Maternally transmitted bacteria have been important players in the evolution of insects and other arthropods, affecting their nutrition, resistance, development and reproduction. Wolbachia are the best studied among these and typically the most prevalent. They are known to manipulate biology of their host by inducing male killing, feminization, parthenogenesis, cytoplasmic incompatibility and speciation through reproductive isolation. The current study aims to identify the presence of these bacteria in some of the common butterfly species from Akola district of in Maharashtra. In this study, a PCR screening method with specific primers was used to determine the occurrence of Wolbachia in five butterflies, Common grass yellow, Common emigrant, Mottled emigrant belonging to family Pieridae and Common tiger, Chocolate pansy, belonging to family Nymphalideae. A total of five samples for each butterfly species collected from five corners of the district and screened with Wolbachia-specific W-Spec primers. More than 80% of the samples of all the studied butterflies were found to be infected with Wolbachia spp. This is first record of Wolbachia in the studied butterflies from Akola district in Maharashtra.
Wolbachia, 16S rDNA, PCR, family Nymphalideae, family Pieridae
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