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Data from: Rapid spread of a Wolbachia infection that does not affect host reproduction in Drosophila simulans cage populations

Citation

Kriesner, Peter; Hoffmann, Ary A. (2018), Data from: Rapid spread of a Wolbachia infection that does not affect host reproduction in Drosophila simulans cage populations, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n31f0t4

Abstract

Wolbachia endosymbionts that are maternally inherited can spread rapidly in host populations through inducing sterility in uninfected females, but some Wolbachia infections do not influence host reproduction yet still persist. These infections are particularly interesting because they likely represent mutualistic endosymbionts, spreading by increasing host fitness. Here we document such a spread in the wAu infection of Drosophila simulans. By establishing multiple replicate cage populations, we show that wAu consistently increased from an intermediate frequency to near fixation, representing an estimated fitness advantage of around 20% for infected females. The effective population size in the cages was estimated from SNP markers to be around a few thousand individuals, precluding large effects of genetic drift in the populations. The exact reasons for the fitness advantage are unclear but viral protection and nutritional benefits are two possibilities.

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