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Insects, Volume 14, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 62 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This study addresses the need for eco-friendly insecticides by investigating the insecticidal properties of curcuminoids, specifically demethoxycurcumin (DMC) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC), derived from Curcuma longa L. The research highlights the understanding of the insecticidal effects of curcuminoids on insects. The study identifies a methoprene-tolerant (Met) as a JH receptor and uses in vitro assays to investigate plant extracts' juvenile hormone disruptor (JHD) activities. The evaluation of C. longa L. reveals potent JHD effects. Specifically, DMC and BDMC show JHD activity in the in vitro assay system, disrupting larval development in Drosophila melanogaster. These findings contribute to understanding the prevalence of JHD in plants and their potential as environmentally friendly alternatives for insect control strategies. View this paper
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12 pages, 3405 KiB  
Article
The Optimal Choice of Trap Type for the Recently Spreading Jewel Beetle Pests Lamprodila festiva and Agrilus sinuatus (Coleoptera, Buprestidae)
Insects 2023, 14(12), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120961 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 902
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Two jewel beetle species native to Europe, the cypress jewel beetle, Lamprodila (Palmar, Ovalisia) festiva L. (Buprestidae, Coleoptera), and the sinuate pear tree borer, Agrilus sinuatus Olivier (Buprestidae, Coleoptera), are key pests of ornamental thuja and junipers and of [...] Read more.
BACKGROUND: Two jewel beetle species native to Europe, the cypress jewel beetle, Lamprodila (Palmar, Ovalisia) festiva L. (Buprestidae, Coleoptera), and the sinuate pear tree borer, Agrilus sinuatus Olivier (Buprestidae, Coleoptera), are key pests of ornamental thuja and junipers and of orchard and ornamental rosaceous trees, respectively. Although chemical control measures are available, due to the beetles’ small size, agility, and cryptic lifestyle at the larval stage, efficient tools for their detection and monitoring are missing. Consequently, by the time emerging jewel beetle adults are noticed, the trees are typically significantly damaged. METHODS: Thus, the aim of this study was to initiate the development of monitoring traps. Transparent, light green, and purple sticky sheets and multifunnel traps were compared in field experiments in Hungary. RESULTS: Light green and transparent sticky traps caught more L. festiva and A. sinuatus jewel beetles than non-sticky multifunnel traps, regardless of the larger size of the colored surface of the funnel traps. CONCLUSIONS: Although light green sticky sheets turned out to be optimal for both species, using transparent sheets can reduce catches of non-target insects. The key to the effectiveness of sticky traps, despite their reduced suitability for quantitative comparisons, may lie in the behavioral responses of the beetles to the optical features of the traps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Biology and Control of the Invasive Wood-Boring Beetles)
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14 pages, 3883 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Reference Genes for Quantitative Real-Time PCR Analysis in the Bean Bug, Riptortus pedestris (Hemiptera: Alydidae)
Insects 2023, 14(12), 960; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120960 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 965
Abstract
Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) is widely accepted as a precise and convenient method for quantitatively analyzing the expression of functional genes. The data normalization strongly depends upon stable reference genes. The bean bug, Riptortus pedestris (Hemiptera: Alydidae), is a significant pest of leguminous [...] Read more.
Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) is widely accepted as a precise and convenient method for quantitatively analyzing the expression of functional genes. The data normalization strongly depends upon stable reference genes. The bean bug, Riptortus pedestris (Hemiptera: Alydidae), is a significant pest of leguminous crops and broadly distributed across Southeast Asia. In this study, a total of 16 candidate reference genes (RPL32, RPS23, SDHA, UBQ, UCCR, GST, TATAbox, HSP70, GAPDH, RPL7A, SOD, RPS3, Actin, α−tubulin, AK, and EF1) were carefully chosen in R. pedestris, and their expression levels were assessed across various conditions, including different developmental stages, diverse tissues, temperature treatments, adult age, molting time, and mating status. Following this, the stability of these reference genes was evaluated using four algorithms (ΔCt, GeNorm, NormFinder, and BestKeeper). Ultimately, the comprehensive rankings were determined using the online tool RefFinder. Our results demonstrate that the reference gene for qRT-PCR analysis in R. pedestris is contingent upon the specific experimental conditions. RPL7A and EF1 are optimal reference genes for developmental stages. Furthermore, α−tubulin and EF1 exhibit the most stable expression across various adult tissues. RPL32 and RPL7A exhibit the most stable expression for adult age. For nymph age, RPL32 and SOD display the most stable expression. For temperature conditions, RPS23 and RPL7A were identified as the most suitable for monitoring gene expression. Lastly, we verified the practicability of evaluating expression levels of odorant-binding protein 37 (RpedOBP37) and cytochrome P450 6a2 (RpedCYP6) throughout developmental stages, tissues, and temperature conditions. These findings are a significant addition to the qRT-PCR analysis studies on R. pedestris, serving as a fundamental groundwork for future investigations on stable reference genes in R. pedestris as well as other organisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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12 pages, 3134 KiB  
Article
Disruptive Effects of Two Curcuminoids (Demethoxycurcumin and Bisdemethoxycurcumin) on the Larval Development of Drosophila melanogaster
Insects 2023, 14(12), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120959 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1056
Abstract
Juvenile hormones (JHs) play a central role in insect development, reproduction, and various physiological functions. Curcuminoids generally exhibit a wide range of biological activities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and insecticidal, and they exhibit insect growth inhibitory effects. However, research on insecticidal properties [...] Read more.
Juvenile hormones (JHs) play a central role in insect development, reproduction, and various physiological functions. Curcuminoids generally exhibit a wide range of biological activities, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and insecticidal, and they exhibit insect growth inhibitory effects. However, research on insecticidal properties of curcuminoids has been limited. Moreover, to the best of our knowledge, studies on JHs of insects and curcuminoids are lacking. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the substances that act as JH disruptors (JHDs) from edible plants. Demethoxycurcumin (DMC) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC), two curcuminoids from the turmeric plant Curcuma longa L. inhibited the formation of a methoprene-tolerant (Met)–Taiman (Tai) heterodimer complex in Drosophila melanogaster, as shown through in vitro yeast two-hybrid assays. An artificial diet containing 1% (w/v) DMC or BDMC significantly reduced the number of D. melanogaster larvae in a concentration-dependent manner; larval development was disrupted, preventing the progression of larvae to pupal stages, resulting in an absence of adults. Building on the results obtained in this study on curcuminoids, researchers can use our study as a reference to develop eco-friendly pesticides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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18 pages, 2289 KiB  
Article
High and Low Temperatures Differentially Affect Survival, Reproduction, and Gene Transcription in Male and Female Moths of Spodoptera frugiperda
Insects 2023, 14(12), 958; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120958 - 17 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1156
Abstract
In this study, we found that both heat and cold stresses significantly affected the survival and reproduction of both sexes in Spodoptera frugiperda adults, with larvae showing relatively higher extreme temperature tolerance. Further transcriptomic analysis in adults found remarkable differences and similarities between [...] Read more.
