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Cospeciation in the triplex symbiosis of termite gut protists (Pseudotrichonympha spp.), their hosts, and their bacterial endosymbionts.

Abstract

A number of cophylogenetic relationships between two organisms namely a host and a symbiont or parasite have been studied to date; however, organismal interactions in nature usually involve multiple members. Here, we investigated the cospeciation of a triplex symbiotic system comprising a hierarchy of three organisms -- termites of the family Rhinotermitidae, cellulolytic protists of the genus Pseudotrichonympha in the guts of these termites, and intracellular bacterial symbionts of the protists. The molecular phylogeny was inferred based on two mitochondrial genes for the termites and nuclear small-subunit rRNA genes for the protists and their endosymbionts, and these were compared. Although intestinal microorganisms are generally considered to have looser associations with the host than intracellular symbionts, the Pseudotrichonympha protists showed almost complete codivergence with the host termites, probably due to strict transmissions by proctodeal trophallaxis or coprophagy based on the social behaviour of the termites. Except for one case, the endosymbiotic bacteria of the protists formed a monophyletic lineage in the order Bacteroidales, and the branching pattern was almost identical to those of the protists and the termites. However, some non-codivergent evolutionary events were evident. The members of this triplex symbiotic system appear to have cospeciated during their evolution with minor exceptions; the evolutionary relationships were probably established by termite sociality and the complex microbial community in the gut.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Environmental Molecular Biology Laboratory, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama, Japan. snoda@riken.jp

    , , , , , , , , , ,

    Source

    Molecular ecology 16:6 2007 Mar pg 1257-66

    MeSH

    Animals
    Bacteroidaceae
    Base Sequence
    Bayes Theorem
    DNA Primers
    DNA, Mitochondrial
    Digestive System
    Eukaryota
    Genetic Speciation
    In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
    Isoptera
    Models, Genetic
    Molecular Sequence Data
    Phylogeny
    RNA, Ribosomal
    Sequence Analysis, DNA
    Symbiosis

    Pub Type(s)

    Comparative Study
    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    17391411

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - Cospeciation in the triplex symbiosis of termite gut protists (Pseudotrichonympha spp.), their hosts, and their bacterial endosymbionts. AU - Noda,S, AU - Kitade,O, AU - Inoue,T, AU - Kawai,M, AU - Kanuka,M, AU - Hiroshima,K, AU - Hongoh,Y, AU - Constantino,R, AU - Uys,V, AU - Zhong,J, AU - Kudo,T, AU - Ohkuma,M, PY - 2007/3/30/pubmed PY - 2007/7/19/medline PY - 2007/3/30/entrez SP - 1257 EP - 66 JF - Molecular ecology JO - Mol. Ecol. VL - 16 IS - 6 N2 - A number of cophylogenetic relationships between two organisms namely a host and a symbiont or parasite have been studied to date; however, organismal interactions in nature usually involve multiple members. Here, we investigated the cospeciation of a triplex symbiotic system comprising a hierarchy of three organisms -- termites of the family Rhinotermitidae, cellulolytic protists of the genus Pseudotrichonympha in the guts of these termites, and intracellular bacterial symbionts of the protists. The molecular phylogeny was inferred based on two mitochondrial genes for the termites and nuclear small-subunit rRNA genes for the protists and their endosymbionts, and these were compared. Although intestinal microorganisms are generally considered to have looser associations with the host than intracellular symbionts, the Pseudotrichonympha protists showed almost complete codivergence with the host termites, probably due to strict transmissions by proctodeal trophallaxis or coprophagy based on the social behaviour of the termites. Except for one case, the endosymbiotic bacteria of the protists formed a monophyletic lineage in the order Bacteroidales, and the branching pattern was almost identical to those of the protists and the termites. However, some non-codivergent evolutionary events were evident. The members of this triplex symbiotic system appear to have cospeciated during their evolution with minor exceptions; the evolutionary relationships were probably established by termite sociality and the complex microbial community in the gut. SN - 0962-1083 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17391411/Cospeciation_in_the_triplex_symbiosis_of_termite_gut_protists__Pseudotrichonympha_spp___their_hosts_and_their_bacterial_endosymbionts_ L2 - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/openurl?genre=article&sid=nlm:pubmed&issn=0962-1083&date=2007&volume=16&issue=6&spage=1257 ER -