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Wolbachia Endosymbiont of the Horn Fly (Haematobia irritans irritans): a Supergroup A Strain with Multiple Horizontally Acquired Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Genes

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Madhav, M., Parry, R., Morgan, J. A. T., James, P. and Asgari, S. (2020) Wolbachia Endosymbiont of the Horn Fly (Haematobia irritans irritans): a Supergroup A Strain with Multiple Horizontally Acquired Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Genes. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 86 (6). e02589-19.

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02589-19

Publisher URL: http://aem.asm.org/content/86/6/e02589-19.abstract


The horn fly, Haematobia irritans irritans, is a hematophagous parasite of livestock distributed throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Welfare losses on livestock due to horn fly infestation are estimated to cost between $1 billion and $2.5 billion (U.S. dollars) annually in North America and Brazil. The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis is a maternally inherited manipulator of reproductive biology in arthropods and naturally infects laboratory colonies of horn flies from Kerrville, TX, and Alberta, Canada, but it has also been identified in wild-caught samples from Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Hungary. Reassembly of PacBio long-read and Illumina genomic DNA libraries from the Kerrville H. i. irritans genome project allowed for a complete and circularized 1.3-Mb Wolbachia genome (wIrr). Annotation of wIrr yielded 1,249 coding genes, 34 tRNAs, 3 rRNAs, and 5 prophage regions. Comparative genomics and whole-genome Bayesian evolutionary analysis of wIrr compared to published Wolbachia genomes suggested that wIrr is most closely related to and diverged from Wolbachia supergroup A strains known to infect Drosophila spp. Whole-genome synteny analyses between wIrr and closely related genomes indicated that wIrr has undergone significant genome rearrangements while maintaining high nucleotide identity. Comparative analysis of the cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) genes of wIrr suggested two phylogenetically distinct CI loci and acquisition of another cifB homolog from phylogenetically distant supergroup A Wolbachia strains, suggesting horizontal acquisition of these loci. The wIrr genome provides a resource for future examination of the impact Wolbachia may have in both biocontrol and potential insecticide resistance of horn flies.IMPORTANCE Horn flies, Haematobia irritans irritans, are obligate hematophagous parasites of cattle having significant effects on production and animal welfare. Control of horn flies mainly relies on the use of insecticides, but issues with resistance have increased interest in development of alternative means of control. Wolbachia pipientis is an endosymbiont bacterium known to have a range of effects on host reproduction, such as induction of cytoplasmic incompatibility, feminization, male killing, and also impacts vector transmission. These characteristics of Wolbachia have been exploited in biological control approaches for a range of insect pests. Here we report the assembly and annotation of the circular genome of the Wolbachia strain of the Kerrville, TX, horn fly (wIrr). Annotation of wIrr suggests its unique features, including the horizontal acquisition of additional transcriptionally active cytoplasmic incompatibility loci. This study provides the foundation for future studies of Wolbachia-induced biological effects for control of horn flies.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Science > Biology > Genetics
Science > Microbiology
Animal culture > Cattle
Veterinary medicine > Veterinary parasitology
Live Archive:31 Aug 2020 01:58
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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