In this study, we found that both heat and cold stresses significantly affected the survival and reproduction of both sexes in Spodoptera frugiperda adults, with larvae showing relatively higher extreme temperature tolerance. Further transcriptomic analysis in adults found remarkable differences and similarities between sexes in terms of temperature stress responses. Metabolism-related processes were suppressed in heat stressed females, which did not occur to the same extend in males. Moreover, both heat and cold stress reduced immune activities in both sexes. Heat stress induced the upregulation of many heat shock proteins in both sexes, whereas the response to cold stress was insignificant. More cold tolerance-related genes, such as cuticle proteins, UDP-glucuronosyltransferase, and facilitated trehalose transporter Tret1, were found upregulated in males, whereas most of these genes were downregulated in females. Moreover, a large number of fatty acid-related genes, such as fatty acid synthases and desaturases, were differentially expressed under heat and cold stresses in both sexes. Heat stress in females induced the upregulation of a large number of zinc finger proteins and reproduction-related genes; whereas cold stress induced downregulation in genes linked to reproduction. In addition, TRPA1-like encoding genes (which have functions involved in detecting temperature changes) and sex peptide receptor-like genes were found to be differentially expressed in stressed moths. These results indicate sex-specific heat and cold stress responses and adaptive mechanisms and suggest sex-specific trade-offs between stress-resistant progresses and fundamental metabolic processes as well as between survival and reproduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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10 pages, 2307 KiB  
Article
Estimating the Potential of Insects from Warmer Regions to Overwinter in Colder Regions under a Warming Winter Scenario Using Simulation Experiments: A Case Study in Sesamia nonagrioides
Insects 2023, 14(12), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120957 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Ongoing climate change and anthropogenic pressure are having a profound influence on insects, causing species diversity to decline and populations to shrink. Insect pests invade new areas and cause economic and human health problems. Low temperatures in winter are thought to be one [...] Read more.
Ongoing climate change and anthropogenic pressure are having a profound influence on insects, causing species diversity to decline and populations to shrink. Insect pests invade new areas and cause economic and human health problems. Low temperatures in winter are thought to be one of the main barriers to the successful colonization of higher latitudes. Climate models predict that winter temperatures will increase more than summer temperatures in temperate and polar regions, potentially allowing species from warmer climates to colonize higher latitudes. Understanding how climate change will affect the distribution of insects is critical to many areas of human activity. One possible but seldom used way to predict likely range shifts of insects due to climate change is through simulation experiments. Here, I present and test a method to assess the potential of insect species from warmer regions to survive winters in colder regions under a warming winter scenario. The method is based on laboratory simulations of warming winters. The applicability of the method is demonstrated using the example of a Mediterranean pest, Sesamia nonagrioides, whose ability to survive Central European winters under a warming winter scenario is assessed. The method presented here is relatively simple, with potentially high accuracy of estimates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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13 pages, 1242 KiB  
Article
Accumulation and Transmission of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ Haplotypes by the Nymphs of Two Psyllid Vectors
Insects 2023, 14(12), 956; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120956 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) is a plant pathogenic bacterium transmitted by psyllids that causes significant agricultural damage. Several Lso haplotypes have been reported. Among them, LsoA and LsoB are transmitted by the potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli and infect solanaceous crops, and LsoD [...] Read more.
Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso) is a plant pathogenic bacterium transmitted by psyllids that causes significant agricultural damage. Several Lso haplotypes have been reported. Among them, LsoA and LsoB are transmitted by the potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli and infect solanaceous crops, and LsoD is transmitted by the carrot psyllid B. trigonica and infects apiaceous crops. Several studies evaluated the transmission of these haplotypes by adult psyllids. However, fewer data are available on the transmission of different Lso haplotypes by psyllid nymphs. In this study, we investigated the transmission of these three haplotypes by psyllid nymphs to expand our basic understanding of Lso transmission. Specifically, the objective was to determine if the haplotypes differed in their transmission rates by nymphs and if LsoA and LsoB accumulated at different rates in the guts of nymphs as it occurs in adults. First, we quantified LsoA and LsoB titers in the guts of third- and fifth-instar potato psyllid nymphs. We found similar LsoA titers in the two nymphal stages, while LsoB titer was lower in the gut of the third-instar nymphs compared to fifth-instar nymphs. Second, we assessed the transmission efficiency of LsoA and LsoB by third-instar nymphs to tomato plants, revealing that LsoA was transmitted earlier and with higher efficiency than LsoB. Finally, we examined the transmission of LsoD by carrot psyllid nymphs to celery plants and demonstrated an age-related difference in the transmission rate. These findings provide valuable insights into the transmission dynamics of different Lso haplotypes by nymphal vectors, shedding light on their epidemiology and interactions with their psyllid vectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Behavior and Pathology)
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0 pages, 2497 KiB  
Article
Monitoring and Prediction of Siberian Silk Moth Dendrolimus sibiricus Tschetv. (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) Outbreaks Using Remote Sensing Techniques
Insects 2023, 14(12), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120955 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 789
Abstract
The feasibility of risk assessment of a Siberian silk moth (Dendrolimus sibiricus Tschetv.) outbreak was analyzed by means of landscape and weather characteristics and tree condition parameters. Difficulties in detecting forest pest outbreaks (especially in Siberian conditions) are associated with the inability [...] Read more.
The feasibility of risk assessment of a Siberian silk moth (Dendrolimus sibiricus Tschetv.) outbreak was analyzed by means of landscape and weather characteristics and tree condition parameters. Difficulties in detecting forest pest outbreaks (especially in Siberian conditions) are associated with the inability to conduct regular ground surveillance in taiga territories, which generally occupy more than 2 million km2. Our analysis of characteristics of Siberian silk moth outbreak zones under mountainous taiga conditions showed that it is possible to distinguish an altitudinal belt between 400 and 800 m above sea level where an outbreak develops and trees are damaged. It was found that to assess the resistance of forest stands to pest attacks, researchers can employ new parameters: namely, characteristics of a response of remote sensing variables to changes in land surface temperature. Using these parameters, it is possible to identify in advance (2–3 years before an outbreak) forest stands that are not resistant to the pest. Thus, field studies in difficult-to-access taiga forests are not needed to determine these parameters, and hence the task of monitoring outbreaks of forest insects is simplified substantially. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Insects in Mountain Ecosystems)
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13 pages, 1387 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Airtight Storage with Germinating Cowpea Seeds: Impacts on Insect Mortality, Progeny and Grain Quality
Insects 2023, 14(12), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120954 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 814
Abstract
Millions of smallholder farmers use airtight (hermetic) storage to preserve stored commodities. However, relying on biological agents (i.e., insects) to deplete residual oxygen in airtight containers can occasionally extend the process, potentially resulting in grain damage or nutrient loss. Current oxygen scavengers used [...] Read more.
