Phenotypic response of Wolbachia pipientis in a cell-free medium

Alyssa M. Krafsur, Arnab Ghosh, Corey L. Brelsfoard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Wolbachia, an obligate intracellular bacterium estimated to infect millions of arthropod species worldwide, is currently being utilized in novel control strategies to limit the transmission of Dengue and Zika viruses. A limitation for Wolbachia-based control approaches is the difficulty of transferring Wolbachia to novel hosts and the lack of tools for the genetic transformation of Wolbachia due to the inability to culture Wolbachia outside the insect host cell in an axenic media. Here, we applied extracellular Wolbachia to phenotypic microarrays to measure the metabolic response of Wolbachia in media formulations with different pH levels and supplementation with Casamino acids. Results suggested a pH of 6.5–6.8 and showed that the supplementation of 1 mg/mL casamino acids increased the survival and longevity of Wolbachia in an axenic medium. In addition, phenotypic microarrays are a useful tool to measure the phenotypic response of Wolbachia under different media conditions, as well as determine specific components that may be required for an axenic medium. This study is an initial step toward the development of a potential Wolbachia axenic culture system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1060
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Aa23
  • Axenic media
  • Phenotypic microarray
  • Wolbachia


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