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:6/27/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. The ... to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the period ... an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report ... years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/7/2016)...  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union ... integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into ... result in greater convenience for SACU members and ... existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/4/2016)... DIEGO , Dec. 3, 2016  In five ... of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in ... biomedical engineering methods to improve the delivery of life-saving ... These new methods are designed to carry therapies directly ... needed most, which could provide a substantial advantage over ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. , Dec. 2, 2016 ... AGN ) today announced the submission of a ... for ABP 215, a biosimilar candidate to Avastin ® ... biosimilar application submitted to the EMA. "The ... milestone as Amgen seeks to expand our oncology portfolio," said ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... , ... Aerocom Healthcare ( http://www.aerocomhealthcare.com ), representing the global ... solution for tracking and securing medications at booth 676 at the ASHP Midyear ... has a proven solution for tracking medications via its system from pharmacy to ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved chemistry, manufacturing ... supplying a vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: