Genetics and selective breeding of variation in wing truncation in a flightless aphid control agent
Lommen, Suzanne T.E. ; Koops, Kees G. ; Cornelder, Bardo A. ; Jong, Peter W. de; Brakefield, Paul M. - \ 2019
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 167 (2019)7. - ISSN 0013-8703 - p. 636 - 645.
Adalia bipunctata - artificial selection - augmentative pest control - biological control - Coccinellidae - Coleoptera - cryptic genetic variation - gene-by-environment interaction - ladybird - modifier genes - predator - winglessness
Augmentative biological control by predaceous ladybird beetles can be improved by using flightless morphs, which have longer residence times on the host plants. The two-spot ladybird beetle, Adalia bipunctata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), is used for the biological control of aphids in greenhouses and on urban trees. Flightlessness due to truncated wings occurs at very low frequency in some natural populations of A. bipunctata. Pure-breeding strains of this 'wingless' genotype of A. bipunctata can easily be obtained in the laboratory. Such strains have not been commercialized yet due to concerns about their reduced fitness compared to wild-type strains, which renders mass production more expensive. Wingless strains exhibit, however, wide intra-population phenotypic variation in the extent of wing truncation which is related to fitness traits. We here use classical quantitative genetic techniques to study the heritability and genetic architecture of variation in wing truncation in a wingless strain of A. bipunctata. Split-families reared at one of two temperatures revealed strong family-by-temperature interaction: heritability was estimated as 0.64 ± 0.09 at 19 °C and 0.29 ± 0.06 at 29 °C. Artificial selection in opposite directions at 21 °C demonstrated that the degree of wing truncation can be altered within a few generations resulting in wingless phenotypes without any wing tissue (realized h2 = 0.72), as well as those with minimal truncations (realized h2 = 0.61) in two replicates. The latter lines produced more than twice as many individuals. This indicates that selective breeding of wing truncation may be exploited to improve mass rearing of flightless strains of A. bipunctata for commercial biological control. Our work illustrates that cryptic variation can also be a source for the selective breeding of natural enemies.
Contribution of trans regulatory eQTL to cryptic genetic variation in C. elegans
Snoek, L.B. ; Sterken, M.G. ; Bevers, R.P.J. ; Volkers, J.M. ; Hof, Arjen van 't; Brenchley, Rachel ; Riksen, J.A.G. ; Cossins, Andrew ; Kammenga, J.E. - \ 2017
Wageningen University & Research
Caenorhabditis elegans - genetical genomics - eQTL - heat stress - cryptic genetic variation - trans-band - eQTL hotspot
Background Cryptic genetic variation (CGV) is the hidden genetic variation that can be unlocked by perturbing normal conditions. CGV can drive the emergence of novel complex phenotypes through changes in gene expression. Although our theoretical understanding of CGV has thoroughly increased over the past decade, insight into polymorphic gene expression regulation underlying CGV is scarce. Here we investigated the transcriptional architecture of CGV in response to rapid temperature changes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We analyzed regulatory variation in gene expression (and mapped eQTL) across the course of a heat stress and recovery response in a recombinant inbred population. Results We measured gene expression over three temperature treatments: i) control, ii) heat stress, and iii) recovery from heat stress. Compared to control, exposure to heat stress affected the transcription of 3305 genes, whereas 942 were affected in recovering animals. These affected genes were mainly involved in metabolism and reproduction. The gene expression pattern in recovering animals resembled both the control and the heat-stress treatment. We mapped eQTL using the genetic variation of the recombinant inbred population and detected 2626 genes with an eQTL in the heat-stress treatment, 1797 in the control, and 1880 in the recovery. The cis-eQTL were highly shared across treatments. A considerable fraction of the trans-eQTL (40â€“57%) mapped to 19 treatment specific trans-bands. In contrast to cis-eQTL, trans-eQTL were highly environment specific and thus cryptic. Approximately 67% of the trans-eQTL were only induced in a single treatment, with heat-stress showing the most unique trans-eQTL. Conclusions These results illustrate the highly dynamic pattern of CGV across three different environmental conditions that can be evoked by a stress response over a relatively short time-span (2Â h) and that CGV is mainly determined by response related trans regulatory eQTL.