Genome sequence of the endocellular obligate symbiont of tsetse flies, Wigglesworthia glossinidia.
Many insects that rely on a single food source throughout their developmental cycle harbor beneficial microbes that provide nutrients absent from their restricted diet. Tsetse flies, the vectors of African trypanosomes, feed exclusively on blood and rely on one such intracellular microbe for nutritional provisioning and fecundity. As a result of co-evolution with hosts over millions of years, these mutualists have lost the ability to survive outside the sheltered environment of their host insect cells. We present the complete annotated genome of Wigglesworthia glossinidia brevipalpis, which is composed of one chromosome of 697,724 base pairs (bp) and one small plasmid, called pWig1, of 5,200 bp. Genes involved in the biosynthesis of vitamin metabolites, apparently essential for host nutrition and fecundity, have been retained. Unexpectedly, this obligate's genome bears hallmarks of both parasitic and free-living microbes, and the gene encoding the important regulatory protein DnaA is absent.