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Sample records for insect pathogen metarhizium

  1. Conidia of the insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae, fail to adhere to mosquito larval cuticle

    PubMed Central

    Greenfield, Bethany P. J.; Lord, Alex M.; Dudley, Ed; Butt, Tariq M.

    2014-01-01

    Adhesion of conidia of the insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae, to the arthropod host cuticle initially involves hydrophobic forces followed by consolidation facilitated by the action of extracellular enzymes and secretion of mucilage. Gene expression analysis and atomic force microscopy were used to directly quantify recognition and adhesion between single conidia of M. anisopliae and the cuticle of the aquatic larval stage of Aedes aegypti and a representative terrestrial host, Tenebrio molitor. Gene expression data indicated recognition by the pathogen of both hosts; however, the forces for adhesion to the mosquito were approximately five times lower than those observed for Tenebrio. Although weak forces were recorded in response to Aedes, Metarhizium was unable to consolidate firm attachment. An analysis of the cuticular composition revealed an absence of long-chain hydrocarbons in Aedes larvae which are thought to be required for fungal development on host cuticle. This study provides, to our knowledge, the first evidence that Metarhizium does not form firm attachment to Ae. aegypti larvae in situ, therefore preventing the normal route of invasion and pathogenesis from occuring. PMID:26064542

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Protein analysis in a pleomorphically deteriorated strain of the insect-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae.

    PubMed

    Kamp, Andrena M; Bidochka, Michael J

    2002-09-01

    Pleomorphic deterioration is a process where a fungal isolate loses the ability to produce conidia during repeated subculturing. We have previously isolated strains of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae that have irreversibly lost the ability to produce conidia and only produce mycelia when grown on agar. Gel electrophoresis was used to examine differences in intracellular protein patterns (urea-soluble proteins and urea-insoluble proteins (i.e., hydrophobins)) in conidiating and mycelial cultures of M. anisopliae. Two major proteins present in a conidiating culture and one from a mycelial culture were N-terminally sequenced but showed no homologies to known proteins. The presence of hydrophobins in conidiating and mycelial cultures was also examined, and it was shown that these proteins were abundant in conidiating cultures but not in mycelial cultures. We also used primers designed from regulatory genes involved in conidiation in Aspergillus nidulans. The amplified fragments were not homologous to A. nidulans genes.

  5. Can insects develop resistance to insect pathogenic fungi?

    PubMed

    Dubovskiy, Ivan M; Whitten, Miranda M A; Yaroslavtseva, Olga N; Greig, Carolyn; Kryukov, Vadim Y; Grizanova, Ekaterina V; Mukherjee, Krishnendu; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Glupov, Viktor V; Butt, Tariq M

    2013-01-01

    Microevolutionary adaptations and mechanisms of fungal pathogen resistance were explored in a melanic population of the Greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Under constant selective pressure from the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, 25(th) generation larvae exhibited significantly enhanced resistance, which was specific to this pathogen and not to another insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae. Defense and stress management strategies of selected (resistant) and non-selected (susceptible) insect lines were compared to uncover mechanisms underpinning resistance, and the possible cost of those survival strategies. We hypothesize that the insects developed a transgenerationally primed resistance to the fungus B. bassiana, a costly trait that was achieved not by compromising life-history traits but rather by prioritizing and re-allocating pathogen-species-specific augmentations to integumental front-line defenses that are most likely to be encountered by invading fungi. Specifically during B. bassiana infection, systemic immune defenses are suppressed in favour of a more limited but targeted repertoire of enhanced responses in the cuticle and epidermis of the integument (e.g. expression of the fungal enzyme inhibitor IMPI, and cuticular phenoloxidase activity). A range of putative stress-management factors (e.g. antioxidants) is also activated during the specific response of selected insects to B. bassiana but not M. anisopliae. This too occurs primarily in the integument, and probably contributes to antifungal defense and/or helps ameliorate the damage inflicted by the fungus or the host's own immune responses.

  6. Can Insects Develop Resistance to Insect Pathogenic Fungi?

    PubMed Central

    Yaroslavtseva, Olga N.; Greig, Carolyn; Kryukov, Vadim Y.; Grizanova, Ekaterina V.; Mukherjee, Krishnendu; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Glupov, Viktor V.; Butt, Tariq M.

    2013-01-01

    Microevolutionary adaptations and mechanisms of fungal pathogen resistance were explored in a melanic population of the Greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Under constant selective pressure from the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, 25th generation larvae exhibited significantly enhanced resistance, which was specific to this pathogen and not to another insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae. Defense and stress management strategies of selected (resistant) and non-selected (susceptible) insect lines were compared to uncover mechanisms underpinning resistance, and the possible cost of those survival strategies. We hypothesize that the insects developed a transgenerationally primed resistance to the fungus B. bassiana, a costly trait that was achieved not by compromising life-history traits but rather by prioritizing and re-allocating pathogen-species-specific augmentations to integumental front-line defenses that are most likely to be encountered by invading fungi. Specifically during B. bassiana infection, systemic immune defenses are suppressed in favour of a more limited but targeted repertoire of enhanced responses in the cuticle and epidermis of the integument (e.g. expression of the fungal enzyme inhibitor IMPI, and cuticular phenoloxidase activity). A range of putative stress-management factors (e.g. antioxidants) is also activated during the specific response of selected insects to B. bassiana but not M. anisopliae. This too occurs primarily in the integument, and probably contributes to antifungal defense and/or helps ameliorate the damage inflicted by the fungus or the host’s own immune responses. PMID:23560083

  7. Flexible metabolism in Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana: role of the glyoxylate cycle during insect pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Padilla-Guerrero, Israel Enrique; Barelli, Larissa; González-Hernández, Gloria Angélica; Torres-Guzmán, Juan Carlos; Bidochka, Michael J

    2011-01-01

    Insect pathogenic fungi such as Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana have an increasing role in the control of agricultural insect pests and vectors of human diseases. Many of the virulence factors are well studied but less is known of the metabolism of these fungi during the course of insect infection or saprobic growth. Here, we assessed enzyme activity and gene expression in the central carbon metabolic pathway, including isocitrate dehydrogenase, aconitase, citrate synthase, malate synthase (MLS) and isocitrate lyase (ICL), with particular attention to the glyoxylate cycle when M. anisopliae and B. bassiana were grown under various conditions. We observed that ICL and MLS, glyoxylate cycle intermediates, were upregulated during growth on 2-carbon compounds (acetate and ethanol) as well as in insect haemolymph. We fused the promoter of the M. anisopliae ICL gene (Ma-icl) to a marker gene (mCherry) and showed that Ma-icl was upregulated when M. anisopliae was grown in the presence of acetate. Furthermore, Ma-icl was upregulated when fungi were engulfed by insect haemocytes as well as during appressorium formation. Addition of the ICL inhibitor 3-nitroproprionate delayed conidial germination and inhibited appressorium formation. These results show that these insect pathogenic fungi have a flexible metabolism that includes the glyoxylate cycle as an integral part of germination, pathogenesis and saprobic growth.

  8. Agrobacterium-mediated disruption of a nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene in the invertebrate pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae reveals a peptide spore factor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous secondary metabolites have been isolated from the insect pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, but the roles of these compounds as virulence factors in disease development are poorly understood. We targeted for disruption by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation a putative n...

  9. Biochemical basis of synergism between pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae and insecticide chlorantraniliprole in Locusta migratoria (Meyen)

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Miao; Cao, Guangchun; Li, Yibo; Tu, Xiongbing; Wang, Guangjun; Nong, Xiangqun; Whitman, Douglas W.; Zhang, Zehua

    2016-01-01

    We challenged Locusta migratoria (Meyen) grasshoppers with simultaneous doses of both the insecticide chlorantraniliprole and the fungal pathogen, Metarhizium anisopliae. Our results showed synergistic and antagonistic effects on host mortality and enzyme activities. To elucidate the biochemical mechanisms that underlie detoxification and pathogen-immune responses in insects, we monitored the activities of 10 enzymes. After administration of insecticide and fungus, activities of glutathione-S-transferase (GST), general esterases (ESTs) and phenol oxidase (PO) decreased in the insect during the initial time period, whereas those of aryl acylamidase (AA) and chitinase (CHI) increased during the initial period and that of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) increased during a later time period. Activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POD) decreased at a later time period post treatment. Interestingly, treatment with chlorantraniliprole and M. anisopliae relieved the convulsions that normally accompany M. anisopliae infection. We speculate that locust mortality increased as a result of synergism via a mechanism related to Ca2+ disruption in the host. Our study illuminates the biochemical mechanisms involved in insect immunity to xenobiotics and pathogens as well as the mechanisms by which these factors disrupt host homeostasis and induce death. We expect this knowledge to lead to more effective pest control. PMID:27328936

  10. Biochemical basis of synergism between pathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae and insecticide chlorantraniliprole in Locusta migratoria (Meyen).

    PubMed

    Jia, Miao; Cao, Guangchun; Li, Yibo; Tu, Xiongbing; Wang, Guangjun; Nong, Xiangqun; Whitman, Douglas W; Zhang, Zehua

    2016-06-22

    We challenged Locusta migratoria (Meyen) grasshoppers with simultaneous doses of both the insecticide chlorantraniliprole and the fungal pathogen, Metarhizium anisopliae. Our results showed synergistic and antagonistic effects on host mortality and enzyme activities. To elucidate the biochemical mechanisms that underlie detoxification and pathogen-immune responses in insects, we monitored the activities of 10 enzymes. After administration of insecticide and fungus, activities of glutathione-S-transferase (GST), general esterases (ESTs) and phenol oxidase (PO) decreased in the insect during the initial time period, whereas those of aryl acylamidase (AA) and chitinase (CHI) increased during the initial period and that of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) increased during a later time period. Activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POD) decreased at a later time period post treatment. Interestingly, treatment with chlorantraniliprole and M. anisopliae relieved the convulsions that normally accompany M. anisopliae infection. We speculate that locust mortality increased as a result of synergism via a mechanism related to Ca(2+) disruption in the host. Our study illuminates the biochemical mechanisms involved in insect immunity to xenobiotics and pathogens as well as the mechanisms by which these factors disrupt host homeostasis and induce death. We expect this knowledge to lead to more effective pest control.

  11. 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.

  12. Host-to-Pathogen Gene Transfer Facilitated Infection of Insects by a Pathogenic Fungus

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Hong; Xu, Chuan; Lu, Hsiao-Ling; Chen, Xiaoxuan; St. Leger, Raymond J.; Fang, Weiguo

    2014-01-01

    Metarhizium robertsii is a plant root colonizing fungus that is also an insect pathogen. Its entomopathogenicity is a characteristic that was acquired during evolution from a plant endophyte ancestor. This transition provides a novel perspective on how new functional mechanisms important for host switching and virulence have evolved. From a random T-DNA insertion library, we obtained a pathogenicity defective mutant that resulted from the disruption of a sterol carrier gene (Mr-npc2a). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Metarhizium acquired Mr-npc2a from an insect by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Mr-NPC2a binds to cholesterol, an animal sterol, rather than the fungal sterol ergosterol, indicating it retains the specificity of insect NPC2 proteins. Mr-NPC2a is an intracellular protein and is exclusively expressed in the hemolymph of living insects. The disruption of Mr-npc2a reduced the amount of sterol in cell membranes of the yeast-like hyphal bodies that facilitate dispersal in the host body. These were consequently more susceptible to insect immune responses than the wild type. Transgenic expression of Mr-NPC2a increased the virulence of Beauveria bassiana, an endophytic insect-pathogenic fungus that lacks a Mr-NPC2a homolog. PMID:24722668

  13. Pathogenicity of entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycetes) to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, E.; Browning, M.; Johnson, P.W.; Ginsberg, H.S.; LeBrun, R.A.

    1997-01-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is highly pathogenic to the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Spore concentrations of 108/ml for engorged larvae and 107/ml for engorged females resulted in 100% tick mortality, 2 wk post-infection. The LC50 value for engorged larvae (concentration to kill 50% of ticks) was 107 spores/ml. Metarhizium anisopliae shows considerable potential as a microbial control agent for the management of Ixodes scapularis.

  14. Pathogenicity of Metarhizium anisopliae for Ceratitis capitata (Wied.) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in soil with different pesticides.

    PubMed

    Mochi, Dinalva A; Monteiro, Antonio C; De Bortoli, Sergio A; Dória, Háyda O S; Barbosa, José C

    2006-01-01

    This research intended to investigate if the presence of pesticides in the soil could affect the pathogenicity of Metarhizium anisopliae Metsch. (Sorokin) for Ceratitis capitata (Wied.) and assess the effect of conidia application as suspension or dry conidia. The fungicides chlorothalonyl and tebuconazol, the acaricide abamectin, the insecticide trichlorfon, and the herbicide ametrin were applied at the manufacturer-recommended doses. Soil samples were placed in glass flasks and were given the fungus as conidial suspension or dry. After pesticide application, 20 3rd-instar larvae were placed in the soil. The flasks were sealed with voile fabric and incubated at 27 +/- 0.5 masculineC for nine days, until adult emergence; incubation continued for four more days at room temperature. The total insect survival was significantly affected and pathogenic activity was detected from the pupa stage on. Pupa survival was reduced (P<0.05); the same occurred during the adult phase. No effect was observed at the larval stage. The pesticides applied to the soil affected the activity of M. anisopliae slightly: only in the dry conidia assay the fungicides chlorothalonyl and tebuconazole reduced (86.2% and 82.5%, respectively) the survival period of C. capitata compared to the control (95.0%). The techniques used for conidia application did not influence the total insect survival rate, but conidial suspension applied on soil surface reduced survival during the pupae and adult phases.

  15. Proteomic analysis of Metarhizium anisopliae secretion in the presence of the insect pest Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Murad, André M; Noronha, Eliane F; Miller, Robert N G; Costa, Fabio T; Pereira, Caroline D; Mehta, Angela; Caldas, Ruy A; Franco, Octávio L

    2008-12-01

    Crop improvement in agriculture generally focuses on yield, seed quality and nutritional characteristics, as opposed to resistance to biotic stresses. Consequently, natural antifeedant toxins are often rare in seed material, with commercial crops being prone to insect pest predation. In the specific case of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), smallholder cropping is affected by insect pests that reproduce inside the stored seeds. Entomopathogenic organisms can offer an alternative to conventional pesticides for pest control, producing hydrolases that degrade insect exoskeleton. In this study, protein secretions of the ascomycete Metarhizium anisopliae, which conferred bioinsecticidal activity against Callosobruchus maculatus, were characterized via 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Proteases, reductases and acetyltransferase enzymes were detected. These may be involved in degradation and nutrient uptake from dehydrated C. maculatus. Proteins identified in this work allowed description of metabolic pathways. Their potential applications in biotechnology include both novel compound development and production of genetically modified plants resistant to insect pests.

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

    PubMed

    Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J

    2014-03-01

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

  17. Integrated control of sugarbeet root maggot by using resistant germplasm, an insect pathogen, and an insecticidal seed treatment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This investigation was carried out during the 2014 growing season to evaluate the following for SBRM management in the Red River Valley growing area: 1) a granular formulation of the fungal insect pathogen, Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin strain MA1200; 2) an experimental SBRM-resistan...

  18. Prospects of using Metarhizium anisopliae to check the breeding of insect pest, Oryctes rhinoceros L. in coconut leaf vermicomposting sites.

    PubMed

    Gopal, Murali; Gupta, Alka; Thomas, George V

    2006-10-01

    During vermicomposting of coconut leaves by the earthworm Eudrilus sp., Oryctes rhinoceros L. (rhinoceros beetle), an insect pest of palms, was found to breed in the decomposing organic material. Metarhizium anisopliae var. major was tried as a biocontrol agent for management of this pest. The effect of pathogen at spore loads of 10(3), 10(4) and 10(5) per 10 g of substrate was tested in laboratory on Eudrilus sp. kept with O. rhinoceros grubs and on Eudrilus sp. alone for the pathogenic capability of the fungus on the pest and its possible toxicity towards the vermin. The efficacy of the entomopathogen was also tested in the field in vermicomposting tanks. In laboratory bioassay, 100% mycosis of O. rhinoceros grubs could be obtained while the entomopathogen had no toxic effect on the earthworms. There was a positive change in the number and weight of the earthworms on treatment with M. anisopliae. In the field, application of M. anisopliae reduced O. rhinoceros grubs in the vermicomposting tanks upto an extent of 72%. In conclusion, M. anisopliae could effectively control O. rhinoceros in vermicomposting sites and was non-hazardous to the vermicomposting process as well as the Eudrilus sp.

  19. Genome sequence of the insect pathogenic fungus Cordyceps militaris, a valued traditional chinese medicine

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Species in the ascomycete fungal genus Cordyceps have been proposed to be the teleomorphs of Metarhizium species. The latter have been widely used as insect biocontrol agents. Cordyceps species are highly prized for use in traditional Chinese medicines, but the genes responsible for biosynthesis of bioactive components, insect pathogenicity and the control of sexuality and fruiting have not been determined. Results Here, we report the genome sequence of the type species Cordyceps militaris. Phylogenomic analysis suggests that different species in the Cordyceps/Metarhizium genera have evolved into insect pathogens independently of each other, and that their similar large secretomes and gene family expansions are due to convergent evolution. However, relative to other fungi, including Metarhizium spp., many protein families are reduced in C. militaris, which suggests a more restricted ecology. Consistent with its long track record of safe usage as a medicine, the Cordyceps genome does not contain genes for known human mycotoxins. We establish that C. militaris is sexually heterothallic but, very unusually, fruiting can occur without an opposite mating-type partner. Transcriptional profiling indicates that fruiting involves induction of the Zn2Cys6-type transcription factors and MAPK pathway; unlike other fungi, however, the PKA pathway is not activated. Conclusions The data offer a better understanding of Cordyceps biology and will facilitate the exploitation of medicinal compounds produced by the fungus. PMID:22112802

  20. Clarification of generic and species boundaries for Metarhizium and related fungi through multigene phylogenetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genus Metarhizium traditionally refers to green-spored asexual insect pathogenic fungi. Through culturing and molecular methods, Metarhizium has been linked to Metacordyceps sexual states. Historically, fungal nomenclature has allowed separate names for the different life-stages of pleomorphic...

  1. Genetic diversity of the fungal pathogen Metarhizium spp., causing epizootics in Chinese burrower bugs in the Jingting Mountains, eastern China.

    PubMed

    Luan, Fenggang; Zhang, Shengli; Wang, Bin; Huang, Bo; Li, Zengzhi

    2013-01-01

    Based on the internal transcribed spacer and inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR), the phylogenetic relationship and genetic diversity of Metarhizium spp., pathogens found in Chinese burrower bugs, Schiodtella formosana, were analyzed. The results showed that the causative agents of the epizootic green muscardine disease in populations of S. formosana were actually composed of M. anisopliae and its sister species, M. robertsii. The genetic structure of Metarhizium spp. populations were assessed using ten ISSR. A 3D principal component analysis of 51 isolates sampled on different occasions revealed that the Metarhizium spp. populations were temporally heterogeneous. They differentiated into two main clades including over 71 % of all strains causing epizootics, with a similarity of 83 %. The population differentiation was relatively low (G ( ST ), 0.2080), reflecting a large proportion of gene differentiation (79.2 %) within the populations. Further knowledge of the complex species and heterogeneous populations of Metarhizium spp. may be necessary for sustainable control methods of S. formosana.

  2. Carbon translocation from a plant to an insect-pathogenic endophytic fungus.

    PubMed

    Behie, Scott W; Moreira, Camila C; Sementchoukova, Irina; Barelli, Larissa; Zelisko, Paul M; Bidochka, Michael J

    2017-01-18

    Metarhizium robertsii is a common soil fungus that occupies a specialized ecological niche as an endophyte and an insect pathogen. Previously, we showed that the endophytic capability and insect pathogenicity of Metarhizium are coupled to provide an active method of insect-derived nitrogen transfer to a host plant via fungal mycelia. We speculated that in exchange for this insect-derived nitrogen, the plant would provide photosynthate to the fungus. By using (13)CO2, we show the incorporation of (13)C into photosynthate and the subsequent translocation of (13)C into fungal-specific carbohydrates (trehalose and chitin) in the root/endophyte complex. We determined the amount of (13)C present in root-associated fungal biomass over a 21-day period by extracting fungal carbohydrates and analysing their composition using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. These findings are evidence that the host plant is providing photosynthate to the fungus, likely in exchange for insect-derived nitrogen in a tripartite, and symbiotic, interaction.

  3. Carbon translocation from a plant to an insect-pathogenic endophytic fungus

    PubMed Central

    Behie, Scott W.; Moreira, Camila C.; Sementchoukova, Irina; Barelli, Larissa; Zelisko, Paul M.; Bidochka, Michael J.

    2017-01-01

    Metarhizium robertsii is a common soil fungus that occupies a specialized ecological niche as an endophyte and an insect pathogen. Previously, we showed that the endophytic capability and insect pathogenicity of Metarhizium are coupled to provide an active method of insect-derived nitrogen transfer to a host plant via fungal mycelia. We speculated that in exchange for this insect-derived nitrogen, the plant would provide photosynthate to the fungus. By using 13CO2, we show the incorporation of 13C into photosynthate and the subsequent translocation of 13C into fungal-specific carbohydrates (trehalose and chitin) in the root/endophyte complex. We determined the amount of 13C present in root-associated fungal biomass over a 21-day period by extracting fungal carbohydrates and analysing their composition using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. These findings are evidence that the host plant is providing photosynthate to the fungus, likely in exchange for insect-derived nitrogen in a tripartite, and symbiotic, interaction. PMID:28098142

  4. Insertion of an Esterase Gene into a Specific Locust Pathogen (Metarhizium acridum) Enables It to Infect Caterpillars

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Sibao; Fang, Weiguo; Wang, Chengshu; St. Leger, Raymond J.

    2011-01-01

    An enduring theme in pathogenic microbiology is poor understanding of the mechanisms of host specificity. Metarhizium is a cosmopolitan genus of invertebrate pathogens that contains generalist species with broad host ranges such as M. robertsii (formerly known as M. anisopliae var. anisopliae) as well as specialists such as the acridid-specific grasshopper pathogen M. acridum. During growth on caterpillar (Manduca sexta) cuticle, M. robertsii up-regulates a gene (Mest1) that is absent in M. acridum and most other fungi. Disrupting M. robertsii Mest1 reduced virulence and overexpression increased virulence to caterpillars (Galleria mellonella and M. sexta), while virulence to grasshoppers (Melanoplus femurrubrum) was unaffected. When Mest1 was transferred to M. acridum under control of its native M. robertsii promoter, the transformants killed and colonized caterpillars in a similar fashion to M. robertsii. MEST1 localized exclusively to lipid droplets in M. robertsii conidia and infection structures was up-regulated during nutrient deprivation and had esterase activity against lipids with short chain fatty acids. The mobilization of stored lipids was delayed in the Mest1 disruptant mutant. Overall, our results suggest that expression of Mest1 allows rapid hydrolysis of stored lipids, and promotes germination and infection structure formation by M. robertsii during nutrient deprivation and invasion, while Mest1 expression in M. acridum broadens its host range by bypassing the regulatory signals found on natural hosts that trigger the mobilization of endogenous nutrient reserves. This study suggests that speciation in an insect pathogen could potentially be driven by host shifts resulting from changes in a single gene. PMID:21731492

  5. Insertion of an esterase gene into a specific locust pathogen (Metarhizium acridum) enables it to infect caterpillars.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sibao; Fang, Weiguo; Wang, Chengshu; St Leger, Raymond J

    2011-06-01

    An enduring theme in pathogenic microbiology is poor understanding of the mechanisms of host specificity. Metarhizium is a cosmopolitan genus of invertebrate pathogens that contains generalist species with broad host ranges such as M. robertsii (formerly known as M. anisopliae var. anisopliae) as well as specialists such as the acridid-specific grasshopper pathogen M. acridum. During growth on caterpillar (Manduca sexta) cuticle, M. robertsii up-regulates a gene (Mest1) that is absent in M. acridum and most other fungi. Disrupting M. robertsii Mest1 reduced virulence and overexpression increased virulence to caterpillars (Galleria mellonella and M. sexta), while virulence to grasshoppers (Melanoplus femurrubrum) was unaffected. When Mest1 was transferred to M. acridum under control of its native M. robertsii promoter, the transformants killed and colonized caterpillars in a similar fashion to M. robertsii. MEST1 localized exclusively to lipid droplets in M. robertsii conidia and infection structures was up-regulated during nutrient deprivation and had esterase activity against lipids with short chain fatty acids. The mobilization of stored lipids was delayed in the Mest1 disruptant mutant. Overall, our results suggest that expression of Mest1 allows rapid hydrolysis of stored lipids, and promotes germination and infection structure formation by M. robertsii during nutrient deprivation and invasion, while Mest1 expression in M. acridum broadens its host range by bypassing the regulatory signals found on natural hosts that trigger the mobilization of endogenous nutrient reserves. This study suggests that speciation in an insect pathogen could potentially be driven by host shifts resulting from changes in a single gene.

  6. Insect pathogens: molecular approaches and techniques

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This book serves as a primer for molecular techniques in insect pathology and is tailored for a wide scientific audience. Contributing authors are internationally recognized experts. The book comprises four sections: 1) pathogen identification and diagnostics, 2) pathogen population genetics and p...

  7. Pathogenicity of Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycetes) and permethrin to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) nymphs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hornbostel, V.L.; Zhioua, Elyes; Benjamin, Michael A.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Ostfeld, Richard S.

    2005-01-01

    Effectiveness of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, for controlling nymphal Ixodes scapularis, was tested in laboratory and field trials. In the laboratory, M. anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin strain ESC1 was moderately pathogenic, with an LC50 of 107 spores/ml and induced 70% mortality at 109 spores/ml. In a field study, however, 109 spores/ml M. anisopliae did not effectively control questing I. scapularis nymphs, and significant differences were not detected in pre- and post-treatment densities. For nymphs collected and returned to the laboratory for observation, mortality was low in treatment groups, ranging from 20 to 36%. To assess whether a chemical acaricide would synergistically enhance pathogenicity of the fungus, we challenged unfed nymphal I. scapularis with combinations of M. anisopliae and permethrin, a relatively safe pyrethroid acaricide, in two separate bioassays. Significant interactions between M. anisopliae and permethrin were not observed, supporting neither synergism nor antagonism.

  8. An in vivo transcriptome for entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii ARSEF 2575

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenic process of the insect pathogen Metarhizium robertsii ARSEF 2575 in its host are only partially understood. To probe the transcriptional responses of the fungus during the interaction with insects, we have developed a method to specifically recover patho...

  9. Metarhizium robertsii Produces an Extracellular Invertase (MrINV) That Plays a Pivotal Role in Rhizospheric Interactions and Root Colonization

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Xinggang; Fang, Weiguo; Lin, Liangcai; Lu, Hsiao-Ling; Leger, Raymond J. St.

    2013-01-01

    As well as killing pest insects, the rhizosphere competent insect-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii also boosts plant growth by providing nitrogenous nutrients and increasing resistance to plant pathogens. Plant roots secrete abundant nutrients but little is known about their utilization by Metarhizium spp. and the mechanistic basis of Metarhizium-plant associations. We report here that M. robertsii produces an extracellular invertase (MrInv) on plant roots. Deletion of MrInv (⊿MrInv) reduced M. robertsii growth on sucrose and rhizospheric exudates but increased colonization of Panicum virgatum and Arabidopsis thaliana roots. This could be accounted for by a reduction in carbon catabolite repression in ⊿MrInv increasing production of plant cell wall-degrading depolymerases. A non-rhizosphere competent scarab beetle specialist Metarhizium majus lacks invertase which suggests that rhizospheric competence may be related to the sugar metabolism of different Metarhizium species. PMID:24205119

  10. Metarhizium robertsii produces an extracellular invertase (MrINV) that plays a pivotal role in rhizospheric interactions and root colonization.

    PubMed

    Liao, Xinggang; Fang, Weiguo; Lin, Liangcai; Lu, Hsiao-Ling; St Leger, Raymond J

    2013-01-01

    As well as killing pest insects, the rhizosphere competent insect-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii also boosts plant growth by providing nitrogenous nutrients and increasing resistance to plant pathogens. Plant roots secrete abundant nutrients but little is known about their utilization by Metarhizium spp. and the mechanistic basis of Metarhizium-plant associations. We report here that M. robertsii produces an extracellular invertase (MrInv) on plant roots. Deletion of MrInv (ΔMrInv) reduced M. robertsii growth on sucrose and rhizospheric exudates but increased colonization of Panicum virgatum and Arabidopsis thaliana roots. This could be accounted for by a reduction in carbon catabolite repression in ΔMrInv increasing production of plant cell wall-degrading depolymerases. A non-rhizosphere competent scarab beetle specialist Metarhizium majus lacks invertase which suggests that rhizospheric competence may be related to the sugar metabolism of different Metarhizium species.

  11. Catalase overexpression reduces the germination time and increases the pathogenicity of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae.

    PubMed

    Morales Hernandez, Claudia Erika; Padilla Guerrero, Israel Enrique; Gonzalez Hernandez, Gloria Angelica; Salazar Solis, Eduardo; Torres Guzman, Juan Carlos

    2010-07-01

    Catalases and peroxidases are the most important enzymes that degrade hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. These enzymes and superoxide dismutase are the first lines of cell defense against reactive oxygen species. Metarhizium anisopliae displays an increase in catalase-peroxidase activity during germination and growth. To determine the importance of catalase during the invasion process of M. anisopliae, we isolated the cat1 gene. cat1 cDNA expression in Escherichia coli and the subsequent purification of the protein confirmed that the cat1 gene codes for a monofunctional catalase. Expression analysis of this gene by RT-PCR from RNA isolated from fungus grown in liquid cultures showed a decrease in the expression level of the cat1 gene during germination and an increase during mycelium growth. The expression of this gene in the fungus during the infection process of the larvae of Plutella xylostella also showed a significant increase during invasive growth. Transgenic strains overexpressing the cat1 gene had twice the catalase activity of the wild-type strain. This increase in catalase activity was accompanied by a higher level of resistance to exogenous hydrogen peroxide and a reduction in the germination time. This improvement was also observed during the infection of P. xylostella larvae. M. anisopliae transgenic strains overexpressing the cat1 gene grew and spread faster in the soft tissue of the insect, reducing the time to death of the insect by 25% and the dose required to kill 50% of the population 14-fold.

  12. Metabolic Conservation and Diversification of Metarhizium Species Correlate with Fungal Host-Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yong-Jiang; Luo, Feifei; Li, Bing; Shang, Yanfang; Wang, Chengshu

    2016-01-01

    The ascomycete genus Metarhizium contains several species of insect pathogenic fungi ranging from specialists with narrow host ranges to generalists that can infect diverse invertebrates. Genetic and metabolic conservations and diversifications of Metarhizium species are not well understood. In this study, using the genome information of seven Metarhizium species, we performed a comparative analysis of gene clusters involved in secondary metabolisms (SMs) in these species. The results revealed that the generalist species contain more SM gene clusters than the specialists, and that both conserved and divergent evolutions may have occurred in SM genes during fungal speciation. In particular, the loss/gain events, as well as gene mutagenesis, are evident for the gene cluster responsible for the biosynthesis of non-ribosomal cyclopeptide destruxins. The presence of conserved SM gene clusters in Metarhizium and other divergently evolved insect pathogenic fungi implies their link to fungal entomopathogenicity. Mass spectrometry based metabolomic analyses were also conducted to investigate the chemical diversities of seven Metarhizium species. Consistent with the evolutionary relationships of SM genes among the seven species, significant differences are observed in fungal metabolic profiles, whether the same or different metabolites are produced in different species. Clustering analysis based on the metabolome data revealed that Metarhizium species could be grouped based on their association to fungal host specificity. Our metabolomics-based methods also facilitate the identification of bioactive metabolites that have not been reported previously in Metarhizium. The results of this study will benefit future investigations of the chemical biology of insect-fungal interactions. PMID:28018335

  13. Metarhizium anisopliae enzymes and toxins.

    PubMed

    Schrank, Augusto; Vainstein, Marilene Henning

    2010-12-15

    Entomopathogenic fungi are both a feasible system for the control of insect pests in agriculture with a growing market and an important model for studies of host-pathogen interaction. In the last ten years the actual use of fungi, mainly Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana, is increasing reaching commercial scale in Countries like Brazil, China and Mexico among others. At the same time important progress has occurred in the understanding of the molecular aspects of the pathogenesis and in the development of tools to validate putative virulence factors by the construction of over-expressing and knock-out strains. This wealth of knowledge is helping to access more efficient strains from the biodiversity and to optimize formulation for large scale use of this efficient, economic and environmental safer form of insect plague control. Here we focus some of the progress accumulated specially in M. anisopliae and give an overview of the host infection process.

  14. Increased pathogenicity against coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) by Metarhizium anisopliae expressing the scorpion toxin (AaIT) gene.

    PubMed

    Pava-Ripoll, Monica; Posada, Francisco J; Momen, Bahram; Wang, Chengshu; St Leger, Raymond

    2008-10-01

    Coffee berry borer (CBB) is the Worlds most devastating coffee pest causing an estimated US$500 million worth of losses annually through damage and control costs. Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae have been employed to control this pest but their low virulence (slow kill and large inoculums) is an important factor constraining their use. M. anisopliae (AaIT-Ma549) has been modified to express the scorpion toxin (AaIT) in insect hemolymph and this greatly increased pathogenicity against Manduca sexta and Aedes aegypti. Here, we demonstrate that AaIT-Ma549 was also dramatically more virulent against CBB, and we provide a much more comprehensive analysis of infection processes and post-mortality development than in the previous research. We evaluated several spore concentrations (10(1) through 10(7)spores/ml) of both the wild type and recombinant strain. At concentrations of 10(1), 10(2) and 10(3)spores/ml, the recombinant strain significantly increased mortality of CBB by 32.2%, 56.6% and 24.6%, respectively. The medial lethal concentration (LC(50)) was reduced 15.7-fold and the average survival time (AST) was reduced by 20.1% to 2.98+/-0.1 days with 10(7)spores/ml. This is the first occasion that an entomopathogenic fungus has been found to kill CBB in less than 3 days. However, AaIT-Ma549 produces significantly fewer spores on cadavers than the parental strain.

  15. Production of Microsclerotia of Metarhizium anisopliae Using Deep-Tank Liquid Fermentation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is a pathogen of numerous soil-dwelling insects and has been registered in the United States and other countries as a bioinsecticide. Recent studies using various strains of M. anisopliae showed that small sclerotia (microsclerotia) were produced i...

  16. Identification of Metarhizium anisopliae transcripts expressed during the fungus- insect interaction

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The identification of genes contributing to the establishment and disease progression of entomopathogenic fungi within their insect hosts has been conducted to date largely using in vitro systems mimicking specific phases of the infection. We are exploring the use of in vivo techniques to identify f...

  17. The extracellular constitutive production of chitin deacetylase in Metarhizium anisopliae: possible edge to entomopathogenic fungi in the biological control of insect pests.

    PubMed

    Nahar, Pallavi; Ghormade, Vandana; Deshpande, Mukund V

    2004-02-01

    The possible contribution of extracellular constitutively produced chitin deacetylase by Metarhizium anisopliae in the process of insect pathogenesis has been evaluated. Chitin deacetylase converts chitin, a beta-1,4-linked N-acetylglucosamine polymer, into its deacetylated form chitosan, a glucosamine polymer. When grown in a yeast extract-peptone medium, M. anisopliae constitutively produced the enzymes protease, lipase, and two chitin-metabolizing enzymes, viz. chitin deacetylase (CDA) and chitosanase. Chitinase activity was induced in chitin-containing medium. Staining of 7.5% native polyacrylamide gels at pH 8.9 revealed CDA activity in three bands. SDS-PAGE showed that the apparent molecular masses of the three isoforms were 70, 37, and 26 kDa, respectively. Solubilized melanin (10microg) inhibited chitinase activity, whereas CDA was unaffected. Following germination of M. anisopliae conidia on isolated Helicoverpa armigera, cuticle revealed the presence of chitosan by staining with 3-methyl-2-benzothiazoline hydrazone. Blue patches of chitosan were observed on cuticle, indicating conversion of chitin to chitosan. Hydrolysis of chitin with constitutively produced enzymes of M. anisopliae suggested that CDA along with chitosanase contributed significantly to chitin hydrolysis. Thus, chitin deacetylase was important in initiating pathogenesis of M. anisopliae softening the insect cuticle to aid mycelial penetration. Evaluation of CDA and chitinase activities in other isolates of Metarhizium showed that those strains had low chitinase activity but high CDA activity. Chemical assays of M. anisopliae cell wall composition revealed the presence of chitosan. CDA may have a dual role in modifying the insect cuticular chitin for easy penetration as well as for altering its own cell walls for defense from insect chitinase.

  18. Clarification of generic and species boundaries for Metarhizium and related fungi through multigene phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Kepler, Ryan M; Humber, Richard A; Bischoff, Joseph F; Rehner, Stephen A

    2014-01-01

    The genus Metarhizium historically refers to green-spored asexual insect pathogenic fungi. Through culturing and molecular methods, Metarhizium has been linked to Metacordyceps sexual states. Historically fungal nomenclature has allowed separate names for the different life stages of pleomorphic fungi. However, with the move to one name for one fungus regardless of life stage, there is a need to determine which name is correct. For Metarhizium the situation is complicated by the fact that Metacordyceps sexual states are interspersed among additional asexual genera, including Pochonia, Nomuraea and Paecilomyces. Metarhizium has priority as the earliest available name, but delimiting the boundaries of this genus remains problematic. To clarify relationships among these taxa we have obtained representative material for each genus and established a molecular dataset of the protein-coding genes BTUB, RPB1, RPB2 and TEF. The resulting phylogeny supports Metarhizium combining the majority of species recognized in Metacordyceps as well as the green-spored Nomuraea species and those in the more recently described genus Chamaeleomyces. Pochonia is polyphyletic, and we restrict the definition of this genus to those species forming a monophyletic clade with P. chlamydosporia, and the excluded species are transferred to Metapochonia gen. nov. It is our hope that this unified concept of sexual and asexual states in Metarhizium will foster advances in communication and understanding the unique ecologies of the associated species.

  19. Pathogens and insect herbivores drive rainforest plant diversity and composition.

    PubMed

    Bagchi, Robert; Gallery, Rachel E; Gripenberg, Sofia; Gurr, Sarah J; Narayan, Lakshmi; Addis, Claire E; Freckleton, Robert P; Lewis, Owen T

    2014-02-06

    Tropical forests are important reservoirs of biodiversity, but the processes that maintain this diversity remain poorly understood. The Janzen-Connell hypothesis suggests that specialized natural enemies such as insect herbivores and fungal pathogens maintain high diversity by elevating mortality when plant species occur at high density (negative density dependence; NDD). NDD has been detected widely in tropical forests, but the prediction that NDD caused by insects and pathogens has a community-wide role in maintaining tropical plant diversity remains untested. We show experimentally that changes in plant diversity and species composition are caused by fungal pathogens and insect herbivores. Effective plant species richness increased across the seed-to-seedling transition, corresponding to large changes in species composition. Treating seeds and young seedlings with fungicides significantly reduced the diversity of the seedling assemblage, consistent with the Janzen-Connell hypothesis. Although suppressing insect herbivores using insecticides did not alter species diversity, it greatly increased seedling recruitment and caused a marked shift in seedling species composition. Overall, seedling recruitment was significantly reduced at high conspecific seed densities and this NDD was greatest for the species that were most abundant as seeds. Suppressing fungi reduced the negative effects of density on recruitment, confirming that the diversity-enhancing effect of fungi is mediated by NDD. Our study provides an overall test of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and demonstrates the crucial role that insects and pathogens have both in structuring tropical plant communities and in maintaining their remarkable diversity.

  20. Novel antibiotic compounds produced by the insect pathogenic bacterium photorhabdus.

    PubMed

    Eleftherianos, Ioannis G

    2009-06-01

    Phototorhabdus is an insect pathogenic enterobacterium which maintains a mutualistic interaction with heterorhabditid nematodes. While the bacteria live in the nematode gut, the nematodes live in the soil and infect insect larvae, releasing their symbiotic bacteria into the insect blood. Here the bacteria reproduce and kill the insect by septicaemia. The nematodes then feed on the bacterial biomass and undergo several rounds of reproduction before emerging from the cadaver carrying their bacterial symbionts. Photorhabdus secretes a versatile armory of antimicrobial molecules into the insect corpse. These biocides exert a range of antimicrobial killing activities and serve a dual function. They minimize competition from non-symbiotic bacteria and prevent microbial putrefaction of the nematode-infected insect cadaver. The goal of this review is to describe current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in the production of bacteriocins by Photorhabdus. Recent important advances in identifying novel potent antibiotic compounds from Photorhabdus and elucidating their complex mode of action in relation to pathogenicity and symbiosis associations are also discussed. The last part of this review focuses on the potential role Photorhabdus antibiotics may play in contributing to the discovery of novel pharmaceutical and agrochemical products. The present article is a short review of recent patents on Photohabdus.

  1. Insect Pathogenic Bacteria in Integrated Pest Management

    PubMed Central

    Ruiu, Luca

    2015-01-01

    The scientific community working in the field of insect pathology is experiencing an increasing academic and industrial interest in the discovery and development of new bioinsecticides as environmentally friendly pest control tools to be integrated, in combination or rotation, with chemicals in pest management programs. In this scientific context, market data report a significant growth of the biopesticide segment. Acquisition of new technologies by multinational Ag-tech companies is the center of the present industrial environment. This trend is in line with the requirements of new regulations on Integrated Pest Management. After a few decades of research on microbial pest management dominated by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), novel bacterial species with innovative modes of action are being discovered and developed into new products. Significant cases include the entomopathogenic nematode symbionts Photorhabdus spp. and Xenorhabdus spp., Serratia species, Yersinia entomophaga, Pseudomonas entomophila, and the recently discovered Betaproteobacteria species Burkholderia spp. and Chromobacterium spp. Lastly, Actinobacteria species like Streptomyces spp. and Saccharopolyspora spp. have gained high commercial interest for the production of a variety of metabolites acting as potent insecticides. With the aim to give a timely picture of the cutting-edge advancements in this renewed research field, different representative cases are reported and discussed. PMID:26463190

  2. Insect Pathogenic Bacteria in Integrated Pest Management.

    PubMed

    Ruiu, Luca

    2015-04-14

    The scientific community working in the field of insect pathology is experiencing an increasing academic and industrial interest in the discovery and development of new bioinsecticides as environmentally friendly pest control tools to be integrated, in combination or rotation, with chemicals in pest management programs. In this scientific context, market data report a significant growth of the biopesticide segment. Acquisition of new technologies by multinational Ag-tech companies is the center of the present industrial environment. This trend is in line with the requirements of new regulations on Integrated Pest Management. After a few decades of research on microbial pest management dominated by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), novel bacterial species with innovative modes of action are being discovered and developed into new products. Significant cases include the entomopathogenic nematode symbionts Photorhabdus spp. and Xenorhabdus spp., Serratia species, Yersinia entomophaga, Pseudomonas entomophila, and the recently discovered Betaproteobacteria species Burkholderia spp. and Chromobacterium spp. Lastly, Actinobacteria species like Streptomyces spp. and Saccharopolyspora spp. have gained high commercial interest for the production of a variety of metabolites acting as potent insecticides. With the aim to give a timely picture of the cutting-edge advancements in this renewed research field, different representative cases are reported and discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-06

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

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

    PubMed

    Killiny, Nabil; Hijaz, Faraj; Ebert, Timothy A; Rogers, Michael E

    2017-03-01

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

  5. Jasmonate signaling and manipulation by pathogens and insects.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Zhang, Feng; Melotto, Maeli; Yao, Jian; He, Sheng Yang

    2017-01-09

    Plants synthesize jasmonates (JAs) in response to developmental cues or environmental stresses, in order to coordinate plant growth, development or defense against pathogens and herbivores. Perception of pathogen or herbivore attack promotes synthesis of jasmonoyl-L-isoleucine (JA-Ile), which binds to the COI1-JAZ receptor, triggering the degradation of JAZ repressors and induction of transcriptional reprogramming associated with plant defense. Interestingly, some virulent pathogens have evolved various strategies to manipulate JA signaling to facilitate their exploitation of plant hosts. In this review, we focus on recent advances in understanding the mechanism underlying the enigmatic switch between transcriptional repression and hormone-dependent transcriptional activation of JA signaling. We also discuss various strategies used by pathogens and insects to manipulate JA signaling and how interfering with this could be used as a novel means of disease control.

  6. Responses of temperate forest productivity to insect and pathogen disturbances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flower, C. E.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Climate forcing factors have been documented to directly (e.g. CO2 fertilization) or indirectly (e.g. temperature and vapor pressure deficit) affect net primary productivity (NPP) of forests. Climate variations can also affect the vulnerability of forests to pests and pathogens, causing diffuse or widespread mortality. The introduction of novel pests is causing rapid mortality of targeted species with undetermined effects on forest productivity: NPP could decrease or increase depending on the severity (proportion of basal area impacted) and species diversity. We attempted to document the impact of diffuse mortality caused by insect outbreaks on North American temperate forests through synthesis of literature. Despite the large number of studies (>500) only a few (12) documented NPP in a systematic manner. The magnitude of insect and pathogen disturbance was larger in western than eastern forests due to the redundancy and functional diversity of temperate deciduous and mixed deciduous forests. Recovery from disturbance was more rapid from diffuse short duration defoliation events relative to the long lasting impacts of wood boring insects. Forest resilience may decrease as insect disturbance increases, particularly with generalist invasive pests that target a variety of species. We conclude that these biotic interactions, particularly when caused by invasive pests, impose biological forcing to forest NPP at similar magnitude and time scales than climate forcing.

  7. Genome Sequencing and Comparative Transcriptomics of the Model Entomopathogenic Fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and M. acridum

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Yanfang; Duan, Zhibing; Hu, Xiao; Xie, Xue-Qin; Zhou, Gang; Peng, Guoxiong; Luo, Zhibing; Huang, Wei; Wang, Bing; Fang, Weiguo; Wang, Sibao; Zhong, Yi; Ma, Li-Jun; St. Leger, Raymond J.; Zhao, Guo-Ping; Pei, Yan; Feng, Ming-Guang; Xia, Yuxian; Wang, Chengshu

    2011-01-01

    Metarhizium spp. are being used as environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides, as model systems for studying insect-fungus interactions, and as a resource of genes for biotechnology. We present a comparative analysis of the genome sequences of the broad-spectrum insect pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae and the acridid-specific M. acridum. Whole-genome analyses indicate that the genome structures of these two species are highly syntenic and suggest that the genus Metarhizium evolved from plant endophytes or pathogens. Both M. anisopliae and M. acridum have a strikingly larger proportion of genes encoding secreted proteins than other fungi, while ∼30% of these have no functionally characterized homologs, suggesting hitherto unsuspected interactions between fungal pathogens and insects. The analysis of transposase genes provided evidence of repeat-induced point mutations occurring in M. acridum but not in M. anisopliae. With the help of pathogen-host interaction gene database, ∼16% of Metarhizium genes were identified that are similar to experimentally verified genes involved in pathogenicity in other fungi, particularly plant pathogens. However, relative to M. acridum, M. anisopliae has evolved with many expanded gene families of proteases, chitinases, cytochrome P450s, polyketide synthases, and nonribosomal peptide synthetases for cuticle-degradation, detoxification, and toxin biosynthesis that may facilitate its ability to adapt to heterogenous environments. Transcriptional analysis of both fungi during early infection processes provided further insights into the genes and pathways involved in infectivity and specificity. Of particular note, M. acridum transcribed distinct G-protein coupled receptors on cuticles from locusts (the natural hosts) and cockroaches, whereas M. anisopliae transcribed the same receptor on both hosts. This study will facilitate the identification of virulence genes and the development of improved biocontrol strains

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  9. Conidial production, persistence and pathogenicity of hydromulch formulations of Metarhizium brunneum F52 microsclerotia under forest conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microsclerotia granules of Metarhizium brunneum Petch strain F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) in hydromulch (water, wheat straw, and tackifier) were sprayed onto bark or wood samples during two spray trials in 2013 and six spray trials in 2014. Microsclerotial granules in hydromulch continued to p...

