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Maternally inherited bacterial symbionts of arthropods are common, yet symbiont invasions of host populations have rarely been observed. Here, we show that Rickettsia sp. nr. bellii swept into a population of an invasive agricultural pest, the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, in just 6 years. Compared with uninfected whiteflies, Rickettsia-infected(More)
Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where queens(More)
Coevolutionary interactions between plants and their associated pollinators and seed dispersers are thought to have promoted the diversification of flowering plants (Raven 1977; Regal 1977; Stebbins 1981). The actual mechanisms by which pollinators could drive species diversification in plants are not fully understood. However, it is thought that pollinator(More)
Worldwide, there are more than 750 species of Ficus L., which are classifi ed into four subgenera and 20 sections (Rønsted et al., 2005). Fig trees are well known for the complex mutualism with the species-specifi c pollinators, the fi g wasps (Agaonidae) (Herre et al., 2008). They are also considered keystone species in many tropical forests because of(More)
Inherited bacterial symbionts are common in arthropods and can have strong effects on the biology of their hosts. These effects are often mediated by host ecology. The Rickettsia symbiont can provide strong fitness benefits to its insect host, Bemisia tabaci, under laboratory and field conditions. However, the frequency of the symbiont is heterogeneous(More)
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