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Tobias Engl, Martin Kaltenpoth
Covering: up to 2018Pheromones serve as chemical signals between individuals of the same species and play important roles for mate localization and mate choice as well as other social interactions in insects. A growing body of literature indicates that microbial symbionts can modulate their hosts' chemical profiles, mate choice decisions and social behavior. This modulation can occur by the direct biosynthesis of pheromone components or the provisioning of precursors, or through general changes in the metabolite pool of the host and its resource allocation into pheromone production...
March 22, 2018: Natural Product Reports
Thomas Hiller, Benjamin Honner, Rachel A Page, Marco Tschapka
Bat flies (Streblidae) are diverse, obligate blood-feeding insects and probably the most conspicuous ectoparasites of bats. They show preferences for specific body regions on their host bat, which are reflected in behavioural characteristics. In this study, we corroborate the categorization of bat flies into three ecomorphological groups, focusing only on differences in hind leg morphology. As no detailed phylogeny of bat flies is available, it remains uncertain whether these morphological differences reflect the evolutionary history of bat flies or show convergent adaptations for the host habitat type...
March 22, 2018: Parasitology
Arpa Hudait, Nathan Odendahl, Yuqing Qiu, Francesco Paesani, Valeria Molinero
Cold-adapted organisms produce antifreeze and ice-nucleating proteins to prevent and promote ice formation. The crystal structure of hyperactive bacterial antifreeze protein (AFP) MpAFP suggests that this protein binds ice through an anchored clathrate motif. It is not known whether other hyperactive AFPs and ice-nucleating proteins (INP) use the same motif to recognize or nucleate ice. Here we use molecular simulations to elucidate the ice-binding motifs of hyperactive insect AFPs and a model INP of Ps. syringae...
March 22, 2018: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Benjamin J Taylor, Robert L Jeanne
Many social insect species produce signals that either recruit foragers to a specific food source or simply activate more nestmates to become foragers. Both are means of enhancing resource exploitation by increasing the number of individuals devoted to gathering profitable resources. Gastral drumming (GD) has been documented in several species of yellowjackets and hornets (Vespidae: Vespinae). It has been hypothesized that it is a hunger signal, but there is little empirical evidence to support this claim. An alternative hypothesis is that GD recruits workers to forage for food...
March 21, 2018: Die Naturwissenschaften
Margaret S Smith, Andrew Shirley, Michael R Strand
Most social insects are free living and produce castes that develop in response to extrinsic environmental cues. Caste-forming polyembryonic insects, in contrast, are all endoparasitoids that form social groups inside the bodies of host insects. The best studied polyembryonic wasp is Copidosoma floridanum (Ashmead), which produces ∼3,000 clonal offspring that develop into two castes named reproductive and soldier larvae. Caste determination in this species is mediated by whether or not embryos inherit primary germ cells (PGCs)...
September 2017: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Mary-Carmen Torres-Quintero, Isabel Gómez, Sabino Pacheco, Jorge Sánchez, Humberto Flores, Joel Osuna, Gretel Mendoza, Mario Soberón, Alejandra Bravo
The Cyt and Cry toxins are different pore-forming proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria, and used in insect-pests control. Cry-toxins have a complex mechanism involving interaction with several proteins in the insect gut such as aminopeptidase N (APN), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and cadherin (CAD). It was shown that the loop regions of domain II of Cry toxins participate in receptor binding. Cyt-toxins are dipteran specific and interact with membrane lipids. We show that Cry1Ab domain II loop3 is involved in binding to APN, ALP and CAD receptors since point mutation Cry1Ab-G439D affected binding to these proteins...
March 21, 2018: Scientific Reports
Hannah Hesselbach, Ricarda Scheiner
Due to intensive agriculture honeybees are threatened by various pesticides. The use of one group of them, the neonicotinoids, was recently restricted by the European Union. These chemicals bind to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAchR) in the honeybee brain. Recently, Bayer AG released a new pesticide by the name of "Sivanto" against sucking insects. It is assumed to be harmless for honeybees, although its active ingredient, flupyradifurone, binds nAchR similar to the neonicotinoids. We investigated if this pesticide affects the taste for sugar and cognitive performance in honeybee foragers...
March 21, 2018: Scientific Reports
Anne A Madden, Mary Jane Epps, Tadashi Fukami, Rebecca E Irwin, John Sheppard, D Magdalena Sorger, Robert R Dunn
Many species of yeast are integral to human society. They produce many of our foods, beverages and industrial chemicals, challenge us as pathogens, and provide models for the study of our own biology. However, few species are regularly studied and much of their ecology remains unclear, hindering the development of knowledge that is needed to improve the relationships between humans and yeasts. There is increasing evidence that insects are an essential component of ascomycetous yeast ecology. We propose a 'dispersal-encounter hypothesis' whereby yeasts are dispersed by insects between ephemeral, spatially disparate sugar resources, and insects, in turn, obtain the benefits of an honest signal from yeasts for the sugar resources...
March 28, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Jianxiu Yao, Yu Cheng Zhu, John Adamczyk, Randall Luttrell
Acephate (organophosphate) is frequently used to control piercing/sucking insects in field crops in southern United States, which may pose a risk to honey bees. In this study, toxicity of acephate (formulation Bracket® 97) was examined in honey bees through feeding treatments with sublethal (pollen residue level: 0.168 mg/L) and median-lethal (LC50 : 6.97 mg/L) concentrations. Results indicated that adult bees treated with acephate at residue concentration did not show significant increase in mortality, but esterase activity was significantly suppressed...
March 18, 2018: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Toxicology & Pharmacology: CBP
Alyssa Flobinus, Nicolas Chevigny, Phillida A Charley, Tanja Seissler, Elodie Klein, Claudine Bleykasten-Grosshans, Claudio Ratti, Salah Bouzoubaa, Jeffrey Wilusz, David Gilmer
The RNA3 species of the beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV), a multipartite positive-stranded RNA phytovirus, contains the 'core' nucleotide sequence required for its systemic movement in Beta macrocarpa . Within this 'core' sequence resides a conserved "coremin" motif of 20 nucleotides that is absolutely essential for long-distance movement. RNA3 undergoes processing steps to yield a noncoding RNA3 (ncRNA3) possessing "coremin" at its 5' end, a mandatory element for ncRNA3 accumulation...
March 19, 2018: Viruses
Evelyn Rogerson, Julien Pelletier, Alvaro Acosta-Serrano, Clair Rose, Sarah Taylor, Scott Guimond, Marcelo Lima, Mark Skidmore, Edwin Yates
Tsetse flies are the principal insect vectors of African trypanosomes -sleeping sickness in humans and Nagana in cattle. One of the tsetse fly species, Glossina morsitans morsitans , is host to the parasite, Trypanosoma brucei , a major cause of African trypanosomiasis. Precise details of the life cycle have yet to be established, but the parasite life cycle involves crossing the insect peritrophic matrix (PM). The PM consists of the polysaccharide chitin, several hundred proteins, and both glycosamino- and galactosaminoglycan (GAG) polysaccharides...
March 19, 2018: Pathogens
Kondwani R Msangosoko, Mark A Boetel
The sugarbeet root maggot, Tetanops myopaeformis Röder (Diptera: Ulidiidae), is native to North America. However, its primary crop host, sugarbeet, Beta vulgaris L., was introduced to the continent from Europe in the late 19th century. This field and greenhouse research was conducted to compare the relative attractiveness of eight cultivated and wild plant species for oviposition by T. myopaeformis, and the suitability of these potential host plants for larval development to elucidate the potential native and current host range of this pest...
March 19, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Amelia R I Lindsey, Tamanash Bhattacharya, Irene L G Newton, Richard W Hardy
At the forefront of vector control efforts are strategies that leverage host-microbe associations to reduce vectorial capacity. The most promising of these efforts employs Wolbachia , a maternally transmitted endosymbiotic bacterium naturally found in 40% of insects. Wolbachia can spread through a population of insects while simultaneously inhibiting the replication of viruses within its host. Despite successes in using Wolbachia -transfected mosquitoes to limit dengue, Zika, and chikungunya transmission, the mechanisms behind pathogen-blocking have not been fully characterized...
March 21, 2018: Viruses
Carlo Polidori, Agustín Pastor, Alberto Jorge, José Pertusa
Polistes paper wasps can be used to monitor trace metal contaminants, but the effects of pollution on the health of these insects are still unknown. We evaluated, in a south-eastern area of Spain, whether workers of Polistes dominula collected at urban and rural sites differ in health of midgut tissue and in fluctuating asymmetry, an estimate of developmental noise. We found that wasps collected at the urban sites had abundant lead (Pb)-containing spherites, which were less visible in wasps from the rural sites...
