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Insect Science

Jing Wang, Ya-Yun Zuo, Ng-Li Li, Hui Wang, Shao-Yan Liu, Yi-Hua Yang, Yi-Dong Wu
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins have been globally utilized for control of agricultural insects through spraying or transgenic crops. Binding of Bt toxins to special receptors on midgut epithelial cells of target insects is a key step in the mode of action. Previous studies suggested aminopeptidase N1 (APN1) as a receptor or putative receptor in several lepidopteran insects including Helicoverpa armigera through evidence from RNAi-based gene silencing approaches. In the current study we tested the role of APNs in the mode of action of Bt toxins using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene knockout...
February 14, 2019: Insect Science
Joanna Durrant, Mark P Green, Therésa M Jones
A functioning immune system is crucial for protection against disease and illness, yet increasing evidence suggests that species living in urban areas could be suffering from immune suppression, due to the presence of artificial light at night (ALAN). This study examined the effects of ecologically relevant levels of ALAN on three key measures of immune function (haemocyte concentration, lytic activity, and phenoloxidase activity) using a model invertebrate species, the Australian black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus...
February 5, 2019: Insect Science
Peng Chen, Tao-Tao Kang, Xi-Yan Bao, Zhan-Qi Dong, Yan Zhu, Wen-Fu Xiao, Min-Hui Pan, Cheng Lu
As an important insect immune response, apoptosis plays a critical role in the interaction between baculoviruses and insect hosts. Previous reports have identified inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins in both insects and baculoviruses, but the relationship between these proteins is still not clearly understood. Here, we found that insect IAP proteins were clustered with baculovirus IAP3, suggesting that the baculovirus iap3 gene might be derived from the Lepidoptera or Diptera. We demonstrated that Bombyx mori inhibitor of apoptosis (Bmiap) gene had an inhibitory effect on apoptosis in silkworm cells...
January 30, 2019: Insect Science
Hong-Lun Bi, Jun Xu, Lin He, Yong Zhang, Kai Li, Yong-Ping Huang
Insect body pigmentation and coloration are critical to adaption to the environment. To explore the mechanisms that drive pigmentation, we used the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system to target the ebony gene in the non-model insect Spodoptera litura. Ebony is crucial to melanin synthesis in insects. By directly injecting Cas9 mRNA and ebony-specific guide RNAs into S. litura embryos, we successfully induced a typical ebony-deficient phenotype of deep coloration of the puparium and induction of melanin formation during the pupal stage...
January 27, 2019: Insect Science
Qing-Yu Xu, Pan Deng, Qiong Zhang, Ang Li, Kai-Yun Fu, Wen-Chao Guo, Guo-Qing Li
A heterodimer of two nuclear receptors, ecdysone receptor (EcR) and ultraspiracle, mediates 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) signaling to modulate many aspects in insect life, such as molting and metamorphosis, reproduction, diapause and innate immunity. In the present paper, we intended to determine the isoform specific roles of EcR during larval-pupal-adult transition in the Colorado potato beetle. Double stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) were prepared using the common (dsEcR) or isoform-specific (dsEcRA, dsEcRB1) regions of EcR as templates...
January 27, 2019: Insect Science
Ainara Peñalver-Cruz, Elisa Garzo, Inés Prieto-Ruiz, Miguel Díaz-Garro, Ana Winters, Aránzazu Moreno, Alberto Fereres
The continuous rise of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is reducing plant nutritional quality for herbivores and indirectly affects their performance. The whitefly (Bemisia tabaci, Gennadius) is a major worldwide pest of agricultural crops causing significant yield losses. This study investigated the plant-mediated indirect effects of elevated CO2 on the feeding behavior and life history of B. tabaci Mediterranean species. Eggplants were grown under elevated and ambient CO2 concentrations for three weeks after which plants were either used to monitor the feeding behavior of whiteflies using the Electrical Penetration Graph technique or to examine fecundity and fertility of whiteflies...
January 23, 2019: Insect Science
Xiao-Tian Tang, Freddy Ibanez, Cecilia Tamborindeguy
Immunofluorescence has been widely used to localize microbes or specific molecules in insect tissues or cells. However, significant autofluorescence is frequently observed in tissues which can interfere with the fluorescent identification of target antigens, leading to inaccurate or even false positive fluorescent labeling. The alimentary canal of the potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli Šulc, exhibits intense autofluorescence, hindering the application of immunolocalization for the detection and localization of the economically important pathogen transmitted by this insect, 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' (Lso)...
