Incidence of the endosymbionts Wolbachia, Cardinium and Spiroplasma in phytoseiid mites and associated prey
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- Enigl, M. & Schausberger, P. Exp Appl Acarol (2007) 42: 75. doi:10.1007/s10493-007-9080-3
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Endosymbiotic bacteria that potentially influence reproduction and other fitness-related traits of their hosts are widespread in insects and mites and their appeal to researchers’ interest is still increasing. We screened 20 strains of 12 agriculturally relevant herbivorous and predatory mite species for infection with Wolbachia, Cardinium and Spiroplasma by the use of PCR. The majority of specimens originated from Austria and were field collected or mass-reared. Eight out of 20 strains (40%) tested, representing seven of 12 mite species (58%), carried at least one of the three bacteria. We found Wolbachia in the herbivorous spider mites Tetranychus urticae and Bryobia rubrioculus, with the former also carrying Spiroplasma and the latter also carrying Cardinium. Cardinium was furthermore found in two populations of the predatory mite Euseius finlandicus and the spider mite Eotetranychus uncatus. Spiroplasma was detected in the predatory mite Neoseiulus californicus. All bacteria positive PCR products were sequenced, submitted to GenBank and analyzed in BLAST queries. We found high similarities to complete identity with bacteria found in the same and different mite species but also with bacteria found in insect species like ladybirds, butterflies and minute pirate bugs, Orius. We discuss the significance of potential (multiple) infections with the investigated bacteria for biological control.