Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/14/2003
Publication Date: 7/3/2003
Citation: SHAPIRO, A.M., BECNEL, J.J., OI, D.H., WILLIAMS, D.F. ULTRASTRUCTURAL CHARACTERIZATION AND FURTHER TRANSMISSION STUDIES OF THELOHANIA SOLENOPSAE FROM SOLENOPSIS INVICTA PUPAE. JOURNAL OF INVERTEBRATE PATHOLOGY. 2003. v. 83. p. 177-180. Interpretive Summary: Naturally occurring protozoan parasites (Microsporidia) of arthropods are under study to evaluate these disease-causing organisms as biological control agents of insects. The impact of a new microsporidian pathogen of the red imported fire ant (RIF) in the US is being extensively studied but fundamental knowledge on the life cycle and modes of transmission is presently incomplete. This investigation by scientists from the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL provides new details on the life cycle and examines possible ways the pathogen is transmitted to ants. New information obtained here contributes to our basic understanding of these parasites, which will assist with implementation of this biological control agent into integrated control programs for the RIF.
Technical Abstract: Thelohania solenopsae is a microsporidium infecting several species of fire ants in the Solenopsis saevissima complex, including the imported fire ant species found in the United States. A new spore type of T. solenopsae from Solenopsis invicta was described based on morphological ultrastructural characteristics as well as tissue/stage specificity. Comparison with other previously described T. solenopsae spores is presented. Transmission tests conducted with this spore type showed no infection initiated by the spores. Knowledge of the natural history of the pathogen and ability to artificially infect S. invicta colonies is important in the development of T. solenopsae as a biological control agent.