Effect of Maternal Bean Host and Carry-Over Effect on Life-History Traits of Offspring after Diet Switch in Callosobruchus maculatus Open Access

Xu, Tianyi (Spring 2022)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/3484zj16s?locale=en


The maternal rearing environment can not only directly influence mothers’ fecundity and fitness but can also indirectly affect phenotypes, fitness, and behaviors of the offspring generation. Herbivorous insects can potentially respond to environmental cues and produce offspring that are acclimated to specific host conditions with improved overall performance. In addition, offspring larval rearing environment can also influence adult life-history traits, a type of offspring carry-over effect. In this study, we are interested in examining the transgenerational maternal effects and within-generation carry-over effects on offspring’s life-history traits by rearing Callosobruchus maculatus offspring on three different bean hosts that were either the same or different from maternal hosts. We hypothesized that if maternal effects were significant, offspring with the highest quality maternal bean host would have the best performance, whereas if larval carry-over effects had a more significant impact, offspring would have the best performance when reared on the highest quality bean host regardless of the maternal bean host. Our results suggested that both maternal host and offspring host significantly influenced offspring performance, in which the type of maternal host via maternal effects had some influence over offspring body size and body mass, but not survival, fecundity, or egg size, and the type of offspring host significantly impacted all measured offspring life-history traits possibly due to carry-over effects. However, the presumed highest quality maternal and offspring host did not necessarily result in the highest offspring fitness, and the complex interaction effects require further interpretation and investigation.

Table of Contents

Introduction                                                                                                                                    1 

Methods                                                                                                                                           5 

           a. Study System                                                                                                                   5 

           b. Legume Species                                                                                                              6

           c. Experimental Design                                                                                                     6

           d. Data Collection                                                                                                              7

           e. Statistical Analysis                                                                                                        9

Results                                                                                                                                           10 

           a. Adult Body Size and Mass                                                                                          10

           b. Survival                                                                                                                         15

           c. Egg Count                                                                                                                     19

           d. Egg Size                                                                                                                         21

Discussion                                                                                                                                   22 

References                                                                                                                                   29 

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