Meet the Herod bug

  title={Meet the Herod bug},
  author={Jonathan E. Knight},
  • J. Knight
  • Published 2001
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Nature
A parasitic bacterium that uses an array of dastardly tricks to favour female hosts over males is holding evolutionary biologists in thrall. Jonathan Knight enters the strange world of Wolbachia. 

Topics from this paper

Paper Mentions

Wolbachia-mediated reproductive alterations in invertebrate hosts and biocontrol implications of the bacteria: an update
An updated account of the occurrence, identification, phylogeny and genetics, phenotypic effects, distribution, mechanisms of action, horizontal transmission, infection dynamics, evolutionary consequences and biocontrol implications of the Wolbachia are presented. Expand
Interactions between inherited bacteria and their hosts : The Wolbachia paradigm
The rise to prominence of the bacterium Wolbachia has been quite remarkable. Whilst it was first described as an intracellular bacterium of mosquito hosts in the 1930s (Hertig and Wolbach 1924;Expand
A host–parasite interaction rescues Drosophila oogenesis defects
It is reported that infection by Wolbachia restores fertility to Drosophila melanogaster mutant females prevented from making eggs by protein-coding lesions in Sex-lethal (Sxl), the master regulator of sex determination. Expand
Mapping the presence of Wolbachia pipientis on the phylogeny of filarial nematodes: evidence for symbiont loss during evolution.
Wolbachia pipientis is a bacterial endosymbiont associated with arthropods and filarial nematodes. In filarial nematodes, W. pipientis has been shown to play an important role in the biology of theExpand
Aphids acquired symbiotic genes via lateral gene transfer
Several lines of evidence are obtained indicating that aphids acquired genes from bacteria via lateral gene transfer and that these genes are used to maintain the obligately mutualistic bacterium, Buchnera. Expand
Super‐infections of Wolbachia in byturid beetles and evidence for genetic transfer between A and B super‐groups of Wolbachia
There appears to be an association between specific A and B wsp types in byturid beetles, and ftsZ and wsp sequences that were identical or nearly identical to those of B. affinis were found in B. tomentosus, suggesting that it also contains the same recombinant Wolbachia genotype. Expand
How many wolbachia supergroups exist?
Progress toward answering several remaining questions about Wolbachia evolution—such as which of their host effects are primitive and which are derived, the type of animals they first invaded, and how they were transferred between arthropods and nematodes—is currently hindered by a poor understanding of the relationships between the supergroups. Expand
Comparative analysis of microbial community in the whole body and midgut from fully engorged and unfed female adult Melophagus ovinus
The whole body bacterial diversity of the newly hatched, unfed adult females was greater compared with that of the other three samples, and Proteobacteria was the dominant bacterial phylum in all of the samples. Expand
Bacterial Community Structure in the Asian Rice Gall Midge Reveals a Varied Microbiome Rich in Proteobacteria
This is the first study that reports variation of microbiome of the ARGM, based on host phenotype from which it was isolated, and results suggest that these variations could have an important role in host’s susceptibility. Expand
Intracellular endosymbionts, Wolbachia spp., have been reported in many different orders of insects and in nematodes but not previously in fleas. This is the first conclusive report of Wolbachia spp.Expand


Male-killing Wolbachia in a flour beetle
  • R. Fialho, L. Stevens
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2000
Male killing in a third insect, the black flour beetle Tribolium madens, is reported, suggesting that host–symbiont interaction effects may play an important role in the induction of Wolbachia reproductive phenotypes. Expand
Distribution and Evolution of Bacteriophage WO in Wolbachia, the Endosymbiont Causing Sexual Alterations in Arthropods
The results raised the possibility that phage WO has been associated with Wolbachia for a very long time, conferring some benefit to its hosts, and the evolution and possible roles of phages WO in various reproductive alterations of insects caused by WolbachIA are discussed. Expand
Antibiotics cause parthenogenetic Trichogramma (Hymenoptera/Trichogrammatidae) to revert to sex.
Completely parthenogenetic Trichogramma wasps can be rendered permanently bisexual by treatment with three different antibiotics or high temperatures. The evidence strongly suggests that maternallyExpand
Male–killing Wolbachia in two species of insect
Observations reinforce the notion that Wolbachia may be an important agent driving arthropod evolution, and corroborates previous suggestions that male–killing behaviour is easily evolved by invertebrate symbionts. Expand
Molecular identification of a male‐killing agent in the ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
The Asian ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) harbours a maternally inherited, female-biased sex ratio trait, taken to result from male-killing, making it a suitable candidate in which to seek diversity in male-killers over geographical distance. Expand
How many species are infected with Wolbachia? Cryptic sex ratio distorters revealed to be common by intensive sampling
It is concluded that sex–ratio–distorting Wolbachia may be common in insects that have an ecology and/or genetics that permit the invasion of these parasites and that previous surveys may have seriously underestimated the proportion of species that are infected. Expand
Male-killing Wolbachia in Drosophila: a temperature-sensitive trait with a threshold bacterial density.
Examination of the effect of temperature on bacterial density in eggs revealed a decrease in bacterial density following exposure of the parent to elevated temperature, consistent with the hypothesis that male killing in D. bifasciata requires a threshold density of Wolbachia within eggs. Expand
A survey of other California populations indicates that unidirectional incompatibility is widespread, and cultivating the strains on medium with tetracycline restores compatibility, suggesting the involvement of a microorganism. Expand
The effect of tetracycline on nonreciprocal cross incompatibility in
Certain stocks of the parasitic wasp Mormoniella vitripennis exhibit nonreciprocal cross incompatibility, believed to be caused by a maternally inherited cytoplasmic agent. Expand
Microorganism mediated reproductive isolation in flour beetles (genus Tribolium).
Reproductive isolation is induced by microorganisms in diverse geographic strains of the flour beetle Tribolium confusum (Coleoptera:Tenebrionidae), and "Cured" strains become partially reproductively isolated from all noncured strains including the source strain. Expand