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:The scale insect Dactylopius coccus produces high amounts of carminic acid, which has historically been used as a pigment by pre-Hispanic American cultures. Nowadays carmine is found in food, cosmetics, and textiles. Metagenomic approaches revealed that Dactylopius spp. cochineals contain two Wolbachia strains, a betaproteobacterium named Candidatus Dactylopiibacterium carminicum and Spiroplasma, in addition to different fungi. We describe here a transcriptomic analysis indicating that Dactylopiibacterium is metabolically active inside the insect host, and estimate that there are over twice as many Dactylopiibacterium cells in the hemolymph than in the gut, with even fewer in the ovary. Albeit scarce, the transcripts in the ovaries support the presence of Dactylopiibacterium in this tissue and a vertical mode of transmission. In the cochineal, Dactylopiibacterium may catabolize plant polysaccharides, and be active in carbon and nitrogen provisioning through its degradative activity and by fixing nitrogen. In most insects, nitrogen-fixing bacteria are found in the gut, but in this study they are shown to occur in the hemolymph, probably delivering essential amino acids and riboflavin to the host from nitrogen substrates derived from nitrogen fixation.
Project description:Complete genome DNA sequence and analysis is presented for Wolbachia, the obligate alpha-proteobacterial endosymbiont required for fertility and survival of the human filarial parasitic nematode Brugia malayi. Although, quantitatively, the genome is even more degraded than those of closely related Rickettsia species, Wolbachia has retained more intact metabolic pathways. The ability to provide riboflavin, flavin adenine dinucleotide, heme, and nucleotides is likely to be Wolbachia's principal contribution to the mutualistic relationship, whereas the host nematode likely supplies amino acids required for Wolbachia growth. Genome comparison of the Wolbachia endosymbiont of B. malayi (wBm) with the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Drosophila melanogaster (wMel) shows that they share similar metabolic trends, although their genomes show a high degree of genome shuffling. In contrast to wMel, wBm contains no prophage and has a reduced level of repeated DNA. Both Wolbachia have lost a considerable number of membrane biogenesis genes that apparently make them unable to synthesize lipid A, the usual component of proteobacterial membranes. However, differences in their peptidoglycan structures may reflect the mutualistic lifestyle of wBm in contrast to the parasitic lifestyle of wMel. The smaller genome size of wBm, relative to wMel, may reflect the loss of genes required for infecting host cells and avoiding host defense systems. Analysis of this first sequenced endosymbiont genome from a filarial nematode provides insight into endosymbiont evolution and additionally provides new potential targets for elimination of cutaneous and lymphatic human filarial disease.
Project description:The discovery of an extraordinarily high level of mobile elements in the genome of Wolbachia, a widespread arthropod and nematode endosymbiont, suggests that this bacterium could be an excellent model for assessing the evolution and function of mobile DNA in specialized bacteria. In this paper, we discuss how studies on the temperate bacteriophage WO of Wolbachia have revealed unexpected levels of genomic flux and are challenging previously held views about the clonality of obligate intracellular bacteria. We also discuss the roles this phage might play in the Wolbachia-arthropod symbiosis and infer how this research can be translated to combating human diseases vectored by arthropods. We expect that this temperate phage will be a preeminent model system to understand phage genetics, evolution and ecology in obligate intracellular bacteria. In this sense, phage WO might be likened to phage lambda of the endosymbiont world.
Project description:Antibiotic treatment has emerged as a promising strategy to sterilize and kill filarial nematodes due to their dependence on their endosymbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia. Several studies have shown that novel and FDA-approved antibiotics are efficacious at depleting the filarial nematodes of their endosymbiont, thus reducing female fecundity. However, it remains unclear if antibiotics can permanently deplete Wolbachia and cause sterility for the lifespan of the adult worms. Concerns about resistance arising from mass drug administration necessitate a careful exploration of potential Wolbachia recrudescence. In the present study, we investigated the long-term effects of the FDA-approved antibiotic, rifampicin, in the Brugia pahangi jird model of infection. Initially, rifampicin treatment depleted Wolbachia in adult worms and simultaneously impaired female worm fecundity. However, during an 8-month washout period, Wolbachia titers rebounded and embryogenesis returned to normal. Genome sequence analyses of Wolbachia revealed that despite the population bottleneck and recovery, no genetic changes occurred that could account for the rebound. Clusters of densely packed Wolbachia within the worm's ovarian tissues were observed by confocal microscopy and remained in worms treated with rifampicin, suggesting that they may serve as privileged sites that allow Wolbachia to persist in worms while treated with antibiotic. To our knowledge, these clusters have not been previously described and may be the source of the Wolbachia rebound.
Project description:Here, we present the complete genome sequence of the Wolbachia endosymbiont wAna, isolated from Drosophila ananassae and derived from Oxford Nanopore and Illumina sequencing. We anticipate that this will aid in Wolbachia comparative genomics and the assembly of D. ananassae specifically in regions containing extensive lateral gene transfer events.
Project description:There is now ample evidence that endosymbionts can contribute to host adaptation to environmental challenges. However, how endosymbiont presence affects the adaptive trajectory and outcome of the host is yet largely unexplored. In Drosophila, Wolbachia confers protection to RNA virus infection, an effect that differs between Wolbachia strains and can be targeted by selection. Adaptation to RNA virus infections is mediated by both Wolbachia and the host, raising the question of whether adaptive genetic changes in the host vary with the presence/absence of the endosymbiont. Here, we address this question using a polymorphic D. melanogaster population previously adapted to DCV infection for 35 generations in the presence of Wolbachia, from which we removed the endosymbiont and followed survival over the subsequent 20 generations of infection. After an initial severe drop, survival frequencies upon DCV selection increased significantly, as seen before in the presence of Wolbachia. Whole-genome sequencing, revealed that the major genes involved in the first selection experiment, pastrel and Ubc-E2H, continued to be selected in Wolbachia-free D. melanogaster, with the frequencies of protective alleles being closer to fixation in the absence of Wolbachia. Our results suggest that heterogeneity in Wolbachia infection status may be sufficient to maintain polymorphisms even in the absence of costs.
Project description:We sequenced total RNA from Dirofilaria immitis in order to generate the first tissue-specific gene expression profile of a filarial nematode and its Wolbachia endosymbiont. Examination of transcript levels in 7 different Dirofilaria immitis tissues, in duplicate, using Illumina GAIIx.