Walbachia Case Study

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After the bacteria Wolbachia was first discovered in 1924, hundreds of scientists has been studying this organism and it is now known that it infects more than 70% of the insect species in the planet. It lives within the host cells, meaning it is an intracellular endosymbiont. It can be vertically transmitted, by the mother to the egg, or horizontally transmitted, from an organism that is not the parent. The relationship between the Wolbachia and the host may be parasitism, when one member is benefited and another is harmed, or mutualism obligated, when both are benefited by it. In the case of the insects, it is a parasitic relationship. The bacteria affects different aspects of its host’s life but especially its reproduction. Depending on…show more content…
In the parthenogenesis, when the Wolbachia infects the eggs, the fertilized eggs are females and the unfertilized eggs become too. Both of these processes lead to the male killing because the number of females are slowly growing while the males are being killed or becoming females. According to Corey L. Brelsfoard and Stephen L. Dobson, cytoplasm incompatibility is the most well studied modification that is introduced by the Wolbachia. In their article, they explain this process saying that when a male is infected by it, the sperms are modified leading to an imcompability between this male and the others uninfected eggs or eggs with other…show more content…
Both are transmitted by the Aedes aegypte mosquito. They are both affecting millions of people worldwide and the Wolbachia has been discovered as one of the ways to fight against them. Scientists have been infecting the mosquitoes’ transmitters of the virus with the bacteria and it turns out that after the infection their lifespan is shortened, and since they need to be adults to transmit the sickness they don’t live enough to able to do that and the virus can’t be reproduced as well because they can’t carry it. But insects are not the only arthropods that are infected by Wolbachia. Nematodes is another example that has been studied by scientists that are also looking for answers and to know more about this relationship. In this case, it’s a mutualistic relation and it is obligated as well. They both benefit from it and they can’t live without each

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