- Not Exactly Rocket Science
An entire bacterial genome discovered inside that of a fruit fly
A humble species of fruit fly is the genetic equivalent of a Russian doll – peer inside its DNA and you will see the entire genome of a species of bacteria hidden within.
The bacteria in question is Wolbachia, the most successful parasite on earth and infects about 20% of the world’s species of insects. It’s a poster child for selfishness. To further its own dynasty, it has evolved a series of remarkable techniques for ensuring that it gets passed on from host to host. Sometimes it gives infected individuals the ability to reproduce asexually; at other times, it does away with an entire gender.
Now, Julie Dunning-Hotopp from the J. Craig Venter Institute and Michael Clark