Jump to content

Cytoplasmic incompatibility

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is a mating incompatibility reported in many arthropod species that is caused by intracellular parasites such as Wolbachia. These bacteria reside in the cytoplasm of the host cells (hence the name cytoplasmic incompatibility) and modify their hosts' sperm in a way that leads to embryo death unless this modification is 'rescued' by the same bacteria in the eggs. CI has been reported in many insect species (including amongst many others mosquitoes,[1] Drosophila fruit flies,[2][3] flour beetles,[4] snout moths[5] and parasitoid wasps[6]), as well as in mites[7] and woodlice.[8] Aside from Wolbachia, CI can be induced by the bacteria Cardinium,[9] Rickettsiella,[10] Candidatus Mesenet longicola[11][12] and Spiroplasma.[13] CI is currently being exploited as a mechanism for Wolbachia-mediated disease control in mosquitoes.[14]


CI was first reported in mosquitoes in the 1930s[15] and then studied extensively in the 1950s by Sabbas Ghelelovitch[16] and especially Hannes Laven.[1] Laven apparently was also the first to recognise the potential for CI-induced speciation[17] and population control.[18] The first mathematical model uncovering the population biological principles of CI was presented in 1959.[19] In 1971, Janice Yen and A. Ralph Barr demonstrated the etiologic relationship between Wolbachia infection and cytoplasmic incompatibility in Culex mosquitos when they found that eggs were killed when the sperm of Wolbachia-infected males fertilized infection-free eggs.[20] The discovery that Wolbachia is very common and widely distributed across arthropods[21][22] lead to a surge in research on CI in the 1990s and 2000s. Several landmark studies in the 2010s[23][24][25] paved the way to use CI-inducing Wolbachia for controlling suppressing diseases such as dengue fever in mosquitoes.[26][14]


Unidirectional CI: Mating of infected males and uninfected females results in CI. All other crosses are compatible.
Bidirectional CI: Mating of males infected with Wolbachia strain I and females infected by Wolbachia strain II (and vice versa) results in CI.

CI occurs when a Wolbachia infected male mates with a female that is infected by another Wolbachia strain (bidirectional CI) or is uninfected (unidirectional CI). Any other combination of un-/infected male/female crosses are compatible. An infected female is compatible with any uninfected male, or with any male infected with the same Wolbachia strain. On the other hand, an uninfected female is only compatible with an uninfected male. In other words, if the male is infected by a CI-inducing strain of Wolbachia that is non-existent in its mate, it is an incompatible cross.[27] Turelli et al. 2018 finds that CI can be resolved by infection of the females with the same strain that is affecting the males, which imposes a population level incentive in favour of CI-inducing strains of Wolbachia. They also find that this propagates the WO phage.[28] Hosts can be cured from Wolbachia infection by antibiotic use.

In diploid organisms CI leads to embryonic mortality. In contrast, CI in haplodiploid hosts can also manifest as embryonic mortality, but may also in some species lead to haploid offspring that then develop into males. The closely related species of the wasp Nasonia show embryonic mortality as well as male development among incompatible crosses. In N. vitripennis, however, the vast majority of the CI embryos are converted into males.[29]

Cellular mechanism[edit]

There are two distinguished events that lead to the CI inducing manipulation. The first occurs inside the Wolbachia infected male during spermatogenesis and is called modification. Because Wolbachia are absent from mature sperm and appear to be excluded during the individualization process, the modification must occur before the conclusion of spermatogenesis.[30] The second event, called rescue, takes place inside the fertilized egg where Wolbachia presence prevents CI from occurring. As long as the Wolbachia strains in egg and sperm cells correspond, harmful effects cannot be observed on a cellular level.

