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Insect Science

Sean F Ryan, Patti Valella, Gabrielle Thivierge, Matthew L Aardema, J Mark Scriber
A key adaptation in insects for dealing with variable environmental conditions is the ability to diapause. The tiger swallowtail butterflies, Papilio glaucus and P. canadensis are ideal species to explore the genetic causes and population genetic consequences of diapause because divergence in this trait is believed to be a salient factor in maintaining a hybrid zone between these species. Yet little is known about the factors that influence diapause induction in this system. Here we explored how spatial (latitudinal), environmental (temperature) and genetic (hybridization) factors affect diapause induction in this system...
November 29, 2016: Insect Science
Vadim Y Kryukov, Olga N Yaroslavtseva, Miranda M A Whitten, Maksim V Tyurin, Katherine J Ficken, Carolyn Greig, Nadja R Melo, Viktor V Glupov, Ivan M Dubovskiy, Tariq M Butt
This study examines how the dynamics of fungus - insect interactions can be modulated by temperature. The wax moth, Galleria mellonella, is a well-studied and important model insect whose larvae in the wild develop optimally at around 34°C in beehives. However, surprisingly little research on wax moths has been conducted at relevant temperatures. In this study, the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii inflicted rapid and substantial mortality on wax moth larvae maintained at a constant temperature of 24°C, but at 34°C a ten-fold higher dose was required to achieve an equivalent mortality...
November 29, 2016: Insect Science
Jerry Asalma Nboyine, Stephane Boyer, David J Saville, Stephen David Wratten
The efficacy of different combinations of under-vine and inter-row treatments for managing a soil-dwelling orthopteran pest, weta (Hemiandrus sp.), in vineyards was investigated over two seasons. This insect damages vine buds, thus reducing subsequent grape yield. The under-vine treatments comprised pea straw mulch, mussel shells, tick beans (Vicia faba Linn. var minor (Fab)), plastic sleeves on vine trunks (treated control) and control (no intervention), while inter-rows contained either the existing vegetation or tick beans...
November 28, 2016: Insect Science
Anne Duplouy, Luisa Woestmann, Juan Gallego-Zamorano, Marjo Saastamoinen
In butterflies, male reproductive success is highly related to the quality and the size of the spermatophore transferred to the female. The spermatophore is a capsule produced by the male during copulation, which in many species contains sperm in addition to a nuptial gift, and which is digested by the female after copulation. The nuptial gift may contribute to egg production and offspring quality, and in some cases also to female body maintenance. The production of the spermatophore, however, represents a cost for the male and, in polyandrous species, ejaculates are sometimes allocated adaptively across matings...
November 24, 2016: Insect Science
Roberto Quezada-García, Álvaro Fuentealba, Éric Bauce
The effects of nutrition may have subtantial impact on insect evolution by shaping different components of phenotypes. The key to undestanding this evolutionary process is to know how nutritional condition affects additive and non-additive components of the phenotype. However, this is poorly understood in outbreaking insects. We investigated the additive and non-additive variation present in food utilization traits in spruce budworm individuals subjected to chronic nutritional stress. 160 full-sib families of spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clem...
November 8, 2016: Insect Science
Fei Yang, Mao Chen, Anilkumar Gowda, David L Kerns, Fangneng Huang
The sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (F.), is a major maize borer pest and a target of transgenic maize expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins in South America and the mid-southern region of the U.S. Evolution of resistance in target pest populations is a great threat to the long-term efficacy of Bt crops. In this study, we compared the genetic basis of resistance to Cry1Ab protein in three resistant colonies of sugarcane borer established from field populations in Louisiana, USA. Responses of larvae to the Cry1Ab protein for the parental and ten other cross colonies were assayed in a diet-incorporated bioassay...
November 8, 2016: Insect Science
Alei Geng, Jian Wu, Rong-Rong Xie, Xia Li, Fu-Xiang Chang, Jian-Zhong Sun
Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki is a wood-feeding termite, which secretes a series of lignolytic and cellulolytic enzymes for woody biomass degradation. However, the lignin modification mechanism in termite is largely ellusive, and the characteristics of most lignolytic enzymes in termite remain unknown. In this study, a laccase gene lac1 from C. formosanus was heterogeneously expressed in insect Sf9 cells. The purified Lac1 showed strong activities toward hydroquinone (305 mU/mg) and 2,6-dimethoxyphenol (2...
