Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment



First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Dobson


Mosquitoes are a major vector of human disease and result in massive costs to public health in affected regions. It has been suggested that Wolbachia pipientis could be used for mosquito population reduction. Wolbachia is a maternally-transmitted endosymbiont of arthropods and nematodes that infects the cytoplasm of host cells. In mosquitoes, Wolbachia manipulates reproduction through Cytoplasmic Incompatibility (CI), which is characterized by a cessation of embryonic development in certain crossing-types. However, the relationship between Wolbachia and its host is complex and not fully understood. The crossing relationships between naturally-infected and aposymbiotic populations of Culex pipiens pipiens and Culex pipiens molestus were examined in order to better understand the effects of CI on life history traits such as egg production and egg hatch. Hatch consistent with a unidirectional incompatibility relationship was observed. However, low egg production was also observed in some crossing-types, implying that Wolbachia may manipulate its host in unknown ways. In addition, uninfected mosquito eggs were injected with cytoplasm from infected eggs to generate artificially infected Culex lines. While no transinfected lines were successfully generated, several observations were made that may prove useful in future microinjection research.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Included in

Entomology Commons