strain WIR, a heritable bacterial endosymbiont of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Whole-genome sequencing revealed similar genomic features and high sequence similarity to previously described strains, suggesting that the cultivation techniques used here may be applicable to Ca. F. symbiotica strains from distantly related aphids. Microinjection of cultured Ca. F. symbiotica into uninfected aphids revealed that it can reinfect developing embryos and that infections are maintained in subsequent generations via transovarial maternal transmission. Artificially infected aphids exhibit phenotypic and life history traits similar to those observed for native infections. Our results show that Ca. F. symbiotica may be a useful tool for experimentally probing the molecular mechanisms underlying host-symbiont interactions in a heritable symbiosis.

IMPORTANCE: Diverse eukaryotic organisms form stable, symbiotic relationships with bacteria that provide benefits to their hosts. While these associations are often biologically important, they can be difficult to probe experimentally because intimately host-associated bacteria are difficult to access within host tissues, and most cannot be cultured. This is especially true for the intracellular, maternally inherited bacteria associated with many insects, including aphids. Here, we demonstrate that a pea aphid-associated strain of the heritable endosymbiont, Candidatus Fukatsuia symbiotica, can be grown outside of its host using standard microbiology techniques and can readily re-establish infection that is maintained across host generations. These artificial infections recapitulate the effects of native infections, making this host-symbiont pair a useful experimental system.

RevDate: 2024-05-07

Moulin SLY, Frail S, Braukmann T, et al (2024)

The endosymbiont of Epithemia clementina is specialized for nitrogen fixation within a photosynthetic eukaryote.

ISME communications, 4(1):ycae055.

Epithemia spp. diatoms contain obligate, nitrogen-fixing endosymbionts, or diazoplasts, derived from cyanobacteria. These algae are a rare example of photosynthetic eukaryotes that have successfully coupled oxygenic photosynthesis with oxygen-sensitive nitrogenase activity. Here, we report a newly-isolated species, E. clementina, as a model to investigate endosymbiotic acquisition of nitrogen fixation. We demonstrate that the diazoplast, which has lost photosynthesis, provides fixed nitrogen to the diatom host in exchange for fixed carbon. To identify the metabolic changes associated with this endosymbiotic specialization, we compared the Epithemia diazoplast with its close, free-living cyanobacterial relative, Crocosphaera subtropica. Unlike C. subtropica, in which nitrogenase activity is temporally separated from photosynthesis, we show that nitrogenase activity in the diazoplast is continuous through the day (concurrent with host photosynthesis) and night. Host and diazoplast metabolism are tightly coupled to support nitrogenase activity: Inhibition of photosynthesis abolishes daytime nitrogenase activity, while nighttime nitrogenase activity no longer requires cyanobacterial glycogen storage pathways. Instead, import of host-derived carbohydrates supports nitrogenase activity throughout the day-night cycle. Carbohydrate metabolism is streamlined in the diazoplast compared to C. subtropica with retention of the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway and oxidative phosphorylation. Similar to heterocysts, these pathways may be optimized to support nitrogenase activity, providing reducing equivalents and ATP and consuming oxygen. Our results demonstrate that the diazoplast is specialized for endosymbiotic nitrogen fixation. Altogether, we establish a new model for studying endosymbiosis, perform a functional characterization of this diazotroph endosymbiosis, and identify metabolic adaptations for endosymbiotic acquisition of a critical biological function.

RevDate: 2024-05-06

Katoch M, Singh G, Bijarnia E, et al (2024)

Biodiversity of endosymbiont fungi associated with a marine sponge Lamellodysidea herbacea and their potential as antioxidant producers.

3 Biotech, 14(5):146.

UNLABELLED: This study aims to isolate endosymbiontic fungi from the marine sponge Lamellodysidea herbacea and to explore their antioxidant potential. Marine-derived fungi, with their vast biodiversity, are considered a promising source of novel antioxidants which can replace synthetic ones. Marine sponges have previously reported bioactive properties that could ameliorate oxidative stress, particularly their associated fungi, producing high-frequency bioactive molecules (adaptogenic molecules) in response to stressors. 19 endosymbiont fungi associated with marine sponges were isolated, and their extracts were evaluated for their antioxidant capacities. Extract of an endosymbiont fungus, isolate SPG6, identified as Alternaria destruens, through surface electron microscopy (SEM) and ITS gene sequencing, showed broad range antioxidant activities (EC50 values) (free radical scavenging 32.54 mg L[-1], Hydroxyl radical scavenging activity < 0.078 g L[-1], total reducing power 0.114 g L[-1], Chelating power 0.262 g L[-1], H2O2 scavenging activity < 0.078 g L[-1], and Superoxide radical scavenging activity > 5.0 g L[-1]). The extract of isolate SPG6 was fractioned and analyzed through GC-MS. Marine sponge-associated endosymbiont fungi are a rich source of antioxidant molecules.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13205-024-03972-1.

RevDate: 2024-05-05
CmpDate: 2024-05-05

Łukasik P, MR Kolasa (2024)

With a little help from my friends: the roles of microbial symbionts in insect populations and communities.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 379(1904):20230122.

To understand insect abundance, distribution and dynamics, we need to understand the relevant drivers of their populations and communities. While microbial symbionts are known to strongly affect many aspects of insect biology, we lack data on their effects on populations or community processes, or on insects' evolutionary responses at different timescales. How these effects change as the anthropogenic effects on ecosystems intensify is an area of intense research. Recent developments in sequencing and bioinformatics permit cost-effective microbial diversity surveys, tracking symbiont transmission, and identification of functions across insect populations and multi-species communities. In this review, we explore how different functional categories of symbionts can influence insect life-history traits, how these effects could affect insect populations and their interactions with other species, and how they may affect processes and patterns at the level of entire communities. We argue that insect-associated microbes should be considered important drivers of insect response and adaptation to environmental challenges and opportunities. We also outline the emerging approaches for surveying and characterizing insect-associated microbiota at population and community scales. This article is part of the theme issue 'Towards a toolkit for global insect biodiversity monitoring'.

RevDate: 2024-05-04
CmpDate: 2024-05-04

Renoz F, Parisot N, Baa-Puyoulet P, et al (2024)

PacBio Hi-Fi genome assembly of Sipha maydis, a model for the study of multipartite mutualism in insects.

Scientific data, 11(1):450.

Dependence on multiple nutritional endosymbionts has evolved repeatedly in insects feeding on unbalanced diets. However, reference genomes for species hosting multi-symbiotic nutritional systems are lacking, even though they are essential for deciphering the processes governing cooperative life between insects and anatomically integrated symbionts. The cereal aphid Sipha maydis is a promising model for addressing these issues, as it has evolved a nutritional dependence on two bacterial endosymbionts that complement each other. In this study, we used PacBio High fidelity (HiFi) long-read sequencing to generate a highly contiguous genome assembly of S. maydis with a length of 410 Mb, 3,570 contigs with a contig N50 length of 187 kb, and BUSCO completeness of 95.5%. We identified 117 Mb of repetitive sequences, accounting for 29% of the genome assembly, and predicted 24,453 protein-coding genes, of which 2,541 were predicted enzymes included in an integrated metabolic network with the two aphid-associated endosymbionts. These resources provide valuable genetic and metabolic information for understanding the evolution and functioning of multi-symbiotic systems in insects.

RevDate: 2024-05-03

Roldán EL, Stelinski LL, KS Pelz-Stelinski (2024)

Reduction of Wolbachia in Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) increases phytopathogen acquisition and decreases fitness.

Journal of economic entomology pii:7664344 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia pipientis is a maternally inherited intracellular bacterium that infects a wide range of arthropods. Wolbachia can have a significant impact on host biology and development, often due to its effects on reproduction. We investigated Wolbachia-mediated effects in the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, which transmits Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the causal agent of citrus greening disease. Diaphorina citri are naturally infected with Wolbachia; therefore, investigating Wolbachia-mediated effects on D. citri fitness and CLas transmission required artificial reduction of this endosymbiont with the application of doxycycline. Doxycycline treatment of psyllids reduced Wolbachia infection by approximately 60% in both male and female D. citri. Psyllids treated with doxycycline exhibited higher CLas acquisition in both adults and nymphs as compared with negative controls. In addition, doxycycline-treated psyllids exhibited decreased fitness as measured by reduced egg and nymph production as well as adult emergence as compared with control lines without the doxycycline treatment. Our results indicate that Wolbachia benefits D. citri by improving fitness and potentially competes with CLas by interfering with phytopathogen acquisition. Targeted manipulation of endosymbionts in this phytopathogen vector may yield disease management tools.

RevDate: 2024-05-03
CmpDate: 2024-05-01

Moustafa MAM, Mohamed WMA, Chatanga E, et al (2024)

Unraveling the phylogenetics of genetically closely related species, Haemaphysalis japonica and Haemaphysalis megaspinosa, using entire tick mitogenomes and microbiomes.

Scientific reports, 14(1):9961.

Ticks have a profound impact on public health. Haemaphysalis is one of the most widespread genera in Asia, including Japan. The taxonomy and genetic differentiation of Haemaphysalis spp. is challenging. For instance, previous studies struggled to distinguish Haemaphysalis japonica and Haemaphysalis megaspinosa due to the dearth of nucleotide sequence polymorphisms in widely used barcoding genes. The classification of H. japonica japonica and its related sub-species Haemaphysalis japonica douglasi or Haemaphysalis jezoensis is also confused due to their high morphological similarity and a lack of molecular data that support the current classification. We used mitogenomes and microbiomes of H. japonica and H. megaspinosa to gain deeper insights into the phylogenetic relationships and genetic divergence between two species. Phylogenetic analyses of concatenated nucleotide sequences of protein-coding genes and ribosomal DNA genes distinguished H. japonica and H. megaspinosa as monophyletic clades, with further subdivision within the H. japonica clade. The 16S rRNA and NAD5 genes were valuable markers for distinguishing H. japonica and H. megaspinosa. Population genetic structure analyses indicated that genetic variation within populations accounted for a large proportion of the total variation compared to variation between populations. Microbiome analyses revealed differences in alpha and beta diversity between H. japonica and H. megaspinosa: H. japonica had the higher diversity. Coxiella sp., a likely endosymbiont, was found in both Haemaphysalis species. The abundance profiles of likely endosymbionts, pathogens, and commensals differed between H. japonica and H. megaspinosa: H. megaspinosa was more diverse.

RevDate: 2024-05-01

Richter I, Hasan M, Kramer JW, et al (2024)

Deazaflavin metabolite produced by endosymbiotic bacteria controls fungal host reproduction.

The ISME journal pii:7660940 [Epub ahead of print].

The endosymbiosis between the pathogenic fungus Rhizopus microsporus and the toxin-producing bacterium Mycetohabitans rhizoxinica represents a unique example of host control by an endosymbiont. Fungal sporulation strictly depends on the presence of endosymbionts as well as bacterially produced secondary metabolites. However, an influence of primary metabolites on host control remained unexplored. Recently, we discovered that M. rhizoxinica produces FO and 3PG-F420, a derivative of the specialized redox cofactor F420. Whether FO/3PG-F420 plays a role in the symbiosis has yet to be investigated. Here, we report that FO, the precursor of 3PG-F420, is essential to the establishment of a stable symbiosis. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that the genetic inventory to produce cofactor 3PG-F420 is conserved in the genomes of eight endofungal Mycetohabitans strains. By developing a CRISPR/Cas-assisted base editing strategy for M. rhizoxinica, we generated mutant strains deficient in 3PG-F420 (M. rhizoxinica ΔcofC) and in both FO and 3PG-F420 (M. rhizoxinica ΔfbiC). Co-culture experiments demonstrated that the sporulating phenotype of apo-symbiotic R. microsporus is maintained upon reinfection with wild-type M. rhizoxinica or M. rhizoxinica ΔcofC. In contrast, R. microsporus is unable to sporulate when co-cultivated with M. rhizoxinica ΔfbiC, even though the fungus was observed by super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to be successfully colonized. Genetic and chemical complementation of the FO deficiency of M. rhizoxinica ΔfbiC led to restoration of fungal sporulation, signifying that FO is indispensable for establishing a functional symbiosis. Even though FO is known for its light-harvesting properties, our data illustrate an important role of FO in inter-kingdom communication.

RevDate: 2024-05-01

Knights HE, Ramachandran VK, Jorrin B, et al (2024)

Rhizobium determinants of rhizosphere persistence and root colonisation.

The ISME journal pii:7660702 [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterial persistence in the rhizosphere and colonisation of root niches are critical for the establishment of many beneficial plant-bacteria interactions including those between Rhizobium leguminosarum and its host legumes. Despite this, most studies on R. leguminosarum have focused on its symbiotic lifestyle as an endosymbiont in root nodules. Here, we use random barcode transposon sequencing (RB-TnSeq) to assay gene contributions of R. leguminosarum during competitive growth in the rhizosphere and colonisation of various plant species. This facilitated the identification of 189 genes commonly required for growth in diverse plant rhizospheres, mutation of 111 of which also affected subsequent root colonisation (rhizosphere progressive), and a further 119 genes necessary for colonisation. Common determinants reveal a need to synthesise essential compounds (amino acids, ribonucleotides, and cofactors), adapt metabolic function, respond to external stimuli, and withstand various stresses (such as changes in osmolarity). Additionally, chemotaxis and flagella-mediated motility are prerequisites for root colonisation. Many genes showed plant-specific dependencies highlighting significant adaptation to different plant species. This work provides a greater understanding of factors promoting rhizosphere fitness and root colonisation in plant-beneficial bacteria, facilitating their exploitation for agricultural benefit.

RevDate: 2024-04-27

Tuñon A, García J, Carrera LC, et al (2024)

Chemical control of medically important arthropods in Panama: A systematic literature review of historical efforts.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(24)00100-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Vector-borne diseases are a major source of morbidity in Panama. Herein, we describe historical usage patterns of synthetic insecticides to control arthropod disease vectors in this country. We examine the influence of interventions by vector control programs on the emergence of insecticide resistance. Chemical control has traditionally focused on two mosquito species: Anopheles albimanus, a major regional malaria vector, and Aedes aegypti, a historical vector of yellow fever, and current vector of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Countrywide populations of An. albimanus depict hyperirritability to organochlorine insecticides administered by indoor residual spraying, although they appear susceptible to these insecticides in bioassays settings, as well as to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides in field tests. Populations of Ae. aegypti show resistance to pyrethroids, particularly in areas near Panama City, but the spread of resistance remains unknown in Ae. aegypti and Aedes albopictus. A One Health approach is needed in Panama to pinpoint the insecticide resistance mechanisms including the frequency of knockdown mutations and behavioral plasticity in populations of Anopheles and Aedes mosquitoes. This information is necessary to guide the sustainable implementation of chemical control strategies and the use of modern vector control technologies such as genetically modified mosquitoes, and endosymbiont Wolbachia-based biological control.

RevDate: 2024-04-27
CmpDate: 2024-04-27

Silva FJ, Domínguez-Santos R, Latorre A, et al (2024)

Comparative Transcriptomics of Fat Bodies between Symbiotic and Quasi-Aposymbiotic Adult Females of Blattella germanica with Emphasis on the Metabolic Integration with Its Endosymbiont Blattabacterium and Its Immune System.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(8):.

