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Sample records for insect defensin mediate

  1. Lucifensins, the Insect Defensins of Biomedical Importance: The Story behind Maggot Therapy

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Čeřovský, Václav; Bém, R.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 3 (2014), s. 251-264 ISSN 1424-8247 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/08/0536 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : antimicrobial peptide * insect defensin * lucifensin * maggot therapy * Lucilia sericata * Lucilia cuprina * peptide isolation * peptide identification Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8247/7/3/251

  2. Eicosanoid-mediated immunity in insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eicosanoid is a collective term for oxygenated metabolites of C20 polyunsaturated fatty acids. As seen in mammals, eicosanoids play crucial roles in mediating various physiological processes, including immune responses, in insects. Upon microbial pathogen infection, non-self recognition signals are ...

  3. Nitric oxide mediates insect cellular immunity via phospholipase A2 activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    After infection or invasion is recognized, biochemical mediators act in signaling insect immune functions. These include biogenic amines, insect cytokines, eicosanoids and nitric oxide (NO). Treating insects or isolated hemocyte populations with different mediators often leads to similar results. Se...

  4. Plant odour plumes as mediators of plant-insect interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyaert, Ivo; Hilker, Monika

    2014-02-01

    Insect olfactory orientation along odour plumes has been studied intensively with respect to pheromonal communication, whereas little knowledge is available on how plant odour plumes (POPs) affect olfactory searching by an insect for its host plants. The primary objective of this review is to examine the role of POPs in the attraction of insects. First, we consider parameters of an odour source and the environment which determine the size, shape and structure of an odour plume, and we apply that knowledge to POPs. Second, we compare characteristics of insect pheromonal plumes and POPs. We propose a 'POP concept' for the olfactory orientation of insects to plants. We suggest that: (i) an insect recognises a POP by means of plant volatile components that are encountered in concentrations higher than a threshold detection limit and that occur in a qualitative and quantitative blend indicating a resource; (ii) perception of the fine structure of a POP enables an insect to distinguish a POP from an unspecific odorous background and other interfering plumes; and (iii) an insect can follow several POPs to their sources, and may leave the track of one POP and switch to another one if this conveys a signal with higher reliability or indicates a more suitable resource. The POP concept proposed here may be a useful tool for research in olfactory-mediated plant-insect interactions. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  5. Antifungal defensins and their role in plant defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacerda, Ariane F; Vasconcelos, Erico A R; Pelegrini, Patrícia Barbosa; Grossi de Sa, Maria F

    2014-01-01

    Since the beginning of the 90s lots of cationic plant, cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides (AMP) have been studied. However, Broekaert et al. (1995) only coined the term "plant defensin," after comparison of a new class of plant antifungal peptides with known insect defensins. From there, many plant defensins have been reported and studies on this class of peptides encompass its activity toward microorganisms and molecular features of the mechanism of action against bacteria and fungi. Plant defensins also have been tested as biotechnological tools to improve crop production through fungi resistance generation in organisms genetically modified (OGM). Its low effective concentration towards fungi, ranging from 0.1 to 10 μM and its safety to mammals and birds makes them a better choice, in place of chemicals, to control fungi infection on crop fields. Herein, is a review of the history of plant defensins since their discovery at the beginning of 90s, following the advances on its structure conformation and mechanism of action towards microorganisms is reported. This review also points out some important topics, including: (i) the most studied plant defensins and their fungal targets; (ii) the molecular features of plant defensins and their relation with antifungal activity; (iii) the possibility of using plant defensin(s) genes to generate fungi resistant GM crops and biofungicides; and (iv) a brief discussion about the absence of products in the market containing plant antifungal defensins.

  6. Antifungal defensins and their role in plant defense

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariane eLacerda

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Since the beginning of the 90’s lots of cationic plant, cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides (AMP have been studied. However, Broekaert only coined the term plant defensin in 1995, after comparison of a new class of plant antifungal peptides with known insect defensins. From there, many plant defensins have been reported and studies on this class of peptides encompass its activity towards microorganisms and molecular features of the mechanism of action against bacteria and fungi. Plant defensins also have been tested as biotechnological tools to improve crop production through fungi resistance generation in organisms genetically modified (OGM. Its low effective concentration towards fungi, ranging from 0.1 to 10 µM and its safety to mammals and birds makes them a better choice, in place of chemicals, to control fungi infection on crop fields. Herein, is a review of the history of plant defensins since their discovery at the beginning of 90’s, following the advances on its structure conformation and mechanism of action towards microorganisms is reported. This review also points out some important topics, including: (i the most studied plant defensins and their fungal targets; (ii the molecular features of plant defensins and their relation with antifungal activity; (iii the possibility of using plant defensin(s genes to generate fungi resistant GM crops and biofungicides; and (iv a brief discussion about the absence of products in the market containing plant antifungal defensins.

  7. Bacterial feeding, Leishmania infection and distinct infection routes induce differential defensin expression in Lutzomyia longipalpis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telleria, Erich L; Sant'Anna, Maurício R Viana; Alkurbi, Mohammad O; Pitaluga, André N; Dillon, Rod J; Traub-Csekö, Yara M

    2013-01-11

    Phlebotomine insects harbor bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens that can cause diseases of public health importance. Lutzomyia longipalpis is the main vector of visceral leishmaniasis in the New World. Insects can mount a powerful innate immune response to pathogens. Defensin peptides take part in this response and are known to be active against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and some parasites. We studied the expression of a defensin gene from Lutzomyia longipalpis to understand its role in sand fly immune response. We identified, sequenced and evaluated the expression of a L. longipalpis defensin gene by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. The gene sequence was compared to other vectors defensins and expression was determined along developmental stages and after exposure of adult female L. longipalpis to bacteria and Leishmania. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the L. longipalpis defensin is closely related to a defensin from the Old World sand fly Phlebotomus duboscqi. Expression was high in late L4 larvae and pupae in comparison to early larval stages and newly emerged flies. Defensin expression was modulated by oral infection with bacteria. The Gram-positive Micrococcus luteus induced early high defensin expression, whilst the Gram-negative entomopathogenic Serratia marcescens induced a later response. Bacterial injection also induced defensin expression in adult insects. Female sand flies infected orally with Leishmania mexicana showed no significant difference in defensin expression compared to blood fed insects apart from a lower defensin expression 5 days post Leishmania infection. When Leishmania was introduced into the hemolymph by injection there was no induction of defensin expression until 72 h later. Our results suggest that L. longipalpis modulates defensin expression upon bacterial and Leishmania infection, with patterns of expression that are distinct among bacterial species and routes of infection.

  8. Aboveground insect infestation attenuates belowground Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Geun Cheol; Lee, Soohyun; Hong, Jaehwa; Choi, Hye Kyung; Hong, Gun Hyong; Bae, Dong-Won; Mysore, Kirankumar S; Park, Yong-Soon; Ryu, Choong-Min

    2015-07-01

    Agrobacterium tumefaciens causes crown gall disease. Although Agrobacterium can be popularly used for genetic engineering, the influence of aboveground insect infestation on Agrobacterium induced gall formation has not been investigated. Nicotiana benthamiana leaves were exposed to a sucking insect (whitefly) infestation and benzothiadiazole (BTH) for 7 d, and these exposed plants were inoculated with a tumorigenic Agrobacterium strain. We evaluated, both in planta and in vitro, how whitefly infestation affects crown gall disease. Whitefly-infested plants exhibited at least a two-fold reduction in gall formation on both stem and crown root. Silencing of isochorismate synthase 1 (ICS1), required for salicylic acid (SA) synthesis, compromised gall formation indicating an involvement of SA in whitefly-derived plant defence against Agrobacterium. Endogenous SA content was augmented in whitefly-infested plants upon Agrobacterium inoculation. In addition, SA concentration was three times higher in root exudates from whitefly-infested plants. As a consequence, Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of roots of whitefly-infested plants was clearly inhibited when compared to control plants. These results suggest that aboveground whitefly infestation elicits systemic defence responses throughout the plant. Our findings provide new insights into insect-mediated leaf-root intra-communication and a framework to understand interactions between three organisms: whitefly, N. benthamiana and Agrobacterium. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  9. Transfer and expression of the rabbit defensin NP-1 gene in lettuce (Lactuca sativa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, D; Xiong, X; Tu, W F; Yao, W; Liang, H W; Chen, F J; He, Z Q

    2017-01-23

    Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) is an annual plant of the daisy family, Asteraceae, with high food and medicinal value. However, the crop is susceptible to several viruses that are transmitted by aphids and is highly vulnerable to post-harvest diseases, as well as insect and mammal pests and fungal and bacterial diseases. Here, the rabbit defensin gene NP-1 was transferred into lettuce by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to obtain a broad-spectrum disease-resistant lettuce. Transgenic lettuce plants were selected and regenerated on selective media. The presence of the NP-1 gene in these plants was confirmed by western blot analyses. Resistance tests revealed native defensin NP-1 expression conferred partial resistance to Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which suggests new possibilities for lettuce disease resistance.

  10. Diesel exhaust particles increase IL-1β-induced human β-defensin expression via NF-κB-mediated pathway in human lung epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Chun

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human β-defensin (hBD-2, antimicrobial peptide primarily induced in epithelial cells, is a key factor in the innate immune response of the respiratory tract. Several studies showed increased defensin levels in both inflammatory lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, diffuse panbronchiolitis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and acute respiratory distress syndrome, and infectious diseases. Recently, epidemiologic studies have demonstrated acute and serious adverse effects of particulate air pollution on respiratory health, especially in people with pre-existing inflammatory lung disease. To elucidate the effect of diesel exhaust particles (DEP on pulmonary innate immune response, we investigated the hBD-2 and interleukin-8 (IL-8 expression to DEP exposure in interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β-stimulated A549 cells. Results IL-1β markedly up-regulated the hBD-2 promoter activity, and the subsequent DEP exposure increased dose-dependently the expression of hBD-2 and inflammatory cytokine IL-8 at the transcriptional level. In addition, DEP further induced the NF-κB activation in IL-1β-stimulated A549 cells more rapidly than in unstimulated control cells, which was showed by nuclear translocation of p65 NF-κB and degradation of IκB-α. The experiment using two NF-κB inhibitors, PDTC and MG132, confirmed that this increase of hBD-2 expression following DEP exposure was regulated through NF-κB-mediated pathway. Conclusion These results demonstrated that DEP exposure increases the expression of antimicrobial peptide and inflammatory cytokine at the transcriptional level in IL-1β-primed A549 epithelial cells and suggested that the increase is mediated at least partially through NF-κB activation. Therefore, DEP exposure may contribute to enhance the airway-responsiveness especially on the patients suffering from chronic respiratory disease.

  11. Defensins in periodontal health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taran Bedi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Defensins are abundant and widely distributed peptides in human and animal tissues that are involved in host defence. Defensins not only have the ability to strengthen the innate immune system but can also enhance the adaptive immune system by chemotaxis of monocytes, T-lymphocytes, dendritic cells and mast cells to the infection site. Defensins also improves the capacity of macrophage phagocytosis. A greater understanding of how these peptides act in the healthy, gingivitis and periodontitis conditions would definitely open new opportunities for identification, prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases. This discussion focuses on recent studies about biological function of defensins in human diseases and animal models.

  12. Characterization of defensin gene from abalone Haliotis discus hannai and its deduced protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Xuguang; Sun, Xiuqin; Zheng, Minggang; Qu, Lingyun; Zan, Jindong; Zhang, Jinxing

    2008-11-01

    Defensin is one of preserved ancient host defensive materials formed in biological evolution. As a regulator and effector molecule, it is very important in animals’ acquired immune system. This paper reports the defensin gene from the mixed liver and kidney cDNA library of abalone Haliotis discus hannai Ino. Sequence analysis shows that the gene sequence of full-length cDNA encodes 42 mature peptides (including six Cys), molecular weight of 4 323 Da, and pI of 8.02. Amino acid sequence homology analysis shows that the peptides are highly similar (70% in common) to other insects defensin. Because of a typical insect-defensin structural character of mature peptide in the secondary structure, the polypeptide named Haliotis discus defensin (hd-def), a novel of antimicrobial peptides, belongs to insects defensin subfamily. The RT-PCR result of Haliotis discus defensin shows that the gene can be expressed only in the hepatopancreas by Gram-negative and positive bacteria stimulation, which is ascribed to inducible expression. Therefore, it is revealed that the Haliotis discus defensin gene expression was related to the antibacterial infection of Haliotis discus hannai Ino.

  13. A novel insect defensin mediates the inducible antibacterial activity in larvae of the dragonfly Aeschna cyanea (Paleoptera, Odonata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bulet, P.; Cociancich, S.; Reuland, M.; Sauber, F.; Bischoff, Rainer; Hegy, G.; Van Dorsselaer, A.; Hetru, C.; Hoffmann, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    The injection of low doses of bacteria into the aquatic larvae of dragonflies (Aeschna cyanea, Odonata, Paleoptera) induces the appearance in their hemolymph of a potent antibacterial activity. We have isolated a 38-residue peptide from this hemolymph which is strongly active against Gram-positive

  14. Divergent pheromone-mediated insect behaviour under global atmospheric change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edward B. Mondor; Michelle N. Tremblay; Caroline S. Awmack; Richard L. Lindroth

    2004-01-01

    While the effects of global atmospheric changes on vegetation and resulting insect populations('bottom-up interactions') are being increasingly studied, how these gases modify interactions among insects and their natural enemies ('top-down interactions') is less clear. As natural enemy efficacy is governed largely by behavioural mechanisms, altered...

  15. Structural and functional characterization of the conserved salt bridge in mammalian paneth cell alpha-defensins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosengren, K Johan; Daly, Norelle L; Fornander, Liselotte M

    2006-01-01

    alpha-Defensins are mediators of mammalian innate immunity, and knowledge of their structure-function relationships is essential for understanding their mechanisms of action. We report here the NMR solution structures of the mouse Paneth cell alpha-defensin cryptdin-4 (Crp4) and a mutant (E15D)-C...

  16. Recovery of aquatic insect-mediated methylmercury flux from ponds following drying disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chumchal, Matthew M; Drenner, Ray W; Greenhill, Frank M; Kennedy, James H; Courville, Ashlyn E; Gober, Charlie A A; Lossau, Luke O

    2017-08-01

    Small ponds exist across a permanence gradient, and pond permanence is hypothesized to be a primary determinant of insect community structure and insect-mediated methylmercury (MeHg) flux from ponds to the surrounding terrestrial landscape. The present study describes the first experiment examining the recovery of insect-mediated MeHg flux following a drying disturbance that converted permanent ponds with insectivorous fish to semipermanent ponds without fish. Floating emergence traps were used to collect emergent insects for 10 wk in the spring and summer from 5 ponds with fish (permanent) and 5 ponds that were drained to remove fish, dried, and refilled with water (semipermanent). During the 73-d period after semipermanent ponds were refilled, total MeHg flux from semipermanent ponds was not significantly different than total MeHg flux from permanent ponds, indicating that insect-mediated MeHg flux had rapidly recovered in semipermanent ponds following the drying disturbance. Methylmercury fluxes from dragonflies (Odonata: Anisoptera) and phantom midges (Diptera: Chaoboridae) were significantly greater from newly refilled semipermanent ponds than permanent ponds, but the MeHg fluxes from the other 8 emergent insect taxa did not differ between treatments. The present study demonstrates the impact of drying disturbance and the effect of community structure on the cross-system transport of contaminants from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1986-1990. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  17. Detoxifying symbiosis: microbe-mediated detoxification of phytotoxins and pesticides in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itoh, Hideomi; Tago, Kanako; Hayatsu, Masahito; Kikuchi, Yoshitomo

    2018-04-12

    Covering: up to 2018Insects live in a world full of toxic compounds such as plant toxins and manmade pesticides. To overcome the effects of these toxins, herbivorous insects have evolved diverse, elaborate mechanisms of resistance, such as toxin avoidance, target-site alteration, and detoxification. These resistance mechanisms are thought to be encoded by the insects' own genomes, and in many cases, this holds true. However, recent omics analyses, in conjunction with classic culture-dependent analyses, have revealed that a number of insects possess specific gut microorganisms, some of which significantly contribute to resistance against phytotoxins and pesticides by degrading such chemical compounds. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding on the symbiont-mediated degradation of natural and artificial toxins, with a special emphasis on their underlying genetic basis, focus on the importance of environmental microbiota as a resource of toxin-degrading microorganisms, and discuss the ecological and evolutionary significance of these symbiotic associations.

  18. Characterization of Cimex lectularius (bedbug) defensin peptide and its antimicrobial activity against human skin microflora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaushal, Akanksha; Gupta, Kajal; van Hoek, Monique L

    2016-02-19

    Antimicrobial peptides are components of both vertebrate and invertebrate innate immune systems that are expressed in response to exposure to bacterial antigens. Naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides from evolutionarily ancient species have been extensively studied and are being developed as potential therapeutics against antibiotic resistant microorganisms. In this study, a putative Cimex lectularius (bedbug, CL) defensin is characterized for its effectiveness against human skin flora including Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The bedbug defensin (CL-defensin), belonging to family of insect defensins, is predicted to have a characteristic N-terminal loop, an α-helix, and an antiparallel β-sheet, which was supported by circular dichroism spectroscopy. The defensin was shown to be antimicrobial against Gram-positive bacteria commonly found on human skin (Micrococcus luteus, Corynebacterium renale, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis); however, it was ineffective against common skin Gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii) under low-salt conditions. CL-defensin was also effective against M. luteus and C. renale in high-salt (MIC) conditions. Our studies indicate that CL-defensin functions by depolarization and pore-formation in the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Expression of BrD1, a plant defensin from Brassica rapa, confers resistance against brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens) in transgenic rices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Man-Soo; Kim, Yul-Ho; Park, Hyang-Mi; Seo, Bo-Yoon; Jung, Jin-Kyo; Kim, Sun-Tae; Kim, Min-Chul; Shin, Dong-Bum; Yun, Hong-Tai; Choi, Im-Soo; Kim, Chung-Kon; Lee, Jang-Yong

    2009-08-31

    Plant defensins are small (5-10 kDa) basic peptides thought to be an important component of the defense pathway against fungal and/or bacterial pathogens. To understand the role of plant defensins in protecting plants against the brown planthopper, a type of insect herbivore, we isolated the Brassica rapa Defensin 1 (BrD1) gene and introduced it into rice (Oryza sativa L.) to produce stable transgenic plants. The BrD1 protein is homologous to other plant defensins and contains both an N-terminal endoplasmic reticulum signal sequence and a defensin domain, which are highly conserved in all plant defensins. Based on a phylogenetic analysis of the defensin domain of various plant defensins, we established that BrD1 belongs to a distinct subgroup of plant defensins. Relative to the wild type, transgenic rices expressing BrD1 exhibit strong resistance to brown planthopper nymphs and female adults. These results suggest that BrD1 exhibits insecticidal activity, and might be useful for developing cereal crop plants resistant to sap-sucking insects, such as the brown planthopper.

  20. Defensins: antifungal lessons from eukaryotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrícia M. Silva

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Over the last years, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs have been the focus of intense research towards the finding of a viable alternative to current antifungal drugs. Defensins are one of the major families of AMPs and the most represented among all eukaryotic groups, providing an important first line of host defense against pathogenic microorganisms. Several of these cysteine-stabilized peptides present a relevant effect against fungi. Defensins are the AMPs with the broader distribution across all eukaryotic kingdoms, namely, Fungi, Plantæ and Animalia, and were recently shown to have an ancestor in a bacterial organism. As a part of the host defense, defensins act as an important vehicle of information between innate and adaptive immune system and have a role in immunomodulation. This multidimensionality represents a powerful host shield, hard for microorganisms to overcome using single approach resistance strategies. Pathogenic fungi resistance to conventional antimycotic drugs is becoming a major problem. Defensins, as other AMPs, have shown to be an effective alternative to the current antimycotic therapies, demonstrating potential as novel therapeutic agents or drug leads. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on some eukaryotic defensins with antifungal action. An overview of the main targets in the fungal cell and the mechanism of action of these AMPs (namely, the selectivity for some fungal membrane components are presented. Additionally, recent works on antifungal defensins structure, activity and citotoxicity are also reviewed.

  1. Human alpha-defensin-1 protects cells from intoxication with Clostridium perfringens iota toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Stephan; Popoff, Michel R; Barth, Holger

    2018-03-01

    Iota toxin is produced by Clostridium perfringens type E strains and associated with diarrhea in cattle and lambs. This binary protein toxin comprises the enzyme component iota a (Ia), which ADP-ribosylates G-actin, and the separate transport component iota b (Ib), which delivers Ia into the cytosol of target cells. Ib binds to cell receptors and forms biologically active toxin complexes with Ia, which cause rounding of adherent cells due to the destruction of the actin cytoskeleton. Here, we report that the human peptide α-defensin-1 protects cultured cells including human colon cells from intoxication with iota toxin. In contrast, the related ß-defensin-1 had no effect, indicating a specific mode of action. The α-defensin-1 did not inhibit ADP-ribosylation of actin by Ia in vitro. Pretreatment of Ib with α-defensin-1 prior to addition of Ia prevented intoxication. Additionally, α-defensin-1 protected cells from cytotoxic effects mediated by Ib in the absence of Ia, implicating that α-defensin-1 interacts with Ib to prevent the formation of biologically active iota toxin on cells. In conclusion, the findings contribute to a better understanding of the functions of α-defensin-1 and suggest that this human peptide might be an attractive starting point to develop novel pharmacological options to treat/prevent diseases associated with iota toxin-producing Clostridium perfringens strains.

  2. Horizontal transmission of the insect symbiont Rickettsia is plant-mediated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caspi-Fluger, Ayelet; Inbar, Moshe; Mozes-Daube, Netta; Katzir, Nurit; Portnoy, Vitaly; Belausov, Eduard; Hunter, Martha S.; Zchori-Fein, Einat

    2012-01-01

    Bacteria in the genus Rickettsia, best known as vertebrate pathogens vectored by blood-feeding arthropods, can also be found in phytophagous insects. The presence of closely related bacterial symbionts in evolutionarily distant arthropod hosts presupposes a means of horizontal transmission, but no mechanism for this transmission has been described. Using a combination of experiments with live insects, molecular analyses and microscopy, we found that Rickettsia were transferred from an insect host (the whitefly Bemisia tabaci) to a plant, moved inside the phloem, and could be acquired by other whiteflies. In one experiment, Rickettsia was transferred from the whitefly host to leaves of cotton, basil and black nightshade, where the bacteria were restricted to the phloem cells of the plant. In another experiment, Rickettsia-free adult whiteflies, physically segregated but sharing a cotton leaf with Rickettsia-plus individuals, acquired the Rickettsia at a high rate. Plants can serve as a reservoir for horizontal transmission of Rickettsia, a mechanism which may explain the occurrence of phylogenetically similar symbionts among unrelated phytophagous insect species. This plant-mediated transmission route may also exist in other insect–symbiont systems and, since symbionts may play a critical role in the ecology and evolution of their hosts, serve as an immediate and powerful tool for accelerated evolution. PMID:22113034

  3. Tribolium castaneum defensins are primarily active against Gram-positive bacteria

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tonk, M.; Knorr, E.; Cabezas-Cruz, A.; Valdés, James J.; Kollewe, C.; Vilcinskas, A.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 132, NOV 2015 (2015), s. 208-215 ISSN 0022-2011 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Antimicrobial peptides * Defensin * Innate immunity * Insects * Tribolium castaneum * Gram-positive bacteria Subject RIV: EI - Biotechnology ; Bionics Impact factor: 2.198, year: 2015

  4. Candida Infections and Human Defensins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polesello, Vania; Segat, Ludovica; Crovella, Sergio; Zupin, Luisa

    2017-01-01

    Candida species infections are an important worldwide health issue since they do not only affect immunocompromised patients but also healthy individuals. The host developed different mechanisms of protection against Candida infections; specifically the immune system and the innate immune response are the first line of defence. Defensis are a group of antimicrobial peptides, components of the innate immunity, produced at mucosal level and known to be active against bacteria, virus but also fungi. The aim of the current work was to review all previous studies in literature that analysed defensins in the context of Candida spp. infections, in order to investigate and clarify the exact mechanisms of defensins anti-fungal action. Several studies were identified from 1985 to 2017 (9 works form years 1985 to 1999, 44 works ranging from 2000 to 2009 and 35 from 2010 to 2017) searched in two electronic databases (PubMed and Google Scholar). The main key words used for the research were "Candida", "Defensins"," Innate immune system","fungi". The findings of the reviewed studies highlight the pivotal role of defensins antimicrobial peptides in the immune response against Candida infections, since they are able to discriminate host cell from fungi: defensins are able to recognize the pathogens cell wall (different in composition from the human ones), and to disrupt it through membrane permeabilization. However, further research is needed to explain completely defensins' mechanisms of action to fight C. albicans (and other Candida spp.) infections, being the information fragmentary and only in part elucidated. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  5. Defensin-like ZmES4 mediates pollen tube burst in maize via opening of the potassium channel KZM1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suseno Amien

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available In contrast to animals and lower plant species, sperm cells of flowering plants are non-motile and are transported to the female gametes via the pollen tube, i.e. the male gametophyte. Upon arrival at the female gametophyte two sperm cells are discharged into the receptive synergid cell to execute double fertilization. The first players involved in inter-gametophyte signaling to attract pollen tubes and to arrest their growth have been recently identified. In contrast the physiological mechanisms leading to pollen tube burst and thus sperm discharge remained elusive. Here, we describe the role of polymorphic defensin-like cysteine-rich proteins ZmES1-4 (Zea mays embryo sac from maize, leading to pollen tube growth arrest, burst, and explosive sperm release. ZmES1-4 genes are exclusively expressed in the cells of the female gametophyte. ZmES4-GFP fusion proteins accumulate in vesicles at the secretory zone of mature synergid cells and are released during the fertilization process. Using RNAi knock-down and synthetic ZmES4 proteins, we found that ZmES4 induces pollen tube burst in a species-preferential manner. Pollen tube plasma membrane depolarization, which occurs immediately after ZmES4 application, as well as channel blocker experiments point to a role of K(+-influx in the pollen tube rupture mechanism. Finally, we discovered the intrinsic rectifying K(+ channel KZM1 as a direct target of ZmES4. Following ZmES4 application, KZM1 opens at physiological membrane potentials and closes after wash-out. In conclusion, we suggest that vesicles containing ZmES4 are released from the synergid cells upon male-female gametophyte signaling. Subsequent interaction between ZmES4 and KZM1 results in channel opening and K(+ influx. We further suggest that K(+ influx leads to water uptake and culminates in osmotic tube burst. The species-preferential activity of polymorphic ZmES4 indicates that the mechanism described represents a pre-zygotic hybridization

  6. Defensin-Like ZmES4 Mediates Pollen Tube Burst in Maize via Opening of the Potassium Channel KZM1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Márton, Mihaela L.; Debener, Thomas; Geiger, Dietmar; Becker, Dirk; Dresselhaus, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    In contrast to animals and lower plant species, sperm cells of flowering plants are non-motile and are transported to the female gametes via the pollen tube, i.e. the male gametophyte. Upon arrival at the female gametophyte two sperm cells are discharged into the receptive synergid cell to execute double fertilization. The first players involved in inter-gametophyte signaling to attract pollen tubes and to arrest their growth have been recently identified. In contrast the physiological mechanisms leading to pollen tube burst and thus sperm discharge remained elusive. Here, we describe the role of polymorphic defensin-like cysteine-rich proteins ZmES1-4 (Zea mays embryo sac) from maize, leading to pollen tube growth arrest, burst, and explosive sperm release. ZmES1-4 genes are exclusively expressed in the cells of the female gametophyte. ZmES4-GFP fusion proteins accumulate in vesicles at the secretory zone of mature synergid cells and are released during the fertilization process. Using RNAi knock-down and synthetic ZmES4 proteins, we found that ZmES4 induces pollen tube burst in a species-preferential manner. Pollen tube plasma membrane depolarization, which occurs immediately after ZmES4 application, as well as channel blocker experiments point to a role of K+-influx in the pollen tube rupture mechanism. Finally, we discovered the intrinsic rectifying K+ channel KZM1 as a direct target of ZmES4. Following ZmES4 application, KZM1 opens at physiological membrane potentials and closes after wash-out. In conclusion, we suggest that vesicles containing ZmES4 are released from the synergid cells upon male-female gametophyte signaling. Subsequent interaction between ZmES4 and KZM1 results in channel opening and K+ influx. We further suggest that K+ influx leads to water uptake and culminates in osmotic tube burst. The species-preferential activity of polymorphic ZmES4 indicates that the mechanism described represents a pre-zygotic hybridization barrier and may be a

  7. Alteration of the mode of antibacterial action of a defensin by the amino-terminal loop substitution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Al-M is an engineered fungal defensin with the n-loop of an insect defensin. ► Al-M adopts a native defensin-like structure with high antibacterial potency. ► Al-M kills bacteria through a membrane disruptive mechanism. ► This work sheds light on the functional evolution of CSαβ-type defensins. -- Abstract: Ancient invertebrate-type and classical insect-type defensins (AITDs and CITDs) are two groups of evolutionarily related antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that adopt a conserved cysteine-stabilized α-helical and β-sheet (CSαβ) fold with a different amino-terminal loop (n-loop) size and diverse modes of antibacterial action. Although they both are identified as inhibitors of cell wall biosynthesis, only CITDs evolved membrane disruptive ability by peptide oligomerization to form pores. To understand how this occurred, we modified micasin, a fungus-derived AITDs with a non-membrane disruptive mechanism, by substituting its n-loop with that of an insect-derived CITDs. After air oxidization, the synthetic hybrid defensin (termed Al-M) was structurally identified by circular dichroism (CD) and functionally evaluated by antibacterial and membrane permeability assays and electronic microscopic observation. Results showed that Al-M folded into a native-like defensin structure, as determined by its CD spectrum that is similar to that of micasin. Al-M was highly efficacious against the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus megaterium with a lethal concentration of 1.76 μM. As expected, in contrast to micasin, Al-M killed the bacteria through a membrane disruptive mechanism of action. The alteration in modes of action supports a key role of the n-loop extension in assembling functional surface of CITDs for membrane disruption. Our work provides mechanical evidence for evolutionary relationship between AITDs and CITDs.

  8. Alteration of the mode of antibacterial action of a defensin by the amino-terminal loop substitution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao, Bin [Group of Animal Innate Immunity, State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, 100101 Beijing (China); Zhu, Shunyi, E-mail: Zhusy@ioz.ac.cn [Group of Animal Innate Immunity, State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, 100101 Beijing (China)

    2012-10-05

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Al-M is an engineered fungal defensin with the n-loop of an insect defensin. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Al-M adopts a native defensin-like structure with high antibacterial potency. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Al-M kills bacteria through a membrane disruptive mechanism. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer This work sheds light on the functional evolution of CS{alpha}{beta}-type defensins. -- Abstract: Ancient invertebrate-type and classical insect-type defensins (AITDs and CITDs) are two groups of evolutionarily related antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that adopt a conserved cysteine-stabilized {alpha}-helical and {beta}-sheet (CS{alpha}{beta}) fold with a different amino-terminal loop (n-loop) size and diverse modes of antibacterial action. Although they both are identified as inhibitors of cell wall biosynthesis, only CITDs evolved membrane disruptive ability by peptide oligomerization to form pores. To understand how this occurred, we modified micasin, a fungus-derived AITDs with a non-membrane disruptive mechanism, by substituting its n-loop with that of an insect-derived CITDs. After air oxidization, the synthetic hybrid defensin (termed Al-M) was structurally identified by circular dichroism (CD) and functionally evaluated by antibacterial and membrane permeability assays and electronic microscopic observation. Results showed that Al-M folded into a native-like defensin structure, as determined by its CD spectrum that is similar to that of micasin. Al-M was highly efficacious against the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus megaterium with a lethal concentration of 1.76 {mu}M. As expected, in contrast to micasin, Al-M killed the bacteria through a membrane disruptive mechanism of action. The alteration in modes of action supports a key role of the n-loop extension in assembling functional surface of CITDs for membrane disruption. Our work provides mechanical evidence for evolutionary relationship between AITDs and CITDs.

  9. The Fungal Defensin Family Enlarged

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiajia Wu

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Fungi are an emerging source of peptide antibiotics. With the availability of a large number of model fungal genome sequences, we can expect that more and more fungal defensin-like peptides (fDLPs will be discovered by sequence similarity search. Here, we report a total of 69 new fDLPs encoded by 63 genes, in which a group of fDLPs derived from dermatophytes are defined as a new family (fDEF8 according to sequence and phylogenetic analyses. In the oleaginous fungus Mortierella alpine, fDLPs have undergone extensive gene expansion. Our work further enlarges the fungal defensin family and will help characterize new peptide antibiotics with therapeutic potential.

  10. A Defensin from the Model Beetle Tribolium castaneum Acts Synergistically with Telavancin and Daptomycin against Multidrug Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajamuthiah, Rajmohan; Jayamani, Elamparithi; Conery, Annie L; Fuchs, Beth Burgwyn; Kim, Wooseong; Johnston, Tatiana; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Ausubel, Frederick M; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2015-01-01

    The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum is a common insect pest and has been established as a model beetle to study insect development and immunity. This study demonstrates that defensin 1 from T. castaneum displays in vitro and in vivo antimicrobial activity against drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of defensin 1 against 11 reference and clinical staphylococcal isolates was between 16-64 μg/ml. The putative mode of action of the defensin peptide is disruption of the bacterial cell membrane. The antibacterial activity of defensin 1 was attenuated by salt concentrations of 1.56 mM and 25 mM for NaCl and CaCl2 respectively. Treatment of defensin 1 with the reducing agent dithiothreitol (DTT) at concentrations 1.56 to 3.13 mM abolished the antimicrobial activity of the peptide. In the presence of subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics that also target the bacterial cell envelope such as telavancin and daptomycin, the MIC of the peptide was as low as 1 μg/ml. Moreover, when tested against an S. aureus strain that was defective in D-alanylation of the cell wall, the MIC of the peptide was 0.5 μg/ml. Defensin 1 exhibited no toxicity against human erythrocytes even at 400 μg/ml. The in vivo activity of the peptide was validated in a Caenorhabditis elegans-MRSA liquid infection assay. These results suggest that defensin 1 behaves similarly to other cationic AMPs in its mode of action against S. aureus and that the activity of the peptide can be enhanced in combination with other antibiotics with similar modes of action or with compounds that have the ability to decrease D-alanylation of the bacterial cell wall.

  11. A Defensin from the Model Beetle Tribolium castaneum Acts Synergistically with Telavancin and Daptomycin against Multidrug Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajmohan Rajamuthiah

    Full Text Available The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum is a common insect pest and has been established as a model beetle to study insect development and immunity. This study demonstrates that defensin 1 from T. castaneum displays in vitro and in vivo antimicrobial activity against drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC of defensin 1 against 11 reference and clinical staphylococcal isolates was between 16-64 μg/ml. The putative mode of action of the defensin peptide is disruption of the bacterial cell membrane. The antibacterial activity of defensin 1 was attenuated by salt concentrations of 1.56 mM and 25 mM for NaCl and CaCl2 respectively. Treatment of defensin 1 with the reducing agent dithiothreitol (DTT at concentrations 1.56 to 3.13 mM abolished the antimicrobial activity of the peptide. In the presence of subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics that also target the bacterial cell envelope such as telavancin and daptomycin, the MIC of the peptide was as low as 1 μg/ml. Moreover, when tested against an S. aureus strain that was defective in D-alanylation of the cell wall, the MIC of the peptide was 0.5 μg/ml. Defensin 1 exhibited no toxicity against human erythrocytes even at 400 μg/ml. The in vivo activity of the peptide was validated in a Caenorhabditis elegans-MRSA liquid infection assay. These results suggest that defensin 1 behaves similarly to other cationic AMPs in its mode of action against S. aureus and that the activity of the peptide can be enhanced in combination with other antibiotics with similar modes of action or with compounds that have the ability to decrease D-alanylation of the bacterial cell wall.

  12. Roles of dopamine neurons in mediating the prediction error in aversive learning in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terao, Kanta; Mizunami, Makoto

    2017-10-31

    In associative learning in mammals, it is widely accepted that the discrepancy, or error, between actual and predicted reward determines whether learning occurs. The prediction error theory has been proposed to account for the finding of a blocking phenomenon, in which pairing of a stimulus X with an unconditioned stimulus (US) could block subsequent association of a second stimulus Y to the US when the two stimuli were paired in compound with the same US. Evidence for this theory, however, has been imperfect since blocking can also be accounted for by competitive theories. We recently reported blocking in classical conditioning of an odor with water reward in crickets. We also reported an "auto-blocking" phenomenon in appetitive learning, which supported the prediction error theory and rejected alternative theories. The presence of auto-blocking also suggested that octopamine neurons mediate reward prediction error signals. Here we show that blocking and auto-blocking occur in aversive learning to associate an odor with salt water (US) in crickets, and our results suggest that dopamine neurons mediate aversive prediction error signals. We conclude that the prediction error theory is applicable to both appetitive learning and aversive learning in insects.

  13. Gene silencing in non-model insects: Overcoming hurdles using symbiotic bacteria for trauma-free sustainable delivery of RNA interference: Sustained RNA interference in insects mediated by symbiotic bacteria: Applications as a genetic tool and as a biocide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitten, Miranda; Dyson, Paul

    2017-03-01

    Insight into animal biology and development provided by classical genetic analysis of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster was an incentive to develop advanced genetic tools for this insect. But genetic systems for the over one million other known insect species are largely undeveloped. With increasing information about insect genomes resulting from next generation sequencing, RNA interference is now the method of choice for reverse genetics, although it is constrained by the means of delivery of interfering RNA. A recent advance to ensure sustained delivery with minimal experimental intervention or trauma to the insect is to exploit commensal bacteria for symbiont-mediated RNA interference. This technology not only offers an efficient means for RNA interference in insects in laboratory conditions, but also has potential for use in the control of human disease vectors, agricultural pests and pathogens of beneficial insects. © 2017 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Plant-mediated Interactions Among Insects within a Community Ecological Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Plants may be visited by many species of insects during their life-time. These insects include harmful herbivores above and belowground as well as beneficial natural enemies of herbivores and pollinators. Moreover, these interactions may take place sequentially or simultaneously. Responses of plants

  15. Rabbit defensin (NP-1) genetic engineering of plant | Ting | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Rabbit defensin (NP-1) genetic engineering of plant. ... Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. ... defensin genetic engineering of plant in recent years, and also focuses on the existing problems and new strategies in this area.

  16. Are Tree Species Diversity and Genotypic Diversity Effects on Insect Herbivores Mediated by Ants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María José Campos-Navarrete

    Full Text Available Plant diversity can influence predators and omnivores and such effects may in turn influence herbivores and plants. However, evidence for these ecological feedbacks is rare. We evaluated if the effects of tree species (SD and genotypic diversity (GD on the abundance of different guilds of insect herbivores associated with big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla were contingent upon the protective effects of ants tending extra-floral nectaries of this species. This study was conducted within a larger experiment consisting of mahogany monocultures and species polycultures of four species and -within each of these two plot types- mahogany was represented by either one or four maternal families. We selected 24 plots spanning these treatment combinations, 10 mahogany plants/plot, and within each plot experimentally reduced ant abundance on half of the selected plants, and surveyed ant and herbivore abundance. There were positive effects of SD on generalist leaf-chewers and sap-feeders, but for the latter group this effect depended on the ant reduction treatment: SD positively influenced sap-feeders under ambient ant abundance but had no effect when ant abundance was reduced; at the same time, ants had negative effects on sap feeders in monoculture but no effect in polyculture. In contrast, SD did not influence specialist stem-borers or leaf-miners and this effect was not contingent upon ant reduction. Finally, GD did not influence any of the herbivore guilds studied, and such effects did not depend on the ant treatment. Overall, we show that tree species diversity influenced interactions between a focal plant species (mahogany and ants, and that such effects in turn mediated plant diversity effects on some (sap-feeders but not all the herbivores guilds studied. Our results suggest that the observed patterns are dependent on the combined effects of herbivore identity, diet breadth, and the source of plant diversity.

  17. Resistance of rice to insect pests mediated by suppression of serotonin biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Hai-Ping; Luo, Ting; Fu, Hao-Wei; Wang, Long; Tan, Yuan-Yuan; Huang, Jian-Zhong; Wang, Qing; Ye, Gong-Yin; Gatehouse, Angharad M R; Lou, Yong-Gen; Shu, Qing-Yao

    2018-05-07

    Rice is one of the world's most important foods, but its production suffers from insect pests, causing losses of billions of dollars, and extensive use of environmentally damaging pesticides for their control 1,2 . However, the molecular mechanisms of insect resistance remain elusive. Although a few resistance genes for planthopper have been cloned, no rice germplasm is resistant to stem borers. Here, we report that biosynthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in mammals 3 , is induced by insect infestation in rice, and its suppression confers resistance to planthoppers and stem borers, the two most destructive pests of rice 2 . Serotonin and salicylic acid derive from chorismate 4 . In rice, the cytochrome P450 gene CYP71A1 encodes tryptamine 5-hydroxylase, which catalyses conversion of tryptamine to serotonin 5 . In susceptible wild-type rice, planthopper feeding induces biosynthesis of serotonin and salicylic acid, whereas in mutants with an inactivated CYP71A1 gene, no serotonin is produced, salicylic acid levels are higher and plants are more insect resistant. The addition of serotonin to the resistant rice mutant and other brown planthopper-resistant genotypes results in a loss of insect resistance. Similarly, serotonin supplementation in artificial diet enhances the performance of both insects. These insights demonstrate that regulation of serotonin biosynthesis plays an important role in defence, and may prove valuable for breeding insect-resistant cultivars of rice and other cereal crops.

  18. Linking agricultural practices, mycorrhizal fungi, and traits mediating plant-insect interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Nicholas A; Kiers, E Toby; Theis, Nina; Hazzard, Ruth V; Adler, Lynn S

    2013-10-01

    Agricultural management has profound effects on soil communities. Activities such as fertilizer inputs can modify the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities, which form important symbioses with the roots of most crop plants. Intensive conventional agricultural management may select for less mutualistic AMF with reduced benefits to host plants compared to organic management, but these differences are poorly understood. AMF are generally evaluated based on their direct growth effects on plants. However, mycorrhizal colonization also may alter plant traits such as tissue nutrients, defensive chemistry, or floral traits, which mediate important plant-insect interactions like herbivory and pollination. To determine the effect of AMF from different farming practices on plant performance and traits that putatively mediate species interactions, we performed a greenhouse study by inoculating Cucumis sativus (cucumber, Cucurbitaceae) with AMF from conventional farms, organic farms, and a commercial AMF inoculum. We measured growth and a suite of plant traits hypothesized to be important predictors of herbivore resistance and pollinator attraction. Several leaf and root traits and flower production were significantly affected by AMF inoculum. Both conventional and organic AMF reduced leaf P content but increased Na content compared to control and commercial AMF. Leaf defenses were unaffected by AMF treatments, but conventional AMF increased root cucurbitacin C, the primary defensive chemical of C. sativus, compared to organic AMF. These effects may have important consequences for herbivore preference and population dynamics. AMF from both organic and conventional farms decreased flower production relative to commercial and control treatments, which may reduce pollinator attraction and plant reproduction. AMF from both farm types also reduced seed germination, but effects on plant growth were limited. Our results suggest that studies only considering AMF

  19. Plant-mediated interspecific horizontal transmission of an intracellular symbiont in insects

    KAUST Repository

    Gonella, Elena; Pajoro, Massimo; Marzorati, Massimo; Crotti, Elena; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pontini, Marianna; Bulgari, Daniela; Negri, Ilaria; Sacchi, Luciano; Chouaia, Bessem; Daffonchio, Daniele; Alma, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Intracellular reproductive manipulators, such as Candidatus Cardinium and Wolbachia are vertically transmitted to progeny but rarely show co-speciation with the host. In sap-feeding insects, plant tissues have been proposed as alternative horizontal

  20. Synergistic effect of interleukin 1 alpha on nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae-induced up-regulation of human beta-defensin 2 in middle ear epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Park Raekil

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We recently showed that beta-defensins have antimicrobial activity against nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi and that interleukin 1 alpha (IL-1 alpha up-regulates the transcription of beta-defensin 2 (DEFB4 according to new nomenclature of the Human Genome Organization in human middle ear epithelial cells via a Src-dependent Raf-MEK1/2-ERK signaling pathway. Based on these observations, we investigated if human middle ear epithelial cells could release IL-1 alpha upon exposure to a lysate of NTHi and if this cytokine could have a synergistic effect on beta-defensin 2 up-regulation by the bacterial components. Methods The studies described herein were carried out using epithelial cell lines as well as a murine model of acute otitis media (OM. Human cytokine macroarray analysis was performed to detect the released cytokines in response to NTHi exposure. Real time quantitative PCR was done to compare the induction of IL-1 alpha or beta-defensin 2 mRNAs and to identify the signaling pathways involved. Direct activation of the beta-defensin 2 promoter was monitored using a beta-defensin 2 promoter-Luciferase construct. An IL-1 alpha blocking antibody was used to demonstrate the direct involvement of this cytokine on DEFB4 induction. Results Middle ear epithelial cells released IL-1 alpha when stimulated by NTHi components and this cytokine acted in an autocrine/paracrine synergistic manner with NTHi to up-regulate beta-defensin 2. This synergistic effect of IL-1 alpha on NTHi-induced beta-defensin 2 up-regulation appeared to be mediated by the p38 MAP kinase pathway. Conclusion We demonstrate that IL-1 alpha is secreted by middle ear epithelial cells upon exposure to NTHi components and that it can synergistically act with certain of these molecules to up-regulate beta-defensin 2 via the p38 MAP kinase pathway.

  1. Enteric alpha defensins in norm and pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisitsyn Nikolai A

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Microbes living in the mammalian gut exist in constant contact with immunity system that prevents infection and maintains homeostasis. Enteric alpha defensins play an important role in regulation of bacterial colonization of the gut, as well as in activation of pro- and anti-inflammatory responses of the adaptive immune system cells in lamina propria. This review summarizes currently available data on functions of mammalian enteric alpha defensins in the immune defense and changes in their secretion in intestinal inflammatory diseases and cancer.

  2. Arabidopsis thaliana resistance to insects, mediated by an earthworm-produced organic soil amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoza, Yasmin J

    2011-02-01

    Vermicompost is an organic soil amendment produced by earthworm digestion of organic waste. Studies show that plants grown in soil amended with vermicompost grow faster, are more productive and are less susceptible to a number of arthropod pests. In light of these studies, the present study was designed to determine the type of insect resistance (antixenosis or antibiosis) present in plants grown in vermicompost-amended potting soil. Additionally, the potential role of microarthropods, entomopathogenic organisms and non-pathogenic microbial flora found in vermicompost on insect resistance induction was investigated. Findings show that vermicompost from two different sources (Raleigh, North Carolina, and Portland, Oregon) were both effective in causing Arabidopsis plants to be resistant to the generalist herbivore Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). However, while the Raleigh (Ral) vermicompost plant resistance was expressed as both non-preference (antixenosis) and milder (lower weight and slower development) toxic effect (antibiosis) resistance, Oregon (OSC) vermicompost plant resistance was expressed as acute antibiosis, resulting in lower weights and higher mortality rates. Vermicompost causes plants to have non-preference (antixenosis) and toxic (antibiosis) effects on insects. This resistance affects insect development and survival on plants grown in vermicompost-amended soil. Microarthropods and entomopathogens do not appear to have a role in the resistance, but it is likely that resistance is due to interactions between the microbial communities in vermicompost with plant roots, as is evident from vermicompost sterilization assays conducted in this study. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of black cherry for flowering control and insect resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ying Wang; Paula M. Pijut

    2014-01-01

    Black cherry is one of the most valuable hardwood species for cabinetry, furniture, and veneer. The goal of this study was to develop transgenic black cherry plants with reproductive sterility and enhanced insect resistance. Black cherry TERMINAL FLOWER 1 (PsTFL1) was overexpressed under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter in black cherry via

  4. Prophenoloxidase-Mediated Ex Vivo Immunity to Delay Fungal Infection after Insect Ecdysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Zhang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Skin immunity protects animals from airborne pathogen infection. Unlike mammals, arthropods, including insects, undergo periodic ecdysis to grow and develop. Newly molted insects emerge with unsclerotized thin cuticles but successfully escape pathogenic infections during the post-molt period. Here we show that prophenoloxidases (PPOs in molting fluids remain bioactive on the integument and impede fungal infection after ecdysis. We found that the purified plasma PPOs or recombinant PPOs could effectively bind to fungal spores (conidia by targeting the cell wall components chitin and β-1,3-glucan. Pretreatment of the spores of the fungal pathogen Beauveria bassiana with PPOs increased spore hydrophilicity and reduced spore adhesion activity, resulting in a significant decrease in virulence as compared with mock infection. We also identified a spore-secreted protease BPS8, a member of peptidase S8 family of protease that degrade PPOs at high levels to benefit fungal infection, but which at lower doses activate PPOs to inhibit spore germination after melanization. These data indicate that insects have evolved a distinct strategy of ex vivo immunity to survive pathogen infections after ecdysis using PPOs in molting fluids retained on the underdeveloped and tender integument of newly molted insects for protection against airborne fungal infection.

  5. Host-Plant Specialization Mediates the Influence of Plant Abundance on Host Use by Flower Head-Feeding Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobre, Paola A F; Bergamini, Leonardo L; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Jorge, Leonardo R; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2016-02-01

    Among-population variation in host use is a common phenomenon in herbivorous insects. The simplest and most trivial explanation for such variation in host use is the among-site variation in plant species composition. Another aspect that can influence spatial variation in host use is the relative abundance of each host-plant species compared to all available hosts. Here, we used endophagous insects that develop in flower heads of Asteraceae species as a study system to investigate how plant abundance influences the pattern of host-plant use by herbivorous insects with distinct levels of host-range specialization. Only herbivores recorded on three or more host species were included in this study. In particular, we tested two related hypotheses: 1) plant abundance has a positive effect on the host-plant preference of herbivorous insects, and 2) the relative importance of plant abundance to host-plant preference is greater for herbivorous species that use a wider range of host-plant species. We analyzed 11 herbivore species in 20 remnants of Cerrado in Southeastern Brazil. For 8 out of 11 herbivore species, plant abundance had a positive influence on host use. In contrast to our expectation, both the most specialized and the most generalist herbivores showed a stronger positive effect of plant species abundance in host use. Thus, we found evidence that although the abundance of plant species is a major factor determining the preferential use of host plants, its relative importance is mediated by the host-range specialization of herbivores.

  6. Petunia floral defensins with unique prodomains as novel candidates for development of fusarium wilt resistance in transgenic banana plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siddhesh B Ghag

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial peptides are a potent group of defense active molecules that have been utilized in developing resistance against a multitude of plant pathogens. Floral defensins constitute a group of cysteine-rich peptides showing potent growth inhibition of pathogenic filamentous fungi especially Fusarium oxysporum in vitro. Full length genes coding for two Petunia floral defensins, PhDef1 and PhDef2 having unique C-terminal 31 and 27 amino acid long predicted prodomains, were overexpressed in transgenic banana plants using embryogenic cells as explants for Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation. High level constitutive expression of these defensins in elite banana cv. Rasthali led to significant resistance against infection of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense as shown by in vitro and ex vivo bioassay studies. Transgenic banana lines expressing either of the two defensins were clearly less chlorotic and had significantly less infestation and discoloration in the vital corm region of the plant as compared to untransformed controls. Transgenic banana plants expressing high level of full-length PhDef1 and PhDef2 were phenotypically normal and no stunting was observed. In conclusion, our results suggest that high-level constitutive expression of floral defensins having distinctive prodomains is an efficient strategy for development of fungal resistance in economically important fruit crops like banana.

  7. Plant-mediated interspecific horizontal transmission of an intracellular symbiont in insects

    KAUST Repository

    Gonella, Elena

    2015-11-13

    Intracellular reproductive manipulators, such as Candidatus Cardinium and Wolbachia are vertically transmitted to progeny but rarely show co-speciation with the host. In sap-feeding insects, plant tissues have been proposed as alternative horizontal routes of interspecific transmission, but experimental evidence is limited. Here we report results from experiments that show that Cardinium is horizontally transmitted between different phloem sap-feeding insect species through plants. Quantitative PCR and in situ hybridization experiments indicated that the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus releases Cardinium from its salivary glands during feeding on both artificial media and grapevine leaves. Successional time-course feeding experiments with S. titanus initially fed sugar solutions or small areas of grapevine leaves followed by feeding by the phytoplasma vector Macrosteles quadripunctulatus or the grapevine feeder Empoasca vitis revealed that the symbionts were transmitted to both species. Explaining interspecific horizontal transmission through plants improves our understanding of how symbionts spread, their lifestyle and the symbiont-host intermixed evolutionary pattern.

  8. Plant-mediated interspecific horizontal transmission of an intracellular symbiont in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonella, Elena; Pajoro, Massimo; Marzorati, Massimo; Crotti, Elena; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pontini, Marianna; Bulgari, Daniela; Negri, Ilaria; Sacchi, Luciano; Chouaia, Bessem; Daffonchio, Daniele; Alma, Alberto

    2015-11-13

    Intracellular reproductive manipulators, such as Candidatus Cardinium and Wolbachia are vertically transmitted to progeny but rarely show co-speciation with the host. In sap-feeding insects, plant tissues have been proposed as alternative horizontal routes of interspecific transmission, but experimental evidence is limited. Here we report results from experiments that show that Cardinium is horizontally transmitted between different phloem sap-feeding insect species through plants. Quantitative PCR and in situ hybridization experiments indicated that the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus releases Cardinium from its salivary glands during feeding on both artificial media and grapevine leaves. Successional time-course feeding experiments with S. titanus initially fed sugar solutions or small areas of grapevine leaves followed by feeding by the phytoplasma vector Macrosteles quadripunctulatus or the grapevine feeder Empoasca vitis revealed that the symbionts were transmitted to both species. Explaining interspecific horizontal transmission through plants improves our understanding of how symbionts spread, their lifestyle and the symbiont-host intermixed evolutionary pattern.

  9. An anionic defensin from Plutella xylostella with potential activity against Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, X-X; Zhang, Y-Q; Freed, S; Yu, J; Gao, Y-F; Wang, S; Ouyang, L-N; Ju, W-Y; Jin, F-L

    2016-12-01

    Insect defensins, are cationic peptides that play an important role in immunity against microbial infection. In the present study, an anionic defensin from Plutella xylostella, (designated as PxDef) was first cloned and characterized. Amino acid sequence analysis showed that the mature peptide owned characteristic six-cysteine motifs with predicted isoelectric point of 5.57, indicating an anionic defensin. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that PxDef was significantly induced in epidermis, fat body, midgut and hemocytes after injection of heat-inactivated Bacillus thuringiensis, while such an induction was delayed by the injection of live B. thuringiensis in the 4th instar larvae of P. xylostella. Knocking down the expression of nuclear transcription factor Dorsal in P. xylostella by RNA interference significantly decreased the mRNA level of PxDef, and increased the sensitivity of P. xylostella larvae to the infection by live B. thuringiensis. The purified recombinant mature peptide (PxDef) showed higher activity against Gram-positive bacteria, with the minimum inhibition concentrations of 1.6 and 2.6 µM against B. thuringiensis and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report about an anionic PxDef, which may play an important role in the immune system of P. xylostella against B. thuringiensis.

  10. Novel aspects of defensins' involvement in virus-induced autoimmunity in the central nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazakos, Evangelos I; Kountouras, Jannis; Polyzos, Stergios A; Deretzi, Georgia

    2017-05-01

    Recent research on re-circulation of interstitial fluid from the brain parenchyma to the periphery and its inferred importance in immune surveillance dysregulation are changing our conceptualization of the pathophysiology of virus-induced autoimmunity. In this context, it is necessary to reassess the immunomodulatory properties of human defensins that are variably expressed by cerebral microglia, astrocytes and choroid plexus epithelial cells and exhibit complex and often confounding roles in neuroinflammatory processes. Therefore, in this review we describe current contributions in this field and we propose novel hypotheses regarding the potential impact of defensin-related pathways on virus-driven autoimmune neurodegeneration. In this regard, we have previously proposed that abnormal expression of defensins by penetrating the blood-brain barrier (BBB) may contribute to the pathophysiology of Helicobacter pylori-related brain neurodegenerative disorders through variable modulations of innate and adaptive immune responses. We hereby propose that impaired expression of defensins by structural components of the BBB may impede glymphatic circulation and disrupt receptor signalling in pericytes that is essential for microvascular stability, thereby retaining blood-derived toxins and bystander activated T-cells in the brain and further impairing BBB integrity and hampering viral clearance. Autoreactive T-cell infiltrates in neuronaxonal lesions characteristic of chronic central nervous system diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, are directed against both, myelin and non-myelin, antigens the precise nature of which remains enigmatic. Inadequate expression of the autoimmune regulator (AIRE), a gene expressed in medullary thymic epithelial cells, induces the recruitment of defensin-specific T-cells. These cells may access the brain, thereby causing a decrease in defensin expression and subsequent down-regulation of CD91/LRP1-mediated clearance of amyloid-β that

  11. Determining putative vectors of the Bogia Coconut Syndrome phytoplasma using loop-mediated isothermal amplification of single-insect feeding media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Hengyu; Wilson, Bree A. L.; Ash, Gavin J.; Woruba, Sharon B.; Fletcher, Murray J.; You, Minsheng; Yang, Guang; Gurr, Geoff M.

    2016-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are insect vectored mollicutes responsible for disease in many economically important crops. Determining which insect species are vectors of a given phytoplasma is important for managing disease but is methodologically challenging because disease-free plants need to be exposed to large numbers of insects, often over many months. A relatively new method to detect likely transmission involves molecular testing for phytoplasma DNA in sucrose solution that insects have fed upon. In this study we combined this feeding medium method with a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay to study 627 insect specimens of 11 Hemiptera taxa sampled from sites in Papua New Guinea affected by Bogia coconut syndrome (BCS). The LAMP assay detected phytoplasma DNA from the feeding solution and head tissue of insects from six taxa belonging to four families: Derbidae, Lophopidae, Flatidae and Ricaniidae. Two other taxa yielded positives only from the heads and the remainder tested negative. These results demonstrate the utility of combining single-insect feeding medium tests with LAMP assays to identify putative vectors that can be the subject of transmission tests and to better understand phytoplasma pathosystems. PMID:27786249

  12. Interaction of Defensins with Model Cell Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Lori K.; Schmidt, Nathan W.; Yang, Lihua; Mishra, Abhijit; Gordon, Vernita D.; Selsted, Michael E.; Wong, Gerard C. L.

    2009-03-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) comprise a key component of innate immunity for a wide range of multicellular organisms. For many AMPs, activity comes from their ability to selectively disrupt and lyse bacterial cell membranes. There are a number of proposed models for this action, but the detailed molecular mechanism of selective membrane permeation remains unclear. Theta defensins are circularized peptides with a high degree of selectivity. We investigate the interaction of model bacterial and eukaryotic cell membranes with theta defensins RTD-1, BTD-7, and compare them to protegrin PG-1, a prototypical AMP, using synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS). The relationship between membrane composition and peptide induced changes in membrane curvature and topology is examined. By comparing the membrane phase behavior induced by these different peptides we will discuss the importance of amino acid composition and placement on membrane rearrangement.

  13. Mechanisms and ecological implications of plant-mediated interactions between belowground and aboveground insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Papadopoulou, G.V.; Dam, N.M. van

    2017-01-01

    Plant-mediated interactions between belowground (BG) and aboveground (AG) herbivores have received increasing interest recently. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying ecological consequences of BG–AG interactions are not fully clear yet. Herbivore-induced plant defenses are complex and

  14. Plants as green as phones: Novel insights into plant-mediated communication between below- and above-ground insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soler Gamborena, R.; Harvey, J.A.; Bezemer, T.M.; Stuefer, J.F.

    2008-01-01

    can act as vertical communication channels or ‘green phones’ linking soil-dwelling insects and insects in the aboveground ecosystem. When root-feeding insects attack a plant, the direct defense system of the shoot is activated, leading to an accumulation of phytotoxins in the leaves. The protection

  15. Plants as green phones: Novel insights into plant-mediated communication between below- and above-ground insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, Roxina; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Bezemer, T Martijn; Stuefer, Josef F

    2008-08-01

    Plants can act as vertical communication channels or 'green phones' linking soil-dwelling insects and insects in the aboveground ecosystem. When root-feeding insects attack a plant, the direct defense system of the shoot is activated, leading to an accumulation of phytotoxins in the leaves. The protection of the plant shoot elicited by root damage can impair the survival, growth and development of aboveground insect herbivores, thereby creating plant-based functional links between soil-dwelling insects and insects that develop in the aboveground ecosystem. The interactions between spatially separated insects below- and aboveground are not restricted to root and foliar plant-feeding insects, but can be extended to higher trophic levels such as insect parasitoids. Here we discuss some implications of plants acting as communication channels or 'green phones' between root and foliar-feeding insects and their parasitoids, focusing on recent findings that plants attacked by root-feeding insects are significantly less attractive for the parasitoids of foliar-feeding insects.

  16. Partial characterization of three β-defensin gene transcripts in river ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, the tracheal tissues from Egyptian river buffalo and cattle were screened for the presence of three bovine β-defensin gene transcripts. Three primer pairs were designed on the basis of published Bos taurus sequences for partial amplification of β-defensin 4, β-defensin 10 and β-defensin 11 complementary DNA ...

  17. Beneficial effects of solar UV-B radiation on soybean yield mediated by reduced insect herbivory under field conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazza, Carlos A; Giménez, Patricia I; Kantolic, Adriana G; Ballaré, Carlos L

    2013-03-01

    Ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B: 280-315 nm) has damaging effects on cellular components and macromolecules. In plants, natural levels of UV-B can reduce leaf area expansion and growth, which can lead to reduced productivity and yield. UV-B can also have important effects on herbivorous insects. Owing to the successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol, current models predict that clear-sky levels of UV-B radiation will decline during this century in response to ozone recovery. However, because of climate change and changes in land use practices, future trends in UV doses are difficult to predict. In the experiments reported here, we used an exclusion approach to study the effects of solar UV-B radiation on soybean crops, which are extensively grown in many areas of the world that may be affected by future variations in UV-B radiation. In a first experiment, performed under normal management practices (which included chemical pest control), we found that natural levels of UV-B radiation reduced soybean yield. In a second experiment, where no pesticides were applied, we found that solar UV-B significantly reduced insect herbivory and, surprisingly, caused a concomitant increase in crop yield. Our data support the idea that UV-B effects on agroecosystems are the result of complex interactions involving multiple trophic levels. A better understanding of the mechanisms that mediate the anti-herbivore effect of UV-B radiation may be used to design crop varieties with improved adaptation to the cropping systems that are likely to prevail in the coming decades in response to agricultural intensification. Copyright © Physiologia Plantarum 2012.

