Identification and biological role of the endosymbionts Wolbachia in rice water weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).
Wolbachia spp. are obligate intracellular bacteria present in reproductive tissues of many arthropod species. Wolbachia infection status and roles in host reproduction were studied in the rice water weevil, Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus Kuschel (Coleoptera, Curculionidae), an introduced species in China. We examined Wolbachia infection status in five populations in China where it reproduces parthenogenetically, and one native population in Southeast Texas, where it reproduces bisexually. All populations were infected by Wolbachia, and all specimens in each population were infected by Wolbachia of a single strain. Phylogenetic analyses based on multilocus sequence typing system indicated that Wolbachia in non-native L. oryzophilus weevils diverges evidently from those in native weevils. After treatments with tetracycline, parthenogenetic weevils reduced the fecundity significantly and eggs were not viable. Our results suggest that Wolbachia are necessary for oocyte production in L. oryzophilus.