Fujiwara, Akiko

Publications (1)

Phenotypic Effect of “Candidatus Rickettsiella viridis,” a Facultative Symbiont of the Pea Aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum), and Its Interaction with a Coexisting Symbiont

Tsuchida et al. (2013). Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80 (2)
Ca. Rickettsiella viridis
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Biotechnology Ecology Food Science
ABSTRACTA gammaproteobacterial facultative symbiont of the genusRickettsiellawas recently identified in the pea aphid,Acyrthosiphon pisum. Infection with this symbiont altered the color of the aphid body from red to green, potentially affecting the host's ecological characteristics, such as attractiveness to different natural enemies. In European populations ofA. pisum, the majority ofRickettsiella-infected aphids also harbor another facultative symbiont, of the genusHamiltonella. We investigated thisRickettsiellasymbiont for its interactions with the coinfectingHamiltonellasymbiont, its phenotypic effects onA. pisumwith and withoutHamiltonellacoinfection, and its infection prevalence inA. pisumpopulations. Histological analyses revealed that coinfectingRickettsiellaandHamiltonellaexhibited overlapping localizations in secondary bacteriocytes, sheath cells, and hemolymph, whileRickettsiella-specific localization was found in oenocytes.Rickettsiellainfections consistently altered hosts' body color from red to green, where the greenish hue was affected by both host and symbiont genotypes.Rickettsiella-Hamiltonellacoinfections also changed red aphids to green; this greenish hue tended to be enhanced byHamiltonellacoinfection. With different host genotypes,Rickettsiellainfection exhibited either weakly beneficial or nearly neutral effects on host fitness, whereasHamiltonellainfection andRickettsiella-Hamiltonellacoinfection had negative effects. Despite considerable frequencies ofRickettsiellainfection in European and North AmericanA. pisumpopulations, noRickettsiellainfection was detected among 1,093 insects collected from 14 sites in Japan. On the basis of these results, we discuss possible mechanisms for the interaction ofRickettsiellawith other facultative symbionts, their effects on their hosts' phenotypes, and their persistence in natural host populations. We propose the designation “CandidatusRickettsiella viridis” for the symbiont.