Transovarian Transmission of Blochmannia and Wolbachia Endosymbionts in the Neotropical Weaver Ant Camponotus textor (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

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Ramalho, Manuela Oliveira [UNESP]
Vieira, Alexsandro Santana [UNESP]
Pereira, Mayara Cristina [UNESP]
Moreau, Corrie Saux
Bueno, Odair Correa [UNESP]
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Camponotus is a hyper-diverse ant genus that is associated with the obligate endosymbiont Blochmannia, and often also with Wolbachia, but morphological studies on the location of these bacteria in the queen’s ovaries during oogenesis remain limited. In the present study, we used the Neotropical weaver ant Camponotus textor to characterize the ovary using histology (HE) techniques, and to document the location of Blochmannia and Wolbachia during oogenesis through fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). This is the first morphological report of these two bacteria in the same host with polytrophic meroistic ovaries and reveals that Blochmannia is found inside late-stage oocytes and Wolbachia is associated with the nuclei of the nurse cells. Our results provide insights into the developmental sequence of when these bacteria reach the egg, with Blochmannia establishing itself in the egg first, and Wolbachia only reaching the egg shortly before completing egg development. Studies such as this provide understanding about the mechanisms and timing of the establishment of these endosymbionts in the host.
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Current Microbiology, v. 75, n. 7, p. 866-873, 2018.