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Insects, Volume 9, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Transcriptional Control of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Major Royal Jelly Proteins by 20-Hydroxyecdysone
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
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Abstract
One of the first tasks of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) during their lifetime is to feed the larval offspring. In brief, young workers (nurse bees) secrete a special food jelly that contains a large amount of unique major royal jelly
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One of the first tasks of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) during their lifetime is to feed the larval offspring. In brief, young workers (nurse bees) secrete a special food jelly that contains a large amount of unique major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs). The regulation of mrjp gene expression is not well understood, but the large upregulation in well-fed nurse bees suggests a tight repression until, or a massive induction upon, hatching of the adult worker bees. The lipoprotein vitellogenin, the synthesis of which is regulated by the two systemic hormones 20-hydroxyecdysone and juvenile hormone, is thought to be a precursor for the production of MRJPs. Thus, the regulation of mrjp expression by the said systemic hormones is likely. This study focusses on the role of 20-hydroxyecdysone by elucidating its effect on mrjp gene expression dynamics. Specifically, we tested whether 20-hydroxyecdysone displayed differential effects on various mrjps. We found that the expression of the mrjps (mrjp1–3) that were finally secreted in large amounts into the food jelly, in particular, were down regulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone treatment, with mrjp3 showing the highest repression value. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note The Development of Cytogenetic Maps for Malaria Mosquitoes
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
Anopheline mosquitoes are important vectors of human malaria. Next-generation sequencing opens new opportunities for studies of mosquito genomes to uncover the genetic basis of a Plasmodium transmission. Physical mapping of genome sequences to polytene chromosomes significantly improves reference assemblies. High-resolution cytogenetic maps are
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Anopheline mosquitoes are important vectors of human malaria. Next-generation sequencing opens new opportunities for studies of mosquito genomes to uncover the genetic basis of a Plasmodium transmission. Physical mapping of genome sequences to polytene chromosomes significantly improves reference assemblies. High-resolution cytogenetic maps are essential for anchoring genome sequences to chromosomes as well as for studying breakpoints of chromosome rearrangements and chromatin protein localization. Here we describe a detailed pipeline for the development of high-resolution cytogenetic maps using polytene chromosomes of malaria mosquitoes. We apply this workflow to the refinement of the cytogenetic map developed for Anopheles beklemishevi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Mosquito Biology: From Molecules to Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring Nutrient Status of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Adults and Nymphs on Summer Holly
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
Halyomorpha halys (Stål), or brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), has become a major pest and nuisance for both agricultural growers and homeowners since its arrival in North America and Europe. The nutritional ecology of BMSB is important for understanding its life history and
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Halyomorpha halys (Stål), or brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), has become a major pest and nuisance for both agricultural growers and homeowners since its arrival in North America and Europe. The nutritional ecology of BMSB is important for understanding its life history and rearing requirements. However, little is known about the nutritional status of wild populations, especially in the U.S. This research monitored the nutrient status of nymphal and adult BMSB collected from English holly in western Oregon. We measured their weight, nutrient index (weight/(prothorax × width)3), lipid, glycogen and sugar levels and egg load from May–September/October. First, glycogen and sugar levels of adults were often lowest sometime in June-August with a general increase by September. Meanwhile, their lipid levels varied without a discernible trend. Second, adult females had few eggs in May, with the highest egg load in June and July, and no eggs by September. Lastly, first and second nymphal instars were found in June, and fourth and fifth instars in September. Because nothing is known about the nutrient levels of nymphs, the reported values from this survey can assist future research on physiological responses of BMSB to treatments or environmental impacts in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Monitoring and Trapping in Agricultural Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Detection of Volatile Constituents from Food Lures by Tephritid Fruit Flies
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
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Abstract
Tephritid fruit flies require protein for sexual and gonotrophic development. Food-based lures are therefore widely used in strategies to detect and control fruit flies in the Tephritidae family. However, these baits are attractive to a broad range of insect species. We therefore sought
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Tephritid fruit flies require protein for sexual and gonotrophic development. Food-based lures are therefore widely used in strategies to detect and control fruit flies in the Tephritidae family. However, these baits are attractive to a broad range of insect species. We therefore sought to identify volatiles detected by the fly antennae, with the goal to compose lures that more specifically target tephritids. Using gas chromatography-coupled electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) we screened for antennal responses of four important tephritid species to volatile compounds from five commercially available protein-based baits. Antennal active compounds were reconstituted in synthetic blends for each species and used in behavioral assays. These species-based blends were attractive in olfactometer experiments, as was a blend composed of all antennally active compounds from all the four species we observed (tested only in Bactrocera dorsalis, Hendel). Pilot field tests indicate that the blends need to be further evaluated and optimized under field conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle Spotted Wing Drosophila in Sweet Cherry Orchards in Relation to Forest Characteristics, Bycatch, and Resource Availability
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 4 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
Forest vegetation is essential for the population development of the spotted wing drosophila (SWD). Yet, little is known of how the structure of surrounding forest areas influence the abundance of SWD within orchards. In this work, we use data from a field trial
