University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Logo BOKU Resarch Portal

Multiple Wolbachia infection in the Cherry Fruit Fly Rhagoletis cerasi and their potential application for biological pest control management

Project Leader
Stauffer Christian, Project Leader
Type of Research
Basic Research
Project partners
Faculty of Biological & Chemical Sciences School of Integrative Biology , Qld 4072 , Australia.
Contact person: Dr. Markus Riegler ;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Institut Jacques Monod Laboratoire Dynamique du Genome et Evolution, 2, place Jussieu , 75251 , France.
Contact person: Prof. Dr. Merçot Hervé ;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Universitätsklinik für Frauenheilkunde, Austria.
Contact person: Dr. Wolfgang Miller;
Function of the Project Partner: Sub-Koordinator
Veigel Stefan, Project Staff
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Forest Entomology, Forest Pathology and Forest Protection
Funded by
Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF) , Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria
Wolbachia are inherited bacteria of arthropods which have attracted attention for their potential as biocontrol agents as they manipulate host reproduction by using e.g. cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). Wolbachia strains of the cherry fruit fly were transferred to medfly and there wCer2 and wCer4 induced complete CI. However, during Wolbachia transinfection assays infected embryonic cytoplasm is transferred via microinjection into the recipient’s pole plasma and here other microorganism can be hidden passengers. Hence, the first part of this project aims to survey the microbial fauna of the reproductive organs of R. cerasi using degenerated 16S rDNA primers.
Further novel Wolbachia strains of the Sicilian R. cerasi shall be characterized as detection of more strains is expected using various novel genetic marker sets (ANK, VNTRs, IS5). That way we will also obtain more information on (i) the genomic structure and organization of the different wCer strains and (ii) the genomic integrity and stability of recently established infections in novel host organisms. By transferring these Wolbachia strains to Drosophila simulans and D. melanogaster the phenotype and the infection dynamics of these Wolbachia strains shall be evaluated and information shall be won for their potential use in biological control.

Schuler H. Arthofer W., Krumböck S., Köppler K., Vogt H., Teixeira L.A.F., Riegler M., Stauffer C. (2009): Wolbachia in Rhagoletis spp..

Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie, 7, 99-102; ISSN 0344-9084

© BOKU Wien Imprint