Yeasts associate with numerous insects, and they can assist the metabolic processes within their hosts. Two distinct yeasts were identified by PCR within the planthopper Perkinsiella saccharicida, the vector of Fiji disease virus to sugarcane. The utility of both microbes for potential paratransgenic approaches to control Fiji leaf gall (FLG) was assessed. Phylogenetic analysis showed one of the microbes is related to yeast-like symbionts from the planthoppers: Laodelphax striatellus, Nilaparvata lugens, and Sogetella furcifera. The second yeast was a member of the Candida genus, a group that has been identified in beetles and recently described in planthoppers. Microscopy revealed the presence of yeast in the fat body of P. saccharicida. The Candida yeast was cultured, and transformation was accomplished by electroporation of Candida albicans codon optimized plasmids, designed to integrate into the genome via homologous recombination. Transgenic lines conferred resistance to the antibiotic nourseothricin and expression of green fluorescent protein was observed in a proportion of the yeast cells. Stably transformed yeast lines could not be isolated as the integrative plasmids presumably replicated within the yeast without integration into the genome. If stable transformation can be achieved, then this yeast may be useful as an agent for a paratransgenic control of FLG.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology