Wolbachia in Anastrepha Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)
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Endosymbiotic bacteria of the genus Wolbachia are widespread among arthropods and cause a variety of reproductive abnormalities, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility, thelytokous parthenogenesis, male-killing, and host feminization. In this study, we used three sets of Wolbachia-specific primers (16S rDNA, ftsZ, and wsp) in conjunction with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), cloning and sequencing to study the infection of fruit flies (Anastrepha spp. and Ceratitis capitata) by Wolbachia. The flies were collected at several localities in Brazil and at Guayaquil, Ecuador. All of the fruit flies studied were infected with Wolbachia supergroup A, in agreement with the high prevalence of this group in South America. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the wsp gene was the most sensitive gene for studying the relationships among Wolbachia strains. The Wolbachia sequences detected in these fruit flies were similar to those such as wMel reported for other fruit flies. These results show that the infection of Anastrepha fruit flies by Wolbachia is much more widespread than previously thought.