Location: Integrated Cropping Systems Research
Project Number: 3080-21220-006-02-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 28, 2011
End Date: Aug 27, 2016
Investigate the contributions of symbiotic gut bacteria to the feeding ecology of carabid beetles and crickets. Specifically, substantiate which bacteria facilitate granivory of weed seeds by these insects and how environmental, phylogenetic, and physiological factors constrain these relationships.
Feeding assays and insect collections from cropland will be used to identify the effects of specific bacterial constituents of the community that contribute to seed digestion. Bacterial culture methods will be combined with PCR-based methods to identify and isolate bacterial communities from carabid and cricket guts from cropland in our region. Experimental endpoints that will be assessed include seed consumption rates and the relative digestibility of seeds by the insects.