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1 June 2014 Exploring the Bacterial Microbiota Associated with Native South American Species of Aphis (Hemiptera: Aphididae)
J. D. Arneodo, J. Ortego
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Aphids harbor a variety of bacterial endosymbionts, including the obligate symbiont Buchnera aphidicola and diverse facultative symbionts. The former supplies its host with essential amino acids. The latter are not indispensable for insect survival, but often improve their host's fitness. To date, the study of such associations was restricted to aphids of Holarctic origin. The bacterial microbiota of seven Aphis species from Argentina was investigated. The presence of B. aphidicola was assessed by specific PCR. Additional symbionts were identified through PCR with eubacterial universal primers, cloning, and sequencing of nearly complete 16S rRNA gene, intergenic spacer region, and partial 23S rRNA gene and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. Infection with B. aphidicola was confirmed in every species analyzed. The facultative symbiont Serratia symbiotica was detected in Aphis malalhuina Mier Durante, Nieto Nafría & Ortego, 2003, Aphis senecionicoides Blanchard, 1944, and Aphis schinifoliae Blanchard, 1939, while Hamiltonella defensa was identified in Aphis mendocina Mier Durante, Ortego & Nieto Nafría, 2006. Arsenophonus sp. was found infecting Aphis melosae Mier Durante & Ortego, 1999, and a new, undescribed Aphis sp. In Aphis danielae Remaudière, 1994, no facultative symbionts could be recorded. When analyzing the highly conserved 16S rRNA gene, the phylogenetic tree grouped the S. symbiotica, H. defensa, and Arsenophonus isolates into three well-defined clusters showing little variability among clones corresponding to the same aphid host species. This article reports for the first time the endosymbionts associated with aphids native to South America. Despite their geographic origin, the qualitative composition of their microbiota revealed no evident differences from that described for aphids in the Northern Hemisphere.

© 2014 Entomological Society of America
J. D. Arneodo and J. Ortego "Exploring the Bacterial Microbiota Associated with Native South American Species of Aphis (Hemiptera: Aphididae)," Environmental Entomology 43(3), 589-594, (1 June 2014).
Received: 27 November 2013; Accepted: 1 March 2014; Published: 1 June 2014

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