Wolbachia are a group of cytoplasmically inherited bacteria that induce a variety of reproductive changes in their arthropod hosts. Such changes may include cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, male-killing and feminization. A PCR-based assay was used to detect Wolbachia in laboratory colonies and field populations of Urolepis rufipes (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) from southern Alberta. This wasp harbours Wolbachia type-A with respect to Wolbachia ftsZA and B genes. Cytoplasmic incompatibility is expressed through embryonic abortion, a male-biased sex ratio and a low hatchability. We eliminated infections Wolbachia from U. rufipes using both antibiotic and heat treatments. We then compared the effect of Wolbachia on the fitness of U. rufipes using experimental crosses for all possible combinations of infected and cured wasps. We discuss the effect of infections on sex ratios, number of progeny and embryonic abortion. We also discussed the prevalence and distribution of Wolbachia infection in field populations of U. rufipes and other filth fly parasitoids in southern Alberta, Canada.
Species 1: Hymenoptera Pteromalidae Urolepis rufipes
Keywords: Wolbachia, heat and antibiotic treatments
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