Joshua B Benoit

Joshua B Benoit
University of Cincinnati | UC · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

335
Publications
54,012
Reads
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5,846
Citations
Citations since 2017
175 Research Items
3724 Citations
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Introduction
Mechanisms underlying insect stress tolerance, reproductive physiology, regulation of metabolism and aging are the encompassing themes of my research, with the goal of integrating these topics under whole system studies that use molecular-, organismal- and population-based approaches.
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
University of Cincinnati
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2010 - present
Yale University
June 2005 - December 2009
The Ohio State University
Education
May 2005 - December 2009
The Ohio State University
Field of study
  • Entomology and Physiology
August 2001 - May 2005
Wittenberg University
Field of study
  • Biochemistry

Publications

Publications (335)
Preprint
Full-text available
The pacific beetle cockroach, Diploptera punctata, is a viviparous cockroach that produces a milk-like substance to support the growing embryo with a brood sac. The structure of the in vivo grown crystals present in the gut of the embryo showed that the milk-derived crystals are heterogenous and are made of three proteins (called Lili-Mips). Multip...
Preprint
Our understanding of the evolutionary significance of ectoparasites in natural communities is limited by a paucity of information concerning the mechanisms and heritability of resistance to this ubiquitous and diverse assemblage of organisms. Here, we report the results of artificial selection for increasing ectoparasite resistance in replicate lin...
Preprint
Worldwide, ticks are blood-feeding arthropods responsible for the transmission of disease-causing pathogens to a wide range of vertebrate hosts, including livestock and humans. Tick-borne diseases have been implicated in significant economic losses to livestock production, and this threat will increase as these obligate parasites widen their geogra...
Article
Full-text available
The ingestion of blood represents a significant burden that immediately increases water, oxidative, and thermal stress, but provides a significant nutrient source to generate resources necessary for the development of progeny. Thermal stress has been assumed to solely be a negative byproduct that has to be alleviated to prevent stress. Here, we exa...
Article
Since the transition from water to land, maintaining water balance has been a key challenge for terrestrial arthropods. We explore factors that allow terrestrial arthropods to survive within a variably dry world and how they shape ecological interactions. Detection of water and hydration is critical for maintaining water content. Efficient regulati...
Preprint
Full-text available
Phlebotomine sand flies are of global significance as important vectors of human disease, transmitting bacterial, viral, and protozoan pathogens, including the devastating kinetoplastid parasites of the genus Leishmania , the causative agents of diseases collectively termed leishmaniasis. More than 40 pathogenic Leishmania species are transmitted t...
Preprint
Full-text available
The mosquito midgut is an important site for bloodmeal regulation while also acting as a primary site for pathogen exposure within the mosquito. Recent studies show that exposure to dehydrating conditions alters mosquito bloodfeeding behaviors as well as post-feeding regulation, likely altering how pathogens interact with the mosquito. Unfortunatel...
Article
Successful transmission of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) by Frankliniella occidentalis requires robust infection of the salivary glands (SGs) and virus delivery to plants during salivation. Feeding behavior and transmission efficiency are sexually-dimorphic traits of this thrips vector species. Proteins secreted from male and female SG tissues,...
Preprint
Lipid metabolism is critical for insect reproduction, especially for species that invest heavily into early developmental stages of their offspring. The role of symbiotic bacteria during this process is unknown but likely essential, especially in the case of obligate microbes that fulfill key biological functions in the host. Using a combined lipid...
Preprint
The ingestion of blood represents a significant pressure that immediately increases water, oxidative, and thermal stress, but provides a significant nutrient source to generate resources necessary for the development of progeny. Thermal stress has been assumed to solely be a negative byproduct that has to be alleviated to prevent stress. Here, we e...
Article
The American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, is a major pest to humans and animals, serving as a vector to Rickettsia rickettsii, a bacterium responsible for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Francisella tularensis, which is responsible for tularemia. Although several tactics for management have been deployed, very little is known about the molec...
Preprint
Successful transmission of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) by Frankliniella occidentalis requires robust infection of the salivary glands (SGs) and virus delivery to plants during salivation. Feeding behavior and transmission efficiency are sexually-dimorphic traits of this thrips vector species. Proteins secreted from male and female SG tissues,...
Preprint
We examined water balance characteristics and influence of desiccating conditions on adult western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) physiology and behavior. Western flower thrips are globally invasive and likely to contend with shifts in water availability across their expansive geographic range. Basic water balance characteristics, inclu...
Article
Sleep is an evolutionarily conserved process that has been described in different animal systems. For insects, sleep characterization has been primarily achieved using behavioral and electrophysiological correlates in a few systems. Sleep in mosquitoes, which are important vectors of disease-causing pathogens, has not been directly examined. This i...
Article
Full-text available
The circadian rhythm involves multiple genes that generate an internal molecular clock, allowing organisms to anticipate environmental conditions produced by the Earth’s rotation on its axis. Here, we present the results of the manual curation of 27 genes that are associated with circadian rhythm in the genome of Diaphorina citri, the Asian citrus...
Article
Full-text available
Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungus that is able to survive abnormally high levels of ionizing radiation (IR). The radiolysis of water by IR generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as H 2 O 2 and OH ⁻ . C . neoformans withstands the damage caused by IR and ROS through antioxidant production and enzyme-catalyzed breakdown of ROS. Given these pa...
Article
Ticks are blood-feeding ectoparasites but spend most of their life off-host where they may have to tolerate low winter temperatures. Rapid cold-hardening (RCH) is a process commonly used by arthropods, including ticks, to improve survival of acute low temperature exposure. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms in ticks associated...
Article
Full-text available
Citrus greening disease is caused by the pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri. No curative treatment or significant prevention mechanism exists for this disease, which causes economic losses from reduced citrus production. A high-quality genome of D. citri is being manually annotat...
Article
Full-text available
The hemipteran insect Diaphorina citri, or Asian citrus psyllid, is a vector for Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the bacterium causing citrus greening disease, or Huanglongbing (HLB). Millions of citrus trees have been destroyed, and every grove in Florida, USA, has been directly affected by this disease. In eukaryotes, vacuolar-type ATP...
Preprint
Full-text available
Insects provide an unparalleled opportunity to link genomic changes with the rise of novel phenotypes, given tremendous variation in the numerous and complex adaptations displayed across the group. Among these numerous and complex adaptations, live-birth has arisen repeatedly and independently in insects and across the tree of life, suggesting this...
Article
Mosquitoes readily lose water when exposed to any humidity less than that of near saturated air unless mitigated, leading to shifts in behavior, survival, distribution, and reproduction. In this study, we conducted a series of physiological experiments on two prominent species in the Culicinae subfamily: Culex pipiens, a vector of West Nile virus,...
Article
As carriers of multiple human diseases, understanding the mechanisms behind mosquito reproduction may have implications for remediation strategies. Transfer RNA (tRNA) acts as the adapter molecule of amino acids and are key components in protein synthesis. A critical factor in the function of tRNAs is chemical modifications which contribute to codo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sleep is an evolutionarily conserved process that has been described in different animal systems. For insects, sleep characterization has been primarily achieved using behavioral and electrophysiological correlates in a few systems. Sleep in mosquitoes, which are important vectors of disease-causing pathogens, has not been directly examined. This i...
Article
Diapause is a hormonally driven response which is triggered by environmental cues that signal impending adverse conditions and prompts metabolic, developmental, and behavioral changes to allow survival until the return of favorable conditions. Microbial symbionts have been shown to influence the metabolism, development, and behavior of their host o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Detailed annotation and comparative analysis were performed on the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri, vacuolar-type ATP synthase (V-ATPase) to support the biological understanding and development of novel therapeutics to manage psyllid vectors. D. citri is a hemipteran insect that vectors the causative agent, the bacteria Candidatus Libe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Citrus greening disease is caused by the pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, which is transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri . There is no curative treatment or significant prevention mechanism for this detrimental disease that causes continued economic losses from reduced citrus production. A high quality genome of D. ci...
Preprint
Full-text available
The circadian rhythm is a process involving multiple genes that generates an internal molecular clock, allowing organisms to anticipate environmental conditions produced by the earth’s rotation on its axis. This report presents the results of the manual curation of twenty-seven genes likely associated with circadian rhythm in the genome of Diaphori...
Article
The common green bottle blow fly Lucilia sericata (family, Calliphoridae) is widely used for maggot debridement therapy, which involves the application of sterile maggots to wounds. The larval excretions and secretions are important for consuming necrotic tissue and inhibiting bacterial growth in wounds of patients. Linothele sericata is also of im...
Preprint
As carriers of multiple human diseases, understanding the mechanisms behind mosquito reproduction may have implications for remediation strategies. Transfer RNA (tRNA) acts as the adapter molecule of amino acids and are key components in protein synthesis and a critical factor in the function of tRNAs is chemical modifications. Here, we provide an...
Article
The mosquito microbiome is critical to multiple facets of their biology, including larval development and disease transmission. For mosquitoes that reside in temperate regions, periods of diapause are critical to overwintering survival, but how the microbiome impacts this state is unknown. In this study, we compared the midgut microbial communities...
Article
Full-text available
Following publication of the original article [1], it was reported that the article copyright was incorrect. The correct copyright statement is: © This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2021. The original article [1] has been corrected.
