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Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Variations in Relation with Wolbachia cid Genes Divergence in Culex pipiens

Abstract : In arthropods, Wolbachia endosymbionts induce conditional sterility, called cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), resulting from embryonic lethality. CI penetrance (i.e., embryonic death rate) varies depending on host species and Wolbachia strains involved. All Culex pipiens mosquitoes are infected by the endosymbiotic alphaproteobacteria Wolbachia wPip. CI in Culex, characterized as a binary "compatible/incompatible" phenomenon, revealed an unparalleled diversity of patterns linked to the amplification-diversification of cidA and cidB genes. Here, we accurately studied CI penetrance variations in the light of cid genes divergence by generating a C. pipiens compatibility matrix between 11 lines hosting different phylogenetic wPip groups and exhibiting distinct cid gene repertoires. We showed, as expected, that crosses involving wPip from the same group were mostly compatible. In contrast, only 22% of the crosses involving different wPip groups were compatible, while 54% were fully incompatible. For the remaining 24% of the crosses, "intermediate" compatibilities were reported, and a cytological observation of the first zygotic division confirmed the occurrence of "canonical" CI phenotypes in a fraction of the eggs. Backcross experiments demonstrated that intermediate compatibilities were not linked to host genetic background but to the Wolbachia strains involved. This previously unstudied intermediate penetrance CI was more severe and frequent in crosses involving wPip-IV strains exhibiting cid variants markedly divergent from other wPip groups. Our data demonstrate that CI is not always a binary compatible/incompatible phenomenon in C. pipiens but that intermediate compatibilities putatively resulting from partial mismatch due to Cid proteins divergence exist in this species complex.
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https://hal.umontpellier.fr/hal-03138476
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 10:49:51 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 3:32:00 AM

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Mathieu Sicard, Alice Namias, Marco Perriat-Sanguinet, Eric Carron, Sandra Unal, et al.. Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Variations in Relation with Wolbachia cid Genes Divergence in Culex pipiens. mBio, American Society for Microbiology, 2021, 12, pp.e02797-20. ⟨10.1128/mBio.02797-20⟩. ⟨hal-03138476⟩

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