Sample records for bacteriocytes

  1. Developmental origin and evolution of bacteriocytes in the aphid-Buchnera symbiosis.

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    Christian Braendle


    Full Text Available Symbiotic relationships between bacteria and insect hosts are common. Although the bacterial endosymbionts have been subjected to intense investigation, little is known of the host cells in which they reside, the bacteriocytes. We have studied the development and evolution of aphid bacteriocytes, the host cells that contain the endosymbiotic bacteria Buchnera aphidicola. We show that bacteriocytes of Acyrthosiphon pisum express several gene products (or their paralogues: Distal-less, Ultrabithorax/Abdominal-A, and Engrailed. Using these markers, we find that a subpopulation of the bacteriocytes is specified prior to the transmission of maternal bacteria to the embryo. In addition, we discovered that a second population of cells is recruited to the bacteriocyte fate later in development. We experimentally demonstrate that bacteriocyte induction and proliferation occur independently of B. aphidicola. Major features of bacteriocyte development, including the two-step recruitment of bacteriocytes, have been conserved in aphids for 80-150 million years. Furthermore, we have investigated two cases of evolutionary loss of bacterial symbionts: in one case, where novel extracellular, eukaryotic symbionts replaced the bacteria, the bacteriocyte is maintained; in another case, where symbionts are absent, the bacteriocytes are initiated but not maintained. The bacteriocyte represents an evolutionarily novel cell fate, which is developmentally determined independently of the bacteria. Three of five transcription factors we examined show novel expression patterns in bacteriocytes, suggesting that bacteriocytes may have evolved to express many additional transcription factors. The evolutionary transition to a symbiosis in which bacteria and an aphid cell form a functional unit, similar to the origin of plastids, has apparently involved extensive molecular adaptations on the part of the host cell.

  2. Bacteriocyte dynamics during development of a holometabolous insect, the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus

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    Fraunholz Martin J


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus harbors obligate intracellular mutualistic bacteria (Blochmannia floridanus in specialized cells, the bacteriocytes, intercalated in their midgut tissue. The diffuse distribution of bacteriocytes over the midgut tissue is in contrast to many other insects carrying endosymbionts in specialized tissues which are often connected to the midgut but form a distinct organ, the bacteriome. C. floridanus is a holometabolous insect which undergoes a complete metamorphosis. During pupal stages a complete restructuring of the inner organs including the digestive tract takes place. So far, nothing was known about maintenance of endosymbionts during this life stage of a holometabolous insect. It was shown previously that the number of Blochmannia increases strongly during metamorphosis. This implicates an important function of Blochmannia in this developmental phase during which the animals are metabolically very active but do not have access to external food resources. Previous experiments have shown a nutritional contribution of the bacteria to host metabolism by production of essential amino acids and urease-mediated nitrogen recycling. In adult hosts the symbiosis appears to degenerate with increasing age of the animals. Results We investigated the distribution and dynamics of endosymbiotic bacteria and bacteriocytes at different stages during development of the animals from larva to imago by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The number of bacteriocytes in relation to symbiont-free midgut cells varied strongly over different developmental stages. Especially during metamorphosis the relative number of bacteria-filled bacteriocytes increased strongly when the larval midgut epithelium is shed. During this developmental stage the midgut itself became a huge symbiotic organ consisting almost exclusively of cells harboring bacteria. In fact, during this phase some bacteria were also found in midgut

  3. Exclusive localization of carbonic anhydrase in bacteriocytes of the deep-sea clam Calyptogena okutanii with thioautotrophic symbiotic bacteria. (United States)

    Hongo, Yuki; Nakamura, Yoshimitsu; Shimamura, Shigeru; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Uematsu, Katsuyuki; Toyofuku, Takashi; Hirayama, Hisako; Takai, Ken; Nakazawa, Masatoshi; Maruyama, Tadashi; Yoshida, Takao


    Deep-sea Calyptogena clams harbor thioautotrophic intracellular symbiotic bacteria in their gill epithelial cells. The symbiont fixes CO2 to synthesize organic compounds. Carbonic anhydrase (CA) from the host catalyzes the reaction CO2 + H2O ↔ HCO3(-) + H(+), and is assumed to facilitate inorganic carbon (Ci) uptake and transport to the symbiont. However, the localization of CA in gill tissue remains unknown. We therefore analyzed mRNA sequences, proteins and CA activity in Calyptogena okutanii using expression sequence tag, SDS-PAGE and LC-MS/MS. We found that acetazolamide-sensitive soluble CA was abundantly expressed in the gill tissue of C. okutanii, and the enzyme was purified by affinity chromatography. Mouse monoclonal antibodies against the CA of C. okutanii were used in western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining of the gill tissues of C. okutanii, which showed that CA was exclusively localized in the symbiont-harboring cells (bacteriocytes) in gill epithelial cells. Western blot analysis and measurement of activity showed that CA was abundantly (26-72% of total soluble protein) detected in the gill tissues of not only Calyptogena clams but also deep-sea Bathymodiolus mussels that harbor thioautotrophic or methanotrophic symbiotic bacteria, but was not detected in a non-symbiotic mussel, Mytilus sp. The present study showed that CA is abundant in the gill tissues of deep-sea symbiotic bivalves and specifically localizes in the cytoplasm of bacteriocytes of C. okutanii. This indicates that the Ci supply process to symbionts in the vacuole (symbiosome) in bacteriocytes is essential for symbiosis.

  4. Pea aphid promotes amino acid metabolism both in Medicago truncatula and bacteriocytes to favor aphid population growth under elevated CO2. (United States)

    Guo, Huijuan; Sun, Yucheng; Li, Yuefei; Tong, Bin; Harris, Marvin; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Ge, Feng


    Rising atmospheric CO(2) levels can dilute the nitrogen (N) resource in plant tissue, which is disadvantageous to many herbivorous insects. Aphids appear to be an exception that warrants further study. The effects of elevated CO(2) (750 ppm vs. 390 ppm) were evaluated on N assimilation and transamination by two Medicago truncatula genotypes, a N-fixing-deficient mutant (dnf1) and its wild-type control (Jemalong), with and without pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) infestation. Elevated CO(2) increased population abundance and feeding efficiency of aphids fed on Jemalong, but reduced those on dnf1. Without aphid infestation, elevated CO(2) increased photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll content, nodule number, biomass, and pod number for Jemalong, but only increased pod number and chlorophyll content for dnf1. Furthermore, aphid infested Jemalong plants had enhanced activities of N assimilation-related enzymes (glutamine synthetase, Glutamate synthase) and transamination-related enzymes (glutamate oxalate transaminase, glutamine phenylpyruvate transaminase), which presumably increased amino acid concentration in leaves and phloem sap under elevated CO(2). In contrast, aphid infested dnf1 plants had decreased activities of N assimilation-related enzymes and transmination-related enzymes and amino acid concentrations under elevated CO(2). Furthermore, elevated CO(2) up-regulated expression of genes relevant to amino acid metabolism in bacteriocytes of aphids associated with Jemalong, but down-regulated those associated with dnf1. Our results suggest that pea aphids actively elicit host responses that promote amino acid metabolism in both the host plant and in its bacteriocytes to favor the population growth of the aphid under elevated CO(2).

