Phylogeny of the Trichogramma endosymbiont Wolbachia, an alpha-proteobacteria (Rickettsiae)
Abstract Wolbachia (Hertig) endosymbionts are extensively studied in a wide range of organisms and are known to be transmitted through the egg cytoplasm to the offsping. Wolbachia may cause several types of reproductive modifications in arthropods. In Trichogramma species, parthenogenesis-inducing Wolbachia bacteria allow females wasps to produce daughters from unfertilized eggs and these bacteria are present in at least 9% of all Trichogramma species. Phylogenetic studies have led to the subdivision of the Wolbachia clade in five supergroups (A, B, C, D and E) and Wolbachia from Trichogramma belong to supergroup B. Here, using the wsp gene, four groups of Wolbachia that infect Trichogramma species were distinguished and the addition of a new group “Ato” was suggested due to the addition of Wolbachia from Trichogramma atopovirilia (Oatman and Platner). Specific primers were designed and tested for the “Ato” group. Seventy-five percent of all evaluated Wolbachia strains from Trichogramma fell within “Sib” group.