  10. A Pathogenic Nematode Targets Recognition Proteins to Avoid Insect Defenses

    PubMed Central

    Toubarro, Duarte; Avila, Mónica Martinez; Montiel, Rafael; Simões, Nelson

    2013-01-01

    Steinernemacarpocapsae is a nematode pathogenic in a wide variety of insect species. The great pathogenicity of this nematode has been ascribed to its ability to overcome the host immune response; however, little is known about the mechanisms involved in this process. The analysis of an expressed sequence tags (EST) library in the nematode during the infective phase was performed and a highly abundant contig homologous to serine protease inhibitors was identified. In this work, we show that this contig is part of a 641-bp cDNA that encodes a BPTI-Kunitz family inhibitor (Sc-KU-4), which is up-regulated in the parasite during invasion and installation. Recombinant Sc-KU-4 protein was produced in Escherichia coli and shown to inhibit chymotrypsin and elastase activities in a dose-dependent manner by a competitive mechanism with Ki values of 1.8 nM and 2.6 nM, respectively. Sc-KU-4 also inhibited trypsin and thrombin activities to a lesser extent. Studies of the mode of action of Sc-KU-4 and its effects on insect defenses suggest that although Sc-KU-4 did not inhibit the activation of hemocytes or the formation of clotting fibers, it did inhibit hemocyte aggregation and the entrapment of foreign particles by fibers. Moreover, Sc-KU-4 avoided encapsulation and the deposition of clotting materials, which usually occurs in response to foreign particles. We show by protein-protein interaction that Sc-KU-4 targets recognition proteins of insect immune system such as masquerade-like and serine protease-like homologs. The interaction of Sc-KU-4 with these proteins explains the ability of the nematode to overcome host reactions and its large pathogenic spectrum, once these immune proteins are well conserved in insects. The discovery of this inhibitor targeting insect recognition proteins opens new avenues for the development of S. carpocapsae as a biological control agent and provides a new tool to study host-pathogen interactions. PMID:24098715

  11. 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.

  12. Expressing a fusion protein with protease and chitinase activities increases the virulence of the insect pathogen Beauveria bassiana.

    PubMed

    Fang, Weiguo; Feng, Jin; Fan, Yanhua; Zhang, Yongjun; Bidochka, Michael J; Leger, Raymond J St; Pei, Yan

    2009-10-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi, such as Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae are being developed as alternatives to chemical insecticides. They infect insects by direct penetration of the cuticle using a combination of physical pressure and extracellular hydrolytic enzymes such as proteases and chitinases. Previously we found that overexpression of a subtilisin-like protease (Pr1A) or a chitinase (Bbchit1) resulted in increased virulence of M. anisopliae and B. bassiana, respectively. In this study, we found that a mixture of the B. bassiana Pr1A homolog (CDEP1) and Bbchit1 degraded insect cuticle in vitro more efficiently than either CDEP1 or Bbchit1 alone. Based on this we produced three plasmid constructs; (1) Bbchit1, (2) CDEP1, and (3) a fusion gene of Bbchit1 linked to CDEP1 each under the control of the constitutive gpd promoter from Aspergillus nidulans. B. bassiana transformants secreting the fusion protein (CDEP1:Bbchit1) penetrated the cuticle significantly faster than the wild type or transformants overexpressing either Bbchit1 or CDEP1. Compared to the wild type, the transformant overexpressing CDEP1 showed a 12.5% reduction in LT(50), without a reduction in LC(50). The LT(50) of the transformant expressing CDEP1:Bbchit1 was reduced by 24.9%. Strikingly, expression of CDEP1:Bbchit1 resulted in a 60.5% reduction in LC(50), more than twice the reduction obtained by overexpression of Bbchit1 (28.5%). This work represents a significant step towards the development of hypervirulent insect pathogens for effective pest control.

  13. 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...

  14. Brevibacillus laterosporus inside the insect body: Beneficial resident or pathogenic outsider?

    PubMed

    Marche, Maria Giovanna; Mura, Maria Elena; Ruiu, Luca

    2016-06-01

    Brevibacillus laterosporus is an entomopathogenic bacterium showing varying degrees of virulence against diverse insect pests. Conversely, it is regarded as a beneficial component of the intestinal flora in different animals and in some insect species including the honeybee. B. laterosporus was detected through a species-specific PCR assay in the body of different insects, including Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris. A strain isolated from a honeybee worker was pathogenic to the house fly Musca domestica, thus supporting the development of either mutualistic or pathogenic interactions of this bacterium with diverse insect species, as the result of a coevolutionary process.

  15. Evaluation of Pathogenicity of the Fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana in Hazelnut Weevil (Curculio nucum L., Coleoptera, Curculionidae) Larvae.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yunqing; Liu, Ting; Zhao, Yixin; Geng, Wanting; Chen, Longtao; Liu, Jianfeng

    2016-12-01

    The nut weevil (Curculio nucum) is one of the most important and widespread pests in hazelnut orchards. In order to screen entomopathogenic fungal strains with high virulence against C. nucum, the growth rate, sporulation, and cumulative mortality of different Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana strains were investigated, and the process by which M. anisopliae CoM 02 infects C. nucum larvae was observed using scanning electron microscopy. The results indicated that the growth rate and sporulation of different fungal strains significantly differed. Thirteen days after inoculation with M. anisopliae CoM 02, the cumulative mortality of C. nucum larvae reached 100 %, which was considerably higher than that of the other five strains. As the most virulent of the six test strains, the cadaver rate, LT50, and LT90 of M. anisopliae CoM 02 were 93.4 %, 7.05 and 11.90 days, respectively. Analysis of the infection process by scanning electron microscopy showed that the spore attachment, hyphal germination, hyphal rapid growth, and sporulation of M. anisopliae CoM 02 occurred on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 11th day after inoculation, respectively, indicating that the infection cycle takes approximately 11 days. This finding suggests that the highly virulent M. anisopliae plays an important role in the biocontrol of C. nucum in China.

  16. Transgenic tobacco expressing a modified spider peptide inhibits the growth of plant pathogens and insect larvae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The gene encoding lycotoxin I, an amphipathic pore-forming peptide, was modified to increase oral toxicity to insects. One of the most active modified genes was then constitutively expressed in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and transformants were evaluated for insect and disease resistance. Pathogenic...

  17. Different pathogenicities of Rice stripe virus from the insect vector and from viruliferous plants.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wan; Yang, Pengcheng; Kang, Le; Cui, Feng

    2016-04-01

    Persistent plant viruses usually depend on insects for their transmission; they cannot be transmitted between plants or through mechanical inoculation. However, the mechanism by which persistent viruses become pathogenic in insect vectors remains unknown. In this study, we used Rice stripe virus (RSV), its insect vector Laodelphax striatellus and host plant (Oryza sativa) to explore how persistent viruses acquire pathogenicity from insect vectors. RSV acquired phytopathogenicity in both the alimentary tract and the salivary gland of L. striatellus. We mechanically inoculated RSV into rice O. sativa leaves through midrib microinjection. Insect-derived RSV induced a typical stripe symptom, whereas plant-derived RSV only produced chlorosis in rice leaves. Insect-derived RSV had higher expression of genes rdrp, ns2, nsvc2, sp and nsvc4 than plant-derived RSV, and the latter had higher expression of genes cp and ns3 than the former in rice leaves. Different from plant-derived RSV, insect-derived RSV damaged grana stacks within the chloroplast and inhibited photosynthesis by suppressing the photosystem II subunit psbp. This study not only presented a convenient method to mechanically inoculate RSV into plants, but also provided insights into the different pathogenic mechanisms of RSV from the insect vector and from viruliferous plants.

  18. Immunity in a Social Insect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosengaus, Rebeca B.; Traniello, James F. A.; Chen, Tammy; Brown, Julie J.; Karp, Richard D.

    Although pathogens appear to have exerted significant selective pressure on various aspects of sociality, mechanisms of disease resistance in the social insects are poorly understood. We report here on an immune response to infection by the dampwood termite, Zootermopsis angusticollis. Nymphs immunized with an injection of 7.6×107, 7.6×105, or 7.6×104 cells/ml glutaraldehyde-killed solution of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa had significantly higher survivorship than controls following a challenge with a lethal concentration of active bacteria. Similarly, nymphs exposed to a 9×10-1 spores/ml suspension of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae had higher survivorship than controls after a challenge with a lethal concentration of spores. Prior exposure to a pathogen thus conferred upon termites a degree of protection during a subsequent encounter with the same pathogen. This represents the first demonstration of immune function in vivo in a social insect.

  19. Transmission of Insect-Vectored Pathogens: Effects of Vector Fitness as a Function of Infectivity Status

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The spread of insect vectored pathogens is dependent on the population dynamics of the vector. Epidemiology models typically assume that birth and death rates of pathogen-free and inoculative vectors are equal, an assumption which is not true for all pathosystems. Here a series of simple and gener...

  20. Induced release of a plant-defense volatile 'deceptively' attracts insect vectors to plants infected with a bacterial pathogen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transmission of plant pathogens by insect vectors is a complex biological process involving interactions between the plant, insect and pathogen. Pathogen-induced plant responses can include changes in volatile and nonvolatile secondary metabolites, as well as major plant nutrients. Experiments were ...

  1. Differentially-expressed glycoproteins in Locusta migratoria hemolymph infected with Metarhizium anisopliae.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chutao; Cao, Yueqing; Wang, Zhongkang; Yin, Youping; Peng, Guoxiong; Li, Zhenlun; Zhao, Hua; Xia, Yuxian

    2007-11-01

    Glycoproteins play important roles in insect physiology. Infection with pathogen always results in the differential expression of some glycoproteins, which may be involved in host-pathogen interactions. In this report, differentially-expressed glycoproteins from the hemolymph of locusts infected with Metarhizium anisopliae were analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and PDQuest software. The results showed that 13 spots were differentially expressed, of which nine spots were upregulated and four were downregulated. Using MS/MS with de novo sequencing and NCBI database searches, three upregulated proteins were identified as locust transferrin, apolipoprotein precursor, and hexameric storage protein 3. These proteins have been reported to be involved in the insect innate immune response to microbial challenge. Due to the limited available genome information and protein sequences of locusts, the possible functions of the other 10 differentially-expressed spots remain unknown.

  2. An insect pathogenic symbiosis between a Caenorhabditis and Serratia

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Julie; Cooper, Vaughn; Thomas, W. Kelley

    2011-01-01

    We described an association between a strain of the nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae, i.e. KT0001, and the bacteria Serratia sp. SCBI (South African Caenorhabditis briggsae isolate), which was able to kill the insect Galleria (G. mellonella). Here we show that the Serratia sp. SCBI lines the gut of the nematode, similar to the Heterorhabditis-Photorhabdus complex, indicating that the association is possibly internal. We also expand on the relevance of this tripartite, i.e. insect-nematode-bacteria, interaction in the broader evolutionary context and Caenorhabditis natural history. PMID:21389770

  3. Microsporidia Biological Control Agents and Pathogens of Beneficial Insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microsporidian infections of insects are generally chronic, causing subtle pathologies of reduced fecundity and shorter lifespans. The lack of acute infections that cause rapid mortality, make microsporida ill-suited as biopesticides for arthropod control. Instead, they are considered to be more use...

  4. Production of destruxins from metarhizium spp. fungi in artificial medium and in endophytically colonized cowpea plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Destruxins (DTXs) are cyclic depsipeptides produced by many Metarhizium isolates that have long been assumed to contribute to virulence of these entomopathogenic fungi. We evaluated the virulence of 20 Metarhizium isolates against insect larvae and measured the concentration of DTXs A, B, and E prod...

  5. Production of destruxins from Metarhizium spp. fungi in artificial medium and in endophytically colonized Cowpea Plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Destruxins (DTXs) are cyclic depsipeptides produced by many Metarhizium isolates that have long been assumed to contribute to virulence of these entomopathogenic fungi. We evaluated the virulence of 20 Metarhizium isolates against insect larvae and measured the concentration of DTXs A, B, and E prod...

  6. Gene-for-gene disease resistance: bridging insect pest and pathogen defense.

    PubMed

    Kaloshian, Isgouhi

    2004-12-01

    Active plant defense, also known as gene-for-gene resistance, is triggered when a plant resistance (R) gene recognizes the intrusion of a specific insect pest or pathogen. Activation of plant defense includes an array of physiological and transcriptional reprogramming. During the past decade, a large number of plant R genes that confer resistance to diverse group of pathogens have been cloned from a number of plant species. Based on predicted protein structures, these genes are classified into a small number of groups, indicating that structurally related R genes recognize phylogenetically distinct pathogens. An extreme example is the tomato Mi-1 gene, which confers resistance to potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae), whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), and root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.). While Mi-1 remains the only cloned insect R gene, there is evidence that gene-for-gene type of plant defense against piercing-sucking insects exists in a number of plant species.

  7. Insect Outbreaks, Host-Pathogen Interactions, and Induced Plant Defenses

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-09-30

    often induced by defoliation15, and because defoliation and thus induced-defense concentrations increase with insect densities8, the laboratory data...study relied on experimental defoliation , without successfully causing induction18. It therefore appears that defoliation must be quite severe for...induction to occur, yet se- vere defoliation would remove so much leaf material that it would be impossible to measure virus transmission in the field

  8. Different Effects of Metarhizium anisopliae Strains IMI330189 and IBC200614 on Enzymes Activities and Hemocytes of Locusta migratoria L.

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Guangchun; Jia, Miao; Zhao, Xia; Wang, Lei; Tu, Xiongbing; Wang, Guangjun; Nong, Xiangqun; Zhang, Zehua

    2016-01-01

    Background Metarhizium is an important class of entomopathogenic fungi in the biocontrol of insects, but its virulence is affected by insect immunity. To clarify the mechanism in virulence of Metarhizium, we compared the immunological differences in Locusta migratoria L. when exposed to two strains of Metarhizium anisopliae (Ma). Results The virulence of Ma IMI330189 was significantly higher than that of Ma IBC200614 to locust, and IMI330189 overcame the hemocytes and began destroying the hemocytes of locust at 72 h after spray, while locust is immune to IBC200614. IMI330189 could overcome the humoral immunity of locust by inhibiting the activities of phenol oxidase (PO), esterases, multi-function oxidases (MFOs) and acetylcholinesterases in locust while increasing the activities of glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs), catalase and aryl-acylamidase (AA). However IBC200614 inhibit the activities of GSTs and AA in locust and increase the activities of MFOs, PO, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase and chitinase in locust. The changes of enzymes activities in period of infection showed that the time period between the 2nd and the 5th day after spray is critical in the pathogenic process. Conclusion These results found the phenomenon that Ma initiatively broke host hemocytes, revealed the correlation between the virulence of Ma and the changes of enzymes activities in host induced by Ma, and clarified the critical period in the infection of Ma. So, these results should provide guidance for the construction of efficient biocontrol Ma strains. PMID:27227835

  9. Responses of temperate forest productivity to insect and pathogen disturbances.

    PubMed

    Flower, Charles E; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A

    2015-01-01

    Pest and pathogen disturbances are ubiquitous across forest ecosystems, impacting their species composition, structure, and function. Whereas severe abiotic disturbances (e.g., clear-cutting and fire) largely reset successional trajectories, pest and pathogen disturbances cause diffuse mortality, driving forests into nonanalogous system states. Biotic perturbations that disrupt forest carbon dynamics either reduce or enhance net primary production (NPP) and carbon storage, depending on pathogen type. Relative to defoliators, wood borers and invasive pests have the largest negative impact on NPP and the longest recovery time. Forest diversity is an important contributing factor to productivity: NPP is neutral, marginally enhanced, or reduced in high-diversity stands in which a small portion of the canopy is affected (temperate deciduous or mixed forests) but very negative in low-diversity stands in which a large portion of the canopy is affected (western US forests). Pests and pathogens reduce forest structural and functional redundancy, affecting their resilience to future climate change or new outbreaks. Therefore, pests and pathogens can be considered biotic forcing agents capable of causing consequences of similar magnitude to climate forcing factors.

  10. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry applied to identifying species of insect-pathogenic fungi from the Metarhizium anisopliae complex

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has proven to be a powerful tool for taxonomic resolution of microorganisms. In this proof-of-concept study, we assessed the effectiveness of this technique to track the current gene sequence-based phylogenet...

  11. Virulence and Pathogen Multiplication: A Serial Passage Experiment in the Hypervirulent Bacterial Insect-Pathogen Xenorhabdus nematophila

    PubMed Central

    Chapuis, Élodie; Pagès, Sylvie; Emelianoff, Vanya; Givaudan, Alain; Ferdy, Jean-Baptiste

    2011-01-01

    The trade-off hypothesis proposes that the evolution of pathogens' virulence is shaped by a link between virulence and contagiousness. This link is often assumed to come from the fact that pathogens are contagious only if they can reach high parasitic load in the infected host. In this paper we present an experimental test of the hypothesis that selection on fast replication can affect virulence. In a serial passage experiment, we selected 80 lines of the bacterial insect-pathogen Xenorhabdus nematophila to multiply fast in an artificial culture medium. This selection resulted in shortened lag phase in our selected bacteria. We then injected these bacteria into insects and observed an increase in virulence. This could be taken as a sign that virulence in Xenorhabdus is linked to fast multiplication. But we found, among the selected lineages, either no link or a positive correlation between lag duration and virulence: the most virulent bacteria were the last to start multiplying. We then surveyed phenotypes that are under the control of the flhDC super regulon, which has been shown to be involved in Xenorhabdus virulence. We found that, in one treatment, the flhDC regulon has evolved rapidly, but that the changes we observed were not connected to virulence. All together, these results indicate that virulence is, in Xenorhabdus as in many other pathogens, a multifactorial trait. Being able to grow fast is one way to be virulent. But other ways exist which renders the evolution of virulence hard to predict. PMID:21305003

  12. O Antigen Modulates Insect Vector Acquisition of the Bacterial Plant Pathogen Xylella fastidiosa

    PubMed Central

    Rapicavoli, Jeannette N.; Kinsinger, Nichola; Perring, Thomas M.; Backus, Elaine A.; Shugart, Holly J.; Walker, Sharon

    2015-01-01

    Hemipteran insect vectors transmit the majority of plant pathogens. Acquisition of pathogenic bacteria by these piercing/sucking insects requires intimate associations between the bacterial cells and insect surfaces. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the predominant macromolecule displayed on the cell surface of Gram-negative bacteria and thus mediates bacterial interactions with the environment and potential hosts. We hypothesized that bacterial cell surface properties mediated by LPS would be important in modulating vector-pathogen interactions required for acquisition of the bacterial plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, the causative agent of Pierce's disease of grapevines. Utilizing a mutant that produces truncated O antigen (the terminal portion of the LPS molecule), we present results that link this LPS structural alteration to a significant decrease in the attachment of X. fastidiosa to blue-green sharpshooter foreguts. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that this defect in initial attachment compromised subsequent biofilm formation within vector foreguts, thus impairing pathogen acquisition. We also establish a relationship between O antigen truncation and significant changes in the physiochemical properties of the cell, which in turn affect the dynamics of X. fastidiosa adhesion to the vector foregut. Lastly, we couple measurements of the physiochemical properties of the cell with hydrodynamic fluid shear rates to produce a Comsol model that predicts primary areas of bacterial colonization within blue-green sharpshooter foreguts, and we present experimental data that support the model. These results demonstrate that, in addition to reported protein adhesin-ligand interactions, O antigen is crucial for vector-pathogen interactions, specifically in the acquisition of this destructive agricultural pathogen. PMID:26386068

  13. O antigen modulates insect vector acquisition of the bacterial plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa.

    PubMed

    Rapicavoli, Jeannette N; Kinsinger, Nichola; Perring, Thomas M; Backus, Elaine A; Shugart, Holly J; Walker, Sharon; Roper, M Caroline

    2015-12-01

    Hemipteran insect vectors transmit the majority of plant pathogens. Acquisition of pathogenic bacteria by these piercing/sucking insects requires intimate associations between the bacterial cells and insect surfaces. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the predominant macromolecule displayed on the cell surface of Gram-negative bacteria and thus mediates bacterial interactions with the environment and potential hosts. We hypothesized that bacterial cell surface properties mediated by LPS would be important in modulating vector-pathogen interactions required for acquisition of the bacterial plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, the causative agent of Pierce's disease of grapevines. Utilizing a mutant that produces truncated O antigen (the terminal portion of the LPS molecule), we present results that link this LPS structural alteration to a significant decrease in the attachment of X. fastidiosa to blue-green sharpshooter foreguts. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that this defect in initial attachment compromised subsequent biofilm formation within vector foreguts, thus impairing pathogen acquisition. We also establish a relationship between O antigen truncation and significant changes in the physiochemical properties of the cell, which in turn affect the dynamics of X. fastidiosa adhesion to the vector foregut. Lastly, we couple measurements of the physiochemical properties of the cell with hydrodynamic fluid shear rates to produce a Comsol model that predicts primary areas of bacterial colonization within blue-green sharpshooter foreguts, and we present experimental data that support the model. These results demonstrate that, in addition to reported protein adhesin-ligand interactions, O antigen is crucial for vector-pathogen interactions, specifically in the acquisition of this destructive agricultural pathogen.

  14. Invasive mutualisms between a plant pathogen and insect vectors in the Middle East and Brazil.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, Renan Batista; Donkersley, Philip; Silva, Fábio Nascimento; Al-Mahmmoli, Issa Hashil; Al-Sadi, Abdullah Mohammed; Carvalho, Claudine Márcia; Elliot, Simon L

    2016-12-01

    Complex multi-trophic interactions in vectorborne diseases limit our understanding and ability to predict outbreaks. Arthropod-vectored pathogens are especially problematic, with the potential for novel interspecific interactions during invasions. Variations and novelties in plant-arthropod-pathogen triumvirates present significant threats to global food security. We examined aspects of a phytoplasma pathogen of citrus across two continents. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia' causes Witches' Broom Disease of Lime (WBDL) and has devastated citrus production in the Middle East. A variant of this phytoplasma currently displays asymptomatic or 'silent' infections in Brazil. We first studied vector capacity and fitness impacts of the pathogen on its vectors. The potential for co-occurring weed species to act as pathogen reservoirs was analysed and key transmission periods in the year were also studied. We demonstrate that two invasive hemipteran insects-Diaphorina citri and Hishimonus phycitis-can vector the phytoplasma. Feeding on phytoplasma-infected hosts greatly increased reproduction of its invasive vector D. citri both in Oman and Brazil; suggesting that increased fitness of invasive insect vectors thereby further increases the pathogen's capacity to spread. Based on our findings, this is a robust system for studying the effects of invasions on vectorborne diseases and highlights concerns about its spread to warmer, drier regions of Brazil.

  15. Spread of plant pathogens and insect vectors at the northern range margin of cypress in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zocca, Alessia; Zanini, Corrado; Aimi, Andrea; Frigimelica, Gabriella; La Porta, Nicola; Battisti, Andrea

    2008-05-01

    The Mediterranean cypress ( Cupressus sempervirens) is a multi-purpose tree widely used in the Mediterranean region. An anthropogenic range expansion of cypress has taken place at the northern margin of the range in Italy in recent decades, driven by ornamental planting in spite of climatic constraints imposed by low winter temperature. The expansion has created new habitats for pathogens and pests, which strongly limit tree survival in the historical (core) part of the range. Based on the enemy release hypothesis, we predicted that damage should be lower in the expansion area. By comparing tree and seed cone damage by pathogens and pests in core and expansion areas of Trentino, a district in the southern Alps, we showed that tree damage was significantly higher in the core area. Seed cones of C. sempervirens are intensively colonized by an aggressive and specific pathogen (the canker fungus Seiridium cardinale, Coelomycetes), associated with seed insect vectors Megastigmus wachtli (Hymenoptera Torymidae) and Orsillus maculatus (Heteroptera Lygaeidae). In contrast, we observed lower tree damage in the expansion area, where a non-aggressive fungus ( Pestalotiopsis funerea, Coelomycetes) was more frequently associated with the same insect vectors. Our results indicate that both insect species have a great potential to reach the range margin, representing a continuous threat of the arrival of fungal pathogens to trees planted at extreme sites. Global warming may accelerate this process since both insects and fungi profit from increased temperature. In the future, cypress planted at the range margin may then face similar pest and pathogen threats as in the historical range.

  16. Effect of Infection by Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae on the Feeding of Uvarovistia zebra

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadbeigi, A.; Port, G.

    2015-01-01

    To identify the susceptibility of long-horned grasshoppers to entomopathogenic fungi, the effect of infection with the fungi Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) and Metarhizium anisopliae (Metchnikoff) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) on food consumption by Uvarovistia zebra (Uvarov) (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) was investigated. Preliminary results showed that both fungi had a negative effect on food consumption of the insects. For both fungi a significant reduction of food consumption and faeces production by insects were observed between the highest spore concentration (5 × 106 spores/ml) and other treatments. Compared with control insects, the insects treated with 5 × 106 spores/ml of B. bassiana and M. anisopliae showed 60 and 63% reduction in mean food consumption/insect, respectively. The corrected cumulative percent mortality of the insects treated with the highest concentration of B. bassiana and M. anisopliae were 57.7 and 55.5%, respectively. This was the first account of these entomopathogenic fungi being used against a species from this family, therefore based on the results obtained from this research, it could be said that the fungi have pathogenicity effect on U. zebra as a long-horned grasshopper.

  17. IDENTIFICATION OF ALLERGENS FROM METARHIZIUM ANISOPLIAE USING MASS SPECTROMETRY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background
    The U.S. EPA, under the "Children at Risk" Program, is currently addressing the problem of indoor fungal bioaerosol contamination. The fungus Metarhizium Anisopliae has been used as a bio-pesticide for insect control since the 1800's. Recent studies have shown t...

  18. MicroRNAs as mediators of insect host-pathogen interactions and immunity.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Mazhar; Asgari, Sassan

    2014-11-01

    Insects are the most successful group of animals on earth, owing this partly to their very effective immune responses to microbial invasion. These responses mainly include cellular and humoral responses as well as RNA interference (RNAi). Small non-coding RNAs (snRNAs) produced through RNAi are important molecules in the regulation of gene expression in almost all living organisms; contributing to important processes such as development, differentiation, immunity as well as host-microorganism interactions. The main snRNAs produced by the RNAi response include short interfering RNAs, microRNAs and piwi-interacting RNAs. In addition to the host snRNAs, some microorganisms encode snRNAs that affect the dynamics of host-pathogen interactions. In this review, we will discuss the latest developments in regards to the role of microRNA in insect host-pathogen interactions and provide some insights into this rapidly developing area of research.

  19. Differential Adsorption of Occluded and Nonoccluded Insect-Pathogenic Viruses to Soil-Forming Minerals

    PubMed Central

    Christian, Peter D.; Richards, Andrew R.; Williams, Trevor

    2006-01-01

    Soil represents the principal environmental reservoir of many insect-pathogenic viruses. We compared the adsorption and infectivity of one occluded and two nonoccluded viruses, Helicoverpa armigera single nucleopolyhedrovirus (HaSNPV) (Baculoviridae), Cricket paralysis virus (CrPV) (Dicistroviridae), and Invertebrate iridescent virus 6 (IIV-6) (Iridoviridae), respectively, in mixtures with a selection of soil-forming minerals. The relative infective titers of HaSNPV and CrPV were unchanged or slightly reduced in the presence of different minerals compared to their titers in the absence of the mineral. In contrast, the infective titer of IIV-6 varied according to the mineral being tested. In adsorption studies, over 98% of HaSNPV occlusion bodies were adsorbed by all the minerals, and a particularly high affinity was observed with ferric oxide, attapulgite, and kaolinite. In contrast, the adsorption of CrPV and IIV-6 differed markedly with mineral type, with low affinity to bentonites and high affinity to ferric oxide and kaolinite. We conclude that interactions between soil-forming minerals and insect viruses appear to be most important in nucleopolyhedroviruses, followed by invertebrate iridescent viruses, and least important in CrPV, which may reflect the ecology of these pathogens. Moreover, soils with a high content of iron oxides or kaolinite would likely represent highly effective reservoirs for insect-pathogenic viruses. PMID:16820456

  20. Potential nontarget effects of Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycetes) used for biological control of ticks (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, Howard S.; LeBrun, Roger A.; Heyer, Klaus; Zhioua, Elyes

    2002-01-01

    The potential for nontarget effects of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin, when used for biological control of ticks, was assessed in laboratory trials. Fungal pathogenicity was studied against convergent ladybird beetles, Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville, house crickets, Acheta domesticus (L.), and the milkweed bugs Oncopeltus fasciatus (Dallas). Fungal spores applied with a spray tower produced significant mortality in H. convergens and A. domesticus, but effects on O. fasciatus were marginal. Placing treated insects with untreated individuals resulted in mortality from horizontal transmission to untreated beetles and crickets, but not milkweed bugs. Spread of fungal infection in the beetles resulted in mortality on days 4–10 after treatment, while in crickets mortality was on day 2 after treatment, suggesting different levels of pathogenicity and possibly different modes of transmission. Therefore, M. anisopliae varies in pathogenicity to different insects. Inundative applications can potentially affect nontarget species, but M. anisopliae is already widely distributed in North America, so applications for tick control generally would not introduce a novel pathogen into the environment. Pathogenicity in lab trials does not, by itself, demonstrate activity under natural conditions, so field trials are needed to confirm these results and to assess methods to minimize nontarget exposure.

  1. The sudden emergence of pathogenicity in insect-fungus symbioses threatens naive forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hulcr, Jiri; Dunn, Robert R

    2011-10-07

    Invasive symbioses between wood-boring insects and fungi are emerging as a new and currently uncontrollable threat to forest ecosystems, as well as fruit and timber industries throughout the world. The bark and ambrosia beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae and Platypodinae) constitute the large majority of these pests, and are accompanied by a diverse community of fungal symbionts. Increasingly, some invasive symbioses are shifting from non-pathogenic saprotrophy in native ranges to a prolific tree-killing in invaded ranges, and are causing significant damage. In this paper, we review the current understanding of invasive insect-fungus symbioses. We then ask why some symbioses that evolved as non-pathogenic saprotrophs, turn into major tree-killers in non-native regions. We argue that a purely pathology-centred view of the guild is not sufficient for explaining the lethal encounters between exotic symbionts and naive trees. Instead, we propose several testable hypotheses that, if correct, lead to the conclusion that the sudden emergence of pathogenicity is a new evolutionary phenomenon with global biogeographical dynamics. To date, evidence suggests that virulence of the symbioses in invaded ranges is often triggered when several factors coincide: (i) invasion into territories with naive trees, (ii) the ability of the fungus to either overcome resistance of the naive host or trigger a suicidal over-reaction, and (iii) an 'olfactory mismatch' in the insect whereby a subset of live trees is perceived as dead and suitable for colonization. We suggest that individual cases of tree mortality caused by invasive insect-fungus symbionts should no longer be studied separately, but in a global, biogeographically and phylogenetically explicit comparative framework.

  2. An amoeba phagocytosis model reveals a novel developmental switch in the insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed

    Beeton, M L; Atkinson, D J; Waterfield, N R

    2013-02-01

    The Bacillus cereus group bacteria contain pathogens of economic and medical importance. From security and health perspectives, the lethal mammalian pathogen Bacillus anthracis remains a serious threat. In addition the potent insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis is extensively used as a biological control agent for insect pests. This relies upon the industrial scale induction of bacterial spore formation with the associated production of orally toxic Cry-toxins. Understanding the ecology and potential alternative developmental fates of these bacteria is therefore important. Here we describe the use of an amoeba host model to investigate the influence of environmental bactivorous protists on both spores and vegetative cells of these pathogens. We demonstrate that the bacteria can respond to different densities of amoeba by adopting different behaviours and developmental fates. We show that spores will germinate in response to factors excreted by the amoeba, and that the bacteria can grow and reproduce on these factors. We show that in low densities of amoeba, that the bacteria will seek to colonise the surface of the amoeba as micro-colonies, resisting phagocytosis. At high amoeba densities, the bacteria change morphology into long filaments and macroscopic rope-like structures which cannot be ingested due to size exclusion. We suggest these developmental fates are likely to be important both in the ecology of these bacteria and also during animal host colonisation and immune evasion.

  3. Invasive mutualisms between a plant pathogen and insect vectors in the Middle East and Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Queiroz, Renan Batista; Silva, Fábio Nascimento; Al-Mahmmoli, Issa Hashil; Al-Sadi, Abdullah Mohammed; Carvalho, Claudine Márcia; Elliot, Simon L.

    2016-01-01

    Complex multi-trophic interactions in vectorborne diseases limit our understanding and ability to predict outbreaks. Arthropod-vectored pathogens are especially problematic, with the potential for novel interspecific interactions during invasions. Variations and novelties in plant–arthropod–pathogen triumvirates present significant threats to global food security. We examined aspects of a phytoplasma pathogen of citrus across two continents. ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia’ causes Witches' Broom Disease of Lime (WBDL) and has devastated citrus production in the Middle East. A variant of this phytoplasma currently displays asymptomatic or ‘silent’ infections in Brazil. We first studied vector capacity and fitness impacts of the pathogen on its vectors. The potential for co-occurring weed species to act as pathogen reservoirs was analysed and key transmission periods in the year were also studied. We demonstrate that two invasive hemipteran insects—Diaphorina citri and Hishimonus phycitis—can vector the phytoplasma. Feeding on phytoplasma-infected hosts greatly increased reproduction of its invasive vector D. citri both in Oman and Brazil; suggesting that increased fitness of invasive insect vectors thereby further increases the pathogen's capacity to spread. Based on our findings, this is a robust system for studying the effects of invasions on vectorborne diseases and highlights concerns about its spread to warmer, drier regions of Brazil. PMID:28083099

  4. Vector-Borne Bacterial Plant Pathogens: Interactions with Hemipteran Insects and Plants

    PubMed Central

    Perilla-Henao, Laura M.; Casteel, Clare L.

    2016-01-01

    Hemipteran insects are devastating pests of crops due to their wide host range, rapid reproduction, and ability to transmit numerous plant-infecting pathogens as vectors. While the field of plant–virus–vector interactions has flourished in recent years, plant–bacteria–vector interactions remain poorly understood. Leafhoppers and psyllids are by far the most important vectors of bacterial pathogens, yet there are still significant gaps in our understanding of their feeding behavior, salivary secretions, and plant responses as compared to important viral vectors, such as whiteflies and aphids. Even with an incomplete understanding of plant–bacteria–vector interactions, some common themes have emerged: (1) all known vector-borne bacteria share the ability to propagate in the plant and insect host; (2) particular hemipteran families appear to be incapable of transmitting vector-borne bacteria; (3) all known vector-borne bacteria have highly reduced genomes and coding capacity, resulting in host-dependence; and (4) vector-borne bacteria encode proteins that are essential for colonization of specific hosts, though only a few types of proteins have been investigated. Here, we review the current knowledge on important vector-borne bacterial pathogens, including Xylella fastidiosa, Spiroplasma spp., Liberibacter spp., and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma spp.’. We then highlight recent approaches used in the study of vector-borne bacteria. Finally, we discuss the application of this knowledge for control and future directions that will need to be addressed in the field of vector–plant–bacteria interactions. PMID:27555855

  5. Vector-Borne Bacterial Plant Pathogens: Interactions with Hemipteran Insects and Plants.

    PubMed

    Perilla-Henao, Laura M; Casteel, Clare L

    2016-01-01

    Hemipteran insects are devastating pests of crops due to their wide host range, rapid reproduction, and ability to transmit numerous plant-infecting pathogens as vectors. While the field of plant-virus-vector interactions has flourished in recent years, plant-bacteria-vector interactions remain poorly understood. Leafhoppers and psyllids are by far the most important vectors of bacterial pathogens, yet there are still significant gaps in our understanding of their feeding behavior, salivary secretions, and plant responses as compared to important viral vectors, such as whiteflies and aphids. Even with an incomplete understanding of plant-bacteria-vector interactions, some common themes have emerged: (1) all known vector-borne bacteria share the ability to propagate in the plant and insect host; (2) particular hemipteran families appear to be incapable of transmitting vector-borne bacteria; (3) all known vector-borne bacteria have highly reduced genomes and coding capacity, resulting in host-dependence; and (4) vector-borne bacteria encode proteins that are essential for colonization of specific hosts, though only a few types of proteins have been investigated. Here, we review the current knowledge on important vector-borne bacterial pathogens, including Xylella fastidiosa, Spiroplasma spp., Liberibacter spp., and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma spp.'. We then highlight recent approaches used in the study of vector-borne bacteria. Finally, we discuss the application of this knowledge for control and future directions that will need to be addressed in the field of vector-plant-bacteria interactions.

  6. Climate change triggers effects of fungal pathogens and insect herbivores on litter decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butenschoen, Olaf; Scheu, Stefan

    2014-10-01

    Increasing infestation by insect herbivores and pathogenic fungi in response to climate change will inevitably impact the amount and quality of leaf litter inputs into the soil. However, little is known on the interactive effect of infestation severity and climate change on litter decomposition, and no such study has been published for deciduous forests in Central Europe. We assessed changes in initial chemical quality of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and maple litter (Acer platanoides L.) in response to infestation by the gall midge Mikiola fagi Hart. and the pathogenic fungus Sawadaea tulasnei Fuckel, respectively, and investigated interactive effects of infestation severity, changes in temperature and soil moisture on carbon mineralization in a short-term laboratory study. We found that infestation by the gall midge M. fagi and the pathogenic fungus S. tulasnei significantly changed the chemical quality of beech and maple litter. Changes in element concentrations were generally positive and more pronounced, and if negative less pronounced for maple than beech litter most likely due to high quality fungal tissue remaining on litter after abscission. More importantly, alterations in litter chemical quality did not translate to distinct patterns of carbon mineralization at ambient conditions, but even low amounts of infested litter accelerated carbon mineralization at moderately increased soil moisture and in particular at higher temperature. Our results indicate that insect herbivores and fungal pathogens can markedly alter initial litter chemical quality, but that afterlife effects on carbon mineralization depend on soil moisture and temperature, suggesting that increased infestation severity under projected climate change potentially increases soil carbon release in deciduous forests in Central Europe.

  7. MrSkn7 Controls Sporulation, Cell Wall Integrity, Autolysis, and Virulence in Metarhizium robertsii

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Yanfang; Chen, Peilin; Chen, Yixiong; Lu, Yuzhen

    2015-01-01

    Two-component signaling pathways generally include sensor histidine kinases and response regulators. We identified an ortholog of the response regulator protein Skn7 in the insect-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii, which we named MrSkn7. Gene deletion assays and functional characterizations indicated that MrSkn7 functions as a transcription factor. The MrSkn7 null mutant of M. robertsii lost the ability to sporulate and had defects in cell wall biosynthesis but was not sensitive to oxidative and osmotic stresses compared to the wild type. However, the mutant was able to produce spores under salt stress. Insect bioassays using these spores showed that the virulence of the mutant was significantly impaired compared to that of the wild type due to the failures to form the infection structure appressorium and evade host immunity. In particular, deletion of MrSkn7 triggered cell autolysis with typical features such as cell vacuolization, downregulation of repressor genes, and upregulation of autolysis-related genes such as extracellular chitinases and proteases. Promoter binding assays confirmed that MrSkn7 could directly or indirectly control different putative target genes. Taken together, the results of this study help us understand the functional divergence of Skn7 orthologs as well as the mechanisms underlying the development and control of virulence in insect-pathogenic fungi. PMID:25710964

  8. Molecular genetics of secondary chemistry in Metarhizium fungi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As with many microbes, entomopathogenic fungi from the genus Metarhizium produce a plethora of small molecule metabolites, often referred to as secondary metabolites. Although these intriguing compounds are a conspicuous feature of the biology of the producing fungi, their roles in pathogenicity and...

  9. Hydroxyproline-rich glycopeptide signals in potato elicit signalling associated with defense against insects and pathogens.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Ramcharan; Koramutla, Murali Krishna; Negi, Manisha; Pearce, Gregory; Ryan, Clarence A

    2013-06-01

    HypSys peptides are 18-20 amino acids glycopeptide defense signal first discovered in tobacco and tomato that activate expression of defensive genes against insect-herbivores. Discovery of their orthologs in other Solanaceaous and nonsolanaceous plants demonstrated their possible ubiquitous nature and species specific functional diversity. In our continued search to establish the paradigm of defense signalling by HypSys peptides, we isolated a cDNA from potato leaves encoding putative analogs of tomato HypSys peptides flanked by conserved proteolytic cleavage sites. The gene encoding the cDNA was a member of a gene family in the tetraploid genome of potato and its expression was transcriptionally activated by wounding and methyl jasmonate. The deduced precursor protein contained a leader peptidase splice site and three putative HypSys peptides with conserved N- and C-termini along with central proline-rich motifs. In defense signalling, the three HypSys peptides elicit H₂O₂ generation in vivo and activate several antioxidant defensive enzymes in young potato leaves. Similar to potato systemin, the HypSys peptides activate the expression of octadecanoid pathway genes and protease inhibitors for insect defense. In addition, the HypSys peptides also activate the essential genes of the innate pathogen defense response in young potato leaves, acting as common elicitors of signalling associated with anti-herbivore and anti-pathogen defense in potato.

  10. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-11-12

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mulley, Geraldine; Beeton, Michael L.; Wilkinson, Paul; Vlisidou, Isabella; Ockendon-Powell, Nina; Hapeshi, Alexia; Tobias, Nick J.; Nollmann, Friederike I.; Bode, Helge B.; van den Elsen, Jean; ffrench-Constant, Richard H.; Waterfield, Nicholas R.

    2015-01-01

    Photorhabdus are highly effective insect pathogenic bacteria that exist in a mutualistic relationship with Heterorhabditid nematodes. Unlike other members of the genus, Photorhabdus asymbiotica can also infect humans. Most Photorhabdus cannot replicate above 34°C, limiting their host-range to poikilothermic invertebrates. In contrast, P. asymbiotica must necessarily be able to replicate at 37°C or above. Many well-studied mammalian pathogens use the elevated temperature of their host as a signal to regulate the necessary changes in gene expression required for infection. Here we use RNA-seq, proteomics and phenotype microarrays to examine temperature dependent differences in transcription, translation and phenotype of P. asymbiotica at 28°C versus 37°C, relevant to the insect or human hosts respectively. Our findings reveal relatively few temperature dependant differences in gene expression. There is however a striking difference in metabolism at 37°C, with a significant reduction in the range of carbon and nitrogen sources that otherwise support respiration at 28°C. We propose that the key adaptation that enables P. asymbiotica to infect humans is to aggressively acquire amino acids, peptides and other nutrients from the human host, employing a so called “nutritional virulence” strategy. This would simultaneously cripple the host immune response while providing nutrients sufficient for reproduction. This might explain the severity of ulcerated lesions observed in clinical cases of Photorhabdosis. Furthermore, while P. asymbiotica can invade mammalian cells they must also resist immediate killing by humoral immunity components in serum. We observed an increase in the production of the insect Phenol-oxidase inhibitor Rhabduscin normally deployed to inhibit the melanisation immune cascade. Crucially we demonstrated this molecule also facilitates protection against killing by the alternative human complement pathway. PMID:26681201

  12. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture. PMID:24145453

  13. Genetic basis of destruxin production in the entomopathogen Metarhizium robertsii.

    PubMed

    Giuliano Garisto Donzelli, Bruno; Krasnoff, Stuart B; Moon, Yong-Sun; Sun-Moon, Yong; Churchill, Alice C L; Gibson, Donna M

    2012-04-01

    Destruxins are among the most exhaustively researched secondary metabolites of entomopathogenic fungi, yet definitive evidence for their roles in pathogenicity and virulence has yet to be shown. To establish the genetic bases for the biosynthesis of this family of depsipeptides, we identified a 23,792-bp gene in Metarhizium robertsii ARSEF 2575 containing six complete nonribosomal peptide synthetase modules, with an N-methyltransferase domain in each of the last two modules. This domain arrangement is consistent with the positioning of the adjacent amino acids N-methyl-L: -valine and N-methyl-L: -alanine within the depsipeptide structure of destruxin. DXS expression levels in vitro and in vivo exhibited comparable patterns, beginning at low levels during the early growth phases and increasing with time. Targeted gene knockout using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation produced mutants that failed to synthesize destruxins, in comparison with wild type and ectopic control strains, indicating the involvement of this gene in destruxin biosynthesis. The destruxin synthetase (DXS) disruption mutant was as virulent as the control strain when conidial inoculum was topically applied to larvae of Spodoptera exigua, Galleria mellonella, and Tenebrio molitor indicating that destruxins are dispensable for virulence in these insect hosts. The DXS mutants exhibited no other detectable changes in morphology and development.

  14. Field trials using the fungal pathogen, Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycetes: Hyphomycetes) to control the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in honey bee, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies.

    PubMed

    Kanga, Lambert Houssou Ble; Jones, Walker A; James, Rosalind R

    2003-08-01

    The potential for Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschinkoff) to control the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) in honey bee colonies was evaluated in field trials against the miticide, tau-fluvalinate (Apistan). Peak mortality of V. destructor occurred 3-4 d after the conidia were applied; however, the mites were still infected 42 d posttreatments. Two application methods were tested: dusts and strips coated with the fungal conidia, and both methods resulted in successful control of mite populations. The fungal treatments were as effective as the Apistan, at the end of the 42-d period of the experiment. The data suggested that optimum mite control could be achieved when no brood is being produced, or when brood production is low, such as in the early spring or late fall. M. anisopliae was harmless to the honey bees (adult bees, or brood) and colony development was not affected. Mite mortality was highly correlated with mycosis in dead mites collected from sticky traps, indicating that the fungus was infecting and killing the mites. Because workers and drones drift between hives, the adult bees were able to spread the fungus between honey bee colonies in the apiary, a situation that could be beneficial to beekeepers.

  15. Pathogenicity of entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) isolates to the adult pea leafminer (Diptera: Agromyzidae) and prospects of an autoinoculation device for infection in the field.

    PubMed

    Migiro, L N; Maniania, N K; Chabi-Olaye, A; Vandenberg, J

    2010-04-01

    Seventeen isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin and three isolates of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) were evaluated for their pathogenicity to the adult pea leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard) (Diptera: Agromyzidae), in the laboratory. Flies were contaminated with dry conidia through a velvet material wrapped around the inner side of a cylindrical plastic tube. All the isolates were pathogenic to the pea leafminer, causing mortality between 40 and 100% at 5 d after exposure. The lethal time for 50% mortality (LT(50)) ranged from 2.6 to 5.4 d, whereas the LT(90) values varied between 3.2 and 9.1 d depending on the isolate. An autoinoculation device was evaluated in cage field experiments using only one of the virulent isolates, M. anisopliae ICIPE 20. The device was loaded with 2-3 g of dry conidia. Mortality of up to 100% was observed in flies captured from fungus-treated cages held under laboratory conditions. The average number of spores picked up by a single fly visiting the device increased with days after inoculation. One day after the inoculation, adults picked up an average of 4.1 +/- 0.7 x 10(5) conidia and 39.6 +/- 4.0 x 10(5) conidia 5 d after inoculation. Depending on the sampling date, the LT(50) varied between 1.8 and 3.4 d. Results indicate that some isolates of B. bassiana and M. anisopliae are highly pathogenic to L. huidobrensis, suggesting a potential for their use in the control of this pest. They also suggest the possibility of L. huidobrensis suppression with fungi using an autoinoculation device.

  16. Metarhizium anisopliae Pathogenesis of Mosquito Larvae: A Verdict of Accidental Death

    PubMed Central

    Butt, Tariq M.; Greenfield, Bethany P. J.; Greig, Carolyn; Maffeis, Thierry G. G.; Taylor, James W. D.; Piasecka, Justyna; Dudley, Ed; Abdulla, Ahmed; Dubovskiy, Ivan M.; Garrido-Jurado, Inmaculada; Quesada-Moraga, Enrique; Penny, Mark W.; Eastwood, Daniel C.

    2013-01-01

    Metarhizium anisopliae, a fungal pathogen of terrestrial arthropods, kills the aquatic larvae of Aedes aegypti, the vector of dengue and yellow fever. The fungus kills without adhering to the host cuticle. Ingested conidia also fail to germinate and are expelled in fecal pellets. This study investigates the mechanism by which this fungus adapted to terrestrial hosts kills aquatic mosquito larvae. Genes associated with the M. anisopliae early pathogenic response (proteinases Pr1 and Pr2, and adhesins, Mad1 and Mad2) are upregulated in the presence of larvae, but the established infection process observed in terrestrial hosts does not progress and insecticidal destruxins were not detected. Protease inhibitors reduce larval mortality indicating the importance of proteases in the host interaction. The Ae. aegypti immune response to M. anisopliae appears limited, whilst the oxidative stress response gene encoding for thiol peroxidase is upregulated. Cecropin and Hsp70 genes are downregulated as larval death occurs, and insect mortality appears to be linked to autolysis through caspase activity regulated by Hsp70 and inhibited, in infected larvae, by protease inhibitors. Evidence is presented that a traditional host-pathogen response does not occur as the species have not evolved to interact. M. anisopliae retains pre-formed pathogenic determinants which mediate host mortality, but unlike true aquatic fungal pathogens, does not recognise and colonise the larval host. PMID:24349111

  17. Evaluation of Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria bassiana and Paecilomyces fumosoroseus as entomopathogens of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The fungal pathogens Metarhizium anisopliae (Metchnikoff) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae), Paecilomyces fumosoroseus (Wize) Brown & Smith (Deuteromycotina: Hyphomycetes), and Beauveria bassiana (Bals.-Criv.) Vuill. (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) were evaluated as potential biological control ...

  18. Characterization of an Insecticidal Toxin and Pathogenicity of Pseudomonas taiwanensis against Insects

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wen-Jen; Hsieh, Feng-Chia; Hsu, Fu-Chiun; Tasy, Yi-Fang; Liu, Je-Ruei; Shih, Ming-Che

    2014-01-01

    Pseudomonas taiwanensis is a broad-host-range entomopathogenic bacterium that exhibits insecticidal activity toward agricultural pests Plutella xylostella, Spodoptera exigua, Spodoptera litura, Trichoplusia ni and Drosophila melanogaster. Oral infection with different concentrations (OD = 0.5 to 2) of wild-type P. taiwanensis resulted in insect mortality rates that were not significantly different (92.7%, 96.4% and 94.5%). The TccC protein, a component of the toxin complex (Tc), plays an essential role in the insecticidal activity of P. taiwanensis. The ΔtccC mutant strain of P. taiwanensis, which has a knockout mutation in the tccC gene, only induced 42.2% mortality in P. xylostella, even at a high bacterial dose (OD = 2.0). TccC protein was cleaved into two fragments, an N-terminal fragment containing an Rhs-like domain and a C-terminal fragment containing a Glt symporter domain and a TraT domain, which might contribute to antioxidative stress activity and defense against macrophagosis, respectively. Interestingly, the primary structure of the C-terminal region of TccC in P. taiwanensis is unique among pathogens. Membrane localization of the C-terminal fragment of TccC was proven by flow cytometry. Sonicated pellets of P. taiwanensis ΔtccC strain had lower toxicity against the Sf9 insect cell line and P. xylostella larvae than the wild type. We also found that infection of Sf9 and LD652Y-5d cell lines with P. taiwanensis induced apoptotic cell death. Further, natural oral infection by P. taiwanensis triggered expression of host programmed cell death-related genes JNK-2 and caspase-3. PMID:25144637

  19. Characterization of an insecticidal toxin and pathogenicity of Pseudomonas taiwanensis against insects.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wen-Jen; Hsieh, Feng-Chia; Hsu, Fu-Chiun; Tasy, Yi-Fang; Liu, Je-Ruei; Shih, Ming-Che

    2014-08-01

    Pseudomonas taiwanensis is a broad-host-range entomopathogenic bacterium that exhibits insecticidal activity toward agricultural pests Plutella xylostella, Spodoptera exigua, Spodoptera litura, Trichoplusia ni and Drosophila melanogaster. Oral infection with different concentrations (OD = 0.5 to 2) of wild-type P. taiwanensis resulted in insect mortality rates that were not significantly different (92.7%, 96.4% and 94.5%). The TccC protein, a component of the toxin complex (Tc), plays an essential role in the insecticidal activity of P. taiwanensis. The ΔtccC mutant strain of P. taiwanensis, which has a knockout mutation in the tccC gene, only induced 42.2% mortality in P. xylostella, even at a high bacterial dose (OD = 2.0). TccC protein was cleaved into two fragments, an N-terminal fragment containing an Rhs-like domain and a C-terminal fragment containing a Glt symporter domain and a TraT domain, which might contribute to antioxidative stress activity and defense against macrophagosis, respectively. Interestingly, the primary structure of the C-terminal region of TccC in P. taiwanensis is unique among pathogens. Membrane localization of the C-terminal fragment of TccC was proven by flow cytometry. Sonicated pellets of P. taiwanensis ΔtccC strain had lower toxicity against the Sf9 insect cell line and P. xylostella larvae than the wild type. We also found that infection of Sf9 and LD652Y-5d cell lines with P. taiwanensis induced apoptotic cell death. Further, natural oral infection by P. taiwanensis triggered expression of host programmed cell death-related genes JNK-2 and caspase-3.

  20. Domain Shuffling in a Sensor Protein Contributed to the Evolution of Insect Pathogenicity in Plant-Beneficial Pseudomonas protegens

    PubMed Central

    Kupferschmied, Peter; Péchy-Tarr, Maria; Imperiali, Nicola; Maurhofer, Monika; Keel, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    Pseudomonas protegens is a biocontrol rhizobacterium with a plant-beneficial and an insect pathogenic lifestyle, but it is not understood how the organism switches between the two states. Here, we focus on understanding the function and possible evolution of a molecular sensor that enables P. protegens to detect the insect environment and produce a potent insecticidal toxin specifically during insect infection but not on roots. By using quantitative single cell microscopy and mutant analysis, we provide evidence that the sensor histidine kinase FitF is a key regulator of insecticidal toxin production. Our experimental data and bioinformatic analyses indicate that FitF shares a sensing domain with DctB, a histidine kinase regulating carbon uptake in Proteobacteria. This suggested that FitF has acquired its specificity through domain shuffling from a common ancestor. We constructed a chimeric DctB-FitF protein and showed that it is indeed functional in regulating toxin expression in P. protegens. The shuffling event and subsequent adaptive modifications of the recruited sensor domain were critical for the microorganism to express its potent insect toxin in the observed host-specific manner. Inhibition of the FitF sensor during root colonization could explain the mechanism by which P. protegens differentiates between the plant and insect host. Our study establishes FitF of P. protegens as a prime model for molecular evolution of sensor proteins and bacterial pathogenicity. PMID:24586167

  1. Metabolomics Reveals the Heterogeneous Secretome of Two Entomopathogenic Fungi to Ex Vivo Cultured Insect Tissues

    PubMed Central

    de Bekker, Charissa; Smith, Philip B.; Patterson, Andrew D.; Hughes, David P.

    2013-01-01

    Fungal entomopathogens rely on cellular heterogeneity during the different stages of insect host infection. Their pathogenicity is exhibited through the secretion of secondary metabolites, which implies that the infection life history of this group of environmentally important fungi can be revealed using metabolomics. Here metabolomic analysis in combination with ex vivo insect tissue culturing shows that two generalist isolates of the genus Metarhizium and Beauveria, commonly used as biological pesticides, employ significantly different arrays of secondary metabolites during infectious and saprophytic growth. It also reveals that both fungi exhibit tissue specific strategies by a distinguishable metabolite secretion on the insect tissues tested in this study. In addition to showing the important heterogeneous nature of these two entomopathogens, this study also resulted in the discovery of several novel destruxins and beauverolides that have not been described before, most likely because previous surveys did not use insect tissues as a culturing system. While Beauveria secreted these cyclic depsipeptides when encountering live insect tissues, Metarhizium employed them primarily on dead tissue. This implies that, while these fungi employ comparable strategies when it comes to entomopathogenesis, there are most certainly significant differences at the molecular level that deserve to be studied. PMID:23940603

  2. Inducible expression of a fusion gene encoding two proteinase inhibitors leads to insect and pathogen resistance in transgenic rice.

    PubMed

    Quilis, Jordi; López-García, Belén; Meynard, Donaldo; Guiderdoni, Emmanuel; San Segundo, Blanca

    2014-04-01

    Plant proteinase inhibitors (PIs) are considered as candidates for increased insect resistance in transgenic plants. Insect adaptation to PI ingestion might, however, compromise the benefits received by transgenic expression of PIs. In this study, the maize proteinase inhibitor (MPI), an inhibitor of insect serine proteinases, and the potato carboxypeptidase inhibitor (PCI) were fused into a single open reading frame and introduced into rice plants. The two PIs were linked using either the processing site of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1B precursor protein or the 2A sequence from the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). Expression of each fusion gene was driven by the wound- and pathogen-inducible mpi promoter. The mpi-pci fusion gene was stably inherited for at least three generations with no penalty on plant phenotype. An important reduction in larval weight of Chilo suppressalis fed on mpi-pci rice, compared with larvae fed on wild-type plants, was observed. Expression of the mpi-pci fusion gene confers resistance to C. suppressalis (striped stem borer), one of the most important insect pest of rice. The mpi-pci expression systems described may represent a suitable strategy for insect pest control, better than strategies based on the use of single PI genes, by preventing insect adaptive responses. The rice plants expressing the mpi-pci fusion gene also showed enhanced resistance to infection by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, the causal agent of the rice blast disease. Our results illustrate the usefulness of the inducible expression of the mpi-pci fusion gene for dual resistance against insects and pathogens in rice plants.

  3. Constraints of simultaneous resistance to a fungal pathogen and an insect herbivore in lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.).

    PubMed

    Ballhorn, Daniel J

    2011-02-01

    The existence of tradeoffs among plant defenses is commonly accepted, however, actual evidence for these tradeoffs is scarce. In this study, I analyzed effects of different direct defenses of wild lima bean plants (Phaseolus lunatus) that were simultaneously exposed to a fungal pathogen (Colletotrichum lindemuthianum) and an insect herbivore, the Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis). Although plants were derived from spatially widely separated populations, I observed a common tradeoff between resistance to pathogens and herbivores. Plants with high levels of anti-herbivore defense (cyanogenesis) showed low levels of resistance to pathogens (polyphenol oxidase activity and phenolic compounds), and vice versa. Competition for resources generally is considered to be the basis for tradeoffs. However, I report direct inhibition of polyphenol oxidase by cyanide, making simultaneous expression of both defenses at high levels impossible. I argue that populations composed of individuals investing in one type of defense have an advantage in environments that periodically favor either pathogen or herbivore plant antagonists.

  4. Induced release of a plant-defense volatile 'deceptively' attracts insect vectors to plants infected with a bacterial pathogen.

    PubMed

    Mann, Rajinder S; Ali, Jared G; Hermann, Sara L; Tiwari, Siddharth; Pelz-Stelinski, Kirsten S; Alborn, Hans T; Stelinski, Lukasz L

    2012-01-01

    Transmission of plant pathogens by insect vectors is a complex biological process involving interactions between the plant, insect, and pathogen. Pathogen-induced plant responses can include changes in volatile and nonvolatile secondary metabolites as well as major plant nutrients. Experiments were conducted to understand how a plant pathogenic bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las), affects host preference behavior of its psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) vector. D. citri were attracted to volatiles from pathogen-infected plants more than to those from non-infected counterparts. Las-infected plants were more attractive to D. citri adults than non-infected plants initially; however after feeding, psyllids subsequently dispersed to non-infected rather than infected plants as their preferred settling point. Experiments with Las-infected and non-infected plants under complete darkness yielded similar results to those recorded under light. The behavior of psyllids in response to infected versus non-infected plants was not influenced by whether or not they were carriers of the pathogen. Quantification of volatile release from non-infected and infected plants supported the hypothesis that odorants mediate psyllid preference. Significantly more methyl salicylate, yet less methyl anthranilate and D-limonene, was released by infected than non-infected plants. Methyl salicylate was attractive to psyllids, while methyl anthranilate did not affect their behavior. Feeding on citrus by D. citri adults also induced release of methyl salicylate, suggesting that it may be a cue revealing location of conspecifics on host plants. Infected plants were characterized by lower levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, zinc, and iron, as well as, higher levels of potassium and boron than non-infected plants. Collectively, our results suggest that host selection behavior of D. citri may be modified by bacterial infection of plants, which alters release of specific headspace

  5. Induced plant defenses, host–pathogen interactions, and forest insect outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    Elderd, Bret D.; Rehill, Brian J.; Haynes, Kyle J.; Dwyer, Greg

    2013-01-01

    Cyclic outbreaks of defoliating insects devastate forests, but their causes are poorly understood. Outbreak cycles are often assumed to be driven by density-dependent mortality due to natural enemies, because pathogens and predators cause high mortality and because natural-enemy models reproduce fluctuations in defoliation data. The role of induced defenses is in contrast often dismissed, because toxic effects of defenses are often weak and because induced-defense models explain defoliation data no better than natural-enemy models. Natural-enemy models, however, fail to explain gypsy moth outbreaks in North America, in which outbreaks in forests with a higher percentage of oaks have alternated between severe and mild, whereas outbreaks in forests with a lower percentage of oaks have been uniformly moderate. Here we show that this pattern can be explained by an interaction between induced defenses and a natural enemy. We experimentally induced hydrolyzable-tannin defenses in red oak, to show that induction reduces variability in a gypsy moth’s risk of baculovirus infection. Because this effect can modulate outbreak severity and because oaks are the only genus of gypsy moth host tree that can be induced, we extended a natural-enemy model to allow for spatial variability in inducibility. Our model shows alternating outbreaks in forests with a high frequency of oaks, and uniform outbreaks in forests with a low frequency of oaks, matching the data. The complexity of this effect suggests that detecting effects of induced defenses on defoliator cycles requires a combination of experiments and models. PMID:23966566

  6. Improving Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for tsetse flies through research on their symbionts and pathogens.

    PubMed

    Abd-Alla, Adly M M; Bergoin, Max; Parker, Andrew G; Maniania, Nguya K; Vlak, Just M; Bourtzis, Kostas; Boucias, Drion G; Aksoy, Serap

    2013-03-01

    Tsetse flies (Diptera: Glossinidae) are the cyclical vectors of the trypanosomes, which cause human African trypanosomosis (HAT) or sleeping sickness in humans and African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) or nagana in animals. Due to the lack of effective vaccines and inexpensive drugs for HAT, and the development of resistance of the trypanosomes against the available trypanocidal drugs, vector control remains the most efficient strategy for sustainable management of these diseases. Among the control methods used for tsetse flies, Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), in the frame of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM), represents an effective tactic to suppress and/or eradicate tsetse flies. One constraint in implementing SIT is the mass production of target species. Tsetse flies harbor obligate bacterial symbionts and salivary gland hypertrophy virus which modulate the fecundity of the infected flies. In support of the future expansion of the SIT for tsetse fly control, the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture implemented a six year Coordinated Research Project (CRP) entitled "Improving SIT for Tsetse Flies through Research on their Symbionts and Pathogens". The consortium focused on the prevalence and the interaction between the bacterial symbionts and the virus, the development of strategies to manage virus infections in tsetse colonies, the use of entomopathogenic fungi to control tsetse flies in combination with SIT, and the development of symbiont-based strategies to control tsetse flies and trypanosomosis. The results of the CRP and the solutions envisaged to alleviate the constraints of the mass rearing of tsetse flies for SIT are presented in this special issue.

  7. Cofeeding intra- and interspecific transmission of an emerging insect-borne rickettsial pathogen.

    PubMed

    Brown, Lisa D; Christofferson, Rebecca C; Banajee, Kaikhushroo H; Del Piero, Fabio; Foil, Lane D; Macaluso, Kevin R

    2015-11-01

    Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) are known as the primary vector and reservoir of Rickettsia felis, the causative agent of flea-borne spotted fever; however, field surveys regularly report molecular detection of this infectious agent from other blood-feeding arthropods. The presence of R. felis in additional arthropods may be the result of chance consumption of an infectious bloodmeal, but isolation of viable rickettsiae circulating in the blood of suspected vertebrate reservoirs has not been demonstrated. Successful transmission of pathogens between actively blood-feeding arthropods in the absence of a disseminated vertebrate infection has been verified, referred to as cofeeding transmission. Therefore, the principal route from systemically infected vertebrates to uninfected arthropods may not be applicable to the R. felis transmission cycle. Here, we show both intra- and interspecific transmission of R. felis between cofeeding arthropods on a vertebrate host. Analyses revealed that infected cat fleas transmitted R. felis to naïve cat fleas and rat fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis) via fleabite on a nonrickettsemic vertebrate host. Also, cat fleas infected by cofeeding were infectious to newly emerged uninfected cat fleas in an artificial system. Furthermore, we utilized a stochastic model to demonstrate that cofeeding is sufficient to explain the enzootic spread of R. felis amongst populations of the biological vector. Our results implicate cat fleas in the spread of R. felis amongst different vectors, and the demonstration of cofeeding transmission of R. felis through a vertebrate host represents a novel transmission paradigm for insect-borne Rickettsia and furthers our understanding of this emerging rickettsiosis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) is the insect vector responsible for the worldwide spread of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas), the bacterial pathogen associated with citrus greening disease. Developmental changes in the insect vector impact pathogen transmission, such that D. citri transmission of CLas is more efficient when bacteria are acquired by nymphs when compared with adults. We hypothesize that expression changes in the D. citri immune system and commensal microbiota occur during development and regulate vector competency. In support of this hypothesis, more proteins, with greater fold changes, were differentially expressed in response to CLas in adults when compared with nymphs, including insect proteins involved in bacterial adhesion and immunity. Compared with nymphs, adult insects had a higher titre of CLas and the bacterial endosymbionts Wolbachia, Profftella and Carsonella. All Wolbachia and Profftella proteins differentially expressed between nymphs and adults are upregulated in adults, while most differentially expressed Carsonella proteins are upregulated in nymphs. Discovery of protein interaction networks has broad applicability to the study of host–microbe relationships. Using protein interaction reporter technology, a D. citri haemocyanin protein highly upregulated in response to CLas was found to physically interact with the CLas coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis enzyme phosphopantothenoylcysteine synthetase/decarboxylase. CLas pantothenate kinase, which catalyses the rate-limiting step of CoA biosynthesis, was found to interact with a D. citri myosin protein. Two Carsonella enzymes involved in histidine and tryptophan biosynthesis were found to physically interact with D. citri proteins. These co-evolved protein interaction networks at the host–microbe interface are highly specific targets for controlling the insect vector responsible for the spread of citrus greening. PMID:28386418

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  10. Terpene down-regulation in orange reveals the role of fruit aromas in mediating interactions with insect herbivores and pathogens.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Ana; San Andrés, Victoria; Cervera, Magdalena; Redondo, Ana; Alquézar, Berta; Shimada, Takehiko; Gadea, José; Rodrigo, María Jesús; Zacarías, Lorenzo; Palou, Lluís; López, María M; Castañera, Pedro; Peña, Leandro

    2011-06-01

    Plants use volatile terpene compounds as odor cues for communicating with the environment. Fleshy fruits are particularly rich in volatiles that deter herbivores and attract seed dispersal agents. We have investigated how terpenes in citrus fruit peels affect the interaction between the plant, insects, and microorganisms. Because limonene represents up to 97% of the total volatiles in orange (Citrus sinensis) fruit peel, we chose to down-regulate the expression of a limonene synthase gene in orange plants by introducing an antisense construct of this gene. Transgenic fruits showed reduced accumulation of limonene in the peel. When these fruits were challenged with either the fungus Penicillium digitatum or with the bacterium Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri, they showed marked resistance against these pathogens that were unable to infect the peel tissues. Moreover, males of the citrus pest medfly (Ceratitis capitata) were less attracted to low limonene-expressing fruits than to control fruits. These results indicate that limonene accumulation in the peel of citrus fruit appears to be involved in the successful trophic interaction between fruits, insects, and microorganisms. Terpene down-regulation might be a strategy to generate broad-spectrum resistance against pests and pathogens in fleshy fruits from economically important crops. In addition, terpene engineering may be important for studying the basic ecological interactions between fruits, herbivores, and pathogens.

  11. Metarhizium brunneum Blastospore Pathogenesis in Aedes aegypti Larvae: Attack on Several Fronts Accelerates Mortality

    PubMed Central

    Alkhaibari, Abeer M.; Carolino, Aline T.; Yavasoglu, Sare I.; Maffeis, Thierry; Mattoso, Thalles C.; Bull, James C.; Samuels, Richard I.; Butt, Tariq M.

    2016-01-01

    Aedes aegypti is the vector of a wide range of diseases (e.g. yellow fever, dengue, Chikungunya and Zika) which impact on over half the world’s population. Entomopathogenic fungi such as Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana have been found to be highly efficacious in killing mosquito larvae but only now are the underlying mechanisms for pathogenesis being elucidated. Recently it was shown that conidia of M. anisopliae caused stress induced mortality in Ae. aegypti larvae, a different mode of pathogenicity to that normally seen in terrestrial hosts. Blastospores constitute a different form of inoculum produced by this fungus when cultured in liquid media and although blastospores are generally considered to be more virulent than conidia no evidence has been presented to explain why. In our study, using a range of biochemical, molecular and microscopy methods, the infection process of Metarhizium brunneum (formerly M. anisopliae) ARSEF 4556 blastospores was investigated. It appears that the blastospores, unlike conidia, readily adhere to and penetrate mosquito larval cuticle. The blastospores are readily ingested by the larvae but unlike the conidia are able infect the insect through the gut and rapidly invade the haemocoel. The fact that pathogenicity related genes were upregulated in blastospores exposed to larvae prior to invasion, suggests the fungus was detecting host derived cues. Similarly, immune and defence genes were upregulated in the host prior to infection suggesting mosquitoes were also able to detect pathogen-derived cues. The hydrophilic blastospores produce copious mucilage, which probably facilitates adhesion to the host but do not appear to depend on production of Pr1, a cuticle degrading subtilisin protease, for penetration since protease inhibitors did not significantly alter blastospore virulence. The fact the blastospores have multiple routes of entry (cuticle and gut) may explain why this form of the inoculum killed Ae. aegypti

  12. THE PESTICIDE METARHIZIUM ANISOPLIAE HAS AN ADJUVANT EFFECT ON THE ALLERGIC RESPONSE TO OVALBUMIN IN MICE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Metarhizium anisopliae is a parasitic fungus employed as a biological control agent against vermin and used in the US for indoor control of cockroaches. Sensitization to cockroach allergens is associated with development of asthma. This pesticide is non-pathogenic for humans and ...

  13. Construction and preliminary analysis of a normalized cDNA library from Locusta migratoria manilensis topically infected with Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jie; Xia, Yuxian

    2010-08-01

    The insect immune response to fungal infection is poorly understood at the molecular level. To explore the molecular basis of this process, a novel method to analyze the gene transcripts of insects in response to pathogenic fungus was established. A normalized cDNA library based on the SMART method combined with DSN (duplex-specific nuclease) treatment was constructed using mRNA extracted from the fat body and hemocytes of Locusta migratoria manilensis 6-24h after being topically infected with Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum. Analysis of 259 unigenes out of 303 sequenced inserts from the cDNA library revealed that the cDNA library was not contaminated with M. anisopliae transcripts and validated the presence of the immune-related genes characterized here. These results suggest that this method overcame the difficulties of contamination from a fungal source in constructing the host cDNA library from mycosed insects and proved that this method is reliable and feasible for investigation of host genes in response to fungal infection. Further studies of the expressed sequence tags from this library will provide insights into the molecular basis of insect immune response to fungal infection.

  14. Temporal interactions of plant - insect - predator after infection of bacterial pathogen on rice plant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pathogenic infection on plants may affect interactions of the host-plants with their herbivores, as well as the herbivores with their predators. In this study, the effects of infection by pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), which causes a vascular disease in rice, in rice plant...

  15. Susceptibility of Adults of the Cerambycid Beetle Hedypathes betulinus to the Entomopathogenic Fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Purpureocillium Lilacinum

    PubMed Central

    Schapovaloff, M. E.; Alves, L. F. A.; Fanti, A. L.; Alzogaray, R. A.; Lastra, C. C. López

    2014-01-01

    The cerambycid beetle Hedypathes betulinus (Klug) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) causes severe damage to yerba mate plants (Ilex paraguariensis (St. Hilaire) (Aquifoliales: Aquifoliaceae)), which results in large losses of production. In this study, the pathogenicity of entomopathogenic fungi of the species Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo-Crivelli) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae), Metarhizium anisopliae sensu lato (Metschnikoff) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae), and Purpureocillium lilacinum (Thom) Luangsa-ard, Hywel-Jones, Houbraken and Samson (Hypocreales: Ophiocordycipitaceae) on yerba mate were evaluated. Fifteen isolates of B. bassiana, two of M. anisopliae, and seven of P. lilacinum on H. betulinus adults were analyzed under laboratory conditions. The raw mortality rate caused by B. bassiana isolates varied from 51.1 to 86.3%, and their LT50 values varied between 8.7 and 13.6 d. The isolates of M. anisopliae caused 69.6–81.8% mortality, and their LT50 values varied between 7.4 and 7.9 d. In contrast, isolates of P. lilacinum were not pathogenic. M. anisopliae and B. bassiana isolates were pathogenic against H. betulinus adults, suggesting that they may be useful in biological control programs for insect pests of yerba mate. PMID:25368071

  16. Variable virulence among isolates of Ascosphaera apis: testing the parasite-pathogen hypothesis for the evolution of polyandry in social insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, G. M.; McGee, P. A.; Oldroyd, B. P.

    2013-03-01

    The queens of many eusocial insect species are polyandrous. The evolution of polyandry from ancestral monoandry is intriguing because polyandry undermines the kin-selected benefits of high intracolonial relatedness that are understood to have been central to the evolution of eusociality. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that polyandry evolved from monoandry in part because genetically diverse colonies better resist infection by pathogens. However, a core assumption of the "parasite-pathogen hypothesis", that there is variation in virulence among strains of pathogens, remains largely untested in vivo. Here, we demonstrate variation in virulence among isolates of Ascosphaera apis, the causative organism of chalkbrood disease in its honey bee ( Apis mellifera) host. More importantly, we show a pathogen-host genotypic interaction for resistance and pathogenicity. Our findings therefore support the parasite-parasite hypothesis as a factor in the evolution of polyandry among eusocial insects.

  17. Multiplexed microsatellite markers for seven Metarhizium species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cross-species transferability of 41 previously published simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers was assessed for 11 species of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium. A collection of 65 Metarhizium isolates including all 54 used in a recent phylogenetic revision of the genus were characterized. Betwe...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Topography and Land Cover of Watersheds Predicts the Distribution of the Environmental Pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans in Aquatic Insects

    PubMed Central

    Carolan, Kevin; Garchitorena, Andres; García-Peña, Gabriel E.; Morris, Aaron; Landier, Jordi; Fontanet, Arnaud; Le Gall, Philippe; Texier, Gaëtan; Marsollier, Laurent; Gozlan, Rodolphe E.; Eyangoh, Sara; Lo Seen, Danny; Guégan, Jean-Francois

    2014-01-01

    Background An understanding of the factors driving the distribution of pathogens is useful in preventing disease. Often we achieve this understanding at a local microhabitat scale; however the larger scale processes are often neglected. This can result in misleading inferences about the distribution of the pathogen, inhibiting our ability to manage the disease. One such disease is Buruli ulcer, an emerging neglected tropical disease afflicting many thousands in Africa, caused by the environmental pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans. Herein, we aim to describe the larger scale landscape process describing the distribution of M. ulcerans. Methodology Following extensive sampling of the community of aquatic macroinvertebrates in Cameroon, we select the 5 dominant insect Orders, and conduct an ecological niche model to describe how the distribution of M. ulcerans positive insects changes according to land cover and topography. We then explore the generalizability of the results by testing them against an independent dataset collected in a second endemic region, French Guiana. Principal Findings We find that the distribution of the bacterium in Cameroon is accurately described by the land cover and topography of the watershed, that there are notable seasonal differences in distribution, and that the Cameroon model does not predict the distribution of M. ulcerans in French Guiana. Conclusions/Significance Future studies of M. ulcerans would benefit from consideration of local structure of the local stream network in future sampling, and further work is needed on the reasons for notable differences in the distribution of this species from one region to another. This work represents a first step in the identification of large-scale environmental drivers of this species, for the purposes of disease risk mapping. PMID:25375173

  20. Emergence and evolution of Arsenophonus bacteria as insect-vectored plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Bressan, Alberto

    2014-03-01

    Arsenophonus bacteria are among the most biologically diverse and widespread endosymbionts of arthropods. Notably, two species, Phlomobacter fragariae and Arsenophonus phytopathogenicus, have been characterized as phloem-restricted plant pathogens that are obligatorily transmitted by and hosted in planthoppers of the family Cixiidae (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). Here, I review the current understanding on the lifestyle transition, evolution, host interaction, and infection cycles of these emerging plant pathogens.

  1. Glycerol-3-Phosphate Acyltransferase Contributes to Triacylglycerol Biosynthesis, Lipid Droplet Formation, and Host Invasion in Metarhizium robertsii

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Qiang; Shang, Yanfang; Huang, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Enzymes involved in the triacylglycerol (TAG) biosynthesis have been well studied in the model organisms of yeasts and animals. Among these, the isoforms of glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) redundantly catalyze the first and rate-limiting step in glycerolipid synthesis. Here, we report the functions of mrGAT, a GPAT ortholog, in an insect-pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium robertsii. Unlike in yeasts and animals, a single copy of the mrGAT gene is present in the fungal genome and the gene deletion mutant is viable. Compared to the wild type and the gene-rescued mutant, the ΔmrGAT mutant demonstrated reduced abilities to produce conidia and synthesize TAG, glycerol, and total lipids. More importantly, we found that mrGAT is localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and directly linked to the formation of lipid droplets (LDs) in fungal cells. Insect bioassay results showed that mrGAT is required for full fungal virulence by aiding fungal penetration of host cuticles. Data from this study not only advance our understanding of GPAT functions in fungi but also suggest that filamentous fungi such as M. robertsii can serve as a good model to elucidate the role of the glycerol phosphate pathway in fungal physiology, particularly to determine the mechanistic connection of GPAT to LD formation. PMID:24077712

  2. Infection of an Insect Vector with a Bacterial Plant Pathogen Increases Its Propensity for Dispersal

    PubMed Central

    Coy, Monique R.; Stelinski, Lukasz L.; Pelz-Stelinski, Kirsten S.

    2015-01-01

    The spread of vector-transmitted pathogens relies on complex interactions between host, vector and pathogen. In sessile plant pathosystems, the spread of a pathogen highly depends on the movement and mobility of the vector. However, questions remain as to whether and how pathogen-induced vector manipulations may affect the spread of a plant pathogen. Here we report for the first time that infection with a bacterial plant pathogen increases the probability of vector dispersal, and that such movement of vectors is likely manipulated by a bacterial plant pathogen. We investigated how Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) affects dispersal behavior, flight capacity, and the sexual attraction of its vector, the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). CLas is the putative causal agent of huanglongbing (HLB), which is a disease that threatens the viability of commercial citrus production worldwide. When D. citri developed on CLas-infected plants, short distance dispersal of male D. citri was greater compared to counterparts reared on uninfected plants. Flight by CLas-infected D. citri was initiated earlier and long flight events were more common than by uninfected psyllids, as measured by a flight mill apparatus. Additionally, CLas titers were higher among psyllids that performed long flights than psyllid that performed short flights. Finally, attractiveness of female D. citri that developed on infected plants to male conspecifics increased proportionally with increasing CLas bacterial titers measured within female psyllids. Our study indicates that the phytopathogen, CLas, may manipulate movement and mate selection behavior of their vectors, which is a possible evolved mechanism to promote their own spread. These results have global implications for both current HLB models of disease spread and control strategies. PMID:26083763

  3. Infection of an Insect Vector with a Bacterial Plant Pathogen Increases Its Propensity for Dispersal.

    PubMed

    Martini, Xavier; Hoffmann, Mark; Coy, Monique R; Stelinski, Lukasz L; Pelz-Stelinski, Kirsten S

    2015-01-01

    The spread of vector-transmitted pathogens relies on complex interactions between host, vector and pathogen. In sessile plant pathosystems, the spread of a pathogen highly depends on the movement and mobility of the vector. However, questions remain as to whether and how pathogen-induced vector manipulations may affect the spread of a plant pathogen. Here we report for the first time that infection with a bacterial plant pathogen increases the probability of vector dispersal, and that such movement of vectors is likely manipulated by a bacterial plant pathogen. We investigated how Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) affects dispersal behavior, flight capacity, and the sexual attraction of its vector, the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). CLas is the putative causal agent of huanglongbing (HLB), which is a disease that threatens the viability of commercial citrus production worldwide. When D. citri developed on CLas-infected plants, short distance dispersal of male D. citri was greater compared to counterparts reared on uninfected plants. Flight by CLas-infected D. citri was initiated earlier and long flight events were more common than by uninfected psyllids, as measured by a flight mill apparatus. Additionally, CLas titers were higher among psyllids that performed long flights than psyllid that performed short flights. Finally, attractiveness of female D. citri that developed on infected plants to male conspecifics increased proportionally with increasing CLas bacterial titers measured within female psyllids. Our study indicates that the phytopathogen, CLas, may manipulate movement and mate selection behavior of their vectors, which is a possible evolved mechanism to promote their own spread. These results have global implications for both current HLB models of disease spread and control strategies.

  4. Pinellia ternata agglutinin expression in chloroplasts confers broad spectrum resistance against aphid, whitefly, Lepidopteran insects, bacterial and viral pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Shuangxia; Zhang, Xianlong; Daniell, Henry

    2012-01-01

    Summary Broad spectrum protection against different insects and pathogens requires multigene engineering. However, such broad spectrum protection against biotic stress is provided by a single protein in some medicinal plants. Therefore, tobacco chloroplasts were transformed with the agglutinin gene from Pinellia ternata (pta), a widely cultivated Chinese medicinal herb. Pinellia ternata agglutinin (PTA) was expressed up to 9.2% of total soluble protein in mature leaves. Purified PTA showed similar hemagglutination activity as snowdrop lectin. Artificial diet with purified PTA from transplastomic plants showed marked and broad insecticidal activity. In planta bioassays conducted with T0 or T1 generation PTA lines showed that the growth of aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) was reduced by 89%–92% when compared with untransformed (UT) plants. Similarly, the larval survival and total population of whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) on transplastomic lines were reduced by 91%–93% when compared with UT plants. This is indeed the first report of lectin controlling whitefly infestation. When transplastomic PTA leaves were fed to corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea), tobacco budworm (Heliothis virescens) or the beet armyworm (spodoptera exigua), 100% mortality was observed against all these three insects. In planta bioassays revealed Erwinia population to be 10 000-fold higher in control than in PTA lines. Similar results were observed with tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) challenge. Therefore, broad spectrum resistance to homopteran (sap-sucking), Lepidopteran insects as well as anti-bacterial or anti-viral activity observed in PTA lines provides a new option to engineer protection against biotic stress by hyper-expression of an unique protein that is naturally present in a medicinal plant. PMID:22077160

  5. Transcriptional control of fungal cell cycle and cellular events by Fkh2, a forkhead transcription factor in an insect pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Juan-Juan; Qiu, Lei; Cai, Qing; Ying, Sheng-Hua; Feng, Ming-Guang

    2015-01-01

    Transcriptional control of the cell cycle by forkhead (Fkh) transcription factors is likely associated with fungal adaptation to host and environment. Here we show that Fkh2, an ortholog of yeast Fkh1/2, orchestrates cell cycle and many cellular events of Beauveria bassiana, a filamentous fungal insect pathogen. Deletion of Fkh2 in B. bassiana resulted in dramatic down-regulation of the cyclin-B gene cluster and hence altered cell cycle (longer G2/M and S, but shorter G0/G1, phases) in unicellular blastospores. Consequently, ΔFkh2 produced twice as many, but smaller, blastospores than wild-type under submerged conditions, and formed denser septa and shorter/broader cells in aberrantly branched hyphae. In these hyphae, clustered genes required for septation and conidiation were remarkedly up-regulated, followed by higher yield and slower germination of aerial conidia. Moreover, ΔFkh2 displayed attenuated virulence and decreased tolerance to chemical and environmental stresses, accompanied with altered transcripts and activities of phenotype-influencing proteins or enzymes. All the changes in ΔFkh2 were restored by Fkh2 complementation. All together, Fkh2-dependent transcriptional control is vital for the adaptation of B. bassiana to diverse habitats of host insects and hence contributes to its biological control potential against arthropod pests. PMID:25955538

  6. Safe housing ensured by an electric field screen that excludes insect-net permeating haematophagous mosquitoes carrying human pathogens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuda, Y.; Kakutani, K.; Nonomura, T.; Kimbara, J.; Osamura, K.; Kusakar, S.; Toyoda, H.

    2015-10-01

    An electric field screen can be used to keep mosquitoes out of houses with open windows. In this study, doubly charged dipolar electric field screens (DD-screens) were used to capture mosquitoes entering through a window. The screen had two components: three layers of insulated conductor iron wires (ICWs) in parallel arrays and two electrostatic direct current (DC) voltage generators that supplied negative or positive voltages to the ICWs. Within each layer, the ICWs were parallel at 5-mm intervals, and connected to each other and to a negative or positive voltage generator. The negatively and positively charged ICWs are represented as ICW(-) and ICW(+), respectively. The screen consisted of one ICW(+) layer with an ICW(-) layer on either side. The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and house mosquito (Culex pipiens) were used as models of vectors carrying viral pathogens. Adult mosquitoes were blown into the space between the ICWs by sending compressed air through the tip of an insect aspirator to determine the voltage range that captured all of the test insects. Wind speed was measured at the surface of the ICW using a sensitive anemometer. The result showed that at ≥ 1.2 kV, the force was strong enough that the ICWs captured all of the mosquitoes, despite a wind speed of 7 m/s. Therefore, the DD-screen could serve as a physical barrier to prevent noxious mosquitoes from entering houses with good air penetration.

  7. Development of a population-based threshold model of conidial germination for analysing the effects of physiological manipulation on the stress tolerance and infectivity of insect pathogenic fungi.

    PubMed

    Andersen, M; Magan, N; Mead, A; Chandler, D

    2006-09-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi are being used as biocontrol agents of insect pests, but their efficacy can be poor in environments where water availability is reduced. In this study, the potential to improve biocontrol by physiologically manipulating fungal inoculum was investigated. Cultures of Beauveria bassiana, Lecanicillium muscarium, Lecanicillium longisporum, Metarhizium anisopliae and Paecilomyces fumosoroseus were manipulated by growing them under conditions of water stress, which produced conidia with increased concentrations of erythritol. The time-course of germination of conidia at different water activities (water activity, aw) was described using a generalized linear model, and in most cases reducing the water activity of the germination medium delayed the onset of germination without affecting the distribution of germination times. The germination of M. anisopliae, L. muscarium, L. longisporum and P. fumosoroseus was accelerated over a range of aw levels as a result of physiological manipulation. However, the relationship between the effect of physiological manipulation on germination and the osmolyte content of conidia varied according to fungal species. There was a linear relationship between germination rate, expressed as the reciprocal of germination time, and aw of the germination medium, but there was no significant effect of fungal species or physiological manipulation on the aw threshold for germination. In bioassays with M. anisopliae, physiologically manipulated conidia germinated more rapidly on the surface of an insect host, the melon cotton aphid Aphis gossypii, and fungal virulence was increased even when relative humidity was reduced after an initial high period. It is concluded that physiological manipulation may lead to improvements in biocontrol in the field, but choice of fungal species/isolate will be critical. In addition, the population-based threshold model used in this study, which considered germination in terms of physiological

  8. Trajectory and genomic determinants of fungal-pathogen speciation and host adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiao; Xiao, Guohua; Zheng, Peng; Shang, Yanfang; Su, Yao; Zhang, Xinyu; Liu, Xingzhong; Zhan, Shuai; St. Leger, Raymond J.

    2014-01-01

    Much remains unknown regarding speciation. Host–pathogen interactions are a major driving force for diversification, but the genomic basis for speciation and host shifting remains unclear. The fungal genus Metarhizium contains species ranging from specialists with very narrow host ranges to generalists that attack a wide range of insects. By genomic analyses of seven species, we demonstrated that generalists evolved from specialists via transitional species with intermediate host ranges and that this shift paralleled insect evolution. We found that specialization was associated with retention of sexuality and rapid evolution of existing protein sequences whereas generalization was associated with protein-family expansion, loss of genome-defense mechanisms, genome restructuring, horizontal gene transfer, and positive selection that accelerated after reinforcement of reproductive isolation. These results advance understanding of speciation and genomic signatures that underlie pathogen adaptation to hosts. PMID:25368161

  9. Interactions Within Susceptible Hosts Drive Establishment of Genetically Distinct Variants of an Insect-Borne Pathogen.

    PubMed

    Blaisdell, G K; Zhang, S; Bratburd, J R; Daane, K M; Cooper, M L; Almeida, R P P

    2015-08-01

    Coinfections are common, leading to pathogen interactions during transmission and establishment in a host. However, few studies have tested the relative strengths of pathogen interactions in vectors and hosts that determine the outcome of infection. We tested interactions between two genetically distinct variants of the mealybug-transmitted Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3. The transmission efficiency of each variant in single variant inoculations by two vector species was determined. The effects of vector species, a coinfected source, and simultaneous inoculation from multiple hosts to one host on variant establishment were examined. Within-vector interactions could have a role in transmission from hosts containing mixed infections, but not when vectors were moved from separate singly infected source plants to a single recipient plant. The invasive Planococcus ficus (Signoret) was a more efficient vector than Pseudococcus viburni (Signoret). Transmission efficiency of the two variants did not differ in single variant inoculations. Overall infections were the same whether from singly or coinfected source plants. In mixed inoculations, establishment of one variant was reduced. Mixed inoculations from two singly infected source plants resulted in fewer mixed infections than expected by chance. Therefore, the observed outcome was determined subsequent to host inoculation rather than in the vector. The outcome may be due to resource competition between pathogens. Alternatively apparent competition may be responsible; the pathogens' differential ability to overcome host defenses and colonize the host may determine the final outcome of new infections. Detailed knowledge of interactions between pathogens during transmission and establishment could improve understanding and management of disease spread.

  10. Sensitivity ofBeauveria bassiana to solanine and tomatine : Plant defensive chemicals inhibit an insect pathogen.

    PubMed

    Costa, S D; Gaugler, R R

    1989-02-01

    The alkaloids solanine and tomatine and the polyene antibiotic nystatin were tested in vitro against the entomopathogenic fungusBeauveria bassiana. Nystatin was the most inhibitory compound tested, reducing colony formation, growth, and development of conidiaphores to a greater degree and at lower concentrations than the alkaloids. Tomatine inhibited colony formation and growth more than solanine, which had relatively little effect on the fungus. The toxicity of tomatine suggests that germination of conidia and subsequent hyphal growth would be inhibited when an insect consumes conidia along with foliage containing 0.100 mg/g (fresh weight) of this compound. The sensitivity ofB. bassiana to alkaloids appears to be in the middle of the range found with other fungi.

  11. Linking fruit traits to variation in predispersal vertebrate seed predation, insect seed predation, and pathogen attack.

    PubMed

    Beckman, Noelle G; Muller-Landau, Helene C

    2011-11-01

    The importance of vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogens for plant communities has long been recognized, but their absolute and relative importance in early recruitment of multiple coexisting tropical plant species has not been quantified. Further, little is known about the relationship of fruit traits to seed mortality due to natural enemies in tropical plants. To investigate the influences of vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogens on reproduction of seven canopy plant species varying in fruit traits, we quantified reductions in fruit development and seed germination due to vertebrates, invertebrates, and fungal pathogens through experimental removal of these enemies using canopy exclosures, insecticide, and fungicide, respectively. We also measured morphological fruit traits hypothesized to mediate interactions of plants with natural enemies of seeds. Vertebrates, invertebrates, and fungi differentially affected predispersal seed mortality depending on the plant species. Fruit morphology explained some variation among species; species with larger fruit and less physical protection surrounding seeds exhibited greater negative effects of fungi on fruit development and germination and experienced reduced seed survival integrated over fruit development and germination in response to vertebrates. Within species, variation in seed size also contributed to variation in natural enemy effects on seed viability. Further, seedling growth was higher for seeds that developed in vertebrate exclosures for Anacardium excelsum and under the fungicide treatment for Castilla elastica, suggesting that predispersal effects of natural enemies may carry through to the seedling stage. This is the first experimental test of the relative effects of vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogens on seed survival in the canopy. This study motivates further investigation to determine the generality of our results for plant communities. If there is strong variation in natural enemy attack

  12. Factors affecting the initial adhesion and retention of the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa in the foregut of an insect vector.

    PubMed

    Killiny, Nabil; Almeida, Rodrigo P P

    2014-01-01

    Vector transmission of bacterial plant pathogens involves three steps: pathogen acquisition from an infected host, retention within the vector, and inoculation of cells into susceptible tissue of an uninfected plant. In this study, a combination of plant and artificial diet systems were used to determine the importance of several genes on the initial adhesion and retention of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa to an efficient insect vector. Mutant strains included fimbrial (fimA and pilB) and afimbrial (hxfA and hxfB) adhesins and three loci involved in regulatory systems (rpfF, rpfC, and cgsA). Transmission assays with variable retention time indicated that HxfA and HxfB were primarily important for early adhesion to vectors, while FimA was necessary for both adhesion and retention. The long pilus protein PilB was not deficient in initial adhesion but may be important for retention. Genes upregulated under the control of rpfF are important for both initial adhesion and retention, as transmission rates of this mutant strain were initially low and decreased over time, while disruption of rpfC and cgsA yielded trends similar to that shown by the wild-type control. Because induction of an X. fastidiosa transmissible state requires pectin, a series of experiments were used to test the roles of a polygalacturonase (pglA) and the pectin and galacturonic acid carbohydrates on the transmission of X. fastidiosa. Results show that galacturonic acid, or PglA activity breaking pectin into its major subunit (galacturonic acid), is required for X. fastidiosa vector transmission using an artificial diet system. This study shows that early adhesion and retention of X. fastidiosa are mediated by different factors. It also illustrates that the interpretation of results of vector transmission experiments, in the context of vector-pathogen interaction studies, is highly dependent on experimental design.

