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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #367376

Research Project: New Microbial and Plant-Based Agents for Mosquito Control

Location: Crop Bioprotection Research

Title: Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) modulates mosquito resistance to fungal entomopathogens in a fungal-strain specific manner

item Ramirez, Jose
item Muturi, Ephantus
item Weiler, Lina
item Vermillion, Karl
item Rooney, Alejandro - Alex

Submitted to: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/16/2019
Publication Date: 1/23/2020
Citation: Ramirez, J.L., Muturi, E.J., Flor-Weiler, L.B., Vermillion, K., Rooney, A.P. 2020. Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) modulates mosquito resistance to fungal entomopathogens in a fungal-strain specific manner. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 9:465.

Interpretive Summary: Fungal entomopathogens represent alternative methods of control against the most important mosquito vectors. This article describes a set of molecules (PGRPs) used by the mosquito to sense fungal infections. Furthermore, our study sheds light on how these molecules play a role in mosquito resistance to fungal entomopathogens. However, this mosquito resistance differs according to the infecting fungal strain, with no effect in mosquitoes exposed to the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana but significantly affecting survival in infections with Isaria javanica. Information derived from this study can be exploited in future selection of fungal entomopathogens with different modes of action to improve mosquito control.

Technical Abstract: Fungal entomopathogens are currently being considered as potential tools in the fight against the most important mosquito vectors. During the infection process, effective recognition of the invading fungi by the mosquito, is a crucial step in mounting an appropriate anti-fungal response. In this study, we investigated the role of pathogen recognition receptors (PGRPs) in host resistance to fungal entomopathogens at the early stages of infection. Our study identified the induction of several PGRPs during infection with two different fungal entomopathogenic strains. Furthermore, our data shows temporal differences in PGRP elicitation, with most PGRPs displaying significant upregulation at 60h. post-infection. Depletion of certain PGRPs via RNAi silencing resulted in a significant increase in fungal proliferation and a reduction in mosquito survival that was fungal strain-specific. Our data indicates that PGRPs play an important role in the antifungal response and expands our understanding of the factors that determine host susceptibility to fungal entomopathogens.