We explored the metabolic integration of Blattella germanica and its obligate endosymbiont Blattabacterium cuenoti by the transcriptomic analysis of the fat body of quasi-aposymbiotic cockroaches, where the endosymbionts were almost entirely removed with rifampicin. Fat bodies from quasi-aposymbiotic insects displayed large differences in gene expression compared to controls. In quasi-aposymbionts, the metabolism of phenylalanine and tyrosine involved in cuticle sclerotization and pigmentation increased drastically to compensate for the deficiency in the biosynthesis of these amino acids by the endosymbionts. On the other hand, the uricolytic pathway and the biosynthesis of uric acid were severely decreased, probably because the reduced population of endosymbionts was unable to metabolize urea to ammonia. Metabolite transporters that could be involved in the endosymbiosis process were identified. Immune system and antimicrobial peptide (AMP) gene expression was also reduced in quasi-aposymbionts, genes encoding peptidoglycan-recognition proteins, which may provide clues for the maintenance of the symbiotic relationship, as well as three AMP genes whose involvement in the symbiotic relationship will require additional analysis. Finally, a search for AMP-like factors that could be involved in controlling the endosymbiont identified two orphan genes encoding proteins smaller than 200 amino acids underexpressed in quasi-aposymbionts, suggesting a role in the host-endosymbiont relationship.

RevDate: 2024-04-26
CmpDate: 2024-04-26

Shamjana U, Vasu DA, Hembrom PS, et al (2024)

The role of insect gut microbiota in host fitness, detoxification and nutrient supplementation.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 117(1):71.

Insects are incredibly diverse, ubiquitous and have successfully flourished out of the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of evolutionary processes. The resident microbiome has accompanied the physical and biological adaptations that enable their continued survival and proliferation in a wide array of environments. The host insect and microbiome's bidirectional relationship exhibits their capability to influence each other's physiology, behavior and characteristics. Insects are reported to rely directly on the microbial community to break down complex food, adapt to nutrient-deficit environments, protect themselves from natural adversaries and control the expression of social behavior. High-throughput metagenomic approaches have enhanced the potential for determining the abundance, composition, diversity and functional activities of microbial fauna associated with insect hosts, enabling in-depth investigation into insect-microbe interactions. We undertook a review of some of the major advances in the field of metagenomics, focusing on insect-microbe interaction, diversity and composition of resident microbiota, the functional capability of endosymbionts and discussions on different symbiotic relationships. The review aims to be a valuable resource on insect gut symbiotic microbiota by providing a comprehensive understanding of how insect gut symbionts systematically perform a range of functions, viz., insecticide degradation, nutritional support and immune fitness. A thorough understanding of manipulating specific gut symbionts may aid in developing advanced insect-associated research to attain health and design strategies for pest management.

RevDate: 2024-04-25
CmpDate: 2024-04-25

Work TM, Singhakarn C, TM Weatherby (2024)

Cytology in cnidaria using Exaiptasia as a model.

Diseases of aquatic organisms, 158:37-53.

A need exists for additional methods to examine cnidaria at the cellular level to aid our understanding of health, anatomy, and physiology of this important group of organisms. This need is particularly acute given that disease is emerging as a major factor in declines of ecologically important functional groups such as corals. Here we describe a simple method to process cnidarian cells for microscopic examination using the model organism Exaiptasia. We show that this organism has at least 18 cell types or structures that can be readily distinguished based on defined morphological features. Some of these cells can be related back to anatomic features of the animal both at the light microscope and ultrastructural level. The cnidome of Exaiptasia may be more complex than what is currently understood. Moreover, cnidarian cells, including some types of cnidocytes, phagocytize cells other than endosymbionts. Finally, our findings shed light on morphologic complexity of cell-associated microbial aggregates and their intimate intracellular associations. The tools described here could be useful for other cnidaria.

RevDate: 2024-04-25

Zhang J, Liu G, Carvajal AI, et al (2021)

Discovery of a readily heterologously expressed Rubisco from the deep sea with potential for CO2 capture.

Bioresources and bioprocessing, 8(1):86.

Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), the key CO2-fixing enzyme in photosynthesis, is notorious for its low carboxylation. We report a highly active and assembly-competent Form II Rubisco from the endosymbiont of a deep-sea tubeworm Riftia pachyptila (RPE Rubisco), which shows a 50.5% higher carboxylation efficiency than that of a high functioning Rubisco from Synechococcus sp. PCC7002 (7002 Rubisco). It is a simpler hexamer with three pairs of large subunit homodimers around a central threefold symmetry axis. Compared with 7002 Rubisco, it showed a 3.6-fold higher carbon capture efficiency in vivo using a designed CO2 capture model. The simple structure, high carboxylation efficiency, easy heterologous soluble expression/assembly make RPE Rubisco a ready-to-deploy enzyme for CO2 capture that does not require complex co-expression of chaperones. The chemosynthetic CO2 fixation machinery of chemolithoautotrophs, CO2-fixing endosymbionts, may be more efficient than previously realized with great potential for next-generation microbial CO2 sequestration platforms.

RevDate: 2024-04-23
CmpDate: 2024-04-22

Bukhari T, Gichuhi J, Mbare O, et al (2024)

Willingness to accept and participate in a Microsporidia MB-based mosquito release strategy: a community-based rapid assessment in western Kenya.

Malaria journal, 23(1):113.

BACKGROUND: Microsporidia MB, an endosymbiont naturally found in Anopheles mosquitoes inhibits transmission of Plasmodium and is a promising candidate for a transmission-blocking strategy that may involve mosquito release. A rapid assessment was carried out to develop insight into sociodemographic factors, public health concerns, and malaria awareness, management, and prevention practices with the willingness to accept and participate in Microsporidia MB-based transmission-blocking strategy to develop an informed stakeholder engagement process.

METHODS: The assessment consisted of a survey conducted in two communities in western Kenya that involved administering a questionnaire consisting of structured, semi-structured, and open questions to 8108 household heads.

RESULTS: There was an overall high level of willingness to accept (81%) and participate in the implementation of the strategy (96%). Although the willingness to accept was similar in both communities, Ombeyi community was more willing to participate (OR 22, 95% CI 13-36). Women were less willing to accept (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.7-0.9) compared to men due to fear of increased mosquito bites near homes. Household heads with incomplete primary education were more willing to accept (OR 1.6, 95% CI 01.2-2.2) compared to those educated to primary level or higher. Perceiving malaria as a moderate or low public health issue was also associated with a lower willingness to accept and participate. Experience of > 3 malaria cases in the family over the last six months and knowledge that malaria is transmitted by only mosquito bites, increased the willingness to accept but reduced the willingness to participate. Awareness of malaria control methods based on mosquitoes that cannot transmit malaria increases the willingness to participate.

CONCLUSION: The study showed a high level of willingness to accept and participate in a Microsporidia MB-based strategy in the community, which is influenced by several factors such as community, disease risk perception, gender, education level, knowledge, and experience of malaria. Further research will need to focus on understanding the concerns of women, educated, and employed community members, and factors that contribute to the lower disease risk perception. This improved understanding will lead to the development of an effective communication strategy.

RevDate: 2024-04-18

Abresch H, Bell T, SR Miller (2024)

Diurnal transcriptional variation is reduced in a nitrogen-fixing diatom endosymbiont.

The ISME journal pii:7651117 [Epub ahead of print].

Many organisms have formed symbiotic relationships with nitrogen (N)-fixing bacteria to overcome N limitation. Diatoms in the family Rhopalodiaceae host unicellular, N-fixing cyanobacterial endosymbionts called spheroid bodies (SBs). Although this relationship is relatively young, SBs share many key features with older endosymbionts, including coordinated cell division and genome reduction. Unlike free-living relatives that fix N exclusively at night, SBs fix N largely during the day; however, how SB metabolism is regulated and coordinated with the host is not yet understood. We compared four SB genomes, including those from two new host species (Rhopalodia gibba and Epithemia adnata), to build a genome-wide phylogeny which provides a better understanding of SB evolutionary origins. Contrary to models of endosymbiotic genome reduction, the SB chromosome is unusually stable for an endosymbiont genome, likely due to the early loss of all mobile elements. Transcriptomic data for the R. gibba SB and host organelles addressed whether and how the allocation of transcriptional resources depends on light and nitrogen availability. Whereas allocation to the SB was high under all conditions, relative expression of chloroplast photosynthesis genes increased in the absence of nitrate, but this pattern was suppressed by nitrate addition. SB expression of catabolism genes was generally greater during daytime rather than at night, although the magnitude of diurnal changes in expression was modest compared to free-living cyanobacteria. We conclude that SB daytime catabolism likely supports N-fixation by linking the process to host photosynthetic carbon fixation.

RevDate: 2024-04-18

Deore P, Tsang Min Ching SJ, Nitschke MR, et al (2024)

Unique photosynthetic strategies employed by closely related Breviolum minutum strains under rapid short-term cumulative heat stress.

Journal of experimental botany pii:7651021 [Epub ahead of print].

The thermal tolerance of symbiodiniacean photo-endosymbionts largely underpins the thermal bleaching resilience of their cnidarian hosts such as corals and the coral model, Exaiptasia diaphana. While variation in thermal tolerance between species is well documented, variation between conspecific strains is understudied. We compared the thermal tolerance of three closely related strains of Breviolum minutum represented by two internal transcribed spacer region 2 profiles (one strain B1-B1o-B1g-B1p and the other two strains B1-B1a-B1b-1g) and differences in photochemical and non-photochemical quenching, de-epoxidation state of photopigments, and accumulation of reactive oxygen species under rapid short-term cumulative temperature stress (26-40°C). We found that B. minutum strains employ distinct photoprotective strategies, resulting in different upper thermal tolerances. We provide evidence for previously unknown interdependencies between thermal tolerance traits and photoprotective mechanisms which include a delicate balancing of excitation energy and its dissipation through fast relaxing and state transition components of non-photochemical quenching. The more thermally tolerant B. minutum strain (B1-B1o-B1g-B1p) exhibited an enhanced de-epoxidation that is strongly linked to the thylakoid membrane melting point and possibly membrane rigidification minimising oxidative damage. This study provides an in-depth understanding of photoprotective mechanisms underpinning thermal tolerance in closely related strains of B. minutum.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Alkathiry HA, Alghamdi SQ, Sinha A, et al (2024)

Microbiome and mitogenomics of the chigger mite Pentidionis agamae: potential role as an Orientia vector and associations with divergent clades of Wolbachia and Borrelia.

BMC genomics, 25(1):380.

BACKGROUND: Trombiculid mites are globally distributed, highly diverse arachnids that largely lack molecular resources such as whole mitogenomes for the elucidation of taxonomic relationships. Trombiculid larvae (chiggers) parasitise vertebrates and can transmit bacteria (Orientia spp.) responsible for scrub typhus, a zoonotic febrile illness. Orientia tsutsugamushi causes most cases of scrub typhus and is endemic to the Asia-Pacific Region, where it is transmitted by Leptotrombidium spp. chiggers. However, in Dubai, Candidatus Orientia chuto was isolated from a case of scrub typhus and is also known to circulate among rodents in Saudi Arabia and Kenya, although its vectors remain poorly defined. In addition to Orientia, chiggers are often infected with other potential pathogens or arthropod-specific endosymbionts, but their significance for trombiculid biology and public health is unclear.

RESULTS: Ten chigger species were collected from rodents in southwestern Saudi Arabia. Chiggers were pooled according to species and screened for Orientia DNA by PCR. Two species (Microtrombicula muhaylensis and Pentidionis agamae) produced positive results for the htrA gene, although Ca. Orientia chuto DNA was confirmed by Sanger sequencing only in P. agamae. Metagenomic sequencing of three pools of P. agamae provided evidence for two other bacterial associates: a spirochaete and a Wolbachia symbiont. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA and multi-locus sequence typing genes placed the spirochaete in a clade of micromammal-associated Borrelia spp. that are widely-distributed globally with no known vector. For the Wolbachia symbiont, a genome assembly was obtained that allowed phylogenetic localisation in a novel, divergent clade. Cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) barcodes for Saudi Arabian chiggers enabled comparisons with global chigger diversity, revealing several cases of discordance with classical taxonomy. Complete mitogenome assemblies were obtained for the three P. agamae pools and almost 50 SNPs were identified, despite a common geographic origin.

CONCLUSIONS: P. agamae was identified as a potential vector of Ca. Orientia chuto on the Arabian Peninsula. The detection of an unusual Borrelia sp. and a divergent Wolbachia symbiont in P. agamae indicated links with chigger microbiomes in other parts of the world, while COI barcoding and mitogenomic analyses greatly extended our understanding of inter- and intraspecific relationships in trombiculid mites.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Arai H, Legeai F, Kageyama D, et al (2024)

Genomic insights into Spiroplasma endosymbionts that induce male-killing and protective phenotypes in the pea aphid.

FEMS microbiology letters pii:7649363 [Epub ahead of print].

The endosymbiotic bacteria Spiroplasma (Mollicutes) infect diverse plants and arthropods, and some of which induce male killing, where male hosts are killed during development. Male-killing Spiroplasma strains belong to either the phylogenetically distant Citri-Poulsonii or Ixodetis groups. In Drosophila flies, Spiroplasma poulsonii induces male killing via the Spaid toxin. While Spiroplasma ixodetis infects a wide range of insects and arachnids, little is known about the genetic basis of S. ixodetis-induced male killing. Here, we analyzed the genome of S. ixodetis strains in the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum (Aphididae, Hemiptera). Genome sequencing constructed a complete genome of a male-killing strain, sAp269, consisting of a 1.5 Mb circular chromosome and an 80 Kb plasmid. sAp269 encoded putative virulence factors containing either ankyrin repeat, ovarian tumor-like deubiquitinase, or ribosome inactivating protein domains, but lacked the Spaid toxin. Further comparative genomics of Spiroplasma strains in A. pisum biotypes adapted to different host plants revealed their phylogenetic associations and the diversity of putative virulence factors. Although the mechanisms of S. ixodetis-induced male killing in pea aphids remain elusive, this study underlines the dynamic genome evolution of S. ixodetis and proposes independent acquisition events of male-killing mechanisms in insects.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Pilgrim J (2024)

Comparative genomics of a novel Erwinia species associated with the Highland midge (Culicoides impunctatus).

Microbial genomics, 10(4):.

Erwinia (Enterobacterales: Erwiniaceae) are a group of cosmopolitan bacteria best known as the causative agents of various plant diseases. However, other species in this genus have been found to play important roles as insect endosymbionts supplementing the diet of their hosts. Here, I describe Candidatus Erwinia impunctatus (Erwimp) associated with the Highland midge Culicoides impunctatus (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), an abundant biting pest in the Scottish Highlands. The genome of this new Erwinia species was assembled using hybrid long and short read techniques, and a comparative analysis was undertaken with other members of the genus to understand its potential ecological niche and impact. Genome composition analysis revealed that Erwimp is similar to other endophytic and ectophytic species in the genus and is unlikely to be restricted to its insect host. Evidence for an additional plant host includes the presence of a carotenoid synthesis operon implicated as a virulence factor in plant-associated members in the sister genus Pantoea. Unique features of Erwimp include several copies of intimin-like proteins which, along with signs of genome pseudogenization and a loss of certain metabolic pathways, suggests an element of host restriction seen elsewhere in the genus. Furthermore, a screening of individuals over two field seasons revealed the absence of the bacteria in Culicoides impunctatus during the second year indicating this microbe-insect interaction is likely to be transient. These data suggest that Culicoides impunctatus may have an important role to play beyond a biting nuisance, as an insect vector transmitting Erwimp alongside any conferred impacts to surrounding biota.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Nakajima H, Fukui A, Suzuki K, et al (2024)


The Journal of parasitology, 110(2):159-169.

Dicyemids (phylum Dicyemida) are the most common and most characteristic endosymbionts in the renal sacs of benthic cephalopod molluscs: octopuses and cuttlefishes. Typically, 2 or 3 dicyemid species are found in a single specimen of the host, and most dicyemids have high host specificity. Host-specific parasites are restricted to a limited range of host species by ecological barriers that impede dispersal and successful establishment; therefore, phylogenies of interacting groups are often congruent due to repeated co-speciation. Most frequently, however, host and parasite phylogenies are not congruent, which can be explained by processes such as host switching and other macro-evolutionary events. Here, the history of dicyemids and their host cephalopod associations were studied by comparing their phylogenies. Dicyemid species were collected from 8 decapodiform species and 12 octopodiform species in Japanese waters. Using whole mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) sequences, a phylogeny of 37 dicyemid species, including 4 genera representing the family Dicyemidae, was reconstructed. Phylogenetic trees derived from analyses of COI genes consistently suggested that dicyemid species should be separated into 3 major clades and that the most common genera, Dicyema and Dicyemennea, are not monophyletic. Thus, morphological classification does not reflect the phylogenetic relationships of these 2 genera. Divergence (speciation) of dicyemid species seems to have occurred within a single host species. Possible host-switching events may have occurred between the Octopodiformes and Decapodiformes or within the Octopodiformes or the Decapodiformes. Therefore, the mechanism of dicyemid speciation may be a mixture of host switching and intra-host speciation. This is the first study in which the process of dicyemid diversification involving cephalopod hosts has been evaluated with a large number of dicyemid species and genera.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Bard NW, Cronk QCB, TJ Davies (2024)

Fungal endophytes can modulate plant invasion.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiotic organisms may contribute to a host plant's success or failure to grow, its ability to maintain viable populations, and potentially, its probability of establishment and spread outside its native range. Intercellular and intracellular microbial symbionts that are asymptomatic in their plant host during some or all of their life cycle - endophytes - can form mutualistic, commensal, or pathogenic relationships, and sometimes novel associations with alien plants. Fungal endophytes are likely the most common endosymbiont infecting plants, with life-history, morphological, physiological, and plant-symbiotic traits that are distinct from other endophytic guilds. Here, we review the community dynamics of fungal endophytes during the process of plant invasion, and how their functional role may shift during the different stages of invasion: transport, introduction (colonisation), establishment, and spread. Each invasion stage presents distinct ecological filters that an alien plant must overcome to advance to the subsequent stage of invasion. Endophytes can alternately aid the host in overcoming stage-specific filters, or contribute to the barriers imposed by filters (e.g. biotic resistance), thereby affecting invasion pathways. A few fungi can be transported as seed endophytes from their native range and be vertically transmitted to future generations in the non-native range, especially in graminoids. In other plant groups, alien plants mostly acquire endophytes via horizontal transmission from the invaded plant community, and the host endophyte community is shaped by host filtering and biogeographic factors (e.g. dispersal limitation, environmental filtering). Endophytes infecting alien plants (both those transported with their host and those accumulated in the non-native range) may influence invasion success by affecting plant growth, reproduction, environmental tolerance, and pathogen and herbivory defences; however, the direction and magnitude of these effects can be contingent upon the host identity, life stage, ecological conditions, and invasion stage. This context dependence may cause endophytic fungi to shift to a non-endophytic (e.g. pathogenic) functional life stage in the same or different hosts, which can modify alien-native plant community dynamics. We conclude by identifying paths in which alien hosts can exploit the context dependency of endophyte function in novel abiotic and biotic conditions and at the different stages of invasion.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Rooney T, Fèvre EM, Villinger J, et al (2024)

Coxiella burnetii serostatus in dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) is associated with the presence of C. burnetii DNA in attached ticks in Laikipia County, Kenya.

Zoonoses and public health [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: Q fever is a globally distributed, neglected zoonotic disease of conservation and public health importance, caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. Coxiella burnetii normally causes subclinical infections in livestock, but may also cause reproductive pathology and spontaneous abortions in artiodactyl species. One such artiodactyl, the dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius), is an increasingly important livestock species in semi-arid landscapes. Ticks are naturally infected with C. burnetii worldwide and are frequently found on camels in Kenya. In this study, we assessed the relationship between dromedary camels' C. burnetii serostatus and whether the camels were carrying C. burnetii PCR-positive ticks in Kenya. We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between camel seropositivity and carrying C. burnetii PCR-positive ticks.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Blood was collected from camels (N = 233) from three herds, and serum was analysed using commercial ELISA antibody test kits. Ticks were collected (N = 4354), divided into pools of the same species from the same camel (N = 397) and tested for C. burnetii and Coxiella-like endosymbionts. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize seroprevalence by camel demographic and clinical variables. Univariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess relationships between serostatus (outcome) and tick PCR status, camel demographic variables, and camel clinical variables (predictors). Camel C. burnetii seroprevalence was 52%. Across tick pools, the prevalence of C. burnetii was 15% and Coxiella-like endosymbionts was 27%. Camel seropositivity was significantly associated with the presence of a C. burnetii PCR-positive tick pool (OR: 2.58; 95% CI: 1.4-5.1; p = 0.0045), increasing age class, and increasing total solids.

CONCLUSIONS: The role of ticks and camels in the epidemiology of Q fever warrants further research to better understand this zoonotic disease that has potential to cause illness and reproductive losses in humans, livestock, and wildlife.

RevDate: 2024-04-16

McCutcheon JP, Garber AI, Spencer N, et al (2024)

How do bacterial endosymbionts work with so few genes?.

PLoS biology, 22(4):e3002577 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-23-03181.

The move from a free-living environment to a long-term residence inside a host eukaryotic cell has profound effects on bacterial function. While endosymbioses are found in many eukaryotes, from protists to plants to animals, the bacteria that form these host-beneficial relationships are even more diverse. Endosymbiont genomes can become radically smaller than their free-living relatives, and their few remaining genes show extreme compositional biases. The details of how these reduced and divergent gene sets work, and how they interact with their host cell, remain mysterious. This Unsolved Mystery reviews how genome reduction alters endosymbiont biology and highlights a "tipping point" where the loss of the ability to build a cell envelope coincides with a marked erosion of translation-related genes.

RevDate: 2024-04-16

Marulanda-Moreno SM, Saldamando-Benjumea CI, Vivero Gomez R, et al (2024)

Comparative analysis of Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) corn and rice strains microbiota revealed minor changes across life cycle and strain endosymbiont association.

PeerJ, 12:e17087 pii:17087.

BACKGROUND: Spodoptera frugiperda (FAW) is a pest that poses a significant threat to corn production worldwide, causing millions of dollars in losses. The species has evolved into two strains (corn and rice) that differ in their genetics, reproductive isolation, and resistance to insecticides and Bacillus thuringiensis endotoxins. The microbiota plays an important role in insects' physiology, nutrient acquisition, and response to chemical and biological controls. Several studies have been carried out on FAW microbiota from larvae guts using laboratory or field samples and a couple of studies have analyzed the corn strain microbiota across its life cycle. This investigation reveals the first comparison between corn strain (CS) and rice strain (RS) of FAW during different developmental insect stages and, more importantly, endosymbiont detection in both strains, highlighting the importance of studying both FAW populations and samples from different stages.

METHODS: The composition of microbiota during the life cycle of the FAW corn and rice strains was analyzed through high-throughput sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene using the MiSeq system. Additionally, culture-dependent techniques were used to isolate gut bacteria and the Transcribed Internal Spacer-ITS, 16S rRNA, and gyrB genes were examined to enhance bacterial identification.

RESULTS: Richness, diversity, and bacterial composition changed significantly across the life cycle of FAW. Most diversity was observed in eggs and males. Differences in gut microbiota diversity between CS and RS were minor. However, Leuconostoc, A2, Klebsiella, Lachnoclostridium, Spiroplasma, and Mucispirilum were mainly associated with RS and Colidextribacter, Pelomonas, Weissella, and Arsenophonus to CS, suggesting that FAW strains differ in several genera according to the host plant. Firmicutes and Proteobacteria were the dominant phyla during FAW metamorphosis. Illeobacterium, Ralstonia, and Burkholderia exhibited similar abundancies in both strains. Enterococcus was identified as a conserved taxon across the entire FAW life cycle. Microbiota core communities mainly consisted of Enterococcus and Illeobacterium. A positive correlation was found between Spiroplasma with RS (sampled from eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults) and Arsenophonus (sampled from eggs, larvae, and adults) with CS. Enterococcus mundtii was predominant in all developmental stages. Previous studies have suggested its importance in FAW response to B. thuringensis. Our results are relevant for the characterization of FAW corn and rice strains microbiota to develop new strategies for their control. Detection of Arsenophonus in CS and Spiroplasma in RS are promising for the improvement of this pest management, as these bacteria induce male killing and larvae fitness reduction in other Lepidoptera species.

RevDate: 2024-04-16

Vancaester E, ML Blaxter (2024)

MarkerScan: Separation and assembly of cobionts sequenced alongside target species in biodiversity genomics projects.

Wellcome open research, 9:33.

Contamination of public databases by mislabelled sequences has been highlighted for many years and the avalanche of novel sequencing data now being deposited has the potential to make databases difficult to use effectively. It is therefore crucial that sequencing projects and database curators perform pre-submission checks to remove obvious contamination and avoid propagating erroneous taxonomic relationships. However, it is important also to recognise that biological contamination of a target sample with unexpected species' DNA can also lead to the discovery of fascinating biological phenomena through the identification of environmental organisms or endosymbionts. Here, we present a novel, integrated method for detection and generation of high-quality genomes of all non-target genomes co-sequenced in eukaryotic genome sequencing projects. After performing taxonomic profiling of an assembly from the raw data, and leveraging the identity of small rRNA sequences discovered therein as markers, a targeted classification approach retrieves and assembles high-quality genomes. The genomes of these cobionts are then not only removed from the target species' genome but also available for further interrogation. Source code is available from MarkerScan is written in Python and is deployed as a Docker container.

RevDate: 2024-04-15

Mallikaarachchi KS, Huang JL, Madras S, et al (2024)

Sinorhizobium meliloti BR-bodies promote fitness during host colonization.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.04.05.588320.

UNLABELLED: Biomolecular condensates, such as the nucleoli or P-bodies, are non-membrane-bound assemblies of proteins and nucleic acids that facilitate specific cellular processes. Like eukaryotic P-bodies, the recently discovered bacterial ribonucleoprotein bodies (BR-bodies) organize the mRNA decay machinery, yet the similarities in molecular and cellular functions across species have been poorly explored. Here, we examine the functions of BR-bodies in the nitrogen-fixing endosymbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti , which colonizes the roots of compatible legume plants. Assembly of BR-bodies into visible foci in S. meliloti cells requires the C-terminal intrinsically disordered region (IDR) of RNase E, and foci fusion is readily observed in vivo , suggesting they are liquid-like condensates that form via mRNA sequestration. Using Rif-seq to measure mRNA lifetimes, we found a global slowdown in mRNA decay in a mutant deficient in BR-bodies, indicating that compartmentalization of the degradation machinery promotes efficient mRNA turnover. While BR-bodies are constitutively present during exponential growth, the abundance of BR-bodies increases upon cell stress, whereby they promote stress resistance. Finally, using Medicago truncatula as host, we show that BR-bodies enhance competitiveness during colonization and appear to be required for effective symbiosis, as mutants without BR-bodies failed to stimulate plant growth. These results suggest that BR-bodies provide a fitness advantage for bacteria during infection, perhaps by enabling better resistance against the host immune response.

SIGNIFICANCE: While eukaryotes often organize their biochemical pathways in membrane-bound organelles, bacteria generally lack such subcellular structures. Instead, membraneless compartments called biomolecular condensates have recently been found in bacteria to enhance biochemical activities. Bacterial ribonucleoprotein bodies (BR-bodies), as one of the most widespread biomolecular condensates identified to date, assemble the mRNA decay machinery via the intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) of proteins. However, the implications of such assemblies are unclear. Using a plant-associated symbiont, we show that the IDR of its mRNA degradation protein is necessary for condensate formation. Absence of BR-bodies results in slower mRNA decay and ineffective symbiosis, suggesting that BR-bodies play critical roles in regulating biochemical pathways and promoting fitness during host colonization.

RevDate: 2024-04-15
CmpDate: 2024-04-15

Mowery MA, Rosenwald LC, Chapman E, et al (2024)

Endosymbiont diversity across native and invasive brown widow spider populations.

Scientific reports, 14(1):8556.

The invasive brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus (Araneae: Theridiidae), has spread in multiple locations around the world and, along with it, brought associated organisms such as endosymbionts. We investigated endosymbiont diversity and prevalence across putative native and invasive populations of this spider, predicting lower endosymbiont diversity across the invasive range compared to the native range. First, we characterized the microbial community in the putative native (South Africa) and invasive (Israel and the United States) ranges via high throughput 16S sequencing of 103 adult females. All specimens were dominated by reads from only 1-3 amplicon sequence variants (ASV), and most individuals were infected with an apparently uniform strain of Rhabdochlamydia. We also found Rhabdochlamydia in spider eggs, indicating that it is a maternally-inherited endosymbiont. Relatively few other ASV were detected, but included two variant Rhabdochlamydia strains and several Wolbachia, Spiroplasma and Enterobacteriaceae strains. We then diagnostically screened 118 adult female spiders from native and invasive populations specifically for Rhabdochlamydia and Wolbachia. We found Rhabdochlamydia in 86% of individuals and represented in all populations, which suggests that it is a consistent and potentially important associate of L. geometricus. Wolbachia was found at lower overall prevalence (14%) and was represented in all countries, but not all populations. In addition, we found evidence for geographic variation in endosymbiont prevalence: spiders from Israel were more likely to carry Rhabdochlamydia than those from the US and South Africa, and Wolbachia was geographically clustered in both Israel and South Africa. Characterizing endosymbiont prevalence and diversity is a first step in understanding their function inside the host and may shed light on the process of spread and population variability in cosmopolitan invasive species.

RevDate: 2024-04-12

Trznadel M, Holt CC, Livingston SJ, et al (2024)

Coral-infecting parasites in cold marine ecosystems.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(24)00323-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Coral reefs are a biodiversity hotspot,[1][,][2] and the association between coral and intracellular dinoflagellates is a model for endosymbiosis.[3][,][4] Recently, corals and related anthozoans have also been found to harbor another kind of endosymbiont, apicomplexans called corallicolids.[5] Apicomplexans are a diverse lineage of obligate intracellular parasites[6] that include human pathogens such as the malaria parasite, Plasmodium.[7] Global environmental sequencing shows corallicolids are tightly associated with tropical and subtropical reef environments,[5][,][8][,][9] where they infect diverse corals across a range of depths in many reef systems, and correlate with host mortality during bleaching events.[10] All of this points to corallicolids being ecologically significant to coral reefs, but it is also possible they are even more widely distributed because most environmental sampling is biased against parasites that maintain a tight association with their hosts throughout their life cycle. We tested the global distribution of corallicolids using a more direct approach, by specifically targeting potential anthozoan host animals from cold/temperate marine waters outside the coral reef context. We found that corallicolids are in fact common in such hosts, in some cases at high frequency, and that they infect the same tissue as parasites from topical coral reefs. Parasite phylogeny suggests corallicolids move between hosts and habitats relatively frequently, but that biogeography is more conserved. Overall, these results greatly expand the range of corallicolids beyond coral reefs, suggesting they are globally distributed parasites of marine anthozoans, which also illustrates significant blind spots that result from strategies commonly used to sample microbial biodiversity.

RevDate: 2024-04-12

Partida-Martínez LP (2024)

Fungal holobionts as blueprints for synthetic endosymbiotic systems.

PLoS biology, 22(4):e3002587 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-24-00045.

Rhizopus microsporus is an example of a fungal holobiont. Strains of this species can harbor bacterial and viral endosymbionts inherited by the next generation. These microbial allies increase pathogenicity and defense and control asexual and sexual reproduction.

