Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 28, 2001
Publication Date: March 5, 2001
Citation: Oi, D.H., Williams, D.F., Becnel, J.J. 2001. Intra-colony Transmission and the Discovery of a New Spore Type for Thelohania solenopsae in Red Imported Fire Ants. 2001 Imported Fire Ant Conference Proceedins. p. 32. San Antonio, Texas. February 28-March 2, 2001. Technical Abstract: Thelohania solenopsae is a microsporidian pathogen of imported fire ants. Transovarial transmission has been documented from infected queens, however the horizontal transmission pathway of T. solenopsae within a colony is unknown. Red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, colonies can be infected by introducing live brood (mainly larvae and pupae) infected with T. solenopsae. Live, infected brood introduced into uninfected colonies were adopted and raised to adulthood instead of being executed by the recipient colony. Various combinations of infected larvae and pupae were introduced into red imported fire ant colonies to determine which stage(s) of brood result in infections. Introductions of infected larvae with uninfected pupae which eclose into adult worker caste fire ants resulted in an 80% infection rate of the inoculated colonies. Infections from introductions of infected pupae with uninfected larvae resulted in a 37.5% infection. Infections were also detected in 11.6 and 3.7% of the adult worker caste ants that eclosed from uninfected large larvae and pupae, respectively, that were held with infected adults workers. Microscopic examination of infected brood revealed binucleate sporoblasts and a new spore type of T. solenopsae in S. invicta pupae.