Functional & Integrative Genomics

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 617–632 | Cite as

Genome organisation and comparative genomics of four novel Wolbachia genome assemblies from Indian Drosophila host

  • Kopal Singhal
  • Sujata MohantyEmail author
Original Article


Wolbachia has long been known to share an endosymbiotic relationship with its host as an obligate intracellular organism. Wolbachia diversity as different supergroups is found to be host-specific in most cases except a few, where the host species is seen to accommodate multiple strains. Besides, the Wolbachia genome must have undergone several changes in response to the evolving host genome in order to adapt and establish a strong association with its host, thus making a distinctive Wolbachia–host alliance. The present study focusses on four novel genome assembly and genome-wide sequence variations of Indian Wolbachia strains, i.e. wMel and wRi isolated from two different Drosophila hosts. The genome assembly has an average size of ~ 1.1 Mb and contains ~ 1100 genes, which is comparable with the previously sequenced Wolbachia genomes. The comparative genomics analysis of these genomes and sequence-wide comparison of some functionally significant genes, i.e. ankyrin repeats, Wsp and T4SS, highlight their sequence similarities and dissimilarities, further supporting the strain-specific association of Wolbachia to its host. Interestingly, some of the sequence variations are also found to be restricted to only Indian Wolbachia strains. Further analysis of prophage and their flanking regions in the Wolbachia genome reveals the presence of several functional genes which may assist the phage to reside inside the bacterial host, thus providing a trade-off for the endosymbiont–host association. Understanding this endosymbiont genome in different eco-geographical conditions has become imperative for the recent use of Wolbachia in medical entomology as a vector–control agent.


Wolbachia Drosophila Endosymbiont–host association India Genome assembly Comparative genomics 



wMel isolated from Kerala


wMel isolated from Ahmedabad


wRi isolated from Kerala


wRi isolated from Ahmedabad


wMel reference genome from NCBI


wRi reference genome from NCBI


Multi locus sequence typing


Type IV secretion system


Wolbachia surface protein


Whole genome sequencing


Next-generation sequencing



The authors thank the Eurofins Genomics India Pvt. Ltd. for providing WGS service. SM thanks the DST for bearing the sequencing expense. KS thanks CSIR for providing JRF-Fellowship. The authors also thank the Vice Chancellor, JIIT for providing infrastructure facilities for conducting this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any human or animal studies.

Supplementary material

10142_2019_664_MOESM1_ESM.docx (419 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 419 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyJaypee Institute of Information TechnologyNoidaIndia

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