RevDate: 2024-04-11

Massana R (2024)

The nitroplast: A nitrogen-fixing organelle.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 384(6692):160-161.

A bacterial endosymbiont of marine algae evolved to an organelle.

RevDate: 2024-04-11

Coale TH, Loconte V, Turk-Kubo KA, et al (2024)

Nitrogen-fixing organelle in a marine alga.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 384(6692):217-222.

Symbiotic interactions were key to the evolution of chloroplast and mitochondria organelles, which mediate carbon and energy metabolism in eukaryotes. Biological nitrogen fixation, the reduction of abundant atmospheric nitrogen gas (N2) to biologically available ammonia, is a key metabolic process performed exclusively by prokaryotes. Candidatus Atelocyanobacterium thalassa, or UCYN-A, is a metabolically streamlined N2-fixing cyanobacterium previously reported to be an endosymbiont of a marine unicellular alga. Here we show that UCYN-A has been tightly integrated into algal cell architecture and organellar division and that it imports proteins encoded by the algal genome. These are characteristics of organelles and show that UCYN-A has evolved beyond endosymbiosis and functions as an early evolutionary stage N2-fixing organelle, or "nitroplast."

RevDate: 2024-04-11

Zytynska SE, Sturm S, Hawes C, et al (2023)

Floral presence and flower identity alter cereal aphid endosymbiont communities on adjacent crops.

The Journal of applied ecology, 60(7):1409-1423.

Floral plantings adjacent to crops fields can recruit populations of natural enemies by providing flower nectar and non-crop prey to increase natural pest regulation. Observed variation in success rates might be due to changes in the unseen community of endosymbionts hosted by many herbivorous insects, of which some can confer resistance to natural enemies, for example, parasitoid wasps. Reduced insect control may occur if highly protective symbiont combinations increase in frequency via selection effects, and this is expected to be stronger in lower diversity systems.We used a large-scale field trial to analyse the bacterial endosymbiont communities hosted by cereal aphids Sitobion avenae collected along transects into strip plots of barley plants managed by either conventional or integrated (including floral field margins and reduced inputs) methods. In addition, we conducted an outdoor pot experiment to analyse endosymbionts in S. avenae aphids collected on barley plants that were either grown alone or alongside one of three flowering plants, across three time points.In the field, aphids hosted up to four symbionts. The abundance of aphids and parasitoid wasps was reduced towards the middle of all fields while aphid symbiont species richness and diversity decreased into the field in conventional, but not integrated, field-strips. The proportion of aphids hosting different symbiont combinations varied across cropping systems, with distances into the fields, and were correlated with parasitoid wasp abundances.In the pot experiment, aphids hosted up to six symbionts. Flower presence increased natural enemy abundance and diversity, and decreased aphid abundance. The proportion of aphids hosting different symbiont combinations varied across the flower treatment and time, and were correlated with varying abundances of the different specialist parasitoid wasp species recruited by different flowers. Synthesis and applications. Floral plantings and flower identity had community-wide impacts on the combinations of bacterial endosymbionts hosted by herbivorous insects, which correlated with natural enemy diversity and abundance. We recommend that integrated management practices incorporate floral resources within field areas to support a more functionally diverse and resilient natural enemy community to mitigate selection for symbiont-mediated pest resistance throughout the cropping area.

RevDate: 2024-04-10

Wang H, Marucci G, Munke A, et al (2024)

High-resolution comparative atomic structures of two Giardiavirus prototypes infecting G. duodenalis parasite.

PLoS pathogens, 20(4):e1012140 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-23-01960 [Epub ahead of print].

The Giardia lamblia virus (GLV) is a non-enveloped icosahedral dsRNA and endosymbiont virus that infects the zoonotic protozoan parasite Giardia duodenalis (syn. G. lamblia, G. intestinalis), which is a pathogen of mammals, including humans. Elucidating the transmission mechanism of GLV is crucial for gaining an in-depth understanding of the virulence of the virus in G. duodenalis. GLV belongs to the family Totiviridae, which infects yeast and protozoa intracellularly; however, it also transmits extracellularly, similar to the phylogenetically, distantly related toti-like viruses that infect multicellular hosts. The GLV capsid structure is extensively involved in the longstanding discussion concerning extracellular transmission in Totiviridae and toti-like viruses. Hence, this study constructed the first high-resolution comparative atomic models of two GLV strains, namely GLV-HP and GLV-CAT, which showed different intracellular localization and virulence phenotypes, using cryogenic electron microscopy single-particle analysis. The atomic models of the GLV capsids presented swapped C-terminal extensions, extra surface loops, and a lack of cap-snatching pockets, similar to those of toti-like viruses. However, their open pores and absence of the extra crown protein resemble those of other yeast and protozoan Totiviridae viruses, demonstrating the essential structures for extracellular cell-to-cell transmission. The structural comparison between GLV-HP and GLV-CAT indicates the first evidence of critical structural motifs for the transmission and virulence of GLV in G. duodenalis.

RevDate: 2024-04-10

Fox T, Sguassero Y, Chaplin M, et al (2024)

Wolbachia-carrying Aedes mosquitoes for preventing dengue infection.

The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 4:CD015636.

BACKGROUND: Dengue is a global health problem of high significance, with 3.9 billion people at risk of infection. The geographic expansion of dengue virus (DENV) infection has resulted in increased frequency and severity of the disease, and the number of deaths has increased in recent years. Wolbachia,an intracellular bacterial endosymbiont, has been under investigation for several years as a novel dengue-control strategy. Some dengue vectors (Aedes mosquitoes) can be transinfected with specific strains of Wolbachia, which decreases their fitness (ability to survive and mate) and their ability to reproduce, inhibiting the replication of dengue. Both laboratory and field studies have demonstrated the potential effect of Wolbachia deployments on reducing dengue transmission, and modelling studies have suggested that this may be a self-sustaining strategy for dengue prevention, although long-term effects are yet to be elucidated.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy of Wolbachia-carrying Aedes speciesdeployments (specifically wMel-, wMelPop-, and wAlbB- strains of Wolbachia) for preventing dengue virus infection.

SEARCH METHODS: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, four other databases, and two trial registries up to 24 January 2024.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), including cluster-randomized controlled trials (cRCTs), conducted in dengue endemic or epidemic-prone settings were eligible. We sought studies that investigated the impact of Wolbachia-carrying Aedes deployments on epidemiological or entomological dengue-related outcomes, utilizing either the population replacement or population suppression strategy.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently selected eligible studies, extracted data, and assessed the risk of bias using the Cochrane RoB 2 tool. We used odds ratios (OR) with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) as the effect measure for dichotomous outcomes. For count/rate outcomes, we planned to use the rate ratio with 95% CI as the effect measure. We used adjusted measures of effect for cRCTs. We assessed the certainty of evidence using GRADE.

MAIN RESULTS: One completed cRCT met our inclusion criteria, and we identified two further ongoing cRCTs. The included trial was conducted in an urban setting in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It utilized a nested test-negative study design, whereby all participants aged three to 45 years who presented at healthcare centres with a fever were enrolled in the study provided they had resided in the study area for the previous 10 nights. The trial showed that wMel-Wolbachia infected Ae aegypti deployments probably reduce the odds of contracting virologically confirmed dengue by 77% (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.35; 1 trial, 6306 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). The cluster-level prevalence of wMel Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes remained high over two years in the intervention arm of the trial, reported as 95.8% (interquartile range 91.5 to 97.8) across 27 months in clusters receiving wMel-Wolbachia Ae aegypti deployments, but there were no reliable comparative data for this outcome. Other primary outcomes were the incidence of virologically confirmed dengue, the prevalence of dengue ribonucleic acid in the mosquito population, and mosquito density, but there were no data for these outcomes. Additionally, there were no data on adverse events.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The included trial demonstrates the potential significant impact of wMel-Wolbachia-carrying Ae aegypti mosquitoes on preventing dengue infection in an endemic setting, and supports evidence reported in non-randomized and uncontrolled studies. Further trials across a greater diversity of settings are required to confirm whether these findings apply to other locations and country settings, and greater reporting of acceptability and cost are important.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Mirchandani C, Wang P, Jacobs J, et al (2024)

Mixed Wolbachia infections resolve rapidly during in vitro evolution.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.03.27.586911.

UNLABELLED: The intracellular symbiont Wolbachia pipientis evolved after the divergence of arthropods and nematodes, but it reached high prevalence in many of these taxa through its abilities to infect new hosts and their germlines. Some strains exhibit long-term patterns of co-evolution with their hosts, while other strains are capable of switching hosts. This makes strain selection an important factor in symbiont-based biological control. However, little is known about the ecological and evolutionary interactions that occur when a promiscuous strain colonizes an infected host. Here, we study what occurs when two strains come into contact in host cells following horizontal transmission and infection. We focus on the faithful w Mel strain from Drosophila melanogaster and the promiscuous w Ri strain from Drosophila simulans using an in vitro cell culture system with multiple host cell types and combinatorial infection states. Mixing D. melanogaster cell lines stably infected with w Mel and w Ri revealed that wMel outcompetes w Ri quickly and reproducibly. Furthermore, w Mel was able to competitively exclude w Ri even from minuscule starting quantities, indicating that this is a nearly deterministic outcome, independent of the starting infection frequency. This competitive advantage was not exclusive to wM el's native D. melanogaster cell background, as w Mel also outgrew w Ri in D. simulans cells. Overall, w Ri is less adept at i n vitro growth and survival than w Mel and its in vivo state, revealing differences between cellular and humoral regulation. These attributes may underlie the observed low rate of mixed infections in nature and the relatively rare rate of host-switching in most strains. Our in vitro experimental framework for estimating cellular growth dynamics of Wolbachia strains in different host species, tissues, and cell types provides the first strategy for parameterizing endosymbiont and host cell biology at high resolution. This toolset will be crucial to our application of these bacteria as biological control agents in novel hosts and ecosystems.

AUTHOR SUMMARY: Wolbachia pipientis is one of the most common bacterial endosymbionts due to its ability to manipulate host reproduction, and it has become a useful biological control tool for mosquito populations. Wolbachia is passed from mother to offspring, however the bacterium can also "jump" to new hosts via horizontal transmission. When a Wolbachia strain successfully infects a new host, it often encounters a resident strain that it must either replace or co-exist with as a superinfection. Here, we use a Drosophila melanogaster cell culture system to study the dynamics of mixed Wolbachia infections consisting of the high-fidelity w Mel and promiscuous w Ri strains. The w Mel strain consistently outcompetes the w Ri strain, regardless of w Mel's initial frequency in D. melanogaster cells. This competitive advantage is independent of host species. While both strains significantly impede host cell division, only the w Mel strain is able to rapidly expand into uninfected cells. Our results suggest that the w Ri strain is pathogenic in nature and a poor cellular symbiont, and it is retained in natural infections because cell lineages are not expendable or replaceable in development. These findings provide insights into mixed infection outcomes, which are crucial for the use of the bacteria in biological control.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Gasser MT, Liu A, Altamia M, et al (2024)

Outer membrane vesicles can contribute to cellulose degradation in Teredinibacter turnerae, a cultivable intracellular endosymbiont of shipworms.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.03.27.587001.

Teredinibacter turnerae is a cultivable cellulolytic Gammaproeteobacterium (Cellvibrionaceae) that commonly occurs as an intracellular endosymbiont in the gills of wood-eating bivalves of the family Teredinidae (shipworms). The genome of T. turnerae encodes a broad range of enzymes that deconstruct cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin and contribute to lignocellulose digestion in the shipworm gut. However, the mechanism by which symbiont-made enzymes are secreted by T. turnerae and subsequently transported to the site of lignocellulose digestion in the shipworm gut is incompletely understood. Here, we show that T. turnerae cultures grown on carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) produce outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) that contain a variety of proteins identified by LC-MS/MS as carbohydrate-active enzymes with predicted activities against cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin. Reducing sugar assays and zymography confirm that these OMVs retain cellulolytic activity, as evidenced by hydrolysis of CMC. Additionally, these OMVs were enriched with TonB -dependent receptors, which are essential to carbohydrate and iron acquisition by free-living bacteria. These observations suggest potential roles for OMVs in lignocellulose utilization by T. turnerae in the free-living state, in enzyme transport and host interaction during symbiotic association, and in commercial applications such as lignocellulosic biomass conversion.

RevDate: 2024-04-05

Garber AI, Garcia de la Filia Molina A, Vea I, et al (2024)

Retention of an endosymbiont for the production of a single molecule.

Genome biology and evolution pii:7641101 [Epub ahead of print].

Sap-feeding insects often maintain two or more nutritional endosymbionts which act in concert to produce compounds essential for insect survival. Many mealybugs have endosymbionts in a nested configuration: one or two bacterial species reside within the cytoplasm of another bacterium, and together these bacteria have genomes which encode interdependent sets of genes needed to produce key nutritional molecules. Here we show that the mealybug Pseudococcus viburni has three endosymbionts, one of which contributes only two unique genes that produce the host nutrition-related molecule chorismate. All three bacterial endosymbionts have tiny genomes, suggesting that they have been co-evolving inside their insect host for millions of years.

RevDate: 2024-04-03

Amala M, Nagarajan H, Ahila M, et al (2024)

Unveiling the intricacies of allosteric regulation in aspartate kinase from the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Brugia Malayi: Mechanistic and therapeutic insights.

International journal of biological macromolecules pii:S0141-8130(24)02131-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Aspartate kinase (AK), an enzyme from the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Brugia malayi (WBm), plays a pivotal role in the bacterial cell wall and amino acid biosynthesis, rendering it an attractive candidate for therapeutic intervention. Allosteric inhibition of aspartate kinase is a prevalent mode of regulation across microorganisms and plants, often modulated by end products such as lysine, threonine, methionine, or meso-diaminopimelate. The intricate and diverse nature of microbial allosteric regulation underscores the need for rigorous investigation. This study employs a combined experimental and computational approach to decipher the allosteric regulation of WBmAK. Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations elucidate that ATP (cofactor) and ASP (substrate) binding induce a closed conformation, promoting enzymatic activity. In contrast, the binding of lysine (allosteric inhibitor) leads to enzyme inactivation and an open conformation. The enzymatic assay demonstrates the optimal activity of WBmAK at 28 °C and a pH of 8.0. Notably, the allosteric inhibition study highlights lysine as a more potent inhibitor compared to threonine. Importantly, this investigation sheds light on the allosteric mechanism governing WBmAK and imparts novel insights into structure-based drug discovery, paving the way for the development of effective inhibitors against filarial pathogens.

RevDate: 2024-04-04

Park E, B Leander (2024)

Coinfection of slime feather duster worms (Annelida, Myxicola) by different gregarine apicomplexans (Selenidium) and astome ciliates reflects spatial niche partitioning and host specificity.

Parasitology pii:S0031182024000209 [Epub ahead of print].

Individual organisms can host multiple species of parasites (or symbionts), and one species of parasite can infect different host species, creating complex interactions among multiple hosts and parasites. When multiple parasite species coexist in a host, they may compete or use strategies, such as spatial niche partitioning, to reduce competition. Here, we present a host–symbiont system with two species of Selenidium (Apicomplexa, Gregarinida) and one species of astome ciliate co-infecting two different species of slime feather duster worms (Annelida, Sabellidae, Myxicola) living in neighbouring habitats. We examined the morphology of the endosymbionts with light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and inferred their phylogenetic interrelationships using small subunit (SSU) rDNA sequences. In the host ‘Myxicola sp. Quadra’, we found two distinct species of Selenidium; S. cf. mesnili exclusively inhabited the foregut, and S. elongatum n. sp. inhabited the mid to hindgut, reflecting spatial niche partitioning. Selenidium elongatum n. sp. was also present in the host M. aesthetica, which harboured the astome ciliate Pennarella elegantia n. gen. et sp. Selenidium cf. mesnili and P. elegantia n. gen. et sp. were absent in the other host species, indicating host specificity. This system offers an intriguing opportunity to explore diverse aspects of host–endosymbiont interactions and competition among endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2024-04-02

Lehman SS, Verhoeve VI, Driscoll TP, et al (2024)

Metagenome diversity illuminates the origins of pathogen effectors.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Recent metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) analyses have profoundly impacted Rickettsiology systematics. The discovery of basal lineages (novel families Mitibacteraceae and Athabascaceae) with predicted extracellular lifestyles exposed an evolutionary timepoint for the transition to host dependency, which seemingly occurred independent of mitochondrial evolution. Notably, these basal rickettsiae carry the Rickettsiales vir homolog (rvh) type IV secretion system and purportedly use rvh to kill congener microbes rather than parasitize host cells as described for later-evolving rickettsial pathogens. MAG analysis also substantially increased diversity for the genus Rickettsia and delineated a sister lineage (the novel genus Tisiphia) that stands to inform on the emergence of human pathogens from protist and invertebrate endosymbionts. Herein, we probed Rickettsiales MAG and genomic diversity for the distribution of Rickettsia rvh effectors to ascertain their origins. A sparse distribution of most Rickettsia rvh effectors outside of Rickettsiaceae lineages illuminates unique rvh evolution from basal extracellular species and other rickettsial families. Remarkably, nearly every effector was found in multiple divergent forms with variable architectures, indicating profound roles for gene duplication and recombination in shaping effector repertoires in Rickettsia pathogens. Lateral gene transfer plays a prominent role in shaping the rvh effector landscape, as evinced by the discovery of many effectors on plasmids and conjugative transposons, as well as pervasive effector gene exchange between Rickettsia and Legionella species. Our study exemplifies how MAGs can yield insight into pathogen effector origins, particularly how effector architectures might become tailored to the discrete host cell functions of different eukaryotic hosts.IMPORTANCEWhile rickettsioses are deadly vector-borne human diseases, factors distinguishing Rickettsia pathogens from the innumerable bevy of environmental rickettsial endosymbionts remain lacking. Recent metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) studies revealed evolutionary timepoints for rickettsial transitions to host dependency. The rvh type IV secretion system was likely repurposed from congener killing in basal extracellular species to parasitizing host cells in later-evolving pathogens. Our analysis of MAG diversity for over two dozen rvh effectors unearthed their presence in some non-pathogens. However, most effectors were found in multiple divergent forms with variable architectures, indicating gene duplication and recombination-fashioned effector repertoires of Rickettsia pathogens. Lateral gene transfer substantially shaped pathogen effector arsenals, evinced by the discovery of effectors on plasmids and conjugative transposons, as well as pervasive effector gene exchanges between Rickettsia and Legionella species. Our study exemplifies how MAGs yield insight into pathogen effector origins and evolutionary processes tailoring effectors to eukaryotic host cell biology.

RevDate: 2024-04-01

Ferguson LF, Ross PA, B van Heerwaarden (2024)

Wolbachia infection negatively impacts Drosophila simulans heat tolerance in a strain- and trait-specific manner.

Environmental microbiology, 26(4):e16609.

The susceptibility of insects to rising temperatures has largely been measured by their ability to survive thermal extremes. However, the capacity for maternally inherited endosymbionts to influence insect heat tolerance has been overlooked. Further, while some studies have addressed the impact of heat on traits like fertility, which can decline at temperatures below lethal thermal limits, none have considered the impact of endosymbionts. Here, we assess the impact of three Wolbachia strains (wRi, wAu and wNo) on the survival and fertility of Drosophila simulans exposed to heat stress during development or as adults. The effect of Wolbachia infection on heat tolerance was generally small and trait/strain specific. Only the wNo infection significantly reduced the survival of adult males after a heat shock. When exposed to fluctuating heat stress during development, the wRi and wAu strains reduced egg-to-adult survival but only the wNo infection reduced male fertility. Wolbachia densities of all three strains decreased under developmental heat stress, but reductions occurred at temperatures above those that reduced host fertility. These findings emphasize the necessity to account for endosymbionts and their effect on both survival and fertility when investigating insect responses to heat stress.

RevDate: 2024-04-01

Cho A, Lax G, Livingston SJ, et al (2024)

Genomic analyses of Symbiomonas scintillans show no evidence for endosymbiotic bacteria but does reveal the presence of giant viruses.

PLoS genetics, 20(4):e1011218 pii:PGENETICS-D-23-01338 [Epub ahead of print].

Symbiomonas scintillans Guillou et Chrétiennot-Dinet, 1999 is a tiny (1.4 μm) heterotrophic microbial eukaryote. The genus was named based on the presence of endosymbiotic bacteria in its endoplasmic reticulum, however, like most such endosymbionts neither the identity nor functional association with its host were known. We generated both amplification-free shotgun metagenomics and whole genome amplification sequencing data from S. scintillans strains RCC257 and RCC24, but were unable to detect any sequences from known lineages of endosymbiotic bacteria. The absence of endobacteria was further verified with FISH analyses. Instead, numerous contigs in assemblies from both RCC24 and RCC257 were closely related to prasinoviruses infecting the green algae Ostreococcus lucimarinus, Bathycoccus prasinos, and Micromonas pusilla (OlV, BpV, and MpV, respectively). Using the BpV genome as a reference, we assembled a near-complete 190 kbp draft genome encoding all hallmark prasinovirus genes, as well as two additional incomplete assemblies of closely related but distinct viruses from RCC247, and three similar draft viral genomes from RCC24, which we collectively call SsVs. A multi-gene tree showed the three SsV genome types branched within highly supported clades with each of BpV2, OlVs, and MpVs, respectively. Interestingly, transmission electron microscopy also revealed a 190 nm virus-like particle similar the morphology and size of the endosymbiont originally reported in S. scintillans. Overall, we conclude that S. scintillans currently does not harbour an endosymbiotic bacterium, but is associated with giant viruses.

RevDate: 2024-04-01
CmpDate: 2024-04-01

Konecka E, P Szymkowiak (2024)

Wolbachia supergroup A in Enoplognatha latimana (Araneae: Theridiidae) in Poland as an example of possible horizontal transfer of bacteria.

Scientific reports, 14(1):7486.

Wolbachia (phylum Pseudomonadota, class Alfaproteobacteria, order Rickettsiales, family Ehrlichiaceae) is a maternally inherited bacterial symbiont infecting more than half of arthropod species worldwide and constituting an important force in the evolution, biology, and ecology of invertebrate hosts. Our study contributes to the limited knowledge regarding the presence of intracellular symbiotic bacteria in spiders. Specifically, we investigated the occurrence of Wolbachia infection in the spider species Enoplognatha latimana Hippa and Oksala, 1982 (Araneae: Theridiidae) using a sample collected in north-western Poland. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Wolbachia infection in E. latimana. A phylogeny based on the sequence analysis of multiple genes, including 16S rRNA, coxA, fbpA, ftsZ, gatB, gltA, groEL, hcpA, and wsp revealed that Wolbachia from the spider represented supergroup A and was related to bacterial endosymbionts discovered in other spider hosts, as well as insects of the orders Diptera and Hymenoptera. A sequence unique for Wolbachia supergroup A was detected for the ftsZ gene. The sequences of Wolbachia housekeeping genes have been deposited in publicly available databases and are an important source of molecular data for comparative studies. The etiology of Wolbachia infection in E. latimana is discussed.

RevDate: 2024-03-29

Cholvi M, Trelis M, Bueno-Marí R, et al (2024)

Wolbachia Infection through Hybridization to Enhance an Incompatible Insect Technique-Based Suppression of Aedes albopictus in Eastern Spain.

Insects, 15(3):.

The emergence of insecticide resistance in arbovirus vectors is putting the focus on the development of new strategies for control. In this regard, the exploitation of Wolbachia endosymbionts is receiving increasing attention due to its demonstrated effectiveness in reducing the vectorial capacity of Aedes mosquitoes. Here, we describe the establishment of a naïve Wolbachia infection in a wild Aedes albopictus population of eastern Spain through a hybridization approach to obtain males capable of sterilizing wild females. The obtained lines were compared with the Wolbachia donor, Ae. albopictus ARwP, previously artificially infected with Wolbachia wPip, regarding immature and adult survival, female fecundity, egg fertility, and level of induced sterility. Our results did not show significant differences between lines in any of the biological parameters analyzed, indicating the full suitability of the hybrids to be used as a control tool against Ae. albopictus. In particular, hybrid males induced 99.9% sterility in the eggs of wild females without the need for any preliminary treatment. Being harmless to non-target organisms and the environment, the use of this bacterium for the control of Ae. albopictus deserves further exploration. This is especially relevant in areas such as eastern Spain, where this mosquito species has recently spread and may represent a serious threat due to its competence as a vector for dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Hyder M, Lodhi AM, Wang Z, et al (2024)

Wolbachia Interactions with Diverse Insect Hosts: From Reproductive Modulations to Sustainable Pest Management Strategies.

Biology, 13(3): pii:biology13030151.

Effective in a variety of insect orders, including dipteran, lepidopteran, and hemipteran, Wolbachia-based control tactics are investigated, noting the importance of sterile and incompatible insect techniques. Encouraging approaches for controlling Aedes mosquitoes are necessary, as demonstrated by the evaluation of a new SIT/IIT combination and the incorporation of SIT into Drosophila suzukii management. For example, Wolbachia may protect plants from rice pests, demonstrating its potential for agricultural biological vector management. Maternal transmission and cytoplasmic incompatibility dynamics are explored, while Wolbachia phenotypic impacts on mosquito and rice pest management are examined. The importance of host evolutionary distance is emphasised in recent scale insect research that addresses host-shifting. Using greater information, a suggested method for comprehending Wolbachia host variations in various contexts emphasises ecological connectivity. Endosymbionts passed on maternally in nematodes and arthropods, Wolbachia are widely distributed around the world and have evolved both mutualistic and parasitic traits. Wolbachia is positioned as a paradigm for microbial symbiosis due to advancements in multiomics, gene functional assays, and its effect on human health. The challenges and opportunities facing Wolbachia research include scale issues, ecological implications, ethical conundrums, and the possibility of customising strains through genetic engineering. It is thought that cooperative efforts are required to include Wolbachia-based therapies into pest management techniques while ensuring responsible and sustainable ways.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Berrabah F, Benaceur F, Yin C, et al (2024)

Defense and senescence interplay in legume nodules.

Plant communications pii:S2590-3462(24)00130-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Immunity and senescence play a crucial role in the functioning of the legume symbiotic nodules. The miss-regulation of one of these processes compromises the symbiosis leading to death of the endosymbiont and the arrest of the nodule functioning. The relationship between immunity and senescence is highly studied in plant organs where a synergistic response can be observed. However, the interplay between immunity and senescence in the symbiotic organ is poorly discussed in the literature and these phenomena are often mixed up. Recent studies revealed that the cooperation between immunity and senescence is not always observed in the nodule, suggesting complex interactions between these two processes within the symbiotic organ. Here, we discussed recent results on the interplay between immunity and senescence in the nodule and the specificities of this relationship during legume-rhizobium symbiosis.

RevDate: 2024-03-26
CmpDate: 2024-03-26

Guse K, JE Pietri (2024)

Endosymbiont and gut bacterial communities of the brown-banded cockroach, Supella longipalpa.

PeerJ, 12:e17095.

The brown-banded cockroach (Supella longipalpa) is a widespread nuisance and public health pest. Like the German cockroach (Blattella germanica), this species is adapted to the indoor biome and completes the entirety of its life cycle in human-built structures. Recently, understanding the contributions of commensal and symbiotic microbes to the biology of cockroach pests, as well as the applications of targeting these microbes for pest control, have garnered significant scientific interest. However, relative to B. germanica, the biology of S. longipalpa, including its microbial associations, is understudied. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to quantitatively examine and characterize both the endosymbiont and gut bacterial communities of S. longipalpa for the first time. To do so, bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing was conducted on DNA extracts from whole adult females and males, early instar nymphs, and late instar nymphs. The results demonstrate that the gut microbiome is dominated by two genera of bacteria known to have beneficial probiotic effects in other organisms, namely Lactobacillus and Akkermansia. Furthermore, our data show a significant effect of nymphal development on diversity and variation in the gut microbiome. Lastly, we reveal significant negative correlations between the two intracellular endosymbionts, Blattabacterium and Wolbachia, as well as between Blattabacterium and the gut microbiome, suggesting that Blattabacterium endosymbionts could directly or indirectly influence the composition of other bacterial populations. These findings have implications for understanding the adaptation of S. longipalpa to the indoor biome, its divergence from other indoor cockroach pest species such as B. germanica, the development of novel control approaches that target the microbiome, and fundamental insect-microbe interactions more broadly.

RevDate: 2024-03-22

Bai J, Zuo Z, DuanMu H, et al (2024)

Endosymbiont Tremblaya phenacola influences the reproduction of cotton mealybugs by regulating the mTOR pathway.

The ISME journal pii:7633914 [Epub ahead of print].

The intricate evolutionary dynamics of endosymbiotic relationships result in unique characteristics among the genomes of symbionts, which profoundly influence host insect phenotypes. Here, we investigated an endosymbiotic system in Phenacoccus solenopsis, a notorious pest of the subfamily Phenacoccinae. The endosymbiont, "Candidatus Tremblaya phenacola" (T. phenacola PSOL), persisted throughout the complete life cycle of female hosts and was more active during oviposition, whereas there was a significant decline in abundance after pupation in males. Genome sequencing yielded an endosymbiont genome of 221.1 kb in size, comprising seven contigs and originating from a chimeric arrangement between betaproteobacteria and gammaproteobacteria. A comprehensive analysis of amino acid metabolic pathways demonstrated complementarity between the host and endosymbiont metabolism. Elimination of T. phenacola PSOL through antibiotic treatment significantly decreased P. solenopsis fecundity. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) demonstrated a correlation between genes associated with essential amino acid synthesis and those associated with host meiosis and oocyte maturation. Moreover, altering endosymbiont abundance activated the host mTOR pathway, suggesting that changes in amino acid abundance affected host reproductive capabilities via this signal pathway. Taken together, these findings demonstrate a mechanism by which the endosymbiont T. phenacola PSOL contributed to high fecundity in P. solenopsis and provide new insights into nutritional compensation and coevolution of the endosymbiotic system.

RevDate: 2024-03-21

Ang'ang'o LM, Waweru JW, Makhulu EE, et al (2024)

Draft genome of Microsporidia sp. MB-a malaria-blocking microsporidian symbiont of the Anopheles arabiensis.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

We report the draft whole-genome assembly of Microsporidia sp. MB, a symbiotic malaria-transmission-blocking microsporidian isolated from Anopheles arabiensis in Kenya. The whole-genome sequence of Microsporidia sp. MB has a length of 5,908,979 bp, 2,335 contigs, and an average GC content of 31.12%.

RevDate: 2024-03-20

Torp MK, Stensløkken KO, J Vaage (2024)

When Our Best Friend Becomes Our Worst Enemy: The Mitochondrion in Trauma, Surgery, and Critical Illness.

