Wolbachia infection and the expression of cytoplasmic incompatibility in sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) from Egypt

Kassem, Hala ; Hassan A. ; Abdel-Hamid I. ; Osman G. ; El Khalab E. ; Madkour M. 


A PCR-based method was used to screen four laboratory colonies of sandflies for Wolbachia infection. The colonies - one of Phlebotomus langeroni, one of P. bergeroti and two of P. papatasi - were all derived from sandflies collected in Egypt. Only one of the colonies, derived from P. papatasi collected in Sinai, was found infected. The sequence of the PCR product for this colony was identical to that previously reported for the Wolbachia in P. papatasi from Israel. The induction with tetracycline of cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) in flies from the P. papatasi (Sinai) colony was then investigated, through reciprocal crosses between treated and untreated P. papatasi siblings. Partial CI expression was attained in the crosses involving antibiotic-treated (i.e. uninfected) females, whether the males used were infected with Wolbachia or had also been cleared of Wolbachia by antibiotic treatment. Most (75%) of the eggs oviposited by uninfected females that had been crossed with infected males, and most (58%) of those laid by uninfected females that had been crossed with uninfected males, failed to hatch. These results provide the first published evidence showing that Wolbachia infection in sandflies is advantageous to the insects. The failure to detect Wolbachia in one of the colonies derived from Egyptian P. papatasi or in the colonies derived from Egyptian P. bergeroti and P. langeroni may indicate that the inter- and intra-specific spread of Wolbachia is discontinuous, even within one country.

Other data

Issue Date 1-Sep-2003
Journal Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 
URI http://research.asu.edu.eg/123456789/931

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