The butterfly Danaus plexippus is infected with the bacteria Wolbachia and Spiroplasma Open Access

Swamy, Rohini Sanjeev (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/g158bj05k?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
The butterfly Danaus plexippus is infected with the bacteria Wolbachia and Spiroplasma

Very little is known about the microorganisms that exist within Monarch butterflies ( Danaus
plexippus).
Several studies have been carried out looking at the microorganisms of other insect
species; research shows that large amounts of insect species are infected with Wolbachia and
Spiroplasma. These bacteria have varying phenotypes within their hosts, as well as different
relationships with their specific hosts. This study shows that Monarch butterflies are, too,
infected with Wolbachia and Spiroplasma. The prevalence rates of these bacteria were
determined using bacterium-specific Polymerase Chain Reactions. Wolbachia had an extremely
low prevalence rate ~1%, while Spiroplasma had a high prevalence rate ~80%. Interestingly, the
prevalence rates of both bacteria, especially Spiroplasma, were different across the populations
screened. There was no significant difference in the number of Wolbachia infected males vs.
females, but there was a significant difference between Spiroplasma infected males vs. females.
Sequencing the bacteria and further phylogenetic analyses will be important in determining the
strains of the bacteria and the phenotypes they cause in Monarchs.

Table of Contents



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 1
Methods .......................................................................................................................................... 7
Fig 1.. .............................................................................................................................................. 8
Table 1 .......................................................................................................................................... 10
Results .......................................................................................................................................... 11
Table 2 .......................................................................................................................................... 11
Fig 2. ............................................................................................................................................. 13
Fig 3. ............................................................................................................................................. 13
Fig 4.. ............................................................................................................................................ 15
Fig. 5. ............................................................................................................................................ 23
Fig 6. ............................................................................................................................................. 17
Discussion .................................................................................................................................... 17
Future Directions ........................................................................................................................ 22
References .................................................................................................................................... 23
Appendix A ................................................................................................................................... 27
Appendix B ................................................................................................................................... 35
Appendix C ................................................................................................................................... 37
Appendix D ................................................................................................................................... 39

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