"Wigglesworthia morsitans" Folate (Vitamin B9) Biosynthesis Contributes to Tsetse Host Fitness.

Applied and environmental microbiology

PubMedID: 26025907

Snyder AK, Rio RV. "Wigglesworthia morsitans" Folate (Vitamin B9) Biosynthesis Contributes to Tsetse Host Fitness. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015;.
Closely related ancient endosymbionts may retain minor genomic distinctions through evolutionary time, yet the biological relevance of these small pockets of unique loci remains unknown. The tsetse fly (Diptera: Glossinidae), the sole vector of lethal African trypanosomes (Trypanosoma spp. ), maintains an ancient and obligate mutualism with species belonging to the gammaproteobacterium Wigglesworthia. Extensive concordant evolution with associated Wigglesworthia species has occurred through tsetse species radiation. Accordingly, the retention of unique symbiont loci between Wigglesworthia genomes may prove instrumental toward host species-specific biological traits. Genome distinctions between "Wigglesworthia morsitans" (harbored within Glossina morsitans bacteriomes) and the basal species Wigglesworthia glossinidia (harbored within Glossina brevipalpis bacteriomes) include the retention of chorismate and downstream folate (vitamin B9) biosynthesis capabilities, contributing to distinct symbiont metabolomes. Here, we demonstrate that these W. morsitans pathways remain functionally intact, with folate likely being systemically disseminated through a synchronously expressed tsetse folate transporter within bacteriomes. The folate produced by W. morsitans is demonstrated to be pivotal for G. morsitans sexual maturation and reproduction. Modest differences between ancient symbiont genomes may still play key roles in the evolution of their host species, particularly if loci are involved in shaping host physiology and ecology. Enhanced knowledge of the Wigglesworthia-tsetse mutualism may also provide novel and specific avenues for vector control.