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Insect Physiology

Yehuda Ben-Shahar
Manganese (Mn) is an essential trace element that acts as a metal co-factor in diverse biochemical and cellular functions. However, chronic environmental exposure to high levels of Mn is a well-established risk factor for the etiology of severe, atypical parkinsonian syndrome (manganism) via its accumulation in the basal ganglia, pallidum, and striatum brain regions, which is often associated with abnormal dopamine, GABA, and glutamate neural signaling. Recent studies have indicated that chronic Mn exposure at levels that are below the risk for manganism can still cause behavioral, cognitive, and motor dysfunctions via poorly understood mechanisms at the molecular and cellular levels...
2018: Frontiers in Genetics
Karolina Pierzynowska, Lidia Gaffke, Zuzanna Cyske, Michał Puchalski, Estera Rintz, Michał Bartkowski, Marta Osiadły, Michał Pierzynowski, Jagoda Mantej, Ewa Piotrowska, Grzegorz Węgrzyn
Autophagy is a process of degradation of macromolecules in the cytoplasm, particularly proteins of a long half-life, as well as whole organelles, in eukaryotic cells. Lysosomes play crucial roles during this degradation. Autophagy is a phylogenetically old, and evolutionarily conserved phenomenon which occurs in all eukaryotic cells. It can be found in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, insect Drosophila melanogaster, and mammals, including humans. Its high importance for cell physiology has been recognized, and in fact, dysfunctions causing impaired autophagy are associated with many severe disorders, including cancer and metabolic brain diseases...
March 14, 2018: Metabolic Brain Disease
Thomas Cahon, Robin Caillon, Sylvain Pincebourde
Arthropods at the surface of plants live in particular microclimatic conditions that can differ from atmospheric conditions. The temperature of plant leaves can deviate from air temperature, and leaf temperature influences the eco-physiology of small insects. The activity of insects feeding on leaf tissues, may, however, induce changes in leaf surface temperatures, but this effect was only rarely demonstrated. Using thermography analysis of leaf surfaces under controlled environmental conditions, we quantified the impact of presence of apple green aphids on the temperature distribution of apple leaves during early infestation...
March 14, 2018: Insects
Li Xu, Hong-Bo Jiang, Xiao-Feng Chen, Ying Xiong, Xue-Ping Lu, Yu-Xia Pei, Guy Smagghe, Jin-Jun Wang
Biogenic amines perform many kinds of important physiological functions in the central nervous system (CNS) of insects, acting as neuromodulators, neurotransmitters, and neurohormones. The five most abundant types of biogenic amines in invertebrates are dopamine, histamine, serotonin, tyramine, and octopamine (OA). However, in beetles, an important group of model and pest insects, the role of tyramine β-hydroxylase (TβH) in the OA biosynthesis pathway and the regulation of behavior remains unknown so far...
March 14, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Tomáš Štětina, Petr Hůla, Martin Moos, Petr Šimek, Petr Šmilauer, Vladimír Koštál
Physiological adjustments accompanying insect cold acclimation prior to cold stress have been relatively well explored. In contrast, recovery from cold stress received much less attention. Here we report on recovery of drosophilid fly larvae (Chymomyza costata) from three different levels of cold stress: supercooling to -10 °C, freezing at -30 °C, and cryopreservation at -196 °C. Analysis of larval CO2 production suggested that recovery from all three cold stresses requires access to additional energy reserves to support cold-injury repair processes...
March 13, 2018: Scientific Reports
Purushottam R Lomate, Bryony C Bonning
Management of the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), an invasive, agricultural pest in the United States, has presented significant challenges. This polyphagous insect uses both extra-oral and gut-based digestion thwarting protein- or nucleotide-based control strategies. The objective of this study was to biochemically characterize the digestive enzymes (proteases and nucleases) from the saliva, salivary gland and the gut of H. halys. Enzyme profiles for the two tissues and saliva radically differ: The pH optimum for proteases in the gut was six, with cysteine proteases predominant...
