Journal of insect physiology

Publisher: Elsevier

Description

  • Impact factor
    2.24
  • 5-year impact
    2.36
  • Cited half-life
    0.00
  • Immediacy index
    0.55
  • Eigenfactor
    0.01
  • Article influence
    0.70
  • ISSN
    1879-1611

Publisher details

Elsevier

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    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PMC after 12 months
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    • Pre-print can not be deposited for The Lancet
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is generally believed that widely distributed species differ in their thermal plasticity from narrowly distributed species, but how differences in thermal plasticity are regulated at the molecular level remains largely unknown. Here, we conducted a comparative study of two closely related invasive fruit fly species, Bactrocera correcta and Bactroceradorsalis, in China. The two species had overlapping distributions, but B. dorsalis had a much wider range throughout the country and a longer invasive history than B. correcta. We first examined the effects of thermal acclimation on the ability of the two fruit flies to survive heat stress. The heat shock tolerance of B. dorsalis was significantly enhanced by heat hardening at 35, 37, 39 and 41°C, but that of B. correcta was only enhanced by heat hardening at 39°C and 41°C. Thus, the more widespread species has a higher thermal plasticity than the narrowly distributed species. We then determined the expression of Hsp70 and Hsp90 during different developmental stages and their responses to thermal hardening. The expression of both Hsp70 and Hsp90 in larvae was upregulated in response to heat hardening, starting at 35°C for B. dorsalis and at 39°C for B. correcta. The two species exhibited a highly consistent pattern of thermal response in terms of their heat shock survival rates and levels of Hsp gene expression. The results suggest that the difference in thermal plasticity may be responsible for the different distributions of the two species and that Hsp expression may be involved in the regulation of thermal plasticity. Our findings have important implications for the prediction of the thermal limits and ecological responses of related species in nature.
    Journal of insect physiology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Beta-glucosidase (BG) is known as a multifunctional enzyme for social maintenance in terms of both cellulose digestion and social communication in termites. However, the expression profiles of each BG gene and their evolutionary history are not well understood. First, we cloned two types of BG homologs (RsBGI and RsBGII) from the termite Reticulitermes speratus (Kolbe). Gene expression analyses showed that RsBGI expression levels of primary queens and kings from 30 to 100 days after colony foundation were high, but those of reproductives dropped after day 400. Extremely low gene expression levels of RsBGI were observed in eggs, whereas workers had significantly higher expression levels than those of soldiers and other colony members. Consequently, RsBGI gene expression levels changed among each developmental stage, and RsBGI was shown to be involved in cellulose digestion. On the other hand, the RsBGII gene was consistently expressed in all castes and developmental stages examined, and notable expression changes were not observed among them, including in eggs. It was indicated that RsBGII is a main component involved in social communication, for example, the egg-recognition pheromone shown in this species previously. Finally, we obtained partial gene homologs from other termite and cockroach species, including the woodroach (genus Cryptocercus), which is the sister group to termites, and performed molecular phylogenetic analyses. The results showed that the origin of the BG gene homologs preceded the divergence of termites and cockroaches, suggesting that the acquisition of multifunctionality of the BG gene also occurred in cockroach lineages.
    Journal of insect physiology 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have shown that the selections of gravid females to potential oviposition sites from a distance were mediated by volatile signals, however, the means by which the sensory cues from non-volatile chemicals affected the insect behavior were still a controversial subject. Chemosensory in insect is a complex process, which is mediated by multigene families of chemoreceptors, including olfactory receptors, olfactory co-receptors, and odorant-binding proteins. To elucidate the chemoreception mechanism of volatile and non-volatile chemicals, the roles of Orco and OBP in oviposition-deterrent activities induced by citronellal and Rhodojaponin-III were investigated. Our results suggested that RNAi-mediated expression inhibition was successfully achieved by feeding dsRNA in Bactrocera dorsalis. High levels of Bdor⧹Orco expression were essential for recognizing two chemicals of different physical properties, whereas the expression of Bdor⧹OBP was only imperative in perception of volatile chemical. The results suggested that volatile and non-volatile chemicals may evoke distinct molecular basis for chemosensory in the flies, while Orco was essential in the perception of both chemicals. The study highlighted that the central role of Orco in chemical recognition, which enabled it to be the universally applied target of designing new botanical pesticide.
