Geography-dependent symbiont communities in two oligophagous aphid species

FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2021 Sep 10;fiab132. doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiab132. Online ahead of print.


Aphids and their diverse symbionts have become a good model to study bacteria-arthropod symbiosis. The feeding habits of aphids are usually influenced by a variety of symbionts. Most studies on symbiont diversity have focused on polyphagous aphids, while symbiont community patterns for oligophagous aphids remain unclear. Here, we surveyed the bacterial communities in natural populations of two oligophagous aphids, Melanaphis sacchari and Neophyllaphis podocarpi, in natural populations. Seven common symbionts were detected, among which Buchnera aphidicola and Wolbachia were the most prevalent. In addition, an uncommon Sodalis-like symbiont was also detected in these two aphids, and Gilliamella was found in some samples of M. sacchari. We further assessed the significant variation in symbiont communities within the two aphid species, geographical regions and host specialization using statistical and ordination analyses. Geography was an important factor in shaping the symbiont community structure in these oligophagous aphids. Furthermore, the strong geographical influence may be related to specific environmental factors, especially temperature, among different regions. These findings extend our knowledge of the significance of geography and its associated environmental conditions in the symbiont community structure associated with oligophagous aphids.

Keywords: biological replicates; environmental factors; geographical region; oligophagous aphids; symbiont community.