Sonny B. Ramaswamy

Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, United States

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Publications (73)96 Total impact

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    Lawrent L Buschman, Sonny B Ramaswamy
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    ABSTRACT: We consider using non-host plants that express both a toxin and oviposition deterrence for to increase stability for insect resistance management. The two traits reinforce each other ecologically. We used a two-gene model to evaluate this combination of traits. When toxin resistance was recessive or partially recessive, even moderate levels of oviposition deterrence extended time to resistance. When sensitivity to oviposition deterrence started at a low frequency (0.001) selection pressure from the toxin caused the frequency of the gene for sensitivity to oviposition deterrence to increase and the time to resistance was extended beyond the 150-y timeline of the simulations. Even in the worst-case scenario, when toxin resistance was dominant, oviposition deterrence extended time to resistance up to 150 y. The genes for toxin and sensitivity to oviposition deterrence support each other ecologically to prevent resistance from developing to either trait. This creates a more stable insect resistance management strategy.
    GM crops & food. 07/2012; 3(3):163-74.
  • Maciej A. Pszczolkowski, Sonny Ramaswamy
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    ABSTRACT: Patency is a process caused by juvenile hormone (JH) in follicle epithelium cells. JH stimulates shrinking of these cells, thereby enabling sequestration of nutritive proteins by the oocyte, and- later- development of the embryo. Using Heliothis virescens as a model, we propose signaling pathways that juvenile hormone homologues use in the egg development, and suggest the nature of putative juvenile hormone membrane receptor.
    Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting 2009; 12/2009
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    ABSTRACT: Neonate larvae of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), modify their behavior in the presence of saccharin, monosodium glutamate (MSG), or L(+)-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (L-AP4) by commencing their feeding earlier. Previously published pharmacological analysis demonstrated that phagostimulatory effects of MSG and L-AP4 (which elicit umami taste sensation in humans) are reversed by adenylate cyclase activator and phosphodiesterase inhibitor. In this study, by measuring the time needed to start ingestion of foliage treated with mixtures of phagostimulants and signal transduction modulators, we show that phagostimulatory effects of L-aspartate (the third hallmark umami substance) are also abolished by both adenylate cyclase activator and phosphodiesterase inhibitor, but not by phospholipase C inhibitor. However, stimulatory effects of hemicalcium saccharin were affected only by phospholipase C inhibitor. The results suggest that codling moth neonates use different transduction pathways for perception of hemicalcium saccharin and umami.
    Naturwissenschaften 02/2009; 96(5):621-4. · 2.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reproductive characteristics of a northeastern Kansas population of the fritillary Speyeria idalia (Drury) were studied. Hemolymph juvenile hormone (JH) titers, ovarian development, and fat body utilization were monitored weekly in adult females over their entire 1997 flight period, which extended from mid-June to early October. Dissections of female reproductive systems revealed that S. idalia females mate just once, soon after they emerge in mid- to late June. Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric determinations of juvenile hormone suggested that they undergo a reproductive diapause through mid-August related to the absence of or very low titers of juvenile hormone. Oogenesis and fat body depletion do not commence until late August/early September, soon after which oviposition occurs. The onset of oogenesis coincides with a rapid rise in hemolymph titers of JH I, JH II, and JH III. The predominant juvenile hormone homolog was JH II, but both JH I and JH III exhibited smaller, concomitant peaks. Four fundamentally different lepidopteran reproductive strategies have been recognized based on various reproductive characteristics and the type of gonadotropic hormones used to stimulate oogenesis. Speyeria idalia exhibits a type of reproductive strategy that has not been documented in Lepidoptera, typified by protandry, female monandry, long-lived (>8 wk) females that feed throughout their adult lives, greatly delayed oogenesis that occurs late in adult life, and apparent juvenile hormone control of gonadotropic processes. This reproductive strategy appears to be an adaptation to the phenology of larval host plants, namely coordinating the life cycle with that of the seasonally restricted violets on which larval survival of this monophagous species depends.
