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Elife. 2014 Jul 15;3:e02964. doi: 10.7554/eLife.02964.

Insect endosymbiont proliferation is limited by lipid availability.

Author information

1
Global Health Institute, School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland jeremyherren@me.com.
2
Global Health Institute, School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.
3
Platform BioPark Archamps, Saint Julien en Genevois, France.
4
Platform BioPark Archamps, Saint Julien en Genevois, France Université Joseph Fourier, AGIM FRE CNRS, La Tronche, France.
5
Global Health Institute, School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland bruno.lemaitre@epfl.ch.

Abstract

Spiroplasma poulsonii is a maternally transmitted bacterial endosymbiont that is naturally associated with Drosophila melanogaster. S. poulsonii resides extracellularly in the hemolymph, where it must acquire metabolites to sustain proliferation. In this study, we find that Spiroplasma proliferation specifically depletes host hemolymph diacylglyceride, the major lipid class transported by the lipoprotein, Lpp. RNAi-mediated knockdown of Lpp expression, which reduces the amount of circulating lipids, inhibits Spiroplasma proliferation demonstrating that bacterial proliferation requires hemolymph-lipids. Altogether, our study shows that an insect endosymbiont acquires specific lipidic metabolites from the transport lipoproteins in the hemolymph of its host. In addition, we show that the proliferation of this endosymbiont is limited by the availability of hemolymph lipids. This feature could limit endosymbiont over-proliferation under conditions of host nutrient limitation as lipid availability is strongly influenced by the nutritional state.

KEYWORDS:

Endosymbiosis; Lipophorin; Spiroplasma; Symbiosis; cardiolipin; diacylglyceride

PMID:
25027439
PMCID:
PMC4123717
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.02964
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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