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The Intracellular Symbiont Wolbachia pipientis Enhances Recombination in a Dose-Dependent Manner

Department of Biology, Indiana University, 1001 E 3rd Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(5), 284;
Received: 14 April 2020 / Revised: 24 April 2020 / Accepted: 27 April 2020 / Published: 6 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Symbionts: Evolution and Application)
Wolbachia pipientis is an intracellular alphaproteobacterium that infects 40%–60% of insect species and is well known for host reproductive manipulations. Although Wolbachia are primarily maternally transmitted, evidence of horizontal transmission can be found in incongruent host–symbiont phylogenies and recent acquisitions of the same Wolbachia strain by distantly related species. Parasitoids and predator–prey interactions may indeed facilitate the transfer of Wolbachia between insect lineages, but it is likely that Wolbachia are acquired via introgression in many cases. Many hypotheses exist to explain Wolbachia prevalence and penetrance, such as nutritional supplementation, protection from parasites, protection from viruses, or direct reproductive parasitism. Using classical genetics, we show that Wolbachia increase recombination in infected lineages across two genomic intervals. This increase in recombination is titer-dependent as the wMelPop variant, which infects at higher load in Drosophila melanogaster, increases recombination 5% more than the wMel variant. In addition, we also show that Spiroplasma poulsonii, another bacterial intracellular symbiont of D. melanogaster, does not induce an increase in recombination. Our results suggest that Wolbachia infection specifically alters its host’s recombination landscape in a dose-dependent manner. View Full-Text
Keywords: Wolbachia; recombination; Drosophila Wolbachia; recombination; Drosophila
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Bryant, K.N.; Newton, I.L.G. The Intracellular Symbiont Wolbachia pipientis Enhances Recombination in a Dose-Dependent Manner. Insects 2020, 11, 284.

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