Groot, T.V.M.; Breeuwer, J.A.J.
Bacterial symbionts that manipulate the reproduction of their host to increase their own transmission are widespread. Most of these bacteria are Wolbachia, but recently a new bacterium, named Cardinium, was discovered that is capable of the same manipulations. In the host species Brevipalpus
Boivin, T; Henri, H; Vavre, F; Gidoin, C; Veber, P; Candau, J-N; Magnoux, E; Roques, A; Auger-Rozenberg, M-A
Among eukaryotes, sexual reproduction is by far the most predominant mode of reproduction. However, some systems maintaining sexuality appear particularly labile and raise intriguing questions on the evolutionary routes to asexuality. Thelytokous parthenogenesis is a form of spontaneous loss of sexuality leading to strong distortion of sex ratio towards females and resulting from mutation, hybridization or infection by bacterial endosymbionts. We investigated whether ecological specialization is a likely mechanism of spread of thelytoky within insect communities. Focusing on the highly specialized genus Megastigmus (Hymenoptera: Torymidae), we first performed a large literature survey to examine the distribution of thelytoky in these wasps across their respective obligate host plant families. Second, we tested for thelytoky caused by endosymbionts by screening in 15 arrhenotokous and 10 thelytokous species for Wolbachia, Cardinium, Arsenophonus and Rickettsia endosymbionts and by performing antibiotic treatments. Finally, we performed phylogenetic reconstructions using multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to examine the evolution of endosymbiont-mediated thelytoky in Megastigmus and its possible connections to host plant specialization. We demonstrate that thelytoky evolved from ancestral arrhenotoky through the horizontal transmission and the fixation of the parthenogenesis-inducing Wolbachia. We find that ecological specialization in Wolbachia's hosts was probably a critical driving force for Wolbachia infection and spread of thelytoky, but also a constraint. Our work further reinforces the hypothesis that community structure of insects is a major driver of the epidemiology of endosymbionts and that competitive interactions among closely related species may facilitate their horizontal transmission. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Mateo Leach, I; Hesseling, A; Huibers, W H C; Witsenboer, H; Beukeboom, L W; van de Zande, L
Under arrhenotoky, unfertilized haploid eggs develop as males but under thelytoky they develop into diploid females after they have undergone diploidy restoration. In the parasitoid wasp Venturia canescens both reproductive modes occur. Thelytoky is genetically determined but the underlying genetics of diploidy restoration remain unknown. In this study we aim to identify the genes and/or proteins that control thelytoky. cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism (cDNA-AFLP) analysis of total ovarian RNA and two-dimensional protein electrophoresis in combination with mass spectrometry revealed putative transcripts and proteins involved in arrhenotokous and thelytokous development. The detected tubulin and actin protein differences are most likely functionally related to the two types of reproduction.
Holmes, M J; Tan, K; Wang, Z; Oldroyd, B P; Beekman, M
Thelytokous parthenogenesis, or the asexual production of female offspring, is rare in the animal kingdom, but relatively common in social Hymenoptera. However, in honeybees, it is only known to be ubiquitous in one subspecies of Apis mellifera, the Cape honeybee, A. mellifera capensis. Here we report the appearance of queen cells in two colonies of the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana that no longer contained a queen or queen-produced brood to rear queens from. A combination of microsatellite genotyping and the timing of the appearance of these individuals excluded the possibility that they had been laid by the original queen. Based on the genotypes of these individuals, thelytokous production by natal workers is the most parsimonious explanation for their existence. Thus, we present the first example of thelytoky in a honeybee outside A. mellifera. We discuss the evolutionary and ecological consequences of thelytoky in A. cerana, in particular the role thelytoky may play in the recent invasions by populations of this species.
Porter, David L.; Martin, Jon
Abstract Micropsectra sedna (Oliver, 1976) is a parthenogenetic midge from the Canadian Arctic. The parthenogenetic mechanism is apomictic thelytoky, with a restitutional division during oogenesis, as found in other parthenogenetic Chironomidae. It is triploid, with two similar chromosome sets, and the third is relatively dissimilar, pairing little with the diploid set. Two karyotypes were observed: a single individual with eight polytene elements in the salivary glands (3n=12), considered standard, while the majority of larvae showed only seven polytene chromosomes (3n=11). Hybrid speciation is considered likely, although chromosomal recombination following the origin of thelytoky has played some part in karyotype evolution. A single morphologically distinct larva was also found, which might be the donor of the haploid chromosome set. The apomictic restitutional system is compared to that of the other, independently derived, parthenogenetic Chironomids to assess the extent of similarity between species. PMID:24260638
Tsutsui, Y; Maeto, K; Hamaguchi, K; Isaki, Y; Takami, Y; Naito, T; Miura, K
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.
Martin, Stephen J.; Beekman, Madeleine; Wossler, Theresa C.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.
