Wolbachia pipientis is an endosymbiotic alpha-proteobacterium that is found in numerous insects and arthropods. Only a few studies have been made on Wolbachia in blood-sucking midges. In this study, we identified and determined the molecular characteristics of Wolbachia strains in Forcipomyia taiwana (Shiraki), a blood-sucking midge found in Taiwan and southern China. Our results indicate that all F. taiwana individuals captured in Nantou County, Taiwan were infected with Wolbachia strains closely related to the A-supergroup wAlbA. Moreover, 2 individuals captured at low-abundance locations were also infected with a B-supergroup Wolbachia strain. We observed that 63% F. taiwana individuals captured at the low-abundance locations harbored the wAlbA-like strain which has a particular substitution pattern (D51G, T84A, and A85V) in the Wolbachia surface protein. Taken together, our results indicate that distinct Wolbachia strains exist in F. taiwana populations in the field.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science