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Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Wolbachia pipientis is one of the most abundant endosymbionts carried by approximately half of all insect species as well as some filarial nematodes, mites, and crustaceans. Because Wolbachia are pervasive in nature, studies that gain insight into the molecular and cellular basis for Wolbachia infection will provide significant insight into endosymbiosis generally. Furthermore, because Wolbachia infection has been demonstrated to suppress transmission of viral pathogens like Dengue and Zika by Aedes mosquitoes, there are practical implications for understanding mechanisms that regulate Wolbachia infection. The absolute number of Wolbachia carried by host germline cells relies upon vertical inheritance from stem cells, horizontal invasion of Wolbachia into cysts, and binary fission within the germ cells. However, little is currently known about how Wolbachia is controlled within host somatic tissue, nor how much binary fission contributes to the ultimate number of Wolbachia per insect. The aim of this research is to establish the replication rate of Wolbachia within naturally infected Drosophila models. Here I present qPCR data measuring Wolbachia dynamics through the host life cycle. I expect this research to be among the first to examine Wolbachia infection dynamics within both the male and female host throughout the entire life cycle, providing greater insight into our collective understanding of Wolbachia-host interactions.
Samarah, Hani M., "Wolbachia Infection Dynamics and Replication Rates Within Naturally Infected Drosophila Host" (2020). Department of Biological Sciences - Undergraduate Honors Theses. 98.
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