Cytoplasmic Incompatibility

 

The simple rule of cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is...

if the male has an infection that is not present in his mate, it’s an incompatible cross.


The CI cross pattern provides a reproductive advantage to infected females (which can mate successfully with either male type) relative to uninfected females in the population (which can only mate successfully with uninfected males).  Developmental arrest can result from the incompatible cross, resulting in death of early embryos.  Defining the mechanism of CI remains a key focus of Wolbachia researchers.


Since the Wolbachia infection is transmitted only through females, this can result in an increased frequency of Wolbachia in the subsequent generation and a spreading of the Wolbachia infection into the host population.


However, the cross patterns can get more complex...