Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2003
Publication Date: 6/12/2003
Citation: BRAXTON, S.M., ONSTAD, D.W., DOCKTER, D.E., GIORDANO, R., LARSSON, R., HUMBER, R.A. DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS OF TWO INTERNET-BASED DATABASES OF INSECT PATHOGENS: EDWIP AND VIDIL. JOURNAL OF INVERTEBRATE PATHOLOGY. 2003. Interpretive Summary: The centralization and systematization of biological data from extremely dispersed sources and the subsequent redissemination of these reorganized data is a major function in the new discipline of bioinformatics. This paper describes the purposes, nature and operation of two internet-based bioinformatics databases maintained at the Illinois Natural History Survey that are consolidating ecologically based information about microbial pathogens of insects; these databases are available without charge to the public. The EDWIP (Ecological Database of the World's Insect Pathogens) focuses on fungal, protozoan, and bacterial pathogens; VIDIL (Viral Diseases of Insects in the Literature) deals only with viral pathogens of insects. Such data have potentially high value to guide research programs to develop microbial pathogens as biocontrol agents against specific target insect pests. These data about host-pathogen associations and their geographical distributions also provide essential support for regulatory decisions of the sorts made by the US Environmental Protection Agency, by USDA-APHIS, and by state governments. Data compiled in these databases comes from many diverse sources but the accession data for fungi included in the USDA-ARS Collection of Entomopathogenic Fungal Cultures maintained in Ithaca, NY, forms the core of data about fungal associations with insect hosts. No similar consolidated database about microbial pathogens of insects is available from any source worldwide whether on the Internet or in published form. It is hoped that the publicity for these databases to be generated by this paper will lead to substantially expanded contributions of data from the global scientific community.
Technical Abstract: In 1996, two searchable databases covering insect pathogens were posted on the World Wide Web: the Ecological Database of the World's Insect Pathogens (EDWIP) and the Viral Diseases of Insects in the Literature database (VIDIL). In this paper, we describe the format and contents of EDWIP and VIDIL on the World Wide Web. EDWIP contains over 9,400 pathogen-host association records, 677 negative test result or "no association" records, 4,454 host species, 2,285 pathogen species records, and 2,057 bibliographical references. Coleoptera and Lepidoptera are the best represented groups in EDWIP. Lepidoptera account for the most associations of any host order in EDWIP, over 2500, or 27%. Of the pathogen groups, Protozoa (including microsporidia) accounted for nearly 66% of the pathogen species records and over 40% of the association records in EDWIP. Fungi account for only 18% of the pathogen species, but nearly 33% of the association records. Habitats dominated by human activities (e.g., crop, stored product, human dwelling) account for most of the host habitats recorded in EDWIP. The United States and Japan are the most common locations and the Nearctic and Palearctic are the most common biogeographic regions reported in EDWIP. There are 4,801 annotated bibliographic records in VIDIL.