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PLoS One. 2016 Jan 5;11(1):e0146153. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146153. eCollection 2016.

Laboratory Performance Predicts the Success of Field Releases in Inbred Lines of the Egg Parasitoid Trichogramma pretiosum (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae).

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Escola Superior de Agricultura "Luiz de Queiroz"- ESALQ/ Universidade de São Paulo - USP, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.
Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, California, United States of America.


In this study we assessed the relationship between the laboratory and field performance of different isofemale lines of Trichogramma pretiosum Riley. In comparative assays, we used three rare mitochondrial haplotypes as genetic markers of the isofemale lines, and by introgressing these mitochondrial haplotypes into each of 15 genetically different nuclear lines, also tested the assumption that mitochondria are neutral markers. In a laboratory trial, 45 isofemale lines (15 nuclear genotypes x three mitochondrial haplotypes) were ranked in three categories (best, intermediate and worst) according to the mean offspring production and the proportion of female offspring. Subsequently, lines from each of the three categories were selected for field releases to quantify field parasitism on Ephestia kuehniella. Temporally separate releases were done in a transgenic Bt cornfield, with four plots, each with 50 points of recapture. The points of recapture consisted of trap cards with eggs of E. kuehniella collected daily. The trap cards were maintained in the laboratory at 25°C until the adult wasps emerged, and the maternal identity of the wasps was determined using qPCR and high-resolution melt curve analysis to determine the mitochondrial haplotype. The results showed that these measures of laboratory performance (fecundity and offspring sex ratio) were good predictors of field success in T. pretiosum. We also report strong evidence discrediting the assumption that mitochondria are neutral, in view of the correlation between performance and mitochondrial haplotype.

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