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Wolbachia Bacteria Evolved to Infect Stem Cell Niches Through Successive Generations of Their Hosts

Wolbachia are intracellular bacteria that infect invertebrates at pandemic levels, including insects that cause such devastating diseases as Dengue fever, West Nile virus, and malaria. While Wolbachia-based technologies are emerging as promising tools for the control of the insect vectors of these deadly diseases, the processes underlying Wolbachia’s successful propagation within and across species remain elusive.

A new study by Boston University researchers sheds light on some of these processes by providing evidence that A new study by Boston University researchers sheds light on some of these processes by providing evidence that Wolbachia target the ovarian stem cell niches of its hosts—a strategy previously overlooked to explain how Wolbachia thrive in nature. Wolbachia target the ovarian stem cell niches of its hosts—a strategy previously overlooked to explain how Wolbachia thrive in nature.
 
 

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