Role of Delayed Nuclear Envelope Breakdown and Mitosis in Wolbachia-Induced Cytoplasmic Incompatibility
The bacterium Wolbachia manipulates reproduction in millions of insects worldwide; the most common effect is cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). We found that CI resulted from delayed nuclear envelope breakdown of the male pronucleus in Nasonia vitripennis. This caused asynchrony between the male and female pronuclei and, ultimately, loss of paternal chromosomes at the first mitosis. When Wolbachia were present in the egg, synchrony was restored, which explains suppression of CI in these crosses. These results suggest that Wolbachia target cell cycle regulatory proteins. A striking consequence of CI is that it alters the normal pattern of reciprocal centrosome inheritance in Nasonia.