Breeding natural enemies to generate populations with improved characteristics is an attractive idea, particularly nowadays with the increase in use of biological control and the availability of modern molecular and genetic tools. A first step in the process is to characterize traits which can be important for biological control and their intraspecific variation. In this study we characterized fecundity, longevity and dispersal-related traits of four endogamic and three exogamic laboratory populations (lines) of Mastrus ridens, an important parasitoid of the codling moth (Cydia pomonella (L.)). We found that several traits were positively correlated and that there was variability among lines and between endogamic and exogamic lines. Exogamic lines presented a better combination of trait values than endogamic lines. The absence of trade-offs among the traits studied in M. ridens would be advantageous for a breeding program. Nevertheless, it would be important not to lose genetic variability in the process, because of the presence of complementary sex determination (CSD) and negative effects of inbreeding on other traits. The results of this study could be useful for the selection of M. ridens lines with better traits and as preliminary information for breeding programs.
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This research was supported by Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo - Chile, through the Project FONDECYT N 1181256.
Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo, FONDECYT N°1181256
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Authors indicate no conflict of interest.
Handling Editor: Dirk Babendreier.
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Zaviezo, T., Romero, A., Calleja, F. et al. Intraspecific variation in biocontrol traits in Mastrus ridens (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) laboratory populations. BioControl 66, 475–485 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10526-021-10094-7
- Intraspecific variability