Phylogeny of Wolbachia pipientis based on gltA, groEL and ftsZ gene sequences: Clustering of arthropod and nematode symbionts in the F supergroup, and evidence for further diversity in the Wolbachia tree

M. Casiraghi, S. R. Bordenstein, L. Baldo, Nathan Lo, T. Beninati, J. J. Wernegreen, J. H. Werren, C. Bandi

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210 Scopus citations

Abstract

Current phylogenies of the intracellular bacteria belonging to the genus Wolbachia identify six major clades (A-F), termed 'supergroups', but the branching order of these supergroups remains unresolved. Supergroups A, B and E include most of the wolbachiae found thus far in arthropods, while supergroups C and D include most of those found in filarial nematodes. Members of supergroup F have been found in arthropods (i.e. termites), and have previously been detected in the nematode Mansonella ozzardi, a causative agent of human filariasis. To resolve the phylogenetic positions of Wolbachia from Mansonella spp., and other novel strains from the flea Ctenocephalides felis and the filarial nematode Dipetalonema gracile, the authors generated new DNA sequences of the Wolbachia genes encoding citrate synthase (gltA), heat-shock protein 60 (groEL), and the cell division protein ftsZ. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the designation of Wolbachia from Mansonella spp. as a member of the F supergroup. In addition, it was found that divergent lineages from Dip. gracile and Cte. felis lack any clear affiliation with known supergroups, indicating further genetic diversity within the Wolbachia genus. Finally, although the data generated did not permit clear resolution of the root of the global Wolbachia tree, the results suggest that the transfer of Wolbachia spp. from arthropods to nematodes (or vice versa) probably occurred more than once.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4015-4022
Number of pages8
JournalMicrobiology
Volume151
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology

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