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Alexander Leithner, Alexander Eichner, Jan Müller, Anne Reversat, Markus Brown, Jan Schwarz, Jack Merrin, David J J de Gorter, Florian Schur, Jonathan Bayerl, Ingrid de Vries, Stefan Wieser, Robert Hauschild, Frank P L Lai, Markus Moser, Dontscho Kerjaschki, Klemens Rottner, J Victor Small, Theresia E B Stradal, Michael Sixt
Most migrating cells extrude their front by the force of actin polymerization. Polymerization requires an initial nucleation step, which is mediated by factors establishing either parallel filaments in the case of filopodia or branched filaments that form the branched lamellipodial network. Branches are considered essential for regular cell motility and are initiated by the Arp2/3 complex, which in turn is activated by nucleation-promoting factors of the WASP and WAVE families. Here we employed rapid amoeboid crawling leukocytes and found that deletion of the WAVE complex eliminated actin branching and thus lamellipodia formation...
October 24, 2016: Nature Cell Biology
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
V Savino, M G Luna, N G Salas Gervassio, C E Coviella
Interspecific interactions between two larval parasitoids of Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) with partially overlapping host niches were studied: the idiobiont ectoparasitoid Dineulophus phthorimaeae De Santis, and the koinobiont endoparasitoid Pseudapanteles dignus (Muesebeck). T. absoluta is an important pest of tomato crops worldwide, and its management could be improved by understanding the competitive interactions and potential coexistence between these two parasitoids. Firstly, a 15-min fixed time laboratory test evaluated the host-searching ability of adult D...
October 21, 2016: Bulletin of Entomological Research
Ronelle E Welton, David J Williams, Danny Liew
BACKGROUND: This study provides the first contemporary epidemiological insight into venomous injuries based on demographics and geography in Australia in the timeframe 2000-2013. METHODS: Analysis of national hospitalisation and mortality data to examine the incidence of injury and death due to envenoming in Australia. Rates were calculated using the intercensal population for all Australian age groups. RESULTS: Over the study period, deaths were due to an anaphylactic event (0...
October 17, 2016: Internal Medicine Journal
Dong H Cha, Alejandro E Mieles, Paola F Lahuatte, Andrea Cahuana, Marie Piedad Lincango, Charlotte E Causton, Sabine Tebbich, Arno Cimadom, Stephen A Teale
We investigated the role of olfactory cues from actively fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in attraction of adult Philornis downsi and identified two synergistically attractive yeast volatiles. Larvae of this invasive fly parasitize the hatchlings of passerines and threaten the Galapagos avifauna. Gas chromatography coupled with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD), coupled gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and field trapping experiments were used to identify volatile compounds from a yeast-sugar solution...
October 15, 2016: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Helmut Kovac, Helmut Käfer, Iacopo Petrocelli, Anton Stabentheiner
The two paper wasps, Polistes dominula and Polistes gallicus, are related species with strongly differing distribution ranges. We investigated thermal tolerance traits (critical thermal limits and metabolic response to temperature) to gain knowledge about physiological adaptations to their local climate conditions and to get evidence for the reasons of P. dominula's successful dispersion. Body and ambient temperature measurements at the nests revealed behavioural adaptations to microclimate. The species differed clearly in critical thermal minimum (P...
October 15, 2016: Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Hannes Schuler, Peter Kern, Wolfgang Arthofer, Heidrun Vogt, Maximilian Fischer, Christian Stauffer, Markus Riegler
The eastern cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cingulata Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), is an economically important pest of cherries in North America. In 1983 it was first reported in Europe where it shares its ecological niche with the native European cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi L. (Diptera: Tephritidae). Their coexistence in Europe led to the recent horizontal transmission of the Wolbachia strain wCer1 from R. cerasi to R. cingulata Horizontal Wolbachia transmission is mediated by either sharing of ecological niches or by interacting species such as parasitoids...
