Infection with the wMel and wMelPop strains of Wolbachia leads to higher levels of melanization in the hemolymph of Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila simulans and Aedes aegypti

Pune Thomas, Nichola Kenny, Darryl Eyles, Luciano Moreira, Scott Leslie O'Neill, Sussan Asgari

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction of the life-shortening strain of Wolbachia pipientis, wMelPop, into the key dengue vector, Aedes aegypti, and the anti-pathogen effects in Wolbachia-infected hosts highlights the need for more research into its interactions with its original host, Drosophila melanogaster, and the novel mosquito host. The visual difference in darkness between the eggs of wMelPop Wolbachia-infected and uninfected mosquito hosts after egg deposition led to further investigation into melanization levels of the insects. Both D. melanogaster and A. aegypti infected with wMelPop showed increased levels of melanization, especially in females. This result was also seen in D. melanogaster and Drosophila simulans infected with the closely related wMel strain. D. simulans infected with other strains of Wolbachia did not display this difference. HPLC analysis of hemolymph from mosquitoes showed that this difference was not due to dopamine levels in the host as they were no different in wMelPop-infected and control mosquitoes before or after blood feeding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360 - 365
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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