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 (>or=100 microg) 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
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR0180 Immunology
Depositing User: Lisa Mullen
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2013 11:43
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2017 18:27
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