  18. Heterologous expression and solution structure of defensin from lentil Lens culinaris

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shenkarev, Zakhar O. [Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., 16/10, 117997 Moscow (Russian Federation); Gizatullina, Albina K. [Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., 16/10, 117997 Moscow (Russian Federation); Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), Department of Physicochemical Biology and Biotechnology, Institutskii per., 9, 141700 Dolgoprudny, Moscow Region (Russian Federation); Finkina, Ekaterina I.; Alekseeva, Ekaterina A.; Balandin, Sergey V.; Mineev, Konstantin S. [Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., 16/10, 117997 Moscow (Russian Federation); Arseniev, Alexander S. [Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., 16/10, 117997 Moscow (Russian Federation); Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), Department of Physicochemical Biology and Biotechnology, Institutskii per., 9, 141700 Dolgoprudny, Moscow Region (Russian Federation); Ovchinnikova, Tatiana V., E-mail: ovch@ibch.ru [Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., 16/10, 117997 Moscow (Russian Federation); Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), Department of Physicochemical Biology and Biotechnology, Institutskii per., 9, 141700 Dolgoprudny, Moscow Region (Russian Federation)

    2014-08-22

    Highlights: • Lentil defensin Lc-def and its {sup 15}N-labeled analog were overexpressed in E. coli. • Lc-def is active against fungi, but does not inhibit growth of G+ and G− bacteria. • Lc-def spatial structure involves triple-stranded β-sheet and α-helix (CSαβ motif). • Lc-def is able to bind to anionic lipid vesicles under low-salt conditions. • NMR data revealed significant μs–ms mobility in the loops 1 and 3 of Lc-def. - Abstract: A new defensin Lc-def, isolated from germinated seeds of the lentil Lens culinaris, has molecular mass 5440.4 Da and consists of 47 amino acid residues. Lc-def and its {sup 15}N-labeled analog were overexpressed in Escherichia coli. Antimicrobial activity of the recombinant protein was examined, and its spatial structure, dynamics, and interaction with lipid vesicles were studied by NMR spectroscopy. It was shown that Lc-def is active against fungi, but does not inhibit the growth of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The peptide is monomeric in aqueous solution and contains one α-helix and triple-stranded β-sheet, which form cysteine-stabilized αβ motif (CSαβ) previously found in other plant defensins. The sterically neighboring loop1 and loop3 protrude from the defensin core and demonstrate significant mobility on the μs–ms timescale. Lc-def does not bind to the zwitterionic lipid (POPC) vesicles but interacts with the partially anionic (POPC/DOPG, 7:3) membranes under low-salt conditions. The Lc-def antifungal activity might be mediated through electrostatic interaction with anionic lipid components of fungal membranes.

  19. Heterologous expression and solution structure of defensin from lentil Lens culinaris

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shenkarev, Zakhar O.; Gizatullina, Albina K.; Finkina, Ekaterina I.; Alekseeva, Ekaterina A.; Balandin, Sergey V.; Mineev, Konstantin S.; Arseniev, Alexander S.; Ovchinnikova, Tatiana V.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Lentil defensin Lc-def and its 15 N-labeled analog were overexpressed in E. coli. • Lc-def is active against fungi, but does not inhibit growth of G+ and G− bacteria. • Lc-def spatial structure involves triple-stranded β-sheet and α-helix (CSαβ motif). • Lc-def is able to bind to anionic lipid vesicles under low-salt conditions. • NMR data revealed significant μs–ms mobility in the loops 1 and 3 of Lc-def. - Abstract: A new defensin Lc-def, isolated from germinated seeds of the lentil Lens culinaris, has molecular mass 5440.4 Da and consists of 47 amino acid residues. Lc-def and its 15 N-labeled analog were overexpressed in Escherichia coli. Antimicrobial activity of the recombinant protein was examined, and its spatial structure, dynamics, and interaction with lipid vesicles were studied by NMR spectroscopy. It was shown that Lc-def is active against fungi, but does not inhibit the growth of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The peptide is monomeric in aqueous solution and contains one α-helix and triple-stranded β-sheet, which form cysteine-stabilized αβ motif (CSαβ) previously found in other plant defensins. The sterically neighboring loop1 and loop3 protrude from the defensin core and demonstrate significant mobility on the μs–ms timescale. Lc-def does not bind to the zwitterionic lipid (POPC) vesicles but interacts with the partially anionic (POPC/DOPG, 7:3) membranes under low-salt conditions. The Lc-def antifungal activity might be mediated through electrostatic interaction with anionic lipid components of fungal membranes

  20. Ethylene Contributes to maize insect resistance1-Mediated Maize Defense against the Phloem Sap-Sucking Corn Leaf Aphid1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Joe; Basu, Saumik; Varsani, Suresh; Castano-Duque, Lina; Jiang, Victoria; Williams, W. Paul; Felton, Gary W.; Luthe, Dawn S.

    2015-01-01

    Signaling networks among multiple phytohormones fine-tune plant defense responses to insect herbivore attack. Previously, it was reported that the synergistic combination of ethylene (ET) and jasmonic acid (JA) was required for accumulation of the maize insect resistance1 (mir1) gene product, a cysteine (Cys) proteinase that is a key defensive protein against chewing insect pests in maize (Zea mays). However, this study suggests that mir1-mediated resistance to corn leaf aphid (CLA; Rhopalosiphum maidis), a phloem sap-sucking insect pest, is independent of JA but regulated by the ET-signaling pathway. Feeding by CLA triggers the rapid accumulation of mir1 transcripts in the resistant maize genotype, Mp708. Furthermore, Mp708 provided elevated levels of antibiosis (limits aphid population)- and antixenosis (deters aphid settling)-mediated resistance to CLA compared with B73 and Tx601 maize susceptible inbred lines. Synthetic diet aphid feeding trial bioassays with recombinant Mir1-Cys Protease demonstrates that Mir1-Cys Protease provides direct toxicity to CLA. Furthermore, foliar feeding by CLA rapidly sends defensive signal(s) to the roots that trigger belowground accumulation of the mir1, signifying a potential role of long-distance signaling in maize defense against the phloem-feeding insects. Collectively, our data indicate that ET-regulated mir1 transcript accumulation, uncoupled from JA, contributed to heightened resistance to CLA in maize. In addition, our results underscore the significance of ET acting as a central node in regulating mir1 expression to different feeding guilds of insect herbivores. PMID:26253737

  1. A Bacterial Parasite Effector Mediates Insect Vector Attraction in Host Plants Independently of Developmental Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlovskis, Zigmunds; Hogenhout, Saskia A.

    2016-01-01

    Parasites can take over their hosts and trigger dramatic changes in host appearance and behavior that are typically interpreted as extended phenotypes that promote parasite survival and fitness. For example, Toxoplasma gondii is thought to manipulate the behaviors of infected rodents to aid transmission to cats and parasitic trematodes of the genus Ribeiroia alter limb development in their amphibian hosts to facilitate predation of the latter by birds. Plant parasites and pathogens also reprogram host development and morphology. However, whereas some parasite-induced morphological alterations may have a direct benefit to the fitness of the parasite and may therefore be adaptive, other host alterations may be side effects of parasite infections having no adaptive effects on parasite fitness. Phytoplasma parasites of plants often induce the development of leaf-like flowers (phyllody) in their host plants, and we previously found that the phytoplasma effector SAP54 generates these leaf-like flowers via the degradation of plant MADS-box transcription factors (MTFs), which regulate all major aspects of development in plants. Leafhoppers prefer to reproduce on phytoplasma-infected and SAP54-trangenic plants leading to the hypothesis that leafhopper vectors are attracted to plants with leaf-like flowers. Surprisingly, here we show that leafhopper attraction occurs independently of the presence of leaf-like flowers. First, the leafhoppers were also attracted to SAP54 transgenic plants without leaf-like flowers and to single leaves of these plants. Moreover, leafhoppers were not attracted to leaf-like flowers of MTF-mutant plants without the presence of SAP54. Thus, the primary role of SAP54 is to attract leafhopper vectors, which spread the phytoplasmas, and the generation of leaf-like flowers may be secondary or a side effect of the SAP54-mediated degradation of MTFs. PMID:27446117

  2. Rabbit defensin (NP-1) genetic engineering of plant

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jane

    2011-08-22

    Aug 22, 2011 ... rabbit defensin has a significant toxic effect on mouse tumor cells .... Disease is one of the important factors which lead to decrease of .... Transgenic Nitrate Reductase Deficient Mutant of Chlorella ellipsoide. J. Agric.

  3. Anti-Legionella dumoffii Activity of Galleria mellonella Defensin and Apolipophorin III

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Cytryńska

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The gram-negative bacterium Legionella dumoffii is, beside Legionella pneumophila, an etiological agent of Legionnaires’ disease, an atypical form of pneumonia. The aim of this study was to determine the antimicrobial activity of Galleria mellonella defense polypeptides against L. dumoffii. The extract of immune hemolymph, containing a mixture of defense peptides and proteins, exhibited a dose-dependent bactericidal effect on L. dumoffii. The bacterium appeared sensitive to a main component of the hemolymph extract, apolipophorin III, as well as to a defense peptide, Galleria defensin, used at the concentrations 0.4 mg/mL and 40 μg/mL, respectively. L. dumoffii cells cultured in the presence of choline were more susceptible to both defense factors analyzed. A transmission electron microscopy study of bacterial cells demonstrated that Galleria defensin and apolipophorin III induced irreversible cell wall damage and strong intracellular alterations, i.e., increased vacuolization, cytoplasm condensation and the appearance of electron-white spaces in electron micrographs. Our findings suggest that insects, such as G. mellonella, with their great diversity of antimicrobial factors, can serve as a rich source of compounds for the testing of Legionella susceptibility to defense-related peptides and proteins.

  4. Purification, cDNA cloning and modification of a defensin from the coconut rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishibashi, J; Saido-Sakanaka, H; Yang, J; Sagisaka, A; Yamakawa, M

    1999-12-01

    A novel member of the insect defensins, a family of antibacterial peptides, was purified from larvae of the coconut rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros, immunized with Escherichia coli. A full-size cDNA was cloned by combining reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR), and 5'- and 3'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). Analysis of the O. rhinoceros defensin gene expression showed it to be expressed in the fat body and hemocyte, midgut and Malpighian tubules. O. rhinoceros defensin showed strong antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. A 9-mer peptide amidated at its C-terminus, AHCLAICRK-NH2 (Ala22-Lys30-NH2), was synthesized based on the deduced amino-acid sequence, assumed to be an active site sequence by analogy with the sequence of a defensin isolated from larvae of the beetle Allomyrina dichotoma. This peptide showed antibacterial activity against S. aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We further modified this oligopeptide and synthesized five 9-mer peptides, ALRLAIRKR-NH2, ALLLAIRKR-NH2, AWLLAIRKR-NH2, ALYLAIRKR-NH2 and ALWLAIRKR-NH2. These oligopeptides showed strong antibacterial activity against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The antibacterial effect of Ala22-Lys30-NH2 analogues was due to its interaction with bacterial membranes, judging from the leakage of liposome-entrapped glucose. These Ala22-Lys30-NH2 analogues did not show haemolytic activity and did not inhibit the growth of murine fibroblast cells or macrophages, except for AWLLAIRKR-NH2.

  5. Defensins: The Case for Their Use against Mycobacterial Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haodi Dong

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Human tuberculosis remains a huge global public health problem with an estimated 1/3rd of the population being infected. Defensins are antibacterial cationic peptides produced by a number of cell types, most notably neutrophil granulocytes and epithelial cells. All three defensin types (α-, β-, and θ-defensins have antibacterial activities, mainly through bacterial membrane permeabilization. Defensins are effective against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria including mycobacteria and are active both intra- and extracellularly. Mycobacterial resistance has never been demonstrated although the mprF gene encoding resistance in Staphylococcus aureus is present in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome. In addition to their antibacterial effect, defensins are chemoattractants for macrophages and neutrophils. There are many cases for their use for therapy or prophylaxis in tuberculosis as well. In conclusion, we propose that there is considerable scope and potential for exploring their use as therapeutic/prophylactic agents and more comprehensive survey of defensins from different species and their bioactivity is timely.

  6. Conformational landscape and pathway of disulfide bond reduction of human alpha defensin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snijder, Joost; Van De Waterbeemd, Michiel; Glover, Matthew S.; Shi, Liuqing; Clemmer, David E.; Heck, Albert J R

    2015-01-01

    Human alpha defensins are a class of antimicrobial peptides with additional antiviral activity. Such antimicrobial peptides constitute a major part of mammalian innate immunity. Alpha defensins contain six cysteines, which form three well defined disulfide bridges under oxidizing conditions.

  7. Bottom-up nutrient and top-down fish impacts on insect-mediated mercury flux from aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Taylor A; Chumchal, Matthew M; Drenner, Ray W; Timmins, Gabrielle N; Nowlin, Weston H

    2013-03-01

    Methyl mercury (MeHg) is one of the most hazardous contaminants in the environment, adversely affecting the health of wildlife and humans. Recent studies have demonstrated that aquatic insects biotransport MeHg and other contaminants to terrestrial consumers, but the factors that regulate the flux of MeHg out of aquatic ecosystems via emergent insects have not been studied. The authors used experimental mesocosms to test the hypothesis that insect emergence and the associated flux of MeHg from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems is affected by both bottom-up nutrient effects and top-down fish consumer effects. In the present study, nutrient addition led to an increase in MeHg flux primarily by enhancing the biomass of emerging insects whose tissues were contaminated with MeHg, whereas fish decreased MeHg flux primarily by reducing the biomass of emerging insects. Furthermore, the authors found that these factors are interdependent such that the effects of nutrients are more pronounced when fish are absent, and the effects of fish are more pronounced when nutrient concentrations are high. The present study is the first to demonstrate that the flux of MeHg from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems is strongly enhanced by bottom-up nutrient effects and diminished by top-down consumer effects. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  8. Two-way plant mediated interactions between root-associated microbes and insects: from ecology to mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurmi ePangesti

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants are members of complex communities and function as a link between above- and below-ground organisms. Associations between plants and soil-borne microbes commonly occur and have often been found beneficial for plant fitness. Root-associated microbes may trigger physiological changes in the host plant that influence interactions between plants and aboveground insects at several trophic levels. Aboveground, plants are under continuous attack by insect herbivores and mount multiple responses that also have systemic effects on belowground microbes. Until recently, both ecological and mechanistic studies have mostly focused on exploring these below- and above-ground interactions using simplified systems involving both single microbe and herbivore species, which is far from the naturally occurring interactions. Increasing the complexity of the systems studied is required to increase our understanding of microbe - plant - insect interactions and to gain more benefit from the use of non-pathogenic microbes in agriculture. In this review, we explore how colonization by either single non-pathogenic microbe species or a community of such microbes belowground affects plant growth and defense and how this affects the interactions of plants with aboveground insects at different trophic levels. Moreover, we review how plant responses to foliar herbivory by insects belonging to different feeding guilds affect interactions of plants with non-pathogenic soil-borne microbes. The role of phytohormones in coordinating plant growth, plant defenses against foliar herbivores while simultaneously establishing associations with non-pathogenic soil microbes is discussed.

  9. Plasma alpha-defensin is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in type 1 diabetic patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joseph, G.; Tarnow, L.; Astrup, A.S.

    2008-01-01

    CONTEXT: alpha-Defensins are antimicrobial peptides of the innate immune system. In addition, experimental evidence suggests that alpha-defensins are proatherogenic. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to examine the predictive value of plasma alpha-defensin as a clinical marker of cardiova...... to the development of CVD or an innocent bystander Udgivelsesdato: 2008/4...

  10. Antiplasmodial activity is an ancient and conserved feature of tick defensins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Ancestral sequence reconstruction has been widely used to test evolution-based hypotheses. The genome of the European tick vector, Ixodes ricinus, encodes for defensin peptides with diverse antimicrobial activities against distantly related pathogens. These pathogens include fungi, Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, i.e., a wide antimicrobial spectrum. Ticks do not transmit these pathogens, suggesting that these defensins may act against a wide range of microbes encountered by ticks during blood feeding or off-host periods. As demonstrated here, these I. ricinus defensins are also effective against the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. To study the general evolution of antimicrobial activity in tick defensins, the ancestral amino acid sequence of chelicerate defensins, which existed approximately 444 million years ago, was reconstructed using publicly available scorpion and tick defensin sequences (named Scorpions-Ticks Defensins Ancestor, STiDA. The activity of STiDA was tested against P. falciparum and the same Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria that were used for the I. ricinus defensins. While some extant tick defensins exhibit a wide antimicrobial spectrum, the ancestral defensin showed moderate activity against one of the tested microbes, P. falciparum. This study suggests that amino acid variability and defensin family expansion increased the antimicrobial spectrum of ancestral tick defensins.

  11. Insect immunology and hematopoiesis

    OpenAIRE

    Hillyer, Julián F.

    2015-01-01

    Insects combat infection by mounting powerful immune responses that are mediated by hemocytes, the fat body, the midgut, the salivary glands and other tissues. Foreign organisms that have entered the body of an insect are recognized by the immune system when pathogen-associated molecular patterns bind host-derived pattern recognition receptors. This, in turn, activates immune signaling pathways that amplify the immune response, induce the production of factors with antimicrobial activity, and...

  12. α-Defensin HD5 Inhibits Human Papillomavirus 16 Infection via Capsid Stabilization and Redirection to the Lysosome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayim E. Wiens

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available α-Defensins are an important class of abundant innate immune effectors that are potently antiviral against a number of nonenveloped viral pathogens; however, a common mechanism to explain their ability to block infection by these unrelated viruses is lacking. We previously found that human defensin 5 (HD5 blocks a critical host-mediated proteolytic processing step required for human papillomavirus (HPV infection. Here, we show that bypassing the requirement for this cleavage failed to abrogate HD5 inhibition. Instead, HD5 altered HPV trafficking in the cell. In the presence of an inhibitory concentration of HD5, HPV was internalized and reached the early endosome. The internalized capsid became permeable to antibodies and proteases; however, HD5 prevented dissociation of the viral capsid from the genome, reduced viral trafficking to the trans-Golgi network, redirected the incoming viral particle to the lysosome, and accelerated the degradation of internalized capsid proteins. This mechanism is equivalent to the mechanism by which HD5 inhibits human adenovirus. Thus, our data support capsid stabilization and redirection to the lysosome during infection as a general antiviral mechanism of α-defensins against nonenveloped viruses.

  13. The Yin and Yang of human beta defensins in health and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron eWeinberg

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly evolving research examining the extended role of human beta-defensins (hBDs in chemoattraction, innate immune-mediated response and promotion of angiogenesis suggest that the collective effects of hBDs extend well beyond their antimicrobial mechanism(s. Indeed, the numerous basic cellular functions associated with hBDs demonstrate that these peptides have dual impact on health, as they may be advantageous under certain conditions, but potentially detrimental in others. The consequences of these functions are reflected in the overexpression of hBDs in diseases, such as psoriasis, and recently the association of hBDs with pro-tumoral signaling. The mechanisms regulating hBD response in health and disease are still being elucidated. Clearly the spectrum of function now attributed to hBD regulation identifies these molecules as important cellular regulators, whose appropriate expression is critical for proper immune surveillance; i.e., expression of hBDs in proximity to areas of cellular dysregulation may inadvertently exacerbate disease progression. Understanding the mechanism(s that regulate contextual signaling of hBDs is an important area of concentration in our laboratories. Using a combination of immunologic, biochemical and molecular biologic approaches, we have identified signaling pathways associated with hBD promotion of immune homeostasis and have begun to dissect the inappropriate role that beta-defensins may assume in disease.

  14. Antiprotozoan and Antiviral Activities of Non-Cytotoxic Truncated and Variant Analogues of Mussel Defensin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Roch

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available We previously reported the crucial role displayed by loop 3 of defensin isolated from the Mediterranean mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis, in antibacterial and antifungal activities. We now investigated antiprotozoan and antiviral activities of some previously reported fragments B, D, E, P and Q. Two fragments (D and P efficiently killed Trypanosoma brucei (ID50 4–12 μM and Leishmania major (ID50 12–45 μM in a time/dose-dependent manner. Killing of T. brucei started as early as 1 h after initiation of contact with fragment D and reached 55% mortality after 6 h. Killing was temperature dependent and a temperature of 4°C efficiently impaired the ability to kill T. brucei. Fragments bound to the entire external epithelium of T. brucei. Prevention of HIV-1 infestation was obtained only with fragments P and Q at 20 μM. Even if fragment P was active on both targets, the specificity of fragments D and Q suggest that antiprotozoan and antiviral activities are mediated by different mechanisms. Truncated sequences of mussel defensin, including amino acid replacement to maintain 3D structure and increased positive net charge, also possess antiprotozoan and antiviral capabilities. New alternative and/or complementary antibiotics can be derived from the vast reservoir of natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs contained in marine invertebrates.

  15. Marine insects

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cheng, Lanna

    1976-01-01

    .... Not only are true insects, such as the Collembola and insect parasites of marine birds and mammals, considered, but also other kinds of intertidal air-breathing arthropods, notably spiders, scorpions...

  16. The GPCR membrane receptor, DopEcR, mediates the actions of both dopamine and ecdysone to control sex pheromone perception in an insect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine eAbrieux

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Olfactory information mediating sexual behavior is crucial for reproduction in many animals, including insects. In male moths, the macroglomerular complex of the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobe (AL is specialized in the treatment of information on the female-emitted sex pheromone. Evidence is accumulating that modulation of behavioral pheromone responses occurs through neuronal plasticity via the action of hormones and/or catecholamines. We recently showed that a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR, AipsDopEcR, with its homologue known in Drosophila for its double affinity to the main insect steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E, and dopamine (DA, present in the ALs, is involved in the behavioral response to pheromone in the moth, Agrotis ipsilon. Here we tested the role of AipsDopEcR as compared to nuclear 20E receptors in central pheromone processing combining receptor inhibition with intracellular recordings of AL neurons. We show that the sensitivity of AL neurons for the pheromone in males decreases strongly after AipsDopEcR-dsRNA injection but also after inhibition of nuclear 20E receptors. Moreover we tested the involvement of 20E and DA in the receptor-mediated behavioral modulation in wind tunnel experiments, using ligand applications and receptor inhibition treatments. We show that both ligands are necessary and act on AipsDopEcR-mediated behavior. Altogether these results indicate that the GPCR membrane receptor, AipsDopEcR, controls sex pheromone perception through the action of both 20E and DA in the central nervous system, probably in concert with 20E action through nuclear receptors.

  17. Edible Insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van A.; Dunkel, F.V.

    2016-01-01

    The interest in insects as human food in the Western world is increasingly considered as a viable alternative to other protein sources. In tropical countries it is common practice and about 2000 insect species are eaten. Insects emit low levels of greenhouse gases, need little water, and require

  18. Consuming insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roos, N.; Huis, van A.

    2017-01-01

    How healthy are insects? This is a highly relevant question in view of the global interest in the potential of insects as a sustainable food source in food systems and diets. Edible insects, like other foods, can provide nutrients and dietary energy to meet the requirements of the human body as a

  19. Persistence of long-distance, insect-mediated pollen movement for a tropical canopy tree species in remnant forest patches in an urban landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen, A M E; Niissalo, M A; Lum, S K Y; Webb, E L

    2016-12-01

    As deforestation and urbanization continue at rapid rates in tropical regions, urban forest patches are essential repositories of biodiversity. However, almost nothing is known about gene flow of forest-dependent tree species in urban landscapes. In this study, we investigated gene flow in the insect-pollinated, wind-dispersed tropical tree Koompassia malaccensis in and among three remnant forest patches in the urbanized landscape of Singapore. We genotyped the vast majority of adults (N=179) and a large number of recruits (N=2103) with 8 highly polymorphic microsatellite markers. Spatial genetic structure of the recruit and adult cohorts was significant, showing routine gene dispersal distances of ~100-400 m. Parentage analysis showed that 97% of recruits were within 100 m of their mother tree, and a high frequency of relatively short-distance pollen dispersal (median ~143-187 m). Despite routine seed and pollen dispersal distances of within a few hundred meters, interpatch gene flow occurred between all patches and was dominated by pollen movement: parentage analysis showed 76 pollen versus 2 seed interpatch dispersal events, and the seedling neighborhood model estimated ~1-6% seed immigration and ~21-46% pollen immigration rates, depending on patch. In addition, the smallest patch (containing five adult K. malaccensis trees) was entirely surrounded by >2.5 km of 'impervious' substrate, yet had the highest proportional pollen and seed immigration estimates of any patch. Hence, contrary to our hypothesis, insect-mediated gene flow persisted across an urban landscape, and several of our results also parallel key findings from insect-pollinated canopy trees sampled in mixed agricultural-forest landscapes.

  20. Insect immunology and hematopoiesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillyer, Julián F

    2016-05-01

    Insects combat infection by mounting powerful immune responses that are mediated by hemocytes, the fat body, the midgut, the salivary glands and other tissues. Foreign organisms that have entered the body of an insect are recognized by the immune system when pathogen-associated molecular patterns bind host-derived pattern recognition receptors. This, in turn, activates immune signaling pathways that amplify the immune response, induce the production of factors with antimicrobial activity, and activate effector pathways. Among the immune signaling pathways are the Toll, Imd, Jak/Stat, JNK, and insulin pathways. Activation of these and other pathways leads to pathogen killing via phagocytosis, melanization, cellular encapsulation, nodulation, lysis, RNAi-mediated virus destruction, autophagy and apoptosis. This review details these and other aspects of immunity in insects, and discusses how the immune and circulatory systems have co-adapted to combat infection, how hemocyte replication and differentiation takes place (hematopoiesis), how an infection prepares an insect for a subsequent infection (immune priming), how environmental factors such as temperature and the age of the insect impact the immune response, and how social immunity protects entire groups. Finally, this review highlights some underexplored areas in the field of insect immunobiology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Directional and balancing selection in human beta-defensins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armour John AL

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In primates, infection is an important force driving gene evolution, and this is reflected in the importance of infectious disease in human morbidity today. The beta-defensins are key components of the innate immune system, with antimicrobial and cell signalling roles, but also reproductive functions. Here we examine evolution of beta-defensins in catarrhine primates and variation within different human populations. Results We show that five beta-defensin genes that do not show copy number variation in humans show evidence of positive selection in catarrhine primates, and identify specific codons that have been under selective pressure. Direct haplotyping of DEFB127 in humans suggests long-term balancing selection: there are two highly diverged haplotype clades carrying different variants of a codon that, in primates, is positively selected. For DEFB132, we show that extensive diversity, including a four-state amino acid polymorphism (valine, isoleucine, alanine and threonine at position 93, is present in hunter-gatherer populations, both African and non-African, but not found in samples from agricultural populations. Conclusion Some, but not all, beta-defensin genes show positive selection in catarrhine primates. There is suggestive evidence of different selective pressures on these genes in humans, but the nature of the selective pressure remains unclear and is likely to differ between populations.

  2. Directional and balancing selection in human beta-defensins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollox, Edward J; Armour, John A L

    2008-04-16

    In primates, infection is an important force driving gene evolution, and this is reflected in the importance of infectious disease in human morbidity today. The beta-defensins are key components of the innate immune system, with antimicrobial and cell signalling roles, but also reproductive functions. Here we examine evolution of beta-defensins in catarrhine primates and variation within different human populations. We show that five beta-defensin genes that do not show copy number variation in humans show evidence of positive selection in catarrhine primates, and identify specific codons that have been under selective pressure. Direct haplotyping of DEFB127 in humans suggests long-term balancing selection: there are two highly diverged haplotype clades carrying different variants of a codon that, in primates, is positively selected. For DEFB132, we show that extensive diversity, including a four-state amino acid polymorphism (valine, isoleucine, alanine and threonine at position 93), is present in hunter-gatherer populations, both African and non-African, but not found in samples from agricultural populations. Some, but not all, beta-defensin genes show positive selection in catarrhine primates. There is suggestive evidence of different selective pressures on these genes in humans, but the nature of the selective pressure remains unclear and is likely to differ between populations.

  3. Mode of action of plant defensins suggests therapeutic potential

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thomma, B.P.H.J.; Cammue, B.P.A.; Thevissen, K.

    2003-01-01

    Higher vertebrates can rely both on an innate as well as an adaptive immune system for defense against invading pathogens. In contrast, plants can only employ an innate immune system that largely depends on the production of antimicrobial compounds such as plant defensins and other

  4. Pyramids of QTLs enhance host-plant resistance and Bt-mediated resistance to leaf-chewing insects in soybean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, María A; All, John N; Boerma, H Roger; Parrott, Wayne A

    2016-04-01

    QTL-M and QTL-E enhance soybean resistance to insects. Pyramiding these QTLs with cry1Ac increases protection against Bt-tolerant pests, presenting an opportunity to effectively deploy Bt with host-plant resistance genes. Plant resistance to leaf-chewing insects minimizes the need for insecticide applications, reducing crop production costs and pesticide concerns. In soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], resistance to a broad range of leaf-chewing insects is found in PI 229358 and PI 227687. PI 229358's resistance is conferred by three quantitative trait loci (QTLs): M, G, and H. PI 227687's resistance is conferred by QTL-E. The letters indicate the soybean Linkage groups (LGs) on which the QTLs are located. This study aimed to determine if pyramiding PI 229358 and PI 227687 QTLs would enhance soybean resistance to leaf-chewing insects, and if pyramiding these QTLs with Bt (cry1Ac) enhances resistance against Bt-tolerant pests. The near-isogenic lines (NILs): Benning(ME), Benning(MGHE), and Benning(ME+cry1Ac) were developed. Benning(ME) and Benning(MGHE) were evaluated in detached-leaf and greenhouse assays with soybean looper [SBL, Chrysodeixis includens (Walker)], corn earworm [CEW, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie)], fall armyworm [FAW, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith)], and velvetbean caterpillar [VBC, Anticarsia gemmatalis (Hübner)]; and in field-cage assays with SBL. Benning(ME+cry1Ac) was tested in detached-leaf assays against SBL, VBC, and Southern armyworm [SAW, Spodoptera eridania (Cramer)]. In the detached-leaf assay, Benning(ME) showed the strongest antibiosis against CEW, FAW, and VBC. In field-cage conditions, Benning(ME) and Benning(MGHE) suffered 61 % less defoliation than Benning. Benning(ME+cry1Ac) was more resistant than Benning(ME) and Benning (cry1Ac) against SBL and SAW. Agriculturally relevant levels of resistance in soybean can be achieved with just two loci, QTL-M and QTL-E. ME+cry1Ac could present an opportunity to protect the durability of Bt

  5. Isolation and Properties of Floral Defensins from Ornamental Tobacco and Petunia1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lay, Fung T.; Brugliera, Filippa; Anderson, Marilyn A.

    2003-01-01

    The flowers of the solanaceous plants ornamental tobacco (Nicotiana alata) and petunia (Petunia hybrida) produce high levels of defensins during the early stages of development. In contrast to the well-described seed defensins, these floral defensins are produced as precursors with C-terminal prodomains of 27 to 33 amino acids in addition to a typical secretion signal peptide and central defensin domain of 47 or 49 amino acids. Defensins isolated from N. alata and petunia flowers lack the C-terminal domain, suggesting that it is removed during or after transit through the secretory pathway. Immunogold electron microscopy has been used to demonstrate that the N. alata defensin is deposited in the vacuole. In addition to the eight canonical cysteine residues that define the plant defensin family, the two petunia defensins have an extra pair of cysteines that form a fifth disulfide bond and hence define a new subclass of this family of proteins. Expression of the N. alata defensin NaD1 is predominantly flower specific and is most active during the early stages of flower development. NaD1 transcripts accumulate in the outermost cell layers of petals, sepals, anthers, and styles, consistent with a role in protection of the reproductive organs against potential pathogens. The floral defensins inhibit the growth of Botrytis cinerea and Fusarium oxysporum in vitro, providing further support for a role in protection of floral tissues against pathogen invasion. PMID:12644678

  6. Innate Defense against Influenza A Virus: Activity of Human Neutrophil Defensins and Interactions of Defensins with Surfactant Protein D

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartshorn, Kevan L.; White, Mitchell R.; Tecle, Tesfaldet

    2006-01-01

    Surfactant protein D (SP-D) plays important roles in innate host defense against influenza A virus (IAV) infection, in part by modifying interactions with neutrophils. Human neutrophil defensins (HNPs) inhibit infectivity of enveloped viruses, including IAV. Our goal in this study...

  7. High-efficiency Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and regeneration of insect-resistant transgenic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehrotra, Meenakshi; Sanyal, Indraneel; Amla, D V

    2011-09-01

    To develop an efficient genetic transformation system of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), callus derived from mature embryonic axes of variety P-362 was transformed with Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA4404 harboring p35SGUS-INT plasmid containing the uidA gene encoding β-glucuronidase (GUS) and the nptII gene for kanamycin selection. Various factors affecting transformation efficiency were optimized; as Agrobacterium suspension at OD(600) 0.3 with 48 h of co-cultivation period at 20°C was found optimal for transforming 10-day-old MEA-derived callus. Inclusion of 200 μM acetosyringone, sonication for 4 s with vacuum infiltration for 6 min improved the number of GUS foci per responding explant from 1.0 to 38.6, as determined by histochemical GUS assay. For introducing the insect-resistant trait into chickpea, binary vector pRD400-cry1Ac was also transformed under optimized conditions and 18 T(0) transgenic plants were generated, representing 3.6% transformation frequency. T(0) transgenic plants reflected Mendelian inheritance pattern of transgene segregation in T(1) progeny. PCR, RT-PCR, and Southern hybridization analysis of T(0) and T(1) transgenic plants confirmed stable integration of transgenes into the chickpea genome. The expression level of Bt-Cry protein in T(0) and T(1) transgenic chickpea plants was achieved maximum up to 116 ng mg(-1) of soluble protein, which efficiently causes 100% mortality to second instar larvae of Helicoverpa armigera as analyzed by an insect mortality bioassay. Our results demonstrate an efficient and rapid transformation system of chickpea for producing non-chimeric transgenic plants with high frequency. These findings will certainly accelerate the development of chickpea plants with novel traits.

  8. Interplay between calcineurin and the Slt2 MAP-kinase in mediating cell wall integrity, conidiation and virulence in the insect fungal pathogen Beauveria bassiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shuaishuai; He, Zhangjiang; Zhang, Shiwei; Keyhani, Nemat O; Song, Yulin; Yang, Zhi; Jiang, Yahui; Zhang, Wenli; Pei, Yan; Zhang, Yongjun

    2015-10-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, is of environmental and economic importance as an insect pathogen, currently used for the biological control of a number of pests. Cell wall integrity and conidiation are critical parameters for the ability of the fungus to infect insects and for production of the infectious propagules. The contribution of calcineurin and the Slt2 MAP kinase to cell wall integrity and development in B. bassiana was investigated. Gene knockouts of either the calcineurin CNA1 subunit or the Slt2 MAP kinase resulted in decreased tolerance to calcofluor white and high temperature. In contrast, the Δcna1 strain was more tolerant to Congo red but more sensitive to osmotic stress (NaCl, sorbitol) than the wild type, whereas the Δslt2 strain had the opposite phenotype. Changes in cell wall structure and composition were seen in the Δslt2 and Δcna1 strains during growth under cell wall stress as compared to the wild type. Both Δslt2 and Δcna1 strains showed significant alterations in growth, conidiation, and viability. Elevation of intracellular ROS levels, and decreased conidial hydrophobicity and adhesion to hydrophobic surfaces, were also seen for both mutants, as well as decreased virulence. Under cell wall stress conditions, inactivation of Slt2 significantly repressed CN-mediated phosphatase activity suggesting some level of cross talk between the two pathways. Comparative transcriptome profiling of the Δslt2 and Δcna1 strains revealed alterations in the expression of distinct gene sets, with overlap in transcripts involved in cell wall integrity, stress response, conidiation and virulence. These data illustrate convergent and divergent phenotypes and targets of the calcineurin and Slt2 pathways in B. bassiana. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Insect Detectives

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2002-08-01

    Aug 1, 2002 ... all life stages of insects from and around the corpse. The collected specimens are subjected to further analysis either in the field itself or in the laboratory. A forensic entomologist has three main objectives in his mind while analyzing the insect data: determination of place, time and mode of death, each of.

  10. Insect Keepers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Virginia J.; Chessin, Debby A.; Theobald, Becky

    2010-01-01

    Insects are fascinating creatures--especially when you and your students get up close and personal with them! To that end, the authors facilitated an inquiry-based investigation with an emphasis on identification of the different types of insects found in the school yard, their characteristics, their habitat, and what they eat, while engaging the…

  11. Edible insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van A.

    2017-01-01

    Is it an impossible task to convince consumers to eat insects? This does not only apply to western consumers who are less familiar with this food habit than consumers in tropical countries. In the tropics too, many people do not consume insects, even though they are easier to collect as food than

  12. Eating insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tan, Hui Shan Grace

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, edible insects have gained global attention due to their nutritional and environmental advantages over conventional meat. While numerous species of edible insects are enjoyed in various cultures around the world, most Western consumers react with disgust and aversion towards

  13. Ixodes ricinus defensins attack distantly-related pathogens

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tonk, M.; Cabezas-Cruz, A.; Valdés, James J.; Rego, Ryan O. M.; Grubhoffer, Libor; Estrada--Pena, A.; Vilcinskas, A.; Kotsyfakis, Michalis; Rahnamaeian, M.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 53, č. 2 (2015), s. 358-365 ISSN 0145-305X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032; GA ČR GAP502/12/2409 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 278976 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Antimicrobial peptide * Defensin * Ixodes ricinus * Listeria monocytogenes * Staphylococcus aureus * Staphylococcus epidermidis * Escherichia coli * Pseudomonas aeruginosa * Fusarium spp Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.620, year: 2015

  14. Expression and antimicrobial function of beta-defensin 1 in the lower urinary tract.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Becknell

    Full Text Available Beta defensins (BDs are cationic peptides with antimicrobial activity that defend epithelial surfaces including the skin, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts. However, BD expression and function in the urinary tract are incompletely characterized. The purpose of this study was to describe Beta Defensin-1 (BD-1 expression in the lower urinary tract, regulation by cystitis, and antimicrobial activity toward uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC in vivo. Human DEFB1 and orthologous mouse Defb1 mRNA are detectable in bladder and ureter homogenates, and human BD-1 protein localizes to the urothelium. To determine the relevance of BD-1 to lower urinary tract defense in vivo, we evaluated clearance of UPEC by Defb1 knockout (Defb1(-/- mice. At 6, 18, and 48 hours following transurethral UPEC inoculation, no significant differences were observed in bacterial burden in bladders or kidneys of Defb1(-/- and wild type C57BL/6 mice. In wild type mice, bladder Defb1 mRNA levels decreased as early as two hours post-infection and reached a nadir by six hours. RT-PCR profiling of BDs identified expression of Defb3 and Defb14 mRNA in murine bladder and ureter, which encode for mBD-3 and mBD-14 protein, respectively. MBD-14 protein expression was observed in bladder urothelium following UPEC infection, and both mBD-3 and mBD-14 displayed dose-dependent bactericidal activity toward UPEC in vitro. Thus, whereas mBD-1 deficiency does not alter bladder UPEC burden in vivo, we have identified mBD-3 and mBD-14 as potential mediators of mucosal immunity in the lower urinary tract.

  15. Expression and Antimicrobial Function of Beta-Defensin 1 in the Lower Urinary Tract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becknell, Brian; Spencer, John David; Carpenter, Ashley R.; Chen, Xi; Singh, Aspinder; Ploeger, Suzanne; Kline, Jennifer; Ellsworth, Patrick; Li, Birong; Proksch, Ehrhardt; Schwaderer, Andrew L.; Hains, David S.; Justice, Sheryl S.; McHugh, Kirk M.

    2013-01-01

    Beta defensins (BDs) are cationic peptides with antimicrobial activity that defend epithelial surfaces including the skin, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts. However, BD expression and function in the urinary tract are incompletely characterized. The purpose of this study was to describe Beta Defensin-1 (BD-1) expression in the lower urinary tract, regulation by cystitis, and antimicrobial activity toward uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) in vivo. Human DEFB1 and orthologous mouse Defb1 mRNA are detectable in bladder and ureter homogenates, and human BD-1 protein localizes to the urothelium. To determine the relevance of BD-1 to lower urinary tract defense in vivo, we evaluated clearance of UPEC by Defb1 knockout (Defb1 -/-) mice. At 6, 18, and 48 hours following transurethral UPEC inoculation, no significant differences were observed in bacterial burden in bladders or kidneys of Defb1 -/- and wild type C57BL/6 mice. In wild type mice, bladder Defb1 mRNA levels decreased as early as two hours post-infection and reached a nadir by six hours. RT-PCR profiling of BDs identified expression of Defb3 and Defb14 mRNA in murine bladder and ureter, which encode for mBD-3 and mBD-14 protein, respectively. MBD-14 protein expression was observed in bladder urothelium following UPEC infection, and both mBD-3 and mBD-14 displayed dose-dependent bactericidal activity toward UPEC in vitro. Thus, whereas mBD-1 deficiency does not alter bladder UPEC burden in vivo, we have identified mBD-3 and mBD-14 as potential mediators of mucosal immunity in the lower urinary tract. PMID:24204930

  16. Marketing insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiemer, Carolin; Halloran, Afton Marina Szasz; Jespersen, Kristjan

    2018-01-01

    In entering Western markets, edible insects are typically framed as the ‘solution’ to a number of challenges caused by unsustainable global food systems, such as climate change and global health issues. In addition, some media outlets also frame insects as the next ‘superfood’. Superfood is a mar......In entering Western markets, edible insects are typically framed as the ‘solution’ to a number of challenges caused by unsustainable global food systems, such as climate change and global health issues. In addition, some media outlets also frame insects as the next ‘superfood’. Superfood...... is a marketing term for nutrient-packed foods, which are successfully promoted to Western consumers with the promises of health, well-being and beauty. However, the increase in the demand in the West is argued to cause negative social, environmental, economic and cultural consequences – externalities – felt...

  17. Insect Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Records of past temperature and environment derived from beetle and other insect fossils. Parameter keywords describe what was measured in this data set. Additional...

  18. Insect Detectives

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2002-08-01

    Aug 1, 2002 ... He writes popular science articles in ... science, English poetry is his area of ... A fascinating branch of insect science (ento- ... Methods in Forensic Entomology .... bullet wound to the right temple, and a substantial pooling of.

  19. Eating insects

    OpenAIRE

    Tan, Hui Shan Grace

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, edible insects have gained global attention due to their nutritional and environmental advantages over conventional meat. While numerous species of edible insects are enjoyed in various cultures around the world, most Western consumers react with disgust and aversion towards eating creatures that are not regarded as food. The low consumer acceptance of this culturally inappropriate food is currently considered to be one of the key barriers to attaining the benefits of this po...

  20. Identification, cloning and functional characterization of novel beta-defensins in the rat (Rattus norvegicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    French Frank S

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background beta-defensins are small cationic peptides that exhibit broad spectrum antimicrobial properties. The majority of beta-defensins identified in humans are predominantly expressed in the male reproductive tract and have roles in non-immunological processes such as sperm maturation and capacitation. Characterization of novel defensins in the male reproductive tract can lead to increased understanding of their dual roles in immunity and sperm maturation. Methods In silico rat genomic analyses were used to identify novel beta-defensins related to human defensins 118–123. RNAs isolated from male reproductive tract tissues of rat were reverse transcribed and PCR amplified using gene specific primers for defensins. PCR products were sequenced to confirm their identity. RT-PCR analysis was performed to analyze the tissue distribution, developmental expression and androgen regulation of these defensins. Recombinant defensins were tested against E. coli in a colony forming unit assay to analyze their antimicrobial activities. Results Novel beta-defensins, Defb21, Defb24, Defb27, Defb30 and Defb36 were identified in the rat male reproductive tract. Defb30 and Defb36 were the most restricted in expression, whereas the others were expressed in a variety of tissues including the female reproductive tract. Early onset of defensin expression was observed in the epididymides of 10–60 day old rats. Defb21-Defb36 expression in castrated rats was down regulated and maintained at normal levels in testosterone supplemented animals. DEFB24 and DEFB30 proteins showed potent dose and time dependent antibacterial activity. Conclusion Rat Defb21, Defb24, Defb27, Defb30 and Defb36 are abundantly expressed in the male reproductive tract where they most likely protect against microbial invasion. They are developmentally regulated and androgen is required for full expression in the adult epididymis.

  1. Identification of structural traits that increase the antimicrobial activity of a chimeric peptide of human β-defensins 2 and 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spudy, Björn; Sönnichsen, Frank D; Waetzig, Georg H; Grötzinger, Joachim; Jung, Sascha

    2012-10-12

    Antimicrobial peptides participate in the first line of defence of many organisms against pathogens. In humans, the family of β-defensins plays a pivotal role in innate immunity. Two human β-defensins, β-defensin-2 and -3 (HBD2 and HBD3), show substantial sequence identity and structural similarity. However, HBD3 kills Staphylococcus (S.) aureus with a 4- to 8-fold higher efficiency compared to HBD2, whereas their activities against Escherichia (E.) coli are very similar. The generation of six HBD2/HBD3-chimeric molecules led to the identification of distinct molecular regions which mediate their divergent killing properties. One of the chimeras (chimera C3) killed both E. coli and S. aureus with an even higher efficacy compared to the wild-type molecules. Due to the broad spectrum of its antimicrobial activity against many human multidrug-resistant pathogens, this HBD2/HBD3-chimeric peptide represents a promising candidate for a new class of antibiotics. In order to investigate the structural basis of its exceptional antimicrobial activity, the peptide's tertiary structure was determined by NMR spectroscopy, which allowed its direct comparison to the published structures of HBD2 and HBD3 and the identification of the activity-increasing molecular features. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Molecular determinants of odorant receptor function in insects

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-07-20

    Jul 20, 2014 ... other host-odor responsive receptors from vector insect spe- cies would .... those that mediate host-seeking behaviour in insect disease vectors and ... receptors are transmitted and processed via olfactory circuits. (Vosshall ...

  3. Consuming insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roos, Nanna; van Huis, A.

    2017-01-01

    as a part of a varied diet. They also have the potential to provide bioactive compounds that have health benefits beyond simple nutritional values, as is the case for other food groups such as fruits and vegetables. Various recent studies have indicated such bioactivity in different insect species....... The enormous number of edible insect species may be a source of novel bioactive compounds with health benefits addressing global health challenges. However, any identified health benefits need to be confirmed in human studies or in standardised assays accepted in health research prior to making health claims....

  4. Insect Capital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Pilsch

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this note, Pilsch address William Gibson’s use of insect imagery in to trouble the common understanding of the novel Neuromancer, its commentary on corporate culture, and its relationship to a then-emergent posthumanism. Further, he concludes by suggesting that, for Gibson, the insect hive as an image for the corporate body shows that corporate culture is, in contrast to the banal image the term brings to mind, a set of nefarious cultural techniques derived for interfacing human bodies with the corporation’s native environment in the postmodern era: the abstractions of data.

  5. Alpha-defensin DEFA1A3 gene copy number elevation in Danish Crohn's disease patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersgaard, Cathrine; Fode, Peder; Dybdahl, Marianne

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE OF STUDY: Extensive copy number variation is observed for the DEFA1A3 gene encoding alpha-defensins 1-3. The objective of this study was to determine the involvement of alpha-defensins in colonic tissue from Crohn's disease (CD) patients and the possible genetic association...... of DEFA1A3 with CD. METHODS: Two-hundred and forty ethnic Danish CD patients were included in the study. Reverse transcriptase PCR assays determined DEFA1A3 expression in colonic tissue from a subset of patients. Immunohistochemical analysis identified alpha-defensin peptides in colonic tissue. Copy...

  6. Beta-defensin genomic copy number is not a modifier locus for cystic fibrosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burgess Juliana

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Human beta-defensin 2 (DEFB4, also known as DEFB2 or hBD-2 is a salt-sensitive antimicrobial protein that is expressed in lung epithelia. Previous work has shown that it is encoded in a cluster of beta-defensin genes at 8p23.1, which varies in copy number between 2 and 12 in different individuals. We determined the copy number of this locus in 355 patients with cystic fibrosis (CF, and tested for correlation between beta-defensin cluster genomic copy number and lung disease associated with CF. No significant association was found.

  7. Lucifensin, a Novel Insect Defensin of Medicinal Maggots: Synthesis and Structural Study

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Čeřovský, Václav; Slaninová, Jiřina; Fučík, Vladimír; Monincová, Lenka; Bednárová, Lucie; Maloň, Petr; Štokrová, Jitka

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 9 (2011), s. 1352-1361 ISSN 1439-4227 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/08/0536 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : antimicrobial peptide * disulfide bridge * lucifensin * solid phase synthesis Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.944, year: 2011

  8. Stinging Insect Matching Game

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... for Kids ▸ Stinging Insect Matching Game Share | Stinging Insect Matching Game Stinging insects can ruin summer fun for those who are ... the difference between the different kinds of stinging insects in order to keep your summer safe and ...

  9. Insects: A nutritional alternative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufour, P. A.

    1981-01-01

    Insects are considered as potential food sources in space. Types of insects consumed are discussed. Hazards of insect ingestion are considered. Insect reproduction, requirements, and raw materials conversion are discussed. Nutrition properties and composition of insects are considered. Preparation of insects as human food is discussed.

  10. Innate Defense against Influenza A Virus: Activity of Human Neutrophil Defensins and Interactions of Defensins with Surfactant Protein D

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartshorn, Kevan L.; White, Mitchell R.; Tecle, Tesfaldet

    2006-01-01

    Surfactant protein D (SP-D) plays important roles in innate host defense against influenza A virus (IAV) infection, in part by modifying interactions with neutrophils. Human neutrophil defensins (HNPs) inhibit infectivity of enveloped viruses, including IAV. Our goal in this study was to characte......Surfactant protein D (SP-D) plays important roles in innate host defense against influenza A virus (IAV) infection, in part by modifying interactions with neutrophils. Human neutrophil defensins (HNPs) inhibit infectivity of enveloped viruses, including IAV. Our goal in this study...... was to characterize antiviral interactions between SP-D and HNPs. Recombinant and/or natural forms of SP-D and related collectins and HNPs were tested for antiviral activity against two different strains of IAV. HNPs 1 and 2 did not inhibit viral hemagglutination activity, but they interfered...... with the hemagglutination-inhibiting activity of SP-D. HNPs had significant viral neutralizing activity against divergent IAV strains. However, the HNPs generally had competitive effects when combined with SP-D in assays using an SP-D-sensitive IAV strain. In contrast, cooperative antiviral effects were noted in some...

  11. Antibacterial and antiviral roles of a fish β-defensin expressed both in pituitary and testis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun-Yan Jin

    Full Text Available Defensins are a group of cationic peptides that exhibit broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. In this study, we cloned and characterized a β-defensin from pituitary cDNA library of a protogynous hermaphroditic orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides. Interestingly, the β-defensin was shown to be dominantly expressed in pituitary and testis by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis, and its transcript level is significantly upregulated in reproduction organs from intersexual gonad to testis during the natural and artificial sex reversal. Promoter sequence and the responsible activity region analyses revealed the pituitary-specific POU1F1a transcription binding site and testis-specific SRY responsible site, and demonstrated that the pituitary-specific POU1F1a transcription binding site that locates between -180 and -208 bp is the major responsible region of grouper β-defensin promoter activity. Immunofluorescence localization observed its pituicyte expression in pituitary and spermatogonic cell expression in testis. Moreover, both in vitro antibacterial activity assay of the recombinant β-defensin and in vivo embryo microinjection of the β-defensin mRNA were shown to be effective in killing gram-negative bacteria. And, its antiviral role was also demonstrated in EPC cells transfected with the β-defensin construct. Additionally, the antibacterial activity was sensitive to concentrations of Na(+, K(+, Ca(2+ and Mg(2+. The above intriguing findings strongly suggest that the fish β-defensin might play significant roles in both innate immunity defense and reproduction endocrine regulation.

  12. Antibacterial and antiviral roles of a fish β-defensin expressed both in pituitary and testis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Jun-Yan; Zhou, Li; Wang, Yang; Li, Zhi; Zhao, Jiu-Gang; Zhang, Qi-Ya; Gui, Jian-Fang

    2010-12-20

    Defensins are a group of cationic peptides that exhibit broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. In this study, we cloned and characterized a β-defensin from pituitary cDNA library of a protogynous hermaphroditic orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides). Interestingly, the β-defensin was shown to be dominantly expressed in pituitary and testis by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis, and its transcript level is significantly upregulated in reproduction organs from intersexual gonad to testis during the natural and artificial sex reversal. Promoter sequence and the responsible activity region analyses revealed the pituitary-specific POU1F1a transcription binding site and testis-specific SRY responsible site, and demonstrated that the pituitary-specific POU1F1a transcription binding site that locates between -180 and -208 bp is the major responsible region of grouper β-defensin promoter activity. Immunofluorescence localization observed its pituicyte expression in pituitary and spermatogonic cell expression in testis. Moreover, both in vitro antibacterial activity assay of the recombinant β-defensin and in vivo embryo microinjection of the β-defensin mRNA were shown to be effective in killing gram-negative bacteria. And, its antiviral role was also demonstrated in EPC cells transfected with the β-defensin construct. Additionally, the antibacterial activity was sensitive to concentrations of Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+) and Mg(2+). The above intriguing findings strongly suggest that the fish β-defensin might play significant roles in both innate immunity defense and reproduction endocrine regulation.

  13. Inflammatory disorders mimicking periprosthetic joint infections may result in false positive α-defensin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plate, Andreas; Stadler, Laura; Sutter, Reto; Anagnostopoulos, Alexia; Frustaci, Dario; Zbinden, Reinhard; Fucentese, Sandro F; Zinkernagel, Annelies S; Zingg, Patrick O; Achermann, Yvonne

    2018-02-26

    The antimicrobial peptide α-defensin has recently been introduced as potential "single" biomarker with a high sensitivity and specificity for the preoperative diagnosis of periprosthetic joint infections (PJIs). However, most studies assessed the benefits of the test with exclusion of patients with rheumatic diseases. We aimed to evaluate the α-defensin test in a cohort study without exclusion of cases with inflammatory diseases. Between June 2016 and June 2017, we prospectively included cases with a suspected PJI and an available lateral flow test α-defensin (Synovasure®) in synovial fluid. We compared the test result to the diagnostic criteria for PJIs published by an International Consensus Group in 2013. We included 109 cases (49 hips, 60 knees) in which preoperative α-defensin tests had been performed. Thereof, 20 PJIs (16 hips, 4 knees) were diagnosed. Preoperative α-defensin tests were positive in 25 cases (22.9%) with a test sensitivity and specificity of 90% and 92.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 68.3 - 98.8% and 84.5 - 96.8%, respectively), and a high negative predictive value of 97.6% (95% CI, 91.7 - 99.4%). We interpreted seven α-defensin tests as false positive, mainly in cases with inflammatory rheumatic diseases, including crystal deposition diseases. A negative synovial α-defensin test can reliably rule out a PJI. However, the test can be false positive in conjunction with an underlying non-infectious inflammatory disease. We therefore propose to use the α-defensin test only in addition to MSIS criteria and assessment for crystals in synovial aspirates. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. A crucial role of paralogous β-defensin genes in the Chinese alligator innate immune system revealed by the first determination of a Crocodilia defensin cluster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Ke-Yi; Wang, Xin; Wan, Qiu-Hong; Fang, Sheng-Guo

    2018-04-01

    The β-defensin, one of the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), is a significant component of the innate immune with a broad range of antimicrobial activities. Differing from the widely-studied mammals and birds, limited information about β-defensins has been reported in reptiles, especially in crocodilians. As a same ancient species as dinosaurs and the most endangered species of 23 crocodilians, the survival of Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) means a powerful immune system and possible involvement of AMPs in its immune resistance. In this study, we identified 20 novel Alligator sinensisβ-defensin genes (AsBDs) from a 390 kb region using bioinformatic and experimental approaches, and successfully distinguished six orthologous AsBDs to birds and nine paralogous AsBDs undergoing gene duplication events. The amino acid alignment shows that the AsBD paralogs, like α-defensins, encode a significantly longer pro-piece comparing with the orthologs. The calculation of non-synonymous (d N ) and synonymous (d S ) substitutions in the mature peptide reveals that the AsBD paralogs experience a significantly higher selective pressure (d N /d S ) than the orthologs, but a similar evolutionary force to α-defensins. The gene expression result indicates that the AsBD paralogs have a significantly higher expression level than the orthologos in gastrointestinal tract where the host is vulnerable to enteric pathogenic bacteria, as observed in α-defensins. These three pieces of evidence demonstrate that the AsBD paralogs do play an important role in maintaining long-term survival of this endangered reptile. Thus, this survey of AsBDs on the genomic structure, evolutionary characteristics, and expression pattern provides a genetic and immunological foundation for further investigating their antimicrobial function and alternative antibiotics potentiality. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. Contribution of alpha- and beta-defensins to lung function decline and infection in smokers: an association study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthonisen Nicholas R

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alpha-defensins, which are major constituents of neutrophil azurophilic granules, and beta-defensins, which are expressed in airway epithelial cells, could contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by amplifying cigarette smoke-induced and infection-induced inflammatory reactions leading to lung injury. In Japanese and Chinese populations, two different beta-defensin-1 polymorphisms have been associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease phenotypes. We conducted population-based association studies to test whether alpha-defensin and beta-defensin polymorphisms influenced smokers' susceptibility to lung function decline and susceptibility to lower respiratory infection in two groups of white participants in the Lung Health Study (275 = fast decline in lung function and 304 = no decline in lung function. Methods Subjects were genotyped for the alpha-defensin-1/alpha-defensin-3 copy number polymorphism and four beta-defensin-1 polymorphisms (G-20A, C-44G, G-52A and Val38Ile. Results There were no associations between individual polymorphisms or imputed haplotypes and rate of decline in lung function or susceptibility to infection. Conclusion These findings suggest that, in a white population, the defensin polymorphisms tested may not be of importance in determining who develops abnormally rapid lung function decline or is susceptible to developing lower respiratory infections.

  16. Insect Cell Culture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oers, van M.M.; Lynn, D.E.

    2010-01-01

    Insect cell cultures are widely used in studies on insect cell physiology, developmental biology and microbial pathology. In particular, insect cell culture is an indispensable tool for the study of insect viruses. The first continuously growing insect cell cultures were established from

  17. Ha-DEF1, a sunflower defensin, induces cell death in Orobanche parasitic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Zélicourt, Axel; Letousey, Patricia; Thoiron, Séverine; Campion, Claire; Simoneau, Philippe; Elmorjani, Khalil; Marion, Didier; Simier, Philippe; Delavault, Philippe

    2007-08-01

    Plant defensins are small basic peptides of 5-10 kDa and most of them exhibit antifungal activity. In a sunflower resistant to broomrape, among the three defensin encoding cDNA identified, SF18, SD2 and HaDef1, only HaDef1 presented a preferential root expression pattern and was induced upon infection by the root parasitic plant Orobanche cumana. The amino acid sequence deduced from HaDef1 coding sequence was composed of an endoplasmic reticulum signal sequence of 28 amino acids, a standard defensin domain of 50 amino-acid residues and an unusual C-terminal domain of 30 amino acids with a net positive charge. A 5.8 kDa recombinant mature Ha-DEF1 corresponding to the defensin domain was produced in Escherichia coli and was purified by means of a two-step chromatography procedure, Immobilized Metal Affinity Chromatography (IMAC) and Ion Exchange Chromatography. Investigation of in vitro antifungal activity of Ha-DEF1 showed a strong inhibition on Saccharomyces cerevisiae growth linked to a membrane permeabilization, and a morphogenetic activity on Alternaria brassicicola germ tube development, as already reported for some other plant defensins. Bioassays also revealed that Ha-DEF1 rapidly induced browning symptoms at the radicle apex of Orobanche seedlings but not of another parasitic plant, Striga hermonthica, nor of Arabidopsis thaliana. FDA vital staining showed that these browning areas corresponded to dead cells. These results demonstrate for the first time a lethal effect of defensins on plant cells. The potent mode of action of defensin in Orobanche cell death and the possible involvement in sunflower resistance are discussed.

  18. Insects and Scorpions

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... insects or scorpions can be hazardous to outdoor workers. Stinging or biting insects include bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. The health effects of stinging or biting insects or scorpions range ...

  19. α-Defensins and outcome in patients with chronic heart failure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Heidi M; Frystyk, Jan; Faber, Jens

    2012-01-01

    Aim a-Defensins are part of the innate immune system. Low-grade inflammation seems to play a crucial role in development and progression of chronic heart failure (CHF). The aims of the present study were to compare plasma levels of a-defensins in CHF patients and healthy controls and to examine......% confidence interval 1.19-2.28, P = 0.002) per 1 standard deviation increment in Ln (natural logarithm)-transformed a-defensin values. The combination of high a-defensins and NT-proBNP levels provided incremental prognostic information independent of well-known prognostic biomarkers in heart failure...... in 194 CHF patients, and compared plasma levels with those of 98 age-matched healthy controls. a-Defensin levels were twice as high among CHF patients in New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III-IV than in patients in NYHA class I-II and healthy controls (P = 0.001). The absolute increase...

  20. Mediatization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjarvard, Stig

    2017-01-01

    Mediatization research shares media effects studies' ambition of answering the difficult questions with regard to whether and how media matter and influence contemporary culture and society. The two approaches nevertheless differ fundamentally in that mediatization research seeks answers...... to these general questions by distinguishing between two concepts: mediation and mediatization. The media effects tradition generally considers the effects of the media to be a result of individuals being exposed to media content, i.e. effects are seen as an outcome of mediated communication. Mediatization...... research is concerned with long-term structural changes involving media, culture, and society, i.e. the influences of the media are understood in relation to how media are implicated in social and cultural changes and how these processes come to create new conditions for human communication and interaction...

