Total progeny of Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) reared on 10 wheat, Triticum aestivum L., varieties was evaluated. Higher amylase activities were detected in populations with few individuals, whereas the opposite was observed in higher populations. As protein ingested increased, reproductive success increased. However, consumption of wheat protein was inversely correlated with amylase activity levels (r = −0.66). Amylase activity in homogenates of R. dominica populations showed variable inhibition by wheat extracts prepared from wheat varieties on which they were reared. Insect populations with lowest amylase activities were inhibited more by wheat extracts than those with higher amylase activity (r = −0.77). An electrophoretic analysis revealed four phenotypes showing combinations of three isoamylases (Rm 0.70, 0.79, and 0.90) in different populations of R. dominica. Some of the insect progeny that emerged from resistant wheat varieties contained the three isoamylases, whereas progeny that emerged from the most susceptible varieties showed reduced activity of isoamylases 0.70 or 0.90. These results suggest that the α-amylase activity levels and the composition of isoamylases in R. dominica populations are modulated by diet and that the α-amylase inhibitory activity of the wheat kernels influences these variations.
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Vol. 99 • No. 6