Wolbachia density changes seasonally amongst populations of the pale grass blue butterfly, Zizeeria maha (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)

Takuto Sumi, Kazuki Miura, Takahisa Miyatake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies showed that the survival rate of Wolbachia decreases under high temperature in incubators. It is also known that a high density of Wolbachia in the host body reduces the host emergence rate, while low densities fail to change reproduction rates. However, few studies have examined the density of Wolbachia in hosts in the field. Here, we focus on Wolbachia infection of the pale grass blue butterfly, Zizeeria maha (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae), which is distributed throughout the Japanese islands. We examined the rate and density of Wolbachia infection in the bodies of butterflies at thirteen locations in Japan. At seven of these places, we collected butterflies in different seasons to determine seasonal differences in the infection rate and density and found that Wolbachia density has seasonal differences within the same population. Moreover, to determine whether Wolbachia density has a geographical cline, we compared the infection density of Wolbachia amongst all geographical populations. In addition, we determined the sequences of Wolbachia wsp and host mtDNA CO1 haplotypes of all populations. The results showed that Wolbachia density increased in early summer and decreased in autumn. Further, the density of Wolbachia infecting the same strain of Z. maha varied amongst populations, although no tendency in geographical cline was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0175373
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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