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    Immune responses of locusts to challenge with the pathogenic fungus Metarhizium or high doses of laminarin

    Mullen, Lisa M. and Goldsworthy, Graham J. (2006) Immune responses of locusts to challenge with the pathogenic fungus Metarhizium or high doses of laminarin. Journal of Insect Physiology 52 (4), pp. 389-398. ISSN 0022-1910.

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    Two isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae var acridum were tested for their effects on the locust immune system and for comparison with the effects of challenge by injection with laminarin. Isolate IMI 330189 (referred to hereafter as Met 189) is highly pathogenic whether applied topically as conidia or injected as blastospores. However, isolate ARSEF 728 (referred to hereafter as Met 728) is pathogenic only when injected as blastospores, suggesting that the lack of pathogenicity of topically applied conidia from this isolate is due to a failure to penetrate the insect cuticle and gain access to the haemocoel. After topical application of conidia from Met 189, no activation of prophenoloxidase is detected, but injection of blastospores from Met 189 brings about a transient increase in phenoloxidase activity in the haemolymph in both adult locusts and 5th instar nymphs, although this does not prevent fungal-induced mortality. Co-injection of adipokinetic hormone-I (AKH-I) with blastospores prolongs the activation of prophenoloxidase in the haemolymph of adult locusts, and enhances it in nymphs. It is argued that the lack of activation of prophenoloxidase in nymphs shown previously (Mullen, L., Goldsworthy, G., 2003. Changes in lipophorins are related to the activation of phenoloxidase in the haemolymph of Locusta migratoria in response to injection of immunogens. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 33, 661–670), reflects differences in the sensitivity of the immune system between adults and nymphs rather than distinct qualitative differences, and this is confirmed in this study by the demonstration that doses of laminarin higher than those used previously (greater-or-equal, slanted100 μg) do activate the prophenoloxidase cascade in 5th instar nymphs. Nodules are formed in locusts of all ages in response to fungal infection or injection of laminarin, although there is wide variation in the number, size and distribution of nodules formed. During the examination of 5th instar nymphs for nodule formation, a previously unknown phenomenon was observed in which the salivary glands melanise in response to injections of blastospores or high doses of laminarin. In c. 85% of such nymphs, this reaction is so strong that the whole salivary gland is intensely black. Such a response is not observed in the salivary glands of mature adult locusts.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Akh-i, β-1,3 glucan, Blastospores, Laminarin, Locusta, Metarhizium, nodules, Nephrocytes, Prophenoloxidase, salivary glands
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2011 11:15
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:55


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