Wolbachia may be the most abundant and widespread intracellular symbiotic as yet described. Thisunculturable, maternally inherited bacterium is able to invade and maintain itself in numerous arthropod host species by inducing a variety of reproductive alterations such as induction of parthenogenesis development uncertain parasitic wasps, overriding chromosomal sex determination to convert infected genetic males into functional females in crustacean species (feminisation), and most commonly induction of cytoplasmicincompatibility (CI), a form of embryonic lethality in crosses between males and females of different Wolbachiainfection status. This proposal aims to identify the bacterial and host genes involved in the induction of these reproductive phenotypes through an integrated genomic, polemics and post-genomic approach. Identification of these genes will be a major breakthrough towards the goal of using them for applied purposes, for example management of arthropod agricultural pests and disease vectors or provident of beneficial arthropods.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1307 Koebenhavn K/copenhaegen
LL57 2UW Bangor - Gwynedd
CB2 3EH Cambridge
6703 BD Wageningen