Millions of smallholder farmers use airtight (hermetic) storage to preserve stored commodities. However, relying on biological agents (i.e., insects) to deplete residual oxygen in airtight containers can occasionally extend the process, potentially resulting in grain damage or nutrient loss. Current oxygen scavengers used to remove this residual oxygen are unavailable and unsuitable on smallholder farms in developing countries. We evaluated the effectiveness of germinating seeds for oxygen depletion. Treatments comprised 10, 20, and 30 germinating cowpea seeds in 2 L jars filled with infested cowpea grains. Insect mortality and grain quality were assessed after 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h. Progeny development was monitored for 49 days post-treatment. The results showed that all germinating seeds depleted oxygen to 5% or below within 48 h. Complete adult mortality was achieved after 72 h for both 20 and 30 germinating seeds and 120 h for 10 germinating seeds. As germinating seeds increased, egg counts decreased. No adults emerged post-treatment after insects were exposed for 96 and 120 h to hypoxia from 30 and 20 germinating seeds, respectively. However, 120 h insect exposure to hypoxia from 10 germinating seeds had negligible progeny development. Moisture content increased slightly in grains exposed to 30 germinating seeds. Germinating seeds are as effective as controlled atmospheres in accelerating insect deaths, but further research is needed for field application and their effects on stored product quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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18 pages, 12862 KiB  
Article
Proteomic Analysis of the Midgut Contents of Silkworm in the Pupal Stage
Insects 2023, 14(12), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120953 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 959
Abstract
The silkworm Bombyx mori, a lepidopteran insect, possesses an 8–10-day pupal stage, during which significant changes occur in the midgut, where it first condenses into the yellow body, and then undergoes decomposition. To gain insights into this transformation process, proteomics was performed [...] Read more.
The silkworm Bombyx mori, a lepidopteran insect, possesses an 8–10-day pupal stage, during which significant changes occur in the midgut, where it first condenses into the yellow body, and then undergoes decomposition. To gain insights into this transformation process, proteomics was performed on Bombyx mori midgut contents on day 2 and day 7 after pupation. The results revealed the identification of 771 proteins with more than one unique peptide. An analysis using AgriGO demonstrated that these proteins were predominantly associated with catalytic activity. Among the identified proteins, a considerable number were found to be involved in carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, lipid metabolism, nucleic acid degradation, and energy support. Additionally, variations in the levels of certain proteases were observed between the midgut contents on day 2 and day 7 after pupation. An in-depth analysis of the two-dimensional electrophoresis of the midgut contents on day 7 after pupation led to the identification of twelve protein spots with potential gelatinolytic activity. Among these, six proteases were identified through mass spectrometry, including the p37k protease, vitellin-degrading protease, chymotrypsin-2, etc. These proteases may be responsible for the digestion of the yellow body during the later stages of pupal development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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31 pages, 4029 KiB  
Article
Larval Rearing and Nutrition of the Polyphagous Tephritid Pest Anastrepha ludens on Artificial Diets with Calcium Alginate, Agar, or Carrageenan as Gelling Agents at Various Concentrations and across Extreme Larval Density Conditions
Insects 2023, 14(12), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120952 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1008
Abstract
Research on larval rearing and nutrition of tephritid flies on artificial diets is key for the sterile insect technique. Here, we examined the effects of the type of gel (calcium alginate, agar, or carrageenan), at varying percentages in artificial diets for the polyphagous [...] Read more.
Research on larval rearing and nutrition of tephritid flies on artificial diets is key for the sterile insect technique. Here, we examined the effects of the type of gel (calcium alginate, agar, or carrageenan), at varying percentages in artificial diets for the polyphagous pest Anastrepha ludens, on the physicochemical and nutritional traits of the diets, and the effects of the type of gel, the gel content and the larval density (larvae/g of diet) used in production, quality parameters for mass-reared tephritids, diet removal (an indirect estimation of diet consumption), and nutritional traits of flies. Regardless of the gel content, calcium alginate diets were firmer and more resistant to penetration than the agar and carrageenan diets. The larval recovery, pupation, pupal weight, and flight ability of A. ludens were lower in calcium alginate diets than in agar and carrageenan diets. Diet removal was higher in calcium alginate diets; however, low levels of ammonium and high levels of uric acid in excretions from larvae on these diets suggest an alteration in protein metabolism. The firmness and penetration resistance characteristics of calcium alginate diets may have limited movement and feeding of larvae, but this could be overcome by the collective feeding of large groups of larvae. Our findings provide insights into the mechanism governing gel-diet rearing systems for A. ludens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Science of Insect Rearing Systems)
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13 pages, 3165 KiB  
Article
Response of Spider and Epigaeic Beetle Assemblages to Overwinter Planting Regimes and Surrounding Landscape Compositions
Insects 2023, 14(12), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120951 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 804
Abstract
The rotation patterns of summer rice–winter oil seed rape and summer rice–winter fallow are the main planting regimes in the rice ecosystem in southern China. However, the impact of local rotation patterns and landscape factors on the overwintering conservation of predators in spider [...] Read more.
The rotation patterns of summer rice–winter oil seed rape and summer rice–winter fallow are the main planting regimes in the rice ecosystem in southern China. However, the impact of local rotation patterns and landscape factors on the overwintering conservation of predators in spider and epigaeic beetle assemblages remains poorly understood. Here, we investigate the diversity and density of spiders and beetles over two consecutive winters (2019/2020 and 2020/2021), focusing on the impact of two rotation patterns (rice–fallow and rice–oilseed rape) and surrounding landscape compositions on predator diversity. The main findings of our research were that spiders were more abundant and had a higher activity density in the fallow rice fields (FRs) compared to the oilseed rape fields (OSRs), whereas ground beetles exhibited the opposite pattern. Specifically, fallow rice fields supported small and ballooning spiders (e.g., dominant spider: Ummeliata insecticeps), while OSRs supported larger ground beetles (e.g., dominant beetles: Agonum chalcomus and Pterostichus liodactylus). Moreover, the composition of spider assemblages were impacted by semi-natural habitats (SNHs) during overwintering, while ground beetle assemblages were influenced by overwinter planting patterns. Overall, our results suggest that different planting regimes and preserving semi-natural habitats are a strategic way to enhance species diversity and functional diversity of ground predators. It is, therefore, recommended that to conserve and improve predator diversity during overwintering, land managers and farmers should aim to maintain diverse planting regimes and conserve local semi-natural habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Arthropod Biodiversity: Ecological and Functional Aspects)
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12 pages, 1806 KiB  
Article
Demonstration of RNAi Yeast Insecticide Activity in Semi-Field Larvicide and Attractive Targeted Sugar Bait Trials Conducted on Aedes and Culex Mosquitoes
Insects 2023, 14(12), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120950 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1188
Abstract
Eco-friendly new mosquito control innovations are critical for the ongoing success of global mosquito control programs. In this study, Sh.463_56.10R, a robust RNA interference (RNAi) yeast insecticide strain that is suitable for scaled fermentation, was evaluated under semi-field conditions. Inactivated and dried Sh.463_56.10R [...] Read more.
Eco-friendly new mosquito control innovations are critical for the ongoing success of global mosquito control programs. In this study, Sh.463_56.10R, a robust RNA interference (RNAi) yeast insecticide strain that is suitable for scaled fermentation, was evaluated under semi-field conditions. Inactivated and dried Sh.463_56.10R yeast induced significant mortality of field strain Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, and Culex quinquefasciatus larvae in semi-field larvicide trials conducted outdoors in St. Augustine, Trinidad, where 100% of the larvae were dead within 24 h. The yeast was also stably suspended in commercial bait and deployed as an active ingredient in miniature attractive targeted sugar bait (ATSB) station sachets. The yeast ATSB induced high levels of Aedes and Culex mosquito morbidity in semi-field trials conducted in Trinidad, West Indies, as well as in Bangkok, Thailand, in which the consumption of the yeast resulted in adult female mosquito death within 48 h, faster than what was observed in laboratory trials. These findings support the pursuit of large-scale field trials to further evaluate the Sh.463_56.10R insecticide, a member of a promising new class of species-specific RNAi insecticides that could help combat insecticide resistance and support effective mosquito control programs worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Future Trends of RNA Interference in Insects)
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16 pages, 1161 KiB  
Review
Chitosan as a Control Tool for Insect Pest Management: A Review
Insects 2023, 14(12), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120949 - 15 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1342
Abstract
Chitosan, a polysaccharide derived from the deacetylation of chitin, is a versatile and eco-friendly biopolymer with several applications. Chitosan is recognized for its biodegradability, biocompatibility, and non-toxicity, beyond its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antitumoral activities. Thanks to its properties, chitosan is used in many [...] Read more.
Chitosan, a polysaccharide derived from the deacetylation of chitin, is a versatile and eco-friendly biopolymer with several applications. Chitosan is recognized for its biodegradability, biocompatibility, and non-toxicity, beyond its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antitumoral activities. Thanks to its properties, chitosan is used in many fields including medicine, pharmacy, cosmetics, textile, nutrition, and agriculture. This review focuses on chitosan’s role as a tool in insect pest control, particularly for agriculture, foodstuff, and public health pests. Different formulations, including plain chitosan, chitosan coating, chitosan with nematodes, chitosan’s modifications, and chitosan nanoparticles, are explored. Biological assays using these formulations highlighted the use of chitosan–essential oil nanoparticles as an effective tool for pest control, due to their enhanced mobility and essential oils’ prolonged release over time. Chitosan’s derivatives with alkyl, benzyl, and acyl groups showed good activity against insect pests due to improved solubility and enhanced activity compared to plain chitosan. Thus, the purpose of this review is to provide the reader with updated information concerning the use and potential applications of chitosan formulations as pest control tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Formulations of Natural Substances against Insect Pests)
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22 pages, 3089 KiB  
Article
Chemosensory Receptor Expression in the Abdomen Tip of the Female Codling Moth, Cydia pomonella L. (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)
Insects 2023, 14(12), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120948 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1170
Abstract
In insects, the chemical senses influence most vital behaviors, including mate seeking and egg laying; these sensory modalities are predominantly governed by odorant receptors (ORs), ionotropic receptors (IRs), and gustatory receptors (GRs). The codling moth, Cydia pomonella, is a global pest of [...] Read more.
In insects, the chemical senses influence most vital behaviors, including mate seeking and egg laying; these sensory modalities are predominantly governed by odorant receptors (ORs), ionotropic receptors (IRs), and gustatory receptors (GRs). The codling moth, Cydia pomonella, is a global pest of apple, pear, and walnut, and semiochemically based management strategies limit the economic impacts of this species. The previous report of expression of a candidate pheromone-responsive OR in female codling moth ovipositor and pheromone glands raises further questions about the chemosensory capacity of these organs. With an RNA-sequencing approach, we examined chemoreceptors’ expression in the female codling moth abdomen tip, sampling tissues from mated and unmated females and pupae. We report 37 ORs, 22 GRs, and 18 IRs expressed in our transcriptome showing overlap with receptors expressed in adult antennae as well as non-antennal candidate receptors. A quantitative PCR approach was also taken to assess the effect of mating on OR expression in adult female moths, revealing a few genes to be upregulated or downregulating after mating. These results provide a better understanding of the chemosensory role of codling moth female abdomen tip organs in female-specific behaviors. Future research will determine the function of specific receptors to augment current semiochemical-based strategies for codling moth management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Insect Sensory Biology)
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30 pages, 17908 KiB  
Article
New Species of Paussus, Subgenus Scaphipaussus (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Paussinae), from Southeast Asia Reveal Ambiguities in Species Group Limits and High Species Diversity in the Oriental Region
Insects 2023, 14(12), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120947 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1105
Abstract
Paussus, commonly known as ant nest beetles, is the most diverse genus of Paussinae (Coleoptera: Carabidae) with a very complex taxonomic history. Biodiversity research in Southeast and South Asia yields new species that can contribute to a better understanding of the morphological [...] Read more.
