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Wolbachia infection in a natural parasitoid wasp population.

  • Anne Duplouy
  • Christelle Couchoux
  • Ilkka Hanski
  • Saskya van Nouhuys
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Publication/Series: PLoS ONE
Volume: 10
Issue: 8
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Public Library of Science

Abstract english

The maternally transmitted bacterium Wolbachia pipientis is well known for spreading and persisting in insect populations through manipulation of the fitness of its host. Here, we identify three new Wolbachia pipientis strains, wHho, wHho2 and wHho3, infecting Hyposoter horticola, a specialist wasp parasitoid of the Glanville fritillary butterfly. The wHho strain (ST435) infects about 50% of the individuals in the Åland islands in Finland, with a different infection rate in the two mitochondrial (COI) haplotypes of the wasp. The vertical transmission rate of Wolbachia is imperfect, and lower in the haplotype with lower infection rate, suggesting a fitness trade-off. We found no association of the wHho infection with fecundity, longevity or dispersal ability of the parasitoid host. However, preliminary results convey spatial associations between Wolbachia infection, host mitochondrial haplotype and parasitism of H. horticola by its hyperparasitoid, Mesochorus cf. stigmaticus. We discuss the possibility that Wolbachia infection protects H. horticola against hyperparasitism.


  • Ecology


  • ISSN: 1932-6203
Anne Duplouy