Journal of intensive care medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Common for major surgery, multitrauma, sepsis, and critical illness, is a whole-body inflammation. Tissue injury is able to trigger a generalized inflammatory reaction. Cell death causes release of endogenous structures termed damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that initiate a sterile inflammation. Mitochondria are evolutionary endosymbionts originating from bacteria, containing molecular patterns similar to bacteria. These molecular patterns are termed mitochondrial DAMPs (mDAMPs). Mitochondrial debris released into the extracellular space or into the circulation is immunogenic and damaging secondary to activation of the innate immune system. In the circulation, released mDAMPS are either free or exist in extracellular vesicles, being able to act on every organ and cell in the body. However, the role of mDAMPs in trauma and critical care is not fully clarified. There is a complete lack of knowledge how they may be counteracted in patients. Among mDAMPs are mitochondrial DNA, cardiolipin, N-formyl peptides, cytochrome C, adenosine triphosphate, reactive oxygen species, succinate, and mitochondrial transcription factor A. In this overview, we present the different mDAMPs, their function, release, targets, and inflammatory potential. In light of present knowledge, the role of mDAMPs in the pathophysiology of major surgery and trauma as well as sepsis, and critical care is discussed.

RevDate: 2024-03-19

Füssy Z, M Oborník (2024)

Complex Endosymbioses I: From Primary to Complex Plastids, Serial Endosymbiotic Events.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2776:21-41.

A considerable part of the diversity of eukaryotic phototrophs consists of algae with plastids that evolved from endosymbioses between two eukaryotes. These complex plastids are characterized by a high number of envelope membranes (more than two) and some of them contain a residual nucleus of the endosymbiotic alga called a nucleomorph. Complex plastid-bearing algae are thus chimeric cell assemblies, eukaryotic symbionts living in a eukaryotic host. In contrast, the primary plastids of the Archaeplastida (plants, green algae, red algae, and glaucophytes) possibly evolved from a single endosymbiosis with a cyanobacterium and are surrounded by two membranes. Complex plastids have been acquired several times by unrelated groups of eukaryotic heterotrophic hosts, suggesting that complex plastids are somewhat easier to obtain than primary plastids. Evidence suggests that complex plastids arose twice independently in the green lineage (euglenophytes and chlorarachniophytes) through secondary endosymbiosis, and four times in the red lineage, first through secondary endosymbiosis in cryptophytes, then by higher-order events in stramenopiles, alveolates, and haptophytes. Engulfment of primary and complex plastid-containing algae by eukaryotic hosts (secondary, tertiary, and higher-order endosymbioses) is also responsible for numerous plastid replacements in dinoflagellates. Plastid endosymbiosis is accompanied by massive gene transfer from the endosymbiont to the host nucleus and cell adaptation of both endosymbiotic partners, which is related to the trophic switch to phototrophy and loss of autonomy of the endosymbiont. Such a process is essential for the metabolic integration and division control of the endosymbiont in the host. Although photosynthesis is the main advantage of acquiring plastids, loss of photosynthesis often occurs in algae with complex plastids. This chapter summarizes the essential knowledge of the acquisition, evolution, and function of complex plastids.

RevDate: 2024-03-19

Singh AS, Pathak D, Devi MS, et al (2024)

Antibiotic alters host's gut microbiota, fertility, and antimicrobial peptide gene expression vis-à-vis ampicillin treatment on model organism Drosophila melanogaster.

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

Antibiotics are commonly used to treat infectious diseases; however, persistence is often expressed by the pathogenic bacteria and their long-term relative effect on the host have been neglected. The present study investigated the impact of antibiotics in gut microbiota (GM) and metabolism of host. The effect of ampicillin antibiotics on GM of Drosophila melanogaster was analyzed through deep sequencing of 16S rRNA amplicon gene. The dominant phyla consisted of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi, Euryarchaeota, Acedobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Cyanobacteria. It was found that the composition of GM was significantly altered on administration of antibiotics. On antibiotic treatments, there were decline in relative abundance of Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, while there were increase in relative abundance of Chlorophyta and Bacteroidota. High abundance of 14 genera, viz., Wolbachia, Lactobacillus, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Thiolamprovum, Pseudoalteromonas, Vibrio, Romboutsia, Staphylococcus, Alteromonas, Clostridium, Lysinibacillus, Litoricola, and Cellulophaga were significant (p ≤ 0.05) upon antibiotic treatment. Particularly, the abundance of Acetobacter was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) declined but increased for Wolbachia. Further, a significant (p ≤ 0.05) increase in Wolbachia endosymbiont of D. melanogaster, Wolbachia endosymbiont of Curculio okumai, and Wolbachia pipientis and a decrease in the Acinetobacter sp. were observed. We observed an increase in functional capacity for biosynthesis of certain nucleotides and the enzyme activities. Further, the decrease in antimicrobial peptide production in the treated group and potential effects on the host's defense mechanisms were observed. This study helps shed light on an often-overlooked dimension, namely the persistence of antibiotics' effects on the host.

RevDate: 2024-03-19

Novák Vanclová AM, Nef C, Füssy Z, et al (2024)

New plastids, old proteins: repeated endosymbiotic acquisitions in kareniacean dinoflagellates.

EMBO reports [Epub ahead of print].

Dinoflagellates are a diverse group of ecologically significant micro-eukaryotes that can serve as a model system for plastid symbiogenesis due to their susceptibility to plastid loss and replacement via serial endosymbiosis. Kareniaceae harbor fucoxanthin-pigmented plastids instead of the ancestral peridinin-pigmented ones and support them with a diverse range of nucleus-encoded plastid-targeted proteins originating from the haptophyte endosymbiont, dinoflagellate host, and/or lateral gene transfers (LGT). Here, we present predicted plastid proteomes from seven distantly related kareniaceans in three genera (Karenia, Karlodinium, and Takayama) and analyze their evolutionary patterns using automated tree building and sorting. We project a relatively limited (~ 10%) haptophyte signal pointing towards a shared origin in the family Chrysochromulinaceae. Our data establish significant variations in the functional distributions of these signals, emphasizing the importance of micro-evolutionary processes in shaping the chimeric proteomes. Analysis of plastid genome sequences recontextualizes these results by a striking finding the extant kareniacean plastids are in fact not all of the same origin, as two of the studied species (Karlodinium armiger, Takayama helix) possess plastids from different haptophyte orders than the rest.

RevDate: 2024-03-18

Tang X-F, Sun Y-F, Liang Y-S, et al (2024)

Metabolism, digestion, and horizontal transfer: potential roles and interaction of symbiotic bacteria in the ladybird beetle Novius pumilus and their prey Icerya aegyptiaca.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, we first time sequenced and analyzed the 16S rRNA gene data of predator ladybird beetles Novius pumilus and globally distributed invasive pest Icerya aegyptiaca at different stages, and combined data with bacterial genome sequences in N. pumilus to explored the taxonomic distribution, alpha and beta diversity, differentially abundant bacteria, co-occurrence network, and putative functions of their microbial community. Our finding revealed that Candidatus Walczuchella, which exhibited a higher abundance in I. aegyptiaca, possessed several genes in essential amino acid biosynthesis and seemed to perform roles in providing nutrients to the host, similar to other obligate symbionts in scale insects. Lactococcus, Serratia, and Pseudomonas, more abundant in N. pumilus, were predicted to have genes related to hydrocarbon, fatty acids, and chitin degradation, which may assist their hosts in digesting the wax shell covering the scale insects. Notably, our result showed that Lactococcus had relatively higher abundances in adults and eggs compared to other stages in N. pumilus, indicating potential vertical transmission. Additionally, we found that Arsenophonus, known to influence sex ratios in whitefly and wasp, may also function in I. aegyptiaca, probably by influencing nutrient metabolism as it similarly had many genes corresponding to vitamin B and essential amino acid biosynthesis. Also, we observed a potential horizontal transfer of Arsenophonus between the scale insect and its predator, with a relatively high abundance in the ladybirds compared to other bacteria from the scale insects.IMPORTANCEThe composition and dynamic changes of microbiome in different developmental stages of ladybird beetles Novius pumilus with its prey Icerya aegyptiaca were detected. We found that Candidatus Walczuchella, abundant in I. aegyptiaca, probably provide nutrients to their host based on their amino acid biosynthesis-related genes. Abundant symbionts in N. pumilus, including Lactococcus, Serratia, and Pseudophonus, may help the host digest the scale insects with their hydrocarbon, fatty acid, and chitin degrading-related genes. A key endosymbiont Arsenophonus may play potential roles in the nutrient metabolisms and sex determination in I. aegyptiaca, and is possibly transferred from the scale insect to the predator.

RevDate: 2024-03-18

Galambos N, Vincent-Monegat C, Vallier A, et al (2024)

Cereal weevils' antimicrobial peptides: at the crosstalk between development, endosymbiosis and immune response.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 379(1901):20230062.

Interactions between animals and microbes are ubiquitous in nature and strongly impact animal physiology. These interactions are shaped by the host immune system, which responds to infections and contributes to tailor the associations with beneficial microorganisms. In many insects, beneficial symbiotic associations not only include gut commensals, but also intracellular bacteria, or endosymbionts. Endosymbionts are housed within specialized host cells, the bacteriocytes, and are transmitted vertically across host generations. Host-endosymbiont co-evolution shapes the endosymbiont genome and host immune system, which not only fights against microbial intruders, but also ensures the preservation of endosymbionts and the control of their load and location. The cereal weevil Sitophilus spp. is a remarkable model in which to study the evolutionary adaptation of the immune system to endosymbiosis owing to its binary association with a unique, relatively recently acquired nutritional endosymbiont, Sodalis pierantonius. This Gram-negative bacterium has not experienced the genome size shrinkage observed in long-term endosymbioses and has retained immunogenicity. We focus here on the sixteen antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) identified in the Sitophilus oryzae genome and their expression patterns in different tissues, along host development or upon immune challenges, to address their potential functions in the defensive response and endosymbiosis homeostasis along the insect life cycle. This article is part of the theme issue 'Sculpting the microbiome: how host factors determine and respond to microbial colonization'.

RevDate: 2024-03-18

Hague MTJ, Wheeler TB, BS Cooper (2024)

Comparative analysis of Wolbachia maternal transmission and localization in host ovaries.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.03.03.583170.

Many insects and other animals carry microbial endosymbionts that influence their reproduction and fitness. These relationships only persist if endosymbionts are reliably transmitted from one host generation to the next. Wolbachia are maternally transmitted endosymbionts found in most insect species, but transmission rates can vary across environments. Maternal transmission of w Mel Wolbachia depends on temperature in natural Drosophila melanogaster hosts and in transinfected Aedes aegypti , where w Mel is used to block pathogens that cause human disease. In D. melanogaster , w Mel transmission declines in the cold as Wolbachia become less abundant in host ovaries and at the posterior pole plasm (the site of germline formation) in mature oocytes. Here, we assess how temperature affects maternal transmission and underlying patterns of Wolbachia localization across 10 Wolbachia strains diverged up to 50 million years-including strains closely related to w Mel-and their natural Drosophila hosts. Many Wolbachia maintain high transmission rates across temperatures, despite highly variable (and sometimes low) levels of Wolbachia in the ovaries and at the developing germline in late-stage oocytes. Identifying strains like closely related w Mel-like Wolbachia with stable transmission across variable environmental conditions may improve the efficacy of Wolbachia -based biocontrol efforts as they expand into globally diverse environments.

RevDate: 2024-03-18
CmpDate: 2024-03-18

Zhao LS, Wang N, Li K, et al (2024)

Architecture of symbiotic dinoflagellate photosystem I-light-harvesting supercomplex in Symbiodinium.

Nature communications, 15(1):2392.

Symbiodinium are the photosynthetic endosymbionts for corals and play a vital role in supplying their coral hosts with photosynthetic products, forming the nutritional foundation for high-yield coral reef ecosystems. Here, we determine the cryo-electron microscopy structure of Symbiodinium photosystem I (PSI) supercomplex with a PSI core composed of 13 subunits including 2 previously unidentified subunits, PsaT and PsaU, as well as 13 peridinin-Chl a/c-binding light-harvesting antenna proteins (AcpPCIs). The PSI-AcpPCI supercomplex exhibits distinctive structural features compared to their red lineage counterparts, including extended termini of PsaD/E/I/J/L/M/R and AcpPCI-1/3/5/7/8/11 subunits, conformational changes in the surface loops of PsaA and PsaB subunits, facilitating the association between the PSI core and peripheral antennae. Structural analysis and computational calculation of excitation energy transfer rates unravel specific pigment networks in Symbiodinium PSI-AcpPCI for efficient excitation energy transfer. Overall, this study provides a structural basis for deciphering the mechanisms governing light harvesting and energy transfer in Symbiodinium PSI-AcpPCI supercomplexes adapted to their symbiotic ecosystem, as well as insights into the evolutionary diversity of PSI-LHCI among various photosynthetic organisms.

RevDate: 2024-03-16

Duan L, Zhang L, Hou X, et al (2024)

Surveillance of tick-borne bacteria infection in ticks and forestry populations in Inner Mongolia, China.

Frontiers in public health, 12:1302133.

Ticks are one of the most important vectors that can transmit pathogens to animals and human beings. This study investigated the dominant tick-borne bacteria carried by ticks and tick-borne infections in forestry populations in Arxan, Inner Mongolia, China. Ticks were collected by flagging from May 2020 to May 2021, and blood samples were collected from individuals at high risk of acquiring tick-borne diseases from March 2022 to August 2023. The pooled DNA samples of ticks were analyzed to reveal the presence of tick-borne bacteria using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rDNA V3-V4 region, and species-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) related to sequencing was performed to confirm the presence of pathogenic bacteria in individual ticks and human blood samples. All sera samples were examined for anti-SFGR using ELISA and anti-B. burgdorferi using IFA and WB. A total of 295 ticks (282 Ixodes persulcatus and 13 Dermacentor silvarum) and 245 human blood samples were collected. Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Borrelia miyamotoi, and Coxiella endosymbiont were identified in I. persulcatus by high-throughput sequencing, while Candidatus R. tarasevichiae (89.00%, 89/100), B. garinii (17.00%, 17/100), B. afzelii (7.00%, 7/100), and B. miyamotoi (7.00%, 7/100) were detected in I. persulcatus, as well the dual co-infection with Candidatus R. tarasevichiae and B. garinii were detected in 13.00% (13/100) of I. persulcatus. Of the 245 individuals, B. garinii (4.90%, 12/245), R. slovaca (0.82%, 2/245), and C. burnetii (0.41%, 1/245) were detected by PCR, and the sequences of the target genes of B. garinii detected in humans were identical to those detected in I. persulcatus. The seroprevalence of anti-SFGR and anti-B. burgdorferi was 5.71% and 13.47%, respectively. This study demonstrated that Candidatus R. tarasevichiae and B. garinii were the dominant tick-borne bacteria in I. persulcatus from Arxan, and that dual co-infection with Candidatus R. tarasevichiae and B. garinii was frequent. This is the first time that B. miyamotoi has been identified in ticks from Arxan and R. solvaca has been detected in humans from Inner Mongolia. More importantly, this study demonstrated the transmission of B. garinii from ticks to humans in Arxan, suggesting that long-term monitoring of tick-borne pathogens in ticks and humans is important for the prevention and control of tick-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2024-03-15

Liu XL, Zhao H, Wang YX, et al (2024)

Detecting and characterizing new endofungal bacteria in new hosts: Pandoraea sputorum and Mycetohabitans endofungorum in Rhizopus arrhizus.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1346252.

The fungus Rhizopus arrhizus (=R. oryzae) is commonly saprotrophic, exhibiting a nature of decomposing organic matter. Additionally, it serves as a crucial starter in food fermentation and can act as a pathogen causing mucormycosis in humans and animals. In this study, two distinct endofungal bacteria (EFBs), associated with individual strains of R. arrhizus, were identified using live/dead staining, fluorescence in situ hybridization, transmission electron microscopy, and 16S rDNA sequencing. The roles of these bacteria were elucidated through antibiotic treatment, pure cultivation, and comparative genomics. The bacterial endosymbionts, Pandoraea sputorum EFB03792 and Mycetohabitans endofungorum EFB03829, were purified from the host fungal strains R. arrhizus XY03792 and XY03829, respectively. Notably, this study marks the first report of Pandoraea as an EFB genus. Compared to its free-living counterparts, P. sputorum EFB03792 exhibited 28 specific virulence factor-related genes, six specific CE10 family genes, and 74 genes associated with type III secretion system (T3SS), emphasizing its pivotal role in invasion and colonization. Furthermore, this study introduces R. arrhizus as a new host for EFB M. endofungorum, with EFB contributing to host sporulation. Despite a visibly reduced genome, M. endofungorum EFB03829 displayed a substantial number of virulence factor-related genes, CE10 family genes, T3SS genes, mobile elements, and significant gene rearrangement. While EFBs have been previously identified in R. arrhizus, their toxin-producing potential in food fermentation has not been explored until this study. The discovery of these two new EFBs highlights their potential for toxin production within R. arrhizus, laying the groundwork for identifying suitable R. arrhizus strains for fermentation processes.

RevDate: 2024-03-14

Del Carmen Guarneros Martínez T, Cáceres-Martínez J, Cruz-Flores R, et al (2024)

Prevalence and intensity of a rickettsiales-like organism in cultured pleasure oyster, crassostrea corteziensis, from nayarit, mexico.

Journal of invertebrate pathology, 204:108093 pii:S0022-2011(24)00036-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Fastidious endosymbiotic Rickettsiales-like organisms (RLOs) have been observed in the digestive diverticula of the cultured pleasure oyster (Crassostrea corteziensis) from Nayarit, Mexico since 2007. In a few mollusk species, these bacteria have been associated with mortality events and production losses. The type of relationship between the RLOs and the pleasure oyster is largely unknown and further investigations are needed to determine if these bacteria warrant management concern in C. corteziensis. In this study, the morphological characteristics of the RLOs were studied by histology and SEM, and the taxonomic affiliations of the bacteria were evaluated by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. In addition, the prevalence and intensity of the RLOs was recorded from 2007 to 2017 by histology. The RLOs were observed inside circular basophilic cytoplasmic membrane bound vacuoles (MBVs) that had an average length and width of 15.70 ± 15.24 µm and 15.42 ± 14.95 µm respectively. Apart from cellular hypertrophy, no tissue alterations were observed in the areas adjacent to the RLOs. Individual bacteria within the MBVs were coccoid in shape with an average length of 0.65 ± 0.12 µm and an average width of 0.38 ± 0.09 µm. The bacterial microbiota of a selected number of samples (one sample without RLOs and two samples with RLOs) showed the presence of intracellular parasite OTUs corresponding to the families Rickettsiaceae and Anaplasmataceae, suggesting that the RLOs from the pleasure oyster is associated with the order Rickettsiales. A mean prevalence of 5 % was observed throughout the study period and the majority of the organisms (89 %) presented low intensity of Grade 1 (30-61 RLOs) of the MBVs. A higher prevalence of the RLOs was observed during warmer months. The lack of tissue alterations, the low prevalence and the low intensity of the MBVs suggest that the RLOs from C. corteziensis is a commensal endosymbiont that presents little risk for oyster production in Nayarit, México. However, regular monitoring is needed to detect if any variation in this relationship occurs, mainly in a scenario where extreme environmental fluctuations may occur.

RevDate: 2024-03-13

Walters LJ, Busch SJ, Vermeulen S, et al (2024)

Entanglement and ingestion of microfibers by the oyster pea crab Zaops ostreum, an endosymbiont of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica.

Marine pollution bulletin, 201:116251 pii:S0025-326X(24)00228-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The kleptoparasitic pea crab Zaops ostreum lives within the gills of bivalves, including the economically important eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica. Previous research along the east coast of central Florida has found an average of 2.3 pieces of plastic per oyster. The goals of our research were to determine if filter-feeding oysters transfer microfibers to Z. ostreum via the crab: 1) actively consuming plastic particles, or 2) passively becoming entangled in microfibers. Our results show that both occur. While only 11.6 % of Z. ostreum (total n = 122) consumed microfibers, those that did had up to 14 pieces in their soft tissues. Similarly, only 7.4 % of Z. ostreum had microfibers entangled around their appendages. Mean lengths of consumed and entangled fibers were similar, 1.9 and 2.7 mm, respectively. Additional research is needed to understand the positive and negative impacts of microfibers associated with pea crabs on both species.

RevDate: 2024-03-13

Ezhova OV, Lukinykh AI, VV Malakhov (2024)

Nemertodermatida-Endosymbionts of Deep-Sea Acorn Worms (Hemichordata, Torquaratoridae).

Doklady biological sciences : proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Biological sciences sections [Epub ahead of print].

Worm-like endosymbionts were found in the hepatic region of the digestive tract of the deep-sea acorn worm Quatuoralisia malakhovi Ezhova et Lukinykh, 2022 (family Torquaratoridae) from the Bering Sea. The symbionts were assigned to the taxon Nemertodermatida on the basis of histological examination. Torquaratoridae are similar in feeding type to holothuroids, which have also been found to have Xenacoelomorpha endosymbionts.

RevDate: 2024-03-12

Cornejo-Castillo FM, Inomura K, Zehr JP, et al (2024)

Metabolic trade-offs constrain the cell size ratio in a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis.

Cell pii:S0092-8674(24)00182-X [Epub ahead of print].

Biological dinitrogen (N2) fixation is a key metabolic process exclusively performed by prokaryotes, some of which are symbiotic with eukaryotes. Species of the marine haptophyte algae Braarudosphaera bigelowii harbor the N2-fixing endosymbiotic cyanobacteria UCYN-A, which might be evolving organelle-like characteristics. We found that the size ratio between UCYN-A and their hosts is strikingly conserved across sublineages/species, which is consistent with the size relationships of organelles in this symbiosis and other species. Metabolic modeling showed that this size relationship maximizes the coordinated growth rate based on trade-offs between resource acquisition and exchange. Our findings show that the size relationships of N2-fixing endosymbionts and organelles in unicellular eukaryotes are constrained by predictable metabolic underpinnings and that UCYN-A is, in many regards, functioning like a hypothetical N2-fixing organelle (or nitroplast).

RevDate: 2024-03-12

Arinanto LS, Hoffmann AA, Ross PA, et al (2024)

Hormetic effect induced by Beauveria bassiana in Myzus persicae.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Myzus persicae, a serious sap-sucking pest of a large variety of host plants in agriculture, is traditionally controlled using chemical insecticides but there is interest in using biopesticides as restrictions are increasingly placed on the use of broad-spectrum pesticides.

RESULTS: Here we show that in petri dish experiments high concentrations of the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana lead to rapid mortality of M. persicae but at a low concentration (1 × 10[4] conidia mL[-1]) there is a hormetic effect where survival and fecundity are enhanced. Hormetic effects persisted across a generation with reduced development times and increased fecundity in the offspring of M. persicae exposed to B. bassiana. Whole plant experiments point to a hormetic effect being detected in two out of three tested lines. The impact of these effects might also depend on whether M. persicae was transinfected with the endosymbiont Rickettsiella viridis, which decreases fecundity and survival compared to aphids lacking this endosymbiont. This fecundity cost was ameliorated in the generation following exposure to the entomopathogen.

CONCLUSION: While B. bassiana is effective in controlling M. persicae especially at higher spore concentrations, utilization of this entomopathogen requires careful consideration of hormetic effects at lower spore concentrations, and further research to optimize its application for sustainable agriculture is recommended. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2024-03-12

Ahouandjinou MJ, Sovi A, Sidick A, et al (2024)

First report of natural infection of Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Anopheles coluzzii by Wolbachia and Microsporidia in Benin: a cross-sectional study.

Malaria journal, 23(1):72.

BACKGROUND: Recently, bacterial endosymbiont, including Wolbachia and Microsporidia were found to limit the infection of Anopheles mosquitoes with Plasmodium falciparum. This study aimed to investigate the natural presence of key transmission-blocking endosymbionts in Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii in Southern Benin.

METHODS: The present study was conducted in seven communes (Cotonou, Porto-Novo, Aguégués, Ifangni, Pobè Athiémé, and Grand-Popo) of Southern Benin. Anopheles were collected using indoor/outdoor Human Landing Catches (HLCs) and Pyrethrum Spray Catches (PSCs). Following morphological identification, PCR was used to identify An. gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) to species level and to screen for the presence of both Wolbachia and Microsporidia. Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite infection was also assessed using ELISA.

RESULTS: Overall, species composition in An. gambiae s.l. was 53.7% An. coluzzii, while the remainder was An. gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.). Combined data of the two sampling techniques revealed a mean infection prevalence with Wolbachia of 5.1% (95% CI 0.90-18.6) and 1.3% (95% CI 0.07-7.8) in An. gambiae s.s. and An. coluzzii, respectively. The mean infection prevalence with Microsporidia was 41.0% (95% CI 25.9-57.8) for An. gambiae s.s. and 57.0% (95% CI 45.4-67.9) for An. coluzzii. Wolbachia was only observed in Ifangni, Pobè, and Cotonou, while Microsporidia was detected in all study communes. Aggregated data for HLCs and PSCs showed a sporozoite rate (SR) of 0.80% (95% CI 0.09-2.87) and 0.69% (95% CI 0.09-2.87) for An. gambiae and An. coluzzii, respectively, with a mean of 0.74% (95% CI 0.20-1.90). Of the four individual mosquitoes which harboured P. falciparum, none were also infected with Wolbachia and one contained Microsporidia.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study is the first report of natural infections of field-collected An. gambiae s.l. populations from Benin with Wolbachia and Microsporidia. Sustained efforts should be made to widen the spectrum of bacteria identified in mosquitoes, with the potential to develop endosymbiont-based control tools; such interventions could be the game-changer in the control of malaria and arboviral disease transmission.

RevDate: 2024-03-10

Beasley-Hall PG, Kinjo Y, Rose HA, et al (2024)

Shrinking in the dark: Parallel endosymbiont genome erosions are associated with repeated host transitions to an underground life.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial symbioses have had profound impacts on the evolution of animals. Conversely, changes in host biology may impact the evolutionary trajectory of symbionts themselves. Blattabacterium cuenoti is present in almost all cockroach species and enables hosts to subsist on a nutrient-poor diet. To investigate if host biology has impacted Blattabacterium at the genomic level, we sequenced and analyzed 25 genomes from Australian soil-burrowing cockroaches (Blaberidae: Panesthiinae), which have undergone at least seven separate subterranean, subsocial transitions from above-ground, wood-feeding ancestors. We find at least three independent instances of genome erosion have occurred in Blattabacterium strains exclusive to Australian soil-burrowing cockroaches. These shrinkages have involved the repeated inactivation of genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis and nitrogen recycling, the core role of Blattabacterium in the host-symbiont relationship. The most drastic of these erosions have occurred in hosts thought to have transitioned underground the earliest relative to other lineages, further suggestive of a link between gene loss in Blattabacterium and the burrowing behavior of hosts. As Blattabacterium is unable to fulfill its core function in certain host lineages, these findings suggest soil-burrowing cockroaches must acquire these nutrients from novel sources. Our study represents one of the first cases, to our knowledge, of parallel host adaptations leading to concomitant parallelism in their mutualistic symbionts, further underscoring the intimate relationship between these two partners.

RevDate: 2024-03-12

Fernández MB, Bleidorn C, LA Calcaterra (2022)

Wolbachia Infection in Native Populations of the Invasive Tawny Crazy Ant Nylanderia fulva.

Frontiers in insect science, 2:905803.

Antagonistic interactions can affect population growth and dispersal of an invasive species. Wolbachia are intracellular endosymbiont bacteria that infect arthropod and nematode hosts and are able to manipulate reproduction, which in some cases leads to cocladogenesis. Moreover, the presence of the strictly maternally transferred Wolbachia in a population can indirectly induce selective sweeps on the hosts' mitochondria. Ants have a Wolbachia infection rate of about 34%, which makes phylogenetic studies using mitochondrial markers vulnerable of being confounded by the effect of the endosymbiont. Nylanderia fulva is an invasive ant native to South America, considered a pest in the United States. Its distribution and biology are poorly known in its native range, and the taxonomic identity of this and its closely related species, Nylanderia pubens, has only recently been understood with the aid of molecular phylogenies. Aiming at estimating robust phylogenetic relationships of N. fulva in its native range, we investigated the presence and pattern of Wolbachia infection in populations of N. fulva from Argentina, part of its native range, to account for its possible effect on the host population structure. Using the ftsZ gene, 30 nests of N. fulva and four from sympatric Nylanderia species were screened for the presence of Wolbachia. We sequenced the MLST genes, the highly variable gene wsp, as well as glyQ, a novel target gene for which new primers were designed. Phylogeny of the ants was estimated using mtDNA (COI). We found supergroup A Wolbachia strains infecting 73% of N. fulva nests and two nests of Nylanderia sp. 1. Wolbachia phylogenetic tree inferred with MLST genes is partially congruent with the host phylogeny topology, with the exception of a lineage of strains shared by ants from different N. fulva clades. Furthermore, by comparing with Wolbachia sequences infecting other ants, we found that the strains infecting different N. fulva clades are not monophyletic. Our findings suggest there are three recent independent horizontally transmitted Wolbachia infections in N. fulva, and we found no evidence of influence of Wolbachia in the host mtDNA based phylogeny.

RevDate: 2024-03-09

Donner SH, Slingerland M, Beekman MM, et al (2024)

Aphid populations are frequently infected with facultative endosymbionts.

Environmental microbiology, 26(3):e16599.

The occurrence of facultative endosymbionts has been studied in many commercially important crop pest aphids, but their occurrence and effects in non-commercial aphid species in natural populations have received less attention. We screened 437 aphid samples belonging to 106 aphid species for the eight most common facultative aphid endosymbionts. We found one or more facultative endosymbionts in 53% (56 of 106) of the species investigated. This likely underestimates the situation in the field because facultative endosymbionts are often present in only some colonies of an aphid species. Oligophagous aphid species carried facultative endosymbionts significantly more often than monophagous species. We did not find a significant correlation between ant tending and facultative endosymbiont presence. In conclusion, we found that facultative endosymbionts are common among aphid populations. This study is, to our knowledge, the first of its kind in the Netherlands and provides a basis for future research in this field. For instance, it is still unknown in what way many of these endosymbionts affect their hosts, which is important for determining the importance of facultative endosymbionts to community dynamics.

RevDate: 2024-03-08

Lintner M, Schagerl M, Lintner B, et al (2024)

Impact of pesticides on marine coral reef foraminifera.

Marine pollution bulletin, 201:116237 pii:S0025-326X(24)00214-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Our laboratory study looked into how pesticides affect the foraminifera species Heterostegina depressa and their obligatory algal endosymbionts. We incubated the foraminifera separately with different types of pesticides at varying concentrations (1 %, 0.01 % and 0.0001 %); we included the insecticide Confidor© (active substance: imidacloprid), the fungicide Pronto©Plus (tebuconazole), and the herbicide Roundup© (glyphosate). Our evaluation focused on the symbiont's photosynthetically active area (PA), and the uptake of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and nitrogen (nitrate) to determine the vitality of the foraminifera. Our findings showed that even the lowest doses of the fungicide and herbicide caused irreparable damage to the foraminifera and their symbionts. While the insecticide only deactivated the symbionts (PA = 0) at the highest concentration (1 %), the fungicide, and herbicide caused complete deactivation even at the lowest levels provided (0.0001 %). The fungicide had the strongest toxic effect on the foraminiferal host regarding reduced isotope uptake. In conclusion, all pesticides had a negative impact on the holosymbiont, with the host showing varying degrees of sensitivity towards different types of pesticides.

