Start Date: Sep 21, 2005
End Date: Apr 28, 2010
Microscopic techniques and biochemical technology will be used to characterize stylet feeding for adult and nymph stages of economically important homopteran insects. The physiological, biochemical, behavioral, anatomical, and ultrastructural mechanism(s) of stylet feeding, stylet-sheath formation, plant tissue damage by sheath material will be determined. Chemical and biochemical approaches will be used to document some specific and new functions of lipids, such as determining which chemical cues specific parasitic wasps use to mark and identify homopteran hosts that have already been parasitized and identifying lipids and determining their roles in several biological processes of beneficial solitary bees that includes: functioning as an important source of stored energy and intracellular communication during diapause-related processes; functioning as chemical cues in the process of nesting site recognition for female pollinator bees; providing a matrix and possibly nutrition for the larval-gut germination and growth of a pathogen fungus that causes chalkbrood disease in solitary bees.