Special Issue "Insect–Pathogen Interactions in Mass-Reared Insects"

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Behavior and Pathology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2023 | Viewed by 3941

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Monique M. van Oers
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Virology, Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Interests: insect viruses; virus-host interactions; baculovirus; virus evolution; virus taxonomy; antiviral defense; caterpillars; bees; dipteran insects
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Annete Bruun Jensen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Interests: insect pathology; microorganisms; fungi; co-evolution; apiculture; crickets; mealworms; biocontrol; food and feed; behavioral manipulation
Dr. Christina Nielsen-LeRoux
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Micalis Institute, INRAE, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France
Interests: insect pathology; bacteria; bacterial host adaptation; iron homeostasis; insect mass rearing for food and feed; mealworms; wax moths; gut microbiota

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The insect-rearing industry is rapidly growing, and mass production of insects is a core activity to address the global demand for better food safety and security. In addition, insects are mass reared for integrated pest management and insect vector control. Further valuable applications include pollination services, silk production and waste management. Successful application of mass-reared insects heavily relies on culturing large, healthy insect colonies. The insects are generally grown under high-density monoculture conditions in artificial environments. In such “insect factories”, the emergence of insect pathogens can be easily triggered, leading to extensive economic losses. This Special Issue aims to publish newly gained knowledge on the nature and biology of insect pathogens that threaten mass-reared insect colonies. We encourage the submission of papers that aim to better understand the underlying mechanisms of pathogen–host interactions. How these mechanisms lead to disease outbreaks and what (a)biotic factors can trigger or, on the contrary, how they can reduce the risk of such outbreaks is clearly within the focus of this Special Issue. The published data will (ultimately) contribute to more resilient insect farming.

Prof. Dr. Monique M. van Oers
Dr. Annete Bruun Jensen
Dr. Christina Nielsen-LeRoux
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mass-reared insects
  • food and feed
  • biocontrol agents
  • waste management
  • fungi
  • virus
  • bacteria
  • microsporidia
  • stress factors

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Impact and Persistence of Serratia marcescens in Tenebrio molitor Larvae and Feed under Optimal and Stressed Mass Rearing Conditions
Insects 2022, 13(5), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050458 - 12 May 2022
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Abstract
Industrial insect mass rearing aims to produce quality insects under safe sanitary conditions which can be compromised by pathogens and abiotic stressors. Therefore, knowledge on pathogen persistence, virulence and means of detection is of importance. This study focuses on the opportunistic pathogen Serratia [...] Read more.
Industrial insect mass rearing aims to produce quality insects under safe sanitary conditions which can be compromised by pathogens and abiotic stressors. Therefore, knowledge on pathogen persistence, virulence and means of detection is of importance. This study focuses on the opportunistic pathogen Serratia marcescens (Sm) as a possible candidate to reveal sanitary issues in Tenebrio molitor (Tm) breeding. A screening test was performed to assess the impact of abiotic stressors (starvation, density and sieving) in presence and absence of Sm. Two Sm detection methods were conducted, and the kinetics of Sm persistence were investigated. Our results show that (i) the presence of Sm had a low but significant effect on Tm mortality, (ii) a short temporary starvation period had a negative impact on larval growth, (iii) the detection of Sm by q-PCR was sensitive but less convenient than a specific Sm growth media, (iv) the kinetics of persistence showed that Sm declined but survived for nine days in the feed and in the feces for three weeks. Both the relatively low virulence and the persistence in the environment suggest that Sm could be used as an indicator for the sanitary status of mealworm production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect–Pathogen Interactions in Mass-Reared Insects)
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Article
Bombyx mori Nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) Induces G2/M Arrest to Promote Viral Multiplication by Depleting BmCDK1
Insects 2021, 12(12), 1098; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121098 - 08 Dec 2021
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Abstract
Understanding virus–host interaction is very important for delineating the mechanism involved in viral replication and host resistance. Baculovirus, an insect virus, can cause S or G2/M phase arrest in insect cells. However, the roles and mechanism of Baculovirus-mediated S or G2/M phase arrest [...] Read more.
Understanding virus–host interaction is very important for delineating the mechanism involved in viral replication and host resistance. Baculovirus, an insect virus, can cause S or G2/M phase arrest in insect cells. However, the roles and mechanism of Baculovirus-mediated S or G2/M phase arrest are not fully understood. Our results, obtained using flow cytometry (FCM), tubulin-labeling, BrdU-labeling, and CellTiter 96® AQueous One Solution Cell Proliferation Assay (MTS), showed that Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) induced G2/M phase arrest and inhibited cellular DNA replication as well as cell proliferation in BmN-SWU1 cells. We found that BmNPV induced G2/M arrest to support its replication and proliferation by reducing the expression of BmCDK1 and BmCyclin B. Co-immunoprecipitation assays confirmed that BmNPV IAP1 interacted with BmCDK1. BmNPV iap1 was involved in the process of BmNPV-induced G2/M arrest by reducing the content of BmCDK1. Taken together, our results improve the understanding of the virus–host interaction network, and provide a potential target gene that connects apoptosis and the cell cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect–Pathogen Interactions in Mass-Reared Insects)
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Review

