Submitted to: International Congress of Entomology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2016
Publication Date: 5/17/2016
Citation: Backus, E.A. 2016. How the borderless science of electropenetrography (EPG) can benefit animal-disease vector research: overview of EPG history, principles, and applications. International Congress of Entomology. Available: https://esa.confex.com/esa/ice2016/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/92309.
Technical Abstract: Studying feeding, host injury, and transmission of plant or animal pathogens by vectors is challenging. Vector piercing-sucking mouthparts are probed into opaque tissues, precluding direct observation. Over fifty years ago, this challenge was overcome by development of electrical penetration graph technology, or electropenetrography (EPG). Since then, advances in EPG technology required innovation across many scientific borders, in fields as diverse as insect physiology/behavior, electronics, biophysics, and engineering. EPG innovations also crossed international borders, with inventors from the U.S., Europe, and Asia improving upon the original technology. Today, EPG is applied in two ways for development of novel pest or disease management tactics for vectors. First, in cases where fundamental mechanisms of feeding injury or transmission of a pathogen are unknown, EPG is instrumental in identifying such mechanisms. Second, once mechanisms of injury or transmission are understood, EPG can be used to demonstrate effects of insecticides, antifeedants, resistant plants, or other management tactics on specific feeding behaviors responsible for injury or pathogen transmission. The purpose of this communication is to explain: 1) electronic principles and history of EPG, especially development of the new AC-DC monitor, 2) principles underlying biological meanings of EPG waveforms, and 3) organization of research themes based on mechanisms of pathogen transmission or host injury. The goal is to promote EPG research for blood-sucking arthropod vectors by highlighting results from similar studies of hemipteran vectors of plant pathogens.