Reproductive parasitism in insects. The interaction of host and bacteria

  • Irina Goryacheva Laboratory of Insect Genetics, Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Gubkina, 3, Moscow, 117971, Russian Federation; Department of General Biology and Bioecology, Moscow Region State University, ul. Very Voloschinoy, 24, Mytishchi, Moscow Region, 141014, Russian Federation
  • Boris Andrianov Laboratory of Insect Genetics, Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Gubkina, 3, Moscow, 117971, Russian Federation; Department of General Biology and Bioecology, Moscow Region State University, ul. Very Voloschinoy, 24, Mytishchi, Moscow Region, 141014, Russian Federation


Reproductive parasitism is a specific form of symbiosis in which a microorganism alters the reproduction of the host by interfering with the mechanisms of sex development. The review considers four changes in reproduction — male killing, parthenogenesis, feminization, and cytoplasmic incompatibility — determined by cytoplasmic bacteria. The cytogenetic and molecular genetic mechanisms of interaction between partners in the symbiotic system are discussed, including the comparative analysis of molecular-genetic factors responsible for reproductive parasitism. The features of the interaction between an insect and bacteria in symbiosis with various systems for determining the sex of the host, male and female heterogamy and haplodiploidy, are considered. Studies of cytoplasmic incompatibility are of great practical importance, since they open up prospects for non-invasive engineering on natural insect populations for biocontrol.


reproductive parasitism, male killing, parthenogenesis, feminization, cytoplasmic incompatibility, bacteria, insect


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How to Cite
Goryacheva, I., & Andrianov, B. (2021). Reproductive parasitism in insects. The interaction of host and bacteria. Biological Communications, 66(1), 17–27.
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