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Bibliography on: Wolbachia

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 02 Dec 2023 at 01:57 Created: 


WIKIPEDIA: Wolbachia is a genus of bacteria which "infects" (usually as intracellular symbionts) arthropod species, including a high proportion of insects, as well as some nematodes. It is one of the world's most common parasitic microbes and is possibly the most common reproductive parasite in the biosphere. Its interactions with its hosts are often complex, and in some cases have evolved to be mutualistic rather than parasitic. Some host species cannot reproduce, or even survive, without Wolbachia infection. One study concluded that more than 16% of neotropical insect species carry bacteria of this genus, and as many as 25 to 70 percent of all insect species are estimated to be potential hosts. Wolbachia also harbor a temperate bacteriophage called WO. Comparative sequence analyses of bacteriophage WO offer some of the most compelling examples of large-scale horizontal gene transfer between Wolbachia coinfections in the same host. It is the first bacteriophage implicated in frequent lateral transfer between the genomes of bacterial endosymbionts. Gene transfer by bacteriophages could drive significant evolutionary change in the genomes of intracellular bacteria that were previously considered highly stable or prone to loss of genes overtime. Outside of insects, Wolbachia infects a variety of isopod species, spiders, mites, and many species of filarial nematodes (a type of parasitic worm), including those causing onchocerciasis ("River Blindness") and elephantiasis in humans as well as heartworms in dogs. Not only are these disease-causing filarial worms infected with Wolbachia, but Wolbachia seem to play an inordinate role in these diseases. A large part of the pathogenicity of filarial nematodes is due to host immune response toward their Wolbachia. Elimination of Wolbachia from filarial nematodes generally results in either death or sterility of the nematode.

Created with PubMed® Query: wolbachia NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-12-01

Lühken R, Brattig N, N Becker (2023)

Introduction of invasive mosquito species into Europe and prospects for arbovirus transmission and vector control in an era of globalization.

Infectious diseases of poverty, 12(1):109.

BACKGROUND: Mosquito research in Europe has a long history, primarily focused on malaria vectors. In recent years, invasive mosquito species like the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the spread of arboviruses like dengue virus, chikungunya virus or bluetongue virus have led to an intensification of research and monitoring in Europe. The risk of further dissemination of exotic species and mosquito-borne pathogens is expected to increase with ongoing globalization, human mobility, transport geography, and climate warming. Researchers have conducted various studies to understand the ecology, biology, and effective control strategies of mosquitoes and associated pathogens.

MAIN BODY: Three invasive mosquito species are established in Europe: Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), Japanese bush mosquito (Ae. japonicus), and Korean bush mosquito (Aedes koreicus). Ae. albopictus is the most invasive species and has been established in Europe since 1990. Over the past two decades, there has been an increasing number of outbreaks of infections by mosquito-borne viruses in particular chikungunya virus, dengue virus or Zika virus in Europe primary driven by Ae. albopictus. At the same time, climate change with rising temperatures results in increasing threat of invasive mosquito-borne viruses, in particular Usutu virus and West Nile virus transmitted by native Culex mosquito species. Effective mosquito control programs require a high level of community participation, going along with comprehensive information campaigns, to ensure source reduction and successful control. Control strategies for container breeding mosquitoes like Ae. albopictus or Culex species involve community participation, door-to-door control activities in private areas. Further measures can involve integration of sterile insect techniques, applying indigenous copepods, Wolbachia sp. bacteria, or genetically modified mosquitoes, which is very unlike to be practiced as standard method in the near future.

CONCLUSIONS: Climate change and globalization resulting in the increased establishment of invasive mosquitoes in particular of the Asian tiger mosquito Ae. albopictus in Europe within the last 30 years and increasing outbreaks of infections by mosquito-borne viruses warrants intensification of research and monitoring. Further, effective future mosquito control programs require increase in intense community and private participation, applying physical, chemical, biological, and genetical control activities.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Ngnindji-Youdje Y, Lontsi-Demano M, Diarra AZ, et al (2023)

Morphological, molecular, and MALDI-TOF MS identification of bed bugs and associated Wolbachia species from Cameroon.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(23)00273-5 [Epub ahead of print].

After vanishing from the public eye for more than 50 years, bed bugs have resurged to become one of the most widely discussed and heavily researched insect pests in the world. This study presents the basic information of infestations of tropical bed bugs, Cimex hemipterus (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), in Cameroon. A total of 248 immature stage and adult bed bug specimens were collected from households and a travel agency in Yaoundé and Douala, Cameroon. The ability of MALDI-TOF MS to identify bed bugs was tested using heads for adults and cephalothoraxes for immature stages. Microorganism screening was performed by qPCR and confirmed by regular PCR and sequencing. Based on morphometrical criteria, four stages of immature bed bugs are represented. Of the 248 bed bug specimens morphologically identified as Cimex hemipterus, 246 (77 males, 65 females and 104 immature specimens) were submitted to MALDI-TOF MS analysis. Of the 222 adults and immature specimens tested, 122 (59.9%) produced good quality MALDI-TOF MS spectra (35 adults and 87 immature specimens). Blind testing allowed species level identification of 98.21% of adult and immature C. hemipterus. Among the bacteria tested, only Wolbachia DNA was found in 12/246 (4.8%) bed bugs. More surveys in the country are warranted to assess the true level of bed bug infestations, in order to take appropriate action for their control.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Velez ID, Tanamas SK, Arbelaez MP, et al (2023)

Reduced dengue incidence following city-wide wMel Wolbachia mosquito releases throughout three Colombian cities: Interrupted time series analysis and a prospective case-control study.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 17(11):e0011713 pii:PNTD-D-23-00545.

BACKGROUND: The introduction of Wolbachia (wMel strain) into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes reduces their capacity to transmit dengue and other arboviruses. Randomised and non-randomised studies in multiple countries have shown significant reductions in dengue incidence following field releases of wMel-infected Ae. aegypti. We report the public health outcomes from phased, large-scale releases of wMel-Ae. aegypti mosquitoes throughout three contiguous cities in the Aburrá Valley, Colombia.

Following pilot releases in 2015-2016, staged city-wide wMel-Ae. aegypti deployments were undertaken in the cities of Bello, Medellín and Itagüí (3.3 million people) between October 2016 and April 2022. The impact of the Wolbachia intervention on dengue incidence was evaluated in two parallel studies. A quasi-experimental study using interrupted time series analysis showed notified dengue case incidence was reduced by 95% in Bello and Medellín and 97% in Itagüí, following establishment of wMel at ≥60% prevalence, compared to the pre-intervention period and after adjusting for seasonal trends. A concurrent clinic-based case-control study with a test-negative design was unable to attain the target sample size of 63 enrolled virologically-confirmed dengue (VCD) cases between May 2019 and December 2021, consistent with low dengue incidence throughout the Aburrá Valley following wMel deployments. Nevertheless, VCD incidence was 45% lower (OR 0.55 [95% CI 0.25, 1.17]) and combined VCD/presumptive dengue incidence was 47% lower (OR 0.53 [95% CI 0.30, 0.93]) among participants resident in wMel-treated versus untreated neighbourhoods.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Stable introduction of wMel into local Ae. aegypti populations was associated with a significant and sustained reduction in dengue incidence across three Colombian cities. These results from the largest contiguous Wolbachia releases to-date demonstrate the real-world effectiveness of the method across large urban populations and, alongside previously published results, support the reproducibility of this effectiveness across different ecological settings.


RevDate: 2023-11-30

Velez ID, Uribe A, Barajas J, et al (2023)

Large-scale releases and establishment of wMel Wolbachia in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes throughout the Cities of Bello, Medellín and Itagüí, Colombia.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 17(11):e0011642 pii:PNTD-D-23-00541.

BACKGROUND: The wMel strain of Wolbachia has been successfully introduced into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and has been shown to reduce the transmission of dengue and other Aedes-borne viruses. Here we report the entomological results from phased, large-scale releases of Wolbachia infected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes throughout three contiguous cities located in the Aburrá Valley, Colombia.

Local wMel Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes were generated and then released in an initial release pilot area in 2015-2016, which resulted in the establishment of Wolbachia in the local mosquito populations. Subsequent large-scale releases, mainly involving vehicle-based releases of adult mosquitoes along publicly accessible roads and streets, were undertaken across 29 comunas throughout Bello, Medellín and Itagüí Colombia between 2017-2022. In 9 comunas these were supplemented by egg releases that were undertaken by staff or community members. By the most recent monitoring, Wolbachia was found to be stable and established at consistent levels in local mosquito populations (>60% prevalence) in the majority (67%) of areas.

CONCLUSION: These results, from the largest contiguous releases of wMel Wolbachia mosquitoes to date, highlight the operational feasibility of implementing the method in large urban settings. Based on results from previous studies, we expect that Wolbachia establishment will be sustained long term. Ongoing monitoring will confirm Wolbachia persistence in local mosquito populations and track its establishment in the remaining areas.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

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

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

Current research in parasitology & vector-borne diseases, 4:100148 pii:S2667-114X(23)00036-5.

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

RevDate: 2023-11-29

McPherson AE, Abram PK, Curtis CI, et al (2023)

Dynamic changes in Wolbachia infection over a single generation of Drosophila suzukii, across a wide range of resource availability.

Ecology and evolution, 13(11):e10722 pii:ECE310722.

Wolbachia bacteria are maternally inherited symbionts that commonly infect terrestrial arthropods. Many Wolbachia reach high frequencies in their hosts by manipulating their reproduction, for example by causing reproductive incompatibilities between infected male and uninfected female hosts. However, not all strains manipulate reproduction, and a key unresolved question is how these non-manipulative Wolbachia persist in their hosts, often at intermediate to high frequencies. One such strain, wSuz, infects the invasive fruit pest Drosophila suzukii, spotted-wing drosophila. Here, we tested the hypothesis that wSuz infection provides a competitive benefit when resources are limited. Over the course of one season, we established population cages with varying amounts of food in a semi-field setting and seeded them with a 50:50 mixture of flies with and without Wolbachia. We predicted that Wolbachia-infected individuals should have higher survival and faster development than their uninfected counterparts when there was little available food. We found that while food availability strongly impacted fly fitness, there was no difference in development times or survival between Wolbachia-infected and uninfected flies. Interestingly, however, Wolbachia infection frequencies changed dramatically, with infections either increasing or decreasing by as much as 30% in a single generation, suggesting the possibility of unidentified factors shaping Wolbachia infection over the course of the season.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Dai X, Quan Q, J Jiao (2023)

Modelling and analysis of periodic impulsive releases of the Nilaparvata lugens infected with wStri-Wolbachia.

Journal of biological dynamics, 17(1):2287077.

In this paper, we formulate a population suppression model and a population replacement model with periodic impulsive releases of Nilaparvata lugens infected with wStri. The conditions for the stability of wild-N.lugens-eradication periodic solution of two systems are obtained by applying the Floquet theorem and comparison theorem. And the sufficient conditions for the persistence in the mean of wild N.lugens are also given. In addition, the sufficient conditions for the extinction and persistence of the wild N.lugens in the subsystem without wLug are also obtained. Finally, we give numerical analysis which shows that increasing the release amount or decreasing the release period are beneficial for controlling the wild N.lugens, and the efficiency of population replacement strategy in controlling wild populations is higher than that of population suppression strategy under the same release conditions.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Zhang H, Trueman E, Hou X, et al (2023)

Different mechanisms of X-ray irradiation-induced male and female sterility in Aedes aegypti.

BMC biology, 21(1):274.

