Vivek Kempraj

Vivek Kempraj
Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center · ARS

PhD
Presently I am working on the microbial ecology of Bactrocera dorsalis at Dong Cha's Lab at PBARS, USDA, Hilo, Hawaii.

About

53
Publications
46,933
Reads
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448
Citations
Citations since 2017
24 Research Items
348 Citations
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Introduction
Evolutionary Chemical Ecology is my main field of research. I work on the biochemistry and chemical ecology involved in insect-plant-microbe interactions. I try linking the chemical ecological outcome to evolution of particular processes. I am interested to know if these processes are innate or acquired and if memory templates for these process have been developed in insects. Presently, I am studying the evolutionary and ecological significance of predators and fruit fly interactions.
Additional affiliations
October 2017 - October 2021
Macquarie University
Position
  • PhD Student
February 2012 - July 2017
Indian Institute of Horticultural Research
Position
  • Stuides on phyto-semiochemicals involved in insect-plant interaction
December 2008 - December 2009
The Institute of Science, Mumbai
Position
  • Evolutionary genomics and Molecular Evolution in Bacteria
Education
September 2017 - October 2021
Macquarie University
Field of study
  • Chemical Ecology
October 2008 - November 2011
The Institute of Science, Mumbai
Field of study
  • Biochemistry
June 2004 - May 2008
Bangalore University
Field of study
  • Biotechnology

Publications

Publications (53)
Article
Full-text available
An ovipositing insect evaluates the benefits and risks associated with the selection of an oviposition site for optimizing the fitness and survival of its offspring. The greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella (L.), uses beehives as an oviposition site. During egg-laying, the gravid wax moth confronts two kinds of risks, namely, bees and conspecific...
Article
Full-text available
Humans have used weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina, as biological control agents to control insect pests in orchards for many centuries. Over recent decades, the effectiveness of weaver ants as biological control agents has been attributed in part to deterrent and oviposition inhibiting effects of kairomones produced by the ants, but the chemical...
Preprint
Full-text available
Humans have used weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina , as biological control agents to control insect pests in orchards for many centuries. Over recent decades, the effectiveness of weaver ants as biological control agents has been attributed in part to kairomones produced by the ants, but the chemical identity of these kairomones has remained unkno...
Article
Full-text available
The melon fruit fly, Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is an important pest of cucurbits throughout India, South‐East Asia and Pacific islands. Attractants of female melon fly are of relevance as they could enhance the efficacy of current pest management practices. Previous studies have revealed several host fruits to be at...
Article
Full-text available
Endosymbiotic microbiota are known to have an enormous impact on their host, influencing its physiology, behavior, fitness, and various other aspects. The present study hypothesizes that certain bacterial symbionts aid the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis in its adaptation to survive thermal stress encountered in the environment. Investigati...
Article
The South American leaf miner, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a serious pest of tomato causing substantial annual economic losses at a global scale. Our study comprised choice and no-choice bioassays, aimed at understanding the preference of this oligophagous pest for a few selected solanaceous hosts (tomato, potato, eggplan...
Article
Full-text available
The green tree ant, Oecophylla smaragdina, is one of only two recognized species of weaver ants. While the identity and functions of chemicals produced and emitted by its congener O. longinoda have been studied quite extensively and serve as a valuable model in chemical ecology research, little comparable information is available about O. smaragdin...
Article
Full-text available
Animals can gain significant advantages from abilities to detect cues from predators, assess risks, and respond adaptively to reduce the likelihood of injurious interactions. In contrast, predator cue-induced changes in behaviour may interfere with fitness-associated activities such as exploration, foraging and reproduction. Despite the ecological...
Chapter
The trophic info networks are ecological networks through which information flows from one trophic level to the other. They are like food webs, but the difference is that information is transferred, instead of energy. The dynamics of information exchange occur between organisms across trophic levels through infochemicals which transfer information...
Article
Insects commonly rely on olfactory, gustatory and visual cues when deciding where to lay eggs. The olfactory cues that stimulate oviposition in the Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae), are not well understood. Here, we show that two known oviposition stimulants of the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (He...
Article
Full-text available
In the recent past, mango inflorescence in India are being heavily attacked by multiple species of polyphagous caterpillars belonging to families viz., Crambidae, Nolidae, Lymantridae, Tortricidae, Eutellidae, Hespiiridae, Pyralidae, Noctuidae etc. (Order: Lepidoptera). These caterpillars are causing severe damage to mango flowers than conventional...
Article
Full-text available
An attempt was made to understand the diversity of trichomes both at morphological and chemical levels in wild(Solanum viarum, S. mammosum, S. indicum, S. gilo, S. torvum) and cultivated eggplant(S. melongena) species. Cultivated and wild eggplant species have morphologically and chemically diverse trichomes. The presence of specific type of tricho...
Article
Full-text available
In the recent past, mango inflorescences in India are being heavily attacked by multiple species of polyphagous caterpillars belonging to families viz., Crambidae, Nolidae, Lymantridae, Tortricidae, Eutellidae, Hespiiridae, Pyralidae, Noctuidae etc. (Order: Lepidoptera). These caterpillars are causing severe damage to mango flowers than conventiona...
Article
Full-text available
Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) have been opined as ‘indirect or direct defenses’ of plants and are extensively studied. In contrast, HIPVs may also indicate that plant defenses have been overcome by herbivores infesting the plant; however, studies on this aspect have so far received little attention. Using the interaction of Capsicum ann...
Article
Full-text available
Severe infestation of cetonid beetles, Protaetia alboguttata (Vigors) has been noticed on karonda at the experimental station of Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru during the year 2013. The mean damage on the ripe fruits was found to be 22.40+2.50% with a range of 15.00-30.00%. Considering the polyphagy of cetoniids, these beetle...
Article
Tephritid flies are pests of horticultural importance throughout the globe. The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), is particularly feared because it attacks many commercial fruits and vegetables causing huge economic losses. The sterile insect technique (SIT) can be an effective, target-specific and economically feasible control meth...
Article
Full-text available
Onion thrips, Thrips tabacis Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) is an important pest of horticulture crops throughout the globe. However, there is a paucity of studies on its behavioral ecology in relation to herbivore induced plant volatiles (HIPVs). An attempt was made to study behaviour of T. tabaci towards HIPVs and healthy plant volatiles. Olf...
Article
Full-text available
Commensal bacteria influence many aspects of an organism's behaviour. However, studies on the influence of commensal bacteria in insect mate-selection are scarce. Here, we present empirical evidence that commensal bacteria mediate mate-selection in the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis. Male flies were attracted to female flies, but this attr...
Article
Insects use an arsenal of strategies to defend themselves against reactive oxygen species (ROS). An important strategy that is deemed vital for insects is their antioxidative enzyme systems. Among the many antioxidative enzyme systems, catalase plays a crucial role in protecting the host against ROS damage. However studies on the biochemistry and c...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The deciduous shrub pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is reported for the first time as a host plant of tea mosquito bug, Helopeltis antonii Signoret from Bengaluru, India. Swarms of female and male mirid bugs were found feeding on fresh blooms of pomegranate. The nature of damage is typical of what can be after a tea mosquito bug feeding resulting...
Article
Full-text available
The tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is a positive-sense single stranded RNA virus that infects a wide range of horticultural crops.TMV is extensively studied and most of its molecular working has been deduced. However, not much is known about how the capsids and the genetic material self-assemble to form the virus. In this study, we give a theoretical p...
Article
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‘Insect baits’ are substances used to attract, trap and kill insect pests. In horticultural practice, baits are commonly used to divert insect pests from the main crop. One such insect pest that can be managed using baits is the adults of the fruit piercing moth (Elygea materna, Othreis fullonica and O. homaena). The moths are frugivorous and distr...
Article
Full-text available
The Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) is an important quarantine pest around the globe. Although measures for its control are implemented worldwide through IPM and male annihilation, there is little effect on their population. Hence, there is a need for new strategies to control this minacious pest. A strategy that has received negli...
