Repeated evolution of multi-partner nutrional symbioses in aphids

Le 19 Novembre 2021
11h30 - Hybrid seminar, online and onsite, conditions permitting

Alejandro Manzano-marin

University Vienna

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Aphids are a large group of animals comprising 4,000+ currently described species. As many animals with nutrient-restricted diet, they depend on obligate symbiotic bacteria for the provision of several essential nutrients. This group of sap-sucking insects depend on the Gammaproteobacteria Buchnera aphidicola for the provision of essential amino acids and some B vitamins. However, recent evidence has demonstrated that in some cases, the typical aphid-Buchnera association has evolved to incorporate yet another obligate symbiotic partner. This new associate complements its Buchnera partner, which has lost the capacity to synthesise compounds essential for its nutritional complementation role. These multi-partner associations occur not only in aphids, but also in several other insect taxa. However, we still know little about the way these associations evolve and which role, if any, they might play in the adaptation of their hosts to new environments. Through the use of high throughput next-generation sequencing, we have explored the existence of such multi-partner associations across aphids, identifying not only the identity but also the potential nutritional roles of the involved parties. We have explored the tissue tropism of selected species and revealed repeated patterns of symbiont localisation across species. In addition, these explorations have revealed that these associations are more common than previously thought, and that they have evolved not once, but multiple times throughout the evolutionary history of aphids. These studies are improving our understanding of these associations and revealing important principles of the origin and diversity of these complex associations.



Recent publications:

1 G Szabó, F Schulz, A Manzano-Marín, ER Toenshoff & M. Horn Evolutionarily recent dual obligatory symbiosis among adelgids indicates a transition between fungus-and insect-associated lifestyles. ISME Journal, 2021

2 A. Manzano-Marin, A. Coeur d’Acier, A- L. Clamens, C. Orvain, C. Cruaud, V. Barbe, &E. Jousselin.  Serial horizontal transfer of vitamin-biosynthetic genes enables the establishment of new nutritional symbionts in aphids’ di-symbiotic systems. ISME J., 2020, 14(1):259–273.

3 Manzano-Marín, A. (. No evidence for Wolbachia as a nutritional co-obligate endosymbiont in the aphid Pentalonia nigronervosa. Microbiome , 2020, 8(1): 72.

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