  1. Babesial vector tick defensin against Babesia sp. parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuji, Naotoshi; Battsetseg, Badgar; Boldbaatar, Damdinsuren; Miyoshi, Takeharu; Xuan, Xuenan; Oliver, James H; Fujisaki, Kozo

    2007-07-01

    Antimicrobial peptides are major components of host innate immunity, a well-conserved, evolutionarily ancient defensive mechanism. Infectious disease-bearing vector ticks are thought to possess specific defense molecules against the transmitted pathogens that have been acquired during their evolution. We found in the tick Haemaphysalis longicornis a novel parasiticidal peptide named longicin that may have evolved from a common ancestral peptide resembling spider and scorpion toxins. H. longicornis is the primary vector for Babesia sp. parasites in Japan. Longicin also displayed bactericidal and fungicidal properties that resemble those of defensin homologues from invertebrates and vertebrates. Longicin showed a remarkable ability to inhibit the proliferation of merozoites, an erythrocyte blood stage of equine Babesia equi, by killing the parasites. Longicin was localized at the surface of the Babesia sp. parasites, as demonstrated by confocal microscopic analysis. In an in vivo experiment, longicin induced significant reduction of parasitemia in animals infected with the zoonotic and murine B. microti. Moreover, RNA interference data demonstrated that endogenous longicin is able to directly kill the canine B. gibsoni, thus indicating that it may play a role in regulating the vectorial capacity in the vector tick H. longicornis. Theoretically, longicin may serve as a model for the development of chemotherapeutic compounds against tick-borne disease organisms.

  2. Overexpression of a defensin enhances resistance to a fruit-specific anthracnose fungus in pepper.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyo-Hyoun Seo

    Full Text Available Functional characterization of a defensin, J1-1, was conducted to evaluate its biotechnological potentiality in transgenic pepper plants against the causal agent of anthracnose disease, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. To determine antifungal activity, J1-1 recombinant protein was generated and tested for the activity against C. gloeosporioides, resulting in 50% inhibition of fungal growth at a protein concentration of 0.1 mg·mL-1. To develop transgenic pepper plants resistant to anthracnose disease, J1-1 cDNA under the control of 35S promoter was introduced into pepper via Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation method. Southern and Northern blot analyses confirmed that a single copy of the transgene in selected transgenic plants was normally expressed and also stably transmitted to subsequent generations. The insertion of T-DNA was further analyzed in three independent homozygous lines using inverse PCR, and confirmed the integration of transgene in non-coding region of genomic DNA. Immunoblot results showed that the level of J1-1 proteins, which was not normally accumulated in unripe fruits, accumulated high in transgenic plants but appeared to differ among transgenic lines. Moreover, the expression of jasmonic acid-biosynthetic genes and pathogenesis-related genes were up-regulated in the transgenic lines, which is co-related with the resistance of J1-1 transgenic plants to anthracnose disease. Consequently, the constitutive expression of J1-1 in transgenic pepper plants provided strong resistance to the anthracnose fungus that was associated with highly reduced lesion formation and fungal colonization. These results implied the significance of the antifungal protein, J1-1, as a useful agronomic trait to control fungal disease.

  3. Overexpression of a defensin enhances resistance to a fruit-specific anthracnose fungus in pepper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Hyo-Hyoun; Park, Sangkyu; Park, Soomin; Oh, Byung-Jun; Back, Kyoungwhan; Han, Oksoo; Kim, Jeong-Il; Kim, Young Soon

    2014-01-01

    Functional characterization of a defensin, J1-1, was conducted to evaluate its biotechnological potentiality in transgenic pepper plants against the causal agent of anthracnose disease, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. To determine antifungal activity, J1-1 recombinant protein was generated and tested for the activity against C. gloeosporioides, resulting in 50% inhibition of fungal growth at a protein concentration of 0.1 mg·mL-1. To develop transgenic pepper plants resistant to anthracnose disease, J1-1 cDNA under the control of 35S promoter was introduced into pepper via Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation method. Southern and Northern blot analyses confirmed that a single copy of the transgene in selected transgenic plants was normally expressed and also stably transmitted to subsequent generations. The insertion of T-DNA was further analyzed in three independent homozygous lines using inverse PCR, and confirmed the integration of transgene in non-coding region of genomic DNA. Immunoblot results showed that the level of J1-1 proteins, which was not normally accumulated in unripe fruits, accumulated high in transgenic plants but appeared to differ among transgenic lines. Moreover, the expression of jasmonic acid-biosynthetic genes and pathogenesis-related genes were up-regulated in the transgenic lines, which is co-related with the resistance of J1-1 transgenic plants to anthracnose disease. Consequently, the constitutive expression of J1-1 in transgenic pepper plants provided strong resistance to the anthracnose fungus that was associated with highly reduced lesion formation and fungal colonization. These results implied the significance of the antifungal protein, J1-1, as a useful agronomic trait to control fungal disease.

  4. ß-defensin-2 in breast milk displays a broad antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Baricelli

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To describe the antimicrobial activity of ß-defensin-2 produced in the mammary gland and secreted in human breast milk. METHODS: The peptide production was performed by DNA cloning. ß-defensin-2 levels were quantified in 61 colostrum samples and 39 mature milk samples from healthy donors, by an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA. Using halo inhibition assay, this study assessed activity against seven clinical isolates from diarrheal feces of children between 0 and 2 years of age. The activity of ß-defensin-2 against three opportunistic pathogens that can cause nosocomial infections was determined by microdilution test. RESULTS: The peptide levels were higher in colostrum (n = 61 than in mature milk samples (n = 39, as follows: median and range, 8.52 (2.6-16.3 µg/ml versus 0.97 (0.22-3.78, p < 0.0001; Mann-Whitney test. The recombinant peptide obtained showed high antimicrobial activity against a broad range of pathogenic bacteria. Its antibacterial activity was demonstrated in a disk containing between 1-4 µg, which produced inhibition zones ranging from 18 to 30 mm against three isolates of Salmonella spp. and four of E. coli. ß-defensin-2 showed minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs of 0.25 µg/mL and 0.5 µg/mL for S. marcescen and P. aeruginosa, respectively, while a higher MIC (4 µg/mL was obtained against an isolated of multidrug-resistant strain of A. baumannii. CONCLUSIONS: To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to report ß-defensin-2 levels in Latin American women. The production and the activity of ß-defensin-2 in breast milk prove its importance as a defense molecule for intestinal health in pediatric patients.

  5. Gene organization of a novel defensin of Ixodes ricinus: first annotation of an intron/exon structure in a hard tick defensin gene and first evidence of the occurrence of two isoforms of one member of the arthropod defensin family

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rudenko, Natalia; Golovchenko, Maryna; Grubhoffer, Libor

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 4 (2007), s. 501-507 ISSN 0962-1075 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LC06009; GA ČR(CZ) GA524/06/1479 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : defensin * Ixodes ricinus * intron/exon structure * immune response * antimicrobial activity Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 2.787, year: 2007

  6. Alpha-defensins 1-3 release by dendritic cells is reduced by estrogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sperling Rhoda

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During pregnancy the immune system of the mother must protect any activation that may negatively affect the fetus. Changes in susceptibility to infection as well as resolution of some autoimmune disorders represent empirical evidence for pregnancy related alterations in immunity. Sex hormones reach extremely high levels during pregnancy and have been shown to have direct effects on many immune functions including the antiviral response of dendritic cells. Among the immunologically active proteins secreted by monocyte derived DCs (MDDC are the alpha-defensins 1-3. This family of cationic antimicrobial peptides has a broad spectrum of microbicidal activity and has also been shown to link innate to adaptive immunity by attracting T cells and immature DCs, which are essential for initiating and polarizing the immune response. Methods We compare culture-generated monocyte derived DCs (MDDCs with directly isolated myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs and measure their alpha-defensins 1-3 secretion by ELISA both, in basal situations and after hormone (E2 or PG treatments. Moreover, using a cohort of pregnant women we isolated mDCs from blood and also measure the levels of these anti-microbial peptides along pregnancy. Results We show that mDCs and pDCs constitutively produce alpha-defensins 1-3 and at much higher levels than MDDCs. Alpha-defensins 1-3 production from mDCs and MDDCs but not pDCs is inhibited by E2. PG does not affect alpha-defensins 1-3 in any of the populations. Moreover, alpha-defensins 1-3 production by mDCs was reduced in the later stages of pregnancy in 40% of the patients. Conclusions Here, we demonstrate that mDCs and pDCs secrete alpha-defensins 1-3 and present a novel effect of E2 on the secretion of alpha-defensins 1-3 by dendritic cells.

  7. Insects, isotopes and radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lindquist, D.A.

    1987-01-01

    The article describes the increased use of nuclear techniques in controlling harmful insects. The sterile insect technique (SIT), which uses radiation to sexually sterilize insects and prevent reproduction, is particularly effective in eradication programmes. At the present time, there are approximately 10 species of insect pests being attacked by the SIT. Research and development is being conducted on other insect species and it is anticipated that the technology will be more widely used in the future

  8. Structural and functional studies of a phosphatidic acid-binding antifungal plant defensin MtDef4: Identification of an RGFRRR motif governing fungal cell entry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sagaram, Uma S.; El-Mounadi, Kaoutar; Buchko, Garry W.; Berg, Howard R.; Kaur, Jagdeep; Pandurangi, Raghoottama; Smith, Thomas J.; Shah, Dilip

    2013-12-04

    A highly conserved plant defensin MtDef4 potently inhibits the growth of a filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum. MtDef4 is internalized by cells of F. graminearum. To determine its mechanism of fungal cell entry and antifungal action, NMR solution structure of MtDef4 has been determined. The analysis of its structure has revealed a positively charged patch on the surface of the protein consisting of arginine residues in its γ-core signature, a major determinant of the antifungal activity of MtDef4. Here, we report functional analysis of the RGFRRR motif of the γ-core signature of MtDef4. The replacement of RGFRRR to AAAARR or to RGFRAA not only abolishes fungal cell entry but also results in loss of the antifungal activity of MtDef4. MtDef4 binds strongly to phosphatidic acid (PA), a precursor for the biosynthesis of membrane phospholipids and a signaling lipid known to recruit cytosolic proteins to membranes. Mutations of RGFRRR which abolish fungal cell entry of MtDef4 also impair its binding to PA. Our results suggest that RGFRRR motif is a translocation signal for entry of MtDef4 into fungal cells and that this positively charged motif likely mediates interaction of this defensin with PA as part of its antifungal action.

  9. Sex-mediated herbivory by galling insects on Baccharis concinna (Asteraceae Herbivoria por insetos galhadores mediada pelo sexo em Baccharis concinna (Asteraceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Antonio A. Carneiro

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available The interaction patterns between the dioecious shrub Baccharis concinna Barroso (Asteraceae and its speciose galling insect community were studied in southeastern Brazil. Two hypotheses were tested in this study: "the differential reproduction and growth hypothesis" that predicts that male plants present fewer reproductive structures and are larger than female plants; and the 'sex-biased herbivory hypothesis' that predicts that male plants support a larger abundance of insect galls than female plants. Plants did not show sexual dimorphism in growth (= mean leaf number. However, male plants had longer shoots and a lower average number of inflorescences than female plants. These results corroborate the hypothesis that male plants grow more and reproduce less than female plants. No statistically significant difference was found in the number of galls between male and female plants, but a sex by environmental effect on gall number was detected. When each species of galling insect was individually analyzed per population of the host plant, the rates of attack varied between sex and population of the host plant, and they were highly variable among the species of galling insects. These results highlight the importance of the interaction between sex and environment in the community structure of galling insects and indicate that other variables besides host sex may influence the patterns of attack by galling herbivores.Os padrões de interação entre o arbusto dióico Baccharis concinna Barroso (Asteraceae e sua diversa comunidade de insetos galhadores foram estudados na região sudeste do Brasil. Duas hipóteses foram testadas neste estudo: "a hipótese do crescimento e reprodução diferenciais", que prevê que plantas masculinas apresentam menos estruturas reprodutivas e são maiores do que plantas femininas; e a "hipótese da herbivoria mediada pelo sexo" que prevê que plantas masculinas sustentam uma maior abundância de insetos galhadores do que

  10. Prostaglandins and their receptors in insect biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eStanley

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We treat the biological significance of prostaglandins (PGs and their known receptors in insect biology. PGs and related eicosanoids are oxygenated derivatives of arachidonic acid (AA and two other C20 polyunsaturated fatty acids. PGs are mostly appreciated in the context of biomedicine, but a growing body of literature indicates the biological significance of these compounds extends throughout the animal kingdom, and possibly beyond. PGs act in several crucial areas of insect biology. In reproduction, a specific PG, PGE2, releases oviposition behavior in most crickets and a few other insect species; PGs also mediate events in egg development in some species, which may represent all insects. PGs play major roles in modulating fluid secretion in Malpighian tubules, rectum and salivary glands, although, again, this has been studied in only a few insect species that may represent the Class. Insect immunity is a very complex defense system. PGs and other eicosanoids mediate a large number of immune reactions to infection and invasion. The actions of most PGs are mediated by specific receptors. Biomedical research has discovered a great deal of knowledge about PG receptors in mammals, including their structures, pharmacology, molecular biology and cellular locations. Studies of PG receptors in insects lag behind the biomedical background, however, recent results hold the promise of accelerated research in this area. A PG receptor has been identified in a class of lepidopteran hemocytes and experimentally linked to the release of prophenoloxidase. We conclude that research into PGs and their receptors in insects will lead to important advances in our understanding of insect biology.

  11. The Alpha-defensin Test for Periprosthetic Joint Infections Is Not Affected by Prior Antibiotic Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahi, Alisina; Parvizi, Javad; Kazarian, Gregory S; Higuera, Carlos; Frangiamore, Salvatore; Bingham, Joshua; Beauchamp, Christopher; Valle, Craig Della; Deirmengian, Carl

    2016-07-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the administration of antibiotics to patients before performing diagnostic testing for periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) can interfere with the accuracy of test results. Although a single-institution study has suggested that alpha-defensin maintains its concentration and sensitivity even after antibiotic treatment, this has not yet been demonstrated in a larger multiinstitutional study. (1) For the evaluation of PJI, is prior antibiotic administration associated with decreased alpha-defensin levels? (2) When prior antibiotics are given, is alpha-defensin a better screening test for PJI than the traditional tests (erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR], C-reactive protein [CRP], fluid white blood cells, fluid polymorphonuclear cells [PMNs], and fluid culture)? This retrospective study included data from 106 hip and knee arthroplasties with Musculoskeletal Infection Society-defined PJI from four centers. Of the 106 patients in this study, 30 (28%) were treated with antibiotics for PJI before diagnostic workup (ABX group), and 76 (72%) were not treated before the diagnostic workup (NO-ABX group). There were no differences in age, sex, joint, culture-negative rate, or bacteriology between groups. The patients in the ABX group had antibiotics initiated by physicians who commenced care before assessment for PJI by the treating surgeon's service. We compared the alpha-defensin levels and sensitivity between the ABX and NO-ABX groups. Additionally, the sensitivity of the alpha-defensin test was compared to that of traditional tests for PJI among patients on antibiotics. The administration of antibiotics before performing the alpha-defensin test for PJI was not associated with a decreased median alpha-defensin level (ABX group, median 4.2 [range, 1.79-12.8 S/CO] versus NO-ABX, median 4.9 [range, 0.5-16.8 S/CO], difference of medians: 0.68 S/CO [95% confidence interval {CI}, -0.98 to 1.26], p = 0.451). Furthermore, the alpha-defensin

  12. A nuclear insect appears

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shin, Gi Hwal

    1989-06-01

    This book is dairy of a nuclear insect in A. F. era. It consists of 6 parts, which have fun pictures and titles. The contents are the letter that is sent the Homo sapiens by insect, exodus of nuclear insect F 100 years latter. The time that a nuclear insect is attacked in F 101, the time that a nuclear dinosaur is beat in AF 102, the time that a nuclear insect struggles in AF 104 and the time that a nuclear insect drifts in AF 104.

  13. Salicylic acid is required for Mi-1-mediated resistance of tomato to whitefly Bemisia tabaci, but not for basal defense to this insect pest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Álvarez, C I; López-Climent, M F; Gómez-Cadenas, A; Kaloshian, I; Nombela, G

    2015-10-01

    Plant defense to pests or pathogens involves global changes in gene expression mediated by multiple signaling pathways. A role for the salicylic acid (SA) signaling pathway in Mi-1-mediated resistance of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) to aphids was previously identified and its implication in the resistance to root-knot nematodes is controversial, but the importance of SA in basal and Mi-1-mediated resistance of tomato to whitefly Bemisia tabaci had not been determined. SA levels were measured before and after B. tabaci infestation in susceptible and resistant Mi-1-containing tomatoes, and in plants with the NahG bacterial transgene. Tomato plants of the same genotypes were also screened with B. tabaci (MEAM1 and MED species, before known as B and Q biotypes, respectively). The SA content in all tomato genotypes transiently increased after infestation with B. tabaci albeit at variable levels. Whitefly fecundity or infestation rates on susceptible Moneymaker were not significantly affected by the expression of NahG gene, but the Mi-1-mediated resistance to B. tabaci was lost in VFN NahG plants. Results indicated that whiteflies induce both SA and jasmonic acid accumulation in tomato. However, SA has no role in basal defense of tomato against B. tabaci. In contrast, SA is an important component of the Mi-1-mediated resistance to B. tabaci in tomato.

  14. Association of beta-Defensin Copy Number and Psoriasis in Three Cohorts of European Origin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stuart, P.E.; Huffmeier, U.; Nair, R.P.; Palla, R.; Tejasvi, T.; Schalkwijk, J.; Elder, J.T.; Reis, A.; Armour, J.A.

    2012-01-01

    A single previous study has demonstrated significant association of psoriasis with copy number of beta-defensin genes, using DNA from psoriasis cases and controls from Nijmegen and Erlangen. In this study, we attempted to replicate that finding in larger new cohorts from Erlangen (N=2,017) and

  15. β-Defensin genomic copy number does not influence the age of onset in Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vittori, Angelica; Orth, Michael; Roos, Raymund A C; Outeiro, Tiago F; Giorgini, Flaviano; Hollox, Edward J

    2013-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by the abnormal expansion of a CAG triplet repeat tract in the huntingtin gene. While the length of this CAG expansion is the major determinant of the age of onset (AO), other genetic factors have also been shown to play a modulatory role. Recent evidence suggests that neuroinflammations is a pivotal factor in the pathogenesis of HD, and that targeting this process may have important therapeutic ramifications. The human β-defensin 2 (hBD2)- encoded by DEFB4- is an antimicrobial peptide that exhibits inducible expression in astrocytes during inflammation and is an important regulator of innate and adaptive immune response. Therefore, DEFB4 may contribute to the neuroinflammatory processes observed in HD. In this study we tested the hypothesis that copy number variation (CNV) of the β-defensin region, including DEFB4, modifies the AO in HD. We genotyped β-defensin CNV in 490 HD individuals using the paralogue ratio test and found no association between β-defensin CNV and onset of HD. We conclude that it is unlikely that DEFB4 plays a role in HD pathogenesis.

  16. Proteinase 3 carries small unusual carbohydrates and associates with αlpha-defensins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zoega, Morten; Ravnsborg, Tina; Højrup, Peter

    2012-01-01

    with carbohydrates at Asn 102 and 147 carrying unusual small moieties indicating heavy processing. Mass spectrometric analysis and immuno blotting revealed strong association of highly purified PR3 with α-defensins and oligomers hereof. Irreversible inhibition of PR3 by α1-antitrypsin did not affect its association...

  17. Gastrointestinal Autoimmunity Associated With Loss of Central Tolerance to Enteric alpha-Defensins

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dobeš, Jan; Neuwirth, Aleš; Dobešová, Martina; Vobořil, Matouš; Balounová, Jana; Ballek, Ondřej; Lebl, J.; Meloni, A.; Krohn, K.; Kluger, N.; Ranki, A.; Filipp, Dominik

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 149, č. 1 (2015), s. 139-150 ISSN 0016-5085 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP302/12/G101 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : Enteric defensins * Intestinal autoimmunity * Mouse Model of APECED Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 18.187, year: 2015

  18. Plectasin, a Fungal Defensin, Targets the Bacterial Cell Wall Precursor Lipid II

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schneider, Tanja; Kruse, Thomas; Wimmer, Reinhard

    2010-01-01

    Host defense peptides such as defensins are components of innate immunity and have retained antibiotic activity throughout evolution. Their activity is thought to be due to amphipathic structures, which enable binding and disruption of microbial cytoplasmic membranes. Contrary to this, we show th...

  19. Antiplasmodial Activity Is an Ancient and Conserved Feature of Tick Defensins

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cabezas Cruz, Alejandro; Tonk, M.; Bouchut, A.; Pierrot, C.; Pierce, R.J.; Kotsyfakis, Michalis; Rahnamaeian, M.; Vilcinskas, A.; Khalife, J.; Valdés, James J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, 24 October (2016), č. článku 1682. ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ticks * defensins * antimicrobial spectrum * ancestral sequence reconstruction * Plasmodium falciparum Subject RIV: EI - Biotechnology ; Bionics Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  20. Determination of beta-defensin genomic copy number in different populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fode, Peder; Jespersgaard, Cathrine; Hardwick, Robert J

    2011-01-01

    There have been conflicting reports in the literature on association of gene copy number with disease, including CCL3L1 and HIV susceptibility, and ß-defensins and Crohn's disease. Quantification of precise gene copy numbers is important in order to define any association of gene copy number with...

  1. Characterization of the antimicrobial peptide family defensins in the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Elizabeth A; Cheng, Yuanyuan; O'Meally, Denis; Belov, Katherine

    2017-03-01

    Defensins comprise a family of cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides with important roles in innate and adaptive immune defense in vertebrates. We characterized alpha and beta defensin genes in three Australian marsupials: the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), and tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and identified 48, 34, and 39 defensins, respectively. One hundred and twelve have the classical antimicrobial peptides characteristics required for pathogen membrane targeting, including cationic charge (between 1+ and 15+) and a high proportion of hydrophobic residues (>30%). Phylogenetic analysis shows that gene duplication has driven unique and species-specific expansions of devil, koala, and tammar wallaby beta defensins and devil alpha defensins. Defensin genes are arranged in three genomic clusters in marsupials, whereas further duplications and translocations have occurred in eutherians resulting in four and five gene clusters in mice and humans, respectively. Marsupial defensins are generally under purifying selection, particularly residues essential for defensin structural stability. Certain hydrophobic or positively charged sites, predominantly found in the defensin loop, are positively selected, which may have functional significance in defensin-target interaction and membrane insertion.

  2. Respiration in Aquatic Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacFarland, John

    1985-01-01

    This article: (1) explains the respiratory patterns of several freshwater insects; (2) describes the differences and mechanisms of spiracular cutaneous, and gill respiration; and (3) discusses behavioral aspects of selected aquatic insects. (ML)

  3. Insect Bites and Stings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most insect bites are harmless, though they sometimes cause discomfort. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings and fire ant bites usually hurt. Mosquito and flea bites usually itch. Insects can also spread diseases. In the United States, ...

  4. Insects: An Interdisciplinary Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leger, Heather

    2007-01-01

    The author talks about an interdisciplinary unit on insects, and presents activities that can help students practice communication skills (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and learn about insects with hands-on activities.

  5. Insects of the riparian

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrence J. Rogers

    1996-01-01

    This paper describes life histories, defoliation problems and other activities of insects associated with forest tree species growing along high elevation streams and river banks. In addition, examples of insects and diseases associated with lower elevation riparian areas are given.

  6. Radioactive labelling of insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thygesen, Th.

    Experiments are described with the internal contamination of insects with phosphorus 32 introduced previously in plants of the brassica type using three different techniques. The intake of radioactivity from the plants to the insects is shown. (L.O.)

  7. Exploring Sound with Insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Laura; Meyer, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Differences in insect morphology and movement during singing provide a fascinating opportunity for students to investigate insects while learning about the characteristics of sound. In the activities described here, students use a free online computer software program to explore the songs of the major singing insects and experiment with making…

  8. Insects and human nutrition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roos, Nanna

    2018-01-01

    Despite high diversity in species as well as metamorphological life-­stages, edible insects are essentially an animal-source food contributing high quality protein and fat when viewed in the context of human nutrition. The nutritional contribution of insects to diets in populations where insects ...

  9. Molecular Dynamics Simulations Reveal the Conformational Flexibility of Lipid II and Its Loose Association with the Defensin Plectasin in the Staphylococcus aureus Membrane

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Witzke, Sarah; Petersen, Michael; Carpenter, Timothy S.

    2016-01-01

    dynamics simulation study of the conformational dynamics of Lipid II within a detailed model of the Staphylococcus aureus cell membrane. We show that Lipid II is able to adopt a range of conformations, even within the packed lipidic environment of the membrane. Our simulations also reveal dimerization...... the biosynthesis of the cell wall. Given the urgent need for development of novel antibiotics to counter the growing threat of bacterial infection resistance, it is imperative that a thorough molecular-level characterization of the molecules targeted by antibiotics be achieved. To this end, we present a molecular...... of Lipid II mediated by cations. In the presence of the defensin peptide plectasin, the conformational lability of Lipid II allows it to form loose complexes with the protein, via a number of different binding modes....

  10. UDP-Glycosyltransferases from the UGT73C Subfamily in Barbarea vulgaris Catalyze Sapogenin 3-O-Glucosylation in Saponin-Mediated Insect Resistance1[W][OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustin, Jörg M.; Drok, Sylvia; Shinoda, Tetsuro; Sanmiya, Kazutsuka; Nielsen, Jens Kvist; Khakimov, Bekzod; Olsen, Carl Erik; Hansen, Esben Halkjær; Kuzina, Vera; Ekstrøm, Claus Thorn; Hauser, Thure; Bak, Søren

    2012-01-01

    Triterpenoid saponins are bioactive metabolites that have evolved recurrently in plants, presumably for defense. Their biosynthesis is poorly understood, as is the relationship between bioactivity and structure. Barbarea vulgaris is the only crucifer known to produce saponins. Hederagenin and oleanolic acid cellobioside make some B. vulgaris plants resistant to important insect pests, while other, susceptible plants produce different saponins. Resistance could be caused by glucosylation of the sapogenins. We identified four family 1 glycosyltransferases (UGTs) that catalyze 3-O-glucosylation of the sapogenins oleanolic acid and hederagenin. Among these, UGT73C10 and UGT73C11 show highest activity, substrate specificity and regiospecificity, and are under positive selection, while UGT73C12 and UGT73C13 show lower substrate specificity and regiospecificity and are under purifying selection. The expression of UGT73C10 and UGT73C11 in different B. vulgaris organs correlates with saponin abundance. Monoglucosylated hederagenin and oleanolic acid were produced in vitro and tested for effects on P. nemorum. 3-O-β-d-Glc hederagenin strongly deterred feeding, while 3-O-β-d-Glc oleanolic acid only had a minor effect, showing that hydroxylation of C23 is important for resistance to this herbivore. The closest homolog in Arabidopsis thaliana, UGT73C5, only showed weak activity toward sapogenins. This indicates that UGT73C10 and UGT73C11 have neofunctionalized to specifically glucosylate sapogenins at the C3 position and demonstrates that C3 monoglucosylation activates resistance. As the UGTs from both the resistant and susceptible types of B. vulgaris glucosylate sapogenins and are not located in the known quantitative trait loci for resistance, the difference between the susceptible and resistant plant types is determined at an earlier stage in saponin biosynthesis. PMID:23027665

  11. The Antimicrobial Peptide Human Beta-Defensin-3 Is Induced by Platelet-Released Growth Factors in Primary Keratinocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Bayer

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Platelet-released growth factors (PRGF and its related clinically used formulations (e.g., Vivostat Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF® contain a variety of chemokines, cytokines, and growth factors and are therefore used to support healing of chronic, hard-to-heal, or infected wounds. Human beta-defensin-3 (hBD-3 is an antimicrobial peptide inducibly expressed in human keratinocytes especially upon wounding. The potent antimicrobial activity of hBD-3 together with its wound closure-promoting activities suggests that hBD-3 may play a crucial role in wound healing. Therefore, we analyzed the influence of PRGF on hBD-3 expression in human primary keratinocytes in vitro. In addition, we investigated the influence of Vivostat PRF on hBD-3 expression in artificially generated human skin wounds in vivo. PRGF treatment of primary keratinocytes induced a significant, concentration- and time-dependent increase in hBD-3 gene expression which was partially mediated by the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR. In line with these cell culture data, in vivo experiments revealed an enhanced hBD-3 expression in experimentally produced human wounds after the treatment with Vivostat PRF. Thus, the induction of hBD-3 may contribute to the beneficial effects of thrombocyte concentrate lysates in the treatment of chronic or infected wounds.

  12. The Antimicrobial Peptide Human Beta-Defensin-3 Is Induced by Platelet-Released Growth Factors in Primary Keratinocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammel, Justus; Tohidnezhad, Mersedeh; Lippross, Sebastian; Behrendt, Peter; Klüter, Tim; Pufe, Thomas; Cremer, Jochen; Jahr, Holger; Rademacher, Franziska; Gläser, Regine; Harder, Jürgen

    2017-01-01

    Platelet-released growth factors (PRGF) and its related clinically used formulations (e.g., Vivostat Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF®)) contain a variety of chemokines, cytokines, and growth factors and are therefore used to support healing of chronic, hard-to-heal, or infected wounds. Human beta-defensin-3 (hBD-3) is an antimicrobial peptide inducibly expressed in human keratinocytes especially upon wounding. The potent antimicrobial activity of hBD-3 together with its wound closure-promoting activities suggests that hBD-3 may play a crucial role in wound healing. Therefore, we analyzed the influence of PRGF on hBD-3 expression in human primary keratinocytes in vitro. In addition, we investigated the influence of Vivostat PRF on hBD-3 expression in artificially generated human skin wounds in vivo. PRGF treatment of primary keratinocytes induced a significant, concentration- and time-dependent increase in hBD-3 gene expression which was partially mediated by the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). In line with these cell culture data, in vivo experiments revealed an enhanced hBD-3 expression in experimentally produced human wounds after the treatment with Vivostat PRF. Thus, the induction of hBD-3 may contribute to the beneficial effects of thrombocyte concentrate lysates in the treatment of chronic or infected wounds. PMID:28811680

  13. Structural and functional studies of a phosphatidic acid-binding antifungal plant defensin MtDef4: identification of an RGFRRR motif governing fungal cell entry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uma Shankar Sagaram

    Full Text Available MtDef4 is a 47-amino acid cysteine-rich evolutionary conserved defensin from a model legume Medicago truncatula. It is an apoplast-localized plant defense protein that inhibits the growth of the ascomycetous fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum in vitro at micromolar concentrations. Little is known about the mechanisms by which MtDef4 mediates its antifungal activity. In this study, we show that MtDef4 rapidly permeabilizes fungal plasma membrane and is internalized by the fungal cells where it accumulates in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, analysis of the structure of MtDef4 reveals the presence of a positively charged γ-core motif composed of β2 and β3 strands connected by a positively charged RGFRRR loop. Replacement of the RGFRRR sequence with AAAARR or RGFRAA abolishes the ability of MtDef4 to enter fungal cells, suggesting that the RGFRRR loop is a translocation signal required for the internalization of the protein. MtDef4 binds to phosphatidic acid (PA, a precursor for the biosynthesis of membrane phospholipids and a signaling lipid known to recruit cytosolic proteins to membranes. Amino acid substitutions in the RGFRRR sequence which abolish the ability of MtDef4 to enter fungal cells also impair its ability to bind PA. These findings suggest that MtDef4 is a novel antifungal plant defensin capable of entering into fungal cells and affecting intracellular targets and that these processes are mediated by the highly conserved cationic RGFRRR loop via its interaction with PA.

  14. High level expression of human epithelial β-defensins (hBD-1, 2 and 3 in papillomavirus induced lesions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chong Kong T

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Epithelial defensins including human β-defensins (hBDs and α-defensins (HDs are antimicrobial peptides that play important roles in the mucosal defense system. However, the role of defensins in papillomavirus induced epithelial lesions is unknown. Results Papilloma tissues were prospectively collected from 15 patients with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP and analyzed for defensins and chemokine IL-8 expression by quantitative, reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR assays. HBD-1, -2 and -3 mRNAs were detectable in papilloma samples from all RRP patients and the levels were higher than in normal oral mucosal tissues from healthy individuals. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that both hBD-1 and 2 were localized in the upper epithelial layers of papilloma tissues. Expression of hBD-2 and hBD-3 appeared to be correlated as indicated by scatter plot analysis (r = 0.837, p Conclusion Human β-defensins are upregulated in respiratory papillomas. This novel finding suggests that hBDs might contribute to innate and adaptive immune responses targeted against papillomavirus-induced epithelial lesions.

  15. Insect barcode information system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratheepa, Maria; Jalali, Sushil Kumar; Arokiaraj, Robinson Silvester; Venkatesan, Thiruvengadam; Nagesh, Mandadi; Panda, Madhusmita; Pattar, Sharath

    2014-01-01

    Insect Barcode Information System called as Insect Barcode Informática (IBIn) is an online database resource developed by the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, Bangalore. This database provides acquisition, storage, analysis and publication of DNA barcode records of agriculturally important insects, for researchers specifically in India and other countries. It bridges a gap in bioinformatics by integrating molecular, morphological and distribution details of agriculturally important insects. IBIn was developed using PHP/My SQL by using relational database management concept. This database is based on the client- server architecture, where many clients can access data simultaneously. IBIn is freely available on-line and is user-friendly. IBIn allows the registered users to input new information, search and view information related to DNA barcode of agriculturally important insects.This paper provides a current status of insect barcode in India and brief introduction about the database IBIn. http://www.nabg-nbaii.res.in/barcode.

  16. Staphylococcus aureus resistance to human defensins and evasion of neutrophil killing via the novel virulence factor MprF is based on modification of membrane lipids with L-lysine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peschel, A.; Jack, R.W.; Otto, M.; Collins, L.V.; Staubitz, P.; Nicholson, G.; Kalbacher, H.; Nieuwenhuizen, W.F.; Jung, G.; Tarkowski, A.; Kessel, K.P.M. van; Strijp, J.A.G. van

    2001-01-01

    Defensins, antimicrobial peptides of the innate immune system, protect human mucosal epithelia and skin against microbial infections and are produced in large amounts by neutrophils. The bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is insensitive to defensins by virtue of an unknown resistance

  17. Plant defensins and their potential use as pest control in agriculture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rojas Arias, Adriana Carolina; Zamora Espitia, Humberto Miguel

    2010-01-01

    Plants, as all organisms in nature, have elaborate systems of defense against pathogens; which can be physical or chemical and produced in a constitutive and induced way. Among the induced chemical barriers, there is a group of low molecular weight proteins, known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). These peptides include defensins, which are peptides with a molecular weight about 5 to 7 KDa, isoelectric point of 9, and length of about 45 to 55 amino acids. Likewise, they have the ability to avoid the growth of phytopathogenic microorganisms, mainly funguses. Moreover, these peptides create resistance to abiotic conditions of stress in plants. This manuscript seeks to make a clear and current description about the recent characteristics and researches related to plant defensins and their most significant uses in pathogens management in crops of economical relevance. It also intends to go deep into the study of such proteins in order to use them as a control strategy, such as production of transgenic plants and microorganisms.

  18. Defensin from the ornate sheep tick Dermacentor marginatus and its effect on Lyme borreliosis spirochetes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Chrudimská, Tereza; Čeřovský, Václav; Slaninová, Jiřina; Rego, Ryan O. M.; Grubhoffer, Libor

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 46, č. 2 (2014), s. 165-170 ISSN 0145-305X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/11/1901 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:61388963 Keywords : Tick * Dermacentor marginatus * Defensin * Borrelia afzelii * Antimicrobial activity * Peptide synthesis Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology; EE - Microbiology, Virology (UOCHB-X) Impact factor: 2.815, year: 2014

  19. A Scorpion Defensin BmKDfsin4 Inhibits Hepatitis B Virus Replication in Vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhengyang Zeng

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Hepatitis B virus (HBV infection is a major worldwide health problem which can cause acute and chronic hepatitis and can significantly increase the risk of liver cirrhosis and primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC. Nowadays, clinical therapies of HBV infection still mainly rely on nucleotide analogs and interferons, the usage of which is limited by drug-resistant mutation or side effects. Defensins had been reported to effectively inhibit the proliferation of bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Here, we screened the anti-HBV activity of 25 scorpion-derived peptides most recently characterized by our group. Through evaluating anti-HBV activity and cytotoxicity, we found that BmKDfsin4, a scorpion defensin with antibacterial and Kv1.3-blocking activities, has a comparable high inhibitory rate of both HBeAg and HBsAg in HepG2.2.15 culture medium and low cytotoxicity to HepG2.2.15. Then, our experimental results further showed that BmKDfsin4 can dose-dependently decrease the production of HBV DNA and HBV viral proteins in both culture medium and cell lysate. Interestingly, BmKDfsin4 exerted high serum stability. Together, this study indicates that the scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 also has inhibitory activity against HBV replication along with its antibacterial and potassium ion channel Kv1.3-blocking activities, which shows that BmKDfsin4 is a uniquely multifunctional defensin molecule. Our work also provides a good molecule material which will be used to investigate the link or relationship of its antiviral, antibacterial and ion channel–modulating activities in the future.

  20. The host defense peptide beta-defensin 1 confers protection against Bordetella pertussis in newborn piglets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elahi, Shokrollah; Buchanan, Rachelle M; Attah-Poku, Sam; Townsend, Hugh G G; Babiuk, Lorne A; Gerdts, Volker

    2006-04-01

    Innate immunity plays an important role in protection against respiratory infections in humans and animals. Host defense peptides such as beta-defensins represent major components of innate immunity. We recently developed a novel porcine model of pertussis, an important respiratory disease of young children and infants worldwide. Here, we investigated the role of porcine beta-defensin 1 (pBD-1), a porcine defensin homologue of human beta-defensin 2, in conferring protection against respiratory infection with Bordetella pertussis. In this model, newborn piglets were fully susceptible to infection and developed severe bronchopneumonia. In contrast, piglets older than 4 weeks of age were protected against infection with B. pertussis. Protection was associated with the expression of pBD-1 in the upper respiratory tract. In fact, pBD-1 expression was developmentally regulated, and the absence of pBD-1 was thought to contribute to the increased susceptibility of newborn piglets to infection with B. pertussis. Bronchoalveolar lavage specimens collected from older animals as well as chemically synthesized pBD-1 displayed strong antimicrobial activity against B. pertussis in vitro. Furthermore, in vivo treatment of newborn piglets with only 500 mug pBD-1 at the time of challenge conferred protection against infection with B. pertussis. Interestingly, pBD-1 displayed no bactericidal activity in vitro against Bordetella bronchiseptica, a closely related natural pathogen of pigs. Our results demonstrate that host defense peptides play an important role in protection against pertussis and are essential in modulating innate immune responses against respiratory infections.

  1. Identification and partial characterisation of new members of the Ixodes ricinus defensin family

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tonk, Miray; Cabezas Cruz, Alejandro; Valdés, James J.; Rego, Ryan O. M.; Rudenko, Natalia; Golovchenko, Maryna; Bell-Sakyi, L.; de la Fuente, J.; Grubhoffer, Libor

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 540, č. 2 (2014), s. 146-152 ISSN 0378-1119 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/11/1901; GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : antimicrobial peptide * defensin * Ixodes ricinus * tick * tick cell line Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.138, year: 2014

  2. Two novel antimicrobial defensins from rice identified by gene coexpression network analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tantong, Supaluk; Pringsulaka, Onanong; Weerawanich, Kamonwan; Meeprasert, Arthitaya; Rungrotmongkol, Thanyada; Sarnthima, Rakrudee; Roytrakul, Sittiruk; Sirikantaramas, Supaart

    2016-10-01

    Defensins form an antimicrobial peptides (AMP) family, and have been widely studied in various plants because of their considerable inhibitory functions. However, their roles in rice (Oryza sativa L.) have not been characterized, even though rice is one of the most important staple crops that is susceptible to damaging infections. Additionally, a previous study identified 598 rice genes encoding cysteine-rich peptides, suggesting there are several uncharacterized AMPs in rice. We performed in silico gene expression and coexpression network analyses of all genes encoding defensin and defensin-like peptides, and determined that OsDEF7 and OsDEF8 are coexpressed with pathogen-responsive genes. Recombinant OsDEF7 and OsDEF8 could form homodimers. They inhibited the growth of the bacteria Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, X. oryzae pv. oryzicola, and Erwinia carotovora subsp. atroseptica with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranging from 0.6 to 63μg/mL. However, these OsDEFs are weakly active against the phytopathogenic fungi Helminthosporium oryzae and Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense. This study describes a useful method for identifying potential plant AMPs with biological activities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Differential Susceptibility of Bacteria to Mouse Paneth Cell a-Defensins under Anaerobic Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer R. Mastroianni

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Small intestinal Paneth cells secrete a-defensin peptides, termed cryptdins (Crps in mice, into the intestinal lumen, where they confer immunity to oral infections and define the composition of the ileal microbiota. In these studies, facultative bacteria maintained under aerobic or anaerobic conditions displayed differential sensitivities to mouse a-defensins under in vitro assay conditions. Regardless of oxygenation, Crps 2 and 3 had robust and similar bactericidal activities against S. typhimurium and S. flexneri, but Crp4 activity against S. flexneri was attenuated in the absence of oxygen. Anaerobic bacteria varied in their susceptibility to Crps 2-4, with Crp4 showing less activity than Crps 2 and 3 against Enterococcus faecalis, and Bacteroides fragilis in anaerobic assays, but Fusobacterium necrophorum was killed only by Crp4 and not by Crps 2 and 3. The influence of anaerobiosis in modulating Crp bactericidal activities in vitro suggests that a-defensin effects on the enteric microbiota may be subject to regulation by local oxygen tension.

  4. Oil Palm Defensin: A Thermal Stable Peptide that Restricts the Mycelial Growth of Ganoderma boninense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Yung-Chie; Ang, Cheng-Liang; Wong, Mui-Yun; Ho, Chai-Ling

    2016-01-01

    Plant defensins are plant defence peptides that have many different biological activities, including antifungal, antimicrobial, and insecticidal activities. A cDNA (EgDFS) encoding defensin was isolated from Elaeis guineensis. The open reading frame of EgDFS contained 231 nucleotides encoding a 71-amino acid protein with a predicted molecular weight at 8.69 kDa, and a potential signal peptide. The eight highly conserved cysteine sites in plant defensins were also conserved in EgDFS. The EgDFS sequence lacking 30 amino acid residues at its N-terminus (EgDFSm) was cloned into Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) pLysS and successfully expressed as a soluble recombinant protein. The recombinant EgDFSm was found to be a thermal stable peptide which demonstrated inhibitory activity against the growth of G. boninense possibly by inhibiting starch assimilation. The role of EgDFSm in oil palm defence system against the infection of pathogen G. boninense was discussed.

  5. Antibacterial activity and phospholipid recognition of the recombinant defensin J1-1 from Capsicum genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillén-Chable, Francisco; Arenas-Sosa, Iván; Islas-Flores, Ignacio; Corzo, Gerardo; Martinez-Liu, Cynthia; Estrada, Georgina

    2017-08-01

    The gene of the four disulfide-bridged defensin J1-1 from Capsicum was cloned into the expression vector pQE30 containing a 6His-tag as fusion protein. This construct was transfected into Origami strain of Escherichia coli and expressed after induction with isopropyl thiogalactoside (IPTG). The level of expression was 4 mg/L of culture medium, and the His-tagged recombinant defensin (HisXarJ1-1) was expressed exclusively into inclusion bodies. After solubilization, HisXarJ1-1 was purified by affinity and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. The reverse-phase HPLC profile of the HisXarJ1-1 product obtained from the affinity chromatography step showed single main peptide fraction of molecular masses of 7050.6 Da and after treatment with DTT a single fraction of 7, 042.6 Da corresponding to the reduced peptide was observed. An in vitro folding step of the HisXarJ1-1 generated a distinct profile of oxidized forms of the peptide this oxidized peptide was capable of binding phosphatidic acid in vitro. Possible dimer and oligomer of HisXarJ1-1 were visible in gel electrophoresis and immunodetected with anti-His antibodies. Pure recombinant defensin HisXarJ1-1 exhibited antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Endocrinology of insects

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Downer, Roger G. H; Laufer, Hans

    1983-01-01

    Contents: Organization of the neuroendocrine system - Chemistry of insect hormones and neurohormones - Regulation of metamorphosis - Regulation of reproduction - Regulation of growth and development...

  7. Expression of avian β-defensins and Toll-like receptor genes in the rooster epididymis during growth and Salmonella infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastasiadou, M; Avdi, M; Michailidis, G

    2013-08-01

    The epididymis is an organ involved in the maturation, transport, and storage of sperm prior to ejaculation. As epididymis is exposed to a constant risk of inflammatory conditions that may lead to transient or permanent sterility, protection of this organ from pathogens is an essential aspect of reproductive physiology. The families of antimicrobial peptides β-defensins and the pattern-recognition receptors Toll-like (TLR) mediate innate immunity in various vertebrates including avian species. As rooster infertility is a major concern in the poultry industry, the objectives of this study were to determine the expression profile of the entire family of the avian β-defensins (AvBD) and TLR genes in the rooster epididymis, to investigate whether sexual maturation affects their epididymidal mRNA abundance and to determine the changes in their expression levels in response to Salmonella enteritidis (SE) infection in the epididymis of sexually mature roosters. RNA was extracted from the epididymis of healthy pubertal, sexually mature and aged birds, and from sexually mature SE infected birds. RT-PCR analysis revealed that 10 members of the AvBD and nine members of the TLR gene families were expressed in the epididymis. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the epididymidal mRNA abundance of certain AvBD and TLR genes was developmentally regulated with respect to sexual maturation. SE infection resulted in a significant induction of AvBD 1, 9, 10, 12 and 14, as well as TLR 1-2, 2-1, 2-2, 4, 5 and 7 genes, in the epididymis of sexually mature roosters, compared to healthy birds of the same age. These findings provide strong evidence to suggest that the rooster epididymis is capable of initiating an inflammatory response to Salmonella, through activation of certain members of the AvBD and TLR gene families. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Phylogenetic origin and diversification of RNAi pathway genes in insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dowling, Daniel; Pauli, Thomas; Donath, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    RNAinterference (RNAi) refers tothe set ofmolecular processes foundin eukaryotic organisms in which smallRNAmolecules mediate the silencing or down-regulation of target genes. In insects, RNAi serves a number of functions, including regulation of endogenous genes, anti-viral defense, and defense...... against transposable elements. Despite being well studied in model organisms, such as Drosophila, the distribution of core RNAi pathway genes and their evolution in insects is not well understood. Here we present the most comprehensive overview of the distribution and diversity of core RNAi pathway genes...... across 100 insect species, encompassing all currently recognized insect orders. We inferred the phylogenetic origin of insect-specific RNAi pathway genes and also identified several hitherto unrecorded gene expansions using whole-body transcriptome data from the international 1KITE (1000 Insect...

  9. Three-way interaction among plants, bacteria, and coleopteran insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wielkopolan, Beata; Obrępalska-Stęplowska, Aleksandra

    2016-08-01

    Coleoptera, the largest and the most diverse Insecta order, is characterized by multiple adaptations to plant feeding. Insect-associated microorganisms can be important mediators and modulators of interactions between insects and plants. Interactions between plants and insects are highly complex and involve multiple factors. There are various defense mechanisms initiated by plants upon attack by herbivorous insects, including the development of morphological structures and the synthesis of toxic secondary metabolites and volatiles. In turn, herbivores have adapted to feeding on plants and further sophisticated adaptations to overcome plant responses may continue to evolve. Herbivorous insects may detoxify toxic phytocompounds, sequester poisonous plant factors, and alter their own overall gene expression pattern. Moreover, insects are associated with microbes, which not only considerably affect insects, but can also modify plant defense responses to the benefit of their host. Plants are also frequently associated with endophytes, which may act as bioinsecticides. Therefore, it is very important to consider the factors influencing the interaction between plants and insects. Herbivorous insects cause considerable damage to global crop production. Coleoptera is the largest and the most diverse order in the class Insecta. In this review, various aspects of the interactions among insects, microbes, and plants are described with a focus on coleopteran species, their bacterial symbionts, and their plant hosts to demonstrate that many factors contribute to the success of coleopteran herbivory.

  10. Insects and diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    John W. Couston

    2009-01-01

    Insects and diseases are a natural part of forested ecosystems. Their activity is partially regulated by biotic factors, e.g., host abundance, host quality; physical factors, e.g., soil, climate; and disturbances (Berryman 1986). Insects and diseases can influence both forest patterns and forest processes by causing, for example, defoliation and mortality. These...

  11. Insects: Bugged Out!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piehl, Kathy

    2011-01-01

    Insects really need no introduction. They have lived on earth much longer than humans and vastly outnumber people and all other animal species combined. People encounter them daily in their houses and yards. Yet, when children want to investigate insects, books can help them start their explorations. "Paleo Bugs" carries readers back to the time…

  12. Insects and Bugs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, Karen

    2009-01-01

    They have been around for centuries. They sting, they bite. They cause intense itching or painful sores. They even cause allergic reactions and sometimes death. There are two types of insects that are pests to humans--those that sting and those that bite. The insects that bite do so with their mouths and include mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks.…

  13. RNA interference: Applications and advances in insect toxicology and insect pest management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young Ho; Soumaila Issa, Moustapha; Cooper, Anastasia M W; Zhu, Kun Yan

    2015-05-01

    Since its discovery, RNA interference (RNAi) has revolutionized functional genomic studies due to its sequence-specific nature of post-transcriptional gene silencing. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive review of the recent literature and summarize the current knowledge and advances in the applications of RNAi technologies in the field of insect toxicology and insect pest management. Many recent studies have focused on identification and validation of the genes encoding insecticide target proteins, such as acetylcholinesterases, ion channels, Bacillus thuringiensis receptors, and other receptors in the nervous system. RNAi technologies have also been widely applied to reveal the role of genes encoding cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, carboxylesterases, and glutathione S-transferases in insecticide detoxification and resistance. More recently, studies have focused on understanding the mechanism of insecticide-mediated up-regulation of detoxification genes in insects. As RNAi has already shown great potentials for insect pest management, many recent studies have also focused on host-induced gene silencing, in which several RNAi-based transgenic plants have been developed and tested as proof of concept for insect pest management. These studies indicate that RNAi is a valuable tool to address various fundamental questions in insect toxicology and may soon become an effective strategy for insect pest management. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Genome-Wide Sensitivity Analysis of the Microsymbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti to Symbiotically Important, Defensin-Like Host Peptides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus F. F. Arnold

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The model legume species Medicago truncatula expresses more than 700 nodule-specific cysteine-rich (NCR signaling peptides that mediate the differentiation of Sinorhizobium meliloti bacteria into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. NCR peptides are essential for a successful symbiosis in legume plants of the inverted-repeat-lacking clade (IRLC and show similarity to mammalian defensins. In addition to signaling functions, many NCR peptides exhibit antimicrobial activity in vitro and in vivo. Bacterial resistance to these antimicrobial activities is likely to be important for symbiosis. However, the mechanisms used by S. meliloti to resist antimicrobial activity of plant peptides are poorly understood. To address this, we applied a global genetic approach using transposon mutagenesis followed by high-throughput sequencing (Tn-seq to identify S. meliloti genes and pathways that increase or decrease bacterial competitiveness during exposure to the well-studied cationic NCR247 peptide and also to the unrelated model antimicrobial peptide polymyxin B. We identified 78 genes and several diverse pathways whose interruption alters S. meliloti resistance to NCR247. These genes encode the following: (i cell envelope polysaccharide biosynthesis and modification proteins, (ii inner and outer membrane proteins, (iii peptidoglycan (PG effector proteins, and (iv non-membrane-associated factors such as transcriptional regulators and ribosome-associated factors. We describe a previously uncharacterized yet highly conserved peptidase, which protects S. meliloti from NCR247 and increases competitiveness during symbiosis. Additionally, we highlight a considerable number of uncharacterized genes that provide the basis for future studies to investigate the molecular basis of symbiotic development as well as chronic pathogenic interactions.

  15. Beneficial Insects and Insect Pollinators on Milkweed in South Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insect pollinators are essential for the reproduction of more than two-thirds of the world’s crops, and beneficial insects play an important role in managing pest insects in agricultural farmscapes. These insects depend on nectar for their survival in these farmscapes. The flowers of tropical milkwe...

  16. Feeding the insect industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    This article reports the use of insect colloidal artificial diets suitable for the rearing of economically important arthropods, such as Lygus lineolaris, Lygus hesperus, Coleomegilla maculata, and Phytoseiulus persimilis The different diets contain key nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vit...

  17. Genetic Engineering of Insects

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    wild-type DNA resulted in the production of adults with wing ... using conventional method of breeding and selection. .... insects, birds, and other animals .... used to derive the expression of the antibiotic, tetracycline repressible transactivator.

  18. Allergies to Insect Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... insects (as might be the case when a nest is disturbed, or when Africanized honeybees are involved); ... test with the five commercially available venoms; honey bee, paper wasp, yellow jacket, yellow hornet and white- ...

  19. Spatio-Temporal Expression Patterns of Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula Defensin-Like Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nallu, Sumitha; Wang, Lin; Botanga, Christopher J.; Gomez, S. Karen; Costa, Liliana M.; Harrison, Maria J.; Samac, Deborah A.; Glazebrook, Jane; Katagiri, Fumiaki; Gutierrez-Marcos, Jose F.; VandenBosch, Kathryn A.

    2013-01-01

    Plant genomes contain several hundred defensin-like (DEFL) genes that encode short cysteine-rich proteins resembling defensins, which are well known antimicrobial polypeptides. Little is known about the expression patterns or functions of many DEFLs because most were discovered recently and hence are not well represented on standard microarrays. We designed a custom Affymetrix chip consisting of probe sets for 317 and 684 DEFLs from Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula, respectively for cataloging DEFL expression in a variety of plant organs at different developmental stages and during symbiotic and pathogenic associations. The microarray analysis provided evidence for the transcription of 71% and 90% of the DEFLs identified in Arabidopsis and Medicago, respectively, including many of the recently annotated DEFL genes that previously lacked expression information. Both model plants contain a subset of DEFLs specifically expressed in seeds or fruits. A few DEFLs, including some plant defensins, were significantly up-regulated in Arabidopsis leaves inoculated with Alternaria brassicicola or Pseudomonas syringae pathogens. Among these, some were dependent on jasmonic acid signaling or were associated with specific types of immune responses. There were notable differences in DEFL gene expression patterns between Arabidopsis and Medicago, as the majority of Arabidopsis DEFLs were expressed in inflorescences, while only a few exhibited root-enhanced expression. By contrast, Medicago DEFLs were most prominently expressed in nitrogen-fixing root nodules. Thus, our data document salient differences in DEFL temporal and spatial expression between Arabidopsis and Medicago, suggesting distinct signaling routes and distinct roles for these proteins in the two plant species. PMID:23527067

  20. Novel phenotype of mouse spermatozoa following deletion of nine β-defensin genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorin, Julia R

    2015-01-01

    β-defensin peptides are a large family of antimicrobial peptides. Although they kill microbes in vitro and interact with immune cells, the precise role of these genes in vivo remains uncertain. Despite their inducible presence at mucosal surfaces, their main site of expression is the epididymis. Recent evidence suggests that a major function of these peptides is in sperm maturation. In addition to previous work suggesting this, work at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh, has shown that homozygous deletion of a cluster of nine β-defensin genes in the mouse results in profound male sterility. The spermatozoa derived from the mutants had reduced motility and increased fragility. Epididymal spermatozoa isolated from the cauda region of the homozygous mutants demonstrated precocious capacitation and increased spontaneous acrosome reactions compared with those from wild-types. Despite this, these mutant spermatozoa had reduced ability to bind to the zona pellucida of oocytes. Ultrastructural examination revealed a disintegration of the microtubule structure of mutant-derived spermatozoa isolated from the epididymal cauda region, but not from the caput. Consistent with premature acrosome reaction and hyperactivation, spermatozoa from mutant animals had significantly increased intracellular calcium content. This work demonstrates that in vivo β-defensins are essential for successful sperm maturation, and that their disruption alters intracellular calcium levels, which most likely leads to premature activation and spontaneous acrosome reactions that result in hyperactivation and loss of microtubule structure of the axoneme. Determining which of the nine genes are responsible for the phenotype and the relevance to human sperm function is important for future work on male infertility.

  1. Novel phenotype of mouse spermatozoa following deletion of nine β-defensin genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia R Dorin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available β-defensin peptides are a large family of antimicrobial peptides. Although they kill microbes in vitro and interact with immune cells, the precise role of these genes in vivo remains uncertain. Despite their inducible presence at mucosal surfaces, their main site of expression is the epididymis. Recent evidence suggests that a major function of these peptides is in sperm maturation. In addition to previous work suggesting this, work at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh, has shown that homozygous deletion of a cluster of nine β-defensin genes in the mouse results in profound male sterility. The spermatozoa derived from the mutants had reduced motility and increased fragility. Epididymal spermatozoa isolated from the cauda region of the homozygous mutants demonstrated precocious capacitation and increased spontaneous acrosome reactions compared with those from wild-types. Despite this, these mutant spermatozoa had reduced ability to bind to the zona pellucida of oocytes. Ultrastructural examination revealed a disintegration of the microtubule structure of mutant-derived spermatozoa isolated from the epididymal cauda region, but not from the caput. Consistent with premature acrosome reaction and hyperactivation, spermatozoa from mutant animals had significantly increased intracellular calcium content. This work demonstrates that in vivo β-defensins are essential for successful sperm maturation, and that their disruption alters intracellular calcium levels, which most likely leads to premature activation and spontaneous acrosome reactions that result in hyperactivation and loss of microtubule structure of the axoneme. Determining which of the nine genes are responsible for the phenotype and the relevance to human sperm function is important for future work on male infertility.

  2. [Study on vaginal production of human defensins and the correlated pathogenetic factors of vulvovaginal candidiasis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wen; DI, Wen; Liao, Qin-ping; Liu, Zhao-hui; Zhang, Ning; Zhang, Hui-ying; Zhang, Dai; Geng, Li; Fan, Shang-rong; Hu, Li-na

    2008-07-01

    To investigate the correlated pathogenetic factors and vaginal local immunity in vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). A case control study was conducted to compare VVC group (60 cases) with normal group (60 cases). All of the women filled up the specific questionnaires. Routine examination, pH test and bacterial culture were done on the vaginal discharge. Cytokines of the vaginal lavage were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. (1) Outcomes of the questionnaires: there was no significant difference between the two groups in educational background, knowledge of gynecologic infection, history of gynecologic infection, hygienic habit, sex life, or use of medicine (P > 0.05). The incidence of chronic cervicitis in normal group (43%, 26/60) was higher than in VVC group (22%, 13/60; P vaginal pH between the two groups (P > 0.05). (3) Detection rate of candida albicans by vaginal discharge routine examination was 72% (43/60). (4) The concentrations of interleukin (IL) 2, and IL-4 in vaginal lavage did not show significant difference between the two groups (P > 0.05), but the concentrations of human defensin 5, human beta-defensin (HBD) 1, and HBD2 in VVC group [(0.94 +/- 0.44) mg/L, (3.1 +/- 0.4) microg/L, (10 +/- 6) microg/L] were higher than normal group (P < 0.05). VVC is a common vulvovaginitis. There is no significant correlation between the incidence of VVC and educational background, knowledge of gynecologic infection, history of gynecologic infection, hygienic habit, sex life, or use of medicine in the child-bearing period. Human defensin may be closely correlated with the pathogenesis of VVC.

  3. Spatio-temporal expression patterns of Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula defensin-like genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mesfin Tesfaye

    Full Text Available Plant genomes contain several hundred defensin-like (DEFL genes that encode short cysteine-rich proteins resembling defensins, which are well known antimicrobial polypeptides. Little is known about the expression patterns or functions of many DEFLs because most were discovered recently and hence are not well represented on standard microarrays. We designed a custom Affymetrix chip consisting of probe sets for 317 and 684 DEFLs from Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula, respectively for cataloging DEFL expression in a variety of plant organs at different developmental stages and during symbiotic and pathogenic associations. The microarray analysis provided evidence for the transcription of 71% and 90% of the DEFLs identified in Arabidopsis and Medicago, respectively, including many of the recently annotated DEFL genes that previously lacked expression information. Both model plants contain a subset of DEFLs specifically expressed in seeds or fruits. A few DEFLs, including some plant defensins, were significantly up-regulated in Arabidopsis leaves inoculated with Alternaria brassicicola or Pseudomonas syringae pathogens. Among these, some were dependent on jasmonic acid signaling or were associated with specific types of immune responses. There were notable differences in DEFL gene expression patterns between Arabidopsis and Medicago, as the majority of Arabidopsis DEFLs were expressed in inflorescences, while only a few exhibited root-enhanced expression. By contrast, Medicago DEFLs were most prominently expressed in nitrogen-fixing root nodules. Thus, our data document salient differences in DEFL temporal and spatial expression between Arabidopsis and Medicago, suggesting distinct signaling routes and distinct roles for these proteins in the two plant species.

  4. Evolution of the Insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimaldi, David; Engel, Michael S.

    2005-05-01

    This book chronicles the complete evolutionary history of insects--their living diversity and relationships as well as 400 million years of fossils. Introductory sections cover the living species diversity of insects, methods of reconstructing evolutionary relationships, basic insect structure, and the diverse modes of insect fossilization and major fossil deposits. Major sections then explore the relationships and evolution of each order of hexapods. The volume also chronicles major episodes in the evolutionary history of insects from their modest beginnings in the Devonian and the origin of wings hundreds of millions of years before pterosaurs and birds to the impact of mass extinctions and the explosive radiation of angiosperms on insects, and how they evolved into the most complex societies in nature. Whereas other volumes focus on either living species or fossils, this is the first comprehensive synthesis of all aspects of insect evolution. Illustrated with 955 photo- and electron- micrographs, drawings, diagrams, and field photos, many in full color and virtually all of them original, this reference will appeal to anyone engaged with insect diversity--professional entomologists and students, insect and fossil collectors, and naturalists. David Grimaldi and Michael S. Engel have collectively published over 200 scientific articles and monographs on the relationships and fossil record of insects, including 10 articles in the journals Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. David Grimaldi is curator in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History and adjunct professor at Cornell University, Columbia University, and the City University of New York. David Grimaldi has traveled in 40 countries on 6 continents, collecting and studying recent species of insects and conducting fossil excavations. He is the author of Amber: Window to the Past (Abrams, 2003). Michael S. Engel is an assistant professor in the

  5. Insects and other invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    John R. Jones; Norbert V. DeByle; Diane M. Bowers

    1985-01-01

    Quaking aspen throughout its range appears to be host to several insect and other invertebrate pests (fig. 1). It is a short-lived species that is palatable to a large variety of animals. Furniss and Carolin (1977) listed 33 insect species that use aspen as a food source. Some are quite damaging and may kill otherwise healthy stands of aspen; others feed on weakened or...

  6. Beneficial Insects: Beetles

    OpenAIRE

    Hodgson, Erin W.; Patterson, Ron

    2007-01-01

    There are many beneficial beetles in Utah besides lady beetles or ladybugs. Beetles can significantly reduce common insect and weed problems and in some cases eliminate the need for chemical control. Examples of beneficial beetles include: ground beetles, rove beetles, tiger beetles and tortoise beetles. Many of these beetles are native to Utah, while others have been purposely introduced to help control damage from exotic insect and weed pests.

