Fopius arisanus is an egg-larval parasitoid of Tephritid fruit flies that is successfully used in biological control of these important tropical pests. We describe here an optimized protocol for rearing F. arisanus on a small scale using readily available materials.
A vertical, T-maze olfactometer is described for assaying the behavioral response of arthropods. The olfactometer allows the experimenter to measure choices performed by test subjects when subjected to two potential odor fields. Both attraction to and repulsion from odorants can be measured with this device.
A push-pull method for collecting plant volatiles is described. The method allows for a comparison of volatiles induced by herbivore feeding, exogenous methyl jasmonate, and mechanical damage. This technique is also used to investigate the volatile response of undamaged branches to exposure to volatiles from herbivore-damaged branches within blueberry plants.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
This September in JoVE, researchers from the School of Medicine at the Free University of Berlin demonstrate a novel method for studying how stroke patients compensate for visual field defects. To do this, our authors make use of a driving simulator complete with brakes, a steering wheel, and turn signals. Using driving simulation software and sophisticated eye tracking, researchers can compare the gaze behavior of stroke patients as they navigate through virtual driving courses with varying degrees of complexity. Though posterior cerebral artery infarction can lead to similar visual deficits in patients, some are able to navigate through the driving courses by developing compensatory eye movements, while others crash into dangerous obstacles, like wild boars. Through the analysis of compensatory gaze behavior employed by patients, our authors see great potential for using driving simulation as a tool to rehabilitate stroke patients trying to overcome the blind spots in their visual fields.
1Entomology, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia, 2Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland, USA
This protocol demonstrates two inoculation methods to introduce the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana as an endophyte in the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), in preparation for subsequent evaluations of endophytic biological control.
Genome assemblies based on massively parallel DNA sequencing technologies are usually highly fragmented. The development of physical chromosome maps can potentially improve genome assemblies. Here, we demonstrate innovative approaches to chromosome preparation, fluorescent in situ hybridization, and imaging that significantly increase throughput of the physical map development.
In this protocol we combine RNAi-mediated gene silencing with an in vivo diuresis assay to study the effects knockdown of genes of interest has on mosquito fluid excretion.
Tactile Conditioning And Movement Analysis Of Antennal Sampling Strategies In Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)
In this protocol we show how to condition harnessed honey bees to tactile stimuli and introduce a 2D motion capture technique for analyzing the kinematics of fine-scale antennal sampling pattern.
Oral and intra haemocolic infection of larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella is described. This insect can be used to study virulence factors of entomopathogenic as well as mammalian opportunistic bacteria. Rearing of the insects, methods of infection and examples of in vivo analysis are described.
The method described here utilizes direct injection of entomopathogenic bacteria into the hemocoel of Manduca sexta insect larvae. M. sexta is a commercially available and well-studied insect. Thus, this method represents a simple approach to analyzing host-bacterial interactions from the perspective of one or both partners.
Among the three mosquito genera, namely Anopheles, Aedes, and Culex, physical genome mapping techniques were established only for Anopheles, whose members possess readable polytene chromosomes. For the genera of Aedes and Culex, however, cytogenetic mapping remains challenging because of the poor quality of polytene chromosomes. Here we present a universal protocol for obtaining high-quality preparations of mitotic chromosomes and an optimized FISH protocol for all three genera of mosquitoes.
Insect hemocytes carry out many important functions, both immune and non-immune, throughout all stages of insect development. Our present knowledge of hemocyte types and function comes from studies on insect genetic models. Here, we present a method for extracting, quantifying and visualizing hemocytes from wild caterpillars.
Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model organism for exploring the molecular basis of longevity regulation. This protocol will discuss the steps involved in generating a reproducible, population-based measurement of longevity as well as potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
A rapid and affordable way to extract quality malaria parasite and vector DNA from mosquito specimens is described. Capitalizing on chelating properties of Chelex resin, the simple method enables genotyping of malaria parasites in mosquito mid-gut and salivary gland phases, as well as molecular identification of the Anopheles sibling species by PCR.
Analysis of Gene Expression in Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Using Quantitative Real Time-PCR
Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) is an effective tool to diagnose mRNA levels in different insect tissues and developmental stages. In this report we show the use of qRT-PCR to ascertain mRNA levels in different larval tissues and developmental stages of the invasive insect species, emerald ash borer.
In this video, we demonstrate two microapplicator techniques used to infect of lepidopteran larvae with baculovirus in order to determine insecticidal efficiency.
In this video, we demonstrate oral infection techniques of lepidopteran larvae with baculovirus in order to determine insecticidal efficiency.
A Calcium Bioluminescence Assay for Functional Analysis of Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and Tick (Rhipicephalus microplus) G Protein-coupled Receptors
This protocol provides instructions for clonal-cell line selection and a calcium bioluminescence assay to analyze the structure-activity relationships of synthesized arthropod neuropeptides on their cognate GPCRs. This assay can be used for receptor deorphanization and structure-activity relationship studies for synthetic analog design and peptide/drug-lead discovery.
Lyme disease research studies often require generation of ticks infected with the pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi, a process that typically takes several weeks. Here we demonstrate a microinjection-based tick infection procedure that can be accomplished within hours. We also demonstrate an immunofluorescence method for in situ localization of B. burgdorferi within ticks.
Insect olfactory systems provide unique opportunities for recording odorant-induced responses in the forms of electroantennograms (EAG) and single sensillum recordings (SSR), which are summed responses from all odorant receptor neurons (ORNs) located on the antenna and from those housed in individual sensilla, respectively.
Testing Protozoacidal Activity of Ligand-lytic Peptides Against Termite Gut Protozoa in vitro (Protozoa Culture) and in vivo (Microinjection into Termite Hindgut)
We present procedures for demonstrating that ligands bind to the surface membrane of the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the gut of Formosan subterranean termites using fluorescent microscopy and that ligands coupled with lytic peptides kill these protozoa in vitro (anaerobic protozoa culture) and in vivo (injection into the termite hindgut).
1Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Rutgers University, 2Current Address: Department of Entomology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, 3Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers University
We describe procedures for recording daily locomotor activity rhythms of Drosophila and subsequent data analysis. Locomotor activity rhythms are a reliable behavioral output of animal circadian clocks and are used as the standard readout of clock function when studying circadian mutants or examining how the environment regulates the circadian system.
This manuscript demonstrates and discusses techniques used to survey pesticide susceptibility and detect resistance to contact and systemic pesticides in arthropod pests.
1Department of Neurology, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 2Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, 3Genetics Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, 4McKnight Brain Institute, Department of Neuroscience, Genetics Institute, Center for Translational Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, University of Florida
We describe here the procedures for the extraction and purification of mRNA and metabolites from Drosophila heads. We are applying these techniques to better understand the cellular perturbations underlying neuronal degeneration. These methodologies can be easily scaled and adapted for other "omic" projects.
Multi-unit Recording Methods to Characterize Neural Activity in the Locust (Schistocerca Americana) Olfactory Circuits
We demonstrate variations of the extracellular multi-unit recording technique to characterize odor-evoked responses in the first three stages of the invertebrate olfactory pathway. These techniques can easily be adapted to examine ensemble activity in other neural systems as well.
We present methods to evaluate how predation risk can alter the chemical quality of herbivore prey by inducing dietary changes to meet demands of heightened stress, and how the decomposition of carcasses from these stressed herbivores slows subsequent plant litter decomposition by soil microbes.