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Data from: Parallel evolution of behaviour during independent host-shifts following maize introduction into Asia and Europe

Citation

Calcagno, Vincent et al. (2017), Data from: Parallel evolution of behaviour during independent host-shifts following maize introduction into Asia and Europe, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1pm64

Abstract

Maize was introduced into opposite sides of Eurasia 500 years ago, in Western Europe and in Asia. This caused two host-shifts in the phytophagous genus Ostrinia, O. nubilalis (the European corn borer; ECB) and O. furnacalis (the Asian corn borer; ACB) are now major pests of maize worldwide. They originated independently from Dicot-feeding ancestors, similar to O. scapulalis (the Adzuki bean borer; ABB). Unlike other host-plants, maize is yearly harvested, and harvesting practices impose severe mortality on larvae found above the cut-off line. Positive geotaxis in the ECB has been proposed as a behavioural adaptation to harvesting practices, allowing larvae to move below the cut-off line and thus escape harvest-mortality. Here we test whether the same behavioural adaptation evolved independently in Europe and in Asia. We sampled eight genetically differentiated ECB, ACB and ABB populations in France and China and monitored geotaxis through the entire larval development in artificial stacks mimicking maize stems. We find that all ECB and ACB populations show a similar tendency to move down during the latest larval stages, a behaviour not observed in any European or Asian ABB population. The behaviour is robustly expressed regardless of larval density, development mode or environmental conditions. Our results indicate that maize introduction triggered parallel behavioural adaptations in Europe and Asia, harvest selection presumably being the main driver.

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