Paussus, commonly known as ant nest beetles, is the most diverse genus of Paussinae (Coleoptera: Carabidae) with a very complex taxonomic history. Biodiversity research in Southeast and South Asia yields new species that can contribute to a better understanding of the morphological disparity and species-group or subgenus delimitation. Here, we describe nine new species from Southeast Asia and China: Paussus (Scaphipaussus) fencli sp. nov. (China), P. (S.) mawdsleyi sp. nov. (Borneo), P. (S.) bakeri sp. nov. (Philippines), P. (S.) jendeki sp. nov. (Laos), P. (S.) saueri sp. nov. (India), P. (S.) annamensis sp. nov. (Vietnam), P. (S.) phoupanensis sp. nov. (Laos, Vietnam), P. (S.) bilyi sp. nov. (Thailand), and P. (S.) haucki sp. nov. (Thailand). We also bring new data on P. (S.) corporaali Reichensperger, 1927 (Java) and P. (S.) madurensis Wasmann, 1913 (India). Besides formal descriptions, we provide photographs of the habitus in the dorsal and dorsolateral view, antennal club, head crest, and male genitalia if the male is available. Based on the comparison of new and earlier described species, we show that the antennae are highly diverse within the Scaphipaussus. Considering other characters, some species are placed in Scaphipaussus, but they differ from putative relatives in the antennal morphology. The presence of the frontal protuberances and crests is a more reliable character. Additional species show that Scaphipaussus is most diverse in southeastern Asia, especially in Indo-Burma. Concerning its supposed late Miocene origin, the group underwent rapid radiation. The species diversity of Scaphipaussus almost doubled in the last decade, and it is highly probable that further species will be described in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Systematics, Phylogeny and Evolution)
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12 pages, 1474 KiB  
Article
The Genomics of Isolated Populations of Gampsocleis glabra (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) in Central and Western Europe
Insects 2023, 14(12), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120946 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 942
Abstract
Habitat destruction and fragmentation are among the major current threats to global biodiversity. Fragmentation may also affect species with good dispersal abilities. We study the heath bushcricket Gampsocleis glabra, a specialist of steppe-like habitats across Europe that are highly fragmented, investigating if [...] Read more.
Habitat destruction and fragmentation are among the major current threats to global biodiversity. Fragmentation may also affect species with good dispersal abilities. We study the heath bushcricket Gampsocleis glabra, a specialist of steppe-like habitats across Europe that are highly fragmented, investigating if these isolated populations can be distinguished using population genomics and if there are any traces of admixture or dispersal among them. We try to answer these questions using genome-wide SNP data generated with ddRAD sequencing. We calculated F-statistics and visualized differentiation using STRUCTURE plots. While limited by the difficulty of sampling this threatened species, our results show that all populations except one that was represented by a singleton were clearly distinct, with pairwise FST values between 0.010 and 0.181. STRUCTURE indicated limited but visible admixture across most populations and probably also an exchange of individuals between populations of Germany and The Netherlands. We conclude that in G. glabra, a certain amount of gene flow has persisted, at least in the past, also among populations that are isolated today. We also detect a possibly more recent dispersal event between a population in The Netherlands and one in Germany, which may be human aided. We suggest that the conservation of larger populations should be maintained, that efforts should be taken to restore abandoned habitat, that the preservation even of small habitat fragments may be beneficial for the conservation of this species, and that these habitats should be regularly monitored for possible (re-)colonization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Cytogenetics and Molecular Systematics of Insects)
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14 pages, 1621 KiB  
Article
Intraspecific Variability in Trionymus aberrans Goux, 1938 (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Pseudococcidae) with Description of the Second-Instar Nymph
Insects 2023, 14(12), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120945 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 742
Abstract
The morphological characteristics of adult females of Trionymus aberrans Goux, 1938 (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Pseudococcidae) collected from post-industrial wastelands and other habitats in Poland and other countries were studied. Distinctive morphological variations were observed in the specimens from post-industrial wastelands in Poland. Scanning electron [...] Read more.
The morphological characteristics of adult females of Trionymus aberrans Goux, 1938 (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Pseudococcidae) collected from post-industrial wastelands and other habitats in Poland and other countries were studied. Distinctive morphological variations were observed in the specimens from post-industrial wastelands in Poland. Scanning electron micrographs of the morphological characters of T. aberrans are provided. The presence of unusual pores, each with four loculi, was demonstrated for the first time in a species of Pseudococcidae. The importance of introducing additional morphological characters into the species description is discussed. New data on the frequency and host preferences of T. aberrans are also provided. This research is the first long-term study on scale insect species in post-industrial wastelands. The second-instar nymph of T. aberrans is described and illustrated and the presence of translucent pores on the hind coxae of this developmental stage is reported for the first time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Systematics, Phylogeny and Evolution)
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15 pages, 1120 KiB  
Article
The Molecular Resistance Mechanisms of European Earwigs from Apple Orchards Subjected to Different Management Strategies
Insects 2023, 14(12), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120944 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 880
Abstract
To date, apple orchards are among the most treated crops in Europe with up to 35 chemical treatments per year. Combining control methods that reduce the number of pesticide treatments is essential for agriculture and more respectful of the environment, and the use [...] Read more.
To date, apple orchards are among the most treated crops in Europe with up to 35 chemical treatments per year. Combining control methods that reduce the number of pesticide treatments is essential for agriculture and more respectful of the environment, and the use of predatory insects such as earwigs may be valuable to achieve this goal. European earwigs, Forficula auricularia (Dermaptera: Forficulidae) are considered beneficial insects in apple orchards where they can feed on many pests like aphids. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential impact of orchards’ insecticide treatments on resistance-associated molecular processes in natural populations of earwigs. Because very few molecular data are presently available on earwigs, our first goal was to identify earwig resistance-associated genes and potential mutations. Using earwigs from organic, integrated pest management or conventional orchards, we identified mutations in acetylcholinesterase 2, α1 and β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. In addition, the expression level of these targets and of some essential detoxification genes were monitored using RT-qPCR. Unexpectedly, earwigs collected in organic orchards showed the highest expression for acetylcholinesterase 2. Four cytochromes P450, one esterase and one glutathione S-transferases were over-expressed in earwigs exposed to various management strategies in orchards. This first study on resistance-associated genes in Forficula auricularia paves the way for future experimental studies aimed at better understanding the potential competition between natural enemies in apple orchards in order to optimize the efficiency of biocontrol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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22 pages, 24218 KiB  
Article
Phylogeography of Two Enigmatic Sulphur Butterflies, Colias mongola Alphéraky, 1897 and Colias tamerlana Staudinger, 1897 (Lepidoptera, Pieridae), with Relations to Wolbachia Infection
Insects 2023, 14(12), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120943 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
The genus Colias Fabricius, 1807 includes numerous taxa and forms with uncertain status and taxonomic position. Among such taxa are Colias mongola Alphéraky, 1897 and Colias tamerlana Staudinger, 1897, interpreted in the literature either as conspecific forms, as subspecies of different but morphologically [...] Read more.
