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Insect Science

Arkadiusz Urbański, Jan Lubawy, Paweł Marciniak, Grzegorz Rosiński
Burying beetles (Nicrophorus sp.) are necrophagous insects with developed parental care. Genome of Nicrophorus vespilloides has been recently sequenced, which makes them interesting model organism in behavioural ecology. However, we know very little about their physiology, including the functioning of their neuro-endocrine system. In this study, one of the physiological activities of proctolin, myosuppressin (Nicve-MS), myoinhibitory peptide (Trica-MIP-5) and the short neuropeptide F (Nicve-sNPF) in N. vespilloides have been investigated...
January 15, 2018: Insect Science
Nicolas Larranaga, Michel Baguette, Olivier Calvez, Delphine Legrand
When, how often and for how long organisms mate can have strong consequences for individual fitness and are crucial aspects of evolutionary ecology. Such determinants are likely to be of even greater importance in monandrous species and species with short adult life stages. Previous work suggests that mobility, a key dispersal-related trait, may affect the dynamics of copulations, but few studies have investigated the impact of individual mobility on mating latency, copulation duration and oviposition latency simultaneously...
January 10, 2018: Insect Science
Zu-Lian Liu, Jun Xu, Lin Ling, Ru Zhang, Peng Shang, Yong-Ping Huang
The translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is a highly conserved and multifunctional protein with activities ranging from cytoskeletal regulation to transcription regulation in numerous organisms. In insects, TCTP is essential for cell growth and proliferation. Recently, TCTP has been reported to affect the innate intestinal immune pathway in the Bombyx mori silkworm, a lepidopteran model insect. However, the comprehensive physiological roles of TCTP in the silkworm remain poorly understood. Here, we performed functional analysis of BmTCTP by using a binary transgenic CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromin repeats/RNA-guided Cas9 nucleases) system...
January 9, 2018: Insect Science
Chia-Ching Chu, Mark Hoffmann, W Evan Braswell, Kirsten S Pelz-Stelinski
Wolbachia can profoundly influence the survival, reproduction, and defenses of insect hosts. These interactions could potentially be harnessed for managing pests or insect-transmitted diseases. Diaphorina citri Kuwayama is a phloem-feeding pest capable of transmitting the putative causal agent of citrus greening, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). Like many insects, D. citri is also infected with Wolbachia (wDi). Recent studies indicate that the relative abundance of wDi could be associated with the abundance of CLas, and that wDi may contribute to regulating expression of phage lytic cycle genes in CLas, suggesting the need for better understanding of wDi biology in general...
December 29, 2017: Insect Science
Kazuki Sato, Keita Miyata, Sota Ozawa, Koichi Hasegawa
The vacuolar (H+ )-ATPases (V-ATPases) are ATP-driven proton pumps with multiple functions in many organisms. In this study, we performed structural and functional analysis of vha55 gene that encodes V-ATPase subunit B in the smokybrown cockroach Periplaneta fuliginosa (Blattodea). We observed a high homology score of the deduced amino acid sequences between 10 species in seven orders. RNAi of the vha55 gene in P. fuliginosa caused nymphal/nymphal molting defects with incomplete shedding of old cuticles, growth inhibition, as well as bent and wrinkled cuticles of thoraxes and abdominal segments...
December 29, 2017: Insect Science
Qian Meng, Ji-Hong Zhang, Huan Zhang, Gui-Ling Zhou, Ruo-Rao Ni, Yan-Ni Zhao, Qi-Lian Qin, Zhen Zou
Insects have a large family of C-type lectins involved in cell adhesion, pathogen recognition, and activation of immune responses. In this study, 32 transcripts encoding C-type lectin domain proteins (CTLDPs) were identified from the Thitarodes xiaojinensis transcriptome. According to their domain structures, six CTLDPs with one carbohydrate-recognition domain (CRD) were classified into the CTL-S subfamily. The other 23 CTLDPs with two CRDs were grouped into the immulectin (IML) subfamily. The remaining three with extra regulatory domains were sorted into the CTL-X subfamily...
