Publication: Phylogenomic analyses uncover origin and spread of the Wolbachia pandemic
Of all obligate intracellular bacteria, Wolbachia is probably the most common. In general, Wolbachia are either widespread, opportunistic reproductive parasites of arthropods or essential mutualists in a single group of filarial nematodes, including many species of medical significance. To date, a robust phylogenetic backbone of Wolbachia is lacking and consequently, many Wolbachia-related phenomena cannot be discussed in a broader evolutionary context. In an iDiv funded study a scientist team with the participation of Dr. Christoph Bleidorn (University of Leipzig) presented the first comprehensive phylogenomic analysis of Wolbachia supergroup relationships based on new whole-genome-shotgun data. The results suggest that Wolbachia has switched between its two major host groups at least twice.
To the paper on nature.com