Relocation of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, by bee-keepers from southern to northern South Africa in 1990 has caused widespread death of managed African honeybee, A. m. scutellata, colonies. Apis mellifera capensis worker bees are able to lay diploid, female eggs without mating by means of automictic thelytoky (meiosis followed by fusion of two meiotic products to restore egg diploidy), whereas workers of other honeybee subspecies are able to lay only haploid, male eggs. The A. m. capensis workers, which are parasitizing and killing A. m. scutellata colonies in northern South Africa, are the asexual offspring of a single, original worker in which the small amount of genetic variation observed is due to crossing over during meiosis (P. Kryger, personal communication). Here we elucidate two principal mechanisms underlying this parasitism. Parasitic A. m. capensis workers activate their ovaries in host colonies that have a queen present (queenright colonies), and they lay eggs that evade being killed by other workers (worker policing)-the normal fate of worker-laid eggs in colonies with a queen. This unique parasitism by workers is an instance in which a society is unable to control the selfish actions of its members.
Description of the male of Psyllaephagus euphyllurae (Masi (Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae, a parasitoid of the olive psylla, Euphyllura olivina (Costa (Hemiptera, Liviidae, with notes on its reproductive traits and hyperparasitoids
Full Text Available A colony of the encyrtid wasp Psyllaephagus euphyllurae (Masi (Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae has been established in the quarantine laboratory at the University of California, Riverside, California, USA as part of a classical biological control program against its invasive host, the olive psylla, Euphyllura olivina (Costa (Hemiptera, Psylloidea, Liviidae, an important pest of olives in some parts of the world. The colony originators were reared from the same host found on abandoned, commercial olives in Catalonia, Spain; additional collections were made in Murcia. The parasitoid reproduces primarily by thelytoky; however, a few occasional males have been found in the field in Spain, but not in colonies reared under quarantine or laboratory conditions. Here, the female of P. euphyllurae is redescribed and its male is described and illustrated for the first time; the only previous mention of male P. euphyllurae was from Tunisia, reared from the same psyllid host but without any details on its morphology. A lectotype is designated for Encyrtus euphyllurae Masi. Information is given on the results of genetic matching between the two sexes of the parasitoid and also on the presence of the bacterial Wolbachia symbiont that apparently is affecting reproduction of this species, including its sex ratio in the field. Two species of hyperparasitoids have also emerged from the parasitized olive psylla nymphs from Catalonia: numerous specimens of Apocharips trapezoidea (Hartig (Hymenoptera, Figitidae and one specimen of a Pachyneuron sp. (Hymenoptera, Pteromalidae.
Jarosch, Antje; Stolle, Eckart; Crewe, Robin M; Moritz, Robin F A
In eusocial insects the production of daughters is generally restricted to mated queens, and unmated workers are functionally sterile. The evolution of this worker sterility has been plausibly explained by kin selection theory [Hamilton W (1964) J Theor Biol 7:1-52], and many traits have evolved to prevent conflict over reproduction among the females in an insect colony. In honeybees (Apis mellifera), worker reproduction is regulated by the queen, brood pheromones, and worker policing. However, workers of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, can evade this control and establish themselves as social parasites by activating their ovaries, parthenogenetically producing diploid female offspring (thelytoky) and producing queen-like amounts of queen pheromones. All these traits have been shown to be strongly influenced by a single locus on chromosome 13 [Lattorff HMG, et al. (2007) Biol Lett 3:292-295]. We screened this region for candidate genes and found that alternative splicing of a gene homologous to the gemini transcription factor of Drosophila controls worker sterility. Knocking out the critical exon in a series of RNAi experiments resulted in rapid worker ovary activation-one of the traits characteristic of the social parasites. This genetic switch may be controlled by a short intronic splice enhancer motif of nine nucleotides attached to the alternative splice site. The lack of this motif in parasitic Cape honeybee clones suggests that the removal of nine nucleotides from the altruistic worker genome may be sufficient to turn a honeybee from an altruistic worker into a parasite.
Full Text Available Abstract The haplodiploid sex determining mechanism in Hymenoptera (males are haploid, females are diploid has played an important role in the evolution of this insect order. In Hymenoptera sex is usually determined by a single locus, heterozygotes are female and hemizygotes are male. Under inbreeding, homozygous diploid and sterile males occur which form a genetic burden for a population. We review life history and genetical traits that may overcome the disadvantages of single locus complementary sex determination (sl-CSD. Behavioural adaptations to avoid matings between relatives include active dispersal from natal patches and mating preferences for non-relatives. In non-social species, temporal and spatial segregation of male and female offspring reduces the burden of sl-CSD. In social species, diploid males are produced at the expense of workers and female reproductives. In some social species, diploid males and diploid male producing queens are killed by workers. Diploid male production may have played a role in the evolution or maintenance of polygyny (multiple queens and polyandry (multiple mating. Some forms of thelytoky (parthenogenetic female production increase homozygosity and are therefore incompatible with sl-CSD. We discuss a number of hypothetical adaptations to sl-CSD which should be considered in future studies of this insect order.