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Forest vegetation is essential for the population development of the spotted wing drosophila (SWD). Yet, little is known of how the structure of surrounding forest areas influence the abundance of SWD within orchards. In this work, we use data from a field trial at five sites in Switzerland to analyse the relationship between the extent of forest area, its edge density, and its distance from the orchard with the occurrence of SWD in sweet cherry orchards in a Bayesian hierarchical model. Availability of cherries and bycatch were also included in the model to account for effects of resource availability and trap attractiveness, respectively. For all main effects and their interactions, we accounted for potential temporal changes by adding interactions with time. We found that the closer an orchard was to a forest, the more SWD were trapped within the orchard. However, the interaction of forest proximity with forest area caused a disproportionate decrease of SWD catches. Also, the within orchard variables, trap catches of other drosophilid flies and resource availability affected SWD trap catches, but their relation changed in the course of the experiment. The findings imply that reducing SWD occurrence in orchards and other crop fields requires not only the consideration of processes outside and within the host crop field, but also of temporally changing relationships between SWD and other factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Population Dynamics: Theory & Practice)
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Open AccessReview Nematobacterial Complexes and Insect Hosts: Different Weapons for the Same War
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are widely used as biological control agents against insect pests, the efficacy of these organisms strongly depends on the balance between the parasitic strategies and the immune response of the host. This review summarizes roles and relationships between insect hosts
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Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are widely used as biological control agents against insect pests, the efficacy of these organisms strongly depends on the balance between the parasitic strategies and the immune response of the host. This review summarizes roles and relationships between insect hosts and two well-known EPN species, Steinernema feltiae and Steinernema carpocapsae and outlines the main mechanisms of immune recognition and defense of insects. Analyzing information and findings about these EPNs, it is clear that these two species use shared immunosuppression strategies, mainly mediated by their symbiotic bacteria, but there are differences in both the mechanism of evasion and interference of the two nematodes with the insect host immune pathways. Based on published data, S. feltiae takes advantage of the cross reaction between its body surface and some host functional proteins, to inhibit defensive processes; otherwise, secretion/excretion products from S. carpocapsae seem to be the main nematode components responsible for the host immunosuppression. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Risk Assessment of Two Insecticides on Encarsia formosa, Parasitoid of Whitefly Bemisia tabaci
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
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Abstract
The assessment of acute toxicity to insect natural enemies is very important for insecticide selection used within integrated pest management (IPM). The acute toxicity of abamectin and imidacloprid against Encarsia formosa, a parasitoid of Bemisia tabaci, was investigated. Abamectin had a
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The assessment of acute toxicity to insect natural enemies is very important for insecticide selection used within integrated pest management (IPM). The acute toxicity of abamectin and imidacloprid against Encarsia formosa, a parasitoid of Bemisia tabaci, was investigated. Abamectin had a high toxicity risk to E. formosa, while imidacloprid showed a medium toxicity risk. When treated with the lethal concentration 30 (LC30) of abamectin, the dwelling time of E. formosa in B. tabaci infested-plant-area (IPA) was significantly lower than in non-infested plant areas (non-IPA). In addition, the frequency of E. formosa entering into the two areas was not significantly different in the LC10 and LC30 treatments. Within the IPA, LC10, and LC30 treatments decreased the dwelling time and entering frequency of parasitoid significantly. For imidacloprid treatments, E. formosa stayed a longer time in the non-IPA than in the IPA when treated with LC30. The frequency of E. formosa entering into the two areas was only slightly different in the LC1, LC10, and LC30 treatments. Within the IPA, LC10 and LC30 treatments were significantly decreased in the dwelling time and the entering frequency of E. formosa. The results indicate that abamectin and imidacloprid have high or medium acute toxicity against E. formosa and a negative sublethal effect on its searching behaviour. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Advanced Numerical Trajectory Model Tracks a Corn Earworm Moth Migration Event in Texas, USA
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
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Abstract
Many methods for trajectory simulation, such as Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT), have been developed over the past several decades and contributed greatly to our knowledge in insect migratory movement. To improve the accuracy of trajectory simulation, we developed a new numerical
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Many methods for trajectory simulation, such as Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT), have been developed over the past several decades and contributed greatly to our knowledge in insect migratory movement. To improve the accuracy of trajectory simulation, we developed a new numerical trajectory model, in which the self-powered flight behaviors of insects are considered and trajectory calculation is driven by high spatio-temporal resolution weather conditions simulated by the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. However, a rigorous evaluation of the accuracy of different trajectory models on simulated long-distance migration is lacking. Hence, in this study our trajectory model was evaluated by a migration event of the corn earworm moth, Helicoverpa zea, in Texas, USA on 20–22 March 1995. The results indicate that the simulated migration trajectories are in good agreement with occurrences of all pollen-marked male H. zea immigrants monitored in pheromone traps. Statistical comparisons in the present study suggest that our model performed better than the popularly-used HYSPLIT model in simulating migration trajectories of H. zea. This study also shows the importance of high-resolution atmospheric data and a full understanding of migration behaviors to the computational design of models that simulate migration trajectories of highly-flying insects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Flower Strips in Wheat Intercropping System: Effect on Pollinator Abundance and Diversity in Belgium
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 11 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract
The decline of pollinators in agricultural areas has been observed for some decades, this being partly due to landscape simplification in intensive agrosystems. Diversifying agricultural landscapes by sowing flower strips within fields could reduce these adverse effects on biodiversity. In this context, the
