Symbiont-mediated cytoplasmic incompatibility: What have we learned in 50 years?

J. Dylan Shropshire, Brittany Leigh, Seth R. Bordenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is the most common symbiont-induced reproductive manipulation. Specifically, symbiont-induced sperm modifications cause catastrophic mitotic defects in the fertilized embryo and ensuing lethality in crosses between symbiotic males and either aposymbiotic females or females harboring a different symbiont strain. However, if the female carries the same symbiont strain, then embryos develop properly, thereby imparting a relative fitness benefit to symbiont-transmitting mothers. Thus, CI drives maternally-transmitted bacteria to high frequencies in arthropods worldwide. In the past two decades, CI experienced a boom in interest due to its (i) deployment in worldwide efforts to curb mosquito-borne diseases, (ii) causation by bacteriophage genes, cifA and cifB, that modify sexual reproduction, and (iii) important impacts on arthropod speciation. This review serves as a gateway to experimental, conceptual, and quantitative themes of CI and outlines significant gaps in understanding CI’s mechanism that are ripe for investigation from diverse subdisciplines in the life sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere61989
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournaleLife
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology

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