BACKGROUND: Aedes aegypti (Ae. aegypti) is the major vector that transmits many diseases including dengue, Zika, and filariasis in tropical and subtropical regions. Due to the growing resistance to chemical-based insecticides, biological control methods have become an emerging direction to control mosquito populations. The sterile insect technique (SIT) deploys high doses of ionizing radiation to sterilize male mosquitoes before the release. The Wolbachia-based population suppression method of the incompatible insect technique (IIT) involves the release of Wolbachia-infected males to sterilize uninfected field females. Due to the lack of perfect sex separation tools, a low percentage of female contamination is detected in the male population. To prevent the unintentional release of these Wolbachia-infected females which might result in population replacement, a low dose of X-ray irradiation is deployed to sterilize any female escapees. However, it remains unclear whether these irradiation-induced male and female sterilizations share common mechanisms.

RESULTS: In this work, we set out to define the minimum dose of X-ray radiation required for complete female sterilization in Ae. aegypti (NEA-EHI strain). Further results showed that this minimum dose of X-ray irradiation for female sterilization significantly reduced male fertility. Similar results have been reported previously in several operational trials. By addressing the underlying causes of the sterility, our results showed that male sterility is likely due to chromosomal damage in the germ cells induced by irradiation. In contrast, female sterility appears to differ and is likely initiated by the elimination of the somatic supporting cells, which results in the blockage of the ovariole maturation. Building upon these findings, we identified the minimum dose of X-ray irradiation on the Wolbachia-infected NEA-EHI (wAlbB-SG) strain, which is currently being used in the IIT-SIT field trial. Compared to the uninfected parental strain, a lower irradiation dose could fully sterilize wAlbB-SG females. This suggests that Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes are more sensitive to irradiation, consistent with a previous report showing that a lower irradiation dose fully sterilized Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti females (Brazil and Mexican strains) compared to those uninfected controls.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings thus reveal the distinct mechanisms of ionizing X-ray irradiation-induced male or female sterility in Ae. aegypti mosquitoes, which may help the design of X-ray irradiation-based vector control methods.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Oliveira TMP, Rojas MVR, Amorim JA, et al (2023)

Bacterial diversity on larval and female Mansonia spp. from different localities of Porto Velho, Rondonia, Brazil.

PloS one, 18(11):e0293946 pii:PONE-D-23-18212.

Studies based on the bacterial diversity present in Mansonia spp. are limited; therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the bacterial diversity in females and larvae of Mansonia spp., describe the differences between the groups identified, and compare the microbiota of larvae from different collection sites. Sequences of the 16S rRNA region from the larvae and females of Mansonia spp. were analyzed. Diversity analyzes were performed to verify the possible bacterial differences between the groups and the collection sites. The results showed Pseudomonas was the most abundant genus in both females and larvae, followed by Wolbachia in females and Rikenellaceae and Desulfovibrio in larvae. Desulfovibrio and Sulfurospirillum, sulfate- and sulfur-reducing bacteria, respectively, were abundant on the larvae. Aminomonas, an amino acid-degrading bacterium, was found only in larvae, whereas Rickettsia was identified in females. Bacterial diversity was observed between females and larvae of Mansonia and between larvae from different collection sites. In addition, the results suggest that the environment influenced bacterial diversity.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Serbus LR (2024)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Bordenstein SR (2024)

Isolation of Phage WO Particles from Wolbachia-Infected Arthropods.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:337-348.

Nearly all arthropod-associated Wolbachia contain intact and/or genomic remnants of phage WO, temperate bacteriophages that facilitate horizontal gene transfer, genomic rearrangement of the bacterial chromosome, and symbiotic interactions between Wolbachia and their arthropod hosts. Integrated prophage WO genomes produce active, lytic particles; but the lack of a cell-free culturing system for Wolbachia render them difficult to purify and study. This chapter describes polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation of phage particles from Wolbachia-infected arthropods, followed by confirmation of phage WO isolation and purification using electron microscopy and PCR.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Murphy RO, JF Beckmann (2024)

Using Baker's Yeast to Determine Functions of Novel Wolbachia (and Other Prokaryotic) Effectors.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:321-336.

Yeasts are single-celled eukaryotic organisms classified as fungi, mostly in the phylum Ascomycota. Of about 1500 named species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as baker's yeast, domesticated by humans in the context of cooking and brewing, is a profound genetic tool for exploring functions of novel effector proteins from Wolbachia and prokaryotes in general. Wolbachia is a Gram-negative alpha-proteobacterium that infects up to ~75% of all insects as an obligate intracellular microbe (Jeyaprakash A, Hoy MA, Insect Mol Biol 9:393-405, 2000). Wolbachia's lifestyle presents unique challenges for researchers. Wolbachia cannot be axenically cultured and has never been genetically manipulated. Furthermore, many Wolbachia genes have no known function or well-annotated orthologs in other genomes. Yet given the effects of Wolbachia on host phenotypes, which have considerable practical applications for pest control, they undoubtedly involve secreted effector proteins that interact with host gene products. Studying these effectors is challenging with Wolbachia's current genetic limitations. However, some of the constraints to working with Wolbachia can be overcome by expressing candidate proteins in S. cerevisiae. This approach capitalizes on yeast's small genome (~6500 genes), typical eukaryotic cellular organization, and the sophisticated suite of genetic tools available for its manipulation in culture. Thus, yeast can serve as a powerful mock eukaryotic host background to study Wolbachia effector function. Specifically, yeast is used for recombinant protein expression, drug discovery, protein localization studies, protein interaction mapping (yeast two-hybrid system), modeling chromosomal evolution, and examining interactions between proteins responsible for complex phenotypes in less tractable prokaryotic systems. As an example, the paired genes responsible for Wolbachia-mediated cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) encode novel proteins with limited homology to other known proteins, and no obvious function. This article details how S. cerevisiae was used as an initial staging ground to explore the molecular basis of one of Wolbachia's trademark phenotypes (CI).

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Cortez CT, Murphy RO, Owens IM, et al (2024)

Use of Drosophila Transgenics to Identify Functions for Symbiont Effectors.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:301-320.

Wolbachia, one of the most successful and studied insect symbionts, and Drosophila, one of the most understood model insects, can be exploited as complementary tools to unravel mechanisms of insect symbiosis. Although Wolbachia itself cannot be grown axenically as clonal isolates or genetically manipulated by standard methods, its reproductive phenotypes, including cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), have been elucidated using well-developed molecular tools and precise transgenic manipulations available for Drosophila melanogaster. Current research only scratches the surface of how Drosophila can provide a tool for understanding Wolbachia's evolutionary success and the molecular roles of its genetic elements. Here, we briefly outline basic methodologies inherent to transgenic Drosophila systems that have already contributed significant advances in understanding CI, but may be unfamiliar to those who lack experience in Drosophila genetics. In the future, these approaches will continue providing significant insights into Wolbachia that undoubtedly will be extended to other insect symbionts and their biological capabilities.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Valerio F, Twort VG, A Duplouy (2024)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Valerio F, Twort VG, A Duplouy (2024)

Screening Host Genomic Data for Wolbachia Infections.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:251-274.

Less than a decade ago, the production of Wolbachia genomic assemblies was tedious, time-consuming, and expensive. The production of Wolbachia genomic DNA free of contamination from host DNA, as required for Wolbachia-targeted sequencing, was then only possible after the amplification and extraction of a large amount of clonal Wolbachia DNA. However, as an endosymbiotic bacterium, Wolbachia does not grow outside the host cell environment, and large-scale recovery of the bacteria required mass rearing of their host, preferably clones of a single individual to avoid strain genetic diversity, or amplification of cell cultures infected with a single Wolbachia strain. Bacterial DNA could be separated from host DNA based on genomic size. Nowadays, the production of full Wolbachia genomes does not require the physical isolation of the bacterial strains from their respective hosts, and the bacterium is often sequenced as a by-catch of host genomic projects. Here, we provide a step-by-step protocol to (1) identify whether host genome projects contain reads from associated Wolbachia and (2) isolate/retrieve the Wolbachia reads from the rest of the sequenced material. We hope this simple protocol will support many projects aiming at studying diverse Wolbachia genome assemblies.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Chrostek E (2024)

Procedures for the Detection of Wolbachia-Conferred Antiviral Protection in Drosophila melanogaster.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:219-237.

Spread of Wolbachia infections in host populations may be enhanced by Wolbachia-conferred protection from viral pathogens. Wolbachia-infected Drosophila melanogaster survive the pathogenic effects of positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus infections at a higher rate than the flies without Wolbachia. The protection can occur with or without detectable reduction in virus titer. For the comparisons to be meaningful, Wolbachia-harboring and Wolbachia-free insects need to be genetically matched, and original populations of gut microbiota need to be restored after the removal of Wolbachia using antibiotics. Here, I describe the procedures needed to detect Wolbachia-conferred antiviral protection against Drosophila C virus measured as the difference in survival and viral titer between flies with and without Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Walker T (2024)

Detection of Natural Wolbachia Strains in Anopheles Mosquitoes.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Ross PA (2024)

Measuring Host Fitness Effects and Transmission of Wolbachia Strains in Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:189-203.

Lines of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with heritable Wolbachia bacteria are being developed and released for arbovirus control. Coordinated releases of lab-reared Wolbachia mosquitoes have reduced local disease incidence by spreading virus-blocking Wolbachia strains and by crashing mosquito populations through incompatible male releases. The phenotypic effects of Wolbachia are diverse and depend on both genetics and the environment. Accurate assessments of Wolbachia effects in mosquitoes are essential, as such effects can make the difference between success and failure of a Wolbachia release program. This chapter provides guidelines for testing key Wolbachia host effects and transmission in Aedes aegypti: the most important arbovirus vector and the most common target of Wolbachia release programs. The protocols should be useful for evaluating mosquito strains prior to field release.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Zhang M, Z Xi (2024)

Wolbachia Transinfection Via Embryonic Microinjection.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:175-188.

The process of transferring Wolbachia from one species to another to establish a stable, maternally inherited infection in the target species is known as transinfection. The success of transinfection is primarily achieved through embryonic microinjection, which is the most direct and efficient means of delivering Wolbachia into the germline of the target species and establishing stable maternal transmission. For the fundamental studies, transinfection is often used to characterize Wolbachia-host interactions, including Wolbachia host range, the role of host or bacterial factors in symbiosis, and evolution of Wolbachia-host associations. For the applied studies, use of transinfection to generate a novel infection in the target species is the first step to build the weapon for both population replacement and population suppression for controlling insect pests or their transmitted diseases. For the primary dengue vector Aedes aegypti and Anopheles vectors of malaria, which either do not naturally carry Wolbachia or are infected with strains that lack necessary features for implementation, transinfection can be established by introducing a novel strain capable of inducing both cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) and pathogen blocking. For A. albopictus and Culex mosquito species, which naturally harbor CI-inducing Wolbachia, transinfection can be achieved by either introducing a novel strain to generate superinfection or replacing the native infection with a different Wolbachia strain in a symbiont-free line, which is derived from antibiotic treatment of the wild type. Here, we use A. aegypti as an example to describe the Wolbachia transinfection method, which can be adapted to other insect species, such as planthoppers, according to their specific developmental requirements.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Fallon AM (2024)

Preparation of Infectious Wolbachia from a Mosquito Cell Line.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:157-171.

