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Asaia

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Elena Crotti – 1st expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Delayed larval development in Anopheles mosquitoes deprived of Asaia bacterial symbionts
    BMC Microbiology, 2020
    Co-Authors: Bessem Chouaia, Elena Crotti, Claudia Damiani, Irene Ricci, Michela Mosca, Paolo Rossi, Sara Epis, Ulisse Ulissi, Daniele Daffonchio, Claudio Bandi

    Abstract:

    Abstract Background In recent years, acetic acid bacteria have been shown to be frequently associated with insects, but knowledge on their biological role in the arthropod host is limited. The discovery that acetic acid bacteria of the genus Asaia are a main component of the microbiota of Anopheles stephensi makes this mosquito a useful model for studies on this novel group of symbionts. Here we present experimental results that provide a first evidence for a beneficial role of Asaia in An. stephensi. Results Larvae of An. stephensi at different stages were treated with rifampicin, an antibiotic effective on wild-type Asaia spp., and the effects on the larval development were evaluated. Larvae treated with the antibiotic showed a delay in the development and an asynchrony in the appearance of later instars. In larvae treated with rifampicin, but supplemented with a rifampicin-resistant mutant strain of Asaia, larval development was comparable to that of control larvae not exposed to the antibiotic. Analysis of the bacterial diversity of the three mosquito populations confirmed that the level of Asaia was strongly decreased in the antibiotic-treated larvae, since the symbiont was not detectable by PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis), while Asaia was consistently found in insects supplemented with rifampicin plus the antibiotic-resistant mutant in the diet, and in those not exposed to the antibiotic. Conclusions The results here reported indicate that Asaia symbionts play a beneficial role in the normal development of An. stephensi larvae.

  • Activation of Immune Genes in Leafhoppers by Phytoplasmas and Symbiotic Bacteria
    Frontiers in Physiology, 2019
    Co-Authors: E Gonella, Elena Crotti, Mauro Mandrioli, Rosemarie Tedeschi, Marianna Pontini, Alberto Alma

    Abstract:

    : Insect immunity is a crucial process in interactions between host and microorganisms and the presence of pathogenic, commensal, or beneficial bacteria may result in different immune responses. In Hemiptera vectors of phytoplasmas, infected insects are amenable to carrying high loads of phytopathogens, besides hosting other bacterial affiliates, which have evolved different strategies to be retained; adaptation to host response and immunomodulation are key aspects of insect-symbiont interactions. Most of the analyses published to date has investigated insect immune response to pathogens, whereas few studies have focused on the role of host immunity in microbiota homeostasis and vectorial capacity. Here the expression of immune genes in the leafhopper vector of phytoplasmas Euscelidius variegatus was investigated following exposure to Asaia symbiotic bacteria, previously demonstrated to affect phytoplasma acquisition by leafhoppers. The expression of four genes related to major components of immunity was measured, i.e., defensin, phenoloxidase, kazal type 1 serine protease inhibitor and Raf, a component of the Ras/Raf pathway. The response was separately tested in whole insects, midguts and cultured hemocytes. Healthy individuals were assessed along with specimens undergoing early- and late-stage phytoplasma infection. In addition, the adhesion grade of Asaia strains was examined to assess whether symbionts could establish a physical barrier against phytoplasma colonization. Our results revealed a specific activation of Raf in midguts after double infection by Asaia and flavescence doree phytoplasma. Increased expression was observed already in early stages of phytoplasma colonization. Gut-specific localization and timing of Raf activation are consistent with the role played by Asaia in limiting phytoplasma acquisition by E. variegatus, supporting the involvement of this gene in the anti-pathogen activity. However, limited attachment capability was found for Asaia under in vitro experimental conditions, suggesting a minor contribution of physical phytoplasma exclusion from the vector gut wall. By providing evidence of immune modulation played by Asaia, these results contribute to elucidating the molecular mechanisms regulating interference with phytoplasma infection in E. variegatus. The involvement of Raf suggests that in the presence of reduced immunity (reported in Hemipterans), immune genes can be differently regulated and recruited to play additional functions, generally played by genes lost by hemipterans.

  • Asaia symbionts interfere with infection by Flavescence dorée phytoplasma in leafhoppers
    Journal of Pest Science, 2018
    Co-Authors: E Gonella, Elena Crotti, Mauro Mandrioli, Daniele Daffonchio, Alberto Alma

    Abstract:

