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Cite this article
Lefort M, Brown SDJ, Boyer S, Worner SS, Armstrong K. (2014) Investigation of the relationship between the PGI enzyme system and scarabs fitness response to temperature as a measure of environmental tolerance in invasive species. PeerJ PrePrints2:e460v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.460v1
In the field of invasion ecology, the determination of a species environmental tolerance, is a key parameter in the prediction of its potential distribution, particularly in the context of global warming. In poikilothermic species such as insects, temperature is often considered the most important abiotic factor that affects numerous life-history and fitness traits through its effect on metabolic rate. Therefore the response of an insect to challenging temperatures may provide key information as to its climatic and therefore spatial distribution. Variation in the phosphoglucose-6-isomerase (PGI) metabolic enzyme-system has been proposed in some insects to underlie their relative fitness, and is recognised as a key enzyme in their thermal adaptation. However, in this context it has not been considered as a potential mechanism contributing to a species invasive cability. The present study aimed to compare the thermal tolerance of an invasive scarab, Costelytra zealandica (White) with that of the closely related, and in part sympatrically occurring, congeneric non-invasive species C. brunneum (Broun), and to consider whether any correlation with particular PGI phenotypes was apparent. Third instar larvae of each species were exposed to one of three different temperatures (10, 15 and 20°C) over six weeks and their fitness (survival and growth rate) measured and PGI phenotyping performed via cellulose acetate electrophoresis. No relationship between PGI phenotypes and fitness was detected, suggesting that the PGI may not be contributing to the invasion success and pest status of C. zealandica.
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Raw data (larval weight and survival)
Monitoring of larval weight and larval mortality, for two population of Costelytra zealandica (populations A and B) and one population of C. brunneum (population C), over a period of six weeks, under three different temperature regimes (10, 15 and 20 degrees).
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