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Open AccessArticle

Dynamics of an Ongoing Wolbachia Spread in the European Cherry Fruit Fly, Rhagoletis cerasi (Diptera: Tephritidae)

1
Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, BOKU, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82/I, A-1190 Vienna, Austria
2
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Universitätsplatz 5, I-39100 Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(6), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060172
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Control in Fruit Trees)
Numerous terrestrial arthropods are infected with the alphaproteobacterium Wolbachia. This endosymbiont is usually transmitted vertically from infected females to their offspring and can alter the reproduction of hosts through various manipulations, like cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), enhancing its spread in new host populations. Studies on the spatial and temporal dynamics of Wolbachia under natural conditions are scarce. Here, we analyzed Wolbachia infection frequencies in populations of the European cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi (L.), in central Germany—an area of an ongoing spread of the CI-inducing strain wCer2. In total, 295 individuals from 19 populations were PCR-screened for the presence of wCer2 and their mitochondrial haplotype. Results were compared with historic data to understand the infection dynamics of the ongoing wCer2 invasion. An overall wCer2 infection frequency of about 30% was found, ranging from 0% to 100% per population. In contrast to an expected smooth transition from wCer2-infected to completely wCer2-uninfected populations, a relatively scattered infection pattern across geography was observed. Moreover, a strong Wolbachia-haplotype association was detected, with only a few rare misassociations. Our results show a complex dynamic of an ongoing Wolbachia spread in natural field populations of R. cerasi. View Full-Text
Keywords: endosymbiont; cytoplasmic incompatibility; bacterial spread; horizontal transfer; maternal transmission; reproductive manipulation; agricultural pest endosymbiont; cytoplasmic incompatibility; bacterial spread; horizontal transfer; maternal transmission; reproductive manipulation; agricultural pest
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Schebeck, M.; Feldkirchner, L.; Stauffer, C.; Schuler, H. Dynamics of an Ongoing Wolbachia Spread in the European Cherry Fruit Fly, Rhagoletis cerasi (Diptera: Tephritidae). Insects 2019, 10, 172.

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