Field Prevalence of Conserved Wolbachia Pipientis in Brazilian Populations of Aedes Albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae)
  Key Words  
  Mosquitoes, intracellular bacterium, genetic diversity, ftsZ, wsp
  Alessandra Lima Albuquerque, Tereza Magalhaes, and ConstaNcia FlaVia Junqueira Ayres
  Wolbachia pipientis has been suggested to control insect vectors. In this context, studies on the prevalence and diversity of this bacterium in wild populations are relevant for future interventions. Here, we evaluated the diversity of two W. pipientis genes (ftsZ and wsp) and the prevalence of this endosymbiont in wild A. albopictus. Our results showed that 99.3% of A. albopictus individuals were superinfected with Wolbachia when screened by seminested PCR. In regard to genetic diversity, the two genes showed no variation within or among A. albopictus populations. Among the hypotheses may explain the conservation of wsp and ftsZ in Wolbachia from A. albopictus, there is the crucial role of these genes in CI phenotype, causing a high selective pressure that may inhibit the emergence of new strains. Analysis of other Wolbachia markers may help to clarify the symbiotic relationship between these bacteria and their hosts, and thus aid on the development of novel mosquito control strategies.