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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Sustainable Pest Management Strategies for Arid-land Crops

Location: Pest Management and Biocontrol Research

Title: Leaving A Mark: A Comparison Arthropod Protein Marking Protocols

Authors
item Slosky, Lauren -
item Hagler, James
item Machtley, Scott

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 21, 2010
Publication Date: January 21, 2010
Citation: Slosky, L., Hagler, J.R., Machtley, S.A. 2010. Leaving A Mark: A Comparison Arthropod Protein Marking Protocols. In the University of Arizona Undergraduate Biology Research Program,21st Annual Conference,Jan. 23,2010

Interpretive Summary: Knowledge of arthropod pest and natural enemy disperal patterns is needed for effective and environmentally benign pest control. The most common tactics used to monitor arthropod dispersal patterns include mark-release-recapture (MRR) and mark-capture methodologies. Both methods require the application of a distinct mark to the arthropod of interest so its movement can be monitored. Recently, protein-specific solutions were found to be effective markers for arthropods. These protein solutions are sprayed on arthropods in the laboratory or the field using conventional spray equipment. The protein marker is later detected on field-collected arthropods using a protein-specific enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The first generation of protein markers included expensive rabbit and chicken IgG proteins. While IgG proteins have been proven to be very effective markers, they are too costly for mark capture type dispersal studies. Recently, a second generation of protein-specific ELISAs were developed to detect inexpensive and readily available proteins found in cow milk (casein), soy (trypsin), and chicken egg (egg albumin). The efficacy of these proteins as arthropod markers has not, however, been thoroughly examined. This study was conducted to compare the marking efficacy of the well established rabbit IgG protein marking protocol with the novel milk, soy, and egg white protocols. The retention of each marker was examined on externally marked lady beetles, hippodamia convergens, over a 28 day period under simulated field conditions. All proteins were found to have retained the egg white, rabbit IgG, milk and soy mark, respectively. These results indicate that egg white is a more durable marker than the established rabbit IgG protein. However, the short-lived arthropod markers, milk and soy, may be ideal for conducting short, sequential, independant dispersal studies on the same arthropod population. These results indicate that protein arthropod markers need not be expensive to be effective. This finding has far reaching implications, as it will make the mark-capture method a more viable and cost-effective research technique. This research was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the USDA-ARS, Arid Land Agricultural Research Center.

Technical Abstract: Knowledge of arthropod pest and natural enemy disperal patterns is needed for effective and environmentally benign pest control. The most common tactics used to monitor arthropod dispersal patterns include mark-release-recapture (MRR) and mark-capture methodologies. Both methods require the application of a distinct mark to the arthropod of interest so its movement can be monitored. Recently, protein-specific solutions were found to be effective markers for arthropods. These protein solutions are sprayed on arthropods in the laboratory or the field using conventional spray equipment. The protein marker is later detected on field-collected arthropods using a protein-specific enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The first generation of protein markers included expensive rabbit and chicken IgG proteins. While IgG proteins have been proven to be very effective markers, they are too costly for mark capture type dispersal studies. Recently, a second generation of protein-specific ELISAs were developed to detect inexpensive and readily available proteins found in cow milk (casein), soy (trypsin), and chicken egg (egg albumin). The efficacy of these proteins as arthropod markers has not, however, been thoroughly examined. This study was conducted to compare the marking efficacy of the well established rabbit IgG protein marking protocol with the novel milk, soy, and egg white protocols. The retention of each marker was examined on externally marked lady beetles, hippodamia convergens, over a 28 day period under simulated field conditions. All proteins were found to have retained the egg white, rabbit IgG, milk and soy mark, respectively. These results indicate that egg white is a more durable marker than the established rabbit IgG protein. However, the short-lived arthropod markers, milk and soy, may be ideal for conducting short, sequential, independant dispersal studies on the same arthropod population. These results indicate that protein arthropod markers need not be expensive to be effective. This finding has far reaching implications, as it will make the mark-capture method a more viable and cost-effective research technique. This research was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the USDA-ARS, Arid Land Agricultural Research Center.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014
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