    The transmission of microbial pathogens by insect vectors can be affected by the insect’s microbial symbionts, which may compete in colonizing organs, express antagonistic factors or activate host immune response. Acetic acid bacteria of the genus Asaia are symbionts of the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus , which transmits Flavescence dorée phytoplasma. These bacteria could be used as control agents against the disease. Here, we experimentally investigated the interaction between different strains of Asaia and phytoplasma transmission in the laboratory by using the model leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus and the plant host Vicia faba . We found that uncultivable and low concentrations of Asaia phylotypes were associated with E. variegatus . When we supplied different Asaia strains isolated from other insects and exhibiting different phenotypes to E. variegatus orally, the bacteria stably colonized the leafhopper, reached relatively higher densities and could then be isolated from the host. We conducted transmission trials of Flavescence dorée phytoplasma with individuals colonized with three exogenous Asaia strains. When the phytoplasma became established in the bodies of E. variegatus , leafhoppers were able to transmit it to broad beans, with transmission rates ranging from 33 to 76% in different experiments. However, leafhoppers that were colonized by one of the Asaia strains producing an air–liquid interface biofilm exhibited significantly reduced phytoplasma acquisition, with infection rates at 5–28%, whereas they were 25–77% in control insects. Although the mechanisms regulating this interference remain to be elucidated, our results provide evidence of the potential use of Asaia as a biocontrol agent.

Alberto Alma – 2nd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Activation of Immune Genes in Leafhoppers by Phytoplasmas and Symbiotic Bacteria
    Frontiers in Physiology, 2019
    Co-Authors: E Gonella, Elena Crotti, Mauro Mandrioli, Rosemarie Tedeschi, Marianna Pontini, Alberto Alma

    Abstract:

    : Insect immunity is a crucial process in interactions between host and microorganisms and the presence of pathogenic, commensal, or beneficial bacteria may result in different immune responses. In Hemiptera vectors of phytoplasmas, infected insects are amenable to carrying high loads of phytopathogens, besides hosting other bacterial affiliates, which have evolved different strategies to be retained; adaptation to host response and immunomodulation are key aspects of insect-symbiont interactions. Most of the analyses published to date has investigated insect immune response to pathogens, whereas few studies have focused on the role of host immunity in microbiota homeostasis and vectorial capacity. Here the expression of immune genes in the leafhopper vector of phytoplasmas Euscelidius variegatus was investigated following exposure to Asaia symbiotic bacteria, previously demonstrated to affect phytoplasma acquisition by leafhoppers. The expression of four genes related to major components of immunity was measured, i.e., defensin, phenoloxidase, kazal type 1 serine protease inhibitor and Raf, a component of the Ras/Raf pathway. The response was separately tested in whole insects, midguts and cultured hemocytes. Healthy individuals were assessed along with specimens undergoing early- and late-stage phytoplasma infection. In addition, the adhesion grade of Asaia strains was examined to assess whether symbionts could establish a physical barrier against phytoplasma colonization. Our results revealed a specific activation of Raf in midguts after double infection by Asaia and flavescence doree phytoplasma. Increased expression was observed already in early stages of phytoplasma colonization. Gut-specific localization and timing of Raf activation are consistent with the role played by Asaia in limiting phytoplasma acquisition by E. variegatus, supporting the involvement of this gene in the anti-pathogen activity. However, limited attachment capability was found for Asaia under in vitro experimental conditions, suggesting a minor contribution of physical phytoplasma exclusion from the vector gut wall. By providing evidence of immune modulation played by Asaia, these results contribute to elucidating the molecular mechanisms regulating interference with phytoplasma infection in E. variegatus. The involvement of Raf suggests that in the presence of reduced immunity (reported in Hemipterans), immune genes can be differently regulated and recruited to play additional functions, generally played by genes lost by hemipterans.

  • Asaia symbionts interfere with infection by Flavescence dorée phytoplasma in leafhoppers
    Journal of Pest Science, 2018
    Co-Authors: E Gonella, Elena Crotti, Mauro Mandrioli, Daniele Daffonchio, Alberto Alma

    Abstract:

    The transmission of microbial pathogens by insect vectors can be affected by the insect’s microbial symbionts, which may compete in colonizing organs, express antagonistic factors or activate host immune response. Acetic acid bacteria of the genus Asaia are symbionts of the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus , which transmits Flavescence dorée phytoplasma. These bacteria could be used as control agents against the disease. Here, we experimentally investigated the interaction between different strains of Asaia and phytoplasma transmission in the laboratory by using the model leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus and the plant host Vicia faba . We found that uncultivable and low concentrations of Asaia phylotypes were associated with E. variegatus . When we supplied different Asaia strains isolated from other insects and exhibiting different phenotypes to E. variegatus orally, the bacteria stably colonized the leafhopper, reached relatively higher densities and could then be isolated from the host. We conducted transmission trials of Flavescence dorée phytoplasma with individuals colonized with three exogenous Asaia strains. When the phytoplasma became established in the bodies of E. variegatus , leafhoppers were able to transmit it to broad beans, with transmission rates ranging from 33 to 76% in different experiments. However, leafhoppers that were colonized by one of the Asaia strains producing an air–liquid interface biofilm exhibited significantly reduced phytoplasma acquisition, with infection rates at 5–28%, whereas they were 25–77% in control insects. Although the mechanisms regulating this interference remain to be elucidated, our results provide evidence of the potential use of Asaia as a biocontrol agent.

