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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365471

Research Project: Cryopreservation of Bee Germplasm Research

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Title: Parental thermal history influences offspring characteristics

item EARLS, KAYLA - North Dakota State University
item PORTER, MONIQUE - North Dakota State University
item Yocum, George
item GREENLEE, KENDRA - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/24/2019
Publication Date: 11/17/2019
Citation: Earls, K.N., Porter, M., Yocum, G.D., Greenlee, K.J. 2019. Parental thermal history influences offspring characteristics [abstract]. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Nov. 17-20, 2019. St. Louis, MO. Talk No. 1019.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: During development, Megachile rotundata may experience sudden, low temperature stress due to the environment or from agricultural practices to delay development. Although short-term exposure to low temperatures does not increase mortality in M. rotundata, previous research discovered sub-lethal effects. However, the lasting impacts of short-term exposure to low temperature stress on reproduction and future offspring is unknown. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that low temperature stress reduces fitness. Developing pupae were interrupted with either a constant (STR) or fluctuating (FTR) low temperature treatment for one week and then returned to 29'C to resume development. After adults emerged, 20 marked females and 10 males were placed in field tents in an alfalfa field. Bees were monitored for 3 weeks, and fitness and offspring characteristics were measured, including number of brood cells, offspring viability, dry weight, sex ratios, and diapause incidence. Bees exposed to low temperature treatments did not have a reduction in the number of offspring; however, brood cells created by STR-treated females had a higher proportion of viable offspring. Treated females did not alter the sex ratio of their offspring, but their investment in offspring differed with STR-females producing larger offspring. Offspring from STR-females weighed more than offspring from control females and FTR-females. Interestingly, offspring from FTR-females were significantly more likely to enter diapause, which suggests mothers are interpreting their environmental conditions differently. This is the first study to evaluate how low temperature stress during development affects future field performance, fitness, and offspring characteristics.