October 15, 2016: Environmental Entomology
Federico Lopez-Osorio, Kurt M Pickett, James M Carpenter, Bryan A Ballif, Ingi Agnarsson
The phylogenetic relationships among genera of the subfamily Vespinae (yellowjackets and hornets) remain unclear. Yellowjackets and hornets constitute one of the only two lineages of highly eusocial wasps, and the distribution of key behavioral traits correlates closely with the current classification of the group. The potential of the Vespinae to elucidate the evolution of social life, however, remains limited due to ambiguous genus-level relationships. Here, we address the relationships among genera within the Vespinae using transcriptomic (RNA-seq) data...
October 11, 2016: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Zhao-Tian Li, Yan-Qiong Peng, Xiao-Lan Wen, K Charlotte Jandér
Mutualisms play a key role in most ecosystems, yet the mechanisms that prevent overexploitation of the mutualistic relationship are still poorly understood. In the mutualism between fig trees and their pollinating wasps both partners depend on each other. Fig trees benefit from female wasps that disperse their pollen, whereas wasps frequently benefit from a higher ratio of male offspring. Here we use manipulative field experiments to address whether host trees (Ficus racemosa) can influence the offspring sex ratio of the pollinator wasp...
October 12, 2016: Scientific Reports
Jidan Zhong, David Q Chen, Matthew Walker, Adam Waspe, Thomas Looi, Karolina Piorkowska, James M Drake, Mojgan Hodaie
An increasing number of applications use the postnatal piglet model in neuroimaging studies, however, these are based primarily on T1 weighted image templates. There is a growing need for a multimodal structural brain template for a comprehensive depiction of the piglet brain, particularly given the growing applications of diffusion weighted imaging for characterizing tissue microstructures and white matter organization. In this study, we present the first multimodal piglet structural brain template which includes a T1 weighted image with tissue segmentation probability maps, diffusion weighted metric templates with multiple diffusivity maps, and population-based whole-brain fiber tracts for postnatal piglets...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroanatomy
Guadalupe Corcobado, Marie E Herberstein, Stano Pekár
The use of ultraviolet (UV) cues for intra- and inter-specific communication is common in many animal species. Still, the role of UV signals under some predator-prey contexts, such as Batesian mimicry, is not clear. Batesian mimicry is a defensive strategy by which a palatable species (the mimic) resembles an unpalatable or noxious species (the model) to avoid predation. This strategy has evolved independently in many different taxa that are predated by species capable of UV perception. Moreover, there is considerable variation in how accurately Batesian mimics resemble their models across species...
December 2016: Die Naturwissenschaften
Cintia A Oi, Jocelyn G Millar, Jelle S van Zweden, Tom Wenseleers
Social insects are known for their reproductive division of labor between queens and workers, whereby queens lay the majority of the colony's eggs, and workers engage mostly in non-reproductive tasks. Queens produce pheromones that signal their presence and fertility to workers, which in turn generally remain sterile. Recently, it has been discovered that specific queen-characteristic cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) function as queen pheromones across multiple lineages of social insects. In the common wasp, Vespula vulgaris, several long-chain linear alkanes and 3-methylalkanes were shown to act as queen signals...
October 8, 2016: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Jessica Dittmer, Edward J van Opstal, J Dylan Shropshire, Seth R Bordenstein, Gregory D D Hurst, Robert M Brucker
The parasitoid wasp genus Nasonia (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) is a well-established model organism for insect development, evolutionary genetics, speciation, and symbiosis. The host-microbiota assemblage which constitutes the Nasonia holobiont (a host together with all of its associated microbes) consists of viruses, two heritable bacterial symbionts and a bacterial community dominated in abundance by a few taxa in the gut. In the wild, all four Nasonia species are systematically infected with the obligate intracellular bacterium Wolbachia and can additionally be co-infected with Arsenophonus nasoniae...
