Interspecific transfer of Wolbachia into the mosquito disease vector Aedes albopictus

Zhiyong Xi, Cynthia C.H. Khoo, Stephen L. Dobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Intracellular Wolbachia bacteria are obligate, maternally inherited endosymbionts found frequendy in insects and other invertebrates. The evolutionary success of Wolbachia is due in part to an ability to manipulate reproduction. In mosquitoes and many other insects, Wolbachia causes a form of sterility known as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). Wolbachia-induced CI has attracted interest as a potential agent for affecting medically important disease vectors. However, application of the approach has been restricted by an absence of appropriate, naturally occurring Wolbachia infections. Here, we report the interspecific transfer of Wolbachia infection into a medically important mosquito. Using embryonic microinjection, Wolbachia is transferred from Drosophila simulans into the invasive pest and disease vector: Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito). The resulting infection is stably maintained and displays a unique pattern of bidirectional CI in crosses with naturally infected mosquitoes. Laboratory population cage experiments examine a strategy in which releases of Wolbachia-infected males are used to suppress mosquito egg hatch. We discuss the results in relation to developing appropriate Wolbachia-infected mosquito strains for population replacement and population suppression strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1322
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1592
StatePublished - Jun 7 2006


  • Aedes albopictus
  • Cytoplasmic incompatibility
  • Drosophila
  • Wolbachia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Interspecific transfer of Wolbachia into the mosquito disease vector Aedes albopictus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this