  5. Bacterial symbiosis maintenance in the asexually reproducing and regenerating flatworm Paracatenula galateia. (United States)

    Dirks, Ulrich; Gruber-Vodicka, Harald R; Leisch, Nikolaus; Bulgheresi, Silvia; Egger, Bernhard; Ladurner, Peter; Ott, Jörg A


    Bacteriocytes set the stage for some of the most intimate interactions between animal and bacterial cells. In all bacteriocyte possessing systems studied so far, de novo formation of bacteriocytes occurs only once in the host development, at the time of symbiosis establishment. Here, we present the free-living symbiotic flatworm Paracatenula galateia and its intracellular, sulfur-oxidizing bacteria as a system with previously undescribed strategies of bacteriocyte formation and bacterial symbiont transmission. Using thymidine analogue S-phase labeling and immunohistochemistry, we show that all somatic cells in adult worms - including bacteriocytes - originate exclusively from aposymbiotic stem cells (neoblasts). The continued bacteriocyte formation from aposymbiotic stem cells in adult animals represents a previously undescribed strategy of symbiosis maintenance and makes P. galateia a unique system to study bacteriocyte differentiation and development. We also provide morphological and immunohistochemical evidence that P. galateia reproduces by asexual fragmentation and regeneration (paratomy) and, thereby, vertically transmits numerous symbiont-containing bacteriocytes to its asexual progeny. Our data support the earlier reported hypothesis that the symbiont population is subjected to reduced bottleneck effects. This would justify both the codiversification between Paracatenula hosts and their Candidatus Riegeria symbionts, and the slow evolutionary rates observed for several symbiont genes.

  6. Distribution of the Primary Endosymbiont (Candidatus Uzinura Diaspidicola Within Host Insects from the Scale Insect Family Diaspididae

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    Katharina Dittmar


    Full Text Available It has long been known that armored scale insects harbor endosymbiotic bacteria inside specialized cells called bacteriocytes. Originally, these endosymbionts were thought to be fungal symbionts but they are now known to be bacterial and have been named Uzinura diaspidicola. Bacteriocyte and endosymbiont distribution patterns within host insects were visualized using in situ hybridization via 16S rRNA specific probes. Images of scale insect embryos, eggs and adult scale insects show patterns of localized bacteriocytes in embryos and randomly distributed bacteriocytes in adults. The symbiont pocket was not found in the armored scale insect eggs that were tested. The pattern of dispersed bacteriocytes in adult scale insects suggest that Uzinura and Blattabacteria may share some homologous traits that coincide with similar life style requirements, such as dispersal in fat bodies and uric acid recycling.

  7. Distribution of the Primary Endosymbiont (Candidatus Uzinura Diaspidicola) Within Host Insects from the Scale Insect Family Diaspididae. (United States)

    Gruwell, Matthew E; Flarhety, Meghan; Dittmar, Katharina


    It has long been known that armored scale insects harbor endosymbiotic bacteria inside specialized cells called bacteriocytes. Originally, these endosymbionts were thought to be fungal symbionts but they are now known to be bacterial and have been named Uzinura diaspidicola. Bacteriocyte and endosymbiont distribution patterns within host insects were visualized using in situ hybridization via 16S rRNA specific probes. Images of scale insect embryos, eggs and adult scale insects show patterns of localized bacteriocytes in embryos and randomly distributed bacteriocytes in adults. The symbiont pocket was not found in the armored scale insect eggs that were tested. The pattern of dispersed bacteriocytes in adult scale insects suggest that Uzinura and Blattabacteria may share some homologous traits that coincide with similar life style requirements, such as dispersal in fat bodies and uric acid recycling.

  8. Aphid amino acid transporter regulates glutamine supply to intracellular bacterial symbionts. (United States)

    Price, Daniel R G; Feng, Honglin; Baker, James D; Bavan, Selvan; Luetje, Charles W; Wilson, Alex C C


    Endosymbiotic associations have played a major role in evolution. However, the molecular basis for the biochemical interdependence of these associations remains poorly understood. The aphid-Buchnera endosymbiosis provides a powerful system to elucidate how these symbioses are regulated. In aphids, the supply of essential amino acids depends on an ancient nutritional symbiotic association with the gamma-proteobacterium Buchnera aphidicola. Buchnera cells are densely packed in specialized aphid bacteriocyte cells. Here we confirm that five putative amino acid transporters are highly expressed and/or highly enriched in Acyrthosiphon pisum bacteriocyte tissues. When expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, two bacteriocyte amino acid transporters displayed significant levels of glutamine uptake, with transporter ACYPI001018, LOC100159667 (named here as Acyrthosiphon pisum glutamine transporter 1, ApGLNT1) functioning as the most active glutamine transporter. Transporter ApGLNT1 has narrow substrate selectivity, with high glutamine and low arginine transport capacity. Notably, ApGLNT1 has high binding affinity for arginine, and arginine acts as a competitive inhibitor for glutamine transport. Using immunocytochemistry, we show that ApGLNT1 is localized predominantly to the bacteriocyte plasma membrane, a location consistent with the transport of glutamine from A. pisum hemolymph to the bacteriocyte cytoplasm. On the basis of functional transport data and localization, we propose a substrate feedback inhibition model in which the accumulation of the essential amino acid arginine in A. pisum hemolymph reduces the transport of the precursor glutamine into bacteriocytes, thereby regulating amino acid biosynthesis in the bacteriocyte. Structural similarities in the arrangement of hosts and symbionts across endosymbiotic systems suggest that substrate feedback inhibition may be mechanistically important in other endosymbioses.

