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J Insect Physiol. 2011 Jan;57(1):83-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2010.09.008. Epub 2010 Oct 15.

Physiological and biological patterns of a highland and a coastal population of the European cherry fruit fly during diapause.

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Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Greece.


Adult emergence of univoltine temperate insect species and its synchronization with specific host phenological stages is mainly regulated by obligatory pupal diapause. Although a few studies have investigated the factors affecting diapause intensity, little attention has been paid to the physiological alterations and metabolic regulation that take place during diapause. Here, we describe differences in diapause between a highland and a coastal Greek population of the European cherry fruit fly Rhagoletis cerasi, a major pest of sweet and sour cherries in many European countries. Pupae of both populations were exposed to the environmental conditions prevailing in the two areas and diapause termination was observed under laboratory conditions. The regulation of energetic metabolites during the long pupae stage was examined under both field and laboratory conditions. Differences in diapause intensity revealed that the two populations have adapted to the local geographical and climatic conditions and have different requirements for low temperatures to terminate diapause. The coastal population undergoes a shorter diapause and adults emerge more rapidly, especially in the highland area. The highland population failed to terminate diapause (<40% adult emergence) in the coastal area. Both populations draw on their major energetic reserves (lipids and protein) similarly during diapause. Nevertheless, regulation of carbohydrate and glycogen reserves seems to vary between the populations: major peaks of these stored nutrients occur on different dates in the two populations, suggesting a differential regulation. Differences in diapause intensity imply a genetic differentiation between the two populations. The importance of our findings in understanding the physiological patterns during obligatory diapause of a univoltine insect species, as well as the practical implications for the development of specific phenological models for the European cherry fruit fly are discussed.

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