  7. Lactobacillus salivarius reverse diabetes-induced intestinal defense impairment in mice through non-defensin protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Pei-Hsuan; Wu, Ying-Ying; Chen, Pei-Hsuan; Fung, Chang-Phone; Hsu, Ching-Mei; Chen, Lee-Wei

    2016-09-01

    Altered intestinal microbiota and subsequent endotoxemia play pathogenic roles in diabetes. We aimed to study the mechanisms of intestinal defense impairment in type 1 diabetes and the effects of Lactobacillus salivarius as well as fructooligosaccharides (FOS) supplementation on diabetes-induced bacterial translocation. Alterations in the enteric microbiome, expression of mucosal antibacterial proteins and bacteria-killing activity of the intestinal mucosa in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice and Ins2(Akita) mice were investigated. The effects of dead L. salivarius (2×10(8)CFU/ml) and FOS (250 mg per day) supplementation for 1 week on endotoxin levels and Klebsiella pneumoniae translocation were also examined. Finally, germ-free mice were cohoused with wild-type or Ins2(Akita) mice for 2 weeks to examine the contribution of microbiota on the antibacterial protein expression. STZ-induced diabetic mice developed intestinal defense impairment as demonstrated by decreased mucosal bacteria-killing activity; reduction of non-defensin family proteins, such as Reg3β, Reg3γ, CRP-ductin and RELMβ, but not the defensin family proteins; and increased bacterial translocation. Intestinal bacteria overgrowth, enteric dysbiosis and increased intestinal bacterial translocation, particularly pathogenic K. pneumoniae in STZ-induced diabetic mice and Ins2(Akita) mice, were noted. Treating diabetic mice with dead L. salivarius or FOS reversed enteric dysbiosis, restored mucosal antibacterial protein and lessened endotoxin levels as well as K. pneumoniae translocation. Moreover, germ-free mice cohoused with wild-type mice demonstrated more intestinal Reg3β and RELMβ expression than those cohoused with Ins2(Akita) mice. These results indicate that hyperglycemia induces enteric dysbiosis, reduction of non-defensin proteins as well as bacteria-killing activity of the intestinal mucosa and intestinal defense impairment. Reversal of enteric dysbiosis with dead L. salivarius or

  8. Functional characterization of two defensin isoforms of the hard tick Ixodes ricinus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Chrudimská, Tereza; Slaninová, Jiřina; Rudenko, Natalia; Růžek, Daniel; Grubhoffer, Libor

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 4, č. 1 (2011), e63 ISSN 1756-3305 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LC06009; GA ČR GA206/09/1782; GA ČR GD206/09/H026; GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/11/1901 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518; CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : defensin * antimicrobial compounds * Ixodes ricinus Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.937, year: 2011

  9. Insect bite reactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjay Singh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods. Insect bite reactions are commonly seen in clinical practice. The present review touches upon the medically important insects and their places in the classification, the sparse literature on the epidemiology of insect bites in India, and different variables influencing the susceptibility of an individual to insect bites. Clinical features of mosquito bites, hypersensitivity to mosquito bites Epstein-Barr virus NK (HMB-EBV-NK disease, eruptive pseudoangiomatosis, Skeeter syndrome, papular pruritic eruption of HIV/AIDS, and clinical features produced by bed bugs, Mexican chicken bugs, assassin bugs, kissing bugs, fleas, black flies, Blandford flies, louse flies, tsetse flies, midges, and thrips are discussed. Brief account is presented of the immunogenic components of mosquito and bed bug saliva. Papular urticaria is discussed including its epidemiology, the 5 stages of skin reaction, the SCRATCH principle as an aid in diagnosis, and the recent evidence supporting participation of types I, III, and IV hypersensitivity reactions in its causation is summarized. Recent developments in the treatment of pediculosis capitis including spinosad 0.9% suspension, benzyl alcohol 5% lotion, dimethicone 4% lotion, isopropyl myristate 50% rinse, and other suffocants are discussed within the context of evidence derived from randomized controlled trials and key findings of a recent systematic review. We also touch upon a non-chemical treatment of head lice and the ineffectiveness of egg-loosening products. Knockdown resistance (kdr as the genetic mechanism making the lice nerves insensitive to permethrin is discussed along with the surprising contrary clinical evidence from Europe about efficacy of permethrin in children with head lice carrying kdr-like gene. The review also presents a brief account of insects as vectors of diseases and ends with discussion of prevention of insect bites and some

  10. Association of β-defensin copy number and psoriasis in three cohorts of European origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Philip E; Hüffmeier, Ulrike; Nair, Rajan P; Palla, Raquel; Tejasvi, Trilokraj; Schalkwijk, Joost; Elder, James T; Reis, Andre; Armour, John A L

    2012-10-01

    A single previous study has demonstrated significant association of psoriasis with copy number of β-defensin genes, using DNA from psoriasis cases and controls from Nijmegen and Erlangen. In this study, we attempted to replicate that finding in larger new cohorts from Erlangen (N=2,017) and Michigan (N=5,412), using improved methods for β-defensin copy number determination based on the paralog ratio test, and enhanced methods of analysis and association testing implemented in the CNVtools resource. We demonstrate that the association with psoriasis found in the discovery sample is maintained after applying improved typing and analysis methods (P=5.5 × 10(-4), odds ratio (OR)=1.25). We also find that the association is replicated in 2,616 cases and 2,526 controls from Michigan, although at reduced significance (P=0.014), but not in new samples from Erlangen (1,396 cases and 621 controls, P=0.38). Meta-analysis across all cohorts suggests a nominally significant association (P=6.6 × 10(-3)/2 × 10(-4)) with an effect size (OR=1.081) much lower than found in the discovery study (OR=1.32). This reduced effect size and significance on replication is consistent with a genuine but weak association.

  11. Allelic recombination between distinct genomic locations generates copy number diversity in human β-defensins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakar, Suhaili Abu; Hollox, Edward J.; Armour, John A. L.

    2009-01-01

    β-Defensins are small secreted antimicrobial and signaling peptides involved in the innate immune response of vertebrates. In humans, a cluster of at least 7 of these genes shows extensive copy number variation, with a diploid copy number commonly ranging between 2 and 7. Using a genetic mapping approach, we show that this cluster is at not 1 but 2 distinct genomic loci ≈5 Mb apart on chromosome band 8p23.1, contradicting the most recent genome assembly. We also demonstrate that the predominant mechanism of change in β-defensin copy number is simple allelic recombination occurring in the interval between the 2 distinct genomic loci for these genes. In 416 meiotic transmissions, we observe 3 events creating a haplotype copy number not found in the parent, equivalent to a germ-line rate of copy number change of ≈0.7% per gamete. This places it among the fastest-changing copy number variants currently known. PMID:19131514

  12. Association of β-defensin copy number and psoriasis in three cohorts of European origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Philip E; Hüffmeier, Ulrike; Nair, Rajan P; Palla, Raquel; Tejasvi, Trilokraj; Schalkwijk, Joost; Elder, James T; Reis, Andre; Armour, John AL

    2012-01-01

    A single previous study has demonstrated significant association of psoriasis with copy number of beta-defensin genes, using DNA from psoriasis cases and controls from Nijmegen and Erlangen. In this study we attempted to replicate that finding in larger new cohorts from Erlangen (N = 2017) and Michigan (N = 5412), using improved methods for beta-defensin copy number determination based on the paralog ratio test (PRT), and enhanced methods of analysis and association testing implemented in the CNVtools resource. We demonstrate that the association with psoriasis found in the discovery sample is maintained after applying improved typing and analysis methods (p = 5.5 × 10−4, OR = 1.25). We also find that the association is replicated in 2616 cases and 2526 controls from Michigan, although at reduced significance (p = 0.014), but not in new samples from Erlangen (1396 cases and 621 controls, p = 0.38). Meta-analysis across all cohorts suggests a nominally significant association (p = 6.6 × 10−3/2 × 10−4) with an effect size (OR = 1.081) much lower than found in the discovery study (OR = 1.32). This reduced effect size and significance on replication is consistent with a genuine but weak association. PMID:22739795

  13. Eosinophils from patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus express high level of myeloid alpha-defensins and myeloperoxidase

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Neuwirth, Aleš; Dobeš, Jan; Oujezdská, Jana; Ballek, Ondřej; Benešová, Martina; Sumnik, Z.; Včeláková, J.; Koloušková, S.; Obermannová, B.; Kolář, Michal; Štechová, K.; Filipp, Dominik

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 273, č. 2 (2012), s. 158-163 ISSN 0008-8749 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 2B08066 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : type 1 diabetes * alpha-defensin * myeloperoxidase * granulocyte * eosinophil Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.743, year: 2012

  14. Plant Defensins NaD1 and NaD2 Induce Different Stress Response Pathways in Fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter M. Dracatos

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Nicotiana alata defensins 1 and 2 (NaD1 and NaD2 are plant defensins from the ornamental tobacco that have antifungal activity against a variety of fungal pathogens. Some plant defensins interact with fungal cell wall O-glycosylated proteins. Therefore, we investigated if this was the case for NaD1 and NaD2, by assessing the sensitivity of the three Aspergillus nidulans (An O-mannosyltransferase (pmt knockout (KO mutants (An∆pmtA, An∆pmtB, and An∆pmtC. An∆pmtA was resistant to both defensins, while An∆pmtC was resistant to NaD2 only, suggesting NaD1 and NaD2 are unlikely to have a general interaction with O-linked side chains. Further evidence of this difference in the antifungal mechanism was provided by the dissimilarity of the NaD1 and NaD2 sensitivities of the Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (Fol signalling knockout mutants from the cell wall integrity (CWI and high osmolarity glycerol (HOG mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK pathways. HOG pathway mutants were sensitive to both NaD1 and NaD2, while CWI pathway mutants only displayed sensitivity to NaD2.

  15. Chemical ecology of insects and tritrophic interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmad, F.; Aslam, M.; Razaq, M.

    2004-01-01

    This paper reviews the chemical ecology of insects to explain the role of semiochemicals in plant-herbivore, herbivore-carnivore and plant-carnivore interactions. The semiochemical, mediating tritrophic interactions may be produced by plants, herbivores or their natural enemies (carnivores). Some semiochemicals attract the herbivores and carnivores and mediate interaction among them, while on the other hand some repel them. The semiochemicals are used by heribivores, parasites and predators as cues to locate food, host or prey. The same chemicals are also used for defensive purpose by some herbivores against their natural enemies as they are sequestered through their bodies. (author)

  16. The Sterile Insect Technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiragu, J.

    2006-01-01

    Insect pests have caused an increasing problem in agriculture and human health through crop losses and disease transmission to man and livestock. Intervention to ensure food security and human health has relied on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies to keep the pests population below economic injury levels. IPM integrate a variety of methods, but there has been over-reliance on chemical control following the discovery of insecticidal properties of DDT. It is now realized that, maintaining pest populations at controlled levels is unsustainable and eradication options is now being considered. Although the Sterile Insect Technique(SIT) could be used for insect suppression, it is gaining favour in the elimination (eradication) of the target pest population through Areawide-based IPM (Author)

  17. Microbial brokers of insect-plant interactions revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Angela E

    2013-07-01

    Recent advances in sequencing methods have transformed the field of microbial ecology, making it possible to determine the composition and functional capabilities of uncultured microorganisms. These technologies have been instrumental in the recognition that resident microorganisms can have profound effects on the phenotype and fitness of their animal hosts by modulating the animal signaling networks that regulate growth, development, behavior, etc. Against this backdrop, this review assesses the impact of microorganisms on insect-plant interactions, in the context of the hypothesis that microorganisms are biochemical brokers of plant utilization by insects. There is now overwhelming evidence for a microbial role in insect utilization of certain plant diets with an extremely low or unbalanced nutrient content. Specifically, microorganisms enable insect utilization of plant sap by synthesizing essential amino acids. They also can broker insect utilization of plant products of extremely high lignocellulose content, by enzymatic breakdown of complex plant polysaccharides, nitrogen fixation, and sterol synthesis. However, the experimental evidence for microbial-mediated detoxification of plant allelochemicals is limited. The significance of microorganisms as brokers of plant utilization by insects is predicted to vary, possibly widely, as a result of potentially complex interactions between the composition of the microbiota and the diet and insect developmental age or genotype. For every insect species feeding on plant material, the role of resident microbiota as biochemical brokers of plant utilization is a testable hypothesis.

  18. Insect Repellents: Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Español Text Size Email Print Share Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child Page Content Mosquitoes, biting ... sunscreen needs to be reapplied often. Reactions to Insect Repellents If you suspect that your child is ...

  19. Sterile insect technique and radiation in insect control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    Out of 39 papers and 6 summaries of the poster presentations published in this proceeding series, 23 respectively fall within the INIS subject scope. Four main topics were covered: a review of the sterile insect technique against various insect pests; its application to tsetse flies in eradication programmes; quality control of mass-reared insects for release; and the development of genetic approaches to insect mass rearing and control. Other topics emphasized integrated pest management, computer models and radioisotope labelling

  20. Flying insects and Campylobacter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hald, Birthe; Sommer, Helle Mølgaard; Skovgård, Henrik

    Campylobacter in flies Flies of the Muscidae family forage on all kind of faeces – various fly species have different preferences. M domestica prefer pigs, horses and cattle faeces, animals which are all known to frequently excrete Campylobacter. As a result, the insects pick up pathogenic micro...

  1. Insects and sex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beukeboom, Leo

    2005-01-01

    Most organisms reproduce sexually, but the evolution of sexual reproduction is not yet well understood. Sexual reproduction leads to new variation and adaptations to the environment, but sex is also costly. Some insects reproduce without sex through parthenogenesis or paedogenesis. Almost all sexual

  2. Dispersal of forest insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcmanus, M. L.

    1979-01-01

    Dispersal flights of selected species of forest insects which are associated with periodic outbreaks of pests that occur over large contiguous forested areas are discussed. Gypsy moths, spruce budworms, and forest tent caterpillars were studied for their massive migrations in forested areas. Results indicate that large dispersals into forested areas are due to the females, except in the case of the gypsy moth.

  3. Investigation--Insects!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, Janice

    2000-01-01

    Presents activities on insects for second grade students. In the first activity, students build a butterfly garden. In the second activity, students observe stimuli reactions with mealworms in the larval stage. Describes the assessment process and discusses the effects of pollution on living things. (YDS)

  4. Insect flight muscle metabolism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horst, D.J. van der; Beenakkers, A.M.Th.; Marrewijk, W.J.A. van

    1984-01-01

    The flight of an insect is of a very complicated and extremely energy-demanding nature. Wingbeat frequency may differ between various species but values up to 1000 Hz have been measured. Consequently metabolic activity may be very high during flight and the transition from rest to flight is

  5. Insects, isotopes and radiations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lingkvist, D.A.

    1987-01-01

    The IAEA activity on coordinating the IAEA member-state efforts in the field of pest control is considered. A complex program of agricultural pest control (IPM), applied in many parts of the world is developed. The program provides for the use of natural means of control and cases of critical pest numbers-the use of insecticides. When controlling certain types of insects it is advisable to apply the 'large area control' methods which provide for the insect destruction in places of their concentration prior to migration. Methods of pest control over large areas also include radiation sexual sterilization method (SSM), application of insect phoromons (sexual attractants) to prevent mating, other types of chemical attractants, traps, mass cultivation and reproduction of parasite plants and animals, destroying insects, as well as improvement of host-plant resistance. A great attention is paid to isotope and radiation application in pest control (labelling, sexual sterilization using ionising radiation, radiation application in genetic engineering, mutant plant cultivation)

  6. Anaphylaxis and insect allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demain, Jeffrey G; Minaei, Ashley A; Tracy, James M

    2010-08-01

    Anaphylaxis is an acute-onset and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can be caused by numerous allergic triggers including stinging insects. This review focuses on recent advances, natural history, risk factors and therapeutic considerations. Recent work suggests that concerns over insect allergy diagnosis continue to exist. This is especially true with individuals who have a convincing history of a serious life-threatening anaphylactic event, but lack the necessary diagnostic criteria of venom-specific IgE by skin test or in-vitro diagnostic methods to confirm the diagnosis. The role of occult mastocytosis or increased basophile reactivity may play a role in this subset population. Additionally, epinephrine continues to be underutilized as the primary acute intervention for an anaphylactic reaction in the emergent setting. The incidence of anaphylaxis continues to rise across all demographic groups, especially those less than 20 years of age. Fortunately, the fatalities related to anaphylaxis appear to have decreased over the past decades. Our understanding of various triggers, associated risk factors, as well as an improved understanding and utilization of biological markers such as serum tryptase have improved. Our ability to treat insect anaphylaxis by venom immunotherapy is highly effective. Unfortunately, anaphylaxis continues to be underappreciated and undertreated especially in regard to insect sting anaphylaxis. This includes the appropriate use of injectable epinephrine as the primary acute management tool. These findings suggest that continued education of the general population, primary care healthcare providers and emergency departments is required.

  7. Broadening insect gastronomy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halloran, Afton Marina Szasz; Münke, Christopher; Vantomme, Paul

    2015-01-01

    In recent years there has been a trend among chefs to diversify their ingredients and techniques, drawing inspiration from other cultures and creating new foods by blending this knowledge with the flavours of their local region. Edible insects, with their plethora of taste, aromatic, textural and...

  8. Culture of insect tissues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cestari, A.N.; Simoes, L.C.G.

    1978-01-01

    Several aspects are discussed related to the behavior of politenic chromosomes from Rhyncosciara salivary glands kept in culture during different periods of time, without interference of insect hormones. Nucleic acid-and protein synthesis in isolated nuclei and chromosomes are also investigated. Autoradiographic techniques and radioactive precursors for nucleic acids and proteins are used in the research. (M.A.) [pt

  9. Diversification of defensins and NLRs in Arabidopsis species by different evolutionary mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondragón-Palomino, Mariana; Stam, Remco; John-Arputharaj, Ajay; Dresselhaus, Thomas

    2017-12-15

    Genes encoding proteins underlying host-pathogen co-evolution and which are selected for new resistance specificities frequently are under positive selection, a process that maintains diversity. Here, we tested the contribution of natural selection, recombination and transcriptional divergence to the evolutionary diversification of the plant defensins superfamily in three Arabidopsis species. The intracellular NOD-like receptor (NLR) family was used for comparison because positive selection has been well documented in its members. Similar to defensins, NLRs are encoded by a large and polymorphic gene family and many of their members are involved in the immune response. Gene trees of Arabidopsis defensins (DEFLs) show a high prevalence of clades containing orthologs. This indicates that their diversity dates back to a common ancestor and species-specific duplications did not significantly contribute to gene family expansion. DEFLs are characterized by a pervasive pattern of neutral evolution with infrequent positive and negative selection as well as recombination. In comparison, most NLR alignment groups are characterized by frequent occurrence of positive selection and recombination in their leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain as well negative selection in their nucleotide-binding (NB-ARC) domain. While major NLR subgroups are expressed in pistils and leaves both in presence or absence of pathogen infection, the members of DEFL alignment groups are predominantly transcribed in pistils. Furthermore, conserved groups of NLRs and DEFLs are differentially expressed in response to Fusarium graminearum regardless of whether these genes are under positive selection or not. The present analyses of NLRs expands previous studies in Arabidopsis thaliana and highlights contrasting patterns of purifying and diversifying selection affecting different gene regions. DEFL genes show a different evolutionary trend, with fewer recombination events and significantly fewer instances of

  10. Biologic activities of recombinant human-beta-defensin-4 toward cultured human cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerashchenko, O L; Zhuravel, E V; Skachkova, O V; Khranovska, N N; Filonenko, V V; Pogrebnoy, P V; Soldatkina, M A

    2013-06-01

    The aim of the study was in vitro analysis of biological activity of recombinant human beta-defensin-4 (rec-hBD-4). hBD-4 cDNA was cloned into pGEX-2T vector, and recombinant plasmid was transformed into E. coli BL21(DE3) cells. To purify soluble fusion GST-hBD-4 protein, affinity chromatography was applied. Rec-hBD-4 was cleaved from the fusion protein with thrombin, and purified by reverse phase chromatography on Sep-Pack C18. Effects of rec-hBD-4 on proliferation, viability, cell cycle distribution, substrate-independent growth, and mobility of cultured human cancer cells of A431, A549, and TPC-1 lines were analyzed by direct cell counting technique, MTT assay, flow cytofluorometry, colony forming assay in semi-soft medium, and wound healing assay. Rec-hBD-4 was expressed in bacterial cells as GST-hBD-4 fusion protein, and purified by routine 3-step procedure (affine chromatography on glutathione-agarose, cleavage of fusion protein by thrombin, and reverse phase chromatography). Analysis of in vitro activity of rec-hBD-4 toward three human cancer cell lines has demonstrated that the defensin is capable to affect cell behaviour in concentration-dependent manner. In 1-100 nM concentrations rec-hBD-4 significantly stimulates cancer cell proliferation and viability, and promotes cell cycle progression through G2/M checkpoint, greatly enhances colony-forming activity and mobility of the cells. Treatment of the cells with 500 nM of rec-hBD-4 resulted in opposite effects: significant suppression of cell proliferation and viability, blockage of cell cycle in G1/S checkpoint, significant inhibition of cell migration and colony forming activity. Recombinant human beta-defensin-4 is biologically active peptide capable to cause oppositely directed effects toward biologic features of cancer cells in vitro dependent on its concentration.

  11. Insect (food) allergy and allergens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gier, Steffie; Verhoeckx, Kitty

    2018-05-03

    Insects represent an alternative for meat and fish in satisfying the increasing demand for sustainable sources of nutrition. Approximately two billion people globally consume insects. They are particularly popular in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Most research on insect allergy has focussed on occupational or inhalation allergy. Research on insect food safety, including allergenicity, is therefore of great importance. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of cases reporting allergy following insect ingestion, studies on food allergy to insects, proteins involved in insect allergy including cross-reactive proteins, and the possibility to alter the allergenic potential of insects by food processing and digestion. Food allergy to insects has been described for silkworm, mealworm, caterpillars, Bruchus lentis, sago worm, locust, grasshopper, cicada, bee, Clanis bilineata, and the food additive carmine, which is derived from female Dactylopius coccus insects. For cockroaches, which are also edible insects, only studies on inhalation allergy have been described. Various insect allergens have been identified including tropomyosin and arginine kinase, which are both pan-allergens known for their cross-reactivity with homologous proteins in crustaceans and house dust mite. Cross-reactivity and/or co-sensitization of insect tropomyosin and arginine kinase has been demonstrated in house dust mite and seafood (e.g. prawn, shrimp) allergic patients. In addition, many other (allergenic) species (various non-edible insects, arachnids, mites, seafoods, mammals, nematoda, trematoda, plants, and fungi) have been identified with sequence alignment analysis to show potential cross-reactivity with allergens of edible insects. It was also shown that thermal processing and digestion did not eliminate insect protein allergenicity. Although purified natural allergens are scarce and yields are low, recombinant allergens from cockroach, silkworm, and Indian mealmoth are

  12. Edible insects of Northern Angola

    OpenAIRE

    Lautenschläger,Thea; Neinhuis,Christoph; Monizi,Mawunu; Mandombe,José Lau; Förster,Anke; Henle,Thomas; Nuss,Matthias

    2017-01-01

    From 2013–2017, we accompanied and interviewed local people harvesting edible insects in the Northern Angolan province of Uíge. Insect and host plant samples were collected for species identification and nutritive analyses. Additionally, live caterpillars were taken to feed and keep until pupation and eclosion of the imago, necessary for morphological species identification. Altogether, 18 insect species eaten by humans were recorded. Twenty four edible insect species were formerly known from...

  13. Pathogen avoidance by insect predators

    OpenAIRE

    Meyling, Nicolai V.; Ormond, Emma; Roy, Helen E.; Pell, Judith K.

    2008-01-01

    Insects can detect cues related to the risk of attack by their natural enemies. Pathogens are among the natural enemies of insects and entomopathogenic fungi attack a wide array of host species. Evidence documents that social insects in particular have adapted behavioural mechanisms to avoid infection by fungal pathogens. These mechanisms are referred to as 'behavioural resistance'. However, there is little evidence for similar adaptations in non-social insects. We have conducted experime...

  14. Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... from St ing in g In sect s Flying Insects Outdoor workers are at risk of being stung by flying insects (bees, wasps, and hornets) and fire ants. While ... If a worker is stung by a stinging insect: ■■ Have someone stay with the worker to be ...

  15. The promise of insect genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P; Cazzamali, Giuseppe; Williamson, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Insects are the largest animal group in the world and are ecologically and economically extremely important. This importance of insects is reflected by the existence of currently 24 insect genome projects. Our perspective discusses the state-of-the-art of these genome projects and the impacts...

  16. Beta-Defensin 2 and 3 Promote Bacterial Clearance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by Inhibiting Macrophage Autophagy through Downregulation of Early Growth Response Gene-1 and c-FOS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongjian Wu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Beta-defensins 2 and 3 (BD2 and BD3 are inducible peptides present at the sites of infection, and they are well characterized for their antimicrobial activities and immune-regulatory functions. However, no study has thoroughly investigated their immunomodulatory effects on macrophage-mediated immune responses against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA. Here, we use THP-1 and RAW264.7 cell lines and demonstrate that BD2 and BD3 suppressed macrophage autophagy but enhanced the engulfment of PA and Zymosan bioparticles as well as the formation of phagolysosomes, using immunofluorescence staining and confocal microscopy. Plate count assay showed that macrophage-mediated phagocytosis and intracellular killing of PA were promoted by BD2 and BD3. Furthermore, microarray and real-time PCR showed that the expression of two genes, early growth response gene-1 (EGR1 and c-FOS, was attenuated by BD2 and BD3. Western blot revealed that BD2 and BD3 inhibited the expression and nuclear translocation of EGR1 and c-FOS. Knockdown of EGR1 and c-FOS by siRNA transfection suppressed macrophage autophagy before and after PA infection; while overexpression of these two transcription factors enhanced autophagy but reversed the role of BD2 and BD3 on macrophage-mediated PA eradication. Together, these results demonstrate a novel immune defense activity of BD2 and BD3, which promotes clearance of PA by inhibiting macrophage autophagy through downregulation of EGR1 and c-FOS.

  17. Accurate measurement of gene copy number for human alpha-defensin DEFA1A3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Fayeza F; Carpenter, Danielle; Mitchell, Laura; Mansouri, Omniah; Black, Holly A; Tyson, Jess; Armour, John A L

    2013-10-20

    Multi-allelic copy number variants include examples of extensive variation between individuals in the copy number of important genes, most notably genes involved in immune function. The definition of this variation, and analysis of its impact on function, has been hampered by the technical difficulty of large-scale but accurate typing of genomic copy number. The copy-variable alpha-defensin locus DEFA1A3 on human chromosome 8 commonly varies between 4 and 10 copies per diploid genome, and presents considerable challenges for accurate high-throughput typing. In this study, we developed two paralogue ratio tests and three allelic ratio measurements that, in combination, provide an accurate and scalable method for measurement of DEFA1A3 gene number. We combined information from different measurements in a maximum-likelihood framework which suggests that most samples can be assigned to an integer copy number with high confidence, and applied it to typing 589 unrelated European DNA samples. Typing the members of three-generation pedigrees provided further reassurance that correct integer copy numbers had been assigned. Our results have allowed us to discover that the SNP rs4300027 is strongly associated with DEFA1A3 gene copy number in European samples. We have developed an accurate and robust method for measurement of DEFA1A3 copy number. Interrogation of rs4300027 and associated SNPs in Genome-Wide Association Study SNP data provides no evidence that alpha-defensin copy number is a strong risk factor for phenotypes such as Crohn's disease, type I diabetes, HIV progression and multiple sclerosis.

  18. C/EBPβ Promotes Immunity to Oral Candidiasis through Regulation of β-Defensins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson-Abelson, Michelle R; Childs, Erin E; Ferreira, M Carolina; Bishu, Shrinivas; Conti, Heather R; Gaffen, Sarah L

    2015-01-01

    Humans or mice subjected to immunosuppression, such as corticosteroids or anti-cytokine biologic therapies, are susceptible to mucosal infections by the commensal fungus Candida albicans. Recently it has become evident that the Th17/IL-17 axis is essential for immunity to candidiasis, but the downstream events that control immunity to this fungus are poorly understood. The CCAAT/Enhancer Binding Protein-β (C/EBPβ) transcription factor is important for signaling by multiple inflammatory stimuli, including IL-17. C/EBPβ is regulated in a variety of ways by IL-17, and controls several downstream IL-17 target genes. However, the role of C/EBPβ in vivo is poorly understood, in part because C/EBPβ-deficient mice are challenging to breed and work with. In this study, we sought to understand the role of C/EBPβ in the context of an IL-17-dependent immune response, using C. albicans infection as a model system. Confirming prior findings, we found that C/EBPβ is required for immunity to systemic candidiasis. In contrast, C/EBPβ(-/-) mice were resistant to oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC), in a manner indistinguishable from immunocompetent WT mice. However, C/EBPβ(-/-) mice experienced more severe OPC than WT mice in the context of cortisone-induced immunosuppression. Expression of the antimicrobial peptide β-defensin (BD)-3 correlated strongly with susceptibility in C/EBPβ(-/-) mice, but no other IL-17-dependent genes were associated with susceptibility. Therefore, C/EBPβ contributes to immunity to mucosal candidiasis during cortisone immunosuppression in a manner linked to β-defensin 3 expression, but is apparently dispensable for the IL-17-dependent response.

  19. Human α-defensin (DEFA) gene expression helps to characterise benign and malignant salivary gland tumours

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winter, Jochen; Wenghoefer, Matthias; Pantelis, Annette; Kraus, Dominik; Reckenbeil, Jan; Reich, Rudolf; Jepsen, Soeren; Fischer, Hans-Peter; Allam, Jean-Pierre; Novak, Natalija

    2012-01-01

    Because of the infrequence of salivary gland tumours and their complex histopathological diagnosis it is still difficult to exactly predict their clinical course by means of recurrence, malignant progression and metastasis. In order to define new proliferation associated genes, purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of human α-defensins (DEFA) 1/3 and 4 in different tumour entities of the salivary glands with respect to malignancy. Tissue of salivary glands (n=10), pleomorphic adenomas (n=10), cystadenolymphomas (n=10), adenocarcinomas (n=10), adenoidcystic carcinomas (n=10), and mucoepidermoid carcinomas (n=10) was obtained during routine surgical procedures. RNA was extracted according to standard protocols. Transcript levels of DEFA 1/3 and 4 were analyzed by quantitative realtime PCR and compared with healthy salivary gland tissue. Additionally, the proteins encoded by DEFA 1/3 and DEFA 4 were visualized in paraffin-embedded tissue sections by immunohistochemical staining. Human α-defensins are traceable in healthy as well as in pathological altered salivary gland tissue. In comparison with healthy tissue, the gene expression of DEFA 1/3 and 4 was significantly (p<0.05) increased in all tumours – except for a significant decrease of DEFA 4 gene expression in pleomorphic adenomas and a similar transcript level for DEFA 1/3 compared to healthy salivary glands. A decreased gene expression of DEFA 1/3 and 4 might protect pleomorphic adenomas from malignant transformation into adenocarcinomas. A similar expression pattern of DEFA-1/3 and -4 in cystadenolymphomas and inflamed salivary glands underlines a potential importance of immunological reactions during the formation of Warthin’s tumour

  20. Beta-defensins-2 expressions in gingival epithelium cells after probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri induction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuti Kusumaningsih

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Beta-defensins (BD are antimicrobial peptides that play a role in defense against pathogens. Beta-defensins (BD are expressed by a variety of epithelial cells, including gingival epithelium, salivary glands, saliva and salivary duct. BD-1 is expressed constitutively, while BD-2 and BD-3 expressions can be induced by commensal bacteria. Probiotics are commensal bacteria, thus L. reuteri as probiotic bacteria may act as “inducer” for BD-2 in epithelial gingiva. S. mutans is the main bacteria causing dental caries and sensitive to BD-2. Purpose: This study was aimed to prove that the administration of probiotic L. reuteri may improve BD-2 expressions in the gingiva epithelium. Method: This study was conducted in vivo using twenty-four male Rattus norvegicus Wistar strains aged 10-12 weeks and weighed 120-150 g. Those rats were randomly divided into four groups, namely negative control group (not induced with L. reuteri or S. mutans, positive control group (induced with S. mutans for 14 days, treatment group 1 (induced with L. reuteri for 14 days and S. mutans for 7 days, and treatment group 2 (induced with L. reuteri and S. mutans for 14 days concurrently. The concentration of L. reuteri used was 4x108cfu/ml, while the concentration of S. mutans was 1x 1010cfu/ml. 0.1 ml of each was dropped in the region of the mandibular incisors. BD-2 expression was calculated using immunohistochemical method. The difference of BD-2 expressions in gingival epithelial cells in the respective groups was analyzed by Anova/SPSS. Results: There were significant differences in BD-2 expressions in gingival epithelial cells in each group based on the results of Anova test (p=0.001. Conclusion: The administration of probiotic L. reuteri is able to increase BD-2 expressions in gingival epithelial cells.

  1. The increasing of beta-defensin-2 level in saliva after probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri administration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuti Kusumaningsih

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Commesal bacteria is an excellent inducer for beta defensin-2 (BD-2. Probiotics bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri as commensal bacteria may play the same role as an excellent inducer for BD-2. Beta defensin is natural antimicrobial peptides widely expressed in oral cavity, including in epithelium salivary gland. Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans as the main of bacteria causing caries are sensitive to BD-2. Purpose: This research was aimed to determine whether administration of probiotic L. reuteri can increase salivary BD-2 level in Wistar rats. Methods: This research can be considered as a laboratory experimental research with a randomized control group post test only design. Twenty-four male Rattus norvegicus Wistar strain rats aged 3 months were used. They were randomly divided into four groups, namely two control groups (negative control group that was not induced and positive control group induced with S. mutans, and two treatment groups (K1: induced with L. reuteri for 14 days and S. mutans for 7 days, and K2: induced with L. reuteri and S. mutans simultaneously for 14 days. L. reuteri culture at a concentration of 108 CFU/ml and S. mutans culture at a concentration of 1010CFU/ml were induced into the oral cavity of Wistar rats. An examination of BD-2 level was then conducted by using Elisa techniques. results: There was significant difference of salivary BD-2 level among those treatment groups (p=0.001. BD-2 level in saliva was increased after the administration of L. reuteri. Conclusion: L. reuteri probiotic can increase salivary BD-2 level in Wistar rats.

  2. Insect herbivory and plant adaptation in an early successional community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Fines, Daniel M; Bogdanowicz, Steve; Huber, Meret

    2018-05-01

    To address the role of insect herbivores in adaptation of plant populations and the persistence of selection through succession, we manipulated herbivory in a long-term field experiment. We suppressed insects in half of 16 plots over nine years and examined the genotypic structure and chemical defense of common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), a naturally colonizing perennial apomictic plant. Insect suppression doubled dandelion abundance in the first few years, but had negligible effects thereafter. Using microsatellite DNA markers, we genotyped >2500 plants and demonstrate that insect suppression altered the genotypic composition of plots in both sampling years. Phenotypic and genotypic estimates of defensive terpenes and phenolics from the field plots allowed us to infer phenotypic plasticity and the response of dandelion populations to insect-mediated natural selection. The effects of insect suppression on plant chemistry were, indeed, driven both by plasticity and plant genotypic identity. In particular, di-phenolic inositol esters were more abundant in plots exposed to herbivory (due to the genotypic composition of the plots) and were also induced in response to herbivory. This field experiment thus demonstrates evolutionary sorting of plant genotypes in response to insect herbivores that was in same direction as the plastic defensive response within genotypes. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  3. Toxicological effects of pyrethroids on non-target aquatic insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwi, Frank B; Reddy, Gadi V P

    2015-11-01

    The toxicological effects of pyrethroids on non-target aquatic insects are mediated by several modes of entry of pyrethroids into aquatic ecosystems, as well as the toxicological characteristics of particular pyrethroids under field conditions. Toxicokinetics, movement across the integument of aquatic insects, and the toxicodynamics of pyrethroids are discussed, and their physiological, symptomatic and ecological effects evaluated. The relationship between pyrethroid toxicity and insecticide uptake is not fully defined. Based on laboratory and field data, it is likely that the susceptibility of aquatic insects (vector and non-vector) is related to biochemical and physiological constraints associated with life in aquatic ecosystems. Understanding factors that influence aquatic insects susceptibility to pyrethroids is critical for the effective and safe use of these compounds in areas adjacent to aquatic environments. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Increased expression and levels of human β defensins (hBD2 and hBD4 in adults with dental caries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Girolamo Jose Barrera

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Defensins are small anti-microbial peptides produced by epithelial cells. These peptides have a broad range of actions against microorganisms, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.Human defensins are classifi ed into two subfamilies, the α-, and β- defensins, which differ in their distribution of disulphide bonds between the six conserved cysteine residues. Defensins are found in salivaand others compartments of the body. Human β defensins 2 (hBD2, beta defensins 4 (hBD4 and alpha defensins 4 (hNP4 in saliva may contributes to vulnerability or resistance to caries. This study aimed to determine a possible correlation between caries and levels of defensins measuring the expression in gingival tissue and concentrations in saliva samples.Methods: Oral examinations were performed on 100 adults of both genders (18-30 years old, and unstimulated whole saliva was collected for immunoassays of the three peptides and for the salivary pH, buffercapacity, protein, and peroxidase activity. mRNA levels of defensins in gingival sample were assessed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR technique.Results: The median salivary levels of hBD2 and hBD4 were 1.88 μg/ml and 0.86 μg/ml respectively for the caries-free group (n=44 and 7.26 μ/ml (hBD2 and 4.25 μg/ml (hBD4 for all subjects with evidenceof caries (n=56. There was no difference in the levels of hNP4, salivary pH, and proteins between groups, however the peroxidase activity and buffer capacity (interval 6.0-5.0 were reduced in caries group. Transcriptional levels of hBD2 and hBD4 did correlate with caries experience, the mRNA expression of hBD2 and hBD4 were signifi cantly higher in patients with caries than in patients with no-caries (p Conclusion: We conclude that high salivary levels and expression of beta defensins, low peroxidase activity and buffer capacity may represent a biological response of oral tissue to caries. Our observation couldlead to new ways to prevent caries

  5. Increased expression and levels of human β defensins (hBD2 and hBD4 in adults with dental caries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Girolamo Jose Barrera

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Defensins are small anti-microbial peptides produced by epithelial cells. These peptides have a broad range of actions against microorganisms, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.Human defensins are classifi ed into two subfamilies, the α-, and β- defensins, which differ in their distribution of disulphide bonds between the six conserved cysteine residues. Defensins are found in salivaand others compartments of the body. Human β defensins 2 (hBD2, beta defensins 4 (hBD4 and alpha defensins 4 (hNP4 in saliva may contributes to vulnerability or resistance to caries. This study aimed to determine a possible correlation between caries and levels of defensins measuring the expression in gingival tissue and concentrations in saliva samples.Methods: Oral examinations were performed on 100 adults of both genders (18-30 years old, and unstimulated whole saliva was collected for immunoassays of the three peptides and for the salivary pH, buffercapacity, protein, and peroxidase activity. mRNA levels of defensins in gingival sample were assessed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR technique.Results: The median salivary levels of hBD2 and hBD4 were 1.88 μg/ml and 0.86 μg/ml respectively for the caries-free group (n=44 and 7.26 μ/ml (hBD2 and 4.25 μg/ml (hBD4 for all subjects with evidenceof caries (n=56. There was no difference in the levels of hNP4, salivary pH, and proteins between groups, however the peroxidase activity and buffer capacity (interval 6.0-5.0 were reduced in caries group. Transcriptional levels of hBD2 and hBD4 did correlate with caries experience, the mRNA expression of hBD2 and hBD4 were signifi cantly higher in patients with caries than in patients with no-caries (p < 0.01.Conclusion: We conclude that high salivary levels and expression of beta defensins, low peroxidase activity and buffer capacity may represent a biological response of oral tissue to caries. Our observation couldlead to new ways to prevent

  6. Cleptobiosis in Social Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D. Breed

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In this review of cleptobiosis, we not only focus on social insects, but also consider broader issues and concepts relating to the theft of food among animals. Cleptobiosis occurs when members of a species steal food, or sometimes nesting materials or other items of value, either from members of the same or a different species. This simple definition is not universally used, and there is some terminological confusion among cleptobiosis, cleptoparasitism, brood parasitism, and inquilinism. We first discuss the definitions of these terms and the confusion that arises from varying usage of the words. We consider that cleptobiosis usually is derived evolutionarily from established foraging behaviors. Cleptobionts can succeed by deception or by force, and we review the literature on cleptobiosis by deception or force in social insects. We focus on the best known examples of cleptobiosis, the ectatommine ant Ectatomma ruidum, the harvester ant Messor capitatus, and the stingless bee Lestrimellita limão. Cleptobiosis is facilitated either by deception or physical force, and we discuss both mechanisms. Part of this discussion is an analysis of the ecological implications (competition by interference and the evolutionary effects of cleptobiosis. We conclude with a comment on how cleptobiosis can increase the risk of disease or parasite spread among colonies of social insects.

  7. Beta-Defensin-2 and Beta-Defensin-3 Reduce Intestinal Damage Caused by Salmonella typhimurium Modulating the Expression of Cytokines and Enhancing the Probiotic Activity of Enterococcus faecium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Fusco

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The intestinal microbiota is a major factor in human health and disease. This microbial community includes autochthonous (permanent inhabitants and allochthonous (transient inhabitants microorganisms that contribute to maintaining the integrity of the intestinal wall, modulating responses to pathogenic noxae and representing a key factor in the maturation of the immune system. If this healthy microbiota is disrupted by antibiotics, chemotherapy, or a change in diet, intestinal colonization by pathogenic bacteria or viruses may occur, leading to disease. To manage substantial microbial exposure, epithelial surfaces of the intestinal tract produce a diverse arsenal of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs, including, of considerable importance, the β-defensins, which directly kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Based on the literature data, the purpose of this work was to create a line of intestinal epithelial cells able to stably express gene encoding human β-defensin-2 (hBD-2 and human β-defensin-3 (hBD-3, in order to test their role in S. typhimurium infections and their interaction with the bacteria of the gut microbiota.

  8. The cold-induced defensin TAD1 confers resistance against snow mold and Fusarium head blight in transgenic wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Kentaro; Kuwabara, Chikako; Umeki, Natsuki; Fujioka, Mari; Saburi, Wataru; Matsui, Hirokazu; Abe, Fumitaka; Imai, Ryozo

    2016-06-20

    TAD1 (Triticum aestivum defensin 1) is induced during cold acclimation in winter wheat and encodes a plant defensin with antimicrobial activity. In this study, we demonstrated that recombinant TAD1 protein inhibits hyphal growth of the snow mold fungus, Typhula ishikariensis in vitro. Transgenic wheat plants overexpressing TAD1 were created and tested for resistance against T. ishikariensis. Leaf inoculation assays revealed that overexpression of TAD1 confers resistance against the snow mold. In addition, the TAD1-overexpressors showed resistance against Fusarium graminearum, which causes Fusarium head blight, a devastating disease in wheat and barley. These results indicate that TAD1 is a candidate gene to improve resistance against multiple fungal diseases in cereal crops. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Defensins from the tick Ixodes scapularis are effective against phytopathogenic fungi and the human bacterial pathogen Listeria grayi

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tonk, Miray; Cabezas-Cruz, A.; Valdés, James J.; Rego, Ryan O. M.; Chrudimská, Tereza; Strnad, Martin; Šíma, Radek; Bell-Sakyi, L.; Franta, Z.; Vilcinskas, A.; Grubhoffer, Libor; Rahnamaeian, M.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 7, DEC 3 2015 (2014), s. 554 ISSN 1756-3305 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/11/1901; GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032; GA ČR GP13-12816P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Antimicrobial peptide * Defensin * Listeria grayi * Fusarium spp * Ixodes scapularis * Tick cell line Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 3.430, year: 2014

  10. The Unusual Resistance of Avian Defensin AvBD7 to Proteolytic Enzymes Preserves Its Antibacterial Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailleul, Geoffrey; Kravtzoff, Amanda; Joulin-Giet, Alix; Lecaille, Fabien; Labas, Valérie; Meudal, Hervé; Loth, Karine; Teixeira-Gomes, Ana-Paula; Gilbert, Florence B; Coquet, Laurent; Jouenne, Thierry; Brömme, Dieter; Schouler, Catherine; Landon, Céline; Lalmanach, Gilles; Lalmanach, Anne-Christine

    2016-01-01

    Defensins are frontline peptides of mucosal immunity in the animal kingdom, including birds. Their resistance to proteolysis and their ensuing ability to maintain antimicrobial potential remains questionable and was therefore investigated. We have shown by bottom-up mass spectrometry analysis of protein extracts that both avian beta-defensins AvBD2 and AvBD7 were ubiquitously distributed along the chicken gut. Cathepsin B was found by immunoblotting in jejunum, ileum, caecum, and caecal tonsils, while cathepsins K, L, and S were merely identified in caecal tonsils. Hydrolysis product of AvBD2 and AvBD7 incubated with a panel of proteases was analysed by RP-HPLC, mass spectrometry and antimicrobial assays. AvBD2 and AvBD7 were resistant to serine proteases and to cathepsins D and H. Conversely cysteine cathepsins B, K, L, and S degraded AvBD2 and abolished its antibacterial activity. Only cathepsin K cleaved AvBD7 and released Ile4-AvBD7, a N-terminal truncated natural peptidoform of AvBD7 that displayed antibacterial activity. Besides the 3-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet typical of beta-defensins, structural analysis of AvBD7 by two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy highlighted the restricted accessibility of the C-terminus embedded by the N-terminal region and gave a formal evidence of a salt bridge (Asp9-Arg12) that could account for proteolysis resistance. The differential susceptibility of avian defensins to proteolysis opens intriguing questions about a distinctive role in the mucosal immunity against pathogen invasion.

  11. Edible insects are the future?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Huis, Arnold

    2016-08-01

    The global increase in demand for meat and the limited land area available prompt the search for alternative protein sources. Also the sustainability of meat production has been questioned. Edible insects as an alternative protein source for human food and animal feed are interesting in terms of low greenhouse gas emissions, high feed conversion efficiency, low land use, and their ability to transform low value organic side streams into high value protein products. More than 2000 insect species are eaten mainly in tropical regions. The role of edible insects in the livelihoods and nutrition of people in tropical countries is discussed, but this food source is threatened. In the Western world, there is an increasing interest in edible insects, and examples are given. Insects as feed, in particular as aquafeed, have a large potential. Edible insects have about the same protein content as conventional meat and more PUFA. They may also have some beneficial health effects. Edible insects need to be processed and turned into palatable dishes. Food safety may be affected by toxicity of insects, contamination with pathogens, spoilage during conservation and allergies. Consumer attitude is a major issue in the Western world and a number of strategies are proposed to encourage insect consumption. We discuss research pathways to make insects a viable sector in food and agriculture: an appropriate disciplinary focus, quantifying its importance, comparing its nutritional value to conventional protein sources, environmental benefits, safeguarding food safety, optimising farming, consumer acceptance and gastronomy.

  12. Microwave processing of honey negatively affects honey antibacterial activity by inactivation of bee-derived glucose oxidase and defensin-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucekova, Marcela; Juricova, Valeria; Monton, Enrique; Martinotti, Simona; Ranzato, Elia; Majtan, Juraj

    2018-02-01

    Microwave (MW) thermal heating has been proposed as an efficient method for honey liquefaction, while maintaining honey quality criteria. However, little is known about the effects of MW thermal heating on honey antibacterial activity. In this study, we aimed to determine the effects of MW heating on the antibacterial activity of raw rapeseed honeys against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, with a particular focus on two major bee-derived antibacterial components, defensin-1 and hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ). Our results demonstrated that MW thermal heating completely abolished honey antibacterial activity whereas conventional thermal treatment at 45 and 55°C did not affect the antibacterial activity of honey samples. A significant decrease in both glucose oxidase activity and H 2 O 2 production as well as defensin-1 amount was observed in MW-treated samples. Given that defensin-1 and H 2 O 2 are regular antibacterial components of all honeys, MW heating may have similar negative effects on every type of crystallized/liquid honey. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Partial deletion of chromosome 8 β-defensin cluster confers sperm dysfunction and infertility in male mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu S Zhou

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available β-defensin peptides are a family of antimicrobial peptides present at mucosal surfaces, with the main site of expression under normal conditions in the male reproductive tract. Although they kill microbes in vitro and interact with immune cells, the precise role of these genes in vivo remains uncertain. We show here that homozygous deletion of a cluster of nine β-defensin genes (DefbΔ9 in the mouse results in male sterility. The sperm derived from the mutants have reduced motility and increased fragility. Epididymal sperm isolated from the cauda should require capacitation to induce the acrosome reaction but sperm from the mutants demonstrate precocious capacitation and increased spontaneous acrosome reaction compared to wild-types but have reduced ability to bind the zona pellucida of oocytes. Ultrastructural examination reveals a defect in microtubule structure of the axoneme with increased disintegration in mutant derived sperm present in the epididymis cauda region, but not in caput region or testes. Consistent with premature acrosome reaction, sperm from mutant animals have significantly increased intracellular calcium content. Thus we demonstrate in vivo that β-defensins are essential for successful sperm maturation, and their disruption leads to alteration in intracellular calcium, inappropriate spontaneous acrosome reaction and profound male infertility.

  14. ORAL INSECT REPELLENTS - INSECT TASTE RECEPTORS AND THEIR ACTION,

    Science.gov (United States)

    CULICIDAE, * CHEMORECEPTORS ), INSECT REPELLENTS, ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY, STIMULATION(PHYSIOLOGY), ELECTROLYTES(PHYSIOLOGY), BLOOD, INGESTION(PHYSIOLOGY), REPRODUCTION(PHYSIOLOGY), NUTRITION, ENTOMOLOGY, AEDES, MOUTH

  15. Direct and indirect chemical defence of pine against folivorous insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mumm, R.; Hilker, M.

    2006-01-01

    The chemical defence of pine against herbivorous insects has been intensively studied with respect to its effects on the performance and behaviour of the herbivores as well as on the natural enemies of pine herbivores. The huge variety of terpenoid pine components play a major role in mediating

  16. Plant interactions with multiple insect herbivores: from community to genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, J.M.; Kroes, A.; Li, Y.; Gols, R.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Every plant is a member of a complex insect community that consists of tens to hundreds of species that belong to different trophic levels. The dynamics of this community are critically influenced by the plant, which mediates interactions between community members that can occur on the plant

  17. Chemical diversity in Brassica oleracea affects biodiversity of insect herbivores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poelman, E.H.; Dam, van N.M.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.

    2009-01-01

    Intraspecific variation in plants plays a major role in the composition and diversity of the associated insect community. Resistance traits of plants are likely candidates mediating community composition. However, it is debated whether total concentrations of chemical compounds or specific compounds

  18. Insects vis a vis radiations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Srivastava, Meera

    2014-01-01

    Insects have turned out to be much more radiation resistant. For most insects a dose of about 500-700 Gy is required to kill them within a few weeks of exposure; although cockroaches require 900-1000 Gy. Killing insects in less than a few days requires much higher doses. These doses are for mature insects, the immature stages of some insects can be killed by doses as low as 40 Gy. Some insects can be sterilized at even lower doses, and this has application in insect control. Screw-worms, for example, can be sterilized with doses of 25-50 Gy. By contrast, doses as low as 3 Gy caused death of humans in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and doses of about 6 Gy caused death of fire fighters in the Chernobyl accident. It is not exactly certain what the basis is for the resistance of insects to ionizing radiation. It is not animal size by itself, nor lack of penetration. It is also not because of few dividing cells as these are more radiosensitive than non-dividing ones. The speculation that insects might have lower oxygen tensions, and the lack of oxygen is known to protect cells from radiation also does not work. Insect cells might have an enhanced capacity to repair radiation damage also could not be proven. The number of chromosomes influenced radio-sensitivity, and that insects had fewer chromosomes could be true. The radiation resistance is inherent to the cells, since cells derived from insects are also radiation resistant when grown in cell culture. For example, a dose of 60 Gy is required to produce a 80% kill of insect cells, while doses of 1-2 Gy are sufficient to generate this level of killing in mammalian cells. But, nevertheless, according to recent researches, radiation from Japan's leaking Fukushima nuclear plant has caused mutations in some butterflies. It is therefore clear that insects are resistant to ionizing radiation and that this resistance is an inherent property of their cells. But it is not clear exactly what the basis of this cellular resistance is

  19. Sterilizing insects with ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakri, A.; Mehta, K.; Lance, D.R.

    2005-01-01

    Exposure to ionizing radiation is currently the method of choice for rendering insects reproductively sterile for area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) programmes that integrate the sterile insect technique (SIT). Gamma radiation from isotopic sources (cobalt-60 or caesium-137) is most often used, but high-energy electrons and X-rays are other practical options. Insect irradiation is safe and reliable when established safety and quality-assurance guidelines are followed. The key processing parameter is absorbed dose, which must be tightly controlled to ensure that treated insects are sufficiently sterile in their reproductive cells and yet able to compete for mates with wild insects. To that end, accurate dosimetry (measurement of absorbed dose) is critical. Irradiation data generated since the 1950s, covering over 300 arthropod species, indicate that the dose needed for sterilization of arthropods varies from less than 5 Gy for blaberid cockroaches to 300 Gy or more for some arctiid and pyralid moths. Factors such as oxygen level, and insect age and stage during irradiation, and many others, influence both the absorbed dose required for sterilization and the viability of irradiated insects. Consideration of these factors in the design of irradiation protocols can help to find a balance between the sterility and competitiveness of insects produced for programmes that release sterile insects. Many programmes apply 'precautionary' radiation doses to increase the security margin of sterilization, but this overdosing often lowers competitiveness to the point where the overall induced sterility in the wild population is reduced significantly. (author)

  20. Big defensins, a diverse family of antimicrobial peptides that follows different patterns of expression in hemocytes of the oyster Crassostrea gigas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Rafael D; Santini, Adrien; Fievet, Julie; Bulet, Philippe; Destoumieux-Garzón, Delphine; Bachère, Evelyne

    2011-01-01

    Big defensin is an antimicrobial peptide composed of a highly hydrophobic N-terminal region and a cationic C-terminal region containing six cysteine residues involved in three internal disulfide bridges. While big defensin sequences have been reported in various mollusk species, few studies have been devoted to their sequence diversity, gene organization and their expression in response to microbial infections. Using the high-throughput Digital Gene Expression approach, we have identified in Crassostrea gigas oysters several sequences coding for big defensins induced in response to a Vibrio infection. We showed that the oyster big defensin family is composed of three members (named Cg-BigDef1, Cg-BigDef2 and Cg-BigDef3) that are encoded by distinct genomic sequences. All Cg-BigDefs contain a hydrophobic N-terminal domain and a cationic C-terminal domain that resembles vertebrate β-defensins. Both domains are encoded by separate exons. We found that big defensins form a group predominantly present in mollusks and closer to vertebrate defensins than to invertebrate and fungi CSαβ-containing defensins. Moreover, we showed that Cg-BigDefs are expressed in oyster hemocytes only and follow different patterns of gene expression. While Cg-BigDef3 is non-regulated, both Cg-BigDef1 and Cg-BigDef2 transcripts are strongly induced in response to bacterial challenge. Induction was dependent on pathogen associated molecular patterns but not damage-dependent. The inducibility of Cg-BigDef1 was confirmed by HPLC and mass spectrometry, since ions with a molecular mass compatible with mature Cg-BigDef1 (10.7 kDa) were present in immune-challenged oysters only. From our biochemical data, native Cg-BigDef1 would result from the elimination of a prepropeptide sequence and the cyclization of the resulting N-terminal glutamine residue into a pyroglutamic acid. We provide here the first report showing that big defensins form a family of antimicrobial peptides diverse not only in terms

  1. Big Defensins, a Diverse Family of Antimicrobial Peptides That Follows Different Patterns of Expression in Hemocytes of the Oyster Crassostrea gigas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Rafael D.; Santini, Adrien; Fievet, Julie; Bulet, Philippe; Destoumieux-Garzón, Delphine; Bachère, Evelyne

    2011-01-01

    Background Big defensin is an antimicrobial peptide composed of a highly hydrophobic N-terminal region and a cationic C-terminal region containing six cysteine residues involved in three internal disulfide bridges. While big defensin sequences have been reported in various mollusk species, few studies have been devoted to their sequence diversity, gene organization and their expression in response to microbial infections. Findings Using the high-throughput Digital Gene Expression approach, we have identified in Crassostrea gigas oysters several sequences coding for big defensins induced in response to a Vibrio infection. We showed that the oyster big defensin family is composed of three members (named Cg-BigDef1, Cg-BigDef2 and Cg-BigDef3) that are encoded by distinct genomic sequences. All Cg-BigDefs contain a hydrophobic N-terminal domain and a cationic C-terminal domain that resembles vertebrate β-defensins. Both domains are encoded by separate exons. We found that big defensins form a group predominantly present in mollusks and closer to vertebrate defensins than to invertebrate and fungi CSαβ-containing defensins. Moreover, we showed that Cg-BigDefs are expressed in oyster hemocytes only and follow different patterns of gene expression. While Cg-BigDef3 is non-regulated, both Cg-BigDef1 and Cg-BigDef2 transcripts are strongly induced in response to bacterial challenge. Induction was dependent on pathogen associated molecular patterns but not damage-dependent. The inducibility of Cg-BigDef1 was confirmed by HPLC and mass spectrometry, since ions with a molecular mass compatible with mature Cg-BigDef1 (10.7 kDa) were present in immune-challenged oysters only. From our biochemical data, native Cg-BigDef1 would result from the elimination of a prepropeptide sequence and the cyclization of the resulting N-terminal glutamine residue into a pyroglutamic acid. Conclusions We provide here the first report showing that big defensins form a family of antimicrobial

  2. Big defensins, a diverse family of antimicrobial peptides that follows different patterns of expression in hemocytes of the oyster Crassostrea gigas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael D Rosa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Big defensin is an antimicrobial peptide composed of a highly hydrophobic N-terminal region and a cationic C-terminal region containing six cysteine residues involved in three internal disulfide bridges. While big defensin sequences have been reported in various mollusk species, few studies have been devoted to their sequence diversity, gene organization and their expression in response to microbial infections. FINDINGS: Using the high-throughput Digital Gene Expression approach, we have identified in Crassostrea gigas oysters several sequences coding for big defensins induced in response to a Vibrio infection. We showed that the oyster big defensin family is composed of three members (named Cg-BigDef1, Cg-BigDef2 and Cg-BigDef3 that are encoded by distinct genomic sequences. All Cg-BigDefs contain a hydrophobic N-terminal domain and a cationic C-terminal domain that resembles vertebrate β-defensins. Both domains are encoded by separate exons. We found that big defensins form a group predominantly present in mollusks and closer to vertebrate defensins than to invertebrate and fungi CSαβ-containing defensins. Moreover, we showed that Cg-BigDefs are expressed in oyster hemocytes only and follow different patterns of gene expression. While Cg-BigDef3 is non-regulated, both Cg-BigDef1 and Cg-BigDef2 transcripts are strongly induced in response to bacterial challenge. Induction was dependent on pathogen associated molecular patterns but not damage-dependent. The inducibility of Cg-BigDef1 was confirmed by HPLC and mass spectrometry, since ions with a molecular mass compatible with mature Cg-BigDef1 (10.7 kDa were present in immune-challenged oysters only. From our biochemical data, native Cg-BigDef1 would result from the elimination of a prepropeptide sequence and the cyclization of the resulting N-terminal glutamine residue into a pyroglutamic acid. CONCLUSIONS: We provide here the first report showing that big defensins form a family

  3. Expression of beta-defensins pBD-1 and pBD-2 along the small tract of the pig: Lack of upregulation in vivo upon Salmonella typhimurium infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldhuizen, E.J.; Dijk, van A.; Tersteeg, M.H.; Kalkhove, S.I.; Meulen, van der J.; Niewold, T.A.; Haagsman, H.P.

    2007-01-01

    Defensins are antimicrobial peptides that play an important role in the innate immune response in the intestine. Up to date, only one ß-defensin (pBD-1), has been described in pig, which was found to be expressed at low levels in the intestine. We set-up a quantitative PCR method to detect the gene

  4. Correlation of levels of alpha-defensins determined by HPLC-ESI-MS in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid with the diagnosis of pneumonia in premature neonates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirone, Chiara; Boccacci, Simona; Inzitari, Rosanna; Tana, Milena; Aurilia, Claudia; Fanali, Chiara; Cabras, Tiziana; Messana, Irene; Castagnola, Massimo; Romagnoli, Costantino; Vento, Giovanni

    2010-08-01

    The presence of alpha-defensins in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was investigated in a cohort of preterm newborns with gestational age (GA) groups: pneumonia group of nine neonates suffering from pulmonary infection (GA: 26.1 +/- 2.1 wk; birth weight: 787.4 +/- 309.9 g), with or without associated bloodstream infection, and nonpneumonia group of 15 neonates (GA: 27.7 +/- 2.0 wk; birth weight: 1019.0 +/- 319.8 g). BALF culture was positive for CONS (n = 5), Staphylococcus aureus (n = 1), and Candida spp (n = 3). BALF samples were analyzed by HPLC-electrospray Ionization-mass spectrometer. The alpha-defensins 1-4 concentration, absolute and differential white cells count were measured. Relative amounts of alpha-defensins 1-4 and the absolute number of neutrophils were found significantly higher in the pneumonia group with respect to the nonpneumonia group (p < 0.05). Moreover, positive significant correlations between the number of neutrophils and the alpha-defensins 1-3 levels were observed. In conclusion, our data show that preterm newborns, also at the lower GA, are able to produce alpha-defensins, underlining that their innate defense system is already active before the at-term delivery date.

  5. Hydrodynamics of insect spermatozoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pak, On Shun; Lauga, Eric

    2010-11-01

    Microorganism motility plays important roles in many biological processes including reproduction. Many microorganisms propel themselves by propagating traveling waves along their flagella. Depending on the species, propagation of planar waves (e.g. Ceratium) and helical waves (e.g. Trichomonas) were observed in eukaryotic flagellar motion, and hydrodynamic models for both were proposed in the past. However, the motility of insect spermatozoa remains largely unexplored. An interesting morphological feature of such cells, first observed in Tenebrio molitor and Bacillus rossius, is the double helical deformation pattern along the flagella, which is characterized by the presence of two superimposed helical flagellar waves (one with a large amplitude and low frequency, and the other with a small amplitude and high frequency). Here we present the first hydrodynamic investigation of the locomotion of insect spermatozoa. The swimming kinematics, trajectories and hydrodynamic efficiency of the swimmer are computed based on the prescribed double helical deformation pattern. We then compare our theoretical predictions with experimental measurements, and explore the dependence of the swimming performance on the geometric and dynamical parameters.

  6. Diversity and functions of protein glycosylation in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walski, Tomasz; De Schutter, Kristof; Van Damme, Els J M; Smagghe, Guy

    2017-04-01

    The majority of proteins is modified with carbohydrate structures. This modification, called glycosylation, was shown to be crucial for protein folding, stability and subcellular location, as well as protein-protein interactions, recognition and signaling. Protein glycosylation is involved in multiple physiological processes, including embryonic development, growth, circadian rhythms, cell attachment as well as maintenance of organ structure, immunity and fertility. Although the general principles of glycosylation are similar among eukaryotic organisms, insects synthesize a distinct repertoire of glycan structures compared to plants and vertebrates. Consequently, a number of unique insect glycans mediate functions specific to this class of invertebrates. For instance, the core α1,3-fucosylation of N-glycans is absent in vertebrates, while in insects this modification is crucial for the development of wings and the nervous system. At present, most of the data on insect glycobiology comes from research in Drosophila. Yet, progressively more information on the glycan structures and the importance of glycosylation in other insects like beetles, caterpillars, aphids and bees is becoming available. This review gives a summary of the current knowledge and recent progress related to glycan diversity and function(s) of protein glycosylation in insects. We focus on N- and O-glycosylation, their synthesis, physiological role(s), as well as the molecular and biochemical basis of these processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Love Games that Insects Play

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 3; Issue 1. Love Games that Insects Play - The Evolution of Sexual Behaviours in Insects ... Author Affiliations. K N Ganeshaiah1. Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Bangalore 560 065, India ...

  8. Insect symbiotic bacteria harbour viral pathogens for transovarial transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Dongsheng; Mao, Qianzhuo; Chen, Yong; Liu, Yuyan; Chen, Qian; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xiaofeng; Chen, Hongyan; Li, Yi; Wei, Taiyun

    2017-03-06

    Many insects, including mosquitoes, planthoppers, aphids and leafhoppers, are the hosts of bacterial symbionts and the vectors for transmitting viral pathogens 1-3 . In general, symbiotic bacteria can indirectly affect viral transmission by enhancing immunity and resistance to viruses in insects 3-5 . Whether symbiotic bacteria can directly interact with the virus and mediate its transmission has been unknown. Here, we show that an insect symbiotic bacterium directly harbours a viral pathogen and mediates its transovarial transmission to offspring. We observe rice dwarf virus (a plant reovirus) binding to the envelopes of the bacterium Sulcia, a common obligate symbiont of leafhoppers 6-8 , allowing the virus to exploit the ancient oocyte entry path of Sulcia in rice leafhopper vectors. Such virus-bacterium binding is mediated by the specific interaction of the viral capsid protein and the Sulcia outer membrane protein. Treatment with antibiotics or antibodies against Sulcia outer membrane protein interferes with this interaction and strongly prevents viral transmission to insect offspring. This newly discovered virus-bacterium interaction represents the first evidence that a viral pathogen can directly exploit a symbiotic bacterium for its transmission. We believe that such a model of virus-bacterium communication is a common phenomenon in nature.

  9. Challenging metastatic breast cancer with the natural defensin PvD1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueira, Tiago N; Oliveira, Filipa D; Almeida, Inês; Mello, Érica O; Gomes, Valdirene M; Castanho, Miguel A R B; Gaspar, Diana

    2017-11-09

    Metastatic breast cancer is a very serious life threatening condition that poses many challenges for the pharmaceutical development of effective chemotherapeutics. As the therapeutics targeted to the localized masses in breast improve, metastatic lesions in the brain slowly increase in their incidence compromising successful treatment outcomes overall. The blood-brain-barrier (BBB) is one important obstacle for the management of breast cancer brain metastases. New therapeutic approaches are in demand for overcoming the BBB's breaching by breast tumor cells. In this work we demonstrate the potential dual role of a natural antimicrobial plant defensin, PvD 1 : it interferes with the formation of solid tumors in the breast and concomitantly controls adhesion of breast cancer cells to human brain endothelial cells. We have used a combination of techniques that probe PvD 1 's effect at the single cell level and reveal that this peptide can effectively damage breast tumor cells, leaving healthy breast and brain cells unaffected. Results suggest that PvD1 quickly internalizes in cancer cells but remains located in the membrane of normal cells with no significant damage to its structure and biomechanical properties. These interactions in turn modulate cell adhesiveness between tumor and BBB cells. PvD 1 is a potential template for the design of innovative pharmacological approaches for metastatic breast cancer treatment: the manipulation of the biomechanical properties of tumor cells that ultimately prevent their attachment to the BBB.

  10. Human β-defensin 3 inhibits periodontitis development by suppressing inflammatory responses in macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Di; Lyu, Jinglu; Li, Houxuan; Lei, Lang; Bian, Tianying; Li, Lili; Yan, Fuhua

    2017-11-01

    Human β-defensin 3 (hBD3) is a cationic peptide with immunomodulatory effects on both innate and acquired immune responses. Periodontitis, an inflammatory disease that extends deep into periodontal tissues, causes the loss of supporting structures around the tooth. The present study assessed the effects of hBD3 as a monotherapy for periodontitis in mice and explored its potential mechanism. In vivo, hBD3 inhibited the levels of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin-6, and matrix metalloprotease-9 in periodontium exposed to Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.g) in a mouse periodontitis model; reduced osteoclast formation and lower alveolar bone loss were also observed. In addition, hBD3 was related to the expression of polarization signature molecules in circulating monocytes. In vitro, hBD3 notably suppressed the production of TNF-α and interleukin-6 in RAW 264.7 cells stimulated by the lipopolysaccharide of P.g. Moreover, hBD3 attenuated polarization of RAW 264.7 cells into the M1 phenotype, with reduced activation of nuclear factor-κB signal transduction. In conclusion, hBD3 exhibits potent anti-periodontitis properties both in vitro and in vivo, and this effect may be correlated to inhibition of the nuclear factor-κB pathway and macrophage polarization. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of Genetically Modified Milk Containing Human Beta-Defensin-3 on Gastrointestinal Health of Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Chen

    Full Text Available This study was performed to investigate the effects of genetically modified (GM milk containing human beta-defensin-3 (HBD3 on mice by a 90-day feeding study. The examined parameters included the digestibility of GM milk, general physical examination, gastric emptying function, intestinal permeability, intestinal microflora composition of mice, and the possibility of horizontal gene transfer (HGT. The emphasis was placed on the effects on gastrointestinal (GI tract due to the fact that GI tract was the first site contacting with food and played crucial roles in metabolic reactions, nutrition absorption and immunity regulation in the host. However, the traditional methods for analyzing the potential toxicological risk of GM product pay little attention on GI health. In this study, the results showed GM milk was easy to be digested in simulated gastric fluid, and it did not have adverse effects on general and GI health compared to conventional milk. And there is little possibility of HGT. This study may enrich the safety assessment of GM product on GI health.

  12. Advances on polyphenism in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Xian-Ci; Yu, Li

    2017-09-20

    Polyphenism denotes that one genome produces two or more distinct phenotypes due to environmental inductions. Many cases have been reported in insects, for example, metamorphosis, seasonal polyphenism, the caste of eusocial insects and so on. Polyphenism is one of the most important reasons for insects to survive and thrive, because insects can adapt and use the environmental cues around them in order to avoid predators and reproduce by changing their phenotypes. Polyphenism has received growing attentions, ranging from the earlier description of this phenomenon to the exploration of possible inducing factors. With the recent advent of the genomic era, more and more studies based on next generation sequencing, gene knockout and RNA interference have been reported to reveal the molecular mechanism of polyphenism. In this review, we summarize the progresses of the polyphenism in insects and envision prospects of future researches.

  13. Plant defense against insect herbivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fürstenberg-Hägg, Joel; Zagrobelny, Mika; Bak, Søren

    2013-01-01

    , defense compounds. These bioactive specialized plant defense compounds may repel or intoxicate insects, while defense proteins often interfere with their digestion. Volatiles are released upon herbivory to repel herbivores, attract predators or for communication between leaves or plants, and to induce......Plants have been interacting with insects for several hundred million years, leading to complex defense approaches against various insect feeding strategies. Some defenses are constitutive while others are induced, although the insecticidal defense compound or protein classes are often similar...... defense responses. Plants also apply morphological features like waxes, trichomes and latices to make the feeding more difficult for the insects. Extrafloral nectar, food bodies and nesting or refuge sites are produced to accommodate and feed the predators of the herbivores. Meanwhile, herbivorous insects...

  14. Variation in plant-mediated interactions between rhizobacteria and caterpillars: potential role of soil composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pangesti, N.P.D.; Pineda Gomez, A.M.; Dicke, M.; Loon, van J.J.A.

    2015-01-01

    Selected strains of non-pathogenic rhizobacteria can trigger induced systemic resistance (ISR) in plants against aboveground insect herbivores. However, the underlying mechanisms of plant-mediated interactions between rhizobacteria and herbivorous insects are still poorly understood. Using

  15. Insect anaphylaxis: addressing clinical challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tracy, James M; Lewis, Elena J; Demain, Jeffrey G

    2011-08-01

    Few allergic reactions are as potentially life-threatening, or frightening to the patient, as anaphylaxis. Food, medications, and insect stings are the three most common triggers of anaphylaxis, but insect allergy provides the best opportunity to understand the biology of anaphylaxis. If the physician can establish a diagnosis of insect allergy, treatment with nearly 98% effectiveness can be initiated. However, sometimes patients have a compelling history of insect sting anaphylaxis, but negative skin and blood tests. This situation presents us with a fascinating opportunity to understand the biology of insect anaphylaxis. Recent and ongoing work shows that occult mast cell disease may be critical in insect anaphylaxis. Mastocytosis, serum tryptase and basophil biology are key elements; genetic markers may potentially help us diagnose at-risk individuals and determine proper treatment. Understanding basophil activation may play an additional role both in diagnosis and knowing when therapy might be terminated. Mast cell disease, serum tryptase and basophil biology are providing an opportunity to better understand and manage insect allergy. This evolving understanding should improve long-term management of insect anaphylaxis and help us to better understand the clinical dilemma of appropriate management of the history-positive patient in which testing is unable to detect venom-specific IgE. Furthermore, omalizumab's immunomodulatory effects may play a role in difficult-to-treat insect allergy and mastocytosis. Finally, unrelated to these, but still important as an ongoing risk factor, is the continued underutilization of epinephrine for both acute and long-term management of insect anaphylaxis.

  16. Utilization of plant-derived recombinant human β-defensins (hBD-1 and hBD-2) for averting salmonellosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patro, Sunita; Maiti, Soumitra; Panda, Santosh Kumar; Dey, Nrisingha

    2015-04-01

    We describe the use of plant-made β-defensins as effective antimicrobial substances for controlling salmonellosis, a deadly infection caused by Salmonella typhimurium (referred to further as S. typhi). Human β-defensin-1 (hBD-1) and -2 (hBD-2) were expressed under the control of strong constitutive promoters in tobacco plants, and bio-active β-defensins were successfully extracted. In the in vitro studies, enriched recombinant plant-derived human β-defensin-1 (phBD-1) and -2 (phBD-2) obtained from both T1 and T2 transgenic plants showed significant antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and S. typhi when used individually and in various combinations. The 2:1 peptide combination of phBD-1:phBD-2 with peptides isolated from T1-and T2-generation plants reduced the growth of S. typhi by 96 and 85 %, respectively. In vivo studies employing the mouse model (Balb/c) of Salmonella infection clearly demonstrated that the administration of plant-derived defensins individually and in different combinations enhanced the mean survival time of Salmonella-infected animals. When treatment consisted of the 2:1 phBD-1:phBD-2 combination, approximately 50 % of the infected mice were still alive at 206 h post-inoculation; the lowest number of viable S. typhi was observed in the liver and spleen of infected animals. We conclude that plant-made recombinant β-defensins (phBD-1 and phBD-2) are promising antimicrobial substances and have the potential to become additional tools against salmonellosis, particularly when used in combination.

  17. The process of lipid storage in insect oocytes: The involvement of β-chain of ATP synthase in lipophorin-mediated lipid transfer in the chagas' disease vector Panstrongylus megistus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fruttero, Leonardo L; Leyria, Jimena; Ramos, Fabián O; Stariolo, Raúl; Settembrini, Beatriz P; Canavoso, Lilián E

    2017-01-01

    Lipophorin is the main lipoprotein in the hemolymph of insects. During vitellogenesis, lipophorin delivers its hydrophobic cargo to developing oocytes by its binding to non-endocytic receptors at the plasma membrane of the cells. In some species however, lipophorin may also be internalized to some extent, thus maximizing the storage of lipid resources in growing oocytes. The ectopic β chain of ATP synthase (β-ATPase) was recently described as a putative non-endocytic lipophorin receptor in the anterior midgut of the hematophagous insect Panstrongylus megistus. In the present work, females of this species at the vitellogenic stage of the reproductive cycle were employed to investigate the role of β-ATPase in the transfer of lipids to the ovarian tissue. Subcellular fractionation and western blot revealed the presence of β-ATPase in the microsomal membranes of the ovarian tissue, suggesting its localization in the plasma membrane. Immunofluorescence assays showed partial co-localization of β-ATPase and lipophorin in the membrane of oocytes as well as in the basal domain of the follicular epithelial cells. Ligand blotting and co-immunoprecipitation approaches confirmed the interaction between lipophorin and β-ATPase. In vivo experiments with an anti-β-ATPase antibody injected to block such an interaction demonstrated that the antibody significantly impaired the transfer of fatty acids from lipophorin to the oocyte. However, the endocytic pathway of lipophorin was not affected. On the other hand, partial inhibition of ATP synthase activity did not modify the transfer of lipids from lipophorin to oocytes. When the assays were performed at 4°C to diminish endocytosis, the results showed that the antibody interfered with lipophorin binding to the oocyte plasma membrane as well as with the transfer of fatty acids from the lipoprotein to the oocyte. The findings strongly support that β-ATPase plays a role as a docking lipophorin receptor at the ovary of P. megistus

  18. The Alpha-Defensin Immunoassay and Leukocyte Esterase Colorimetric Strip Test for the Diagnosis of Periprosthetic Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, M.C.; Beswick, A.D.; Kunutsor, S.K.; Wilson, M.J.; Whitehouse, M.R.; Blom, A.W.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Synovial biomarkers have recently been adopted as diagnostic tools for periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), but their utility is uncertain. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to synthesize the evidence on the accuracy of the alpha-defensin immunoassay and leukocyte esterase colorimetric strip test for the diagnosis of PJI compared with the Musculoskeletal Infection Society diagnostic criteria. Methods: We performed a systematic review to identify diagnostic technique studies evaluating the accuracy of alpha-defensin or leukocyte esterase in the diagnosis of PJI. MEDLINE and Embase on Ovid, ACM, ADS, arXiv, CERN DS (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire Document Server), CrossRef DOI (Digital Object Identifier), DBLP (Digital Bibliography & Library Project), Espacenet, Google Scholar, Gutenberg, HighWire, IEEE Xplore (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers digital library), INSPIRE, JSTOR (Journal Storage), OAlster (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting), Open Content, Pubget, PubMed, and Web of Science were searched for appropriate studies indexed from inception until May 30, 2015, along with unpublished or gray literature. The classification of studies and data extraction were performed independently by 2 reviewers. Data extraction permitted meta-analysis of sensitivity and specificity with construction of receiver operating characteristic curves for each test. Results: We included 11 eligible studies. The pooled diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of alpha-defensin (6 studies) for PJI were 1.00 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82 to 1.00) and 0.96 (95% CI, 0.89 to 0.99), respectively. The area under the curve (AUC) for alpha-defensin and PJI was 0.99 (95% CI, 0.98 to 1.00). The pooled diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of leukocyte esterase (5 studies) for PJI were 0.81 (95% CI, 0.49 to 0.95) and 0.97 (95% CI, 0.82 to 0.99), respectively. The AUC for leukocyte esterase and PJI

  19. The Antimicrobial Peptide Human Beta-Defensin-3 Is Induced by Platelet-Released Growth Factors in Primary Keratinocytes

    OpenAIRE

    Andreas Bayer; Justus Lammel; Mersedeh Tohidnezhad; Sebastian Lippross; Peter Behrendt; Tim Klüter; Thomas Pufe; Jochen Cremer; Holger Jahr; Franziska Rademacher; Regine Gläser; Jürgen Harder

    2017-01-01

    Platelet-released growth factors (PRGF) and its related clinically used formulations (e.g., Vivostat Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF?)) contain a variety of chemokines, cytokines, and growth factors and are therefore used to support healing of chronic, hard-to-heal, or infected wounds. Human beta-defensin-3 (hBD-3) is an antimicrobial peptide inducibly expressed in human keratinocytes especially upon wounding. The potent antimicrobial activity of hBD-3 together with its wound closure-promoting acti...

  20. Inherited sterility in insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carpenter, J.E.; Marec, F.; Bloem, S.

    2005-01-01

    The unique genetic phenomena responsible for inherited sterility (IS) in Lepidoptera and some other arthropods, as compared with full sterility, provide advantages for pest control. Lepidopteran females are usually more sensitive to radiation than males of the same species. This allows the radiation dose to be adjusted to suit programme requirements. When partially sterile males mate with wild females, the radiation-induced deleterious effects are inherited by the F 1 generation. As a result, egg hatch is reduced and the resulting offspring are both highly sterile and predominately male. Compared with the high radiation required to achieve full sterility in Lepidoptera, the lower dose of radiation used to induce F 1 sterility increases the quality and competitiveness of the released insects as measured by improved dispersal after release, increased mating ability, and superior sperm competition. F 1 sterile progeny produced in the field enhance the efficacy of released partially sterile males, and improve compatibility with other pest control strategies. In addition, F 1 sterile progeny can be used to increase the production of natural enemies, and to study the potential host and geographical ranges of exotic lepidopteran pests. (author)

  1. Oviduct-Specific Expression of Human Neutrophil Defensin 4 in Lentivirally Generated Transgenic Chickens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tongxin; Wu, Hanyu; Cao, Dainan; Li, Qingyuan; Zhang, Yaqiong; Li, Ning; Hu, Xiaoxiang

    2015-01-01

    The expression of oviduct-specific recombinant proteins in transgenic chickens is a promising technology for the production of therapeutic biologics in eggs. In this study, we constructed a lentiviral vector encoding an expression cassette for human neutrophil defensin 4 (HNP4), a compound that displays high activity against Escherichia coli, and produced transgenic chickens that expressed the recombinant HNP4 protein in egg whites. After the antimicrobial activity of the recombinant HNP4 protein was tested at the cellular level, a 2.8-kb ovalbumin promoter was used to drive HNP4 expression specifically in oviduct tissues. From 669 injected eggs, 218 chickens were successfully hatched. Ten G0 roosters, with semens identified as positive for the transgene, were mated with wild-type hens to generate G1 chickens. From 1,274 total offspring, fifteen G1 transgenic chickens were positive for the transgene, which was confirmed by PCR and Southern blotting. The results of the Southern blotting and genome walking indicated that a single copy of the HNP4 gene was integrated into chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 24 of the chickens. As expected, HNP4 expression was restricted to the oviduct tissues, and the levels of both transcriptional and translational HNP4 expression varied greatly in transgenic chickens with different transgene insertion sites. The amount of HNP4 protein expressed in the eggs of G1 and G2 heterozygous transgenic chickens ranged from 1.65 μg/ml to 10.18 μg/ml. These results indicated that the production of transgenic chickens that expressed HNP4 protein in egg whites was successful. PMID:26020529

  2. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin-D3 Induces Avian β-Defensin Gene Expression in Chickens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long Zhang

    Full Text Available Host defense peptides (HDPs play a critical role in innate immunity. Specific modulation of endogenous HDP synthesis by dietary compounds has been regarded as a novel approach to boost immunity and disease resistance in animal production. 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 (1,25D3 is well known as a powerful HDP inducer in humans, but limited information about the effect of 1,25D3 on HDPs in poultry is available. Here, we sought to examine whether 1,25D3 could stimulate avian β-defensin (AvBD expression in chickens. We used chicken embryo intestinal epithelial cells (CEIEPCs and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs to study the effect of 1,25D3 on the expression of AvBDs. We observed that 1,25D3 is able to up-regulate the expression of several AvBDs in CEIEPCs and PBMCs, whereas it increased the amounts of AvBD4 mRNA in CEIEPCs only in the presence of lipopolysaccharide (LPS. On the other hand, LPS treatment not only inhibited the expression of CYP24A1 but also altered the expression pattern of VDR in CEIEPCs. Furthermore, AvBDs were not directly regulated by 1,25D3, as cycloheximide completely blocked 1,25D3-induced expression of AvBDs. Our observations suggest that 1,25D3 is capable of inducing AvBD gene expression and is a potential antibiotic alternative through augmentation of host innate immunity as well as disease control in chickens.

  3. Human Alpha Defensin 5 Expression in the Human Kidney and Urinary Tract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Edith; Bevins, Charles L.; DiRosario, Julianne; Becknell, Brian; Wang, Huanyu

    2012-01-01

    Background The mechanisms that maintain sterility in the urinary tract are incompletely understood. Recent studies have implicated the importance of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) in protecting the urinary tract from infection. Here, we characterize the expression and relevance of the AMP human alpha-defensin 5 (HD5) in the human kidney and urinary tract in normal and infected subjects. Methodology/Principal Findings Using RNA isolated from human kidney, ureter, and bladder tissue, we performed quantitative real-time PCR to show that DEFA5, the gene encoding HD5, is constitutively expressed throughout the urinary tract. With pyelonephritis, DEFA5 expression significantly increased in the kidney. Using immunoblot analysis, HD5 production also increased with pyelonephritis. Immunostaining localized HD5 to the urothelium of the bladder and ureter. In the kidney, HD5 was primarily produced in the distal nephron and collecting tubules. Using immunoblot and ELISA assays, HD5 was not routinely detected in non-infected human urine samples while mean urinary HD5 production increased with E.coli urinary tract infection. Conclusions/Significance DEFA5 is expressed throughout the urinary tract in non-infected subjects. Specifically, HD5 is expressed throughout the urothelium of the lower urinary tract and in the collecting tubules of the kidney. With infection, HD5 expression increases in the kidney and levels become detectable in the urine. To our knowledge, our findings represent the first to quantitate HD5 expression and production in the human kidney. Moreover, this is the first report to detect the presence of HD5 in infected urine samples. Our results suggest that HD5 may have an important role in maintaining urinary tract sterility. PMID:22359618

  4. Urine Levels of Defensin α1 Reflect Kidney Injury in Leptospirosis Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haorile Chagan-Yasutan

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease whose severe forms are often accompanied by kidney dysfunction. In the present study, urinary markers were studied for potential prediction of disease severity. Urine samples from 135 patients with or without leptospirosis at San Lazaro Hospital, the Philippines, were analyzed. Urine levels of defensin α1 (uDA1 were compared with those of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL and N-acetyl-β-d-glucosidase (uNAG. Serum creatinine (Cr was used as a marker of kidney injury. The levels of uDA1/Cr, uNGAL/Cr, and uNAG/Cr were positive in 46%, 90%, and 80% of leptospirosis patients, and 69%, 70%, and 70% of non-leptospirosis patients, respectively. In leptospirosis patients, the correlation of uDA1/Cr, uNGAL/Cr and uNAG/Cr levels with serum Cr were r = 0.3 (p < 0.01, r = 0.29 (p < 0.01, and r = 0.02 (p = 0.81, respectively. uDA1/Cr levels were correlated with uNGAL/Cr levels (r = 0.49, p < 0.01 and uNAG/Cr levels (r = 0.47, p < 0.0001 in leptospirosis patients. These findings suggest that uDA1, uNGAL, and uNAG were elevated in leptospirosis patients and reflected various types of kidney damage. uDA1 and uNGAL can be used to track kidney injury in leptospirosis patients because of their correlation with the serum Cr level.

  5. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Hironori; Sokabe, Takaaki; Kohno, Keigo; Tominaga, Makoto; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2009-09-10

    TRP (Transient Receptor Potential) channels respond to diverse stimuli and thus function as the primary integrators of varied sensory information. They are also activated by various compounds and secondary messengers to mediate cell-cell interactions as well as to detect changes in the local environment. Their physiological roles have been primarily characterized only in mice and fruit flies, and evolutionary studies are limited. To understand the evolution of insect TRP channels and the mechanisms of integrating sensory inputs in insects, we have identified and compared TRP channel genes in Drosophila melanogaster, Bombyx mori, Tribolium castaneum, Apis mellifera, Nasonia vitripennis, and Pediculus humanus genomes as part of genome sequencing efforts. All the insects examined have 2 TRPV, 1 TRPN, 1 TRPM, 3 TRPC, and 1 TRPML subfamily members, demonstrating that these channels have the ancient origins in insects. The common pattern also suggests that the mechanisms for detecting mechanical and visual stimuli and maintaining lysosomal functions may be evolutionarily well conserved in insects. However, a TRPP channel, the most ancient TRP channel, is missing in B. mori, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis. Although P. humanus and D. melanogaster contain 4 TRPA subfamily members, the other insects have 5 TRPA subfamily members. T. castaneum, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis contain TRPA5 channels, which have been specifically retained or gained in Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. Furthermore, TRPA1, which functions for thermotaxis in Drosophila, is missing in A. mellifera and N. vitripennis; however, they have other Hymenoptera-specific TRPA channels (AmHsTRPA and NvHsTRPA). NvHsTRPA expressed in HEK293 cells is activated by temperature increase, demonstrating that HsTRPAs function as novel thermal sensors in Hymenoptera. The total number of insect TRP family members is 13-14, approximately half that of mammalian TRP family members. As shown for mammalian TRP channels, this

  6. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tominaga Makoto

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background TRP (Transient Receptor Potential channels respond to diverse stimuli and thus function as the primary integrators of varied sensory information. They are also activated by various compounds and secondary messengers to mediate cell-cell interactions as well as to detect changes in the local environment. Their physiological roles have been primarily characterized only in mice and fruit flies, and evolutionary studies are limited. To understand the evolution of insect TRP channels and the mechanisms of integrating sensory inputs in insects, we have identified and compared TRP channel genes in Drosophila melanogaster, Bombyx mori, Tribolium castaneum, Apis mellifera, Nasonia vitripennis, and Pediculus humanus genomes as part of genome sequencing efforts. Results All the insects examined have 2 TRPV, 1 TRPN, 1 TRPM, 3 TRPC, and 1 TRPML subfamily members, demonstrating that these channels have the ancient origins in insects. The common pattern also suggests that the mechanisms for detecting mechanical and visual stimuli and maintaining lysosomal functions may be evolutionarily well conserved in insects. However, a TRPP channel, the most ancient TRP channel, is missing in B. mori, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis. Although P. humanus and D. melanogaster contain 4 TRPA subfamily members, the other insects have 5 TRPA subfamily members. T. castaneum, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis contain TRPA5 channels, which have been specifically retained or gained in Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. Furthermore, TRPA1, which functions for thermotaxis in Drosophila, is missing in A. mellifera and N. vitripennis; however, they have other Hymenoptera-specific TRPA channels (AmHsTRPA and NvHsTRPA. NvHsTRPA expressed in HEK293 cells is activated by temperature increase, demonstrating that HsTRPAs function as novel thermal sensors in Hymenoptera. Conclusion The total number of insect TRP family members is 13-14, approximately half that of mammalian TRP

  7. Context dependency and generality of fever in insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahlschmidt, Z. R.; Adamo, S. A.

    2013-07-01

    Fever can reduce mortality in infected animals. Yet, despite its fitness-enhancing qualities, fever often varies among animals. We used several approaches to examine this variation in insects. Texas field crickets ( Gryllus texensis) exhibited a modest fever (1 °C increase in preferred body temperature, T pref) after injection of prostaglandin, which putatively mediates fever in both vertebrates and invertebrates, but they did not exhibit fever during chronic exposure to heat-killed bacteria. Further, chronic food limitation and mating status did not affect T pref or the expression of behavioural fever, suggesting limited context dependency of fever in G. texensis. Our meta-analysis of behavioural fever studies indicated that behavioural fever occurs in many insects, but it is not ubiquitous. Thus, both empirical and meta-analytical results suggest that the fever response in insects `is widespread, although certainly not inevitable' (Moore 2002). We highlight the need for future work focusing on standardizing an experimental protocol to measure behavioural fever, understanding the specific mechanism(s) underlying fever in insects, and examining whether ecological or physiological costs often outweigh the benefits of fever and can explain the sporadic nature of fever in insects.

  8. Insect neuropeptides regulating substrate mobilisation

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1997-09-25

    Sep 25, 1997 ... Insect flight muscles perform their work completely aerobically, and working flight musdes are ... locusts where they are involved in the control of carbohydrate ... the vertebrate hypothalamo/hypophyseal system, and it can.

  9. Environmental RNAi in herbivorous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivashuta, Sergey; Zhang, Yuanji; Wiggins, B Elizabeth; Ramaseshadri, Partha; Segers, Gerrit C; Johnson, Steven; Meyer, Steve E; Kerstetter, Randy A; McNulty, Brian C; Bolognesi, Renata; Heck, Gregory R

    2015-05-01

    Environmental RNAi (eRNAi) is a sequence-specific regulation of endogenous gene expression in a receptive organism by exogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Although demonstrated under artificial dietary conditions and via transgenic plant presentations in several herbivorous insects, the magnitude and consequence of exogenous dsRNA uptake and the role of eRNAi remains unknown under natural insect living conditions. Our analysis of coleopteran insects sensitive to eRNAi fed on wild-type plants revealed uptake of plant endogenous long dsRNAs, but not small RNAs. Subsequently, the dsRNAs were processed into 21 nt siRNAs by insects and accumulated in high quantities in insect cells. No accumulation of host plant-derived siRNAs was observed in lepidopteran larvae that are recalcitrant to eRNAi. Stability of ingested dsRNA in coleopteran larval gut followed by uptake and transport from the gut to distal tissues appeared to be enabling factors for eRNAi. Although a relatively large number of distinct coleopteran insect-processed plant-derived siRNAs had sequence complementarity to insect transcripts, the vast majority of the siRNAs were present in relatively low abundance, and RNA-seq analysis did not detect a significant effect of plant-derived siRNAs on insect transcriptome. In summary, we observed a broad genome-wide uptake of plant endogenous dsRNA and subsequent processing of ingested dsRNA into 21 nt siRNAs in eRNAi-sensitive insects under natural feeding conditions. In addition to dsRNA stability in gut lumen and uptake, dosage of siRNAs targeting a given insect transcript is likely an important factor in order to achieve measurable eRNAi-based regulation in eRNAi-competent insects that lack an apparent silencing amplification mechanism. © 2015 Ivashuta et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  10. Social insects inspire human design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holbrook, C. Tate; Clark, Rebecca M.; Moore, Dani; Overson, Rick P.; Penick, Clint A.; Smith, Adrian A.

    2010-01-01

    The international conference ‘Social Biomimicry: Insect Societies and Human Design’, hosted by Arizona State University, USA, 18–20 February 2010, explored how the collective behaviour and nest architecture of social insects can inspire innovative and effective solutions to human design challenges. It brought together biologists, designers, engineers, computer scientists, architects and businesspeople, with the dual aims of enriching biology and advancing biomimetic design. PMID:20392721

  11. Atomic war on insects intensified

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1967-06-15

    Intensive research work in many countries using nuclear methods aimed at reducing the immense food losses caused by insects have led to a number of important trial operations this year. Some are now in progress in Capri, the famous Italian tourist island, and in Central America. Both are directed against the Mediterranean fruit fly, which attacks most fruit in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Similar methods are also developing to combat other insect pests

  12. Edible insects are the future?

    OpenAIRE

    Huis, van, Arnold

    2016-01-01

    The global increase in demand for meat and the limited land area available prompt the search for alternative protein sources. Also the sustainability of meat production has been questioned. Edible insects as an alternative protein source for human food and animal feed are interesting in terms of low greenhouse gas emissions, high feed conversion efficiency, low land use, and their ability to transform low value organic side streams into high value protein products. More than 2000 insect speci...

  13. An Integrated Molecular Database on Indian Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratheepa, Maria; Venkatesan, Thiruvengadam; Gracy, Gandhi; Jalali, Sushil Kumar; Rangheswaran, Rajagopal; Antony, Jomin Cruz; Rai, Anil

    2018-01-01

    MOlecular Database on Indian Insects (MODII) is an online database linking several databases like Insect Pest Info, Insect Barcode Information System (IBIn), Insect Whole Genome sequence, Other Genomic Resources of National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (NBAIR), Whole Genome sequencing of Honey bee viruses, Insecticide resistance gene database and Genomic tools. This database was developed with a holistic approach for collecting information about phenomic and genomic information of agriculturally important insects. This insect resource database is available online for free at http://cib.res.in. http://cib.res.in/.

  14. The Mediator subunit SFR6/MED16 controls defence gene expression mediated by salicylic acid and jasmonate responsive pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wathugala, Deepthi L; Hemsley, Piers A; Moffat, Caroline S; Cremelie, Pieter; Knight, Marc R; Knight, Heather

    2012-07-01

    • Arabidopsis SENSITIVE TO FREEZING6 (SFR6) controls cold- and drought-inducible gene expression and freezing- and osmotic-stress tolerance. Its identification as a component of the MEDIATOR transcriptional co-activator complex led us to address its involvement in other transcriptional responses. • Gene expression responses to Pseudomonas syringae, ultraviolet-C (UV-C) irradiation, salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) were investigated in three sfr6 mutant alleles by quantitative real-time PCR and susceptibility to UV-C irradiation and Pseudomonas infection were assessed. • sfr6 mutants were more susceptible to both Pseudomonas syringae infection and UV-C irradiation. They exhibited correspondingly weaker PR (pathogenesis-related) gene expression than wild-type Arabidopsis following these treatments or after direct application of SA, involved in response to both UV-C and Pseudomonas infection. Other genes, however, were induced normally in the mutants by these treatments. sfr6 mutants were severely defective in expression of plant defensin genes in response to JA; ectopic expression of defensin genes was provoked in wild-type but not sfr6 by overexpression of ERF5. • SFR6/MED16 controls both SA- and JA-mediated defence gene expression and is necessary for tolerance of Pseudomonas syringae infection and UV-C irradiation. It is not, however, a universal regulator of stress gene transcription and is likely to mediate transcriptional activation of specific regulons only. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  15. The Effect of Calcipotriol on the Expression of Human β Defensin-2 and LL-37 in Cultured Human Keratinocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beom Joon Kim

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Vitamin D has been reported to regulate innate immunity by controlling the expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs. Objective. We investigated the effect of calcipotriol on the expression of AMPs in human cultured keratinocytes. Methods. Keratinocytes were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, TNF-α, Calcipotriol and irradiated with UVB, cultured, and harvested. To assess the expression of human beta defensin-2 and LL-37 in the control group, not exposed to any stimulants, the experimental group was treated with LPS, TNF-α, or UVB, and another group was treated again with calcipotriol; reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunohistochemical staining were performed. Results. In the experimental group treated with LPS, UVB irradiation, and TNF-α, the expression of β-defensin and LL-37 was increased more than in the control group and then decreased in the experimental group treated with calcipotriol. Conclusions. Calcipotriol suppressed HBD-2 and LL-37, which were stimulated by UVB, LPS, and TNF-α.

  16. Expression of a radish defensin in transgenic wheat confers increased resistance to Fusarium graminearum and Rhizoctonia cerealis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhao; Zhou, Miaoping; Zhang, Zengyan; Ren, Lijuan; Du, Lipu; Zhang, Boqiao; Xu, Huijun; Xin, Zhiyong

    2011-03-01

    Fusarium head blight (scab), primarily caused by Fusarium graminearum, is a devastating disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) worldwide. Wheat sharp eyespot, mainly caused by Rhizoctonia cerealis, is one of the major diseases of wheat in China. The defensin RsAFP2, a small cyteine-rich antifungal protein from radish (Raphanus sativus), was shown to inhibit growth in vitro of agronomically important fungal pathogens, such as F. graminearum and R. cerealis. The RsAFP2 gene was transformed into Chinese wheat variety Yangmai 12 via biolistic bombardment to assess the effectiveness of the defensin in protecting wheat from the fungal pathogens in multiple locations and years. The genomic PCR and Southern blot analyses indicated that RsAFP2 was integrated into the genomes of the transgenic wheat lines and heritable. RT-PCR and Western blot proved that the RsAFP2 was expressed in these transgenic wheat lines. Disease tests showed that four RsAFP2 transgenic lines (RA1-RA4) displayed enhanced resistance to F. graminearum compared to the untransformed Yangmai 12 and the null-segregated plants. Assays on Q-RT-PCR and disease severity showed that the express level of RsAFP2 was associated with the enhanced resistance degree. Two of these transgenic lines (RA1 and RA2) also exhibited enhanced resistance to R. cerealis. These results indicated that the expression of RsAFP2 conferred increased resistance to F. graminearum and R. cerealis in transgenic wheat.

  17. A study on β-defensin-2 and histatin-5 as a diagnostic marker of early childhood caries progression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Jurczak

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recently, a continuous growth of interest has been observed in antimicrobial peptides (AMPs in the light of an alarming increase in resistance of bacteria and fungi against antibiotics. AMPs are used as biomarkers in diagnosis and monitoring of oral cavity pathologies. Therefore, the determination of specific protein profiles in children diagnosed with early childhood caries (ECC might be a basis for effective screening tests and specialized examinations which may enable progression of disease METHODS: The objective of the studies was to determine the role of histatin-5 and β-defensing-2 as a diagnostic marker of early childhood caries progression. In this work, results of concentration determination of two salivary proteins (histatin-5 and β-defensin-2 were presented. In addition, bacterial profiles from dental plaque in various stages of ECC and control were marked. The assessment of alteration in the concentration of these two proteins in a study group of children with various stages of ECC and a control group consisting of children with no symptoms was performed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays RESULTS: The statistical analysis showed a significant increase in the concentration of histatin-5 and β-defensin-2 in the study group compared to the control group and correlated with the progression of the disease CONCLUSIONS: The confirmation of concentration changes in these proteins during the progression of dental caries may discover valuable disease progression biomarkers

  18. Antibacterial Activity of Four Human Beta-Defensins: HBD-19, HBD-23, HBD-27, and HBD-29

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Camerini

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Human β-defensins (HBD are a family of small antimicrobial peptides that play important roles in the innate and adaptive immune defenses against microbial infection. In this study, we predicted the mature sequences and assessed the antibacterial properties of synthetic HBD-19, HBD-23, HBD-27, and HBD-29 against three species of clinically relevant bacteria: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We also examined the cytotoxicity of each β-defensin to human cells. HBD-19 exhibited modest antibacterial effects against E. coli and S. aureus but had little effect on the growth of P. aeruginosa. HBD-23 exhibited substantial antibacterial effects against all three bacterial species and was particularly potent against the Gram-negative species, E. coli and P. aeruginosa. HBD-27 exerted modest antibacterial activity only towards S. aureus while HBD-29 had modest antibacterial activity for E. coli and P. aeruginosa. HBD-23 and HBD-27 showed little or no toxicity to human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, while HBD-19 and HBD-29 decreased cell viability by 20% at 30 μg/mL.

  19. Role of urinary cathelicidin LL-37 and human β-defensin 1 in uncomplicated Escherichia coli urinary tract infections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Karen L; Dynesen, Pia; Larsen, Preben

    2014-01-01

    Cathelicidin (LL-37) and human β-defensin 1 (hBD-1) are important components of the innate defense in the urinary tract. The aim of this study was to characterize whether these peptides are important for developing uncomplicated Escherichia coli urinary tract infections (UTIs). This was investiga......Cathelicidin (LL-37) and human β-defensin 1 (hBD-1) are important components of the innate defense in the urinary tract. The aim of this study was to characterize whether these peptides are important for developing uncomplicated Escherichia coli urinary tract infections (UTIs......). This was investigated by comparing urinary peptide levels of UTI patients during and after infection to those of controls, as well as characterizing the fecal flora of participants with respect to susceptibility to LL-37 and in vivo virulence. Forty-seven UTI patients and 50 controls who had never had a UTI were...... included. Participants were otherwise healthy, premenopausal, adult women. LL-37 MIC levels were compared for fecal E. coli clones from patients and controls and were also compared based on phylotypes (A, B1, B2, and D). In vivo virulence was investigated in the murine UTI model by use of selected fecal...

  20. The β-defensin gallinacin-6 is expressed in the chicken digestive tract and has antimicrobial activity against food-borne pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dijk, A.; Veldhuizen, E.J.A.; Kalkhove, S.I.C.; Tjeerdsma-van Bokhoven, J.L.M.; Romijn, R.A.; Haagsman, H.P.

    2007-01-01

    Food-borne pathogens are responsible for most cases of food poisoning in developed countries and are often associated with poultry products, including chicken. Little is known about the role of ß-defensins in the chicken digestive tract and their efficacy. In this study, the expression of chicken

  1. α-Defensins Induce a Post-translational Modification of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) That Promotes Atherosclerosis at Normal Levels of Plasma Cholesterol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu-Fanne, Rami; Maraga, Emad; Abd-Elrahman, Ihab; Hankin, Aviel; Blum, Galia; Abdeen, Suhair; Hijazi, Nuha; Cines, Douglas B; Higazi, Abd Al-Roof

    2016-02-05

    Approximately one-half of the patients who develop clinical atherosclerosis have normal or only modest elevations in plasma lipids, indicating that additional mechanisms contribute to pathogenesis. In view of increasing evidence that inflammation contributes to atherogenesis, we studied the effect of human neutrophil α-defensins on low density lipoprotein (LDL) trafficking, metabolism, vascular deposition, and atherogenesis using transgenic mice expressing human α-defensins in their polymorphonuclear leukocytes (Def(+/+)). Accelerated Def(+/+) mice developed α-defensin·LDL complexes that accelerate the clearance of LDL from the circulation accompanied by enhanced vascular deposition and retention of LDL, induction of endothelial cathepsins, increased endothelial permeability to LDL, and the development of lipid streaks in the aortic roots when fed a regular diet and at normal plasma levels of LDL. Transplantation of bone marrow from Def(+/+) to WT mice increased LDL clearance, increased vascular permeability, and increased vascular deposition of LDL, whereas transplantation of WT bone marrow to Def(+/+) mice prevented these outcomes. The same outcome was obtained by treating Def(+/+) mice with colchicine to inhibit the release of α-defensins. These studies identify a potential new link between inflammation and the development of atherosclerosis. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  2. The Arabidopsis mutant iop1 exhibits induced over-expression of the plant defensin gene PDF1.2 and enhanced pathogen resistance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Penninckx, I.A.M.A.; Eggermont, K.; Schenk, P.M.; Ackerveken, van den G.; Cammue, B.P.A.; Thomma, B.P.H.J.

    2003-01-01

    Jasmonate and ethylene are concomitantly involved in the induction of the Arabidopsis plant defensin gene PDF1.2. To define genes in the signal transduction pathway leading to the induction of PDF1.2, we screened for mutants with induced over-expression of a β-glucuronidase reporter, under the

  3. PaDef defensin from avocado (Persea americana var. drymifolia) is cytotoxic to K562 chronic myeloid leukemia cells through extrinsic apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Alvarez, Luis José; Guzmán-Rodríguez, Jaquelina Julia; López-Gómez, Rodolfo; Salgado-Garciglia, Rafael; Ochoa-Zarzosa, Alejandra; López-Meza, Joel E

    2018-06-01

    Plant defensins, a group of antimicrobial peptides, show selective cytotoxicity toward cancer cells. However, their mechanisms of action remain poorly understood. Here, we evaluated the cytotoxicity of PaDef defensin from avocado (Persea americana var. drymifolia) on K562 chronic myeloid leukemia cells and analyzed the pathway involved in the induction of cell death. The defensin PaDef was not cytotoxic against human PBMCs; however, it was cytotoxic for K562 cell line (IC 50  = 97.3 μg/ml) activating apoptosis at 12 h. PaDef did not affect the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), neither the transmembranal potential or the release of intracellular calcium. Also, PaDef induced gene expression of caspase 8 (∼2 fold), TNF-α (∼4 fold) and TNFR1 (∼10 fold). In addition, the activation of caspase 8 was detected at 24 h, whereas caspase 9 activity was not modified, suggesting that the extrinsic apoptosis pathway could be activated. In conclusion, PaDef induces apoptosis on K562 cells, which is related to the activation of caspase 8 and involves the participation of TNF-α, which is a novel property for a plant defensin. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    OpenAIRE

    Tominaga Makoto; Kohno Keigo; Sokabe Takaaki; Matsuura Hironori; Kadowaki Tatsuhiko

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background TRP (Transient Receptor Potential) channels respond to diverse stimuli and thus function as the primary integrators of varied sensory information. They are also activated by various compounds and secondary messengers to mediate cell-cell interactions as well as to detect changes in the local environment. Their physiological roles have been primarily characterized only in mice and fruit flies, and evolutionary studies are limited. To understand the evolution of insect TRP c...

  5. Beta-defensin-2 protein is a serum biomarker for disease activity in psoriasis and reaches biologically relevant concentrations in lesional skin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick A M Jansen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous studies have extensively documented antimicrobial and chemotactic activities of beta-defensins. Human beta-defensin-2 (hBD-2 is strongly expressed in lesional psoriatic epidermis, and recently we have shown that high beta-defensin genomic copy number is associated with psoriasis susceptibility. It is not known, however, if biologically and pathophysiologically relevant concentrations of hBD-2 protein are present in vivo, which could support an antimicrobial and proinflammatory role of beta-defensins in lesional psoriatic epidermis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that systemic levels of hBD-2 showed a weak but significant correlation with beta defensin copy number in healthy controls but not in psoriasis patients with active disease. In psoriasis patients but not in atopic dermatitis patients, we found high systemic hBD-2 levels that strongly correlated with disease activity as assessed by the PASI score. Our findings suggest that systemic levels in psoriasis are largely determined by secretion from involved skin and not by genomic copy number. Modelling of the in vivo epidermal hBD-2 concentration based on the secretion rate in a reconstructed skin model for psoriatic epidermis provides evidence that epidermal hBD-2 levels in vivo are probably well above the concentrations required for in vitro antimicrobial and chemokine-like effects. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Serum hBD-2 appears to be a useful surrogate marker for disease activity in psoriasis. The discrepancy between hBD-2 levels in psoriasis and atopic dermatitis could explain the well known differences in infection rate between these two diseases.

  6. All insects are equal, but some insects are more equal than others

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, Arnout R.H.; Steenbekkers, L.P.A.

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: Lack of acceptance of insects as food is considered a barrier against societal adoption of the potentially valuable contribution of insects to human foods. An underlying barrier may be that insects are lumped together as one group, while consumers typically try specific insects. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the ways in which Dutch consumers, with and without insect tasting experience, are more or less willing to eat different insects. Design/methodology/approach: In a ...

  7. Sterile insect supply, emergence, and release

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dowell, R.V.; Worley, J.; Gomes, P.J.

    2005-01-01

    Insect mass-rearing for a sterile insect technique (SIT) programme is designed to move beyond the large-scale rearing of insects in a laboratory to the industrial production of consistently high-quality insects for sterilization and release. Each facility reflects the unique biology of the insect reared within it, but there are some generalities for all rearing facilities. Rearing insects in self-contained modules offers flexibility, and increased safety from catastrophic occurrences, compared with using a single building which houses all facets of the rearing process. Although mechanizing certain aspects of the rearing steps helps provide a consistently high-quality insect, successful mass-rearing and delivery depends largely upon the human component. Besides production in centralized facilities, insects can be produced from purchased eggs, or nowadays, adult insects are often obtained from specialized satellite emergence/collection facilities. Interest in commercializing insect production and release is increasing. Shipping sterile insects, sometimes over long distances, is now common practice. Procedures for handling and chilling adult insects, and providing food and water prior to release, are continually being improved. Sterile insects are released via static-release receptacles, ground-release systems, or most commonly from the air. The aerial release of chilled sterile insects is the most efficient method of release, especially when aircraft flight paths are guided by a Global Positioning System (GPS) linked to a computer-controlled release mechanism. (author)

  8. Radiations: tool for insect pest management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swami, Kailash Kumar; Kiradoo, M.M.; Srivastava, Meera

    2012-01-01

    The discovery that X-rays or gamma radiation could cause sufficient genetic damage to insect reproductive systems to induce sterility resulted from work conducted by H.J. Muller starting in the 1920s. The sterilizing effect of radiation was noted by scientists of the US Department of Agriculture who had been seeking a method to sterilize insects for many years. These scientists had theorized that if large numbers of the target insect species were reared, sterilized, and released into the field, the sterile insects would mate with the wild insects. These mating would result in no offspring and thus a decline in the population would be obtained. They calculated that if sufficient numbers of sterile insects were released, reproductive rate for the wild population would rapidly decline and reach zero. In simple language, birth control of insects. Radiation sterilization was the answer. In a SIT operation, radiation is used to sexually sterilize insects. Since the SIT is species specific, the selection the insect pest or group of pests on which to work is of primary importance. The Joint Division of the IAEA Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been involved in the use of isotopes and radiation in insect control since 1964. Isotopes are used as tags or markers, for instance, of chemical molecules, insects, or plants. For example, with these tags one can follow the fate of insecticides within insects and the environment; the incorporation of nutrients into the insect; and the movements of insects under field conditions. They also can plants on which insects feed so that the quantity of consumed food can be measured and directly correlated with plant resistance. They can be used as well to follow parasites and predators of insects - for example, their movements, numbers, and ability to help control insect pests. Radiations therefore have come as a novel tool to combat insect pest problem and in future could be very helpful in various other ways, of be it be cost

  9. Insects in fluctuating thermal environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colinet, Hervé; Sinclair, Brent J; Vernon, Philippe; Renault, David

    2015-01-07

    All climate change scenarios predict an increase in both global temperature means and the magnitude of seasonal and diel temperature variation. The nonlinear relationship between temperature and biological processes means that fluctuating temperatures lead to physiological, life history, and ecological consequences for ectothermic insects that diverge from those predicted from constant temperatures. Fluctuating temperatures that remain within permissive temperature ranges generally improve performance. By contrast, those which extend to stressful temperatures may have either positive impacts, allowing repair of damage accrued during exposure to thermal extremes, or negative impacts from cumulative damage during successive exposures. We discuss the mechanisms underlying these differing effects. Fluctuating temperatures could be used to enhance or weaken insects in applied rearing programs, and any prediction of insect performance in the field-including models of climate change or population performance-must account for the effect of fluctuating temperatures.

  10. Spatial distribution of aquatic insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iversen, Lars Lønsmann

    (time since glacial disturbance and habitat stability) and question the generality of these processes for the understanding of species richness gradients in European rivers. Using regional distributions of European mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies this chapter demonstrates that differences...... and shape the habitat requirements and distribution of one of the most affected groups of freshwater species: aquatic insects. It comprises four chapters each addressing different spatial factors in relation to the occurrence of aquatic insects in Europe. Chapter I examine two spatial ecological processes...... niche is derived from local distribution patterns, without incorporating landscape history it can lead to an erroneous niche definition. Chapter III provides some of the first evidence for differences in dispersal phenology related to flight potential in aquatic insects. The chapter highlights...

  11. Biogenic Amines in Insect Antennae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianna I. Zhukovskaya

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Insect antenna is a multisensory organ, each modality of which can be modulated by biogenic amines. Octopamine (OA and its metabolic precursor tyramine (TA affect activity of antennal olfactory receptor neurons. There is some evidence that dopamine (DA modulates gustatory neurons. Serotonin can serve as a neurotransmitter in some afferent mechanosensory neurons and both as a neurotransmitter and neurohormone in efferent fibers targeted at the antennal vessel and mechanosensory organs. As a neurohormone, serotonin affects the generation of the transepithelial potential by sensillar accessory cells. Other possible targets of biogenic amines in insect antennae are hygro- and thermosensory neurons and epithelial cells. We suggest that the insect antenna is partially autonomous in the sense that biologically active substances entering its hemolymph may exert their effects and be cleared from this compartment without affecting other body parts.

  12. Investigating Engineered Ribonucleoprotein Particles to Improve Oral RNAi Delivery in Crop Insect Pests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François-Xavier Gillet

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Genetically modified (GM crops producing double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs are being investigated largely as an RNA interference (RNAi-based resistance strategy against crop insect pests. However, limitations of this strategy include the sensitivity of dsRNA to insect gut nucleases and its poor insect cell membrane penetration. Working with the insect pest cotton boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis, we showed that the chimeric protein PTD-DRBD (peptide transduction domain—dsRNA binding domain combined with dsRNA forms a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP that improves the effectiveness of the RNAi mechanism in the insect. The RNP slows down nuclease activity, probably by masking the dsRNA. Furthermore, PTD-mediated internalization in insect gut cells is achieved within minutes after plasma membrane contact, limiting the exposure time of the RNPs to gut nucleases. Therefore, the RNP provides an approximately 2-fold increase in the efficiency of insect gene silencing upon oral delivery when compared to naked dsRNA. Taken together, these data demonstrate the role of engineered RNPs in improving dsRNA stability and cellular entry, representing a path toward the design of enhanced RNAi strategies in GM plants against crop insect pests.

  13. Investigating Engineered Ribonucleoprotein Particles to Improve Oral RNAi Delivery in Crop Insect Pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillet, François-Xavier; Garcia, Rayssa A; Macedo, Leonardo L P; Albuquerque, Erika V S; Silva, Maria C M; Grossi-de-Sa, Maria F

    2017-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops producing double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) are being investigated largely as an RNA interference (RNAi)-based resistance strategy against crop insect pests. However, limitations of this strategy include the sensitivity of dsRNA to insect gut nucleases and its poor insect cell membrane penetration. Working with the insect pest cotton boll weevil ( Anthonomus grandis ), we showed that the chimeric protein PTD-DRBD (peptide transduction domain-dsRNA binding domain) combined with dsRNA forms a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP) that improves the effectiveness of the RNAi mechanism in the insect. The RNP slows down nuclease activity, probably by masking the dsRNA. Furthermore, PTD-mediated internalization in insect gut cells is achieved within minutes after plasma membrane contact, limiting the exposure time of the RNPs to gut nucleases. Therefore, the RNP provides an approximately 2-fold increase in the efficiency of insect gene silencing upon oral delivery when compared to naked dsRNA. Taken together, these data demonstrate the role of engineered RNPs in improving dsRNA stability and cellular entry, representing a path toward the design of enhanced RNAi strategies in GM plants against crop insect pests.

  14. Evolutionary Ecology of Multitrophic Interactions between Plants, Insect Herbivores and Entomopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikano, Ikkei

    2017-06-01

    Plants play an important role in the interactions between insect herbivores and their pathogens. Since the seminal review by Cory and Hoover (2006) on plant-mediated effects on insect-pathogen interactions, considerable progress has been made in understanding the complexity of these tritrophic interactions. Increasing interest in the areas of nutritional and ecological immunology over the last decade have revealed that plant primary and secondary metabolites can influence the outcomes of insect-pathogen interactions by altering insect immune functioning and physical barriers to pathogen entry. Some insects use plant secondary chemicals and nutrients to prevent infections (prophylactic medication) and medicate to limit the severity of infections (therapeutic medication). Recent findings suggest that there may be selectable plant traits that enhance entomopathogen efficacy, suggesting that entomopathogens could potentially impose selection pressure on plant traits that improve both pathogen and plant fitness. Moreover, plants in nature are inhabited by diverse communities of microbes, in addition to entomopathogens, some of which can trigger immune responses in insect herbivores. Plants are also shared by numerous other herbivorous arthropods with different modes of feeding that can trigger different defensive responses in plants. Some insect symbionts and gut microbes can degrade ingested defensive phytochemicals and be orally secreted onto wounded plant tissue during herbivory to alter plant defenses. Since non-entomopathogenic microbes and other arthropods are likely to influence the outcomes of plant-insect-entomopathogen interactions, I discuss a need to consider these multitrophic interactions within the greater web of species interactions.

  15. Ionizing radiation perception by insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campanhola, C.

    1980-04-01

    The proof of the existence of a perception for ionizing radiation by insects was aimed at, as well as the determination of its processing mechanism. It was tried also to check if such perception induces the insects to keep away from the radiation source, proving therefore a protection against the harms caused by ionizing radiation, or else the stimulus for such behaviour is similar to that caused by light radiations. 60 Co and 241 Am were used as gamma radiation sources, the 60 Co source of 0.435mCi and the 241 Am of 99.68mCi activity. Adult insects were used with the following treatments : exposure to 60 Co and 241 Am radiation and non-exposure (control). A total of approximately 50 insects per replication was released in the central region of an opaque white wooden barrier divided into 3 sections with the same area - 60.0 cm diameter and 7.5 cm height - covered with a nylon screen. 5 replications per treatment were made and the distribution of the insects was evaluated by photographs taken at 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes after release. Sitophilus oryzae (l., 1763) and Ephestia cautella (Walker, 1864) showed some response to 241 Am gamma radiation, i.e. negative tactism. It was concluded that ionizing radiations can be detected by insects through direct visual stimulus or by visual stimulus reslting from interaction of radiation-Cerenkov radiation - with some other occular component with a refraction index greater than water. Also, the activity of the radioactive source with regard to perception for ionizing radiation, is of relevance in comparison with the energy of the radiation emitted by same, or in other words, what really matters is the radiation dose absorbed. (Author) [pt

  16. Respiratory symptoms in insect breeders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris-Roberts, J; Fishwick, D; Tate, P; Rawbone, R; Stagg, S; Barber, C M; Adisesh, A

    2011-08-01

    A number of specialist food suppliers in the UK breed and distribute insects and insect larvae as food for exotic pets, such as reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. To investigate the extent of work-related (WR) symptoms and workplace-specific serum IgE in workers potentially exposed to a variety of biological contaminants, including insect and insect larvae allergens, endotoxin and cereal allergens at a UK specialist insect breeding facility. We undertook a study of respiratory symptoms and exposures at the facility, with subsequent detailed clinical assessment of one worker. All 32 workers were assessed clinically using a respiratory questionnaire and lung function. Eighteen workers consented to provide serum for determination of specific IgE to workplace allergens. Thirty-four per cent (11/32) of insect workers reported WR respiratory symptoms. Sensitization, as judged by specific IgE, was found in 29% (4/14) of currently exposed workers. Total inhalable dust levels ranged from 1.2 to 17.9 mg/m(3) [mean 4.3 mg/m(3) (SD 4.4 mg/m(3)), median 2.0 mg/m(3)] and endotoxin levels of up to 29435 EU/m(3) were recorded. Exposure to organic dusts below the levels for which there are UK workplace exposure limits can result in respiratory symptoms and sensitization. The results should alert those responsible for the health of similarly exposed workers to the potential for respiratory ill-health and the need to provide a suitable health surveillance programme.

  17. NIR detects, destroys insect pests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGraw, L.C.

    1998-01-01

    What’s good for Georgia peanuts may also be good for Kansas wheat. An electric eye that scans all food-grade peanuts for visual defects could one day do the same for wheat kernels. For peanuts, it’s a proven method for monitoring quality. In wheat, scanning with near-infrared (NIR) energy can reveal hidden insect infestations that lower wheat quality. ARS entomologists James E. Throne and James E. Baker and ARS agricultural engineer Floyd E. Dowell are the first to combine NIR with an automated grain-handling system to rapidly detect insects hidden in single wheat kernels

  18. ESR signals of irradiated insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ukai, Mitsuko; Kameya, Hiromi; Imamura, Taro; Miyanoshita, Akihiro; Todoriki, Setsuko; Shimoyama, Yuhei

    2009-01-01

    Analysis of irradiated insects using Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) spectroscopy was reported. The insects were maize weevil, red flour beetle, Indian meal moth and cigarette beetle that are hazardous to crops. The ESR spectra were consisted of a singlet at g=2 and a sextet centered at the similar g-value. The singlet signal is due to an organic free radical. The sextet signal is attributable to the hyperfine interactions from Mn 2+ ions. Upon irradiation, new signals were not detected. The relaxation times, T 1 and T 2 , showed no variations before and after irradiation. (author)

  19. Regulation of gene expression for defensins and lipid transfer protein in Scots pine seedlings by necrotrophic pathogen Alternaria alternata (Fr.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hrunyk Nataliya

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Damping-off disease in pine seedling, caused by fungi and oomycetes (Fusarium, Alternaria, Botrytis, Phytophthora and other species, is one of the most dangerous diseases in conifer nurseries and greenhouses worldwide. Alternaria alternata is a necrotrophic pathogen, which causes early blight in higher plants and results in massive economic losses in agro-industry as well as in forestry. Pine seedlings that lack strong lignificated and suberized cell walls at early stages of their growth are vulnerable to damping-off disease. So, triggering the synthesis of antimicrobial compounds, such as phytoalexins, anticipins and pathogenesis-related (PR proteins, is the main defense strategy to confine pathogens at early stages of pine ontogenesis. Defensins and lipid transfer proteins are members of two PR-protein families (PR-12 and PR-14 respectively and possess antimicrobial activities in vitro through contact toxicity, and the involvement in defense signalling. In this work, we describe the changes in the expression levels of four defensin genes and lipid transfer protein in Scots pine seedlings infected with A. alternata. The expression levels of PsDef1 and PsDef2 increased at 48 h.p.i. (hours post inoculation. The levels of PsDef4 transcripts have increased after 6 and 24 hours. Notably, at 48 h.p.i., the level of PsDef4 transcripts was decreased by 1.2 times compared to control. The level of PsDef3 transcripts was reduced at all three time points. On the other hand, the level of PsLTP1 transcripts increased at 6 h and 48 h.p.i.; while at 24 h.p.i., it decreased by 20% when compared to the control sample. Our results suggest that defensins and lipid transfer protein are involved in the defense response of young Scots pine to necrotrophic pathogen. Thus, those genes can be used as the molecular markers in forestry selection and development of the ecologically friendly remedies for coniferous seedlings cultivation in greenhouses and nurseries.

  20. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Bidochka

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates.