January 20, 2019: Insect Science
Muhammad Irfan Waris, Aneela Younas, Muhammad Muzammal Adeel, Shuang-Gang Duan, Sundas Rana Quershi, Rana Muhammad Kaleem Ullah, Man-Qun Wang
Chemosensory proteins (CSPs) play important roles in insect's chemoreception, though their specific functional roles have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we conducted the developmental expression patterns and competitive binding assay as well as knock-down assay by RNA interference both in vitro and in vivo to reveal the function of NlugCSP10 from the brown plant hopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens (Stål), a major pest in rice plants. The results showed that NlugCSP10 mRNA was significantly higher in males than in females and correlated to gender, development, and wing forms...
December 28, 2018: Insect Science
Solana Abraham, Gisela Castillo, Viviana Díaz, Guido Van Nieuwenhove, Gabriela Murúa, Juan Rull
Seminal gifts range from important material donations to items that provide little direct benefit to females. Promiscuous, female silk corn flies Euxesta eluta expel and consume male ejaculates immediately after mating. The evolution and function of this peculiar behavior are currently unknown. We performed a series of experiments aimed to: determine if females under different dietary regimes derive nutrients or water for survival and/or reproduction from ejaculate consumption, if males suffer a fitness cost from supplying females with ejaculates, and if females prefer to mate and/or are more likely to store sperm from well fed than nutritionally stressed presumably inferior males...
December 28, 2018: Insect Science
Jun Xu, Rong-Mei Chen, Shu-Qing Chen, Kai Chen, Lin-Meng Tang, De-Hong Yang, Xu Yang, Yong Zhang, Hong-Sheng Song, Yong-Ping Huang
Identification of stage- and tissue-specific cis-regulatory elements will enable more precise genomic editing. In previous studies of the silkworm Bombyx mori, we identified and characterized several tissue and sex-specific cis-regulatory elements using transgenic technology, including a female- and fat body-specific promoter, vitellogenin; testis-specific promoters, Radial spoke head 1 (BmR1) and beta-tubulin 4 (Bmβ4). Here we reported a cis-regulatory element specific for a somatic and germ cell expressed promoter, nanos (Bmnos)...
December 14, 2018: Insect Science
J Joe Hull, Omaththage P Perera, Mei-Xian Wang
Chemosensory proteins (CSPs) are soluble carrier proteins typically characterized by a six-helix bundle structure joined by two disulfide bridges and a conserved Cys spacing pattern (C1-X6-8 -C2-X16-21 -C3-X2 -C4). CSPs are functionally diverse with reported roles in chemosensation, immunity, development, and resistance. To expand our molecular understanding of CSP function in plant bugs, we used recently developed transcriptomic resources for Lygus lineolaris and Lygus hesperus to identify 17 and 14 CSP-like sequences, respectively...
December 13, 2018: Insect Science
Ada Leman, Barbara L Ingegno, Luciana Tavella, Arne Janssen, Gerben J Messelink
The poinsettia thrips Echinothrips americanus Morgan is a relatively new pest that has spread rapidly worldwide and causes serious damage in both vegetable and ornamental plants. In this study, we investigated if and how effective this pest can be controlled in gerbera by the omnivorous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus (Rambur). Because herbivores on plants can interact through a shared predator, we also investigated how poinsettia thrips control is affected by the presence of the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood), a pest that commonly co-exists with E...
December 13, 2018: Insect Science
Sílvia de Oliveira Dorta, Juliana Balbinotte, Rose Monnerat, João Roberto Spotti Lopes, Tatiane da Cunha, Odimar Zanuzo Zanardi, Marcelo Pedreira de Miranda, Marcos Antonio Machado, Juliana de Freitas-Astúa
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins are effective in controlling insect pests either through the spraying of products or when expressed in transgenic crops. The discovery of endophytic Bt strains opened new perspectives for studies aimed at the control of sap-sucking insects, such as the Asian citrus psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), a vector of 'Candidatus Liberibacter spp.', associated with citrus huanglongbing (HLB). In this study, translocation of endophytic Bt strains in citrus seedlings inoculated with Bt suspension delivered by soil-drench, and their systemic pathogenicity to D...
