This is a “mini-review” of a new paper that was published on “Genetic and microbiome changes during laboratory adaptation in the key pest Drosophila suzukii. The authors of this paper (K. Nikolouli, H. Colinet, C. Stauffer, and K. Bourtzis) have made this important contribution in the journal Entomologia Generalis, Volume 42 (2022), Issue 5: pp 723-732, and they track wild D. suzukii from the field through multiple generations of laboratory culture. Nikolouli et al. point out that the assumption that field-derived insects make profound changes in their various adaptations, including genetic diversity and symbiotic community changes as they adapt to the artificial conditions of rearing. The authors summarize their work reported in this paper with the following statements “These results can serve as a reference for the design of an area-wide integrated pest management approach with a Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) component. Rearing productivity, biological quality, and mating competitiveness of a SIT mass-reared strain should be assessed in connection with genetic and symbiotic changes occurring during laboratory adaptation.“
The authors statements about the SIT context of these findings actually goes far beyond sterile insect technique, and the findings about changes in genetic characters of the target insects AND the microbiomes have profound implications for rearing for all other purposes, including biological control, insects as food and feed, and research.