Maternally Inherited Bacterium Causing Female Bias
in the St. Petersburg Population of Adalia bipunctata
Does Not Belong to the Genus Rickettsia

I. A. Zakharov1, G. D. D. Hurst2, N. E. Chernysheva1, and M. E. N. Majerus2

1 Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 117809 Russia
2 University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EH United Kingdom

Received January 16, 1996

Abstract—Secondary sex ratio is female biased (72 females : 34 males) in the St. Petersburg population of
Adalia bipunctata
. Approximately 50% of females produced unisexual progeny lacking males. This trait was
maternally inherited for five generations in progeny of such females. The male-killing factor can be eliminated
by treatment with tetracycline, i.e., it represents a bacterium that transmits transovarially. In contrast to the
male-killing agent from British and Netherland populations, this bacterium does not belong to the genus Rick-
as was demonstrated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with specific primers.

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