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Behav Genet. 2019 Jan;49(1):83-98. doi: 10.1007/s10519-018-9937-8. Epub 2018 Nov 19.

Symbiont-Driven Male Mating Success in the Neotropical Drosophila paulistorum Superspecies.

Author information

1
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Center of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Medical University of Vienna, Schwarzspanierstrasse 17, 1090, Vienna, Austria.
2
Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA.
3
Natural Sciences, State University of New York, Purchase College, Purchase, NY, USA.
4
Department for Evolutionary Ecology, Institute for Organismic and Molecular Evolution, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Germany.
5
Évolution, Génomes, Comportement, Écologie, CNRS, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, 91198, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
6
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Center of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Medical University of Vienna, Schwarzspanierstrasse 17, 1090, Vienna, Austria. wolfgang.miller@meduniwien.ac.at.

Abstract

Microbial symbionts are ubiquitous associates of living organisms but their role in mediating reproductive isolation (RI) remains controversial. We addressed this knowledge gap by employing the Drosophila paulistorum-Wolbachia model system. Semispecies in the D. paulistorum species complex exhibit strong RI between each other and knockdown of obligate mutualistic Wolbachia bacteria in female D. paulistorum flies triggers loss of assortative mating behavior against males carrying incompatible Wolbachia strains. Here we set out to determine whether de novo RI can be introduced by Wolbachia-knockdown in D. paulistorum males. We show that Wolbachia-knockdown D. paulistorum males (i) are rejected as mates by wild type females, (ii) express altered sexual pheromone profiles, and (iii) are devoid of the endosymbiont in pheromone producing cells. Our findings suggest that changes in Wolbachia titer and tissue tropism can induce de novo premating isolation by directly or indirectly modulating sexual behavior of their native D. paulistorum hosts.

KEYWORDS:

Drosophila; Pheromones; Premating isolation; Reproductive isolation; Wolbachia

PMID:
30456532
DOI:
10.1007/s10519-018-9937-8

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