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:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 The ... apparently one of the most popular hubs of ... MetaHIT and other huge studies of human microbiota, ... past few years, the microbiome space has literally ... biomedical research. This report focuses on biomedical ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016  BioMEMS devices ... primarily focused on medical screening and diagnostic ... parameters. Wearable devices that facilitate and assure ... of movement are being bolstered through new ... biomedical signal acquisition coupled with wireless connectivity ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , Feb. 2, 2016 ... diabetic retinopathy market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes US-based ... North America Frost & Sullivan Award for New ... technology provider in North America ... standard in the rapidly growing diabetic retinopathy market. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... With a presidential election in November and the ... will bring together over 500 top healthcare leaders for a night and day of ... organized by MBA students of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, will be held ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... PA (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... Tunnell ... Europe. Based in Paris, he will focus on acquiring new accounts and work ... met. , “Fred brings to our European clients more than 15 ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... This market research report on the global ... of the market in terms of revenue (USD Million). ... the manufacture of microbiology culture media and related products. ... snapshot providing the overall information of various market segments ... also provides the overall information and data analysis of ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSXV: ... the top ten finalists for clean technology companies in the ... the top 10 companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, ... & gas, clean technology & life sciences, diversified ... equal weighting given to return on investment, market cap growth, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: