Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2014
Publication Date: May 19, 2014
Citation: Williams III, L.H., Hagler, J.R., Tonkel, K.C. 2014. Characterization of Retention and Transfer of Protein Labels in the Saltcedar Leaf Beetle for use in Ecological Studies. International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds. p. 131. Technical Abstract: Understanding dispersal and predator-prey associations of biological control agents can lead to a better understanding of the ecological services that they provide. Marking arthropods with labels facilitates studies of their activity in nature, and thus provides new insight into biological traits relevant to pest suppression. Here we describe labeling studies on different life stages of Diorhabda carinulata (Desbrochers) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), an important biological control agent of saltcedar. We used immunoglobulin G (IgG) protein solutions to determine if: 1) externally-applied IgGs are effective labels of the various life stages of D. carinulata, 2) IgGs can be retained between its life stages, 3) the addition of a biological solvent (dimethyl sulfoxide [DMSO]) enhances IgG retention, 4) DMSO-IgG labels transfer via feeding from marked D. carinulata to its predator, Perillus bioculatus (F.) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), and 5) abiotic factors associated with field conditions mediate label retention. Duration of immunolabels was measured on eggs and larvae in the laboratory, and on adults in laboratory and field studies. Overall, our results indicate that protein marking technology would be useful for studies of dispersal and predator-prey associations of D. carinulata, and suggest potential for use in other weed biological control systems.