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Genetic variability and expression of phenological and morphological differences in populations of Delia radicum (Diptera: Anthomyiidae)

  • D.G. Biron (a1), D. Coderre (a1), G. Boivin (a2), E. Brunel (a3) and J.P. Nénon (a4)...


In this study, survival to adult stage, duration of development of the immature stages, egg micromorphology, DNA polymorphism, and reproductive compatibility were measured for early- and late-emerging phenotypes of Delia radicum Linneaus to determine whether both phenotypes had evolved differences other than the duration of puparial development and to find the most likely genetic system controlling the expression of both phenotypes. Survival to adult stage was not significantly different between the early- and late-emerging phenotypes. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) primers tested suggest that it is possible to distinguish an early-emerging fly from a late-emerging fly. Furthermore, the results suggest that the early- and late-emerging phenotypes differ not only in the timing of adult emergence but also in their egg structure (egg micromorphology) and in their larval and puparial mortality. These two phenotypes are not reproductively or ecologically isolated. The genetic system controlling the expression of early and late emergers in a population of D. radicum is probably an adaptive strategy reducing predator and parasitoid pressures, optimizing resource utilization, and ensuring survival of D. radicum during atypical winters. This strategy could eventually lead to temporal sympatric speciation if there are changes in a few key loci responsible for host plant selection and fitness on a new host.

Dans cette étude, les phénotypes hâtif et tardif de Delia radicum Linneaus ont été comparés en ce qui concerne la probabilité de survie jusqu’au stade adulte, les durées de développement des stades immatures, la micromorphologie des œufs, le polymorphisme de leur ADN et leur compatibilité reproductive, afin de déterminer si ces deux phénotypes ont acquis des traits distinctifs autre que la durée du développement nymphal et afin d’identifier le système génétique causant l’expression des deux phénotypes. La survie jusqu’au stade adulte n’est pas significativement différente entre les deux phénotypes. Les amorces ADN polymorphe amplifiées au hasard (RAPD) suggèrent qu’il est possible de distinguer les deux phénotypes. Nos résultats suggèrent que les deux phénotypes sont distincts non seulement pour la période d’émergence mais aussi pour la micromorphologie de leurs œufs et pour la mortalité aux stades larvaire et nymphale. Les individus des deux phénotypes, hâtif et tardif, ne présentent pas d’isolements reproductifs et écologiques. Le système génétique contrôlant l’expression des deux phénotypes est probablement un mécanisme de protection de la variabilité génétique au sein d’une population conférant certains avantages écologiques : diminuer les pressions exercées par les prédateurs et les parasitoïdes, optimiser l’utilisation de la ressource et assurer la survie de D. radicum durant les années atypiques. Il est possible que ce mécanisme adaptatif cause une spéciation sympatrique temporelle s’il y a des changements au niveau de loci impliqués dans la sélection de la plante hôte et dans la valeur adaptative d’un individu.


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Genetic variability and expression of phenological and morphological differences in populations of Delia radicum (Diptera: Anthomyiidae)

  • D.G. Biron (a1), D. Coderre (a1), G. Boivin (a2), E. Brunel (a3) and J.P. Nénon (a4)...


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