Characterization of a 'Bacteroidetes' symbiont in Encarsia wasps (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae): Proposal of 'Candidatus Cardinium hertigii'

Einat Zchori-Fein, Steve J. Perlman, Suzanne E. Kelly, Nurit Katzir, Martha S. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


Previously, analysis of 16S rDNA sequences placed a newly discovered lineage of bacterial symbionts of arthropods in the 'Bacteroidetes'. This symbiont lineage is associated with a number of diverse host reproductive manipulations, including induction of parthenogenesis in several Encarsia parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae). In this study, electron microscopy and phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA and gyrB genes of symbionts from Encarsia hispida and Encarsia pergandiella are used to describe and further characterize these bacteria. Phylogenetic analyses based on these two genes showed that the Encarsia symbionts are allied with the Cytophaga aurantiaca lineage within the 'Bacteroidetes', with their closest described relative being the acanthamoeba symbiont 'Candidatus Amoebophilus asiaticus'. The Encarsia symbionts share 97% 16S rDNA sequence similarity with Brevipalpus mite and Ixodes tick symbionts and 88% sequence similarity with 'Candidatus A. asiaticus'. Electron microscopy revealed that many of the bacteria found in the ovaries of the two Encarsia species contained a regular, brush-like array of microfilament-like structures that appear to be characteristic of the symbiont. Finally, the role of this bacterium in parthenogenesis induction in E. hispida was confirmed. Based on phylogenetic analyses and electron microscopy, classification of the symbionts from Encarsia as 'Candidatus Cardinium hertigii' is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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