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Data from: Morphological and biological characterization of a light-colored mutant in the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis

Citation

Sun, Yuanxing et al. (2019), Data from: Morphological and biological characterization of a light-colored mutant in the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.04b3g81

Abstract

1. Insect cuticle color formed with melanin pigments has numerous types of mutants which usually cause pleiotropic effects. Melanism has been widely studied, but mutants with light-colored phenotype as well as the consequent fitness changes have rarely been reported. 2. Here, in the laboratory strain of Harmonia axyridis, we found a novel mutant gr and confirmed that the mutation was inherited in a simple Mendelian autosomal recessive manner. This mutant (HAM) continuously displayed a light-colored pigmentation versus dark blackish in the wild phenotype (HAW). L-DOPA and dopamine are melanin precursors, and less L-DOPA was present in the cuticle of larval and adult HAM mutants compared to HAW wild-type, but more dopamine was detected in the larval cuticle of HAM (p ≤ 0.0235). For the orange background of elytra, the composition as well as total concentration of carotenoids was different between HAM and HAW, which resulted in significantly lower saturation value but significantly higher hue value in HAM than in HAW (p < 0.0001). 3. Extensive fitness changes were detected in HAM. (1) HAM larvae had similar predation capacity and pre-imaginal development time as HAW, but the newly emerged adults were much smaller (p < 0.0001). (2) Both fecundity and egg hatch rate in cross ♀(HAM)×♂(HAM) were significantly lower than those in ♀(HAW)×♂(HAW) (p ≤ 0.0087), but were not different with those in ♀(HAW)×♂(HAM). (3) HAM had weaker resistance to desiccation and ultraviolet irradiation compared to HAW (p ≤ 0.0115). 4. These results indicated that the novel light-colored mutant (HAM) was highly correlated with fitness changes, and it would be a perfect model to study molecular mechanisms of melanism and how a gene results in pleiotropic effects.

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