In Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) programs, massive numbers of insects are reared, sterilized, and released in the field to impede reproduction of pest populations. The domestication and rearing processes used to produce insects for SIT programs may have significant evolutionary impacts on life history and reproductive biology. We assessed the effects of domestication on sexual performance of laboratory reared Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni, by comparing an old (49 generations) and a young colony (5 generations). We evaluated mating propensity, mating latency, copula duration, sperm transfer, and ability to induce sexual inhibition in mates. Overall, both males and females from the old colony had greater mating propensity than those from the young colony. Copula duration was longer when females were from the old colony. There was no evidence of sexual isolation between the colonies as males and females from the two colonies had similar propensity to mate with flies from either colony. Males from the old colony transferred more sperm regardless of which colony their mate was from. Finally, males from both colonies were similarly able to induce sexual inhibition in their mates and were also similarly able to secure copulations with already-mated females. Positive effects of domestication on sperm transfer, coupled with maintained ability to induce sexual inhibition in mates and to secure copulations with previously mated females, highlights that domestication may have little effect, or even positive effects, on some aspects of sexual performance that may advantage mass-reared B. tryoni in SIT programs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful to Pauline Wyatt for supplying pupae and to Ben Fanson for valuable statistical support. This research was conducted as part of the SITplus collaborative fruit fly program. Project Raising Q‐fly Sterile Insect Technique to World Standard (HG14033) is funded by the Hort Frontiers Fruit Fly Fund, part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation, with coinvestment from Macquarie University and contributions from the Australian Government.
© 2020 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
- laboratory adaptation
- sexual behavior
- sterile insect technique