The value of an egg: resource reallocation in ladybirds (Coleoptera:Coccinellidae) infected with male-killing bacteria

Citation:
Elnagdy, S., M. E. N. Majerus, and L. L. - J. Handley, "The value of an egg: resource reallocation in ladybirds (Coleoptera:Coccinellidae) infected with male-killing bacteria", Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 24, issue 10, pp. 2164-72, 2011.

Abstract:

Male-killing bacteria are thought to persist in host populations by vertical transmission and conferring direct and ? or indirect fitness benefits to their hosts. Here, we test the role of indirect fitness benefits accrued from resource reallocation in species that engage in sibling egg cannibalism. We found that a single-egg meal significantly increased larval survival in 12 ladybird species, but the value of an egg (to survival) differed substantially between species. Next, we tested the impact of three male-killing bacteria on larval survival in one ladybird species, Adalia bipunctata. Spiroplasma reduced larval survival, whereas Wolbachia and Rickettsia had no effect. However, Spiroplasma-infected larvae showed the greatest response to a single-egg meal.

Notes:

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