December 23, 2017: Insect Science
Christopher Wattier, Amélie Turbant, Lisa Sargos-Vallade, Jérôme Pelloux, Christine Rusterucci, Anas Cherqui
We investigated whether plant ecotype might affect aphid performance and behavior. The probing behaviors of the polyphagous aphid Myzus persicae and the oligophagous aphid Brevicoryne brassicae on two ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana, WS and Col-0 were recorded using the direct current electrical penetration graph method (DC-EPG). Myzus persicae displayed a significant preference for the WS ecotype but was not greatly disturbed on Col-0, while B. brassicae discriminated between the two A. thaliana ecotypes, feeding less on WS than on Col-0...
December 21, 2017: Insect Science
Amy C Morey, R C Venette, W D Hutchison
Population responses to environmental extremes often dictate the bounds to species' distributions. However, population dynamics at, or near, those range limits may also be affected by sublethal effects. We exposed late instars and pupae of an invasive leafroller, Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), to cold temperatures and measured the effects of exposure on subsequent survivorship, development, and reproduction. Cold temperature was applied as acute exposure to -10°C (a low, but not immediately lethal temperature for this species) or the onset of freezing (the peak of the supercooling point exotherm)...
November 28, 2017: Insect Science
Wei-Wen Chen, Kui Kang, Pan Yang, Wen-Qing Zhang
In insects, the gustatory system plays a crucial role in multiple physiological behaviors, including feeding, toxin avoidance, courtship, mating and oviposition. Gustatory stimuli from the environment are recognized by gustatory receptors. To date, little is known about the function of gustatory receptors in agricultural pest insects. In this study, we cloned a sugar gustatory receptor gene, NlGr11, from the brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens (Stål), a serious pest of rice in Asia; we then identified its ligands, namely, fructose, galactose and arabinose, by calcium imaging assay...
November 27, 2017: Insect Science
Yiyang Yuan, Mei Li, Fan Fan, Xinghui Qiu
Malpighian tubules (MTs) are usually considered the key excretory and osmoregulatory organs of insects. However, increasing evidences have suggested that MTs perform many more functions than just osmoregulation. Until now, the molecular and physiological functions of MTs in the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera), a very important agricultural pest, are largely unknown. In this study, the transcriptomes of H. armigera MTs from larvae, male adults and female adults were sequenced using RNA-Seq technology, and comparative analyses of transcriptomes between two life stages (larval and adult) and between adult sexes were conducted...
November 27, 2017: Insect Science
Yinhuan Ding, Daoyuan Yu, Weibo Guo, Jiannan Li, Feng Zhang
Highly diversified colourations among springtails (Collembola) have been widely used for species diagnosis, but their phylogenetic significance is poorly known. We addressed this issue in the largest Entomobryinae genus Entomobrya, which possesses variable colour patterns among species. The relationships within the genus and to other genera were also rarely studied. Based on material mainly from China, we have conducted a multilocus phylogeny and topology tests with likelihood and Bayesian algorithms, and accordingly demonstrated the non-monophyly of Chinese Entomobrya...
November 14, 2017: Insect Science
Feng Jiang, Qing Liu, Xiang Liu, Xian-Hui Wang, Le Kang
Epigenetic gene control is maintained by chromatin-associated Polycomb group (PcG) and Trithorax group (TrxG) genes, which act antagonistically via the interplay between PcG and TrxG regulation to generate silenced or permissive transcriptional states. In this study, we searched for PcG/TrxG genes in 180 arthropod genomes, covering all the sequenced arthropod genomes at the time of conducting this study, to perform a global investigation of PcG/TrxG genes in a phylogenetic frame. Results of ancestral state reconstruction analysis revealed that the ancestor of arthropod species has an almost complete repertoire of PcG/TrxG genes, and most of these genes were seldom lost above order level...
November 11, 2017: Insect Science
Ewa B Śliwińska, Rafał Martyka, Mirosław Martyka, Mariusz Cichoń, Piotr Tryjanowski
Interactions between ecological communities of herbivores and microbes are commonly mediated by a shared plant. A tripartite interaction between a pathogenic fungus-host plant-herbivorous insect is an example of such mutual influences. In such a system a fungal pathogen commonly has a negative influence on the morphology and biochemistry of the host plant, with consequences for insect herbivore performance. Here we studied whether the biotrophic fungus Podosphaera ferruginea, attacking the great burnet Sanguisorba officinalis, affects caterpillar performance of the endangered scarce large blue butterfly Phengaris teleius...
November 7, 2017: Insect Science
Xu-Jiang He, Wu-Jun Jiang, Mi Zhou, Andrew B Barron, Zhi-Jiang Zeng
Honeybees (Apis mellifera) have haplodiploid sex determination: males develop from unfertilized eggs and females develop from fertilized ones. The differences in larval food also determine the development of females. Here we compared the total somatic gene expression profiles of 2-day and 4-day-old drone, queen and worker larvae by RNA-Seq. The results from a co-expression network analysis on all expressed genes showed that 2-day-old drone and worker larvae were closer in gene expression profiles than 2-day-old queen larvae...
November 6, 2017: Insect Science
Julio S Bernal, Amanda M Dávila-Flores, Raul F Medina, Yolanda H Chen, Kyle E Harrison, Kimberly A Berrier
Investigating how crop domestication and early farming mediated crop attributes, distributions, and interactions with antagonists may shed light on today's agricultural pest problems. Crop domestication generally involved artificial selection for traits desirable to early farmers, e.g., increased productivity or yield, and enhanced qualities, though invariably it altered the interactions between crops and insects, and expanded the geographical ranges of crops. Thus, some studies suggest that with crop domestication and spread, insect populations on wild crop ancestors gave rise to pestiferous insect populations on crops...
November 3, 2017: Insect Science
Karolina Pierzynowska, Marta Skowron Volponi, Grzegorz Węgrzyn
The Apollo butterfly, Parnassius apollo (Linnaeus), was common in Europe over 100 years ago, but currently it is considered as near threatened. Different conservation programs have promoted the persistence of this species, however, it is still endangered. An example of such programs was the action devoted to reestablish the Apollo butterfly population in Pieniny National Park (Poland) from only 20-30 individuals which had survived till the last decade of the 20th century. This reintroduction has been successful, however, unexpected developmental problems appeared...
November 2, 2017: Insect Science
Marco Ferrante, Gábor L Lövei, Serena Magagnoli, Lenka Minarcikova, Elena Larisa Tomescu, Giovanni Burgio, Ludovit Cagan, Mihael Cristin Ichim
Humankind draws important benefits from large-scale ecological processes, termed ecosystem services yet the status of several of them is declining. Reliable monitoring methods are essential for tracking the status of ecosystem services. Predation is the mainstay of natural pest control, a key ecosystem service. We used green plasticine caterpillars to monitor predation pressure, and to obtain baseline data on predator activity in transgenic Bt vs. non-Bt maize fields in Old and New World countries. Predation pressure was measured at ground and canopy levels using an identical, small-plot experimental design in four European countries (Denmark, Slovakia, Romania, Italy) and Argentina...
November 1, 2017: Insect Science
Valeria Mereghetti, Bessem Chouaia, Lidia Limonta, Daria Patrizia Locatelli, Matteo Montagna
Diversity and composition of lepidopteran microbiotas are poorly investigated, especially across the different developmental stages. To improve this knowledge, we characterize the microbiota among different developmental stages of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, which is considered one of the major pest of commodities worldwide. Using culture-independent approach based on Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing we characterized the microbiota of four developmental stages: eggs, first and last instar larvae and adult...
November 1, 2017: Insect Science
Zhi-Lang Li, Sha Tian, Huan Yang, Xia Zhou, Shu-Ping Xu, Zi-Yu Zhang, Jing Gong, Yong Hou, Qing-You Xia
The insect cuticle plays important roles in numerous physiological functions to protect the body from invasion of pathogens, physical injury, and dehydration. In this report, we conducted a comprehensive genome-wide search for genes encoding proteins with peritrophin A-type (ChtBD2) chitin-binding domain (CBD) in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. One of these genes, which encodes the cuticle protein BmCBP1, was additionally cloned, and its expression and location during the process of development and molting in B...
October 31, 2017: Insect Science
Thomas Boivin, Violette Doublet, Jean-Noël Candau
Plant-insect interactions are key model systems to assess how some species affect the distribution, the abundance, and the evolution of others. Tree reproductive structures represent a critical resource for many insect species, which can be likely drivers of demography, spatial distribution, and trait diversification of plants. In this review, we present the ecological implications of pre-dispersal herbivory on tree reproductive structures by insects (PIHR) in forest ecosystems. Both insect's and tree's perspectives are addressed with an emphasis on how spatio-temporal variation and unpredictability in seed availability can shape such particular plant-animal interactions...
October 30, 2017: Insect Science
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