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Genetic flexibility in the green peach aphid: Defensive polyphenism in response to parasitoid pressure and the assembly of a new draft genome

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.P.M.
Date created
The green peach aphid, Myzus persicae Sulzer (Hemiptera: Aphididae), poses a serious threat to a wide variety of both greenhouse and field crops. In greenhouses, biological control agents are commonly used to combat M. persicae infestations. In order to better understand how M. persicae adapts to parasitoid pressure, I designed a multi-generational experiment using a classical experimental evolution framework, where single genetic lines of M. persicae were exposed to the parasitoid Aphidius colemani over multiple, consecutive generations. The results of this experiment show no evidence that M. persicae adapts to parasitoid pressure over time, and hint at the importance of aphid colony density in transgenerational stress responses. In recent years, genomic analysis has become an increasingly useful tool for investigating aphid polyphenism. Using PacBio long-reads, I generated a new draft genome assembly for M. persicae that I hope will contribute to aphid genomic studies in the future.
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This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Gries, Gerhard
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