Antibiotic curing of parthenogenesis in Eretmocerus mundus (Australian parthenogenic form)

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Abstract

The thelytokous parasitoid, Eretmocerus mundus (Australian parthenogenetic form) was infected with a species of Group B Wolbachia. Antibiotic treatment of the parasitoid cured parthenogenesis and lead to male production and reduced egg hatching by virgin females. For each generation infected females produced more progeny than cured females. The descendants of individuals treated with antibiotic were in most cases free of a detectable infection. Both treated females and descendant females mated and received sperm, but these were not used as mated and unmated cured females produced offspring with a similar sex ratio. Males produced as a result of the antibiotic treatment were at least partially functional as they produced sperm and copulated with and inseminated females. However, no sexual line could be established.

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