Eventual genetic engineering of Wolbachia will require maximizing recovery of infectious bacteria, maintaining Wolbachia in a viable state for efficient manipulation, and reinfection of host cells for propagation and expansion of recombinant progeny. Challenges to manipulating Wolbachia arise from its obligate intracellular lifestyle and inability to divide outside a host cell, requiring modifications of standard bacteriological methods. The Aedes albopictus C7-10 cell line has proven to be a good recipient for the Wolbachia supergroup B strain, wStri, from the planthopper Laodelphax striatellus; the persistently infected C/wStri1 population provides a source of wStri inoculum that can be used systematically to explore conditions that increase yields of infectious material from input Wolbachia and identify conditions conducive to Wolbachia replication. After reintroduction into naive, uninfected C7-10 cells, wStri recovery, relative to the input inoculum, is influenced by diverse conditions, such as the cell cycle arrest that follows treatment of infected host cells with the insect steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone. Pretreatment of recipient cells with mitomycin C, which cross-links DNA and inhibits host cell replication, can improve recovery from low levels of input Wolbachia. This protocol describes preparation of infectious inoculum from Aedes albopictus C/wStri1 cells and amplification of Wolbachia in mitomycin C-treated, uninfected C7-10 cells, followed by a brief description of conditions used for various small-scale manipulations of Wolbachia in infected cells.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Bishop C, S Asgari (2024)

Use of Antibiotics to Eliminate Wolbachia from Mosquitoes and Cell Culture.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:147-156.

Removal of Wolbachia from infected insects is required in most experimental settings when the effects of Wolbachia on biological traits, pathogen blocking, reproduction, and fitness are assessed. This is to ensure that the genetic backgrounds of Wolbachia-infected and uninfected insects are the same. Here, we describe methodologies used for the elimination of Wolbachia from insects and insect cell lines with antibiotics.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Madhav M, P James (2024)

Developing Wolbachia-Infected Cell Lines from Insects.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:137-145.

Wolbachia, an intracellular bacterium of arthropods, is an ideal candidate for use in the biological control of insect pests. The inability of Wolbachia to grow in the extracellular environment requires maintenance in live insects or insect cell cultures. Growing and adapting high-density Wolbachia in the targeted host cells improves the possibility of cross-species transinfection. Here, we describe a method for the establishment of a primary cell culture from insect embryos and its transinfection with Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Kaur A, AMV Brown (2024)

Detection and Analysis of Wolbachia in Plant-Parasitic Nematodes and Insights into Wolbachia Evolution.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:115-134.

Since the discovery of Wolbachia in plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs), there has been increased interest in this earliest branching clade that may hold important clues to early transitions in Wolbachia function in the Ecdysozoa. However, due to the specialized skills and equipment of nematology and the difficulty in culturing most PPNs, these PPN-type Wolbachia remain undersampled and poorly understood. To date, there are few established laboratory methods for working with PPN-type Wolbachia strains, and most research has relied on chance discovery and comparative genomics. Here, we address this challenge by providing detailed methods to assist researchers with more efficiently collecting PPNs and screen these communities, populations, or single nematodes with a newly developed PPN-type Wolbachia-specific PCR assay. We provide an overview of the typical yields and outcomes of these methods, to facilitate further targeted cultivation or experimental methods, and finally we provide a short introduction to some of the specific challenges and solutions in following through with comparative or population genomics on PPN-type Wolbachia strains.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Kakumanu ML, Hickin ML, C Schal (2024)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Bertaux J, Raimond M, P Grève (2024)

Pillbug: A Toolbox for Feminisation.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:69-95.

Wolbachia-induced feminisation is an extended phenotype that has been observed in only three models: isopods, butterflies and leafhoppers. Even among these, the process of feminisation differs markedly, especially since sexual differentiation is coordinated body-wide by a hormone in isopods, whereas in insects it is a chromosomally determined process and enforced cell by cell. For isopods, Armadillidium vulgare has contributed substantially to an understanding of Wolbachia-mediated feminisation, because a wide array of know-how and methods has been tailored to this model. Here, we describe establishment and maintenance of Wolbachia-infected laboratory lineages from animals collected in the field, the grafting of an androgenic gland to demonstrate the mode of action of Wolbachia (i.e. the disruption of the Androgenic Hormone pathway), and transinfection of naïve adults with Wolbachia. Finally, we describe selection of a ZZ genetic background in lineages created from transinfected WZ females, which is necessary to benefit from a property intrinsic to the naturally infected lineages: In a ZZ background, the vertical transmission rate of Wolbachia directly equates to the female ratio in the progeny. These protocols provide the essential framework for investigating molecular aspects of Wolbachia-induced feminisation.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Fricke LC, ARI Lindsey (2024)

Examining Wolbachia-Induced Parthenogenesis in Hymenoptera.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:55-68.

The maternally transmitted reproductive manipulator Wolbachia can impact sex ratios of its arthropod host by different mechanisms, ultimately promoting the spread of infection across a population. One of these reproductive phenotypes, parthenogenesis induction (PI), is characterized by the asexual production of female offspring, which in many cases results in an entirely female population. Cases of Wolbachia-mediated PI are most common in the order Hymenoptera, specifically in parasitoid wasps. The complex sex determination pathways of hymenopterans, their diverse life histories, the multiple cytogenetic mechanisms of PI, and the lack of males make functional studies of parthenogenesis induction challenging. Here, we describe the mechanisms of PI, outline methods to recognize and cure PI-Wolbachia infection, and note possible complications when working with PI-Wolbachia strains and their parthenogenetic hosts.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Schedl ME, Nguyen NH, Unckless RL, et al (2024)

Maintenance and Evaluation of Wolbachia Male-Killers of Dipterans.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:29-53.

As research on Wolbachia male-killers of dipterans increases over time, several standard methods have emerged for the validation and characterization of these Wolbachia strains. Here, we describe typical steps for maintenance and evaluation of male-killers in the laboratory. Drosophila that host Wolbachia male-killers include both mushroom-feeders and flies reared on standard media, which require different maintenance protocols. In addition, male killing in flies typically occurs during embryonic development, and as such, many experiments require embryo tissue samples. We provide step-by-step instructions for standard methods of isolation, rearing, confirmation of Wolbachia male-killing as the basis of a sex ratio bias, and collection of embryos from these species. Thus, anyone intending to study a male-killer in the lab will have the complete set of protocols necessary to collect and rear them, validate them, and collect embryonic tissue for further study.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Namias A, Atyame C, Pasteur N, et al (2024)

Investigation of Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Patterns in Culex pipiens: From Field Samples to Laboratory Isofemale Lines.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2739:17-27.

This protocol describes approaches to qualify Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) patterns (compatible, uni or bidirectional) in crosses between two or more Culex pipiens isofemale lines, hosting different Wolbachia (wPip) strains. Here, we describe how to (1) collect the larvae in the field and grow them to the adult stage in the insectary, (2) set up isofemale lines in the insectary, (3) genetically characterize the wPip group of these lines, and (4) perform reciprocal crosses to qualify CI.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Fallon AM (2024)

Wolbachia: Advancing into a Second Century.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Garrigós M, Garrido M, Panisse G, et al (2023)

Interactions between West Nile Virus and the Microbiota of Culex pipiens Vectors: A Literature Review.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 12(11): pii:pathogens12111287.

The flavivirus West Nile virus (WNV) naturally circulates between mosquitoes and birds, potentially affecting humans and horses. Different species of mosquitoes play a role as vectors of WNV, with those of the Culex pipiens complex being particularly crucial for its circulation. Different biotic and abiotic factors determine the capacity of mosquitoes for pathogen transmission, with the mosquito gut microbiota being recognized as an important one. Here, we review the published studies on the interactions between the microbiota of the Culex pipiens complex and WNV infections in mosquitoes. Most articles published so far studied the interactions between bacteria of the genus Wolbachia and WNV infections, obtaining variable results regarding the directionality of this relationship. In contrast, only a few studies investigate the role of the whole microbiome or other bacterial taxa in WNV infections. These studies suggest that bacteria of the genera Serratia and Enterobacter may enhance WNV development. Thus, due to the relevance of WNV in human and animal health and the important role of mosquitoes of the Cx. pipiens complex in its transmission, more research is needed to unravel the role of mosquito microbiota and those factors affecting this microbiota on pathogen epidemiology. In this respect, we finally propose future lines of research lines on this topic.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

El Yamlahi Y, Bel Mokhtar N, Maurady A, et al (2023)

Characterization of the Bacterial Profile from Natural and Laboratory Glossina Populations.

Insects, 14(11): pii:insects14110840.

Tsetse flies (Glossina spp.; Diptera: Glossinidae) are viviparous flies that feed on blood and are found exclusively in sub-Saharan Africa. They are the only cyclic vectors of African trypanosomes, responsible for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) and animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT). In this study, we employed high throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to unravel the diversity of symbiotic bacteria in five wild and three laboratory populations of tsetse species (Glossina pallidipes, G. morsitans, G. swynnertoni, and G. austeni). The aim was to assess the dynamics of bacterial diversity both within each laboratory and wild population in relation to the developmental stage, insect age, gender, and location. Our results indicated that the bacterial communities associated with the four studied Glossina species were significantly influenced by their region of origin, with wild samples being more diverse compared to the laboratory samples. We also observed that the larval microbiota was significantly different than the adults. Furthermore, the sex and the species did not significantly influence the formation of the bacterial profile of the laboratory colonies once these populations were kept under the same rearing conditions. In addition, Wigglesworthia, Acinetobacter, and Sodalis were the most abundant bacterial genera in all the samples, while Wolbachia was significantly abundant in G. morsitans compared to the other studied species. The operational taxonomic unit (OTU) co-occurrence network for each location (VVBD insectary, Doma, Makao, and Msubugwe) indicated a high variability between G. pallidipes and the other species in terms of the number of mutual exclusion and copresence interactions. In particular, some bacterial genera, like Wigglesworthia and Sodalis, with high relative abundance, were also characterized by a high degree of interactions.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Bannister-Tyrrell M, Hillman A, Indriani C, et al (2023)

Utility of surveillance data for planning for dengue elimination in Yogyakarta, Indonesia: a scenario-tree modelling approach.

BMJ global health, 8(11):.

INTRODUCTION: Field trials and modelling studies suggest that elimination of dengue transmission may be possible through widespread release of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the insect bacterium Wolbachia pipientis (wMel strain), in conjunction with routine dengue control activities. This study aimed to develop a modelling framework to guide planning for the potential elimination of locally acquired dengue in Yogyakarta, a city of almost 400 000 people in Java, Indonesia.

METHODS: A scenario-tree modelling approach was used to estimate the sensitivity of the dengue surveillance system (including routine hospital-based reporting and primary-care-based enhanced surveillance), and time required to demonstrate elimination of locally acquired dengue in Yogyakarta city, assuming the detected incidence of dengue decreases to zero in the future. Age and gender were included as risk factors for dengue, and detection nodes included the probability of seeking care, probability of sample collection and testing, diagnostic test sensitivity and probability of case notification. Parameter distributions were derived from health system data or estimated by expert opinion. Alternative simulations were defined based on changes to key parameter values, separately and in combination.

RESULTS: For the default simulation, median surveillance system sensitivity was 0.131 (95% PI 0.111 to 0.152) per month. Median confidence in dengue elimination reached 80% after a minimum of 13 months of zero detected dengue cases and 90% confidence after 25 months, across different scenarios. The alternative simulations investigated produced relatively small changes in median system sensitivity and time to elimination.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that with a combination of hospital-based surveillance and enhanced clinic-based surveillance for dengue, an acceptable level of confidence (80% probability) in the elimination of locally acquired dengue can be reached within 2 years. Increasing the surveillance system sensitivity could shorten the time to first ascertainment of elimination of dengue and increase the level of confidence in elimination.

RevDate: 2023-11-20

Fukui T, Kiuchi T, Tomihara K, et al (2023)

Expression of the Wolbachia male-killing factor Oscar impairs dosage compensation in lepidopteran embryos.

