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.
Avoidance of intraguild predation leads to a long-term positive trait-mediated indirect effect in an insect community
Frago, E. ; Godfray, H.C.J. - \ 2014
Oecologia 174 (2014)3. - ISSN 0029-8549 - p. 943 - 952.
parasitoid aphidius-ervi - apparent competition - ecological communities - enemy biodiversity - harmonia-axyridis - prey interactions - natural enemies - ladybird - dynamics - semiochemicals
Intraguild predation among natural enemies is common in food webs with insect herbivores at their base. Though intraguild predation may be reciprocal, typically one species suffers more than the other and frequently exhibits behavioural strategies to lessen these effects. How such short-term behaviours influence population dynamics over several generations has been little studied. We worked with a model insect community consisting of two species of aphid feeding on different host plants (Acyrthosiphon pisum on Vicia and Sitobion avenae on Triticum), a parasitoid (Aphidius ervi) that attacks both species, and a dominant intraguild predator (Coccinella septempunctata) that also feeds on both aphids (whether parasitized or not). As reported previously, we found A. ervi avoided chemical traces of C. septempunctata. In population cages in the laboratory, application of C. septempunctata extracts to Vicia plants reduced parasitism on A. pisum. This did not increase parasitism on the other aphid species, our predicted short-term trait-mediated effect. However, a longer term multigenerational consequence of intraguild predator avoidance was observed. In cages where extracts were applied in the first generation of the study, parasitoid recruitment was reduced leading to higher population densities of both aphid species. S. avenae thus benefits from the presence of a dominant intraguild predator foraging on another species of aphid (A. pisum) on a different food plant, a long-term, trait-mediated example of apparent mutualism. The mechanism underlying this effect is hypothesized to be the reduced searching efficiency of a shared parasitoid in the presence of cues associated with the dominant predator.