Infection Dynamic of Symbiotic Bacteria in the Pea Aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum Gut and Host Immune Response at the Early Steps in the Infection Process

Renoz, François; Noël, Christine; Errachid, Abdelmounaim; Foray, Vincent; Hance, Thierry
March 2015
PLoS ONE;Mar2015, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p1
Academic Journal
In addition to its obligatory symbiont Buchnera aphidicola, the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum can harbor several facultative bacterial symbionts which can be mutualistic in the context of various ecological interactions. Belonging to a genus where many members have been described as pathogen in invertebrates, Serratia symbiotica is one of the most common facultative partners found in aphids. The recent discovery of strains able to grow outside their host allowed us to simulate environmental acquisition of symbiotic bacteria by aphids. Here, we performed an experiment to characterize the A. pisum response to the ingestion of the free-living S. symbiotica CWBI-2.3T in comparison to the ingestion of the pathogenic Serratia marcescens Db11 at the early steps in the infection process. We found that, while S. marcescens Db11 killed the aphids within a few days, S. symbiotica CWBI-2.3T did not affect host survival and colonized the whole digestive tract within a few days. Gene expression analysis of immune genes suggests that S. symbiotica CWBI-2.3T did not trigger an immune reaction, while S. marcescens Db11 did, and supports the hypothesis of a fine-tuning of the host immune response set-up for fighting pathogens while maintaining mutualistic partners. Our results also suggest that the lysosomal system and the JNK pathway are possibly involved in the regulation of invasive bacteria in aphids and that the activation of the JNK pathway is IMD-independent in the pea aphid.


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