The joint evolutionary histories of Wolbachia and mitochondria in Hypolimnas bolina.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The interaction between the Blue Moon butterfly, Hypolimnas bolina, and Wolbachia has attracted interest because of the high prevalence of male-killing achieved within the species, the ecological consequences of this high prevalence, the intensity of selection on the host to suppress the infection, and the presence of multiple Wolbachia infections inducing different phenotypes. We examined diversity in the co-inherited marker, mtDNA, and the partitioning of this between individuals of different infection status, as a means to investigate the population biology and evolutionary history of the Wolbachia infections. RESULTS:Part of the mitochondrial COI gene was sequenced from 298 individuals of known infection status revealing ten different haplotypes. Despite very strong biological evidence that the sample represents a single species, the ten haplotypes did not fall within a monophyletic clade within the Hypolimnas genus, with one haplotype differing by 5% from the other nine. There were strong associations between infection status and mtDNA haplotype. The presence of wBol1 infection in association with strongly divergent haplotypes prompted closer examination of wBol1 genetic variation. This revealed the existence of two cryptic subtypes, wBol1a and wBol1b. The wBol1a infection, by far the most common, was in strict association with the single divergent mtDNA haplotype. The wBol1b infection was found with two haplotypes that were also observed in uninfected specimens. Finally, the wBol2 infection was associated with a large diversity of mtDNA haplotypes, most often shared with uninfected sympatric butterflies. CONCLUSION:This data overall supports the hypothesis that high prevalence of male-killing Wolbachia (wBol1) in H. bolina is associated with very high transmission efficiency rather than regular horizontal transmission. It also suggests this infection has undergone a recent selective sweep and was introduced in this species through introgression. In contrast, the sharing of haplotypes between wBol2-infected and uninfected individuals indicates that this strain is not perfectly transmitted and/or shows a significant level of horizontal transmission.
Project description:Wolbachia are maternally inherited bacteria, which typically spread in the host population by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). In Drosophila melanogaster, Wolbachia is quite common but CI is variable, with most of the studies reporting low levels of CI. Surveying mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation and infection status in a worldwide D. melanogaster collection, we found that the Wolbachia infection was not randomly distributed among flies with different mtDNA haplotypes. This preferential infection of some mtDNA haplotypes could be caused by a recent spread of mtDNA haplotypes associated with the infection. The comparison of contemporary D. melanogaster samples with lines collected more than 50 years ago shows that indeed one haplotype with a high incidence of Wolbachia infection has increased in frequency. Consistent with this observation, we found that the acquisition of a Wolbachia infection in a population from Crete was accompanied with an almost complete mtDNA replacement, with the Wolbachia-associated haplotype becoming abundant. Although it is difficult to identify the evolutionary forces causing the global increase of wMel, the parallel sweep of Wolbachia and an mtDNA haplotype suggests a fitness advantage of the Wolbachia infection.
Project description:Wolbachia pipientis, a diverse group of ?-proteobacteria, can alter arthropod host reproduction and confer a reproductive advantage to Wolbachia-infected females (cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI)). This advantage can alter host population genetics because Wolbachia-infected females produce more offspring with their own mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes than uninfected females. Thus, these host haplotypes become common or fixed (selective sweep). Although simulations suggest that for a CI-mediated sweep to occur, there must be a transient phase with repeated initial infections of multiple individual hosts by different Wolbachia strains, this has not been observed empirically. Wolbachia has been found in the tsetse fly, Glossina fuscipes fuscipes, but it is not limited to a single host haplotype, suggesting that CI did not impact its population structure. However, host population genetic differentiation could have been generated if multiple Wolbachia strains interacted in some populations. Here, we investigated Wolbachia genetic variation in G. f. fuscipes populations of known host genetic composition in Uganda. We tested for the presence of multiple Wolbachia strains using Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) and for an association between geographic region and host mtDNA haplotype using Wolbachia DNA sequence from a variable locus, groEL (heat shock protein 60).MLST demonstrated that some G. f. fuscipes carry Wolbachia strains from two lineages. GroEL revealed high levels of sequence diversity within and between individuals (Haplotype diversity = 0.945). We found Wolbachia associated with 26 host mtDNA haplotypes, an unprecedented result. We observed a geographical association of one Wolbachia lineage with southern host mtDNA haplotypes, but it was non-significant (p = 0.16). Though most Wolbachia-infected host haplotypes were those found in the contact region between host mtDNA groups, this association was non-significant (p = 0.17).High Wolbachia sequence diversity and the association of Wolbachia with multiple host haplotypes suggest that different Wolbachia strains infected G. f. fuscipes multiple times independently. We suggest that these observations reflect a transient phase in Wolbachia evolution that is influenced by the long gestation and low reproductive output of tsetse. Although G. f. fuscipes is superinfected with Wolbachia, our data does not support that bidirectional CI has influenced host genetic diversity in Uganda.