RevDate: 2024-03-08

Malandrakis AA, Varikou K, Kavroulakis Ν, et al (2024)

Copper nanoparticles interfere with insecticide sensitivity, fecundity and endosymbiont abundance in olive fruit fly Bactrocera oleae (Diptera: Tephritidae).

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The potential of copper nanoparticles (NPs) to be used as an alternative control strategy against olive fruit flies (Bactrocera oleae) with reduced sensitivity to the pyrethroid deltamethrin and the impact of both nanosized and bulk copper [Cu(OH)2 ] on the insect's reproductive and endosymbiotic parameters were investigated.

RESULTS: The application of nanosized and bulk copper applied by feeding resulted in significant levels of adult mortality, comparable to or surpassing those achieved with deltamethrin at recommended doses. Combinations of Cu-NPs or CuO-NPs with deltamethrin significantly enhanced the insecticide's efficacy against B. oleae adults. When combined with deltamethrin, Cu-NPs significantly reduced the mean total number of offspring compared with the control, and the number of stings, pupae, female and total number of offspring compared with the insecticide alone. Both bulk and nanosized copper negatively affected the abundance of the endosymbiotic bacterium Candidatus Erwinia dacicola which is crucial for the survival of B. oleae larvae.

CONCLUSION: Cu-NPs can aid the control of B. oleae both by reducing larval survival and by enhancing deltamethrin performance in terms of toxicity and reduced fecundity, providing an effective anti-resistance tool and minimizing the environmental footprint of synthetic pesticides by reducing the required doses for the control of the pest.

RevDate: 2024-03-08

Kumar V, Subramanian J, Marimuthu M, et al (2024)

Diversity and functional characteristics of culturable bacterial endosymbionts from cassava whitefly biotype Asia II-5, Bemisia tabaci.

3 Biotech, 14(4):100.

UNLABELLED: Whitefly Bemisia tabaci, a carrier of cassava mosaic disease (CMD), poses a significant threat to cassava crops. Investigating culturable bacteria and their impact on whiteflies is crucial due to their vital role in whitefly fitness and survival. The whitefly biotype associated with cassava and transmitting CMD in India has been identified as Asia II 5 through partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene sequencing. In this study, bacteria associated with adult B. tabaci feeding on cassava were extracted using seven different media. Nutrient Agar (NA), Soyabean Casein Digest Medium (SCDM), Luria Bertani agar (LBA), and Reasoner's 2A agar (R2A) media resulted in 19, 6, 4, and 4 isolates, respectively, producing a total of 33 distinct bacterial isolates. Species identification through 16SrRNA gene sequencing revealed that all isolates belonged to the Bacillota and Pseudomonadota phyla, encompassing 11 genera: Bacillus, Cytobacillus, Exiguobacterium, Terribacillus, Brevibacillus, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, Brucella, Novosphingobium, Lysobacter, and Pseudomonas. All bacterial isolates were tested for chitinase, protease, siderophore activity, and antibiotic sensitivity. Nine isolates exhibited chitinase activity, 28 showed protease activity, and 23 displayed siderophore activity. Most isolates were sensitive to antibiotics such as Vancomycin, Streptomycin, Erythromycin, Kanamycin, Doxycycline, Tetracycline, and Ciprofloxacin, while they demonstrated resistance to Bacitracin and Colistin. Understanding the culturable bacteria associated with cassava whitefly and their functional significance could contribute to developing effective cassava whitefly and CMD control in agriculture.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13205-024-03949-0.

RevDate: 2024-03-08

Hafer-Hahmann N, C Vorburger (2024)

Parasitoid species diversity has no effect on protective symbiont diversity in experimental host-parasitoid populations.

Ecology and evolution, 14(3):e11090 pii:ECE311090.

How does diversity in nature come about? One factor contributing to this diversity are species interactions; diversity on one trophic level can shape diversity on lower or higher trophic levels. For example, parasite diversity enhances host immune diversity. Insect protective symbionts mediate host resistance and are, therefore, also engaged in reciprocal selection with their host's parasites. Here, we applied experimental evolution in a well-known symbiont-aphid-parasitoid system to study whether parasitoid diversity contributes to maintaining symbiont genetic diversity. We used caged populations of black bean aphids (Aphis fabae), containing uninfected individuals and individuals infected with different strains of the bacterial endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa, which protects aphids against parasitoids. Over multiple generations, these populations were exposed to three different species of parasitoid wasps (Aphidius colemani, Binodoxys acalephae or Lysiphlebus fabarum), simultaneous or sequential mixtures of these species or no wasps. Surprisingly, we observed little selection for H. defensa in most treatments, even when it clearly provided protection against a fatal parasitoid infection. This seemed to be caused by high induced costs of resistance: aphids surviving parasitoid attacks suffered an extreme reduction in fitness. In marked contrast to previous studies looking at the effect of different genotypes of a single parasitoid species, we found little evidence for a diversifying effect of multiple parasitoid species on symbiont diversity in hosts.

RevDate: 2024-03-07

Kaur R, McGarry A, Shropshire JD, et al (2024)

Prophage proteins alter long noncoding RNA and DNA of developing sperm to induce a paternal-effect lethality.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 383(6687):1111-1117.

The extent to which prophage proteins interact with eukaryotic macromolecules is largely unknown. In this work, we show that cytoplasmic incompatibility factor A (CifA) and B (CifB) proteins, encoded by prophage WO of the endosymbiont Wolbachia, alter long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) and DNA during Drosophila sperm development to establish a paternal-effect embryonic lethality known as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). CifA is a ribonuclease (RNase) that depletes a spermatocyte lncRNA important for the histone-to-protamine transition of spermiogenesis. Both CifA and CifB are deoxyribonucleases (DNases) that elevate DNA damage in late spermiogenesis. lncRNA knockdown enhances CI, and mutagenesis links lncRNA depletion and subsequent sperm chromatin integrity changes to embryonic DNA damage and CI. Hence, prophage proteins interact with eukaryotic macromolecules during gametogenesis to create a symbiosis that is fundamental to insect evolution and vector control.

RevDate: 2024-03-06

Manentzos AN, Pahl AMC, Melloh P, et al (2024)

Low prevalence of secondary endosymbionts in aphids sampled from rapeseed crops in Germany.

Bulletin of entomological research pii:S0007485324000063 [Epub ahead of print].

Peach-potato aphids, Myzus persicae Sulzer (Hemiptera:Aphididae), and cabbage aphids, Brevicoryne brassicae Linnaeus (Hemiptera:Aphididae), are herbivorous insects of significant agricultural importance. Aphids can harbour a range of non-essential (facultative) endosymbiotic bacteria that confer multiple costs and benefits to the host aphid. A key endosymbiont-derived phenotype is protection against parasitoid wasps, and this protective phenotype has been associated with several defensive enodsymbionts. In recent years greater emphasis has been placed on developing alternative pest management strategies, including the increased use of natural enemies such as parasitoids wasps. For the success of aphid control strategies to be estimated the presence of defensive endosymbionts that can potentially disrupt the success of biocontrol agents needs to be determined in natural aphid populations. Here, we sampled aphids and mummies (parasitised aphids) from an important rapeseed production region in Germany and used multiplex PCR assays to characterise the endosymbiont communities. We found that aphids rarely harboured facultative endosymbionts, with 3.6% of M. persicae and 0% of B. brassicae populations forming facultative endosymbiont associations. This is comparable with endosymbiont prevalence described for M. persicae populations surveyed in Australia, Europe, Chile, and USA where endosymbiont infection frequencies range form 0-2%, but is in contrast with observations from China where M. persicae populations have more abundant and diverse endosymbiotic communities (endosymbionts present in over 50% of aphid populations).

RevDate: 2024-03-05

Molina-Garza ZJ, Cuesy-León M, Baylón-Pacheco L, et al (2024)

Diversity of midgut microbiota in ticks collected from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from northern Mexico.

Parasites, hosts and diseases, 62(1):117-130.

Ticks host different pathogens as endosymbiont and nonpathogenic microorganisms and play an important role in reproductive fitness and nutrient provision. However, the bacterial microbiomes of white-tailed deer ticks have received minimal attention. This study aimed to examine the bacterial microbiome of ticks collected from Odocoileus virginianus on the Mexico-United States border to assess differences in microbiome diversity in ticks of different species, sexes, and localities. Five different tick species were collected: Rhipicephalus microplus, Dermacentor nitens, Otobius megnini, Amblyomma cajennense, and A. maculatum. The tick microbiomes were analyzed using next-generation sequencing. Among all tick species, the most predominant phylum was Proteobacteria, followed by Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. The ticks from Tamaulipas and Nuevo León presented the highest bacterial species diversity. Acinetobacter johnsonii and A. lwoffii were the common bacterial species in the microbiome of all ticks, Coxiella were present in R. microplus, and Dermacentor nitens also exhibited a Francisella-like endosymbiont. The microbiome of most females in D. nitens was less diverse than that of males, whereas R. microplus occurs in females, suggesting that microbiome diversity is influenced by sex. In the bacterial communities of A. maculatum and O. megnini, Candidatus Midichloria massiliensis, and Candidatus Endoecteinascidia fumentensis were the most predominant endosymbionts. These results constitute the initial report on these bacteria, and this is also the first study to characterize the microbiome of O. megnini.

RevDate: 2024-03-05

González Porras MÁ, Pons I, García-Lozano M, et al (2024)

Extracellular symbiont colonizes insect during embryo development.

ISME communications, 4(1):ycae005.

Insects typically acquire their beneficial microbes early in development. Endosymbionts housed intracellularly are commonly integrated during oogenesis or embryogenesis, whereas extracellular microbes are only known to be acquired after hatching by immature instars such as larvae or nymphs. Here, however, we report on an extracellular symbiont that colonizes its host during embryo development. Tortoise beetles (Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae) host their digestive bacterial symbiont Stammera extracellularly within foregut symbiotic organs and in ovary-associated glands to ensure its vertical transmission. We outline the initial stages of symbiont colonization and observe that although the foregut symbiotic organs develop 3 days prior to larval emergence, they remain empty until the final 24 h of embryo development. Infection by Stammera occurs during that timeframe and prior to hatching. By experimentally manipulating symbiont availability to embryos in the egg, we describe a 12-h developmental window governing colonization by Stammera. Symbiotic organs form normally in aposymbiotic larvae, demonstrating that these Stammera-bearing structures develop autonomously. In adults, the foregut symbiotic organs are already colonized following metamorphosis and host a stable Stammera population to facilitate folivory. The ovary-associated glands, however, initially lack Stammera. Symbiont abundance subsequently increases within these transmission organs, thereby ensuring sufficient titers at the onset of oviposition ~29 days following metamorphosis. Collectively, our findings reveal that Stammera colonization precedes larval emergence, where its proliferation is eventually decoupled in adult beetles to match the nutritional and reproductive requirements of its host.

RevDate: 2024-03-04

Tan KXY, S Shigenobu (2024)

In vivo interference of pea aphid endosymbiont Buchnera groEL gene by synthetic peptide nucleic acids.

Scientific reports, 14(1):5378.

The unculturable nature of intracellular obligate symbionts presents a significant challenge for elucidating gene functionality, necessitating the development of gene manipulation techniques. One of the best-studied obligate symbioses is that between aphids and the bacterial endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola. Given the extensive genome reduction observed in Buchnera, the remaining genes are crucial for understanding the host-symbiont relationship, but a lack of tools for manipulating gene function in the endosymbiont has significantly impeded the exploration of the molecular mechanisms underlying this mutualism. In this study, we introduced a novel gene manipulation technique employing synthetic single-stranded peptide nucleic acids (PNAs). We targeted the critical Buchnera groEL using specially designed antisense PNAs conjugated to an arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptide (CPP). Within 24 h of PNA administration via microinjection, we observed a significant reduction in groEL expression and Buchnera cell count. Notably, the interference of groEL led to profound morphological malformations in Buchnera, indicative of impaired cellular integrity. The gene knockdown technique developed in this study, involving the microinjection of CPP-conjugated antisense PNAs, provides a potent approach for in vivo gene manipulation of unculturable intracellular symbionts, offering valuable insights into their biology and interactions with hosts.

RevDate: 2024-03-04

Dye D, JW Cain (2024)

Efficacy of Wolbachia-based mosquito control: Predictions of a spatially discrete mathematical model.

PloS one, 19(3):e0297964 pii:PONE-D-23-27458.

Wolbachia is an endosymbiont bacterium present in many insect species. When Wolbachia-carrying male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes mate with non-carrier females, their embryos are not viable due to cytoplasmic incompatibility. This phenomenon has been exploited successfully for the purpose of controlling mosquito populations and the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses: Wolbachia carriers are bred and released into the environment. Because Wolbachia is not harmful to humans, this method of mosquito control is regarded as a safer alternative to pesticide spraying. In this article, we introduce a mathematical framework for exploring (i) whether a one-time release of Wolbachia carriers can elicit a sustained presence of carriers near the release site, and (ii) the extent to which spatial propagation of carriers may allow them to establish fixation in other territories. While some prior studies have formulated mosquito dispersal models using advection-reaction-diffusion PDEs, the predictive power of such models requires careful ecological mapping: advection and diffusion coefficients exhibit significant spatial dependence due to heterogeneity of resources and topography. Here, we adopt a courser-grained view, regarding the environment as a network of discrete, diffusively-coupled "habitats"-distinct zones of high mosquito density such as stagnant ponds. We extend two previously published single-habitat mosquito models to multiple habitats, and calculate rates of migration between pairs of habitats using dispersal kernels. Our primary results are quantitative estimates regarding how the success of carrier fixation in one or more habitats is determined by: the number of carriers released, sizes of habitats, distances between habitats, and the rate of migration between habitats. Besides yielding sensible and potentially useful predictions regarding the success of Wolbachia-based control, our framework applies to other approaches (e.g., gene drives) and contexts beyond the realm of insect pest control.

RevDate: 2024-03-02

Walt HK, King JG, Sheele JM, et al (2024)

Do bed bugs transmit human viruses, or do humans spread bed bugs and their viruses? A worldwide survey of the bed bug RNA virosphere.

Virus research pii:S0168-1702(24)00042-X [Epub ahead of print].

BED BUGS (HEMIPTERA: : Cimicidae) are a globally distributed hematophagous pest that routinely feed on humans. Unlike many blood-sucking arthropods, they have never been linked to pathogen transmission in a natural setting, and despite increasing interest in their role as disease vectors, little is known about the viruses that bed bugs naturally harbor. Here, we present a global-scale survey of the bed bug RNA virosphere. We sequenced the metatranscriptomes of 22 individual bed bugs (Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus) from 8 locations around the world. We detected sequences from two known bed bug viruses (Shuangao bedbug virus 1 and Shuangao bedbug virus 2) which extends their geographical range. We identified three novel bed bug virus sequences from a tenui-like virus (Bunyavirales), a toti-like virus (Ghabrivirales), and a luteo-like virus (Tolivirales). Interestingly, some of the bed bug viruses branch near to insect-transmitted plant-infecting viruses, opening questions regarding the evolution of plant virus infection. When we analyzed the viral sequences by their host's collection location, we found unexpected patterns of geographical diversity that may reflect humans' role in bed bug dispersal. Additionally, we investigated the effect that Wolbachia, the primary bed bug endosymbiont, may have on viral abundance and found that Wolbachia infection neither promotes nor inhibits viral infection. Finally, our results provide no evidence that bed bugs transmit any known human pathogenic viruses.


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
961 Red Tail Lane
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 large collection of user-selected side-by-side timelines (e.g., all science vs. all other categories, or arts and culture vs. world history), designed to provide a comparative context for appreciating world events.


Biographical information about many key scientists (e.g., Walter Sutton).

Selected Bibliographies

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

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