Godinho, D.P., Cruz, M.A., Charlery de la Masselière, M., Teodoro‐Paulo, J., Eira, C., Fragata, I., Rodrigues, L.R., Zélé, F. & Magalhães, S. (2020) Creating outbred and inbred populations in haplodiploids to measure adaptive responses in the laboratory.Ecology and Evolution, 10(14), 7291-7305. DOI:10.1002/ece3.6454 (IF2020 2,912; Q2 Ecology)
Laboratory studies are often criticized for not being representative of processes occurring in natural populations. One reason for this is the fact that laboratory populations generally do not capture enough of the genetic variation of natural populations. This can be mitigated by mixing the genetic background of several field populations when creating laboratory populations. From these outbred populations, it is possible to generate inbred lines, thereby freezing and partitioning part of their variability, allowing each genotype to be characterized independently. Many studies addressing adaptation of organisms to their environment, such as those involving quantitative genetics or experimental evolution, rely on inbred or outbred populations, but the methodology underlying the generation of such biological resources is usually not explicitly documented. Here, we developed different procedures to circumvent common pitfalls of laboratory studies, and illustrate their application using two haplodiploid species, the spider mites Tetranychus urticae and Tetranychus evansi. First, we present a method that increases the chance of capturing high amounts of variability when creating outbred populations, by performing controlled crosses between individuals from different field-collected populations. Second, we depict the creation of inbred lines derived from such outbred populations, by performing several generations of sib-mating. Third, we outline an experimental evolution protocol that allows the maintenance of a constant population size at the beginning of each generation, thereby preventing bottlenecks and diminishing extinction risks. Finally, we discuss the advantages of these procedures and emphasize that sharing such biological resources and combining them with available genetic tools will allow consistent and comparable studies that greatly contribute to our understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes.