Complete Genome Assemblies for Three Variants of the Wolbachia Endosymbiont of Drosophila melanogaster.
ABSTRACT: Here, we report genome assemblies for three strains of Wolbachia pipientis, assembled from unenriched, unfiltered long-read shotgun sequencing data of geographically distinct strains of Drosophila melanogaster Our simple methodology can be applied to long-read data sets of other Wolbachia-infected species with limited Wolbachia-host lateral gene transfers to produce complete assemblies for this important model symbiont.
Project description:The horn fly, Haematobia irritans irritans, is a hematophagous parasite of livestock distributed throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Welfare losses on livestock due to horn fly infestation are estimated to cost between $1 billion and $2.5 billion (U.S. dollars) annually in North America and Brazil. The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis is a maternally inherited manipulator of reproductive biology in arthropods and naturally infects laboratory colonies of horn flies from Kerrville, TX, and Alberta, Canada, but it has also been identified in wild-caught samples from Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Hungary. Reassembly of PacBio long-read and Illumina genomic DNA libraries from the Kerrville H. i. irritans genome project allowed for a complete and circularized 1.3-Mb Wolbachia genome (wIrr). Annotation of wIrr yielded 1,249 coding genes, 34 tRNAs, 3 rRNAs, and 5 prophage regions. Comparative genomics and whole-genome Bayesian evolutionary analysis of wIrr compared to published Wolbachia genomes suggested that wIrr is most closely related to and diverged from Wolbachia supergroup A strains known to infect Drosophila spp. Whole-genome synteny analyses between wIrr and closely related genomes indicated that wIrr has undergone significant genome rearrangements while maintaining high nucleotide identity. Comparative analysis of the cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) genes of wIrr suggested two phylogenetically distinct CI loci and acquisition of another cifB homolog from phylogenetically distant supergroup A Wolbachia strains, suggesting horizontal acquisition of these loci. The wIrr genome provides a resource for future examination of the impact Wolbachia may have in both biocontrol and potential insecticide resistance of horn flies.IMPORTANCE Horn flies, Haematobia irritans irritans, are obligate hematophagous parasites of cattle having significant effects on production and animal welfare. Control of horn flies mainly relies on the use of insecticides, but issues with resistance have increased interest in development of alternative means of control. Wolbachia pipientis is an endosymbiont bacterium known to have a range of effects on host reproduction, such as induction of cytoplasmic incompatibility, feminization, male killing, and also impacts vector transmission. These characteristics of Wolbachia have been exploited in biological control approaches for a range of insect pests. Here we report the assembly and annotation of the circular genome of the Wolbachia strain of the Kerrville, TX, horn fly (wIrr). Annotation of wIrr suggests its unique features, including the horizontal acquisition of additional transcriptionally active cytoplasmic incompatibility loci. This study provides the foundation for future studies of Wolbachia-induced biological effects for control of horn flies.
Project description:The maternally inherited intracellular symbiont Wolbachia pipientis is well known for inducing a variety of reproductive abnormalities in the diverse arthropod hosts it infects. It has been implicated in causing cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, and the feminization of genetic males in different hosts. The molecular mechanisms by which this fastidious intracellular bacterium causes these reproductive and developmental abnormalities have not yet been determined. In this paper, we report on (i) the purification of one of the most abundantly expressed Wolbachia proteins from infected Drosophila eggs and (ii) the subsequent cloning and characterization of the gene (wsp) that encodes it. The functionality of the wsp promoter region was also successfully tested in Escherichia coli. Comparison of sequences of this gene from different strains of Wolbachia revealed a high level of variability. This sequence variation correlated with the ability of certain Wolbachia strains to induce or rescue the cytoplasmic incompatibility phenotype in infected insects. As such, this gene will be a very useful tool for Wolbachia strain typing and phylogenetic analysis, as well as understanding the molecular basis of the interaction of Wolbachia with its host.
