Detection and Phylogenetic Analysis of Wolbachia in Onion Thrips (Thrips tabaci Lindeman)


  • Pragati Randive ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Rajgurunagar, Pune 410505, Maharashtra
  • Pravin Khambalkar ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Rajgurunagar, Pune 410505, Maharashtra
  • Kiran Khandagale ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Rajgurunagar, Pune 410505, Maharashtra
  • Indira Bhangare ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Rajgurunagar, Pune 410505, Maharashtra
  • K. Chandrashekhar ICAR- Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Regional Station, Pune 411067, Maharashtra
  • Major Singh ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Rajgurunagar, Pune 410505, Maharashtra
  • Suresh Gawande ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Rajgurunagar, Pune 410505, Maharashtra



Wolbachia pipientis, Thrips tabaci, 16s rDNA, phylogeny, melon thrips, chilli thrips, reproductive parasite, Allium cepa, geographical distributions, male-killing


Wolbachia is a group of bacteria that is known to infect many arthropods and nematodes. It is one of the most common parasitic microbes and is possibly the most common reproductive parasite in the biosphere. The bacterium is best known for its ability to manipulate host reproductive biology where it can induce cytoplasmic incompatibility, parthenogenesis, feminization and male-killing. In the present study, onion thrips (Thrips tabaci Lindeman) were collected from 9 locations in India along with melon thrips (Thrips palmi Karny) and chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis). From the molecular level detection by using 16s rDNA, the Wolbachia infection has been detected in the onion thrips collected from 6 locations out of 9. Melon thrips and chilli thrips samples were also found to be infected by Wolbachia. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that all detected Wolbachia samples showed that all were distantly related to the previously known Wolbachia samples.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




How to Cite

Randive, P., Khambalkar, P., Khandagale, K., Bhangare, I., Chandrashekhar, K., Singh, M., & Gawande, S. (2023). Detection and Phylogenetic Analysis of <i>Wolbachia</i> in Onion Thrips (<i>Thrips tabaci</i> Lindeman). Indian Journal of Entomology, 86(1), 39–43.



Research Articles


Ambika S, Rajagopal R. 2018. Lumen anatomy and localization of Wolbachia sp. in the thrips, Plicothrips apicalis (Bagnall). Current Science 115 (7): 1297-1304. DOI:

Arakaki N, Miyoshi T, Noda H, 2001. Wolbachia-mediated parthenogenesis in the predatory thrips Franklinothrips vespiformis (Thysanoptera: Insecta). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences 268(1471): 1011-1016. DOI:

Baldo L, Hotopp J C D, Jolley K A, Bordenstein S R, Biber S A, Choudhury R R, Hayashi C, Maiden M C J, Tettelin H, Werren J H. 2006. Multilocus sequence typing system for the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 72: 7098-7110. DOI:

Chai H N, Du Y Z, Qiu B L, Zhai B P. 2011. Detection and phylogenetic analysis of Wolbachia in the Asiatic rice leaf roller, Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, in Chinese populations. Journal of Insect Science 11(1): 123. DOI:

Cano-Calle D, Saldamando-Benjumea C I, Vivero-Gómez R J, Moreno-Herrera CX. Arango-Isaza R E. 2021. Two new strains of Wolbachia affecting natural avocado thrips. Indian Journal of Microbiology 61(3): 348-354. DOI:

Diaz-Montano J, Fuchs M, Nault B A, Shelton A M. 2010. Evaluation of onion cultivars for resistance to onion thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and iris yellow spot virus. Journal of Economic Entomology 103: 925-937. DOI:

Diaz-Montano J, Fuchs M, Nault B A, Fail J M Shelton A M. 2011. Onion Thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): A global pest of increasing concern in onion. Journal of Economic Entomology 104 (1): 1-13. DOI:

Fournier F, Boivin G, Stewart R K. 1995. Effect of Thrips tabaci (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on yellow onion yields and economic thresholds for its management, Journal of Economic Entomology 88: 1401-1407. DOI:

Gawande S J, Anandhan S, Ingle A, Roylawar P, Khandagale K, Gawai T, Jacobson A, Asokan R, Singh M. 2019. Microbiome profiling of the onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Plos One 14(9): e0223281. DOI:

Gomes T M F F, Gabriel L W, Elgion LS. 2022. Multiple long-range host shifts of major Wolbachia supergroups infecting arthropods. Scientific Reports 12(1): 8131. DOI:

