- Complex inheritance of larval adaptation in Plutella xylostella to a novel host plant
- Volume | Issue number
- 107 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Studying the genetics of host shifts and range expansions in phytophagous insects contributes to our understanding of the evolution of host plant adaptation. We investigated the recent host range expansion to pea, in the pea-adapted strain (P-strain) of the crucifer-specialist diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). Larval survivorship on the novel host plant pea and a typical crucifer host (kale) was measured in reciprocal F(1), F(2) and backcrosses between the P-strain and a strain reared only on crucifers (C-strain). Reciprocal F(1) hybrids differed: offspring from P-strain mothers survived better on pea, indicating a maternal effect. However, no evidence for sex-linkage was found. Backcrosses to the P-strain produced higher survivorship on pea than C-strain backcrosses, suggesting recessive inheritance. In a linkage analysis with amplified fragment length polymorphism markers using P-strain backcrosses, two, four and five linkage groups contributing to survival on pea were identified in three different families respectively, indicating oligogenic inheritance. Thus, the newly evolved ability to survive on pea has a complex genetic basis, and the P-strain is still genetically heterogeneous and not yet fixed for all the alleles enabling it to survive on pea. Survivorship on kale was variable, but not related to survivorship on pea. This pattern may characterize the genetic inheritance of early host plant adaptation in oligophagous insect species.
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