Term of Award

Spring 1998

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Frank E. French

Committee Member 1

William S. Irby

Committee Member 2

Q. Quentin Fang


Chrysops vittatus, a small deer fly, and Tabanus atratus, a horse fly, were captured concurrently in Bulloch County, Georgia during June through September of 1989-1997 Cultures were made from adult females, and the frequency and diversity of spiroplasma carriage were determined by deformation and endpoint testing.

Of the 90 Chrysops vittatus processed, 23 (25 .6%) carried spiroplasmas. The most prevalent spiroplasmas were representatives of group Vlll (20/23): strain B1357 (7/23); Spiroplasma syrphidicola (5/23); S. chrysopicola (4/23); strain TAAS-1 (4/23). Groups XVIII and XXXV were represented by S. Htorale (2/23) and strain B2649 (1/23), respectively.

Of the 47 Tabanus atratus processed, 22 (46.8%) carried spiroplasmas. The most prevalent spiroplasma was represented by S. tabatudicola (12/22) of group XXXIII Other isolations were as follows: group XXIII, S. gladiatoris (3/22), group IV, strain PPS-1 (1/22); group XIV, S. corruscae (1/22); group XVIII, S. htorale (1/22); group XXXIII, strain TABS-2 (1/22); group XXXIV, strain B1901 (1/22), group XXXV, strain B2649 (1/22)

Tabanus longiusculis and Tabanus hneola were live captured and randomly assigned to five treatment groups: A - spiroplasmas only; B - entomoplasmas only; C - spiroplasmas first and entomoplasmas later, D - entomoplasmas first and spiroplasmas later, E - control (sucrose only) Strain TN-1, Spiroplasma htorale, and strain ELCN-1, Entomoplasma ellychniae, were administered in 5% sugar water. Spiroplasma litorale was recovered from the following treatments: A - 12 of 12 gut cultures and 1 of 12 hemolymph cultures, C - 9 of 9 gut cultures and 1 of 9 hemolymph cultures; D - 7 of 7 gut cultures and 1 of 7 hemolymph cultures Entomoplasma ellychmae was recovered from the following treatments: C - 5 of 9 gut cultures and 1 of 9 hemolymph cultures, D - 7 of 7 gut cultures and 1 of 7 hemolymph cultures.

To my knowledge, this is the first report of laboratory induced infections of A. litorale and E. ellychniae being administered in sugar water Also, the gut and hemolymph samples where both S. litorale and E. ellychniae were recovered represent the first reports of concurrent mollicute infections in tabanids.


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