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Sample records for insect host rhizotrogus

  1. 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...

  2. Use of habitat odour by host-seeking insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Ben; Cardé, Ring T

    2017-05-01

    Locating suitable feeding or oviposition sites is essential for insect survival. Understanding how insects achieve this is crucial, not only for understanding the ecology and evolution of insect-host interactions, but also for the development of sustainable pest-control strategies that exploit insects' host-seeking behaviours. Volatile chemical cues are used by foraging insects to locate and recognise potential hosts but in nature these resources usually are patchily distributed, making chance encounters with host odour plumes rare over distances greater than tens of metres. The majority of studies on insect host-seeking have focussed on short-range orientation to easily detectable cues and it is only recently that we have begun to understand how insects overcome this challenge. Recent advances show that insects from a wide range of feeding guilds make use of 'habitat cues', volatile chemical cues released over a relatively large area that indicate a locale where more specific host cues are most likely to be found. Habitat cues differ from host cues in that they tend to be released in larger quantities, are more easily detectable over longer distances, and may lack specificity, yet provide an effective way for insects to maximise their chances of subsequently encountering specific host cues. This review brings together recent advances in this area, discussing key examples and similarities in strategies used by haematophagous insects, soil-dwelling insects and insects that forage around plants. We also propose and provide evidence for a new theory that general and non-host plant volatiles can be used by foraging herbivores to locate patches of vegetation at a distance in the absence of more specific host cues, explaining some of the many discrepancies between laboratory and field trials that attempt to make use of plant-derived repellents for controlling insect pests. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  3. From Fossil Parasitoids to Vectors: Insects as Parasites and Hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Christina; Haug, Joachim T

    2015-01-01

    Within Metazoa, it has been proposed that as many as two-thirds of all species are parasitic. This propensity towards parasitism is also reflected within insects, where several lineages independently evolved a parasitic lifestyle. Parasitic behaviour ranges from parasitic habits in the strict sense, but also includes parasitoid, phoretic or kleptoparasitic behaviour. Numerous insects are also the host for other parasitic insects or metazoans. Insects can also serve as vectors for numerous metazoan, protistan, bacterial and viral diseases. The fossil record can report this behaviour with direct (parasite associated with its host) or indirect evidence (insect with parasitic larva, isolated parasitic insect, pathological changes of host). The high abundance of parasitism in the fossil record of insects can reveal important aspects of parasitic lifestyles in various evolutionary lineages. For a comprehensive view on fossil parasitic insects, we discuss here different aspects, including phylogenetic systematics, functional morphology and a direct comparison of fossil and extant species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. Effects of Irradiation on Insect Host-Parasite Relationship

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahalkar, G. W.; Ramakrishnan, V. [Biology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Bombay (India)

    1968-06-15

    Effects of host irradiation on the development of its parasite were investigated. Females of Bracon brevicomis readily accepted irradiated larvae of tile wax moth (Galleria mellonella) and rice moth (Corcyra cephalonica) for oviposition. However, irradiated wax moth larvae adversely influenced the viability of eggs laid on them and also the survival of the parasite grubs feeding on their bodies. The female grubs were affected more than the males. Rice moth larvae, on the other hand, exerted no significant influence on the viability of parasite eggs, but adversely affected the survival of the grubs. The progeny of parents that had been reared on irradiated larvae also exhibited some developmental changes although grown on non-irradiated host larvae, and these changes were more pronounced when G. mellonella was used as the host insect. (author)

  6. Influence of presence and spatial arrangement of belowground insects on host-plant selection of aboveground insects: a field study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soler, J.J.; Schaper, S.V.; Bezemer, T.M.; Cortesero, A.M.; Hoffmeister, T.S.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Vet, L.E.M.; Harvey, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    1. Several studies have shown that above- and belowground insects can interact by influencing each others growth, development, and survival when they feed on the same host-plant. In natural systems, however, insects can make choices on which plants to oviposit and feed. A field experiment was

  7. Gene expression plasticity across hosts of an invasive scale insect species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christodoulides, Nicholas; Van Dam, Alex; Peterson, Daniel A.

    2017-01-01

    For plant-eating insects, we still have only a nascent understanding of the genetic basis of host-use promiscuity. Here, to improve that situation, we investigated host-induced gene expression plasticity in the invasive lobate lac scale insect, Paratachardina pseudolobata (Hemiptera: Keriidae). We...

  8. 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.

  9. Phytophagous insect fauna tracks host plant responses to exotic grass invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida-Neto, Mário; Prado, Paulo I; Lewinsohn, Thomas M

    2011-04-01

    The high dependence of herbivorous insects on their host plants implies that plant invaders can affect these insects directly, by not providing a suitable habitat, or indirectly, by altering host plant availability. In this study, we sampled Asteraceae flower heads in cerrado remnants with varying levels of exotic grass invasion to evaluate whether invasive grasses have a direct effect on herbivore richness independent of the current disturbance level and host plant richness. By classifying herbivores according to the degree of host plant specialization, we also investigated whether invasive grasses reduce the uniqueness of the herbivorous assemblages. Herbivorous insect richness showed a unimodal relationship with invasive grass cover that was significantly explained only by way of the variation in host plant richness. The same result was found for polyphagous and oligophagous insects, but monophages showed a significant negative response to the intensity of the grass invasion that was independent of host plant richness. Our findings lend support to the hypothesis that the aggregate effect of invasive plants on herbivores tends to mirror the effects of invasive plants on host plants. In addition, exotic plants affect specialist insects differently from generalist insects; thus exotic plants affect not only the size but also the structural profile of herbivorous insect assemblages.

  10. The Predictability of Phytophagous Insect Communities: Host Specialists as Habitat Specialists

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Müller, J.; Stadler, J.; Jarzabek-Müller, A.; Hacker, H.; Braak, ter C.J.F.; Brandl, R.

    2011-01-01

    The difficulties specialized phytophagous insects face in finding habitats with an appropriate host should constrain their dispersal. Within the concept of metacommunities, this leads to the prediction that host-plant specialists should sort into local assemblages according to the local

  11. Determining host suitability of pecan for stored-product insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shufran, A A; Mulder, P G; Payton, M E; Shufran, K A

    2013-04-01

    A no-choice test was performed to determine survival and reproductive capacity of stored-product insect pests on pecan, Carya illinoensis (Wangenheim) Koch. Insects used were Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae); sawtoothed grain beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.) (Coleoptera: Cucujidae); red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae); lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae); and rusty grain beetle, Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens) (Coleoptera: Laemophloeidae). Fifty adults of each beetle species or 10 reproductive pairs of P. interpunctella adults were placed in 0.5-liter containers with either whole-shell pecans, cracked-shell pecans, randomly selected in-shell pecans, pecan nutmeats, cracked wheat, or glass beads and held at 28 degrees C, 60-70% relative humidity, and 16:8 (L:D) photoperiod for 2, 4, 6, and 8 wk. Four replications of each insect-diet-interval combination were performed. Larvae of P. interpunctella, O. surinamensis, T. castaneum, C. ferrugineus, and adult P. interpunctella and O. surinamensis developed on cracked and nutmeat pecan diets. R. dominica did not complete reproduction on pecans. Knowledge that these pests can reproduce on stored pecan will assist pecan growers, accumulators, and storage facilities in preventing insect outbreaks on their product.

  12. Genetic diversity and distribution patterns of host insects of Caterpillar Fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing-Mei Quan

    Full Text Available The caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis is one of the most valuable medicinal fungi in the world, and it requires host insects in family Hepialidae (Lepidoptera to complete its life cycle. However, the genetic diversity and phylogeographic structures of the host insects remain to be explored. We analyzed the genetic diversity and temporal and spatial distribution patterns of genetic variation of the host insects throughout the O. sinensis distribution. Abundant haplotype and nucleotide diversity mainly existed in the areas of Nyingchi, ShangriLa, and around the edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where are considered as the diversity center or micro-refuges of the host insects of O. sinensis. However, there was little genetic variation among host insects from 72.1% of all populations, indicating that the host species composition might be relatively simple in large-scale O. sinensis populations. All host insects are monophyletic except for those from four O. sinensis populations around Qinghai Lake. Significant phylogeographic structure (NST>GST, P<0.05 was revealed for the monophyletic host insects, and the three major phylogenetic groups corresponded with specific geographical areas. The divergence of most host insects was estimated to have occurred at ca. 3.7 Ma, shortly before the rapid uplift of the QTP. The geographical distribution and star-like network of the haplotypes implied that most host insects were derived from the relicts of a once-widespread host that subsequently became fragmented. Neutrality tests, mismatch distribution analysis, and expansion time estimation confirmed that most host insects presented recent demographic expansions that began ca. 0.118 Ma in the late Pleistocene. Therefore, the genetic diversity and distribution of the present-day insects should be attributed to effects of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau uplift and glacial advance/retreat cycles during the Quaternary ice age. These results provide valuable

  13. Differential divergences of obligately insect-pathogenic Entomophthora species from fly and aphid hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Annette Bruun; Eilenberg, Jørgen; López Lastra, Claudia

    2009-11-01

    Three DNA regions (ITS 1, LSU rRNA and GPD) of isolates from the insect-pathogenic fungus genus Entomophthora originating from different fly (Diptera) and aphid (Hemiptera) host taxa were sequenced. The results documented a large genetic diversity among the fly-pathogenic Entomophthora and only minor differences among aphid-pathogenic Entomophthora. The evolutionary time of divergence of the fly and the aphid host taxa included cannot account for this difference. The host-driven divergence of Entomophthora, therefore, has been much greater in flies than in aphids. Host-range differences or a recent host shift to aphid are possible explanations.

  14. The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii communicates with the insect host Galleria mellonella during infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Krishnendu; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    Parasitic fungi are the only pathogens that can infect insect hosts directly through their proteinaceous exoskeleton. Penetration of the cuticle requires the release of fungal enzymes, including proteinases, which act as virulence factors. Insects can sense fungal infections and activate innate immune responses, including the synthesis of antifungal peptides and proteinase inhibitors that neutralize the incoming proteinases. This well-studied host response is epigenetically regulated by histone acetylation/deacetylation. Here we show that entomopathogenic fungi can in turn sense the presence of insect-derived antifungal peptides and proteinase inhibitors, and respond by inducing the synthesis of chymotrypsin-like proteinases and metalloproteinases that degrade the host-derived defense molecules. The rapidity of this response is dependent on the virulence of the fungal strain. We confirmed the specificity of the pathogen response to host-derived defense molecules by LC/MS and RT-PCR analysis, and correlated this process with the epigenetic regulation of histone acetylation/deacetylation. This cascade of responses reveals that the coevolution of pathogens and hosts can involve a complex series of attacks and counterattacks based on communication between the invading fungal pathogen and its insect host. The resolution of this process determines whether or not pathogenesis is successful.

  15. A novel approach to biocontrol: Release of live insect hosts pre-infected with entomopathogenic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gumus, Arife; Karagoz, Mehmet; Shapiro-Ilan, David; Hazir, Selcuk

    2015-09-01

    As a new application approach, we tested the efficacy of releasing live insect hosts that were pre-infected with entomopathogenic nematodes against insect pests living in cryptic habitats. We hypothesized that the pre-infected hosts could carry the next generation of emerging nematode infective juveniles to hard-to-reach target sites, and thereby facilitate enhanced control in cryptic habitats. Thus, the infected hosts act as "living insect bombs" against the target pest. We tested this approach using two model insect pests: a chestnut tree pest, the goat moth Cossus cossus (Lepidiptera: Cossidae), and a lawn caterpillar, Spodoptera cilium (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). One pest is considered hard-to-reach via aqueous spray (C. cossus) and the other is more openly exposed in the environment (S. cilium). C. cossus and S. cilium studies were conducted in chestnut logs and Bermudagrass arenas, respectively. The living bomb approach was compared with standard nematode application in aqueous spray and controls (without nematode application); Steinernema carpocapsae (Rize isolate) was used in all experiments. The percentage larval mortality of C. cossus was 86% in the living insect bomb treatment, whereas, all other treatments and controls exhibited less than 4% mortality. The new approach (living bomb) was equally successful as standard aqueous application for the control of S. cilium larvae. Both methods exhibited more than 90% mortality in the turfgrass arena. Our new approach showed an immense potential to control insect pests living in hard-to-reach cryptic habitats. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Transcriptional profile and differential fitness in a specialist milkweed insect across host plants varying in toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birnbaum, Stephanie S L; Rinker, David C; Gerardo, Nicole M; Abbot, Patrick

    2017-12-01

    Interactions between plants and herbivorous insects have been models for theories of specialization and co-evolution for over a century. Phytochemicals govern many aspects of these interactions and have fostered the evolution of adaptations by insects to tolerate or even specialize on plant defensive chemistry. While genomic approaches are providing new insights into the genes and mechanisms insect specialists employ to tolerate plant secondary metabolites, open questions remain about the evolution and conservation of insect counterdefences, how insects respond to the diversity defences mounted by their host plants, and the costs and benefits of resistance and tolerance to plant defences in natural ecological communities. Using a milkweed-specialist aphid (Aphis nerii) model, we test the effects of host plant species with increased toxicity, likely driven primarily by increased secondary metabolites, on aphid life history traits and whole-body gene expression. We show that more toxic plant species have a negative effect on aphid development and lifetime fecundity. When feeding on more toxic host plants with higher levels of secondary metabolites, aphids regulate a narrow, targeted set of genes, including those involved in canonical detoxification processes (e.g., cytochrome P450s, hydrolases, UDP-glucuronosyltransferases and ABC transporters). These results indicate that A. nerii marshal a variety of metabolic detoxification mechanisms to circumvent milkweed toxicity and facilitate host plant specialization, yet, despite these detoxification mechanisms, aphids experience reduced fitness when feeding on more toxic host plants. Disentangling how specialist insects respond to challenging host plants is a pivotal step in understanding the evolution of specialized diet breadths. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Genetic diversity and distribution patterns of host insects of Caterpillar Fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quan, Qing-Mei; Chen, Ling-Ling; Wang, Xi; Li, Shan; Yang, Xiao-Ling; Zhu, Yun-Guo; Wang, Mu; Cheng, Zhou

    2014-01-01

    The caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis is one of the most valuable medicinal fungi in the world, and it requires host insects in family Hepialidae (Lepidoptera) to complete its life cycle. However, the genetic diversity and phylogeographic structures of the host insects remain to be explored. We analyzed the genetic diversity and temporal and spatial distribution patterns of genetic variation of the host insects throughout the O. sinensis distribution. Abundant haplotype and nucleotide diversity mainly existed in the areas of Nyingchi, ShangriLa, and around the edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where are considered as the diversity center or micro-refuges of the host insects of O. sinensis. However, there was little genetic variation among host insects from 72.1% of all populations, indicating that the host species composition might be relatively simple in large-scale O. sinensis populations. All host insects are monophyletic except for those from four O. sinensis populations around Qinghai Lake. Significant phylogeographic structure (NST>GST, Pinsects, and the three major phylogenetic groups corresponded with specific geographical areas. The divergence of most host insects was estimated to have occurred at ca. 3.7 Ma, shortly before the rapid uplift of the QTP. The geographical distribution and star-like network of the haplotypes implied that most host insects were derived from the relicts of a once-widespread host that subsequently became fragmented. Neutrality tests, mismatch distribution analysis, and expansion time estimation confirmed that most host insects presented recent demographic expansions that began ca. 0.118 Ma in the late Pleistocene. Therefore, the genetic diversity and distribution of the present-day insects should be attributed to effects of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau uplift and glacial advance/retreat cycles during the Quaternary ice age. These results provide valuable information to guide the protection and sustainable use of these host

  18. Consequences of symbiont co-infections for insect host phenyotypes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    McLean, A. H. C.; Parker, B. J.; Hrček, Jan; Kavanagh, J. C.; Wellham, P. A. D.; Godfray, H. C. J.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 87, č. 2 (2018), s. 478-488 ISSN 0021-8790 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : aphids * co-infection * host-parasite interactions Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.474, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2656.12705/epdf

  19. Diversity begets diversity: host expansions and the diversification of plant-feeding insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nylin Sören

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant-feeding insects make up a large part of earth's total biodiversity. While it has been shown that herbivory has repeatedly led to increased diversification rates in insects, there has been no compelling explanation for how plant-feeding has promoted speciation rates. There is a growing awareness that ecological factors can lead to rapid diversification and, as one of the most prominent features of most insect-plant interactions, specialization onto a diverse resource has often been assumed to be the main process behind this diversification. However, specialization is mainly a pruning process, and is not able to actually generate diversity by itself. Here we investigate the role of host colonizations in generating insect diversity, by testing if insect speciation rate is correlated with resource diversity. Results By applying a variant of independent contrast analysis, specially tailored for use on questions of species richness (MacroCAIC, we show that species richness is strongly correlated with diversity of host use in the butterfly family Nymphalidae. Furthermore, by comparing the results from reciprocal sister group selection, where sister groups were selected either on the basis of diversity of host use or species richness, we find that it is likely that diversity of host use is driving species richness, rather than vice versa. Conclusion We conclude that resource diversity is correlated with species richness in the Nymphalidae and suggest a scenario based on recurring oscillations between host expansions – the incorporation of new plants into the repertoire – and specialization, as an important driving force behind the diversification of plant-feeding insects.

  20. Host feeding in insect parasitoids: why destructively feed upon a host that excretes an alternative?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burger, J.S.M.; Reijnen, T.M.; Van Lenteren, J.C.; Vet, L.E.M.

    2004-01-01

    Host feeding is the consumption of host tissue by the adult female parasitoid. We studied the function of destructive host feeding and its advantage over non-destructive feeding on host-derived honeydew in the whitefly parasitoid Encarsia formosa Gahan (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae). We allowed

  1. The predictability of phytophagous insect communities: host specialists as habitat specialists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jörg Müller

    Full Text Available The difficulties specialized phytophagous insects face in finding habitats with an appropriate host should constrain their dispersal. Within the concept of metacommunities, this leads to the prediction that host-plant specialists should sort into local assemblages according to the local environmental conditions, i.e. habitat conditions, whereas assemblages of host-plant generalists should depend also on regional processes. Our study aimed at ranking the importance of local environmental factors and species composition of the vegetation for predicting the species composition of phytophagous moth assemblages with either a narrow or a broad host range. Our database consists of 351,506 specimens representing 820 species of nocturnal Macrolepidoptera sampled between 1980 and 2006 using light traps in 96 strict forest reserves in southern Germany. Species were grouped as specialists or generalists according to the food plants of the larvae; specialists use host plants belonging to one genus. We used predictive canonical correspondence and co-correspondence analyses to rank the importance of local environmental factors, the species composition of the vegetation and the role of host plants for predicting the species composition of host-plant specialists and generalists. The cross-validatory fit for predicting the species composition of phytophagous moths was higher for host-plant specialists than for host-plant generalists using environmental factors as well as the composition of the vegetation. As expected for host-plant specialists, the species composition of the vegetation was a better predictor of the composition of these assemblages than the environmental variables. But surprisingly, this difference for specialized insects was not due to the occurrence of their host plants. Overall, our study supports the idea that owing to evolutionary constraints in finding a host, host-plant specialists and host-plant generalists follow two different models of

  2. Review - Host specificity of insect herbivores in tropical forests

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Novotný, Vojtěch; Basset, Y.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 272, č. 1568 (2005), s. 1083-1090 ISSN 0962-8452 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA6007106; GA ČR(CZ) GD206/03/H034; GA ČR(CZ) GA206/04/0725; GA MŠk(CZ) ME 646 Grant - others:US Nationals Science Foundation(US) DEB-02-11591; Darwin Initiative for the Survival of Species(US) 162/10/030 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : food web * herbivore guild * host plant range Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.510, year: 2005

  3. Mind Control: How Parasites Manipulate Cognitive Functions in Their Insect Hosts

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    Frederic Libersat

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Neuro-parasitology is an emerging branch of science that deals with parasites that can control the nervous system of the host. It offers the possibility of discovering how one species (the parasite modifies a particular neural network, and thus particular behaviors, of another species (the host. Such parasite–host interactions, developed over millions of years of evolution, provide unique tools by which one can determine how neuromodulation up-or-down regulates specific behaviors. In some of the most fascinating manipulations, the parasite taps into the host brain neuronal circuities to manipulate hosts cognitive functions. To name just a few examples, some worms induce crickets and other terrestrial insects to commit suicide in water, enabling the exit of the parasite into an aquatic environment favorable to its reproduction. In another example of behavioral manipulation, ants that consumed the secretions of a caterpillar containing dopamine are less likely to move away from the caterpillar and more likely to be aggressive. This benefits the caterpillar for without its ant bodyguards, it is more likely to be predated upon or attacked by parasitic insects that would lay eggs inside its body. Another example is the parasitic wasp, which induces a guarding behavior in its ladybug host in collaboration with a viral mutualist. To exert long-term behavioral manipulation of the host, parasite must secrete compounds that act through secondary messengers and/or directly on genes often modifying gene expression to produce long-lasting effects.

  4. Molecular interrogation of the feeding behaviour of field captured individual insects for interpretation of multiple host plant use.

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    James P Hereward

    Full Text Available The way in which herbivorous insect individuals use multiple host species is difficult to quantify under field conditions, but critical to understanding the evolutionary processes underpinning insect-host plant relationships. In this study we developed a novel approach to understanding the host plant interactions of the green mirid, Creontiades dilutus, a highly motile heteropteran bug that has been associated with many plant species. We combine quantified sampling of the insect across its various host plant species within particular sites and a molecular comparison between the insects' gut contents and available host plants. This approach allows inferences to be made as to the plants fed upon by individual insects in the field. Quantified sampling shows that this "generalist" species is consistently more abundant on two species in the genus Cullen (Fabaceae, its primary host species, than on any other of its numerous listed hosts. The chloroplast intergenic sequences reveal that C. dilutus frequently feeds on plants additional to the one from which it was collected, even when individuals were sampled from the primary host species. These data may be reconciled by viewing multiple host use in this species as an adaptation to survive spatiotemporally ephemeral habitats. The methodological framework developed here provides a basis from which new insights into the feeding behaviour and host plant relationships of herbivorous insects can be derived, which will benefit not only ecological interpretation but also our understanding of the evolution of these relationships.

  5. High nymphal host density and mortality negatively impact parasitoid complex during an insect herbivore outbreak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Aidan A G; Johnson, Scott N; Cook, James M; Riegler, Markus

    2017-08-26

    Insect herbivore outbreaks frequently occur and this may be due to factors that restrict top-down control by parasitoids, for example, host-parasitoid asynchrony, hyperparasitization, resource limitation and climate. Few studies have examined host-parasitoid density relationships during an insect herbivore outbreak in a natural ecosystem with diverse parasitoids. We studied parasitization patterns of Cardiaspina psyllids during an outbreak in a Eucalyptus woodland. First, we established the trophic roles of the parasitoids through a species-specific multiplex PCR approach on mummies from which parasitoids emerged. Then, we assessed host-parasitoid density relationships across three spatial scales (leaf, tree and site) over one year. We detected four endoparasitoid species of the family Encyrtidae (Hymenoptera); two primary parasitoid and one heteronomous hyperparasitoid Psyllaephagus species (the latter with female development as a primary parasitoid and male development as a hyperparasitoid), and the hyperparasitoid Coccidoctonus psyllae. Parasitoid development was host-synchronized, although synchrony between sites appeared constrained during winter (due to temperature differences). Parasitization was predominantly driven by one primary parasitoid species and was mostly inversely host-density dependent across the spatial scales. Hyperparasitization by C. psyllae was psyllid-density dependent at the site scale, however, this only impacted the rarer primary parasitoid. High larval parasitoid mortality due to density-dependent nymphal psyllid mortality (a consequence of resource limitation) compounded by a summer heat wave was incorporated in the assessment and resulted in density independence of host-parasitoid relationships. As such, high larval parasitoid mortality during insect herbivore outbreaks may contribute to the absence of host density-dependent parasitization during outbreak events. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  6. Insect Gallers and Their Plant Hosts: From Omics Data to Systems Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caryn N. Oates

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Gall-inducing insects are capable of exerting a high level of control over their hosts’ cellular machinery to the extent that the plant’s development, metabolism, chemistry, and physiology are all altered in favour of the insect. Many gallers are devastating pests in global agriculture and the limited understanding of their relationship with their hosts prevents the development of robust management strategies. Omics technologies are proving to be important tools in elucidating the mechanisms involved in the interaction as they facilitate analysis of plant hosts and insect effectors for which little or no prior knowledge exists. In this review, we examine the mechanisms behind insect gall development using evidence from omics-level approaches. The secretion of effector proteins and induced phytohormonal imbalances are highlighted as likely mechanisms involved in gall development. However, understanding how these components function within the system is far from complete and a number of questions need to be answered before this information can be used in the development of strategies to engineer or breed plants with enhanced resistance.

  7. The Effect of Host-Plant Phylogenetic Isolation on Species Richness, Composition and Specialization of Insect Herbivores: A Comparison between Native and Exotic Hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Miguel Grandez-Rios

    Full Text Available Understanding the drivers of plant-insect interactions is still a key issue in terrestrial ecology. Here, we used 30 well-defined plant-herbivore assemblages to assess the effects of host plant phylogenetic isolation and origin (native vs. exotic on the species richness, composition and specialization of the insect herbivore fauna on co-occurring plant species. We also tested for differences in such effects between assemblages composed exclusively of exophagous and endophagous herbivores. We found a consistent negative effect of the phylogenetic isolation of host plants on the richness, similarity and specialization of their insect herbivore faunas. Notably, except for Jaccard dissimilarity, the effect of phylogenetic isolation on the insect herbivore faunas did not vary between native and exotic plants. Our findings show that the phylogenetic isolation of host plants is a key factor that influences the richness, composition and specialization of their local herbivore faunas, regardless of the host plant origin.

  8. Phytoplasma adapt to the diverse environments of their plant and insect hosts by altering gene expression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Makarova, Olga; MacLean, Allyson M.; Nicolaisen, Mogens

    2015-01-01

    a role in host adaptation. 74 genes were up-regulated in insects and included genes involved in stress response, phospholipid synthesis, malate and pyruvate metabolism, hemolysin and transporter genes, multiple copies of thymidylate kinase, sigma factor and Zn-proteases genes. In plants, 34 genes...... encoding an immune dominant membrane protein, membrane-associated proteins, and multidrug resistance ABC-type transporters, were up-regulated. Differential regulation of gene expression thus appears to play an important role in host adaptation of phytoplasmas....

  9. Riboflavin Provisioning Underlies Wolbachia’s Fitness Contribution to Its Insect Host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriyama, Minoru; Nikoh, Naruo; Hosokawa, Takahiro

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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. PMID:26556278

  10. Insect-induced effects on plants and possible effectors used by galling and leaf-mining insects to manipulate their host-plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giron, David; Huguet, Elisabeth; Stone, Graham N; Body, Mélanie

    2016-01-01

    Gall-inducing insects are iconic examples in the manipulation and reprogramming of plant development, inducing spectacular morphological and physiological changes of host-plant tissues within which the insect feeds and grows. Despite decades of research, effectors involved in gall induction and basic mechanisms of gall formation remain unknown. Recent research suggests that some aspects of the plant manipulation shown by gall-inducers may be shared with other insect herbivorous life histories. Here, we illustrate similarities and contrasts by reviewing current knowledge of metabolic and morphological effects induced on plants by gall-inducing and leaf-mining insects, and ask whether leaf-miners can also be considered to be plant reprogrammers. We review key plant functions targeted by various plant reprogrammers, including plant-manipulating insects and nematodes, and functionally characterize insect herbivore-derived effectors to provide a broader understanding of possible mechanisms used in host-plant manipulation. Consequences of plant reprogramming in terms of ecology, coevolution and diversification of plant-manipulating insects are also discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Cuckoos versus hosts in insects and birds: adaptations, counter-adaptations and outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilner, Rebecca M; Langmore, Naomi E

    2011-11-01

    Avian parents and social insect colonies are victimized by interspecific brood parasites-cheats that procure costly care for their dependent offspring by leaving them in another species' nursery. Birds and insects defend themselves from attack by brood parasites; their defences in turn select counter-strategies in the parasite, thus setting in motion antagonistic co-evolution between the two parties. Despite their considerable taxonomic disparity, here we show striking parallels in the way that co-evolution between brood parasites and their hosts proceeds in insects and birds. First, we identify five types of co-evolutionary arms race from the empirical literature, which are common to both systems. These are: (a) directional co-evolution of weaponry and armoury; (b) furtiveness in the parasite countered by strategies in the host to expose the parasite; (c) specialist parasites mimicking hosts who escape by diversifying their genetic signatures; (d) generalist parasites mimicking hosts who escape by favouring signatures that force specialization in the parasite; and (e) parasites using crypsis to evade recognition by hosts who then simplify their signatures to make the parasite more detectable. Arms races a and c are well characterized in the theoretical literature on co-evolution, but the other types have received little or no formal theoretical attention. Empirical work suggests that hosts are doomed to lose arms races b and e to the parasite, in the sense that parasites typically evade host defences and successfully parasitize the nest. Nevertheless hosts may win when the co-evolutionary trajectory follows arms race a, c or d. Next, we show that there are four common outcomes of the co-evolutionary arms race for hosts. These are: (1) successful resistance; (2) the evolution of defence portfolios (or multiple lines of resistance); (3) acceptance of the parasite; and (4) tolerance of the parasite. The particular outcome is not determined by the type of preceding

  12. Vertically transmitted rhabdoviruses are found across three insect families and have dynamic interactions with their hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longdon, Ben; Day, Jonathan P; Schulz, Nora; Leftwich, Philip T; de Jong, Maaike A; Breuker, Casper J; Gibbs, Melanie; Obbard, Darren J; Wilfert, Lena; Smith, Sophia C L; McGonigle, John E; Houslay, Thomas M; Wright, Lucy I; Livraghi, Luca; Evans, Luke C; Friend, Lucy A; Chapman, Tracey; Vontas, John; Kambouraki, Natasa; Jiggins, Francis M

    2017-01-25

    A small number of free-living viruses have been found to be obligately vertically transmitted, but it remains uncertain how widespread vertically transmitted viruses are and how quickly they can spread through host populations. Recent metagenomic studies have found several insects to be infected with sigma viruses (Rhabdoviridae). Here, we report that sigma viruses that infect Mediterranean fruit flies (Ceratitis capitata), Drosophila immigrans, and speckled wood butterflies (Pararge aegeria) are all vertically transmitted. We find patterns of vertical transmission that are consistent with those seen in Drosophila sigma viruses, with high rates of maternal transmission, and lower rates of paternal transmission. This mode of transmission allows them to spread rapidly in populations, and using viral sequence data we found the viruses in D. immigrans and C. capitata had both recently swept through host populations. The viruses were common in nature, with mean prevalences of 12% in C. capitata, 38% in D. immigrans and 74% in P. aegeria We conclude that vertically transmitted rhabdoviruses may be widespread in a broad range of insect taxa, and that these viruses can have dynamic interactions with their hosts. © 2017 The Authors.

  13. Vertically transmitted rhabdoviruses are found across three insect families and have dynamic interactions with their hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Jonathan P.; Schulz, Nora; Leftwich, Philip T.; de Jong, Maaike A.; Wilfert, Lena; Smith, Sophia C. L.; McGonigle, John E.; Houslay, Thomas M.; Livraghi, Luca; Evans, Luke C.; Friend, Lucy A.; Vontas, John; Kambouraki, Natasa

    2017-01-01

    A small number of free-living viruses have been found to be obligately vertically transmitted, but it remains uncertain how widespread vertically transmitted viruses are and how quickly they can spread through host populations. Recent metagenomic studies have found several insects to be infected with sigma viruses (Rhabdoviridae). Here, we report that sigma viruses that infect Mediterranean fruit flies (Ceratitis capitata), Drosophila immigrans, and speckled wood butterflies (Pararge aegeria) are all vertically transmitted. We find patterns of vertical transmission that are consistent with those seen in Drosophila sigma viruses, with high rates of maternal transmission, and lower rates of paternal transmission. This mode of transmission allows them to spread rapidly in populations, and using viral sequence data we found the viruses in D. immigrans and C. capitata had both recently swept through host populations. The viruses were common in nature, with mean prevalences of 12% in C. capitata, 38% in D. immigrans and 74% in P. aegeria. We conclude that vertically transmitted rhabdoviruses may be widespread in a broad range of insect taxa, and that these viruses can have dynamic interactions with their hosts. PMID:28100819

  14. Patterns of development of trypanosomes and related parasites in insect hosts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Molyneux, D.H.

    1980-01-01

    The trypanosome parasites of man and his domestic animals and the closely related Leishmania parasites pathogenic to man have widely different patterns of development in their various vector species. However, certain common features of the development of these parasites are exhibited when they develop in insects. These features include temporary storage in the crop; transformation from mammalian forms to primary multiplicative forms; avoidance of digestion by host enzymes; association with the peritrophic membrane; establishment of infection and, associated with this, attachment and colonization of surfaces; migration to different areas of gut to sites of development; formation of a reservoir of forms to ensure sufficient organisms are available for transformation to forms infective to the vertebrate host; subsequent transmission by bite or by contamination of host surfaces. The different features of development outlined above are discussed in relation to trypanosomes and related parasites. The utilization of different model systems for use in this type of study are discussed in view of difficulties in obtaining adequate numbers of infected flies (e.g. Glossina, or sandflies), and the costs and frequent problems of maintaining such colonies. Recent studies (1) on Glossina-transmitted Salivarian trypanosomes are described which indicate possible behavioural differences between infected and uninfected flies that have a bearing on epidemiology and epizootiology; (2) on the fluid mechanics of the Glossina labrum infected and uninfected with trypanosomes; and (3) on attachment of trypanosomes and Leishmania to insect gut wall surfaces. (author)

  15. Comparative venom toxicity between Pteromalus puparum and Nasonia vitripennis (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) toward the hemocytes of their natural hosts, non-target insects and cultured insect cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhong; Ye, Gong-Yin; Cai, Jun; Hu, Cui

    2005-09-01

    Crude venoms from two parasitoid species, Pteromalus puparum and Nasonia vitripennis (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) were assayed for biological activities toward hemocytes from two species of their natural hosts and eight species of their non-natural hosts as well as two lines of cultured Lepidoptera cells, respectively. By inhibiting the spreading and viability of insect hemocytes, the venom from P. puparum displayed significantly higher activities toward plasmatocytes and granular cells from both larvae and pupae of two natural hosts, Pieris rapae and Papilio xuthus, and lower activity toward those from Spodoptera litura, Musca domestica and Sarcophaga peregrina. However, no effect was found towards any type of hemocytes from other five insects tested, namely, Ectropis oblique, Galleria mellonella, Sesamia inferens, Bombyx mori and Parnara guttata. In contrast, the venom from N. vitripennis showed a narrower range of targeted insects. It appeared to have highly adverse effects on the spreading and viability of plasmatocytes and granular cells only from the natural hosts, M. domestica and S. peregrina, little toxicity to cells from P. rapae and P. xuthus, and no effect on any of the other insects tested. Pteromalus puparum venom also apparently presented a high ability to block the spreading of Tn-5B1-4 cells derived from Trichoplusia ni, and high cytotoxicity to the cells and Ha cells derived from Helicoverpa armigera. Nasonia vitripennis venom, however, only had a marked lethal effect to Ha cells. In addition, the possibility that the host range of a defined parasitoid could be assessed using our method of treating hemocytes from candidate insects with venom in vitro, and the potential of our venoms tested in the development of bio-insecticides, insect-resistant transgenic plants, are discussed.

  16. Mapping Protein Interactions between Dengue Virus and Its Human and Insect Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, Janet M.; Gomez, Shawn M.

    2011-01-01

    Background Dengue fever is an increasingly significant arthropod-borne viral disease, with at least 50 million cases per year worldwide. As with other viral pathogens, dengue virus is dependent on its host to perform the bulk of functions necessary for viral survival and replication. To be successful, dengue must manipulate host cell biological processes towards its own ends, while avoiding elimination by the immune system. Protein-protein interactions between the virus and its host are one avenue through which dengue can connect and exploit these host cellular pathways and processes. Methodology/Principal Findings We implemented a computational approach to predict interactions between Dengue virus (DENV) and both of its hosts, Homo sapiens and the insect vector Aedes aegypti. Our approach is based on structural similarity between DENV and host proteins and incorporates knowledge from the literature to further support a subset of the predictions. We predict over 4,000 interactions between DENV and humans, as well as 176 interactions between DENV and A. aegypti. Additional filtering based on shared Gene Ontology cellular component annotation reduced the number of predictions to approximately 2,000 for humans and 18 for A. aegypti. Of 19 experimentally validated interactions between DENV and humans extracted from the literature, this method was able to predict nearly half (9). Additional predictions suggest specific interactions between virus and host proteins relevant to interferon signaling, transcriptional regulation, stress, and the unfolded protein response. Conclusions/Significance Dengue virus manipulates cellular processes to its advantage through specific interactions with the host's protein interaction network. The interaction networks presented here provide a set of hypothesis for further experimental investigation into the DENV life cycle as well as potential therapeutic targets. PMID:21358811

  17. Mapping protein interactions between Dengue virus and its human and insect hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet M Doolittle

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Dengue fever is an increasingly significant arthropod-borne viral disease, with at least 50 million cases per year worldwide. As with other viral pathogens, dengue virus is dependent on its host to perform the bulk of functions necessary for viral survival and replication. To be successful, dengue must manipulate host cell biological processes towards its own ends, while avoiding elimination by the immune system. Protein-protein interactions between the virus and its host are one avenue through which dengue can connect and exploit these host cellular pathways and processes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We implemented a computational approach to predict interactions between Dengue virus (DENV and both of its hosts, Homo sapiens and the insect vector Aedes aegypti. Our approach is based on structural similarity between DENV and host proteins and incorporates knowledge from the literature to further support a subset of the predictions. We predict over 4,000 interactions between DENV and humans, as well as 176 interactions between DENV and A. aegypti. Additional filtering based on shared Gene Ontology cellular component annotation reduced the number of predictions to approximately 2,000 for humans and 18 for A. aegypti. Of 19 experimentally validated interactions between DENV and humans extracted from the literature, this method was able to predict nearly half (9. Additional predictions suggest specific interactions between virus and host proteins relevant to interferon signaling, transcriptional regulation, stress, and the unfolded protein response. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Dengue virus manipulates cellular processes to its advantage through specific interactions with the host's protein interaction network. The interaction networks presented here provide a set of hypothesis for further experimental investigation into the DENV life cycle as well as potential therapeutic targets.

  18. How does synchrony with host plant affect the performance of an outbreaking insect defoliator?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentealba, Alvaro; Pureswaran, Deepa; Bauce, Éric; Despland, Emma

    2017-08-01

    Phenological mismatch has been proposed as a key mechanism by which climate change can increase the severity of insect outbreaks. Spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) is a serious defoliator of North American conifers that feeds on buds in the early spring. Black spruce (Picea mariana) has traditionally been considered a poor-quality host plant since its buds open later than those of the preferred host, balsam fir (Abies balsamea). We hypothesize that advancing black spruce budbreak phenology under a warmer climate would improve its phenological synchrony with budworm and hence increase both its suitability as a host plant and resulting defoliation damage. We evaluated the relationship between tree phenology and both budworm performance and tree defoliation by placing seven cohorts of budworm larvae on black spruce and balsam fir branches at different lags with tree budburst. Our results show that on both host plants, spruce budworm survival and pupal mass decrease sharply when budbreak occurs prior to larval emergence. By contrast, emergence before budbreak decreases survival, but does not negatively impact growth or reproductive output. We also document phytochemical changes that occur as needles mature and define a window of opportunity for the budworm. Finally, larvae that emerged in synchrony with budbreak had the greatest defoliating effect on black spruce. Our results suggest that in the event of advanced black spruce phenology due to climate warming, this host species will support better budworm survival and suffer increased defoliation.

  19. A chitinase is required for Xylella fastidiosa colonization of its insect and plant hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labroussaa, Fabien; Ionescu, Michael; Zeilinger, Adam R; Lindow, Steven E; Almeida, Rodrigo P P

    2017-04-01

    Xylella fastidiosa colonizes the xylem network of host plant species as well as the foregut of its required insect vectors to ensure efficient propagation. Disease management strategies remain inefficient due to a limited comprehension of the mechanisms governing both insect and plant colonization. It was previously shown that X. fastidiosa has a functional chitinase (ChiA), and that chitin likely serves as a carbon source for this bacterium. We expand on that research, showing that a chiA mutant strain is unable to grow on chitin as the sole carbon source. Quantitative PCR assays allowed us to detect bacterial cells in the foregut of vectors after pathogen acquisition; populations of the wild-type and complemented mutant strain were both significantly larger than the chiA mutant strain 10 days, but not 3 days, post acquisition. These results indicate that adhesion of the chiA mutant strain to vectors may not be impaired, but that cell multiplication is limited. The mutant was also affected in its transmission by vectors to plants. In addition, the chiA mutant strain was unable to colonize host plants, suggesting that the enzyme has other substrates associated with plant colonization. Lastly, ChiA requires other X. fastidiosa protein(s) for its in vitro chitinolytic activity. The observation that the chiA mutant strain is not able to colonize plants warrants future attention to be paid to the substrates for this enzyme.

  20. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona Attenuates Host Plant Defenses against Insect Herbivores1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runyon, Justin B.; Mescher, Mark C.; De Moraes, Consuelo M.