Article
Full-text available
The seabird tick, Ixodes uriae, is a significant ectoparasite of penguins in Antarctica and of other seabirds, mainly in coastal, polar regions of the Northern and Southern hemispheres, but the tick’s distribution extends into more temperate regions as well. The expansive range of this tick suggests that it is exposed to a wide range of abiotic str...
Article
Rapid hardening is a process that quickly improves an animal's performance following exposure to a potentially damaging stress. In this study of the Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica (Diptera, Chironomidae), we examine how rapid hardening in response to dehydration (RDH) or cold (RCH) improves male pre- and post-copulatory function when the insec...
Article
Adipose tissue homeostasis plays a central role in cardiovascular physiology, and the presence of thermogenically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) has recently been associated with cardiometabolic health. We have previously shown that adipose tissue-specific deletion of HuR (Adipo-HuR-/-) reduces BAT-mediated adaptive thermogenesis, and the goal o...
Article
Full-text available
Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease, is caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus ( C Las). It is a serious threat to global citrus production. This bacterium is transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera). There are no effective in planta treatments for C Las. Therefore, one strategy...
Article
Questing in ticks is essential for locating a host, and this behavioral response can occur at regionally specific low temperatures for most tick species. Little is known about the dynamics between tick questing behavior and temperature in ticks, specifically how this may impact other aspects of tick biology. Here, we examine whether cold hardening...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, students and faculty have been forced to deal with unprecedented disruptions to their courses and broader uncertainties that have presented serious challenges to quality instruction. We present a flexible, team-based approach to teaching and learning that can transition seamlessly between face-to-face, hybrid, and fully online instruction...
Article
Full-text available
Background The stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans, is a major blood-feeding pest of livestock that has near worldwide distribution, causing an annual cost of over $2 billion for control and product loss in the USA alone. Control of these flies has been limited to increased sanitary management practices and insecticide application for suppressing larva...
Article
Temperature limits the geographic ranges of several tick species. Little is known about the thermal characteristics of these pests outside of a few studies on survival related to thermal tolerance. In this study, thermal tolerance limits, thermal preference, and the impact of temperature on activity levels and metabolic rate were examined in larvae...
Preprint
Full-text available
Rapid hardening is a process that quickly improves animal performance following exposure to a potentially damaging stress. Features of reproduction can be improved by rapid hardening, but little is known about how rapid hardening may contribute to physiological responses in the cold environment of Antarctica. In this study of the Antarctic midge, B...
Article
The ability to escape predation modulates predator-prey interactions and represents a crucial aspect of organismal life history, influencing feeding, mating success, and survival. Thanatosis, also known as death feigning or tonic immobility (TI), is taxonomically widespread, but understudied in blood-feeding vectors. Hematophagous arthropods, such...
Article
Postcopulatory sexual selection results from variation in competitive fertilization success among males and comprises powerful evolutionary forces that operate after the onset of mating.¹,² Theoretical advances in the field of sexual selection addressing the buildup and coevolutionary consequences of genetic coupling3, 4, 5 motivate the hypothesis...
Preprint
Adipose tissue continues to gain appreciation for its broad role as an endocrine organ, and disruptions in adipose tissue homeostasis plays a central role in cardiovascular physiology. We have previously shown that expression of the RNA binding protein HuR in adipose tissue mediates energy expenditure, but the potential cardiovascular impacts of th...
Chapter
This book is a collection of 77 expert opinions arranged in three sections. Section 1 on "Climate" sets the scene, including predictions of future climate change, how climate change affects ecosystems, and how to model projections of the spatial distribution of ticks and tick-borne infections under different climate change scenarios. Section 2 on "...
Preprint
Full-text available
Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease, is caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) and represents a serious threat to global citrus production. This bacteria is transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera) and there are no effective in-planta treatments for CLas. Therefore, one s...
Article
Full-text available
Following publication of the original article [1], the authors would like to remove the phrase ‘vertically transmitted’ from the last sentence in the fourth paragraph under the heading Background. The sentence originally read: In addition to serving as crop disease vectors, thrips support vertically transmitted, facultative bacterial symbionts that...
Article
Full-text available
The Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica, is a wingless, non-biting midge endemic to Antarctica. Larval development requires at least 2 years, but adults live only 2 weeks. The nonfeeding adults mate in swarms and females die shortly after oviposition. Eggs are suspended in a gel of unknown composition that is expressed from the female accessory gla...
Article
Sleep is a phenomenon conserved across the animal kingdom, where studies on Drosophila melanogaster have revealed that sleep phenotypes and molecular underpinnings are similar to those in mammals. However, little is known about sleep in blood-feeding arthropods, which have a critical role in public health as disease vectors. Specifically, sleep stu...
