In vitro cultivation of Wolbachia pipientis in an Aedes albopictus cell line

Scott L. O'Neill, M. M. Pettigrew, S. P. Sinkins, H. R. Braig, T. G. Andreadis, R. B. Tesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


A continuous cell line, Aa23, was established from eggs of a strain of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, naturally infected with the intracellular aymblont Wolbachia pipientis. The resulting cell line was shown to be persistently infected with the bacterial endosymbiont. Treatment with antibiotics cured the cells of the infection. In the course of establishing this cell line it was noticed that RFLPs in the PCR products of two Wolbachia genes from the parental mosquitoes were fixed in the infected cell line. This indicates that the mosquito host was naturally superinfected with different Wolbachia strains, whereas the infected cell line derived from these mosquitoes only contained one of the original Wolbachia strains. The development of an in vitro culture system for this fastidious microorganism should facilitate molecular analysis of the reproduction distorting phenotypes it induces in natural arthropod hosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalInsect Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Aedes albopictus
  • Wolbachia pipientis
  • cell line
  • in vitro culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Insect Science


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