Wolbachia in the Culex pipiens group mosquitoes: Introgression and superinfection

Thomas Walker, Shewu Song, Steven Sinkins

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Wolbachia bacteria in mosquitoes induce cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), where sperm from Wolbachia-infected males can produce inviable progeny. The wPip strain in the Culex pipiens group of mosquitoes produces a complexity of CI crossing types. Several factors are thought to be capable of influencing the expression of CI including Wolbachia strain type and host genotype. In this study, the unidirectional CI that occurs between 2 C. pipiens complex laboratory strains, Col and Mol, was further investigated by nuclear genotype introgression. The unidirectional CI between Col and Mol was not found to be influenced by host genetic background, in contrast to a previous introgression study carried out using bidirectionally incompatible C. pipiens group strains. A line containing both wPip strain variants superinfection was also generated by embryonic cytoplasmic transfer. The same crossing type as the parental Col strain was observed in the superinfected line. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction demonstrated a low density of the injected wPipMol variant in the superinfected line after 18 generations, which was considered likely to be responsible for the crossing patterns observed. The Wolbachia density was also shown to be lower in the parental Mol strain males compared with Col strain males, and no inverse relationship between WO phage and Wolbachia density could be detected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192 - 196
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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