    Journal of insect physiology 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: During the last decade, populations of flightless Mormon crickets Anabrus simplex (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) increased suddenly over vast areas of the western United States, suggesting that climate is an important factor driving outbreaks. Moreover summer temperatures are predicted to increase and precipitation is expected to decrease in most areas of the U.S. Great Basin, but little is known of the response of Mormon crickets to changes in temperature and soil moisture. In a laboratory study, we varied ambient temperature and lighting and measured the propensity of mating pairs to mate, and the proportion of eggs that developed into embryos. We found that reproduction was optimal when ambient temperature reached 30°C and the insects were beneath broad-spectrum lights such that maternal body and soil temperatures reached 35°C. Fewer eggs that developed fully were laid when maternal body and soil temperatures reached 30°C or 37-39°C. We also varied initial soil moisture from 0-100% saturated and found that more eggs reached embryonic diapause when initial soil moisture was 25 or 50% of saturated volume. However more of the developed eggs hatched when treated in summer soils with 0-25% of saturated moisture. We conclude that small changes in temperature had large effects on reproduction, whereas large changes in moisture had very small effects on reproduction. This is the first report of Mormon crickets mating in a laboratory setting and laying eggs that hatched, facilitating further research on the role of maternal and embryonic environments in changes in population size.
    Journal of insect physiology 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Dietary restriction (DR) extends lifespan in a wide variety of organisms. Although several genes and pathways associated with this longevity response have been identified, the specific mechanism through which DR extends lifespan is not fully understood. We have recently developed a novel methodology to screen for transcriptional changes in response to acutely imposed DR upon adult Drosophila melanogaster and identified groups of genes that switch their transcriptional patterns from a normal diet pattern to a restricted diet pattern, or 'switching genes'. In this current report we extend our transcriptional data analysis with Gene Set Enrichment Analysis to generate a pathway-centered perspective. The pattern of temporal behavior in response to the diet switch is strikingly similar within and across pathways associated with mRNA processing and protein translation. Furthermore, most genes within these pathways display an initial spike in activity within 6 to 8 hours from the diet switch, followed by a coordinated, partial down-regulation after 24 hours. We propose this represents a stereotypical response to DR, which ultimately leads to a mild but widespread inhibition of transcriptional and translational activity. Inhibition of the protein synthesis pathway has been observed in DR in other studies and has been shown to extend lifespan in several model organisms.
    Journal of insect physiology 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Octopamine is an important neurotransmitter in insects with multiple functions. Here, we investigated the role of this amine in a simple form of learning (habituation) in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Specifically, we asked if octopamine is necessary for normal habituation of a proboscis extension response (PER) to different sucrose concentrations. In addition, we analyzed the relationship between responsiveness to sucrose solutions applied to the tarsus and habituation of the proboscis extension response in the same individual. The Tyramine-β-hydroxylase (Tβh) mutant lacks the enzyme catalyzing the final step of octopamine synthesis. This mutant was significantly less responsive to sucrose than controls. The reduced responsiveness directly led to faster habituation. Systemic application of octopamine or induction of octopamine synthesis by Tβh expression in a cluster of octopaminergic neurons within the suboesophageal ganglion restored sucrose responsiveness and habituation of octopamine mutants to control level. Further analyses imply that the reduced sucrose responsiveness of Tβh mutants is related to a lower sucrose preference, probably due to a changed carbohydrate metabolism, since Tβh mutants survived significantly longer under starved conditions. These findings suggest a pivotal role for octopamine in regulating sucrose responsiveness in fruit flies. Further, octopamine indirectly influences non-associative learning and possibly associative appetitive learning by regulating the evaluation of the sweet component of a sucrose reward.