    Annals of the Entomological Society of America 01/2009; · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    F. Zeng, S. Shu, S. B. Ramaswamy, A. Srinivasan
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    ABSTRACT: Vitellogenin (Vg) concentration was determined in pupal hemolymph of female southwestern corn borer, Diatraea grandiosella (Dyar). Vitellogenin concentration increased significantly with pupal age. Vitellogenin level reached 7 mg/ml on day 7 after pupation. The vitellogenin was separable into 2 apoproteins on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), with molecular weights of 145,000 for apoVg-I and 38,000 for apoVg-II. SDS-PAGE analysis revealed that vitellogenin polypetides in female pupal hemolymph appeared to be identical to those from eggs, but were absent in male and early female pupal hemolymph. A method to quantify vitellogenin by indirect ELISA is described. Results from this study and those of a previous study suggest that juvenile hormone does not have a role in vitellogenesis but does so in choriogenesis.
    Annals of the Entomological Society of America 01/2009; · 1.20 Impact Factor
  • G. N. Mbata, S. Shu, T. W. Phillips, S. B. Ramaswamy
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    ABSTRACT: The role of semiochemicals in host location by the parasitoid Pteromalus cerealellae (Boucek) was investigated in Y-tube and three-way olfactometers, by measuring responses to stimuli associated with the cowpea weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus. Orientation of mated parasitoid females was measured in response to five stimuli: live virgin female bruchid beetles, solvent extracts of whole body virgin female bruchids, solvent extracts of the oviposition marking pheromone from a glass substrate, previously infested cowpea seeds with adult emergence holes, and uninfested cowpea seeds. All stimuli elicited significantly better responses than those to blank controls. Female parasitoids that had previous exposure to live, virgin beetles and infested seeds exhibited shorter latency and response times to the stimuli than did naïve females. Live, virgin female bruchids and whole body solvent extracts of virgin female bruchids elicited the strongest responses. Comparison of responses in a three-way olfactometer of whole body solvent extracts of virgin female bruchids, infested seeds, and solvent extracts of bruchid oviposition marker pheromone showed that whole body extracts of virgin female bruchids elicited the strongest response by both host-experienced and naïve female parasitoids. The potential for innate responses to host-specific chemical cues and the possibility of female parasitoids using chemical cues from adult hosts are discussed.
    Annals of the Entomological Society of America 01/2009; · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Parasitoids of the Cotesia flavipes complex (C. flavipes and Cotesia sesamiae) are natural enemies of stemboring lepidopteran pests in sub-Saharan Africa. The two species are difficult to differentiate using morphological markers, and a quick, reliable test was sought for their correct identification. After numerous, unsuccessful attempts at developing species-specific monoclonal antibodies that could differentiate between the two species, we were successful in using near-infrared spectroscopy to distinguish the cocoons of the two species with an accuracy of better than 85%. Calibrations were established using partial least squares analysis, enabling identification of cocoons of known species, cocoons from an alternative host, as well as in blind tests. This technology would greatly expedite identification of field-caught insects used to determine ecological parameters and parasitization rates of an individual species.
    Annals of the Entomological Society of America 01/2009; · 1.20 Impact Factor
  • Sonny Ramaswamy
    Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting 2008; 11/2008
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    ABSTRACT: Entomopathogenic nematodes of the family Steinernematidae and their mutualistic bacteria (Xenorhabdus spp.) are lethal endoparasites of insects. We hypothesized that growth of the nematode's mutualistic bacteria in the insect host may contribute to the production of cues used by the infective juveniles (IJs) in responding to potential hosts for infection. Specifically, we tested if patterns of bacterial growth could explain differences in CO2 production over the course of host infection. Growth of Xenorhabdus cabanillasii isolated from Steinernema riobrave exhibited the characteristic exponential and stationary growth phases. Other non-nematode symbiotic bacteria were also found in infected hosts and exhibited similar growth patterns to X. cabanillasii. Galleria mellonella larvae infected with S. riobrave produced two distinct peaks of CO2 occurring at 25.6-36 h and 105-16 h post-infection, whereas larvae injected with X. cabanillasii alone showed only one peak of CO2, occurring at 22.8-36.2h post-injection. Tenebrio molitor larvae infected with S. riobrave or injected with bacteria alone exhibited only one peak of CO2 production, which occurred later during S. riobrave infection (41.4-64.4h post-infection compared to 20.4-35.9h post-injection). These results indicate a relationship between bacterial growth and the first peak of CO2 in both host species, but not for the second peak exhibited in G. mellonella.
    Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 08/2008; 99(1):35-42. · 2.67 Impact Factor
  • GEORGE N. MBATA, SONNY B. RAMASWAMY
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Pheromone production in virgin females of Heliothis virescens (F.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) peaked between the fourth and seventh hours of scotophase on the second, third, fourth and fifth days following eclosion. The highest peak (186 ng) occurred on day 3 after eclosion. Z-11-Hexadecenal comprised the highest proportion of seven components in the pheromone glands. Disproportionately higher amounts of hexadecanal and Z-11-hexadecenol occurred during photo-phase and other periods when low quantities of total pheromone were recorded.Mating suppressed pheromone production which remained low until 48 h after mating. Coupling females with males mated three times previously or with 6-day-old males was less effective in causing a drop in pheromone content which peaked again 24 h after mating. This suggests the transfer of a male factor, a pheromonostatic factor, that suppresses pheromone production in mated females and that the factor from older and previously mated males is less effective.
    Physiological Entomology 06/2008; 15(4):423 - 432. · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Insect oocytes sequester nutritive proteins from the hemolymph under the regulation by juvenile hormone (JH), in a process called patency. Here, a pharmacological approach was used to decipher the role for calcium in ovarial patency in the moth, Heliothis virescens. Follicular epithelial cells were exposed in calcium-free or calcium-containing media to JH I, JH II or JH III alone, or in combination with various inhibitors of signal transduction. Protein kinase inhibitors, Na(+)/K(+) -ATPase inhibitor, ouabain, an inhibitor of voltage-dependent calcium channels in plasma membrane, omega-Conotoxin MVII, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca(2+) -ATPase inhibitor, thapsigargin, ER inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (IP(3)R) inhibitor, 2-ABP and ER ryanodine receptor (RyR) inhibitor, ryanodine, were used. The results of our study suggest that JH II evokes patency via protein kinase C-dependent signaling pathway, and activation of Na(+)/K(+) -ATPase, similar to JH III. Response to JH II and JH III predominantly relies upon external and internal calcium stores, using voltage-dependent calcium channels, IP(3)Rs and RyRs. In contrast, regulation of patency by JH I appears to be largely calcium independent, and the calcium-dependent component of the signaling pathway likely does not use IP(3)Rs, but RyRs only. The JH II, JH III and calcium-dependent component of JH I signaling pathway probably utilize calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II for activation of Na(+)/K(+) -ATPase.
    Journal of Insect Physiology 03/2008; 54(2):358-66. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Capture of Rhyzopertha dominica in pheromone-baited traps located many kilometers away from grain storage suggests that this species may be exploiting non-grain food sources. To investigate the potential for survival of this species on alternative hosts in the absence of grain, we conducted no-choice feeding assays with twigs and seeds of trees, and seeds of grasses, forbs, and shrubs, commonly encountered on Kansas prairie landscapes where R. dominica has been captured. In addition, R. dominica development and progeny production were assessed on seeds that adults were able to survive on for at least two weeks. Adult survival was poor on grass and forb seeds, although 13.4% of individuals survived on Elymus canadensis, Canada wildrye, seeds after two weeks, compared with 80.3% on Triticum aestivum, wheat, and 0.0% survival in the absence of food. Beetles readily tunneled into twigs from a wide range of tree species, but survival was generally low. A few individuals survived up to four weeks on Gleditsia triacanthos, honey locust. In contrast, bioassays showed that R. dominica could survive and reproduce on damaged seeds (acorns) of six species of oak, but not on undamaged seeds. For example, survival was 95.8% on damaged Quercus muehlenbergii, chinquapin oak. A survey of acorns at the original field collection site showed that the majority of the acorns on the ground had been cracked or bored into by insects and small mammals. Furthermore, we recovered three R. dominica adults from acorns collected in the field and held in sealed containers in the laboratory. These findings suggest that R. dominica populations in Kansas can persist on wild acorns when grain is not available.
