Wolbachia are obligate intracellular endosymbionts which live in the gonads of many arthropods of economic and medical importance. In insects, Wolbachia manipulate reproduction in a way that favors the spread of their infection. Cytoplasmic Incompatibility (CI), is a particular effect induced by Wolbachia infection in mosquitoes and other insects. CI causes conditional male sterility and produces a selective pressure in mixed populations of infected and uninfected mosquitoes giving Wolbachia-infected females a reproductive advantage. CI has been proposed as a gene drive tool which could be used to replace wild arthropod disease vectors with genetically modified ones less capable of transmitting diseases. CI has been demonstrated to be an effective agent at manipulating vector populations in the wild. When I began my research on Wolbachia in 2009, a central unresolved question, which has remained unanswered since the 1950's, concerned the molecular basis of CI; my doctoral research has wholly focused on answering this basic question, "What is the Wolbachia gene/protein that induces CI in mosquitoes?"
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2014. Major: Entomology. Advisor: Ann M. Fallon. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 171 pages
Beckmann, John Frederick.
Molecular Mechanism of Wolbachia Induced Cytoplasmic Incompatibility.
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