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Insects, Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2015) , Pages 608-791

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Open AccessArticle
Grain Diversity Effects on Banker Plant Growth and Parasitism by Aphidius colemani
Insects 2015, 6(3), 772-791; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030772 - 08 Sep 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1862
Abstract
Green peach aphid (Myzus persicae Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is a serious greenhouse pest with a short generation time, parthenogenetic reproduction and a broad host range. Banker plant systems are becoming a more common form of biological control for this pest. This system [...] Read more.
Green peach aphid (Myzus persicae Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is a serious greenhouse pest with a short generation time, parthenogenetic reproduction and a broad host range. Banker plant systems are becoming a more common form of biological control for this pest. This system consists of grain “banker plants” infested with R. padi, an alternative hosts for the parasitoid Aphidius colemani. Thus A. colemani can reproduce on the banker plant when M. persicae populations are low. This system can increase pest suppression; however, like other biological control tools, efficacy is inconsistent. One reason is because several different grain species have been used. Our studies determined if there were benefits to planting interspecific mixture banker plants, similar to when open agricultural systems use mixed cropping. Our study found that although banker plants grow larger when planted as mixtures this added plant growth does not increase in the number of aphids, or mummies an individual banker plant can sustain. Rye banker plants grew larger, and sustained more mummies than the other species we tested, but barley banker plants resulted in a similar number of aphids in a more condensed area. Ultimately, we did not see any differences in pest suppression between monoculture banker plants, mixture banker plants, or our augmentative release treatment. However, using banker plants resulted in more female parasitoids than the augmentative release, a benefit to using banker plant systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Control in Glasshouses)
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Open AccessArticle
Feeding Behaviour on Host Plants May Influence Potential Exposure to Bt Maize Pollen of Aglais Urticae Larvae (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae)
Insects 2015, 6(3), 760-771; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030760 - 31 Aug 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1837
Abstract
Non-target butterfly larvae may be harmed by feeding on host plants dusted with Bt maize pollen. Feeding patterns of larvae and their utilization of host plants can affect the adverse Bt impact because the maize pollen is distributed unequally on the plant. In [...] Read more.
Non-target butterfly larvae may be harmed by feeding on host plants dusted with Bt maize pollen. Feeding patterns of larvae and their utilization of host plants can affect the adverse Bt impact because the maize pollen is distributed unequally on the plant. In a field study, we investigated the feeding of larvae of the Small Tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae, on nettles, Urtica dioica. Young larvae used smaller host plants than older larvae. In general, the position of the larvae was in the top part of the host plant, but older larvae showed a broader vertical distribution on the nettles. Leaf blades and leaf tips were the plant parts most often consumed. Leaf veins were consumed but midribs were fed on to a lesser extent than other plant veins, particularly by young larvae. The feeding behavior of the larvae may increase possible exposure to Bt maize pollen because pollen densities are expected to be higher on the top parts and along leaf veins of nettles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Real-Time qPCR Assay for Quantification of Covert Baculovirus Infections in a Major African Crop Pest
Insects 2015, 6(3), 746-759; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030746 - 25 Aug 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2449
Abstract
Many pathogens and parasites are present in host individuals and populations without any obvious signs of disease. This is particularly true for baculoviruses infecting lepidopteran hosts, where studies have shown that covert persistent viral infections are almost ubiquitous in many species. To date, [...] Read more.
Many pathogens and parasites are present in host individuals and populations without any obvious signs of disease. This is particularly true for baculoviruses infecting lepidopteran hosts, where studies have shown that covert persistent viral infections are almost ubiquitous in many species. To date, the infection intensity of covert viruses has rarely been quantified. In this study, we investigated the dynamics of a covert baculovirus infection within the lepidopteran crop pest Spodoptera exempta. A real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) procedure using a 5' nuclease hydrolysis (TaqMan) probe was developed for specific detection and quantification of Spodoptera exempta nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpexNPV). The qPCR assay indicated that covert baculovirus dynamics varied considerably over the course of the host life-cycle, with infection load peaking in early larval instars and being lowest in adults and final-instar larvae. Adult dissections indicated that, contrary to expectation, viral load aggregation was highest in the head, wings and legs, and lowest in the thorax and abdomen. The data presented here have broad implications relating to our understanding of transmission patterns of baculoviruses and the role of covert infections in host-pathogen dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasite-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Lubanga, U.K., et al. Semiochemical and Vibrational Cues and Signals Mediating Mate Finding and Courtship in Psylloidea (Hemiptera): A Synthesis. Insects 2014, 5, 577–595.
