Afit: a bioinformatic tool for measuring aphid fitness and invasiveness.
A careful measure of fitness represents a crucial target in crop pest management and becomes fundamental considering extremely prolific insects. In the present paper, we describe a standardized rearing protocol and a bioinformatics tool to calculate aphid fitness indices and invasiveness starting from life table data. We tested the protocol and the bioinformatic tool using six Myzus persicae (Sulzer) asexual lineages in order to investigate if karyotype rearrangements and ecotype could influence their reproductive performances. The tool showed that different karyotypes do not influence adaptive success and put in evidence a marked invasive potential of the M. persicae lineage 64. The presence of a similar fitness rate of 33H and 7 GK asexual lineages (both possessing intra-individual karyotype variations) in respect to the asexual lineage 1 (with a standard karyotype) represents an important demonstration of the potentiality of holocentric chromosomes to reduce the effects of chromosome rearrangements.