March 12, 2018: Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Marlène Chirault, Christophe Bressac, Marlène Goubault, Charlotte Lécureuil
Insect reproduction is influenced by various external factors including temperature, a well studied constraint. We investigated to what extent different levels of sperm limitation of males exposed to different heat-stresses (34°C and 36°C) affect females' offspring production and sex allocation in Nasonia vitripennis. In this haplodiploid parasitoid wasp attacking different species of pest flies, we investigated the effect of the quantity of sperm females received and stored in their spermatheca on their sperm use decisions, hence sex allocation, over successive ovipositions...
March 9, 2018: Insect Science
Maurizio Francesco Brivio, Andrea Toscano, Simone Maria De Pasquale, Andrea De Lerma Barbaro, Stefano Giovannardi, Giovanna Finzi, Maristella Mastore
BACKGROUND: Steinernema carpocapsae is a nematocomplex widely used as alternative to chemicals for the biological control of insect pests; this nematode is symbiotically associated with the bacteria Xenorhabdus nematophila and both contribute to the host death. Architecture and functions of structures and molecular components of the surface of nematodes and their symbionts bacteria are integral to the early interactions with their hosts; thus, we assessed the role of protein pools isolated from the surface of S...
March 8, 2018: Pest Management Science
Jun Cai, Hongxia Yang, Song Shi, Guohua Zhong, Xin Yi
The sterile insect technique (SIT) may reduce pest populations by allowing sufficient amount of irradiation-induced sterile males to mate with wild females whilst maintaining mating ability comparable to wild males. Although the SIT methods are well understood, the optimal sterilizing dose and processing development stage for application vary among species. To ensure effective pest control programs, effects of irradiation on physiology, behavior, and gene function in the target species should be defined, however, little is known about irradiation effects in Bactrocera tau ...
2018: Frontiers in Physiology
Andrew Van Cott, Markus Frericks, Charles Hastings, Naveed Honarvar, Burkhard Flick, Eric Fabian, Bennard van Ravenzwaay
Afidopyropen is a novel insecticide that acts as a TRPV channel modulator in chordotonal organs of target insects. In two carcinogenicity studies with Fischer rats, an increased incidence of uterine adenocarcinomas was observed at 1000 and 3000 ppm. This finding prompted an investigation of the mechanism of the tumor formation as well as the relevance of this mechanism to humans. The mechanistic work took parallel paths: one path investigated the pharmacokinetic properties of the test substance at the doses where the tumors were found; while the second path examined the key mechanistic events that culminated in uterine adenocarcinomas...
March 3, 2018: Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology: RTP
Ameya D Bendre, Sureshkumar Ramasamy, C G Suresh
Legume Kunitz type trypsin inhibitor (KTI) family is one of the most versatile families of proteins. A typical KTI features a single peptide folded in β-trefoil manner, with the molecular weight about 20-22 kDa and two disulphide bonds. The members are known to inhibit a wide range of serpins proteases at the same time many of them possess unique features. Copaifera langsdorffii Trypsin inhibitor (CTI) has a β-trefoil fold made up of two non-covalently bound polypeptide chains with only a single disulfide bridge...
February 27, 2018: International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Arnold De Loof
Are sex and gende r interchangeable terms? In classical biology, both are sometimes but not always used on an equal basis for some groups of animals. However, for our own species the Homo sapiens, they are not. A major question is why are there only two types of gametes (sperm- and egg cells), two types of sex steroids, (androgens and estrogens in vertebrates, and two types of ecdysteroids in insects), while the reproduction-related behaviour of the gamete producers displays a much greater variability than just two prominent forms, namely heterosexual males and heterosexual females? It indicates that in addition to a few sex-determining genes ( = the first pillar), other factors play a role...
2018: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Miriama Malcicka, Bertanne Visser, Jacintha Ellers
The diet of organisms generally provides a sufficient supply of energy and building materials for healthy growth and development, but should also contain essential nutrients. Species differ in their exogenous requirements, but it is not clear why some species are able to synthesize essential nutrients, while others are not. The unsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid (LA; 18:2n-6) plays an important role in functions such as cell physiology, immunity, and reproduction, and is an essential nutrient in diverse organisms...
2018: Evolutionary Biology
Seethalakshmi Sakthivel, S K M Habeeb, Chandrasekar Raman
Cotton is an economically important crop and its production is challenged by the diversity of pests and related insecticide resistance. Identification of the conserved target across the cotton pest will help to design broad spectrum insecticide. In this study, we have identified conserved sequences by Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) profiling from three cotton pests namely Aphis gossypii, Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera exigua. One target protein Arginine Kinase having a key role in insect physiology and energy metabolism was studied further using homology modeling, virtual screening, molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation to identify potential biopesticide compounds from the Zinc natural database...
March 1, 2018: Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics
Petr Veselý, Barbora Ernestová, Oldřich Nedvěd, Roman Fuchs
Growing evidence exists that aposematic and toxic prey may be included in a predator's diet when the predator experiences physiological stress. The tree sparrow Passer montanus is known to have a significant portion of aposematic and toxic ladybirds in its natural diet. Here, we present experiments testing the attack and eating rate of the tree sparrow toward the invasive aposematic harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis . We wondered whether the sparrow's ability to prey on native ladybirds predisposes them to also prey on harlequin ladybirds...
June 2017: Current Zoology
Anzhelika Butenko, Tamara da Silva Vieira, Alexander O Frolov, Fred R Opperdoes, Rodrigo P Soares, Alexei Yu Kostygov, Julius Lukeš, Vyacheslav Yurchenko
Background: Leptomonas pyrrhocoris is a parasite of the firebug Pyrrhocoris apterus. This flagellate has been recently proposed as a model species for studying different aspects of the biology of monoxenous trypanosomatids, including host - parasite interactions. During its life cycle L. pyrrhocoris never tightly attaches to the epithelium of the insect gut. In contrast, its dixenous relatives (Leishmania spp.) establish a stable infection via attachment to the intestinal walls of their insect hosts...
February 2018: Current Genomics
Juhua Chang, Jianhua Zhao, Xiaoli Tian
Parasitoid wasps of the order Hymenoptera, the most diverse groups of animals, are important natural enemies of arthropod hosts in natural ecosystems and can be used in biological control. To date, only one neuropeptidome of a parasitoid wasp, Nasonia vitripennis, has been identified. This study aimed to identify more neuropeptides of parasitoid wasps, by using a well-established workflow that was previously adopted for predicting insect neuropeptide sequences. Based on publicly accessible databases, totally 517 neuropeptide precursors from 24 parasitoid wasp species were identified; these included five neuropeptides (CNMamide, FMRFamide-like, ITG-like, ion transport peptide-like and orcokinin B) that were identified for the first time in parasitoid wasps, to our knowledge...
2018: PloS One
Xiao Li, Ming-Jing Qu, Yi Zhang, Jian-Wen Li, Tong-Xian Liu
Neuropeptide F (NPF) signaling systems are widespread and highly evolutionarily conserved from vertebrates to invertebrates. In fact, NPF has been identified in many insect species and plays regulatory roles in diverse physiological processes, such as feeding, learning, reproduction and stress responses. NPF operates by interacting with the NPF receptor (NPFR). Here, we characterized and determined the presumed role of NPF signaling in the wingless parthenogenetic pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum . Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) revealed that the expression levels of both NPF and NPFR transcripts varied across developmental stages, which implies that the NPF signaling system might participate in the developmental regulation of aphid physiological processes or behaviors...
2018: Frontiers in Physiology
Meagan A Simons, Adam R Smith
Social insect foragers may specialize on certain resource types. Specialization on pollen or nectar among honeybee foragers is hypothesized to result from associations between reproductive physiology and sensory tuning that evolved in ancestral solitary bees (the Reproductive Ground-Plan Hypothesis; RGPH). However, the two non-honeybee species studied showed no association between specialization and ovary activation. Here we investigate the bumblebee B. impatiens because it has the most extensively studied pollen/nectar specialization of any bumblebee...
2018: PeerJ
Thomas Otto Kunz, Jiangtian Chen, Megha, Christian Wegener
Neuropeptides and peptide hormones are involved in the regulation of most if not all body functions, ranging from physiology to neuronal processing and the control of behavior. To assess their functions, it is often vital to determine when and in which quantities they are produced, stored, and released. The latter is especially difficult to assess in small insects, such as the genetically amenable fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and cannot be achieved merely by quantifying mRNA transcripts. We have adapted and optimized methods to quantify neuropeptides and peptide hormones by metabolic labeling followed by LC-MS...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
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