Project description:The maternally inherited endosymbiont Wolbachia is widespread in arthropods and nematodes and can play an important role in the ecology and evolution of its host through reproductive manipulation. Here, we survey Wolbachia in Belonocnema treatae, a widely distributed North American cynipid gall forming wasp that exhibits regional host specialization on three species of oaks and alternation of sexually and asexually reproducing generations. We investigated whether patterns of Wolbachia infection and diversity in B. treatae are associated with the insect's geographic distribution, host plant association, life cycle, and mitochondrial evolutionary history.Screening of 463 individuals from 23 populations including sexual and asexual generations from all three host plants across the southern U.S. showed an average infection rate of 56% with three common Wolbachia strains: wTre1-3 and an additional rare variant wTre4. Phylogenetic analysis based on wsp showed that these strains are unrelated and likely independently inherited. We found no difference in Wolbachia infection frequency among host plant associated populations or between the asexual and sexual generations, or between males and females of the sexual generation. Partially incomplete Wolbachia transmission rates might explain the occurrence of uninfected individuals. A parallel analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene in B. treatae showed high mtDNA haplotype diversity in both infected and uninfected populations suggesting an ancestral infection by Wolbachia as well as a clear split between eastern and western B. treatae mtDNA clades with a sequence divergence of > 6%. The strain wTre1 was present almost exclusively in the western clade while wTre2 and wTre3 occur almost exclusively in eastern populations. In contrast, the same strains co-occur as double-infections in Georgia and triple-infections in two populations in central Florida.The diversity of Wolbachia across geographically and genetically distinct populations of B. treatae and the co-occurrence of the same strains within three populations highlights the complex infection dynamics in this system. Moreover, the association of distinct Wolbachia strains with mitochondrial haplotypes of its host in populations infected by different Wolbachia strains suggests a potential role of the endosymbiont in reproductive isolation in B. treatae.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Maternally inherited Wolbachia symbionts infect D. melanogaster populations worldwide. Infection rates vary greatly. Genetic diversity of Wolbachia in D. melanogaster can be subdivided into several closely related genotypes coinherited with certain mtDNA lineages. mtDNA haplotypes have the following global distribution pattern: mtDNA clade I is mostly found in North America, II and IV in Africa, III in Europe and Africa, V in Eurasia, VI is global but very rare, and VIII is found in Asia. The wMel Wolbachia genotype is predominant in D. melanogaster populations. However, according to the hypothesis of global Wolbachia replacement, the wMelCS genotype was predominant before the XX century when it was replaced by the wMel genotype. Here we analyse over 1500 fly isolates from the Palearctic region to evaluate the prevalence, genetic diversity and distribution pattrern of the Wolbachia symbiont, occurrence of mtDNA variants, and finally to discuss the Wolbachia genotype global replacement hypothesis. RESULTS:All studied Palearctic populations of D. melanogaster were infected with Wolbachia at a rate of 33-100%. We did not observe any significant correlation between infection rate and longitude or latitude. Five previously reported Wolbachia genotypes were found in Palearctic populations with a predominance of the wMel variant. The mtDNA haplotypes of the I_II_III clade and V clade were prevalent in Palearctic populations. To test the recent Wolbachia genotype replacement hypothesis, we examined three genomic regions of CS-like genotypes. Low genetic diversity was observed, only two haplotypes of the CS genotypes with a 'CCG' variant predominance were found. CONCLUSION:The results of our survey of Wolbachia infection prevalence and genotype diversity in Palearctic D. melanogaster populations confirm previous studies. Wolbachia is ubiquitous in the Palearctic region. The wMel genotype is dominant with local occurrence of rare genotypes. Together with variants of the V mtDNA clade, the variants of the 'III+' clade are dominant in both infected and uninfected flies of Palearctic populations. Based on our data on Wolbachia and mtDNA in different years in some Palearctic localities, we can conclude that flies that survive the winter make the predominant symbiont contribution to the subsequent generation. A comprehensive overview of mtDNA and Wolbachia infection of D. melanogaster populations worldwide does not support the recent global Wolbachia genotype replacement hypothesis. However, we cannot exclude wMelCS genotype rate fluctuations in the past.