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Sample records for agriculturally important insect

  1. Important Insect Pests of Fruit - Important Insect Pests of Nuts - Field Crop Insect Pests - Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gesell, Stanley G.; And Others

    This document consists of four agriculture extension service publications from Pennsylvania State University. The titles are: (1) Important Insect Pests of Fruit; (2) Important Insect Pests of Nuts; (3) Field Crop Insect Pests; and (4) Insect Pests of Vegetable Crops. The first publication gives the hosts, injury, and description of 22 insect…

  2. Establishment of the cytoplasmic incompatibility-inducing Wolbachia strain wMel in an important agricultural pest insect

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xiao-Fei; Li, Zheng-Xi

    2016-01-01

    The wMel Wolbachia strain was known for cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI)-induction and blocking the transmission of dengue. However, it is unknown whether it can establish and induce CI in a non-dipteran host insect. Here we artificially transferred wMel from Drosophila melanogaster into the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Fluorescence in situ hybridisation demonstrated that wMel had successfully transfected the new host. Reciprocal crossing was conducted with wMel-transfected and wild-type isofemale lines, indicating that wMel could induce a strong CI without imposing significant cost on host fecundity. We then determined the maternal transmission efficiency of wMel in the offspring generations, showing a fluctuating trend over a period of 12 generations. We thus detected the titre of wMel during different developmental stages and in different generations by using real-time quantitative PCR, revealing a similar fluctuating mode, but it was not significantly correlated with the dynamics of transmission efficiency. These results suggest that wMel can be established in B.tabaci, a distantly related pest insect of agricultural importance; moreover, it can induce a strong CI phenotype in the recipient host insect, suggesting a potential for its use in biological control of B. tabaci. PMID:27982076

  3. Agricultural applications of insect ecological genomics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural entomology is poised to benefit from the application of ecological genomics, in particular the fields of biofuels generation and pest insect control. Metagenomic methods can characterize microbial communities of termites, wood-boring beetles and other insects, and transcriptomic approa...

  4. Monitoring the agricultural landscape for insect resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casas, Joseph; Glaser, J. A.; Copenhaver, Ken

    Farmers in 25 countries on six continents are using plant biotechnology to solve difficult crop production challenges and conserve the environment. In fact, 13.3 million farmers, which include 90 percent of the farming in developing countries, choose to plant biotech crops. Over the past decade, farmers increased area planted in genetically modified (GM) crops by more than 10 percent each year, thus increasing their farm income by more than 44 billion US dollars (1996-2007), and achieved economic, environmental and social benefits in crops such as soybeans, canola, corn and cotton. To date, total acres of biotech crops harvested exceed more than 2 billion with a proven 13-year history of safe use. Over the next decade, expanded adoption combined with current research on 57 crops in 63 countries will broaden the advantages of genetically modified foods for growers, consumers and the environment. Genetically modified (GM) crops with the ability to produce toxins lethal to specific insect pests are covering a larger percentage of the agricultural landscape every year. The United States department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that 63 percent of corn and 65 percent of cotton contained these specific genetic traits in 2009. The toxins could protect billions of dollars of loss from insect damage for crops valued at greater than 165 billion US dollars in 2008. The stable and efficient production of these crops has taken on even more importance in recent years with their use, not only as a food source, but now also a source of fuel. It is in the best interest of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to ensure the continued efficacy of toxin producing GM crops as their use reduces pesticides harmful to humans and animals. However, population genetics models have indicated the risk of insect pests developing resistance to these toxins if a high percentage of acreage is grown in these crops. The USEPA is developing methods to monitor the agricultural

  5. Ecosystem Services from Edible Insects in Agricultural Systems: A Review.

    PubMed

    Payne, Charlotte L R; Van Itterbeeck, Joost

    2017-02-17

    Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems.

  6. Ecosystem Services from Edible Insects in Agricultural Systems: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Charlotte L. R.; Van Itterbeeck, Joost

    2017-01-01

    Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems. PMID:28218635

  7. Agricultural applications of insect ecological genomics.

    PubMed

    Poelchau, Monica F; Coates, Brad S; Childers, Christopher P; Peréz de León, Adalberto A; Evans, Jay D; Hackett, Kevin; Shoemaker, DeWayne

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural entomology is poised to benefit from the application of ecological genomics, particularly the fields of biofuels generation and pest control. Metagenomic methods can characterize microbial communities of termites, wood-boring beetles and livestock pests, and transcriptomic approaches reveal molecular bases behind wood-digesting capabilities of these insects, leading to potential mechanisms for biofuel generation. Genome sequences are being exploited to develop new pest control methods, identify candidate antigens to vaccinate livestock, and discover RNAi target sequences and potential non-target effects in other insects. Gene content analyses of pest genome sequences and their endosymbionts suggest metabolic interdependencies between organisms, exposing potential gene targets for insect control. Finally, genome-wide association studies and genotyping by high-throughput sequencing promise to improve management of pesticide resistance.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Plant or fungal-produced conophthorin as an important component of host plant volatile-based attractants for agricultural lepidopteran insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conophthorin (7-methyl-1,6-dioxaspiro[4.5]decane) is a semiochemical common to numerous coleopteran and hymenopteran insects, and possess varying semiochemical behavior among these species. Conophthorin has recently gained attention as a semiochemical for navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Lepi...

  10. Economic importance of bats in agriculture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyles, Justin G.; Cryan, Paul M.; McCracken, Gary F.; Kunz, Thomas H.

    2011-01-01

    White-nose syndrome (WNS) and the increased development of wind-power facilities are threatening populations of insectivorous bats in North America. Bats are voracious predators of nocturnal insects, including many crop and forest pests. We present here analyses suggesting that loss of bats in North America could lead to agricultural losses estimated at more than $3.7 billion/year. Urgent efforts are needed to educate the public and policy-makers about the ecological and economic importance of insectivorous bats and to provide practical conservation solutions.

  11. Invasion and Management of Agricultural Alien Insects in China.

    PubMed

    Wan, Fang-Hao; Yang, Nian-Wan

    2016-01-01

    China is the world's fourth-largest country in terms of landmass. Its highly diverse biogeography presents opportunities for many invasive alien insects. However, physical and climate barriers sometimes prevent locally occurring species from spreading. China has 560 confirmed invasive alien species; 125 are insect pests, and 92 of these damage the agricultural ecosystem. The estimated annual economic loss due to alien invasive species is more than $18.9 billion. The most harmful invasive insects exhibit some common characteristics, such as high reproduction, competitive dominance, and high tolerance, and benefit from mutualist facilitation interactions. Regional cropping system structure adjustments have resulted in mono-agricultural ecosystems in cotton and other staple crops, providing opportunities for monophagous insect pests. Furthermore, human dietary shifts to fruits and vegetables and smallholder-based farming systems result in highly diverse agricultural ecosystems, which provide resource opportunities for polyphagous insects. Multiple cropping and widespread use of greenhouses provide continuous food and winter habitats for insect pests, greatly extending their geographic range. The current management system consists of early-warning, monitoring, eradication, and spread blocking technologies. This review provides valuable new synthetic information on integrated management practices based mainly on biological control for a number of invasive species. We encourage farmers and extension workers to be more involved in training and further research for novel protection methods that takes into consideration end users' needs.

  12. Optical characterization of agricultural pest insects: a methodological study in the spectral and time domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y. Y.; Zhang, H.; Duan, Z.; Lian, M.; Zhao, G. Y.; Sun, X. H.; Hu, J. D.; Gao, L. N.; Feng, H. Q.; Svanberg, S.

    2016-08-01

    Identification of agricultural pest insects is an important aspect in insect research and agricultural monitoring. We have performed a methodological study of how spectroscopic techniques and wing-beat frequency analysis might provide relevant information. An optical system based on the combination of close-range remote sensing and reflectance spectroscopy was developed to study the optical characteristics of different flying insects, collected in Southern China. The results demonstrate that the combination of wing-beat frequency assessment and reflectance spectral analysis has the potential to successfully differentiate between insect species. Further, studies of spectroscopic characteristics of fixed specimen of insects, also from Central China, showed the possibility of refined agricultural pest identification. Here, in addition to reflectance recordings also laser-induced fluorescence spectra were investigated for all the species of insects under study and found to provide complementary information to optically distinguish insects. In order to prove the practicality of the techniques explored, clearly fieldwork aiming at elucidating the variability of parameters, even within species, must be performed.

  13. Insect chemical ecology research in the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service.

    PubMed

    Aldrich, Jeffrey R; Bartelt, Robert J; Dickens, Joseph C; Knight, Alan L; Light, Douglas M; Tumlinson, James H

    2003-01-01

    This multi-author paper reviews current work by USDA-ARS scientists in the field of chemical ecology. Work with pheromones, the discovery and development of the codling moth kairomone, studies on insect-plant interactions and chemically mediated tritrophic plant-insect interactions have led to practical methods for control of important insect pests.

  14. Spillover edge effects: the dispersal of agriculturally subsidized insect natural enemies into adjacent natural habitats.

    PubMed

    Rand, Tatyana A; Tylianakis, Jason M; Tscharntke, Teja

    2006-05-01

    The cross-edge spillover of subsidized predators from anthropogenic to natural habitats is an important process affecting wildlife, especially bird, populations in fragmented landscapes. However, the importance of the spillover of insect natural enemies from agricultural to natural habitats is unknown, despite the abundance of studies examining movement in the opposite direction. Here, we synthesize studies from various ecological sub-disciplines to suggest that spillover of agriculturally subsidized insect natural enemies may be an important process affecting prey populations in natural habitat fragments. This contention is based on (1) the ubiquity of agricultural-natural edges in human dominated landscapes; (2) the substantial literature illustrating that crop and natural habitats share important insect predators; and (3) the clear importance of the landscape matrix, specifically distance to ecological edges, in influencing predator impacts in agroecosystems. Further support emerges from theory on the importance of cross-boundary subsidies for within site consumer-resource dynamics. In particular, high productivity and temporally variable resource abundance in agricultural systems are predicted to result in strong spillover effects. More empirical work examining the prevalence and significance of such natural enemy spillover will be critical to a broader understanding of fragmentation impacts on insect predator-prey interactions.

  15. Managing social insects of urban importance.

    PubMed

    Rust, Michael K; Su, Nan-Yao

    2012-01-01

    Social insects have a tremendous economic and social impact on urban communities. The rapid urbanization of the world has dramatically increased the incidence of urban pests. Human commerce has resulted in the spread of urban invasive species worldwide such that various species are now common to many major urban centers. We aim to highlight those social behaviors that can be exploited to control these pests with the minimal use of pesticides. Their cryptic behavior often prohibits the direct treatment of colonies. However, foraging and recruitment are essential aspects of their social behavior and expose workers to traps, baits, and pesticide applications. The advent of new chemistries has revolutionized the pest management strategies used to control them. In recent years, there has been an increased environmental awareness, especially in the urban community. Advances in molecular and microbial agents promise additional tools in developing integrated pest management programs against social insects.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Aylward, Frank O.; Suen, Garret; Biedermann, Peter H. W.; ...

    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 associatedmore » 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.« less

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  18. Resistance to sap-sucking insects in modern-day agriculture

    PubMed Central

    VanDoorn, Arjen; de Vos, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Plants and herbivores have co-evolved in their natural habitats for about 350 million years, but since the domestication of crops, plant resistance against insects has taken a different turn. With the onset of monoculture-driven modern agriculture, selective pressure on insects to overcome resistances has dramatically increased. Therefore plant breeders have resorted to high-tech tools to continuously create new insect-resistant crops. Efforts in the past 30 years have resulted in elucidation of mechanisms of many effective plant defenses against insect herbivores. Here, we critically appraise these efforts and – with a focus on sap-sucking insects – discuss how these findings have contributed to herbivore-resistant crops. Moreover, in this review we try to assess where future challenges and opportunities lay ahead. Of particular importance will be a mandatory reduction in systemic pesticide usage and thus a greater reliance on alternative methods, such as improved plant genetics for plant resistance to insect herbivores. PMID:23818892

  19. Ultrastructural and molecular characterization of a bacterial symbiosis in the ecologically important scale insect family Coelostomidiidae.

    PubMed

    Dhami, Manpreet K; Turner, Adrian P; Deines, Peter; Beggs, Jacqueline R; Taylor, Michael W

    2012-09-01

    Scale insects are important ecologically and as agricultural pests. The majority of scale insect taxa feed exclusively on plant phloem sap, which is carbon rich but deficient in essential amino acids. This suggests that, as seen in the related aphids and psyllids, scale insect nutrition might also depend upon bacterial symbionts, yet very little is known about scale insect-bacteria symbioses. We report here the first identification and molecular characterization of symbiotic bacteria associated with the New Zealand giant scale Coelostomidia wairoensis, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 16S rRNA gene-based analysis. Dissection and FISH confirmed the location of the bacteria in large, paired, multilobate organs in the abdominal region of the insect. TEM indicated that the dominant pleomorphic bacteria were confined to bacteriocytes in the sheath-enclosed bacteriome. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of three distinct bacterial types, the bacteriome-associated B-symbiont (Bacteroidetes), an Erwinia-related symbiont (Gammaproteobacteria) and Wolbachia sp. (Alphaproteobacteria). This study extends the current knowledge of scale insect symbionts and is the first microbiological investigation of the ecologically important coelostomidiid scales.

  20. Diseases of insects of medical importance in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Weiser, Jaroslav

    1963-01-01

    The biological control of insects carrying human diseases was first attempted many years ago, but the results were disappointing owing to the insufficiency of information on the ecology and pathology of such insects at the time. In recent years, however, increased knowledge of insect pathology and ecology and the development of insecticide-resistance have led to a revival of interest in this method of vector control. Most of the recent published work on this subject relates to findings in North America; comparatively little information has hitherto been available in respect of Europe. This paper, which is based on a survey of the literature and on the author's own experience, presents the results of research on diseases of insects of medical importance in Europe. Infection with viruses, rickettsiae, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes are discussed and suggested lines for future European research on biological control are put forward. ImagesFIG. 7-9FIG. 10-12FIG. 4-6FIG. 1-3 PMID:13999691

  1. BATS AND BT INSECT RESISTANCE ON AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES

    EPA Science Inventory

    A landscape model that utilizes land cover classification data, insect life history, insect movement, and bat foraging pressure is developed that addresses the implementation of genetically modified crops in the Winter Garden region of Texas. The principal strategy for delaying r...

  2. Emergent insect production in post-harvest flooded agricultural fields used by waterbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moss, Richard C.; Blumenshine, Steven C.; Yee, Julie; Fleskes, Joseph P.

    2009-01-01

    California’s Tulare Lake Basin (TLB) is one of the most important waterbird areas in North America even though most wetlands there have been converted to cropland. To guide management programs promoting waterbird beneficial agriculture, which includes flooding fields between growing periods, we measured emergence rates of insects, an important waterbird food, in three crop types (tomato, wheat, alfalfa) in the TLB relative to water depth and days flooded during August–October, 2003 and 2004. We used corrected Akaike’s Information Criterion values to compare a set of models that accounted for our repeated measured data. The best model included crop type and crop type interacting with days flooded and depth flooded. Emergence rates (mg m−2 day−1) were greater in tomato than wheat or alfalfa fields, increased with days flooded in alfalfa and tomato but not wheat fields, and increased with water depth in alfalfa and wheat but not tomato fields. To investigate the relationship between the range of diel water temperatures and insect emergence rates, we rearedChironomus dilutus larvae in environmental chambers under high (15–32°C) and low fluctuation (20–26°C) temperature regimes that were associated with shallow and deep (respectively) sampling sites in our fields. Larval survival (4×) and biomass (2×) were greater in the low thermal fluctuation treatment suggesting that deeply flooded areas would support greater insect production.

  3. Harnessing insect-microbe chemical communications to control insect pest of agricultural systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect pests have long been known to impose serious yield, economic, and food safety problems to managed crops worldwide, and are known to vector microbes, many of which are pathogenic or toxigenic. At the heart of many of these studies has been the vital understanding of the plant-insect interactio...

  4. A survey of insect assemblages responding to volatiles from a ubiquitous fungus in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Davis, Thomas Seth; Landolt, Peter J

    2013-07-01

    We report here a first survey of insect orientation to fungal cultures and fungal volatiles from a community ecology perspective. We tested whether volatiles from a ubiquitous yeast-like fungus (Aureobasidium pullulans) are broadly attractive to insects in an agricultural landscape. We evaluated insect attraction to fungal cultures and synthetic compounds identified in fungal headspace (2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-phenylethanol) in a spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) plantation. Three findings emerged: (1) 1,315 insects representing seven orders and 39 species oriented to traps, but 65 % of trapped insects were Dipterans, of which 80 % were hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae); (2) traps baited with A. pullulans caught 481 % more insects than unbaited control traps on average, and contained more diverse (Shannon's H index) and species rich assemblages than control traps, traps baited with Penicillium expansum, or uninoculated media; and (3) insects oriented in greatest abundance to a 1:1:1 blend of A. pullulans volatiles, but mean diversity scores were highest for traps baited with only 2-phenylethanol or 2-methyl-1-butanol. Our results show that individual components of fungal headspace are not equivalent in terms of the abundance and diversity of insects that orient to them. The low abundance of insects captured with P. expansum suggests that insect assemblages do not haphazardly orient to fungal volatiles. We conclude that volatiles from a common fungal species (A. pullulans) are attractive to a variety of insect taxa in an agricultural system, and that insect orientation to fungal volatiles may be a common ecological phenomenon.

  5. Biology: An Important Agricultural Engineering Mechanism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henderson, S. M.

    1974-01-01

    Describes the field of bioengineering with particular emphasis on agricultural engineering, and presents the results of a survey of schools that combine biology and engineering in their curricula. (JR)

  6. Role of nanotechnology in agriculture with special reference to management of insect pests.

    PubMed

    Rai, Mahendra; Ingle, Avinash

    2012-04-01

    Nanotechnology is a promising field of interdisciplinary research. It opens up a wide array of opportunities in various fields like medicine, pharmaceuticals, electronics and agriculture. The potential uses and benefits of nanotechnology are enormous. These include insect pests management through the formulations of nanomaterials-based pesticides and insecticides, enhancement of agricultural productivity using bio-conjugated nanoparticles (encapsulation) for slow release of nutrients and water, nanoparticle-mediated gene or DNA transfer in plants for the development of insect pest-resistant varieties and use of nanomaterials for preparation of different kind of biosensors, which would be useful in remote sensing devices required for precision farming. Traditional strategies like integrated pest management used in agriculture are insufficient, and application of chemical pesticides like DDT have adverse effects on animals and human beings apart from the decline in soil fertility. Therefore, nanotechnology would provide green and efficient alternatives for the management of insect pests in agriculture without harming the nature. This review is focused on traditional strategies used for the management of insect pests, limitations of use of chemical pesticides and potential of nanomaterials in insect pest management as modern approaches of nanotechnology.

  7. Mycotoxin contamination of commercially important agricultural commodities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fungal toxins, called aflatoxins and other mold toxins, are a serious problem in US agricultural commodities. Due to aflatoxins resilience to industrial processes contaminated crops (corn, cotton, peanuts, and tree nuts) cannot be used. The loss of these commodities results in serious economic impa...

  8. A Proboscis Extension Response Protocol for Investigating Behavioral Plasticity in Insects: Application to Basic, Biomedical, and Agricultural Research

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Brian H.; Burden, Christina M.

    2014-01-01

    Insects modify their responses to stimuli through experience of associating those stimuli with events important for survival (e.g., food, mates, threats). There are several behavioral mechanisms through which an insect learns salient associations and relates them to these events. It is important to understand this behavioral plasticity for programs aimed toward assisting insects that are beneficial for agriculture. This understanding can also be used for discovering solutions to biomedical and agricultural problems created by insects that act as disease vectors and pests. The Proboscis Extension Response (PER) conditioning protocol was developed for honey bees (Apis mellifera) over 50 years ago to study how they perceive and learn about floral odors, which signal the nectar and pollen resources a colony needs for survival. The PER procedure provides a robust and easy-to-employ framework for studying several different ecologically relevant mechanisms of behavioral plasticity. It is easily adaptable for use with several other insect species and other behavioral reflexes. These protocols can be readily employed in conjunction with various means for monitoring neural activity in the CNS via electrophysiology or bioimaging, or for manipulating targeted neuromodulatory pathways. It is a robust assay for rapidly detecting sub-lethal effects on behavior caused by environmental stressors, toxins or pesticides. We show how the PER protocol is straightforward to implement using two procedures. One is suitable as a laboratory exercise for students or for quick assays of the effect of an experimental treatment. The other provides more thorough control of variables, which is important for studies of behavioral conditioning. We show how several measures for the behavioral response ranging from binary yes/no to more continuous variable like latency and duration of proboscis extension can be used to test hypotheses. And, we discuss some pitfalls that researchers commonly encounter

  9. Olfactory disruption: towards controlling important insect vectors of disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chemical repellents are used to decrease contacts between insect disease vectors and their hosts, thus reducing the probability of disease transmission. The molecular mechanisms by which repellents have their effects are poorly understood and remain a controversial topic. Here we present recent re...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  11. Importance of energy balance in agriculture.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meco, R.; Moreno, M. M.; Lacasta, C.; Tarquis, A. M.; Moreno, C.

    2012-04-01

    Since the beginning, man has tried to control nature and the environment, and the use of energy, mainly from non-renewable sources providing the necessary power for that. The consequences of this long fight against nature has reached a critical state of unprecedented worldwide environmental degradation, as evidenced by the increasing erosion of fertile lands, the deforestation processes, the pollution of water, air and land by agrochemicals, the loss of plant and animal species, the progressive deterioration of the ozone layer and signs of global warming. This is exacerbated by the increasing population growth, implying a steady increase in consumption, and consequently, in the use of energy. Unfortunately, all these claims are resulting in serious economic and environmental problems worldwide. Because the economic and environmental future of the countries is interrelated, it becomes necessary to adopt sustainable development models based on the use of renewable and clean energies, the search for alternative resources and the use of productive systems more efficient from an energy standpoint, always with a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In relation to the agricultural sector, the question we ask is: how long can we keep the current energy-intensive agricultural techniques in developed countries? To analyze this aspect, energy balance is a very helpful tool because can lead to more efficient, sustainable and environment-friendly production systems for each agro-climatic region. This requires the identification of all the inputs and the outputs involved and their conversion to energy values by means of corresponding energy coefficients or equivalents (International Federation of Institutes for Advanced Studies). Energy inputs (EI) can be divided in direct (energy directly used in farms as fuel, machines, fertilizers, seeds, herbicides, human labor, etc.) and indirect (energy not consumed in the farm but in the elaboration, manufacturing or manipulation of

  12. The Importance of Agriculture Science Course Sequencing in High Schools: A View from Collegiate Agriculture Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wheelus, Robin P.

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the importance of Agriculture Science course sequencing in high schools, as a preparatory factor for students enrolled in collegiate agriculture classes. With the variety of courses listed in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Agriculture Science, it has been possible for counselors,…

  13. The Study of Importance of the Balance Space Food with Insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katayama, Naomi; Yoshimura, Tuyoshi; Baba, Keiichi; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Providing foods to space crew is the important requirements to support long term manned space exploration. We designed joyful and healthy recipe with materials (plants, insects, fish and et.cet.), which can be produced by the bio-regenerative agricultural system operated at limited resources available in spaceship or on Moon and Mars. The fundamental composition of our recipe is unpolished rice, barley, soybean, sweat potato and green-yellow vegetables. Supplement food materials to fulfill the nutritional requirements we chose are loach, silkworm pupa, termite, snail, mud snail, bee, locust, cassava, quinoa and et. cet. And the space foods were made by using IH cooking heater and vacuum cooking machine. Nutritional analysis on the basic vegetable menu consisting of rice, barley, soybean, sweet potato cassava, quinoa and green reveals a shortage of vitamins D and B12, cholesterol and sodium salt. Since vitamin D deficiency results in demineralization of bone. Vitamin B12 is essential to prevent pernicious anemia.Fish contains both vitamins D and B12. The pupa of the silkworm becomes the impor-tant nourishment source as protein and lipid. The silk thread uses it as clothing and cosmetics and medical supplies. However, we can use the silk thread as food as protein after finish to use. A law of nature shakes high quality oils and fats included in termite for cooking. I use the bee as food after having used it for the pollination of the plant. Of course the honey becomes the important food, too. The snail and mud snail become the food as protein. We decided to use the menu consisting of the basic vegetarian menu plus insect and loach for further conceptual design of space agriculture. We succeeded to develop joyful and nutritious space recipe at the end. Because of less need of agricultural resources at choosing ecological members from the lower ladder of the food chain, our space recipe could be a proposal to solve the food problem on Earth.In addition, as for these

  14. A comparative assessment of cytotoxicity of commonly used agricultural insecticides to human and insect cells.

    PubMed

    Yun, Xinming; Huang, Qingchun; Rao, Wenbing; Xiao, Ciying; Zhang, Tao; Mao, Zhifan; Wan, Ziyi

    2017-03-01

    The cytotoxic potential of 13 commonly used agricultural insecticides was examined using cell-based systems with three human HepG2, Hek293, HeLa cells and three insect Tn5B1-4, Sf-21, and Drosophila S2 cells. Data showed that (1) an enhancement of some insecticides (e.g. pyrethroids) on cells proliferation; (2) an inhibition of some insecticides on cells viability; (3) various levels of susceptibility of different cells to the same insecticide; and (4) the cell type dependent sensitivity to different insecticides. The degree of cytotoxicity of insecticides on human cells was significantly lower than that on insect cells (P<0.05). Methomyl, even 20μg/ml, showed little cytotoxicity at 24h exposure whereas emamectin benzoate possessed the strongest cytotoxic potential in a dose-dependent fashion. The results revealed comparable cytotoxic property of agricultural insecticides against intact cells.

  15. [Bacillus thuringiensis: general aspects. An approach to its use in the biological control of lepidopteran insects behaving as agricultural pests].

    PubMed

    Sauka, Diego H; Benintende, Graciela B

    2008-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is the most widely applied biological pesticide used to control insects that affect agriculture and forestry and which transmit human and animal pathogens. During the past decades B. thuringiensis has been the subject of intensive research. These efforts have yielded considerable data about the relationships between the structure, mechanism of action, and genetics of their pesticidal crystal proteins. As a result, a coherent picture of these relationships has emerged. Other studies have focused on the ecological role of the B. thuringiensis crystal proteins and their performance in agricultural and other natural settings. With this knowledge as background and the help of biotechnological tools, researchers are now reporting promising results in the development of more useful toxins, recombinant bacteria, new formulations and transgenic plants that express pesticidal activity, in order to assure that these products are utilized with the best efficiency and benefit. This article is an attempt to integrate all these recent developments in the study of B. thuringiensis into a context of biological control of lepidopteran insect pest of agricultural importance.

  16. Geospatial Modeling and Disease Insect Vector Management at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Geospatial modeling at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) is used assist in the surveillance of insect vectors and in the management of insect transmitted diseases. The most recent Geospatial Modeling/Technology Transfer success involves the prediction of Rift Val...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  18. The importance of agricultural lands for Himalayan birds in winter.

    PubMed

    Elsen, Paul R; Kalyanaraman, Ramnarayan; Ramesh, Krishnamurthy; Wilcove, David S

    2017-04-01

    The impacts of land-use change on biodiversity in the Himalayas are poorly known, notwithstanding widespread deforestation and agricultural intensification in this highly biodiverse region. Although intact primary forests harbor many Himalayan birds during breeding, a large number of bird species use agricultural lands during winter. We assessed how Himalayan bird species richness, abundance, and composition during winter are affected by forest loss stemming from agriculture and grazing. Bird surveys along 12 elevational transects within primary forest, low-intensity agriculture, mixed subsistence agriculture, and intensively grazed pastures in winter revealed that bird species richness and abundance were greatest in low-intensity and mixed agriculture, intermediate in grazed pastures, and lowest in primary forest at both local and landscape scales; over twice as many species and individuals were recorded in low-intensity agriculture than in primary forest. Bird communities in primary forests were distinct from those in all other land-use classes, but only 4 species were unique to primary forests. Low-, medium-, and high-intensity agriculture harbored 32 unique species. Of the species observed in primary forest, 80% had equal or greater abundance in low-intensity agricultural lands, underscoring the value of these lands in retaining diverse community assemblages at high densities in winter. Among disturbed landscapes, bird species richness and abundance declined as land-use intensity increased, especially in high-intensity pastures. Our results suggest that agricultural landscapes are important for most Himalayan bird species in winter. But agricultural intensification-especially increased grazing-will likely result in biodiversity losses. Given that forest reserves alone may inadequately conserve Himalayan birds in winter, comprehensive conservation strategies in the region must go beyond protecting intact primary forests and ensure that low-intensity agricultural

  19. Biorational agents--mechanism and importance in IPM and IRM programs for controlling agricultural pests.

    PubMed

    Ishaaya, I; Kontsedalov, S; Mazirov, D; Horowitz, A R

    2001-01-01

    Among the new approaches for controlling agricultural pests is the development of novel compounds affecting specific processes in insects such as chitin synthesis inhibitors, juvenile hormone mimics and ecdysone agonists. In addition, efforts have been made to develop compounds acting selectively on groups of insects by inhibiting or enhancing biochemical sites such as respiration (diafenthiuron), the nicotinyl acetylcholine receptors (imidacloprid and acetamiprid), the GABA receptors (avermectins), the salivary glands of sucking pests (pymetrozine) and others. Among the most recent novel insecticides with selective properties are novaluron, thiamethoxam, emamectin and spinosad. Novaluron (Rimon) is a novel chitin synthesis inhibitor that acts by both ingestion and contact. It is a powerful suppressor of lepidopteran larvae such as Spodoptera littoralis and Helicoverpa armigera (by ingestion) and of whiteflies such as Bemisia tabaci and Trialeurodes vaporariorum (by contact). Thiamethoxam (Actarn), a novel neonicotinoid acts specifically on aphids and whiteflies. Emamectin (Proclaim), an avermectin derivative acts on GABA receptor affecting diversity of insects such as mites, lepidopterans and thrips. Spinosad (Tracer) seems to act on both acetylcholine and GABA receptors affecting diversity of insect species and is considered an important agent for controlling the western flower thrips.

  20. Aquatic Insect Emergence in Post-Harvest Flooded Agricultural Fields in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moss, R. C.; Blumenshine, S.; Fleskes, J.

    2005-05-01

    California's Southern San Joaquin Valley is one of the most important waterbird areas in North America, but has suffered a disproportionate loss of wetlands when compared to other California regions. This project analyzes the habitat value of post-harvest flooded cropland by measuring the emergence of aquatic insects across multiple crop types. Aquatic insect emergence was sampled from post-harvest flooded fields of four crop types (alfalfa, corn, tomato, wheat), August-October, 2003-2004. Emergence was measured using traps deployed with a stratified random distribution to sample between and within field variation. Emergence rate and emergent biomass was significantly higher in flooded tomato fields. Results from corn fields indicate that flooding depth was correlated (r=0.095) with both diel temperature fluctuation and emergence rate. Chironomus dilutus larvae were grown in environmental chambers, under two thermal treatments with the same mean but different amplitudes (high: 15°-32°C, low: 20°-26°C) to investigate thermal fluctuation effects on survival and biomass. Larval survival (4x) and biomass (2x) were significantly greater in the low versus high temperature fluctuation treatment. This research has the potential to affect agricultural management throughout the 12,600 km2 region, increase aquatic insect production and aid in the recovery of declining bird populations.

  1. Contribution of insect pollinators to crop yield and quality varies with agricultural intensification

    PubMed Central

    Potts, Simon G.; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Vaissière, Bernard E.; Woyciechowski, Michal; Krewenka, Kristin M.; Tscheulin, Thomas; Roberts, Stuart P.M.; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Westphal, Catrin; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2014-01-01

    Background. Up to 75% of crop species benefit at least to some degree from animal pollination for fruit or seed set and yield. However, basic information on the level of pollinator dependence and pollinator contribution to yield is lacking for many crops. Even less is known about how insect pollination affects crop quality. Given that habitat loss and agricultural intensification are known to decrease pollinator richness and abundance, there is a need to assess the consequences for different components of crop production. Methods. We used pollination exclusion on flowers or inflorescences on a whole plant basis to assess the contribution of insect pollination to crop yield and quality in four flowering crops (spring oilseed rape, field bean, strawberry, and buckwheat) located in four regions of Europe. For each crop, we recorded abundance and species richness of flower visiting insects in ten fields located along a gradient from simple to heterogeneous landscapes. Results. Insect pollination enhanced average crop yield between 18 and 71% depending on the crop. Yield quality was also enhanced in most crops. For instance, oilseed rape had higher oil and lower chlorophyll contents when adequately pollinated, the proportion of empty seeds decreased in buckwheat, and strawberries’ commercial grade improved; however, we did not find higher nitrogen content in open pollinated field beans. Complex landscapes had a higher overall species richness of wild pollinators across crops, but visitation rates were only higher in complex landscapes for some crops. On the contrary, the overall yield was consistently enhanced by higher visitation rates, but not by higher pollinator richness. Discussion. For the four crops in this study, there is clear benefit delivered by pollinators on yield quantity and/or quality, but it is not maximized under current agricultural intensification. Honeybees, the most abundant pollinator, might partially compensate the loss of wild pollinators in

  2. Perceptions of Vocational Agriculture Instructors Regarding Knowledge and Importance of Including Selected Agricultural Mechanics Units in the Vocational Agriculture Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heimgartner, Dale C.; Foster, Richard M.

    1981-01-01

    A survey of teachers in five northwestern states revealed that respondents in all states rated the units of arc welding and oxyacetylene welding as the most important units to be included in secondary vocational agriculture programs. (LRA)

  3. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas

    PubMed Central

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T.; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  4. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    PubMed

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  5. Replication of flock house virus in three genera of medically important insects.

    PubMed

    Dasgupta, Ranjit; Free, Heather M; Zietlow, Suzanne L; Paskewitz, Susan M; Aksoy, Serap; Shi, Lei; Fuchs, Jeremy; Hu, Changyun; Christensen, Bruce M

    2007-01-01

    Flock House Virus (family Nodaviridae, genus Alphanodavirus, FHV) was originally isolated from grass grubs Costelytra zealandica (White) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in New Zealand and belongs to a family of divided genome, plus-sense RNA insect viruses. FHV replicates in insects, a nematode, plants, and yeast. We previously reported replication of FHV in four genera of mosquitoes and expression of green fluorescent protein in Aedes aegypti (L.) produced by an FHV-based vector. We report here that FHV multiplies vigorously in vivo in the malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae Giles and An. stephensi Liston and in vitro in a cell line derived from An. gambiae. In addition, FHV multiplies extensively in two other medically important insects, the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans morsitans Westwood, and the reduviid bug Rhodnius prolixus Stal, extending its host range to four orders of insects (Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera, and Hemiptera). The virus disseminates in all the major tissues of the insects studied. Anopheles and Glossina show mortality when FHV is injected at a dose above 10(4) plaque-forming units (pfu) or the virus accumulates to titer above 10(8) pfu. A lower dose (10(3) pfu) promotes more extensive virus multiplication and reduces mortality to < 10%. No adverse effects are observed in Ae. aegypti, Culex pipiens pipiens L., and Armigeres subalbatus (Coquillett), when injected with a dose of up to 10(7) pfu. Mosquitoes orally fed with FHV exhibited slower virus growth rate with lower mortality. Our results indicate that FHV has uniquely broad insect host range and that the virus can be used to study virus host interactions in a variety of medically important insects.

  6. Use of irradiation as quarantine treatment for agricultural products infested by mites and insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ignatowicz, S.; Brzostek, G.

    The criterion for efficacy of irradiation of agricultural products as a quarantine treatment should be based on the inability to perpetuate the pest at a new location rather than in causing immediate mortality. Sterility in insects and mites is achieved following irradiation of adults and immatures at much lower doses than needed to kill these pests. Irradiation of beans infested by the bean weevil, Acanthoscelidesobtectus Say, and grains infested by the grain weevil, Sitophilusgranarius (L.), and/or the rice weevil, S. oryzae (L.), at 60 Gy could be the treatment required to produce an acceptable level of quarantine security. For the acarid mites ( Acaridae), a dose of 250 Gy is suggested. At these dosages, adult survivors of the pest will be present in the treated commodities, but they will not give rise to offspring, and thus this pest would not be able to perpetuate in a new area.

  7. Intercepting aliens: insects and mites on budwood imported to South Africa.

    PubMed

    Saccaggi, Davina L; Pieterse, Welma

    2013-06-01

    South Africa imports plant budwood (dormant cuttings for propagation) from various countries. Phytosanitary measures, including inspections at points of entry, are implemented to minimize the chance of a pest being introduced on the budwood. This study presents the inspections and interceptions of mites and insects on budwood imported to South Africa from 2004 to 2011. The study presents crops and countries from which South Africa imports budwood, and gives data on the type of imports more often infested with arthropods. Interceptions of insects and mites are reported, including interceptions of phytosanitary, economically important and nonphytophagous mites. The arthropod taxa intercepted are listed, and it is noted that the majority of interceptions are of mites, particularly of Eriophyoidea. These data are discussed in the context of quarantine and research.

  8. Insect pollinated crops, insect pollinators and US agriculture: trend analysis of aggregate data for the period 1992-2009.

    PubMed

    Calderone, Nicholas W

    2012-01-01

    In the US, the cultivated area (hectares) and production (tonnes) of crops that require or benefit from insect pollination (directly dependent crops: apples, almonds, blueberries, cucurbits, etc.) increased from 1992, the first year in this study, through 1999 and continued near those levels through 2009; aggregate yield (tonnes/hectare) remained unchanged. The value of directly dependent crops attributed to all insect pollination (2009 USD) decreased from $14.29 billion in 1996, the first year for value data in this study, to $10.69 billion in 2001, but increased thereafter, reaching $15.12 billion by 2009. The values attributed to honey bees and non-Apis pollinators followed similar patterns, reaching $11.68 billion and $3.44 billion, respectively, by 2009. The cultivated area of crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination (indirectly dependent crops: legume hays, carrots, onions, etc.) was stable from 1992 through 1999, but has since declined. Production of those crops also declined, albeit not as rapidly as the decline in cultivated area; this asymmetry was due to increases in aggregate yield. The value of indirectly dependent crops attributed to insect pollination declined from $15.45 billion in 1996 to $12.00 billion in 2004, but has since trended upward. The value of indirectly dependent crops attributed to honey bees and non-Apis pollinators, exclusive of alfalfa leafcutter bees, has declined since 1996 to $5.39 billion and $1.15 billion, respectively in 2009. The value of alfalfa hay attributed to alfalfa leafcutter bees ranged between $4.99 and $7.04 billion. Trend analysis demonstrates that US producers have a continued and significant need for insect pollinators and that a diminution in managed or wild pollinator populations could seriously threaten the continued production of insect pollinated crops and crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination.

  9. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination.

    PubMed

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Garratt, Michael P D; Howlett, Brad G; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A; Mayfield, Margaret M; Arthur, Anthony D; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Entling, Martin H; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R; Gross, Caroline L; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q; Lindström, Sandra A M; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E; Pereira, Natália de O; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G; Stanley, Dara A; Stout, Jane C; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-05

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines.

  10. Insects associated with hospital environment in Egypt with special reference to the medically important species.

    PubMed

    Kenawy, Mohamed A; Amer, Hanan S; Lotfy, Nadia M; Khamis, Nagwa; Abdel-Hamid, Yousrya M

    2014-12-01

    A study was planned to examine the insect fauna associated with two hospitals: urban (A) in Cairo and rural (B) in Banha, Egypt with varying hygienic levels and their adjacent residential areas (AC) and (BC), respectively and to investigate the effect of hygienic level on species composition and relative abundance. A total of 22 species belonging to 7 orders and 15 families were reported in the four study areas of which, Dipterous flies were the most common (8/22, 36.36% species). A total of 5257 adults were collected of which Dipterous flies were the abundant (3800, 72.28% insect) and Musca domestica was the most abundant species (3535, 67.24% insect) which was present in all areas where it was more common / predominant species (21.94%-90.91% insect). Moreover, higher densities of M domestica were in (B) and BC than in (A) or (AC). The heavily infested area was AC (54.55% species) followed by (A), (BC) and (B) however, the total number of the collected insects was higher in (BC) and (B) than in (AC) and (A). This was confirmed by finding maximum diversity indices in (AC) and minimum ones in B. In all areas, means of M domestica was more common during summer/autumn and spring than in the winter. Periplaneta americana collected oily during autumn in AC and was more common in autumn in (BC) while Blatella germanica collected only during summer in (AC) and was more common in autumn in (B). The prevalence and higher abundance of the medically important species mainly M domestica, P. americana and B. germanica in rural hospital than in urban one attribute mainly to the lower hygienic level of rural hospital This require a control program based mainly on sanitation supplemented by other measures to overcome the risk of disease transmission by such insects

  11. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination

    PubMed Central

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Howlett, Brad G.; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A.; Mayfield, Margaret M.; Arthur, Anthony D.; Andersson, Georg K. S.; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G.; Chacoff, Natacha P.; Entling, Martin H.; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M.; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R.; Gross, Caroline L.; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q.; Lindström, Sandra A. M.; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M.; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E.; de O. Pereira, Natália; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G.; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S.; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G.; Stanley, Dara A.; Stout, Jane C.; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H.; Viana, Blandina F.; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25–50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730

  12. Importance of Animals in Agricultural Sustainability and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Lawrence P; Wulster-Radcliffe, Meghan C; Aaron, Debra K; Davis, Teresa A

    2015-07-01

    A conservative projection shows the world's population growing by 32% (to 9.5 billion) by 2050 and 53% (to 11 billion) by 2100 compared with its current level of 7.2 billion. Because most arable land worldwide is already in use, and water and energy also are limiting, increased production of food will require a substantial increase in efficiency. In this article, we highlight the importance of animals to achieving food security in terms of their valuable contributions to agricultural sustainability, especially in developing countries, and the high nutritional value of animal products in the diet.

  13. Phylogeny of economically important insect pests that infesting several crops species in Malaysia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghazali, Siti Zafirah; Zain, Badrul Munir Md.; Yaakop, Salmah

    2014-09-01

    This paper reported molecular data on insect pests of commercial crops in Peninsular Malaysia. Fifteen insect pests (Metisa plana, Calliteara horsefeldii, Cotesia vestalis, Bactrocera papayae, Bactrocera carambolae, Bactrocera latifrons, Conopomorpha cramella, Sesamia inferens, Chilo polychrysa, Rhynchophorus vulneratus, and Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) of nine crops were sampled (oil palm, coconut, paddy, cocoa, starfruit, angled loofah, guava, chili and mustard) and also four species that belong to the fern's pest (Herpetogramma platycapna) and storage and rice pests (Tribolium castaneum, Oryzaephilus surinamensis and Cadra cautella). The presented phylogeny summarized the initial phylogenetic hypothesis, which concerning by implementation of the economically important insect pests. In this paper, phylogenetic relationships among 39 individuals of 15 species that belonging to three orders under 12 genera were inferred from DNA sequences of mitochondrial marker, cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and nuclear marker, ribosomal DNA 28S D2 region. The phylogenies resulted from the phylogenetic analyses of both genes are relatively similar, but differ in the sequence of evolution. Interestingly, this most recent molecular data of COI sequences data by using Bayesian Inference analysis resulted a more-resolved phylogeny that corroborated with traditional hypotheses of holometabolan relationships based on traditional hypotheses of holometabolan relationships and most of recently molecular study compared to 28S sequences. This finding provides the information on relationships of pests species, which infested several crops in Malaysia and also estimation on Holometabola's order relationships. The identification of the larval stages of insect pests could be done accurately, without waiting the emergence of adults and supported by the phylogenetic tree.

  14. Biodiversity of Aspergillus species in some important agricultural products.

    PubMed

    Perrone, G; Susca, A; Cozzi, G; Ehrlich, K; Varga, J; Frisvad, J C; Meijer, M; Noonim, P; Mahakarnchanakul, W; Samson, R A

    2007-01-01

    The genus Aspergillus is one of the most important filamentous fungal genera. Aspergillus species are used in the fermentation industry, but they are also responsible of various plant and food secondary rot, with the consequence of possible accumulation of mycotoxins. The aflatoxin producing A. flavus and A. parasiticus, and ochratoxinogenic A. niger, A. ochraceus and A. carbonarius species are frequently encountered in agricultural products. Studies on the biodiversity of toxigenic Aspergillus species is useful to clarify molecular, ecological and biochemical characteristics of the different species in relation to their different adaptation to environmental and geographical conditions, and to their potential toxigenicity. Here we analyzed the biodiversity of ochratoxin producing species occurring on two important crops: grapes and coffee, and the genetic diversity of A. flavus populations occurring in agricultural fields. Altogether nine different black Aspergillus species can be found on grapes which are often difficult to identify with classical methods. The polyphasic approach used in our studies led to the identification of three new species occurring on grapes: A. brasiliensis, A. ibericus, and A. uvarum. Similar studies on the Aspergillus species occurring on coffee beans have evidenced in the last five years that A. carbonarius is an important source of ochratoxin A in coffee. Four new species within the black aspergilli were also identified in coffee beans: A. sclerotioniger, A. lacticoffeatus, A. sclerotiicarbonarius, and A. aculeatinus. The genetic diversity within A. flavus populations has been widely studied in relation to their potential aflatoxigenicity and morphological variants L- and S-strains. Within A. flavus and other Aspergillus species capable of aflatoxin production, considerable diversity is found. We summarise the main recent achievements in the diversity of the aflatoxin gene cluster in A. flavus populations, A. parasiticus and the non

  15. Importance and Capability of Teaching Agricultural Mechanics as Perceived by Secondary Agricultural Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shultz, Matthew J.; Anderson, Ryan G.; Shultz, Alyx M.; Paulsen, Thomas H.

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural mechanics instruction is a long-standing and significant part of secondary agricultural education. Similar to the broader agricultural industry, agricultural mechanics instruction is in a constant state of dynamic change. Educators must be proactive to ensure agricultural mechanics curriculum retains its relevance within this changing…

  16. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  17. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  18. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  19. 7 CFR 319.8-20 - Importations by the Department of Agriculture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Importations by the Department of Agriculture. 319.8-20 Section 319.8-20 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES Foreign Cotton...

  20. The importance of water for the mechanical properties of insect cuticle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klocke, D.; Schmitz, H.

    2011-04-01

    Insect cuticle has a broad range of mechanical properties. As it has to provide a very efficient and lightweight skeleton, cuticle is a highly interesting composite-material and may serve as a natural model for new biomimetic materials. However, the water content of insect cuticle is of great importance for its material properties. Here, we present a new method to perform nano-indentation experiments in cuticle which has its full water content. Parts of the exoskeleton of Locusta migratoria were investigated to determine the elastic modulus (Er) and hardness (H) of the cuticle. Cuticle sections were measured in air and then submerged and measured in water. As insect cuticle is an anisotropic material, we performed nano-indentation in the normal as well as in the transverse direction and also tested different cuticle layers within each sample (exo-, meso- and endo-cuticle). It turned out that a change of the water content has a dramatic impact on the material properties of the cuticle. For example, the Er of submerged endo-cuticle turned out to be 75% lower than of endo-cuticle samples measured in air. Further, the proportion of material property values between different cuticle layers within a sample change dramatically after addition of water.

  1. Large-scale pollination experiment demonstrates the importance of insect pollination in winter oilseed rape.

    PubMed

    Lindström, Sandra A M; Herbertsson, Lina; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2016-03-01

    Insect pollination, despite its potential to contribute substantially to crop production, is not an integrated part of agronomic planning. A major reason for this are knowledge gaps in the contribution of pollinators to yield, which partly result from difficulties in determining area-based estimates of yield effects from insect pollination under field conditions. We have experimentally manipulated honey bee Apis mellifera densities at 43 oilseed rape Brassica napus fields over 2 years in Scandinavia. Honey bee hives were placed in 22 fields; an additional 21 fields without large apiaries in the surrounding landscape were selected as controls. Depending on the pollination system in the parental generation, the B. napus cultivars in the crop fields are classified as either open-pollinated or first-generation hybrids, with both types being open-pollinated in the generation of plants cultivated in the fields. Three cultivars of each type were grown. We measured the activity of flower-visiting insects during flowering and estimated yields by harvesting with small combine harvesters. The addition of honey bee hives to the fields dramatically increased abundance of flower-visiting honey bees in those fields. Honey bees affected yield, but the effect depended on cultivar type (p = 0.04). Post-hoc analysis revealed that open-pollinated cultivars, but not hybrid cultivars, had 11% higher yields in fields with added honey bees than those grown in the control fields (p = 0.07). To our knowledge, this is the first whole-field study in replicated landscapes to assess the benefit of insect pollination in oilseed rape. Our results demonstrate that honey bees have the potential to increase oilseed rape yields, thereby emphasizing the importance of pollinator management for optimal cultivation of oilseed rape.

  2. Delivery of Nucleic Acids through Embryo Microinjection in the Worldwide Agricultural Pest Insect, Ceratitis capitata.

    PubMed

    Gabrieli, Paolo; Scolari, Francesca

    2016-10-01

    The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is a pest species with extremely high agricultural relevance. This is due to its reproductive behavior: females damage the external surface of fruits and vegetables when they lay eggs and the hatched larvae feed on their pulp. Wild C. capitata populations are traditionally controlled through insecticide spraying and/or eco-friendly approaches, the most successful being the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). The SIT relies on mass-rearing, radiation-based sterilization and field release of males that retain their capacity to mate but are not able to generate fertile progeny. The advent and the subsequent rapid development of biotechnological tools, together with the availability of the medfly genome sequence, has greatly boosted our understanding of the biology of this species. This favored the proliferation of new strategies for genome manipulation, which can be applied to population control. In this context, embryo microinjection plays a dual role in expanding the toolbox for medfly control. The ability to interfere with the function of genes that regulate key biological processes, indeed, expands our understanding of the molecular machinery underlying medfly invasiveness. Furthermore, the ability to achieve germ-line transformation facilitates the production of multiple transgenic strains that can be tested for future field applications in novel SIT settings. Indeed, genetic manipulation can be used to confer desirable traits that can, for example, be used to monitor sterile male performance in the field, or that can result in early life-stage lethality. Here we describe a method to microinject nucleic acids into medfly embryos to achieve these two main goals.

  3. Daily Evolution of the Insect Biomass Spectrum in an Agricultural Landscape Accessed with Lidar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brydegaard, Mikkel; Gebru, Alem; Kirkeby, Carsten; Åkesson, Susanne; Smith, Henrik

    2016-06-01

    We present measurements of atmospheric insect fauna intercepted by a static lidar transect over arable and pastoral land over one day. We observe nearly a quarter million of events which are calibrated to optical cross section. Biomass spectra are derived from the size distribution and presented against space and time. We discuss detection limits and instrument biasing, and we relate the insect observations to relevant ecological landscape features and land use. Future directions and improvements of the technique are also outlined.

  4. Farm ponds make a contribution to the biodiversity of aquatic insects in a French agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Ruggiero, Antonio; Céréghino, Régis; Figuerola, Jordi; Marty, Pierre; Angélibert, Sandrine

    2008-04-01

    Manmade ecosystems provide a variety of resources that have strong economic values. We assessed the importance of 37 farm ponds for the biodiversity of Odonata in an agricultural landscape lacking natural wetlands in southwestern France. Farm ponds captured 40% of the regional species pool, including both common and rare species. The species assemblages were not correlated with pond use (e.g., cattle watering, duck farming, etc.) or to landscape variable. Species richness was correlated with pond area, suggesting that community diversity was primarily driven by autoecological processes. Farm ponds thus made a positive contribution to the maintenance of aquatic biodiversity. This added value for biodiversity should be considered when calculating the costs and benefits of constructing water bodies for human activities.

  5. Electrohydrodynamic effects on two species of insects with economic importance to stored food products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shayesteh, N.; Barthakur, N. N.

    1996-09-01

    An electrohydrodynamic (EHD) system which generated air ions within a strong electric field was used to study responses of stored-product insects Tribolium confusum (du Val) and Plodia interpunctella (Hübner). Larval mortality of both species generally increased with increased exposure time to ions of either polarity. The larvae and pupae of T. confusum suffered a higher mortality rate than the adults. The insects initially exhibited distinct avoiding motions away from regions of high towards low fluxes of air ions of both polarity. Insects moved vigorously, tumbled, flipped, curled up, and aggregated when the EHD system was turned on. The control insects not exposed to air ions survived and showed a total absence of such behaviour. For bipolar exposures, the insects occupied the neutral zone where the effects were minimal due to cancellation of the fields. Prolonged exposures of more than 20 min produced a quiescent state. EHD-enhanced mass transfer of the liquid component from physical objects established in fluid mechanics was invoked as a possible cause for insect mortality and avoiding behaviour to ions. Body fluid losses increased linearly with time of exposure ( R 2≥0.97) for all biological stages of insect growth. The larvae and pupae of T. confusum lost 12 and 15% of their body fluids, respectively, after 80 min of exposure to negative air ions. Fluid losses of such a magnitude are likely to have contributed to insect fatality.

  6. Harmonic radar: efficacy at detecting and recovering insects on agricultural host plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    BACKGROUND: In pest management research, harmonic radar systems have been largely used to study insect movement across open or vegetation poor areas, because the microwave signal is attenuated by the high water content of vegetation. This study aimed at determining whether the efficacy of the tech...

  7. Iowa Commercial Pesticide Applicator Manual, Category 1B: Agricultural Insect Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stockdale, Harold J.; Ryan, Stephen O.

    This guide provides basic information to meet specific standards for pesticide applicators. The text is concerned with the control of economic insect pests on field and forage crops, especially corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. Full color photographs of the more destructive pests are provided to aid in identification of problems. Precautions and…

  8. Environment and Spatial Influences on Aquatic Insect Communities in Cerrado Streams: the Relative Importance of Conductivity, Altitude, and Conservation Areas.

    PubMed

    Godoy, B S; Queiroz, L L; Lodi, S; Oliveira, L G

    2017-04-01

    The aquatic insect community is an important element for stream functionality and diversity, but the effects of altitude and conservation areas on the aquatic insect community have been poorly explored in neotropical ecozone. The lack of studies about the relative importance of space and environment on community structure is another obstacle within aquatic insect ecology, which precludes the inclusion of these studies in more current frameworks, like the metacommunity dynamics. We evaluated the relationship between the aquatic insect community structure at 19 streams in the Brazilian Cerrado and spatial and environmental variables, namely geographical distance among sites, stream altitude, chemical variables, and environmental protection areas. We partitioned the variance explained by spatial and environmental components using a partial redundancy analysis. The environment exhibited a strong spatial structure for abundance and number of genera, increasing these community parameters with elevated water conductivity. Only community composition had a large unexplained portion of variance, with a small portion constrained by environmental (altitude and conductivity) and spatial factors. A relevant point in the result was the streams with high conductivity were located outside of the conservation areas. These results suggest that the relationship between number of genera and abundance with environmental conditions is always associated with spatial configuration of streams. Our study shows that altitude is an important determinant of community structure, as it exerts indirect influences, and electrical conductivity directly determines community composition, and that some national parks may be inefficient in maintaining the diversity of aquatic insects in the Cerrado region.

  9. Evidence for the higher importance of signal size over body size in aposematic signaling in insects.

    PubMed

    Remmel, Triinu; Tammarub, Toomas

    2011-01-01

    To understand the evolution of warning coloration, it is important to distinguish between different aspects of conspicuous color patterns. As an example, both pattern element size and body size of prey have been shown to enhance the effectiveness of warning signals. However, it is unclear whether the effect of body size is merely a side effect of proportionally increasing pattern elements, or if there is an effect of body size per se. These possibilities were evaluated by offering different sized artificial caterpillars with either fixed or proportionally increasing aposematic color signal elements to wild great tits, Parus major L. (Passeriformes: Paridae). The birds' hesitation time to attack each "caterpillar" was used as a measure of the warning effect. The hesitation time showed a significant, positive size-dependence with the caterpillars whose pattern elements increased proportionally with their body size. In contrast, no size dependence was found in the larvae with fixed-size signal elements. Such a difference in mortality curves is consistent with the idea that pattern element size is a more important aspect than body size in enhancing a warning signal. Since no evidence of an effect of body size per se on signal efficiency was found, this study does not support the hypothesis that aposematic insects gain more from large size than cryptic ones.

  10. Functional haplodiploidy: a mechanism for the spread of insecticide resistance in an important international insect pest.

    PubMed Central

    Brun, L O; Stuart, J; Gaudichon, V; Aronstein, K; French-Constant, R H

    1995-01-01

    The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, is the most important insect pest of coffee worldwide and has an unusual life history that ensures a high degree of inbreeding. Individual females lay a predominantly female brood within individual coffee berries and because males are flightless there is almost entirely full sib mating. We investigated the genetics associated with this interesting life history after the important discovery of resistance to the cyclodiene type insecticide endosulfan. Both the inheritance of the resistance phenotype and the resistance-associated point mutation in the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor gene Rdl were examined. Consistent with haplodiploidy, males failed to express and transmit paternally derived resistance alleles. Furthermore, while cytological examination revealed that males are diploid, one set of chromosomes was condensed, and probably nonfunctional, in the somatic cells of all males examined. Moreover, although two sets of chromosomes were present in primary spermatocytes, the chromosomes failed to pair before the single meiotic division, and only one set was packaged in sperm. Thus, the coffee berry borer is "functionally" haplodiploid. Its genetics and life history may therefore represent an interesting intermediate step in the evolution of true haplodiploidy. The influence of this breeding system on the spread of insecticide resistance is discussed. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:7568233

  11. Functional haplodiploidy: a mechanism for the spread of insecticide resistance in an important international insect pest.

    PubMed

    Brun, L O; Stuart, J; Gaudichon, V; Aronstein, K; French-Constant, R H

    1995-10-10

    The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, is the most important insect pest of coffee worldwide and has an unusual life history that ensures a high degree of inbreeding. Individual females lay a predominantly female brood within individual coffee berries and because males are flightless there is almost entirely full sib mating. We investigated the genetics associated with this interesting life history after the important discovery of resistance to the cyclodiene type insecticide endosulfan. Both the inheritance of the resistance phenotype and the resistance-associated point mutation in the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor gene Rdl were examined. Consistent with haplodiploidy, males failed to express and transmit paternally derived resistance alleles. Furthermore, while cytological examination revealed that males are diploid, one set of chromosomes was condensed, and probably nonfunctional, in the somatic cells of all males examined. Moreover, although two sets of chromosomes were present in primary spermatocytes, the chromosomes failed to pair before the single meiotic division, and only one set was packaged in sperm. Thus, the coffee berry borer is "functionally" haplodiploid. Its genetics and life history may therefore represent an interesting intermediate step in the evolution of true haplodiploidy. The influence of this breeding system on the spread of insecticide resistance is discussed.

  12. Importance of Including Values Instruction As a Part of Vocational Agriculture Programs of Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Birkenholz, Robert J.; Kahler, Alan A.

    1982-01-01

    Vocational agriculture program participants were interviewed to determine the importance of including instruction in values development for students. Data analysis revealed that enhancing values is an important part of vocational agriculture programs. Students generally rated the importance of each value category lower than teachers,…

  13. Rapid genetic turnover in populations of the insect pest Bemisia tabaci Middle East: Asia Minor 1 in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Dinsdale, A; Schellhorn, N A; De Barro, P; Buckley, Y M; Riginos, C

    2012-10-01

    Organisms differ greatly in dispersal ability, and landscapes differ in amenability to an organism's movement. Thus, landscape structure and heterogeneity can affect genetic composition of populations. While many agricultural pests are known for their ability to disperse rapidly, it is unclear how fast and over what spatial scale insect pests might respond to the temporally dynamic agricultural landscapes they inhabit. We used population genetic analyses of a severe crop pest, a member of the Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aleyrodoidea: Aleyrodidea) cryptic species complex known as Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (commonly known as biotype B), to estimate spatial and temporal genetic diversity over four months of the 2006-2007 summer growing season. We examined 559 individuals from eight sites, which were scored for eight microsatellite loci. Temporal genetic structure greatly exceeded spatial structure. There was significant temporal change in local genetic composition from the beginning to the end of the season accompanied by heterozygote deficits and inbreeding. This temporal structure suggests entire cohorts of pests can occupy a large and variable agricultural landscape but are rapidly replaced. These rapid genetic fluctuations reinforce the concept that agricultural landscapes are dynamic mosaics in time and space and may contribute to better decisions for pest and insecticide resistance management.

  14. History of population fluctuations and infestations of important forest insects in the Queen Charlotte Islands forest district, 1993. FIDS report No. 94-10. Annual publication

    SciTech Connect

    1994-12-31

    This report provides some history of some important forest insects in the District. It serves to designate the species of insects which cause damage; record the pattern of population fluctuations; designate areas that appear to have chronic problems; and point out the possibility of damage in different areas by insects, including species not known to have caused damage in the Queen Charlotte Islands.

  15. Where is the UK's pollinator biodiversity? The importance of urban areas for flower-visiting insects.

    PubMed

    Baldock, Katherine C R; Goddard, Mark A; Hicks, Damien M; Kunin, William E; Mitschunas, Nadine; Osgathorpe, Lynne M; Potts, Simon G; Robertson, Kirsty M; Scott, Anna V; Stone, Graham N; Vaughan, Ian P; Memmott, Jane

    2015-03-22

    Insect pollinators provide a crucial ecosystem service, but are under threat. Urban areas could be important for pollinators, though their value relative to other habitats is poorly known. We compared pollinator communities using quantified flower-visitation networks in 36 sites (each 1 km(2)) in three landscapes: urban, farmland and nature reserves. Overall, flower-visitor abundance and species richness did not differ significantly between the three landscape types. Bee abundance did not differ between landscapes, but bee species richness was higher in urban areas than farmland. Hoverfly abundance was higher in farmland and nature reserves than urban sites, but species richness did not differ significantly. While urban pollinator assemblages were more homogeneous across space than those in farmland or nature reserves, there was no significant difference in the numbers of rarer species between the three landscapes. Network-level specialization was higher in farmland than urban sites. Relative to other habitats, urban visitors foraged from a greater number of plant species (higher generality) but also visited a lower proportion of available plant species (higher specialization), both possibly driven by higher urban plant richness. Urban areas are growing, and improving their value for pollinators should be part of any national strategy to conserve and restore pollinators.

  16. Oligocene Termite Nests with In Situ Fungus Gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Support a Paleogene African Origin for Insect Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Eric M; Todd, Christopher N; Aanen, Duur K; Nobre, Tânia; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L; O'Connor, Patrick M; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66-24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7-10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape.

  17. Oligocene Termite Nests with In Situ Fungus Gardens from the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania, Support a Paleogene African Origin for Insect Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Eric M.; Todd, Christopher N.; Aanen, Duur K.; Nobre, Tânia; Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L.; O’Connor, Patrick M.; Tapanila, Leif; Mtelela, Cassy; Stevens, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66–24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7–10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape. PMID:27333288

  18. Biodiversity of Aspergillus Species in Some Important Agricultural Products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genus Aspergillus is one of the most important filamentous fungal genera. Aspergillus species are used in the fermentation industry, but they are also responsible of various plant and food secondary rot, with the consequence of possible accumulation of mycotoxins. The aflatoxin-producing A. fl...

  19. Driving Pest Insect Populations: Agricultural Chemicals Lead to an Adaptive Syndrome in Nilaparvata Lugens Stål (Hemiptera: Delphacidae)

    PubMed Central

    You, Lin-Lin; Wu, You; Xu, Bing; Ding, Jun; Ge, Lin-Quan; Yang, Guo-Qin; Song, Qi-Sheng; Stanley, David; Wu, Jin-Cai

    2016-01-01

    The brown planthopper (BPH) is a devastating pest of rice throughout Asia. In this paper we document the BPH biogeographic range expansion in China over the 20-year period, 1992 to 2012. We posed the hypothesis that the range expansion is due to a syndrome of adaptations to the continuous presence of agricultural chemicals (insecticides and a fungicide) over the last 40 years. With respect to biogeography, BPH ranges have expanded by 13% from 1992 to 1997 and by another 3% from 1997 to 2012. In our view, such expansions may follow primarily from the enhancing effects of JGM, among other agricultural chemicals, and from global warming. JGM treatments led to increased thermotolerance, recorded as decreased mortality under heat stress at 40 ± 1 °C (down from 80% to 55%) and increased fecundity (by 49%) at 34 °C. At the molecular level, JGM treatments led to increased abundances of mRNA encoding Acetyl Co-A carboxylase (Acc) (up 25%) and Hsp70 (up 32%) in experimental BPH. RNAi silencing of Hsp70 and Acc eliminated the JGM effects on fecundity and silencing Hsp70 reduced JGM-induced thermotolerance. Integrated with global climate change scenarios, such syndromes in pest insect species have potential for regional- and global-scale agricultural disasters. PMID:27876748

  20. Driving Pest Insect Populations: Agricultural Chemicals Lead to an Adaptive Syndrome in Nilaparvata Lugens Stål (Hemiptera: Delphacidae).

    PubMed

    You, Lin-Lin; Wu, You; Xu, Bing; Ding, Jun; Ge, Lin-Quan; Yang, Guo-Qin; Song, Qi-Sheng; Stanley, David; Wu, Jin-Cai

    2016-11-23

    The brown planthopper (BPH) is a devastating pest of rice throughout Asia. In this paper we document the BPH biogeographic range expansion in China over the 20-year period, 1992 to 2012. We posed the hypothesis that the range expansion is due to a syndrome of adaptations to the continuous presence of agricultural chemicals (insecticides and a fungicide) over the last 40 years. With respect to biogeography, BPH ranges have expanded by 13% from 1992 to 1997 and by another 3% from 1997 to 2012. In our view, such expansions may follow primarily from the enhancing effects of JGM, among other agricultural chemicals, and from global warming. JGM treatments led to increased thermotolerance, recorded as decreased mortality under heat stress at 40 ± 1 °C (down from 80% to 55%) and increased fecundity (by 49%) at 34 °C. At the molecular level, JGM treatments led to increased abundances of mRNA encoding Acetyl Co-A carboxylase (Acc) (up 25%) and Hsp70 (up 32%) in experimental BPH. RNAi silencing of Hsp70 and Acc eliminated the JGM effects on fecundity and silencing Hsp70 reduced JGM-induced thermotolerance. Integrated with global climate change scenarios, such syndromes in pest insect species have potential for regional- and global-scale agricultural disasters.

  1. Importance of Including Language Arts Instruction as Part of the Vocational Agriculture Program of Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Richard M.; Kahler, Alan A.

    1979-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the importance of including language arts instruction as part of the vocational agriculture program. Perceptions of students, parents, teachers, principals, and counselors were examined to identify specific skills to be integrated into vocational agriculture instruction. (SK)

  2. Edible insects are the future?

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Use of shaking treatments and pre-harvest sprays of pyrethroid insecticides to reduce risk of yellowjackets and other insects on Christmas trees imported into Hawaii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insects are commonly found by Hawaii’s quarantine inspectors on Christmas trees imported from the Pacific Northwest. To reduce the risk of importing yellowjacket (Vespula spp.) queens and other insects, an inspection and tree shaking certification program was begun in 1990. From 1993 to 2006, the an...

  4. Selected historic agricultural data important to environmental quality in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grey, Katia M.; Capel, Paul D.; Baker, Nancy T.; Thelin, Gail P.

    2012-01-01

    This report and the accompanying tables summarize some of the important changes in American agriculture in the form of a timeline and a compilation of selected annual time-series data that can be broadly related to environmental quality. Although these changes have been beneficial for increasing agricultural production, some of them have resulted in environmental concerns. The agriculture timeline is divided into four categories (1) crop and animal changes, (2) mechanical changes, (3) biological and chemical changes, and (4) regulatory and societal changes. The timeline attempts to compile events that have had a lasting impact on agriculture in the United States. The events and data presented in this report may help to improve the connections between agricultural activist and environmental concerns.

  5. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing... § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of...

  6. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing... § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of...

  7. Mechanisms for flowering plants to benefit arthropod natural enemies of insect pests: prospects for enhanced use in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhong-Xian; Zhu, Ping-Yang; Gurr, Geoff M; Zheng, Xu-Song; Read, Donna M Y; Heong, Kong-Luen; Yang, Ya-Jun; Xu, Hong-Xing

    2014-02-01

    Reduction of noncrop habitats, intensive use of pesticides and high levels of disturbance associated with intensive crop production simplify the farming landscape and bring about a sharp decline of biodiversity. This, in turn, weakens the biological control ecosystem service provided by arthropod natural enemies. Strategic use of flowering plants to enhance plant biodiversity in a well-targeted manner can provide natural enemies with food sources and shelter to improve biological control and reduce dependence on chemical pesticides. This article reviews the nutritional value of various types of plant-derived food for natural enemies, possible adverse effects on pest management, and the practical application of flowering plants in orchards, vegetables and field crops, agricultural systems where most research has taken place. Prospects for more effective use of flowering plants to maximize biological control of insect pests in agroecosystem are good but depend up on selection of optimal plant species based on information on the ecological mechanisms by which natural enemies are selectively favored over pest species.

  8. Validating the importance of two acetylcholinesterases in insecticide sensitivities by RNAi in Pardosa pseudoannulata, an important predatory enemy against several insect pests.

    PubMed

    Meng, Xiangkun; Li, Chunrui; Bao, Haibo; Fang, Jichao; Liu, Zewen; Zhang, Yixi

    2015-11-01

    The pond wolf spider (Pardosa pseudoannulata) is an important predatory enemy against several insect pests and showed relative different sensitivities to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides compared to insect pests. In our previous studies, two acetylcholinesterases were identified in P. pseudoannulata and played important roles in insecticide sensitivities. In order to understand the contributions of the two acetylcholinesterases to insecticide sensitivities, we firstly employed the RNAi technology in the spider. For a suitable microinjection RNAi method, the injection site, injection volume and interference time were optimized, which then demonstrated that the injection RNAi method was applicable in this spider. With the new RNAi method, it was revealed that both Pp-AChE1 and Pp-AChE2, encoded by genes Ppace1 and Ppace2, were the targets of organophosphate insecticides, but Pp-AChE1 would be more important. In contrast, the carbamate acted selectively on Pp-AChE1. The results showed that Pp-AChE1 was the major catalytic enzyme in P. pseudoannulata and the major target of organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. In a word, an RNAi method was established in the pond wolf spider, which further validated the importance of two acetylcholinesterases in insecticide sensitivities in this spider.

  9. Insect Infestations Linked to Shifts in Microclimate: Important Climate Change Implications

    SciTech Connect

    Classen, Aimee T; Hart, Stephen C; Whitham, Thomas G; Cobb, Neil S; Koch, George W

    2005-01-01

    Changes in vegetation due to drought-influenced herbivory may influence microclimate in ecosystems. In combination with studies of insect resistant and susceptible trees, we used long-term herbivore removal experiments with two herbivores of pinon (Pinus edulis Endelm.) to test the general hypothesis that herbivore alteration of plant architecture affects soil microclimate, a major driver of ecosystem-level processes. The pinon needle scale (Matsucoccus acalyptus, Herbert) attacks needles of juvenile trees causing them to develop an open crown. In contrast, the stem-boring moth (Dioryctria albovittella Hulst.) kills the terminal shoots of mature trees, causing the crown to develop a dense form. Our studies focused on how the microclimate effects of these architectural changes are likely to accumulate over time. Three patterns emerged: (1) scale herbivory reduced leaf area index (LAI) of susceptible trees by 39%, whereas moths had no effect on LAI; (2) scale herbivory increased soil moisture and temperature beneath susceptible trees by 35 and 26%, respectively, whereas moths had no effect; and (3) scale and moth herbivory decreased crown interception of precipitation by 51 and 29%, respectively. From these results, we conclude: (1) the magnitude of scale effects on soil moisture and temperature is large, similar to global change scenarios, and sufficient to drive changes in ecosystem processes. (2) The larger sizes of moth-susceptible trees apparently buffered them from most microclimate effects of herbivory, despite marked changes in crown architecture. (3) The phenotypic expression of susceptibility or resistance to scale insects extends beyond plant-herbivore interactions to the physical environment.

  10. The importance of comprehensive agricultural education in land-grant institutions: a historical perspective.

    PubMed

    Grant, P M; Field, T G; Green, R D; Rollin, B E

    2000-06-01

    Any thorough examination of the present and future of agricultural education must certainly begin with a look into its past. Since the creation of the United States, many leading American philosophers have viewed a strong agrarian culture as the bedrock of American vigor. These same philosophers repeatedly noted the significance of comprehensive agricultural education to a nation rich in agricultural wealth. The signing of the Agricultural Colleges Act legitimized the concept of formal education in the agricultural sciences and provided funding for such education. The Act, which came to be known as the Morrill Act, after one of its primary authors, stressed the importance of comprehensive education. In fact, the inclusion of liberal studies was specifically mentioned in the Morrill Act and was defended repeatedly by Morrill himself. Comprehensive education prevented graduating technically trained students who were lacking in the basic outcomes of education--critical, comprehensive problem solving, cohesive thought, and effective communication. However, throughout history, the demands of a growing population coupled with rapid advancements in scientific knowledge led to a gradual move away from comprehensive education in agricultural sciences toward increasing specialization, resulting in more narrowly trained students. Today's agricultural students are technically well versed but often lack the skill and knowledge required for cohesive thought and critical problem solving. Addressing the multitude of challenges facing leaders in the future of agriculture requires much more than technical skill. These challenges require quick, yet careful thinkers and communicators who can respond to changing market structure and consumer demand in a dynamic way. Students who are a product of a conscious move toward amalgamation of burgeoning scientific knowledge and technical prowess with an integrative education emphasizing relationships between disciplines would better serve

  11. Activity of leucine aminopeptidase of Telchin licus licus: an important insect pest of sugarcane.

    PubMed

    Valencia, Jorge W Arboleda; de Sá, Maria Fátima Grossi; Jiménez, Arnubio Valencia

    2014-06-01

    The enzymatic activity of leucine aminopeptidase (EC 3.4.11.1) from the intestinal tract of sugarcane giant borer (Telchin licus licus) was assayed by using a simple and sensitive spectrophotometric assay that uses L-leucyl-2- naphthylamide as substrate. In this assay, L-leucyl-2-naphthylamide is hydrolyzed to produce 2-naphthylamine and Lleucine. The product 2-naphthylamine reacts with Fast Black K and can be monitored using a continuous spectrophotometric measurement at 590 nm. The data on the kinetic parameters indicates that the Km for the L-leucyl-2- naphthylamide at pH 7.0 was found to be lower than those found for other LAP substrates. The Km and Vmax for the LAP were determined to be 84.03 µM and 357.14 enzymatic units mg(-1), respectively. A noticeable difference of LAP activity between the two insect orders tested was observed. This method could be used to screen for natural LAP inhibitors.

  12. The importance of natural habitats to Brazilian free-tailed bats in intensive agricultural landscapes in the Winter Garden Region of Texas, United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The conversion of natural lands to agriculture affects the distribution of biological diversity across the landscape. In particular, cropland monocultures alter insect abundance and diversity compared to adjacent natural habitats, but nevertheless can provide large numbers of insect pests as prey i...

  13. Farmers' perception on the importance of variegated grasshopper (Zonocerus variegatus (L.)) in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Kekeunou, Sévilor; Weise, Stephan; Messi, Jean; Tamò, Manuel

    2006-01-01

    Background Zonocerus variegatus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Orthoptera: Pyrgomorphidae) is known as an agricultural pest in West and Central Africa. However, its importance in the agricultural production system in Cameroon has not been investigated. The study assesses farmers' perception on the importance of Z. variegatus in the agricultural production systems of the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. Methods Research was carried out in 5 villages of each of three Agro-Ecological, Cultural and Demographic Blocks (AECD-Blocks) of the Forest Margin Benchmark Area (FMBA). In each village, a semi-structured survey was used; male and female groups of farmers were interviewed separately. Results Z. variegatus is present throughout the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon, where it is ranked as the third most economically important insect pest of agriculture. In the farmers' opinion, Z. variegatus is a polyphagous insect with little impact on young perennial crops. The length of the pre-farming fallow does not affect Z. variegatus pest pressure in the following crops. The increased impact of the grasshopper observed today in the fields, compared to what existed 10 years ago is as a result of deforestation and increase in surface of herbaceous fallow. The damage caused by Z. variegatus is higher in fields adjacent to C. odorata and herbaceous fallows than in those adjacent to forests and shrubby fallows. The fight against this grasshopper is often done through physical methods carried out by hand, for human consumption. The farmers highlight low usage of the chemical methods and a total absence of biological and ecological methods. Conclusion Farmers' perception have contributed to understanding the status of Z. variegatus in the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. The results are in general similar to those obtained in other countries. PMID:16573815

  14. Insect Resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect pests exhibit a diverse array of genetic-based responses when interacting with crop systems; these changes can be in response to pathogens, symbiotic microbes, host plants, chemicals, and the environment. Agricultural research has for decades focused on gathering crucial information on the bi...

  15. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture... Standards for Shelled English Walnuts (Juglans Regia) Definitions § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of insects is present on the portion of kernel....

  16. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence of insect feeding....

  17. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence of insect feeding....

  18. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture... Standards for Shelled English Walnuts (Juglans Regia) Definitions § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of insects is present on the portion of kernel....

  19. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence of insect feeding....

  20. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture....2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of insect feeding. Metric Conversion Table...

  1. 7 CFR 51.2290 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2290 Section 51.2290 Agriculture... Standards for Shelled English Walnuts (Juglans Regia) Definitions § 51.2290 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, frass or other evidence of insects is present on the portion of kernel....

  2. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture....2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of insect feeding. Metric Conversion Table...

  3. Host races in plant-feeding insects and their importance in sympatric speciation.

    PubMed Central

    Drès, Michele; Mallet, James

    2002-01-01

    The existence of a continuous array of sympatric biotypes - from polymorphisms, through ecological or host races with increasing reproductive isolation, to good species - can provide strong evidence for a continuous route to sympatric speciation via natural selection. Host races in plant-feeding insects, in particular, have often been used as evidence for the probability of sympatric speciation. Here, we provide verifiable criteria to distinguish host races from other biotypes: in brief, host races are genetically differentiated, sympatric populations of parasites that use different hosts and between which there is appreciable gene flow. We recognize host races as kinds of species that regularly exchange genes with other species at a rate of more than ca. 1% per generation, rather than as fundamentally distinct taxa. Host races provide a convenient, although admittedly somewhat arbitrary intermediate stage along the speciation continuum. They are a heuristic device to aid in evaluating the probability of speciation by natural selection, particularly in sympatry. Speciation is thereby envisaged as having two phases: (i) the evolution of host races from within polymorphic, panmictic populations; and (ii) further reduction of gene flow between host races until the diverging populations can become generally accepted as species. We apply this criterion to 21 putative host race systems. Of these, only three are unambiguously classified as host races, but a further eight are strong candidates that merely lack accurate information on rates of hybridization or gene flow. Thus, over one-half of the cases that we review are probably or certainly host races, under our definition. Our review of the data favours the idea of sympatric speciation via host shift for three major reasons: (i) the evolution of assortative mating as a pleiotropic by-product of adaptation to a new host seems likely, even in cases where mating occurs away from the host; (ii) stable genetic differences in

  4. Insect phylogenomics.

    PubMed

    Behura, S K

    2015-08-01

    Phylogenomics, the integration of phylogenetics with genome data, has emerged as a powerful approach to study the evolution and systematics of species. Recently, several studies employing phylogenomic tools have provided better insights into insect evolution. Next-generation sequencing methods are now increasingly used by entomologists to generate genomic and transcript sequences of various insect species and strains. These data provide opportunities for comparative genomics and large-scale multigene phylogenies of diverse lineages of insects. Phy-logenomic investigations help us to better understand systematic and evolutionary relationships of insect species that play important roles as herbivores, predators, detritivores, pollinators and disease vectors. It is important that we critically assess the prospects and limitations of phylogenomic methods. In this review, I describe the current status, outline the major challenges and remark on potential future applications of phylogenomic tools in studying insect systematics and evolution.

  5. Estimating the Importance of Private Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture: A Review of Empirical Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, F.; Burke, M.

    2015-12-01

    A wide range of studies using a variety of methods strongly suggest that climate change will have a negative impact on agricultural production in many areas. Farmers though should be able to learn about a changing climate and to adjust what they grow and how they grow it in order to reduce these negative impacts. However, it remains unclear how effective these private (autonomous) adaptations will be, or how quickly they will be adopted. Constraining the uncertainty on this adaptation is important for understanding the impacts of climate change on agriculture. Here we review a number of empirical methods that have been proposed for understanding the rate and effectiveness of private adaptation to climate change. We compare these methods using data on agricultural yields in the United States and western Europe.

  6. Possible climate warming effects on vegetation, forests, biotic (insect, pathogene) disturbances and agriculture in Central Siberia for 1960- 2050

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchebakova, N. M.; Parfenova, E. I.; Soja, A. J.; Lysanova, G. I.; Baranchikov, Y. N.; Kuzmina, N. A.

    2012-04-01

    Regional Siberian studies have already registered climate warming over the last half a century (1960-2010). Our analysis showed that winters are already 2-3°C warmer in the north and 1-2°C warmer in the south by 2010. Summer temperatures increased by 1°C in the north and by 1-2°C in the south. Change in precipitation is more complicated, increasing on average 10% in middle latitudes and decreasing 10-20% in the south, promoting local drying in already dry landscapes. Our goal was to summarize results of research we have done for the last decade in the context of climate warming and its consequences for biosystems in Central Siberia. We modeled climate change effects on vegetation shifts, on forest composition and agriculture change, on the insect Siberian moth (Dendrolimus suprans sibiricus Tschetv) and pathogene (Lophodermium pinastri Chev) ranges in Central Siberia for a century (1960-2050) based on historical climate data and GCM-predicted data. Principal results are: In the warmer and drier climate projected by these scenarios, Siberian forests are predicted to decrease and shift northwards and forest-steppe and steppe ecosystems are predicted to dominate over 50% of central Siberia due to the dryer climate by 2080. Permafrost is not predicted to thaw deep enough to sustain dark (Pinus sibirica, Abies sibirica, and Picea obovata) taiga. Over eastern Siberia, larch (Larix dahurica) taiga is predicted to continue to be the dominant zonobiome because of its ability to withstand continuous permafrost. The model also predicts new temperate broadleaf forest and forest-steppe habitats; At least half of central Siberia is predicted to be climatically suitable for agriculture at the end of the century although potential croplands would be limited by the availability of suitable soils agriculture in central Siberia would likely benefit from climate warming Crop production may twofold increase as climate warms during the century; traditional crops (grain, potato

  7. New dispenser types for integrated pest management of agriculturally significant insect pests: an algorithm with specialized searching capacity in electronic data bases.

    PubMed

    Hummel, H E; Eisinger, M T; Hein, D F; Breuer, M; Schmid, S; Leithold, G

    2012-01-01

    Pheromone effects discovered some 130 years, but scientifically defined just half a century ago, are a great bonus for basic and applied biology. Specifically, pest management efforts have been advanced in many insect orders, either for purposes or monitoring, mass trapping, or for mating disruption. Finding and applying a new search algorithm, nearly 20,000 entries in the pheromone literature have been counted, a number much higher than originally anticipated. This compilation contains identified and thus synthesizable structures for all major orders of insects. Among them are hundreds of agriculturally significant insect pests whose aggregated damages and costly control measures range in the multibillions of dollars annually. Unfortunately, and despite a lot of effort within the international entomological scene, the number of efficient and cheap engineering solutions for dispensing pheromones under variable field conditions is uncomfortably lagging behind. Some innovative approaches are cited from the relevant literature in an attempt to rectify this situation. Recently, specifically designed electrospun organic nanofibers offer a lot of promise. With their use, the mating communication of vineyard insects like Lobesia botrana (Lep.: Tortricidae) can be disrupted for periods of seven weeks.

  8. Importance of impacts scenarios for the adaptation of agriculture to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zullo, J.; Macedo, C.; Pinto, H. S.; Assad, E. D.; Koga Vicente, A.

    2012-12-01

    The great possibility that the climate is already changing, and the most drastic way possible, increases the challenge of agricultural engineering, especially in environmentally vulnerable areas and in regions where agriculture has a high economic and social importance. Knowledge of potential impacts that may be caused by changes in water and thermal regimes in coming decades is increasingly strategic, as they allow the development of techniques to adapt agriculture to climate change and therefore minimizes the risk of undesirable impacts, for example, in food and nutritional security. Thus, the main objective of this paper is to describe a way to generate impacts scenarios caused by anomalies of precipitation and temperature in the definition of climate risk zoning of an agricultural crop very important in the tropics, such as the sugar cane, especially in central-southern Brazil, which is one of its main world producers. A key point here is the choice of the climate model to be used, considering that 23 different models were used in the fourth IPCC report published in 2007. The number and range of available models requires the definition of criteria for choosing the most suitable for the preparation of the impacts scenarios. One way proposed and used in this work is based on the definition of two groups of models according to 27 technical attributes of them. The clustering of 23 models in two groups, with a model representing each group (UKMO_HadCM3 and MIROC3.2_medres), assists the generation and comparison of impacts scenarios, making them more representative and useful. Another important aspect in the generation of impacts scenarios is the estimate of the relative importance of the anomalies of precipitation and temperature, which are the most commonly used. To assess the relative importance of the anomalies are generated scenarios considering an anomaly at a time and both together. The impacts scenarios for a high emission of greenhouse gases (A2), from 2010

  9. Insect food aiming at Mars emigration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katayama, Naomi; Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Nagasaka, Sanako; Kuwayama, Akemi; Sofue, Megumi

    2012-07-01

    We study insect food aiming at Mars emigration.In space agriculture, insect is the important creature which we cannot miss.It is necessary for the pollination of the plant, and it is rich to protein and lipid as food.I reported that silkworm is an insect necessary for astroponics in particular last time.We make clothes using silk thread, and the pupa becomes the food.In addition, the clothes can make food as protein when we need not to use it. The bee is a very important insect in the space agriculture,too.We examined nutrition of silkworm, bee, grasshopper, snail and the white ant which are necessary for Mars emigration.We will introduce of good balance space foods.We will report many meal menu for Mars emigration.

  10. Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  11. Use of shaking treatments and preharvest sprays of pyrethroid insecticides to reduce risk of yellowjackets and other insects on Christmas trees imported into Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Hollingsworth, Robert G; Chastagner, Gary A; Reimer, Neil J; Oishi, Darcy E; Landolt, Peter J; Paull, Robert E

    2009-02-01

    Insects are commonly found by Hawaii's quarantine inspectors on Christmas trees imported from the Pacific Northwest. To reduce the risk of importing yellowjacket (Vespula spp.) queens and other insects, an inspection and tree shaking certification program was begun in 1990. From 1993 to 2006, the annual percentage of shipped containers rated by Hawaii quarantine inspectors as moderately or highly infested with insects was significantly higher for manually shaken trees than for mechanically shaken trees. Between 1993 and 2001, 343 insect species in total were recovered from Christmas trees. Live western yellowjacket [Vespula pensylvanica (Saussure)] queens were intercepted both from containers certified as manually shaken and from containers certified as mechanically shaken. The standard manual shaking protocol removed about one-half of the queens from Douglas fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] trees that were naturally infested with western yellowjacket queens. We investigated the use of preharvest sprays of permethrin as a complement to shaking procedures used to control yellowjackets and other insects. Western yellowjacket queens and honey bees (surrogates for wasp pests) were exposed to Noble fir foliage that had been sprayed in the field with permethrin > 6 wk before harvest. Pesticide residues provided complete control (moribundity or mortality) in both species. The sprays did not affect needle retention or quality of Noble fir foliage. We conclude that preharvest sprays of pyrethroid insecticides could be used in combination with mechanical shaking to greatly reduce the quarantine risk of yellowjacket queens and other insects in exported Christmas trees.

  12. Recent trends/challenges in irrigated agriculture-Why is irrigation important in a discussion of agricultural migration?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    United States agriculture contributes 16% of the $9 trillion gross domestic product, 8% of U.S. exports, and 17% of employment while providing food to all citizens, despite the fact that only 2% of the U.S. workforces is on farms. Agricultural productivity has grown by 240% since 1948, while agricul...

  13. The importance of climate change and nitrogen use efficiency for future nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanter, David R.; Zhang, Xin; Mauzerall, Denise L.; Malyshev, Sergey; Shevliakova, Elena

    2016-09-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas and ozone depleting substance. Previous projections of agricultural N2O (the dominant anthropogenic source) show emissions changing in tandem, or at a faster rate than changes in nitrogen (N) consumption. However, recent studies suggest that the carbon dioxide (CO2) fertilization effect may increase plant N uptake, which could decrease soil N losses and dampen increases in N2O. To evaluate this hypothesis at a global scale, we use a process-based land model with a coupled carbon-nitrogen cycle to examine how changes in climatic factors, land-use, and N application rates could affect agricultural N2O emissions by 2050. Assuming little improvement in N use efficiency (NUE), the model projects a 24%-31% increase in global agricultural N2O emissions by 2040-2050 depending on the climate scenario—a relatively moderate increase compared to the projected increases in N inputs (42%-44%) and previously published emissions projections (38%-75%). This occurs largely because the CO2 fertilization effect enhances plant N uptake in several regions, which subsequently dampens N2O emissions. And yet, improvements in NUE could still deliver important environmental benefits by 2050: equivalent to 10 Pg CO2 equivalent and 0.6 Tg ozone depletion potential.

  14. Importance of Stream Denitrification in the Nitrogen Mass Balance of a Midwestern Agricultural Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David, M. B.; Royer, T. V.; Opdyke, M. R.; Tank, J. L.

    2005-05-01

    Agricultural regions of the Midwestern US have large N fluxes as a result of inputs from fertilizer and biological fixation, and outputs through rivers and grain harvest. These inputs and outputs are not balanced, however, and denitrification has been suggested to be an important loss mechanism. We examined the role of in-stream denitrification in the N mass balance of Illinois, a predominantly agricultural region. Nitrate concentrations in streams were often >10 mg nitrate-N L-1, suggesting denitrification was not N-limited throughout most of the year. Denitrification rates were measured at many headwater stream sites throughout the year, in both sediments and primary producer habitat, under different geomorphic conditions. Although in-stream denitrification rates were generally high, hydraulic retention time limited the importance of denitrification in terms of export on an annual basis. Geomorphology was important in explaining rates, but extensive channelization has eliminated most in-stream structures, which could have more effectively reduced stream export of N. Therefore, stream denitrification was only minor sink for N and most nitrate in these headwater sites was exported downstream. In the overall mass balance of N, reservoir and in-field denitrification are thought to be much more important than in-stream denitrification.

  15. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes.

    PubMed

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-19

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices.

  16. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices.

  17. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes

    PubMed Central

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices. PMID:28102323

  18. Soil acidification and the importance of liming agricultural soils with particular reference to the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Goulding, K W T

    2016-09-01

    Soil acidification is caused by a number of factors including acidic precipitation and the deposition from the atmosphere of acidifying gases or particles, such as sulphur dioxide, ammonia and nitric acid. The most important causes of soil acidification on agricultural land, however, are the application of ammonium-based fertilizers and urea, elemental S fertilizer and the growth of legumes. Acidification causes the loss of base cations, an increase in aluminium saturation and a decline in crop yields; severe acidification can cause nonreversible clay mineral dissolution and a reduction in cation exchange capacity, accompanied by structural deterioration. Soil acidity is ameliorated by applying lime or other acid-neutralizing materials. 'Liming' also reduces N2O emissions, but this is more than offset by CO 2 emissions from the lime as it neutralizes acidity. Because crop plants vary in their tolerance to acidity and plant nutrients have different optimal pH ranges, target soil pH values in the UK are set at 6.5 (5.8 in peaty soils) for cropped land and 6.0 (5.3 in peaty soils) for grassland. Agricultural lime products can be sold as 'EC Fertiliser Liming Materials' but, although vital for soil quality and agricultural production, liming tends to be strongly influenced by the economics of farming. Consequently, much less lime is being applied in the UK than required, and many arable and grassland soils are below optimum pH.

  19. The angiosperm phloem sieve tube system: a role in mediating traits important to modern agriculture.

    PubMed

    Ham, Byung-Kook; Lucas, William J

    2014-04-01

    The plant vascular system serves a vital function by distributing water, nutrients and hormones essential for growth and development to the various organs of the plant. In this review, attention is focused on the role played by the phloem as the conduit for delivery of both photosynthate and information macromolecules, especially from the context of its mediation in traits that are important to modern agriculture. Resource allocation of sugars and amino acids, by the phloem, to specific sink tissues is of importance to crop yield and global food security. Current findings are discussed in the context of a hierarchical control network that operates to integrate resource allocation to competing sinks. The role of plasmodesmata that connect companion cells to neighbouring sieve elements and phloem parenchyma cells is evaluated in terms of their function as valves, connecting the sieve tube pressure manifold system to the various plant tissues. Recent studies have also revealed that plasmodesmata and the phloem sieve tube system function cooperatively to mediate the long-distance delivery of proteins and a diverse array of RNA species. Delivery of these information macromolecules is discussed in terms of their roles in control over the vegetative-to-floral transition, tuberization in potato, stress-related signalling involving miRNAs, and genetic reprogramming through the delivery of 24-nucleotide small RNAs that function in transcriptional gene silencing in recipient sink organs. Finally, we discuss important future research areas that could contribute to developing agricultural crops with engineered performance characteristics for enhance yield potential.

  20. Supplementary calcium ameliorates ammonium toxicity by improving water status in agriculturally important species.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gómez, Elvia; Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A; Cartmill, Donita L; Cartmill, Andrew D; Alia-Tajacal, Irán

    2015-09-02

    Fertilization of agricultural plants with ammonium [Formula: see text] is often desirable because it is less susceptible to leaching than nitrate [Formula: see text] reducing environmental pollution, risk to human health and economic loss. However, a number of important agricultural species exhibit a reduction in growth when fertilized with [Formula: see text] and increasing the tolerance to [Formula: see text] may be of importance for the establishment of sustainable agricultural systems. The present study explored the feasibility of using calcium (Ca) to increase the tolerance of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) to [Formula: see text] fertilization. Although [Formula: see text] at proportions ≥25 % of total nitrogen (N) decreased leaf dry mass (DM), supplementary Ca ameliorated this decrease. Increasing [Formula: see text] resulted in decreased root hydraulic conductance (Lo) and root water content (RWC), suggesting that water uptake by roots was impaired. The [Formula: see text]-induced reductions in Lo and RWC were mitigated by supplementary Ca. Ammonium induced increased damage to the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation, causing increased electrolyte leakage; Ca did not reduce lipid peroxidation and resulted in increased electrolyte leakage, suggesting that the beneficial effects of Ca on the tolerance to [Formula: see text] may be more of a reflection on its effect on the water status of the plant. Bell pepper plants that received [Formula: see text] had a low concentration of [Formula: see text] in the roots but a high concentration in the leaves, probably due to the high nitrate reductase activity observed. Ammonium nutrition depressed the uptake of potassium, Ca and magnesium, while increasing that of phosphorus. The results obtained in the present study indicate that [Formula: see text] caused growth reduction, nutrient imbalance, membrane integrity impairment, increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and affected water relations. Supplementary Ca

  1. Supplementary calcium ameliorates ammonium toxicity by improving water status in agriculturally important species

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Gómez, Elvia; Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A.; Cartmill, Donita L.; Cartmill, Andrew D.; Alia-Tajacal, Irán

    2015-01-01

    Fertilization of agricultural plants with ammonium (NH4+) is often desirable because it is less susceptible to leaching than nitrate (NO3−), reducing environmental pollution, risk to human health and economic loss. However, a number of important agricultural species exhibit a reduction in growth when fertilized with NH4+, and increasing the tolerance to NH4+ may be of importance for the establishment of sustainable agricultural systems. The present study explored the feasibility of using calcium (Ca) to increase the tolerance of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) to NH4+ fertilization. Although NH4+ at proportions ≥25 % of total nitrogen (N) decreased leaf dry mass (DM), supplementary Ca ameliorated this decrease. Increasing NH4+ resulted in decreased root hydraulic conductance (Lo) and root water content (RWC), suggesting that water uptake by roots was impaired. The NH4+-induced reductions in Lo and RWC were mitigated by supplementary Ca. Ammonium induced increased damage to the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation, causing increased electrolyte leakage; Ca did not reduce lipid peroxidation and resulted in increased electrolyte leakage, suggesting that the beneficial effects of Ca on the tolerance to NH4+ may be more of a reflection on its effect on the water status of the plant. Bell pepper plants that received NO3−N had a low concentration of NH4+ in the roots but a high concentration in the leaves, probably due to the high nitrate reductase activity observed. Ammonium nutrition depressed the uptake of potassium, Ca and magnesium, while increasing that of phosphorus. The results obtained in the present study indicate that NH4+ caused growth reduction, nutrient imbalance, membrane integrity impairment, increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and affected water relations. Supplementary Ca partially restored growth of leaves by improving root Lo and water relations, and our results suggest that it may be used as a tool to increase the tolerance to NH4

  2. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Filberts in the Shell 1 Definitions § 51.2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of...

  3. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Filberts in the Shell 1 Definitions § 51.2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of...

  4. 7 CFR 51.2008 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2008 Section 51.2008 Agriculture... Standards for Grades of Filberts in the Shell 1 Definitions § 51.2008 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, frass or web is present inside the nut or the kernel shows definite evidence of...

  5. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture..., CERTIFICATION, AND STANDARDS) United States Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence...

  6. 7 CFR 51.2122 - Insect injury.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect injury. 51.2122 Section 51.2122 Agriculture..., CERTIFICATION, AND STANDARDS) United States Standards for Grades of Shelled Almonds Definitions § 51.2122 Insect injury. Insect injury means that the insect, web, or frass is present or there is definite evidence...

  7. Space Insect-Food Aiming at Mars Emigration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katayama, Naomi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Yamashita, Masamichi; Takase, Yoshimi; Kawai, Mika; Space Agriculture Task Force

    We study space insect-food during 10 years. We are aiming at Mars emigration. In space agriculture, insect is the important creature which we cannot miss. It is necessary for the pollination of the plant, and it is rich to protein and lipid as food. We reported that silkworm, bee, grasshopper, snail, fly and termite (white ant) are insects necessary for astroponics in particular last time. We make clothes using silk thread, and the pupa becomes the food. In addition, the clothes can make food as protein when we need not to use it. The bee is a very important insect in the space agriculture, too. We calculated the nourishment ingredient of those insects and thought about ideal space foods which ara necessary for Mars emigration. We will introduce good balance space foods.

