Establishment of a new continuous cell line of Drosophila melanogaster strain infected by the intracellular endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis under natural conditions

Russian Journal of Genetics (Impact Factor: 0.45). 01/2010; 46(1):9-12. DOI: 10.1134/S1022795410010023


Wolbachia pipientis is an obligately intracellular bacterium infecting a number of arthropod and nematode species. At the body level, Wolbachia infection may cause parthenogenesis, feminization of genetic males, male killing, or cytoplasmic incompatibility; it may
also be asymptomatic. Of special interest is DNA transfer from Wolbachia to the host insect genome, which was discovered recently. At the cellular level, the effects caused by Wolbachia have been studied more poorly. Only one of the known insect cell lines has been obtained from an insect species (the mosquito
Aedes albopictus) infected by Wolbachia. In this study, a continuous cell line Dm2008Wb1 has been obtained from embryos of Drosophila melanogaster infected under natural conditions. Wolbachia both persists in a primary cell culture and is retained upon its transformation into a continuous culture. The presence of
this bacterium in cells in a free form is evidenced by the fact that tetracycline treatment can cure the cells of Wolbachia and by successful transfer of Wolbachia to another cell line (S2), where it has not been detected before.

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    ABSTRACT: Wolbachia pipientis is an obligate intracellular endosymbiont that commonly infects arthropods. Comparative genomic studies of Wolbachia reveal traces of numerous events of intergenic and intragenic recombination. The molecular mechanisms of recombination in Wolbachia are not currently known. We conducted experimental verification of the possibility of recombination of two strains of Wolbachia, wMel and wRi, after using these strains for double infection of the Dm2008Wb1 (D. melanogaster) cell culture clone permissive to Wolbachia. We obtained cell culture subclones with double Wolbachia infection and subclones infected only by strain wMel. Dual infection with the Wolbachia strains wMel and wRi has been stably maintained in the subclones for two years. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of the obtained subclones revealed the presence of dual infection for all five Wolbachia genes used for MLST. Cloning and nucleotide sequence analysis of individual forms of the fbpA gene of Wolbachia from cell clones with dual infection showed intragenic recombination events between strains wMel and wRi, which occurred in the permanent D. melanogaster culture cell culture. The fact that putative recombination sites contain no insertions of nucleotide sequences of phages or IS elements, as well as the asymmetrical character of recombinants, favors the hypothesis that gene conversion is the most probable molecular mechanism of recombination in Wolbachia.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Russian Journal of Genetics