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Heredity (Edinb). 2000 Aug;85 ( Pt 2):191-8.

Wolbachia segregation rate in Drosophila simulans naturally bi-infected cytoplasmic lineages.

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Institut Jacques Monod, Laboratoire Dynamique du Génome & Evolution, Tour 42-4, CNRS - Universités Paris 6 & 7, 2 Place Jussieu, 75251 Paris Cedex 05, France.


Wolbachia are maternally transmitted endocellular bacteria infecting several arthropod species. In order to study Wolbachia segregation rate, Drosophila simulans females from an Indo-Pacific population (Seychelles) bi-infected by the two Wolbachia variants wHa and wNo were backcrossed to uninfected males in two conditions. In the first case, Seychelles males from a stock cured from its Wolbachia by tetracycline treatment were used. In the second case, the males came from a naturally uninfected Tunisian population. It was found that (i) the two Wolbachia variants can segregate, so that bi-infected females can produce a few offspring infected only by wHa or wNo. This occurs in both backcross conditions. (ii) Segregation leads more frequently to wHa than to wNo mono-infection. (iii) Wolbachia transmission is lower when the Seychelles genome is introgressed by the Tunisian genome, suggesting that host genomic factors might influence infection fate.

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