Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Hirsutellin A: A Paradigmatic Example of the Insecticidal Function of Fungal Ribotoxins
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Virology, Epidemiology and Pathology of Glossina Hytrosavirus, and Its Control Prospects in Laboratory Colonies of the Tsetse Fly, Glossina pallidipes (Diptera; Glossinidae)
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Immune Signaling and Antimicrobial Peptide Expression in Lepidoptera

Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI 53706, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2013, 4(3), 320-338;
Received: 1 June 2013 / Revised: 21 June 2013 / Accepted: 21 June 2013 / Published: 2 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Pathology)
PDF [238 KB, uploaded 2 July 2013]


Many lepidopteran insects are agricultural pests that affect stored grains, food and fiber crops. These insects have negative ecological and economic impacts since they lower crop yield, and pesticides are expensive and can have off-target effects on beneficial arthropods. A better understanding of lepidopteran immunity will aid in identifying new targets for the development of specific insect pest management compounds. A fundamental aspect of immunity, and therefore a logical target for control, is the induction of antimicrobial peptide (AMP) expression. These peptides insert into and disrupt microbial membranes, thereby promoting pathogen clearance and insect survival. Pathways leading to AMP expression have been extensively studied in the dipteran Drosophila melanogaster. However, Diptera are an important group of pollinators and pest management strategies that target their immune systems is not recommended. Recent advances have facilitated investigation of lepidopteran immunity, revealing both conserved and derived characteristics. Although the general pathways leading to AMP expression are conserved, specific components of these pathways, such as recognition proteins have diverged. In this review we highlight how such comparative immunology could aid in developing pest management strategies that are specific to agricultural insect pests. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lepidoptera; recognition; signaling; antimicrobial peptide; pest control Lepidoptera; recognition; signaling; antimicrobial peptide; pest control

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Casanova-Torres, Á.M.; Goodrich-Blair, H. Immune Signaling and Antimicrobial Peptide Expression in Lepidoptera. Insects 2013, 4, 320-338.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Insects EISSN 2075-4450 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top