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Wolbachia–mediated parthenogenesis in the predatory thrips Franklinothrips vespiformis (Thysanoptera: Insecta)

N. Arakaki, T. Miyoshi, H. Noda

Abstract

Wolbachia are bacterial endosymbionts in arthropods and filarial nematodes. They cause thelytoky, which is a form of parthenogenesis in which females produce females without males, in hymenopteran insects. Infection of this parthenogenesis‐inducing Wolbachia has been restricted to the order Hymenoptera, but was found in another insect order, Thysanoptera. A parthenogenetic colony of a predatory thrips Franklinothrips vespiformis (Aeolothripidae) possessed B-group Wolbachia. Male progeny were produced from this thrips by heat and tetracycline treatments. Males produced motile sperm, which were transferred to the female spermatheca by mating. However, the mating did not affect the sex ratios of the next generation, suggesting that the sperm do not fertilize the eggs.

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