Project description:Dactylopius species, known as cochineal insects, are the source of the carminic acid dye used worldwide. The presence of two Wolbachia strains in Dactylopius coccus from Mexico was revealed by PCR amplification of wsp and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. A metagenome analysis recovered the genome sequences of Candidatus Wolbachia bourtzisii wDacA (supergroup A) and Candidatus Wolbachia pipientis wDacB (supergroup B). Genome read coverage, as well as 16S rRNA clone sequencing, revealed that wDacB was more abundant than wDacA. The strains shared similar predicted metabolic capabilities that are common to Wolbachia, including riboflavin, ubiquinone, and heme biosynthesis, but lacked other vitamin and cofactor biosynthesis as well as glycolysis, the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, and sugar uptake systems. A complete tricarboxylic acid cycle and gluconeogenesis were predicted as well as limited amino acid biosynthesis. Uptake and catabolism of proline were evidenced in Dactylopius Wolbachia strains. Both strains possessed WO-like phage regions and type I and type IV secretion systems. Several efflux systems found suggested the existence of metal toxicity within their host. Besides already described putative virulence factors like ankyrin domain proteins, VlrC homologs, and patatin-like proteins, putative novel virulence factors related to those found in intracellular pathogens like Legionella and Mycobacterium are highlighted for the first time in Wolbachia Candidate genes identified in other Wolbachia that are likely involved in cytoplasmic incompatibility were found in wDacB but not in wDacA.
Project description:Wolbachia, an alpha-proteobacterium closely related to Rickettsia, is a maternally transmitted, intracellular symbiont of arthropods and nematodes. Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are naturally infected with Wolbachia strains wAlbA and wAlbB. Cell line Aa23 established from Ae. albopictus embryos retains only wAlbB and is a key model to study host-endosymbiont interactions. We have assembled the complete circular genome of wAlbB from the Aa23 cell line using long-read PacBio sequencing at 500× median coverage. The assembled circular chromosome is 1.48 megabases in size, an increase of more than 300 kb over the published draft wAlbB genome. The annotation of the genome identified 1,205 protein coding genes, 34 tRNA, 3 rRNA, 1 tmRNA, and 3 other ncRNA loci. The long reads enabled sequencing over complex repeat regions which are difficult to resolve with short-read sequencing. Thirteen percent of the genome comprised insertion sequence elements distributed throughout the genome, some of which cause pseudogenization. Prophage WO genes encoding some essential components of phage particle assembly are missing, while the remainder are found in five prophage regions/WO-like islands or scattered around the genome. Orthology analysis identified a core proteome of 535 orthogroups across all completed Wolbachia genomes. The majority of proteins could be annotated using Pfam and eggNOG analyses, including ankyrins and components of the Type IV secretion system. KEGG analysis revealed the absence of five genes in wAlbB which are present in other Wolbachia. The availability of a complete circular chromosome from wAlbB will enable further biochemical, molecular, and genetic analyses on this strain and related Wolbachia.
Project description:Individual, naturally occurring Phlebotomus mongolensis and Phlebotomus caucasicus from Iran were screened for infections with the maternally inherited intracellular Rickettsia-like bacterium Wolbachia pipientis via targeting a major surface protein gene (wsp). The main objective of this study was to determine if W. pipientis could be detected in these species. The sandflies were screened using polymerase chain reaction to amplify a fragment of the Wolbachia surface protein gene. The obtained sequences were edited and aligned with database sequences to identify W. pipientis haplotypes. Two strains of Wolbachia were found. Strain Turk 54 (accession EU780683) is widespread and has previously been reported in Phlebotomus papatasi and other insects. Strain Turk 07 (accession KC576916) is a novel strain, found for first time in the two sister species. A-group strains of W. pipientis occur throughout much of the habitat of these sandflies. It is possible that Wolbachia is transferred via horizontal transmission. Horizontal transfer could shed light on sandfly control because Wolbachia is believed to drive a deleterious gene into sandflies that reduces their natural population density. With regard to our findings in this study, we can conclude that one species of sandfly can be infected with different Wolbachia strains and that different species of sandflies can be infected with a common strain.
Project description:The maternally transmitted bacterium Wolbachia pipientis is well known for spreading and persisting in insect populations through manipulation of the fitness of its host. Here, we identify three new Wolbachia pipientis strains, wHho, wHho2 and wHho3, infecting Hyposoter horticola, a specialist wasp parasitoid of the Glanville fritillary butterfly. The wHho strain (ST435) infects about 50% of the individuals in the Åland islands in Finland, with a different infection rate in the two mitochondrial (COI) haplotypes of the wasp. The vertical transmission rate of Wolbachia is imperfect, and lower in the haplotype with lower infection rate, suggesting a fitness trade-off. We found no association of the wHho infection with fecundity, longevity or dispersal ability of the parasitoid host. However, preliminary results convey spatial associations between Wolbachia infection, host mitochondrial haplotype and parasitism of H. horticola by its hyperparasitoid, Mesochorus cf. stigmaticus. We discuss the possibility that Wolbachia infection protects H. horticola against hyperparasitism.
