The Evolution and Comparative Genomics of the Reproductive Manipulator Cardinium hertigii
AuthorStouthamer, Corinne Marie
AdvisorHunter, Martha S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 11-Jan-2020
AbstractMany insects and other arthropods have symbiotic microorganisms that may influence key facets of their biology. Cardinium hertigii is an intracellular bacterial symbiont, (phylum Bacteroidetes) of arthropods and nematodes. This versatile symbiont has been shown to cause three of four reproductive manipulations of their arthropod hosts known to be caused by symbionts: parthenogenesis induction (PI), where genetic males are converted into genetic females; feminization, where genetic males become functional females; and cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), the symbiont-induced death of offspring from matings of infected males and uninfected females. Here, I explored the evolution of this symbiont and its reproductive manipulations, and found that closely related Cardinium strains have a tendency to associate with closely related hosts and the reproductive manipulations do not display a clear phylogenetic signal. To further understand the possible genes underlying these reproductive manipulations, I sequenced four Cardinium genomes and compared these with the two genomes analyzed in the literature. In these comparisons, I found that, although closely related Cardinium strains tend to reside in closely related hosts, there is no evidence for a suite of genes associated with host specificity, as few differences separate two strains residing in different host orders, suggesting that ecological opportunity for horizontal transmission may be more limiting to Cardinium than genomic capability. I additionally identify some genes that may be associated with the Cardinium’s ability to induce PI and CI in its wasp host. Overall, this dissertation has led to a better understanding of Cardinium and its effects on its hosts.
Degree ProgramGraduate College