    2008-01-01

    Considerable research has examined plant responses to concurrent attack by herbivores and pathogens, but the effects of attack by parasitic plants, another important class of plant-feeding organisms, on plant defenses against other enemies has not been explored. We investigated how attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona impacted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defenses against the chewing insect beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua; BAW). In response to insect feeding, C. pentagona-infested (parasitized) tomato plants produced only one-third of the antiherbivore phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) produced by unparasitized plants. Similarly, parasitized tomato, in contrast to unparasitized plants, failed to emit herbivore-induced volatiles after 3 d of BAW feeding. Although parasitism impaired antiherbivore defenses, BAW growth was slower on parasitized tomato leaves. Vines of C. pentagona did not translocate JA from BAW-infested plants: amounts of JA in parasite vines grown on caterpillar-fed and control plants were similar. Parasitized plants generally contained more salicylic acid (SA), which can inhibit JA in some systems. Parasitized mutant (NahG) tomato plants deficient in SA produced more JA in response to insect feeding than parasitized wild-type plants, further suggesting cross talk between the SA and JA defense signaling pathways. However, JA induction by BAW was still reduced in parasitized compared to unparasitized NahG, implying that other factors must be involved. We found that parasitized plants were capable of producing induced volatiles when experimentally treated with JA, indicating that resource depletion by the parasite does not fully explain the observed attenuation of volatile response to herbivore feeding. Collectively, these findings show that parasitic plants can have important consequences for host plant defense against herbivores. PMID:18165323

  1. Parasitism by Cuscuta pentagona attenuates host plant defenses against insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runyon, Justin B; Mescher, Mark C; De Moraes, Consuelo M

    2008-03-01

    Considerable research has examined plant responses to concurrent attack by herbivores and pathogens, but the effects of attack by parasitic plants, another important class of plant-feeding organisms, on plant defenses against other enemies has not been explored. We investigated how attack by the parasitic plant Cuscuta pentagona impacted tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) defenses against the chewing insect beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua; BAW). In response to insect feeding, C. pentagona-infested (parasitized) tomato plants produced only one-third of the antiherbivore phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) produced by unparasitized plants. Similarly, parasitized tomato, in contrast to unparasitized plants, failed to emit herbivore-induced volatiles after 3 d of BAW feeding. Although parasitism impaired antiherbivore defenses, BAW growth was slower on parasitized tomato leaves. Vines of C. pentagona did not translocate JA from BAW-infested plants: amounts of JA in parasite vines grown on caterpillar-fed and control plants were similar. Parasitized plants generally contained more salicylic acid (SA), which can inhibit JA in some systems. Parasitized mutant (NahG) tomato plants deficient in SA produced more JA in response to insect feeding than parasitized wild-type plants, further suggesting cross talk between the SA and JA defense signaling pathways. However, JA induction by BAW was still reduced in parasitized compared to unparasitized NahG, implying that other factors must be involved. We found that parasitized plants were capable of producing induced volatiles when experimentally treated with JA, indicating that resource depletion by the parasite does not fully explain the observed attenuation of volatile response to herbivore feeding. Collectively, these findings show that parasitic plants can have important consequences for host plant defense against herbivores.

  2. Invasive insect effects on nitrogen cycling and host physiology are not tightly linked.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubino, Lucy; Charles, Sherley; Sirulnik, Abby G; Tuininga, Amy R; Lewis, James D

    2015-02-01

    Invasive insects may dramatically alter resource cycling and productivity in forest ecosystems. Yet, although responses of individual trees should both reflect and affect ecosystem-scale responses, relationships between physiological- and ecosystem-scale responses to invasive insects have not been extensively studied. To address this issue, we examined changes in soil nitrogen (N) cycling, N uptake and allocation, and needle biochemistry and physiology in eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L) Carr) saplings, associated with infestation by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) (Adelges tsugae Annand), an invasive insect causing widespread decline of eastern hemlock in the eastern USA. Compared with uninfested saplings, infested saplings had soils that exhibited faster nitrification rates, and more needle (15)N uptake, N and total protein concentrations. However, these variables did not clearly covary. Further, within infested saplings, needle N concentration did not vary with HWA density. Light-saturated net photosynthetic rates (Asat) declined by 42% as HWA density increased from 0 to 3 adelgids per needle, but did not vary with needle N concentration. Rather, Asat varied with stomatal conductance, which was highest at the lowest HWA density and accounted for 79% of the variation in Asat. Photosynthetic light response did not differ among HWA densities. Our results suggest that the effects of HWA infestation on soil N pools and fluxes, (15)N uptake, needle N and protein concentrations, and needle physiology may not be tightly coupled under at least some conditions. This pattern may reflect direct effects of the HWA on N uptake by host trees, as well as effects of other scale-dependent factors, such as tree hydrology, affected by HWA activity. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. OpnS, an outer membrane porin of Xenorhabdus nematophila, confers a competitive advantage for growth in the insect host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hoeven, Ransome; Forst, Steven

    2009-09-01

    The gammaproteobacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila engages in a mutualistic association with an entomopathogenic nematode and also functions as a pathogen toward different insect hosts. We studied the role of the growth-phase-regulated outer membrane protein OpnS in host interactions. OpnS was shown to be a 16-stranded beta-barrel porin. opnS was expressed during growth in insect hemolymph and expression was elevated as the cell density increased. When wild-type and opnS deletion strains were coinjected into insects, the wild-type strain was predominantly recovered from the insect cadaver. Similarly, an opnS-complemented strain outcompeted the DeltaopnS strain. Coinjection of the wild-type and DeltaopnS strains together with uncolonized nematodes into insects resulted in nematode progeny that were almost exclusively colonized with the wild-type strain. Likewise, nematode progeny recovered after coinjection of a mixture of nematodes carrying either the wild-type or DeltaopnS strain were colonized by the wild-type strain. In addition, the DeltaopnS strain displayed a competitive growth defect when grown together with the wild-type strain in insect hemolymph but not in defined culture medium. The DeltaopnS strain displayed increased sensitivity to antimicrobial compounds, suggesting that deletion of OpnS affected the integrity of the outer membrane. These findings show that the OpnS porin confers a competitive advantage for the growth and/or the survival of X. nematophila in the insect host and provides a new model for studying the biological relevance of differential regulation of porins in a natural host environment.

  4. Looking for a similar partner: host plants shape mating preferences of herbivorous insects by altering their contact pheromones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geiselhardt, Sven; Otte, Tobias; Hilker, Monika

    2012-09-01

    The role of phenotypical plasticity in ecological speciation and the evolution of sexual isolation remains largely unknown. We investigated whether or not divergent host plant use in an herbivorous insect causes assortative mating by phenotypically altering traits involved in mate recognition. We found that males of the mustard leaf beetle Phaedon cochleariae preferred to mate with females that were reared on the same plant species to females provided with a different plant species, based on divergent cuticular hydrocarbon profiles that serve as contact pheromones. The cuticular hydrocarbon phenotypes of the beetles were host plant specific and changed within 2 weeks after a shift to a novel host plant species. We suggest that plant-induced phenotypic divergence in mate recognition cues may act as an early barrier to gene flow between herbivorous insect populations on alternative host species, preceding genetic divergence and thus, promoting ecological speciation. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Influences of leaf-mining insects on their host plants: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu, W. H.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-mining insects are an herbivore group whose larvae live and feed inside plant leaves. Leaf mines are distinct marks on leaves and can provide much information on insect-plant relationships. Most leaf miners are monophagous or oligophagous. Therefore ecologists and paleontologists use them to study interactions and coevolution among plants, insects and natural enemies. There are many different types of leaf-mining patterns on plant leaves, which may have different impacts on host plants. Compared with ectophagous herbivores, leaf-mining insects should have unique influences on host plant characteristics, such as leaf morphology, leaf chemistry, plant physiology, plant growth and production. Obvious impacts include leaf asymmetry, callus formation, photosynthesis, and green islands. Types and degrees of such influences are varied for different leaf miner species or different host plant species. In turn, the change of plant features may have positive or negative impacts on oviposition and feeding of leaf-mining insects. Studies on plant responses to leaf-mining and the defensive mechanisms of plants are helpful in understanding the coevolution between leaf miners and their food plants.Los insectos minadores de hojas son un grupo de herbívoros cuyas larvas viven y se alimentan del interior de las hojas. Lo que denominamos minas son las diferentes marcas que quedan en las hojas y que pueden proporcionar valiosa información acerca de las relaciones planta-insecto. La mayoría de minadores son monófagos u oligófagos. Los ecólogos y paleontólogos los usan para estudiar las interacciones y la coevolución entre plantas, insectos y sus enemigos naturales. Existen numerosos tipos de patrones de minas en las hojas, que pueden producir diferentes impactos en la planta hospedadora. Si los comparamos con los insectos ectófagos, los minadores de hojas pueden tener una influencia muy característica en numerosos aspectos de la planta hospedadora

  6. Host-Parasite Interactions from the Inside: Plant Reproductive Ontogeny Drives Specialization in Parasitic Insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Boivin

    Full Text Available Host plant interactions are likely key drivers of evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of phytophagous insects. Granivory has received substantial attention for its crucial role in shaping the interaction between plants and their seed parasites, but fine-scale mechanisms explaining the role of host plant reproductive biology on specialization of seed parasites remain poorly described. In a comparative approach using plant histological techniques, we tested the hypotheses that different seed parasite species synchronize their life cycles to specific stages in seed development, and that the stage they target depends on major differences in seed development programs. In a pinaceous system, seed storage products are initiated before ovule fertilization and the wasps target the ovule's nucellus during megagametogenesis, a stage at which larvae may benefit from the by-products derived from both secreting cells and dying nucellar cells. In a cupressaceous system, oviposition activity peaks later, during embryogenesis, and the wasps target the ovule's megagametophyte where larvae may benefit from cell disintegration during embryogenesis. Our cytohistological approach shows for the first time how, despite divergent oviposition targets, different parasite species share a common strategy that consists of first competing for nutrients with developing plant structures, and then consuming these developed structures to complete their development. Our results support the prediction that seed developmental program is an axis for specialization in seed parasites, and that it could be an important parameter in models of their ecological and taxonomic divergence. This study provides the basis for further investigating the possibility of the link between plant ontogeny and pre-dispersal seed parasitism.

  7. Survival relative to new and ancestral host plants, phytoplasma infection, and genetic constitution in host races of a polyphagous insect disease vector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maixner, Michael; Albert, Andreas; Johannesen, Jes

    2014-01-01

    Dissemination of vectorborne diseases depends strongly on the vector's host range and the pathogen's reservoir range. Because vectors interact with pathogens, the direction and strength of a vector's host shift is vital for understanding epidemiology and is embedded in the framework of ecological specialization. This study investigates survival in host-race evolution of a polyphagous insect disease vector, Hyalesthes obsoletus, whether survival is related to the direction of the host shift (from field bindweed to stinging nettle), the interaction with plant-specific strains of obligate vectored pathogens/symbionts (stolbur phytoplasma), and whether survival is related to genetic differentiation between the host races. We used a twice repeated, identical nested experimental design to study survival of the vector on alternative hosts and relative to infection status. Survival was tested with Kaplan–Meier analyses, while genetic differentiation between vector populations was quantified with microsatellite allele frequencies. We found significant direct effects of host plant (reduced survival on wrong hosts) and sex (males survive longer than females) in both host races and relative effects of host (nettle animals more affected than bindweed animals) and sex (males more affected than females). Survival of bindweed animals was significantly higher on symptomatic than nonsymptomatic field bindweed, but in the second experiment only. Infection potentially had a positive effect on survival in nettle animals but due to low infection rates the results remain suggestive. Genetic differentiation was not related to survival. Greater negative plant-transfer effect but no negative effect of stolbur in the derived host race suggests preadaptation to the new pathogen/symbiont strain before strong diversifying selection during the specialization process. Physiological maladaptation or failure to accept the ancestral plant will have similar consequences, namely positive assortative

  8. Disruption of Vector Host Preference with Plant Volatiles May Reduce Spread of Insect-Transmitted Plant Pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, Xavier; Willett, Denis S; Kuhns, Emily H; Stelinski, Lukasz L

    2016-05-01

    Plant pathogens can manipulate the odor of their host; the odor of an infected plant is often attractive to the plant pathogen vector. It has been suggested that this odor-mediated manipulation attracts vectors and may contribute to spread of disease; however, this requires further broad demonstration among vector-pathogen systems. In addition, disruption of this indirect chemical communication between the pathogen and the vector has not been attempted. We present a model that demonstrates how a phytophathogen (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus) can increase its spread by indirectly manipulating the behavior of its vector (Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). The model indicates that when vectors are attracted to pathogen-infected hosts, the proportion of infected vectors increases, as well as, the proportion of infected hosts. Additionally, the peak of infected host populations occurs earlier as compared with controls. These changes in disease dynamics were more important during scenarios with higher vector mortality. Subsequently, we conducted a series of experiments to disrupt the behavior of the Asian citrus psyllid. To do so, we exposed the vector to methyl salicylate, the major compound released following host infection with the pathogen. We observed that during exposure or after pre-exposure to methyl salicylate, the host preference can be altered; indeed, the Asian citrus psyllids were unable to select infected hosts over uninfected counterparts. We suggest mechanisms to explain these interactions and potential applications of disrupting herbivore host preference with plant volatiles for sustainable management of insect vectors.

  9. Host selection by a phytophagous insect: the interplay between feeding, egg maturation, egg load, and oviposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding movement patterns of phytophagous insects among plants is a primary goal of insect ecology. Adult females may visit plants for the purpose of depositing eggs, feeding, or both. For some species, egg maturation may be dependent on adult feeding. As a result, rates of egg maturation m...

  10. Protein interaction networks at the host-microbe interface in Diaphorina citri, the insect vector of the citrus greening pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, J S; Chavez, J D; Johnson, R; Hosseinzadeh, S; Mahoney, J E; Mohr, J P; Robison, F; Zhong, X; Hall, D G; MacCoss, M; Bruce, J; Cilia, M

    2017-02-01

    The Asian citrus psyllid ( Diaphorina citri) is the insect vector responsible for the worldwide spread of ' Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' (CLas), the bacterial pathogen associated with citrus greening disease. Developmental changes in the insect vector impact pathogen transmission, such that D. citri transmission of CLas is more efficient when bacteria are acquired by nymphs when compared with adults. We hypothesize that expression changes in the D. citri immune system and commensal microbiota occur during development and regulate vector competency. In support of this hypothesis, more proteins, with greater fold changes, were differentially expressed in response to CLas in adults when compared with nymphs, including insect proteins involved in bacterial adhesion and immunity. Compared with nymphs, adult insects had a higher titre of CLas and the bacterial endosymbionts Wolbachia, Profftella and Carsonella. All Wolbachia and Profftella proteins differentially expressed between nymphs and adults are upregulated in adults, while most differentially expressed Carsonella proteins are upregulated in nymphs. Discovery of protein interaction networks has broad applicability to the study of host-microbe relationships. Using protein interaction reporter technology, a D. citri haemocyanin protein highly upregulated in response to CLas was found to physically interact with the CLas coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis enzyme phosphopantothenoylcysteine synthetase/decarboxylase. CLas pantothenate kinase, which catalyses the rate-limiting step of CoA biosynthesis, was found to interact with a D. citri myosin protein. Two Carsonella enzymes involved in histidine and tryptophan biosynthesis were found to physically interact with D. citri proteins. These co-evolved protein interaction networks at the host-microbe interface are highly specific targets for controlling the insect vector responsible for the spread of citrus greening.

  11. Targeting chitinase gene of Helicoverpa armigera by host-induced RNA interference confers insect resistance in tobacco and tomato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamta; Reddy, K R K; Rajam, M V

    2016-02-01

    Helicoverpa armigera Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a devastating agricultural insect pest with broad spectrum of host range, causing million dollars crop loss annually. Limitations in the present conventional and transgenic approaches have made it crucial to develop sustainable and environmental friendly methods for crop improvement. In the present study, host-induced RNA interference (HI-RNAi) approach was used to develop H. armigera resistant tobacco and tomato plants. Chitinase (HaCHI) gene, critically required for insect molting and metamorphosis was selected as a potential target. Hair-pin RNAi construct was prepared from the conserved off-target free partial HaCHI gene sequence and was used to generate several HaCHI-RNAi tobacco and tomato plants. Northern hybridization confirmed the production of HaCHI gene-specific siRNAs in HaCHI-RNAi tobacco and tomato lines. Continuous feeding on leaves of RNAi lines drastically reduced the target gene transcripts and consequently, affected the overall growth and survival of H. armigera. Various developmental deformities were also manifested in H. armigera larvae after feeding on the leaves of RNAi lines. These results demonstrated the role of chitinase in insect development and potential of HI-RNAi for effective management of H. armigera.

  12. The Immune Responses of the Animal Hosts of West Nile Virus: A Comparison of Insects, Birds, and Mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura R. H. Ahlers

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Vector-borne diseases, including arboviruses, pose a serious threat to public health worldwide. Arboviruses of the flavivirus genus, such as Zika virus (ZIKV, dengue virus, yellow fever virus (YFV, and West Nile virus (WNV, are transmitted to humans from insect vectors and can cause serious disease. In 2017, over 2,000 reported cases of WNV virus infection occurred in the United States, with two-thirds of cases classified as neuroinvasive. WNV transmission cycles through two different animal populations: birds and mosquitoes. Mammals, particularly humans and horses, can become infected through mosquito bites and represent dead-end hosts of WNV infection. Because WNV can infect diverse species, research on this arbovirus has investigated the host response in mosquitoes, birds, humans, and horses. With the growing geographical range of the WNV mosquito vector and increased human exposure, improved surveillance and treatment of the infection will enhance public health in areas where WNV is endemic. In this review, we survey the bionomics of mosquito species involved in Nearctic WNV transmission. Subsequently, we describe the known immune response pathways that counter WNV infection in insects, birds, and mammals, as well as the mechanisms known to curb viral infection. Moreover, we discuss the bacterium Wolbachia and its involvement in reducing flavivirus titer in insects. Finally, we highlight the similarities of the known immune pathways and identify potential targets for future studies aimed at improving antiviral therapeutic and vaccination design.

  13. The use of Skylab data to study the early detection of insect infestations and density and distribution of host plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, W. G.; Ingle, S. J.; Davis, M. R.

    1975-01-01

    The detection of insect infestations and the density and distribution of host plants were studied using Skylab data, aerial photography and ground truth simultaneously. Additional ground truth and aerial photography were acquired between Skylab passes. Three test areas were selected: area 1, of high density citrus, was located northwest of Mission, Texas; area 2, 20 miles north of Weslaco, Texas, irrigated pastures and brush-covered land; area 3 covered the entire Lower Rio Grande Valley and adjacent areas of Mexico. A color composite picture of S-190A data showed patterns of vegetation on both sides of the Rio Grande River clearly delineating the possible avenues of entry of pest insects from Mexico into the United States or from the United States into Mexico. Vegetation that could be identified with conventional color and color IR film included: citrus, brush, sugarcane, alfalfa, irrigated and unimproved pastures.

  14. Aboveground endophyte affects root volatile emission and host plant selection of a belowground insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostás, Michael; Cripps, Michael G; Silcock, Patrick

    2015-02-01

    Plants emit specific blends of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that serve as multitrophic, multifunctional signals. Fungi colonizing aboveground (AG) or belowground (BG) plant structures can modify VOC patterns, thereby altering the information content for AG insects. Whether AG microbes affect the emission of root volatiles and thus influence soil insect behaviour is unknown. The endophytic fungus Neotyphodium uncinatum colonizes the aerial parts of the grass hybrid Festuca pratensis × Lolium perenne and is responsible for the presence of insect-toxic loline alkaloids in shoots and roots. We investigated whether endophyte symbiosis had an effect on the volatile emission of grass roots and if the root herbivore Costelytra zealandica was able to recognize endophyte-infected plants by olfaction. In BG olfactometer assays, larvae of C. zealandica were more strongly attracted to roots of uninfected than endophyte-harbouring grasses. Combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry revealed that endophyte-infected roots emitted less VOCs and more CO2. Our results demonstrate that symbiotic fungi in plants may influence soil insect distribution by changing their behaviour towards root volatiles. The well-known defensive mutualism between grasses and Neotyphodium endophytes could thus go beyond bioactive alkaloids and also confer protection by being chemically less apparent for soil herbivores.

  15. Insects Can Count: Sensory Basis of Host Discrimination in Parasitoid Wasps Revealed.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Ruschioni

    Full Text Available The solitary parasitoid Leptopilina heterotoma is one of the best studied organisms concerning the ecology, behaviour and physiology of host discrimination. Behavioural evidence shows that L. heterotoma uses its ovipositor to discriminate not only between parasitized and unparasitized Drosophila melanogaster larvae, but also to discriminate between hosts with different numbers of parasitoid eggs. The existing knowledge about how and when the parasitoid marks the host motivated us to unravel the chemosensory basis of host discrimination by L. heterotoma that allows it to choose the "best" host available. In this paper we report on electrophysiological recordings of multi-neural responses from the single taste sensillum on the tip of the unpaired ovipositor valve. We stimulated this sensillum with haemolymph of unparasitized, one-time-parasitized and two-times-parasitized Drosophila larvae. We demonstrate for the first time that quantitative characteristics of the neural responses to these haemolymph samples differed significantly, implying that host discrimination is encoded by taste receptor neurons in the multi-neuron coeloconic ovipositor sensillum. The activity of three of the six neurons present in the sensillum suffices for host discrimination and support the hypothesis that L. heterotoma females employ an ensemble code of parasitization status of the host.

  16. A multi-layered mechanistic modelling approach to understand how effector genes extend beyond phytoplasma to modulate plant hosts, insect vectors and the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomkins, Melissa; Kliot, Adi; Marée, Athanasius Fm; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2018-03-13

    Members of the Candidatus genus Phytoplasma are small bacterial pathogens that hijack their plant hosts via the secretion of virulence proteins (effectors) leading to a fascinating array of plant phenotypes, such as witch's brooms (stem proliferations) and phyllody (retrograde development of flowers into vegetative tissues). Phytoplasma depend on insect vectors for transmission, and interestingly, these insect vectors were found to be (in)directly attracted to plants with these phenotypes. Therefore, phytoplasma effectors appear to reprogram plant development and defence to lure insect vectors, similarly to social engineering malware, which employs tricks to lure people to infected computers and webpages. A multi-layered mechanistic modelling approach will enable a better understanding of how phytoplasma effector-mediated modulations of plant host development and insect vector behaviour contribute to phytoplasma spread, and ultimately to predict the long reach of phytoplasma effector genes. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. An Insecticidal Compound Produced by an Insect-Pathogenic Bacterium Suppresses Host Defenses through Phenoloxidase Inhibition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ihsan Ullah

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available A bioassay-guided column chromatographic strategy was adopted in the present study to fractionate the culture extract of Photorhabdus temperata M1021 to identify potential insecticidal and antimicrobial compounds. An ethyl acetate (EtOAc culture extract of P. temperata was assayed against Galleria mellonella larvae through intra-hemocoel injection and exhibited 100% insect mortality within 60 h. The EtOAc fraction and an isolated compound exhibited phenoloxidase (PO inhibition of up to 60% and 63%, respectively. The compound was identified as 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid (phthalic acid, PA by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance. PA exhibited insecticidal activity against G. mellonella in a dose-dependent manner, and 100% insect mortality was observed at 108 h after injection of 1 M PA. In a PO inhibition assay, 0.5 and 1 M concentrations of PA were found to inhibit PO activity by 74% and 82%, respectively; and in a melanotic nodule formation assay, nodule formation was significantly inhibited (27 and 10 nodules by PA (0.5 and 1 M, respectively. PA was furthermore found to have substantial antioxidant activity and maximum antioxidant activity was 64.7% for 0.5 M PA as compare to control. Antibacterial activity was assessed by The MIC values ranged from 0.1 M to 0.5 M of PA. This study reports a multifunctional PA, a potential insecticidal agent, could a factor of insect mortality along with other toxins produced by P. temperata M1021.

  18. Characterization of joining sites of a viral histone H4 on host insect chromosomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil Kumar

    Full Text Available A viral histone H4 (CpBV-H4 is encoded in a polydnavirus, Cotesia plutellae bracovirus (CpBV. It plays a crucial role in parasitism of an endoparasitoid wasp, C. plutellae, against diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, by altering host gene expression in an epigenetic mode by its N-terminal tail after joining host nucleosomes. Comparative transcriptomic analysis between parasitized and nonparasitized P. xylostella by RNA-Seq indicated that 1,858 genes were altered at more than two folds in expression levels at late parasitic stage, including 877 up-regulated genes and 981 down-regulated genes. Among parasitic factors altering host gene expression, CpBV-H4 alone explained 16.3% of these expressional changes. To characterize the joining sites of CpBV-H4 on host chromosomes, ChIP-Seq (chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing was applied to chromatins extracted from parasitized larvae. It identified specific 538 ChIP targets. Joining sites were rich (60.2% in AT sequence. Almost 40% of ChIP targets included short nucleotide repeat sequences presumably recognizable by transcriptional factors and chromatin remodeling factors. To further validate these CpBV-H4 targets, CpBV-H4 was transiently expressed in nonparasitized host at late larval stage and subjected to ChIP-Seq. Two kinds of ChIP-Seqs shared 51 core joining sites. Common targets were close (within 1 kb to genes regulated at expression levels by CpBV-H4. However, other host genes not close to CpBV-H4 joining sites were also regulated by CpBV-H4. These results indicate that CpBV-H4 joins specific chromatin regions of P. xylostella and controls about one sixth of the total host genes that were regulated by C. plutellae parasitism in an epigenetic mode.

  19. Demographic models reveal the shape of density dependence for a specialist insect herbivore on variable host plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X

    2007-07-01

    1. It is widely accepted that density-dependent processes play an important role in most natural populations. However, persistent challenges in our understanding of density-dependent population dynamics include evaluating the shape of the relationship between density and demographic rates (linear, concave, convex), and identifying extrinsic factors that can mediate this relationship. 2. I studied the population dynamics of the cactus bug Narnia pallidicornis on host plants (Opuntia imbricata) that varied naturally in relative reproductive effort (RRE, the proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction), an important plant quality trait. I manipulated per-plant cactus bug densities, quantified subsequent dynamics, and fit stage-structured models to the experimental data to ask if and how density influences demographic parameters. 3. In the field experiment, I found that populations with variable starting densities quickly converged upon similar growth trajectories. In the model-fitting analyses, the data strongly supported a model that defined the juvenile cactus bug retention parameter (joint probability of surviving and not dispersing) as a nonlinear decreasing function of density. The estimated shape of this relationship shifted from concave to convex with increasing host-plant RRE. 4. The results demonstrate that host-plant traits are critical sources of variation in the strength and shape of density dependence in insects, and highlight the utility of integrated experimental-theoretical approaches for identifying processes underlying patterns of change in natural populations.

  20. 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

  1. Targeting of insect epicuticular lipids by the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana: hydrocarbon oxidation within the context of a host-pathogen interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrini, Nicolás; Ortiz-Urquiza, Almudena; Huarte-Bonnet, Carla; Zhang, Shizhu; Keyhani, Nemat O.

    2013-01-01

    Broad host range entomopathogenic fungi such as Beauveria bassiana attack insect hosts via attachment to cuticular substrata and the production of enzymes for the degradation and penetration of insect cuticle. The outermost epicuticular layer consists of a complex mixture of non-polar lipids including hydrocarbons, fatty acids, and wax esters. Long chain hydrocarbons are major components of the outer waxy layer of diverse insect species, where they serve to protect against desiccation and microbial parasites, and as recognition molecules or as a platform for semiochemicals. Insect pathogenic fungi have evolved mechanisms for overcoming this barrier, likely with sets of lipid degrading enzymes with overlapping substrate specificities. Alkanes and fatty acids are substrates for a specific subset of fungal cytochrome P450 monooxygenases involved in insect hydrocarbon degradation. These enzymes activate alkanes by terminal oxidation to alcohols, which are further oxidized by alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases, whose products can enter β-oxidation pathways. B. bassiana contains at least 83 genes coding for cytochrome P450s (CYP), a subset of which are involved in hydrocarbon oxidation, and several of which represent new CYP subfamilies/families. Expression data indicated differential induction by alkanes and insect lipids and four CYP proteins have been partially characterized after heterologous expression in yeast. Gene knockouts revealed a phenotype for only one (cyp52X1) out of six genes examined to date. CYP52X1 oxidizes long chain fatty acids and participates in the degradation of specific epicuticular lipid components needed for breaching the insect waxy layer. Examining the hydrocarbon oxidizing CYP repertoire of pathogens involved in insect epicuticle degradation can lead to the characterization of enzymes with novel substrate specificities. Pathogen targeting may also represent an important co-evolutionary process regarding insect cuticular hydrocarbon

  2. Behavioural manipulation of insect hosts by Baculoviridae as a process of niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamblin, Steven; Tanaka, Mark M

    2013-08-16

    Niche construction has received increasing attention in recent years as a vital force in evolution and examples of niche construction have been identified in a wide variety of taxa, but viruses are conspicuously absent. In this study we explore how niche construction can lead to viruses engineering their hosts (including behavioural manipulation) with feedback on selective pressures for viral transmission and virulence. To illustrate this concept we focus on Baculoviridae, a family of invertebrate viruses that have evolved to modify the feeding behaviour of their lepidopteran hosts and liquefy their cadavers as part of the course of infection. We present a mathematical model showing how niche construction leads to feedback from the behavioural manipulation to the liquefaction of the host, linking the evolution of both of these traits, and show how this association arises from the action of niche construction. Model results show that niche construction is plausible in this system and delineates the conditions under which niche construction will occur. Niche construction in this system is also shown to be sensitive to parameter values that reflect ecological forces. Our model demonstrates that niche construction can be a potent force in viral evolution and can lead to the acquisition and maintenance of the behavioural manipulation and liquefaction traits in Baculoviridae via the niche constructing effects on the host. These results show the potential for niche construction theory to provide new insights into viral evolution.

  3. Cellular and Molecular Interactions of Rhabdoviruses with their Insect and Plant Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    The rhabdoviruses form a large family (Rhabdoviridae) whose host ranges include humans, other vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. There are about 75 plant-infecting rhabdoviruses described, several of which are economically important pathogens that are persistently transmitted to their plant ho...

  4. Host Plants Identification for Adult Agrotis ipsilon, a Long-Distance Migratory Insect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongqiang Liu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we determined the host relationship of Agrotis ipsilon moths by identifying pollen species adhering them during their long-distance migration. Pollen carried by A. ipsilon moths was collected from 2012 to 2014 on a small island in the center of the Bohai Strait, which is a seasonal migration pathway of this pest species. Genomic DNA of single pollen grains was amplified by using whole genome amplification technology, and a portion of the chloroplast rbcL sequence was then amplified from this material. Pollen species were identified by a combination of DNA barcoding and pollen morphology. We found 28 species of pollen from 18 families on the tested moths, mainly from Angiosperm, Dicotyledoneae. From this, we were able to determine that these moths visit woody plants more than herbaceous plants that they carry more pollen in the early and late stages of the migration season, and that the amounts of pollen transportation were related to moth sex, moth body part, and plant species. In general, 31% of female and 26% of male moths were found to be carrying pollen. Amounts of pollen on the proboscis was higher for female than male moths, while the reverse was true for pollen loads on the antennae. This work provides a new approach to study the interactions between noctuid moth and their host plants. Identification of plant hosts for adult moths furthers understanding of the coevolution processes between moths and their host plants.

  5. Living with genome instability: the adaptation of phytoplasmas todiverse environments of their insect and plant hosts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bai, Xiaodong; Zhang, Jianhua; Ewing, Adam; Miller, Sally A.; Radek, Agnes; Shevchenko, Dimitriy; Tsukerman, Kiryl; Walunas, Theresa; Lapidus, Alla; Campbell, John W.; Hogenhout Saskia A.

    2006-02-17

    Phytoplasmas (Candidatus Phytoplasma, Class Mollicutes) cause disease in hundreds of economically important plants, and are obligately transmitted by sap-feeding insects of the order Hemiptera, mainly leafhoppers and psyllids. The 706,569-bp chromosome and four plasmids of aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches broom (AY-WB) were sequenced and compared to the onion yellows phytoplasma strain M (OY-M) genome. The phytoplasmas have small repeat-rich genomes. The repeated DNAs are organized into large clusters, potential mobile units (PMUs), which contain tra5 insertion sequences (ISs), and specialized sigma factors and membrane proteins. So far, PMUs are unique to phytoplasmas. Compared to mycoplasmas, phytoplasmas lack several recombination and DNA modification functions, and therefore phytoplasmas probably use different mechanisms of recombination, likely involving PMUs, for the creation of variability, allowing phytoplasmas to adjust to the diverse environments of plants and insects. The irregular GC skews and presence of ISs and large repeated sequences in the AY-WB and OY-M genomes are indicative of high genomic plasticity. Nevertheless, segments of {approx}250 kb, located between genes lplA and glnQ are syntenic between the two phytoplasmas, contain the majority of the metabolic genes and no ISs. AY-WB is further along in the reductive evolution process than OY-M. The AY-WB genome is {approx}154 kb smaller than the OY-M genome, primarily as a result of fewer multicopy sequences, including PMUs. Further, AY-WB lacks genes that are truncated and are part of incomplete pathways in OY-M. This is the first comparative phytoplasma genome analysis and report of the existence of PMUs in phytoplasma genomes.

  6. 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

  7. A study of the early detection of insect infestations and density/distribution of host plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, W. G.; Ingle, S. J.; Davis, M. R. (Principal Investigator)

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Significant results have been obtained in the identification of citrus, sugarcane, winter vegetables, irrigated pastures, and unimproved pastures which contain brush. Land without vegetation, lakes, roads, and waterways can also be determined. Different densities of vegetation covering some cultivated areas are apparent. The practical applications of these results are many. The abundance of host plants of pests can be determined. Avenues of entry of pests can be plotted, facilitating control or preventing entry of pest species. The boundaries of areas to be quarantined can be accurately established after viewing the S-190B data. Better cultural methods can be employed such as planning where to plant certain crops that indirectly are detrimental to those already growing. This would relate to such factors as pesticide drift or alternate hosts of major pests.

  8. The role of female search behaviour in determining host plant range in plant feeding insects: a test of the information processing hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    Janz, N.; Nylin, S.

    1997-01-01

    Recent theoretical studies have suggested that host range in herbivorous insects may be more restricted by constraints on information processing on the ovipositing females than by trade-offs in larval feeding efficiency. We have investigated if females from polyphagous species have to pay for their ability to localize and evaluate plants from different species with a lower ability to discriminate between conspecific host plants with differences in quality. Females of the monophagous butterfli...

  9. Plant rhabdoviruses: new insights and research needs in the interplay of negative-strand RNA viruses with plant and insect hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Krin S; Dietzgen, Ralf G

    2014-08-01

    Rhabdoviruses are taxonomically classified in the family Rhabdoviridae, order Mononegavirales. As a group, rhabdoviruses can infect plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. Plant cyto- and nucleorhabdoviruses infect a wide variety of species across both monocot and dicot families, including agriculturally important crops such as lettuce, wheat, barley, rice, maize, potato and tomato. Plant rhabdoviruses are transmitted by and replicate in hemipteran insects such as aphids (Aphididae), leafhoppers (Cicadellidae), or planthoppers (Delphacidae). These specific interactions between plants, viruses and insects offer new insights into host adaptation and molecular virus evolution. This review explores recent advances as well as knowledge gaps in understanding of replication, RNA silencing suppression and movement of plant rhabdoviruses with respect to both plant and insect hosts.

  10. A single genetic locus in the phytopathogen Pantoea stewartii enables gut colonization and pathogenicity in an insect host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavrinides, John; No, Alexander; Ochman, Howard

    2010-01-01

    Aphids are typically exposed to a variety of epiphytic and phytopathogenic bacteria, many of which have entomopathogenic potential. Here we describe the interaction between Pantoea stewartii ssp. stewartii DC283 (DC283), an enteric phytopathogen and causal agent of Stewart's wilt, and the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. When ingested by aphids, DC283 establishes and aggregates in the crop and gut, preventing honeydew flow and excretion, resulting in aphid death in 72 h. A mutagenesis screen identified a single locus, termed ucp1 (youcannot pass), whose disruption abolishes aphid pathogenicity. Moreover, the expression of ucp1 in Escherichia coli is sufficient to mediate the hindgut aggregation phenotype by this normally avirulent species. Ucp1 is related to six other proteins in the DC283 genome, each having a common N-terminal region and a divergent C-terminus, but only ucp1 has a role in pathogenicity. Based on predicted motifs and secondary structure, Ucp1 is a membrane-bound protein that functions in bacterial adhesion and promotes the formation of aggregates that are lethal to the insect host. These results illustrate that the enteric plant pathogenic bacteria have the capacity to exploit alternative non-plant hosts, and retain genetic determinants for colonizing the gut.

  11. Passive sinking into the snow as possible survival strategy during the off-host stage in an insect ectoparasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaunisto, Sirpa; Ylonen, Hannu; Kortet, Raine

    2015-07-22

    Abiotic and biotic factors determine success or failure of individual organisms, populations and species. The early life stages are often the most vulnerable to heavy mortality due to environmental conditions. The deer ked (Lipoptena cervi Linnaeus, 1758) is an invasive insect ectoparasite of cervids that spends an important period of the life cycle outside host as immobile pupa. During winter, dark-coloured pupae drop off the host onto the snow, where they are exposed to environmental temperature variation and predation as long as the new snowfall provides shelter against these mortality factors. The other possible option is to passively sink into the snow, which is aided by morphology of pupae. Here, we experimentally studied passive snow sinking capacity of pupae of L. cervi. We show that pupae have a notable passive snow sinking capacity, which is the most likely explained by pupal morphology enabling solar energy absorption and pupal weight. The present results can be used when planning future studies and when evaluating possible predation risk and overall survival of this invasive ectoparasite species in changing environmental conditions.

  12. Genetic differentiation among Maruca vitrata F. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) populations on cultivated cowpea and wild host plants: implications for insect resistance management and biological control strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruca vitrata is a polyphagous insect pest on a wide variety of leguminous plants in the tropics and subtropics. The contribution of host-associated genetic variation on population structure was investigated using analysis mitochondrial cox1 sequence and microsatellite marker data from M. vitrata c...

  13. Use of quantitative real time PCR for a genome-wide study of AYWB phytoplasma gene expression in plant and insect hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Makarova, Olga; MacLean, Allyson M.; Hogenhout, Saskia A.

    2011-01-01

    this technique for reliable gene expression quantification of phytoplasmas on a large scale. In our experimental setup, 242 genes of aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches' broom (AY-WB) were tested for differences in expression in plant and insect host environments, and were shown to be predominantly...

