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Heredity (Edinb). 2003 Sep;91(3):208-16.

Wolbachia distribution and cytoplasmic incompatibility based on a survey of 42 spider mite species (Acari: Tetranychidae) in Japan.

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Laboratory of Applied Entomology and Zoology, Faculty of Agriculture, Ibaraki University, Ami, Ibaraki 300-0393, Japan.


Wolbachia are a group of maternally inherited bacteria that infect a wide range of arthropods. Wolbachia infections are known to result in the expression of various abnormal reproductive phenotypes, the best known being cytoplasmic incompatibility. The first systematic survey of 42 spider mite species in Japan revealed that seven species (16.7%) were infected with Wolbachia. Wolbachia in the spider mites were grouped into three subgroups in supergroup B by phylogenetic analyses of the wsp gene. Most spider mites did not show cytoplasmic incompatibility when infected males were crossed with uninfected females. However, all infected populations of Panonychus mori and Oligonychus gotohi (five and four populations, respectively) possessed modification-positive strains of Wolbachia, and the cytoplasmic incompatibility decreased egg hatchability and female ratio of the spider mites. Thus, some Wolbachia strains cause sex ratio distortion in their hosts.

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