2016: Frontiers in Microbiology
Amy L Toth, Seirian Sumner, Robert L Jeanne
The reversal of the fecundity/longevity tradeoff in social insects is striking, but we lack understanding of when and how this reversal evolved. Vespid wasps are excellent models for studying social evolution because species show different levels of sociality from solitary to primitively to advanced eusocial. We provide the first synthesis of existing, but scanty, data available on longevity in vespids. We explore whether the fecundity/longevity tradeoff reversal is exaggerated in species with more derived sociality...
August 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Joanna R Watson, Darerca Owen, Helen R Mott
The small GTPase, Cdc42, is a key regulator of actin dynamics, functioning to connect multiple signals to actin polymerization through effector proteins of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) and Transducer of Cdc42-dependent actin assembly (TOCA) families. WASP family members serve to couple Cdc42 with the actin nucleator, the Arp2/3 complex, via direct interactions. The regulation of these proteins in the context of actin dynamics has been extensively studied. Studies on the TOCA family, however, are more limited and relatively little is known about their roles and regulation...
August 11, 2016: Small GTPases
Gideon J Mordecai, Laura E Brettell, Purnima Pachori, Ethel M Villalobos, Stephen J Martin, Ian M Jones, Declan C Schroeder
There is an increasing global trend of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) affecting a wide range of species, including honey bees. The global epidemic of the single stranded RNA Deformed wing virus (DWV), driven by the spread of Varroa destructor has been well documented. However, DWV is just one of many insect RNA viruses which infect a wide range of hosts. Here we report the full genome sequence of a novel Iflavirus named Moku virus (MV), discovered in the social wasp Vespula pensylvanica collected in Hawaii...
October 7, 2016: Scientific Reports
Apostolos Kapranas, Charles J P Snart, Huw Williams, Ian C W Hardy, David A Barrett
Metabolomics studies of low-biomass organisms, such as small insects, have previously relied on the pooling of biological samples to overcome detection limits, particularly using NMR. We show that the differentiation of metabolite profiles of individual 1 mg parasitoid wasps of different ages is possible when using a modified sample preparation and a combination of untargeted NMR and LC-MS based metabolomics. Changes were observed between newly emerged and older wasps in glycerolipids, amino acids and circulatory sugars...
October 7, 2016: Scientific Reports
Saskya van Nouhuys, Minna Kohonen, Anne Duplouy
The success of maternally transmitted endosymbiotic bacteria, such as Wolbachia, is directly linked to their host reproduction but in direct conflict with other parasites that kill the host before it reaches reproductive maturity. Therefore, symbionts that have evolved strategies to increase their host's ability to evade lethal parasites may have high penetrance, while detrimental symbionts would be selected against, leading to lower penetrance or extinction from the host population. In a natural population of the parasitoid wasp Hyposoter horticola in the Åland Islands (Finland), the Wolbachia strain wHho persists at an intermediate prevalence (∼50%)...
October 1, 2016: Journal of Experimental Biology
T N Wittman, K A Miller, B H King
Cues from emergence sites may be predictive of mating opportunities if potential mates are slow to disperse after emergence, and particularly if emergence sites are clumped, as in the solitary parasitoid wasp Urolepis rufipes Ashmead. Males emerge before females, and the present study suggests that males may use emergence sites of conspecific males to locate mates. In choice experiments, virgin males spent more time on a male-emerged host (a host from which a male had recently emerged) than on a female-emerged host...
October 5, 2016: Environmental Entomology
Nakatada Wachi, Junko Kusumi, Hsy-Yu Tzeng, Zhi-Hui Su
The obligate mutualism of figs and fig pollinating wasps has been one of the classic models used for testing theories of coevolution and cospeciation due to the high species-specificity of these relationships. To investigate the species-specificity between figs and fig pollinators and to further understand the speciation process in obligate mutualisms, we examined the genetic differentiation and phylogenetic relationships of four closely related fig pollinating wasp species (Blastophaga nipponica, B. taiwanensis, B...
October 5, 2016: Molecular Ecology
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