The Fitness and Economic Benefits of Rearing the Parasitoid Telenomus podisi Under Fluctuating Temperature Regime
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Successful biological control requires detailed knowledge about the mass rearing conditions of the control agents in order to ensure higher quality of field-released insects. Thus, we investigated whether rearing fluctuating thermal condition would affect the fitness and costs of the parasitoid wasp Telenomus podisi Ashmead (a biocontrol agent used for controlling the Neotropical brown stink bug Euschistus heros (Fabricius)) when compared with parasitoid reared at constant temperature condition, which is commonly used in insect facilities. Parasitoids were reared under either constant (continuous exposure at 25 ± 2°C) or fluctuating temperature conditions (i.e., 30 ± 2°C during day and 20 ± 2°C at night) during four consecutive generations. Our results indicated that tested fluctuating temperature is more suitable for rearing of T. podisi as such temperature condition not only resulted in fitness benefits (e.g., shorter developmental time, longer female longevity, higher fecundity/fertility) but also reduced (approximately 23.5%) the estimated costs for producing the parasitoids. Furthermore, rearing T. podisi under fluctuating temperatures improved tolerance to low constant temperatures (i.e., 20°C) without changing the tolerance to constant high temperatures (30°C) in the fourth generation. Surprisingly, even parasitoids that developed under fluctuating thermal conditions performed better than those reared at constant temperature of 25°C. Collectively, our findings suggest that T. podisi reared under fluctuating thermal condition can tolerate better fluctuating temperatures that normally occur both during long periods of transport and in agricultural ecosystems, which will increase the quality and productivity of mass-reared T. podisi for inundative releases.
KeywordsEuschistus heros egg parasitoids mass-rearing thermal tolerance augmentative biological control
The authors gratefully acknowledge Embrapa Soybean for providing the T. podisi wasps and technical support and Embrapa Rice and Beans for allowing the use of its equipment and facilities.
Author Contribution Statement
AFB, EEO, KH, EH, and GS conceived and designed the research. NLC, HSR, and ECS conducted the experiments. AFB, EH, and EEO contributed reagents and/or analytical tools. EEO, NLC, AFB, and KH analyzed the data. EEO, NLC, AFB, KH, GS, and EH wrote the manuscript. All authors read, corrected, and approved the manuscript.
This work was supported by grants from the CAPES Foundation (Financial code 001), the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the Goias State Research Foundation (FAPEG), and the Minas Gerais State Foundation for Research Aid (FAPEMIG).
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