2007 Annual Report
Non-Cotton Hosts for the Tarnished Plant Bug:
The tarnished plant bug has reached pest status in cotton in those areas where insecticide applications have been reduced because of.
Microscopic Techniques for Pollen Analysis of Stink Bugs: The southern green stink bug can be an important pest of cotton, particularly in areas where the boll weevil has been eradicated and insecticide applications have been reduced. Better methods to assess the habitat preferences and food sources for the bug are needed to more completely understand its biology and to aid in development of effective control procedures. Instrumentation including the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and the environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) have been effectively used to identify pollen found on numerous insect pests, and which implicates host plants of the insects. However, the secretion of oils by stink bugs damages SEM and ESEM, which prevents viewing of the insects for the presence/identification of pollen grains adhering to them. Scientists in the Areawide Pest Management Research Unit at the Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, College Station, TX, developed an effective technique that removes pollen from southern green stink bugs so that it can be accurately identified (to the plant species level) using SEM and/or ESEM. This accomplishment is important because it will greatly facilitate identification of preferred host plants used at different seasons by stink bugs, and it will help in development of effective strategies for management of this emerging crop pest. (NP 304, Component 3, Problem Statement 3B)
Biostable Versions of Water Regulating Insect Neuropeptides: Neuropeptides are short chains of amino acids that regulate critical life functions in insects. However, biostable versions of neuropeptides, which can resist degradation by enzymes in insects, will be required in order for neuropeptide technology to be developed for effective pest insect control. Scientists in the Areawide Pest Management Research Unit at the Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, College Station, TX, in collaboration with scientists at the University of London, England, used a novel strategy that involves use of non-natural variants of amino acids known as 'beta' amino acids to create the biostable versions. Two of the synthesized neuropeptide versions were shown to be as potent as natural neuropeptides in regulating water balance in a variety of insects. Further, they were found to be stable to internal insect factors that inactivate the natural neuropeptides. The accomplishment is important because it brings us one step closer to the development of practical neuropeptide-like substances that will disrupt normal water balance and effectively control pest insects in an environmentally friendly fashion. (NP 304, Component 2, Problem Statement 2A)
Dynamics of Boll Weevil Pheromone Production: It is universally accepted that boll weevils require access to food to produce pheromones (volatile attractants) that are used by the insects to aggregate populations. However, more information is needed about the timing and intensity of pheromone release. Scientists in the Areawide Pest Management Research Unit at the Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, College Station, TX, demonstrated a daily pattern of pheromone production by the boll weevil, and illustrated the need to carefully control the feeding schedule and diet in pheromone production studies. This work provides important new knowledge and insight on the chemical ecology of boll weevils, it will lead to improved trapping methods, and it will ultimately facilitate development of more effective procedures/protocols for eradication of the boll weevil from the U.S. (NP 304, Component 2, Problem Statement 2A)
Predel, R., Russell, W.K., Neupert, S., Russell, D.H., Esquivel, J.F., Nachman, R.J. 2006. Identification of the first neuropeptides from the CNS of Hemiptera: CAPA peptides of the southern green stinkbug Nezara viridula (L.). Peptides. 27:2670-2677.
Esquivel, J.F., Mowery, S.V. 2007. Host plants of the tarnished plant bug (Heteroptera: Miridae) in Central Texas. Environmental Entomology. 36:725-730.
Nachman, R.J., Coast, G.M. 2007. Structure-activity relationships for in vitro diuretic activity of CAP2b in the housefly. Peptides. 28:57-61.
Nachman, R.J., Fehrentz, J., Martinez, J., Kaczmarek, K., Zabrocki, J., Coast, G.M. 2007. A C-terminal aldehyde analog of the insect kinins inhibits diuresis in the housefly. Peptides. 28:146-152.
Downer, K.E., Haselton, A.T., Nachman, R.J., Stoffolano, J.G. 2006. Insect satiety: Sulfakinin localization and the effect of drosulfakinin on protein and carbohydrate ingestion in the blow fly, Phormia regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Journal of Insect Physiology. 53:106-112.
Predel, R., Neupert, S., Russell, W.K., Schreibner, O., Nachman, R.J. 2007. Corazonin in insects. Peptides. 28:3-10.
Kaczmarek, K., Williams, H.J., Coast, G.M., Scott, A.I., Zabrocki, J., Nachman, R.J. 2007. Comparison of insect kinin analogs with cis-peptide bond motif 4-aminopyroglutamate identifies optimal stereochemistry for diuretic activity. Biopolymers. 88:1-7.
Poels, J., Verlinden, H., Fichna, J., Loy, T.V., Franssens, V., Studzian, K., Janecka, A., Nachman, R.J., Broeck, J.V. 2007. Functional comparison of two evolutionary conserved insect neurokinin-like receptors. Peptides. 28:103-108.
Suh, C.P. 2007. Head capsule widths of nymphal instars of the cotton fleahopper. Southwestern Entomologist. 32:127-130.
Spurgeon, D.W., Suh, C.P. 2007. Diel patterns of pheromone production in the boll weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Entomological Science. 42:250-260.
Spurgeon, D.W., Raulston, J.R. 2006. Boll weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) adult diapause responses to selected environmental and dietary conditions. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 99:1085-1100.
Suh, C.P., Spurgeon, D.W. 2006. Host-free survival of boll weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) previously fed vegetative-stage regrowth cotton. Journal of Entomological Science. 41:277-284.
Spurgeon, D.W. 2007. Ecologically-based IPM in cotton. In: Koul, O., Cuperus, G.W., editors. Ecologically-Based Integrated Pest Management. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing. p. 367-405.
Zubrzak, P., Williams, H., Coast, G.M., Isaac, R.E., Reyes-Rangel, G., Juaristi, E., Zabrocki, J., Nachman, R.J. 2007. Beta-amino acid analogs of an insect neuropeptide feature potent bioactivity and resistance to peptidase hydrolysis. Biopolymers. 88:76-82.
Jones, G.D., Bryant, V.M. 2007. A comparison of pollen counts: Light versus scanning electron microscope. Grana. 46:20-33.
Predel, R., Nachman, R.J. 2006. The fxprlamide (pyrokinin/pban) peptide family. In: Kastin, A., editor. Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides. New York, NY: Elsevier. p. 207-213.
Schoofs, L., Nachman, R.J. 2006. Sulfakinins. In: Kastin, A., editor. Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides. New York, NY: Elsevier. p. 183-189.
Medrano, E.G., Esquivel, J.F., Bell, A.A. 2007. Transmission of cotton seed and boll rotting bacteria by the southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula L.). Journal of Applied Microbiology. 103:436-444.