The genus Colias Fabricius, 1807 includes numerous taxa and forms with uncertain status and taxonomic position. Among such taxa are Colias mongola Alphéraky, 1897 and Colias tamerlana Staudinger, 1897, interpreted in the literature either as conspecific forms, as subspecies of different but morphologically somewhat similar Colias species or as distinct species-level taxa. Based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers, we reconstructed a phylogeographic pattern of the taxa in question. We recover and include in our analysis DNA barcodes of the century-old type specimens, the lectotype of C. tamerlana deposited in the Natural History Museum (Museum für Naturkunde), Berlin, Germany (ZMHU) and the paralectotype of C. tamerlana and the lectotype of C. mongola deposited in the Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia (ZISP). Our analysis grouped all specimens within four (HP_I–HP_IV) deeply divergent but geographically poorly structured clades which did not support nonconspecifity of C. mongolaC. tamerlana. We also show that all studied females of the widely distributed haplogroup HP_II were infected with a single Wolbachia strain belonging to the supergroup B, while the males of this haplogroup, as well as all other investigated specimens of both sexes, were not infected. Our data highlight the relevance of large-scale sampling dataset analysis and the need for testing for Wolbachia infection to avoid erroneous phylogenetic reconstructions and species misidentification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Cytogenetics and Molecular Systematics of Insects)
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24 pages, 21150 KiB  
Article
Taxonomic Structure and Wing Pattern Evolution in the Parnassius mnemosyne Species Complex (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae)
Insects 2023, 14(12), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120942 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1243
Abstract
In our study, using the analysis of DNA barcodes and morphology (wing color, male genitalia, and female sphragis shape), we show that the group of species close to P. mnemosyne comprises the western and eastern phylogenetic lineages. The eastern lineage includes P. stubbendorfii [...] Read more.
In our study, using the analysis of DNA barcodes and morphology (wing color, male genitalia, and female sphragis shape), we show that the group of species close to P. mnemosyne comprises the western and eastern phylogenetic lineages. The eastern lineage includes P. stubbendorfii, P. glacialis, and P. hoenei. The western lineage includes three morphologically similar species: P. mnemosyne (Western Eurasia), P. turatii (southwestern Europe), and P. nubilosus stat. nov. (Turkmenistan and NE Iran), as well as the morphologically differentiated P. ariadne (Altai). The latter species differs from the rest of the group in the presence of red spots on the wings. Parnassius mnemosyne s.s. is represented by four differentiated mitochondrial clusters that show clear association with specific geographic regions. We propose to interpret them as subspecies: P. mnemosyne mnemosyne (Central and Eastern Europe, N Caucasus, N Turkey), P. mnemosyne adolphi (the Middle East), P. mnemosyne falsa (Tian Shan), and P. mnemosyne gigantea (Gissar-Alai in Central Asia). We demonstrate that in P. ariadne, the red spots on the wing evolved as a reversion to the ancestral wing pattern. This reversion is observed in Altai, where the distribution areas of the western lineage, represented by P. ariadne, and the eastern lineage, represented by P. stubbendorfii, overlap. These two species hybridize in Altai, and we hypothesize that the color change in P. ariadne is the result of reinforcement of prezygotic isolation in the contact zone. The lectotype of Parnassius mnemosyne var. nubilosus Christoph, 1873, is designated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics, Ecology and Evolution of Lepidoptera)
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14 pages, 10998 KiB  
Article
Mosquitoes Possess Specialized Cuticular Proteins That Are Evolutionarily Related to the Elastic Protein Resilin
Insects 2023, 14(12), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120941 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 978
Abstract
Resilin is an elastic protein that is vital to insects’ vigorous movement. Canonical resilin proteins possess the R&R Consensus, a chitin-binding domain conserved in a family of cuticular proteins, and highly repetitive sequences conferring elastic properties. In the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae [...] Read more.
Resilin is an elastic protein that is vital to insects’ vigorous movement. Canonical resilin proteins possess the R&R Consensus, a chitin-binding domain conserved in a family of cuticular proteins, and highly repetitive sequences conferring elastic properties. In the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, however, a cuticular protein has been found that has an R&R Consensus resembling that of resilin but lacks the repetitive sequences (here, we call it resilin-related or resilin-r). The relationship between resilin-r and resilin was unclear. It was also unknown whether resilin-r is conserved in mosquitoes. In this paper, phylogenetic and structural analyses were performed to reveal the relationship of resilin homologous proteins from holometabolous insects. Their chitin-binding abilities were also assessed. A resilin-r was found in each mosquito species, and these proteins constitute a clade with resilin from other insects based on the R&R Consensus sequences, indicating an evolutionary relationship between resilin-r and resilin. The resilin-r showed chitin-binding activity as same as resilin, but had distinct structural features from resilin, suggesting that it plays specialized roles in the mosquito cuticle. Another resilin-like protein was found to exist in each holometabolous insect that possesses resilin-like repetitive sequences but lacks the R&R Consensus. These results suggest that similar evolutionary events occurred to create resilin-r and resilin-like proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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12 pages, 1158 KiB  
Article
Design and Evaluation of a Sticky Attractant Trap for Intra-Domiciliary Surveillance of Aedes aegypti Populations in Mexico
Insects 2023, 14(12), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120940 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 898
Abstract
Surveillance consists of systematic data collection, analysis, and interpretation and is essential for planning and implementing control activities. The lack of success in the control and surveillance of the Ae. aegypti mosquito elsewhere demands the development of new accessible and effective strategies. This [...] Read more.
Surveillance consists of systematic data collection, analysis, and interpretation and is essential for planning and implementing control activities. The lack of success in the control and surveillance of the Ae. aegypti mosquito elsewhere demands the development of new accessible and effective strategies. This work aimed to develop and evaluate an adhesive lure trap for household indoor surveillance of Ae. aegypti. Based on a bibliographic review, four compounds that have significant attraction percentages for Ae. aegypti were considered. Our more effective blend was determined through preliminary bioassays using the high-throughput screening system (HITSS) and 90 × 90 cm mosquito cages. We designed a low-cost, pyramid-shaped, sticky cardboard trap to incorporate the selected blend. Semi-field 2 × 2 m cages and field tests were utilized to evaluate its effectiveness through mosquito capture percentages. In laboratory tests, blend number 2 presented an attraction percentage of 47.5 ± 4.8%; meanwhile, in semi-field cages, a 4-inch, 110 v powered fan was used to disperse the attractants, and then a similar capture percentage of 43.2 ± 4.0% was recorded. Results were recorded during the field evaluation of the at-house indoor environment and were compared with those recorded with the golden-standard BG-Sentinel trap, i.e., our prototype trapped an average of 6.0 ± 1.5 mosquitoes versus 10.0 ± 2.6. In most Latin American countries, there is a lack of formal and accessible strategies for monitoring adult populations of Ae. Aegypti; therefore, we must develop tools that reinforce entomological surveillance methods. Full article
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10 pages, 2152 KiB  
Article
A Study of the Toxic Effect of Plant Extracts against Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera: Aphrophoridae)
Insects 2023, 14(12), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120939 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 986
Abstract
The meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera: Aphrophoridae) is distributed in several habitats worldwide and has been recently recognized as the main vector of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca. This bacterium has been associated with olive quick decline syndrome (OQDS) in the Salento Peninsula [...] Read more.
