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Apomictic parthenogenesis in a parasitoid wasp Meteorus pulchricornis, uncommon in the haplodiploid order Hymenoptera

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 February 2014

Y. Tsutsui
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan
K. Maeto*
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan
K. Hamaguchi
Affiliation:
Kansai Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Kyoto, Kyoto 612-0855, Japan
Y. Isaki
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan
Y. Takami
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan
T. Naito
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan
K. Miura
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Biosphere Sciences, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8511, Japan National Agricultural Research Center for Western Region, Fukuyama, Hiroshima 721-8514, Japan
*
*Author for correspondence Phone: +81-78-803-5871 Fax: +81-78-803-5871 E-mail: maeto@kobe-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Although apomixis is the most common form of parthenogenesis in diplodiploid arthropods, it is uncommon in the haplodiploid insect order Hymenoptera. We found a new type of spontaneous apomixis in the Hymenoptera, completely lacking meiosis and the expulsion of polar bodies in egg maturation division, on the thelytokous strain of a parasitoid wasp Meteorus pulchricornis (Wesmael) (Braconidae, Euphorinae) on pest lepidopteran larvae Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) (Noctuidae). The absence of the meiotic process was consistent with a non-segregation pattern in the offspring of heterozygous females, and no positive evidence was obtained for the induction of thelytoky by any bacterial symbionts. We discuss the conditions that enable the occurrence of such rare cases of apomictic thelytoky in the Hymenoptera, suggesting the significance of fixed heterosis caused by hybridization or polyploidization, symbiosis with bacterial agents, and occasional sex. Our finding will encourage further genetic studies on parasitoid wasps to use asexual lines more wisely for biological control.

Type
Research Paper
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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Apomictic parthenogenesis in a parasitoid wasp Meteorus pulchricornis, uncommon in the haplodiploid order Hymenoptera
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