Publication details

Comparative Genomics Underlines Multiple Roles of Profftella, an Obligate Symbiont of Psyllids: Providing Toxins, Vitamins, and Carotenoids.



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Genome biology and evolution
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Diaphorin; defensive symbiont; diaphorin; hemolysin; reduced genome; secondary metabolite
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Description The Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri (Insecta: Hemiptera: Psylloidea), a serious pest of citrus species worldwide, harbors vertically transmitted intracellular mutualists, Candidatus Profftella armatura (Profftella_DC, Gammaproteobacteria: Burkholderiales) and Candidatus Carsonella ruddii (Carsonella_DC, Gammaproteobacteria: Oceanospirillales). Large parts of the 460-kb genome of Profftella_DC are devoted to genes for synthesizing a polyketide toxin; diaphorin. To better understand the evolution of this unusual symbiont, the present study analyzed the genome of Profftella_Dco, a sister lineage to Profftella_DC, using Diaphorina cf. continua, a host psyllid congeneric with D. citri. The genome of coresiding Carsonella (Carsonella_Dco) was also analyzed. The analysis revealed nearly perfect synteny conservation in these genomes with their counterparts from D. citri.The substitution rate analysis further demonstrated genomic stability of Profftella which is comparable to that of Carsonella. Profftella_Dco and Profftella_DC shared all genes for the biosynthesis of diaphorin, hemolysin, riboflavin, biotin, and carotenoids, underlining multiple roles of Profftella, which may contribute to stabilizing symbiotic relationships with the host. However, acyl carrier proteins were extensively amplified in polyketide synthases DipP and DipT for diaphorin synthesis in Profftella_Dco. This level of acyl carrier protein augmentation, unprecedented in modular polyketide synthases of any known organism, is not thought to influence the polyketide structure but may improve the synthesis efficiency.

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