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Genetics. 1996 Jun; 143(2): 961–972.
PMCID: PMC1207352

Single and Double Infections with Wolbachia in the Parasitic Wasp Nasonia Vitripennis: Effects on Compatibility


Wolbachia are cytoplasmically inherited bacteria responsible for reproductive incompatibility in a wide range of insects. There has been little exploration, however, of within species Wolbachia polymorphisms and their effects on compatibility. Here we show that some strains of the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis are infected with two distinct bacterial strains (A and B) whereas others are singly infected (A or B). Double and single infections are confirmed by both PCR amplification and Southern analysis of genomic DNA. Furthermore, it is shown that prolonged larval diapause (the overwintering stage of the wasp) of a double-infected strain can lead to stochastic loss of one or both bacterial strains. After diapause of a double-infected line, sublines were produced with AB, A only, B only or no Wolbachia. A and B sublines are bidirectionally incompatible, whereas males from AB lines are unidirectionally incompatible with females of A and B sublines. Results therefore show rapid development of bidirectional incompatibility within a species due to segregation of associated symbiotic bacteria.

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Selected References

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