  13. Isolation of a nitrogen response regulator gene (nrr1) from Metarhizium anisopliae.

    PubMed

    Screen, S; Bailey, A; Charnley, K; Cooper, R; Clarkson, J

    1998-10-09

    Attempts to improve the effectiveness of entomopathogenic fungi as biological control agents require a clear understanding of the pathogenicity determinants at both the biochemical and molecular level. Proteases play a key role in entomopathogenicity, allowing the fungus to penetrate the insect cuticle and rapidly invade the host. The most extensively studied of these protease activities, PR1A and PR2, are both subject to nitrogen derepression. The Metarhizium anisopliae nrr1 (nitrogen response regulator 1) gene was identified using a PCR-based strategy; it encodes a putative DNA-binding protein with a single zinc finger motif defined by the C-X2-C-X17-C-X2-C sequence. M. anisopliae NRR1 shows a significant sequence similarity to Neurospora crassa NIT2. Sequence analysis identified the presence of two introns, suggesting a greater degree of similarity to N. crassa nit2 than to the areA-like genes that have been identified. However, functional equivalence of nrr1 to areA was demonstrated, by co-transformation and complementation of an A. nidulans areA loss-of-function mutant (areA18 argB2 pabaA1 inoB2) with the M. anisopliae nrr1 gene. The areA-/nrr1+ Aspergillus transformants were able to grow on media with nitrate and glutamate as the sole nitrogen source, whereas the areA- strain is unable to grow under these conditions. The possible relevance of nitrogen regulation to pathogenicity is discussed.

  14. Temporal interactions of plant - insect - predator after infection of bacterial pathogen on rice plants

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Ze; Liu, Zhuang; Zhou, Wen; Jin, Huanan; Liu, Hao; Zhou, Aiming; Zhang, Aijun; Wang, Man-Qun

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenic infection on plants may affect interactions of host-plants with their herbivores, as well as the herbivores with their predators. In this study, the effects of infection by pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), which causes a vascular disease in rice, on rice plants and consequent interactions with a rice herbivore, brown rice planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens, and its major predator, Cyrtorhinus lividipennis, were investigated. The results showed that the rice plants exhibited increased resistance to BPH only at 3 d post-inoculation of Xoo, while the Xoo infection did not affect the development and fecundity of BPH. BPH exhibited a higher preference to Xoo infected rice plants, whereas C. lividipennis preferred the Xoo infected rice plants after BPH fed, but preferred healthy rice plants without BPH fed. Volatile organic compounds emitted from Xoo rice were significantly higher than those from healthy rice plants, Xoo infection on BPH fed plants caused rice plants to emit more the herbivore-induced plant volatiles, while all of these changes correlated to the temporal dimension. These results demonstrated that Xoo infection significantly influenced the interactions of rice plants with two non-vectors, BPH and its predator, although these effects exhibited in a temporal pattern after infection. PMID:27185548

  15. Temporal interactions of plant - insect - predator after infection of bacterial pathogen on rice plants.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ze; Liu, Zhuang; Zhou, Wen; Jin, Huanan; Liu, Hao; Zhou, Aiming; Zhang, Aijun; Wang, Man-Qun

    2016-05-17

    Pathogenic infection on plants may affect interactions of host-plants with their herbivores, as well as the herbivores with their predators. In this study, the effects of infection by pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), which causes a vascular disease in rice, on rice plants and consequent interactions with a rice herbivore, brown rice planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens, and its major predator, Cyrtorhinus lividipennis, were investigated. The results showed that the rice plants exhibited increased resistance to BPH only at 3 d post-inoculation of Xoo, while the Xoo infection did not affect the development and fecundity of BPH. BPH exhibited a higher preference to Xoo infected rice plants, whereas C. lividipennis preferred the Xoo infected rice plants after BPH fed, but preferred healthy rice plants without BPH fed. Volatile organic compounds emitted from Xoo rice were significantly higher than those from healthy rice plants, Xoo infection on BPH fed plants caused rice plants to emit more the herbivore-induced plant volatiles, while all of these changes correlated to the temporal dimension. These results demonstrated that Xoo infection significantly influenced the interactions of rice plants with two non-vectors, BPH and its predator, although these effects exhibited in a temporal pattern after infection.

  16. Improving Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for tsetse flies through research on their symbionts and pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Abd-Alla, Adly M.M.; Bergoin, Max; Parker, Andrew G.; Maniania, Nguya K.; Vlak, Just M.; Bourtzis, Kostas; Boucias, Drion G.; Aksoy, Serap

    2013-01-01

    Tsetse flies (Diptera: Glossinidae) are the cyclical vectors of the trypanosomes, which cause human African trypanosomosis (HAT) or sleeping sickness in humans and African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) or nagana in animals. Due to the lack of effective vaccines and inexpensive drugs for HAT, and the development of resistance of the trypanosomes against the available trypanocidal drugs, vector control remains the most efficient strategy for sustainable management of these diseases. Among the control methods used for tsetse flies, Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), in the frame of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM), represents an effective tactic to suppress and/or eradicate tsetse flies. One constraint in implementing SIT is the mass production of target species. Tsetse flies harbor obligate bacterial symbionts and salivary gland hypertrophy virus which modulate the fecundity of the infected flies. In support of the future expansion of the SIT for tsetse fly control, the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture implemented a six year Coordinated Research Project (CRP) entitled “Improving SIT for Tsetse Flies through Research on their Symbionts and Pathogens”. The consortium focused on the prevalence and the interaction between the bacterial symbionts and the virus, the development of strategies to manage virus infections in tsetse colonies, the use of entomopathogenic fungi to control tsetse flies in combination with SIT, and the development of symbiont-based strategies to control tsetse flies and trypanosomosis. The results of the CRP and the solutions envisaged to alleviate the constraints of the mass rearing of tsetse flies for SIT are presented in this special issue. PMID:22841636

  17. Production of Destruxins from Metarhizium spp. Fungi in Artificial Medium and in Endophytically Colonized Cowpea Plants

    PubMed Central

    Golo, Patrícia S.; Gardner, Dale R.; Grilley, Michelle M.; Takemoto, Jon Y.; Krasnoff, Stuart B.; Pires, Marcus S.; Fernandes, Éverton K. K.; Bittencourt, Vânia R. E. P.; Roberts, Donald W.

    2014-01-01

    Destruxins (DTXs) are cyclic depsipeptides produced by many Metarhizium isolates that have long been assumed to contribute to virulence of these entomopathogenic fungi. We evaluated the virulence of 20 Metarhizium isolates against insect larvae and measured the concentration of DTXs A, B, and E produced by these same isolates in submerged (shaken) cultures. Eight of the isolates (ARSEF 324, 724, 760, 1448, 1882, 1883, 3479, and 3918) did not produce DTXs A, B, or E during the five days of submerged culture. DTXs were first detected in culture medium at 2–3 days in submerged culture. Galleria mellonella and Tenebrio molitor showed considerable variation in their susceptibility to the Metarhizium isolates. The concentration of DTXs produced in vitro did not correlate with percent or speed of insect kill. We established endophytic associations of M. robertsii and M. acridum isolates in Vigna unguiculata (cowpeas) and Cucumis sativus (cucumber) plants. DTXs were detected in cowpeas colonized by M. robertsii ARSEF 2575 12 days after fungal inoculation, but DTXs were not detected in cucumber. This is the first instance of DTXs detected in plants endophytically colonized by M. robertsii. This finding has implications for new approaches to fungus-based biological control of pest arthropods. PMID:25127450

  18. Identification of a new Alcaligenes faecalis strain MOR02 and assessment of its toxicity and pathogenicity to insects.

    PubMed

    Quiroz-Castañeda, Rosa Estela; Mendoza-Mejía, Ared; Obregón-Barboza, Verónica; Martínez-Ocampo, Fernando; Hernández-Mendoza, Armando; Martínez-Garduño, Felipe; Guillén-Solís, Gabriel; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Federico; Peña-Chora, Guadalupe; Ortíz-Hernández, Laura; Gaytán-Colín, Paul; Dantán-González, Edgar

    2015-01-01

    We report the isolation of a bacterium from Galleria mellonella larva and its identification using genome sequencing and phylogenomic analysis. This bacterium was named Alcaligenes faecalis strain MOR02. Microscopic analyses revealed that the bacteria are located in the esophagus and intestine of the nematodes Steinernema feltiae, S. carpocapsae, and H. bacteriophora. Using G. mellonella larvae as a model, when the larvae were injected with 24,000 CFU in their hemocoel, more than 96% mortality was achieved after 24 h. Additionally, toxicity assays determined that 1 μg of supernatant extract from A. faecalis MOR02 killed more than 70% G. mellonella larvae 96 h after injection. A correlation of experimental data with sequence genome analyses was also performed. We discovered genes that encode proteins and enzymes that are related to pathogenicity, toxicity, and host/environment interactions that may be responsible for the observed phenotypic characteristics. Our data demonstrates that the bacteria are able to use different strategies to colonize nematodes and kill insects to their own benefit. However, there remains an extensive group of unidentified microorganisms that could be participating in the infection process. Additionally, a nematode-bacterium association could be established probably as a strategy of dispersion and colonization.

  19. New ex vivo reporter assay system reveals that σ factors of an unculturable pathogen control gene regulation involved in the host switching between insects and plants.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Yoshiko; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Oshima, Kenro

    2013-08-01

    Analysis of the environmental regulation of bacterial gene expression is important for understanding the nature, pathogenicity, and infection route of many pathogens. "Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris", onion yellows strain M (OY-M), is a phytopathogenic bacterium that is able to adapt to quite different host environments, including plants and insects, with a relatively small ~850 kb genome. The OY-M genome encodes two sigma (σ) factors, RpoD and FliA, that are homologous to Escherichia coli σ(70) and σ(28) , respectively. Previous studies show that gene expression of OY-M dramatically changes upon the response to insect and plant hosts. However, very little is known about the relationship between the two σ factors and gene regulatory systems in OY-M, because phytoplasma cannot currently be cultured in vitro. Here, we developed an Escherichia coli-based ex vivo reporter assay (EcERA) system to evaluate the transcriptional induction of phytoplasmal genes by the OY-M-derived σ factors. EcERA revealed that highly expressed genes in insect and plant hosts were regulated by RpoD and FliA, respectively. We also demonstrated that rpoD expression was significantly higher in insect than in plant hosts and fliA expression was similar between the hosts. These data indicate that phytoplasma-derived RpoD and FliA play key roles in the transcriptional switching mechanism during host switching between insects and plants. Our study will be invaluable to understand phytoplasmal transmission, virulence expression in plants, and the effect of infection on insect fitness. In addition, the novel EcERA system could be broadly applied to reveal transcriptional regulation mechanisms in other unculturable bacteria.

  20. Distribution and occurrence of the insect pathogenic alga Helicosporidium sp. (Chlorophyta: Trebouxiophyceae) in the predator beetle Rhizophagus grandis G: yll. (Coleoptera: Rhizophagidae)-rearing laboratories.

    PubMed

    Yaman, M; Tosun, O; Aydın, C; Ertürk, O

    2011-01-01

    The distribution and occurrence of the insect pathogenic algae Helicosporidium sp. (Chlorophyta: Trebouxiophyceae) in the predator beetle Rhizophagus grandis (Coleoptera: Rhizophagidae)-rearing laboratories were studied and reported here for the first time. The insect pathogenic alga Helicosporidium sp. infection was observed in all R. grandis-rearing laboratories. The infection rate reached more than 20% which is significant among the samples in some R. grandis-rearing laboratories. The infection rates of the examined beetles showed noticeable differences between localities and years. There was no significant difference in the infection levels of male and female beetles. These results showed that Helicosporidium sp. is one of the factors that decrease efficiency of the R. grandis-rearing laboratories.

  1. Identification of genes differentially expressed by Metarhizium anisopliae growing on Locusta migratoria wings using suppression subtractive hybridization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chuanbo; Xia, Yuxian; Li, Zhongyuan

    2011-05-01

    Insect-pathogenic fungi penetrate their hosts directly through the cuticle. To better understand this process, we identified genes that were up-regulated by Metarhizium anisopliae germinating and differentiating on Locusta migratoria wings using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH). A total of 78 unique expressed sequence tags (ESTs) up-regulated more than twofold during fungal growth on locust wings were identified. Among these 78 ESTs, 30 (38.5%) shared significant similarity with NCBI annotated hypothetical proteins, 16 (20.5%) shared low similarity to known or predicted genes, might represent novel genes, and 32 (41.0%) shared significant similarity with known proteins that are involved in various cell and molecular processes such as cell metabolism, protein metabolism, stress response and defense, and cell structure and function. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis of six randomly selected genes confirmed the SSH results, verifying the fidelity of the SSH data. The results of this study provide novel information on genes expressed during early stages of infection with M. anisopliae, and improve current understanding of fungal pathogenesis.

  2. Horizontal Transmission of Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) and Metarhizium anisopliae (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) in Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae).

    PubMed

    Cárcamo, M C; Felchicher, F; Duarte, J P; Bernardi, E; Ribeiro, P B

    2015-08-01

    Beauveria bassiana Vuillemin and Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin are fungi with potential for controlling Musca domestica L. However, the impact on this dipteral may vary depending on the fungal isolates and the methodology used. This study evaluated the pathogenicity of direct application and horizontal transmission of B. bassiana (CG240) and M. anisopliae (CG34) on adult M. domestica individuals. The impact of B. bassiana and M. anisopliae on M. domestica was evaluated at the concentrations 2 × 10(4), 2 × 10(5), 2 × 10(6), and 2 × 10(7) conidia/ml. Horizontal transmission was also estimated between sexes at different infection periods of the vector insect. The mortality of adult M. domestica individuals directly infected with B. bassiana was above 90%, and the mortality of those infected with M. anisopliae ranged from 25.50 to 97.78%. Horizontal transmission of B. bassiana caused the death of 100% of individuals, in turn, that of M. anisopliae killed 55% of male and 100% of female individuals. Horizontal transmission of fungi was negatively influenced by time. This study shows the potential of these fungi for controlling M. domestica, both with the direct implementation strategy and horizontal transmission. However, field studies are needed to evaluate the capacity to decrease the M. domestica population using these alternatives.

  3. Test Plan for the Large-Scale Operations Management Test of Insects and Pathogens for Control of Water Hyacinth in Louisiana.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-06-01

    north end of Lake Concordia in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, and filled with waterhyacinth plants col- lected from the population that grows naturally on... naturally occurring Arzama as a control agent for waterhyacinth lies in its temporary or seasonal effects on large plants . Research on procedures for...identify by block numiber) Aquatic plant control Waterhyacinths Insects Management methods Pathogens ft AWACT (Cmaonmo ee ebbMs san Ilmend identify by block

  4. Induced Release of a Plant-Defense Volatile ‘Deceptively’ Attracts Insect Vectors to Plants Infected with a Bacterial Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Mann, Rajinder S.; Ali, Jared G.; Hermann, Sara L.; Tiwari, Siddharth; Pelz-Stelinski, Kirsten S.; Alborn, Hans T.; Stelinski, Lukasz L.

    2012-01-01

    Transmission of plant pathogens by insect vectors is a complex biological process involving interactions between the plant, insect, and pathogen. Pathogen-induced plant responses can include changes in volatile and nonvolatile secondary metabolites as well as major plant nutrients. Experiments were conducted to understand how a plant pathogenic bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las), affects host preference behavior of its psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) vector. D. citri were attracted to volatiles from pathogen-infected plants more than to those from non-infected counterparts. Las-infected plants were more attractive to D. citri adults than non-infected plants initially; however after feeding, psyllids subsequently dispersed to non-infected rather than infected plants as their preferred settling point. Experiments with Las-infected and non-infected plants under complete darkness yielded similar results to those recorded under light. The behavior of psyllids in response to infected versus non-infected plants was not influenced by whether or not they were carriers of the pathogen. Quantification of volatile release from non-infected and infected plants supported the hypothesis that odorants mediate psyllid preference. Significantly more methyl salicylate, yet less methyl anthranilate and D-limonene, was released by infected than non-infected plants. Methyl salicylate was attractive to psyllids, while methyl anthranilate did not affect their behavior. Feeding on citrus by D. citri adults also induced release of methyl salicylate, suggesting that it may be a cue revealing location of conspecifics on host plants. Infected plants were characterized by lower levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, zinc, and iron, as well as, higher levels of potassium and boron than non-infected plants. Collectively, our results suggest that host selection behavior of D. citri may be modified by bacterial infection of plants, which alters release of specific headspace

  5. Laboratory evaluation of three strains of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae for controlling Dermanyssus gallinae.

    PubMed

    Tavassoli, M; Ownag, A; Pourseyed, S H; Mardani, K

    2008-06-01

    The pathogenicity of three strains of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae on different life stages of Dermanyssus gallinae was evaluated in the laboratory. All the strains tested were virulent to D. gallinae but pathogenicity varied among the strains. Strain V245 induced a higher mortality rate using different concentrations than other two strains. The estimated median lethal concentration of different strains of M. anisopliae against D. gallinae varied depending on the exposure time of D. gallinae to M. anisopliae. It was concluded that the pathogenicity of the entomopathogenic fungus M. anisopliae on different life stages of D. gallinae was concentration and time dependent.

  6. Basic Leucine Zipper (bZIP) Domain Transcription Factor MBZ1 Regulates Cell Wall Integrity, Spore Adherence, and Virulence in Metarhizium robertsii *

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wei; Shang, Yanfang; Chen, Peilin; Cen, Kai; Wang, Chengshu

    2015-01-01

    Transcription factors (TFs) containing the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) domain are widely distributed in eukaryotes and display an array of distinct functions. In this study, a bZIP-type TF gene (MBZ1) was deleted and functionally characterized in the insect pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii. The deletion mutant (ΔMBZ1) showed defects in cell wall integrity, adhesion to hydrophobic surfaces, and topical infection of insects. Relative to the WT, ΔMBZ1 was also impaired in growth and conidiogenesis. Examination of putative target gene expression indicated that the genes involved in chitin biosynthesis were differentially transcribed in ΔMBZ1 compared with the WT, which led to the accumulation of a higher level of chitin in mutant cell walls. MBZ1 exhibited negative regulation of subtilisin proteases, but positive control of an adhesin gene, which is consistent with the observation of effects on cell autolysis and a reduction in spore adherence to hydrophobic surfaces in ΔMBZ1. Promoter binding assays indicated that MBZ1 can bind to different target genes and suggested the possibility of heterodimer formation to increase the diversity of the MBZ1 regulatory network. The results of this study advance our understanding of the divergence of bZIP-type TFs at both intra- and interspecific levels. PMID:25673695

  7. Basic leucine zipper (bZIP) domain transcription factor MBZ1 regulates cell wall integrity, spore adherence, and virulence in Metarhizium robertsii.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei; Shang, Yanfang; Chen, Peilin; Cen, Kai; Wang, Chengshu

    2015-03-27

    Transcription factors (TFs) containing the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) domain are widely distributed in eukaryotes and display an array of distinct functions. In this study, a bZIP-type TF gene (MBZ1) was deleted and functionally characterized in the insect pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii. The deletion mutant (ΔMBZ1) showed defects in cell wall integrity, adhesion to hydrophobic surfaces, and topical infection of insects. Relative to the WT, ΔMBZ1 was also impaired in growth and conidiogenesis. Examination of putative target gene expression indicated that the genes involved in chitin biosynthesis were differentially transcribed in ΔMBZ1 compared with the WT, which led to the accumulation of a higher level of chitin in mutant cell walls. MBZ1 exhibited negative regulation of subtilisin proteases, but positive control of an adhesin gene, which is consistent with the observation of effects on cell autolysis and a reduction in spore adherence to hydrophobic surfaces in ΔMBZ1. Promoter binding assays indicated that MBZ1 can bind to different target genes and suggested the possibility of heterodimer formation to increase the diversity of the MBZ1 regulatory network. The results of this study advance our understanding of the divergence of bZIP-type TFs at both intra- and interspecific levels.

  8. 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...

  9. Exposure of Bed Bugs to Metarhizium anisopliae at Different Humidities.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Kevin R; Feldlaufer, Mark F; Kramer, Matthew; St Leger, Raymond J

    2014-12-01

    Bed bugs Cimex lectularius L. were exposed to conidia (spores) of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae by feeding, aerosol spray, or contact with a treated surface. Feeding experiments demonstrated that bed bugs were innately susceptible to this fungus. However, only at 98% humidity were mortality rates high, regardless of whether bed bugs were sprayed with a fungal solution or contacted a treated surface. Mortality in treated bed bugs at ambient humidity did not increase when these bed bugs were kept in aggregation with other bed bugs that had recently blood fed to repletion. Based on these laboratory studies, we conclude that M. anisopliae is a poor pathogen for use in control of bed bugs, particularly at humidities that would likely be encountered under field conditions.

  10. [Organization and preservation of the collection of pathogenic and fungal symbionts of insects and other arthropods from CEPAVE (CONICET-UNLP), La Plata, Argentina].

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Alejandra Concepción; Tornesello-Galván, Julieta; Manfrino, Romina Guadalupe; Hipperdinger, Marcela; Falvo, Marianel; D'Alessandro, Celeste; López Lastra, Claudia Cristina

    2017-03-17

    The collection of fungal pathogens and symbionts of insects and other arthropods of the Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores, La Plata, Argentina, is unique because it preserves in vivo and in vitro cultures of fungal pathogens. This culture collection is open for research, teaching, consulting services, and strain deposit. It contains 421 strains belonging to 23 genera (16 Ascomycota, 4 Entomophthoromycotina, 2 Glomeromycota and 1 Oomycota), and the cultures are preserved by different methods such as cryopreservation in freezer at -20°C and -70°C, paper, distilled water and lyophilization. Fungi were isolated from insects, other arthropods, and soil (by using insect baits and selective media). Species were identified by morphological features and in a few strains by molecular taxonomy (PCR of rDNA). This collection is a reference center for species identification/certifications, research and teaching purposes, strain deposit, transference and consultancy services, and its overall goal is to preserve the fungal germplasm and ex situ diversity. Most of the strains are native of Argentina. The collection was originated in 1988 and is registered in the Latin American Federation for Culture Collections and in the World Federation of Culture Collections.

  11. Two Volatile Organic Compounds Trigger Plant Self-Defense against a Bacterial Pathogen and a Sucking Insect in Cucumber under Open Field Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Song, Geun Cheol; Ryu, Choong-Min

    2013-01-01

    Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a plant self-defense mechanism against a broad-range of pathogens and insect pests. Among chemical SAR triggers, plant and bacterial volatiles are promising candidates for use in pest management, as these volatiles are highly effective, inexpensive, and can be employed at relatively low concentrations compared with agrochemicals. However, such volatiles have some drawbacks, including the high evaporation rate of these compounds after application in the open field, their negative effects on plant growth, and their inconsistent levels of effectiveness. Here, we demonstrate the effectiveness of volatile organic compound (VOC)-mediated induced resistance against both the bacterial angular leaf spot pathogen, Pseudononas syringae pv. lachrymans, and the sucking insect aphid, Myzus persicae, in the open field. Using the VOCs 3-pentanol and 2-butanone where fruit yields increased gave unexpectedly, a significant increase in the number of ladybird beetles, Coccinella septempunctata, a natural enemy of aphids. The defense-related gene CsLOX was induced by VOC treatment, indicating that triggering the oxylipin pathway in response to the emission of green leaf volatiles can recruit the natural enemy of aphids. These results demonstrate that VOCs may help prevent plant disease and insect damage by eliciting induced resistance, even in open fields. PMID:23698768

  12. Secretome of the Biocontrol Agent Metarhizium anisopliae Induced by the Cuticle of the Cotton Pest Dysdercus peruvianus Reveals New Insights into Infection

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Metarhizium anisopliae is an entomopathogenic fungus that has evolved specialized strategies to infect insect hosts. Here we analyzed secreted proteins related to Dysdercus peruvianus infection. Using shotgun proteomics, abundance changes in 71 proteins were identified after exposure to host cuticle. Among these proteins were classical fungal effectors secreted by pathogens to degrade physical barriers and alter host physiology. These include lipolytic enzymes, Pr1A, B, C, I, and J proteases, ROS-related proteins, oxidorreductases, and signaling proteins. Protein interaction networks were generated postulating interesting candidates for further studies, including Pr1C, based on possible functional interactions. On the basis of these results, we propose that M. anisopliae is degrading host components and actively secreting proteins to manage the physiology of the host. Interestingly, the secretion of these factors occurs in the absence of a host response. The findings presented here are an important step in understanding the host–pathogen interaction and developing more efficient biocontrol of D. peruvianus by M. anisopliae. PMID:24702058

  13. Potential of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) as a bioassay probe for Metarhizium brunneum (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) activity against Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Bharadwaj, Anuja; Stafford, Kirby C

    2011-12-01

    The yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor L., has been used to indicate qualitatively the presence of entomopathogenic fungi in the soil or as a model for evaluating stress and other factors on fungal activity. Although this beetle appears highly susceptible to many of these fungi, little quantitative information is available on the sensitivity of T. molitor to a specific fungus and, therefore, fungal presence or as an indicator for pathogenicity to other species. The purpose of this study was to establish the suitability of T. molitor larvae as a bioassay probe for Metarhizium brunneum for comparison against the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Nine concentrations of M. brunneum strain F52 ranging from 1.0 x 10(1) to 8.4 x 10(8) conidial/ml were simultaneously tested against T. molitor larvae and I. scapularis adults. Larvae of yellow mealworm were less sensitive to M. brunneum than I. scapularis adults (LC50's 4.4 x 10(7) and 1.7 x 10(5) conidia/ml, respectively, 4-wk post-treatment). The greater sensitivity of I. scapularis to the fungus suggests that the detection of fungal mycosis in mealworms would indicate sufficient inoculum to be pathogenic to I. scapularis and make this insect a suitable probe for evaluation of the presence and activity of M. brunneum against the blacklegged tick in field applications.

  14. Identification of genes differentially expressed in vivo by Metarhizium anisopliae in the hemolymph of Locusta migratoria using suppression-subtractive hybridization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chuanbo; Xia, Yuxian

    2009-08-01

    Metarhizium anisopliae is an important insect pathogenic fungus widely used in biological pest control. The aim of this study was to identify genes differentially expressed in vivo by M. anisopliae CQMa102 in the hemolymph of infected Locusta migratoria. Suppression-subtractive hybridization was performed using cDNA generated from hyphal bodies purified from hemolymph and the fungus germinating and differentiating on locust wings. A total of 350/1,600 random clones screened by cDNA array dot blotting were sequenced, resulting in 120 uniquely expressed sequence tags (ESTs) that were up-regulated during colonization of hemolymph. Among these 120 ESTs, 42 (35.0%) had matches in the NR protein database, and 29 (24.2%) were significantly similar to known proteins involved in various cellular processes, including general metabolism, cell wall remodeling, protein synthesis, signal transduction and stress responses. In contrast, the remaining 78 ESTs (65.0%) either had low similarity in the NR database or represented novel genes. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis of five randomly selected genes revealed that all were highly expressed in the host hemolymph. These results provide new insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms of adaptation to host hemolymph and may increase understanding of host-pathogen interactions.

  15. PROTEOMIC ANALYSIS OF ALLERGENS FROM METARHIZIUM ANISOPLIAE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Introduction

    The goal of this project is the identification and characterization of allergens from the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, using mass spectrometry (MS). The US EPA, under the "Children at Risk" program, is currently addressing the problem of indoor fungal bioaer...

  16. Insect E-probe Diagnostic Nucleic acid Analysis (EDNA): the application of a novel bioinformatic tool to detection of vectors and pathogens in individual insect and simulated insect trap metagenomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant pathogen detection takes many forms. In simple cases, researchers are attempting to detect a known pathogen from a known host utilizing targeted nucleic acid or antigenic assays. However, in more complex scenarios researchers may not know the identity of a pathogen, or they may need to screen ...

  17. Terpene Down-Regulation in Orange Reveals the Role of Fruit Aromas in Mediating Interactions with Insect Herbivores and Pathogens1[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez, Ana; San Andrés, Victoria; Cervera, Magdalena; Redondo, Ana; Alquézar, Berta; Shimada, Takehiko; Gadea, José; Rodrigo, María Jesús; Zacarías, Lorenzo; Palou, Lluís; López, María M.; Castañera, Pedro; Peña, Leandro

    2011-01-01

    Plants use volatile terpene compounds as odor cues for communicating with the environment. Fleshy fruits are particularly rich in volatiles that deter herbivores and attract seed dispersal agents. We have investigated how terpenes in citrus fruit peels affect the interaction between the plant, insects, and microorganisms. Because limonene represents up to 97% of the total volatiles in orange (Citrus sinensis) fruit peel, we chose to down-regulate the expression of a limonene synthase gene in orange plants by introducing an antisense construct of this gene. Transgenic fruits showed reduced accumulation of limonene in the peel. When these fruits were challenged with either the fungus Penicillium digitatum or with the bacterium Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri, they showed marked resistance against these pathogens that were unable to infect the peel tissues. Moreover, males of the citrus pest medfly (Ceratitis capitata) were less attracted to low limonene-expressing fruits than to control fruits. These results indicate that limonene accumulation in the peel of citrus fruit appears to be involved in the successful trophic interaction between fruits, insects, and microorganisms. Terpene down-regulation might be a strategy to generate broad-spectrum resistance against pests and pathogens in fleshy fruits from economically important crops. In addition, terpene engineering may be important for studying the basic ecological interactions between fruits, herbivores, and pathogens. PMID:21525333

  18. 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

  19. The PacC transcription factor regulates secondary metabolite production and stress response, but has only minor effects on virulence in the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhibing; Ren, Hui; Mousa, Jarrod J; Rangel, Drauzio E N; Zhang, Yongjun; Bruner, Steven D; Keyhani, Nemat O

    2017-02-01

    The PacC transcription factor is an important component of the fungal ambient pH-responsive regulatory system. Loss of pacC in the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana resulted in an alkaline pH-dependent decrease in growth and pH-dependent increased susceptibility to osmotic (salt, sorbitol) stress and SDS. Extreme susceptibility to Congo Red was noted irrespective of pH, and ΔBbpacC conidia showed subtle increases in UV susceptibility. The ΔBbPacC mutant showed a reduced ability to acidify media during growth due to failure to produce oxalic acid. The ΔBbPacC mutant also did not produce the insecticidal compound dipicolinic acid, however, production of a yellow-colored compound was noted. The compound, named bassianolone B, was purified and its structure determined. Despite defects in growth, stress resistance, and oxalate/insecticidal compound production, only a small decrease in virulence was seen for the ΔBbpacC strain in topical insect bioassays using larvae from the greater waxmoth, Galleria mellonella or adults of the beetle, Tenebrio molitor. However, slightly more pronounced decreases were seen in virulence via intrahemcoel injection assays (G. mellonella) and in assays using T. molitor larvae. These data suggest important roles for BbpacC in mediating growth at alkaline pH, regulating secondary metabolite production, and in targeting specific insect stages.

  20. Isolation, pathogenicity and disinfection of Staphylococcus aureus carried by insects in two public hospitals of Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Pollianna S; Souza, Simone G; Campos, Guilherme B; da Silva, Danilo C C; Sousa, Daniel S; Araújo, Suerda P F; Ferreira, Laiziane P; Santos, Verena M; Amorim, Aline T; Santos, Angelita M O G; Timenetsky, Jorge; Cruz, Mariluze P; Yatsuda, Regiane; Marques, Lucas M

    2014-01-01

    Currently, hospital infection is a serious public health problem, and several factors may influence the occurrence of these infections, including the presence of insects, which are carriers of multidrug-resistant bacterial species. The aim of this study was to isolate staphylococci carried by insects in two public hospitals of Vitoria da Conquista, Bahia and to identify the resistance profile, pathogenicity and efficacy of disinfection of the premises. A total of 91 insects were collected in 21 strategic points of these hospitals, and 32 isolated strains of Staphylococcus aureus were isolated. Based on antibiogram and Minimum Inhibitory Concentration results, 95% of these strains were susceptible to oxacillin. These strains were also evaluated for the presence of resistance genes encoding resistance to oxacillin/methicillin by polymerase chain reaction, but the sample was negative for this gene. Pathogenicity tests were performed in vitro biofilm formation induced by glucose, where it was found that eight (27.58%) strains were classified as biofilm producers and 21 (72.4%) as stronger producers. In addition, we performed PCR for their virulence genes: Sea (enterotoxin A), SEB (B), Sec (C), PVL (Panton-Valentine Leukocidin), ClfA (clumping factor A) and Spa (protein A). Of these, Sea, Spa PVL were positive in 7 (21.8%), 2 (6.3%) and 1 (3.1%) samples, respectively. The analysis of cytokine induction in the inflammatory response of J774 macrophages by isolates from the two hospitals did not show statistical difference at the levels of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1 and IL-10 production. In addition, we verified the antimicrobial activity of disinfecting agents on these strains, quaternary ammonium, 0.5% sodium hypochlorite, 1% sodium hypochlorite, 2% sodium hypochlorite, 2% glutaraldehyde, Lysoform(®), 70% alcohol solution of chlorhexidine digluconate, 2% peracetic acid, and 100% vinegar. Resistance was seen in only for the following two disinfectants: 70% alcohol in 31 (96

  1. Pathogenicity, characterization and comparative virulence of Rhizoctonia spp. from insect-galled roots of Lepidium draba in Europe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The association of Rhizoctonia spp. with insect-damaged and diseased tissue of the invasive perennial Lepidium draba was documented throughout the range of L. draba that was surveyed in Europe, including Hungary, Austria, Switzerland and France. Samples that could be both maintained under cooled con...

  2. Phylogenetic diversity of Brazilian Metarhizium associated with sugarcane agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control of spittlebug with Metarhizium in sugarcane is an example of the successful application of sustainable pest management in Brazil. However little is known about the richness, distribution and ecology of Metarhizium species in the agroecosystems and natural environments of Brazil. W...

  3. Alternative oxidase in resistance to biotic stresses: Nicotiana attenuata AOX contributes to resistance to a pathogen and a piercing-sucking insect but not Manduca sexta larvae.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lu; Oh, Youngjoo; Li, Hongyu; Baldwin, Ian T; Galis, Ivan

    2012-11-01

    The role of the alternative respiratory pathway in the protection of plants against biotic stress was examined in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata) plants (irAOX) silenced in the expression of ALTERNATIVE OXIDASE (AOX) gene. Wild-type and irAOX plants were independently challenged with (1) chewing herbivores (Manduca sexta), (2) piercing-sucking insects (Empoasca spp.), and (3) bacterial pathogens (Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000), showing that all these treatments can strongly elicit accumulation of AOX gene transcripts in wild-type plants. When N. attenuata chemical defenses and resistance were examined, irAOX plants showed wild-type levels of defense-related phytohormones, secondary metabolites, and resistance to M. sexta. In contrast, piercing-sucking leafhoppers (Empoasca spp.) caused more leaf damage and induced significantly higher salicylic acid levels in irAOX compared with wild-type plants in the field and/or glasshouse. Subsequently, irAOX plants accumulated lower levels of defense metabolites, 17-hydroxygeranyllinalool diterpene glycosides, caffeoylputrescine, and nicotine compared with wild-type plants under prolonged attack of Empoasca spp. in the glasshouse. Finally, an accelerated cell death phenotype was observed in irAOX plants infected with P. syringae, which correlated with higher levels of salicylic acid and hydrogen peroxide levels in pathogen-infected irAOX compared with wild-type leaves. Overall, the AOX-associated changes in phytohormone and/or redox levels appear to support the resistance of N. attenuata plants against cell piercing-sucking insects and modulate the progression of cell death in pathogen-infected tissues but are not effective against rapidly feeding specialist herbivore M. sexta.

  4. Cecropins from Plutella xylostella and Their Interaction with Metarhizium anisopliae

    PubMed Central

    Freed, Shoaib; Gao, Yanfu; Yu, Jing; Wang, Shuang; Ju, Wenyan; Zhang, Yuqing; Jin, Fengliang

    2015-01-01

    Cecropins are the most potent induced peptides to resist invading microorganisms. In the present study, two full length cDNA encoding cecropin2 (Px-cec2) and cecropin3 (Px-cec3) were obtained from P. xylostella by integrated analysis of genome and transcriptome data. qRT-PCR analysis revealed the high levels of transcripts of Px-cecs (Px-cec1, Px-cec2 and Px-cec3) in epidermis, fat body and hemocytes after 24, 30 and 36 h induction of Metarhizium anisopliae, respectively. Silencing of Spätzle and Dorsal separately caused the low expression of cecropins in the fat body, epidermis and hemocytes, and made the P.xylostella larvae more susceptible to M. anisopliae. Antimicrobial assays demonstrated that the purified recombinant cecropins, i.e., Px-cec1, Px-cec2 and Px-cec3, exerted a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against fungi, as well as Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Especially, Px-cecs showed higher activity against M. anisopliae than another selected fungi isolates. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that cecropins exerted the vital morphological alterations to the spores of M. anisopliae. Based on our results, cecropins played an imperative role in resisting infection of M. anisopliae, which will provide the foundation of biological control of insect pests by using cecorpins as a target in the future. PMID:26544076

  5. Occurrence and Prevalence of Insect Pathogens in Populations of the Codling Moth, Cydia pomonella L.: A Long-Term Diagnostic Survey

    PubMed Central

    Zimmermann, Gisbert; Huger, Alois M.; Kleespies, Regina G.

    2013-01-01

    About 20,550 larvae, pupae and adults of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella L., were diagnosed for pathogens during long-term investigations (1955–2012) at the Institute for Biological Control in Darmstadt, Germany. The prevailing entomopathogens diagnosed in these studies were insect pathogenic fungi, especially Beauveria bassiana and Isaria farinosa, the microsporidium, Nosema carpocapsae, the Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV), as well as mostly undetermined bacteria. While the CpGV was observed exclusively in larvae and pupae from laboratory colonies or from field experiments with this virus, entomopathogenic fungi were most frequently diagnosed in last instars in autumn and in diapausing larvae and pupae in spring. B. bassiana was identified as the major fungal pathogen, causing larval prevalences of 0.9% to 100% (mean, about 32%). During prognostic long-term studies in larvae and adults of C. pomonella, N. carpocapsae was diagnosed in codling moth populations from various locations in Germany. The mean prevalence generally ranged between 20% and 50%. Experiments revealed that the fecundity and fertility of microsporidia-infected female adults were significantly reduced compared to healthy ones. The results underpin the importance of naturally occurring microbial antagonists and represent a base for further ecological studies on developing new or additional biological and integrated control strategies. PMID:26462428

  6. Growth substrates and caleosin-mediated functions affect conidial virulence in the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Urquiza, Almudena; Fan, Yanhua; Garrett, Timothy; Keyhani, Nemat O

    2016-11-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, is a microbial biological control agent capable of infecting a wide range of insect hosts. Conidia (spores) initiate infection via adhesion, growth and penetration of the insect cuticle, whose outmost layer is rich in lipids. Conidial virulence was investigated in B. bassiana WT and caleosin mutants (ΔBbcal1), the latter a protein involved in lipid storage and turnover. Topical insect bioassays revealed that conidia of the WT strain showed up to 40-fold differences in LD50 values depending upon the growth substrate. The most virulent conidia were harvested from potato dextrose agar containing oleic acid, and the least potent were those derived from Sabouraud dextrose/yeast extract agar (SDAY). However, with the exception of conidia derived from SDAY and Czapek Dox agar, in which values were reduced, mean lethal times to kill (LT50) were essentially unaffected. In topical bioassays, the ΔBbcal1 mutant displayed LD50 values 5-40-fold higher than the WT depending upon the growth substrate, with ΔBbcal1 conidia derived from SDAY unable to effectively penetrate the host cuticle. The ΔBbcal1 mutant also showed concomitant dramatic increases in LT50 values from a mean of ~4.5 for WT to >8.5 days for the mutant. In contrast, intrahaemocoel injection bioassays that bypass cuticle penetration events revealed only minor effects on virulence for either WT or ΔBbcal1 conidia. These data highlight the importance of caleosin-dependent lipid mobilization and/or signalling in cuticle penetration events but suggest their dispensability for immune evasion and within-host growth.

  7. Swainsonine Biosynthesis Genes in Diverse Symbiotic and Pathogenic Fungi.

    PubMed

    Cook, Daniel; Donzelli, Bruno G G; Creamer, Rebecca; Baucom, Deana L; Gardner, Dale R; Pan, Juan; Moore, Neil; Jaromczyk, Jerzy W; Schardl, Christopher L

    2017-04-04

    Swainsonine, a cytotoxic fungal alkaloid and a potential cancer therapy drug, is produced by the insect pathogen and plant symbiont, Metarhizium robertsii, the clover pathogen Slafractonia leguminicola, locoweed symbionts belonging to Alternaria sect. Undifilum, and a recently discovered morning glory symbiont belonging to order Chaetothyriales. Genome sequence analyses revealed that these fungi shared orthologous gene clusters, designated "SWN," which included a multifunctional swnK gene comprising predicted adenylylation and acyltransferase domains with their associated thiolation domains, a β-ketoacyl synthase domain, and two reductase domains. The role of swnK was demonstrated by inactivating it in M. robertsii through homologous gene replacement to give a ∆swnK mutant that produced no detectable swainsonine, then complementing the mutant with the wild-type gene to restore swainsonine biosynthesis. Other SWN cluster genes were predicted to encode two putative hydroxylases and two reductases, as expected to complete biosynthesis of swainsonine from the predicted SwnK product. SWN gene clusters were identified in six out of seven sequenced genomes of Metarhzium species, and in all 15 sequenced genomes of Arthrodermataceae, a family of fungi that cause athlete's foot and ringworm diseases in humans and other mammals. Representative isolates of all of these species were cultured, and all Metarhizium spp. with SWN clusters, as well as all but one of the Arthrodermataceae, produced swainsonine. These results suggested a new biosynthetic hypothesis for this alkaloid, extended the known taxonomic breadth of swainsonine producers to five orders of Ascomycota, and suggested that swainsonine has roles in mutualistic symbioses and diseases of plants and animals.

  8. Fungal infection dynamics in response to temperature in the lepidopteran insect Galleria mellonella.

    PubMed

    Kryukov, Vadim Y; Yaroslavtseva, Olga N; Whitten, Miranda M A; Tyurin, Maksim V; Ficken, Katherine J; Greig, Carolyn; Melo, Nadja R; Glupov, Viktor V; Dubovskiy, Ivan M; Butt, Tariq M

    2016-11-29

    This study examines how the dynamics of fungus-insect interactions can be modulated by temperature. The wax moth, Galleria mellonella, is a well-studied and important model insect whose larvae in the wild develop optimally at around 34 °C in beehives. However, surprisingly little research on wax moths has been conducted at relevant temperatures. In this study, the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii inflicted rapid and substantial mortality on wax moth larvae maintained at a constant temperature of 24 °C, but at 34 °C a 10 fold higher dose was required to achieve an equivalent mortality. The cooler temperature favored fungal pathogenicity, with condial adhesion to the cuticle, germination and hemocoel invasion all significantly enhanced at 24 °C, compared with 34 °C. The wax moth larvae immune responses altered with the temperature, and with the infective dose of the fungus. Enzyme-based immune defenses (lysozyme and phenoloxidase) exhibited enhanced activity at the warmer temperature. A dramatic upregulation in the basal expression of galiomicin and gallerimycin was triggered by cooling, and this was augmented in the presence of the fungus. Profiling of the predominant insect epicuticular fatty acids revealed a 4-7 fold increase in palmetic, oleic and linoleic acids in larvae maintained at 24 °C compared with those at 34 °C, but these failed to exert fungistatic effects on topically applied fungus. This study demonstrates the importance of choosing environmental conditions relevant to the habitat of the insect host when determining the dynamics and outcome of insect/fungus interactions, and has particular significance for the application of entomopathogens as biocontrol agents.

  9. A plant pathogen reduces the enemy-free space of an insect herbivore on a shared host plant.

    PubMed

    Biere, Arjen; Elzinga, Jelmer A; Honders, Sonja C; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2002-11-07

    An important mechanism in stabilizing tightly linked host-parasitoid and prey-predator interactions is the presence of refuges that protect organisms from their natural enemies. However, the presence and quality of refuges can be strongly affected by the environment. We show that infection of the host plant Silene latifolia by its specialist fungal plant pathogen Microbotryum violaceum dramatically alters the enemy-free space of a herbivore, the specialist noctuid seed predator Hadena bicruris, on their shared host plant. The pathogen arrests the development of seed capsules that serve as refuges for the herbivore's offspring against the specialist parasitoid Microplitis tristis, a major source of mortality of H. bicruris in the field. Pathogen infection resulted both in lower host-plant food quality, causing reduced adult emergence, and in twofold higher rates of parasitism of the herbivore. We interpret the strong oviposition preference of H. bicruris for uninfected plants in the field as an adaptive response, positioning offspring on refuge-rich, high-quality hosts. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that plant-inhabiting micro-organisms can affect higher trophic interactions through alteration of host refuge quality. We speculate that such interference can potentially destabilize tightly linked multitrophic interactions.

  10. A plant pathogen reduces the enemy-free space of an insect herbivore on a shared host plant.

    PubMed Central

    Biere, Arjen; Elzinga, Jelmer A; Honders, Sonja C; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2002-01-01

    An important mechanism in stabilizing tightly linked host-parasitoid and prey-predator interactions is the presence of refuges that protect organisms from their natural enemies. However, the presence and quality of refuges can be strongly affected by the environment. We show that infection of the host plant Silene latifolia by its specialist fungal plant pathogen Microbotryum violaceum dramatically alters the enemy-free space of a herbivore, the specialist noctuid seed predator Hadena bicruris, on their shared host plant. The pathogen arrests the development of seed capsules that serve as refuges for the herbivore's offspring against the specialist parasitoid Microplitis tristis, a major source of mortality of H. bicruris in the field. Pathogen infection resulted both in lower host-plant food quality, causing reduced adult emergence, and in twofold higher rates of parasitism of the herbivore. We interpret the strong oviposition preference of H. bicruris for uninfected plants in the field as an adaptive response, positioning offspring on refuge-rich, high-quality hosts. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that plant-inhabiting micro-organisms can affect higher trophic interactions through alteration of host refuge quality. We speculate that such interference can potentially destabilize tightly linked multitrophic interactions. PMID:12427312

  11. Screening of entomopathogenic Metarhizium anisopliae isolates and proteomic analysis of secretion synthesized in response to cowpea weevil (Callosobruchus maculatus) exoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Murad, André M; Laumann, Raul A; Lima, Thaina de A; Sarmento, Rubia B C; Noronha, Eliane F; Rocha, Thales L; Valadares-Inglis, Maria C; Franco, Octávio L

    2006-01-01

    Cowpea crops are severely attacked by Callosobruchus maculatus, a Coleopteran that at the larval stage penetrates into stored seeds and feeds on cotyledons. Cowpea weevil control could be based in utilization of bacteria and fungi to reduce pest development. Entomopathogenic fungi, such as Metarhizium anisopliae, are able to control insect-pests and are widely applied in biological control. This report evaluated ten M. anisopliae isolates according to their virulence, correlating chitinolytic, proteolytic and alpha-amylolytic activities, as well proteomic analysis by two dimensional gels of fungal secretions in response to an induced medium containing C. maculatus shells, indicating novel biotechnological tools capable of improving cowpea crop resistance.

  12. INFECTIVITY OF METARHIZIUM ANISOPLIAE IN GRASS SHRIMP EMBRYOS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Developing embryos of the estuarine grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, were exposed to Metarhizium anisopliae conidiospores. Attachment of conidiospores was often followed by germination and outgrowth on embryo surface. Penetration of the embryonic envelopes by M. anisopliae allow...

  13. Global Insight into Lysine Acetylation Events and Their Links to Biological Aspects in Beauveria bassiana, a Fungal Insect Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhi-Kang; Cai, Qing; Liu, Jin; Ying, Sheng-Hua; Feng, Ming-Guang

    2017-01-01

    Lysine acetylation (Kac) events in filamentous fungi are poorly explored. Here we show a lysine acetylome generated by LC-MS/MS analysis of immunoaffinity-based Kac peptides from normal hyphal cells of Beauveria bassiana, a fungal entomopathogen. The acetylome comprised 283 Kac proteins and 464 Kac sites. These proteins were enriched to eight molecular functions, 20 cellular components, 27 biological processes, 20 KEGG pathways and 12 subcellular localizations. All Kac sites were characterized as six Kac motifs, including a novel motif (KacW) for 26 Kac sites of 17 unknown proteins. Many Kac sites were predicted to be multifunctional, largely expanding the fungal Kac events. Biological importance of identified Kac sites was confirmed through functional analysis of Kac sites on Pmt1 and Pmt4, two O-mannosyltransferases. Singular site mutations (K88R and K482R) of Pmt1 resulted in impaired conidiation, attenuated virulence and decreased tolerance to oxidation and cell wall perturbation. These defects were close to or more severe than those caused by the deletion of pmt1. The Pmt4 K360R mutation facilitated colony growth under normal and stressful conditions and enhanced the fungal virulence. Our findings provide the first insight into the Kac events of B. bassiana and their links to the fungal potential against insect pests. PMID:28295016

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. The effect of delayed host self-regulation on host-pathogen population cycles in forest insects.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Yanni; Bowers, Roger G; Tang, Sanyi

    2009-05-21

    Delayed host self-regulation using a Beverton-Holt function and delayed logistic self-regulation are included in a host-pathogen model with free-living infective stages (Anderson and May's model G) with the purpose of investigating whether adding the relatively complex self-regulations decrease the likelihood of population cycles. The main results indicate that adding delayed self-regulation to the baseline model increases the likelihood of population cycles. The dynamics display some of the key features seen in the field, such as cycle peak density exceeding the carrying capacity and a locally stable equilibrium coexisting with a stable cycle (bistability). Numerical studies show that the model with more complex forms of self-regulation can generate cycles which match most aspects of the cycles observed in nature.

  16. Efficacy of Metarhizium anisopliae isolate MAX-2 from Shangri-la, China under desiccation stress

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Metarhizium anisopliae, a soil-borne entomopathogen found worldwide, is an interesting fungus for biological control. However, its efficacy in the fields is significantly affected by environmental conditions, particularly moisture. To overcome the weakness of Metarhizium and determine its isolates with antistress capacity, the efficacies of four M. anisopliae isolates, which were collected from arid regions of Yunnan Province in China during the dry season, were determined at different moisture levels, and the efficacy of the isolate MAX-2 from Shangri-la under desiccation stress was evaluated at low moisture level. Results M. anisopliae isolates MAX-2, MAC-6, MAL-1, and MAQ-28 showed gradient descent efficacies against sterile Tenebrio molitor larvae, and gradient descent capacities against desiccation with the decrease in moisture levels. The efficacy of MAX-2 showed no significant differences at 35% moisture level than those of the other isolates. However, significant differences were found at 8% to 30% moisture levels. The efficacies of all isolates decreased with the decrease in moisture levels. MAX-2 was relatively less affected by desiccation stress. Its efficacy was almost unaffected by the decrease at moisture levels > 25%, but slowly decreased at moisture levels < 25%. By contrast, the efficacies of other isolates rapidly decreased with the decrease in moisture levels. MAX-2 caused different infection characteristics on T. molitor larvae under desiccation stress and in wet microhabitat. Local black patches were found on the cuticles of the insects, and the cadavers dried without fungal growth under desiccation stress. However, dark black internodes and fungal growth were found after death of the insects in the wet microhabitat. Conclusions MAX-2 showed significantly higher efficacy and superior antistress capacity than the other isolates under desiccation stress. The infection of sterile T. molitor larvae at low moisture level constituted a

  17. A genetically engineered H5 protein expressed in insect cells confers protection against different clades of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in chickens.

    PubMed

    Oliveira Cavalcanti, Marcia; Vaughn, Eric; Capua, Ilaria; Cattoli, Giovanni; Terregino, Calogero; Harder, Timm; Grund, Christian; Vega, Carlos; Robles, Francisco; Franco, Julio; Darji, Ayub; Arafa, Abdel-Satar; Mundt, Egbert

    2017-04-01

    The evolution of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses (HPAI-H5N1) has resulted in the appearance of a number of diverse groups of HPAI-H5N1 based on the presence of genetically similar clusters of their haemagglutinin sequences (clades). An H5 antigen encoded by a recombinant baculovirus and expressed in insect cells was used for oil-emulsion-based vaccine prototypes. In several experiments, vaccination was performed at 10 days of age, followed by challenge infection on day 21 post vaccination (PV) with HPAI-H5N1 clades 2.2, 2.2.1, and 2.3.2. A further challenge infection with HPAI-H5N1 clade 2.2.1 was performed at day 42 PV. High haemagglutination inhibition titres were observed for the recH5 vaccine antigen, and lower haemagglutination inhibition titres for the challenge virus antigens. Nevertheless, the rate of protection from mortality and clinical signs was 100% when challenged at 21 days PV and 42 days PV, indicating protection over the entire broiler chicken rearing period without a second vaccination. The unvaccinated control chickens mostly died between two and five days after challenge infection. A low level of viral RNA was detected by reverse transcription followed by a quantitative polymerase chain reaction in a limited number of birds for a short period after challenge infection, indicating a limited spread of HPAI-H5N1 at flock level. Furthermore, it was observed that the vaccine can be used in a differentiation infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA) approach, based on the detection of nucleoprotein antibodies in vaccinated/challenged chickens. The vaccine fulfilled all expectations of an inactivated vaccine after one vaccination against challenge with different clades of H5N1-HPAI and is suitable for a DIVA approach.

  18. The physiological effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on conidia and the development of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) Sorok.

    PubMed

    Gorczyca, Anna; Kasprowicz, Marek J; Lemek, Tadeusz

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study was an in vitro evaluation of the effect of MWCNTs on the conidia of two strains of entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae. The study made use of water suspensions of MWCNTs (concentration ∼ 3 mg·mL(-1)) made from commercial nanotubes and centrifuged. The conidia were placed in contact with nanotubes for 240 h. An assessment of MWCNT influence on conidia was performed after 1, 24, 72 and 240 h and focused on the linear growth of vegetative mycelium derived from these conidia, mycelium sporulation in subcultures and pathogenicity. Using TEM imaging, it was demonstrated that carbon nanotubes are able to damage cell membranes of the examined fungi conidia. However, the absence was noted of a significantly fungistatic effect of both MWCNT suspensions on the examined strains with respect to the physiological features in question. The increase in vegetative mycelium effected by spores after contact with MWCNTs was characterized by a slight modification in relation to the control. There was no strong trend (inhibition - stimulation), in relation to the effect of the tested suspension of carbon nanotubes, on the development of the vegetative mycelium in in vitro culture. Sporulation of the mycelium after completion of the culture only occurred in one case (strain Ma73F and culture of spores after 24-h contact with MWCNTs) significantly more intensely than in the controls. With respect to pathogenicity for test insects compared to the control strain, Ma73F spores grown from the longest contact with nanotubes suspensions performed significantly better. On the basis of the calculated of mycelium index growth rates and the time of death of the test insects (LT50), it was found that the adverse effects of water suspension MWCNTs on the spores of M. anisopliae were applied after a short contact with biological material. This indicates unfavorable physical rather than chemical effects on the tested cell. Over time, nanotube aggregation in water

  19. Antifungal activity of the termite alkaloid norharmane against the mycelial growth of Metarhizium anisopliae and Aspergillus nomius.

    PubMed

    Chouvenc, Thomas; Su, Nan-Yao; Elliott, Monica I

    2008-11-01

    Antifungal activity of norharmane, a beta-carboline alkaloid found in termites (Isoptera, Rhinotermitidae) was tested against two entomopathogenic fungi, Metarhizium anisopliae and Aspergillus nomius. It was determined that, at physiological concentration (10 microg ml(-1)), norharmane had no significant effect on A. nomius mycelial growth rate but reduced M. anisopliae growth rate by 11.9%. Contrary to previous findings, we suggest that norharmane has a limited role in disease resistance against fungal pathogens in individual subterranean termites, and we discuss the potential role of this chemical at a colony level.

  20. Independent origins of diploidy in Metarhizium.

    PubMed

    Kepler, Ryan Michael; Chen, Yuan; Kilcrease, James; Shao, Jonathan; Rehner, Stephen A

    2016-09-12

    In fungi, stable diploid genome arrangements are rare. Here we present evidence from nuclear intergenic DNA sequencing, microsatellite genotyping, and configuration of the mating-type locus to demonstrate two independent origins of persistent diploid genome organization in the Metarhizium majus species complex. Most taxa in the complex are genotypically haploid, with individual isolates consistently displaying a single allele across all nuclear loci, as well as having a single mating-type locus. In contrast, individuals of M. majus and the clade designated here MGT1 are shown to be diploid, based on a consistent finding of heterozygosity and the presence of both MAT1 and MAT2 mating-type loci. In single locus phylogenies, nuclear intergenic alleles of M. majus and MGT1 each form monophyletic groups, indicating that diploidy in both taxa likely originated by the union of conspecific individuals. Sequence divergence in the APN2/MAT1-1-3 and APN2/MAT2-1 intergenic spacers indicate the two MAT loci are physically separated in the genomes of both diploid taxa, although the linkage relationship of the MAT loci to one another is unknown. The presence of both mating genes in a single nucleus suggests these diploid genomes may represent a mating event that failed to complete meiosis. Whether or not these isolates are able to complete the sexual cycle under any conditions and form ascospores remains an open question.

  1. Laboratory evaluation of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae in the control of Haemaphysalis qinghaiensis in China.

    PubMed

    Ren, Qiaoyun; Chen, Ze; Luo, Jin; Liu, Guangyuan; Guan, Guiquan; Liu, Zhijie; Liu, Aihong; Li, Youquan; Niu, Qingli; Liu, Junlong; Yang, Jifei; Han, Xueqing; Yin, Hong; Luo, Jianxun

    2016-06-01

    Haemaphysalis qinghaiensis, a prevalent tick species in China, is an ectoparasite that preferentially infests small ruminants and can transmit Theileria sp. and Babesia sp. In this study, we evaluated the pathogenicity of individual and mixed infections of the fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae to H. qinghaiensis nymphs. The estimated LC50 for ticks immersed in solutions of B. bassiana, M. anisopliae and a mixture thereof were: 5.88056 × 10(4), 2.65 × 10(4), and 2.85 × 10(4) conidia mL(-1) respectively, and the nymphal mortality ranged from 52 to 100 %. Thus, these results suggest a potential approach for the biocontrol of H. qinghaiensis.

  2. 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.

  3. Production of Conidia by the Fungus Metarhizium anisopliae Using Solid-State Fermentation.

    PubMed

    Loera-Corral, Octavio; Porcayo-Loza, Javier; Montesinos-Matias, Roberto; Favela-Torres, Ernesto

    2016-01-01

    This chapter describes the production of conidia by Metarhizium anisopliae using solid-state fermentation. Before production of conidia, procedures for strains conservation, reactivation, and propagation are essential in order to provide genetic stability of the strains. The strain is conserved in freeze-dried vials and then reactivated through insect inoculation. Rice is used as a substrate for the conidia production in two different bioreactors: plastic bags and tubular bioreactor. The CO2 production in the tubular bioreactors is measured with a respirometer; this system allows calculating indirect growth parameters as lag time (tlag) (25-35 h), maximum rate of CO2 production (rCO2 max) (0.5-0.7 mg/gdm h), specific rate of CO2 production (μ) (0.10-0.15 1/h), and final CO2 production (CO2) (100-120 mg/gdm). Conidial yield per gram of dry substrate (gdm) should be above 1 × 10(9) conidia/gdm after 10 days of incubation. Germination and viability of conidia obtained after 10 days of incubation should be above 80 % and 75 %, respectively. Bioassays using of Tenebrio molitor as a host insect should yield a final mortality above 80 %.

  4. Metacridamides A and B from the biocontrol fungus metarhizium acridum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Metarhizium acridum, an entomopathogenic fungus, has been commercialized and used successfully for biocontrol of grasshopper pests in Africa and Australia. As part of an effort to catalog the secondary metabolites of this fungus we discovered that its conidia produce two novel 17-membered macrocycl...

  5. Serinocyclins A and B, Cyclic Heptapeptides from Metarhizium anisopliae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two new cyclic heptapeptides, serinocyclins A (1) and B (2), were isolated from conidia of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. Structures were elucidated by a combination of mass spectrometric, NMR, and X-ray diffraction techniques. Serinocyclin A (1) contains three serine units, a...

  6. Multiorganismal Insects: Diversity and Function of Resident Microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Angela E.

    2015-01-01

    All insects are colonized by microorganisms on the insect exoskeleton, in the gut and hemocoel, and within insect cells. The insect microbiota is generally different from microorganisms in the external environment, including ingested food. Specifically, certain microbial taxa are favored by the conditions and resources in the insect habitat, by their tolerance of insect immunity, and by specific mechanisms for their transmission. The resident microorganisms can promote insect fitness by contributing to nutrition, especially by providing essential amino acids, B vitamins, and, for fungal partners, sterols. Some microorganisms protect their insect hosts against pathogens, parasitoids, and other parasites by synthesizing specific toxins or modifying the insect immune system. Priorities for future research include elucidation of microbial contributions to detoxification, especially of plant allelochemicals in phytophagous insects, and resistance to pathogens; as well as their role in among-insect communication; and the potential value of manipulation of the microbiota to control insect pests. PMID:25341109

  7. Multiorganismal insects: diversity and function of resident microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Angela E

    2015-01-07

    All insects are colonized by microorganisms on the insect exoskeleton, in the gut and hemocoel, and within insect cells. The insect microbiota is generally different from microorganisms in the external environment, including ingested food. Specifically, certain microbial taxa are favored by the conditions and resources in the insect habitat, by their tolerance of insect immunity, and by specific mechanisms for their transmission. The resident microorganisms can promote insect fitness by contributing to nutrition, especially by providing essential amino acids, B vitamins, and, for fungal partners, sterols. Some microorganisms protect their insect hosts against pathogens, parasitoids, and other parasites by synthesizing specific toxins or modifying the insect immune system. Priorities for future research include elucidation of microbial contributions to detoxification, especially of plant allelochemicals in phytophagous insects, and resistance to pathogens; as well as their role in among-insect communication; and the potential value of manipulation of the microbiota to control insect pests.

  8. A Field Test of Selected Insects and Pathogens for Control of Waterhyacinths. Report 1. Preliminary Results for the 1975-76 Season.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    control agents against waterhyacinths, Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms. Floating frames, each approximately 2 m square, were anchored on the lake in...insects (Arzama densa Walker and Neochetina eichhorniae Warner) and two fungi (Acremonium zonatum (Sawada) Gams and Cercospora rodmanii Conway) in a

  9. 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.

  10. Alternative Oxidase in Resistance to Biotic Stresses: Nicotiana attenuata AOX Contributes to Resistance to a Pathogen and a Piercing-Sucking Insect But Not Manduca sexta Larvae1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lu; Oh, Youngjoo; Li, Hongyu; Baldwin, Ian T.; Galis, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    The role of the alternative respiratory pathway in the protection of plants against biotic stress was examined in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata) plants (irAOX) silenced in the expression of ALTERNATIVE OXIDASE (AOX) gene. Wild-type and irAOX plants were independently challenged with (1) chewing herbivores (Manduca sexta), (2) piercing-sucking insects (Empoasca spp.), and (3) bacterial pathogens (Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000), showing that all these treatments can strongly elicit accumulation of AOX gene transcripts in wild-type plants. When N. attenuata chemical defenses and resistance were examined, irAOX plants showed wild-type levels of defense-related phytohormones, secondary metabolites, and resistance to M. sexta. In contrast, piercing-sucking leafhoppers (Empoasca spp.) caused more leaf damage and induced significantly higher salicylic acid levels in irAOX compared with wild-type plants in the field and/or glasshouse. Subsequently, irAOX plants accumulated lower levels of defense metabolites, 17-hydroxygeranyllinalool diterpene glycosides, caffeoylputrescine, and nicotine compared with wild-type plants under prolonged attack of Empoasca spp. in the glasshouse. Finally, an accelerated cell death phenotype was observed in irAOX plants infected with P. syringae, which correlated with higher levels of salicylic acid and hydrogen peroxide levels in pathogen-infected irAOX compared with wild-type leaves. Overall, the AOX-associated changes in phytohormone and/or redox levels appear to support the resistance of N. attenuata plants against cell piercing-sucking insects and modulate the progression of cell death in pathogen-infected tissues but are not effective against rapidly feeding specialist herbivore M. sexta. PMID:22961128

  11. ASSESSMENT OF A CRUDE FUNGAL (METARHIZIUM ANISOPLIAE) EXTRACT AND IT'S COMPONENTS FOR ALLERGENICITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    ASSESSMENT OF A CRUDE FUNGAL (METARHIZIUM ANISOPLIAE) EXTRACT AND IT'S COMPONENTS FOR ALLERGENICITY. M D W Ward1, M E Viana2, L B Copeland1, and MJ K Selgrade1. 1US EPA, ORD, NHEERL, RTP, NC, USA. 2NCSU, College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC, USA.
    Metarhizium anisopli...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Infectivity of Metarhizium anisopliae (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) to Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae) under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Zayed, Alia; Soliman, Mustafa M; El-Shazly, Mohamed M

    2013-07-01

    Susceptibility of Phlebotomus papatasi Scopoli (Diptera: Psychodidae) larvae to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschinkoff) Sorokin (Ma79) (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) was evaluated at two different temperatures. The ability of the fungus to reinfect healthy sand flies was followed up for approximately 20 wk and the effect of in vivo repassage on the enhancement of its virulence was assessed. The fungus reduced the adult emergence at 26 +/- 1 degrees C when applied to larval diet. Six spore concentrations were used in the bioassays ranging from 1 x 10(6) to 5 x 10(8) spores/ml. Mortality decreased significantly when the temperature was raised to 31 +/- 1 degrees C at all tested concentrations. Fungus-treated vials were assayed against sand fly larvae at different time lapses without additional reapplication of the fungus in the media to determine whether the level of inocula persisting in the media was sufficient to reinfect healthy sand flies. Twenty weeks postapplication, there were still enough infectious propagules of Ma79 to infect 40% of P. papatasi larvae. A comparison between the infectivity of 10 subsequent in vitro cultures and the host-passed inocula of the fungus against sand fly larvae was conducted. Mortalities of P. papatasi larvae changed significantly when exposed to inocula passed through different insects. Presented data can provide vector control decision makers and end users with fundamental information for the introduction and application of M. anisopliae as an effective control agent against the main cutaneous leishmaniasis old-world vector P. papatasi.

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. Characterization of Metarhizium species and varieties based on molecular analysis, heat tolerance and cold activity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fernandes, E.K.K.; Keyser, C.A.; Chong, J.P.; Rangel, D.E.N.; Miller, M.P.; Roberts, D.W.

    2010-01-01

    Aims: The genetic relationships and conidial tolerances to high and low temperatures were determined for isolates of several Metarhizium species and varieties. Methods and Results: Molecular-based techniques [AFLP and rDNA (ITS1, ITS2 and 5??8S) gene sequencing] were used to characterize morphologically identified Metarhizium spp. isolates from a wide range of sources. Conidial suspensions of isolates were exposed to wet heat (45 ?? 0??2??C) and plated on potato dextrose agar plus yeast extract (PDAY) medium. After 8-h exposure, the isolates divided clearly into two groups: (i) all isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae (Ma-an) and Metarhizium from the flavoviride complex (Mf) had virtually zero conidial relative germination (RG), (ii) Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum (Ma-ac) isolates demonstrated high heat tolerance (c. 70-100% RG). Conidial suspensions also were plated on PDAY and incubated at 5??C for 15 days, during which time RGs for Ma-an and Ma-ac isolates were virtually zero, whereas the two Mf were highly cold active (100% RG). Conclusions: Heat and cold exposures can be used as rapid tools to tentatively identify some important Metarhizium species and varieties. Significance and Impact of the Study: Identification of Metarhizium spp. currently relies primarily on DNA-based methods; we suggest a simple temperature-based screen to quickly obtain tentative identification of isolates as to species or species complexes. ?? 2009 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  19. Molecular characterization and pathogenicity of fungal isolates for use against the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The analysis of DNA sequences from fungal pathogens obtained from cadavers of the small hive beetle (SHB) collected from several apiaries in Florida revealed a mixture of saprobes and two potential primary entomopathogens, Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana. Spray tower bioassays indicate...

  20. Molecular cloning and regulatory analysis of the cuticle-degrading-protease structural gene from the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae.

    PubMed

    St Leger, R J; Frank, D C; Roberts, D W; Staples, R C

    1992-03-15

    The proteinaceous insect cuticle is an effective barrier against most microbes, but entomopathogenic fungi can breach it using extracellular proteases. We report here the isolation and characterization of a cDNA clone of the cuticle-degrading protease (Pr1) of Metarhizium anisopliae. The cDNA sequence revealed that Pr1 is synthesized as a large precursor (40.3 kDa) containing a signal peptide, a propeptide and the mature protein predicted to have a molecular mass of 28.6 kDa. The primary structure of Pr1 has extensive similarity with enzymes of the subtilisin subclass of serine endopeptidases and the serine, histidine and aspartate components of the active site in subtilisins are preserved. Proteinase K demonstrated the closest sequence similarity to Pr1 (61%) but Pr1 was twofold more effective than proteinase K at degrading isolated cuticles of Manduca sexta and 33-fold more effective at degrading structural proteins bound to the cuticle by covalent bonds. We postulate that the additional positively charged residues on the surface of the Pr1 molecule, as determined using proteinase K, may facilitate electrostatic binding to cuticle proteins which is a prerequisite for activity. Northern-blot analysis of RNA and nuclear run-on assays demonstrated transcriptional control of the expression of Pr1 during nutrient deprivation and during the formation of infection structures. Southern-blot analysis demonstrated that genes with significant homologies to Metarhizium Pr1 were present in the entomopathogens Aspergillus flavus and Verticillium lecanii but not Zoophthora (= Erynia) radicans.

  1. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants.

    PubMed

    Behie, Scott W; Bidochka, Michael J

    2013-07-31

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

  2. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants

    PubMed Central

    Behie, Scott W.; Bidochka, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Many plants have evolved adaptations in order to survive in low nitrogen environments. One of the best-known adaptations is that of plant symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; this is the major route by which nitrogen is incorporated into plant biomass. A portion of this plant-associated nitrogen is then lost to insects through herbivory, and insects represent a nitrogen reservoir that is generally overlooked in nitrogen cycles. In this review we show three specialized plant adaptations that allow for the recovery of insect nitrogen; that is, plants gaining nitrogen from insects. First, we show specialized adaptations by carnivorous plants in low nitrogen habitats. Insect carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews (Nepenthaceae/Sarraceniaceae and Drosera respectively) are able to obtain substantial amounts of nitrogen from the insects that they capture. Secondly, numerous plants form associations with mycorrhizal fungi that can provide soluble nitrogen from the soil, some of which may be insect-derived nitrogen, obtained from decaying insects or insect frass. Finally, a specialized group of endophytic, insect-pathogenic fungi (EIPF) provide host plants with insect-derived nitrogen. These soil-inhabiting fungi form a remarkable symbiosis with certain plant species. They can infect a wide range of insect hosts and also form endophytic associations in which they transfer insect-derived nitrogen to the plant. Root colonizing fungi are found in disparate fungal phylogenetic lineages, indicating possible convergent evolutionary strategies between taxa, evolution potentially driven by access to carbon-containing root exudates. PMID:26462427

  3. Imbibitional damage in conidia of the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Metarhizium acridum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When dried organisms are immersed in water, rapid imbibition may cause severe damage to plasma membranes; in unicellular organisms, such damage is usually lethal. This study investigated effects of pre-immersion moisture levels and immersion temperature on imbibitional damage in three insect pathoge...

  4. First record of the insect pathogenic alga Helicosporidium sp. (Chlorophyta: Trebouxiophyceae) infection in larvae and pupae of Rhizophagusgrandis Gyll. (Coleoptera, Rhizophaginae) from Turkey.

    PubMed

    Yaman, Mustafa; Radek, Renate; Aydin, Ciçek; Tosun, Onur; Ertürk, Omer

    2009-10-01

    The predator beetle Rhizophagus grandis Gyll. (Coleoptera, Rhizophaginae) is one of the most important biological control agents, mass-bred and used to suppress populations of an important pest: the great spruce bark beetle, Dendroctonus micans. The achlorophyllous alga Helicosporidium sp. was first discovered in the pest. Later it was also found in the predator, but only in the adults. In this study, the pathogenic alga Helicosporidium sp. was discovered in larvae and early pupae of R. grandis for the first time. The morphological characteristics of the pathogenic alga were revealed by light and electron microscopy. Infection rates of Helicosporidium sp. in the larvae and pupae of R. grandis were 23.5% and 6.25%, respectively.

  5. The Metarhizium anisopliae trp1 gene: cloning and regulatory analysis.

    PubMed

    Staats, Charley Christian; Silva, Marcia Suzana Nunes; Pinto, Paulo Marcos; Vainstein, Marilene Henning; Schrank, Augusto

    2004-07-01

    The trp1 gene from the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, cloned by heterologous hybridization with the plasmid carrying the trpC gene from Aspergillus nidulans, was sequence characterized. The predicted translation product has the conserved catalytic domains of glutamine amidotransferase (G domain), indoleglycerolphosphate synthase (C domain), and phosphoribosyl anthranilate isomerase (F domain) organized as NH2-G-C-F-COOH. The ORF is interrupted by a single intron of 60 nt that is position conserved in relation to trp genes from Ascomycetes and length conserved in relation to Basidiomycetes species. RT-PCR analysis suggests constitutive expression of trp1 gene in M. anisopliae.

  6. Cuticle Fatty Acid Composition and Differential Susceptibility of Three Species of Cockroaches to the Entomopathogenic Fungi Metarhizium anisopliae (Ascomycota, Hypocreales).

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Alejandra C; Gołębiowski, Marek; Pennisi, Mariana; Peterson, Graciela; García, Juan J; Manfrino, Romina G; López Lastra, Claudia C

    2015-04-01

    Differences in free fatty acids (FFAs) chemical composition of insects may be responsible for susceptibility or resistance to fungal infection. Determination of FFAs found in cuticular lipids can effectively contribute to the knowledge concerning insect defense mechanisms. In this study, we have evaluated the susceptibility of three species of cockroaches to the entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin by topical application. Mortality due to M. anisopliae was highly significant on adults and nymphs of Blattella germanica L. (Blattodea: Blattellidae). However, mortality was faster in adults than in nymphs. Adults of Blatta orientalis L. (Blattodea: Blattidae) were not susceptible to the fungus, and nymphs of Blaptica dubia Serville (Blattodea: Blaberidae) were more susceptible to the fungus than adults. The composition of cuticular FFAs in the three species of cockroaches was also studied. The analysis indicated that all of the fatty acids were mostly straight-chain, long-chain, saturated or unsaturated. Cuticular lipids of three species of cockroaches contained 19 FFAs, ranging from C14:0 to C24:0. The predominant fatty acids found in the three studied species of cockroaches were oleic, linoleic, palmitic, and stearic acid. Only in adults of Bl. orientalis, myristoleic acid, γ-linolenic acid, arachidic acid, dihomolinoleic acid, and behenic acid were identified. Lignoceric acid was detected only in nymphs of Bl. orientalis. Heneicosylic acid and docosahexaenoic acid were identified in adults of Ba. dubia.

  7. Fungal tyrosine betaine, a novel secondary metabolite from conidia of entomopathogenic Metarhizium spp. fungi.

    PubMed

    Carollo, Carlos A; Calil, Ana Luiza A; Schiave, Letícia A; Guaratini, Thais; Roberts, Donald W; Lopes, Norberto P; Braga, Gilberto U L

    2010-01-01

    Fungi, including the entomopathogenic deuteromycete Metarhizium anisopliae, produce a wide diversity of secondary metabolites that either can be secreted or stored in specific developmental structures, e.g., conidia. Some secondary metabolites, such as pigments, polyols and mycosporines, are associated with pathogenicity and/or fungal tolerance to several stress-inducing environmental factors, including temperature and solar radiation extremes. Extracts of M. anisopliae var. anisopliae (strain ESALQ-1037) conidia were purified by chromatographic procedures and the isolated compounds analyzed by ¹H and ¹³C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and high-resolution mass spectrometry. LC-MS analyses were carried out to search for mycosporines (the initial targets), but no compounds of this class were detected. A molecule whose natural occurrence was previously undescribed was identified. It consists of betaine conjugated with tyrosine, and the structure was identified as 2-{[1-carboxy-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl]amino}-N,N,N-trimethyl-2-oxoethanammonium. Mannitol was the predominant compound in the alcoholic conidial extract, but no amino acids other than tyrosine were found to be conjugated with betaine in conidia. The fungal tyrosine betaine was detected also in conidial extracts of three other M. anisopliae var. anisopliae (ARSEF 1095, 5626 and 5749) and three M. anisopliae var. acridum isolates (ARSEF 324, 3391 and 7486), but it was not detected in Aspergillus nidulans conidial extract (ATCC 10074).

  8. Virulence of Entomopathogenic Fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and Paecilomyces fumosoroseus for the Microbial Control of Spodoptera exigua

    PubMed Central

    Han, Ji Hee; Jin, Byung Rae; Lee, Sang Yeob

    2014-01-01

    The beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is difficult to control using chemical insecticides because of the development of insecticide resistance. Several pest control agents are used to control the beet armyworm. Entomopathogenic fungi are one of the candidates for eco-friendly pest control instead of chemical control agents. In this study, among various entomopathogenic fungal strains isolated from soil two isolates were selected as high virulence pathogens against larva of beet armyworm. Control efficacy of fungal conidia was influenced by conidia concentration, temperature, and relative humidity (RH). The isolates Metarhizium anisopliae FT83 showed 100% cumulative mortality against second instar larvae of S. exigua 3 days after treatment at 1 × 107 conidia/mL and Paecilomyces fumosoroseus FG340 caused 100% mortality 6 days after treatment at 1 × 104 conidia/mL. Both M. anisopliae FT83 and P. fumosoroseus FG340 effectively controlled the moth at 20~30℃. M. anisopliae FT83 was significantly affected mortality by RH: mortality was 86.7% at 85% RH and 13.4% at 45% RH. P. fumosoroseus FG340 showed high mortality as 90% at 45% RH and 100% at 75% RH 6 days after conidia treatments. These results suggest that P. fumosoroseus FG340 and M. anisopliae FT83 have high potential to develop as a biocontrol agent against the beet armyworm. PMID:25606011

  9. Metarhizium anisopliae as a biological control agent against Hyalomma anatolicum (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Suleiman, Elham A; Shigidi, M T; Hassan, S M

    2013-12-15

    In the Sudan, ticks and Tick-borne Diseases (TBDs) with subsequent costs of control and treatment are causing substantial economic loss. Control of ticks is mainly by chemical insecticides. The rising environmental hazards and problem of resistance has motivated research on biological agents as alternative methods of control. The present study aims at controlling livestock ticks using fungi for their unique mode of action besides their ability to adhere to the cuticle, to germinate and penetrate enzymatically. The study was conducted to evaluate the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae for tick control as an alternative mean to chemical acaricides. Pathogenicity of the fungus was tested on different developmental stages of the tick Hyalomma anatolicum. The fungus induced high mortality to flat immature stages. It, also, affected reproductive potential of the females. Egg laid, hatching percent, fertility and moulting percent of immature stages were significantly (p < or = 0.05) reduced. It was, also, shown that the fungus had ability to adhere to the cuticle and penetrate the integument of the tick. Conidia of the fungus were isolated from their internal tissues. This phenomenon is important in considering fungi as bioinsecticides. Infection of eggs laid by treated engorged female ticks, with the fungus might demonstrate suggesting transovarian transmission. The use of M. anisopliae to control ticks is discussed.

  10. Wright-Giemsa staining to observe phagocytes in Locusta migratoria infected with Metarhizium acridum.

    PubMed

    Yu, Ying; Cao, Yueqing; Xia, Yuxian; Liu, Feihong

    2016-09-01

    Hemocytes are the first line of defense in the invertebrate immune system. Understanding their roles in cellular immunity is important for developing more efficient mycoinsecticides. However, the exact classification of hemocytes has been inconsistent and the various types of phagocytes in Locusta migratoria are poorly defined. Herein, the Wright-Giemsa staining method and microscopy were employed to characterize the hemocytes of L. migratoria following infection by Metarhizium acridum. Hemocytes were classified into four types, including granulocytes, plasmatocytes, prohemocytes, and oenocytoids, based on size, morphology, and dye-staining properties. Each type of hemocyte was classified into several subtypes according to different ultrastructural features. At least four subtypes of granulocytes or plasmatocytes, including small-nucleus plasmatocytes, basophil vacuolated plasmatocytes, homogeneous plasmatocytes, and eosinophilic granulocytes, carried out phagocytosis. The percentage of total phagocytes increased two days after infection by M. acridum, then gradually declined during the next two days, and then increased sharply again at the fifth day. Our data suggested that plasmatocytes and granulocytes may be the major phagocytes that protect against invasion by a fungal pathogen in L. migratoria. Total hemocytes in locusts significantly increased in the initial days after infection and decreased in the late period of infection compared to controls. In the hemocoel, hyphal bodies were recognized, enwrapped, and digested by the phagocytes. Then, the broken hyphal pieces were packaged as vesicles to be secreted from the cell. Moreover, locusts might have a sensitive and efficient cellular immune system that can regulate phagocyte differentiation and proliferation before fungi colonize the host hemolymph.

  11. Biocontrol of pigeon tick Argas reflexus (Acari: Argasidae) by entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium Anisopliae (Ascomycota: Hypocreales)

    PubMed Central

    Tavassoli, Mosa; Pourseyed, Seyed Hassan; Ownagh, Abdulghaffar; Bernousi, Iraj; Mardani, Karim

    2011-01-01

    The pigeon tick Argas reflexus is a pathogen-transmitting soft tick that typically feeds on pigeons, but can also attack humans causing local and systemic reactions. Chemical control is made difficult due to environmental contamination and resistance development. As a result, there is much interest in increasing the role of other strategies like biological control. In this study, the efficacy of three strains (V245, 685 and 715C) of entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae for biological control of three life stages of pigeon tick A. reflexus including eggs, larvae, engorged and unfed adults was investigated under laboratory conditions. Five concentrations of different strains of M. anisopliae ranging from 103 to 107 conidia/ml were used. All fungal strains significantly decreased hatchability of A. reflexus eggs. Strain V245 was the most effective strain on the mortality of larval stage with nearly 100% mortality at the lowest concentration (103 conidia/ml) at 10 days post-inoculation. The mortality rate of both engorged and unfed adult ticks were also increased significantly exposed to different conidial concentrations compared to the control groups (P < 0.05) making this fungus a potential biological control agent of pigeon tick reducing the use of chemical acaricides. PMID:24031777

  12. Expression of a chitinase gene from Metarhizium anisopliae in tobacco plants confers resistance against Rhizoctonia solani.

    PubMed

    Kern, Marcelo Fernando; Maraschin, Simone de Faria; Vom Endt, Débora; Schrank, Augusto; Vainstein, Marilene Henning; Pasquali, Giancarlo

    2010-04-01

    The chit1 gene from the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, encoding the endochitinase CHIT42, was placed under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter, and the resulting construct was transferred to tobacco. Seventeen kanamycin-resistant transgenic lines were recovered, and the presence of the transgene was confirmed by polymerase chain reactions and Southern blot hybridization. The number of chit1 copies was determined to be varying from one to four. Copy number had observable effects neither on plant growth nor development. Substantial heterogeneity concerning production of the recombinant chitinase, and both general and specific chitinolytic activities were detected in leaf extracts from primary transformants. The highest chitinase activities were found in plants harboring two copies of chit1 inserts at different loci. Progeny derived from self-pollination of the primary transgenics revealed a stable inheritance pattern, with transgene segregation following a mendelian dihybrid ratio. Two selected plants expressing high levels of CHIT42 were consistently resistant to the soilborne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani, suggesting a direct relationship between enzyme activity and reduction of foliar area affected by fungal lesions. To date, this is the first report of resistance to fungal attack in plants mediated by a recombinant chitinase from an entomopathogenic and acaricide fungus.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    A meta-analysis of the effects of vector saliva on the immune response and progression of vector-transmitted disease, specifically with regard to pathology, infection level, and host cytokine levels was conducted. Infection in the absence or presence of saliva in naïve mice was compared. In addition, infection in mice pre-exposed to uninfected vector saliva was compared to infection in unexposed mice. To control for differences in vector and pathogen species, mouse strain, and experimental design, a random effects model was used to compare the ratio of the natural log of the experimental to the control means of the studies. Saliva was demonstrated to enhance pathology, infection level, and the production of Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10) in naïve mice. This effect was observed across vector/pathogen pairings, whether natural or unnatural, and with single salivary proteins used as a proxy for whole saliva. Saliva pre-exposure was determined to result in less severe leishmaniasis pathology when compared with unexposed mice infected either in the presence or absence of sand fly saliva. The results of further analyses were not significant, but demonstrated trends toward protection and IFN-γ elevation for pre-exposed mice. PMID:25275509

  15. 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.

  16. Evaluation of Metarhizium brunneum F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) for control of Japanese beetle larvae in turfgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Experimental and commercial preparations of Metarhizium brunneum strain F52 were evaluated for control of Japanese beetle Popillia japonica Newman (Coleoptera: Scarbaeidae) larvae (white grubs) in the laboratory and under field conditions. Experimental preparations consisted of granule and liquid f...

  17. Differential allergy responses to Metarhizium anisopliae fungal component extracts in BALB/c mice

    EPA Science Inventory

    Intratracheal aspiration (IA) exposure to Metarhizium anisopliae crude antigen (MACA), which is composed of equal protein amounts of mycelium (MYC), conidia (CON) and inducible proteases/chitinases (IND) extracts/filtrates, has resulted in responses characteristic of human allerg...

  18. Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae endophytically colonize cassava roots following soil drench inoculation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The fungal entomopathogens Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae were investigated to determine if endophytic colonization could be achieved in cassava. An inoculation method based on drenching the soil around cassava stems using conidial suspensions resulted in endophytic colonization of ca...

  19. The InhA2 Metalloprotease of Bacillus thuringiensis Strain 407 Is Required for Pathogenicity in Insects Infected via the Oral Route

    PubMed Central

    Fedhila, Sinda; Nel, Patricia; Lereclus, Didier

    2002-01-01

    The entomopathogenic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis is known to secrete a zinc metalloprotease (InhA) that specifically cleaves antibacterial peptides produced by insect hosts. We identified a second copy of the inhA gene, named inhA2, in B. thuringiensis strain 407 Cry−. The inhA2 gene encodes a putative polypeptide showing 66.2% overall identity with the InhA protein and harboring the zinc-binding domain (HEXXH), which is characteristic of the zinc-requiring metalloproteases. We used a transcriptional inhA2′-lacZ fusion to show that inhA2 expression is induced at the onset of the stationary phase and is overexpressed in a Spo0A minus background. The presence of a reverse Spo0A box in the promoter region of inhA2 suggests that Spo0A directly regulates the transcription of inhA2. To determine the role of the InhA and InhA2 metalloproteases in pathogenesis, we used allelic exchange to isolate single and double mutant strains for the two genes. Spores and vegetative cells of the mutant strains were as virulent as those of the parental strain in immunized Bombyx mori larvae infected by the intrahemocoelic route. Exponential phase cells of all the strains displayed the same in vitro potential for colonizing the vaccinated hemocoel. We investigated the synergistic effect of the mutant strain spores on the toxicity of Cry1C proteins against Galleria mellonella larvae infected via the oral pathway. The spores of ΔinhA2 mutant strain were ineffective in providing synergism whereas those of the ΔinhA mutant strain were not. These results indicate that the B. thuringiensis InhA2 zinc metalloprotease has a vital role in virulence when the host is infected via the oral route. PMID:12029046

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Laboratory bioassays and field-cage trials of Metarhizium spp. isolates with field-collected Mormon crickets (Anabrus simplex)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Mormon cricket, Anabrus simplex, is an important pest in the western United States. This study evaluates the virulence of 32 isolates of Metarhizium towards field-collected Mormon crickets. Additionally, several isolates were tested in outdoor field-cage studies. All 32 Metarhizium isolates were...

  8. The effect of leaf biopesticide Mirabilis jalapa and fungi Metarhizium anisopliae to immune response and mortality of Spodoptera exigua instar IV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suryani, A. Irma; Anggraeni, Tjandra

    2014-03-01

    Spodoptera exigua is one of insect causing damage in agriculture sector. This insect can be controlled by a natural biopesticide by combining two agents of biological control, biopesticides Mirabilis jalapa and entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliae, considered to be virulent toward a wide range of insects. The objective of research was to determine the effect of biopesticides M. jalapa and fungi M. anisopliae against immune system and mortality of S. exigua. This research used a complete randomized block design with five concentrations Mirabilis jalapa and optimum dose of M. anisopliae. A high dose of M. jalapa (0.8% w/v) is the most effective one to decrease total haemocytes especially granulocyt and plasmatocyt (cellular immune) and decrease the concentration of lectin (humoral immune) from S. exigua (p < 0.05). The combination of M. jalapa (0, 8% w/v) and lethal dose of M. anisopliae 2.59 × 107 spore/ml were significant to increase mortality of S. exigua within 48 hours (p < 0.05).

  9. 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.

  10. The high osmotic response and cell wall integrity pathways cooperate to regulate morphology, microsclerotia development, and virulence in Metarhizium rileyi

    PubMed Central

    Song, Zhangyong; Zhong, Qiang; Yin, Youping; Shen, Ling; Li, Yan; Wang, Zhongkang

    2016-01-01

    Microsclerotia (MS) formation was successfully induced in Metarhizium rileyi under changing liquid culture conditions. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) play important roles in fungal development and in coordinating many stress responses. To investigate how M. rileyi transduces growth stress and regulates MS differentiation, we characterized the roles of two MAPKs, Hog1- and Slt2-type orthologues, in M. rileyi. Compared with the wild-type strain, the deletion mutants of Mrhog1 (ΔMrhog1) and Mrslt2 (ΔMrslt2) delayed germination and vegetative growth, displayed sensitivities to various stress, and produced morphologically abnormal clones. The ΔMrhog1 and ΔMrslt2 mutants significantly reduced conidial (42–99%) and MS (96–99%) yields. A transcriptional analysis showed that the two MAPKs regulate MS development in a cooperative manner. Insect bioassays revealed that ΔMrhog1 and ΔMrslt2 had decreased virulence levels in topical (36–56%) and injection (78–93%) bioassays. Our results confirmed the roles of MrHog1 and MrSlt2 in sensing growth-related stress and in regulating MS differentiation. PMID:27941838

  11. Expression of scorpion toxin LqhIT2 increases the virulence of Metarhizium acridum towards Locusta migratoria manilensis.

    PubMed

    Peng, Guoxiong; Xia, Yuxian

    2014-11-01

    LqhIT2 is an insect-specific neurotoxin from the venom of scorpion. In this study, the LqhIT2 gene was introduced into the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium acridum. The virulence of the genetically modified strain MaLqhIT2 was then evaluated against locusts (Locusta migratoria manilensis). Compared with the wild-type strain, the median lethal cell density (LC50) for MaLqhIT2 was a 22.6-fold lower, and the median times to death (LT50) for MaLqhIT2 were reduced by 30.3 and 29.6 %, respectively, after topical inoculation and injection. MaLqhIT2 also grew significantly faster in the hemolymph than wild-type strain. There were no significant differences in germination, appressorium formation and sporulation in locust carcasses between the MaLqhIT2 and wild-type strain. These results indicate that LqhIT2 increased the virulence of M. acridum towards locusts by shortening the in vivo infection period, without affecting cuticle penetration or conidia formation in the carcasses. LqhIT2 thus shows considerable potential for increasing fungal virulence against locusts.

  12. 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.

  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. Isolation of Metarhizium anisopliae carboxypeptidase A with native disulfide bonds from the cytosol of Escherichia coli BL21(DE3)

    PubMed Central

    Austin, Brian P.; Waugh, David S.

    2011-01-01

    The carboxypeptidase A enzyme from Metarhizium anisopliae (MeCPA) has broader specificity than the mammalian A-type carboxypeptidases, making it a more useful reagent for the removal of short affinity tags and disordered residues from the C-termini of recombinant proteins. When secreted from baculovirus-infected insect cells, the yield of pure MeCPA was 0.25 mg per liter of conditioned medium. Here, we describe a procedure for the production of MeCPA in the cytosol of Escherichia coli that yields approximately 0.5 mg of pure enzyme per liter of cell culture. The bacterial system is much easier to scale up and far less expensive than the insect cell system. The expression strategy entails maintaining the proMeCPA zymogen in a soluble state by fusing it to the C-terminus of maltose-binding protein (MBP) while simultaneously overproducing the protein disulfide isomerase DsbC in the cytosol from a separate plasmid. Unexpectedly, we found that the yield of active and properly oxidized MeCPA was highest when coexpressed with DsbC in BL21(DE3) cells that do not also contain mutations in the trxB and gor genes. Moreover, the formation of active MeCPA was only partially dependent on the disulfide-isomerase activity of DsbC. Intriguingly, we observed that most of the active MeCPA was generated after cell lysis and amylose affinity purification of the MBP-proMeCPA fusion protein, during the time that the partially purified protein was held overnight at 4 °C prior to activation with thermolysin. Following removal of the MBP-propeptide by thermolysin digestion, active MeCPA (with a C-terminal polyhistidine tag) was purified to homogeneity by immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC), ion exchange chromatography and gel filtration. PMID:22197595

  15. Hemipterans as plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Kaloshian, Isgouhi; Walling, Linda L

    2005-01-01

    Integration of the tools of genetics, genomics, and biochemistry has provided new approaches for identifying genes responding to herbivory. As a result, a picture of the complexity of plant-defense signaling to different herbivore feeding guilds is emerging. Plant responses to hemipteran insects have substantial overlap with responses mounted against microbial pathogens, as seen in changes in RNA profiles and emission of volatiles. Responses to known defense signals and characterization of the signaling pathways controlled by the first cloned insect R gene (Mi-1) indicate that perception and signal transduction leading to resistance may be similar to plant-pathogen interactions. Additionally, novel signaling pathways are emerging as important components of plant defense to insects. The availability of new tools and approaches will further enhance our understanding of the nature of defense in plant-hemipteran interactions.