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The decline of pollinators in agricultural areas has been observed for some decades, this being partly due to landscape simplification in intensive agrosystems. Diversifying agricultural landscapes by sowing flower strips within fields could reduce these adverse effects on biodiversity. In this context, the study presented here aimed at assessing and comparing the abundance and diversity of bees (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) and hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) found and visiting flowers in three types of flower strips in Belgium: (i) a mixture of 11 wild flowers, (ii) a monofloral strip of Dimorphoteca pluvialis (Asteraceae) and (iii) a monofloral strip of Camelina sativa (Brassicaceae), where the last two are considered to be intercrops since they are valuable on the market, all sown within a field of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Pollinators were captured with pan traps and by netting in standardised transects from May to July 2017. One-thousand one-hundred and eighty-four individuals belonging to 43 bee species and 18 hoverfly species were collected. Significant differences in hoverfly diversity were found between the different flower strips. The multifloral treatment supported a greater diversity of syrphid species. Various pollinator species visited the different flowers composing the mixture and also D. pluvialis. The pollinator community proved to be predominantly generalist, with the exception of an oligolectic species in Belgium, Andrena nitidiuscula. Moreover, the three tested flower strips were effective in attracting hoverflies, among them natural enemies of insect pests. This study opens new perspectives in the design of intercropping systems with flower strips towards the design of sustainable agro-ecosystems. Improving economic profitability of sowing flower strips could encourage farmers to diversify their agricultural systems and foster conservation biology strategies. Full article
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Open AccessReview Mordellidae (Coleoptera) Research: A Review Based on the Zoological Record from 1864 through 2013
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
Mordellidae (tumbling flower beetles) is a globally distributed family of Coleoptera; it is among the most species-rich families (containing 115 genera and 2308 species described). It is important because of its agroforestry significance and its ecosystem-sustaining attributes. However, the past and current status
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Mordellidae (tumbling flower beetles) is a globally distributed family of Coleoptera; it is among the most species-rich families (containing 115 genera and 2308 species described). It is important because of its agroforestry significance and its ecosystem-sustaining attributes. However, the past and current status of Mordellidae research remains unclear. A comprehensive literature review of Mordellidae articles published over the period of 1864–2013 based on the Zoological Record was conducted for the first time. A total of 863 articles were used for analysis after a strict literature search using screening protocols. These articles were then assigned to four categories based on the year of publication, topics/themes, primary authors, and frequently utilized journals for publication of Mordellidae-related articles. The results reveal that: (1) there are three prosperous research periods (1876–1898, 1922–1957, and 1977–2012) for Mordellidae during 1864–2013 that are associated with the active period of three generations of the main taxonomists. However, it is unfortunate that it also demonstrates there is a lack of upcoming researchers to continue the work after the retirement of the current generation, thus action should be taken immediately to promote research on Mordellidae; (2) on average, each primary author published 3.1 papers, but ~35% of the Mordellidae articles were published by less than 3% of the primary authors; (3) researchers tended to mostly publish their articles in local journals of their home countries; (4) more than 90% of the articles pertain to traditional taxonomy, with those of early times generally containing only simple descriptions of the species and the holotypes chosen are sparsely deposited with the researchers or amateurs around the world, thus making them difficult to be checked; (5) nearly half of the studies described Mordellidae species from Palaearctic realm, about one-third of the studies described species in other areas rather than in the fauna in which the authors lived, and about two-fifths of the studies described species from countries outside of the authors’ country of origin. Therefore, the in-depth systematic study of worldwide Mordellidae is required to reconstruct Mordellidae phylogeny and a revision of its classification system with modern methods of comparative morphology, molecular biology, zoogeography, and cladistics. In order to better understand the life stages and biology of Mordellidae insects, more work on Mordellidae ecology should be undertaken to develop strategies for pest control. We hope that this review will provide information to the novice and expert alike in Mordellidae research pertaining to its past and current status, possible future research areas, and attract more attention from the scientific world and renew an interest in Mordellidae research. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Previous Interspecific Courtship Impairs Female Receptivity to Conspecifics in the Parasitoid Wasp Nasonia longicornis But Not in N. vitripennis
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 18 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
Interspecific sexual interactions are not uncommon in animals. In sympatry, females often face the risk of accidentally mating with a heterospecific male. Based on the actual risks imposed by the environment at a given time and place, females should be able to adjust
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Interspecific sexual interactions are not uncommon in animals. In sympatry, females often face the risk of accidentally mating with a heterospecific male. Based on the actual risks imposed by the environment at a given time and place, females should be able to adjust their mate acceptance in order to avoid interspecific copulations as well as accidentally refusing to mate with a conspecific. We investigate the ability of females of the two parasitoid wasp species Nasonia vitripennis (Nv) and N. longicornis (Nl) to adjust their mate acceptance in response to previous unsuccessful courtship by heterospecific males. We show that Nl females are more reluctant to mate with a conspecific male when having been courted previously by a heterospecific male, but Nv females are not. We argue that this strategy is reasonable for Nl females but not for Nv females, which follow a different strategy to avoid the fitness costs imposed by heterospecific copulations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Quiescence in Aedes aegypti: Interpopulation Differences Contribute to Population Dynamics and Vectorial Capacity
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 19 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
The strategy of Aedes aegypti to prolong embryonic viability by quiescence has severe implications for geographic expansion and maintenance of mosquito populations in areas under control measures. We evaluated the effects of quiescence on biological parameters directly or indirectly associated with population dynamics
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The strategy of Aedes aegypti to prolong embryonic viability by quiescence has severe implications for geographic expansion and maintenance of mosquito populations in areas under control measures. We evaluated the effects of quiescence on biological parameters directly or indirectly associated with population dynamics and vectorial capacity in populations of this mosquito species from two Brazilian municipalities characterized as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika transmission areas. Egg viability, initial hatching time, post-embryonic development time, adult emergence rate, sexual proportion, adult size, fecundity, and fertility were analyzed using eggs stored for 10, 40, 70, 100, 130, and 160 d. Quiescence time reduced overall egg viability and post-embryonic development time in both municipalities but was more costly in Aracaju (100 d, 8 d) than in Recife (130 d, 7.5 d). Emergence rates increased in Recife when the eggs were older, but not in Aracaju. Significant deviations in sexual proportion, with male predominance, were observed in both populations. Initial hatch, fecundity, fertility, and adult size did not significantly influence egg quiescence time. These results indicate intrinsic and differential characteristics for each A. aegypti population, suggesting a differential cost of quiescence for population dynamics parameters that can indirectly affect vectorial capacity and control measures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nutritional Quality during Development Alters Insulin-Like Peptides’ Expression and Physiology of the Adult Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
Mosquitoes have distinct developmental and adult life history, and the vectorial capacity of females has been shown to be affected by the larval nutritional environment. However, little is known about the effect of developmental nutrition on insulin-signaling and nutrient storage. In this study,
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Mosquitoes have distinct developmental and adult life history, and the vectorial capacity of females has been shown to be affected by the larval nutritional environment. However, little is known about the effect of developmental nutrition on insulin-signaling and nutrient storage. In this study, we used Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, to determine whether larval nutrition affects insulin gene expression. We also determined the traits regulated by insulin signaling, such as stored-nutrient levels and fecundity. We raised mosquito larvae on two different diets, containing either high protein or high carbohydrates. Development on a high-carbohydrate diet resulted in several life-history phenotypes indicative of suboptimal conditions, including increased developmental time and decreased fecundity. Additionally, our data showed that insulin transcript levels are affected by a high-carbohydrate diet during development. Females, not males, reared on high-carbohydrate diets had much higher transcript levels of insulin-like peptide 3 (ILP3), a mosquito equivalent of human insulin, and these females more readily converted sugar meals into lipids. We also found that AaILP4, not AaILP3, transcript levels were much higher in the males after a sugar meal, suggesting sex-specific differences in the insulin-signaling pathway. Our findings suggest a conserved mechanism of carbohydrate-mediated hyperinsulinemia in animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Mosquito Biology: From Molecules to Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Eosin-Methylene Blue as a Photosensitizer for Larval Control of Aedes aegypti by a Photodynamic Process
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
Aedes aegypti (Ae. aegypti) is a competent vector for transmitting important viral diseases such as yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Several strategies have been applied to avoid Ae. aegypti proliferation by using environmental management, biological, and chemical approaches. However, the
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Aedes aegypti (Ae. aegypti) is a competent vector for transmitting important viral diseases such as yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Several strategies have been applied to avoid Ae. aegypti proliferation by using environmental management, biological, and chemical approaches. However, the development of new methods for effective control of the insect vector population is still needed. Photodynamic control is an alternative way to control the vector population by using a physical approach based on the larval phototoxicity of a photosensitizer. In this context, the present study evaluated the use of eosin-methylene blue (EMB) as a new photosensitizer for photodynamic control of Ae. aegypti larval populations. The photodynamic assays were performed submitting Ae. aegypti third-instar larvae to different EMB concentrations (0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 5.0, 10.0, 50.0, and 100.0 µg mL−1) in combination of three different light doses (24.3, 48.6, and 97.2 J cm−2) under either white-light radiation from RGB LEDs or sunlight. The results demonstrated that EMB presented a rapid internalization into the larvae and was phototoxic. The photodynamic action induced 100% of larval mortality after about 40 min of sunlight irradiation even using low EMB concentration (0.5 µg mL−1). The findings reveal EMB as an effective photoactive compound to control larval populations of Ae. aegypti by photodynamic process induced by either sunlight or white-light from RGB LEDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Mosquito Biology: From Molecules to Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Evidence for Male Horn Dimorphism and Related Pronotal Shape Variation in Copris lunaris (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Coprini)
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 19 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
Male horn dimorphism is a rather common phenomenon in dung beetles, where some adult individuals have well-developed head horns (i.e., major males), while others exhibit diminished horn length (i.e., minor males). We focused on horn dimorphism and associated head and pronotum shape variations
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Male horn dimorphism is a rather common phenomenon in dung beetles, where some adult individuals have well-developed head horns (i.e., major males), while others exhibit diminished horn length (i.e., minor males). We focused on horn dimorphism and associated head and pronotum shape variations in Copris lunaris. We examined the allometric relationship between horn length (i.e., cephalic and pronotal horns) and maximum pronotum width (as index of body size) by fitting linear and sigmoidal models for both sexes. We then asked whether head and pronotum shape variations, quantified using the geometric morphometric approach, contributed to this allometric pattern. We found that female cephalic and pronotal horn growth showed a typical isometric scaling with body size. Horn length in males, however, exhibited sigmoidal allometry, where a certain threshold in body size separated males into two distinct morphs as majors and minors. Interestingly, we highlighted the same allometric patterns (i.e., isometric vs. sigmoidal models) by scaling horn lengths with pronotum shape, making evident that male horn dimorphism is not only a matter of body size. Furthermore, the analysis of shape showed that the three morphs had similar heads, but different pronota, major males showing a more expanded, rounded pronotum than minor males and females. These morphological differences in C. lunaris can ultimately have important functional consequences in the ecology of this species, which should be explored in future work. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Experimental Manipulation of Dispersal Ability in A Neotropical Butterfly Anartia fatima (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
Research on endangered British butterflies has found that butterfly populations in small refuges evolve to allocate more mass to the thorax (flight muscle) and less to the abdomen than populations in large refuges. The observed change in mass allocation affects two morphological features
