Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) has entered the spotlight recently as an emerging insect vector capable of transmitting multiple medically important diseases. Wild populations of Aedes albopictus are infected with the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis. The phenotypic consequence of Wolbachia infection in Aedes albopictus is cytoplasmic incompatibility; a dynamic which has long been touted as a possible biological control strategy. Studies of the infection dynamics of other medically important mosquito species infected with Wolbachia such as Culex pipiens show that factors such as male age and rearing temperature influence levels of cytoplasmic incompatibility. The effects of larval nutrition and male mating frequency on cytoplasmic incompatibility were investigated using a laboratory colony of Aedes albopictus. Starvation of single-infected males restored low levels of compatibility (1-50% hatching) in incompatible crosses, but starved super-infected males failed to restore any compatibility (0% hatching). Multiple matings had no effect on the cytoplasmic incompatibility phenotype showing perfect levels of incompatibility in incompatible crosses. Both of these findings indicate that Aedes albopictus may be a suitable system for testing applied Wolbachia mediated population replacement and suppression strategies.
Species 1: Diptera Culicidae Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito)
Keywords: Wolbachia, cytoplasmic incompatibility
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