Characterization of Wolbachia postica, the cause of reproductive incompatibility among alfalfa weevil strains

Sy Jye Christine Leu, Joseph K K Li, Ting H. Hsiao

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Wolbachia postica, which causes reproductive incompatibility between male western alfalfa weevils and female eastern or Egyptian weevils, was isolated by Renografin density gradients. Hybridization of DNA from this isolated microorganism with a mycoplasma-specific gene probe confirmed it is not a mycoplasma but a wolbachia. Polyclonal antibodies produced against inactivated Wolbachia postica showed high sensitivity in fluorescent light microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy. This antibody was specific for Wolbachia-infected adult weevil by immunoblots which were reliable and reproducible, and more sensitive than the Giemsa stain procedure. A 135-kDa protein detected in all weevils infected with wolbachiae appeared to be a good marker for the microorganism. This technique facilitates the detection of wolbachiae-infected male weevils. Dissection of the ovary was not required to analyze the female weevils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-259
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • alfalfa weevil strains
  • fluorescent microscopy
  • H. brunneipennis
  • Hypera postica
  • immunoblotting
  • immunoelectron microscopy
  • polyclonal antibody
  • Renografin density gradient
  • reproductive incompatibility
  • rickettsia
  • wolbachia
  • Wolbachia postica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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