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Review
Protists in the Insect Rearing Industry: Benign Passengers or Potential Risk?
Insects 2022, 13(5), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050482 - 21 May 2022
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Abstract
As the insects for food and feed industry grows, a new understanding of the industrially reared insect microbiome is needed to better comprehend the role that it plays in both maintaining insect health and generating disease. While many microbiome projects focus on bacteria, [...] Read more.
As the insects for food and feed industry grows, a new understanding of the industrially reared insect microbiome is needed to better comprehend the role that it plays in both maintaining insect health and generating disease. While many microbiome projects focus on bacteria, fungi or viruses, protists (including microsporidia) can also make up an important part of these assemblages. Past experiences with intensive invertebrate rearing indicate that these parasites, whilst often benign, can rapidly sweep through populations, causing extensive damage. Here, we review the diversity of microsporidia and protist species that are found in reared insect hosts and describe the current understanding of their host spectra, life cycles and the nature of their interactions with hosts. Major entomopathogenic parasite groups with the potential to infect insects currently being reared for food and feed include the Amoebozoa, Apicomplexa, Ciliates, Chlorophyta, Euglenozoa, Ichtyosporea and Microsporidia. However, key gaps exist in the understanding of how many of these entomopathogens affect host biology. In addition, for many of them, there are very limited or even no molecular data, preventing the implementation of molecular detection methods. There is now a pressing need to develop and use novel molecular tools, coupled with standard molecular diagnostic methods, to help unlock their biology and predict the effects of these poorly studied protist parasites in intensive insect rearing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect–Pathogen Interactions in Mass-Reared Insects)
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Review
Bugs in Bugs: The Role of Probiotics and Prebiotics in Maintenance of Health in Mass-Reared Insects
Insects 2022, 13(4), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13040376 - 11 Apr 2022
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Abstract
Interactions between insects and their microbiota affect insect behaviour and evolution. When specific microorganisms are provided as a dietary supplement, insect reproduction, food conversion and growth are enhanced and health is improved in cases of nutritional deficiency or pathogen infection. The purpose of [...] Read more.
Interactions between insects and their microbiota affect insect behaviour and evolution. When specific microorganisms are provided as a dietary supplement, insect reproduction, food conversion and growth are enhanced and health is improved in cases of nutritional deficiency or pathogen infection. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of insect–microbiota interactions, to review the role of probiotics, their general use in insects reared for food and feed, and their interactions with the host microbiota. We review how bacterial strains have been selected for insect species reared for food and feed and discuss methods used to isolate and measure the effectiveness of a probiotic. We outline future perspectives on probiotic applications in mass-reared insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect–Pathogen Interactions in Mass-Reared Insects)
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