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Paula Sosenski, Sergio Ramos-Castro, César A Domínguez, Karina Boege, Juan Fornoni
The evolution of monomorphisms from heterostylous ancestors has been related with the presence of homostyly and the loss of self-incompatibility allowing the occurrence of selfing, which could be advantageous under pollinator limitation. However, flowers of some monomorphic species show herkogamy, attraction and rewarding traits that presumably favour cross-pollination and/or a mixed mating system. This study evaluated the contributions of pollinators, breeding system and floral traits to the reproduction of Turnera velutina, a herkogamous monomorphic species...
October 22, 2016: Plant Biology
M E Vidgen, D W Edson, A F van den Hurk, H E Field, C S Smith
Hendra virus (HeV) causes potentially fatal respiratory and/or neurological disease in both horses and humans. Although Australian flying-foxes of the genus Pteropus have been identified as reservoir hosts, the precise mechanism of HeV transmission has yet to be elucidated. To date, there has been limited investigation into the role of haematophagous insects as vectors of HeV. This mode of transmission is particularly relevant because Australian flying-foxes host the bat-specific blood-feeding ectoparasites of the genus Cyclopodia (Diptera: Nycteribiidae), also known as bat flies...
October 22, 2016: Zoonoses and Public Health
Sainath S Kasar, Kiran R Marathe, Amey J Bhide, Abhijeet P Herwade, Ashok P Giri, Vijay L Maheshwari, Pankaj K Pawar
BACKGROUND: Identification and characterization of plant defensive molecules enrich our resources to design crop protection strategies. In particular, plant derived proteinaceous inhibitor(s) of insect digestive enzymes appear to be a safe, sustainable and attractive option. RESULTS: A glycoprotein having non-competitive α-amylase inhibitory activity with molecular weight 8.3 kDa was isolated and purified from seeds of Withania somnifera (WSAI). Its mass spectrometry analysis revealed 59% sequence coverage with Wrightide II type α-AI from Wrightia religiosa...
October 22, 2016: Pest Management Science
Omar Santana-Méridas, Azucena González-Coloma, Maria Fe Andrés, Veroniki P Vidali, Moschos G Polissiou, Athanasios C Kimbaris
Essential oils from Greek Mentha species showed different chemical compositions for two populations of M. pulegium, characterized by piperitone and pulegone. M. spicata essential oil was characterized by endocyclic piperitenone epoxide, piperitone epoxide, and carvone. The bioactivities of these essential oils and their components have been tested against insect pests (Leptinotarsa decemlineata, Spodoptera littoralis and Myzus persicae), root-knot nematodes (Meloydogine javanica) and plants (Lactuca sativa, Lolium perenne, Solanum lycopersicum)...
October 21, 2016: Chemistry & Biodiversity
M I Boguś, E Włóka, A Wrońska, A Kaczmarek, M Kazek, K Zalewska, M Ligęza-Żuber, M Gołębiowski
Entomopathogenic fungi infect insects via penetration through the cuticle, which varies remarkably in chemical composition across species and life stages. Fungal infection involves the production of enzymes that hydrolyse cuticular proteins, chitin and lipids. Host specificity is associated with fungus-cuticle interactions related to substrate utilization and resistance to host-specific inhibitors. The soil fungus Conidiobolus coronatus (Constantin) (Entomophthorales: Ancylistaceae) shows virulence against susceptible species...
October 22, 2016: Medical and Veterinary Entomology
Paolo Gabrieli, Francesca Scolari
The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is a pest species with extremely high agricultural relevance. This is due to its reproductive behavior: females damage the external surface of fruits and vegetables when they lay eggs and the hatched larvae feed on their pulp. Wild C. capitata populations are traditionally controlled through insecticide spraying and/or eco-friendly approaches, the most successful being the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). The SIT relies on mass-rearing, radiation-based sterilization and field release of males that retain their capacity to mate but are not able to generate fertile progeny...
October 1, 2016: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Yu Mi Wi, Hye In Woo, Dahee Park, Keun Hwa Lee, Cheol-In Kang, Doo Ryeon Chung, Kyong Ran Peck, Jae-Hoon Song
To determine prevalence of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome in South Korea, we examined serum samples from patients with fever and insect bite history in scrub typhus-endemic areas. During the 2013 scrub typhus season, prevalence of this syndrome among patients suspected of having scrub typhus was high (23.0%), suggesting possible co-infection.