  14. PhaR, a Negative Regulator of PhaP, Modulates the Colonization of a Burkholderia Gut Symbiont in the Midgut of the Host Insect, Riptortus pedestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Seong Han; Jang, Ho Am; Lee, Junbeom; Kim, Jong Uk; Lee, Seung Ah; Park, Kyoung-Eun; Kim, Byung Hyun; Jo, Yong Hun; Lee, Bok Luel

    2017-06-01

    Five genes encoding PhaP family proteins and one phaR gene have been identified in the genome of Burkholderia symbiont strain RPE75. PhaP proteins function as the surface proteins of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) granules, and the PhaR protein acts as a negative regulator of PhaP biosynthesis. Recently, we characterized one phaP gene to understand the molecular cross talk between Riptortus insects and Burkholderia gut symbionts. In this study, we constructed four other phaP gene-depleted mutants (Δ phaP1 , Δ phaP2 , Δ phaP3 , and Δ phaP4 mutants), one phaR gene-depleted mutant, and a phaR -complemented mutant (Δ phaR/phaR mutant). To address the biological roles of four phaP family genes and the phaR gene during insect-gut symbiont interaction, these Burkholderia mutants were fed to the second-instar nymphs, and colonization ability and fitness parameters were examined. In vitro , the Δ phaP3 and Δ phaR mutants cannot make a PHA granule normally in a stressful environment. Furthermore, the Δ phaR mutation decreased the colonization ability in the host midgut and negatively affected the host insect's fitness compared with wild-type Burkholderia -infected insects. However, other phaP family gene-depleted mutants colonized well in the midgut of the fifth-instar nymph insects. However, in the case of females, the colonization rate of the Δ phaP3 mutant was decreased and the host's fitness parameters were decreased compared with the wild-type-infected host, suggesting that the environment of the female midgut may be more hostile than that of the male midgut. These results demonstrate that PhaR plays an important role in the biosynthesis of PHA granules and that it is significantly related to the colonization of the Burkholderia gut symbiont in the host insects' midgut. IMPORTANCE Bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biosynthesis is a complex process requiring several enzymes. The biological roles of PHA granule synthesis enzymes and the surface proteins of PHA

  15. A putative ATP/GTP binding protein affects Leishmania mexicana growth in insect vectors and vertebrate hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hlaváčová, Jana; Zimmer, Sara L.; Butenko, Anzhelika; Podešvová, Lucie; Leštinová, Tereza; Lukeš, Julius; Kostygov, Alexei; Votýpka, Jan; Volf, Petr

    2017-01-01

    Background Leishmania virulence factors responsible for the complicated epidemiology of the various leishmaniases remain mainly unidentified. This study is a characterization of a gene previously identified as upregulated in two of three overlapping datasets containing putative factors important for Leishmania’s ability to establish mammalian intracellular infection and to colonize the gut of an insect vector. Methodology/Principal findings The investigated gene encodes ATP/GTP binding motif-containing protein related to Leishmania development 1 (ALD1), a cytosolic protein that contains a cryptic ATP/GTP binding P-loop. We compared differentiation, growth rates, and infective abilities of wild-type and ALD1 null mutant cell lines of L. mexicana. Loss of ALD1 results in retarded growth kinetics but not defects in differentiation in axenic culture. Similarly, when mice and the sand fly vector were infected with the ALD1 null mutant, the primary difference in infection and colonization phenotype relative to wild type was an inability to achieve maximal host pathogenicity. While ability of the ALD1 null mutant cells to infect macrophages in vitro was not affected, replication within macrophages was clearly curtailed. Conclusions/Significance L. mexicana ALD1, encoding a protein with no assigned functional domains or motifs, was identified utilizing multiple comparative analyses with the related and often experimentally overlooked monoxenous flagellates. We found that it plays a role in Leishmania infection and colonization in vitro and in vivo. Results suggest that ALD1 functions in L. mexicana’s general metabolic network, rather than function in specific aspect of virulence as anticipated from the compared datasets. This result validates our comparative genomics approach for finding relevant factors, yet highlights the importance of quality laboratory-based analysis of genes tagged by these methods. PMID:28742133

  16. Phytoplasma PMU1 exists as linear chromosomal and circular extrachromosomal elements and has enhanced expression in insect vectors compared with plant hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toruño, Tania Y; Musić, Martina Seruga; Simi, Silvia; Nicolaisen, Mogens; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2010-09-01

    Phytoplasmas replicate intracellularly in plants and insects and are dependent on both hosts for dissemination in nature. Phytoplasmas have small genomes lacking genes for major metabolic pathways. Nevertheless, their genomes harbour multicopy gene clusters that were named potential mobile units (PMUs). PMU1 is the largest most complete repeat among the PMUs in the genome of Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches' Broom (AY-WB). PMU1 is c. 20 kb in size and contains 21 genes encoding DNA replication and predicted membrane-targeted proteins. Here we show that AY-WB has a chromosomal linear PMU1 (L-PMU1) and an extrachromosomal circular PMU1 (C-PMU1). The C-PMU1 copy number was consistently higher by in average approximately fivefold in insects compared with plants and PMU1 gene expression levels were also considerably higher in insects indicating that C-PMU1 synthesis and expression are regulated. We found that the majority of AY-WB virulence genes lie on chromosomal PMU regions that have similar gene content and organization as PMU1 providing evidence that PMUs contribute to phytoplasma host adaptation and have integrated into the AY-WB chromosome. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Analysis of the Pantoea ananatis pan-genome reveals factors underlying its ability to colonize and interact with plant, insect and vertebrate hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Maayer, Pieter; Chan, Wai Yin; Rubagotti, Enrico; Venter, Stephanus N; Toth, Ian K; Birch, Paul R J; Coutinho, Teresa A

    2014-05-27

    Pantoea ananatis is found in a wide range of natural environments, including water, soil, as part of the epi- and endophytic flora of various plant hosts, and in the insect gut. Some strains have proven effective as biological control agents and plant-growth promoters, while other strains have been implicated in diseases of a broad range of plant hosts and humans. By analysing the pan-genome of eight sequenced P. ananatis strains isolated from different sources we identified factors potentially underlying its ability to colonize and interact with hosts in both the plant and animal Kingdoms. The pan-genome of the eight compared P. ananatis strains consisted of a core genome comprised of 3,876 protein coding sequences (CDSs) and a sizeable accessory genome consisting of 1,690 CDSs. We estimate that ~106 unique CDSs would be added to the pan-genome with each additional P. ananatis genome sequenced in the future. The accessory fraction is derived mainly from integrated prophages and codes mostly for proteins of unknown function. Comparison of the translated CDSs on the P. ananatis pan-genome with the proteins encoded on all sequenced bacterial genomes currently available revealed that P. ananatis carries a number of CDSs with orthologs restricted to bacteria associated with distinct hosts, namely plant-, animal- and insect-associated bacteria. These CDSs encode proteins with putative roles in transport and metabolism of carbohydrate and amino acid substrates, adherence to host tissues, protection against plant and animal defense mechanisms and the biosynthesis of potential pathogenicity determinants including insecticidal peptides, phytotoxins and type VI secretion system effectors. P. ananatis has an 'open' pan-genome typical of bacterial species that colonize several different environments. The pan-genome incorporates a large number of genes encoding proteins that may enable P. ananatis to colonize, persist in and potentially cause disease symptoms in a wide range of

  18. Putting scales into evolutionary time: the divergence of major scale insect lineages (Hemiptera) predates the radiation of modern angiosperm hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vea, Isabelle M.; Grimaldi, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The radiation of flowering plants in the mid-Cretaceous transformed landscapes and is widely believed to have fuelled the radiations of major groups of phytophagous insects. An excellent group to test this assertion is the scale insects (Coccomorpha: Hemiptera), with some 8,000 described Recent species and probably the most diverse fossil record of any phytophagous insect group preserved in amber. We used here a total-evidence approach (by tip-dating) employing 174 morphological characters of 73 Recent and 43 fossil taxa (48 families) and DNA sequences of three gene regions, to obtain divergence time estimates and compare the chronology of the most diverse lineage of scale insects, the neococcoid families, with the timing of the main angiosperm radiation. An estimated origin of the Coccomorpha occurred at the beginning of the Triassic, about 245 Ma [228–273], and of the neococcoids 60 million years later [210–165 Ma]. A total-evidence approach allows the integration of extinct scale insects into a phylogenetic framework, resulting in slightly younger median estimates than analyses using Recent taxa, calibrated with fossil ages only. From these estimates, we hypothesise that most major lineages of coccoids shifted from gymnosperms onto angiosperms when the latter became diverse and abundant in the mid- to Late Cretaceous. PMID:27000526

  19. Correlation of cell surface proteins of distinct Beauveria bassiana cell types and adaption to varied environment and interaction with the host insect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhi; Jiang, Hongyan; Zhao, Xin; Lu, Zhuoyue; Luo, Zhibing; Li, Xuebing; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Yongjun

    2017-02-01

    The insect fungal pathogen Beauveria bassiana produces a number of distinct cell types that include aerial conidia, blastospores and haemolymph-derived cells, termed hyphal bodies, to adapt varied environment niches and within the host insect. These cells display distinct biochemical properties and surface structures, and a highly ordered outermost brush-like structure uniquely present on hyphal bodies, but not on any in vitro cells. Here, we found that the outermost structure on the hyphal bodies mainly consisted of proteins associated to structural wall components in that most of it could be removed by dithiothreitol (DTT) or proteinase K. DTT-treatment also caused delayed germination, decreased tolerance to ultraviolet irradiation and virulence of conidia or blastospores, with decreased adherence and alternated carbohydrate epitopes, suggesting involvement in fungal development, stress responses and virulence. To characterize these cell surface molecules, proteins were released from the living cells using DTT, and identified and quantitated using label-free quantitative mass spectrometry. Thereafter, a series of bioinformatics programs were used to predict cell surface-associated proteins (CSAPs), and 96, 166 and 54 CSAPs were predicted from the identified protein pools of conidia, blastospores and hyphal bodies, respectively, which were involved in utilization of carbohydrate, nitrogen, and lipid, detoxification, pathogen-host interaction, and likely other cellular processes. Thirteen, sixty-nine and six CSAPs were exclusive in conidia, blastospores and hyphal bodies, respectively, which were verified by eGFP-tagged proteins at their N-terminus. Our data provide a crucial cue to understand mechanism of B. bassiana to adapt to varied environment and interaction with insect host. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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...

  1. Expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis of two subspecies of Metarhizium anisopliae reveals a plethora of secreted proteins with potential activity in insect hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freimoser, Florian M; Screen, Steven; Bagga, Savita; Hu, Gang; St Leger, Raymond J

    2003-01-01

    Expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries for Metarhizium anisopliae, the causative agent of green muscardine disease, were developed from the broad host-range pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae sf. anisopliae and the specific grasshopper pathogen, M. anisopliae sf. acridum. Approximately 1,700 5' end sequences from each subspecies were generated from cDNA libraries representing fungi grown under conditions that maximize secretion of cuticle-degrading enzymes. Both subspecies had ESTs for virtually all pathogenicity-related genes cloned to date from M. anisopliae, but many novel genes encoding potential virulence factors were also tagged. Enzymes with potential targets in the insect host included proteases, chitinases, phospholipases, lipases, esterases, phosphatases and enzymes producing toxic secondary metabolites. A diverse array of proteases composed 36 % of all M. anisopliae sf. anisopliae ESTs. Eighty percent of the ESTs that could be clustered into functional groups had significant matches (Ehistory of this clade.

  2. Genetic differentiation among Maruca vitrata F. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae populations on cultivated cowpea and wild host plants: implications for insect resistance management and biological control strategies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tolulope A Agunbiade

    Full Text Available Maruca vitrata Fabricius (Lepidoptera: Crambidae is a polyphagous insect pest that feeds on a variety of leguminous plants in the tropics and subtropics. The contribution of host-associated genetic variation on population structure was investigated using analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (cox1 sequence and microsatellite marker data from M. vitrata collected from cultivated cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp., and alternative host plants Pueraria phaseoloides (Roxb. Benth. var. javanica (Benth. Baker, Loncocarpus sericeus (Poir, and Tephrosia candida (Roxb.. Analyses of microsatellite data revealed a significant global FST estimate of 0.05 (P≤0.001. The program STRUCTURE estimated 2 genotypic clusters (co-ancestries on the four host plants across 3 geographic locations, but little geographic variation was predicted among genotypes from different geographic locations using analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA; among group variation -0.68% or F-statistics (FSTLoc = -0.01; P = 0.62. These results were corroborated by mitochondrial haplotype data (φSTLoc = 0.05; P = 0.92. In contrast, genotypes obtained from different host plants showed low but significant levels of genetic variation (FSTHost = 0.04; P = 0.01, which accounted for 4.08% of the total genetic variation, but was not congruent with mitochondrial haplotype analyses (φSTHost = 0.06; P = 0.27. Variation among host plants at a location and host plants among locations showed no consistent evidence for M. vitrata population subdivision. These results suggest that host plants do not significantly influence the genetic structure of M. vitrata, and this has implications for biocontrol agent releases as well as insecticide resistance management (IRM for M. vitrata in West Africa.

  3. A review on the complexity of insect-plant interactions under varying levels of resources and host resistance: the case of Myzus persicae-Prunus persica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verdugo, JA.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Insect-plant interactions are affected directly or indirectly by stress factors. The effect of environmental resource availability on insect-plant interactions is here reviewed. Subsequently, the analysis focuses on aphid-host plant interactions, particularly in the system composed by the green peach aphid Myzus persicae and its primary host plant Prunus persica. Literature. Plant defenses arise in two ways: resistance and tolerance, both are affected by abiotic factors. The information gathered from studies (n = 29 on plant-aphid interactions addressing the reduction in water availability on plant resistance, showed that in 41,4% of the studies, drought stress elicits lower resistance, while 34.5%, 20.1% and 3.4%, showed higher, no change and conditional effects on plant resistance, respectively. Conclusions. Water stress elicits mixed effects on plant resistance to aphids. However, the literature review also suggests that cultural practices play a role in the fate of the peach-aphid interactions, whereas the development of predictive models aimed to assist crop-pest management systems still requires more basic information. Aphid responses to plant defenses under stressed conditions are still largely unexplored.

  4. The Role of Female Search Behaviour in Determining Host Plant Range in Plant Feeding Insects: A Test of the Information Processing Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janz, Niklas; Nylin, Soren

    1997-05-01

    Recent theoretical studies have suggested that host range in herbivorous insects may be more restricted by constraints on information processing on the ovipositing females than by trade-offs in larval feeding efficiency. We have investigated if females from polyphagous species have to pay for their ability to localize and evaluate plants from different species with a lower ability to discriminate between conspecific host plants with differences in quality. Females of the monophagous butterflies Polygonia satyrus, Vanessa indica and Inachis io and the polyphagous P. c-album and Cynthia cardui (all in Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) were given a simultaneous choice of stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) of different quality. In addition, the same choice trial was given to females from two populations of P. c-album with different degrees of specificity. As predicted from the information processing hypothesis, all specialists discriminated significantly against the bad quality nettle, whereas the generalists laid an equal amount of eggs on both types of nettle. There were no corresponding differences between specialist and generalist larvae in their ability to utilize poor quality leaves. Our study therefore suggests that female host-searching behaviour plays an important role in determining host plant range.

  5. Sympatric diversification vs. immigration: deciphering host-plant specialization in a polyphagous insect, the stolbur phytoplasma vector Hyalesthes obsoletus (Cixiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imo, Miriam; Maixner, Michael; Johannesen, Jes

    2013-04-01

    The epidemiology of vector transmitted plant diseases is highly influenced by dispersal and the host-plant range of the vector. Widening the vector's host range may increase transmission potential, whereas specialization may induce specific disease cycles. The process leading to a vector's host shift and its epidemiological outcome is therefore embedded in the frameworks of sympatric evolution vs. immigration of preadapted populations. In this study, we analyse whether a host shift of the stolbur phytoplasma vector, Hyalesthes obsoletus from field bindweed to stinging nettle in its northern distribution range evolved sympatrically or by immigration. The exploitation of stinging nettle has led to outbreaks of the grapevine disease bois noir caused by a stinging nettle-specific phytoplasma strain. Microsatellite data from populations from northern and ancestral ranges provide strong evidence for sympatric host-race evolution in the northern range: Host-plant associated populations were significantly differentiated among syntopic sites (0.054 nettle-specific phytoplasma strain by plant-unspecific vectors. The evolution of host races in the northern range has led to specific vector-based bois noir disease cycles. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Agriculture sows pests: how crop domestication, host shifts, and agricultural intensification can create insect pests from herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Julio S; Medina, Raul F

    2018-04-01

    We argue that agriculture as practiced creates pests. We use three examples (Corn leafhopper, Dalbulus maidis; Western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; Cotton fleahopper, Pseudatomoscelis seriatus) to illustrate: firstly, how since its origins, agriculture has proven conducive to transforming selected herbivores into pests, particularly through crop domestication and spread, and agricultural intensification, and; secondly, that the herbivores that became pests were among those hosted by crop wild relatives or associates, and were pre-adapted either as whole species or component subpopulations. Two of our examples, Corn leafhopper and Western corn rootworm, illustrate how following a host shift to a domesticated host, emergent pests 'hopped' onto crops and rode expansion waves to spread far beyond the geographic ranges of their wild hosts. Western corn rootworm exemplifies how an herbivore-tolerant crop was left vulnerable when it was bred for yield and protected with insecticides. Cotton fleahopper illustrates how removing preferred wild host plants from landscapes and replacing them with crops, allows herbivores with flexible host preferences to reach pest-level populations. We conclude by arguing that in the new geological epoch we face, the Anthropocene, we can improve agriculture by looking to our past to identify and avoid missteps of early and recent farmers. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Phytophagous insects on native and non-native host plants: combining the community approach and the biogeographical approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Meijer

    Full Text Available During the past centuries, humans have introduced many plant species in areas where they do not naturally occur. Some of these species establish populations and in some cases become invasive, causing economic and ecological damage. Which factors determine the success of non-native plants is still incompletely understood, but the absence of natural enemies in the invaded area (Enemy Release Hypothesis; ERH is one of the most popular explanations. One of the predictions of the ERH, a reduced herbivore load on non-native plants compared with native ones, has been repeatedly tested. However, many studies have either used a community approach (sampling from native and non-native species in the same community or a biogeographical approach (sampling from the same plant species in areas where it is native and where it is non-native. Either method can sometimes lead to inconclusive results. To resolve this, we here add to the small number of studies that combine both approaches. We do so in a single study of insect herbivory on 47 woody plant species (trees, shrubs, and vines in the Netherlands and Japan. We find higher herbivore diversity, higher herbivore load and more herbivory on native plants than on non-native plants, generating support for the enemy release hypothesis.

  8. Characterization of an Sf-rhabdovirus-negative Spodoptera frugiperda cell line as an alternative host for recombinant protein production in the baculovirus-insect cell system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maghodia, Ajay B; Geisler, Christoph; Jarvis, Donald L

    2016-06-01

    Cell lines derived from the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf), are widely used as hosts for recombinant protein production in the baculovirus-insect cell system (BICS). However, it was recently discovered that these cell lines are contaminated with a virus, now known as Sf-rhabdovirus [1]. The detection of this adventitious agent raised a potential safety issue that could adversely impact the BICS as a commercial recombinant protein production platform. Thus, we examined the properties of Sf-RVN, an Sf-rhabdovirus-negative Sf cell line, as a potential alternative host. Nested RT-PCR assays showed Sf-RVN cells had no detectable Sf-rhabdovirus over the course of 60 passages in continuous culture. The general properties of Sf-RVN cells, including their average growth rates, diameters, morphologies, and viabilities after baculovirus infection, were virtually identical to those of Sf9 cells. Baculovirus-infected Sf-RVN and Sf9 cells produced equivalent levels of three recombinant proteins, including an intracellular prokaryotic protein and two secreted eukaryotic glycoproteins, and provided similar N-glycosylation patterns. In fact, except for the absence of Sf-rhabdovirus, the only difference between Sf-RVN and Sf9 cells was SF-RVN produced higher levels of infectious baculovirus progeny. These results show Sf-RVN cells can be used as improved, alternative hosts to circumvent the potential safety hazard associated with the use of Sf-rhabdovirus-contaminated Sf cells for recombinant protein manufacturing with the BICS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Response of insect relative growth rate to temperature and host-plant phenology: estimation and validation from field data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamadou Ciss

    Full Text Available Between 1975 to 2011, aphid Relative Growth Rates (RGR were modelled as a function of mean outdoor temperature and host plant phenology. The model was applied to the grain aphid Sitobion avenae using data on aphid counts in winter wheat at two different climate regions in France (oceanic climate, Rennes (western France; continental climate, Paris. Mean observed aphid RGR was higher in Paris compared to the Rennes region. RGR increased with mean temperature, which is explained by aphid reproduction, growth and development being dependent on ambient temperature. From the stem extension to the heading stage in wheat, there was either a plateau in RGR values (Rennes or an increase with a maximum at heading (Paris due to high intrinsic rates of increase in aphids and also to aphid immigration. From the wheat flowering to the ripening stage, RGR decreased in both regions due to the low intrinsic rate of increase in aphids and high emigration rate linked to reduced nutrient quality in maturing wheat. The model validation process showed that the fitted models have more predictive power in the Paris region than in the Rennes region.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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 ...

  15. Insects found in birds' nests from Argentina. Pseudoseisura lophotes Reichenbach, 1853 and Anumbius annumbi (Vieillot, 1817) (Aves: Furnariidae), hosts of Triatoma platensis Neiva, 1913 (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paola, Turienzo

    2014-02-24

    The insect fauna of the nests of Pseudoseisura lophotes (Reichenbach, 1853) (Aves: Furnariidae) from Argentina was investigated. A total of 110 species (68 identified to species, 22 identified to genus, 20 identified to family) in 40 families of 10 orders of insects was found in these nests. Triatoma platensis Neiva, 1913 (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) was found again in nests of P. lophotes, corroborating after 73 years the first observations made by Mazza in 1936. The occurrence of the insects in nests of P. lophotes is compared with the previously known insect fauna in nests of A. annumbi, Furnarius rufus (Furnariidae), and Myiopsitta monachus (Psittacidae). The insect fauna in additional nests of Anumbius annumbi from the same and/or different localities is given, and used in comparisons. The first occurrence of Cuterebridae (Diptera) in birds' nests, their pupae as the overwintering stage, and the second simultaneous infestation by two species of Philornis (Diptera: Muscidae) on the same nestlings are presented. Other simultaneous infestations of different hematophagous arthropods (Hemiptera: Cimidae; Reduviidae: Triatominae, and Acari: Argasidae) are remarked and discussed.

  16. 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...

  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. Sequence polymorphism in an insect RNA virus field population: A snapshot from a single point in space and time reveals stochastic differences among and within individual hosts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stenger, Drake C., E-mail: drake.stenger@ars.usda.gov [USDA, Agricultural Research Service, San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center, 9611 South Riverbend Ave., Parlier, CA 93648-9757 (United States); Krugner, Rodrigo [USDA, Agricultural Research Service, San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center, 9611 South Riverbend Ave., Parlier, CA 93648-9757 (United States); Nouri, Shahideh; Ferriol, Inmaculada; Falk, Bryce W. [Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Sisterson, Mark S. [USDA, Agricultural Research Service, San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center, 9611 South Riverbend Ave., Parlier, CA 93648-9757 (United States)

    2016-11-15

    Population structure of Homalodisca coagulata Virus-1 (HoCV-1) among and within field-collected insects sampled from a single point in space and time was examined. Polymorphism in complete consensus sequences among single-insect isolates was dominated by synonymous substitutions. The mutant spectrum of the C2 helicase region within each single-insect isolate was unique and dominated by nonsynonymous singletons. Bootstrapping was used to correct the within-isolate nonsynonymous:synonymous arithmetic ratio (N:S) for RT-PCR error, yielding an N:S value ~one log-unit greater than that of consensus sequences. Probability of all possible single-base substitutions for the C2 region predicted N:S values within 95% confidence limits of the corrected within-isolate N:S when the only constraint imposed was viral polymerase error bias for transitions over transversions. These results indicate that bottlenecks coupled with strong negative/purifying selection drive consensus sequences toward neutral sequence space, and that most polymorphism within single-insect isolates is composed of newly-minted mutations sampled prior to selection. -- Highlights: •Sampling protocol minimized differential selection/history among isolates. •Polymorphism among consensus sequences dominated by negative/purifying selection. •Within-isolate N:S ratio corrected for RT-PCR error by bootstrapping. •Within-isolate mutant spectrum dominated by new mutations yet to undergo selection.

  20. Semiochemicals to monitor insect pests – future opportunities for an effective host plant volatile blend to attract navel orangeworm in pistachio orchards

    Science.gov (United States)

    The navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella) has been a major insect pest of California tree nut orchards for the past five decades. In particular, almond and pistachio orchards suffer major annual economic damage due to both physical and associated fungal damage caused by navel orangeworm larvae. Un...

  1. Probing into the diversity of trypanosomatid flagellates parasitizing insect hosts in South-West China reveals both endemism and global dispersal

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Votýpka, Jan; Maslov, D. A.; Yurchenko, V.; Jirků, Milan; Kment, P.; Lun, Z.-R.; Lukeš, Julius

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 54, č. 1 (2010), s. 243-253 ISSN 1055-7903 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : trypanosomatids * phylogeny * diversity * insects Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.889, year: 2010

  2. Effects of temperature and nonionizing ultraviolet radiation treatments of eggs of five host insects on production of Trichogramma chilonis Ishii (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) for biological control applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trichogramma are used worldwide as biological control against insect pests, attacking eggs of over 200 species. Eggs of Spodoptera litura, Corcyra cephalonica, Plutella xylostella and Helicoverpa armigera were tested to consider the effect of temperature and radiation on parasitization, emergence of...

  3. Effect of Light Availability on the Interaction between Maritime Pine and the Pine Weevil: Light Drives Insect Feeding Behavior But Also the Defensive Capabilities of the Host

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Estefanía Suárez-Vidal

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Light is a major environmental factor that may determine the interaction between plants and herbivores in several ways, including top-down effects through changes in herbivore behavior and bottom-up effects mediated by alterations of plant physiology. Here we explored the relative contribution of these two regulation processes to the outcome of the interaction of pine trees with a major forest pest, the pine weevil (Hylobius abietis. We studied to what extent light availability influence insect feeding behavior and/or the ability of pines to produce induced defenses in response to herbivory. For this purpose, 3-year old Pinus pinaster plants from three contrasting populations were subjected to 6 days of experimental herbivory by the pine weevil under two levels of light availability (complete darkness or natural sunlight independently applied to the plant and to the insect in a fully factorial design. Light availability strongly affected the pine weevil feeding behavior. The pine weevil fed more and caused larger feeding scars in darkness than under natural sunlight. Besides, under the more intense levels of weevil damage (i.e., those registered with insects in darkness, light availability also affected the pine’s ability to respond to insect feeding by producing induced resin defenses. These results were consistent across the three studied populations despite they differed in weevil susceptibility and inducibility of defenses. Morocco was the most damaged population and the one that induced more defensive compounds. Overall, results indicate that light availability modulates the outcome of the pine–weevil interactions through both bottom-up and top-down regulation mechanisms.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Understory host plant and insect gall diversity changes across topographic habitats differing in nutrient and water stress in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest

    OpenAIRE

    JULIÃO, Genimar Rebouças; ALMADA, Emmanuel Duarte; COSTA, Flávia Regina Capellotto; CARNEIRO, Marco Antônio Alves; FERNANDES, G. Wilson

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Topographic gradients in terra firme forests are associated with pronounced changes in soil texture, soil nutrients and distance to the water-table, thereby creating different hydric and nutritional conditions for plants and their associated herbivore community. The aim of this study was to investigate galling species and host plant richness and gall species composition across topographic habitats differing in nutrient and water stress in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Nineteen 250...

  13. Meta-analysis of the Effects of Insect Vector Saliva on Host Immune Responses and Infection of Vector-Transmitted Pathogens: A Focus on Leishmaniasis

    OpenAIRE

    Ockenfels, Brittany; Michael, Edwin; McDowell, Mary Ann

    2014-01-01

    A meta-analysis of the effects of vector saliva on the immune response and progression of vector-transmitted disease, specifically with regard to pathology, infection level, and host cytokine levels was conducted. Infection in the absence or presence of saliva in naïve mice was compared. In addition, infection in mice pre-exposed to uninfected vector saliva was compared to infection in unexposed mice. To control for differences in vector and pathogen species, mouse strain, and experimental de...

  14. Comparative genomics using microarrays reveals divergence and loss of virulence-associated genes in host-specific strains of the insect pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Sibao; Leclerque, Andreas; Pava-Ripoll, Monica; Fang, Weiguo; St Leger, Raymond J

    2009-06-01

    Many strains of Metarhizium anisopliae have broad host ranges, but others are specialists and adapted to particular hosts. Patterns of gene duplication, divergence, and deletion in three generalist and three specialist strains were investigated by heterologous hybridization of genomic DNA to genes from the generalist strain Ma2575. As expected, major life processes are highly conserved, presumably due to purifying selection. However, up to 7% of Ma2575 genes were highly divergent or absent in specialist strains. Many of these sequences are conserved in other fungal species, suggesting that there has been rapid evolution and loss in specialist Metarhizium genomes. Some poorly hybridizing genes in specialists were functionally coordinated, indicative of reductive evolution. These included several involved in toxin biosynthesis and sugar metabolism in root exudates, suggesting that specialists are losing genes required to live in alternative hosts or as saprophytes. Several components of mobile genetic elements were also highly divergent or lost in specialists. Exceptionally, the genome of the specialist cricket pathogen Ma443 contained extra insertion elements that might play a role in generating evolutionary novelty. This study throws light on the abundance of orphans in genomes, as 15% of orphan sequences were found to be rapidly evolving in the Ma2575 lineage.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Electrostatic Insect Sweeper for Eliminating Whiteflies Colonizing Host Plants: A Complementary Pest Control Device in An Electric Field Screen-Guarded Greenhouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takikawa, Yoshihiro; Matsuda, Yoshinori; Kakutani, Koji; Nonomura, Teruo; Kusakari, Shin-Ichi; Okada, Kiyotsugu; Kimbara, Junji; Osamura, Kazumi; Toyoda, Hideyoshi

    2015-05-12

    Our greenhouse tomatoes have suffered from attacks by viruliferous whiteflies Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) over the last 10 years. The fundamental countermeasure was the application of an electric field screen to the greenhouse windows to prevent their entry. However, while the protection was effective, it was incomplete, because of the lack of a guard at the greenhouse entrance area; in fact, the pests entered from the entrance door when workers entered and exited. To address this, we developed a portable electrostatic insect sweeper as a supplementary technique to the screen. In this sweeper, eight insulated conductor wires (ICWs) were arranged at constant intervals along a polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe and covered with a cylindrical stainless net. The ICWs and metal net were linked to a DC voltage generator (operated by 3-V alkaline batteries) inside the grip and oppositely electrified to generate an electric field between them. Whiteflies on the plants were attracted to the sweeper that was gently slid along the leaves. This apparatus was easy to operate on-site in a greenhouse and enabled capture of the whiteflies detected during the routine care of the tomato plants. Using this apparatus, we caught all whiteflies that invaded the non-guarded entrance door and minimized the appearance and spread of the viral disease in tomato plants in the greenhouse.

  20. 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)

  1. Host plant quality of Tamarix ramosissima and T. parviflora for three sibling species of the biocontrol insect Diorhabda elongata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalin, Peter; O'Neal, Melissa J; Dudley, Tom; Bean, Daniel W

    2009-10-01

    Several sibling species of the leaf beetle Diorhabda elongata (Brullé) have been introduced into North America for the biocontrol of saltcedars (Tamarix spp.), but only one, D. carinulata (Desbrochers), has been extensively used in the field. The first open releases took place in 2001, and widespread defoliation occurred at sites infested by Tamarix ramosissima, T. chinensis, and their hybrid forms. The beetles failed, however, to establish at sites where other Tamarix species are targeted for control. In this study, we compared the preference and performance of three Diorhabda sibling species using adult choice and larval performance experiments on the two formally targeted Tamarix species: T. ramosissima and T. parviflora. In the adult choice experiment, a greater proportion of D. carinulata was found on T. ramosissima than on T. parviflora. For the other two sibling species, D. elongata (Brullé) and D. carinata (Faldermann), adults were found in similar proportions on the two host plants. In the larval performance experiment, larval growth and survival did not differ between Tamarix species for any Diorhabda type; however, D. carinata larval biomass was 35-50% greater than the other beetles regardless of host species. Based on the few adults of D. carinulata found on T. parviflora in the adult choice experiment, we do not recommend introducing this beetle at sites where T. parviflora is targeted for biological control. The species D. carinata seems especially promising for future release because its larvae gained substantially more biomass than the other beetles during the same time period on both Tamarix species.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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....

  5. 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.

  6. Meta-analysis of the effects of insect vector saliva on host immune responses and infection of vector-transmitted pathogens: a focus on leishmaniasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany Ockenfels

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available A meta-analysis of the effects of vector saliva on the immune response and progression of vector-transmitted disease, specifically with regard to pathology, infection level, and host cytokine levels was conducted. Infection in the absence or presence of saliva in naïve mice was compared. In addition, infection in mice pre-exposed to uninfected vector saliva was compared to infection in unexposed mice. To control for differences in vector and pathogen species, mouse strain, and experimental design, a random effects model was used to compare the ratio of the natural log of the experimental to the control means of the studies. Saliva was demonstrated to enhance pathology, infection level, and the production of Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10 in naïve mice. This effect was observed across vector/pathogen pairings, whether natural or unnatural, and with single salivary proteins used as a proxy for whole saliva. Saliva pre-exposure was determined to result in less severe leishmaniasis pathology when compared with unexposed mice infected either in the presence or absence of sand fly saliva. The results of further analyses were not significant, but demonstrated trends toward protection and IFN-γ elevation for pre-exposed mice.

  7. Meta-analysis of the effects of insect vector saliva on host immune responses and infection of vector-transmitted pathogens: a focus on leishmaniasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ockenfels, Brittany; Michael, Edwin; McDowell, Mary Ann

    2014-10-01

    A meta-analysis of the effects of vector saliva on the immune response and progression of vector-transmitted disease, specifically with regard to pathology, infection level, and host cytokine levels was conducted. Infection in the absence or presence of saliva in naïve mice was compared. In addition, infection in mice pre-exposed to uninfected vector saliva was compared to infection in unexposed mice. To control for differences in vector and pathogen species, mouse strain, and experimental design, a random effects model was used to compare the ratio of the natural log of the experimental to the control means of the studies. Saliva was demonstrated to enhance pathology, infection level, and the production of Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10) in naïve mice. This effect was observed across vector/pathogen pairings, whether natural or unnatural, and with single salivary proteins used as a proxy for whole saliva. Saliva pre-exposure was determined to result in less severe leishmaniasis pathology when compared with unexposed mice infected either in the presence or absence of sand fly saliva. The results of further analyses were not significant, but demonstrated trends toward protection and IFN-γ elevation for pre-exposed mice.

  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. 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.

  10. Host-Associated Differentiation: The Gape-and-Pinch Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen B. Heard

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ecological speciation via host shifting has contributed to the astonishing diversity of phytophagous insects. The importance for host shifting of trait differences between alternative host plants is well established, but much less is known about trait variation within hosts. I outline a conceptual model, the “gape-and-pinch” (GAP model, of insect response to host-plant trait variation during host shifting and host-associated differentiation. I offer four hypotheses about insect use of plant trait variation on two alternative hosts, for insects at different stages of host-associated differentiation. Collectively, these hypotheses suggest that insect responses to plant trait variation can favour or oppose critical steps in herbivore diversification. I provide statistical tools for analysing herbivore trait-space use, demonstrate their application for four herbivores of the goldenrods Solidago altissima and S. gigantea, and discuss their broader potential to advance our understanding of diet breadth and ecological speciation in phytophagous insects.

  11. 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.

  12. Hosting Capacity of Horticultural Plants for Insect Pests in Brazil Capacidad de Alojamiento de Plantas Hortícolas para Plagas de Insectos en Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Germano L.D Leite

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Factors such as fertilization, allelochemicals, trichomes, weather, and natural enemies can influence pest populations. Thus, it is necessary to understand the factors that predispose vegetable species to pests and the role of polyculture, crop rotation, and neighboring plants. The objective of this research was to study the hosting capacity for pests of Abelmoschus esculentus (L., Brassica oleracea L. vars. acephala and capitata, Capsicum annuum L., Cucurbita moschata (Duchesne, Cucurbita maxima Duchesne and Cucumis sativus L., Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., Solanum gilo Raddi and Solanum melongena L., and Phaseolus vulgaris L. The higher density of Bemisia tabaci (Genn. adults on C. sativus can be due to the higher amount of pentacosane and octacosane in this plant. The occurrence of Brevicoryne brassicae (L. only in Brassica spp. can be accounted for by the nonacosane of these plants. The low trichome density and greater palmitic acid level can explain the greatest damage by Aphis gossypii Glover in A. esculentum. Empoasca sp. was more frequent in P. vulgaris followed by A. esculentum, which are plants with lower K content. Solanum melongena was attacked more by Hydrangea similis (Walker and Epitrix sp. perhaps because of higher palmitic acid and 11,14,17-eicosatrienoic methyl ester concentrations in their leaves. Frankliniella sp. exhibited more damage in C. sativus probably owing to higher pentacosane and octacosane in its leaves. Sistena sp. was more frequent in C. maxima and had higher octadecane levels and trichome density. The presence of ¥-humulene and hexacosane can explain the damage by Tuta absoluta (Meyrick on L. esculentum.Factores tales como la fertilización, aleloquímicos, tricomas, el clima y los enemigos naturales pueden influir en las poblaciones de plagas. Por lo tanto, es necesario comprender los factores que predisponen a las especies vegetales a las plagas y el papel de policultivos, rotación de cultivos y las plantas

  13. Recombinant Protein Production and Insect Cell Culture and Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaulding, Glenn F. (Inventor); Goodwin, Thomas J. (Inventor); OConnor, Kim C. (Inventor); Francis, Karen M. (Inventor); Andrews, Angela D. (Inventor); Prewett, Tracey L. (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    A process has been developed for recombinant production of selected polypeptides using transformed insect cells cultured in a horizontally rotating culture vessel modulated to create low shear conditions. A metabolically transformed insect cell line is produced using the culture procedure regardless of genetic transformation. The recombinant polypeptide can be produced by an alternative process using virtually infected or stably transformed insect cells containing a gene encoding the described polypeptide. The insect cells can also be a host for viral production.

  14. 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

  15. Assessing gene expression during pathogenesis: Use of qRT-PCR to follow toxin production in the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana during infection and immune response of the insect host Triatoma infestans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobo, Luciana S; Luz, Christian; Fernandes, Éverton K K; Juárez, M Patricia; Pedrini, Nicolás

    2015-06-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi secrete toxic secondary metabolites during the invasion of the insect hemocoel as part of the infection process. Although these compounds have been frequently mentioned as virulence factors, the roles of many of them remain poorly understood, including the question of whether they are expressed during the infection process. A major hurdle to this issue remains the low sensitivity of biochemical detection techniques (e.g., HPLC) within the complex samples that may contain trace quantities of fungal molecules inside the insect. In this study, quantitative reverse transcription real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to measure the transcript levels within the insect fungal pathogen Beauveria bassiana, that encode for the synthetase enzymes of the secondary metabolites tenellin (BbtenS), beauvericin (BbbeaS) and bassianolide (BbbslS) during the infection of Triatoma infestans, a Chagas disease insect vector. Absolute quantification was performed at different time periods after insect treatment with various concentrations of propagules, either by immersing the insects in conidial suspensions or by injecting them with blastospores. Both BbtenS and BbbeaS were highly expressed in conidia-treated insects at days 3 and 12 post-treatment. In blastospore-injected insects, BbtenS and BbbeaS expression peaked at 24h post-injection and were also highly expressed in insect cadavers. The levels of BbbslS transcripts were much lower in all conditions tested. The expression patterns of insect genes encoding proteins that belong to the T. infestans humoral immune system were also evaluated with the same technique. This qPCR-based methodology can contribute to decifering the dynamics of entomopathogenic fungal infection at the molecular level. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. Ecology and evolution of gall-forming insects. Forest Service general technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Price, P.W.; Mattson, W.J.; Baranchikov, Y.N.

    1994-09-21

    ;Partial Contents: Ecology and Population Dynamics; Effects of the Physical Environment on the Ecology of Gall Insects; Biodiversity and Distribution; Genetic Variation in Host Plant Resistance; Evolutionary Perspectives on Gall Insects.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. A simple trapping method to estimate abundances of blood-sucking flying insects in avian nests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tomás, G.; Merino, S.; Martínez-de la Puente, J.; Moreno, J.; Morales, J.; Lobato, E.

    2008-01-01

    [KEYWORDS: birds; biting midges; blackflies; blood parasite-insect vector-vertebrate host relationships; Ceratopogonidae; Culicoides; distance to water sources; insecticide treatment; sampling methods; Simuliidae

  3. Nonadaptive radiation: Pervasive diet specialization by drift in scale insects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Nate B; Peterson, Daniel A; Normark, Benjamin B

    2016-10-01

    At least half of metazoan species are herbivorous insects. Why are they so diverse? Most herbivorous insects feed on few plant species, and adaptive host specialization is often invoked to explain their diversification. Nevertheless, it is possible that the narrow host ranges of many herbivorous insects are nonadaptive. Here, we test predictions of this hypothesis with comparative phylogenetic analyses of scale insects, a group for which there appear to be few host-use trade-offs that would select against polyphagy, and for which passive wind-dispersal should make host specificity costly. We infer a strong positive relationship between host range and diversification rate, and a marked asymmetry in cladogenetic changes in diet breadth. These results are consonant with a system of pervasive nonadaptive host specialization in which small, drift- and extinction-prone populations are frequently isolated from persistent and polyphagous source populations. They also contrast with the negative relationship between diet breadth and taxonomic diversification that has been estimated in butterflies, a disparity that likely stems from differences in the average costs and benefits of host specificity and generalism in scale insects versus butterflies. Our results indicate the potential for nonadaptive processes to be important to diet-breadth evolution and taxonomic diversification across herbivorous insects. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. 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.

  5. Metabolome analysis of food-chain between plants and insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evolution has shown the co-dependency of host plants-predators (insects), especially inevitable dependency of predators on plant biomass for securing their energy sources. In this respect, it had been believed that NAD+ source used for major energy producing pathway in insects is a glycerol-3-phosph...

  6. COMPARATIVE ASPECTS OF PLANT-CELL WALL DIGESTION IN INSECTS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    PRINS, RA; KREULEN, DA

    Although many phytophagous and wood-eating invertibrates form their own cellulases, there is an overwhelming variety of symbioses between plant- and wood-utilising insects and microorganisms. In one type of symbiosis (endosymbiosis), insects (rhinoceros beetle, cockroach, lower termites) host

  7. Emerging strategies for RNA interference (RNAi) applications in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandety, Raja Sekhar; Kuo, Yen-Wen; Nouri, Shahideh; Falk, Bryce W

    2015-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) in insects is a gene regulatory process that also plays a vital role in the maintenance and in the regulation of host defenses against invading viruses. Small RNAs determine the specificity of the RNAi through precise recognition of their targets. These small RNAs in insects comprise small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), micro RNAs (miRNAs) and Piwi interacting RNAs (piRNAs) of various lengths. In this review, we have explored different forms of the RNAi inducers that are presently in use, and their applications for an effective and efficient fundamental and practical RNAi research with insects. Further, we reviewed trends in next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and their importance for insect RNAi, including the identification of novel insect targets as well as insect viruses. Here we also describe a rapidly emerging trend of using plant viruses to deliver the RNAi inducer molecules into insects for an efficient RNAi response.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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, ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.)

  14. 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…

  15. 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 ...

  16. Eavesdropping on plant-insect-microbe chemical communications in agricultural ecology: a virtual issue on semiochemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies of plant-insect interactions, and more recently the interactions among plants, insects, and microbes, have revealed that volatiles often facilitate insect movement, aggregation, and host location by herbivores, predators and parasitoids, all of which could be used to help protect agriculture...

  17. Identification and Control of Common Insect Pests of Ornamental Shrubs and Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gesell, Stanley G.

    This agriculture extension service publication from Pennsylvania State University introduces the identification and control of common ornamental insect pests. For each of the insects or insect groups (i.e. aphids) identified in this publication, information on host plants, pest description, and damage caused by the pest is given. Also a calendar…

  18. Phytoplasma protein effector SAP11 enhances insect vector reproduction by manipulating plant development and defense hormone biosynthesis

    OpenAIRE

    Sugio, Akiko; Kingdom, Heather N.; MacLean, Allyson M.; Grieve, Victoria M.; Hogenhout, Saskia A.

    2011-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are insect-transmitted phytopathogenic bacteria that can alter plant morphology and the longevity and reproduction rates and behavior of their insect vectors. There are various examples of animal and plant parasites that alter the host phenotype to attract insect vectors, but it is unclear how these parasites accomplish this. We hypothesized that phytoplasmas produce effectors that modulate specific targets in their hosts leading to the changes in plant development and insect per...

  19. 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.

  20. Importance of host feeding for parasitoids that attack honeydew-producing hosts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burger, J.M.S.; Komany, A.; Lenteren, van J.C.; Vet, L.E.M.

    2005-01-01

    Insect parasitoids lay their eggs in arthropods. Some parasitoid species not only use their arthropod host for oviposition but also for feeding. Host feeding provides nutrients to the adult female parasitoid. However, in many species, host feeding destroys an opportunity to oviposit. For parasitoids

  1. 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)

  2. The evolutionary development of plant-feeding insects and their nutritional endosymbionts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, Isabel H; Hansen, Allison K

    2017-12-01

    Herbivorous insects have evolved diverse mechanisms enabling them to feed on plants with suboptimal nutrient availability. Low nutrient availability negatively impacts insect herbivore development and fitness. To overcome this obstacle numerous insect lineages have evolved intimate associations with nutritional endosymbionts. This is especially true for insects that specialize on nitrogen-poor substrates, as these insects are highly dependent on intracellular symbionts to provide nitrogen lacking in their insect host's diet. Emerging evidence in these systems suggest that the symbiont's and/or the insect's biosynthetic pathways are dynamically regulated throughout the insect's development to potentially cope with the insect's changing nutritional demands. In this review, we evaluate the evolutionary development of symbiotic insect cells (bacteriocytes) by comparing and contrasting genes and mechanisms involved in maintaining and regulating the nutritional symbiosis throughout insect development in a diversity of insect herbivore-endosymbiont associations. With new advances in genome sequencing and functional genomics, we evaluate to what extent nutritional symbioses are shaped by (i) the regulation of symbiont titer, (ii) the regulation of insect symbiosis genes, and (iii) the regulation of symbiont genes. We discuss how important these mechanisms are for the biosynthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins across insect life stages in divergent insect-symbiont systems. We conclude by suggesting future directions of research to further elucidate the evolutionary development of bacteriocytes and the impact of these nutritional symbioses on insect-plant interactions. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  3. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezemer, T Martijn; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Cronin, James T

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As a novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies. Through the release of volatile compounds, and by changing the chemical complexity of the habitat, invasive plants can also affect the behavior of native insects such as herbivores, parasitoids, and pollinators. Studies that compare insects on related native and invasive plants in invaded habitats show that the abundance of insect herbivores is often lower on invasive plants, but that damage levels are similar. The impact of invasive plants on the population dynamics of resident insect species has been rarely examined, but invasive plants can influence the spatial and temporal dynamics of native insect (meta)populations and communities, ultimately leading to changes at the landscape level.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  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. 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…

  9. 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.…

  10. Photorhabdus luminescens genes induced upon insect infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung Kirsten

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Photorhabdus luminescens is a Gram-negative luminescent enterobacterium and a symbiote to soil nematodes belonging to the species Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. P.luminescens is simultaneously highly pathogenic to insects. This bacterium exhibits a complex life cycle, including one symbiotic stage characterized by colonization of the upper nematode gut, and a pathogenic stage, characterized by release from the nematode into the hemocoel of insect larvae, resulting in rapid insect death caused by bacterial toxins. P. luminescens appears to sense and adapt to the novel host environment upon changing hosts, which facilitates the production of factors involved in survival within the host, host-killing, and -exploitation. Results A differential fluorescence induction (DFI approach was applied to identify genes that are up-regulated in the bacterium after infection of the insect host Galleria mellonella. For this purpose, a P. luminescens promoter-trap library utilizing the mCherry fluorophore as a reporter was constructed, and approximately 13,000 clones were screened for fluorescence induction in the presence of a G. mellonella larvae homogenate. Since P. luminescens has a variety of regulators that potentially sense chemical molecules, like hormones, the screen for up-regulated genes or operons was performed in vitro, excluding physicochemical signals like oxygen, temperature or osmolarity as variables. Clones (18 were obtained exhibiting at least 2.5-fold induced fluorescence and regarded as specific responders to insect homogenate. In combination with a bioinformatics approach, sequence motifs were identified in these DNA-fragments that are similar to 29 different promoters within the P. luminescens genome. By cloning each of the predicted promoters upstream of the reporter gene, induction was verified for 27 promoters in vitro, and for 24 promoters in viable G. mellonella larvae. Among the validated promoters are some known

  11. 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.

  12. Plant Virus–Insect Vector Interactions: Current and Potential Future Research Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietzgen, Ralf G.; Mann, Krin S.; Johnson, Karyn N.

    2016-01-01

    Acquisition and transmission by an insect vector is central to the infection cycle of the majority of plant pathogenic viruses. Plant viruses can interact with their insect host in a variety of ways including both non-persistent and circulative transmission; in some cases, the latter involves virus replication in cells of the insect host. Replicating viruses can also elicit both innate and specific defense responses in the insect host. A consistent feature is that the interaction of the virus with its insect host/vector requires specific molecular interactions between virus and host, commonly via proteins. Understanding the interactions between plant viruses and their insect host can underpin approaches to protect plants from infection by interfering with virus uptake and transmission. Here, we provide a perspective focused on identifying novel approaches and research directions to facilitate control of plant viruses by better understanding and targeting virus–insect molecular interactions. We also draw parallels with molecular interactions in insect vectors of animal viruses, and consider technical advances for their control that may be more broadly applicable to plant virus vectors. PMID:27834855

  13. Immunity: Insect Immune Memory Goes Viral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligoxygakis, Petros

    2017-11-20

    Adaptive memory in insect immunity has been controversial. In this issue, Andino and co-workers propose that acquisition of viral sequences in the host genome gives rise to anti-sense, anti-viral piRNAs. Such sequences can be regarded as both a genomic archive of past infections and as an armour of potential heritable memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Hype or opportunity? Using microbial symbionts in novel strategies for insect pest control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Arinder K; Douglas, Angela E

    2017-11-01

    All insects, including pest species, are colonized by microorganisms, variously located in the gut and within insect tissues. Manipulation of these microbial partners can reduce the pest status of insects, either by modifying insect traits (e.g. altering the host range or tolerance of abiotic conditions, reducing insect competence to vector disease agents) or by reducing fitness. Strategies utilizing heterologous microorganisms (i.e. derived from different insect species) and genetically-modified microbial symbionts are under development, particularly in relation to insect vectors of human disease agents. There is also the potential to target microorganisms absolutely required by the insect, resulting in insect mortality or suppression of insect growth or fecundity. This latter approach is particularly valuable for insect pests that depend on nutrients from symbiotic microorganisms to supplement their nutritionally-inadequate diet, e.g. insects feeding through the life cycle on vertebrate blood (cimicid bugs, anopluran lice, tsetse flies), plant sap (whiteflies, aphids, psyllids, planthoppers, leafhoppers/sharpshooters) and sound wood (various xylophagous beetles and some termites). Further research will facilitate implementation of these novel insect pest control strategies, particularly to ensure specificity of control agents to the pest insect without dissemination of bio-active compounds, novel microorganisms or their genes into the wider environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Suppressing Resistance to Bt Cotton with Sterile Insect Releases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tabashnik, B E [Department of Entomology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Sisterson, M S [USDA-ARS, San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center, Parlier, CA (United States); Ellsworth, P C [Department of Entomology, University of Arizona, Maricopa Agricultural Center, Maricopa, AZ (United States)

    2011-01-15

    Genetically engineered crops that produce insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are grown widely for pest control. However, insect adaptation can reduce the toxins' efficacy. The predominant strategy for delaying pest resistance to Bt crops requires refuges of non-Bt host plants to provide susceptible insects to mate with resistant insects. Variable farmer compliance is one of the limitations of this approach. Here we report the benefits of an alternative strategy where sterile insects are released to mate with resistant insects and refuges are scarce or absent. Computer simulations show that this approach works in principle against pests with recessive or dominant inheritance of resistance. During a largescale, four-year field deployment of this strategy in Arizona, resistance of pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) to Bt cotton did not increase. A multitactic eradication program that included the release of sterile moths reduced pink bollworm abundance by >99%, while eliminating insecticide sprays against this key invasive pest. (author)

  16. Genetic basis of triatomine behavior: lessons from available insect genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Manuel Latorre-Estivalis

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Triatomines have been important model organisms for behavioural research. Diverse reports about triatomine host search, pheromone communication in the sexual, shelter and alarm contexts, daily cycles of activity, refuge choice and behavioural plasticity have been published in the last two decades. In recent times, a variety of molecular genetics techniques has allowed researchers to investigate elaborate and complex questions about the genetic bases of the physiology of insects. This, together with the current characterisation of the genome sequence of Rhodnius prolixus allows the resurgence of this excellent insect physiology model in the omics era. In the present revision, we suggest that studying the molecular basis of behaviour and sensory ecology in triatomines will promote a deeper understanding of fundamental aspects of insect and, particularly, vector biology. This will allow uncovering unknown features of essential insect physiology questions for a hemimetabolous model organism, promoting more robust comparative studies of insect sensory function and cognition.

  17. The Native Hawaiian Insect Microbiome Initiative: A Critical Perspective for Hawaiian Insect Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten E. Poff

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Insects associate with a diversity of microbes that can shape host ecology and diversity by providing essential biological and adaptive services. For most insect groups, the evolutionary implications of host–microbe interactions remain poorly understood. Geographically discrete areas with high biodiversity offer powerful, simplified model systems to better understand insect–microbe interactions. Hawaii boasts a diverse endemic insect fauna (~6000 species characterized by spectacular adaptive radiations. Despite this, little is known about the role of bacteria in shaping this diversity. To address this knowledge gap, we inaugurate the Native Hawaiian Insect Microbiome Initiative (NHIMI. The NHIMI is an effort intended to develop a framework for informing evolutionary and biological studies in Hawaii. To initiate this effort, we have sequenced the bacterial microbiomes of thirteen species representing iconic, endemic Hawaiian insect groups. Our results show that native Hawaiian insects associate with a diversity of bacteria that exhibit a wide phylogenetic breadth. Several groups show predictable associations with obligate microbes that permit diet specialization. Others exhibit unique ecological transitions that are correlated with shifts in their microbiomes (e.g., transition to carrion feeding from plant-feeding in Nysius wekiuicola. Finally, some groups, such as the Hawaiian Drosophila, have relatively diverse microbiomes with a conserved core of bacterial taxa across multiple species and islands.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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- ...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Phenotypic Plasticity of Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profiles in Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otte, Tobias; Hilker, Monika; Geiselhardt, Sven

    2018-03-01

    The insect integument is covered by cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) which provide protection against environmental stresses, but are also used for communication. Here we review current knowledge on environmental and insect-internal factors which shape phenotypic plasticity of solitary living insects, especially herbivorous ones. We address the dynamics of changes which may occur within minutes, but may also last weeks, depending on the species and conditions. Two different modes of changes are suggested, i.e. stepwise and gradual. A switch between two distinct environments (e.g. host plant switch by phytophagous insects) results in stepwise formation of two distinct adaptive phenotypes, while a gradual environmental change (e.g. temperature gradients) induces a gradual change of numerous adaptive CHC phenotypes. We further discuss the ecological and evolutionary consequences of phenotypic plasticity of insect CHC profiles by addressing the question at which conditions is CHC phenotypic plasticity beneficial. The high plasticity of CHC profiles might be a trade-off for insects using CHCs for communication. We discuss how insects cope with the challenge to produce and "understand" a highly plastic, environmentally dependent CHC pattern that conveys reliable and comprehensible information. Finally, we outline how phenotypic plasticity of CHC profiles may promote speciation in insects that rely on CHCs for mate recognition.

  5. Fungi with multifunctional lifestyles: endophytic insect pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barelli, Larissa; Moonjely, Soumya; Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J

    2016-04-01

    This review examines the symbiotic, evolutionary, proteomic and genetic basis for a group of fungi that occupy a specialized niche as insect pathogens as well as endophytes. We focus primarily on species in the genera Metarhizium and Beauveria, traditionally recognized as insect pathogenic fungi but are also found as plant symbionts. Phylogenetic evidence suggests that these fungi are more closely related to grass endophytes and diverged from that lineage ca. 100 MYA. We explore how the dual life cycles of these fungi as insect pathogens and endophytes are coupled. We discuss the evolution of insect pathogenesis while maintaining an endophytic lifestyle and provide examples of genes that may be involved in the transition toward insect pathogenicity. That is, some genes for insect pathogenesis may have been co-opted from genes involved in endophytic colonization. Other genes may be multifunctional and serve in both lifestyle capacities. We suggest that their evolution as insect pathogens allowed them to effectively barter a specialized nitrogen source (i.e. insects) with host plants for photosynthate. These ubiquitous fungi may play an important role as plant growth promoters and have a potential reservoir of secondary metabolites.

  6. Horizontal Transmission of Intracellular Insect Symbionts via Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Chrostek

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Experimental evidence is accumulating that endosymbionts of phytophagous insects may transmit horizontally via plants. Intracellular symbionts known for manipulating insect reproduction and altering fitness (Rickettsia, Cardinium, Wolbachia, and bacterial parasite of the leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus have been found to travel from infected insects into plants. Other insects, either of the same or different species can acquire the symbiont from the plant through feeding, and in some cases transfer it to their progeny. These reports prompt many questions regarding how intracellular insect symbionts are delivered to plants and how they affect them. Are symbionts passively transported along the insect-plant-insect path, or do they actively participate in the process? How widespread are these interactions? How does symbiont presence influence the plant? And what conditions are required for the new infection to establish in an insect? From an ecological, evolutionary, and applied perspective, this mode of horizontal transmission could have profound implications if occurring frequently enough or if new stable symbiont infections are established. Transmission of symbionts through plants likely represents an underappreciated means of infection, both in terms of symbiont epidemiology and the movement of symbionts to new host species.

  7. 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.

  8. Guide for dosimetry for sterile insect release programs. 2. ed.

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-01-01

    This guide outlines dosimetric procedures to be followed for the radiation sterilization of live insects for use in pest management programs. The primary use of irradiated, reproductively sterile insects is in the Sterile Insect Technique, where large numbers of sterile insects are released into the field to mate with and thus control pest populations of the same species. A secondary use of sterile insects is as benign hosts for rearing insect parasitoids. The procedures outlined in this guide will help ensure that insects processed with ionizing radiation from gamma, electron, or X-ray sources receive absorbed doses within a predetermined range. Information on effective dose ranges for specific applications of insect sterilization, or on methodology for determining effective dose ranges, is not within the scope of this guide. Note: Dosimetry is only one component of a total quality control program to ensure that irradiated insects are adequately sterilized and sufficiently competitive or otherwise suitable for their intended purpose. This guide covers dosimetry in the irradiation of insects for these types of irradiators: self-contained dry-storage 137 Cs or 60 Co irradiators, large-scale gamma irradiators, and electron accelerators. Additional, detailed information on dosimetric procedures to be followed in installation qualification, operational qualification, performance qualification, and routine product processing can be found in ISO/ASTM Practices 51608 (X-ray [bremsstrahlung] facilities), 51649 (electron beam facilities), 51702 (large-scale gamma facilities), and ASTM Practice E 2116 (self-contained dry-storage gamma facilities). The absorbed dose for insect sterilization is typically within the range of 20 Gy to 600 Gy

  9. Gut microbes may facilitate insect herbivory of chemically defended plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Tobin J; Bowers, M Deane

    2015-09-01

    The majority of insect species consume plants, many of which produce chemical toxins that defend their tissues from attack. How then are herbivorous insects able to develop on a potentially poisonous diet? While numerous studies have focused on the biochemical counter-adaptations to plant toxins rooted in the insect genome, a separate body of research has recently emphasized the role of microbial symbionts, particularly those inhabiting the gut, in plant-insect interactions. Here we outline the "gut microbial facilitation hypothesis," which proposes that variation among herbivores in their ability to consume chemically defended plants can be due, in part, to variation in their associated microbial communities. More specifically, different microbes may be differentially able to detoxify compounds toxic to the insect, or be differentially resistant to the potential antimicrobial effects of some compounds. Studies directly addressing this hypothesis are relatively few, but microbe-plant allelochemical interactions have been frequently documented from non-insect systems-such as soil and the human gut-and thus illustrate their potential importance for insect herbivory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for insect diversification and coevolution with plants; for example, evolutionary transitions to host plant groups with novel allelochemicals could be initiated by heritable changes to the insect microbiome. Furthermore, the ecological implications extend beyond the plant and insect herbivore to higher trophic levels. Although the hidden nature of microbes and plant allelochemicals make their interactions difficult to detect, recent molecular and experimental techniques should enable research on this neglected, but likely important, aspect of insect-plant biology.

  10. 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

  11. Convergent bacterial microbiotas in the fungal agricultural systems of insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aylward, Frank O; Suen, Garret; Biedermann, Peter H W; Adams, Aaron S; Scott, Jarrod J; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Glavina del Rio, Tijana; Tringe, Susannah G; Poulsen, Michael; Raffa, Kenneth F; Klepzig, Kier D; Currie, Cameron R

    2014-11-18

    The ability to cultivate food is an innovation that has produced some of the most successful ecological strategies on the planet. Although most well recognized in humans, where agriculture represents a defining feature of civilization, species of ants, beetles, and termites have also independently evolved symbioses with fungi that they cultivate for food. Despite occurring across divergent insect and fungal lineages, the fungivorous niches of these insects are remarkably similar, indicating convergent evolution toward this successful ecological strategy. Here, we characterize the microbiota of ants, beetles, and termites engaged in nutritional symbioses with fungi to define the bacterial groups associated with these prominent herbivores and forest pests. Using culture-independent techniques and the in silico reconstruction of 37 composite genomes of dominant community members, we demonstrate that different insect-fungal symbioses that collectively shape ecosystems worldwide have highly similar bacterial microbiotas comprised primarily of the genera Enterobacter, Rahnella, and Pseudomonas. Although these symbioses span three orders of insects and two phyla of fungi, we show that they are associated with bacteria sharing high whole-genome nucleotide identity. Due to the fine-scale correspondence of the bacterial microbiotas of insects engaged in fungal symbioses, our findings indicate that this represents an example of convergence of entire host-microbe complexes. The cultivation of fungi for food is a behavior that has evolved independently in ants, beetles, and termites and has enabled many species of these insects to become ecologically important and widely distributed herbivores and forest pests. Although the primary fungal cultivars of these insects have been studied for decades, comparatively little is known of their bacterial microbiota. In this study, we show that diverse fungus-growing insects are associated with a common bacterial community composed of the

  12. BACULOVIRUS REPLICATION ALTERS HORMONE-REGULATED HOST DEVELOPMENT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The baculovirus Lymantria dispar nuclear polyhedrosis virus interferes with insect larval development by altering the host's hormonal system. The level of haemolymph ecdysteroids, the insect moulting hormone, was found to be higher in virus-infected larvae than in uninfected cont...

  13. Patterns of host adaptation in fly infecting Entomophthora species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Eilenberg, Jørgen

    Insect pathogenic fungi (IPF) differ widely in their capability to infect different hosts. Some are generalists and will, given a sufficient number of infectious spores are present, infect almost any species of insect (e.g. Hypocrealean Metarhizium and Beauveria). Members of a different main IPF ...

  14. Phenological relationships between two insect galls and their host plants: Aspidosperma australe and A. spruceanum (Apocynaceae Relações fenológicas entre duas galhas induzidas por insetos e suas plantas hospedeiras: Aspidosperma australe e A. spruceanum (Apocynaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila Tolentino Campos

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Although gall diversity in the Neotropical region is immense, comparative studies on the phenology of host plants and their galls are scarce. Gall systems generally require high levels of phenological synchrony between the associated organisms. The relationships between the phenology of two leaf galls induced by an unidentified Cecidomyiidae in Aspidosperma spruceanum Benth. ex Müell. Arg. and by Pseudophacopteron sp. in A. australe Müell. Arg. were investigated. The investigation was performed on ten individuals per species in 15-day intervals taking into consideration the percentage of galled leaves. In a one-year study, three distinct phenophases for the leaf galls and four phenophases for host plants were observed. The maximum percentage of leaf galls (80% on A. australe occurred just after the peak of leaf sprouting. In A. spruceanum, the percentage of leaf galls was always over 50%, which can be related to continuous leaf production and gall induction in this species. In both species, developing galls were observed over the entire year, indicating multivoltinism. The ability to induce galls at young and mature sites seems to be a good strategy for galling species survivorship.Embora a diversidade de galhas na região neotropical seja grande, poucos são os estudos fenológicos comparando a fenologia das espécies hospedeiras com aquela das galhas. O desenvolvimento de galhas geralmente requer alta sincronia fenológica entre os organismos associados. A relação entre a fenologia de duas galhas foliares induzidas por um Cecidomyiidae e Aspidosperma spruceanum Benth. ex Müell. Arg. e de uma espécie de Pseudophacopteron sp. e A. australe Müell. Arg. foram investigadas. O trabalho foi realizado em dez indivíduos de cada espécie em intervalos quinzenais, levando em consideração a percentagem de folhas galhadas. Durante um ano, foram observadas três fenofases distintas para as galhas foliares e quatro fenofases para a hospedeira. A

  15. Midgut microbiota and host immunocompetence underlie Bacillus thuringiensis killing mechanism

    OpenAIRE

    Caccia, Silvia; Di Lelio, Ilaria; La Storia, Antonietta; Marinelli, Adriana; Varricchio, Paola; Franzetti, Eleonora; Banyuls, Núria; Tettamanti, Gianluca; Casartelli, Morena; Giordana, Barbara; Ferré, Juan; Gigliotti, Silvia; Ercolini, Danilo; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis and its toxins are widely used for insect control. Notwithstanding the remarkable importance of this insect pathogen, its killing mechanism has yet to be fully elucidated. Here we show that the microbiota resident in the host midgut triggers a lethal septicemia. The infection process is enhanced by reducing the host immune response and its control on replication of midgut bacteria invading the body cavity through toxin-induced epithelial lesions. The experimental approa...

  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. Population suppression in support of the sterile insect technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mangan, R.L.

    2005-01-01

    Suppression or eradication of insect pest populations by the release of sterile insects is often dependent on supplementary methods of pest reduction to levels where the target pest population can be overflooded with sterile insects. Population suppression activities take place in advance of, or coincide with, the production of sterile insects. Supplementary methods to remove breeding opportunities, or management methods that prevent access of pests to the hosts, may reduce the population or prevent damage. Insecticides have been used widely in direct applications or applied as baits, in traps, or on specific sites where the pest makes contact or reproduces. As sterile insect release does not kill the pest, adult biting pests or fertile mated females of the pests will continue to attack hosts after the release of sterile insects. Thus supplementary pest suppression programmes and quarantine measures are essential to prevent damage or the spread of disease. Eradication or effective pest management requires that the entire population of the pest be treated, or that the programme apply immigration barriers. When supplementary pest control activities benefit the human population in areas being treated, such as in mosquito or screwworm eradication programmes, these activities are usually acceptable to the public, but when the public receives no direct benefit from supplementary control activities such as in fruit fly programmes, social resistance may develop. (author)

  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. 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. Interactions between parasites and insects vectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hilary Hurd

    1994-01-01

    Full Text Available This review stresses the importance of studies that will provide a basic understanding of the pathology of parasite-infected vector insects. This knowledge should be a vital component of the very focussed initiatives currently being funded in the areas of vector control. Vector fecundity reduction is discussed as an example of such pathology. Underlying mechanisms are being investigated in a model system, Hymenolepis diminuta-infected Tenebrio molitor and in Onchocerca-infected blackflies and Plasmodium-infected Anopheles stephensi. In all cases, host vitellogenesis is disrupted by the parasite and, in the tapeworm/beetle model, interaction between the parasite and the endocrine control of the insect's reproductive physiology has been demonstrated.

  1. 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

  2. Secretome of fungus-infected aphids documents high pathogen activity and weak host response

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grell, Morten Nedergaard; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Olsen, Peter B.

    2011-01-01

    Discovery of novel secretome proteins contributes to the understanding of host-pathogen interactions. Here we report a rich diversity of secreted proteins from the interaction between grain aphids (host, insect order Hemiptera) and fungi of the order Entomophthorales (insect pathogens), made...

  3. Evidence for Widespread Associations between Neotropical Hymenopteran Insects and Actinobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernal Matarrita-Carranza

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The evolutionary success of hymenopteran insects has been associated with complex physiological and behavioral defense mechanisms against pathogens and parasites. Among these strategies are symbiotic associations between Hymenoptera and antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria, which provide protection to insect hosts. Herein, we examine associations between culturable Actinobacteria and 29 species of tropical hymenopteran insects that span five families, including Apidae (bees, Vespidae (wasps, and Formicidae (ants. In total, 197 Actinobacteria isolates were obtained from 22 of the 29 different insect species sampled. Through 16S rRNA gene sequences of 161 isolates, we show that 91% of the symbionts correspond to members of the genus Streptomyces with less common isolates belonging to Pseudonocardia and Amycolatopsis. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of filamentous bacteria with Streptomyces morphology in brood chambers of two different species of the eusocial wasps. Four fungal strains in the family Ophiocordycipitacea (Hypocreales known to be specialized insect parasites were also isolated. Bioassay challenges between the Actinobacteria and their possible targeted pathogenic antagonist (both obtained from the same insect at the genus or species level provide evidence that different Actinobacteria isolates produced antifungal activity, supporting the hypothesis of a defensive association between the insects and these microbe species. Finally, phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA and gyrB demonstrate the presence of five Streptomyces lineages associated with a broad range of insect species. Particularly our Clade I is of much interest as it is composed of one 16S rRNA phylotype repeatedly isolated from different insect groups in our sample. This phylotype corresponds to a previously described lineage of host-associated Streptomyces. These results suggest Streptomyces Clade I is a Hymenoptera host-associated lineage spanning several new insect

  4. Evidence for Widespread Associations between Neotropical Hymenopteran Insects and Actinobacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matarrita-Carranza, Bernal; Moreira-Soto, Rolando D.; Murillo-Cruz, Catalina; Mora, Marielos; Currie, Cameron R.; Pinto-Tomas, Adrián A.

    2017-01-01

    The evolutionary success of hymenopteran insects has been associated with complex physiological and behavioral defense mechanisms against pathogens and parasites. Among these strategies are symbiotic associations between Hymenoptera and antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria, which provide protection to insect hosts. Herein, we examine associations between culturable Actinobacteria and 29 species of tropical hymenopteran insects that span five families, including Apidae (bees), Vespidae (wasps), and Formicidae (ants). In total, 197 Actinobacteria isolates were obtained from 22 of the 29 different insect species sampled. Through 16S rRNA gene sequences of 161 isolates, we show that 91% of the symbionts correspond to members of the genus Streptomyces with less common isolates belonging to Pseudonocardia and Amycolatopsis. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of filamentous bacteria with Streptomyces morphology in brood chambers of two different species of the eusocial wasps. Four fungal strains in the family Ophiocordycipitacea (Hypocreales) known to be specialized insect parasites were also isolated. Bioassay challenges between the Actinobacteria and their possible targeted pathogenic antagonist (both obtained from the same insect at the genus or species level) provide evidence that different Actinobacteria isolates produced antifungal activity, supporting the hypothesis of a defensive association between the insects and these microbe species. Finally, phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA and gyrB demonstrate the presence of five Streptomyces lineages associated with a broad range of insect species. Particularly our Clade I is of much interest as it is composed of one 16S rRNA phylotype repeatedly isolated from different insect groups in our sample. This phylotype corresponds to a previously described lineage of host-associated Streptomyces. These results suggest Streptomyces Clade I is a Hymenoptera host-associated lineage spanning several new insect taxa and

  5. Instar- and host-associated differentiation of bacterial communities in the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata

    OpenAIRE

    Malacrinò, Antonino; Campolo, Orlando; Medina, Raul F; Palmeri, Vincenzo

    2018-01-01

    Microorganisms are acknowledged for their role in shaping insects' evolution, life history and ecology. Previous studies have shown that microbial communities harbored within insects vary through ontogenetic development and among insects feeding on different host-plant species. In this study, we characterized the bacterial microbiota of the highly polyphagous Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae), at different instars and when feeding on different host-plant speci...

  6. An extreme case of plant-insect codiversification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cruaud, Astrid; Rønsted, Nina; Chanterasuwan, Bhanumas

    2012-01-01

    It is thought that speciation in phytophagous insects is often due to colonization of novel host plants, because radiations of plant and insect lineages are typically asynchronous. Recent phylogenetic comparisons have supported this model of diversification for both insect herbivores...... and specialized pollinators. An exceptional case where contemporaneous plant-insect diversification might be expected is the obligate mutualism between fig trees (Ficus species, Moraceae) and their pollinating wasps (Agaonidae, Hymenoptera). The ubiquity and ecological significance of this mutualism in tropical...... for this study. We also developed a new analytical tool, Jane 2, for event-based phylogenetic reconciliation analysis of very large data sets. Separate Bayesian phylogenetic analyses for figs and fig wasps under relaxed molecular clock assumptions indicate Cretaceous diversification of crown groups...

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. Molecular Genetics of Beauveria bassiana Infection of Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Urquiza, A; Keyhani, N O

    2016-01-01

    Research on the insect pathogenic filamentous fungus, Beauveria bassiana has witnessed significant growth in recent years from mainly physiological studies related to its insect biological control potential, to addressing fundamental questions regarding the underlying molecular mechanisms of fungal development and virulence. This has been in part due to a confluence of robust genetic tools and genomic resources for the fungus, and recognition of expanded ecological interactions with which the fungus engages. Beauveria bassiana is a broad host range insect pathogen that has the ability to form intimate symbiotic relationships with plants. Indeed, there is an increasing realization that the latter may be the predominant environmental interaction in which the fungus participates, and that insect parasitism may be an opportunist lifestyle evolved due to the carbon- and nitrogen-rich resources present in insect bodies. Here, we will review progress on the molecular genetics of B. bassiana, which has largely been directed toward identifying genetic pathways involved in stress response and virulence assumed to have practical applications in improving the insect control potential of the fungus. Important strides have also been made in understanding aspects of B. bassiana development. Finally, although increasingly apparent in a number of studies, there is a need for progressing beyond phenotypic mutant characterization to sufficiently investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying B. bassiana's unique and diverse lifestyles as saprophyte, insect pathogen, and plant mutualist. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. Host-microbe interactions in the gut of Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takayuki eKuraishi

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Many insect species subsist on decaying and contaminated matter and are thus exposed to large quantities of microorganisms. To control beneficial commensals and combat infectious pathogens, insects must be armed with efficient systems for microbial recognition, signaling pathways, and effector molecules. The molecular mechanisms regulating these host-microbe interactions in insects have been largely clarified in Drosophila melanogaster with its powerful genetic and genomic tools. Here we review recent advances in this field, focusing mainly on the relationships between microbes and epithelial cells in the intestinal tract where the host exposure to the external environment is most frequent.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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...

  20. The potential for host switching via ecological fitting in the emerald ash borer-host plant system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cipollini, Don; Peterson, Donnie L

    2018-02-27

    The traits used by phytophagous insects to find and utilize their ancestral hosts can lead to host range expansions, generally to closely related hosts that share visual and chemical features with ancestral hosts. Host range expansions often result from ecological fitting, which is the process whereby organisms colonize and persist in novel environments, use novel resources, or form novel associations with other species because of the suites of traits that they carry at the time they encounter the novel environment. Our objective in this review is to discuss the potential and constraints on host switching via ecological fitting in emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, an ecologically and economically important invasive wood boring beetle. Once thought of as an ash (Fraxinus spp.) tree specialist, recent studies have revealed a broader potential host range than was expected for this insect. We discuss the demonstrated host-use capabilities of this beetle, as well as the potential for and barriers to the adoption of additional hosts by this beetle. We place our observations in the context of biochemical mechanisms that mediate the interaction of these beetles with their host plants and discuss whether evolutionary host shifts are a possible outcome of the interaction of this insect with novel hosts.

  1. 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)

  2. Diversity of gall-inducing insects in the high altitude wetland forests in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JC Santos

    Full Text Available We report on the richness of galling insects in the altitudinal wetland forests of Pernambuco State, Northeastern Brazil. We found 80 distinct types of insect galls on 49 species of host plants belonging to 28 families and 35 genera. Most of the galled plant species belong to Nyctaginaceae, Fabaceae, Meliaceae, Sapindaceae and Myrtaceae. The most common gall were spheroid and globoid; most galls were glabrous, predominantly green and with one chamber, and on the leaves. Most galls were induced by Cecidomyiidae (Diptera. The results of this study contribute to existing knowledge richness of galling insects and host-plant diversity in the altitudinal wetland forests of Northeastern Brazil.

  3. Riptortus pedestris and Burkholderia symbiont: an ideal model system for insect-microbe symbiotic associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeshita, Kazutaka; Kikuchi, Yoshitomo

    2017-04-01

    A number of insects establish symbiotic associations with beneficial microorganisms in various manners. The bean bug Riptortus pedestris and allied stink bugs possess an environmentally acquired Burkholderia symbiont in their midgut crypts. Unlike other insect endosymbionts, the Burkholderia symbiont is easily culturable and genetically manipulatable outside the host. In conjunction with the experimental advantages of the host insect, the Riptortus-Burkholderia symbiosis is an ideal model system for elucidating the molecular bases underpinning insect-microbe symbioses, which opens a new window in the research field of insect symbiosis. This review summarizes current knowledge of this system and discusses future perspectives. Copyright © 2016 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. The silent mass extinction of insect herbivores in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Carlos Roberto

    2009-12-01

    Habitat loss is silently leading numerous insects to extinction. Conservation efforts, however, have not been designed specifically to protect these organisms, despite their ecological and evolutionary significance. On the basis of species-host area equations, parameterized with data from the literature and interviews with botanical experts, I estimated the number of specialized plant-feeding insects (i.e., monophages) that live in 34 biodiversity hotspots and the number committed to extinction because of habitat loss. I estimated that 795,971-1,602,423 monophagous insect species live in biodiversity hotspots on 150,371 endemic plant species, which is 5.3-10.6 monophages per plant species. I calculated that 213,830-547,500 monophagous species are committed to extinction in biodiversity hotspots because of reduction of the geographic range size of their endemic hosts. I provided rankings of biodiversity hotspots on the basis of estimated richness of monophagous insects and on estimated number of extinctions of monophagous species. Extinction rates were predicted to be higher in biodiversity hotspots located along strong environmental gradients and on archipelagos, where high spatial turnover of monophagous species along the geographic distribution of their endemic plants is likely. The results strongly support the overall strategy of selecting priority conservation areas worldwide primarily on the basis of richness of endemic plants. To face the global decline of insect herbivores, one must expand the coverage of the network of protected areas and improve the richness of native plants on private lands.

  6. The global distribution of diet breadth in insect herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forister, Matthew L; Novotny, Vojtech; Panorska, Anna K; Baje, Leontine; Basset, Yves; Butterill, Philip T; Cizek, Lukas; Coley, Phyllis D; Dem, Francesca; Diniz, Ivone R; Drozd, Pavel; Fox, Mark; Glassmire, Andrea E; Hazen, Rebecca; Hrcek, Jan; Jahner, Joshua P; Kaman, Ondrej; Kozubowski, Tomasz J; Kursar, Thomas A; Lewis, Owen T; Lill, John; Marquis, Robert J; Miller, Scott E; Morais, Helena C; Murakami, Masashi; Nickel, Herbert; Pardikes, Nicholas A; Ricklefs, Robert E; Singer, Michael S; Smilanich, Angela M; Stireman, John O; Villamarín-Cortez, Santiago; Vodka, Stepan; Volf, Martin; Wagner, David L; Walla, Thomas; Weiblen, George D; Dyer, Lee A

    2015-01-13

    Understanding variation in resource specialization is important for progress on issues that include coevolution, community assembly, ecosystem processes, and the latitudinal gradient of species richness. Herbivorous insects are useful models for studying resource specialization, and the interaction between plants and herbivorous insects is one of the most common and consequential ecological associations on the planet. However, uncertainty persists regarding fundamental features of herbivore diet breadth, including its relationship to latitude and plant species richness. Here, we use a global dataset to investigate host range for over 7,500 insect herbivore species covering a wide taxonomic breadth and interacting with more than 2,000 species of plants in 165 families. We ask whether relatively specialized and generalized herbivores represent a dichotomy rather than a continuum from few to many host families and species attacked and whether diet breadth changes with increasing plant species richness toward the tropics. Across geographic regions and taxonomic subsets of the data, we find that the distribution of diet breadth is fit well by a discrete, truncated Pareto power law characterized by the predominance of specialized herbivores and a long, thin tail of more generalized species. Both the taxonomic and phylogenetic distributions of diet breadth shift globally with latitude, consistent with a higher frequency of specialized insects in tropical regions. We also find that more diverse lineages of plants support assemblages of relatively more specialized herbivores and that the global distribution of plant diversity contributes to but does not fully explain the latitudinal gradient in insect herbivore specialization.

  7. Fungal endophytes which invade insect galls: insect pathogens, benign saprophytes, or fungal inquilines?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Dennis

    1995-08-01

    Fungi are frequently found within insect galls. However, the origin of these fungi, whether they are acting as pathogens, saprophytes invading already dead galls, or fungal inquilines which invade the gall but kill the gall maker by indirect means, is rarely investigated. A pathogenic role for these fungi is usually inferred but never tested. I chose the following leaf-galling-insect/host-plant pairs (1) a cynipid which forms two-chambered galls on the veins of Oregon white oak, (2) a cynipid which forms single-chambered galls on California coast live oak, and (3) an aphid which forms galls on narrowleaf cottonwood leaves. All pairs were reported to have fungi associated with dead insects inside the gall. These fungi were cultured and identified. For the two cynipids, all fungi found inside the galls were also present in the leaves as fungal endophytes. The cottonwood leaves examined did not harbor fungal endophytes. For the cynipid on Oregon white oak, the fungal endophyte grows from the leaf into the gall and infects all gall tissue but does not directly kill the gall maker. The insect dies as a result of the gall tissue dying from fungal infection. Therefore, the fungus acts as an inquiline. Approximately 12.5% of these galls die as a result of invasion by the fungal endophyte.

  8. Parasitology: Parasite survives predation on its host

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ponton, Fleur; Lebarbenchon, Camille; Lefèvre, Thierry

    2006-01-01

    As prisoners in their living habitat, parasites should be vulnerable to destruction by the predators of their hosts. But we show here that the parasitic gordian worm Paragordius tricuspidatus is able to escape not only from its insect host after ingestion by a fish or frog but also from...

  9. 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.

  10. Forest habitat conservation in Africa using commercially important insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raina, Suresh Kumar; Kioko, Esther; Zethner, Ole; Wren, Susie

    2011-01-01

    African forests, which host some of the world's richest biodiversity, are rapidly diminishing. The loss of flora and fauna includes economically and socially important insects. Honey bees and silk moths, grouped under commercial insects, are the source for insect-based enterprises that provide income to forest-edge communities to manage the ecosystem. However, to date, research output does not adequately quantify the impact of such enterprises on buffering forest ecosystems and communities from climate change effects. Although diseases/pests of honey bees and silk moths in Africa have risen to epidemic levels, there is a dearth of practical research that can be utilized in developing effective control mechanisms that support the proliferation of these commercial insects as pollinators of agricultural and forest ecosystems. This review highlights the critical role of commercial insects within the environmental complexity of African forest ecosystems, in modern agroindustry, and with respect to its potential contribution to poverty alleviation and pollination services. It identifies significant research gaps that exist in understanding how insects can be utilized as ecosystem health indicators and nurtured as integral tools for important socioeconomic and industrial gains.

  11. Feeding guild of non-host community members affects host-foraging efficiency of a parasitic wasp

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rijk, de Marjolein; Yang, Daowei; Engel, Bastiaan; Dicke, Marcel; Poelman, Erik H.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between predator and prey, or parasitoid and host, are shaped by trait-and density-mediated processes involving other community members. Parasitoids that lay their eggs in herbivorous insects locate their hosts through infochemicals such as herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs)

  12. 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

  13. Chemical similarity between historical and novel host plants promotes range and host expansion of the mountain pine beetle in a naïve host ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erbilgin, Nadir; Ma, Cary; Whitehouse, Caroline; Shan, Bin; Najar, Ahmed; Evenden, Maya

    2014-02-01

    Host plant secondary chemistry can have cascading impacts on host and range expansion of herbivorous insect populations. We investigated the role of host secondary compounds on pheromone production by the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) (MPB) and beetle attraction in response to a historical (lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta var. latifolia) and a novel (jack pine, Pinus banksiana) hosts, as pheromones regulate the host colonization process. Beetles emit the same pheromones from both hosts, but more trans-verbenol, the primary aggregation pheromone, was emitted by female beetles on the novel host. The phloem of the novel host contains more α-pinene, a secondary compound that is the precursor for trans-verbenol production in beetle, than the historical host. Beetle-induced emission of 3-carene, another secondary compound found in both hosts, was also higher from the novel host. Field tests showed that the addition of 3-carene to the pheromone mixture mimicking the aggregation pheromones produced from the two host species increased beetle capture. We conclude that chemical similarity between historical and novel hosts has facilitated host expansion of MPB in jack pine forests through the exploitation of common host secondary compounds for pheromone production and aggregation on the hosts. Furthermore, broods emerging from the novel host were larger in terms of body size. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe

    2015-02-01

    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions

  15. Parasite-altered feeding behavior in insects: integrating functional and mechanistic research frontiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardo, Melissa A; Singer, Michael S

    2017-08-15

    Research on parasite-altered feeding behavior in insects is contributing to an emerging literature that considers possible adaptive consequences of altered feeding behavior for the host or the parasite. Several recent ecoimmunological studies show that insects can adaptively alter their foraging behavior in response to parasitism. Another body of recent work shows that infection by parasites can change the behavior of insect hosts to benefit the parasite; manipulations of host feeding behavior may be part of this phenomenon. Here, we address both the functional and the underlying physiological frontiers of parasite-altered feeding behavior in order to spur research that better integrates the two. Functional categories of parasite-altered behavior that are adaptive for the host include prophylaxis, therapy and compensation, while host manipulation is adaptive for the parasite. To better understand and distinguish prophylaxis, therapy and compensation, further study of physiological feedbacks affecting host sensory systems is especially needed. For host manipulation in particular, research on mechanisms by which parasites control host feedbacks will be important to integrate with functional approaches. We see this integration as critical to advancing the field of parasite-altered feeding behavior, which may be common in insects and consequential for human and environmental health. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  16. Low cost production of nematodes for biological control of insect pests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Entomopathogenic nematodes are produced in two ways: in artificial media using liquid or solid fermentation methods (in vitro) or by mass producing insect hosts to be artificially exposed to mass infection by nematodes (in vivo). The yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) is a good host for in vivo nema...

  17. Host and Symbiont Jointly Control Gut Microbiota during Complete Metamorphosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Paul R.; Rolff, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Holometabolous insects undergo a radical anatomical re-organisation during metamorphosis. This poses a developmental challenge: the host must replace the larval gut but at the same time retain symbiotic gut microbes and avoid infection by opportunistic pathogens. By manipulating host immunity and bacterial competitive ability, we study how the host Galleria mellonella and the symbiotic bacterium Enterococcus mundtii interact to manage the composition of the microbiota during metamorphosis. Disenabling one or both symbiotic partners alters the composition of the gut microbiota, which incurs fitness costs: adult hosts with a gut microbiota dominated by pathogens such as Serratia and Staphylococcus die early. Our results reveal an interaction that guarantees the safe passage of the symbiont through metamorphosis and benefits the resulting adult host. Host-symbiont “conspiracies” as described here are almost certainly widespread in holometobolous insects including many disease vectors. PMID:26544881

  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. Genetic differentiation associated with host plants and geography among six widespread lineages of South American Blepharoneura fruit flies (Tephritidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tropical herbivorous insects are astonishingly diverse and many are highly host-specific. Much evidence suggests that herbivorous insect diversity is a function of host-plant diversity; yet, the diversity of some lineages exceeds the diversity of plants. Although most lineages of herbivorous fruit f...

  1. Detrimental and Neutral Effects of a Wild Grass-Fungal Endophyte Symbiotum on Insect Preference and Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Clement, Stephen L.; Hu, Jinguo; Stewart, Alan V.; Wang, Bingrui; Elberson, Leslie R.

    2011-01-01

    Seed-borne Epichloë/Neotyphodium Glenn, Bacon, Hanlin (Ascomycota: Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) fungal endophytes in temperate grasses can provide protection against insect attack with the degree of host resistance related to the grass—endophyte symbiotum and the insect species involved in an interaction. Few experimental studies with wild grass—endophyte symbiota, compared to endophyte-infected agricultural grasses, have tested for anti-insect benefits, let alone for resistance against more...

  2. Ability of a Generalist Seed Beetle to Colonize an Exotic Host: Effects of Host Plant Origin and Oviposition Host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amarillo-Suárez, A; Repizo, A; Robles, J; Diaz, J; Bustamante, S

    2017-08-01

    The colonization of an exotic species by native herbivores is more likely to occur if that herbivore is a generalist. There is little information on the life-history mechanisms used by native generalist insects to colonize exotic hosts and how these mechanisms are affected by host properties. We examined the ability of the generalist seed beetle Stator limbatus Horn to colonize an exotic species. We compared its host preference, acceptability, performance, and egg size when ovipositing and developing on two native (Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth and Senegalia riparia (Kunth)) and one exotic legume species (Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.)). We also analyzed the seed chemistry. We found that females recognize the exotic species as an unfavorable host for larval development and that they delayed oviposition and laid fewer and larger eggs on the exotic species than on the native species. Survivorship on the exotic host was 0%. Additionally, seeds of the native species contain five chemical compounds that are absent in the exotic species, and the exotic species contains three sterols, which are absent in the native legumes. Genetically based differences between beetles adapted to different hosts, plastic responses toward new hosts, and chemical differences among seeds are important in host colonization and recognition of the exotic host. In conclusion, the generalist nature of S. limbatus does not influence its ability to colonize L. leucocephala. Explanations for the colonization of exotic hosts by generalist native species and for the success of invasive species must be complemented with studies measuring local adaptation and plasticity.

  3. 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.

  4. Host preference of the bean weevil Zabrotes subfasciatus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Isabel Ribeiro do Valle Teixeira; Angel Roberto Barchuk; Fernando Sérgio Zucoloto

    2008-01-01

    It is largely known that the range of an insect diet is mostly determined by oviposition behavior, mainly in species with endophytic larvae such as Zabrotes subfasciatus.However, the proximate factors determining host choice and the subsequent steps leading to the expansion or reduction of the host number and occasional host shifts are largelyun known. We analyzed various factors determining host preference of Z. subfasciatus through the evaluation of: (i) oviposition preference of a wild population of Z. subfasciatus on the usual host (bean) and unusual hosts (lentil, chickpea and soy), and the performance of the offspring; (ii) artificial selection for increasing preference for hosts initially less frequently chosen; (iii) comparison of oviposition behavior between two different popula-tions (reared for~30 generations in beans or chickpeas, respectively); (iv) oviposition timing on usual and unusual hosts; and (v) identification of preference hierarchies. We found that when using unusual hosts, there is no correlation between performance and preference and that the preference hierarchy changes only slightly when the population passes through several generations on the less frequently accepted host. We also found a positive response to artificial selection for increasing oviposition on the less preferred host; however, when the host-choice experiment involved two varieties of the usual host, the response was faster than when the choice involved usual and unusual hosts. Finally, beetles reared on an unusual host (chickpea) for 26 generations showed similar good fitness on both usual and unusual hosts,indicating that the use of a new host does not necessarily result in the loss of performance on the original host. Nevertheless, this population showed lower fitness on the usual host than that of the original population, suggesting an underlying partial trade-off phenomenon which may contribute to a broadening of diet of this insect species.

  5. Comparative Genomics Reveals the Core Gene Toolbox for the Fungus-Insect Symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stata, Matt; Wang, Wei; White, Merlin M.; Moncalvo, Jean-Marc

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Modern genomics has shed light on many entomopathogenic fungi and expanded our knowledge widely; however, little is known about the genomic features of the insect-commensal fungi. Harpellales are obligate commensals living in the digestive tracts of disease-bearing insects (black flies, midges, and mosquitoes). In this study, we produced and annotated whole-genome sequences of nine Harpellales taxa and conducted the first comparative analyses to infer the genomic diversity within the members of the Harpellales. The genomes of the insect gut fungi feature low (26% to 37%) GC content and large genome size variations (25 to 102 Mb). Further comparisons with insect-pathogenic fungi (from both Ascomycota and Zoopagomycota), as well as with free-living relatives (as negative controls), helped to identify a gene toolbox that is essential to the fungus-insect symbiosis. The results not only narrow the genomic scope of fungus-insect interactions from several thousands to eight core players but also distinguish host invasion strategies employed by insect pathogens and commensals. The genomic content suggests that insect commensal fungi rely mostly on adhesion protein anchors that target digestive system, while entomopathogenic fungi have higher numbers of transmembrane helices, signal peptides, and pathogen-host interaction (PHI) genes across the whole genome and enrich genes as well as functional domains to inactivate the host inflammation system and suppress the host defense. Phylogenomic analyses have revealed that genome sizes of Harpellales fungi vary among lineages with an integer-multiple pattern, which implies that ancient genome duplications may have occurred within the gut of insects. PMID:29764946

  6. Ubiquity of insect-derived nitrogen transfer to plants by endophytic insect-pathogenic fungi: an additional branch of the soil nitrogen cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J

    2014-03-01

    The study of symbiotic nitrogen transfer in soil has largely focused on nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Vascular plants can lose a substantial amount of their nitrogen through insect herbivory. Previously, we showed that plants were able to reacquire nitrogen from insects through a partnership with the endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii. That is, the endophytic capability and insect pathogenicity of M. robertsii are coupled so that the fungus acts as a conduit to provide insect-derived nitrogen to plant hosts. Here, we assess the ubiquity of this nitrogen transfer in five Metarhizium species representing those with broad (M. robertsii, M. brunneum, and M. guizhouense) and narrower insect host ranges (M. acridum and M. flavoviride), as well as the insect-pathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Lecanicillium lecanii. Insects were injected with (15)N-labeled nitrogen, and we tracked the incorporation of (15)N into two dicots, haricot bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and soybean (Glycine max), and two monocots, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and wheat (Triticum aestivum), in the presence of these fungi in soil microcosms. All Metarhizium species and B. bassiana but not L. lecanii showed the capacity to transfer nitrogen to plants, although to various degrees. Endophytic association by these fungi increased overall plant productivity. We also showed that in the field, where microbial competition is potentially high, M. robertsii was able to transfer insect-derived nitrogen to plants. Metarhizium spp. and B. bassiana have a worldwide distribution with high soil abundance and may play an important role in the ecological cycling of insect nitrogen back to plant communities.

  7. Plasticity in host utilization by two host-associated populations of Aphis gossypii Glover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barman, A K; Gadhave, K R; Dutta, B; Srinivasan, R

    2018-06-01

    Biological and morphological plasticity in polyphagous insect herbivores allow them to exploit diverse host plant species. Geographical differences in resource availability can lead to preferential host exploitation and result in inconsistent host specialization. Biological and molecular data provide insights into specialization and plasticity of such herbivore populations. In agricultural landscapes, Aphis gossypii encounters several crop and non-crop hosts, which exist in temporal and spatial proximity. We investigated the host-specialization of two A. gossypii host-associated populations (HAPs), which were field collected from cotton and squash (cotton-associated population and melon-associated population), and later maintained separately in the greenhouse. The two aphid populations were exposed to seven plant species (cotton, okra, watermelon, squash, cucumber, pigweed, and morning glory), and evaluated for their host utilization plasticity by estimating aphid's fitness parameters (nymphal period, adult period, fecundity, and intrinsic rate of increase). Four phenotypical characters (body length, head capsule width, hind tibia length and cornicle length) were also measured from the resulting 14 different HAP × host plant combinations. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial COI sequences showed no genetic variation between the two HAPs. Fitness parameters indicated a significant variation between the two aphid populations, and the variation was influenced by host plants. The performance of melon-aphids was poor (up to 89% reduction in fecundity) on malvaceous hosts, cotton and okra. However, cotton-aphids performed better on cucurbitaceous hosts, squash and watermelon (up to 66% increased fecundity) compared with the natal host, cotton. Both HAPs were able to reproduce on two weed hosts. Cotton-aphids were smaller than melon-aphids irrespective of their host plants. Results from this study suggest that the two HAPs in the study area do not have strict host

  8. Revisiting Trypanosoma rangeli Transmission Involving Susceptible and Non-Susceptible Hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana de Lima Ferreira

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma rangeli infects several triatomine and mammal species in South America. Its transmission is known to occur when a healthy insect feeds on an infected mammal or when an infected insect bites a healthy mammal. In the present study we evaluated the classic way of T. rangeli transmission started by the bite of a single infected triatomine, as well as alternative ways of circulation of this parasite among invertebrate hosts. The number of metacyclic trypomastigotes eliminated from salivary glands during a blood meal was quantified for unfed and recently fed nymphs. The quantification showed that ~50,000 parasites can be liberated during a single blood meal. The transmission of T. rangeli from mice to R. prolixus was evaluated using infections started through the bite of a single infected nymph. The mice that served as the blood source for single infected nymphs showed a high percentage of infection and efficiently transmitted the infection to new insects. Parasites were recovered by xenodiagnosis in insects fed on mice with infections that lasted approximately four months. Hemolymphagy and co-feeding were tested to evaluate insect-insect T. rangeli transmission. T. rangeli was not transmitted during hemolymphagy. However, insects that had co-fed on mice with infected conspecifics exhibited infection rates of approximately 80%. Surprisingly, 16% of the recipient nymphs became infected when pigeons were used as hosts. Our results show that T. rangeli is efficiently transmitted between the evaluated hosts. Not only are the insect-mouse-insect transmission rates high, but parasites can also be transmitted between insects while co-feeding on a living host. We show for the first time that birds can be part of the T. rangeli transmission cycle as we proved that insect-insect transmission is feasible during a co-feeding on these hosts.

  9. Species richness in natural and disturbed habitats: Asteraceae and Flower-head insects (Tephritidae: Diptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniz, Soraia; Prado, Paulo I; Lewinsohn, Thomas M

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in the landscape result in an environmental mosaic with serious consequences for biodiversity. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of the anthropogenic changes on Asteraceae richness and abundance, and to evaluate the consequences for the richness of Tephritidae assemblages in five sampling sites, with three sampled habitats in each: cerrado (Brazilian savanna), eucalyptus stands and pasture. Sampling was carried out in 15 random transects (cerrados and one pasture) and in 30 transects (eucalyptus stands and the remaining pastures). Composition, species richness and insect abundance in each habitat type was estimated by sampling the flower heads for each species of host plant, collected by four people for 1h. Differences in mean abundance of plant population between habitats and sites were tested by two-way ANOVA. Differences in plant species richness between habitats and sites and effects of habitat, site and host plant richness on insect richness were tested using a generalized linear model with Poisson errors. Within each sampling site, cerrados showed higher species richness of Asteraceae than pastures and eucalyptus stands. There were also significant differences in plant richness among sites. Mean population abundance values were significantly different among habitats, but not among sites. Increased host plant richness led to significant insect species richness. There were no additional significant effects of habitat on insect richness. Therefore, anthropogenic alterations in landscape determined the impoverishment of plant assemblages and therefore of insect assemblages, because of the positive relationship between host plant richness and insect richness.

  10. The Insect Microbiome Modulates Vector Competence for Arboviruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natapong Jupatanakul

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Diseases caused by arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses, such as Dengue, West Nile, and Chikungunya, constitute a major global health burden and are increasing in incidence and geographic range. The natural microbiota of insect vectors influences various aspects of host biology, such as nutrition, reproduction, metabolism, and immunity, and recent studies have highlighted the ability of insect-associated bacteria to reduce vector competence for arboviruses and other pathogens. This reduction can occur through mechanisms, such as immune response activation, resource competition, or the production of anti-viral molecules. Studying the interactions between insect vectors and their microbiota is an important step toward developing alternative strategies for arbovirus transmission control.

  11. Scale Insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) on Myrciaria dubia (Myrtaceae) in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, V R S; Kondo, T; Peronti, A L B G; Noronha, A C S

    2016-06-01

    Commercial cultivation of the fruit tree Myrciaria dubia (Myrtaceae) is being developed in Brazil but phytophagous insects, including scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea), can become pests in plantations. The coccids Ceroplastes jamaicensis White, Coccus viridis (Green), Parasaissetia nigra (Nietner), Pseudokermes vitreus (Cockerell) (Coccidae), and the diaspidid Pseudaonidia trilobitiformis (Green) were collected on M. dubia in the municipality of Belém and Tomé-Açu, state of Pará (PA), metropolitan and Northeast Pará mesoregions, Brazil. A key to species of Coccoidea recorded on M. dubia, based on adult females, is provided. Photographs for all scale insects reported on M. dubia are provided. Ceroplastes jamaicensis is recorded for the first time for Brazil and is herein reported for the first time associated with this host.

  12. 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 ...

  13. Wolbachia and DNA barcoding insects: patterns, potential, and problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M Alex; Bertrand, Claudia; Crosby, Kate; Eveleigh, Eldon S; Fernandez-Triana, Jose; Fisher, Brian L; Gibbs, Jason; Hajibabaei, Mehrdad; Hallwachs, Winnie; Hind, Katharine; Hrcek, Jan; Huang, Da-Wei; Janda, Milan; Janzen, Daniel H; Li, Yanwei; Miller, Scott E; Packer, Laurence; Quicke, Donald; Ratnasingham, Sujeevan; Rodriguez, Josephine; Rougerie, Rodolphe; Shaw, Mark R; Sheffield, Cory; Stahlhut, Julie K; Steinke, Dirk; Whitfield, James; Wood, Monty; Zhou, Xin

    2012-01-01

    Wolbachia is a genus of bacterial endosymbionts that impacts the breeding systems of their hosts. Wolbachia can confuse the patterns of mitochondrial variation, including DNA barcodes, because it influences the pathways through which mitochondria are inherited. We examined the extent to which these endosymbionts are detected in routine DNA barcoding, assessed their impact upon the insect sequence divergence and identification accuracy, and considered the variation present in Wolbachia COI. Using both standard PCR assays (Wolbachia surface coding protein--wsp), and bacterial COI fragments we found evidence of Wolbachia in insect total genomic extracts created for DNA barcoding library construction. When >2 million insect COI trace files were examined on the Barcode of Life Datasystem (BOLD) Wolbachia COI was present in 0.16% of the cases. It is possible to generate Wolbachia COI using standard insect primers; however, that amplicon was never confused with the COI of the host. Wolbachia alleles recovered were predominantly Supergroup A and were broadly distributed geographically and phylogenetically. We conclude that the presence of the Wolbachia DNA in total genomic extracts made from insects is unlikely to compromise the accuracy of the DNA barcode library; in fact, the ability to query this DNA library (the database and the extracts) for endosymbionts is one of the ancillary benefits of such a large scale endeavor--which we provide several examples. It is our conclusion that regular assays for Wolbachia presence and type can, and should, be adopted by large scale insect barcoding initiatives. While COI is one of the five multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) genes used for categorizing Wolbachia, there is limited overlap with the eukaryotic DNA barcode region.

  14. Effects of nitrogen fertilization on forest trees in relation to insect resistance and to red-listed insect species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glynn, C.; Herms, D.A.

    2001-10-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are experiencing unprecedented nitrogen enrichment through fertilization and pollution. While longterm ecological consequences are difficult to predict, it seems that plants and animals adapted to nitrogen-limited environments are at particular risk from these changes. This report summarizes the limited body of literature which addresses this important topic. From a herbivoreAes perspective, fertilization increases the nutritional quality of host plant tissues. In some cases fertilization has lead to decreased production of defensive compounds. How this affects populations of insects is unclear because fertilization affects not only herbivores but their natural enemies. This report outlines how fertilization affects tree processes such as growth, photosynthesis, and production of defensive compounds. The many factors that affect insect repsonse to fertilization and the difficulties in assessing how fertilization affects insect populations are discussed

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Comparative analysis of the Photorhabdus luminescens and the Yersinia enterocolitica genomes: uncovering candidate genes involved in insect pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fuchs Thilo M

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Photorhabdus luminescens and Yersinia enterocolitica are both enteric bacteria which are associated with insects. P. luminescens lives in symbiosis with soil nematodes and is highly pathogenic towards insects but not to humans. In contrast, Y. enterocolitica is widely found in the environment and mainly known to cause gastroenteritis in men, but has only recently been shown to be also toxic for insects. It is expected that both pathogens share an overlap of genetic determinants that play a role within the insect host. Results A selective genome comparison was applied. Proteins belonging to the class of two-component regulatory systems, quorum sensing, universal stress proteins, and c-di-GMP signalling have been analysed. The interorganismic synopsis of selected regulatory systems uncovered common and distinct signalling mechanisms of both pathogens used for perception of signals within the insect host. Particularly, a new class of LuxR-like regulators was identified, which might be involved in detecting insect-specific molecules. In addition, the genetic overlap unravelled a two-component system that is unique for the genera Photorhabdus and Yersinia and is therefore suggested to play a major role in the pathogen-insect relationship. Our analysis also highlights factors of both pathogens that are expressed at low temperatures as encountered in insects in contrast to higher (body temperature, providing evidence that temperature is a yet under-investigated environmental signal for bacterial adaptation to various hosts. Common degradative metabolic pathways are described that might be used to explore nutrients within the insect gut or hemolymph, thus enabling the proliferation of P. luminescens and Y. enterocolitica in their invertebrate hosts. A strikingly higher number of genes encoding insecticidal toxins and other virulence factors in P. luminescens compared to Y. enterocolitica correlates with the higher virulence of P

  18. 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.

  19. Pteromalus puparum venom impairs host cellular immune responses by decreasing expression of its scavenger receptor gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Insect host/parasitoid interactions are co-evolved systems in which host defenses are balanced by parasitoid mechanisms to disable or hide from host immune effectors. Although there is a rich literature on these systems, parasitoid immune-disabling mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Here we ...

  20. Complex inheritance of larval adaptation in Plutella xylostella to a novel host plant

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Henniges-Janssen, K.; Reineke, A.; Heckel, D.G.; Groot, A.T.

    2011-01-01

    Studying the genetics of host shifts and range expansions in phytophagous insects contributes to our understanding of the evolution of host plant adaptation. We investigated the recent host range expansion to pea, in the pea-adapted strain (P-strain) of the crucifer-specialist diamondback moth,

  1. Mobility of hobo transposable elements in non-drosophilid insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Atkinson, P.W.; Whyard, S.; Mende, H.A.; Pinkerton, A.C.; Coates, C.J.; Warren, W.D.; Saville, K.J.; O'Brochta, D.A.

    1998-01-01

    We will describe the development and implementation of assays which permit the mobility of hobo elements injected into developing insects embryos to be detected and examined. These assays have enabled us to classify hobo elements as members of a transposable element family which includes the Ac element of maize and the Tam3 element of snapdragon - two plant transposable elements that have wide host ranges. We will present data that show that hobo also has a wide host range in that it can excise and transpose in a number of non-drosophilid insect species. These results have led us to use hobo as a gene vector in the tephritid, Bactrocera tryoni, and we will discuss the progress of these ongoing experiments. (author)

  2. Novel insect-specific flavivirus isolated from northern Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huhtamo, Eili; Moureau, Gregory; Cook, Shelley; Julkunen, Ora; Putkuri, Niina; Kurkela, Satu; Uzcátegui, Nathalie Y.; Harbach, Ralph E.; Gould, Ernest A.; Vapalahti, Olli; de Lamballerie, Xavier

    2012-01-01

    Mosquitoes collected in Finland were screened for flaviviral RNA leading to the discovery and isolation of a novel flavivirus designated Hanko virus (HANKV). Virus characterization, including phylogenetic analysis of the complete coding sequence, confirmed HANKV as a member of the “insect-specific” flavivirus (ISF) group. HANKV is the first member of this group isolated from northern Europe, and therefore the first northern European ISF for which the complete coding sequence has been determined. HANKV was not transcribed as DNA in mosquito cell culture, which appears atypical for an ISF. HANKV shared highest sequence homology with the partial NS5 sequence available for the recently discovered Spanish Ochlerotatus flavivirus (SOcFV). Retrospective analysis of mitochondrial sequences from the virus-positive mosquito pool suggested an Ochlerotatus mosquito species as the most likely host for HANKV. HANKV and SOcFV may therefore represent a novel group of Ochlerotatus-hosted insect-specific flaviviruses in Europe and further afield. PMID:22999256

  3. Insect Larvae: A New Platform to Produce Commercial Recombinant Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Targovnik, Alexandra M; Arregui, Mariana B; Bracco, Lautaro F; Urtasun, Nicolas; Baieli, Maria F; Segura, Maria M; Simonella, Maria A; Fogar, Mariela; Wolman, Federico J; Cascone, Osvaldo; Miranda, Maria V

    2016-01-01

    In Biotechnology, the expression of recombinant proteins is a constantly growing field and different hosts are used for this purpose. Some valuable proteins cannot be produced using traditional systems. Insects from the order Lepidoptera infected with recombinant baculovirus have appeared as a good choice to express high levels of proteins, especially those with post-translational modifications. Lepidopteran insects, which are extensively distributed in the world, can be used as small protein factories, the new biofactories. Species like Bombyx mori (silkworm) have been analyzed in Asian countries to produce a great number of recombinant proteins for use in basic and applied science and industry. Many proteins expressed in this larva have been commercialized. Several recombinant proteins produced in silkworms have already been commercialized. On the other hand, species like Spodoptera frugiperda, Heliothis virescens, Rachiplusia nu, Helicoverpa zea and Trichoplusia ni are widely distributed in both the occidental world and Europe. The expression of recombinant proteins in larvae has the advantage of its low cost in comparison with insect cell cultures. A wide variety of recombinant proteins, including enzymes, hormones and vaccines, have been efficiently expressed with intact biological activity. The expression of pharmaceutically proteins, using insect larvae or cocoons, has become very attractive. This review describes the use of insect larvae as an alternative to produce commercial recombinant proteins.

  4. Plant breeding for resistance to insect pests: Considerations about the use of induced mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-01-01

    The Panel was intended to stimulate proposals on specific plant breeding objectives, for immediate and long term solution. Nine papers considered the host plant resistance to particular insect pests in a variety of cases. The desirability of achieving some measure of pest control via the development of disease-resistant mutants was discussed. In its conclusions, the Panel stressed the need to consider host plant resistance as one of the primary lines of defense in all pest management programmes. Consequently, resistance to insects was recommended to become an integral part of plant breeding programmes. Preference might need to be given to developing insect resistance in those crop plants for which practical control is lacking or where current methods of pest control present critical environmental hazards. The roles of the IAEA and FAO in such projects is outlined. Guidelines and recommendations on mutation breeding for resistance to insects are given in an appendix

  5. 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

  6. Host plant adaptation in Drosophila mettleri populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Castrezana

    Full Text Available The process of local adaptation creates diversity among allopatric populations, and may eventually lead to speciation. Plant-feeding insect populations that specialize on different host species provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the causes of ecological specialization and the subsequent consequences for diversity. In this study, we used geographically separated Drosophila mettleri populations that specialize on different host cacti to examine oviposition preference for and larval performance on an array of natural and non-natural hosts (eight total. We found evidence of local adaptation in performance on saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea for populations that are typically associated with this host, and to chemically divergent prickly pear species (Opuntia spp. in a genetically isolated population on Santa Catalina Island. Moreover, each population exhibited reduced performance on the alternative host. This finding is consistent with trade-offs associated with adaptation to these chemically divergent hosts, although we also discuss alternative explanations for this pattern. For oviposition preference, Santa Catalina Island flies were more likely to oviposit on some prickly pear species, but all populations readily laid eggs on saguaro. Experiments with non-natural hosts suggest that factors such as ecological opportunity may play a more important role than host plant chemistry in explaining the lack of natural associations with some hosts.

  7. Multifaceted effects of host plants on entomopathogenic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazir, Selcuk; Shapiro-Ilan, David I; Hazir, Canan; Leite, Luis G; Cakmak, Ibrahim; Olson, Dawn

    2016-03-01

    The success of parasites can be impacted by multi-trophic interactions. Tritrophic interactions have been observed in parasite-herbivore-host plant systems. Here we investigate aspects of multi-trophic interactions in a system involving an entomopathogenic nematode (EPN), its insect host, and host plant. Novel issues investigated include the impact of tritrophic interactions on nematode foraging behavior, the ability of EPNs to overcome negative tritrophic effects through genetic selection, and interactions with a fourth trophic level (nematode predators). We tested infectivity of the nematode, Steinernema riobrave, to corn earworm larvae (Helicoverpa zea) in three host plants, tobacco, eggplant and tomato. Tobacco reduced nematode virulence and reproduction relative to tomato and eggplant. However, successive selection (5 passages) overcame the deficiency; selected nematodes no longer exhibited reductions in phenotypic traits. Despite the loss in virulence and reproduction nematodes, first passage S. riobrave was more attracted to frass from insects fed tobacco than insects fed on other host plants. Therefore, we hypothesized the reduced virulence and reproduction in S. riobrave infecting tobacco fed insects would be based on a self-medicating tradeoff, such as deterring predation. We tested this hypothesis by assessing predatory success of the mite Sancassania polyphyllae and the springtail Sinella curviseta on nematodes reared on tobacco-fed larvae versus those fed on greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella, tomato fed larvae, or eggplant fed larvae. No advantage was observed in nematodes derived from tobacco fed larvae. In conclusion, our results indicated that insect-host plant diet has an important effect on nematode foraging, infectivity and reproduction. However, negative host plant effects, might be overcome through directed selection. We propose that host plant species should be considered when designing biocontrol programs using EPNs. Copyright © 2016

  8. Environmental manipulation for edible insect procurement: a historical perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Throughout history humans have manipulated their natural environment for an increased predictability and availability of plant and animal resources. Research on prehistoric diets increasingly includes small game, but edible insects receive minimal attention. Using the anthropological and archaeological literature we show and hypothesize about the existence of such environmental manipulations related to the procurement of edible insects. As examples we use eggs of aquatic Hemiptera in Mexico which are semi-cultivated by water management and by providing egg laying sites; palm weevil larvae in the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, and New Guinea of which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance and which are semi-cultivated by deliberately cutting palm trees at a chosen time at a chosen location; and arboreal, foliage consuming caterpillars in sub-Saharan Africa for which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance, shifting cultivation, fire regimes, host tree preservation, and manually introducing caterpillars to a designated area. These manipulations improve insect exploitation by increasing their predictability and availability, and most likely have an ancient origin. PMID:22264307

  9. Environmental manipulation for edible insect procurement: a historical perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Itterbeeck, Joost; van Huis, Arnold

    2012-01-21

    Throughout history humans have manipulated their natural environment for an increased predictability and availability of plant and animal resources. Research on prehistoric diets increasingly includes small game, but edible insects receive minimal attention. Using the anthropological and archaeological literature we show and hypothesize about the existence of such environmental manipulations related to the procurement of edible insects. As examples we use eggs of aquatic Hemiptera in Mexico which are semi-cultivated by water management and by providing egg laying sites; palm weevil larvae in the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, and New Guinea of which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance and which are semi-cultivated by deliberately cutting palm trees at a chosen time at a chosen location; and arboreal, foliage consuming caterpillars in sub-Saharan Africa for which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance, shifting cultivation, fire regimes, host tree preservation, and manually introducing caterpillars to a designated area. These manipulations improve insect exploitation by increasing their predictability and availability, and most likely have an ancient origin.

  10. Environmental manipulation for edible insect procurement: a historical perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Itterbeeck Joost

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Throughout history humans have manipulated their natural environment for an increased predictability and availability of plant and animal resources. Research on prehistoric diets increasingly includes small game, but edible insects receive minimal attention. Using the anthropological and archaeological literature we show and hypothesize about the existence of such environmental manipulations related to the procurement of edible insects. As examples we use eggs of aquatic Hemiptera in Mexico which are semi-cultivated by water management and by providing egg laying sites; palm weevil larvae in the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, and New Guinea of which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance and which are semi-cultivated by deliberately cutting palm trees at a chosen time at a chosen location; and arboreal, foliage consuming caterpillars in sub-Saharan Africa for which the collection is facilitated by manipulating host tree distribution and abundance, shifting cultivation, fire regimes, host tree preservation, and manually introducing caterpillars to a designated area. These manipulations improve insect exploitation by increasing their predictability and availability, and most likely have an ancient origin.

  11. Helminthes and insects: maladies or therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Tantawy, Nora L

    2015-02-01

    By definition, parasites cause harm to their hosts. But, considerable evidence from ancient traditional medicine has supported the theory of using parasites and their products in treating many diseases. Maggots have been used successfully to treat chronic, long-standing, infected wounds which failed to respond to conventional treatment by many beneficial effects on the wound including debridement, disinfection, and healing enhancement. Maggots are also applied in forensic medicine to estimate time between the death and discovery of a corpse and in entomotoxicology involving the potential use of insects as alternative samples for detecting drugs and toxins in death investigations. Leeches are segmented invertebrates, famous by their blood-feeding habits and used in phlebotomy to treat various ailments since ancient times. Leech therapy is experiencing resurgence nowadays in health care principally in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Earthworms provide a source of medicinally useful products with potential antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticancer properties. Lumbrokinases are a group of fibrinolytic enzymes isolated and purified from earthworms capable of degrading plasminogen-rich and plasminogen-free fibrin and so can be used to treat various conditions associated with thrombotic diseases. Helminth infection has been proved to have therapeutic effects in both animal and human clinical trials with promising evidence in treating many allergic diseases and can block the induction of or reduce the severity of some autoimmune disorders as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. What is more, venomous arthropods such as scorpions, bees, wasps, spiders, ants, centipedes, snail, beetles, and caterpillars. The venoms and toxins from these arthropods provide a promising source of natural bioactive compounds which can be employed in the development of new drugs to treat diseases as cancer. The possibility of using these active molecules in biotechnological processes can

  12. Chemical ecology of insect-plant interactions: ecological significance of plant secondary metabolites.

    OpenAIRE

    Nishida, Ritsuo

    2014-01-01

    Plants produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites as chemical barriers against herbivores. Many phytophagous insects are highly adapted to these allelochemicals and use such unique substances as the specific host-finding cues, defensive substances of their own, and even as sex pheromones or their precursors by selectively sensing, incorporating, and/or processing these phytochemicals. Insects also serve as pollinators often effectively guided by specific floral fragrances. This review d...

  13. Forest insect and disease conditions, Vancouver forest region, 1987. Annual publication

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Humphreys, N; Ferris, R L

    1988-01-01

    The Forest Insect and Disease Survey (FIDS) is a nation-wide network within Forestry Canada with the responsibility of producing an overview of forest pest conditions and their implications; maintaining records and surveys to support quarantine and facilitate predictions; supporting forestry research with records, insect collections and herbaria; providing advice on forest insect and disease conditions; developing and testing survey techniques; and conducting related biological studies. This report outlines the status of forest pest conditions in the Vancouver Forest Region, and forecasts population trends of some potentially damaging pests. Pests are listed by host in order of importance.

  14. Chemical ecology of insect-plant interactions: ecological significance of plant secondary metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishida, Ritsuo

    2014-01-01

    Plants produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites as chemical barriers against herbivores. Many phytophagous insects are highly adapted to these allelochemicals and use such unique substances as the specific host-finding cues, defensive substances of their own, and even as sex pheromones or their precursors by selectively sensing, incorporating, and/or processing these phytochemicals. Insects also serve as pollinators often effectively guided by specific floral fragrances. This review demonstrates the ecological significance of such plant secondary metabolites in the highly diverse interactions between insects and plants.

  15. Comparative transcriptomics reveal host-specific nucleotide variation in entomophthoralean fungi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Eilenberg, Jørgen

    2017-01-01

    of toxins that interfere with the host immune response. Phylogenetic comparison with the nonobligate generalist insect-pathogenic fungus Conidiobolus coronatus revealed a gene-family expansion of trehalase enzymes in E. muscae. The main sugar in insect haemolymph is trehalose, and efficient sugar...

  16. A Simple Flight Mill for the Study of Tethered Flight in Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attisano, Alfredo; Murphy, James T; Vickers, Andrew; Moore, Patricia J

    2015-12-10

    Flight in insects can be long-range migratory flights, intermediate-range dispersal flights, or short-range host-seeking flights. Previous studies have shown that flight mills are valuable tools for the experimental study of insect flight behavior, allowing researchers to examine how factors such as age, host plants, or population source can influence an insects' propensity to disperse. Flight mills allow researchers to measure components of flight such as speed and distance flown. Lack of detailed information about how to build such a device can make their construction appear to be prohibitively complex. We present a simple and relatively inexpensive flight mill for the study of tethered flight in insects. Experimental insects can be tethered with non-toxic adhesives and revolve around an axis by means of a very low friction magnetic bearing. The mill is designed for the study of flight in controlled conditions as it can be used inside an incubator or environmental chamber. The strongest points are the very simple electronic circuitry, the design that allows sixteen insects to fly simultaneously allowing the collection and analysis of a large number of samples in a short time and the potential to use the device in a very limited workspace. This design is extremely flexible, and we have adjusted the mill to accommodate different species of insects of various sizes.

  17. OCCURRENCE AND CHARACTERIZATION OF INSECT GALLS IN THE FLORESTA NACIONAL DE SILVÂNIA, BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BÁRBARA ARAÚJO RIBEIRO BERGAMINI

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In the present paper we investigated the insect gall distribution along savanna and forest sites in the Floresta Nacional de Silvânia, Goiás, Brazil. The insect gall fauna was surveyed bi-monthly between December 2009 and June 2010. In total we found 186 insect gall morphotypes, distributed on 35 botanical families and 61 plant species. Ninety-nine insect gall morphotypes were recorded in the forest and 87 in the savanna. Gall-inducing insects belonged to Coleoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Lepidoptera and Thysanoptera, with highlight to Cecidomyiidae (Diptera that induced 34.1% of the gall morphotypes. Parasitoids and/or inquilines were recorded in 38 morphotypes, mainly from the families Eulophidae, Eurytomidae and Torymidae (Hymenoptera. Fabaceae was the botanical family with the greatest richness of galls, followed by Asteraceae and Sapindaceae, being Protium (Burseraceae, Siparuna (Siparunaceae and Serjania (Sapindaceae the main host genera. This is the first systematic survey of insect galls realized in the Flona-Silvânia, which result in six plant species are recorded for the first time in Brazil as host of insect galls.

  18. The entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis megidis: host searching behaviour, infectivity and reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boff, M.I.C.

    2001-01-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes in the families Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae have considerable potential as biological control agents of soil-inhabiting insect pests. Attributes making these nematodes ideal biological control agents include their broad host range, high virulence,

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Diverse honeydew-consuming fungal communities associated with scale insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manpreet K Dhami

    Full Text Available Sooty mould fungi are ubiquitous, abundant consumers of insect-honeydew that have been little-studied. They form a complex of unrelated fungi that coexist and compete for honeydew, which is a chemically complex resource. In this study, we used scanning electron microscopy in combination with T-RFLP community profiling and ITS-based tag-pyrosequencing to extensively describe the sooty mould community associated with the honeydews of two ecologically important New Zealand coelostomidiid scale insects, Coelostomidia wairoensis and Ultracoelostoma brittini. We tested the influence of host plant on the community composition of associated sooty moulds, and undertook limited analyses to examine the influence of scale insect species and geographic location. We report here a previously unknown degree of fungal diversity present in this complex, with pyrosequencing detecting on average 243 operational taxonomic units across the different sooty mould samples. In contrast, T-RFLP detected only a total of 24 different "species" (unique peaks. Nevertheless, both techniques identified similar patterns of diversity suggesting that either method is appropriate for community profiling. The composition of the microbial community associated with individual scale insect species varied although the differences may in part reflect variation in host preference and site. Scanning electron microscopy visualised an intertwined mass of fungal hyphae and fruiting bodies in near-intact physical condition, but was unable to distinguish between the different fungal communities on a morphological level, highlighting the need for molecular research. The substantial diversity revealed for the first time by pyrosequencing and our inability to identify two-thirds of the diversity to further than the fungal division highlights the significant gap in our knowledge of these fungal groups. This study provides a first extensive look at the community diversity of the fungal community

  4. 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/.

  5. The impact of resource limitation and the phenology of parasitoid attack on the duration of insect herbivore outbreaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umbanhowar, James; Hastings, Alan

    2002-11-01

    Fluctuations in resource quality and quantity, and changes in mortality due to predators and parasites are thought to be of prime importance in the regular fluctuations of forest insects. We examine how food limitation and parasitoids with different phenologies of attack regulate the population cycles of insect hosts. Our analysis of the limit cycle of a model with a biologically realistic form of density dependence in the host yields two novel predictions. First, outbreaks will typically last for only 2 generations after parasitoids begin to reduce the host population below the maximum density. Second, host growth rate is important in determining cycle length only when parasitoids attack before the impacts of resource limitation affect the host. The robustness of these predictions are tested using a more general form of density dependence in the host, revealing that our predictions are valid as long as density dependence in the host is not too overcompensatory.

  6. Location of Host and Host Habitat by Fruit Fly Parasitoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascal Rousse

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Augmentative releases of parasitoids may be a useful tool for the area-wide management of tephritid pests. The latter are parasitized by many wasp species, though only a few of them are relevant for augmentative biocontrol purposes. To date, nearly all the actual or potential biocontrol agents for such programs are egg or larval Opiinae parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Braconidae. Here, we review the literature published on their habitat and host location behavior, as well as the factors that modulate this behavior, which is assumed to be sequential; parasitoids forage first for the host habitat and then for the host itself. Parasitoids rely on chemical, visual, and mechanical stimuli, often strongly related to their ecology. Behavioral modulation factors include biotic and abiotic factors including learning, climatic conditions and physiological state of the insect. Finally, conclusions and perspectives for future research are briefly highlighted. A detailed knowledge of this behavior may be very useful for selecting the release sites for both inundative/augmentative releases of mass-reared parasitoids and inoculative releases for classical biocontrol.

  7. Memory and Specificity in the Insect Immune System: Current Perspectives and Future Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin Cooper

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The immune response of a host to a pathogen is typically described as either innate or adaptive. The innate form of the immune response is conserved across all organisms, including insects. Previous and recent research has focused on the nature of the insect immune system and the results imply that the innate immune response of insects is more robust and specific than previously thought. Priming of the insect innate immune system involves the exposure of insects to dead or a sublethal dose of microbes in order to elicit an initial response. Comparing subsequent infections in primed insects to non-primed individuals indicates that the insect innate immune response may possess some of the qualities of an adaptive immune system. Although some studies demonstrate that the protective effects of priming are due to a “loitering” innate immune response, others have presented more convincing elements of adaptivity. While an immune mechanism capable of producing the same degree of recognition specificity as seen in vertebrates has yet to be discovered in insects, a few interesting cases have been identified and discussed.

  8. Galling Insects of the Brazilian Páramos: Species Richness and Composition Along High-Altitude Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Marcel S; Carneiro, Marco Antônio Alves; Branco, Cristina A; Borges, Rafael Augusto Xavier; Fernandes, G Wilson

    2017-12-08

    In this work, we investigated the factors that determine the distribution of galling insects in high-altitude grasslands, locally called 'campos de altitude' of Mantiqueira Range and tested whether 1) richness of galling insects decreases with altitude, 2) galling insect richness increases with plant richness, 3) variation in galling insect diversity is predominantly a consequence of its β component, and 4) turnover is the main mechanism driving the beta diversity of both galling insects and plants. Galling insect richness did not exhibit a negative relationship with altitude, but it did increase with plant richness. The additive partition of regional richness (γ) into its local and beta components showed that local diversity (α) of galling insects and plants was relatively low in relation to regional diversity; the β component incorporated most of the regional diversity. This pattern was also found in the multiscale analysis of the additive partition for galling insects and plants. The beta diversity of galling insects and plants was driven predominantly by the process of turnover and minimally by nesting. The results reported here point out that the spatial distribution of galling insects is best explained by historical factors, such as the distribution of genera and species of key host plants, as well as their relation to habitat, than ecological effects such as hygrothermal stress - here represented by altitude. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. 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 ...

  10. HOST PLANT UTILIZATION, HOST RANGE OSCILLATIONS AND DIVERSIFICATION IN NYMPHALID BUTTERFLIES: A PHYLOGENETIC INVESTIGATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nylin, Sören; Slove, Jessica; Janz, Niklas

    2014-01-01

    It has been suggested that phenotypic plasticity is a major factor in the diversification of life, and that variation in host range in phytophagous insects is a good model for investigating this claim. We explore the use of angiosperm plants as hosts for nymphalid butterflies, and in particular the evidence for past oscillations in host range and how they are linked to host shifts and to diversification. At the level of orders of plants, a relatively simple pattern of host use and host shifts emerges, despite the 100 million years of history of the family Nymphalidae. We review the evidence that these host shifts and the accompanying diversifications were associated with transient polyphagous stages, as suggested by the “oscillation hypothesis.” In addition, we investigate all currently polyphagous nymphalid species and demonstrate that the state of polyphagy is rare, has a weak phylogenetic signal, and a very apical distribution in the phylogeny; we argue that these are signs of its transient nature. We contrast our results with data from the bark beetles Dendroctonus, in which a more specialized host use is instead the apical state. We conclude that plasticity in host use is likely to have contributed to diversification in nymphalid butterflies. PMID:24372598

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. Mechanisms of host seeking by parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gang, Spencer S; Hallem, Elissa A

    2016-07-01

    The phylum Nematoda comprises a diverse group of roundworms that includes parasites of vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Human-parasitic nematodes infect more than one billion people worldwide and cause some of the most common neglected tropical diseases, particularly in low-resource countries [1]. Parasitic nematodes of livestock and crops result in billions of dollars in losses each year [1]. Many nematode infections are treatable with low-cost anthelmintic drugs, but repeated infections are common in endemic areas and drug resistance is a growing concern with increasing therapeutic and agricultural administration [1]. Many parasitic nematodes have an environmental infective larval stage that engages in host seeking, a process whereby the infective larvae use sensory cues to search for hosts. Host seeking is a complex behavior that involves multiple sensory modalities, including olfaction, gustation, thermosensation, and humidity sensation. As the initial step of the parasite-host interaction, host seeking could be a powerful target for preventative intervention. However, host-seeking behavior remains poorly understood. Here we review what is currently known about the host-seeking behaviors of different parasitic nematodes, including insect-parasitic nematodes, mammalian-parasitic nematodes, and plant-parasitic nematodes. We also discuss the neural bases of these behaviors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. Distribution and habitat in Mexico of Dactylopius Costa (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) and their cacti hosts (Cactaceae: Opuntioideae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chávez-Moreno, C K; Tecante, A; Casas, A; Claps, L E

    2011-01-01

    The distribution pattern of species of the genus Dactylopius Costa in Mexico was analyzed in relation to the distribution of their host plants (subfamily Opuntioideae) to evaluate the specificity of the insect-host association. The distribution of Dactylopius currently recognized is narrower than that of its hosts and probably is not representative. Therefore, a broader distribution of the Dactylopius species in correspondence with those of their hosts was hypothesized. Insects and their hosts were collected and georeferenced in 14 states of Mexico from 2005 to 2007. The distribution areas, maps, and habitat characteristics of Dactylopius, Opuntia sensu stricto, Nopalea and Cylindropuntia were determined on the basis of field collections and examination of museum collections. This information was complemented with information from the exhaustive examination of microscope slides from a local insect collection, plants from local herbaria, and literature reviews. The current distribution of the genus Dactylopius and its hosts included 22 and 25 states of Mexico, respectively, and Dactylopius had a continuous distribution according to its hosts, broader than recognized hitherto. The new georeferenced records of the five Mexican Dactylopius species are reported. Insects with morphological characteristics of D. confusus combined with those of D. salmianus were identified, as well as insects with characteristics of D. opuntiae combined with those of D. salmianus. These records suggest that the number of local Dactylopius species could be higher than previously thought or that possible new processes of hybridization between native and introduced species may be occurring.

  16. Entomopathogenic Fungi: New Insights into Host-Pathogen Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butt, T M; Coates, C J; Dubovskiy, I M; Ratcliffe, N A

    2016-01-01

    Although many insects successfully live in dangerous environments exposed to diverse communities of microbes, they are often exploited and killed by specialist pathogens. Studies of host-pathogen interactions (HPI) provide valuable insights into the dynamics of the highly aggressive coevolutionary arms race between entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) and their arthropod hosts. The host defenses are designed to exclude the pathogen or mitigate the damage inflicted while the pathogen responds with immune evasion and utilization of host resources. EPF neutralize their immediate surroundings on the insect integument and benefit from the physiochemical properties of the cuticle and its compounds that exclude competing microbes. EPF also exhibit adaptations aimed at minimizing trauma that can be deleterious to both host and pathogen (eg, melanization of hemolymph), form narrow penetration pegs that alleviate host dehydration and produce blastospores that lack immunogenic sugars/enzymes but facilitate rapid assimilation of hemolymph nutrients. In response, insects deploy an extensive armory of hemocytes and macromolecules, such as lectins and phenoloxidase, that repel, immobilize, and kill EPF. New evidence suggests that immune bioactives work synergistically (eg, lysozyme with antimicrobial peptides) to combat infections. Some proteins, including transferrin and apolipophorin III, also demonstrate multifunctional properties, participating in metabolism, homeostasis, and pathogen recognition. This review discusses the molecular intricacies of these HPI, highlighting the interplay between immunity, stress management, and metabolism. Increased knowledge in this area could enhance the efficacy of EPF, ensuring their future in integrated pest management programs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. Specific Midgut Region Controlling the Symbiont Population in an Insect-Microbe Gut Symbiotic Association

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jiyeun Kate; Kim, Na Hyang; Jang, Ho Am; Kikuchi, Yoshitomo; Kim, Chan-Hee

    2013-01-01

    Many insects possess symbiotic bacteria that affect the biology of the host. The level of the symbiont population in the host is a pivotal factor that modulates the biological outcome of the symbiotic association. Hence, the symbiont population should be maintained at a proper level by the host's control mechanisms. Several mechanisms for controlling intracellular symbionts of insects have been reported, while mechanisms for controlling extracellular gut symbionts of insects are poorly understood. The bean bug Riptortus pedestris harbors a betaproteobacterial extracellular symbiont of the genus Burkholderia in the midgut symbiotic organ designated the M4 region. We found that the M4B region, which is directly connected to the M4 region, also harbors Burkholderia symbiont cells, but the symbionts therein are mostly dead. A series of experiments demonstrated that the M4B region exhibits antimicrobial activity, and the antimicrobial activity is specifically potent against the Burkholderia symbiont but not the cultured Burkholderia and other bacteria. The antimicrobial activity of the M4B region was detected in symbiotic host insects, reaching its highest point at the fifth instar, but not in aposymbiotic host insects, which suggests the possibility of symbiont-mediated induction of the antimicrobial activity. This antimicrobial activity was not associated with upregulation of antimicrobial peptides of the host. Based on these results, we propose that the M4B region is a specialized gut region of R. pedestris that plays a critical role in controlling the population of the Burkholderia gut symbiont. The molecular basis of the antimicrobial activity is of great interest and deserves future study. PMID:24038695

  6. Host Selection Behavior and the Fecundity of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) on Multiple Host Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Bin; Shi, Zhanghong; Hou, Youming

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Insect herbivores often have higher densities on host plants grown in monocultures than those in diverse environments. The underlying mechanisms are thought to be that polyphagous insects have difficulty in selecting food or oviposition sites when multiple host plants exist. However, this hypothesis needs to be extensively investigated. Our field experiments revealed that the population of the diamondback moths, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), significantly decreased in a mixed cropping field compared with a monoculture. To determine the reasons for the reduction in population in the mixed cropping field, the takeoff behavior and fecundity of females in no-choice and free-choice laboratory environments were compared by video recordings of host selection by P. xylostella . Adults displayed a significantly higher takeoff frequency in free-choice environments than those in no-choice treatments and preferred landing on Brassica campestris (L.) or Brassica juncea (Coss) plants in contrast with Brassica oleracea (L.). Female adults in the free-choice environment also laid fewer eggs compared with the monoculture. Olfaction experiments demonstrated orientation by P. xylostella to host volatiles when presented with a choice between plant odors and clean air, but females showed no preference when odors from three Brassicaceae species were presented simultaneously. We conclude that mixed cropping alters the host-finding behavior of P. xylostella resulting in reduced oviposition. PMID:25527573

  7. Morphology and physiology of the olfactory system of blood-feeding insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidobaldi, F; May-Concha, I J; Guerenstein, P G

    2014-01-01

    Several blood-feeding (hematophagous) insects are vectors of a number of diseases including dengue, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis which persistently affect public health throughout Latin America. The vectors of those diseases include mosquitoes, triatomine bugs and sandflies. As vector control is an efficient way to prevent these illnesses it is important to understand the sensory biology of those harmful insects. We study the physiology of the olfactory system of those insects and apply that knowledge on the development of methods to manipulate their behavior. Here we review some of the latest information on insect olfaction with emphasis on hematophagous insects. The insect olfactory sensory neurons are housed inside hair-like organs called sensilla which are mainly distributed on the antenna and mouthparts. The identity of many of the odor compounds that those neurons detect are already known in hematophagous insects. They include several constituents of host (vertebrate) odor, sex, aggregation and alarm pheromones, and compounds related to egg-deposition behavior. Recent work has contributed significant knowledge on how odor information is processed in the insect first odor-processing center in the brain, the antennal lobe. The quality, quantity, and temporal features of the odor stimuli are encoded by the neural networks of the antennal lobe. Information regarding odor mixtures is also encoded. While natural mixtures evoke strong responses, synthetic mixtures that deviate from their natural counterparts in terms of key constituents or proportions of those constituents evoke weaker responses. The processing of olfactory information is largely unexplored in hematophagous insects. However, many aspects of their olfactory behavior are known. As in other insects, responses to relevant single odor compounds are weak while natural mixtures evoke strong responses. Future challenges include studying how information about odor mixtures is processed in their brain

  8. 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

  9. Cockchafer larvae smell host root scents in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja Weissteiner

    Full Text Available In many insect species olfaction is a key sensory modality. However, examination of the chemical ecology of insects has focussed up to now on insects living above ground. Evidence for behavioral responses to chemical cues in the soil other than CO(2 is scarce and the role played by olfaction in the process of finding host roots below ground is not yet understood. The question of whether soil-dwelling beetle larvae can smell their host plant roots has been under debate, but proof is as yet lacking that olfactory perception of volatile compounds released by damaged host plants, as is known for insects living above ground, occurs. Here we show that soil-dwelling larvae of Melolontha hippocastani are well equipped for olfactory perception and respond electrophysiologically and behaviorally to volatiles released by damaged host-plant roots. An olfactory apparatus consisting of pore plates at the antennae and about 70 glomeruli as primary olfactory processing units indicates a highly developed olfactory system. Damage induced host plant volatiles released by oak roots such as eucalyptol and anisol are detected by larval antennae down to 5 ppbv in soil air and elicit directed movement of the larvae in natural soil towards the odor source. Our results demonstrate that plant-root volatiles are likely to be perceived by the larval olfactory system and to guide soil-dwelling white grubs through the dark below ground to their host plants. Thus, to find below-ground host plants cockchafer larvae employ mechanisms that are similar to those employed by the adult beetles flying above ground, despite strikingly different physicochemical conditions in the soil.

  10. Host habitat assessment by a parasitoid using fungal volatiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steidle Johannes LM

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The preference – performance hypothesis predicts that oviposition preference of insects should correlate with host suitability for offspring development. Therefore, insect females have to be able to assess not only the quality of a given host but also the environmental conditions of the respective host habitat. Chemical cues are a major source of information used by insects for this purpose. Primary infestation of stored grain by stored product pests often favors the intense growth of mold. This can lead to distinct sites of extreme environmental conditions (hot-spots with increased insect mortality. We studied the influence of mold on chemical orientation, host recognition, and fitness of Lariophagus distinguendus, a parasitoid of beetle larvae developing in stored grain. Results Volatiles of wheat infested by Aspergillus sydowii and A. versicolor repelled female parasitoids in an olfactometer. Foraging L. distinguendus females are known to be strongly attracted to the odor of larval host feces from the granary weevil Sitophilus granarius, which may adhere in remarkable amounts to the surface of the grains. Feces from moldy weevil cultures elicited neutral responses but parasitoids clearly avoided moldy feces when non-moldy feces were offered simultaneously. The common fungal volatile 1-octen-3-ol was the major component of the odor of larval feces from moldy weevil cultures and repelled female parasitoids at naturally occurring doses. In bioassays investigating host recognition behavior of L. distinguendus, females spent less time on grains containing hosts from moldy weevil cultures and showed less drumming and drilling behavior than on non-moldy controls. L. distinguendus had a clearly reduced fitness on hosts from moldy weevil cultures. Conclusion We conclude that L. distinguendus females use 1-octen-3-ol for host habitat assessment to avoid negative fitness consequences due to secondary mold infestation of host

  11. 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.

  12. Local host adaptation and use of a novel host in the seed beetle Megacerus eulophus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisela C Stotz

    Full Text Available Spatial variation in host plant availability may lead to specialization in host use and local host adaptation in herbivorous insects, which may involve a cost in performance on other hosts. We studied two geographically separated populations of the seed beetle Megacerus eulophus (Coleoptera: Bruchidae in central Chile: a population from the host Convolvulus chilensis (in Aucó and a population from C. bonariensis (in Algarrobo. In Aucó C. chilensis is the only host plant, while in Algarrobo both C. bonariensis and C. chilensis are available. We tested local adaptation to these native host plants and its influence on the use of another, exotic host plant. We hypothesized that local adaptation would be verified, particularly for the one-host population (Aucó, and that the Aucó population would be less able to use an alternative, high-quality host. We found evidence of local adaptation in the population from C. chilensis. Thus, when reared on C. chilensis, adults from the C. chilensis population were larger and lived longer than individuals from the C. bonariensis population, while bruchids from the two populations had the same body size and longevity when reared on C. bonariensis. Overall, bruchids from the C. chilensis population showed greater performance traits than those from the C. bonariensis population. There were no differences between the bruchid populations in their ability to use the alternative, exotic host Calystegia sepium, as shown by body size and longevity patterns. Results suggest that differences in local adaptation might be explained by differential host availability in the study populations.

  13. Bacterial cell motility of Burkholderia gut symbiont is required to colonize the insect gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jun Beom; Byeon, Jin Hee; Jang, Ho Am; Kim, Jiyeun Kate; Yoo, Jin Wook; Kikuchi, Yoshitomo; Lee, Bok Luel

    2015-09-14

    We generated a Burkholderia mutant, which is deficient of an N-acetylmuramyl-l-alanine amidase, AmiC, involved in peptidoglycan degradation. When non-motile ΔamiC mutant Burkholderia cells harboring chain form were orally administered to Riptortus insects, ΔamiC mutant cells were unable to establish symbiotic association. But, ΔamiC mutant complemented with amiC gene restored in vivo symbiotic association. ΔamiC mutant cultured in minimal medium restored their motility with single-celled morphology. When ΔamiC mutant cells harboring single-celled morphology were administered to the host insect, this mutant established normal symbiotic association, suggesting that bacterial motility is essential for the successful symbiosis between host insect and Burkholderia symbiont. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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,…

  4. Microbial ecology-based methods to characterize the bacterial communities of non-model insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosdocimi, Erica M; Mapelli, Francesca; Gonella, Elena; Borin, Sara; Crotti, Elena

    2015-12-01

    Among the animals of the Kingdom Animalia, insects are unparalleled for their widespread diffusion, diversity and number of occupied ecological niches. In recent years they have raised researcher interest not only because of their importance as human and agricultural pests, disease vectors and as useful breeding species (e.g. honeybee and silkworm), but also because of their suitability as animal models. It is now fully recognized that microorganisms form symbiotic relationships with insects, influencing their survival, fitness, development, mating habits and the immune system and other aspects of the biology and ecology of the insect host. Thus, any research aimed at deepening the knowledge of any given insect species (perhaps species of applied interest or species emerging as novel pests or vectors) must consider the characterization of the associated microbiome. The present review critically examines the microbiology and molecular ecology techniques that can be applied to the taxonomical and functional analysis of the microbiome of non-model insects. Our goal is to provide an overview of current approaches and methods addressing the ecology and functions of microorganisms and microbiomes associated with insects. Our focus is on operational details, aiming to provide a concise guide to currently available advanced techniques, in an effort to extend insect microbiome research beyond simple descriptions of microbial communities. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. An immunological axis of biocontrol: infections in field-trapped insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tunaz, Hasan; Stanley, David

    2009-09-01

    Insect immunology is an active research arena, however, the vast majority of research in the area is conducted on model species taken from laboratory cultures. We tested the hypothesis that insects are regularly exposed to infections or invasions in nature and here report results of a field study designed to assess the extent of natural infections in insects collected from agrarian fields surrounding Kahramanmaraş, Turkey. Specimens were dissected to assess numbers of nodules. Formation of darkened, melanotic nodules is the predominant cellular immune reaction to microbial and parasitic infection, and once formed, the nodules are permanently attached to internal surfaces. The collected insects were healthy. Of the >400 examined specimens, at least some nodules were found in 98%. Numbers of nodules ranged from ˜2/individual to >100 nodules/individual. We conclude that insects are regularly challenged by microbial and parasitic infections from which they recover. The novel implication of our data is that insect immune systems may limit the host range and effectiveness of agents deployed in biological control programs. Knowledge of insect immune systems may contribute to increased use of biopesticides globally.

  6. Structure, specificity, and evolution of insect guilds related to cones of conifers in Western Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alain Roques

    1991-01-01

    Patchy and ephemeral resources, such as the cones of conifers, can be very useful in the study of plant-insect relationships. Studies of such relationships in forest entomology are typically complicated by the spatial and temporal characteristics of the host plants, which occur over vast areas and have lifespans of decades or even centuries. The reproductive structures...

  7. Invasions by two non-native insects alter regional forest species composition and successional trajectories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall S. Morin; Andrew M. Liebhold

    2015-01-01

    While invasions of individual non-native phytophagous insect species are known to affect growth and mortality of host trees, little is known about how multiple invasions combine to alter forest dynamics over large regions. In this study we integrate geographical data describing historical invasion spread of the hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae...

  8. Symbioses: a key driver of insect physiological processes, ecological interactions, evolutionary diversification, and impacts on humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.D. Klepzig; A.S. Adams; J. Handelsman; K.F. Raffa

    2009-01-01

    Symbiosis is receiving increased attention among all aspects of biology because of the unifying themes it helps construct across ecological,evolutionary, developmental, semiochemical, and pest management theory. Insects show a vast array of symbiotic relationships with a wide diversity of microorganisms. These relationships may confer a variety of benefits to the host...

  9. A retrospective analysis of known and potential risks associated with exotic toadflax-feeding insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharlene E. Sing; Robert K. D. Peterson; David K. Weaver; Richard W. Hansen; George P. Markin

    2005-01-01

    To date, eight exotic toadflax-feeding insect species have been accidentally or intentionally introduced to North America. Reports on their establishment and impact have been recorded for more than 60 years. Environmental risks linked to biological control of toadflax were identified in terms of host resources and undesirable impacts on the target species through the...

  10. 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

  11. Diversity of galling insects in Styrax pohlii (Styracaceae): edge effect and use as bioindicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Araújol, Walter Santos; Julião, Genimar Rebouças; Ribeiro, Bárbara Araújo; Silva, Isadora Portes Abraham; dos Santos, Benedito Baptista

    2011-12-01

    Impacts of forest fragmentation and edge effect on plant-herbivores interactions are relatively unknown, and the relationships between galling insects and their host plants are very susceptible to environmental variations. The goal of our study was to test the edge effect hypothesis for galling insects associated with Styrax pohlii (Styracaceae) host plant. Samplings were conducted at a fragment of semi-deciduous forest in Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. Thirty host plant individuals (15 at fragment edge and 15 in its interior) were sampled in July of 2007; in each plant, 10 apical branches were collected at the top, middle and bottom crown levels. Our results supported the prediction of greater richness of gall morphotypes in the edge habitat compared with remnant interior. In a similar way, gall abundance and frequency of attacked leaves were also greater in the fragment edge. These findings consequently suggest a positive response of galling insect diversity to edge effect; in the Saint-Hilaire forest, this effect probably operates through the changes in microclimatic conditions of edge habitats, which results in an increased hygrothermal stress, a determinant factor to distribution patterns of galling insects. We also concluded that these organisms could be employed as biological indicators (i) because of their host-specificity, (ii) they are sensitive to changes in plant quality, and (iii) present dissimilar and specific responses to local variation in habitat conditions.

  12. 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

  13. Insect symbiosis: derivation of yeast-like endosymbionts within an entomopathogenic filamentous lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suh, S O; Noda, H; Blackwell, M

    2001-06-01

    Yeast-like endosymbionts (YLSs) of insects often are restricted to specific hosts and are essential to the host's survival. For example, in planthoppers (Homoptera: Delphacidae), endosymbionts function in sterol utilization and nitrogen recycling for the hosts. Our study, designed to investigate evolutionary changes in the YLS lineage involved in the planthopper association, strongly suggests an origin of the YLSs from within the filamentous ascomycetes (Euascomycetes), not the true yeasts (Saccharomycetes), as their morphology might indicate. During divergence of the planthopper YLSs, dramatic changes would have occurred in the insect-fungus interaction and the fungal morphology that have previously been undescribed in filamentous ascomycetes. Phylogenetic trees were based on individual and combined data sets of 2.6 kb of the nuclear small- and large-subunit ribosomal RNA genes for YLSs from three rice planthoppers (Laodelphax striatellus, Nilaparvata lugens, and Sogatella furcifera) compared with 56 other fungi. Parsimony analysis placed the planthopper YLSs within Cordyceps (Euascomycetes: Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae), a genus of filamentous insects and a few fungal pathogenic ascomycetes. Another YLS species restricted to the aphid Hamiltonaphis styraci (Homoptera: Aphididae) was a sister taxon to the planthopper YLSS: Filamentous insect pathogens (Metarhizium and Beauveria) specific to the same species of insect hosts as the YLSs also formed lineages within the Clavicipitaceae, but these were distinct from the clade comprising YLS species. Trees constrained to include the YLSs in families of the Hypocreales other than the Clavicipitaceae were rejected by the Kishino-Hasegawa test. In addition, the results of this study support a hypothesis of two independent origins of insect-associated YLSs from among filamentous ascomycetes: the planthopper YLSs in the Clavicipitaceae and the YLSs associated with anobiid beetles (Symbiotaphrina species). Several lineages of

  14. 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

  15. Host plant specialization in the generalist moth Heliothis virescens and the role of egg imprinting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karpinski, A.; Haenniger, S.; Schöfl, G.; Heckel, D.G.; Groot, A.T.

    2014-01-01

    Even though generalist insects are able to feed on many different host plants, local specialization may occur, which could lead to genetic differentiation. In this paper we assessed the level and extent of host plant specialization in the generalist herbivore Heliothis virescens Fabricius

  16. Volatile fragrances associated with flowers mediate the host plant alternation of a polyphagous mirid bug

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) (Hemiptera: Miridae) is an important insect pest of cotton, fruit trees and other crops in China, and exhibits a particularly broad host range. Adult A. lucorum greatly prefers host plants at the flowering stage, and their populations track flowering plants both spatiall...

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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. ...

  1. Wide Ranging Insect Infestation of the Pioneer Mangrove Sonneratia alba by Two Insect Species along the Kenyan Coast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisha Mrabu Jenoh

    Full Text Available Insect infestation of mangroves currently threatens mangrove forest health and management. In the Western Indian Ocean region, little is known about insect damage to mangroves despite the fact that numerous infestations have occurred. In Kenya, infestations of Sonneratia alba have persisted for almost two decades, yet the taxonomic identity of the infesting pest(s, the extent of infestation, the pests' biology, the impacts of infestation on host and the ecosystem, the host's defensive strategies to the infestation are poorly understood. S. alba is a ubiquitous, pioneer mangrove species of the Indo-Pacific, occurring along the waterfront in a variety of mangrove ecosystem settings. Our main objectives were to identify the pest(s responsible for the current dieback of S. alba in Kenya, and to determine the extent of infestation. To identify the pests responsible for infestation, we trapped emergent insects and reared larvae in the laboratory. To determine the overall extent of infestation within the S. alba zone, we assessed nine sites along the entire Kenyan coastline for the presence or absence of infested mangroves. Insect infestation in two mangrove embayments (Gazi and Mida was quantified in depth. Two wood-boring insects were identified: a metarbelid moth (Lepidoptera, Cossoidea of undescribed genus and the beetle Bottegia rubra (Cerambycidae, Lamiinae.The metarbelid moth infests mangroves in both northern (from Ngomeni to Kiunga and southern regions (from Vanga to Mtwapa of the Kenyan coast. B. rubra appeared in low density in Gazi, and in high density in Mida, Kilifi, and Ngomeni, with densities gradually decreasing northward. Insect infestation levels reached 18% in Gazi and 25% of S. alba stands in Mida. Our results indicate that B. rubra has the ability to infest young mangrove trees and expand its range, posing a danger to rehabilitation efforts where plantations have been established. Thus, there is great need for forest managers to

  2. A global phylogeny of leafmining Ectoedemia moths (Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae): host plant family shifts and allopatry as drivers of speciation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doorenweerd, C.; van Nieukerken, E.J.; Menken, S.B.J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Host association patterns in Ectoedemia (Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae) are also encountered in other insect groups with intimate plant relationships, including a high degree of monophagy, a preference for ecologically dominant plant families (e.g. Fagaceae, Rosaceae, Salicaceae, and

  3. A global phylogeny of leafmining Ectoedemia moths (Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae): exploring host plant family shifts and allopatry as drivers of speciation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doorenweerd, C.; Nieukerken, van E.J.; Menken, S.B.J.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Host association patterns in Ectoedemia (Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae) are also encountered in other insect groups with intimate plant relationships, including a high degree of monophagy, a preference for ecologically dominant plant families (e.g. Fagaceae, Rosaceae, Salicaceae, and

  4. 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.

  5. Experimental assemblage of novel plant-herbivore interactions: ecological host shifts after 40 million years of isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Robledo, Carlos; Horvitz, Carol C; Kress, W John; Carvajal-Acosta, A Nalleli; Erwin, Terry L; Staines, Charles L

    2017-11-01

    Geographic isolation is the first step in insect herbivore diet specialization. Such specialization is postulated to increase insect fitness, but may simultaneously reduce insect ability to colonize novel hosts. During the Paleocene-Eocene, plants from the order Zingiberales became isolated either in the Paleotropics or in the Neotropics. During the Cretaceous, rolled-leaf beetles diversified in the Neotropics concurrently with Neotropical Zingiberales. Using a community of Costa Rican rolled-leaf beetles and their Zingiberales host plants as study system, we explored if previous geographic isolation precludes insects to expand their diets to exotic hosts. We recorded interactions between rolled-leaf beetles and native Zingiberales by combining DNA barcodes and field records for 7450 beetles feeding on 3202 host plants. To determine phylogenetic patterns of diet expansions, we set 20 field plots including five exotic Zingiberales, recording beetles feeding on these exotic hosts. In the laboratory, using both native and exotic host plants, we reared a subset of insect species that had expanded their diets to the exotic plants. The original plant-herbivore community comprised 24 beetle species feeding on 35 native hosts, representing 103 plant-herbivore interactions. After exotic host plant introduction, 20% of the beetle species expanded their diets to exotic Zingiberales. Insects only established on exotic hosts that belong to the same plant family as their native hosts. Laboratory experiments show that beetles are able to complete development on these novel hosts. In conclusion, rolled-leaf beetles are pre-adapted to expand their diets to novel host plants even after millions of years of geographic isolation.

  6. Metabolic Coevolution in the Bacterial Symbiosis of Whiteflies and Related Plant Sap-Feeding Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luan, Jun-Bo; Chen, Wenbo; Hasegawa, Daniel K; Simmons, Alvin M; Wintermantel, William M; Ling, Kai-Shu; Fei, Zhangjun; Liu, Shu-Sheng; Douglas, Angela E

    2015-09-15

    Genomic decay is a common feature of intracellular bacteria that have entered into symbiosis with plant sap-feeding insects. This study of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci and two bacteria (Portiera aleyrodidarum and Hamiltonella defensa) cohoused in each host cell investigated whether the decay of Portiera metabolism genes is complemented by host and Hamiltonella genes, and compared the metabolic traits of the whitefly symbiosis with other sap-feeding insects (aphids, psyllids, and mealybugs). Parallel genomic and transcriptomic analysis revealed that the host genome contributes multiple metabolic reactions that complement or duplicate Portiera function, and that Hamiltonella may contribute multiple cofactors and one essential amino acid, lysine. Homologs of the Bemisia metabolism genes of insect origin have also been implicated in essential amino acid synthesis in other sap-feeding insect hosts, indicative of parallel coevolution of shared metabolic pathways across multiple symbioses. Further metabolism genes coded in the Bemisia genome are of bacterial origin, but phylogenetically distinct from Portiera, Hamiltonella and horizontally transferred genes identified in other sap-feeding insects. Overall, 75% of the metabolism genes of bacterial origin are functionally unique to one symbiosis, indicating that the evolutionary history of metabolic integration in these symbioses is strongly contingent on the pattern of horizontally acquired genes. Our analysis, further, shows that bacteria with genomic decay enable host acquisition of complex metabolic pathways by multiple independent horizontal gene transfers from exogenous bacteria. Specifically, each horizontally acquired gene can function with other genes in the pathway coded by the symbiont, while facilitating the decay of the symbiont gene coding the same reaction. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  7. Strong selection on mandible and nest features in a carpenter bee that nests in two sympatric host plants

    OpenAIRE

    Flores-Prado, Luis; Pinto, Carlos F; Rojas, Alejandra; Fontúrbel, Francisco E

    2014-01-01

    Host plants are used by herbivorous insects as feeding or nesting resources. In wood-boring insects, host plants features may impose selective forces leading to phenotypic differentiation on traits related to nest construction. Carpenter bees build their nests in dead stems or dry twigs of shrubs and trees; thus, mandibles are essential for the nesting process, and the nest is required for egg laying and offspring survival. We explored the shape and intensity of natural selection on phenotypi...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Variable effects of temperature on insect herbivory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan P. Lemoine

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Rising temperatures can influence the top-down control of plant biomass by increasing herbivore metabolic demands. Unfortunately, we know relatively little about the effects of temperature on herbivory rates for most insect herbivores in a given community. Evolutionary history, adaptation to local environments, and dietary factors may lead to variable thermal response curves across different species. Here we characterized the effect of temperature on herbivory rates for 21 herbivore-plant pairs, encompassing 14 herbivore and 12 plant species. We show that overall consumption rates increase with temperature between 20 and 30 °C but do not increase further with increasing temperature. However, there is substantial variation in thermal responses among individual herbivore-plant pairs at the highest temperatures. Over one third of the herbivore-plant pairs showed declining consumption rates at high temperatures, while an approximately equal number showed increasing consumption rates. Such variation existed even within herbivore species, as some species exhibited idiosyncratic thermal response curves on different host plants. Thus, rising temperatures, particularly with respect to climate change, may have highly variable effects on plant-herbivore interactions and, ultimately, top-down control of plant biomass.

  11. Insect pests of tea and their management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazarika, Lakshmi K; Bhuyan, Mantu; Hazarika, Budhindra N

    2009-01-01

    Globally, 1031 species of arthropods are associated with the intensively managed tea Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze monoculture. All parts of the plant, leaf, stem, root, flower, and seed, are fed upon by at least one pest species, resulting in an 11%-55% loss in yield if left unchecked. There has been heavy use of organosynthetic pesticides since the 1950s to defend the plant against these pests, leading to rapid conversion of innocuous species into pests, development of resistance, and undesirable pesticide residues in made tea. As a result of importer and consumer concerns, pesticide residues have become a major problem for the tea industry. Integrated pest management (IPM) may help to overcome the overuse of pesticides and subsequent residues. We review the advances made in our understanding of the biology and ecology of major insect and mite pests of tea, host plant resistance, cultural practices, biocontrol measures, and need-based application of botanicals and safer pesticides to understand the present status of IPM and to identify future challenges to improvement.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. Use of sterile male technique for insects to eradicate red palm weevil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Turaihi, E.H.

    2012-01-01

    The date palm plantations in the Middle East countries are infested by a devastating insect which is called red palm weevil originally from India and spread firstly into the Arab Gulf countries through imported palm trees. Red palm weevil is mainly controlled by using synthetic chemical pesticides and aggregative pheromone traps. Use of chemical pesticides has dramatically increased during recent years and posed many poisoning cases, pollution of environment, killed beneficial and non-target insects. The aim of this study is to highlight the application of Sterile Insect Technique to suppress or eradicate red palm weevil. The results revealed that the application of Sterile Insect Technique to control cotton boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) in USA could be considered as an ideal example to apply the Sterile Insect Technique against red palm weevil because both species have similarities such as : both are exotic pests; have protected larval and pupal stages; have limited hosts; have economic importance; have an aggregative pheromone that attracts males and females; that can be used for detection and survey; and finally both insects are Coleopterans belonging to the same family.

  19. Analysis of virus susceptibility in the invasive insect pest Drosophila suzukii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kwang-Zin; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2017-09-01

    The invasive insect pest Drosophila suzukii infests ripening fruits and causes massive agricultural damage in North America and Europe (Cini et al., 2012). Environmentally sustainable strategies are urgently needed to control the spread of this species, and entomopathogenic viruses offer one potential solution for global crop protection. Here we report the status of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence the susceptibility of D. suzukii to three model insect viruses: Drosophila C virus, Cricket paralysis virus and Flock house virus. Our work provides the basis for further studies using D. suzukii as a host system to develop viruses as biological control agents. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Host plant selection by a monophagous herbivore is not mediated by quantitative changes in unique plant chemistry : Agonopterix alstroemeriana and Conium maculatum

    OpenAIRE

    Castells, Eva

    2008-01-01

    Host plant selection by ovipositing females is a key process determining the success of phytophagous insects. In oligophagous lepidopterans, host-specific plant secondary chemicals are expected to be dominant factors governing oviposition behavior; distinctive compounds can serve as high-contrast signals that clearly differentiate confamilial hosts from non-hosts increasing the accuracy of host quality evaluation. Agonopterix alstroemeriana (Clerk) (Lepidoptera: Oecophoridae) and Conium macul...

  1. The bacterial community of entomophilic nematodes and host beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koneru, Sneha L; Salinas, Heilly; Flores, Gilberto E; Hong, Ray L

    2016-05-01

    Insects form the most species-rich lineage of Eukaryotes and each is a potential host for organisms from multiple phyla, including fungi, protozoa, mites, bacteria and nematodes. In particular, beetles are known to be associated with distinct bacterial communities and entomophilic nematodes. While entomopathogenic nematodes require symbiotic bacteria to kill and reproduce inside their insect hosts, the microbial ecology that facilitates other types of nematode-insect associations is largely unknown. To illuminate detailed patterns of the tritrophic beetle-nematode-bacteria relationship, we surveyed the nematode infestation profiles of scarab beetles in the greater Los Angeles area over a five-year period and found distinct nematode infestation patterns for certain beetle hosts. Over a single season, we characterized the bacterial communities of beetles and their associated nematodes using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. We found significant differences in bacterial community composition among the five prevalent beetle host species, independent of geographical origin. Anaerobes Synergistaceae and sulphate-reducing Desulfovibrionaceae were most abundant in Amblonoxia beetles, while Enterobacteriaceae and Lachnospiraceae were common in Cyclocephala beetles. Unlike entomopathogenic nematodes that carry bacterial symbionts, insect-associated nematodes do not alter the beetles' native bacterial communities, nor do their microbiomes differ according to nematode or beetle host species. The conservation of Diplogastrid nematodes associations with Melolonthinae beetles and sulphate-reducing bacteria suggests a possible link between beetle-bacterial communities and their associated nematodes. Our results establish a starting point towards understanding the dynamic interactions between soil macroinvertebrates and their microbiota in a highly accessible urban environment. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Phytoplasma protein effector SAP11 enhances insect vector reproduction by manipulating plant development and defense hormone biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Kingdom, Heather N; MacLean, Allyson M; Grieve, Victoria M; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2011-11-29

    Phytoplasmas are insect-transmitted phytopathogenic bacteria that can alter plant morphology and the longevity and reproduction rates and behavior of their insect vectors. There are various examples of animal and plant parasites that alter the host phenotype to attract insect vectors, but it is unclear how these parasites accomplish this. We hypothesized that phytoplasmas produce effectors that modulate specific targets in their hosts leading to the changes in plant development and insect performance. Previously, we sequenced and mined the genome of Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches' Broom (AY-WB) and identified 56 candidate effectors. Here, we report that the secreted AY-WB protein 11 (SAP11) effector modulates plant defense responses to the advantage of the AY-WB insect vector Macrosteles quadrilineatus. SAP11 binds and destabilizes Arabidopsis CINCINNATA (CIN)-related TEOSINTE BRANCHED1, CYCLOIDEA, PROLIFERATING CELL FACTORS 1 and 2 (TCP) transcription factors, which control plant development and promote the expression of lipoxygenase (LOX) genes involved in jasmonate (JA) synthesis. Both the Arabidopsis SAP11 lines and AY-WB-infected plants produce less JA on wounding. Furthermore, the AY-WB insect vector produces more offspring on AY-WB-infected plants, SAP11 transgenic lines, and plants impaired in CIN-TCP and JA synthesis. Thus, SAP11-mediated destabilization of CIN-TCPs leads to the down-regulation of LOX2 expression and JA synthesis and an increase in M. quadrilineatus progeny. Phytoplasmas are obligate inhabitants of their plant host and insect vectors, in which the latter transmits AY-WB to a diverse range of plant species. This finding demonstrates that pathogen effectors can reach beyond the pathogen-host interface to modulate a third organism in the biological interaction.

  5. Host-seeking behavior and dispersal of Triatoma infestans, a vector of Chagas disease, under semi-field conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Castillo-Neyra

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Chagas disease affects millions of people in Latin America. The control of this vector-borne disease focuses on halting transmission by reducing or eliminating insect vector populations. Most transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, involves insects living within or very close to households and feeding mostly on domestic animals. As animal hosts can be intermittently present it is important to understand how host availability can modify transmission risk to humans and to characterize the host-seeking dispersal of triatomine vectors on a very fine scale. We used a semi-field system with motion-detection cameras to characterize the dispersal of Triatoma infestans, and compare the behavior of vector populations in the constant presence of hosts (guinea pigs, and after the removal of the hosts. The emigration rate - net insect population decline in original refuge - following host removal was on average 19.7% of insects per 10 days compared to 10.2% in constant host populations (p = 0.029. However, dispersal of T. infestans occurred in both directions, towards and away from the initial location of the hosts. The majority of insects that moved towards the original location of guinea pigs remained there for 4 weeks. Oviposition and mortality were observed and analyzed in the context of insect dispersal, but only mortality was higher in the group where animal hosts were removed (p-value <0.01. We discuss different survival strategies associated with the observed behavior and its implications for vector control. Removing domestic animals in infested areas increases vector dispersal from the first day of host removal. The implications of these patterns of vector dispersal in a field setting are not yet known but could result in movement towards human rooms.

  6. Infection of Drosophila suzukii with the obligate insect-pathogenic fungus Entomophthora muscae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Becher, Paul G.; Jensen, Rasmus E.; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E.

    2018-01-01

    Physiological constraints restrict specialist pathogens from infecting new hosts. From an applied perspective, a narrow host range makes specialist pathogens interesting for targeting specific pest insects since they have minimal direct effects on non-target species. Entomopathogenic fungi of the...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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), ...

  11. Fatty Acid Composition of Novel Host Jack Pine Do Not Prevent Host Acceptance and Colonization by the Invasive Mountain Pine Beetle and Its Symbiotic Fungus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishangulyyeva, Guncha; Najar, Ahmed; Curtis, Jonathan M.

    2016-01-01

    Fatty acids are major components of plant lipids and can affect growth and development of insect herbivores. Despite a large literature examining the roles of fatty acids in conifers, relatively few studies have tested the effects of fatty acids on insect herbivores and their microbial symbionts. Particularly, whether fatty acids can affect the suitability of conifers for insect herbivores has never been studied before. Thus, we evaluated if composition of fatty acids impede or facilitate colonization of jack pine (Pinus banksiana) by the invasive mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) and its symbiotic fungus (Grosmannia clavigera). This is the first study to examine the effects of tree fatty acids on any bark beetle species and its symbiotic fungus. In a novel bioassay, we found that plant tissues (hosts and non-host) amended with synthetic fatty acids at concentrations representative of jack pine were compatible with beetle larvae. Likewise, G. clavigera grew in media amended with lipid fractions or synthetic fatty acids at concentrations present in jack pine. In contrast, fatty acids and lipid composition of a non-host were not suitable for the beetle larvae or the fungus. Apparently, concentrations of individual, rather than total, fatty acids determined the suitability of jack pine. Furthermore, sampling of host and non-host tree species across Canada demonstrated that the composition of jack pine fatty acids was similar to the different populations of beetle’s historical hosts. These results demonstrate that fatty acids composition compatible with insect herbivores and their microbial symbionts can be important factor defining host suitability to invasive insects. PMID:27583820

  12. 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)

  13. Adaptation to toxic hosts as a factor in the evolution of insecticide resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alyokhin, Andrei; Chen, Yolanda H

    2017-06-01

    Insecticide resistance is a serious economic problem that jeopardizes sustainability of chemical control of herbivorous insects and related arthropods. It can be viewed as a specific case of adaptation to toxic chemicals, which has been driven in large part, but not exclusively, by the necessity for insect pests to tolerate defensive compounds produced by their host plants. Synthetic insecticides may simply change expression of specific sets of detoxification genes that have evolved due to ancestral associations with host plants. Feeding on host plants with more abundant or novel secondary metabolites has even been shown to prime insect herbivores to tolerate pesticides. Clear understanding of basic evolutionary processes is important for achieving lasting success in managing herbivorous arthropods. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 60

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    deal with invasions of exotic Lepidoptera is the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Pyralidae). Once the best example of successful classical biological control of weeds, solving a major cactus problem in Australia, it invaded Florida in 1989 and has been spreading along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. There is grave concern that this pest will eventually reach the cactus-rich Western U.S.A., Mexico, and Central America, threatening the biodiversity of the Opuntia-based native ecosystems and adversely impacting the important food and fodder Opuntia industry. Currently, the pheromone is being developed as a monitoring tool, mass rearing methods are being refined in South Africa and the radiation biology of the cactus moth is being studied to determine the optimum dose of radiation. An SIT programme is being considered to prevent further geographical expansion of this moth, but the use F1 sterility is also being assessed as a tool to determine the eventual host and geographical range and to study the rate of spread of this invading insect. To raise awareness of this major environmental threat and the potential of SIT to address alien species, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division recently hosted a planning and coordination meeting, that included representatives of some environmental organizations, to assess the role SIT/F1 Sterility can play in addressing the cactus moth invasion as a model of invasive pests affecting not only agriculture, but that are also of environmental concern (see report of a cactus moth Consultants Meeting on page 28). We foresee an increased role in developing SIT for potential alien invasive species to help FAO and IAEA Member States deal with incipient outbreaks of such pest species

  17. Insect and pest control newsletter. No. 60

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2003-01-01

    deal with invasions of exotic Lepidoptera is the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Pyralidae). Once the best example of successful classical biological control of weeds, solving a major cactus problem in Australia, it invaded Florida in 1989 and has been spreading along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. There is grave concern that this pest will eventually reach the cactus-rich Western U.S.A., Mexico, and Central America, threatening the biodiversity of the Opuntia-based native ecosystems and adversely impacting the important food and fodder Opuntia industry. Currently, the pheromone is being developed as a monitoring tool, mass rearing methods are being refined in South Africa and the radiation biology of the cactus moth is being studied to determine the optimum dose of radiation. An SIT programme is being considered to prevent further geographical expansion of this moth, but the use F1 sterility is also being assessed as a tool to determine the eventual host and geographical range and to study the rate of spread of this invading insect. To raise awareness of this major environmental threat and the potential of SIT to address alien species, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division recently hosted a planning and coordination meeting, that included representatives of some environmental organizations, to assess the role SIT/F1 Sterility can play in addressing the cactus moth invasion as a model of invasive pests affecting not only agriculture, but that are also of environmental concern (see report of a cactus moth Consultants Meeting on page 28). We foresee an increased role in developing SIT for potential alien invasive species to help FAO and IAEA Member States deal with incipient outbreaks of such pest species.