FEBS letters [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia are intracellular bacteria in insects that can manipulate the sexual development and reproduction by male killing or other methods. We have recently identified a Wolbachia protein named Oscar that acts as a male-killing factor of lepidopteran insects. Oscar interacts with the Masculinizer (Masc) protein, which is required for both masculinization and dosage compensation (DC) in lepidopteran insects. Embryonic expression of Oscar inhibits masculinization and causes male killing in two lepidopteran species, Ostrinia furnacalis and Bombyx mori. However, it remains unknown whether Oscar-induced male killing is caused by a failure of DC. Here, we performed a transcriptome analysis of Oscar complementary RNA-injected O. furnacalis and B. mori embryos, and found that Oscar primarily targets the Masc protein, resulting in male killing by interfering with DC in lepidopteran insects.

RevDate: 2023-11-18

Pascar J, Middleton H, S Dorus (2023)

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

Microbiome, 11(1):255.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-16

Valdivia C, Newton JA, von Beeren C, et al (2023)

Microbial symbionts are shared between ants and their associated beetles.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The transmission of microbial symbionts across animal species could strongly affect their biology and evolution, but our understanding of transmission patterns and dynamics is limited. Army ants (Formicidae: Dorylinae) and their hundreds of closely associated insect guest species (myrmecophiles) can provide unique insights into interspecific microbial symbiont sharing. Here, we compared the microbiota of workers and larvae of the army ant Eciton burchellii with those of 13 myrmecophile beetle species using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. We found that the previously characterized specialized bacterial symbionts of army ant workers were largely absent from ant larvae and myrmecophiles, whose microbial communities were usually dominated by Rickettsia, Wolbachia, Rickettsiella and/or Weissella. Strikingly, different species of myrmecophiles and ant larvae often shared identical 16S rRNA genotypes of these common bacteria. Protein-coding gene sequences confirmed the close relationship of Weissella strains colonizing army ant larvae, some workers and several myrmecophile species. Unexpectedly, these strains were also similar to strains infecting dissimilar animals inhabiting very different habitats: trout and whales. Together, our data show that closely interacting species can share much of their microbiota, and some versatile microbial species can inhabit and possibly transmit across a diverse range of hosts and environments.

RevDate: 2023-11-14

Moldovan OT, Carrell AA, Bulzu PA, et al (2023)

The gut microbiome mediates adaptation to scarce food in Coleoptera.

Environmental microbiome, 18(1):80.

Beetles are ubiquitous cave invertebrates worldwide that adapted to scarce subterranean resources when they colonized caves. Here, we investigated the potential role of gut microbiota in the adaptation of beetles to caves from different climatic regions of the Carpathians. The beetles' microbiota was host-specific, reflecting phylogenetic and nutritional adaptation. The microbial community structure further resolved conspecific beetles by caves suggesting microbiota-host coevolution and influences by local environmental factors. The detritivore species hosted a variety of bacteria known to decompose and ferment organic matter, suggesting turnover and host cooperative digestion of the sedimentary microbiota and allochthonous-derived nutrients. The cave Carabidae, with strong mandibula, adapted to predation and scavenging of animal and plant remains, had distinct microbiota dominated by symbiotic lineages Spiroplasma or Wolbachia. All beetles had relatively high levels of fermentative Carnobacterium and Vagococcus involved in lipid accumulation and a reduction of metabolic activity, and both features characterize adaptation to caves.

RevDate: 2023-11-12

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-10

Bickerstaff JRM, Jordal BH, M Riegler (2023)

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

Heredity [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-11-10

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

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

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-09

Caamal-Chan MG, Barraza A, Loera-Muro A, et al (2023)

Bacterial communities of the psyllid pest Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae) Central haplotype of tomato crops cultivated at different locations of Mexico.

PeerJ, 11:e16347.

BACKGROUND: The psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli, is an insect vector of 'Candidatus Liberibacter' causing "Zebra chip" disease that affects potato and other Solanaceae crops worldwide. In the present study, we analyzed the bacterial communities associated with the insect vector Bactericera cockerelli central haplotype of tomato crop fields in four regions from Mexico.

METHODS: PCR was used to amplify the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene (mtCOI) and then analyze the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and phylogenetic analysis for haplotype identification of the isolated B. cockerelli. Moreover, we carried out the microbial diversity analysis of several B. cockerelli collected from four regions of Mexico through the NGS sequencing of 16S rRNA V3 region. Finally, Wolbachia was detected by the wsp gene PCR amplification, which is the B. cockerelli facultative symbiont. Also we were able to confirm the relationship with several Wolbachia strains by phylogenetic analysis.

RESULTS: Our results pointed that B. cockerelli collected in the four locations from Mexico (Central Mexico: Queretaro, and Northern Mexico: Sinaloa, Coahuila, and Nuevo Leon) were identified, such as the central haplotype. Analyses of the parameters of the composition, relative abundance, and diversity (Shannon index: 1.328 ± 0.472; Simpson index 0.582 ± 0.167), showing a notably relatively few microbial species in B. cockerelli. Analyses identified various facultative symbionts, particularly the Wolbachia (Rickettsiales: Anaplasmataceae) with a relative abundance higher. In contrast, the genera of Sodalis and 'Candidatus Carsonella' (Gammaproteobacteria: Oceanospirillales: Halomonadaceae) were identified with a relatively low abundance. On the other hand, the relative abundance for the genus 'Candidatus Liberibacter' was higher only for some of the locations analyzed. PCR amplification of a fragment of the gene encoding a surface protein (wsp) of Wolbachia and phylogenetic analysis corroborated the presence of this bacterium in the central haplotype. Beta-diversity analysis revealed that the presence of the genus 'Candidatus Liberibacter' influences the microbiota structure of this psyllid species.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data support that the members with the highest representation in microbial community of B. cockerelli central haplotype, comprise their obligate symbiont, Carsonella, and facultative symbionts. We also found evidence that among the factors analyzed, the presence of the plant pathogen affects the structure and composition of the bacterial community associated with B. cockerelli.

RevDate: 2023-11-09
CmpDate: 2023-11-09

Lenharo M (2023)

Dengue rates drop after release of modified mosquitoes in Colombia.

Nature, 623(7986):235-236.

RevDate: 2023-11-08

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

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

Microbiome, 11(1):246.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-11-06

André MR, Ikeda P, Lee DAB, et al (2023)

Characterization of the bacterial microbiome of non-hematophagous bats and associated ectoparasites from Brazil.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1261156.

INTRODUCTION: Bats, along with their ectoparasites, harbor a wide diversity of symbiotic and potential pathogenic bacteria. Despite the enormous diversity of bats (181 species), few studies aimed to investigate the bacterial microbiome of Brazilian chiropterans and associated ectoparasites. This study aimed to characterize the bacterial microbiome of non-hematophagous bats and associated Streblidae flies and Macronyssidae and Spinturnicidae mites in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, midwestern Brazil.

METHODS: Oral and rectal swabs were collected from 30 bats (Artibeus lituratus [n = 13], Artibeus planirostris [n  =  9], Eptesicus furinalis [n = 5], Carollia perspicillata [n = 2], and Platyrrhinus lineatus [n = 1]). In addition, a total of 58 mites (15 Macronyssidae and 43 Spinturnicidae) and 48 Streblidae bat flies were collected from the captured bats. After DNA extraction and purification, each sample's bacterial composition was analyzed with metagenomic sequencing.

RESULTS: The microbiome composition of both oral and rectal bat swab samples showed that Gammaproteobacteria was the most abundant bacterial class. Spiroplasma, Wolbachia and Bartonella represented the most abundant genera in Streblidae flies. While Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria) was the most abundant genus found in Spinturnicidae, Arsenophonus (Gammaproteobacteria) was found in high abundance in Macronyssidae mites. In addition to characterizing the microbiome of each sample at the class and genus taxonomic levels, we identified medically significant bacteria able to infect both animals and humans in oral (Streptococcus and Anaplasma) and rectal swabs (Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Escherichia, Enterococcus, Streptococcus), Macronyssidae (Anaplasma, Bartonella, Ehrlichia) and Spinturnicidae (Anaplasma, Bartonella) mites as well as Streblidae flies (Spiroplasma, Bartonella).

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Besides expanding the knowledge on the bacterial microbiome of non-hematophagous bats and Streblidae flies from Brazil, the present work showed, for the first time, the bacterial community of bat-associated Macronyssidae and Spinturnicidae mites.

RevDate: 2023-11-06

Mee L, SM Barribeau (2023)

Influence of social lifestyles on host-microbe symbioses in the bees.

Ecology and evolution, 13(11):e10679.

Microbiomes are increasingly recognised as critical for the health of an organism. In eusocial insect societies, frequent social interactions allow for high-fidelity transmission of microbes across generations, leading to closer host-microbe coevolution. The microbial communities of bees with other social lifestyles are less studied, and few comparisons have been made between taxa that vary in social structure. To address this gap, we leveraged a cloud-computing resource and publicly available transcriptomic data to conduct a survey of microbial diversity in bee samples from a variety of social lifestyles and taxa. We consistently recover the core microbes of well-studied corbiculate bees, supporting this method's ability to accurately characterise microbial communities. We find that the bacterial communities of bees are influenced by host location, phylogeny and social lifestyle, although no clear effect was found for fungal or viral microbial communities. Bee genera with more complex societies tend to harbour more diverse microbes, with Wolbachia detected more commonly in solitary tribes. We present a description of the microbiota of Euglossine bees and find that they do not share the "corbiculate core" microbiome. Notably, we find that bacteria with known anti-pathogenic properties are present across social bee genera, suggesting that symbioses that enhance host immunity are important with higher sociality. Our approach provides an inexpensive means of exploring microbiomes of a given taxa and identifying avenues for further research. These findings contribute to our understanding of the relationships between bees and their associated microbial communities, highlighting the importance of considering microbiome dynamics in investigations of bee health.

RevDate: 2023-11-05

Liu Y, Wang D, He Z, et al (2023)

[Molecular detection and phylogenetic analysis of Wolbachia infection in common mosquito species in Henan Province].

Zhongguo xue xi chong bing fang zhi za zhi = Chinese journal of schistosomiasis control, 35(4):389-393.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the infection and genotypes of Wolbachia in common mosquito species in Henan Province, so as to provide insights into management of mosquito-borne diseases.

METHODS: Aedes, Culex and Anopheles samples were collected from cowsheds, sheepfolds and human houses in Puyang, Nanyang City and Xuchang cities of Henan Province from July to September, 2022, and the infection of Wolbachia was detected. The 16S rDNA and wsp genes of Wolbachia were amplified and sequenced. Sequence alignment was performed using the BLAST software, and the obtained 16S rDNA gene sequence was compared with the sequence of the 16S rDNA gene in GenBank database. In addition, the phylogenetic trees were created based on 16S rDNA and wsp gene sequences using the software MEGA 11.0.

RESULTS: A total 506 female adult mosquitoes were collected from three sampling sites in Nanyang, Xuchang City and Puyang cities from July to September, 2022. The overall detection of Wolbachia was 45.1% (228/506) in mosquitoes, with a higher detection rate in A. albopictus than in Cx. pipiens pallens [97.9% (143/146) vs. 50.6% (85/168); χ[2] = 88.064, P < 0.01]. The detection of Wolbachia in Cx. pipiens pallens was higher in Xuchang City (96.8%, 62/64) than in Nanyang (15.6%, 7/45) and Puyang cities (27.1%, 16/59) (χ[2] = 89.950, P < 0.01). The homologies of obtained Wolbachia 16S rDNA and wsp gene sequences were 95.3% to 100.0% and 81.7% to 99.8%. Phylogenetic analysis based on wsp gene sequences showed Wolbachia supergroups A and B in mosquito samples, with wAlbA and wMors strains in supergroup A and wPip and wAlbB strains in supergroup B. Wolbachia strain wAlbB infection was detected in A. albopictus in Puyang and Nanyang Cities, while Wolbachia strain wPip infection was identified in A. albopictus in Xuchang City. Wolbachia strain wAlbA infection was detected in Cx. pipiens pallens sampled from three cities, and one Cx. pipiens pallens was found to be infected with Wolbachia strain wMors in Nanyang City.

