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The complete sequence of the 1,267,782 bp genome of Wolbachia pipientis wMel, an obligate intracellular bacteria of Drosophila melanogaster, has been determined. Wolbachia, which are found in a variety of invertebrate species, are of great interest due to their diverse interactions with different hosts, which range from many forms of reproductive parasitism(More)
Wolbachia are maternally inherited intracellular bacterial symbionts that are estimated to infect more than 60% of all insect species. While Wolbachia is commonly found in many mosquitoes it is absent from the species that are considered to be of major importance for the transmission of human pathogens. The successful introduction of a life-shortening(More)
Genetic manipulations of insect populations for pest control have been advocated for some time, but there are few cases where manipulated individuals have been released in the field and no cases where they have successfully invaded target populations. Population transformation using the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia is particularly attractive because(More)
Wolbachia are ubiquitous inherited endosymbionts of invertebrates that invade host populations by modifying host reproductive systems. However, some strains lack the ability to impose reproductive modification and yet are still capable of successfully invading host populations. To explain this paradox, theory predicts that such strains should provide a(More)
Recently, we identified a large number of ultraconserved (uc) sequences in noncoding regions of human, mouse, and rat genomes that appear to be essential for vertebrate and amniote ontogeny. Here, we used similar methods to identify ultraconserved genomic regions between the insect species Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila pseudoobscura, as well as the(More)
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 factors that control replication rate of the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia pipientis in its insect hosts are unknown and difficult to explore, given the complex interaction of symbiont and host genotypes. Using a strain of Wolbachia that is known to over-replicate and shorten the lifespan of its Drosophila melanogaster host, we have tracked the(More)
The extent and biological relevance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in eukaryotic evolution remain highly controversial. Recent studies have demonstrated frequent and large-scale HGT from endosymbiotic bacteria to their hosts, but the great majority of these transferred genes rapidly become nonfunctional in the recipient genome. Here, we investigate an(More)
Estimates of Wolbachia density in the eggs, testes and whole flies of drosophilid hosts have been unable to predict the lack of cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) expression in so-called mod(-) variants. Consequently, the working hypothesis has been that CI expression, although related to Wolbachia density, is also governed by unknown factors that are(More)
The horizontal transfer of the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis between invertebrate hosts hinges on the ability of Wolbachia to adapt to new intracellular environments. The experimental transfer of Wolbachia between distantly related host species often results in the loss of infection, presumably due to an inability of Wolbachia to adapt quickly to the new(More)