Special Issue "Evolution of Mutualistic Symbiosis"

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Life Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 October 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Amparo Latorre

Institute of Integrative System Biology (I2SysBio), Unversity of Valencia/CSIC, C/Catedrático José Beltrán, 2. 46980 Valencia, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: symbiosis; comparative genomics; human and insect gut microbiota; antibiotics treatment; omics approaches
Guest Editor
Dr. Rosario Gil

Institut for Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio), Universitat de València-CSIC, Paterna (Valencia), Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: evolutionary genomics of endosymbiotic bacteria; evolutionary analysis of metabolic networks in symbiotic bacteria; minimal genome concept

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mutualistic symbiosis is a widespread phenomenon in nature in which the partner species benefit mutually. Symbioses between microorganisms, usually bacteria and eukaryotic hosts, have been extensively studied in recent years, taking advantage of the advances in computational and omic technologies (genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics), and systems biology (modelling metabolic networks and host-symbiont interactions). In the evolutionary history of symbiosis, there are cases where the eukaryotic host harbours one or few intracellular symbionts (endosymbionts), others where the host lives with a multitude of species located in the intestine or in other organs (ectosymbionts) and, finally, although not as frequent, the case of hosts that harbour both endo- and ectosimbionts.

The objective of the present Special Issue of Life is to bring together original research and reviews on the evolution of microbial mutualistic symbioses, in which two or more prokaryote species and a eukaryotic host are integrated at the behavioral, metabolic and genetic level. The broad scope of this Special Issue encompasses studies focused on every perspective on mutualistic symbiosis, including:

  • Genome reductive evolution
  • Model symbiotic systems and microbial consortia
  • The mutualistic microbiome
  • Host-symbiont interactions: physiology, immunity and metabolism
  • Transition from parasitism to mutualism
  • Novel technological approaches and methods development with a potential for studies in the field

Prof. Dr. Amparo Latorre
Dr. Rosario Gil
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • symbiosis
  • mutualism
  • host-symbiont coevolution
  • innate immunity
  • host-microbial symbiont interaction
  • microbiome
  • genome reductive evolution
  • metabolic modeling

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Metatranscriptomic Analysis of the Bacterial Symbiont Dactylopiibacterium carminicum from the Carmine Cochineal Dactylopius coccus (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Dactylopiidae)
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 3 January 2019
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Abstract
The scale insect Dactylopius coccus produces high amounts of carminic acid, which has historically been used as a pigment by pre-Hispanic American cultures. Nowadays carmine is found in food, cosmetics, and textiles. Metagenomic approaches revealed that Dactylopius spp. cochineals contain two Wolbachia strains, [...] Read more.
The scale insect Dactylopius coccus produces high amounts of carminic acid, which has historically been used as a pigment by pre-Hispanic American cultures. Nowadays carmine is found in food, cosmetics, and textiles. Metagenomic approaches revealed that Dactylopius spp. cochineals contain two Wolbachia strains, a betaproteobacterium named Candidatus Dactylopiibacterium carminicum and Spiroplasma, in addition to different fungi. We describe here a transcriptomic analysis indicating that Dactylopiibacterium is metabolically active inside the insect host, and estimate that there are over twice as many Dactylopiibacterium cells in the hemolymph than in the gut, with even fewer in the ovary. Albeit scarce, the transcripts in the ovaries support the presence of Dactylopiibacterium in this tissue and a vertical mode of transmission. In the cochineal, Dactylopiibacterium may catabolize plant polysaccharides, and be active in carbon and nitrogen provisioning through its degradative activity and by fixing nitrogen. In most insects, nitrogen-fixing bacteria are found in the gut, but in this study they are shown to occur in the hemolymph, probably delivering essential amino acids and riboflavin to the host from nitrogen substrates derived from nitrogen fixation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution of Mutualistic Symbiosis)
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Open AccessArticle Genomic Signals of Adaptation towards Mutualism and Sociality in Two Ambrosia Beetle Complexes
Received: 14 October 2018 / Revised: 8 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 22 December 2018
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Abstract
Mutualistic symbiosis and eusociality have developed through gradual evolutionary processes at different times in specific lineages. Like some species of termites and ants, ambrosia beetles have independently evolved a mutualistic nutritional symbiosis with fungi, which has been associated with the evolution of complex [...] Read more.
Mutualistic symbiosis and eusociality have developed through gradual evolutionary processes at different times in specific lineages. Like some species of termites and ants, ambrosia beetles have independently evolved a mutualistic nutritional symbiosis with fungi, which has been associated with the evolution of complex social behaviors in some members of this group. We sequenced the transcriptomes of two ambrosia complexes (Euwallacea sp. near fornicatusFusarium euwallaceae and Xyleborus glabratus–Raffaelea lauricola) to find evolutionary signatures associated with mutualism and behavior evolution. We identified signatures of positive selection in genes related to nutrient homeostasis; regulation of gene expression; development and function of the nervous system, which may be involved in diet specialization; behavioral changes; and social evolution in this lineage. Finally, we found convergent changes in evolutionary rates of proteins across lineages with phylogenetically independent origins of sociality and mutualism, suggesting a constrained evolution of conserved genes in social species, and an evolutionary rate acceleration related to changes in selective pressures in mutualistic lineages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution of Mutualistic Symbiosis)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Rearing Conditions on the Ambrosia Beetle’s Microbiome
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
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Abstract
Ambrosia beetles, along with termites and leafcutter ants, are the only fungus-farming lineages within the tree of life. Bacteria harbored by ambrosia beetles may play an essential role in the nutritional symbiotic interactions with their associated fungi; however, little is known about the [...] Read more.
Ambrosia beetles, along with termites and leafcutter ants, are the only fungus-farming lineages within the tree of life. Bacteria harbored by ambrosia beetles may play an essential role in the nutritional symbiotic interactions with their associated fungi; however, little is known about the impact of rearing conditions on the microbiota of ambrosia beetles. We have used culture-independent methods to explore the effect of rearing conditions on the microbiome associated with Xyleborus affinis, Xyleborus bispinatus, and Xyleborus volvulus, evaluating different media in laboratory-controlled conditions and comparing wild and laboratory conditions. Our results revealed that rearing conditions affected the fungal and bacterial microbiome structure and had a strong influence on bacterial metabolic capacities. We propose that the rearing conditions influence the ambrosia-associated fungal and bacterial communities. Furthermore, bacterial microbiome flexibility may help beetles adapt to different substrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution of Mutualistic Symbiosis)
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Open AccessArticle Testing the Domino Theory of Gene Loss in Buchnera aphidicola: The Relevance of Epistatic Interactions
Received: 6 May 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
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Abstract
The domino theory of gene loss states that when some particular gene loses its function and cripples a cellular function, selection will relax in all functionally related genes, which may allow for the non-functionalization and loss of these genes. Here we study the [...] Read more.
The domino theory of gene loss states that when some particular gene loses its function and cripples a cellular function, selection will relax in all functionally related genes, which may allow for the non-functionalization and loss of these genes. Here we study the role of epistasis in determining the pattern of gene losses in a set of genes participating in cell envelope biogenesis in the endosymbiotic bacteria Buchnera aphidicola. We provide statistical evidence indicating pairs of genes in B. aphidicola showing correlated gene loss tend to have orthologs in Escherichia coli known to have alleviating epistasis. In contrast, pairs of genes in B. aphidicola not showing correlated gene loss tend to have orthologs in E. coli known to have aggravating epistasis. These results suggest that during the process of genome reduction in B. aphidicola by gene loss, positive or alleviating epistasis facilitates correlated gene losses while negative or aggravating epistasis impairs correlated gene losses. We interpret this as evidence that the reduced proteome of B. aphidicola contains less pathway redundancy and more compensatory interactions, mimicking the situation of E. coli when grown under environmental constrains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution of Mutualistic Symbiosis)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Unity Makes Strength: A Review on Mutualistic Symbiosis in Representative Insect Clades
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Settled on the foundations laid by zoologists and embryologists more than a century ago, the study of symbiosis between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is an expanding field. In this review, we present several models of insect–bacteria symbioses that allow for the detangling of most [...] Read more.
Settled on the foundations laid by zoologists and embryologists more than a century ago, the study of symbiosis between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is an expanding field. In this review, we present several models of insect–bacteria symbioses that allow for the detangling of most known features of this distinctive way of living, using a combination of very diverse screening approaches, including molecular, microscopic, and genomic techniques. With the increasing the amount of endosymbiotic bacteria genomes available, it has been possible to develop evolutionary models explaining the changes undergone by these bacteria in their adaptation to the intracellular host environment. The establishment of a given symbiotic system can be a root cause of substantial changes in the partners’ way of life. Furthermore, symbiont replacement and/or the establishment of bacterial consortia are two ways in which the host can exploit its interaction with environmental bacteria for endosymbiotic reinvigoration. The detailed study of diverse and complex symbiotic systems has revealed a great variety of possible final genomic products, frequently below the limit considered compatible with cellular life, and sometimes with unanticipated genomic and population characteristics, raising new questions that need to be addressed in the near future through a wider exploration of new models and empirical observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution of Mutualistic Symbiosis)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Author: Esperanza Martínez
Affiliation: PI of Environmental and Symbiotic Microbiology Research Group, Center for Genomic Sciences. National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Cuernavaca, Mexico

Author: Francisco Montero
Affiliation: PI of Biophysics Research Group, Complutense University of Madrid.
Madrid, Spain

Author: Yvan Rahbé
Affiliation: Research Scientist at the Membrane trafficking and signalling in Bacteria, Microbiology, Adaptation, Pathogeny Lab, CNRS/UCBL/INSA-Lyon/ BayerCropScience, Villeurbanne, France

Author: Francisco J. Silva
Affiliation: Research Scientist at Evolutionary Genetics Group, Institute for Integrative Systems Biology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Author: Araceli Lamelas
Affiliation: Research Scientist at the Advanced Molecular Studies Network, Institute of Ecology (INECOL), Veracruz, Mexico

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