Cardinium in Plagiomerus diaspidis (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae)

Yiftach Matalon, Nurit Katzir, Yuval Gottlieb, Vitaly Portnoy, Einat Zchori-Fein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The bacterial symbiont Cardinium (Bacteroidetes) was previously implicated in the thelytokous reproduction of the parasitoid Plagiomerus diaspidis Crawford (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). Horizontal transmission of the symbiont among the cactus scale Diaspis echinocacti Bouché (Homoptera: Diaspididae) and its hymenopteran parasitoids has been suggested. In this study, the bacteria associated with D. echinocacti, its parasitoids P. diaspidis and Aphytis sp. (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), and the hyperparasitoid Marietta leopardina Motschulsky (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) were characterized using molecular fingerprinting techniques, and the localization of Cardinium in P. diaspidis was studied using fluorescence in situ hybridizations (FISH). Cardinium was the only bacterium found in P. diaspidis, but it could not be detected in any of the other insects tested. The symbiont was specifically located in the reproductive tissues of its P. diaspidis host.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)106-108
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank N. Mozes-Daube for technical help and Dr. J. Woolley for identifying insect species. This research was supported by The Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 649/03).


  • Bacteroidetes
  • Cardinium
  • Diaspididae
  • Diaspis echinocacti
  • FISH
  • Horizontal transmission
  • Parthenogenesis
  • Symbiont


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