Genome Sequence of the Pea Aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum
During the spring and summer months, asexual females give birth to live clonal offspring (see photo). These offspring undergo four molts during larval development to become (A) unwinged or (B) winged asexually reproducing adults. Winged individuals, capable of dispersing to new plants, are induced by crowding or stress during prenatal stages. After repeated cycles of asexual reproduction, shorter autumn day lengths trigger the production of (C) unwinged sexual females and (D) males, which can be winged or unwinged in pea aphids, depending on genotype. After mating, oviparous sexual females deposit (E) overwintering eggs, which hatch in the spring to produce (F) wingless, asexual females. In some populations, especially in locations without a cold winter, the sexual and egg-producing portions of the life cycle are eliminated, leading to continuous cycles of asexual reproduction (photo by N. Gerardo; illustration by N. Lowe).