Multiple Wolbachia strains in Apis mellifera capensis from South AfricaAyyamperumal Jeyaprakash1, Marjorie A. Hoy1 and Michael H. Allsopp2
1 Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
2 Honeybee Research Section, Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council, Private Bag 5017, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
Received 29 May 2008 – Revised 20 November 2008 – Accepted 25 November 2008 - Published online 11 February 2009
Abstract - Eggs of the honeybee Apis mellifera capensis from South Africa were screened for Wolbachia using degenerate primers designed to amplify a segment of the wsp A gene sequences. This strategy resulted in the identification of two new strains (wCap-B2, and -A1) in addition to the one (wCap-B1) characterized earlier from A. m. capensis and A. m. scutellata. Strain-specific primers were designed and used to assay eggs from both A. m. capensis and A. m. scutellata. The wCap-B1 sequence was amplified consistently from both A. m. capensis and A. m. scutellata, but the wCap-B2 and -A1 sequences were amplified sporadically only from A. m. capensis. This indicates that the wCap-B1 strain could be present at a higher titer or that wCap-B2 and -A1 are present only in some individuals in the wider A. m. capensis population. The detection of these new Wolbachia strains suggests that additional investigations are required to determine the role of Wolbachia in the biology of A. m. capensis workers.
Key words: Apis mellifera capensis / new Wolbachia strains / degenerate primers / universal primers / high-fidelity PCR
© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2009