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Cardinium symbiosis as a potential confounder of mtDNA based phylogeographic inference in Culicoides imicola (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), a vector of veterinary viruses

Abstract : Background: Culicoides imicola (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) is an important Afrotropical and Palearctic vector of disease, transmitting viruses of animal health and economic significance including African horse sickness and bluetongue viruses. Maternally inherited symbiotic bacteria (endosymbionts) of arthropods can alter the frequency of COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) mitochondrial haplotypes (mitotypes) in a population, masking the true patterns of host movement and gene flow. Thus, this study aimed to assess the mtDNA structure of C. imicola in relation to infection with Candidatus Cardinum hertigii (Bacteroides), a common endosymbiont of Culicoides spp. Methods: Using haplotype network analysis, COI Sanger sequences from Cardinium-infected and -uninfected C. imicola individuals were first compared in a population from South Africa. The network was then extended to include mitotypes from a geographic range where Cardinium infection has previously been investigated. Results: The mitotype network of the South African population demonstrated the presence of two broad mitotype groups. All Cardinium-infected specimens fell into one group (Fisher’s exact test, P = 0.00071) demonstrating a linkage disequilibrium between endosymbiont and mitochondria. Furthermore, by extending this haplotype network to include other C. imicola populations from the Mediterranean basin, we revealed mitotype variation between the Eastern and Western Mediterranean basins (EMB and WMB) mirrored Cardinium-infection heterogeneity. Conclusions: These observations suggest that the linkage disequilibrium of Cardinium and mitochondria reflects endosymbiont gene flow within the Mediterranean basin but may not assist in elucidating host gene flow. Subsequently, we urge caution on the single usage of the COI marker to determine population structure and movement in C. imicola and instead suggest the complementary utilisation of additional molecular markers.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03165493
Contributor : Hélène Lesur <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 4:35:19 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 1, 2021 - 3:42:10 PM

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Jack Pilgrim, Stefanos Siozios, Matthew Baylis, Gert Venter, Claire Garros, et al.. Cardinium symbiosis as a potential confounder of mtDNA based phylogeographic inference in Culicoides imicola (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), a vector of veterinary viruses. Parasites & Vectors, 2021, 14 (1), ⟨10.1186/s13071-020-04568-3⟩. ⟨hal-03165493⟩

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