Palaeosymbiosis Revealed by Genomic Fossils of Wolbachia in a Strongyloidean Nematode

Georgios Koutsovoulos*, Benjamin Makepeace, Vincent N. Tanya, Mark Blaxter, Cedric Feschotte (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Wolbachia are common endosymbionts of terrestrial arthropods, and are also found in nematodes: the animal-parasitic filaria, and the plant-parasite Radopholus similis. Lateral transfer of Wolbachia DNA to the host genome is common. We generated a draft genome sequence for the strongyloidean nematode parasite Dictyocaulus viviparus, the cattle lungworm. In the assembly, we identified nearly 1 Mb of sequence with similarity to Wolbachia. The fragments were unlikely to derive from a live Wolbachia infection: most were short, and the genes were disabled through inactivating mutations. Many fragments were co-assembled with definitively nematode-derived sequence. We found limited evidence of expression of the Wolbachia-derived genes. The D. viviparus Wolbachia genes were most similar to filarial strains and strains from the host-promiscuous clade F. We conclude that D. viviparus was infected by Wolbachia in the past, and that clade F-like symbionts may have been the source of filarial Wolbachia infections.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1004397
JournalPLoS Genetics
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2014

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