Affordable Access

Access to the full text

Medfly-Wolbachia symbiosis: genotype x genotype interactions determine host’s life history traits under mass rearing conditions

  • Kyritsis, Georgios A.1, 2
  • Augustinos, Antonios A.1
  • Livadaras, Ioannis3
  • Cáceres, Carlos1
  • Bourtzis, Kostas1
  • Papadopoulos, Nikos T.2
  • 1 Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Vienna, A-1400, Austria , Vienna (Austria)
  • 2 University of Thessaly, Phytokou St., 38446 N, Ionia Magnisia, Greece , Ionia Magnisia (Greece)
  • 3 FORTH, Nikolaou Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton, Heraklion, Crete, GR - 700 13, Greece , Heraklion (Greece)
Published Article
BMC Biotechnology
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Dec 18, 2019
Suppl 2
DOI: 10.1186/s12896-019-0586-7
Springer Nature


BackgroundWolbachia pipientis is a widespread, obligatory intracellular and maternally inherited bacterium, that induces a wide range of reproductive alterations to its hosts. Cytoplasmic Incompatibility (CI) is causing embryonic lethality, the most common of them. Despite that Wolbachia-borne sterility has been proposed as an environmental friendly pest control method (Incompatible Insect Technique, IIT) since 1970s, the fact that Wolbachia modifies important fitness components of its hosts sets severe barriers to IIT implementation. Mass rearing of Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (medfly), is highly optimized given that this pest is a model species regarding the implementation of another sterility based pest control method, the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). We used the medfly-Wolbachia symbiotic association, as a model system, to study the effect of two different Wolbachia strains, on the life history traits of 2 C. capitata lines with different genomic background.ResultsWolbachia effects are regulated by both C. capitata genetic background and the Wolbachia strain. Wolbachia infection reduces fertility rates in both C. capitata genetic backgrounds and shortens the pre-pupa developmental duration in the GSS strain. On the other hand, regardless of the strain of Wolbachia (wCer2, wCer4) infection does not affect either the sex ratio or the longevity of adults. wCer4 infection imposed a reduction in females’ fecundity but wCer2 did not. Male mating competitiveness, adults flight ability and longevity under water and food deprivation were affected by both the genetic background of medfly and the strain of Wolbachia (genotype by genotype interaction).ConclusionWolbachia infection could alter important life history traits of mass-reared C. capitata lines and therefore the response of each genotype on the Wolbachia infection should be considered toward ensuring the productivity of the Wolbachia-infected insects under mass-rearing conditions.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times