Diversity and dynamics of Wolbachia-host associations in arthropods from the Society archipelago, French Polynesia

Patrícia Martins Simões 1
1 BAMBOO - An algorithmic view on genomes, cells, and environments
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LBBE - Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive - UMR 5558
Abstract : Sexual parasites are intracellular symbionts capable of manipulating the reproduction of their hosts. They are widespread in Arthropods where they display a wide range of reproductive manipulations; these can be potentially involved in the evolution of mating systems, speciation, gene acquisition and sex determination. In particular, Wolbachia is thought to infect more than 66% of insect species and is also found in nematodes. However, little is known about the dynamics of Wolbachia infections at the community level. Although at the intra-population level, invasion dynamics have been extensively studied, the same is not true at the community level, where the turnover of infections remains largely uncharacterised. How often are new infections acquired through horizontal transfers between distantly related hosts? What ecological routes are behind the movement of these parasites between hosts? These questions, crucial to assess the impact of the infections, remain unanswered. Moreover, as Wolbachia is seen as a good candidate for a transgenic vector against pests, understanding its dynamic at the community level is crucial. We propose to address them by performing an exhaustive characterisation of sexual parasites in simplified systems, using the opportunity offered by small arthropod communities in isolated islands. Our work aims at characterising geographical communities of arthropods collected from 4 young, isolated islands (less than 5 My old) and the Wolbachia infections found in these communities. Furthermore, we investigate the existing evidence for recent horizontal transfers of these symbionts between distant taxa and potential ecological routes facilitating these transmissions.
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Patrícia Martins Simões. Diversity and dynamics of Wolbachia-host associations in arthropods from the Society archipelago, French Polynesia. Biodiversité. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2012. Français. ⟨tel-00850707⟩

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