Multi-locus sequence typing of Ixodes ricinus and its symbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii across Europe reveals evidence of local co-cladogenesis in Scotland.

Al-Khafaji, Alaa and Clegg, Simon and Pinder, Alice and Luu, Lisa and Hansford, Kayleigh and Seelig, Frederik and Dinnis, Ruth and Margos, Gabriele and Medlock, Jolyon and Feil, Edward and Darby, Alistair and McGarry, John and Gilbert, Lucy and Plantard, Olivier and Sassera, Davide and Makepeace, Benjamin (2018) Multi-locus sequence typing of Ixodes ricinus and its symbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii across Europe reveals evidence of local co-cladogenesis in Scotland. Tick and Tick Borne Diseases, 10 (1). pp. 52-62. ISSN 1877-959X

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.08.016

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Multi-locus sequence typing of Ixodes ricinus and its symbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitoschodrii across Europe reveals evidence of local co-cladogenesis in Scotland

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Abstract

Ticks have relatively complex microbiomes, but only a small proportion of the bacterial symbionts recorded from ticks are vertically transmitted. Moreover, co-cladogenesis between ticks and their symbionts, indicating an intimate relationship over evolutionary history driven by a mutualistic association, is the exception rather than the rule. One of the most widespread tick symbionts is Candidatus Midichloria, which has been detected in all of the major tick genera of medical and veterinary importance. In some species of Ixodes, such as the sheep tick Ixodes ricinus (infected with Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii), the symbiont is fixed in wild adult female ticks, suggesting an obligate mutualism. However, almost no information is available on genetic variation in Candidatus M. mitochondrii or possible co-cladogenesis with its host across its geographic range. Here, we report the first survey of Candidatus M. mitochondrii in I. ricinus in Great Britain and a multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) analysis of tick and symbiont between British ticks and those collected in continental Europe. We show that while the prevalence of the symbiont in nymphs collected in England is similar to that reported from the continent, a higher prevalence in nymphs and adult males is apparent in Wales. In general, Candidatus M. mitochondrii exhibits very low levels of sequence diversity, although a consistent signal of host-symbiont coevolution was apparent in Scotland. Moreover, the tick MLST scheme revealed that Scottish specimens form a clade that is partially separated from other British ticks, with almost no contribution of continental sequence types in this north-westerly border of the tick's natural range. The low diversity of Candidatus M. mitochondrii, in contrast with previously reported high rates of polymorphism in I. ricinus mitogenomes, suggests that the symbiont may have swept across Europe recently via a horizontal, rather than vertical, transmission route.

Additional Information:The final published version of this article can be accessed online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877959X18300785
Keywords:MLST, Mitochondrion, Mutualist, Red deer, Symbiosis, Vector
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C111 Parasitology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D320 Animal Health
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:33559
Deposited On:17 Oct 2018 07:58

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