  1. Edible insects in China: Utilization and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Ying; Chen, Xiao-Ming; Zhao, Min; He, Zhao; Sun, Long; Wang, Cheng-Ye; Ding, Wei-Feng

    2018-04-01

    The use of edible insects has a long history in China, where they have been consumed for more than 2000 years. In general, the level of acceptance is high for the consumption of insects in China. Many studies on edible insects have been conducted in the last 20 years, and the scope of the research includes the culture of entomophagy and the identification, nutritional value, farming and breeding of edible insects, in addition to food production and safety. Currently, 324 species of insects from 11 orders are documented that are either edible or associated with entomophagy in China, which include the common edible species, some less commonly consumed species and some medicinal insects. However, only approximately 10 to 20 types of insects are regularly consumed. The nutritional values for 174 species are available in China, including edible, feed and medicinal species. Although the nutritional values vary among species, all the insects examined contain protein, fat, vitamins and minerals at levels that meet human nutritional requirements. Edible insects were, and continue to be, consumed by different ethnic groups in many parts of China. People directly consume insects or food products made from insects. The processing of products from insect protein powder, oil and chitin, and the development of healthcare foods has been studied in China. People also consume insects indirectly by eating livestock that were fed insects, which may be a more acceptable pathway to use insects in human diets. Although limited, the data on the food safety of insects indicate that insects are safe for food or feed. Incidences of allergic reactions after consuming silkworm pupae, cicadas and crickets have been reported in China. Insect farming is a unique breeding industry in rural China and is a source of income for local people. Insects are reared and bred for human food, medicine and animal feed using two approaches in China: the insects are either fully domesticated and reared

  2. Riboflavin Provisioning Underlies Wolbachia's Fitness Contribution to Its Insect Host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriyama, Minoru; Nikoh, Naruo; Hosokawa, Takahiro; Fukatsu, Takema

    2015-11-10

    Endosymbiotic bacteria of the genus Wolbachia represent the most successful symbiotic bacteria in the terrestrial ecosystem. The success of Wolbachia has been ascribed to its remarkable phenotypic effects on host reproduction, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility, whereby maternally inherited bacteria can spread in their host populations at the expense of their host's fitness. Meanwhile, recent theoretical as well as empirical studies have unveiled that weak and/or conditional positive fitness effects may significantly facilitate invasion and spread of Wolbachia infections in host populations. Here, we report a previously unrecognized nutritional aspect, the provision of riboflavin (vitamin B2), that potentially underpins the Wolbachia-mediated fitness benefit to insect hosts. A comparative genomic survey for synthetic capability of B vitamins revealed that only the synthesis pathway for riboflavin is highly conserved among diverse insect-associated Wolbachia strains, while the synthesis pathways for other B vitamins were either incomplete or absent. Molecular phylogenetic and genomic analyses of riboflavin synthesis genes from diverse Wolbachia strains revealed that, in general, their phylogenetic relationships are concordant with Wolbachia's genomic phylogeny, suggesting that the riboflavin synthesis genes have been stably maintained in the course of Wolbachia evolution. In rearing experiments with bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) on blood meals in which B vitamin contents were manipulated, we demonstrated that Wolbachia's riboflavin provisioning significantly contributes to growth, survival, and reproduction of the insect host. These results provide a physiological basis upon which Wolbachia-mediated positive fitness consequences are manifested and shed new light on the ecological and evolutionary relevance of Wolbachia infections. Conventionally, Wolbachia has been regarded as a parasitic bacterial endosymbiont that manipulates the host insect's reproduction in a

  3. CCL20 and Beta-Defensin 2 Production by Human Lung Epithelial Cells and Macrophages in Response to Brucella abortus Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Andrea G.; Bonetto, Josefina; Giambartolomei, Guillermo H.; Fossati, Carlos A.; Baldi, Pablo C.

    2015-01-01

    Both CCL20 and human β-defensin 2 (hBD2) interact with the same membrane receptor and display chemotactic and antimicrobial activities. They are produced by airway epithelia in response to infectious agents and proinflammatory cytokines. Whereas Brucella spp. can infect humans through inhalation, their ability to induce CCL20 and hBD2 in lung cells is unknown. Here we show that B. abortus induces CCL20 expression in human alveolar (A549) or bronchial (Calu-6) epithelial cell lines, primary alveolar epithelial cells, primary human monocytes, monocyte-derived macrophages and the monocytic cell line THP-1. CCL20 expression was mainly mediated by JNK1/2 and NF-kB in both Calu-6 and THP-1 cells. CCL20 secretion was markedly induced in A549, Calu-6 and THP-1 cells by heat-killed B. abortus or a model Brucella lipoprotein (L-Omp19) but not by the B. abortus lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Accordingly, CCL20 production by B. abortus-infected cells was strongly TLR2-dependent. Whereas hBD2 expression was not induced by B. abortus infection, it was significantly induced in A549 cells by conditioned media from B. abortus-infected THP-1 monocytes (CMB). A similar inducing effect was observed on CCL20 secretion. Experiments using blocking agents revealed that IL-1β, but not TNF-α, was involved in the induction of hBD2 and CCL20 secretion by CMB. In the in vitro antimicrobial assay, the lethal dose (LD) 50 of CCL20 for B. abortus (>50 μg/ml) was markedly higher than that against E. coli (1.5 μg/ml) or a B. abortus mutant lacking the O polysaccharide in its LPS (8.7 ug/ml). hBD2 did not kill any of the B. abortus strains at the tested concentrations. These results show that human lung epithelial cells secrete CCL20 and hBD2 in response to B. abortus and/or to cytokines produced by infected monocytes. Whereas these molecules do not seem to exert antimicrobial activity against this pathogen, they could recruit immune cells to the infection site. PMID:26448160

  4. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barrett A. Klein

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available A majority of humans spend their waking hours surrounded by insects, so it should be no surprise that insects also appear in humans’ dreams as we sleep. Dreaming about insects has a peculiar history, marked by our desire to explain a dream’s significance and by the tactic of evoking emotions by injecting insects in dream-related works of art, film, music, and literature. I surveyed a scattered literature for examples of insects in dreams, first from the practices of dream interpretation, psychiatry, and scientific study, then from fictional writings and popular culture, and finally in the etymology of entomology by highlighting insects with dream-inspired Latinate names. A wealth of insects in dreams, as documented clinically and culturally, attests to the perceived relevance of dreams and to the ubiquity of insects in our lives.

  5. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Barrett A.

    2011-01-01

    A majority of humans spend their waking hours surrounded by insects, so it should be no surprise that insects also appear in humans’ dreams as we sleep. Dreaming about insects has a peculiar history, marked by our desire to explain a dream’s significance and by the tactic of evoking emotions by injecting insects in dream-related works of art, film, music, and literature. I surveyed a scattered literature for examples of insects in dreams, first from the practices of dream interpretation, psychiatry, and scientific study, then from fictional writings and popular culture, and finally in the etymology of entomology by highlighting insects with dream-inspired Latinate names. A wealth of insects in dreams, as documented clinically and culturally, attests to the perceived relevance of dreams and to the ubiquity of insects in our lives. PMID:26467945

  6. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Barrett A

    2011-12-21

    A majority of humans spend their waking hours surrounded by insects, so it should be no surprise that insects also appear in humans' dreams as we sleep. Dreaming about insects has a peculiar history, marked by our desire to explain a dream's significance and by the tactic of evoking emotions by injecting insects in dream-related works of art, film, music, and literature. I surveyed a scattered literature for examples of insects in dreams, first from the practices of dream interpretation, psychiatry, and scientific study, then from fictional writings and popular culture, and finally in the etymology of entomology by highlighting insects with dream-inspired Latinate names. A wealth of insects in dreams, as documented clinically and culturally, attests to the perceived relevance of dreams and to the ubiquity of insects in our lives.

  7. Trapping of insects in the Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Pathak, S.C.; Parulekar, A.H.

    Some insects caught on RV Gaveshani, while on a cruise in the Arabian Sea in May-June 1986 is reported Of the 23 insects caught, 16 were lepidopterans An interesting flight behaviour of Psychota sp is described...

  8. Expression and purification of moricin CM4 and human β-defensins 4 in Escherichia coli using a new technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yang; Ai, Hong-Xin; Song, Ren; Liang, Zhen-Ning; Li, Jian-Feng; Zhang, Shuang-Quan

    2010-10-20

    Different strategies have been developed to produce small antimicrobial peptides using recombinant techniques. Here we report a new technology of biosynthesis of moricin CM4 and human β-defensins 4 (HβD4) in the Escherichia coli. The CM4 and HβD4 gene were cloned into a vector containing the tags elastin-like peptide (ELP) and intein to construct the expression vector pET-EI-CM4 and pET-EI-HβD4. All the peptides, expressed as soluble fusions, were isolated from the protein debris by the method called inverse transition cycling (ITC) rather than traditional immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) and separated from the fusion leader by self-cleavage. Fully reduced peptides that were purified exhibited expected antimicrobial activity. The approach described here is a low-cost, convenient and potential way for generating small antimicrobial peptide. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Proteomic Profile of Unstable Atheroma Plaque: Increased Neutrophil Defensin 1, Clusterin, and Apolipoprotein E Levels in Carotid Secretome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aragonès, Gemma; Auguet, Teresa; Guiu-Jurado, Esther; Berlanga, Alba; Curriu, Marta; Martinez, Salomé; Alibalic, Ajla; Aguilar, Carmen; Hernández, Esteban; Camara, María-Luisa; Canela, Núria; Herrero, Pol; Ruyra, Xavier; Martín-Paredero, Vicente; Richart, Cristóbal

    2016-03-04

    Because of the clinical significance of carotid atherosclerosis, the search for novel biomarkers has become a priority. The aim of the present study was to compare the protein secretion profile of the carotid atherosclerotic plaque (CAP, n = 12) and nonatherosclerotic mammary artery (MA, n = 10) secretomes. We used a nontargeted proteomic approach that incorporated tandem immunoaffinity depletion, iTRAQ labeling, and nanoflow liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry. In total, 162 proteins were quantified, of which 25 showed statistically significant differences in secretome levels between carotid atherosclerotic plaque and nondiseased mammary artery. We found increased levels of neutrophil defensin 1, apolipoprotein E, clusterin, and zinc-alpha-2-glycoprotein in CAP secretomes. Results were validated by ELISA assays. Also, differentially secreted proteins are involved in pathways such as focal adhesion and leukocyte transendothelial migration. In conclusion, this study provides a subset of identified proteins that are differently expressed in secretomes of clinical significance.

  10. Aquatic wood -- an insect perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter S. Cranston; Brendan McKie

    2006-01-01

    Immersed wood provides refugia and substrate for a diverse array of macroinvertebrates, and food for a more restricted genuinely xylophagous fauna. Worldwide, xylophages are found across aquatic insect orders, including Coleoptera, Diptera, Trichoptera and Plecoptera. Xylophages often are specialised, feeding on the wood surface or mining deep within. Many feed...

  11. Social insects and selfish genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, A F

    2001-10-01

    Sometimes science advances because of a new idea. Sometimes, it's because of a new technique. When both occur together, exciting times result. In the study of social insects, DNA-based methods for measuring relatedness now allow increasingly detailed tests of Hamilton's theory of kin selection.

  12. Developmental constraint of insect audition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Strauß Johannes

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Insect ears contain very different numbers of sensory cells, from only one sensory cell in some moths to thousands of sensory cells, e.g. in cicadas. These differences still await functional explanation and especially the large numbers in cicadas remain puzzling. Insects of the different orders have distinct developmental sequences for the generation of auditory organs. These sensory cells might have different functions depending on the developmental stages. Here we propose that constraints arising during development are also important for the design of insect ears and might influence cell numbers of the adults. Presentation of the hypothesis We propose that the functional requirements of the subadult stages determine the adult complement of sensory units in the auditory system of cicadas. The hypothetical larval sensory organ should function as a vibration receiver, representing a functional caenogenesis. Testing the hypothesis Experiments at different levels have to be designed to test the hypothesis. Firstly, the neuroanatomy of the larval sense organ should be analyzed to detail. Secondly, the function should be unraveled neurophysiologically and behaviorally. Thirdly, the persistence of the sensory cells and the rebuilding of the sensory organ to the adult should be investigated. Implications of the hypothesis Usually, the evolution of insect ears is viewed with respect to physiological and neuronal mechanisms of sound perception. This view should be extended to the development of sense organs. Functional requirements during postembryonic development may act as constraints for the evolution of adult organs, as exemplified with the auditory system of cicadas.

  13. Edible insects are the future?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van Arnold

    2016-01-01

    The global increase in demand for meat and the limited land area available prompt the search for alternative protein sources. Also the sustainability of meat production has been questioned. Edible insects as an alternative protein source for human food and animal feed are interesting in terms of

  14. Diversity of insect intestinal microflora

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mrázek, Jakub; Štrosová, Lenka; Fliegerová, Kateřina; Kott, T.; Kopečný, Jan

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 53, č. 3 (2008), s. 229-233 ISSN 0015-5632 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA303/06/0974 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50450515 Keywords : insect intestinal microflora Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 1.172, year: 2008

  15. Bug City: Aquatic Insects [Videotape].

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998

    "Bug City" is a video series created to help children learn about insects and other small critters. All aspects of bug life are touched upon including body structure, food, habitat, life cycle, mating habits, camouflage, mutualism (symbiosis), adaptations, social behavior, and more. Each program features dramatic microscopic photography,…

  16. Chemical signaling and insect attraction is a conserved trait in yeasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becher, Paul G; Hagman, Arne; Verschut, Vasiliki; Chakraborty, Amrita; Rozpędowska, Elżbieta; Lebreton, Sébastien; Bengtsson, Marie; Flick, Gerhard; Witzgall, Peter; Piškur, Jure

    2018-03-01

    Yeast volatiles attract insects, which apparently is of mutual benefit, for both yeasts and insects. However, it is unknown whether biosynthesis of metabolites that attract insects is a basic and general trait, or if it is specific for yeasts that live in close association with insects. Our goal was to study chemical insect attractants produced by yeasts that span more than 250 million years of evolutionary history and vastly differ in their metabolism and lifestyle. We bioassayed attraction of the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster to odors of phylogenetically and ecologically distinct yeasts grown under controlled conditions. Baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae , the insect-associated species Candida californica , Pichia kluyveri and Metschnikowia andauensis , wine yeast Dekkera bruxellensis , milk yeast Kluyveromyces lactis , the vertebrate pathogens Candida albicans and Candida glabrata , and oleophilic Yarrowia lipolytica were screened for fly attraction in a wind tunnel. Yeast headspace was chemically analyzed, and co-occurrence of insect attractants in yeasts and flowering plants was investigated through a database search. In yeasts with known genomes, we investigated the occurrence of genes involved in the synthesis of key aroma compounds. Flies were attracted to all nine yeasts studied. The behavioral response to baker's yeast was independent of its growth stage. In addition to Drosophila , we tested the basal hexapod Folsomia candida (Collembola) in a Y-tube assay to the most ancient yeast, Y. lipolytica, which proved that early yeast signals also function on clades older than neopteran insects. Behavioral and chemical data and a search for selected genes of volatile metabolites underline that biosynthesis of chemical signals is found throughout the yeast clade and has been conserved during the evolution of yeast lifestyles. Literature and database reviews corroborate that yeast signals mediate mutualistic interactions between insects and yeasts

  17. Insect pests of stored grain products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chuaqui-Offermanns, N.

    1987-01-01

    The presence of insects in stored products is a worldwide recognized problem. In this report chemical and physical methods to control insect infestations in stored products are discussed. Special attention is given to the use of ionizing radiation to control insect pests in stored grains. The radiosensitivity of the most common insect pests at their different developmental stages is presented and discussed. The conclusions of this review are compiled in an executive summary. 62 refs

  18. The Antifungal Plant Defensin HsAFP1 Is a Phosphatidic Acid-Interacting Peptide Inducing Membrane Permeabilization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanne L. Cools

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available HsAFP1, a plant defensin isolated from coral bells (Heuchera sanguinea, is characterized by broad-spectrum antifungal activity. Previous studies indicated that HsAFP1 binds to specific fungal membrane components, which had hitherto not been identified, and induces mitochondrial dysfunction and cell membrane permeabilization. In this study, we show that HsAFP1 reversibly interacts with the membrane phospholipid phosphatidic acid (PA, which is a precursor for the biosynthesis of other phospholipids, and to a lesser extent with various phosphatidyl inositol phosphates (PtdInsP’s. Moreover, via reverse ELISA assays we identified two basic amino acids in HsAFP1, namely histidine at position 32 and arginine at position 52, as well as the phosphate group in PA as important features enabling this interaction. Using a HsAFP1 variant, lacking both amino acids (HsAFP1[H32A][R52A], we showed that, as compared to the native peptide, the ability of this variant to bind to PA and PtdInsP’s is reduced (≥74% and the antifungal activity of the variant is reduced (≥2-fold, highlighting the link between PA/PtdInsP binding and antifungal activity. Using fluorescently labelled HsAFP1 in confocal microscopy and flow cytometry assays, we showed that HsAFP1 accumulates at the cell surface of yeast cells with intact membranes, most notably at the buds and septa. The resulting HsAFP1-induced membrane permeabilization is likely to occur after HsAFP1’s internalization. These data provide novel mechanistic insights in the mode of action of the HsAFP1 plant defensin.

  19. Salivary human beta defensins affected by oral Candida status in Chinese HIV/AIDS patients undergoing ART.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhenmin; Yong, Xiangzhi; Jiang, Lanlan; Zhang, Linlin; Lin, Xuefang; Liu, Wei; Peng, Yuanyuan; Tao, Renchuan

    2018-03-02

    To observe relationships between oral Candida status and salivary human beta defensin-2 and -3 (hBD-2 and hBD-3) levels in HIV/AIDS patients of Guangxi, China during the first year of antiretroviral therapy (ART) dynamically, and to understand the influence of ART on oral Candida status and salivary hBDs expressions. A prospective self-controlled study was carried to observe the dynamic changes of CD4 + T cell counts, oral Candida carriages and salivary hBD-2,3 expressions in HIV/AIDS patients during the first year of ART. A total of 90 HIV/AIDS patients were enrolled, and were examined at the baseline, 3rd, 6th, 12th month of ART. Thirty healthy individuals were enrolled as control. Peripheral blood, oral rinse sample and unstimulated whole saliva were collected to test CD4 + T cell counts, oral Candida carriages and hBD-2,3 expressions. In the first year of ART, CD4 + T cell counts increased significantly. However, oral Candida carriages and oral candidiasis decreased significantly, and salivary hBD-2 expressions in HIV/AIDS patients decreased gradually, salivary hBD-3 levels were highly variable. Salivary hBD-2 concentrations were positively related to oral Candida carriages. The incidence of oral candidiasis among HIV/AIDS patients gradually decreased due to the immune reconstruction of ART. Salivary defensins might play an important role in Candida-host interaction in HIV/AIDS patients. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  20. Expression and new exon mutations of the human Beta defensins and their association on colon cancer development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelhabib Semlali

    Full Text Available The development of cancer involves genetic predisposition and a variety of environmental exposures. Genome-wide linkage analyses provide evidence for the significant linkage of many diseases to susceptibility loci on chromosome 8p23, the location of the human defensin gene cluster. Human β-defensins (hBDs are important molecules of innate immunity. This study was designed to analyze the expression and genetic variations in hBDs (hBD-1, hBD-2, hBD-3 and hBD-4 and their putative association with colon cancer. hBD gene expression and relative protein expression were evaluated by Real-Time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively, from 40 normal patients and 40 age-matched patients with colon cancer in Saudi Arabia. In addition, hBD polymorphisms were genotyped by exon sequencing and by promoter methylation. hBD-1, hBD-2, hBD-3 and hBD-4 basal messenger RNA expression was significantly lower in tumor tissues compared with normal tissues. Several insertion mutations were detected in different exons of the analyzed hBDs. However, no methylation in any hBDs promoters was detected because of the limited number of CpG islands in these regions. We demonstrated for the first time a link between hBD expression and colon cancer. This suggests that there is a significant link between innate immunity deregulation through disruption of cationic peptides (hBDs and the potential development of colon cancer.

  1. Transcriptional profiling avian beta-defensins in chicken oviduct epithelial cells before and after infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bailey R Hartford

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE colonizes the ovary and oviduct of chickens without causing overt clinical signs which can lead to SE-contamination of the content and membrane of shell-eggs as well as hatchery eggs. The organism utilizes the Salmonella Pathogenicity Island-2 encoded type III secretion system (T3SS-2 to promote persistence in the oviduct of laying hens. In this study, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR was carried out to determine the expression profiles of 14 known avian beta defensins (AvBDs in primary chicken oviduct epithelial cells (COEC before and after infections with a wild type SE strain and T3SS mutant SE strains carrying an inactivated sipA or pipB gene. Results Based on the expression levels in uninfected COEC, AvBDs can be loosely grouped into three categories with AvBD4-5 and AvBD9-12 being constitutively expressed at high levels; AvBD1, AvBD3, and AvBD13-14 at moderate levels; and AvBD2 and AvBD6-8 at minimal levels. Infection with the wild type SE strain temporarily repressed certain highly expressed AvBDs and induced the expression of minimally expressed AvBDs. The pipB mutant, compared to the wild type strain, had reduced suppressive effect on the expression of highly expressed AvBDs. Moreover, the pipB mutant elicited significantly higher levels of the minimally expressed AvBDs than the wild type SE or the sipA mutant did. Conclusion Chicken oviduct epithelial cells express most of the known AvBD genes in response to SE infection. PipB, a T3SS-2 effector protein, plays a role in dampening the β-defensin arm of innate immunity during SE invasion of chicken oviduct epithelium.

  2. Transcriptional profiling avian beta-defensins in chicken oviduct epithelial cells before and after infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebers, Katie L; Zhang, C Yan; Zhang, M Zhenyu; Bailey, R Hartford; Zhang, Shuping

    2009-07-30

    Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE) colonizes the ovary and oviduct of chickens without causing overt clinical signs which can lead to SE-contamination of the content and membrane of shell-eggs as well as hatchery eggs. The organism utilizes the Salmonella Pathogenicity Island-2 encoded type III secretion system (T3SS-2) to promote persistence in the oviduct of laying hens. In this study, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was carried out to determine the expression profiles of 14 known avian beta defensins (AvBDs) in primary chicken oviduct epithelial cells (COEC) before and after infections with a wild type SE strain and T3SS mutant SE strains carrying an inactivated sipA or pipB gene. Based on the expression levels in uninfected COEC, AvBDs can be loosely grouped into three categories with AvBD4-5 and AvBD9-12 being constitutively expressed at high levels; AvBD1, AvBD3, and AvBD13-14 at moderate levels; and AvBD2 and AvBD6-8 at minimal levels. Infection with the wild type SE strain temporarily repressed certain highly expressed AvBDs and induced the expression of minimally expressed AvBDs. The pipB mutant, compared to the wild type strain, had reduced suppressive effect on the expression of highly expressed AvBDs. Moreover, the pipB mutant elicited significantly higher levels of the minimally expressed AvBDs than the wild type SE or the sipA mutant did. Chicken oviduct epithelial cells express most of the known AvBD genes in response to SE infection. PipB, a T3SS-2 effector protein, plays a role in dampening the beta-defensin arm of innate immunity during SE invasion of chicken oviduct epithelium.

  3. All insects are equal, but some insects are more equal than others

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fischer, Arnout R.H.; Steenbekkers, L.P.A.

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: Lack of acceptance of insects as food is considered a barrier against societal adoption of the potentially valuable contribution of insects to human foods. An underlying barrier may be that insects are lumped together as one group, while consumers typically try specific insects. The purpose

  4. How Insects Survive Winter in the Midwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding how insects cope with cold temperatures can not only help entomologists more accurately forecast when and where insects are active, but it may also help us understand how climate change will influence insect pests. This newsletter article provides a comprehensive overview of how Midwes...

  5. Plant responses to insect egg deposition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilker, M.; Fatouros, N.E.

    2015-01-01

    Plants can respond to insect egg deposition and thus resist attack by herbivorous insects from the beginning of the attack, egg deposition. We review ecological effects of plant responses to insect eggs and differentiate between egg-induced plant defenses that directly harm the eggs and indirect

  6. Radioisotopes and food preservation against insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hachem Ahmad, M.S.

    1998-01-01

    The book describes how to preserve food from harmful insects by using radioisotopes. It focusses on the impact of ionized radiation on the different stages of insect growth and on its metabolism and immunity. It also discusses the relationship between radiation doses and insect reproduction. It explains the various methods to detect the irradiated foods

  7. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be... generally accepted methods of insect control. ...

  8. New directions in diagnostic evaluation of insect allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, David B K

    2014-08-01

    Diagnosis of insect sting allergy and prediction of risk of sting anaphylaxis are often difficult because tests for venom-specific IgE antibodies have a limited positive predictive value and do not reliably predict the severity of sting reactions. Component-resolved diagnosis using recombinant venom allergens has shown promise in improving the specificity of diagnostic testing for insect sting allergy. Basophil activation tests have been explored as more sensitive assays for identification of patients with insect allergy and for prediction of clinical outcomes. Measurement of mast cell mediators reflects the underlying risk for more severe reactions and limited clinical response to treatment. Measurement of IgE to recombinant venom allergens can distinguish cross-sensitization from dual sensitization to honeybee and vespid venoms, thus helping to limit venom immunotherapy to a single venom instead of multiple venoms in many patients. Basophil activation tests can detect venom allergy in patients who show no detectable venom-specific IgE in standard diagnostic tests and can predict increased risk of systemic reactions to venom immunotherapy, and to stings during and after stopping venom immunotherapy. The risk of severe or fatal anaphylaxis to stings can also be predicted by measurement of baseline serum tryptase or other mast cell mediators.

  9. Insect density-plant density relationships: a modified view of insect responses to resource concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Petter; Löfstedt, Christer; Hambäck, Peter A

    2013-12-01

    Habitat area is an important predictor of spatial variation in animal densities. However, the area often correlates with the quantity of resources within habitats, complicating our understanding of the factors shaping animal distributions. We addressed this problem by investigating densities of insect herbivores in habitat patches with a constant area but varying numbers of plants. Using a mathematical model, predictions of scale-dependent immigration and emigration rates for insects into patches with different densities of host plants were derived. Moreover, a field experiment was conducted where the scaling properties of odour-mediated attraction in relation to the number of odour sources were estimated, in order to derive a prediction of immigration rates of olfactory searchers. The theoretical model predicted that we should expect immigration rates of contact and visual searchers to be determined by patch area, with a steep scaling coefficient, μ = -1. The field experiment suggested that olfactory searchers should show a less steep scaling coefficient, with μ ≈ -0.5. A parameter estimation and analysis of published data revealed a correspondence between observations and predictions, and density-variation among groups could largely be explained by search behaviour. Aphids showed scaling coefficients corresponding to the prediction for contact/visual searchers, whereas moths, flies and beetles corresponded to the prediction for olfactory searchers. As density responses varied considerably among groups, and variation could be explained by a certain trait, we conclude that a general theory of insect responses to habitat heterogeneity should be based on shared traits, rather than a general prediction for all species.

  10. Insect biofuel cells using trehalose included in insect hemolymph leading to an insect-mountable biofuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoji, Kan; Akiyama, Yoshitake; Suzuki, Masato; Hoshino, Takayuki; Nakamura, Nobuhumi; Ohno, Hiroyuki; Morishima, Keisuke

    2012-12-01

    In this paper, an insect biofuel cell (BFC) using trehalose included in insect hemolymph was developed. The insect BFC is based on trehalase and glucose oxidase (GOD) reaction systems which oxidize β-glucose obtained by hydrolyzing trehalose. First, we confirmed by LC-MS that a sufficient amount of trehalose was present in the cockroach hemolymph (CHL). The maximum power density obtained using the insect BFC was 6.07 μW/cm(2). The power output was kept more than 10 % for 2.5 h by protecting the electrodes with a dialysis membrane. Furthermore, the maximum power density was increased to 10.5 μW/cm(2) by using an air diffusion cathode. Finally, we succeeded in driving a melody integrated circuit (IC) and a piezo speaker by connecting five insect BFCs in series. The results indicate that the insect BFC is a promising insect-mountable battery to power environmental monitoring micro-tools.

  11. The expression of cytokines and β -defensin 2, - 3, -4 in rabbit bone tissue after hydroxyapatite (HAp), α- Tricalcium phosphate (α-TCP) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) implantation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vamze, J; Pilmane, M; Skagers, A

    2012-01-01

    Bone loss induced by inflammation is one of the complications after biomaterial implantation. There is no much data on expression of cytokines and defensins into the bone tissue around the implants in literature. The aim of this work was to investigate the distribution and appearance of interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and (β - defensin (BD)-2, BD-3, BD-4 after the implantation of different biomaterials. Bone developing zones, signs of bone-implant contact and low expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1, IL-6 and anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in experimental tissue with pure HAp and unburned HAp implants indicate a potential advantage of this material in terms of its biocompatibility over the other materials used in our study.

  12. Multi-factor climate change effects on insect herbivore performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scherber, Christoph; Gladbach, David J; Stevnbak, Karen

    2013-01-01

    The impact of climate change on herbivorous insects can have far-reaching consequences for ecosystem processes. However, experiments investigating the combined effects of multiple climate change drivers on herbivorous insects are scarce. We independently manipulated three climate change drivers (CO...... suturalis Thomson), an important herbivore on heather, to ambient versus elevated drought, temperature, and CO2 (plus all combinations) for 5 weeks. Larval weight and survival were highest under ambient conditions and decreased significantly with the number of climate change drivers. Weight was lowest under...... the drought treatment, and there was a three-way interaction between time, CO2, and drought. Survival was lowest when drought, warming, and elevated CO2 were combined. Effects of climate change drivers depended on other co-acting factors and were mediated by changes in plant secondary compounds, nitrogen...

  13. Dynamics of immune system gene expression upon bacterial challenge and wounding in a social insect (Bombus terrestris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvio Erler

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The innate immune system which helps individuals to combat pathogens comprises a set of genes representing four immune system pathways (Toll, Imd, JNK and JAK/STAT. There is a lack of immune genes in social insects (e.g. honeybees when compared to Diptera. Potentially, this might be compensated by an advanced system of social immunity (synergistic action of several individuals. The bumble bee, Bombus terrestris, is a primitively eusocial species with an annual life cycle and colonies headed by a single queen. We used this key pollinator to study the temporal dynamics of immune system gene expression in response to wounding and bacterial challenge.Antimicrobial peptides (AMP (abaecin, defensin 1, hymenoptaecin were strongly up-regulated by wounding and bacterial challenge, the latter showing a higher impact on the gene expression level. Sterile wounding down-regulated TEP A, an effector gene of the JAK/STAT pathway, and bacterial infection influenced genes of the Imd (relish and JNK pathway (basket. Relish was up-regulated within the first hour after bacterial challenge, but decreased strongly afterwards. AMP expression following wounding and bacterial challenge correlates with the expression pattern of relish whereas correlated expression with dorsal was absent. Although expression of AMPs was high, continuous bacterial growth was observed throughout the experiment.Here we demonstrate for the first time the temporal dynamics of immune system gene expression in a social insect. Wounding and bacterial challenge affected the innate immune system significantly. Induction of AMP expression due to wounding might comprise a pre-adaptation to accompanying bacterial infections. Compared with solitary species this social insect exhibits reduced immune system efficiency, as bacterial growth could not be inhibited. A negative feedback loop regulating the Imd-pathway is suggested. AMPs, the end product of the Imd-pathway, inhibited the up-regulation of the

  14. Autophagy pathway induced by a plant virus facilitates viral spread and transmission by its insect vector.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Chen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Many viral pathogens are persistently transmitted by insect vectors and cause agricultural or health problems. Generally, an insect vector can use autophagy as an intrinsic antiviral defense mechanism against viral infection. Whether viruses can evolve to exploit autophagy to promote their transmission by insect vectors is still unknown. Here, we show that the autophagic process is triggered by the persistent replication of a plant reovirus, rice gall dwarf virus (RGDV in cultured leafhopper vector cells and in intact insects, as demonstrated by the appearance of obvious virus-containing double-membrane autophagosomes, conversion of ATG8-I to ATG8-II and increased level of autophagic flux. Such virus-containing autophagosomes seem able to mediate nonlytic viral release from cultured cells or facilitate viral spread in the leafhopper intestine. Applying the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine or silencing the expression of Atg5 significantly decrease viral spread in vitro and in vivo, whereas applying the autophagy inducer rapamycin or silencing the expression of Torc1 facilitate such viral spread. Furthermore, we find that activation of autophagy facilitates efficient viral transmission, whereas inhibiting autophagy blocks viral transmission by its insect vector. Together, these results indicate a plant virus can induce the formation of autophagosomes for carrying virions, thus facilitating viral spread and transmission by its insect vector. We believe that such a role for virus-induced autophagy is common for vector-borne persistent viruses during their transmission by insect vectors.

  15. Cis-12-oxo-phytodienoic acid stimulates rice defense response to a piercing-sucking insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Hui-Min; Li, Hai-Chao; Zhou, Shi-Rong; Xue, Hong-Wei; Miao, Xue-Xia

    2014-11-01

    The brown planthopper (BPH, Nilaparvata lugens) is a destructive, monophagous, piercing-sucking insect pest of rice. Previous studies indicated that jasmonic acid (JA) positively regulates rice defense against chewing insect pests but negatively regulates it against the piercing-sucking insect of BPH. We here demonstrated that overexpression of allene oxide cyclase (AOC) but not OPR3 (cis-12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) reductase 3, an enzyme adjacent to AOC in the JA synthetic pathway) significantly increased rice resistance to BPH, mainly by reducing the feeding activity and survival rate. Further analysis revealed that plant response to BPH under AOC overexpression was independent of the JA pathway and that significantly higher OPDA levels stimulated rice resistance to BPH. Microarray analysis identified multiple candidate resistance-related genes under AOC overexpression. OPDA treatment stimulated the resistance of radish seedlings to green peach aphid Myzus persicae, another piercing-sucking insect. These results imply that rice resistance to chewing insects and to sucking insects can be enhanced simultaneously through AOC-mediated increases of JA and OPDA and provide direct evidence of the potential application of OPDA in stimulating plant defense responses to piercing-sucking insect pests in agriculture. © The Author 2014. Published by the Molecular Plant Shanghai Editorial Office in association with Oxford University Press on behalf of CSPB and IPPE, SIBS, CAS.

  16. The mycorrhiza-dependent defensin MtDefMd1 of Medicago truncatula acts during the late restructuring stages of arbuscule-containing cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marian Uhe

    Full Text Available Different symbiotic and pathogenic plant-microbe interactions involve the production of cysteine-rich antimicrobial defensins. In Medicago truncatula, the expression of four MtDefMd genes, encoding arbuscular mycorrhiza-dependent defensins containing an N-terminal signal peptide and exhibiting some differences to non-symbiotic defensins, raised over the time of fungal colonization. Whereas the MtDefMd1 and MtDefMd2 promoters were inactive in cells containing young arbuscules, cells with fully developed arbuscules displayed different levels of promoter activities, indicating an up-regulation towards later stages of arbuscule formation. MtDefMd1 and MtDefMd2 expression was absent or strongly down-regulated in mycorrhized ram1-1 and pt4-2 mutants, known for defects in arbuscule branching or premature arbuscule degeneration, respectively. A ~97% knock-down of MtDefMd1/MtDefMd2 expression did not significantly affect arbuscule size. Although overexpression of MtDefMd1 in arbuscule-containing cells led to an up-regulation of MtRam1, encoding a key transcriptional regulator of arbuscule formation, no morphological changes were evident. Co-localization of an MtDefMd1-mGFP6 fusion with additional, subcellular markers revealed that this defensin is associated with arbuscules in later stages of their life-cycle. MtDefMd1-mGFP6 was detected in cells with older arbuscules about to collapse, and ultimately in vacuolar compartments. Comparisons with mycorrhized roots expressing a tonoplast marker indicated that MtDefMd1 acts during late restructuring processes of arbuscule-containing cells, upon their transition into a post-symbiotic state.

  17. Physiological function and ecological aspects of fatty acid-amino acid conjugates in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshinaga, Naoko

    2016-07-01

    In tritrophic interactions, plants recognize herbivore-produced elicitors and release a blend of volatile compounds (VOCs), which work as chemical cues for parasitoids or predators to locate their hosts. From detection of elicitors to VOC emissions, plants utilize sophisticated systems that resemble the plant-microbe interaction system. Fatty acid-amino acid conjugates (FACs), a class of insect elicitors, resemble compounds synthesized by microbes in nature. Recent evidence suggests that the recognition of insect elicitors by an ancestral microbe-associated defense system may be the origin of tritrophic interactions mediated by FACs. Here we discuss our findings in light of how plants have customized this defense to be effective against insect herbivores, and how some insects have successfully adapted to these defenses.

  18. Phase Coexistence in Insect Swarms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinhuber, Michael; Ouellette, Nicholas T.

    2017-10-01

    Animal aggregations are visually striking, and as such are popular examples of collective behavior in the natural world. Quantitatively demonstrating the collective nature of such groups, however, remains surprisingly difficult. Inspired by thermodynamics, we applied topological data analysis to laboratory insect swarms and found evidence for emergent, material-like states. We show that the swarms consist of a core "condensed" phase surrounded by a dilute "vapor" phase. These two phases coexist in equilibrium, and maintain their distinct macroscopic properties even though individual insects pass freely between them. We further define a pressure and chemical potential to describe these phases, extending theories of active matter to aggregations of macroscopic animals and laying the groundwork for a thermodynamic description of collective animal groups.

  19. Measurement methods and accuracy in copy number variation: failure to replicate associations of beta-defensin copy number with Crohn's disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldhous, Marian C.; Abu Bakar, Suhaili; Prescott, Natalie J.; Palla, Raquel; Soo, Kimberley; Mansfield, John C.; Mathew, Christopher G.; Satsangi, Jack; Armour, John A.L.

    2010-01-01

    The copy number variation in beta-defensin genes on human chromosome 8 has been proposed to underlie susceptibility to inflammatory disorders, but presents considerable challenges for accurate typing on the scale required for adequately powered case–control studies. In this work, we have used accurate methods of copy number typing based on the paralogue ratio test (PRT) to assess beta-defensin copy number in more than 1500 UK DNA samples including more than 1000 cases of Crohn's disease. A subset of 625 samples was typed using both PRT-based methods and standard real-time PCR methods, from which direct comparisons highlight potentially serious shortcomings of a real-time PCR assay for typing this variant. Comparing our PRT-based results with two previous studies based only on real-time PCR, we find no evidence to support the reported association of Crohn's disease with either low or high beta-defensin copy number; furthermore, it is noteworthy that there are disagreements between different studies on the observed frequency distribution of copy number states among European controls. We suggest safeguards to be adopted in assessing and reporting the accuracy of copy number measurement, with particular emphasis on integer clustering of results, to avoid reporting of spurious associations in future case–control studies. PMID:20858604

  20. Effect of yoghurt containing Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12® on faecal excretion of secretory immunoglobulin A and human beta-defensin 2 in healthy adult volunteers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kabeerdoss Jayakanthan

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Probiotics are used to provide health benefits. The present study tested the effect of a probiotic yoghurt on faecal output of beta-defensin and immunoglobulin A in a group of young healthy women eating a defined diet. Findings 26 women aged 18-21 (median 19 years residing in a hostel were given 200 ml normal yoghurt every day for a week, followed by probiotic yoghurt containing Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12® (109 in 200 ml for three weeks, followed again by normal yoghurt for four weeks. Stool samples were collected at 0, 4 and 8 weeks and assayed for immunoglobulin A and human beta-defensin-2 by ELISA. All participants tolerated both normal and probiotic yoghurt well. Human beta-defensin-2 levels in faeces were not altered during the course of the study. On the other hand, compared to the basal sample, faecal IgA increased during probiotic feeding (P = 0.0184 and returned to normal after cessation of probiotic yoghurt intake. Conclusions Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12® increased secretory IgA output in faeces. This property may explain the ability of probiotics to prevent gastrointestinal and lower respiratory tract infections.

  1. Association studies of the copy-number variable ß-defensin cluster on 8p23.1 in adenocarcinoma and chronic pancreatitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taudien Stefan

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human ß-defensins are a family of antimicrobial peptides located at the mucosal surface. Both sequence multi-site variations (MSV and copy-number variants (CNV of the defensin-encoding genes are associated with increased risk for various diseases, including cancer and inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and acute pancreatitis. In a case–control study, we investigated the association between MSV in DEFB104 as well as defensin gene (DEF cluster copy number (CN, and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC and chronic pancreatitis (CP. Results Two groups of PDAC (N=70 and CP (N=60 patients were compared to matched healthy control groups CARLA1 (N=232 and CARLA2 (N=160, respectively. Four DEFB104 MSV were haplotyped by PCR, cloning and sequencing. DEF cluster CN was determined by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. Neither the PDAC nor the CP cohorts show significant differences in the DEFB104 haplotype distribution compared to the respective control groups CARLA1 and CARLA2, respectively. The diploid DEF cluster CN exhibit a significantly different distribution between PDAC and CARLA1 (Fisher’s exact test P=0.027, but not between CP and CARLA2 (P=0.867. Conclusion Different DEF cluster b CN distribution between PDAC patients and healthy controls indicate a potential protective effect of higher CNs against the disease.

  2. Measurement methods and accuracy in copy number variation: failure to replicate associations of beta-defensin copy number with Crohn's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldhous, Marian C; Abu Bakar, Suhaili; Prescott, Natalie J; Palla, Raquel; Soo, Kimberley; Mansfield, John C; Mathew, Christopher G; Satsangi, Jack; Armour, John A L

    2010-12-15

    The copy number variation in beta-defensin genes on human chromosome 8 has been proposed to underlie susceptibility to inflammatory disorders, but presents considerable challenges for accurate typing on the scale required for adequately powered case-control studies. In this work, we have used accurate methods of copy number typing based on the paralogue ratio test (PRT) to assess beta-defensin copy number in more than 1500 UK DNA samples including more than 1000 cases of Crohn's disease. A subset of 625 samples was typed using both PRT-based methods and standard real-time PCR methods, from which direct comparisons highlight potentially serious shortcomings of a real-time PCR assay for typing this variant. Comparing our PRT-based results with two previous studies based only on real-time PCR, we find no evidence to support the reported association of Crohn's disease with either low or high beta-defensin copy number; furthermore, it is noteworthy that there are disagreements between different studies on the observed frequency distribution of copy number states among European controls. We suggest safeguards to be adopted in assessing and reporting the accuracy of copy number measurement, with particular emphasis on integer clustering of results, to avoid reporting of spurious associations in future case-control studies.

  3. Antibacterial activity of defensin PaDef from avocado fruit (Persea americana var. drymifolia) expressed in endothelial cells against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Rodríguez, Jaquelina Julia; López-Gómez, Rodolfo; Suárez-Rodríguez, Luis M; Salgado-Garciglia, Rafael; Rodríguez-Zapata, Luis C; Ochoa-Zarzosa, Alejandra; López-Meza, Joel E

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial therapy is a useful tool to control infectious diseases in general and rising antibiotic resistant microorganisms in particular. Alternative strategies are desirable, and antimicrobial peptides (AMP) represent attractive control agents. Mexican avocado (Persea americana var. drymifolia) is used in traditional medicine; however, the AMP production has not been reported in this plant. We obtained a cDNA library from avocado fruit and clone PaDef was identified, which has a cDNA (249 bp) encoding a protein (78 aa) homologous with plant defensins (>80%). We expressed the defensin PaDef cDNA (pBME3) in the bovine endothelial cell line BVE-E6E7. Polyclonal and clonal populations were obtained and their activity was evaluated against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. E. coli viability was inhibited with 100 μg/mL of total protein from clones (>55%). Also, S. aureus viability was inhibited from 50 μg/mL total protein (27-38%) but was more evident at 100 μg/mL (52-65%). This inhibition was higher than the effect showed by polyclonal population (~23%). Finally, we did not detect activity against C. albicans. These results are the first report that shows antimicrobial activity of a defensin produced by avocado and suggest that this AMP could be used in the control of pathogens.

  4. Antibacterial Activity of Defensin PaDef from Avocado Fruit (Persea americana var. drymifolia Expressed in Endothelial Cells against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaquelina Julia Guzmán-Rodríguez

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial therapy is a useful tool to control infectious diseases in general and rising antibiotic resistant microorganisms in particular. Alternative strategies are desirable, and antimicrobial peptides (AMP represent attractive control agents. Mexican avocado (Persea americana var. drymifolia is used in traditional medicine; however, the AMP production has not been reported in this plant. We obtained a cDNA library from avocado fruit and clone PaDef was identified, which has a cDNA (249 bp encoding a protein (78 aa homologous with plant defensins (>80%. We expressed the defensin PaDef cDNA (pBME3 in the bovine endothelial cell line BVE-E6E7. Polyclonal and clonal populations were obtained and their activity was evaluated against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. E. coli viability was inhibited with 100 μg/mL of total protein from clones (>55%. Also, S. aureus viability was inhibited from 50 μg/mL total protein (27–38% but was more evident at 100 μg/mL (52–65%. This inhibition was higher than the effect showed by polyclonal population (~23%. Finally, we did not detect activity against C. albicans. These results are the first report that shows antimicrobial activity of a defensin produced by avocado and suggest that this AMP could be used in the control of pathogens.

  5. The defensin from avocado (Persea americana var. drymifolia) PaDef induces apoptosis in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Rodríguez, Jaquelina Julia; López-Gómez, Rodolfo; Salgado-Garciglia, Rafael; Ochoa-Zarzosa, Alejandra; López-Meza, Joel E

    2016-08-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are cytotoxic to cancer cells; however, mainly the effects of AMPs from animals have been evaluated. In this work, we assessed the cytotoxicity of PaDef defensin from avocado (Persea americana var. drymifolia) on the MCF-7 cancer cell line (a breast cancer cell line) and evaluated its mechanism of action. PaDef inhibited the viability of MCF-7 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, with an IC50=141.62μg/ml. The viability of normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells was unaffected by this AMP. Additionally, PaDef induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells in a time-dependent manner, but did not affect the membrane potential or calcium flow. In addition, PaDef IC50 induced the expression of cytochrome c, Apaf-1, and the caspase 7 and 9 genes. Likewise, this defensin induced the loss of mitochondrial Δψm and increased the phosphorylation of MAPK p38, which may lead to MCF-7 apoptosis by the intrinsic pathway. This is the first report of an avocado defensin inducing intrinsic apoptosis in cancer cells, which suggests that it could be a potential therapeutic molecule in the treatment of cancer. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  6. Comparison of the nodule vs. root transcriptome of the actinorhizal plant Datisca glomerata: actinorhizal nodules contain a specific class of defensins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina V Demina

    Full Text Available Actinorhizal root nodule symbioses are very diverse, and the symbiosis of Datisca glomerata has previously been shown to have many unusual aspects. In order to gain molecular information on the infection mechanism, nodule development and nodule metabolism, we compared the transcriptomes of D. glomerata roots and nodules. Root and nodule libraries representing the 3'-ends of cDNAs were subjected to high-throughput parallel 454 sequencing. To identify the corresponding genes and to improve the assembly, Illumina sequencing of the nodule transcriptome was performed as well. The evaluation revealed 406 differentially regulated genes, 295 of which (72.7% could be assigned a function based on homology. Analysis of the nodule transcriptome showed that genes encoding components of the common symbiosis signaling pathway were present in nodules of D. glomerata, which in combination with the previously established function of SymRK in D. glomerata nodulation suggests that this pathway is also active in actinorhizal Cucurbitales. Furthermore, comparison of the D. glomerata nodule transcriptome with nodule transcriptomes from actinorhizal Fagales revealed a new subgroup of nodule-specific defensins that might play a role specific to actinorhizal symbioses. The D. glomerata members of this defensin subgroup contain an acidic C-terminal domain that was never found in plant defensins before.

  7. Nuclear energy against insect pests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1963-07-15

    The paper presents the main topics discussed at the scientific symposium on the Use and Application of Radioisotopes and Radiation in the Control of Plant and Animal Insect Pests, held in Athens last April, jointly organized by IAEA and FAO with the co-operation of the Greek Government. The sterile male technique is discussed in details and some results from the applications are given

  8. Successes against insects and parasites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1967-10-15

    With more and more answers being found to intricate problems which have entailed years of research in many parts of the world, some successes can now be claimed in the fight to control insect threats to crops, animals and human beings. Nuclear techniques are playing an important part in world efforts, and recent reports show that they have been effective in pioneer work against crop pests as well as in finding an answer to some diseases caused by parasites

  9. Genes, enzymes and chemicals of terpenoid diversity in the constitutive and induced defence of conifers against insects and pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeling, Christopher I; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2006-01-01

    Insects select their hosts, but trees cannot select which herbivores will feed upon them. Thus, as long-lived stationary organisms, conifers must resist the onslaught of varying and multiple attackers over their lifetime. Arguably, the greatest threats to conifers are herbivorous insects and their associated pathogens. Insects such as bark beetles, stem- and wood-boring insects, shoot-feeding weevils, and foliage-feeding budworms and sawflies are among the most devastating pests of conifer forests. Conifer trees produce a great diversity of compounds, such as an enormous array of terpenoids and phenolics, that may impart resistance to a variety of herbivores and microorganisms. Insects have evolved to specialize in resistance to these chemicals -- choosing, feeding upon, and colonizing hosts they perceive to be best suited to reproduction. This review focuses on the plant-insect interactions mediated by conifer-produced terpenoids. To understand the role of terpenoids in conifer-insect interactions, we must understand how conifers produce the wide diversity of terpenoids, as well as understand how these specific compounds affect insect behaviour and physiology. This review examines what chemicals are produced, the genes and proteins involved in their biosynthesis, how they work, and how they are regulated. It also examines how insects and their associated pathogens interact with, elicit, and are affected by conifer-produced terpenoids.

  10. Circadian organization in hemimetabolous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomioka, Kenji; Abdelsalam, Salaheldin

    2004-12-01

    The circadian system of hemimetabolous insects is reviewed in respect to the locus of the circadian clock and multioscillatory organization. Because of relatively easy access to the nervous system, the neuronal organization of the clock system in hemimetabolous insects has been studied, yielding identification of the compound eye as the major photoreceptor for entrainment and the optic lobe for the circadian clock locus. The clock site within the optic lobe is inconsistent among reported species; in cockroaches the lobula was previously thought to be a most likely clock locus but accessory medulla is recently stressed to be a clock center, while more distal part of the optic lobe including the lamina and the outer medulla area for the cricket. Identification of the clock cells needs further critical studies. Although each optic lobe clock seems functionally identical, in respect to photic entrainment and generation of the rhythm, the bilaterally paired clocks form a functional unit. They interact to produce a stable time structure within individual insects by exchanging photic and temporal information through neural pathways, in which serotonin and pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) are involved as chemical messengers. The mutual interaction also plays an important role in seasonal adaptation of the rhythm.

  11. Stiffness of desiccating insect wings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mengesha, T E; Vallance, R R; Mittal, R

    2011-01-01

    The stiffness of insect wings is typically determined through experimental measurements. Such experiments are performed on wings removed from insects. However, the wings are subject to desiccation which typically leads to an increase in their stiffness. Although this effect of desiccation is well known, a comprehensive study of the rate of change in stiffness of desiccating insect wings would be a significant aid in planning experiments as well as interpreting data from such experiments. This communication presents a comprehensive experimental analysis of the change in mass and stiffness of gradually desiccating forewings of Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui). Mass and stiffness of the forewings of five butterflies were simultaneously measured every 10 min over a 24 h period. The averaged results show that wing mass declined exponentially by 21.1% over this time period with a time constant of 9.8 h, while wing stiffness increased linearly by 46.2% at a rate of 23.4 μN mm -1 h -1 . For the forewings of a single butterfly, the experiment was performed over a period of 1 week, and the results show that wing mass declined exponentially by 52.2% with a time constant of 30.2 h until it reached a steady-state level of 2.00 mg, while wing stiffness increased exponentially by 90.7% until it reached a steady-state level of 1.70 mN mm -1 . (communication)

  12. Stiffness of desiccating insect wings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mengesha, T E; Vallance, R R [Department of Mechanical Engineering, The George Washington University, 738 Phillips Hall, 801 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20052 (United States); Mittal, R, E-mail: vallance@gwu.edu [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 126 Latrobe Hall, 3400 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2011-03-15

    The stiffness of insect wings is typically determined through experimental measurements. Such experiments are performed on wings removed from insects. However, the wings are subject to desiccation which typically leads to an increase in their stiffness. Although this effect of desiccation is well known, a comprehensive study of the rate of change in stiffness of desiccating insect wings would be a significant aid in planning experiments as well as interpreting data from such experiments. This communication presents a comprehensive experimental analysis of the change in mass and stiffness of gradually desiccating forewings of Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui). Mass and stiffness of the forewings of five butterflies were simultaneously measured every 10 min over a 24 h period. The averaged results show that wing mass declined exponentially by 21.1% over this time period with a time constant of 9.8 h, while wing stiffness increased linearly by 46.2% at a rate of 23.4 {mu}N mm{sup -1} h{sup -1}. For the forewings of a single butterfly, the experiment was performed over a period of 1 week, and the results show that wing mass declined exponentially by 52.2% with a time constant of 30.2 h until it reached a steady-state level of 2.00 mg, while wing stiffness increased exponentially by 90.7% until it reached a steady-state level of 1.70 mN mm{sup -1}. (communication)

  13. Gut immunity in Lepidopteran insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Kai; Yang, Bing; Huang, Wuren; Dobens, Leonard; Song, Hongsheng; Ling, Erjun

    2016-11-01

    Lepidopteran insects constitute one of the largest fractions of animals on earth, but are considered pests in their relationship with man. Key to the success of this order of insects is its ability to digest food and absorb nutrition, which takes place in the midgut. Because environmental microorganisms can easily enter Lepidopteran guts during feeding, the innate immune response guards against pathogenic bacteria, virus and microsporidia that can be devoured with food. Gut immune responses are complicated by both resident gut microbiota and the surrounding peritrophic membrane and are distinct from immune responses in the body cavity, which depend on the function of the fat body and hemocytes. Due to their relevance to agricultural production, studies of Lepidopteran insect midgut and immunity are receiving more attention, and here we summarize gut structures and functions, and discuss how these confer immunity against different microorganisms. It is expected that increased knowledge of Lepidopteran gut immunity may be utilized for pest biological control in the future. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Identification of sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with the levels of human β-defensin-1 and human β-defensin-2 in the human milk of Han Chinese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Fang; Cao, Rui-Ming; Li, Jing; Wu, Jing; Wu, Sheng-Mei; Chen, Tong-Xin

    2014-03-14

    Human milk provides infants with various immune molecules. The objective of the present study was to measure human β-defensin-1 (hBD-1) and human β-defensin-2 (hBD-2) levels in the colostrum and mature milk of healthy Han Chinese, to identify factors regulating milk hBD-1 and hBD-2 expression and to explore the potential protective effect of milk hBD-1 and hBD-2 on infants. A total of 100 mothers and their babies were recruited into the study. Sociodemographic characteristics and other factors were obtained by a questionnaire. Babies were followed up for a period of 6 months. Colostrum samples (n 100) and mature milk samples (n 82) were collected by hand expression. The hBD-1 and hBD-2 concentrations were measured by ELISA. The hBD-1 and hBD-2 levels differed in the colostrum and mature milk. In the colostrum, the concentration ranges of hBD-1 and hBD-2 were 1·04-12·81 μg/ml and 0·31-19·12 ng/ml, respectively. In mature milk, the hBD-1 and hBD-2 levels were 1·03-31·76 ng/ml and 52·65-182·29 pg/ml, respectively. Several independent factors influence their production. The multivariable analysis showed a strong association between pre-pregnancy BMI and hBD-1 levels in the colostrum (P=0·001), mode of delivery was significantly associated with hBD-2 levels in the colostrum (P=0·006) and gestational age was significantly associated with hBD-1 levels in mature milk (P= 0·010). During the first 6 months of life, the incidence rate of upper respiratory infection was found to be less in the high-colostrum hBD-1 group than in the low-colostrum hBD-1 group (χ²=4·995, P=0·025). The present study suggested that the abundance of hBD-1 in the colostrum may have a protective function against upper respiratory infection for infants younger than 6 months.

  15. Vitamin D Signaling Through Induction of Paneth Cell Defensins Maintains Gut Microbiota and Improves Metabolic Disorders and Hepatic Steatosis in Animal Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danmei Su

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic syndrome (MetS, characterized as obesity, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD,is associated with vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency in epidemiological studies, while the underlying mechanism is poorly addressed. On the other hand, disorder of gut microbiota, namely dysbiosis, is known to cause MetS and NAFLD. It is also known that systemic inflammation blocks insulin signaling pathways, leading to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, which are the driving force for hepatic steatosis. Vitamin D receptor (VDR is highly expressed in the ileum of the small intestine,which prompted us to test a hypothesis that vitamin D signaling may determine the enterotype of gut microbiota through regulating the intestinal interface. Here, we demonstrate that high-fat-diet feeding (HFD is necessary but not sufficient, while additional vitamin D deficiency (VDD as a second hit is needed, to induce robust insulin resistance and fatty liver. Under the two hits (HFD+VDD, the Paneth cell-specific alpha-defensins including α-defensin 5 (DEFA5, MMP7 which activates the pro-defensins, as well as tight junction genes, and MUC2 are all suppressed in the ileum, resulting in mucosal collapse, increased gut permeability, dysbiosis, endotoxemia, systemic inflammation which underlie insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. Moreover, under the vitamin D deficient high fat feeding (HFD+VDD, Helicobacter hepaticus, a known murine hepatic-pathogen, is substantially amplified in the ileum, while Akkermansia muciniphila, a beneficial symbiotic, is diminished. Likewise, the VD receptor (VDR knockout mice exhibit similar phenotypes, showing down regulation of alpha-defensins and MMP7 in the ileum, increased Helicobacter hepaticus and suppressed Akkermansia muciniphila. Remarkably, oral administration of DEFA5 restored eubiosys, showing suppression of Helicobacter hepaticus and increase of Akkermansia muciniphila in association with

  16. Seasonal differences in cytokine expression in the skin of Shetland ponies suffering from insect bite hypersensitivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meulenbroeks, C.; Meide, van der N.M.A.; Zaiss, D.M.W.; Oldruitenborgh-Oosterbaan, M.M.S.; Lugt, van der J.J.; Smak, J.; Rutten, V.P.M.G.; Willemse, T.

    2013-01-01

    Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) in horses is a seasonal, IgE-mediated, pruritic skin disorder primarily caused by Culicoides spp. We hypothesize that a mixed Th2/Th1-type immune status, off season, alters into Th2-dominated immune reactivity in the skin of IBH-affected ponies in the IBM season.

  17. Comparing the efficiency of Er,Cr:YSGG laser and diode laser on human β-defensin-1 and IL-1β levels during the treatment of generalized aggressive periodontitis and chronic periodontitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ertugrul, Abdullah Seckin; Tekin, Yasin; Talmac, Ahmet Cemil

    2017-11-01

    The aim of this study is to determine the suitability of the Er,Cr:YSGG and 940 ± 15-nm diode laser for the treatment of generalized aggressive periodontitis and chronic periodontitis by measuring the levels of human β-defensin-1 and IL-1β. A total of 26 patients were included in this study. The study was designed as a "split-mouth" experiment. We performed scaling and root planing in the right maxillary quadrant, scaling and root planning + Er,Cr:YSGG laser in the left maxillary quadrant, scaling and root planning + 940 ± 15-nm diode laser in the left mandibular quadrant, and only scaling and root planing in the right mandibular quadrant. The presence of human β-defensin-1 and IL-1β was analyzed with an ELISA. When the baseline and post-treatment human β-defensin-1 levels and IL-1β levels of the study groups were evaluated, a decrease in human β-defensin-1 and IL-1β were observed in the quadrant where the Er,Cr:YSGG laser was applied in both the generalized aggressive periodontitis group and the chronic periodontitis group. The use of the Er,Cr:YSGG laser at non-surgical periodontal treatment decreased both IL-1β and human β-defensin-1 levels. It is likely that Er,Cr:YSGG laser is more suitable for the treatment of generalized aggressive periodontitis and chronic periodontitis.

  18. Expression of beta-defensins pBD-1 and pBD-2 along the small intestinal tract of the pig: lack of upregulation in vivo upon Salmonella typhimurium infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veldhuizen, Edwin J A; van Dijk, Albert; Tersteeg, Monique H G; Kalkhove, Stefanie I C; van der Meulen, Jan; Niewold, Theo A; Haagsman, Henk P

    2007-01-01

    Defensins are antimicrobial peptides that play an important role in the innate immune response in the intestine. Up to date, only one beta-defensin (pBD-1), has been described in pig, which was found to be expressed at low levels in the intestine. We set-up a quantitative PCR method to detect the gene expression of pBD-1 and a newly discovered porcine beta-defensin, pBD-2. Expression of pBD-1 mRNA increased from the proximal to the distal part of the intestine whereas pBD-2 expression decreased. The main gene expression sites for pBD-2 were kidney and liver, whereas pBD-1 was mainly expressed in tongue. The porcine small intestinal segment perfusion (SISP) technique was used to investigate effects of Salmonella typhimurium DT104 on intestinal morphology and pBD-1 and pBD-2 mRNA levels in vivo. The early responses were studied 2, 4 and 8 h post-infection in four separate jejunal and ileal segments. Immunohistochemistry showed invasion of the mucosa by Salmonella and changes in intestinal morphology. However, no concomitant changes in expression of either pBD-1 or pBD-2 were observed. We conclude that at least two defensins are differentially expressed in the intestine of pigs, and that expression of both defensins is not altered by S. typhimurium under these conditions.

  19. Construction of rat beta defensin-2 eukaryotic expression vector and expression in the transfected rat corneal epithelial cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Dan

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available AIM: To construct a recombinant eukaryotic expression vector of rat beta defensin-2(rBD-2, transfect it into the rat corneal epithelial cells with lipofection, determine the expression of target gene in the transfected cells, and discuss the potentiality of recombinant plasmid expressed in corneal epithelial cells, hoping to provide an experimental foundation for further study on the antimicrobial activity of rBD-2 in vitro and in vivo and to assess the probability of defensins as a new application for infectious corneal diseases in the future. METHODS: The synthetic rBD-2 DNA fragment was inserted between the XhoI and BamHI restriction enzyme cutting sites of eukaryotic expression vector pIRES2-ZsGreen1 to construct the recombinant plasmid pIRES2-ZsGreen1-rBD-2, then transformed it into E.coli DH5α, positive clones were screened by kanamycin and identified with restriction endonucleases and sequencing analysis. Transfection into the rat corneal epithelial cells was performed by lipofection. Then the experiment was divided into three groups: rat corneal epithelial cell was transfected with the recombinant plasmid pIRES2- ZsGreen1-rBD-2, rat corneal epithelial cell was transfected with the empty plasmid pIRES2-ZsGreen1 and the non-transfected group. The inverted fluorescence microscope was used to observe the transfection process. At last, the level of rBD-2 mRNA expressed in the transfected cells and the control groups are compared by the real-time fluoresence relative quantitative PCR. RESULTS: The recombinant eukaryotic expression vector of pIRES2-ZsGreen1-rBD-2 was successfully constructed. The level of rBD-2 mRNA in transfected cells was significantly higher than that in control groups through the real-time fluorescence relative quantitative PCR. CONCLUSION: The recombinant eukaryotic expression vector pIRES2-ZsGreen1-rBD-2 could be transfected into rat corneal epithelial cells, and exogenous rBD-2 gene could be transcripted into mRNA in

  20. Insect-mediated nitrogen dynamics in decomposing wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael D. Ulyshen

    2015-01-01

    1.Wood decomposition is characterised by complex and poorly understood nitrogen (N) dynamics with unclear implications for forest nutrient cycling and productivity.Wood-dwelling microbes have developed unique strategies for coping with the N limitations imposed by their substrate, including the translocation of N into wood by cord-forming fungi and the fixation of...

