ResearchPad - invertebrate-microbiology Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The Bacterial Flora Associated with┬áthe┬áPolyphagous Aphid <i>Aphis gossypii</i> Glover (Hemiptera: Aphididae) Is Strongly Affected by Host Plants]]> Aphids live in symbiosis with a variety of bacteria, including the obligate symbiont Buchnera aphidicola and diverse facultative symbionts. The symbiotic associations for one aphid species, especially for polyphagous species, often differ across populations. In the present study, by using high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing, we surveyed in detail the microbiota in natural populations of the cotton aphid Aphis gossypii in China and assessed differences in bacterial diversity with respect to host plant and geography. The microbial community of A. gossypii was dominated by a few heritable symbionts. Arsenophonus was the most dominant secondary symbiont, and Spiroplasma was detected for the first time. Statistical tests and ordination analyses showed that host plants rather than geography seemed to have shaped the associated symbiont composition. Special symbiont communities inhabited the Cucurbitaceae-feeding populations, which supported the ecological specialization of A. gossypii on cucurbits from the viewpoint of symbiotic bacteria. Correlation analysis suggested antagonistic interactions between Buchnera and coexisting secondary symbionts and more complicated interactions between different secondary symbionts. Our findings lend further support to an important role of the host plant in structuring symbiont communities of polyphagous aphids and will improve our understanding of the interactions among phytophagous insects, symbionts, and environments.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (10.1007/s00248-019-01435-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. ]]>
<![CDATA[Two Bacterial Genera, Sodalis and Rickettsia, Associated with the Seal Louse Proechinophthirus fluctus (Phthiraptera: Anoplura)]]>


Roughly 10% to 15% of insect species host heritable symbiotic bacteria known as endosymbionts. The lice parasitizing mammals rely on endosymbionts to provide essential vitamins absent in their blood meals. Here, we describe two bacterial associates from a louse, Proechinophthirus fluctus, which is an obligate ectoparasite of a marine mammal. One of these is a heritable endosymbiont that is not closely related to endosymbionts of other mammalian lice. Rather, it is more closely related to endosymbionts of the genus Sodalis associated with spittlebugs and feather-chewing bird lice. Localization and vertical transmission of this endosymbiont are also more similar to those of bird lice than to those of other mammalian lice. The endosymbiont genome appears to be degrading in symbiosis; however, it is considerably larger than the genomes of other mammalian louse endosymbionts. These patterns suggest the possibility that this Sodalis endosymbiont might be recently acquired, replacing a now-extinct, ancient endosymbiont. From the same lice, we also identified an abundant bacterium belonging to the genus Rickettsia that is closely related to Rickettsia ricketsii, a human pathogen vectored by ticks. No obvious masses of the Rickettsia bacterium were observed in louse tissues, nor did we find any evidence of vertical transmission, so the nature of its association remains unclear.

IMPORTANCE Many insects are host to heritable symbiotic bacteria. These heritable bacteria have been identified from numerous species of parasitic lice. It appears that novel symbioses have formed between lice and bacteria many times, with new bacterial symbionts potentially replacing existing ones. However, little was known about the symbionts of lice parasitizing marine mammals. Here, we identified a heritable bacterial symbiont in lice parasitizing northern fur seals. This bacterial symbiont appears to have been recently acquired by the lice. The findings reported here provide insights into how new symbioses form and how this lifestyle is shaping the symbiont genome.