  16. 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 ...

  17. Evolutionary plasticity of insect immunity.

    PubMed

    Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2013-02-01

    Many insect genomes have been sequenced and the innate immune responses of several species have been studied by transcriptomics, inviting the comparative analysis of immunity-related genes. Such studies have demonstrated significant evolutionary plasticity, with the emergence of novel proteins and protein domains correlated with insects adapting to both abiotic and biotic environmental stresses. This review article focuses on effector molecules such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and proteinase inhibitors, which display greater evolutionary dynamism than conserved components such as immunity-related signaling molecules. There is increasing evidence to support an extended role for insect AMPs beyond defense against pathogens, including the management of beneficial endosymbionts. The total number of AMPs varies among insects with completed genome sequences, providing intriguing examples of immunity gene expansion and loss. This plasticity is discussed in the context of recent developments in evolutionary ecology suggesting that the maintenance and deployment of immune responses reallocates resources from other fitness-related traits thus requiring fitness trade-offs. Based on our recent studies using both model and non-model insects, I propose that insect immunity genes can be lost when alternative defense strategies with a lower fitness penalty have evolved, such as the so-called social immunity in bees, the chemical sanitation of the microenvironment by some beetles, and the release of antimicrobial secondary metabolites in the hemolymph. Conversely, recent studies provide evidence for the expansion and functional diversification of insect AMPs and proteinase inhibitors to reflect coevolution with a changing pathosphere and/or adaptations to habitats or food associated with microbial contamination.

  18. Metabolomics reveals insect metabolic responses associated with fungal infection.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yong-Jiang; Luo, Feifei; Gao, Qiang; Shang, Yanfang; Wang, Chengshu

    2015-06-01

    The interactions between insects and pathogenic fungi are complex. We employed metabolomic techniques to profile insect metabolic dynamics upon infection by the pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Silkworm larvae were infected with fungal spores and microscopic observations demonstrated that the exhaustion of insect hemocytes was coupled with fungal propagation in the insect body cavity. Metabolomic analyses revealed that fungal infection could significantly alter insect energy and nutrient metabolisms as well as the immune defense responses, including the upregulation of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, and lipids, but the downregulation of eicosanoids and amines. The insect antifeedant effect of the fungal infection was evident with the reduced level of maclurin (a component of mulberry leaves) in infected insects but elevated accumulations in control insects. Insecticidal and cytotoxic mycotoxins like oosporein and beauveriolides were also detected in insects at the later stages of infection. Taken together, the metabolomics data suggest that insect immune responses are energy-cost reactions and the strategies of nutrient deprivation, inhibition of host immune responses, and toxin production would be jointly employed by the fungus to kill insects. The data obtained in this study will facilitate future functional studies of genes and pathways associated with insect-fungus interactions.

  19. Resistant ticks inhibit Metarhizium infection prior to haemocoel invasion by reducing fungal viability on the cuticle surface.

    PubMed

    Ment, Dana; Churchill, Alice C L; Gindin, Galina; Belausov, Eduard; Glazer, Itamar; Rehner, Stephen A; Rot, Asael; Donzelli, Bruno G G; Samish, Michael

    2012-06-01

    We studied disease progression of, and host responses to, four species in the Metarhizium anisopliae complex expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP). We compared development and determined their relative levels of virulence against two susceptible arthropods, the cattle tick Rhipicephalus annulatus and the lepidopteran Galleria mellonella, and two resistant ticks, Hyalomma excavatum and Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Metarhizium brunneum Ma7 caused the greatest mortality of R. annulatus, Metarhizium robertsii ARSEF 2575 and Metarhizium pingshaense PPRC51 exhibited intermediate levels of virulence, and Metarhizium majus PPRC27 caused low mortality of cattle ticks. Conidia of all four species germinated on all hosts examined, but on resistant hosts, sustained hyphal growth was inhibited and GFP emission steadily and significantly decreased over time, suggesting a loss of fungal viability. Cuticle penetration was observed only for the three most virulent species infecting susceptible hosts. Cuticles of resistant and susceptible engorged female ticks showed significant increases in red autofluorescence at sites immediately under fungal hyphae. This is the first report (i) of tick mortality occurring after cuticle penetration but prior to haemocoel colonization and (ii) that resistant ticks do not support development of Metarhizium germlings on the outer surface of the cuticle. Whether reduced Metarhizium viability on resistant tick cuticles is due to antibiosis or limited nutrient availability is unknown.

  20. Evolutionary genetics of insect innate immunity

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Patterns of evolution in immune defense genes help to understand the evolutionary dynamics between hosts and pathogens. Multiple insect genomes have been sequenced, with many of them having annotated immune genes, which paves the way for a comparative genomic analysis of insect immunity. In this review, I summarize the current state of comparative and evolutionary genomics of insect innate immune defense. The focus is on the conserved and divergent components of immunity with an emphasis on gene family evolution and evolution at the sequence level; both population genetics and molecular evolution frameworks are considered. PMID:25750410

  1. 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,…

  2. A high-throughput gene disruption methodology for the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chuan; Zhang, Xing; Qian, Ying; Chen, Xiaoxuan; Liu, Ran; Zeng, Guohong; Zhao, Hong; Fang, Weiguo

    2014-01-01

    Systematic gene disruption is a direct way to interrogate a fungal genome to functionally characterize the full suite of genes involved in various biological processes. Metarhizium robertsii is extraordinarily versatile, and it is a pathogen of arthropods, a saprophyte and a beneficial colonizer of rhizospheres. Thus, M. robertsii can be used as a representative to simultaneously study several major lifestyles that are not shared by the "model" fungi Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Neurospora crassa; a systematic genetic analysis of M. robertsii will benefit studies in other fungi. In order to systematically disrupt genes in M. robertsii, we developed a high-throughput gene disruption methodology, which includes two technologies. One is the modified OSCAR-based, high-throughput construction of gene disruption plasmids. This technology involves two donor plasmids (pA-Bar-OSCAR with the herbicide resistance genes Bar and pA-Sur-OSCAR with another herbicide resistance gene Sur) and a recipient binary plasmid pPK2-OSCAR-GFP that was produced by replacing the Bar cassette in pPK2-bar-GFP with a ccdB cassette and recombination recognition sites. Using this technology, a gene disruption plasmid can be constructed in one cloning step in two days. The other is a highly efficient gene disruption technology based on homologous recombination using a Ku70 deletion mutant (ΔMrKu70) as the recipient strain. The deletion of MrKu70, a gene encoding a key component involved in nonhomologous end-joining DNA repair in fungi, dramatically increases the gene disruption efficiency. The frequency of disrupting the conidiation-associated gene Cag8 in ΔMrKu70 was 93% compared to 7% in the wild-type strain. Since ΔMrKu70 is not different from the wild-type strain in development, pathogenicity and tolerance to various abiotic stresses, it can be used as a recipient strain for a systematic gene disruption project to characterize the whole suite of genes involved in the biological processes of

  3. [Roles of phosphatases in pathogen infection: a review].

    PubMed

    Zhu, Pei; Li, Xinqiang; Li, Zhenlun

    2012-02-01

    Phosphatases play a key role not only in cell physiological functions of an organism, but also in host-pathogen interactions. Many studies demonstrated that some Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria could evade host immunity and promote pathogenicity by injecting phosphatases into host cells through type III secretion system. However, there were few reports about pathogenic fungi evading the immunity of hosts. Our researches indicated that the entomogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae could dephosphorylate the signal transduction substance of locust humoral immunity specifically in vitro by secreting extracellular protein tyrosine phosphatase, which implied that the fungus might interfere with the immune defense of locust. To provide reference for further studies of the functions of phosphatases, we reviewed the types of phosphatases and their roles in pathogen infection.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Effect of Metarhizium anisopliae on the Fertility and Fecundity of Two Species of Fruit Flies and Horizontal Transmission of Mycotic Infection

    PubMed Central

    Sookar, P.; Bhagwant, S.; Allymamod, M.N.

    2014-01-01

    In Mauritius, the peach fruit fly, Bactrocera zonata Saunders (Diptera: Tephritidae), and the melon fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett), are the major pest of fruits and vegetables, respectively. Fruit growers make use of broad-spectrum insecticides to protect their crops from fruit fly attack. This method of fruit fly control is hazardous to the environment and is a threat to beneficial insects. The entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae (Metchnikoff) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae), which was isolated from the soils of Mauritius, was used to investigate whether fungus-treated adult fruit flies could transfer conidia to non-treated flies during mating, and whether fungal infection could have an effect on mating behavior, fecundity, and fertility of the two female fruit fly species. When treated male flies were maintained together with non-treated female flies, they were able to transmit infection to untreated females, resulting in high mortalities. Similarly, fungus-infected female flies mixed with untreated males also transmitted infections to males, also resulting in high mortalities. Infection by M. anisopliae also resulted in the reduction of the number of eggs produced by females of B. cucurbitae. The results suggest that M. anisopliae may have potential for use in integrated control programs of B. zonata and B. cucurbitae using the sterile insect technique in Mauritius. PMID:25201230

  7. Differential susceptibility of adults and nymphs of Blattella germanica (L.) (Blattodea: Blattellidae) to infection by Metarhizium anisopliae and assessment of delivery strategies.

    PubMed

    Lopes, R B; Alves, S B

    2011-01-01

    Microbial insecticides for cockroach control, such as those containing entomopathogenic fungi, may be an alternative to reduce contamination by chemicals in housing and food storage environments. Virulence of isolate ESALQ1037 belonging to the Metarhizium anisopliae complex against nymphs and adults of Blattella germanica (L.), and its infectivity following exposure of insects to a contaminated surface or to M. anisopliae-bait were determined under laboratory conditions. Estimated LD50 15 d following topical inoculation was 2.69 x 10(5) conidia per adult, whereas for nymphs the maximum mortality was lower than 50%. Baits amended with M. anisopliae conidia had no repellent effect on targets; adult mortality was inferior to 25%, and nymphs were not susceptible. All conidia found in the digestive tract of M. anisopliae-bait fed cockroaches were unviable, and bait-treated insects that succumbed to fungal infection showed a typical mycelial growth on mouthparts and front legs, but not on the hind body parts. As opposed to baits, the use of a M. anisopliae powdery formulation for surface treatment was effective in attaining high mortality rates of B. germanica. Both nymphs and adults were infected when this delivery strategy was used, and mycelia growth occurred all over the body surface. Our results suggest that the development of powders or similar formulations of M. anisopliae to control B. germanica may provide faster and better results than some of the strategies based on baits currently available.

  8. 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...

  9. 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)

  10. 76 FR 26194 - Metarhizium anisopliae Strain F52; Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-06

    ... accordance with good agricultural practices. Novozymes Biologicals, Inc. submitted a petition to ] EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting an exemption from the requirement of a... in accordance with good agricultural practices, Metarhizium anisopliae strain F52, a known...

  11. New insecticidal antibiotics, hydroxyfungerins A and B, produced by Metarhizium sp. FKI-1079.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Ryuji; Imasato, Rie; Yamaguchi, Yuichi; Masuma, Rokuro; Shiomi, Kazuro; Tomoda, Hiroshi; Omura, Satoshi

    2005-12-01

    New insecticidal antibiotics designated hydroxyfungerins A and B were isolated from the culture broth of a fungal strain Metarhizium sp. FKI-1079 together with a known compound, fungerin. The structures of hydroxyfungerins A and B were elucidated by spectroscopic studies including various NMR experiments. Hydroxyfungerins A and B showed growth inhibitory activity against brine shrimps, Artemia salina.

  12. Ovicidal activity of Metarhizium brunneum (Mb F52) on dengue fever vector, Aedes aegypti

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ovicidal activity of Metarhizium brunneum F52 (Mb F52) grown from granules was evaluated against Aedes aegypti eggs over time. Survival of larvae from treated eggs was significantly less when compared with untreated eggs at 7, 10 and 14 days post treatment. Only 27 % of treated eggs produced vi...

  13. Metachelins, mannosylated and N-oxidized coprogen-type siderophores from Metarhizium robertsii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Under iron-depleted culture conditions, the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii (Bischoff, Humber, and Rehner) (= M. anisopliae) produces a complex of extracellular siderophores including novel O-glycosylated and/or N-oxidized coprogen-type compounds as well as the known fungal siderophore...

  14. Production of microsclerotia by brazilian strains of metarhizium spp. using submerged liquid culture fermentation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We investigated the potential production and desiccation tolerance of microsclerotia (MS) by Brazilian strains of Metarhizium. anisopliae [Ma], M. acridum [Mc] and M. robertsii [Mr]. These fungi were grown in a liquid medium containing 16 g carbon l-1 with a carbon:nitrogen ratio of 50:1. One hundre...

  15. Metacridamides A and B, bioactive macrocycles from conidia of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium acridum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Metarhizium acridum, an entomopathogenic fungus, has been commercialized and used successfully for biocontrol of grasshopper pests in Africa and Australia. Its conidia produce two novel 17-membered macrocycles, metacridamides A (1) and B (2), which consist of a Phe unit condensed with a nonaketide....

  16. THE IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF AN IGE-INDUCING PROTEIN IN METARHIZIUM ANISOPLIAE EXTRACT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Identification and Characterization of an IgE-Inducing Protein in Metarhizium anisopliae Extract

    Marsha D.W. Ward1, Lisa B. Copeland1, Maura J. Donahue2, and Jody A. Shoemaker3
    1ORD, NHEERL, US EPA, RTP, NC; 2Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Cincinnati...

  17. Comparative impact of artificial selection for fungicide resistance on Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium brunncum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hypocreales fungi such as Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae can be negatively affected by fungicides thereby reducing their biocontrol potential. The overall goal of this study was to investigate the impact of artificial selection for fungicide resistance on two commercial entomopathoge...

  18. 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.

  19. Towards the elements of successful insect RNAi.

    PubMed

    Scott, Jeffrey G; Michel, Kristin; Bartholomay, Lyric C; Siegfried, Blair D; Hunter, Wayne B; Smagghe, Guy; Zhu, Kun Yan; Douglas, Angela E

    2013-12-01

    RNA interference (RNAi), the sequence-specific suppression of gene expression, offers great opportunities for insect science, especially to analyze gene function, manage pest populations, and reduce disease pathogens. The accumulating body of literature on insect RNAi has revealed that the efficiency of RNAi varies between different species, the mode of RNAi delivery, and the genes being targeted. There is also variation in the duration of transcript suppression. At present, we have a limited capacity to predict the ideal experimental strategy for RNAi of a particular gene/insect because of our incomplete understanding of whether and how the RNAi signal is amplified and spread among insect cells. Consequently, development of the optimal RNAi protocols is a highly empirical process. This limitation can be relieved by systematic analysis of the molecular physiological basis of RNAi mechanisms in insects. An enhanced conceptual understanding of RNAi function in insects will facilitate the application of RNAi for dissection of gene function, and to fast-track the application of RNAi to both control pests and develop effective methods to protect beneficial insects and non-insect arthropods, particularly the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and cultured Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) from viral and parasitic diseases.

  20. Microsclerotia of Metarhizium brunneum F52 applied in hydromulch for control of Asian longhorned beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (Petch), strain F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) is able to produce environmentally persistent microsclerotia. Incorporating these desiccation-tolerant M. brunneum F52 microsclerotia (Mb MS) granules into hydromulch [a mixture of water + wheat straw...

  1. Evaluating different carriers of Metarhizium brunneum F52 microsclerotia for control of adult Asian longhorned beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microsclerotia (MS) of Metarhizium brunneum strain F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae), were processed as granules using three carriers: kaolin clay, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) or diatomaceous earth (DE). In a series of experiments aimed at comparing viable conidial production and subsequent pe...

  2. Towards the elements of successful insect Ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi), the sequence-specific suppression of gene expression, offers great opportunities for insect science, especially to analyze gene function, manage pest populations, and reduce disease pathogens. The accumulating body of literature on insect RNAi has revealed that ...

  3. 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

  4. Intracellular siderophore but not extracellular siderophore is required for full virulence in Metarhizium robertsii.

    PubMed

    Giuliano Garisto Donzelli, Bruno; Gibson, Donna M; Krasnoff, Stuart B

    2015-09-01

    Efficient iron acquisition mechanisms are fundamental for microbial survival in the environment and for pathogen virulence within their hosts. M. robertsii produces two known iron-binding natural products: metachelins, which are used to scavenge extracellular iron, and ferricrocin, which is strictly intracellular. To study the contribution of siderophore-mediated iron uptake and storage to M. robertsii fitness, we generated null mutants for each siderophore synthase gene (mrsidD and mrsidC, respectively), as well as for the iron uptake transcriptional repressor mrsreA. All of these mutants showed impaired germination speed, differential sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide, and differential ability to overcome iron chelation on growth-limiting iron concentrations. RT-qPCR data supported regulation of mrsreA, mrsidC, and mrsidD by supplied iron in vitro and during growth within the insect host, Spodoptera exigua. We also observed strong upregulation of the insect iron-binding proteins, transferrins, during infection. Insect bioassays revealed that ferricrocin is required for full virulence against S. exigua; neither the loss of metachelin production nor the deletion of the transcription factor mrsreA significantly affected M. robertsii virulence.

  5. Dissemination of Metarhizium anisopliae of low and high virulence by mating behavior in Aedes aegypti

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. It is a threat for public health worldwide and its primary vector Aedes aegypti is becoming resistant to chemical insecticides. These factors have encouraged studies to evaluate entomopathogenic fungi against the vector. Here we evaluated mortality, infection, insemination and fecundity rates in A. aegypti females after infection by autodissemination with two Mexican strains of Metarhizium anisopliae. Methods Two M. anisopliae strains were tested: The Ma-CBG-1 least virulent (lv), and the Ma-CBG-2 highly virulent (hv) strain. The lv was tested as non mosquito-passed (NMP), and mosquito-passed (MP), while the hv was examined only as MP version, therefore including the control four treatments were used. In the first bioassay virulence of fungal strains towards female mosquitoes was determined by indirect exposure for 48 hours to conidia-impregnated paper. In the second bioassay autodissemination of fungal conidia from fungus-contaminated males to females was evaluated. Daily mortality allowed computation of survival curves and calculation of the LT50 by the Kaplan-Meier model. All combinations of fungal sporulation and mating insemination across the four treatments were analyzed by χ2. The mean fecundity was analyzed by ANOVA and means contrasted with the Ryan test. Results Indirect exposure to conidia allowed a faster rate of mortality, but exposure to a fungal-contaminated male was also an effective method of infecting female mosquitoes. All females confined with the hv strain-contaminated male died in fifteen days with a LT50 of 7.57 (± 0.45) where the control was 24.82 (± 0.92). For the lv strain, it was possible to increase fungal virulence by passing the strain through mosquitoes. 85% of females exposed to hv-contaminated males became infected and of them just 10% were inseminated; control insemination was 46%. The hv strain reduced fecundity by up to 99%, and the lv strain caused a 40

  6. Microsclerotia of Metarhizium brunneum F52 Applied in Hydromulch for Control of Asian Longhorned Beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).

    PubMed

    Goble, Tarryn A; Hajek, Ann E; Jackson, Mark A; Gardescu, Sana

    2015-04-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (Petch) strain F52 (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) is able to produce environmentally persistent microsclerotia (hyphal aggregates). Microsclerotia of strain F52 produced as granules and incorporated into hydromulch (hydro-seeding straw, water, and a natural glue) provides a novel mycoinsecticide that could be sprayed onto urban, forest, or orchard trees. We tested this formulation against adult Asian longhorned beetles (Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky)) using three substrates (moistened bark, dry bark, absorbent bench liner) sprayed with a low rate (9 microsclerotia granules/cm2) of hydromulch. Median survival times of beetles continuously exposed to sprayed moist bark or absorbent liner were 17.5 and 19.5 d, respectively. Beetles exposed to sprayed dry bark, which had a lower measured water activity, lived significantly longer. When moist bark pieces were sprayed with increased rates of microsclerotia granules in hydromulch, 50% died by 12.5 d at the highest application rate, significantly sooner than beetles exposed to lower application rates (16.5-17.5 d). To measure fecundity effects, hydromulch with or without microsclerotia was sprayed onto small logs and pairs of beetles were exposed for a 2-wk oviposition period in containers with 98 or 66% relative humidity. At 98% humidity, oviposition in the logs was highest for controls (18.3±1.4 viable offspring per female) versus 3.9±0.8 for beetles exposed to microsclerotia. At 66% humidity, fecundities of controls and beetles exposed to microsclerotia were not significantly different. This article presents the first evaluation of M. brunneum microsclerotia in hydromulch applied for control of an arboreal insect pest.

  7. Virulence, horizontal transmission, and sublethal reproductive effects of Metarhizium anisopliae (Anamorphic fungi) on the German cockroach (Blattodea: Blattellidae).

    PubMed

    Quesada-Moraga, E; Santos-Quirós, R; Valverde-García, P; Santiago-Alvarez, C

    2004-09-01

    Virulence of Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin strain EAMa 01/121-Su against the German Cockroach, Blatella germanica (L.), was determined using four concentrations ranging from 4.2 x 10(6) to 4.2 x 10(9) spores per milliliter. The LD50 value was 1.4 x 10(7) spores per milliliter (56,000 spores per cockroach) and LT50 values were 14.8 days and 5.3 days for 4.2 x 10(8) and 4.2 x 10(9) spores per milliliter, respectively. An experiment was conducted to evaluate whether a fungal transmission could exist among infected and healthy cockroaches. Percentage mortality at a ratio of 1:10 of infected to unexposed cockroaches was 87.5% and LT50 was 12.2 days, which indicated the potential of this strain to be horizontally transmitted and to rapidly spread the infection in the insect population. The effect of a sublethal dose (ca. LD60) of M. anisopliae EAMa 01/121-Su strain, applied topically on German cockroaches, was studied by reciprocal crossing. Othecal production, oothecal hatchability, and nymphal production declined upon exposure to M. anisopliae EAMa 01/121-Su strain. The mean number of oothecae laid by female was progressively and significantly reduced by fungal treatment from second oviposition period onwards. Oothecal hatch of fungally challenged females was reduced by 46-49%, oothecal viability by 48-85%, and nymphal production by 22-35%. Only treated females showed an effect on oothecal production, oothecal hatch, and nymphal production, although oothecal hatch was also governed by treated males at a higher significance level. Our results on virulence and horizontal transmission of fungal conidia of M. anisopliae EAMa 01/121-Su strain and its sublethal reproductive effects on German cockroach females are discussed in terms of its potential to decrease the pest status of B. germanica in the short and long terms.

  8. An insect pupal cell with antimicrobial properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil-dwelling insects have developed various defense mechanisms to defend against pathogen infection. The pecan weevil, Curculio caryae, spends two to three years in the soil inside an earthen cell. We hypothesized that the cell may possess antimicrobial properties. In a laboratory study, we teste...

  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. Discovering the secondary metabolite potential encoded within Entomopathogenic Fungi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article discusses the secondary metabolite potential of the insect pathogens Metarhizium and Beauveria, including a bioinformatics analysis of secondary metabolite genes for which no products are yet identified....

  11. 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

  12. Carbon regulation of the cuticle-degrading enzyme PR1 from Metarhizium anisopliae may involve a trans-acting DNA-binding protein CRR1, a functional equivalent of the Aspergillus nidulans CREA protein.

    PubMed

    Screen, S; Bailey, A; Charnley, K; Cooper, R; Clarkson, J

    1997-06-01

    The pr1 gene of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae encodes a serine protease that is highly active towards the insect cuticle and whose synthesis is subject to both carbon and nitrogen repression. The pr1 promoter region was sequenced revealing the presence of putative CREA- and AREA-binding sites. In vitro bandshift experiments demonstrated that an Aspergillus nidulans GST-CREA fusion protein was capable of binding to two of the three putative CREA sites. Using a PCR-based strategy the M. anisopliae crr1 gene was identified; it encodes a putative C2H2-type DNA-binding protein with significant sequence similarity to A. nidulans CREA. Complementation experiments with an A. nidulans strain carrying creA204 demonstrated that CRR1 can partially substitute for CREA function.

  13. 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, ...

  14. 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.

  15. 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. ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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,…

  3. Indirect effects of one plant pathogen on the transmission of a second pathogen and the behavior of its potato psyllid vector

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant pathogens can influence the behavior and performance of insect herbivore vectors. Studies of these associations typically focus on tripartite interactions between a plant host, a plant pathogen, and its insect vector. However, an unrelated herbivore or pathogen also could influence host-pathog...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. A natural fungal infection of a sylvatic cockroach with Metarhizium blattodeae sp. nov., a member of the M. flavoviride species complex

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A wild, forest-dwelling cockroach from the subfamily Ectobiidae (order Blattodea) in a nature reserve in Cavalcante, in the state of Goias, Brazil, was found to be infected by a new, genetically distinct species in the Metarhizium flavoviride species complex that we describe here as Metarhizium blat...

  8. Genetic engineering of fungal biocontrol agents to achieve greater efficacy against insect pests.

    PubMed

    St Leger, Raymond J; Wang, Chengshu

    2010-01-01

    Molecular biology methods have elucidated pathogenic processes in several fungal biocontrol agents including two of the most commonly applied entomopathogenic fungi, Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana. In this review, we describe how a combination of molecular techniques has: (1) identified and characterized genes involved in infection; (2) manipulated the genes of the pathogen to improve biocontrol performance; and (3) allowed expression of a neurotoxin from the scorpion Androctonus australis. The complete sequencing of four exemplar species of entomopathogenic fungi including B. bassiana and M. anisopliae will be completed in 2010. Coverage of these genomes will help determine the identity, origin, and evolution of traits needed for diverse lifestyles and host switching. Such knowledge combined with the precision and malleability of molecular techniques will allow design of multiple pathogens with different strategies to be used for different ecosystems and avoid the possibility of the host developing resistance.

  9. Potential of two entomopathogenic fungi, Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), as biological control agents against the June beetle

    PubMed Central

    Erler, Fedai; Ates, A. Ozgur

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the entomopathogenic fungi (EPF), Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuill. (Deuteromycotina: Hyphomycetes) strain PPRI 5339 [BroadBand, an emulsifiable spore concentrate (EC) formulation] and Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) strain F52 [Met52, both EC and granular (GR) formulations] against the larvae of Polyphylla fullo (L.) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Larvicidal bioassays were performed in foam boxes (100 by 75 by 50 cm; length by width by height), containing moist soil medium with some humus and potato tubers as food. Although the B. bassiana product (min. 4 × 109 conidia/ml) was applied at 100, 150, and 200 ml/100 l water; M. anisopliae strain F52 was applied at 500, 1,000, and 1,500 g/m3 of moist soil medium for GR (9 × 108 cfu/g) and 75, 100, and 125 ml/100 l water for EC (5.5 × 109 conidia/ml) formulation. Both fungi were pathogenic to larvae of the pest; however, young larvae (1st and 2nd instars) were more susceptible to infection than older ones (3rd instar). Mortality rates of young and older larvae varied with conidial concentration of both fungi and elapsed time after application. The B. bassiana product was more effective than both of the formulations of the M. anisopliae product, causing mortalities up to 79.8 and 71.6% in young and older larvae, respectively. The highest mortality rates of young and older larvae caused by the M. anisopliae product were 74.1 and 67.6% for the GR formulation, 70.2 and 61.8% for the EC formulation, respectively. These results may suggest that both fungi have potential to be used for management of P. fullo. PMID:25881632

  10. Potential of two entomopathogenic fungi, Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), as biological control agents against the June beetle.

    PubMed

    Erler, Fedai; Ates, A Ozgur

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the entomopathogenic fungi (EPF), Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuill. (Deuteromycotina: Hyphomycetes) strain PPRI 5339 [BroadBand, an emulsifiable spore concentrate (EC) formulation] and Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) strain F52 [Met52, both EC and granular (GR) formulations] against the larvae of Polyphylla fullo (L.) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Larvicidal bioassays were performed in foam boxes (100 by 75 by 50 cm; length by width by height), containing moist soil medium with some humus and potato tubers as food. Although the B. bassiana product (min. 4 × 10(9) conidia/ml) was applied at 100, 150, and 200 ml/100 l water; M. anisopliae strain F52 was applied at 500, 1,000, and 1,500 g/m(3) of moist soil medium for GR (9 × 10(8) cfu/g) and 75, 100, and 125 ml/100 l water for EC (5.5 × 10(9) conidia/ml) formulation. Both fungi were pathogenic to larvae of the pest; however, young larvae (1st and 2nd instars) were more susceptible to infection than older ones (3rd instar). Mortality rates of young and older larvae varied with conidial concentration of both fungi and elapsed time after application. The B. bassiana product was more effective than both of the formulations of the M. anisopliae product, causing mortalities up to 79.8 and 71.6% in young and older larvae, respectively. The highest mortality rates of young and older larvae caused by the M. anisopliae product were 74.1 and 67.6% for the GR formulation, 70.2 and 61.8% for the EC formulation, respectively. These results may suggest that both fungi have potential to be used for management of P. fullo.

  11. Characterization of Metarhizium viride Mycosis in Veiled Chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus), Panther Chameleons (Furcifer pardalis), and Inland Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps).

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Volker; Klasen, Linus; Schneider, Juliane; Hübel, Jens; Pees, Michael

    2017-03-01

    Metarhizium viride has been associated with fatal systemic mycoses in chameleons, but subsequent data on mycoses caused by this fungus in reptiles are lacking. The aim of this investigation was therefore to obtain information on the presence of M. viride in reptiles kept as pets in captivity and its association with clinical signs and pathological findings as well as improvement of diagnostic procedures. Beside 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) (small subunit [SSU]) and internal transcribed spacer region 1 (ITS-1), a fragment of the large subunit (LSU) of 28S rDNA, including domain 1 (D1) and D2, was sequenced for the identification of the fungus and phylogenetic analysis. Cultural isolation and histopathological examinations as well as the pattern of antifungal drug resistance, determined by using agar diffusion testing, were additionally used for comparison of the isolates. In total, 20 isolates from eight inland bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps), six veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus), and six panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis) were examined. Most of the lizards suffered from fungal glossitis, stomatitis, and pharyngitis or died due to visceral mycosis. Treatment with different antifungal drugs according to resistance patterns in all three different lizard species was unsuccessful. Sequence analysis resulted in four different genotypes of M. viride based on differences in the LSU fragment, whereas the SSU and ITS-1 were identical in all isolates. Sequence analysis of the SSU fragment revealed the first presentation of a valid large fragment of the SSU of M. viride According to statistical analysis, genotypes did not correlate with differences in pathogenicity, antifungal susceptibility, or species specificity.

  12. 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.

  13. Genetic basis of destruxin production in the entomopathogen Metarhizium robertsii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Destruxins are among the most exhaustively researched secondary metabolites of entomopathogenic fungi, yet definitive evidence for their roles in pathogenicity and virulence has yet to be shown. To establish the genetic bases for the biosynthesis of this family of depsipeptides, we identified a 23,7...

  14. Divergent and Convergent Evolution of Fungal Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Yanfang; Xiao, Guohua; Zheng, Peng; Cen, Kai; Zhan, Shuai; Wang, Chengshu

    2016-01-01

    Fungal pathogens of plants and animals have multifarious effects; they cause devastating damages to agricultures, lead to life-threatening diseases in humans, or induce beneficial effects by reducing insect pest populations. Many virulence factors have been determined in different fungal pathogens; however, the molecular determinants contributing to fungal host selection and adaptation are largely unknown. In this study, we sequenced the genomes of seven ascomycete insect pathogens and performed the genome-wide analyses of 33 species of filamentous ascomycete pathogenic fungi that infect insects (12 species), plants (12), and humans (9). Our results revealed that the genomes of plant pathogens encode more proteins and protein families than the insect and human pathogens. Unexpectedly, more common orthologous protein groups are shared between the insect and plant pathogens than between the two animal group pathogens. We also found that the pathogenicity of host-adapted fungi evolved multiple times, and that both divergent and convergent evolutions occurred during pathogen–host cospeciation thus resulting in protein families with similar features in each fungal group. However, the role of phylogenetic relatedness on the evolution of protein families and therefore pathotype formation could not be ruled out due to the effect of common ancestry. The evolutionary correlation analyses led to the identification of different protein families that correlated with alternate pathotypes. Particularly, the effector-like proteins identified in plant and animal pathogens were strongly linked to fungal host adaptation, suggesting the existence of similar gene-for-gene relationships in fungus–animal interactions that has not been established before. These results well advance our understanding of the evolution of fungal pathogenicity and the factors that contribute to fungal pathotype formation. PMID:27071652

  15. Digital PCR for detection of citrus pathogens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Citrus trees are often infected with multiple pathogens of economic importance, especially those with insect or mite vectors. Real-time/quantitative PCR (qPCR) has been used for high-throughput detection and relative quantification of pathogens; however, target reference or standards are required. I...

  16. 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

  17. Mycoplasmas, plants, insect vectors: a matrimonial triangle.

    PubMed

    Garnier, M; Foissac, X; Gaurivaud, P; Laigret, F; Renaudin, J; Saillard, C; Bové, J M

    2001-10-01

    Plant pathogenic mycoplasmas were discovered by electron microscopy, in 1967, long after the discovery and culture in 1898 of the first pathogenic mycoplasma of animal origin, Mycoplasma mycoides. Mycoplasmas are Eubacteria of the class Mollicutes, a group of organisms phylogenetically related to Gram-positive bacteria. Their more characteristic features reside in the small size of their genomes, the low guanine (G) plus cytosine (C) content of their genomic DNA and the lack of a cell wall. Plant pathogenic mycoplasmas are responsible for several hundred diseases and belong to two groups: the phytoplasmas and the spiroplasmas. The phytoplasmas (previously called MLOs, for mycoplasma like organisms) were discovered first; they are pleiomorphic, and have so far resisted in vitro cultivation. Phytoplasmas represent the largest group of plant pathogenic Mollicutes. Only three plant pathogenic spiroplasmas are known today. Spiroplasma citri, the agent of citrus stubborn was discovered and cultured in 1970 and shown to be helical and motile. S. kunkelii is the causal agent of corn stunt. S. phoeniceum, responsible for periwinkle yellows, was discovered in Syria. There are many other spiroplasmas associated with insects and ticks. Plant pathogenic mycoplasmas are restricted to the phloem sieve tubes in which circulates the photosynthetically-enriched sap, the food for many phloem-feeding insects (aphids, leafhoppers, psyllids, etc.). Interestingly, phytopathogenic mycoplasmas are very specifically transmitted by leafhoppers or psyllid species. In this paper, the most recent knowledge on phytopathogenic mycoplasmas in relation with their insect and plant habitats is presented as well as the experiments carried out to control plant mycoplasma diseases, by expression of mycoplasma-directed-antibodies in plants (plantibodies).

  18. 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…

  19. 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.…

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. The Interaction of Human Enteric Pathogens with Plants

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Jeong-A; Lee, Dong Hwan; Heu, Sunggi

    2014-01-01

    There are an increasing number of outbreaks of human pathogens related to fresh produce. Thus, the growth of human pathogens on plants should be explored. Human pathogens can survive under the harsh environments in plants, and can adhere and actively invade plants. Plant-associated microbiota or insects contribute to the survival and transmission of enteric pathogens in plants. Human enteric pathogens also trigger plant innate immunity, but some pathogens–such as Salmonella–can overcome this defense mechanism. PMID:25288993

  4. Acoustic communication in insect disease vectors

    PubMed Central

    Vigoder, Felipe de Mello; Ritchie, Michael Gordon; Gibson, Gabriella; Peixoto, Alexandre Afranio

    2013-01-01

    Acoustic signalling has been extensively studied in insect species, which has led to a better understanding of sexual communication, sexual selection and modes of speciation. The significance of acoustic signals for a blood-sucking insect was first reported in the XIX century by Christopher Johnston, studying the hearing organs of mosquitoes, but has received relatively little attention in other disease vectors until recently. Acoustic signals are often associated with mating behaviour and sexual selection and changes in signalling can lead to rapid evolutionary divergence and may ultimately contribute to the process of speciation. Songs can also have implications for the success of novel methods of disease control such as determining the mating competitiveness of modified insects used for mass-release control programs. Species-specific sound “signatures” may help identify incipient species within species complexes that may be of epidemiological significance, e.g. of higher vectorial capacity, thereby enabling the application of more focussed control measures to optimise the reduction of pathogen transmission. Although the study of acoustic communication in insect vectors has been relatively limited, this review of research demonstrates their value as models for understanding both the functional and evolutionary significance of acoustic communication in insects. PMID:24473800

  5. Acoustic communication in insect disease vectors.

    PubMed

    Vigoder, Felipe de Mello; Ritchie, Michael Gordon; Gibson, Gabriella; Peixoto, Alexandre Afranio

    2013-01-01

    Acoustic signalling has been extensively studied in insect species, which has led to a better understanding of sexual communication, sexual selection and modes of speciation. The significance of acoustic signals for a blood-sucking insect was first reported in the XIX century by Christopher Johnston, studying the hearing organs of mosquitoes, but has received relatively little attention in other disease vectors until recently. Acoustic signals are often associated with mating behaviour and sexual selection and changes in signalling can lead to rapid evolutionary divergence and may ultimately contribute to the process of speciation. Songs can also have implications for the success of novel methods of disease control such as determining the mating competitiveness of modified insects used for mass-release control programs. Species-specific sound "signatures" may help identify incipient species within species complexes that may be of epidemiological significance, e.g. of higher vectorial capacity, thereby enabling the application of more focussed control measures to optimise the reduction of pathogen transmission. Although the study of acoustic communication in insect vectors has been relatively limited, this review of research demonstrates their value as models for understanding both the functional and evolutionary significance of acoustic communication in insects.

  6. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. Exposure of bed bugs to metarhizium anisopliae, and the effect of defensive secretions on fungal growth in vitro

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bed bugs Cimex lectularius were treated with conidia of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae by topical, spray, and contact exposure. One week post-exposure, inconsistent mortalities were observed, averaging 30% across all treatment groups and replicates. Microscopic examination of top...

  10. Laboratory mortality and mycosis of adult Curculio caryae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) following application of Metarhizium anisopliae in the laboratory and field

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The pecan weevil, Curculio caryae, is a key pest of pecans. Our objective was to determine the potential of Metarhizium anisopliae to control emerging C. caryae adults. First, a laboratory test was conducted to compare four Beauveria bassiana strains (Bb GA2, BbLA3, BbMS1, and GHA) and three M. an...

  11. Genome-assisted development of nuclear intergenic sequence markers for entomopathogenic fungi of the Metarhizium anisopliae species complex

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Entomopathogenic fungi in the genus Metarhizium have proven useful for the biological control of economically important pests across the globe. Understanding the true diversity of this group is hampered by convergent morphologies between species. The application of molecular techniques has enabled...

  12. THE FUNGAL BIOPESTICIDE METARHIZIUM ANISOPLIAE HAS AN ADJUVANT EFFECT ON THE ALLERGIC RESPONSE TO OVALBUMIN IN MICE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background: Sensitisation to cockroaches is associated with asthma and hence, the elimination of this vermin is of interest. Metarhizium anisopliae is a parasitic fungus used as a pesticide to control cockroach infestation indoors. Previously M. anisopliae has been shown to cause...

  13. Heat-stressed Metarhizium anisopliae: Viability (in vitro) and virulence (in vivo) assessments against the tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The current study investigated the thermotolerance of Metarhizium anisopliae s.l. conidia from the commercial products Metarril® SP Organic and Metarril® WP. The efficacy of these M. anisopliae formulations against the tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l. was studied in laboratory under optimum or hea...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Specific diversity of the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria and Metarhizium in Mexican agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Pérez-González, Víctor H; Guzmán-Franco, Ariel W; Alatorre-Rosas, Raquel; Hernández-López, Jorge; Hernández-López, Antonio; Carrillo-Benítez, María G; Baverstock, Jason

    2014-06-01

    Prior knowledge of the local population structure of entomopathogenic fungi is considered an important requisite when developing microbial control strategies against major pests of crops such as white grubs. An extensive survey in the estate of Guanajuato, one of the main agricultural regions of Mexico, was carried out to determine the abundance and diversity of entomopathogenic fungi in soil. Soil collected from 11 locations was baited for entomopathogenic fungi using Galleria mellonella. In addition, all isolates were morphologically identified and selected isolates of Beauveria and Metarhizium isolates identified using Bloc and ITS or Elongation Factor 1-α and ITS sequence information respectively. Genotypic diversity was then studied using microsatellite genotyping. The proportion of isolates belonging to each genus varied amongst all locations. The species Beauveria bassiana, B. pseudobassiana and Metarhizium robertsii were found, with B. bassiana being the most abundant and widely distributed. Microsatellite genotyping showed that the 36 B. bassiana isolates were grouped in 29 unique haplotypes, but with no separation according to geographical origin.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. Optimization of compatible non-ionic surfactant for formulation development of hydrophobic conidia of entomopathogenic fungi, Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales:Cordycipitaceae) and Metarhizium anisopliae Hypocreales:Clavicipita

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aerial conidia, especially dried conidia of entomopathogenic fungi, Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae are hydrophobic, and therefore surfactants are needed for developing water-based formulations in laboratory studies, greenhouse bioassays, and field trials as well as commercial product ...

  1. Dosage response mortality of Japanese beetle, masked chafer, and June beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) adults when exposed to experimental and commercially available granules containing Metarhizium brunneum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Adult beetles of three different white grub species, Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, June beetle, Phyllophaga spp., and masked chafer, Cyclocephala spp. were exposed to experimental and commercially available granules containing Metarhizium brunneum (Petch) strain F52, to determine susceptibilit...

  2. 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,…

  3. 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.

  4. Tropism and Pathogenicity of Rickettsiae

    PubMed Central

    Uchiyama, Tsuneo

    2012-01-01

    Rickettsiae are obligate intracellular parasitic bacteria that cause febrile exanthematous illnesses such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Mediterranean spotted fever, epidemic, and murine typhus, etc. Although the vector ranges of each Rickettsia species are rather restricted; i.e., ticks belonging to Arachnida and lice and fleas belonging to Insecta usually act as vectors for spotted fever group (SFG) and typhus group (TG) rickettsiae, respectively, it would be interesting to elucidate the mechanisms controlling the vector tropism of rickettsiae. This review discusses the factors determining the vector tropism of rickettsiae. In brief, the vector tropism of rickettsiae species is basically consistent with their tropism toward cultured tick and insect cells. The mechanisms responsible for rickettsiae pathogenicity are also described. Recently, genomic analyses of rickettsiae have revealed that they possess several genes that are homologous to those affecting the pathogenicity of other bacteria. Analyses comparing the genomes of pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of rickettsiae have detected many factors that are related to rickettsial pathogenicity. It is also known that a reduction in the rickettsial genome has occurred during the course of its evolution. Interestingly, Rickettsia species with small genomes, such as Rickettsia prowazekii, are more pathogenic to humans than those with larger genomes. This review also examines the growth kinetics of pathogenic and non-pathogenic species of SFG rickettsiae (SFGR) in mammalian cells. The growth of non-pathogenic species is restricted in these cells, which is mediated, at least in part, by autophagy. The superinfection of non-pathogenic rickettsiae-infected cells with pathogenic rickettsiae results in an elevated yield of the non-pathogenic rickettsiae and the growth of the pathogenic rickettsiae. Autophagy is restricted in these cells. These results are discussed in this review. PMID:22737150

  5. 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…

  6. Cross-kingdom interactions matter: fungal-mediated interactions structure an insect community on oak.

    PubMed

    Tack, Ayco J M; Gripenberg, Sofia; Roslin, Tomas

    2012-03-01

    Although phytophagous insects and plant pathogens frequently share the same host plant, interactions among such phylogenetically distant taxa have received limited attention. Here, we place pathogens and insects in the context of a multitrophic-level community. Focusing on the invasive powdery mildew Erysiphe alphitoides and the insect community on oak (Quercus robur), we demonstrate that mildew-insect interactions may be mediated by both the host plant and by natural enemies, and that the trait-specific outcome of individual interactions can range from negative to positive. Moreover, mildew affects resource selection by insects, thereby modifying the distribution of a specialist herbivore at two spatial scales (within and among trees). Finally, a long-term survey suggests that species-specific responses to mildew scale up to generate landscape-level variation in the insect community structure. Overall, our results show that frequently overlooked cross-kingdom interactions may play a major role in structuring terrestrial plant-based communities.

  7. 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.

  8. Damage signals in the insect immune response

    PubMed Central

    Krautz, Robert; Arefin, Badrul; Theopold, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    Insects and mammals share an ancient innate immune system comprising both humoral and cellular responses. The insect immune system consists of the fat body, which secretes effector molecules into the hemolymph and several classes of hemocytes, which reside in the hemolymph and of protective border epithelia. Key features of wound- and immune responses are shared between insect and mammalian immune systems including the mode of activation by commonly shared microbial (non-self) patterns and the recognition of these patterns by dedicated receptors. It is unclear how metazoan parasites in insects, which lack these shared motifs, are recognized. Research in recent years has demonstrated that during entry into the insect host, many eukaryotic pathogens leave traces that alert potential hosts of the damage they have afflicted. In accordance with terminology used in the mammalian immune systems, these signals have been dubbed danger- or damage-associated signals. Damage signals are necessary byproducts generated during entering hosts either by mechanical or proteolytic damage. Here, we briefly review the current stage of knowledge on how wound closure and wound healing during mechanical damage is regulated and how damage-related signals contribute to these processes. We also discuss how sensors of proteolytic activity induce insect innate immune responses. Strikingly damage-associated signals are also released from cells that have aberrant growth, including tumor cells. These signals may induce apoptosis in the damaged cells, the recruitment of immune cells to the aberrant tissue and even activate humoral responses. Thus, this ensures the removal of aberrant cells and compensatory proliferation to replace lost tissue. Several of these pathways may have been co-opted from wound healing and developmental processes. PMID:25071815

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Anti-pathogen protection versus survival costs mediated by an ectosymbiont in an ant host

    PubMed Central

    Konrad, Matthias; Grasse, Anna V.; Tragust, Simon; Cremer, Sylvia

    2015-01-01

    The fitness effects of symbionts on their hosts can be context-dependent, with usually benign symbionts causing detrimental effects when their hosts are stressed, or typically parasitic symbionts providing protection towards their hosts (e.g. against pathogen infection). Here, we studied the novel association between the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus and its fungal ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum for potential costs and benefits. We tested ants with different Laboulbenia levels for their survival and immunity under resource limitation and exposure to the obligate killing entomopathogen Metarhizium brunneum. While survival of L. neglectus workers under starvation was significantly decreased with increasing Laboulbenia levels, host survival under Metarhizium exposure increased with higher levels of the ectosymbiont, suggesting a symbiont-mediated anti-pathogen protection, which seems to be driven mechanistically by both improved sanitary behaviours and an upregulated immune system. Ants with high Laboulbenia levels showed significantly longer self-grooming and elevated expression of immune genes relevant for wound repair and antifungal responses (β-1,3-glucan binding protein, Prophenoloxidase), compared with ants carrying low Laboulbenia levels. This suggests that the ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum weakens its ant host by either direct resource exploitation or the costs of an upregulated behavioural and immunological response, which, however, provides a prophylactic protection upon later exposure to pathogens. PMID:25473011

  13. Immune response inhibits associative learning in insects.

    PubMed Central

    Mallon, Eamonn B; Brockmann, Axel; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2003-01-01

    In vertebrates, it is well established that there are many intricate interactions between the immune system and the nervous system, and vice versa. Regarding insects, until now little has been known about the link between these two systems. Here, we present behavioural evidence indicating a link between the immune system and the nervous system in insects. We show that otherwise non-infected honeybees whose immune systems are challenged by a non-pathogenic immunogenic elicitor lipopolysaccharide (LPS) have reduced abilities to associate an odour with sugar reward in a classical conditioning paradigm. The cost of an immune response therefore not only affects survival of the host, as previously shown, but also everyday behaviour and memory formation. PMID:14667337

  14. Insect Repellents: Modulators of mosquito odorant receptor activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mosquitoes vector numerous pathogens that cause diseases including malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya. DEET, IR3535, Picaridin and 2-undecanone are insect repellents that are used to prevent interactions between humans and a broad array of disease vectors including mosquitoes. While...

  15. Chapter 4: Baculoviruses and other occluded insect viruses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Baculoviruses are among the most thoroughly studied insect pathogens. Members of Baculoviridae possess a large, circular double-stranded DNA genome contained within the enveloped nucleoprotein core of a rod-shaped virion. Baculovirus replication is distinguished by the production of two different ...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. Specific Diversity of Metarhizium Isolates Infecting Aeneolamia spp. (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) in Sugarcane Plantations.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Domínguez, C; Guzmán-Franco, A W; Carrillo-Benítez, M G; Alatorre-Rosas, R; Rodríguez-Leyva, E; Villanueva-Jiménez, J A

    2016-02-01

    Spittlebugs from the genus Aeneolamia are important pests of sugarcane. Although the use of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizum anisopliae s.l. for control of this pest is becoming more common in Mexico, fundamental information regarding M. anisopliae in sugarcane plantations is practically non-existent. Using phylogenetic analysis, we determined the specific diversity of Metarhizium spp. infecting adult spittlebugs in sugarcane plantations from four Mexican states. We obtained 29 isolates of M. anisopliae s.str. Haplotype network analysis revealed the existence of eight haplotypes. Eight selected isolates, representing the four Mexican states, were grown at different temperatures in vitro; isolates from Oaxaca achieved the greatest growth followed by isolates from Veracruz, San Luis Potosi and Tabasco. No relationship was found between in vitro growth and haplotype diversity. Our results represent a significant contribution to the better understanding of the ecology of Metarhizum spp. in the sugarcane agroecosystem.

  20. A strong promoter, PMagpd, provides a tool for high gene expression in entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium acridum.

    PubMed

    Cao, Yueqing; Jiao, Run; Xia, Yuxian

    2012-03-01

    A glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene (gpd) promoter (PMagpd) was obtained from Metarhizium acridum and its active region analyzed by 5'-deletion strategy using β-glucuronidase (GUS) as a reporter. Sequence analysis revealed that typical regulatory elements of PMagpd were included in the 1.7 kb region upstream of the start codon of the Magpd gene. Deletion of the region from -1,691 bp to -1,463 bp, where the gpd box is harbored, did not significantly affect the PMagpd activity. Deletions of the regions upstream of -946 bp and upstream of -684 bp caused a major decrease of GUS activity. Compared with PgpdA (2.2 kb) in Aspergillus nidulans, PMagpd (1.4 kb) had a shorter sequence and significantly higher activity in M. acridum. This study provides an applicable promoter for over-expression of target genes in M. acridum.

  1. Exposure of Metarhizium acridum mycelium to light induces tolerance to UV-B radiation.

    PubMed

    Brancini, Guilherme T P; Rangel, Drauzio E N; Braga, Gilberto Ú L

    2016-03-01

    Metarhizium acridum is an entomopathogenic fungus commonly used as a bioinsecticide. The conidium is the fungal stage normally employed as field inoculum in biological control programs and must survive under field conditions such as high ultraviolet-B (UV-B) exposure. Light, which is an important stimulus for many fungi, has been shown to induce the production of M. robertsii conidia with increased stress tolerance. Here we show that a two-hour exposure to white or blue/UV-A light of fast-growing mycelium induces tolerance to subsequent UV-B irradiation. Red light, however, does not have the same effect. In addition, we established that this induction can take place with as little as 1 min of white-light exposure. This brief illumination scheme could be relevant in future studies of M. acridum photobiology and for the production of UV-B resistant mycelium used in mycelium-based formulations for biological control.

  2. Insecticidal Activity of a Destruxin-Containing Extract of Metarhizium brunneum Against Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae).

    PubMed

    Lozano-Tovar, M D; Garrido-Jurado, I; Lafont, F; Quesada-Moraga, E

    2015-04-01

    Tephritid fruit flies are major pests that limit fruit production around the world; they cause important damages, increasing directly and indirectly annual costs, and their management is predominately based on the use of chemical insecticides. This research investigated the insecticidal activity of the crude extract obtained of Metarhizium brunneum Petch EAMb 09/01-Su strain and its capacity to secrete secondary metabolites including destruxins (dtx). Dtx A and A2 had insecticidal activity against Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) when administered per os. The crude extract of seven Metarhizium and one Beauveria isolates were evaluated per os against medfly adults. The crude extracts of the isolate EAMb 09/01-Su resulted in mortality ranging between 95 and 100% at 48 h. The high-pressure liquid chromatography profile showed two active peaks (F5B and F6 subfractions) related with dtx A2 and dtx A, which caused 70 and 100% mortality on C. capitata at 48 h postfeeding, respectively. The LC50 was 104.92 ppm of dtx A, contained in the F6 subfraction, and the LT50 was 4.16 h at a concentration of 400 ppm of dtx A contained in the F6 subfraction. Moreover, the average survival time of adults exposed to this subfraction was 12.6 h with only 1 h of exposure. The insecticide metabolites of the F6 subfraction of the EAMb 09/01-Su isolate retained >90% of its insecticidal activity after exposure to 60°C for 2 h and 120°C for 20 min. These results highlight the potential of this strain as a source of new insecticidal compounds of natural origin for fruit fly control.

  3. Insect bites and what is eating you?

    PubMed

    Morsy, Tosson A

    2012-08-01

    Most insect bites cause local inflammatory reactions that subside within a few hours. However, more severe local symptoms, transmission of a disease-causing pathogen, and systemic allergic reactions are also possible. Mosquito bites can cause varying degrees of local swelling, papular urticaria in children, and rare systemic allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Papular urticaria is a hypersensitivity reaction most often seen in children following mosquito and flea bites, although a variety of other bites have been implicated in smaller numbers of reports. Systemic allergic reactions can occur in response to the bites of mosquitoes, several types ofblood-sucking flies, fleas, kissing bugs, lice, and ticks.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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,…

  11. 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),…

  12. 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)

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Comparative and functional genomics of lipases in holometabolous insects.

    PubMed

    Horne, Irene; Haritos, Victoria S; Oakeshott, John G

    2009-08-01

    Lipases have key roles in insect lipid acquisition, storage and mobilisation and are also fundamental to many physiological processes underpinning insect reproduction, development, defence from pathogens and oxidative stress, and pheromone signalling. We have screened the recently sequenced genomes of five species from four orders of holometabolous insects, the dipterans Drosophila melanogaster and Anopheles gambiae, the hymenopteran Apis mellifera, the moth Bombyx mori and the beetle Tribolium castaneum, for the six major lipase families that are also found in other organisms. The two most numerous families in the insects, the neutral and acid lipases, are also the main families in mammals, albeit not in Caenorhabditis elegans, plants or microbes. Total numbers of the lipases vary two-fold across the five insect species, from numbers similar to those in mammals up to numbers comparable to those seen in C. elegans. Whilst there is a high degree of orthology with mammalian lipases in the other four families, the great majority of the insect neutral and acid lipases have arisen since the insect orders themselves diverged. Intriguingly, about 10% of the insect neutral and acid lipases have lost motifs critical for catalytic function. Examination of the length of lid and loop regions of the neutral lipase sequences suggest that most of the insect lipases lack triacylglycerol (TAG) hydrolysis activity, although the acid lipases all have intact cap domains required for TAG hydrolysis. We have also reviewed the sequence databases and scientific literature for insights into the expression profiles and functions of the insect neutral and acid lipases and the orthologues of the mammalian adipose triglyceride lipase which has a pivotal role in lipid mobilisation. These data suggest that some of the acid and neutral lipase diversity may be due to a requirement for rapid accumulation of dietary lipids. The different roles required of lipases at the four discrete life stages of

  20. The Medical Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides from Insects.

    PubMed

    Tonk, Miray; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are peptide-based effector molecules produced by the innate immune system to combat microbes. Insects produce the broadest repertoire of AMPs, and their potent antimicrobial activity in vitro and in vivo has promoted their development as alternatives to conventional antibiotics, in an attempt to address the threat of multidrug-resistant pathogens. Here we discuss current obstacles that hinder the therapeutic development of novel insect-derived AMPs, including potential cytotoxic, immunogenic and allergenic side effects, and the high costs of large-scale production. These challenges may be overcome by the falling costs of synthetic peptide analogs and the heterologous production of recombinant peptides in insect cells or plants (molecular pharming). Insect AMPs offer a promising alternative for the treatment of skin, eye and lung infections, and could also restore the susceptibility of multidrug-resistant pathogens to conventional antibiotics when used as combinatorial treatments. Insect AMPs can also be used as templates for the rational design of peptide mimetics to overcome the drawbacks of natural therapeutic peptides.

  1. Insect Vectors of Disease: Untapped Reservoirs for New Antimicrobials?

    PubMed Central

    Tobias, Nicholas J.

    2016-01-01

    With the increase in antibiotic resistance among infectious diseases, the need for new strategies for identifying compounds with inhibitory effects is dire. Traditional methods of genome sequencing and systematic characterization of potential antimicrobial gene clusters, although effective, are unfortunately not yielding results at a speed consistent with the rise in antimicrobial resistance. One approach could be to use a more targeted approach to antimicrobial compound discovery. Insect vectors often mediate the transmissions of parasitic infections for example, leishmaniasis, malaria, and trypanosomiasis. Within the insect, among the pathogens, are commensal and/or obligate symbiotic bacteria, which often undergo a population shift upon colonization of the insect host. The remaining bacteria may be either resistant to the effects of the respective parasites, or possibly essential for a successful colonization and continued spread of the parasite due to an obligate symbiosis between bacteria and insect host. Interestingly, these shifts are often toward groups of bacteria known to harbor many polyketide synthase and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase gene clusters involved in bioactive molecule production. This perspective explores the possibility to exploit the natural interactions between parasite, symbiont, and insect host for a more targeted approach toward natural product discovery, in an environment where potential compound producers are naturally interfacing with human pathogens. PMID:28066398

  2. The molecular basis of bacterial-insect symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Angela E.

    2015-01-01

    Insects provide experimentally tractable and cost-effective model systems to investigate the molecular basis of animal-bacterial interactions. Recent research is revealing the central role of the insect innate immune system, especially anti-microbial peptides and reactive oxygen species, in regulating the abundance and composition of the microbiota in various insects, including Drosophila and the mosquitoes Aedes and Anopheles. Interactions between the immune system and microbiota are, however, bidirectional with evidence that members of the resident microbiota can promote immune function, conferring resistance to pathogens and parasites by both activation of immune effectors and production of toxins. Antagonistic and mutualistic interactions among bacteria have also been implicated as determinants of the microbiota composition, including exclusion of pathogens, but the molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Some bacteria are crucial for insect nutrition, through provisioning of specific nutrients (e.g. B vitamins, essential amino acids) and modulation of the insect nutritional sensing and signaling pathways (e.g. insulin signaling) that regulate nutrient allocation, especially to lipid and other energy reserves. A key challenge for future research is to identify the molecular interaction between specific bacterial effectors and animal receptors, and to determine how these interactions translate into microbiota-dependent signaling, metabolism and immune function in the host. PMID:24735869

  3. The molecular basis of bacterial-insect symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Angela E

    2014-11-25

    Insects provide experimentally tractable and cost-effective model systems to investigate the molecular basis of animal-bacterial interactions. Recent research is revealing the central role of the insect innate immune system, especially anti-microbial peptides and reactive oxygen species, in regulating the abundance and composition of the microbiota in various insects, including Drosophila and the mosquitoes Aedes and Anopheles. Interactions between the immune system and microbiota are, however, bidirectional with evidence that members of the resident microbiota can promote immune function, conferring resistance to pathogens and parasites by both activation of immune effectors and production of toxins. Antagonistic and mutualistic interactions among bacteria have also been implicated as determinants of the microbiota composition, including exclusion of pathogens, but the molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Some bacteria are crucial for insect nutrition, through provisioning of specific nutrients (e.g., B vitamins, essential amino acids) and modulation of the insect nutritional sensing and signaling pathways (e.g., insulin signaling) that regulate nutrient allocation, especially to lipid and other energy reserves. A key challenge for future research is to identify the molecular interaction between specific bacterial effectors and animal receptors, as well as to determine how these interactions translate into microbiota-dependent signaling, metabolism, and immune function in the host.

  4. Internal Boll Rots Associated with Feeding by Hemipterous Insects: A Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When stink bugs, plant bugs and cotton fleahoppers feed on bolls and buds, the locks within the boll often become discolored or rotted. Such symptoms are usually caused by microbial pathogens introduced by insects. The roles of pathogens have been determined by antiseptically isolating microorgani...

  5. Microbial Pest Control Agents: Are they a specific and safe tool for insect pest management?

    PubMed

    Deshayes, Caroline; Siegwart, Myriam; Pauron, David; Froger, Josy-Anne; Lapied, Bruno; Apaire-Marchais, Véronique

    2017-03-14

    Microorganisms (viruses, bacteria and fungi) or their bioactive agents can be used as active substances and therefore are referred as Microbial Pest Control Agents (MPCA). They are used as alternative strategies to chemical insecticides to counteract the development of resistances and to reduce adverse effects on both environment and human health. These natural entomopathogenic agents, which have specific modes of action, are generally considered safer as compared to conventional chemical insecticides. Baculoviruses are the only viruses being used as the safest biological control agents. They infect insects and have narrow host ranges. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is the most widely and successfully bioinsecticide used in the world in the integrated pest management programs. Bt mainly produces crystal delta-endotoxins and secreted toxins. However, the Bt toxins are not stable for a very long time and are highly sensitive to solar UV. So genetically modified plants that express toxins have been developed and represent a large part of the phytosanitary biological products. Finally, entomopathogenic fungi and particularly, Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae, are also used for their insecticidal properties. Most studies on various aspects of the safety of MPCA to human, non-target organisms and environment have only reported acute but not chronic toxicity. This paper reviews the modes of action of MPCA, their toxicological risks to human health and ecotoxicological profiles together with their environmental persistence. This review is part of the special issue "Insecticide Mode of Action: From Insect to Mammalian Toxicity.

  6. Evaluation of Conidia-Dust Formulation of the Entomopathogenic Fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae to Biocontrol the Brown-Banded Cockroach, Supella longipalpa F.

    PubMed Central

    Sharififard, Mona; Mossadegh, Mohammad Saeed; Vazirianzadeh, Babak; Latifi, Seyed Mahmood

    2014-01-01

    Background: The brown-banded cockroach Supella longipalpa (F.) as a mechanical vector of pathogens and source of allergens has recently become widespread in the city of Ahvaz, southwestern Iran. Objectives: This research was done to evaluate the efficacy of a dust-formulation of Metarhizium anisopliae isolate IRAN 437C, as a common entomopathogenous fungus, against S. longipalpa. Materials and Methods: Conidia dust-formulations of M. anisopliae were prepared in proportions of 1%, 5%, 10%, 25%, 50% and 100% with bad wheat flour as the carrier. Cockroaches were exposed to surfaces treated with 1.5 mg/cm2 of the formulations under laboratory and semi-field conditions. Results: Cockroach mortality rates increased and survival times (ST50) decreased with an increased proportion of conidia from 1% to 100% but records taken for mortality and survival time from proportions of 25%, 50% and 100% were not significantly different. The mortality rates reached 100% and 90-100% in adults and nymphs, respectively on the seventh day. The lowest ST50 was related to the proportion of 100% (3 days). Probit analysis indicated LD50 and LD90 values of 1.7 × 106 and 1.7 × 107 conidia/cm2 for adults and these values changed to 4.5 × 106 and 2.9 × 107 for third and fourth instar nymphs at three days post exposure. Proportion of 25% caused mortality rates of 87%, 81% and 73% in adult, adult & nymph and nymph populations, respectively at four days after exposure under room conditions. Conclusions: Conidia dust-formulation of M. anospliae isolate IRAN 437C could present a promising alternative to control the brown-banded cockroach. PMID:25371804

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. [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.

  10. 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.

  11. Endosymbiont Tolerance and Control within Insect Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Ratzka, Carolin; Gross, Roy; Feldhaar, Heike

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial endosymbioses are very common in insects and can range from obligate to facultative as well as from mutualistic to pathogenic associations. Several recent studies provide new insight into how endosymbionts manage to establish chronic infections of their hosts without being eliminated by the host immune system. Endosymbiont tolerance may be achieved either by specific bacterial adaptations or by host measurements shielding bacteria from innate defense mechanisms. Nevertheless, insect hosts also need to sustain control mechanisms to prevent endosymbionts from unregulated proliferation. Emerging evidence indicates that in some cases the mutual adaptations of the two organisms may have led to the integration of the endosymbionts as a part of the host immune system. In fact, endosymbionts may provide protective traits against pathogens and predators and may even be required for the proper development of the host immune system during host ontogeny. This review gives an overview of current knowledge of molecular mechanisms ensuring maintenance of chronic infections with mutualistic endosymbionts and the impact of endosymbionts on host immune competence. PMID:26466544

  12. 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.

  13. Evolution and the microbial control of insects

    PubMed Central

    Cory, Jenny S; Franklin, Michelle T

    2012-01-01

    Insect pathogens can be utilized in a variety of pest management approaches, from inundative release to augmentation and classical biological control, and microevolution and the consideration of evolutionary principles can potentially influence the success of all these strategies. Considerable diversity exists in natural entomopathogen populations and this diversity can be either beneficial or detrimental for pest suppression, depending on the pathogen and its mode of competition, and this should be considered in the selection of isolates for biological control. Target hosts can exhibit considerable variation in their susceptibility to entomopathogens, and cases of field-evolved resistance have been documented for Bacillus thuringiensis and baculoviruses. Strong selection, limited pathogen diversity, reduced gene flow, and host plant chemistry are linked to cases of resistance and should be considered when developing resistance management strategies. Pre- and post-release monitoring of microbial control programs have received little attention; however, to date there have been no reports of host-range evolution or long-term negative effects on nontarget hosts. Comparative analyses of pathogen population structure, virulence, and host resistance over time are required to elucidate the evolutionary dynamics of microbial control systems. PMID:22949921

  14. Genetics-based interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores define arthropod community structure.

    PubMed

    Busby, Posy E; Lamit, Louis J; Keith, Arthur R; Newcombe, George; Gehring, Catherine A; Whitham, Thomas G; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-07-01

    Plant resistance to pathogens or insect herbivores is common, but its potential for indirectly influencing plant-associated communities is poorly known. Here, we test whether pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and herbivory depend on plant resistance to pathogens and/or herbivores, and address the overarching interacting foundation species hypothesis that genetics-based interactions among a few highly interactive species can structure a much larger community. In a manipulative field experiment using replicated genotypes of two Populus species and their interspecific hybrids, we found that genetic variation in plant resistance to both pathogens and insect herbivores modulated the strength of pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and insect herbivory. First, due in part to the pathogens' differential impacts on leaf biomass among the two Populus species and the hybrids, the pathogen most strongly impacted arthropod community composition, richness, and abundance on the pathogen-susceptible tree species. Second, we found similar patterns comparing pathogen-susceptible and pathogen-resistant genotypes within species. Third, within a plant species, pathogens caused a fivefold greater reduction in herbivory on insect-herbivore-susceptible plant genotypes than on herbivore-resistant genotypes, demonstrating that the pathogen-herbivore interaction is genotype dependent. We conclude that interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores can structure multitrophic communities, supporting the interacting foundation species hypothesis. Because these interactions are genetically based, evolutionary changes in genetic resistance could result in ecological changes in associated communities, which may in turn feed back to affect plant fitness.

  15. 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

  16. Using a DNA microarray to investigate the distribution of insect virulence factors in strains of photorhabdus bacteria.

    PubMed

    Marokhazi, Judit; Waterfield, Nicholas; LeGoff, Gaelle; Feil, Edward; Stabler, Richard; Hinds, Jason; Fodor, Andras; ffrench-Constant, Richard H

    2003-08-01

    Photorhabdus is an insect-pathogenic bacterium in which oral toxicity to insects is found in two distinct taxonomic groups. Using a DNA microarray and comparative genomics, we show that oral toxicity is associated with toxin complex genes tcaABC and that this locus can be mobilized or deleted within different strains.

  17. Using a DNA Microarray To Investigate the Distribution of Insect Virulence Factors in Strains of Photorhabdus Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Marokhazi, Judit; Waterfield, Nicholas; LeGoff, Gaelle; Feil, Edward; Stabler, Richard; Hinds, Jason; Fodor, Andras; ffrench-Constant, Richard H.

    2003-01-01

    Photorhabdus is an insect-pathogenic bacterium in which oral toxicity to insects is found in two distinct taxonomic groups. Using a DNA microarray and comparative genomics, we show that oral toxicity is associated with toxin complex genes tcaABC and that this locus can be mobilized or deleted within different strains.   PMID:12867479

  18. Insect pathogens as biological control agents: back to the future

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the past 15 years a number of successes and setbacks have taken place regarding development and use of microbial control agents. In this Forum paper we present current information on development, use and future directions of entomopathogenic virus, bacteria, fungi and nematodes as components of i...

  19. Oomycete pathogens encode RNA silencing suppressors.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Yongli; Liu, Lin; Xiong, Qin; Flores, Cristina; Wong, James; Shi, Jinxia; Wang, Xianbing; Liu, Xigang; Xiang, Qijun; Jiang, Shushu; Zhang, Fuchun; Wang, Yuanchao; Judelson, Howard S; Chen, Xuemei; Ma, Wenbo

    2013-03-01

    Effectors are essential virulence proteins produced by a broad range of parasites, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, protozoa, insects and nematodes. Upon entry into host cells, pathogen effectors manipulate specific physiological processes or signaling pathways to subvert host immunity. Most effectors, especially those of eukaryotic pathogens, remain functionally uncharacterized. Here, we show that two effectors from the oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora sojae suppress RNA silencing in plants by inhibiting the biogenesis of small RNAs. Ectopic expression of these Phytophthora suppressors of RNA silencing enhances plant susceptibility to both a virus and Phytophthora, showing that some eukaryotic pathogens have evolved virulence proteins that target host RNA silencing processes to promote infection. These findings identify RNA silencing suppression as a common strategy used by pathogens across kingdoms to cause disease and are consistent with RNA silencing having key roles in host defense.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Optimization of different process variables for the production of an indolizidine alkaloid, swainsonine from Metarhizium anisopliae.

    PubMed

    Singh, Digar; Kaur, Gurvinder

    2012-10-01

    Swainsonine is a polyhydroxylated indolizidine alkaloid having anticancer, antimetastatic, antiproliferative and immunomodulatory activities and also potential therapeutic applications against AIDS. In the present study, ten isolates of M. anisopliae were screened and enzyme assayed for the production of swainsonine in different media (Complex oatmeal, Czapekdox media with and without lysine (8% w/v) and Sabouraud dextrose broth (SDB)). Among these strains, ARSEF 1724 (UM8) was found to produce highest amount of swainsonine (1.34 μg/l) after 72 h of incubation under shake flask conditions at 180 rpm and 28 °C in complex oatmeal media. In order to maximize the yield of swainsonine the media composition including macro and micronutrients were optimized. The process variables including the chemical factors like carbon sources, nitrogen sources of both organic and inorganic nature and pH with constant inoculum size (1 × 10(8) spores/ml) were screened using classical one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) approach to find their optimum levels. The present study shows that the nutrient requirement is specific for each strain of Metarhizium. Oatmeal extract (6%) was found to be the best supporting media along with nitrogen source, glucose (2%) as best carbon source and pH (~5) as the best for swainsonine production.

  3. Field bioassay of Metarhizium anisopliae strains to control the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae.

    PubMed

    Tavassoli, M; Allymehr, M; Pourseyed, S H; Ownag, A; Bernousi, I; Mardani, K; Ghorbanzadegan, M; Shokrpoor, S

    2011-06-10

    The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae is one of the most economically deleterious ectoparasite of laying hens worldwide. To evaluate the efficacy of three strains (V245, 3247 and 715C) of entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae with potential as acaricides against D. gallinae, this investigation was carried out in a commercial caged laying poultry farm in Naghedeh, West Azarbaijan of Iran. The parasite infestation already existed in the farm. Sunflower oil suspension of all fungal strains, each in two concentrations (1×10(7) and 1×10(9) conidia/ml) were used separately as spray on hens and cages, and in the control group the cages were only sprayed with sunflower oil and sterile distilled water. For estimating the population rate of mites before and after treatment, special cardboard traps were fixed to cages during a 1-month period. The traps were placed on weeks -1, 0, 1, 2 and 3 and always removed after 1 w. The results showed that the population rates post fungal treatment with the lower concentration were not significantly different compared to the control group. However, the reduction in mite numbers induced by all three strains at the concentration of 1×10(9) conidia/ml was significantly higher than the control (P<0.05). The results revealed that under field conditions, higher concentrations of M. anisopliae will be required for controlling D. gallinae.

  4. Novel technique for quantifying adhesion of Metarhizium anisopliae conidia to the tick cuticle.

    PubMed

    Ment, Dana; Gindin, Galina; Rot, Asael; Soroker, Victoria; Glazer, Itamar; Barel, Shimon; Samish, Michael

    2010-06-01

    The present study describes an accurate quantitative method for quantifying the adherence of conidia to the arthropod cuticle and the dynamics of conidial germination on the host. The method was developed using conidia of Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae (Metschn.) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) and engorged Rhipicephalus annulatus (Say) (Arachnida: Ixodidae) females and was also verified for M. anisopliae var. acridum Driver et Milner (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) and Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) larvae. This novel method is based on using an organic solvent (dichloromethane [DCM]) to remove the adhered conidia from the tick cuticle, suspending the conidia in a detergent solution, and then counting them using a hemocytometer. To confirm the efficacy of the method, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe the conidial adherence to and removal from the tick cuticle. As the concentration of conidia in the suspension increased, there were correlating increases in both the number of conidia adhering to engorged female R. annulatus and tick mortality. However, no correlation was observed between a tick's susceptibility to fungal infection and the amount of adhered conidia. These findings support the commonly accepted understanding of the nature of the adhesion process. The mechanism enabling the removal of the adhered conidia from the host cuticle is discussed.

  5. Virulence of Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycotina: Hyphomycetes) on Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae): laboratory and field trials.

    PubMed

    Lezama-Gutiérrez, R; Trujillo-de la Luz, A; Molina-Ochoa, J; Rebolledo-Dominguez, O; Pescador, A R; López-Edwards, M; Aluja, M

    2000-08-01

    Twenty isolates of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch). Sorkin (Ma) were evaluated to determine their virulence against last instar and adult emergence of Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew). Larvae were exposed by immersion in a conidial suspension at a concentration of 10(8) UFC/ml under laboratory conditions. Larvae and pupae cumulative mortality rates ranged from 37.9 to 98.75%. Thirteen isolates caused mortality rates > 83.7%, and their LT50 values ranged from 1.8 to 6.2 d. The Ma2, Ma8, and Ma16 isolates were evaluated at seven different concentrations ranging from 10(1) to 10(7) UFC/ml, showing LC50 values from 3.7 to 4.8 x 10(5) UFC/ml. In a field-cage experiment, 200 ml of a conidial suspension of Ma2, at a concentration of 2.5 x 10(6) UFC/ml, was applied on 2,500 cm2 soil surface (2 x 10(5) UFC/cm2). The fungus reduced adult emergence, 22% fewer adults emerging in a sandy loam soil, and 43% fewer in loam soil, compared with the controls. M. anisopliae may offer a preferable alternative to chemicals as a biological control agent against A. ludens.

  6. Metachelins, mannosylated and N-oxidized coprogen-type siderophores from Metarhizium robertsii.

    PubMed

    Krasnoff, Stuart B; Keresztes, Ivan; Donzelli, Bruno G G; Gibson, Donna M

    2014-07-25

    Under iron-depleted culture conditions, the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii (Bischoff, Humber, and Rehner) (= M. anisopliae) produces a complex of extracellular siderophores including novel O-glycosylated and N-oxidized coprogen-type compounds as well as the known fungal siderophores N(α)-dimethylcoprogen (NADC) and dimerumic acid (DA). Metachelin A (1), the most abundant component in the M. robertsii siderophore mixture, was characterized as a 1094 Da analogue of NADC that is O-glycosylated by β-mannose at both terminal hydroxyl groups and N-oxidized at the dimethylated α-nitrogen. The mixture also contained a 1078 Da analogue, metachelin B (2), which lacks the N-oxide modification. Also characterized were the aglycone of 1, i.e., the N-oxide of NADC (3), and the monomannoside of DA (6). N-Oxide and O-glycosyl substituents are unprecedented among microbial siderophores. At high ESIMS source energy and at room temperature in DMSO, 1 underwent Cope elimination, resulting in loss of the N(α)-dimethyl group and dehydration of the α-β bond. High-resolution ESIMS data confirmed that all tri- and dihydroxamate siderophores (1-6) complex with trivalent Fe, Al, and Ga. In a chrome azurol S assay, all of the M. robertsii siderophores showed iron-binding activity roughly equivalent to that of desferrioxamine B.

  7. Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae endophytically colonize cassava roots following soil drench inoculation

    PubMed Central

    Greenfield, Melinda; Gómez-Jiménez, María I.; Ortiz, Viviana; Vega, Fernando E.; Kramer, Matthew; Parsa, Soroush

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the fungal entomopathogens Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae to determine if endophytic colonization could be achieved in cassava. An inoculation method based on drenching the soil around cassava stem cuttings using conidial suspensions resulted in endophytic colonization of cassava roots by both entomopathogens, though neither was found in the leaves or stems of the treated cassava plants. Both fungal entomopathogens were detected more often in the proximal end of the root than in the distal end. Colonization levels of B. bassiana were higher when plants were sampled at 7–9 days post-inoculation (84%) compared to 47–49 days post-inoculation (40%). In contrast, the colonization levels of M. anisopliae remained constant from 7–9 days post-inoculation (80%) to 47–49 days post-inoculation (80%), which suggests M. anisopliae is better able to persist in the soil, or as an endophyte in cassava roots over time. Differences in colonization success and plant growth were found among the fungal entomopathogen treatments. PMID:27103778

  8. Use of Metarhizium anisopliae Chitinase Genes for Genotyping and Virulence Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Niassy, Saliou; Subramanian, Sevgan; Ekesi, Sunday; Bargul, Joel L.; Villinger, Jandouwe; Maniania, Nguya K.

    2013-01-01

    Virulence is the primary factor used for selection of entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) for development as biopesticides. To understand the genetic mechanisms underlying differences in virulence of fungal isolates on various arthropod pests, we compared the chitinase genes, chi2 and chi4, of 8 isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae. The clustering of the isolates showed various groups depending on their virulence. However, the analysis of their chitinase DNA sequences chi2 and chi4 did not reveal major divergences. Although their protein translates have been implicated in fungal virulence, the predicted protein structure of chi2 was identical for all isolates. Despite the critical role of chitin digestion in fungal infection, we conclude that chi2 and chi4 genes cannot serve as molecular markers to characterize observed variations in virulence among M. anisopliae isolates as previously suggested. Nevertheless, processes controlling the efficient upregulation of chitinase expression might be responsible for different virulence characteristics. Further studies using comparative “in vitro” chitin digestion techniques would be more appropriate to compare the quality and the quantity of chitinase production between fungal isolates. PMID:23936804

  9. 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....

  10. 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....

  11. 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....

  12. 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....

  13. 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…

  14. 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....

  15. 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...

  16. 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....

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. An overview of antifungal peptides derived from insect.

    PubMed

    Faruck, Mohammad Omer; Yusof, Faridah; Chowdhury, Silvia

    2016-06-01

    Fungi are not classified as plants or animals. They resemble plants in many ways but do not produce chlorophyll or make their own food photosynthetically like plants. Fungi are useful for the production of beer, bread, medicine, etc. More complex than viruses or bacteria; fungi can be destructive human pathogens responsible for various diseases in humans. Most people have a strong natural immunity against fungal infection. However, fungi can cause diseases when this immunity breaks down. In the last few years, fungal infection has increased strikingly and has been accompanied by a rise in the number of deaths of cancer patients, transplant recipients, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients owing to fungal infections. The growth rate of fungi is very slow and quite difficult to identify. A series of molecules with antifungal activity against different strains of fungi have been found in insects, which can be of great importance to tackle human diseases. Insects secrete such compounds, which can be peptides, as a part of their immune defense reactions. Active antifungal peptides developed by insects to rapidly eliminate infectious pathogens are considered a component of the defense munitions. This review focuses on naturally occurring antifungal peptides from insects and their challenges to be used as armaments against human diseases.

  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. A proteomic approach to identifying proteins differentially expressed in conidia and mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium acridum.

    PubMed

    Barros, Bruno H R; da Silva, Sérgio H; dos ReisMarques, Everaldo Dos Reis; Rosa, José C; Yatsuda, Ana Patrícia; Roberts, Donald W; Braga, Gilberto U L

    2010-07-01

    Metarhizium spp. is an important worldwide group of entomopathogenic fungi used as an interesting alternative to chemical insecticides in programs of agricultural pest and disease vector control. Metarhizium conidia are important in fungal propagation and also are responsible for host infection. Despite their importance, several aspects of conidial biology, including their proteome, are still unknown. We have established conidial and mycelial proteome reference maps for Metarhizium acridum using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). In all, 1130±102 and 1200±97 protein spots were detected in ungerminated conidia and fast-growing mycelia, respectively. Comparison of the two protein-expression profiles reveled that only 35% of the protein spots were common to both developmental stages. Out of 94 2-DE protein spots (65 from conidia, 25 from mycelia and two common to both) analyzed using mass spectrometry, seven proteins from conidia, 15 from mycelia and one common to both stages were identified. The identified protein spots exclusive to conidia contained sequences similar to known fungal stress-protector proteins (such as heat shock proteins (HSP) and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase) plus the fungal allergen Alt a 7, actin and the enzyme cobalamin-independent methionine synthase. The identified protein spots exclusive to mycelia included proteins involved in several cell housekeeping biological processes. Three proteins (HSP 90, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase and allergen Alt a 7) were present in spots in conidial and mycelial gels, but they differed in their locations on the two gels.

  3. The bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila inhibits phospholipases A2 from insect, prokaryote, and vertebrate sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Youngjin; Kim, Yonggyun; Stanley, David

    The bacterium, Xenorhabdus nematophila, is a virulent insect pathogen. Part of its pathogenicity is due to impairing cellular immunity by blocking biosynthesis of eicosanoids, the major recognized signal transduction system in insect cellular immunity. X. nematophila inhibits the first step in eicosanoid biosynthesis, phospholipase A2 (PLA2). Here we report that the bacterium inhibits PLA2 from two insect immune tissues, hemocytes and fat body, as well as PLA2s selected to represent a wide range of organisms, including prokaryotes, insects, reptiles, and mammals. Our finding on a bacterial inhibitor of PLA2 activity contributes new insight into the chemical ecology of microbe-host interactions, which usually involve actions rather than inhibitors of PLA2s.

  4. Ambrosia fungi in the insect-fungi symbiosis in relation to cork oak decline.

    PubMed

    Henriques, Joana; Inácio, Maria Lurdes; Sousa, Edmundo

    2006-09-01

    Ambrosia fungi live associated with beetles (Scolytidae and Platypodidae) in host trees and act as a food source for the insects. The symbiotic relation is important to the colonizing strategies of host trees by beetles. Ambrosia fungi are dimorphic: they grow as ambrosial form and as mycelium. The fungi are highly specialized, adapted to a specific beetle and to the biotope where they both live. In addition other fungi have been found such as tree pathogenic fungi that may play a role in insects host colonization success. Saprophytic fungi are also present in insects galleries. These may decompose cellulose and/or be antagonistic to other less beneficial fungi. This paper summarizes the importance of ambrosia fungi and the interaction with insects and hosts. The possibility of the transport of pathogenic fungi by Platypus cylindrus to cork oak thus contributing for its decline is discussed.

  5. Metarhizium pingshaense applied as a seed treatment induces fungal infection in larvae of the white grub Anomala cincta.

    PubMed

    Peña-Peña, A J; Santillán-Galicia, M T; Hernández-López, J; Guzmán-Franco, A W

    2015-09-01

    Metarhizium pingshaense has potential as a control agent of the white grub Anomala cincta. We compared its ability to cause infection when applied as a seed treatment or directly to the compost around the plant roots. Although the greatest infection (93%) occured in the direct inoculation treatment, 50% of larvae still became infected by M. pingshaense applied as a seed treatment. The fungus persisted in the compost and also colonised the roots of the developing maize plants endophytically. More research is required but seed treatments with M. pingshaense have potential as cost-effective control options for A. cincta.

  6. 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.…

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Diversity, evolution and medical applications of insect antimicrobial peptides

    PubMed Central

    Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Podsiadlowski, Lars; Muhammed, Maged

    2016-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are short proteins with antimicrobial activity. A large portion of known AMPs originate from insects, and the number and diversity of these molecules in different species varies considerably. Insect AMPs represent a potential source of alternative antibiotics to address the limitation of current antibiotics, which has been caused by the emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant pathogens. To get more insight into AMPs, we investigated the diversity and evolution of insect AMPs by mapping their phylogenetic distribution, allowing us to predict the evolutionary origins of selected AMP families and to identify evolutionarily conserved and taxon-specific families. Furthermore, we highlight the use of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a whole-animal model in high-throughput screening methods to identify AMPs with efficacy against human pathogens, including Acinetobacter baumanii and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. We also discuss the potential medical applications of AMPs, including their use as alternatives for conventional antibiotics in ectopic therapies, their combined use with antibiotics to restore the susceptibility of multidrug-resistant pathogens, and their use as templates for the rational design of peptidomimetic drugs that overcome the disadvantages of therapeutic peptides. The article is part of the themed issue ‘Evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides’. PMID:27160593

  14. Olfactory Mechanisms for Discovery of Odorants to Reduce Insect-Host Contact.

    PubMed

    Clark, Jonathan T; Ray, Anandasankar

    2016-09-01

    Insects have developed highly sophisticated and sensitive olfactory systems to find animal or plant hosts for feeding. Some insects vector pathogens that cause diseases in hundreds of millions of people and destroy billions of dollars of food products every year. There is great interest, therefore, in understanding how the insect olfactory system can be manipulated to reduce their contact with hosts. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of insect olfactory detection mechanisms, which may serve as a foundation for designing insect control programs based on manipulation of their behaviors by using odorants. Because every insect species has a unique set of olfactory receptors and olfactory-mediated behaviors, we focus primarily on general principles of odor detection that potentially apply to most insects. While these mechanisms have emerged from studies on model systems for study of insect olfaction, such as Drosophila melanogaster, they provide a foundation for discovery of odorants to repel vector insects or reduce their host-seeking behavior.

  15. Paleozoic origin of insect large dsDNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Thézé, Julien; Bézier, Annie; Periquet, Georges; Drezen, Jean-Michel; Herniou, Elisabeth A

    2011-09-20

    To understand how extant viruses interact with their hosts, we need a historical framework of their evolutionary association. Akin to retrovirus or hepadnavirus viral fossils present in eukaryotic genomes, bracoviruses are integrated in braconid wasp genomes and are transmitted by Mendelian inheritance. However, unlike viral genomic fossils, they have retained functional machineries homologous to those of large dsDNA viruses pathogenic to arthropods. Using a phylogenomic approach, we resolved the relationships between bracoviruses and their closest free relatives: baculoviruses and nudiviruses. The phylogeny showed that bracoviruses are nested within the nudivirus clade. Bracoviruses establish a bridge between the virus and animal worlds. Their inclusion in a virus phylogeny allowed us to relate free viruses to fossils. The ages of the wasps were used to calibrate the virus phylogeny. Bayesian analyses revealed that insect dsDNA viruses first evolved at ∼310 Mya in the Paleozoic Era during the Carboniferous Period with the first insects. Furthermore the virus diversification time frame during the Mesozoic Era appears linked to the diversification of insect orders; baculoviruses that infect larvae evolved at the same period as holometabolous insects. These results imply ancient coevolution by resource tracking between several insect dsDNA virus families and their hosts, dating back to 310 Mya.

  16. Insect-symbiont systems: from complex relationships to biotechnological applications.

    PubMed

    Chaves, Sandra; Neto, Marta; Tenreiro, Rogério

    2009-12-01

    Microbial symbiosis is a ubiquitous aspect of life and was a major element in the ability of insects to explore several adverse environments. To date, the study of symbiosis in insects has been impaired by the unculturability of most symbionts. However, some molecular methods represent powerful tools to help understand insect-microorganism associations and to disclose new symbiont-host systems. Beyond playing an essential role in nutrition and development of the insects, symbionts can produce bioactive compounds that protect the host against adverse environmental conditions, predators and/or direct competitors. Since the search for natural bioactive products and new enzymes is a developing area, understanding the diversity and nature of symbiont-host relationships paves the way for the exploitation of new resources in biotechnology. Furthermore, genetic transformation of the symbionts with genes that code for compounds that are toxic for pathogenic and phytopathogenic agents is also a promising area of application of the insect-symbiont relationships. The search for new bioactive compounds, the use of symbionts for pest and disease control and the molecular strategies applied for these purposes are issues of particular interest for innovative biotechnological applications and are addressed in the present review.

  17. Aquatic insects as a vector for Mycobacterium ulcerans.

    PubMed

    Marsollier, Laurent; Robert, Raymond; Aubry, Jacques; Saint André, Jean-Paul; Kouakou, Henri; Legras, Pierre; Manceau, Anne-Lise; Mahaza, Chetaou; Carbonnelle, Bernard

    2002-09-01

    Mycobacterium ulcerans is an emerging environmental pathogen which causes chronic skin ulcers (i.e., Buruli ulcer) in otherwise healthy humans living in tropical countries, particularly those in Africa. In spite of epidemiological and PCR data linking M. ulcerans to water, the mode of transmission of this organism remains elusive. To determine the role of aquatic insects in the transmission of M. ulcerans, we have set up an experimental model with aquariums that mimic aquatic microenvironments. We report that M. ulcerans may be transmitted to laboratory mice by the bite of aquatic bugs (Naucoridae) that are infected with this organism. In addition, M. ulcerans appears to be localized exclusively within salivary glands of these insects, where it can both survive and multiply without causing any observable damage in the insect tissues. Subsequently, we isolated M. ulcerans from wild aquatic insects collected from a zone in the Daloa region of Ivory Coast where Buruli ulcer is endemic. Taken together, these results point to aquatic insects as a possible vector of M. ulcerans.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Detection of Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens from Individual Filth Flies

    PubMed Central

    Pava-Ripoll, Monica; Pearson, Rachel E.G.; Miller, Amy K.; Ziobro, George C.

    2015-01-01

    There is unanimous consensus that insects are important vectors of foodborne pathogens. However, linking insects as vectors of the pathogen causing a particular foodborne illness outbreak has been challenging. This is because insects are not being aseptically collected as part of an environmental sampling program during foodborne outbreak investigations and because there is not a standardized method to detect foodborne bacteria from individual insects. To take a step towards solving this problem, we adapted a protocol from a commercially available PCR-based system that detects foodborne pathogens from food and environmental samples, to detect foodborne pathogens from individual flies.Using this standardized protocol, we surveyed 100 wild-caught flies for the presence of Cronobacter spp., Salmonella enterica, and Listeria monocytogenes and demonstrated that it was possible to detect and further isolate these pathogens from the body surface and the alimentary canal of a single fly. Twenty-two percent of the alimentary canals and 8% of the body surfaces from collected wild flies were positive for at least one of the three foodborne pathogens. The prevalence of Cronobacter spp. on either body part of the flies was statistically higher (19%) than the prevalence of S. enterica (7%) and L.monocytogenes (4%). No false positives were observed when detecting S. enterica and L. monocytogenes using this PCR-based system because pure bacterial cultures were obtained from all PCR-positive results. However, pure Cronobacter colonies were not obtained from about 50% of PCR-positive samples, suggesting that the PCR-based detection system for this pathogen cross-reacts with other Enterobacteriaceae present among the highly complex microbiota carried by wild flies. The standardized protocol presented here will allow laboratories to detect bacterial foodborne pathogens from aseptically collected insects, thereby giving public health officials another line of evidence to find out how

  1. Detection of foodborne bacterial pathogens from individual filth flies.

    PubMed

    Pava-Ripoll, Monica; Pearson, Rachel E G; Miller, Amy K; Ziobro, George C

    2015-02-13

    There is unanimous consensus that insects are important vectors of foodborne pathogens. However, linking insects as vectors of the pathogen causing a particular foodborne illness outbreak has been challenging. This is because insects are not being aseptically collected as part of an environmental sampling program during foodborne outbreak investigations and because there is not a standardized method to detect foodborne bacteria from individual insects. To take a step towards solving this problem, we adapted a protocol from a commercially available PCR-based system that detects foodborne pathogens from food and environmental samples, to detect foodborne pathogens from individual flies.Using this standardized protocol, we surveyed 100 wild-caught flies for the presence of Cronobacter spp., Salmonella enterica, and Listeria monocytogenes and demonstrated that it was possible to detect and further isolate these pathogens from the body surface and the alimentary canal of a single fly. Twenty-two percent of the alimentary canals and 8% of the body surfaces from collected wild flies were positive for at least one of the three foodborne pathogens. The prevalence of Cronobacter spp. on either body part of the flies was statistically higher (19%) than the prevalence of S. enterica (7%) and L.monocytogenes (4%). No false positives were observed when detecting S. enterica and L. monocytogenes using this PCR-based system because pure bacterial cultures were obtained from all PCR-positive results. However, pure Cronobacter colonies were not obtained from about 50% of PCR-positive samples, suggesting that the PCR-based detection system for this pathogen cross-reacts with other Enterobacteriaceae present among the highly complex microbiota carried by wild flies. The standardized protocol presented here will allow laboratories to detect bacterial foodborne pathogens from aseptically collected insects, thereby giving public health officials another line of evidence to find out how

  2. 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

  3. Inhibition of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae in vitro by the bed bug defensive secretions (E)-2-hexenal and (E)-2-octenal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The two major aldehydes (E)-2-hexenal and (E)-2-octenal emitted as defensive secretions by bed bugs Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), inhibit the in vitro growth of Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) Sokorin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae). These chemicals inhibit fungal growth by direct con...

  4. Simulated aerial sprays for field cage evaluation of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium brunneum (Ascomycetes: Hypocreales) against Anabrus simplex (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) in Montana

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Field efficacy of the entomopathogenic Ascomycete Beauveria bassiana strain GHA and Metarhizium brunneum strain F52 was evaluated against nymphs of the Mormon cricket, Anabrus simplex. Fungi were applied with a new apparatus that allows simulated aerial sprays to 0.1m2 areas in the field. The Mormon...

  5. Field evaluations of simulated aerial sprays of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae against immature Mormon cricket (Anabrus simples) in newly designed cages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three entomopathogenic fungi, Beauveria bassiana Strain GHA, Metarhizium anisopliae Strain F52 and M. anisopliae Strain DWR346 (discovered by Utah State University) were evaluated for their efficacy against Mormon Cricket, Anabrus simplex, in an outdoor cage trial in northeastern Montana. Fungal mat...

  6. Impact of metarhizium brunneum petch clavicipitaceae (Hypocreales) on pre-imaginal Rhagoletis indifferens (Diptera: Tephritidae) within and on the surface of orchard soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When last instar laboratory-reared Rhagoletis indifferens were allowed to pupate within non-sterile orchard soil containing Metarhizium brunneum isolate F52 conidia, a dose related proportion died from developmental abnormalities and mycosis. Similarly, when last instar larvae entered soil that was ...

  7. Impact of Metarhizium brunneum (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) on pre-imaginal Rhagoletis indifferens (Diptera: Tephritidae) within and on the surface of orchard soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When last instar laboratory-reared Rhagoletis indifferens (Cherry Fruit Fly) were allowed to pupate within non-sterile orchard soil containing incorporated Metarhizium brunneum isolate F52 conidia, a dose-related proportion died from developmental abnormalities and mycosis. Similarly, when prepupal ...

  8. Development of pilot-scale fermentation and stabilization processes for the production of microsclerotia of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneun strain F52

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Using 100L stirred-tank bioreactors, we evaluated the effect of fermentation parameters and drying protocols on the production and stabilization of microsclerotia (MS) of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (formerly M. anisopliae F52). Results showed that stirred-tank bioreactors can ...

  9. Dr. Alois Huger - Laying the foundations for an integrated insect pathology.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Trevor A

    2017-02-01

    Dr. Rer. Nat. Alois M. Huger had a long and distinguished career at the Institut für biologische Schädlingsbekämpfung (Institute for Biological Pest Control) Darmstadt, Germany, where he became one of the world's leading insect pathologists. He applied his experience and understanding of insect tissues and specialist skills in microscopy to diagnosis and elucidation of the pathology of insect diseases. During his career he discovered the Oryctes nudivirus and Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. tenebrionis, and was a member of teams unravelling amber disease in scarab beetles and the role of bacteria in parthenogenesis of parasitoids. He researched and described the life cycles of microsporidian and rickettsial pathogens of insects and was the first to describe the ultrastructure of a microsporidian spore. Dr. Huger carried out diagnosis of diseased insects over a period of 55years and has left us with many publications and a database containing thousands of records for ongoing investigation. Working with multiple pathogens in different systems, Dr. Huger obtained an overview second to none in the complexities of insect/pathogen relationships and has been at the forefront of making these discoveries benefit humanity. He is a worthy recipient of the Founders' Lecture Honoree Award, the highest honour of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology.

  10. Circadian rhythms in insect disease vectors

    PubMed Central

    Meireles-Filho, Antonio Carlos Alves; Kyriacou, Charalambos Panayiotis

    2013-01-01

    Organisms from bacteria to humans have evolved under predictable daily environmental cycles owing to the Earth’s rotation. This strong selection pressure has generated endogenous circadian clocks that regulate many aspects of behaviour, physiology and metabolism, anticipating and synchronising internal time-keeping to changes in the cyclical environment. In haematophagous insect vectors the circadian clock coordinates feeding activity, which is important for the dynamics of pathogen transmission. We have recently witnessed a substantial advance in molecular studies of circadian clocks in insect vector species that has consolidated behavioural data collected over many years, which provided insights into the regulation of the clock in the wild. Next generation sequencing technologies will facilitate the study of vector genomes/transcriptomes both among and within species and illuminate some of the species-specific patterns of adaptive circadian phenotypes that are observed in the field and in the laboratory. In this review we will explore these recent findings and attempt to identify potential areas for further investigation. PMID:24473802

  11. Methods of correlating electropenetrography waveform data to Hemipteran probing behavior and pathogen transmission

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hemipteran feeding behavior cannot be visualized within plant tissues by researchers studying probing and/or transmission attributes of some economically important plant pathogens transmitted by these piercing sucking insects. Electropenetrography (EPG) is currently the most precise method for study...

  12. The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae alters ambient pH, allowing extracellular protease production and activity.

    PubMed

    St Leger, R J; Nelson, J O; Screen, S E

    1999-10-01

    Ambient pH regulates the expression of virulence genes of Metarhizium anisopliae, but it was unknown if M. anisopliae can regulate ambient pH. Mutants of M. anisopliae altered in production of oxalic acid were evaluated for the interrelationship of ambient pH, buffering capacity added to media, growth, and generation of extracellular proteases and ammonia. Wild-type and acid-overproducing mutants [Acid(+)] grew almost as well at pH 8 as at pH 6, but acid-non-producing [Acid(-)] mutants showed limited growth at pH 8, indicating that acid production is linked to the ability to grow at higher pH. Production of ammonia by M. anisopliae was strongly stimulated by low levels of amino acids in the medium when cells were derepressed for nitrogen and carbon. Likewise, although Aspergillus fumigatus and Neurospora crassa produced some ammonia in minimal media, addition of low levels of amino acids enhanced production. Ammonia production by A. fumigatus, N. crassa and M. anisopliae increased the pH of the medium and allowed production of subtilisin proteases, whose activities are observed only at basic pH. In contrast, protease production by the Acid(+) mutants of M. anisopliae was greatly reduced because of the acidification of the medium. This suggests that alkalinization by ammonia production is adaptive by facilitating the utilization of proteinaceous nutrients. Collectively, the data imply that ammonia may have functions related to regulation of the microenvironment and that it represents a previously unconsidered virulence factor in diverse fungi with the potential to harm tissues and disturb the host's immune system.

  13. Commercial formulation of Metarhizium anisopliae for the control of Rhipicephalus microplus in a pen study.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Mariana G; Marciano, Allan F; Sá, Fillipe A; Perinotto, Wendell M S; Quinelato, Simone; Gôlo, Patrícia S; Angelo, Isabele C; Prata, Márcia C A; Bittencourt, Vânia R E P

    2014-09-15

    The present study evaluated, for the first time, the effect of the commercial formulation Metarril(®) SP Organic of Metarhizium anisopliae plus 10% mineral oil to control Rhipicephalus microplus in a pen study. Three groups were formed with six animals each: the first group was exposed to Metarril(®) plus 10% mineral oil and 1% Tween 80; the second group was exposed to sterile distilled water, mineral oil and Tween 80 (oil control group); and the third group received no treatment (control group). The fungal formulation contained 1 × 10(8)conidiaml(-1). Each animal was sprayed with 3L of formulation. Fallen ticks were counted daily and a sample of 20 engorged females per day was incubated for assessment of biological parameters. Throughout the study period, Metarril(®) oil-based formulation showed an efficacy ranging from 19.20% to 67.39% in comparison with the control group; and from 8.18% to 61.38% in comparison with the oil control group. The average efficacy of Metarril(®) oil-based formulation was 47.74% and 40.89% in comparison with control and oil control groups, respectively. Changes in the biological parameters of engorged R. microplus females were observed in the first three days after treatment, with a significant reduction in hatching percentage and egg production index. We concluded that Metarril(®) SP Organic plus 10% mineral oil was efficient against R. microplus in pen studies. However, further in vivo studies are required to increase the efficacy and to establish a protocol for the use of this product in the field against the cattle tick.

  14. Metarhizium anisopliae conidial responses to lipids from tick cuticle and tick mammalian host surface.

    PubMed

    Ment, Dana; Gindin, Galina; Soroker, Victoria; Glazer, Itamar; Rot, Asael; Samish, Michael

    2010-02-01

    Conidial germination and the formation of appressoria are important events in the interactions between entomopathogenic fungi and their arthropod hosts. In this study, we demonstrate the effects of lipids extracted from tick epicuticle and the surface of a mammalian host (calf) on conidial germination and the development of appressoria in two subspecies of Metarhizium anisopliae, M. anisopliae var. anisopliae (M.an.an.-7) and M. anisopliae var. acridum (M.an.ac.-5), which have different levels of virulence toward ticks. Pentane extracts of epicuticles of ticks susceptible and resistant to fungal infection always stimulated the germination of M.an.an.-7 conidia and the development of their appressoria; whereas the effects of dichloromethane (DCM) extracts of tick epicuticle varied depending on the tick. The DCM extracts from most of the tick species and developmental stages stimulated conidial germination and/or the formation of appressoria in M.an.an.-7. However, a DCM extract of lipids from the most resistant tick, engorged Hyalomma excavatum female, inhibited the germination of M.an.an.-7 conidia. Conidia of the non-virulent M.an.ac.-5 did not germinate on agarose amended with any of the examined tick extracts. However, when the tick extracts were placed on bactoagar, conidial germination increased 7- to 8-fold. Extracts from the skin, hair and ear secretions of a calf stimulated conidial germination and the formation of appressoria in M.an.an.-7, but not M.an.ac.-5. This study demonstrates that lipids from tick epicuticles and mammalian skin selectively affect the germination of conidia of entomopathogenic fungi. The effects of these lipids may explain the variability in tick control these fungi provide for different hosts.

  15. One Metarhizium brunneum Strain, Two Uses to Control Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae).

    PubMed

    Yousef, M; Garrido-Jurado, I; Quesada-Moraga, E

    2014-10-01

    We determined the virulence and insecticidal activity of the hypocrealean fungus Metarhizium brunneum (Petch) strain EAMb 09/01-Su and its crude extract against Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata Wiedemann (Diptera: Tephritidae) and we evaluated the combined use of the fungus with its crude extract. We also determined the effect of fermentation time, temperature, and initial pH of the M. brunneum culture medium on the insecticidal activity of the crude extract. When C. capitata adults were sprayed with a conidial suspension, the strain EAMb 09/01-Su caused 100% mortality with a mean lethal time (LT50) of 5.6 d and mean lethal concentration (LC50) of 2.84 f#x2013; 10(7) conidia per milliliter. Fermentation time significantly affected the lethality of the crude extract when it was provided to C. capitata per os. The highest level of mortality (73.3%) and the shortest median survival time (25.5 h) was obtained from 15-d-old cultures. The crude extract was demonstrated to be thermostable, given that the mortality was >50% at 48 h when the extract had been heated to 100°C for 3 h. Lastly, the optimum initial pH for maximum crude extract activity in terms of mortality ranged between 7 and 9. Additivity was observed for all M. brunneum EAMb 09/01-Su strain crude extract combinations tested, indicating compatibility between products. We concluded that the M. brunneum EAMb 09/01-Su strain is a promising tool for medfly control alone or in combination with its crude extract.

  16. Selection of indigenous isolates of entomopathogenic soil fungus Metarhizium anisopliae under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Skalický, Aleš; Bohatá, Andrea; Šimková, Jana; Osborne, Lance S; Landa, Zdeněk

    2014-07-01

    Eight native isolates of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin were obtained by monitoring soils cultivated in a conventional manner. These isolates were compared in three areas: (a) conidial germination, (b) radial growth and sporulation and (c) ability of conidia to infect Tenebrio molitor larvae. All bioassays were carried out at constant temperatures of 10, 15, and 20 °C. Conidia of individual isolates demonstrated differences in germination after a 24-h long incubation at all evaluated temperatures. At 20 °C, the germination ranged from 67 to 100 % and at 15 °C from 5.33 to 46.67 %. At 10 °C, no germination was observed after 24 h; nevertheless, it was 8.67-44.67 % after 48 h. In terms of radial growth, the culture diameters and the associated production of spores of all isolates increased with increasing temperature. At 10 °C, sporulation was observed in three isolates while all remaining cultures appeared sterile. Three weeks post-inoculation, conidia of all assessed isolates caused 100 % cumulative mortality of treated larvae of T. molitor at 15 and 20 °C with the exception of isolate 110108 that induced 81.33 % mortality at 15 °C. At 10 °C, larval cumulative mortality ranged from 6.67 to 85.33 % depending on the isolate. Isolates 110108 and 110111 showed significantly slower outset and a much lower rate of infection at all temperatures compared to other tested isolates of M. anisopliae. The bioassays were carried out with the purpose to sort and select indigenous isolates of M. anisopliae useful as biocontrol agents in their original habitat.

  17. Phytohormone mediation of interactions between herbivores and plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Lazebnik, Jenny; Frago, Enric; Dicke, Marcel; van Loon, Joop J A

    2014-07-01

    Induced plant defenses against either pathogens or herbivore attackers are regulated by phytohormones. These phytohormones are increasingly recognized as important mediators of interactions between organisms associated with plants. In this review, we discuss the role of plant defense hormones in sequential tri-partite interactions among plants, pathogenic microbes, and herbivorous insects, based on the most recent literature. We discuss the importance of pathogen trophic strategy in the interaction with herbivores that exhibit different feeding modes. Plant resistance mechanisms also affect plant quality in future interactions with attackers. We discuss exemplary evidence for the hypotheses that (i) biotrophic pathogens can facilitate chewing herbivores, unless plants exhibit effector-triggered immunity, but (ii) facilitate or inhibit phloem feeders. (iii) Necrotrophic pathogens, on the other hand, can inhibit both phloem feeders and chewers. We also propose herbivore feeding mode as predictor of effects on pathogens of different trophic strategies, providing evidence for the hypotheses that (iv) phloem feeders inhibit pathogen attack by increasing SA induction, whereas (v) chewing herbivores tend not to affect necrotrophic pathogens, while they may either inhibit or facilitate biotrophic pathogens. Putting these hypotheses to the test will increase our understanding of phytohormonal regulation of plant defense to sequential attack by plant pathogens and insect herbivores. This will provide valuable insight into plant-mediated ecological interactions among members of the plant-associated community.

  18. Fungal dimorphism in the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium rileyi: detection of an in vivo quorum-sensing system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This investigation documents the expression of the in vivo dimorphic program exhibited by insect mycopathogen M. rileyi replicating. This insect mycopathogen represents the key mortality factor regulating various caterpillar populations in various legumes, including subtropical and tropical soybeans...

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

    PubMed

    Whitten, Miranda; Dyson, Paul

    2017-03-01

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

  20. Management of plant pathogens and pests using microbial biological control agents. In: Trigiano, R.N. and Ownley, B.H., editors. Plant Pathology Concepts and Laboratory Exercises

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    All parts of plants face continual attack by plant pathogens and insects. Some insects are vectors of pathogens. Plant pests can be controlled by a variety of methods including application of pesticides but one of the most stainable and environmentally friendly approaches is biological control. Mic...

  1. Intervention of Phytohormone Pathways by Pathogen Effectors[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Kazan, Kemal; Lyons, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    The constant struggle between plants and microbes has driven the evolution of multiple defense strategies in the host as well as offense strategies in the pathogen. To defend themselves from pathogen attack, plants often rely on elaborate signaling networks regulated by phytohormones. In turn, pathogens have adopted innovative strategies to manipulate phytohormone-regulated defenses. Tactics frequently employed by plant pathogens involve hijacking, evading, or disrupting hormone signaling pathways and/or crosstalk. As reviewed here, this is achieved mechanistically via pathogen-derived molecules known as effectors, which target phytohormone receptors, transcriptional activators and repressors, and other components of phytohormone signaling in the host plant. Herbivores and sap-sucking insects employ obligate pathogens such as viruses, phytoplasma, or symbiotic bacteria to intervene with phytohormone-regulated defenses. Overall, an improved understanding of phytohormone intervention strategies employed by pests and pathogens during their interactions with plants will ultimately lead to the development of new crop protection strategies. PMID:24920334

  2. Radar Observation of Insects - Mosquitoes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frost, E.; Downing, J.

    1979-01-01

    Tests were conducted at several sites over the coastal lowlands of New Jersey and over a region of high plains and low mountains in Oklahoma. In one area, a salt marsh in New Jersey, extensive ground tests were combined with laboratory data on expected insect backscatter to arrive at an extremely convincing model of the insect origin of most Dot Angels. A great deal of insight was studied from radar on the buildup and dispersal of insect swarms, since radar can follow where other means of trapping and observation cannot. Data on large-scale behavior as a function of wind and topography are presented. Displayed techniques which show individual or small swarm motion within some larger cloud or mass, or which can show the overall motion over great distances were developed. The influence of wind and terrain on insect motion and dispersal is determined from radar data.

  3. Insect symbionts in food webs

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Lee M.

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has shown that the bacterial endosymbionts of insects are abundant and diverse, and that they have numerous different effects on their hosts' biology. Here we explore how insect endosymbionts might affect the structure and dynamics of insect communities. Using the obligate and facultative symbionts of aphids as an example, we find that there are multiple ways that symbiont presence might affect food web structure. Many symbionts are now known to help their hosts escape or resist natural enemy attack, and others can allow their hosts to withstand abiotic stress or affect host plant use. In addition to the direct effect of symbionts on aphid phenotypes there may be indirect effects mediated through trophic and non-trophic community interactions. We believe that by using data from barcoding studies to identify bacterial symbionts, this extra, microbial dimension to insect food webs can be better elucidated. This article is part of the themed issue ‘From DNA barcodes to biomes’. PMID:27481779

  4. Entomopathogenic nematodes and insect management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (genera Heterorhabditis, Steinernema, and Neosteinernema) are used as bioinsecticides. The nematodes are ubiquitous and have been isolated in soil of every continent except Antarctica. The nematodes kill insects through a mutualism with a bacterium (Photorhabdus spp. or ...

  5. Freshwater Biodiversity and Insect Diversification

    PubMed Central

    Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe B.; Monaghan, Michael T.; Pauls, Steffen U.

    2016-01-01

    Inland waters cover less than one percent of Earth’s surface, but harbor more than six percent of all insect species: nearly 100,000 species from 12 orders spend one or more life stages in freshwater. Little is known about how this remarkable diversity arose, although allopatric speciation and ecological adaptation are thought to be primary mechanisms. Freshwater habitats are exceptionally susceptible to environmental change, and exhibit marked ecological gradients. The amphibiotic lifestyles of aquatic insects result in complex contributions of extinction and allopatric and non-allopatric speciation in species diversification. In contrast to the lack of evolutionary studies, the ecology and habitat preferences of aquatic insects have been intensively studied, in part because of their widespread use as bio-indicators. The combination of phylogenetics with the extensive ecological data provides a promising avenue for future research, making aquatic insects highly suitable models for the study of ecological diversification. PMID:24160433

  6. 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

  7. 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,…

  8. 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...

  9. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  10. 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...

  11. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  12. Preface: Insect Pathology, 2nd ed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect pathology is an essential component of entomology and provides a non-chemical alternative for insect pest management. There are several groups of organisms that can infect and kill insects including viruses, fungi, microsporidia, bacteria, protists, and nematodes. The dilemma in insect patho...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  19. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

  20. 46 CFR 108.215 - Insect screens.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Insect screens. 108.215 Section 108.215 Shipping COAST... Construction and Arrangement Accommodation Spaces § 108.215 Insect screens. (a) Accommodation spaces must be protected against the admission of insects. (b) Insect screens must be installed when natural ventilation...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Disease Dynamics in Ants: A Critical Review of the Ecological Relevance of Using Generalist Fungi to Study Infections in Insect Societies.

    PubMed

    Loreto, R G; Hughes, D P

    2016-01-01

    It is assumed that social life can lead to the rapid spread of infectious diseases and outbreaks. In ants, disease outbreaks are rare and the expression of collective behaviors is invoked to explain the absence of epidemics in natural populations. Here, we address the ecological approach employed by many studies that have notably focused (89% of the studies) on two genera of generalist fungal parasites (Beauveria and Metarhizium). We ask whether these are the most representative models to study the evolutionary ecology of ant-fungal parasite interactions. To assess this, we critically examine the literature on ants and their interactions with fungal parasites from the past 114years (1900-2014). We discuss how current evolutionary ecology approaches emerged from studies focused on the biological control of pest ants. We also analyzed the ecological relevance of the laboratory protocols used in evolutionary ecology studies employing generalist parasites, as well as the rare natural occurrence of these parasites on ants. After a detailed consideration of all the publications, we suggest that using generalist pathogens such as Beauveria and Metarhizium is not an optimal approach if the goal is to study the evolutionary ecology of disease in ants. We conclude by advocating for approaches that incorporate greater realism.

  3. NRPS4 is responsible for the biosynthesis of destruxins in Metarhizium robertsii ARSEF 2575

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Destruxins (DTXs) are a family of cyclic depsipeptides that include > 35 members produced by Ascomycetous fungi belonging to several different taxa. These metabolites display a plethora of biological activities including toxicity against insects, depolarization of Ca2+ gradient across the plasma mem...

  4. 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.

  5. Integrated Immune and Cardiovascular Function in Pancrustacea: Lessons from the Insects.

    PubMed

    Hillyer, Julián F

    2015-11-01

    When pathogens invade the insect hemocoel (body cavity) they immediately confront two major forces: immune-responses and circulatory currents. The immune response is mediated by circulating and sessile hemocytes, the fat body, the midgut, and the salivary glands. These tissues drive cellular and humoral immune processes that kill pathogens via phagocytosis, melanization, lysis, encapsulation, and nodulation. Moreover, immune-responses take place within a three-dimensional and dynamic space that is governed by the forces of the circulatory system. The circulation of hemolymph (insect blood) is primarily controlled by the wave-like contraction of a dorsal vessel, which is a muscular tube that extends the length of the insect and is divided into a thoracic aorta and an abdominal heart. Distributed along the heart are valves, called ostia, that allow hemolymph to enter the vessel. Once inside the heart, hemolymph is sequentially propelled to the anterior and to the posterior of the body. During an infection, circulatory currents sweep small pathogens to all regions of the body. As they circulate, pathogens encounter immune factors of the insect that range from soluble cytotoxic peptides to phagocytic hemocytes. A prominent location for these encounters is the surface of the heart. Specifically, periostial hemocytes aggregate in the extracardiac regions that flank the heart's ostia (the periostial regions) and phagocytoze pathogens in areas of high flow of hemolymph. This review summarizes the biology of the immune and circulatory systems of insects, including how these two systems have co-adapted to fight infection. This review also compares the immune and circulatory systems of insects to that of crustaceans, and details how attachment of hemocytes to cardiac tissues and the biology of the lymphoid organ demonstrate that dynamic interactions between the immune and circulatory systems also occur in lineages of crustaceans.

  6. Fungal biosynthesis of the bibenzoquinone oosporein to evade insect immunity

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Peng; Shang, Yanfang; Cen, Kai; Wang, Chengshu

    2015-01-01

    Quinones are widely distributed in nature and exhibit diverse biological or pharmacological activities; however, their biosynthetic machineries are largely unknown. The bibenzoquinone oosporein was first identified from the ascomycete insect pathogen Beauveria bassiana >50 y ago. The toxin can also be produced by different plant pathogenic and endophytic fungi with an array of biological activities. Here, we report the oosporein biosynthetic machinery in fungi, a polyketide synthase (PKS) pathway including seven genes for quinone biosynthesis. The PKS oosporein synthase 1 (OpS1) produces orsellinic acid that is hydroxylated to benzenetriol by the hydroxylase OpS4. The intermediate is oxidized either nonenzymatically to 5,5′-dideoxy-oosporein or enzymatically to benzenetetrol by the putative dioxygenase OpS7. The latter is further dimerized to oosporein by the catalase OpS5. The transcription factor OpS3 regulates intrapathway gene expression. Insect bioassays revealed that oosporein is required for fungal virulence and acts by evading host immunity to facilitate fungal multiplication in insects. These results contribute to the known mechanisms of quinone biosynthesis and the understanding of small molecules deployed by fungi that interact with their hosts. PMID:26305932

  7. Interplay between insects and plants: dynamic and complex interactions that have coevolved over millions of years but act in milliseconds.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Toby J A

    2015-02-01

    In an environment with changing availability and quality of host plants, phytophagous insects are under selection pressure to find quality hosts. They need to maximize their fitness by locating suitable plants and avoiding unsuitable ones. Thus, they have evolved a finely tuned sensory system, for detection of host cues, and a nervous system, capable of integrating inputs from sensory neurons with a high level of spatio-temporal resolution. Insect responses to cues are not fixed but depend on the context in which they are perceived, the physiological state of the insect, and prior learning experiences. However, there are examples of insects making 'mistakes' and being attracted to poor quality hosts. While insects have evolved ways of finding hosts, plants have been under selection pressure to do precisely the opposite and evade detection or defend themselves when attacked. Once on the plant, insect-associated molecules may trigger or suppress defence depending on whether the plant or the insect is ahead in evolutionary terms. Plant volatile emission is influenced by defence responses induced by insect feeding or oviposition which can attract natural enemies but repel herbivores. Conversely, plant reproductive fitness is increased by attraction of pollinators. Interactions can be altered by other organisms associated with the plant such as other insects, plant pathogens, or mycorrhizal fungi. Plant phenotype is plastic and can be changed by epigenetic factors in adaptation to periods of biotic stress. Space and time play crucial roles in influencing the outcome of interactions between insects and plants.

  8. Comparative impact of artificial selection for fungicide resistance on Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium brunneum.

    PubMed

    Shapiro-Ilan, David I; Reilly, Charles C; Hotchkiss, Michael W

    2011-02-01

    Hypocreales fungi such as Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin and Metarhizium brunneum Petch can be negatively affected by fungicides thereby reducing their biocontrol potential. In a previous study, we demonstrated enhanced fungicide resistance in B. bassiana through artificial selection. However, it is not clear if the enhanced resistance was because of improved germination, vegetative growth, or both. Additionally, the enhanced fungicide resistance has only been demonstrated in B. bassiana, and therefore it is of interest to investigate the potential to enhance resistance in other fungi. Thus, the objectives in this study were to determine the potential to enhance fungicide resistance in M. brunneum through artificial selection, and investigate if selection is based on germination, vegetative growth, or both in B. bassiana and M. brunneum. Selection for resistance to fenbuconazole, and triphenyltin hydroxide was assessed through inhibition evaluations on solid media, and germination and mycelial growth in liquid media. Increased resistance after selection was observed for all fungicide-fungus combinations on solid and or liquid media. Selection resulted in increased resistance to fenbuconazole in both fungi in solid and liquid media; in liquid culture fungicide resistance in B. bassiana was manifested by increased germination and mycelial growth, whereas in M. brunneum fungicide resistance concerned only mycelial growth. Selection for resistance to triphenyltin hydroxide varied in the different media. For B. bassiana, triphenyltin hydroxide resistance was enhanced on solid media but not in liquid, whereas enhanced resistance of M. brunneum was detected in both media. Fungicide sensitivity and selection potential differs based on the medium and fungal species. Selection for fungicide resistance, had negative effects on other beneficial traits when fungicide pressure was removed, for example, some selected populations showed decreased germination or growth

  9. Chemical and genetic defenses against disease in insect societies.

    PubMed

    Stow, Adam; Beattie, Andrew

    2008-10-01

    The colonies of ants, bees, wasps and termites, the social insects, consist of large numbers of closely related individuals; circumstances ideal for contagious diseases. Antimicrobial assays of these animals have demonstrated a wide variety of chemical defenses against both bacteria and fungi that can be broadly classified as either external antiseptic compounds or internal immune molecules. Reducing the disease risks inherent in colonies of social insects is also achieved by behaviors, such as multiple mating or dispersal, that lower genetic relatedness both within- and among colonies. The interactions between social insects and their pathogens are complex, as illustrated by some ants that require antimicrobial and behavioral defenses against highly specialized fungi, such as those in the genus Cordyceps that attack larvae and adults and species in the genus Escovopsis that attack their food supplies. Studies of these defenses, especially in ants, have revealed remarkably sophisticated immune systems, including peptides induced by, and specific to, individual bacterial strains. The latter may be the result of the recruitment by the ants of antibiotic-producing bacteria but the extent of such three-way interactions remains unknown. There is strong experimental evidence that the evolution of sociality required dramatic increases in antimicrobial defenses and that microbes have been powerful selective agents. The antimicrobial chemicals and the insect-killing fungi may be useful in medicine and agriculture, respectively.

  10. The microbiota of marketed processed edible insects as revealed by high-throughput sequencing.

    PubMed

    Garofalo, Cristiana; Osimani, Andrea; Milanović, Vesna; Taccari, Manuela; Cardinali, Federica; Aquilanti, Lucia; Riolo, Paola; Ruschioni, Sara; Isidoro, Nunzio; Clementi, Francesca

    2017-04-01

    Entomophagy has been linked to nutritional, economic, social and ecological benefits. However, scientific studies on the potential safety risks in eating edible insects need to be carried out for legislators, markets and consumers. In this context, the microbiota of edible insects deserves to be deeply investigated. The aim of this study was to elucidate the microbial species occurring in some processed marketed edible insects, namely powdered small crickets, whole dried small crickets (Acheta domesticus), whole dried locusts (Locusta migratoria), and whole dried mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor), through culture-dependent (classical microbiological analyses) and -independent methods (pyrosequencing). A great bacterial diversity and variation among insects was seen. Relatively low counts of total mesophilic aerobes, Enterobacteriaceae, lactic acid bacteria, Clostridium perfringens spores, yeasts and moulds in all of the studied insect batches were found. Furthermore, the presence of several gut-associated bacteria, some of which may act as opportunistic pathogens in humans, were found through pyrosequencing. Food spoilage bacteria were also identified, as well as Spiroplasma spp. in mealworm larvae, which has been found to be related to neurodegenerative diseases in animals and humans. Although viable pathogens such as Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes were not detected, the presence of Listeria spp., Staphylococcus spp., Clostridium spp. and Bacillus spp. (with low abundance) was also found through pyrosequencing. The results of this study contribute to the elucidation of the microbiota associated with edible insects and encourage further studies aimed to evaluate the influence of rearing and processing conditions on that microbiota.

  11. Drosophila's view on insect vision.

    PubMed

    Borst, Alexander

    2009-01-13

    Within the last 400 million years, insects have radiated into at least a million species, accounting for more than half of all known living organisms: they are the most successful group in the animal kingdom, found in almost all environments of the planet, ranging in body size from a mere 0.1 mm up to half a meter. Their eyes, together with the respective parts of the nervous system dedicated to the processing of visual information, have long been the subject of intense investigation but, with the exception of some very basic reflexes, it is still not possible to link an insect's visual input to its behavioral output. Fortunately for the field, the fruit fly Drosophila is an insect, too. This genetic workhorse holds great promise for the insect vision field, offering the possibility of recording, suppressing or stimulating any single neuron in its nervous system. Here, I shall give a brief synopsis of what we currently know about insect vision, describe the genetic toolset available in Drosophila and give some recent examples of how the application of these tools have furthered our understanding of color and motion vision in Drosophila.

  12. Statistical optimization of process variables for the large-scale production of Metarhizium anisopliae conidiospores in solid-state fermentation.

    PubMed

    Bhanu Prakash, G V S; Padmaja, V; Siva Kiran, R R

    2008-04-01

    Optimization of conidial production was achieved by response surface methodology (RSM), a powerful mathematical approach widely applied in the optimization of fermentation process, using the three substrates; rice, barley and sorghum at variable pH, moisture content and yeast extract concentrations. These three factors were found to be important, affecting Metarhizium anisopliae spore production. A 2(3) full factorial central composite design and RSM were applied to determine the optimal concentration of each variable. A second-order polynomial was determined by the multiple regression analysis of the experimental data. Moisture content of 75.68% for sorghum, 73.21% for barley and 22.34% for rice produced optimal results. Maximal conidial yield was recorded for rice at a pH of 7.01; at 7.06 for sorghum and at 6.76 for barley.

  13. The evolutionary strategies of plant defenses have a dynamic impact on the adaptations and interactions of vectors and pathogens.

    PubMed

    Huot, Ordom Brian; Nachappa, Punya; Tamborindeguy, Cecilia

    2013-06-01

    Plants have evolved and diversified to reduce the damages imposed by infectious pathogens and herbivorous insects. Living in a sedentary lifestyle, plants are constantly adapting to their environment. They employ various strategies to increase performance and fitness. Thus, plants developed cost-effective strategies to defend against specific insects and pathogens. Plant defense, however, imposes selective pressure on insects and pathogens. This selective pressure provides incentives for pathogens and insects to diversify and develop strategies to counter plant defense. This results in an evolutionary arms race among plants, pathogens and insects. The ever-changing adaptations and physiological alterations among these organisms make studying plant-vector-pathogen interactions a challenging and fascinating field. Studying plant defense and plant protection requires knowledge of the relationship among organisms and the adaptive strategies each organism utilize. Therefore, this review focuses on the integral parts of plant-vector-pathogen interactions in order to understand the factors that affect plant defense and disease development. The review addresses plant-vector-pathogen co-evolution, plant defense strategies, specificity of plant defenses and plant-vector-pathogen interactions. Improving the comprehension of these factors will provide a multi-dimensional perspective for the future research in pest and disease management.

  14. Dynamic BMP signaling polarized by Toll patterns the dorsoventral axis in a hemimetabolous insect

    PubMed Central

    Sachs, Lena; Chen, Yen-Ta; Drechsler, Axel; Lynch, Jeremy A; Panfilio, Kristen A; Lässig, Michael; Berg, Johannes; Roth, Siegfried

    2015-01-01

    Toll-dependent patterning of the dorsoventral axis in Drosophila represents one of the best understood gene regulatory networks. However, its evolutionary origin has remained elusive. Outside the insects Toll is not known for a patterning function, but rather for a role in pathogen defense. Here, we show that in the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus, whose lineage split from Drosophila's more than 350 million years ago, Toll is only required to polarize a dynamic BMP signaling network. A theoretical model reveals that this network has self-regulatory properties and that shallow Toll signaling gradients are sufficient to initiate axis formation. Such gradients can account for the experimentally observed twinning of insect embryos upon egg fragmentation and might have evolved from a state of uniform Toll activity associated with protecting insect eggs against pathogens. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05502.001 PMID:25962855

  15. Sesquiterpene lactone composition of wild and cultivated sunflowers and biological activity against an insect pest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sesquiterpene lactones in sunflowers, Helianthus spp., are important to interactions with pathogens, weeds and insects. Across a broad range of H. annuus, differences in composition of sesquiterpene lactones extracted from florets were found between wild and cultivated sunflowers, but also between d...

  16. Insect and wound induced GUS gene expression from a Beta vulgaris proteinase inhibitor gene promoter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Inducible gene promoters that are specifically activated by pathogen invasion or insect pest attack are needed for effective expression of resistance genes to control plant diseases. In the present study, a promoter from a serine proteinase inhibitor gene (BvSTI) shown to be up-regulated in resist...

  17. High-throughput DNA isolation method for detection of Xylella fastidiosa in plant and insect samples.

    PubMed

    Brady, Jeff A; Faske, Jennifer B; Castañeda-Gill, Jessica M; King, Jonathan L; Mitchell, Forrest L

    2011-09-01

    We report an inexpensive, high-throughput method for isolating DNA from insect and plant samples for the purpose of detecting Xylella fastidiosa infection. Existing methods often copurify inhibitors of DNA polymerases, limiting their usefulness for PCR-based detection assays. When compared to commercially available kits, the method provides enhanced pathogen detection at a fraction of the cost.

  18. Polarization Imaging and Insect Vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Students, especially those majoring in the life sciences, tend to find the conversation intriguing because of its interdisciplinary context. To make it even more appealing, we recently created a laboratory component that allows students to use digital cameras and polarizing filters to create polarization maps of environmental scenes and insect bodies. In this paper we describe how to do so with ImageJ, a widely used and freely available image processing program that is suitable for students with no programming experience.

  19. 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

  20. Pathogene Mikroorganismen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Martin

    Infektionen, die vom Tier auf den Menschen übertragen werden, werden als Zoonosen bezeichnet. Pathogene Mikroorganismen können entweder durch Mensch-Mensch, Mensch-Tier-Kontakt oder durch Kontakt mit kontaminierten Vektoren übertragen werden [39]. Vektoren können einerseits belebt (z. B. blutsaugende Insekten), andererseits unbelebt sein. Kontaminierte Lebensmittel und Wasser gehören zu den wichtigsten unbelebten Vektoren. Neben Lebensmitteln können aber auch kontaminierte Gegenstände oder der Kontakt mit Kontaminationsquellen in der Umwelt Auslöser von Krankheitsfällen sein. Weltweit sind mehr als 1400 krankheitsverursachende biologische Agentien bekannt, von denen über 60 % ein zoonotisches Potenzial aufweisen. Als Ergebnis von Expertengesprächen wurde kürzlich berichtet, dass etwa 3 bis 4, meist virale, neu auftretende Infektionskrankheiten ("emerging diseases“) pro Jahr erwartet werden können [15]. Es handelt sich bei diesen Vorgängen aber nicht nur um das Auftauchen vollkommen neuer oder unbeschriebener Spezies, sondern auch um evolutionsbedingte Anpassungen von mikrobiellen Populationen an neue Bedingungen in ihrem Ökosystem [7]. Molekulare Analysen an Umweltchlamydien erbrachten Hinweise, dass die Evolution erste genetische Pathogenitätsmerkmale in dieser Spezies schon vor 700 Mio. Jahren entstehen ließ [14]. Viele Faktoren befeuern den Prozess der Anpassung, unter anderem auch alle Strategien, mit denen der Mensch seit Jahrtausenden versucht, Lebensmittel sicher und haltbar zu machen. Als die treibenden Kräfte des Auftretens neuer Krankheitserreger werden in der Gegenwart vor allem das sich ändernde Weltklima, die globalen Warenströme und die sich verändernden Konsumgewohnheiten genannt. Es steht auch außer Zweifel, dass viele dieser Erreger Tiere als ihr natürliches Reservoir haben werden, d. h. Zoonosen im klassischen Sinne sind [15].

  1. Calcitonin-like diuretic hormones in insects.

    PubMed

    Zandawala, Meet

    2012-10-01

    Insect neuropeptides control various biological processes including growth, development, homeostasis and reproduction. The calcitonin-like diuretic hormone (CT/DH) is one such neuropeptide that has been shown to affect salt and water transport by Malpighian tubules of several insects. With an increase in the number of sequenced insect genomes, CT/DHs have been predicted in several insect species, making it easier to characterize the gene encoding this hormone and determine its function in the species in question. This mini review summarizes the current knowledge on insect CT/DHs, focusing on mRNA and peptide structures, distribution patterns, physiological roles, and receptors in insects.

  2. 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.

  3. Disentangling effects of vector birth rate, mortality rate, and abundance on spread of a plant pathogen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For insect-transmitted plant pathogens, rates of pathogen spread are a function of vector abundance. While vector abundance is recognized to be important, parameters that govern vector population size receive little attention. For example, epidemiological models often fix vector population size by a...

  4. Functional analysis of a lipolytic protein, a potential phytoplasma pathogenicity factor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wall-less bacteria known as phytoplasmas are obligate transkingdom parasites and pathogens of plants and insect vectors. These unusual bacteria possess some of the smallest genomes known among pathogenic bacteria, and have never been successfully isolated in artificial culture. Disease symptoms in...

  5. Insect growth regulators and insect control: a critical appraisal.

    PubMed Central

    Siddall, J B

    1976-01-01

    Insect growth regulators (IGRs) of the juvenile hormone type alter physiological processes essential to insect development and appear to act specifically on insects. Three natural juvenile hormones have been found in insects but not in other organisms. Future use of antagonists or inhibitors of hormone synthesis may be technically possible as an advantageous extension of pest control by IGRs. A documented survey of the properties, metabolism, toxicology, and uses of the most commercially advanced chemical, methoprene, shows it to be environmentally acceptable and toxicologically innocuous. Derivation of its current use patterns is discussed and limitations on these are noted. Residue levels and their measurement in the ppb region have allowed exemption from the requirement of tolerances in the EPA registered use of methoprene for mosquito control. Tolerances for foods accompany its fully approved use for control of manure breeding flies through a cattle feed supplement. The human health effects of using this chemical appear to be purely beneficial, but further advances through new IGR chemicals appear unlikely without major changes in regulatory and legislative policy. PMID:976222

  6. Gall midges (Hessian flies) as plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Jeff J; Chen, Ming-Shun; Shukle, Richard; Harris, Marion O

    2012-01-01

    Gall midges constitute an important group of plant-parasitic insects. The Hessian fly (HF; Mayetiola destructor), the most investigated gall midge, was the first insect hypothesized to have a gene-for-gene interaction with its host plant, wheat (Triticum spp.). Recent investigations support that hypothesis. The minute larval mandibles appear to act in a manner that is analogous to nematode stylets and the haustoria of filamentous plant pathogens. Putative effector proteins are encoded by hundreds of genes and expressed in the HF larval salivary gland. Cultivar-specific resistance (R) genes mediate a highly localized plant reaction that prevents the survival of avirulent HF larvae. Fine-scale mapping of HF avirulence (Avr) genes provides further evidence of effector-triggered immunity (ETI) against HF in wheat. Taken together, these discoveries suggest that the HF, and other gall midges, may be considered biotrophic, or hemibiotrophic, plant pathogens, and they demonstrate the potential that the wheat-HF interaction has in the study of insect-induced plant gall formation.

  7. Edible Insects in China: Utilization and Prospects.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-22

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

  8. Development of insect resistant maize plants expressing a chitinase gene from the cotton leaf worm, Spodoptera littoralis.

    PubMed

    Osman, Gamal H; Assem, Shireen K; Alreedy, Rasha M; El-Ghareeb, Doaa K; Basry, Mahmoud A; Rastogi, Anshu; Kalaji, Hazem M

    2015-12-14

    Due to the importance of chitinolytic enzymes for insect, nematode and fungal growth, they are receiving attention concerning their development as biopesticides or chemical defense proteins in transgenic plants and as microbial biocontrol agents. Targeting chitin associated with the extracellular matrices or cell wall by insect chitinases may be an effective approach for controlling pest insects and pathogenic fungi. The ability of chitinases to attack and digest chitin in the peritrophic matrix or exoskeleton raises the possibility to use them as insect control method. In this study, an insect chitinase cDNA from cotton leaf worm (Spodoptera littoralis) has been synthesized. Transgenic maize plant system was used to improve its tolerance against insects. Insect chitinase transcripts and proteins were expressed in transgenic maize plants. The functional integrity and expression of chitinase in progenies of the transgenic plants were confirmed by insect bioassays. The bioassays using transgenic corn plants against corn borer (Sesamia cretica) revealed that ~50% of the insects reared on transgenic corn plants died, suggesting that transgenic maize plants have enhanced resistance against S. cretica.

  9. Development of insect resistant maize plants expressing a chitinase gene from the cotton leaf worm, Spodoptera littoralis

    PubMed Central

    Osman, Gamal H.; Assem, Shireen K.; Alreedy, Rasha M.; El-Ghareeb, Doaa K.; Basry, Mahmoud A.; Rastogi, Anshu; Kalaji, Hazem M.

    2015-01-01

    Due to the importance of chitinolytic enzymes for insect, nematode and fungal growth, they are receiving attention concerning their development as biopesticides or chemical defense proteins in transgenic plants and as microbial biocontrol agents. Targeting chitin associated with the extracellular matrices or cell wall by insect chitinases may be an effective approach for controlling pest insects and pathogenic fungi. The ability of chitinases to attack and digest chitin in the peritrophic matrix or exoskeleton raises the possibility to use them as insect control method. In this study, an insect chitinase cDNA from cotton leaf worm (Spodoptera littoralis) has been synthesized. Transgenic maize plant system was used to improve its tolerance against insects. Insect chitinase transcripts and proteins were expressed in transgenic maize plants. The functional integrity and expression of chitinase in progenies of the transgenic plants were confirmed by insect bioassays. The bioassays using transgenic corn plants against corn borer (Sesamia cretica) revealed that ~50% of the insects reared on transgenic corn plants died, suggesting that transgenic maize plants have enhanced resistance against S. cretica. PMID:26658494

  10. Density-dependent prophylaxis in crowded beet webworm, Loxostege sticticalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) larvae to a parasitoid and a fungal pathogen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transmission of parasites and pathogens is generally positively density-dependent. Thus, as an insect population's density increases, the risk of an individual becoming attacked or infected increases. In some insect species, individuals experiencing crowded conditions are more resistant to natural e...

  11. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams.

    PubMed

    Klein, Barrett A

    2011-12-21

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

  12. FAQ: Insect Repellent Use and Safety

    MedlinePlus

    ... Mosquito Surveillance Software Health Education Public Service Videos Insect Repellent Use & Safety Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share ... the repellent with you. Top of Page Can insect repellents be used on children? Yes. Most products ...

  13. Insect response to plant defensive protease inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Zeng, Rensen

    2015-01-07

    Plant protease inhibitors (PIs) are natural plant defense proteins that inhibit proteases of invading insect herbivores. However, their anti-insect efficacy is determined not only by their potency toward a vulnerable insect system but also by the response of the insect to such a challenge. Through the long history of coevolution with their host plants, insects have developed sophisticated mechanisms to circumvent antinutritional effects of dietary challenges. Their response takes the form of changes in gene expression and the protein repertoire in cells lining the alimentary tract, the first line of defense. Research in insect digestive proteases has revealed the crucial roles they play in insect adaptation to plant PIs and has brought about a new appreciation of how phytophagous insects employ this group of molecules in both protein digestion and counterdefense. This review provides researchers in related fields an up-to-date summary of recent advances.

  14. Insect Evolution: The Origin of Wings.

    PubMed

    Ross, Andrew

    2017-02-06

    The debate on the evolution of wings in insects has reached a new level. The study of primitive fossil insect nymphs has revealed that wings developed from a combination of the dorsal part of the thorax and the body wall.

  15. Palaeontology: Chinese amber insects bridge the gap.

    PubMed

    Ross, Andrew

    2014-07-21

    n the study of fossil insects, Chinese amber from Fushun has been largely overlooked. A new study now reveals a highly diverse biota and provides a wealth of new information on the past Asian insect fauna.

  16. Insects--How To Study Them

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, E. G.

    1975-01-01

    Describes an approach to the study of entomology directed at people with no special knowledge of insects. The aim of this approach is to reveal some biological principles by studying insects from an ecological point of view. (GS)

  17. Introducing Virological Concepts Using an Insect Virus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheppard, Roger F.

    1980-01-01

    A technique is presented which utilizes wax moth larvae in a laboratory investigation of an insect virus. Describes how an insect virus can be used to introduce undergraduate biology students to laboratory work on viruses and several virological concepts. (SA)

  18. The Curious Connection Between Insects and Dreams

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Barrett A.

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Insects Affecting Man. MP-21.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Fred A.; Spackman, Everett

    The insects discussed in this document are those which have a direct effect upon humans either through a permanent association, as with lice, or a temporary association in the case of flies, bees, wasps, and spiders. In each case, life cycles and identifying characteristics are presented with remarks about the specific effect incurred by man. (CS)

  20. Making Connections with Insect Royalty.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hobbie, Ann

    2000-01-01

    Describes a one-month sixth grade class activity with monarch butterflies called Monarch in the Classroom. Students learn about insects, especially the class material butterflies, including their life cycle, eating habits, migration, and how they overwinter. The lesson plan covers sorting animals, focusing on features, analyzing the community for…