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Sexual Sabotage by the Bacterial Parasite Wolbachia
Changes in Mitochondrial DNA: As a consequence of declining males in population instigated by male killing Wolbachia, the diversity of mitochondrial DNA is decreased. Because the Wolbachia and associated mitochondria are strongly selected into the population via various reproductive manipulations, diversity of the species and mitochondrial DNA is reduced (Jiggins 2003:5&10). Jiggins (2003:10) also discovered that when an infected population of the butterfly species A. encedon was compared with an uninfected population that the diversity of mitochondria varied significantly. In the infected population the diversity of mitochondrial DNA was considerably lower than that of the uninfected population. The most likely explanation for this decreased diversity is the result of selective sweeps in mitochondrial DNA (Jiggins 2002:10).
In conclusion the Wolbachia are an extremely successful parasitic bacteria that are effectively the instigators for evolutionary speciation, distortion in gender ratios in populations and loss of diversity of mitochondrial DNA. This is achieved by reproductive manipulations that induce feminization, male killing, parthenogenesis and cytoplasmic incompatibility.
- Bacterial Growth
- Gender Differences: Perceptions of Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Sabotage by the Bacterial Parasite Wolbachia
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