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.
This manuscript demonstrates and discusses techniques used to survey pesticide susceptibility and detect resistance to contact and systemic pesticides in arthropod pests.
This video explains mechanisms of host plant resistance to herbivory and demonstrates a no-choice test that estimates the relative contributions of antibiosis and tolerance to spittlebug resistance in Brachiaria spp.
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.
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.
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.
Identification of Olfactory Volatiles using Gas Chromatography-Multi-unit Recordings (GCMR) in the Insect Antennal Lobe
Olfactory cues mediate many different behaviors in insects, and are often complex mixtures comprised of tens to hundreds of volatile compounds. Using gas chromatography with multi-channel recording in the insect antennal lobe, we describe a method for the identification of bioactive compounds.
We describe a method to record motor activity, timed to the electrically recorded tarsal contact signal in a tethered insect, walking on a slippery surface. This is used to study the neural basis of adaptive behavior under reduced influence of mechanical interaction between legs through the substrate.
Bees can be conditioned in an appetitive olfactory learning paradigm (PER-conditioning). Using odors as stimuli, we established a method in which behavior is recorded while simultaneously Calcium Imaging is used to measure odor evoked activity in mushroom body neurons in vivo.
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.
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.
Electrophysiological responses of olfactory sensory neurons to odorants can be measured in insects using single sensillum recordings. In this video article we will demonstrate how to perform single sensillum recordings in the antennae of the vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster) and the maxillary palps of the malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae).
A simplified yet accurate method to collect and stain mosquito hemocytes is described. Our method combines the simplicity of perfusion with the accuracy of high injection techniques to isolate clean preparations of hemocytes in Aedes mosquitoes. This method facilitates studies requiring knowledge of the types of hemocytes and their abundance.
A method to rapidly screen host plant volatiles by measurement of the electrophysiological response of adult navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella) antennae to single components and blends via electroantennographic analysis is demonstrated.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
Here are some highlights from the December 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
In this video and assay is demonstrated that tests the tolerance of nicotine to two types of aphids one that infests tobacco plants in the field and one that does not.
Here are some highlights from the April 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Methods for using alphavirus transducing systems to express fluorescent reporters in vitro and in adult mosquitoes are described. This technique may be adapted to express any protein of interest in lieu of or in addition to a reporter.
Temporal and spatial gene expression analyses have a crucial role in functional genomics. Whole-mount hybridization in situ is useful for determining the localization of transcripts within tissues and subcellular compartments. Here we outline a hybridization in situ protocol with modifications for specific target tissues in mosquitoes.
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.
Experimental Manipulation of Body Size to Estimate Morphological Scaling Relationships in Drosophila
Morphological scaling relationships capture and describe organismal shape. We present a method to measure morphological scaling relationships across the natural range of body sizes in fully metamorphic insects. Using a simple diet manipulation we increase the distribution of trait sizes, permitting the accurate description of how shape and size co-vary.
This video demonstrates the preparation of primary neuronal cultures from the brains of late stage Drosophila pupae. Views of live cultures show neurite outgrowth and imaging of calcium levels using Fura-2.
A method to immunostain and visualize chordotonal organs in larvae and pupae of Drosophila melanogaster is described.
In insects, the oenocytes produce cuticular hydrocarbon compounds. These compounds protect against desiccation and facilitate chemical communication. Here we demonstrate a dissection technique used to isolate the oenocytes from adult Drosophila melanogaster, and illustrate how this preparation can be utilized to study genes involved in hydrocarbon synthesis.
This article describes an electrophysiological method for isolating chemical stimulation to individual sensilla via extracellular, tip-recordings under mineral oil.
Aphids are effective transmitters of plant viruses. Aphid microinjection of virus, the procedure we will show you today, is a technique allowing researchers to inject virus directly into the hemocoel of the aphid, bypassing the gut, one of the 2 major barriers for virus transmission in a circulative manner. The same technique is also used to inject dsRNA for RNAi.
