Oral Presentation Australian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific Meeting 2019

Beyond Diptera: exploring Wolbachia-pathogen interactions in two Lepidoptera cell lines (#269)

Rhys H Parry 1 , Sassan Asgari 1
  1. Australian Infectious Disease Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

The endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia pipientis manipulates the reproductive success in infected arthropods through cytoplasmic-incompatibility and also has been demonstrated to induce RNA-virus refractoriness in the dipteran models; Drosophila melanogaster and the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. While the molecular mechanism of the cytoplasmic incompatibility has been solved questions still remain about the Wolbachia mediated virus-restriction phenotype and how extensive this phenomenon may be within other arthropods. To explore this we set out to examine broad patterns of Wolbachia-mediated virus interference in Lepidoptera cells. To achieve this we generated four lepidopteran cell lines stably transinfected with two Wolbachia supergroup A and B strains for the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (Px.wAlbB and Px.wMelPop-CLA) and Spodoptera frugiperda cells (Sf9.wAlbB and Sf9.wMelPop-CLA). Production of the cell lines has been successful with stable Wolbachia infection now for over forty passages and with the next stage to challenge cell lines with a diverse range of viral species: a dsDNA baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) a negative sense ssRNA virus Spodoptera frugiperda rhabdovirus (Sf-RV) (Family: Rhabdoviridae) and also Flock House Virus (FHV) (family: Nodaviridae). Preliminary virus inoculation trials with Sf9 cells suggests that Wolbachia infection has no effect on AcMNPV and Sf-RV while FHV trials are ongoing. This work improves our understanding of Wolbachia-mediated pathogen interference and may provide potential bio-control strategies for virus infections of agriculturally beneficial arthropods