Data from: Clonal genetic variation in a Wolbachia-infected asexual wasp: horizontal transmission or historical sex?
Cite this dataset
Kraaijeveld, Ken et al. (2011). Data from: Clonal genetic variation in a Wolbachia-infected asexual wasp: horizontal transmission or historical sex? [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hh1f7
Wolbachia are endocellular bacteria known for manipulating the reproductive systems of many of their invertebrate hosts. Wolbachia are transmitted vertically from mother to offspring. In addition, new infections result from horizontal transmission between different host species. However, to what extent horizontal transmission plays a role in the spread of a new infection through the host population is unknown. Here, we investigate whether horizontal transmission of Wolbachia can explain clonal genetic variation in natural populations of Leptopilina clavipes, a parasitoid wasp infected with a parthenogenesis-inducing Wolbachia. We assessed variance of markers on the nuclear, mitochondrial and Wolbachia genomes. The nuclear and mitochondrial markers displayed significant and congruent variation among thelytokous wasp lineages, showing that multiple lineages have become infected with Wolbachia. The alternative hypothesis in which a single female became infected, the daughters of which mated with males (thus introducing nuclear genetic variance) cannot account for the presence of concordant variance in mtDNA. All Wolbachia markers, including the hypervariable wsp gene, were invariant, suggesting that only a single strain of Wolbachia is involved. These results show that Wolbachia has transferred horizontally to infect multiple female lineages during the early spread through L. clavipes. Remarkably, multiple thelytokous lineages have persisted side-by-side in the field for tens of thousands of generations.