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Most strains of the widespread endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis are benign or behave as reproductive parasites. The pathogenic strain wMelPop is a striking exception, however: it overreplicates in its insect hosts and causes severe life shortening. The mechanism of this pathogenesis is currently unknown. We have sequenced the genomes of three(More)
The non-virulent Wolbachia strain wMel and the life-shortening strain wMelPop-CLA, both originally from Drosophila melanogaster, have been stably introduced into the mosquito vector of dengue fever, Aedes aegypti. Each of these Wolbachia strains interferes with viral pathogenicity and/or dissemination in both their natural Drosophila host and in their new(More)
The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis protects its hosts from a range of pathogens by limiting their ability to form infections inside the insect. This "pathogen blocking" could be explained by innate immune priming by the symbiont, competition for host-derived resources between pathogens and Wolbachia, or the direct modification of the cell or(More)
The endosymbiont Wolbachia represents a promising method of dengue control, as it reduces the ability of the primary vector, the mosquito Aedes aegypti, to transmit viruses. When mosquitoes infected with the virulent Wolbachia strain wMelPop are fed non-human blood, there is a drastic reduction in mosquito fecundity and egg viability. Wolbachia has a(More)
BACKGROUND Wolbachia infections confer protection for their insect hosts against a range of pathogens including bacteria, viruses, nematodes and the malaria parasite. A single mechanism that might explain this broad-based pathogen protection is immune priming, in which the presence of the symbiont upregulates the basal immune response, preparing the insect(More)
BACKGROUND Cytosine methylation is one of several reversible epigenetic modifications of DNA that allow a greater flexibility in the relationship between genotype and phenotype. Methylation in the simplest models dampens gene expression by modifying regions of DNA critical for transcription factor binding. The capacity to methylate DNA is variable in the(More)
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