Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Logo for

Science 334 (6058): 990-992

Copyright © 2011 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Wolbachia Enhance Drosophila Stem Cell Proliferation and Target the Germline Stem Cell Niche

Eva M. Fast,1 Michelle E. Toomey,1,2 Kanchana Panaram,1 Danielle Desjardins,1,* Eric D. Kolaczyk,3 Horacio M. Frydman1,2,{dagger}

Abstract: Wolbachia are widespread maternally transmitted intracellular bacteria that infect most insect species and are able to alter the reproduction of innumerous hosts. The cellular bases of these alterations remain largely unknown. Here, we report that Drosophila mauritiana infected with a native Wolbachia wMau strain produces about four times more eggs than the noninfected counterpart. Wolbachia infection leads to an increase in the mitotic activity of germline stem cells (GSCs), as well as a decrease in programmed cell death in the germarium. Our results suggest that up-regulation of GSC division is mediated by a tropism of Wolbachia for the GSC niche, the cellular microenvironment that supports GSCs.

1 Department of Biology, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
2 National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratory, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA.
3 Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

* Present address: Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29412, USA.

{dagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: hfrydman{at}

Evolutionarily conserved Wolbachia-encoded factors control pattern of stem-cell niche tropism in Drosophila ovaries and favor infection.
M. E. Toomey, K. Panaram, E. M. Fast, C. Beatty, and H. M. Frydman (2013)
PNAS 110, 10788-10793
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Vertical Transmission of a Drosophila Endosymbiont Via Cooption of the Yolk Transport and Internalization Machinery.
J. K. Herren, J. C. Paredes, F. Schupfer, and B. Lemaitre (2013)
mBio 4, e00532-12
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Wolbachia versus dengue: Evolutionary forecasts.
J. J. Bull and M. Turelli (2013)
EMPH 2013, 197-207
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Cellular mechanism for selective vertical transmission of an obligate insect symbiont at the bacteriocyte-embryo interface.
R. Koga, X.-Y. Meng, T. Tsuchida, and T. Fukatsu (2012)
PNAS 109, E1230-E1237
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882