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New paper published in Biology Letters

posted Jan 15, 2012, 12:55 AM by Yukio Ishikawa   [ updated Mar 12, 2012, 6:30 PM ]
A new paper "A male-killing Wolbachia carries a feminizing factor and is associated with degradation of the sex-determining system of its host" has been published in Biology Letters (http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2011.1114).  
    In the moth Ostrinia scapulalis infected with an endosymbiotic bacterium, Wolbachia (wSca), male progenies are inviable (thus called male killing) while female progenies in turn become inviable when cured of infection.  We found that the infected male progenies destined to die were feminized while the cured female progenies destined to die were masculinized.  It was concluded that wSca, a male killer, has a genetic factor that feminizes the male host, and that the host lost its ability to determine its own sex in association with the takeover of this function by wSca.