Huigens M E, De Almeida R P, Boons P A H, Luck R F, Stouthamer R. 2004. Natural interspecific and intraspecific horizontal transfer of parthenogenesis–inducing Wolbachia in Trichogramma wasps. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 271: 509–515. DOI:

Jacob T K, D′ Silva S, Senthil Kumar C M, Devasahayam S, Rajalakshmi V, Sujeesh E S, Bhat A I Abraham S. 2015. Single strain infection of adult and larval cardamom thrips (Sciothrips cardamomi) by Wolbachia subgroup Con belonging to supergroup B in India. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development 59 (1): 1-8. DOI:

Jeyaprakash A, Hoy M A. 2000. Long PCR improves Wolbachia DNA amplification: wsp sequences found in 76% of sixty-three arthropod species. Insect Molecular Biology 9(4): 393-405. DOI:

Jiggins F M, Bentley J K, Majerus M E, Hurst G D. 2001. How many species are infected with Wolbachia? Cryptic sex ratio distorters revealed to be common by intensive sampling. Proceedings of the Royal Society 268: 1123-1126. DOI:

Kaczmarczyk A, Kucharczyk H, Kucharczyk M, Kapusta P, Sell J, Zielinska S. 2018. First insight into microbiome profile of fungivorous thrips Hoplothrips carpathicus (Insecta: Thysanoptera) at different developmental stages: molecular evidence of Wolbachia endosymbiosis. Scientific Reports 8: 14376. DOI:

Kendall D M, Capinera J L. 1987. Susceptibility of onion growth stages to onion thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) damage and mechanical defoliation. Environmental Entomology 16: 859-863. DOI:

Klasson L, Kambris Z, Cook P E, Walker T, Sinkins S P. 2009. Horizontal gene transfers between Wolbachia and the mosquito Aedes aegypti. BMC Genomics 10: 33. Kumm S Moritz G. 2008. First detection of Wolbachia in arrhenotokous populations of thrips species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae and Phelaeothripidae) and its role in reproduction. Environmental Entomology 37: 1422-1428. DOI:

Nault B A, Shelton A M, Kaufmann J G, Clark M, Werren J, Cabrera-la Rosa J C, Kennedy G G. 2006. Reproductive modes in onion thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) populations from New York onion fields. Environmental Entomology 35(5): 1264-1271. DOI:

O’Neill S L, Giordano R, Colbert A M E, Karr T L, Robertson H M. 1992. 16S rRNA phylogenetic analysis of the bacterial endosymbionts associated with cytoplasmic incompatibility in insets. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 89: 2699-2702. DOI:

Pintureau B, Lassabliere F, Khatchadourian C, Daumal J. 1999. Parasitoides oophages et symbiotes de deux Thrips European. Annales de la Société entomologique de France, 35: 416-420.

Rowley S M, Raven R J, McGraw E A. 2004. Wolbachia pipientis in Australian spiders. Current Microbiology 49: 208-214. DOI:

Rueda A, Badenes-Perez F R, Shelton A M. 2007. Developing economic thresholds for onion thrips in Honduras. Crop Protection 26: 1099-1107. DOI:

Saurav G K, Daimei G, Rana V P, Popli S Rajagopal R. 2016. Detection and localization of Wolbachia in Thrips palmi Karny (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Indian Journal of Microbiology 56(2): 167-171. DOI:

Stouthamer R, Breeuwe J A J, Hurst G D. 1999. Wolbachia Pipientis: Microbial manipulator of arthropod reproduction. Annual Review of Microbiology 53: 71-102. DOI:

Ullman D E, Meideros R, Campbell L R, Whitefield A E, Sherwood J L, German T L. 2002. Thrips as a vector of tospoviruses. Advances in Botanical Research 36: 113-140. DOI:

Werren J H. 1997. Biology of Wolbachia. Annual Review of Entomology 42: 587-609. DOI:

Werren, J H, Windsor D M. 2000. Wolbachia infection frequencies in insects: evidence of a global equilibrium? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 267: 1277-1285. DOI:

Werren J H, Zhang W, Guo L R. 1995. Evolution and phylogeny of Wolbachia: reproductive parasites of arthropods. Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Science 261: 55-71. DOI:

White P M, Pietria J E, Debec A, Russella S, Patela B, Sullivan W. 2017. Mechanisms of Horizontal Cell-to-Cell Transfer of Wolbachia spp. in Drosophila melanogaster. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 83(7): e03425-16. DOI:

Yen J H, Barr A R. 1971. New hypothesis of the cause of cytoplasmic incompatibility in Culex pipiens L. Nature 232: 657-658. DOI: