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Data from: Live imaging of symbiosis: spatiotemporal infection dynamics of GFP-labelled Burkholderia symbiont in the bean bug Riptortus pedestris

Citation

Kikuchi, Yoshitomo; Fukatsu, Takema (2013), Data from: Live imaging of symbiosis: spatiotemporal infection dynamics of GFP-labelled Burkholderia symbiont in the bean bug Riptortus pedestris, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q1r19

Abstract

Many insects possess endosymbiotic bacteria inside their body, wherein intimate interactions occur between the partners. While recent technological advancements have deepened our understanding of metabolic and evolutionary features of the symbiont genomes, molecular mechanisms underpinning the intimate interactions remain difficult to approach because the insect symbionts are generally uncultivable. The bean bug Riptortus pedestris is associated with the betaproteobacterial Burkholderia symbiont in a posterior region of the midgut, which develops numerous crypts harbouring the symbiont extracellularly. Distinct from other insect symbiotic systems, R. pedestris acquires the Burkholderia symbiont not by vertical transmission but from the environment every generation. By making use of the cultivability and the genetic tractability of the symbiont, we constructed a transgenic Burkholderia strain labelled with green fluorescent protein (GFP), which enabled detailed observation of spatiotemporal dynamics and the colonization process of the symbiont in freshly prepared specimens. The symbiont live imaging revealed that, at the second instar, colonization of the symbiotic midgut M4 region started around 6 h after inoculation (hai). By 24 hai, the symbiont cells appeared in the main tract and also in several crypts of the M4. By 48 hai, most of the crypts were colonized by the symbiont cells. By 72 hai, all the crypts were filled up with the symbiont cells and the symbiont localization pattern continued during the subsequent nymphal development. Quantitative PCR of the symbiont confirmed the infection dynamics quantitatively. These results highlight the stinkbug-Burkholderia gut symbiosis as an unprecedented model for comprehensive understanding of molecular mechanisms underpinning insect symbiosis.

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