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Measurement and Selection of Parasitoid Quality for Mass-Reared Trichogramma minutum Riley Used in Inundative Release

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Parasitoid quality, subject to both genetic and environmental influences, is critical to the success of any biological control program, however, its measurement and improvement is poorly understood. In this study, a classic genetic approach is taken to develop two indices, namely a character index and a fitness index, for the measurement and selection of high quality parasitoids used in inundative release. Six life-history traits and corresponding fitness components in 33 inbred strains of Trichogramma minutum were used to generate both genotypic and phenotypic variance-covariance matrices that then allowed for the construction of the indices. Most traits and their fitness components were positively correlated, both phenotypically and genotypically, with lifetime fecundity and the number of female offspring appearing to have an important influence. Selection of the top three strains showed that parasitoid quality could be improved by 36% using the character index and possibly up to 150% using the fitness index. The two indices were linearly correlated suggesting that either could be used to measure quality. The character index is recommended because it requires information on only three life-history traits (fecundity, number of female offspring, and number of male offspring) and has highly correlated responses of fitness components. Our work demonstrates that the best quality T. minutum will be obtained by using the character index to select for inbred strains which have high fecundity and number of female offspring.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-02-01

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