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Transinfection of buffalo flies (Haematobia exigua) with Wolbachia and effect on host biology

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Madhav, M., Brown, G. W., Morgan, J. A.T., Asgari, S., McGraw, E. A. and James, P. (2019) Transinfection of buffalo flies (Haematobia exigua) with Wolbachia and effect on host biology. bioRxiv . p. 867093.


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1101/867093

Publisher URL: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2019/12/06/867093.full.pdf


A widespread insect endosymbiont Wolbachia is currently of much interest for use in novel strategies for the control of insect pests and blocking transmission of insect-vectored diseases. Wolbachia-induced effects can vary from beneficial to detrimental depending on host biology and the genetic background of the infecting strains. As a first step towards investigating the potential of Wolbachia for use in the biocontrol of buffalo flies (BF), embryos, pupae, and adult female BF were injected with three different Wolbachia strains (wAlbB, wMel and wMelPop). BF eggs were not easily injected because of their tough outer chorion and embryos were frequently damaged resulting in less than 1% hatch rate of microinjected eggs. No Wolbachia infection was recorded in flies successfully reared from injected eggs. Adult and pupal injection gave a much higher survival rate and resulted in somatic infection and germinal tissue infection in surviving flies with transmission to the succeeding generations on a number of occasions. Investigations of infection dynamics in flies from injected pupae confirmed that Wolbachia were increasing in numbers in BF somatic tissues and ovarian infections were confirmed with wMel and wMelPop in some instances, though not with wAlbB. Measurement of fitness traits indicated reduced longevity, decreased and delayed adult emergence, and reduced fecundity in Wolbachia-infected flies in comparison to mock-injected flies. Furthermore, fitness effects varied according to the Wolbachia strain injected with most marked reductions seen in the wMelPop-injected flies and least severe effects seen with the wAlbB strain.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Animal culture > Cattle
Veterinary medicine
Live Archive:28 Apr 2020 02:23
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:45

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