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Superparasitism Drives Heritable Symbiont Epidemiology and Host Sex Ratio in a Wasp.

Parratt SR, Frost CL, Schenkel MA, Rice A, Hurst GD, King KC - PLoS Pathog. (2016)

Bottom Line: Heritable microbial symbionts have profound impacts upon the biology of their arthropod hosts.We found that A. nasoniae was maintained in laboratory populations of a closely related set of Nasonia species, but declined in other, more distantly related pteromalid hosts.The natural proclivity of a species to superparasitise was the primary factor determining symbiont persistence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Heritable microbial symbionts have profound impacts upon the biology of their arthropod hosts. Whilst our current understanding of the dynamics of these symbionts is typically cast within a framework of vertical transmission only, horizontal transmission has been observed in a number of cases. For instance, several symbionts can transmit horizontally when their parasitoid hosts share oviposition patches with uninfected conspecifics, a phenomenon called superparasitism. Despite this, horizontal transmission, and the host contact structures that facilitates it, have not been considered in heritable symbiont epidemiology. Here, we tested for the importance of host contact, and resulting horizontal transmission, for the epidemiology of a male-killing heritable symbiont (Arsenophonus nasoniae) in parasitoid wasp hosts. We observed that host contact through superparasitism is necessary for this symbiont's spread in populations of its primary host Nasonia vitripennis, such that when superparasitism rates are high, A. nasoniae almost reaches fixation, causes highly female biased population sex ratios and consequently causes local host extinction. We further tested if natural interspecific variation in superparasitism behaviours predicted symbiont dynamics among parasitoid species. We found that A. nasoniae was maintained in laboratory populations of a closely related set of Nasonia species, but declined in other, more distantly related pteromalid hosts. The natural proclivity of a species to superparasitise was the primary factor determining symbiont persistence. Our results thus indicate that host contact behaviour is a key factor for heritable microbe dynamics when horizontal transmission is possible, and that 'reproductive parasite' phenotypes, such as male-killing, may be of secondary importance in the dynamics of such symbiont infections.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Vertical transmission efficiency of A. nasoniae as measured in single-female oviposition assays from replicate populations of five parasitoid wasp species.VT efficiency was significantly reduced in M. raptorellus compared with all other species (all pairwise contrasts P<0.001). Bars = 95%CI calculated with logit link for proportional data.
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ppat.1005629.g006: Vertical transmission efficiency of A. nasoniae as measured in single-female oviposition assays from replicate populations of five parasitoid wasp species.VT efficiency was significantly reduced in M. raptorellus compared with all other species (all pairwise contrasts P<0.001). Bars = 95%CI calculated with logit link for proportional data.

Mentions: Variation in VT efficiency and symbiont-induced effects on daughter production were measured in each of the wasp species. No significant differences in VT rate were found between the three Nasonia species and T. sarcophagae. However, A. nasoniae showed significantly lower VT rates in M. raptorellus compared to the other four species and represents an important source of the failure of the symbiont to persist in this species (Tukey contrasts from GLMER all P<0.001) (Fig 6). In addition, we found no association between A. nasoniae VT efficiency and the mean number of daughters produced by these species.


Superparasitism Drives Heritable Symbiont Epidemiology and Host Sex Ratio in a Wasp.

Parratt SR, Frost CL, Schenkel MA, Rice A, Hurst GD, King KC - PLoS Pathog. (2016)

Vertical transmission efficiency of A. nasoniae as measured in single-female oviposition assays from replicate populations of five parasitoid wasp species.VT efficiency was significantly reduced in M. raptorellus compared with all other species (all pairwise contrasts P<0.001). Bars = 95%CI calculated with logit link for proportional data.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4920596&req=5

ppat.1005629.g006: Vertical transmission efficiency of A. nasoniae as measured in single-female oviposition assays from replicate populations of five parasitoid wasp species.VT efficiency was significantly reduced in M. raptorellus compared with all other species (all pairwise contrasts P<0.001). Bars = 95%CI calculated with logit link for proportional data.
Mentions: Variation in VT efficiency and symbiont-induced effects on daughter production were measured in each of the wasp species. No significant differences in VT rate were found between the three Nasonia species and T. sarcophagae. However, A. nasoniae showed significantly lower VT rates in M. raptorellus compared to the other four species and represents an important source of the failure of the symbiont to persist in this species (Tukey contrasts from GLMER all P<0.001) (Fig 6). In addition, we found no association between A. nasoniae VT efficiency and the mean number of daughters produced by these species.

Bottom Line: Heritable microbial symbionts have profound impacts upon the biology of their arthropod hosts.We found that A. nasoniae was maintained in laboratory populations of a closely related set of Nasonia species, but declined in other, more distantly related pteromalid hosts.The natural proclivity of a species to superparasitise was the primary factor determining symbiont persistence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Heritable microbial symbionts have profound impacts upon the biology of their arthropod hosts. Whilst our current understanding of the dynamics of these symbionts is typically cast within a framework of vertical transmission only, horizontal transmission has been observed in a number of cases. For instance, several symbionts can transmit horizontally when their parasitoid hosts share oviposition patches with uninfected conspecifics, a phenomenon called superparasitism. Despite this, horizontal transmission, and the host contact structures that facilitates it, have not been considered in heritable symbiont epidemiology. Here, we tested for the importance of host contact, and resulting horizontal transmission, for the epidemiology of a male-killing heritable symbiont (Arsenophonus nasoniae) in parasitoid wasp hosts. We observed that host contact through superparasitism is necessary for this symbiont's spread in populations of its primary host Nasonia vitripennis, such that when superparasitism rates are high, A. nasoniae almost reaches fixation, causes highly female biased population sex ratios and consequently causes local host extinction. We further tested if natural interspecific variation in superparasitism behaviours predicted symbiont dynamics among parasitoid species. We found that A. nasoniae was maintained in laboratory populations of a closely related set of Nasonia species, but declined in other, more distantly related pteromalid hosts. The natural proclivity of a species to superparasitise was the primary factor determining symbiont persistence. Our results thus indicate that host contact behaviour is a key factor for heritable microbe dynamics when horizontal transmission is possible, and that 'reproductive parasite' phenotypes, such as male-killing, may be of secondary importance in the dynamics of such symbiont infections.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus