Abstracts (first author)
Comparative analysis of symbiotic communities in HippoboscidaePDF
Symbioses between bacteria and insects can range from simple bilateral relationships, with a single obligate mutualist, to multilateral models with complex bacterial communities. In hematophagous hosts, typical examples of such associations are provided by the symbiosis of human body louse Pediculus humanus with its primary symbiont Rieisa pediculicola, and tsetse fly Glossina morsitans with bacterial community containing a primary symbiont Wigglesworthia glossinidia, a facultative associate Sodalis glossinidius and Wolbachia. To allow for broader comparison of the symbiotic communities and their effect on the biology of different hosts, we analyzed symbiotic bacteria in hosts closely related to Glossinidae, the louse flies of the family Hippoboscidae. These organisms share many unique biological characteristics with Glossinidae, e.g. strict hematophagy, adenotrophic vivipary and nourishment through milk glands, and a specialized midgut section (bacteriome). Using Illumina sequencing, we characterized genomes of the symbionts associated with two biologically different species, namely Melophagus ovinus and Lipoptena fortisetosa. We demonstrated that the complexity of the associations differs among these species. In analogy to tsetse symbiosis, Melophagus ovinus carries complex symbiotic community involving obligate mutualist from the genus Arsenophonus (Gammaproteobacteria), a facultative symbiotic bacterium originated within Sodalis lineage (Gammaproteobacteria), a widespread bacterial associate of the genus Wolbachia, and two additional microorganisms Bartonella melophagi (Alphaproteobacteria) and Trypanosoma melophagium (Excavata). In contrary, Lipoptena represents a model of bilateral symbiosis harboring Arsenophonus bacteria as a sole symbiont. We discuss possible consequences of the symbiotic community structure on the metabolic functions within the host.