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PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22703. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022703. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Wolbachia bacteria reside in host Golgi-related vesicles whose position is regulated by polarity proteins.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Korea.


Wolbachia pipientis are intracellular symbiotic bacteria extremely common in various organisms including Drosophila melanogaster, and are known for their ability to induce changes in host reproduction. These bacteria are present in astral microtubule-associated vesicular structures in host cytoplasm, but little is known about the identity of these vesicles. We report here that Wolbachia are restricted only to a group of Golgi-related vesicles concentrated near the site of membrane biogenesis and minus-ends of microtubules. The Wolbachia vesicles were significantly mislocalized in mutant embryos defective in cell/planar polarity genes suggesting that cell/tissue polarity genes are required for apical localization of these Golgi-related vesicles. Furthermore, two of the polarity proteins, Van Gogh/Strabismus and Scribble, appeared to be present in these Golgi-related vesicles. Thus, establishment of polarity may be closely linked to the precise insertion of Golgi vesicles into the new membrane addition site.

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