Occurrence and Transmission of Facultative Endosymbionts in Aphids
The occurrence of a secondary bacterial symbiont (PASS) of pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris), was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with specific nucleotide primers based on PASS 16S rDNA nucleotide sequences from over 80% (50/57) of clones of pea aphid collected from widely separated locations in California. PASS was also detected by PCR in both red and green phenotypes of rose aphid, Macrosiphum rosae (L.), but not in six other species of aphids examined, including blue alfalfa aphid (A. kondoi Shinji). The nucleotide sequences of the PCR-amplified, partial 16S rDNAs (1060 bp) from pea aphid and rose aphid were identical and 99.9% similar to the published 16S rDNA of PASS. PASS and a recently described new rickettsia of pea aphid (PAR) were transmitted by needle injection of hemolymph from positive pea aphid clones into negative clones and into blue alfalfa aphids. Both PASS and PAR were maintained in the offspring of some of the injected mother aphids via high rate of maternal transmission.
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