Dual-Seq reveals genome and transcriptome of Caedibacter taeniospiralis, obligate endosymbiont of Paramecium.
ABSTRACT: Interest in host-symbiont interactions is continuously increasing, not only due to the growing recognition of the importance of microbiomes. Starting with the detection and description of novel symbionts, attention moves to the molecular consequences and innovations of symbioses. However, molecular analysis requires genomic data which is difficult to obtain from obligate intracellular and uncultivated bacteria. We report the identification of the Caedibacter genome, an obligate symbiont of the ciliate Paramecium. The infection does not only confer the host with the ability to kill other cells but also renders them immune against this effect. We obtained the C. taeniospiralis genome and transcriptome by dual-Seq of DNA and RNA from infected paramecia. Comparison of codon usage and expression level indicates that genes necessary for a specific trait of this symbiosis, i.e. the delivery of an unknown toxin, result from horizontal gene transfer hinting to the relevance of DNA transfer for acquiring new characters. Prediction of secreted proteins of Caedibacter as major agents of contact with the host implies, next to several toxin candidates, a rather uncharacterized secretome which appears to be highly adapted to this symbiosis. Our data provides new insights into the molecular establishment and evolution of this obligate symbiosis and for the pathway characterization of toxicity and immunity.
Project description:Obligate bacterial endosymbionts of paramecia able to form refractile inclusion bodies (R bodies), thereby conferring a killer trait upon their ciliate hosts, have traditionally been grouped into the genus CAEDIBACTER: Of the six species described to date, only the Paramecium caudatum symbiont Caedibacter caryophilus has been phylogenetically characterized by its 16S rRNA gene sequence, and it was found to be a member of the Alphaproteobacteria related to the RICKETTSIALES: In this study, the Caedibacter taeniospiralis type strain, an R-body-producing cytoplasmatic symbiont of Paramecium tetraurelia strain 51k, was investigated by comparative 16S rRNA sequence analysis and fluorescence in situ hybridization with specific oligonucleotide probes. C. taeniospiralis is not closely related to C. caryophilus (80% 16S rRNA sequence similarity) but forms a novel evolutionary lineage within the Gammaproteobacteria with the family Francisellaceae as a sister group (87% 16S rRNA sequence similarity). These findings demonstrate that the genus Caedibacter is polyphyletic and comprises at least two phylogenetically different bacterial species belonging to two different classes of the PROTEOBACTERIA: Comparative phylogenetic analysis of C. caryophilus, five closely related Acanthamoeba endosymbionts (including one previously uncharacterized amoebal symbiont identified in this study), and their hosts suggests that the progenitor of the alphaproteobacterial C. caryophilus lived within acanthamoebae prior to the infection of paramecia.
Project description:R bodies are insoluble large polymers consisting of small proteins encoded by reb genes and are coiled into cylindrical structures in bacterial cells. They were first discovered in Caedibacter species, which are obligate endosymbionts of paramecia. Caedibacter confers a killer trait on the host paramecia. R-body-producing symbionts are released from their host paramecia and kill symbiont-free paramecia after ingestion. The roles of R bodies have not been explained in bacteria other than CaedibacterAzorhizobium caulinodans ORS571, a microsymbiont of the legume Sesbania rostrata, carries a reb operon containing four reb genes that are regulated by the repressor PraR. Herein, deletion of the praR gene resulted in R-body formation and death of host plant cells. The rebR gene in the reb operon encodes an activator. Three PraR binding sites and a RebR binding site are present in the promoter region of the reb operon. Expression analyses using strains with mutations within the PraR binding site and/or the RebR binding site revealed that PraR and RebR directly control the expression of the reb operon and that PraR dominantly represses reb expression. Furthermore, we found that the reb operon is highly expressed at low temperatures and that 2-oxoglutarate induces the expression of the reb operon by inhibiting PraR binding to the reb promoter. We conclude that R bodies are toxic not only in paramecium symbiosis but also in relationships between other bacteria and eukaryotic cells and that R-body formation is controlled by environmental factors.IMPORTANCECaedibacter species, which are obligate endosymbiotic bacteria of paramecia, produce R bodies, and R-body-producing endosymbionts that are released from their hosts are pathogenic to symbiont-free paramecia. Besides Caedibacter species, R bodies have also been observed in a few free-living bacteria, but the significance of R-body production in these bacteria is still unknown. Recent advances in genome sequencing technologies revealed that many Gram-negative bacteria possess reb genes encoding R-body components, and interestingly, many of them are animal and plant pathogens. Azorhizobium caulinodans, a microsymbiont of the tropical legume Sesbania rostrata, also possesses reb genes. In this study, we demonstrate that A. caulinodans has ability to kill the host plant cells by producing R bodies, suggesting that pathogenicity conferred by an R body might be universal in bacteria possessing reb genes. Furthermore, we provide the first insight into the molecular mechanism underlying the expression of R-body production in response to environmental factors, such as temperature and 2-oxoglutarate.
Project description:The phylogenetic position of Caedibacter caryophila, a so far noncultured killer symbiont of Paramecium caudatum, was elucidated by comparative sequence analysis of in vitro amplified 16S rRNA genes (rDNA). C. caryophila is a member of the alpha subclass of the Proteobacteria phylum. Within this subclass C. caryophila is moderately related to Holospora obtusa, which is another obligate endosymbiont of Paramecium caudatum, and to Rickettsia. A 16S rRNA targeted specific hybridization probe was designed and used for in situ detection of C. caryophila within its host cell. Comparison of the 16S rDNA primary structure of C. caryophila with homologous sequences from other bacteria revealed an unusual insertion of 194 base pairs within the 5'-terminal part of the corresponding gene. The intervening sequence is not present in mature 16S rRNA of C. caryophila. It was demonstrated that C. caryophila contained fragmented 16S rRNA.
Project description:Caedibacter taeniospiralis, an obligate bacterial endosymbiont of Paramecium tetraurelia, confers a killing trait upon its host paramecium. Type 51 R bodies (refractile inclusion bodies) are synthesized by these endosymbionts and are required for expression of the killing trait. The nucleotide sequence of the genetic determinants for type 51 R body synthesis and assembly was determined for C. taeniospiralis 47 and 116. Three independently transcribed genes (rebA, rebB, and rebC) were characterized. To date these are the only genes from C. taeniospiralis to be sequenced and characterized. DNA regulatory regions are recognized by Escherichia coli, and codon usage appears similar to that in E. coli. A fourth open reading frame with appropriate regulatory sequences was found within the reb locus, but no evidence was obtained to suggest that this putative gene is expressed in E. coli. The R body-encoding sequences from both strains are identical. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of deletion derivatives shows that two polymerization events are involved in R body assembly. One polymerization event requires only RebB and RebC; the other requires all three proteins. Expression of RebC is necessary for the posttranslational modification of RebA and RebB into species with three and two different molecular weights, respectively. In the presence of RebC, each species of RebB with a different molecular weight has six different isoelectric points.
Project description:Symbiotic interactions between organisms create new ecological niches. For example, many insects survive on plant-sap with the aid of maternally transmitted bacterial symbionts that provision essential nutrients lacking in this diet. Symbiotic partners often enter a long-term relationship in which the co-evolutionary fate of lineages is interdependent. Obligate symbionts that are strictly maternally transmitted experience genetic drift and genome degradation, compromising symbiont function and reducing host fitness unless hosts can compensate for these deficits. One evolutionary solution is the acquisition of a novel symbiont with a functionally intact genome. Whereas almost all aphids host the anciently acquired bacterial endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola (Gammaproteobacteria), Geopemphigus species have lost Buchnera and instead contain a maternally transmitted symbiont closely related to several known insect symbionts from the bacterial phylum Bacteroidetes. A complete genome sequence shows the symbiont has lost many ancestral genes, resulting in a genome size intermediate between that of free-living and symbiotic Bacteroidetes. The Geopemphigus symbiont retains biosynthetic pathways for amino acids and vitamins, as in Buchnera and other insect symbionts. This case of evolutionary replacement of Buchnera provides an opportunity to further understand the evolution and functional genomics of symbiosis.
Project description:Symbiosis is a major source of evolutionary innovation and, by allowing species to exploit new ecological niches, underpins the functioning of ecosystems. The transition from free-living to obligate symbiosis requires the alignment of the partners' fitness interests and the evolution of mutual dependence. While symbiotic taxa are known to vary widely in the extent of host-symbiont dependence, rather less is known about variation within symbiotic associations.Using experiments with the microbial symbiosis between the protist Paramecium bursaria and the alga Chlorella, we show variation between pairings in host-symbiont dependence, encompassing facultative associations, mutual dependence and host dependence upon the symbiont. Facultative associations, that is where both the host and the symbiont were capable of free-living growth, displayed higher symbiotic growth rates and higher per host symbiont loads than those with greater degrees of dependence.These data show that the Paramecium-Chlorella interaction exists at the boundary between facultative and obligate symbiosis, and further suggest that the host is more likely to evolve dependence than the algal symbiont.
Project description:Many eukaryotes have obligate associations with microorganisms that are transmitted directly between generations. A model for heritable symbiosis is the association of aphids, a clade of sap-feeding insects, and Buchnera aphidicola, a gammaproteobacterium that colonized an aphid ancestor 150 million years ago and persists in almost all 5,000 aphid species. Symbiont acquisition enables evolutionary and ecological expansion; aphids are one of many insect groups that would not exist without heritable symbiosis. Receiving less attention are potential negative ramifications of symbiotic alliances. In the short run, symbionts impose metabolic costs. Over evolutionary time, hosts evolve dependence beyond the original benefits of the symbiosis. Symbiotic partners enter into an evolutionary spiral that leads to irreversible codependence and associated risks. Host adaptations to symbiosis (e.g., immune-system modification) may impose vulnerabilities. Symbiont genomes also continuously accumulate deleterious mutations, limiting their beneficial contributions and environmental tolerance. Finally, the fitness interests of obligate heritable symbionts are distinct from those of their hosts, leading to selfish tendencies. Thus, genes underlying the host-symbiont interface are predicted to follow a coevolutionary arms race, as observed for genes governing host-pathogen interactions. On the macroevolutionary scale, the rapid evolution of interacting symbiont and host genes is predicted to accelerate host speciation rates by generating genetic incompatibilities. However, degeneration of symbiont genomes may ultimately limit the ecological range of host species, potentially increasing extinction risk. Recent results for the aphid-Buchnera symbiosis and related systems illustrate that, whereas heritable symbiosis can expand ecological range and spur diversification, it also presents potential perils.
Project description:Population-level genetic diversity in the obligate symbiosis between the bivalve Solemya velum and its thioautotrophic bacterial endosymbiont was examined. Distinct populations along the New England coast shared a single mitochondrial genotype but were fixed for unique symbiont genotypes, indicating high levels of symbiont genetic structuring and potential symbiont-host decoupling.
Project description:Host shifts can lead to ecological speciation and the emergence of new pests and pathogens. However, the mutational events that facilitate the exploitation of novel hosts are poorly understood. Here, we characterize an adaptive walk underpinning the host shift of the aphid Myzus persicae to tobacco, including evolution of mechanisms that overcame tobacco chemical defenses. A series of mutational events added as many as 1.5 million nucleotides to the genome of the tobacco-adapted subspecies, M. p. nicotianae, and yielded profound increases in expression of an enzyme that efficiently detoxifies nicotine, both in aphid gut tissue and in the bacteriocytes housing the obligate aphid symbiont Buchnera aphidicola. This dual evolutionary solution overcame the challenge of preserving fitness of a mutualistic symbiosis during adaptation to a toxic novel host. Our results reveal the intricate processes by which genetic novelty can arise and drive the evolution of key innovations required for ecological adaptation.