CONCLUSIONS: Wolbachia infection is commonly prevalent in Ae. albopictus and Cx. pipiens pallens from Henan Province, and Wolbachia strains wAlbB and wAlbA are predominant in Ae. albopictus, while wPip strain is predominant in Cx. pipiens pallens. This is the first report to present Wolbachia wMors strain infection in Cx. pipiens pallens in Henan Province.

RevDate: 2023-11-05

Rodríguez-Rojas JJ, Lozano-Sardaneta YN, Fernández-Salas I, et al (2023)

Species diversity, barcode, detection of pathogens and blood meal pattern in Phlebotominae (Diptera: Psychodidae) from northeastern Mexico.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(23)00250-4 [Epub ahead of print].

More than 90 species of phlebotomines are vectors of parasites, bacteria, and viruses, which cause disease in animals and humans. Therefore, their study is necessary to establish prevention and control strategies. Mexico is an endemic country for leishmaniasis, mostly in the center and southern regions of the country, yet only few studies have been conducted in the northern part of the country. The present study aims to: a) assess the alpha diversity of Phlebotominae in an annual cycle, b) to correlate climatic variables with abundance, c) to generate barcodes of these insects as part of the integrative taxonomy, and d) to detect Leishmania, Wolbachia and blood sources in an area close to where a case of autochthonous leishmaniasis has been detected in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. A systematic sampling was conducted during three consecutive nights from 17:00 to 22:00 h., placing Shannon traps, CDC traps with incandescent light, and BG Sentinel 2 + BG Lure traps. A total catch effort of 660 nights/traps/hours was achieved, in which a total number of 707 phlebotomines (58% female and 42% male) of six species were collected and identified. The most abundant species were Psathyromyia cratifer (57%) and Psathyromyia shannoni sensu stricto (26%). The highest abundance (72%; 507/707) was collected during March, April and May 2021. Barcodes were generated for four species of phlebotomines, which represent new records for Mexico. For the molecular detection of microorganisms, 302 specimens were analyzed, although no specimens were positive for Leishmania spp. Wolbachia strains were detected in phlebotomines with an infection rate of 1.32% (4/302) and found in Pa. cratifer and Lu. cruciata. Likewise, human DNA was identified in female Lu. cruciata and Pa. cratifer phlebotomines. These findings indicate the presence of potential vector species of the parasite Leishmania spp. This result shows the need for further entomological surveillance to elucidate the transmission mechanisms in these northern areas of the country.

RevDate: 2023-11-05

Badger JH, Giordano R, Zimin A, et al (2023)

Direct sequencing of insect symbionts via nanoporse adaptive sampling.

Current opinion in insect science pii:S2214-5745(23)00132-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Insect symbionts can alter their host phenotype and their effects can range from beneficial to pathogenic. Moreover, many insects exhibit co-infections making their study more challenging. Less than 1% of insect species have high quality referenced genomes available and fewer still also have their symbionts sequenced. Two methods are commonly used to sequence symbionts; whole genome sequencing to concomitantly capture the host and bacterial genomes, or isolation of the symbiont's genome prior to sequencing. These methods are limited when dealing with rare or poorly characterized symbionts. Long-read technology is an important tool to generate high-quality genomes as they can overcome high levels of heterozygosity, repeat content, and transposable elements which confound short-read methods. Oxford Nanopore (ONT) adaptive sampling allows a sequencing instrument to select or reject sequences in real-time. We describe a method based on ONT adaptive sampling (subtractive) approach that readily permitted the sequencing of the complete genomes of mitochondria, Buchnera and its plasmids (pLeu, pTrp) and Wolbachia genomes in two aphid species, Aphis glycines and Pentalonia nigronervosa. Adaptive sampling is able to retrieve organelles such as mitochondria and symbionts that have high representation in their hosts such as Buchnera and Wolbachia but is less successful at retrieving symbionts in low concentrations.

RevDate: 2023-11-04

Flores GAM, Lopez RP, Cerrudo CS, et al (2023)

Wolbachia dominance influences the Culex quinquefasciatus microbiota.

Scientific reports, 13(1):18980.

Microorganisms present in mosquitoes and their interactions are key factors affecting insect development. Among them, Wolbachia is closely associated with the host and affects several fitness parameters. In this study, the bacterial and fungal microbiota from two laboratory Culex quinquefasciatus isolines (wild type and tetracycline-cured) were characterized by metagenome amplicon sequencing of the ITS2 and 16S rRNA genes at different developmental stages and feeding conditions. We identified 572 bacterial and 61 fungal OTUs. Both isolines presented variable bacterial communities and different trends in the distribution of diversity among the groups. The lowest bacterial richness was detected in sugar-fed adults of the cured isoline, whereas fungal richness was highly reduced in blood-fed mosquitoes. Beta diversity analysis indicated that isolines are an important factor in the differentiation of mosquito bacterial communities. Considering composition, Penicillium was the dominant fungal genus, whereas Wolbachia dominance was inversely related to that of Enterobacteria (mainly Thorsellia and Serratia). This study provides a more complete overview of the mosquito microbiome, emphasizing specific highly abundant components that should be considered in microorganism manipulation approaches to control vector-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2023-11-03

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

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

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-11-02

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

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

BMC genomics, 24(1):657.

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

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

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

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

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):394.

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

RevDate: 2023-10-30

Minwuyelet A, Petronio GP, Yewhalaw D, et al (2023)

Symbiotic Wolbachia in mosquitoes and its role in reducing the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases: updates and prospects.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1267832.

Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, chikungunya, Zika fever, and filariasis have the greatest health and economic impact. These mosquito-borne diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in tropical and sub-tropical areas. Due to the lack of effective vector containment strategies, the prevalence and severity of these diseases are increasing in endemic regions. Nowadays, mosquito infection by the endosymbiotic Wolbachia represents a promising new bio-control strategy. Wild-infected mosquitoes had been developing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), phenotypic alterations, and nutrition competition with pathogens. These reduce adult vector lifespan, interfere with reproduction, inhibit other pathogen growth in the vector, and increase insecticide susceptibility of the vector. Wild, uninfected mosquitoes can also establish stable infections through trans-infection and have the advantage of adaptability through pathogen defense, thereby selectively infecting uninfected mosquitoes and spreading to the entire population. This review aimed to evaluate the role of the Wolbachia symbiont with the mosquitoes (Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex) in reducing mosquito-borne diseases. Global databases such as PubMed, Web of Sciences, Scopus, and pro-Quest were accessed to search for potentially relevant articles. We used keywords: Wolbachia, Anopheles, Aedes, Culex, and mosquito were used alone or in combination during the literature search. Data were extracted from 56 articles' texts, figures, and tables of the included article.

RevDate: 2023-10-27

Xoconostle-Cázares B, Ramírez-Pool JA, Núñez-Muñoz LA, et al (2023)

The Characterization of Melanaphis sacchari Microbiota and Antibiotic Treatment Effect on Insects.

Insects, 14(10): pii:insects14100807.

Insects are under constant selective pressure, which has resulted in adaptations to novel niches such as crops. This is the case of the pest Melanaphis sacchari, the sugarcane aphid, native to Africa and currently spreading worldwide. The aphid undergoes successful parthenogenesis, causing important damage to a variety of crops and leading to important economic losses for farmers. A natural M. sacchari population grown in sorghum was studied to identify its microbiome through the sequencing of its 16S rDNA metagenome. A high proportion of Proteobacteria, followed by Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria, was observed. We also detected Wolbachia, which correlates with the asexual reproduction of its host. M. sacchari was challenged in a bioassay with the antibiotics oxytetracycline and streptomycin, resulting in a dose-dependent decay of its survival rate. The possibility of controlling this pest by altering its microbiota is proposed.

RevDate: 2023-10-27

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

Diversity of Bacteria Associated with Guts and Gonads in Three Spider Species and Potential Transmission Pathways of Microbes within the Same Spider Host.

Insects, 14(10): pii:insects14100792.

Microbial symbiosis plays a crucial role in the ecological and evolutionary processes of animals. It is well known that spiders, with their unique and diverse predatory adaptations, assume an indispensable role in maintaining ecological balance and the food chain. However, our current understanding of spider microbiomes remains relatively limited. The gut microbiota and gonad microbiota of spiders can both potentially influence their physiology, ecology, and behavior, including aspects such as digestion, immunity, reproductive health, and reproductive behavior. In the current study, based on high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA V3 and V4 regions, we detected the gut and gonad microbiota communities of three spider species captured from the same habitat, namely, Eriovixia cavaleriei, Larinioides cornutus, and Pardosa pseudoannulata. In these three species, we observed that, at the phylum level classification, the gut and gonad of E. cavaleriei are primarily composed of Proteobacteria, while those of L. cornutus and P. pseudoannulata are primarily composed of Firmicutes. At the genus level of classification, we identified 372 and 360 genera from the gut and gonad bacterial communities. It is noteworthy that the gut and gonad bacterial flora of E. cavaleriei and L. cornutus were dominated by Wolbachia and Spiroplasma. Results show that there were no differences in microbial communities between females and males of the same spider species. Furthermore, there is similarity between the gut and ovary microbial communities of female spiders, implying a potential avenue for microbial transmission between the gut and gonad within female spiders. By comprehensively studying these two microbial communities, we can establish the theoretical foundation for exploring the relationship between gut and gonad microbiota and their host, as well as the mechanisms through which microbes exert their effects.

RevDate: 2023-10-26

Głowska E, M Gerth (2023)

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

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-10-24

Russell SL, Castillo JR, WT Sullivan (2023)

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

PLoS biology, 21(10):e3002335 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-23-00164.

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

RevDate: 2023-10-24

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

Wolbachia enhances the survival of Drosophila infected with fungal pathogens.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.09.30.560320.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-10-23

Wenzel M, CF Aquadro (2023)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-10-20

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-10-20

Ridha MR, Marlinae L, Zubaidah T, et al (2023)

Control methods for invasive mosquitoes of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Indonesia.

Veterinary world, 16(9):1952-1963.

The two invasive mosquito species in Indonesia are Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus. These mosquitoes are a serious nuisance to humans and are also the primary vectors of several foreign pathogens, such as dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses. Efforts must be made to reduce the possibility of mosquito bites and the potential for disease transmission. Given the invasion of these two Aedes species, this approach should be considered as part of an integrated strategy to manage them. This review discusses existing and developing control techniques for invasive Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, with an emphasis on those that have been and are being used in Indonesia. Environmental, mechanical, biological (e.g., Bacillus thuringiensis and Wolbachia), and chemical (e.g., insect growth regulators and pyrethroids) approaches are discussed in this review, considering their effectiveness, sustainability, and control methods.

RevDate: 2023-10-15

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

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

Nature communications, 14(1):6500.

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

RevDate: 2023-10-13

Riparbelli MG, Pratelli A, G Callaini (2023)

Wolbachia Induces Structural Defects Harmful to Drosophila simulans Riverside Spermiogenesis.

Cells, 12(19): pii:cells12192337.

