The effects of reproductive specialization on energy costs and fitness genetic variances in cyclical and obligate parthenogenetic aphids

Mauricio J. Carter, Jean Christophe Simon, Roberto F. Nespolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Organisms with coexisting sexual and asexual populations are ideal models for studying the consequences of either reproductive mode on the quantitative genetic architecture of life-history traits. In the aphid Rhopalosiphum padi, lineages differing in their sex investment coexist but all share a common parthenogenetic phase. Here, we studied multiple genotypes of R. padi specialized either for sexual and asexual reproduction and compared their genetic variation in fitness during the parthenogenetic phase. Specifically, we estimated maintenance costs as standard metabolic rate (SMR), together with fitness (measured as the intrinsic rate of increase and the net reproductive rate). We found that genetic variation (in terms of broad-sense heritability) in fitness was higher in asexual genotypes compared with sexual genotypes. Also, we found that asexual genotypes exhibited several positive genetic correlations indicating that body mass, whole-animal SMR, and apterous individuals production are contributing to fitness.Hence, it appears that in asexual genotypes, energy is fully allocated to maximize the production of parthenogenetic individuals, the simplest possible form of aphid repertoire of life-histories strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1414-1425
Number of pages12
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume2
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Cyclical parthenogenesis
  • G-matrix
  • Quantitative genetics
  • Sexuality
  • Standard metabolic rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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