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Research on endangered British butterflies has found that butterfly populations in small refuges evolve to allocate more mass to the thorax (flight muscle) and less to the abdomen than populations in large refuges. The observed change in mass allocation affects two morphological features relevant to flight: the flight muscle ratio (FMR) and the position of center of body mass (cmbody). The author tested whether a decrease in FMR or a change in cmbody reduced the ability to disperse by experimentally weight-loading Neotropical Anartia fatima butterflies. In one treatment group, FMR was decreased but cmbody was not altered, whereas in the second group FMR was decreased and cmbody was repositioned further posterior. In one mark–release–recapture (MRR) experiment, butterflies dispersed relatively slowly, and treatment groups did not differ significantly. In a replicate experiment, butterflies dispersed more quickly, and control butterflies dispersed more rapidly than either treatment group. Differences in dispersal were consistent with a causal relationship between FMR and movement. A more posterior cmbody had little effect on dispersal beyond that due to the change in FMR. These results support the hypothesis that an increase in mass allocation to the thorax in small, dispersed refugia is due to selection on the ability to disperse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Butterfly Ecology and Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle Predicting Geographic Distribution of Forensically Significant Blow Flies of Subfamily Chrysomyinae (Diptera: Calliphoridae) in Northern Thailand
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
Blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are carrion-breeding flies that are commonly used as evidence in forensic investigation. An adequate knowledge of ecological and geographical data of blow fly has a direct application in forensic science, as far as estimating time of colonization or corpse
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Blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are carrion-breeding flies that are commonly used as evidence in forensic investigation. An adequate knowledge of ecological and geographical data of blow fly has a direct application in forensic science, as far as estimating time of colonization or corpse relocation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of four species of Chrysomyinae (Chrysomya pinguis, Chrysomya chani, Chrysomya villeneuvi, and Ceylonomyia nigripes) across six land use types in central Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. Eighteen study sites were selected for sampling across three districts of Chiang Mai province (Mueang Chiang Mai, Mae Rim, and Hang Dong). Adult flies were collected every two weeks using a funnel trap baited with 1-day tainted beef offal. The predicted geographic distributions of forensically important blow fly species were modeled using the computer program ArcGIS, based on selected climatic variables (temperature, relative humidity, and light intensity) recorded at study sites. During the study period, 1298 adult flies were collected, with peak fly occurrence during summer (April–May). Seasonal fluctuation patterns varied depending on fly species. Climatic factors displayed diverse impact on associated fly populations. Identified species were restricted mainly to mixed deciduous forests (MDF) especially in the mountainous area. None of these flies were trapped in an urban area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Population Dynamics: Theory & Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Phenotypic Plasticity Promotes Overwintering Survival in A Globally Invasive Crop Pest, Drosophila suzukii
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
Spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii Matsumura, is a major pest of small fruit worldwide in temperate and subtropical growing regions. In Northern climates, D. suzukii likely overwinters locally under leaf litter and snow pack, but our understanding of the factors affecting thermal susceptibility
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Spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii Matsumura, is a major pest of small fruit worldwide in temperate and subtropical growing regions. In Northern climates, D. suzukii likely overwinters locally under leaf litter and snow pack, but our understanding of the factors affecting thermal susceptibility is limited. While previous investigations of thermal susceptibility in this species have employed conventional static acclimation protocols, we aimed to determine whether gradual cooling, or dynamic acclimation, may extend the limits of known thermal tolerance by more closely approximating naturally occurring shifts in temperature. First, we assessed survival among adult and pupal D. suzukii using static acclimation. Then, we re-assessed survival using a novel dynamic acclimation method. We found that while static acclimation was sufficient to induce cold tolerance, dynamic acclimation significantly improved survival at temperatures as low as −7.5 °C. Following static acclimation, the lower lethal limit of adult D. suzukii was −1.1 °C in winter morphotype (WM) adults compared to 1.7 °C in non-acclimated summer morphotype (SM) adults. Dynamic acclimation reduced the lower limit to −5 °C in SM flies. At the end of our study 50% of WM flies survived 72 h at −7.5 °C. Below 0 °C pupal survival declined significantly regardless of acclimation procedure. However, pupal acclimation improved survival outcomes significantly compared to non-acclimated pupae, suggesting that while juvenile diapause is unlikely, cold hardening likely benefits those flies which may develop into the overwintering WM population. These data suggest that the degree of cold hardening is proportional to the thermal environment, a finding previously unrecognized in this species. Given the economic impact of this pest, these data may have important implications for offseason population monitoring and management. We discuss how phenotypic plasticity may drive geographical range expansion, and the impact of climate change on the spread of this species. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication “Sleepers” and “Creepers”: A Theoretical Study of Colony Polymorphisms in the Fungus Metarhizium Related to Insect Pathogenicity and Plant Rhizosphere Colonization
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract
Different strains of Metarhizium exhibit a range of polymorphisms in colony phenotypes. These phenotypes range from highly conidiating colonies to colonies that produce relatively more mycelia and few conidia. These different phenotypes are exhibited in infected insects in the soil. In this paper,
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Different strains of Metarhizium exhibit a range of polymorphisms in colony phenotypes. These phenotypes range from highly conidiating colonies to colonies that produce relatively more mycelia and few conidia. These different phenotypes are exhibited in infected insects in the soil. In this paper, we provide a theoretical consideration of colony polymorphisms and suggest that these phenotypes represent a range of strategies in the soil that Metarhizium exhibits. We call these different strategies “sleepers” and “creepers”. The “sleeper” phenotype produces relatively greater amounts of conidia. We use the term “sleeper” to identify this phenotype since this strategy is to remain in the soil as conidia in a relatively metabolically inactive state until a host insect or plant encounter these conidia. The “creeper” phenotype is predominantly a mycelial phenotype. In this strategy, hyphae move through the soil until a host insect or plant is encountered. We theoretically model the costs and benefits of these phenotypic polymorphisms and suggest how evolution could possibly select for these different strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms Underlying Transmission of Insect Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle Oviplate: A Convenient and Space-Saving Method to Perform Individual Oviposition Assays in Aedes aegypti
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
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Abstract