  9. Symbiosis in the green leafhopper, Cicadella viridis (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae). Association in statu nascendi? (United States)

    Michalik, Anna; Jankowska, Władysława; Kot, Marta; Gołas, Aniela; Szklarzewicz, Teresa


    The green leafhopper, Cicadella viridis lives in symbiotic association with microorganisms. The ultrastructural and molecular analyses have shown that in the body of the C. viridis two types of bacteriocyte endosymbionts are present. An amplification and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes revealed that large, pleomorphic bacteria display a high similarity (94-100%) to the endosymbiont 'Candidatus Sulcia muelleri' (phylum Bacteroidetes), whereas long, rod-shaped microorganisms are closely related to the γ-proteobacterial symbiont Sodalis (97-99% similarity). Both endosymbionts may be harbored in their own bacteriocytes as well as may co-reside in the same bacteriocytes. The ultrastructural observations have revealed that the Sodalis-like bacteria harboring the same bacteriocytes as bacterium Sulcia may invade the cells of the latter. Bacteria Sulcia and Sodalis-like endosymbionts are transovarially transmitted from one generation to the next. However, Sodalis-like endosymbionts do not invade the ovaries individually, but only inside Sulcia cells. Apart from bacteriocyte endosymbionts, in the body of C. viridis small, rod-shaped bacteria have been detected, and have been identified as being closely related to γ-proteobacterial microorganism Pectobacterium (98-99% similarity). The latter are present in the sheath cells of the bacteriomes containing bacterium Sulcia as well as in fat body cells.

  10. Tissue localization of the endosymbiotic bacterium "Candidatus Blochmannia floridanus" in adults and larvae of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. (United States)

    Sauer, Christina; Dudaczek, Dieter; Hölldobler, Bert; Gross, Roy


    The distribution of endosymbiotic bacteria in different tissues of queens, males, and workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus was investigated by light and electron microscopy and by in situ hybridization. A large number of bacteria could be detected in bacteriocytes within the midguts of workers, young virgin queens, and males. Large amounts of bacteria were also found in the oocytes of workers and queens. In contrast, bacteria were not present in oocyte-associated cells or in the spermathecae of mature queens, although occasionally a small number of bacteria could be detected in the testis follicles of males. Interestingly, the number of bacteriocytes in mature queens was strongly reduced and the bacteriocytes contained only very few or no bacteria at all, although the endosymbionts were present in huge amounts in the ovaries of the same animals. During embryogenesis of the deposited egg, the bacteria were concentrated in a ring of endodermal tissue destined to become the midgut in later developmental stages. However, during larval development, bacteria could also be detected in other tissues although to a lesser extent. Only in the last-instar larvae were bacteria found exclusively in the midgut tissue within typical bacteriocytes. Tetracycline and rifampin efficiently cleansed C. floridanus workers of their symbionts and the bacteriocytes of these animals still remained empty several months after treatment had ceased. Despite the lack of their endosymbionts, these adult animals were able to survive without any obvious negative effect under normal cultivation conditions.

  11. Expression of genes involved in the uptake of inorganic carbon in the gill of a deep-sea vesicomyid clam harboring intracellular thioautotrophic bacteria. (United States)

    Hongo, Yuki; Ikuta, Tetsuro; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Shimamura, Shigeru; Shigenobu, Shuji; Maruyama, Tadashi; Yoshida, Takao


    Deep-sea vesicomyid clams, including the genus Phreagena (formerly Calyptogena), harbor thioautotrophic bacterial symbionts in the host symbiosome, which consists of cytoplasmic vacuoles in gill epithelial cells called bacteriocytes. The symbiont requires inorganic carbon (Ci), such as CO2, HCO3(-), and CO3(2-), to synthesize organic compounds, which are utilized by the host clam. The dominant Ci in seawater is HCO3(-), which is impermeable to cell membranes. Within the bacteriocyte, cytoplasmic carbonic anhydrase (CA) from the host, which catalyzes the inter-conversion between CO2 and HCO3(-), has been shown to be abundant and is thought to supply intracellular CO2 to symbionts in the symbiosome. However, the mechanism of Ci uptake by the host gill from seawater is poorly understood. To elucidate the influx pathway of Ci into the bacteriocyte, we isolated the genes related to Ci uptake via the pyrosequencing of cDNA from the gill of Phreagena okutanii, and investigated their expression patterns. Using phylogenetic and amino acid sequence analyses, three solute carrier family 4 (SLC4) bicarbonate transporters (slc4co1, slc4co2, and slc4co4) and two membrane-associated CAs (mcaco1 and mcaco2) were identified as candidate genes for Ci uptake. In an in situ hybridization analysis of gill sections, the expression of mcaco1 and mcaco2 was detected in the bacteriocytes and asymbiotic non-ciliated cells, respectively, and the expression of slc4co1 and slc4co2 was detected in the asymbiotic cells, including the intermediate cells of the inner area and the non-ciliated cells of the external area. Although subcellular localizations of the products of these genes have not been fully elucidated, they may play an important role in the uptake of Ci into the bacteriocytes. These findings will improve our understanding of the Ci transport system in the symbiotic relationships of chemosynthetic bivalves.

  12. Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria of Camponotus species (carpenter ants): systematics, evolution and ultrastructural characterization. (United States)

    Schröder, D; Deppisch, H; Obermayer, M; Krohne, G; Stackebrandt, E; Hôlldobler, B; Goebel, W; Gross, R


    Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria inherent to ants of the genus Camponotus were characterized. The bacteria were localized in bacteriocytes, which are specialized cells of both workers and queen ants; these cells are intercalated between epithelial cells of the midgut. The bacteriocytes show a different morphology from the normal epithelial cells and carry a large number of the rod-shaped Gram-negative bacteria free in the cytoplasm. The bacteria were never observed in the neighbouring epithelial cells, but they were found intracellularly in oocytes, strongly indicating a maternal transmission of the bacteria. The 16S DNA encoding rrs loci of the endosymbionts of four species of the genus Camponotus derived either from Germany (C. herculeanus and C. ligniperdus), North America (C. floridanus) or South America (C. rufipes) were cloned after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using oligonucleotides complementary to all so far known eubacterial rrs sequences. The DNA sequences of the rrs loci of the four endosymbionts were determined, and, using various genus- and species-specific oligonucleotides derived from variable regions in the rrs sequences, the identity of the bacteria present in the bacteriocytes and the ovarian cells was confirmed by PCR and in situ hybridization techniques. Comparison of the 16S DNA sequences with the available database showed the endosymbiotic bacteria to be members of the gamma-subclass of Proteobacteria. They formed a distinct taxonomic group, a sister taxon of the taxons defined by the tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts. Within the gamma-subclass, the cluster of the ant, tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts are placed adjacent to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. The evolutionary tree of the ant endosymbionts reflects the systematic classification and geographical distribution of their host insects, indicating an early co-evolution of the symbiotic partners and a vertical transmission of the bacteria.

  13. Bacterial symbionts of the leafhopper Evacanthus interruptus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Insecta, Hemiptera, Cicadellidae: Evacanthinae). (United States)

    Szklarzewicz, Teresa; Grzywacz, Beata; Szwedo, Jacek; Michalik, Anna


    Plant sap-feeding hemipterans harbor obligate symbiotic microorganisms which are responsible for the synthesis of amino acids missing in their diet. In this study, we characterized the obligate symbionts hosted in the body of the xylem-feeding leafhopper Evacanthus interruptus (Cicadellidae: Evacanthinae: Evacanthini) by means of histological, ultrastructural and molecular methods. We observed that E. interruptus is associated with two types of symbiotic microorganisms: bacterium 'Candidatus Sulcia muelleri' (Bacteroidetes) and betaproteobacterium that is closely related to symbionts which reside in two other Cicadellidae representatives: Pagaronia tredecimpunctata (Evacanthinae: Pagaronini) and Hylaius oregonensis (Bathysmatophorinae: Bathysmatophorini). Both symbionts are harbored in their own bacteriocytes which are localized between the body wall and ovaries. In E. interruptus, both Sulcia and betaproteobacterial symbionts are transovarially transmitted from one generation to the next. In the mature female, symbionts leave the bacteriocytes and gather around the posterior pole of the terminal oocytes. Then, they gradually pass through the cytoplasm of follicular cells surrounding the posterior pole of the oocyte and enter the space between them and the oocyte. The bacteria accumulate in the deep depression of the oolemma and form a characteristic 'symbiont ball'. In the light of the results obtained, the phylogenetic relationships within modern Cicadomorpha and some Cicadellidae subfamilies are discussed.

  14. Vertical transmission of chemoautotrophic symbionts in the bivalve Solemya velum (Bivalvia: Protobranchia). (United States)

    Krueger, D M; Gustafson, R G; Cavanaugh, C M


    Adults of the bivalve species Solemya velum live in symbiosis with chemoautotrophic bacteria in specialized gill bacteriocytes. The bacteria play an essential nutritional role in the mature association, fixing CO2 via the Calvin cycle with energy obtained through the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds. To understand how the continuity of this partnership is maintained between host generations, we investigated the mode of symbiont transfer in S. velum. A diagnostic assay using the polymerase chain reaction and primers specific for the S. velum symbiont ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RubisCO) gene consistently detected bacterial sequence in female gonad tissue, suggesting the presence of symbiont cells in host ovaries and a vertical mode of symbiont transmission from mother to offspring. Furthermore, intracellular bacteria were present in the developing gills of juveniles that had not yet hatched from the gelatinous capsule in which larval development occurs (11 days after fertilization). By 64 days postfertilization, the typical adult gill ultrastructure of alternating bacteriocytes and symbiont-free-intercalary cells was apparent. Knowledge about the mode of symbiont transfer in S. velum allows further study into the dynamics of host-symbiont interactions in chemoautotrophic associations.

  15. Co-infection and localization of secondary symbionts in two whitefly species

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    Kontsedalov Svetlana


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Whiteflies are cosmopolitan phloem-feeding pests that cause serious damage to many crops worldwide due to direct feeding and vectoring of many plant viruses. The sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius and the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood are two of the most widespread and damaging whitefly species. To complete their unbalanced diet, whiteflies harbor the obligatory bacterium Portiera aleyrodidarum. B. tabaci further harbors a diverse array of secondary symbionts, including Hamiltonella, Arsenophonus, Cardinium, Wolbachia, Rickettsia and Fritschea. T. vaporariorum is only known to harbor P. aleyrodidarum and Arsenophonus. We conducted a study to survey the distribution of whitefly species in Croatia, their infection status by secondary symbionts, and the spatial distribution of these symbionts in the developmental stages of the two whitefly species. Results T. vaporariorum was found to be the predominant whitefly species across Croatia, while only the Q biotype of B. tabaci was found across the coastal part of the country. Arsenophonus and Hamiltonella were detected in collected T. vaporariorum populations, however, not all populations harbored both symbionts, and both symbionts showed 100% infection rate in some of the populations. Only the Q biotype of B. tabaci was found in the populations tested and they harbored Hamiltonella, Rickettsia, Wolbachia and Cardinium, while Arsenophonus and Fritschea were not detected in any B. tabaci populations. None of the detected symbionts appeared in all populations tested, and multiple infections were detected in some of the populations. All endosymbionts tested were localized inside the bacteriocyte in both species, but only Rickettsia and Cardinium in B. tabaci showed additional localization outside the bacteriocyte. Conclusions Our study revealed unique co-infection patterns by secondary symbionts in B. tabaci and T. vaporariorum. Co-sharing of the

  16. LNA probes substantially improve the detection of bacterial endosymbionts in whole mount of insects by fluorescent in-situ hybridization

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    Priya Natarajan


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Detection of unculturable bacteria and their localization in the host, by fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH, is a powerful technique in the study of host-bacteria interaction. FISH probes are designed to target the 16 s rRNA region of the bacteria to be detected. LNA probes have recently been used in FISH studies and proven to be more efficient. To date no report has employed LNA probes for FISH detection of bacterial endosymbiont in the whole mount tissues. Further, though speculated, bacteriocytes have not been reported from males of Bemisia tabaci. Results In this study, we compared the efficiency in detecting bacteria by fluorescent DNA oligonucleotides versus modified probes containing Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA substitution in their structure. We used the insect Bemisia tabaci as the experimental material since it carried simultaneous infection by two bacteria: one a primary endosymbiont, Portiera (and present in more numbers while the other a secondary endosymbiont Arsenophonus (and present in less numbers. Thus a variation in the abundance of bacteria was expected. While detecting both the bacteria, we found a significant increase in the signal whenever LNA probes were used. However, the difference was more pronounced in detecting the secondary endosymbiont, wherein DNA probes gave weak signals when compared to LNA probes. Also, signal to noise ratio for LNA probes was higher than DNA probes. We found that LNA considerably improved sensitivity of FISH, as compared to the commonly used DNA oligonucleotide probe. Conclusion By employing LNA probes we could detect endosymbiotic bacteria in males, which have never been reported previously. We were able to detect bacteriocytes containing Portiera and Arsenophonus in the males of B. tabaci. Thus, employing LNA probes at optimized conditions will help to significantly improve detection of bacteria at the lowest concentration and may give a comprehensible depiction

  17. Bacterial genes in the aphid genome: absence of functional gene transfer from Buchnera to its host.

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    Naruo Nikoh


    Full Text Available Genome reduction is typical of obligate symbionts. In cellular organelles, this reduction partly reflects transfer of ancestral bacterial genes to the host genome, but little is known about gene transfer in other obligate symbioses. Aphids harbor anciently acquired obligate mutualists, Buchnera aphidicola (Gammaproteobacteria, which have highly reduced genomes (420-650 kb, raising the possibility of gene transfer from ancestral Buchnera to the aphid genome. In addition, aphids often harbor other bacteria that also are potential sources of transferred genes. Previous limited sampling of genes expressed in bacteriocytes, the specialized cells that harbor Buchnera, revealed that aphids acquired at least two genes from bacteria. The newly sequenced genome of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, presents the first opportunity for a complete inventory of genes transferred from bacteria to the host genome in the context of an ancient obligate symbiosis. Computational screening of the entire A. pisum genome, followed by phylogenetic and experimental analyses, provided strong support for the transfer of 12 genes or gene fragments from bacteria to the aphid genome: three LD-carboxypeptidases (LdcA1, LdcA2,psiLdcA, five rare lipoprotein As (RlpA1-5, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase (AmiD, 1,4-beta-N-acetylmuramidase (bLys, DNA polymerase III alpha chain (psiDnaE, and ATP synthase delta chain (psiAtpH. Buchnera was the apparent source of two highly truncated pseudogenes (psiDnaE and psiAtpH. Most other transferred genes were closely related to genes from relatives of Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria. At least eight of the transferred genes (LdcA1, AmiD, RlpA1-5, bLys appear to be functional, and expression of seven (LdcA1, AmiD, RlpA1-5 are highly upregulated in bacteriocytes. The LdcAs and RlpAs appear to have been duplicated after transfer. Our results excluded the hypothesis that genome reduction in Buchnera has been accompanied by gene transfer to the

  18. Exploration for facultative endosymbionts of glassy-wingedsharpshooter (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)

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    Montllor-Curley, C.; Brodie, E.L.; Lechner, M.G.; Purcell, A.H.


    Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae),glassy-winged sharpshooter, was collected in California and severalstates in the southeastern United States in 2002 and 2003 and analyzedfor endosymbiotic bacteria. Hemolymph, eggs, and bacteriomes wereexamined for the presence of bacteria by polymerase chain reaction. Asubset of hemolymph and egg samples had their 16S rRNA gene ampliconscloned and sequenced or analyzed by restriction digest patterns ofsamples compared with known bacterial DNA. Baumannia cicadellinicola, oneof the primary symbionts of glassy-winged sharpshooter, was found in themajority of hemolymph samples, although it has been considered until nowto reside primarily inside the specialized host bacteriocytes. Wolbachiasp., a common secondary symbiont in many insect taxa investigated todate, was the second most frequently detected bacterium in hemolymphsamples. In addition, we detected bacteria that were most closely related(by 16S rRNA gene sequence) to Pseudomonas, Stenotrophomonas, andAcinetobacter in hemolymph samples of one and/or two glassy-wingedsharpshooters, but their origin is uncertain.

  19. Molecular characterization and diversity analysis of bacterial communities associated with Dialeurolonga malleswaramensis (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) adults using 16S rDNA amplicon pyrosequencing and FISH. (United States)

    Pandey, Neeti; Rajagopal, Raman


    Dialeurolonga malleswaramensis Sundararaj (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a phytophagous sap sucking insect. It infests Polyalthia longifolia, an important avenue tree of India, effective in alleviating noise pollution and having immense medicinal importance. Samples of this insect were collected from Polyalthia longifolia. The cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (mtCO1) helped in the molecular characterization of the insect. This study reports the bacterial diversity in D. malleswaramensis adults by high throughput 16S rDNA amplicon pyrosequencing. The major genera identified were Portiera and Arsenophonus. Other bacterial genera detected were uncultured alpha proteobacterium, Sphingopyxis and Methylobacterium. We also employed fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in whole mount samples to confirm the presence of dominant endosymbionts Portiera and Arsenophonus to the bacteriocyte of D. malleswaramensis. This study concludes that combining techniques like 16S rDNA amplicon pyrosequencing and FISH reveal both dominant and rare bacteria. The data also predict the evolutionary position of this pest with respect to other whitefly species using a mitochondrial marker.

  20. Microbial distribution and abundance in the digestive system of five shipworm species (Bivalvia: Teredinidae.

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    Meghan A Betcher

    Full Text Available Marine bivalves of the family Teredinidae (shipworms are voracious consumers of wood in marine environments. In several shipworm species, dense communities of intracellular bacterial endosymbionts have been observed within specialized cells (bacteriocytes of the gills (ctenidia. These bacteria are proposed to contribute to digestion of wood by the host. While the microbes of shipworm gills have been studied extensively in several species, the abundance and distribution of microbes in the digestive system have not been adequately addressed. Here we use Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH and laser scanning confocal microscopy with 16S rRNA directed oligonucleotide probes targeting all domains, domains Bacteria and Archaea, and other taxonomic groups to examine the digestive microbiota of 17 specimens from 5 shipworm species (Bankia setacea, Lyrodus pedicellatus, Lyrodus massa, Lyrodus sp. and Teredo aff. triangularis. These data reveal that the caecum, a large sac-like appendage of the stomach that typically contains large quantities of wood particles and is considered the primary site of wood digestion, harbors only very sparse microbial populations. However, a significant number of bacterial cells were observed in fecal pellets within the intestines. These results suggest that due to low abundance, bacteria in the caecum may contribute little to lignocellulose degradation. In contrast, the comparatively high population density of bacteria in the intestine suggests a possible role for intestinal bacteria in the degradation of lignocellulose.

  1. Reductive genome evolution, host-symbiont co-speciation and uterine transmission of endosymbiotic bacteria in bat flies. (United States)

    Hosokawa, Takahiro; Nikoh, Naruo; Koga, Ryuichi; Satô, Masahiko; Tanahashi, Masahiko; Meng, Xian-Ying; Fukatsu, Takema


    Bat flies of the family Nycteribiidae are known for their extreme morphological and physiological traits specialized for ectoparasitic blood-feeding lifestyle on bats, including lack of wings, reduced head and eyes, adenotrophic viviparity with a highly developed uterus and milk glands, as well as association with endosymbiotic bacteria. We investigated Japanese nycteribiid bat flies representing 4 genera, 8 species and 27 populations for their bacterial endosymbionts. From all the nycteribiid species examined, a distinct clade of gammaproteobacteria was consistently detected, which was allied to endosymbionts of other insects such as Riesia spp. of primate lice and Arsenophonus spp. of diverse insects. In adult insects, the endosymbiont was localized in specific bacteriocytes in the abdomen, suggesting an intimate host-symbiont association. In adult females, the endosymbiont was also found in the cavity of milk gland tubules, which suggests uterine vertical transmission of the endosymbiont to larvae through milk gland secretion. In adult females of Penicillidia jenynsii, we discovered a previously unknown type of symbiotic organ in the Nycteribiidae: a pair of large bacteriomes located inside the swellings on the fifth abdominal ventral plate. The endosymbiont genes consistently exhibited adenine/thymine biased nucleotide compositions and accelerated rates of molecular evolution. The endosymbiont genome was estimated to be highly reduced, ~0.76 Mb in size. The endosymbiont phylogeny perfectly mirrored the host insect phylogeny, indicating strict vertical transmission and host-symbiont co-speciation in the evolutionary course of the Nycteribiidae. The designation 'Candidatus Aschnera chinzeii' is proposed for the endosymbiont clade.

  2. Ultrastructural and molecular characterization of a bacterial symbiosis in the ecologically important scale insect family Coelostomidiidae. (United States)

    Dhami, Manpreet K; Turner, Adrian P; Deines, Peter; Beggs, Jacqueline R; Taylor, Michael W


    Scale insects are important ecologically and as agricultural pests. The majority of scale insect taxa feed exclusively on plant phloem sap, which is carbon rich but deficient in essential amino acids. This suggests that, as seen in the related aphids and psyllids, scale insect nutrition might also depend upon bacterial symbionts, yet very little is known about scale insect-bacteria symbioses. We report here the first identification and molecular characterization of symbiotic bacteria associated with the New Zealand giant scale Coelostomidia wairoensis, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 16S rRNA gene-based analysis. Dissection and FISH confirmed the location of the bacteria in large, paired, multilobate organs in the abdominal region of the insect. TEM indicated that the dominant pleomorphic bacteria were confined to bacteriocytes in the sheath-enclosed bacteriome. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of three distinct bacterial types, the bacteriome-associated B-symbiont (Bacteroidetes), an Erwinia-related symbiont (Gammaproteobacteria) and Wolbachia sp. (Alphaproteobacteria). This study extends the current knowledge of scale insect symbionts and is the first microbiological investigation of the ecologically important coelostomidiid scales.

  3. How to get into bones: proton pump and carbonic anhydrase in Osedax boneworms. (United States)

    Tresguerres, Martin; Katz, Sigrid; Rouse, Greg W


    Osedax are gutless siboglinid worms that thrive on vertebrate bones lying on the ocean floor, mainly those of whales. The posterior body of female Osedax penetrates into the bone forming extensions known as 'roots', which host heterotrophic symbiotic bacteria in bacteriocytes beneath the epidermis. The Osedax root epithelium presumably absorbs bone collagen and/or lipids, which are metabolized by the symbiotic bacteria that in turn serve for Osedax's nutrition. Here, we show that Osedax roots express extremely high amounts of vacuolar-H(+)-ATPase (VHA), which is located in the apical membrane and in cytoplasmic vesicles of root and ovisac epithelial cells. The enzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA), which catalyses the hydration of CO2 into H(+) and HCO3(-), is also expressed in roots and throughout Osedax body. These results suggest Osedax roots have massive acid-secreting capacity via VHA, fuelled by H(+) derived from the CA-catalysed hydration of CO2 produced by aerobic metabolism. We propose the secreted acid dissolves the bone carbonate matrix to then allow the absorption of bone-derived nutrients across the skin. In an exciting example of convergent evolution, this model for acid secretion is remarkably similar to mammalian osteoclast cells. However, while osteoclasts dissolve bone for repairing and remodelling, the Osedax root epithelium secretes acid to dissolve foreign bone to access nutrients.

  4. Insects recycle endosymbionts when the benefit is over. (United States)

    Vigneron, Aurélien; Masson, Florent; Vallier, Agnès; Balmand, Séverine; Rey, Marjolaine; Vincent-Monégat, Carole; Aksoy, Emre; Aubailly-Giraud, Etienne; Zaidman-Rémy, Anna; Heddi, Abdelaziz


    Symbiotic associations are widespread in nature and represent a driving force in evolution. They are known to impact fitness, and thereby shape the host phenotype. Insects subsisting on nutritionally poor substrates have evolved mutualistic relationships with intracellular symbiotic bacteria (endosymbionts) that supply them with metabolic components lacking in their diet. In many species, endosymbionts are hosted within specialized host cells, called the bacteriocytes, and transmitted vertically across host generations. How hosts balance the costs and benefits of having endosymbionts, and whether and how they adjust symbiont load to their physiological needs, remains largely unexplored. By investigating the cereal weevil Sitophilus association with the Sodalis pierantonius endosymbiont, we discover that endosymbiont populations intensively multiply in young adults, before being rapidly eliminated within few days. We show that young adults strongly depend on endosymbionts and that endosymbiont proliferation after metamorphosis matches a drastic host physiological need for the tyrosine (Tyr) and phenylalanine (Phe) amino acids to rapidly build their protective exoskeleton. Tyr and Phe are precursors of the dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) molecule that is an essential component for the cuticle synthesis. Once the cuticle is achieved, DOPA reaches high amounts in insects, which triggers endosymbiont elimination. This elimination relies on apoptosis and autophagy activation, allowing digestion and recycling of the endosymbiont material. Thus, the weevil-endosymbiont association reveals an adaptive interplay between metabolic and cellular functions that minimizes the cost of symbiosis and speeds up the exoskeleton formation during a critical phase when emerging adults are especially vulnerable.

  5. Snapshots of a shrinking partner: Genome reduction in Serratia symbiotica (United States)

    Manzano-Marín, Alejandro; Latorre, Amparo


    Genome reduction is pervasive among maternally-inherited endosymbiotic organisms, from bacteriocyte- to gut-associated ones. This genome erosion is a step-wise process in which once free-living organisms evolve to become obligate associates, thereby losing non-essential or redundant genes/functions. Serratia symbiotica (Gammaproteobacteria), a secondary endosymbiont present in many aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae), displays various characteristics that make it a good model organism for studying genome reduction. While some strains are of facultative nature, others have established co-obligate associations with their respective aphid host and its primary endosymbiont (Buchnera). Furthermore, the different strains hold genomes of contrasting sizes and features, and have strikingly disparate cell shapes, sizes, and tissue tropism. Finally, genomes from closely related free-living Serratia marcescens are also available. In this study, we describe in detail the genome reduction process (from free-living to reduced obligate endosymbiont) undergone by S. symbiotica, and relate it to the stages of integration to the symbiotic system the different strains find themselves in. We establish that the genome reduction patterns observed in S. symbiotica follow those from other dwindling genomes, thus proving to be a good model for the study of the genome reduction process within a single bacterial taxon evolving in a similar biological niche (aphid-Buchnera). PMID:27599759

  6. Can't take the heat: high temperature depletes bacterial endosymbionts of ants. (United States)

    Fan, Yongliang; Wernegreen, Jennifer J


    Members of the ant tribe Camponotini have coevolved with Blochmannia, an obligate intracellular bacterial mutualist. This endosymbiont lives within host bacteriocyte cells that line the ant midgut, undergoes maternal transmission from host queens to offspring, and contributes to host nutrition via nitrogen recycling and nutrient biosynthesis. While elevated temperature has been shown to disrupt obligate bacterial mutualists of some insects, its impact on the ant-Blochmannia partnership is less clear. Here, we test the effect of heat on the density of Blochmannia in two related Camponotus species in the lab. Transcriptionally active Blochmannia were quantified using RT-qPCR as the ratio of Blochmannia 16S rRNA to ant host elongation factor 1-α transcripts. Our results showed that 4 weeks of heat treatment depleted active Blochmannia by >99 % in minor workers and unmated queens. However, complete elimination of Blochmannia transcripts rarely occurred, even after 16 weeks of heat treatment. Possible mechanisms of observed thermal sensitivity may include extreme AT-richness and related features of Blochmannia genomes, as well as host stress responses. Broadly, the observed depletion of an essential microbial mutualist in heat-treated ants is analogous to the loss of zooanthellae during coral bleaching. While the ecological relevance of Blochmannia's thermal sensitivity is uncertain, our results argue that symbiont dynamics should be part of models predicting how ants and other animals will respond and adapt to a warming climate.

  7. Hessian fly-associated bacteria: transmission, essentiality, and composition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raman Bansal

    Full Text Available Plant-feeding insects have been recently found to use microbes to manipulate host plant physiology and morphology. Gall midges are one of the largest groups of insects that manipulate host plants extensively. Hessian fly (HF, Mayetiola destructor is an important pest of wheat and a model system for studying gall midges. To examine the role of bacteria in parasitism, a systematic analysis of bacteria associated with HF was performed for the first time. Diverse bacteria were found in different developmental HF stages. Fluorescent in situ hybridization detected a bacteriocyte-like structure in developing eggs. Bacterial DNA was also detected in eggs by PCR using primers targeted to different bacterial groups. These results indicated that HF hosted different types of bacteria that were maternally transmitted to the next generation. Eliminating bacteria from the insect with antibiotics resulted in high mortality of HF larvae, indicating that symbiotic bacteria are essential for the insect to survive on wheat seedlings. A preliminary survey identified various types of bacteria associated with different HF stages, including the genera Enterobacter, Pantoea, Stenotrophomonas, Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Ochrobactrum, Acinetobacter, Alcaligenes, Nitrosomonas, Arcanobacterium, Microbacterium, Paenibacillus, and Klebsiella. Similar bacteria were also found specifically in HF-infested susceptible wheat, suggesting that HF larvae had either transmitted bacteria into plant tissue or brought secondary infection of bacteria to the wheat host. The bacteria associated with wheat seedlings may play an essential role in the wheat-HF interaction.

  8. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms. (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe


    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted.

  9. Populations of Stored Product Mite Tyrophagus putrescentiae Differ in Their Bacterial Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomas Erban


    Full Text Available Background: Tyrophagus putrescentiae colonizes different human-related habitats and feeds on various post-harvest foods. The microbiota acquired by these mites can influence the nutritional plasticity in different populations. We compared the bacterial communities of five populations of T. putrescentiae and one mixed population of T. putrescentiae and T. fanetzhangorum collected from different habitats. Material: The bacterial communities of the six mite populations from different habitats and diets were compared by Sanger sequencing of cloned 16S rRNA obtained from amplification with universal eubacterial primers and using bacterial taxon-specific primers on the samples of adults/juveniles or eggs. Microscopic techniques were used to localize bacteria in food boli and mite bodies. The morphological determination of the mite populations was confirmed by analyses of CO1 and ITS fragment genes.Results: The following symbiotic bacteria were found in compared mite populations: Wolbachia (2 populations, Cardinium (5 populations, Bartonella-like (5 populations, Blattabacterium-like symbiont (3 populations and Solitalea-like (6 populations. From 35 identified OTUs97, only Solitalea was identifed in all populations. The next most frequent and abundant sequences were Bacillus, Moraxella, Staphylococcus, Kocuria and Microbacterium. We suggest that some bacterial species may occasionally be ingested with food. The bacteriocytes were observed in some individuals in all mite populations. Bacteria were not visualized in food boli by staining, but bacteria were found by histological means in ovaria of Wolbachia-infested populations.Conclusion: The presence of Blattabacterium-like, Cardinium, Wolbachia and Solitalea-like in the eggs of T. putrescentiae indicates mother to offspring (vertical transmission. Results of this study indicate that diet and habitats influence not only the ingested bacteria but also the symbiotic bacteria of T. putrescentiae.

  10. Gene expression analysis of the endosymbiont-bearing midgut tissue during ontogeny of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. (United States)

    Ratzka, Carolin; Gross, Roy; Feldhaar, Heike


    Insects have frequently evolved mutualistic relationships with extracellular and/or intracellular bacterial endosymbionts. Infection with endosymbionts seems to affect several cellular functions of the host such as immune pathways, oxidative stress regulation and autophagy. Our current knowledge about specific host factors leading to endosymbiont tolerance and/or control is still scarce and is based on very few associations between insect hosts and bacteria only. Camponotus floridanus ants harbour the obligate intracellular bacterium Blochmannia floridanus within specialized midgut cells called bacteriocytes. The number of Blochmannia endosymbionts within the midgut tissue increases strongly during host development and reaches a maximum at the late pupal stage, where the entire midgut is transformed into a symbiotic organ. After eclosion of workers the number of Blochmannia strongly decreases again. We chose 15 candidate genes from C. floridanus likely to be involved in host-symbiont interactions based on their significant homology to previously investigated symbiosis-relevant genes from other insects. We determined the expression of these genes in the endosymbiont-bearing midgut tissue in comparison to the residual body tissue at different developmental stages of C. floridanus in order to reveal changes in gene expression correlating with changes in endosymbiont number per host. Strikingly, two pattern recognition receptors (amidase PGRP-LB and PGRP-SC2) were highly expressed in the midgut tissue at the pupal stage, potentially down-modulating the IMD pathway to enable endosymbiont tolerance. Moreover, we investigated the immune gene expression in response to bacterial challenge at the pupal stage. Results showed that the midgut tissue differs in expression pattern in contrast to the residual body. Our results support a key role for amidase PGRPs, especially PGRP-LB, in regulation of the immune response towards endosymbionts in C. floridanus and suggest an

  11. CO2 uptake and fixation by endosymbiotic chemoautotrophs from the bivalve Solemya velum. (United States)

    Scott, Kathleen M; Cavanaugh, Colleen M


    Chemoautotrophic symbioses, in which endosymbiotic bacteria are the major source of organic carbon for the host, are found in marine habitats where sulfide and oxygen coexist. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of pH, alternate sulfur sources, and electron acceptors on carbon fixation and to investigate which form(s) of inorganic carbon is taken up and fixed by the gamma-proteobacterial endosymbionts of the protobranch bivalve Solemya velum. Symbiont-enriched suspensions were generated by homogenization of S. velum gills, followed by velocity centrifugation to pellet the symbiont cells. Carbon fixation was measured by incubating the cells with (14)C-labeled dissolved inorganic carbon. When oxygen was present, both sulfide and thiosulfate stimulated carbon fixation; however, elevated levels of either sulfide (>0.5 mM) or oxygen (1 mM) were inhibitory. In the absence of oxygen, nitrate did not enhance carbon fixation rates when sulfide was present. Symbionts fixed carbon most rapidly between pH 7.5 and 8.5. Under optimal pH, sulfide, and oxygen conditions, symbiont carbon fixation rates correlated with the concentrations of extracellular CO(2) and not with HCO(3)(-) concentrations. The half-saturation constant for carbon fixation with respect to extracellular dissolved CO(2) was 28 +/- 3 microM, and the average maximal velocity was 50.8 +/- 7.1 micromol min(-1) g of protein(-1). The reliance of S. velum symbionts on extracellular CO(2) is consistent with their intracellular lifestyle, since HCO(3)(-) utilization would require protein-mediated transport across the bacteriocyte membrane, perisymbiont vacuole membrane, and symbiont outer and inner membranes. The use of CO(2) may be a general trait shared with many symbioses with an intracellular chemoautotrophic partner.

  12. One nutritional symbiosis begat another: Phylogenetic evidence that the ant tribe Camponotini acquired Blochmannia by tending sap-feeding insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brady Seán G


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacterial endosymbiosis has a recurring significance in the evolution of insects. An estimated 10-20% of insect species depend on bacterial associates for their nutrition and reproductive viability. Members of the ant tribe Camponotini, the focus of this study, possess a stable, intracellular bacterial mutualist. The bacterium, Blochmannia, was first discovered in Camponotus and has since been documented in a distinct subgenus of Camponotus, Colobopsis, and in the related genus Polyrhachis. However, the distribution of Blochmannia throughout the Camponotini remains in question. Documenting the true host range of this bacterial mutualist is an important first step toward understanding the various ecological contexts in which it has evolved, and toward identifying its closest bacterial relatives. In this study, we performed a molecular screen, based on PCR amplification of 16S rDNA, to identify bacterial associates of diverse Camponotini species. Results Phylogenetic analyses of 16S rDNA gave four important insights: (i Blochmannia occurs in a broad range of Camponotini genera including Calomyrmex, Echinopla, and Opisthopsis, and did not occur in outgroups related to this tribe (e.g., Notostigma. This suggests that the mutualism originated in the ancestor of the tribe Camponotini. (ii The known bacteriocyte-associated symbionts of ants, in Formica, Plagiolepis, and the Camponotini, arose independently. (iii Blochmannia is nestled within a diverse clade of endosymbionts of sap-feeding hemipteran insects, such as mealybugs, aphids, and psyllids. In our analyses, a group of secondary symbionts of mealybugs are the closest relatives of Blochmannia. (iv Blochmannia has cospeciated with its known hosts, although deep divergences at the genus level remain uncertain. Conclusions The Blochmannia mutualism occurs in Calomyrmex, Echinopla, and Opisthopsis, in addition to Camponotus, and probably originated in the ancestral lineage leading

  13. Probiotic effects of beta-glucuronidase on the peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae (Aphididae). (United States)

    Cherqui, A; Alla, S; Saguez, J; Doury, G; Sangwan-Norreel, B S; Giordanengo, P


    labeling along the whole digestive epithelium of adults and in various tissues including embryos and bacteriocytes. These results suggest that GUS crosses through the digestive tract. Western blots performed with protein extracts of transformed potato plants expressing the gus gene showed a unique band of molecular weight 76 kDa. On the contrary, in extracts from aphids fed on transgenic potato plants or bred on GUS 500 microg ml(-1) artificial diet, several proteins of lower molecular weight were hybridized, revealing proteolysis of ingested GUS. It is concluded that GUS protein, and more precisely GUS activity, is responsible for the probiotic effects on aphid feeding. The possible pathways of induction of such physiological alterations by GUS are discussed.