Main content area

High prevalence of Wolbachia infection in Korean populations of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae)

Park, Chan Hee, Lim, HyungWoo, Kim, HyunWoo, Lee, Wook Gyo, Roh, Jong Yul, Park, Mi Yeoun, Shin, E-Hyun
Journal of Asia-Pacific entomology 2016 v.19 no.1 pp. 191-194
Aedes albopictus, Anopheles, DNA, Wolbachia, bacteria, disease control, disease vectors, endosymbionts, genes, hosts, polymerase chain reaction, sequence homology, waterways, South Korea
Recently, several studies of the intracellular endosymbiont bacteria of the genus Wolbachia have focused on the control of disease vector mosquitoes, such as those of the genera Aedes and Anopheles. In this study, we aimed to analyze the regional distribution of Wolbachia in the Republic of Korea. We distinguished nine different regions of the Republic of Korea based on mountain chains and waterways, and collected Aedes albopictus vector mosquitoes from each region. Whole genomic DNA was extracted from each collected specimen, and PCR analysis and sequencing were conducted for detection and identification of Wolbachia based on WSP gene and wAlbA strain, respectively. Over 99% of the collected mosquitoes harbored Wolbachia, and the sequence homologies of the WSP gene showed more than 98% similarity within the mosquito species. Ae. albopictus was found to be infected with two Wolbachia strains, wAlbA and wAlbB. Regional distribution analysis indicated that the wAlbA strain of Wolbachia showed more than 98% sequence similarity in Ae. albopictus from different regions. To our knowledge, this study represents the first report of Wolbachia infection and strains in Korea, and demonstrates that the endosymbiont possesses high sequence homology according to their hosts.