Kostygov, Alexei Y.

Publications (3)

The reduced genome of Candidatus Kinetoplastibacterium sorsogonicusi, the endosymbiont of Kentomonas sorsogonicus (Trypanosomatidae): loss of the haem-synthesis pathway

Silva et al. (2018). Parasitology 145 (10)
Names (2)
Ca. Kinetoplastibacterium sorsogonicusi Ca. Kinetoplastibacterium
Animal Science and Zoology Infectious Diseases Parasitology
AbstractTrypanosomatids of the genera Angomonas and Strigomonas (subfamily Strigomonadinae) have long been known to contain intracellular beta-proteobacteria, which provide them with many important nutrients such as haem, essential amino acids and vitamins. Recently, Kentomonas sorsogonicus, a divergent member of Strigomonadinae, has been described. Herein, we characterize the genome of its endosymbiont, Candidatus Kinetoplastibacterium sorsogonicusi. This genome is completely syntenic with those of other known Ca. Kinetoplastibacterium spp., but more reduced in size (~742 kb, compared with 810–833 kb, respectively). Gene losses are not concentrated in any hot-spots but are instead distributed throughout the genome. The most conspicuous loss is that of the haem-synthesis pathway. For long, removing haemin from the culture medium has been a standard procedure in cultivating trypanosomatids isolated from insects; continued growth was considered as an evidence of endosymbiont presence. However, we demonstrate that, despite bearing the endosymbiont, K. sorsogonicus cannot grow in culture without haem. Thus, the traditional test cannot be taken as a reliable criterion for the absence or presence of endosymbionts in trypanosomatid flagellates. It remains unclear why the ability to synthesize such an essential compound was lost in Ca. K. sorsogonicusi, whereas all other known bacterial endosymbionts of trypanosomatids retain them.

Novel Trypanosomatid-Bacterium Association: Evolution of Endosymbiosis in Action

Kostygov et al. (2016). mBio 7 (2)
Names (1)
Ca. Pandoraea novymonadis
Microbiology Virology
ABSTRACT We describe a novel symbiotic association between a kinetoplastid protist, Novymonas esmeraldas gen. nov., sp. nov., and an intracytoplasmic bacterium, “ Candidatus Pandoraea novymonadis” sp. nov., discovered as a result of a broad-scale survey of insect trypanosomatid biodiversity in Ecuador. We characterize this association by describing the morphology of both organisms, as well as their interactions, and by establishing their phylogenetic affinities. Importantly, neither partner is closely related to other known organisms previously implicated in eukaryote-bacterial symbiosis. This symbiotic association seems to be relatively recent, as the host does not exert a stringent control over the number of bacteria harbored in its cytoplasm. We argue that this unique relationship may represent a suitable model for studying the initial stages of establishment of endosymbiosis between a single-cellular eukaryote and a prokaryote. Based on phylogenetic analyses, Novymonas could be considered a proxy for the insect-only ancestor of the dixenous genus Leishmania and shed light on the origin of the two-host life cycle within the subfamily Leishmaniinae. IMPORTANCE The parasitic trypanosomatid protist Novymonas esmeraldas gen. nov., sp. nov. entered into endosymbiosis with the bacterium “ Ca. Pandoraea novymonadis” sp. nov. This novel and rather unstable interaction shows several signs of relatively recent establishment, qualifying it as a potentially unique transient stage in the increasingly complex range of eukaryotic-prokaryotic relationships.