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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 30;8(9):e74760. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074760. eCollection 2013.

Cold temperatures increase cold hardiness in the next generation Ophraella communa beetles.

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1
State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China.

Abstract

The leaf beetle, Ophraella communa, has been introduced to control the spread of the common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, in China. We hypothesized that the beetle, to be able to track host-range expansion into colder climates, can phenotypically adapt to cold temperatures across generations. Therefore, we questioned whether parental experience of colder temperatures increases cold tolerance of the progeny. Specifically, we studied the demography, including development, fecundity, and survival, as well as physiological traits, including supercooling point (SCP), water content, and glycerol content of O. communa progeny whose parents were maintained at different temperature regimes. Overall, the entire immature stage decreased survival of about 0.2%-4.2% when parents experienced cold temperatures compared to control individuals obtained from parents raised at room temperature. However, intrinsic capacity for increase (r), net reproductive rate (R 0) and finite rate of increase (λ) of progeny O. communa were maximum when parents experienced cold temperatures. Glycerol contents of both female and male in progeny was significantly higher when maternal and paternal adults were cold acclimated as compared to other treatments. This resulted in the supercooling point of the progeny adults being significantly lower compared to beetles emerging from parents that experienced room temperatures. These results suggest that cold hardiness of O. communa can be promoted by cold acclimation in previous generation, and it might counter-balance reduced survival in the next generation, especially when insects are tracking their host-plants into colder climates.

PMID:
24098666
PMCID:
PMC3787003
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0074760
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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