Article
Full-text available
Here, we report the genome sequence and characterization for a Blattabacterium strain isolated from the viviparous cockroach, Diploptera punctata , which provides amino acids critical for intrauterine embryo development. The genome was assembled by sequencing of the cockroach fat body, which is the location of this obligate symbiont.
Article
Full-text available
The New World Screwworm fly, Cochliomyia hominivorax, is a major pest of livestock in South America and Caribbean. However, few genomic resources have been available for this species. A genome of 534 Mb was assembled from long read PacBio DNA sequencing of DNA from a highly inbred strain. Analysis of molecular evolution identified 40 genes that are...
Article
Parasites cause harm to their hosts and represent pervasive causal agents of natural selection. Understanding host proximate responses during interactions with parasites can help predict which genes and molecular pathways are targets of this selection. In the current study, we examined transcriptional changes arising from interactions between Droso...
Article
Full-text available
The tremendous diversity of Hymenoptera is commonly attributed to the evolution of parasitoidism in the last common ancestor of parasitoid sawflies (Orussidae) and wasp-waisted Hymenoptera (Apocrita). However, Apocrita and Orussidae differ dramatically in their species richness, indicating that the diversification of Apocrita was promoted by additi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Halyomorpha halys (Stål), the brown marmorated stink bug, is a highly invasive insect species due in part to its exceptionally high levels of polyphagy. This species is also a nuisance due to overwintering in human-made structures. It has caused significant agricultural losses in recent years along the Atlantic seaboard of North Americ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), is a globally invasive pest and plant virus vector on a wide array of food, fiber and ornamental crops. While there are numerous studies centered on thrips pest and vector biology, feeding behaviors, ecology, and insecticide resistance, the underlying genetic mechanisms of...
Article
Full-text available
Sex chromosomes and sex determining genes can evolve fast, with the sex-linked chromosomes often differing between closely related species. Population genetics theory has been developed and tested to explain the rapid evolution of sex chromosomes and sex determination. However, we do not know why the sex chromosomes are divergent in some taxa and c...
Article
Viviparous reproduction is characterized by maternal retention of developing offspring within the reproductive tract during gestation, culminating in live birth. In some cases, a mother will provide nutrition beyond that present in the yolk; this is known as matrotrophic viviparity. While this phenomenon is best associated with mammals, it is obser...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Arthropods comprise the largest and most diverse phylum on Earth and play vital roles in nearly every ecosystem. Their diversity stems in part from variations on a conserved body plan, resulting from and recorded in adaptive changes in the genome. Dissection of the genomic record of sequence change enables broad questions regarding gen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Insects use rapid acclimation to enhance their tolerance of abiotic stresses within minutes to hours. These responses are critical adaptations for insects and other small ectotherms to tolerate drastic changes in temperature, hydration, or other factors that can fluctuate precipitously with ambient conditions or as a result of behavior. Rapid cold-...
Conference Paper
Ticks are blood-feeding arthropods that serve as vectors for many pathogens that have negative impact on human and animal health and, consequently, are among the most costly ectoparasites in the world. Climate change, habitat variation, and host population shifts are among factors known to influence tick abundance and disease transmission. Of inter...
Chapter
Tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) have undergone evolutionary adaptations that facilitate their ability to feed solely on vertebrate blood and give birth to live young. These flies serve as cyclic vectors of pathogenic African trypanosomes, and as such, are of critical importance to human health and agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. This a...
Preprint
Temperature is a major factor that impacts tick populations by limiting geographic range of different species. Little is known about the thermal characteristics of these pests outside of a few studies on survival related to thermal tolerance. In this study, thermal tolerance limits, thermal preference, impact of temperature on metabolic rate, and t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Diaphorina citri is a vector of “ Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” ( C Las), the gram-negative bacterial pathogen associated with citrus greening disease. Control measures rely on pesticides with negative impacts on the environment, natural ecosystems and human and animal health. In contrast, gene-targeting methods have the potential t...
Article
Full-text available
The Antarctic mite (Alaskozetes antarcticus) is widely distributed on sub-Antarctic islands and throughout the Antarctic Peninsula, making it one of the most abundant terrestrial arthropods in the region. Despite the impressive ability of A. antarcticus to thrive in harsh Antarctic conditions, little is known about the biology of this species. In t...
Article
Full-text available
Diseases that are transmitted by mosquitoes are a tremendous health and socioeconomic burden with hundreds of millions of people being impacted by mosquito-borne illnesses annually. Many factors have been implicated and extensively studied in disease transmission dynamics, but knowledge regarding how dehydration impacts mosquito physiology, behavio...
Preprint
Background: The Antarctic midge, Belgica antarctica, is a wingless, non-biting midge endemic to Antarctica. Larval development requires at least two years, but adult life lasts only two weeks. The nonfeeding adults mate in swarms and females die shortly after oviposition. Eggs are suspended in a gel of unknown composition that is expressed from the...