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Environ Entomol. 2014 Oct;43(5):1215-22. doi: 10.1603/EN14193.

Wolbachia infection density in populations of the Asian citrus psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae).

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Department of Entomology and Nematology, Citrus Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, FL 33850, USA.


The symbiotic relationships between bacteria of the genus Wolbachia (order Rickettsiales) and their arthropod hosts are diverse and can range from mutualism to parasitism. Whereas effects of Wolbachia on host biology are well investigated, little is known about diversity and abundance of Wolbachia in their natural hosts. The phloem-feeding Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Kuwayama) (Hemiptera: Liviidae), is naturally infected with Wolbachia (wDi). In the current study, we calculated the within-host density of Wolbachia in Florida D. citri populations using quantitative polymerase chain reaction for detection of the Wolbachia outer surface protein gene, wsp. Gene quantities were normalized to the D. citri wingless gene (Wg) to estimate Wolbachia abundance in individual D. citri. Using this method, significant geographic differences in Wolbachia densities were detected among Florida D. citri populations, with higher infection levels occurring in male versus female hosts.

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