Microbial Ecology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 126–133 | Cite as

Characterization of a Facultative Endosymbiotic Bacterium of the Pea Aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum

  • T. Tsuchida
  • R. Koga
  • X.Y. Meng
  • T. Matsumoto
  • T. FukatsuEmail author


The pea aphid U-type symbiont (PAUS) was investigated to characterize its microbiological properties. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and electron microscopy revealed that PAUS was a rod-shaped bacterium found in three different locations in the body of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum: sheath cells, secondary mycetocytes, and hemolymph. Artificial transfer experiments revealed that PAUS could establish stable infection and vertical transmission when introduced into uninfected pea aphids. When 28 aphid species collected in Japan were subjected to a diagnostic PCR assay, four species of the subfamily Aphidinae (Aphis citricola, Aphis nerii, Macrosiphum avenae, and Uroleucon giganteus) and a species of the subfamily Pemphiginae (Colopha kansugei) were identified to be PAUS-positive. The sporadic incidences of PAUS infection without reflecting the aphid phylogeny can be best explained by occasional horizontal transfers of the symbiont across aphid lineages.


Aphid Species Sheath Cell Microbiological Property Host Aphid Adult Aphid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank A. Sugimura, H. Ouchi, S. Kumagai, S. Tatsuno, and K. Sato for technical and secretarial assistance; A. Kume, H. Shibao, I. Mori, K. Honda, N. Kohmoto, and S. Akimoto for aphid samples; and T. Wilkinson for critically reading the manuscript. This research was supported by the Program for Promotion of Basic Research Activities for Innovation Biosciences (ProBRAIN) of the Bio-Oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Tsuchida
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Koga
    • 1
  • X.Y. Meng
    • 1
  • T. Matsumoto
    • 3
  • T. Fukatsu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Biological Resources and Functions National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)TsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  3. 3.Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and SciencesUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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