Characterization and evolution of two bacteriome-inhabiting symbionts in cixiid planthoppers (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Pentastirini)

Environ Microbiol. 2009 Dec;11(12):3265-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.02055.x. Epub 2009 Sep 16.


Like other plant sap-sucking insects, planthoppers within the family Cixiidae (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha) host a diversified microbiota. We report the identification and first molecular characterization of symbiotic bacteria in cixiid planthoppers (tribe: Pentastirini). Using universal eubacterial primers we first screened the eubacterial 16S rRNA sequences in Pentastiridius leporinus (Linnaeus) with PCR amplification, cloning, and restriction fragment analysis. We identified three main 16S rRNA sequences that corresponded to a Wolbachia bacterium, a plant pathogenic bacterium, and a novel gammaproteobacterial symbiont. A fourth bacterial species affiliated with 'Candidatus Sulcia muelleri' was detected in PCR assays using primers specific for the Bacteroidetes. Within females of two selected cixiid planthoppers, P. leporinus and Oliarus filicicola, fluorescence In situ hybridization analysis and transmission electron microscopy observations showed that 'Ca. Sulcia muelleri' and the novel gammaproteobacterial symbiont were housed in separate bacteriomes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that both of these symbionts occurred in at least four insect genera within the tribe Pentastirini. 'Candidatus Purcelliella pentastirinorum' was proposed as the novel gammaproteobacterial symbiont.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Female
  • Gammaproteobacteria / genetics
  • Gammaproteobacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Gammaproteobacteria / ultrastructure
  • Hemiptera / genetics
  • Hemiptera / metabolism
  • Hemiptera / microbiology*
  • Metagenome*
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / metabolism
  • Symbiosis*


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S