Unique Wolbachia strain wMelPlus increases heat stress resistance in Drosophila melanogaster

Elena V. Burdina, Roman A. Bykov, Petr N. Menshanov, Yury Yu Ilinsky, Nataly Gruntenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia infects Drosophila melanogaster populations worldwide. Its genetic diversity includes several closely related genotypes, which can be attributed to two main genotype groups: wMel and wMelCS. Here, we studied eight D. melanogaster lines carrying the nuclear background of wild type interbred Bi90 line and cytoplasmic backgrounds with or without Wolbachia of different origin, each of which belongs to wMelCS genotype group. We analyzed the effect these seven Wolbachia strains had on the heat stress resistance and dopamine metabolism in D. melanogaster females. Survival under heat stress (38°C, 3 h 30 min) was increased only in the line infected with bacteria of the wMelPlus strain. At the same time, the activity of alkaline phosphatase (an enzyme regulating the pool of dopamine precursor tyrosine) was increased under normal conditions in females infected with all strains under study and retained the response to heat stress typical for the uninfected line. Thus, we found the unique Wolbachia strain that provides an increase of the host stress resistance, and demonstrated that the mechanism of this resistance is not dopamine-mediated.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21776
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number4
Early online date28 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • alkaline phosphatase
  • Drosophila
  • heat stress
  • stress resistance
  • Wolbachia
  • Wolbachia/genetics
  • Genotype
  • Symbiosis/physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster/metabolism
  • Thermotolerance/genetics
  • Heat-Shock Response
  • Animals
  • Dopamine/metabolism
  • Alkaline Phosphatase/metabolism



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