November 2016: Emerging Infectious Diseases
T Fatima Mitterboeck, Jinzhong Fu, Sarah J Adamowicz
Insect lineages have crossed between terrestrial and aquatic habitats many times, for both immature and adult life stages. We explore patterns in molecular evolutionary rates between 42 sister pairs of related terrestrial and freshwater insect clades using publicly available protein-coding DNA sequence data from the orders Coleoptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, Hemiptera, Mecoptera, Trichoptera, and Neuroptera. We furthermore test for habitat-associated convergent molecular evolution in the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene in general and at a particular amino acid site previously reported to exhibit habitat-linked convergence within an aquatic beetle group...
August 19, 2016: Genome Génome / Conseil National de Recherches Canada
Yong-Cheng Dong, Zhi-Jian Wang, Zhen-Zhong Chen, Anthony R Clarke, Chang-Ying Niu
RNA interference (RNAi) is a genetic technique which has novel application for sustainable pest control. The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) uses releases of mass-produced, sterile male insects to out-compete wild males for mates to reduce pest populations. RNAi sterilization of SIT males would have several advantages over radiation sterilization, but to achieve this appropriate target genes must first be identified and then targeted with interference technology. With this goal, eight spermatogenesis related candidate genes were cloned and tested for potential activity in Bactrocera dorsalis...
October 21, 2016: Scientific Reports
Sasha C Voss, Paola Magni, Ian Dadour, Christian Nansen
Forensic entomology is primarily concerned with the estimation of time since death and involves determination of the age of immature insects colonising decomposing remains. Accurate age determination of puparia is usually accomplished by dissection, which means destructive sampling of evidence. As part of improving abilities to correctly identify species and developmental age, it is highly desirable to have available non-destructive methods. In this study, we acquired external hyperspectral imaging (HSI) data (77 spectral bands, 389-892 nm) from the dorsal and ventral sides of individual puparia of two species of blowfly (Diptera: Calliphoridae), Calliphora dubia Macquart 1855 and Chrysomya rufifacies Macquart 1842...
October 21, 2016: International Journal of Legal Medicine
Seth Bybee, Alex Córdoba-Aguilar, M Catherine Duryea, Ryo Futahashi, Bengt Hansson, M Olalla Lorenzo-Carballa, Ruud Schilder, Robby Stoks, Anton Suvorov, Erik I Svensson, Janne Swaegers, Yuma Takahashi, Phillip C Watts, Maren Wellenreuther
Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) present an unparalleled insect model to integrate evolutionary genomics with ecology for the study of insect evolution. Key features of Odonata include their ancient phylogenetic position, extensive phenotypic and ecological diversity, several unique evolutionary innovations, ease of study in the wild and usefulness as bioindicators for freshwater ecosystems worldwide. In this review, we synthesize studies on the evolution, ecology and physiology of odonates, highlighting those areas where the integration of ecology with genomics would yield significant insights into the evolutionary processes that would not be gained easily by working on other animal groups...
2016: Frontiers in Zoology
Wei Zhang, Arun Wanchoo, Almudena Ortiz-Urquiza, Yuxian Xia, Nemat O Keyhani
Insects interact with the surrounding environment via chemoreception, and in social insects such as ants, chemoreception functions to mediate diverse behaviors including food acquisition, self/non-self recognition, and intraspecific communication. The invasive red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, has spread worldwide, displaying a remarkable environmental adaptability. Odorant binding proteins (OBPs) are chemical compound carriers, involved in diverse physiological processes including odor detection and chemical transport...
October 21, 2016: Scientific Reports
David H Hembry, David M Althoff
Brood pollination mutualisms-interactions in which specialized insects are both the pollinators (as adults) and seed predators (as larvae) of their host plants-have been influential study systems for coevolutionary biology. These mutualisms include those between figs and fig wasps, yuccas and yucca moths, leafflowers and leafflower moths, globeflowers and globeflower flies, Silene plants and Hadena and Perizoma moths, saxifrages and Greya moths, and senita cacti and senita moths. The high reciprocal diversity and species-specificity of some of these mutualisms have been cited as evidence that coevolution between plants and pollinators drives their mutual diversification...
October 7, 2016: American Journal of Botany
Golnaz Salehipour-Shirazi, Laura V Ferguson, Brent J Sinclair
Cold exposure appears to activate aspects of the insect immune system; however, the functional significance of the relationship between cold and immunity is unclear. Insect success at low temperatures is shaped in part by interactions with biotic stressors, such as pathogens, thus it is important to understand how and why immunity might be activated by cold. Here we explore which components of the immune system are activated, and whether those components differ among different kinds of cold exposure. We exposed Drosophila melanogaster to both acute (2h, -2°C) and sustained (10h, -0...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Insect Physiology
Alemayehu Teressa Negawo, Linda Baranek, Hans-Jörg Jacobsen, Fathi Hassan
Transgenic pea lines transformed with the cry1Ac gene were characterized at molecular (PCR, RT-PCR, qRT-PCR and immunostrip assay) and functional levels (leaf paint and insect feeding bioassays). The results showed the presence, expression, inheritance and functionality of the introduced transgene at different progeny levels. Variation in the expression of the cry1Ac gene was observed among the different transgenic lines. In the insect bioassay studies using the larvae of Heliothis virescens, both larval survival and plant damage were highly affected on the different transgenic plants...
October 20, 2016: GM Crops & Food
Alissa J Brown, Douglas H Deutschman, Jessica Braswell, Dana McLaughlin
Granivorous animals may prefer to predate or cache seed of certain plant species over others. Multiple studies have documented preference for larger, non-native seed by granivores. To accomplish this, researchers have traditionally used indirect inference by relating patterns of seed removal to the species composition of the granivorous animal community. To measure seed removal, researchers present seed to granivorous animals in the field using equipment intended to exclude certain animal taxa while permitting access to others...
2016: PloS One
Ting Li, Tristan M Cofer, Marie J Engelberth, Jurgen Engelberth
Previously, we described a priming effect of α-linolenic acid (LnA) on anti-herbivore defense response in maize seedlings (1) . We showed that exogenous application of LnA stimulated higher jasmonic acid (JA) accumulation and herbivore-induced plant volatile (HIPV) emission after treatment with insect elicitor (IE). To further investigate the specificity of LnA's priming effect, we incubated maize seedlings in palmitoleic acid (PeicA), γ-linolenic acid (γ LnA) and stearic acid (StA) solutions, and analyzed HIPV emission in response to IE...
October 20, 2016: Plant Signaling & Behavior
Qingsong Liu, Eric Hallerman, Yufa Peng, Yunhe Li
Rice and maize are important cereal crops that serve as staple foods, feed, and industrial material in China. Multiple factors constrain the production of both crops, among which insect pests are an important one. Lepidopteran pests cause enormous yield losses for the crops annually. In order to control these pests, China plays an active role in development and application of genetic engineering (GE) to crops, and dozens of GE rice and GE maize lines expressing insecticidal proteins from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been developed...
October 18, 2016: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Hemant Gujar, Subba Reddy Palli
To begin studies on reproduction in common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, we identified three genes coding for vitellogenin (Vg, a protein required for the reproductive success of insects) and studied their hormonal regulation. RNA interference studied showed that expression of Vg3 gene in the adult females is a prerequisite for successful completion of embryogenesis in the eggs laid by them. Juvenile hormone (JH) receptor, Methoprene-tolerant (Met), steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) and GATAa but not ecdysone receptor (EcR) or its partner, ultraspiracle (USP) are required for expression of Vg genes...
October 20, 2016: Scientific Reports
Djordje Mirkovic, Phillip M Stepanian, Jeffrey F Kelly, Phillip B Chilson
The radar scattering characteristics of aerial animals are typically obtained from controlled laboratory measurements of a freshly harvested specimen. These measurements are tedious to perform, difficult to replicate, and typically yield only a small subset of the full azimuthal, elevational, and polarimetric radio scattering data. As an alternative, biological applications of radar often assume that the radar cross sections of flying animals are isotropic, since sophisticated computer models are required to estimate the 3D scattering properties of objects having complex shapes...
October 20, 2016: Scientific Reports
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