Wolbachia in the genus Bicyclus: a forgotten player

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Bicyclus
butterflies are key species for studies of
wing pattern development, phenotypic plasticity, speciation
and the genetics of Lepidoptera. One of the key endosymbi-
onts in butterflies, the alpha-Proteobacterium
Wolbachia
pipientis
, is affecting many of these biological processes;
however, Bicyclus
butterflies have not been investigated sys-
tematically as hosts to
Wolbachia
.Inthisstudy,wescreenfor
Wo lb ac hi a
infection in several
Bicyclus
species from natural
populations across Africa as well as two laboratory popula-
tions. Out of the 24 species tested, 19 were found to be infect-
ed, and no double infection was found, but both A- and B-
supergroup strains colonise this butterfly group. We also show
that many of the
Wo lb ac hia
strains identified in
Bicyclus
but-
terflies belong to the ST19 clonal complex. We discuss the
importance of our results in regard to routinely screening for
Wo lb ac hi a
when using
Bicyclus
butterflies as the study organ-
ism of research in eco-evolutionary biology

Details

Authors
External organisations
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Helsinki
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-263
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Volume75
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
Externally publishedYes