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An insect symbiosis is influenced by bacterium-specific polymorphisms in

Summary: An insect symbiosis is influenced by
bacterium-specific polymorphisms in
outer-membrane protein A
Brian L. Weiss*, Yineng Wu*, Jonathon J. Schwank*, Nicholas S. Tolwinski
, and Serap Aksoy*
*Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Section of Vector Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, LEPH 606, 60 College Street,
New Haven, CT 06520; and Program in Developmental Biology, Memorial Sloan­Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065
Edited by David L. Denlinger, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, and approved August 12, 2008 (received for review June 13, 2008)
Beneficial bacterial symbioses are ubiquitous in nature. However, the
functional and molecular basis of host tolerance to resident symbiotic
microbes, in contrast to resistance to closely related bacteria that are
recognized as foreign, remain largely unknown. We used the tsetse
fly (Glossina morsitans), which depends on symbiotic flora for fecun-
dity and has limited exposure to foreign microbes, to investigate the
tolerance phenomenon exhibited during symbiosis. We examined
the potential role of bacterium-specific polymorphisms present in the
major bacterial surface protein, outer-membrane protein A (OmpA),
on host infection outcomes. Tsetse were successfully superinfected
with their mutualistic facultative symbiont, Sodalis glossinidius,
whereas infections with Escherichia coli K12 were lethal. In contrast,


Source: Aksoy, Serap - School of Public Health, Yale University


Collections: Biology and Medicine