Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Drosophila melanogaster brain invasion: pathogenic Wolbachia in central nervous system of the fly.

Abstract

The pathogenic Wolbachia strain wMelPop rapidly over-replicates in the brain, muscles, and retina of Drosophila melanogaster, causing severe tissue degeneration and premature death of the host. The unique features of this endosymbiont make it an excellent tool to be used for biological control of insects, pests, and vectors of human diseases. To follow the dynamics of bacterial morphology and titer in the nerve cells we used transmission electron microscopy of 3-d-old female brains. The neurons and glial cells from central brain of the fly had different Wolbachia titers ranging from single bacteria to large accumulations, tearing cell apart and invading extracellular space. The neuropile regions of the brain were free of wMelPop. Wolbachia tightly interacted with host cell organelles and underwent several morphological changes in nerve cells. Based on different morphological types of bacteria described we propose for the first time a scheme of wMelPop dynamics within the somatic tissue of the host.