Bidirectional incompatibility among divergent Wolbachia and incompatibility level differences among closely related Wolbachia in Nasonia

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Bordenstein, Seth R.
Werren, John H.
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Cytoplasmic incompatibility
Parasitic wasp
Postzygotic isolation
Most insect groups harbor obligate bacterial symbionts from the alphaproteobacterial genus Wolbachia. These bacteria alter insect reproduction in ways that enhance their cytoplasmic transmission. One of the most common alterations is cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) - a post-fertilization modification of the paternal genome that renders embryos inviable or unable to complete diploid development in crosses between infected males and uninfected females or infected females harboring a different strain. The parasitic wasp species complex Nasonia (N. vitripennis, N. longicornis, and N. giraulti) harbor at least six different Wolbachia that cause cytoplasmic incompatibility. Each species have double infections with a representative from both the A and B Wolbachia subgroups. CI relationships of the A and B Wolbachia of N. longicornis with those of N. giraulti and N. vitripennis are investigated here. We demonstrate that all pairwise crosses between the divergent A strains are bidirectionally incompatible. We were unable to characterize incompatibility between the B Wolbachia, but we establish that the B strain of N. longicornis induces no or very weak CI in comparison to the closely related B strain in N. giraulti that expresses complete CI. Taken together with previous studies, we show that independent acquisition of divergent A Wolbachia has resulted in three mutually incompatible strains, while codivergence of B Wolbachia in N. longicornis and N. giraulti is associated with differences in CI level. Understanding the diversity and evolution of new incompatibility strains will contribute to a fuller understanding of Wolbachia invasion dynamics and Wolbachia-assisted speciation in certain groups of insects.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2007. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Nature Publishing Group for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Heredity 99 (2007): 278–287, doi:10.1038/sj.hdy.6800994.
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