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Journal of Insect Physiology

Peter M Piermarini, Edna Alfaro Inocente, Nuris Acosta, Corey R Hopkins, Jerod S Denton, Andrew P Michel
Inward rectifier K+ (Kir) channels contribute to a variety of physiological processes in insects and are emerging targets for insecticide development. Previous studies on insect Kir channels have primarily focused on dipteran species (e.g., mosquitoes, fruit flies). Here we identify and functionally characterize Kir channel subunits in a hemipteran insect, the soybean aphid Aphis glycines, which is an economically important insect pest and vector of soybeans. From the transcriptome and genome of Ap. glycines we identified two cDNAs, ApKir1 and ApKir2, encoding Kir subunits that were orthologs of insect Kir1 and Kir2, respectively...
September 6, 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Ya-Nan Zhang, Li-Xiao Du, Ji-Wei Xu, Bing Wang, Xiao-Qing Zhang, Qi Yan, Guirong Wang
Chemoreception systems play a crucial role in regulating key behavioral activities of insects, such as mating, oviposition, and foraging. Odorant receptors (ORs) trigger the transduction of chemical signals into electric signals, and are involved in the corresponding responses associated with odorant guidance behaviors. Pheromone receptors (PRs) of male adult insects are generally thought to function in the recognition of female sex pheromones, and are also important molecular targets for the development of behavioral inhibitors and insecticides...
September 5, 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Hilla Davidovich, Gal Ribak
Copulation in the blue-tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans) can last several hours, during which the pair may fly together in the 'wheel position' with both insects flapping their wings. Previous studies have suggested that during flight in copula, the male increases its power output while the female decreases it. Consequently, the male must support some of the female's body weight in the air. We tested the hypothesis that female body mass places a biomechanical constraint on the ability of smaller males to mate with larger females by attaching weights to male damselflies and analyzing their wing motion and force exerted using high-speed cameras...
September 1, 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Giorgia Sollai, Paolo Solari, Roberto Crnjar
The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata Wied., is a worldwide pest of several fruits given its extremely wide host range which includes more than 250 different species of fruits and vegetables. Its high biological potential is mainly due both to its ability to readily adapt to new environments and its high reproductive capacity as it completes multiple generations each year. Since sexually mature males emit a sex pheromone to call both other males for "lekking" and receptive females for mating, many studies have been directed to characterize the chemical composition of the sex pheromone...
August 21, 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Meng Xu, ZeKuan Lu, Yong-Yue Lu, Rammohan R Balusu, Olufemi S Ajayi, Henry Y Fadamiro, Arthur G Appel, Li Chen
Two sibling species, Solenopsis richteri and S. invicta, were both introduced into the southern USA from South America in the early 20th century. Today, S. richteri occupies higher latitudes and colder areas, while S. invicta occupies lower latitudes. Between the distributions of the two species, there is a large area of viable hybrid (S. richteri × S. invicta) populations. This study aimed to characterize the forces driving this distribution pattern and the underlying mechanisms. Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) of freshly killed workers of S...
August 18, 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Romain Richard, Stephen Foster, David Giron, Jérôme Casas
Adult feeding on hosts is common among parasitic wasps. The ingested host fluid is rich in nutrients, especially proteins. A study on Eupelmus vuilleti (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae), a host-feeding parasitoid of larvae of Callosobruchus maculatus (F.) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae), showed that the carbohydrates (maybe lipids) but not proteins, gained from host feeding accounted for the increased egg production. Thus, host protein is probably utilized for general adult metabolism, allowing conservation of carbohydrate and/or lipid resources for direct allocation to oocytes...
August 14, 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Daniel C Nemeth, Byrappa Ammagarahalli, John E Layne, Stephanie M Rollmann
Populations inhabiting habitats with different environmental conditions, such as climate, resource availability, predation, competition, can undergo selection for traits that are adaptive in one habitat and not the other, leading to divergence between populations. Changes in the olfactory systems of insects that rely on different host plants, for example, can occur in response to differences in sensory stimuli between habitats. In this study, we investigate the evolution of host preference by characterizing the coeloconic sensilla in Drosophila mojavensis, a species that breeds on different necrotic cacti across its geographic range...
