Evolution in biocontrol strains: insight from the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis
Article first published online: 7 JUN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Special Issue: Evolution and Biological Control
Volume 5, Issue 5, pages 481–488, July 2012
How to Cite
Tayeh, A., Estoup, A., Laugier, G., Loiseau, A., Turgeon, J., Toepfer, S. and Facon, B. (2012), Evolution in biocontrol strains: insight from the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis. Evolutionary Applications, 5: 481–488. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2012.00274.x
- Issue published online: 10 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 7 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 7 NOV 2011
- French Agropolis Foundation. Grant Number: 1001-001
- biological control;
- biological invasion;
- fungal entomopathogen;
- genetic drift;
- Harmonia axyridis;
- inadvertent selection;
- laboratory adaptation;
- life-history traits
After being used as a biocontrol agent against aphids for decades without harmful consequences, the Asian harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis has suddenly become an invasive pest on a worldwide scale. We investigate the impact of captive breeding on several traits of this ladybird such as genetic diversity, fecundity, survival and pathogen resistance. We conducted an experiment in the laboratory to compare the fecundity and the susceptibility to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana of wild and biocontrol adults of H. axyridis. We compiled these new findings with already published data. Altogether, our findings suggest that mass rearing of biological control agents may strongly impact genetic diversity and life-history traits. We discuss how such changes may subsequently affect the fitness of biological control strains in natural environments.