Detection and Characterization of Wolbachia Infections in Natural Populations of Aphids: Is the Hidden Diversity Fully Unraveled?

University of Poitiers, France
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 12/2011; 6(12):e28695. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028695
Source: PubMed


Aphids are a serious threat to agriculture, despite being a rather small group of insects. The about 4,000 species worldwide engage in highly interesting and complex relationships with their microbial fauna. One of the key symbionts in arthropods is Wolbachia, an α-Proteobacterium implicated in many important biological processes and believed to be a potential tool for biological control. Aphids were thought not to harbour Wolbachia; however, current data suggest that its presence in aphids has been missed, probably due to the low titre of the infection and/or to the high divergence of the Wolbachia strains of aphids. The goal of the present study is to map the Wolbachia infection status of natural aphids populations, along with the characterization of the detected Wolbachia strains. Out of 425 samples from Spain, Portugal, Greece, Israel and Iran, 37 were found to be infected. Our results, based mainly on 16S rRNA gene sequencing, indicate the presence of two new Wolbachia supergroups prevailing in aphids, along with some strains belonging either to supergroup B or to supergroup A.

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    • "both arthropod and nematode endosymbionts (F) [4]. The strains of Wolbachia detected in Australian spiders [81], were designed as Supergroup G but it was later revealed that it has a wsp gene that is a recombinant between those of A and B supergroups rather than being a distinct new supergroup [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Wolbachia are highly extended bacterial endosymbionts that infect arthropods and filarial nematodes and produce contrasting phenotypes on their hosts. Wolbachia taxonomy has been understudied. Currently, Wolbachia strains are classified into phylogenetic supergroups. Here we applied phylogenomic analyses to study Wolbachia evolutionary relationships and examined metrics derived from their genome sequences such as average nucleotide identity (ANI), in silico DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH), G+C content, and synteny to shed light on the taxonomy of these bacteria. Draft genome sequences of strains wDacA and wDacB obtained from the carmine cochineal insect Dactylopius coccus were included. Although all analyses indicated that each Wolbachia supergroup represents a distinct evolutionary lineage, we found that some of the analyzed supergroups showed enough internal heterogeneity to be considered as assemblages of more than one species. Thus, supergroups would represent supraspecific groupings. Consequently, Wolbachia pipientis nomen species would apply only to strains of supergroup B and we propose the designation of 'Candidatus Wolbachia bourtzisii', 'Candidatus Wolbachia onchocercicola', 'Candidatus Wolbachia blaxterii', 'Candidatus Wolbachia brugii', 'Candidatus Wolbachia taylorii', 'Candidatus Wolbachia collembolicola' and 'Candidatus Wolbachia multihospitis' for other supergroups. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
    Systematic and Applied Microbiology 07/2015; 38(6). DOI:10.1016/j.syapm.2015.05.005 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    • "Supergroup F is peculiar in that it includes Wolbachia strains from arthropods and nematodes (Ros et al., 2009). Other supergroups seem to be specific to certain host lineages, such as supergroup E from springtails (Timmermans et al., 2004), H from termites, M and N from aphids (Wang et al., 2014; Augustinos et al., 2011). Further distinct supergroups were identified in the flea Ctenocephalides felis (Gorham et al., 2003), the mite Bryobia sp. "
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    ABSTRACT: Wolbachia is the most abundant intracellular bacterial genus infecting a wide range of arthropods and filarial nematodes. Wolbachia have evolved parasitic, mutualistic and commensal relationships with their hosts but in arthropods generally act as reproductive parasites, inducing a wide range of phenotypic effects such as cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, feminization and male-killing. Up to now, the genus has been divided into 14 supergroups successively named A-O. Here, we describe two new Wolbachia supergroups from syringophilid mites (Acari: Cheyletoidea). These obligatory ectoparasites of birds inhabit the quills of feathers in many avian groups. The species of this family reproduce in a haplodiploid mode sensu arrhenotoky and are usually strongly female-biased. Based on the sequences of four protein-coding genes (ftsZ, gltA and groEL and coxA) and the 16S rRNA we identified strains of three Wolbachia supergroups (F and two distinct, yet undescribed ones) in five quill mite species. Our results suggest that in some cases the distribution of the bacteria can be better correlated with the mite’s bird host rather than with mite taxonomy as such. The discovery of two new Wolbachia supergroups not only broadens the knowledge of the diversity of this bacterium but also raises questions about potential effects induced in quill mites and transmission mechanisms of the endosymbionts in this peculiar bacteria-quill mite-bird system.
    Infection Genetics and Evolution 03/2015; 30:140–146. DOI:10.1016/j.meegid.2014.12.019 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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    • "A similar situation occurred in reports by Jeyaprakash and Hoy (2001), Li et al. (2007), and Ragab (2013). We propose that the main reasons for the unsuccessful amplification of the sequences may be a sub-optimal DNA template:primer ratio due to the small amounts of Wolbachia DNA with large amounts of host DNA and the high divergence of the Wolbachia strains of B. tabaci (Augustinos et al. 2011, Jeyaprakash and Hoy 2001, Li et al. 2007, Ragab 2013). The nested PCR protocol involving a two-step amplification with a new set of primers increased both the specificity and the amount of the targeted bacterial amplicon, thus improving the experimental accuracy and sensitiveness. "
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    ABSTRACT: Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a globally distributed pest. One of the key endosymbionts in B. tabaci is Wolbachia, an α-proteobacterium implicated in many important biological processes. Previous studies indicated that the infection frequency of Wolbachia in Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED) varied greatly among populations in different areas. However, little is known about the factors that influence the prevalence of Wolbachia in B. tabaci. In this paper, 25 field populations were collected from different locations in China, and 1,161 individuals were screened for the presence of Wolbachia using a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method, which targets the wsp gene, to confirm Wolbachia infection status. The prevalence of Wolbachia ranged from 1.54 to 66.67% within the 25 field populations, and the infection frequency of Wolbachia was affected significantly by the putative species of B. tabaci. The infection frequency (51.55%) of Wolbachia was significantly greater in native species than in the MED (25.65%) and MEAM1 (14.37%). With the exception of host plant, all factors, including putative species, geographic location, and the sex of the host, affected the Wolbachia infection frequency in whiteflies. Six Wolbachia strains were found and clustered into four distinct clades upon phylogenetic analyses. Furthermore, Wolbachia in B. tabaci have close relationships with those from other host species, including Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess), Sogatella furcifera (Horvath), Nilaparvata lugens (Stål), and Culex pipiens L. The results demonstrated the variation and diversity of Wolbachia in B. tabaci field populations, and that the application of nested PCR extended our knowledge of Wolbachia infection in B. tabaci, especially in invasive whiteflies.
    Journal of Economic Entomology 02/2015; 108(1). DOI:10.1093/jee/tou004 · 1.51 Impact Factor
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