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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: BIOCHEMISTRY OF PEST AND BENEFICIAL INSECTS AND INTERACTIONS WITH HOST PLANTS AND NATURAL ENEMIES

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Project Number: 5442-22000-046-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 28, 2010
End Date: Apr 20, 2011

Objective:
To determine chemical and biochemical factors involved in feeding, development, dormancy and interactions with hosts of economically important insects, both pest and beneficial. To characterize and evaluate the function of cuticular lipids, internal lipids, intermediary metabolites and recognition chemicals for pest and beneficial insects, and the effect of lipids on interactions of natural enemies with their insect hosts. Use this information to enhance the efficiency of insect pest control programs and to improve management of beneficial insects.

Approach:
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.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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