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Pillbug: A Toolbox for Feminisation

  • Bertaux, Joanne
  • Raimond, Maryline
  • Grève, Pierre
Publication Date
Nov 26, 2023
DOI: 10.1007/978-1-0716-3553-7_5
OAI: oai:HAL:hal-04415979v1
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<i>Wolbachia</i>-induced feminisation is an extended phenotype that has been observed in only three models: isopods, butterflies and leafhoppers. Even among these, the process of feminisation differs markedly, especially since sexual differentiation is coordinated body-wide by a hormone in isopods, whereas in insects it is a chromosomally determined process and enforced cell by cell. For isopods, <i>Armadillidium vulgare</i> has contributed substantially to an understanding of <i>Wolbachia</i>-mediated feminisation, because a wide array of know-how and methods has been tailored to this model. Here, we describe establishment and maintenance of <i>Wolbachia</i>-infected laboratory lineages from animals collected in the field, the grafting of an androgenic gland to demonstrate the mode of action of <i>Wolbachia</i> (i.e. the disruption of the Androgenic Hormone pathway), and transinfection of naïve adults with <i>Wolbachia</i>. Finally, we describe selection of a ZZ genetic background in lineages created from transinfected WZ females, which is necessary to benefit from a property intrinsic to the naturally infected lineages: In a ZZ background, the vertical transmission rate of <i>Wolbachia</i> directly equates to the female ratio in the progeny. These protocols provide the essential framework for investigating molecular aspects of <i>Wolbachia</i>-induced feminisation.

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