  8. Identification of functionally important residues in the silkmoth pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide receptor, an insect ortholog of the vertebrate Neuromedin U Receptor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biosynthesis of sex pheromone components in many lepidopteran insects is regulated by interactions between pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide (PBAN) and the PBAN receptor (PBANR), a class-A G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). To identify functionally important amino acid residues in t...

  9. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here.

  10. The relative importance of microbial nitrate reduction processes in an agriculturally-impacted estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardarelli, E.; Francis, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Human activities are increasing reactive nitrogen levels worldwide. Reactive nitrogen exists largely as nitrate and may be ecologically harmful to nutrient-limited systems. Nitrate loadings to the environment may be transformed by the microbial nitrate reduction processes of denitrification (converting nitrate to dinitrogen gas), or of dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) (allowing reactive nitrogen to persist). The predominant nitrate reduction pathway largely determines the nitrogen removal capacity of the estuary. Therefore, identifying the relative importance of denitrification and DNRA in a given system provides insight into how much nitrate is transformed to dinitrogen and ammonium. Estuary sediments often have high nitrate reduction rates, but the environmental factors that determine which process prevails are underexplored. Nitrate availability and salinity are thought to influence which nitrate reduction process predominates. Elkhorn Slough is a small California estuary that experiences a range of nitrate concentrations (0 to over 2,000 μM) and salinities (0 to 33.5) depending on the agricultural runoff introduced through the Old Salinas River and the tidal influence. This study investigates how the fluctuating nutrient and salinity conditions found over the diel cycle at the interface of the Old Salinas River and Elkhorn Slough influences the nitrogen transformation rates observed. Benthic denitrification and DNRA are evaluated using whole sediment core incubations amended with an overlying 15NO3- labeled pool. Rates of denitrification and DNRA in the sediment are calculated using the isotope pairing technique. The results of this research will help elucidate the relative importance of dissimilatory nitrate removal pathways in an agriculturally-impacted estuary and ultimately reveal whether anthropogenic nitrate inputs are preserved or removed from the system.

  11. Insect Phylogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Behura, Susanta K.

    2015-01-01

    With the advent of next-generation sequencing methods, phylogenetics has taken a new turn in the recent years. Phylogenomics, the integration of phylogenetics with genome data, has emerged as a powerful approach to study systematics and evolution of species. Recently, breakthrough researches employing phylogenomic tools have provided better insights into the timing and pattern of insect evolution. The next-generation sequencing methods are now increasingly used by entomologists to generate genomic and transcript sequences of various insect species and strains. These data provide opportunities for comparative genomics and large-scale multigene phylogenies of diverse lineages of insects. Phylogenomic investigations help us better understand systematic and evolutionary relationships of insect species that play important roles as herbivores, predators, detritivores, pollinators, or disease vectors. It is important that we critically assess the prospects and limitations of phylogenomic methods. In this review, I describe the current status, outline the major challenges, and remark on potential future applications of phylogenomic tools in studying insect systematics and evolution. PMID:25963452

  12. Potential applications of insect symbionts in biotechnology.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Tetracycline and Phenicol Resistance Genes and Mechanisms: Importance for Agriculture, the Environment, and Humans.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Marilyn C; Schwarz, Stefan

    2016-03-01

    Recent reports have speculated on the future impact that antibiotic-resistant bacteria will have on food production, human health, and global economics. This review examines microbial resistance to tetracyclines and phenicols, antibiotics that are widely used in global food production. The mechanisms of resistance, mode of spread between agriculturally and human-impacted environments and ecosystems, distribution among bacteria, and the genes most likely to be associated with agricultural and environmental settings are included. Forty-six different tetracycline resistance () genes have been identified in 126 genera, with (M) having the broadest taxonomic distribution among all bacteria and (B) having the broadest coverage among the Gram-negative genera. Phenicol resistance genes are organized into 37 groups and have been identified in 70 bacterial genera. The review provides the latest information on tetracycline and phenicol resistance genes, including their association with mobile genetic elements in bacteria of environmental, medical, and veterinary relevance. Knowing what specific antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) are found in specific bacterial species and/or genera is critical when using a selective suite of ARGs for detection or surveillance studies. As detection methods move to molecular techniques, our knowledge about which type of bacteria carry which resistance gene(s) will become more important to ensure that the whole spectrum of bacteria are included in future surveillance studies. This review provides information needed to integrate the biology, taxonomy, and ecology of tetracycline- and phenicol-resistant bacteria and their resistance genes so that informative surveillance strategies can be developed and the correct genes selected.

  14. Agricultural waste from the tequila industry as substrate for the production of commercially important enzymes.

    PubMed

    Huitron, C; Perez, R; Sanchez, A E; Lappe, P; Rocha Zavaleta, L

    2008-01-01

    Approximately 1 million tons of Agave tequilana plants are processed annually by the Mexican Tequila industry generating vast amounts of agricultural waste. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential use of Agave tequilana waste as substrate for the production of commercially important enzymes. Two strains of Aspergillus niger (CH-A-2010 and CH-A-2016), isolated from agave fields, were found to grow and propagate in submerged cultures using Agave tequilana waste as substrate. Isolates showed simultaneous extracellular inulinase, xylanase, pectinase, and cellulase activities. Aspergillus CH-A-2010 showed the highest production of inulinase activity (1.48 U/ml), whereas Aspergillus niger CH-A-2016 produced the highest xylanase (1.52 U/ml) and endo-pectinase (2.7U/ml) activities. In both cases production of enzyme activities was significantly higher on Agave tequilana waste than that observed on lemon peel and specific polymeric carbohydrates. Enzymatic hydrolysis of raw A. tequilana stems and leaves, by enzymes secreted by the isolates yielded maximum concentrations of reducing sugars of 28.2 g/l, and 9.9 g/l respectively. In conclusion, Agave tequilana waste can be utilized as substrate for the production of important biotechnological enzymes.

  15. Assessing the Impact of a Semester-Long Course in Agricultural Mechanics on Pre-Service Agricultural Education Teachers' Importance, Confidence, and Knowledge of Welding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leiby, Brian L.; Robinson, J. Shane; Key, James P.

    2013-01-01

    This study sought to assess the perceptions of Oklahoma pre-service agricultural education teachers regarding the importance of identified welding skills standards and their confidence to teach them, based on a semester-long course on metals and welding. This study also sought to determine pre-service teachers' knowledge of welding prior to and at…

  16. Simple, rapid, and inexpensive cleanup method for quantitation of aflatoxins in important agricultural products by HPLC.

    PubMed

    Sobolev, Victor S

    2007-03-21

    A chemical cleanup procedure for low-level quantitative determination of aflatoxins in major economically important agricultural commodities using HPLC has been developed. Aflatoxins were extracted from a ground sample with MeOH/H2O (80:20, v/v), and after a cleanup step on a minicolumn packed with Florisil, aflatoxins were quantified by HPLC equipped with a C18 column, a photochemical reactor, and a fluorescence detector. Water/MeOH (63:37, v/v) served as the mobile phase. Recoveries of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 from peanuts spiked at 5, 1.7, 5, and 1.7 ng/g were 89.5+/-2.2, 94.7+/-2.5, 90.4+/-1.0, and 98.2+/-1.1, respectively (mean+/-SD, %, n=3). Similar recoveries, precision, and accuracy were achieved for corn, brown and white rice, cottonseed, almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts. The quantitation limits for aflatoxins in peanuts were 50 pg/g for aflatoxin B1 and 17 pg/g for aflatoxin B2. The minimal cost of the minicolumn allows for substantial savings compared with available commercial aflatoxin cleanup devices.

  17. Importance of wetland landscape structure to shorebirds wintering in an agricultural valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taft, Oriane W.; Haig, Susan M.

    2006-01-01

    Only recently has the influence of landscape structure on habitat use been a research focus in wetland systems. During non-breeding periods when food can be locally limited, wetland spatial pattern across a landscape may be of great importance in determining wetland use. We studied the influence of landscape structure on abundances of wintering Dunlin (Calidris alpina) and Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) observed on wetlands in the agricultural Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA, during two winters (1999a??2000, 2000a??2001) of differing rainfall. We examined (1) shorebird use within a sample of 100 km2 regions differing in landscape structure (hectares of shorebird habitat [wet, unvegetated]) and (2) use of sites differing in landscape context (area of shorebird habitat within a species-defined radius). For use of sites, we also assessed the influence of two local characteristics: percent of soil exposed and area of wet habitat. We analyzed data using linear regression and information-theoretic modeling. During the dry winter (2000a??2001), Dunlin were attracted to regions with more wetland habitat and their abundances at sites increased with greater area of shorebird habitat within both the site and the surrounding landscape. In contrast, Dunlin abundances at sites were related to availability of habitat at only a local scale during the wet winter (1999a??2000). Regional habitat availability was of little importance in predicting Killdeer distributions, and Killdeer site use appeared unrelated to habitat distributions at both landscape and local scales. Results suggest prioritizing sites for conservation that are located in areas with high wetland coverage.

  18. Recognizing the importance of the Department of Agriculture Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges.

    THOMAS, 111th Congress

    Rep. Childers, Travis [D-MS-1

    2009-04-02

    09/16/2009 Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status Passed HouseHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  19. The importance of instream habitat modifications for restoring channelized agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Science based information on the influence of restoration practices on fishes within channelized agricultural headwater streams in the Midwestern United States is currently lacking. Understanding fish-habitat relationships and fish responses to specific restoration practices will provide informatio...

  20. Comparative genomics of Clavibacter michiganensis subspecies, pathogens of important agricultural crops

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Subspecies of Clavibacter michiganensis are important phytobacterial pathogens causing devastating diseases in several agricultural crops. The genome organizations of these pathogens are poorly understood. Here, the complete genomes of 5 subspecies (C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Cmi; C. michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus, Cms; C. michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis, Cmn; C. michiganensis subsp. insidiosus, Cmi and C. michiganensis subsp. capsici, Cmc) were analyzed. This study assessed the taxonomic position of the subspecies based on 16S rRNA and genome-based DNA homology and concludes that there is ample evidence to elevate some of the subspecies to species-level. Comparative genomics analysis indicated distinct genomic features evident on the DNA structural atlases and annotation features. Based on orthologous gene analysis, about 2300 CDSs are shared across all the subspecies; and Cms showed the highest number of subspecies-specific CDS, most of which are mobile elements suggesting that Cms could be more prone to translocation of foreign genes. Cms and Cmi had the highest number of pseudogenes, an indication of potential degenerating genomes. The stress response factors that may be involved in cold/heat shock, detoxification, oxidative stress, osmoregulation, and carbon utilization are outlined. For example, the wco-cluster encoding for extracellular polysaccharide II is highly conserved while the sucrose-6-phosphate hydrolase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of sucrose-6-phosphate yielding glucose-6-phosphate and fructose is highly divergent. A unique second form of the enzyme is only present in Cmn NCPPB 2581. Also, twenty-eight plasmid-borne CDSs in the other subspecies were found to have homologues in the chromosomal genome of Cmn which is known not to carry plasmids. These CDSs include pathogenesis-related factors such as Endocellulases E1 and Beta-glucosidase. The results presented here provide an insight of the functional organization of the genomes of

  1. How Do Insects Help the Environment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hevel, Gary

    2005-01-01

    There are some 5 to 30 million insect species estimated in the world--and the majority of these have yet to be collected or named by science! Of course, the most well known insects are those that cause disease or compete for human agricultural products, but these insects represent only a small fraction of the world's insect population. In reality,…

  2. Entomophagy and space agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katayama, N.; Ishikawa, Y.; Takaoki, M.; Yamashita, M.; Nakayama, S.; Kiguchi, K.; Kok, R.; Wada, H.; Mitsuhashi, J.; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Supplying food for human occupants remains one of the primary issues in engineering space habitation Evidently for long-term occupation on a distant planet it is necessary to start agriculture on site Historically humans have consumed a variety of animals and it is required to fill our nutritional need when they live in space Among many candidate group and species of animal to breed in space agriculture insects are of great interest since they have a number of advantages over mammals and other vertebrates or invertebrates About 70-75 of animal species is insects and they play an important role in materials recycle loop of terrestrial biosphere at their various niche For space agriculture we propose several insect species such as the silkworm Bombyx mori the drugstore beetle Stegobium paniceum and the termite Macrotermes subhyalinus Among many advantages these insects do not compete with human in terms of food resources but convert inedible biomass or waste into an edible food source for human The silkworm has been domesticated since 5 000 years ago in China Silk moth has lost capability of flying after its domestication history This feature is advantageous in control of their breeding Silkworm larvae eat specifically mulberry leaves and metamorphose in their cocoon Silk fiber obtained from cocoon can be used to manufacture textile Farming system of the drugstore beetle has been well established Both the drugstore beetle and the termite are capable to convert cellulose or other inedible biomass

  3. A comparison of growth and development of three major agricultural insect pests infected with Heliothis virescens ascovirus 3h (HvAV-3h).

    PubMed

    Li, Shun-Ji; Wang, Xing; Zhou, Zhong-Shi; Zhu, Jie; Hu, Jue; Zhao, Yi-Pei; Zhou, Gui-Wei; Huang, Guo-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Ascoviruses are double-stranded DNA viruses that are pathogenic to lepidopteran hosts, particularly noctuid larvae. Infection of a larva is characterized by retarded growth, reduced feeding and yellowish body color. In this paper, we reported the growth and development of three major agricultural noctuid insect pests, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) and Spodoptera litura (Fabricius), infected with Heliothis virescens ascovirus 3h (HvAV-3h). Using 10-fold serial dilutions (0 to 7) of HvAV-3h-containing hemolymph to infect S. litura larvae, we found no significant difference in larval mortalities from 0 to 10(3)-fold dilutions; however, significant differences were observed at 10(4)-fold dilution and above. Using a 10-fold dilution of HvAV-3h-containing hemolymph to infect H. armigera, S. exigua and S. litura larvae, we found that the growth and development were significantly affected. All infected larvae could not pupate; the survival times of treated H. armigera, S. litura and S. exigua larvae were significantly longer than untreated control larvae. Body weight showed significant difference between treated and untreated control group from day 1 after inoculation in H. armigera and S. exigua, but day 2 in S. litura. Additionally, food intake also showed significant difference between treated and untreated control group from day 2 after inoculation in H. armigera and S. litura, but day 3 in S. exigua.

  4. Agricultural By-Products Turned into Important Materials with Adsorptive Properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This presentation will summarize the use of agricultural by-products (e.g., animal manure and plant waste) as starting materials to adsorb environmental contaminants such as mercury from air, ammonia from air, metal ions from water, and chlorinated organics from water. The results show that the mat...

  5. Assessing the importance of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risk of pesticides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of pesticides in agriculture, their potential to be transported beyond the intended target, and their possible risk to human and environmental health has been of public concern for many years. We utilized 5 years of field data from 3 vegetable production systems to evaluate the ability of ag...

  6. Agriculturally important yeasts: Biological control of field and postharvest diseases using yeast antagonists, and yeasts as pathogens of plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two important agricultural aspects of yeasts, control of plant diseases through application of yeasts as the control agent, and yeasts that are plant pathogens are reviewed. Yeasts as biocontrol organisms are presented first, followed by a discussion of some of the more common plant pathogenic yeas...

  7. Insects, Insecticides and Hormesis: Evidence and Considerations for Study

    PubMed Central

    Cutler, G. Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Insects are ubiquitous, crucial components of almost all terrestrial and fresh water ecosystems. In agricultural settings they are subjected to, intentionally or unintentionally, an array of synthetic pesticides and other chemical stressors. These ecological underpinnings, the amenability of insects to laboratory and field experiments, and our strong knowledgebase in insecticide toxicology, make the insect-insecticide model an excellent one to study many questions surrounding hormesis. Moreover, there is practical importance for agriculture with evidence of pest population growth being accelerated by insecticide hormesis. Nevertheless, insects have been underutilized in studies of hormesis. Where hormesis hypotheses have been tested, results clearly demonstrate stimulatory effects on multiple taxa as measured through several biological endpoints, both at individual and population levels. However, many basic questions are outstanding given the myriad of chemicals, responses, and ecological interactions that are likely to occur. PMID:23930099

  8. The first complete mitochondrial genome of a Belostomatidae species, Lethocerus indicus, the giant water bug: An important edible insect.

    PubMed

    Devi, Kshetrimayum Miranda; Shantibala, Tourangbam; Debaraj, Hajarimayum

    2016-10-10

    Lethocerus indicus of the family Belostomatidae is one of the most preferred and delicious edible insects in different parts of South-East Asia including North-East, India. The mitogenome of L. indicus represents the first complete mitogenome sequence of a Belostomatidae species in Heteroptera order. The mitogenome of L. indicus is 16,251bp and contains 37 genes including 13 protein coding genes (PCGs), 22 tRNA genes, two rRNA genes, and a large non-coding region. The genome has a typical gene order which is identical to other Heteroptera species. All tRNAs exhibit the classic cloverleaf secondary structure except tRNASer (AGN). All the PCGs employ a complete translation termination codon either TAA or TAG except COII. The nucleotide composition showed heavy biased toward AT accounting to 70.9% of total mitogenome. The overall A+T content of L. indicus mitogenome was comparatively lower than some other Heteropteran bugs mitogenomes. The control region is divided into seven different parts which includes the putative stem loop, repeats, tandem repeats, GC and AT rich regions. The phylogenetic relationship based on maximum-likelihood method using all protein coding genes was congruent with the traditional morphological classification that Belostomatidae is closely related to Nepidae. The complete mitogenome sequence of L. indicus provides fundamental data useful in conservation genetics and aquaculture diversification.

  9. A Conserved Aspartic Acid Is Important for Agonist (VUAA1) and Odorant/Tuning Receptor-Dependent Activation of the Insect Odorant Co-Receptor (Orco)

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Brijesh N.; Taylor, Robert W.; Pask, Gregory M.; Zwiebel, Laurence J.; Newcomb, Richard D.; Christie, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Insect odorant receptors function as heteromeric odorant-gated cation channels comprising a conventional odorant-sensitive tuning receptor, and a conserved co-receptor (Orco). An Orco agonist, VUAA1, is able to activate both heteromeric and homomeric Orco-containing channels. Very little is known about specific residues in Orco that contribute to cation permeability and gating. We investigated the importance of two conserved Asp residues, one in each of transmembrane domains 5 and 7, for channel function by mutagenesis. Drosophila melanogaster Orco and its substitution mutants were expressed in HEK cells and VUAA1-stimulated channel activity was determined by Ca2+ influx and whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology. Substitution of D466 in transmembrane 7 with amino acids other than glutamic acid resulted in a substantial reduction in channel activity. The D466E Orco substitution mutant was ∼2 times more sensitive to VUAA1. The permeability of the D466E Orco mutant to cations was unchanged relative to wild-type Orco. When D466E Orco is co-expressed with a conventional tuning odorant receptor, the heteromeric complex also shows increased sensitivity to an odorant. Thus, the effect of the D466E mutation is not specific to VUAA1 agonism or dependent on homomeric Orco assembly. We suggest the gain-of-activation characteristic of the D466E mutant identifies an amino acid that is likely to be important for activation of both heteromeric and homomeric insect odorant receptor channels. PMID:23894621

  10. Identification, functional characterization, and pharmacological profile of a serotonin type-2b receptor in the medically important insect, Rhodnius prolixus

    PubMed Central

    Paluzzi, Jean-Paul V.; Bhatt, Garima; Wang, Chang-Hui J.; Zandawala, Meet; Lange, Angela B.; Orchard, Ian

    2015-01-01

    In the Chagas disease vector, Rhodnius prolixus, two diuretic hormones act synergistically to dramatically increase fluid secretion by the Malpighian tubules (MTs) during the rapid diuresis that is initiated upon engorgement of vertebrate blood. One of these diuretic hormones is the biogenic amine, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT), which controls a variety of additional activities including cuticle plasticization, salivary gland secretion, anterior midgut absorption, cardioacceleratory activity, and myotropic activities on a number of visceral tissues. To better understand the regulatory mechanisms linked to these various physiological actions of serotonin, we have isolated and characterized a serotonin type 2b receptor in R. prolixus, Rhopr5HTR2b, which shares sequence similarity to the vertebrate serotonin type 2 receptors. Rhopr5HTR2b transcript is enriched in well-recognized physiological targets of serotonin, including the MTs, salivary glands and dorsal vessel (i.e., insect heart). Notably, Rhopr5HTR2b was not enriched in the anterior midgut where serotonin stimulates absorption and elicits myotropic control. Using a heterologous functional receptor assay, we examined Rhopr5HTR2b activation characteristics and its sensitivity to potential agonists, antagonists, and other biogenic amines. Rhopr5HTR2b is dose-dependently activated by serotonin with an EC50 in the nanomolar range. Rhopr5HTR2b is sensitive to alpha-methyl serotonin and is inhibited by a variety of serotonin receptor antagonists, including propranolol, spiperone, ketanserin, mianserin, and cyproheptadine. In contrast, the cardioacceleratory activity of serotonin revealed a unique pharmacological profile, with no significant response induced by alpha-methyl serotonin and insensitivity to ketanserin and mianserin. This distinct agonist/antagonist profile indicates that a separate serotonin receptor type may mediate cardiomodulatory effects controlled by serotonin in R. prolixus. PMID:26041983

  11. The Potential of Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) for Producing Important Components of Renewable Energy and Agricultural Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwata, E.

    2012-04-01

    In agricultural systems, sustainable crop production is critical in meeting both environmental requirements and the limitations of drought imposed by the effects of global warming. The inputs for crop production and end use of the products should determine the choice of a crop particularly in environments prone to droughts. The objective of this paper is to highlight why a multi-purpose grain legume such as pigeonpea is an ideal crop that can be utilized for producing renewable energy. Firstly, it is highly tolerant to drought and does not require additional soil moisture after the seedling growth stage. The deep tape root extracts moisture and nutrients from deep layers of the soil concomitantly allowing for efficient nutrient recycling. The piscidic acid which is exuded from the roots enhances the solubilization of phosphorus in order to make it available for plant uptake. Secondly, the grain of pigeonpea is suitable for both human food and feedstocks. The grain is rich in oil, vitamins, minerals and protein. The grain can also be used for producing biofuel. In many countries particularly in the developing world, the stover is used as fuel wood or building (roofing) material, thus alleviating pressure on forest products. The crop is grown without the application of inorganic fertilizers as it can fix atmospheric nitrogen symbiotically in its root nodules. Pigeonpea is also ratoonable, producing two or more harvests per season. In addition, it is grown in mixed cropping systems thus optimizing land use. In these regards, pigeonpea is sustainable and environmentally friendly choice for agricultural production of food and energy balance.

  12. Tissue, developmental, and caste-specific expression of odorant binding proteins in a eusocial insect, the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Wanchoo, Arun; Ortiz-Urquiza, Almudena; Xia, Yuxian; Keyhani, Nemat O

    2016-10-21

    Insects interact with the surrounding environment via chemoreception, and in social insects such as ants, chemoreception functions to mediate diverse behaviors including food acquisition, self/non-self recognition, and intraspecific communication. The invasive red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, has spread worldwide, displaying a remarkable environmental adaptability. Odorant binding proteins (OBPs) are chemical compound carriers, involved in diverse physiological processes including odor detection and chemical transport. S. invicta contains a highly divergent 17-member OBP gene family, that includes an ant-specific expansion and the social organization implicated Gp-9 (OBP3) gene. A systematic gene expression analysis of the SiOBP repertoire was performed across social caste (workers, male and female alates), tissues (antennae, head, thorax, and abdomen), and developmental stages (egg, larvae, and pupae), revealing that although SiOBPs were expressed in the antennae, the major regions of expression were in the head and thorax across all castes, and the abdomen in male and female alates. SiOBPs were very highly expressed in female alates and at somewhat lower levels in male alates and workers. SiOBPs were differentially expressed, with unique signatures in various castes and tissues, suggesting functionality of SiOBPs beyond olfaction Expression patterns of SiOBP subgroups also showed relationships with their evolutionary relatedness.

  13. Tissue, developmental, and caste-specific expression of odorant binding proteins in a eusocial insect, the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Wanchoo, Arun; Ortiz-Urquiza, Almudena; Xia, Yuxian; Keyhani, Nemat O.

    2016-01-01

    Insects interact with the surrounding environment via chemoreception, and in social insects such as ants, chemoreception functions to mediate diverse behaviors including food acquisition, self/non-self recognition, and intraspecific communication. The invasive red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, has spread worldwide, displaying a remarkable environmental adaptability. Odorant binding proteins (OBPs) are chemical compound carriers, involved in diverse physiological processes including odor detection and chemical transport. S. invicta contains a highly divergent 17-member OBP gene family, that includes an ant-specific expansion and the social organization implicated Gp-9 (OBP3) gene. A systematic gene expression analysis of the SiOBP repertoire was performed across social caste (workers, male and female alates), tissues (antennae, head, thorax, and abdomen), and developmental stages (egg, larvae, and pupae), revealing that although SiOBPs were expressed in the antennae, the major regions of expression were in the head and thorax across all castes, and the abdomen in male and female alates. SiOBPs were very highly expressed in female alates and at somewhat lower levels in male alates and workers. SiOBPs were differentially expressed, with unique signatures in various castes and tissues, suggesting functionality of SiOBPs beyond olfaction Expression patterns of SiOBP subgroups also showed relationships with their evolutionary relatedness. PMID:27765943

  14. EPA Resolves Violations with Newport Beach, Calif. Company for Failure to Report Imported Agricultural Chemicals

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    LOS ANGELES -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency settled its case against American Vanguard Corporation, located in Newport Beach, Calif., for failure to report toxic chemical substances imported by two of its subsidiary companies. American Vang

  15. Sterile Insect Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter discusses the history of the development of quality control tchnology, the principles and philosophy of assessing insect quality, and the relative importance of the various parameters used to assess insect quality in the context of mass-rearing for the SIT. Quality control is most devel...

  16. Irradiating insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This is a non-technical article focusing on phytosanitary uses of irradiation. In a series of interview questions, I present information on the scope of the invasive species problem and the contribution of international trade in agricultural products to the movement of invasive insects. This is foll...

  17. Projecting Future Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Agriculture: Importance of Ecological Feedbacks and the Environmental Benefits of Improved Nitrogen Use Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanter, D.; Zhang, X.; Shevliakova, E.; Malyshev, S.; Mauzerall, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) presents a triple threat to the global environment: it is the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, the largest remaining anthropogenic contributor to stratospheric ozone depletion, and an important component of the nitrogen (N) cascade - where one atom of N can interconvert between a number of forms, each with a unique set of environmental impacts. Here we use a dynamic vegetation model (Princeton-Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab (GFDL) LM3 - the interactive land component of the GFDL Earth System Model) to assess how changes in future climate, land-use, and global fertilizer and manure application are projected to affect global N2O emissions from agriculture by 2050. Agricultural land is defined in this study as the sum of cropland and pasture. In a baseline scenario assuming little improvement in global N use efficiency (NUE) by 2050, the model projects a 24-31% increase in global agricultural N2O emissions (with the uncertainty range stemming from differences in climate forcing, land-use and fertilizer and manure consumption between RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, the two climate scenarios used in this study) - rising from 2.9 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 1990-2000 to 3.6-3.8 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 2040-2050. This emission increase is considerably less than the projected increases in global fertilizer and manure consumption (42-44%) and previously published projections of global agricultural N2O emission increases (38-75% - again, the uncertainty range reflecting the differences between the climate scenarios used). This disparity appears to be a result of ecological feedbacks captured by the model, where a considerable portion of the increase in fertilizer and manure use is absorbed by agricultural plant biomass rather than lost to the environment. In addition to this dynamic, the model projects that improvements in global NUE of 20-50% could reduce global N2O emissions significantly, delivering important climate and stratospheric ozone benefits over the period

  18. The Importance of Selected Instructional Areas in the Present and Future Secondary Agricultural Education Curriculum as Perceived by Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents in Nebraska.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Rick; And Others

    1995-01-01

    A 1989-90 survey received 381 responses from Nebraska agriculture teachers, principals, and superintendents in which they rated agricultural economics, marketing, and computers as important current topics; leadership, personal development, agribusiness management, and natural resources were important future topics. Most had a cautious, low-risk…

  19. U.S. Irrigation. Extent and Economic Importance. Agriculture Information Bulletin Number 523.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Day, John C.; Horner, Gerald L.

    Data for the years 1974, 1978, 1982, and 1984 are used to identify the principal features of irrigated farming in the United States and to assess the importance of irrigation to the farm economy. Irrigation of U.S. acreage declined 5.6 million acres between 1978 and 1984 to 44.7 million acres. In 1982 irrigated acreage represented 6 percent of the…

  20. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    PubMed

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity.

  1. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity

    PubMed Central

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M.; El-Arabi, Tarek F.; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization–confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. PMID:26705571

  2. Use of banker plant system for sustainable management of the most important insect pest in rice fields in China

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Xusong; Lu, Yanhui; Zhu, Pingyang; Zhang, Facheng; Tian, Junce; Xu, Hongxing; Chen, Guihua; Nansen, Christian; Lu, Zhongxian

    2017-01-01

    To meet the World’s food demand, there is a growing need for sustainable pest management practices. This study describes the results from complementary laboratory and field studies of a “banker plant system” for sustainable management of the rice brown planthopper (BPH) (Nilaparvata lugens Stål) – the economically most important rice pest in Asian rice growing areas. The banker plant system consisted of planting a grass species, Leersia sayanuka, adjacent to rice fields. L. sayanuka is the host plant of a planthopper, Nilaparvata muiri. An egg parasitoid, Anagrus nilaparvatae, parasitizes eggs of both BPH and N. muiri, and its establishment and persistence are improved through plantings of L. sayanuka and thereby attraction of N. muiri. Laboratory results showed that BPH was unable to complete its life cycle on L. sayanuka, and N. muiri could not complete its life cycle on rice. Thus, planting L. sayanuka did not increase the risk of planthopper damage to rice fields. Field studies showed that BPH densities were significantly lower in rice fields with banker plant system compared to control rice fields without banker plant system. PMID:28367978

  3. Association of N2-fixing cyanobacteria and plants: towards novel symbioses of agricultural importance

    SciTech Connect

    Elhai, Jeff

    2001-06-25

    Some nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria are able to form symbioses with a wide variety of plants. Nostoc 2S9B is unusual in its ability to infect the roots of wheat, raising the prospect of a productive association with an important crop plant. The goal of the project was to lay the groundwork for the use of novel associations between Nostoc and crops of agronomic importance, thereby reducing our reliance on nitrogenous fertilizer. Nostoc 2S9B was found to enter roots through mechanical damage of roots and reside primarily in intercellular spaces. The strain could also be incorporated into wheat calli grown in tissue culture. In both cases, the rate of nitrogen fixation by the cyanobacterium was higher than that of the same strain grown with no plant present. Artificial nodules induced by the action of hormone 2,4D were readily infected by Nostoc 2S9B, and the cyanobacteria within such nodules fixed nitrogen under fully aerobic conditions. The nitrogen fixed was shown to be incorporated into the growing wheat seedlings. Nostoc thus differs from other bacteria in its ability to fix nitrogen in para-nodules without need for artificially microaerobic conditions. It would be useful to introduce foreign DNA into Nostoc 2S9B in order to make defined mutations to understand the genetic basis of its ability to infect wheat and to create strains that might facilitate the study of the infection process. Transfer of DNA into the cyanobacterium appears to be limited by the presence of four restriction enzymes, with recognition sequences the same as BamHI, BglI, BsaHI, and Tth111I. Genes encoding methyltransferases that protect DNA against these four enzymes have been cloned into helper plasmids to allow transfer of DNA from E. coli to Nostoc 2S9B.

  4. Detection of insects in grain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Detecting insects hidden inside kernels of grain is important to grain buyers because internal infestations can result in insect fragments in products made from the grain, or, if the grain is stored before use, the insect population can increase and damage the grain further. In a study in the Unite...

  5. RNA Interference in Insect Vectors for Plant Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Kanakala, Surapathrudu; Ghanim, Murad

    2016-01-01

    Insects and other arthropods are the most important vectors of plant pathogens. The majority of plant pathogens are disseminated by arthropod vectors such as aphids, beetles, leafhoppers, planthoppers, thrips and whiteflies. Transmission of plant pathogens and the challenges in managing insect vectors due to insecticide resistance are factors that contribute to major food losses in agriculture. RNA interference (RNAi) was recently suggested as a promising strategy for controlling insect pests, including those that serve as important vectors for plant pathogens. The last decade has witnessed a dramatic increase in the functional analysis of insect genes, especially those whose silencing results in mortality or interference with pathogen transmission. The identification of such candidates poses a major challenge for increasing the role of RNAi in pest control. Another challenge is to understand the RNAi machinery in insect cells and whether components that were identified in other organisms are also present in insect. This review will focus on summarizing success cases in which RNAi was used for silencing genes in insect vector for plant pathogens, and will be particularly helpful for vector biologists. PMID:27973446

  6. RNA Interference in Insect Vectors for Plant Viruses.

    PubMed

    Kanakala, Surapathrudu; Ghanim, Murad

    2016-12-12

    Insects and other arthropods are the most important vectors of plant pathogens. The majority of plant pathogens are disseminated by arthropod vectors such as aphids, beetles, leafhoppers, planthoppers, thrips and whiteflies. Transmission of plant pathogens and the challenges in managing insect vectors due to insecticide resistance are factors that contribute to major food losses in agriculture. RNA interference (RNAi) was recently suggested as a promising strategy for controlling insect pests, including those that serve as important vectors for plant pathogens. The last decade has witnessed a dramatic increase in the functional analysis of insect genes, especially those whose silencing results in mortality or interference with pathogen transmission. The identification of such candidates poses a major challenge for increasing the role of RNAi in pest control. Another challenge is to understand the RNAi machinery in insect cells and whether components that were identified in other organisms are also present in insect. This review will focus on summarizing success cases in which RNAi was used for silencing genes in insect vector for plant pathogens, and will be particularly helpful for vector biologists.

  7. Cadmium contamination in Tianjin agricultural soils and sediments: relative importance of atmospheric deposition from coal combustion.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guanghong; Yang, Cancan; Guo, Lan; Wang, Zhongliang

    2013-06-01

    Cadmium (Cd) in coal, fly ash, slag, atmospheric deposition, soils and sediments collected from Tianjin, northern China, were measured to provide baseline information and determine possible Cd sources and potential risk. The concentrations of Cd in coal, fly ash and atmospheric deposition were much higher than the soil background values. Fallout from coal-fired thermal power plants, heating boilers and industrial furnaces has increased the Cd concentration in soils and sediments in Tianjin. The concentrations of Cd in soils of suburban areas were significantly higher than in rural areas, suggesting that coal burning in Tianjin may have an important impact on the local physical environment. Cd from coal combustion is readily mobilized in soils. It is soluble and can form aqueous complexes and permeate river sediments. The high proportion of mobile Cd affects the migration of Cd in soils and sediments, which may pose an environmental threat in Tianjin due to the exposure to Cd and Cd compounds via the food chain. This study may provide a window for understanding and tracing sources of Cd in the local environment and the risk associated with Cd bioaccessibility.

  8. Importance of agricultural landscapes to nesting burrowing owls in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Restani, M.; Davies, J.M.; Newton, W.E.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are the principle factors causing declines of grassland birds. Declines in burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations have been extensive and have been linked to habitat loss, primarily the decline of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. Development of habitat use models is a research priority and will aid conservation of owls inhabiting human-altered landscapes. From 2001 to 2004 we located 160 burrowing owl nests on prairie dog colonies on the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. We used multiple linear regression and Akaike's Information Criterion to estimate the relationship between cover type characteristics surrounding prairie dog colonies and (1) number of owl pairs per colony and (2) reproductive success. Models were developed for two spatial scales, within 600 m and 2,000 m radii of nests for cropland, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), grassland, and prairie dog colonies. We also included number of patches as a metric of landscape fragmentation. Annually, fewer than 30% of prairie dog colonies were occupied by owls. None of the models at the 600 m scale explained variation in number of owl pairs or reproductive success. However, models at the 2,000 m scale did explain number of owl pairs and reproductive success. Models included cropland, crested wheatgrass, and prairie dog colonies. Grasslands were not included in any of the models and had low importance values, although percentage grassland surrounding colonies was high. Management that protects prairie dog colonies bordering cropland and crested wheatgrass should be implemented to maintain nesting habitat of burrowing owls. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  9. Chitinases: in agriculture and human healthcare.

    PubMed

    Nagpure, Anand; Choudhary, Bharti; Gupta, Rajinder K

    2014-09-01

    Biological control of phytopathogenic fungi and insects continues to inspire the research and development of environmentally friendly bioactive alternatives. Potentially lytic enzymes, chitinases can act as a biocontrol agent against agriculturally important fungi and insects. The cell wall in fungi and protective covers, i.e. cuticle in insects shares a key structural polymer, chitin, a β-1,4-linked N-acetylglucosamine polymer. Therefore, it is advantageous to develop a common biocontrol agent against both of these groups. As chitin is absent in plants and mammals, targeting its metabolism will signify an eco-friendly strategy for the control of agriculturally important fungi and insects but is innocuous to mammals, plants, beneficial insects and other organisms. In addition, development of chitinase transgenic plant varieties probably holds the most promising method for augmenting agricultural crop protection and productivity, when properly integrated into traditional systems. Recently, human proteins with chitinase activity and chitinase-like proteins were identified and established as biomarkers for human diseases. This review covers the recent advances of chitinases as a biocontrol agent and its various applications including preparation of medically important chitooligosaccharides, bioconversion of chitin as well as in implementing chitinases as diagnostic and prognostic markers for numerous diseases and the prospect of their future utilization.

  10. Feeding the insect industry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  11. Estimation of soil erosion risk within an important agricultural sub-watershed in Bursa, Turkey, in relation to rapid urbanization.

    PubMed

    Ozsoy, Gokhan; Aksoy, Ertugrul

    2015-07-01

    This paper integrates the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) with a GIS model to investigate the spatial distribution of annual soil loss and identify areas of soil erosion risk in the Uluabat sub-watershed, an important agricultural site in Bursa Province, Turkey. The total soil loss from water erosion was 473,274 Mg year(-1). Accordingly, 60.3% of the surveyed area was classified into a very low erosion risk class while 25.7% was found to be in high and severe erosion risk classes. Soil loss had a close relationship with land use and topography. The most severe erosion risk typically occurs on ridges and steep slopes where agriculture, degraded forest, and shrubs are the main land uses and cover types. Another goal of this study was to use GIS to reveal the multi-year urbanization status caused by rapid urbanization that constitutes another soil erosion risk in this area. Urbanization has increased by 57.7% and the most areal change was determined in class I lands at a rate of 80% over 25 years. Urbanization was identified as one of the causes of excessive soil loss in the study area.

  12. Community composition and population genetics of insect pathogenic fungi in the genus Metarhizium from soils of a long-term agricultural research system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fungi in the genus Metarhizium are facultative pathogens of insects with the capacity to function in other niches, including soil and plant rhizosphere habitats. In agroecosystems, cropping and tillage practices heavily influence soil fungal communities with unknown effects on the distribution of M...

  13. Insect Allergy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hobart; Halverson, Sara; Mackey, Regina

    2016-09-01

    Insect bites and stings are common. Risk factors are mostly associated with environmental exposure. Most insect bites and stings result in mild, local, allergic reactions. Large local reactions and systemic reactions like anaphylaxis are possible. Common insects that bite or sting include mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, biting midges, bees, and wasps. The diagnosis is made clinically. Identification of the insect should occur when possible. Management is usually supportive. For anaphylaxis, patients should be given epinephrine and transported to the emergency department for further evaluation. Venom immunotherapy (VIT) has several different protocols. VIT is highly effective in reducing systemic reactions and anaphylaxis.

  14. Molecular marker systems in insects: current trends and future avenues.

    PubMed

    Behura, Susanta K

    2006-10-01

    Insects comprise the largest species composition in the entire animal kingdom and possess a vast undiscovered genetic diversity and gene pool that can be better explored using molecular marker techniques. Current trends of application of DNA marker techniques in diverse domains of insect ecological studies show that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), microsatellites, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), expressed sequence tags (EST) and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers have contributed significantly for progresses towards understanding genetic basis of insect diversity and for mapping medically and agriculturally important genes and quantitative trait loci in insect pests. Apart from these popular marker systems, other novel approaches including transposon display, sequence-specific amplification polymorphism (S-SAP), repeat-associated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) markers have been identified as alternate marker systems in insect studies. Besides, whole genome microarray and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays are becoming more popular to screen genome-wide polymorphisms in fast and cost effective manner. However, use of such methodologies has not gained widespread popularity in entomological studies. The current study highlights the recent trends of applications of molecular markers in insect studies and explores the technological advancements in molecular marker tools and modern high throughput genotyping methodologies that may be applied in entomological researches for better understanding of insect ecology at molecular level.

  15. Biological control of pests and insects. (Latest citations from the NTIS bibliographic database). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    1996-04-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the use of biological agents to control insects and pests. Radiation, genetic breeding, bacteria, fungi, viruses, and pheromones are discussed as alternatives to pesticidal management. Methods for monitoring the effectiveness and environmental impact of these agents are reviewed. Population control of fruit flies, spruce sawflies, flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, gypsy moths, and other agriculturally-important insects is also discussed. (Contains 50-250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.) (Copyright NERAC, Inc. 1995)

  16. Biological control of pests and insects. (Latest citations from the NTIS bibliographic database). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    1995-02-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the use of biological agents to control insects and pests. Radiation, genetic breeding, bacteria, fungi, viruses, and pheromones are discussed as alternatives to pesticidal management. Methods for monitoring the effectiveness and environmental impact of these agents are reviewed. Population control of fruit flies, spruce sawflies, flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, gypsy moths, and other agriculturally-important insects is also discussed. (Contains a minimum of 190 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  17. Application of RNA interference in functional genomics studies of a social insect.

    PubMed

    Scharf, Michael E; Zhou, Xuguo; Schwinghammer, Margaret A

    2008-01-01

    Social insects represent a group of organisms that have dual importance from perspectives relating to both basic and applied science. From a basic perspective, social insects serve as excellent model systems for studying social organization, behavioral ecology, neurobiology, and phenotypic plasticity. From applied perspectives, social insects play important roles in the pollination of agricultural crops, in the damage of human structures and commodities, and in cellulose processing in natural ecosystems. With the advent of insect sociogenomics research (and the ability to identify dozens or hundreds of relevant candidate genes from a single experiment) has come a great demand for functional genomics tools for application in gene characterization. To date, RNAi is one of the most powerful tools to have become available for such functional characterizations, and it has broad relevance across a range of insect sociobiology research topics.

  18. Insect Keepers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  19. Irradiation of northwest agricultural products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eakin, D. E.; Tingey, G. I.

    1985-02-01

    Irradiation of food for disinfestation and preservation is increasing in importance because of increasing restrictions on various chemical treatments. Irradiation treatment is of particular interest in the Northwest because of a growing supply of agricultural products and the need to develop new export markets. Several products have, or could potentially have, significant export markets if stringent insect ocntrol procedures are developed and followed. Due to the recognized potential benefits of irradiation, this program was conducted to evaluate the benefits of using irradiation on Northwest agricultural products. Commodities currently included in the program are cherries, apples, asparagus, spices, hay, and hides.

  20. Machine learning for characterization of insect vector feeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insects that feed by ingesting plant and animal fluids cause devastating damage to humans, livestock, and agriculture worldwide, primarily by transmitting phytopathogenic and zoonotic pathogens. The feeding processes required for successful disease transmission by sucking insects can be recorded by ...

  1. Biological mechanisms determining the success of RNA interference in insects.

    PubMed

    Wynant, Niels; Santos, Dulce; Vanden Broeck, Jozef

    2014-01-01

    Insects constitute the largest group of animals on this planet, having a huge impact on our environment, as well as on our quality of life. RNA interference (RNAi) is a posttranscriptional gene silencing mechanism triggered by double-stranded (ds)RNA fragments. This process not only forms the basis of a widely used reverse genetics research method in many different eukaryotes but also holds great promise to contribute to the species-specific control of agricultural pests and to combat viral infections in beneficial and disease vectoring insects. However, in many economically important insect species, such as flies, mosquitoes, and caterpillars, systemic delivery of naked dsRNA does not trigger effective gene silencing. Although many components of the RNAi pathway have initially been deciphered in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, it will be of major importance to investigate this process in a wider variety of species, including dsRNA-sensitive insects such as locusts and beetles, to elucidate the factors responsible for the remarkable variability in RNAi efficiency, as observed in different insects. In this chapter, we review the current knowledge on the RNAi pathway, as well as the most recent insights into the mechanisms that might determine successful RNAi in insects.

  2. The Insect SNMP Gene Family

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    The insect SNMP gene family Richard G. Vogt a,*,1, Natalie E. Miller a, Rachel Litvack a, Richard A. Fandino a, Jackson Sparks a, Jon Staples a...Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center Plant Sciences Institute, Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory, Bldg. 007, Rm. 030...keywords: Pheromone Receptors Olfactory Gustatory Chemosensory Gustatory Mosquito Fly a b s t r a c t SNMPs are membrane proteins observed to associate with

  3. Allergic reactions to insect stings and bites.

    PubMed

    Moffitt, John E

    2003-11-01

    Insect stings are an important cause of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can also occur from insect bites but is less common. Insect venoms contain several well-characterized allergens that can trigger anaphylactic reactions. Effective methods to diagnose insect sting allergy and assess risk of future sting reactions have been developed. Management strategies using insect avoidance measures, self-injectable epinephrine, and allergen immunotherapy are very effective in reducing insect-allergic patients' risk of reaction from future stings. Diagnostic and management strategies for patients allergic to insect bites are less developed.

  4. Undergraduates' mental models about insect anatomy and insect life cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diaz, Arlene Edith

    Educational studies focused on students' alternative conceptions have shown the importance of developing strategies to correct understanding. Identifying and comprehending student mental models are important since they may reflect alternate conceptions about scientific concepts. Mental models have been identified in various science education studies, but little is known about mental models undergraduates hold about insects. This research is significant because it identified mental models undergraduates have about insect anatomy and insect life cycles, exposed students to cognitive conflict by having them complete an online insect tutorial, and analyzed the effectiveness of this insect tutorial in correcting student understanding. An insect assessment was developed and administered pre- and post-instruction to probe students' mental models about insects. Different numbers of undergraduate students participated in different parts of the assessment; 276, 249, 166, and 58 students participated in the listing, drawing. definition, and life cycle parts of the assessment, respectively. The tutorial contained a variety of manipulated insect and non-insect images that challenged the students' understanding and generated cognitive conflict. This intervention guided students in replacing alternate conceptions with correct understanding. It was hypothesized that the tutorial would have a positive impact on student learning about insects. The results suggest that the tutorial had a positive impact on learning.

  5. The Importance of Being Colorful and Able to Fly: Interpretation and Implications of Children's Statements on Selected Insects and Other Invertebrates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breuer, Gabriele B.; Schlegel, Jürg; Kauf, Peter; Rupf, Reto

    2015-01-01

    Children have served as research subjects in several surveys on attitudes to insects and invertebrates. Most of the studies have used quantitative scoring methods to draw conclusions. This paper takes a different approach as it analyzes children's free-text comments to gain an understanding of their viewpoints. A total of 246 children aged 9-13…

  6. Community composition and population genetics of insect pathogenic fungi in the genus Metarhizium from soils of a long-term agricultural research system.

    PubMed

    Kepler, Ryan M; Ugine, Todd A; Maul, Jude E; Cavigelli, Michel A; Rehner, Stephen A

    2015-08-01

    Fungi in the genus Metarhizium are insect pathogens able to function in other niches, including soil and plant rhizosphere habitats. In agroecosystems, cropping and tillage practices influence soil fungal communities with unknown effects on the distribution of Metarhizium, whose presence can reduce populations of crop pests. We report results from a selective media survey of Metarhizium in soils sampled from a long-term experimental farming project in the mid-Atlantic region. Field plots under soybean cultivation produced higher numbers of Metarhizium colony-forming units (cfu) than corn or alfalfa. Plots managed organically and via chisel-till harboured higher numbers of Metarhizium cfu than no-till plots. Sequence typing of Metarhizium isolates revealed four species, with M. robertsii and M. brunneum predominating. The M. brunneum population was essentially fixed for a single clone as determined by multilocus microsatellite genotyping. In contrast, M. robertsii was found to contain significant diversity, with the majority of isolates distributed between two principal clades. Evidence for recombination was observed only in the most abundant clade. These findings illuminate multiple levels of Metarhizium diversity that can be used to inform strategies by which soil Metarhizium populations may be manipulated to exert downward pressure on pest insects and promote plant health.

  7. Climate impacts on European agriculture and water management in the context of adaptation and mitigation--the importance of an integrated approach.

    PubMed

    Falloon, Pete; Betts, Richard

    2010-11-01

    We review and qualitatively assess the importance of interactions and feedbacks in assessing climate change impacts on water and agriculture in Europe. We focus particularly on the impact of future hydrological changes on agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and adaptation options. Future projected trends in European agriculture include northward movement of crop suitability zones and increasing crop productivity in Northern Europe, but declining productivity and suitability in Southern Europe. This may be accompanied by a widening of water resource differences between the North and South, and an increase in extreme rainfall events and droughts. Changes in future hydrology and water management practices will influence agricultural adaptation measures and alter the effectiveness of agricultural mitigation strategies. These interactions are often highly complex and influenced by a number of factors which are themselves influenced by climate. Mainly positive impacts may be anticipated for Northern Europe, where agricultural adaptation may be shaped by reduced vulnerability of production, increased water supply and reduced water demand. However, increasing flood hazards may present challenges for agriculture, and summer irrigation shortages may result from earlier spring runoff peaks in some regions. Conversely, the need for effective adaptation will be greatest in Southern Europe as a result of increased production vulnerability, reduced water supply and increased demands for irrigation. Increasing flood and drought risks will further contribute to the need for robust management practices. The impacts of future hydrological changes on agricultural mitigation in Europe will depend on the balance between changes in productivity and rates of decomposition and GHG emission, both of which depend on climatic, land and management factors. Small increases in European soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks per unit land area are anticipated considering changes in climate

  8. Agriculture: Newsroom

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Agriculture Newsroom. News releases, reports, and other documents from around EPA that are of interest or direct importance to the environmental management or compliance efforts of the agricultural community.

  9. Characterization of a novel insect-specific flavivirus from Brazil: potential for inhibition of infection of arthropod cells with medically important flaviviruses

    PubMed Central

    Kenney, Joan L.; Solberg, Owen D.; Langevin, Stanley A.; Brault, Aaron C.

    2015-01-01

    In the past decade there has been an upsurge in the number of newly described insect-specific flaviviruses isolated pan-globally. We recently described the isolation of a novel flavivirus (tentatively designated “Nhumirim virus”; NHUV) (Pauvolid-Correa et al., in review) that represents an example of a unique subset of apparently insect-specific viruses that phylogenetically affiliate with dual-host mosquito-borne flaviviruses despite appearing to be limited to replication in mosquito cells. We characterized the in vitro growth potential, 3’ untranslated region (UTR) sequence homology with alternative flaviviruses, and evaluated the virus’s capacity to suppress replication of representative Culex spp. vectored pathogenic flaviviruses in mosquito cells. Only mosquito cell lines were found to support NHUV replication, further reinforcing the insect-specific phenotype of this virus. Analysis of the sequence and predicted RNA secondary structures of the 3’ UTR indicate NHUV to be most similar to viruses within the yellow fever serogroup, Japanese encephalitis serogroup, and viruses in the tick-borne flavivirus clade. NHUV was found to share the fewest conserved sequence elements when compared to traditional insect-specific flaviviruses. This suggests that, despite being apparently insect-specific, this virus likely diverged from an ancestral mosquito-borne flavivirus. Co-infection experiments indicated that prior or concurrent infection of mosquito cells with NHUV resulted in significant reduction in viral production of West Nile virus (WNV), St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) and Japanese encephalitis virus. The inhibitory effect was most effective against WNV and SLEV with over a million-fold and 10,000-fold reduction in peak titers, respectively. PMID:25146007

  10. Characterization of a novel insect-specific flavivirus from Brazil: Potential for inhibition of infection of arthropod cells with medically important flaviviruses.

    SciTech Connect

    Kenney, Joan L.; Solberg, Owen D.; Langevin, Stanley A.; Brault, Aaron C.

    2014-01-12

    In the past decade, there has been an upsurge in the number of newly described insect-specific flaviviruses isolated pan-globally. We recently described the isolation of a novel flavivirus (tentatively designated ‘Nhumirim virus’; NHUV) that represents an example of a unique subset of apparently insect-specific viruses that phylogenetically affiliate with dual-host mosquito-borne flaviviruses despite appearing to be limited to replication in mosquito cells. We characterized the in vitro growth potential and 3' untranslated region (UTR) sequence homology with alternative flaviviruses, and evaluated the virus’s capacity to suppress replication of representative Culex spp.-vectored pathogenic flaviviruses in mosquito cells. Only mosquito cell lines were found to support NHUV replication, further reinforcing the insect-specific phenotype of this virus. Analysis of the sequence and predicted RNA secondary structures of the 3' UTR indicated NHUV to be most similar to viruses within the yellow fever serogroup and Japanese encephalitis serogroup, and viruses in the tick-borne flavivirus clade. NHUV was found to share the fewest conserved sequence elements when compared with traditional insect-specific flaviviruses. This suggests that, despite apparently being insect specific, this virus probably diverged from an ancestral mosquito-borne flavivirus. Co-infection experiments indicated that prior or concurrent infection of mosquito cells with NHUV resulted in a significant reduction in virus production of West Nile virus (WNV), St Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) and Japanese encephalitis virus. As a result, the inhibitory effect was most effective against WNV and SLEV with over a 106-fold and 104-fold reduction in peak titres, respectively.

  11. Characterization of a novel insect-specific flavivirus from Brazil: Potential for inhibition of infection of arthropod cells with medically important flaviviruses.

    DOE PAGES

    Kenney, Joan L.; Solberg, Owen D.; Langevin, Stanley A.; ...

    2014-01-12

    In the past decade, there has been an upsurge in the number of newly described insect-specific flaviviruses isolated pan-globally. We recently described the isolation of a novel flavivirus (tentatively designated ‘Nhumirim virus’; NHUV) that represents an example of a unique subset of apparently insect-specific viruses that phylogenetically affiliate with dual-host mosquito-borne flaviviruses despite appearing to be limited to replication in mosquito cells. We characterized the in vitro growth potential and 3' untranslated region (UTR) sequence homology with alternative flaviviruses, and evaluated the virus’s capacity to suppress replication of representative Culex spp.-vectored pathogenic flaviviruses in mosquito cells. Only mosquito cell linesmore » were found to support NHUV replication, further reinforcing the insect-specific phenotype of this virus. Analysis of the sequence and predicted RNA secondary structures of the 3' UTR indicated NHUV to be most similar to viruses within the yellow fever serogroup and Japanese encephalitis serogroup, and viruses in the tick-borne flavivirus clade. NHUV was found to share the fewest conserved sequence elements when compared with traditional insect-specific flaviviruses. This suggests that, despite apparently being insect specific, this virus probably diverged from an ancestral mosquito-borne flavivirus. Co-infection experiments indicated that prior or concurrent infection of mosquito cells with NHUV resulted in a significant reduction in virus production of West Nile virus (WNV), St Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) and Japanese encephalitis virus. As a result, the inhibitory effect was most effective against WNV and SLEV with over a 106-fold and 104-fold reduction in peak titres, respectively.« less

  12. Brazilian free-tailed bats as insect pest regulators in transgenic and conventional cotton crops.

    PubMed

    Federico, Paula; Hallam, Thomas G; McCracken, Gary F; Purucker, S Thomas; Grant, William E; Correa-Sandoval, A Nelly; Westbrook, John K; Medellin, Rodrigo A; Cleveland, Cutler J; Sansone, Chris G; López, Juan D; Betke, Margrit; Moreno-Valdez, Arnulfo; Kunz, Thomas H

    2008-06-01

    During the past 12000 years agricultural systems have transitioned from natural habitats to conventional agricultural regions and recently to large areas of genetically engineered (GE) croplands. This GE revolution occurred for cotton in a span of slightly more than a decade during which a switch occurred in major cotton production areas from growing 100% conventional cotton to an environment in which 95% transgenics are grown. Ecological interactions between GE targeted insects and other insectivorous insects have been investigated. However, the relationships between ecological functions (such as herbivory and ecosystem transport) and agronomic benefits of avian or mammalian insectivores in the transgenic environment generally remain unclear, although the importance of some agricultural pest management services provided by insectivorous species such as the Brazilian free-tailed bat, Tadarida brasiliensis, have been recognized. We developed a dynamic model to predict regional-scale ecological functions in agricultural food webs by using the indicators of insect pest herbivory measured by cotton boll damage and insect emigration from cotton. In the south-central Texas Winter Garden agricultural region we find that the process of insectivory by bats has a considerable impact on both the ecology and valuation of harvest in Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenic and nontransgenic cotton crops. Predation on agricultural pests by insectivorous bats may enhance the economic value of agricultural systems by reducing the frequency of required spraying and delaying the ultimate need for new pesticides. In the Winter Garden region, the presence of large numbers of insectivorous bats yields a regional summer dispersion of adult pest insects from Bt cotton that is considerably reduced from the moth emigration when bats are absent in either transgenic or non-transgenic crops. This regional decrease of pest numbers impacts insect herbivory on a transcontinental scale. With a few

  13. Competitive release of an agricultural insect pest: The case of stink bug outbreaks in transgenic Bt cotton in the southeast US

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Empirical studies on the ecological causes of agricultural pest outbreaks have focused primarily on two biotic factors—release from natural enemies and changes in host plant quality. Release from competition, on the other hand, has been theorized as a potential cause but never tested. With the ex...

  14. Is quality more important than quantity? Insect behavioural responses to changes in a volatile blend after stemborer oviposition on an African grass.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Toby J A; Midega, Charles A O; Birkett, Michael A; Pickett, John A; Khan, Zeyaur R

    2010-06-23

    Plants subjected to insect attack usually increase volatile emission which attracts natural enemies and repels further herbivore colonization. Less is known about the capacity of herbivores to suppress volatiles and the multitrophic consequences thereof. In our study, the African forage grass, Brachiaria brizantha, was exposed to ovipositing spotted stemborer, Chilo partellus, moths. A marked reduction in emission of the main volatile, (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate (Z3HA), occurred following oviposition but the ratio of certain other minor component volatiles to Z3HA was increased. While further herbivore colonization was reduced on plants after oviposition, the new volatile profile caused increased attraction of an adapted parasitoid, Cotesia sesamiae. Our results show that insect responses are dependent on the quality of volatile emission rather than merely the quantity in this multitrophic interaction.

  15. The Importance of Being Colorful and Able to Fly: Interpretation and implications of children's statements on selected insects and other invertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breuer, Gabriele B.; Schlegel, Jürg; Kauf, Peter; Rupf, Reto

    2015-11-01

    Children have served as research subjects in several surveys on attitudes to insects and invertebrates. Most of the studies have used quantitative scoring methods to draw conclusions. This paper takes a different approach as it analyzes children's free-text comments to gain an understanding of their viewpoints. A total of 246 children aged 9-13 completed a standard questionnaire regarding their attitudes toward 18 invertebrates indigenous to Switzerland. Fourteen insect species and four other invertebrates were individually presented in a color photograph without any further background information. The children were given the opportunity to provide comments on each animal to explain the attitude score they had awarded. Nearly 5,000 comments were coded and categorized into 7 positive and 9 negative categories. A significant correlation between fear and disgust was not detected. Based on a hierarchical cluster analysis, we concluded that flying in the air versus crawling on the ground was a major differentiator for attitude and underlying reasons, only being trumped by the fear of getting stung. The visualization of our findings in a cluster heat map provided further insights into shared statement categories by species. Our analysis establishes that fear and disgust are separate emotions with regard to insects and other invertebrates. Based on our findings, we believe that prejudice-based fear and culturally evolved revulsion can be overcome. We suggest promoting environmental education programs, especially if they allow for personal experience, provide information in emotion-activating formats, and include content that resolves existing misinformation and myths.

  16. Newly discovered insect RNA viruses in China.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Yang; Wang, ZhaoWei; Liu, YongXiang; Qi, Nan; Si, Jie; Xiang, Xue; Xia, XiaoLing; Hu, YuanYang; Zhou, Xi

    2013-08-01

    Insects are a group of arthropods and the largest group of animals on Earth, with over one million species described to date. Like other life forms, insects suffer from viruses that cause disease and death. Viruses that are pathogenic to beneficial insects cause dramatic economic losses on agriculture. In contrast, viruses that are pathogenic to insect pests can be exploited as attractive biological control agents. All of these factors have led to an explosion in the amount of research into insect viruses in recent years, generating impressive quantities of information on the molecular and cellular biology of these viruses. Due to the wide variety of insect viruses, a better understanding of these viruses will expand our overall knowledge of their virology. Here, we review studies of several newly discovered RNA insect viruses in China.

  17. [Effect of transgenic insect-resistant rice on biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Zhu, Zhen

    2011-05-01

    Rice is the most important food crops in maintaining food security in China. The loss of China's annual rice production caused by pests is over ten million tons. Present studies showed that the transgenic insect-resistant rice can substantially reduce the application amount of chemical pesticides. In the case of no pesticide use, the pest density in transgenic rice field is significantly lower than that in non-transgenic field, and the neutral insects and natural enemies of pests increased significantly, indicating that the ecological environment and biodiversity toward the positive direction. The gene flow frequency from transgenic rice is dramatically reduced with the distance increases, reaching less than 0.01% at the distance of 6.2 m. Application of transgenic insect-resistant rice in China has an important significance for ensuring food security, maintaining sustainable agricultural development, and protecting the ecological environment and biodiversity. This review summarized the research progress in transgenic insect-resistant rice and its effect on biodiversity. The research directions and development trends of crop pest controlling in future are discussed. These help to promote better use of transgenic insect-resistant rice.

  18. Habitat use and movement patterns of Northern Pintails during spring in northern Japan: the importance of agricultural lands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yamaguchi, Noriyuki M.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Flint, Paul L.; Pearce, John M.; Shigeta, Yusuke; Shimada, Tetsuo; Hiraoka, Emiko N.; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi

    2012-01-01

    From 2006 to 2009, we marked 198 Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) with satellite transmitters on their wintering areas in Japan to study their migration routes and habitat use in spring staging areas. We hypothesized that the distribution of pintails during spring staging was influenced by patterns of land use and expected that the most frequently used areas would have more agricultural habitat than lesser-used areas. We obtained 3031 daily locations from 163 migrant pintails marked with satellite transmitters and identified 524 stopover sites. Based on a fixed kernel home range analysis of stopover utilization distribution (UD), core staging areas (areas within the 50% UD) were identified in northern Honshu and western Hokkaido, and were used by 71% of marked pintails. Core staging areas had a greater proportion of rice fields than peripheral (51–95% UD) and rarely used (outside the 95% UD) staging areas. Stopover sites also contained more rice fields and other agricultural land than were available at regional scales, indicating that pintails selected rice and other agricultural habitats at regional and local scales. Pintails remained at spring staging areas an average of 51 d. Prolonged staging in agricultural habitats of northern Japan was likely necessary for pintails to prepare for transoceanic migration to Arctic nesting areas in eastern Russia.

  19. 75 FR 11512 - Consultative Group to Eliminate the Use of Child Labor and Forced Labor in Imported Agricultural...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-11

    ... INFORMATION CONTACT: The Office of Negotiations and Agreements by phone on (202) 720-6219; by e-mail addressed... other models, that have been successful in reducing child labor and/or forced labor in the global supply chains within the agricultural sector or other industries; (b) The roles and responsibilities that may...

  20. An Examination of Important Competencies Necessary for Vocational Agriculture in Selected Senior Secondary Students in Ijebu North Local Government Area, Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Onanuga, Peter Abayomi

    2015-01-01

    The study analyses the relationship existing between some specified competencies important to vocational agriculture and preparation for occupation between male and female students in senior secondary schools in Ijebu-North Local Government Area, Nigeria. It adopted the classical design for change experiment (i.e. before and after measures) with…

  1. Insect bite reactions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Sanjay; Mann, Baldeep Kaur

    2013-01-01

    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 serious adverse effects

  2. Amino acids outside of the loops that define the agonist binding site are important for ligand binding to insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zewen; Han, Zhaojun; Liu, Shuhua; Zhang, Yixi; Song, Feng; Yao, Xiangmei; Gu, Jianhua

    2008-07-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) are the targets of several kinds of insecticides. Based on the mutagenesis studies of Torpedo californica nAChRs and solved structure of a molluscan, glial-derived soluble ACh-binding protein, a model of the agonist site was constructed with contributing amino acids from three distinct loops (A, B, and C) of the alpha subunits and another three loops (D, E, and F) of the non-alpha subunits. According to this model, most insect nAChR subunits can form the functional heteromeric or homomeric receptors. Actually, insect subunits themselves did not form any functional receptor at various combinations as yet, and only part of them can form the functional receptors with vertebrate non-alpha subunits. These findings suggested that the agonist binding for insect nAChRs was not only contributed by those key amino acids in six loops, but also some unidentified amino acids from other regions. In our previous studies on nAChRs for Nilaparvata lugens, a target-site mutation (Y151S) was found within two alpha subunits (Nlalpha1 and Nlalpha3). In Drosophila S2 cells and Xenopus oocytes, Nlalpha1 can form functional receptors with rat beta2 subunit. However, the same thing was not observed in Nlalpha3. In the present paper, by exchanging the corresponding regions between Nlalpha1 and Nlalpha3 to generate different chimeras, amino acid residues or residue clusters in the regions outside the six loops were found to play essential roles in agonist binding, especially for the amino acid clusters between loop B and C. This result indicated that the residues in the six loops could be necessary, but not enough for the activity of agonist binding.

  3. The stock of invasive insect species and its economic determinants.

    PubMed

    Hlasny, Vladimir

    2011-06-01

    Invasions of nonindigenous organisms have long been linked to trade, but the contribution of individual trade pathways remains poorly understood, because species are not observed immediately upon arrival and the number of species arriving annually is unknown. Species interception records may count both new arrivals and species long introduced. Furthermore, the stock of invasive insect species already present is unknown. In this study, a state-space model is used to infer the stock of detected as well as undetected invasive insect species established in the United States. A system of equations is estimated jointly to distinguish the patterns of introduction, identification, and eradication. Introductions of invasive species are modeled as dependent on the volume of trade and arrival of people. Identifications depend on the public efforts at invasive species research, as well as on the established stock of invasive species that remain undetected. Eradications of both detected and undetected invasive species depend on containment and quarantine efforts, as well as on the stock of all established invasive species. These patterns are estimated by fitting the predicted number of invasive species detections to the observed record in the North American Non-Indigenous Arthropod Database. The results indicate that agricultural imports are the most important pathway of introduction, followed by immigration of people. Expenditures by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service are found to explain the species identification record well. Between three and 38 invasive insect species are estimated to be established in the United States undetected.

  4. Stinging Insect Matching Game

    MedlinePlus

    ... 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 ...

  5. 7 CFR 58.147 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.147 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.147 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control...

  6. 7 CFR 58.247 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.247 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.247 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control program...

  7. 7 CFR 58.147 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.147 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.147 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control...

  8. 7 CFR 58.147 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.147 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.147 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control...

  9. 7 CFR 58.147 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.147 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.147 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control...

  10. 7 CFR 58.247 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.247 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.247 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control program...

  11. 7 CFR 58.247 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.247 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.247 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control program...

  12. 7 CFR 58.247 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.247 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.247 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control program...

  13. 7 CFR 58.147 - Insect and rodent control program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Insect and rodent control program. 58.147 Section 58... Service 1 Operations and Operating Procedures § 58.147 Insect and rodent control program. In addition to... made responsible for the performance of a regularly scheduled insect and rodent control...

  14. Insects: A nutritional alternative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  15. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-05

    It goes without saying that insects epitomize diversity, and with over a million documented species they stand out as one of the most remarkable lineages in the 3.5-billion-year history of life on earth (Figure 1). This reality is passé to even the layperson and is taken for granted in the same way none of us think much of our breathing as we go about our day, and yet insects are just as vital to our existence. Insects are simultaneously familiar and foreign to us, and while a small fraction are beloved or reviled, most are simply ignored. These inexorable evolutionary overachievers outnumber us all, their segmented body plan is remarkably labile, they combine a capacity for high rates of speciation with low levels of natural extinction, and their history of successes eclipses those of the more familiar ages of dinosaurs and mammals alike. It is their evolution - persisting over vast expanses of geological time and inextricably implicated in the diversification of other lineages - that stands as one of the most expansive subjects in biology.

  16. Promoting pollinating insects in intensive agricultural matrices: field-scale experimental manipulation of hay-meadow mowing regimes and its effects on bees.

    PubMed

    Buri, Pierrick; Humbert, Jean-Yves; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2014-01-01

    Bees are a key component of biodiversity as they ensure a crucial ecosystem service: pollination. This ecosystem service is nowadays threatened, because bees suffer from agricultural intensification. Yet, bees rarely benefit from the measures established to promote biodiversity in farmland, such as agri-environment schemes (AES). We experimentally tested if the spatio-temporal modification of mowing regimes within extensively managed hay meadows, a widespread AES, can promote bees. We applied a randomized block design, replicated 12 times across the Swiss lowlands, that consisted of three different mowing treatments: 1) first cut not before 15 June (conventional regime for meadows within Swiss AES); 2) first cut not before 15 June, as treatment 1 but with 15% of area left uncut serving as a refuge; 3) first cut not before 15 July. Bees were collected with pan traps, twice during the vegetation season (before and after mowing). Wild bee abundance and species richness significantly increased in meadows where uncut refuges were left, in comparison to meadows without refuges: there was both an immediate (within year) and cumulative (from one year to the following) positive effect of the uncut refuge treatment. An immediate positive effect of delayed mowing was also evidenced in both wild bees and honey bees. Conventional AES could easily accommodate such a simple management prescription that promotes farmland biodiversity and is likely to enhance pollination services.

  17. [Genetic mechanism and evolutionary significance of the origin of parthenogenetic insects].

    PubMed

    Wang, Cheng-Ye

    2011-12-01

    There is a high proportion of parthenogenesis in insecta, and the parthenogenetic potential of insects is an important but often ignored threaten factor for the agricultural and forestry production. The maintenance of parthenogenetic species is a puzzling issue in evolutionary biology. In recent years, although the cellular mechanisms during parthenogenesis in some species have been well studied, the underlying genetic mechanisms that cause the switch from sexual reproduction to parthenogenesis have not been defined. While, understanding the genetic mechanism and evolutionary significance of the origin of parthenogenetic insects is crucial for preventing the pests in agricultural and forestry production. Here we summarized recent studies aimed at identifying the underlying genetic mechanism of parthenogenesis in insects, and briefly discussed its potential application in this filed.

  18. Does Drought Increase the Risk of Insects Developing Behavioral Resistance to Systemic Insecticides?

    PubMed

    Khodaverdi, Haleh; Fowles, Trevor; Bick, Emily; Nansen, Christian

    2016-10-01

    Increases in severity and frequency of drought periods, average global temperatures, and more erratic fluctuations in rainfall patterns due to climate change are predicted to have a dramatic impact on agricultural production systems. Insect pest populations in agricultural and horticultural systems are also expected to be impacted, both in terms of their spatial and temporal distributions and in their status as pest species. In this opinion-based article, we discuss how indirect effects of drought may adversely affect the performance of systemic insecticides and also lead to increased risk of insect pests developing behavioral insecticide resistance. We hypothesize that more pronounced drought will decrease uptake and increase the magnitude of nonuniform translocation of systemic insecticides within treated crop plants, and that may have two concurrent consequences: 1) reduced pesticide performance, and 2) increased likelihood of insect pests evolving behavioral insecticide resistance. Under this scenario, pests that can sense and avoid acquisition of lethal dosages of systemic insecticides within crop plants will have a selective advantage. This may lead to selection for insect behavioral avoidance, so that insects predominantly feed and oviposit on portions of crop plants with low concentration of systemic insecticide. Limited research has been published on the effect of environmental variables, including drought, on pesticide performance, but we present and discuss studies that support the hypothesis described above. In addition, we wish to highlight the importance of studying the many ways environmental factors can affect, directly and indirectly, both the performance of insecticides and the risk of target insect pests developing resistance.

  19. Soil and geography are more important determinants of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal communities than management practices in Swiss agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Jansa, Jan; Erb, Angela; Oberholzer, Hans-Rudolf; Smilauer, Petr; Egli, Simon

    2014-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are ubiquitous soil fungi, forming mutualistic symbiosis with a majority of terrestrial plant species. They are abundant in nearly all soils, less diverse than soil prokaryotes and other intensively studied soil organisms and thus are promising candidates for universal indicators of land management legacies and soil quality degradation. However, insufficient data on how the composition of indigenous AMF varies along soil and landscape gradients have hampered the definition of baselines and effect thresholds to date. Here, indigenous AMF communities in 154 agricultural soils collected across Switzerland were profiled by quantitative real-time PCR with taxon-specific markers for six widespread AMF species. To identify the key determinants of AMF community composition, the profiles were related to soil properties, land management and site geography. Our results indicate a number of well-supported dependencies between abundances of certain AMF taxa and soil properties such as pH, soil fertility and texture, and a surprising lack of effect of available soil phosphorus on the AMF community profiles. Site geography, especially the altitude and large geographical distance, strongly affected AMF communities. Unexpected was the apparent lack of a strong land management effect on the AMF communities as compared to the other predictors, which could be due to the rarity of highly intensive and unsustainable land management in Swiss agriculture. In spite of the extensive coverage of large geographical and soil gradients, we did not identify any taxon suitable as an indicator of land use among the six taxa we studied.

  20. Environmental RNAi in herbivorous insects.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Environmental RNAi in herbivorous insects

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25802407

  2. Insect abatement system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Burnell, Timothy Brydon (Inventor); Wengrovius, Jeffrey Hayward (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    An insect abatement system prevents adhesion of insect debris to surfaces which must be kept substantially free of insect debris. An article is coated with an insect abatement coating comprising polyorganosiloxane with a Shore A hardness of less than 50 and a tensile strength of less than 4 MPa. A method for preventing the adhesion of insect debris to surfaces includes the step of applying an insect abatement coating to a surface which must be kept substantially free of insect debris.

  3. The importance of the riparian zone and in-stream processes in nitrate attenuation in undisturbed and agricultural watersheds – a review of the scientific literature

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ranalli, Anthony J.; Macalady, Donald L.

    2010-01-01

    We reviewed published studies from primarily glaciated regions in the United States, Canada, and Europe of the (1) transport of nitrate from terrestrial ecosystems to aquatic ecosystems, (2) attenuation of nitrate in the riparian zone of undisturbed and agricultural watersheds, (3) processes contributing to nitrate attenuation in riparian zones, (4) variation in the attenuation of nitrate in the riparian zone, and (5) importance of in-stream and hyporheic processes for nitrate attenuation in the stream channel. Our objectives were to synthesize the results of these studies and suggest methodologies to (1) monitor regional trends in nitrate concentration in undisturbed 1st order watersheds and (2) reduce nitrate loads in streams draining agricultural watersheds. Our review reveals that undisturbed headwater watersheds have been shown to be very retentive of nitrogen, but the importance of biogeochemical and hydrological riparian zone processes in retaining nitrogen in these watersheds has not been demonstrated as it has for agricultural watersheds. An understanding of the role of the riparian zone in nitrate attenuation in undisturbed watersheds is crucial because these watersheds are increasingly subject to stressors, such as changes in land use and climate, wildfire, and increases in atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In general, understanding processes controlling the concentration and flux of nitrate is critical to identifying and mapping the vulnerability of watersheds to water quality changes due to a variety of stressors. In undisturbed and agricultural watersheds we propose that understanding the importance of riparian zone processes in 2nd order and larger watersheds is critical. Research is needed that addresses the relative importance of how the following sources of nitrate along any given stream reach might change as watersheds increase in size and with flow: (1) inputs upstream from the reach, (2) tributary inflow, (3) water derived from the riparian zone

  4. The importance of the riparian zone and in-stream processes in nitrate attenuation in undisturbed and agricultural watersheds - A review of the scientific literature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranalli, Anthony J.; Macalady, Donald L.

    2010-08-01

    SummaryWe reviewed published studies from primarily glaciated regions in the United States, Canada, and Europe of the (1) transport of nitrate from terrestrial ecosystems to aquatic ecosystems, (2) attenuation of nitrate in the riparian zone of undisturbed and agricultural watersheds, (3) processes contributing to nitrate attenuation in riparian zones, (4) variation in the attenuation of nitrate in the riparian zone, and (5) importance of in-stream and hyporheic processes for nitrate attenuation in the stream channel. Our objectives were to synthesize the results of these studies and suggest methodologies to (1) monitor regional trends in nitrate concentration in undisturbed 1st order watersheds and (2) reduce nitrate loads in streams draining agricultural watersheds. Our review reveals that undisturbed headwater watersheds have been shown to be very retentive of nitrogen, but the importance of biogeochemical and hydrological riparian zone processes in retaining nitrogen in these watersheds has not been demonstrated as it has for agricultural watersheds. An understanding of the role of the riparian zone in nitrate attenuation in undisturbed watersheds is crucial because these watersheds are increasingly subject to stressors, such as changes in land use and climate, wildfire, and increases in atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In general, understanding processes controlling the concentration and flux of nitrate is critical to identifying and mapping the vulnerability of watersheds to water quality changes due to a variety of stressors. In undisturbed and agricultural watersheds we propose that understanding the importance of riparian zone processes in 2nd order and larger watersheds is critical. Research is needed that addresses the relative importance of how the following sources of nitrate along any given stream reach might change as watersheds increase in size and with flow: (1) inputs upstream from the reach, (2) tributary inflow, (3) water derived from the

  5. Impacts of transgenic poplar-cotton agro-ecosystems upon target pests and non-target insects under field conditions.

    PubMed

    Zhang, D J; Liu, J X; Lu, Z Y; Li, C L; Comada, E; Yang, M S

    2015-07-27

    Poplar-cotton agro-ecosystems are the main agricultural planting modes of cotton fields in China. With increasing acres devoted to transgenic insect-resistant poplar and transgenic insect-resistant cotton, studies examining the effects of transgenic plants on target and non-target insects become increasingly important. We systematically surveyed populations of both target pests and non-target insects for 4 different combinations of poplar-cotton eco-systems over 3 years. Transgenic Bt cotton strongly resisted the target insects Fall webworm moth [Hyphantria cunea (Drury)], Sylepta derogata Fabrieius, and American bollworm (Heliothis armigera), but no clear impact on non-target insect cotton aphids (Aphis gossypii). Importantly, intercrops containing transgenic Pb29 poplar significantly increased the inhibitory effects of Bt cotton on Fall webworm moth in ecosystem IV. Highly resistant Pb29 poplar reduced populations of the target pests Grnsonoma minutara Hubner and non-target insect poplar leaf aphid (Chaitophorus po-pulialbae), while Fall webworm moth populations were unaffected. We determined the effects of Bt toxin from transgenic poplar and cotton on target and non-target pests in different ecosystems of cotton-poplar intercrops and identified the synergistic effects of such combinations toward both target and non-target insects.

  6. Insect inspiration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McIntosh, Andy; Beheshti, Novid

    2008-04-01

    The innocuous looking bombardier beetle is one of the most remarkable creatures around. This tiny insect is endowed with a defence mechanism that would be the envy of any comic-strip superhero - it can fight off any spider, frog, ant or bird that comes too close by blasting the attacker with a powerful jet of hot, toxic fluid. Furthermore, the beetle can aim its weapon in any direction (even over its head) with pinpoint accuracy, and can reach distances of up to 20 cm with its spray.

  7. Dynamic role and importance of surrogate species for assessing potential adverse environmental impacts of genetically engineered insect-resistant plants on non-target organisms.

    PubMed

    Wach, Michael; Hellmich, Richard L; Layton, Raymond; Romeis, Jörg; Gadaleta, Patricia G

    2016-08-01

    Surrogate species have a long history of use in research and regulatory settings to understand the potentially harmful effects of toxic substances including pesticides. More recently, surrogate species have been used to evaluate the potential effects of proteins contained in genetically engineered insect resistant (GEIR) crops. Species commonly used in GEIR crop testing include beneficial organisms such as honeybees, arthropod predators, and parasitoids. The choice of appropriate surrogates is influenced by scientific factors such as the knowledge of the mode of action and the spectrum of activity as well as societal factors such as protection goals that assign value to certain ecosystem services such as pollination or pest control. The primary reasons for using surrogates include the inability to test all possible organisms, the restrictions on using certain organisms in testing (e.g., rare, threatened, or endangered species), and the ability to achieve greater sensitivity and statistical power by using laboratory testing of certain species. The acceptance of surrogate species data can allow results from one region to be applied or "transported" for use in another region. On the basis of over a decade of using surrogate species to evaluate potential effects of GEIR crops, it appears that the current surrogates have worked well to predict effects of GEIR crops that have been developed (Carstens et al. GM Crops Food 5:1-5, 2014), and it is expected that they should work well to predict effects of future GEIR crops based on similar technologies.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Beneficial Insect Attraction to Milkweeds (Asclepias speciosa, Asclepias fascicularis) in Washington State, USA.

    PubMed

    James, David G; Seymour, Lorraine; Lauby, Gerry; Buckley, Katie

    2016-06-29

    Native plant and beneficial insect associations are relatively unstudied yet are important in native habitat restoration programs for improving and sustaining conservation biological control of arthropod pests in agricultural crops. Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are currently the focus of restoration programs in the USA aimed at reversing a decline in populations of the milkweed-dependent monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus); however, little is known of the benefits of these plants to other beneficial insects. Beneficial insects (predators, parasitoids, pollinators) attracted to two milkweed species (Asclepias speciosa, Asclepias fascicularis) in central Washington State, WA, USA were identified and counted on transparent sticky traps attached to blooms over five seasons. Combining all categories of beneficial insects, means of 128 and 126 insects per trap were recorded for A. speciosa and A. fascicularis, respectively. Predatory and parasitic flies dominated trap catches for A. speciosa while parasitic wasps were the most commonly trapped beneficial insects on A. fascicularis. Bees were trapped commonly on both species, especially A. speciosa with native bees trapped in significantly greater numbers than honey bees. Beneficial insect attraction to A. speciosa and A. fascicularis was substantial. Therefore, these plants are ideal candidates for habitat restoration, intended to enhance conservation biological control, and for pollinator conservation. In central Washington, milkweed restoration programs for enhancement of D. plexippus populations should also provide benefits for pest suppression and pollinator conservation.

  10. Beneficial Insect Attraction to Milkweeds (Asclepias speciosa, Asclepias fascicularis) in Washington State, USA

    PubMed Central

    James, David G.; Seymour, Lorraine; Lauby, Gerry; Buckley, Katie

    2016-01-01

    Native plant and beneficial insect associations are relatively unstudied yet are important in native habitat restoration programs for improving and sustaining conservation biological control of arthropod pests in agricultural crops. Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are currently the focus of restoration programs in the USA aimed at reversing a decline in populations of the milkweed-dependent monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus); however, little is known of the benefits of these plants to other beneficial insects. Beneficial insects (predators, parasitoids, pollinators) attracted to two milkweed species (Asclepias speciosa, Asclepias fascicularis) in central Washington State, WA, USA were identified and counted on transparent sticky traps attached to blooms over five seasons. Combining all categories of beneficial insects, means of 128 and 126 insects per trap were recorded for A. speciosa and A. fascicularis, respectively. Predatory and parasitic flies dominated trap catches for A. speciosa while parasitic wasps were the most commonly trapped beneficial insects on A. fascicularis. Bees were trapped commonly on both species, especially A. speciosa with native bees trapped in significantly greater numbers than honey bees. Beneficial insect attraction to A. speciosa and A. fascicularis was substantial. Therefore, these plants are ideal candidates for habitat restoration, intended to enhance conservation biological control, and for pollinator conservation. In central Washington, milkweed restoration programs for enhancement of D. plexippus populations should also provide benefits for pest suppression and pollinator conservation. PMID:27367733

  11. A pH-sensitive heparin-binding sequence from Baculovirus gp64 protein is important for binding to mammalian cells but not to Sf9 insect cells.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chunxiao; Wang, Shu

    2012-01-01

    Binding to heparan sulfate is essential for baculovirus transduction of mammalian cells. Our previous study shows that gp64, the major glycoprotein on the virus surface, binds to heparin in a pH-dependent way, with a stronger binding at pH 6.2 than at 7.4. Using fluorescently labeled peptides, we mapped the pH-dependent heparin-binding sequence of gp64 to a 22-amino-acid region between residues 271 and 292. Binding of this region to the cell surface was also pH dependent, and peptides containing this sequence could efficiently inhibit baculovirus transduction of mammalian cells at pH 6.2. When the heparin-binding peptide was immobilized onto the bead surface to mimic the high local concentration of gp64 on the virus surface, the peptide-coated magnetic beads could efficiently pull down cells expressing heparan sulfate but not cells pretreated with heparinase or cells not expressing heparan sulfate. Interestingly, although this heparin-binding function is essential for baculovirus transduction of mammalian cells, it is dispensable for infection of Sf9 insect cells. Virus infectivity on Sf9 cells was not reduced by the presence of heparin or the identified heparin-binding peptide, even though the peptide could bind to Sf9 cell surface and be efficiently internalized. Thus, our data suggest that, depending on the availability of the target molecules on the cell surface, baculoviruses can use two different methods, electrostatic interaction with heparan sulfate and more specific receptor binding, for cell attachment.

  12. How and why do insects migrate?

    PubMed

    Holland, Richard A; Wikelski, Martin; Wilcove, David S

    2006-08-11

    Countless numbers of insects migrate within and between continents every year, and yet we know very little about the ultimate reasons and proximate mechanisms that would explain these mass movements. Here we suggest that perhaps the most important reason for insects to migrate is to hedge their reproductive bets. By spreading their breeding efforts in space and time, insects distribute their offspring over a range of environmental conditions. We show how the study of individual long-distance movements of insects may contribute to a better understanding of migration. In the future, advances in tracking methods may enable the global surveillance of large insects such as desert locusts.

  13. Recombinant baculoviruses for insect control.

    PubMed

    Inceoglu, A B; Kamita, S G; Hinton, A C; Huang, Q; Severson, T F; Kang, K; Hammock, B D

    2001-10-01

    Baculoviruses are double-stranded DNA viruses which are highly selective for several insect groups. They are valuable natural control agents, but their utility in many agricultural applications has been limited by their slow speed of kill and narrow host specificity. Baculoviruses have been genetically modified to express foreign genes under powerful promoters in order to accelerate their speed of kill. In our and other laboratories, the expression of genes coding for insect juvenile hormone esterases and various peptide neurotoxins has resulted in recombinant baculoviruses with promise as biological insecticides. These viruses are efficacious in the laboratory, greenhouse and field and dramatically reduce damage caused by insect feeding. The recombinant viruses synergize and are synergized by classical pesticides such as pyrethroids. Since they are highly selective for pest insects, they can be used without disrupting biological control. Because the recombinant virus produces fewer progeny in infected larvae than the wild-type virus, they are rapidly out-competed in the ecosystem. The viruses can be used effectively with crops expressing endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis. They can be produced industrially but also by village industries, indicating that they have the potential to deliver sustainable pest control in developing countries. It remains to be seen, however, whether the current generation of recombinant baculoviruses will be competitive with the new generation of synthetic chemical pesticides. Current research clearly indicates, though, that the use of biological vectors of genes for insect control will find a place in agriculture. Baculoviruses will also prove valuable in testing the potential utility of proteins and peptides for insect control.

  14. Perception of insect feeding by plants.

    PubMed

    Bonaventure, G

    2012-11-01

    The recognition of phytophagous insects by plants induces a set of very specific responses aimed at deterring tissue consumption and reprogramming metabolism and development of the plant to tolerate the herbivore. The recognition of insects by plants requires the plant's ability to perceive chemical cues generated by the insects and to distinguish a particular pattern of tissue disruption. Relatively little is known about the molecular basis of insect perception by plants and the signalling mechanisms directly associated with this perception. Importantly, the insect feeding behaviour (piercing-sucking versus chewing) is a decisive determinant of the plant's defence response, and the mechanisms used to perceive insects from different feeding guilds may be distinct. During insect feeding, components of the saliva of chewing or piercing-sucking insects come into contact with plant cells, and elicitors or effectors present in this insect-derived fluid are perceived by plant cells to initiate the activation of specific signalling cascades. Although receptor-ligand interactions controlling insect perception have yet not been molecularly described, a significant number of regulatory components acting downstream of receptors and involved in the activation of defence responses against insects has been reported. Some of these regulators mediate changes in the phytohormone network, while others directly control gene expression or the redox state of the cell. These processes are central in the orchestration of plant defence responses against insects.

  15. Allergies to Insect Venom

    MedlinePlus

    Allergies To Insect Venom Facts About Allergies The tendency to develop allergies may be inherited. If you have allergic tendencies and ... lives of those who are sensitive to it...insect venom! Although less common than pollen allergy, insect ...

  16. The relative importance of fertilization and soil erosion on C-dynamics in agricultural landscapes of NE Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, Madlen; Hoffmann, Mathias; Hagemann, Ulrike; Jurisch, Nicole; Remus, Rainer; Sommer, Michael; Augustin, Jürgen

    2016-04-01

    The hummocky ground moraine landscape of north-east Germany is characterized by distinct small-scale soil heterogeneity on the one hand, and intensive energy crop cultivation on the other. Both factors are assumed to significantly influence gaseous C exchange, and thus driving the dynamics of soil organic carbon stocks in terrestrial, agricultural ecosystems. However, it is not yet clear to which extent fertilization and soil erosional status influence soil C dynamics and whether one of these factors is more relevant than the other. We present seasonal and dynamic soil C balances of biogas maize for the growing season 2011, recorded at different sites located within the CarboZALF experimental area. The sites differ regarding soils (non-eroded Albic Luvisols (Cutanic), extremely eroded Calcaric Regosol and depositional Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol,) and applied fertilizer (100% mineral N fertilizer, 50% mineral and 50% N organic fertilizer, 100% organic N fertilizer). Fertilization treatments were established on the Albic Luvisol (Cutanic). Net-CO2-exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were measured every four weeks using a dynamic flow-through non-steady-state closed manual chamber system. Gap filling was performed based on empirical temperature and PAR dependency functions to derive daily NEE values. At the same time, daily above-ground biomass production (NPP) was estimated based on biomass samples and final harvest, using a sigmoidal growth function. In a next step, dynamic soil C balances were generated as the balance of daily NEE and NPP considering the initial C input due to N fertilizers. The resulted seasonal soil C balances varied from strong C losses at the Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol (602 g C m-2) to C gains at the Calcaric Regosol (-132 g C m-2). In general, soils exerted a stronger impact on seasonal and dynamic C balances compared to differences in applied N fertilizer. There are indications that inter-annual variations in climate conditions

  17. In silico analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of endophytic bacteria, isolated from the aerial parts and seeds of important agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Bredow, C; Azevedo, J L; Pamphile, J A; Mangolin, C A; Rhoden, S A

    2015-08-19

    Because of human population growth, increased food production and alternatives to conventional methods of biocontrol and development of plants such as the use of endophytic bacteria and fungi are required. One of the methods used to study microorganism diversity is sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, which has several advantages, including universality, size, and availability of databases for comparison. The objective of this study was to analyze endophytic bacterial diversity in agricultural crops using published papers, sequence databases, and phylogenetic analysis. Fourteen papers were selected in which the ribosomal 16S rRNA gene was used to identify endophytic bacteria, in important agricultural crops, such as coffee, sugar cane, beans, corn, soybean, tomatoes, and grapes, located in different geographical regions (America, Europe, and Asia). The corresponding 16S rRNA gene sequences were selected from the NCBI database, aligned using the Mega 5.2 program, and phylogenetic analysis was undertaken. The most common orders present in the analyzed cultures were Bacillales, Enterobacteriales, and Actinomycetales and the most frequently observed genera were Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Microbacterium. Phylogenetic analysis showed that only approximately 1.56% of the total sequences were not properly grouped, demonstrating reliability in the identification of microorganisms. This study identified the main genera found in endophytic bacterial cultures from plants, providing data for future studies on improving plant agriculture, biotechnology, endophytic bacterium prospecting, and to help understand relationships between endophytic bacteria and their interactions with plants.

  18. Irradiation of Northwest agricultural products

    SciTech Connect

    Eakin, D.E.; Tingey, G.L.

    1985-02-01

    Irradiation of food for disinfestation and preservation is increasing in importance because of increasing restrictions on various chemical treatments. Irradiation treatment is of particular interest in the Northwest because of a growing supply of agricultural products and the need to develop new export markets. Several products have, or could potentially have, significant export markets if stringent insect control procedures are developed and followed. Due to the recognized potential benefits of irradiation, Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is conducting this program to evaluate the benefits of using irradiation on Northwest agricultural products under the US Department of Energy (DOE) Defense Byproducts Production and Utilization Program. Commodities currently included in the program are cherries, apples, asparagus, spices, hay, and hides.

  19. What Makes an Insect an Insect?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NatureScope, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Provides background information on characteristics common to all insects, activities, and student materials (ready-to-copy games, puzzles, coloring pages, worksheets, and/or mazes) which describe: how insects are classified; how they are different from other animals; and the main insect characteristics. Activities include recommended age levels,…

  20. When is a terrace not a terrace? The importance of understanding landscape evolution in studies of terraced agriculture.

    PubMed

    Ferro-Vázquez, C; Lang, C; Kaal, J; Stump, D

    2017-01-28

    Before the invention of modern, large-scale engineering projects, terrace systems were rarely built in single phases of construction, but instead developed gradually, and could even be said to have evolved. Understanding this process of landscape change is therefore important in order to fully appreciate how terrace systems were built and functioned, and is also pivotal to understanding how the communities that farmed these systems responded to changes; whether these are changes to the landscape brought about by the farming practices themselves, or changes to social, economic or climatic conditions. Combining archaeological stratigraphy, soil micromorphology and geochemistry, this paper presents a case-study from the historic and extensive terraced landscape at Konso, southwest Ethiopia, and demonstrates - in one important river valley at least - that the original topsoil and much of the subsoil was lost prior to the construction of hillside terraces. Moreover, the study shows that alluvial sediment traps that were built adjacent to rivers relied on widespread hillside soil erosion for their construction, and strongly suggests that these irrigated riverside fields were formerly a higher economic priority than the hillside terraces themselves; a possibility that was not recognised by numerous observational studies of farming in this landscape. Research that takes into account how terrace systems change through time can thus provide important details of whether the function of the system has changed, and can help assess how the legacies of former practices impact current or future cultivation.

  1. A thousand bites - Insect introductions and late Holocene environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panagiotakopulu, Eva; Buckland, Paul C.

    2017-01-01

    The impact of insect species directly associated with man-made habitats and human dispersal has been, and remains globally significant. Their early expansion from their original niches into Europe is intrinsically related to discussions of climate change, origins of domesticated plants and animals, the spread of agriculture and infectious diseases. The Holocene fossil records of the dispersal of three storage pest species, Sitophilus granarius, Oryzaephilus surinamensis, and Tribolium castaneum, the housefly, Musca domestica, and the human flea, Pulex irritans from 221 sites have been mapped ranging from the Near East to Europe and from the Neolithic to the post medieval period. The importance of human induced change as a driver for the spread of synanthropic faunas and the potential for the spread of disease during this process are discussed. The results show links between mobility of farming groups and distribution of synanthropic insect species and produce a roadmap for the different cultural periods of the Late Holocene based on dispersal of these synanthropic insects. During the Neolithic, the first wave of insect introductions shows the northern European frontiers of storage of cereals, introduction of domestic animals and pastoralism and exchange. Pest introductions, linked with the itinerary of the Roman army, reached the most northerly parts of the Empire. During the medieval period, the insect records indicate further expansion and changes which parallel the spread of epidemic diseases like Plague. Understanding the timing and the rates of change of synanthropic insects provides key information about the development of the homogenised and highly anthropogenic environments in which we live today.

  2. Nutrient composition and nutritional importance of green leaves and wild food resources in an agricultural district, Koutiala, in southern Mali.

    PubMed

    Nordeide, M B; Hatløy, A; Følling, M; Lied, E; Oshaug, A

    1996-11-01

    This paper discusses the nutrient composition and the nutritional importance of green leaves and wild gathered foods in an area with surplus food production in Mali. In this West African country, there is little information about the nutrient composition and the nutritional quality of foods in general, and of wild gathered foods in particular. Food frequency was collected in two cross-sectional surveys. Focus group discussions with women in the area were used to collect information about seasonality, availability and preparation of various foods. Selected food samples were collected for chemical analysis of nutrient composition. The food samples of green leaves (Adansonia digitata, Amaranthus viridis, Tamarindus indica, Allium cepa), seeds and flour (Parkia biglobosa) and fruits (Tamarindus indica) were analysed for water, energy, fat, protein, minerals, amino acids and carotenoids. Availability and use of the foods varied with seasons. In the rainy season, wild gathered foods (e.g. A. digitata) were used as much as fresh cultivated foods (e.g., A. viridis and A. cepa). The wild food resources were more frequently used in rural than in urban areas, with A. digitata as the dominating green leaves. Green leaves were rich in energy, protein and minerals (calcium, iron). Leaves of A. viridis were, in particular, rich in beta-carotene (3290 micrograms/100 g). Chemical score in dried green leaves varied from 47 (A. cepa) to 81 (A. digitata), with lysine as the first limiting amino acid. P. biglobosa fermented seeds, with 35% fat and 37% protein were a complementary source of lysine in the diet. Based on the seasonality, the frequency of use and the nutrient contents of selected green leaves and wild gathered foods in Koutiala district, it is concluded that these traditional and locally produced foods are valuable and important nutrient contributors in the diet both in rural and urban areas, but most important in rural areas.

  3. Insect maintenance and transmission.

    PubMed

    Kingdom, Heather

    2013-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are plant pathogens of huge economic importance due to responsibility for crop yield losses worldwide. Institutions around the world are trying to understand and control this yield loss at a time when food security is high on government agendas. In order to fully understand the mechanisms of phytoplasma infection and spread, more insect vector and phytoplasma colonies will need to be established for research worldwide. Rearing and study of these colonies is essential in the research and development of phytoplasma control measures. This chapter highlights general materials and methods for raising insect vector colonies and maintenance of phytoplasmas. Specific methods of rearing the maize leafhopper and maize bushy stunt phytoplasma and the aster leafhopper and aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches' broom are also included.

  4. Arthropod prey of imported fire ants (Hymenopter: formicidae) in Mississippi sweetpotato fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Buren) are generally considered pests. They have also been viewed as beneficial predators feeding on other insect pests of agricultural and medical importance in various agroecosystems. This study documents the foraging habits of fire ants in sweetpotato. Swee...

  5. Fungal allelochemicals in insect pest management.

    PubMed

    Holighaus, Gerrit; Rohlfs, Marko

    2016-07-01

    Interactions between insects and fungi are widespread, and important mediators of these interactions are fungal chemicals that can therefore be considered as allelochemicals. Numerous studies suggest that fungal chemicals can affect insects in many different ways. Here, we apply the terminology established by insect-plant ecologists for categorizing the effect of fungal allelochemicals on insects and for evaluating the application potential of these chemicals in insect pest management. Our literature survey shows that fungal volatile and non-volatile chemicals have an enormous potential to influence insect behavior and fitness. Many of them still remain to be discovered, but some recent examples of repellents and toxins could open up new ways for developing safe insect control strategies. However, we also identified shortcomings in our understanding of the chemical ecology of insect-fungus interactions and the way they have been investigated. In particular, the mode-of-action of fungal allelochemicals has often not been appropriately designated or examined, and the way in which induction by insects affects fungal chemical diversity is poorly understood. This review should raise awareness that in-depth ecological studies of insect-fungus interactions can reveal novel allelochemicals of particular benefit for the development of innovative insect pest management strategies.

  6. 7 CFR 305.40 - Garbage treatment schedules for insect pests and pathogens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Garbage treatment schedules for insect pests and pathogens. 305.40 Section 305.40 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL... Garbage § 305.40 Garbage treatment schedules for insect pests and pathogens. (a) T415-a, heat...

  7. Agriculture increases individual fitness.

    PubMed

    Kovaka, Karen; Santana, Carlos; Patel, Raj; Akçay, Erol; Weisberg, Michael

    2016-01-01

    We question the need to explain the onset of agriculture by appealing to the second type of multilevel selection (MLS2). Unlike eusocial insect colonies, human societies do not exhibit key features of evolutionary individuals. If we avoid the mistake of equating Darwinian fitness with health and quality of life, the adoption of agriculture is almost certainly explicable in terms of individual-level selection and individual rationality.

  8. Molecular characterization of a mutation affecting abscisic acid biosynthesis and consequently stomatal responses to humidity in an agriculturally important species

    PubMed Central

    McAdam, Scott A. M.; Sussmilch, Frances C.; Brodribb, Timothy J.; Ross, John J.

    2015-01-01

    Mutants deficient in the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) have been instrumental in determining not only the biosynthetic pathway for this hormone, but also its physiological role in land plants. The wilty mutant of Pisum sativum is one of the classical, well-studied ABA-deficient mutants; however, this mutant remains uncharacterized at a molecular level. Using a candidate gene approach, we show that the wilty mutation affects the xanthoxin dehydrogenase step in ABA biosynthesis. To date, this step has only been represented by mutants in the ABA2 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana. Functional ABA biosynthesis appears to be critical for normal stomatal responses to changes in humidity in angiosperms, with wilty mutant plants having no increase in foliar ABA levels in response to a doubling in vapour pressure deficit, and no closure of stomata. Phylogenetic analysis of the ABA2 gene family from diverse land plants indicates that an ABA-biosynthesis-specific short-chain dehydrogenase (ABA2) evolved in the earliest angiosperms. The relatively recent origin of specificity in this step has important implications for both the evolution of ABA biosynthesis and action in land plants. PMID:26216469

  9. Book Review: Insect Virology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Viruses that infect insects have long been of interest both as a means for controlling insect pest populations in an environmentally safe manner, and also as significant threats to beneficial insects of great value, such as honey bees and silkworms. Insect viruses also have been of intrinsic intere...

  10. Insect-ual Pursuits.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallow, David

    1991-01-01

    Explains how insects can be used to stimulate student writing. Describes how students can create their own systems to classify and differentiate insects. Discusses insect morphology and includes three detailed diagrams. The author provides an extension activity where students hypothesize about the niche of an insect based on its anatomy. (PR)

  11. Evidence for the importance of litter as a co-substrate for MCPA dissipation in an agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Saleh, Omar; Pagel, Holger; Enowashu, Esther; Devers, Marion; Martin-Laurent, Fabrice; Streck, Thilo; Kandeler, Ellen; Poll, Christian

    2016-03-01

    Environmental controls of 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) degradation are poorly understood. We investigated whether microbial MCPA degraders are stimulated by (maize) litter and whether this process depends on concentrations of MCPA and litter. In a microcosm experiment, different amounts of litter (0, 10 and 20 g kg(-1)) were added to soils exposed to three levels of the herbicide (0, 5 and 30 mg kg(-1)). The treated soils were incubated at 20 °C for 6 weeks, and samples were taken after 1, 3 and 6 weeks of incubation. In soils with 5 mg kg(-1) MCPA, about 50 % of the MCPA was dissipated within 1 week of the incubation. Almost complete dissipation of the herbicide had occurred by the end of the incubation with no differences between the three litter amendments. At the higher concentration (30 mg kg(-1)), MCPA endured longer in the soil, with only 31 % of the initial amount being removed at the end of the experiment in the absence of litter. Litter addition greatly increased the dissipation rate with 70 and 80 % of the herbicide being dissipated in the 10 and 20 g kg(-1) litter treatments, respectively. Signs of toxic effects of MCPA on soil bacteria were observed from related phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analyses, while fungi showed higher tolerance to the increased MCPA levels. The abundance of bacterial tfdA genes in soil increased with the co-occurrence of litter and high MCPA concentration, indicating the importance of substrate availability in fostering MCPA-degrading bacteria and thereby improving the potential for removal of MCPA in the environment.

  12. Genome Sizes of Nine Insect Species Determined by Flow Cytometry and k-mer Analysis

    PubMed Central

    He, Kang; Lin, Kejian; Wang, Guirong; Li, Fei

    2016-01-01

    The flow cytometry method was used to estimate the genome sizes of nine agriculturally important insects, including two coleopterans, five Hemipterans, and two hymenopterans. Among which, the coleopteran Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus (Kuschel) had the largest genome of 981 Mb. The average genome size was 504 Mb, suggesting that insects have a moderate-size genome. Compared with the insects in other orders, hymenopterans had small genomes, which were averagely about ~200 Mb. We found that the genome sizes of four insect species were different between male and female, showing the organismal complexity of insects. The largest difference occurred in the coconut leaf beetle Brontispa longissima (Gestro). The male coconut leaf beetle had a 111 Mb larger genome than females, which might be due to the chromosome number difference between the sexes. The results indicated that insect invasiveness was not related to genome size. We also determined the genome sizes of the small brown planthopper Laodelphax striatellus (Fallén) and the parasitic wasp Macrocentrus cingulum (Brischke) using k-mer analysis with Illunima Solexa sequencing data. There were slight differences in the results from the two methods. k-mer analysis indicated that the genome size of L. striatellus was 500–700 Mb and that of M. cingulum was ~150 Mb. In all, the genome sizes information presented here should be helpful for designing the genome sequencing strategy when necessary. PMID:27932995

  13. Selected examples of dispersal of arthropods associated with agricultural crop and animal production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henneberry, T. J.

    1979-01-01

    The economic importance of arthropods in agricultural production systems and the possibilities of using dispersal behavior to develop and manipulate control are examined. Examples of long and short distance dispersal of economic insect pests and beneficial species from cool season host reservoirs and overwintering sites are presented. Significant dispersal of these species often occurring during crop and animal production is discussed.

  14. Gaps in Border Controls Are Related to Quarantine Alien Insect Invasions in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Bacon, Steven James; Bacher, Sven; Aebi, Alexandre

    2012-01-01

    Alien insects are increasingly being dispersed around the world through international trade, causing a multitude of negative environmental impacts and billions of dollars in economic losses annually. Border controls form the last line of defense against invasions, whereby inspectors aim to intercept and stop consignments that are contaminated with harmful alien insects. In Europe, member states depend on one another to prevent insect introductions by operating a first point of entry rule – controlling goods only when they initially enter the continent. However, ensuring consistency between border control points is difficult because there exists no optimal inspection strategy. For the first time, we developed a method to quantify the volume of agricultural trade that should be inspected for quarantine insects at border control points in Europe, based on global agricultural trade of over 100 million distinct origin-commodity-species-destination pathways. This metric was then used to evaluate the performance of existing border controls, as measured by border interception results in Europe between 2003 and 2007. Alarmingly, we found significant gaps between the trade pathways that should be inspected and actual number of interceptions. Moreover, many of the most likely introduction pathways yielded none or very few insect interceptions, because regular interceptions are only made on only a narrow range of pathways. European countries with gaps in border controls have been invaded by higher numbers of quarantine alien insect species, indicating the importance of proper inspections to prevent insect invasions. Equipped with an optimal inspection strategy based on the underlying risks of trade, authorities globally will be able to implement more effective and consistent border controls. PMID:23112835

  15. Imported fire ants near the edge of their range: disturbance and moisture determine prevalence and impact of an invasive social insect.

    PubMed

    LeBrun, Edward G; Plowes, Robert M; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2012-07-01

    1. Habitat disturbance and species invasions interact in natural systems, making it difficult to isolate the primary cause of ecosystem degradation. A general understanding requires case studies of how disturbance and invasion interact across a variety of ecosystem - invasive species combinations. 2. Dramatic losses in ant diversity followed the invasion of central Texas by red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). However, recent manipulative studies in Florida revealed no effect on ant diversity following the removal of S. invicta from a disturbed pasture habitat, but moderate loss of diversity associated with their introduction into undisturbed habitat and no invasion occurred without disturbance. Thus, the importance of S. invicta in driving diversity loss and its ability to invade undisturbed systems is unresolved. 3. We examine the distribution and abundance of a large monogyne S. invicta population and its association with the co-occurring ant assemblage at a site in south Texas close to the aridity tolerance limit of S. invicta. 4. We document that moisture modulates S. invicta densities. Further, soil disturbing habitat manipulations greatly increase S. invicta population densities. However, S. invicta penetrates all habitats regardless of soil disturbance history. In contrast, controlled burns depress S. invicta densities. 5. In habitats where S. invicta is prevalent, it completely replaces native fire ants. However, S. invicta impacts native ants as a whole less strongly. Intriguingly, native ants responded distinctly to S. invicta in different environments. In wet, undisturbed environments, high S. invicta abundance disrupts the spatial structure of the ant assemblage by increasing clumping and is associated with reduced species density, while in dry-disturbed habitats, sites with high S. invicta abundance possess high numbers of native species. Analyses of co-occurrence indicate that reduced species density in wet

  16. Characterization of potent odorants in male giant water bug (Lethocerus indicus Lep. and Serv.), an important edible insect of Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Kiatbenjakul, Patthamawadi; Intarapichet, Kanok-Orn; Cadwallader, Keith R

    2015-02-01

    Potent odorants in frozen fresh (FFB) and salted boiled (SBB) male giant water bugs (Lethocerus indicus), or 'Maengdana' in Thai, were characterized by application of direct solvent extraction/solvent-assisted flavour evaporation (SAFE), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O), aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA) and stable isotope dilution assays (SIDA). Twenty and 27 potent odorants were detected in FFB and SBB, respectively. Most odorants were lipid-derived compounds, including the two most abundant volatile components (E)-2-hexenyl acetate and (E)-2-hexenyl butanoate, which contributed banana-like odours. 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline and 2-acetyl-2-thiazoline, responsible for popcorn-like odours, were detected in SBB only. An aroma reconstitution model of SBB was constructed in an oil-in-water emulsion matrix using 12 selected potent odorants based on the results of AEDA, accurate compound quantification and the calculated odour-activity values (OAV). Omission studies were carried out to verify the significance of esters, particularly (E)-2-hexenyl acetate was determined to be an important character-impact odorant in male giant water bug aroma.

  17. 76 FR 71583 - Notice of Availability of Finding of No Significant Impact for Field Release of Insects for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-18

    ... Field Release of Insects for Biological Control of Carrizo Cane AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border....S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research and field release of two insects, the Arundo scale and... Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is conducting research ] into the use of two insects as biological...

  18. Machine learning for characterization of insect vector feeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insects that feed by ingesting plant and animal fluids cause devastating damage to humans, livestock, and agriculture worldwide, primarily by transmitting pathogens of plants and animals. The feeding processes required for successful pathogen transmission by sucking insects can be recorded by monito...

  19. Valuing insect pollination services with cost of replacement.

    PubMed

    Allsopp, Mike H; de Lange, Willem J; Veldtman, Ruan

    2008-09-10

    Value estimates of ecosystem goods and services are useful to justify the allocation of resources towards conservation, but inconclusive estimates risk unsustainable resource allocations. Here we present replacement costs as a more accurate value estimate of insect pollination as an ecosystem service, although this method could also be applied to other services. The importance of insect pollination to agriculture is unequivocal. However, whether this service is largely provided by wild pollinators (genuine ecosystem service) or managed pollinators (commercial service), and which of these requires immediate action amidst reports of pollinator decline, remains contested. If crop pollination is used to argue for biodiversity conservation, clear distinction should be made between values of managed- and wild pollination services. Current methods either under-estimate or over-estimate the pollination service value, and make use of criticised general insect and managed pollinator dependence factors. We apply the theoretical concept of ascribing a value to a service by calculating the cost to replace it, as a novel way of valuing wild and managed pollination services. Adjusted insect and managed pollinator dependence factors were used to estimate the cost of replacing insect- and managed pollination services for the Western Cape deciduous fruit industry of South Africa. Using pollen dusting and hand pollination as suitable replacements, we value pollination services significantly higher than current market prices for commercial pollination, although lower than traditional proportional estimates. The complexity associated with inclusive value estimation of pollination services required several defendable assumptions, but made estimates more inclusive than previous attempts. Consequently this study provides the basis for continued improvement in context specific pollination service value estimates.

  20. Valuing Insect Pollination Services with Cost of Replacement

    PubMed Central

    Allsopp, Mike H.; de Lange, Willem J.; Veldtman, Ruan

    2008-01-01

    Value estimates of ecosystem goods and services are useful to justify the allocation of resources towards conservation, but inconclusive estimates risk unsustainable resource allocations. Here we present replacement costs as a more accurate value estimate of insect pollination as an ecosystem service, although this method could also be applied to other services. The importance of insect pollination to agriculture is unequivocal. However, whether this service is largely provided by wild pollinators (genuine ecosystem service) or managed pollinators (commercial service), and which of these requires immediate action amidst reports of pollinator decline, remains contested. If crop pollination is used to argue for biodiversity conservation, clear distinction should be made between values of managed- and wild pollination services. Current methods either under-estimate or over-estimate the pollination service value, and make use of criticised general insect and managed pollinator dependence factors. We apply the theoretical concept of ascribing a value to a service by calculating the cost to replace it, as a novel way of valuing wild and managed pollination services. Adjusted insect and managed pollinator dependence factors were used to estimate the cost of replacing insect- and managed pollination services for the Western Cape deciduous fruit industry of South Africa. Using pollen dusting and hand pollination as suitable replacements, we value pollination services significantly higher than current market prices for commercial pollination, although lower than traditional proportional estimates. The complexity associated with inclusive value estimation of pollination services required several defendable assumptions, but made estimates more inclusive than previous attempts. Consequently this study provides the basis for continued improvement in context specific pollination service value estimates. PMID:18781196

  1. An Automated Flying-Insect-Detection System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vann, Timi; Andrews, Jane C.; Howell, Dane; Ryan, Robert

    2005-01-01

    An automated flying-insect-detection system (AFIDS) was developed as a proof-of-concept instrument for real-time detection and identification of flying insects. This type of system has use in public health and homeland security decision support, agriculture and military pest management, and/or entomological research. Insects are first lured into the AFIDS integrated sphere by insect attractants. Once inside the sphere, the insect's wing beats cause alterations in light intensity that is detected by a photoelectric sensor. Following detection, the insects are encouraged (with the use of a small fan) to move out of the sphere and into a designated insect trap where they are held for taxonomic identification or serological testing. The acquired electronic wing beat signatures are preprocessed (Fourier transformed) in real-time to display a periodic signal. These signals are sent to the end user where they are graphically displayed. All AFIDS data are pre-processed in the field with the use of a laptop computer equipped with LABVIEW. The AFIDS software can be programmed to run continuously or at specific time intervals when insects are prevalent. A special DC-restored transimpedance amplifier reduces the contributions of low-frequency background light signals, and affords approximately two orders of magnitude greater AC gain than conventional amplifiers. This greatly increases the signal-to-noise ratio and enables the detection of small changes in light intensity. The AFIDS light source consists of high-intensity Al GaInP light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The AFIDS circuitry minimizes brightness fluctuations in the LEDs and when integrated with an integrating sphere, creates a diffuse uniform light field. The insect wing beats isotropically scatter the diffuse light in the sphere and create wing beat signatures that are detected by the sensor. This configuration minimizes variations in signal associated with insect flight orientation.

  2. Discovering conserved insect microRNAs from expressed sequence tags.

    PubMed

    Jia, Qidong; Lin, Kejian; Liang, Jingdong; Yu, Lun; Li, Fei

    2010-12-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNA) participate in regulating diverse biological pathways by translational repression in animals. They have attracted increasing attention recently. However, little work has been done on the miRNA genes in agriculturally important pests. Because the transcripts of most miRNA genes are the products of type-II RNA polymerase, pri-miRNA has a poly(A) tail and appears in expressed sequence tags (EST). We developed a computational pipeline to identify miRNA genes from insect ESTs. First, 980,697 ESTs from 63 insects were collected and used to search the nr database. The ESTs which did not share significant similarities with any known protein-coding genes were treated as non-coding ESTs. Next, known mature miRNAs were used to align with non-coding ESTs. The ESTs which contain the sequence of mature miRNA were treated as candidate ESTs. Finally, putative precursors were extracted flanking the mature miRNA region in candidate ESTs and evaluated by the Triplet-SVM algorithm. As a result, 86 miRNAs from 30 insect species were found based on a strict criterion while 330 miRNAs from 51 species were found based on a loose criterion. Evolution analysis indicated that mir-467, mir-297 and mir-466 were the highest conserved miRNA families in insects. To confirm the reliability of putative insect miRNAs, the expression profile of nine predicted miRNAs in Locusta migratoria was investigated. Eight miRNAs were successfully detected by RT-PCR. Most miRNAs were expressed ubiquitously at all examined tissues and developmental stages whereas Lmi-mir-509 was specifically expressed in the thorax of the 2nd, 4th and 5th instars and adult locust. In all, our work reported an efficient computational strategy for predicting miRNA genes from insect ESTs and presented tens of miRNAs in diverse insect species which are expected to participate in many important physiological processes.

  3. Using Insects to Make Healthy Space Foods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katayama, Naomi; Yamashita, Masamichi; Kok, Robert; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Providing foods to space crew is the important requirements to support long term manned space exploration. Foods fill not only physiological requirements to sustain life, but psychological needs for refreshment and joy during the long and hard mission to extraterrestrial planets. We designed joyful and healthy recipe with materials (plants, insects, fish et.cet. la.), which can be produced by the bio-regenerative agricultural system operated at limited resources available in spaceship or on Moon and Mars. And we need to get the storage method of the food without the problem of food poisoning. The consideration about the food allergy is necessary, too. Nutritional analysis on the basic vegetable menu consisting of rice, barley, soybean, sweet potato cassava, quinoa and green reveals a shortage of vitamins D and B12, cholesterol and sodium salt. Since vitamin D deficiency results in demineralization of bone. Vitamin B12 is essential to prevent pernicious anemia. Fish contains both vitamins D and B12. The pupa of the silkworm becomes the important nourishment source as protein and lipid. The silk thread uses it as clothing and cosmetics and medical supplies. However, we can use the silk thread as food as protein. A law of nature shakes high quality oils and fats included in termite for cooking. I use the bee as food after having used it for the pollination of the plant. Of course the honey becomes the important food, too. The snail and mud snail become the food as protein. We decided to use the menu consisting of the basic vegetarian menu plus insect and loach for further conceptual design of space agriculture. We succeeded to develop joyful and nutritious space recipe at the end. Since energy consumption for physical exercise activities under micro-or sub-gravity is less than the terrestrial case, choice of our space foods is essential to suppress blood sugar level, and prevent the metabolic syndrome. Because of less need of agricultural resources at choosing

  4. Symbiont-mediated RNA interference in insects.

    PubMed

    Whitten, Miranda M A; Facey, Paul D; Del Sol, Ricardo; Fernández-Martínez, Lorena T; Evans, Meirwyn C; Mitchell, Jacob J; Bodger, Owen G; Dyson, Paul J

    2016-02-24

    RNA interference (RNAi) methods for insects are often limited by problems with double-stranded (ds) RNA delivery, which restricts reverse genetics studies and the development of RNAi-based biocides. We therefore delegated to insect symbiotic bacteria the task of: (i) constitutive dsRNA synthesis and (ii) trauma-free delivery. RNaseIII-deficient, dsRNA-expressing bacterial strains were created from the symbionts of two very diverse pest species: a long-lived blood-sucking bug, Rhodnius prolixus, and a short-lived globally invasive polyphagous agricultural pest, western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis). When ingested, the manipulated bacteria colonized the insects, successfully competed with the wild-type microflora, and sustainably mediated systemic knockdown phenotypes that were horizontally transmissible. This represents a significant advance in the ability to deliver RNAi, potentially to a large range of non-model insects.

  5. Symbiont-mediated RNA interference in insects

    PubMed Central

    Whitten, Miranda M. A.; Facey, Paul D.; Del Sol, Ricardo; Fernández-Martínez, Lorena T.; Evans, Meirwyn C.; Mitchell, Jacob J.; Bodger, Owen G.

    2016-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) methods for insects are often limited by problems with double-stranded (ds) RNA delivery, which restricts reverse genetics studies and the development of RNAi-based biocides. We therefore delegated to insect symbiotic bacteria the task of: (i) constitutive dsRNA synthesis and (ii) trauma-free delivery. RNaseIII-deficient, dsRNA-expressing bacterial strains were created from the symbionts of two very diverse pest species: a long-lived blood-sucking bug, Rhodnius prolixus, and a short-lived globally invasive polyphagous agricultural pest, western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis). When ingested, the manipulated bacteria colonized the insects, successfully competed with the wild-type microflora, and sustainably mediated systemic knockdown phenotypes that were horizontally transmissible. This represents a significant advance in the ability to deliver RNAi, potentially to a large range of non-model insects. PMID:26911963

  6. Insects of war, terror and torture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    From plagues to malaria transmission, insects and other arthropods have been natural or intentional health and agricultural threats to military and civilian populations throughout human history. The success or failure of military operations frequently has been determined by correctly anticipating in...

  7. Insect Bites and Stings

    MedlinePlus

    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, ...

  8. Insects: An Interdisciplinary Unit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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.

  9. Insects and Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

    ... Topics Publications and Products Programs Contact NIOSH NIOSH INSECTS AND SCORPIONS Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Stinging or biting insects or scorpions can be hazardous to outdoor workers. ...

  10. Hearing in Insects.

    PubMed

    Göpfert, Martin C; Hennig, R Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Insect hearing has independently evolved multiple times in the context of intraspecific communication and predator detection by transforming proprioceptive organs into ears. Research over the past decade, ranging from the biophysics of sound reception to molecular aspects of auditory transduction to the neuronal mechanisms of auditory signal processing, has greatly advanced our understanding of how insects hear. Apart from evolutionary innovations that seem unique to insect hearing, parallels between insect and vertebrate auditory systems have been uncovered, and the auditory sensory cells of insects and vertebrates turned out to be evolutionarily related. This review summarizes our current understanding of insect hearing. It also discusses recent advances in insect auditory research, which have put forward insect auditory systems for studying biological aspects that extend beyond hearing, such as cilium function, neuronal signal computation, and sensory system evolution.

  11. Respiration in Aquatic Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

  12. Ecophysiology and insect herbivory

    SciTech Connect

    Clancy, K.M.; Wagner, M.R.; Reich, P.B.

    1995-07-01

    The relationship of insect herbivory to conifer physiology is examined. Aspects of nutrient assimilation, nutrient distribution, water stress, and climatic change are correlated to defoliation by insects. Other factors examined include plant age, density, structure, soils, and plant genotype.

  13. IncP-1ε Plasmids are Important Vectors of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Agricultural Systems: Diversification Driven by Class 1 Integron Gene Cassettes

    PubMed Central

    Heuer, Holger; Binh, Chu T. T.; Jechalke, Sven; Kopmann, Christoph; Zimmerling, Ute; Krögerrecklenfort, Ellen; Ledger, Thomas; González, Bernardo; Top, Eva; Smalla, Kornelia

    2011-01-01

    The role of broad-host range IncP-1ε plasmids in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance in agricultural systems has not yet been investigated. These plasmids were detected in total DNA from all of 16 manure samples and in arable soil based on a novel 5′-nuclease assay for real-time PCR. A correlation between IncP-1ε plasmid abundance and antibiotic usage was revealed. In a soil microcosm experiment the abundance of IncP-1ε plasmids was significantly increased even 127 days after application of manure containing the antibiotic compound sulfadiazine, compared to soil receiving only manure, only sulfadiazine, or water. Fifty IncP-1ε plasmids that were captured in E. coli CV601gfp from bacterial communities of manure and arable soil were characterized by PCR and hybridization. All plasmids carried class 1 integrons with highly varying sizes of the gene cassette region and the sul1 gene. Three IncP-1ε plasmids captured from soil bacteria and one from manure were completely sequenced. The backbones were nearly identical to that of the previously described IncP-1ε plasmid pKJK5. The plasmids differed mainly in the composition of a Tn402-like transposon carrying a class 1 integron with varying gene cassettes, IS1326, and in three of the plasmids the tetracycline resistance transposon Tn1721 with various truncations. Diverse Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria were revealed as hosts of one of the IncP-1ε plasmids in soil microcosms. Our data suggest that IncP-1ε plasmids are important vectors for horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance in agricultural systems. PMID:22279444

  14. Spatial decoupling of agricultural production and consumption: quantifying dependences of countries on food imports due to domestic land and water constraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fader, Marianela; Gerten, Dieter; Krause, Michael; Lucht, Wolfgang; Cramer, Wolfgang

    2013-03-01

    In our globalizing world, the geographical locations of food production and consumption are becoming increasingly disconnected, which increases reliance on external resources and their trade. We quantified to what extent water and land constraints limit countries’ capacities, at present and by 2050, to produce on their own territory the crop products that they currently import from other countries. Scenarios of increased crop productivity and water use, cropland expansion (excluding areas prioritized for other uses) and population change are accounted for. We found that currently 16% of the world population use the opportunities of international trade to cover their demand for agricultural products. Population change may strongly increase the number of people depending on ex situ land and water resources up to about 5.2 billion (51% of world population) in the SRES A2r scenario. International trade will thus have to intensify if population growth is not accompanied by dietary change towards less resource-intensive products, by cropland expansion, or by productivity improvements, mainly in Africa and the Middle East. Up to 1.3 billion people may be at risk of food insecurity in 2050 in present low-income economies (mainly in Africa), if their economic development does not allow them to afford productivity increases, cropland expansion and/or imports from other countries.

  15. Exploring Sound with Insects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  16. Sunflower insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Like other annual crops, sunflowers are fed upon by a variety of insect pests capable of reducing yields. Though there are a few insects which are considered consistent or severe (e.g., sunflower moth, banded sunflower moth, red sunflower seed weevil), many more insects are capable of causing proble...

  17. Acoustic Monitoring of Insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Farmers, grain elevator managers, and food processors often sample grain for insect damaged kernels and numbers of live adult insects but these easily obtained measurements of insect levels do not provide reliable estimates of the typically much larger populations of internally feeding immature inse...

  18. Insects and Spiders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on insects and spiders. The bulletins have these titles: What Good Are Insects, How Insects Benefit Man, Life of the Honey Bee, Ants and Their Fascinating Ways, Mosquitoes and Other Flies, Caterpillars, Spiders and Silk,…

  19. InsectBase: a resource for insect genomes and transcriptomes

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Chuanlin; Shen, Gengyu; Guo, Dianhao; Wang, Shuping; Ma, Xingzhou; Xiao, Huamei; Liu, Jinding; Zhang, Zan; Liu, Ying; Zhang, Yiqun; Yu, Kaixiang; Huang, Shuiqing; Li, Fei

    2016-01-01

    The genomes and transcriptomes of hundreds of insects have been sequenced. However, insect community lacks an integrated, up-to-date collection of insect gene data. Here, we introduce the first release of InsectBase, available online at http://www.insect-genome.com. The database encompasses 138 insect genomes, 116 insect transcriptomes, 61 insect gene sets, 36 gene families of 60 insects, 7544 miRNAs of 69 insects, 96 925 piRNAs of Drosophila melanogaster and Chilo suppressalis, 2439 lncRNA of Nilaparvata lugens, 22 536 pathways of 78 insects, 678 881 untranslated regions (UTR) of 84 insects and 160 905 coding sequences (CDS) of 70 insects. This release contains over 12 million sequences and provides search functionality, a BLAST server, GBrowse, insect pathway construction, a Facebook-like network for the insect community (iFacebook), and phylogenetic analysis of selected genes. PMID:26578584

  20. InsectBase: a resource for insect genomes and transcriptomes.

    PubMed

    Yin, Chuanlin; Shen, Gengyu; Guo, Dianhao; Wang, Shuping; Ma, Xingzhou; Xiao, Huamei; Liu, Jinding; Zhang, Zan; Liu, Ying; Zhang, Yiqun; Yu, Kaixiang; Huang, Shuiqing; Li, Fei

    2016-01-04

    The genomes and transcriptomes of hundreds of insects have been sequenced. However, insect community lacks an integrated, up-to-date collection of insect gene data. Here, we introduce the first release of InsectBase, available online at http://www.insect-genome.com. The database encompasses 138 insect genomes, 116 insect transcriptomes, 61 insect gene sets, 36 gene families of 60 insects, 7544 miRNAs of 69 insects, 96,925 piRNAs of Drosophila melanogaster and Chilo suppressalis, 2439 lncRNA of Nilaparvata lugens, 22,536 pathways of 78 insects, 678,881 untranslated regions (UTR) of 84 insects and 160,905 coding sequences (CDS) of 70 insects. This release contains over 12 million sequences and provides search functionality, a BLAST server, GBrowse, insect pathway construction, a Facebook-like network for the insect community (iFacebook), and phylogenetic analysis of selected genes.

  1. ScaleNet: A literature-based model of scale insect biology and systematics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) are small herbivorous insects found in all continents except Antarctica. They are extremely invasive, and many species are serious agricultural pests. They are also emerging models for studies of the evolution of genetic systems, endosymbiosis, and plant-insect i...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  3. Ecological Considerations in Producing and Formulating Fungal Entomopathogens for Use in Insect Biocontrol

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect pests persist in a wide variety of agricultural, arboreal, and urban environments. Effective control with fungal entomopathogens using inundation biocontrol requires an understanding of the ecology of the target insect, fungal pathogen, and the insect-pathogen interaction. Historically, the...

  4. Ecological Considerations in Producing and Formulating Fungal Entomopathogens for Use in Insect Biocontrol

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect pests persist in a wide-variety of agricultural, arboreal, and urban environments. Effective control with fungal entomopathogens using inundation biocontrol requires an understanding of the ecology of the target insect, fungal pathogen, and the insect-pathogen interaction. Historically, the d...

  5. Does Drought Increase the Risk of Insects Developing Behavioral Resistance to Systemic Insecticides?

    PubMed Central

    Fowles, Trevor; Bick, Emily; Nansen, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Increases in severity and frequency of drought periods, average global temperatures, and more erratic fluctuations in rainfall patterns due to climate change are predicted to have a dramatic impact on agricultural production systems. Insect pest populations in agricultural and horticultural systems are also expected to be impacted, both in terms of their spatial and temporal distributions and in their status as pest species. In this opinion-based article, we discuss how indirect effects of drought may adversely affect the performance of systemic insecticides and also lead to increased risk of insect pests developing behavioral insecticide resistance. We hypothesize that more pronounced drought will decrease uptake and increase the magnitude of nonuniform translocation of systemic insecticides within treated crop plants, and that may have two concurrent consequences: 1) reduced pesticide performance, and 2) increased likelihood of insect pests evolving behavioral insecticide resistance. Under this scenario, pests that can sense and avoid acquisition of lethal dosages of systemic insecticides within crop plants will have a selective advantage. This may lead to selection for insect behavioral avoidance, so that insects predominantly feed and oviposit on portions of crop plants with low concentration of systemic insecticide. Limited research has been published on the effect of environmental variables, including drought, on pesticide performance, but we present and discuss studies that support the hypothesis described above. In addition, we wish to highlight the importance of studying the many ways environmental factors can affect, directly and indirectly, both the performance of insecticides and the risk of target insect pests developing resistance. PMID:27551149

  6. Exploiting natural variation to identify insect-resistance genes.

    PubMed

    Broekgaarden, Colette; Snoeren, Tjeerd A L; Dicke, Marcel; Vosman, Ben

    2011-10-01

    Herbivorous insects are widespread and often serious constraints to crop production. The use of insect-resistant crops is a very effective way to control insect pests in agriculture, and the development of such crops can be greatly enhanced by knowledge on plant resistance mechanisms and the genes involved. Plants have evolved diverse ways to cope with insect attack that has resulted in natural variation for resistance towards herbivorous insects. Studying the molecular genetics and transcriptional background of this variation has facilitated the identification of resistance genes and processes that lead to resistance against insects. With the development of new technologies, molecular studies are not restricted to model plants anymore. This review addresses the need to exploit natural variation in resistance towards insects to increase our knowledge on resistance mechanisms and the genes involved. We will discuss how this knowledge can be exploited in breeding programmes to provide sustainable crop protection against insect pests. Additionally, we discuss the current status of genetic research on insect-resistance genes. We conclude that insect-resistance mechanisms are still unclear at the molecular level and that exploiting natural variation with novel technologies will contribute greatly to the development of insect-resistant crop varieties.

  7. The role of mites in insect-fungus associations.

    PubMed

    Hofstetter, R W; Moser, J C

    2014-01-01

    The interactions among insects, mites, and fungi are diverse and complex but poorly understood in most cases. Associations among insects, mites, and fungi span an almost incomprehensible array of ecological interactions and evolutionary histories. Insects and mites often share habitats and resources and thus interact within communities. Many mites and insects rely on fungi for nutrients, and fungi benefit from them with regard to spore dispersal, habitat provision, or nutrient resources. Mites have important impacts on community dynamics, ecosystem processes, and biodiversity within many insect-fungus systems. Given that mites are understudied but highly abundant, they likely have bigger, more important, and more widespread impacts on communities than previously recognized. We describe mutualistic and antagonistic effects of mites on insect-fungus associations, explore the processes that underpin ecological and evolutionary patterns of these multipartite communities, review well-researched examples of the effects of mites on insect-fungus associations, and discuss approaches for studying mites within insect-fungus communities.

  8. Crop Farmers' Willingness to Pay for Agricultural Extension Services in Bangladesh: Cases of Selected Villages in Two Important Agro-Ecological Zones

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uddin, Ektear MD.; Gao, Qijie; Mamun-Ur-Rashid, MD.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Globally, many extension professionals and policy-makers are advocating fee based services, in addressing the fund shortage and sustainable provision of agricultural advisory services. Hence, the article attempts to expose the farmers' willingness to pay (WTP) as agricultural extension in Bangladesh is experiencing chronic fund crisis.…

  9. Expression of heat shock protein genes in insect stress responses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The heat shock proteins (HSPs) that are abundantly expressed in insects are important modulators of insect survival. Expression of HSP genes in insects is not only developmentally regulated, but also induced by various stressors in order to confer protection against such stressors. The expression o...

  10. Grain sorghum hybrid resistance to insect and bird damage - 2015

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A total of 26 grain sorghum hybrids (24 commercial grain sorghum hybrids and a pair of sugarcane aphid resistant and susceptible controls) were evaluated for resistance to insect and bird damage in Tifton, Georgia. A total of 10 insect pests were observed. The insect pests in order of importance are...

  11. Grain sorghum hybrid resistance to insect and bird damage-2014

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Thirty seven grain sorghum hybrids were evaluated for resistance to insect and bird damage in 2014 in Tifton, and a total of 10 insect pests were observed. While sorghum midge and bird damage was relatively low, sorghum webworm and aphid damage was high. Those insects in order of importance are: sug...

  12. Hydrodynamics of insect spermatozoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. Machine Learning for Characterization of Insect Vector Feeding

    PubMed Central

    Willett, Nora S.; Stelinski, Lukasz L.; Lapointe, Stephen L.

    2016-01-01

    Insects that feed by ingesting plant and animal fluids cause devastating damage to humans, livestock, and agriculture worldwide, primarily by transmitting pathogens of plants and animals. The feeding processes required for successful pathogen transmission by sucking insects can be recorded by monitoring voltage changes across an insect-food source feeding circuit. The output from such monitoring has traditionally been examined manually, a slow and onerous process. We taught a computer program to automatically classify previously described insect feeding patterns involved in transmission of the pathogen causing citrus greening disease. We also show how such analysis contributes to discovery of previously unrecognized feeding states and can be used to characterize plant resistance mechanisms. This advance greatly reduces the time and effort required to analyze insect feeding, and should facilitate developing, screening, and testing of novel intervention strategies to disrupt pathogen transmission affecting agriculture, livestock and human health. PMID:27832081

  14. Insects Represent a Link between Food Animal Farms and the Urban Environment for Antibiotic Resistance Traits

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Anuradha

    2014-01-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections result in higher patient mortality rates, prolonged hospitalizations, and increased health care costs. Extensive use of antibiotics as growth promoters in the animal industry represents great pressure for evolution and selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on farms. Despite growing evidence showing that antibiotic use and bacterial resistance in food animals correlate with resistance in human pathogens, the proof for direct transmission of antibiotic resistance is difficult to provide. In this review, we make a case that insects commonly associated with food animals likely represent a direct and important link between animal farms and urban communities for antibiotic resistance traits. Houseflies and cockroaches have been shown to carry multidrug-resistant clonal lineages of bacteria identical to those found in animal manure. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated proliferation of bacteria and horizontal transfer of resistance genes in the insect digestive tract as well as transmission of resistant bacteria by insects to new substrates. We propose that insect management should be an integral part of pre- and postharvest food safety strategies to minimize spread of zoonotic pathogens and antibiotic resistance traits from animal farms. Furthermore, the insect link between the agricultural and urban environment presents an additional argument for adopting prudent use of antibiotics in the food animal industry. PMID:24705326

  15. Insects represent a link between food animal farms and the urban environment for antibiotic resistance traits.

    PubMed

    Zurek, Ludek; Ghosh, Anuradha

    2014-06-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections result in higher patient mortality rates, prolonged hospitalizations, and increased health care costs. Extensive use of antibiotics as growth promoters in the animal industry represents great pressure for evolution and selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on farms. Despite growing evidence showing that antibiotic use and bacterial resistance in food animals correlate with resistance in human pathogens, the proof for direct transmission of antibiotic resistance is difficult to provide. In this review, we make a case that insects commonly associated with food animals likely represent a direct and important link between animal farms and urban communities for antibiotic resistance traits. Houseflies and cockroaches have been shown to carry multidrug-resistant clonal lineages of bacteria identical to those found in animal manure. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated proliferation of bacteria and horizontal transfer of resistance genes in the insect digestive tract as well as transmission of resistant bacteria by insects to new substrates. We propose that insect management should be an integral part of pre- and postharvest food safety strategies to minimize spread of zoonotic pathogens and antibiotic resistance traits from animal farms. Furthermore, the insect link between the agricultural and urban environment presents an additional argument for adopting prudent use of antibiotics in the food animal industry.

  16. Irrigated agriculture is an important risk factor for West Nile virus disease in the hyperendemic Larimer-Boulder-Weld area of north central Colorado.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Barker, Christopher M; Moore, Chester G; Pape, W John; Winters, Anna M; Cheronis, Nicholas

    2010-09-01

    This study focused on two West Nile virus (WNV) disease outbreak years, 2003 and 2007, and included a three-county area (Larimer, Boulder, and Weld) in North Central Colorado that is hyperendemic for WNV disease. We used epidemiological data for reported WNV disease cases at the census tract scale to: (1) elucidate whether WNV disease incidence differs between census tracts classified as having high versus lower human population density (based on a threshold value of 580 persons/km2) and (2) determine associations between WNV disease incidence and habitat types suitable as development sites for the larval stage of Culex mosquito vectors. WNV disease incidence was significantly elevated in census tracts with lower human population density, compared with those with high density of human population, in both 2003 (median per census tract of 223 and 143 cases per 100,000 population, respectively) and 2007 (median per census tract of 46 and 19 cases per 100,000 population). This is most likely related, in large part, to greater percentages of coverage in less densely populated census tracts by habitats suitable as development sites for Culex larvae (open water, developed open space, pasture/hay, cultivated crops, woody wetlands, and emergent herbaceous wetlands) and, especially, for the subset of these habitats made up by irrigated agricultural land (pasture/hay and cultivated crops) that presumably serve as major producers of the locally most important vector of WNV to humans: Culex tarsalis. A series of analyses produced significant positive associations between greater coverage of or shorter distance to irrigated agricultural land and elevated WNV disease incidence. As an exercise to produce data with potential to inform spatial implementation schemes for prevention and control measures within the study area, we mapped the spatial patterns, by census tract, of WNV disease incidence in 2003 and 2007 as well as the locations of census tracts that had either low (<25th

  17. Agricultural Plant Pest Control. Manual 93.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missouri Univ., Columbia. Agricultural Experiment Station.

    This training manual provides information needed to meet the minimum EPA standards for certification as a commercial applicator of pesticides for the agricultural plant pest control category. The text discusses the insect pests including caterpillars, beetles, and soil inhabiting insects; diseases and nematodes; and weeds. Consideration is given…

  18. Qpais: A Web-Based Expert System for Assistedidentification of Quarantine Stored Insect Pests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Han; Rajotte, Edwin G.; Li, Zhihong; Chen, Ke; Zhang, Shengfang

    Stored insect pests can seriously depredate stored products causing worldwide economic losses. Pests enter countries traveling with transported goods. Inspection and Quarantine activities are essential to prevent the invasion and spread of pests. Identification of quarantine stored insect pests is an important component of the China's Inspection and Quarantine procedure, and it is necessary not only to identify whether the species captured is an invasive species, but determine control procedures for stored insect pests. With the development of information technologies, many expert systems that aid in the identification of agricultural pests have been developed. Expert systems for the identification of quarantine stored insect pests are rare and are mainly developed for stand-alone PCs. This paper describes the development of a web-based expert system for identification of quarantine stored insect pests as part of the China 11th Five-Year National Scientific and Technological Support Project (115 Project). Based on user needs, textual knowledge and images were gathered from the literature and expert interviews. ASP.NET, C# and SQL language were used to program the system. Improvement of identification efficiency and flexibility was achieved using a new inference method called characteristic-select-based spatial distance method. The expert system can assist identifying 150 species of quarantine stored insect pests and provide detailed information for each species. The expert system has also been evaluated using two steps: system testing and identification testing. With a 85% rate of correct identification and high efficiency, the system evaluation shows that this expert system can be used in identification work of quarantine stored insect pests.

  19. Principles of Insect Identification. MP-20.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Fred A.; Burkhardt, Chris C.

    This document provides information for the complete classification of members of the phylum Arthropoda. Both major and minor insect orders are discussed relative to their anatomical characteristics and importance. (CS)

  20. The smallest insects evolve anucleate neurons.

    PubMed

    Polilov, Alexey A

    2012-01-01

    The smallest insects are comparable in size to unicellular organisms. Thus, their size affects their structure not only at the organ level, but also at the cellular level. Here we report the first finding of animals with an almost entirely anucleate nervous system. Adults of the smallest flying insects of the parasitic wasp genus Megaphragma (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) have only 339-372 nuclei in the central nervous system, i.e., their ganglia, including the brain, consist almost exclusively of processes of neurons. In contrast, their pupae have ganglia more typical of other insects, with about 7400 nuclei in the central nervous system. During the final phases of pupal development, most neuronal cell bodies lyse. As adults, these insects have many fewer nucleated neurons, a small number of cell bodies in different stages of lysis, and about 7000 anucleate cells. Although most neurons lack nuclei, these insects exhibit many important behaviors, including flight and searching for hosts.

  1. Probing Insect Odorant Receptors with their Cognate Ligands: Insights into Structural Features

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Pingxi; Leal, Walter S.

    2013-01-01

    Oodorant receptors (ORs) are essential for insect survival in the environment and thus are ideal molecular targets for the design of insect-inspired modern green chemicals to control populations of agricultural pests and insects of medical importance. Although insect ORs are known for more than a decade, their structural biology is still in its infancy. Here, we unravel the first structural features of ORs from the malaria mosquito, the Southern house mosquito and the silkworm moth. The second extracellular loops (ECL-2s) of their predicted structures are much longer than ECL-1s and ECL-3s. The 27 amino-acid-residue-long of the ECL-2s in mosquito and the 43 amino-acid-residue-long ECL2s in moth ORs are well-conserved. About one-third of the residues are identical, including 3-4 Pro residues. Thorough examination of well-conserved residues in these structures, by point mutation and functional assay with the Xenopus oocyte recording system, strongly suggest that these “loops” include three β-turns and some degree of folding. In the Southern house mosquito three Pro residues in ECL-2 are essential for full activation of the receptor, which is finely tuned to the oviposition attractant 3-methylindole. Additionally, the “corner residues” of prolines, including Gly, Tyr, and Leu are functionally important thus suggesting that turns are stabilized not only by backbone hydrogen bonds, but also by side-chain interactions. Examination of ECL-2s from a distant taxonomical group suggests these ECL-2 loops might be functionally important in all insect ORs. Two of the four Pro residues in the predicted ECL-2 of the bombykol receptor in the silkworm moth, BmorOR1, are essential for function. Experimental evidence indicates that these loops may not be specificity determinants, but they may form a cover to the yet-to-be-identified membrane embedded binding cavities of insect ORs. PMID:23673297

  2. An Automated Flying-Insect Detection System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vann, Timi; Andrews, Jane C.; Howell, Dane; Ryan, Robert

    2007-01-01

    An automated flying-insect detection system (AFIDS) was developed as a proof-of-concept instrument for real-time detection and identification of flying insects. This type of system has use in public health and homeland-security decision support, agriculture and military pest management, and/or entomological research. Insects are first lured into the AFIDS integrated sphere by insect attractants. Once inside the sphere, the insect s wing beats cause alterations in light intensity that is detected by a photoelectric sensor. Following detection, the insects are encouraged (with the use of a small fan) to move out of the sphere and into a designated insect trap where they are held for taxonomic identification or serological testing. The acquired electronic wing-beat signatures are preprocessed (Fourier transformed) in real time to display a periodic signal. These signals are sent to the end user where they are graphically. All AFIDS data are preprocessed in the field with the use of a laptop computer equipped with LabVIEW. The AFIDS software can be programmed to run continuously or at specific time intervals when insects are prevalent. A special DC-restored transimpedance amplifier reduces the contributions of low-frequency background light signals, and affords approximately two orders of magnitude greater AC gain than conventional amplifiers. This greatly increases the signal-to-noise ratio and enables the detection of small changes in light intensity. The AFIDS light source consists of high-intensity Al-GaInP light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The AFIDS circuitry minimizes brightness fluctuations in the LEDs and when integrated with an integrating sphere, creates a diffuse uniform light field. The insect wing beats isotropically scatter the diffuse light in the sphere and create wing-beat signatures that are detected by the sensor. This configuration minimizes variations in signal associated with insect flight orientation. Preliminary data indicate that AFIDS has

  3. Insects, infestations and nutrient fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michalzik, B.

    2012-04-01

    Forest ecosystems are characterized by a high temporal and spatial variability in the vertical transfer of energy and matter within the canopy and the soil compartment. The mechanisms and controlling factors behind canopy processes and system-internal transfer dynamics are imperfectly understood at the moment. Seasonal flux diversities and inhomogeneities in throughfall composition have been reported from coniferous and deciduous forests, and in most cases leaf leaching has been considered as principle driver for differences in the amount and quality of nutrients and organic compounds (Tukey and Morgan 1963). Since herbivorous insects and the processes they initiate received less attention in past times, ecologists now emphasize the need for linking biological processes occurring in different ecosystem strata to explain rates and variability of nutrient cycling (Bardgett et al. 1998, Wardle et al. 2004). Consequently, herbivore insects in the canopies of forests are increasingly identified to play an important role for the (re)cycling and availability of nutrients, or, more generally, for the functioning of ecosystems not only in outbreak situations but also at endemic (non-outbreak) density levels (Stadler et al. 2001, Hunter et al. 2003). Before, little attention was paid to insect herbivores when quantifying element and energy fluxes through ecosystems, although the numerous and different functions insects fulfill in ecosystems (e.g. as pollinators, herbivores or detritivores) were unanimously recognized (Schowalter 2000). Amongst the reasons for this restraint was the argument that the total biomass of insects tends to be relatively low compared to the biomass of trees or the pool of soil organic matter (Ohmart et al. 1983). A second argument which was put forward to justify the inferior role of insects in nutrient cycling were the supposed low defoliation losses between 5-10% of the annual leaf biomass, or net primary production, due to insect herbivory under

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Assessing insect responses to climate change: What are we testing for? Where should we be heading?

