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Microbiome diversity of the soybean aphid (Aphis Glycines) with extensive superinfection of Aresenophonus and Wolbachia in native and invasive populations

Raman Bansal, M. A. Rouf Mian, Andy P. Michel
Environmental microbiology reports 2014 v.6 no.1 pp. 57-69
Aphis glycines, Arsenophonus, RNA, Wolbachia, bacteria, bacterial communities, endosymbionts, genes, insects, pests, soybeans, China, Japan, North America, South Korea
The interaction among insects and microbes can lead to either symbiotic cooperation which could promote ecological and evolutionary adaptation, or a parasitic relationship through reproductive manipulation. We characterized the microbiome of the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), with the long-term goal of understanding the potential roles of bacterial symbionts in host-plant utilization and invasion success. Using 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we compared microbiome diversity and abundance among field-collected (F) and laboratory-reared (L) populations. Additionally, we screened several A. glycines populations from native (Japan, South Korea and China) and invasive regions (North America) to broadly determine the microbiome diversity. Our results suggested that Arsenophonus (relative abundance of 54.6%), Buchnera (38.7%), and Wolbachia (3.7%) were the major bacteria associated with A. glycines. Arsenophonus was the most abundant in F populations, but was significantly reduced in L populations. Overall, we identified 18 operational taxonomical units (OTUs) belonging to various bacteria genera (including 2 OTUs for Buchnera) which have differential abundances in F and L populations. Among native and invasive populations, the A. glyinces microbiome was largely similar, and provided evidence for substantial superinfection of Arsenophonus and Wolbachia. The lone exception was a lack of Arsenophonus in A. glycines from Japan. Divergent selection pressures among natural and laboratory populations were inferred as factors driving the differential bacterial communities observed. As this is the first sequence-based microbiome of an Aphis species, our results will allow for improved comparative aphid-symbiont research and broaden our understanding of these interactions.