Competition for amino acids between Wolbachia and the mosquito host, Aedes aegypti

Caragata, Eric P., Rances, Edwige, O'Neill, Scott L. and McGraw, Elizabeth A. (2014) Competition for amino acids between Wolbachia and the mosquito host, Aedes aegypti. Microbial Ecology, 67 1: 205-218. doi:10.1007/s00248-013-0339-4


Author Caragata, Eric P.
Rances, Edwige
O'Neill, Scott L.
McGraw, Elizabeth A.
Title Competition for amino acids between Wolbachia and the mosquito host, Aedes aegypti
Formatted title
Competition for amino acids between Wolbachia and the mosquito host, Aedes aegypti
Journal name Microbial Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0095-3628
1432-184X
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00248-013-0339-4
Volume 67
Issue 1
Start page 205
End page 218
Total pages 14
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The endosymbiont Wolbachia represents a promising method of dengue control, as it reduces the ability of the primary vector, the mosquito Aedes aegypti, to transmit viruses. When mosquitoes infected with the virulent Wolbachia strain wMelPop are fed non-human blood, there is a drastic reduction in mosquito fecundity and egg viability. Wolbachia has a reduced genome and is clearly dependent on its host for a wide range of nutritional needs. The fitness defects seen in wMelPop-infected A. aegypti could be explained by competition between the mosquito and the symbiont for essential blood meal nutrients, the profiles of which are suboptimal in non-human blood. Here, we examine cholesterol and amino acids as candidate molecules for competition, as they have critical roles in egg structural development and are known to vary between blood sources. We found that Wolbachia infection reduces total cholesterol levels in mosquitoes by 15-25 %. We then showed that cholesterol supplementation of a rat blood meal did not improve fecundity or egg viability deficits. Conversely, amino acid supplementation of sucrose before and after a sheep blood meal led to statistically significant increases in fecundity of approximately 15-20 eggs per female and egg viability of 30-40 %. This mosquito system provides the first empirical evidence of competition between Wolbachia and a host over amino acids and may suggest a general feature of Wolbachia-insect associations. These competitive processes could affect many aspects of host physiology and potentially mosquito fitness, a key concern for Wolbachia-based mosquito biocontrol. 
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 13 December 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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