August 11, 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Taehwan Jang, Kwang Pum Lee
Temperature can modulate the responses of ectotherms to environmental stressors, such as food shortage. Temperature-mediated plasticity in starvation resistance can arise by changes in the amount of energy stored, the speed of energy expenditure, or the threshold energy reserves required for survival. However, few studies have investigated how temperature affects these physiological mechanisms underlying starvation resistance. In this study, we first examined the mechanistic basis of the temperature dependence of starvation resistance in Drosophila melanogaster...
August 9, 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Hui-Ru Jia, Yu-Feng Sun, Shu-Ping Luo, Kong-Ming Wu
Aphidophagous syrphids are important for pest control and pollination in various agroecosystems. However, the mechanism underlying olfaction, which is critical for insect' behavioral processes and fitness, has not been well understood in the family Syrphidae. Hence, we performed a systematic identification and characterisation of the antennal sensilla and two groups of soluble proteins, odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) and chemosensory proteins (CSPs), in the hoverfly Eupeodes corollae. (i) With scanning electron microscopy, four major types of sensilla (chaetic sensilla [two subtypes], trichoid sensilla, basiconic sensilla [two subtypes] and coeloconic sensilla), with numerous microtrichia, were first observed along the entire surface of aristate antennae of both sexes E...
August 3, 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Iman El Husseiny, Hanaa Elbrense, Thomas Roeder, Samar El Kholy
Cannibalism has been observed occasionally in a limited number of different animal species, but the underlying mechanisms that foster this behavior are mostly unknown. Here we show that mosquito (Culex pipiens) larvae show this behavior towards conspecifics under certain conditions. Cannibalism was only observed in 4th instar larvae and only in response to starvation. Well fed animals never showed any cannibalistic behavior. Starvation induced cannibalism of Culex 4th instar was predominantly directed towards 3rd instars rather than to 1st or 2nd instar larvae...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Danijela Kojić, Željko D Popović, Dejan Orčić, Jelena Purać, Snežana Orčić, Elvira L Vukašinović, Tatjana V Nikolić, Duško P Blagojević
The European corn borer (ECB, Ostrinia nubilalis Hbn.) is a major pest in temperate regions of Europe and North America. Fifth instar ECB larvae enter diapause before winter and gradually develop cold hardiness. Here we investigated the combined influence of diapause phase and low temperature on sugar and polyol content in ECB larvae. Larvae in mid-diapause or diapause termination were acclimated at 5 °C, -3°C or -16 °C, and sugar and polyol content was measured using GC-MS. Control GC-MS measurements were conducted on untreated non-diapausing larvae...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
E Meng, Ting Qiao, Baozhen Tang, Youming Hou, Weizhen Yu, Zhiming Chen
Although the importance of parasitoids as biocontrol agents has long been recognized, systematic studies of the physiological mechanisms are scarce, especially in those parasitoids that are able to successfully invade their hosts by activating host immune responses. This study explored this phenomenon by investigating the effects of ovarian fluid, venom and egg surface characteristics of Tetrastichus brontispae (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) on host immunity. The results showed that the injection of venom alone induced higher phenoloxidase activity, while a mixture of ovarian plus venom fluids provoked higher granulocyte and plasmatocyte spreading ratios, highlighting the role that egg surface characteristics may play in successful parasitism...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Juliette Poidatz, Christophe Bressac, Olivier Bonnard, Denis Thiéry
The population dynamics of annual social hymenoptera such as vespids depend largely on the fertility of the foundresses, which, in turn, is a key factor in the context of biological invasions. The native European hornet Vespa crabro (Vc) and the invasive Asian hornet Vespa velutina (Vv) have generally similar ecological traits, e.g. nesting and feeding habits, although they differ in colony size, which is higher in Vv. Furthermore, in contrast to Vc, Vv is more specialized in its predatory habits, intensively hunting honey bees at the hive...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Jieliang Zhao, Mengdi Xu, Youjian Liang, Shaoze Yan, Wendong Niu