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Numerous recent studies have shown that resident symbiotic microorganisms of insects play a fundamental role in host ecology and evolution. The lepidopteran pest, African armyworm (Spodoptera exempta), is a highly migratory and destructive species found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, that can experience eruptive outbreaks within the space of a single generation, making predicting population dynamics and pest control forecasting extremely difficult. Three strains of Wolbachia have recently been identified infecting this species in populations sampled from Tanzania. In this study, we examined the interaction between Wolbachia pipiensis infections and the co-inherited marker, mtDNA, within populations of armyworm, as a means to investigate the population biology and evolutionary history of Wolbachia and its host. RESULTS:A Wolbachia-infected isofemale line was established in the laboratory. Phenotypic studies confirmed the strain wExe1 as a male-killer. Partial sequencing of the mitochondrial COI gene from 164 individual field-collected armyworm of known infection status revealed 17 different haplotypes. There was a strong association between Wolbachia infection status and mtDNA haplotype, with a single dominant haplotype, haplo1 (90.2% prevalence), harbouring the endosymbiont. All three Wolbachia strains were associated with this haplotype. This indicates that Wolbachia may be driving a selective sweep on armyworm haplotype diversity. Despite very strong biological and molecular evidence that the samples represent a single species (including from nuclear 28S gene markers), the 17 haplotypes did not fall into a monophyletic clade within the Spodoptera genus; with six haplotypes (2 each from 3 geographically separate populations) differing by >11% in their nucleotide sequence to the other eleven. CONCLUSIONS:This study suggests that three strains of Wolbachia may be driving a selective sweep on armyworm haplotype diversity, and that based on COI sequence data, S. exempta is not a monophyletic group within the Spodoptera genus. This has clear implications for the use of mtDNA as neutral genetic markers in insects, and also demonstrates the impact of Wolbachia infections on host evolutionary genetics.
Project description:The endosymbiont Wolbachia can manipulate arthropod host reproduction by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), which results in embryonic mortality when infected males mate with uninfected females. A CI-driven invasion of Wolbachia can result in a selective sweep of associated mitochondrial haplotype. The co-inheritance of Wolbachia and host mitochondrial DNA can therefore provide significant information on the dynamics of an ongoing Wolbachia invasion. Therefore, transition zones (i.e., regions where a Wolbachia strain is currently spreading from infected to uninfected populations) represent an ideal area to investigate the relationship between Wolbachia and host mitochondrial haplotype. Here, we studied Wolbachia-mitochondrial haplotype associations in the European cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi, in two transition zones in the Czech Republic and Hungary, where the CI-inducing strain wCer2 is currently spreading. The wCer2-infection status of 881 individuals was compared with the two known R. cerasi mitochondrial haplotypes, HT1 and HT2. In accordance with previous studies, wCer2-uninfected individuals were associated with HT1, and wCer2-infected individuals were mainly associated with HT2. We found misassociations only within the transition zones, where HT2 flies were wCer2-uninfected, suggesting the occurrence of imperfect maternal transmission. We did not find any HT1 flies that were wCer2-infected, suggesting that Wolbachia was not acquired horizontally. Our study provides new insights into the dynamics of the early phase of a Wolbachia invasion.
Project description:Some intracellular symbionts of arthropods induce a variety of reproductive alterations in their hosts, and the alterations tend to spread easily within the host populations. A few cases involving the spread of alteration-inducing Wolbachia bacteria in natural populations with time have been reported, but the investigations on the increasing trend in counteracting the bacterial effect on hosts in natural populations (i.e., increased resistance in hosts against the alterations) have been limited. In the present study, the prevalence of an alteration, killing of male Hypolimnas bolina (L.) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) butterflies by their inherited Wolbachia strain in the wild in Japan, was surveyed over a continuous 50-year period, which is far longer than ever before analyzed in studies of dynamics between reproductive alteration-inducing symbionts and their host arthropods. Thus, the results in this study provide the first instance of a long-term trend involving a change in reproductive alteration; and it strongly suggests a change in the opposite direction (i.e., suppression of male-killing) in natural populations. This change in the current combination of the Wolbachia and butterflies appears to be dependent upon the host taxon (race).
Project description:Patterns of mtDNA variation within a species reflect long-term population structure, but may also be influenced by maternally inherited endosymbionts, such as Wolbachia. These bacteria often alter host reproductive biology and can drive particular mtDNA haplotypes through populations. We investigated the impacts of Wolbachia infection and geography on mtDNA variation in the diamondback moth, a major global pest whose geographic distribution reflects both natural processes and transport via human agricultural activities.The mtDNA phylogeny of 95 individuals sampled from 10 countries on four continents revealed two major clades. One contained only Wolbachia-infected individuals from Malaysia and Kenya, while the other contained only uninfected individuals, from all countries including Malaysia and Kenya. Within the uninfected group was a further clade containing all individuals from Australasia and displaying very limited sequence variation. In contrast, a biparental nuclear gene phylogeny did not have infected and uninfected clades, supporting the notion that maternally-inherited Wolbachia are responsible for the mtDNA pattern. Only about 5% (15/306) of our global sample of individuals was infected with the plutWB1 isolate and even within infected local populations, many insects were uninfected. Comparisons of infected and uninfected isofemale lines revealed that plutWB1 is associated with sex ratio distortion. Uninfected lines have a 1:1 sex ratio, while infected ones show a 2:1 female bias.The main correlate of mtDNA variation in P. xylostella is presence or absence of the plutWB1 infection. This is associated with substantial sex ratio distortion and the underlying mechanisms deserve further study. In contrast, geographic origin is a poor predictor of moth mtDNA sequences, reflecting human activity in moving the insects around the globe. The exception is a clade of Australasian individuals, which may reflect a bottleneck during their recent introduction to this region.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The role of Wolbachia endosymbionts in shaping the mitochondrial diversity of their arthropod host depends on the effects they have on host reproduction and on the mode of transmission of the bacteria. We have compared the sequence diversity of wsp (Wolbachia surface protein gene) and the host mtDNA in a group of Formica ant species that have diverged approximately 0.5 million years ago (MYA). The aim was to study the relationship of Wolbachia and its ant hosts in terms of vertical and horizontal transmission of the bacteria. RESULTS: All studied ant species were doubly infected with two Wolbachia strains (wFex1 and wFex4) all over their geographical distribution area in Eurasia. The most common haplotypes of these strains were identical with strains previously described from a more distantly related Formica ant, with an estimated divergence time of 3.5 - 4 MYA. Some strain haplotypes were associated to the same or closely related mtDNA haplotypes as expected under vertical transmission. However, in several cases the wsp haplotypes coexisted with distant mtDNA haplotypes, a pattern which is more compatible with horizontal transmission of the bacteria. CONCLUSION: Two lines of evidence suggest that the sharing of Wolbachia strains by all F. rufa species is rather due to horizontal than vertical transmission. First, the fact that endosymbiont strains identical to those of F. rufa ants have been found in another species that diverged 3.5-4 MYA strongly suggests that horizontal transfer can and does occur between Formica ants. Second, the frequent sharing of identical Wolbachia strains by distant mitochondrial lineages within the F. rufa group further shows that horizontal transmission has occurred repeatedly. Nevertheless, our dataset also provides some evidence for longer-term persistence of infection, indicating that Wolbachia infection within this host clade has been shaped by both horizontal and vertical transmission of symbionts. The fact that all the ants were infected irrespective of the family structure of their societies gives no support to the proposed hypotheses that the spreading of Wolbachia in ants might be associated to the types of their societies.
Project description:Maternally inherited microbes that spread via male-killing are common pathogens of insects, yet very little is known about the evolutionary duration of these associations. The few examples to date indicate very recent, and thus potentially transient, infections. A male-killing strain of Wolbachia has recently been discovered in natural populations of Drosophila innubila. The population-level effects of this infection are significant: approximately 35% of females are infected, infected females produce very strongly female-biased sex ratios, and the resulting population-level sex ratio is significantly female biased. Using data on infection prevalence and Wolbachia transmission rates, infected cytoplasmic lineages are estimated to experience a approximately 5% selective advantage relative to uninfected lineages. The evolutionary history of this infection was explored by surveying patterns of polymorphism in both the host and parasite genomes, comparing the Wolbachia wsp gene and the host mtDNA COI gene to five host nuclear genes. Molecular data suggest that this male-killing infection is evolutionarily old, a conclusion supported with a simple model of parasite and mtDNA transmission dynamics. Despite a large effective population size of the host species and strong selection to evolve resistance, the D. innubila-Wolbachia association is likely at a stable equilibrium that is maintained by imperfect maternal transmission of the bacteria rather than partial resistance in the host species.