    Journal of Stored Products Research. 01/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: Potential hosts for infective juveniles of entomopathogenic nematodes can vary considerably in quality based on the characteristics of the host species/stage, physiological status (e.g. stress, feeding on toxins), and infection status (heterospecific or conspecific infection). In this study, we investigated responses of the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema riobrave to hosts (Galleria mellonella or Tenebrio molitor) that were previously parasitized with conspecifics or injected with the nematode-symbiotic bacterium, Xenorhabdus sp., to determine if there is a preference for previously parasitized/injected hosts and when this preference might occur. In no-choice bioassays, the number of juveniles infecting both host species decreased with increasing time post-infection. However, infective juveniles continued to infect previously parasitized hosts up to 72 h. Significant preference was exhibited by S. riobrave for 24 h post-infection G. mellonella larvae over uninfected, and by 24 h post-injection G. mellonella larvae over 48 h post-injection larvae. No significant preference was exhibited by S. riobrave for T. molitor hosts previously parasitized with conspecifics or those injected with bacteria in any treatment combination. Such preference for, or continued infection of parasitized insects, has the potential to impact nematode efficacy.
    Parasitology 07/2007; 134(Pt 6):889-98. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to develop a simple and quick technique to differentiate two economically important species, the tobacco budworm, Heliothis cirescens (F.), and corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), which are major pests of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., in the southern United States. In practice, it is difficult to distinguish the two species during their immature stages using morphological characteristics unless expensive microscopy equipment or trained technicians are available. The current studies demonstrated that the two species could be quickly and readily differentiated during early developmental stages, including egg and young larval (younger than third instar) stages, by using NIRS technology with up to 95% accuracy. NIRS technology could significantly improve pest diagnosis in cotton pest management.
    Journal of Economic Entomology 07/2007; 100(3):759-64. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Entomopathogenic nematode infective juveniles are likely to encounter both uninfected and infected insects and host quality depends on the stage of the infection. We hypothesized that nematode response to infected hosts will change over the course of an infection. Here, we tested this hypothesis by focusing on the influence of host infection status on long-range attraction to host volatile cues. The attraction response of 3 nematode species (Steinernema carpocapsae, S. glaseri and S. riobrave) with different foraging strategies to infected and uninfected insects (Galleria mellonella and Tenebrio molitor) was tested at 24 h intervals from start of infection to emergence of infective juveniles from depleted host. As expected, based on their foraging strategies, S. carpocapsae was not very responsive to hosts, S. glaseri was highly responsive and S. riobrave was intermediate. Generally, the level of attraction did not change with time after infection and was similar between infected and uninfected hosts. An exception was S. glaseri infected T. molitor, which tended to be less attractive to S. glaseri than uninfected hosts. These results suggest that any influence of host infection status on infection behaviour is occurring at subsequent steps in the host-infection process than host attraction, or involves non-volatile cues.
    Parasitology 06/2007; 134(Pt 5):729-38. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones (JHs) regulate many physiological events throughout the insect life cycle, including molting, metamorphosis, ecdysis, diapause, reproduction, and behavior. Fluctuation of whitefly ecdysteroid levels and the identity of the whitefly molting hormone (20-hydroxyecdysone) have only been reported within the last few years. An ecdysteroid commitment peak that is associated with the reprogramming of tissues for a metamorphic molt in many holometabolous and some hemimetabolous insect species was not observed in last nymphal instars of either the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Biotype B), or the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum. Ecdysteroids reach peak levels 1-2 days prior to the initiation of the nymphal-adult metamorphic molt. Adult eye and wing differentiation which signal the onset of this molt begin earlier in 4th instar T. vaporariorum (Stages 4 and 5, respectively) than in B. tabaci (Stage 6), and the premolt peak is 3-4 times greater in B. tabaci ( approximately 400 fg/microg protein) than in T. vaporariorum ( approximately 120 fg/microg protein). The JH of B. tabaci nymphs and eggs was found to be JH III, supporting the view that JHs I and II are, with rare exception, only present in lepidopteran insects. In B. tabaci eggs, JH levels were approximately 10 times greater on day 2/3 (0.44 fg/egg or 0.54 ng/g) than on day 5 (0.04 fg/egg or 0.054 ng/g) post-oviposition. Approximately, 1.4 fg/2nd-3rd instar nymph (0.36 ng/g) was detected. It is probable that the relatively high level of JH in day 2/3 eggs is associated with the differentiation of various whitefly tissues during embryonic development.