  18. Comunidades de insetos galhadores (Insecta em diferentes fisionomias do cerrado em Minas Gerais, Brasil Galling insect (Insecta communities in different "cerrado" physiognomies in Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silmary J. Gonçalves-Alvim

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available Studies on the communities of galling insects and their host plants were performed in three "cerrado" physiognomies that occur in Minas Gerais: "campo sujo", "cerrado" sensu strictu, and "cerradão". Galls and host plants were collected along transects in a total of 3,000 herbs, 300 shrubs and 135 trees in each physiognomy. Ninety two species of galling insects (morphotypes on 62 host plant species of 28 families were found. The highest galling insect richness was observed in the "cerrado". Approximately 75.0% of galling insects belonged to the Cecidomyiidae (Diptera. The highest gall frequency was found on leaves (58.70% of the host plants, and was glabrous (83.70%. Most gall shape were elliptic (30.43%. A low similarity in galling insect species was observed among the three sampled physiognomies - the highest similarity index was observed between "cerrado" and "campo sujo" (SΦrensen index = 0.20, indicating that the presence of rare species of galling insects might be common in these environments.

  19. Toward a better understanding of the mechanisms of symbiosis: a comprehensive proteome map of a nascent insect symbiont.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renoz, François; Champagne, Antoine; Degand, Hervé; Faber, Anne-Marie; Morsomme, Pierre; Foray, Vincent; Hance, Thierry

    2017-01-01

    Symbiotic bacteria are common in insects and can affect various aspects of their hosts' biology. Although the effects of insect symbionts have been clarified for various insect symbiosis models, due to the difficulty of cultivating them in vitro , there is still limited knowledge available on the molecular features that drive symbiosis. Serratia symbiotica is one of the most common symbionts found in aphids. The recent findings of free-living strains that are considered as nascent partners of aphids provide the opportunity to examine the molecular mechanisms that a symbiont can deploy at the early stages of the symbiosis (i.e., symbiotic factors). In this work, a proteomic approach was used to establish a comprehensive proteome map of the free-living S. symbiotica strain CWBI-2.3 T . Most of the 720 proteins identified are related to housekeeping or primary metabolism. Of these, 76 were identified as candidate proteins possibly promoting host colonization. Our results provide strong evidence that S. symbiotica CWBI-2.3 T is well-armed for invading insect host tissues, and suggest that certain molecular features usually harbored by pathogenic bacteria are no longer present. This comprehensive proteome map provides a series of candidate genes for further studies to understand the molecular cross-talk between insects and symbiotic bacteria.

  20. Walking response of the Mediterranean pine engraver, Orthotomicus erosus, to novel plant odors host in a laboratory olfactometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. J. Walter; R. C. Venette; S. A. Kells; S. J. Seybold

    2010-01-01

    When an herbivorous insect enters a new geographic area, it will select host plants based on short and long distance cues. A conifer-feeding bark beetle that has been recently introduced to North America, the Mediterranean pine engraver, Orthotomicus erosus (Wollaston), has a potentially wide host range, especially among members of the Pinaceae....

  1. Expression of Early Immune-Response Genes in Lepidopteran Host are Suppressed by Venom From an Endoparasitoid, Pteromalus puparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    The relationships between parasitoids and their insect hosts have attracted attention at two levels. First, the basic biology of host-parasitoid interactions is of fundamental interest. Second, parasitoids have tremendous potential as biological control agents in sustainable agriculture programs. Pt...

  2. Host and food searching in a parasitic wasp Venturia canescens: a trade-off between current and future reproduction?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Desouhant, E.; Driessen, G.J.J.; Amat, I.; Bernstein, C.

    2005-01-01

    Whether to invest in current or future reproduction is an important trade-off in life history evolution. For insect parasitoids, this trade-off is determined, among other factors, by the decision whether to search for hosts (immediate gain of fitness) or food (delayed fitness gains). Although host

  3. The genetic architecture of a complex ecological trait: host plant use in the specialist moth, HELIOTHIS SUBFLEXA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The study of the genetic basis of ecological adaptation remains in its infancy, and most studies have focused on phenotypically simple traits. Host plant use by herbivorous insects is phenotypically complex. While research has illuminated the evolutionary determinants of host use, knowledge of its...

  4. Insect herbivores associated with Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae: responses of gall-forming and free-feeding insects to latitudinal variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcílio Fagundes

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The spatial heterogeneity hypothesis has been invoked to explain the increase in species diversity from the poles to the tropics: the tropics may be more diverse because they contain more habitats and microhabitats. In this paper, the spatial heterogeneity hypothesis prediction was tested by evaluating the variation in richness of two guilds of insect herbivores (gall-formers and free-feeders associated with Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae along a latitudinal variation in Brazil. The seventeen populations of B. dracunculifolia selected for insect herbivores sampling were within structurally similar habitats, along the N-S distributional limit of the host plant, near the Brazilian sea coast. Thirty shrubs were surveyed in each host plant population. A total of 8 201 galls and 864 free-feeding insect herbivores belonging to 28 families and 88 species were sampled. The majority of the insects found on B. dracunculifolia were restricted to a specific site rather than having ageographic distribution mirroring that of the host plant. Species richness of free-feeding insects was not affected by latitudinal variation corroborating the spatial heterogeneity hypothesis. Species richness of gall-forming insects was positively correlated with latitude, probably because galling insect associated with Baccharris genus radiated in Southern Brazil. Other diversity indices and evenness estimated for both gall-forming and free feeding insect herbivores, did not change with latitude, suggesting a general structure for different assemblages of herbivores associated with the host plant B. dracunculifolia. Thus it is probable that, insect fauna sample in each site resulted of large scale events, as speciation, migration and coevolution, while at local level, the population of these insects is regulated by ecological forces which operate in the system. Rev. Biol. Trop. 59 (3: 1419-1432. Epub 2011 September 01.La hipótesis de heterogeneidad espacial se ha

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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);…

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. Midgut microbiota and host immunocompetence underlie Bacillus thuringiensis killing mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caccia, Silvia; Di Lelio, Ilaria; La Storia, Antonietta; Marinelli, Adriana; Varricchio, Paola; Franzetti, Eleonora; Banyuls, Núria; Tettamanti, Gianluca; Casartelli, Morena; Giordana, Barbara; Ferré, Juan; Gigliotti, Silvia; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is a widely used bacterial entomopathogen producing insecticidal toxins, some of which are expressed in insect-resistant transgenic crops. Surprisingly, the killing mechanism of B. thuringiensis remains controversial. In particular, the importance of the septicemia induced by the host midgut microbiota is still debated as a result of the lack of experimental evidence obtained without drastic manipulation of the midgut and its content. Here this key issue is addressed by RNAi-mediated silencing of an immune gene in a lepidopteran host Spodoptera littoralis, leaving the midgut microbiota unaltered. The resulting cellular immunosuppression was characterized by a reduced nodulation response, which was associated with a significant enhancement of host larvae mortality triggered by B. thuringiensis and a Cry toxin. This was determined by an uncontrolled proliferation of midgut bacteria, after entering the body cavity through toxin-induced epithelial lesions. Consequently, the hemolymphatic microbiota dramatically changed upon treatment with Cry1Ca toxin, showing a remarkable predominance of Serratia and Clostridium species, which switched from asymptomatic gut symbionts to hemocoelic pathogens. These experimental results demonstrate the important contribution of host enteric flora in B. thuringiensis-killing activity and provide a sound foundation for developing new insect control strategies aimed at enhancing the impact of biocontrol agents by reducing the immunocompetence of the host. PMID:27506800

  7. 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...

  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. Natural invertebrate hosts of iridoviruses (Iridoviridae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, Trevor [Instituto de Ecologia A.C., Veracruz (Mexico)]. E-mail: trevor.williams@inecol.edu.mx

    2008-11-15

    Invertebrate iridescent viruses (IIVs) are icosahedral DNA viruses that infect invertebrates, mainly insects and terrestrial isopods, in damp and aquatic habitats. Exhaustive searches of databases resulted in the identification of 79 articles reporting 108 invertebrate species naturally infected by confirmed or putative iridoviruses. Of these, 103 (95%) were arthropods and the remainder were molluscs, an annelid worm and a nematode. Nine species were from marine habitats. Of the 99 non-marine species, 49 were from terrestrial habitats and 50 were aquatic, especially the aquatic stages of Diptera (44 species). The abundance of records from species of Aedes, Ochlerotatus and Psorophora contrasts markedly with a paucity of records from species of Anopheles, Culex and Culiseta. Records from terrestrial isopods are numerous (19 species), although the diversity of IIVs that infect them is mostly unstudied. IIV infections have been reported from every continent, except Antarctica, but there are few records from Africa, southern Asia and Latin America. Most reports describe patent IIV infections as rare whereas inapparent (covert) infection may be common in certain species. The relationship between particle size and iridescent colour of the host is found to be consistent with optical theory in the great majority of cases. Only 24 reported IIVs from insect hosts have partial characterization data and only two have been subjected to complete genome sequencing. I show that the rate of publication on IIVs has slowed from 1990 to the present, and I draw a number of conclusions and suggestions from the host list and make recommendations for future research efforts. (author)

  11. Natural invertebrate hosts of iridoviruses (Iridoviridae)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, Trevor

    2008-01-01

    Invertebrate iridescent viruses (IIVs) are icosahedral DNA viruses that infect invertebrates, mainly insects and terrestrial isopods, in damp and aquatic habitats. Exhaustive searches of databases resulted in the identification of 79 articles reporting 108 invertebrate species naturally infected by confirmed or putative iridoviruses. Of these, 103 (95%) were arthropods and the remainder were molluscs, an annelid worm and a nematode. Nine species were from marine habitats. Of the 99 non-marine species, 49 were from terrestrial habitats and 50 were aquatic, especially the aquatic stages of Diptera (44 species). The abundance of records from species of Aedes, Ochlerotatus and Psorophora contrasts markedly with a paucity of records from species of Anopheles, Culex and Culiseta. Records from terrestrial isopods are numerous (19 species), although the diversity of IIVs that infect them is mostly unstudied. IIV infections have been reported from every continent, except Antarctica, but there are few records from Africa, southern Asia and Latin America. Most reports describe patent IIV infections as rare whereas inapparent (covert) infection may be common in certain species. The relationship between particle size and iridescent colour of the host is found to be consistent with optical theory in the great majority of cases. Only 24 reported IIVs from insect hosts have partial characterization data and only two have been subjected to complete genome sequencing. I show that the rate of publication on IIVs has slowed from 1990 to the present, and I draw a number of conclusions and suggestions from the host list and make recommendations for future research efforts. (author)

  12. Prokaryotes versus Eukaryotes: Who is hosting whom?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo eTellez

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms represent the largest component of biodiversity in our world. For millions of years, prokaryotic microorganisms have functioned as a major selective force shaping eukaryotic evolution. Microbes that live inside and on animals outnumber the animals’ actual somatic and germ cells by an estimated 10-fold. Collectively, the intestinal microbiome represents a ‘forgotten organ’, functioning as an organ inside another that can execute many physiological responsibilities. The nature of primitive eukaryotes was drastically changed due to the association with symbiotic prokaryotes facilitating mutual coevolution of host and microbe. Phytophagous insects have long been used to test theories of evolutionary diversification; moreover, the diversification of a number of phytophagous insect lineages has been linked to mutualisms with microbes. From termites and honey bees to ruminants and mammals, depending on novel biochemistries provided by the prokaryotic microbiome, the association helps to metabolize several nutrients that the host cannot digest and converting these into useful end products (such as short chain fatty acids, a process which has huge impact on the biology and homeostasis of metazoans. More importantly, in a direct and/or indirect way, the intestinal microbiota influences the assembly of gut-associated lymphoid tissue, helps to educate immune system, affects the integrity of the intestinal mucosal barrier, modulates proliferation and differentiation of its epithelial lineages, regulates angiogenesis, and modifies the activity of enteric as well as the central nervous system,. Despite these important effects, the mechanisms by which the gut microbial community influences the host’s biology remains almost entirely unknown. Our aim here is to encourage empirical inquiry into the relationship between mutualism and evolutionary diversification between prokaryotes and eukaryotes which encourage us to postulate: Who is

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Biological observations for invasive and exotic insect species Anoplophora chinensis (Forster, 1771

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erdem Hizal

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, invasive and exotic insect species have been frequently found in Turkey. Anoplophora chinensis (Forster, 1771 was first recorded in Şile (Istanbul province county, Turkey, in June 2014 and later in Zeytinburnu (the garden of the Abdi Ipekçi Sports Complex and the surrounding in July in the same year. This study was conducted in these two counties in particular between June 2014 and July 2016 with the aims of making remarks on an earlier misidentification of Anoplophora species and determining the life cycle and the host plants in Istanbul, Turkey. It was noted that the record of A. glabripennis in Istanbul was a misidentification of A. chinensis. It took 1 year to complete its generation. The primary host plant of this insect was found to be Acer negundo.

  16. Modification of plant-induced responses by an insect ecosystem engineer influences the colonization behaviour of subsequent shelter-users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uesugi, Akane; Morrell, Kimberly; Poelman, Erik H.; Raaijmakers, Ciska E.; Kessler, André

    2016-01-01

    * Herbivores that modify plant morphology, such as gall-forming insects, can disproportionately impact arthropod community on their host plants by providing novel habitats and shelters from biotic and abiotic stresses. These ecosystem engineers could also modify plant chemical properties, but how

  17. Host-associated genetic differentiation in the goldenrod elliptical-gall moth, Gnorimoschema gallaesolidaginis (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nason, John D; Heard, Stephen B; Williams, Frederick R

    2002-07-01

    Careful study of apparently generalist phytophagous insects often reveals that they instead represent complexes of genetically differentiated host races or cryptic species. The goldenrod elliptical-gall moth, Gnorimoschema gallaesolidaginis, attacks two goldenrods in the Solidago canadensis complex: S. altissima and S. gigantea (Asteraceae). We tested for host-associated genetic differentiation in G. gallaesolidaginis via analysis of variation at 12 allozyme loci among larvae collected at six sites in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Gnorimoschema gallaesolidaginis from each host are highly polymorphic (3.6-4.7 alleles/locus and expected heterozygosity 0.28-0.38 within site-host combinations). Although there were no fixed differences between larvae from S. altissima and S. gigantea at any site, these represent well differentiated host forms, with 11 of 12 loci showing significantly different allele frequencies between host-associated collections at one or more sites. Host plant has a larger effect on genetic structure among populations than does location (Wright's FST = 0.16 between host forms vs. F(ST) = 0.061 and 0.026 among altissima and gigantea populations, respectively). The estimated F(ST) between host forms suggests that the historical effective rate of gene flow has been low (N(e)m approximately 1.3). Consistent with this historical estimate is the absence of detectable recombinant (hybrid and introgressant between host form) individuals in contemporary populations (none of 431 genotyped individuals). Upper 95% confidence limits for the frequency of recombinant individuals range from 5% to 9%. Host association is tight, but imperfect, with only one likely example of a host mismatch (a larva galling the wrong host species). Our inferences about hybridization and host association are based on new maximum-likelihood methods for estimating frequencies of genealogical classes (in this case, two parental classes, F1 and F2 hybrids, and backcrosses) in a population

  18. Understanding Wolbachia acquisition and co-divergence of hosts and their associated bacteria: Wolbachia infection in the Chorthippus parallelus hybrid zone

    OpenAIRE

    Paloma, Martinez-Rodriguez; Luis, Bella; Francisca, Arroyo-Yebras

    2016-01-01

    Wolbachia is one of the best known bacterial endosymbionts affecting insects and nematodes. It is estimated that it infects 40% of insect species, so epidemiologically it may be considered a pandemic species. However, the mechanisms by which it is acquired from other species (horizontal transmission) or by which it coevolves with its hosts as a result of vertical transmission across generations are not known in detail. In fact, there are few systems in which the codivergence between host and ...

  19. Comparative genomic analysis of the microbiome [corrected] of herbivorous insects reveals eco-environmental adaptations: biotechnology applications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weibing Shi

    Full Text Available Metagenome analysis of the gut symbionts of three different insects was conducted as a means of comparing taxonomic and metabolic diversity of gut microbiomes to diet and life history of the insect hosts. A second goal was the discovery of novel biocatalysts for biorefinery applications. Grasshopper and cutworm gut symbionts were sequenced and compared with the previously identified metagenome of termite gut microbiota. These insect hosts represent three different insect orders and specialize on different food types. The comparative analysis revealed dramatic differences among the three insect species in the abundance and taxonomic composition of the symbiont populations present in the gut. The composition and abundance of symbionts was correlated with their previously identified capacity to degrade and utilize the different types of food consumed by their hosts. The metabolic reconstruction revealed that the gut metabolome of cutworms and grasshoppers was more enriched for genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and transport than wood-feeding termite, whereas the termite gut metabolome was enriched for glycosyl hydrolase (GH enzymes relevant to lignocellulosic biomass degradation. Moreover, termite gut metabolome was more enriched with nitrogen fixation genes than those of grasshopper and cutworm gut, presumably due to the termite's adaptation to the high fiber and less nutritious food types. In order to evaluate and exploit the insect symbionts for biotechnology applications, we cloned and further characterized four biomass-degrading enzymes including one endoglucanase and one xylanase from both the grasshopper and cutworm gut symbionts. The results indicated that the grasshopper symbiont enzymes were generally more efficient in biomass degradation than the homologous enzymes from cutworm symbionts. Together, these results demonstrated a correlation between the composition and putative metabolic functionality of the gut microbiome and host

  20. The orange spotted cockroach (Blaptica dubia, Serville 1839) is a permissive experimental host for Francisella tularensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eklund, Bridget E.; Mahdi, Osama; Huntley, Jason F.; Collins, Elliot; Martin, Caleb; Horzempa, Joseph; Fisher, Nathan A.

    2018-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a zoonotic bacterial pathogen that causes severe disease in a wide range of host animals, including humans. Well-developed murine models of F. tularensis pathogenesis are available, but they do not meet the needs of all investigators. However, researchers are increasingly turning to insect host systems as a cost-effective alternative that allows greater increased experimental throughput without the regulatory requirements associated with the use of mammals in biomedical research. Unfortunately, the utility of previously-described insect hosts is limited because of temperature restriction, short lifespans, and concerns about the immunological status of insects mass-produced for other purposes. Here, we present a novel host species, the orange spotted (OS) cockroach (Blaptica dubia), that overcomes these limitations and is readily infected by F. tularensis. Intrahemocoel inoculation was accomplished using standard laboratory equipment and lethality was directly proportional to the number of bacteria injected. Progression of infection differed in insects housed at low and high temperatures and F. tularensis mutants lacking key virulence components were attenuated in OS cockroaches. Finally, antibiotics were delivered to infected OS cockroaches by systemic injection and controlled feeding; in the latter case, protection correlated with oral bioavailability in mammals. Collectively, these results demonstrate that this new host system provides investigators with a new tool capable of interrogating F. tularensis virulence and immune evasion in situations where mammalian models are not available or appropriate, such as undirected screens of large mutant libraries. PMID:29578544

  1. Regulatory cascade and biological activity of Beauveria bassiana oosporein that limits bacterial growth after host death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yanhua; Liu, Xi; Keyhani, Nemat O; Tang, Guirong; Pei, Yan; Zhang, Wenwen; Tong, Sheng

    2017-02-28

    The regulatory network and biological functions of the fungal secondary metabolite oosporein have remained obscure. Beauveria bassiana has evolved the ability to parasitize insects and outcompete microbial challengers for assimilation of host nutrients. A novel zinc finger transcription factor, BbSmr1 ( B. bassiana secondary metabolite regulator 1), was identified in a screen for oosporein overproduction. Deletion of Bbsmr1 resulted in up-regulation of the oosporein biosynthetic gene cluster ( OpS genes) and constitutive oosporein production. Oosporein production was abolished in double mutants of Bbsmr1 and a second transcription factor, OpS3 , within the oosporein gene cluster ( ΔBbsmr1ΔOpS3 ), indicating that BbSmr1 acts as a negative regulator of OpS3 expression. Real-time quantitative PCR and a GFP promoter fusion construct of OpS1 , the oosporein polyketide synthase, indicated that OpS1 is expressed mainly in insect cadavers at 24-48 h after death. Bacterial colony analysis in B. bassiana -infected insect hosts revealed increasing counts until host death, with a dramatic decrease (∼90%) after death that correlated with oosporein production. In vitro studies verified the inhibitory activity of oosporein against bacteria derived from insect cadavers. These results suggest that oosporein acts as an antimicrobial compound to limit microbial competition on B. bassiana -killed hosts, allowing the fungus to maximally use host nutrients to grow and sporulate on infected cadavers.

  2. Metabolomics reveals the heterogeneous secretome of two entomopathogenic fungi to ex vivo cultured insect tissues.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charissa de Bekker

    Full Text Available Fungal entomopathogens rely on cellular heterogeneity during the different stages of insect host infection. Their pathogenicity is exhibited through the secretion of secondary metabolites, which implies that the infection life history of this group of environmentally important fungi can be revealed using metabolomics. Here metabolomic analysis in combination with ex vivo insect tissue culturing shows that two generalist isolates of the genus Metarhizium and Beauveria, commonly used as biological pesticides, employ significantly different arrays of secondary metabolites during infectious and saprophytic growth. It also reveals that both fungi exhibit tissue specific strategies by a distinguishable metabolite secretion on the insect tissues tested in this study. In addition to showing the important heterogeneous nature of these two entomopathogens, this study also resulted in the discovery of several novel destruxins and beauverolides that have not been described before, most likely because previous surveys did not use insect tissues as a culturing system. While Beauveria secreted these cyclic depsipeptides when encountering live insect tissues, Metarhizium employed them primarily on dead tissue. This implies that, while these fungi employ comparable strategies when it comes to entomopathogenesis, there are most certainly significant differences at the molecular level that deserve to be studied.

  3. Ecological disequilibrium drives insect pest and pathogen accumulation in non-native trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crous, Casparus J; Burgess, Treena I; Le Roux, Johannes J; Richardson, David M; Slippers, Bernard; Wingfield, Michael J

    2016-12-23

    Non-native trees have become dominant components of many landscapes, including urban ecosystems, commercial forestry plantations, fruit orchards, and as invasives in natural ecosystems. Often, these trees have been separated from their natural enemies (i.e. insects and pathogens) leading to ecological disequilibrium, that is, the immediate breakdown of historically co-evolved interactions once introduced into novel environments. Long-established, non-native tree plantations provide useful experiments to explore the dimensions of such ecological disequilibria. We quantify the status quo of non-native insect pests and pathogens catching up with their tree hosts (planted Acacia, Eucalyptus and Pinus species) in South Africa, and examine which native South African enemy species utilise these trees as hosts. Interestingly, pines, with no confamilial relatives in South Africa and the longest residence time (almost two centuries), have acquired only one highly polyphagous native pathogen. This is in contrast to acacias and eucalypts, both with many native and confamilial relatives in South Africa that have acquired more native pathogens. These patterns support the known role of phylogenetic relatedness of non-native and native floras in influencing the likelihood of pathogen shifts between them. This relationship, however, does not seem to hold for native insects. Native insects appear far more likely to expand their feeding habits onto non-native tree hosts than are native pathogens, although they are generally less damaging. The ecological disequilibrium conditions of non-native trees are deeply rooted in the eco-evolutionary experience of the host plant, co-evolved natural enemies, and native organisms from the introduced range. We should expect considerable spatial and temporal variation in ecological disequilibrium conditions among non-native taxa, which can be significantly influenced by biosecurity and management practices. Published by Oxford University Press on

  4. Mating promotes lactic-acid gut bacteria in a gift-giving insect

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Chad; Mueller, Ulrich; Dietrich, Emma; Smith, C.; Srygley, R.; Dietrich, E.; Mueller, U.; Srygley, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Mating is a ubiquitous social interaction with the potential to influence the microbiome by facilitating transmission, modifying host physiology, and in species where males donate nuptial gifts to females, altering diet. We manipulated mating and nuptial gift consumption in two insects that differ in nuptial gift size, the Mormon cricket Anabrus simplex and the decorated cricket Gryllodes sigillatus, with the expectation that larger gifts are more likely to affect the gut microbiome. Surprisi...

  5. Influence of Temperature on the Physiology and Virulence of the Insect Pathogen Serratia sp. Strain SCBI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Lauren M.

    2012-01-01

    The physiology of a newly recognized Serratia species, termed South African Caenorhabditis briggsae Isolate (SCBI), which is both a nematode mutualist and an insect pathogen, was investigated and compared to that of Serratia marcescens Db11, a broad-host-range pathogen. The two Serratia strains had comparable levels of virulence for Manduca sexta and similar cytotoxic activity patterns, but motility and lipase and hemolytic activities differed significantly between them. PMID:23042169

  6. Influence of temperature on the physiology and virulence of the insect pathogen Serratia sp. Strain SCBI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Lauren M; Tisa, Louis S

    2012-12-01

    The physiology of a newly recognized Serratia species, termed South African Caenorhabditis briggsae Isolate (SCBI), which is both a nematode mutualist and an insect pathogen, was investigated and compared to that of Serratia marcescens Db11, a broad-host-range pathogen. The two Serratia strains had comparable levels of virulence for Manduca sexta and similar cytotoxic activity patterns, but motility and lipase and hemolytic activities differed significantly between them.

  7. Phylogenetic composition of host plant communities drives plant-herbivore food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volf, Martin; Pyszko, Petr; Abe, Tomokazu; Libra, Martin; Kotásková, Nela; Šigut, Martin; Kumar, Rajesh; Kaman, Ondřej; Butterill, Philip T; Šipoš, Jan; Abe, Haruka; Fukushima, Hiroaki; Drozd, Pavel; Kamata, Naoto; Murakami, Masashi; Novotny, Vojtech

    2017-05-01

    Insects tend to feed on related hosts. The phylogenetic composition of host plant communities thus plays a prominent role in determining insect specialization, food web structure, and diversity. Previous studies showed a high preference of insect herbivores for congeneric and confamilial hosts suggesting that some levels of host plant relationships may play more prominent role that others. We aim to quantify the effects of host phylogeny on the structure of quantitative plant-herbivore food webs. Further, we identify specific patterns in three insect guilds with different life histories and discuss the role of host plant phylogeny in maintaining their diversity. We studied herbivore assemblages in three temperate forests in Japan and the Czech Republic. Sampling from a canopy crane, a cherry picker and felled trees allowed a complete census of plant-herbivore interactions within three 0·1 ha plots for leaf chewing larvae, miners, and gallers. We analyzed the effects of host phylogeny by comparing the observed food webs with randomized models of host selection. Larval leaf chewers exhibited high generality at all three sites, whereas gallers and miners were almost exclusively monophagous. Leaf chewer generality dropped rapidly when older host lineages (5-80 myr) were collated into a single lineage but only decreased slightly when the most closely related congeneric hosts were collated. This shows that leaf chewer generality has been maintained by feeding on confamilial hosts while only a few herbivores were shared between more distant plant lineages and, surprisingly, between some congeneric hosts. In contrast, miner and galler generality was maintained mainly by the terminal nodes of the host phylogeny and dropped immediately after collating congeneric hosts into single lineages. We show that not all levels of host plant phylogeny are equal in their effect on structuring plant-herbivore food webs. In the case of generalist guilds, it is the phylogeny of deeper

  8. Insecticidal activity of the metalloprotease AprA occurs through suppression of host cellular and humoral immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seung Ah; Jang, Seong Han; Kim, Byung Hyun; Shibata, Toshio; Yoo, Jinwook; Jung, Yunjin; Kawabata, Shun-Ichiro; Lee, Bok Luel

    2018-04-01

    The biochemical characterization of virulence factors from entomopathogenic bacteria is important to understand entomopathogen-insect molecular interactions. Pseudomonas entomophila is a typical entomopathogenic bacterium that harbors virulence factors against several insects. However, the molecular actions of these factors against host innate immune responses are not clearly elucidated. In this study, we observed that bean bugs (Riptortus pedestris) that were injected with P. entomophila were highly susceptible to this bacterium. To determine how P. entomophila counteracts the host innate immunity to survive within the insect, we purified a highly enriched protein with potential host insect-killing activity from the culture supernatant of P. entomophila. Then, a 45-kDa protein was purified to homogeneity and identified as AprA which is an alkaline zinc metalloprotease of the genus Pseudomonas by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Purified AprA showed a pronounced killing effect against host insects and suppressed both host cellular and humoral innate immunity. Furthermore, to show that AprA is an important insecticidal protein of P. entomophila, we used an aprA-deficient P. entomophila mutant strain (ΔaprA). When ΔaprA mutant cells were injected to host insects, this mutant exhibited extremely attenuated virulence. In addition, the cytotoxicity against host hemocytes and the antimicrobial peptide-degrading ability of the ΔaprA mutant were greatly decreased. These findings suggest that AprA functions as an important insecticidal protein of P. entomophila via suppression of host cellular and humoral innate immune responses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Identification of cotton fleahopper (Hemiptera: Miridae) host plants in central Texas and compendium of reported hosts in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esquivel, J F; Esquivel, S V

    2009-06-01

    The cotton fleahopper, Pseudatomoscelis seriatus (Reuter), is an early-season pest of developing cotton in Central Texas and other regions of the Cotton Belt. Cotton fleahopper populations develop on spring weed hosts and move to cotton as weed hosts senesce or if other weed hosts are not readily available. To identify weed hosts that were seasonably available for the cotton fleahopper in Central Texas, blooming weed species were sampled during early-season (17 March-31 May), mid-season (1 June-14 August), late-season (15 August-30 November), and overwintering (1 December-16 March) periods. The leading hosts for cotton fleahopper adults and nymphs were evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa T. Nuttall) and Mexican hat [Ratibida columnifera (T. Nuttall) E. Wooton and P. Standley], respectively, during the early season. During the mid-season, silver-leaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium A. Cavanilles) was consistently a host for fleahopper nymphs and adults. Woolly croton (Croton capitatus A. Michaux) was a leading host during the late season. Cotton fleahoppers were not collected during the overwintering period. Other suitable hosts were available before previously reported leading hosts became available. Eight previously unreported weed species were documented as temporary hosts. A compendium of reported hosts, which includes >160 plant species representing 35 families, for the cotton fleahopper is provided for future research addressing insect-host plant associations. Leading plant families were Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, and Onagraceae. Results presented here indicate a strong argument for assessing weed species diversity and abundance for the control of the cotton fleahopper in the Cotton Belt.

  10. Protection against Mycobacterium ulcerans lesion development by exposure to aquatic insect saliva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsollier, Laurent; Deniaux, Estelle; Brodin, Priscille; Marot, Agnès; Wondje, Christelle Mbondji; Saint-André, Jean-Paul; Chauty, Annick; Johnson, Christian; Tekaia, Fredj; Yeramian, Edouard; Legras, Pierre; Carbonnelle, Bernard; Reysset, Gilles; Eyangoh, Sara; Milon, Geneviève; Cole, Stewart T; Aubry, Jacques

    2007-02-01

    Buruli ulcer is a severe human skin disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. This disease is primarily diagnosed in West Africa with increasing incidence. Antimycobacterial drug therapy is relatively effective during the preulcerative stage of the disease, but surgical excision of lesions with skin grafting is often the ultimate treatment. The mode of transmission of this Mycobacterium species remains a matter of debate, and relevant interventions to prevent this disease lack (i) the proper understanding of the M. ulcerans life history traits in its natural aquatic ecosystem and (ii) immune signatures that could be correlates of protection. We previously set up a laboratory ecosystem with predatory aquatic insects of the family Naucoridae and laboratory mice and showed that (i) M. ulcerans-carrying aquatic insects can transmit the mycobacterium through bites and (ii) that their salivary glands are the only tissues hosting replicative M. ulcerans. Further investigation in natural settings revealed that 5%-10% of these aquatic insects captured in endemic areas have M. ulcerans-loaded salivary glands. In search of novel epidemiological features we noticed that individuals working close to aquatic environments inhabited by insect predators were less prone to developing Buruli ulcers than their relatives. Thus we set out to investigate whether those individuals might display any immune signatures of exposure to M. ulcerans-free insect predator bites, and whether those could correlate with protection. We took a two-pronged approach in this study, first investigating whether the insect bites are protective in a mouse model, and subsequently looking for possibly protective immune signatures in humans. We found that, in contrast to control BALB/c mice, BALB/c mice exposed to Naucoris aquatic insect bites or sensitized to Naucoris salivary gland homogenates (SGHs) displayed no lesion at the site of inoculation of M. ulcerans coated with Naucoris SGH components. Then using

  11. Protection against Mycobacterium ulcerans lesion development by exposure to aquatic insect saliva.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Marsollier

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Buruli ulcer is a severe human skin disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. This disease is primarily diagnosed in West Africa with increasing incidence. Antimycobacterial drug therapy is relatively effective during the preulcerative stage of the disease, but surgical excision of lesions with skin grafting is often the ultimate treatment. The mode of transmission of this Mycobacterium species remains a matter of debate, and relevant interventions to prevent this disease lack (i the proper understanding of the M. ulcerans life history traits in its natural aquatic ecosystem and (ii immune signatures that could be correlates of protection. We previously set up a laboratory ecosystem with predatory aquatic insects of the family Naucoridae and laboratory mice and showed that (i M. ulcerans-carrying aquatic insects can transmit the mycobacterium through bites and (ii that their salivary glands are the only tissues hosting replicative M. ulcerans. Further investigation in natural settings revealed that 5%-10% of these aquatic insects captured in endemic areas have M. ulcerans-loaded salivary glands. In search of novel epidemiological features we noticed that individuals working close to aquatic environments inhabited by insect predators were less prone to developing Buruli ulcers than their relatives. Thus we set out to investigate whether those individuals might display any immune signatures of exposure to M. ulcerans-free insect predator bites, and whether those could correlate with protection. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We took a two-pronged approach in this study, first investigating whether the insect bites are protective in a mouse model, and subsequently looking for possibly protective immune signatures in humans. We found that, in contrast to control BALB/c mice, BALB/c mice exposed to Naucoris aquatic insect bites or sensitized to Naucoris salivary gland homogenates (SGHs displayed no lesion at the site of inoculation of M. ulcerans

  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. Island phytophagy: explaining the remarkable diversity of plant-feeding insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joy, Jeffrey B; Crespi, Bernard J

    2012-08-22

    Plant-feeding insects have undergone unparalleled diversification among different plant taxa, yet explanations for variation in their diversity lack a quantitative, predictive framework. Island biogeographic theory has been applied to spatially discrete habitats but not to habitats, such as host plants, separated by genetic distance. We show that relationships between the diversity of gall-inducing flies and their host plants meet several fundamental predictions from island biogeographic theory. First, plant-taxon genetic distinctiveness, an integrator for long-term evolutionary history of plant lineages, is a significant predictor of variance in the diversity of gall-inducing flies among host-plant taxa. Second, range size and structural complexity also explain significant proportions of the variance in diversity of gall-inducing flies among different host-plant taxa. Third, as with other island systems, plant-lineage age does not predict species diversity. Island biogeographic theory, applied to habitats defined by genetic distance, provides a novel, comprehensive framework for analysing and explaining the diversity of plant-feeding insects and other host-specific taxa.

  14. Strain improvement of fungal insecticides for controlling insect pests and vector-borne diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Weiguo; Azimzadeh, Philippe; St Leger, Raymond J

    2012-06-01

    Insect pathogenic fungi play an important natural role in controlling insect pests. However, few have been successfully commercialized due to low virulence and sensitivity to abiotic stresses that produce inconsistent results in field applications. These limitations are inherent in most naturally occurring biological control agents but development of recombinant DNA techniques has made it possible to significantly improve the insecticidal efficacy of fungi and their tolerance to adverse conditions, including UV. These advances have been achieved by combining new knowledge derived from basic studies of the molecular biology of these pathogens, technical developments that enable very precise regulation of gene expression, and genes encoding insecticidal proteins from other organisms, particularly spiders and scorpions. Recent coverage of genomes is helping determine the identity, origin, and evolution of traits needed for diverse lifestyles and host switching. In future, such knowledge combined with the precision and malleability of molecular techniques will allow design of multiple pathogens with different strategies and host ranges to be used for different ecosystems, and that will avoid the possibility of the host developing resistance. With increasing public concern over the continued use of synthetic chemical insecticides, these new types of biological insecticides offer a range of environmental-friendly options for cost-effective control of insect pests. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Co-evolution of insect proteases and plant protease inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongsma, Maarten A; Beekwilder, Jules

    2011-08-01

    Plants are at the basis of the food chain, but there is no such thing as a "free lunch" for herbivores. To promote reproductive success, plants evolved multi-layered defensive tactics to avoid or discourage herbivory. To the detriment of plants, herbivores, in turn, evolved intricate strategies to find, eat, and successfully digest essential plant parts to raise their own offspring. In this battle the digestive tract is the arena determining final victory or defeat as measured by growth or starvation of the herbivore. Earlier, specific molecular opponents were identified as proteases and inhibitors: digestive proteases of herbivores evolved structural motifs to occlude plant protease inhibitors, or alternatively, the insects evolved proteases capable of specifically degrading the host plant inhibitors. In response plant inhibitors evolved hyper-variable and novel protein folds to remain active against potential herbivores. At the level of protease regulation in herbivorous insects, it was shown that inhibition-insensitive digestive proteases are up-regulated when sensitive proteases are inhibited. The way this regulation operates in mammals is known as negative feedback by gut-luminal factors, so-called 'monitor peptides' that are sensitive to the concentration of active enzymes. We propose that regulation of gut enzymes by endogenous luminal factors has been an open invitation to plants to "hijack" this regulation by evolving receptor antagonists, although yet these plant factors have not been identified. In future research the question of the co-evolution of insect proteases and plant inhibitors should, therefore, be better approached from a systems level keeping in mind that evolution is fundamentally opportunistic and that the plant's fitness is primarily improved by lowering the availability of essential amino acids to an herbivore by any available mechanism.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Insect Pest Control Newsletter, No. 76, January 2011

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2011-01-01

    During the last twelve months the Insect Pest Control Subprogramme hosted an international symposium and co-sponsored another one; organized five research coordination meetings, four regional training courses, three consultants meetings and two workshops; participated in many interesting and successful research activities; provided technical support to over thirty technical cooperation projects in FAO and IAEA Member States, and actively contributed to a number of other international events, panels and advisory committees. In this newsletter you will find information and details about some of the activities enumerated above. These reflect not only our growing commitments and increasing research and normative responsibilities, but also our expanding involvement with additional pest species, although our budget and staff have not increased in proportion. The success of the subprogramme has historically been guaranteed by its focussed approach on a few major pest problems which allowed us to provide our Member States the best support in terms of research, normative assistance and implementation of operational programmes. Despite the continuous demand of FAO and IAEA Member States to expand our support and include more pest insects, we remain conscious that diluting our human and financial resources may jeopardise the high quality service that our Member States deserve

  19. Insect Pest Control Newsletter, No. 76, January 2011

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-01-15

    During the last twelve months the Insect Pest Control Subprogramme hosted an international symposium and co-sponsored another one; organized five research coordination meetings, four regional training courses, three consultants meetings and two workshops; participated in many interesting and successful research activities; provided technical support to over thirty technical cooperation projects in FAO and IAEA Member States, and actively contributed to a number of other international events, panels and advisory committees. In this newsletter you will find information and details about some of the activities enumerated above. These reflect not only our growing commitments and increasing research and normative responsibilities, but also our expanding involvement with additional pest species, although our budget and staff have not increased in proportion. The success of the subprogramme has historically been guaranteed by its focussed approach on a few major pest problems which allowed us to provide our Member States the best support in terms of research, normative assistance and implementation of operational programmes. Despite the continuous demand of FAO and IAEA Member States to expand our support and include more pest insects, we remain conscious that diluting our human and financial resources may jeopardise the high quality service that our Member States deserve

  20. Reproductive Interference and Niche Partitioning in Aphidophagous Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzuki Noriyuki

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The range and quality of prey species differ greatly among closely related species of predators. However, the factors responsible for this diversified niche utilization are unclear. This is because the predation and resource competition do not always prevent species coexistence. In this paper, we present evidence in support of reproductive interference as a driver of niche partitioning, focusing on aphidophagous insect. Firstly, we present closely related generalist and specialist species pairs in aphidophagous lacewings to compare the reproductive interference hypothesis with two other hypotheses that have been proposed to explain niche partitioning in lacewings and sympatric speciation through host race formation and sexual selection. Secondly, we present a case study that shows how reproductive interference can drive niche partitioning in sibling ladybird species. Thirdly, we show that many ladybird genera include species inhabiting the same region but having different food and habitat preferences, raising the possibility that reproductive interference might occur in these groups. Finally, we show that intraguild predation cannot always explain the niche partitioning in aphidophagous insects including hoverflies and parasitoids. On the basis of the evidence presented, we urge that future studies investigating predator communities should take account of the role of reproductive interference.

  1. Biotechnological Applications of an Insect-Specific Alphavirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erasmus, Jesse H; Weaver, Scott C

    2017-12-01

    The coupling of viral and arthropod host diversity, with evolving methods of virus discovery, has resulted in the identification and classification of a growing number of novel insect-specific viruses (ISVs) that appear to be evolutionarily related to many human pathogens but have either lost or have yet to gain the ability to replicate in vertebrates. The discovery of ISVs has raised many questions as to the origin and evolution of many human pathogenic viruses and points to the role that arthropods may play in this evolutionary process. Furthermore, the use of ISVs to control the transmission of arthropod-borne viruses has been proposed and demonstrated experimentally. Previously, our laboratory reported on the discovery and characterization of Eilat virus (EILV), an insect-specific alphavirus that phylogenetically groups within the mosquito-borne clade of medically relevant alphaviruses, including eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), as well as chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Despite its evolutionary relationship to these human pathogens, EILV is unable to replicate in vertebrate cells due to blocks at attachment/entry and RNA replication. We recently demonstrated that, using a chimeric virus approach, EILV could be utilized as a platform for vaccine and diagnostic development, serving as a proof-of-concept for other ISVs. Due to the vast abundance of ISVs, there is an untapped resource for the development of vaccines and diagnostics for a variety of human pathogens and further work in this area is warranted.

  2. Insect pathogens as biological control agents: Back to the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacey, L A; Grzywacz, D; Shapiro-Ilan, D I; Frutos, R; Brownbridge, M; Goettel, M S

    2015-11-01

    The development and use of entomopathogens as classical, conservation and augmentative biological control agents have included a number of successes and some setbacks in the past 1years. In this forum paper we present current information on development, use and future directions of insect-specific viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes as components of integrated pest management strategies for control of arthropod pests of crops, forests, urban habitats, and insects of medical and veterinary importance. Insect pathogenic viruses are a fruitful source of microbial control agents (MCAs), particularly for the control of lepidopteran pests. Most research is focused on the baculoviruses, important pathogens of some globally important pests for which control has become difficult due to either pesticide resistance or pressure to reduce pesticide residues. Baculoviruses are accepted as safe, readily mass produced, highly pathogenic and easily formulated and applied control agents. New baculovirus products are appearing in many countries and gaining an increased market share. However, the absence of a practical in vitro mass production system, generally higher production costs, limited post application persistence, slow rate of kill and high host specificity currently contribute to restricted use in pest control. Overcoming these limitations are key research areas for which progress could open up use of insect viruses to much larger markets. A small number of entomopathogenic bacteria have been commercially developed for control of insect pests. These include several Bacillus thuringiensis sub-species, Lysinibacillus (Bacillus) sphaericus, Paenibacillus spp. and Serratia entomophila. B. thuringiensis sub-species kurstaki is the most widely used for control of pest insects of crops and forests, and B. thuringiensis sub-species israelensis and L. sphaericus are the primary pathogens used for control of medically important pests including dipteran vectors. These pathogens

  3. Social Hackers: Integration in the Host Chemical Recognition System by a Paper Wasp Social Parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turillazzi, S.; Sledge, M. F.; Dani, F. R.; Cervo, R.; Massolo, A.; Fondelli, L.

    Obligate social parasites in the social insects have lost the worker caste and the ability to establish nests. As a result, parasites must usurp a host nest, overcome the host recognition system, and depend on the host workers to rear their offspring. We analysed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of live parasite females of the paper wasp social parasite Polistes sulcifer before and after usurpation of host nests, using the non-destructive technique of solid-phase micro-extraction. Our results reveal that hydrocarbon profiles of parasites change after usurpation of host nests to match the cuticular profile of the host species. Chemical evidence further shows that the parasite queen changes the odour of the nest by the addition of a parasite-specific hydrocarbon. We discuss the possible role of this in the recognition and acceptance of the parasite and its offspring in the host colony.

  4. Entomopathogenicity to Two Hemipteran Insects Is Common but Variable across Epiphytic Pseudomonas syringae Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smee, Melanie R; Baltrus, David A; Hendry, Tory A

    2017-01-01

    Strains of the well-studied plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae show large differences in their ability to colonize plants epiphytically and to inflict damage to hosts. Additionally, P. syringae can infect some sap-sucking insects and at least one P. syringae strain is highly virulent to insects, causing death to most individuals within as few as 4 days and growing to high population densities within insect hosts. The likelihood of agricultural pest insects coming into contact with transient populations of P. syringae while feeding on plants is high, yet the ecological implications of these interactions are currently not well understood as virulence has not been tested across a wide range of strains. To investigate virulence differences across strains we exposed the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci , and the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum , both of which are cosmopolitan agricultural pests, to 12 P. syringae strains. We used oral inoculations with bacteria suspended in artificial diet in order to assay virulence while controlling for other variables such as differences in epiphytic growth ability. Generally, patterns of pathogenicity remain consistent across the two species of hemipteran insects, with bacterial strains from phylogroup II, or genomospecies 1, causing the highest rate of mortality with up to 86% of individuals dead after 72 h post infection. The rate of mortality is highly variable across strains, some significantly different from negative control treatments and others showing no discernable difference. Interestingly, one of the most pathogenic strains to both aphids and whiteflies (Cit7) is thought to be non-pathogenic on plants. We also found Cit7 to establish the highest epiphytic population after 48 h on fava beans. Between the nine P. syringae strains tested for epiphytic ability there is also much variation, but epiphytic ability was positively correlated with pathogenicity to insects, suggesting that the two traits may be linked and that

  5. Entomopathogenicity to Two Hemipteran Insects Is Common but Variable across Epiphytic Pseudomonas syringae Strains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie R. Smee

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Strains of the well-studied plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae show large differences in their ability to colonize plants epiphytically and to inflict damage to hosts. Additionally, P. syringae can infect some sap-sucking insects and at least one P. syringae strain is highly virulent to insects, causing death to most individuals within as few as 4 days and growing to high population densities within insect hosts. The likelihood of agricultural pest insects coming into contact with transient populations of P. syringae while feeding on plants is high, yet the ecological implications of these interactions are currently not well understood as virulence has not been tested across a wide range of strains. To investigate virulence differences across strains we exposed the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, and the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, both of which are cosmopolitan agricultural pests, to 12 P. syringae strains. We used oral inoculations with bacteria suspended in artificial diet in order to assay virulence while controlling for other variables such as differences in epiphytic growth ability. Generally, patterns of pathogenicity remain consistent across the two species of hemipteran insects, with bacterial strains from phylogroup II, or genomospecies 1, causing the highest rate of mortality with up to 86% of individuals dead after 72 h post infection. The rate of mortality is highly variable across strains, some significantly different from negative control treatments and others showing no discernable difference. Interestingly, one of the most pathogenic strains to both aphids and whiteflies (Cit7 is thought to be non-pathogenic on plants. We also found Cit7 to establish the highest epiphytic population after 48 h on fava beans. Between the nine P. syringae strains tested for epiphytic ability there is also much variation, but epiphytic ability was positively correlated with pathogenicity to insects, suggesting that the two traits may be

  6. Ecological niche dimensionality and the evolutionary diversification of stick insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Nosil

    Full Text Available The degree of phenotypic divergence and reproductive isolation between taxon pairs can vary quantitatively, and often increases as evolutionary divergence proceeds through various stages, from polymorphism to population differentiation, ecotype and race formation, speciation, and post-speciational divergence. Although divergent natural selection promotes divergence, it does not always result in strong differentiation. For example, divergent selection can fail to complete speciation, and distinct species pairs sometimes collapse ('speciation in reverse'. Widely-discussed explanations for this variability concern genetic architecture, and the geographic arrangement of populations. A less-explored possibility is that the degree of phenotypic and reproductive divergence between taxon pairs is positively related to the number of ecological niche dimensions (i.e., traits subject to divergent selection. Some data supporting this idea stem from laboratory experimental evolution studies using Drosophila, but tests from nature are lacking. Here we report results from manipulative field experiments in natural populations of herbivorous Timema stick insects that are consistent with this 'niche dimensionality' hypothesis. In such insects, divergent selection between host plants might occur for cryptic colouration (camouflage to evade visual predation, physiology (to detoxify plant chemicals, or both of these niche dimensions. We show that divergent selection on the single niche dimension of cryptic colouration can result in ecotype formation and intermediate levels of phenotypic and reproductive divergence between populations feeding on different hosts. However, greater divergence between a species pair involved divergent selection on both niche dimensions. Although further replication of the trends reported here is required, the results suggest that dimensionality of selection may complement genetic and geographic explanations for the degree of

  7. The Ratio between Field Attractive and Background Volatiles Encodes Host-Plant Recognition in a Specialist Moth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knudsen, Geir K; Norli, Hans R; Tasin, Marco

    2017-01-01

    Volatiles emitted by plants convey an array of information through different trophic levels. Animals such as host-seeking herbivores encounter plumes with filaments from both host and non-host plants. While studies showed a behavioral effect of non-host plants on herbivore host location, less information is available on how a searching insect herbivore perceives and flies upwind to a host-plant odor plume within a background of non-host volatiles. We hypothesized here that herbivorous insects in search of a host-plant can discriminate plumes of host and non-host plants and that the taxonomic relatedness of the non-host have an effect on finding the host. We also predicted that the ratio between certain plant volatiles is cognized as host-plant recognition cue by a receiver herbivorous insect. To verify these hypotheses we measured the wind tunnel response of the moth Argyresthia conjugella to the host plant rowan, to non-host plants taxonomically related (Rosaceae, apple and pear) or unrelated to the host (Pinaceae, spruce) and to binary combination of host and non-host plants. Volatiles were collected from all plant combinations and delivered to the test insect via an ultrasonic sprayer as an artificial plume. While the response to the rowan as a plant was not affected by the addition of any of the non-host plants, the attraction to the corresponding sprayed headspace decreased when pear or apple but not spruce were added to rowan. A similar result was measured toward the odor exiting a jar where freshly cut plant material of apple or pear or spruce was intermixed with rowan. Dose-response gas-chromatography coupled to electroantennography revealed the presence of seven field attractive and seven background non-attractive antennally active compounds. Although the abundance of field attractive and of some background volatiles decreased in all dual combinations in comparison with rowan alone, an increased amount of the background compounds (3E)-4,8-Dimethyl-1

  8. The Ratio between Field Attractive and Background Volatiles Encodes Host-Plant Recognition in a Specialist Moth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geir K. Knudsen

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Volatiles emitted by plants convey an array of information through different trophic levels. Animals such as host-seeking herbivores encounter plumes with filaments from both host and non-host plants. While studies showed a behavioral effect of non-host plants on herbivore host location, less information is available on how a searching insect herbivore perceives and flies upwind to a host-plant odor plume within a background of non-host volatiles. We hypothesized here that herbivorous insects in search of a host-plant can discriminate plumes of host and non-host plants and that the taxonomic relatedness of the non-host have an effect on finding the host. We also predicted that the ratio between certain plant volatiles is cognized as host-plant recognition cue by a receiver herbivorous insect. To verify these hypotheses we measured the wind tunnel response of the moth Argyresthia conjugella to the host plant rowan, to non-host plants taxonomically related (Rosaceae, apple and pear or unrelated to the host (Pinaceae, spruce and to binary combination of host and non-host plants. Volatiles were collected from all plant combinations and delivered to the test insect via an ultrasonic sprayer as an artificial plume. While the response to the rowan as a plant was not affected by the addition of any of the non-host plants, the attraction to the corresponding sprayed headspace decreased when pear or apple but not spruce were added to rowan. A similar result was measured toward the odor exiting a jar where freshly cut plant material of apple or pear or spruce was intermixed with rowan. Dose-response gas-chromatography coupled to electroantennography revealed the presence of seven field attractive and seven background non-attractive antennally active compounds. Although the abundance of field attractive and of some background volatiles decreased in all dual combinations in comparison with rowan alone, an increased amount of the background compounds (3E-4

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. ...

  13. Testing local host adaptation and phenotypic plasticity in a herbivore when alternative related host plants occur sympatrically.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena Ruiz-Montoya

    Full Text Available Host race formation in phytophagous insects can be an early stage of adaptive speciation. However, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in host use is another possible outcome. Using a reciprocal transplant experiment we tested the hypothesis of local adaptation in the aphid Brevicoryne brassicae. Aphid genotypes derived from two sympatric host plants, Brassica oleracea and B. campestris, were assessed in order to measure the extent of phenotypic plasticity in morphological and life history traits in relation to the host plants. We obtained an index of phenotypic plasticity for each genotype. Morphological variation of aphids was summarized by principal components analysis. Significant effects of recipient host on morphological variation and life history traits (establishment, age at first reproduction, number of nymphs, and intrinsic growth rate were detected. We did not detected genotype × host plant interaction; in general the genotypes developed better on B. campestris, independent of the host plant species from which they were collected. Therefore, there was no evidence to suggest local adaptation. Regarding plasticity, significant differences among genotypes in the index of plasticity were detected. Furthermore, significant selection on PC1 (general aphid body size on B. campestris, and on PC1 and PC2 (body length relative to body size on B. oleracea was detected. The elevation of the reaction norm of PC1 and the slope of the reaction norm for PC2 (i.e., plasticity were under directional selection. Thus, host plant species constitute distinct selective environments for B. brassicae. Aphid genotypes expressed different phenotypes in response to the host plant with low or nil fitness costs. Phenotypic plasticity and gene flow limits natural selection for host specialization promoting the maintenance of genetic variation in host exploitation.

  14. From Insect to Man: Photorhabdus Sheds Light on the Emergence of Human Pathogenicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldine Mulley

    Full Text Available Photorhabdus are highly effective insect pathogenic bacteria that exist in a mutualistic relationship with Heterorhabditid nematodes. Unlike other members of the genus, Photorhabdus asymbiotica can also infect humans. Most Photorhabdus cannot replicate above 34°C, limiting their host-range to poikilothermic invertebrates. In contrast, P. asymbiotica must necessarily be able to replicate at 37°C or above. Many well-studied mammalian pathogens use the elevated temperature of their host as a signal to regulate the necessary changes in gene expression required for infection. Here we use RNA-seq, proteomics and phenotype microarrays to examine temperature dependent differences in transcription, translation and phenotype of P. asymbiotica at 28°C versus 37°C, relevant to the insect or human hosts respectively. Our findings reveal relatively few temperature dependant differences in gene expression. There is however a striking difference in metabolism at 37°C, with a significant reduction in the range of carbon and nitrogen sources that otherwise support respiration at 28°C. We propose that the key adaptation that enables P. asymbiotica to infect humans is to aggressively acquire amino acids, peptides and other nutrients from the human host, employing a so called "nutritional virulence" strategy. This would simultaneously cripple the host immune response while providing nutrients sufficient for reproduction. This might explain the severity of ulcerated lesions observed in clinical cases of Photorhabdosis. Furthermore, while P. asymbiotica can invade mammalian cells they must also resist immediate killing by humoral immunity components in serum. We observed an increase in the production of the insect Phenol-oxidase inhibitor Rhabduscin normally deployed to inhibit the melanisation immune cascade. Crucially we demonstrated this molecule also facilitates protection against killing by the alternative human complement pathway.

  15. Modulation of Host Learning in Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinauger, Clément; Lahondère, Chloé; Wolff, Gabriella H; Locke, Lauren T; Liaw, Jessica E; Parrish, Jay Z; Akbari, Omar S; Dickinson, Michael H; Riffell, Jeffrey A

    2018-02-05

    How mosquitoes determine which individuals to bite has important epidemiological consequences. This choice is not random; most mosquitoes specialize in one or a few vertebrate host species, and some individuals in a host population are preferred over others. Mosquitoes will also blood feed from other hosts when their preferred is no longer abundant, but the mechanisms mediating these shifts between hosts, and preferences for certain individuals within a host species, remain unclear. Here, we show that olfactory learning may contribute to Aedes aegypti mosquito biting preferences and host shifts. Training and testing to scents of humans and other host species showed that mosquitoes can aversively learn the scent of specific humans and single odorants and learn to avoid the scent of rats (but not chickens). Using pharmacological interventions, RNAi, and CRISPR gene editing, we found that modification of the dopamine-1 receptor suppressed their learning abilities. We further show through combined electrophysiological and behavioral recordings from tethered flying mosquitoes that these odors evoke changes in both behavior and antennal lobe (AL) neuronal responses and that dopamine strongly modulates odor-evoked responses in AL neurons. Not only do these results provide direct experimental evidence that olfactory learning in mosquitoes can play an epidemiological role, but collectively, they also provide neuroanatomical and functional demonstration of the role of dopamine in mediating this learning-induced plasticity, for the first time in a disease vector insect. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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....

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Toward a better understanding of the mechanisms of symbiosis: a comprehensive proteome map of a nascent insect symbiont

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Renoz

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Symbiotic bacteria are common in insects and can affect various aspects of their hosts’ biology. Although the effects of insect symbionts have been clarified for various insect symbiosis models, due to the difficulty of cultivating them in vitro, there is still limited knowledge available on the molecular features that drive symbiosis. Serratia symbiotica is one of the most common symbionts found in aphids. The recent findings of free-living strains that are considered as nascent partners of aphids provide the opportunity to examine the molecular mechanisms that a symbiont can deploy at the early stages of the symbiosis (i.e., symbiotic factors. In this work, a proteomic approach was used to establish a comprehensive proteome map of the free-living S. symbiotica strain CWBI-2.3T. Most of the 720 proteins identified are related to housekeeping or primary metabolism. Of these, 76 were identified as candidate proteins possibly promoting host colonization. Our results provide strong evidence that S. symbiotica CWBI-2.3T is well-armed for invading insect host tissues, and suggest that certain molecular features usually harbored by pathogenic bacteria are no longer present. This comprehensive proteome map provides a series of candidate genes for further studies to understand the molecular cross-talk between insects and symbiotic bacteria.

  3. Chemical Cues in Tritrophic Interaction on Biocontrol of Insect Pest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurindah Nurindah

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Tritrophic interaction among host plant-herbivore-parasitoid involves chemical cues. The infested plant by herbivores has been reacted to produce volatiles which is a cue used by the herbivore parasitoids for host location. These volatiles can be developed to enhance natural control of insect pests, especially by optimally use of parasitoids. Egg parasitoids are biocontrol agents that play an important role in natural control of herbivores. This research used a tritrophic interaction model of rice plant-brown plant hopper (BPH-egg parasitoid of BPH. Research on analysis of chemical cues in tritrophic interactions was aimed to identify volatiles that are used by the parasitoid to find its host. The volatiles that effectively affect the parasitoid orientation behavior could be developed into a parasitoid attractant. Extraction of volatiles as the egg parasitoid cues was done using soxhlet, and identification of the volatiles using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS. Bioassay of the volatiles on the BPH parasitoid orientation behavior was performed using Y-tube olfactometry. The volatiles that are used for host location cues by the parasitoid affect the parasitoid orientation behavior by showing the preference of the parasitoid females to the odor of volatile. Volatiles extracted from BPH-egg-infested plants and uninfested plants contain alcohol, hydrocarbon, and ester compounds. Based on the difference of the compound composition of both extractions, five compounds of long-chain hydrocarbon, both branched and unsaturated compounds are the main volatile components which caused positive orientation behavior of the egg parasitoid. The egg parasitoids showed positive behavior orientation toward the volatiles extracted from BPH-egg-infested plant. Those hydrocarbon compounds are potential materials to be developed into bio attractants of BPH egg parasitoid.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Plant Secondary Metabolites Modulate Insect Behavior-Steps Toward Addiction?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Wink

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Plants produce a diversity of secondary metabolites (PSMs that serve as defense compounds against herbivores and microorganisms. In addition, some PSMs attract animals for pollination and seed dispersal. In case of pollinating insects, PSMs with colors or terpenoids with fragrant odors attract pollinators in the first place, but when they arrive at a flower, they are rewarded with nectar, so that the pollinators do not feed on flowers. In order to be effective as defense chemicals, PSMs evolved as bioactive substances, that can interfere with a large number of molecular targets in cells, tissues and organs of animals or of microbes. The known functions of PSMs are summarized in this review. A number of PSMs evolved as agonists or antagonists of neuronal signal transduction. Many of these PSMs are alkaloids. Several of them share structural similarities to neurotransmitters. Evidence for neuroactive and psychoactive PSMs in animals will be reviewed. Some of the neuroactive PSMs can cause addiction in humans and other vertrebrates. Why should a defense compound be addictive and thus attract more herbivores? Some insects are food specialists that can feed on plants that are normally toxic to other herbivores. These specialists can tolerate the toxins and many are stored in the insect body as acquired defense chemicals against predators. A special case are pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs that are neurotoxic and mutagenic in vertebrates. PAs are actively sequestered by moths of the family Arctiidae and a few other groups of arthropods. In arctiids, PAs are not only used for defense, but also serve as morphogens for the induction of male coremata and as precursors for male pheromones. Caterpillars even feed on filter paper impregnated with pure PAs (that modulate serotonin receptors in vertebrates and maybe even in insects and thus show of behavior with has similarities to addiction in vertebrates. Not only PA specialists, but also many monophagous

  10. Plants attract parasitic wasps to defend themselves against insect pests by releasing hexenol.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianing Wei

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Plant volatiles play an important role in defending plants against insect attacks by attracting their natural enemies. For example, green leaf volatiles (GLVs and terpenoids emitted from herbivore-damaged plants were found to be important in the host location of parasitic wasps. However, evidence of the functional roles and mechanisms of these semio-chemicals from a system of multiple plants in prey location by the parasitoid is limited. Little is known about the potential evolutionary trends between herbivore-induced host plant volatiles and the host location of their parasitoids.The present study includes hierarchical cluster analyses of plant volatile profiles from seven families of host and non-host plants of pea leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis, and behavioral responses of a naive parasitic wasp, Opius dissitus, to some principal volatile compounds. Here we show that plants can effectively pull wasps, O. dissitus, towards them by releasing a universally induced compound, (Z-3-hexenol, and potentially keep these plants safe from parasitic assaults by leafminer pests, L. huidobrensis. Specifically, we found that volatile profiles from healthy plants revealed a partly phylogenetic signal, while the inducible compounds of the infested-plants did not result from the fact that the induced plant volatiles dominate most of the volatile blends of the host and non-host plants of the leafminer pests. We further show that the parasitoids are capable of distinguishing the damaged host plant from the non-host plant of the leafminers.Our results suggest that, as the most passive scenario of plant involvement, leafminers and mechanical damages evoke similar semio-chemicals. Using ubiquitous compounds, such as hexenol, for host location by general parasitoids could be an adaptation of the most conservative evolution of tritrophic interaction. Although for this, other compounds may be used to improve the precision of the host location by the parasitoids.

  11. Optimization of a host diet for in vivo production of entomopathogenic nematodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    In previous studies, we developed an improved diet for Tenebrio molitor, a host that is used for in vivo nematode production, and we demonstrated that single insect diet components (e.g., lipids and proteins) can have a positive or negative impact on entomopathogenic nematode fitness and quality. I...

  12. Semiochemical exploitation of host-associated cues by seven Melittobia parasitoid species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    González, Jorge M.; Camino, Dakota; Simon, Sabrina; Cusumano, Antonino

    2018-01-01

    Chemical compounds (infochemicals or semiochemicals) play an important role both in intra-specific and inter-specific communication. For example, chemical cues appear to play a key role in the host selection process adopted by insect parasitoids. In recent years significant advances have been made

  13. Evolution of associations between Cymothoe butterflies and their Rinorea host plants in tropical Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velzen, van R.

    2013-01-01

    This thesis aimed to elucidate the evolutionary history of the associations between Cymothoeforest butterflies (Nymphalidae, Limenitidinae) and their Rinoreahost plants (Violaceae) in tropical Africa. Insects are by far the most diverse group of multicellular organisms on

  14. Influence of host plants on sexual communication in the herbivorous bug Lygocoris pabulinus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, A.T.; Visser, J.H.

    2001-01-01

    Host plant volatiles may be involved in the sexual communication of insects in several ways. In the pheromone-producing sex, these volatiles may affect pheromone production or release and, in the receptive sex, plant volatiles may have a synergistic effect on the attraction to sex pheromone. We

  15. Host-pathogen interactions and genome evolution in two generalist and specialist microsporidian pathogens of mosquitoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    The adaptation of two distantly related microsporidia to their mosquito hosts was investigated. Edhazardia aedis is a specialist pathogen that infects Aedes aegypti, the main vector of dengue and yellow fever arboviruses. Vavraia culicis is a generalist pathogen of several insects including Anophele...

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Atmospheric transformation of plant volatiles disrupts host plant finding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tao; Blande, James D.; Holopainen, Jarmo K.

    2016-09-01

    Plant-emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play important roles in plant-insect interactions. Atmospheric pollutants such as ozone (O3) can react with VOCs and affect the dynamics and fidelity of these interactions. However, the effects of atmospheric degradation of plant VOCs on plant-insect interactions remains understudied. We used a system comprising Brassica oleracea subsp. capitata (cabbage) and the specialist herbivore Plutella xylostella to test whether O3-triggered VOC degradation disturbs larval host orientation, and to investigate the underlying mechanisms. Larvae oriented towards both constitutive and larva-induced cabbage VOC blends, the latter being the more attractive. Such behaviour was, however, dramatically reduced in O3-polluted environments. Mechanistically, O3 rapidly degraded VOCs with the magnitude of degradation increasing with O3 levels. Furthermore, we used Teflon filters to collect VOCs and their reaction products, which were used as odour sources in behavioural tests. Larvae avoided filters exposed to O3-transformed VOCs and spent less time searching on them compared to filters exposed to original VOCs, which suggests that some degradation products may have repellent properties. Our study clearly demonstrates that oxidizing pollutants in the atmosphere can interfere with insect host location, and highlights the need to address their broader impacts when evaluating the ecological significance of VOC-mediated interactions.

  20. How insects overcome two-component plant chemical defence: plant β-glucosidases as the main target for herbivore adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Rook, Fred; Bak, Søren

    2014-08-01

    Insect herbivory is often restricted by glucosylated plant chemical defence compounds that are activated by plant β-glucosidases to release toxic aglucones upon plant tissue damage. Such two-component plant defences are widespread in the plant kingdom and examples of these classes of compounds are alkaloid, benzoxazinoid, cyanogenic and iridoid glucosides as well as glucosinolates and salicinoids. Conversely, many insects have evolved a diversity of counteradaptations to overcome this type of constitutive chemical defence. Here we discuss that such counter-adaptations occur at different time points, before and during feeding as well as during digestion, and at several levels such as the insects’ feeding behaviour, physiology and metabolism. Insect adaptations frequently circumvent or counteract the activity of the plant β-glucosidases, bioactivating enzymes that are a key element in the plant’s two-component chemical defence. These adaptations include host plant choice, non-disruptive feeding guilds and various physiological adaptations as well as metabolic enzymatic strategies of the insect’s digestive system. Furthermore, insect adaptations often act in combination, may exist in both generalists and specialists, and can act on different classes of defence compounds. We discuss how generalist and specialist insects appear to differ in their ability to use these different types of adaptations: in generalists, adaptations are often inducible, whereas in specialists they are often constitutive. Future studies are suggested to investigate in detail how insect adaptations act in combination to overcome plant chemical defences and to allow ecologically relevant conclusions.

  1. Mountain Pine Beetle Host Selection Between Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pines in the Southern Rocky Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Daniel R; Briggs, Jennifer S; Jacobi, William R; Negrón, José F

    2016-02-01

    Recent evidence of range expansion and host transition by mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins; MPB) has suggested that MPB may not primarily breed in their natal host, but will switch hosts to an alternate tree species. As MPB populations expanded in lodgepole pine forests in the southern Rocky Mountains, we investigated the potential for movement into adjacent ponderosa pine forests. We conducted field and laboratory experiments to evaluate four aspects of MPB population dynamics and host selection behavior in the two hosts: emergence timing, sex ratios, host choice, and reproductive success. We found that peak MPB emergence from both hosts occurred simultaneously between late July and early August, and the sex ratio of emerging beetles did not differ between hosts. In two direct tests of MPB host selection, we identified a strong preference by MPB for ponderosa versus lodgepole pine. At field sites, we captured naturally emerging beetles from both natal hosts in choice arenas containing logs of both species. In the laboratory, we offered sections of bark and phloem from both species to individual insects in bioassays. In both tests, insects infested ponderosa over lodgepole pine at a ratio of almost 2:1, regardless of natal host species. Reproductive success (offspring/female) was similar in colonized logs of both hosts. Overall, our findings suggest that MPB may exhibit equally high rates of infestation and fecundity in an alternate host under favorable conditions. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Effects of habitat management on different feeding guilds of herbivorous insects in cacao agroforestry systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novais, Samuel M A; Macedo-Reis, Luiz E; DaRocha, Wesley D; Neves, Frederico S

    2016-06-01

    Human pressure on natural habitats increases the importance of agroforests for biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of cacao traditional cultivation system (CTCS) on the conservation of the herbivorous insect community when compared with a monodominant rubber agroforest, a type of agricultural system for cacao cultivation. The insects were sampled in three habitats in Southeastern Bahia, Brazil: native forests, CTCS and rubber agroforests. In each habitat, 18 plots of 10 m2 were established, and the structural measures were collected and herbivorous insects were sampled with a Malaise/window trap. The diversity of folivorous decreased with the simplification of vegetation structure, but species composition was similar among habitats. In addition to a decrease in the availability of resources in monodominant rubber agroforests, the latex present in these systems have limited the occurrence of species that cannot circumvent latex toxicity. The diversity of sap-sucking insects was similar among habitats, but species composition was similar only in the CTCS and native forest, and it was different in the rubber agroforest. We observed turnover and a higher frequency of individuals of the family Psyllidae in the rubber agroforest. The biology and behavior of Psyllids and absence of natural enemies enable their diversity to increase when they are adapted to a new host. We observed a shift in the composition of xylophagous insects in the rubber agroforest compared to that in other habitats. Moreover, this agroforest has low species richness, but high individual abundance. Latex extraction is likely an important additional source of volatile compounds discharged into the environment, and it increases the attraction and recruitment of coleoborers to these sites. We concluded that CTCS has an herbivorous insect community with a structure similar to the community found in native forests of the region, and they present a more

  3. 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

  4. OpnS, an Outer Membrane Porin of Xenorhabdus nematophila, Confers a Competitive Advantage for Growth in the Insect Host▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hoeven, Ransome; Forst, Steven

    2009-01-01

    The gammaproteobacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila engages in a mutualistic association with an entomopathogenic nematode and also functions as a pathogen toward different insect hosts. We studied the role of the growth-phase-regulated outer membrane protein OpnS in host interactions. OpnS was shown to be a 16-stranded β-barrel porin. opnS was expressed during growth in insect hemolymph and expression was elevated as the cell density increased. When wild-type and opnS deletion strains were coinjected into insects, the wild-type strain was predominantly recovered from the insect cadaver. Similarly, an opnS-complemented strain outcompeted the ΔopnS strain. Coinjection of the wild-type and ΔopnS strains together with uncolonized nematodes into insects resulted in nematode progeny that were almost exclusively colonized with the wild-type strain. Likewise, nematode progeny recovered after coinjection of a mixture of nematodes carrying either the wild-type or ΔopnS strain were colonized by the wild-type strain. In addition, the ΔopnS strain displayed a competitive growth defect when grown together with the wild-type strain in insect hemolymph but not in defined culture medium. The ΔopnS strain displayed increased sensitivity to antimicrobial compounds, suggesting that deletion of OpnS affected the integrity of the outer membrane. These findings show that the OpnS porin confers a competitive advantage for the growth and/or the survival of X. nematophila in the insect host and provides a new model for studying the biological relevance of differential regulation of porins in a natural host environment. PMID:19465651

  5. Supercoiled circular DNA of an insect granulosis virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tweeten, K A; Bulla, L A; Consigli, R A

    1977-08-01

    The DNA of the granulosis virus of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, was characterized by physical chemical and electron microscopic techniques. Twenty-five percent of the DNA extracted from purified virus was isolated as supercoiled circular molecules. The remaining 75% consisted of relaxed circular molecules. These molecular forms were indicated by the production of two radioactive bands during sedimentation of (3)H-labeled granulosis virus DNA in alkaline sucrose gradients or in equilibrium density gradients of neutral cesium chloride/propidium iodide. Electron microscopic visualization of the DNA that banded at the higher density in the latter gradients revealed supercoiled structures whereas that of DNA that banded at the lower density demonstrated relaxed circular molecules. The superhelical molecules were converted to relaxed circles by treatment with pancreatic DNase. The molecular weight of the viral DNA was calculated to be 81 x 10(6) by sedimentation in neutral sucrose and 78 x 10(6) by sedimentation in alkaline sucrose. The molecular weight estimated from length measurements in electron micrographs was 76 x 10(6). The buoyant density of the granulosis virus DNA was 1.703 g/cm(3) and that of its insect host DNA was 1.697 g/cm(3). Equilibrium sedimentation in cesium chloride and thermal denaturation indicated G + C contents of 44% and 39% for the viral and host DNA, respectively.

  6. Natural Variation in Resistance to Virus Infection in Dipteran Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William H. Palmer

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The power and ease of Drosophila genetics and the medical relevance of mosquito-transmitted viruses have made dipterans important model organisms in antiviral immunology. Studies of virus–host interactions at the molecular and population levels have illuminated determinants of resistance to virus infection. Here, we review the sources and nature of variation in antiviral immunity and virus susceptibility in model dipteran insects, specifically the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and vector mosquitoes of the genera Aedes and Culex. We first discuss antiviral immune mechanisms and describe the virus-specificity of these responses. In the following sections, we review genetic and microbiota-dependent variation in antiviral immunity. In the final sections, we explore less well-studied sources of variation, including abiotic factors, sexual dimorphism, infection history, and endogenous viral elements. We borrow from work on other pathogen types and non-dipteran species when it parallels or complements studies in dipterans. Understanding natural variation in virus–host interactions may lead to the identification of novel restriction factors and immune mechanisms and shed light on the molecular determinants of vector competence.

  7. Limiting opportunities for cheating stabilizes virulence in insect parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro-Ilan, David; Raymond, Ben

    2016-03-01

    Cooperative secretion of virulence factors by pathogens can lead to social conflict when cheating mutants exploit collective secretion, but do not contribute to it. If cheats outcompete cooperators within hosts, this can cause loss of virulence. Insect parasitic nematodes are important biocontrol tools that secrete a range of significant virulence factors. Critically, effective nematodes are hard to maintain without live passage, which can lead to virulence attenuation. Using experimental evolution, we tested whether social cheating might explain unstable virulence in the nematode Heterorhabditis floridensis by manipulating relatedness via multiplicity of infection (MOI), and the scale of competition. Passage at high MOI, which should reduce relatedness, led to loss of fitness: virulence and reproductive rate declined together and all eight independent lines suffered premature extinction. As theory predicts, relatedness treatments had more impact under stronger global competition. In contrast, low MOI passage led to more stable virulence and increased reproduction. Moreover, low MOI lineages showed a trade-off between virulence and reproduction, particularly for lines under stronger between-host competition. Overall, this study indicates that evolution of virulence theory is valuable for the culture of biocontrol agents: effective nematodes can be improved and maintained if passage methods mitigate possible social conflicts.

  8. An Aphid Effector Targets Trafficking Protein VPS52 in a Host-Specific Manner to Promote Virulence1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Plant- and animal-feeding insects secrete saliva inside their hosts, containing effectors, which may promote nutrient release and suppress immunity. Although for plant pathogenic microbes it is well established that effectors target host proteins to modulate host cell processes and promote disease, the host cell targets of herbivorous insects remain elusive. Here, we show that the existing plant pathogenic microbe effector paradigm can be extended to herbivorous insects in that effector-target interactions inside host cells modify critical host processes to promote plant susceptibility. We showed that the effector Mp1 from Myzus persicae associates with the host Vacuolar Protein Sorting Associated Protein52 (VPS52). Using natural variants, we provide a strong link between effector virulence activity and association with VPS52, and show that the association is highly specific to M. persicae-host interactions. Also, coexpression of Mp1, but not Mp1-like variants, specifically with host VPS52s resulted in effector relocalization to vesicle-like structures that associate with prevacuolar compartments. We show that high VPS52 levels negatively impact virulence, and that aphids are able to reduce VPS52 levels during infestation, indicating that VPS52 is an important virulence target. Our work is an important step forward in understanding, at the molecular level, how a major agricultural pest promotes susceptibility during infestation of crop plants. We give evidence that an herbivorous insect employs effectors that interact with host proteins as part of an effective virulence strategy, and that these effectors likely function in a species-specific manner. PMID:28100451

  9. An Aphid Effector Targets Trafficking Protein VPS52 in a Host-Specific Manner to Promote Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Patricia A; Escudero-Martinez, Carmen; Bos, Jorunn I B

    2017-03-01

    Plant- and animal-feeding insects secrete saliva inside their hosts, containing effectors, which may promote nutrient release and suppress immunity. Although for plant pathogenic microbes it is well established that effectors target host proteins to modulate host cell processes and promote disease, the host cell targets of herbivorous insects remain elusive. Here, we show that the existing plant pathogenic microbe effector paradigm can be extended to herbivorous insects in that effector-target interactions inside host cells modify critical host processes to promote plant susceptibility. We showed that the effector Mp1 from Myzus persicae associates with the host Vacuolar Protein Sorting Associated Protein52 (VPS52). Using natural variants, we provide a strong link between effector virulence activity and association with VPS52, and show that the association is highly specific to M persicae -host interactions. Also, coexpression of Mp1, but not Mp1-like variants, specifically with host VPS52s resulted in effector relocalization to vesicle-like structures that associate with prevacuolar compartments. We show that high VPS52 levels negatively impact virulence, and that aphids are able to reduce VPS52 levels during infestation, indicating that VPS52 is an important virulence target. Our work is an important step forward in understanding, at the molecular level, how a major agricultural pest promotes susceptibility during infestation of crop plants. We give evidence that an herbivorous insect employs effectors that interact with host proteins as part of an effective virulence strategy, and that these effectors likely function in a species-specific manner. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  10. Insect-plant-pathogen interactions as shaped by future climate: effects on biology, distribution, and implications for agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trębicki, Piotr; Dáder, Beatriz; Vassiliadis, Simone; Fereres, Alberto

    2017-12-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) is the main anthropogenic gas which has drastically increased since the industrial revolution, and current concentrations are projected to double by the end of this century. As a consequence, elevated CO 2 is expected to alter the earths' climate, increase global temperatures and change weather patterns. This is likely to have both direct and indirect impacts on plants, insect pests, plant pathogens and their distribution, and is therefore problematic for the security of future food production. This review summarizes the latest findings and highlights current knowledge gaps regarding the influence of climate change on insect, plant and pathogen interactions with an emphasis on agriculture and food production. Direct effects of climate change, including increased CO 2 concentration, temperature, patterns of rainfall and severe weather events that impact insects (namely vectors of plant pathogens) are discussed. Elevated CO 2 and temperature, together with plant pathogen infection, can considerably change plant biochemistry and therefore plant defense responses. This can have substantial consequences on insect fecundity, feeding rates, survival, population size, and dispersal. Generally, changes in host plant quality due to elevated CO 2 (e.g., carbon to nitrogen ratios in C3 plants) negatively affect insect pests. However, compensatory feeding, increased population size and distribution have also been reported for some agricultural insect pests. This underlines the importance of additional research on more targeted, individual insect-plant scenarios at specific locations to fully understand the impact of a changing climate on insect-plant-pathogen interactions. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  11. Host influence on irradiation bioefficacy : growth and development of Spodoptera litura (Fabricius)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seth, R.K.

    1995-01-01

    Survival and development of Spodoptera litura(F), a polyphagous pest was ascertained on a range of host plants, common and economic in the Indian context. Castor, cotton, green gram and okra constituted the preferred host group showing significantly better growth rate (GR) and growth index (GI) than the group of less preferred host plants that included groundnut, red gram, rose leaf and rose petal. Ontogenic growth profile vis-a-vis irradiation was studied with recording of GI at L3, pupa and adult levels in response to gamma dosages administered in L1 stage. Irradiation effect on the growth index was mainly due to reduction in survival, which was further pronounced owing to delay in development. On all the preferred host plants, adult-G1 was reduced by more than 50 per cent at 40 Gy gamma dose; whereas the same dose on less preferred host plants could prevent adult emergence on ground nut and red gram, and inhibited pupa formation on rose diet. The percentage mortality of larvae exhibiting delayed development was markedly more in the less preferred host group. Dose dependent reduction was observed in the larval growth rate of L3, L5 and L6 instars on all the host plants. 20 Gy exhibited almost same intensity of adverse impact in less preferred host group as was shown by 40 Gy in preferred hosts. 20 Gy dose reduced the pupal weight and conversion ratio of treated insects significantly. Age influence was evident on irradiation efficacy on all the diets. Insects treated in the later instar had less radiosusceptibility as compared to the young irradiated larvae. Irradiation had a negative correlation with survival and weight gain during the course of development that in turn bore a positive relation with the increase in radiation dosage. Food is an important governing factor in influencing the insects survival value and developmental behaviour and may modify its intrinsic sensitivity towards irradiation stress. (author). 21 refs., 1 fig., 5 tabs

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Differential effects of land use on ant and herbivore insect communities associated with Caryocar brasiliense (Caryocaraceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico S. Neves

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Simplification of natural habitats leads to a modification of the community associated with a host plant. Pequi trees (Caryocar brasiliense are common to find in central Brazil, especially in the middle of monocultures, such as soy, corn, pasturelands or Eucalyptus plantations. On this scenario we hypothesized that habitat modification differentially affects the diversity of ants and herbivore insects associated with this species. The aim of the work was to test if C. brasiliense trees located in human modified habitats, support a lower species richness and abundance of ants, and a greater species richness and abundance of insect herbivores, compared to preserved cerrado habitats. The study was conducted in a Cerrado area located in Northern Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Ants and herbivore insects were collected monthly during 2005 using beating technique. The results showed that ant species richness was higher in pequi trees located in preserved Cerrado, followed by trees in pastureland and Eucalyptus plantation, respectively. The ant abundance was lower in the Eucalyptus plantation but no difference in ant abundance was observed between trees in pastureland and the preserved Cerrado. Moreover, herbivore insects exhibited lower number of species and individuals in trees located in the preserved Cerrado than in the pastureland and Eucalyptus plantation. We concluded that habitats simplified by human activities may result in diversity loss and may change species interactions.

  20. Histochemical and molecular evaluation of the prevalence of Leishmania spp. in hematophagous insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willian Marinho Dourado Coelho

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence study of Leishmania spp. in hematophagous insects captured from the environment in bat roosts and pigeon nests, or feeding their hosts (cattle, pigs, horses, dogs and humans in urban, peri-urban and rural areas, between 2012 and 2014. For this study, the amastigotes present in these insects were detected by histochemical and PCR techniques. Positive gene amplification for Leishmania was found in two horseflies of the species Tabanus importunus collected in the environment, and amastigote forms of Leishmania spp., as well as erythrocytes and leukocytes, were histochemically detected in one of that insect. The other analyzed insects were not positive by PCR our by direct parasitological examination. Only horseflies captured in urban and peri-urban areas were positive. During the collection, no phlebotomine sand flies were captured in rural areas far from the city limits. It can be concluded that the discovery of horseflies positive for Leishmania spp. in urban and peri-urban areas indicates the likelihood that urban areas and their surroundings provide vector parasites with an environment suitable for the spread and consequent perpetuation of the biological cycle of this protozoan.