  1. Body size mediated starvation resistance in an insect predator.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gergs, A.; Jager, T.

    2014-01-01

    Summary: Individual organisms have to endure transient periods of low-food supply with consequences for growth, reproduction and survival. To resist starvation, animals usually store resources in their bodies: the larger the animals are, the more resources they can carry, but the more energy they

  2. Seminal fluid mediates ejaculate competition in social insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Den Boer, Susanne Petronella A; Baer, Boris; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2010-01-01

    Queens of ants and bees normally obtain a lifetime supply of sperm on a single day of sexual activity, and sperm competition is expected to occur in lineages where queens receive sperm from multiple males. We compared singly mated (monandrous) and multiply mated (polyandrous) sister groups of ants...

  3. Herbivory increases diversification across insect clades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John J; Lapoint, Richard T; Whiteman, Noah K

    2015-09-24

    Insects contain more than half of all living species, but the causes of their remarkable diversity remain poorly understood. Many authors have suggested that herbivory has accelerated diversification in many insect clades. However, others have questioned the role of herbivory in insect diversification. Here, we test the relationships between herbivory and insect diversification across multiple scales. We find a strong, positive relationship between herbivory and diversification among insect orders. However, herbivory explains less variation in diversification within some orders (Diptera, Hemiptera) or shows no significant relationship with diversification in others (Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Orthoptera). Thus, we support the overall importance of herbivory for insect diversification, but also show that its impacts can vary across scales and clades. In summary, our results illuminate the causes of species richness patterns in a group containing most living species, and show the importance of ecological impacts on diversification in explaining the diversity of life.

  4. Breeding and maintaining high-quality insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kim; Kristensen, Torsten Nygård; Heckmann, Lars-Henrik

    2017-01-01

    Insects have a large potential for sustainably enhancing global food and feed production, and commercial insect production is a rising industry of high economic value. Insects suitable for production typically have fast growth, short generation time, efficient nutrient utilization, high...... reproductive potential, and thrive at high density. Insects may cost-efficiently convert agricultural and industrial food by-products into valuable protein once the technology is finetuned. However, since insect mass production is a new industry, the technology needed to efficiently farm these animals is still...... in a starting phase. Here, we discuss the challenges and precautions that need to be considered when breeding and maintaining high-quality insect populations for food and feed. This involves techniques typically used in domestic animal breeding programs including maintaining genetically healthy populations...

  5. Insect Peptides - Perspectives in Human Diseases Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowanski, Szymon; Adamski, Zbigniew; Lubawy, Jan; Marciniak, Pawel; Pacholska-Bogalska, Joanna; Slocinska, Malgorzata; Spochacz, Marta; Szymczak, Monika; Urbanski, Arkadiusz; Walkowiak-Nowicka, Karolina; Rosinski, Grzegorz

    2017-01-01

    Insects are the largest and the most widely distributed group of animals in the world. Their diversity is a source of incredible variety of different mechanisms of life processes regulation. There are many agents that regulate immunology, reproduction, growth and development or metabolism. Hence, it seems that insects may be a source of numerous substances useful in human diseases treatment. Especially important in the regulation of insect physiology are peptides, like neuropeptides, peptide hormones or antimicrobial peptides. There are two main aspects where they can be helpful, 1) Peptides isolated from insects may become potential drugs in therapy of different diseases, 2) A lot of insect peptide hormones show structural or functional homology to mammalian peptide hormones and the comparative studies may give a new look on human disorders. In our review we focused on three group of insect derived peptides: 1) immune-active peptides, 2) peptide hormones and 3) peptides present in venoms. In our review we try to show the considerable potential of insect peptides in searching for new solutions for mammalian diseases treatment. We summarise the knowledge about properties of insect peptides against different virulent agents, anti-inflammatory or anti-nociceptive properties as well as compare insect and mammalian/vertebrate peptide endocrine system to indicate usefulness of knowledge about insect peptide hormones in drug design. The field of possible using of insect delivered peptide to therapy of various human diseases is still not sufficiently explored. Undoubtedly, more attention should be paid to insects due to searching new drugs. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  6. Insect Immunity: The Post-Genomic Era

    OpenAIRE

    Bangham, Jenny; Jiggins, Frank; Lemaitre, Bruno

    2006-01-01

    Insects have a complex and effective immune system, many components of which are conserved in mammals. But only in the last decade have the molecular mechanisms that regulate the insect immune response--and their relevance to general biology and human immunology--become fully appreciated. A meeting supported by the Centre National de la Récherche Scientifique (France) was held to bring together the whole spectrum of researchers working on insect immunity. The meeting addressed diverse aspects...

  7. Electronic nose in edible insects area

    OpenAIRE

    Martin Adámek; Anna Adámková; Marie Borkovcová; Jiří Mlček; Martina Bednářová; Lenka Kouřimská; Josef Skácel; Michal Řezníček

    2017-01-01

    Edible insect is appraised by many cultures as delicious and nutritionally beneficial food. In western countries this commodity is not fully appreciated, and the worries about edible insect food safety prevail. Electronic noses can become a simple and cheap way of securing the health safety of food, and they can also become a tool for evaluating the quality of certain commodities. This research is a pilot project of using an electronic nose in edible insect culinary treatment, and this manusc...

  8. Impacts of urbanization process on insect diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Shuisong Ye; Yan Fang; Kai Li

    2013-01-01

    Rapid worldwide urbanization during the last century has led to more than half the world’s population living in urban regions. Studies of how urbanization affects insect diversity have focused on the following: insect abundance, distribution, extinction, food habits and ecosystem services. Native insect populations have declined greatly in urban areas, where studies of their spatial distribution have revealed that abundance decreases along what is termed the rural–city center gradient (RCG), ...

  9. Mass-rearing for sterile insect release

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parker, A.G.

    2005-01-01

    As the sterile insect technique (SIT) relies upon released sterile male insects efficiently competing with wild males to mate with wild females, it follows that mass-rearing of insects is one of the principal steps in the process. Mass-rearing for the SIT presents both problems and opportunities due to the increased scale involved compared with rearing insects for most other purposes. This chapter discusses facility design, environmental concerns, strain management, quality control, automation, diet, sex separation, marking, and storage in relation to rearing for the SIT. (author)

  10. A Plant Bacterial Pathogen Manipulates Its Insect Vector's Energy Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hijaz, Faraj; Ebert, Timothy A.; Rogers, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Insect-transmitted plant-pathogenic bacteria may alter their vectors' fitness, survival, behavior, and metabolism. Because these pathogens interact with their vectors on the cellular and organismal levels, potential changes at the biochemical level might occur. “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (CLas) is transmitted in a persistent, circulative, and propagative manner. The genome of CLas revealed the presence of an ATP translocase that mediates the uptake of ATP and other nucleotides from medium to achieve its biological processes, such as growth and multiplication. Here, we showed that the levels of ATP and many other nucleotides were significantly higher in CLas-infected than healthy psyllids. Gene expression analysis showed upregulation for ATP synthase subunits, while ATPase enzyme activity showed a decrease in ATPase activity. These results indicated that CLas stimulated Diaphorina citri to produce more ATP and many other energetic nucleotides, while it may inhibit their consumption by the insect. As a result of ATP accumulation, the adenylated energy charge (AEC) increased and the AMP/ATP and ADP/ATP ratios decreased in CLas-infected D. citri psyllids. Survival analysis confirmed a shorter life span for CLas-infected D. citri psyllids. In addition, electropenetrography showed a significant reduction in total nonprobing time, salivation time, and time from the last E2 (phloem ingestion) to the end of recording, indicating that CLas-infected psyllids were at a higher hunger level and they tended to forage more often. This increased feeding activity reflects the CLas-induced energetic stress. In conclusion, CLas alters the energy metabolism of its psyllid vector, D. citri, in order to secure its need for energetic nucleotides. IMPORTANCE Insect transmission of plant-pathogenic bacteria involves propagation and circulation of the bacteria within their vectors. The transmission process is complex and requires specific interactions at the molecular

  11. Predicting the potential establishment of two insect species using the simulation environment INSIM (INsect SIMulation)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hemerik, Lia; Nes, van Egbert H.

    2016-01-01

    Degree-day models have long been used to predict events in the life cycle of insects and therewith the timing of outbreaks of insect pests and their natural enemies. This approach assumes, however, that the effect of temperature is linear, whereas developmental rates of insects are non-linearly

  12. Decreased losses of woody plant foliage to insects in large urban areas are explained by bird predation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, Mikhail V; Lanta, Vojtěch; Zverev, Vitali; Rainio, Kalle; Kunavin, Mikhail A; Zvereva, Elena L

    2017-10-01

    Despite the increasing rate of urbanization, the consequences of this process on biotic interactions remain insufficiently studied. Our aims were to identify the general pattern of urbanization impact on background insect herbivory, to explore variations in this impact related to characteristics of both urban areas and insect-plant systems, and to uncover the factors governing urbanization impacts on insect herbivory. We compared the foliar damage inflicted on the most common trees by defoliating, leafmining and gall-forming insects in rural and urban habitats associated with 16 European cities. In two of these cities, we explored quality of birch foliage for herbivorous insects, mortality of leafmining insects due to predators and parasitoids and bird predation on artificial plasticine larvae. On average, the foliage losses to insects were 16.5% lower in urban than in rural habitats. The magnitude of the overall adverse effect of urbanization on herbivory was independent of the latitude of the locality and was similar in all 11 studied tree species, but increased with an increase in the size of the urban area: it was significant in large cities (city population 1-5 million) but not significant in medium-sized and small towns. Quality of birch foliage for herbivorous insects was slightly higher in urban habitats than in rural habitats. At the same time, leafminer mortality due to ants and birds and the bird attack intensity on dummy larvae were higher in large cities than in rural habitats, which at least partially explained the decline in insect herbivory observed in response to urbanization. Our findings underscore the importance of top-down forces in mediating impacts of urbanization on plant-feeding insects: factors favouring predators may override the positive effects of temperature elevation on insects and thus reduce plant damage. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Nonaggressive systemic mastocytosis (SM) without skin lesions associated with insect-induced anaphylaxis shows unique features versus other indolent SM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Twose, Iván; Zanotti, Roberta; González-de-Olano, David; Bonadonna, Patrizia; Vega, Arantza; Matito, Almudena; Sánchez-Muñoz, Laura; Morgado, José Mário; Perbellini, Omar; García-Montero, Andrés; De Matteis, Giovanna; Teodósio, Cristina; Rossini, Maurizio; Jara-Acevedo, María; Schena, Donatella; Mayado, Andrea; Zamò, Alberto; Mollejo, Manuela; Sánchez-López, Paula; Cabañes, Nieves; Orfao, Alberto; Escribano, Luis

    2014-02-01

    Indolent systemic mastocytosis (ISM) without skin lesions (ISMs(-)) shows a higher prevalence in males, lower serum baseline tryptase levels, and KIT mutation more frequently restricted to bone marrow (BM) mast cells (MCs) than ISM with skin lesions (ISMs(+)). Interestingly, in almost one-half of ISMs(-) patients, MC-mediator release episodes are triggered exclusively by insects. We aimed to determine the clinical and laboratory features of ISMs(-) associated with insect-induced anaphylaxis (insectISMs(-)) versus other patients with ISM. A total of 335 patients presenting with MC activation syndrome, including 143 insectISMs(-), 72 ISMs(-) triggered by other factors (otherISMs(-)), 56 ISMs(+), and 64 nonclonal MC activation syndrome, were studied. Compared with otherISMs(-) and ISMs(+) patients, insectISMs(-) cases showed marked male predominance (78% vs 53% and 46%; P < .001), a distinct pattern of MC-related symptoms, and significantly lower median serum baseline tryptase levels (22.4 vs 28.7 and 45.8 μg/L; P ≤ .009). Moreover, insectISMs(-) less frequently presented BM MC aggregates (46% vs 70% and 81%; P ≤ .001), and they systematically showed MC-restricted KIT mutation. ISMs(-) patients with anaphylaxis triggered exclusively by insects display clinical and laboratory features that are significantly different from other ISM cases, including other ISMs(-) and ISMs(+) patients, suggesting that they represent a unique subgroup of ISM with a particularly low BM MC burden in the absence of adverse prognostic factors. Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Generation of transgenic cattle expressing human β-defensin 3 as an approach to reducing susceptibility to Mycobacterium bovis infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Feng; Wang, Yongsheng; Liu, Guanghui; Ru, Kun; Liu, Xin; Yu, Yuan; Liu, Jun; Wu, Yongyan; Quan, Fusheng; Guo, Zekun; Zhang, Yong

    2016-03-01

    Bovine tuberculosis results from infection with Mycobacterium bovis, a member of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis family. Worldwide, M. bovis infections result in economic losses in the livestock industry; cattle production is especially hard-hit by this disease. Generating M. bovis-resistant cattle may potentially mitigate the impact of this disease by reducing M. bovis infections. In this study, we used transgenic somatic cell nuclear transfer to generate cattle expressing the gene encoding human β-defensin 3 (HBD3), which confers resistance to mycobacteria in vitro. We first generated alveolar epithelial cells expressing HBD3 under the control of the bovine MUC1 promoter, and confirmed that these cells secreted HBD3 and possessed anti-mycobacterial capacity. We then generated and identified transgenic cattle by somatic cell nuclear transfer. The cleavage and blastocyst formation rates of genetically modified embryos provided evidence that monoclonal transgenic bovine fetal fibroblast cells have an integral reprogramming ability that is similar to that of normal cells. Five genetically modified cows were generated, and their anti-mycobacterial capacities were evaluated. Alveolar epithelial cells and macrophages from these cattle expressed higher levels of HBD3 protein compared with non-transgenic cells and possessed effective anti-mycobacterial capacity. These results suggest that the overall risk of M. bovis infection in transgenic cattle is efficiently reduced, and support the development of genetically modified animals as an effective tool to reduce M. bovis infection. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  15. Permeabilization of fungal hyphae by the plant defensin NaD1 occurs through a cell wall-dependent process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Weerden, Nicole L; Hancock, Robert E W; Anderson, Marilyn A

    2010-11-26

    The antifungal activity of the plant defensin NaD1 involves specific interaction with the fungal cell wall, followed by permeabilization of the plasma membrane and entry of NaD1 into the cytoplasm. Prior to this study, the role of membrane permeabilization in the activity of NaD1, as well as the relevance of cell wall binding, had not been investigated. To address this, the permeabilization of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum hyphae by NaD1 was investigated and compared with that by other antimicrobial peptides, including the cecropin-melittin hybrid peptide CP-29, the bovine peptide BMAP-28, and the human peptide LL-37, which are believed to act largely through membrane disruption. NaD1 appeared to permeabilize cells via a novel mechanism that required the presence of the fungal cell wall. NaD1 and Bac2A, a linear variant of the bovine peptide bactenecin, were able to enter the cytoplasm of treated hyphae, indicating that cell death is accelerated by interaction with intracellular targets.

  16. Regulatory patterns of a large family of defensin-like genes expressed in nodules of Medicago truncatula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumitha Nallu

    Full Text Available Root nodules are the symbiotic organ of legumes that house nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Many genes are specifically induced in nodules during the interactions between the host plant and symbiotic rhizobia. Information regarding the regulation of expression for most of these genes is lacking. One of the largest gene families expressed in the nodules of the model legume Medicago truncatula is the nodule cysteine-rich (NCR group of defensin-like (DEFL genes. We used a custom Affymetrix microarray to catalog the expression changes of 566 NCRs at different stages of nodule development. Additionally, bacterial mutants were used to understand the importance of the rhizobial partners in induction of NCRs. Expression of early NCRs was detected during the initial infection of rhizobia in nodules and expression continued as nodules became mature. Late NCRs were induced concomitantly with bacteroid development in the nodules. The induction of early and late NCRs was correlated with the number and morphology of rhizobia in the nodule. Conserved 41 to 50 bp motifs identified in the upstream 1,000 bp promoter regions of NCRs were required for promoter activity. These cis-element motifs were found to be unique to the NCR family among all annotated genes in the M. truncatula genome, although they contain sub-regions with clear similarity to known regulatory motifs involved in nodule-specific expression and temporal gene regulation.

  17. CRISPR/Cas9 in insects: Applications, best practices and biosafety concerns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taning, Clauvis Nji Tizi; Van Eynde, Benigna; Yu, Na; Ma, Sanyuan; Smagghe, Guy

    2017-04-01

    Discovered as a bacterial adaptive immune system, CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat/CRISPR associated) is being developed as an attractive tool in genome editing. Due to its high specificity and applicability, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing has been employed in a multitude of organisms and cells, including insects, for not only fundamental research such as gene function studies, but also applied research such as modification of organisms of economic importance. Despite the rapid increase in the use of CRISPR in insect genome editing, results still differ from each study, principally due to existing differences in experimental parameters, such as the Cas9 and guide RNA form, the delivery method, the target gene and off-target effects. Here, we review current reports on the successes of CRISPR/Cas9 applications in diverse insects and insect cells. We furthermore summarize several best practices to give a useful checklist of CRISPR/Cas9 experimental setup in insects for beginners. Lastly, we discuss the biosafety concerns related to the release of CRISPR/Cas9-edited insects into the environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Insects diversity in lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WIWIN SETIAWATI

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus is a vegetable which usually made as a home yard plant for Indonesian people to fulfill their daily needs. This plant has not been produced in the large number by the farmer. So it is hard to find in the market. Lima bean is light by many kind of insect. Inventory, identification and the study of insect taxon to this plant is being done to collect some information about the insect who life in the plant. The research was done in Balitsa experiment garden in the district of Lembang in Bandung regency on November 2003-February 2004, the experiment start at 4 weeks age, at the height of 1260 m over the sea level. The observation was made systematically by absolute method (D-vac macine and relative method (sweeping net. The research so that there were 26 species of phytofagous insect, 9 species of predator insect, 6 species of parasitoid insect, 4 species of pollinator and 14 species of scavenger insect. According to the research the highest species number was got in the 8th week (3rd sampling, which had 27 variety of species, so the highest diversity was also got in this with 2,113 point. Aphididae and Cicadellidae was the most insect found in roay plant. The research also had high number of species insect so the diversity of insect and evenness become high. A community will have the high stability if it is a long with the high diversity. High evenness in community that has low species dominance and high species number of insect so the high of species richness.

  19. Naturally Occurring Missense MRGPRX2 Variants Display Loss of Function Phenotype for Mast Cell Degranulation in Response to Substance P, Hemokinin-1, Human β-Defensin-3, and Icatibant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkanfari, Ibrahim; Gupta, Kshitij; Jahan, Tahsin; Ali, Hydar

    2018-05-23

    Human mast cells (MCs) express a novel G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) known as Mas-related GPCR X2 (MRGPRX2). Activation of this receptor by a diverse group of cationic ligands such as neuropeptides, host defense peptides, and Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs contributes to chronic inflammatory diseases and pseudoallergic drug reactions. For most GPCRs, the extracellular (ECL) domains and their associated transmembrane (TM) domains display the greatest structural diversity and are responsible for binding different ligands. The goal of the current study was to determine if naturally occurring missense variants within MRGPRX2's ECL/TM domains contribute to gain or loss of function phenotype for MC degranulation in response to neuropeptides (substance P and hemokinin-1), a host defense peptide (human β-defensin-3) and a Food and Drug Administration-approved cationic drug (bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist, icatibant). We have identified eight missense variants within MRGPRX2's ECL/TM domains from publicly available exome-sequencing databases. We investigated the ability of MRGPRX2 ligands to induce degranulation in rat basophilic leukemia-2H3 cells individually expressing these naturally occurring MRGPRX2 missense variants. Using stable and transient transfections, we found that all variants express in rat basophilic leukemia cells. However, four natural MRGPRX2 variants, G165E (rs141744602), D184H (rs372988289), W243R (rs150365137), and H259Y (rs140862085) failed to respond to any of the ligands tested. Thus, diverse MRGPRX2 ligands use common sites on the receptor to induce MC degranulation. These findings have important clinical implications for MRGPRX2 and MC-mediated pseudoallergy and chronic inflammatory diseases. Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  20. Feeding Studies of Irradiated Foods with Insects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loaharanu, Srisan

    1978-06-15

    Insects are of value to man in many scientific studies. Microsomal detoxication systems exist in both insects and mammals. In the preliminary investigations it was found that irradiated cocoa beans and white and red kidney beans (Phaseolus spp.) did not significantly change the percentage of egg-hatch in the insects tested. In more detailed investigations food samples that are susceptible to insect spoilage and are representatives of widely consumed human foods were fed to various insect species. The development, sex distortion and reproductivity of the insects were investigated. Cytogenetic aberrations as related to dominant lethality were studied in insects with reasonably clear chromosomal patterns. The meiosis stage was examined, using the squash technique and Aceto-orcein staining. Black beans, Phaseolus spp., irradiated with up to 200 krad of gamma rays did not apparently change the percentage of survival and the sex ratio of the bean weevil, Zabrotes subfasciatus. Dominant lethality in the German cockroach, Blatella germanica, fed on irradiated black beans did not apparently occur when considering the results of cytological investigation and the number of offspring obtained. Dried sardine samples irradiated with up to 400 krad of gamma rays neither apparently affected the survival nor caused sex distortion in the cheese skipper, Piophila casei. This irradiated product apparently did not induce dominant lethality in the German cockroach as tested. Coffee processed from coffee beans that had been irradiated with up to 100 krad of gamma rays did not apparently cause adverse effects on the experimental insects. (author)

  1. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 53

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-07-01

    This Newsletter announces research coordination meetings, status of existing research coordinated research programmes on the use of nuclear applications such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) in insect and pest control. Training courses as well as new coordinated research programmes in the pipeline are also highlighted

  2. Estimating Aquatic Insect Populations. Introduction to Sampling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chihuahuan Desert Research Inst., Alpine, TX.

    This booklet introduces high school and junior high school students to the major groups of aquatic insects and to population sampling techniques. Chapter 1 consists of a short field guide which can be used to identify five separate orders of aquatic insects: odonata (dragonflies and damselflies); ephemeroptera (mayflies); diptera (true flies);…

  3. Testing mechanistic models of growth in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maino, James L; Kearney, Michael R

    2015-11-22

    Insects are typified by their small size, large numbers, impressive reproductive output and rapid growth. However, insect growth is not simply rapid; rather, insects follow a qualitatively distinct trajectory to many other animals. Here we present a mechanistic growth model for insects and show that increasing specific assimilation during the growth phase can explain the near-exponential growth trajectory of insects. The presented model is tested against growth data on 50 insects, and compared against other mechanistic growth models. Unlike the other mechanistic models, our growth model predicts energy reserves per biomass to increase with age, which implies a higher production efficiency and energy density of biomass in later instars. These predictions are tested against data compiled from the literature whereby it is confirmed that insects increase their production efficiency (by 24 percentage points) and energy density (by 4 J mg(-1)) between hatching and the attainment of full size. The model suggests that insects achieve greater production efficiencies and enhanced growth rates by increasing specific assimilation and increasing energy reserves per biomass, which are less costly to maintain than structural biomass. Our findings illustrate how the explanatory and predictive power of mechanistic growth models comes from their grounding in underlying biological processes. © 2015 The Author(s).

  4. Notes on collecting flower-visiting insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemstein, S.C.

    1974-01-01

    Flower-visiting insects may play a role in the pollination of the flowers they visit. An important indication for this is the pollen they carry on their body. The transport of pollen does not prove pollination without observations of the behaviour of the insects on the flowers, but at least it

  5. Insects associated with ponderosa pine in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert E. Stevens; J. Wayne Brewer; David A. Leatherman

    1980-01-01

    Ponderosa pine serves as a host for a wide variety of insects. Many of these, including all the particularly destructive ones in Colorado, are discussed in this report. Included are a key to the major insect groups, an annotated list of the major groups, a glossary, and a list of references.

  6. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 54

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-01-01

    This Newsletter announces research coordination meetings, status of existing research coordinated research programmes on the use of nuclear applications such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) in insect and pest control. Training courses as well as new coordinated research programmes in the pipeline are also highlighted

  7. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 56

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-01-01

    This Newsletter announces research coordination meetings, status of existing research coordinated research programmes on the use of nuclear applications such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) in insect and pest control. Training courses as well as new coordinated research programmes in the pipeline are also highlighted

  8. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 52

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-12-01

    This Newsletter announces research coordination meetings, status of existing research coordinated research programmes on the use of nuclear applications such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) in insect and pest control. Training courses as well as new coordinated research programmes in the pipeline are also highlighted

  9. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 50

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-10-01

    This Newsletter announces research coordination meetings, status of existing research coordinated research programmes on the use of nuclear applications such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) in insect and pest control. Training courses as well as new coordinated research programmes in the pipeline are also highlighted

  10. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 51

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-06-01

    This Newsletter announces research coordination meetings, status of existing research coordinated research programmes on the use of nuclear applications such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) in insect and pest control. Training courses as well as new coordinated research programmes in the pipeline are also highlighted

  11. Diversity in protein glycosylation among insect species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianni Vandenborre

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A very common protein modification in multicellular organisms is protein glycosylation or the addition of carbohydrate structures to the peptide backbone. Although the Class of the Insecta is the largest animal taxon on Earth, almost all information concerning glycosylation in insects is derived from studies with only one species, namely the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this report, the differences in glycoproteomes between insects belonging to several economically important insect orders were studied. Using GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin affinity chromatography, different sets of glycoproteins with mannosyl-containing glycan structures were purified from the flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum, the silkworm (Bombyx mori, the honeybee (Apis mellifera, the fruit fly (D. melanogaster and the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum. To identify and characterize the purified glycoproteins, LC-MS/MS analysis was performed. For all insect species, it was demonstrated that glycoproteins were related to a broad range of biological processes and molecular functions. Moreover, the majority of glycoproteins retained on the GNA column were unique to one particular insect species and only a few glycoproteins were present in the five different glycoprotein sets. Furthermore, these data support the hypothesis that insect glycoproteins can be decorated with mannosylated O-glycans. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results presented here demonstrate that oligomannose N-glycosylation events are highly specific depending on the insect species. In addition, we also demonstrated that protein O-mannosylation in insect species may occur more frequently than currently believed.

  12. Feeding studies of irradiated foods with insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loaharanu, S.

    1978-01-01

    Insects are of value to man in many scientific studies. Microsomal detoxication systems exist in both insects and mammals. In the preliminary investigations it was found that irradiated cocoa beans and white and red kidney beans (Phaseolus spp.) did not significantly change the percentage of egg-hatch in the insects tested. In more detailed investigations food samples that are susceptible to insect spoilage and are representatives of widely consumed human foods were fed to various insect species. The development, sex distortion and reproductivity of the insects were investigated. Cytogenetic aberrations as related to dominant lethality were studied in insects with reasonably clear chromosomal patterns. The meiosis stage was examined, using the squash technique and Aceto-orcein staining. Black beans, Phaseolus spp., irradiated with up to 200 krad of gamma rays did not apparently change the percentage of survival and the sex ratio of the bean weevil, Zabrotes subfasciatus. Dominant lethality in the German cockroach, Blatella germanica, fed on irradiated black beans did not apparently occur when considering the results of cytological investigation and the number of offspring obtained. Dried sardine samples irradiated with up to 400 krad of gamma rays neither apparently affected the survival nor caused sex distortion in the cheese skipper, Piophila casei. This irradiated product apparently did not induce dominant lethality in the German cockroach as tested. Coffee processed from coffee beans that had been irradiated with up to 100 krad of gamma rays did not apparently cause adverse effects on the experimental insects. (author)

  13. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 56

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-01-01

    This Newsletter announces research coordination meetings, status of existing research coordinated research programmes on the use of nuclear applications such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) in insect and pest control. Training courses as well as new coordinated research programmes in the pipeline are also highlighted.

  14. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 55

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2000-07-01

    This Newsletter announces research coordination meetings, status of existing research coordinated research programmes on the use of nuclear applications such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) in insect and pest control. Training courses as well as new coordinated research programmes in the pipeline are also highlighted.

  15. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 55

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-07-01

    This Newsletter announces research coordination meetings, status of existing research coordinated research programmes on the use of nuclear applications such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) in insect and pest control. Training courses as well as new coordinated research programmes in the pipeline are also highlighted

  16. Edible insects contributing to food security?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huis, van Arnold

    2015-01-01

    Because of growing demand for meat and declining availability of agricultural land, there is an urgent need to find alternative protein sources. Edible insects can be produced with less environmental impact than livestock. Insect meal can replace scarce fishmeal as feed ingredient, in particular

  17. Edible Insects in Sustainable Food Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halloran, Afton; Flore, Roberto; Vantomme, Paul

    This text provides an important overview of the contributions of edible insects to ecological sustainability, livelihoods, nutrition and health, food culture and food systems around the world. While insect farming for both food and feed is rapidly increasing in popularity around the world, the ro...

  18. Insect cadaver applications: pros and cons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Application of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) formulated as insect cadavers has become an alternative to aqueous application for the control of agricultural pests. In this approach, the infected insect host cadaver is applied directly to the target site and pest suppression is achieved by the inf...

  19. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 51

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-06-01

    This Newsletter announces research coordination meetings, status of existing research coordinated research programmes on the use of nuclear applications such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) in insect and pest control. Training courses as well as new coordinated research programmes in the pipeline are also highlighted.

  20. Potential applications of insect symbionts in biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berasategui, Aileen; Shukla, Shantanu; Salem, Hassan; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2016-02-01

    Symbiotic interactions between insects and microorganisms are widespread in nature and are often the source of ecological innovations. In addition to supplementing their host with essential nutrients, microbial symbionts can produce enzymes that help degrade their food source as well as small molecules that defend against pathogens, parasites, and predators. As such, the study of insect ecology and symbiosis represents an important source of chemical compounds and enzymes with potential biotechnological value. In addition, the knowledge on insect symbiosis can provide novel avenues for the control of agricultural pest insects and vectors of human diseases, through targeted manipulation of the symbionts or the host-symbiont associations. Here, we discuss different insect-microbe interactions that can be exploited for insect pest and human disease control, as well as in human medicine and industrial processes. Our aim is to raise awareness that insect symbionts can be interesting sources of biotechnological applications and that knowledge on insect ecology can guide targeted efforts to discover microorganisms of applied value.

  1. The Evolution of Agriculture in Insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller, Ulrich G.; Gerardo, Nicole M.; Aanen, Duur Kornelis

    2005-01-01

    Agriculture has evolved independently in three insect orders: once in ants, once in termites, and seven times in ambrosia beetles. Although these insect farmers are in some ways quite different from each other, in many more ways they are remarkably similar, suggesting convergent evolution. All pr...

  2. Management of insect pests using semiochemical traps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baroffio, C. A.; Guibert, V.; Richoz, P.

    2016-01-01

    multitrap for the economical management of both of these pests at the same time. This is one of the first approaches to pest management of non-lepidopteran insect pests of horticultural crops using semiochemicals in the EU, and probably the first to target multiple species from different insect orders...

  3. Multiorganismal insects: diversity and function of resident microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Angela E

    2015-01-07

    All insects are colonized by microorganisms on the insect exoskeleton, in the gut and hemocoel, and within insect cells. The insect microbiota is generally different from microorganisms in the external environment, including ingested food. Specifically, certain microbial taxa are favored by the conditions and resources in the insect habitat, by their tolerance of insect immunity, and by specific mechanisms for their transmission. The resident microorganisms can promote insect fitness by contributing to nutrition, especially by providing essential amino acids, B vitamins, and, for fungal partners, sterols. Some microorganisms protect their insect hosts against pathogens, parasitoids, and other parasites by synthesizing specific toxins or modifying the insect immune system. Priorities for future research include elucidation of microbial contributions to detoxification, especially of plant allelochemicals in phytophagous insects, and resistance to pathogens; as well as their role in among-insect communication; and the potential value of manipulation of the microbiota to control insect pests.

  4. Modern insect control: Nuclear techniques and biotechnology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The Symposium dealt primarily with genetic methods of insect control, including sterile insect technique (SIT), F 1 sterility, compound chromosomes, translocations and conditional lethals. Research and development activities on various aspects of these control technologies were reported by participants during the Symposium. Of particular interest was development of F 1 sterility as a practical method of controlling pest Lepidoptera. Genetic methods of insect control are applicable only on an area wide basis. They are species specific and thus do not reduce populations of beneficial insects or cause other environmental problems. Other papers presented reported on the potential use of radiation as a quarantine treatment for commodities in international trade and the use of radioisotopes as ''tags'' in studying insects

  5. Converting pest insects into food

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim; Wiwatwittaya, Decha

    2010-01-01

    Canopy dwelling weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are used to control a variety of pests in a number of tropical tree crops. What is less familiar is the existence of commercial markets where these ants and their brood are sold for (i) human consumption, (ii) pet food or (iii) traditional medicine...... on management, 32-115 kg ant brood (mainly new queens) was harvested per ha per year without detrimental effect on colony survival and worker ant densities. This suggest that ant biocontrol and ant harvest can be sustainable integrated in plantations and double benefits derived. As ant production is fuelled...... by pest insects, problematic pests are converted into food and additional earnings. To assess the profitability of providing additional food for the ants, O. smaragdina food conversion efficiency (ECI) was estimated in the laboratory. This estimate suggests the feeding of weaver ants in ant farms...

  6. Bile acids deoxycholic acid and ursodeoxycholic acid differentially regulate human β-defensin-1 and -2 secretion by colonic epithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lajczak, Natalia K; Saint-Criq, Vinciane; O'Dwyer, Aoife M; Perino, Alessia; Adorini, Luciano; Schoonjans, Kristina; Keely, Stephen J

    2017-09-01

    Bile acids and epithelial-derived human β-defensins (HβDs) are known to be important factors in the regulation of colonic mucosal barrier function and inflammation. We hypothesized that bile acids regulate colonic HβD expression and aimed to test this by investigating the effects of deoxycholic acid (DCA) and ursodeoxycholic acid on the expression and release of HβD1 and HβD2 from colonic epithelial cells and mucosal tissues. DCA (10-150 µM) stimulated the release of both HβD1 and HβD2 from epithelial cell monolayers and human colonic mucosal tissue in vitro In contrast, ursodeoxycholic acid (50-200 µM) inhibited both basal and DCA-induced defensin release. Effects of DCA were mimicked by the Takeda GPCR 5 agonist, INT-777 (50 μM), but not by the farnesoid X receptor agonist, GW4064 (10 μM). INT-777 also stimulated colonic HβD1 and HβD2 release from wild-type, but not Takeda GPCR 5 -/- , mice. DCA stimulated phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB, an effect that was attenuated by ursodeoxycholic acid, whereas an NF-κB inhibitor, BMS-345541 (25 μM), inhibited DCA-induced HβD2, but not HβD1, release. We conclude that bile acids can differentially regulate colonic epithelial HβD expression and secretion and discuss the implications of our findings for intestinal health and disease.-Lajczak, N. K., Saint-Criq, V., O'Dwyer, A. M., Perino, A., Adorini, L., Schoonjans, K., Keely, S. J. Bile acids deoxycholic acid and ursodeoxycholic acid differentially regulate human β-defensin-1 and -2 secretion by colonic epithelial cells. © FASEB.

  7. The β-Defensin Gallinacin-6 Is Expressed in the Chicken Digestive Tract and Has Antimicrobial Activity against Food-Borne Pathogens▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijk, Albert; Veldhuizen, Edwin J. A.; Kalkhove, Stefanie I. C.; Tjeerdsma-van Bokhoven, Johanna L. M.; Romijn, Roland A.; Haagsman, Henk P.

    2007-01-01

    Food-borne pathogens are responsible for most cases of food poisoning in developed countries and are often associated with poultry products, including chicken. Little is known about the role of β-defensins in the chicken digestive tract and their efficacy. In this study, the expression of chicken β-defensin gallinacin-6 (Gal-6) and its antimicrobial activity against food-borne pathogens were investigated. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis showed high expression of Gal-6 mRNA in the esophagus and crop, moderate expression in the glandular stomach, and low expression throughout the intestinal tract. Putative transcription factor binding sites for nuclear factor kappa beta, activator protein 1, and nuclear factor interleukin-6 were found in the Gal-6 gene upstream region, which suggests a possible inducible nature of the Gal-6 gene. In colony-counting assays, strong bactericidal and fungicidal activity was observed, including bactericidal activity against food-borne pathogens Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Clostridium perfringens, and Escherichia coli. Treatment with 16 μg/ml synthetic Gal-6 resulted in a 3 log unit reduction in Clostridium perfringens survival within 60 min, indicating fast killing kinetics. Transmission electron microscopy examination of synthetic-Gal-6-treated Clostridium perfringens cells showed dose-dependent changes in morphology after 30 min, including intracellular granulation, cytoplasm retraction, irregular septum formation in dividing cells, and cell lysis. The high expression in the proximal digestive tract and broad antimicrobial activity suggest that chicken β-defensin gallinacin-6 plays an important role in chicken innate host defense. PMID:17194828

  8. 40 CFR 161.590 - Nontarget insect data requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... pollinators (4) CR CR CR CR CR CR TEP TEP 141-5 Nontarget insect testing—aquatic insects Acute toxicity to aquatic insects (5) 142-1 Aquatic insect life-cycle study (5) 142-1 Simulated or actual field testing for aquatic insects (5) 142-3 Nontarget insect testing—predators and parasites (5) 143-1thru 143-3 Key: CR...

  9. Smads and insect hemimetabolan metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Carolina G; Fernandez-Nicolas, Ana; Belles, Xavier

    2016-09-01

    In contrast with Drosophila melanogaster, practically nothing is known about the involvement of the TGF-β signaling pathway in the metamorphosis of hemimetabolan insects. To partially fill this gap, we have studied the role of Smad factors in the metamorphosis of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica. In D. melanogaster, Mad is the canonical R-Smad of the BMP branch of the TGF-β signaling pathway, Smox is the canonical R-Smad of the TGF-β/Activin branch and Medea participates in both branches. In insects, metamorphosis is regulated by the MEKRE93 pathway, which starts with juvenile hormone (JH), whose signal is transduced by Methoprene-tolerant (Met), which stimulates the expression of Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1) that acts to repress E93, the metamorphosis trigger. In B. germanica, metamorphosis is determined at the beginning of the sixth (final) nymphal instar (N6), when JH production ceases, the expression of Kr-h1 declines, and the transcription of E93 begins to increase. The RNAi of Mad, Smox and Medea in N6 of B. germanica reveals that the BMP branch of the TGF-β signaling pathway regulates adult ecdysis and wing extension, mainly through regulating the expression of bursicon, whereas the TGF-β/Activin branch contributes to increasing E93 and decreasing Kr-h1 at the beginning of N6, crucial for triggering adult morphogenesis, as well as to regulating the imaginal molt timing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The Alpha-Defensin Immunoassay and Leukocyte Esterase Colorimetric Strip Test for the Diagnosis of Periprosthetic Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, M C; Beswick, A D; Kunutsor, S K; Wilson, M J; Whitehouse, M R; Blom, A W

    2016-06-15

    Synovial biomarkers have recently been adopted as diagnostic tools for periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), but their utility is uncertain. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to synthesize the evidence on the accuracy of the alpha-defensin immunoassay and leukocyte esterase colorimetric strip test for the diagnosis of PJI compared with the Musculoskeletal Infection Society diagnostic criteria. We performed a systematic review to identify diagnostic technique studies evaluating the accuracy of alpha-defensin or leukocyte esterase in the diagnosis of PJI. MEDLINE and Embase on Ovid, ACM, ADS, arXiv, CERN DS (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire Document Server), CrossRef DOI (Digital Object Identifier), DBLP (Digital Bibliography & Library Project), Espacenet, Google Scholar, Gutenberg, HighWire, IEEE Xplore (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers digital library), INSPIRE, JSTOR (Journal Storage), OAlster (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting), Open Content, Pubget, PubMed, and Web of Science were searched for appropriate studies indexed from inception until May 30, 2015, along with unpublished or gray literature. The classification of studies and data extraction were performed independently by 2 reviewers. Data extraction permitted meta-analysis of sensitivity and specificity with construction of receiver operating characteristic curves for each test. We included 11 eligible studies. The pooled diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of alpha-defensin (6 studies) for PJI were 1.00 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82 to 1.00) and 0.96 (95% CI, 0.89 to 0.99), respectively. The area under the curve (AUC) for alpha-defensin and PJI was 0.99 (95% CI, 0.98 to 1.00). The pooled diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of leukocyte esterase (5 studies) for PJI were 0.81 (95% CI, 0.49 to 0.95) and 0.97 (95% CI, 0.82 to 0.99), respectively. The AUC for leukocyte esterase and PJI was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95 to 0

  11. The Role of α-Defensins 1–3 in Antimicrobial Protection Forming in Children with Recurrent Bronchitis Caused by Bacteria of the Genus Haemophilus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.O. Lezhenko

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The level of α-defensins 1–3 (HNP 1–3 has been analyzed in the blood plasma of children with recurrent bronchitis caused by bacteria of the genus Haemophilus. It is shown that the level of HNP 1–3 in the blood plasma depends on the form of Haemophilus. Trigger of HNP 1–3 outflow for neutrophils was the presence of bacterial capsule while presence of L-forms of Haemophilus influenzae wasn’t associated with increase in synthesis of antimicrobial peptides that could be one of the factors of forming of Haemophilus antibiotic resistance.

  12. Genetic basis of the sterile insect technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, A.S.

    2014-01-01

    The use of the sterile insect technique for insect control relies on the introduction of sterility in the females of the wild population. This sterility is produced following the mating of these females with released males carrying, in their sperm, dominant lethal mutations that have been induced by ionizing radiation. As well as radiation-induced sterility, natural mechanisms can be recruited, especially the use of hybrid sterility. Radiation is usually one of the last procedures that insects undergo before leaving mass-rearing facilities for release in the field. It is essential that the dosimetry of the radiation source be checked to ensure that all the insects receive the required minimum dose. A dose should be chosen that maximizes the level of introduced sterility in the wild females in the field. Irradiation in nitrogen can provide protection against the detrimental somatic effects of radiation. Currently, the development of molecular methods to sterilize pest insects in the field, by the release of fertile insects carrying trans genes, is very much in vogue. It is concluded that using a physical process, such as radiation, will always have significant advantages over genetic and other methods of sterilization for the large-scale application of the sterile insect technique. (author)

  13. Human β-defensin 2 may inhibit internalisation of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in bladder cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jung Hoon; Kim, Soon-Ja; Lee, Kyung Mee; Chang, In Ho

    2013-10-01

    To investigate whether secretion of human β-defensin 2 (HBD-2) is induced by bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and to determine whether HBD-2 affects BCG internalisation in bladder cancer cells. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis was used to determine whether HBD-2 mRNA increases after incubation with BCG. HBD-2 proteins in 5637 and T24 human bladder cancer cell lines were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The internalisation rate was evaluated by double immunofluorescence assay and confocal microscopy to test the optimal dose of HBD-2 for BCG internalisation. We also investigated the difference in internalisation rates and cell viability between recombinant HBD-2 protein, anti-HBD-2 antibody, and HBD-2 plus anti-HBD-2 antibody pretreatments. BCG induced HBD-2 mRNA expression and HBD-2 production dose and time-dependently in bladder cancer cells and affected BCG internalisation. Pretreatment with recombinant HBD-2 protein lowered internalisation of BCG dose-dependently. Moreover, anti-HBD-2 antibody prevented the effect of HBD-2 on BCG internalisation in bladder cancer cells. The internalisation rate of BCG pretreated with anti-HBD-2 antibody was higher than that in the control in 5637 (P internalisation rate in cells pretreated with anti-HBD-2 antibody plus recombinant HBD-2 protein was higher than that in the control in 5637 (P internalisation, which plays an important role during the initiation and propagation of the immunotherapeutic response in bladder cancer cells. © 2013 The Authors. BJU International © 2013 BJU International.

  14. Human β-Defensin 3 Reduces TNF-α-Induced Inflammation and Monocyte Adhesion in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianying Bian

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the role of human β-defensin 3 (hBD3 in the initiation stage of atherosclerosis with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs triggered by tumor necrosis factor- (TNF- α. The effects of hBD3 on TNF-α-induced endothelial injury and inflammatory response were evaluated. Our data revealed that first, hBD3 reduced the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6, IL-8, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1, and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF in HUVECs in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, hBD3 significantly prevented intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS production by HUVECs. Second, western blot analysis demonstrated that hBD3 dose-dependently suppressed the protein levels of intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1 in TNF-α-induced HUVECs. As a result, hBD3 inhibited monocyte adhesion to TNF-α-treated endothelial cells. Additionally, hBD3 suppressed TNF-α-induced F-actin reorganization in HUVECs. Third, hBD3 markedly inhibited NF-κB activation by decreasing the phosphorylation of IKK-α/β, IκB, and p65 subunit within 30 min. Moreover, the phosphorylation of p38 and c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK pathway were also inhibited by hBD3 in HUVECs. In conclusion, hBD3 exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects in endothelial cells in response to TNF-α by inhibiting NF-κB and MAPK signaling.

  15. Diagnosis of prosthetic joint infection with alpha-defensin using a lateral flow device: a multicentre study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, P; Van Cauter, M; Driesen, R; Neyt, J; Cornu, O; Bellemans, J

    2017-09-01

    The purpose of this current multicentre study is to analyse the presence of alpha-defensin proteins in synovial fluid using the Synovasure lateral flow device and to determine its diagnostic reliability and accuracy compared with the prosthetic joint infection (PJI) criteria produced by the Musculoskeletal Infection Society (MSIS). A cohort of 121 patients comprising 85 total knee arthroplasties and 36 total hip arthroplasties was prospectively evaluated between May 2015 and June 2016 in three different orthopaedic centres. The tests were performed on patients with a chronically painful prosthesis undergoing a joint aspiration in a diagnostic pathway or during revision surgery. Based on the MSIS criteria, 34 patients (28%) would have had a PJI, and 87 patients had no PJI. Testing with the lateral flow device had a sensitivity of 97.1% (95% confidence intervals (CI) 84.5 to 99.9) and a specificity of 96.6% (95% CI 90.3 to 99.2). The positive predictive value was 91.7% (95% CI 77.7% to 98.3), and the negative predictive value was 98.8% (95% CI 93.6 to 99.9). Receiver operator characteristics analysis demonstrated an area under the curve for the Synovasure test of 0.97 (95% CI 0.93 to 1.00). Our findings suggest that the Synovasure test has an excellent diagnostic performance to confirm or reject the diagnosis of a PJI. The results are promising for the care of the painful or problematic knee and hip joint arthroplasty and the test should be considered as part of the diagnostic toolbox for PJIs. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2017;99-B:1176-82. ©2017 The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery.

  16. Boomeranging in structural defense: phytophagous insect uses cycad trichomes to defend against entomophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marler, Thomas E

    2012-11-01

    Plant defensive behaviors that resist arthropod herbivory include trichome-mediated defenses, and variation in plant trichome morphology and abundance provides examples of the mechanistic complexities of insect-plant interactions. Trichomes were removed from Cycas revoluta cataphylls on the island of Guam to reveal Aulacaspis yasumatsui scale infestation, and predation of the newly exposed insects by pre-existing Rhyzobius lophanthae beetles commenced within one day. The quotient of predated/total scale insects was 0.5 by day 4 and stabilized at that found on adjacent glabrous leaves in about one week. The trichome phenotype covering the C. revoluta cataphyll complex offers the invasive A. yasumatsui armored scale effectual enemy-free space in this system. This pest and predator share no known evolutionary history with C. revoluta, therefore, the adaptive significance of this plant behavior in natural habitat is not yet known.

  17. Phytoplasmas: bacteria that manipulate plants and insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogenhout, Saskia A; Oshima, Kenro; Ammar, El-Desouky; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Kingdom, Heather N; Namba, Shigetou

    2008-07-01

    Superkingdom Prokaryota; Kingdom Monera; Domain Bacteria; Phylum Firmicutes (low-G+C, Gram-positive eubacteria); Class Mollicutes; Candidatus (Ca.) genus Phytoplasma. Ca. Phytoplasma comprises approximately 30 distinct clades based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses of approximately 200 phytoplasmas. Phytoplasmas are mostly dependent on insect transmission for their spread and survival. The phytoplasma life cycle involves replication in insects and plants. They infect the insect but are phloem-limited in plants. Members of Ca. Phytoplasma asteris (16SrI group phytoplasmas) are found in 80 monocot and dicot plant species in most parts of the world. Experimentally, they can be transmitted by approximately 30, frequently polyphagous insect species, to 200 diverse plant species. In plants, phytoplasmas induce symptoms that suggest interference with plant development. Typical symptoms include: witches' broom (clustering of branches) of developing tissues; phyllody (retrograde metamorphosis of the floral organs to the condition of leaves); virescence (green coloration of non-green flower parts); bolting (growth of elongated stalks); formation of bunchy fibrous secondary roots; reddening of leaves and stems; generalized yellowing, decline and stunting of plants; and phloem necrosis. Phytoplasmas can be pathogenic to some insect hosts, but generally do not negatively affect the fitness of their major insect vector(s). In fact, phytoplasmas can increase fecundity and survival of insect vectors, and may influence flight behaviour and plant host preference of their insect hosts. The most common practices are the spraying of various insecticides to control insect vectors, and removal of symptomatic plants. Phytoplasma-resistant cultivars are not available for the vast majority of affected crops.

  18. Insect pests of Eucalyptus and their control

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sen-Sarma, P K; Thakur, M L

    1983-12-01

    In India, about sixty odd species of insects have so far been recorded to be associated with Eucalyptus. Important pests are some xylophagous insects, sap suckers, defoliators and termites. Of these, stem and root borer, Celostrna scabrator Fabr, and some species of termites have been recognised as key pests, whereas Apogonia coriaces Waterhouse, Mimeta mundissima Walker (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), Agrotis ipsilon Hufnagel (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), Brachytrypus portenosus Lichtenstein and Gymmogryllus humeralis Walker (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) are likely to become potential pests in Eucalyptus nurseries. In this paper available information on insect pests of Eucalyptus, their bioecology and control measures have been presented.

  19. The MrCYP52 cytochrome P450 monoxygenase gene of Metarhizium robertsii is important for utilizing insect epicuticular hydrocarbons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liangcai Lin

    Full Text Available Fungal pathogens of plants and insects infect their hosts by direct penetration of the cuticle. Plant and insect cuticles are covered by a hydrocarbon-rich waxy outer layer that represents the first barrier against infection. However, the fungal genes that underlie insect waxy layer degradation have received little attention. Here we characterize the single cytochrome P450 monoxygenase family 52 (MrCYP52 gene of the insect pathogen Metarhizium robertsii, and demonstrate that it encodes an enzyme required for efficient utilization of host hydrocarbons. Expressing a green florescent protein gene under control of the MrCYP52 promoter confirmed that MrCYP52 is up regulated on insect cuticle as well as by artificial media containing decane (C10, extracted cuticle hydrocarbons, and to a lesser extent long chain alkanes. Disrupting MrCYP52 resulted in reduced growth on epicuticular hydrocarbons and delayed developmental processes on insect cuticle, including germination and production of appressoria (infection structures. Extraction of alkanes from cuticle prevented induction of MrCYP52 and reduced growth. Insect bioassays against caterpillars (Galleria mellonella confirmed that disruption of MrCYP52 significantly reduces virulence. However, MrCYP52 was dispensable for normal germination and appressorial formation in vitro when the fungus was supplied with nitrogenous nutrients. We conclude therefore that MrCYP52 mediates degradation of epicuticular hydrocarbons and these are an important nutrient source, but not a source of chemical signals that trigger infection processes.

  20. Comprehensive assessment of sequence variation within the copy number variable defensin cluster on 8p23 by target enriched in-depth 454 sequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Xinmin

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In highly copy number variable (CNV regions such as the human defensin gene locus, comprehensive assessment of sequence variations is challenging. PCR approaches are practically restricted to tiny fractions, and next-generation sequencing (NGS approaches of whole individual genomes e.g. by the 1000 Genomes Project is confined by an affordable sequence depth. Combining target enrichment with NGS may represent a feasible approach. Results As a proof of principle, we enriched a ~850 kb section comprising the CNV defensin gene cluster DEFB, the invariable DEFA part and 11 control regions from two genomes by sequence capture and sequenced it by 454 technology. 6,651 differences to the human reference genome were found. Comparison to HapMap genotypes revealed sensitivities and specificities in the range of 94% to 99% for the identification of variations. Using error probabilities for rigorous filtering revealed 2,886 unique single nucleotide variations (SNVs including 358 putative novel ones. DEFB CN determinations by haplotype ratios were in agreement with alternative methods. Conclusion Although currently labor extensive and having high costs, target enriched NGS provides a powerful tool for the comprehensive assessment of SNVs in highly polymorphic CNV regions of individual genomes. Furthermore, it reveals considerable amounts of putative novel variations and simultaneously allows CN estimation.

  1. Transcription factor E93 specifies adult metamorphosis in hemimetabolous and holometabolous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ureña, Enric; Manjón, Cristina; Franch-Marro, Xavier; Martín, David

    2014-05-13

    All immature animals undergo remarkable morphological and physiological changes to become mature adults. In winged insects, metamorphic changes either are limited to a few tissues (hemimetaboly) or involve a complete reorganization of most tissues and organs (holometaboly). Despite the differences, the genetic switch between immature and adult forms in both types of insects relies on the disappearance of the antimetamorphic juvenile hormone (JH) and the transcription factors Krüppel-homolog 1 (Kr-h1) and Broad-Complex (BR-C) during the last juvenile instar. Here, we show that the transcription factor E93 is the key determinant that promotes adult metamorphosis in both hemimetabolous and holometabolous insects, thus acting as the universal adult specifier. In the hemimetabolous insect Blattella germanica, BgE93 is highly expressed in metamorphic tissues, and RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of BgE93 in the nymphal stage prevented the nymphal-adult transition, inducing endless reiteration of nymphal development, even in the absence of JH. We also find that BgE93 down-regulated BgKr-h1 and BgBR-C expression during the last nymphal instar of B. germanica, a key step necessary for proper adult differentiation. This essential role of E93 is conserved in holometabolous insects as TcE93 RNAi in Tribolium castaneum prevented pupal-adult transition and produced a supernumerary second pupa. In this beetle, TcE93 also represses expression of TcKr-h1 and TcBR-C during the pupal stage. Similar results were obtained in the more derived holometabolous insect Drosophila melanogaster, suggesting that winged insects use the same regulatory mechanism to promote adult metamorphosis. This study provides an important insight into the understanding of the molecular basis of adult metamorphosis.

  2. Alpha particle radiography of small insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chingshen Su

    1993-01-01

    Radiographies of ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches and small bugs have been done with a radioisotope 244 Cm alpha source. Energy of alpha particles was varied by attenuating the 5.81 MeV alpha particles with adjustable air spacings from the source to the sample. The LR-115 was used to register radiographs. The image of the insect registered on the LR-115 was etched out in a 2.5 N NaOH solution at 52 o C for certain minutes, depending on various irradiation conditions for the insects. For larger insects, a scanning device for the alpha particle irradiation has been fabricated to take the radiograph of whole body of the insect, and the scanning period can be selected to give desired irradiation dosage. A CCDTV camera system connected to a microscope interfaced to an IBM/AT computer is used to register the microscopic image of the radiograph and to print it out with a video copy processor. (Author)

  3. Learning in Insect Pollinators and Herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Patricia L; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2017-01-31

    The relationship between plants and insects is influenced by insects' behavioral decisions during foraging and oviposition. In mutualistic pollinators and antagonistic herbivores, past experience (learning) affects such decisions, which ultimately can impact plant fitness. The higher levels of dietary generalism in pollinators than in herbivores may be an explanation for the differences in learning seen between these two groups. Generalist pollinators experience a high level of environmental variation, which we suggest favors associative learning. Larval herbivores employ habituation and sensitization-strategies useful in their less variable environments. Exceptions to these patterns based on habitats, mobility, and life history provide critical tests of current theory. Relevant plant traits should be under selection to be easily learned and remembered in pollinators and difficult to learn in herbivores. Insect learning thereby has the potential to have an important, yet largely unexplored, role in plant-insect coevolution.

  4. Most Costly Insects & Diseases of Southern Hardwoods

    Science.gov (United States)

    T. H. Filer; J. D. Solomon

    1987-01-01

    Insect borers, especially carpenter worms and red oak borers, cause degrade in oaks, an average of $45 per thousand board feet, and an annual loss of $112 million in the 2.5 billion board feet of oaks cut annually.

  5. Insect Bites and Stings: First Aid

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Tips to remember. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/stinging-insect-allergy.aspx. Accessed Jan. 9, 2018. LoVecchio F. ...

  6. Harnessing Insect-Microbe Chemical Communications To Control Insect Pests of Agricultural Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, John J; Vannette, Rachel L

    2017-01-11

    Insect pests cause serious economic, yield, and food safety problems to managed crops worldwide. Compounding these problems, insect pests often vector pathogenic or toxigenic microbes to plants. Previous work has considered plant-insect and plant-microbe interactions separately. Although insects are well-understood to use plant volatiles to locate hosts, microorganisms can produce distinct and abundant volatile compounds that in some cases strongly attract insects. In this paper, we focus on the microbial contribution to plant volatile blends, highlighting the compounds emitted and the potential for variation in microbial emission. We suggest that these aspects of microbial volatile emission may make these compounds ideal for use in agricultural applications, as they may be more specific or enhance methods currently used in insect control or monitoring. Our survey of microbial volatiles in insect-plant interactions suggests that these emissions not only signal host suitability but may indicate a distinctive time frame for optimal conditions for both insect and microbe. Exploitation of these host-specific microbe semiochemicals may provide important microbe- and host-based attractants and a basis for future plant-insect-microbe chemical ecology investigations.

  7. Synthesis of model compounds derived from natural clerodane insect antifeedants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein Gebbinck, E.A.

    1999-01-01

    Insect antifeedants are compounds with the ability to reduce or inhibit insect feeding without directly killing the insect. Such compounds offer a number of properties that are highly desirable in environmentally friendly crop protection agents. Although the principle of insect control

  8. Potential of Insect-Derived Ingredients for Food Applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tzompa Sosa, D.A.; Fogliano, V.

    2017-01-01

    Insects are a sustainable and efficient protein and lipid source, compared with conventional livestock. Moreover, insect proteins and lipids are highly nutritional. Therefore, insect proteins and lipids can find its place as food ingredients. The use of insect proteins and lipids as food ingredients

  9. Social insect symbionts: evolution in homeostatic fortresses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, David P; Pierce, Naomi E; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2008-01-01

    The massive environmentally buffered nests of some social insects can contain millions of individuals and a wide variety of parasites, commensals and mutualists. We suggest that the ways in which these homeostatic fortress environments affect the evolution of social insect symbionts are relevant...... in these nests. We hypothesize that biodiversity gradients in these hotspots might be less affected by abiotic latitudinal clines than gradients in neighboring 'control' habitats. We suggest several research lines to test these ideas....

  10. Insect Cells as Hosts for Recombinat Proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Murwani, Retno

    1997-01-01

    Since the development of recombinant baculovirus expression system, insect cell culture has rapidly gain popularity as the method of choice for production of a variety of biologically active proteins. Up to date tens of recombinant protein have been produced by this method commercially or non-commercially and have been widely used for research. This review describes the basic concept of baculovirus expression vector and the use of insect cells as host for recombinant proteins. Examples of the...

  11. Minor lipophilic compounds in edible insects

    OpenAIRE

    Monika Sabolová; Anna Adámková; Lenka Kouřimská; Diana Chrpová; Jan Pánek

    2016-01-01

    Contemporary society is faced with the question how to ensure suffiecient nutrition (quantity and quality) for rapidly growing population. One solution can be consumption of edible insect, which can have very good nutritional value (dietary energy, protein, fatty acids, fibers, dietary minerals and vitamins composition). Some edible insects species, which contains a relatively large amount of fat, can have a potential to be a „good" (interesting, new) source of minor lipophilic compound...

  12. IMp: The customizable LEGO® Pinned Insect Manipulator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steen Dupont

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We present a pinned insect manipulator (IMp constructed of LEGO® building bricks with two axes of movement and two axes of rotation. In addition we present three variants of the IMp to emphasise the modular design, which facilitates resizing to meet the full range of pinned insect specimens, is fully customizable, collapsible, affordable and does not require specialist tools or knowledge to assemble.

  13. IMp: The customizable LEGO® Pinned Insect Manipulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, Steen; Price, Benjamin; Blagoderov, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We present a pinned insect manipulator (IMp) constructed of LEGO® building bricks with two axes of movement and two axes of rotation. In addition we present three variants of the IMp to emphasise the modular design, which facilitates resizing to meet the full range of pinned insect specimens, is fully customizable, collapsible, affordable and does not require specialist tools or knowledge to assemble. PMID:25685035

  14. Advanced technologies for genetically manipulating the silkworm Bombyx mori, a model Lepidopteran insect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Hanfu; O'Brochta, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Genetic technologies based on transposon-mediated transgenesis along with several recently developed genome-editing technologies have become the preferred methods of choice for genetically manipulating many organisms. The silkworm, Bombyx mori, is a Lepidopteran insect of great economic importance because of its use in silk production and because it is a valuable model insect that has greatly enhanced our understanding of the biology of insects, including many agricultural pests. In the past 10 years, great advances have been achieved in the development of genetic technologies in B. mori, including transposon-based technologies that rely on piggyBac-mediated transgenesis and genome-editing technologies that rely on protein- or RNA-guided modification of chromosomes. The successful development and application of these technologies has not only facilitated a better understanding of B. mori and its use as a silk production system, but also provided valuable experiences that have contributed to the development of similar technologies in non-model insects. This review summarizes the technologies currently available for use in B. mori, their application to the study of gene function and their use in genetically modifying B. mori for biotechnology applications. The challenges, solutions and future prospects associated with the development and application of genetic technologies in B. mori are also discussed. PMID:26108630

  15. Extracellular ice phase transitions in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawes, T C

    2014-01-01

    At temperatures below their temperature of crystallization (Tc), the extracellular body fluids of insects undergo a phase transition from liquid to solid. Insects that survive the transition to equilibrium (complete freezing of the body fluids) are designated as freeze tolerant. Although this phenomenon has been reported and described in many Insecta, current nomenclature and theory does not clearly delineate between the process of transition (freezing) and the final solid phase itself (the frozen state). Thus freeze tolerant insects are currently, by convention, described in terms of the temperature at which the crystallization of their body fluids is initiated, Tc. In fact, the correct descriptor for insects that tolerate freezing is the temperature of equilibrium freezing, Tef. The process of freezing is itself a separate physical event with unique physiological stresses that are associated with ice growth. Correspondingly there are a number of insects whose physiological cryo-limits are very specifically delineated by this transitional envelope. The distinction also has considerable significance for our understanding of insect cryobiology: firstly, because the ability to manage endogenous ice growth is a fundamental segregator of cryotype; and secondly, because our understanding of internal ice management is still largely nascent.

