Molecular Characterization of Iranian Encarsia formosa Gahan Populations with Natural Incidence of Wolbachia Infection
Encarsia formosa Gahan is a common parasitoid of Trialeurodes vaporariorum Westwood and Bemisia tabasi Gennadius (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) which has extensively been used for biological control programs in greenhouses. Apart from the behavioral and molecular variations among members of luteola species-group, it is noticeable that E. formosa is the only telytokous species due to prevalence of a maternally inherited parthenogenesis-inducing (PI) bacteria called Wolbachia whereas males are common in other species of luteola group. In this study, the validity of COI and D2-28S rRNA genes to characterize Iranian E. formosa in correct species-group was addressed based on parsimonious analysis. The variation of Wolbachia endosymbiont of E. formosa populations corresponding to other hosts has also been carried out. Furthermore, the characterization of the Wolbachia supergroup, subgroup and strain were studied based on wsp gene and HVRs. In COI-based phylogeny of Encarsia the positions of Iranian populations were not determined in correct grouping near GenBank E. formosa and E. luteola in luteola species-group but D2-28S rRNA could differentiate all populations with high accuracy in luteola group. The phylogenetic relationship among strains of Wolbachia indicated that all of them were belonged to supergroup B, strain wFor and subgroup For, based on wsp gene through Neighbor-Joining analysis. While wsp gene sequence alone was sufficient to characterize Wolbachia in our populations but studies on MLST comprising genes (CoxA, gatB, fbpA, fcpA and ftsZ) is undergoing.
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