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Geography has a greater effect than Wolbachia infection on population genetic structure in the spider mite, Tetranychus pueraricola

  • Y.-T. Chen (a1), Y.-K. Zhang (a1), W.-X. Du (a1), P.-Y. Jin (a1) and X.-Y. Hong (a1)...


Wolbachia is an intracellular symbiotic bacterium that infects various spider mite species and is associated with alterations in host reproduction, which indicates the potential role in mite evolution. However, studies of Wolbachia infections in the spider mite Tetranychus pueraricola, a major agricultural pest, are limited. Here, we used multilocus sequence typing to determine Wolbachia infection status and examined the relationship between Wolbachia infection status and mitochondrial diversity in T. pueraricola from 12 populations in China. The prevalence of Wolbachia ranged from 2.8 to 50%, and three strains (wTpue1, wTpue2, and wTpue3) were identified. We also found double infections (wTpue1 + wTpue3) within the same individuals. Furthermore, the wTpue1 strain caused weak cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) (egg hatchability ~55%), whereas another widespread strain, wTpue3, did not induce CI. There was no reduction in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or nuclear DNA diversity among infected individuals, and mtDNA haplotypes did not correspond to specific Wolbachia strains. Phylogenetic analysis and analysis of molecular variance revealed that the distribution of mtDNA and nuclear DNA haplotypes were significantly associated with geography. These findings indicate that Wolbachia infection in T. pueraricola is complex, but T. pueraricola genetic differentiation likely resulted from substantial geographic isolation.


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