Insects 2015, 6(3), 743-745; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030743 - 20 Aug 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [1]: [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Insect Cuticular Hydrocarbons as Dynamic Traits in Sexual Communication
Insects 2015, 6(3), 732-742; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030732 - 04 Aug 2015
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 2317
Abstract
Recent research has demonstrated extensive within-species variation in pheromone expression in insect species, contrary to the view that pheromones are largely invariant within species. In fact, many studies on insect cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) show that pheromones can be highly dynamic traits that can [...] Read more.
Recent research has demonstrated extensive within-species variation in pheromone expression in insect species, contrary to the view that pheromones are largely invariant within species. In fact, many studies on insect cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) show that pheromones can be highly dynamic traits that can express significant short-term plasticity across both abiotic and social environments. It is likely that this variability in CHC expression contributes to their important role in sexual signaling and mate choice. In this review, I discuss CHC plasticity and how this might influence sexual communication. I also highlight two important avenues for future research: examining plasticity in how individuals respond to CHC signals, and testing how sexual communication varies across abiotic and social environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Communication in An Evolutionary Context)
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Open AccessArticle
Parasitic Manipulation of Host Behaviour: Baculovirus SeMNPV EGT Facilitates Tree-Top Disease in Spodoptera exigua Larvae by Extending the Time to Death
Insects 2015, 6(3), 716-731; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030716 - 31 Jul 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3159
Abstract
Many parasites enhance their dispersal and transmission by manipulating host behaviour. One intriguing example concerns baculoviruses that induce hyperactivity and tree-top disease (i.e., climbing to elevated positions prior to death) in their caterpillar hosts. Little is known about the underlying mechanisms [...] Read more.
Many parasites enhance their dispersal and transmission by manipulating host behaviour. One intriguing example concerns baculoviruses that induce hyperactivity and tree-top disease (i.e., climbing to elevated positions prior to death) in their caterpillar hosts. Little is known about the underlying mechanisms of such parasite-induced behavioural changes. Here, we studied the role of the ecdysteroid UDP-glucosyltransferase (egt) gene of Spodoptera exigua multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV) in tree-top disease in S. exigua larvae. Larvae infected with a mutant virus lacking the egt gene exhibited a shorter time to death and died before the induction of tree-top disease. Moreover, deletion of either the open reading frame or the ATG start codon of the egt gene prevented tree-top disease, indicating that the EGT protein is involved in this process. We hypothesize that SeMNPV EGT facilitates tree-top disease in S. exigua larvae by prolonging the larval time to death. Additionally, we discuss the role of egt in baculovirus-induced tree-top disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasite-Insect Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of the Whitefly Bemisia tabaci Genome Size Based on k-mer and Flow Cytometric Analyses
Insects 2015, 6(3), 704-715; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030704 - 28 Jul 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2572
Abstract
Whiteflies of the Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) cryptic species complex are among the most important agricultural insect pests in the world. These phloem-feeding insects can colonize over 1000 species of plants worldwide and inflict severe economic losses to crops, mainly through the transmission [...] Read more.
Whiteflies of the Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) cryptic species complex are among the most important agricultural insect pests in the world. These phloem-feeding insects can colonize over 1000 species of plants worldwide and inflict severe economic losses to crops, mainly through the transmission of pathogenic viruses. Surprisingly, there is very little genomic information about whiteflies. As a starting point to genome sequencing, we report a new estimation of the genome size of the B. tabaci B biotype or Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) population. Using an isogenic whitefly colony with over 6500 haploid male individuals for genomic DNA, three paired-end genomic libraries with insert sizes of ~300 bp, 500 bp and 1 Kb were constructed and sequenced on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 system. A total of ~50 billion base pairs of sequences were obtained from each library. K-mer analysis using these sequences revealed that the genome size of the whitefly was ~682.3 Mb. In addition, the flow cytometric analysis estimated the haploid genome size of the whitefly to be ~690 Mb. Considering the congruency between both estimation methods, we predict the haploid genome size of B. tabaci MEAM1 to be ~680–690 Mb. Our data provide a baseline for ongoing efforts to assemble and annotate the B. tabaci genome. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Wood and Cellulosic Materials as Fillers in Artificial Diets for Lyctus africanus Lesne (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae)
Insects 2015, 6(3), 696-703; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030696 - 23 Jul 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1658
Abstract
We studied the usefulness of wood- and cellulose-based diets for L. africanus Lesne. Three diets were prepared which differed on the base ingredients; wood particles (Diet 1), cellulose powder (Diet 2), and alpha-cellulose (Diet 3). The diets were provided to adult L. africanus [...] Read more.
We studied the usefulness of wood- and cellulose-based diets for L. africanus Lesne. Three diets were prepared which differed on the base ingredients; wood particles (Diet 1), cellulose powder (Diet 2), and alpha-cellulose (Diet 3). The diets were provided to adult L. africanus and the number of larvae, as well as the number of adults that emerged sex ratio, and body weight of the progeny was determined. Findings indicated similar results for the number of larvae, sex ratio and body weight of the emerged L. africanus fed on each diet. However, the number of adult produced by L. africanus on Diet 3 was significantly lower. The results indicate that the amount of vital nutrients is not the only important factor in selecting a suitable diet for L. africanus because the filler used in artificial diets influences the beetles overall population growth. For the population upon which the diets were tested, Diet 1 and Diet 2 could be utilized to rear beetles in the laboratory. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tunneling Performance Increases at Lower Temperatures for Solenopsis invicta (Buren) but not for Nylanderia fulva (Mayr)
Insects 2015, 6(3), 686-695; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030686 - 23 Jul 2015
Viewed by 1822
Abstract
Nylanderia fulva (Mayr), the tawny crazy ant, is an invasive pest established in Florida and several other Gulf Coast states. In their invasive ranges in the Southeastern USA, large N. fulva populations have reduced species abundance, even displacing another invasive ant, Solenopsis invicta [...] Read more.
Nylanderia fulva (Mayr), the tawny crazy ant, is an invasive pest established in Florida and several other Gulf Coast states. In their invasive ranges in the Southeastern USA, large N. fulva populations have reduced species abundance, even displacing another invasive ant, Solenopsis invicta (Buren). In North Florida, N. fulva populations survive winter temperatures that reach below freezing for extended periods. However, the shallow littoral debris used by N. fulva for nest construction offers little insulation to brood and reproductives when exposed to freezing temperatures. Field populations of N. fulva in North Florida were observed tunneling below ground, a previously undescribed behavior. Other invasive ants exhibit similar subterranean tunneling behavior as a means of thermoregulation. To test the hypothesis that N. fulva has the capacity to construct subterranean tunnels across a range of ecologically relevant temperatures, tunneling performance for N. fulva and S. invicta, another invasive ant that tunnels extensively, were compared at four temperatures (15.0, 18.0, 20.0, and 22.0 °C). Overall, N. fulva tunneled significantly less than S. invicta. Nylanderia fulva tunneled furthest at warmer temperatures whereas S. invicta tunneled furthest at cooler temperatures. However, N. fulva constructed subterranean tunnels at all temperatures evaluated. These data support the hypothesis that N. fulva is capable of tunneling in temperatures as low as 15.0 °C, confirming that this ant can also perform a behavior that is used by other ants for cold avoidance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Three Mutations, F1565C, V1023G and S996P, in the Voltage-Sensitive Sodium Channel Gene and Knockdown Resistance in Aedes aegypti from Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Insects 2015, 6(3), 658-685; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030658 - 23 Jul 2015
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 2828
Abstract
Mutations in the voltage-sensitive sodium channel gene (Vssc) have been identified in Aedes aegypti and some have been associated with pyrethroid insecticide resistance. Whether these mutations cause resistance, alone or in combination with other alleles, remains unclear, but must be understood [...] Read more.
