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

Rosanna Giordano, Scott Leslie O'Neill, H Robertson

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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 infec tion 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
Pages (from-to)1307 - 1317
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

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