A major consequence of CI is the delayed entry into mitosis of the male pronucleus. As a secondary consequence, stemming from this asynchrony, the paternal chromosomes do not properly condense and align on the metaphase plate during the first mitosis. As a consequence, only the maternal chromosome segregate normally, producing haploid embryos.[31] The rescue of CI by infected eggs leads to the restoration of synchrony between the female and the male pronucleus.[31][32]

The exact mechanisms of how Wolbachia perform modification and rescue are unknown. In Drosophila, the earliest effects caused by CI can already be observed during the sperm chromatin remodeling of the paternal chromosomes.[33] However, it was also observed that in other host species, the defects caused by CI only occur much later in development.[34]

Population biology[edit]

CI is a manipulative phenotype that can lead to the rapid spread of the bacteria inducing it. CI results in the death of uninfected offspring and therefore the infected offspring benefit from reduced competition within the population. When the CI-inducing bacteria are rare in the population, there will be only few incompatible matings and selection (or drive) towards higher frequencies will only be weak. However, the more common the bacteria become, the stronger the selection and hence the faster their spread through the population (positive frequency-dependent selection). Unimpeded, the bacteria can therefore quickly reach infection frequencies of 100%.[19]

However, a number of empirically well-documented factors can slow down or even prevent the spread of CI-inducing agents.[35] These include imperfect maternal transmission, reduced fitness of infected individuals, or incomplete CI. When maternal transmission is incomplete and/or infected females have a reduced fitness, an 'infection threshold' arises so that the bacteria spread from an initial frequency above this threshold but become extinct when their initial frequency is below the threshold.[36] The invasion threshold may be overcome through random genetic drift and therefore facilitated by small (at least locally) population sizes.[35]

More complex scenarios than that of a simple host population have been explored through mathematical models, including models with more than one strain or species of maternally inherited bacteria,[37] structured host populations,[38] random genetic drift[39] and overlapping generations.[40]

Evolutionary implications[edit]

CI, as described by Werren,[27] results in selection pressure on uninfected males, as infected females can mate both with uninfected males and infected males, but uninfected females cannot mate with infected males. As Wolbachia are only transmitted by females, this mechanism promotes the spread of Wolbachia and therefore keeps Wolbachia from dying out because of incomplete transmission. This has led to discoveries in control of disease transmission by using Wolbachia to control the reproduction of a population by introducing Wolbachia-infected males.[41] This has been seen in the Aedes, mosquito, family, in the Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti species.


