The symbiotic role of O-antigen ofBurkholderiasymbiont in association with hostRiptortus pedestris

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Abstract

Riptortus pedestris harboring Burkholderia symbiont is a useful symbiosis model to study the molecular interactions between insects and bacteria. We recently reported that the lipopolysaccharide O-antigen is absent in the Burkholderia symbionts isolated from Riptortus guts. Here, we investigated the symbiotic role of O-antigen comprehensively in the Riptortus-Burkholderia model. Firstly, Burkholderia mutant strains deficient of O-antigen biosynthesis genes were generated and confirmed for their different patterns of the lipopolysaccharide by electrophoretic analysis. The O-antigen-deficient mutant strains initially exhibited a reduction of infectivity, having significantly lower level of symbiont population at the second-instar stage. However, both the wild-type and O-antigen mutant symbionts exhibited a similar level of symbiont population from the third-instar stage, indicating that the O-antigen deficiency did not affect the bacterial persistence in the host midgut. Taken together, we showed that the lipopolysaccharide O-antigen of gut symbiont plays an exclusive role in the initial symbiotic association.

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