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Cardinium is associated with reproductive incompatibility in the predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis (Acari: Phytoseiidae)

Wu, Ke, Hoy, Marjorie A.
Journal of invertebrate pathology 2012 v.110 no.3 pp. 359-365
Metaseiulus occidentalis, Tetranychidae, bacteria, biological control, crops, crossing, cytoplasmic incompatibility, endosymbionts, evolution, fecundity, females, feminization, males, parasites, population, predatory mites, progeny, survival rate, thelytoky
Cardinium, a bacterium from the Bacteroidetes group, is associated with reproductive manipulations such as cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, and feminization in some arthropod species. We, and others, have shown that Cardinium, but not Wolbachia, is an endosymbiont in some populations of Metaseiulus occidentalis, a phytoseiid mite that is an important predator of spider mite pests of agricultural crops. However, the precise biological effects that Cardinium may have on M. occidentalis remain unclear. In this study we show, in two sets of crosses between different colonies of Cardinium-free (C−) M. occidentalis females and Cardinium-containing (C+) males, that fecundity was reduced in parental females, F1 progeny survival rates were reduced, and fewer female progeny were produced when compared to the reciprocal and control crosses. There were no differences in these attributes in the reciprocal and two control crosses. Cardinium was transmitted maternally but there was no observed paternal transmission. Finally, Cardinium did not cause asexual (thelytoky) reproduction in M. occidentalis. Thus, Cardinium is associated with nonreciprocal reproductive incompatibility in M. occidentalis and our results support the hypothesis that Cardinium is a reproductive parasite in this agriculturally important predator. Cardinium may therefore affect the evolution and ecology of M. occidentalis and biological control efforts using this mite.