Detection of Wolbachia Phage (WO) in Indian Lac Insect [Kerria lacca (Kerr.)] and Its Implications

  • S. Kaushik
  • K. K. Sharma
  • R. Ramani
  • Suman LakhanpaulEmail author
Short Communications


Wolbachia, a maternally inherited bacterium induces reproductive alterations in its hosts such as feminization of males, male killing and parthenogenesis. It is the most diverse endosymbiont infecting more than 70% of the insects ranging from pests to pollinators. Kerria lacca—a hemipteran is a sedentary, oriental insect known to produce lac—the only resin of animal origin. The present study was conducted to screen the presence of Wolbachia and its associated phages in the two infrasubspecific forms (four insect lines) of K. lacca viz. kusmi and rengeeni differing from each other on the basis of host preference. Wolbachia and its associated phage were found to be prevalent in all the insect lines analyzed. We, hereby, report the presence of WO-phage (Wolbachia phage) for the first time in K. lacca. Further, phylogenetic data differentiated the kusmi and rengeeni infrasubspecific forms into two different groups on the basis of WO-phage sequences.


Wolbachia phage Wolbachia Kerria lacca Lac 



Financially support by NAIP-ICAR, New Delhi and R&D Grant by University of Delhi is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Association of Microbiologists of India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indira Gandhi National Tribal UniversityAmarkantakIndia
  2. 2.Indian Institute of Natural Resins and Gums (IINRG), NamkumRanchiIndia
  3. 3.Department of BotanyUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

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