REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0276.v1
Subject: Biology, Entomology Keywords: genetic improvement; genetic variation; heritability; systematic review; biocontrol agent; life history traits
Online: 24 January 2020 (10:39:55 CET)
The concept of genetic improvement in relation to biological control involves the exploitation of natural genetic variation for the benefit of existing biological control agents (BCAs). Despite recent calls for this process to be adopted in biological control research, there is no clear overview of the current state of research into genetic variation within a biological control context, including quantifiable estimates such as narrow-sense heritability (h2). In this systematic review, we aim to determine the current state of research on the genetic variation of biological control traits in natural enemies. After the searching process, screening for papers that can deliver on our research question reduced the initial 2,927 search hits to only a mere 69 papers for data extraction. Of these, the majority (73.6%) did not report quantitative values for genetic variation. Extracting the traits measured in these papers, we categorized them according to two approaches; the first related to fitness components, and the second related to biological control importance. This systematic review highlights the need for more rigorous reporting of the quantitative values of genetic variation to enable the successful genetic improvement of biological control agents.