Eur. J. Entomol. 114: 446-454, 2017 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2017.057

Preliminary evidence of the horizontal transmission of Wolbachia between Crioceris leaf beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and their Asparagus host plants

Micha³ KOLASA1, Matteo MONTAGNA2, Valeria MEREGHETTI2, Daniel KUBISZ1, Mi³osz A. MAZUR3, £ukasz KAJTOCH1
1 Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland; e-mails: michal.r.kolasa@gmail.com, kubisz@isez.pan.krakow.pl, lukasz.kajtoch@gmail.com
2 Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali, Milan, Italy; e-mails: matteo.montagna@unimi.it, valeria.mereghetti@unimi.it
3 Center for Biodiversity Studies, Department of Biosystematics, Opole University, Opole, Poland; e-mail: mazurmilosz@gmail.com

Intracellular bacteria of the genus Wolbachia (α-Proteobacteria) are the most widespread endosymbionts of insects. Host infection is usually associated with alterations in reproduction, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility, the induction of parthenogenesis and offspring sex ratio bias: all phenomena that may influence host speciation. In the present study, by using well-established molecular tools, we investigated the presence of Wolbachia in leaf beetles of the genus Crioceris and their host plants, which are various species of Asparagus. Multilocus sequence typing of bacterial genes showed that despite their occurrence in the same habitat and feeding on the same plant, two species of Crioceris, C. quinquepunctata and C. quatuordecimpunctata, are infected by two different strains of Wolbachia. C. asparagi, C. paracenthesis and C. duodecimpunctata, which are sympatric with the infected species, do not harbour the bacterium. Interestingly, DNA of Wolbachia was detected in host plant tissues that are exploited by the beetles, providing evidence for the horizontal transmission of the bacterium between beetles and their host plants. Moreover, Wolbachia was detected in species of Crioceris that are not closely related.

Keywords: Alpha-Proteobacteria, Wolbachia, Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Crioceris, Asparagus, molecular ecology, horizontal transmission, Multilocus Sequence Typing

Received: May 16, 2017; Accepted: September 26, 2017; Published online: October 26, 2017Show citation

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KOLASA, M., MONTAGNA, M., MEREGHETTI, V., KUBISZ, D., MAZUR, M.A., & KAJTOCH, £. (2017). Preliminary evidence of the horizontal transmission of Wolbachia between Crioceris leaf beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and their Asparagus host plants. Eur. J. Entomol.114(1), 2017.000. doi: 10.14411/eje.2017.057.
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