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Effects of tetracycline and rifampicin treatments on the fecundity of the Wolbachia-infected host, Tribolium confusum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

Li, Y.Y., Fields, P.G., Pang, B.P., Floate, K.D. (2016). Effects of tetracycline and rifampicin treatments on the fecundity of the Wolbachia-infected host, Tribolium confusum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), 109(3), 1458-1464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/tow067

Abstract

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. We examined the effects of Wolbachia bacteria on the reproduction of the flour beetle Tribolium confusum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) using different antibiotics and across generations. We first removed infections by rearing insects on a diet with tetracycline (T; 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 5.0, 10.0 mg/g) or rifampicin (R; 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 1.0 mg/g). We then performed experimental crosses using adults two generations (G2) and four generations (G4) removed from antibiotic treatments. Results showed that use of rifampicin more readily cured infections. Egg hatch from crosses of uninfected females and infected males was 0, but averaged 84 to 91% for eggs from all other crosses. Elevated fecundity was observed for T-G2 females, but not for T-G4, R-G2, or R-G4 females. Cross type had little or no effect on the sex of F1 offspring, which averaged 52% female. These collective results support previous findings that show that Wolbachia in T. confusum causes 100% cytoplasmic incompatibility and emphasize that the antibiotic treatment used to remove infections may have additional consequences (e.g., elevated fecundity) that may not be apparent in subsequent generations.

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