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Wolbachia transinfections in Culex quinquefasciatus generate cytoplasmic incompatibility

Abstract : Culex quinquefasciatus is an important mosquito vector of a number of viral and protozoan pathogens of humans and animals, and naturally carries the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis, strain wPip. Wolbachia are being used in two distinct vector control strategies: firstly, population suppression caused by mating incompatibilities between mass‐released transinfected males and wild females; and secondly, the spread of pathogen transmission‐blocking strains through populations. Using embryonic microinjection, two novel Wolbachia transinfections were generated in Cx. quinquefasciatus using strains native to the mosquito Aedes albopictus: a wAlbB single infection, and a wPip plus wAlbA superinfection. The wAlbB infection showed full bi‐directional cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) with wild‐type Cx. quinquefasciatus in reciprocal crosses. The wPipwAlbA superinfection showed complete unidirectional CI, and therefore population invasion potential. While the wAlbB strain showed comparatively low overall densities, similar to the native wPip, the wPipwAlbA superinfection reached over 400‐fold higher densities in the salivary glands compared to the native wPip, suggesting it may be a candidate for pathogen transmission blocking.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 2:09:18 PM
Last modification on : Monday, January 13, 2020 - 5:08:15 PM

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Thomas Ant, C. Herd, Faustine Louis, Anna-Bella Failloux, Steven Sinkins. Wolbachia transinfections in Culex quinquefasciatus generate cytoplasmic incompatibility. Insect Molecular Biology, Wiley, 2019, ⟨10.1111/imb.12604⟩. ⟨pasteur-02160213⟩

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