    Journal of Insect Physiology 04/2007; 53(3):274-84. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The quality of an insect as a host to an entomopathogenic nematode infective juvenile depends in part on whether or not the insect is already infected and on the stage of that infection. Previous research has shown that nematode response to hosts can change after infection and that, for uninfected hosts, CO(2) can be an important cue used by infective stage juveniles during attraction. We hypothesized that CO(2) production from an insect changes after it is infected, and that these changes could influence nematode infection decisions. Changes in CO(2) released by two insect species (Galleria mellonella and Tenebrio molitor) after infection by one of four nematode species (Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernema feltiae, Steinernema glaseri, or Steinernema riobrave) were measured. Measurements were taken every 2h from time of initial exposure to nematodes up to 224 h after infection. Dead (freeze-killed) and live uninfected insects were used as controls. Infected G. mellonella showed two distinct peaks of CO(2) production: one between 20 and 30 h and the other between 70 and 115 h after exposure to the nematodes. Peaks were up to two times higher than levels produced by uninfected insects. Infected T. molitor showed only one peak between 25 and 50h. We found differences in peak height and timing among nematode and insect species combinations. The influence of these changes in CO(2) production on IJ attraction and infection behavior remains to be determined.
    Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 02/2007; 94(1):64-9. · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Trypsin Modulating Oostatic Factor from the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, (Aea-TMOF) inhibits juvenile hormone (JH) -stimulated egg chorionation and patency in the follicular epithelium cells of Heliothis virescens. Aea-TMOF exhibits highest inhibitory effect on oocytes or follicular epithelium cells when it is administered together with JH I rather than with JH III. These results indicate that Aea-TMOF specifically inhibits JH I-dependent events during egg maturation in Heliothis virescens. Preliminary pharmacological analysis of the Aea-TMOF effect on patency suggests that the decapeptide hormone acts upstream of the protein kinase-dependent step during the JH activated cellular signaling pathway.
    01/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: Persistence of stored-product insects in hidden refugia and their subsequent movement into stored commodities resulting in product infestation contributes to their pest status and represents a potential target for biological control agents. Entomopathogenic nematodes have not been previously tested against stored-product insects in environments such as empty grain bins or food processing and warehouse facilities, but their effectiveness at finding and infecting hosts in other cryptic habitats has been demonstrated. In laboratory bioassays, Steinernema riobrave reduced survival of red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, larvae, pupae and adults from 77.9 ± 3.2% in the controls to 27.4 ± 2.5% in treatments. Temperature (25 and 30 °C) and relative humidity (43, 56–57, 75, and 100%) did not significantly influence S. riobrave efficacy in this experiment. Field trials simulating empty grain bin treatments were conducted using red flour beetle and the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella. Total survival of mixed stages (larvae, pupae and adults) of T. castaneum was 42% of that in the control and total survival of mixed stages of P. interpunctella was 27% of the control. Larval stages were the most susceptible to S. riobrave for both insect species with P. interpunctella larvae having 99% mortality and T. castaneum larvae having 80% mortality. S. riobrave shows promise as a biological control agent for stored-product insects, particularly Indian meal moth, but further studies looking at combinations of treatments may further enhance efficacy.
    Biological Control. 01/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: The storage of large quantities of juvenile hormone (JH) in male abdomens is a phenomenon known from some species of moths. Juvenile hormone, stored in male accessory sex glands (ASG), may be transferred to the female during copulation, but the physiological significance of the JH transfer remains unclear. Here, using the moth Heliothis virescens as a model, we show that JH transferred from male to the promiscuous female promotes JH synthesis and egg development in the female. We propose that this explains the functional significance of JH transfer in species that exhibit last male sperm precedence, and that this hormone acts as a bioactive substance which the first male to mate uses for co-opting and regulating the female's gonadotropic mechanisms, thereby ensuring that despite last male sperm precedence he will sire a significant number of viable offspring.
    Journal of Insect Physiology 09/2006; 52(8):786-94. · 2.38 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

729 Citations
96.00 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1997–2012
    • Kansas State University
      • Department of Entomology
      Manhattan, KS, United States
  • 2009
    • Fort Valley State University
      Georgia, United States
  • 1987–2008
    • Mississippi State University
      • • Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology
      • • Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences
      Starkville, MS, United States
  • 2007
    • Agricultural Research Service
      Kerrville, Texas, United States
  • 2003
    • University of Kentucky
      • Department of Entomology
      Lexington, Kentucky, United States
  • 2000
    • University of Kansas
      Lawrence, Kansas, United States
    • Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
      • Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
      Stillwater, OK, United States