Automictic parthenogenesis in the parasitoid Venturia canescens (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) revisited

Genome. 2000 Dec;43(6):939-44. doi: 10.1139/g00-061.


Both arrhenotokous and thelytokous reproduction are known to occur in the parasitoid wasp Venturia canescens. The cytological mechanism of thelytoky was previously reported to involve the formation of a restitution metaphase after the reduction division, but the exact nature of the subsequent divisions, whether reductional or equational, remained unclear. We reinvestigated the cytological mechanisms in a thelytokous strain collected in France. Our observations confirm previous results, but an equational and not a reduction division was observed after restitution. This type of reproduction can be classified as central fusion automictic parthenogenesis. In two arrhenotokous strains the normal pattern of oogenesis and syngamy of Hymenoptera was observed. In addition, we used PCR amplification to show that thelytoky in V. canescens is not caused by Wolbachia bacteria. The results are discussed in relation to maintenance of heterozygosity and female sex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes
  • Hymenoptera / classification
  • Hymenoptera / genetics*
  • Hymenoptera / microbiology
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Parthenogenesis*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Wolbachia / genetics
  • Wolbachia / isolation & purification