Microbial communities and symbionts in the hard tick Haemaphysalis longicornis Acari: Ixodidae from north ChinaReport as inadecuate

Microbial communities and symbionts in the hard tick Haemaphysalis longicornis Acari: Ixodidae from north China - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Parasites and Vectors

, 6:310

First Online: 28 October 2013Received: 01 August 2013Accepted: 18 October 2013


BackgroundClose relationships between ticks and microbial communities are important for tick fitness and pathogen colonization and transmission. Haemaphysalis longicornis, distributed widely in China, can carry and transmit various pathogens and pose serious damages to public health and economics. However, little is known about the broader array of microbial communities and symbionts in H. longicornis under natural conditions. In the present study, we investigated the composition of bacterial communities associated with H. longicornis and evaluated the putative symbionts.

MethodsThe eubacterial 16S rRNA gene clone libraries of H. longicornis were constructed and analyzed by restriction fragment length polymorphism RFLP and DNA sequencing. In addition, diagnostic PCR was performed to assess the prevalence, vertical transmission and infection sites of the symbionts in H. longicornis.

ResultsVertically-transmitted symbionts, potential pathogens and allochthonous nonpathogenic bacteria were identified from the field-collected H. longicornis. Three types of symbionts Coxiella-like, Arsenophonus-like and Rickettsia-like symbionts were identified in a single host simultaneously. A series of analyses revealed the vertical transmission, prevalence, and infection sites of these symbionts. However, only Coxiella-like bacteria were transmitted stably in the laboratory-reared ticks. In addition, we identified a novel Coxiella-like agent with 95.31% sequence similarity to the taxon described previously.

ConclusionsThe present study demonstrated that natural H. longicornis harboured a diverse array of microbial communities. Three types of symbionts were identified in a single host simultaneously. Moreover, high prevalence, vertical transmission and the infection sites supported an obligate symbiotic association between Coxiella symbiont and its host. The role of Coxiella symbiont in the host fitness and the interaction among microbial communities remained to be elucidated. Our investigation of microbial communities in the ticks revealed the complexity of ecological interactions between host and microbe and provided insight for the biological control of ticks.

KeywordsHaemaphysalis longicornis Microbial communities Coxiella-like symbiont Arsenophonus-like symbiont Rickettsia-like symbiont AbbreviationsF7The 7th generation of laboratory-reared ticks

CLS-HlCoxiella-like symbiont of H. longicornis

NCLS-HlNovel Coxiella-like symbiont of H. longicornis

RLS-HlRickettsia-like symbiont of H. longicornis

ALS-HlArsenophonus-like symbiont of H. longicornis.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-3305-6-310 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Li-Meng Liu, Jian-Nan Liu contributed equally to this work.

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Author: Li-Meng Liu - Jian-Nan Liu - Zhao Liu - Zhi-Jun Yu - Shi-Qi Xu - Xiao-Hong Yang - Tuo Li - Si-Si Li - Li-Da Guo - Jing-Ze

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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