November 1, 2016: Insect Science
Brigitte Poulin, Gaëtan Lefebvre
Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) is the most commonly used larvicide to control mosquitoes worldwide. Considered as non-toxic to most organisms, Bti can nevertheless cause trophic perturbations to natural communities by reducing the abundance of Chironomidae, which are a key element of wetland food webs. Since August 2006, up to 8400 of the 33 000 ha of mosquito larval biotopes in the Camargue (Rhône delta, in southern France), are monitored by a public agency and Bti-sprayed (aqueous solution of VectoBac 12AS at 2...
October 29, 2016: Insect Science
Yue-Kun Wu, Chao Zou, Dao-Meng Fu, Wan-Na Zhang, Hai-Jun Xiao
Heat shock proteins (Hsps) have been linked to stresses and winter diapause in insects, but whether they are components of summer diapause is still unknown. In this study, cDNAs of Hsp90 from Pieris melete, Pieris rapae and Pieris canidia named PmHsp90, PrHsp90 and PcHsp90, respectivele, were cloned and sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequence consisted of 718 amino acid residues with a putative molecular mass of 82.6, 82.6, 82.7 kDa respectively. The amino acid sequences contained all of the five conserved signature motifs in the Hsp90 family and a bHLH protein folding activity region...
October 28, 2016: Insect Science
Ina Monika Margret Heidinger, Silke Hein, Heike Feldhaar, Hans-Joachim Poethke
In the highly fragmented landscape of central Europe, dispersal is of particular importance as it determines the long-term survival of animal populations. Dispersal not only secures the re-colonization of patches where populations went extinct, it may also rescue small populations and thus prevent local extinction events. As dispersal involves different individual fitness costs, the decision to disperse should not be random but context-dependent and often will be biased towards a certain group of individuals (e...
October 24, 2016: Insect Science
Sasha Kay, Daniel Skowronski, Brendan G Hunt
DNA methylation is accomplished in animals by two classes of enzymes known as DNA methyltransferases, DNMT3 and DNMT1, which perform de novo methylation and maintenance methylation, respectively. Several studies of hymenopteran eusocial insects suggest that DNA methylation is capable of influencing developmental plasticity. However, fundamental questions remain about the patterning of DNA methylation during the course of insect development. In this study, we performed quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) on transcripts from the single-copy orthologs of DNMT1 and DNMT3 in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta...
October 24, 2016: Insect Science
Zachary Y Huang, Stephanie Lin, Kiheung Ahn
Methoprene, a juvenile hormone (JH) analog, is a widely used insecticide that also accelerates behavioral development in honey bees (Apis mellifera). JH regulates the transition from nursing to foraging in adult worker bees, and treatment with JH or methoprene have both been shown to induce precocious foraging. To determine how methoprene changes honey bee behavior, we compared JH titers of methoprene-treated and untreated bees. Behavioral observations confirmed that methoprene treatment significantly increased the number of precocious foragers in 3 out of 4 colonies...
October 20, 2016: Insect Science
Maryse Vanderplanck, Sylvain Decleves, Nathalie Roger, Corentin Decroo, Guillaume Caulier, Gaetan Glauser, Pascal Gerbaux, Georges Lognay, Aurore Richel, Nathalie Escaravage, Denis Michez
Current evidence suggests that pollen is both chemically and structurally protected. Despite increasing interest in studying bee-flower networks, the constraints for bee development related to pollen nutritional content, toxicity and digestibility as well as their role in the shaping of bee-flower interactions have been poorly studied. In this study we combined bioassays of the generalist bee Bombus terrestris on pollen of Cirsium, Trifolium, Salix and Cistus genera with an assessment of nutritional content, toxicity and digestibility of pollen...