  • Asaia symbionts interfere with infection by flavescence doree phytoplasma in leafhoppers
    Journal of Pest Science, 2018
    Co-Authors: E Gonella, Elena Crotti, Mauro Mandrioli, Daniele Daffonchio, Alberto Alma

    Abstract:

    The transmission of microbial pathogens by insect vectors can be affected by the insect’s microbial symbionts, which may compete in colonizing organs, express antagonistic factors or activate host immune response. Acetic acid bacteria of the genus Asaia are symbionts of the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, which transmits Flavescence doree phytoplasma. These bacteria could be used as control agents against the disease. Here, we experimentally investigated the interaction between different strains of Asaia and phytoplasma transmission in the laboratory by using the model leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus and the plant host Vicia faba. We found that uncultivable and low concentrations of Asaia phylotypes were associated with E. variegatus. When we supplied different Asaia strains isolated from other insects and exhibiting different phenotypes to E. variegatus orally, the bacteria stably colonized the leafhopper, reached relatively higher densities and could then be isolated from the host. We conducted transmission trials of Flavescence doree phytoplasma with individuals colonized with three exogenous Asaia strains. When the phytoplasma became established in the bodies of E. variegatus, leafhoppers were able to transmit it to broad beans, with transmission rates ranging from 33 to 76% in different experiments. However, leafhoppers that were colonized by one of the Asaia strains producing an air–liquid interface biofilm exhibited significantly reduced phytoplasma acquisition, with infection rates at 5–28%, whereas they were 25–77% in control insects. Although the mechanisms regulating this interference remain to be elucidated, our results provide evidence of the potential use of Asaia as a biocontrol agent.

Guido Favia – 3rd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Asaia activates immune genes in mosquito eliciting an anti plasmodium response implications in malaria control
    Frontiers in Genetics, 2019
    Co-Authors: Alessia Cappelli, Claudia Damiani, Irene Ricci, Matteo Valzano, Paolo Rossi, Maria Vittoria Mancini, Aurelio Serrao, Guido Favia

    Abstract:

    In mosquitoes, the discovery of the numerous interactions between components of the microbiota and the host immune response opens up the attractive possibility of the development of novel control strategies against mosquito borne diseases. We have focused our attention to Asaia, a symbiont of several mosquito vectors who has been proposed as one of the most potential tool for paratransgenic applications; although being extensively characterized, its interactions with the mosquito immune system has never been investigated. Here we report a study aimed at describing the interactions between Asaia and the immune system of two vectors of malaria, Anopheles stephensi and An. gambiae. The introduction of Asaia isolates induced the activation of the basal level of mosquito immunity and lower the development of malaria parasite in An. stephensi. These findings confirm and expand the potential of Asaia in mosquito borne diseases control, not only through paratransgenesis, but also as a natural effector for mosquito immune priming.

  • genome reduction in the mosquito symbiont Asaia
    Genome Biology and Evolution, 2019
    Co-Authors: Diego Peres Alonso, Claudia Damiani, Irene Ricci, Alessia Cappelli, Claudio Bandi, Maria Vittoria Mancini, Marcus Vinicius Niz Alvarez, Paulo Eduardo Martins Ribolla, Guido Favia

    Abstract:

    : Symbiosis is now recognized as a driving force in evolution, a role that finds its ultimate expression in the variety of associations bonding insects with microbial symbionts. These associations have contributed to the evolutionary success of insects, with the hosts acquiring the capacity to exploit novel ecological niches, and the symbionts passing from facultative associations to obligate, mutualistic symbioses. In bacterial symbiont of insects, the transition from the free-living life style to mutualistic symbiosis often resulted in a reduction in the genome size, with the generation of the smallest bacterial genomes thus far described. Here, we show that the process of genome reduction is still occurring in Asaia, a group of bacterial symbionts associated with a variety of insects. Indeed, comparative genomics of Asaia isolated from different mosquito species revealed a substantial genome size and gene content reduction in Asaia from Anopheles darlingi, a South-American malaria vector. We thus propose Asaia as a novel model to study genome reduction dynamics, within a single bacterial taxon, evolving in a common biological niche.

  • draft genome sequence of Asaia sp strain sf2 1 an important member of the microbiome of anopheles mosquitoes
    Genome Announcements, 2014
    Co-Authors: Jackie L Shane, Guido Favia, Nicholas J Bongio, David J Lampe

    Abstract:

    ABSTRACT Asaia spp. are abundant members of the microbiota of Anopheles mosquitoes, the principle vectors of malaria. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Asaia sp. strain SF2.1. This strain is under development as a platform to deliver antimalarial peptides and proteins to adult female Anopheles mosquitoes.