Journal article

From parasite to mutualist: Rapid evolution of Wolbachia in natural populations of Drosophila

Andrew R Weeks, Michael Turelli, William R Harcombe, K Tracy Reynolds, Ary A Hoffmann

PLOS BIOLOGY | PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE | Published : 2007

Abstract

Wolbachia are maternally inherited bacteria that commonly spread through host populations by causing cytoplasmic incompatibility, often expressed as reduced egg hatch when uninfected females mate with infected males. Infected females are frequently less fecund as a consequence of Wolbachia infection. However, theory predicts that because of maternal transmission, these "parasites" will tend to evolve towards a more mutualistic association with their hosts. Drosophila simulans in California provided the classic case of a Wolbachia infection spreading in nature. Cytoplasmic incompatibility allowed the infection to spread through individual populations within a few years and from southern to no..

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