The relationship between cytoplasmic incompatibility and the obligate intracellular alphaproteobacteria Wolbachia has for a long time been reported. Although the molecular mechanisms responsible for this reproductive alteration are beginning to be understood, the effects of Wolbachia on germ cell structure and dynamics have not yet been fully investigated. We report here that the presence of Wolbachia in infected cysts of elongating spermatids is associated with major structural defects that become more evident in mature sperm. We find mitochondrial defects, an improper axoneme structure, reduced sperm numbers, and individualization failures. The large heterogeneous variety of the ultrastructural defects found in elongating spermatids and mature sperm provide the first cytological evidence for the reduced fertility associated with Wolbachia infection in Drosophila simulans males. The observed abnormalities could be the result of the mechanical stress induced by the high bacteria numbers during the process of spermatid elongation, rather than the result of the released factors affecting the proper morphogenesis of the germ cells. Moreover, high Wolbachia densities in male germ cells may not be appropriate for causing cytoplasmic incompatibility as the bacteria are harmful for spermatid differentiation, leading to abnormal sperm that is unlikely to be functional.

RevDate: 2023-10-12

Pavan MG, Garcia GA, David MR, et al (2023)

The double-edged sword effect of expanding Wolbachia deployment in dengue endemic settings.

Lancet regional health. Americas, 27:100610.

RevDate: 2023-10-11

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

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

Experimental & applied acarology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-10-09

Edwards B, Ghedin E, D Voronin (2023)

Wolbachia interferes with Zika virus replication by hijacking cholesterol metabolism in mosquito cells.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Zika virus is a member of the arbovirus Flaviviridae family transmitted by Aedes mosquitos and it is associated with microcephaly in infants born to infected mothers. Wolbachia is an intracellular gram-negative alpha-proteobacteria that infects many species of arthropods, including mosquitos. The presence of Wolbachia in mosquitos has been shown to control the vector population and suppress arbovirus transmission. One mechanism of Wolbachia-mediated interference with virus replication is competition over host resources between Wolbachia and the virus. We hypothesize that cholesterol metabolism is involved in Wolbachia-mediated virus suppression due to its important role in Zika virus replication. In this study, we determined that Wolbachia impacted virus replication by altering cholesterol biosynthesis in Aedes albopictus C6/36 cells, diverting resources from the host cell mevalonate (MVA) pathway to fulfill the needs of the bacteria. This resulted in a decrease of total cholesterol, increased Wolbachia loads, and decreased viral titers. Inhibition of the MVA pathway using fluvastatin decreased total cholesterol and viral titers, mimicking the effects of Wolbachia on the virus in Wolbachia-free cells. We also found that Wolbachia-infected cells had depleted lipid droplets, the main component of which is cholesterol esters. We confirmed that cholesterol esterases were upregulated in response to virus infection in C6/36 cells. Functional analysis showed that alteration of cholesterol metabolism simulated Wolbachia-mediated inhibition of virus infection in C6/36 cells. Our study provides a mechanism behind Wolbachia-induced interference of arbovirus replication and could help advance strategies to control arbovirus pathogens in insect vectors and human infections. IMPORTANCE Arthropod-borne viruses are emerging pathogens that are spread widely by mosquitos. Zika virus is an arbovirus that can infect humans and be transmitted from an infected mother to the fetus, potentially leading to microcephaly in infants. One promising strategy to prevent disease caused by arboviruses is to target the insect vector population. Recent field studies have shown that mosquito populations infected with Wolbachia bacteria suppress arbovirus replication and transmission. Here, we describe how intracellular bacteria redirect resources within their host cells and suppress Zika virus replication at the cellular level. Understanding the mechanism behind Wolbachia-induced interference of arbovirus replication could help advance strategies to control arbovirus pathogens in insect vectors and human populations.

RevDate: 2023-10-09

Sharma AK, A Som (2023)

Assigning new supergroups V and W to the Wolbachia diversity.

Bioinformation, 19(3):336-340.

Wolbachia are endosymbiotic and alphaproteobacteria that belong to the order Rickettsiales. They are known to infect half of the insect population and cause host manipulation, and have been categorized into 19 monophyletic lineages called supergroups. Recently, two strains, wCfeJ and wCfeT were isolated from cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis), but their supergroup relationships were not assigned. In this article, we have attempted to classify these two novel strains and establish their evolutionary lineage (i.e., supergroup designation). For this we performed 16S rRNA similarity analysis and reconstructed 16S rRNA phylogeny of 52 Wolbachia strains (including two novel strains) belong to 19 supergroups. We also performed average nucleotide identity (ANI) and digital DNA-DNA hybridization (dDDH) studies to measure genomic similarity between the two novel genomes. The results revealed that 16S rRNA similarity between the two novel strains is 97.94%, which is below the threshold value of 98.6% and phylogeny shows that they are placed at the two different positions (i.e., showing distinct evolutionary lineages). Further, genomic similarity analysis revealed that the novel genomes have ANI and dDDH values 79% and 22.4% respectively, which were below the threshold value of ANI (95%) and dDDH (70%). These results suggested that the novel strains neither shared a species boundary between them nor with any other previously identified supergroups, which designate them as two new supergroups, namely supergroup V (strain wCfeJ) and supergroup W (strain wCfeT).

RevDate: 2023-10-09

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1236731.

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

RevDate: 2023-10-09

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

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

Frontiers in veterinary science, 10:1284025.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-10-07

Sri-Pathmanathan C, Bao H, Diluka PAE, et al (2023)

Enhancing community participation in dengue control through digital crowdsourcing: An analysis of a World Mosquito Program digital open call in Sri Lanka.

The Journal of infectious diseases pii:7299418 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Two crowdsourcing open calls were created to enhance community engagement in dengue control in Sri Lanka. We analyzed the process and outcomes of these digital crowdsourcing open calls.

METHODS: We used standard World Health Organization (WHO) methods to organize the open calls which used exclusively digital methods because of COVID-19. We collected and analyzed socio-demographic information and digital engagement metrics from each submission. Submissions in the form of textual data describing community-led strategies for mosquito release were coded using grounded theory.

RESULTS: The open calls received 73 submissions. Most people who submitted ideas spoke English, lived in Sri Lanka, and were 18 to 34 years old. The total Facebook reach was initially limited (16,161 impressions), prompting expansion to a global campaign which reached 346,810 impressions over 14 days. Diverse strategies for the distribution of Wolbachia-infected mosquito boxes were identified, including leveraging traditional festivals, schools, and community networks. Fifteen submissions (21%) suggested the use of digital tools for monitoring and evaluation, sharing instructions, or creating networks. Thirteen submissions (18%) focused on social and economic incentives to prompt community engagement and catalyze community-led distribution.

CONCLUSIONS: Our project demonstrates that digital crowdsourcing open calls are an effective way to solicit creative and innovative ideas in a resource-limited setting.

RevDate: 2023-10-06

Somia ES, Ullah I, Alyahya HS, et al (2023)

Identification of Wolbachia new strains from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the vector of dengue fever in Jeddah Province.

BMC microbiology, 23(1):287.

Wolbachia are endosymbiotic bacteria found within many arthropods, including insects. A variety of benefits are provided by these bacteria to human and insect hosts, including protection from viruses and parasites and the ability to kill males. In this study, Wolbachia was identified in Aedes aegypti present in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A population of mosquitoes was collected from eight different areas, processed, and tested for Wolbachia using 16 S rRNA specific to Wolbachia bacteria and Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) under optimized PCR conditions. In five ecologically diverse sites to determine Wolbachia prevalence, we identified eleven diverse novel resident Wolbachia strains within Ae. Aegypti for the first time in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Future studies to evaluate the possible use of Wolbachia as a control agent in Aedes sp. in Saudi Arabia are necessary. Wolbachia prevalence rates and strain characterization through Sanger sequencing with multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and phylogenetic analysis revealed significant diversity. In developing biocontrol strategies, it is beneficial to consider the implications of resident Wolbachia strains.

RevDate: 2023-10-06

Mercant Osuna A, Gidley A, Mayi MPA, et al (2023)

Diverse novel Wolbachia bacteria strains and genera-specific co-infections with Asaia bacteria in Culicine mosquitoes from ecologically diverse regions of Cameroon.

Wellcome open research, 8:267.

Background: The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia infects numerous species of insects and Wolbachia transinfection of Aedes mosquito species is now being used for biocontrol programs as Wolbachia strains can both inhibit arboviruses and invade wild mosquito populations. The discovery of novel, resident Wolbachia strains in mosquito species warrants further investigation as potential candidate strains for biocontrol strategies. Methods: We obtained mosquito specimens from diverse Culicine mosquitoes from Cameroon including ecologically diverse locations in the Central and West Regions. Wolbachia prevalence rates were assessed in addition to the environmentally acquired bacterial species Asaia in major Culicine genera. PCR-based methods were also used with phylogenetic analysis to confirm identities of host mosquito species and Wolbachia strains were classified using multi-locus sequence typing (MLST). Results: We report high Wolbachia prevalence rates for Culicine species, including in a large cohort of Aedes africanus collected from west Cameroon in which 100% of mono-specific pools were infected. Furthermore, co-infections with Asaia bacteria were observed across multiple genera, demonstrating that these two bacteria can co-exist in wild mosquito populations. Wolbachia strain MLST and phylogenetic analysis provided evidence for diverse Wolbachia strains in 13 different mosquito species across seven different genera. Full or partial MLST profiles were generated from resident Wolbachia strains in six Culex species (quinquefasciatus, watti, cinerus, nigripalpus, perexiguus and rima), two Aedes species (africanus and denderensis) and in Mansonia uniformis, Catageiomyia argenteopunctata, Lutzia tigripes, Eretmapodites chrysogaster and Uranotaenia bilineata. Conclusions: Our study provides further evidence that Wolbachia is widespread within wild mosquito populations of diverse Culicine species and provides further candidate strains that could be investigated as future options for Wolbachia-based biocontrol to inhibit arbovirus transmission.

RevDate: 2023-10-04

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

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

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-10-02

Boehm EC, Jaeger AS, Ries HJ, et al (2023)

Wolbachia-mediated resistance to Zika virus infection in Aedes aegypti is dominated by diverse transcriptional regulation and weak evolutionary pressures.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 17(10):e0011674 pii:PNTD-D-23-00806 [Epub ahead of print].

A promising candidate for arbovirus control and prevention relies on replacing arbovirus-susceptible Aedes aegypti populations with mosquitoes that have been colonized by the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia and thus have a reduced capacity to transmit arboviruses. This reduced capacity to transmit arboviruses is mediated through a phenomenon referred to as pathogen blocking. Pathogen blocking has primarily been proposed as a tool to control dengue virus (DENV) transmission, however it works against a range of viruses, including Zika virus (ZIKV). Despite years of research, the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogen blocking still need to be better understood. Here, we used RNA-seq to characterize mosquito gene transcription dynamics in Ae. aegypti infected with the wMel strain of Wolbachia that are being released by the World Mosquito Program in Medellín, Colombia. Comparative analyses using ZIKV-infected, uninfected tissues, and mosquitoes without Wolbachia revealed that the influence of wMel on mosquito gene transcription is multifactorial. Importantly, because Wolbachia limits, but does not completely prevent, replication of ZIKV and other viruses in coinfected mosquitoes, there is a possibility that these viruses could evolve resistance to pathogen blocking. Therefore, to understand the influence of Wolbachia on within-host ZIKV evolution, we characterized the genetic diversity of molecularly barcoded ZIKV virus populations replicating in Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes and found that within-host ZIKV evolution was subject to weak purifying selection and, unexpectedly, loose anatomical bottlenecks in the presence and absence of Wolbachia. Together, these findings suggest that there is no clear transcriptional profile associated with Wolbachia-mediated ZIKV restriction, and that there is no evidence for ZIKV escape from this restriction in our system.

RevDate: 2023-10-02

Guo Y, Shao J, Wu Y, et al (2023)

Using Wolbachia to control rice planthopper populations: progress and challenges.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1244239.

