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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Biological Control of Insects Research » Research » Research Project #420823


Location: Biological Control of Insects Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1. Use established procedures to obtain basic understanding of eicosanoid-mediated immune signaling in pest (squash bug, Anasa tristis) and beneficial (spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris) insect species. Objective 2. Generate new knowledge for future deployment of dsRNA to silence genes involved in immune signaling, particularly eicosanoid-mediated signaling, in a pest insect (squash bug, Anasa tristis) and test for species specificity using a beneficial insect (spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris).

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
1) Determine the influence of infection on PLA2 activity in immune tissues from squash bugs and spined soldier bugs; 2) Characterize and determine the influence of infection on prostaglandin production in immune tissues from squash bugs and spined soldier bugs; 3) Test the idea that prostaglandins and other eicosanoids mediate cellular reactions to infection; 4) Design dsRNA to silence genes involved in immune signaling; and 5) Determine the influence of dsRNA on immune signaling in intact squash bugs.

3. Progress Report
This project replaced 3622-22000-034-00D and began on 2/1/11. Objective 1 is focused on a key element in insect immune signaling. The objective was substantially met by developing protocols to determine the activity of the key element and applying the protocol to an established insect cell line. To apply the protocol to squash bugs, a squash bug colony was established and testing initiated. Objective 2 involves designing specific probes that can be applied to silence genes acting in squash bug immune reactions to infection. The design phase requires knowledge on squash bug gene sequences, none of which existed prior to beginning this project. A large amount of gene sequence information has been acquired through the University of Missouri DNA Core Facility. The large amount of sequence data has been analyzed, in part, to identify squash bug genes. The annotation process is well underway and will support designing specific probes.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Feng, C., Huang, J., Song, Q., Stanley, D.W., Lu, W., Zhang, Y., Huang, Y. 2011. Parasitization by Macrocentrus cingulum (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) influences expression of prophenoloxidase in Asian Corn Borer Ostrinia furnacalis. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology. 77:99-117.