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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)
A major problem in evolutionary biology is explaining the success of mutualism. Solving this problem requires understanding the level of fidelity between interacting partners. Recent studies have proposed that fungus-growing ants and their fungal cultivars are the products of 'diffuse' coevolution, in which single ant and fungal species are not exclusive to(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)
PREMISE OF THE STUDY We developed a set of microsatellite markers for broad utility across the species-rich pantropical tree genus Ficus (fig trees). The markers were developed to study population structure, hybridization, and gene flow in neotropical species. METHODS AND RESULTS We developed seven novel primer sets from expressed sequence tag (EST)(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)
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)
Arthropods commonly carry maternally inherited intracellular bacterial symbionts that may profoundly influence host biology and evolution. The intracellular symbiont Rickettsia sp. nr. bellii swept rapidly into populations of the sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci in the south-western USA. Previous laboratory experiments showed female-bias and fitness(More)
Nancy Andrews Debra R. Ayres Andrew Beckenbach Jeffrey L. Brodsky Richard P. Brown Christopher Burridge Mair E. A. Churchill Christopher T. Cole Surangi Dharmawardhane Lisa Davis Robert T. Dillon Walter W. Dimmick Jonathan Drachman William Duax William Heed David W. Hein Anna Himler Arne Holmgren Howard J. Jacob Mehdi Kabani Karl T. Kelsey Damase Khasa(More)
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