Sep 8, 2016

Snapshots of a shrinking partner: Genome reduction in Serratia symbiotica

Scientific Reports
Alejandro Manzano-Marín, Amparo Latorre


Genome reduction is pervasive among maternally-inherited endosymbiotic organisms, from bacteriocyte- to gut-associated ones. This genome erosion is a step-wise process in which once free-living organisms evolve to become obligate associates, thereby losing non-essential or redundant genes/functions. Serratia symbiotica (Gammaproteobacteria), a secondary endosymbiont present in many aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae), displays various characteristics that make it a good model organism for studying genome reduction. While some strains are of facultative nature, others have established co-obligate associations with their respective aphid host and its primary endosymbiont (Buchnera). Furthermore, the different strains hold genomes of contrasting sizes and features, and have strikingly disparate cell shapes, sizes, and tissue tropism. Finally, genomes from closely related free-living Serratia marcescens are also available. In this study, we describe in detail the genome reduction process (from free-living to reduced obligate endosymbiont) undergone by S. symbiotica, and relate it to the stages of integration to the symbiotic system the different strains find themselves in. We establish that the genome reduction patterns observed in S. sy...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Aphis chenopodii glauci preparation
Serratia marcescens
Serratia symbiotica
Transfer RNA
Erosion Lesion

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