Evolutionary genomics of APSE: a tailed phage that lysogenically converts the bacterium Hamiltonella defensa into a heritable protective symbiont of aphids

Type Article
Date 2021-11
Language English
Author(s) Boyd Bret M.1, Chevignon GermainORCID2, Patel Vilas1, Oliver Kerry M.1, Strand Michael R.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Entomology, University of Georgia Athens, Athens, GA, USA
2 : Laboratoire de Génétique et Pathologie des Mollusques Marins, IFREMER, La Tremblade, France
Source Virology Journal (1743-422X) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2021-11 , Vol. 18 , N. 1 , P. 219 (18p.)
DOI 10.1186/s12985-021-01685-y
WOS© Times Cited 5
Keyword(s) Virus, Bacteria, Mutualism, Aphid, Parasitoid
Abstract

Background

Most phages infect free-living bacteria but a few have been identified that infect heritable symbionts of insects or other eukaryotes. Heritable symbionts are usually specialized and isolated from other bacteria with little known about the origins of associated phages. Hamiltonella defensa is a heritable bacterial symbiont of aphids that is usually infected by a tailed, double-stranded DNA phage named APSE.

Methods

We conducted comparative genomic and phylogenetic studies to determine how APSE is related to other phages and prophages.

Results

Each APSE genome was organized into four modules and two predicted functional units. Gene content and order were near-fully conserved in modules 1 and 2, which encode predicted DNA metabolism genes, and module 4, which encodes predicted virion assembly genes. Gene content of module 3, which contains predicted toxin, holin and lysozyme genes differed among haplotypes. Comparisons to other sequenced phages suggested APSE genomes are mosaics with modules 1 and 2 sharing similarities with Bordetella-Bcep-Xylostella fastidiosa-like podoviruses, module 4 sharing similarities with P22-like podoviruses, and module 3 sharing no similarities with known phages. Comparisons to other sequenced bacterial genomes identified APSE-like elements in other heritable insect symbionts (Arsenophonus spp.) and enteric bacteria in the family Morganellaceae.

Conclusions

APSEs are most closely related to phage elements in the genus Arsenophonus and other bacteria in the Morganellaceae.

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How to cite 

Boyd Bret M., Chevignon Germain, Patel Vilas, Oliver Kerry M., Strand Michael R. (2021). Evolutionary genomics of APSE: a tailed phage that lysogenically converts the bacterium Hamiltonella defensa into a heritable protective symbiont of aphids. Virology Journal, 18(1), 219 (18p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12985-021-01685-y , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00733/84530/