Aedes aegypti is the principal vector of the urban arboviruses and the blood ingestion is important to produce the eggs in this species. To analyze the egg production in Ae. aegypti, researchers frequently use small cages or Drosophila vials to collect eggs
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Aedes aegypti is the principal vector of the urban arboviruses and the blood ingestion is important to produce the eggs in this species. To analyze the egg production in Ae. aegypti, researchers frequently use small cages or Drosophila vials to collect eggs from gravid females. Although it is affordable, the setup is time- and space-consuming, mainly when many mosquitoes need to be individually analyzed. This study presents an easy, cheap, and space-saving method to perform individual oviposition assays in Ae. aegypti using cell culture plates. This new method to access fecundity rate was named “oviplate”. The oviplates are setup with 12- or 24-well plates, distilled water and filter paper and they are 78 to 88% cheaper than the traditional Drosophila vial assay, respectively. Furthermore, to allocate 72 vitellogenic females in an insectary using Drosophila vial is necessary 4100 cm3 against 1400 cm3 and 700 cm3 when using 12- and 24-well plates, respectively. No statistical differences were found between the number of eggs laid in Drosophila vials and the oviplates, validating the method. The oviplate method is an affordable, and time- and space-efficient device, and it is simpler to perform individual fecundity analyses in Ae. aegypti. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Mosquito Biology: From Molecules to Ecosystems)
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Open AccessReview Sleeping Beauties: Horizontal Transmission via Resting Spores of Species in the Entomophthoromycotina
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
Many of the almost 300 species of arthropod-pathogenic fungi in the Entomophthoromycotina (Zoopagomycota) are known for being quite host-specific and are able to cause epizootics. Most species produce two main types of spores, conidia and resting spores. Here, we present a review of
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Many of the almost 300 species of arthropod-pathogenic fungi in the Entomophthoromycotina (Zoopagomycota) are known for being quite host-specific and are able to cause epizootics. Most species produce two main types of spores, conidia and resting spores. Here, we present a review of the epizootiology of species of Entomophthoromycotina, focusing on their resting spores, and how this stage leads to horizontal transmission and persistence. Cadavers in which resting spores are produced can often be found in different locations than cadavers of the same host producing conidia. Resting spores generally are dormant directly after production and require specific conditions for germination. Fungal reproduction resulting from infections initiated by Entomophaga maimaiga resting spores can differ from reproduction resulting from conidial infections, although we do not know how commonly this occurs. Reservoirs of resting spores can germinate for variable lengths of time, including up to several months, providing primary infections to initiate secondary cycling based on conidial infections, and not all resting spores germinate every year. Molecular methods have been developed to improve environmental quantification of resting spores, which can exist at high titers after epizootics. Ecological studies of biological communities have demonstrated that this source of these spores providing primary inoculum in the environment can decrease not only because of germination, but also because of the activity of mycopathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms Underlying Transmission of Insect Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Three Microbial Biocontrol Agents on Spodoptera litura and Its Natural Predator Rhynocoris kumarii
Received: 16 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
Entomopathogenic microbes such as Spodoptera litura nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpltNPV), Metarhizium anisopliae, and Pseudomonas fluorescens are biological agents used for the control of multiple arthropod pests. The objective of this study was to assess their effects on the biological parameters of Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera:
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Entomopathogenic microbes such as Spodoptera litura nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpltNPV), Metarhizium anisopliae, and Pseudomonas fluorescens are biological agents used for the control of multiple arthropod pests. The objective of this study was to assess their effects on the biological parameters of Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae, and its natural reduviid predator Rhynocoris kumarii (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) under laboratory conditions. Results suggested that P. fluorescens reduced the food consumption index, relative growth rate, approximate digestibility, the efficiency of conversion of ingested food, and the efficiency of conversion of digested food of S. litura third instar larvae compared to prey infected with M. anisopliae and SpltNPV. Both SpltNPV and M. anisopliae caused similar mortality of S. litura life stages after 96 h of observation. To observe the effect of an infected prey diet on predator behavior, infected S. litura larvae were offered to the third, fourth, and fifth instar nymphs of R. kumarii, and their prey handling time, predation rate (number/day/predator), developmental period, and the survival rate was recorded. When the life stages of R. kumarii were offered entomopathogen-infected S. litura larvae, their predation rate was comparable to or higher than the untreated control. The juvenile predator, after feeding on P. fluorescens-infected S. litura larvae, had a significantly longer developmental period (2–4 days) compared to those fed on larvae infected with other microbial control agents. However, feeding on P. fluorescens alone did not affect the predator nymphal survival rate or the adult sex ratio. Although three entomopathogens had some degree of effect on the biological parameters of R. kumarii, the outcome of this study suggests that integration of reduviids with the tested entomopathogens are a compatible and potentially effective strategy for the management of S. litura populations. However promising, this combined strategy needs to be tested under field conditions to confirm the laboratory findings. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Micro-CT to Document the Coffee Bean Weevil, Araecerus fasciculatus (Coleoptera: Anthribidae), Inside Field-Collected Coffee Berries (Coffea canephora)
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
The coffee bean weevil, Araecerus fasciculatus (De Geer) (Coleoptera: Anthribidae), is a cosmopolitan insect with >100 hosts, and has been reported as a pest of stored coffee. During a study involving the coffee berry borer, we observed coffee bean weevils emerging from field-collected
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The coffee bean weevil, Araecerus fasciculatus (De Geer) (Coleoptera: Anthribidae), is a cosmopolitan insect with >100 hosts, and has been reported as a pest of stored coffee. During a study involving the coffee berry borer, we observed coffee bean weevils emerging from field-collected coffee berries and used micro-computerized tomography (micro-CT) scans to observe the insect inside the berry. Two eggs had eclosed inside the berry, resulting in observations of a newly eclosed adult beetle and a 5th instar larva, each feeding on one of the two seeds. This is the first time since 1775, when the insect was first described, that the insect has been observed inside a coffee berry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Aggregation Site Choice by Gregarious Nymphs of the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria, in the Sahara Desert of Mauritania
