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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2020

Authors: Mazzucco, R; Nolte, V; Vijayan, T; Schlötterer, C

Title: Long-Term Dynamics Among Wolbachia Strains During Thermal Adaptation of Their Drosophila melanogaster Hosts.

Source: Front Genet. 2020; 11:482

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Mazzucco Rupert
Nolte Viola
Schlötterer Christian
Vijayan Thapasya

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Population Genetics

Project(s): ERC ADG: The architecture of adaptation

Wolbachia infection Dynamics in evolving Drosophila populations

Climate change is a major evolutionary force triggering thermal adaptation in a broad range of species. While the consequences of global warming are being studied for an increasing number of species, limited attention has been given to the evolutionary dynamics of endosymbionts in response to climate change. Here, we address this question by studying the dynamics of Wolbachia , a well-studied endosymbiont of Drosophila melanogaster . D. melanogaster populations infected with 13 different Wolbachia strains were exposed to novel hot and cold laboratory environments for up to 180 generations. The short-term dynamics suggested a temperature-related fitness difference resulting in the increase of clade V strains in the cold environment only. Our long-term analysis now uncovers that clade V dominates in all replicates after generation 60 irrespective of temperature treatment. We propose that adaptation of the Drosophila host to either temperature or Drosophila C virus (DCV) infection are the cause of the replicated, temporally non-concordant Wolbachia dynamics. Our study provides an interesting case demonstrating that even simple, well-controlled experiments can result in complex, but repeatable evolutionary dynamics, thus providing a cautionary note on too simple interpretations on the impact of climate change.

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