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

Year: 2008

Authors: Nunes, MD; Nolte, V; Schlötterer, C

Title: Nonrandom Wolbachia infection status of Drosophila melanogaster strains with different mtDNA haplotypes.

Source: Mol Biol Evol. 2008; 25(11):2493-2498

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Schlötterer Christian

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Population Genetics

Wolbachia are maternally inherited bacteria, which typically spread in the host population by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). In Drosophila melanogaster, Wolbachia is quite common but CI is variable, with most of the studies reporting low levels of CI. Surveying mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation and infection status in a worldwide D. melanogaster collection, we found that the Wolbachia infection was not randomly distributed among flies with different mtDNA haplotypes. This preferential infection of some mtDNA haplotypes could be caused by a recent spread of mtDNA haplotypes associated with the infection. The comparison of contemporary D. melanogaster samples with lines collected more than 50 years ago shows that indeed one haplotype with a high incidence of Wolbachia infection has increased in frequency. Consistent with this observation, we found that the acquisition of a Wolbachia infection in a population from Crete was accompanied with an almost complete mtDNA replacement, with the Wolbachia-associated haplotype becoming abundant. Although it is difficult to identify the evolutionary forces causing the global increase of wMel, the parallel sweep of Wolbachia and an mtDNA haplotype suggests a fitness advantage of the Wolbachia infection.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
DNA, Mitochondrial*
Drosophila melanogaster/genetics
Drosophila melanogaster/microbiology*

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