Inter-population variation for Wolbachia induced reproductive incompatibility in the haplodiploid mite Tetranychus urticae

Eunho Suh, Cheolho Sim, Jung Joon Park, Kijong Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have revealed diverse patterns of cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) induced by Wolbachia in the two spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch). The mechanism of CI consists of two steps: modification (mod) of sperm of infected males and the rescue (resc) of these chromosomes by Wolbachia in the egg, which results in female embryonic mortality (FM), male development (MD) or no CI. Our study reports that Wolbachia infections were highly prevalent infecting all T. urticae populations from various crops in 14 commercial greenhouses in Korea, with two Wolbachia strains expressing distinctive phenotypic effects on hosts. Analyses for wsp gene sequences obtained from collected mite populations revealed all sequences were categorized into two groups (group W1 and W2) discriminated by three diagnostic nucleotides while all Wolbachia strains belonged to the subgroup Ori in Wolbachia supergroup B. Host plants of each mite population were also generally correlated this grouping. Various mating experiments with two mite populations from each group showed that CI patterns and host plants of the mite populations were completely matched with the grouping; no CI (modresc+) for group W1 and mixed pattern of FM and MD (mod+resc+) for group W2. No distinct changes in fecundity or sex ratio due to Wolbachia infections were observed in four mite populations regardless of Wolbachia grouping. Our study suggests a potential correlation between phenotypic effect of Wolbachia infection and its genetic diversity associated with host plants in Korean mite populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-71
Number of pages17
JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the growers for their cooperation regarding mite sample collections. We thank Dr. Mun Il Ryoo and Dr. Ki Hyun Ryu for their helpful suggestions and technical support. This research is supported by Korea Ministry of Environment as “Climate Change Correspondence Program” and Korea University Special Grant to K. Cho.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


  • Cytoplasmic incompatibility
  • Tetranychus urticae
  • Wolbachia
  • wsp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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