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
Animals often aggregate at certain sites during vulnerable periods such as night-roosting as an anti-predatory strategy. Some migratory gregarious animals must regularly find new night-roosting sites, but how they synchronously choose such sites is poorly understood. We examined how gregarious nymphs of the
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Animals often aggregate at certain sites during vulnerable periods such as night-roosting as an anti-predatory strategy. Some migratory gregarious animals must regularly find new night-roosting sites, but how they synchronously choose such sites is poorly understood. We examined how gregarious nymphs of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria Forskål (Orthoptera: Acrididae), aggregate at certain plants for night-roosting in the Sahara Desert. Migratory bands of last instar nymphs climbed trees around dusk and roosted there overnight. A spatial autocorrelation analysis of plants indicated that the larger locust groups formed at the larger plants within the local plant community. Other large groups were not formed near the large tree, but smaller groups were patchily distributed. Plant height was the primary cue used by migratory bands to choose night-roosting plants. A nearest-neighbor distance analysis showed that single conspicuous large trees with scattered smaller plants were distributed locally. This plant community structure and negative geotactic ascending behavior of gregarious nymphs may force them to concentrate at the landmark plant from all directions and afar. This plant-size-dependent roosting site choice may contribute for developing artificial trapping systems for locusts and inciting to a new environment-friendly night control approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Monitoring and Trapping in Agricultural Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Increased Adult Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) Abundance in a Dengue Transmission Hotspot, Compared to a Coldspot, within Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Received: 20 June 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
The assumption that vector abundance differences might drive spatial and temporal heterogeneities in vector-borne disease transmission is common, though data supporting it is scarce. Here, we present data from two common mosquito species Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and Culex quinquefasciatus Say, biweekly sampled as
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The assumption that vector abundance differences might drive spatial and temporal heterogeneities in vector-borne disease transmission is common, though data supporting it is scarce. Here, we present data from two common mosquito species Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and Culex quinquefasciatus Say, biweekly sampled as adults, from March 2016 through December 2017, with BG-sentinel traps in two neighboring districts of Kaohsiung City (KC), Taiwan. One district has historically been a dengue transmission hotspot (Sanmin), and the other a coldspot (Nanzih). We collected a total 41,027 mosquitoes, and we found that average mosquito abundance (mean ± S.D.) was higher in Sanmin (Ae. aegypti: 9.03 ± 1.46; Cx. quinquefasciatus: 142.57 ± 14.38) than Nanzih (Ae. aegypti: 6.21 ± 0.47; Cx. quinquefasciatus: 63.37 ± 8.71) during the study period. In both districts, Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus population dynamics were sensitive to changes in temperature, the most platykurtic environmental variable at KC during the study period, a pattern predicted by Schmalhausen’s law, which states that organisms are more sensitive to small changes in environmental variables whose average value is more uncertain than its extremes. Our results also suggest that differences in Ae. aegypti abundance might be responsible for spatial differences in dengue transmission at KC. Our comparative approach, where we also observed a significant increment in the abundance of Cx. quinquefasciatus in the dengue transmission hotspot, suggests this area might be more likely to experience outbreaks of other vector borne diseases and should become a primary focus for vector surveillance and control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Mosquito Biology: From Molecules to Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Nest Population Structure and Wood Litter Consumption by Microcerotermes indistinctus (Isoptera) in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest, Northeastern Brazil
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
Termites are abundant arthropods in tropical ecosystems and actively participate in the process of litter decomposition. The objective of this study was to evaluate the population structure of Microcerotermes indistinctus in arboreal nests and to estimate their contribution to the consumption of wood
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Termites are abundant arthropods in tropical ecosystems and actively participate in the process of litter decomposition. The objective of this study was to evaluate the population structure of Microcerotermes indistinctus in arboreal nests and to estimate their contribution to the consumption of wood litter in an area of Caatinga, a type of seasonally dry tropical forest located in the Brazilian semi-arid region. The populations of fifteen nests were quantified and separated into castes, “larvae”, and eggs. Wood blocks of four typical Caatinga species were offered to termites under laboratory conditions. Litter production was estimated in the area over the course of one year. The mean population size of M. indistinctus was 73,897 individuals/nest, while the mean nest density in the area was 25 active nests/ha. Total consumption of the four types of wood was estimated to be 10.5 mg of wood/g termite (fresh weight)/day. Based on consumption and population size, M. indistinctus consumes 0.35% of the total litter and 1.71% of the annual production of branches and twigs in the area. Wood-consuming termites are highly affected by anthropogenic disturbances in the semi-arid region of Brazil, putting the ecosystem services they perform related to the process of litter decomposition at risk. Full article
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Open AccessArticle RNA Interference-Mediated Knockdown of Male Fertility Genes in the Queensland Fruit Fly Bactrocera tryoni (Diptera: Tephritidae)
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 31 July 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
The Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni, is Australia’s most important horticultural pest. The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) has been used to control this species for decades, using radiation to sterilize males before field-release. This method of sterilization can potentially reduce the insects’ abilities
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The Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni, is Australia’s most important horticultural pest. The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) has been used to control this species for decades, using radiation to sterilize males before field-release. This method of sterilization can potentially reduce the insects’ abilities to compete for mates. In this study, RNA interference (RNAi) techniques were examined for their potential to sterilize male B. tryoni without adversely affecting mating competitiveness. B. tryoni adults were injected or fed double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) targeting spermatogenesis genes (tssk1, topi and trxt); quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR analyses confirmed that transcript levels were reduced 60–80% for all three genes following injections. Feeding produced a significant gene knockdown for tssk1 and trxt after three days, but interestingly, two genes (trxt and topi) produced an excess of transcripts after 10 days of feeding. Despite these fluctuations in transcript levels, all three dsRNAs impacted the fecundity of treated males, with tssk1- and topi-dsRNA-treated males producing 75% fewer viable offspring than the negative controls. Mating competition assays demonstrated that dsRNA-treated males can actively compete with untreated males. These findings suggest that RNAi technology could serve as an alternative to radiation as a means of sterilizing these insects in an SIT program. Full article
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Open AccessReview Mosquito Innate Immunity
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 17 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Abstract
Mosquitoes live under the endless threat of infections from different kinds of pathogens such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses. The mosquito defends itself by employing both physical and physiological barriers that resist the entry of the pathogen and the subsequent establishment of the
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Mosquitoes live under the endless threat of infections from different kinds of pathogens such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses. The mosquito defends itself by employing both physical and physiological barriers that resist the entry of the pathogen and the subsequent establishment of the pathogen within the mosquito. However, if the pathogen does gain entry into the insect, the insect mounts a vigorous innate cellular and humoral immune response against the pathogen, thereby limiting the pathogen’s propagation to nonpathogenic levels. This happens through three major mechanisms: phagocytosis, melanization, and lysis. During these processes, various signaling pathways that engage intense mosquito–pathogen interactions are activated. A critical overview of the mosquito immune system and latest information about the interaction between mosquitoes and pathogens are provided in this review. The conserved, innate immune pathways and specific anti-pathogenic strategies in mosquito midgut, hemolymph, salivary gland, and neural tissues for the control of pathogen propagation are discussed in detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Mosquito Biology: From Molecules to Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Changes in the Geographic Distribution of the Diana Fritillary (Speyeria diana: Nymphalidae) under Forecasted Predictions of Climate Change
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 2 August 2018
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Abstract
Climate change is predicted to alter the geographic distribution of a wide variety of taxa, including butterfly species. Research has focused primarily on high latitude species in North America, with no known studies examining responses of taxa in the southeastern United States. The
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Climate change is predicted to alter the geographic distribution of a wide variety of taxa, including butterfly species. Research has focused primarily on high latitude species in North America, with no known studies examining responses of taxa in the southeastern United States. The Diana fritillary (Speyeria diana) has experienced a recent range retraction in that region, disappearing from lowland sites and now persisting in two phylogenetically distinct high elevation populations. These findings are consistent with the predicted effects of a warming climate on numerous taxa, including other butterfly species in North America and Europe. We used ecological niche modeling to predict future changes to the distribution of S. diana under several climate models. To evaluate how climate change might influence the geographic distribution of this butterfly, we developed ecological niche models using Maxent. We used two global circulation models, the community climate system model (CCSM) and the model for interdisciplinary research on climate (MIROC), under low and high emissions scenarios to predict the future distribution of S. diana. Models were evaluated using the receiver operating characteristics area under curve (AUC) test and the true skill statistics (TSS) (mean AUC = 0.91 ± 0.0028 SE, TSS = 0.87 ± 0.0032 SE for representative concentration pathway (RCP) = 4.5; and mean AUC = 0.87 ± 0.0031 SE, TSS = 0.84 ± 0.0032 SE for RCP = 8.5), which both indicate that the models we produced were significantly better than random (0.5). The four modeled climate scenarios resulted in an average loss of 91% of suitable habitat for S. diana by 2050. Populations in the southern Appalachian Mountains were predicted to suffer the most severe fragmentation and reduction in suitable habitat, threatening an important source of genetic diversity for the species. The geographic and genetic isolation of populations in the west suggest that those populations are equally as vulnerable to decline in the future, warranting ongoing conservation of those populations as well. Our results suggest that the Diana fritillary is under threat of decline by 2050 across its entire distribution from climate change, and is likely to be negatively affected by other human-induced factors as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Butterfly Ecology and Conservation)
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Open AccessArticle Defoliation of Soybean Expressing Cry1Ac by Lepidopteran Pests
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
Lepidoptera, stink bugs, and weevils are important pests in soybean. For lepidopteran control, insecticides and seed treatments are used. As an alternative, Bt soybean was developed to control primary pests of Lepidoptera such as Rachiplusia nu (Guenée) (Noctuidae), Chrysodeixisincludens (Walker) (Noctuidae), Anticarsia
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Lepidoptera, stink bugs, and weevils are important pests in soybean. For lepidopteran control, insecticides and seed treatments are used. As an alternative, Bt soybean was developed to control primary pests of Lepidoptera such as Rachiplusia nu (Guenée) (Noctuidae), Chrysodeixisincludens (Walker) (Noctuidae), Anticarsia gemmatalis Hübner (Erebidae), Helicoverpa gelotopoeon (Dyar) (Noctuidae), and Crocidosema aporema (Walsingham) (Tortricidae). However, the use of transgenic plants, and the resulting reduction of insecticide against target pests, may allow other pest species to become more prevalent in agricultural environments. Soybean expressing Cry1Ac against different lepidopteran nontarget and target insect pests was evaluated, and its performance was compared with non-Bt soybean with seed treatment. The treatments were Bt soybean, non-Bt soybean with seed treatment (Fortenza® diamide insecticide, Syngenta, Buenos Aires, Argentina), and non-Bt soybean without seed treatment. Larvae of H. gelotopoeon, Spodoptera albula (Walker) (Noctuidae), Spodoptera cosmiodes (Walker) (Noctuidae), Spodoptera eridania (Stoll) (Noctuidae), and Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lep.: Noctuidae) were used. The plants of each treatment were infested with larvae of each species, and the percentage of leaf damage produced by each species was recorded. The results showed that Bt soybean provided control of H. gelotopoeon and had a suppressive effect on S. frugiperda and S. albula. However, S. eridania and S. cosmiodes were not susceptible to the Cry1Ac protein in MON 87701 × MON 89788 soybean when evaluated by greenhouse infestation. Considering the performance of each species using non-Bt soybean without seed treatment, S. eridania would represent a potential risk in soybean crops. Full article
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