The meadow spittlebug Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera: Aphrophoridae) is distributed in several habitats worldwide and has been recently recognized as the main vector of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca. This bacterium has been associated with olive quick decline syndrome (OQDS) in the Salento Peninsula (Italy) and is responsible for extensive desiccation and die-off of olive trees. Current OQDS management strategies include the control of P. spumarius populations, mainly through the removal of weed hosts and insecticide treatments. In addition to the mandatory phytosanitary measures, the demand for new strategies compatible with integrated pest management is increasing. In this study, laboratory biological assays were performed to assess the potential toxic effect of vegetal formulations against P. spumarius adults. Two formulations were tested at different concentrations: Form A, an emulsion of 10% hot pepper-infused oil (Capsicum annuum subspecies Cayenna in olive oil) and Arabic gum in an aqueous solution of extracts of Salvia guaranitica, and Form B, an aqueous solution of extracts of Taxus baccata. Both Form A and B showed to be toxic against P. spumarius compared to the water control. The mean percentage of spittlebug mortality obtained with Form A one hour after treatments was dose–dependent; the lethal dose values were 0.13% (LD25), 0.36% (LD50), and 0.85% (LD75). At the same time, no significant differences in mortality rate were observed between the 0.75% treatment and the treatments with deltamethrin (about 90%). The mean percentage of spittlebug mortality obtained with Form B ranged from 21% to 53% one hour after treatment, but these values were significantly lower than those obtained with deltamethrin. The effectiveness of Form A on the P. spumarius population was also evaluated in the field. The averages of captures in the three experimental blocks were 1.8/trap for treated and 7.7/trap for untreated plots, and the spittlebug populations significantly decreased after treatments. Based on these results and the literature data, we hypothesize that the effectiveness of Form A is the result of the synergistic effect of all its components. No symptoms of phytotoxicity were recorded on olive trees treated with Form A, and the number of P. spumarius specimens collected on these plants was much lower than on untreated plants. These results suggest the potential use of Form A in the protection of olive trees. This vegetal formulation can thus be considered as a valid alternative to chemical insecticides for the control of the main vector of X. fastidiosa and could be integrated into a sustainable management system for OQDS. Full article
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13 pages, 1276 KiB  
Article
Sequencing and Analysis of the Mitochondrial Genome of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) from the Brazilian Amazon Region
Insects 2023, 14(12), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120938 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1067
Abstract
Aedes aegypti is a mosquito native to the African continent, which is now widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In many regions, it represents a major challenge to public health, given its role in the cycle of transmission of [...] Read more.
Aedes aegypti is a mosquito native to the African continent, which is now widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In many regions, it represents a major challenge to public health, given its role in the cycle of transmission of important arboviruses, such as Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya. Considering the epidemiological importance of Ae. aegypti, the present study sequenced the partial mitochondrial genome of a sample collected in the municipality of Balsas, in the Brazilian state of Maranhão, followed by High Throughput Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. The mitochondrial sequence obtained here was 15,863 bp long, and contained 37 functional subunits (thirteen PCGs, twenty-two tRNAs and two rRNAs) in addition to a partial final portion rich in A+T. The data obtained here contribute to the enrichment of our knowledge of the taxonomy and evolutionary biology of this prominent disease vector. These findings represent an important advancement in the understanding of the characteristics of the populations of northeastern Brazil and provide valuable insights into the taxonomy and evolutionary biology of this prominent disease vector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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14 pages, 5596 KiB  
Article
Fitness of Nutrition Regulation in a Caterpillar Pest Mythimna separata (Walker): Insights from the Geometric Framework
Insects 2023, 14(12), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120937 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 860
Abstract
In nature, plants can contain variable nutrients depending upon the species, tissue, and developmental stage. Insect herbivores may regulate their nutrient intake behaviorally and physio- logically when encountering different foods. This study examined the nutritional regulation of the oriental armyworm, Mythimna separata, [...] Read more.
In nature, plants can contain variable nutrients depending upon the species, tissue, and developmental stage. Insect herbivores may regulate their nutrient intake behaviorally and physio- logically when encountering different foods. This study examined the nutritional regulation of the oriental armyworm, Mythimna separata, for the first time. In one experiment, we allowed the cater-pillars to choose between two nutritionally balanced but complementary diets. The caterpillars did not randomly consume the paired foods, but instead chose between the nutritionally balanced but complementary diets. This intake behavior was found to change with their developmental stages. Furthermore, the nutrient concentrations in food significantly impacted the insect’s performance. In the other experiment, caterpillars were given one of eleven diets that reflected the different nutrient conditions in the field. The results showed that proteins were significantly associated with developmental time and fecundity. For example, by consuming protein-biased food, the caterpillars developed faster and produced more eggs. In contrast, carbohydrates were more strongly linked to lipid accumulation, and caterpillars accumulated more lipids when consuming the carbohydrate-biased food. Moreover, the caterpillars were also found to actively regulate their intake of proteins and carbohydrates based on food quality and to physiologically prepare for subsequent life stages. These findings enhance our understanding of how M. separata feeds and responds to different nutritional environments in the field, which could have implications for managing insect herbivores in agricultural settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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15 pages, 7395 KiB  
Article
Aphid Resistance Evaluation and Constitutive Resistance Analysis of Eighteen Lilies
Insects 2023, 14(12), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120936 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 817
Abstract
Lilies (Lilium spp.) are famous bulb flowers worldwide, with high ornamental value. Aphid damage has seriously constrained the development of the lily industry. In this study, the aphid resistance of 16 lily cultivars and 2 wild lily species was characterized in the [...] Read more.
Lilies (Lilium spp.) are famous bulb flowers worldwide, with high ornamental value. Aphid damage has seriously constrained the development of the lily industry. In this study, the aphid resistance of 16 lily cultivars and 2 wild lily species was characterized in the field and greenhouse. Leaf color parameters, stomatal density and size, thickness of leaf layers, leaf waxy content, and leaf water content were determined to explore the constitutive resistance of lilies. The results show that there was a significant positive correlation between the number of aphids in the field and in the greenhouse (p ≤ 0.05, r = 0.47). This indicated that the level of aphid infestation in both the field and the greenhouse is generally consistent across different types of lily plants. Among these 18 lilies, ‘Palazzo’, ‘Nymph’, ‘Cameleon’ and L. lancifolium were resistant to A. gossypii, while ‘Black Beauty’ and ‘Magnefique’ had poor resistance. The correlation analysis results showed that the number of aphids was negatively correlated with leaf abaxial surface a*, stomatal size, water content, and thickness of leaf palisade tissue and positively correlated with leaf distal axial surface b*, C*, and waxy content. Among them, the correlation between the number of aphids and the thickness of leaf palisade tissue reached a significant level (p ≤ 0.05, r = −0.521). This indicated that the thickness of the palisade tissue of lily leaves might be an important factor influencing the proliferation of aphids. This study not only screened out aphid-resistant lilies but also established a crucial research foundation for the targeted breeding and molecular breeding of lilies with aphid resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)
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22 pages, 3885 KiB  
Article
Morphological Description and Potential Geographic Distribution of the Genus Dolichopus Latreille (Diptera, Dolichopodidae, Dolichopodinae) in Inner Mongolia, China
Insects 2023, 14(12), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120935 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 759
Abstract
Eight species of Dolichopus Latreille were previously recorded in Inner Mongolia. However, there have been only a few studies on their potential distribution. Here, three newly discovered species from Inner Mongolia are described, namely Dolichopus (Dolichopus) apicimaculatus sp. nov., Dolichopus (Dolichopus) jiufengensis sp. nov., [...] Read more.