Tabata, Jun; Ichiki, Ryoko T; Tanaka, Hirotaka; Kageyama, Daisuke
Asexual reproduction, including parthenogenesis in which embryos develop within a female without fertilization, is assumed to confer advantages over sexual reproduction, which includes a "cost of males." Sexual reproduction largely predominates in animals, however, indicating that this cost is outweighed by the genetic and/or ecological benefits of sexuality, including the acquisition of advantageous mutations occurring in different individuals and the elimination of deleterious mutations. But the evolution of sexual reproduction remains unclear, because we have limited examples that demonstrate the relative success of sexual lineages in the face of competition from asexual lineages in the same environment. Here we investigated a sympatric occurrence of sexual and asexual reproduction in the pineapple mealybug, Dysmicoccus brevipes. This pest invaded southwestern Japan, including Okinawa and Ishigaki Islands, in the 1930s in association with imported pineapple plants. Our recent censuses demonstrated that on Okinawa sexually reproducing individuals can coexist with and even dominate asexual individuals in the presence of habitat and resource competition, which is considered to be severe for this nearly immobile insect. Molecular phylogeny based on partial DNA sequences in the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, as well as the endosymbiotic bacterial genome, revealed that the asexual lineage diverged from a common sexual ancestor in the relatively recent past. In contrast, only the asexual lineage exhibiting obligate apomictic thelytoky was discovered on Ishigaki. Co-existence of the two lineages cannot be explained by the results of laboratory experiments, which showed that the intrinsic rate of increase in the sexual lineage was not obviously superior to that of the asexual lineage. Differences in biotic and/or abiotic selective forces operating on the two islands might be the cause of this discrepancy. This biological system offers a unique opportunity to assess
Wallberg, Andreas; Pirk, Christian W; Allsopp, Mike H; Webster, Matthew T
In colonies of the honeybee Apis mellifera, the queen is usually the only reproductive female, which produces new females (queens and workers) by laying fertilized eggs. However, in one subspecies of A. mellifera, known as the Cape bee (A. m. capensis), worker bees reproduce asexually by thelytoky, an abnormal form of meiosis where two daughter nucleii fuse to form single diploid eggs, which develop into females without being fertilized. The Cape bee also exhibits a suite of phenotypes that facilitate social parasitism whereby workers lay such eggs in foreign colonies so their offspring can exploit their resources. The genetic basis of this switch to social parasitism in the Cape bee is unknown. To address this, we compared genome variation in a sample of Cape bees with other African populations. We find genetic divergence between these populations to be very low on average but identify several regions of the genome with extreme differentiation. The regions are strongly enriched for signals of selection in Cape bees, indicating that increased levels of positive selection have produced the unique set of derived phenotypic traits in this subspecies. Genetic variation within these regions allows unambiguous genetic identification of Cape bees and likely underlies the genetic basis of social parasitism. The candidate loci include genes involved in ecdysteroid signaling and juvenile hormone and dopamine biosynthesis, which may regulate worker ovary activation and others whose products localize at the centrosome and are implicated in chromosomal segregation during meiosis. Functional analysis of these loci will yield insights into the processes of reproduction and chemical signaling in both parasitic and non-parasitic populations and advance understanding of the process of normal and atypical meiosis.
Full Text Available In colonies of the honeybee Apis mellifera, the queen is usually the only reproductive female, which produces new females (queens and workers by laying fertilized eggs. However, in one subspecies of A. mellifera, known as the Cape bee (A. m. capensis, worker bees reproduce asexually by thelytoky, an abnormal form of meiosis where two daughter nucleii fuse to form single diploid eggs, which develop into females without being fertilized. The Cape bee also exhibits a suite of phenotypes that facilitate social parasitism whereby workers lay such eggs in foreign colonies so their offspring can exploit their resources. The genetic basis of this switch to social parasitism in the Cape bee is unknown. To address this, we compared genome variation in a sample of Cape bees with other African populations. We find genetic divergence between these populations to be very low on average but identify several regions of the genome with extreme differentiation. The regions are strongly enriched for signals of selection in Cape bees, indicating that increased levels of positive selection have produced the unique set of derived phenotypic traits in this subspecies. Genetic variation within these regions allows unambiguous genetic identification of Cape bees and likely underlies the genetic basis of social parasitism. The candidate loci include genes involved in ecdysteroid signaling and juvenile hormone and dopamine biosynthesis, which may regulate worker ovary activation and others whose products localize at the centrosome and are implicated in chromosomal segregation during meiosis. Functional analysis of these loci will yield insights into the processes of reproduction and chemical signaling in both parasitic and non-parasitic populations and advance understanding of the process of normal and atypical meiosis.