Mutations in the voltage-sensitive sodium channel gene (Vssc) have been identified in Aedes aegypti and some have been associated with pyrethroid insecticide resistance. Whether these mutations cause resistance, alone or in combination with other alleles, remains unclear, but must be understood if mutations are to become markers for resistance monitoring. We describe High Resolution Melt (HRM) genotyping assays for assessing mutations found in Ae. aegypti in Indonesia (F1565C, V1023G, S996P) and use them to test for associations with pyrethroid resistance in mosquitoes from Yogyakarta, a city where insecticide use is widespread. Such knowledge is important because Yogyakarta is a target area for releases of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes with virus-blocking traits for dengue suppression. We identify three alleles across Yogyakarta putatively linked to resistance in previous research. By comparing resistant and susceptible mosquitoes from bioassays, we show that the 1023G allele is associated with resistance to type I and type II pyrethroids. In contrast, F1565C homozygotes were rare and there was only a weak association between individuals heterozygous for the mutation and resistance to a type I pyrethroid. As the heterozygote is expected to be incompletely recessive, it is likely that this association was due to a different resistance mechanism being present. A resistance advantage conferred to V1023G homozygotes through addition of the S996P allele in the homozygous form was suggested for the Type II pyrethroid, deltamethrin. Screening of V1023G and S996P should assist resistance monitoring in Ae. aegypti from Yogyakarta, and these mutations should be maintained in Wolbachia strains destined for release in this city to ensure that these virus-blocking strains of mosquitoes are not disadvantaged, relative to resident populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insecticide Resistance)
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Open AccessReview
Integrated Fruit Production and Pest Management in Europe: The Apple Case Study and How Far We Are From the Original Concept?
Insects 2015, 6(3), 626-657; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030626 - 26 Jun 2015
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3310
Abstract
This review focuses on the process of adapting the original concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to the wider conception of the Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) implemented in Europe. Even though most of the pest management strategies still rely on the use of [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the process of adapting the original concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to the wider conception of the Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) implemented in Europe. Even though most of the pest management strategies still rely on the use of synthetic pesticides, a wide array of innovative and environmentally friendly tools are now available as possible alternative to the pesticides within the modern apple production system. We also highlight how recent pest management strategies and tools have created an opening for research towards IPM improvement, including the use of biorational pesticides, semiochemicals and biological control. Forecasting models, new tree training systems and innovative spray equipment have also been developed to improve treatment coverage, to mitigate pesticide drift and to reduce chemical residues on fruits. The possible threats that jeopardize the effective implementation of IPM and particularly the risks related to the development of the pesticide resistance and the introduction of new invasive pests are also reviewed. With the directive 128/09, the European legislation recognizes IPM as a strategic approach for the sustainable use of pesticides. Within this context, IPM and related guidelines is called to meet different areas of concern in relation to the worker and bystander safety. Beside the traditional economic criteria of the market-oriented agriculture, sustainable agriculture includes the assessment of the environmental impact of the agronomic practices within the societal context where they take place. As a consequence of the raising consumer concerns about environmental impacts generated by the fruit production, IFP certification over product standards, including process aspects, are frequently required by consumers and supermarket chains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Repellency of Plant Extracts against the Legume Flower Thrips Megalurothrips sjostedti (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)
Insects 2015, 6(3), 608-625; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects6030608 - 26 Jun 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3941
Abstract
Megalurothrips sjostedti Trybom is an important pest of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) in Africa. To propose an alternative to chemical control, the repellency of 24 plant extracts was evaluated against adult female thrips of M. sjostedti in the laboratory. Plant extracts in [...] Read more.
Megalurothrips sjostedti Trybom is an important pest of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) in Africa. To propose an alternative to chemical control, the repellency of 24 plant extracts was evaluated against adult female thrips of M. sjostedti in the laboratory. Plant extracts in ethanol were separately applied on a filter paper disk in a still air visual cue olfactometer. The results showed highly significant differences in repellency among extract type, concentration and their interactions. We classified the level of repellency into four categories as strong, good, moderate and weak or non- repellent based on hierarchical ascendant classification. We identified Piper nigrum, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cinnamomum cassia as strong repellents. Five extracts were classified as good, eight as moderate and the remaining eight extracts were weak or non-repellent. Repellency of the extracts increased with the concentration suggesting that the behavioral response of M. sjostedti was dose-dependent. Mono- and sesquiterpene hydrocarbon compounds from seven highly repellent extracts were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The use of repellent extracts could be useful in developing integrated pest management strategies for thrips on legume crops. In this regard, the specific modes of action of the identified compounds need to be investigated to incorporate them into the existing crop protection strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management)
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