Wolbachia infections and the expression of cytoplasmic incompatibility in Drosophila sechellia and D. mauritiana

R. Giordano, S. L. O'Neill, H. M. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Various stocks of Drosophila mauritiana and D. sechellia were found to be infected with Wolbachia, a Rickettsia-like bacterium that is known to cause cytoplasmic incompatibility and other reproductive abnormalities in arthropods. Testing for the expression of cytoplasmic incompatibility in these two species showed partial incompatibility in D. sechellia but no expression of incompatibility in D. mauritiana. To determine whether absence of cytoplasmic incompatibility in D. mauritiana was due to either the bacterial or host genome, we transferred bacteria from D. mauritiana into an uninfected strain of D. simulans, a host species known to express high levels of incompatibility with endogenous Wolbachia. We also performed the reciprocal transfer of the natural D. simulans Riverside infection into a tetracycline-treated stock of D. mauritiana. In each case, the ability to express incompatibility was unaltered by the different host genetic background. These experiments indicate that in D. simulans and D. mauritiana expression of the cytoplasmic incompatibility phenotype is determined by the bacterial strain and that D. mauritiana harbors a neutral strain of Wolbachia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1307-1317
Number of pages11
JournalGenetics
Volume140
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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