An experimental test of whether the defensive phenotype of an aphid facultative symbiont can respond to selection within a host lineage.
McLean AHC., Godfray HCJ.
An experiment was conducted to test whether parasitoid resistance within a single clonal line of pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) might increase after exposure to the parasitoid wasp Aphidius ervi. Any change in resistance was expected to occur through an increase in the density of protective symbiotic bacteria rather than genetic change within the aphid or the bacterial symbiont. Six aphid lineages were exposed to high parasitoid attack rates over nine generations, each line being propagated from individuals that had survived attack; a further six lineages were maintained without parasitoids as a control. At the end of the experiment the strength of resistance of aphids from treatment and control lines were compared. No differences in resistance were found.