Wolbachia have been developed as a tool for protecting humans from mosquito populations and mosquito-borne diseases. The success of using Wolbachia relies on the facts that Wolbachia are maternally transmitted and that Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility provides a selective advantage to infected over uninfected females, ensuring that Wolbachia rapidly spread through the target pest population. Most transinfected Wolbachia exhibit a strong antiviral response in novel hosts, thus making it an extremely efficient technique. Although Wolbachia has only been used to control mosquitoes so far, great progress has been made in developing Wolbachia-based approaches to protect plants from rice pests and their associated diseases. Here, we synthesize the current knowledge about the important phenotypic effects of Wolbachia used to control mosquito populations and the literature on the interactions between Wolbachia and rice pest planthoppers. Our aim is to link findings from Wolbachia-mediated mosquito control programs to possible applications in planthoppers.

RevDate: 2023-09-28

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

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

PloS one, 18(9):e0292229 pii:PONE-D-23-14570.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-09-25

Thi Hue Kien D, Edenborough K, da Silva Goncalves D, et al (2023)

Genome evolution of dengue virus serotype 1 under selection by Wolbachia pipientis in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

Virus evolution, 9(1):vead016.

The introgression of antiviral strains of Wolbachia into Aedes aegypti mosquito populations is a public health intervention for the control of dengue. Plausibly, dengue virus (DENV) could evolve to bypass the antiviral effects of Wolbachia and undermine this approach. Here, we established a serial-passage system to investigate the evolution of DENV in Ae. aegypti mosquitoes infected with the wMel strain of Wolbachia. Using this system, we report on virus genetic outcomes after twenty passages of serotype 1 of DENV (DENV-1). An amino acid substitution, E203K, in the DENV-1 envelope protein was more frequently detected in the consensus sequence of virus populations passaged in wMel-infected Ae. aegypti than wild-type counterparts. Positive selection at residue 203 was reproducible; it occurred in passaged virus populations from independent DENV-1-infected patients and also in a second, independent experimental system. In wild-type mosquitoes and human cells, the 203K variant was rapidly replaced by the progenitor sequence. These findings provide proof of concept that wMel-associated selection of virus populations can occur in experimental conditions. Field-based studies are needed to explore whether wMel imparts selective pressure on DENV evolution in locations where wMel is established.

RevDate: 2023-09-22

Thia JA, Endersby-Harshman N, Collier S, et al (2023)

Mitochondrial DNA variation in Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Journal of medical entomology pii:7279430 [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia (Hertig 1936) (Rickettsiales: Ehrlichiaceae) has emerged as a valuable biocontrol tool in the fight against dengue by suppressing the transmission of the virus through mosquitoes. Monitoring the dynamics of Wolbachia is crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of release programs. Mitochondrial (mtDNA) markers serve as important tools for molecular tracking of infected mitochondrial backgrounds over time but require an understanding of the variation in release sites. In this study, we investigated the mitochondrial lineages of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus 1762) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which is a prospective release site for the "wAlbBQ" Wolbachia-infected strain of this mosquito species. We employed a combination of comprehensive mitogenomic analysis (including all protein-coding genes) and mtDNA marker analysis (cox1 and nad5) using data collected from Jeddah. We combined our mitogenome and mtDNA marker data with those from previous studies to place mitochondrial variation in Saudi Arabia into a broader global context. Our findings revealed the presence of 4 subclades that can be broadly categorized into 2 major mitochondrial lineages. Ae. aegypti mosquitoes from Jeddah belonged to both major lineages. Whilst mitogenomic data offered a higher resolution for distinguishing Jeddah mosquitoes from the wAlbBQ strain, the combination of cox1 and nad5 mtDNA markers alone proved to be sufficient. This study provides the first important characterization of Ae. aegypti mitochondrial lineages in Saudi Arabia and offers essential baseline information for planning future molecular monitoring efforts during the release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2023-09-20

Soto A, De Coninck L, Devlies AS, et al (2023)

Belgian Culex pipiens pipiens are competent vectors for West Nile virus while Culex modestus are competent vectors for Usutu virus.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 17(9):e0011649 pii:PNTD-D-23-00656 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) are emerging arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) in Europe transmitted by Culex mosquitoes. In Belgium, it is currently unknown which Culex species are competent vectors for WNV or USUV and if these mosquitoes carry Wolbachia, an endosymbiotic bacterium that can block arbovirus transmission. The aims of our study were to measure the vector competence of Belgian Culex mosquitoes to WNV and USUV and determine if a naturally acquired Wolbachia infection can influence virus transmission.

Female Culex mosquitoes were captured from urban and peri-urban sites in Leuven, Belgium and offered an infectious bloodmeal containing WNV lineage 2, USUV European (EU) lineage 3, or USUV African (AF) lineage 3. Blood-fed females were incubated for 14 days at 25°C after which the body, head, and saliva were collected to measure infection, dissemination, and transmission rates as well as transmission efficiency. Mosquito species were identified by qRT-PCR or Sanger sequencing, the presence of infectious virus in mosquitoes was confirmed by plaque assays, and viral genome copies were quantified by qRT-PCR. Culex pipiens pipiens were able to transmit WNV (4.3% transmission efficiency, n = 2/47) but not USUV (EU lineage: n = 0/56; AF lineage: n = 0/37). In contrast, Culex modestus were able to transmit USUV (AF lineage: 20% transmission efficiency, n = 1/5) but not WNV (n = 0/6). We found that the presence or absence of Wolbachia was species-dependent and did not associate with virus transmission.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first report that Belgian Culex mosquitoes can transmit both WNV and USUV, forewarning the risk of human transmission. More research is needed to understand the potential influence of Wolbachia on arbovirus transmission in Culex modestus mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2023-09-18

Giordano R, Weber EP, Mitacek R, et al (2023)

Patterns of asexual reproduction of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines (Matsumura), with and without the secondary symbionts Wolbachia and Arsenophonus, on susceptible and resistant soybean genotypes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1209595.

Plant breeding is used to develop crops with host resistance to aphids, however, virulent biotypes often develop that overcome host resistance genes. We tested whether the symbionts, Arsenophonus (A) and Wolbachia (W), affect virulence and fecundity in soybean aphid biotypes Bt1 and Bt3 cultured on whole plants and detached leaves of three resistant, Rag1, Rag2 and Rag1 + 2, and one susceptible, W82, soybean genotypes. Whole plants and individual aphid experiments of A. glycines with and without Arsenophonus and Wolbachia did not show differences in overall fecundity. Differences were observed in peak fecundity, first day of deposition, and day of maximum nymph deposition of individual aphids on detached leaves. Bt3 had higher fecundity than Bt1 on detached leaves of all plant genotypes regardless of bacterial profile. Symbionts did not affect peak fecundity of Bt1 but increased it in Bt3 (A+W+) and all Bt3 strains began to deposit nymphs earlier than the Bt1 (A+W-). Arsenophonus in Bt1 delayed the first day of nymph deposition in comparison to aposymbiotic Bt1 except when reared on Rag1 + 2. For the Bt1 and Bt3 strains, symbionts did not result in a significant difference in the day they deposited the maximum number of nymphs nor was there a difference in survival or variability in number of nymphs deposited. Variability of number of aphids deposited was higher in aphids feeding on resistant plant genotypes. The impact of Arsenophonus on soybean aphid patterns of fecundity was dependent on the aphid biotype and plant genotype. Wolbachia alone had no detectable impact but may have contributed to the increased fecundity of Bt3 (A+W+). An individual based model, using data from the detached leaves experiment and with intraspecific competition removed, found patterns similar to those observed in the greenhouse and growth chamber experiments including a significant interaction between soybean genotype and aphid strain. Combining individual data with the individual based model of population growth isolated the impact of fecundity and host resistance from intraspecific competition and host health. Changes to patterns of fecundity, influenced by the composition and concentration of symbionts, may contribute to competitive interactions among aphid genotypes and influence selection on virulent aphid populations.

RevDate: 2023-09-16

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

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

BMC microbiology, 23(1):260.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-09-15

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

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

Animal microbiome, 5(1):44.

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

RevDate: 2023-09-14

Vinayagam S, Nirmolia T, Chetry S, et al (2023)

Molecular Evidence of Wolbachia Species in Wild-Caught Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes in Four States of Northeast India.

Journal of tropical medicine, 2023:6678627.

Wolbachia, a Gram-negative intracellular bacterium, naturally infects many arthropods, including mosquito vectors responsible for the spread of arboviral diseases such as Zika, chikungunya, and dengue fever. Certain Wolbachia strains are involved in inhibiting arbovirus replication in mosquitoes, and this phenomenon is currently being studied to combat disease vectors. A study was conducted in four states in north-eastern India to investigate the presence of natural Wolbachia infection in wild-caught Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the established vectors of dengue. The detection of a Wolbachia infection was confirmed by nested PCR and sequencing in the two mosquito species Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus. Positivity rates observed in Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus pools were 38% (44 of 115) and 85% (41 of 48), respectively, and the difference was significant (chi-square = 28.3174, p = 0.00000010). Sequencing revealed that all detected Wolbachia strains belonged to supergroup B. Although Wolbachia infection in Ae. aegypti has been previously reported from India, no such reports are available from north-eastern India. Data on naturally occurring Wolbachia strains are essential for selecting the optimal strain for the development of Wolbachia-based control measures. This information will be helpful for the future application of Wolbachia-based vector control measures in this part of the country.

RevDate: 2023-09-11

Ogunlade ST, Adekunle AI, Meehan MT, et al (2023)

Quantifying the impact of Wolbachia releases on dengue infection in Townsville, Australia.

Scientific reports, 13(1):14932.

From October 2014 to February 2019, local authorities in Townsville, North Queensland, Australia continually introduced Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to control seasonal outbreaks of dengue infection. In this study, we develop a mathematical modelling framework to estimate the effectiveness of this intervention as well as the relative dengue transmission rates of Wolbachia-infected and wild-type mosquitoes. We find that the transmission rate of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes is reduced approximately by a factor of 20 relative to the uninfected wild-type population. In addition, the Townsville Wolbachia release program led to a 65% reduction in predicted dengue incidence during the release period and over 95% reduction in the 24 months that followed. Finally, to investigate the potential impact of other Wolbachia release programs, we use our estimates of relative transmissibility to calculate the relationship between the reproductive number of dengue and the proportion of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in the vector population.

RevDate: 2023-09-11

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-09-11

Ning SF, Huo LX, Lv L, et al (2023)

The identification and expression pattern of the sex determination genes and their sex-specific variants in the egg parasitoid Trichogramma dendrolimi Matsumura (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae).

Frontiers in physiology, 14:1243753 pii:1243753.

Introduction: Trichogramma wasps are egg parasitoids of agricultural lepidopteran pests. The sex of Trichogramma is determined by its ploidy as well as certain sex ratio distorters, such as the endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia spp. and the paternal sex ratio (PSR) chromosome. The sex determination systems of hymenopterans, such as Trichogramma spp., involve cascades of the genes transformer (tra), transformer-2 (tra2), and doublesex (dsx) and are associated with sex-specific tra and dsx splicing. First, these genes and their sex-specific variants must be identified to elucidate the interactions between the sex ratio disorders and the sex determination mechanism of Trichogramma. Methods: Here, we characterized the sex determination genes tra, tra2, and dsx in Trichogramma dendrolimi. Sex-specific tra and dsx variants were detected in cDNA samples obtained from both male and female Trichogramma wasps. They were observed in the early embryos (1-10 h), late embryos (12-20 h), larvae (32 h and 48 h), pre-pupae (96 h), and pupae (144 h, 168 h, 192 h, and 216 h) of both male and female T. dendrolimi offspring. Results: We detected female-specific tra variants throughout the entire early female offspring stage. The male-specific variant began to express at 9-10 h as the egg was not fertilized. However, we did not find any maternally derived, female-specific tra variant in the early male embryo. This observation suggests that the female-specific tra variant expressed in the female embryo at 1-9 h may not have originated from the maternal female wasp. Discussion: The present study might be the first to identify the sex determination genes and sex-specific gene splicing in Trichogramma wasps. The findings of this study lay the foundation for investigating the sex determination mechanisms of Trichogramma and other wasps. They also facilitate sex identification in immature T. dendrolimi and the application of this important egg parasitoid in biological insect pest control programs.

RevDate: 2023-09-09

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

Complete De Novo Assembly of Wolbachia Endosymbiont of Frankliniella intonsa.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-09-08

Yeo H, Tan HZ, Tang Q, et al (2023)

Dense residential areas promote gene flow in dengue vector mosquito Aedes albopictus.

iScience, 26(9):107577.

Aedes albopictus is a successful disease vector due to its ability to survive in a wide range of habitats. Despite its ubiquity and impact on public health, little is known about its differential gene flow capabilities across different city habitats. We obtained a comprehensive dataset of >27,000 genome-wide DNA markers across 105 wild-caught Ae. albopictus individuals from Singapore, a dengue-endemic tropical city with heterogeneous landscapes from densely populated urban areas to forests. Despite Singapore's challenging small-scale heterogeneity, our landscape-genomic approach indicated that dense urban areas are characterized by higher Aedes gene flow rates than managed parks and forests. We documented the incidence of Wolbachia infections of Ae. albopictus involving two strains (wAlbA and wAlbB). Our results dispel the misconception that substantial dispersal of Ae. albopictus is limited to urban greenery, with wide implications for vector management and critical insights into urban planning strategies to combat dengue transmission.

RevDate: 2023-09-05

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-09-02

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

Microbiome of Zoophytophagous Biological Control Agent Nesidiocoris tenuis.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Cavany S, Huber JH, Wieler A, et al (2023)

Does ignoring transmission dynamics lead to underestimation of the impact of interventions against mosquito-borne disease?.

BMJ global health, 8(8):.

New vector-control technologies to fight mosquito-borne diseases are urgently needed, the adoption of which depends on efficacy estimates from large-scale cluster-randomised trials (CRTs). The release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes is one promising strategy to curb dengue virus (DENV) transmission, and a recent CRT reported impressive reductions in dengue incidence following the release of these mosquitoes. Such trials can be affected by multiple sources of bias, however. We used mathematical models of DENV transmission during a CRT of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to explore three such biases: human movement, mosquito movement and coupled transmission dynamics between trial arms. We show that failure to account for each of these biases would lead to underestimated efficacy, and that the majority of this underestimation is due to a heretofore unrecognised bias caused by transmission coupling. Taken together, our findings suggest that Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes could be even more promising than the recent CRT suggested. By emphasising the importance of accounting for transmission coupling between arms, which requires a mathematical model, we highlight the key role that models can play in interpreting and extrapolating the results from trials of vector control interventions.

RevDate: 2023-08-31

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

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

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):308.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-08-31

Martínez-Burgos M, Lozano-Sardaneta YN, Rodríguez-Rojas JJ, et al (2023)

Species diversity and detection of pathogens in phlebotomine sand flies collected from forest management areas of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Medical and veterinary entomology [Epub ahead of print].

Sand flies have expanded their areas of distribution, thereby increasing the risk of pathogen transmission in non-endemic areas. To establish efficient prevention and control strategies for the transmission of vector-borne pathogens, it is important to understand seasonal dynamics of their vectors. In Mexico, there are several areas where the contact between sand flies, hosts and reservoirs favours the transmission of the pathogen. We compared sand fly communities in a forest management area and a conserved area in Noh-Bec, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The analysis included species diversity, activity peaks and molecular detection of pathogens. Sand flies were collected from November to December 2021 and April to May 2022, during 84 night-traps. The conserved area showed higher numbers and greater species heterogeneity of sand flies as compared with the other sites. The β-diversity analysis revealed that sites disturbed by logging (S1, S2, S3) had greater similarity (90%) in their sand fly species composition than a conserved area (S4) (similarity = 36%). Although none of the specimens were infected with Leishmania, we detected Wolbachia (19.4%) in all four sites, as well as Bartonella (3.25%) only in the disturbed sites. Further studies on the dynamics of sand fly populations and their association with pathogens are necessary.

RevDate: 2023-08-30

Wei TL, Zheng YP, Wang ZH, et al (2023)

Comparative microbiome analysis reveals the variation in microbial communities between 'Kyoho' grape and its bud mutant variety.

PloS one, 18(8):e0290853 pii:PONE-D-23-17458.

Microbes are an important part of the vineyard ecosystem, which significantly influence the quality of grapes. Previously, we identified a bud mutant variety (named 'Fengzao') from 'Kyoho' grapes. The variation of microbial communities in grape and its bud mutant variety has not been studied yet. So, in this study, with the samples of both 'Fengzao' and 'Kyoho', we conducted high-throughput microbiome sequencing and investigated their microbial communities in different tissues. Obvious differences were observed in the microbial communities between 'Fengzao' and 'Kyoho'. The fruit and the stem are the tissues with relatively higher abundance of microbes, while the leaves contained less microbes. The fruit and the stem of 'Kyoho' and the stem of 'Fengzao' had relatively higher species diversity based on the alpha diversity analysis. Proteobacteria, Enterobacteriaceae and Rhodobacteraceae had significantly high abundance in 'Fengzao'. Firmicutes and Pseudomonas were highly abundant in the stems of 'Kyoho', and family of Spirochaetaceae, Anaplasmataceae, Chlorobiaceae, and Sphingomonadaceae, and genera of Spirochaeta, Sphingomonas, Chlorobaculum and Wolbachia were abundant in the fruits of 'Kyoho'. These identified microbes are main components of the microbial communities, and could be important regulators of grapevine growth and development. This study revealed the differences in the microbial compositions between 'Kyoho' and its bud mutant, and these identified microbes will be significant resources for the future researches on the quality regulation and disease control of grapevines.

RevDate: 2023-08-30

Wenzel M, CF Aquadro (2023)

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

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.03.20.532813.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-08-26

Chao LL, CM Shih (2023)

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

Microorganisms, 11(8): pii:microorganisms11081911.

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

RevDate: 2023-08-26

Corpuz RL, Bellinger MR, Veillet A, et al (2023)

The Transmission Patterns of the Endosymbiont Wolbachia within the Hawaiian Drosophilidae Adaptive Radiation.

Genes, 14(8): pii:genes14081545.

The evolution of endosymbionts and their hosts can lead to highly dynamic interactions with varying fitness effects for both the endosymbiont and host species. Wolbachia, a ubiquitous endosymbiont of arthropods and nematodes, can have both beneficial and detrimental effects on host fitness. We documented the occurrence and patterns of transmission of Wolbachia within the Hawaiian Drosophilidae and examined the potential contributions of Wolbachia to the rapid diversification of their hosts. Screens for Wolbachia infections across a minimum of 140 species of Hawaiian Drosophila and Scaptomyza revealed species-level infections of 20.0%, and across all 399 samples, a general infection rate of 10.3%. Among the 44 Wolbachia strains we identified using a modified Wolbachia multi-locus strain typing scheme, 30 (68.18%) belonged to supergroup B, five (11.36%) belonged to supergroup A, and nine (20.45%) had alleles with conflicting supergroup assignments. Co-phylogenetic reconciliation analysis indicated that Wolbachia strain diversity within their endemic Hawaiian Drosophilidae hosts can be explained by vertical (e.g., co-speciation) and horizontal (e.g., host switch) modes of transmission. Results from stochastic character trait mapping suggest that horizontal transmission is associated with the preferred oviposition substrate of the host, but not the host's plant family or island of occurrence. For Hawaiian Drosophilid species of conservation concern, with 13 species listed as endangered and 1 listed as threatened, knowledge of Wolbachia strain types, infection status, and potential for superinfection could assist with conservation breeding programs designed to bolster population sizes, especially when wild populations are supplemented with laboratory-reared, translocated individuals. Future research aimed at improving the understanding of the mechanisms of Wolbachia transmission in nature, their impact on the host, and their role in host species formation may shed light on the influence of Wolbachia as an evolutionary driver, especially in Hawaiian ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-08-25

Ciocchetta S, Frentiu FD, Montarsi F, et al (2023)

Investigation on key aspects of mating biology in the mosquito Aedes koreicus.

Medical and veterinary entomology [Epub ahead of print].

Aedes koreicus Edwards, 1917 (Hulecoetomyia koreica) is a mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) from Northeast Asia with a rapidly expanding presence outside its original native range. Over the years, the species has been discovered in several new countries, either spreading after first introduction or remaining localised to limited areas. Notably, recent studies have demonstrated the ability of the species to transmit zoonotic parasites and viruses both in the field and in laboratory settings. Combined with its invasive potential, the possible role of Ae. koreicus in pathogen transmission highlights the public health risks resulting from its invasion. In this study, we used a recently established population from Italy to investigate aspects of biology that influence reproductive success in Ae. koreicus: autogeny, mating behaviour, mating disruption by the sympatric invasive species Aedes albopictus Skuse, 1894, and the presence of the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis Hertig, 1936. Our laboratory population did not exhibit autogenic behaviour and required a bloodmeal to complete its ovarian cycle. When we exposed Ae. koreicus females to males of Ae. albopictus, we observed repeated attempts at insemination and an aggressive, disruptive mating behaviour initiated by male Ae. albopictus. Despite this, no sperm was identified in Ae. koreicus spermathecae. Wolbachia, an endosymbiotic bacterium capable of influencing mosquito reproductive behaviour, was not detected in this Ae. koreicus population and, therefore, had no effect on Ae. koreicus reproduction.

RevDate: 2023-08-23

Maruyama J, Inoue H, Hirose Y, et al (2023)

16S rRNA Gene Sequencing of Six Psyllid Species of the Family Carsidaridae Identified Various Bacteria Including Symbiopectobacterium.

Microbes and environments, 38(3):.

Psyllids (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Psylloidea) are plant sap-sucking insects that are closely associated with various microbes. To obtain a more detailed understanding of the ecological and evolutionary behaviors of microbes in Psylloidea, the bacterial populations of six psyllid species, belonging to the family Carsidaridae, were analyzed using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The majority of the secondary symbionts identified in the present study were gammaproteobacteria, particularly those of the order Enterobacterales, including Arsenophonus and Sodalis, which are lineages found in a wide variety of insect hosts. Additionally, Symbiopectobacterium, another Enterobacterales lineage, which has recently been recognized and increasingly shown to be vertically transmitted and mutualistic in various invertebrates, was identified for the first time in Psylloidea. This lineage is closely related to Pectobacterium spp., which are plant pathogens, but forms a distinct clade exhibiting no pathogenicity to plants. Non-Enterobacterales gammaproteobacteria found in the present study were Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas (both Pseudomonadales), Delftia, Comamonas (both Burkholderiales), and Xanthomonas (Xanthomonadales), a putative plant pathogen. Regarding alphaproteobacteria, three Wolbachia (Rickettsiales) lineages belonging to supergroup B, the major group in insect lineages, were detected in four psyllid species. In addition, a Wolbachia lineage of supergroup O, a minor group recently found for the first time in Psylloidea, was detected in one psyllid species. These results suggest the pervasive transfer of bacterial symbionts among animals and plants, providing deeper insights into the evolution of the interactions among these organisms.


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.

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Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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