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Title: The specificity of Burkholderia symbionts in the social amoeba farming symbiosis: Prevalence, species, genetic and phenotypic diversity

The establishment of symbioses between eukaryotic hosts and bacterial symbionts in nature is a dynamic process. The formation of such relationships depends on the life history of both partners. Bacterial symbionts of amoebae may have unique evolutionary trajectories to the symbiont lifestyle, because bacteria are typically ingested as prey. To persist after ingestion, bacteria must first survive phagocytosis. In the social amoebaDictyostelium discoideum, certain strains ofBurkholderiabacteria are able to resist amoebal digestion and maintain a persistent relationship that includes carriage throughout the amoeba's social cycle that culminates in spore formation. SomeBurkholderiastrains allow their host to carry other bacteria, as food. This carried food is released in new environments in a trait called farming. To better understand the diversity and prevalence ofBurkholderiasymbionts and the traits they impart to their amoebae hosts, we first screened 700 natural isolates ofD. discoideumand found 25% infected withBurkholderia. We next used a multilocus phylogenetic analysis and identified two independent transitions byBurkholderiato the symbiotic lifestyle. Finally, we tested the ability of 38 strains ofBurkholderiafromD. discoideum, as well as strains isolated from other sources, for traits relevant to symbiosis inD. discoideum. OnlyD. discoideumnative isolates belonging to theBurkholderia agricolaris,B. hayleyella, andB. bonnieaspecies were able to form persistent symbiotic associations withD. discoideum.TheBurkholderiaDictyosteliumrelationship provides a promising arena for further studies of the pathway to symbiosis in a unique system.

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Award ID(s):
1656756 1753743
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Molecular Ecology
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 847-862
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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