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Influence of Wolbachia infection on mitochondrial DNA variation in the genus Polytremis (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae)

Jiang, Weibin, Zhu, Jianqing, Wu, Yajuan, Li, Lizhen, Li, Yuanyuan, Ge, Chen, Wang, Ying, Endersby, Nancy M., Hoffmann, Ary A., Yu, Weidong
Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 2018 v.129 pp. 158-170
Hesperiidae, Wolbachia, arthropods, bacteria, endosymbionts, inheritance (genetics), introgression, males, mitochondrial DNA, phenotype, phylogeny, sex ratio, tissues
The maternally inherited obligate bacteria Wolbachia is known for infecting the reproductive tissues of a wide range of arthropods and can contribute to phylogenetically discordant patterns between mtDNA and nDNA. In this study, we tested for an association between mito-nuclear discordance in Polytremis and Wolbachia infection. Six of the 17 species of Polytremis were found to be infected with Wolbachia. Overall, 34% (70/204) of Polytremis specimens were Wolbachia positive and three strains of Wolbachia identified using a wsp marker were further characterized as six strains based on MLST markers. Wolbachia acquisition in Polytremis appears to occur mainly through horizontal transmission rather than codivergence based on comparison of the divergence times of Wolbachia and Polytremis species. At the intraspecific level, one of the Wolbachia infections (wNas1) is associated with reduced mtDNA polymorphism in the infected Polytremis population. At the interspecific level, there is one case of mito-nuclear discordance likely caused by introgression of P. fukia mtDNA into P. nascens driven by another Wolbachia strain (wNas3). Based on an absence of infected males, we suspect that one Wolbachia strain (wNas2) affects sex ratio, but the phenotypic effects of the other strains are unclear. These data reveal a dynamic interaction between Polytremis and Wolbachia endosymbionts affecting patterns of mtDNA variation.