October 12, 2016: Insect Science
Jacques Régnière, Vincent G Nealis
Conifer-feeding budworms emerge from overwintering sites as small larvae in early spring, several days before budburst, and mine old needles. These early-emerging larvae suffer considerable mortality during this foraging period as they disperse in search of available, current-year buds. Once buds flush, surviving budworms construct feeding shelters and must complete maturation before fresh host foliage senesces and lignifies later in the summer. Late-developing larvae suffer greater mortality and survivors have lower fecundity when feeding on older foliage...
October 3, 2016: Insect Science
Haiyan Li, Ann C Smigocki
Sugar beet root maggot (SBRM, Tetanops myopaeformis von Röder) is a major but poorly understood insect pest of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.). The molecular mechanisms underlying plant defense responses are well documented, however, little information is available about complementary mechanisms for insect adaptive responses to overcome host resistance. To date, no studies have been published on SBRM gene expression profiling. Suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) generated more than 300 SBRM ESTs differentially expressed in the interaction of the pest with a moderately resistant (F1016) and a susceptible (F1010) sugar beet line...
October 3, 2016: Insect Science
Xiao-Jian Liu, Ya-Wen Sun, Da-Qi Li, Sheng Li, En-Bo Ma, Jian-Zhen Zhang
In Locusta migratoria, we found that two chitin biosynthesis genes, UDP N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylase gene LmUAP1 and chitin synthase gene LmCHS1, are expressed mainly in the integument and are responsible for cuticle formation. However, whether these genes are regulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) is still largely unclear. Here, we showed the developmental expression pattern of LmUAP1, LmCHS1 and the corresponding 20E titer during the last instar nymph stage of locust. RNA interference (RNAi) directed toward a common region of the two isoforms of LmEcR (LmEcRcom) reduced the expression level of LmUAP1, while there was no difference in the expression of LmCHS1...
October 3, 2016: Insect Science
Nicolas Brasero, Baptiste Martinet, Thomas Lecocq, Patrick Lhomme, Paolo Biella, Irena Valterova, Klara Urbanova, Maurizio Cornalba, Heather Hines, Pierre Rasmont
Socially parasitic Hymenoptera have evolved morphological, chemical, and behavioral adaptations to overcome the sophisticated recognition and defense systems of their social host to invade host nests and exploit their worker force. In bumblebees, social parasitism appeared in at least three subgenera independently: in the subgenus Psithyrus consisting entirely of parasitic species, in the subgenus Alpinobombus with Bombus hyperboreus, and in the subgenus Thoracobombus with B. inexspectatus. Cuckoo bumblebee males utilize species-specific cephalic labial gland secretions for mating purposes which have been showed as acting in their inquiline strategy...
October 3, 2016: Insect Science
Gabor L Lövei, Marco Ferrante
Sentinel prey can provide a direct, quantitative measure of predation under field conditions. Live sentinel prey provides more realistic data but rarely allows the partitioning of the total predation pressure; artificial prey is less natural but traces left by different predators are identifiable, making it suitable for comparative studies. We reviewed the available evidence of the use of both types of invertebrate sentinel prey. Fifty-seven papers used real prey, usually measuring predation on a focal (often pest) species, with studies overwhelmingly from North America...
September 30, 2016: Insect Science
Carl Stenoien, Kelly R Nail, Jacinta M Zalucki, Hazel Parry, Karen S Oberhauser, Myron P Zalucki
We review the postulated threatening processes that may have affected the decline in the eastern population of the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus L. (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), in North America. Although there are likely multiple contributing factors, such as climate and resource-related effects on breeding, migrating, and overwintering populations, the key landscape-level change appears to be associated with the widespread use of genetically modified herbicide resistant crops that have rapidly come to dominate the extensive core summer breeding range...
September 21, 2016: Insect Science
Ayad Masry, Michael J Furlong, Anthony R Clarke, John P Cunningham
Good culturing methods play an important role in the study of insect behaviour and its application to pest management. Here, we describe and validate a new method for rearing the parasitoid wasp, Diachasmimorpha kraussii, which attacks some of the world's worst fruit fly pests and is an internationally used biological control agent. Our method differs from standard culturing approaches by presenting adult wasps with host-infested artificial media within a "culturing bag", which mimics the natural (fruit) oviposition substrate...
September 21, 2016: Insect Science
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