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Limited Endosymbiont Variation in Diuraphis noxia (Hemiptera: Aphididae) Biotypes From the United States and South Africa

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Symbiosis allows an insect access to imbalanced food sources on which other organisms cannot survive. A bacterial endosymbiont, Buchnera aphidicola, gives aphids the ability to feed on phloem depleted of certain essential amino acids by producing those required. Pseudogenes and lower plasmid copy numbers of essential amino acid genes in B. aphidicola, endosymbiont of the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), suggest that this symbiotic relationship is degenerating. The complete endosymbiont assemblages, copy numbers of plasmids (important in essential amino acid production), and sequence variation in B. aphidicola, from 10 Russian wheat aphid biotypes, were investigated. B. aphidicola was found to be monosymbiotic in the Russian wheat aphid biotypes and other Diuraphis species examined. An insert, occurring in an inverted repeat region on the leucine plasmid, was the only variation found in the ≈10-kb B. aphidicola sequence analyzed from each Russian wheat aphid biotype. This inverted repeat was shown previously to be conserved within the family Aphididae. The insert occurred in B. aphidicola sequences isolated from four Russian wheat aphid biotypes. Copy numbers of the leucine plasmid differ between the South African and U.S. biotypes and were similar to previously reported values for biotypes from the same geographic regions. These results suggest that B. aphidicola may still contribute to Russian wheat aphid fitness when the aphid feeds on a variety of hosts.

Keywords: Diuraphis noxia; biotypes; endosymbiont variation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC09257

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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