[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sex chromosomes have many unusual features relative to autosomes. The in depth exploration of their structure will improve our understanding of their origin and divergence (degeneration) as well as the evolution of genetic sex determination pathways which, most often are attributed to them. In Tephritids, the structure of Y chromosome, where the male-determining factor M is localized, is largely unexplored and limited data concerning its sequence content and evolution are available. In order to get insight into the structure and organization of the Y chromosome of the major olive insect pest, the olive fly Bactrocera oleae, we characterized sequences from a Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE)-isolated Y chromosome. Here, we report the discovery of the first olive fly LTR retrotransposon with increased presence on the Y chromosome. The element belongs to the BEL-Pao superfamily, however, its sequence comparison with the other members of the superfamily suggests that it constitutes a new family that we termed Achilles. Its ~7.5 kb sequence consists of the 5'LTR, the 5'non-coding sequence and the open reading frame (ORF), which encodes the polyprotein Gag-Pol. In situ hybridization to the B. oleae polytene chromosomes showed that Achilles is distributed in discrete bands dispersed on all five autosomes, in all centromeric regions and in the granular heterochromatic network corresponding to the mitotic sex chromosomes. The between sexes comparison revealed a variation in Achilles copy number, with male flies possessing 5-10 copies more than female (CI range: 18-38 and 12-33 copies respectively per genome). The examination of its transcriptional activity demonstrated the presence of at least one intact active copy in the genome, showing a differential level of expression between sexes as well as during embryonic development. The higher expression was detected in male germline tissues (testes). Moreover, the presence of Achilles-like elements in different species of the Tephritidae family suggests an ancient origin of this element.
PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0137050. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0137050 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Due to the absence of a perfect method for mosquito sex separation, the combination of the sterile insect technique and the incompatible insect technique is now being considered as a potentially effective method to control Aedes albopictus. In this present study first we examine the minimum pupal irradiation dose required to induce complete sterility in Wolbachia triple infected (HC), double-infected (GUA) and uninfected (GT) female Ae. albopictus. The HC line is a candidate for Ae. albopictus population suppression programmes, but due to the risk of population replacement which characterizes this triple infected line, the individuals to be released need to be additionally irradiated. After determining the minimum irradiation dose required for complete female sterility, we test whether sterilization is sufficient to prevent invasion of the triple infection from the HC females into double-infected (GUA) populations. Our results indicate that irradiated Ae. albopictus HC, GUA and GT strain females have decreased fecundity and egg hatch rate when irradiated, inversely proportional to the dose, and the complete sterilization of females can be acquired by pupal irradiation with doses above 28 Gy. PCR-based analysis of F 1 and F 2 progeny indicate that the irradiated HC females, cannot spread the new Wolbachia wPip strain into a small cage GUA population , released at a 1:5 ratio. Considering the above results, we conclude that irradiation can be used to reduce the risk of population replacement caused by an unintentional release of Wolbachia triple-infected Ae. albopictus HC strain females during male release for population suppression.
PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(8). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0135194 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata, is a pest of worldwide substantial economic importance, as well as a Tephritidae model for sterile insect technique (SIT) applications. The latter is partially due to the development and utilization of genetic sexing strains (GSS) for this species, such as the Vienna 8 strain, which is currently used in mass rearing facilities worldwide. Improving the performance of such a strain both in mass rearing facilities and in the field could significantly enhance the efficacy of SIT and reduce operational costs. Recent studies have suggested that the manipulation of gut symbionts can have a significant positive effect on the overall fitness of insect strains. We used culture-based approaches to isolate and characterize gut-associated bacterial species of the Vienna 8 strain under mass rearing conditions. We also exploited one of the isolated bacterial species, Enterobacter sp., as dietary supplement (probiotic) to the larval diet, and we assessed its effects on fitness parameters under the standard operating procedures used in SIT operational programs. Probiotic application of Enterobacter sp. resulted in improvement of both pupal and adult productivity, as well as reduced rearing duration, particularly for males, without affecting pupal weight, sex ratio, male mating competitiveness, flight ability and longevity under starvation.
PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0136459. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136459 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the global burden of mosquito-borne diseases increasing, and some conventional vector control tools losing effectiveness, the sterile insect technique (SIT) is a potential new tool in the arsenal. Equipment and protocols have been developed and validated for efficient mass-rearing, irradiation and release of Aedines and Anophelines that could be useful for several control approaches. Assessment of male quality is becoming more sophisticated, and several groups are well advanced in pilot site selection and population surveillance. It will not be long before SIT feasibility has been evaluated in various settings. Until perfect sexing mechanisms exist, combination of Wolbachia-induced phenotypes, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility and pathogen interference, and irradiation may prove to be the safest solution for population suppression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mosquito species Aedes albopictus is a major vector of the human diseases dengue and chikungunya. Due to the lack of efficient and sustainable methods to control this mosquito species, there is an increasing interest in developing and applying the sterile insect technique (SIT) and the incompatible insect technique (IIT), separately or in combination, as population suppression approaches. Ae. albopictus is naturally double-infected with two Wolbachia strains, wAlbA and wAlbB. A new triple Wolbachia-infected strain (i.e., a strain infected with wAlbA, wAlbB, and wPip), known as HC and expressing strong cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) in appropriate matings, was recently developed. In the present study, we compared several fitness traits of three Ae. albopictus strains (triple-infected, double-infected and uninfected), all of which were of the same genetic background ("Guangzhou City, China") and were reared under the same conditions. Investigation of egg-hatching rate, survival of pupae and adults, sex ratio, duration of larval stages (development time from L1 to pupation), time to emergence (development time from L1 to adult emergence), wing length, female fecundity and adult longevity indicated that the presence of Wolbachia had only a minimal effect on host fitness. Based on this evidence, the HC strain is currently under consideration for mass rearing and application in a combined SIT-IIT strategy to control natural populations of Ae. albopictus in mainland China.
PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0121126. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0121126 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Bactrocera dorsalis species complex currently harbors approximately 90 different members. The species complex has undergone many revisions in the past decades, and there is still an ongoing debate about the species limits. The availability of a variety of tools and approaches, such as molecular-genomic and cytogenetic analyses, are expected to shed light on the rather complicated issues of species complexes and incipient speciation. The clarification of genetic relationships among the different members of this complex is a prerequisite for the rational application of sterile insect technique (SIT) approaches for population control.
Colonies established in the Insect Pest Control Laboratory (IPCL) (Seibersdorf, Vienna), representing five of the main economic important members of the Bactrocera dorsalis complex were cytologically characterized. The taxa under study were B. dorsalis s.s., B. philippinensis, B. papayae, B. invadens and B. carambolae. Mitotic and polytene chromosome analyses did not reveal any chromosomal characteristics that could be used to distinguish between the investigated members of the B. dorsalis complex. Therefore, their polytene chromosomes can be regarded as homosequential with the reference maps of B. dorsalis s.s.. In situ hybridization of six genes further supported the proposed homosequentiallity of the chromosomes of these specific members of the complex.
The present analysis supports that the polytene chromosomes of the five taxa under study are homosequential. Therefore, the use of the available polytene chromosome maps for B. dorsalis s.s. as reference maps for all these five biological entities is proposed. Present data provide important insight in the genetic relationships among the different members of the B. dorsalis complex, and, along with other studies in the field, can facilitate SIT applications targeting this complex. Moreover, the availability of 'universal' reference polytene chromosome maps for members of the complex, along with the documented application of in situ hybridization, can facilitate ongoing and future genome projects in this complex.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Anopheles arabiensis genetic sexing strain ANO IPCL1 was developed based on a dieldrin resistant mutation. The strain has been shown to be practical and reliable in terms of female elimination by dieldrin treatments at larval stages, but has provided some difficulties when treatments were applied at the egg stage. The high natural sterility of this strain has advantages and disadvantages in both mass rearing and the sterilisation process. In addition, its recombination rate, although relatively low, poses a threat of strain deterioration if left unchecked in a mass-rearing setting. The males of the ANO IPCL1 have been shown to be equally competitive as lab-reared males of the wild-type Dongola strain, but competitiveness decreased by half when irradiated with 75 Gy - a dose conferring >98% sterility. More controversial issues surround the use of dieldrin - a highly persistent organochlorine that is known to bioaccumulate in the food chain. The prospective use of large volumes of dieldrin in a mass-rearing facility and the retention of its residues by the male mosquitoes makes the use of the strain in the context of the sterile insect technique against this vector highly questionable, and therefore its implementation at a large scale cannot be recommended.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cydia splendana and C. fagiglandana are two closely related chestnut feeding lepidopteran moth species. In this study, we surveyed the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia in these two species. Infection rates were 31% in C. splendana and 77% in C. fagiglandana. MLST analysis showed that these two species are infected with two quite diverse Wolbachia strains. C. splendana with Sequence Type (ST) 409 from the A-supergroup and C. fagiglandana with ST 150 from the B-supergroup. One individual of C. splendana was infected with ST 150, indicating horizontal transfer between these sister species. The mitochondrial DNA of the two Cydia species showed a significantly different mtDNA diversity, which was inversely proportional to their infection rates.
PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0112795 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bactrocera papayae Drew & Hancock, Bactrocera philippinensis Drew & Hancock, Bactrocera carambolae Drew & Hancock, and Bactrocera invadens Drew, Tsuruta & White are four horticultural pest tephritid fruit fly species that are highly similar, morphologically and genetically, to the destructive pest, the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae). This similarity has rendered the discovery of reliable diagnostic characters problematic, which, in view of the economic importance of these taxa and the international trade implications, has resulted in ongoing difficulties for many areas of plant protection and food security. Consequently, a major international collaborative and integrated multidisciplinary research effort was initiated in 2009 to build upon existing literature with the specific aim of resolving biological species limits among B. papayae, B. philippinensis, B. carambolae, B. invadens and B. dorsalis to overcome constraints to pest management and international trade. Bactrocera philippinensis has recently been synonymized with B. papayae as a result of this initiative and this review corroborates that finding; however, the other names remain in use. While consistent characters have been found to reliably distinguish B. carambolae from B. dorsalis, B. invadens and B. papayae, no such characters have been found to differentiate the latter three putative species. We conclude that B. carambolae is a valid species and that the remaining taxa, B. dorsalis, B. invadens and B. papayae, represent the same species. Thus, we consider B. dorsalis (Hendel) as the senior synonym of B. papayae Drew and Hancock syn.n. and B. invadens Drew, Tsuruta & White syn.n. A redescription of B. dorsalis is provided. Given the agricultural importance of B. dorsalis, this taxonomic decision will have significant global plant biosecurity implications, affecting pest management, quarantine, international trade, postharvest treatment and basic research. Throughout the paper, we emphasize the value of independent and multidisciplinary tools in delimiting species, particularly in complicated cases involving morphologically cryptic taxa.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trialeurodes vaporariorum, the greenhouse whitefly, is a cosmopolitan agricultural pest. Little is known about the genetic diversity of T. vaporariorum and the bacterial symbionts associated with this species. Here, we undertook a large phylogeographic study by investigating
both the mitochondrial (mt) diversity and the infection status of 38 T. vaporariorum collections from 18 countries around the world. Genetic diversity of T. vaporariorum was studied by analyzing sequence data from the mt cytochrome oxidase I, cytochrome b, and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 genes.
Maximum-likelihood (ML) phylogeny reconstruction delineated 2 clades characterized by limited sequence divergence: one clade
comprised samples only from the Northern hemisphere whereas the other comprised samples from a broader geographical range.
The presence of secondary symbionts was determined by PCR using primers specific for Hamiltonella, Rickettsia, Arsenophonus, Cardinium, Wolbachia, and Fritschea. Most individuals examined harbored at least one secondary endosymbiont, and Arsenophonus was detected in almost all male and female individuals. Wolbachia was present at a much lower frequency, and Cardinium was detected in only a few individuals from Greece. Rickettsia, Hamiltonella, and Fritschea were not found. Additionally, we set out to further analyze Arsenophonus diversity by multilocus sequence typing analysis; however, the Arsenophonus sequences did not exhibit any polymorphism. Our results revealed remarkably low diversity in both mtDNA and symbionts in
this worldwide agricultural pest, contrasting sharply with that of the ecologically similar Bemisia tabaci.
