Showing posts from April, 2014

Wolbachia Variants Induce Differential Protection to Viruses in Drosophila melanogaster

A truly awesome paper on Wolbachia, variation in the pathogen-blocking phenotype, and genetics was published a while back by Luis Teixeira's group.  I've been eager to write a blog post on this particular paper, one of my favorite papers from 2013, so here goes!  
<Follow along with the paper here.>

You are reading this blog, so maybe you don't need convincing that Wolbachia are totally awesome, relevant, and interesting bacteria.  They infect about half of the insect species on the planet and do so by targeting the germ line: that's right folks, these babies come pre-loaded with their bacterial symbiont.  Recently, Wolbachia have become more medically relevant because folks (including Texieira himself with Michael Ashburner) found out that they protect their insect hosts from virus infection -- either by reducing the load that the host carries (resistance) or by preventing disease even if the virus replicates (tolerance).  However, different Wolbachia strains vary…