It is speculated that CI can lead to "rapid speciation".[27] When two populations of the same species are infected by two Wolbachia strains A and B, they might be bidirectionally incompatible and crosses between the two populations do not lead to viable offspring. Thus gene flow between these two populations is interrupted, leading to constant segregation in development and, finally, to speciation. The populations develop to a point where incompatibility would be maintained even in absence of Wolbachia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Laven, Hannes (1951). "Crossing Experiments with Culex Strains". Evolution. 5 (4): 370–375. doi:10.2307/2405682. ISSN 0014-3820. JSTOR 2405682. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  2. ^ Hoffmann, Ary A.; Turelli, Michael; Simmons, Gail M. (July 1986). "Unidirectional incompatibility between populations of Drosophila simulans". Evolution. 40 (4): 692–701. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.1986.tb00531.x. ISSN 1558-5646. PMID 28556160. S2CID 43623751.
  3. ^ Hoffmann, A. A.; Clancy, D. J.; Merton, E. (March 1994). "Cytoplasmic Incompatibility in Australian Populations of Drosophila Melanogaster". Genetics. 136 (3): 993–999. doi:10.1093/genetics/136.3.993. ISSN 0016-6731. PMC 1205902. PMID 8005448.
  4. ^ Wade, M. J.; Stevens, L. (February 1, 1985). "Microorganism mediated reproductive isolation in flour beetles (genus Tribolium)". Science. 227 (4686): 527–528. Bibcode:1985Sci...227..527W. doi:10.1126/science.3966160. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 3966160.
  5. ^ Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Ishikawa, Hajime (October 1999). "Wolbachia Infections and Cytoplasmic Incompatibility in the Almond Moth and the Mediterranean Flour Moth". Zoological Science. 16 (5): 739–744. doi:10.2108/zsj.16.739. ISSN 0289-0003. S2CID 85734865. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  6. ^ Breeuwer, J. A.; Werren, J. H. (August 9, 1990). "Microorganisms associated with chromosome destruction and reproductive isolation between two insect species". Nature. 346 (6284): 558–560. Bibcode:1990Natur.346..558B. doi:10.1038/346558a0. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 2377229. S2CID 4255393.
  7. ^ Breeuwer, Johannes A. J. (July 1997). "Wolbachia and cytoplasmic incompatibility in the spider mites Tetranychus urticae and T. turkestani". Heredity. 79 (1): 41–47. doi:10.1038/hdy.1997.121. ISSN 1365-2540. S2CID 42865450. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  8. ^ Moret, Y; Juchault, P; Rigaud, T (March 2001). "Wolbachia endosymbiont responsible for cytoplasmic incompatibility in a terrestrial crustacean: effects in natural and foreign hosts". Heredity. 86 (3): 325–332. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2540.2001.00831.x. ISSN 0018-067X. PMID 11488969. S2CID 20992807. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  9. ^ Gotoh, T.; Noda, H.; Ito, S. (January 2007). "Cardinium symbionts cause cytoplasmic incompatibility in spider mites". Heredity. 98 (1): 13–20. doi:10.1038/sj.hdy.6800881. ISSN 1365-2540. PMID 17035954. S2CID 7840761. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  10. ^ Rosenwald, Laura C.; Sitvarin, Michael I.; White, Jennifer A. (July 7, 2020). "Endosymbiotic Rickettsiella causes cytoplasmic incompatibility in a spider host". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 287 (1930). doi:10.1098/rspb.2020.1107. PMC 7423472. PMID 32635864.
  11. ^ Takano, Shun-Ichiro; Tuda, Midori; Takasu, Keiji; Furuya, Naruto; Imamura, Yuya; Kim, Sangwan; Tashiro, Kosuke; Iiyama, Kazuhiro; Tavares, Matias; Amaral, Acacio Cardoso (June 6, 2017). "Unique clade of alphaproteobacterial endosymbionts induces complete cytoplasmic incompatibility in the coconut beetle". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114 (23): 6110–6115. Bibcode:2017PNAS..114.6110T. doi:10.1073/pnas.1618094114. ISSN 1091-6490. PMC 5468645. PMID 28533374.