  16. Attention-like processes in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nityananda, Vivek

    2016-11-16

    Attention is fundamentally important for sensory systems to focus on behaviourally relevant stimuli. It has therefore been an important field of study in human psychology and neuroscience. Primates, however, are not the only animals that might benefit from attention-like processes. Other animals, including insects, also have to use their senses and select one among many stimuli to forage, avoid predators and find mates. They have evolved different mechanisms to reduce the information processed by their brains to focus on only relevant stimuli. What are the mechanisms used by insects to selectively attend to visual and auditory stimuli? Do these attention-like mechanisms achieve the same functions as they do in primates? To investigate these questions, I use an established framework for investigating attention in non-human animals that proposes four fundamental components of attention: salience filters, competitive selection, top-down sensitivity control and working memory. I discuss evidence for each of these component processes in insects and compare the characteristics of these processes in insects to what we know from primates. Finally, I highlight important outstanding questions about insect attention that need to be addressed for us to understand the differences and similarities between vertebrate and insect attention. © 2016 The Author(s).

  17. Tomographic reconstruction of neopterous carboniferous insect nymphs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Garwood

    Full Text Available Two new polyneopteran insect nymphs from the Montceau-les-Mines Lagerstätte of France are presented. Both are preserved in three dimensions, and are imaged with the aid of X-ray micro-tomography, allowing their morphology to be recovered in unprecedented detail. One-Anebos phrixos gen. et sp. nov.-is of uncertain affinities, and preserves portions of the antennae and eyes, coupled with a heavily spined habitus. The other is a roachoid with long antennae and chewing mouthparts very similar in form to the most generalized mandibulate mouthparts of extant orthopteroid insects. Computer reconstructions reveal limbs in both specimens, allowing identification of the segments and annulation in the tarsus, while poorly developed thoracic wing pads suggest both are young instars. This work describes the morphologically best-known Palaeozoic insect nymphs, allowing a better understanding of the juveniles' palaeobiology and palaeoecology. We also consider the validity of evidence from Palaeozoic juvenile insects in wing origin theories. The study of juvenile Palaeozoic insects is currently a neglected field, yet these fossils provide direct evidence on the evolution of insect development. It is hoped this study will stimulate a renewed interest in such work.

  18. The evolution of plant-insect mutualisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronstein, Judith L; Alarcón, Ruben; Geber, Monica

    2006-01-01

    Mutualisms (cooperative interactions between species) have had a central role in the generation and maintenance of life on earth. Insects and plants are involved in diverse forms of mutualism. Here we review evolutionary features of three prominent insect-plant mutualisms: pollination, protection and seed dispersal. We focus on addressing five central phenomena: evolutionary origins and maintenance of mutualism; the evolution of mutualistic traits; the evolution of specialization and generalization; coevolutionary processes; and the existence of cheating. Several features uniting very diverse insect-plant mutualisms are identified and their evolutionary implications are discussed: the involvement of one mobile and one sedentary partner; natural selection on plant rewards; the existence of a continuum from specialization to generalization; and the ubiquity of cheating, particularly on the part of insects. Plant-insect mutualisms have apparently both arisen and been lost repeatedly. Many adaptive hypotheses have been proposed to explain these transitions, and it is unlikely that any one of them dominates across interactions differing so widely in natural history. Evolutionary theory has a potentially important, but as yet largely unfilled, role to play in explaining the origins, maintenance, breakdown and evolution of insect-plant mutualisms.

  19. Nutritional and sensory quality of edible insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenka Kouřimská

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Insects are for many nations and ethnic groups an indispensable part of the diet. From a nutritional point of view, insects have significant protein content. It varies from 20 to 76% of dry matter depending on the type and development stage of the insect. Fat content variability is large (2–50% of dry matter and depends on many factors. Total polyunsaturated fatty acids' content may be up to 70% of total fatty acids. Carbohydrates are represented mainly by chitin, whose content ranges between 2.7 mg and 49.8 mg per kg of fresh matter. Some species of edible insects contain a reasonable amount of minerals (K, Na, Ca, Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn and P as well as vitamins such as B group vitamins, vitamins A, D, E, K, and C. However their content is seasonal and dependent on the feed. From the hygienic point of view it should be pointed out that some insects may produce or contain toxic bioactive compounds. They may also contain residues of pesticides and heavy metals from the ecosystem. Adverse human allergic reactions to edible insects could be also a possible hazard. Keywords: Chitin, Entomophagy, Fat, Minerals, Proteins, Vitamins

  20. Microbiological Load of Edible Insects Found in Belgium

    OpenAIRE

    Rudy Caparros Megido; Sandrine Desmedt; Christophe Blecker; François Béra; Éric Haubruge; Taofic Alabi; Frédéric Francis

    2017-01-01

    Edible insects are gaining more and more attention as a sustainable source of animal protein for food and feed in the future. In Belgium, some insect products can be found on the market, and consumers are sourcing fresh insects from fishing stores or towards traditional markets to find exotic insects that are illegal and not sanitarily controlled. From this perspective, this study aims to characterize the microbial load of edible insects found in Belgium (i.e., fresh mealworms and house crick...

  1. Applying the sterile insect technique to the control of insect pests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    LaChance, L.E.; Klassen, W.

    1991-01-01

    The sterile insect technique (SIT) is basically a novel twentieth century approach to insect birth control. It is species specific and exploits the mate seeking behaviour of the insect. The basic principle is simple. Insects are mass reared in 'factories' and sexually sterilized by gamma rays from a 60 Co source. The sterile insects are then released in a controlled fashion into nature. Matings between the sterile insects released and native insects produced no progeny. If enough of these matings take place, reproduction of the pest population decreases. With continued release, the pest population can be controlled and in some cases eradicated. In the light of the many important applications of the SIT worldwide and the great potential that SIT concepts hold for insect and pest control in developing countries, two special benefits should be stressed. Of greatest significance is the fact that the SIT permits suppression and eradication of insect pests in an environmentally harmless manner. It combines nuclear techniques with genetic approaches and, in effect, replaces intensive use of chemicals in pest control. Although chemicals are used sparingly at the outset in some SIT programmes to reduce the size of the pest population before releases of sterilized insects are started, the total amount of chemicals used in an SIT programme is a mere fraction of what would be used without the SIT. It is also of great importance that the SIT is not designed strictly for the eradication of pest species but can readily be used in the suppression of insect populations. In fact, the SIT is ideally suited for use in conjunction with other agricultural pest control practices such as the use of parasites and predators, attractants and cultural controls (e.g. ploughing under or destruction of crop residues) in integrated pest management programmes to achieve control at the lowest possible price and with a minimum of chemical contamination of the environment

  2. Applying the sterile insect technique to the control of insect pests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LaChance, L E; Klassen, W [Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Vienna (Austria)

    1991-09-01

    The sterile insect technique (SIT) is basically a novel twentieth century approach to insect birth control. It is species specific and exploits the mate seeking behaviour of the insect. The basic principle is simple. Insects are mass reared in 'factories' and sexually sterilized by gamma rays from a {sup 60}Co source. The sterile insects are then released in a controlled fashion into nature. Matings between the sterile insects released and native insects produced no progeny. If enough of these matings take place, reproduction of the pest population decreases. With continued release, the pest population can be controlled and in some cases eradicated. In the light of the many important applications of the SIT worldwide and the great potential that SIT concepts hold for insect and pest control in developing countries, two special benefits should be stressed. Of greatest significance is the fact that the SIT permits suppression and eradication of insect pests in an environmentally harmless manner. It combines nuclear techniques with genetic approaches and, in effect, replaces intensive use of chemicals in pest control. Although chemicals are used sparingly at the outset in some SIT programmes to reduce the size of the pest population before releases of sterilized insects are started, the total amount of chemicals used in an SIT programme is a mere fraction of what would be used without the SIT. It is also of great importance that the SIT is not designed strictly for the eradication of pest species but can readily be used in the suppression of insect populations. In fact, the SIT is ideally suited for use in conjunction with other agricultural pest control practices such as the use of parasites and predators, attractants and cultural controls (e.g. ploughing under or destruction of crop residues) in integrated pest management programmes to achieve control at the lowest possible price and with a minimum of chemical contamination of the environment.

  3. Intercultural Mediation

    OpenAIRE

    Dragos Marian Radulescu; Denisa Mitrut

    2012-01-01

    The Intercultural Mediator facilitates exchanges between people of different socio-cultural backgrounds and acts as a bridge between immigrants and national and local associations, health organizations, services and offices in order to foster integration of every single individual. As the use mediation increases, mediators are more likely to be involved in cross-cultural mediation, but only the best mediators have the opportunity to mediate cross border business disputes or international poli...

  4. Periodontopathogens and human β-defensin-2 expression in gingival crevicular fluid from patients with periodontal disease in Guangxi, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, X; Chen, Y; Tao, R; Zeng, Q; Liu, Z; Jiang, L; Ye, L; Lin, X

    2015-06-01

    Periodontal diseases are often induced by periodontopathogens, which are always exposed to certain innate immune factors in gingival crevicular fluid, including human β-defensin-2 (hBD-2). This study aims to investigate the relationship among periodontopathogens, clinical parameters and hBD-2 expression. Thirty-two healthy controls, 42 patients with chronic gingivitis and 95 patients with chronic periodontitis were recruited in Guangxi, China. Bleeding index, probing depth and clinical attachment level were measured for all teeth including mesiobuccal, buccal, disobuccal, mesiolingual, lingual, disolingual six sites of all patient. Gingival crevicular fluid samples were collected from the study sites. The prevalence and copy numbers (CN) of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Treponema denticola, Tannerella forsythia and total bacteria in gingival crevicular fluid were quantified by real-time PCR. The hBD-2 concentration in gingival crevicular fluid was measured by ELISA. Both the prevalence and the CN of A. actinomycetemcomitans, P. gingivalis, T. denticola and T. forsythia were higher in patients with chronic periodontitis than in healthy controls and patients with chronic gingivitis; however, there was no significant difference in the prevalence of P. intermedia among the three study groups, and the highest CN was found in patients with chronic gingivitis, rather than in patients with chronic periodontitis. The loads of P. gingivalis, P. intermedia, T. denticola and total bacteria were positively related to probing depth, bleeding index and clinical attachment level. The concentration of hBD-2 in gingival crevicular fluid was higher in patients with chronic gingivitis and in patients with chronic periodontitis than in healthy controls. In addition, the hBD-2 concentration was positively related to the CN of P. gingivalis, T. forsythia and total bacteria, as well as to bleeding index and probing depth. The

  5. The bacterial defensin resistance protein MprF consists of separable domains for lipid lysinylation and antimicrobial peptide repulsion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph M Ernst

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Many bacterial pathogens achieve resistance to defensin-like cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs by the multiple peptide resistance factor (MprF protein. MprF plays a crucial role in Staphylococcus aureus virulence and it is involved in resistance to the CAMP-like antibiotic daptomycin. MprF is a large membrane protein that modifies the anionic phospholipid phosphatidylglycerol with l-lysine, thereby diminishing the bacterial affinity for CAMPs. Its widespread occurrence recommends MprF as a target for novel antimicrobials, although the mode of action of MprF has remained incompletely understood. We demonstrate that the hydrophilic C-terminal domain and six of the fourteen proposed trans-membrane segments of MprF are sufficient for full-level lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol (Lys-PG production and that several conserved amino acid positions in MprF are indispensable for Lys-PG production. Notably, Lys-PG production did not lead to efficient CAMP resistance and most of the Lys-PG remained in the inner leaflet of the cytoplasmic membrane when the large N-terminal hydrophobic domain of MprF was absent, indicating a crucial role of this protein part. The N-terminal domain alone did not confer CAMP resistance or repulsion of the cationic test protein cytochrome c. However, when the N-terminal domain was coexpressed with the Lys-PG synthase domain either in one protein or as two separate proteins, full-level CAMP resistance was achieved. Moreover, only coexpression of the two domains led to efficient Lys-PG translocation to the outer leaflet of the membrane and to full-level cytochrome c repulsion, indicating that the N-terminal domain facilitates the flipping of Lys-PG. Thus, MprF represents a new class of lipid-biosynthetic enzymes with two separable functional domains that synthesize Lys-PG and facilitate Lys-PG translocation. Our study unravels crucial details on the molecular basis of an important bacterial immune evasion mechanism and it may help

  6. Recombinant culicoides obsoletus complex allergens stimulate antigen-specific T cells on insect bite hypersensitive Shetland ponies in vitro

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meulenbroeks, C.; Meide, van der N.M.A.; Willemse, T.; Rutten, V.; Tijhaar, E.J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Ponies may suffer from Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH), an allergic IgE-mediated pruritic skin disorder, induced by allergens from biting midges of the Culicoides spp. Hypothesis/Objectives To determine whether recombinant Culicoides obsoletus allergens are able to activate T cells of

  7. Cloning and expression of candidate allergens from Culicoides obsoletus for diagnosis of insect bite hypersensitivity in horses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meide, van der N.M.A.; Roders, N.; Sloet van Oldruitenborgh-Oosterbaan, M.M.; Schaap, P.J.; Oers, van M.M.; Leibold, W.; Savelkoul, H.F.J.; Tijhaar, E.

    2013-01-01

    Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) is an IgE-mediated (Type I) hypersensitivity reaction induced by allergens from biting midges of the Culicoides spp. The aim of the present study was to identify, clone and express recombinant allergens from C. obsoletus, the main species found feeding on horses in

  8. IL-17-mediated immunity to the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conti, Heather R.; Gaffen, Sarah L.

    2015-01-01

    IL-17 (IL-17A) has emerged as a key mediator of protection against extracellular microbes, but this cytokine also drives pathology in various autoimmune diseases. Overwhelming data in both humans and mice reveal a clear and surprisingly specific role for IL-17 in protection against the fungus Candida albicans, a commensal of the human oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive mucosa. The IL-17 pathway regulates antifungal immunity through upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-6, neutrophil-recruiting chemokines such as CXCL1 and CXCL5 and antimicrobial peptides such as the defensins, which act in concert to limit fungal overgrowth. This review will focus on diseases caused by C. albicans, the role of IL-17-mediated immunity in candidiasis, and the implications for clinical therapies for both autoimmune conditions and fungal infections. PMID:26188072

  9. The environmental sustainability of insects as food and feed. A review

    OpenAIRE

    Huis, van, Arnold; Oonincx, Dennis G.A.B.

    2017-01-01

    With a growing world population, increasingly demanding consumers, and a limited amount of agricultural land, there is an urgent need to find alternatives to conventional meat products. Livestock production is, moreover, a leading cause of anthropogenic-induced climate change. To mediate this, more sustainable diets are needed, with reduced meat consumption or the use of alternative protein sources. Insects are promoted as human food and animal feed worldwide. In tropical countries, edible in...

  10. Respiratory and Metabolic Impacts of Crustacean Immunity: Are there Implications for the Insects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnett, Karen G; Burnett, Louis E

    2015-11-01

    Extensive similarities in the molecular architecture of the crustacean immune system to that of insects give credence to the current view that the Hexapoda, including Insecta, arose within the clade Pancrustacea. The crustacean immune system is mediated largely by hemocytes, relying on suites of pattern recognition receptors, effector functions, and signaling pathways that parallel those of insects. In crustaceans, as in insects, the cardiovascular system facilitates movement of hemocytes and delivery of soluble immune factors, thereby supporting immune surveillance and defense along with other physiological functions such as transport of nutrients, wastes, and hormones. Crustaceans also rely heavily on their cardiovascular systems to mediate gas exchange; insects are less reliant on internal circulation for this function. Among the largest crustaceans, the decapods have developed a condensed heart and a highly arteriolized cardiovascular system that supports the metabolic demands of their often large body size. However, recent studies indicate that mounting an immune response can impair gas exchange and metabolism in their highly developed vascular system. When circulating hemocytes detect the presence of potential pathogens, they aggregate rapidly with each other and with the pathogen. These growing aggregates can become trapped in the microvasculature of the gill where they are melanized and may be eliminated at the next molt. Prior to molting, trapped aggregates of hemocytes also can impair hemolymph flow and oxygenation at the gill. Small shifts to anaerobic metabolism only partially compensate for this decrease in oxygen uptake. The resulting metabolic depression is likely to impact other energy-expensive cellular processes and whole-animal performance. For crustaceans that often live in microbially-rich, but oxygen-poor aquatic environments, there appear to be distinct tradeoffs, based on the gill's multiple roles in respiration and immunity. Insects have

  11. Agricultural production - Phase 2. Indonesia. Insect ecology studies and insect pest control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Butt, B.

    1992-01-01

    This document reviews the activities of the Pest Control Research Group in Indonesia. Pests under study are the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella), the rice stem borer (Chilo suppressalis), the sugar cane borer (Chilo auricilius), bean flies (Agromyza spp.), tobacco insects (Heliothis armigera and Spodoptera litura) and cotton insects, especially the pink bollworm

  12. Action on the Surface: Entomopathogenic Fungi versus the Insect Cuticle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Urquiza, Almudena; Keyhani, Nemat O

    2013-07-16

    Infections mediated by broad host range entomopathogenic fungi represent seminal observations that led to one of the first germ theories of disease and are a classic example of a co-evolutionary arms race between a pathogen and target hosts. These fungi are able to parasitize susceptible hosts via direct penetration of the cuticle with the initial and potentially determining interaction occurring between the fungal spore and the insect epicuticle. Entomogenous fungi have evolved mechanisms for adhesion and recognition of host surface cues that help direct an adaptive response that includes the production of: (a) hydrolytic, assimilatory, and/or detoxifying enzymes including lipase/esterases, catalases, cytochrome P450s, proteases, and chitinases; (b) specialized infectious structures, e.g., appressoria or penetrant tubes; and (c) secondary and other metabolites that facilitate infection. Aside from immune responses, insects have evolved a number of mechanisms to keep pathogens at bay that include: (a) the production of (epi) cuticular antimicrobial lipids, proteins, and metabolites; (b) shedding of the cuticle during development; and (c) behavioral-environmental adaptations such as induced fever, burrowing, and grooming, as well as potentially enlisting the help of other microbes, all intended to stop the pathogen before it can breach the cuticle. Virulence and host-defense can be considered to be under constant reciprocal selective pressure, and the action on the surface likely contributes to phenomena such as strain variation, host range, and the increased virulence often noted once a (low) virulent strain is "passaged" through an insect host. Since the cuticle represents the first point of contact and barrier between the fungus and the insect, the "action on the surface" may represent the defining interactions that ultimately can lead either to successful mycosis by the pathogen or successful defense by the host. Knowledge concerning the molecular mechanisms

  13. Specialized odorant receptors in social insects that detect cuticular hydrocarbon cues and candidate pheromones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pask, Gregory M; Slone, Jesse D; Millar, Jocelyn G; Das, Prithwiraj; Moreira, Jardel A; Zhou, Xiaofan; Bello, Jan; Berger, Shelley L; Bonasio, Roberto; Desplan, Claude; Reinberg, Danny; Liebig, Jürgen; Zwiebel, Laurence J; Ray, Anandasankar

    2017-08-17

    Eusocial insects use cuticular hydrocarbons as components of pheromones that mediate social behaviours, such as caste and nestmate recognition, and regulation of reproduction. In ants such as Harpegnathos saltator, the queen produces a pheromone which suppresses the development of workers' ovaries and if she is removed, workers can transition to a reproductive state known as gamergate. Here we functionally characterize a subfamily of odorant receptors (Ors) with a nine-exon gene structure that have undergone a massive expansion in ants and other eusocial insects. We deorphanize 22 representative members and find they can detect cuticular hydrocarbons from different ant castes, with one (HsOr263) that responds strongly to gamergate extract and a candidate queen pheromone component. After systematic testing with a diverse panel of hydrocarbons, we find that most Harpegnathos saltator Ors are narrowly tuned, suggesting that several receptors must contribute to detection and discrimination of different cuticular hydrocarbons important in mediating eusocial behaviour.Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) mediate the interactions between individuals in eusocial insects, but the sensory receptors for CHCs are unclear. Here the authors show that in ants such as H. saltator, the 9-exon subfamily of odorant receptors (HsOrs) responds to CHCs, and ectopic expression of HsOrs in Drosophila neurons imparts responsiveness to CHCs.

  14. Fungus-insect gall of Phlebopus portentosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chun-Xia; He, Ming-Xia; Cao, Yang; Liu, Jing; Gao, Feng; Wang, Wen-Bing; Ji, Kai-Ping; Shao, Shi-Cheng; Wang, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Phlebopus portentosus is a popular edible wild mushroom found in the tropical Yunnan, China, and northern Thailand. In its natural habitats, a gall often has been found on some plant roots, around which fungal fruiting bodies are produced. The galls are different from common insect galls in that their cavity walls are not made from plant tissue but rather from the hyphae of P. portentosus. Therefore we have termed this phenomenon "fungus-insect gall". Thus far six root mealy bug species in the family Pseudococcidae that form fungus-insect galls with P. portentosus have been identified: Formicococcus polysperes, Geococcus satellitum, Planococcus minor, Pseudococcus cryptus, Paraputo banzigeri and Rastrococcus invadens. Fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of more than 21 plant species, including Delonix regia, Citrus maxima, Coffea arabica and Artocarpus heterophyllus. Greenhouse inoculation trials showed that fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of A. heterophyllus 1 mo after inoculation. The galls were subglobose to globose, fulvous when young and became dark brown at maturation. Each gall harbored one or more mealy bugs and had a chimney-like vent for ventilation and access to the gall. The cavity wall had three layers. Various shaped mealy bug wax deposits were found inside the wall. Fungal hyphae invaded the epidermis of plant roots and sometimes even the cortical cells during the late stage of gall development. The identity of the fungus inside the cavity was confirmed by molecular methods. © 2015 by The Mycological Society of America.

  15. Acoustic communication in insect disease vectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe de Mello Vigoder

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Acoustic signalling has been extensively studied in insect species, which has led to a better understanding of sexual communication, sexual selection and modes of speciation. The significance of acoustic signals for a blood-sucking insect was first reported in the XIX century by Christopher Johnston, studying the hearing organs of mosquitoes, but has received relatively little attention in other disease vectors until recently. Acoustic signals are often associated with mating behaviour and sexual selection and changes in signalling can lead to rapid evolutionary divergence and may ultimately contribute to the process of speciation. Songs can also have implications for the success of novel methods of disease control such as determining the mating competitiveness of modified insects used for mass-release control programs. Species-specific sound “signatures” may help identify incipient species within species complexes that may be of epidemiological significance, e.g. of higher vectorial capacity, thereby enabling the application of more focussed control measures to optimise the reduction of pathogen transmission. Although the study of acoustic communication in insect vectors has been relatively limited, this review of research demonstrates their value as models for understanding both the functional and evolutionary significance of acoustic communication in insects.

  16. Mechanosensation and Adaptive Motor Control in Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuthill, John C; Wilson, Rachel I

    2016-10-24

    The ability of animals to flexibly navigate through complex environments depends on the integration of sensory information with motor commands. The sensory modality most tightly linked to motor control is mechanosensation. Adaptive motor control depends critically on an animal's ability to respond to mechanical forces generated both within and outside the body. The compact neural circuits of insects provide appealing systems to investigate how mechanical cues guide locomotion in rugged environments. Here, we review our current understanding of mechanosensation in insects and its role in adaptive motor control. We first examine the detection and encoding of mechanical forces by primary mechanoreceptor neurons. We then discuss how central circuits integrate and transform mechanosensory information to guide locomotion. Because most studies in this field have been performed in locusts, cockroaches, crickets, and stick insects, the examples we cite here are drawn mainly from these 'big insects'. However, we also pay particular attention to the tiny fruit fly, Drosophila, where new tools are creating new opportunities, particularly for understanding central circuits. Our aim is to show how studies of big insects have yielded fundamental insights relevant to mechanosensation in all animals, and also to point out how the Drosophila toolkit can contribute to future progress in understanding mechanosensory processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Veins improve fracture toughness of insect wings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan-Henning Dirks

    Full Text Available During the lifetime of a flying insect, its wings are subjected to mechanical forces and deformations for millions of cycles. Defects in the micrometre thin membranes or veins may reduce the insect's flight performance. How do insects prevent crack related material failure in their wings and what role does the characteristic vein pattern play? Fracture toughness is a parameter, which characterises a material's resistance to crack propagation. Our results show that, compared to other body parts, the hind wing membrane of the migratory locust S. gregaria itself is not exceptionally tough (1.04±0.25 MPa√m. However, the cross veins increase the wing's toughness by 50% by acting as barriers to crack propagation. Using fracture mechanics, we show that the morphological spacing of most wing veins matches the critical crack length of the material (1132 µm. This finding directly demonstrates how the biomechanical properties and the morphology of locust wings are functionally correlated in locusts, providing a mechanically 'optimal' solution with high toughness and low weight. The vein pattern found in insect wings thus might inspire the design of more durable and lightweight artificial 'venous' wings for micro-air-vehicles. Using the vein spacing as indicator, our approach might also provide a basis to estimate the wing properties of endangered or extinct insect species.

  18. Biological basis of the sterile insect technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lance, D.R.; McInnis, D.O.

    2005-01-01

    In principle, the sterile insect technique (SIT) is applicable to controlling a wide variety of insect pests, but biological factors, interacting with socio-economic and political forces, restrict its practical use to a narrower set of pest species and situations. This chapter reviews how the biology and ecology of a given pest affect the feasibility and logistics of developing and using the SIT against that pest insect. The subjects of pest abundance, distribution, and population dynamics are discussed in relation to producing and delivering sufficient sterile insects to control target populations. Pest movement and distribution are considered as factors that influence the feasibility and design of SIT projects, including the need for population- or area-wide management approaches. Biological characteristics, that affect the ability of sterile insects to interact with wild populations, are presented, including the nature of mating systems of pests, behavioural and physiological consequences of mass production and sterilization, and mechanisms that males use to block a female's acquisition and/or use of sperm from other males. An adequate knowledge of the biology of the pest species and potential target populations is needed, both for making sound decisions on whether integration of the SIT into an area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) programme is appropriate, and for the efficient and effective application of the technique. (author)

  19. Recombinant DNA technology and insect control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seawright, J.A.; Cockburn, Andrew F.

    1989-01-01

    In the past, the most successful avenue for the use of genetics in insect control has been the employment of the sterile insect technique, in which huge numbers of a species are produced in a factory, sterilized by exposure to ionizing radiation and released into the native habitat. this method is suitable for some species, but for logistical, economical, and biological reasons this control technique is not suitable for many economically important species. Our ability to use genetic approaches to cope with the myriad of insect pests will improve in the near future because of progress in the biochemical manipulation of genes. Molecular geneticists have created bacteria, plants, animals, and fungi that have useful new properties, and many of these are being used or tested for commercial use. A reasonable forecast is that a virtual revolution will occur in the way that we currently practice and perceive the genetic control of insects. Using genetic engineering manipulations to develop control techniques for insects of agricultural and public health importance is an exciting prospect and a highly desirable goal

  20. Recombinant DNA technology and insect control

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seawright, J A; Cockburn, Andrew F [Insects Affecting Man and Animals Laboratory, Agric. Res. Serv., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1989-08-01

    In the past, the most successful avenue for the use of genetics in insect control has been the employment of the sterile insect technique, in which huge numbers of a species are produced in a factory, sterilized by exposure to ionizing radiation and released into the native habitat. this method is suitable for some species, but for logistical, economical, and biological reasons this control technique is not suitable for many economically important species. Our ability to use genetic approaches to cope with the myriad of insect pests will improve in the near future because of progress in the biochemical manipulation of genes. Molecular geneticists have created bacteria, plants, animals, and fungi that have useful new properties, and many of these are being used or tested for commercial use. A reasonable forecast is that a virtual revolution will occur in the way that we currently practice and perceive the genetic control of insects. Using genetic engineering manipulations to develop control techniques for insects of agricultural and public health importance is an exciting prospect and a highly desirable goal.

  1. A multicopper oxidase-related protein is essential for insect viability, longevity and ovary development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Zeyu; Green, Peter G; Arakane, Yasuyuki; Kanost, Michael R; Gorman, Maureen J

    2014-01-01

    Typical multicopper oxidases (MCOs) have ten conserved histidines and one conserved cysteine that coordinate four copper atoms. These copper ions are required for oxidase activity. During our studies of insect MCOs, we discovered a gene that we named multicopper oxidase-related protein (MCORP). MCORPs share sequence similarity with MCOs, but lack many of the copper-coordinating residues. We identified MCORP orthologs in many insect species, but not in other invertebrates or vertebrates. We predicted that MCORPs would lack oxidase activity due to the absence of copper-coordinating residues. To test this prediction, we purified recombinant Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle) MCORP and analyzed its enzymatic activity using a variety of substrates. As expected, no oxidase activity was detected. To study MCORP function in vivo, we analyzed expression profiles of TcMCORP and Anopheles gambiae (African malaria mosquito) MCORP, and assessed RNAi-mediated knockdown phenotypes. We found that both MCORPs are constitutively expressed at a low level in all of the tissues we analyzed. Injection of TcMCORP dsRNA into larvae resulted in 100% mortality prior to adult eclosion, with death occurring mainly during the pharate pupal stage or late pharate adult stage. Injection of TcMCORP dsRNA into pharate pupae resulted in the death of approximately 20% of the treated insects during the pupal to adult transition and a greatly shortened life span for the remaining insects. In addition, knockdown of TcMCORP in females prevented oocyte maturation and, thus, greatly decreased the number of eggs laid. These results indicate that TcMCORP is an essential gene and that its function is required for reproduction. An understanding of the role MCORP plays in insect physiology may help to develop new strategies for controlling insect pests.

  2. Flavin-dependent monooxygenases as a detoxification mechanism in insects: new insights from the arctiids (lepidoptera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Sehlmeyer

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Insects experience a wide array of chemical pressures from plant allelochemicals and pesticides and have developed several effective counterstrategies to cope with such toxins. Among these, cytochrome P450 monooxygenases are crucial in plant-insect interactions. Flavin-dependent monooxygenases (FMOs seem not to play a central role in xenobiotic detoxification in insects, in contrast to mammals. However, the previously identified senecionine N-oxygenase of the arctiid moth Tyria jacobaeae (Lepidoptera indicates that FMOs have been recruited during the adaptation of this insect to plants that accumulate toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Identification of related FMO-like sequences of various arctiids and other Lepidoptera and their combination with expressed sequence tag (EST data and sequences emerging from the Bombyx mori genome project show that FMOs in Lepidoptera form a gene family with three members (FMO1 to FMO3. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that FMO3 is only distantly related to lepidopteran FMO1 and FMO2 that originated from a more recent gene duplication event. Within the FMO1 gene cluster, an additional gene duplication early in the arctiid lineage provided the basis for the evolution of the highly specific biochemical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations of these butterflies to pyrrolizidine-alkaloid-producing plants. The genes encoding pyrrolizidine-alkaloid-N-oxygenizing enzymes (PNOs are transcribed in the fat body and the head of the larvae. An N-terminal signal peptide mediates the transport of the soluble proteins into the hemolymph where PNOs efficiently convert pro-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids into their non-toxic N-oxide derivatives. Heterologous expression of a PNO of the generalist arctiid Grammia geneura produced an N-oxygenizing enzyme that shows noticeably expanded substrate specificity compared with the related enzyme of the specialist Tyria jacobaeae. The data about the evolution of FMOs within lepidopteran insects

  3. Freshwater biodiversity and aquatic insect diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe B; Monaghan, Michael T; Pauls, Steffen U

    2014-01-01

    Inland waters cover less than 1% of Earth's surface but harbor more than 6% of all insect species: Nearly 100,000 species from 12 orders spend one or more life stages in freshwater. Little is known about how this remarkable diversity arose, although allopatric speciation and ecological adaptation are thought to be primary mechanisms. Freshwater habitats are highly susceptible to environmental change and exhibit marked ecological gradients. Standing waters appear to harbor more dispersive species than running waters, but there is little understanding of how this fundamental ecological difference has affected diversification. In contrast to the lack of evolutionary studies, the ecology and habitat preferences of aquatic insects have been intensively studied, in part because of their widespread use as bioindicators. The combination of phylogenetics with the extensive ecological data provides a promising avenue for future research, making aquatic insects highly suitable models for the study of ecological diversification.

  4. Unraveling navigational strategies in migratory insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merlin, Christine; Heinze, Stanley; Reppert, Steven M

    2012-04-01

    Long-distance migration is a strategy some animals use to survive a seasonally changing environment. To reach favorable grounds, migratory animals have evolved sophisticated navigational mechanisms that rely on a map and compasses. In migratory insects, the existence of a map sense (sense of position) remains poorly understood, but recent work has provided new insights into the mechanisms some compasses use for maintaining a constant bearing during long-distance navigation. The best-studied directional strategy relies on a time-compensated sun compass, used by diurnal insects, for which neural circuits have begun to be delineated. Yet, a growing body of evidence suggests that migratory insects may also rely on other compasses that use night sky cues or the Earth's magnetic field. Those mechanisms are ripe for exploration. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Parametric structural modeling of insect wings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mengesha, T E; Vallance, R R; Barraja, M; Mittal, R

    2009-01-01

    Insects produce thrust and lift forces via coupled fluid-structure interactions that bend and twist their compliant wings during flapping cycles. Insight into this fluid-structure interaction is achieved with numerical modeling techniques such as coupled finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics, but these methods require accurate and validated structural models of insect wings. Structural models of insect wings depend principally on the shape, dimensions and material properties of the veins and membrane cells. This paper describes a method for parametric modeling of wing geometry using digital images and demonstrates the use of the geometric models in constructing three-dimensional finite element (FE) models and simple reduced-order models. The FE models are more complete and accurate than previously reported models since they accurately represent the topology of the vein network, as well as the shape and dimensions of the veins and membrane cells. The methods are demonstrated by developing a parametric structural model of a cicada forewing.

  6. Acetic Acid Bacteria as Symbionts of Insects

    KAUST Repository

    Crotti, Elena; Chouaia, Bessem; Alma, Alberto; Favia, Guido; Bandi, Claudio; Bourtzis, Kostas; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2016-01-01

    Acetic acid bacteria (AAB) are being increasingly described as associating with different insect species that rely on sugar-based diets. AAB have been found in several insect orders, among them Diptera, Hemiptera, and Hymenoptera, including several vectors of plant, animal, and human diseases. AAB have been shown to associate with the epithelia of different organs of the host, they are able to move within the insect’s body and to be transmitted horizontally and vertically. Here, we review the ecology of AAB and examine their relationships with different insect models including mosquitoes, leafhoppers, and honey bees. We also discuss the potential use of AAB in symbiont-based control strategies, such as “Trojan-horse” agents, to block the transmission of vector-borne diseases.

  7. Acetic Acid Bacteria as Symbionts of Insects

    KAUST Repository

    Crotti, Elena

    2016-06-14

    Acetic acid bacteria (AAB) are being increasingly described as associating with different insect species that rely on sugar-based diets. AAB have been found in several insect orders, among them Diptera, Hemiptera, and Hymenoptera, including several vectors of plant, animal, and human diseases. AAB have been shown to associate with the epithelia of different organs of the host, they are able to move within the insect’s body and to be transmitted horizontally and vertically. Here, we review the ecology of AAB and examine their relationships with different insect models including mosquitoes, leafhoppers, and honey bees. We also discuss the potential use of AAB in symbiont-based control strategies, such as “Trojan-horse” agents, to block the transmission of vector-borne diseases.

  8. New feed ingredients: the insect opportunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Raamsdonk, L W D; van der Fels-Klerx, H J; de Jong, J

    2017-08-01

    In the framework of sustainability and a circular economy, new ingredients for feed are desired and, to this end, initiatives for implementing such novel ingredients have been started. The initiatives include a range of different sources, of which insects are of particular interest. Within the European Union, generally, a new feed ingredient should comply with legal constraints in terms of 'yes, provided that' its safety commits to a range of legal limits for heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides, contaminants, pathogens etc. In the case of animal proteins, however, a second legal framework applies which is based on the principle 'no, unless'. This legislation for eradicating transmissible spongiform encephalopathy consists of prohibitions with a set of derogations applying to specific situations. Insects are currently considered animal proteins. The use of insect proteins is a good case to illustrate this difference between a positive, although restricted, modus and a negative modus for allowing animal proteins. This overview presents aspects in the areas of legislation, feed safety, environmental issues, efficiency and detection of the identity of insects. Use of insects as an extra step in the feed production chain costs extra energy and this results in a higher footprint. A measure for energy conversion should be used to facilitate the comparison between production systems based on cold- versus warm-blooded animals. Added value can be found by applying new commodities for rearing, including but not limited to category 2 animal by-products, catering and household waste including meat, and manure. Furthermore, monitoring of a correct use of insects is one possible approach for label control, traceability and prevention of fraud. The link between legislation and enforcement is strong. A principle called WISE (Witful, Indicative, Societal demands, Enforceable) is launched for governing the relationship between the above-mentioned aspects.

  9. Allergen immunotherapy for insect venom allergy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dhami, S; Zaman, H; Varga, E-M

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is in the process of developing the EAACI Guidelines on Allergen Immunotherapy (AIT) for the management of insect venom allergy. To inform this process, we sought to assess the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and safety...... of AIT in the management of insect venom allergy. METHODS: We undertook a systematic review, which involved searching 15 international biomedical databases for published and unpublished evidence. Studies were independently screened and critically appraised using established instruments. Data were...

  10. Chemistry and biology of insect bioluminescence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colepicolo Neto, P.; Bechara, E.J.H.

    1984-01-01

    Basic aspects on the Chemistry and Biology of bioluminescence are reviewed, with emphasis on insects. Data from the investigation of Lampyridae (fireflies) are collected from literature. With regard to Elateridae (click beetles) and Phengodidae (rail road worms), the least explored families of luminescent insects, new data are presented on the following aspects: (i) 'in vivo' emission spectra, (ii) chemical nature of the luciferin, (iii) conection between bioluminescence and 'oxygen toxicity' as a result of molecular oxygen storage and (iv) the role of light emission by larvae and pupae. (Author) [pt

  11. The DUB/USP17 deubiquitinating enzymes: A gene family within a tandemly repeated sequence, is also embedded within the copy number variable Beta-defensin cluster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Christopher J

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The DUB/USP17 subfamily of deubiquitinating enzymes were originally identified as immediate early genes induced in response to cytokine stimulation in mice (DUB-1, DUB-1A, DUB-2, DUB-2A. Subsequently we have identified a number of human family members and shown that one of these (DUB-3 is also cytokine inducible. We originally showed that constitutive expression of DUB-3 can block cell proliferation and more recently we have demonstrated that this is due to its regulation of the ubiquitination and activity of the 'CAAX' box protease RCE1. Results Here we demonstrate that the human DUB/USP17 family members are found on both chromosome 4p16.1, within a block of tandem repeats, and on chromosome 8p23.1, embedded within the copy number variable beta-defensin cluster. In addition, we show that the multiple genes observed in humans and other distantly related mammals have arisen due to the independent expansion of an ancestral sequence within each species. However, it is also apparent when sequences from humans and the more closely related chimpanzee are compared, that duplication events have taken place prior to these species separating. Conclusions The observation that the DUB/USP17 genes, which can influence cell growth and survival, have evolved from an unstable ancestral sequence which has undergone multiple and varied duplications in the species examined marks this as a unique family. In addition, their presence within the beta-defensin repeat raises the question whether they may contribute to the influence of this repeat on immune related conditions.

  12. Expression of natural antimicrobial peptide β-defensin-2 and Langerhans cell accumulation in epidermis from human non-healing leg ulcers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Urszula Wojewodzka

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Chronic wounds like venous calf and diabetic foot ulcers are frequently contaminated and colonized by bacteria and it remains unclear whether there is sufficient expression of defensins and recruitment of epidermal Langerhans cells in the margin of ulcer compared to normal skin. The aim of this study was to examine immunohistochemically the expression of β-defensin-2 (hBD2, GM-CSF, VEGF growth factors and accumulation of CD1a+ Langerhans cells (LC in epidermis from chronic skin ulcers and to compare it to normal skin from the corresponding areas. Studies were carried out in 10 patients with diabetic foot, 10 patients with varicous ulcers of the calf and 10 patients undergoing orthopedic surgery (normal skin for control. Biopsy specimens were immunostained using specific primary antibodies, LSAB+ kit based on biotin-avidinperoxidase complex technique and DAB chromogen. Results were expressed as a mean staining intensity. Statistical analysis of staining showed significantly higher staining of hBD2 in both normal and ulcerated epidermis from foot sole skin compared to calf skin (normal and ulcerated, p<0.05. Chronic ulcers showed the same expression of hBD2 as normal skin. There was significantly lower accumulation of CD1a+ LC in normal epidermis from foot sole skin compared to normal calf skin (p<0.05. Accumulation of CD1a+ LC and GM-CSF upregulation at the border area of diabetic foot ulcer and reduction of LC concentration at the margin of venous calf ulcer compared to normal skin were observed. It seems that normal calf and sole epidermis is, unlike in the mechanisms of innate immunity, influenced by the different keratinocyte turnover and bacterial flora colonizing these regions. Insufficient upregulation of hBD2 in both diabetic foot and venous calf ulcers may suggest the pathological role of this protein in the chronicity of ulcers.

  13. Giardia co-infection promotes the secretion of antimicrobial peptides beta-defensin 2 and trefoil factor 3 and attenuates attaching and effacing bacteria-induced intestinal disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manko, Anna; Motta, Jean-Paul; Cotton, James A; Feener, Troy; Oyeyemi, Ayodele; Vallance, Bruce A; Wallace, John L; Buret, Andre G

    2017-01-01

    Our understanding of polymicrobial gastrointestinal infections and their effects on host biology remains incompletely understood. Giardia duodenalis is an ubiquitous intestinal protozoan parasite infecting animals and humans. Concomitant infections with Giardia and other gastrointestinal pathogens commonly occur. In countries with poor sanitation, Giardia infection has been associated with decreased incidence of diarrheal disease and fever, and reduced serum inflammatory markers release, via mechanisms that remain obscure. This study analyzed Giardia spp. co-infections with attaching and effacing (A/E) pathogens, and assessed whether and how the presence of Giardia modulates host responses to A/E enteropathogens, and alters intestinal disease outcome. In mice infected with the A/E pathogen Citrobacter rodentium, co-infection with Giardia muris significantly attenuated weight loss, macro- and microscopic signs of colitis, bacterial colonization and translocation, while concurrently enhancing the production and secretion of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) mouse β-defensin 3 and trefoil factor 3 (TFF3). Co-infection of human intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2) monolayers with G. duodenalis trophozoites and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) enhanced the production of the AMPs human β-defensin 2 (HBD-2) and TFF3; this effect was inhibited with treatment of G. duodenalis with cysteine protease inhibitors. Collectively, these results suggest that Giardia infections are capable of reducing enteropathogen-induced colitis while increasing production of host AMPs. Additional studies also demonstrated that Giardia was able to directly inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria. These results reveal novel mechanisms whereby Giardia may protect against gastrointestinal disease induced by a co-infecting A/E enteropathogen. Our findings shed new light on how microbial-microbial interactions in the gut may protect a host during concomitant infections.

  14. Synovial Fluid α-Defensin as a Biomarker for Peri-Prosthetic Joint Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bin; Chen, Fei; Liu, Yi; Xu, Guokang

    Total joint arthroplasty (TJA) has been one of the most beneficial interventions for treating patients suffering from joint disorders. However, peri-prosthetic joint infection (PJI) is a serious complication that often accompanies TJA and the diagnosis of PJI is remains difficult. Questions remain regarding whether certain biomarkers can be valuable in the diagnosis of PJI. We conducted our systematic review by searching PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, and Science Direct with the key words "periprosthetic joint infection," "synovial fluid," and "α-defensin." Studies that provided sufficient data to construct 2 × 2 contingency tables were chosen based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. The quality of included studies was assessed according to the revised Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) criteria. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) were calculated for the included studies. The summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curve and the area under the summary receiver operating characteristic (AUSROC) were used to evaluate the overall diagnostic performance. Eight studies were included in this systematic review. Among them four articles were included in meta-analysis. A total of 421 participants were studied in the meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, and DOR were 0.98 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.94-1.00), 0.97 (95% CI: 0.95-0.99), and 1095.49 (95% CI: 283.68.58-4230.45), respectively. The AUSROC was 0.9949 (standard error [SE] 0.0095). Synovial fluid α-defensin is a biomarker of high sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of PJI.

  15. Insect pest control newsletter. No. 65

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-07-01

    The concept of Area-wide Integrated Pest Management (AW-IPM) is defined as IPM applied against an entire pest population within a delimited geographic area. Area-wide intervention strategies require more planning and ecological understanding, longer-term commitment, a minimum infrastructure and a coordinated implementation by farmers and all other stakeholders. The spatial distribution of the pest population has to be considered not only in surrounding cultivated areas, but also in non-cultivated areas. It also involves considering the temporal distribution of the pest to determine the periods when the pest is most susceptible to preventive, rather than remedial, interventions. In 1998 FAO and the Agency sponsored the First International Conference on 'Area-Wide Control of Insect Pests, Integrating the Sterile Insect and Related Nuclear and other Techniques' in Penang, Malaysia. This Conference greatly increased the interest and awareness concerning the AW-IPM approach to insect pest control. Since then, many new technical innovations have been introduced; a better regulatory framework is being developed to encourage the involvement of the private sector, and more FAO and Agency Member States are integrating insect pest control methods on an areawide basis. Over the past months we have been heavily involved in preparing for the Second FAO/IAEA International Conference on 'Area-Wide Control of Insect Pests: Integrating the Sterile Insect and Related Nuclear and Other Techniques', which was held from 9-13 May in Vienna. The response and interest of scientists and governments, as well as the private sector and sponsors were once more very encouraging. The conference took place with the participation of over 300 delegates from 86 countries, nine international organization, and eight exhibitors. It covered the area-wide approach again in a very broad sense, including the development and integration of many non-SIT technologies, as well as genetic research on cytoplasmic

  16. Insect pest control newsletter. No. 65

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2005-07-01

    The concept of Area-wide Integrated Pest Management (AW-IPM) is defined as IPM applied against an entire pest population within a delimited geographic area. Area-wide intervention strategies require more planning and ecological understanding, longer-term commitment, a minimum infrastructure and a coordinated implementation by farmers and all other stakeholders. The spatial distribution of the pest population has to be considered not only in surrounding cultivated areas, but also in non-cultivated areas. It also involves considering the temporal distribution of the pest to determine the periods when the pest is most susceptible to preventive, rather than remedial, interventions. In 1998 FAO and the Agency sponsored the First International Conference on 'Area-Wide Control of Insect Pests, Integrating the Sterile Insect and Related Nuclear and other Techniques' in Penang, Malaysia. This Conference greatly increased the interest and awareness concerning the AW-IPM approach to insect pest control. Since then, many new technical innovations have been introduced; a better regulatory framework is being developed to encourage the involvement of the private sector, and more FAO and Agency Member States are integrating insect pest control methods on an areawide basis. Over the past months we have been heavily involved in preparing for the Second FAO/IAEA International Conference on 'Area-Wide Control of Insect Pests: Integrating the Sterile Insect and Related Nuclear and Other Techniques', which was held from 9-13 May in Vienna. The response and interest of scientists and governments, as well as the private sector and sponsors were once more very encouraging. The conference took place with the participation of over 300 delegates from 86 countries, nine international organization, and eight exhibitors. It covered the area-wide approach again in a very broad sense, including the development and integration of many non-SIT technologies, as well as genetic research on cytoplasmic

  17. Mediation Analysis with Multiple Mediators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanderWeele, T J; Vansteelandt, S

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in the causal inference literature on mediation have extended traditional approaches to direct and indirect effects to settings that allow for interactions and non-linearities. In this paper, these approaches from causal inference are further extended to settings in which multiple mediators may be of interest. Two analytic approaches, one based on regression and one based on weighting are proposed to estimate the effect mediated through multiple mediators and the effects through other pathways. The approaches proposed here accommodate exposure-mediator interactions and, to a certain extent, mediator-mediator interactions as well. The methods handle binary or continuous mediators and binary, continuous or count outcomes. When the mediators affect one another, the strategy of trying to assess direct and indirect effects one mediator at a time will in general fail; the approach given in this paper can still be used. A characterization is moreover given as to when the sum of the mediated effects for multiple mediators considered separately will be equal to the mediated effect of all of the mediators considered jointly. The approach proposed in this paper is robust to unmeasured common causes of two or more mediators.

  18. Inverse agonist and neutral antagonist actions of synthetic compounds at an insect 5-HT1 receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troppmann, B; Balfanz, S; Baumann, A; Blenau, W

    2010-04-01

    5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) has been shown to control and modulate many physiological and behavioural functions in insects. In this study, we report the cloning and pharmacological properties of a 5-HT(1) receptor of an insect model for neurobiology, physiology and pharmacology. A cDNA encoding for the Periplaneta americana 5-HT(1) receptor was amplified from brain cDNA. The receptor was stably expressed in HEK 293 cells, and the functional and pharmacological properties were determined in cAMP assays. Receptor distribution was investigated by RT-PCR and by immunocytochemistry using an affinity-purified polyclonal antiserum. The P. americana 5-HT(1) receptor (Pea5-HT(1)) shares pronounced sequence and functional similarity with mammalian 5-HT(1) receptors. Activation with 5-HT reduced adenylyl cyclase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Pea5-HT(1) was expressed as a constitutively active receptor with methiothepin acting as a neutral antagonist, and WAY 100635 as an inverse agonist. Receptor mRNA was present in various tissues including brain, salivary glands and midgut. Receptor-specific antibodies showed that the native protein was expressed in a glycosylated form in membrane samples of brain and salivary glands. This study marks the first pharmacological identification of an inverse agonist and a neutral antagonist at an insect 5-HT(1) receptor. The results presented here should facilitate further analyses of 5-HT(1) receptors in mediating central and peripheral effects of 5-HT in insects.

  19. Interspecific interactions in phytophagous insects revisited: a quantitative assessment of competition theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Ian; Denno, Robert F

    2007-10-01

    The importance of interspecific competition is a highly controversial and unresolved issue for community ecology in general, and for phytophagous insects in particular. Recent advancements, however, in our understanding of indirect (plant- and enemy-mediated) interactions challenge the historical paradigms of competition. Thus, in the context of this rapidly developing field, we re-evaluate the evidence for interspecific competition in phytophagous insects using a meta-analysis of published studies. Our analysis is specifically designed to test the assumptions underlying traditional competition theory, namely that competitive interactions are symmetrical, necessitate spatial and temporal co-occurrence, and increase in intensity as the density, phylogenetic similarity, and niche overlap of competing species increase. Despite finding frequent evidence for competition, we found very little evidence that plant-feeding insects conform to theoretical predictions for interspecific competition. Interactions were highly asymmetrical, similar in magnitude within vs. between feeding guilds (chewers vs. sap-feeders), and were unaffected by the quantity of resources removed (% defoliation). There was mixed support for the effects of phylogeny, spatial/temporal separation, and the relative strength of intra- vs. interspecific competition. Clearly, a new paradigm that accounts for indirect interactions and facilitation is required to describe how interspecific competition contributes to the organization of phytophagous insect communities, and perhaps to other plant and animal communities as well.

  20. Diseases in insects produced for food and feed

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eilenberg, Jørgen; Vlak, J.M.; Nielsen-Leroux, C.

    2015-01-01

    Increased production of insects on a large scale for food and feed will likely lead to many novel challenges, including problems with diseases. We provide an overview of important groups of insect pathogens, which can cause disease in insects produced for food and feed. Main characteristics of each...... pathogen group (viruses, bacteria, fungi, protists and nematodes) are described and illustrated, with a selection of examples from the most commonly produced insect species for food and feed. Honeybee and silkworm are mostly produced for other reasons than as human food, yet we can still use them...... as examples to learn about emergence of new diseases in production insects. Results from a 2014 survey about insect diseases in current insect production systems are presented for the first time. Finally, we give some recommendations for the prevention and control of insect diseases. Key words: disease...

  1. The nutritional value of fourteen species of edible insects in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    hope&shola

    2006-02-02

    Feb 2, 2006 ... in Africa, Asia, and Latin America (Bodenheimer, 1951). Hundreds of ... developed among the cultivators of the forest region. It is .... Proximate analysis (%) of commonly eaten dried insects in south western Nigeria. Insects.

  2. Engineering insect-resistant crops: A review

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    dgeorge

    African Journal of Biotechnology ... Transgenic crops engineered for enhanced levels of resistance to insect ... this background that research work targeting other candidate genes such as ... nisms, and potential deleterious environmental effects. ... The global market value of biotech crops was esti- .... located in repeat 11.

  3. Insects: Little Things That Run the World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilley, Luke

    2014-01-01

    Insects are easily the most abundant and diverse group of animals, with over 24,000 species in the UK alone. They can be found in almost every habitat on Earth and are fundamentally important to ecology, conservation, food production, animal and human health, and biodiversity. They are a prominent feature of almost every food web in the UK and…

  4. Insects in IBL-4 pine weevil traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    I. Skrzecz

    2003-01-01

    Pipe traps (IBL-4) are used in Polish coniferous plantations to monitor and control the pine weevil (Hylobius abietis L.). This study was conducted in a one-year old pine plantation established on a reforested clear-cut area in order to evaluate the impact of these traps on non-target insects. Evaluation of the catches indicated that species of

  5. Surface area-volume ratios in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kühsel, Sara; Brückner, Adrian; Schmelzle, Sebastian; Heethoff, Michael; Blüthgen, Nico

    2017-10-01

    Body mass, volume and surface area are important for many aspects of the physiology and performance of species. Whereas body mass scaling received a lot of attention in the literature, surface areas of animals have not been measured explicitly in this context. We quantified surface area-volume (SA/V) ratios for the first time using 3D surface models based on a structured light scanning method for 126 species of pollinating insects from 4 orders (Diptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, and Coleoptera). Water loss of 67 species was measured gravimetrically at very dry conditions for 2 h at 15 and 30 °C to demonstrate the applicability of the new 3D surface measurements and relevance for predicting the performance of insects. Quantified SA/V ratios significantly explained the variation in water loss across species, both directly or after accounting for isometric scaling (residuals of the SA/V ∼ mass 2/3 relationship). Small insects with a proportionally larger surface area had the highest water loss rates. Surface scans of insects to quantify allometric SA/V ratios thus provide a promising method to predict physiological responses, improving the potential of body mass isometry alone that assume geometric similarity. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  6. Natural products from microbes associated with insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beemelmanns, Christine; Guo, Huijuan; Rischer, Maja

    2016-01-01

    Here we review discoveries of secondary metabolites from microbes associated with insects. We mainly focus on natural products, where the ecological role has been at least partially elucidated, and/or the pharmaceutical properties evaluated, and on compounds with unique structural features. We...

  7. Measuring Asymmetry in Insect-Plant Networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cruz, Claudia P T [Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Fisica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil); De Almeida, Adriana M [Departamento de Botanica, Ecologia e Zoologia, Centro de Biociencias, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil); Corso, Gilberto, E-mail: claudia@dfte.ufrn.br, E-mail: adrianam@ufrn.br, E-mail: corso@cb.ufrn.br [Departamento de Biofisica e Farmacologia, Centro de Biociencias, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN - Campus Universitario, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59078 972, Natal, RN (Brazil)

    2011-03-01

    In this work we focus on interaction networks between insects and plants and in the characterization of insect plant asymmetry, an important issue in coevolution and evolutionary biology. We analyze in particular the asymmetry in the interaction matrix of animals (herbivorous insects) and plants (food resource for the insects). Instead of driving our attention to the interaction matrix itself we derive two networks associated to the bipartite network: the animal network, D{sub 1}, and the plant network, D{sub 2}. These networks are constructed according to the following recipe: two animal species are linked once if they interact with the same plant. In a similar way, in the plant network, two plants are linked if they interact with the same animal. To explore the asymmetry between D{sub 2} and D{sub 1} we test for a set of 23 networks from the ecologic literature networks: the difference in size, {Delta}L, clustering coefficient difference, {Delta}C, and mean connectivity difference, {Delta}. We used a nonparametric statistical test to check the differences in {Delta}L, {Delta}C and {Delta}. Our results indicate that {Delta}L and {Delta} show a significative asymmetry.

  8. Pathogenesis induced by (recombinant) baculoviruses in insects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flipsen, H.

    1995-01-01

    Infection of insect larvae by a baculovirus leads to cessation of feeding and finally to the death of the larva. Under optimal conditions this process may take as little as five days during which the virus multiplies approximately a billion times and transforms 30% of the larval weight into

  9. A new family of insect tyramine receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cazzamali, Giuseppe; Klærke, Dan Arne; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P

    2005-01-01

    in the genomic databases from the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae and the honeybee Apis mellifera. These four tyramine or tyramine-like receptors constitute a new receptor family that is phylogenetically distinct from the previously identified insect octopamine/tyramine receptors. The Drosophila tyramine...

  10. Electronic nose in edible insects area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Adámek

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Edible insect is appraised by many cultures as delicious and nutritionally beneficial food. In western countries this commodity is not fully appreciated, and the worries about edible insect food safety prevail. Electronic noses can become a simple and cheap way of securing the health safety of food, and they can also become a tool for evaluating the quality of certain commodities. This research is a pilot project of using an electronic nose in edible insect culinary treatment, and this manuscript describes the phases of edible insect culinary treatment and methods of distinguishing mealworm (Tenebrio molitor and giant mealworm (Zophobas morio using simple electronic nose. These species were measured in the live stage, after killing with boiling water, after drying and after inserting into the chocolate.The sensing device was based on the Arduino Mega platform with the ability to store the recorded data on the SD memory card, and with the possibility to communicate via internet. Data analysis shows that even a simple, cheap and portable electronic nose can distinguish between the different steps of culinary treatment (native samples, dried samples, samples enriched with chocolate for cooking and selected species. Another benefit of the electronic nose could be its future introduction into the control mechanisms of food security systems (e.g. HACCP.

  11. Radioisotope labelling of several major insect pest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sutrisno, Singgih

    1981-01-01

    Radioisotope uptake by insects could take place through various parts i.e. mouth, cuticula, intersegmental, secretion and excretion organs. Usually insects are labelled internally by feeding them on an artificial diet containing radioisotope solution. Labelling of several insect pests of cabbage (Crocidolomia binotalis) Zell and Plutella maculipennis Curt and rice (Chilo suppressalis Walker) by dipping of the pupae in 32 P solution showed a promising result. Pupae of Crocidolomia binotalis Zell dipped in 3 ml solution of 32 P with specific activities of 1, 3, 5 and 7 μCi/ml had developed labelled adults of sufficiently high radioactivity levels for ecological studies. Similar results were also obtained with Plutella maculipennis Curt and Chilo suppressalis Walker with doses of 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 μCi/ml 32 P solution. The best doses for radioisotope labelling by dipping of the insects Crocidolomia binotalis Zell, Plutella maculipennis Curt, and Chilo suppressalis Walker were 1, 9, and 7 μCi/ml respectivelly. (author)

  12. Invasive pests—insects and diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald A. Duerr; Paul A. Mistretta

    2013-01-01

    Key FindingsNonnative pest species have increasing impacts in the South regardless of climate change, patterns of land ownership, or changes in the composition of vegetation.“New” nonnative invasive insects and diseases will have serious impacts on southern forests over the next 50 years. Some species such as emerald ash borer...

  13. Insect Pests of Field Crops. MP-28.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhardt, Chris C.

    This document addresses the principles of field crop insect control through biological, mechanical, and chemical processes. Identification, life history, damage, pesticides, pesticide use and environmental considerations are presented for the major pests of corn, alfalfa, beans, small grains, sugar beets, and potatoes. Each section is accompanied…

  14. STATUS OF INSECT DIVERSITY CONSERVATION IN NIGERIA

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Timothy Ademakinwa

    With a rapid surge in human population, there has been concomitant increase in anthropogenic threats to biodiversity, especially for ecologically-important groups such as insects. With the loss of about 79% of its forest cover, Nigeria ranked as the nation with the highest rate of forest loss in 2005. How these and other.

  15. Lipophorin Receptor: The Insect Lipoprotein Receptor

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Director of ... function of the Lp is to deliver lipids throughout the insect body for metabolism ... Lipid is used as a major energy source for development as well as other metabolic .... LpR4 receptor variant was expressed exclusively in the brain and.

  16. Democratizing evolutionary biology, lessons from insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dunn, Robert Roberdeau; Beasley, DeAnna E.

    2016-01-01

    The engagement of the public in the scientific process is an old practice. Yet with recent advances in technology, the role of the citizen scientist in studying evolutionary processes has increased. Insects provide ideal models for understanding these evolutionary processes at large scales. This ...

  17. Insect pest management in stored grain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stored grain is vulnerable to attach by a variety of insect pests, that can generally be classified as external or internal feeders. Infestations primarily occur after grain is stored, though there is some evidence that infestations can occur in the field right before harvest. There are a variety of...

  18. Some insects affecting Penstemon seed production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Hammon; Melissa Franklin

    2012-01-01

    Beardtongue (Penstemon Schmidel [Scrophulariaceae)) seeds are often produced without apparent damage from pests, but several species of native insects can adversely impact seed production fields. Tarnished plant bug (Lygus lineolaris (Palisot)) and western plant bug (Lygus hesperus Knight [Hemiptera: Miridae]), penstemon weevil (Hesperobaris sp. Casey [Coleoptera:...

  19. Ecology of insects in California chaparral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Don C. Force

    1990-01-01

    Studies stimulated by the International Biological Program showed total insect faunal biomass and diversity to be greatest in the spring of the year, which matches increased plant growth and flowering at this time. Ground-inhabiting beetle studies indicated the family Tenebrionidae to be overwhelmingly dominant in biomass, but the family Staphylinidae to be richest in...

  20. Book review: Insect morphology and phylogeny

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Randolf

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Beutel RG, Friedrich F, Ge S-Q, Yang X-K (2014 Insect Morphology and Phylogeny: A textbook for students of entomology. De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston, 516 pp., softcover. ISBN 978-3-11-026263-6.