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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320158

Title: Venom gland components of the ectoparasitoid wasp, Anisopteromalus calandrae

item Perkin, Lindsey
item Friesen, Kenlee - Ken
item FLINN, PAUL - Retired ARS Employee
item Oppert, Brenda

Submitted to: Journal of Venom Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2015
Publication Date: 12/24/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Perkin, L.C., Friesen, K.S., Flinn, P.W., Oppert, B.S. 2016. Venom gland components of the ectoparasitoid wasp, Anisopteromalus calandrae. Journal of Venom Research. 6:19-37.

Interpretive Summary: The small parasitoid wasp, Anisopteromalus calandrae, is a biological control agent that uses stored product pest beetle larvae as a host. The wasp injects venom into the host larvae that paralyzes it and alters its development and metabolism so that the wasp’s offspring can develop. Identifying venom components that increase pest mortality is useful in developing new pest management. Next-generation sequencing of the venom gland mRNA revealed 65 transcripts that encode proteins potentially involved in host developmental arrest, disrupting the host immune system, and host paralysis. These data will be helpful in understanding how parasitoid wasps manipulate their hosts and may identify promising proteins for the development of new insecticides.

Technical Abstract: The wasp Anisopteromalus calandrae is a small ectoparasitoid that attacks stored product pest beetle larvae that develop inside grain kernels, and is thus a potential insect control tool. The components of the venom have not been studied, but venom peptides from other organisms have been identified with potential uses as pest management tools and treatments for human diseases. We dissected female A. calandrae and collected venom and associated glands. Using high throughput sequencing, we developed a venom gland transcriptome that contained 45,432 contigs, 25,726 of which had BLAST hits. The majority of hits were to Nasonia vitripennis, an ectoparasitoid from the same taxonomic family, as well as other bees, wasps, and ants. Gene ontology grouped sequences into eleven molecular functions, among which binding and catalytic activity had the most representatives. We highlight the sequences that are the most abundant and are likely the functional components of the venom. Specifically, we focused on genes encoding proteins potentially involved in host developmental arrest, disrupting the host immune system, host paralysis, and transcripts that support these functions. Our report is the first to characterize components of the venom gland of A. calandrae that may be useful as control tools for stored product pests.