The wings of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) usually produce bending and torsional deformations during flapping wing movement. These deformations endow honeybees with perfect aerodynamic control to escape predators and exploit scattered resources. However, the mechanisms by which honeybee wings recover from large deformations are unclear. This study demonstrates that honeybee wings are super-elastic that they can recover rapidly from one extreme contorted state to their original position. A comparative experiment is conducted to evaluate the difference in super-elastic recovery between attached and detached wings...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Alexandra Baron, Béatrice Denis, Claude Wicker-Thomas
Drosophila pheromones are long chain hydrocarbons (CHCs) produced by specialized epidermal cells, the oenocytes. Here we were explored the role of ovaries in CHC regulation. We studied tudor, a grandchildless-like mutation, resulting in progeny without ovaries and three alleles of ovoD, resulting in ovarian defects depending on the strength of the allele. We show here that these mutant flies with no or abnormal ovaries have a decrease in C29 length CHC ratio, balanced by an increase in C23 and C25 length ratio; this effect is dependent on the strength of the mutation...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman, Stephanie L Gage, Vanessa Corby-Harris, Mark Carroll, Mona Chambers, Henry Graham, Emily Watkins deJong, Geoffrey Hidalgo, Samantha Calle, Farida Azzouz-Olden, Charlotte Meador, Lucy Snyder, Nick Ziolkowski
Free-ranging herbivores have yearly life cycles that generate dynamic resource needs. Honey bee colonies also have a yearly life cycle that might generate nutritional requirements that differ between times of brood rearing and colony expansion in the spring and population contraction and preparation for overwintering in the fall. To test this, we analyzed polyfloral mixes of spring and fall pollens to determine if the nutrient composition differed with season. Next, we fed both types of seasonal pollens to bees reared in spring and fall...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Irving J May-Concha, Patricia A Lobbia, Gastón Mougabure-Cueto
The nymphs and adults of Triatoma infestans spend much of their time aggregated among themselves within narrow and dark shelters. The search for a suitable shelter depends in part on the recognition of chemical signals coming from the feces and the cuticle of the other individuals who use the refuge. The aim of this study was determine the possible interaction between the chemical signals associated to the feces and to the cuticle of T. infestans. The results showed that the insects remained significantly more time on the feces that had contact with legs and the feces plus footprints than feces or footprints alone, demonstrating the interaction between evaluated signals...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Andrés Arenas, Flavio Roces
Cues inside the nest provide social insect foragers with information about resources currently exploited that may influence their decisions outside. Leaf-cutting ants harvest leaf fragments that are either further processed as substrate for their symbiotic fungus, or disposed of if unsuitable. We investigated whether Acromyrmex ambiguus foragers develop learned preferences for olfactory cues they experienced either in the fungus or in the waste chamber of the nest. Foragers' olfactory preferences were quantified as a choice between sugared papers disks scented with a novel odor and with the odor experienced in one of the nest compartments, before and after odor addition...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
V Zanni, L Değirmenci, D Annoscia, R Scheiner, F Nazzi
The parasitic mite Varroa destructor is regarded as the most important parasite of honey bees and plays a fundamental role in the decline of bee colonies observed in the last decade in the Northern hemisphere. Parasitization has a number of detrimental effects on bees, including reduced nursing, which can have important impacts on colony balance. In this work we investigated at the individual level the causes of this abnormal behavior and found that the reduced nursing activity in mite-infested workers is associated with impaired learning performance and a series of physiological traits that are typical of foragers, including reduced response to brood pheromone, limited development of hypopharyngeal glands and higher juvenile hormone titre in the haemolymph...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Dennis Kolosov, Maria Tauqir, Sabitha Rajaruban, Peter M Piermarini, Andrew Donini, Michael J O'Donnell
Classical studies have described in detail the complex and regionalized morphology of the Malpighian tubule (MT) in larval Lepidoptera. Recent studies revealed unusual aspects of ion transport in the Malpighian tubules of the larva of the cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni. These included: cation reabsorption via secondary cells (SC); coupling of SCs to neighbouring PCs via gap junctions to enable reabsorption; and a reversal from cation secretion to reabsorption by the principal cells in the distal ileac plexus region of the in situ tubule in response to dietary ion loading...
August 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
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