    Journal of insect physiology 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The daily susceptibility rhythm to permethrin and the expression level of the delta class glutathione S-transferase (BgGSTD1) gene were investigated in Blattella germanica. Male cockroaches were exposed to the same concentration of permethrin at different times in a light-dark cycle, and results showed that the highest resistance occurred at night. Furthermore, the circadian rhythmicity of permethrin susceptibility was demonstrated by the highest resistance at subjective night under constant darkness. The mRNA level of the BgGSTD1 gene in the fat body of B. germanica peaked early in the day or subjective day under light-dark or constant dark conditions, whereas enzyme activity of cytosolic GSTs did not reflect the rhythmic pattern as well as BgGSTD1 expression. RNA interference (RNAi) was employed to study the function of BgGSTD1 in the circadian rhythm of permethrin susceptibility in B. germanica. Both BgGSTD1 mRNA level and cytosolic GSTs activity were significantly decreased by dsGSTD1 injection. In addition, survival of B. germanica with silenced BgGSTD1 was significantly decreased at night but not in the day when the cockroaches were exposed to permethrin. Total cytosolic GSTs activity demonstrated that is not the only gene involved in the circadian regulation of the permethrin resistance, although it is one of the major regulators of permethrin resistance.
    Journal of insect physiology 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of pesticides on honeybee larvae are less understood than for adult bees, even though larvae are chronically exposed to pesticide residues that accumulate in comb and food stores in the hive. We investigated how exposure to a plant alkaloid, nicotine, affects survival, growth and body composition of honeybee larvae. Larvae of Apis mellifera scutellata were reared in vitro and fed throughout development on standard diets with nicotine included at concentrations from 0 to 1000 μg/100 g diet. Overall mortality across all nicotine treatments was low, averaging 9.8% at the prepupal stage and 18.1% at the white-eyed pupal stage, but survival was significantly reduced by nicotine. The mass of prepupae and white-eyed pupae was not affected by nicotine. In terms of body composition, nicotine affected water content but did not influence either protein or lipid stores of white-eyed pupae. We attribute the absence of consistent negative effects of dietary nicotine to detoxification mechanisms in developing honeybees, which enable them to resist both natural and synthetic xenobiotics.
    Journal of insect physiology 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Accruing evidences imply that circadian organization of biochemical, endocrinological, cellular and physiological processes contribute to wellness of organisms and in the development of pathologies such as malignancy, sleep and endocrine disorders. Oxidative stress is known to mediate a number of diseases and it is notable to comprehend the orchestration of circadian clock of a model organism of circadian biology, Drosophila melanogaster, under oxidative stress. We investigated the nexus between circadian clock and oxidative stress susceptibility by exposing D. melanogaster to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or rotenone; the reversibility of rhythms following exposure to Bacopa monnieri extract (ayurvedic medicine rich in antioxidants) was also investigated. Abolishment of 24h rhythms in physiological response (negative geotaxis), oxidative stress markers (protein carbonyl and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) and antioxidants (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione-S-transferase and reduced glutathione) were observed under oxidative stress. Furthermore, abolishment of per mRNA rhythm in H2O2 treated wild type flies and augmented susceptibility to oxidative stress in clock mutant (cry(b)) flies connotes the role of circadian clock in reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis. Significant reversibility of rhythms was noted following B. monnieri treatment in wild type flies than cry(b) flies. Our experimental approach revealed a relationship involving oxidative stress and circadian clock in fruit fly and the utility of Drosophila model in screening putative antioxidative phytomedicines prior to their use in mammalian systems.
    Journal of insect physiology 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The wings of bees and other insects accumulate permanent wear, which increases the rate of mortality and impacts foraging behavior, presumably due to effects on flight performance. In this study, we investigated how experimental wing wear affects flight performance in honey bees. Variable density gases and high-speed videography were used to determine the maximum hovering flight capacity and wing kinematics of bees from three treatment groups: no wing wear, symmetric and asymmetric wing wear. Wing wear was simulated by clipping the distal-trailing edge of one or both of the wings. Across all bees from treatment groups combined, wingbeat frequency was inversely related to wing area. During hovering in air, bees with symmetric and asymmetric wing wear responded kinematically so as to produce wingtip velocities similar to those bees with no wing wear. However, maximum wingtip velocity and maximal flight capacity (revealed during flight in hypodense gases) decreased in direct proportion to wing area and inversely to wing asymmetry. Bees with reduced wing area and high asymmetry produced lower maximum wingtip velocity than bees with intact or symmetric wings, which caused a greater impairment in maximal flight capacity. These results demonstrate that the magnitude and type of wing wear affects maximal aerodynamic power production and, likely, the control of hovering flight. Wing wear reduces aerodynamic reserve capacity and, subsequently, the capacity for flight behaviors such as load carriage, maneuverability, and evading predators.
    Journal of insect physiology 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In a foraging context, social insects make collective decisions from individuals responding to local information. When faced with foods varying in quality, ants are known to be able to select the best food source using pheromone trails. Until now, studies investigating collective decisions have focused on single nutrients, mostly carbohydrates. In the environment, the foods available are a complex mixture and are composed of various nutrients, available in different forms. In this paper, we explore the effect of protein to carbohydrate ratio on ants' ability to detect and choose between foods with different protein characteristics (free amino acids or whole proteins). In a two-choice set up, Argentine ants Linepithema humile were presented with two artificial foods containing either whole protein or amino acids in two different dietary conditions: high protein food or high carbohydrate food. At the collective level, when ants were faced with high carbohydrate foods, they did not show a preference between free amino acids or whole proteins, while a preference for free amino acids emerged when choosing between high protein foods. At the individual level, the probability of feeding was higher for high carbohydrates food and for foods containing free amino acids. Two mathematical models were developed to evaluate the importance of feeding probability in collective food selection. A first model in which a forager deposits pheromone only after feeding, and a second model in which a forager always deposits pheromone, but with greater intensity after feeding. Both models were able to predict free amino acid selection, however the second one was better able to reproduce the experimental results suggesting that modulating trail strength according to feeding probability must be the mechanism explaining amino acid preference at a collective level in Argentine ants.
    Journal of insect physiology 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Carbohydrate sources such as plant exudates, nectar and honeydew represent the main source of energy for many ant species and contribute towards maintaining their mutualistic relationships with plants or aphid colonies. Here we characterise the sensitivity, feeding response curve and food intake efficiency of the aphid tending ant, Lasius niger for major sugars found in nectar, honeydew and insect haemolymph (i.e. fructose, glucose, sucrose, melezitose and trehalose). We found that sucrose concentrations- ranging from 0.1 to 2.5M- triggered food acceptance by Lasius niger workers with their food intake efficiency being enhanced by sugar concentrations of 1 M or higher at which points energy intake is maximised. The range of sucrose concentrations that elicit a feeding response by L.niger scouts overlaps with that of natural sugar resources. The response curves of feeding acceptance by scouts consistently increased with sugar concentration, except for trehalose which was disregarded by the ants. Ants are highly sensitive to sucrose and melezitose exhibiting low response thresholds. Sucrose, fructose and glucose share a same potential to act as phagostimulants as they had similar half feeding efficiency concentration values when expressed as the energetic content of sugar solution. Aphid-biosynthezised melezitose generated the highest sensitivity and phagostimulant potential. The feeding behavior of ants appears to be primarily regulated by the energy content of the food solution for the main sugars present in nectar and honeydew. However, feeding by scouts is also influenced by the informative value of individual sugars when it serves as a cue for the presence of aphid partners such as the aphid-biosynthesised melezitose.
    Journal of insect physiology 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Insect immune defences rely on cellular and humoral responses targeting both microbial pathogens and metazoan parasites. Accumulating evidence indicates functional cross-talk between these two branches of insect immunity, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are still largely unknown. We recently described, in the tobacco budworm Heliothis virescens, the presence of amyloid fibers associated with melanogenesis in immune capsules formed by hemocytes, and identified a protein (P102) involved in their assembly. Non-self objects coated by antibodies directed against this protein escaped hemocyte encapsulation, suggesting that P102 might coordinate humoral and cellular defence responses at the surface of foreign invaders. Here we report the identification of a cDNA coding for a protein highly similar to P102 in a related Lepidoptera species, Spodoptera littoralis. Its transcript was abundant in the hemocytes and the protein accumulated in large cytoplasmic compartments, closely resembling the localization pattern of P102 in H. virescens. RNAi-mediated gene silencing provided direct evidence for the role played by this protein in the immune response. Oral delivery of dsRNA molecules directed against the gene strongly suppressed the encapsulation and melanization response, while hemocoelic injections did not result in evident phenotypic alterations. Shortly after their administration, dsRNA molecules were found in midgut cells, en route to the hemocytes where the target gene was significantly down-regulated. Taken together, our data demonstrate that P102 is a functionally conserved protein with a key role in insect immunity. Moreover, the ability to target this gene by dsRNA oral delivery may be exploited to develop novel technologies of pest control, based on immunosuppression as a strategy for enhancing the impact of natural antagonists.
    Journal of insect physiology 03/2014;