Navigation Links
No safety in numbers for moths and butterflies
Date:5/10/2011

Scientists at the University of Leeds (UK) are to investigate how lethal viruses attack differently sized populations of moths and butterflies in research that may open the door to new methods of pest control.

The project, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, will study the grain-infesting Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella) and a virus it carries that is sometimes deadly to its host and sometimes not.

Dr Steve Sait from the University of Leeds and Professor Rosie Hails from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology hope to understand what criteria trigger the virus to become lethal. The work could help provide better ways to manage pests and invasive species.

The Indian meal moth is a significant problem around the world, attacking harvested crops such as cereals, rice, nuts and seeds and manufactured foods such as chocolate.

The Indian meal moth virus uses two forms of virus transmission vertical and horizontal. The virus is passed 'vertically' from parent to offspring, but 'horizontally' through contact between infected and healthy caterpillars in the same generation.

As vertical transmission requires the host to be alive to reproduce, it is used by non-lethal forms of the virus and can continue even when host population levels are low.

Lethal forms which kill a large percentage of the host caterpillars use horizontal transmission and require population levels to be high enough for it to spread. But how does the virus know when to change its methods?

Dr Steve Sait, Reader in Ecology at Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences, explains: "Moths and butterflies tend to have population peaks every few years and in between, survive with more limited numbers. Viruses should use vertical transmission when population density is low, but during population peaks, the same viruses can become more virulent and use horizontal transmission.

"We believe that changes in the host insects' physiology, perhaps caused by greater competition for food as populations increase in number, may be one of the main triggers for this switch between lethal and non-lethal forms."

The researchers will be studying the Indian meal moth and its virus in the laboratory under controlled conditions, to determine how population levels and food availability impact on virus transmission and how deadly it is. The fast-living moth populations live in microcosms of the real world, which allows the team to collect data that might otherwise take an entire research career.


'/>"/>

Contact: Abigail Chard
abigail@campuspr.co.uk
44-113-258-9880
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Safety of stored blood among chief concerns for transfusion medicine community
2. Food safety in Canada is lax and needs better oversight, says CMAJ
3. Lesser-known Escherichia coli types targeted in food safety research
4. Food safety study of beef trim leads to ongoing research collaboration
5. K-State chemists biosensor may improve food, water safety and cancer detection
6. Experts examine problems and advances in blood supply safety and screening
7. Climate change affecting food safety
8. Baker Institute conference to examine safety, effectiveness of US offshore drilling industry
9. International conference puts food safety under the microscope
10. Longevinex exhibits L-shaped safety curve for first time in resveratrol biology
11. Early safety results promising for Phase I/II trial of gene therapy treatment of hemophilia B
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  , ,     (Logo: ... forecast the global multimodal biometrics market to grow ... 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is being implemented ... healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government for controlling ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... AVIV, Israel , April 14, 2016 ... Behavioral Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment ... already assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership ... BioCatch, on the heels of the deployment of its ... addition, BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort ... variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting ... from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... ... In a list published by the Boston Business Journal, iLab Solutions ... small percentage of the state's 615,000+ small businesses. The list examined companies based in ... 2012 to 2015. , As this award comes on the heels of ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... - And Other Rising Companies - a ... Biologics  - Biosimilar Drug Producers - Your ... Who are the most important and promising ... potentials? Discover, in our updated survey, organisations, outlooks from ... forecasting. Visiongain,s new study analyses ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Meister Media Worldwide ... fresh look and added functionality give the agricultural world a taste of Meister ... shift in agriculture – from precision farming via satellites and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... in spinal surgical procedures, today announced the completion of a significant transaction and ... current and future customers and partners. Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C. (“Kohlberg”), a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: