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Feb 20 2024

MCDB Seminar: Amelia Lindsey (University of Minnesota)

February 20, 2024

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


4300 MBRB


900 South Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL

Please join us for the MCDB Seminar featuring Dr. Amelia Lindsey (University of Minnesota). Host: Jeremy Lynch

Mechanisms of symbiont-mediated asexual reproduction


Arthropods are rich in maternally transmitted intracellular infections, many of which directly manipulate host reproduction. In the most extreme, bacteria such as some Wolbachia, Rickettsia, and Cardinium convert their arthropod hosts to asexual reproduction. So-called “parthenogenesis induction” has been reinvented multiple times and relies on microbial mechanisms for altering host meiosis or mitosis. Despite the discovery of microbe-mediated asexual reproduction more than 30 years ago, the underlying mechanisms have since remained elusive. In ongoing work, we are characterizing the factors that mediate the transition to asexuality. This includes the identification of parthenogenesis-inducing bacterial effector proteins from Wolbachia. We are using in vivo approaches in the native host insects (parasitic wasps) combined with heterologous expression in surrogate systems (yeast, Drosophila) to understand how these proteins alter mitotic and developmental outcomes, including chromosome segregation and sex-specific splicing. This transition in reproductive mode has numerous evolutionary consequences for the animal, and our data indicate this is made possible by a novel mechanism of bacteria-host interaction.


Kiku Steinfeld


Suzanne Harrison

Date posted

Nov 16, 2023

Date updated

Jan 5, 2024