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:4/24/2017)... -- Janice Kephart , former 9/11 Commission ... LLP (IdSP) , today issues the following statement: ... 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting the Nation ... instilled with greater confidence, enabling the reactivation of ... are suspended by until at least July 2017). ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and ... the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration ... Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at ... the Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event in ... and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and Smart ... the expo portion of the event and feature a ... on trending topics within 3D printing and smart manufacturing. ... will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob K. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... ... Biopharma ’s CEO and founder, Dr. Bob Harman DVM, MPVM, is featured in an interview ... Rising Tide". Dr. Harman and Dr. Riordan met in 2003 and have remained in ... of stem cell therapy and a fast friendship was formed. , Dr. Harman has been ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 ValGenesis Inc., ... (VLMS) is pleased to announce the strategic partnership with ... provide clients with validation services using the latest technology ... VTI will provide clients with efficient and cost-effective validation ... marketing partner for the ValGenesis VLMS system. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... Financial Services (NYS DFS) cybersecurity regulations have transitioned into full force ... organizations operating in the state (“Covered Entities”) to conduct an annual, professional, ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... ... September 18, 2017 , ... Scholarly publisher ... the SPIE Digital Library ( http://www.spiedigitallibrary.org ) on 15 August to a new ... user experience and incorporate a number of enhancements and new features, the website ...
Breaking Biology Technology: