Szklarzewicz, Teresa; Kalandyk-Kołodziejczyk, Małgorzata; Michalik, Katarzyna; Jankowska, Władysława; Michalik, Anna
The scale insect Puto superbus (Putoidae) lives in mutualistic symbiotic association with bacteria. Molecular phylogenetic analyses have revealed that symbionts of P. superbus belong to the gammaproteobacterial genus Sodalis. In the adult females, symbionts occur both in the bacteriocytes constituting compact bacteriomes and in individual bacteriocytes, which are dispersed among ovarioles. The bacteriocytes also house a few small, rod-shaped Wolbachia bacteria in addition to the numerous large, elongated Sodalis-allied bacteria. The symbiotic microorganisms are transovarially transmitted from generation to generation. In adult females which have choriogenic oocytes in the ovarioles, the bacteriocytes gather around the basal part of the tropharium. Next, the entire bacteriocytes pass through the follicular epithelium surrounding the neck region of the ovariole and enter the space between oocyte and follicular epithelium (perivitelline space). In the perivitelline space, the bacteriocytes assemble extracellularly in the deep depression of the oolemma at the anterior pole of the oocyte, forming a "symbiont ball".
Duncan, R.P.; Husník, Filip; Van Leuven, J.T.; Gilbert, D.G.; Dávalos, L.M.; McCutcheon, J.P.; Wilson, A.C.C.
Roč. 23, č. 6 (2014), s. 1608-1623 ISSN 0962-1083 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA13-01878S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : aphid * bacteriocyte * functional evolution * gene duplication * mealybug * sap-feeding insect Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 6.494, year: 2014
Full Text Available The Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae is a serious pest worldwide, transmitting Candidatus Liberibacter spp. (Alphaproteobacteria, the causative agents of a devastating citrus disease known as huanglongbing or greening disease. In a symbiotic organ called the bacteriome, D. citri possesses an organelle-like defensive symbiont, Candidatus Profftella armatura (Betaproteobacteria, and a nutritional symbiont, Ca. Carsonella ruddii (Gammaproteobacteria. Drastically reduced symbiont genomes and metabolic complementarity among the symbionts and D. citri indicate their mutually indispensable association. Moreover, horizontal gene transfer between the Profftella and Liberibacter lineages suggests ecological and evolutionary interactions between the bacteriome symbiont and the HLB pathogen. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we examined the behavior of Profftella and Carsonella during transovarial transmission and the development of D. citri. In the bacteriomes of sexually-mature female adults, symbionts transformed from an extremely elongated tubular form into spherical or short-rod forms, which migrated toward the ovary. The symbionts then formed mosaic masses, which entered at the posterior pole of the vitellogenic oocytes. After anatrepsis, Carsonella and Profftella migrated to the central and peripheral parts of the mass, respectively. Following the appearance of host nuclei, the mass cellularized, segregating Carsonella and Profftella in the central syncytium and peripheral uninucleate bacteriocytes, respectively. Subsequently, the uninucleate bacteriocytes harboring Profftella assembled at the posterior pole, while the syncytium, containing Carsonella, sat on the anterior side facing the germ band initiating katatrepsis. During dorsal closure, the syncytium was divided into uninuclear bacteriocytes, which surrounded the mass of bacteriocytes containing Profftella. Once fully surrounded, the bacteriocyte mass
Masson , Florent
Many insect species living on nutritionally unbalanced media depend on intracellular mutualistic bacteria, called obligatory endosymbionts, for their development and reproduction. Endosymbionts are housed in specialized host cells called bacteriocytes, that group together to form the bacteriome organ. Although such associations have been widely investigated on a physiological and evolutionary point of view, little is known about the mechanisms involved in the tolerance and the control of endo...
Elisabeth, Nathalie H; Gustave, Sylvie D D; Gros, Olivier
The shallow-water bivalve Codakia orbiculata which harbors gill-endosymbiotic sulfur-oxidizing γ-proteobacteria can lose and acquire its endosymbionts throughout its life. Long-term starvation and recolonization experiments led to changes in the organization of cells in the lateral zone of gill filaments. This plasticity is linked to the presence or absence of gill-endosymbionts. Herein, we propose that this reorganization can be explained by three hypotheses: (a) a variation in the number of bacteriocytes and granule cells due to proliferation or apoptosis processes, (b) a variation of the volume of these two cell types without modification in the number, and (c) a combination of both number and cell volume variation. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed cell reorganization in terms of proliferation and apoptosis in adults submitted to starvation and returned to the field using catalyzed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and structural analyses. We observed that cell and tissue reorganization in gills filaments is due to a variation in cell relative abundance that maybe associated with a variation in cell apparent volume and depends on the environment. In fact, bacteriocytes mostly multiply in freshly collected and newly recolonized individuals, and excess bacteriocytes are eliminated in later recolonization stages. We highlight that host tissue regeneration in gill filaments of this symbiotic bivalve can occur by both replication of existing cells and division of undifferentiated cells localized in tissular bridges, which might be a tissue-specific multipotent stem cell zone. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Cooper, W. Rodney; Garczynski, Stephen F.; Horton, David R.
Carsonella ruddii (Gamma Proteobacterium) is an obligate bacterial endosymbiont of psyllids that produces essential amino acids that are lacking in the insect’s diet. Accurate estimations of Carsonella populations are important to studies of Carsonella-psyllid interactions and to developing ways to target Carsonella for control of psyllid pests including pear psylla, Cacopsylla pyricola (Förster) (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) and potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae). We used two methods, namely fluorescence in situ hybridization and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), to estimate relative abundance of Carsonella in bacteriocytes and whole bodies of psyllids, respectively. Using these two methods, we compared Carsonella populations between female and male insects. Estimations using fluorescence in situ hybridization indicated that Carsonella was more abundant in bacteriocytes of female C. pyricola than in those of males, but Carsonella abundance in bacteriocytes did not differ between sexes of B. cockerelli. Analyses by qPCR using whole-body specimens indicated Carsonella was more abundant in females than in males of both psyllids. Neither fluorescence in situ hybridization nor qPCR indicated that Carsonella populations differed in abundance among adults of different ages (0–3 wk after adult eclosion). Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, Carsonella was observed in ovarioles of newly emerged females and formed an aggregation in the posterior end of mature oocytes. Results of our study indicate that female psyllids harbor greater populations of Carsonella than do males and that sex should be controlled for in studies which require estimations of Carsonella populations. PMID:26056318
Caspi-Fluger, Ayelet; Inbar, Moshe; Mozes-Daube, Netta; Mouton, Laurence; Hunter, Martha S.; Zchori-Fein, Einat
Intracellular symbionts of arthropods have diverse influences on their hosts, and their functions generally appear to be associated with their localization within the host. The effect of localization pattern on the role of a particular symbiont cannot normally be tested since the localization pattern within hosts is generally invariant. However, in Israel, the secondary symbiont Rickettsia is unusual in that it presents two distinct localization patterns throughout development and adulthood in its whitefly host, Bemisia tabaci (B biotype). In the “scattered” pattern, Rickettsia is localized throughout the whitefly hemocoel, excluding the bacteriocytes, where the obligate symbiont Portiera aleyrodidarum and some other secondary symbionts are housed. In the “confined” pattern, Rickettsia is restricted to the bacteriocytes. We examined the effects of these patterns on Rickettsia densities, association with other symbionts (Portiera and Hamiltonella defensa inside the bacteriocytes) and on the potential for horizontal transmission to the parasitoid wasp, Eretmocerus mundus, while the wasp larvae are developing within the whitefly nymph. Sequences of four Rickettsia genes were found to be identical for both localization patterns, suggesting that they are closely related strains. However, real-time PCR analysis showed very different dynamics for the two localization types. On the first day post-adult emergence, Rickettsia densities were 21 times higher in the “confined” pattern vs. “scattered” pattern whiteflies. During adulthood, Rickettsia increased in density in the “scattered” pattern whiteflies until it reached the “confined” pattern Rickettsia density on day 21. No correlation between Rickettsia densities and Hamiltonella or Portiera densities were found for either localization pattern. Using FISH technique, we found Rickettsia in the gut of the parasitoid wasps only when they developed on whiteflies with the “scattered” pattern. The
Skidmore, Isabel H; Hansen, Allison K
Herbivorous insects have evolved diverse mechanisms enabling them to feed on plants with suboptimal nutrient availability. Low nutrient availability negatively impacts insect herbivore development and fitness. To overcome this obstacle numerous insect lineages have evolved intimate associations with nutritional endosymbionts. This is especially true for insects that specialize on nitrogen-poor substrates, as these insects are highly dependent on intracellular symbionts to provide nitrogen lacking in their insect host's diet. Emerging evidence in these systems suggest that the symbiont's and/or the insect's biosynthetic pathways are dynamically regulated throughout the insect's development to potentially cope with the insect's changing nutritional demands. In this review, we evaluate the evolutionary development of symbiotic insect cells (bacteriocytes) by comparing and contrasting genes and mechanisms involved in maintaining and regulating the nutritional symbiosis throughout insect development in a diversity of insect herbivore-endosymbiont associations. With new advances in genome sequencing and functional genomics, we evaluate to what extent nutritional symbioses are shaped by (i) the regulation of symbiont titer, (ii) the regulation of insect symbiosis genes, and (iii) the regulation of symbiont genes. We discuss how important these mechanisms are for the biosynthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins across insect life stages in divergent insect-symbiont systems. We conclude by suggesting future directions of research to further elucidate the evolutionary development of bacteriocytes and the impact of these nutritional symbioses on insect-plant interactions. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Low magnification electron microscopy and light microscopy were performed on plastic embedded and fresh samples of bacteriocyte tissues from L. annulata, L. aequizonata and L. floridana. Serial sectioning was used to determine the three dimensional relationship between host tissues, symbiont cells, and the external environment. Possible effects of structure on the exchange of metabolites and inorganic molecules are discussed. Density gradient centrifugation was used to purify symbiotic bacteria from homogenates of host bacteriocyte tissue. The results demonstrate that bacteria can be recovered intact, biologically active and nearly free of contaminants from host tissue. Incorporation of H 14 CO 3 - into acid soluble metabolic intermediates by either whole gills, isolated bacteria or bacteria isolated from gills previously exposed to label was examined in L. aequizonata. HPLC, paper chromatography and enzymatic techniques were used to identify and quantify labeled products. The initial fixation product in whole gills is malate. In the symbionts aspartate and 3-phosphoglycerate are the major labeled compounds. Possible pathways of carbon exchange between hosts and symbionts are discussed
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 bacteriocyte by the primary
Full Text Available SMLS (Sitobion miscanthi L type symbiont is a newly reported aphid secondary symbiont. Phylogenetic evidence from molecular markers indicates that SMLS belongs to the Rickettsiaceae and has a sibling relationship with Orientia tsutsugamushi. A comparative analysis of coxA nucleotide sequences further supports recognition of SMLS as a new genus in the Rickettsiaceae. In situ hybridization reveals that SMLS is housed in both sheath cells and secondary bacteriocytes and it is also detected in aphid hemolymph. The population dynamics of SMLS differ from those of Buchnera aphidicola and titer levels of SMLS increase in older aphids. A survey of 13 other aphids reveals that SMLS only occurs in wheat-associated species.
Michalik, Anna; Szwedo, Jacek; Stroiński, Adam; Świerczewski, Dariusz; Szklarzewicz, Teresa
In contrast to Cicadomorpha, in which numerous symbiotic bacteria have been identified and characterized, the symbionts of fulgoromorphans are poorly known. Here, we present the results of histological, ultrastructural, and molecular analyses of the symbiotic system of the planthopper Ommatidiotus dissimilis. Amplification, cloning, and sequencing of bacterial 16S RNA genes have revealed that O. dissimilis is host to five types of bacteria. Apart from bacteria Sulcia and Vidania, which are regarded as ancestral symbionts of Fulgoromorpha, three additional types of bacteria belonging to the genera Sodalis, Wolbachia, and Rickettsia have been detected. Histological and ultrastructural investigations have shown that bacteria Sulcia, Vidania, and Sodalis house separate bacteriocytes, whereas bacteria Wolbachia and Rickettsia are dispersed within various insect tissue. Additionally, bacteria belonging to the genus Vidania occupy the bacteriome localized in the lumen of the hindgut. Both molecular and microscopic analyses have revealed that all the symbionts are transovarially transmitted between generations.
This paper reviews the Author's contribution to the knowledge of the ultrastructural basis of the prokaryote-eukaryote interactions in different models assessed by an ultrastructural approach. In agreement with the hypothesis of the origin of eukaryotic cells, which are chimeras of several prokaryotes with different morpho-functional specializations, symbiosis had major consequence for evolution of life. In Arthropods, one of the most successful lifestyles, the presence of endosymbiotic prokaryotes, plays an important role in their metabolism. In some cases, genome integration has occurred in the endosymbiotic relationships with the host, proving that intracellular symbiosis is not merely a nutritional supplement. Intracellular symbiotic bacteria are also described in nematodes. In particular, the presence of intracellular Wolbachia in filariae, even if its function is not yet completely known, influences positively the reproductive biology and the survival of the host, as proved by antibiotic treatment against this bacterium. The ultrastructural images reported in this review were obtained using different species of cockroaches, termites, ticks and filarial nematodes. The traditional methods of transmission (TEM), scansion (SEM) and immuno electron microscopy were used. In addition, also freeze-fracture and deep-etching techniques were employed. The cockroaches and the primitive termite Mastotermes darwiniensis host symbiotic bacteria in the ovary and in specialized cells (bacteriocytes) of the fat body. These bacteria have the typical cell boundary profile of gram-negative bacteria and are enveloped in a vacuolar membrane produced by the host cell. Molecular sequence data of 16S rDNA of endosymbionts of five species of cockroaches and M. darwiniensis indicate that they are members of the Flavobacteria-bacteroides group and that the infection occurred in an ancestor common to cockroaches and termites probably after the end of the Paleozoic (250 Ma BP). The
Ilan, M; Abelson, A
Infaunal soft-bottom invertebrates benefit from the presence of sediment, but sedimentation is potentially harmful for hard-bottom dwellers. Most sponges live on hard bottom, but on coral reefs in the Red Sea, the species Biemna ehrenbergi (Keller, 1889) is found exclusively in soft-bottom lagoons, usually in the shallowest part. This location is a sink environment, which increases the deposition of particulate organic matter. Most of the sponge body is covered by sediment, but the chimney-like siphons protrude from the sediment surface. The sponge is attached to the buried beach-rock, which reduces the risk of dislodgment during storms. Dye injected above and into the sediment revealed, for the first time, a sponge pumping interstitial water (rich with particles and nutrients) into its aquiferous system. Visual examination of plastic replicas of the aquiferous system and electron microscopical analysis of sponge tissue revealed that the transcellular ostia are mostly located on the buried surface of the sponge. The oscula, however, are located on top of the siphons; their elevated position and their ability to close combine to prevent the filtering system outflow from clogging. The transcellular ostia presumably remain open due to cellular mobility. The sponge maintains a large population of bacteriocytes, which contains bacteria of several different species. Some of these bacteria disintegrate, and may be consumed by the sponge.
Betcher, Meghan A.; Fung, Jennifer M.; Han, Andrew W.; O’Connor, Roberta; Seronay, Romell; Concepcion, Gisela P.; Distel, Daniel L.; Haygood, Margo G.
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. PMID:23028923
Brumin, Marina; Levy, Maggie
The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is a cosmopolitan insect pest that harbors Portiera aleyrodidarum, the primary obligatory symbiotic bacterium, and several facultative secondary symbionts. Secondary symbionts in B. tabaci are generally associated with the bacteriome, ensuring their vertical transmission; however, Rickettsia is an exception and occupies most of the body cavity, except the bacteriome. The mode of Rickettsia transfer between generations and its subcellular localization in insect organs have not been investigated. Using electron and fluorescence microscopy, we show that Rickettsia infects the digestive, salivary, and reproductive organs of the insect; however, it was not observed in the bacteriome. Rickettsia invades the oocytes during early developmental stages and resides in follicular cells and cytoplasm; it is mostly excluded when the egg matures; however, some bacterial cells remain in the egg, ensuring their transfer to subsequent generations. Rickettsia was localized to testicles and the spermatheca, suggesting a horizontal transfer between males and females during mating. The bacterium was further observed at large amounts in midgut cells, concentrating in vacuole-like structures, and was located in the hemolymph, specifically at exceptionally large amounts around bacteriocytes and in fat bodies. Organs further infected by Rickettsia included the primary salivary glands and stylets, sites of possible secretion of the bacterium outside the whitefly body. The close association between Rickettsia and the B. tabaci digestive system might be important for digestive purposes. The vertical transmission of Rickettsia to subsequent generations occurs via the oocyte and not, like other secondary symbionts, the bacteriome. PMID:22660706
Bacteriomes of the corn leafhopper, Dalbulus maidis (DeLong & Wolcott, 1923) (Insecta, Hemiptera, Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae) harbor Sulcia symbiont: molecular characterization, ultrastructure, and transovarial transmission.
Brentassi, María Eugenia; Franco, Ernesto; Balatti, Pedro; Medina, Rocío; Bernabei, Franco; Marino de Remes Lenicov, Ana M
In this study, we surveyed the bacteriome-associated microbiota of the corn leafhopper Dalbulus maidis by means of histological, ultrastructural, and molecular analyses. Amplification and sequencing of 16S rDNA genes revealed that the endosymbiont "Candidatus Sulcia muelleri" (Phylum Bacteroidetes) resides in bacteriomes of D. maidis. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the sequence was closely allied to others found in representatives of the subfamily Deltocephalinae. We failed to amplify other sequences as "Candidatus Nasuia deltocephalinicola," a co-primary symbiont frequently associated to deltocephaline leafhoppers. In addition, a metagenetic analysis carried out in order to investigate the presence of other bacteriome-associated bacteria of D. maidis showed that the sequence of Sulcia accounted for 98.56 % of all the sequences. Histological and ultrastructural observations showed that microorganisms harbored in bacteriomes (central syncytium and cytoplasm of uninucleate bacteriocytes) look like others Sulcia described in hemipteran species and they were transovarially transmitted from mother to offspring which is typical of obligate endosymbionts. The only presence of Sulcia in the bacteriomes of D. maidis was discussed.
Full Text Available he Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri is a notorious agricultural pest that transmits the phloem-inhabiting alphaproteobacterial 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' and allied plant pathogens, which cause the devastating citrus disease called Huanglongbing or greening disease. D. citri harbors two distinct bacterial mutualists in the symbiotic organ called bacteriome: the betaproteobacterium 'Candidatus Profftella armatura' in the syncytial cytoplasm at the center of the bacteriome, and the gammaproteobacterium 'Candidatus Carsonella ruddii' in uninucleate bacteriocytes. Here we report that a putative amino acid transporter LysE of Profftella forms a highly supported clade with proteins of L. asiaticus, L. americanus, and L. solanacearum. L. crescens, the most basal Liberibacter lineage currently known, lacked the corresponding gene. The Profftella-Liberibacter subclade of LysE formed a clade with proteins from betaproteobacteria of the order Burkholderiales, to which Profftella belongs. This phylogenetic pattern favors the hypothesis that the Liberibacter lineage acquired the gene from the Profftella lineage via horizontal gene transfer (HGT after L. crescens diverged from other Liberibacter lineages. K A/K S analyses further supported the hypothesis that the genes encoded in the Liberibacter genomes are functional. These findings highlight the possible evolutionary importance of HGT between plant pathogens and their insect vector's symbionts that are confined in the symbiotic organ and seemingly sequestered from external microbial populations.
Sangaré, Abdoul Karim; Rolain, Jean Marc; Gaudart, Jean; Weber, Pascal; Raoult, Didier
Ivermectin and doxycycline have been found to be independently effective in killing body lice. In this study, 450 body lice were artificially fed on a Parafilm™ membrane with human blood associated with antibiotics (doxycycline, erythromycin, rifampicin and azithromycin) alone and in combination with ivermectin. Fluorescence in situ hybridisation and spectral deconvolution were performed to evaluate bacterial transcriptional activity following antibiotic intake by the lice. In the first series, a lethal effect of antibiotics on lice was observed compared with the control group at 18 days (log-rank test, P≤10(-3)), with a significant difference between groups in the production of nits (P=0.019, Kruskal-Wallis test). A high lethal effect of ivermectin alone (50ng/mL) was observed compared with the control group (log-rank test, P≤10(-3)). Fluorescence of bacteriocytes in lice treated with 20μg/mL doxycycline was lower than in untreated lice (PKruskal-Wallis test). In the second series with antibiotic-ivermectin combinations, a synergistic lethal effect on treated lice (log-rank test, PKruskal-Wallis test). Additionally, survival of lice in the combination treatment groups compared with ivermectin alone was significant (log-rank test, P=0.0008). These data demonstrate that the synergistic effect of combinations of antibiotics and ivermectin could be used to achieve complete eradication of lice and to avoid selection of a resistant louse population. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and the International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Abstract Background A major goal of molecular evolutionary biology is to understand the fate and consequences of duplicated genes. In this context, aphids are intriguing because the newly sequenced pea aphid genome harbors an extraordinary number of lineage-specific gene duplications relative to other insect genomes. Though many of their duplicated genes may be involved in their complex life cycle, duplications in nutrient amino acid transporters appear to be associated rather with their essential amino acid poor diet and the intracellular symbiosis aphids rely on to compensate for dietary deficits. Past work has shown that some duplicated amino acid transporters are highly expressed in the specialized cells housing the symbionts, including a paralog of an aphid-specific expansion homologous to the Drosophila gene slimfast. Previous data provide evidence that these bacteriocyte-expressed transporters mediate amino acid exchange between aphids and their symbionts. Results We report that some nutrient amino acid transporters show male-biased expression. Male-biased expression characterizes three paralogs in the aphid-specific slimfast expansion, and the male-biased expression is conserved across two aphid species for at least two paralogs. One of the male-biased paralogs has additionally experienced an accelerated rate of non-synonymous substitutions. Conclusions This is the first study to document male-biased slimfast expression. Our data suggest that the male-biased aphid slimfast paralogs diverged from their ancestral function to fill a functional role in males. Furthermore, our results provide evidence that members of the slimfast expansion are maintained in the aphid genome not only for the previously hypothesized role in mediating amino acid exchange between the symbiotic partners, but also for sex-specific roles.
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. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions