Identification of Aeromonas veronii genes required for colonization of the medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana.
ABSTRACT Most digestive tracts contain a complex consortium of beneficial microorganisms, making it challenging to tease apart the molecular interactions between symbiont and host. The digestive tract of Hirudo verbana, the medicinal leech, is an ideal model system because it harbors a simple microbial community in the crop, comprising the genetically amenable Aeromonas veronii and a Rikenella-like bacterium. Signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) was used to identify genes required for digestive tract colonization. Of 3,850 transposon (Tn) mutants screened, 46 were identified as colonization mutants. Previously we determined that the complement system of the ingested blood remained active inside the crop and prevented serum-sensitive mutants from colonizing. The identification of 26 serum-sensitive mutants indicated a successful screen. The remaining 20 serum-resistant mutants are described in this study and revealed new insights into symbiont-host interactions. An in vivo competition assay compared the colonization levels of the mutants to that of a wild-type competitor. Attenuated colonization mutants were grouped into five classes: surface modification, regulatory, nutritional, host interaction, and unknown function. One STM mutant, JG736, with a Tn insertion in lpp, encoding Braun's lipoprotein, was characterized in detail. This mutant had a >25,000-fold colonization defect relative to colonization by the wild-type strain at 72 h and, in vitro, an increased sensitivity to sodium dodecyl sulfate, suggesting the presence of an additional antimicrobial property in the crop. The classes of genes identified in this study are consistent with findings from previous STM studies involving pathogenic bacteria, suggesting parallel molecular requirements for beneficial and pathogenic host colonization.
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ABSTRACT: Mutually beneficial interactions between microorganisms and animals are a conserved and ubiquitous feature of biotic systems. In many instances animals, including humans, are dependent on their microbial associates for nutrition, defense, or development. To maintain these vital relationships, animals have evolved processes that ensure faithful transmission of specific microbial symbionts between generations. Elucidating mechanisms of transmission and symbiont specificity has been aided by the study of experimentally tractable invertebrate animals with diverse and highly evolved associations with microorganisms. Here, we review several invertebrate model systems that contribute to our current understanding of symbiont transmission, recognition, and specificity. Although the details of transmission and symbiont selection vary among associations, comparisons of diverse mutualistic associations are revealing a number of common themes, including restriction of symbiont diversity during transmission and glycan-lectin interactions during partner selection and recruitment.FEMS microbiology reviews 10/2009; 34(1):41-58. DOI:10.1111/j.1574-6976.2009.00193.x · 13.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Environment is recognized as a huge reservoir for bacterial species and a source of human pathogens. Some environmental bacteria have an extraordinary range of activities that include promotion of plant growth or disease, breakdown of pollutants, production of original biomolecules, but also multidrug resistance and human pathogenicity. The versatility of bacterial life-style involves adaptation to various niches. Adaptation to both open environment and human specific niches is a major challenge that involves intermediate organisms allowing pre-adaptation to humans. The aim of this review is to analyze genomic features of environmental bacteria in order to explain their adaptation to human beings. The genera Pseudomonas, Aeromonas and Ochrobactrum provide valuable examples of opportunistic behavior associated to particular genomic structure and evolution. Particularly, we performed original genomic comparisons among aeromonads and between the strictly intracellular pathogens Brucella spp. and the mild opportunistic pathogens Ochrobactrum spp. We conclude that the adaptation to human could coincide with a speciation in action revealed by modifications in both genomic and population structures. This adaptation-driven speciation could be a major mechanism for the emergence of true pathogens besides the acquisition of specialized virulence factors.12/2012; 3(2):191-232. DOI:10.3390/genes3020191
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ABSTRACT: Aeromonas veronii strain Hm21 was isolated from the digestive tract of the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana and has been used to identify genes that are important for host colonization. This species is also a symbiont in the gut of zebrafish and is a pathogen of mammals and fish. We present here a 4.68-Mbp draft genome sequence for Hm21.Genome Announcements 08/2013; 1(5). DOI:10.1128/genomeA.00800-13