In the leafhopper Zyginidia pullula, the maternally-inherited symbiont Wolbachia pipientis feminizes genetic males, leaving them as intersex females. The Wolbachia density is correlated with the feminization degree of males which either bear ovaries or testes. Methylation-sensitive RAPD profiles showed that while feminized males with ovaries possess a female imprinting pattern, those with testes maintain the same methylation pattern of males, indicating that the Wolbachia infection is able to modulate host genomic imprinting, but this occurs only if the bacterium exceeds a density threshold. Here we report methylation- sensitive RAPD analyses on gonads (testes and ovaries) from leafhopper uninfected male and female individuals, and males feminized by Wolbachia, discussing these additional insights and speculating on possible bacterium/host interactions.
- Wolbachia infection
- Zyginidia pullula, epigenetic, gametes