What is it about?

Genetically close mating partners such as siblings may reduce fitness and reproductive success and in the long run compromise population growth. Our study shows for plant-inhabiting predatory mites that populations founded by females mated to genetically distant males perform better than those founded by females mated to genetically close males.

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Why is it important?

Among others, our study is important for the use of predatory mites in biological control. It shows that genetically distant founders produce faster growing populations, which may guide the use and release of these mites in biological control of spider mites.


Predatory mites are highly interesting and rewarding model animals to test the effects of in- and out-breeding because they have a unique sex allocation system called pseudo-arrhenotoky. Both females and males arise from fertilized eggs but the males lose later one chromosome set (this is called paternal genome elimination) making them haploid.

Peter Schausberger
University of Vienna

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Founder effects on trans-generational dynamics of closed inbreeding lineages of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis, PLoS ONE, April 2019, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215360.
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