No exception to the rule: Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum cell wall revisited.


Many insect endosymbionts described so far are gram-negative bacteria. Primary endosymbionts are obligatory bacteria usually harboured by insects inside vacuoles in specialized cells called bacteriocytes. This combination produces a typical three-membrane system with one membrane derived from the insect vacuole and the other two from the bacterial gram-negative cell envelope, composed by the cell wall (the outer membrane plus the periplasmic space) and the plasma membrane (the inner membrane). For the last 21 years, the primary endosymbiont of whiteflies 'Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum' was considered an exception to this rule. Previous works stated that only two membranes were present, the vacuolar membrane and one of the two bacterial membranes. The absence of the cell wall was related to the special vertical transmission of the endosymbionts in whiteflies. In this work, we present electron microscopic studies showing a complete cell envelope in 'Ca. Portiera aleyrodidarum' from the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Additionally, comparison of the inferred metabolism from the gene content did not show any difference in cell envelope biogenesis compared with the closely related three-membrane endosymbionts 'Candidatus Carsonella ruddii' and 'Candidatus Evansia muelleri' Xc1. Our results rule out the proposal that 'Ca. Portiera aleyrodidarum' is an exception to the three-membrane system.

DOI: 10.1111/1574-6968.12595

Cite this paper

@article{SantosGarca2014NoET, title={No exception to the rule: Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum cell wall revisited.}, author={Diego Santos-Garc{\'i}a and Francisco J. Silva and Andr{\'e}s Moya and Amparo Latorre}, journal={FEMS microbiology letters}, year={2014}, volume={360 2}, pages={132-6} }