Volume 8, Issue 4      October - December, 2020

Host food preference, screening and phylogenetic analysis of Wolbachia in Myzus persicae populations

Bilal Rasool1*, Zeeshan Nabi1, Muhammad Adnan Bodlah2, Naveed Afzal1, Khizer Samiullah1, Awais Rasool3, Rizwan Rasool1

1Departement of Zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan

2Fareed Biodiversity Conservation Centre, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Khawaja Fareed University of Engineering and Information Technology, Rahim Yar Khan, Pakistan

3Integrated Pest Management Programme, National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad, Pakistan


Myzus persicae (Hemiptera, Aphididae) is a widely distributed, devastating and global sap-sucking crop pest with the diversity of host plants and scratched billions of dollars economically. Wolbachia is a widespread endosymbiotic bacteria and the present study was carried out for the first time to determine the phylogenetic relationship erected on mitochondrial (COI) gene in aphid populations. The screening of Wolbachia was surveyed by wsp general primers in M. persicae populations. Ten food plants were selected to study the food preference of the host M. persicae populations in greenhouse conditions and artificial diets for lab rearing. M. persicae samples were collected from fifteen geographically distant localities of Pakistan. Eggplant and cabbage revealed significantly higher inclinations as compared to other host plants (cauliflower, tomato, sweet potato, Lettuce, broccoli, burdock) whereas carrot and papaya were less preferred by M. persicae. Comparison between natural and artificial diets exhibited maximum populations in natural diets in greenhouse conditions as compared to artificial diets in lab conditions except for June and July. Screening of Wolbachia using PCR markers revealed positive amplicons in M. Persicae. The infection rate persisted (Punjab 16.29%, Khaber Pakhtunkhawa 6.66% and Sindh 8.88 %) conferred by quantitative PCR analysis. Retrieved sequences through mitochondrial COI gene were deposited in gene bank (accession numbers KY509874 and KY522912). The scrutinized dataset depicted the genetic variation of M. persicae populations. Wolbachia is a conjoint and rampant throng of the endosymbiotic microbe and may be acknowledged as a possible means for aphid pest management programs.

Keywords: Myzus persicae, Host preference, Phylogeny, Wolbachia

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