The PGI enzyme system and fitness response to temperature as a measure of environmental tolerance in an invasive species
Lefort, Marie-Caroline; Brown, S.D.J.; Boyer, Stephane; Worner, S.P.; Armstrong, K.
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Citation:Lefort, M.-C., Brown, S.D.J., Boyer, S., Worner, S.P., & Armstrong, K. (2014). The PGI enzyme system and fitness response to temperature as a measure of environmental tolerance in an invasive species. PeerJ, 2, pp.e676. doi:10.7717/peerj.676
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4042
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 keyinformation 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 scarabaeid beetle, 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 genotypes was apparent. Third instar larvae of each species were exposed to one of three different temperatures (10, 15 and 20C) over six weeks and their fitness (survival and growth rate) measured and PGI phenotyping performed via cellulose acetate electrophoresis. No consistent relationship between PGI genotypes and fitness was detected, suggesting that PGI may not be contributing to the invasion success and pest status of C. zealandica