Submitted to: Biology of Chrysomelidae
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A Interpretive Summary: Spiroplasmas are helical, motile bacteria that lack a cell wall. They cause diseases in insects, ticks, and plants. Of those important pest insects known to be associated with spiroplasmas, two, the Colorado potato beetle spiroplasma and the corn rootworm spiroplasma, are associated with leaf beetles. The current chapter was written to review the association of these spiroplasmas with their hosts. Previously unpublished research, including studies that show the attachment of the Colorado potato beetle spiroplasma to the gut cells of its beetle host, was included in order to provide a full picture of this pathogen-host relationship. The attachment of this spiroplasma to its host cells is being considered as a means for delivering insect lethal products to their targets, as part of development of a genetically engineered pathogen for beetle biocontrol. In contrast, specimens of the corn rootworm harbored spiroplasmas in their blood. This spiroplasma may be a beetle pathogen, and might be used directly in insect biocontrol. The potato beetle spiroplasma is extensively distributed throughout the range of beetles sampled, from Canada to Texas in North America, and in Poland, Germany, and the former USSR. Corn rootworm spiroplasmas, observed in beetles collected in North and South America, appear to be equally cosmopolitan. This information will be useful to those seeking novel means for delivering toxins to their target sites within pest insects.
Technical Abstract: Spiroplasmas, helical motile prokaryotes in the class Mollicutes, have been isolated from potato beetles (Leptinotarsa decemlineata and L. texana) and corn rootworms (Diabrotica spp.). The Colorado potato beetle spiroplasma was found to be a host specific, gut- inhabiting commensal and is being considered for development as a genetically engineered pathogen for biocontrol. Specimens of Diabrotica harbored spiroplasmas in their hemocoel. One strain, DU- 1, isolated from D. undecimpunctata howardi, has potential as a beetle pathogen. The CPBS is extensively distributed throughout the range of beetles sampled, from Canada to Texas in North America, and in Poland, Germany, and the former USSR. Diabrotica spiroplasmas, observed in beetles collected in North and South America, appear to be equally cosmopolitan.