December 10, 2018: Insect Science
Julien Boulay, Cindy Aubernon, Graeme D Ruxton, Valéry Hédouin, Jean-Louis Deneubourg, Damien Charabidzé
This review offers the first synthesis of the research on mixed-species groupings of arthropods and highlights the behavioral and evolutionary questions raised by such behavior. Mixed-species groups are commonly found in mammals and birds. Such groups are also observed in a large range of arthropod taxa independent of their level of sociality. Several examples are presented to highlight the mechanisms underlying such groupings, particularly the evidence for phylogenetic proximity between members that promotes cross-species recognition...
February 2019: Insect Science
J Mark Scriber
Polymorphisms for melanic form of insects may provide various selective advantages. However, melanic alleles may have significant/subtle pleiotrophic "costs". Several potential pleiotrophic effects of the W (=Y) - linked melanism gene in Papilio glaucus L.(Lepidoptera) showed no costs for melanic versus yellow in adult size, oviposition preferences, fecundity, egg viability, larval survival/growth rates, cold stress tolerance, or post-diapause emergence times. Sexual selection (males choosing yellow rather than mimetic dark females had been suggested to provide a balanced polymorphism in P...
November 19, 2018: Insect Science
Miquel Barberà, Laura Escrivá, Jorge Mariano Collantes-Alegre, Giuseppe Meca, Ezio Rosato, David Martínez-Torres
Aphids display life cycles largely determined by the photoperiod. During the warm long-day seasons, most aphid species reproduce by viviparous parthenogenesis. The shortening of the photoperiod in autumn induces a switch to sexual reproduction. Males and sexual females mate to produce overwintering resistant eggs. In addition to this full life cycle (holocycle), there are anholocyclic lineages that do not respond to changes in photoperiod and reproduce continuously by parthenogenesis. The molecular or hormonal events that trigger the seasonal response (i...
November 13, 2018: Insect Science
Jing-Xiang Chen, Zi-Hao Lyu, Chun-Yan Wang, Jie Cheng, Tong Lin
Trehalose-6-phosphate synthase, an enzyme that hydrolyzes two glucose molecules to yield trehalose, plays a pivotal role in various physiological processes. In this study, we cloned the Trehalose-6-phosphate synthase gene (HvTPS) and investigated its expression patterns in various tissues and developmental stages in Heortia vitessoides Moore (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). HvTPS was highly expressed in the fat body and after pupation or before molting. We knocked down TPS in H. vitessoides by RNA interference and found that 3...
November 6, 2018: Insect Science
Bahram Kheradmand, Julian Cassano, Selena Gray, James C Nieh
Animals use diverse sensory stimuli to navigate their environment and to recognize rewarding food sources. Honey bees use visual attributes of the targeted food source, such as its color, shape, size, direction and distance from the hive, and the landmarks around it to navigate during foraging. They transmit the location information of the food source to other bees if the food source is highly rewarding. To investigate the relative importance of these attributes, we trained bees to feeders in two different experiments...
November 2, 2018: Insect Science
Thomas Enriquez, David Ruel, Maryvonne Charrier, Hervé Colinet
Drosophila suzukii is an invasive pest causing severe damages to a large panel of cultivated crops. To facilitate its biocontrol with strategies such as sterile or incompatible insect techniques, D. suzukii must be mass-produced and then stored and transported under low temperature. Prolonged cold exposure induces chill injuries that can be mitigated if the cold period is interrupted with short warming intervals, referred to as fluctuating thermal regimes (FTR). In this study, we tested how to optimally use FTR to extend the shelf life of D...
November 1, 2018: Insect Science
Mengjing Sun, Roeland E Voorrips, Ben Vosman
The green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, is one of the most threatening pests in pepper cultivation and growers would benefit from resistant varieties. Previously, we identified two Capsicum accessions as susceptible and three as resistant to M. persicae using an aphid population originating from the Netherlands (NL). Later on we identified an aphid population originating from a different geographical region (Switserland, SW) that was virulent on all tested Capsicum accessions. The objective of the current work is to describe in detail different aspects of the interaction between two aphid populations and two selected Capsicum accessions [one that was susceptible (PB2013046) and one that was resistant (PB2013071) to population NL], including biochemical processes involved...
October 23, 2018: Insect Science
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