Population dynamics and rapid spread of Cardinium, a bacterial endosymbiont causing cytoplasmic incompatibility in Encarsia pergandiella (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae)

L. R. Harris, S. E. Kelly, M. S. Hunter, S. J. Perlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is a common phenotype of maternally inherited bacterial symbionts of arthropods; in its simplest expression, uninfected females produce few or no viable progeny when mated to infected males. Infected females thus experience a reproductive advantage relative to that of uninfected females, with the potential for the symbiont to spread rapidly. CI population dynamics are predicted to depend primarily on the strength of incompatibility, the fitness cost of the infection and how faithfully symbionts are inherited. Although the bacterial symbiont lineage Wolbachia has been most identified with the CI phenotype, an unrelated bacterium, Cardinium may also cause CI. In the first examination of population dynamics of CI-inducing Cardinium, we used population cages of the parasitic wasp Encarsia pergandiella (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) with varying initial infection frequencies to test a model of invasion. Cardinium was found to spread rapidly in all populations, even in cases where the initial infection frequency was well below the predicted invasion threshold frequency. The discrepancy between the modeled and actual results is best explained by weaker CI than measured in the lab and a cryptic fitness benefit to the infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalHeredity
Volume104
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

Keywords

  • Endosymbiont
  • Fitness benefit
  • Population cage
  • Reproductive manipulation
  • Symbiosis
  • Wolbachia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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