Vitellogenin (Vg) and Vitellogenin receptor (VgR) play key roles in the reproductive process and development of many arthropod species, including Amblyseius eharai, a dominant natural enemy of spider mites and other small pests. In this study, impacts of different food on A. eharai fecundity were investigated. Two Vg genes (AeVg1 and AeVg2) and AeVgR genes were cloned, with their expression pattern analyzed. When fed with different foods including Tetranychus cinnabarinus, Aleuroglyphus ovatus and Camellia oleifera pollen, the number of eggs for each female of A. eharai was influenced significantly (P<0.05), while the hatching rate of eggs not significantly (P>0.05). The open reading frames of AeVg1, AeVg2 and AeVgR were 5673, 5634 and 5597 bp, encoding 1857, 1851 and 1830 amino acids, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of the amino acid sequences between the AeVgs and AeVgR and 35 other Vg and VgRs from other arthropod species showed that A. eharai AeVg1 was related most closely to Neoseiulus barkeri Vg1, AeVg2 was related most closely to Neoseiulus cucumeris Vg2, AeVgR was most similar to Varroa jacobsori VgR. AeVgs and AeVgR had similar expression patterns: the highest expression was observed in the oviposition female stage, and the highest expression was observed in A. eharai fed with C. oleifera pollen. Positive correlations between expression of AeVgs and AeVgR and fecundity were observed. These results will help us understand the molecular mechanism of the reproductive capacity in A. eharai.
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