Project description:Using microarray-based comparative genome hybridizations (mCGH), the genomic content of Wolbachia pipientis wMel from Drosophila melanogaster was compared to the Wolbachia from D. innubila (wInn), D. santomea (wSan), and three strains from D. simulans (wAu, wRi, wSim). Overall design: Cy3- and Cy5-labeled probes were synthesized from a pool of three distinct GenomiPhi amplifications to reduce bias. One flip-dye experiment (two hybridizations) was performed with each of three independent pools, yielding a total of six hybridizations/strain. With 4-8 printed replicates per slide this yielded 24-48 replicated spots per gene to compare across the study. Ratios were normalized using iterative log mode centering. The geometric mean ratio was calculated for all good spots in each flip-dye experiment.
Project description:The obligate intracellular bacterium Wolbachia pipientis infects around 20% of all insect species. It is maternally inherited and induces reproductive alterations of insect populations by male killing, feminization, parthenogenesis, or cytoplasmic incompatibility. Here, we present the 1,445,873-bp genome of W. pipientis strain wRi that induces very strong cytoplasmic incompatibility in its natural host Drosophila simulans. A comparison with the previously sequenced genome of W. pipientis strain wMel from Drosophila melanogaster identified 35 breakpoints associated with mobile elements and repeated sequences that are stable in Drosophila lines transinfected with wRi. Additionally, 450 genes with orthologs in wRi and wMel were sequenced from the W. pipientis strain wUni, responsible for the induction of parthenogenesis in the parasitoid wasp Muscidifurax uniraptor. The comparison of these A-group Wolbachia strains uncovered the most highly recombining intracellular bacterial genomes known to date. This was manifested in a 500-fold variation in sequence divergences at synonymous sites, with different genes and gene segments supporting different strain relationships. The substitution-frequency profile resembled that of Neisseria meningitidis, which is characterized by rampant intraspecies recombination, rather than that of Rickettsia, where genes mostly diverge by nucleotide substitutions. The data further revealed diversification of ankyrin repeat genes by short tandem duplications and provided examples of horizontal gene transfer across A- and B-group strains that infect D. simulans. These results suggest that the transmission dynamics of Wolbachia and the opportunity for coinfections have created a freely recombining intracellular bacterial community with mosaic genomes.
Project description:The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis infects many species of insects and has been transinfected into the mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.), the primary vector of dengue virus (DENV). Recently, it has been shown that Wolbachia blocks the replication and transmission of RNA viruses, such as DENV, in a number of mosquito species including Ae. aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Skuse), which is naturally infected with Wolbachia and considered a secondary vector for DENV. The mosquito species Aedes notoscriptus (Skuse) is highly prevalent in Australia, including in areas where DENV outbreaks have been recorded. The mosquito has been implicated in the transmission of Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses, but not DENV. We investigated whether Wolbachia naturally infects this mosquito species and whether it has an impact on the ability of Ae. notoscriptus to transmit DENV. We show, for the first time, that Ae. notoscriptus is naturally infected with a strain of Wolbachia that belongs to supergroup B and is localized only in the ovaries. However, Wolbachia infection in Ae. notoscriptus did not induce resistance to DENV and had no effect on overall DENV infection rate or titer. The presence of a native Wolbachia in Ae. notoscriptus cannot explain why this mosquito is an ineffective vector of DENV.
Project description:Bicyclus butterflies are key species for studies of wing pattern development, phenotypic plasticity, speciation and the genetics of Lepidoptera. One of the key endosymbionts in butterflies, the alpha-Proteobacterium Wolbachia pipientis, is affecting many of these biological processes; however, Bicyclus butterflies have not been investigated systematically as hosts to Wolbachia. In this study, we screen for Wolbachia infection in several Bicyclus species from natural populations across Africa as well as two laboratory populations. Out of the 24 species tested, 19 were found to be infected, and no double infection was found, but both A- and B-supergroup strains colonise this butterfly group. We also show that many of the Wolbachia strains identified in Bicyclus butterflies belong to the ST19 clonal complex. We discuss the importance of our results in regard to routinely screening for Wolbachia when using Bicyclus butterflies as the study organism of research in eco-evolutionary biology.