Science.gov

Sample records for molecular insect science

  1. Molecular characteristics of insect vitellogenins.

    PubMed

    Tufail, Muhammad; Takeda, Makio

    2008-12-01

    Vitellogenins (Vgs) are precursors of the major egg storage protein, vitellin (Vn), in many oviparous animals. Insects Vgs are large molecules ( approximately 200-kD) synthesized in the fat body in a process that involves substantial structural modifications (e.g., glycosylation, lipidation, phosphorylation, and proteolytic cleavage, etc.) of the nascent protein prior to its secretion and transport to the ovaries. However, the extent to which Vgs are processed in the fat body varies greatly among different insect groups. We provide evidence by cloning and peptide mapping of four Vg molecules from two cockroach species (Periplaneta americana and Leucophaea maderae) that, in hemimetabolous insects, the pro-Vg is cleaved into several polypeptides (ranging from 50-to 180-kD), unlike the holometabolans where the Vg precursor is cleaved into two polypeptides (one large and one small). An exception is the Vg of Apocrita (higher Hymenoptera) where the Vg gene product remains uncleaved. The yolk proteins (YPs) of higher Diptera (such as Drosophila) form a different family of proteins and are also not cleaved. So far, Vgs have been sequenced from 25 insect species; 9 of them belong to Hemimetabola and 16 to Holometabola. Alignment of the coding sequences revealed that some features, like the GL/ICG motif, cysteine residues, and a DGXR motif upstream of the GLI/CG motif, were highly conserved near the carboxy terminal of all insect Vgs. Moreover, a consensus RXXR cleavage sequence motif exists at the N-terminus of all sequences outside the Apocrita except for Lymantria dispar where it exists at the C-terminus. Phylogenetic analysis using 31 Vg sequences from 25 insect species reflects, in general, the current phylogenies of insects, suggesting that Vgs are still phylogenetically bound, although a divergence exists among them.

  2. Molecular evolutionary analyses of insect societies

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Molecular evolutionary analyses of insect societies.

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-28

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

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

    PubMed

    Behura, Susanta K

    2006-10-01

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

  5. 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. PMID:27131326

  6. Molecular Biology of Insect Sodium Channels and Pyrethroid Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Ke; Du, Yuzhe; Rinkevich, Frank; Nomura, Yoshiko; Xu, Peng; Wang, Lingxin; Silver, Kristopher; Zhorov, Boris S.

    2015-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for the initiation and propagation of the action potential in neurons and other excitable cells. Because of their critical roles in electrical signaling, sodium channels are targets of a variety of naturally occurring and synthetic neurotoxins, including several classes of insecticides. This review is intended to provide an update on the molecular biology of insect sodium channels and the molecular mechanism of pyrethroid resistance. Although mammalian and insect sodium channels share fundamental topological and functional properties, most insect species carry only one sodium channel gene, compared to multiple sodium channel genes found in each mammalian species. Recent studies showed that two posttranscriptional mechanisms, alternative splicing and RNA editing, are involved in generating functional diversity of sodium channels in insects. More than 50 sodium channel mutations have been identified to be responsible for or associated with knockdown resistance (kdr) to pyrethroids in various arthropod pests and disease vectors. Elucidation of molecular mechanism of kdr led to the identification of dual receptor sites of pyrethroids on insect sodium channels. Most of the kdr mutations appear to be located within or close to the two receptor sites. The accumulating knowledge of insect sodium channels and their interactions with insecticides provides a foundation for understanding the neurophysiology of sodium channels in vivo and the development of new and safer insecticides for effective control of arthropod pests and human disease vectors. PMID:24704279

  7. External Insect Morphology: A Negative Factor in Attitudes toward Insects and Likelihood of Incorporation in Future Science Education Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagler, Ron; Wagler, Amy

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated if the external morphology of an insect had a negative effect on United States (US) preservice elementary teacher's attitudes toward insects and beliefs concerning the likelihood of incorporating insects into future science education settings. 270 US kindergarten through sixth grade preservice elementary teachers…

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Molecular and cellular organization of insect chemosensory neurons.

    PubMed

    de Bruyne, Marien; Warr, Coral G

    2006-01-01

    Animals use their chemosensory systems to detect and discriminate among chemical cues in the environment. Remarkable progress has recently been made in our knowledge of the molecular and cellular basis of chemosensory perception in insects, based largely on studies in Drosophila. This progress has been possible due to the identification of gene families for olfactory and gustatory receptors, the use of electro-physiological recording techniques on sensory neurons, the multitude of genetic manipulations that are available in this species, and insights from several insect model systems. Recent studies show that the superfamily of chemoreceptor proteins represent the essential elements in chemosensory coding, endowing chemosensory neurons with their abilities to respond to specific sets of odorants, tastants or pheromones. Investigating how insects detect chemicals in their environment can show us how receptor protein structures relate to ligand binding, how nervous systems process complex information, and how chemosensory systems and genes evolve.

  11. Flight loss linked to faster molecular evolution in insects.

    PubMed

    Mitterboeck, T Fatima; Adamowicz, Sarah J

    2013-09-22

    The loss of flight ability has occurred thousands of times independently during insect evolution. Flight loss may be linked to higher molecular evolutionary rates because of reductions in effective population sizes (Ne) and relaxed selective constraints. Reduced dispersal ability increases population subdivision, may decrease geographical range size and increases (sub)population extinction risk, thus leading to an expected reduction in Ne. Additionally, flight loss in birds has been linked to higher molecular rates of energy-related genes, probably owing to relaxed selective constraints on energy metabolism. We tested for an association between insect flight loss and molecular rates through comparative analysis in 49 phylogenetically independent transitions spanning multiple taxa, including moths, flies, beetles, mayflies, stick insects, stoneflies, scorpionflies and caddisflies, using available nuclear and mitochondrial protein-coding DNA sequences. We estimated the rate of molecular evolution of flightless (FL) and related flight-capable lineages by ratios of non-synonymous-to-synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) and overall substitution rates (OSRs). Across multiple instances of flight loss, we show a significant pattern of higher dN/dS ratios and OSRs in FL lineages in mitochondrial but not nuclear genes. These patterns may be explained by relaxed selective constraints in FL ectotherms relating to energy metabolism, possibly in combination with reduced Ne.

  12. Conceptual Considerations in Molecular Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sawyer, Donald T.

    2005-01-01

    There are significant misconceptions within the chemical community and molecular science, particularly in the undergraduate curriculum and the associated textbooks. Some of the misconceptions are described, which give poor basis to understand molecular bonding and structure, and reaction mechanisms.

  13. Molecular Science Computing: 2010 Greenbook

    SciTech Connect

    De Jong, Wibe A.; Cowley, David E.; Dunning, Thom H.; Vorpagel, Erich R.

    2010-04-02

    This 2010 Greenbook outlines the science drivers for performing integrated computational environmental molecular research at EMSL and defines the next-generation HPC capabilities that must be developed at the MSC to address this critical research. The EMSL MSC Science Panel used EMSL’s vision and science focus and white papers from current and potential future EMSL scientific user communities to define the scientific direction and resulting HPC resource requirements presented in this 2010 Greenbook.

  14. Molecular advances in understanding social insect population structure.

    PubMed

    Crozier, R H; Oldroyd, B P; Tay, W T; Kaufmann, B E; Johnson, R N; Carew, M E; Jennings, K M

    1997-08-01

    Social insects present many phenomena seen in all organisms but in more extreme forms and with larger sample sizes than those observable in most natural populations of vertebrates. Microsatellites are proving very much more informative than allozymes for the analysis of population biological problems, and prolifically polymorphic markers are fairly readily developed. In addition, the male-haploid genetic system of many social insects facilitates genetic analysis. The ability to amplify DNA from sperm stored in a female's sperm storage device enables the determination of mating types long after the death of the short-lived males, in addition to information on the degree of mixing of sperm from different males. Mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequences are also proving important, not only in phylogenetic studies but also in molecular population genetics, as a tracer of female movements. Mitochondrial markers have definitively shown the movement of females between colonies, challenging models giving exclusive primacy to kin selection as the explanation for multiqueen colonies, in Australian meat ants, Iridomyrmex purpureus, and the aridzone queenless ant Rhytidoponera sp. 12. Microsatellite and mtDNA variation are being studied in Camponotus consobrinus sugar ants, showing an unexpected diversity of complexity in colony structure, and microsatellites have shown that transfer of ants between nests of the weaver ant Polyrhachis doddi must be slight, despite an apparent lack of hostility.

  15. Molecular mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity in social insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Polyphenism in insects, whereby a single genome expresses different phenotypes in response to environmental cues, is a fascinating biological phenomenon. Social insects are especially intriguing examples of phenotypic plasticity because division of labor results in the development of extreme morphol...

  16. Educational Materials Development in Primary Science: Insect Identification Kit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franks, Frank L.; Huff, Roger

    1976-01-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of three-dimensional plastic models in teaching 71 visually handicapped students (in grades 1-3) to discriminate major body parts of insects, spiders, and earthworms. (SBH)

  17. Molecular mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity in social insects.

    PubMed

    Corona, Miguel; Libbrecht, Romain; Wheeler, Diana E

    2016-02-01

    Polyphenism in insects, whereby a single genome expresses different phenotypes in response to environmental cues, is a fascinating biological phenomenon. Social insects are especially intriguing examples of phenotypic plasticity because division of labor results in the development of extreme morphological phenotypes, such as the queen and worker castes. Although sociality evolved independently in ants, bees, wasps and termites, similar genetic pathways regulate phenotypic plasticity in these different groups of social insects. The insulin/insulin-like growth signaling (IIS) plays a key role in this process. Recent research reveals that IIS interacts with other pathways including target of rapamycin (TOR), epidermal growth factor receptor (Egfr), juvenile hormone (JH) and vitellogenin (Vg) to regulate caste differentiation. PMID:27436553

  18. Molecular science for drug development and biomedicine.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Wei-Zhu; Zhou, Shu-Feng

    2014-01-01

    With the avalanche of biological sequences generated in the postgenomic age, molecular science is facing an unprecedented challenge, i.e., how to timely utilize the huge amount of data to benefit human beings. Stimulated by such a challenge, a rapid development has taken place in molecular science, particularly in the areas associated with drug development and biomedicine, both experimental and theoretical. The current thematic issue was launched with the focus on the topic of "Molecular Science for Drug Development and Biomedicine", in hopes to further stimulate more useful techniques and findings from various approaches of molecular science for drug development and biomedicine.[...].

  19. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of lac insects (Hemiptera: Kerriidae) inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hang; Chen, Xiaoming; Feng, Ying; Yang, Hui; He, Rui; Zhang, Wenfeng; Yang, Zixiang

    2013-10-01

    Lac insects are commercial scale insects with high economic value. The combined molecular phylogeny of 20 lac insect populations was generated using elongation factor 1 alpha, mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene loci. The 20 populations of lac insects clustered into four distinct clades supported by high bootstrap values in maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. Clade A at the base of the dendrogram comprises Kerria ruralis and two populations of Kerria lacca and is the branch with most primitive species. Clade B includes K. lacca, Kerria sindica and the three populations P, V and Z from India. They clustered with high bootstrap support and have evolved later than those in Clade A. The three unidentified populations P, V and Z exhibited a close relationship with K. lacca and are the same species. In Clade C, three populations of Kerria yunnanensis (Ym, Yj and Yl), population Ys from Thailand and population H from India clustered as a group, in which population H clustered with Ym with 100 % bootstrap in all three analysis methods. In Clade D, Kerria chinensis, Kerria pusana and three populations of K. yunnanensis clustered together with strong support, and are located in the upper branches of the dendrogram and are recently evolved taxa. The majority of populations from the Indian subcontinent clade are more closely related to outgroup taxa from the primitive family Pseudococcidae, as compared to the Eurasian populations. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the Indian subcontinent is the centre of original of lac insects which have translocated to the Eurasian Continent. Based on the theory of continental drift and existing fossil records, it is suggested that lac insect evolved from ancient scale insects during the late Cretaceous period when the Indian subcontinent drifted towards the Eurasian Continent. Changes in the global environment have impacted on the distribution and evolution of lac

  20. Careers; Current Events; Government, U.S.; Insects; Science Experiments; Terrorism, War on.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Web Feet, 2001

    2001-01-01

    This annotated subject guide to Web sites for grades K-8 focuses on careers, current events, government, insects, science experiments, the war on terrorism, and calendar connections for Martin Luther King Day and other January observances. Specific grade levels are indicated for each annotation. (LRW)

  1. Molecular evolution and expression of the CRAL_TRIO protein family in insects.

    PubMed

    Smith, Gilbert; Briscoe, Adriana D

    2015-07-01

    CRAL_TRIO domain proteins are known to bind small lipophilic molecules such as retinal, inositol and Vitamin E and include such gene family members as PINTA, α-tocopherol transfer (ATT) proteins, retinoid binding proteins, and clavesins. In insects, very little is known about either the molecular evolution of this family of proteins or their ligand specificity. Here we characterize insect CRAL_TRIO domain proteins and present the first insect CRAL_TRIO protein phylogeny constructed by performing reciprocal BLAST searches of the reference genomes of Drosophila melanogaster, Anopheles gambiae, Apis mellifera, Tribolium castaneum, Bombyx mori, Manduca sexta and Danaus plexippus. We find several highly conserved amino acid residues in the CRAL_TRIO domain-containing genes across insects and a gene expansion resulting in more than twice as many gene family members in lepidopterans than in other surveyed insect species, but no lepidopteran homolog of the PINTA gene in Drosophila. In addition, we examined the expression pattern of CRAL_TRIO domain genes in Manduca sexta heads using RNA-Seq data. Of the 42 gene family members found in the M. sexta reference genome, we found 30 expressed in the head tissue with similar expression profiles between males and females. Our results suggest this gene family underwent a large expansion in lepidopteran, making the lepidopteran CRAL_TRIO domain family distinct from other holometabolous insect lineages. PMID:25684408

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  3. Molecular evolution and expression of the CRAL_TRIO protein family in insects.

    PubMed

    Smith, Gilbert; Briscoe, Adriana D

    2015-07-01

    CRAL_TRIO domain proteins are known to bind small lipophilic molecules such as retinal, inositol and Vitamin E and include such gene family members as PINTA, α-tocopherol transfer (ATT) proteins, retinoid binding proteins, and clavesins. In insects, very little is known about either the molecular evolution of this family of proteins or their ligand specificity. Here we characterize insect CRAL_TRIO domain proteins and present the first insect CRAL_TRIO protein phylogeny constructed by performing reciprocal BLAST searches of the reference genomes of Drosophila melanogaster, Anopheles gambiae, Apis mellifera, Tribolium castaneum, Bombyx mori, Manduca sexta and Danaus plexippus. We find several highly conserved amino acid residues in the CRAL_TRIO domain-containing genes across insects and a gene expansion resulting in more than twice as many gene family members in lepidopterans than in other surveyed insect species, but no lepidopteran homolog of the PINTA gene in Drosophila. In addition, we examined the expression pattern of CRAL_TRIO domain genes in Manduca sexta heads using RNA-Seq data. Of the 42 gene family members found in the M. sexta reference genome, we found 30 expressed in the head tissue with similar expression profiles between males and females. Our results suggest this gene family underwent a large expansion in lepidopteran, making the lepidopteran CRAL_TRIO domain family distinct from other holometabolous insect lineages.

  4. Molecular evidence for ancient asexuality in timema stick insects.

    PubMed

    Schwander, Tanja; Henry, Lee; Crespi, Bernard J

    2011-07-12

    Asexuality is rare in animals in spite of its apparent advantage relative to sexual reproduction, indicating that it must be associated with profound costs [1-9]. One expectation is that reproductive advantages gained by new asexual lineages will be quickly eroded over time [3, 5-7]. Ancient asexual taxa that have evolved and adapted without sex would be "scandalous" exceptions to this rule, but it is often difficult to exclude the possibility that putative asexuals deploy some form of "cryptic" sex, or have abandoned sex more recently than estimated from divergence times to sexual relatives [10]. Here we provide evidence, from high intraspecific divergence of mitochondrial sequence and nuclear allele divergence patterns, that several independently derived Timema stick-insect lineages have persisted without recombination for more than a million generations. Nuclear alleles in the asexual lineages displayed significantly higher intraindividual divergences than in related sexual species. In addition, within two asexuals, nuclear allele phylogenies suggested the presence of two clades, with sequences from the same individual appearing in both clades. These data strongly support ancient asexuality in Timema and validate the genus as an exceptional opportunity to attack the question of how asexual reproduction can be maintained over long periods of evolutionary time.

  5. Sequestration of plant secondary metabolites by insect herbivores: molecular mechanisms and ecological consequences.

    PubMed

    Erb, Matthias; Robert, Christelle Am

    2016-04-01

    Numerous insect herbivores can take up and store plant toxins as self-defense against their own natural enemies. Plant toxin sequestration is tightly linked with tolerance strategies that keep the toxins functional. Specific transporters have been identified that likely allow the herbivore to control the spatiotemporal dynamics of toxin accumulation. Certain herbivores furthermore possess specific enzymes to boost the bioactivity of the sequestered toxins. Ecologists have studied plant toxin sequestration for decades. The recently uncovered molecular mechanisms in combination with transient, non-transgenic systems to manipulate insect gene expression will help to understand the importance of toxin sequestration for food-web dynamics in nature.

  6. Sequestration of plant secondary metabolites by insect herbivores: molecular mechanisms and ecological consequences.

    PubMed

    Erb, Matthias; Robert, Christelle Am

    2016-04-01

    Numerous insect herbivores can take up and store plant toxins as self-defense against their own natural enemies. Plant toxin sequestration is tightly linked with tolerance strategies that keep the toxins functional. Specific transporters have been identified that likely allow the herbivore to control the spatiotemporal dynamics of toxin accumulation. Certain herbivores furthermore possess specific enzymes to boost the bioactivity of the sequestered toxins. Ecologists have studied plant toxin sequestration for decades. The recently uncovered molecular mechanisms in combination with transient, non-transgenic systems to manipulate insect gene expression will help to understand the importance of toxin sequestration for food-web dynamics in nature. PMID:27436640

  7. Detection of termites and other insects consumed by African great apes using molecular fecal analysis.

    PubMed

    Hamad, Ibrahim; Delaporte, Eric; Raoult, Didier; Bittar, Fadi

    2014-03-27

    The consumption of insects by apes has previously been reported based on direct observations and/or trail signs in feces. However, DNA-based diet analyses may have the potential to reveal trophic links for these wild species. Herein, we analyzed the insect-diet diversity of 9 feces obtained from three species of African great apes, gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and bonobo (Pan paniscus), using two mitochondrial amplifications for arthropods. A total of 1056 clones were sequenced for Cyt-b and COI gene libraries, which contained 50 and 56 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), respectively. BLAST research revealed that the OTUs belonged to 32 families from 5 orders (Diptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and Orthoptera). While ants were not detected by this method, the consumption of flies, beetles, moths, mosquitoes and termites was evident in these samples. Our findings indicate that molecular techniques can be used to analyze insect food items in wild animals.

  8. Detection of Termites and Other Insects Consumed by African Great Apes using Molecular Fecal Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hamad, Ibrahim; Delaporte, Eric; Raoult, Didier; Bittar, Fadi

    2014-01-01

    The consumption of insects by apes has previously been reported based on direct observations and/or trail signs in feces. However, DNA-based diet analyses may have the potential to reveal trophic links for these wild species. Herein, we analyzed the insect-diet diversity of 9 feces obtained from three species of African great apes, gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and bonobo (Pan paniscus), using two mitochondrial amplifications for arthropods. A total of 1056 clones were sequenced for Cyt-b and COI gene libraries, which contained 50 and 56 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), respectively. BLAST research revealed that the OTUs belonged to 32 families from 5 orders (Diptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and Orthoptera). While ants were not detected by this method, the consumption of flies, beetles, moths, mosquitoes and termites was evident in these samples. Our findings indicate that molecular techniques can be used to analyze insect food items in wild animals. PMID:24675424

  9. Detection of termites and other insects consumed by African great apes using molecular fecal analysis.

    PubMed

    Hamad, Ibrahim; Delaporte, Eric; Raoult, Didier; Bittar, Fadi

    2014-01-01

    The consumption of insects by apes has previously been reported based on direct observations and/or trail signs in feces. However, DNA-based diet analyses may have the potential to reveal trophic links for these wild species. Herein, we analyzed the insect-diet diversity of 9 feces obtained from three species of African great apes, gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and bonobo (Pan paniscus), using two mitochondrial amplifications for arthropods. A total of 1056 clones were sequenced for Cyt-b and COI gene libraries, which contained 50 and 56 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), respectively. BLAST research revealed that the OTUs belonged to 32 families from 5 orders (Diptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and Orthoptera). While ants were not detected by this method, the consumption of flies, beetles, moths, mosquitoes and termites was evident in these samples. Our findings indicate that molecular techniques can be used to analyze insect food items in wild animals. PMID:24675424

  10. The Comet assay in insects--Status, prospects and benefits for science.

    PubMed

    Augustyniak, Maria; Gladysz, Marcin; Dziewięcka, Marta

    2016-01-01

    The Comet assay has been recently adapted to investigate DNA damage in insects. The first reports of its use in Drosophila melanogaster appeared in 2002. Since then, the interest in the application of the Comet assay to studies of insects has been rapidly increasing. Many authors see substantial potential in the use of the Comet assay in D. melanogaster for medical toxicology studies. This application could allow the testing of drugs and result in an understanding of the mechanisms of action of toxins, which could significantly influence the limited research that has been performed on vertebrates. The possible perspectives and benefits for science are considered in this review. In the last decade, the use of the Comet assay has been described in insects other than D. melanogaster. Specifically, methods to prepare a cell suspension from insect tissues, which is a difficult task, were analyzed and compared in detail. Furthermore, attention was paid to any differences and modifications in the research protocols, such as the buffer composition and electrophoresis conditions. Various scientific fields in addition to toxicological and ecotoxicological research were considered. We expect the Comet assay to be used in environmental risk assessments and to improve our understanding of many important phenomena of insect life, such as metamorphosis, molting, diapause and quiescence. The use of this method to study species that are of key importance to humans, such as pests and beneficial insects, appears to be highly probable and very promising. The use of the Comet assay for DNA stability testing in insects will most likely rapidly increase in the future.

  11. Global patterns of insect diversification: towards a reconciliation of fossil and molecular evidence?

    PubMed

    Condamine, Fabien L; Clapham, Matthew E; Kergoat, Gael J

    2016-01-18

    Macroevolutionary studies of insects at diverse taxonomic scales often reveal dynamic evolutionary patterns, with multiple inferred diversification rate shifts. Responses to major past environmental changes, such as the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, or the development of major key innovations, such as wings or complete metamorphosis are usually invoked as potential evolutionary triggers. However this view is partially contradicted by studies on the family-level fossil record showing that insect diversification was relatively constant through time. In an attempt to reconcile both views, we investigate large-scale insect diversification dynamics at family level using two distinct types of diversification analyses on a molecular timetree representing ca. 82% of the extant families, and reassess the insect fossil diversity using up-to-date records. Analyses focusing on the fossil record recovered an early burst of diversification, declining to low and steady rates through time, interrupted by extinction events. Phylogenetic analyses showed that major shifts of diversification rates only occurred in the four richest holometabolous orders. Both suggest that neither the development of flight or complete metamorphosis nor the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution environmental changes induced immediate changes in diversification regimes; instead clade-specific innovations likely promoted the diversification of major insect orders.

  12. Global patterns of insect diversification: towards a reconciliation of fossil and molecular evidence?

    PubMed Central

    Condamine, Fabien L.; Clapham, Matthew E.; Kergoat, Gael J.

    2016-01-01

    Macroevolutionary studies of insects at diverse taxonomic scales often reveal dynamic evolutionary patterns, with multiple inferred diversification rate shifts. Responses to major past environmental changes, such as the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, or the development of major key innovations, such as wings or complete metamorphosis are usually invoked as potential evolutionary triggers. However this view is partially contradicted by studies on the family-level fossil record showing that insect diversification was relatively constant through time. In an attempt to reconcile both views, we investigate large-scale insect diversification dynamics at family level using two distinct types of diversification analyses on a molecular timetree representing ca. 82% of the extant families, and reassess the insect fossil diversity using up-to-date records. Analyses focusing on the fossil record recovered an early burst of diversification, declining to low and steady rates through time, interrupted by extinction events. Phylogenetic analyses showed that major shifts of diversification rates only occurred in the four richest holometabolous orders. Both suggest that neither the development of flight or complete metamorphosis nor the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution environmental changes induced immediate changes in diversification regimes; instead clade-specific innovations likely promoted the diversification of major insect orders. PMID:26778170

  13. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of lac insects (Hemiptera: Kerriidae) inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hang; Chen, Xiaoming; Feng, Ying; Yang, Hui; He, Rui; Zhang, Wenfeng; Yang, Zixiang

    2013-10-01

    Lac insects are commercial scale insects with high economic value. The combined molecular phylogeny of 20 lac insect populations was generated using elongation factor 1 alpha, mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene loci. The 20 populations of lac insects clustered into four distinct clades supported by high bootstrap values in maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. Clade A at the base of the dendrogram comprises Kerria ruralis and two populations of Kerria lacca and is the branch with most primitive species. Clade B includes K. lacca, Kerria sindica and the three populations P, V and Z from India. They clustered with high bootstrap support and have evolved later than those in Clade A. The three unidentified populations P, V and Z exhibited a close relationship with K. lacca and are the same species. In Clade C, three populations of Kerria yunnanensis (Ym, Yj and Yl), population Ys from Thailand and population H from India clustered as a group, in which population H clustered with Ym with 100 % bootstrap in all three analysis methods. In Clade D, Kerria chinensis, Kerria pusana and three populations of K. yunnanensis clustered together with strong support, and are located in the upper branches of the dendrogram and are recently evolved taxa. The majority of populations from the Indian subcontinent clade are more closely related to outgroup taxa from the primitive family Pseudococcidae, as compared to the Eurasian populations. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the Indian subcontinent is the centre of original of lac insects which have translocated to the Eurasian Continent. Based on the theory of continental drift and existing fossil records, it is suggested that lac insect evolved from ancient scale insects during the late Cretaceous period when the Indian subcontinent drifted towards the Eurasian Continent. Changes in the global environment have impacted on the distribution and evolution of lac

  14. The evolutionary diversity of insect retinal mosaics: Common design principles and emerging molecular logic

    PubMed Central

    Wernet, Mathias F.; Perry, Michael W.; Desplan, Claude

    2015-01-01

    Independent evolution has resulted in a vast diversity of eyes. Despite the lack of a common Bauplan or ancestral structure, similar developmental strategies are used. For instance, different classes of photoreceptor cells (PRs) are distributed stochastically and/or localized in different regions of the retina. Here we focus on recent progress made towards understanding the molecular principles behind patterning retinal mosaics of insects, one of the most diverse groups of animals adapted to life on land, in the air, under water, or on the water surface. Morphological, physiological, and behavioral studies from many species provide detailed descriptions of the vast variation in retinal design and function. By integrating this knowledge with recent progress in the characterization of insect Rhodopsins as well as insight from the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, we seek to identify the molecular logic behind the adaptation of retinal mosaics to an animal’s habitat and way of life. PMID:26025917

  15. The evolutionary diversity of insect retinal mosaics: common design principles and emerging molecular logic.

    PubMed

    Wernet, Mathias F; Perry, Michael W; Desplan, Claude

    2015-06-01

    Independent evolution has resulted in a vast diversity of eyes. Despite the lack of a common Bauplan or ancestral structure, similar developmental strategies are used. For instance, different classes of photoreceptor cells (PRs) are distributed stochastically and/or localized in different regions of the retina. Here, we focus on recent progress made towards understanding the molecular principles behind patterning retinal mosaics of insects, one of the most diverse groups of animals adapted to life on land, in the air, under water, or on the water surface. Morphological, physiological, and behavioral studies from many species provide detailed descriptions of the vast variation in retinal design and function. By integrating this knowledge with recent progress in the characterization of insect Rhodopsins as well as insight from the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, we seek to identify the molecular logic behind the adaptation of retinal mosaics to the habitat and way of life of an animal.

  16. Molecular Science Research Center 1992 annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Knotek, M.L.

    1994-01-01

    The Molecular Science Research Center is a designated national user facility, available to scientists from universities, industry, and other national laboratories. After an opening section, which includes conferences hosted, appointments, and projects, this document presents progress in the following fields: chemical structure and dynamics; environmental dynamics and simulation; macromolecular structure and dynamics; materials and interfaces; theory, modeling, and simulation; and computing and information sciences. Appendices are included: MSRC staff and associates, 1992 publications and presentations, activities, and acronyms and abbreviations.

  17. Committee on Atomic, Molecular and Optical Sciences

    SciTech Connect

    Lancaster, James

    2015-06-30

    The Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences (CAMOS) is a standing activity of the National Research Council (NRC) that operates under the auspices of the Board on Physics and Astronomy. CAMOS is one of five standing committees of the BPA that are charged with assisting it in achieving its goals—monitoring the health of physics and astronomy, identifying important new developments at the scientific forefronts, fostering interactions with other fields, strengthening connections to technology, facilitating effective service to the nation, and enhancing education in physics. CAMOS provides these capabilities for the atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) sciences.

  18. Molecular characterization of trophic ecology within an island radiation of insect herbivores (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Cratopus).

    PubMed

    Kitson, James J N; Warren, Ben H; Florens, F B Vincent; Baider, Claudia; Strasberg, Dominique; Emerson, Brent C

    2013-11-01

    The phytophagous beetle family Curculionidae is the most species-rich insect family known, with much of this diversity having been attributed to both co-evolution with food plants and host shifts at key points within the early evolutionary history of the group. Less well understood is the extent to which patterns of host use vary within or among related species, largely because of the technical difficulties associated with quantifying this. Here we develop a recently characterized molecular approach to quantify diet within and between two closely related species of weevil occurring primarily within dry forests on the island of Mauritius. Our aim is to quantify dietary variation across populations and assess adaptive and nonadaptive explanations for this and to characterize the nature of a trophic shift within an ecologically distinct population within one of the species. We find that our study species are polyphagous, consuming a much wider range of plants than would be suggested by the literature. Our data suggest that local diet variation is largely explained by food availability, and locally specialist populations consume food plants that are not phylogenetically novel, but do appear to represent a novel preference. Our results demonstrate the power of molecular methods to unambiguously quantify dietary variation across populations of insect herbivores, providing a valuable approach to understanding trophic interactions within and among local plant and insect herbivore communities.

  19. Molecular characterization of trophic ecology within an island radiation of insect herbivores (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Cratopus).

    PubMed

    Kitson, James J N; Warren, Ben H; Florens, F B Vincent; Baider, Claudia; Strasberg, Dominique; Emerson, Brent C

    2013-11-01

    The phytophagous beetle family Curculionidae is the most species-rich insect family known, with much of this diversity having been attributed to both co-evolution with food plants and host shifts at key points within the early evolutionary history of the group. Less well understood is the extent to which patterns of host use vary within or among related species, largely because of the technical difficulties associated with quantifying this. Here we develop a recently characterized molecular approach to quantify diet within and between two closely related species of weevil occurring primarily within dry forests on the island of Mauritius. Our aim is to quantify dietary variation across populations and assess adaptive and nonadaptive explanations for this and to characterize the nature of a trophic shift within an ecologically distinct population within one of the species. We find that our study species are polyphagous, consuming a much wider range of plants than would be suggested by the literature. Our data suggest that local diet variation is largely explained by food availability, and locally specialist populations consume food plants that are not phylogenetically novel, but do appear to represent a novel preference. Our results demonstrate the power of molecular methods to unambiguously quantify dietary variation across populations of insect herbivores, providing a valuable approach to understanding trophic interactions within and among local plant and insect herbivore communities. PMID:24112379

  20. The molecular correlates of organ loss: the case of insect Malpighian tubules

    PubMed Central

    Jing, Xiangfeng; White, Thomas A.; Yang, Xiaowei; Douglas, Angela E.

    2015-01-01

    Malpighian tubules play an essential role in excretion, osmoregulation and immunity of most insects. Exceptionally, aphids lack Malpighian tubules, providing the opportunity to investigate the fate of genes expressed in an organ that has undergone evolutionary reduction and loss. Making use of the sequenced genomes of Drosophila melanogaster and the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, we demonstrated that more than 50% of Drosophila genes expressed specifically in the Malpighian tubules had orthologues in the pea aphid genome and that most of the pea aphid orthologues with detectable expression were identified in the gut transcriptome. Relative to the whole genome, genes functioning in amino acid metabolism are significantly over-represented among the pea aphid orthologues of Malpighian tubule genes, likely reflecting the central importance of amino acid acquisition and metabolism in aphids. This study demonstrates that the evolutionary loss of a key insect organ, the Malpighian tubules, has not been associated with the coupled loss of molecular functions. PMID:25972400

  1. Mobile modeling in the molecular sciences

    EPA Science Inventory

    The art of modeling in the molecular sciences is highly dependent on both the available computational technology, underlying data, and ability to collaborate. With the ever increasing market share of mobile devices, it is assumed by many that tablets will overtake laptops as the...

  2. Cellular and molecular aspects of rhabdovirus interactions with insect and plant hosts.

    PubMed

    Ammar, El-Desouky; Tsai, Chi-Wei; Whitfield, Anna E; Redinbaugh, Margaret G; Hogenhout, Saskia A

    2009-01-01

    The rhabdoviruses form a large family (Rhabdoviridae) whose host ranges include humans, other vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. There are at least 90 plant-infecting rhabdoviruses, several of which are economically important pathogens of various crops. All definitive plant-infecting and many vertebrate-infecting rhabdoviruses are persistently transmitted by insect vectors, and a few putative plant rhabdoviruses are transmitted by mites. Plant rhabdoviruses replicate in their plant and arthropod hosts, and transmission by vectors is highly specific, with each virus species transmitted by one or a few related insect species, mainly aphids, leafhoppers, or planthoppers. Here, we provide an overview of plant rhabdovirus interactions with their insect hosts and of how these interactions compare with those of vertebrate-infecting viruses and with the Sigma rhabdovirus that infects Drosophila flies. We focus on cellular and molecular aspects of vector/host specificity, transmission barriers, and virus receptors in the vectors. In addition, we briefly discuss recent advances in understanding rhabdovirus-plant interactions.

  3. Molecular Science Research Center, 1991 annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Knotek, M.L.

    1992-03-01

    During 1991, the Molecular Science Research Center (MSRC) experienced solid growth and accomplishment and the Environmental, and Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) construction project moved forward. We began with strong programs in chemical structure and dynamics and theory, modeling, and simulation, and both these programs continued to thrive. We also made significant advances in the development of programs in materials and interfaces and macromolecular structure and dynamics, largely as a result of the key staff recruited to lead these efforts. If there was one pervasive activity for the past year, however, it was to strengthen the role of the EMSL in the overall environmental restoration and waste management (ER/WM) mission at Hanford. These extended activities involved not only MSRC and EMSL staff but all PNL scientific and technical staff engaged in ER/WM programs.

  4. Molecular signatures of plastic phenotypes in two eusocial insect species with simple societies.

    PubMed

    Patalano, Solenn; Vlasova, Anna; Wyatt, Chris; Ewels, Philip; Camara, Francisco; Ferreira, Pedro G; Asher, Claire L; Jurkowski, Tomasz P; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Bachman, Martin; González-Navarrete, Irene; Minoche, André E; Krueger, Felix; Lowy, Ernesto; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Rodriguez-Ales, Jose Luis; Nascimento, Fabio S; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Gabaldon, Toni; Tarver, James E; Andrews, Simon; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Hughes, William O H; Guigó, Roderic; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-11-10

    Phenotypic plasticity is important in adaptation and shapes the evolution of organisms. However, we understand little about what aspects of the genome are important in facilitating plasticity. Eusocial insect societies produce plastic phenotypes from the same genome, as reproductives (queens) and nonreproductives (workers). The greatest plasticity is found in the simple eusocial insect societies in which individuals retain the ability to switch between reproductive and nonreproductive phenotypes as adults. We lack comprehensive data on the molecular basis of plastic phenotypes. Here, we sequenced genomes, microRNAs (miRNAs), and multiple transcriptomes and methylomes from individual brains in a wasp (Polistes canadensis) and an ant (Dinoponera quadriceps) that live in simple eusocial societies. In both species, we found few differences between phenotypes at the transcriptional level, with little functional specialization, and no evidence that phenotype-specific gene expression is driven by DNA methylation or miRNAs. Instead, phenotypic differentiation was defined more subtly by nonrandom transcriptional network organization, with roles in these networks for both conserved and taxon-restricted genes. The general lack of highly methylated regions or methylome patterning in both species may be an important mechanism for achieving plasticity among phenotypes during adulthood. These findings define previously unidentified hypotheses on the genomic processes that facilitate plasticity and suggest that the molecular hallmarks of social behavior are likely to differ with the level of social complexity. PMID:26483466

  5. Molecular signatures of plastic phenotypes in two eusocial insect species with simple societies.

    PubMed

    Patalano, Solenn; Vlasova, Anna; Wyatt, Chris; Ewels, Philip; Camara, Francisco; Ferreira, Pedro G; Asher, Claire L; Jurkowski, Tomasz P; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Bachman, Martin; González-Navarrete, Irene; Minoche, André E; Krueger, Felix; Lowy, Ernesto; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Rodriguez-Ales, Jose Luis; Nascimento, Fabio S; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Gabaldon, Toni; Tarver, James E; Andrews, Simon; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Hughes, William O H; Guigó, Roderic; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-11-10

    Phenotypic plasticity is important in adaptation and shapes the evolution of organisms. However, we understand little about what aspects of the genome are important in facilitating plasticity. Eusocial insect societies produce plastic phenotypes from the same genome, as reproductives (queens) and nonreproductives (workers). The greatest plasticity is found in the simple eusocial insect societies in which individuals retain the ability to switch between reproductive and nonreproductive phenotypes as adults. We lack comprehensive data on the molecular basis of plastic phenotypes. Here, we sequenced genomes, microRNAs (miRNAs), and multiple transcriptomes and methylomes from individual brains in a wasp (Polistes canadensis) and an ant (Dinoponera quadriceps) that live in simple eusocial societies. In both species, we found few differences between phenotypes at the transcriptional level, with little functional specialization, and no evidence that phenotype-specific gene expression is driven by DNA methylation or miRNAs. Instead, phenotypic differentiation was defined more subtly by nonrandom transcriptional network organization, with roles in these networks for both conserved and taxon-restricted genes. The general lack of highly methylated regions or methylome patterning in both species may be an important mechanism for achieving plasticity among phenotypes during adulthood. These findings define previously unidentified hypotheses on the genomic processes that facilitate plasticity and suggest that the molecular hallmarks of social behavior are likely to differ with the level of social complexity.

  6. Molecular signatures of plastic phenotypes in two eusocial insect species with simple societies

    PubMed Central

    Patalano, Solenn; Vlasova, Anna; Wyatt, Chris; Ewels, Philip; Camara, Francisco; Ferreira, Pedro G.; Asher, Claire L.; Jurkowski, Tomasz P.; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Bachman, Martin; González-Navarrete, Irene; Minoche, André E.; Krueger, Felix; Lowy, Ernesto; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Rodriguez-Ales, Jose Luis; Nascimento, Fabio S.; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Gabaldon, Toni; Tarver, James E.; Andrews, Simon; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Hughes, William O. H.; Guigó, Roderic; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is important in adaptation and shapes the evolution of organisms. However, we understand little about what aspects of the genome are important in facilitating plasticity. Eusocial insect societies produce plastic phenotypes from the same genome, as reproductives (queens) and nonreproductives (workers). The greatest plasticity is found in the simple eusocial insect societies in which individuals retain the ability to switch between reproductive and nonreproductive phenotypes as adults. We lack comprehensive data on the molecular basis of plastic phenotypes. Here, we sequenced genomes, microRNAs (miRNAs), and multiple transcriptomes and methylomes from individual brains in a wasp (Polistes canadensis) and an ant (Dinoponera quadriceps) that live in simple eusocial societies. In both species, we found few differences between phenotypes at the transcriptional level, with little functional specialization, and no evidence that phenotype-specific gene expression is driven by DNA methylation or miRNAs. Instead, phenotypic differentiation was defined more subtly by nonrandom transcriptional network organization, with roles in these networks for both conserved and taxon-restricted genes. The general lack of highly methylated regions or methylome patterning in both species may be an important mechanism for achieving plasticity among phenotypes during adulthood. These findings define previously unidentified hypotheses on the genomic processes that facilitate plasticity and suggest that the molecular hallmarks of social behavior are likely to differ with the level of social complexity. PMID:26483466

  7. Isolation of sperm vesicles from adult male mayflies and other insects to prepare high molecular weight genomic DNA samples.

    PubMed

    Takemon, Yasuhiro; Yamamoto, Akiko; Nakashima, Masashi; Tanida, Kazumi; Kishi, Mitsuo; Kato, Mikio

    2006-03-01

    We describe here a simple and efficient protocol for genomic DNA isolation from adult males of insects: e.g., Ephemeroptera, Odonata, Orthoptera and Dictyoptera. To minimize contamination of external DNA source, the sperm vesicles were isolated from male individuals from which high molecular weight genomic DNA was extracted. According to this protocol, the genomic DNA samples obtained were high quality (intact), and abundant enough for genotyping analyses and molecular cloning. The protocol reported here enables us to process a huge number of individuals at a time with escaping from cross-contamination, and thus it is quite useful for conducting genetic studies at least in some species of insects. The large yield of high molecular weight DNA from single individual may be advantageous for non PCR-based experiments. As a case study of the protocol, partial coding sequences of histone H3 and EF-1alpha genes are determined for some insects with PCR-amplified DNA fragments.

  8. The Sustainable Harvesting of Edible Insects in South Africa, with Reference to Indigenous Knowledge, African Science, Western Science and Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toms, Rob

    2007-01-01

    In our ongoing research on edible insects in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, we have found evidence of the unsustainable harvesting of edible insects and the food plants of certain insects. The decline in the edible insect industry, together with the need for food security provides a strong incentive to investigate possible causes of…

  9. Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory 2004 Annual Report

    SciTech Connect

    White, Julia C.

    2005-04-17

    This 2004 Annual Report describes the research and accomplishments of staff and users of the W.R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), located in Richland, Washington. EMSL is a multidisciplinary, national scientific user facility and research organization, operated by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Biological and Environmental Research. The resources and opportunities within the facility are an outgrowth of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) commitment to fundamental research for understanding and resolving environmental and other critical scientific issues.

  10. A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators.

    PubMed

    Godfray, H Charles J; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Field, Linda M; Hails, Rosemary S; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Potts, Simon G; Raine, Nigel E; Vanbergen, Adam J; McLean, Angela R

    2014-07-01

    There is evidence that in Europe and North America many species of pollinators are in decline, both in abundance and distribution. Although there is a long list of potential causes of this decline, there is concern that neonicotinoid insecticides, in particular through their use as seed treatments are, at least in part, responsible. This paper describes a project that set out to summarize the natural science evidence base relevant to neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators in as policy-neutral terms as possible. A series of evidence statements are listed and categorized according to the nature of the underlying information. The evidence summary forms the appendix to this paper and an annotated bibliography is provided in the electronic supplementary material.

  11. A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Godfray, H. Charles J.; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Field, Linda M.; Hails, Rosemary S.; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.; Vanbergen, Adam J.; McLean, Angela R.

    2014-01-01

    There is evidence that in Europe and North America many species of pollinators are in decline, both in abundance and distribution. Although there is a long list of potential causes of this decline, there is concern that neonicotinoid insecticides, in particular through their use as seed treatments are, at least in part, responsible. This paper describes a project that set out to summarize the natural science evidence base relevant to neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators in as policy-neutral terms as possible. A series of evidence statements are listed and categorized according to the nature of the underlying information. The evidence summary forms the appendix to this paper and an annotated bibliography is provided in the electronic supplementary material. PMID:24850927

  12. A molecular genetic approach to the biosynthesis of the insect steroid molting hormone.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Lawrence I; Warren, James T

    2005-01-01

    Insect growth, development, and molting depend upon a critical titer of the principal molting hormone of arthropods, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Although the structure of 20E as a polyhydroxylated steroid was determined more than five decades ago, the exact steps in its biosynthesis have eluded identification. Over the past several years, the use of the fly database and the techniques and paradigms of biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and molecular genetics have allowed the cloning and sequencing of four genes in the Halloween gene family of Drosophila melanogaster, all of them encoding cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, each of which mediates one of the four terminal hydroxylation steps in 20E biosynthesis. Further, the sequence of these hydroxylations has been determined, and developmental alterations in the expression of each of these genes have been quantified during both embryonic and postembryonic life. PMID:16399407

  13. A molecular genetic approach to the biosynthesis of the insect steroid molting hormone.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Lawrence I; Warren, James T

    2005-01-01

    Insect growth, development, and molting depend upon a critical titer of the principal molting hormone of arthropods, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Although the structure of 20E as a polyhydroxylated steroid was determined more than five decades ago, the exact steps in its biosynthesis have eluded identification. Over the past several years, the use of the fly database and the techniques and paradigms of biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and molecular genetics have allowed the cloning and sequencing of four genes in the Halloween gene family of Drosophila melanogaster, all of them encoding cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, each of which mediates one of the four terminal hydroxylation steps in 20E biosynthesis. Further, the sequence of these hydroxylations has been determined, and developmental alterations in the expression of each of these genes have been quantified during both embryonic and postembryonic life.

  14. Utility of Filter Paper for Preserving Insects, Bacteria, and Host Reservoir DNA for Molecular Testing

    PubMed Central

    Karimian, F; Sedaghat, MM; Oshaghi, MA; Mohtarami, F; Dehkordi, A Sanei; Koosha, M; Akbari, S; Hashemi-Aghdam, SS

    2011-01-01

    Background: Appropriate methodology for storage biological materials, extraction of DNA, and proper DNA preservation is vital for studies involving genetic analysis of insects, bacteria, and reservoir hosts as well as for molecular diagnostics of pathogens carried by vectors and reservoirs. Here we tried to evaluate the utility of a simple filter paper-based for storage of insects, bacteria, rodent, and human DNAs using PCR assays. Methods: Total body or haemolymph of individual mosquitoes, sand flies or cockroaches squashed or placed on the paper respectively. Extracted DNA of five different bacteria species as well as blood specimens of human and great gerbil Rhombomys opimus was pipetted directly onto filter paper. The papers were stored in room temperature up to 12 months during 2009 until 2011. At monthly intervals, PCR was conducted using a 1-mm disk from the DNA impregnated filter paper as target DNA. PCR amplification was performed against different target genes of the organisms including the ITS2-rDNA of mosquitoes, mtDNA-COI of the sand flies and cockroaches, 16SrRNA gene of the bacteria, and the mtDNA-CytB of the vertebrates. Results: Successful PCR amplification was observed for all of the specimens regardless of the loci, taxon, or time of storage. The PCR amplification were ranged from 462 to 1500 bp and worked well for the specified target gene/s. Time of storage did not affect the amplification up to one year. Conclusion: The filter paper method is a simple and economical way to store, to preserve, and to distribute DNA samples for PCR analysis. PMID:22808417

  15. Molecular forensic science of nuclear materials

    SciTech Connect

    Wilkerson, Marianne Perry

    2010-01-01

    We are interested in applying our understanding of actinide chemical structure and bonding to broaden the suite of analytical tools available for nuclear forensic analyses. Uranium- and plutonium-oxide systems form under a variety of conditions, and these chemical species exhibit some of the most complex behavior of metal oxide systems known. No less intriguing is the ability of AnO{sub 2} (An: U, Pu) to form non-stoichiometric species described as AnO{sub 2+x}. Environmental studies have shown the value of utilizing the chemical signatures of these actinide oxides materials to understand transport following release into the environment. Chemical speciation of actinide-oxide samples may also provide clues as to the age, source, process history, or transport of the material. The scientific challenge is to identify, measure and understand those aspects of speciation of actinide analytes that carry information about material origin and history most relevant to forensics. Here, we will describe our efforts in material synthesis and analytical methods development that we will use to provide the fundamental science required to characterize actinide oxide molecular structures for forensics science. Structural properties and initial results to measure structural variability of uranium oxide samples using synchrotron-based X-ray Absorption Fine Structure will be discussed.

  16. Molecular forensic science analysis of nuclear materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reilly, Dallas David

    Concerns over the proliferation and instances of nuclear material in the environment have increased interest in the expansion of nuclear forensics analysis and attribution programs. A new related field, molecular forensic science (MFS) has helped meet this expansion by applying common scientific analyses to nuclear forensics scenarios. In this work, MFS was applied to three scenarios related to nuclear forensics analysis. In the first, uranium dioxide was synthesized and aged at four sets of static environmental conditions and studied for changes in chemical speciation. The second highlighted the importance of bulk versus particle characterizations by analyzing a heterogeneous industrially prepared sample with similar techniques. In the third, mixed uranium/plutonium hot particles were collected from the McGuire Air Force Base BOMARC Site and analyzed for chemical speciation and elemental surface composition. This work has identified new signatures and has indicated unexpected chemical behavior under various conditions. These findings have lead to an expansion of basic actinide understanding, proof of MFS as a tool for nuclear forensic science, and new areas for expansion in these fields.

  17. Molecular Science Research Center annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Knotek, M.L.

    1991-01-01

    The Chemical Structure and Dynamics group is studying chemical kinetics and reactions dynamics of terrestrial and atmospheric processes as well as the chemistry of complex waste forms and waste storage media. Staff are using new laser systems and surface-mapping techniques in combination with molecular clusters that mimic adsorbate/surface interactions. The Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics group is determining biomolecular structure/function relationships for processes the control the biological transformation of contaminants and the health effects of toxic substances. The Materials and Interfaces program is generating information needed to design and synthesize advanced materials for the analysis and separation of mixed chemical waste, the long-term storage of concentrated hazardous materials, and the development of chemical sensors for environmental monitoring of various organic and inorganic species. The Theory, Modeling, and Simulation group is developing detailed molecular-level descriptions of the chemical, physical, and biological processes in natural and contaminated systems. Researchers are using the full spectrum of computational techniques. The Computer and Information Sciences group is developing new approaches to handle vast amounts of data and to perform calculations for complex natural systems. The EMSL will contain a high-performance computing facility, ancillary computing laboratories, and high-speed data acquisition systems for all major research instruments.

  18. Light-dependent magnetic compass orientation in amphibians and insects: candidate receptors and candidate molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, John B.; Jorge, Paulo E.; Muheim, Rachel

    2010-01-01

    Magnetic compass orientation by amphibians, and some insects, is mediated by a light-dependent magnetoreception mechanism. Cryptochrome photopigments, best known for their role in circadian rhythms, are proposed to mediate such responses. In this paper, we explore light-dependent properties of magnetic sensing at three levels: (i) behavioural (wavelength-dependent effects of light on magnetic compass orientation), (ii) physiological (photoreceptors/photopigment systems with properties suggesting a role in magnetoreception), and (iii) molecular (cryptochrome-based and non-cryptochrome-based signalling pathways that are compatible with behavioural responses). Our goal is to identify photoreceptors and signalling pathways that are likely to play a specialized role in magnetoreception in order to definitively answer the question of whether the effects of light on magnetic compass orientation are mediated by a light-dependent magnetoreception mechanism, or instead are due to input from a non-light-dependent (e.g. magnetite-based) magnetoreception mechanism that secondarily interacts with other light-dependent processes. PMID:20124357

  19. Molecular developmental evidence for a subcoxal origin of pleurites in insects and identity of the subcoxa in the gnathal appendages.

    PubMed

    Coulcher, Joshua F; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Telford, Maximilian J

    2015-10-28

    Pleurites are chitinous plates in the body wall of insects and myriapods. They are believed to be an adaptation to locomotion on land but their developmental and evolutionary origins are unclear. A widely endorsed explanation for their origin is through toughening pre-existing parts of the body wall; in contrast, the subcoxal theory suggests pleurites derive from a redeployment of the proximal-most section of the leg, the subcoxa. Here, by studying expression of appendage patterning genes in embryos and larvae of the beetle Tribolium castaneum, we provide the first molecular evidence for the existence of a cryptic subcoxal segment in developing legs. We follow this structure during development and show that the embryonic subcoxa later forms the pleurites of the larva as predicted by the subcoxal theory. Our data also demonstrate that subcoxal segments are present in all post-antennal appendages, including the first molecular evidence of a two-segmented mandible with a subcoxal segment in insects.

  20. Insects & Other Arthropods. Animal Life in Action[TM]. Schlessinger Science Library. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    This 23-minute videotape for grades 5-8, presents the myriad of animal life that exists on the planet. Students can view and perform experiments and investigations that help explain animal traits and habits. They also learn that there are more species of insects than any other animal class in the world. Insects are incredible creatures with many…

  1. Moths, Butterflies, Other Insects & Spiders: Science in Art, Song, and Play.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vansant, Rhonda; Dondiego, Barbara L.

    Some children hold the belief that insects and spiders are all mere nuisances because they have never had opportunities to observe, study, and learn to appreciate how these animals live and carry out their purposes in life. Studying insects and spiders fosters children's natural curiosity about the world around them and encourages them to use…

  2. Australian endemic pest tephritids: genetic, molecular and microbial tools for improved Sterile Insect Technique

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Among Australian endemic tephritid fruit flies, the sibling species Bactrocera tryoni and Bactrocera neohumeralis have been serious horticultural pests since the introduction of horticulture in the nineteenth century. More recently, Bactrocera jarvisi has also been declared a pest in northern Australia. After several decades of genetic research there is now a range of classical and molecular genetic tools that can be used to develop improved Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) strains for control of these pests. Four-way crossing strategies have the potential to overcome the problem of inbreeding in mass-reared strains of B. tryoni. The ability to produce hybrids between B. tryoni and the other two species in the laboratory has proved useful for the development of genetically marked strains. The identification of Y-chromosome markers in B. jarvisi means that male and female embryos can be distinguished in any strain that carries a B. jarvisi Y chromosome. This has enabled the study of homologues of the sex-determination genes during development of B jarvisi and B. tryoni, which is necessary for the generation of genetic-sexing strains. Germ-line transformation has been established and a draft genome sequence for B. tryoni released. Transcriptomes from various species, tissues and developmental stages, to aid in identification of manipulation targets for improving SIT, have been assembled and are in the pipeline. Broad analyses of the microbiome have revealed a metagenome that is highly variable within and across species and defined by the environment. More specific analyses detected Wolbachia at low prevalence in the tropics but absent in temperate regions, suggesting a possible role for this endosymbiont in future control strategies. PMID:25470996

  3. Australian endemic pest tephritids: genetic, molecular and microbial tools for improved Sterile Insect Technique.

    PubMed

    Raphael, Kathryn A; Shearman, Deborah C A; Gilchrist, A Stuart; Sved, John A; Morrow, Jennifer L; Sherwin, William B; Riegler, Markus; Frommer, Marianne

    2014-01-01

    Among Australian endemic tephritid fruit flies, the sibling species Bactrocera tryoni and Bactrocera neohumeralis have been serious horticultural pests since the introduction of horticulture in the nineteenth century. More recently, Bactrocera jarvisi has also been declared a pest in northern Australia. After several decades of genetic research there is now a range of classical and molecular genetic tools that can be used to develop improved Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) strains for control of these pests. Four-way crossing strategies have the potential to overcome the problem of inbreeding in mass-reared strains of B. tryoni. The ability to produce hybrids between B. tryoni and the other two species in the laboratory has proved useful for the development of genetically marked strains. The identification of Y-chromosome markers in B. jarvisi means that male and female embryos can be distinguished in any strain that carries a B. jarvisi Y chromosome. This has enabled the study of homologues of the sex-determination genes during development of B jarvisi and B. tryoni, which is necessary for the generation of genetic-sexing strains. Germ-line transformation has been established and a draft genome sequence for B. tryoni released. Transcriptomes from various species, tissues and developmental stages, to aid in identification of manipulation targets for improving SIT, have been assembled and are in the pipeline. Broad analyses of the microbiome have revealed a metagenome that is highly variable within and across species and defined by the environment. More specific analyses detected Wolbachia at low prevalence in the tropics but absent in temperate regions, suggesting a possible role for this endosymbiont in future control strategies. PMID:25470996

  4. Scientific Encounters of the Insect World. Reading Activities That Explore Nature's Fascinating Insects. A Good Apple Science Activity Book for Grades 4-7.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Embry, Lynn

    Insects comprise the largest group of animals in the world and newly discovered ones are being added to the list every year. The habits of even the most common insects are interesting to observe. This book introduces insects that many children will be able to observe in their environments. Interesting information is presented to help children…

  5. Evidence for Chewing Insect-Specific Molecular Events Distinct from a General Wound Response in Leaves.

    PubMed Central

    Korth, K. L.; Dixon, R. A.

    1997-01-01

    The timing of transcript accumulation of several wound-induced genes is different in insect-damaged and mechanically damaged leaves. Transcripts for the proteinase inhibitor II and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase genes accumulate more rapidly in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) leaves chewed on by caterpillars than in leaves damaged mechanically. The timing of maximum transcript accumulation was not affected by the degree of damage inflicted by the insect larvae. When applied to a mechanical wound site, regurgitant isolated from Manduca sexta larvae causes transcript accumulation profiles to shift to parallel those in insect-damaged tissue. Whether obtained from larvae fed either potato leaves or a nonplant diet, insect regurgitant fed through the petiole of detached leaves also induces accumulation of these transcripts. The transcript accumulation-inducing activity of regurgitant is enhanced by heating at 100[deg]C. Our data suggest that a heat-stable, insect-derived elicitor functions to induce the rapid accumulation of transcripts that may be involved in plant defense against herbivores. Distinct signal transduction pathways that can distinguish between insect damage and abiotic damage might therefore exist in plants. PMID:12223872

  6. Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory Annual Report: Fiscal Year 2006

    SciTech Connect

    Foster, Nancy S.; Showalter, Mary Ann

    2007-03-23

    This report describes the activities and research performed at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a Department of Energy national scientific user facility at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, during Fiscal Year 2006.

  7. Marine molecular biology: an emerging field of biological sciences.

    PubMed

    Thakur, Narsinh L; Jain, Roopesh; Natalio, Filipe; Hamer, Bojan; Thakur, Archana N; Müller, Werner E G

    2008-01-01

    An appreciation of the potential applications of molecular biology is of growing importance in many areas of life sciences, including marine biology. During the past two decades, the development of sophisticated molecular technologies and instruments for biomedical research has resulted in significant advances in the biological sciences. However, the value of molecular techniques for addressing problems in marine biology has only recently begun to be cherished. It has been proven that the exploitation of molecular biological techniques will allow difficult research questions about marine organisms and ocean processes to be addressed. Marine molecular biology is a discipline, which strives to define and solve the problems regarding the sustainable exploration of marine life for human health and welfare, through the cooperation between scientists working in marine biology, molecular biology, microbiology and chemistry disciplines. Several success stories of the applications of molecular techniques in the field of marine biology are guiding further research in this area. In this review different molecular techniques are discussed, which have application in marine microbiology, marine invertebrate biology, marine ecology, marine natural products, material sciences, fisheries, conservation and bio-invasion etc. In summary, if marine biologists and molecular biologists continue to work towards strong partnership during the next decade and recognize intellectual and technological advantages and benefits of such partnership, an exciting new frontier of marine molecular biology will emerge in the future.

  8. Surviving the cold: molecular analyses of insect cryoprotective dehydration in the Arctic springtail Megaphorura arctica (Tullberg)

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Melody S; Thorne, Michael AS; Purać, Jelena; Burns, Gavin; Hillyard, Guy; Popović, Željko D; Grubor-Lajšić, Gordana; Worland, M Roger

    2009-01-01

    Background Insects provide tractable models for enhancing our understanding of the physiological and cellular processes that enable survival at extreme low temperatures. They possess three main strategies to survive the cold: freeze tolerance, freeze avoidance or cryoprotective dehydration, of which the latter method is exploited by our model species, the Arctic springtail Megaphorura arctica, formerly Onychiurus arcticus (Tullberg 1876). The physiological mechanisms underlying cryoprotective dehydration have been well characterised in M. arctica and to date this process has been described in only a few other species: the Antarctic nematode Panagrolaimus davidi, an enchytraied worm, the larvae of the Antarctic midge Belgica antarctica and the cocoons of the earthworm Dendrobaena octaedra. There are no in-depth molecular studies on the underlying cold survival mechanisms in any species. Results A cDNA microarray was generated using 6,912 M. arctica clones printed in duplicate. Analysis of clones up-regulated during dehydration procedures (using both cold- and salt-induced dehydration) has identified a number of significant cellular processes, namely the production and mobilisation of trehalose, protection of cellular systems via small heat shock proteins and tissue/cellular remodelling during the dehydration process. Energy production, initiation of protein translation and cell division, plus potential tissue repair processes dominate genes identified during recovery. Heat map analysis identified a duplication of the trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS) gene in M. arctica and also 53 clones co-regulated with TPS, including a number of membrane associated and cell signalling proteins. Q-PCR on selected candidate genes has also contributed to our understanding with glutathione-S-transferase identified as the major antioxdidant enzyme protecting the cells during these stressful procedures, and a number of protein kinase signalling molecules involved in recovery

  9. Fundamental Approaches in Molecular Biology for Communication Sciences and Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartlett, Rebecca S.; Jette, Marie E.; King, Suzanne N.; Schaser, Allison; Thibeault, Susan L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This contemporary tutorial will introduce general principles of molecular biology, common deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), and protein assays and their relevance in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Method: Over the past 2 decades, knowledge of the molecular pathophysiology of human disease has…

  10. Insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying diversified wing venation among insects.

    PubMed

    Shimmi, Osamu; Matsuda, Shinya; Hatakeyama, Masatsugu

    2014-08-22

    Insect wings are great resources for studying morphological diversities in nature as well as in fossil records. Among them, variation in wing venation is one of the most characteristic features of insect species. Venation is therefore, undeniably a key factor of species-specific functional traits of the wings; however, the mechanism underlying wing vein formation among insects largely remains unexplored. Our knowledge of the genetic basis of wing development is solely restricted to Drosophila melanogaster. A critical step in wing vein development in Drosophila is the activation of the decapentaplegic (Dpp)/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling pathway during pupal stages. A key mechanism is the directional transport of Dpp from the longitudinal veins into the posterior crossvein by BMP-binding proteins, resulting in redistribution of Dpp that reflects wing vein patterns. Recent works on the sawfly Athalia rosae, of the order Hymenoptera, also suggested that the Dpp transport system is required to specify fore- and hindwing vein patterns. Given that Dpp redistribution via transport is likely to be a key mechanism for establishing wing vein patterns, this raises the interesting possibility that distinct wing vein patterns are generated, based on where Dpp is transported. Experimental evidence in Drosophila suggests that the direction of Dpp transport is regulated by prepatterned positional information. These observations lead to the postulation that Dpp generates diversified insect wing vein patterns through species-specific positional information of its directional transport. Extension of these observations in some winged insects will provide further insights into the mechanisms underlying diversified wing venation among insects.

  11. Demystifying computer science for molecular ecologists.

    PubMed

    Belcaid, Mahdi; Toonen, Robert J

    2015-06-01

    In this age of data-driven science and high-throughput biology, computational thinking is becoming an increasingly important skill for tackling both new and long-standing biological questions. However, despite its obvious importance and conspicuous integration into many areas of biology, computer science is still viewed as an obscure field that has, thus far, permeated into only a few of the biology curricula across the nation. A national survey has shown that lack of computational literacy in environmental sciences is the norm rather than the exception [Valle & Berdanier (2012) Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 93, 373-389]. In this article, we seek to introduce a few important concepts in computer science with the aim of providing a context-specific introduction aimed at research biologists. Our goal was to help biologists understand some of the most important mainstream computational concepts to better appreciate bioinformatics methods and trade-offs that are not obvious to the uninitiated.

  12. A restatement of recent advances in the natural science evidence base concerning neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Godfray, H. Charles J.; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Field, Linda M.; Hails, Rosemary S.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.; Vanbergen, Adam J.; McLean, Angela R.

    2015-01-01

    A summary is provided of recent advances in the natural science evidence base concerning the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators in a format (a ‘restatement') intended to be accessible to informed but not expert policymakers and stakeholders. Important new studies have been published since our recent review of this field (Godfray et al. 2014 Proc. R. Soc. B 281, 20140558. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0558)) and the subject continues to be an area of very active research and high policy relevance. PMID:26511042

  13. A restatement of recent advances in the natural science evidence base concerning neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators.

    PubMed

    Godfray, H Charles J; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Field, Linda M; Hails, Rosemary S; Potts, Simon G; Raine, Nigel E; Vanbergen, Adam J; McLean, Angela R

    2015-11-01

    A summary is provided of recent advances in the natural science evidence base concerning the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators in a format (a 'restatement') intended to be accessible to informed but not expert policymakers and stakeholders. Important new studies have been published since our recent review of this field (Godfray et al. 2014 Proc. R. Soc. B 281, 20140558. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0558)) and the subject continues to be an area of very active research and high policy relevance.

  14. Genomic, RNAseq, and molecular modeling evidence suggests that the major allergen domain in insects evolved from a homodimeric origin.

    PubMed

    Randall, Thomas A; Perera, Lalith; London, Robert E; Mueller, Geoffrey A

    2013-01-01

    The major allergen domain (MA) is widely distributed in insects. The crystal structure of a single Bla g 1 MA revealed a novel protein fold in which the fundamental structure was a duplex of two subsequences (monomers), which had diverged over time. This suggested that the evolutionary origin of the MA structure may have been a homodimer of this smaller subsequence. Using publicly available genomic data, the distribution of the basic unit of this class of proteins was determined to better understand its evolutionary history. The duplication and divergence is examined at three distinct levels of resolution: 1) within the orders Diptera and Hymenoptera, 2) within one genus Drosophila, and 3) within one species Aedes aegypti. Within the family Culicidae, we have found two separate occurrences of monomers as independent genes. The organization of the gene family in A. aegypti shows a common evolutionary origin for its monomer and several closely related MAs. Molecular modeling of the A. aegypti monomer with the unique Bla g 1 fold confirms the distant evolutionary relationship and supports the feasibility of homodimer formation from a single monomer. RNAseq data for A. aegypti confirms that the monomer is expressed in the mosquito similar to other A. aegypti MAs after a blood meal. Together, these data support the contention that the detected monomer shares similar functional characteristics to related MAs in other insects. An extensive search for this domain outside of Insecta confirms that the MAs are restricted to insects.

  15. Fundamental approaches in molecular biology for communication sciences and disorders

    PubMed Central

    Bartlett, Rebecca; Jetté, Marie E; King, Suzanne N.; Schaser, Allison; Thibeault, Susan L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose This contemporary tutorial will introduce general principles of molecular biology, common DNA, RNA and protein assays and their relevance in the field of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). Methods Over the past two decades, knowledge of the molecular pathophysiology of human disease has increased at a remarkable pace. Most of this progress can be attributed to concomitant advances in basic molecular biology and, specifically, the development of an ever-expanding armamentarium of technologies for analysis of DNA, RNA and protein structure and function. Details of these methodologies, their limitations and examples from the CSD literature are presented. Results/Conclusions The use of molecular biology techniques in the fields of speech, language and hearing sciences is increasing, facilitating the need for an understanding of molecular biology fundamentals and common experimental assays. PMID:22232415

  16. Molecular Science Computing Facility Scientific Challenges: Linking Across Scales

    SciTech Connect

    De Jong, Wibe A.; Windus, Theresa L.

    2005-07-01

    The purpose of this document is to define the evolving science drivers for performing environmental molecular research at the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) and to provide guidance associated with the next-generation high-performance computing center that must be developed at EMSL's Molecular Science Computing Facility (MSCF) in order to address this critical research. The MSCF is the pre-eminent computing facility?supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER)?tailored to provide the fastest time-to-solution for current computational challenges in chemistry and biology, as well as providing the means for broad research in the molecular and environmental sciences. The MSCF provides integral resources and expertise to emerging EMSL Scientific Grand Challenges and Collaborative Access Teams that are designed to leverage the multiple integrated research capabilities of EMSL, thereby creating a synergy between computation and experiment to address environmental molecular science challenges critical to DOE and the nation.

  17. Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences (CAMOS)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    The Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences is a standing committee under the auspices of the Board on Physics and Astronomy, Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications of the National Academy of Sciences -- National Research Council. The atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) sciences represent a broad and diverse field in which much of the research is carried out by small groups. These groups generally have not operated in concert with each other and, prior to the establishment of CAMOS, there was no single committee or organization that accepted the responsibility of monitoring the continuing development and assessing the general public health of the field as a whole. CAMOS has accepted this responsibility and currently provides a focus for the AMO community that is unique and essential. The membership of CAMOS is drawn from research laboratories in universities, industry, and government. Areas of expertise on the committee include atomic physics, molecular science, and optics. A special effort has been made to include a balanced representation from the three subfields. (A roster is attached.) CAMOS has conducted a number of studies related to the health of atomic and molecular science and is well prepared to response to requests for studies on specific issues. This report brief reviews the committee work of progress.

  18. REVIEW ARTICLE: Molecular electronics: prospects for instrumentation and measurement science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petty, M. C.

    1996-05-01

    Molecular electronics is a new, exciting, interdisciplinary field of research. The subject broadly concerns the exploitation of organic materials in electronic and optoelectronic devices. There are many current commercial applications, including liquid crystal displays, conductive polymer sensors and pyroelectric plastics. Longer term developments might include molecular computational devices. In this review, the scope of molecular electronics is first discussed. Three examples of ongoing research that could have an impact on instrumentation and measurement science are then described. This is followed by some speculation on the possibilities for `molecular scale' electronic systems.

  19. Molecular genetics at the Fort Collins Science Center

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oyler-McCance, S.J.; Stevens, P.D.

    2011-01-01

    The Fort Collins Science Center operates a molecular genetic and systematics research facility (FORT Molecular Ecology Laboratory) that uses molecular genetic tools to provide genetic information needed to inform natural resource management decisions. For many wildlife species, the data generated have become increasingly important in the development of their long-term management strategies, leading to a better understanding of species diversity, population dynamics and ecology, and future conservation and management needs. The Molecular Ecology Lab serves Federal research and resource management agencies by developing scientifically rigorous research programs using nuclear, mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA to help address many of today's conservation biology and natural resource management issues.

  20. Atomic and molecular science with synchrotron radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-11-07

    This paper discusses the following topics: electron correlation in atoms; atomic innershell excitation and decay mechanisms; timing experiments; x-ray scattering; properties of ionized species; electronic properties of actinide atoms; total photon-interaction cross sections; and molecular physics. 66 refs. (LSP)

  1. Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences (CAMOS)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    The Committee on Atomic, Molecular and Optical Sciences (CAMOS) of the National Research Council (NRC) is charged with monitoring the health of the field of atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) science in the United States. Accordingly, the Committee identifies and examines both broad and specific issues affecting the field. Regular meetings, teleconferences, briefings from agencies and the scientific community, the formation of study panels to prepare reports, and special symposia are among the mechanisms used by the CAMOS to meet its charge. This progress report presents a review of CAMOS activities from February 1, 1992 to January 31, 1993. This report also includes the status of activities associated with the CAMOS study on the field that is being conducted by the Panel on the Future of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences (FAMOS).

  2. Towards the elements of successful insect RNAi

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24041495

  3. Parallel molecular routes to cold adaptation in eight genera of New Zealand stick insects

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Alice B.; Dunning, Luke T.; Sinclair, Brent J.; Buckley, Thomas R.

    2015-01-01

    The acquisition of physiological strategies to tolerate novel thermal conditions allows organisms to exploit new environments. As a result, thermal tolerance is a key determinant of the global distribution of biodiversity, yet the constraints on its evolution are not well understood. Here we investigate parallel evolution of cold tolerance in New Zealand stick insects, an endemic radiation containing three montane-occurring species. Using a phylogeny constructed from 274 orthologous genes, we show that stick insects have independently colonized montane environments at least twice. We compare supercooling point and survival of internal ice formation among ten species from eight genera, and identify both freeze tolerance and freeze avoidance in separate montane lineages. Freeze tolerance is also verified in both lowland and montane populations of a single, geographically widespread, species. Transcriptome sequencing following cold shock identifies a set of structural cuticular genes that are both differentially regulated and under positive sequence selection in each species. However, while cuticular proteins in general are associated with cold shock across the phylogeny, the specific genes at play differ among species. Thus, while processes related to cuticular structure are consistently associated with adaptation for cold, this may not be the consequence of shared ancestral genetic constraints. PMID:26355841

  4. Effects of DNA Methylation and Chromatin State on Rates of Molecular Evolution in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Glastad, Karl M.; Goodisman, Michael A. D.; Yi, Soojin V.; Hunt, Brendan G.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic information is widely appreciated for its role in gene regulation in eukaryotic organisms. However, epigenetic information can also influence genome evolution. Here, we investigate the effects of epigenetic information on gene sequence evolution in two disparate insects: the fly Drosophila melanogaster, which lacks substantial DNA methylation, and the ant Camponotus floridanus, which possesses a functional DNA methylation system. We found that DNA methylation was positively correlated with the synonymous substitution rate in C. floridanus, suggesting a key effect of DNA methylation on patterns of gene evolution. However, our data suggest the link between DNA methylation and elevated rates of synonymous substitution was explained, in large part, by the targeting of DNA methylation to genes with signatures of transcriptionally active chromatin, rather than the mutational effect of DNA methylation itself. This phenomenon may be explained by an elevated mutation rate for genes residing in transcriptionally active chromatin, or by increased structural constraints on genes in inactive chromatin. This result highlights the importance of chromatin structure as the primary epigenetic driver of genome evolution in insects. Overall, our study demonstrates how different epigenetic systems contribute to variation in the rates of coding sequence evolution. PMID:26637432

  5. Effects of DNA Methylation and Chromatin State on Rates of Molecular Evolution in Insects.

    PubMed

    Glastad, Karl M; Goodisman, Michael A D; Yi, Soojin V; Hunt, Brendan G

    2015-12-04

    Epigenetic information is widely appreciated for its role in gene regulation in eukaryotic organisms. However, epigenetic information can also influence genome evolution. Here, we investigate the effects of epigenetic information on gene sequence evolution in two disparate insects: the fly Drosophila melanogaster, which lacks substantial DNA methylation, and the ant Camponotus floridanus, which possesses a functional DNA methylation system. We found that DNA methylation was positively correlated with the synonymous substitution rate in C. floridanus, suggesting a key effect of DNA methylation on patterns of gene evolution. However, our data suggest the link between DNA methylation and elevated rates of synonymous substitution was explained, in large part, by the targeting of DNA methylation to genes with signatures of transcriptionally active chromatin, rather than the mutational effect of DNA methylation itself. This phenomenon may be explained by an elevated mutation rate for genes residing in transcriptionally active chromatin, or by increased structural constraints on genes in inactive chromatin. This result highlights the importance of chromatin structure as the primary epigenetic driver of genome evolution in insects. Overall, our study demonstrates how different epigenetic systems contribute to variation in the rates of coding sequence evolution.

  6. Parallel molecular routes to cold adaptation in eight genera of New Zealand stick insects.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Alice B; Dunning, Luke T; Sinclair, Brent J; Buckley, Thomas R

    2015-09-10

    The acquisition of physiological strategies to tolerate novel thermal conditions allows organisms to exploit new environments. As a result, thermal tolerance is a key determinant of the global distribution of biodiversity, yet the constraints on its evolution are not well understood. Here we investigate parallel evolution of cold tolerance in New Zealand stick insects, an endemic radiation containing three montane-occurring species. Using a phylogeny constructed from 274 orthologous genes, we show that stick insects have independently colonized montane environments at least twice. We compare supercooling point and survival of internal ice formation among ten species from eight genera, and identify both freeze tolerance and freeze avoidance in separate montane lineages. Freeze tolerance is also verified in both lowland and montane populations of a single, geographically widespread, species. Transcriptome sequencing following cold shock identifies a set of structural cuticular genes that are both differentially regulated and under positive sequence selection in each species. However, while cuticular proteins in general are associated with cold shock across the phylogeny, the specific genes at play differ among species. Thus, while processes related to cuticular structure are consistently associated with adaptation for cold, this may not be the consequence of shared ancestral genetic constraints.

  7. Teaching with Insects: An Applied Life Science Course for Supporting Prospective Elementary Teachers' Scientific Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haefner, Leigh A.; Friedrichsen, Patricia Meis; Zembal-Saul, Carla

    2006-01-01

    The National Science Education Standards (National Research Council [NRC], 1996) call for a greater emphasis on scientific inquiry in K-12 science classes. The Inquiry Standards recommend that students be engaged with scientific questions in which they collect and interpret data, give priority to evidence to construct explanations, test those…

  8. Molecular phylogeny of the megadiverse insect infraorder Bibionomorpha sensu lato (Diptera)

    PubMed Central

    Kaspřák, David; Mantič, Michal; Fitzgerald, Scott; Ševčíková, Tereza; Tóthová, Andrea; Jaschhof, Mathias

    2016-01-01

    The phylogeny of the insect infraorder Bibionomorpha (Diptera) is reconstructed based on the combined analysis of three nuclear (18S, 28S, CAD) and three mitochondrial (12S, 16S, COI) gene markers. All the analyses strongly support the monophyly of Bibionomorpha in both the narrow (sensu stricto) and the broader (sensu lato) concepts. The major lineages of Bibionomorpha sensu lato (Sciaroidea, Bibionoidea, Anisopodoidea, and Scatopsoidea) and most of the included families are supported as monophyletic groups. Axymyiidae was not found to be part of Bibionomorpha nor was it found to be its sister group. Bibionidae was paraphyletic with respect to Hesperinidae and Keroplatidae was paraphyletic with respect to Lygistorrhinidae. The included Sciaroidea incertae sedis (except Ohakunea Edwards) were found to belong to one clade, but the relationships within this group and its position within Sciaroidea require further study. PMID:27781163

  9. Insects and low temperatures: from molecular biology to distributions and abundance.

    PubMed Central

    Bale, J S

    2002-01-01

    Insects are the most diverse fauna on earth, with different species occupying a range of terrestrial and aquatic habitats from the tropics to the poles. Species inhabiting extreme low-temperature environments must either tolerate or avoid freezing to survive. While much is now known about the synthesis, biochemistry and function of the main groups of cryoprotectants involved in the seasonal processes of acclimatization and winter cold hardiness (ice-nucleating agents, polyols and antifreeze proteins), studies on the structural biology of these compounds have been more limited. The recent discovery of rapid cold-hardening, ice-interface desiccation and the daily resetting of critical thermal thresholds affecting mortality and mobility have emphasized the role of temperature as the most important abiotic factor, acting through physiological processes to determine ecological outcomes. These relationships are seen in key areas such as species responses to climate warming, forecasting systems for pest outbreaks and the establishment potential of alien species in new environments. PMID:12171648

  10. Rapid molecular identification of armored scale insects (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) on Mexican 'Hass' avocado.

    PubMed

    Rugman-Jones, Paul F; Morse, Joseph G; Stouthamer, Richard

    2009-10-01

    'Hass' avocado, Persea americana Mill., fruit imported into California from Mexico are infested with high levels of armored scale insects (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), constituting several species. The paucity and delicate nature of morphological characters traditionally used to diagnose armored scales often require careful preparation of slide-mounted specimens and expert knowledge of the group, for their accurate identification. Here, we present a simple, quick, and accurate means to identify armored scales on Mexican avocados, based on amplification of the internal transcribed spacer two of ribosomal DNA, by using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This region seems to show a high level of intraspecific conformity among scale specimens originating from different localities. A suite of species-specific reverse PCR primers are combined in a single reaction, with a universal forward primer, and produce a PCR product of a unique size, that after standard gel electrophoresis, allows the direct diagnosis of six diaspidid species: Abgrallaspis aguacatae Evans, Watson & Miller; Hemiberlesia lataniae (Signoret); Hemiberlesia sp. near latania; Hemiberlesia rapax (Comstock); Acutaspis albopicta (Cockerell); and Pinnaspis strachani (Cooley). Two additional species, Diaspis miranda (Cockerell) and Diaspis sp. near miranda, also are separated from the others by using this method and are subsequently diagnosed by secondary digestion of the PCR product with the restriction endonuclease smaI.

  11. Molecular and biochemical studies of the evolution, infection and transmission of insect bunyaviruses.

    PubMed

    Bishop, D H; Beaty, B J

    1988-10-31

    Members of the Bunyaviridae family of RNA viruses (bunyaviruses, hantaviruses, nairoviruses, phleboviruses and uukuviruses) have been studied at the molecular and genetic level to understand the basis of their evolution and infection in vertebrate and invertebrate (arthropod) hosts. With the exception of the hantaviruses, these viruses infect and are transmitted by a variety of blood-sucking arthropods (mosquitoes, phlebotomines, gnats, ticks, etc.). The viruses are responsible for infection of various vertebrate species, occasionally causing human disease, morbidity and mortality (e.g. Rift Valley fever, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Korean haemorrhagic fever). Genetic and molecular analyses of bunyaviruses have established the coding assignments of the three viral RNA species and documented which viral gene products determine host range and virulence. Ecological studies, with molecular techniques, have provided evidence for bunyavirus evolution in nature through genetic drift (involving the accumulation of point mutations) and shift (RNA-segment reassortment).

  12. Status of Two Species of Lac Insects in the Genus Kerria from China Based on Morphological, Cellular, and Molecular Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiaoming; Chen, Hang; Feng, Ying; He, Rui; Yang, Zixiang

    2011-01-01

    The taxonomic status of the Chinese lac insects Kerria yunnanensis (Ou and Hong) (Hemiptera: Kerridae) and K. ruralis (Wang, Yao, Teiu and Liang) were analyzed in this paper by comparing morphological, cellular, and molecular data. Cladistic analysis showed K. yunnanensis and K. ruralis to be distinct from other Kerria species such as K. lacca and K. chinensis. The karyotype of K. yunnanensis was 3A and the chromosome structure was K = 6m + 2sm + 10T, while in K. ruralis the karyotype was 3B and the chromosome structure was K = 8m + 10T. Kerria ruralis and K. yunnanensis had the closest relationship among species in the genus as they had the most similar karyotype homology. Based on the karyotype analysis, K. sindica and K. lacca formed a sister group with K. ruralis and K. yunnanensis. Kerria pusana and K. nepalensis were clustered as a sister branch, indicating the close relationship of these taxa. The karyotype of K. chinensis was however, different from the other six species and formed a separate branch. RAPD analysis also showed that K. yunnanensis and K. ruralis had distinct differences from other species of Kerria, although they did not form sister taxa. Molecular analysis based on the EF1α gene using ML, MP, and Mr. Bayes' methods indicated that seven species of lac insects cluster in two major groups. In group 1, K. sindica and K. lacca formed a sister clade and were primitive members of the genus. In group 2, K. chinensis formed the earliest diverging branch followed by K. ruralis. Kerria yunnanensis was the next to diverge followed by the cluster containing K. pusana and K. nepalensis. Hybridization testing showed that crosses neither between K. yunnanensis and K. sindica, nor between K. yunnanensis and K. lacca could produce first generation larvae. This was indicative that K. yunnanensis had a distant genetic relationship from the other species. Morphological, cellular, molecular, and hybridization results confirmed the independent status of the

  13. Ligands Binding and Molecular Simulation: the Potential Investigation of a Biosensor Based on an Insect Odorant Binding Protein

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Xin; Zhang, Yanbo; Wang, Peidan; Qi, Jiangwei; Hu, Meiying; Zhong, Guohua

    2015-01-01

    Based on mimicking biological olfaction, biosensors have been applied for the detection of various ligands in complex environment, which could represent one of the most promising research fields. In this study, the basic characters of one insect odorant binding protein (OBP) as a biosensor were explored. To explore the molecular recognition process, the tertiary structure of the protein was modeled and the protein-ligand interactions with 1,536,550 chemicals were investigated by the molecular docking. The availability of large amount of recombinant SlitOBP1 overcame the difficulty to obtain biological sensing material. After obtained the purified recombinant protein, the result of fluorescence binding assays proved the candidate protein has good affinities with the majority of the tested chemicals. With the aid of simulation docking, the key conserved amino acids within the binding site were identified and then mutated to alanine. After mutation, the protein-ligand binding characteristics were recorded, and the competitive binding assays were carried out to provide experimental verification. The detailed information on its structure and affinities investigated in this study could allow the design of specific mutants with desired characteristics, which provides a solid base for tailoring OBP for biosensor and provides a role model for screening the other elements in olfactory system for different applications. PMID:25552932

  14. Ligands binding and molecular simulation: the potential investigation of a biosensor based on an insect odorant binding protein.

    PubMed

    Yi, Xin; Zhang, Yanbo; Wang, Peidan; Qi, Jiangwei; Hu, Meiying; Zhong, Guohua

    2015-01-01

    Based on mimicking biological olfaction, biosensors have been applied for the detection of various ligands in complex environment, which could represent one of the most promising research fields. In this study, the basic characters of one insect odorant binding protein (OBP) as a biosensor were explored. To explore the molecular recognition process, the tertiary structure of the protein was modeled and the protein-ligand interactions with 1,536,550 chemicals were investigated by the molecular docking. The availability of large amount of recombinant SlitOBP1 overcame the difficulty to obtain biological sensing material. After obtained the purified recombinant protein, the result of fluorescence binding assays proved the candidate protein has good affinities with the majority of the tested chemicals. With the aid of simulation docking, the key conserved amino acids within the binding site were identified and then mutated to alanine. After mutation, the protein-ligand binding characteristics were recorded, and the competitive binding assays were carried out to provide experimental verification. The detailed information on its structure and affinities investigated in this study could allow the design of specific mutants with desired characteristics, which provides a solid base for tailoring OBP for biosensor and provides a role model for screening the other elements in olfactory system for different applications. PMID:25552932

  15. Molecular detection of trophic links in a complex insect host-parasitoid food web.

    PubMed

    Hrcek, Jan; Miller, Scott E; Quicke, Donald L J; Smith, M Alex

    2011-09-01

    Previously, host-parasitoid links have been unveiled almost exclusively by time-intensive rearing, while molecular methods were used only in simple agricultural host-parasitoid systems in the form of species-specific primers. Here, we present a general method for the molecular detection of these links applied to a complex caterpillar-parasitoid food web from tropical rainforest of Papua New Guinea. We DNA barcoded hosts, parasitoids and their tissue remnants and matched the sequences to our extensive library of local species. We were thus able to match 87% of host sequences and 36% of parasitoid sequences to species and infer subfamily or family in almost all cases. Our analysis affirmed 93 hitherto unknown trophic links between 37 host species from a wide range of Lepidoptera families and 46 parasitoid species from Hymenoptera and Diptera by identifying DNA sequences for both the host and the parasitoid involved in the interaction. Molecular detection proved especially useful in cases where distinguishing host species in caterpillar stage was difficult morphologically, or when the caterpillar died during rearing. We have even detected a case of extreme parasitoid specialization in a pair of Choreutis species that do not differ in caterpillar morphology and ecology. Using the molecular approach outlined here leads to better understanding of parasitoid host specificity, opens new possibilities for rapid surveys of food web structure and allows inference of species associations not already anticipated.

  16. Molecular and functional characterization of Bemisia tabaci aquaporins reveals the water channel diversity of hemipteran insects.

    PubMed

    Van Ekert, Evelien; Chauvigné, François; Finn, Roderick Nigel; Mathew, Lolita G; Hull, J Joe; Cerdà, Joan; Fabrick, Jeffrey A

    2016-10-01

    The Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is an economically important pest of food, fiber, and ornamental crops. This pest has evolved a number of adaptations to overcome physiological challenges, including 1) the ability to regulate osmotic stress between gut lumen and hemolymph after imbibing large quantities of a low nitrogen, sugar-rich liquid diet; 2) the ability to avoid or prevent dehydration and desiccation, particularly during egg hatching and molting; and 3) to be adapted for survival at elevated temperatures. One superfamily of proteins involved in the maintenance of fluid homeostasis in many organisms includes the aquaporins, which are integral membrane channel proteins that aid in the rapid flux of water and other small solutes across biological membranes. Here, we show that B. tabaci has eight aquaporins (BtAqps), of which seven belong to the classical aquaporin 4-related grade of channels, including Bib, Drip, Prip, and Eglps and one that belongs to the unorthodox grade of aquaporin 12-like channels. B. tabaci has further expanded its repertoire of water channels through the expression of three BtDrip2 amino-terminal splice variants, while other hemipteran species express amino- or carboxyl-terminal isoforms of Drip, Prip, and Eglps. Each BtAqp has unique transcript expression profiles, cellular localization, and/or substrate preference. Our phylogenetic and functional data reveal that hemipteran insects lost the classical glp genes, but have compensated for this by duplicating the eglp genes early in their evolution to comprise at least three separate clades of glycerol transporters. PMID:27491441

  17. The biological function of an insect antifreeze protein simulated by molecular dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Kuiper, Michael J; Morton, Craig J; Abraham, Sneha E; Gray-Weale, Angus

    2015-01-01

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) protect certain cold-adapted organisms from freezing to death by selectively adsorbing to internal ice crystals and inhibiting ice propagation. The molecular details of AFP adsorption-inhibition is uncertain but is proposed to involve the Gibbs–Thomson effect. Here we show by using unbiased molecular dynamics simulations a protein structure-function mechanism for the spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana AFP, including stereo-specific binding and consequential melting and freezing inhibition. The protein binds indirectly to the prism ice face through a linear array of ordered water molecules that are structurally distinct from the ice. Mutation of the ice binding surface disrupts water-ordering and abolishes activity. The adsorption is virtually irreversible, and we confirm the ice growth inhibition is consistent with the Gibbs–Thomson law. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05142.001 PMID:25951514

  18. The biological function of an insect antifreeze protein simulated by molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Kuiper, Michael J; Morton, Craig J; Abraham, Sneha E; Gray-Weale, Angus

    2015-05-07

    Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) protect certain cold-adapted organisms from freezing to death by selectively adsorbing to internal ice crystals and inhibiting ice propagation. The molecular details of AFP adsorption-inhibition is uncertain but is proposed to involve the Gibbs-Thomson effect. Here we show by using unbiased molecular dynamics simulations a protein structure-function mechanism for the spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana AFP, including stereo-specific binding and consequential melting and freezing inhibition. The protein binds indirectly to the prism ice face through a linear array of ordered water molecules that are structurally distinct from the ice. Mutation of the ice binding surface disrupts water-ordering and abolishes activity. The adsorption is virtually irreversible, and we confirm the ice growth inhibition is consistent with the Gibbs-Thomson law.

  19. Molecular machines - a new dimension of biological sciences.

    PubMed

    Głogocka, Daria; Przybyło, Magdalena; Langner, Marek

    2015-06-01

    Biological systems are characterized by directional and precisely controlled flow of matter and information along with the maintenance of their structural patterns. This is possible thanks to sequential transformations of information, energy and structure carried out by molecular machines. The new perception of biological systems, including their mechanical aspects, requires the implementation of tools and approaches previously developed for engineering sciences. In this review paper, a biological system is presented in a new perspective as an ensemble of coordinated molecular devices functioning in the limited space confined by the biological membrane. The working of a molecular machine is presented using the example of F0F1 ATPase, and the general conditions necessary for the coordination of a large number of functional units are described.

  20. Molecular determinants on the insect sodium channel for the specific action of type II pyrethroid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Du, Yuzhe; Nomura, Yoshiko; Luo, Ningguang; Liu, Zhiqi; Lee, Jung-Eun; Khambay, Bhupinder; Dong, Ke

    2009-01-15

    Pyrethroid insecticides are classified as type I or type II based on their distinct symptomology and effects on sodium channel gating. Structurally, type II pyrethroids possess an alpha-cyano group at the phenylbenzyl alcohol position, which is lacking in type I pyrethroids. Both type I and type II pyrethroids inhibit deactivation consequently prolonging the opening of sodium channels. However, type II pyrethroids inhibit the deactivation of sodium channels to a greater extent than type I pyrethroids inducing much slower decaying of tail currents upon repolarization. The molecular basis of a type II-specific action, however, is not known. Here we report the identification of a residue G(1111) and two positively charged lysines immediately downstream of G(1111) in the intracellular linker connecting domains II and III of the cockroach sodium channel that are specifically involved in the action of type II pyrethroids, but not in the action of type I pyrethroids. Deletion of G(1111), a consequence of alternative splicing, reduced the sodium channel sensitivity to type II pyrethroids, but had no effect on channel sensitivity to type I pyrethroids. Interestingly, charge neutralization or charge reversal of two positively charged lysines (Ks) downstream of G(1111) had a similar effect. These results provide the molecular insight into the type II-specific interaction of pyrethroids with the sodium channel at the molecular level.

  1. Molecular determinants on the insect sodium channel for the specific action of type II pyrethroid insecticides

    SciTech Connect

    Du Yuzhe; Nomura, Yoshiko; Luo Ningguang; Liu Zhiqi; Lee, Jung-Eun; Khambay, Bhupinder; Dong Ke

    2009-01-15

    Pyrethroid insecticides are classified as type I or type II based on their distinct symptomology and effects on sodium channel gating. Structurally, type II pyrethroids possess an {alpha}-cyano group at the phenylbenzyl alcohol position, which is lacking in type I pyrethroids. Both type I and type II pyrethroids inhibit deactivation consequently prolonging the opening of sodium channels. However, type II pyrethroids inhibit the deactivation of sodium channels to a greater extent than type I pyrethroids inducing much slower decaying of tail currents upon repolarization. The molecular basis of a type II-specific action, however, is not known. Here we report the identification of a residue G{sup 1111} and two positively charged lysines immediately downstream of G{sup 1111} in the intracellular linker connecting domains II and III of the cockroach sodium channel that are specifically involved in the action of type II pyrethroids, but not in the action of type I pyrethroids. Deletion of G{sup 1111}, a consequence of alternative splicing, reduced the sodium channel sensitivity to type II pyrethroids, but had no effect on channel sensitivity to type I pyrethroids. Interestingly, charge neutralization or charge reversal of two positively charged lysines (Ks) downstream of G{sup 1111} had a similar effect. These results provide the molecular insight into the type II-specific interaction of pyrethroids with the sodium channel at the molecular level.

  2. Observing Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arbel, Ilil

    1991-01-01

    Describes how to observe and study the fascinating world of insects in public parks, backyards, and gardens. Discusses the activities and habits of several common insects. Includes addresses for sources of beneficial insects, seeds, and plants. (nine references) (JJK)

  3. Cellulolytic systems in insects.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Hirofumi; Tokuda, Gaku

    2010-01-01

    Despite the presence of many carbohydrolytic activities in insects, their cellulolytic mechanisms are poorly understood. Whereas cellulase genes are absent from the genomes of Drosophila melanogaster or Bombyx mori, other insects such as termites produce their own cellulases. Recent studies using molecular biological techniques have brought new insights into the mechanisms by which the insects and their microbial symbionts digest cellulose in the small intestine. DNA sequences of cellulase and associated genes, as well as physiological and morphological information about the digestive systems of cellulase-producing insects, may allow the efficient use of cellulosic biomass as a sustainable energy source.

  4. Molecular Signatures in Arabidopsis thaliana in Response to Insect Attack and Bacterial Infection

    PubMed Central

    Barah, Pankaj; Winge, Per; Kusnierczyk, Anna; Tran, Diem Hong; Bones, Atle M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Under the threat of global climatic change and food shortages, it is essential to take the initiative to obtain a comprehensive understanding of common and specific defence mechanisms existing in plant systems for protection against different types of biotic invaders. We have implemented an integrated approach to analyse the overall transcriptomic reprogramming and systems-level defence responses in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana (A. thaliana henceforth) during insect Brevicoryne brassicae (B. brassicae henceforth) and bacterial Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000 (P. syringae henceforth) attacks. The main aim of this study was to identify the attacker-specific and general defence response signatures in A. thaliana when attacked by phloem-feeding aphids or pathogenic bacteria. Results The obtained annotated networks of differentially expressed transcripts indicated that members of transcription factor families, such as WRKY, MYB, ERF, BHLH and bZIP, could be crucial for stress-specific defence regulation in Arabidopsis during aphid and P. syringae attack. The defence response pathways, signalling pathways and metabolic processes associated with aphid attack and P. syringae infection partially overlapped. Components of several important biosynthesis and signalling pathways, such as salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), ethylene (ET) and glucosinolates, were differentially affected during the two the treatments. Several stress-regulated transcription factors were known to be associated with stress-inducible microRNAs. The differentially regulated gene sets included many signature transcription factors, and our co-expression analysis showed that they were also strongly co-expressed during 69 other biotic stress experiments. Conclusions Defence responses and functional networks that were unique and specific to aphid or P. syringae stresses were identified. Furthermore, our analysis revealed a probable link between biotic stress and

  5. SLAC All Access: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science Instrument

    ScienceCinema

    Bozek, John

    2016-07-12

    John Bozek, a staff scientist at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser who manages the LCLS Soft X-ray Department, takes us behind the scenes at the Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science (AMO) instrument, the first of six experimental stations now operating at LCLS. Samples used in AMO experiments include atoms, molecules, clusters, and nanoscale objects such as protein crystals or viruses. Science performed at AMO includes fundamental studies of light-matter interactions in the extreme X-ray intensity of the LCLS pules, time-resolved studies of increasingly charged states of atoms and molecules, X-ray diffraction imaging of nanocrystals, and single-shot imaging of a variety of objects.

  6. SLAC All Access: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science Instrument

    SciTech Connect

    Bozek, John

    2013-11-05

    John Bozek, a staff scientist at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser who manages the LCLS Soft X-ray Department, takes us behind the scenes at the Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science (AMO) instrument, the first of six experimental stations now operating at LCLS. Samples used in AMO experiments include atoms, molecules, clusters, and nanoscale objects such as protein crystals or viruses. Science performed at AMO includes fundamental studies of light-matter interactions in the extreme X-ray intensity of the LCLS pules, time-resolved studies of increasingly charged states of atoms and molecules, X-ray diffraction imaging of nanocrystals, and single-shot imaging of a variety of objects.

  7. Molecular control of phenoloxidase-induced melanin synthesis in an insect.

    PubMed

    Kan, Hongnan; Kim, Chan-Hee; Kwon, Hyun-Mi; Park, Ji-Won; Roh, Kyung-Baeg; Lee, Hanna; Park, Bum-Joon; Zhang, Rong; Zhang, Jinghai; Söderhäll, Kenneth; Ha, Nam-Chul; Lee, Bok Luel

    2008-09-12

    The melanization reaction induced by activated phenoloxidase in arthropods must be tightly controlled because of excessive formation of quinones and excessive systemic melanization damage to the hosts. However, the molecular mechanism by which phenoloxidase-induced melanin synthesis is regulated in vivo is largely unknown. It is known that the Spätzle-processing enzyme is a key enzyme in the production of cleaved Spätzle from pro-Spätzle in the Drosophila Toll pathway. Here, we provide biochemical evidence that the Tenebrio molitor Spätzle-processing enzyme converts both the 79-kDa Tenebrio prophenoloxidase and Tenebrio clip-domain SPH1 zymogen to an active melanization complex. This complex, consisting of the 76-kDa Tenebrio phenoloxidase and an active form of Tenebrio clip-domain SPH1, efficiently produces melanin on the surface of bacteria, and this activity has a strong bactericidal effect. Interestingly, we found the phenoloxidase-induced melanization reaction to be tightly regulated by Tenebrio prophenoloxidase, which functions as a competitive inhibitor of melanization complex formation. These results demonstrate that the Tenebrio Toll pathway and the melanization reaction share a common serine protease for the regulation of these two major innate immune responses. PMID:18628205

  8. 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,…

  9. Building a Collaboratory in Environmental and Molecular Science

    SciTech Connect

    Kouzes, R.T.; Myers, J.D.; Devaney, D.M.; Dunning, T.H.; Wise, J.A.

    1994-03-01

    A Collaboratory is a meta-laboratory that spans multiple geographical areas with collaborators interacting via electronic means. Collaboratories are designed to enable close ties between scientists in a given research area, promote collaborations involving scientists in diverse areas, accelerate the development and dissemination of basic knowledge, and minimize the time-lag between discovery and application. PNL is developing the concept of an Environmental and Molecular Sciences Collaboratory (EMSC) as a natural evolution of the EMSL project. The goal of the EMSC is to increase the efficiency of research and reduce the time required to implement new environmental remediation and preservation technologies. The EMSC will leverage the resources (intellectual and physical) of the EMSL by making them more accessible to remote collaborators as well as by making the resources of remote sites available to local researchers. It will provide a common set of computer hardware and software tools to support remote collaboration, a key step in establishing a collaborative culture for scientists in the theoretical, computational, and experimental molecular sciences across the nation. In short, the EMSC will establish and support an `electronic community of scientists researching and developing innovative environmental preservation and restoration technologies.

  10. The Development of New User Research Capabilities in Environmental Molecular Science: Workshop Report

    SciTech Connect

    Felmy, Andrew R.; Baer, Donald R.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Gephart, Roy E.; Rosso, Kevin M.

    2006-10-31

    On August 1, and 2, 2006, 104 scientists representing 40 institutions including 24 Universities and 5 National Laboratories gathered at the W.R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a National scientific user facility, to outline important science challenges for the next decade and identify major capabilities needed to pursue advanced research in the environmental molecular sciences. EMSL’s four science themes served as the framework for the workshop. The four science themes are 1) Biological Interactions and Interfaces, 2) Geochemistry/Biogeochemistry and Surface Science, 3) Atmospheric Aerosol Chemistry, and 4) Science of Interfacial Phenomena.

  11. Molecular analysis of a novel gene cluster encoding an insect toxin in plant-associated strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens.

    PubMed

    Péchy-Tarr, Maria; Bruck, Denny J; Maurhofer, Monika; Fischer, Esther; Vogne, Christelle; Henkels, Marcella D; Donahue, Kelly M; Grunder, Jürg; Loper, Joyce E; Keel, Christoph

    2008-09-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens CHA0 and the related strain Pf-5 are well-characterized representatives of rhizosphere bacteria that have the capacity to protect crop plants from fungal root diseases, mainly by releasing a variety of exoproducts that are toxic to plant pathogenic fungi. Here, we report that the two plant-beneficial pseudomonads also exhibit potent insecticidal activity. Anti-insect activity is linked to a novel genomic locus encoding a large protein toxin termed Fit (for P. fluorescensinsecticidal toxin) that is related to the insect toxin Mcf (Makes caterpillars floppy) of the entomopathogen Photorhabdus luminescens, a mutualist of insect-invading nematodes. When injected into the haemocoel, even low doses of P. fluorescens CHA0 or Pf-5 killed larvae of the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta and the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella. In contrast, mutants of CHA0 or Pf-5 with deletions in the Fit toxin gene were significantly less virulent to the larvae. When expressed from an inducible promoter in a non-toxic Escherichia coli host, the Fit toxin gene was sufficient to render the bacterium toxic to both insect hosts. Our findings establish the Fit gene products of P. fluorescens CHA0 and Pf-5 as potent insect toxins that define previously unappreciated anti-insect properties of these plant-colonizing bacteria. PMID:18484997

  12. 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,…

  13. Insect hemolymph clotting.

    PubMed

    Dushay, Mitchell S

    2009-08-01

    The clot's appearance in different large-bodied insects has been described, but until recently, little was known about any insect clot's molecular makeup, and few experiments could directly test its function. Techniques have been developed in Drosophila (fruit fly) larvae to identify clotting factors that can then be tested for effects on hemostasis, healing, and immunity. This has revealed unanticipated complexity in the hemostatic mechanisms in these larvae. While the clot's molecular structure is not yet fully understood, progress is being made, and the loss of clotting factors has been shown to cause subtle immune defects. The few similarities between coagulation in different insect species and life stages, and the current state of knowledge about coagulation in insects are discussed. PMID:19418022

  14. Accelerated molecular evolution of insect orthologues of ERG28/C14orf1: a link with ecdysteroid metabolism?

    PubMed

    Veitia, R A; Hurst, L D

    2001-04-01

    We have analysed the evolution of ERG28/C14orf1, a gene coding for a protein involved in sterol biosynthesis. While primary sequence of the protein is well conserved in all organisms able to synthesize sterols de novo, strong divergence is noticed in insects, which are cholesterol auxotrophs. In spite of this virtual acceleration, our analysis suggests that the insect orthologues are evolving today at rates similar to those of the remaining members of the family. A plausible way to explain this acceleration and subsequent stabilization is that Erg28 plays a role in at least two different pathways. Discontinuation of the cholesterogenesis pathway in insects allowed the protein to evolve as much as the function in the other pathway was not compromised.

  15. Introducing Molecular Life Science Students to Model Building Using Computer Simulations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aegerter-Wilmsen, Tinri; Kettenis, Dik; Sessink, Olivier; Hartog, Rob; Bisseling, Ton; Janssen, Fred

    2006-01-01

    Computer simulations can facilitate the building of models of natural phenomena in research, such as in the molecular life sciences. In order to introduce molecular life science students to the use of computer simulations for model building, a digital case was developed in which students build a model of a pattern formation process in…

  16. Molecular metal catalysts on supports: organometallic chemistry meets surface science.

    PubMed

    Serna, Pedro; Gates, Bruce C

    2014-08-19

    -support bonding and structure, which identify the supports as ligands with electron-donor properties that influence reactivity and catalysis. Each of the catalyst design variables has been varied independently, illustrated by mononuclear and tetranuclear iridium on zeolite HY and on MgO and by isostructural rhodium and iridium (diethylene or dicarbonyl) complexes on these supports. The data provide examples resolving the roles of the catalyst design variables and place the catalysis science on a firm foundation of organometallic chemistry linked with surface science. Supported molecular catalysts offer the advantages of characterization in the absence of solvents and with surface-science methods that do not require ultrahigh vacuum. Families of supported metal complexes have been made by replacement of ligands with others from the gas phase. Spectroscopically identified catalytic reaction intermediates help to elucidate catalyst performance and guide design. The methods are illustrated for supported complexes and clusters of rhodium, iridium, osmium, and gold used to catalyze reactions of small molecules that facilitate identification of the ligands present during catalysis: alkene dimerization and hydrogenation, H-D exchange in the reaction of H2 with D2, and CO oxidation. The approach is illustrated with the discovery of a highly active and selective MgO-supported rhodium carbonyl dimer catalyst for hydrogenation of 1,3-butadiene to give butenes. PMID:25036259

  17. Molecular metal catalysts on supports: organometallic chemistry meets surface science.

    PubMed

    Serna, Pedro; Gates, Bruce C

    2014-08-19

    -support bonding and structure, which identify the supports as ligands with electron-donor properties that influence reactivity and catalysis. Each of the catalyst design variables has been varied independently, illustrated by mononuclear and tetranuclear iridium on zeolite HY and on MgO and by isostructural rhodium and iridium (diethylene or dicarbonyl) complexes on these supports. The data provide examples resolving the roles of the catalyst design variables and place the catalysis science on a firm foundation of organometallic chemistry linked with surface science. Supported molecular catalysts offer the advantages of characterization in the absence of solvents and with surface-science methods that do not require ultrahigh vacuum. Families of supported metal complexes have been made by replacement of ligands with others from the gas phase. Spectroscopically identified catalytic reaction intermediates help to elucidate catalyst performance and guide design. The methods are illustrated for supported complexes and clusters of rhodium, iridium, osmium, and gold used to catalyze reactions of small molecules that facilitate identification of the ligands present during catalysis: alkene dimerization and hydrogenation, H-D exchange in the reaction of H2 with D2, and CO oxidation. The approach is illustrated with the discovery of a highly active and selective MgO-supported rhodium carbonyl dimer catalyst for hydrogenation of 1,3-butadiene to give butenes.

  18. Complex community and evolutionary responses to habitat fragmentation and habitat edges: what can we learn from insect science?

    PubMed

    Murphy, Shannon M; Battocletti, Amy H; Tinghitella, Robin M; Wimp, Gina M; Ries, Leslie

    2016-04-01

    Habitat fragmentation is the primary factor leading to species extinction worldwide and understanding how species respond to habitat edges is critical for understanding the effects of fragmentation on insect diversity in both natural and managed landscapes. Most studies on insect responses to the habitat edge focus on bottom-up changes in resources. Only a few recent studies have examined multi-trophic responses to habitat edges; the results of these studies highlight the problem that we lack a conceptual framework to understand the complex results observed when a single species' response to an edge 'cascades' throughout the food web in ways that are currently not predictable. Recent research from insect systems suggests that habitat edge responses cascade both up and down multi-trophic foodwebs and these altered species interactions may affect evolutionary processes. Future studies that investigate the effects of habitat edges on both ecological and evolutionary dynamics can help to fill these knowledge gaps and we suggest that insects, with short generation times, present an ideal opportunity to do so. PMID:27436648

  19. Learning Life Sciences: Design and Development of a Virtual Molecular Biology Learning Lab

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zumbach, Joerg; Schmitt, Stefanie; Reimann, Peter; Starkloff, Philipp

    2006-01-01

    The life sciences, in particular molecular genetics, have become a pivotal area of research and innovation, and at the same time are amongst the most controversially discussed in today's society. Despite this discussion, the demand for life science expertise increases rapidly, creating a growing need for life science education in particular and…

  20. ISIS muons for materials and molecular science studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Philip J. C.; de Renzi, Roberto; Cottrell, Stephen P.; Hillier, Adrian D.; Cox, Stephen F. J.

    2013-12-01

    This paper marks the first 25 years of muon production at ISIS and the creation in that time of a facility dedicated to the use of these elementary particles as unique microscopic probes in condensed matter and molecular science. It introduces the basic techniques of muon spin rotation, relaxation and resonance, collectively known as μSR, that were already in use by specialist groups at other accelerator labs by the mid-1980s. It describes how these techniques have been implemented and made available at ISIS, beginning in 1987, and how they have evolved and improved since then. Ever widening applications embrace magnetism, superconductivity, interstitial diffusion and charge transport, semiconductors and dielectrics, chemical physics and radical chemistry. Over these first 25 years, a fully supported user facility has been established, open to all academic and industrial users. It presently comprises four scheduled instruments, optimized for different types of measurement, together with auxiliary equipment for radiofrequency or microwave spin manipulation and future plans for pump-probe laser excitation.

  1. Chapter 21: Microsporidia in insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The science of microsporidiology encompasses a diverse assemblage of pathogens from a large and varied group of hosts. Microsporidia, pathogenic protists related to the Fungi, are considered to be primary pathogens of many aquatic and terrestrial insect species and have important roles in insect po...

  2. A myofibrillar protein of insect muscle related to vertebrate titin connects Z band and A band: purification and molecular characterization of invertebrate mini-titin.

    PubMed

    Nave, R; Weber, K

    1990-04-01

    We show that myofibrils of insect flight and leg muscle contain a doublet of polypeptides with apparent molecular weights of 700K (K = 10(3) Mr) (Hmp I) and 600K (Hmp II), respectively. In Locusta migratoria high ionic strength extraction solubilizes only Hmp II, which is readily purified in native form. It probably reflects a proteolytic derivative of the non-extractable Hmp I. On the basis of its viscosity radius and sedimentation coefficient, Hmp II has a molecular weight of 600K and seems to consist of a single polypeptide chain. The highly asymmetric structure of the molecule is confirmed by rotary shadowing. The flexible rods have a uniform diameter of 3-4 nm and an average length of 260 nm. Polyclonal antibodies show cross-reactivity between Hmp II and its putative precursor Hmp I. We discuss the similarities and differences between the larger titin I/titin II of vertebrate sarcomeric muscle and the smaller Hmp I/Hmp II of invertebrate muscle and conclude that the latter may reflect a mini-titin. In line with the smaller length, immunoelectron microscopy locates the insect mini-titin to the I band and a very short portion of the A band only, while vertebrate titin is known to connect the Z band to the M band. Mini-titin has also been purified from several other insects including Drosophila. Immunofluorescence microscopy on frozen sections shows that mini-titin is present in the sarcomeric muscles of various species from different invertebrate phyla. These include Annelida, Nematomorpha, Plathelmintha, Nemertea and Nematoda like Ascaris lumbricoides and Caenorhabditis elegans. This wide-spread occurrence of invertebrate mini-titin is confirmed by immunoblotting experiments.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:27545732

  5. 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

  6. Molecular evolution of the insect Halloween family of cytochrome P450s: phylogeny, gene organization and functional conservation.

    PubMed

    Rewitz, Kim F; O'Connor, Michael B; Gilbert, Lawrence I

    2007-08-01

    The insect molting hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), is a major modulator of the developmental processes resulting in molting and metamorphosis. During evolution selective forces have preserved the Halloween genes encoding cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes that mediate the biosynthesis of 20E. In the present study, we examine the phylogenetic relationships of these P450 genes in holometabolous insects belonging to the orders Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Diptera. The analyzed insect genomes each contains single orthologs of Phantom (CYP306A1), Disembodied (CYP302A1), Shadow (CYP315A1) and Shade (CYP314A1), the terminal hydroxylases. In Drosophila melanogaster, the Halloween gene spook (Cyp307a1) is required for the biosynthesis of 20E, although a function has not yet been identified. Unlike the other Halloween genes, the ancestor of this gene evolved into three paralogs, all in the CYP307 family, through gene duplication. The genomic stability of these paralogs varies among species. Intron-exon structures indicate that D. melanogaster Cyp307a1 is a mRNA-derived paralog of spookier (Cyp307a2), which is the ancestral gene and the closest ortholog of the coleopteran, lepidopteran and mosquito CYP307A subfamily genes. Evolutionary links between the insect Halloween genes and vertebrate steroidogenic P450s suggest that they originated from common ancestors, perhaps destined for steroidogenesis, before the deuterostome-arthropod split. Conservation of putative substrate recognition sites of orthologous Halloween genes indicates selective constraint on these residues to prevent functional divergence. The results suggest that duplications of ancestral P450 genes that acquired novel functions may have been an important mechanism for evolving the ecdysteroidogenic pathway. PMID:17628274

  7. Molecular evolution of the insect Halloween family of cytochrome P450s: phylogeny, gene organization and functional conservation.

    PubMed

    Rewitz, Kim F; O'Connor, Michael B; Gilbert, Lawrence I

    2007-08-01

    The insect molting hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), is a major modulator of the developmental processes resulting in molting and metamorphosis. During evolution selective forces have preserved the Halloween genes encoding cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes that mediate the biosynthesis of 20E. In the present study, we examine the phylogenetic relationships of these P450 genes in holometabolous insects belonging to the orders Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Diptera. The analyzed insect genomes each contains single orthologs of Phantom (CYP306A1), Disembodied (CYP302A1), Shadow (CYP315A1) and Shade (CYP314A1), the terminal hydroxylases. In Drosophila melanogaster, the Halloween gene spook (Cyp307a1) is required for the biosynthesis of 20E, although a function has not yet been identified. Unlike the other Halloween genes, the ancestor of this gene evolved into three paralogs, all in the CYP307 family, through gene duplication. The genomic stability of these paralogs varies among species. Intron-exon structures indicate that D. melanogaster Cyp307a1 is a mRNA-derived paralog of spookier (Cyp307a2), which is the ancestral gene and the closest ortholog of the coleopteran, lepidopteran and mosquito CYP307A subfamily genes. Evolutionary links between the insect Halloween genes and vertebrate steroidogenic P450s suggest that they originated from common ancestors, perhaps destined for steroidogenesis, before the deuterostome-arthropod split. Conservation of putative substrate recognition sites of orthologous Halloween genes indicates selective constraint on these residues to prevent functional divergence. The results suggest that duplications of ancestral P450 genes that acquired novel functions may have been an important mechanism for evolving the ecdysteroidogenic pathway.

  8. 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…

  9. Incredible Insects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braus, Judy, Ed.

    1989-01-01

    Ranger Rick's NatureScope is a creative education series dedicated to inspiring in children an understanding and appreciation of the natural world while developing the skills they will need to make responsible decisions about the environment. Contents are organized into the following sections: (1) "What Makes an Insect an Insect?," including…

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular interactions between an insect predator and its herbivore prey on transgenic potato expressing a cysteine proteinase inhibitor from rice.

    PubMed

    Bouchard, Edith; Michaud, Dominique; Cloutier, Conrad

    2003-09-01

    Transgenic plants expressing resistance to herbivorous insects may represent a safe and sustainable pest control alternative if they do not interfere with the natural enemies of target pests. Here we examined interactions between oryzacystatin I (OCI), a proteinase inhibitor from rice genetically engineered into potato (Solanum tuberosum cv. Kennebec, line K52) to increase resistance to insect herbivory, and the insect predator Perillus bioculatus. This stinkbug is a relatively specialized predator of caterpillars and leaf-beetle larvae, and may also include plant sap in its predominantly carnivorous diet. One of its preferred prey is Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), a major target of insect resistance development for potato field crops. Gelatin/sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) confirmed that a major fraction of proteinase (gelatinase) activity in P. bioculatus extracts is OCI-sensitive. Among five gelatinolytic bands detected, the slowest-moving one (proteinase I) was inhibited strongly by purified OCI expressed in Escherichia coli or by OCI-transgenic potato extracts, while three other proteinases were partly sensitive to these treatments. There was also evidence of slight inhibition of proteinase I by untransformed potato foliage, suggesting the presence of a natural inhibitor related to OCI at low level in potato foliage. Interestingly, only about 50% of the maximum potential activity of proteinase I was recovered in extracts of P. bioculatus feeding on L. decemlineata larval prey on a diet of OCI-potato foliage, indicating that the predator was sensitive to OCI in the midgut of its prey. However, P. bioculatus on OCI-prey survived, grew and developed normally, indicating ability to compensate prey-mediated exposure to the OCI inhibitor. Confinement of P. bioculatus to potato foliage provided no evidence that potato plant-derived nutrition is a viable alternative to predation, restriction to potato foliage

  12. Molecular basis of essential amino acid transport from studies of insect nutrient amino acid transporters of the SLC6 family (NAT-SLC6)

    PubMed Central

    Boudko, Dmitri Y.

    2012-01-01

    Two protein families that represent major components of essential amino acid transport in insects have been identified. They are annotated as the SLC6 and SLC7 families of transporters according to phylogenetic proximity to characterized amino acid transporters (HUGO nomenclature). Members of these families have been identified as important apical and basolateral parts of transepithelial essential amino acid absorption in the metazoan alimentary canal. Synergistically, they play critical physiological roles as essential substrate providers to diverse metabolic processes, including generic protein synthesis. This review briefly clarifies the requirements for amino acid transport and a variety of amino acid transport mechanisms, including the aforementioned families. Further it focuses on the large group of Nutrient Amino acid Transporters (NATs), which comprise a recently identified subfamily of the Neurotransmitter Sodium Symporter family (NSS or SLC6). The first insect NAT, cloned from the caterpillar gut, has a broad substrate spectrum similar to mammalian B0 transporters. Several new NAT-SLC6 members have been characterized in an effort to explore mechanisms for the essential amino acid absorption in model dipteran insects. The identification and functional characterization of new B0-like and narrow specificity transporters of essential amino acids in fruit fly and mosquitoes leads to a fundamentally important insight: that NATs evolved and act together as the integrated active core of a transport network that mediates active alimentary absorption and systemic distribution of essential amino acids. This role of NATs is projected from the most primitive prokaryotes to the most complex metazoan organisms, and represents an interesting platform for unraveling the molecular evolution of amino acid transport and modeling amino acid transport disorders. The comparative study of NATs elucidates important adaptive differences between essential amino acid transportomes

  13. Molecular identification of Fusarium species isolated from transgenic insect-resistant cotton plants in Mexicali valley, Baja California.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Soto, T; González-Mendoza, D; Troncoso-Rojas, R; Morales-Trejo, A; Ceceña-Duran, C; Garcia-Lopez, A; Grimaldo-Juarez, O

    2015-10-02

    Cotton production in the Mexicali valley is adversely affected by wilt and root rot disease associated with Fusarium species. In the present study, we sought to isolate and identify the Fusarium species in the rhizosphere of transgenic insect-resistant cotton plants grown in the Mexicali valley. Our analyses isolated four native fungi from the rhizosphere of cotton plants, namely, T-ICA01, T-ICA03, T-ICA04, and T-ICA08. These fungal isolates were categorized as belonging to Fusarium solani using their phenotypic characteristics and ITS region sequence data. Examination of the infection index showed that T-ICA03 and T-ICA04 caused systemic colonization (90%) of seeds followed by the occurrence of radicle and coleoptile decay. In contrast, T-ICA08 strain was less pathogenic against seed tissues (40%) in comparison to the other strains isolated. Our study showed that in transgenic insect-resistant cotton the disease "Fusarium wilt" is caused by the fungus, F. solani. Future studies are necessary to characterize the F. solani populations to determine whether phenological stages might influence the genetic diversity of the fungal populations present.

  14. Educational Challenges of Molecular Life Science: Characteristics and Implications for Education and Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tibell, Lena A. E.; Rundgren, Carl-Johan

    2010-01-01

    Molecular life science is one of the fastest-growing fields of scientific and technical innovation, and biotechnology has profound effects on many aspects of daily life--often with deep, ethical dimensions. At the same time, the content is inherently complex, highly abstract, and deeply rooted in diverse disciplines ranging from "pure sciences,"…

  15. Educational Challenges of Molecular Life Science: Characteristics and Implications for Education and Research

    PubMed Central

    Rundgren, Carl-Johan

    2010-01-01

    Molecular life science is one of the fastest-growing fields of scientific and technical innovation, and biotechnology has profound effects on many aspects of daily life—often with deep, ethical dimensions. At the same time, the content is inherently complex, highly abstract, and deeply rooted in diverse disciplines ranging from “pure sciences,” such as math, chemistry, and physics, through “applied sciences,” such as medicine and agriculture, to subjects that are traditionally within the remit of humanities, notably philosophy and ethics. Together, these features pose diverse, important, and exciting challenges for tomorrow's teachers and educational establishments. With backgrounds in molecular life science research and secondary life science teaching, we (Tibell and Rundgren, respectively) bring different experiences, perspectives, concerns, and awareness of these issues. Taking the nature of the discipline as a starting point, we highlight important facets of molecular life science that are both characteristic of the domain and challenging for learning and education. Of these challenges, we focus most detail on content, reasoning difficulties, and communication issues. We also discuss implications for education research and teaching in the molecular life sciences. PMID:20194805

  16. Educational challenges of molecular life science: Characteristics and implications for education and research.

    PubMed

    Tibell, Lena A E; Rundgren, Carl-Johan

    2010-01-01

    Molecular life science is one of the fastest-growing fields of scientific and technical innovation, and biotechnology has profound effects on many aspects of daily life-often with deep, ethical dimensions. At the same time, the content is inherently complex, highly abstract, and deeply rooted in diverse disciplines ranging from "pure sciences," such as math, chemistry, and physics, through "applied sciences," such as medicine and agriculture, to subjects that are traditionally within the remit of humanities, notably philosophy and ethics. Together, these features pose diverse, important, and exciting challenges for tomorrow's teachers and educational establishments. With backgrounds in molecular life science research and secondary life science teaching, we (Tibell and Rundgren, respectively) bring different experiences, perspectives, concerns, and awareness of these issues. Taking the nature of the discipline as a starting point, we highlight important facets of molecular life science that are both characteristic of the domain and challenging for learning and education. Of these challenges, we focus most detail on content, reasoning difficulties, and communication issues. We also discuss implications for education research and teaching in the molecular life sciences.

  17. 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

  18. The key molecular events during Macrobrachium rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNV) infection and replication in Sf9 insect cells.

    PubMed

    Somrit, Monsicha; Watthammawut, Atthaboon; Chotwiwatthanakun, Charoonroj; Weerachatyanukul, Wattana

    2016-09-01

    In this study we demonstrated that Macrobrachium rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNV) was able to internalize and replicate in Sf9 insect cells, with levels of infection altered by substances affecting the caveolin-(CAV) mediated endocytosis pathway. The use of Sf9 cells for efficient MrNV replication and propagation was demonstrated by confocal microscopy and PCR amplification, through which early viral binding and internalization were initially detectable at 30min post-infection; whereas at 72h, the distinguishable sign of late-MrNV infection was observable as the gradual accumulation of a cytopathic effect (CPE) in the cells, ultimately resulting in cellular disruption. Moreover, during the early period of infection, the MrNV signals were highly co-localized with CAV1 signals of the CAV-mediated endocytosis pathway. The use of genistein as an inhibitor of the CAV-mediated endocytosis pathway significantly reduced MrNV and CAV1 co-localization, and also reduced the levels of MrNV infection in Sf9 cells as shown by PCR and ELISA. Moreover, the addition of the pathway agonist okadaic acid not only recovered but also augmented both the levels of MrNV co-localization with CAV1 and of Sf9 infection in the presence of genistein inhibition; therefore demonstrating that MrNV infection in Sf9 cells was associated with the CAV-mediated endocytosis pathway machinery. PMID:27327530

  19. The key molecular events during Macrobrachium rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNV) infection and replication in Sf9 insect cells.

    PubMed

    Somrit, Monsicha; Watthammawut, Atthaboon; Chotwiwatthanakun, Charoonroj; Weerachatyanukul, Wattana

    2016-09-01

    In this study we demonstrated that Macrobrachium rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNV) was able to internalize and replicate in Sf9 insect cells, with levels of infection altered by substances affecting the caveolin-(CAV) mediated endocytosis pathway. The use of Sf9 cells for efficient MrNV replication and propagation was demonstrated by confocal microscopy and PCR amplification, through which early viral binding and internalization were initially detectable at 30min post-infection; whereas at 72h, the distinguishable sign of late-MrNV infection was observable as the gradual accumulation of a cytopathic effect (CPE) in the cells, ultimately resulting in cellular disruption. Moreover, during the early period of infection, the MrNV signals were highly co-localized with CAV1 signals of the CAV-mediated endocytosis pathway. The use of genistein as an inhibitor of the CAV-mediated endocytosis pathway significantly reduced MrNV and CAV1 co-localization, and also reduced the levels of MrNV infection in Sf9 cells as shown by PCR and ELISA. Moreover, the addition of the pathway agonist okadaic acid not only recovered but also augmented both the levels of MrNV co-localization with CAV1 and of Sf9 infection in the presence of genistein inhibition; therefore demonstrating that MrNV infection in Sf9 cells was associated with the CAV-mediated endocytosis pathway machinery.

  20. Molecular analysis of poplar defense against herbivory: comparison of wound- and insect elicitor-induced gene expression.

    PubMed

    Major, Ian T; Constabel, C Peter

    2006-01-01

    In order to characterize defense responses of hybrid poplar (Populus trichocarpax P. deltoides), we profiled leaf transcript patterns elicited by wounding and by regurgitant from forest tent caterpillar (FTC; Malacosoma disstria), a Lepidopteran defoliator of poplars. Macroarrays were used to compare transcript profiles. Both FTC-regurgitant (FTC-R) and mechanical wounding with pliers elicited expression of a variety of genes, and for these genes our analysis indicated that these treatments induced qualitatively similar responses. Similarly, a comparison of responses of directly treated and systemically induced leaves indicated extensive overlap in the sets of induced genes. FTC-R was found to contain the insect-derived elicitor volicitin. The simulated herbivory treatments resulted in the induction of genes involved in poplar defense and secondary metabolism. We also identified wound-responsive genes with roles in primary metabolism, including a putative invertase, lipase, and acyl-activating enzyme; some of these genes may have roles in defense signaling. In addition, we found three unknown genes containing a ZIM motif which may represent novel transcription factors.

  1. Molecular cloning and expression profile of an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter gene from the hemipteran insect Nilaparvata lugens.

    PubMed

    Zha, W J; Li, S H; Zhou, L; Chen, Z J; Liu, K; Yang, G C; Hu, G; He, G C; You, A Q

    2015-03-30

    The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters belong to a large superfamily of proteins that have important physiological functions in all living organisms. In insects, ABC transporters have important functions in the transport of molecules, and are also involved in insecticide resistance, metabolism, and development. In this study, the Nilaparvata lugens Stal (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) ABCG (NlABCG) gene was identified and characterized. The complete mRNA sequence of NlABCG was 2608-bp long, with an open reading frame of 2064 bp encoding a protein comprised of 687 amino acids. The conserved regions include three N-glycosylation and 34 phosphorylation sites, as well as seven transmembrane domains. The amino acid identity with the closely related species Acyrthosiphon pisum was 42.8%. Developmental expression analysis using quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR suggested that the NlABCG transcript was expressed at all developmental stages of N. lugens. The lowest expression of NlABCG was in the 1st instar, and levels increased with larval growth. The transcript profiles of NlABCG were analyzed in various tissues from a 5th instar nymph, and the highest expression was observed in the midgut. These results suggest that the sequence, characteristics, and expression of NlABCG are highly conserved, and basic information is provided for its functional analysis.

  2. Conformational study on an insect neuropeptide of the AKH/RPCH-family by combined 1H NMR spectroscopy and molecular mechanics.

    PubMed

    Zubrzycki, I Z; Gäde, G

    1994-01-14

    Peptides of the AKH/RPCH family are mainly involved in influencing energy metabolism in insects, i.e., regulating carbohydrate and/or lipid breakdown in the fat body. We have studied the solution conformation of a member of this family, the peptide Emp-AKH from praying mantis. It has been characterized by use of two dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and molecular modelling. The proton spectrum of the Emp-AKH peptide was assigned by sequential assignment procedure. Proton-proton distances were derived from the volumes of cross-peaks in two dimensional nuclear Overhauser enhancement spectra. The three dimensional structure was built using Evans & Sutherland molecular modelling station. Our data indicate that the Emp-AKH peptide has adopted a beta-sheet structure for amino acids 1 to 5 and a beta-turn for amino acids at positions 5 to 8. The type of turn appears to be a Non-specific beta-turn. PMID:8292025

  3. Insect sodium channels and insecticide resistance

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for the generation and propagation of action potentials (i.e., electrical impulses) in excitable cells. Although most of our knowledge about sodium channels is derived from decades of studies of mammalian isoforms, research on insect sodium channels is revealing both common and unique aspects of sodium channel biology. In particular, our understanding of the molecular dynamics and pharmacology of insect sodium channels has advanced greatly in recent years, thanks to successful functional expression of insect sodium channels in Xenopus oocytes and intensive efforts to elucidate the molecular basis of insect resistance to insecticides that target sodium channels. In this review, I discuss recent literature on insect sodium channels with emphases on the prominent role of alternative splicing and RNA editing in the generation of functionally diverse sodium channels in insects and the current understanding of the interactions between insect sodium channels and insecticides. PMID:17206406

  4. The effect of plant identity and the level of plant decay on molecular gut content analysis in a herbivorous soil insect

    PubMed Central

    Wallinger, Corinna; Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Peter, Eva; Dresch, Philipp; Juen, Anita; Traugott, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Plant roots represent an important food source for soil-dwelling animals, but tracking herbivore food choices below-ground is difficult. Here, we present an optimized PCR assay for the detection of plant DNA in the guts of invertebrates, using general plant primers targeting the trnT-F chloroplast DNA region. Based on this assay, we assessed the influence of plant identity on the detectability of ingested plant DNA in Agriotes click beetle larvae. Six different plant species were fed to the insects, comprising a grass, a legume and four nonlegume forbs. Moreover, we examined whether it is possible to amplify DNA of decaying plants and if DNA of decayed plant food is detectable in the guts of the larvae. DNA of the ingested roots could be detected in the guts of the larvae for up to 72-h post-feeding, the maximum digestion time tested. When fed with living plants, DNA detection rates differed significantly between the plant species. This may be ascribed to differences in the amount of plant tissue consumed, root palatability, root morphology and/or secondary plant components. These findings indicate that plant identity can affect post-feeding DNA detection success, which needs to be considered for the interpretation of molecularly derived feeding rates on plants. Amplification of plant DNA from decaying plants was possible as long as any tissue could be retrieved from the soil. The consumption of decaying plant tissue could also be verified by our assay, but the insects seemed to prefer fresh roots over decaying plant material. PMID:23167731

  5. The effect of plant identity and the level of plant decay on molecular gut content analysis in a herbivorous soil insect.

    PubMed

    Wallinger, Corinna; Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Peter, Eva; Dresch, Philipp; Juen, Anita; Traugott, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Plant roots represent an important food source for soil-dwelling animals, but tracking herbivore food choices below-ground is difficult. Here, we present an optimized PCR assay for the detection of plant DNA in the guts of invertebrates, using general plant primers targeting the trnT-F chloroplast DNA region. Based on this assay, we assessed the influence of plant identity on the detectability of ingested plant DNA in Agriotes click beetle larvae. Six different plant species were fed to the insects, comprising a grass, a legume and four nonlegume forbs. Moreover, we examined whether it is possible to amplify DNA of decaying plants and if DNA of decayed plant food is detectable in the guts of the larvae. DNA of the ingested roots could be detected in the guts of the larvae for up to 72-h post-feeding, the maximum digestion time tested. When fed with living plants, DNA detection rates differed significantly between the plant species. This may be ascribed to differences in the amount of plant tissue consumed, root palatability, root morphology and/or secondary plant components. These findings indicate that plant identity can affect post-feeding DNA detection success, which needs to be considered for the interpretation of molecularly derived feeding rates on plants. Amplification of plant DNA from decaying plants was possible as long as any tissue could be retrieved from the soil. The consumption of decaying plant tissue could also be verified by our assay, but the insects seemed to prefer fresh roots over decaying plant material. PMID:23167731

  6. A Molecular Method to Discriminate between Mass-Reared Sterile and Wild Tsetse Flies during Eradication Programmes That Have a Sterile Insect Technique Component

    PubMed Central

    Pagabeleguem, Soumaïla; Gimonneau, Geoffrey; Seck, Momar Talla; Vreysen, Marc J. B.; Sall, Baba; Rayaissé, Jean-Baptiste; Sidibé, Issa; Bouyer, Jérémy; Ravel, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Background The Government of Senegal has embarked several years ago on a project that aims to eradicate Glossina palpalis gambiensis from the Niayes area. The removal of the animal trypanosomosis would allow the development more efficient livestock production systems. The project was implemented using an area-wide integrated pest management strategy including a sterile insect technique (SIT) component. The released sterile male flies originated from a colony from Burkina Faso. Methodology/Principal Findings Monitoring the efficacy of the sterile male releases requires the discrimination between wild and sterile male G. p. gambiensis that are sampled in monitoring traps. Before being released, sterile male flies were marked with a fluorescent dye powder. The marking was however not infallible with some sterile flies only slightly marked or some wild flies contaminated with a few dye particles in the monitoring traps. Trapped flies can also be damaged due to predation by ants, making it difficult to discriminate between wild and sterile males using a fluorescence camera and / or a fluorescence microscope. We developed a molecular technique based on the determination of cytochrome oxidase haplotypes of G. p. gambiensis to discriminate between wild and sterile males. DNA was isolated from the head of flies and a portion of the 5’ end of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I was amplified to be finally sequenced. Our results indicated that all the sterile males from the Burkina Faso colony displayed the same haplotype and systematically differed from wild male flies trapped in Senegal and Burkina Faso. This allowed 100% discrimination between sterile and wild male G. p. gambiensis. Conclusions/Significance This tool might be useful for other tsetse control campaigns with a SIT component in the framework of the Pan-African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) and, more generally, for other vector or insect pest control programs. PMID:26901049

  7. Kinetic exchange models: From molecular physics to social science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patriarca, Marco; Chakraborti, Anirban

    2013-08-01

    We discuss several multi-agent models that have their origin in the kinetic exchange theory of statistical mechanics and have been recently applied to a variety of problems in the social sciences. This class of models can be easily adapted for simulations in areas other than physics, such as the modeling of income and wealth distributions in economics and opinion dynamics in sociology.

  8. "The Environment is Everything That Isn't Me": Molecular Mechanisms and Evolutionary Dynamics of Insect Clocks in Variable Surroundings.

    PubMed

    Rivas, Gustavo B S; Bauzer, Luiz G S da R; Meireles-Filho, Antonio C A

    2015-01-01

    Circadian rhythms are oscillations in behavior, metabolism and physiology that have a period close to 24 h. These rhythms are controlled by an internal pacemaker that evolved under strong selective pressures imposed by environmental cyclical changes, mainly of light and temperature. The molecular nature of the circadian pacemaker was extensively studied in a number of organisms under controlled laboratory conditions. But although these studies were fundamental to our understanding of the circadian clock, most of the environmental conditions used resembled rather crudely the relatively constant situation at lower latitudes. At higher latitudes light-dark and temperature cycles vary considerably across different seasons, with summers having long and hot days and winters short and cold ones. Considering these differences and other external cues, such as moonlight, recent studies in more natural and semi-natural situations revealed unexpected features at both molecular and behavioral levels, highlighting the dramatic influence of multiple environmental variables in the molecular clockwork. This emphasizes the importance of studying the circadian clock in the wild, where seasonal environmental changes fine-tune the underlying circadian mechanism, affecting population dynamics and impacting the geographical variation in clock genes. Indeed, latitudinal clines in clock gene frequencies suggest that natural selection and demography shape the circadian clock over wide geographical ranges. In this review we will discuss the recent advances in understanding the molecular underpinnings of the circadian clock, how it resonates with the surrounding variables (both in the laboratory and in semi-natural conditions) and its impact on population dynamics and evolution. In addition, we will elaborate on how next-generation sequencing technologies will complement classical reductionist approaches by identifying causal variants in natural populations that will link genetic variation to

  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. NASA GSFC Science Symposium on Atomic and Molecular Physics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhatia, Anand K. (Editor)

    2007-01-01

    This document is the proceedings of a conference on atomic and molecular physics in honor of the retirements of Dr. Aaron Temkin and Dr. Richard Drachman. The conference contained discussions on electron, positron, atomic, and positronium physics, as well as a discussion on muon catalyzed fusion. This proceedings document also contains photographs taken at the symposium, as well as speeches and a short biography made in tribute to the retirees.

  11. Molecular targeting agents in cancer therapy: science and society.

    PubMed

    Shaikh, Asim Jamal

    2012-01-01

    The inception of targeted agents has revolutionized the cancer therapy paradigm, both for physicians and patients. A large number of molecular targeted agents for cancer therapy are currently available for clinical use today. Many more are in making, but there are issues that remain to be resolved for the scientific as well as social community before the recommendation of their widespread use in may clinical scenarios can be done, one such issue being cost and cost effectiveness, others being resistance and lack of sustained efficacy. With the current knowledge about available targeted agents, the growing knowledge of intricate molecular pathways and unfolding of wider spectrum of molecular targets that can really matter in the disease control, calls for only the just use of the agents available now, drug companies need to make a serious attempt to reduce the cost of the agents. Research should focus on agents that show sustained responses in preclinical data. More needs to be done in laboratories and by the pharmaceutical industries, before we can truly claim to have entered a new era of targeted therapy in cancer care.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Integration of molecular pathology, epidemiology and social science for global precision medicine.

    PubMed

    Nishi, Akihiro; Milner, Danny A; Giovannucci, Edward L; Nishihara, Reiko; Tan, Andy S; Kawachi, Ichiro; Ogino, Shuji

    2016-01-01

    The precision medicine concept and the unique disease principle imply that each patient has unique pathogenic processes resulting from heterogeneous cellular genetic and epigenetic alterations and interactions between cells (including immune cells) and exposures, including dietary, environmental, microbial and lifestyle factors. As a core method field in population health science and medicine, epidemiology is a growing scientific discipline that can analyze disease risk factors and develop statistical methodologies to maximize utilization of big data on populations and disease pathology. The evolving transdisciplinary field of molecular pathological epidemiology (MPE) can advance biomedical and health research by linking exposures to molecular pathologic signatures, enhancing causal inference and identifying potential biomarkers for clinical impact. The MPE approach can be applied to any diseases, although it has been most commonly used in neoplastic diseases (including breast, lung and colorectal cancers) because of availability of various molecular diagnostic tests. However, use of state-of-the-art genomic, epigenomic and other omic technologies and expensive drugs in modern healthcare systems increases racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. To address this, we propose to integrate molecular pathology, epidemiology and social science. Social epidemiology integrates the latter two fields. The integrative social MPE model can embrace sociology, economics and precision medicine, address global health disparities and inequalities, and elucidate biological effects of social environments, behaviors and networks. We foresee advancements of molecular medicine, including molecular diagnostics, biomedical imaging and targeted therapeutics, which should benefit individuals in a global population, by means of an interdisciplinary approach of integrative MPE and social health science.

  15. Homology Modeling and Molecular Docking for the Science Curriculum

    PubMed Central

    McDougal, Owen M.; Comia, Nic; Sambasivarao, S.V.; Remm, Andrew; Mallory, Chris; Oxford, Julia Thom; Maupin, C. Mark; Andersen, Tim

    2015-01-01

    DockoMatic 2.0 is a powerful open source software program (downloadable from sourceforge.net) that simplifies the exploration of computational biochemistry. This manuscript describes a practical tutorial for use in the undergraduate curriculum that introduces students to macromolecular structure creation, ligand binding calculations, and visualization of docking results. A student procedure is provided that illustrates use of DockoMatic to create a homology model for the amino propeptide region (223 amino acids with two disulfide bonds) of collagen α1 (XI), followed by molecular docking of the commercial drug Arixtra® to the homology model of the amino propeptide domain of collagen α1 (XI), and finally, analysis of the results of the docking experiment. The activities and supplemental materials described are intended to educate students in the use of computational tools to create and investigate homology models for other systems of interest and to train students to be proficient with molecular docking and analyzing results. The tutorial also serves as a foundation for investigators seeking to explore the viability of using computational biochemistry to study their receptor-ligand binding motifs. PMID:24376157

  16. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26439349

  17. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-01

    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.

  18. Molecular catalysis science: Perspective on unifying the fields of catalysis.

    PubMed

    Ye, Rong; Hurlburt, Tyler J; Sabyrov, Kairat; Alayoglu, Selim; Somorjai, Gabor A

    2016-05-10

    Colloidal chemistry is used to control the size, shape, morphology, and composition of metal nanoparticles. Model catalysts as such are applied to catalytic transformations in the three types of catalysts: heterogeneous, homogeneous, and enzymatic. Real-time dynamics of oxidation state, coordination, and bonding of nanoparticle catalysts are put under the microscope using surface techniques such as sum-frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy and ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under catalytically relevant conditions. It was demonstrated that catalytic behavior and trends are strongly tied to oxidation state, the coordination number and crystallographic orientation of metal sites, and bonding and orientation of surface adsorbates. It was also found that catalytic performance can be tuned by carefully designing and fabricating catalysts from the bottom up. Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts, and likely enzymes, behave similarly at the molecular level. Unifying the fields of catalysis is the key to achieving the goal of 100% selectivity in catalysis. PMID:27114536

  19. The Molecular Characterization of the Kinin Transcript and the Physiological Effects of Kinins in the Blood-Gorging Insect Rhodnius prolixus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The dramatic feeding-related activities of the Chagas' disease vector, Rhodnius prolixus are under neurohormonal regulation of serotonin and various neuropeptides. One such family of neuropeptides, the insect kinins, possess diuretic, digestive and myotropic activities in many insects. In this study...

  20. A Tribolium castaneum whole-embryo culture protocol for studying the molecular mechanisms and morphogenetic movements involved in insect development.

    PubMed

    Macaya, Constanza C; Saavedra, Patricio E; Cepeda, Rodrigo E; Nuñez, Viviana A; Sarrazin, Andres F

    2016-01-01

    The development of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum is more representative of arthropods than the evolutionarily derived fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Thus, Tribolium is becoming an emerging organism model for studying the evolution of the mechanisms that control embryonic development in arthropods. In this regard, diverse genetic and molecular tools are currently available for Tribolium, as well as imaging and embryonic techniques. Recently, we developed a method for culturing embryos in order to study specific stages during Tribolium development. In this report, we present a detailed and "easy-to-follow" protocol for embryo handling and dissection, extending the use of whole-embryo culture to functional analysis by performing in vivo pharmacological manipulations. This experimental accessibility allowed us to study the relevance of microtubules in axis elongation, using nocodazole and taxol drugs to interfere with microtubule networks, followed by length measurement analysis. Additionally, we demonstrated that embryo handling had no effect on the development of Tribolium embryos, and we checked viability after dissection and bisection and during incubation using propidium iodide. The embryo culture protocol we describe here can be applied to study diverse developmental processes in Tribolium. We expect that this protocol can be adapted and applied to other arthropods.

  1. Clusters of Concepts in Molecular Genetics: A Study of Swedish Upper Secondary Science Students' Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gericke, Niklas; Wahlberg, Sara

    2013-01-01

    To understand genetics, students need to be able to explain and draw connections between a large number of concepts. The purpose of the study reported herein was to explore the way upper secondary science students reason about concepts in molecular genetics in order to understand protein synthesis. Data were collected by group interviews. Concept…

  2. Peripheral olfactory signaling in insects

    PubMed Central

    Suh, Eunho; Bohbot, Jonathan; Zwiebel, Laurence J.

    2014-01-01

    Olfactory signaling is a crucial component in the life history of insects. The development of precise and parallel mechanisms to analyze the tremendous amount of chemical information from the environment and other sources has been essential to their evolutionary success. Considerable progress has been made in the study of insect olfaction fueled by bioinformatics- based utilization of genomics along with rapid advances in functional analyses. Here we review recent progress in our rapidly emerging understanding of insect peripheral sensory reception and signal transduction. These studies reveal that the nearly unlimited chemical space insects encounter is covered by distinct chemosensory receptor repertoires that are generally derived by species-specific, rapid gene gain and loss, reflecting the evolutionary consequences of adaptation to meet their specific biological needs. While diverse molecular mechanisms have been put forth, often in the context of controversial models, the characterization of the ubiquitous, highly conserved and insect-specific Orco odorant receptor co-receptor has opened the door to the design and development of novel insect control methods to target agricultural pests, disease vectors and even nuisance insects. PMID:25584200

  3. Ageing in a eusocial insect: molecular and physiological characteristics of life span plasticity in the honey bee

    PubMed Central

    Münch, D.; Amdam, G. V.; Wolschin, F.

    2008-01-01

    Summary Commonly held views assume that ageing, or senescence, represents an inevitable, passive, and random decline in function that is strongly linked to chronological age. In recent years, genetic intervention of life span regulating pathways, for example, in Drosophila as well as case studies in non-classical animal models, have provided compelling evidence to challenge these views. Rather than comprehensively revisiting studies on the established genetic model systems of ageing, we here focus on an alternative model organism with a wild type (unselected genotype) characterized by a unique diversity in longevity – the honey bee. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) life span varies from a few weeks to more than 2 years. This plasticity is largely controlled by environmental factors. Thereby, although individuals are closely related genetically, distinct life histories can emerge as a function of social environmental change. Another remarkable feature of the honey bee is the occurrence of reverted behavioural ontogeny in the worker (female helper) caste. This behavioural peculiarity is associated with alterations in somatic maintenance functions that are indicative of reverted senescence. Thus, although intraspecific variation in organismal life span is not uncommon, the honey bee holds great promise for gaining insights into regulatory pathways that can shape the time-course of ageing by delaying, halting or even reversing processes of senescence. These aspects provide the setting of our review. We will highlight comparative findings from Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans in particular, and focus on knowledge spanning from molecular- to behavioural-senescence to elucidate how the honey bee can contribute to novel insights into regulatory mechanisms that underlie plasticity and robustness or irreversibility in ageing. PMID:18728759

  4. A Large-Scale, Higher-Level, Molecular Phylogenetic Study of the Insect Order Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies)

    PubMed Central

    Regier, Jerome C.; Mitter, Charles; Zwick, Andreas; Bazinet, Adam L.; Cummings, Michael P.; Kawahara, Akito Y.; Sohn, Jae-Cheon; Zwickl, Derrick J.; Cho, Soowon; Davis, Donald R.; Baixeras, Joaquin; Brown, John; Parr, Cynthia; Weller, Susan; Lees, David C.; Mitter, Kim T.

    2013-01-01

    Background Higher-level relationships within the Lepidoptera, and particularly within the species-rich subclade Ditrysia, are generally not well understood, although recent studies have yielded progress. We present the most comprehensive molecular analysis of lepidopteran phylogeny to date, focusing on relationships among superfamilies. Methodology / Principal Findings 483 taxa spanning 115 of 124 families were sampled for 19 protein-coding nuclear genes, from which maximum likelihood tree estimates and bootstrap percentages were obtained using GARLI. Assessment of heuristic search effectiveness showed that better trees and higher bootstrap percentages probably remain to be discovered even after 1000 or more search replicates, but further search proved impractical even with grid computing. Other analyses explored the effects of sampling nonsynonymous change only versus partitioned and unpartitioned total nucleotide change; deletion of rogue taxa; and compositional heterogeneity. Relationships among the non-ditrysian lineages previously inferred from morphology were largely confirmed, plus some new ones, with strong support. Robust support was also found for divergences among non-apoditrysian lineages of Ditrysia, but only rarely so within Apoditrysia. Paraphyly for Tineoidea is strongly supported by analysis of nonsynonymous-only signal; conflicting, strong support for tineoid monophyly when synonymous signal was added back is shown to result from compositional heterogeneity. Conclusions / Significance Support for among-superfamily relationships outside the Apoditrysia is now generally strong. Comparable support is mostly lacking within Apoditrysia, but dramatically increased bootstrap percentages for some nodes after rogue taxon removal, and concordance with other evidence, strongly suggest that our picture of apoditrysian phylogeny is approximately correct. This study highlights the challenge of finding optimal topologies when analyzing hundreds of taxa. It also

  5. 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.

  6. Eric Carle-Inspired Insect Collages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palamountain, Eileen; Turner, Kim

    2000-01-01

    Describes a lesson in which students create collage insects inspired by the work of Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar). Connects art, language arts, and science. Discusses how students make paper to use as the collage material and how students create the insects. (CMK)

  7. Rice Reoviruses in Insect Vectors.

    PubMed

    Wei, Taiyun; Li, Yi

    2016-08-01

    Rice reoviruses, transmitted by leafhopper or planthopper vectors in a persistent propagative manner, seriously threaten the stability of rice production in Asia. Understanding the mechanisms that enable viral transmission by insect vectors is a key to controlling these viral diseases. This review describes current understanding of replication cycles of rice reoviruses in vector cell lines, transmission barriers, and molecular determinants of vector competence and persistent infection. Despite recent breakthroughs, such as the discoveries of actin-based tubule motility exploited by viruses to overcome transmission barriers and mutually beneficial relationships between viruses and bacterial symbionts, there are still many gaps in our knowledge of transmission mechanisms. Advances in genome sequencing, reverse genetics systems, and molecular technologies will help to address these problems. Investigating the multiple interaction systems among the virus, insect vector, insect symbiont, and plant during natural infection in the field is a central topic for future research on rice reoviruses. PMID:27296147

  8. Cheminformatics Research at the Unilever Centre for Molecular Science Informatics Cambridge

    PubMed Central

    Fuchs, Julian E; Bender, Andreas; Glen, Robert C

    2015-01-01

    The Centre for Molecular Informatics, formerly Unilever Centre for Molecular Science Informatics (UCMSI), at the University of Cambridge is a world-leading driving force in the field of cheminformatics. Since its opening in 2000 more than 300 scientific articles have fundamentally changed the field of molecular informatics. The Centre has been a key player in promoting open chemical data and semantic access. Though mainly focussing on basic research, close collaborations with industrial partners ensured real world feedback and access to high quality molecular data. A variety of tools and standard protocols have been developed and are ubiquitous in the daily practice of cheminformatics. Here, we present a retrospective of cheminformatics research performed at the UCMSI, thereby highlighting historical and recent trends in the field as well as indicating future directions. PMID:26435758

  9. Legendary Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Keefe, William A.; Joe, Jimson

    1998-01-01

    Spiders and insects are studied in both Navajo Studies and science classes at a middle school in New Mexico. In Navajo Studies, students learn the names of ground-dwelling insects and the connection between those names and traditional Navajo stories. In science class, students study arthropods to illustrate taxonomy of life, trophic and biological…

  10. eScience for molecular-scale simulations and the eMinerals project.

    PubMed

    Salje, E K H; Artacho, E; Austen, K F; Bruin, R P; Calleja, M; Chappell, H F; Chiang, G-T; Dove, M T; Frame, I; Goodwin, A L; Kleese van Dam, K; Marmier, A; Parker, S C; Pruneda, J M; Todorov, I T; Trachenko, K; Tyer, R P; Walker, A M; White, T O H

    2009-03-13

    We review the work carried out within the eMinerals project to develop eScience solutions that facilitate a new generation of molecular-scale simulation work. Technological developments include integration of compute and data systems, developing of collaborative frameworks and new researcher-friendly tools for grid job submission, XML data representation, information delivery, metadata harvesting and metadata management. A number of diverse science applications will illustrate how these tools are being used for large parameter-sweep studies, an emerging type of study for which the integration of computing, data and collaboration is essential.

  11. Allergies to Insect Venom

    MedlinePlus

    ... The smell of food attracts these insects.  Use insect repellents and keep insecticide available. Treatment tips:  Venom immunotherapy (allergy shots to insect venom(s) is highly effective in preventing subsequent sting ...

  12. US-Latin American Workshop on Molecular and Materials Sciences: Theoretical and Computational Aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Micha, David A.

    1994-08-01

    Partial contents include: time-dependent theory of photoabsorption processes; molecular simulation of a chemical reaction in supercritical water; many-body methods for electron correlation; conformational studies of PAF and PAF-antagonists; electric properties of atomic anions; theoretical interpretation of the Li4(-) spectrum using path integrals and ab initio methods; energy levels and structure of tetra-atomic van der Vaals clusters; technology for modern computational science: the John Slater Computing Facility; carbohydrates on the stabilization of biological structures: molecular dynamics simulation; the role of quantum chemistry in heterogeneous catalysis; and corrections to the Born-Oppenheimer approximation by means of perturbation theory.

  13. Plant defense against insect herbivory

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Damage to maize crops by insect herbivores such as beet and fall army worm causes significant impact in the Southern United States in terms of both yield loss and insecticide use. Enhanced understanding of how maize can defend itself against such attacks at a molecular level will enable development ...

  14. Belowground Carbon Cycling Processes at the Molecular Scale: An EMSL Science Theme Advisory Panel Workshop

    SciTech Connect

    Hess, Nancy J.; Brown, Gordon E.; Plata, Charity

    2014-02-21

    As part of the Belowground Carbon Cycling Processes at the Molecular Scale workshop, an EMSL Science Theme Advisory Panel meeting held in February 2013, attendees discussed critical biogeochemical processes that regulate carbon cycling in soil. The meeting attendees determined that as a national scientific user facility, EMSL can provide the tools and expertise needed to elucidate the molecular foundation that underlies mechanistic descriptions of biogeochemical processes that control carbon allocation and fluxes at the terrestrial/atmospheric interface in landscape and regional climate models. Consequently, the workshop's goal was to identify the science gaps that hinder either development of mechanistic description of critical processes or their accurate representation in climate models. In part, this report offers recommendations for future EMSL activities in this research area. The workshop was co-chaired by Dr. Nancy Hess (EMSL) and Dr. Gordon Brown (Stanford University).

  15. Molecular biology in marine science: Scientific questions, technological approaches, and practical implications

    SciTech Connect

    1994-12-31

    This report describes molecular techniques that could be invaluable in addressing process-oriented problems in the ocean sciences that have perplexed oceanographers for decades, such as understanding the basis for biogeochemical processes, recruitment processes, upper-ocean dynamics, biological impacts of global warming, and ecological impacts of human activities. The coupling of highly sophisticated methods, such as satellite remote sensing, which permits synoptic monitoring of chemical, physical, and biological parameters over large areas, with the power of modern molecular tools for ``ground truthing`` at small scales could allow scientists to address questions about marine organisms and the ocean in which they live that could not be answered previously. Clearly, the marine sciences are on the threshold of an exciting new frontier of scientific discovery and economic opportunity.

  16. A call to insect scientists: Challenges and opportunities of managing insect communities under climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hellmann, Jessica J.; Grundel, Ralph; Hoving, Chris; Schuurman, Gregor W.

    2016-01-01

    As climate change moves insect systems into uncharted territory, more knowledge about insect dynamics and the factors that drive them could enable us to better manage and conserve insect communities. Climate change may also require us revisit insect management goals and strategies and lead to a new kind of scientific engagement in management decision-making. Here we make five key points about the role of insect science in aiding and crafting management decisions, and we illustrate those points with the monarch butterfly and the Karner blue butterfly, two species undergoing considerable change and facing new management dilemmas. Insect biology has a strong history of engagement in applied problems, and as the impacts of climate change increase, a reimagined ethic of entomology in service of broader society may emerge. We hope to motivate insect biologists to contribute time and effort toward solving the challenges of climate change.

  17. Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory Operations System: Version 4.0 - system requirements specification

    SciTech Connect

    Kashporenko, D.

    1996-07-01

    This document is intended to provide an operations standard for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory OPerations System (EMSL OPS). It is directed toward three primary audiences: (1) Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) facility and operations personnel; (2) laboratory line managers and staff; and (3) researchers, equipment operators, and laboratory users. It is also a statement of system requirements for software developers of EMSL OPS. The need for a finely tuned, superior research environment as provided by the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory has never been greater. The abrupt end of the Cold War and the realignment of national priorities caused major US and competing overseas laboratories to reposition themselves in a highly competitive research marketplace. For a new laboratory such as the EMSL, this means coming into existence in a rapidly changing external environment. For any major laboratory, these changes create funding uncertainties and increasing global competition along with concomitant demands for higher standards of research product quality and innovation. While more laboratories are chasing fewer funding dollars, research ideas and proposals, especially for molecular-level research in the materials and biological sciences, are burgeoning. In such an economically constrained atmosphere, reduced costs, improved productivity, and strategic research project portfolio building become essential to establish and maintain any distinct competitive advantage. For EMSL, this environment and these demands require clear operational objectives, specific goals, and a well-crafted strategy. Specific goals will evolve and change with the evolution of the nature and definition of DOE`s environmental research needs. Hence, EMSL OPS is designed to facilitate migration of these changes with ease into every pertinent job function, creating a facile {open_quotes}learning organization.{close_quotes}

  18. Insect transgenesis and the sterile insect technique

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The establishment of broadly applicable insect transgenesis systems will enable the analyses of gene function in diverse insect species. This will greatly increase our understanding of diverse aspects of biology so far not functionally addressable. Moreover, insect transgenesis will provide novel st...

  19. What Makes an Insect an Insect?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NatureScope, 1985

    1985-01-01

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

  20. 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)

  1. 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...

  2. Systems biology for molecular life sciences and its impact in biomedicine.

    PubMed

    Medina, Miguel Ángel

    2013-03-01

    Modern systems biology is already contributing to a radical transformation of molecular life sciences and biomedicine, and it is expected to have a real impact in the clinical setting in the next years. In this review, the emergence of systems biology is contextualized with a historic overview, and its present state is depicted. The present and expected future contribution of systems biology to the development of molecular medicine is underscored. Concerning the present situation, this review includes a reflection on the "inflation" of biological data and the urgent need for tools and procedures to make hidden information emerge. Descriptions of the impact of networks and models and the available resources and tools for applying them in systems biology approaches to molecular medicine are provided as well. The actual current impact of systems biology in molecular medicine is illustrated, reviewing two cases, namely, those of systems pharmacology and cancer systems biology. Finally, some of the expected contributions of systems biology to the immediate future of molecular medicine are commented.

  3. The molecularization of identity: science and subjectivity in the 21st century.

    PubMed

    McGONIGLE, Ian Vincent; Benjamin, Ruha

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in biological and computational technologies are changing the way different social groups imagine race, gender, kinship, citizenship and disease risk. Existing taxonomies are being displaced or reconfigured, impacting the ways in which people are governed, how lives are lived, how groups are known and how power is exercised. Herein we report on a two-day international symposium that we co-organized, titled 'The molecularization of identity: science and subjectivity in the 21st century,' that was held on 29-30 April 2016 at the Program on Science, Technology and Society, at Harvard University. The symposium drew upon the tools and expertise from multiple disciplines and diverse geographical regions and consisted of 24 original research presentations and an interdisciplinary roundtable. Specific attention was paid to the bioethical, material and lived dimensions of recent developments in molecular technologies, and discussions interrogated the complex ways in which the 'molecular realm' is an emerging site for constituting human identities in the 21st century. Herein we summarize some of the key findings of the conference and raise three further issues for practitioners and researchers to consider in relation to the broader impact of genetics research. Namely: transnational governance of emerging biotechnologies; representation of different interest groups in policy decisions; and rights of access to emerging technologies. PMID:27376979

  4. The molecularization of identity: science and subjectivity in the 21st century.

    PubMed

    McGONIGLE, Ian Vincent; Benjamin, Ruha

    2016-07-05

    Recent advances in biological and computational technologies are changing the way different social groups imagine race, gender, kinship, citizenship and disease risk. Existing taxonomies are being displaced or reconfigured, impacting the ways in which people are governed, how lives are lived, how groups are known and how power is exercised. Herein we report on a two-day international symposium that we co-organized, titled 'The molecularization of identity: science and subjectivity in the 21st century,' that was held on 29-30 April 2016 at the Program on Science, Technology and Society, at Harvard University. The symposium drew upon the tools and expertise from multiple disciplines and diverse geographical regions and consisted of 24 original research presentations and an interdisciplinary roundtable. Specific attention was paid to the bioethical, material and lived dimensions of recent developments in molecular technologies, and discussions interrogated the complex ways in which the 'molecular realm' is an emerging site for constituting human identities in the 21st century. Herein we summarize some of the key findings of the conference and raise three further issues for practitioners and researchers to consider in relation to the broader impact of genetics research. Namely: transnational governance of emerging biotechnologies; representation of different interest groups in policy decisions; and rights of access to emerging technologies.

  5. Catalog of insect type specimens preserved at the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science with corrections of some specimens.

    PubMed

    Li, Kai-Qin; Wang, Yun-Zhen; Dong, Da-Zhi; Zhang, Li-Kun

    2015-09-18

    This article presents a list of insect types preserved in Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology (KNHMZ). As of March, 2015, 3 412 type specimens belonging to 266 species/subspecies of 37 families in 9 orders (Odonata, Isoptera, Mantodea, Orthoptera, Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera) are included. Information corrections of some specimens are provided in this article.

  6. Catalog of insect type specimens preserved at the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science with corrections of some specimens.

    PubMed

    Li, Kai-Qin; Wang, Yun-Zhen; Dong, Da-Zhi; Zhang, Li-Kun

    2015-09-18

    This article presents a list of insect types preserved in Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology (KNHMZ). As of March, 2015, 3 412 type specimens belonging to 266 species/subspecies of 37 families in 9 orders (Odonata, Isoptera, Mantodea, Orthoptera, Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera) are included. Information corrections of some specimens are provided in this article. PMID:26452692

  7. Catalog of insect type specimens preserved at the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science with corrections of some specimens

    PubMed Central

    LI, Kai-Qin; WANG, Yun-Zhen; DONG, Da-Zhi; ZHANG, Li-Kun

    2015-01-01

    This article presents a list of insect types preserved in Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology (KNHMZ). As of March, 2015, 3 412 type specimens belonging to 266 species/subspecies of 37 families in 9 orders (Odonata, Isoptera, Mantodea, Orthoptera, Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera) are included. Information corrections of some specimens are provided in this article. PMID:26452692

  8. Super-Resolution Molecular and Functional Imaging of Nanoscale Architectures in Life and Materials Science

    PubMed Central

    Habuchi, Satoshi

    2014-01-01

    Super-resolution (SR) fluorescence microscopy has been revolutionizing the way in which we investigate the structures, dynamics, and functions of a wide range of nanoscale systems. In this review, I describe the current state of various SR fluorescence microscopy techniques along with the latest developments of fluorophores and labeling for the SR microscopy. I discuss the applications of SR microscopy in the fields of life science and materials science with a special emphasis on quantitative molecular imaging and nanoscale functional imaging. These studies open new opportunities for unraveling the physical, chemical, and optical properties of a wide range of nanoscale architectures together with their nanostructures and will enable the development of new (bio-)nanotechnology. PMID:25152893

  9. The MoSGrid Science Gateway - A Complete Solution for Molecular Simulations.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Jens; Grunzke, Richard; Gesing, Sandra; Breuers, Sebastian; Brinkmann, André; de la Garza, Luis; Kohlbacher, Oliver; Kruse, Martin; Nagel, Wolfgang E; Packschies, Lars; Müller-Pfefferkorn, Ralph; Schäfer, Patrick; Schärfe, Charlotta; Steinke, Thomas; Schlemmer, Tobias; Warzecha, Klaus Dieter; Zink, Andreas; Herres-Pawlis, Sonja

    2014-06-10

    The MoSGrid portal offers an approach to carry out high-quality molecular simulations on distributed compute infrastructures to scientists with all kinds of background and experience levels. A user-friendly Web interface guarantees the ease-of-use of modern chemical simulation applications well established in the field. The usage of well-defined workflows annotated with metadata largely improves the reproducibility of simulations in the sense of good lab practice. The MoSGrid science gateway supports applications in the domains quantum chemistry (QC), molecular dynamics (MD), and docking. This paper presents the open-source MoSGrid architecture as well as lessons learned from its design. PMID:26580747

  10. Molecular imprinting science and technology: a survey of the literature for the years 2004-2011.

    PubMed

    Whitcombe, Michael J; Kirsch, Nicole; Nicholls, Ian A

    2014-06-01

    Herein, we present a survey of the literature covering the development of molecular imprinting science and technology over the years 2004-2011. In total, 3779 references to the original papers, reviews, edited volumes and monographs from this period are included, along with recently identified uncited materials from prior to 2004, which were omitted in the first instalment of this series covering the years 1930-2003. In the presentation of the assembled references, a section presenting reviews and monographs covering the area is followed by sections describing fundamental aspects of molecular imprinting including the development of novel polymer formats. Thereafter, literature describing efforts to apply these polymeric materials to a range of application areas is presented. Current trends and areas of rapid development are discussed.

  11. The Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science instrument at the Linac Coherent Light Source

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Ken R.; Bucher, Maximilian; Bozek, John D.; Carron, Sebastian; Castagna, Jean-Charles; Coffee, Ryan; Curiel, G. Ivan; Holmes, Michael; Krzywinski, Jacek; Messerschmidt, Marc; Minitti, Michael; Mitra, Ankush; Moeller, Stefan; Noonan, Peter; Osipov, Timur; Schorb, Sebastian; Swiggers, Michele; Wallace, Alexander; Yin, Jing; Bostedt, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    The Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science (AMO) instrument at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) provides a tight soft X-ray focus into one of three experimental endstations. The flexible instrument design is optimized for studying a wide variety of phenomena requiring peak intensity. There is a suite of spectrometers and two photon area detectors available. An optional mirror-based split-and-delay unit can be used for X-ray pump–probe experiments. Recent scientific highlights illustrate the imaging, time-resolved spectroscopy and high-power density capabilities of the AMO instrument. PMID:25931058

  12. The Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science instrument at the Linac Coherent Light Source

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ferguson, Ken R.; Bucher, Maximilian; Bozek, John D.; Carron, Sebastian; Castagna, Jean-Charles; Coffee, Ryan; Curiel, G. Ivan; Holmes, Michael; Krzywinski, Jacek; Messerschmidt, Marc; et al

    2015-05-01

    The Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science (AMO) instrument at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) provides a tight soft X-ray focus into one of three experimental endstations. The flexible instrument design is optimized for studying a wide variety of phenomena requiring peak intensity. There is a suite of spectrometers and two photon area detectors available. An optional mirror-based split-and-delay unit can be used for X-ray pump–probe experiments. Recent scientific highlights illustrate the imaging, time-resolved spectroscopy and high-power density capabilities of the AMO instrument.

  13. Frames of scientific evidence: How journalists represent the (un)certainty of molecular medicine in science television programs.

    PubMed

    Ruhrmann, Georg; Guenther, Lars; Kessler, Sabrina Heike; Milde, Jutta

    2015-08-01

    For laypeople, media coverage of science on television is a gateway to scientific issues. Defining scientific evidence is central to the field of science, but there are still questions if news coverage of science represents scientific research findings as certain or uncertain. The framing approach is a suitable framework to classify different media representations; it is applied here to investigate the frames of scientific evidence in film clips (n=207) taken from science television programs. Molecular medicine is the domain of interest for this analysis, due to its high proportion of uncertain and conflicting research findings and risks. The results indicate that television clips vary in their coverage of scientific evidence of molecular medicine. Four frames were found: Scientific Uncertainty and Controversy, Scientifically Certain Data, Everyday Medical Risks, and Conflicting Scientific Evidence. They differ in their way of framing scientific evidence and risks of molecular medicine.

  14. The evolution of color vision in insects.

    PubMed

    Briscoe, A D; Chittka, L

    2001-01-01

    We review the physiological, molecular, and neural mechanisms of insect color vision. Phylogenetic and molecular analyses reveal that the basic bauplan, UV-blue-green-trichromacy, appears to date back to the Devonian ancestor of all pterygote insects. There are variations on this theme, however. These concern the number of color receptor types, their differential expression across the retina, and their fine tuning along the wavelength scale. In a few cases (but not in many others), these differences can be linked to visual ecology. Other insects have virtually identical sets of color receptors despite strong differences in lifestyle. Instead of the adaptionism that has dominated visual ecology in the past, we propose that chance evolutionary processes, history, and constraints should be considered. In addition to phylogenetic analyses designed to explore these factors, we suggest quantifying variance between individuals and populations and using fitness measurements to test the adaptive value of traits identified in insect color vision systems.

  15. Insects and Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

    ... gov . Workplace Safety and Health Topics Insects & Scorpions Bees, Wasps, and Hornets Fire Ants Scorpions Additional Resources ... to outdoor workers. Stinging or biting insects include bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. The health effects ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. Diversity in Protein Glycosylation among Insect Species

    PubMed Central

    Vandenborre, Gianni; Smagghe, Guy; Ghesquière, Bart; Menschaert, Gerben; Nagender Rao, Rameshwaram; Gevaert, Kris; Van Damme, Els J. M.

    2011-01-01

    Background A very common protein modification in multicellular organisms is protein glycosylation or the addition of carbohydrate structures to the peptide backbone. Although the Class of the Insecta is the largest animal taxon on Earth, almost all information concerning glycosylation in insects is derived from studies with only one species, namely the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Methodology/Principal Findings In this report, the differences in glycoproteomes between insects belonging to several economically important insect orders were studied. Using GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin) affinity chromatography, different sets of glycoproteins with mannosyl-containing glycan structures were purified from the flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum), the silkworm (Bombyx mori), the honeybee (Apis mellifera), the fruit fly (D. melanogaster) and the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum). To identify and characterize the purified glycoproteins, LC-MS/MS analysis was performed. For all insect species, it was demonstrated that glycoproteins were related to a broad range of biological processes and molecular functions. Moreover, the majority of glycoproteins retained on the GNA column were unique to one particular insect species and only a few glycoproteins were present in the five different glycoprotein sets. Furthermore, these data support the hypothesis that insect glycoproteins can be decorated with mannosylated O-glycans. Conclusions/Significance The results presented here demonstrate that oligomannose N-glycosylation events are highly specific depending on the insect species. In addition, we also demonstrated that protein O-mannosylation in insect species may occur more frequently than currently believed. PMID:21373189

  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. Molecular Contamination on Anodized Aluminum Components of the Genesis Science Canister

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burnett, D. S.; McNamara, K. M.; Jurewicz, A.; Woolum, D.

    2005-01-01

    Inspection of the interior of the Genesis science canister after recovery in Utah, and subsequently at JSC, revealed a darkening on the aluminum canister shield and other canister components. There has been no such observation of film contamination on the collector surfaces, and preliminary spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements support the theory that the films observed on the anodized aluminum components do not appear on the collectors to any significant extent. The Genesis Science Team has made an effort to characterize the thickness and composition of the brown stain and to determine if it is associated with molecular outgassing.Detailed examination of the surfaces within the Genesis science canister reveals that the brown contamination is observed to varying degrees, but only on surfaces exposed in space to the Sun and solar wind hydrogen. In addition, the materials affected are primarily composed of anodized aluminum. A sharp line separating the sun and shaded portion of the thermal closeout panel is shown. This piece was removed from a location near the gold foil collector within the canister. Future plans include a reassembly of the canister components to look for large-scale patterns of contamination within the canister to aid in revealing the root cause.

  2. Molecular biology in marine science: Scientific questions, technological approaches, and practical implications

    SciTech Connect

    1994-12-31

    The ocean plays an important role in regulating the earth`s climate, sustains a large portion of the earth`s biodiversity, is a tremendous reservoir of commercially important substances, and is used for a variety of often conflicting purposes. In recent decades marine scientists have discovered much about the ocean and its organisms, yet many important fundamental questions remain unanswered. Human populations have increased, particularly in coastal regions. As a result, the marine environment in these areas is increasingly disrupted by human activities, including pollution and the depletion of some ecologically and commercially important species. There is a sense of urgency about reducing human impacts on the ocean and a need to understand how altered ecosystems and the loss of marine species and biodiversity could affect society. During the past two decades, the development of sophisticated technologies and instruments for biomedical research has resulted in significant advances in the biological sciences. While some of these technologies have been readily incorporated into the study of marine organisms as models for understanding basic biology, the value of molecular techniques for addressing problems in marine biology and biological oceanography has only recently begun to be appreciated. This report defines critical scientific questions in marine biology and biological oceanography, describes the molecular technologies that could be used to answer these questions, and discusses some of the implications and economic opportunities that might result from this research which could potentially improve the international competitive position of the United States in the rapidly growing area of marine biotechnology. The committee recommends that the federal government provide the infrastructure necessary to use the techniques of molecular biology in the marine sciences.

  3. Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences (CAMOS). Technical progress report, [February 1, 1991--January 31, 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-03-01

    The Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences is a standing committee under the auspices of the Board on Physics and Astronomy, Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications of the National Academy of Sciences -- National Research Council. The atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) sciences represent a broad and diverse field in which much of the research is carried out by small groups. These groups generally have not operated in concert with each other and, prior to the establishment of CAMOS, there was no single committee or organization that accepted the responsibility of monitoring the continuing development and assessing the general public health of the field as a whole. CAMOS has accepted this responsibility and currently provides a focus for the AMO community that is unique and essential. The membership of CAMOS is drawn from research laboratories in universities, industry, and government. Areas of expertise on the committee include atomic physics, molecular science, and optics. A special effort has been made to include a balanced representation from the three subfields. (A roster is attached.) CAMOS has conducted a number of studies related to the health of atomic and molecular science and is well prepared to response to requests for studies on specific issues. This report brief reviews the committee work of progress.

  4. Application repository and science gateway for running molecular docking and dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Terstyanszky, Gabor; Kiss, Tamas; Kukla, Tamas; Lichtenberger, Zsolt; Winter, Stephen; Greenwell, Pamela; McEldowney, Sharron; Heindl, Hans

    2012-01-01

    Molecular docking and dynamics studies are of considerable importance in a range of disciplines including molecular biology, drug design, environmental studies, psychology, etc. Using in silico tools to support or even to substitute wet laboratory work could help better focusing the laboratory experiments resulting not only in considerable saving of resources but also increasing the number of molecules and scenarios investigated. There are several software packages that support in silico modeling. However, these tools require lot of compute resources and special technical knowledge. As a result, many bio-scientists cannot use them. The paper describes a science gateway based solution which provides access to Distributed Computing Infrastructures such as clouds, desktop and service grids. This environment enables bio-scientists to execute simple molecular modeling scenarios or build more complex use-cases from existing building blocks while hiding the technical details of the infrastructure. Four scenarios have been defined and deconstructed in order to identify common building blocks supporting a large number of complex use-cases. A reference implementation for the first scenario regarding the impact on indicator species of pharmaceuticals released into water courses has been implemented on the EDGI infrastructure, demonstrating the feasibility of the approach. PMID:22942006

  5. Application repository and science gateway for running molecular docking and dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Terstyanszky, Gabor; Kiss, Tamas; Kukla, Tamas; Lichtenberger, Zsolt; Winter, Stephen; Greenwell, Pamela; McEldowney, Sharron; Heindl, Hans

    2012-01-01

    Molecular docking and dynamics studies are of considerable importance in a range of disciplines including molecular biology, drug design, environmental studies, psychology, etc. Using in silico tools to support or even to substitute wet laboratory work could help better focusing the laboratory experiments resulting not only in considerable saving of resources but also increasing the number of molecules and scenarios investigated. There are several software packages that support in silico modeling. However, these tools require lot of compute resources and special technical knowledge. As a result, many bio-scientists cannot use them. The paper describes a science gateway based solution which provides access to Distributed Computing Infrastructures such as clouds, desktop and service grids. This environment enables bio-scientists to execute simple molecular modeling scenarios or build more complex use-cases from existing building blocks while hiding the technical details of the infrastructure. Four scenarios have been defined and deconstructed in order to identify common building blocks supporting a large number of complex use-cases. A reference implementation for the first scenario regarding the impact on indicator species of pharmaceuticals released into water courses has been implemented on the EDGI infrastructure, demonstrating the feasibility of the approach.

  6. 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,…

  7. 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...

  8. 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…

  9. Insects and Others.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mills, Richard

    1984-01-01

    Several ideas for observing insects and soil animals in the classroom are provided. Also provided are: (1) procedures for making insect cages with milk cartons; (2) suggestions for collecting and feeding insects; and (3) techniques for collecting and identifying soil animals. (BC)

  10. 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

  11. Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences (CAMOS). Technical progress report and continuation proposal, February 1, 1992--January 31, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-31

    The Committee on Atomic, Molecular and Optical Sciences (CAMOS) of the National Research Council (NRC) is charged with monitoring the health of the field of atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) science in the United States. Accordingly, the Committee identifies and examines both broad and specific issues affecting the field. Regular meetings, teleconferences, briefings from agencies and the scientific community, the formation of study panels to prepare reports, and special symposia are among the mechanisms used by the CAMOS to meet its charge. This progress report presents a review of CAMOS activities from February 1, 1992 to January 31, 1993. This report also includes the status of activities associated with the CAMOS study on the field that is being conducted by the Panel on the Future of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences (FAMOS).

  12. Genomics of adaptation to host-plants in herbivorous insects.

    PubMed

    Simon, Jean-Christophe; d'Alençon, Emmanuelle; Guy, Endrick; Jacquin-Joly, Emmanuelle; Jaquiéry, Julie; Nouhaud, Pierre; Peccoud, Jean; Sugio, Akiko; Streiff, Réjane

    2015-11-01

    Herbivorous insects represent the most species-rich lineages of metazoans. The high rate of diversification in herbivorous insects is thought to result from their specialization to distinct host-plants, which creates conditions favorable for the build-up of reproductive isolation and speciation. These conditions rely on constraints against the optimal use of a wide range of plant species, as each must constitute a viable food resource, oviposition site and mating site for an insect. Utilization of plants involves many essential traits of herbivorous insects, as they locate and select their hosts, overcome their defenses and acquire nutrients while avoiding intoxication. Although advances in understanding insect-plant molecular interactions have been limited by the complexity of insect traits involved in host use and the lack of genomic resources and functional tools, recent studies at the molecular level, combined with large-scale genomics studies at population and species levels, are revealing the genetic underpinning of plant specialization and adaptive divergence in non-model insect herbivores. Here, we review the recent advances in the genomics of plant adaptation in hemipterans and lepidopterans, two major insect orders, each of which includes a large number of crop pests. We focus on how genomics and post-genomics have improved our understanding of the mechanisms involved in insect-plant interactions by reviewing recent molecular discoveries in sensing, feeding, digesting and detoxifying strategies. We also present the outcomes of large-scale genomics approaches aimed at identifying loci potentially involved in plant adaptation in these insects.

  13. Molecular Environmental Science: An Assessment of Research Accomplishments, Available Synchrotron Radiation Facilities, and Needs

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, G

    2004-02-05

    Synchrotron-based techniques are fundamental to research in ''Molecular Environmental Science'' (MES), an emerging field that involves molecular-level studies of chemical and biological processes affecting the speciation, properties, and behavior of contaminants, pollutants, and nutrients in the ecosphere. These techniques enable the study of aqueous solute complexes, poorly crystalline materials, solid-liquid interfaces, mineral-aqueous solution interactions, microbial biofilm-heavy metal interactions, heavy metal-plant interactions, complex material microstructures, and nanomaterials, all of which are important components or processes in the environment. Basic understanding of environmental materials and processes at the molecular scale is essential for risk assessment and management, and reduction of environmental pollutants at field, landscape, and global scales. One of the main purposes of this report is to illustrate the role of synchrotron radiation (SR)-based studies in environmental science and related fields and their impact on environmental problems of importance to society. A major driving force for MES research is the need to characterize, treat, and/or dispose of vast quantities of contaminated materials, including groundwater, sediments, and soils, and to process wastes, at an estimated cost exceeding 150 billion dollars through 2070. A major component of this problem derives from high-level nuclear waste. Other significant components come from mining and industrial wastes, atmospheric pollutants derived from fossil fuel consumption, agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, and the pollution problems associated with animal waste run-off, all of which have major impacts on human health and welfare. Addressing these problems requires the development of new characterization and processing technologies--efforts that require information on the chemical speciation of heavy metals, radionuclides, and xenobiotic organic compounds and their reactions with

  14. Molecular environmental science : an assessment of research accomplishments, available synchrotron radiation facilities, and needs.

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, G. E., Jr.; Sutton, S. R.; Bargar, J. R.; Shuh, D. K.; Fenter, P. A.; Kemner, K. M.

    2004-10-20

    Synchrotron-based techniques are fundamental to research in ''Molecular Environmental Science'' (MES), an emerging field that involves molecular-level studies of chemical and biological processes affecting the speciation, properties, and behavior of contaminants, pollutants, and nutrients in the ecosphere. These techniques enable the study of aqueous solute complexes, poorly crystalline materials, solid-liquid interfaces, mineral-aqueous solution interactions, microbial biofilm-heavy metal interactions, heavy metal-plant interactions, complex material microstructures, and nanomaterials, all of which are important components or processes in the environment. Basic understanding of environmental materials and processes at the molecular scale is essential for risk assessment and management, and reduction of environmental pollutants at field, landscape, and global scales. One of the main purposes of this report is to illustrate the role of synchrotron radiation (SR)-based studies in environmental science and related fields and their impact on environmental problems of importance to society. A major driving force for MES research is the need to characterize, treat, and/or dispose of vast quantities of contaminated materials, including groundwater, sediments, and soils, and to process wastes, at an estimated cost exceeding 150 billion dollars through 2070. A major component of this problem derives from high-level nuclear waste. Other significant components come from mining and industrial wastes, atmospheric pollutants derived from fossil fuel consumption, agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, and the pollution problems associated with animal waste run-off, all of which have major impacts on human health and welfare. Addressing these problems requires the development of new characterization and processing technologies--efforts that require information on the chemical speciation of heavy metals, radionuclides, and xenobiotic organic compounds and their reactions with

  15. Molecular biology in marine science: Scientific questions, technological approaches, and practical implications

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-12-31

    The ocean plays an important role in regulating the earth`s climate, sustains a large portion of the earth`s biodiversity, is a tremendous reservoir of commercially important substances, and is used for a variety of often conflicting purposes. In recent decades marine scientists have discovered much about the ocean and its organisms, yet many important fundamental questions remain unanswered. Human populations have increased, particularly in coastal regions. As a result, the marine environment in these areas is increasingly disrupted by human activities, including pollution and the depletion of some ecologically and commercially important species. There is a sense of urgency about reducing human impacts on the ocean and a need to understand how altered ecosystems and the loss of marine species and biodiversity could affect society. This report describes molecular techniques that could be invaluable in addressing process-oriented problems in the ocean sciences that have perplexed oceanographers for decades, such as understanding the basis for biogeochemical processes, recruitment processes, upper-ocean dynamics, biological impacts of global warming, and ecological impacts of human activities. The coupling of highly sophisticated methods, such as satellite remote sensing, which permits synoptic monitoring of chemical, physical, and biological parameters over large areas, with the power of modern molecular tools for ground truthing at small scales could allow scientists to address questions about marine organisms and the ocean in which they live that could not be answered previously.

  16. Molecular Nutrition Research—The Modern Way Of Performing Nutritional Science

    PubMed Central

    Norheim, Frode; Gjelstad, Ingrid M. F.; Hjorth, Marit; Vinknes, Kathrine J.; Langleite, Torgrim M.; Holen, Torgeir; Jensen, Jørgen; Dalen, Knut Tomas; Karlsen, Anette S.; Kielland, Anders; Rustan, Arild C.; Drevon, Christian A.

    2012-01-01

    In spite of amazing progress in food supply and nutritional science, and a striking increase in life expectancy of approximately 2.5 months per year in many countries during the previous 150 years, modern nutritional research has a great potential of still contributing to improved health for future generations, granted that the revolutions in molecular and systems technologies are applied to nutritional questions. Descriptive and mechanistic studies using state of the art epidemiology, food intake registration, genomics with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, advanced biostatistics, imaging, calorimetry, cell biology, challenge tests (meals, exercise, etc.), and integration of all data by systems biology, will provide insight on a much higher level than today in a field we may name molecular nutrition research. To take advantage of all the new technologies scientists should develop international collaboration and gather data in large open access databases like the suggested Nutritional Phenotype database (dbNP). This collaboration will promote standardization of procedures (SOP), and provide a possibility to use collected data in future research projects. The ultimate goals of future nutritional research are to understand the detailed mechanisms of action for how nutrients/foods interact with the body and thereby enhance health and treat diet-related diseases. PMID:23208524

  17. [Application of mtDNA polymorphism in species identification of sarcosaphagous insects].

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Cai, Ji-feng

    2011-04-01

    Species identification of sarcosaphagous insects is one of the important steps in forensic research based on the knowledge of entomology. Recent studies reveal that the application of molecular biology, especially the mtDNA sequences analysis, works well in the species identification of sarcosaphagous insects. The molecular biology characteristics, structures, polymorphism of mtDNA of sarcosaphagous insects, and the recent studies in species identification of sarcosaphagous insects are reviewed in this article.

  18. Cathepsins of lepidopteran insects: Aspects and prospects.

    PubMed

    Saikhedkar, Nidhi; Summanwar, Aarohi; Joshi, Rakesh; Giri, Ashok

    2015-09-01

    Molecular understanding of lepidopteran physiology has revealed that proteases consist of one of the central regulatory/reacting system for insect growth and survival. Among the various proteases, cathepsins are the most crucial cellular proteases, which play vital roles during insect development. In the present review, we have discussed various aspects of the lepidopteran insect cathepsins, emphasizing their roles in processes like development, growth, metamorphosis, apoptosis and immunity. Cathepsins are categorized into different types on the basis of their sequence diversification, leading to variation in structure and catalytic function. Cathepsins exhibit tissue and stage specific expression pattern which is fine-tuned by a delicate balance of expression, compartmentalization, zymogen activation, inhibition by protein inhibitors and degradation. The indispensability of cathepsins as cellular proteases in the above mentioned processes proposes them as novel targets for designing effective and specific insect controlling strategies.

  19. [Advances of the study of sarcosaphagous insects in forensic medicine].

    PubMed

    Wang, Bang-Qin; Cai, Ji-Feng; Ge, Yang; Li, Fa-Zhao; Man, Yi; Chang, Yun-Feng

    2008-06-01

    The study of sarcosaphagous insects is a subspecialty in forensic medicine based on the knowledge of entomology. It could help to determine the time of death, especially the postmortem interval in decomposed cases. This paper explores its history, species and erosion process of sarcosaphagous insects. It reviews the species identifying methods with molecular biology and entomological morphology. Details of its application in estimating postmortem interval in recent years and study of sarcosaphagous insects in the field of forensic medicine are summarized.

  20. 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 ...

  1. Multiple activities of insect repellents on odorant receptors in mosquitoes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several lines of evidence suggest that insect repellent molecules reduce mosquito-host contacts by interacting with odorants and odorant receptors (ORs) ultimately affecting olfactory-driven behaviors. We describe the molecular effects of ten insect repellents and a pyrethroid insecticide with known...

  2. PREFACE: Advanced Science Research Symposium 2009 Positron, Muon and other exotic particle beams for materials and atomic/molecular sciences (ASR2009)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higemoto, Wataru; Kawasuso, Atsuo

    2010-05-01

    It is our great pleasure to deliver the proceedings of ASR2009, the Advanced Science Research International Symposium 2009. ASR2009 is part of a series of symposia which is hosted by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Advanced Science Research Center (JAEA-ASRC), and held every year with different scientific topics. ASR2009 was held at Tokai in Japan from 10-12 November 2009. In total, 102 participants, including 29 overseas scientists, made 44 oral presentations and 64 poster presentations. In ASR2009 we have focused on material and atomic/molecular science research using positrons, muons and other exotic particle beams. The symposium covered all the fields of materials science which use such exotic particle beams. Positrons, muons and other beams have similar and different features. For example, although positrons and muons are both leptons having charge and spin, they give quite different information about materials. A muon mainly detects the local magnetic state of the solid, while a positron detects crystal imperfections and electron momenta in solids. Other exotic particle beams also provide useful information about materials which is not able to be obtained with muons or positrons. Therefore, the complementary use of particle beams, coupled with an understanding of their relative advantages, leads to greater excellence in materials research. This symposium crossed the fields of muon science, positron science, unstable-nuclei science, and other exotic particle-beam science. We therefore believe that ASR2009 became an especially important meeting for finding new science with exotic particle beams. Finally, we would like to extend our appreciation to all the participants, committee members, and support staff for their great efforts to make ASR2009 a fruitful symposium. ASR2009 Chairs Wataru Higemoto and Atsuo Kawasuso Advanced Science Research Center, Japan Atomic Energy Agency Organizing committee Y Hatano, JAEA (Director of ASRC) M Fujinami, Chiba Univ. R H

  3. Molecular tools for bathing water assessment in Europe: Balancing social science research with a rapidly developing environmental science evidence-base.

    PubMed

    Oliver, David M; Hanley, Nick D; van Niekerk, Melanie; Kay, David; Heathwaite, A Louise; Rabinovici, Sharyl J M; Kinzelman, Julie L; Fleming, Lora E; Porter, Jonathan; Shaikh, Sabina; Fish, Rob; Chilton, Sue; Hewitt, Julie; Connolly, Elaine; Cummins, Andy; Glenk, Klaus; McPhail, Calum; McRory, Eric; McVittie, Alistair; Giles, Amanna; Roberts, Suzanne; Simpson, Katherine; Tinch, Dugald; Thairs, Ted; Avery, Lisa M; Vinten, Andy J A; Watts, Bill D; Quilliam, Richard S

    2016-02-01

    The use of molecular tools, principally qPCR, versus traditional culture-based methods for quantifying microbial parameters (e.g., Fecal Indicator Organisms) in bathing waters generates considerable ongoing debate at the science-policy interface. Advances in science have allowed the development and application of molecular biological methods for rapid (~2 h) quantification of microbial pollution in bathing and recreational waters. In contrast, culture-based methods can take between 18 and 96 h for sample processing. Thus, molecular tools offer an opportunity to provide a more meaningful statement of microbial risk to water-users by providing near-real-time information enabling potentially more informed decision-making with regard to water-based activities. However, complementary studies concerning the potential costs and benefits of adopting rapid methods as a regulatory tool are in short supply. We report on findings from an international Working Group that examined the breadth of social impacts, challenges, and research opportunities associated with the application of molecular tools to bathing water regulations.

  4. Molecular tools for bathing water assessment in Europe: Balancing social science research with a rapidly developing environmental science evidence-base.

    PubMed

    Oliver, David M; Hanley, Nick D; van Niekerk, Melanie; Kay, David; Heathwaite, A Louise; Rabinovici, Sharyl J M; Kinzelman, Julie L; Fleming, Lora E; Porter, Jonathan; Shaikh, Sabina; Fish, Rob; Chilton, Sue; Hewitt, Julie; Connolly, Elaine; Cummins, Andy; Glenk, Klaus; McPhail, Calum; McRory, Eric; McVittie, Alistair; Giles, Amanna; Roberts, Suzanne; Simpson, Katherine; Tinch, Dugald; Thairs, Ted; Avery, Lisa M; Vinten, Andy J A; Watts, Bill D; Quilliam, Richard S

    2016-02-01

    The use of molecular tools, principally qPCR, versus traditional culture-based methods for quantifying microbial parameters (e.g., Fecal Indicator Organisms) in bathing waters generates considerable ongoing debate at the science-policy interface. Advances in science have allowed the development and application of molecular biological methods for rapid (~2 h) quantification of microbial pollution in bathing and recreational waters. In contrast, culture-based methods can take between 18 and 96 h for sample processing. Thus, molecular tools offer an opportunity to provide a more meaningful statement of microbial risk to water-users by providing near-real-time information enabling potentially more informed decision-making with regard to water-based activities. However, complementary studies concerning the potential costs and benefits of adopting rapid methods as a regulatory tool are in short supply. We report on findings from an international Working Group that examined the breadth of social impacts, challenges, and research opportunities associated with the application of molecular tools to bathing water regulations. PMID:26392185

  5. Insect bites and stings

    MedlinePlus

    ... likely to cause itching than pain. Insect and spider bites cause more deaths from venom reactions than bites from snakes. ... are harmless. If possible, bring the insect or spider that bit you with you when you go for medical treatment so it can be identified.

  6. 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.…

  7. Corazonin in insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corazonin is a peptidergic neurohormone of insects which is expressed in neurosecretory neurons of the pars lateralis of the protocerebrum and transported via nervi corpus cardiaci in the storage lobes of the corpora cardiaca. This peptide occurs with a single isofomr in all insects studied so far,...

  8. 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...

  9. Sugarcane insect update

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect are an important group of pests affecting sugarcane production. Agricultural consultants play an important role is assisting sugarcane farmers to choose the most appropriated means of managing damaging infestations of insects in their crop. In this presentation, information will be presented ...

  10. 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…

  11. Bug Talk: A Learning Module on Insect Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bergman, Daniel J.

    2008-01-01

    The study of insects (entomology) can be used to stimulate students' interest in science and nature. It can develop students' understanding of fundamental science concepts, awareness of interdisciplinary connections, and mastery of science process skills. This teaching module provides opportunities for middle school students (Grades 5-8) to learn…

  12. Principal Areas of Insect Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Carroll M.

    1973-01-01

    Research for insect control has been quite complex. However, recent knowledge of using insect hormones against them has opened new vistas for producing insecticides which may be harmless to human population. Current areas of insect research are outlined. (PS)

  13. Insect Pathogenic Fungi as Endophytes.

    PubMed

    Moonjely, S; Barelli, L; Bidochka, M J

    2016-01-01

    In this chapter, we explore some of the evolutionary, ecological, molecular genetics, and applied aspects of a subset of insect pathogenic fungi that also have a lifestyle as endophytes and we term endophytic insect pathogenic fungi (EIPF). We focus particularly on Metarhizium spp. and Beauveria bassiana as EIPF. The discussion of the evolution of EIPF challenges a view that these fungi were first and foremost insect pathogens that eventually evolved to colonize plants. Phylogenetic evidence shows that the lineages of EIPF are most closely related to grass endophytes that diverged c. 100MYA. We discuss the relationship between genes involved in "insect pathogenesis" and those involved in "endophytism" and provide examples of genes with potential importance in lifestyle transitions toward insect pathogenicity. That is, some genes for insect pathogenesis may have been coopted from genes involved in endophytic colonization. Other genes may be multifunctional and serve in both lifestyle capacities. The interactions of EIPF with their host plants are discussed in some detail. The genetic basis for rhizospheric competence, plant communication, and nutrient exchange is examined and we highlight, with examples, the benefits of EIPF to plants, and the potential reservoir of secondary metabolites hidden within these beneficial symbioses. PMID:27131324

  14. The Trapping Of Laser-Generated Biradicals With Molecular Oxygen: The Synthesis Of Peroxides Related To Vitamin K, Insect Pheromones And Prostaglandins.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, R. M.

    1984-05-01

    The theoretical and experimental considerations involved in laser-generated biradical trapping with molecular oxygen are discussed. This method has been applied in the elucidation of the mechanism of the photodegradation of Vitamin K via oxygen trapping of a preoxe-tane biradical. The trapping of biradicals derived from azoalkanes has been applied to the syntheses of pine beetle pheromone mimics and prostaglandin endoperoxide analogues.

  15. “The Environment is Everything That Isn't Me”: Molecular Mechanisms and Evolutionary Dynamics of Insect Clocks in Variable Surroundings

    PubMed Central

    Rivas, Gustavo B. S.; Bauzer, Luiz G. S. da R.; Meireles-Filho, Antonio C. A.

    2016-01-01

    Circadian rhythms are oscillations in behavior, metabolism and physiology that have a period close to 24 h. These rhythms are controlled by an internal pacemaker that evolved under strong selective pressures imposed by environmental cyclical changes, mainly of light and temperature. The molecular nature of the circadian pacemaker was extensively studied in a number of organisms under controlled laboratory conditions. But although these studies were fundamental to our understanding of the circadian clock, most of the environmental conditions used resembled rather crudely the relatively constant situation at lower latitudes. At higher latitudes light-dark and temperature cycles vary considerably across different seasons, with summers having long and hot days and winters short and cold ones. Considering these differences and other external cues, such as moonlight, recent studies in more natural and semi-natural situations revealed unexpected features at both molecular and behavioral levels, highlighting the dramatic influence of multiple environmental variables in the molecular clockwork. This emphasizes the importance of studying the circadian clock in the wild, where seasonal environmental changes fine-tune the underlying circadian mechanism, affecting population dynamics and impacting the geographical variation in clock genes. Indeed, latitudinal clines in clock gene frequencies suggest that natural selection and demography shape the circadian clock over wide geographical ranges. In this review we will discuss the recent advances in understanding the molecular underpinnings of the circadian clock, how it resonates with the surrounding variables (both in the laboratory and in semi-natural conditions) and its impact on population dynamics and evolution. In addition, we will elaborate on how next-generation sequencing technologies will complement classical reductionist approaches by identifying causal variants in natural populations that will link genetic variation to

  16. Molecular cloning and functional properties of two early-stage encapsulation-relating proteins from the coleopteran insect, Tenebrio molitor larvae.

    PubMed

    Cho, M Y; Lee, H S; Lee, K M; Homma, K; Natori, S; Lee, B L

    1999-06-01

    Encapsulation is a major defensive reaction against foreign materials that are too large to be phagocytosed by individual hemocytes; however, the biochemical process of encapsulation is still obscure. To isolate and characterize the early-stage encapsulation-relating protein (ERP), we used the coleopteran insect, Tenebrio molitor larvae, injecting three differing kinds of bead or inserting pieces of surgical suture into the abdomen of T. molitor larvae. The resulting proteins from the injected beads or the inserted pieces of surgical suture were recovered 10 min after injection or insertion, and were analyzed on SDS/PAGE under reducing conditions. Four different proteins (86, 78, 56 and 48 kDa) were enriched compared with the crude hemolymph. Among them, we purified 56-kDa and 48-kDa ERPs to homogeneity and raised polyclonal antibodies against each protein. Immunoblotting analysis showed that the affinity-purified antibodies of the 56-kDa and 48-kDa ERPs cross-reacted with the 48-kDa and 56-kDa ERPs, respectively. Analysis of the cDNA of 56-kDa ERP consisted of 579 amino acid residues and showed a novel glutamine-rich protein. Positive clones of the 48-kDa ERP showed the same DNA sequence as 56-kDa ERP. Interestingly, the chemically determined N-terminal amino acid sequence and the three partial amino acid sequences of the 48-kDa protein were found in the 56-kDa ERP, suggesting that the 48 kDa ERP was produced by the cleavage of Arg101-Gly102 of the 56-kDa ERP by a limited proteolysis. Western blotting analysis showed that these ERPs were detected exclusively on membrane fractions of hemocytes. Also, when the early-stage encapsulated beads were coated with both the 56-kDa and 48-kDa ERP antibodies and re-injected into larvae, no further encapsulation reaction was observed. However, when the early-stage encapsulated beads were incubated with 56-kDa ERP antibody, 48-kDa ERP antibody or nonimmunized rabbit IgG and re-injected into larvae, further encapsulation did

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

    PubMed

    Latorre-Estivalis, Jose Manuel; Lazzari, Claudio Ricardo; Guarneri, Alessandra Aparecida; Mota, Theo; Omondi, Bonaventure Aman; Lorenzo, Marcelo Gustavo

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Latorre-Estivalis, Jose Manuel; Lazzari, Claudio Ricardo; Guarneri, Alessandra Aparecida; Mota, Theo; Omondi, Bonaventure Aman; Lorenzo, Marcelo Gustavo

    2013-01-01

    Triatomines have been important model organisms for behavioural research. Diverse reports about triatomine host search, pheromone communication in the sexual, shelter and alarm contexts, daily cycles of activity, refuge choice and behavioural plasticity have been published in the last two decades. In recent times, a variety of molecular genetics techniques has allowed researchers to investigate elaborate and complex questions about the genetic bases of the physiology of insects. This, together with the current characterisation of the genome sequence of Rhodnius prolixus allows the resurgence of this excellent insect physiology model in the omics era. In the present revision, we suggest that studying the molecular basis of behaviour and sensory ecology in triatomines will promote a deeper understanding of fundamental aspects of insect and, particularly, vector biology. This will allow uncovering unknown features of essential insect physiology questions for a hemimetabolous model organism, promoting more robust comparative studies of insect sensory function and cognition. PMID:24473804

  19. Molecular Mechanistic Reasoning: Toward Bridging the Gap between the Molecular and Cellular Levels in Life Science Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Mil, Marc H. W.; Postma, Paulien A.; Boerwinkel, Dirk Jan; Klaassen, Kees; Waarlo, Arend Jan

    2016-01-01

    Although learning about DNA, RNA, and proteins is part of the upper secondary biology curriculum in most countries, many studies report that students fail to connect molecular knowledge to phenomena at the higher level of cells, organs, and organisms. As a result, many students use memorization and rote learning as a coping strategy when presented…

  20. A post-genomic surprise. The molecular reinscription of race in science, law and medicine.

    PubMed

    Duster, Troy

    2015-03-01

    The completion of the first draft of the Human Genome Map in 2000 was widely heralded as the promise and future of genetics-based medicines and therapies - so much so that pundits began referring to the new century as 'The Century of Genetics'. Moreover, definitive assertions about the overwhelming similarities of all humans' DNA (99.9 per cent) by the leaders of the Human Genome Project were trumpeted as the end of racial thinking about racial taxonomies of human genetic differences. But the first decade of the new century brought unwelcomed surprises. First, gene therapies turned out to be far more complicated than any had anticipated - and instead the pharmaceutical industry turned to a focus on drugs that might be 'related' to population differences based upon genetic markers. While the language of 'personalized medicine' dominated this frame, research on racially and ethnically designated populations differential responsiveness to drugs dominated the empirical work in the field. Ancestry testing and 'admixture research' would play an important role in a new kind of molecular reification of racial categories. Moreover, the capacity of the super-computer to map differences reverberated into personal identification that would affect both the criminal justice system and forensic science, and generate new levels of concern about personal privacy. Social scientists in general, and sociologists in particular, have been caught short by these developments - relying mainly on assertions that racial categories are socially constructed, regionally and historically contingent, and politically arbitrary. While these assertions are true, the imprimatur of scientific legitimacy has shifted the burden, since now 'admixture research' can claim that its results get at the 'reality' of human differentiation, not the admittedly flawed social constructions of racial categories. Yet what was missing from this framing of the problem: 'admixture research' is itself based upon socially

  1. A post-genomic surprise. The molecular reinscription of race in science, law and medicine.

    PubMed

    Duster, Troy

    2015-03-01

    The completion of the first draft of the Human Genome Map in 2000 was widely heralded as the promise and future of genetics-based medicines and therapies - so much so that pundits began referring to the new century as 'The Century of Genetics'. Moreover, definitive assertions about the overwhelming similarities of all humans' DNA (99.9 per cent) by the leaders of the Human Genome Project were trumpeted as the end of racial thinking about racial taxonomies of human genetic differences. But the first decade of the new century brought unwelcomed surprises. First, gene therapies turned out to be far more complicated than any had anticipated - and instead the pharmaceutical industry turned to a focus on drugs that might be 'related' to population differences based upon genetic markers. While the language of 'personalized medicine' dominated this frame, research on racially and ethnically designated populations differential responsiveness to drugs dominated the empirical work in the field. Ancestry testing and 'admixture research' would play an important role in a new kind of molecular reification of racial categories. Moreover, the capacity of the super-computer to map differences reverberated into personal identification that would affect both the criminal justice system and forensic science, and generate new levels of concern about personal privacy. Social scientists in general, and sociologists in particular, have been caught short by these developments - relying mainly on assertions that racial categories are socially constructed, regionally and historically contingent, and politically arbitrary. While these assertions are true, the imprimatur of scientific legitimacy has shifted the burden, since now 'admixture research' can claim that its results get at the 'reality' of human differentiation, not the admittedly flawed social constructions of racial categories. Yet what was missing from this framing of the problem: 'admixture research' is itself based upon socially

  2. 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...

  3. Insect Bites and Stings

    MedlinePlus

    ... they sometimes cause discomfort. Bee, wasp, and hornet stings and fire ant bites usually hurt. Mosquito and ... have severe allergic reactions to insect bites and stings (such as anaphylaxis), carry an emergency epinephrine kit

  4. Insects and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Elias, S.A. )

    1991-09-01

    In this article the author describes some of the significant late glacial and Holocene changes that occurred in the Rocky Mountains, including the regional extirpation of certain beetle species. The fossil data presented here summarize what is known about regional insect responses to climate change in terms of species stability and geographic distribution. To minimize potential problems of species interactions (i.e., insect-host plant relationships, host-parasite relationships, and other interactions that tie a particular insect species' distribution to that of another organism), only predators and scavengers are discussed. These insects respond most rapidly to environmental changes, because for the most part they are not tied to any particular type of vegetation.

  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. 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.

  7. Transformation systems in insects.

    PubMed

    O'Brochta, David A; Atkinson, Peter W

    2004-01-01

    Genetic transformation is an important technology that provides unique opportunities to find, isolate, and analyze genes, as well as to create organisms with unique functional characteristics. Insect biologists have been developing genetic transformation technologies that rely extensively on transposable elements. A number of class II transposable elements isolated originally from insects have been converted into broad host range insect gene vectors. Class II transposable elements are particularly amenable to gene vector development, although they suffer from some limitations such as low rates of recombination. Use of these gene vectors requires the physical introduction of the vectors into developing insect embryos by microinjection. Microinjection methods vary to accommodate the unique physical and developmental characteristics of the target insects. All methods rely on the use of fine glass needles in conjunction with micromanipulators and a microscope. A serious constraint on the use of existing systems can be the inefficiency of successfully delivering the gene vectors to the germ cells of the developing embryo. The general method for vector delivery to insect germ cells is described, as well as variations that are useful under some conditions.

  8. 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. PMID:6559112

  9. Agricultural applications of insect ecological genomics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural entomology is poised to benefit from the application of ecological genomics, particularly the fields of biofuels generation and pest control. Metagenomic methods can characterize microbial communities of termites, wood-boring beetles and livestock pests, and transcriptomic approaches reveal molecular bases behind wood-digesting capabilities of these insects, leading to potential mechanisms for biofuel generation. Genome sequences are being exploited to develop new pest control methods, identify candidate antigens to vaccinate livestock, and discover RNAi target sequences and potential non-target effects in other insects. Gene content analyses of pest genome sequences and their endosymbionts suggest metabolic interdependencies between organisms, exposing potential gene targets for insect control. Finally, genome-wide association studies and genotyping by high-throughput sequencing promise to improve management of pesticide resistance. PMID:27436554

  10. Agricultural applications of insect ecological genomics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. Fungus-insect gall of Phlebopus portentosus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chun-Xia; He, Ming-Xia; Cao, Yang; Liu, Jing; Gao, Feng; Wang, Wen-Bing; Ji, Kai-Ping; Shao, Shi-Cheng; Wang, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Phlebopus portentosus is a popular edible wild mushroom found in the tropical Yunnan, China, and northern Thailand. In its natural habitats, a gall often has been found on some plant roots, around which fungal fruiting bodies are produced. The galls are different from common insect galls in that their cavity walls are not made from plant tissue but rather from the hyphae of P. portentosus. Therefore we have termed this phenomenon "fungus-insect gall". Thus far six root mealy bug species in the family Pseudococcidae that form fungus-insect galls with P. portentosus have been identified: Formicococcus polysperes, Geococcus satellitum, Planococcus minor, Pseudococcus cryptus, Paraputo banzigeri and Rastrococcus invadens. Fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of more than 21 plant species, including Delonix regia, Citrus maxima, Coffea arabica and Artocarpus heterophyllus. Greenhouse inoculation trials showed that fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of A. heterophyllus 1 mo after inoculation. The galls were subglobose to globose, fulvous when young and became dark brown at maturation. Each gall harbored one or more mealy bugs and had a chimney-like vent for ventilation and access to the gall. The cavity wall had three layers. Various shaped mealy bug wax deposits were found inside the wall. Fungal hyphae invaded the epidermis of plant roots and sometimes even the cortical cells during the late stage of gall development. The identity of the fungus inside the cavity was confirmed by molecular methods. PMID:25344264

  12. Fungus-insect gall of Phlebopus portentosus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chun-Xia; He, Ming-Xia; Cao, Yang; Liu, Jing; Gao, Feng; Wang, Wen-Bing; Ji, Kai-Ping; Shao, Shi-Cheng; Wang, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Phlebopus portentosus is a popular edible wild mushroom found in the tropical Yunnan, China, and northern Thailand. In its natural habitats, a gall often has been found on some plant roots, around which fungal fruiting bodies are produced. The galls are different from common insect galls in that their cavity walls are not made from plant tissue but rather from the hyphae of P. portentosus. Therefore we have termed this phenomenon "fungus-insect gall". Thus far six root mealy bug species in the family Pseudococcidae that form fungus-insect galls with P. portentosus have been identified: Formicococcus polysperes, Geococcus satellitum, Planococcus minor, Pseudococcus cryptus, Paraputo banzigeri and Rastrococcus invadens. Fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of more than 21 plant species, including Delonix regia, Citrus maxima, Coffea arabica and Artocarpus heterophyllus. Greenhouse inoculation trials showed that fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of A. heterophyllus 1 mo after inoculation. The galls were subglobose to globose, fulvous when young and became dark brown at maturation. Each gall harbored one or more mealy bugs and had a chimney-like vent for ventilation and access to the gall. The cavity wall had three layers. Various shaped mealy bug wax deposits were found inside the wall. Fungal hyphae invaded the epidermis of plant roots and sometimes even the cortical cells during the late stage of gall development. The identity of the fungus inside the cavity was confirmed by molecular methods.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Enterococci in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Jonathan D.; Mundt, J. Orvin

    1972-01-01

    Enterococci were obtained from 213 of 403 insects cultured during a 14-month period, in numbers from 103 to 3 × 107/g of insect. Insects were taken only from nonurban, wild, and cultivated fields and woods. In species of insects carrying them, enterococci were not always present in every individual cultured, and often more than one species of enterococcus occurred within a species. Enterococci were obtained from certain insects taken in the field during the dormant season, suggesting their role as overwintering agents. They were generally present in species feeding on nectar, succulent plant parts, and on and ir forest litter, but not from insects feeding on less succulent leaves and stems. Streptococcus faecalis was recovered from 32%, Streptococcus faecium from 22.4%, and Streptococcus faecium var. casseliflavus from 43.5% of members of the 37 taxa of insects. S. faecalis and S. faecium var. casseliflavus exhibit a high percent of conformity to the properties published for them. The heterogeneity in properties of S. faecium is similar to that found for the species taken from plants. Many fail to grow in broth at 45 C or in broth containing 6.5% NaCl; 50% of the cultures ferment both melezitose and melibiose, and a few ferment neither sugar. The remainder ferment melibiose only. Failure to reduce methylene blue in milk by S. faecalis and S. faecium is correlated with the inability to ferment lactose. More than 93% of the cultures of S. faecalis digest casein in milk from the top downward, following the production of a soft, flowing curd. Because this property is not characteristic of S. faecalis taken from humans, the reaction in litmus milk is suggested as a means of differentiation between cultures of remote and innocent origin in nature and recent, human pollution. PMID:4628796

  16. 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

  17. Migration strategies of insects.

    PubMed

    Dingle, H

    1972-03-24

    Physiological and ecological results from a variety of species are consistent with what seem to be valid general statements concerning insect migration. These are as follows: (i)During migration locomotory functions are enhanced and vegetative functions such as feeding and reproduction are suppressed. (ii) Migration usually occurs prereproductively in the life of the adult insect (the oogenesis-flight syndrome). (iii)Since migrant individuals are usually prereproductive, their reproductive values, and hence colonizing abilities, are at or near maximum. (iv) Migrants usually reside in temporary habitats. (v)Migrants have a high potential for population increase, r, which is also advantageous for colonizers. (vi)Both the physiological and ecological parameters of migration are modifiable by environmental factors (that is, phenotypically modifiable)to suit the prevailing conditions. Taken together, these criteria establish a comprehensive theory and adumbrate the basic strategy for migrant insects. This basic strategy is modified to suit the ecological requirements of individual species. Comparative studies of these modifications are of considerable theoretical and practical interest, the more so since most economically important insects are migrants. No satisfactory general statements can as yet be made with respect to the genotype and migration. Certainly we expect colonizing populiations to possess genotypes favoring a high r, but genotypic variation in r depends on the heritabilities of life table statistics, and such measurements are yet to be made (10, 53). The fact that flight duration can be increased by appropriate selection in Oncopeltus fasciatus, and the demonstration of additive genetic variance for this trait in Lygaeus kalmii, suggest that heritability studies of migratory behavior would also be worth pursuing. Most interesting of course, will be possible genetic correlations between migration and life history parameters. Also, migration often

  18. Regulation of physiological processes by microRNAs in insects

    PubMed Central

    Lucas, Keira J.; Zhao, Bo; Liu, Shiping; Raikhel, Alexander S.

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that function in gene regulatory processes in plants and animals by targeting sites within messenger RNA. In insects, miRNAs have been shown to regulate a variety of physiological processes throughout insect development, including molting, metamorphosis, oogenesis, embryogenesis, behavior and host-pathogen interactions. The roles of miRNAs in the model organism, Drosophila melanogaster, have been studied extensively due to the conserved nature of miRNA function among highly divergent species. However, seeking to understand miRNA function in non-drosophilid insect species has become a growing trend in insect science. Here, we highlight the recent discoveries regarding miRNA function in insect physiology and development. PMID:26251827

  19. Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roach, Linda E., Ed.

    This document contains the following papers on science instruction and technology: "A 3-D Journey in Space: A New Visual Cognitive Adventure" (Yoav Yair, Rachel Mintz, and Shai Litvak); "Using Collaborative Inquiry and Interactive Technologies in an Environmental Science Project for Middle School Teachers: A Description and Analysis" (Patricia…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Insect Repellents: Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

    MedlinePlus

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

  3. Practicing Real Science in the Laboratory: A Project-Based Approach to Teaching Molecular Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wimmers, Larry E.

    2001-01-01

    Describes a molecular biology laboratory in which students study the role of the enzyme polygalacturonase in the softening of tomatoes during ripening by developing their own hypotheses and designing their own experiments. (MM)

  4. Planting sentinel European trees in eastern Asia as a novel method to identify potential insect pest invaders.

    PubMed

    Roques, Alain; Fan, Jian-Ting; Courtial, Béatrice; Zhang, Yan-Zhuo; Yart, Annie; Auger-Rozenberg, Marie-Anne; Denux, Olivier; Kenis, Marc; Baker, Richard; Sun, Jiang-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Quarantine measures to prevent insect invasions tend to focus on well-known pests but a large proportion of the recent invaders were not known to cause significant damage in their native range, or were not even known to science before their introduction. A novel method is proposed to detect new potential pests of woody plants in their region of origin before they are introduced to a new continent. Since Asia is currently considered to be the main supplier of insect invaders to Europe, sentinel trees were planted in China during 2007-2011 as an early warning tool to identify the potential for additional Asian insect species to colonize European trees. Seedlings (1-1.5 m tall) of five broadleaved (Quercus petraea, Q. suber, Q. ilex, Fagus sylvatica, and Carpinus betulus) and two conifer species (Abies alba and Cupressus sempervirens) were planted in blocks of 100 seedlings at two widely separated sites (one in a nursery near Beijing and the other in a forest environment near Fuyang in eastern China), and then regularly surveyed for colonization by insects. A total of 104 insect species, mostly defoliators, were observed on these new hosts, and at least six species were capable of larval development. Although a number of the insects observed were probably incidental feeders, 38 species had more than five colonization events, mostly infesting Q. petraea, and could be considered as being capable of switching to European trees if introduced to Europe. Three years was shown to be an appropriate duration for the experiment, since the rate of colonization then tended to plateau. A majority of the identified species appeared to have switched from agricultural crops and fruit trees rather than from forest trees. Although these results are promising, the method is not appropriate for xylophagous pests and other groups developing on larger trees. Apart from the logistical problems, the identification to species level of the specimens collected was a major difficulty. This

  5. High resolution NEXAFS of perylene and PTCDI: a surface science approach to molecular orbital analysis.

    PubMed

    Fratesi, Guido; Lanzilotto, Valeria; Stranges, Stefano; Alagia, Michele; Brivio, Gian Paolo; Floreano, Luca

    2014-07-28

    We made use of synchrotron radiation to perform near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, NEXAFS, at the carbon K-edge of perylene and perylene-tetracarboxylic-diimide, PTCDI. Reference spectra measured for isolated molecules in the gas phase are compared with polarization dependent NEXAFS spectra measured on highly oriented thin films in order to study the symmetry of the molecular orbitals. The molecular overlayers are grown onto the rutile TiO2(110) surface for which the large anisotropic corrugation effectively drives the molecular orientation, while its dielectric nature prevents the rehybridization of the molecular orbitals. We employed density functional theory, DFT, calculations to disentangle the contribution of specific carbon atoms to the molecular density of states. Numerical simulations correctly predict the observed NEXAFS azimuthal dichroism of the σ* resonances above the ionization threshold, from which we determine the full geometric orientation of the overlayer molecules. A discrepancy observed for the spectral contribution of the imide carbon atom to the calculated unoccupied molecular orbitals has been explained in terms of initial state effects, as determined by Hartree-Fock corrections and in full agreement with the corresponding shift of the C 1s core level measured by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, XPS.

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

    PubMed

    Hammer, Tobin J; Bowers, M Deane

    2015-09-01

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

  7. Protecting Yourself from Stinging Insects

    MedlinePlus

    ... at risk of being stung by flying insects (bees, wasps, and hornets) and fire ants. While most ... by several stinging insects, run to get away. (Bees release a chemical when they sting, which attracts ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Olfactory signaling in insects.

    PubMed

    Wicher, Dieter

    2015-01-01

    The detection of volatile chemical information in insects is performed by three types of olfactory receptors, odorant receptors (ORs), specific gustatory receptor (GR) proteins for carbon dioxide perception, and ionotropic receptors (IRs) which are related to ionotropic glutamate receptors. All receptors form heteromeric assemblies; an OR complex is composed of an odor-specific OrX protein and a coreceptor (Orco). ORs and GRs have a 7-transmembrane topology as for G protein-coupled receptors, but they are inversely inserted into the membrane. Ligand-gated ion channels (ionotropic receptors) and ORs operate as IRs activated by volatile chemical cues. ORs are evolutionarily young receptors, and they first appear in winged insects and seem to be evolved to allow an insect to follow sparse odor tracks during flight. In contrast to IRs, the ORs can be sensitized by repeated subthreshold odor stimulation. This process involves metabotropic signaling. Pheromone receptors are especially sensitive and require an accessory protein to detect the lipid-derived pheromone molecules. Signaling cascades involved in pheromone detection depend on intensity and duration of stimuli and underlie a circadian control. Taken together, detection and processing of volatile information in insects involve ionotropic as well as metabotropic mechanisms. Here, I review the cellular signaling events associated with detection of cognate ligands by the different types of odorant receptors.

  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. 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,…

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. Radar cross section of insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, J. R.

    1985-02-01

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

  18. The impact of computer science in molecular medicine: enabling high-throughput research.

    PubMed

    de la Iglesia, Diana; García-Remesal, Miguel; de la Calle, Guillermo; Kulikowski, Casimir; Sanz, Ferran; Maojo, Víctor

    2013-01-01

    The Human Genome Project and the explosion of high-throughput data have transformed the areas of molecular and personalized medicine, which are producing a wide range of studies and experimental results and providing new insights for developing medical applications. Research in many interdisciplinary fields is resulting in data repositories and computational tools that support a wide diversity of tasks: genome sequencing, genome-wide association studies, analysis of genotype-phenotype interactions, drug toxicity and side effects assessment, prediction of protein interactions and diseases, development of computational models, biomarker discovery, and many others. The authors of the present paper have developed several inventories covering tools, initiatives and studies in different computational fields related to molecular medicine: medical informatics, bioinformatics, clinical informatics and nanoinformatics. With these inventories, created by mining the scientific literature, we have carried out several reviews of these fields, providing researchers with a useful framework to locate, discover, search and integrate resources. In this paper we present an analysis of the state-of-the-art as it relates to computational resources for molecular medicine, based on results compiled in our inventories, as well as results extracted from a systematic review of the literature and other scientific media. The present review is based on the impact of their related publications and the available data and software resources for molecular medicine. It aims to provide information that can be useful to support ongoing research and work to improve diagnostics and therapeutics based on molecular-level insights.

  19. Insect endosymbionts: manipulators of insect herbivore trophic interactions?

    PubMed

    Clark, Emily L; Karley, Alison J; Hubbard, Stephen F

    2010-08-01

    Throughout their evolutionary history, insects have formed multiple relationships with bacteria. Although many of these bacteria are pathogenic, with deleterious effects on the fitness of infected insects, there are also numerous examples of symbiotic bacteria that are harmless or even beneficial to their insect host. Symbiotic bacteria that form obligate or facultative associations with insects and that are located intracellularly in the host insect are known as endosymbionts. Endosymbiosis can be a strong driving force for evolution when the acquisition and maintenance of a microorganism by the insect host results in the formation of novel structures or changes in physiology and metabolism. The complex evolutionary dynamics of vertically transmitted symbiotic bacteria have led to distinctive symbiont genome characteristics that have profound effects on the phenotype of the host insect. Symbiotic bacteria are key players in insect-plant interactions influencing many aspects of insect ecology and playing a key role in shaping the diversification of many insect groups. In this review, we discuss the role of endosymbionts in manipulating insect herbivore trophic interactions focussing on their impact on plant utilisation patterns and parasitoid biology.

  20. Animal Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    VanCleave, Janice

    2001-01-01

    Presents a set of hands-on, outdoor science experiments designed to teach elementary school students about animal adaptation. The experiments focus on: how color camouflage affects an insect population; how spiderlings find a home; and how chameleons camouflage themselves by changing color. (SM)

  1. Molecular Energy and Environmental Science: A Workshop Sponsored by The National Science Foundation and The Department of Energy May 26-27, 1999 in Rosemont, Illinois

    SciTech Connect

    Stair, Peter C; DeSimone, Joseph M.; Frost, John W.

    1999-05-26

    Energy and the environment pose major scientific and technological challenges for the 21st century. New technologies for increasing the efficiency of harvesting and utilizing energy resources are essential to the nation’s economic competitiveness. At the same time, the quality of life in the United States depends inherently on the environmental impact of energy production and utilization. This interdependence makes it imperative to develop a better understanding of the environment and new strategies for minimizing the impact of energy-related activities. Recent advances in techniques for the synthesis and characterization of chemicals and materials and for the molecular control of biological organisms make it possible, for the first time, to address this imperative. Chemistry, with its focus on the molecular level, plays a central role in addressing the needs for fundamental understanding and technology development in both the energy and environmental fields. Understanding environmental processes and consequences requires studying natural systems, rather than focussing exclusively on laboratory models. Natural systems and their complexity pose an enormous, perhaps the ultimate, challenge to chemists, and will provide them with varied and exciting new problems for years to come. In addition, the complexity of the underlying systems and processes often requires multi-disciplinary programs that bridge the interfaces between chemistry and other disciplines. (See Figure 1) This has ramifications in the approach to funding research and suggests needs for broadening the educational training of future scientists and engineers in these programs. Figure 1. NSF and DOE should consider sponsoring research centers and focused research groups organized to optimize their impact on Technological Challenges of national interest. The research will have significant impact if it addresses issues of fundamental molecular science in one or more Enabling Research Areas. Approximately 7

  2. Research briefing on selected opportunities in atomic, molecular, and optical sciences

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-01-01

    This report discusses research on the following topics: The Laser-Atom Revolution; Controlling Dynamical Pathways; Nonclassical States of Light; Transient States of Atomic Systems; New Light Generation and Handling; Clusters; Atomic Physics at User Facilities; and Impacts of AMO Sciences on Modern Technologies.

  3. Research briefing on selected opportunities in atomic, molecular, and optical sciences

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-12-31

    This report discusses research on the following topics: The Laser-Atom Revolution; Controlling Dynamical Pathways; Nonclassical States of Light; Transient States of Atomic Systems; New Light Generation and Handling; Clusters; Atomic Physics at User Facilities; and Impacts of AMO Sciences on Modern Technologies.

  4. A molecular surface science study of the structure of adsorbates on surfaces: Importance to lubrication

    SciTech Connect

    Mate, C.M.

    1986-09-01

    The interaction and bonding of atoms and molecules on metal surfaces is explored under ultra-high vacuum conditions using a variety of surface science techniques: high resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS), low energy electron diffraction (LEED), thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), work function measurements, and second harmonic generation (SHG). 164 refs., 51 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. Atomic and Molecular Structure in Chemical Education: A Critical Analysis from Various Perspectives of Science Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsaparlis, Georgios

    1997-01-01

    Provides a critical analysis of the role that atomic theory plays in the science curriculum from elementary through secondary school. Examines structural concepts from the perspective of the theory of meaningful learning, information processing theory, and the alternative conceptions movement. Contains 54 references. (DDR)

  6. SCIENCE RESULTS INTEGRATION. BRINGING MOLECULAR BIOLOGY TECHNIQUES TO REGIONAL WATER MONITORING PROGRAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) develops innovative methods for use in environmental monitoring and assessment by scientists in Regions, states, and Tribes. Molecular-biology-based methods are not yet established in the environmental monitoring "tool box". SRI (Sci...

  7. Five novel Candida species in insect-associated yeast clades isolated from Neuroptera and other insects.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Nhu H; Suh, Sung-Oui; Blackwell, Meredith

    2007-01-01

    Ascomycete yeasts are found commonly in the guts of basidioma-feeding beetles but little is known about their occurrence in the gut of other insects. In this study we isolated 95 yeasts from the gut of adult insects in five neuropteran families (Neuroptera: Corydalidae, Chrysopidae, Ascalaphidae, Mantispidae and Hemerobiidae) and a roach (Blattodea: Blattidae). Based on DNA sequence comparisons and other taxonomic characteristics, they were identified as more than 15 species of Saccharomycetes as well as occasional Cryptococcus-like basidiomycete yeasts. Yeast species such as Lachancea fermentati, Lachancea thermotolerans and Hanseniaspora vineae were isolated repeatedly from the gut of three species of corydalids, suggesting a close association of these species and their insect hosts. Among the yeasts isolated in this study 12 were identified as five novel Candida species that occurred in three phylogenetically distinct clades. Molecular phylogenetic analyses showed that Candida chauliodes sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27909T) and Candida corydali sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27910T) were sister taxa in the Candida albicans/ Lodderomyces elongisporus clade. Candida dosseyi sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27950T) and Candida blattae sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27698T) were sister taxa in the Candida intermedia clade. Candida ascalaphidarum sp. nov. (NRRL Y-27908T) fell on a basal branch in a clade containing Candida membranifaciens and many other insect-associated species. Descriptions of these novel yeast species are provided as well as discussion of their ecology in relation to their insect hosts.

  8. Meniscus-climbing insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, David L.; Kreider, Tim; Bush, John W. M.; Mit Department Of Mathematics Team

    2003-11-01

    Many millimetric water-walking insects are unable to climb the meniscii that border land and emerging vegetation using their traditional means of propulsion. We explore the novel means by which some insects succeed in so doing through a combined experimental and theoretical investigation. The grub Collembola ascends by distorting the free surface in order to generate a net horizontal surface tension force. The water treader Mesovelia climbs the meniscus by exploiting the Coulomb-like attraction between like-signed menisci: by lifting the free surface with its front and rear pairs of feet, it generates a tangential force that draws it up the slope. We examine the required force and torque balances on the body in order to calculate optimal leg configurations for meniscus climbers that are consistent with those observed.

  9. On quantifying insect movements

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-08-01

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

  10. Insect 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. PMID:22987405

  11. The earliest known holometabolous insects.

    PubMed

    Nel, André; Roques, Patrick; Nel, Patricia; Prokin, Alexander A; Bourgoin, Thierry; Prokop, Jakub; Szwedo, Jacek; Azar, Dany; Desutter-Grandcolas, Laure; Wappler, Torsten; Garrouste, Romain; Coty, David; Huang, Diying; Engel, Michael S; Kirejtshuk, Alexander G

    2013-11-14

    The Eumetabola (Endopterygota (also known as Holometabola) plus Paraneoptera) have the highest number of species of any clade, and greatly contribute to animal species biodiversity. The palaeoecological circumstances that favoured their emergence and success remain an intriguing question. Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have suggested a wide range of dates for the initial appearance of the Holometabola, from the Middle Devonian epoch (391 million years (Myr) ago) to the Late Pennsylvanian epoch (311 Myr ago), and Hemiptera (310 Myr ago). Palaeoenvironments greatly changed over these periods, with global cooling and increasing complexity of green forests. The Pennsylvanian-period crown-eumetabolan fossil record remains notably incomplete, particularly as several fossils have been erroneously considered to be stem Holometabola (Supplementary Information); the earliest definitive beetles are from the start of the Permian period. The emergence of the hymenopterids, sister group to other Holometabola, is dated between 350 and 309 Myr ago, incongruent with their current earliest record (Middle Triassic epoch). Here we describe five fossils--a Gzhelian-age stem coleopterid, a holometabolous larva of uncertain ordinal affinity, a stem hymenopterid, and early Hemiptera and Psocodea, all from the Moscovian age--and reveal a notable penecontemporaneous breadth of early eumetabolan insects. These discoveries are more congruent with current hypotheses of clade divergence. Eumetabola experienced episodes of diversification during the Bashkirian-Moscovian and the Kasimovian-Gzhelian ages. This cladogenetic activity is perhaps related to notable episodes of drying resulting from glaciations, leading to the eventual demise in Euramerica of coal-swamp ecosystems, evidenced by floral turnover during this interval. These ancient species were of very small size, living in the shadow of Palaeozoic-era 'giant' insects. Although these discoveries reveal unexpected Pennsylvanian

  12. The earliest known holometabolous insects.

    PubMed

    Nel, André; Roques, Patrick; Nel, Patricia; Prokin, Alexander A; Bourgoin, Thierry; Prokop, Jakub; Szwedo, Jacek; Azar, Dany; Desutter-Grandcolas, Laure; Wappler, Torsten; Garrouste, Romain; Coty, David; Huang, Diying; Engel, Michael S; Kirejtshuk, Alexander G

    2013-11-14

    The Eumetabola (Endopterygota (also known as Holometabola) plus Paraneoptera) have the highest number of species of any clade, and greatly contribute to animal species biodiversity. The palaeoecological circumstances that favoured their emergence and success remain an intriguing question. Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have suggested a wide range of dates for the initial appearance of the Holometabola, from the Middle Devonian epoch (391 million years (Myr) ago) to the Late Pennsylvanian epoch (311 Myr ago), and Hemiptera (310 Myr ago). Palaeoenvironments greatly changed over these periods, with global cooling and increasing complexity of green forests. The Pennsylvanian-period crown-eumetabolan fossil record remains notably incomplete, particularly as several fossils have been erroneously considered to be stem Holometabola (Supplementary Information); the earliest definitive beetles are from the start of the Permian period. The emergence of the hymenopterids, sister group to other Holometabola, is dated between 350 and 309 Myr ago, incongruent with their current earliest record (Middle Triassic epoch). Here we describe five fossils--a Gzhelian-age stem coleopterid, a holometabolous larva of uncertain ordinal affinity, a stem hymenopterid, and early Hemiptera and Psocodea, all from the Moscovian age--and reveal a notable penecontemporaneous breadth of early eumetabolan insects. These discoveries are more congruent with current hypotheses of clade divergence. Eumetabola experienced episodes of diversification during the Bashkirian-Moscovian and the Kasimovian-Gzhelian ages. This cladogenetic activity is perhaps related to notable episodes of drying resulting from glaciations, leading to the eventual demise in Euramerica of coal-swamp ecosystems, evidenced by floral turnover during this interval. These ancient species were of very small size, living in the shadow of Palaeozoic-era 'giant' insects. Although these discoveries reveal unexpected Pennsylvanian

  13. Fatigue of insect cuticle.

    PubMed

    Dirks, Jan-Henning; Parle, Eoin; Taylor, David

    2013-05-15

    Many parts of the insect exoskeleton experience repeated cyclic loading. Although the cuticle of insects and other arthropods is the second most common natural composite material in the world, so far nothing is known about its fatigue properties, despite the fact that fatigue undoubtedly limits the durability of body parts in vivo. For the first time, we here present experimental fatigue data of insect cuticle. Using force-controlled cyclic loading, we determined the number of cycles to failure for hind legs (tibiae) and hind wings of the locust Schistocerca gregaria, as a function of the applied cyclic stress. Our results show that, although both are made from cuticle, these two body parts behave very differently. Wing samples showed a large fatigue range, failing after 100,000 cycles when we applied 46% of the stress needed for instantaneous failure [the ultimate tensile strength (UTS)]. Legs, in contrast, were able to sustain a stress of 76% of the UTS for the same number of cycles to failure. This can be explained by the difference in the composition and structure of the material, two factors that, amongst others, also affect the well-known behaviour of engineering composites. Final failure of the tibiae occurred via one of two different failure modes--propagation in tension or buckling in compression--indicating that the tibia is 'optimized' by evolution to resist both failure modes equally. These results are further discussed in relation to the evolution and normal use of these two body parts.

  14. Calculating the secrets of life: Applications of the mathematical sciences in molecular biology

    SciTech Connect

    Lander, E.S.; Waterman, M.S.

    1995-12-31

    Molecular biology has emerged from the synthesis of two complementary approaches to the study of life-biochemistry and genetics--to become one of the most exciting and vibrant scientific fields at the end of the twentieth century. This book covers the following topic areas: a brief history of the intellectual foundations of modem molecular biology; mapping heredity; seeing conserved signals: using algorithms to detect similarities between biosequences; hearing distant echoes: using extremal statistics to probe evolutionary origins; calibrating the clock: using stochastic processes to measure the rate of evolution; winding the double helix; using geometry, topology, and mechanics of DNA; unwinding the double helix: using differential mechanics to probe conformational changes in DNA; lifting the curtain: using topology to probe the hidden action of enzymes; folding the sheets: using computational methods to predict the structure of proteins.

  15. Science Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1990

    1990-01-01

    Presented are 27 science activities for secondary school science instruction. Topic areas include microbiology, botany, biochemistry, genetics, safety, earthquakes, problem solving, electricity, heat, solutions, mechanics, quantum mechanics, flame tests, and molecular structure. (CW)

  16. Science Notes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Science Review, 1990

    1990-01-01

    Presented are 29 science activities for secondary school science instruction. Topic areas include botany, genetics, biochemistry, anatomy, entomology, molecular structure, spreadsheets, chemistry, mechanics, astronomy, relativity, aeronautics, instrumentation, electrostatics, quantum mechanics, and laboratory interfacing. (CW)

  17. Science by Discovery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morrison, Kathy L.

    1995-01-01

    Discusses ways science can be included in every activity of the preschoolers' day. Describes four characteristics of young children that are important to remember when planning science activities. Provides guidelines for developing and evaluating science activities. Presents a preschool unit on insects and offers suggestions for incorporating…

  18. Quantitative studies of Savannah River aquatic insects, 1959--1985

    SciTech Connect

    Soltis, R.; Hart, D.; Nagy, T.

    1986-10-30

    As part of a long-term study of water quality patterns, scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences have collected aquatic insects from artificial substrates placed at several stations in Savannah River. This report presents the first detailed compilation and analysis of this substantial data base, and examines patterns of variations of insect distribution and abundance (both spatial and temporal) during the last quarter century. Data on the number of individuals of various taxa found in the insect traps were obtained from tables in the Academy's cursory reports. Computer data files created from these records were subjected to extensive statistical analyses in order to examine variation among stations, seasons and years in the abundances of major taxa and various aggregate properties of the insect assemblage. Although a total of 83 taxa were collected over the 27-year study, 10 taxa accounted for nearly 80% of the individuals collected from the traps, hence there 10 taxa were analyzed more intensively.

  19. Quantitative studies of Savannah River aquatic insects, 1959--1985

    SciTech Connect

    Soltis, R.; Hart, D.; Nagy, T.

    1986-10-30

    As part of a long-term study of water quality patterns, scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences have collected aquatic insects from artificial substrates placed at several stations in Savannah River. This report presents the first detailed compilation and analysis of this substantial data base, and examines patterns of variations of insect distribution and abundance (both spatial and temporal) during the last quarter century. Data on the number of individuals of various taxa found in the insect traps were obtained from tables in the Academy`s cursory reports. Computer data files created from these records were subjected to extensive statistical analyses in order to examine variation among stations, seasons and years in the abundances of major taxa and various aggregate properties of the insect assemblage. Although a total of 83 taxa were collected over the 27-year study, 10 taxa accounted for nearly 80% of the individuals collected from the traps, hence there 10 taxa were analyzed more intensively.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:26908196

  2. Managing social insects of urban importance.

    PubMed

    Rust, Michael K; Su, Nan-Yao

    2012-01-01

    Social insects have a tremendous economic and social impact on urban communities. The rapid urbanization of the world has dramatically increased the incidence of urban pests. Human commerce has resulted in the spread of urban invasive species worldwide such that various species are now common to many major urban centers. We aim to highlight those social behaviors that can be exploited to control these pests with the minimal use of pesticides. Their cryptic behavior often prohibits the direct treatment of colonies. However, foraging and recruitment are essential aspects of their social behavior and expose workers to traps, baits, and pesticide applications. The advent of new chemistries has revolutionized the pest management strategies used to control them. In recent years, there has been an increased environmental awareness, especially in the urban community. Advances in molecular and microbial agents promise additional tools in developing integrated pest management programs against social insects. PMID:21942844

  3. Mechanisms of tracheal filling in insects.

    PubMed

    Förster, Thomas D; Woods, H Arthur

    2013-02-01

    Insects exchange respiratory gases primarily using tracheal systems that are filled with gas. However, in different developmental and environmental circumstances, liquid can occupy the tracheal system, which can significantly impair its respiratory function. Insects therefore use a suite of mechanisms for tracheal filling, which is the process of replacing tracheal liquids with gas. We review these mechanisms for liquid removal and gas filling. By integrating recent molecular work with older physiological literature, we show that liquid removal likely involves active ion transport in the whole tracheal system. Gas filling reveals fascinating interactions between geometry, surface chemistry of the tracheal walls, the tracheal liquid, and dissolved gases. The temporal proximity to moulting allows for potentially complex interdependencies between gas filling, moult-associated hormone signaling, and cuticle sclerotization. We propose a mechanistic model for tracheal filling. However, because the composition of the liquid is unknown, it remains hypothetical. PMID:22616845

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

    PubMed

    Douglas, Angela E

    2007-08-01

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

  5. Plasticity in Insect Olfaction: To Smell or Not to Smell?

    PubMed

    Gadenne, Christophe; Barrozo, Romina B; Anton, Sylvia

    2016-01-01

    In insects, olfaction plays a crucial role in many behavioral contexts, such as locating food, sexual partners, and oviposition sites. To successfully perform such behaviors, insects must respond to chemical stimuli at the right moment. Insects modulate their olfactory system according to their physiological state upon interaction with their environment. Here, we review the plasticity of behavioral responses to different odor types according to age, feeding state, circadian rhythm, and mating status. We also summarize what is known about the underlying neural and endocrinological mechanisms, from peripheral detection to central nervous integration, and cover neuromodulation from the molecular to the behavioral level. We describe forms of olfactory plasticity that have contributed to the evolutionary success of insects and have provided them with remarkable tools to adapt to their ever-changing environment.

  6. Science review: Mechanisms of impaired adrenal function in sepsis and molecular actions of glucocorticoids

    PubMed Central

    Prigent, Hélène; Maxime, Virginie; Annane, Djillali

    2004-01-01

    This review describes current knowledge on the mechanisms that underlie glucocorticoid insufficiency in sepsis and the molecular action of glucocorticoids. In patients with severe sepsis, numerous factors predispose to glucocorticoid insufficiency, including drugs, coagulation disorders and inflammatory mediators. These factors may compromise the hypothalamic–pituitary axis (i.e. secondary adrenal insufficiency) or the adrenal glands (i.e. primary adrenal failure), or may impair glucocorticoid access to target cells (i.e. peripheral tissue resistance). Irreversible anatomical damages to the hypothalamus, pituitary, or adrenal glands rarely occur. Conversely, transient functional impairment in hormone synthesis may be a common complication of severe sepsis. Glucocorticoids interact with a specific cytosolic glucocorticoid receptor, which undergoes conformational changes, sheds heat shock proteins and translocates to the nucleus. Glucocorticoids may also interact with membrane binding sites at the surface of the cells. The molecular action of glucocorticoids results in genomic and nongenomic effects. Direct and indirect transcriptional and post-transcriptional effects related to the cytosolic glucocorticoid receptor account for the genomic effects. Nongenomic effects are probably subsequent to cytosolic interaction between the glucocorticoid receptor and proteins, or to interaction between glucocorticoids and specific membrane binding sites. PMID:15312206

  7. The Center for Environmental Kinetics Analysis: an NSF- and DOE-funded Environmental Molecular Science Institute (EMSI) at Penn State

    SciTech Connect

    S. L. Brantley; William D. Burgos; Brian A. Dempsey; Peter J. Heaney; James D. Kubicki; Peter C. Lichtner; Bruce E. Logan; Carmen E. Martinez; Karl T. Mueller; Kwadwo A. Osseo-Asare; Ming Tien; Carl I. Steefel, Glenn A. Waychunas; and John M. Zachara

    2007-04-19

    Physicochemical and microbiological processes taking place at environmental interfaces influence natural processes as well as the transport and fate of environmental contaminants, the remediation of toxic chemicals, and the sequestration of anthropogenic CO2. A team of scientists and engineers has been assembled to develop and apply new experimental and computational techniques to expand our knowledge of environmental kinetics. We are also training a cohort of talented and diverse students to work on these complex problems at multiple length scales and to compile and synthesize the kinetic data. Development of the human resources capable of translating molecular-scale information into parameters that are applicable in real world, field-scale problems of environmental kinetics is a major and relatively unique objective of the Institute's efforts. The EMSI team is a partnership among 10 faculty at The Pennsylvania State University (funded by the National Science Foundation Divisions of Chemistry and Earth Sciences), one faculty member at Juniata College, one faculty member at the University of Florida, and four researchers drawn from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (funded by the Department of Energy Division of Environmental Remediation Sciences). Interactions among the applied and academic scientists drives research approaches aimed toward solving important problems of national interest. The Institute is organized into three interest groups (IGs) focusing on the processes of dissolution (DIG), precipitation (PIG), and microbial reactions at surfaces (BIG). Some of the research activity from each IG is highlighted to the right. The IGs interact with each other as each interest group studies reactions across the molecular, microscopic, mesoscopic and, in most cases, field scales. For example, abiotic dissolution and precipitation reactions of Fe oxides as studied in the Dissolution IG

  8. Anaphylaxis to insect stings.

    PubMed

    Golden, David B K

    2015-05-01

    Anaphylaxis to insect stings has occurred in 3% of adults and can be fatal even on the first reaction. Large local reactions are more frequent but rarely dangerous. The chance of a systemic reaction to a sting is 5% to 10% in large local reactors and in children with mild (cutaneous) systemic reactions, and varies between 30% and 65% in adults with previous systemic reactions, depending on the severity of previous sting reactions. Baseline serum tryptase level is increased in many patients with sting anaphylaxis. Venom immunotherapy is 75% to 98% effective in preventing sting anaphylaxis.

  9. Mitochondrial Disease: Clinical Aspects, Molecular Mechanisms, Translational Science, and Clinical Frontiers

    PubMed Central

    Thornton, Ben; Cohen, Bruce; Copeland, William; Maria, Bernard L.

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial medicine provides a metabolic perspective on the pathology of conditions linked with inadequate oxidative phosphorylation. Dysfunction in the mitochondrial machinery can result in improper energy production, leading to cellular injury or even apoptosis. Clinical presentations are often subtle, so clinicians must have a high index of suspicion to make early diagnoses. Symptoms could include muscle weakness and pain, seizures, loss of motor control, decreased visual and auditory functions, metabolic acidosis, acute developmental regression, and immune system dysfunction. The 2013 Neurobiology of Disease in Children Symposium, held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Child Neurology Society, aimed to (1) describe accepted clinical phenotypes of mitochondrial disease produced from various mitochondrial mutations, (2) discuss contemporary understanding of molecular mechanisms that contribute to disease pathology, (3) highlight the systemic effects produced by dysfunction within the mitochondrial machinery, and (4) introduce current strategies that are being translated from bench to bedside as potential therapeutics. PMID:24916430

  10. Batten Disease: Clinical Aspects, Molecular Mechanisms, Translational Science, and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Dolisca, Sarah-Bianca; Mehta, Mitali; Pearce, David A.; Mink, Jonathan W.; Maria, Bernard L.

    2014-01-01

    The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses, collectively the most common neurodegenerative disorders of childhood, are primarily caused by an autosomal recessive genetic mutation leading to a lysosomal storage disease. Clinically these diseases manifest at varying ages of onset, and associated symptoms include cognitive decline, movement disorders, seizures, and retinopathy. The underlying cell biology and biochemistry that cause the clinical phenotypes of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are still being elaborated. The 2012 Neurobiology of Disease in Children Symposium, held in conjunction with the 41st Annual Meeting of the Child Neurology Society, aimed to (1) provide a survey of the currently accepted forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses and their associated genetic mutations and clinical phenotypes; (2) highlight the specific pathology of Batten disease; (3) discuss the contemporary understanding of the molecular mechanisms that lead to pathology; and (4) introduce strategies that are being translated from bench to bedside as potential therapeutics. PMID:23838031

  11. Molecular Self-Assembly of Short Aromatic Peptides: From Biology to Nanotechnology and Material Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazit, Ehud

    2013-03-01

    The formation of ordered amyloid fibrils is the hallmark of several diseases of unrelated origin. In spite of grave clinical consequence, the mechanism of amyloid formation is not fully understood. We have suggested, based on experimental and bioinformatic analysis, that aromatic interactions may provide energetic contribution as well as order and directionality in the molecular-recognition and self-association processes that lead to the formation of these assemblies. This is in line with the well-known central role of aromatic-stacking interactions in self-assembly processes. Our works on the mechanism of aromatic peptide self-assembly, lead to the discovery that the diphenylalanine recognition motif self-assembles into peptide nanotubes with a remarkable persistence length. Other aromatic homodipeptides could self-assemble in nano-spheres, nano-plates, nano-fibrils and hydrogels with nano-scale order. We demonstrated that the peptide nanostructures have unique chemical, physical and mechanical properties including ultra-rigidity as aramides, semi-conductive, piezoelectric and non-linear optic properties. We also demonstrated the ability to use these peptide nanostructures as casting mold for the fabrication of metallic nano-wires and coaxial nano-cables. The application of the nanostructures was demonstrated in various fields including electrochemical biosensors, tissue engineering, and molecular imaging. Finally, we had developed ways for depositing of the peptide nanostructures and their organization. We had use inkjet technology as well as vapour deposition methods to coat surface and from the peptide ``nano-forests''. We recently demonstrated that even a single phenylalanine amino-acid can form well-ordered fibrilar assemblies.

  12. 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.

  13. A Rational Reconstruction of the Kinetic Molecular Theory of Gases Based on History and Philosophy of Science and Its Implications for Chemistry Textbooks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niaz, Mansoor

    2000-01-01

    Describes a study that was designed to develop a framework for examining the way in which chemistry textbooks describe the kinetic theory and related issues. The framework was developed by a rational reconstruction of the kinetic molecular theory of gases based on historians and philosophers of science. (Contains 102 references.)(Author/LRW)

  14. 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....

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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....

  18. 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....

  19. 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....

  20. 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....

  1. 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....

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Molecular Beam and Surface Science Studies of Heterogeneous Reaction Kinetics Including Combustion Dynamics. Final Technical Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Sibener, S. J.

    2006-06-23

    This research program examined the heterogeneous reaction kinetics and reaction dynamics of surface chemical processes which are of direct relevance to efficient energy production, condensed phase reactions, and mateials growth including nanoscience objectives. We have had several notable scientific and technical successes. Illustrative highlights include: (1) a thorough study of how one can efficiently produce synthesis gas (SynGas) at relatively low Rh(111) catalyst temperatures via the reaction CH{sub4}+1/2 O{sub2} {r_arrow} CO+2H{sub2}. In these studies methane activation is accomplished utilizing high-kinetic energy reagents generated via supersonic molecular beams, (2) experiments which have incisively probed the partial oxidation chemistry of adsorbed 1- and 2- butene on Rh and ice, as well as partial oxidation of propene on Au; (3) investigation of structural changes which occur to the reconstructed (23x{radical}3)-Au(111) surface upon exposure to atomic oxygen, (4) a combined experimental and theoretical examination of the fundamental atomic-level rules which govern defect minimization during the formation of self-organizing stepped nanostructures, (5) the use of these relatively defect-free nanotemplates for growing silicon nanowires having atomically-dimensioned widths, (6) a combined scanning probe and atomic beam scattering study of how the presence of self-assembling organic overlayers interact with metallic supports substrates - this work hs led to revision of the currently held view of how such adsorbates reconfigure surface structure at the atomic level, (7) an inelastic He atom scattering study in which we examined the effect of chain length on the low-energy vibrations of alkanethiol striped phase self-assembled monolayers on Au(111), yielding information on the forces that govern interfacial self-assembly, (8) a study of the vibrational properties of disordered films of SF{sub6} adsorbed on Au(111), and (9) a study of the activated chemistry and

  5. Basis of a humeomics science: chemical fractionation and molecular characterization of humic biosuprastructures.

    PubMed

    Nebbioso, Antonio; Piccolo, Alessandro

    2011-04-11

    We propose a mild stepwise fractionation of molecular components of a humic acid (HA) suprastructure and their structural identification by advanced analytical methods. This procedure may be the basis of a "Humeomics" approach to characterize natural humic molecules and clarify their relations with ecosystems functions. Sequential fractionation included: (1) organic solvent extraction, (2) transesterification with boron trifluoride in methanol (BF(3)-CH(3)OH), (3) methanolic alkaline hydrolysis (KOH-CH(3)OH), and (4) cleavage of ether and glycosidic bonds with HI. Structural identification of initial and final material, separated organo-soluble and hydrosoluble fractions, and subfractions was conducted by GC-MS, HPSEC-ESI-MS (high-resolution, Orbitrap), and solid- and liquid-state NMR. GC-MS revealed in organosoluble unbound fractions the presence of both saturated and unsaturated, linear and branched, alkanoic, hydroxyalkanoic and alkandioic acids, n-alkanes, and n-alkanols. These components decreased progressively in fractions obtained after weak and strong ester cleavage. Unsubstituted alkanoic acids with variable chain length were ubiquitously detected in all fractions, thereby suggesting their fundamental function in the architecture of humic suprastructures. An important role in differentiating supramolecular associations should also be attributed to substituted alkanoic acids that were detected in variable amounts in different fractions. The content of aromatic acids and steroids was only noticed in the latter fractions. HPSEC-ESI-MS of initial and final solid fractions showed similar compounds, as indicated by GC-MS, whereas the hydrosoluble fraction after transesterification revealed fewer of these compounds but noticeable nitrogen-containing acids. A large amount of "cyclic" acids were identified by MS empirical formula in initial HA, and, to a lesser extent, in the final fractionation residue as well as in the hydrosoluble fraction. The predominant alkyl

  6. Basis of a humeomics science: chemical fractionation and molecular characterization of humic biosuprastructures.

    PubMed

    Nebbioso, Antonio; Piccolo, Alessandro

    2011-04-11

    We propose a mild stepwise fractionation of molecular components of a humic acid (HA) suprastructure and their structural identification by advanced analytical methods. This procedure may be the basis of a "Humeomics" approach to characterize natural humic molecules and clarify their relations with ecosystems functions. Sequential fractionation included: (1) organic solvent extraction, (2) transesterification with boron trifluoride in methanol (BF(3)-CH(3)OH), (3) methanolic alkaline hydrolysis (KOH-CH(3)OH), and (4) cleavage of ether and glycosidic bonds with HI. Structural identification of initial and final material, separated organo-soluble and hydrosoluble fractions, and subfractions was conducted by GC-MS, HPSEC-ESI-MS (high-resolution, Orbitrap), and solid- and liquid-state NMR. GC-MS revealed in organosoluble unbound fractions the presence of both saturated and unsaturated, linear and branched, alkanoic, hydroxyalkanoic and alkandioic acids, n-alkanes, and n-alkanols. These components decreased progressively in fractions obtained after weak and strong ester cleavage. Unsubstituted alkanoic acids with variable chain length were ubiquitously detected in all fractions, thereby suggesting their fundamental function in the architecture of humic suprastructures. An important role in differentiating supramolecular associations should also be attributed to substituted alkanoic acids that were detected in variable amounts in different fractions. The content of aromatic acids and steroids was only noticed in the latter fractions. HPSEC-ESI-MS of initial and final solid fractions showed similar compounds, as indicated by GC-MS, whereas the hydrosoluble fraction after transesterification revealed fewer of these compounds but noticeable nitrogen-containing acids. A large amount of "cyclic" acids were identified by MS empirical formula in initial HA, and, to a lesser extent, in the final fractionation residue as well as in the hydrosoluble fraction. The predominant alkyl

  7. 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. PMID:25802407

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Intestinal regeneration as an insect resistance mechanism to entomopathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Castagnola, Anaïs; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis

    2016-06-01

    The intestinal epithelium of insects is exposed to xenobiotics and entomopathogens during the feeding developmental stages. In these conditions, an effective enterocyte turnover mechanism is highly desirable to maintain integrity of the gut epithelial wall. As in other insects, the gut of lepidopteran larvae have stem cells that are capable of proliferation, which occurs during molting and pathogenic episodes. While much is known on the regulation of gut stem cell division during molting, there is a current knowledge gap on the molecular regulation of gut healing processes after entomopathogen exposure. Relevant information on this subject is emerging from studies of the response to exposure to insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) as model intoxicants. In this work we discuss currently available data on the molecular cues involved in gut stem cell proliferation, insect gut healing, and the implications of enhanced healing as a potential mechanism of resistance against Bt toxins. PMID:27436739

  11. Using Aquatic Insects as Indicators of Water Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dyche, Steven E.

    1977-01-01

    Described is a science field activity that studies the presence of certain aquatic insects, like stoneflies, as indicators of water quality. Equipment, materials, and methods are listed in detail, including suggestions for building certain supplies. Results of previous studies on the Yellowstone River are included. (MA)

  12. Young Scientists Explore Insects. Book 2 Primary Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Penn, Linda

    Designed to present interesting facts about science and to heighten the curiosity of primary age students, this book contains suggestions for students to investigate the natural world and numerous black and white illustrations. The activities focus on nine easily recognized insects: bees, beetles, lady bugs, lightning bugs, ants, mosquitoes,…

  13. My Research History on the Chemical Standpoint-From Molecular Structure to Surface Science.

    PubMed

    Murata, Yoshitada

    2015-06-01

    The structure of molecules using gas electron diffraction (GED) was my graduate study. However, I was making a new apparatus for precise measurements by GED and formulated a scheme for the least-squares analysis for a smooth continuous curve of scattering intensity. My research was completely shifted to the solid surface after moving to Gakushuin University, where I briefly studied the liquid structure of CCl4 molecules, and I then moved to the Institute for Solid State Physics, the University of Tokyo. My studies of surface science were focused on the electronic properties and related phenomena, and various experimental methods were developed. The plasmon dispersions elucidated the initial oxidation of aluminum and one-dimensional metal on Si(001)2 × 1-K. Irreversible phase transition was discovered on MgO(001) using the LEED Kikuchi pattern. The electronic structure of the dislocation was observed on MgO(001) by the electron time-of-flight method. The phase transition on Si(001) and the rotational epitaxy in a K monoatomic layer on Cu(001) were found. Next, I changed to studies of the dynamical phenomena on the surface, where very low energy reactive ion scattering on metal surfaces and laser-induced desorption caused by electronic transition of NO and CO molecules from metal surfaces were observed, and the hydrogen atom location at the surface and interface was measured with a high depth resolution using a resonance nuclear reaction of (1) H + (15) N(2+) at 6.385 MeV. Finally, I moved to the University of Electro-Communications and studied thin single-crystal oxide layers on transition metals, in which the band-gap narrowing was found, and then a Pt monoatomic layer was prepared on the α-Al(2)O(3) film.

  14. Molecular Environmental Science Using Synchrotron Radiation: Chemistry and Physics of Waste Form Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Lindle, Dennis W.

    2011-04-21

    Production of defense-related nuclear materials has generated large volumes of complex chemical wastes containing a mixture of radionuclides. The disposition of these wastes requires conversion of the liquid and solid-phase components into durable, solid forms suitable for long-term immobilization. Specially formulated glass compositions and ceramics such as pyrochlores and apatites are the main candidates for these wastes. An important consideration linked to the durability of waste-form materials is the local structure around the waste components. Equally important is the local structure of constituents of the glass and ceramic host matrix. Knowledge of the structure in the waste-form host matrices is essential, prior to and subsequent to waste incorporation, to evaluate and develop improved waste-form compositions based on scientific considerations. This project used the soft-x-ray synchrotron-radiation-based technique of near-edge x-ray-absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) as a unique method for investigating oxidation states and structures of low-Z elemental constituents forming the backbones of glass and ceramic host matrices for waste-form materials. In addition, light metal ions in ceramic hosts, such as titanium, are also ideal for investigation by NEXAFS in the soft-x-ray region. Thus, one of the main objectives was to understand outstanding issues in waste-form science via NEXAFS investigations and to translate this understanding into better waste-form materials, followed by eventual capability to investigate “real” waste-form materials by the same methodology. We conducted several detailed structural investigations of both pyrochlore ceramic and borosilicate-glass materials during the project and developed improved capabilities at Beamline 6.3.1 of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) to perform the studies.

  15. The ubiquity and ancestry of insect doublesex

    PubMed Central

    Price, Dana C.; Egizi, Andrea; Fonseca, Dina M.

    2015-01-01

    The doublesex (dsx) gene functions as a molecular switch at the base of the insect sex determination cascade, and triggers male or female somatic sexual differentiation in Drosophila. Having been reported from only seven current insect orders, the exact phylogenetic distribution of dsx within the largest Arthropod sub-phylum, the Hexapoda, is unknown. To understand the evolution of this integral gene relative to other arthropods, we tested for the presence of dsx within public EST and genome sequencing projects representative of all 32 hexapod orders. We find the dsx gene to be ubiquitous, with putative orthologs recovered from 30 orders. Additionally, we recovered both alternatively spliced and putative paralogous dsx transcripts from several orders of hexapods, including basal lineages, indicating the likely presence of these characteristics in the hexapod common ancestor. Of note, other arthropods such as chelicerates and crustaceans express two dsx genes, both of which are shown to lack alternative splicing. Furthermore, we discovered a large degree of length heterogeneity in the common region of dsx coding sequences within and among orders, possibly resulting from lineage-specific selective pressures inherent to each taxon. Our work serves as a valuable resource for understanding the evolution of sex determination in insects. PMID:26278009

  16. 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...

  17. 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.…

  18. Mosquitoes feeding on insect larvae.

    PubMed

    Harris, P; Riordan, D F; Cooke, D

    1969-04-11

    Caged Aedes aegypti and Culex tarsalis are attracted to insect larvae, engorge on their body fluids, and produce viable eggs. Attractiveness of the larvae is related to their size, shape, and color but not to their movement. The possibility that wild mosquitoes substitute insect hemolymph for vertebrate blood is discussed. PMID:5774191

  19. 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…

  20. Social Insects: A Model System for Network Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonneau, Daniel; Blonder, Benjamin; Dornhaus, Anna

    Social insect colonies (ants, bees, wasps, and termites) show sophisticated collective problem-solving in the face of variable constraints. Individuals exchange information and materials such as food. The resulting network structure and dynamics can inform us about the mechanisms by which the insects achieve particular collective behaviors and these can be transposed to man-made and social networks. We discuss how network analysis can answer important questions about social insects, such as how effective task allocation or information flow is realized. We put forward the idea that network analysis methods are under-utilized in social insect research, and that they can provide novel ways to view the complexity of collective behavior, particularly if network dynamics are taken into account. To illustrate this, we present an example of network tasks performed by ant workers, linked by instances of workers switching from one task to another. We show how temporal network analysis can propose and test new hypotheses on mechanisms of task allocation, and how adding temporal elements to static networks can drastically change results. We discuss the benefits of using social insects as models for complex systems in general. There are multiple opportunities emergent technologies and analysis methods in facilitating research on social insect network. The potential for interdisciplinary work could significantly advance diverse fields such as behavioral ecology, computer sciences, and engineering.

  1. 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.

  2. Insect Immunity to Entomopathogenic Fungi.

    PubMed

    Lu, H-L; St Leger, R J

    2016-01-01

    The study of infection and immunity in insects has achieved considerable prominence with the appreciation that their host defense mechanisms share many fundamental characteristics with the innate immune system of vertebrates. Studies on the highly tractable model organism Drosophila in particular have led to a detailed understanding of conserved innate immunity networks, such as Toll. However, most of these studies have used opportunistic human pathogens and may not have revealed specialized immune strategies that have arisen through evolutionary arms races with natural insect pathogens. Fungi are the commonest natural insect pathogens, and in this review, we focus on studies using Metarhizium and Beauveria spp. that have addressed immune system function and pathogen virulence via behavioral avoidance, the use of physical barriers, and the activation of local and systemic immune responses. In particular, we highlight studies on the evolutionary genetics of insect immunity and discuss insect-pathogen coevolution.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. 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

  5. Alteration of Plant Primary Metabolism in Response to Insect Herbivory.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Shaoqun; Lou, Yann-Ru; Tzin, Vered; Jander, Georg

    2015-11-01

    Plants in nature, which are continuously challenged by diverse insect herbivores, produce constitutive and inducible defenses to reduce insect damage and preserve their own fitness. In addition to inducing pathways that are directly responsible for the production of toxic and deterrent compounds, insect herbivory causes numerous changes in plant primary metabolism. Whereas the functions of defensive metabolites such as alkaloids, terpenes, and glucosinolates have been studied extensively, the fitness benefits of changes in photosynthesis, carbon transport, and nitrogen allocation remain less well understood. Adding to the complexity of the observed responses, the feeding habits of different insect herbivores can significantly influence the induced changes in plant primary metabolism. In this review, we summarize experimental data addressing the significance of insect feeding habits, as related to herbivore-induced changes in plant primary metabolism. Where possible, we link these physiological changes with current understanding of their underlying molecular mechanisms. Finally, we discuss the potential fitness benefits that host plants receive from altering their primary metabolism in response to insect herbivory.

  6. Synthesizing neurophysiology, genetics, behaviour and learning to produce whole-insect programmable sensors to detect volatile chemicals.

    PubMed

    Rains, Glen; Kulasiri, Don; Zhou, Zhongkun; Samarasinghe, Sandhyar; Tomberlin, Jeffery; Olson, Dawn

    2010-01-01

    Insects have extremely sensitive systems of olfaction. These systems have been explored as potential sensors for odourants associated with forensics, medicine, security, and agriculture application. Most sensors based on insect olfaction utilize associative learning to "program" the insects to exhibit some form of behavioural response to a target odourant. To move to the next stage of development with whole-insect programmable sensors, an examination of how odourants are captured, processed and used to create behaviour is necessary. This review article examines how the neurophysiological, molecular, genetic and behavioural system of olfaction works and how an understanding of these systems should lead the way to future developments in whole-insect programmable sensors.

  7. Water management by dormant insects: comparisons between dehydration resistance during summer aestivation and winter diapause.

    PubMed

    Benoit, Joshua B

    2010-01-01

    During summer in temperate regions and tropical dry seasons insects are exposed to extended periods with little available water. To counter this dehydration stress, insects have two options. They can either remain active by utilizing mechanisms to function under severe water stress and high temperatures, or they can escape from the stressful environment by exploiting an aestivation mechanism. During aestivation, insects undergo a variety of molecular and biochemical changes to arrest development, reduce metabolism, tolerate high temperatures, and increase their ability to maintain water balance. In this review, I provide a synopsis of known and possible mechanisms utilized by insects to reduce the stress of dehydration during aestivation. Comparative observations of aestivating and diapausing insects are also discussed to assess similarities and differences in the methods used by insects to increase dehydration resistance between these two types of dormancies. Adaptations that alter moisture requirements during diapause (low metabolic rate, increases in osmolytes, shifts in cuticular hydrocarbons, cell membrane restructing) are likely similar to those utilized at the induction and during the maintenance phase of aestivation. Few studies have been conducted on the physiology, particularly the biochemistry and molecular regulation, of aestivating insects, indicating that much more research is needed to fully assess water balance characteristics of insects during aestivation. Whether an insect is in diapause or aestivation, behavioral, biochemical, and physiological adaptations are essential for suppressing water loss and enhancing survival in a desiccated state.

  8. On anti-portfolio effects in science and technology with application to reaction kinetics, chemical synthesis, and molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Vlad, Marcel O; Corlan, Alexandru Dan; Popa, Vlad T; Ross, John

    2007-11-20

    The portfolio effect is the increase of the stability of a system to random fluctuations with the increase of the number of random state variables due to spreading the risk among these variables; many examples exist in various areas of science and technology. We report the existence of an opposite effect, the decrease of stability to random fluctuations due to an increase of the number of random state variables. For successive industrial or biochemical processes of independent, random efficiencies, the stability of the total efficiency decreases with the increase of the number of processes. Depending on the variables considered, the same process may display both a portfolio as well as an anti-portfolio behavior. In disordered kinetics, the activation energy of a reaction or transport process is the result of a sum of random components. Although the total activation energy displays a portfolio effect, the rate coefficient displays an anti-portfolio effect. For random-channel kinetics, the stability of the total rate coefficient increases with the average number of reaction pathways, whereas the stability of the survival function has an opposite behavior: it decreases exponentially with the increase of the average number of reaction pathways (anti-portfolio effect). In molecular biology, the total rate of a nucleotide substitution displays a portfolio effect, whereas the probability that no substitutions occur displays an anti-portfolio effect, resulting in faster evolutionary processes due to fluctuations. The anti-portfolio effect emerges for products of random variables or equations involving multiplicative convolution products.

  9. The experimental teaching reform in biochemistry and molecular biology for undergraduate students in Peking University Health Science Center.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaohan; Sun, Luyang; Zhao, Ying; Yi, Xia; Zhu, Bin; Wang, Pu; Lin, Hong; Ni, Juhua

    2015-01-01

    Since 2010, second-year undergraduate students of an eight-year training program leading to a Doctor of Medicine degree or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) have been required to enter the "Innovative talent training project." During that time, the students joined a research lab and participated in some original research work. There is a critical educational need to prepare these students for the increasing accessibility of research experience. The redesigned experimental curriculum of biochemistry and molecular biology was developed to fulfill such a requirement, which keeps two original biochemistry experiments (Gel filtration and Enzyme kinetics) and adds a new two-experiment component called "Analysis of anti-tumor drug induced apoptosis." The additional component, also known as the "project-oriented experiment" or the "comprehensive experiment," consists of Western blotting and a DNA laddering assay to assess the effects of etoposide (VP16) on the apoptosis signaling pathways. This reformed laboratory teaching system aims to enhance the participating students overall understanding of important biological research techniques and the instrumentation involved, and to foster a better understanding of the research process all within a classroom setting. Student feedback indicated that the updated curriculum helped them improve their operational and self-learning capability, and helped to increase their understanding of theoretical knowledge and actual research processes, which laid the groundwork for their future research work.

  10. Genome Editing: From Drosophila to Non-Model Insects and Beyond.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yueping; Liu, Zhiping; Rong, Yikang S

    2016-05-20

    Insect is the largest group of animals on land. Many insect species inflict economical and health losses to humans. Yet many more benefit us by helping to maintain balances in our ecosystem. The benefits that insects offer remain largely untapped, justifying our continuing efforts to develop tools to better understand their biology and to better manage their activities. Here we focus on reviewing the progresses made in the development of genome engineering tools for model insects. Instead of detailed descriptions of the molecular mechanisms underlying each technical advance, we focus our discussion on the logistics for implementing similar tools in non-model insects. Since none of the tools were developed specific for insects, similar approaches can be applied to other non-model organisms.

  11. A novel lipoprotein from the hemolymph of the cochineal insect, Dactylopius confusus.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, R; Willingham, L A; Engler, D L; Tolman, K J; Bellows, D; Van Der Horst, D J; Yepiz-Plascencia, G M; Law, J H

    1999-04-01

    A new type of insect lipoprotein was isolated from the hemolymph of the female cochineal insect Dactylopius confusus. The lipoprotein from the cochineal insect hemolymph was found to have a relative molecular mass of 450 000. It contains 48% lipid, mostly diacylglycerol, phospholipids and hydrocarbons. The protein moiety of the lipoprotein consists of two apoproteins of approximately 25 and 22 kDa, both of which are glycosylated. Both apolipoproteins are also found free in the hemolymph, unassociated with any lipid. Purified cochineal apolipoproteins can combine with Manduca sexta lipophorin, if injected together with adipokinetic hormone into M. sexta. This could indicate that the cochineal lipoprotein can function as a lipid shuttle similar to lipophorins of other insects, and that the cochineal insect apolipoproteins have an overall structure similar to insect apolipophorin-III. PMID:10103061

  12. Adaptive evolution of mitochondrial energy metabolism genes associated with increased energy demand in flying insects.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yunxia; Xu, Shixia; Xu, Junxiao; Guo, Yan; Yang, Guang

    2014-01-01

    Insects are unique among invertebrates for their ability to fly, which raises intriguing questions about how energy metabolism in insects evolved and changed along with flight. Although physiological studies indicated that energy consumption differs between flying and non-flying insects, the evolution of molecular energy metabolism mechanisms in insects remains largely unexplored. Considering that about 95% of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is supplied by mitochondria via oxidative phosphorylation, we examined 13 mitochondrial protein-encoding genes to test whether adaptive evolution of energy metabolism-related genes occurred in insects. The analyses demonstrated that mitochondrial DNA protein-encoding genes are subject to positive selection from the last common ancestor of Pterygota, which evolved primitive flight ability. Positive selection was also found in insects with flight ability, whereas no significant sign of selection was found in flightless insects where the wings had degenerated. In addition, significant positive selection was also identified in the last common ancestor of Neoptera, which changed its flight mode from direct to indirect. Interestingly, detection of more positively selected genes in indirect flight rather than direct flight insects suggested a stronger selective pressure in insects having higher energy consumption. In conclusion, mitochondrial protein-encoding genes involved in energy metabolism were targets of adaptive evolution in response to increased energy demands that arose during the evolution of flight ability in insects.

  13. Advances in insect phylogeny at the dawn of the postgenomic era.

    PubMed

    Trautwein, Michelle D; Wiegmann, Brian M; Beutel, Rolf; Kjer, Karl M; Yeates, David K

    2012-01-01

    Most species on Earth are insects and thus, understanding their evolutionary relationships is key to understanding the evolution of life. Insect relationships are increasingly well supported, due largely to technological advances in molecular sequencing and phylogenetic computational analysis. In this postgenomic era, insect systematics will be furthered best by integrative methods aimed at hypothesis corroboration from molecular, morphological, and paleontological evidence. This review of the current consensus of insect relationships provides a foundation for comparative study and offers a framework to evaluate incoming genomic evidence. Notable recent phylogenetic successes include the resolution of Holometabola, including the identification of the enigmatic Strepsiptera as a beetle relative and the early divergence of Hymenoptera; the recognition of hexapods as a crustacean lineage within Pancrustacea; and the elucidation of Dictyoptera orders, with termites placed as social cockroaches. Regions of the tree that require further investigation include the earliest winged insects (Palaeoptera) and Polyneoptera (orthopteroid lineages). PMID:22149269

  14. Molecular and mass spectral identification of the broadly conserved decapod crustacean neuropeptide pQIRYHQCYFNPISCF: the first PISCF-allatostatin (Manduca sexta- or C-type allatostatin) from a non-insect

    PubMed Central

    Stemmler, Elizabeth A.; Bruns, Emily A.; Cashman, Christopher R.; Dickinson, Patsy S.; Christie, Andrew E.

    2009-01-01

    The PISCF-allatostatins (Manduca sexta- or C-type allatostatins) are a family of pentadecapeptides characterized by a pyroglutamine blocked N-terminus, an unamidated –PISCF C-terminus, and a disulfide bridge between two internal Cys residues. Several isoforms of PISCF-AST are known, all from holometabolous insects. Using a combination of transcriptomics and mass spectrometry, we have identified the first PISCF-type peptides from a non-insect species. In silico analysis of crustacean ESTs identified several Litopenaeus vannamei (infraorder Penaeidea) transcripts encoding putative PISCF-AST precursors. Translation of these ESTs, with subsequent prediction of their putative post-translational processing, revealed the existence of as many as three PISCF-type peptides, including pQIRYHQCYFNPISCF (disulfide bridging between Cys7 and Cys14). Although none of the predicted isoforms was detected by mass spectrometry in L. vannamei, MALDI-FTMS mass profiling identified an m/z signal corresponding to pQIRYHQCYFNPISCF (disulfide bridge present) in neural tissue from 28 other decapods, which included members of six infraorders (Stenopodidea, Astacidea, Thalassinidea, Achelata, Anomura and Brachyura). Further characterization of the peptide using SORI-CID and chemical derivatization/enzymatic digestion supported the theorized structure. In both the crab Cancer borealis and the lobster Homarus americanus, MALDI-based tissue surveys suggest that pQIRYHQCYFNPISCF is broadly distributed in the nervous system; it was also detected in the posterior midgut caecum. Collectively, our data show that members of the PISCF-AST family are not restricted to the holometabolous insects, but instead may be broadly conserved within the Pancrustacea. Moreover, our data suggest that one highly conserved PISCF-type peptide, pQIRYHQCYFNPISCF, is present in decapod crustaceans, functioning as a brain-gut paracrine/hormone. PMID:19467234

  15. Regeneration in insects.

    PubMed

    Marsh, J L; Theisen, H

    1999-08-01

    @9cIntroduction@21T issues exhibit an impressive ability to respond to a myriad of insults by repairing and regenerating complex structures. The elegant and orderly process of regeneration provides clues to the mechanisms of pattern formation but also offers the hope that the process might one day be manipulated to replace damaged body parts. To manipulate the process, it will be necessary to understand the genetic basis of the process. In the case of the insect leg, we are coming close to such a level of understanding and many of the lessons learned are relevant to vertebrate systems. A dynamic web of gene regulatory networks appears to create a robust self-organizing system that is at once extremely intricate but also perhaps simple in its reliance on a few key signaling pathways and a few simple processes, e.g. autoactivation and lateral inhibition. Here we will summarize what has been learned about the networks of gene regulation present in the Drosophila leg discs and then we will explore how the regenerative responses to different insults can be understood as predictable responses to these networks. Each of the regulatory networks could themselves serve as the subject of a detailed review and that is beyond the scope of this discussion. Here we will focus on the interplay between the regulatory networks in patterning the tissue.

  16. PARTIAL SUPPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF ATOMIC, MOLECULAR, AND OPTICAL SCIENCES Final Report for the period September 30, 2008 to June 30, 2014

    SciTech Connect

    Lancaster, James

    2015-06-29

    This report is the final report for the 2008-2014 cycle of DOE support for the Committee on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences. Highlights of the committee’s activities over this period included: • Meetings of the committee were held semiannually (Washington, DC in April and Irvine, CA in October) for four of the six years and annually the last two years (Washington, DC in April). • Committee meetings included half-day focus sessions on each of the areas identified in the last AMO decadal survey as having great scientific promise and short summaries of the focus session were prepared and delivered to sponsoring agencies. • CAMOS initiated a study that has been funded on high intensity lasers. DOE support for CAMOS has been of central importance to the committee’s ability to continue to fulfill its mandate to the Board on Physics and Astronomy and to the wider atomic, molecular, and optical sciences research community.

  17. 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

  18. Insect symbionts in food webs.

    PubMed

    McLean, Ailsa H C; Parker, Benjamin J; Hrček, Jan; Henry, Lee M; Godfray, H Charles J

    2016-09-01

    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'.

  19. 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

  20. Insect symbionts in food webs.

    PubMed

    McLean, Ailsa H C; Parker, Benjamin J; Hrček, Jan; Henry, Lee M; Godfray, H Charles J

    2016-09-01

    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

  1. 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 ...

  2. Learning and cognition in insects.

    PubMed

    Giurfa, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Insects possess small brains but exhibit sophisticated behavioral performances. Recent works have reported the existence of unsuspected cognitive capabilities in various insect species, which go beyond the traditional studied framework of simple associative learning. In this study, I focus on capabilities such as attention, social learning, individual recognition, concept learning, and metacognition, and discuss their presence and mechanistic bases in insects. I analyze whether these behaviors can be explained on the basis of elemental associative learning or, on the contrary, require higher-order explanations. In doing this, I highlight experimental challenges and suggest future directions for investigating the neurobiology of higher-order learning in insects, with the goal of uncovering l architectures underlying cognitive processing.

  3. 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.

  4. Flight of the smallest insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Laura; Santhanakrishnan, Arvind; Hedrick, Tyson; Robinson, Alice

    2009-11-01

    A vast body of research has described the complexity of flight in insects ranging from the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to the hawk moth, Manduca sexta. Over this range of scales, flight aerodynamics as well as the relative lift and drag forces generated are surprisingly similar. The smallest flying insects (Re˜10) have received far less attention, although previous work has shown that flight kinematics and aerodynamics can be significantly different. In this presentation, we have used a three-pronged approach that consists of measurements of flight kinematics in the tiny insect Thysanoptera (thrips), measurements of flow velocities using physical models, and direct numerical simulations to compute lift and drag forces. We find that drag forces can be an order of magnitude larger than lift forces, particularly during the clap and fling motion used by all tiny insects recorded to date.

  5. Elastocapilllarity in insect adhesion: the case of beetle adhesive hair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gernay, Sophie; Gilet, Tristan; Lambert, Pierre; Federle, Walter

    2014-11-01

    The feet of many insects are covered with dense arrays of hair-like structures called setae. Liquid capillary bridges at the tip of these micrometric structures are responsible for the controlled adhesion of the insect on a large variety of substrates. The resulting adhesion force can exceed several times the body weight of the insect. The high aspect-ratio of setae suggests that flexibility is a key ingredient in this capillary-based adhesion mechanism. There is indeed a strong coupling between their elastic deformation and the shape of the liquid meniscus. In this experimental work, we observe and quantify the local deflection of dock beetle seta tips under perpendicular loading using interference microscopy. Our results are then interpreted in the light of an analytic model of elastocapillarity. This research has been funded by the FRIA/FNRS and the Interuniversity Attraction Poles Programme (IAP 7/38 MicroMAST) initiated by the Belgian Science Policy Office.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Spatial memory in insect navigation.

    PubMed

    Collett, Matthew; Chittka, Lars; Collett, Thomas S

    2013-09-01

    A wide variety of insects use spatial memories in behaviours like holding a position in air or flowing water, in returning to a place of safety, and in foraging. The Hymenoptera, in particular, have evolved life-histories requiring reliable spatial memories to support the task of provisioning their young. Behavioural experiments, primarily on social bees and ants, reveal the mechanisms by which these memories are employed for guidance to spatial goals and suggest how the memories, and the processing streams that use them, may be organized. We discuss three types of memory-based guidance which, together, can explain a large part of observed insect spatial behaviour. Two of these, alignment image-matching and positional image-matching, are based on an insect's remembered views of its surroundings: The first uses views to keep to a familiar heading and the second to head towards a familiar place. The third type of guidance is based on a process of path integration by which an insect monitors its distance and direction from its nest through odometric and compass information. To a large degree, these guidance mechanisms appear to involve modular computational systems. We discuss the lack of evidence for cognitive maps in insects, and in particular the evidence against a map based on path integration, in which view-based and path integration memories might be combined. We suggest instead that insects have a collective of separate guidance systems, which cooperate and train each other, and together provide reliable guidance over a range of conditions.

  20. 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.

  1. Helminthes and insects: maladies or therapies.

    PubMed

    El-Tantawy, Nora L

    2015-02-01

    make these venoms and toxins a valuable and promising source of natural bioactive compounds. The therapeutic use of helminthes and insects will be of great value in biomedicine and further studies on insect toxins will contribute extensively to the development of Biomedical Sciences.

  2. Flower Constancy, Insect Psychology, and Plant Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chittka, Lars; Thomson, James D.; Waser, Nickolas M.

    Individuals of some species of pollinating insects tend to restrict their visits to only a few of the available plant species, in the process bypassing valuable food sources. The question of why this flower constancy exists is a rich and important one with implications for the organization of natural communities of plants, floral evolution, and our understanding of the learning processes involved in finding food. Some scientists have assumed that flower constancy is adaptive per se. Others argued that constancy occurs because memory capacity for floral features in insects is limited, but attempts to identify the limitations often remained rather simplistic. We elucidate now different sensory and motor memories from natural foraging tasks are stored and retrieved, using concepts from modern learning science and visual search, and conclude that flower constancy is likely to have multiple causes. Possible constraints favoring constancy are interference sensitivity of short-term memory, and temporal limitations on retrieving information from long-term memory as rapidly as from short-term memory, but further empirical evidence is needed to substantiate these possibilities. In addition, retrieving memories may be slower and more prone to errors when there are several options than when an insect copes with only a single task. In addition to memory limitations, we also point out alternative explanations for flower constancy. We then consider the way in which floral parameters, such as interplant distances, nectar rewards, flower morphology, and floral color (as seen through bees' eyes) affect constancy. Finally, we discuss the implications of pollinator constancy for plant evolution. To date there is no evidence that flowers have diverged to favor constancy, although the appropriate tests may not have yet been conducted. However, there is good evidence against the notion that pollinator constancy is involved in speciation or maintenance of plant species integrity.

  3. Recent Advances in Developing Insect Natural Products as Potential Modern Day Medicines

    PubMed Central

    Ratcliffe, Norman; Azambuja, Patricia; Mello, Cicero Brasileiro

    2014-01-01

    Except for honey as food, and silk for clothing and pollination of plants, people give little thought to the benefits of insects in their lives. This overview briefly describes significant recent advances in developing insect natural products as potential new medicinal drugs. This is an exciting and rapidly expanding new field since insects are hugely variable and have utilised an enormous range of natural products to survive environmental perturbations for 100s of millions of years. There is thus a treasure chest of untapped resources waiting to be discovered. Insects products, such as silk and honey, have already been utilised for thousands of years, and extracts of insects have been produced for use in Folk Medicine around the world, but only with the development of modern molecular and biochemical techniques has it become feasible to manipulate and bioengineer insect natural products into modern medicines. Utilising knowledge gleaned from Insect Folk Medicines, this review describes modern research into bioengineering honey and venom from bees, silk, cantharidin, antimicrobial peptides, and maggot secretions and anticoagulants from blood-sucking insects into medicines. Problems and solutions encountered in these endeavours are described and indicate that the future is bright for new insect derived pharmaceuticals treatments and medicines. PMID:24883072

  4. Environmental Science: 49 Science Fair Projects. Science Fair Projects Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonnet, Robert L.; Keen, G. Daniel

    This book contains 49 science fair projects designed for 6th to 9th grade students. Projects are organized by the topics of soil, ecology (projects in habitat and life cycles), pests and controls (projects in weeds and insects), recycling (projects in resources and conservation), waste products (projects in decomposition), microscopic organisms,…

  5. Planting sentinel European trees in eastern Asia as a novel method to identify potential insect pest invaders.

    PubMed

    Roques, Alain; Fan, Jian-Ting; Courtial, Béatrice; Zhang, Yan-Zhuo; Yart, Annie; Auger-Rozenberg, Marie-Anne; Denux, Olivier; Kenis, Marc; Baker, Richard; Sun, Jiang-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Quarantine measures to prevent insect invasions tend to focus on well-known pests but a large proportion of the recent invaders were not known to cause significant damage in their native range, or were not even known to science before their introduction. A novel method is proposed to detect new potential pests of woody plants in their region of origin before they are introduced to a new continent. Since Asia is currently considered to be the main supplier of insect invaders to Europe, sentinel trees were planted in China during 2007-2011 as an early warning tool to identify the potential for additional Asian insect species to colonize European trees. Seedlings (1-1.5 m tall) of five broadleaved (Quercus petraea, Q. suber, Q. ilex, Fagus sylvatica, and Carpinus betulus) and two conifer species (Abies alba and Cupressus sempervirens) were planted in blocks of 100 seedlings at two widely separated sites (one in a nursery near Beijing and the other in a forest environment near Fuyang in eastern China), and then regularly surveyed for colonization by insects. A total of 104 insect species, mostly defoliators, were observed on these new hosts, and at least six species were capable of larval development. Although a number of the insects observed were probably incidental feeders, 38 species had more than five colonization events, mostly infesting Q. petraea, and could be considered as being capable of switching to European trees if introduced to Europe. Three years was shown to be an appropriate duration for the experiment, since the rate of colonization then tended to plateau. A majority of the identified species appeared to have switched from agricultural crops and fruit trees rather than from forest trees. Although these results are promising, the method is not appropriate for xylophagous pests and other groups developing on larger trees. Apart from the logistical problems, the identification to species level of the specimens collected was a major difficulty. This

  6. Planting Sentinel European Trees in Eastern Asia as a Novel Method to Identify Potential Insect Pest Invaders

    PubMed Central

    Roques, Alain; Fan, Jian-ting; Courtial, Béatrice; Zhang, Yan-zhuo; Yart, Annie; Auger-Rozenberg, Marie-Anne; Denux, Olivier; Kenis, Marc; Baker, Richard; Sun, Jiang-hua

    2015-01-01

    Quarantine measures to prevent insect invasions tend to focus on well-known pests but a large proportion of the recent invaders were not known to cause significant damage in their native range, or were not even known to science before their introduction. A novel method is proposed to detect new potential pests of woody plants in their region of origin before they are introduced to a new continent. Since Asia is currently considered to be the main supplier of insect invaders to Europe, sentinel trees were planted in China during 2007-2011 as an early warning tool to identify the potential for additional Asian insect species to colonize European trees. Seedlings (1-1.5 m tall) of five broadleaved (Quercus petraea, Q. suber, Q. ilex, Fagus sylvatica, and Carpinus betulus) and two conifer species (Abies alba and Cupressus sempervirens) were planted in blocks of 100 seedlings at two widely separated sites (one in a nursery near Beijing and the other in a forest environment near Fuyang in eastern China), and then regularly surveyed for colonization by insects. A total of 104 insect species, mostly defoliators, were observed on these new hosts, and at least six species were capable of larval development. Although a number of the insects observed were probably incidental feeders, 38 species had more than five colonization events, mostly infesting Q. petraea, and could be considered as being capable of switching to European trees if introduced to Europe. Three years was shown to be an appropriate duration for the experiment, since the rate of colonization then tended to plateau. A majority of the identified species appeared to have switched from agricultural crops and fruit trees rather than from forest trees. Although these results are promising, the method is not appropriate for xylophagous pests and other groups developing on larger trees. Apart from the logistical problems, the identification to species level of the specimens collected was a major difficulty. This

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  8. Social influences on circadian rhythms and sleep in insects.

    PubMed

    Eban-Rothschild, Ada; Bloch, Guy

    2012-01-01

    The diverse social lifestyle and the small and accessible nervous system of insects make them valuable for research on the adaptive value and the organization principles of circadian rhythms and sleep. We focus on two complementary model insects, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, which is amenable to extensive transgenic manipulations, and the honey bee Apis mellifera, which has rich and well-studied social behaviors. Social entrainment of activity rhythms (social synchronization) has been studied in many animals. Social time givers appear to be specifically important in dark cavity-dwelling social animals, but here there are no other clear relationships between the degree of sociality and the effectiveness of social entrainment. The olfactory system is important for social entrainment in insects. Little is known, however, about the molecular and neuronal pathways linking olfactory neurons to the central clock. In the honey bee, the expression, phase, and development of circadian rhythms are socially regulated, apparently by different signals. Peripheral clocks regulating pheromone synthesis and the olfactory system have been implicated in social influences on circadian rhythms in the fruit fly. An enriched social environment increases the total amount of sleep in both fruit flies and honey bees. In fruit flies, these changes have been linked to molecular and neuronal processes involved in learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity. The studies on insects suggest that social influences on the clock are richer than previously appreciated and have led to important breakthroughs in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying social influences on sleep and circadian rhythms. PMID:22902124

  9. 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.

  10. Mechanisms of plant defense against insect herbivores.

    PubMed

    War, Abdul Rashid; Paulraj, Michael Gabriel; Ahmad, Tariq; Buhroo, Abdul Ahad; Hussain, Barkat; Ignacimuthu, Savarimuthu; Sharma, Hari Chand

    2012-10-01

    Plants respond to herbivory through various morphological, biochemicals, and molecular mechanisms to counter/offset the effects of herbivore attack. The biochemical mechanisms of defense against the herbivores are wide-ranging, highly dynamic, and are mediated both by direct and indirect defenses. The defensive compounds are either produced constitutively or in response to plant damage, and affect feeding, growth, and survival of herbivores. In addition, plants also release volatile organic compounds that attract the natural enemies of the herbivores. These strategies either act independently or in conjunction with each other. However, our understanding of these defensive mechanisms is still limited. Induced resistance could be exploited as an important tool for the pest management to minimize the amounts of insecticides used for pest control. Host plant resistance to insects, particularly, induced resistance, can also be manipulated with the use of chemical elicitors of secondary metabolites, which confer resistance to insects. By understanding the mechanisms of induced resistance, we can predict the herbivores that are likely to be affected by induced responses. The elicitors of induced responses can be sprayed on crop plants to build up the natural defense system against damage caused by herbivores. The induced responses can also be engineered genetically, so that the defensive compounds are constitutively produced in plants against are challenged by the herbivory. Induced resistance can be exploited for developing crop cultivars, which readily produce the inducible response upon mild infestation, and can act as one of components of integrated pest management for sustainable crop production.

  11. Mechanisms of plant defense against insect herbivores

    PubMed Central

    War, Abdul Rashid; Paulraj, Michael Gabriel; Ahmad, Tariq; Buhroo, Abdul Ahad; Hussain, Barkat; Ignacimuthu, Savarimuthu; Sharma, Hari Chand

    2012-01-01

    Plants respond to herbivory through various morphological, biochemicals, and molecular mechanisms to counter/offset the effects of herbivore attack. The biochemical mechanisms of defense against the herbivores are wide-ranging, highly dynamic, and are mediated both by direct and indirect defenses. The defensive compounds are either produced constitutively or in response to plant damage, and affect feeding, growth, and survival of herbivores. In addition, plants also release volatile organic compounds that attract the natural enemies of the herbivores. These strategies either act independently or in conjunction with each other. However, our understanding of these defensive mechanisms is still limited. Induced resistance could be exploited as an important tool for the pest management to minimize the amounts of insecticides used for pest control. Host plant resistance to insects, particularly, induced resistance, can also be manipulated with the use of chemical elicitors of secondary metabolites, which confer resistance to insects. By understanding the mechanisms of induced resistance, we can predict the herbivores that are likely to be affected by induced responses. The elicitors of induced responses can be sprayed on crop plants to build up the natural defense system against damage caused by herbivores. The induced responses can also be engineered genetically, so that the defensive compounds are constitutively produced in plants against are challenged by the herbivory. Induced resistance can be exploited for developing crop cultivars, which readily produce the inducible response upon mild infestation, and can act as one of components of integrated pest management for sustainable crop production. PMID:22895106

  12. The control of body size in insects.

    PubMed

    Nijhout, H F

    2003-09-01

    Control mechanisms that regulate body size and tissue size have been sought at both the cellular and organismal level. Cell-level studies have revealed much about the control of cell growth and cell division, and how these processes are regulated by nutrition. Insulin signaling is the key mediator between nutrition and the growth of internal organs, such as imaginal disks, and is required for the normal proportional growth of the body and its various parts. The insulin-related peptides of insects do not appear to control growth by themselves, but act in conjunction with other hormones and signaling molecules, such as ecdysone and IDGFs. Size regulation cannot be understood solely on the basis of the mechanisms that control cell size and cell number. Size regulation requires mechanisms that gather information on a scale appropriate to the tissue or organ being regulated. A new model mechanism, using autocrine signaling, is outlined by which tissue and organ size regulation can be achieved. Body size regulation likewise requires a mechanism that integrates information at an appropriate scale. In insects, this mechanism operates by controlling the secretion of ecdysone, which is the signal that terminates the growth phase of development. The mechanisms for size assessment and the pathways by which they trigger ecdysone secretion are diverse and can be complex. The ways in which these higher-level regulatory mechanisms interact with cell- and molecular- level mechanisms are beginning to be elucidated.

  13. A visible dominant marker for insect transgenesis.

    PubMed

    Osanai-Futahashi, Mizuko; Ohde, Takahiro; Hirata, Junya; Uchino, Keiro; Futahashi, Ryo; Tamura, Toshiki; Niimi, Teruyuki; Sezutsu, Hideki

    2012-01-01

    Transgenesis of most insects currently relies on fluorescence markers. Here we establish a transformation marker system causing phenotypes visible to the naked eye due to changes in the color of melanin pigments, which are widespread in animals. Ubiquitous overexpression of arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, changes the color of newly hatched first-instar larvae from black to a distinctive light brown color, and can be used as a molecular marker by directly connecting to baculovirus immediate early 1 gene promoter. Suppression of black pigmentation by Bm-arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase can be observed throughout the larval stages and in adult animals. Alternatively, overexpression in another gene, B. mori β-alanyl-dopamine synthetase (Bm-ebony), changes the larval body color of older instars, although first-instar larvae had normal dark coloration. We further show that ectopic Bm-arylalkylamine-N-acetyl transferase expression lightens coloration in ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis and fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, highlighting the potential usefulness of this marker for transgenesis in diverse insect taxa. PMID:23250425

  14. Inexpensive, floating, insect-emergence trap

    SciTech Connect

    Cushman, R.M.

    1983-11-01

    The Environmental Sciences Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been investigating the usefulness of aquarium microcosms and ponds for the quantification and predictions of toxicant effects on freshwater systems. Ideally, concepts and methods applicable to both 150-L microcosms and 15,000-L ponds would bridge the gap between the two. The effort of processing the benthic samples, as well as the destructiveness of the sampling in small ponds, limited the number of samples that could be taken. Therefore, the author developed an inexpensive emergence trap appropriate for use in small outdoor ponds, as one method of increasing sampling efficiency and economy. To prevent the possibility of trapping adults from adjacent ponds, which would confound the results, the traps had to be designed such that they could only trap insects from the ponds upon which they were floating. The design of this trap is described.

  15. The Origins of Molecular Biology: A Pedagogical Tool for the Professional Development of Pre-College Science Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silverman, Philip M.

    2003-01-01

    We examine the science and pedagogy behind a historical approach to the professional development of pre-college science (primarily biology) teachers. Our intention is to reach professional scientists, who, as a group, are uniquely qualified to provide experience and insights essential to this approach. The underlying research for this article has…

  16. The Science of Pizza: The Molecular Origins of Cheese, Bread, and Digestion Using Interactive Activities for the General Public

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowat, Amy C.; Rosenberg, Daniel; Hollar, Kathryn A.; Stone, Howard A.

    2010-01-01

    We describe a presentation on the science of pizza, which is designed for the general public including children ages 6 and older. The presentation focuses on the science of making and digesting cheese and bread. We highlight 4 major scientific themes: (1) how macromolecules such as carbohydrates and proteins are composed of atoms and small…

  17. Insects as unidentified flying objects.

    PubMed

    Callahan, P S; Mankin, R W

    1978-11-01

    Five species of insects were subjected to a large electric field. Each of the insects stimulated in this manner emitted visible glows of various colors and blacklight (uv). It is postulated that the Uintah Basin, Utah, nocturnal UFO display (1965-1968) was partially due to mass swarms of spruce budworms, Choristoneura fumiferana (Clemens), stimulated to emit this type of St. Elmo's fire by flying into high electric fields caused by thunderheads and high density particulate matter in the air. There was excellent time and spatial correlation between the 1965-1968 UFO nocturnal sightings and spruce budworm infestation. It is suggested that a correlation of nocturnal UFO sightings throughout the U.S. and Canada with spruce budworm infestations might give some insight into nocturnal insect flight patterns.

  18. Neurosecretion: peptidergic systems in insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Predel, R.; Eckert, Manfred

    Insect neuropeptides are produced in less than 1% of the cells of the central nervous system. Despite this, they are important messenger molecules which influence nearly all physiological processes, including behaviour. They can act as transmitters, modulators and classical hormones, and often exhibit pleiotropic functions when released into the haemolymph. The large number of neuropeptides that has been identified from some of the model organisms among insects underlines the complexity of the neurosecretory system; studies about the coordinated actions of these substances are in their preliminary stages. Recent advances in insect neuropeptide research will be reviewed here, concentrating on the distribution of multiple peptide forms in the central nervous system and adjacent neurohaemal organs, and the role of neuropeptides in eclosion behaviour.

  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. Proteomic analysis of interaction between a plant virus and its vector insect reveals new functions of hemipteran cuticular protein

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous viruses can be transmitted by their corresponding vector insects; however, the molecular mechanisms enabling virus transmission by vector insects have been poorly understood, especially the identity of vector components interacting with the virus. Here, we used the yeast two hybrid system t...

  1. Unsteady aerodynamics of insect flight.

    PubMed

    Ellington, C P

    1995-01-01

    Over the past decade, the importance of unsteady aerodynamic mechanisms for flapping insect flight has become widely recognised. Even at the fastest flight speeds, the old quasi-steady aerodynamic interpretation seems inadequate to explain the extra lift produced by the wings. Recent experiments on rigid model wings have confirmed the effectiveness of several postulated high-lift mechanisms. Delayed stall can produce extra lift for several chords of travel during the translational phases of the wingbeat. Lift can also be enhanced by circulation created during pronation and supination by rotational mechanisms: the fling/peel, the near fling/peel and isolated rotation. These studies have revealed large leading-edge vortices which contribute to the circulation around the wing, augmenting the lift. The mechanisms show distinctive patterns of vortex shedding from leading and trailing edges. The results of flow visualization experiments on tethered insects are reviewed in an attempt to identify the high-lift mechanisms actually employed. The fling/peel mechanism is clearly used by some insects. The near fling/peel is the wing motion most commonly observed, but evidence for the production of high lift remains indirect. For many insects, lift on the upstroke probably results from delayed stall instead of the flex mechanism of isolated rotation. The large leading-edge vortices from experiments on rigid model wings are greatly reduced or missing around the real insect wings, often making the identification of aerodynamic mechanisms inconclusive. A substantial spanwise flow component has been detected over the aerodynamic upper wing surface, which should transport leading-edge vorticity towards the wingtip before it has much time to roll up. This spanwise transport, arising from centrifugal acceleration, is probably a general phenomenon for flapping insect flight. It should reduce and stabilise any leading-edge vortices that are present, which is essential for preventing

  2. The evolution of insect societies.

    PubMed

    Page, R E

    1997-01-01

    The organization and evolution of insect societies has amazed natural historians since Aristotle. Charles Darwin considered social insects to be a major difficulty for his theory of evolution by natural selection because they demonstrate a rich diversity of adaptation among sterile workers leading to a complex division of labour, something that should not occur if variation in individual reproductive success is the grist for the mill of natural selection. This article shows how division of labour can self-organize from groups of cohabiting individuals without the necessity of a past history of natural selection for co-operative behaviour. It then explores how more complex social systems may evolve.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Insects as a Nitrogen Source for Plants.

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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.

  7. Life sciences

    SciTech Connect

    Day, L.

    1991-04-01

    This document is the 1989--1990 Annual Report for the Life Sciences Divisions of the University of California/Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Specific progress reports are included for the Cell and Molecular Biology Division, the Research Medicine and Radiation Biophysics Division (including the Advanced Light Source Life Sciences Center), and the Chemical Biodynamics Division. 450 refs., 46 figs. (MHB)

  8. Common Sense about Taste: From Mammals to Insects

    PubMed Central

    Yarmolinsky, David A.; Zuker, Charles S.; Ryba, Nicholas J.P.

    2013-01-01

    The sense of taste is a specialized chemosensory system dedicated to the evaluation of food and drink. Despite the fact that vertebrates and insects have independently evolved distinct anatomic and molecular pathways for taste sensation, there are clear parallels in the organization and coding logic between the two systems. There is now persuasive evidence that tastant quality is mediated by labeled lines, whereby distinct and strictly segregated populations of taste receptor cells encode each of the taste qualities. PMID:19837029

  9. Practical applications of insects' sexual development for pest control.

    PubMed

    Koukidou, M; Alphey, L

    2014-01-01

    Elucidation of the sex differentiation pathway in insects offers an opportunity to understand key aspects of evolutionary developmental biology. In addition, it provides the understanding necessary to manipulate insects in order to develop new synthetic genetics-based tools for the control of pest insects. Considerable progress has been made in this, especially in improvements to the sterile insect technique (SIT). Large scale sex separation is considered highly desirable or essential for most SIT targets. This separation can be provided by genetic methods based on sex-specific gene expression. Investigation of sex determination by many groups has provided molecular components and methods for this. Though the primary sex determination signal varies considerably, key regulatory genes and mechanisms remain surprisingly similar. In most cases studied so far, a primary signal is transmitted to a basal gene at the bottom of the hierarchy (dsx) through an alternative splicing cascade; dsx is itself differentially spliced in males and females. A sex-specific alternative splicing system therefore offers an attractive route to achieve female-specific expression. Experience has shown that alternative splicing modules can be developed with cross-species function; modularity and standardisation and re-use of parts are key principles of synthetic biology. Both female-killing and sex reversal (XX females to phenotypic males) can in principle also be used as efficient alternatives to sterilisation in SIT-like methods. Sexual maturity is yet another area where understanding of sexual development may be applied to insect control programmes. Further detailed understanding of this crucial aspect of insect biology will undoubtedly continue to underpin innovative practical applications.

  10. 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

  11. First Aid: Insect Stings and Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... Can I Protect My Family From Ticks? Are Insect Repellents With DEET Safe for Kids? Bug Bites and Stings Can I Use Bug Killers and Repellents During Pregnancy? Insect Sting Allergy How Do I Watch for Lyme ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. The Seat of Insect Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dyer, Fred C.

    1997-01-01

    Describes the role of mushroom bodies--cup-shaped structures perched atop the brain of an insect--in learning. Mushroom bodies may help fruit flies in learning meaningful odors, cockroaches in spatial learning, and honeybees both in locating pollen and nectar and in navigating back to the colony. (PVD)

  17. 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)

  18. Bug City: Aquatic Insects [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1998

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

  19. The insect SNMP gene family

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    SNMPs are membrane proteins that have been shown to associate with chemosensory neurons in insects; in Drosophila melanogaster, SNMP1 has been shown to be essential for the detection of the pheromone cis vaccenyl acetate (Benton et al., 2001; Jin et al., 2008). To extend these observations to other ...

  20. Nontoxic Antifreeze for Insect Traps

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Propylene glycol in water is a safe and effective alternative to ethylene glycol as a capture liquid in insect traps (pitfalls, flight intercepts, pan traps). Propylene glycol formulations are readily available because it is the primary (95%) ingredient in certain automotive antifreeze formulations...

  1. Evolution of insect olfactory receptors

    PubMed Central

    Missbach, Christine; Dweck, Hany KM; Vogel, Heiko; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Hansson, Bill S; Grosse-Wilde, Ewald

    2014-01-01

    The olfactory sense detects a plethora of behaviorally relevant odor molecules; gene families involved in olfaction exhibit high diversity in different animal phyla. Insects detect volatile molecules using olfactory (OR) or ionotropic receptors (IR) and in some cases gustatory receptors (GRs). While IRs are expressed in olfactory organs across Protostomia, ORs have been hypothesized to be an adaptation to a terrestrial insect lifestyle. We investigated the olfactory system of the primary wingless bristletail Lepismachilis y-signata (Archaeognatha), the firebrat Thermobia domestica (Zygentoma) and the neopteran leaf insect Phyllium siccifolium (Phasmatodea). ORs and the olfactory coreceptor (Orco) are with very high probability lacking in Lepismachilis; in Thermobia we have identified three Orco candidates, and in Phyllium a fully developed OR/Orco-based system. We suggest that ORs did not arise as an adaptation to a terrestrial lifestyle, but evolved later in insect evolution, with Orco being present before the appearance of ORs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02115.001 PMID:24670956

  2. Transposable elements for insect transformation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The germ-line of more than 35 species from five orders of insects have been genetically transformed, using vectors derived from Class II transposable elements. Initially the P and hobo vector systems developed for D. melanogaster were not applicable to other species, but four transposons found in ot...

  3. Exaggerated trait growth in insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Animal structures occasionally attain extreme proportions, eclipsing in size other, surrounding body parts. We review insect examples of exaggerated traits, such as the mandibles of stag beetles, the claspers of praying mantises, the elongated hindlimbs of grasshoppers, and the giant heads of soldie...

  4. 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…

  5. Allergic reactions to insect secretions.

    PubMed

    Pecquet, Catherine

    2013-01-01

    Some products derived from insects can induce allergic reactions. The main characteristics of some products from honeybees, cochineal and silkworms are summarised here. We review allergic reactions from honey-derived products (propolis, wax, royal jelly), from cochineal products (shellac and carmine) and from silk : clinical features, allergological investigations and allergens if they are known.

  6. Buckling failures in insect exoskeletons.

    PubMed

    Parle, Eoin; Herbaj, Simona; Sheils, Fiona; Larmon, Hannah; Taylor, David

    2016-02-01

    Thin walled tubes are often used for load-bearing structures, in nature and in engineering, because they offer good resistance to bending and torsion at relatively low weight. However, when loaded in bending they are prone to failure by buckling. It is difficult to predict the loading conditions which cause buckling, especially for tubes whose cross sections are not simple shapes. Insights into buckling prevention might be gained by studying this phenomenon in the exoskeletons of insects and other arthropods. We investigated the leg segments (tibiae) of five different insects: the locust (Schistocerca gergaria), American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), death's head cockroach (Blaberus discoidalis), stick insect (Parapachymorpha zomproi) and bumblebee (Bombus terrestris audax). These were tested to failure in cantilever bending and modelled using finite element analysis (FEA). The tibiae of the locust and the cockroaches were found to be approximately circular in shape. Their buckling loads were well predicted by linear elastic FEA, and also by one of the analytical solutions available in the literature for elastic buckling. The legs of the stick insect are also circular in cross section but have several prominent longitudinal ridges. We hypothesised that these ridges might protect the legs against buckling but we found that this was not the case: the loads necessary for elastic buckling were not reached in practice because yield occurred in the material, causing plastic buckling. The legs of bees have a non-circular cross section due to a pollen-carrying feature (the corbicula). We found that this did not significantly affect their resistance to buckling. Our results imply that buckling is the dominant failure mode in the tibia of insects; it likely to be a significant consideration for other arthropods and any organisms with stiff exoskeletons. The interactions displayed here between material properties and cross sectional geometry may provide insights for the

  7. Antibacterial peptides isolated from insects.

    PubMed

    Otvos, L

    2000-10-01

    Insects are amazingly resistant to bacterial infections. To combat pathogens, insects rely on cellular and humoral mechanisms, innate immunity being dominant in the latter category. Upon detection of bacteria, a complex genetic cascade is activated, which ultimately results in the synthesis of a battery of antibacterial peptides and their release into the haemolymph. The peptides are usually basic in character and are composed of 20-40 amino acid residues, although some smaller proteins are also included in the antimicrobial repertoire. While the proline-rich peptides and the glycine-rich peptides are predominantly active against Gram-negative strains, the defensins selectively kill Gram-positive bacteria and the cecropins are active against both types. The insect antibacterial peptides are very potent: their IC50 (50% of the bacterial growth inhibition) hovers in the submicromolar or low micromolar range. The majority of the peptides act through disintegrating the bacterial membrane or interfering with membrane assembly, with the exception of drosocin, apidaecin and pyrrhocoricin which appear to deactivate a bacterial protein in a stereospecific manner. In accordance with their biological function, the membrane-active peptides form ordered structures, e.g. alpha-helices or beta-pleated sheets and often cast permeable ion-pores. Their cytotoxic properties were exploited in in vivo studies targeting tumour progression. Although the native peptides degrade quickly in biological fluids other than insect haemolymph, structural modifications render the peptides resistant against proteases without sacrificing biological activity. Indeed, a pyrrhocoricin analogue shows lack of toxicity in vitro and in vivo and protects mice against experimental Escherichia coli infection. Careful selection of lead molecules based on the insect antibacterial peptides may extend their utility and produce viable alternatives to the conventional antimicrobial compounds for mammalian therapy.

  8. Using new technology and insect behavior in novel terrestrial and flying insect traps

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Insect traps are commonly used for both population sampling and insect control, the former as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program. We developed traps for two insects, one as part of a pesticide based IPM system and the other for population control. Our IPM trap is for crawling insect...

  9. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  10. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  11. 21 CFR 1250.95 - Insect control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Insect control. 1250.95 Section 1250.95 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.95 Insect control. Vessels shall be maintained free of infestation by flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects known to be vectors...

  12. Radar, Insect Population Ecology, and Pest Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vaughn, C. R. (Editor); Wolf, W. (Editor); Klassen, W. (Editor)

    1979-01-01

    Discussions included: (1) the potential role of radar in insect ecology studies and pest management; (2) the potential role of radar in correlating atmospheric phenomena with insect movement; (3) the present and future radar systems; (4) program objectives required to adapt radar to insect ecology studies and pest management; and (5) the specific action items to achieve the objectives.

  13. Insect Control (1): Use of Pheromones

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marx, Jean L.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses current research relating to the use of pheromones as a means of controlling insect pests. These chemicals, which are secreted by insects to affect the behavior of other individuals of the same species, may be used to eliminate pests without destroying their predators and other beneficial insects. (JR)

  14. Applications of acoustics in insect pest management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Acoustic technology has been applied for many years in studies of insect communication and in the monitoring of calling-insect population levels, geographic distributions, and diversity, as well as in the detection of cryptic insects in soil, wood, container crops, and stored products. Acoustic devi...

  15. Insect biomass to enhance food production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Studies have established that insects are as good source of protein as conventional animal food (between 15 and 67% dry weight content). Insects are a good source of essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Insect fat has a higher content of polyunsaturated (essential) fatty acids and a lowe...

  16. Insect-machine interface based neurocybernetics.

    PubMed

    Bozkurt, Alper; Gilmour, Robert F; Sinha, Ayesa; Stern, David; Lal, Amit

    2009-06-01

    We present details of a novel bioelectric interface formed by placing microfabricated probes into insect during metamorphic growth cycles. The inserted microprobes emerge with the insect where the development of tissue around the electronics during the pupal development allows mechanically stable and electrically reliable structures coupled to the insect. Remarkably, the insects do not react adversely or otherwise to the inserted electronics in the pupae stage, as is true when the electrodes are inserted in adult stages. We report on the electrical and mechanical characteristics of this novel bioelectronic interface, which we believe would be adopted by many investigators trying to investigate biological behavior in insects with negligible or minimal traumatic effect encountered when probes are inserted in adult stages. This novel insect-machine interface also allows for hybrid insect-machine platforms for further studies. As an application, we demonstrate our first results toward navigation of flight in moths. When instrumented with equipment to gather information for environmental sensing, such insects potentially can assist man to monitor the ecosystems that we share with them for sustainability. The simplicity of the optimized surgical procedure we invented allows for batch insertions to the insect for automatic and mass production of such hybrid insect-machine platforms. Therefore, our bioelectronic interface and hybrid insect-machine platform enables multidisciplinary scientific and engineering studies not only to investigate the details of insect behavioral physiology but also to control it.

  17. The evolution of dorsal–ventral patterning mechanisms in insects

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, Jeremy A.; Roth, Siegfried

    2011-01-01

    The gene regulatory network (GRN) underpinning dorsal–ventral (DV) patterning of the Drosophila embryo is among the most thoroughly understood GRNs, making it an ideal system for comparative studies seeking to understand the evolution of development. With the emergence of widely applicable techniques for testing gene function, species with sequenced genomes, and multiple tractable species with diverse developmental modes, a phylogenetically broad and molecularly deep understanding of the evolution of DV axis formation in insects is feasible. Here, we review recent progress made in this field, compare our emerging molecular understanding to classical embryological experiments, and suggest future directions of inquiry. PMID:21245164

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. Diverse set of Turing nanopatterns coat corneae across insect lineages

    PubMed Central

    Blagodatski, Artem; Sergeev, Anton; Kryuchkov, Mikhail; Lopatina, Yuliya; Katanaev, Vladimir L.

    2015-01-01

    Nipple-like nanostructures covering the corneal surfaces of moths, butterflies, and Drosophila have been studied by electron and atomic force microscopy, and their antireflective properties have been described. In contrast, corneal nanostructures of the majority of other insect orders have either been unexamined or examined by methods that did not allow precise morphological characterization. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of corneal surfaces in 23 insect orders, revealing a rich diversity of insect corneal nanocoatings. These nanocoatings are categorized into four major morphological patterns and various transitions between them, many, to our knowledge, never described before. Remarkably, this unexpectedly diverse range of the corneal nanostructures replicates the complete set of Turing patterns, thus likely being a result of processes similar to those modeled by Alan Turing in his famous reaction−diffusion system. These findings reveal a beautiful diversity of insect corneal nanostructures and shed light on their molecular origin and evolutionary diversification. They may also be the first-ever biological example of Turing nanopatterns. PMID:26307762

  20. Diverse set of Turing nanopatterns coat corneae across insect lineages.

    PubMed

    Blagodatski, Artem; Sergeev, Anton; Kryuchkov, Mikhail; Lopatina, Yuliya; Katanaev, Vladimir L

    2015-08-25

    Nipple-like nanostructures covering the corneal surfaces of moths, butterflies, and Drosophila have been studied by electron and atomic force microscopy, and their antireflective properties have been described. In contrast, corneal nanostructures of the majority of other insect orders have either been unexamined or examined by methods that did not allow precise morphological characterization. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of corneal surfaces in 23 insect orders, revealing a rich diversity of insect corneal nanocoatings. These nanocoatings are categorized into four major morphological patterns and various transitions between them, many, to our knowledge, never described before. Remarkably, this unexpectedly diverse range of the corneal nanostructures replicates the complete set of Turing patterns, thus likely being a result of processes similar to those modeled by Alan Turing in his famous reaction-diffusion system. These findings reveal a beautiful diversity of insect corneal nanostructures and shed light on their molecular origin and evolutionary diversification. They may also be the first-ever biological example of Turing nanopatterns.

  1. Insect phylogenomics: results, problems and the impact of matrix composition.

    PubMed

    Letsch, Harald O; Meusemann, Karen; Wipfler, Benjamin; Schütte, Kai; Beutel, Rolf; Misof, Bernhard

    2012-08-22

    In this study, we investigated the relationships among insect orders with a main focus on Polyneoptera (lower Neoptera: roaches, mantids, earwigs, grasshoppers, etc.), and Paraneoptera (thrips, lice, bugs in the wide sense). The relationships between and within these groups of insects are difficult to resolve because only few informative molecular and morphological characters are available. Here, we provide the first phylogenomic expressed sequence tags data ('EST': short sub-sequences from a c(opy) DNA sequence encoding for proteins) for stick insects (Phasmatodea) and webspinners (Embioptera) to complete published EST data. As recent EST datasets are characterized by a heterogeneous distribution of available genes across taxa, we use different rationales to optimize the data matrix composition. Our results suggest a monophyletic origin of Polyneoptera and Eumetabola (Paraneoptera + Holometabola). However, we identified artefacts of tree reconstruction (human louse Pediculus humanus assigned to Odonata (damselflies and dragonflies) or Holometabola (insects with a complete metamorphosis); mayfly genus Baetis nested within Neoptera), which were most probably rooted in a data matrix composition bias due to the inclusion of sequence data of entire proteomes. Until entire proteomes are available for each species in phylogenomic analyses, this potential pitfall should be carefully considered. PMID:22628473

  2. An ancient tripartite symbiosis of plants, ants and scale insects.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Shouhei; Quek, Swee-Peck; Itioka, Takao; Inamori, Keita; Sato, Yumiko; Murase, Kaori; Itino, Takao

    2008-10-22

    In the Asian tropics, a conspicuous radiation of Macaranga plants is inhabited by obligately associated Crematogaster ants tending Coccus (Coccidae) scale insects, forming a tripartite symbiosis. Recent phylogenetic studies have shown that the plants and the ants have been codiversifying over the past 16-20 million years (Myr). The prevalence of coccoids in ant-plant mutualisms suggest that they play an important role in the evolution of ant-plant symbioses. To determine whether the scale insects were involved in the evolutionary origin of the mutualism between Macaranga and Crematogaster, we constructed a cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene phylogeny of the scale insects collected from myrmecophytic Macaranga and estimated their time of origin based on a COI molecular clock. The minimum age of the associated Coccus was estimated to be half that of the ants, at 7-9Myr, suggesting that they were latecomers in the evolutionary history of the symbiosis. Crematogaster mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages did not exhibit specificity towards Coccus mtDNA lineages, and the latter was not found to be specific towards Macaranga taxa, suggesting that patterns of associations in the scale insects are dictated by opportunity rather than by specialized adaptations to host plant traits.

  3. Role and importance of phenoloxidase in insect hemostasis.

    PubMed

    Eleftherianos, Ioannis; Revenis, Christina

    2011-01-01

    In response to microbial infection, insects mount several defense reactions including the induction of proteolytic cascades that lead to localized melanization and coagulation. Melanization requires the activation of prophenoloxidase (proPO) to its active form phenoloxidase (PO), a key enzyme that leads to the formation of melanin at wound sites and around intruding microorganisms in the hemolymph. Clotting is critical in limiting hemolymph loss and initiating wound healing following injury; it quickly acts to form a solid barrier against infection by immobilizing microorganisms and promoting their killing. Recent advances in Drosophila and other insects imply a possible link between PO and the coagulation system, although the exact molecular mechanisms controlling this interaction appear to be complex and are still not well defined. The development of hemolymph experimental techniques in Drosophila larvae together with proteomic analysis have further led to the identification of proPO as a cross-linking component that is involved in the hardening and melanization of clots. However, clot PO activity varies between insect species and life stages, depending on physiological and ecological conditions. Here we review our current knowledge of the association between PO and coagulation and discuss the implications of the previous findings on insect innate immunity and hemostasis. PMID:21051882

  4. Diverse set of Turing nanopatterns coat corneae across insect lineages.

    PubMed

    Blagodatski, Artem; Sergeev, Anton; Kryuchkov, Mikhail; Lopatina, Yuliya; Katanaev, Vladimir L

    2015-08-25

    Nipple-like nanostructures covering the corneal surfaces of moths, butterflies, and Drosophila have been studied by electron and atomic force microscopy, and their antireflective properties have been described. In contrast, corneal nanostructures of the majority of other insect orders have either been unexamined or examined by methods that did not allow precise morphological characterization. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of corneal surfaces in 23 insect orders, revealing a rich diversity of insect corneal nanocoatings. These nanocoatings are categorized into four major morphological patterns and various transitions between them, many, to our knowledge, never described before. Remarkably, this unexpectedly diverse range of the corneal nanostructures replicates the complete set of Turing patterns, thus likely being a result of processes similar to those modeled by Alan Turing in his famous reaction-diffusion system. These findings reveal a beautiful diversity of insect corneal nanostructures and shed light on their molecular origin and evolutionary diversification. They may also be the first-ever biological example of Turing nanopatterns. PMID:26307762

  5. Comparison of RNA isolation methods from insect larvae.

    PubMed

    Ridgeway, J A; Timm, A E

    2014-01-01

    Isolating RNA from insects is becoming increasingly important in molecular entomology. Four methods including three commercial kits RNeasy Mini Kit (Qiagen), SV Total RNA isolation system (Promega), TRIzol reagent (Invitrogen), and a cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-based method were compared regarding their ability to isolate RNA from whole-body larvae of Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick), Thanatophilus micans (F.), Plutella xylostella (L.), and Tenebrio molitor (L.). A difference was observed among the four methods regarding RNA quality but not quantity. However, RNA quality and quantity obtained was not dependent on the insect species. The CTAB-based method produced low-quality RNA and the Trizol reagent produced partially degraded RNA, whereas the RNeasy Mini Kit and SV Total RNA isolation system produced RNA of consistently high quality. However, after reverse transcription to cDNA, RNA produced using all four extraction methods could be used to successfully amplify a 708 bp fragment of the cytochrome oxidase I gene. Of the four methods, the SV Total RNA isolation system showed the least amount of DNA contamination with the highest RNA integrity number and is thus recommended for stringent applications where high-quality RNA is required. This is the first comparison of RNA isolation methods among different insect species and the first to compare RNA isolation methods in insects in the last 20 years. PMID:25527580

  6. Insect diversity in the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Labandeira, C. C.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1993-01-01

    Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate groups. The great radiation of modern insects began 245 million years ago and was not accelerated by the expansion of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period. The basic trophic machinery of insects was in place nearly 100 million years before angiosperms appeared in the fossil record.

  7. Insect diversity in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Labandeira, C C; Sepkoski, J J

    1993-07-16

    Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate groups. The great radiation of modern insects began 245 million years ago and was not accelerated by the expansion of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period. The basic trophic machinery of insects was in place nearly 100 million years before angiosperms appeared in the fossil record.

  8. Evidence-based recommendations on storing and handling specimens for analyses of insect microbiota.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Tobin J; Dickerson, Jacob C; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Research on insect microbiota has greatly expanded over the past decade, along with a growing appreciation of the microbial contributions to insect ecology and evolution. Many of these studies use DNA sequencing to characterize the diversity and composition of insect-associated microbial communities. The choice of strategies used for specimen collection, storage, and handling could introduce biases in molecular assessments of insect microbiota, but such potential influences have not been systematically evaluated. Likewise, although it is common practice to surface sterilize insects prior to DNA extraction, it is not known if this time-consuming step has any effect on microbial community analyses. To resolve these methodological unknowns, we conducted an experiment wherein replicate individual insects of four species were stored intact for two months using five different methods-freezing, ethanol, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), cetrimonium bromide (CTAB), and room-temperature storage without preservative-and then subjected to whole-specimen 16S rRNA gene sequencing to assess whether the structure of the insect-associated bacterial communities was impacted by these different storage strategies. Overall, different insect species harbored markedly distinct bacterial communities, a pattern that was highly robust to the method used to store samples. Storage method had little to no effect on assessments of microbiota composition, and the magnitude of the effect differed among the insect species examined. No single method emerged as "best," i.e., one consistently having the highest similarity in community structure to control specimens, which were not stored prior to homogenization and DNA sequencing. We also found that surface sterilization did not change bacterial community structure as compared to unsterilized insects, presumably due to the vastly greater microbial biomass inside the insect body relative to its surface. We therefore recommend that researchers can use any of

  9. Evidence-based recommendations on storing and handling specimens for analyses of insect microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Dickerson, Jacob C.; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Research on insect microbiota has greatly expanded over the past decade, along with a growing appreciation of the microbial contributions to insect ecology and evolution. Many of these studies use DNA sequencing to characterize the diversity and composition of insect-associated microbial communities. The choice of strategies used for specimen collection, storage, and handling could introduce biases in molecular assessments of insect microbiota, but such potential influences have not been systematically evaluated. Likewise, although it is common practice to surface sterilize insects prior to DNA extraction, it is not known if this time-consuming step has any effect on microbial community analyses. To resolve these methodological unknowns, we conducted an experiment wherein replicate individual insects of four species were stored intact for two months using five different methods—freezing, ethanol, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), cetrimonium bromide (CTAB), and room-temperature storage without preservative—and then subjected to whole-specimen 16S rRNA gene sequencing to assess whether the structure of the insect-associated bacterial communities was impacted by these different storage strategies. Overall, different insect species harbored markedly distinct bacterial communities, a pattern that was highly robust to the method used to store samples. Storage method had little to no effect on assessments of microbiota composition, and the magnitude of the effect differed among the insect species examined. No single method emerged as “best,” i.e., one consistently having the highest similarity in community structure to control specimens, which were not stored prior to homogenization and DNA sequencing. We also found that surface sterilization did not change bacterial community structure as compared to unsterilized insects, presumably due to the vastly greater microbial biomass inside the insect body relative to its surface. We therefore recommend that researchers can

  10. Evidence-based recommendations on storing and handling specimens for analyses of insect microbiota.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Tobin J; Dickerson, Jacob C; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Research on insect microbiota has greatly expanded over the past decade, along with a growing appreciation of the microbial contributions to insect ecology and evolution. Many of these studies use DNA sequencing to characterize the diversity and composition of insect-associated microbial communities. The choice of strategies used for specimen collection, storage, and handling could introduce biases in molecular assessments of insect microbiota, but such potential influences have not been systematically evaluated. Likewise, although it is common practice to surface sterilize insects prior to DNA extraction, it is not known if this time-consuming step has any effect on microbial community analyses. To resolve these methodological unknowns, we conducted an experiment wherein replicate individual insects of four species were stored intact for two months using five different methods-freezing, ethanol, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), cetrimonium bromide (CTAB), and room-temperature storage without preservative-and then subjected to whole-specimen 16S rRNA gene sequencing to assess whether the structure of the insect-associated bacterial communities was impacted by these different storage strategies. Overall, different insect species harbored markedly distinct bacterial communities, a pattern that was highly robust to the method used to store samples. Storage method had little to no effect on assessments of microbiota composition, and the magnitude of the effect differed among the insect species examined. No single method emerged as "best," i.e., one consistently having the highest similarity in community structure to control specimens, which were not stored prior to homogenization and DNA sequencing. We also found that surface sterilization did not change bacterial community structure as compared to unsterilized insects, presumably due to the vastly greater microbial biomass inside the insect body relative to its surface. We therefore recommend that researchers can use any of

  11. Insects as alternative hosts for phytopathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Nadarasah, Geetanchaly; Stavrinides, John

    2011-05-01

    Phytopathogens have evolved specialized pathogenicity determinants that enable them to colonize their specific plant hosts and cause disease, but their intimate associations with plants also predispose them to frequent encounters with herbivorous insects, providing these phytopathogens with ample opportunity to colonize and eventually evolve alternative associations with insects. Decades of research have revealed that these associations have resulted in the formation of bacterial-vector relationships, in which the insect mediates dissemination of the plant pathogen. Emerging research, however, has highlighted the ability of plant pathogenic bacteria to use insects as alternative hosts, exploiting them as they would their primary plant host. The identification of specific bacterial genetic determinants that mediate the interaction between bacterium and insect suggests that these interactions are not incidental, but have likely arisen following the repeated association of microorganisms with particular insects over evolutionary time. This review will address the biology and ecology of phytopathogenic bacteria that interact with insects, including the traditional role of insects as vectors, as well as the newly emerging paradigm of insects serving as alternative primary hosts. Also discussed is one case where an insect serves as both host and vector, which may represent a transitionary stage in the evolution of insect-phytopathogen associations.

