Cytoplasmic incompatibility in Australian populations of Drosophila melanogaster Academic Article uri icon


  • In Drosophila melanogaster, weak incompatibility in crosses between infected and uninfected strains is associated with a Wolbachia microorganism. Crosses between infected males and uninfected females show a reduction (15-30%) in egg hatch. Progeny tests indicated that the infection is widespread in Australian D. melanogaster populations and that populations are polymorphic for the presence of the infection. The infection status of 266 lines from 12 populations along the eastern coast of Australia was determined by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining of embryos. All populations contained both infected and uninfected flies. Infection frequencies varied between populations but there was no discernible geographical pattern. Laboratory experiments indicated that the infection was not associated with a reduction in fecundity as in Drosophila simulans. Incompatibility levels could not be increased by laboratory selection on isofemale lines. Factors contributing to the persistence of the infection in D. melanogaster populations are discussed.

publication date

  • January 1, 1994