Inadvertent selection is an important genetic process that frequently occurs during laboratory culture and maintenance of biological control agents and other beneficial organisms used in procedures such as the sterile insect technique (SIT). We investigated effects of mass rearing and inbreeding depression on life history traits (number of progeny emerging from host plants, body weight, developmental period, and starvation tolerance) in the sweetpotato weevil, Cylas formicarius elegantulus (Summers) (Coleoptera: Brentidae). The effect of inbreeding was measured by comparing the results obtained from the full-sib crosses with those obtained from nonkin crosses in both wild and mass-reared strains. The mass-reared strain had more progeny than the wild strain. The developmental period of mass-reared strain was shorter than that of the wild strain. Other traits did not differ significantly between strains. We detected inbreeding depression effects on numbers of progeny, and the effects were more pronounced in the mass-reared strain. Hence, laboratory adaptation to mass rearing can produce changes in important biological attributes of sweetpotato weevils.
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Vol. 103 • No. 4