Wolbachia infection dynamics in evolving Drosophila populations

Wolbachia are intracellular α-Proteobacteria found in insect, filarial nematode, mite and crustacean species. Previously, we have shown that Wolbachia strains differ in their relative fitness and that these fitness differences depend on the environment [1]. This project will use experimental evolution [2, 3] and next generation sequencing technology  in combination with population genetic modeling and functional Drosophila genetics to understand the evolutionary dynamics of an endosymbiont in an evolving host.

1 Versace E., et al. (2014) Experimental evolution reveals habitat-specific fitness dynamics among Wolbachia clades in Drosophila melanogaster. Molecular ecology 23, 802-814

2 Schlötterer C., et al. (2015) Combining experimental evolution with next-generation sequencing: a powerful tool to study adaptation from standing genetic variation. Heredity in press

3 Schlötterer C., et al. (2014) Sequencing pools of individuals – mining genome-wide polymorphism data without big funding. Nature reviews. Genetics 15, 749-763

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