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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 Sep;43(9):867-78. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2013.07.002. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Detection of the Wolbachia protein WPIP0282 in mosquito spermathecae: implications for cytoplasmic incompatibility.

Author information

1
Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA. beckm098@umn.edu

Abstract

Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is a conditional sterility induced by the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis that infects reproductive tissues in many arthropods. Although CI provides a potential tool to control insect vectors of arthropod-borne diseases, the molecular basis for CI induction is unknown. We hypothesized that a Wolbachia-encoded, CI-inducing factor would be enriched in sperm recovered from spermathecae of female mosquitoes. Using SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry, we detected peptides from the 56 kDa hypothetical protein, encoded by wPip_0282, associated with sperm transferred to females by Wolbachia infected males. We also detected peptides from the same protein in Wolbachia infected ovaries. Homologs of wPip_0282 and the co-transcribed downstream gene, wPip_0283, occur as multiple divergent copies in genomes of CI-inducing strains of Wolbachia. The operon is located in a genomic context that includes mobile genetic elements. The absence of wPip_0282 and wPip_0283 homologs from genomes of Wolbachia in filarial nematodes, as well as other members of the Rickettsiales, suggests a role as a candidate CI effector.

KEYWORDS:

0282; Culex pipiens; Cytoplasmic incompatibility; Mass spectrometry; Mosquito; Wolbachia

PMID:
23856508
PMCID:
PMC3839623
DOI:
10.1016/j.ibmb.2013.07.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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