Revisiting the phylogeny of Wolbachia in Collembola


The endosymbiont Wolbachia has been detected in a few parthenogenetic collembolans sampled in Europe and America, including three species of Poduromorpha, two species of Entomobryomorpha, and two species of Neelipleona. Based on 16S rRNA and ftsZ gene sequences, most of the Wolbachia infecting parthenogenetic collembolans were characterized as members of supergroup E and showed concordant phylogeny with their hosts. However, the two neelipleonan symbionts form another unique group, indicating that Wolbachia has infected parthenogenetic collembolans multiple times. In this study, five parthenogenetic collembolan species were identified as hosts of Wolbachia, and four new Wolbachia strains were reported for four collembolan species sampled in China, respectively, including a neelipleonan strain from Megalothorax incertus (wMinc). Our results demonstrated that the Wolbachia multilocus sequence typing (MLST) system is superior to the 16S rRNA + ftsZ approach for phylogenetic analyses of collembolan Wolbachia. The MLST system assigned these Wolbachia of parthenogenetic collembolans to supergroup E as a unique clade, which included wMinc, supporting the monophyletic origin of Wolbachia in parthenogenetic collembolan species. Moreover, our data suggested supergroup E as one of the most divergent lineages in Wolbachia and revealed the discrepancy between the phylogenies of Wolbachia from parthenogenetic collembolans and their hosts, which may result from the high level of genetic divergence between collembolan Wolbachia, in association with the geographic differentiation of their hosts, or the possible horizontal transmission of Wolbachia between different collembolan species.

DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2738

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Ma2017RevisitingTP, title={Revisiting the phylogeny of Wolbachia in Collembola}, author={Yao Ma and Wanjun Chen and Zhao-hui Li and Zhang Feng and Yan Gao and Yunxia Luan}, booktitle={Ecology and evolution}, year={2017} }