Nutritional interactions between Ixodes pacificus and its Rickettsia endosymbiont

Title Nutritional interactions between Ixodes pacificus and its Rickettsia endosymbiont
Lecturer Dr. Jianmin Zhong, Ph.D.
Language English
Date&Time 05/19/2015 (Tue) 10:00~11:30
Venue Bio Large Seminar Room
Ticks and other arthropods often are hosts to nutrient provisioning bacterial
endosymbionts, which contribute to their host’ s fitness by providing nutrients such as vitamins. It has been detected, in our lab, that Ixodes pacificus is host to Rickettsia species phylotype G021. This endosymbiont is universally present and 100% maternally transmitted. To study the role of phylotype G021 in I. pacificus, bioinformatic and molecular approaches were carried out. Results from alignments of whole genome sequence data of I. scapularis by MUMmer and reconstruction of metabolic pathways by KEGG Pathway Database indicated that phylotype G021 has the metabolic capability to de novo synthesize folate, commonly known as vitamin B9. To examine the metabolic capability of the bacterium, genes of the folate biosynthesis pathway of phylotype G021 were PCR amplified using degenerative primers. BLAST searches identified that the folA (encoding dihydrofolate reductase), folC, folE, folKP, ptpS genes possess 98.6%, 98.8%, 98.9%, 98.5% and 99.0% identity respectively to the corresponding genes of the Rickettsia endosymbiont of I. scapularis. Phylogenetic tree constructions show that the folate genes of phylotype G021 and homologous genes from various Rickettsia species are monophyletic. To further test our hypothesis that phylotype G021 in I. pacificus synthesizes folate de novo, the FolA recombinant protein was successfully overexpressed in BL21(DE3) E. coli using IPTG. The dihydrofolate reductase activity of the FolA protein of phylotype G021, which was purified using a GST affinity column, was measured by the decline of absorbance of NADPH at 340 nm in an in vitro enzymatic assay. The specific activity of FolA of phylotype G021 was calculated to be 8.99 μmol/min/mg. This study has shown that folate genes exist in the genome of Rickettsia species phylotype G021 and that this bacterium is capable producing functional FolA protein for de novo synthesis of folate in I. pacificus.
Contact システム微生物学
森 浩禎 (

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