In vitro cultivation of the hymenoptera genetic model, Nasonia

PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51269. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051269. Epub 2012 Dec 5.


The wasp genus Nasonia is a genetic model with unique advantages for the study of interspecific differences, including haplodiploidy and interfertile species. However, as a parasitoid, Nasonia is confined within a fly host, thus restricting direct observations and manipulation of development over time. Here, we present the first in vitro cultivation method for this system that decouples Nasonia from its host, allowing continuous observations from embryo to adulthood. Using transwell plates and a simple Nasonia rearing medium, we demonstrate a technique that will significantly expand the utility of the Nasonia model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Digestive System Physiological Phenomena
  • Larva / physiology
  • Models, Animal*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Peristalsis
  • Tissue Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Wasp Venoms
  • Wasps / genetics*
  • Wasps / growth & development*


  • Wasp Venoms

Grant support

Support of this work was provided by NSF award DEB 1046149 to SRB. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.