Original Article

Wolbachia Endobacteria in Natural Populations of Culex pipiens of Iran and its Phylogenetic Congruence


Background: Wolbachia are common intracellular bacteria that infect different groups of arthropods including mos­quitoes. These bacteria modify host biology and may induce feminization, parthenogenesis, male killing and cyto­plasmic incompatibility (CI). Recently Wolbachia is being nominated as a bio-agent and paratransgenic candidate to control mosquito borne diseases.Methods: Here we report the results of a survey for presence, frequency, and phylogenetic congruence of these en­dosymbiont bacteria in Culex pipiens populations in Northern, Central, and Southern parts of Iran using nested-PCR amplification of wsp gene.Results: Wolbachia DNA were found in 227 (87.3%) out of 260 wild-caught mosquitoes. The rate of infection in adult females ranged from 61.5% to 100%, while in males were from 80% to 100%. The Blast search and phyloge­netic analysis of the wsp gene sequence revealed that the Wolbachia strain from Iranian Cx. pipiens was identical to the Wolbachia strains of supergroup B previously reported in members of the Cx. pipiens complex. They had also identical sequence homology with the Wolbachia strains from a group of distinct arthropods including lepidopteran, wasps, flies, damselfly, thrips, and mites from remote geographical areas of the world.Conclusion: It is suggested that Wolbachia strains horizontally transfer between unrelated host organisms over evo­lutionary time. Also results of this study indicates that Wolbachia infections were highly prevalent infecting all Cx. pipiens populations throughout the country, however further study needs to define Wolbachia inter-population repro­ductive incompatibility pattern and its usefulness as a bio-agent control measure.

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Culex pipiens Wolbachia cytoplasmic incompatibility nested-PCR Iran

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Karami M, Moosa-Kazemi SH, Oshaghi MA, Vatandoost H, Sedaghat MM, Rajabnia R, Hosseini M, Maleki-Ravasan N, Yahyapour Y, Ferdosi-Shahandashti E. Wolbachia Endobacteria in Natural Populations of Culex pipiens of Iran and its Phylogenetic Congruence. J Arthropod Borne Dis. 10(3):349-365.