The Microbes Within
A WebQuest exploring the effects of endosymbiosis on reproduction, evolution and human health
Introduction - Task - Process - Resources - Evaluation - Conclusion - Teachers
Wolbachia General Biology
Wolbachia endosymbionts in the filarial nematode Ochocerca volvulus, the causative agent of River Blindness. Image by Mark Taylor, courtesy of the Encylcopedia of Life under a CC-BY-NC-SA license.
- Briefly describe the basic biology of Wolbachia.
- What is meant by an obligate, intracellular symbiont?
- What are the 4 basic reproductive strategies induced by Wolbachia?
- Wolbachia pipientis - Encyclopedia of Life (more info)
- Biology of Wolbachia (more info)
- Wolbachia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (more info)
- Wolbachia: A Tale of Sex and Survival (more info)
- Define the 4 reproductive strategies of Wolbachia.
- Why would Wolbachia induce asexual reproduction in its host?
- How can we "cure" the host of asexual reproduction?
- Wolbacha pipentis - Encyclopedia of life (more info)
- Bizarre parasite that kills male insects and disrupts insect sex lives is not all bad: it can make sterile fruit flies fertile again (more info)
- But Madame Butterfly, Where Are All the Males? (more info)
- Wolbachia, widowmaker (more info)
- List and describe two major human diseases associated with Wolbachia.
- How did researchers confirm that Wolbachia was actually responsible for these diseases?
- How are they being treated?
- A-WOL - Anti-Wolbachia Consortium (more info)
- Worms' bacteria main cause of river blindness - Parasites - medical research (more info)
- Africa: One step nearer to cure for river blindness (more info)
- Targeting wolbachia, doxycycline reduces pathology of lymphatic filariasis (more info)
- Doxycycline Reduces Plasma VEGF-C/sVEGFR-3 and Improves Pathology in Lymphatic Filariasis (more info)
- New Culprit Emerges in River Blindness (more info)
Speciation in Insects
Adult Black Fly (Simulium yahense) with Onchocerca volvulus emerging from the insect's antenna. The parasite is responsible for the disease known as River Blindness in Africa. Image provided courtesy of the USDA under Public Domain.
- What is meant by reproduction isolation? How can it lead to speciation?
- How does Wolbachia influence speciation?
- How did researchers confirm that Wolbachia may be responsible for speciation in insects?
- Evolution 101: Speciation - Reproductive Isolation ( This site may be offline. )
- Bacterium Can Alter Evolution Of Another Species (more info)
- Bacteria Spurs Speciation (more info)
- Infection Divides Two Wasp Species (more info)
- Speciation and Wolbachia (more info)
- Evolution: Infectious Speciation ( This site may be offline. )
- Wolbachia and Wasp Evolution (more info)
- What is meant by "vector-borne" disease?
- Name at least two vector-borne diseases. How might vector-borne diseases be controlled using Wolbachia?
- How might Wolbachia help to prevent the spread of malaria?
- Vector-Borne Diseases ( This site may be offline. )
- Bacterial parasite shows potential in disease control (more info)
- Mosquito age and dengue transmission (more info)
- Study raises malaria block hopes (more info)
- Can Wolbachia help prevent the spread of malaria? ( This site may be offline. )
- Wolbachia pipientis - Encyclopedia of Life (more info) - Video: Population replacement strategies for controlling vector populations and the use of Wolbachia pipientis for genetic drive
Viruses/Phage: The Parasites WithinQuestions
- Describe the structure and infection process of bacteriophage.
- What is the difference between the lytic and lysogenic lifestyles of bacteriophage?
- What is the effect of bacteriophage WO-B within Wolbachia? The host insect? How did researchers confirm this relationship?
- Bacteriophage (more info)
- Mysterious Invaders - A Closer Look At Viruses
- Viral hitchhiker inhibits Wolbachia bacteria's ability to proliferate (more info)
- The Tripartite Associations between Bacteriophage, Wolbachia, and Arthropods (more info)
- Symbiotic enemies fight over insect (more info)
Symbiosis & Host-Microbe Interactions
Insect testes showing sperm DNA (red) and Wolbachia endosymbionts (green). Image by Michael Clark and Seth Bordenstein, courtesy of the Encylcopedia of Life under a CC-BY-NC-SA license.
- Define endosymbiosis. What is the endosymbiotic theory of evolution?
- Compare/contrast mitochondria & Wolbachia.
- What is horizontal gene transfer? How does it relate to Wolbachia?
- Symbiosis (more info)
- The Endosymbiotic Theory (more info)
- The Evolution of Organelles (more info)
- It Takes Teamwork: How Endosymbiosis Changed Life on Earth (more info)
- Horizontal Gene Transfer (more info)
- Parasite Invades Its Host's DNA (more info)
- One Species' Genome Discovered Inside Another's (more info)
- The parasitic bacterium Wolbachia and the origin of the eukaryotic cell (more info)