Intraspecific variability in the parasitoid wasp Trichogramma chilonis: can we predict the outcome of hybridization?
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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Special Issue: Evolution and Biological Control
Volume 5, Issue 5, pages 498–510, July 2012
How to Cite
Benvenuto, C., Tabone, E., Vercken, E., Sorbier, N., Colombel, E., Warot, S., Fauvergue, X. and Ris, N. (2012), Intraspecific variability in the parasitoid wasp Trichogramma chilonis: can we predict the outcome of hybridization?. Evolutionary Applications, 5: 498–510. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2012.00279.x
- Issue published online: 10 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 8 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 20 APR 2012
- French Agency ANR. Grant Number: ANR-06-BDIV-008
- Scientific Department ‘Santé des Plantes et Environnement’ of INRA. Grant Number: 2008-1254-
- biological control;
- genetic improvement;
- intraspecific hybridization;
- reproductive compatibilities
In the framework of biological control, the selection of effective natural enemies determines the final pest control. Thus, the genetic improvement of biocontrol agents could enhance the efficiency of biocontrol programs. Although promising, this approach has rarely been applied in this field. At the intraspecific level, hybridization between divergent populations of biocontrol agents is expected to promote hybrid vigor (heterosis), but it is not clear to what extent. An even more difficult task is the ability to predict the fitness of hybrids from the biological characteristics of their parents. We investigated these general questions by crossing seven populations of the parasitoid wasp Trichogramma chilonis (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae). Our results show different levels of mating compatibilities among populations, including asymmetric or almost complete reproductive isolation. Hybrids' performance (fitness of the F 1 generation) ranges from inbreeding depression to heterosis. It was possible, to some extent, to predict hybrid fitness from pairwise genetic and phenotypic distances among parents, in accordance with the ‘dominance’ hypothesis. This may provide general guidelines for the genetic improvement of biological control agents.