March 21, 2018: Microscopy and Microanalysis
Fabricio Castro Machado, Caio Haddad Franco, Jose Vitorino Dos Santos Neto, Karina Luiza Dias-Teixeira, Carolina Borsoi Moraes, Ulisses Gazos Lopes, Bertal Huseyin Aktas, Sergio Schenkman
Some 1,3-diarylureas and 1-((1,4-trans)-4-aryloxycyclohexyl)-3-arylureas (cHAUs) activate heme-regulated kinase causing protein synthesis inhibition via phosphorylation of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2) in mammalian cancer cells. To evaluate if these agents have potential to inhibit trypanosome multiplication by also affecting the phosphorylation of eIF2 alpha subunit (eIF2α), we tested 25 analogs of 1,3-diarylureas and cHAUs against Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease. One of them (I-17) presented selectivity close to 10-fold against the insect replicative forms and also inhibited the multiplication of T...
March 20, 2018: Scientific Reports
Gary D Crouse, David A Demeter, Geno Samaritoni, Casandra L McLeod, Thomas C Sparks
New insect pest control agents are needed to meet the demands to feed an expanding global population, to address the desire for more environmentally-friendly insecticide tools, and to fill the loss of control options in some crop-pest complexes due to development of insecticide resistance. The spinosyns are a highly effective class of naturally occurring, fermentation derived insecticides, possessing a very favorable environmental profile. Chemically, the spinosyns are composed of a large complex macrolide tetracycle coupled to two sugars...
March 20, 2018: Scientific Reports
Kenji Kikuchi, Mark A Stremler, Souvick Chatterjee, Wah-Keat Lee, Osamu Mochizuki, John J Socha
Mosquitoes transport liquid foods into the body using two muscular pumps in the head. In normal drinking, these pumps reciprocate in a stereotyped pattern of oscillation, with a high frequency but small stroke volume. Do mosquitoes modulate their neuromotor programs for pumping to produce different drinking modes? More broadly, what are the mechanical consequences of a two-pump system in insects? To address these questions, we used synchrotron x-ray imaging and fluid mechanical modeling to investigate drinking performance in mosquitoes...
March 20, 2018: Scientific Reports
Sheng Li, Shiming Zhu, Qiangqiang Jia, Dongwei Yuan, Chonghua Ren, Kang Li, Suning Liu, Yingying Cui, Haigang Zhao, Yanghui Cao, Gangqi Fang, Daqi Li, Xiaoming Zhao, Jianzhen Zhang, Qiaoyun Yue, Yongliang Fan, Xiaoqiang Yu, Qili Feng, Shuai Zhan
Many cockroach species have adapted to urban environments, and some have been serious pests of public health in the tropics and subtropics. Here, we present the 3.38-Gb genome and a consensus gene set of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. We report insights from both genomic and functional investigations into the underlying basis of its adaptation to urban environments and developmental plasticity. In comparison with other insects, expansions of gene families in P. americana exist for most core gene families likely associated with environmental adaptation, such as chemoreception and detoxification...
March 20, 2018: Nature Communications
Florent Masson, Sandra Calderon Copete, Fanny Schüpfer, Gonzalo Garcia-Arraez, Bruno Lemaitre
Endosymbiotic bacteria associated with eukaryotic hosts are omnipresent in nature, particularly in insects. Studying the bacterial side of host-symbiont interactions is, however, often limited by the unculturability and genetic intractability of the symbionts. Spiroplasma poulsonii is a maternally transmitted bacterial endosymbiont that is naturally associated with several Drosophila species. S. poulsonii strongly affects its host's physiology, for example by causing male killing or by protecting it against various parasites...
March 20, 2018: MBio
Oliver T M Cocks, Paul E Eady
The copulatory organs of male insects are generally complex, species-specific arrangements of hardened sclerotized plates bound together by flexible, less sclerotized cuticle. Their extensive morphological diversification is a recurrent pattern in the evolutionary radiation of animals, yet a clear consensus as to what selection pressures drive this divergence is still to emerge. In part, this stems from the fact that the function of individual sclerites that integrate to form the aedeagus are poorly understood...
March 20, 2018: Journal of Experimental Biology
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