Canadian Forest Service Publications

Wolbachia in wasps parasitic on filth flies with emphasis on Spalangia cameroni. 2006. Kyei-Poku, G.; Giladi, M.; Coghlin, P.; Mokady, O.; Zchori-Fein, E.; Floate, K.D. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 121: 123 - 135.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28594

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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The house fly, Musca domestica L., and the stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae), are cosmopolitan pests parasitized by a guild of more than two dozen species of wasps. Several species of these wasps have been commercialized as biocontrol agents or are being studied for this purpose. Wolbachia bacteria are known to infect at least some of these wasps and are of interest because infections can dramatically affect insect reproduction. A survey in this parasitoid–fly system detected Wolbachia in 15 of 21 species of wasps and in three of nine species of flies parasitized by these wasps. Phylogenetic analyses using wsp gene sequences identified single isolate infections in most cases. Infections of two and four isolates were detected in Nasonia vitripennis (Walker) and Spalangia cameroni Perkins (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), respectively. Laboratory experiments showed infections in S. cameroni to cause an incomplete form of female-mortality (FM) type cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). Crosses between uninfected female and infected male partners (? × ?w) produced fewer progeny, which had a strong male-biased sex ratio. Crosses between ? × ?, ?w × ?w, and ?w × ? produced more progeny, which had a female-biased sex ratio. Developmental times of progeny were increased when the paternal parent was infected with Wolbachia, regardless of whether the maternal parent was infected or whether offspring developed from fertilized eggs. This result may reflect the action of Wolbachia on components of the seminal fluid that then affect the development of offspring from inseminated females. It is hoped that future studies of Wolbachia in this guild will facilitate the rearing and application of these wasps as biocontrol agents of house fly and stable fly.