DETECTION OF WOLBACHIA IN LARVAE OF LOXOSTEGE STICTICALIS (PYRALOIDEA: CRAMBIDAE) IN EUROPEAN AND ASIAN PARTS OF RUSSIA
Keywords:beet webworm, endosymbiont, prevalence rate, PCR
Beet webworm Loxostege sticticalis is a notorious pest widely distributed on the territory of Eurasia. Its outbreaks cause severe damage to crops in Russia and China. Here Wolbachia infection is reported for the first time in L. sticticalis. Larvae were sampled in Rostov, Saratov, Irkutsk Regions and Republic of Buryatia in 2005–2013. Primers targeting the wsp gene were used for the PCR screening of Wolbachia. Among 148 larvae, 35 were Wolbachia positive. Wolbachia prevalence rate ranged from 21 to 40 % in the Asian and from 0 to 47 % in the European part of Russia. The combined sample subsets were compared for European versus Asian part of Russia and 2005–2009 versus 2010–2013 timeframes. The prevalence rates of Wolbachia were not significantly different between two parts of Russia, but the endosymbiont presence (estimated for the total dataset) increased with time within the observation period.