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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Biological Control of Insects Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #187556


item Coudron, Thomas
item Yocum, George
item Brandt, Sandra

Submitted to: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2006
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Citation: Coudron, T.A., Yocum, G.D., Brandt, S.L. 2006. Nutrigenomics: a case study in the measurement of insect response to nutritional quality. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 121:1-14.

Interpretive Summary: The difficulty and cost of rearing insects is a significant impairment of the research and field efforts to control pest insects. This is particularly important for biological control where rearing large numbers of beneficial insects is often required. The use of artificial diets as substitutes for natural food sources has been a major advancement in solving the challenge of rearing insects. Unfortunately, it frequently has taken years to develop a functional artificial diet. However, reducing the current time requirement for diet formulation and testing may be possible through the application of a new field of science called nutrigenomics. This new field enables researchers to measure how nutrition alters total and specific gene expression. This article reports that gene expression patterns can be used to evaluate the quality of an insect artificial diet and to guide researchers in formulation changes necessary to improve that diet. The conclusion drawn is that nutrigenomics could aid researchers in reducing the time required to formulate diets and could benefit field use of reared insects by improving their performance as well as increase our overall knowledge of insect nutrition and physiological fitness.

Technical Abstract: Recent developments in the area of nutrigenomics hold the promise of providing valuable information about the impact of nutrition on a wide range of biochemical parameters by investigating how nutrition alters global gene expression patterns. Our goal is to use a nutrigenomics approach to identify insect molecular markers that could be used as early indicators of insect responses to different nutritional sources. Such molecular markers could be chosen for degree of expression and evaluated for suitability as nutritional biomarkers by examining developmental and generational expression. Ideal markers would be highly expressed, manifested in the first generation within one developmental stage and consistent over many generations. Our objective for the current study was to analyze Perillus bioculatus, when reared on an optimal versus sub-optimal diet, for the presence of differentially-expressed genes resulting from those treatments using microarray analysis and suppressive subtractive hybridization. In this paper we present results of microarray and subtractive hybridization experiments that provide convincing evidence indicating the feasibility of using nutrigenomics to assist in analyzing insect response to nutritional changes and dietary quality.