Submitted to: Journal of Insect Physiology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2008
Publication Date: 2/1/2009
Citation: Zhao, F., Stanley, D.W., Wang, Y., Zhu, F., Lei, C. 2009. Eicosanoids Mediate Nodulation Reactions to a Mollicute Bacterium in Larvae of the Blowfly, Chrysomya megacephala. Journal of Insect Physiology. 55:192-196. Interpretive Summary: Application of classical insecticides has introduced severe problems in agricultural sustainability. The concept of biological control of insects is a potentially powerful alternative to classical insecticides. Biological control is based on the idea that direct application of insect-specific pathogens and parasites can reduce pest insect populations and the economic damage due to pest insects. The problem, however, is the efficiency of these organisms in biological control programs is limited by powerful and effective insect immune defense reactions to challenge. One approach to improving the efficiency of biocontrol agents would be to identify previously unconsidered microbial control agents. In this paper we report on experiments with a previously untested bacterial species. We show that this species also stimulates insect defenses to infection. This new research will be directly useful to scientists who are working to improve the efficacy of biological control methods. The ensuing improved biological control methods will benefit a wide range of agricultural producers by supporting the long-term sustainability of agriculture.
Technical Abstract: Nodulation is the temporally and quantitatively most important cellular defense response to bacterial, fungal and some viral infections in insects. We tested the hypothesis that prostaglandins and other eicosanoids are responsible for mediating nodulation reactions to bacterial infection in larvae of the blowfly Chrysomya megacephala. Third-instar larvae treated with Ureaplasma urealyticum formed nodules in a challenge dose-dependent manner. Nodulation was evoked shortly after injection and reached a maximum of approximately 25 nodules/larva within 8 h. Larvae treated with the glucocorticoid, dexamethasone and the cyclooxygenase inhibitors, indomethacin and piroxicam were impaired in their ability to form nodules following U. urealyticum infection. The number of nodules decreased with increasing doses of piroxicam. Contrarily, treating larvae with the lipooxygenase inhibitor, esculetin, and the dual cyclooxygenase/lipooxygenase inhibitor, phenidone did not influence nodulation reactions to infection. Supplying dexamethasone-treated larvae with the eicosanoid precursor, arachidonic acid, reversed the inhibitory effect of dexamethasone on nodulation. We infer from these results that eicosanoids mediate nodulation reactions to infection of a bacterial species that lacks cell walls in larvae of the blowfly, C. megacephala.