Location: Fruit and Vegetable Insect Research
Title: Wolbachia-infection differs among potato psyllid haplotypes Authors
Submitted to: Potato Association of America Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 2, 2014
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Wolbachia is a bacterial endosymbiont of insects that can manipulate insect reproduction. In many insects, Wolbachia-free females cannot produce viable offspring when mated by infected males. The manipulation of insect reproduction by Wolbachia has important implications for insect evolution and population dynamics. Diagnostic PCR using potato psylllids reared in colonies revealed that psylllids of the central and western haplotypes were both infected with two distinct strains of Wolbachia, but neither strain of Wolbachia was detected in psyllids of the northwestern haplotype. Consistent with Wolbachia-induced reproductive incompatibility, females of the northwestern haplotype did not produce viable offspring when mated by males of either the western or centrl haplotype. We screened psyllids of known haplotypes that were collected throughout the U.S. from 2009 to 2014 and confirmed that psyllids of the northwesternn haplotype were Wolbachia free whereas psylllids of the other two haplotypes were infected. All three haplotypes occur in the Pacific Northwest, but the northwestern haplotype predominates this region. It is thought that the western and central haplotypes annually migrate to the Pacific Northwest from California and souther plains, respectively, while the northwestern haplotype is resident and overwinters in this region on nightshades. Our results suggest that gene flow among potato psyllid haplotypes is limited by respective differences in Wolbachia infection status. This knowledge will improve the interpretation of studies to assess interactions and biolocial differences among these three psylllid haplotypes, which will then allow researchers to model psylllid population dynamics and to develop area-wide management strategies for the potato psyllid and zebra chip disease.