Article
Full-text available
This is the primary report on the occurrence of banana skipper, Erionota torus Evans (Lepidoptera: Hespiriidae) from several parts in South India causing extensive damage to banana foliage making in to leaf rolls. Earlier reports mentioned that E. torus is restricted to North eastern region of India and its current outbreaks in southern states indi...
Article
Full-text available
Regular surveillance during March, 2013 in Mandya district, Karnataka, India revealed significant damage from Indian blue peafowls, Pavo cristatus (also known as peacocks) to standing crop of banana (cv. Grand Naine). Critical observation revealed that random oviposition injuries by Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephrit...
Chapter
Full-text available
Pests of horticulture importance are evolving rapidly with changing climatic conditions, intensive farming practices, and constant selection pressures exerted through insecticides. With worldwide interest in environmental protection, chemical insecticides have become objects of scientific and popular protest. Critics charge chemical insecticides of...
Article
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Powdery mildews are a group of common pathogenic fungi infecting wide range of host plants, often causing serious damage and crop loss. Considering the indiscriminate application of synthetic fungicides and their hazardous environmental impact, development of safer alternatives became crucial. In an attempt to investigate the efficacy of betel vine...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Plant-pollinator interactions are legitimate and mutualistic with varied degree of dependency and type of rewards being exchanged. Nevertheless, there are certain nectar robbers (usually birds or insects) that horn on this deal by picking nectar without rendering the pollination service. This illegitimate behavior often results in positive, negativ...
Article
Full-text available
Mitochondrial respiratory complexes in insects are involved in diverse physiological processes including energy production. Specific and potent inhibitors of complex I, III and IV are described and has allowed in determining the importance of these enzymes in the physiological processes. However, there seems a paucity of information regarding poten...
Article
Insects depend upon cuticular, humoral and cellular defenses to resist mycosis. However, entomopathogenic fungi through co-evolution have developed mechanisms to counter such defenses. Although a plethora of mechanisms of mycosis by entomopathogenic fungi are well-established, studies on the impairment of insects’ antioxidative enzymes during mycos...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT Oviposition site-selection in insects is mediated through innate recognition templates (IRTs) tuned to specific chemical cues. These cues aid gravid insects in choosing suitable oviposition sites and may even enhance the fitness of their offspring by warding off predators and parasitoids. However, studies on the evolution of oviposition si...
Article
Full-text available
Semiochemical is a generic term used for a chemical substance that influences the behaviour of an organism. It is a common term used in the field of chemical ecology to encompass pheromones, allomones, kairomones, attractants and repellents. Insects have mastered the art of using semiochemicals as communication signals and rely on them to find mate...
Article
Full-text available
Selecting a suitable oviposition site is crucial to the fitness of female insects because it determines the successful development of their offspring. During the oviposition process, an insect must use cues from the external environment to make an appropriate choice of where to lay eggs. Generalist insects can detect and react to a plethora of cues...
Article
Full-text available
Innate recognition templates (IRTs) in insects are developed through many years of evolution. Here we investigated olfactory cues mediating oviposition behavior in the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, and their role in triggering an IRT for oviposition site recognition. Behavioral assays with electrophysiologically active compounds from a p...
Article
Full-text available
This is the first report on the occurrence of fruit borer, Citripestis eutraphera (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera : Pyralidae) from Indian main land causing extensive damage to immature fruits of mango (Mangifera indica L.). Regular surveillance conducted in mango growing areas of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu revealed that the pyralid fruit borer incidence was...
Article
The formation and breaking of hydrogen bonds between nucleic acid bases are dependent on temperature. The high G+C content of organisms was surmised to be an adaptation for high temperature survival because of the thermal stability of G:C pairs. However, a survey of genomic GC% and optimum growth temperature (OGT) of several prokaryotes revoked any...
Article
The current study involved evaluation of the toxicity of acetone soluble fraction of the ethanol extract of Annona squamosa Linn. seeds on Aedes albopictus (Skuse). Toxicity of fresh sample has been compared with that of solar radiated and heat treated aliquots of the same. Acute toxicity of fresh acetone fraction on adults was evident with LC50 an...
Article
Full-text available
Wine is one of the oldest forms of alcoholic beverages and can impart benefits to human beings. Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L) and carrot (Daucus carota L) are rich in betalain and carotene. These vegetables have medicinal and nutritive properties. Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae INVSc1) was used to prepare wine from beetroot and carrot and its quality...
Article
Full-text available
Bacteriostatic efficacy of 16 crude extracts derived from different parts of Argemone mexicana Linn. (Papaveraceae) has been analyzed on enteropathogenic bacteria such as Klebsiella oxytoca, Vibrio damsella, Enterobacter aerogenes and Escherichia coli. The bacteriostatic efficacy was elucidated using single disc diffusion method. The minimum inhibi...
Article
Full-text available
The first phase of the study involved evaluation of leaf and bud oils of clove, Syzygium aromaticum for their biocidal (i.e. ovicidal and larvicidal) activity against Aedes albopictus. Eggs and fourth instar larvae were exposed to different concentrations of the oils to investigate their comparative efficacy against the target mosquito species. In...
Article
Full-text available
The ovicidal and larvicidal efficacy of essential oils extracted from the tubers of Cyperus giganteus Vahl and Cyperus rotundus Linn. was studied on eggs and fourth instar larvae of Aedes albopictus (Skuse). The eggs and larvae were exposed to serial concentration of the oils ranging from 5-150 ppm and kept under observation for 24 h. Both the oils...
Article
Full-text available
Toxic effect of the essential oils of Lavendula angustifolia, Bursera pencillata, Syzygium aromaticum and Cyperus rotundus has been evaluated against the coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis through bioassay on infested coconuts. The study has established the toxicity of all the four oils on the mite to varying extent. L. angustifolia (EC 50 = 0.09 and...

Questions

Questions (20)
Question
Previously I had asked a question "Are "sex pheromones" really produced by insects?" while in the quest to answer this question, we came across a very interesting observation. We developed germ free lines of insects (GFL) by antibiotic treatment, the GFLs did not lay eggs at all. When we desiccated the insect we found its ovary underdeveloped. However, the non-GFL insects that were not treated with antibiotics laid eggs. What are the possibilities of endosymbionts being involved in the ovary development?
Question
We recently found a well developed accessory gland in female B. dorsalis. Upon further examination, we found that they harboured bacteria and one particular bacteria was the major microbiota in the accessory gland. In what ways is the bacteria present in the accessory gland help the insect? We have hypothesised that they may help female insects in pheromone production. So is there any such possibility?  

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Presently, studies on the chemical ecology of fruit fly- predator interaction is very sparse. However, in this project we aim to decipher the chemical cues involved in the interaction of fruit flies and their predators (Spiders and Green tree ants).
Archived project
The goal of the project is to understand the connection between insects, their host plants and microbes associated with them. We aim at the chemicals involved in these interactions.