Eight species of Dolichopus Latreille were previously recorded in Inner Mongolia. However, there have been only a few studies on their potential distribution. Here, three newly discovered species from Inner Mongolia are described, namely Dolichopus (Dolichopus) apicimaculatus sp. nov., Dolichopus (Dolichopus) jiufengensis sp. nov., and Dolichopus (Dolichopus) luae sp. nov. There were also twelve known Dolichopus species that were newly recorded in Inner Mongolia, including the newly recorded subgenus Hygroceleuthus. A key to the Dolichopus species from Inner Mongolia and the potential geographic distribution of Dolichopus in Inner Mongolia were provided. Potential geographic distribution of the genus in Inner Mongolia were determined as well. Full article
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10 pages, 1588 KiB  
Article
Effect of Juvenile Hormone on Worker Behavioral Transition in the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Insects 2023, 14(12), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120934 - 08 Dec 2023
Viewed by 858
Abstract
The division of labor among workers is a defining characteristic of social insects and plays a pivotal role in enhancing the competitive advantage of their colony. Juvenile hormone (JH) has long been hypothesized to be the essential driver in regulating the division of [...] Read more.
The division of labor among workers is a defining characteristic of social insects and plays a pivotal role in enhancing the competitive advantage of their colony. Juvenile hormone (JH) has long been hypothesized to be the essential driver in regulating the division of labor due to its ability to accelerate behavioral transitions in social insects, such as honeybees. The regulation of behavioral transitions by JH in the red imported fire ant (RIFA), Solenopsis invicta, a typical social pest, is unclear. Through video capture and analysis, we investigated the effects of the juvenile hormone analogue (JHA) methoprene on brood care, phototaxis behavior, and threat responsiveness of RIFA nurse workers. Our results showed that the JHA application significantly reduced the time and frequency of brood care behavior by nurse workers while increasing their walking distance and activity time in the light area. Additionally, the application of JHA made ants become excited, indicating a significant improvement in their activity level (movement distance, time, and speed). Furthermore, it was observed that the application of JHA did not affect the threat responsiveness of nurse workers towards stimuli (nestmates or non-nestmates). Our study demonstrates that the application of JHA reduced brood care behavior and enhanced phototaxis in nurse workers, which may reveal the role of JH in facilitating behavioral transitions in RIFA from intranidal tasks to extranidal activity. This study provides an experimental basis for further elucidating the mechanism underlying the division of labor in social insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Societies and Sociality)
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20 pages, 5769 KiB  
Article
Fine Structure of the Mouthparts of Three Tomicus Beetles Co-Infecting Pinus yunnanensis in Southwestern China with Some Functional Comments
Insects 2023, 14(12), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120933 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1020
Abstract
Tomicus yunnanensis, T. brevipilosus, and T. minor are the most economically significant pests of Pinus yunnanensis in Southwestern China. Chemical and physical factors play critical roles in diverse biological activities. Here, we describe the fine structure of the adult mouthparts of [...] Read more.
Tomicus yunnanensis, T. brevipilosus, and T. minor are the most economically significant pests of Pinus yunnanensis in Southwestern China. Chemical and physical factors play critical roles in diverse biological activities. Here, we describe the fine structure of the adult mouthparts of these three Tomicus species using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. We identified three types of mandibular shapes, which determine their biomechanical properties, their ability to process food, and their preferred foraging locations on tree trunks. Eleven types of sensilla were discernible, including sensilla basiconica (Sb.1–2), sensilla twig basiconica (Stb.1–3), sensilla coeloconica (Sco), sensilla chaetica (Sch.1–2), sensilla trichoidea (Str.1–2), and sensilla digitiformia (Sdi). Each basiconic sensillum occurs on the palpal tips and is innervated by 2–6 dendrites. Sb.1 are gustatory receptors, Sb.2 are olfactory receptors, and the three other sensilla have dual taste and mechanical functions. Sco, Sch, and Str are mechanoreceptors. Sdi are mechanical vibration receptions, given that they are innervated by one dendrite with numerous dendritic branches into the nonporous cuticle. No significant differences among the sexes or species were identified; however, intraspecific variability in the number of Stb.3 and Sdi sensilla was evident. These results will aid future studies of Tomicus beetle behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Physiology, Reproduction and Development)
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12 pages, 7978 KiB  
Article
Cas9-Mediated Gene Editing Using Receptor-Mediated Ovary Transduction of Cargo (ReMOT) Control in Bombyx mori
Insects 2023, 14(12), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14120932 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1220
Abstract
Lepidoptera is one of the most speciose insect orders, causing enormous damage to agricultural and forest crops. Although genome editing has been achieved in a few Lepidoptera for insect controls, most techniques are still limited. Here, by injecting female pupae of the Lepidoptera [...] Read more.
Lepidoptera is one of the most speciose insect orders, causing enormous damage to agricultural and forest crops. Although genome editing has been achieved in a few Lepidoptera for insect controls, most techniques are still limited. Here, by injecting female pupae of the Lepidoptera model species, Bombyx mori, gene editing was established using the Receptor-Mediated Ovary Transduction of Cargo (ReMOT) control technique. We identified a B. mori oocytes-targeting peptide ligand (BmOTP, a 29 aa of vitellogenin N-terminal of silkworms) with a highly conserved sequence in lepidopteran insects that could efficiently deliver mCherry into oocytes. When BmOTP was fused to CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) and the BmOTP-Cas9 ribonucleoprotein complex was injected into female pupae, heritable editing of the offspring was achieved in the silkworms. Compared with embryo microinjection, individual injection is more convenient and eliminates the challenge of injecting extremely small embryos. Our results will significantly facilitate the genetic manipulation of other lepidopteran insects, which is essential for advancing lepidopteran pest control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Molecular Biology and Genomics)
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