Two Bacterial Genera, Sodalis and Rickettsia, Associated with the Seal Louse Proechinophthirus fluctus (Phthiraptera: Anoplura)ABSTRACT

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2016
Authors:Boyd, BM, Allen, JM, Koga, R, Fukatsu, T, Sweet, AD, Johnson, KP, Reed, DL
Secondary Authors:Goodrich-Blair, H
Journal:Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume:82
Issue:11
Pagination:3185 - 3197
Date Published:June 2016
ISSN:0099-2240
Keywords:endosymbionts, rickettsia, seal, Sodalis, symbiotic bacteria
Abstract:

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 endosymbi- ont 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 endo- symbiont 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, an- cient 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.

URL:http://aem.asm.org/lookup/doi/10.1128/AEM.00282-16https://syndication.highwire.org/content/doi/10.1128/AEM.00282-16
DOI:10.1128/AEM.00282-16
Short Title:Appl. Environ. Microbiol.
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