Wigglesworthia glossinidia is a species of gram-negative bacteria which was isolated from the gut of the tsetse fly. W. glossinidia is a bacterial endosymbiont of the tsetse fly. Because of this relationship, Wigglesworthia has lost a large part of its genome and has one of the smallest known genomes of any living organism, consisting of a single chromosome of 700,000 bp and a plasmid of 5,200. Together with Buchnera aphidicola, Wigglesworthia has been the subject of genetic research into the minimal genome necessary for any living organism. Wigglesworthia also synthesizes key B-complex vitamins which the tsetse fly does not get from its diet of blood. Without the vitamins Wigglesworthia produces, the tsetse fly has greatly reduced growth and reproduction. Since the tsetse fly is the primary vector of Trypanosoma brucei, the pathogen that causes African trypanosomiasis, it has been suggested that W. glossinidia may one day be used to help control the spread of this disease.
- Aksoy, S. (1995). "Wigglesworthia gen. Nov. And Wigglesworthia glossinidia sp. nov., Taxa Consisting of the Mycetocyte-Associated, Primary Endosymbionts of Tsetse Flies". International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology. 45 (4): 848–51. doi:10.1099/00207713-45-4-848. PMID 7547309.
- Akman, Leyla; Yamashita, Atsushi; Watanabe, Hidemi; Oshima, Kenshiro; Shiba, Tadayoshi; Hattori, Masahira; Aksoy, Serap (2002). "Genome sequence of the endocellular obligate symbiont of tsetse flies, Wigglesworthia glossinidia". Nature Genetics. 32 (3): 402. doi:10.1038/ng986. PMID 12219091.
- University of Bath Press Release - 29 March 2006 - Minimal genome should be twice the size, study shows
- Nogge, G. 1976. Sterility in tsetse flies (Glossina morsitans Westwood) caused by loss of symbionts. Experientia 32, 995−996.