  12. Fungal allelochemicals in insect pest management.

    PubMed

    Holighaus, Gerrit; Rohlfs, Marko

    2016-07-01

    Interactions between insects and fungi are widespread, and important mediators of these interactions are fungal chemicals that can therefore be considered as allelochemicals. Numerous studies suggest that fungal chemicals can affect insects in many different ways. Here, we apply the terminology established by insect-plant ecologists for categorizing the effect of fungal allelochemicals on insects and for evaluating the application potential of these chemicals in insect pest management. Our literature survey shows that fungal volatile and non-volatile chemicals have an enormous potential to influence insect behavior and fitness. Many of them still remain to be discovered, but some recent examples of repellents and toxins could open up new ways for developing safe insect control strategies. However, we also identified shortcomings in our understanding of the chemical ecology of insect-fungus interactions and the way they have been investigated. In particular, the mode-of-action of fungal allelochemicals has often not been appropriately designated or examined, and the way in which induction by insects affects fungal chemical diversity is poorly understood. This review should raise awareness that in-depth ecological studies of insect-fungus interactions can reveal novel allelochemicals of particular benefit for the development of innovative insect pest management strategies. PMID:27147531

  13. Insects as alternative hosts for phytopathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Nadarasah, Geetanchaly; Stavrinides, John

    2011-05-01

    Phytopathogens have evolved specialized pathogenicity determinants that enable them to colonize their specific plant hosts and cause disease, but their intimate associations with plants also predispose them to frequent encounters with herbivorous insects, providing these phytopathogens with ample opportunity to colonize and eventually evolve alternative associations with insects. Decades of research have revealed that these associations have resulted in the formation of bacterial-vector relationships, in which the insect mediates dissemination of the plant pathogen. Emerging research, however, has highlighted the ability of plant pathogenic bacteria to use insects as alternative hosts, exploiting them as they would their primary plant host. The identification of specific bacterial genetic determinants that mediate the interaction between bacterium and insect suggests that these interactions are not incidental, but have likely arisen following the repeated association of microorganisms with particular insects over evolutionary time. This review will address the biology and ecology of phytopathogenic bacteria that interact with insects, including the traditional role of insects as vectors, as well as the newly emerging paradigm of insects serving as alternative primary hosts. Also discussed is one case where an insect serves as both host and vector, which may represent a transitionary stage in the evolution of insect-phytopathogen associations. PMID:21251027

  14. Fungal allelochemicals in insect pest management.

    PubMed

    Holighaus, Gerrit; Rohlfs, Marko

    2016-07-01

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

  15. The Experimental Teaching Reform in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for Undergraduate Students in Peking University Health Science Center

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Xiaohan; Sun, Luyang; Zhao, Ying; Yi, Xia; Zhu, Bin; Wang, Pu; Lin, Hong; Ni, Juhua

    2015-01-01

    Since 2010, second-year undergraduate students of an eight-year training program leading to a Doctor of Medicine degree or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) have been required to enter the "Innovative talent training project." During that time, the students joined a research lab and…

  16. Conflict resolution in insect societies.

    PubMed

    Ratnieks, Francis L W; Foster, Kevin R; Wenseleers, Tom

    2006-01-01

    Although best known for cooperation, insect societies also manifest many potential conflicts among individuals. These conflicts involve both direct reproduction by individuals and manipulation of the reproduction of colony members. Here we review five major areas of reproductive conflict in insect societies: (a) sex allocation, (b) queen rearing, (c) male rearing, (d) queen-worker caste fate, and (e) breeding conflicts among totipotent adults. For each area we discuss the basis for conflict (potential conflict), whether conflict is expressed (actual conflict), whose interests prevail (conflict outcome), and the factors that reduce colony-level costs of conflict (conflict resolution), such as factors that cause workers to work rather than to lay eggs. Reproductive conflicts are widespread, sometimes having dramatic effects on the colony. However, three key factors (kinship, coercion, and constraint) typically combine to limit the effects of reproductive conflict and often lead to complete resolution.

  17. Corpse Management in Social Insects

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Qian; Zhou, Xuguo

    2013-01-01

    Undertaking behavior is an essential adaptation to social life that is critical for colony hygiene in enclosed nests. Social insects dispose of dead individuals in various fashions to prevent further contact between corpses and living members in a colony. Focusing on three groups of eusocial insects (bees, ants, and termites) in two phylogenetically distant orders (Hymenoptera and Isoptera), we review mechanisms of death recognition, convergent and divergent behavioral responses toward dead individuals, and undertaking task allocation from the perspective of division of labor. Distinctly different solutions (e.g., corpse removal, burial and cannibalism) have evolved, independently, in the holometabolous hymenopterans and hemimetabolous isopterans toward the same problem of corpse management. In addition, issues which can lead to a better understanding of the roles that undertaking behavior has played in the evolution of eusociality are discussed. PMID:23569436

  18. Visual homing: an insect perspective.

    PubMed

    Zeil, Jochen

    2012-04-01

    The ability to learn the location of places in the world and to revisit them repeatedly is crucial for all aspects of animal life on earth. It underpins animal foraging, predator avoidance, territoriality, mating, nest construction and parental care. Much theoretical and experimental progress has recently been made in identifying the sensory cues and the computational mechanisms that allow insects (and robots) to find their way back to places, while the neurobiological mechanisms underlying navigational abilities are beginning to be unravelled in vertebrate and invertebrate models. Studying visual homing in insects is interesting, because they allow experimentation and view-reconstruction under natural conditions, because they are likely to have evolved parsimonious, yet robust solutions to the homing problem and because they force us to consider the viewpoint of navigating animals, including their sensory and computational capacities. PMID:22221863

  19. Unsteady Aerodynamics of Insect Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z. Jane

    2000-03-01

    The myth `bumble-bees can not fly according to conventional aerodynamics' simply reflects our poor understanding of unsteady viscous fluid dynamics. In particular, we lack a theory of vorticity shedding due to dynamic boundaries at the intermediate Reynolds numbers relevant to insect flight, typically between 10^2 and 10^4, where both viscous and inertial effects are important. In our study, we compute unsteady viscous flows, governed by the Navier-Stokes equation, about a two dimensional flapping wing which mimics the motion of an insect wing. I will present two main results: the existence of a prefered frequency in forward flight and its physical origin, and 2) the vortex dynamics and forces in hovering dragonfly flight.

  20. Silks produced by insect labial glands

    PubMed Central

    Sutherland, Tara

    2008-01-01

    Insect silks are secreted from diverse gland types; this chapter deals with the silks produced by labial glands of Holometabola (insects with pupa in their life cycle). Labial silk glands are composed of a few tens or hundreds of large polyploid cells that secrete polymerizing proteins which are stored in the gland lumen as a semi-liquid gel. Polymerization is based on weak molecular interactions between repetitive amino acid motifs present in one or more silk proteins; cross-linking by disulfide bonds may be important in the silks spun under water. The mechanism of long-term storage of the silk dope inside the glands and its conversion into the silk fiber during spinning is not fully understood. The conversion occurs within seconds at ambient temperature and pressure, under minimal drawing force and in some cases under water. The silk filament is largely built of proteins called fibroins and in Lepidoptera and Trichoptera coated by glue-type proteins known as sericins. Silks often contain small amounts of additional proteins of poorly known function. The silk components controlling dope storage and filament formation seem to be conserved at the level of orders, while the nature of polymerizing motifs in the fibroins, which determine the physical properties of silk, differ at the level of family and even genus. Most silks are based on fibroin β-sheets interrupted with other structures such as α-helices but the silk proteins of certain sawflies have predominantly a collagen-like or polyglycine II arrangement and the silks of social Hymenoptera are formed from proteins in a coiled coil arrangement. PMID:19221523

  1. Benzoquinolinediones: activity as insect teratogens

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, B.T.; Ho, C.H.; Ma, C.Y.; O'Neill, E.G.; Kao, G.L.

    1983-10-28

    Morphological abnormalities including extra compound eyes, extra heads, and distally duplicated legs were generated in cricket embryos by treating eggs with single doses of either benz(g)isoquinoline-5,10-dione or benzo(h)quinoline-5,6-dione. Slight structural modifications of the molecules resulted in a loss of teratogenic activity, although embryotoxicity occurred. These potent insect teratogens can be used for analysis of developmental events during embryogenesis. 13 references, 4 figures, 1 table.

  2. Visual Navigation in Nocturnal Insects.

    PubMed

    Warrant, Eric; Dacke, Marie

    2016-05-01

    Despite their tiny eyes and brains, nocturnal insects have evolved a remarkable capacity to visually navigate at night. Whereas some use moonlight or the stars as celestial compass cues to maintain a straight-line course, others use visual landmarks to navigate to and from their nest. These impressive abilities rely on highly sensitive compound eyes and specialized visual processing strategies in the brain. PMID:27053732

  3. [What gene and chromosomes say about the origin and evolution of insects and other arthropods].

    PubMed

    Lukhtanov, V A; Kuznetsova, V G

    2010-09-01

    At the turn of the 21st century, the use of molecular and molecular cytogenetic methods led to revolutionary advances in systematics of insects and other arthropods. Analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial genes, as well as investigation of structural rearrangements in the mitochondrial chromosome convincingly supported the Pancrustacea hypothesis, according to which insects originated directly from crustaceans, whereas myriapods are not closely related to them. The presence of the specific telomeric motif TTAGG confirmed the monophyletic origin of arthropods (Arthropoda) and the assignment of tongue worms (Pentastomida) to this type. Several different types of telomeric sequences have been found within the class of insects. Investigation of the molecular organization of these sequences may shed light on the relationships between the orders Diptera, Siphonaptera, and Mecoptera and on the origin of such enigmatic groups as the orders Strepsiptera, Zoraptera and suborder Coleorrhyncha. PMID:21061630

  4. [What gene and chromosomes say about the origin and evolution of insects and other arthropods].

    PubMed

    Lukhtanov, V A; Kuznetsova, V G

    2010-09-01

    At the turn of the 21st century, the use of molecular and molecular cytogenetic methods led to revolutionary advances in systematics of insects and other arthropods. Analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial genes, as well as investigation of structural rearrangements in the mitochondrial chromosome convincingly supported the Pancrustacea hypothesis, according to which insects originated directly from crustaceans, whereas myriapods are not closely related to them. The presence of the specific telomeric motif TTAGG confirmed the monophyletic origin of arthropods (Arthropoda) and the assignment of tongue worms (Pentastomida) to this type. Several different types of telomeric sequences have been found within the class of insects. Investigation of the molecular organization of these sequences may shed light on the relationships between the orders Diptera, Siphonaptera, and Mecoptera and on the origin of such enigmatic groups as the orders Strepsiptera, Zoraptera and suborder Coleorrhyncha.

  5. Macroecology of local insect communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, Oliver; McGavin, George C.

    2000-01-01

    The inter-relationships between animal body weight, range size, species richness and abundance are currently the basis of macroecology. Using 41 099 insects sampled from 31 Acacia tree canopies in north-east Tanzania, we first documented the basic macroecological patterns. The relationship between body weight and both species richness and abundance was polygonal with the highest insect species richness and abundance occurring at intermediate body weights. Across individual tree communities, the most statistically robust relationships were found between range size, abundance and species richness and they were all linear. In a second part, we focused on the positive abundance-range size relationship and we could test predictions of six of the eight proposed hypotheses to explain this widely documented pattern of community structure. The relationship is most likely explained by the metapopulation hypothesis stating that with more patches being occupied, local abundance in a given patch increases due to a higher rate of immigration from nearby patches. In addition, we found high slopes for the species-area relationship, typical of island systems and thus it seems reasonable to characterise Acacia trees in the savannah as habitat islands for insects.

  6. A metagenomic study of primate insect diet diversity.

    PubMed

    Pickett, Sarah B; Bergey, Christina M; Di Fiore, Anthony

    2012-07-01

    Descriptions of primate diets are generally based on either direct observation of foraging behavior, morphological classification of food remains from feces, or analysis of the stomach contents of deceased individuals. Some diet items (e.g. insect prey), however, are difficult to identify visually, and observation conditions often do not permit adequate quantitative sampling of feeding behavior. Moreover, the taxonomically informative morphology of some food species (e.g. swallowed seeds, insect exoskeletons) may be destroyed by the digestive process. Because of these limitations, we used a metagenomic approach to conduct a preliminary, "proof of concept" study of interspecific variation in the insect component of the diets of six sympatric New World monkeys known, based on observational field studies, to differ markedly in their feeding ecology. We used generalized arthropod polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers and cloning to sequence mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of the arthropod cytochrome b (CYT B) gene from fecal samples of wild woolly, titi, saki, capuchin, squirrel, and spider monkeys collected from a single sampling site in western Amazonia where these genera occur sympatrically. We then assigned preliminary taxonomic identifications to the sequences by basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) comparison to arthropod CYT B sequences present in GenBank. This study is the first to use molecular techniques to identify insect prey in primate diets. The results suggest that a metagenomic approach may prove valuable in augmenting and corroborating observational data and increasing the resolution of primate diet studies, although the lack of comparative reference sequences for many South American insects limits the approach at present. As such reference data become available for more animal and plant taxa, this approach also holds promise for studying additional components of primate diets. PMID:22553123

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

    PubMed

    Dhami, Manpreet K; Weir, Bevan S; Taylor, Michael W; Beggs, Jacqueline R

    2013-01-01

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

  8. A metagenomic study of primate insect diet diversity.

    PubMed

    Pickett, Sarah B; Bergey, Christina M; Di Fiore, Anthony

    2012-07-01

    Descriptions of primate diets are generally based on either direct observation of foraging behavior, morphological classification of food remains from feces, or analysis of the stomach contents of deceased individuals. Some diet items (e.g. insect prey), however, are difficult to identify visually, and observation conditions often do not permit adequate quantitative sampling of feeding behavior. Moreover, the taxonomically informative morphology of some food species (e.g. swallowed seeds, insect exoskeletons) may be destroyed by the digestive process. Because of these limitations, we used a metagenomic approach to conduct a preliminary, "proof of concept" study of interspecific variation in the insect component of the diets of six sympatric New World monkeys known, based on observational field studies, to differ markedly in their feeding ecology. We used generalized arthropod polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers and cloning to sequence mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of the arthropod cytochrome b (CYT B) gene from fecal samples of wild woolly, titi, saki, capuchin, squirrel, and spider monkeys collected from a single sampling site in western Amazonia where these genera occur sympatrically. We then assigned preliminary taxonomic identifications to the sequences by basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) comparison to arthropod CYT B sequences present in GenBank. This study is the first to use molecular techniques to identify insect prey in primate diets. The results suggest that a metagenomic approach may prove valuable in augmenting and corroborating observational data and increasing the resolution of primate diet studies, although the lack of comparative reference sequences for many South American insects limits the approach at present. As such reference data become available for more animal and plant taxa, this approach also holds promise for studying additional components of primate diets.

  9. Generic Insect Repellent Detector from the Fruit Fly Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Syed, Zainulabeuddin; Pelletier, Julien; Flounders, Eric; Chitolina, Rodrigo F.; Leal, Walter S.

    2011-01-01

    Background Insect repellents are prophylactic tools against a number of vector-borne diseases. There is growing demand for repellents outperforming DEET in cost and safety, but with the current technologies R&D of a new product takes almost 10 years, with a prohibitive cost of $30 million dollar in part due to the demand for large-scale synthesis of thousands of test compounds of which only 1 may reach the market. R&D could be expedited and cost dramatically reduced with a molecular/physiological target to streamline putative repellents for final efficacy and toxicological tests. Methodology Using olfactory-based choice assay we show here that the fruit fly is repelled by not only DEET, but also IR3535 and picaridin thus suggesting they might have “generic repellent detector(s),” which may be of practical applications in new repellent screenings. We performed single unit recordings from all olfactory sensilla in the antennae and maxillary palps. Although the ab3A neuron in the wild type flies responded to picaridin, it was unresponsive to DEET and IR3535. By contrast, a neuron housed in the palp basiconic sensilla pb1 responded to DEET, IR3535, and picaridin, with apparent sensitivity higher than that of the DEET detectors in the mosquitoes Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes aegypti. DmOr42a was transplanted from pb1 to the “empty neuron” and showed to be sensitive to the three insect repellents. Conclusions For the first time we have demonstrated that the fruit fly avoids not only DEET but also IR3535 and picaridin, and identified an olfactory receptor neuron (ORN), which is sensitive to these three major insect repellents. We have also identified the insect repellent-sensitive receptor, DmOr42a. This generic detector fulfils the requirements for a simplified bioassay for early screening of test insect repellents. PMID:21436880

  10. Footprints, Fireflies and Flight: Primary Science Magic.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fine, Edith H.; Josephson, Judith P.

    1984-01-01

    Provides primary grade level science activities that focus on insects, tracks and trails, water, and flight. For each topic, six major ideas plus related activities and suggestions about resources are given. (RH)

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Among the animals of the Kingdom Animalia, insects are unparalleled for their widespread diffusion, diversity and number of occupied ecological niches. In recent years they have raised researcher interest not only because of their importance as human and agricultural pests, disease vectors and as useful breeding species (e.g. honeybee and silkworm), but also because of their suitability as animal models. It is now fully recognized that microorganisms form symbiotic relationships with insects, influencing their survival, fitness, development, mating habits and the immune system and other aspects of the biology and ecology of the insect host. Thus, any research aimed at deepening the knowledge of any given insect species (perhaps species of applied interest or species emerging as novel pests or vectors) must consider the characterization of the associated microbiome. The present review critically examines the microbiology and molecular ecology techniques that can be applied to the taxonomical and functional analysis of the microbiome of non-model insects. Our goal is to provide an overview of current approaches and methods addressing the ecology and functions of microorganisms and microbiomes associated with insects. Our focus is on operational details, aiming to provide a concise guide to currently available advanced techniques, in an effort to extend insect microbiome research beyond simple descriptions of microbial communities. PMID:26476138

  13. Population genomics of eusocial insects: the costs of a vertebrate-like effective population size.

    PubMed

    Romiguier, J; Lourenco, J; Gayral, P; Faivre, N; Weinert, L A; Ravel, S; Ballenghien, M; Cahais, V; Bernard, A; Loire, E; Keller, L; Galtier, N

    2014-03-01

    The evolution of reproductive division of labour and social life in social insects has lead to the emergence of several life-history traits and adaptations typical of larger organisms: social insect colonies can reach masses of several kilograms, they start reproducing only when they are several years old, and can live for decades. These features and the monopolization of reproduction by only one or few individuals in a colony should affect molecular evolution by reducing the effective population size. We tested this prediction by analysing genome-wide patterns of coding sequence polymorphism and divergence in eusocial vs. noneusocial insects based on newly generated RNA-seq data. We report very low amounts of genetic polymorphism and an elevated ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous changes – a marker of the effective population size – in four distinct species of eusocial insects, which were more similar to vertebrates than to solitary insects regarding molecular evolutionary processes. Moreover, the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions was positively correlated with the level of social complexity across ant species. These results are fully consistent with the hypothesis of a reduced effective population size and an increased genetic load in eusocial insects, indicating that the evolution of social life has important consequences at both the genomic and population levels.

  14. Molecular Electronics - Current Challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Vilan, Ayelet; Cahen, David

    2010-12-01

    Molecular electronics is a flourishing area of nano-science and -technology, with a promise for cheap electronics of novel functionality. Here we outline the major challenges for molecular electronics becoming an established scientific discipline, including models with predictive power.

  15. Towards a Molecular Scale Understanding of Surface Chemistry and Photocatalysis on Metal Oxides: Surface Science Experiments and First Principles Theory

    SciTech Connect

    Diebold, Ulrike

    2015-01-29

    This project has provided an increased understanding of molecular processes and structure-activity relationships in photocatalytic systems. This could ultimately lead to guidelines on how to make TiO2-based photocatalytic systems more efficient. This directly relates to the Program’s mission to develop a mechanistic understanding of chemical reactions that pertain to environmental remediation and pollution control; energy production (photoelectrochemical and production of hydrogen); and novel materials synthesis.

  16. Safe Science: Be Protected!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roy, Ken

    2006-01-01

    Science education is a changing landscape. Changes over the past ten years alone have been both evolutionary and revolutionary--Science Education Standards, new required assessments, science teacher certification issues, science teacher shortages and retirements, molecular approach to Biology, etc. These changes and issues range from…

  17. The Insect Prothoracic Gland as a Model for Steroid Hormone Biosynthesis and Regulation.

    PubMed

    Ou, Qiuxiang; Zeng, Jie; Yamanaka, Naoki; Brakken-Thal, Christina; O'Connor, Michael B; King-Jones, Kirst

    2016-06-28

    Steroid hormones are ancient signaling molecules found in vertebrates and insects alike. Both taxa show intriguing parallels with respect to how steroids function and how their synthesis is regulated. As such, insects are excellent models for studying universal aspects of steroid physiology. Here, we present a comprehensive genomic and genetic analysis of the principal steroid hormone-producing organs in two popular insect models, Drosophila and Bombyx. We identified 173 genes with previously unknown specific expression in steroid-producing cells, 15 of which had critical roles in development. The insect neuropeptide PTTH and its vertebrate counterpart ACTH both regulate steroid production, but molecular targets of these pathways remain poorly characterized. Identification of PTTH-dependent gene sets identified the nuclear receptor HR4 as a highly conserved target in both Drosophila and Bombyx. We consider this study to be a critical step toward understanding how steroid hormone production and release are regulated in all animal models. PMID:27320926

  18. The Insect Prothoracic Gland as a Model for Steroid Hormone Biosynthesis and Regulation.

    PubMed

    Ou, Qiuxiang; Zeng, Jie; Yamanaka, Naoki; Brakken-Thal, Christina; O'Connor, Michael B; King-Jones, Kirst

    2016-06-28

    Steroid hormones are ancient signaling molecules found in vertebrates and insects alike. Both taxa show intriguing parallels with respect to how steroids function and how their synthesis is regulated. As such, insects are excellent models for studying universal aspects of steroid physiology. Here, we present a comprehensive genomic and genetic analysis of the principal steroid hormone-producing organs in two popular insect models, Drosophila and Bombyx. We identified 173 genes with previously unknown specific expression in steroid-producing cells, 15 of which had critical roles in development. The insect neuropeptide PTTH and its vertebrate counterpart ACTH both regulate steroid production, but molecular targets of these pathways remain poorly characterized. Identification of PTTH-dependent gene sets identified the nuclear receptor HR4 as a highly conserved target in both Drosophila and Bombyx. We consider this study to be a critical step toward understanding how steroid hormone production and release are regulated in all animal models.

  19. Purple acid phosphatase of the human macrophage and osteoclast. Characterization, molecular properties, and crystallization of the recombinant di-iron-oxo protein secreted by baculovirus-infected insect cells.

    PubMed

    Hayman, A R; Cox, T M

    1994-01-14

    The purple phosphatases catalyze hydrolysis of phosphate esters (optimum pH approximately 5) and are resistant to inhibition by dextro-rotatory tartrate; their distinctive color is due to Fe(III)-phenolate charge-transfer transitions at their active site. Expression of human purple phosphatase, designated type 5 acid phosphatase, is restricted to osteoclasts and other activated cells of monohistiocytic lineage, but its biological rôle in relation to bone resorption and phagocytosis is unknown. To characterize this enzyme further, we have engineered the human type 5 acid phosphatase into a baculovirus vector expression system that enabled milligram quantities of purple protein to be purified from medium containing Sf9 host cells. The phosphatase cDNA was transcribed as a single RNA species of 1.5 kilobases as in human tissues. Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity reacting with uteroferrin antisera appeared in the culture medium, from which up to 8 mg/liter was purified by two-step cation-exchange chromatography at pH 8.0. Two isoforms of approximately 36 kDa were identified by SDS-polyacrylamide electrophoresis and were converted to a single species of apparent molecular size 34 kDa upon treatment with N-glycosidase F, indicating secreted glycoforms of a single polypeptide. Mass spectroscopy showed that the mean molecular mass of the active, secreted glycoprotein was 35849 Da. The recombinant enzyme (specific activity, 190 mumol p-nitrophenol/min/mg at 37 degrees C) contained 2 iron atoms/molecule and formed purple, monoclinic crystals. Exposure to the ferric chelator, 1,2-dimethyl-3-hydroxypyrid-4-one, rapidly inactivated the enzyme, which was not inhibited by alpha, alpha'-bipyridyl, a ferrous chelator. That ferric iron is essential for enzymatic catalysis, was further indicated by the synergistic effects of the reductant, dithiothreitol, and bipyridyl on phosphatase activity. The recombinant purple phosphatase catalyzed the peroxidation of 5

  20. Herbivory increases diversification across insect clades.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-24

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

  1. Interfacing insect brain for space applications.

    PubMed

    Di Pino, Giovanni; Seidl, Tobias; Benvenuto, Antonella; Sergi, Fabrizio; Campolo, Domenico; Accoto, Dino; Maria Rossini, Paolo; Guglielmelli, Eugenio

    2009-01-01

    Insects exhibit remarkable navigation capabilities that current control architectures are still far from successfully mimic and reproduce. In this chapter, we present the results of a study on conceptualizing insect/machine hybrid controllers for improving autonomy of exploratory vehicles. First, the different principally possible levels of interfacing between insect and machine are examined followed by a review of current approaches towards hybridity and enabling technologies. Based on the insights of this activity, we propose a double hybrid control architecture which hinges around the concept of "insect-in-a-cockpit." It integrates both biological/artificial (insect/robot) modules and deliberative/reactive behavior. The basic assumption is that "low-level" tasks are managed by the robot, while the "insect intelligence" is exploited whenever high-level problem solving and decision making is required. Both neural and natural interfacing have been considered to achieve robustness and redundancy of exchanged information.

  2. Herbivory increases diversification across insect clades

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Insects contain more than half of all living species, but the causes of their remarkable diversity remain poorly understood. Many authors have suggested that herbivory has accelerated diversification in many insect clades. However, others have questioned the role of herbivory in insect diversification. Here, we test the relationships between herbivory and insect diversification across multiple scales. We find a strong, positive relationship between herbivory and diversification among insect orders. However, herbivory explains less variation in diversification within some orders (Diptera, Hemiptera) or shows no significant relationship with diversification in others (Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Orthoptera). Thus, we support the overall importance of herbivory for insect diversification, but also show that its impacts can vary across scales and clades. In summary, our results illuminate the causes of species richness patterns in a group containing most living species, and show the importance of ecological impacts on diversification in explaining the diversity of life. PMID:26399434

  3. Raindrops push and splash flying insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickerson, Andrew K.; Shankles, Peter G.; Hu, David L.

    2014-02-01

    In their daily lives, flying insects face a gauntlet of environmental challenges, from wind gusts to raindrop impacts. In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we use high-speed videography to film raindrop collisions upon both flying insects and dynamically scaled spherical mimics. We identify three outcomes of the collision based upon the insect's mass and characteristic size: drops push the insect while remaining intact, coat the insect, and splash. We present a mathematical model that predicts impact force and outcome consistent with those found in experiments. Small insects such as gnats and flies are pushed by raindrops that remain intact upon impact; conversely, large flyers such as locusts and micro-aerial vehicles cause drops to splash. We identify a critical mass of 0.3 g for which flyers achieve both peak acceleration (100 g) and applied force (104 dyn) from incoming raindrops; designs of similarly massed flying robots should be avoided.

  4. Development of brewing science in (and since) the late 19th century: molecular profiles of 110-130year old beers.

    PubMed

    Walther, Andrea; Ravasio, Davide; Qin, Fen; Wendland, Jürgen; Meier, Sebastian

    2015-09-15

    The 19th century witnessed many advances in scientific enzymology and microbiology that laid the foundations for modern biotechnological industries. In the current study, we analyze the content of original lager beer samples from the 1880s, 1890s and 1900s with emphasis on the carbohydrate content and composition. The historic samples include the oldest samples brewed with pure Saccharomyces carlsbergensis yeast strains. While no detailed record of beer pasteurization at the time is available, historic samples indicate a gradual improvement of bottled beer handling from the 1880s to the 1900s, with decreasing contamination by enzymatic and microbial activities over this time span. Samples are sufficiently well preserved to allow comparisons to present-day references, thus yielding molecular signatures of the effects of 20th century science on beer production. Opposite to rather stable carbohydrate profiles, some aldehydes reach up to 40-fold higher levels in the historic samples as compared to present-day references.

  5. Versatile piezoelectric pulsed molecular beam source for gaseous compounds and organic molecules with femtomole accuracy for UHV and surface science applications

    SciTech Connect

    Schiesser, Alexander; Schaefer, Rolf

    2009-08-15

    This note describes the construction of a piezoelectric pulsed molecular beam source based upon a design presented in an earlier work [D. Proch and T. Trickl, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 60, 713 (1988)]. The design features significant modifications that permit the determination of the number of molecules in a beam pulse with an accuracy of 1x10{sup 11} molecules per pulse. The 21 cm long plunger-nozzle setup allows the molecules to be brought to any point of the UHV chamber with very high intensity. Furthermore, besides typical gaseous compounds, also smaller organic molecules with a vapor pressure higher than 0.1 mbar at room temperature may serve as feed material. This makes the new design suitable for various applications in chemical and surface science studies.

  6. Insect stereopsis demonstrated using a 3D insect cinema.

    PubMed

    Nityananda, Vivek; Tarawneh, Ghaith; Rosner, Ronny; Nicolas, Judith; Crichton, Stuart; Read, Jenny

    2016-01-01

    Stereopsis - 3D vision - has become widely used as a model of perception. However, all our knowledge of possible underlying mechanisms comes almost exclusively from vertebrates. While stereopsis has been demonstrated for one invertebrate, the praying mantis, a lack of techniques to probe invertebrate stereopsis has prevented any further progress for three decades. We therefore developed a stereoscopic display system for insects, using miniature 3D glasses to present separate images to each eye, and tested our ability to deliver stereoscopic illusions to praying mantises. We find that while filtering by circular polarization failed due to excessive crosstalk, "anaglyph" filtering by spectral content clearly succeeded in giving the mantis the illusion of 3D depth. We thus definitively demonstrate stereopsis in mantises and also demonstrate that the anaglyph technique can be effectively used to deliver virtual 3D stimuli to insects. This method opens up broad avenues of research into the parallel evolution of stereoscopic computations and possible new algorithms for depth perception. PMID:26740144

  7. Insect stereopsis demonstrated using a 3D insect cinema

    PubMed Central

    Nityananda, Vivek; Tarawneh, Ghaith; Rosner, Ronny; Nicolas, Judith; Crichton, Stuart; Read, Jenny

    2016-01-01

    Stereopsis - 3D vision – has become widely used as a model of perception. However, all our knowledge of possible underlying mechanisms comes almost exclusively from vertebrates. While stereopsis has been demonstrated for one invertebrate, the praying mantis, a lack of techniques to probe invertebrate stereopsis has prevented any further progress for three decades. We therefore developed a stereoscopic display system for insects, using miniature 3D glasses to present separate images to each eye, and tested our ability to deliver stereoscopic illusions to praying mantises. We find that while filtering by circular polarization failed due to excessive crosstalk, “anaglyph” filtering by spectral content clearly succeeded in giving the mantis the illusion of 3D depth. We thus definitively demonstrate stereopsis in mantises and also demonstrate that the anaglyph technique can be effectively used to deliver virtual 3D stimuli to insects. This method opens up broad avenues of research into the parallel evolution of stereoscopic computations and possible new algorithms for depth perception. PMID:26740144

  8. Feeling what an insect feels.

    PubMed

    Mohand Ousaid, Abdenbi; Millet, Guillaume; Haliyo, Sinan; Régnier, Stéphane; Hayward, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    We describe a manually operated, bilateral mechanical scaling instrument that simultaneously magnifies microscopic forces and reduces displacements with quasi-perfect transparency. In contrast with existing micro-teleoperation designs, the system is unconditionally stable for any scaling gains and interaction curves. In the present realization, the work done by the hand is more than a million times that done by a microscopic probe so that one can feel complete interaction cycles with water and compare them to what is felt when an insect leg interacts with a wet surface.

  9. Feeling What an Insect Feels

    PubMed Central

    Mohand Ousaid, Abdenbi; Millet, Guillaume; Haliyo, Sinan; Régnier, Stéphane; Hayward, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    We describe a manually operated, bilateral mechanical scaling instrument that simultaneously magnifies microscopic forces and reduces displacements with quasi-perfect transparency. In contrast with existing micro-teleoperation designs, the system is unconditionally stable for any scaling gains and interaction curves. In the present realization, the work done by the hand is more than a million times that done by a microscopic probe so that one can feel complete interaction cycles with water and compare them to what is felt when an insect leg interacts with a wet surface. PMID:25271636

  10. Active Auditory Mechanics in Insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robert, D.; Göpfert, M. C.

    2003-02-01

    Evidence is presented that hearing in some insects is an active process. Audition in mosquitoes is used for mate-detection and is supported by antennal receivers, whose sound-induced vibrations are transduced by Johnston's organs. Each of these sensory organs contains ca. 15,000 sensory neurons. As shown by mechanical analysis, a physiologically vulnerable mechanism is at work that nonlinearly enhances the sensitivity and frequency selectivity of antennal hearing. This process of amplification correlates with the electrical activity of the auditory mechanoreceptor units in Johnston's organ.

  11. Feeling what an insect feels.

    PubMed

    Mohand Ousaid, Abdenbi; Millet, Guillaume; Haliyo, Sinan; Régnier, Stéphane; Hayward, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    We describe a manually operated, bilateral mechanical scaling instrument that simultaneously magnifies microscopic forces and reduces displacements with quasi-perfect transparency. In contrast with existing micro-teleoperation designs, the system is unconditionally stable for any scaling gains and interaction curves. In the present realization, the work done by the hand is more than a million times that done by a microscopic probe so that one can feel complete interaction cycles with water and compare them to what is felt when an insect leg interacts with a wet surface. PMID:25271636

  12. An ALMA Early Science survey of molecular absorption lines toward PKS 1830-211. Analysis of the absorption profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller, S.; Combes, F.; Guélin, M.; Gérin, M.; Aalto, S.; Beelen, A.; Black, J. H.; Curran, S. J.; Darling, J.; V-Trung, Dinh; García-Burillo, S.; Henkel, C.; Horellou, C.; Martín, S.; Martí-Vidal, I.; Menten, K. M.; Murphy, M. T.; Ott, J.; Wiklind, T.; Zwaan, M. A.

    2014-06-01

    We present the first results of an ALMA spectral survey of strong absorption lines for common interstellar species in the z = 0.89 molecular absorber toward the lensed blazar PKS 1830-211. The dataset brings essential information on the structure and composition of the absorbing gas in the foreground galaxy. In particular, we find absorption over large velocity intervals (≳100 km s-1) toward both lensed images of the blazar. This suggests either that the galaxy inclination is intermediate and that we sample velocity gradients or streaming motions in the disk plane, that the molecular gas has a large vertical distribution or extraplanar components, or that the absorber is not a simple spiral galaxy but might be a merger system. The number of detected species is now reaching a total of 42 different species plus 14 different rare isotopologues toward the SW image, and 14 species toward the NE line-of-sight. The abundances of CH, H2O, HCO+, HCN, and NH3 relative to H2 are found to be comparable to those in the Galactic diffuse medium. Of all the lines detected so far toward PKS 1830-211, the ground-state line of ortho-water has the deepest absorption. We argue that ground-state lines of water have the best potential for detecting diffuse molecular gas in absorption at high redshift. Appendix is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.orgThe reduced spectrum (FITS format) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/566/A112

  13. Insect Seminal Fluid Proteins: Identification and Function

    PubMed Central

    Avila, Frank W.; Sirot, Laura K.; LaFlamme, Brooke A.; Rubinstein, C. Dustin; Wolfner, Mariana F.

    2014-01-01

    Seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) produced in reproductive tract tissues of male insects and transferred to females during mating induce numerous physiological and behavioral post-mating changes in females. These changes include decreasing receptivity to re-mating, affecting sperm storage parameters, increasing egg production, modulating sperm competition, feeding behaviors, and mating plug formation. In addition, SFPs also have anti-microbial functions and induce expression of anti-microbial peptides in at least some insects. Here, we review recent identification of insect SFPs and discuss the multiple roles these proteins play in the post-mating processes of female insects. PMID:20868282

  14. Insect Antimicrobial Peptides and Their Applications

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Hui-Yu; Chowdhury, Munmun; Huang, Ya-Dong; Yu, Xiao-Qiang

    2014-01-01

    Insects are one of the major sources of antimicrobial peptides/proteins (AMPs). Since observation of antimicrobial activity in the hemolymph of pupae from the giant silk moths Samia Cynthia and Hyalophora cecropia in 1974 and purification of first insect AMP (cecropin) from H. cecropia pupae in 1980, over 150 insect AMPs have been purified or identified. Most insect AMPs are small and cationic, and they show activities against bacteria and/or fungi, as well as some parasites and viruses. Insect AMPs can be classified into four families based on their structures or unique sequences: the α-helical peptides (cecropin and moricin), cysteine-rich peptides (insect defensin and drosomycin), proline-rich peptides (apidaecin, drosocin and lebocin), and glycine-rich peptides/proteins (attacin and gloverin). Among insect AMPs, defensins, cecropins, proline-rich peptides and attacins are common, while gloverins and moricins have been identified only in Lepidoptera. Most active AMPs are small peptides of 20–50 residues, which are generated from larger inactive precursor proteins or pro-proteins, but gloverins (~14 kDa) and attacins (~20 kDa) are large antimicrobial proteins. In this mini-review, we will discuss current knowledge and recent progress in several classes of insect AMPs, including insect defensins, cecropins, attacins, lebocins and other proline-rich peptides, gloverins, and moricins, with a focus on structural-functional relationships and their potential applications. PMID:24811407

  15. Treatment and prevention of insect bites: mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Williams, LaVonn A; Allen, Loyd V

    2012-01-01

    Insect bites are a common complaint of patients during the summer months, when more time is spent enjoying the warm weather. While most reactions to insect bites are mild, in rare cases, a severe allergic reaction may occur. In addition, certain insects may transmit potentially serious diseases. Counseling patients on the proper use of insect repellants and good first aid techniques can significantly reduce the risks posed by the presence of summertime pests. This article focuses on mosquitoes, the diseases they spread, and suggested treatments.

  16. Haemosporidian infections in the Tengmalm's Owl (Aegolius funereus) and potential insect vectors of their transmission.

    PubMed

    Synek, Petr; Popelková, Alena; Koubínová, Darina; Šťastný, Karel; Langrová, Iva; Votýpka, Jan; Munclinger, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    Sedentary bird species are suitable model hosts for identifying potential vectors of avian blood parasites. We studied haemosporidian infections in the Tengmalm's Owl (Aegolius funereus) in the Ore Mountains of the Czech Republic using molecular detection methods. Sex of owl nestlings was scored using molecular sexing based on fragment analysis of PCR-amplified CHD1 introns. Observed infection prevalences in nestlings and adult owls were 51 and 86 %, respectively. Five parasite lineages were detected. Most of the infections comprised the Leucocytozoon AEFUN02 and STOCC06 lineages that probably refer to distinct Leucocytozoon species. Other lineages were detected only sporadically. Mixed infections were found in 49 % of samples. The main factor affecting the probability of infection was host age. No effect of individual sex on infection probability was evidenced. The youngest infected nestling was 12 days old. High parasite prevalence in the Tengmalm's Owl nestlings suggests that insect vectors must enter nest boxes to transmit parasites before fledging. Hence, we placed sticky insect traps into modified nest boxes, collected potential insect vectors, and examined them for the presence of haemosporidian parasites using molecular detection. We trapped 201 insects which were determined as biting midges from the Culicoides genus and two black fly species, Simulium (Nevermannia) vernum and Simulium (Eusimulium) angustipes. Six haemosporidian lineages were detected in the potential insect vectors, among which the Leucocytozoon lineage BT2 was common to the Tengmalm's Owl and the trapped insects. However, we have not detected the most frequently encountered Tengmalm's Owl Leucocytozoon lineages AEFUN02 and STOCC06 in insects.

  17. When did Louis Pasteur present his memoir on the discovery of molecular chirality to the Académie des sciences? Analysis of a discrepancy.

    PubMed

    Gal, Joseph

    2008-11-01

    Louis Pasteur presented his historic memoir on the discovery of molecular chirality to the Académie des sciences in Paris on May 22nd, 1848. The literature, however, nearly completely ignores this date, widely claiming instead May 15th, 1848, which first surfaced in 1922 in Pasteur's collected works edited by his grandson Louis Pasteur Vallery-Radot. On May 21st, 1848, i.e., one day before Pasteur's presentation in Paris, his mother died in Arbois, eastern France. Informed at an unknown point in time that she was "very ill," Pasteur left for Arbois only after his presentation. Biographies of Pasteur by his son-in-law René Vallery-Radot or the grandson, and Pasteur's collected correspondence edited by the grandson are incomprehensibly laconic or silent about the historic presentation. While no definite conclusions are possible, the evidence strongly suggests a deliberate alteration of the record by the biographer relatives, presumably for fear of adverse public judgment of Pasteur for a real or perceived insensitivity to a grave family medical emergency. Such fear would have been in accord with their hagiographic portrayal of Pasteur, and the findings raise questions concerning the extent of their zeal in protecting his "demigod" image. Universal recognition of the true date of Pasteur's announcement of molecular chirality is long overdue.

  18. Smads and insect hemimetabolan metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Santos, Carolina G; Fernandez-Nicolas, Ana; Belles, Xavier

    2016-09-01

    In contrast with Drosophila melanogaster, practically nothing is known about the involvement of the TGF-β signaling pathway in the metamorphosis of hemimetabolan insects. To partially fill this gap, we have studied the role of Smad factors in the metamorphosis of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica. In D. melanogaster, Mad is the canonical R-Smad of the BMP branch of the TGF-β signaling pathway, Smox is the canonical R-Smad of the TGF-β/Activin branch and Medea participates in both branches. In insects, metamorphosis is regulated by the MEKRE93 pathway, which starts with juvenile hormone (JH), whose signal is transduced by Methoprene-tolerant (Met), which stimulates the expression of Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1) that acts to repress E93, the metamorphosis trigger. In B. germanica, metamorphosis is determined at the beginning of the sixth (final) nymphal instar (N6), when JH production ceases, the expression of Kr-h1 declines, and the transcription of E93 begins to increase. The RNAi of Mad, Smox and Medea in N6 of B. germanica reveals that the BMP branch of the TGF-β signaling pathway regulates adult ecdysis and wing extension, mainly through regulating the expression of bursicon, whereas the TGF-β/Activin branch contributes to increasing E93 and decreasing Kr-h1 at the beginning of N6, crucial for triggering adult morphogenesis, as well as to regulating the imaginal molt timing. PMID:27452629

  19. Expression of the human interleukin-2 receptor gamma chain in insect cells using a baculovirus expression vector.

    PubMed

    Raivio, E; Oetken, C; Oker-Blom, C; Engberg, C; Akerman, K; Lindqvist, C

    1995-04-01

    The gene encoding the gamma-chain of the human Interleukin-2 receptor was expressed in lepidopteran insect cells using the baculovirus expression vector system. The corresponding gene was inserted under the polyhedrin promoter of the Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus and expressed in the Spodoptera frugiperda insect cell line Sf9 during viral infection. The recombinant receptor protein was identified by immunoblotting in cell lysates, prepared from insect cells infected with the recombinant virus. At 40 h post infection the corresponding protein was detected as two major bands with apparent molecular weights of 50-60 kDa using a rabbit anti-human IL-2R gamma-receptor specific antiserum. Metabolic labelling with [35S]-methionine and SDS-PAGE analysis of the recombinant baculovirus infected insect cells verified the immunoblotting data. The expressed IL-2R gamma- protein could also be determined on the surface of infected insect cells by flow cytometer analysis. PMID:7899821

  20. The Developmental Control of Size in Insects

    PubMed Central

    Mirth, Christen; Shingleton, Alexander W.; Suzuki, Yuichiro; Callier, Viviane

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms that control the sizes of a body and its many parts remain among the great puzzles in developmental biology. Why do animals grow to a species-specific body size, and how is the relative growth of their body parts controlled to so they grow to the right size, and in the correct proportion with body size, giving an animal its species-characteristic shape? Control of size must involve mechanisms that somehow assess some aspect of size and are upstream of mechanisms that regulate growth. These mechanisms are now beginning to be understood in the insects, in particular in Manduca sexta and Drosophila melanogaster. The control of size requires control of the rate of growth and control of the cessation of growth. Growth is controlled by genetic and environmental factors. Insulin and ecdysone, their receptors and intracellular signaling pathways are the principal genetic regulators of growth. The secretion of these growth hormones, in turn, is controlled by complex interactions of other endocrine and molecular mechanisms, by environmental factors such as nutrition and by the physiological mechanisms that sense body size. Although the general mechanisms of growth regulation appear to be widely shared, the mechanisms that regulate final size can be quite diverse. PMID:24902837