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Research Project: DISCOVERY, BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY OF NATURAL ENEMIES OF INSECT PESTS OF CROP AND URBAN AND NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS

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Title: Characterization of endosymbiotic bacteria in Psyttalia lounsburyi, a beneficial insect against the olive fruit fly

Author
item WAROT, SYLVIE - Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
item BON, MARIE-CLAUDE - European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL)
item RIS, NICOLAS - Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique (INRA)

Submitted to: Government Publication/Report
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/2012
Publication Date: 9/20/2013
Citation: Warot, S., Bon, M., Ris, N. 2013. Characterization of endosymbiotic bacteria in Psyttalia lounsburyi, a beneficial insect against the olive fruit fly. Government Publication/Report. 78:1-4.

Interpretive Summary: Population genetic studies are necessary to guide the choice of biological control agents based on different criteria including the genetic compatibility of their endosymbionts. The present study addresses this issue in the context of the biological control of the olive fruit 'y Bactrocera oleae (Diptera, Tephritidae), an insect pest of olives that is responsible for economic losses of approximately US$ 800 millions per year. The endoparasitoid P. lounsburyi has been recently identi'ed as a candidate biological control agent and is found in Kenya, Namibia and South Africa. The present study has two complementary aims. The 'rst is to document the diversity of its endosymbionts, and more speci'cally to develop diagnostic method for typing these endosymbionts in routine.

Technical Abstract: Hybridization between different populations of one parasitoid of the olive fruit fly, Psyttalia lounsburyi, is challenged by reproductive isolations induced by microbial endosymbionts belonging to Wolbachia. In this study, we aimed at characterizing, using a Multi-Locus Sequence Typing approach based on six genes, the two Wolbachia lineages which have been evidenced so far in the African populations of this parasitoid. Based on the wsp sequences obtained for both lineages, lineage-specific primers were designed in order to amplify PCR products which could be diagnostic of each lineage. The co-amplification of a house-keeping gene and lineage–specific wsp products was easily visualized on agarose gels. This approach was used to assess the influence on the infestation rate by Wolbachia of i) the age,ii) the sex and iii) the geographic origin of the parasitoid strains which are currently mass. Infestation rate was not statistically different between males and females or between geographic origins and did not vary with the age. All these results were discussed in the context of the use of these P. lounsburyi populations for hybridization and further 'eld releases.