Journal of Heredity 10/2014; 106(1). DOI:10.1093/jhered/esu061 · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the last decade, bacterial symbionts have been shown to play an important role in protecting hosts against pathogens. Wolbachia, a widespread symbiont in arthropods, can protect Drosophila and mosquito species against viral infections. We have investigated antiviral protection in 19 Wolbachia strains originating from 16 Drosophila species after transfer into the same genotype of Drosophila simulans. We found that approximately half of the strains protected against two RNA viruses. Given that 40% of terrestrial arthropod species are estimated to harbour Wolbachia, as many as a fifth of all arthropods species may benefit from Wolbachia-mediated protection. The level of protection against two distantly related RNA viruses – DCV and FHV – was strongly genetically correlated, which suggests that there is a single mechanism of protection with broad specificity. Furthermore, Wolbachia is making flies resistant to viruses, as increases in survival can be largely explained by reductions in viral titer. Variation in the level of antiviral protection provided by different Wolbachia strains is strongly genetically correlated to the density of the bacteria strains in host tissues. We found no support for two previously proposed mechanisms of Wolbachia-mediated protection — activation of the immune system and upregulation of the methyltransferase Dnmt2. The large variation in Wolbachia's antiviral properties highlights the need to carefully select Wolbachia strains introduced into mosquito populations to prevent the transmission of arboviruses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many species of tsetse flies are infected by a hytrosavirus that causes salivary gland hypertrophy (SGH) syndrome.Flies with SGH have a reduced fecundity and fertility. Due to the deleterious impact of the salivary gland hypertrophy virus (SGHV) on Glossinapallidipes colonies, several approaches have beeninvestigated to develop a virus management strategy including the exploitation of endogenous microbiota. Tsetse flies harbor three symbiotic bacteria (Wigglesworthiaglossinidia,Sodalis glossinidius and Wolbachia) in addition to trypanosome the causative agent of sleeping sickness disease in human and nagana in livestock. The interaction of the tsetse microbiota (gut bacteria and symbionts) with the SGHV and / or trypanosome is largely unexplored. In the present study, we show that ampicillin treatment of G. pallidipesimpedes the transgeneration transmission of the SGHVsuggesting the involvement of tsetse microbiota in the virus transmission. Quantitative-PCR analysis of wild tsetse flies (mainly G. morsitansmorsitans and G. austeni) clearly indicated a negative interaction between SGHV and Wolbachia: flies heavily infected with Wolbachia presented significantly low viral titers. In addition, injection of GpSGHV into different Wolbachia-infected Glossina speciesdid not result to the transgeneration transmission of SGHV as normally occurs in G. pallidipes colony, which is free of Wolbachia. Taken together, these data suggest that Wolbachia may interfere with the establishment and transmission of this important DNA virus (SGHV), which represents a major hurdle for the application of SIT strategies for the control of tsetse flies and trypanosomosis in sub-Saharan Africa.
47th Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology, Mainz, Germany; 08/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many species of tsetse flies are infected by a hytrosavirus that causes salivary gland hypertrophy
(SGH) syndrome. Flies with SGH have a reduced fecundity and fertility. Due to the deleterious impact
of the salivary gland hypertrophy virus (SGHV) on Glossina pallidipes colonies, several approaches
have been investigated to develop a virus management strategy including the exploitation of
endogenous microbiota. Tsetse flies harbor three symbiotic bacteria (Wigglesworthia glossinidia,
Sodalis glossinidius and Wolbachia) in addition to trypanosome the causative agent of sleeping
sickness disease in human and nagana in livestock. The interaction of the tsetse microbiota (gut
bacteria and symbionts) with the SGHV and / or trypanosome is largely unexplored. In the present
study, we show that ampicillin treatment of G. pallidipes impedes the transgeneration transmission
of the SGHV suggesting the involvement of tsetse microbiota in the virus transmission. Quantitative-
PCR analysis of wild tsetse flies (mainly G. morsitans morsitans and G. austeni) clearly indicated a
negative interaction between SGHV and Wolbachia: flies heavily infected with Wolbachia presented
significantly low viral titers. In addition, injection of GpSGHV into different Wolbachia-infected
Glossina species did not result to the transgeneration transmission of SGHV as normally occurs in G.
pallidipes colony, which is free of Wolbachia. Taken together, these data suggest that Wolbachia may
interfere with the establishment and transmission of this important DNA virus (SGHV), which
represents a major hurdle for the application of SIT strategies for the control of tsetse flies and
trypanosomosis in sub-Saharan Africa.
Societyfor Invertebrate Pathology Meeting in 2014, Mainz, Germany.; 08/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rhagoletis cerasi (Diptera: Tephritidae) is a major pest of sweet and sour cherries in Europe and parts of Asia. Despite its economic significance, there is a lack of studies on the genetic structure of R. cerasi populations. Elucidating the genetic structure of insects of economic importance is crucial for developing phenological-predictive models and environmental friendly control methods. All natural populations of R. cerasi have been found to harbor the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis, which widely affects multiple biological traits contributing to the evolution of its hosts, and has been suggested as a tool for the biological control of insect pests and disease vectors. In the current study, the analysis of 18 R. cerasi populations collected in Greece, Germany, and Russia using 13 microsatellite markers revealed structuring of R. cerasi natural populations, even at close geographic range. We also analyzed the Wolbachia infection status of these populations using 16S rRNA-, MLST- and wsp-based approaches. All 244 individuals screened were positive for Wolbachia. Our results suggest the fixation of the wCer1 strain in Greece while wCer2, wCer4, wCer5, and probably other uncharacterized strains were also detected in multiply infected individuals. The role of Wolbachia and its potential extended phenotypes needs a thorough investigation in R. cerasi. Our data suggest an involvement of this symbiont in the observed restriction in the gene flow in addition to a number of different ecological factors.
Ecology and Evolution 05/2014; 4(10). DOI:10.1002/ece3.553 · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tsetse flies are the sole vectors of human African trypanosomiasis throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Both sexes of adult tsetse feed exclusively on blood and contribute to disease transmission. Notable differences between tsetse and other disease vectors include obligate microbial symbioses, viviparous reproduction, and lactation. Here, we describe the sequence and annotation of the 366-megabase Glossina morsitans morsitans genome. Analysis of the genome and the 12,308 predicted protein-encoding genes led to multiple discoveries, including chromosomal integrations of bacterial (Wolbachia) genome sequences, a family of lactation-specific proteins, reduced complement of host pathogen recognition proteins, and reduced olfaction/chemosensory associated genes. These genome data provide a foundation for research into trypanosomiasis prevention and yield important insights with broad implications for multiple aspects of tsetse biology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tsetse flies are the sole vectors of human African trypanosomiasis throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Both sexes of adult tsetse feed exclusively on blood and contribute to disease transmission. Notable
differences between tsetse and other disease vectors include obligate microbial symbioses, viviparous
reproduction, and lactation. Here, we describe the sequence and annotation of the 366-megabase
Glossina morsitans morsitans genome. Analysis of the genome and the 12,308 predicted
protein–encoding genes led to multiple discoveries, including chromosomal integrations of bacterial
(Wolbachia) genome sequences, a family of lactation-specific proteins, reduced complement of
host pathogen recognition proteins, and reduced olfaction/chemosensory associated genes. These
genome data provide a foundation for research into trypanosomiasis prevention and yield important
insights with broad implications for multiple aspects of tsetse biology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) are the cyclical vectors of Trypanosoma spp., which are unicellular parasites responsible for multiple diseases, including nagana in livestock and sleeping sickness in humans in Africa. Glossina species, including Glossina morsitans morsitans (Gmm), for which the Whole Genome Sequence (WGS) is now available, have established symbiotic associations with three endosymbionts: Wigglesworthia glossinidia, Sodalis glossinidius and Wolbachia pipientis (Wolbachia). The presence of Wolbachia in both natural and laboratory populations of Glossina species, including the presence of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events in a laboratory colony of Gmm, has already been shown. We herein report on the draft genome sequence of the cytoplasmic Wolbachia endosymbiont (cytWol) associated with Gmm. By in silico and molecular and cytogenetic analysis, we discovered and validated the presence of multiple insertions of Wolbachia (chrWol) in the host Gmm genome. We identified at least two large insertions of chrWol, 527,507 and 484,123 bp in size, from Gmm WGS data. Southern hybridizations confirmed the presence of Wolbachia insertions in Gmm genome, and FISH revealed multiple insertions located on the two sex chromosomes (X and Y), as well as on the supernumerary B-chromosomes. We compare the chrWol insertions to the cytWol draft genome in an attempt to clarify the evolutionary history of the HGT events. We discuss our findings in light of the evolution of Wolbachia infections in the tsetse fly and their potential impacts on the control of tsetse populations and trypanosomiasis.