    PubMed

    Andrew, Nigel R; Hill, Sarah J; Binns, Matthew; Bahar, Md Habibullah; Ridley, Emma V; Jung, Myung-Pyo; Fyfe, Chris; Yates, Michelle; Khusro, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    To understand how researchers are tackling globally important issues, it is crucial to identify whether current research is comprehensive enough to make substantive predictions about general responses. We examined how research on climate change affecting insects is being assessed, what factors are being tested and the localities of studies, from 1703 papers published between 1985 and August 2012. Most published research (64%) is generated from Europe and North America and being dedicated to core data analysis, with 29% of the studies analysed dedicated to Lepidoptera and 22% Diptera: which are well above their contribution to the currently identified insect species richness (estimated at 13% and 17% respectively). Research publications on Coleoptera fall well short of their proportional contribution (19% of publications but 39% of insect species identified), and to a lesser extent so do Hemiptera, and Hymenoptera. Species specific responses to changes in temperature by assessing distribution/range shifts or changes in abundance were the most commonly used methods of assessing the impact of climate change on insects. Research on insects and climate change to date is dominated by manuscripts assessing butterflies in Europe, insects of economic and/or environmental concern in forestry, agriculture, and model organisms. The research on understanding how insects will respond to a rapidly changing climate is still in its infancy, but the current trends of publications give a good basis for how we are attempting to assess insect responses. In particular, there is a crucial need for broader studies of ecological, behavioural, physiological and life history responses to be addressed across a greater range of geographic locations, particularly Asia, Africa and Australasia, and in areas of high human population growth and habitat modification. It is still too early in our understanding of taxa responses to climate change to know if charismatic taxa, such as butterflies, or

  6. Remotely Sensed Mapping of Agricultural Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiros, E.; Domenikiotis, C.; Dalezios, N. R.; Danalatos, N. G.

    2009-04-01

    Identifying vulnerable agricultural production areas is essential for any sustainable development/farming plan. Climate is among the most important factors that determine the agricultural potential of a region and the suitability of an area for a specific crop or land management, followed by soil characteristics and geomorphology. Temperature and rainfall in terms of quantity and spatiotemporal variability are the two climatic variables that determine the agricultural potential of an area and the risk involved in any new agronomical use. Also, extreme weather events, such as droughts, have to be taken into account. In this paper, two satellite derived indices are combined in GIS environment with soil maps and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in order to identify the agricultural potential of areas. Namely, these indices are the Vegetation Health Index (VHI) and the Degree Days (DD) (also known as Heat Units). VHI represents overall vegetation health and is used for agricultural drought monitoring and mapping. DD units (oC d) are often used in agriculture in order to estimate or predict the lengths of the different phases of the development in crop plants, since temperature has a primary role in the growth of many organisms (plants and insects). The two indices are computed for 20 hydrological years, from October 1981 to September 2001, from NOAA/AVHRR ten -day composite images with 8x8 Km spatial resolution. DD is examined for crops of great commercial importance. The soil maps are digitized according to fertility (appropriate or not for agricultural use) and desertification vulnerability, whereas altitude based limitations are provided by the DEM. The study area is the water district of Thessaly, the largest lowland formation of Greece and the country's largest agricultural centre, located in Central Greece. The superposition of the two indices along with the soil and elevation data had led to the identification of vulnerable agricultural production areas. The

  7. Insect prophenoloxidase: the view beyond immunity

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Anrui; Zhang, Qiaoli; Zhang, Jie; Yang, Bing; Wu, Kai; Xie, Wei; Luan, Yun-Xia; Ling, Erjun

    2014-01-01

    Insect prophenoloxidase (PPO) is an important innate immunity protein due to its involvement in cellular and humoral defense. It belongs to a group of type-3 copper-containing proteins that occurs in almost all organisms. Insect PPO has been studied for over a century, and the PPO activation cascade is becoming clearer. The insect PPO activation pathway incorporates several important proteins, including pattern-recognition receptors (PGRP, β GRP, and C-type lectins), serine proteases, and serine protease inhibitors (serpins). Due to their complexity, PPO activation mechanisms vary among insect species. Activated phenoloxidase (PO) oxidizes phenolic molecules to produce melanin around invading pathogens and wounds. The crystal structure of Manduca sexta PPO shows that a conserved amino acid, phenylalanine (F), can block the active site pocket. During activation, this blocker must be dislodged or even cleaved at the N-terminal sequence to expose the active site pockets and allow substrates to enter. Thanks to the crystal structure of M. sexta PPO, some domains and specific amino acids that affect PPO activities have been identified. Further studies of the relationship between PPO structure and enzyme activities will provide an opportunity to examine other type-3 copper proteins, and trace when and why their various physiological functions evolved. Recent researches show that insect PPO has a relationship with neuron activity, longevity, feces melanization (phytophagous insects) and development, which suggests that it is time for us to look back on insect PPO beyond the view of immunity in this review. PMID:25071597

  8. Climate Change and Tritrophic Interactions: Will Modifications to Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase the Vulnerability of Herbivorous Insects to Natural Enemies?

    PubMed

    Boullis, Antoine; Francis, Frederic; Verheggen, François J

    2015-04-01

    Insects are highly dependent on odor cues released into the environment to locate conspecifics or food sources. This mechanism is particularly important for insect predators that rely on kairomones released by their prey to detect them. In the context of climate change and, more specifically, modifications in the gas composition of the atmosphere, chemical communication-mediating interactions between phytophagous insect pests, their host plants, and their natural enemies is likely to be impacted. Several reports have indicated that modifications to plants caused by elevated carbon dioxide and ozone concentrations might indirectly affect insect herbivores, with community-level modifications to this group potentially having an indirect influence on higher trophic levels. The vulnerability of agricultural insect pests toward their natural enemies under elevated greenhouse gases concentrations has been frequently reported, but conflicting results have been obtained. This literature review shows that the higher levels of carbon dioxide, as predicted for the coming century, do not enhance the abundance or efficiency of natural enemies to locate hosts or prey in most published studies. Increased ozone levels lead to modifications in herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by damaged plants, which may impact the attractiveness of these herbivores to the third trophic level. Furthermore, other oxidative gases (such as SO2 and NO2) tend to reduce the abundance of natural enemies. The impact of changes in atmospheric gas emissions on plant-insect and insect-insect chemical communication has been under-documented, despite the significance of these mechanisms in tritrophic interactions. We conclude by suggesting some further prospects on this topic of research yet to be investigated.

  9. Insects: Bugged Out!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  10. Insects and Bugs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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.…

  11. Insect Control Without Bt

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding potential to grow conventional cottons that do not express Bt insecticidal proteins requires an appreciation for the historical impact of Bt cotton on cotton insects. Insects have long been exposed to Bacillus thuringiensis, a common soil-borne bacterium. Commercial deployment of B...

  12. Magnetic compasses in insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of magnetic information for orientation and navigation is a widespread phenomenon in animals. In contrast to navigational systems in vertebrates, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the insect magnetic perception and use of the information is at an early stage. Some insects use ma...

  13. Insect and arachnid hypersensitivity.

    PubMed

    Bevier, D E

    1999-11-01

    Insect hypersensitivity reactions can have a large number of clinical presentations. The majority of reactions are pruritic and involve the short- or sparsely haired areas of the body. Most are associated with eosinophilic infiltration into the skin, often in a perivascular pattern. The diagnosis may be based on compatible clinical signs and improvement with aggressive insect control and, in some cases, confirmation via provocative exposure. Intradermal, prick, or serum testing for allergen-specific IgE can be used to document the presence of reaginic antibodies against insect allergens. Treatments include avoidance, aggressive insect control, and symptomatic support; in some cases, immunotherapy may be useful in decreasing the severity of clinical reactions to insects.

  14. Biotechnology and Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kenney, Martin

    Even at this early date in the application of biotechnology to agriculture, it is clear that agriculture may provide the largest market for new or less expensive biotechnologically manufactured products. The chemical and pharmaceutical industries that hold important positions in agricultural inputs are consolidating their positions by purchasing…

  15. Attention-like processes in insects

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27852803

  16. Overseas Surveys (1981-1983) for Insects to Control Hydrilla.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-12-01

    Davis, L. D. 1953. " Rice Leaf Miner: Severe Attack Controlled by Water Management, Insecticide Applica- tion," California Agriculture, Vol 7, No. 8, pp 8...candidates. That weevils can reduce crop yields is well known. . c r7:aptrzt weevils , which are rice pests, are in the same tribe as .:.jcu’r, as is...containing over P. 45 insect species which attack hydrilla. All 45 of these insects are either weevils , ephydrid flies, or aquatic moths, groups which are

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25424593

  19. Purification and characterization of recombinant sugarcane sucrose phosphate synthase expressed in E. coli and insect Sf9 cells: an importance of the N-terminal domain for an allosteric regulatory property.

    PubMed

    Sawitri, Widhi Dyah; Narita, Hirotaka; Ishizaka-Ikeda, Etsuko; Sugiharto, Bambang; Hase, Toshiharu; Nakagawa, Atsushi

    2016-06-01

    Sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) catalyses the transfer of glycosyl group of uridine diphosphate glucose to fructose-6-phosphate to form sucrose-6-phosphate. Plant SPS plays a key role in photosynthetic carbon metabolisms, which activity is modulated by an allosteric activator glucose-6-phosphate (G6P). We produced recombinant sugarcane SPS using Escherichia coli and Sf9 insect cells to investigate its structure-function relationship. When expressed in E. coli, two forms of SPS with different sizes appeared; the larger was comparable in size with the authentic plant enzyme and the shorter was trimmed the N-terminal 20 kDa region off. In the insect cells, only enzyme with the authentic size was produced. We purified the trimmed SPS and the full size enzyme from insect cells and found their enzymatic properties differed significantly; the full size enzyme was activated allosterically by G6P, while the trimmed one showed a high activity even without G6P. We further introduced a series of N-terminal truncations up to 171 residue and found G6P-independent activity was enhanced by the truncation. These combined results indicated that the N-terminal region of sugarcane SPS is crucial for the allosteric regulation by G6P and may function like a suppressor domain for the enzyme activity.

  20. Prostaglandins and Their Receptors in Insect Biology

    PubMed Central

    Stanley, David; Kim, Yonggyun

    2011-01-01

    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. 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. 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. We conclude that research into PGs and their receptors in insects will lead to important advances in our understanding of insect biology. PMID:22654840

  1. Prostaglandins and their receptors in insect biology.

    PubMed

    Stanley, David; Kim, Yonggyun

    2011-01-01

    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. 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. PGs act in several crucial areas of insect biology. In reproduction, a specific PG, PGE(2), 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. We conclude that research into PGs and their receptors in insects will lead to important advances in our understanding of insect biology.

  2. Commercial Pesticides Applicator Manual: Agriculture - Plant.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzwater, W. D.; And Others

    This training manual provides information needed to meet the minimum EPA standards for certification as a commercial applicator of pesticides in the agriculture-plant pest control category. The text discusses identification and control of insects, diseases, nematodes, and weeds of agricultural crops. Proper use of application equipment and safety…

  3. Vision in flying insects.

    PubMed

    Egelhaaf, Martin; Kern, Roland

    2002-12-01

    Vision guides flight behaviour in numerous insects. Despite their small brain, insects easily outperform current man-made autonomous vehicles in many respects. Examples are the virtuosic chasing manoeuvres male flies perform as part of their mating behaviour and the ability of bees to assess, on the basis of visual motion cues, the distance travelled in a novel environment. Analyses at both the behavioural and neuronal levels are beginning to unveil reasons for such extraordinary capabilities of insects. One recipe for their success is the adaptation of visual information processing to the specific requirements of the behavioural tasks and to the specific spatiotemporal properties of the natural input.

  4. Advanced technologies for genetically manipulating the silkworm Bombyx mori, a model Lepidopteran insect.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hanfu; O'Brochta, David A

    2015-07-07

    Genetic technologies based on transposon-mediated transgenesis along with several recently developed genome-editing technologies have become the preferred methods of choice for genetically manipulating many organisms. The silkworm, Bombyx mori, is a Lepidopteran insect of great economic importance because of its use in silk production and because it is a valuable model insect that has greatly enhanced our understanding of the biology of insects, including many agricultural pests. In the past 10 years, great advances have been achieved in the development of genetic technologies in B. mori, including transposon-based technologies that rely on piggyBac-mediated transgenesis and genome-editing technologies that rely on protein- or RNA-guided modification of chromosomes. The successful development and application of these technologies has not only facilitated a better understanding of B. mori and its use as a silk production system, but also provided valuable experiences that have contributed to the development of similar technologies in non-model insects. This review summarizes the technologies currently available for use in B. mori, their application to the study of gene function and their use in genetically modifying B. mori for biotechnology applications. The challenges, solutions and future prospects associated with the development and application of genetic technologies in B. mori are also discussed.

  5. Advanced technologies for genetically manipulating the silkworm Bombyx mori, a model Lepidopteran insect

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hanfu; O'Brochta, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Genetic technologies based on transposon-mediated transgenesis along with several recently developed genome-editing technologies have become the preferred methods of choice for genetically manipulating many organisms. The silkworm, Bombyx mori, is a Lepidopteran insect of great economic importance because of its use in silk production and because it is a valuable model insect that has greatly enhanced our understanding of the biology of insects, including many agricultural pests. In the past 10 years, great advances have been achieved in the development of genetic technologies in B. mori, including transposon-based technologies that rely on piggyBac-mediated transgenesis and genome-editing technologies that rely on protein- or RNA-guided modification of chromosomes. The successful development and application of these technologies has not only facilitated a better understanding of B. mori and its use as a silk production system, but also provided valuable experiences that have contributed to the development of similar technologies in non-model insects. This review summarizes the technologies currently available for use in B. mori, their application to the study of gene function and their use in genetically modifying B. mori for biotechnology applications. The challenges, solutions and future prospects associated with the development and application of genetic technologies in B. mori are also discussed. PMID:26108630

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

    PubMed Central

    Oates, Caryn N.; Denby, Katherine J.; Myburg, Alexander A.; Slippers, Bernard; Naidoo, Sanushka

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27869732

  7. Investigation on penetration of three conventional foodstuffs packaging polymers with two different thicknesses by larvae and adults of major species of stored-product pest insects.

    PubMed

    Allahvaisi, Somayeh; Purmirza, Ali Asghar; Safaralizade, Mohamad Hasan

    2009-01-01

    Despite modern methods of packaging, stored agricultural products are still under attack by stored-insect pests. Therefore, determination of the best polymer and appropriate thickness inhibiting the penetration of the insects must be considered. In this study, we investigated the ability of penetration and the rates of contamination by nine important stored product pest insects for three conventional flexible polymers (polyethylene, cellophane and polypropylene) at two thicknesses (16.5 and 29 microm), which are used as pouches for packing of agricultural products. We used adults of T. castaneum (Coleoptera), S. granarius (Coleoptera), R. dominica (Coleoptera), C. maculates (Coleoptera), O. surinamensis (Coleoptera), and larvae of P. interpunctella (Lepidoptera), E. kuehniella (Lepidoptera), S. cerealella (Lepidoptera) and T. granarium (Coleoptera). Results showed that for most of the species penetration occurred between 4 days and 2 weeks, but there were significant differences (p < or = 0.05) in the penetration of three polymers (cellophane, polyethylene and polypropylene) by the insects. Among the polymers, polyethylene with a thickness of 16.5 microm showed the highest degree of penetration and was the most unsuitable polymer for packaging of foodstuffs. Application of this polymer led to a complete infestation of the product and a lot of punctures were created by the insects. In contrast, no penetration was observed in polypropylene polymer with a thickness of 29 microm. Furthermore, adults and larvae of all species showed a much lower penetration when there was no food present in the pouches and this was the case for all polymers tested.

  8. A systematic nomenclature for the insect brain.

    PubMed

    Ito, Kei; Shinomiya, Kazunori; Ito, Masayoshi; Armstrong, J Douglas; Boyan, George; Hartenstein, Volker; Harzsch, Steffen; Heisenberg, Martin; Homberg, Uwe; Jenett, Arnim; Keshishian, Haig; Restifo, Linda L; Rössler, Wolfgang; Simpson, Julie H; Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Strauss, Roland; Vosshall, Leslie B

    2014-02-19

    Despite the importance of the insect nervous system for functional and developmental neuroscience, descriptions of insect brains have suffered from a lack of uniform nomenclature. Ambiguous definitions of brain regions and fiber bundles have contributed to the variation of names used to describe the same structure. The lack of clearly determined neuropil boundaries has made it difficult to document precise locations of neuronal projections for connectomics study. To address such issues, a consortium of neurobiologists studying arthropod brains, the Insect Brain Name Working Group, has established the present hierarchical nomenclature system, using the brain of Drosophila melanogaster as the reference framework, while taking the brains of other taxa into careful consideration for maximum consistency and expandability. The following summarizes the consortium's nomenclature system and highlights examples of existing ambiguities and remedies for them. This nomenclature is intended to serve as a standard of reference for the study of the brain of Drosophila and other insects.

  9. Molecular evolutionary analyses of insect societies.

    PubMed

    Fischman, Brielle J; Woodard, S Hollis; Robinson, Gene E

    2011-06-28

    The social insects live in extraordinarily complex and cohesive societies, where many individuals sacrifice their personal reproduction to become helpers in the colony. Identifying adaptive molecular changes involved in eusocial evolution in insects is important for understanding the mechanisms underlying transitions from solitary to social living, as well as the maintenance and elaboration of social life. Here, we review recent advances made in this area of research in several insect groups: the ants, bees, wasps, and termites. Drawing from whole-genome comparisons, candidate gene approaches, and a genome-scale comparative analysis of protein-coding sequence, we highlight novel insights gained for five major biological processes: chemical signaling, brain development and function, immunity, reproduction, and metabolism and nutrition. Lastly, we make comparisons across these diverse approaches and social insect lineages and discuss potential common themes of eusocial evolution, as well as challenges and prospects for future research in the field.

  10. Molecular evolutionary analyses of insect societies

    PubMed Central

    Fischman, Brielle J.; Woodard, S. Hollis; Robinson, Gene E.

    2011-01-01

    The social insects live in extraordinarily complex and cohesive societies, where many individuals sacrifice their personal reproduction to become helpers in the colony. Identifying adaptive molecular changes involved in eusocial evolution in insects is important for understanding the mechanisms underlying transitions from solitary to social living, as well as the maintenance and elaboration of social life. Here, we review recent advances made in this area of research in several insect groups: the ants, bees, wasps, and termites. Drawing from whole-genome comparisons, candidate gene approaches, and a genome-scale comparative analysis of protein-coding sequence, we highlight novel insights gained for five major biological processes: chemical signaling, brain development and function, immunity, reproduction, and metabolism and nutrition. Lastly, we make comparisons across these diverse approaches and social insect lineages and discuss potential common themes of eusocial evolution, as well as challenges and prospects for future research in the field. PMID:21690385

  11. Biology of the CAPA peptides in insects.

    PubMed

    Predel, R; Wegener, C

    2006-11-01

    CAPA peptides have been isolated from a broad range of insect species as well as an arachnid, and can be grouped into the periviscerokinin and pyrokinin peptide families. In insects, CAPA peptides are the characteristic and most abundant neuropeptides in the abdominal neurohemal system. In many species, CAPA peptides exert potent myotropic effects on different muscles such as the heart. In others, including blood-sucking insects able to transmit serious diseases, CAPA peptides have strong diuretic or anti-diuretic effects and thus are potentially of medical importance. CAPA peptides undergo cell-type-specific sorting and packaging, and are the first insect neuropeptides shown to be differentially processed. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge on the structure, distribution, receptors and physiological actions of the CAPA peptides.

  12. Insect bites and stings

    MedlinePlus

    Bee sting; Bites - insects, bees, and spiders; Black widow spider bite; Brown recluse bite; Flea bite; Honey bee or hornet sting; Lice bites; Mite bite; Scorpion bite; Spider bite; Wasp sting; Yellow jacket ...

  13. Evolution of the Insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  14. Exploring Insect Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Damonte, Kathleen

    2005-01-01

    A fly is buzzing around in the kitchen. You sneak up on it with a flyswatter, but just as you get close to it, it flies away. What makes flies and other insects so good at escaping from danger? The fact that insects have eyesight that can easily detect moving objects is one of the things that help them survive. In this month's Science Shorts,…

  15. Corazonin in insects.

    PubMed

    Predel, Reinhard; Neupert, Susanne; Russell, William K; Scheibner, Olaf; Nachman, Ronald J

    2007-01-01

    Corazonin is a peptidergic neurohormone of insects that is expressed in neurosecretory neurons of the pars lateralis of the protocerebrum and transported via nervi corporis cardiaci to the storage lobes of the corpora cardiaca. This peptide occurs with a single isoform in all insects studied so far, with the exception of the Coleoptera in which no corazonin form could be detected. Very few modifications of [Arg(7)]-corazonin, originally isolated from cockroaches, are known, namely [His(7)]-corazonin which is expressed in certain locusts and the stick insect Carausius morosus, and [Thr(4), His(7)]-corazonin recently described from the honey bee Apis mellifera. In this study, we performed a comprehensive screening for corazonin in the different insect groups after detecting of a fourth isoform in a crane fly, Tipula sp. ([Gln(10)]-corazonin). [Arg(7)]-corazonin is distributed in most major lineages of insects, and is thus the ancient form which was present at the time the phylum Insecta evolved. The replacement of Arg with His at position 7 from the N-terminus occurred several times in the evolution of insects. The third isoform, [Thr(4), His(7)]-corazonin, seems to be restricted to bees (Apidae); whereas wasps (Vespidae) and a bumble bee (Apidae) express other corazonins, specifically [His(7)]-corazonin and [Tyr(3), Gln(7), Gln(10)]-corazonin, respectively. A novel corazonin form, [His(4), Gln(7)]-corazonin, was also detected in all South African members of the newly described insect order Mantophasmatodea. The [His(4), Gln(7)]-corazonin separates these species from the Namibian Mantophasmatodea which express [Arg(7)]-corazonin and can be used as a distinct character to distinguish these morphologically similar insects.

  16. Overview of Mosquito Research Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural & Veterinary Entomology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE), a U.S. Department of AgricultureAgricultural Research Service laboratory, was established in World War II to produce products to protect military personnel against insect vector of disease. Currently the mission of CMAVE is ...

  17. Insect--plant adaptations.

    PubMed

    Southwood, T R

    1984-01-01

    The adaptation of insects to plants probably commenced in the early Permian period, though most current associations will be more recent. A major burst of adaptation must have followed the rise of the Angiosperms in the Cretaceous period, though some particular associations are as recent as this century. Living plants form a large proportion of the potential food in most habitats, though insects have had to overcome certain general hurdles to live and feed on them. Insects affect the reproduction and survival of plants, and thus the diversity of plant secondary chemicals may have evolved as a response. Where an insect species has a significant effect on a plant species that is its only host, coevolution may be envisaged. A spectacular example is provided by Heliconius butterflies and passion flower vines, studied by L.E. Gilbert and others. But such cases may be likened to 'vortices in the evolutionary stream': most plant species are influenced by a range of phytophagous insects so that selection will be for general defences--a situation termed diffuse coevolution. Evidence is presented on recent host-plant shifts to illustrate both the restrictions and the flexibility in current insect-plant associations.

  18. Insect immunology and hematopoiesis.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Circadian organization in hemimetabolous insects.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Evolution of the teachings of chemistry in the new degrees of School of Agricultural Engineering and its importance in the acquisition of competencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arce, Augusto; Tarquis, Ana M.; Castellanos, Maria Teresa; Requejo, Maria Isabel; Cartagena, Maria Carmen

    2014-05-01

    The academic year 2012-13 is the third year of implementation of the Bologna process in ETSI Agricultural for the subjects Chemistry I and Chemistry II in the new four Degrees: Graduate in Engineering and Agricultural Science, Food Engineering Graduate, Graduate in Engineering Environmental and Biotechnology graduate. We have implemented new interactive methodologies in the teaching-learning process based on the use of the virtual platform of the UPM, and teaching support materials and new laboratory practice developing has. It has also launched new continuous assessment systems that promote active student participation. A comparative study of academic achievements by students of the new grades in the subjects of chemistry during the last three academic years was performed to correlating the results obtained, the success rate and the drop out, and compare with the level of prior knowledge to those entering students. Possible solutions to try and fix these results in future courses are proposed Finally, the general competencies that contribute this course, how they are acquired and how they should be evaluated correctly are indicated. Acknowledgments: Innovation educative projects Nº IE02054-11/12 UPM. 2012

  1. Seasonal adaptations in arctic insects.

    PubMed

    Danks, Hugh V

    2004-04-01

    Many insect species live in the arctic and show a wide range of adaptations to its extreme severity and seasonality. Long, cold winters are met, for example, by cold hardiness and choice of protected sites. Cold hardiness includes both widespread tolerance to freezing and extreme supercooling ability, as well as unusual responses in a few species, such as lack of typical cryoprotectants. Adaptations to short, cool summers include activity at low temperatures, selection of warm habitats and microhabitats, melanism and hairiness coupled with basking behaviour, and prolonged or abbreviated life cycles. Diapause ensures that many species emerge early in summer, with brief synchronized reproduction that maximizes the time for offspring development before winter returns. Some species overwinter in sites that thaw earliest in spring, even if they are relatively exposed in winter. Other adaptations respond to year-to-year variability: for example, prolonged diapause can provide insurance against unsuitable summers. All of these adaptations are co-ordinated. For example, cold hardiness relies on physiological and biochemical adaptations but also on habitat choice and timing. Because the adaptations are complex, predicted climatic warming probably will have unexpected effects. In particular, an increase in temperature that increases summer cloud when sea ice melts would likely reduce temperatures for insect development and activity, because sunshine provides critical warmth to insects and their microhabitats. Changes in moisture will also be important. Moreover, responses differ among species, depending especially on their microhabitats. The complexity of the responses of insects to arctic conditions reinforces the need for research that is sufficiently detailed.

  2. Transmission and Retention of Salmonella enterica by Phytophagous Hemipteran Insects

    PubMed Central

    Soto-Arias, José Pablo; Groves, Russell L.

    2014-01-01

    Several pest insects of human and livestock habitations are known as vectors of Salmonella enterica; however, the role of plant-feeding insects as vectors of S. enterica to agricultural crops remains unexamined. Using a hemipteran insect pest-lettuce system, we investigated the potential for transmission and retention of S. enterica. Specifically, Macrosteles quadrilineatus and Myzus persicae insects were fed S. enterica-inoculated lettuce leaf discs or artificial liquid diets confined in Parafilm sachets to allow physical contact or exclusively oral ingestion of the pathogen, respectively. After a 24-h acquisition access period, insects were moved onto two consecutive noninoculated leaf discs or liquid diets and allowed a 24-h inoculation access period on each of the two discs or sachets. Similar proportions of individuals from both species ingested S. enterica after a 24-h acquisition access period from inoculated leaf discs, but a significantly higher proportion of M. quadrilineatus retained the pathogen internally after a 48-h inoculation access period. S. enterica was also recovered from the honeydew of both species. After a 48-h inoculation access period, bacteria were recovered from a significantly higher proportion of honeydew samples from M. quadrilineatus than from M. persicae insects. The recovery of S. enterica from leaf discs and liquid diets postfeeding demonstrated that both species of insects were capable of transmitting the bacteria in ways that are not limited to mechanical transmission. Overall, these results suggest that phytophagous insects may serve as potential vectors of S. enterica in association with plants. PMID:24973069

  3. Linking energetics and overwintering in temperate insects.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Brent J

    2015-12-01

    Overwintering insects cannot feed, and energy they take into winter must therefore fuel energy demands during autumn, overwintering, warm periods prior to resumption of development in spring, and subsequent activity. Insects primarily consume lipids during winter, but may also use carbohydrate and proteins as fuel. Because they are ectotherms, the metabolic rate of insects is temperature-dependent, and the curvilinear nature of the metabolic rate-temperature relationship means that warm temperatures are disproportionately important to overwinter energy use. This energy use may be reduced physiologically, by reducing the slope or elevation of the metabolic rate-temperature relationship, or because of threshold changes, such as metabolic suppression upon freezing. Insects may also choose microhabitats or life history stages that reduce the impact of overwinter energy drain. There is considerable capacity for overwinter energy drain to affect insect survival and performance both directly (via starvation) or indirectly (for example, through a trade-off with cryoprotection), but this has not been well-explored. Likewise, the impact of overwinter energy drain on growing-season performance is not well understood. I conclude that overwinter energetics provides a useful lens through which to link physiology and ecology and winter and summer in studies of insect responses to their environment.

  4. Baculovirus-insect cell expression systems.

    PubMed

    Jarvis, Donald L

    2009-01-01

    In the early 1980s, the first-published reports of baculovirus-mediated foreign gene expression stimulated great interest in the use of baculovirus-insect cell systems for recombinant protein production. Initially, this system appeared to be the first that would be able to provide the high production levels associated with bacterial systems and the eukaryotic protein processing capabilities associated with mammalian systems. Experience and an increased understanding of basic insect cell biology have shown that these early expectations were not completely realistic. Nevertheless, baculovirus-insect cell expression systems have the capacity to produce many recombinant proteins at high levels and they also provide significant eukaryotic protein processing capabilities. Furthermore, important technological advances over the past 20 years have improved upon the original methods developed for the isolation of baculovirus expression vectors, which were inefficient, required at least some specialized expertise and, therefore, induced some frustration among those who used the original baculovirus-insect cell expression system. Today, virtually any investigator with basic molecular biology training can relatively quickly and efficiently isolate a recombinant baculovirus vector and use it to produce their favorite protein in an insect cell culture. This chapter will begin with background information on the basic baculovirus-insect cell expression system and will then focus on recent developments that have greatly facilitated the ability of an average investigator to take advantage of its attributes.

  5. Mechanics and aerodynamics of insect flight control.

    PubMed

    Taylor, G K

    2001-11-01

    Insects have evolved sophisticated fight control mechanisms permitting a remarkable range of manoeuvres. Here, I present a qualitative analysis of insect flight control from the perspective of flight mechanics, drawing upon both the neurophysiology and biomechanics literatures. The current literature does not permit a formal, quantitative analysis of flight control, because the aerodynamic force systems that biologists have measured have rarely been complete and the position of the centre of gravity has only been recorded in a few studies. Treating the two best-known insect orders (Diptera and Orthoptera) separately from other insects, I discuss the control mechanisms of different insects in detail. Recent experimental studies suggest that the helicopter model of flight control proposed for Drosophila spp. may be better thought of as a facultative strategy for flight control, rather than the fixed (albeit selected) constraint that it is usually interpreted to be. On the other hand, the so-called 'constant-lift reaction' of locusts appears not to be a reflex for maintaining constant lift at varying angles of attack, as is usually assumed, but rather a mechanism to restore the insect to pitch equilibrium following a disturbance. Differences in the kinematic control mechanisms used by the various insect orders are related to differences in the arrangement of the wings, the construction of the flight motor and the unsteady mechanisms of lift production that are used. Since the evolution of insect flight control is likely to have paralleled the evolutionary refinement of these unsteady aerodynamic mechanisms, taxonomic differences in the kinematics of control could provide an assay of the relative importance of different unsteady mechanisms. Although the control kinematics vary widely between orders, the number of degrees of freedom that different insects can control will always be limited by the number of independent control inputs that they use. Control of the moments

  6. Insect pest management in forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlsten, Donald L.; Rowney, David L.

    1983-01-01

    Understanding the role of insects in forest ecosystems is vital to the development of environmentally and economically sound pest management strategies in forestry Most of the research on forest insects has been confined to phytophagous species associated with economically important tree species The roles of most other insects in forest environments have generally been ignored, including the natural enemies and associates of phytophagous species identified as being important In the past few years several investigations have begun to reevaluate the role of phytophagous species responsible for perturbation in forest ecosystems, and it appears that these species may be playing an important role in the primary productivity of those ecosystems Also, there is an increasing awareness that forest pest managers have been treating the symptoms and not the causes of the problems in the forest Many insect problems are associated with poor sites or sites where trees are growing poorly because of crowding As a result, there is considerable emphasis on the hazard rating of stands of trees for their susceptibility to various phytophagous insects The next step is to manipulate forest stands to make them less susceptible to forest pest complexes A thinning study in California is used as an example and shows that tree mortality in ponderosa pine ( Pinus ponderosa) attributable to the western pine beetle ( Dendroctonus brevicomis) can be reduced by commercial thinning to reduce stocking

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Behavioral Immunity in Insects

    PubMed Central

    de Roode, Jacobus C.; Lefèvre, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Parasites can dramatically reduce the fitness of their hosts, and natural selection should favor defense mechanisms that can protect hosts against disease. Much work has focused on understanding genetic and physiological immunity against parasites, but hosts can also use behaviors to avoid infection, reduce parasite growth or alleviate disease symptoms. It is increasingly recognized that such behaviors are common in insects, providing strong protection against parasites and parasitoids. We review the current evidence for behavioral immunity in insects, present a framework for investigating such behavior, and emphasize that behavioral immunity may act through indirect rather than direct fitness benefits. We also discuss the implications for host-parasite co-evolution, local adaptation, and the evolution of non-behavioral physiological immune systems. Finally, we argue that the study of behavioral immunity in insects has much to offer for investigations in vertebrates, in which this topic has traditionally been studied. PMID:26466629

  9. Milkweed: A resource for increasing stink bug parasitism and aiding insect pollinator and monarch butterfly conservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The flowers of milkweed species can produce a rich supply of nectar, and therefore, planting an insecticide-free milkweed habitat in agricultural farmscapes could possibly conserve monarch butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators, as well as enhance parasitism of insect pests. In peanut-cotton...

  10. Flight stability analysis under changes in insect morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noest, Robert; Wang, Z. Jane

    2015-11-01

    Insect have an amazing ability to control their flight, being able to perform both fast aerial maneuvers and stable hovering. The insect's neural system has developed various mechanism by which it can control these flying feats, but we expect that insect morphology is equally important in facilitating the aerial control. We perform a computational study using a quasi-steady instantaneous flapping flight model which allows us to freely adapt the insect's morphological parameters. We picked a fruit fly as the basis for the body shape and wing motion, and study the effect of changes to the morphology for a range of wing stroke amplitudes. In each case we determine the periodic flight mode, with the period equal to a single wing beat, and do a Floquet stability analysis of the flight. To interpret our results we will compare the changed morphology to related insects. We discuss the implications of the insects location on the stability diagram.

  11. Chirosurveillance: The use of native bats to detect invasive agricultural pests

    PubMed Central

    Maslo, Brooke; Valentin, Rafael; Leu, Karen; Kerwin, Kathleen; Hamilton, George C.; Bevan, Amanda; Fefferman, Nina H.; Fonseca, Dina M.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive insect pests cost the agricultural industry billions of dollars annually in crop losses. Timely detection of pests is critical for management efficiency. Innovative pest detection strategies, such as environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques, combined with efficient predators, maximize sampling resolution across space and time and may improve surveillance. We tested the hypothesis that temperate insectivorous bats can be important sentinels of agricultural insect pest surveillance. Specifically, we used a new high-sensitivity molecular assay for invasive brown marmorated stink bugs (Halyomorpha halys) to examine the extent to which big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) detect agricultural pests in the landscape. We documented consistent seasonal predation of stink bugs by big brown bats. Importantly, bats detected brown marmorated stink bugs 3–4 weeks earlier than the current standard monitoring tool, blacklight traps, across all sites. We highlight here the previously unrecognized potential ecosystem service of bats as agents of pest surveillance (or chirosurveillance). Additional studies examining interactions between other bat and insect pest species, coupled with comparisons of detectability among various conventional monitoring methods, are needed to verify the patterns extracted from this study. Ultimately, robust economic analyses will be needed to assess the cost-effectiveness of chirosurveillance as a standard strategy for integrated pest management. PMID:28355216

  12. Cognition in insects

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    A traditional view of cognition is that it involves an internal process that represents, tracks or predicts an external process. This is not a general characteristic of all complex neural processing or feedback control, but rather implies specific forms of processing giving rise to specific behavioural capabilities. In this paper, I will review the evidence for such capabilities in insect navigation and learning. Do insects know where they are, or do they only know what to do? Do they learn what stimuli mean, or do they only learn how to behave? PMID:22927570

  13. Insect Repellents: Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... 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 ...

  14. Phylogenetic analyses of RPB1 and RPB2 support a middle Cretaceous origin for a clade comprising all agriculturally and medically important fusaria

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fusarium (Hypocreales, Nectriaceae) is one of the most economically important and systematically challenging groups of mycotoxigenic phytopathogens and emergent human pathogens. We conducted maximum likelihood (ML), maximum parsimony (MP) and Bayesian (B) analyses on partial RNA polymerase largest (...

  15. Insect cell culture in reagent bottles.

    PubMed

    Rieffel, S; Roest, S; Klopp, J; Carnal, S; Marti, S; Gerhartz, B; Shrestha, B

    2014-01-01

    Growing insect cells with high air space in culture vessel is common from the early development of suspension cell culture. We believed and followed it with the hope that it allows sufficient air for optimal cell growth. However, we missed to identify how much air exactly cells need for its growth and multiplication. Here we present the innovative method that changed the way we run insect cell culture. The method is easy to adapt, cost-effective and useful for both academic and industrial research labs. We believe this method will revolutionize the way we run insect cell culture by increasing throughput in a cost-effective way. In our study we identified:•Insect cells need to be in suspension; air space in culture vessel and type of culture vessel is of less importance. Shaking condition that introduces small air bubbles and maintains it in suspension for longer time provides better oxygen transfer in liquid. For this, high-fill volume in combination with speed and shaking diameter are important.•Commercially available insect cells are not fragile as original isolates. These cells can easily withstand higher shaking speed.•Growth condition in particular lab set-up needs to be optimized. The condition used in one lab may not be optimum for another lab due to different incubators from different vendors.

  16. Viruses of commercialized insect pollinators.

    PubMed

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2016-08-03

    Managed insect pollinators are indispensable in modern agriculture. They are used worldwide not only in the open field but also in greenhouses to enhance fruit set, seed production, and crop yield. Managed honey bee (Apis mellifera, Apis cerana) colonies provide the majority of commercial pollination although other members of the superfamily Apoidea are also exploited and commercialized as managed pollinators. In the recent past, it became more and more evident that viral diseases play a key role in devastating honey bee colony losses and it was also recognized that many viruses originally thought to be honey bee specific can also be detected in other pollinating insects. However, while research on viruses infecting honey bees started more than 50years ago and the knowledge on these viruses is growing ever since, little is known on virus diseases of other pollinating bee species. Recent virus surveys suggested that many of the viruses thought to be honey bee specific are actually circulating in the pollinator community and that pollinator management and commercialization of pollinators provide ample opportunity for viral diseases to spread. However, the direction of disease transmission is not always clear and the impact of these viral diseases on the different hosts remains elusive in many cases. With our review we want to provide an up-to-date overview on the viruses detected in different commercialized pollinators in order to encourage research in the field of pollinator virology that goes beyond molecular detection of viruses. A deeper understanding of this field of virology is urgently needed to be able to evaluate the impact of viruses on pollinator health and the role of different pollinators in spreading viral diseases and to be able to decide on appropriate measures to prevent virus-driven pollinator decline.

  17. Symbiotic microorganisms: untapped resources for insect pest control.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Angela E

    2007-08-01

    Symbiotic microorganisms offer one route to meet the anticipated heightened demand for novel insect pest management strategies created by growing human populations and global climate change. Two approaches have particular potential: the disruption of microbial symbionts required by insect pests, and manipulation of microorganisms with major impacts on insect traits contributing to their pest status (e.g. capacity to vector diseases, natural enemy resistance). Specific research priorities addressed in this article include identification of molecular targets against which highly specific antagonists can be designed or discovered, and management strategies to manipulate the incidence and properties of facultative microorganisms that influence insect pest traits. Collaboration with practitioners in pest management will ensure that the research agenda is married to agricultural and public health needs.

  18. Destructive and Useful Insects in Sweetpotato Breeding Nurseries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sweetpotato polycross nurseries depend on natural pollination by bees and other insects. Unpollinated flowers dehise and do not produce seeds, thus it is important to protect natural bee populations in ensure maximum seed production. There are several other insect species that frequent sweetpotato...

  19. A computer model of insect traps in a landscape

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Attractant-based trap networks are important elements of invasive insect detection, pest control, and basic research programs. We present a landscape-level spatially explicit model of trap networks that incorporates variable attractiveness of traps and a movement model for insect dispersion. We desc...

  20. Causes and effective management of insect bites in the UK.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Marion

    Insects play an important role in maintaining the world's ecosystem (Zhu and Stiller, 2002) but many of them feed on other animals. Humans are relatively hairless and provide an easy target, especially when partly clothed (Cohn, 2003). Biting insects common to the UK include midges, gnats, mosquitoes, flies, fleas, lice, mites, ticks, and bedbugs (Fig 1).

  1. Minute bug with enormous impacts on insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Minute pirate bugs (Orius spp.) are common and abundant insect predators that can be found in cotton and many other field crops in Arizona and the western U.S. They are important predators of a variety of insect and mite pests in western crops and can help to suppress pest populations and thus cont...

  2. Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that specialty crops are a vital part of agriculture in the United States, that the Committee on Agriculture should propose funding for programs that support specialty crops priorities, and that legislation should be passed that includes funding reflecting specialty crops as a growing and important part of United States agriculture.

    THOMAS, 113th Congress

    Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1

    2013-04-25

    05/03/2013 Referred to the Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture. (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  3. Laser system for identification, tracking, and control of flying insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flying insects are common vectors for transmission of pathogens and inflict significant harm on humans in large parts of the developing world. Besides the direct impact to humans, these pathogens also cause harm to crops and result in agricultural losses. Here, we present a laser-based system that c...

  4. Continuous evolution of B. thuringiensis toxins overcomes insect resistance

    PubMed Central

    Badran, Ahmed H.; Guzov, Victor M.; Huai, Qing; Kemp, Melissa M.; Vishwanath, Prashanth; Kain, Wendy; Nance, Autumn M.; Evdokimov, Artem; Moshiri, Farhad; Turner, Keith H.; Wang, Ping; Malvar, Thomas; Liu, David R.

    2016-01-01

    The Bacillus thuringiensis δ-endotoxins (Bt toxins) are widely used insecticidal proteins in engineered crops that provide agricultural, economic, and environmental benefits. The development of insect resistance to Bt toxins endangers their long-term effectiveness. We developed a phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE) selection that rapidly evolves high-affinity protein-protein interactions, and applied this system to evolve variants of the Bt toxin Cry1Ac that bind a cadherin-like receptor from the insect pest Trichoplusia ni (TnCAD) that is not natively targeted by wild-type Cry1Ac. The resulting evolved Cry1Ac variants bind TnCAD with high affinity (Kd = 11–41 nM), kill TnCAD-expressing insect cells that are not susceptible to wild-type Cry1Ac, and kill Cry1Ac-resistant T. ni insects up to 335-fold more potently than wild-type Cry1Ac. Our findings establish that the evolution of Bt toxins with novel insect cell receptor affinity can overcome Bt toxin resistance in insects and confer lethality approaching that of the wild-type Bt toxin against non-resistant insects. PMID:27120167

  5. Continuous evolution of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins overcomes insect resistance.

    PubMed

    Badran, Ahmed H; Guzov, Victor M; Huai, Qing; Kemp, Melissa M; Vishwanath, Prashanth; Kain, Wendy; Nance, Autumn M; Evdokimov, Artem; Moshiri, Farhad; Turner, Keith H; Wang, Ping; Malvar, Thomas; Liu, David R

    2016-05-05

    The Bacillus thuringiensis δ-endotoxins (Bt toxins) are widely used insecticidal proteins in engineered crops that provide agricultural, economic, and environmental benefits. The development of insect resistance to Bt toxins endangers their long-term effectiveness. Here we have developed a phage-assisted continuous evolution selection that rapidly evolves high-affinity protein-protein interactions, and applied this system to evolve variants of the Bt toxin Cry1Ac that bind a cadherin-like receptor from the insect pest Trichoplusia ni (TnCAD) that is not natively bound by wild-type Cry1Ac. The resulting evolved Cry1Ac variants bind TnCAD with high affinity (dissociation constant Kd = 11-41 nM), kill TnCAD-expressing insect cells that are not susceptible to wild-type Cry1Ac, and kill Cry1Ac-resistant T. ni insects up to 335-fold more potently than wild-type Cry1Ac. Our findings establish that the evolution of Bt toxins with novel insect cell receptor affinity can overcome insect Bt toxin resistance and confer lethality approaching that of the wild-type Bt toxin against non-resistant insects.

  6. Dispersal of forest insects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  7. Recycled Insect Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rule, Audrey C.; Meyer, Mary Ann

    2007-01-01

    This article presents an engaging activity in which high school students use a dichotomous key to guide the creation and classification of model insects from recycled plastic lids and containers. Besides teaching the use of a dichotomous key and the effect of evolutionary descent upon groupings of organisms, this activity focuses on an…

  8. Insect mass production technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insects provide a very promising alternative for the future production of animal protein. Their nutritional value in conjunction with their food conversion efficiency and low water requirements, make them a more sustainable choice for the production of food and animal origin. However, to realize the...

  9. Colour constancy in insects.

    PubMed

    Chittka, Lars; Faruq, Samia; Skorupski, Peter; Werner, Annette

    2014-06-01

    Colour constancy is the perceptual phenomenon that the colour of an object appears largely unchanged, even if the spectral composition of the illuminating light changes. Colour constancy has been found in all insect species so far tested. Especially the pollinating insects offer a remarkable opportunity to study the ecological significance of colour constancy since they spend much of their adult lives identifying and choosing between colour targets (flowers) under continuously changing ambient lighting conditions. In bees, whose colour vision is best studied among the insects, the compensation provided by colour constancy is only partial and its efficiency depends on the area of colour space. There is no evidence for complete 'discounting' of the illuminant in bees, and the spectral composition of the light can itself be used as adaptive information. In patchy illumination, bees adjust their spatial foraging to minimise transitions between variously illuminated zones. Modelling allows the quantification of the adaptive benefits of various colour constancy mechanisms in the economy of nature. We also discuss the neural mechanisms and cognitive operations that might underpin colour constancy in insects.

  10. Cotton insect pest management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cotton production is challenged worldwide by a diversity of arthropod pests that require management to prevent or reduce crop damage. Advances in arthropod control technologies and improved insect and crop management systems have dramatically reduced levels of arthropod damage and the need for inse...

  11. Insects. Thematic Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gosnell, Kathee

    This book is a captivating whole-language thematic unit about the study of insects, relating it to our understanding of the past and our hopes for using our knowledge in the present to balance the ecosystem in the future. It contains a wide variety of lesson ideas and reproducible pages designed for use with intermediate students. At its core,…

  12. People and Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NatureScope, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Provides: (1) background information on how insects affect human lives, both positively and negatively, and on integrated pest management strategies; (2) student activities; and (3) materials (ready-to-copy games, puzzles, coloring pages, worksheets, and/or mazes). Each activity includes an objective, recommended age level(s), subject area(s),…

  13. Investigation--Insects!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

  14. Corn insect pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historically, the major corn insect pests in South Dakota have been the larvae of corn rootworms (northern and western), European corn borer, and black cutworm. Bt-corn hybrids are effective against most of these pests. However, there are also minor or sporadic pests of corn in South Dakota includin...

  15. Fluorescence in insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welch, Victoria L.; Van Hooijdonk, Eloise; Intrater, Nurit; Vigneron, Jean-Pol

    2012-10-01

    Fluorescent molecules are much in demand for biosensors, solar cells, LEDs and VCSEL diodes, therefore, considerable efforts have been expended in designing and tailoring fluorescence to specific technical applications. However, naturally occurring fluorescence of diverse types has been reported from a wide array of living organisms: most famously, the jellyfish Aequorea victoria, but also in over 100 species of coral and in the cuticle of scorpions, where it is the rule, rather than the exception. Despite the plethora of known insect species, comparatively few quantitative studies have been made of insect fluorescence. Because of the potential applications of natural fluorescence, studies in this field have relevance to both physics and biology. Therefore, in this paper, we review the literature on insect fluorescence, before documenting its occurrence in the longhorn beetles Sternotomis virescens, Sternotomis variabilis var. semi rufescens, Anoplophora elegans and Stellognatha maculata, the tiger beetles Cicindela maritima and Cicindela germanica and the weevil Pachyrrhynchus gemmatus purpureus. Optical features of insect fluorescence, including emitted wavelength, molecular ageing and naturally occurring combinations of fluorescence with bioluminescence and colour-producing structures are discussed.

  16. Grassland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in grassland environments is facing multiple stresses from: shifting demographics, declining and fragmented agricultural landscapes, declining environmental quality, variable and changing climate, volatile and increasing energy costs, marginal economic returns, and globalization. Degrad...

  17. Radar cross section of insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, J. R.

    1985-02-01

    X-band measurements of radar cross section as a function of the angle between insect body axis and the plane of polarization are presented. A finding of particular interest is that in larger insects, maximum cross section occurs when the E-vector is perpendicular to the body axis. A new range of measurements on small insects (aphids, and planthoppers) is also described, and a comprehensive summary of insect cross-section data at X-band is given.

  18. Land-use history alters contemporary insect herbivore community composition and decouples plant-herbivore relationships.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Philip G; Orrock, John L

    2015-05-01

    Past land use can create altered soil conditions and plant communities that persist for decades, although the effects of these altered conditions on consumers are rarely investigated. Using a large-scale field study at 36 sites in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands, we examined whether historic agricultural land use leads to differences in the abundance and community composition of insect herbivores (grasshoppers, families Acrididae and Tettigoniidae). We measured the cover of six plant functional groups and several environmental variables to determine whether historic agricultural land use affects the relationships between plant cover or environmental conditions and grasshopper assemblages. Land-use history had taxa-specific effects and interacted with herbaceous plant cover to alter grasshopper abundances, leading to significant changes in community composition. Abundance of most grasshopper taxa increased with herbaceous cover in woodlands with no history of agriculture, but there was no relationship in post-agricultural woodlands. We also found that grasshopper abundance was negatively correlated with leaf litter cover. Soil hardness was greater in post-agricultural sites (i.e. more compacted) and was associated with grasshopper community composition. Both herbaceous cover and leaf litter cover are influenced by fire frequency, suggesting a potential indirect role of fire on grasshopper assemblages. Our results demonstrate that historic land use may create persistent differences in the composition of grasshopper assemblages, while contemporary disturbances (e.g. prescribed fire) may be important for determining the abundance of grasshoppers, largely through the effect of fire on plants and leaf litter. Therefore, our results suggest that changes in the contemporary management regimes (e.g. increasing prescribed fire) may not be sufficient to shift the structure of grasshopper communities in post-agricultural sites towards communities in non-agricultural

  19. Agriculture in the Midwest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in the Midwest United States (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) represents one of the most intense areas of agriculture in the world. This area is not only critically important for the United States, but also for world exports of grain and meat for the Un...

  20. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts.

  1. Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects

    MedlinePlus

    ... 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 ...

  2. Organic farming favours insect-pollinated over non-insect pollinated forbs in meadows and wheat fields.

    PubMed

    Batáry, Péter; Sutcliffe, Laura; Dormann, Carsten F; Tscharntke, Teja

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the relative effects of landscape-scale management intensity, local management intensity and edge effect on diversity patterns of insect-pollinated vs. non-insect pollinated forbs in meadows and wheat fields. Nine landscapes were selected differing in percent intensively used agricultural area (IAA), each with a pair of organic and conventional winter wheat fields and a pair of organic and conventional meadows. Within fields, forbs were surveyed at the edge and in the interior. Both diversity and cover of forbs were positively affected by organic management in meadows and wheat fields. This effect, however, differed significantly between pollination types for species richness in both agroecosystem types (i.e. wheat fields and meadows) and for cover in meadows. Thus, we show for the first time in a comprehensive analysis that insect-pollinated plants benefit more from organic management than non-insect pollinated plants regardless of agroecosystem type and landscape complexity. These benefits were more pronounced in meadows than wheat fields. Finally, the community composition of insect-pollinated and non-insect-pollinated forbs differed considerably between management types. In summary, our findings in both agroecosystem types indicate that organic management generally supports a higher species richness and cover of insect-pollinated plants, which is likely to be favourable for the density and diversity of bees and other pollinators.

  3. Association of N2-fixing Cyanobacteria and Plants: Towards Novel Symbioses of Agricultural Importance. Final report, 1 April 1996 to 31 May 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Gantar, Miroslav

    1999-03-01

    The goal of this project is to characterize an association that takes place between the roots of wheat and the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Nostoc 2S9. By understanding how the association takes place and the extent to which it permits the growth of the plant without exogenous nitrogenous fertilizer, it may prove possible to increase the benefits of the association and to extend them to other plants of agrinomic importance.

  4. Insect vision as model for machine vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osorio, D.; Sobey, Peter J.

    1992-11-01

    The neural architecture, neurophysiology and behavioral abilities of insect vision are described, and compared with that of mammals. Insects have a hardwired neural architecture of highly differentiated neurons, quite different from the cerebral cortex, yet their behavioral abilities are in important respects similar to those of mammals. These observations challenge the view that the key to the power of biological neural computation is distributed processing by a plastic, highly interconnected, network of individually undifferentiated and unreliable neurons that has been a dominant picture of biological computation since Pitts and McCulloch's seminal work in the 1940's.

  5. Insects: Little Things That Run the World

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tilley, Luke

    2014-01-01

    Insects are easily the most abundant and diverse group of animals, with over 24,000 species in the UK alone. They can be found in almost every habitat on Earth and are fundamentally important to ecology, conservation, food production, animal and human health, and biodiversity. They are a prominent feature of almost every food web in the UK and…

  6. Almond Production Manual Chapter: Insects and Mites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker), is the most important insect pest of almond in California and can cost as much as $500 dollars per acre to control when the costs of insecticides and sanitation are included. It is a native of the southwestern United States and Mexico and was firs...

  7. Insect Control (II): Hormones and Viruses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marx, Jean L.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses research in the use of hormones and viruses to control insect populations. Although entomologists do not think that pheromones, hormones, and viruses will completely replace more conventional chemical insecticides, they will become increasingly important and will reduce our dependence on traditional insecticides. (JR)

  8. Acoustic Detection of Insects in Palm Trees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Commercial-crop and ornamental palm trees serve important functions in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and considerable precautions are taken each year to identify and control infestations of a variety of different insect pests. Large weevils, including the red palm weevil and the co...

  9. Development of Baits for Insect Control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article outlines the importance of baits. Baits are formulations that can be used to deliver a toxic chemical or a pathogen (active agent) via ingestion to an insect pest with the goal of killing it. A bait formulations consist of a bait matrix which is the carrier for an active agent. The bait...

  10. OMIGA: Optimized Maker-Based Insect Genome Annotation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jinding; Xiao, Huamei; Huang, Shuiqing; Li, Fei

    2014-08-01

    Insects are one of the largest classes of animals on Earth and constitute more than half of all living species. The i5k initiative has begun sequencing of more than 5,000 insect genomes, which should greatly help in exploring insect resource and pest control. Insect genome annotation remains challenging because many insects have high levels of heterozygosity. To improve the quality of insect genome annotation, we developed a pipeline, named Optimized Maker-Based Insect Genome Annotation (OMIGA), to predict protein-coding genes from insect genomes. We first mapped RNA-Seq reads to genomic scaffolds to determine transcribed regions using Bowtie, and the putative transcripts were assembled using Cufflink. We then selected highly reliable transcripts with intact coding sequences to train de novo gene prediction software, including Augustus. The re-trained software was used to predict genes from insect genomes. Exonerate was used to refine gene structure and to determine near exact exon/intron boundary in the genome. Finally, we used the software Maker to integrate data from RNA-Seq, de novo gene prediction, and protein alignment to produce an official gene set. The OMIGA pipeline was used to annotate the draft genome of an important insect pest, Chilo suppressalis, yielding 12,548 genes. Different strategies were compared, which demonstrated that OMIGA had the best performance. In summary, we present a comprehensive pipeline for identifying genes in insect genomes that can be widely used to improve the annotation quality in insects. OMIGA is provided at http://ento.njau.edu.cn/omiga.html .

  11. Tyrosine metabolic enzymes from insects and mammals: a comparative perspective.

    PubMed

    Vavricka, Christopher John; Han, Qian; Mehere, Prajwalini; Ding, Haizhen; Christensen, Bruce M; Li, Jianyong

    2014-02-01

    Differences in the metabolism of tyrosine between insects and mammals present an interesting example of molecular evolution. Both insects and mammals possess fine-tuned systems of enzymes to meet their specific demands for tyrosine metabolites; however, more homologous enzymes involved in tyrosine metabolism have emerged in many insect species. Without knowledge of modern genomics, one might suppose that mammals, which are generally more complex than insects and require tyrosine as a precursor for important catecholamine neurotransmitters and for melanin, should possess more enzymes to control tyrosine metabolism. Therefore, the question of why insects actually possess more tyrosine metabolic enzymes is quite interesting. It has long been known that insects rely heavily on tyrosine metabolism for cuticle hardening and for innate immune responses, and these evolutionary constraints are likely the key answers to this question. In terms of melanogenesis, mammals also possess a high level of regulation; yet mammalian systems possess more mechanisms for detoxification whereas insects accelerate pathways like melanogenesis and therefore must bear increased oxidative pressure. Our research group has had the opportunity to characterize the structure and function of many key proteins involved in tyrosine metabolism from both insects and mammals. In this mini review we will give a brief overview of our research on tyrosine metabolic enzymes in the scope of an evolutionary perspective of mammals in comparison to insects.

  12. Evaluating insect-microbiomes at the plant-insect interface.

    PubMed

    Casteel, Clare L; Hansen, Allison K

    2014-07-01

    Plants recognize biotic challengers and respond with the appropriate defense by utilizing phytohormone signaling and crosstalk. Despite this, microbes and insects have evolved mechanisms that compromise the plant surveillance system and specific defenses, thus ensuring successful colonization. In nature, plants do not experience insect herbivores and microbes in isolation, but in combination. Over time, relationships have developed between insects and microbes, varying on a continuum from no-relationship to obligate relationships that are required for both organisms to survive. While many reviews have examined plant-insect and plant-microbe interactions and the mechanisms of plant defense, few have considered the interface where microbes and insects may overlap, and synergies may develop. In this review, we critically evaluate the requirements for insect-associated microbes to develop synergistic relationships with their hosts, and we mechanistically discuss how some of these insect-associated microbes can target or modify host plant defenses. Finally, by using bioinformatics and the recent literature, we review evidence for synergies in insect-microbe relationships at the interface of plant-insect defenses. Insect-associated microbes can influence host-plant detection and/or signaling through phytohormone synthesis, conserved microbial patterns, and effectors, however, microbes associated with insects must be maintained in the environment and located in opportunistic positions.

  13. Multilocus phylogeny reveals an association of agriculturally important Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC) 11, and clinically important FSSC 5 and FSSC 3 + 4 with soybean roots in the north central United States.

    PubMed

    Chitrampalam, P; Nelson, B

    2016-02-01

    The Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC) includes important root pathogens of soybean in the United States, but the evolutionary lineages associated with soybean root rot are unknown. A multilocus phylogeny based on 93 isolates from soybean and pea roots from North Dakota and Minnesota revealed that root rot was associated with three known phylogenetic species, FSSC 3 + 4 (=Fusarium falciforme) (3 % of isolates), FSSC 5 (60 %), FSSC 11 (34 %), and one unknown species, FSSC X (2 %). Of these species FSSC 5 and FSSC 3 + 4 are clinically important while FSSC 11 is a plant pathogen. Isolates from FSSC 11 were pathogenic on soybean, dry bean, pea and lentil, and did not grow at 37 °C. However, isolates from FSSC 5 were weakly to non-pathogenic, but grew at 37 °C. Isolates from both FSSC 5 and FSSC 11 were highly resistant to fludioxonil in vitro. This is the first study revealing the pathogenic robustness of FSSC 11 in causing root rot among Fabaceae crops and also the association of clinically important members of the FSSC with roots of a widely grown field crop in the United States.

  14. Detrimental and neutral effects of a wild grass-fungal endophyte symbiotum on insect preference and performance.

    PubMed

    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 than one insect species. This study quantified the preference and performance of the bird cherry oat-aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and the cereal leaf beetle, Oulema melanopus (L.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), two important pests of forage and cereal grasses, on Neotyphodium-infected (E+) and uninfected (E-) plants of the wild grass Alpine timothy, Phleum alpinum L. (Poales: Poaceae). The experiments tested for both constitutive and wound-induced resistance in E+ plants to characterize possible plasticity of defense responses by a wild E+ grass. The aphid, R. padi preferred E- over E+ test plants in choice experiments and E+ undamaged test plants constitutively expressed antibiosis resistance to this aphid by suppressing population growth. Prior damage of E+ test plants did not induce higher levels of resistance to R. padi. By contrast, the beetle, O. melanopus showed no preference for E+ or E- test plants and endophyte infection did not adversely affect the survival and development of larvae. These results extend the phenomenon of variable effects of E+ wild grasses on the preference and performance of phytophagous insects. The wild grass- Neotyphodium symbiotum in this study broadens the number of wild E+ grasses available for expanded explorations into the effects of endophyte metabolites on insect herbivory.

  15. Agricultural fields, Khartoum, Sudan, Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This herringbone pattern of irrigated agricultural fields near Khartoum, Sudan (14.5N, 33.5E) is very distinctive in both size and shape. The region contains thousands of these rectangular fields bounded by canals which carry water from both the White and Blue Nile Rivers. A crop rotation system is used so that some fields are in cotton, millit, sorghum or fallow to conserve moisture and control weeds and insects. See also STS049-96-003.

  16. The rapidly changing landscape of insect phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Maddison, David R

    2016-12-01

    Insect phylogenetics is being profoundly changed by many innovations. Although rapid developments in genomics have center stage, key progress has been made in phenomics, field and museum science, digital databases and pipelines, analytical tools, and the culture of science. The importance of these methodological and cultural changes to the pace of inference of the hexapod Tree of Life is discussed. The innovations have the potential, when synthesized and mobilized in ways as yet unforeseen, to shine light on the million or more clades in insects, and infer their composition with confidence. There are many challenges to overcome before insects can enter the 'phylocognisant age', but because of the promise of genomics, phenomics, and informatics, that is now an imaginable future.

  17. Epigenetic code and insect behavioural plasticity.

    PubMed

    Maleszka, Ryszard

    2016-06-01

    Although the nature of the genetic control of adaptive behaviours in insects is a major unresolved problem it is now understood that epigenetic mechanisms, bound by genetic constraints, are prime drivers of brain plasticity arising from both developmental and experience-dependent events. With the recent advancements in methylomics and emerging analyses of histones and non-protein-coding RNAs, insect epigenetics is well positioned to ask more direct questions and importantly, address them experimentally. To achieve rapid progress, insect epigenetics needs to focus on mechanistic explanations of epigenomic dynamics and move beyond low-depth genome-wide analyses to cell-type specific epigenomics. One topic of a high priority is the impact of sequence variants on generating differential methylation patterns and their contribution to behavioural plasticity.

  18. The Composite Insect Trap: An Innovative Combination Trap for Biologically Diverse Sampling

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Laura; Stehouwer, Rachel; Heberling, Jacob Mason; Shea, Katriona

    2011-01-01

    Documentation of insect diversity is an important component of the study of biodiversity, community dynamics, and global change. Accurate identification of insects usually requires catching individuals for close inspection. However, because insects are so diverse, most trapping methods are specifically tailored to a particular taxonomic group. For scientists interested in the broadest possible spectrum of insect taxa, whether for long term monitoring of an ecosystem or for a species inventory, the use of several different trapping methods is usually necessary. We describe a novel composite method for capturing a diverse spectrum of insect taxa. The Composite Insect Trap incorporates elements from four different existing trapping methods: the cone trap, malaise trap, pan trap, and flight intercept trap. It is affordable, resistant, easy to assemble and disassemble, and collects a wide variety of insect taxa. Here we describe the design, construction, and effectiveness of the Composite Insect Trap tested during a study of insect diversity. The trap catches a broad array of insects and can eliminate the need to use multiple trap types in biodiversity studies. We propose that the Composite Insect Trap is a useful addition to the trapping methods currently available to ecologists and will be extremely effective for monitoring community level dynamics, biodiversity assessment, and conservation and restoration work. In addition, the Composite Insect Trap will be of use to other insect specialists, such as taxonomists, that are interested in describing the insect taxa in a given area. PMID:21698160

  19. Make your trappings count: The mathematics of pest insect monitoring. Comment on “Multiscale approach to pest insect monitoring: Random walks, pattern formation, synchronization, and networks” by Petrovskii et al.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blasius, Bernd

    2014-09-01

    Since the beginnings of agriculture the production of crops is characterized by an ongoing battle between farmers and pests [1]. Already during biblical times swarms of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, were known as major pest that can devour a field of corn within an hour. Even today, harmful organisms have the potential to threaten food production worldwide. It is estimated that about 37% of all potential crops are destroyed by pests. Harmful insects alone destroy 13%, causing financial losses in the agricultural industry of millions of dollars each year [2-4]. These numbers emphasize the importance of pest insect monitoring as a crucial step of integrated pest management [1]. The main approach to gain information about infestation levels is based on trapping, which leads to the question of how to extrapolate the sparse population counts at singularly disposed traps to a spatial representation of the pest species distribution. In their review Petrovskii et al. provide a mathematical framework to tackle this problem [5]. Their analysis reveals that this seemingly inconspicuous problem gives rise to surprisingly deep mathematical challenges that touch several modern contemporary concepts of statistical physics and complex systems theory. The review does not aim for a collection of numerical recipes to support crop growers in the analysis of their trapping data. Instead the review identifies the relevant biological and physical processes that are involved in pest insect monitoring and it presents the mathematical techniques that are required to capture these processes.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Problems associated with the use of chemicals by agricultural workers.

    PubMed

    Baloch, U K

    1985-01-01

    The agricultural productivity in Pakistan is hampered by insects, diseases, and weeds, which are reported causing losses ranging up to 50%, estimated at a total value of over 900 million U.S. dollars. The use of pesticides in Pakistan started in 1954 with 254 metric tons of formulation, increasing to the level of 16,226 metric tons in 1976-77. Since the import and use of pesticides was in the public sector, the promulgation of the Agricultural Pesticides Ordinance was delayed to 1971 and the Rules to 1973. Under these Rules exist provisions necessary for the registration, marketing, and safe use of pesticides. Through the Agricultural Pesticides Technical Advisory Committee consisting of members drawn from the various Federal and Provincial agencies relevant to the subject, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Cooperatives, Government of Pakistan, is responsible for its implementation, but no regular agency for monitoring the implementation of the Rules exists. The extent of health hazards to agricultural workers as a result of exposure to pesticides, among other things, depends on the socioeconomic and educational background of their society, the local laws governing registration, and the scientific and regulatory institutional setup of the country. The above factors, of particular relevance to Pakistan, are discussed.

  2. Post-harvest entomology research in the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service.

    PubMed

    Throne, James E; Hallman, Guy J; Johnson, Judy A; Follett, Peter A

    2003-01-01

    This is a review of current post-harvest entomology research conducted by the Agricultural Research Service, the research branch of the US Department of Agriculture. The review covers both durable and perishable commodities. Research on biochemistry, genetics, physiology, monitoring and control of insects infesting stored grain, dried fruits and nuts, and processed commodities is reviewed. Research on development of quarantine treatments, particularly for fruit flies, is also reviewed, including research on thermal and irradiation treatments and a discussion of risk management for quarantine pests. Two areas of research are covered more extensively: a project to map the genome of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, and the use of near-infrared spectroscopy for detection of hidden infestations in grain, quantification of insect fragments in food, determination of quality in dried fruits, identification of insect species and age-grading insects. Future research directions are identified.

  3. Allergenicity Assessment of Allium sativum Leaf Agglutinin, a Potential Candidate Protein for Developing Sap Sucking Insect Resistant Food Crops

    PubMed Central

    Mondal, Hossain Ali; Chakraborti, Dipankar; Majumder, Pralay; Roy, Pampa; Roy, Amit; Bhattacharya, Swati Gupta; Das, Sampa

    2011-01-01

    Background Mannose-binding Allium sativum leaf agglutinin (ASAL) is highly antinutritional and toxic to various phloem-feeding hemipteran insects. ASAL has been expressed in a number of agriculturally important crops to develop resistance against those insects. Awareness of the safety aspect of ASAL is absolutely essential for developing ASAL transgenic plants. Methodology/Principal Findings Following the guidelines framed by the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization, the source of the gene, its sequence homology with potent allergens, clinical tests on mammalian systems, and the pepsin resistance and thermostability of the protein were considered to address the issue. No significant homology to the ASAL sequence was detected when compared to known allergenic proteins. The ELISA of blood sera collected from known allergy patients also failed to show significant evidence of cross-reactivity. In vitro and in vivo assays both indicated the digestibility of ASAL in the presence of pepsin in a minimum time period. Conclusions/Significance With these experiments, we concluded that ASAL does not possess any apparent features of an allergen. This is the first report regarding the monitoring of the allergenicity of any mannose-binding monocot lectin having insecticidal efficacy against hemipteran insects. PMID:22110739

  4. Historical and current roles of insects and pathogens in eastern Oregon and Washington forested landscapes. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Hessburg, P.F.; Mitchell, R.G.; Filip, G.M.

    1994-04-01

    The paper examines, by climax conifer series, historical and current roles of many important pathogens and insects of interior Northwest coniferious forests and their unique responses to changing successional conditions resulting from management. Future research on forest pathogens and insects should address three primary subject areas: insect and pathogen population dynamics in managed and unmanaged forests; ecological roles and effects of native and introduced pathogens and insects; and effects of natural disturbances and management practices on native insects, pathogens, and their natural enemies.

  5. Determining the most important physiological and agronomic traits contributing to maize grain yield through machine learning algorithms: a new avenue in intelligent agriculture.

    PubMed

    Shekoofa, Avat; Emam, Yahya; Shekoufa, Navid; Ebrahimi, Mansour; Ebrahimie, Esmaeil

    2014-01-01

    Prediction is an attempt to accurately forecast the outcome of a specific situation while using input information obtained from a set of variables that potentially describe the situation. They can be used to project physiological and agronomic processes; regarding this fact, agronomic traits such as yield can be affected by a large number of variables. In this study, we analyzed a large number of physiological and agronomic traits by screening, clustering, and decision tree models to select the most relevant factors for the prospect of accurately increasing maize grain yield. Decision tree models (with nearly the same performance evaluation) were the most useful tools in understanding the underlying relationships in physiological and agronomic features for selecting the most important and relevant traits (sowing date-location, kernel number per ear, maximum water content, kernel weight, and season duration) corresponding to the maize grain yield. In particular, decision tree generated by C&RT algorithm was the best model for yield prediction based on physiological and agronomical traits which can be extensively employed in future breeding programs. No significant differences in the decision tree models were found when feature selection filtering on data were used, but positive feature selection effect observed in clustering models. Finally, the results showed that the proposed model techniques are useful tools for crop physiologists to search through large datasets seeking patterns for the physiological and agronomic factors, and may assist the selection of the most important traits for the individual site and field. In particular, decision tree models are method of choice with the capability of illustrating different pathways of yield increase in breeding programs, governed by their hierarchy structure of feature ranking as well as pattern discovery via various combinations of features.

  6. Determining the Most Important Physiological and Agronomic Traits Contributing to Maize Grain Yield through Machine Learning Algorithms: A New Avenue in Intelligent Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Shekoofa, Avat; Emam, Yahya; Shekoufa, Navid; Ebrahimi, Mansour; Ebrahimie, Esmaeil

    2014-01-01

    Prediction is an attempt to accurately forecast the outcome of a specific situation while using input information obtained from a set of variables that potentially describe the situation. They can be used to project physiological and agronomic processes; regarding this fact, agronomic traits such as yield can be affected by a large number of variables. In this study, we analyzed a large number of physiological and agronomic traits by screening, clustering, and decision tree models to select the most relevant factors for the prospect of accurately increasing maize grain yield. Decision tree models (with nearly the same performance evaluation) were the most useful tools in understanding the underlying relationships in physiological and agronomic features for selecting the most important and relevant traits (sowing date-location, kernel number per ear, maximum water content, kernel weight, and season duration) corresponding to the maize grain yield. In particular, decision tree generated by C&RT algorithm was the best model for yield prediction based on physiological and agronomical traits which can be extensively employed in future breeding programs. No significant differences in the decision tree models were found when feature selection filtering on data were used, but positive feature selection effect observed in clustering models. Finally, the results showed that the proposed model techniques are useful tools for crop physiologists to search through large datasets seeking patterns for the physiological and agronomic factors, and may assist the selection of the most important traits for the individual site and field. In particular, decision tree models are method of choice with the capability of illustrating different pathways of yield increase in breeding programs, governed by their hierarchy structure of feature ranking as well as pattern discovery via various combinations of features. PMID:24830330

  7. Spatial-Temporal Models of Insect Growth, Diffusion and Derivative Pricing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect derivatives represent an important innovation in specialty crop risk management. An active over-the-counter market in insect derivatives will require a transparent pricing method. The paper develops an econometric model of the spatio-temporal process underlying a particular insect populatio...

  8. RNAi: future in insect management.

    PubMed

    Burand, John P; Hunter, Wayne B

    2013-03-01

    RNA interference is a post- transcriptional, gene regulation mechanism found in virtually all plants and animals including insects. The demonstration of RNAi in insects and its successful use as a tool in the study of functional genomics opened the door to the development of a variety of novel, environmentally sound approaches for insect pest management. Here the current understanding of the biogenesis of the two RNAi classes in insects is reviewed. These are microRNAs (miRNAs) and short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Several other key approaches in RNAi -based for insect control, as well as for the prevention of diseases in insects are also reviewed. The problems and prospects for the future use of RNAi in insects are presented.

  9. On quantifying insect movements

    SciTech Connect

    Wiens, J.A.; Crist, T.O. ); Milne, B.T. )

    1993-08-01

    We elaborate on methods described by Turchin, Odendaal Rausher for quantifying insect movement pathways. We note the need to scale measurement resolution to the study insects and the questions being asked, and we discuss the use of surveying instrumentation for recording sequential positions of individuals on pathways. We itemize several measures that may be used to characterize movement pathways and illustrate these by comparisons among several Eleodes beetles occurring in shortgrass steppe. The fractal dimension of pathways may provide insights not available from absolute measures of pathway configuration. Finally, we describe a renormalization procedure that may be used to remove sequential interdependence among locations of moving individuals while preserving the basic attributes of the pathway.

  10. [Insect venom allergies].

    PubMed

    Przybilla, Bernhard; Ruëff, Franziska

    2003-10-01

    Systemic IgE-mediated immediate type reactions (anaphylaxis) due to honeybee or vespid stings are potentially life-threatening; they are reported in up to 5% of the general population. Insect venom allergy is diagnosed by history, skin testing and measurement of insect venom-specific serum IgE; sometimes additional tests are needed. The diagnosis is based on the history of a systemic allergic immediate type sting reaction, without such a medical history any other "positive" test results are irrelevant. Nearly always, patients with systemic allergic sting reactions can be protected from further episodes of anaphylaxis by a carefully performed hyposensitization (specific immunotherapy). If therapeutic efficacy has been proven by tolerance of a re-sting, hyposensitization can be frequently stopped after 3 to 5 years. Patients with a particular risk of frequent re-stings or of very severe sting reactions may have to be treated for a longer time, some of them even life-long.

  11. Do diet and taxonomy influence insect gut bacterial communities?

    PubMed

    Colman, D R; Toolson, E C; Takacs-Vesbach, C D

    2012-10-01

    Many insects contain diverse gut microbial communities. While several studies have focused on a single or small group of species, comparative studies of phylogenetically diverse hosts can illuminate general patterns of host-microbiota associations. In this study, we tested the hypotheses that (i) host diet and (ii) host taxonomy structure intestinal bacterial community composition among insects. We used published 16S rRNA gene sequence data for 58 insect species in addition to four beetle species sampled from the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge to test these hypotheses. Overall, gut bacterial species richness in these insects was low. Decaying wood xylophagous insects harboured the richest bacterial gut flora (102.8 species level operational taxonomic units (OTUs)/sample ± 71.7, 11.8 ± 5.9 phylogenetic diversity (PD)/sample), while bees and wasps harboured the least rich bacterial communities (11.0 species level OTUs/sample ± 5.4, 2.6 ± 0.8 PD/sample). We found evidence to support our hypotheses that host diet and taxonomy structure insect gut bacterial communities (P < 0.001 for both). However, while host taxonomy was important in hymenopteran and termite gut community structure, diet was an important community structuring factor particularly for insect hosts that ingest lignocellulose-derived substances. Our analysis provides a baseline comparison of insect gut bacterial communities from which to test further hypotheses concerning proximate and ultimate causes of these associations.

  12. Technology transfer in agriculture. (Latest citations from the Biobusiness data base). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-10-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning technology transfer in agriculture. Topics include applications of technology transfer in aquaculture, forestry, soil maintenance, agricultural pollution, agricultural biotechnology, and control of disease and insect pests. Use of computer technology in agriculture and technology transfers to developing countries are discussed. (Contains a minimum of 178 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  13. Technology transfer in agriculture. (Latest citations from the Biobusiness database). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    1995-02-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning technology transfer in agriculture. Topics include applications of technology transfer in aquaculture, forestry, soil maintenance, agricultural pollution, agricultural biotechnology, and control of disease and insect pests. Use of computer technology in agriculture and technology transfers to developing countries are discussed. (Contains a minimum of 235 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  14. Polyphenism in insects.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Stephen J; Sword, Gregory A; Lo, Nathan

    2011-09-27

    Polyphenism is the phenomenon where two or more distinct phenotypes are produced by the same genotype. Examples of polyphenism provide some of the most compelling systems for the study of epigenetics. Polyphenisms are a major reason for the success of the insects, allowing them to partition life history stages (with larvae dedicated to feeding and growth, and adults dedicated to reproduction and dispersal), to adopt different phenotypes that best suit predictable environmental changes (seasonal morphs), to cope with temporally heterogeneous environments (dispersal morphs), and to partition labour within social groups (the castes of eusocial insects). We survey the status of research on some of the best known examples of insect polyphenism, in each case considering the environmental cues that trigger shifts in phenotype, the neurochemical and hormonal pathways that mediate the transformation, the molecular genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in initiating and maintaining the polyphenism, and the adaptive and life-history significance of the phenomenon. We conclude by highlighting some of the common features of these examples and consider future avenues for research on polyphenism.

  15. Oviposition Deterrents in Herbivorous Insects and their potential use in Integrated Pest Management.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Archana; Kaushik, Nutan

    2016-03-01

    In the life cycle of insects, oviposition is an important phenomenon, and it is influenced by many intrinsic and extrinsic factors, especially in relation to suitable hosts for completion of their life-cycle. Oviposition deterrents which deter an insect from laying eggs are important in the management of insect pests. Proper understanding of these deterrents shall provide necessary insight into new vistas for Insect Pest Management. Chemicals from plants and insects play an important role in attracting phytophagous insects for selecting host for oviposition. Considerable research has been done on oviposition deterrents and their mode of actions. In the present review, we have consolidated the updated information on this important aspect of insect behavior.

  16. Land-use history alters contemporary insect herbivore community composition and decouples plant-herbivore relationships.

    SciTech Connect

    Hahn, Philip G.; Orrock, John L.

    2015-04-01

    1. Past land use can create altered soil conditions and plant communities that persist for decades, although the effects of these altered conditions on consumers are rarely investigated. 2. Using a large-scale field study at 36 sites in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands, we examined whether historic agricultural land use leads to differences in the abundance and community composition of insect herbivores (grasshoppers, families Acrididae and Tettigoniidae). 3. We measured the cover of six plant functional groups and several environmental variables to determine whether historic agricultural land use affects the relationships between plant cover or environmental conditions and grasshopper assemblages. 4. Land-use history had taxa-specific effects and interacted with herbaceous plant cover to alter grasshopper abundances, leading to significant changes in community composition. Abundance of most grasshopper taxa increased with herbaceous cover in woodlands with no history of agriculture, but there was no relationship in post-agricultural woodlands. We also found that grasshopper abundance was negatively correlated with leaf litter cover. Soil hardness was greater in post-agricultural sites (i.e. more compacted) and was associated with grasshopper community composition. Both herbaceous cover and leaf litter cover are influenced by fire frequency, suggesting a potential indirect role of fire on grasshopper assemblages. 5. Our results demonstrate that historic land use may create persistent differences in the composition of grasshopper assemblages, while contemporary disturbances (e.g. prescribed fire) may be important for determining the abundance of grasshoppers, largely through the effect of fire on plants and leaf litter. Therefore, our results suggest that changes in the contemporary management regimes (e.g. increasing prescribed fire) may not be sufficient to shift the structure of grasshopper communities in post-agricultural sites towards communities in

  17. Thermoregulation in endothermic insects.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, B

    1974-08-30

    On the basis of body weight, most flying insects have higher rates of metabolism, and hence heat production, than other animals. However, rapid rates of cooling because of small body size in most cases precludes appreciable endothermy. The body temperature of small flies in flight is probably close to ambient temperature, and that of flying butterflies and locusts is 5 degrees to 10 degrees C above ambient temperature. Many moths and bumblebees are insulated with scales and hair, and their metabolism during flight can cause the temperature of the flight muscles to increase 20 degrees to 30 degrees C above ambient temperature. Curiously, those insects which (because of size, insulation) retain the most heat in the thorax during flight, also require the highest muscle temperature in order to maintain sufficient power output to continue flight. The minimum muscle temperature for flight varies widely between different species, while the maximum temperature varies over the relatively narrow range of 40 degrees to 45 degrees C. As a consequence, those insects that necessarily generate high muscle temperatures during flight must maintain their thoracic temperature within a relatively narrow range during flight. Active heat loss from the thorax to the abdomen prevents overheating of the flight motor and allows some large moths to be active over a wide range of ambient temperatures. Bumblebees similarly transfer heat from the flight musculature into the abdomen while incubating their brood by abdominal contact. Many of the larger insects would remain grounded if they did not actively increase the temperature of their flight muscles prior to flight. Male tettigoniid grasshoppers elevate their thoracic temperature prior to singing. In addition, some of the social Hymenoptera activate the "flight" muscles specifically to produce heat not only prior to flight but also during nest temperature regulation. During this "shivering" the "flight" muscles are often activated in

  18. Importance of rhizobia in Agriculture: potential of the commercial inoculants and native strains for improving legume yields in different land-use systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lesueur, D.; Atieno, M.; Mathu, S.; Herrmann, L.

    2012-04-01

    Legumes play an important role in the traditional diets of many regions throughout the world because they provide a multitude of benefits to both the soil and other crops grown in combination with them or following them in several cropping systems. The ability of legumes to fix atmospheric nitrogen in association with rhizobia gives them the capacity to grow in very degraded soils. But do we have to systematically inoculate legumes? For example our results suggested that the systematic inoculation of both cowpea and green gram in Kenya with commercial inoculants to improve yields is not really justified, native strains performing better than inoculated strains. But when native rhizobia nodulating legumes are not naturally present, application of rhizobial inoculants is very commonly used. Our results showed that the utilization of effective good-quality rhizobial inoculants by farmers have a real potential to improve legume yields in unfertile soils requesting high applications of mineral fertilizers. For example an effective soybean commercial inoculants was tested in different locations in Kenya (in about 150 farms in 3 mandate areas presenting different soil characteristics and environmental conditions). Application of the rhizobial inoculant significantly increased the soybean yields in all mandate areas (about 75% of the farms). Nodule occupancy analysis showed that a high number of nodules occupied by the inoculated strain did not obviously lead to an increase of soybean production. Soil factors (pH, P, C, N…) seemed to affect the inoculant efficiency whether the strain is occupying the nodules or not. Our statistic analysis showed that soil pH significantly affected nodulation and yield, though the effect was variable depending on the region. We concluded that the competitiveness of rhizobial strains might not be the main factor explaining the effect (or lack of) of legumes inoculation in the field. Another study was aiming to assess if several factors

  19. Spatio-Temporal, Genotypic, and Environmental Effects on Plant Soluble Protein and Digestible Carbohydrate Content: Implications for Insect Herbivores with Cotton as an Exemplar.

    PubMed

    Deans, Carrie A; Behmer, Spencer T; Fiene, Justin; Sword, Gregory A

    2016-11-01

    Plant soluble protein and digestible carbohydrate content significantly affect insect herbivore fitness, but studies reporting plant protein and carbohydrate content are rare. Instead, the elements nitrogen and carbon often are used as surrogates for plant protein and digestible carbohydrate content, respectively. However, this is problematic for two reasons. First, carbon is found in all organic molecules, which precludes strong correlations with ecologically important dietary macronutrients (e.g., digestible carbohydrates, the primary energy source for most insect herbivores). Second, some elements (e.g., nitrogen) are present in both macronutrients (e.g., protein) and non-nutritive secondary compounds (e.g., alkaloids, protease inhibitors); in these cases N values would greatly overestimate protein available for an insect herbivore. Thus, the objective of this study was to explicitly document plant protein-carbohydrate content and assess its variation in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum and G. barbadense), which is a nutritional resource for a number of insect herbivores. We did this by measuring plant soluble protein (P) and digestible carbohydrate (C) content across seven plant tissues, five varieties, and two growing environments. Significant differences in P and C concentration, total macronutrient content (P + C), and P:C ratio were observed across plant tissues, plant age and environment; smaller differences were seen across plant genotype. Foliar tissues had higher total P + C content compared to reproductive tissues, except for developing seeds and developing flowers, which contained twice the total P + C content; these two tissues also had the highest P content. Our data show that even agricultural monocultures offer a highly heterogeneous protein-carbohydrate landscape for insect herbivores. Characterizing plant resources using nutritional currencies (e.g., protein and carbohydrates) that are ecologically and physiologically-relevant to insect

  20. Satellite DNA in insects: a review.

    PubMed

    Palomeque, T; Lorite, P

    2008-06-01

    The study of insect satellite DNAs (satDNAs) indicates the evolutionary conservation of certain features despite their sequence heterogeneity. Such features can include total length, monomer length, motifs, particular regions and/or secondary and tertiary structures. satDNAs may act as protein-binding sites, structural domains or sites for epigenetic modifications. The selective constraints in the evolution of satDNAs may be due to the satDNA sequence interaction with specific proteins important in heterochromatin formation and possible a role in controlling gene expression. The transcription of satDNA has been described in vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. In insects, differential satDNA expression has been observed in different cells, developmental stages, sex and caste of the individuals. These transcription differences may suggest their involvement in gene-regulation processes. In addition, the satDNA or its transcripts appear to be involved in heterochromatin formation and in chromatin-elimination processes. The importance of transposable elements to insect satDNA is shown by their presence as a constituent of satDNA in several species of insects (including possible active elements). In addition, they may be involved in the formation of centromeres and telomeres and in the homogenization and expansion of satDNA.

  1. Why Care About Aquatic Insects: Uses, Benefits, and Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mayflies and other aquatic insects are common subjects of ecological research, and environmental monitoring and assessment. However, their important role in protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems is often challenged, because their benefits and services to humans are not obv...

  2. Breeding a super nematode for enhanced insect pest suppression

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Entomopathogenic nematodes in the genera Heterorhabditis and Steinernema are important regulators of natural insect populations, and are used commercially as biological control agents for pest suppression. Successful biocontrol applications depend on the introduced organism having an array of benef...

  3. MEIMAN: Database exploring Medicinal and Edible insects of Manipur

    PubMed Central

    Shantibala, Tourangbam; Lokeshwari, Rajkumari; Thingnam, Gourshyam; Somkuwar, Bharat Gopalrao

    2012-01-01

    We have developed MEIMAN, a unique database on medicinal and edible insects of Manipur which comprises 51 insects species collected through extensive survey and questionnaire for two years. MEIMAN provides integrated access to insect species thorough sophisticated web interface which has following capabilities a) Graphical interface of seasonality, b) Method of preparation, c) Form of use - edible and medicinal, d) habitat, e) medicinal uses, f) commercial importance and g) economic status. This database will be useful for scientific validations and updating of traditional wisdom in bioprospecting aspects. It will be useful in analyzing the insect biodiversity for the development of virgin resources and their industrialization. Further, the features will be suited for detailed investigation on potential medicinal and edible insects that make MEIMAN a powerful tool for sustainable management. Availability The database is available for free at www.ibsd.gov.in/meiman PMID:22715305

  4. The fingerprints of global climate change on insect populations.

    PubMed

    Boggs, Carol L

    2016-10-01

    Synthesizing papers from the last two years, I examined generalizations about the fingerprints of climate change on insects' population dynamics and phenology. Recent work shows that populations can differ in response to changes in climate means and variances. The part of the thermal niche occupied by an insect population, voltinism, plasticity and adaptation to weather perturbations, and interactions with other species can all exacerbate or mitigate responses to climate change. Likewise, land use change or agricultural practices can affect responses to climate change. Nonetheless, our knowledge of effects of climate change is still biased by organism and geographic region, and to some extent by scale of climate parameter.

  5. Size effects on insect hovering aerodynamics: an integrated computational study.

    PubMed

    Liu, H; Aono, H

    2009-03-01

    Hovering is a miracle of insects that is observed for all sizes of flying insects. Sizing effect in insect hovering on flapping-wing aerodynamics is of interest to both the micro-air-vehicle (MAV) community and also of importance to comparative morphologists. In this study, we present an integrated computational study of such size effects on insect hovering aerodynamics, which is performed using a biology-inspired dynamic flight simulator that integrates the modelling of realistic wing-body morphology, the modelling of flapping-wing and body kinematics and an in-house Navier-Stokes solver. Results of four typical insect hovering flights including a hawkmoth, a honeybee, a fruit fly and a thrips, over a wide range of Reynolds numbers from O(10(4)) to O(10(1)) are presented, which demonstrate the feasibility of the present integrated computational methods in quantitatively modelling and evaluating the unsteady aerodynamics in insect flapping flight. Our results based on realistically modelling of insect hovering therefore offer an integrated understanding of the near-field vortex dynamics, the far-field wake and downwash structures, and their correlation with the force production in terms of sizing and Reynolds number as well as wing kinematics. Our results not only give an integrated interpretation on the similarity and discrepancy of the near- and far-field vortex structures in insect hovering but also demonstrate that our methods can be an effective tool in the MAVs design.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Agricultural Wastes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jewell, W. J.; Switzenbaum, M. S.

    1978-01-01

    Presents a literature review of agricultural wastes, covering publications of 1976-77. Some of the areas covered are: (1) water characteristics and impacts; (2) waste treatment; (3) reuse of agricultural wastes; and (4) nonpoint pollution sources. A list of 150 references is also presented. (HM)

  8. VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento. Research Coordinating Unit.

    TO ASSIST THOSE WHO MAKE DECISIONS RELATING TO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IN AGRICULTURE, RECENT RESEARCH IN VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE IS SUMMARIZED. A 1963 STUDY TREATS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORK EXPERIENCE AND STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS, PLANS, AND ASPIRATIONS. STUDIES ON POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION CONCERN GUIDELINES FOR TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS, JUSTIFICATION…

  9. Agriculture Supplies & Services. Volume 1 of 3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kansas State Univ., Manhattan.

    The first of three volumes included in a secondary agricultural supplies and services curriculum guide, this volume contains units of instruction in two major areas: (1) plant and soil science and (2) leadership (Future Farmers of America). Typical of the nineteen units included in the first section are the following: Plant Insect Control, Plant…

  10. Food and Agricultural Imports from China

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-17

    the many foods, medicines, and other products from China in particular. For example, in early 2007, evidence began to emerge that adulterated pet...public about adulterated foods, and for notifying the public about adulterated human or animal foods. The amendment includes elements of his... adulterated pet food ingredients from China had caused the deaths of an unknown number of dogs and cats. Furthermore, some ingredients also were fed to U.S

  11. Insect habitat management in pasture systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, P. B.

    1983-01-01

    Two important habitat management strategies in pasture systems involve controlled burning and effective grazing manipulation schemes to maintain native climax grassland vegetation These climax grasslands have historically suffered less insect pest pressure than imported systems However, these types of grasslands are difficult to reestablish after relatively severe disruption by man Also, the proper diversity and stability is difficult to capture in developing imported systems. Imported pastures can exhibit substantial yields per land unit but are often composed of vegetation that rapidly mines nutrients stored by the native vegetation, and often need considerable inputs of fossil fuel, manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, because they are or become very susceptible to pestiferous insects. Habitat manipulation efforts can be effective in regulating forage pest populations below economic levels in imported pasture systems Such efforts include: 1) land use (coupled with plant diversity, grazing, and harvest manipulations), 2) sanitation (including controlled burning), 3) planting dates and harvest times (including grazing manipulations), 4) tillage methods, 5) fertilization, 6) trap crops, 7) water management, and 8) fire management for insect pest suppression and augmentation of natural enemies.

  12. 7 CFR 996.7 - Importer.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Importer. 996.7 Section 996.7 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Marketing Agreements and... DOMESTIC AND IMPORTED PEANUTS MARKETED IN THE UNITED STATES Definitions § 996.7 Importer. Importer means...

  13. Aircraft anti-insect system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spiro, Clifford Lawrence (Inventor); Fric, Thomas Frank (Inventor); Leon, Ross Michael (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    Insect debris is removed from or prevented from adhering to insect impingement areas of an aircraft, particularly on an inlet cowl of an engine, by heating the area to 180.degree.-500.degree. C. An apparatus comprising a means to bring hot air from the aircraft engine to a plenum contiguous to the insect impingement area provides for the heating of the insect impingement areas to the required temperatures. The plenum can include at least one tube with a plurality of holes contained in a cavity within the inlet cowl. It can also include an envelope with a plurality of holes on its surface contained in a cavity within the inlet cowl.

  14. Insects in a changing environment

    SciTech Connect

    Harrington, R.; Stork, N.

    1995-12-31

    This book, from a 1993 symposium, focuses on current, anthropogenic changes in insect populations using five major sections: introduction; changes in climate; changes in gas/pollutant levels; changes in land use; and a section of shorter papers. The effects of climate change on insects are assessed using techniques ranging from fossil evidence to simulation models to remote sensing. The section on changes in gas levels addresses a series of individually studies of insect responses to atmospheric gases and other pollutants. The section focusing on the effects of environmental change on insects is well documented.

  15. Agricultural pest monitoring using fluorescence lidar techniques. Feasibility study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, L.; Guan, Z. G.; Zhou, H. J.; Lv, J.; Zhu, Z. R.; Cheng, J. A.; Chen, F. J.; Löfstedt, C.; Svanberg, S.; Somesfalean, G.

    2012-03-01

    The fluorescence of different types of planthopper ( Hemiptera) and moth ( Lepidoptera), which constitute important Chinese agricultural pests, was investigated both in situ in a laboratory setting and remotely using a fluorescence light detection and ranging (lidar) system operating at a range of about 50 m. The natural autofluorescence of different species, as well as the fluorescence from insects that had been dusted with fluorescent dye powder for identification were studied. Autofluorescence spectra of both moths and planthoppers show a maximum intensity peak around 450 nm. Bleaching upon long-time laser illumination was modest and did not affect the shape of the spectrum. A single dyed rice planthopper, a few mm in size, could be detected at 50 m distance by using the fluorescence lidar system. By employing various marking dyes, different types of agricultural pest could be determined. We suggest that lidar may be used in studies of migration and movement of pest insects, including studies of their behavior in the vicinity of pheromone traps and in pheromone-treated fields.

  16. Measuring Asymmetry in Insect-Plant Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, Cláudia P. T.; de Almeida, Adriana M.; Corso, Gilberto

    2011-03-01

    In this work we focus on interaction networks between insects and plants and in the characterization of insect plant asymmetry, an important issue in coevolution and evolutionary biology. We analyze in particular the asymmetry in the interaction matrix of animals (herbivorous insects) and plants (food resource for the insects). Instead of driving our attention to the interaction matrix itself we derive two networks associated to the bipartite network: the animal network, D1, and the plant network, D2. These networks are constructed according to the following recipe: two animal species are linked once if they interact with the same plant. In a similar way, in the plant network, two plants are linked if they interact with the same animal. To explore the asymmetry between D2 and D1 we test for a set of 23 networks from the ecologic literature networks: the difference in size, ΔL, clustering coefficient difference, ΔC, and mean connectivity difference, Δ. We used a nonparametric statistical test to check the differences in ΔL, ΔC and Δ. Our results indicate that ΔL and Δ show a significative asymmetry.

  17. Odorant and pheromone receptors in insects.

    PubMed

    Ha, Tal Soo; Smith, Dean P

    2009-01-01

    Since the emergence of the first living cells, survival has hinged on the ability to detect and localize chemicals in the environment. Modern animal species ranging from insects to mammals express large odorant receptor repertoires to detect the structurally diverse array of volatile molecules important for survival. Despite the essential nature of chemical detection, there is surprising diversity in the signaling mechanisms that different species use for odorant detection. In vertebrates, odorant receptors are classical G-protein coupled, seven transmembrane receptors that activate downstream effector enzymes that, in turn, produce second messengers that open ion channels. However, recent work reveals that insects have adopted different strategies to detect volatile chemicals. In Drosophila, the odorant receptors, predicted to have seven transmembrane domains, have reversed membrane topology compared to classical G-protein coupled receptors. Furthermore, insect odorant receptors appear to form odorant-gated ion channels. Pheromone detection in insects is even more unusual, utilizing soluble, extracellular receptors that undergo conformational activation. These alternate olfactory signaling strategies are discussed in terms of receptor design principles.

  18. 1977 Kansas Field Crop Insect Control Recommendations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Leroy; Gates, Dell E.

    This publication is prepared to aid producers in selecting methods of insect population management that have proved effective under Kansas conditions. Topics covered include insect control on alfalfa, soil insects attacking corn, insects attacking above-ground parts of corn, and sorghum, wheat, and soybean insect control. The insecticides…

  19. Agricultural Energy Practices. Agriculture Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with agricultural energy practices. Its objective is for the student to be able to discuss energy use and conservation of resources in the production of agricultural products. Some topics covered are basic uses of direct energy in…

  20. Agriculture Education. Agricultural Metal Working.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stuttgart Public Schools, AR.

