Wolbachia Endosymbiont of the Horn Fly (Haematobia irritans irritans): a Supergroup A Strain with Multiple Horizontally Acquired Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Genes.
ABSTRACT: 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:BACKGROUND:The horn fly (Haematobia irritans) is an obligate blood feeder that causes considerable economic losses in livestock industries worldwide. The control of this cattle pest is mainly based on insecticides; unfortunately, in many regions, horn flies have developed resistance. Vaccines or biological control have been proposed as alternative control methods, but the available information about the biology or physiology of this parasite is rather scarce. RESULTS:We present a comprehensive description of the salivary and midgut transcriptomes of the horn fly (Haematobia irritans), using deep sequencing achieved by the Illumina protocol, as well as exploring the virome of this fly. Comparison of the two transcriptomes allow for identification of uniquely salivary or uniquely midgut transcripts, as identified by statistically differential transcript expression at a level of 16 x or more. In addition, we provide genomic highlights and phylogenetic insights of Haematobia irritans Nora virus and present evidence of a novel densovirus, both associated to midgut libraries of H. irritans. CONCLUSIONS:We provide a catalog of protein sequences associated with the salivary glands and midgut of the horn fly that will be useful for vaccine design. Additionally, we discover two midgut-associated viruses that infect these flies in nature. Future studies should address the prevalence, biological effects and life cycles of these viruses, which could eventually lead to translational work oriented to the control of this economically important cattle pest.
Project description:The horn fly, Haematobia irritans, is one of the most economically important pests of cattle. Insecticides have been a major element of horn fly management programs. Growing concerns with insecticide resistance, insecticide residues on farm products, and non-availability of new generation insecticides, are serious issues for the livestock industry. Alternative horn fly control methods offer the promise to decrease the use of insecticides and reduce the amount of insecticide residues on livestock products and give an impetus to the organic livestock farming segment. The horn fly, an obligatory blood feeder, requires the help of microflora to supply additional nutrients and metabolize the blood meal. Recent advancements in DNA sequencing methodologies enable researchers to examine the microflora diversity independent of culture methods. We used the bacterial 16S tag-encoded FLX-titanium amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) method to carry out the classification analysis of bacterial flora in adult female and male horn flies and horn fly eggs. The bTEFAP method identified 16S rDNA sequences in our samples which allowed the identification of various prokaryotic taxa associated with the life stage examined. This is the first comprehensive report of bacterial flora associated with the horn fly using a culture-independent method. Several rumen, environmental, symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria associated with the horn fly were identified and quantified. This is the first report of the presence of Wolbachia in horn flies of USA origin and is the first report of the presence of Rikenella in an obligatory blood feeding insect.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The horn fly, Haematobia irritans (Linnaeus, 1758) (Diptera: Muscidae) is one of the most important ectoparasites of pastured cattle. Horn flies infestations reduce cattle weight gain and milk production. Additionally, horn flies are mechanical vectors of different pathogens that cause disease in cattle. The aim of this study was to conduct a functional genomics study in female horn flies using Expressed Sequence Tags (EST) analysis and RNA interference (RNAi). RESULTS: A cDNA library was made from whole abdominal tissues collected from partially fed adult female horn flies. High quality horn fly ESTs (2,160) were sequenced and assembled into 992 unigenes (178 contigs and 814 singlets) representing molecular functions such as serine proteases, cell metabolism, mitochondrial function, transcription and translation, transport, chromatin structure, vitellogenesis, cytoskeleton, DNA replication, cell response to stress and infection, cell proliferation and cell-cell interactions, intracellular trafficking and secretion, and development. Functional analyses were conducted using RNAi for the first time in horn flies. Gene knockdown by RNAi resulted in higher horn fly mortality (protease inhibitor functional group), reduced oviposition (vitellogenin, ferritin and vATPase groups) or both (immune response and 5'-NUC groups) when compared to controls. Silencing of ubiquitination ESTs did not affect horn fly mortality and oviposition while gene knockdown in the ferritin and vATPse functional groups reduced mortality when compared to controls. CONCLUSIONS: These results advanced the molecular characterization of this important ectoparasite and suggested candidate protective antigens for the development of vaccines for the control of horn fly infestations.
Project description:Haematobia irritans, commonly known as the horn fly, is a globally distributed blood-feeding pest of cattle that is responsible for significant economic losses to cattle producers. Chemical insecticides are the primary means for controlling this pest but problems with insecticide resistance have become common in the horn fly. To provide a foundation for identification of genomic loci for insecticide resistance and for discovery of new control technology, we report the sequencing, assembly, and annotation of the horn fly genome. The assembled genome is 1.14 Gb, comprising 76,616 scaffolds with N50 scaffold length of 23 Kb. Using RNA-Seq data, we have predicted 34,413 gene models of which 19,185 have been assigned functional annotations. Comparative genomics analysis with the Dipteran flies Musca domestica L., Drosophila melanogaster, and Lucilia cuprina, show that the horn fly is most closely related to M. domestica, sharing 8,748 orthologous clusters followed by D. melanogaster and L. cuprina, sharing 7,582 and 7,490 orthologous clusters respectively. We also identified a gene locus for the sodium channel protein in which mutations have been previously reported that confers target site resistance to the most common class of pesticides used in fly control. Additionally, we identified 276 genomic loci encoding members of metabolic enzyme gene families such as cytochrome P450s, esterases and glutathione S-transferases, and several genes orthologous to sex determination pathway genes in other Dipteran species.
Project description:The horn fly, Haematobia irritans irritans (Linnaeus, 1758; Diptera: Muscidae), a hematophagous external parasite of cattle, causes considerable economic losses to the livestock industry worldwide. This pest is mainly controlled with insecticides; however, horn fly populations from several countries have developed resistance to many of the products available for their control. In an attempt to better understand the adult horn fly and the development of resistance in natural populations, we used an Illumina paired-end read HiSeq and GAII approach to determine the transcriptomes of untreated control adult females, untreated control adult males, permethrin-treated surviving adult males and permethrin + piperonyl butoxide-treated killed adult males from a Louisiana population of horn flies with a moderate level of pyrethroid resistance. A total of 128,769,829, 127,276,458, 67,653,920, and 64,270,124 quality-filtered Illumina reads were obtained for untreated control adult females, untreated control adult males, permethrin-treated surviving adult males and permethrin + piperonyl butoxide-treated killed adult males, respectively. The de novo assemblies using CLC Genomics Workbench 8.0.1 yielded 15,699, 11,961, 2672, 7278 contigs (≥ 200 nt) for untreated control adult females, untreated control adult males, permethrin-treated surviving adult males and permethrin + piperonyl butoxide-treated killed adult males, respectively. More than 56% of the assembled contigs of each data set had significant hits in the BlastX (UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot database) (E <0.001). The number of contigs in each data set with InterProScan, GO mapping, Enzyme codes and KEGG pathway annotations were: Untreated Control Adult Females - 10,331, 8770, 2963, 2183; Untreated control adult males - 8392, 7056, 2449, 1765; Permethrin-treated surviving adult males - 1992, 1609, 641, 495; Permethrin + PBO-treated killed adult males - 5561, 4463, 1628, 1211.
Project description:The horn fly, Haematobia irritans (L.) is an important cattle pest and traditionally has been managed using insecticides; however, many horn fly populations are insecticide-resistant in United States. Use of alternative control techniques has been limited because of the challenges of managing a fly pest on pastured cattle. After the discovery of a wild horn fly infected with Beauveria bassiana in Florida, the fungus was cultured and evaluated for efficacy against laboratory-reared horn flies. This fungal strain was selected for increased virulence by passage through laboratory-reared horn fly hosts to shorten interval from infection to fly death and subsequent conidia formation, properties important to future use of the fungus as a biological control agent against horn flies. After seven passages through horn fly hosts, fly mortality was not significantly accelerated as evaluated through LT50 values, but conidia were readily produced from these killed flies. Although further development is needed to improve fungal efficacy, this fungal strain holds promise as a biological control agent for inclusion in horn fly integrated pest management programs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The horn fly Haematobia irritans is a blood-sucking ectoparasite responsible for substantial economic loss of livestock. Like other hematophagous arthropods species, the successful blood-feeding of H. irritans is highly dependent on the modulation of the host's hemostasis and immune system. Here, we evaluated the biological activity of hematobin (HTB), a protein recently identified in the H. irritans saliva, on macrophage biology. The goal was to understand the putative interactions between the components of H. irritans saliva and the early host immune responses. RESULTS:Thioglycolate-elicited peritoneal macrophages from BALB/c mice were stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) plus interferon-? (IFN-?) in the presence or absence of recombinant HTB. The presence of the salivary protein in the cultures inhibited nitric oxide production and decreased the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression induced by LPS plus IFN-?. The tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) and interleukin-12p40 (IL-12p40) levels were also reduced in the macrophages pre-incubated with HTB; these findings correlated to the decreased NF-?B expression. The biological activities described here were not associated with changes in annexin V binding to macrophages suggesting that HTB does not induce cell death. In addition, the activity of HTB seems to be specific to macrophages because no changes were observed in lymphocyte proliferation or cytokine production. CONCLUSIONS:We describe here the first bioactive salivary protein of H. irritans. We characterized its ability to modulate macrophage inflammatory response, and the results can help explain how horn flies modulate the host immune system to feed on blood.
Project description:Sex chromosomes and sex determining genes can evolve fast, with the sex-linked chromosomes often differing between closely related species. Population genetics theory has been developed and tested to explain the rapid evolution of sex chromosomes and sex determination. However, we do not know why the sex chromosomes are divergent in some taxa and conserved in others. Addressing this question requires comparing closely related taxa with conserved and divergent sex chromosomes to identify biological features that could explain these differences. Cytological karyotypes suggest that muscid flies (e.g., house fly) and blow flies are such a taxonomic pair. The sex chromosomes appear to differ across muscid species, whereas they are conserved across blow flies. Despite the cytological evidence, we do not know the extent to which muscid sex chromosomes are independently derived along different evolutionary lineages. To address that question, we used genomic and transcriptomic sequence data to identify young sex chromosomes in two closely related muscid species, horn fly (Haematobia irritans) and stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans). We provide evidence that the nascent sex chromosomes of horn fly and stable fly were derived independently from each other and from the young sex chromosomes of the closely related house fly (Musca domestica). We present three different scenarios that could have given rise to the sex chromosomes of horn fly and stable fly, and we describe how the scenarios could be distinguished. Distinguishing between these scenarios in future work could identify features of muscid genomes that promote sex chromosome divergence.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Wolbachia pipientis is maternally inherited endoparasitic bacterium belonging to the ?-proteobacteria, infecting 20-75% of all insect species including sand flies. The Wolbachia surface protein (wsp) was employed as an appropriate marker for strain typing. The objective of our research was to find the possibility of detection of W. pipientis in Phlebotomus perfiliewi transcaucasicus. METHODS:Individual sand flies were screened for the presence of W. pipientis. The obtained sequences were edited and aligned with database sequences to identify W. pipientis haplotypes. RESULTS:Two haplotypes of W. pipientis were found in P. perfiliewi transcaucasicus. The common haplotype of W. pipientis was found to be identical to the sequences of those submitted in GenBank. New strain (haplotype) of W. pipientis was found novel. The sequence of new strain of W. pipientis occurs in P. perfiliewi transcaucasicus is very different from those already submitted in GenBank. CONCLUSION:Finding one genetically modified new strain of W. pipientis in P. perfiliewi transcaucasicus, now we can conclude that further documents and studies need to reach the role of cytoplasmic incompatibility of W. pipientis through wild sand fly populations to drive a deleterious gene into and to reduce the density of natural populations of sand flies.