The draft genome sequence of Arsenophonus nasoniae, son-killer bacterium of Nasonia vitripennis, reveals genes associated with virulence and symbiosis

T. E. Wilkes, A. C. Darby, J. H. Choi, J. K. Colbourne, J. H. Werren, G. D.D. Hurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


Four percent of female Nasonia vitripennis carry the son-killer bacterium Arsenophonus nasoniae, a microbe with notably different biology from other inherited parasites and symbionts. In this paper, we examine a draft genome sequence of the bacterium for open reading frames (ORFs), structures and pathways involved in interactions with its insect host. The genome data suggest that A. nasoniae carries multiple type III secretion systems, and an array of toxin and virulence genes found in Photorhabdus, Yersinia and other gammaproteobacteria. Of particular note are ORFs similar to those known to affect host innate immune functioning in other bacteria, and four ORFs related to pro-apoptotic exotoxins. The genome sequences for both A. nasoniae and its Nasonia host are useful tools for examining functional genomic interactions of microbial survival in hostile immune environments, and mechanisms of passage through gut epithelia, in a whole organism context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-73
Number of pages15
JournalInsect Molecular Biology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Arsenophonus
  • Genome
  • Male-killing
  • Photorhabdus
  • Symbiont
  • Toxins
  • Wolbachia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Insect Science

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