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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #311875

Title: Micro computed tomography (CT) scanned anatomical gateway to insect pest bioinformatics

item CICERO, JOE - University Of Florida
item ALBA-TERCEDOR, JAVIER - Universidad De Granada
item Hunter, Wayne

Submitted to: Video
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2014
Publication Date: 10/8/2014
Citation: Cicero, J., Alba-Tercedor, J., Hunter, W.B. 2014. Micro computed tomography (CT) scanned anatomical gateway to insect pest bioinformatics. Video.

Interpretive Summary: Exciting changes in information interactions enables the viewer to view the internal organs of insects. The approach uses images produced from a micro-CT scanner, digital computed tomography (CT) which uses X-rays to provide a more complete picture of the insect biology. An example is given organs with electron micrographs, genomics and proteomic information. A visual interface has been shown to increase speed and comprehension of the searcher, thus changing the traditional approach to searching and finding usable information. In this demo Asian citrus psyllid anatomy is shown using a high resolution micro tomography system at the Department of Zoology, University of Granada, Spain,

Technical Abstract: An international collaboration to establish an interactive Digital Video Library for a Systems Biology Approach to study the Asian citrus Psyllid and psyllid genomics/proteomics interactions is demonstrated. Advances in micro-CT, digital computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of structures inside of the body, can now visualize very small insects with great detail. Combining micro-CT imaging which permits digital section of an insect with Digital Video Library systems which links information from other databases enables a new visualization and interaction by the viewer. With increasing computer power and speed, the combination of human and computer will enable a paradigm jump in the ability of humans to find complex interactions with increased speed. Often referred to as ‘Cognitive interaction’ or ‘Interactive Information’ these types of systems are changing the way researchers, entomologist, and the public search for and use complex information. The psyllid, Diaphorina citri, spreads a plant-infecting bacterium which cause huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, a worldwide threat to citrus sustainability. The insect anatomy was elucidated using a high resolution Bruker Skyscan 1172 micro tomography system, micro-CT ( at the Department of Zoology, University of Granada, Spain. Live psyllids were prepared by overnight fixation in 4% glutaraldehyde with 2.5% paraformaldehyde made with sodium cacodolate buffer pH 6.5. Samples were rinsed three times, 10 min each, with 30% ethanol, and dehydrated in an ethanol series, 30 min per step, 50%,70,80,90,95, three times at 100%. Samples were chemically dried by placing in 2 mL of 100% Hexamethyldisilazane (HDMDS) for 2 hours, drying overnight at 35C. High resolution scans combined with computer software enabled rotation, ‘digital sectioning’, and coloring of specimens providing an innovative, interactive system to explore specimen anatomy comparable to scanning electron microscopy, SEM. Video at An in-depth explanation of the sample preparations for leafhoppers and other insects plus the operation of the software for the Bruker SkyScan system is at: