Free Access
Volume 34, Number 1, January-February 2003
Page(s) 53 - 60
Apidologie 34 (2003) 53-60
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2002048

Wolbachia is present in Apis mellifera capensis, A. m. scutellata, and their hybrid in Southern Africa

Marjorie A. Hoya, Ayyamperumal Jeyaprakasha, Juan M. Alvareza, b and Michael H. Allsoppc

a  Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA 32611
b  Now at the Aberdeen Research and Education Center, University of Idaho, Aberdeen, Idaho, USA 83210
c  Honeybee Research Section, Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council, Private Bag 5017, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa

(Received 2 January 2002; revised 21 June 2002 ; accepted 2 July 2002)

Apis mellifera capensis, A. m. scutellata and their hybrids were screened by a sensitive Long PCR protocol for Wolbachia because this endosymbiont has been implicated in causing thelytoky in other Hymenoptera. Wolbachia was found in all workers of A. m. capensis examined, and in workers and drones of A. m. scutellata and in hybrid workers of these two subspecies. Cloning and sequencing indicated that all contained the same unique Wolbachia strain, named wCap-B1, which belongs to the Con Group because it displayed less than 2.5% sequence divergence from the reference strain from Tribolium confusum. wCap-B1 is closely related to Wolbachia from Diaphorina citri, Solenopsis invicta, Coleomegilla maculata lengi, Plutella xylostella, and Bemisia tabaci. Because no sequence differences were found among these bee populations, infection with this Wolbachia strain is unlikely to be associated with thelytoky in A. m. capensis.

Key words: Apis mellifera capensis / Apis mellifera scutellata / Wolbachia / Long PCR / thelytoky

Correspondence and reprints: Marjorie A. Hoy

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2003