Plant resistance to chewing insect herbivores can be tested in several ways. Here, we demonstrate how to set-up a choice and a no-choice experiment with the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to identify resistance against the pest species Pieris rapae.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here we describe how to optimize the acquired video image for an olfactory magnetic-tether (OMT) apparatus. We also describe two sample experimental protocols for studying visuo-olfactory fusion.
Here we describe how to tether a fly in an olfactory magnetic-tether (OMT) apparatus. We describe how to align the rare-earth magnets and odor ports, and how to set mass flow rates for both the stimulus delivery and vacuum suction to achieve optimal odor tracking.
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.
We describe an established technique to measure and analyze odor-evoked calcium responses in the antennal lobe of living Drosophila melanogaster.
To study the mutualism between Xenorhabdus bacteria and Steinernema nematodes, methods were developed to monitor bacterial presence and location within nematodes. The experimental approach, which can be applied to other systems, entails engineering bacteria to express the green fluorescent protein and visualizing, using fluorescence microscopy bacteria within the transparent nematode.
1Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 2Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging (IBMI), Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Center Munich, 3Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Mesoscopic fluorescence tomography operates beyond the penetration limits of tissue-sectioning fluorescence microscopy. The technique is based on multi-projection illumination and a photon transport description. We demonstrate in-vivo whole-body 3D visualization of the morphogenesis of GFP-expressing wing imaginal discs in Drosophila melanogaster.
Here are some highlights from the May 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
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).
We present various ways to monitor heart function in the larva of Drosophila for assessing questions dealing with the function of gap junctions, ion channel mutations, modulation of pacemaker activity and pharmacological studies.
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.
Odorant-induced Responses Recorded from Olfactory Receptor Neurons using the Suction Pipette Technique
Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) convert odor signals first into a receptor current that in turn triggers action potentials that are conveyed to second order neurons in the olfactory bulb. Here we describe the suction pipette technique to record simultaneously the odorant-induced receptor current and action potentials from mouse ORNs.
Genetically encoded optogenetic tools enable noninvasive manipulation of specific neurons in the Drosophila brain. Such tools can identify neurons whose activation is sufficient to elicit or suppress particular behaviors. Here we present a method for activating Channelrhodopsin2 that is expressed in targeted neurons in freely walking flies.
This video demonstrates the preparation of primary neuronal cultures from midgastrula stage Drosophila embryos. Views of live cultures show cells 1 hour after plating and differentiated neurons after 2 days of growth in a bicarbonate-based defined medium. The neurons are electrically excitable and form synaptic connections.
A method for RNA interference (RNAi) by injection of dsRNA into unfed ticks is described. RNAi is the most widely used gene-silencing technique in ticks where the use of other methods of genetic manipulation has been limited.
The Drosophila retina is a crystal-like lattice composed of a small number of cell types that are generated in a stereotyped manner 1. Its amenability to sophisticated genetic analysis allows the study of complex developmental programs. This protocol describes dissections and immunohistochemistry of retinas at three discrete developmental stages, with a focus on photoreceptor differentiation.
This article describes a method by which one can mimic in vivo development of the Drosophila mushroom body in an ex vivo culture system.
A Cell Free Assay System Estimating the Neutralizing Capacity of GM-CSF Antibody using Recombinant Soluble GM-CSF Receptor
1Bioscience Medical Research Center, Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital, 2First department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyorin University, 3Neosilk Laboratory, Immuno Biological Laboratories Co., Ltd.
We designed a cell-free receptor binding assay in order to estimate the binding of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to the receptors. It enables us to evaluate competitive inhibition of biotinylated GM-CSF binding to soluble GM-CSF receptor alpha by GM-CSF autoantibody with excellent reproducibility.
Drosophila larvae are able to associate odor stimuli with gustatory reward. Here we describe a simple behavioral paradigm that allows the analysis of appetitive associative olfactory learning.
Parasitoid (parasitic) wasps constitute a major class of natural enemies of many insects including Drosophila melanogaster. We will introduce the techniques to propagate these parasites in Drosophila spp. and demonstrate how to analyze their effects on immune tissues of Drosophila larvae.