Submitted to: American Institute of Biological Sciences
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 20, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
In 1988, J. Lipa and colleagues observed spiroplasmas (Mollicutes) in the guts and hemolymph of satin moth (Lymantriidae: Stilpnotia salicis) larvae collected from field populations (infection rate, 8-20%) in Poland. This was the first report of spiroplasma infection among Lepitoptera larvae. We now report isolation of spiroplasmas from second instar satin moth larvae collected in Dolsk, Poland. Microscopic inspection of the samples revealed flexing spiroplasmas with typical helical morphology. Aerobic and anaerobic cultures were initiated in two different media (M1D and SP-4) and incubated at 28 DE degree C. Additionally, spiroplasmas were placed in two gypsy moth (Lymantriidae: Lymantria dispar) tissue culture lines [LdE1ta, and another line (LdFBc1) derived from fat body] in 1.0 ml DCCM medium, or in DCCM medium supplemented with 0.1 or 0.4 ml M1D medium. Spiroplasmas did not survive for more than two passes in the aerobic cultures or in SP-4 anaerobic culture. After 6 passes, only anaerobic M1D cultures, and co-cultures of LdFBc1 cells with 0.4 ml M1D were alive and healthy. Cloning and further characterization are required to determine if this spiroplasma is a unique strain or belongs to one of the established groups. Bioassays with this spiroplasma and other Lepidoptera will be investigated. Spiroplasmas have long been thought to be promising insect biocontrol agents. The isolation of a spiroplasma from satin moth larvae may prove useful in the development of strategies for control of this forest pest.