The influence of temperature on life history traits of four Acyrthosiphon pisum clones was investigated, together with their resistance to one genotype of the fungal entomopathogen Erynia neoaphidis. There was no difference among aphid clones in development rate, but they did differ in fecundity. Both development rate and fecundity were influenced by temperature, but all clones showed similar responses to the changes in temperature (i.e. the interaction term was nonsignificant). However, there were significant differences among clones in susceptibility to the pathogen, and this was influenced by temperature. Furthermore, the clones differed in how temperature influenced susceptibility, with susceptibility rankings changing with temperature. Two clones showed changes in susceptibility which mirrored changes in the in vitro vegetative growth rate of E. neoaphidis at different temperatures, whereas two other clones differed considerably from this expected response. Such interactions between genotype and temperature may help maintain heritable variation in aphid susceptibility to fungal pathogen attack and have implications for our understanding of disease dynamics in natural populations. This study also highlights the difficulties of drawing conclusions about the efficacy of a biological control agent when only a restricted range of pest genotypes or environmental conditions are considered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science