Cellular localization of two rickettsia symbionts in the digestive system and within the ovaries of the mirid bug, macrolophous pygmaeus

Maria Dally, Maya Lalzar, Eduard Belausov, Yuval Gottlieb, Moshe Coll, Einat Zchori-Fein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bacterial symbionts in arthropods are common, vary in their effects, and can dramatically influence the outcome of biological control efforts. Macrolophus pygmaeus (Heteroptera: Miridae), a key component of biological control programs, is mainly predaceous but may also display phytophagy. M. pygmaeus hosts symbiotic Wolbachia, which induce cytoplasmic incompatibility, and two Rickettsia species, R. bellii and R. limoniae, which are found in all individuals tested. To test possible involvement of the two Rickettsia species in the feeding habits of M. pygmaeus, we first showed that the microbiome of the insect is dominated by these three symbionts, and later described the distribution pattern of the two Rickettsia species in its digestive system. Although both Rickettsia species were located in certain gut bacteriocyes, in caeca and in Malpighian tubules of both sexes, each species has a unique cellular occupancy pattern and specific distribution along digestive system compartments. Infrequently, both species were found in a cell. In females, both Rickettsia species were detected in the germarium, the apical end of the ovarioles within the ovaries, but not in oocytes. Although the cause for these Rickettsia distribution patterns is yet unknown, it is likely linked to host nutrition while feeding on prey or plants.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number530
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInsects
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Bacterial microbiome
  • Bacteriocyte
  • FISH
  • Omnivory

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