    This curriculum guide is designed for group instruction of secondary agricultural education students enrolled in one or two semester-long courses in agricultural metal working. The guide presents units of study in the following areas: (1) oxyacetylene welding, (2) arc welding, (3) sheet metal, (4) blueprint reading for welders and (5) job…

  1. Systematic analysis of phloem-feeding insect-induced transcriptional reprogramming in Arabidopsis highlights common features and reveals distinct responses to specialist and generalist insects.

    PubMed

    Foyer, Christine H; Verrall, Susan R; Hancock, Robert D

    2015-02-01

    Phloem-feeding insects (PFIs), of which aphids are the largest group, are major agricultural pests causing extensive damage to crop plants. In contrast to chewing insects, the nature of the plant response to PFIs remains poorly characterized. Scrutiny of the literature concerning transcriptional responses of model and crop plant species to PFIs reveals surprisingly little consensus with respect to the transcripts showing altered abundance following infestation. Nevertheless, core features of the transcriptional response to PFIs can be defined in Arabidopsis thaliana. This comparison of the PFI-associated transcriptional response observed in A. thaliana infested by the generalists Myzus persicae and Bemisia tabaci with the specialist Brevicoryne brassicae highlights the importance of calcium-dependent and receptor kinase-associated signalling. We discuss these findings within the context of the complex cross-talk between the different hormones regulating basal immune response mechanisms in plants. We identify PFI-responsive genes, highlighting the importance of cell wall-associated kinases in plant-PFI interactions, as well as the significant role of kinases containing the domain of unknown function 26. A common feature of plant-PFI interaction is enhanced abundance of transcripts encoding WRKY transcription factors. However, significant divergence was observed with respect to secondary metabolism dependent upon the insect attacker. Transcripts encoding enzymes and proteins associated with glucosinolate metabolism were decreased following attack by the generalist M. persicae but not by the specialist B. brassicae. This analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the molecular patterns associated with the plant response to PFIs and suggests that plants recognize and respond to perturbations in the cell wall occurring during PFI infestation.

  2. Plant Volatile Analogues Strengthen Attractiveness to Insect

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yufeng; Yu, Hao; Zhou, Jing-Jiang; Pickett, John A.; Wu, Kongming

    2014-01-01

    Green leaf bug Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) is one of the major pests in agriculture. Management of A. lucorum was largely achieved by using pesticides. However, the increasing population of A. lucorum since growing Bt cotton widely and the increased awareness of ecoenvironment and agricultural product safety makes their population-control very challenging. Therefore this study was conducted to explore a novel ecological approach, synthetic plant volatile analogues, to manage the pest. Here, plant volatile analogues were first designed and synthesized by combining the bioactive components of β-ionone and benzaldehyde. The stabilities of β-ionone, benzaldehyde and analogue 3 g were tested. The electroantennogram (EAG) responses of A. lucorum adult antennae to the analogues were recorded. And the behavior assay and filed experiment were also conducted. In this study, thirteen analogues were acquired. The analogue 3 g was demonstrated to be more stable than β-ionone and benzaldehyde in the environment. Many of the analogues elicited EAG responses, and the EAG response values to 3 g remained unchanged during seven-day period. 3 g was also demonstrated to be attractive to A. lucorum adults in the laboratory behavior experiment and in the field. Its attractiveness persisted longer than β-ionone and benzaldehyde. This indicated that 3 g can strengthen attractiveness to insect and has potential as an attractant. Our results suggest that synthetic plant volatile analogues can strengthen attractiveness to insect. This is the first published study about synthetic plant volatile analogues that have the potential to be used in pest control. Our results will support a new ecological approach to pest control and it will be helpful to ecoenvironment and agricultural product safety. PMID:24911460

  3. 40 CFR 180.1101 - Parasitic (parasitoid) and predatory insects; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... with good agricultural and pest control practices to control insect pests of stored raw whole grains such as corn, small grains, rice, soybeans, peanuts, and other legumes either bulk or warehoused...

  4. Insect pheromones: An overview of function, form, and discovery.

    PubMed

    Yew, Joanne Y; Chung, Henry

    2015-07-01

    For many species of insects, lipid pheromones profoundly influence survival, reproduction, and social organization. Unravelling the chemical language of insects has been the subject of intense research in the field of chemical ecology for the past five decades. Characterizing the forms, functions, and biosynthesis of lipid pheromones has led not only to the development of strategies for controlling agricultural pests but has also provided insights into fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. Despite the enormous variety of chemical structures that are used as pheromones, some common themes in function and biosynthetic pathways have emerged across studies of diverse taxa. This review will offer a general overview of insect lipid pheromone function and biochemical synthesis, describe analytical methods for pheromone discovery, and provide perspectives on the contribution of chemical ecology to pest control and understanding evolutionary processes.

  5. First record of gregarines (Apicomplexa) in seminal vesicle of insect.

    PubMed

    Dias, Glenda; Dallai, Romano; Carapelli, Antonio; Almeida, João P P; Campos, Lucio A O; Faroni, Leda R A; Lino-Neto, José

    2017-12-01

    Gregarines (Apicomplexa) are a diverse group of protozoan parasites, which infects gut and other body cavities of invertebrate hosts. In reproductive system of insects, gregarine has been reported only in the accessory glands and spermathecae of females; therefore, this is the first report of a gregarine species in seminal vesicles of insects. Different developmental stages, including sporozoytes, oocysts and trophozoites were described from morphological descriptions using light and electron transmission microscopy. The parasites were described in seminal vesicles of the beetle Tribolium castaneum a model organism and an important insect pest. DNA sequence analysis suggests that the protozoan parasite was an Ascogregarina sp.

  6. A novel mechanism of insect resistance engineered into tobacco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilder, Vaughan A.; Gatehouse, Angharad M. R.; Sheerman, Suzanne E.; Barker, Richard F.; Boulter, Donald

    1987-11-01

    A major goal of plant genetic engineering is the introduction of agronomically desirable phenotypic traits into crop plants in situations where conventional breeding methods have been unsuccessful. One such target is enhanced resistance to insect pests which, in view of the estimated production losses world-wide and the heavy costs of protective treatments, is very important. We report here that a gene encoding a cowpea trypsin inhibitor, which has been shown to give some measure of field resistance to insect pests1, confers, when transferred to tobacco, enhanced resistance to this species' own herbivorous insect pests.

  7. The Insect Microbiome Modulates Vector Competence for Arboviruses

    PubMed Central

    Jupatanakul, Natapong; Sim, Shuzhen; Dimopoulos, George

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25393895

  8. Agricultural Geophysics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The four geophysical methods predominantly used for agricultural purposes are resistivity, electromagnetic induction, ground penetrating radar (GPR), and time domain reflectometry (TDR). Resistivity and electromagnetic induction methods are typically employed to map lateral variations of apparent so...

  9. Agriculture Sectors

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Agriculture sectors comprise establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, and harvesting fish and other animals. Find information on compliance, enforcement and guidance on EPA laws and regulations on the NAICS 111 & 112 sectors.

  10. Agricultural Microbiology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brill, Winston J.

    1981-01-01

    Elucidates strategies for applying microbiological techniques to traditional agricultural practices. Discusses the manipulation of microorganisms that live with plants and also the problems involved in the introduction of new genes into crop plants by recombinant DNA methods. (CS)

  11. Polarization Imaging and Insect Vision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Adam S.; Ohmann, Paul R.; Leininger, Nick E.; Kavanaugh, James A.

    2010-01-01

    For several years we have included discussions about insect vision in the optics units of our introductory physics courses. This topic is a natural extension of demonstrations involving Brewster's reflection and Rayleigh scattering of polarized light because many insects heavily rely on optical polarization for navigation and communication.…

  12. Identifying Insect Bites and Stings

    MedlinePlus

    ... or Animals > Identifying Insect Bites and Stings Health Issues Listen Español Text Size Email Print Share Identifying Insect Bites and Stings Page Content Article Body Mosquitoes Mosquitoes are generally found near water (pools, lakes, birdbaths) and are attracted by bright ...

  13. Reader Survey for INSECT ALERTS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Mason E.; Sauer, Richard J.

    To determine what might be done to improve "Insect Alerts," which is a newsletter that carries "information on insect biology, abundance, activity and interpretation of control need," put out through the Michigan Cooperative Extension Service 26 weeks a year, a survey was conducted. A mail questionnaire was sent to all 120 county extension…

  14. Plant Defense against Insect Herbivores

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. Insect herbivory induce several internal signals from the wounded tissues, including calcium ion fluxes, phosphorylation cascades and systemic- and jasmonate signaling. These are perceived in undamaged tissues, which thereafter reinforce their defense by producing different, mostly low molecular weight, 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 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 have adapted to resist plant defenses, and in some cases even sequester the compounds and reuse them in their own defense. Both plant defense and insect adaptation involve metabolic costs, so most plant-insect interactions reach a stand-off, where both host and herbivore survive although their development is suboptimal. PMID:23681010

  15. RNAI: Future in insect management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    RNA interference is a post-transcriptional, gene regulation mechanism found in virtually all plants and animals including insects. The demonstration of RNAi in insects and its successful use as a tool in the study of functional genomics opened the door to the development of a variety of novel, envir...

  16. A Template for Insect Cryopreservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article is intended to update the reader on the progress made on insect embryo cryopreservation in the past 20 years and gives information for developing a protocol for cryopreserving insects by using a 2001 study as a template. The study used for the template is the cryopreservation of the Old...

  17. Eicosanoids mediate insect hemocyte migration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hemocyte chemotaxis toward infection and wound sites is an essential component of insect defense reactions, although the biochemical signal mechanisms responsible for mediating chemotaxis in insect cells are not well understood. Here we report on the outcomes of experiments designed to test the hyp...

  18. [Use of agricultural insecticides in Benin].

    PubMed

    Akogbeto, M C; Djouaka, R; Noukpo, H

    2005-12-01

    The use of insecticides in households and in agriculture has been incriminated in the emergence of insecticide resistance in insect vectors. For farming staff, the emergence of vector resistance is due to indoors spray of insecticides using aerosols and other low quality products in rural and urban settings against mosquitoes. On the other hand, public health specialists believe that the phenomenon of resistance could be due to massive use of insecticides in agriculture for field pests control. In Turkey, the implication of agricultural use of pesticides in the selection of vector resistance is clearly established. This study was framed to identify potential practices favouring the emergence of insecticide resistance in the Republic of Benin. Interviews and focus group discussions were organized with cotton, rice and vegetables farmers. The final aim of these surveys was to point out practices likely to favour the emergence of resistance. The research is conducted in 3 cotton fields, 2 rice fields and 2 vegetable plantations. After filling and signing concerned forms, farmers are subjected to quantitative and qualitative questionnaires to generate data on: insecticides being used, the various doses applied for pests eradication, the frequency of treatments, the cost of treatments (cost/hectare/year) the origin of insecticides, the place of purchase, safety precautions and related health hazards. The results of this study have shown that the use of insecticides in agriculture is a clear fact. During treatments, insecticide residues get in contact with mosquito breeding sites where they diffuse into water and exercise a selection pressure on larvae. This partially explains the high levels of resistance recorded in with strains of Anopheles gambiae collected in agricultural settings under insecticides pressure. Pyrethroids and more specifically deltamethrin and cyfluthrin are the insecticides mainly used in studied localities. Bedrooms of farmers are used as storage

  19. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Shu, Huajie; Zhang, Panpan; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2015-10-01

    The management and disposal of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention because of the increasing yields and negative effects on the environment. However, proper treatments such as converting abundant biomass wastes into biogas through anaerobic digestion technology, can not only avoid the negative impacts, but also convert waste into available resources. This review summarizes the studies of nearly two hundred scholars from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management of agricultural waste.

  20. Insect inducible antimicrobial peptides and their applications.

    PubMed

    Ezzati-Tabrizi, Reyhaneh; Farrokhi, Naser; Talaei-Hassanloui, Reza; Alavi, Seyed Mehdi; Hosseininaveh, Vahid

    2013-12-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are found as important components of the innate immune system (host defense) of all invertebrates. These peptides can be constitutively expressed or induced in response to microbial infections. Indeed, they vary in their amino acid sequences, potency and antimicrobial activity spectra. The smaller AMPs act greatly by disrupting the structure or function of microbial cell membranes. Here, the insect innate immune system with emphasis on inducible antimicrobial peptide properties against microbial invaders has been discussed.

  1. Similarities between decapod and insect neuropeptidomes.

    PubMed

    Veenstra, Jan A

    2016-01-01

    Background. Neuropeptides are important regulators of physiological processes and behavior. Although they tend to be generally well conserved, recent results using trancriptome sequencing on decapod crustaceans give the impression of significant differences between species, raising the question whether such differences are real or artefacts. Methods. The BLAST+ program was used to find short reads coding neuropeptides and neurohormons in publicly available short read archives. Such reads were then used to find similar reads in the same archives, and the DNA assembly program Trinity was employed to construct contigs encoding the neuropeptide precursors as completely as possible. Results. The seven decapod species analyzed in this fashion, the crabs Eriocheir sinensis, Carcinus maenas and Scylla paramamosain, the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei, the lobster Homarus americanus, the fresh water prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii and the crayfish Procambarus clarkii had remarkably similar neuropeptidomes. Although some neuropeptide precursors could not be assembled, in many cases individual reads pertaining to the missing precursors show unambiguously that these neuropeptides are present in these species. In other cases, the tissues that express those neuropeptides were not used in the construction of the cDNA libraries. One novel neuropeptide was identified: elongated PDH (pigment dispersing hormone), a variation on PDH that has a two-amino-acid insertion in its core sequence. Hyrg is another peptide that is ubiquitously present in decapods and is likely a novel neuropeptide precursor. Discussion. Many insect species have lost one or more neuropeptide genes, but apart from elongated PDH and hyrg all other decapod neuropeptides are present in at least some insect species, and allatotropin is the only insect neuropeptide missing from decapods. This strong similarity between insect and decapod neuropeptidomes makes it possible to predict the receptors for decapod neuropeptides

  2. Similarities between decapod and insect neuropeptidomes

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background. Neuropeptides are important regulators of physiological processes and behavior. Although they tend to be generally well conserved, recent results using trancriptome sequencing on decapod crustaceans give the impression of significant differences between species, raising the question whether such differences are real or artefacts. Methods. The BLAST+ program was used to find short reads coding neuropeptides and neurohormons in publicly available short read archives. Such reads were then used to find similar reads in the same archives, and the DNA assembly program Trinity was employed to construct contigs encoding the neuropeptide precursors as completely as possible. Results. The seven decapod species analyzed in this fashion, the crabs Eriocheir sinensis, Carcinus maenas and Scylla paramamosain, the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei, the lobster Homarus americanus, the fresh water prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii and the crayfish Procambarus clarkii had remarkably similar neuropeptidomes. Although some neuropeptide precursors could not be assembled, in many cases individual reads pertaining to the missing precursors show unambiguously that these neuropeptides are present in these species. In other cases, the tissues that express those neuropeptides were not used in the construction of the cDNA libraries. One novel neuropeptide was identified: elongated PDH (pigment dispersing hormone), a variation on PDH that has a two-amino-acid insertion in its core sequence. Hyrg is another peptide that is ubiquitously present in decapods and is likely a novel neuropeptide precursor. Discussion. Many insect species have lost one or more neuropeptide genes, but apart from elongated PDH and hyrg all other decapod neuropeptides are present in at least some insect species, and allatotropin is the only insect neuropeptide missing from decapods. This strong similarity between insect and decapod neuropeptidomes makes it possible to predict the receptors for decapod neuropeptides

  3. Optoelectronic determination of insect presence in fruit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Bim P.; Guyer, Daniel E.; Ariana, Diwan P.

    2004-03-01

    Opto-electronic methods represent a potential to identify the presence of insect activities on or within agricultural commodities. Such measurements may detect actual insect presence or indirect secondary changes in the product resulting from past or present insect activities. Preliminary imaging studies have demonstrated some unique spectral characteristics of insect larvae on cherries. A detailed study on spectral characteristics of healthy and infested tart cherry tissue with and without larvae (Plum Curculio) was conducted for reflectance, transmittance and interactance modes for each of UV and visible/NIR light sources. The intensity of transmitted UV signals through the tart cherry was found to be weak; however, the spectral properties of UV light in reflectance mode has revealed some typical characteristics of larvae on healthy and infested tissue. The larvae on tissue were found to exhibit UV induced fluorescence signals in the range of 400-700 nm. Multi spectral imaging of the halved tart cherry has also corroborated this particular behavior of plum curculio larvae. The gray scale subtraction between corresponding pixels in these multi-spectral images has helped to locate the larvae precisely on the tart cherry tissue background, which otherwise was inseparable. The spectral characteristics of visible/NIR energy in transmittance and reflectance mode are capable of estimating the secondary effect of infestation in tart cherry tissue. The study has shown the shifting in peaks of reflected and transmitted signals from healthy and infested tissues and coincides with the concept of browning of tissue at cell level as a process of infestation. Interactance study has been carried out to study the possibility of coupling opto-electronic devices with the existing pitting process. The shifting of peaks has been observed for the normalized intensity of healthy and infested tissues. The study has been able to establish the inherent spectral characteristic of these

  4. Urban conservation agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vegetables are important sources of vitamins and nutrients for human nutrition. United States Department of Agriculture recommends filling half of the food plates with vegetables in every meal. While it is important in promoting good health, access to fresh vegetables is limited especially in urban ...

  5. Population fluctuation in phytophagous insects

    SciTech Connect

    Redfearn, A.; Pimm, S.L. )

    1994-06-01

    We examined how community interactions affect year-to-year population variability in three groups of phytophagous insects: British aphids and moths, and Canadian moths. We first examined how the number of host plant species on which a given phytophagous insect species feeds affects its population variability. Specialist insect species showed a weak tendency to be more variable than generalist species. We then examined how the number of species of parasitoids from which a given phytophagous insects species suffers affects its population variability. Species that are host to few parasitoid species showed a weak tendency to be more variable than species with many parsitoid species. These relationships also depend on other aspects of the life histories of the phytophagous insect species.

  6. Insect prey foraging strategies in Callicebus oenanthe in northern Peru.

    PubMed

    Deluycker, Anneke M

    2012-05-01

    Titi monkeys (genus Callicebus) are small-bodied platyrrhines that supplement their predominantly frugivorous diet with variable amounts of leaves, seeds, and/or arthropod prey. Notable interspecific variation in the amount of insect prey in the diet has been observed in Callicebus, ranging from 0% to 20%. In this study, I investigate the degree and type of prey foraging in a little-known species, Callicebus oenanthe inhabiting a fragmented, secondary forest on the foothills of the Andes in northern Peru. I present data on prey type, prey search and capture techniques, substrate/vegetation use, foraging height, prey capture efficiency, and seasonal variation of insect prey foraging in one group of C. oenanthe observed from January to August 2005. Insect prey accounted for 22% of the diet, the highest amount reported for any Callicebus species to date, and insects from at least six different orders were included. C. oenanthe was mainly an investigative forager of hidden prey, manipulating easy-to-open substrates such as rolled up leaves, and hunted ant swarms and larger insects opportunistically. Insect foraging was predominant during the dry season (26%) and decreased during the wet season (13%). The study group foraged mostly in the understory (2-6 m) within vine-laden shrubs and trees, which may conform to an anti-predator strategy of crypticity. Overall the group had an 83% insect capture success rate. These data suggest that insect prey is an important part of the diet of C. oenanthe and may be especially notable during periods of resource scarcity. This study adds to the knowledge concerning insect prey foraging in Callicebus, which can have an important role in defining ecological strategies in the selection of secondary protein food resources within a given ecosystem.

  7. Agriculture: About EPA's National Agriculture Center

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA's National Agriculture Center (Ag Center), with the support of the United States Department of Agriculture, serves growers, livestock producers, other agribusinesses, and agricultural information/education providers.

  8. Eusocial insects as superorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Chen; Kaspari, Michael

    2010-01-01

    We recently published a paper titled “Energetic Basis of Colonial Living in Social Insects” showing that basic features of whole colony physiology and life history follow virtually the same size-dependencies as unitary organisms when a colony’s mass is the summed mass of individuals. We now suggest that these results are evidence, not only for the superorganism hypothesis, but also for colony level selection. In addition, we further examine the implications of these results for the metabolism and lifetime reproductive success of eusocial insect colonies. We conclude by discussing the mechanisms which may underlie the observed mass-dependence of survival, growth and reproduction in these colonies. PMID:20798827

  9. The aerodynamics of insect flight.

    PubMed

    Sane, Sanjay P

    2003-12-01

    The flight of insects has fascinated physicists and biologists for more than a century. Yet, until recently, researchers were unable to rigorously quantify the complex wing motions of flapping insects or measure the forces and flows around their wings. However, recent developments in high-speed videography and tools for computational and mechanical modeling have allowed researchers to make rapid progress in advancing our understanding of insect flight. These mechanical and computational fluid dynamic models, combined with modern flow visualization techniques, have revealed that the fluid dynamic phenomena underlying flapping flight are different from those of non-flapping, 2-D wings on which most previous models were based. In particular, even at high angles of attack, a prominent leading edge vortex remains stably attached on the insect wing and does not shed into an unsteady wake, as would be expected from non-flapping 2-D wings. Its presence greatly enhances the forces generated by the wing, thus enabling insects to hover or maneuver. In addition, flight forces are further enhanced by other mechanisms acting during changes in angle of attack, especially at stroke reversal, the mutual interaction of the two wings at dorsal stroke reversal or wing-wake interactions following stroke reversal. This progress has enabled the development of simple analytical and empirical models that allow us to calculate the instantaneous forces on flapping insect wings more accurately than was previously possible. It also promises to foster new and exciting multi-disciplinary collaborations between physicists who seek to explain the phenomenology, biologists who seek to understand its relevance to insect physiology and evolution, and engineers who are inspired to build micro-robotic insects using these principles. This review covers the basic physical principles underlying flapping flight in insects, results of recent experiments concerning the aerodynamics of insect flight, as well

  10. Insect attraction to herbivore-induced beech volatiles under different forest management regimes.

    PubMed

    Gossner, Martin M; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Unsicker, Sybille B

    2014-10-01

    Insect herbivore enemies such as parasitoids and predators are important in controlling herbivore pests. From agricultural systems we know that land-use intensification can negatively impact biological control as an important ecosystem service. The aim of our study was to investigate the importance of management regime for natural enemy pressure and biological control possibilities in forests dominated by European beech. We hypothesize that the volatile blend released from herbivore-infested beech trees functions as a signal, attracting parasitoids and herbivore enemies. Furthermore, we hypothesize that forest management regime influences the composition of species attracted by these herbivore-induced beech volatiles. We installed flight-interception traps next to Lymantria dispar caterpillar-infested young beech trees releasing herbivore-induced volatiles and next to non-infested control trees. Significantly more parasitoids were captured next to caterpillar-infested trees compared to non-infested controls, irrespective of forest type. However, the composition of the trophic guilds in the traps did vary in response to forest management regime. While the proportion of chewing insects was highest in non-managed forests, the proportion of sucking insects peaked in forests with low management and of parasitoids in young, highly managed, forest stands. Neither the number of naturally occurring beech saplings nor herbivory levels in the proximity of our experiment affected the abundance and diversity of parasitoids caught. Our data show that herbivore-induced beech volatiles attract herbivore enemies under field conditions. They further suggest that differences in the structural complexity of forests as a consequence of management regime only play a minor role in parasitoid activity and thus in indirect tree defense.

  11. Grooming Behavior as a Mechanism of Insect Disease Defense

    PubMed Central

    Zhukovskaya, Marianna; Yanagawa, Aya; Forschler, Brian T.

    2013-01-01

    Grooming is a well-recognized, multipurpose, behavior in arthropods and vertebrates. In this paper, we review the literature to highlight the physical function, neurophysiological mechanisms, and role that grooming plays in insect defense against pathogenic infection. The intricate relationships between the physical, neurological and immunological mechanisms of grooming are discussed to illustrate the importance of this behavior when examining the ecology of insect-pathogen interactions. PMID:26462526

  12. Disease prevention and anti-vector campaigns: insects.

    PubMed

    Esterhuizen, J

    2015-04-01

    Control of insect vector populations is an integral part of disease management but has many challenges. Area-wide campaigns, mainly based on insecticide administration, are most effective for control of insect populations, whereas disease prevention is more localised and protects a smaller number of animals against insect vector contact. Various control and prevention techniques are available for use against most insectvectors and are illustrated here by focusing on two important insect groups: biting midges and tsetse flies. Biting midges (Culicoides) present a major threat and challenge to disease and vector control because of limited large-scale control options and the huge population sizes and wide distribution of these insects. Localised disease prevention forms the basis for control, and there is a need for better understanding of the ecology and biology of these insects in order to develop large-scale control techniques. The necessary techniques to effectively control tsetse flies (Glossina) and trypanosomosis exist for both localised and area-wide control. The development of a new, cost-efficient device has had a significant impact in the control of both human and animal trypanosomosis. This is especially relevant in Uganda, where the movement of livestock for trading purposes is implicated in disease distribution and poses an immediate health threat where the two forms of the disease overlap. Although many successes have been achieved, continued research and development is needed to keep abreast of the multitude of challenges in insect vector control.

  13. A Review of Chemosensation and Related Behavior in Aquatic Insects

    PubMed Central

    Crespo, José G.

    2011-01-01

    Insects that are secondarily adapted to aquatic environments are able to sense odors from a diverse array of sources. The antenna of these insects, as in all insects, is the main chemosensory structure and its input to the brain allows for integration of sensory information that ultimately ends in behavioral responses. Only a fraction of the aquatic insect orders have been studied with respect to their sensory biology and most of the work has centered either on the description of the different types of sensilla, or on the behavior of the insect as a whole. In this paper, the literature is exhaustively reviewed and ways in which antennal morphology, brain structure, and associated behavior can advance better understanding of the neurobiology involved in processing of chemosensory information are discussed. Moreover, the importance of studying such group of insects is stated, and at the same time it is shown that many interesting questions regarding olfactory processing can be addressed by looking into the changes that aquatic insects undergo when leaving their aquatic environment. PMID:21864156

  14. Molecular Genetics of Beauveria bassiana Infection of Insects.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Fangyuan; Engel, Michael S; Perrichot, Vincent; Shi, Gongle; Zhang, Haichun; Chen, Jun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes

    2016-06-01

    Insects have evolved diverse methods of camouflage that have played an important role in their evolutionary success. Debris-carrying, a behavior of actively harvesting and carrying exogenous materials, is among the most fascinating and complex behaviors because it requires not only an ability to recognize, collect, and carry materials but also evolutionary adaptations in related morphological characteristics. However, the fossil record of such behavior is extremely scarce, and only a single Mesozoic example from Spanish amber has been recorded; therefore, little is known about the early evolution of this complicated behavior and its underlying anatomy. We report a diverse insect assemblage of exceptionally preserved debris carriers from Cretaceous Burmese, French, and Lebanese ambers, including the earliest known chrysopoid larvae (green lacewings), myrmeleontoid larvae (split-footed lacewings and owlflies), and reduviids (assassin bugs). These ancient insects used a variety of debris material, including insect exoskeletons, sand grains, soil dust, leaf trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, wood fibers, and other vegetal debris. They convergently evolved their debris-carrying behavior through multiple pathways, which expressed a high degree of evolutionary plasticity. We demonstrate that the behavioral repertoire, which is associated with considerable morphological adaptations, was already widespread among insects by at least the Mid-Cretaceous. Together with the previously known Spanish specimen, these fossils are the oldest direct evidence of camouflaging behavior in the fossil record. Our findings provide a novel insight into early evolution of camouflage in insects and ancient ecological associations among plants and insects.

  16. Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Fangyuan; Engel, Michael S.; Perrichot, Vincent; Shi, Gongle; Zhang, Haichun; Chen, Jun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A.; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes

    2016-01-01

    Insects have evolved diverse methods of camouflage that have played an important role in their evolutionary success. Debris-carrying, a behavior of actively harvesting and carrying exogenous materials, is among the most fascinating and complex behaviors because it requires not only an ability to recognize, collect, and carry materials but also evolutionary adaptations in related morphological characteristics. However, the fossil record of such behavior is extremely scarce, and only a single Mesozoic example from Spanish amber has been recorded; therefore, little is known about the early evolution of this complicated behavior and its underlying anatomy. We report a diverse insect assemblage of exceptionally preserved debris carriers from Cretaceous Burmese, French, and Lebanese ambers, including the earliest known chrysopoid larvae (green lacewings), myrmeleontoid larvae (split-footed lacewings and owlflies), and reduviids (assassin bugs). These ancient insects used a variety of debris material, including insect exoskeletons, sand grains, soil dust, leaf trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, wood fibers, and other vegetal debris. They convergently evolved their debris-carrying behavior through multiple pathways, which expressed a high degree of evolutionary plasticity. We demonstrate that the behavioral repertoire, which is associated with considerable morphological adaptations, was already widespread among insects by at least the Mid-Cretaceous. Together with the previously known Spanish specimen, these fossils are the oldest direct evidence of camouflaging behavior in the fossil record. Our findings provide a novel insight into early evolution of camouflage in insects and ancient ecological associations among plants and insects. PMID:27386568

  17. A review of chemosensation and related behavior in aquatic insects.

    PubMed

    Crespo, José G

    2011-01-01

    Insects that are secondarily adapted to aquatic environments are able to sense odors from a diverse array of sources. The antenna of these insects, as in all insects, is the main chemosensory structure and its input to the brain allows for integration of sensory information that ultimately ends in behavioral responses. Only a fraction of the aquatic insect orders have been studied with respect to their sensory biology and most of the work has centered either on the description of the different types of sensilla, or on the behavior of the insect as a whole. In this paper, the literature is exhaustively reviewed and ways in which antennal morphology, brain structure, and associated behavior can advance better understanding of the neurobiology involved in processing of chemosensory information are discussed. Moreover, the importance of studying such group of insects is stated, and at the same time it is shown that many interesting questions regarding olfactory processing can be addressed by looking into the changes that aquatic insects undergo when leaving their aquatic environment.

  18. Resistance to genetic insect control: Modelling the effects of space.

    PubMed

    Watkinson-Powell, Benjamin; Alphey, Nina

    2017-01-21

    Genetic insect control, such as self-limiting RIDL(2) (Release of Insects Carrying a Dominant Lethal) technology, is a development of the sterile insect technique which is proposed to suppress wild populations of a number of major agricultural and public health insect pests. This is achieved by mass rearing and releasing male insects that are homozygous for a repressible dominant lethal genetic construct, which causes death in progeny when inherited. The released genetically engineered ('GE') insects compete for mates with wild individuals, resulting in population suppression. A previous study modelled the evolution of a hypothetical resistance to the lethal construct using a frequency-dependent population genetic and population dynamic approach. This found that proliferation of resistance is possible but can be diluted by the introgression of susceptible alleles from the released homozygous-susceptible GE males. We develop this approach within a spatial context by modelling the spread of a lethal construct and resistance trait, and the effect on population control, in a two deme metapopulation, with GE release in one deme. Results show that spatial effects can drive an increased or decreased evolution of resistance in both the target and non-target demes, depending on the effectiveness and associated costs of the resistant trait, and on the rate of dispersal. A recurrent theme is the potential for the non-target deme to act as a source of resistant or susceptible alleles for the target deme through dispersal. This can in turn have a major impact on the effectiveness of insect population control.

  19. 7 CFR 201.38 - Importations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Importations. 201.38 Section 201.38 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED...

  20. 7 CFR 201.38 - Importations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Importations. 201.38 Section 201.38 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED...

  1. 7 CFR 1210.502 - Importer members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Importer members. 1210.502 Section 1210.502 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WATERMELON RESEARCH...

  2. 7 CFR 1210.502 - Importer members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Importer members. 1210.502 Section 1210.502 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WATERMELON RESEARCH...

  3. 7 CFR 1210.502 - Importer members.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Importer members. 1210.502 Section 1210.502 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; MISCELLANEOUS COMMODITIES), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WATERMELON RESEARCH...

  4. Sterile-Insect Methods for Control of Mosquito-Borne Diseases: An Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Benedict, Mark; Bellini, Romeo; Clark, Gary G.; Dame, David A.; Service, Mike W.; Dobson, Stephen L.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Effective vector control, and more specifically mosquito control, is a complex and difficult problem, as illustrated by the continuing prevalence (and spread) of mosquito-transmitted diseases. The sterile insect technique and similar methods control certain agricultural insect pest populations in a species-specific, environmentally sound, and effective manner; there is increased interest in applying this approach to vector control. Such an approach, like all others in use and development, is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and will be more appropriate in some situations than others. In addition, the proposed release of pest insects, and more so genetically modified pest insects, is bound to raise questions in the general public and the scientific community as to such a method's efficacy, safety, and sustainability. This article attempts to address these concerns and indicate where sterile-insect methods are likely to be useful for vector control. PMID:19725763

  5. Sterile-insect methods for control of mosquito-borne diseases: an analysis.

    PubMed

    Alphey, Luke; Benedict, Mark; Bellini, Romeo; Clark, Gary G; Dame, David A; Service, Mike W; Dobson, Stephen L

    2010-04-01

    Effective vector control, and more specifically mosquito control, is a complex and difficult problem, as illustrated by the continuing prevalence (and spread) of mosquito-transmitted diseases. The sterile insect technique and similar methods control certain agricultural insect pest populations in a species-specific, environmentally sound, and effective manner; there is increased interest in applying this approach to vector control. Such an approach, like all others in use and development, is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and will be more appropriate in some situations than others. In addition, the proposed release of pest insects, and more so genetically modified pest insects, is bound to raise questions in the general public and the scientific community as to such a method's efficacy, safety, and sustainability. This article attempts to address these concerns and indicate where sterile-insect methods are likely to be useful for vector control.

  6. Therapy and prevention of parasitic insects in veterinary medicine using imidacloprid.

    PubMed

    Mencke, Norbert; Jeschke, Peter

    2002-07-01

    Ectoparasitic insects play a major role in veterinary medicine. The flea, especially the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis felis Bouch 1835) is the most important ectoparasite worldwide. The cat flea parasitizes not only on dogs and cats but also on other warm-blooded animals including humans. The veterinary importance of flea infestation are dermatological conditions due to allergic reactions to antigens in the flea saliva and the transmission of infectious agents like bacteria, viruses and helminths. Insecticides used in veterinary medicine today have to fulfil criteria of elimination of a existing flea infestation (therapy) and prevention (prophylaxis) of new infestation for weeks. Imidacloprid is a compound of the chemical class of CNI (chloronicotinyl insecticides syn. neonicotinoids) that fits these criteria. The high selectivity towards the site of action within insects together with the high safety margin on mammals allowed to develop imidacloprid as an insecticide for agricultural use and finally for the application as a veterinary medicine. The major features of imidacloprid chemistry, toxicology and the development and use as a veterinary medicinal remedy are described.

  7. Small Interfering RNA Pathway Modulates Initial Viral Infection in Midgut Epithelium of Insect after Ingestion of Virus

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Hanhong; Chen, Hongyan; Liu, Yuyan; Jiang, Chaoyang; Mao, Qianzhuo; Jia, Dongsheng; Chen, Qian

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Numerous viruses are transmitted in a persistent manner by insect vectors. Persistent viruses establish their initial infection in the midgut epithelium, from where they disseminate to the midgut visceral muscles. Although propagation of viruses in insect vectors can be controlled by the small interfering RNA (siRNA) antiviral pathway, whether the siRNA pathway can control viral dissemination from the midgut epithelium is unknown. Infection by a rice virus (Southern rice black streaked dwarf virus [SRBSDV]) of its incompetent vector (the small brown planthopper [SBPH]) is restricted to the midgut epithelium. Here, we show that the siRNA pathway is triggered by SRBSDV infection in continuously cultured cells derived from the SBPH and in the midgut of the intact insect. Knockdown of the expression of the core component Dicer-2 of the siRNA pathway by RNA interference strongly increased the ability of SRBSDV to propagate in continuously cultured SBPH cells and in the midgut epithelium, allowing viral titers in the midgut epithelium to reach the threshold (1.99 × 109 copies of the SRBSDV P10 gene/μg of midgut RNA) needed for viral dissemination into the SBPH midgut muscles. Our results thus represent the first elucidation of the threshold for viral dissemination from the insect midgut epithelium. Silencing of Dicer-2 further facilitated the transmission of SRBSDV into rice plants by SBPHs. Taken together, our results reveal the new finding that the siRNA pathway can control the initial infection of the insect midgut epithelium by a virus, which finally affects the competence of the virus's vector. IMPORTANCE Many viral pathogens that cause significant global health and agricultural problems are transmitted via insect vectors. The first bottleneck in viral infection, the midgut epithelium, is a principal determinant of the ability of an insect species to transmit a virus. Southern rice black streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) is restricted exclusively to the

  8. Insects as vectors: systematics and biology.

    PubMed

    Rodhain, F

    2015-04-01

    Among the many complex relationships between insects and microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and parasites, some have resulted in the establishment of biological systems within which the insects act as a biological vector for infectious agents. It is therefore advisable to understand the identity and biology of these vectors in depth, in order to define procedures for epidemiological surveillance and anti-vector control. The following are successively reviewed in this article: Anoplura (lice), Siphonaptera (fleas), Heteroptera (bugs: Cimicidae, Triatoma, Belostomatidae), Psychodidae (sandflies), Simuliidae (black flies), Ceratopogonidae (biting midges), Culicidae (mosquitoes), Tabanidae (horseflies) and Muscidae (tsetse flies, stable flies and pupipara). The authors provide a rapid overview of the morphology, systematics, development cycle and bio-ecology of each of these groups of vectors. Finally, their medical and veterinary importance is briefly reviewed.

  9. Velocity correlations in laboratory insect swarms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, R.; Ouellette, N. T.

    2015-12-01

    In contrast to animal groups such as bird flocks or migratory herds that display net, directed motion, insect swarms do not possess global order. Without such order, it is difficult to define and characterize the transition to collective behavior in swarms; nevertheless, visual observation of swarms strongly suggests that swarming insects do behave collectively. It has recently been suggested that correlation rather than order is the hallmark of emergent collective behavior. Here, we report measurements of spatial velocity correlation functions in laboratory mating swarms of the non-biting midge Chironomus riparius. Although we find some correlation at short distances, our swarms are in general only weakly correlated, in contrast to what has been observed in field studies. Our results hint at the potentially important role of environmental conditions on collective behavior, and suggest that general indicators of the collective nature of swarming are still needed.

  10. A multi-scale, landscape approach to predicting insect populations in agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    O'Rourke, Megan E; Rienzo-Stack, Kaitlin; Power, Alison G

    2011-07-01

    Landscape composition affects ecosystems services, including agricultural pest management. However, relationships between land use and agricultural insects are not well understood, and many complexities remain to be explored. Here we examine whether nonagricultural landscapes can directly suppress agricultural pests, how multiple spatial scales of land use concurrently affect insect populations, and the relationships between regional land use and insect populations. We tracked densities of three specialist corn (Zea mays) pests (Ostrinia nubilalis, European corn borer; Diabrotica virgifera, western corn rootworm; Diabrotica barberi, northern corn rootworm), and two generalist predator lady beetles (Coleomegilla maculata and Propylea quatuordecimpunctata) in field corn and determined their relationships to agricultural land use at three spatial scales (field perimeter, 1-km, and 20-km radius areas). Pest densities were either higher (D. virgifera and D. barberi) or unchanged (O. nubilalis) in landscapes with more corn, while natural enemy densities were either lower (C. maculata) or unchanged (P. quatuordecimpunctata). Results for D. virgifera and D. barberi indicate that decreasing the area of preferred crop in the landscape can directly suppress specialist insect pests. Multiple scales of land use affected populations of D. virgifera and C. maculata, and D. virgifera populations showed strong relationships with regional, 20-km-scale land use. These results suggest that farm planning and government policies aimed at diversifying local and regional agricultural landscapes show promise for increasing biological control and directly suppressing agricultural pests.

  11. Ultraviolet safety assessments of insect light traps

    PubMed Central

    Sliney, David H.; Gilbert, David W.; Lyon, Terry

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Near-ultraviolet (UV-A: 315–400 nm), “black-light,” electric lamps were invented in 1935 and ultraviolet insect light traps (ILTs) were introduced for use in agriculture around that time. Today ILTs are used indoors in several industries and in food-service as well as in outdoor settings. With recent interest in photobiological lamp safety, safety standards are being developed to test for potentially hazardous ultraviolet emissions. A variety of UV “Black-light” ILTs were measured at a range of distances to assess potential exposures. Realistic time-weighted human exposures are shown to be well below current guidelines for human exposure to ultraviolet radiation. These UV-A exposures would be far less than the typical UV-A exposure in the outdoor environment. Proposals are made for realistic ultraviolet safety standards for ILT products. PMID:27043058

  12. Ultraviolet safety assessments of insect light traps.

    PubMed

    Sliney, David H; Gilbert, David W; Lyon, Terry

    2016-01-01

    Near-ultraviolet (UV-A: 315-400 nm), "black-light," electric lamps were invented in 1935 and ultraviolet insect light traps (ILTs) were introduced for use in agriculture around that time. Today ILTs are used indoors in several industries and in food-service as well as in outdoor settings. With recent interest in photobiological lamp safety, safety standards are being developed to test for potentially hazardous ultraviolet emissions. A variety of UV "Black-light" ILTs were measured at a range of distances to assess potential exposures. Realistic time-weighted human exposures are shown to be well below current guidelines for human exposure to ultraviolet radiation. These UV-A exposures would be far less than the typical UV-A exposure in the outdoor environment. Proposals are made for realistic ultraviolet safety standards for ILT products.

  13. Habitat Re-Creation (Ecological Restoration) as a Strategy for Conserving Insect Communities in Highly Fragmented Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Shuey, John A.

    2013-01-01

    Because of their vast diversity, measured by both numbers of species as well as life history traits, insects defy comprehensive conservation planning. Thus, almost all insect conservation efforts target individual species. However, serious insect conservation requires goals that are set at the faunal level and conservation success requires strategies that conserve intact communities. This task is complicated in agricultural landscapes by high levels of habitat fragmentation and isolation. In many regions, once widespread insect communities are now functionally trapped on islands of ecosystem remnants and subject to a variety of stressors associated with isolation, small population sizes and artificial population fragmentation. In fragmented landscapes ecological restoration can be an effective strategy for reducing localized insect extinction rates, but insects are seldom included in restoration design criteria. It is possible to incorporate a few simple conservation criteria into restoration designs that enhance impacts to entire insect communities. Restoration can be used as a strategy to address fragmentation threats to isolated insect communities if insect communities are incorporated at the onset of restoration planning. Fully incorporating insect communities into restoration designs may increase the cost of restoration two- to three-fold, but the benefits to biodiversity conservation and the ecological services provided by intact insect communities justify the cost. PMID:26462535

  14. Agricultural Awareness Activities and Their Integration into the Curriculum as Perceived by Elementary Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knobloch, Neil A.; Martin, Robert A.

    2000-01-01

    Responses from 281 of 689 elementary teachers indicated they had positive perceptions of the agriculture industry and integration of agriculture into the curriculum. Over 80% used agriculture activities, especially the study of animals, plants, food, nutrition, environment, wildlife, and insects. (Contains 38 references.) (SK)

  15. Emerging Agricultural Biotechnologies for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jennifer A; Gipmans, Martijn; Hurst, Susan; Layton, Raymond; Nehra, Narender; Pickett, John; Shah, Dilip M; Souza, Thiago Lívio P O; Tripathi, Leena

    2016-01-20

    As global populations continue to increase, agricultural productivity will be challenged to keep pace without overtaxing important environmental resources. A dynamic and integrated approach will be required to solve global food insecurity and position agriculture on a trajectory toward sustainability. Genetically modified (GM) crops enhanced through modern biotechnology represent an important set of tools that can promote sustainable agriculture and improve food security. Several emerging biotechnology approaches were discussed in a recent symposium organized at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA. This paper summarizes the innovative research and several of the new and emerging technologies within the field of agricultural biotechnology that were presented during the symposium. This discussion highlights how agricultural biotechnology fits within the context of sustainable agriculture and improved food security and can be used in support of further development and adoption of beneficial GM crops.

  16. Annual and seasonal patterns of insect succession on decomposing remains at two locations in Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Voss, Sasha C; Spafford, Helen; Dadour, Ian R

    2009-12-15

    This study considered annual, seasonal and shorter term variation in patterns of insect succession onto decomposing remains at two contrasting locations in Western Australia, bushland and agricultural. The degree of consistency in insect succession patterns over spatial and temporal scales was evaluated through multivariate analysis of occurrence-based distance matrices. Insect assemblages were strongly correlated between locations, within corresponding time periods, indicating that patterns of insect succession were similar between localised sites within the same broad geographic area. This suggests that there is reasonable scope for the application of baseline succession data generated at a single study site to a range of decomposition sites within a given region. Differences were largely due to species absences at the agricultural site. Three species of Coleoptera were identified as possible representatives of bushland habitat, Ptomaphila lacrymosa (Silphidae), Omorgus tatei (Trogidae) and Helea castor (Tenebrionidae), and may be indicative of post mortem movement between habitat types. Within locations, variation in insect assemblages was not significant between years. Within years, insect assemblages varied significantly over time on a seasonal time scale and as decomposition progressed through defined decomposition stages. Forensically relevant data detailing the seasonal pattern of insect succession onto decomposing remains for Western Australia are reported. Additional focus has been directed towards hymenopteran parasitoids that frequent decomposing remains and parasitise Diptera colonisers. Parasitoids can be used to provide an extended PMI timeframe in cases where traditional forensic indicators have completed their development.

  17. Innovative applications for insect viruses: towards insecticide sensitization.

    PubMed

    Lapied, Bruno; Pennetier, Cédric; Apaire-Marchais, Véronique; Licznar, Patricia; Corbel, Vincent

    2009-04-01

    The effective management of emerging insect-borne disease is dependent on the use of safe and efficacious chemical insecticides. Given the inherent ability of insects to develop resistance, it is essential to propose innovative strategies because insecticides remain the most important element of integrated approaches to vector control. Recently, intracellular phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of membrane receptors and ion channels targeted by insecticides have been described as new processes for increasing the sensitivity of insecticides. An efficient method might be to infect host insects with recombinant viruses overexpressing specific protein phosphatases/kinases known to regulate specific insecticide-sensitive targets. This attractive strategy could lead to sensitization of the insects, thus reducing the doses of insecticides and increasing the efficacy of treatments.

  18. Insect antiviral innate immunity: pathways, effectors, and connections.

    PubMed

    Kingsolver, Megan B; Huang, Zhijing; Hardy, Richard W

    2013-12-13

    Insects are infected by a wide array of viruses some of which are insect restricted and pathogenic, and some of which are transmitted by biting insects to vertebrates. The medical and economic importance of these viruses heightens the need to understand the interaction between the infecting pathogen and the insect immune system in order to develop transmission interventions. The interaction of the virus with the insect host innate immune system plays a critical role in the outcome of infection. The major mechanism of antiviral defense is the small, interfering RNA pathway that responds through the detection of virus-derived double-stranded RNA to suppress virus replication. However, other innate antimicrobial pathways such as Imd, Toll, and Jak-STAT and the autophagy pathway have also been shown to play important roles in antiviral immunity. In this review, we provide an overview of the current understanding of the main insect antiviral pathways and examine recent findings that further our understanding of the roles of these pathways in facilitating a systemic and specific response to infecting viruses.

  19. Insect antiviral innate immunity: pathways, effectors, and connections

    PubMed Central

    Kingsolver, Megan B.; Huang, Zhijing; Hardy, Richard W.

    2014-01-01

    Insects are infected by a wide array of viruses some of which are insect-restricted and pathogenic, and some of which are transmitted by biting insects to vertebrates. The medical and economic importance of these viruses heightens the need to understand the interaction between the infecting pathogen and the insect immune system in order to develop transmission interventions. The interaction of the virus with the insect host innate immune system plays a critical role in the outcome of infection. The major mechanism of antiviral defense is the siRNA pathway that responds through the detection of virus-derived dsRNA to suppress virus replication. However, other innate antimicrobial pathways such as Imd, Toll, Jak-STAT, and the autophagy pathway have also been shown to play important roles in antiviral immunity. In this review we provide an overview of the current understanding of the main insect antiviral pathways and examine recent findings that further our understanding of the roles of these pathways in facilitating a systemic and specific response to infecting viruses. PMID:24120681

  20. Peripheral and central structures involved in insect gustation.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, B K; Itagaki, H; Rivet, M P

    1999-12-15

    Studies in insect gustation have a long history in general physiology, particularly with work on fly labellar and tarsal sensilla and in the general field of insect-plant interactions, where work on immature Lepidoptera and chrysomelid beetles has been prominent. Much more emphasis has been placed on the physiological characteristics of the sensory cells than on the central cellular mechanisms of taste processing. This is due to the fairly direct access for physiological experimentation presented by many taste sensilla and to the obvious importance of tastants in insect feeding and oviposition behaviour. In some of the insect models used for gustatory studies, advances have been made in understanding the basic morphology of the central neuropils involved in the first stages of taste processing. There is much less known about the physiology of interneurons involved. In this review, we concentrate on four insect models (Manduca sexta, Drosophila melanogaster, Neobellieria bullata (and other large flies), and Apis mellifera) to summarize morphological knowledge of peripheral and central aspects of insect gustation. Our views of current interpretations of available data are discussed and some important areas for future research are highlighted.