Current Microbiology, Vol.41, No.4, 300-304, 2000
Secondary endosymbionts of psyllids have been acquired multiple times
Previous studies have established that psyllids (Hemiptera, Psylloidea) contain primary endosymbionts, designated as Carsonella ruddii, which cospeciate with the psyllid host. This association appears to be the consequence of a single infection of a psyllid ancestor with a bacterium. Some psyllids may have additional secondary (S-) endosymbionts. We have cloned and sequenced the 16S-23S ribosomal RNA genes of seven representative psyllid S-endosymbionts. Comparison of the S-endosymbiont phylogenetic trees with those of C. ruddii indicates a lack of congruence, a finding consistent with multiple infections of psyllids with different precursors of the S-endosymbionts and/or possible horizontal transmission. Additional comparisons indicate that the S-endosymbionts are related to members of the Enterobacteriaceae as well as to several other endosymbionts and insect-associated bacteria.