  12. ^ Takano, Shun-ichiro; Gotoh, Yasuhiro; Hayashi, Tetsuya (August 1, 2021). ""Candidatus Mesenet longicola": Novel Endosymbionts of Brontispa longissima that Induce Cytoplasmic Incompatibility". Microbial Ecology. 82 (2): 512–522. doi:10.1007/s00248-021-01686-y. ISSN 1432-184X. PMID 33454808. S2CID 231636124. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  13. ^ Pollmann, Marie; Moore, Logan D.; Krimmer, Elena; D'Alvise, Paul; Hasselmann, Martin; Perlman, Steve J.; Ballinger, Matthew J.; Steidle, Johannes L.M.; Gottlieb, Yuval (2022). "Highly transmissible cytoplasmic incompatibility by the extracellular insect symbiont Spiroplasma". iScience. 25 (5). Elsevier BV: 104335. doi:10.1016/j.isci.2022.104335. ISSN 2589-0042. PMC 9118660.
  14. ^ a b Ross, Perran A.; Turelli, Michael; Hoffmann, Ary A. (December 3, 2019). "Evolutionary Ecology of Wolbachia Releases for Disease Control". Annual Review of Genetics. 53: 93–116. doi:10.1146/annurev-genet-112618-043609. ISSN 1545-2948. PMC 6944334. PMID 31505135.
  15. ^ Marshall, John Frederick (1938). The British Mosquitoes. Trustees of the British Museum.
  16. ^ Ghelelovitch, S. (1952). "Sur le determinisme génétique de la stérilitée dans le croisement entre differentes souches de Culex autogenicus Roubaud". Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences. 234 (24): 2386–2388.
  17. ^ Laven, Hannes (January 1, 1959). "Speciation by Cytoplasmic Isolation in the Culex Pipiens-Complex". Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology. 24: 166–173. doi:10.1101/SQB.1959.024.01.017. ISSN 0091-7451. PMID 14414640. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  18. ^ Laven, H. (October 1967). "Eradication of Culex pipiens fatigans through Cytoplasmic Incompatibility". Nature. 216 (5113): 383–384. Bibcode:1967Natur.216..383L. doi:10.1038/216383a0. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 4228275. S2CID 36662629. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  19. ^ a b Caspari, Ernst; Watson, G. S. (1959). "On the Evolutionary Importance of Cytoplasmic Sterility in Mosquitoes". Evolution. 13 (4). Oxford University Press (OUP): 568. doi:10.2307/2406138. ISSN 0014-3820.
  20. ^ Yen, J. H.; Barr, A. R. (1971). "New hypothesis of the cause of cytoplasmic incompatibility in Culex pipiens". Nature. 232 (5313): 657–658. Bibcode:1971Natur.232..657Y. doi:10.1038/232657a0. PMID 4937405. S2CID 4146003.
  21. ^ Werren, John H.; Windsor, Donald; Guo, Li Rong (January 1997). "Distribution of Wolbachia among neotropical arthropods". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences. 262 (1364): 197–204. doi:10.1098/rspb.1995.0196. S2CID 86540721. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  22. ^ Werren, John H.; Windsor, Donald M. (July 7, 2000). "Wolbachia infection frequencies in insects: evidence of a global equilibrium?". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences. 267 (1450): 1277–1285. doi:10.1098/rspb.2000.1139. ISSN 0962-8452. PMC 1690679. PMID 10972121.
  23. ^ Hedges, Lauren M.; Brownlie, Jeremy C.; O'Neill, Scott L.; Johnson, Karyn N. (October 31, 2008). "Wolbachia and Virus Protection in Insects". Science. 322 (5902): 702. Bibcode:2008Sci...322..702H. doi:10.1126/science.1162418. PMID 18974344. S2CID 206514799. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  24. ^ Moreira, Luciano A.; Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñaki; Jeffery, Jason A.; Lu, Guangjin; Pyke, Alyssa T.; Hedges, Lauren M.; Rocha, Bruno C.; Hall-Mendelin, Sonja; Day, Andrew; Riegler, Markus; Hugo, Leon E.; Johnson, Karyn N.; Kay, Brian H.; McGraw, Elizabeth A.; Hurk, Andrew F. van den; Ryan, Peter A.; O'Neill, Scott L. (December 24, 2009). "A Wolbachia Symbiont in Aedes aegypti Limits Infection with Dengue, Chikungunya, and Plasmodium". Cell. 139 (7): 1268–1278. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2009.11.042. ISSN 0092-8674. PMID 20064373. S2CID 2018937. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  25. ^ Teixeira, Luís; Ferreira, Álvaro; Ashburner, Michael (December 23, 2008). "The Bacterial Symbiont Wolbachia Induces Resistance to RNA Viral Infections in Drosophila melanogaster". PLOS Biology. 6 (12): –1000002. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000002. ISSN 1545-7885. PMC 2605931. PMID 19222304.
  26. ^ Hoffmann, Ary A.; et al. (2011). "Successful establishment of Wolbachia in Aedes populations to suppress dengue transmission". Nature. 476 (7361): 454–457. Bibcode:2011Natur.476..454H. doi:10.1038/nature10356. PMID 21866160. S2CID 4316652. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  27. ^ a b c Werren, J (1997). "Biology of Wolbachia" (PDF). Annual Review of Entomology. 42: 587–609. doi:10.1146/annurev.ento.42.1.587. PMID 15012323.
  28. ^ Kirsch, Joshua M.; Brzozowski, Robert S.; Faith, Dominick; Round, June L.; Secor, Patrick R.; Duerkop, Breck A. (September 29, 2021). "Bacteriophage-Bacteria Interactions in the Gut: From Invertebrates to Mammals". Annual Review of Virology. 8 (1). Annual Reviews: 95–113. doi:10.1146/annurev-virology-091919-101238. ISSN 2327-056X. PMC 8484061. PMID 34255542.
  29. ^ Tram, U, Fredrick, K, Werren, J, Sullivan, W (2006). "Paternal chromosome segregation during the first mitotic division determines Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility phenotype", J. Cell Sci. 119, 10.1242/jcs.03095. http://jcs.biologists.org/cgi/content/abstract/119/17/3655
  30. ^ Snook, R; Cleland, S; Wolfner, M; Karr, T (2000). "Offsetting Effects of Wolbachia Infection and Heat Shock on Sperm Production in Drosophila simulans: Analyses of Fecundity, Fertility and Accessory Gland Proteins". Genetics. 155 (1): 167–178. doi:10.1093/genetics/155.1.167. PMC 1461085. PMID 10790392.
  31. ^ a b Tram, U; Sullivan, W (2002). "Role of delayed nuclear envelope breakdown and mitosis in Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompability". Science. 296 (5570): 1124–1126. Bibcode:2002Sci...296.1124T. CiteSeerX doi:10.1126/science.1070536. PMID 12004132. S2CID 23831610.
  32. ^ Lassy, C; Karr, T (1996). "Cytological analysis of fertilization and early embryonic development in incompatible crosses of Drosophila simulans". Mechanisms of Development. 57 (1): 47–58. doi:10.1016/0925-4773(96)00527-8. PMID 8817452.
  33. ^ Landmann, F; Orsi, GA; Loppin, B; Sullivan, W (2009). "Wolbachia-Mediated Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Is Associated with Impaired Histone Deposition in the Male Pronucleus". PLOS Pathog. 5 (3): e1000343. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000343. PMC 2652114. PMID 19300496.
  34. ^ Duron, O; Weill, M (2006). "Wolbachia infection influences the development of Culex pipiens embryo in incompatible crosses". Heredity. 96 (6): 493–500. doi:10.1038/sj.hdy.6800831. PMID 16639421.
  35. ^ a b Stouthamer, R.; Breeuwer, J. A. J.; Hurst, G. D. D. (1999). "Wolbachia Pipientis: Microbial Manipulator of Arthropod Reproduction". Annual Review of Microbiology. 53 (1). Annual Reviews: 71–102. doi:10.1146/annurev.micro.53.1.71. ISSN 0066-4227.
  36. ^ Fine, Paul E.M. (1978). "On the dynamics of symbiote-dependent cytoplasmic incompatibility in culicine mosquitoes". Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 31 (1). Elsevier BV: 10–18. doi:10.1016/0022-2011(78)90102-7. ISSN 0022-2011.
  37. ^ Frank, Steven A. (1998). "Dynamics of Cytoplasmic Incompatability with Multiple Wolbachia Infections". Journal of Theoretical Biology. 192 (2). Elsevier BV: 213–218. doi:10.1006/jtbi.1998.0652. ISSN 0022-5193.
  38. ^ Engelstädter, J; Telschow, A (May 13, 2009). "Cytoplasmic incompatibility and host population structure". Heredity. 103 (3). Springer Science and Business Media LLC: 196–207. doi:10.1038/hdy.2009.53. ISSN 0018-067X.
  39. ^ Jansen, Vincent A.A; Turelli, Michael; Godfray, H. Charles J (August 26, 2008). "Stochastic spread of Wolbachia". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 275 (1652). The Royal Society: 2769–2776. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0914. ISSN 0962-8452. PMC 2605827.
  40. ^ Turelli, Michael (2010). "Cytoplasmic incompatibility in populations with overlapping generations". Evolution. 64 (1). Wiley: 232–241. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00822.x. ISSN 0014-3820.
  41. ^ Zabalou, Sofia; Riegler, Markus; Theodorakopoulou, Marianna (September 9, 2004). "Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility as a means for insect pest population control". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 101 (42): 15042–15045. Bibcode:2004PNAS..10115042Z. doi:10.1073/pnas.0403853101. PMC 524042. PMID 15469918.