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Does domestication affect Q-fly sexual performance?

Find out more about the new article that Jeanneth Pérez, Fruit Fly ITTC Alumni, and her coauthors published in Insect Science. The study compared 2 different Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly) colonies (old vs young) and had a look at mating propensity, mating latency, copula duration, sperm transfer and ability to induce sexual inhibition in mates. Congratulations!


"Domestication‐related changes in sexual performance of Queensland fruit fly"


Jeanneth Pérez, Vivian Mendez, Boaz Yuval & Phillip W. Taylor


Abstract

In Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) programs, massive numbers of insects are reared, sterilised 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.


Read the publication.


Photo: Queensland fruit fly.

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