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Recombination data for Wolbachia and Spiroplasma infected flies

Cite this dataset

Newton, Irene; Bryant, Kaeli (2020). Recombination data for Wolbachia and Spiroplasma infected flies [Dataset]. Dryad.


Wolbachia pipientis is an intracellular alphaproteobacterium that infects 40-60% of insect species and is well known for host reproductive manipulations. Although Wolbachia are primarily maternally transmitted, evidence of horizontal transmission can be found in incongruent host-symbiont phylogenies and recent acquisitions of the same Wolbachia strain by distantly related species. Parasitoids and predator-prey interactions may indeed facilitate the transfer of Wolbachia between insect lineages but it is likely that Wolbachia are acquired via introgression in many cases. Many hypotheses exist as to explain Wolbachia prevalence and penetrance such as nutritional supplementation, protection from parasites, protection from viruses, or straight up reproductive parasitism. Using classical genetics we show that Wolbachia increase recombination in infected lineages across two genomic intervals. This increase in recombination is titer dependent as the wMelPop variant, which infects at higher load in Drosophila melanogaster, increases recombination 5% more than the wMel variant. In addition, we also show that Spiroplasma poulsonii, the other bacterial intracellular symbiont of Drosophila melanogaster, does not induce an increase in recombination. Our results suggest that Wolbachia infection specifically alters host recombination landscape in a dose dependent manner.


These are raw counts of flies extibiting phenotypes from recessive markers after backcrossing in Wolbachia or Spiroplasma infected or uninfected backgrounds.


National Science Foundation, Award: IOS1456545