Myths, models and mitigation of resistance to pesticides.
Resistance to pesticides in arthropod pests is a significant economic, ecological and public health problem. Although extensive research has been conducted on diverse aspects of pesticide resistance and we have learned a great deal during the past 50 years, to some degree the discussion about 'resistance management' has been based on 'myths'. One myth involves the belief that we can manage resistance. I will maintain that we can only attempt to mitigate resistance because resistance is a natural evolutionary response to environmental stresses. As such, resistance will remain an ongoing dilemma in pest management and we can only delay the onset of resistance to pesticides. 'Resistance management' models and tactics have been much discussed but have been tested and deployed in practical pest management programmes with only limited success. Yet the myth persists that better models will provide a 'solution' to the problem. The reality is that success in using mitigation models is limited because these models are applied to inappropriate situations in which the critical genetic, ecological, biological or logistic assumptions cannot be met. It is difficult to predict in advance which model is appropriate to a particular situation; if the model assumptions cannot be met, applying the model sometimes can increase the rate of resistance development rather than slow it down. Are there any solutions? I believe we already have one. Unfortunately, it is not a simple or easy one to deploy. It involves employing effective agronomic practices to develop and maintain a healthy crop, monitoring pest densities, evaluating economic injury levels so that pesticides are applied only when necessary, deploying and conserving biological control agents, using host-plant resistance, cultural controls of the pest, biorational pest controls, and genetic control methods. As a part of a truly multi-tactic strategy, it is crucial to evaluate the effect of pesticides on natural enemies in order to preserve them in the cropping system. Sometimes, pesticide-resistant natural enemies are effective components of this resistance mitigation programme. Another name for this resistance mitigation model is integrated pest management (IPM). This complex model was outlined in some detail nearly 40 years ago by V. M. Stern and colleagues. To deploy the IPM resistance mitigation model, we must admit that pest management and resistance mitigation programmes are not sustainable if based on a single-tactic strategy. Delaying resistance, whether to traditional pesticides or to transgenic plants containing toxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis, will require that we develop multi-tactic pest management programmes that incorporate all appropriate pest management approaches. Because pesticides are limited resources, and their loss can result in significant social and economic costs, they should be reserved for situations where they are truly needed--as tools to subdue an unexpected pest population outbreak. Effective multi-tactic IPM programmes delay resistance (= mitigation) because the number and rates of pesticide applications will be reduced. (+info)
Hemocyanin of the horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus. Structural differentiation of the isolated components.
The high molecular weight hemocyanin found in the hemolymph of the horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus, is composed of at least eight different kinds of subunits. Ion exchange chromatography at high pH in the presence of EDTA yields five major zones, hemocyanins I to V, three of which are electrophoretically heterogeneous. The subunits have similar molecular weights, 65,000 to 70,000, and their amino acid compositions are remarkably similar to each other and to other arthropod and molluscan hemocyanins. Digestion of the native subunits of Limulus hemocyanin by formic acid or trypsin shows considerable structural diversity which is supported by cyanogen bromide cleavage patterns and by peptide mapping of the tryptic peptides prepared from denatured hemocyanin subunits. The structural differentiation of the subunits is accompanied by functional differentiation, as shown in previous investigations of their O2 and CO affinities (Sullivan, B., Bonaventura, J., and Bonaventura, C. (1974) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 71, 2558-2562; Bonaventura, C., Bonaventura, J., Sullivan, B., and Bourne, S. (1975) Biochemistry 13, 4784-4789). The subunit diversity of Limulus hemocyanin suggests that other electrophoretically heterogeneous hemocyanins may be composed of structurally distinct subunits. (+info)
Cryptocyanin, a crustacean molting protein: evolutionary link with arthropod hemocyanins and insect hexamerins.
Cryptocyanin, a copper-free hexameric protein in crab (Cancer magister) hemolymph, has been characterized and the amino acid sequence has been deduced from its cDNA. It is markedly similar in sequence, size, and structure to hemocyanin, the copper-containing oxygen-transport protein found in many arthropods. Cryptocyanin does not bind oxygen, however, and lacks three of the six highly conserved copper-binding histidine residues of hemocyanin. Cryptocyanin has no phenoloxidase activity, although a phenoloxidase is present in the hemolymph. The concentration of cryptocyanin in the hemolymph is closely coordinated with the molt cycle and reaches levels higher than hemocyanin during premolt. Cryptocyanin resembles insect hexamerins in the lack of copper, molt cycle patterns of biosynthesis, and potential contributions to the new exoskeleton. Phylogenetic analysis of sequence similarities between cryptocyanin and other members of the hemocyanin gene family shows that cryptocyanin is closely associated with crustacean hemocyanins and suggests that cryptocyanin arose as a result of a hemocyanin gene duplication. The presence of both hemocyanin and cryptocyanin in one animal provides an example of how insect hexamerins might have evolved from hemocyanin. Our results suggest that multiple members of the hemocyanin gene family-hemocyanin, cryptocyanin, phenoloxidase, and hexamerins-may participate in two vital functions of molting animals, oxygen binding and molting. Cryptocyanin may provide important molecular data to further investigate evolutionary relationships among all molting animals. (+info)
Mechanisms of arthropod transmission of plant and animal viruses.
A majority of the plant-infecting viruses and many of the animal-infecting viruses are dependent upon arthropod vectors for transmission between hosts and/or as alternative hosts. The viruses have evolved specific associations with their vectors, and we are beginning to understand the underlying mechanisms that regulate the virus transmission process. A majority of plant viruses are carried on the cuticle lining of a vector's mouthparts or foregut. This initially appeared to be simple mechanical contamination, but it is now known to be a biologically complex interaction between specific virus proteins and as yet unidentified vector cuticle-associated compounds. Numerous other plant viruses and the majority of animal viruses are carried within the body of the vector. These viruses have evolved specific mechanisms to enable them to be transported through multiple tissues and to evade vector defenses. In response, vector species have evolved so that not all individuals within a species are susceptible to virus infection or can serve as a competent vector. Not only are the virus components of the transmission process being identified, but also the genetic and physiological components of the vectors which determine their ability to be used successfully by the virus are being elucidated. The mechanisms of arthropod-virus associations are many and complex, but common themes are beginning to emerge which may allow the development of novel strategies to ultimately control epidemics caused by arthropod-borne viruses. (+info)
Internal phylogeny of the Chilopoda (Myriapoda, Arthropoda) using complete 18S rDNA and partial 28S rDNA sequences.
The internal phylogeny of the 'myriapod' class Chilopoda is evaluated for 12 species belonging to the five extant centipede orders, using 18S rDNA complete gene sequence and 28S rDNA partial gene sequence data. Equally and differentially weighted parsimony, neighbour-joining and maximum-likelihood were used for phylogenetic reconstruction, and bootstrapping and branch support analyses were performed to evaluate tree topology stability. The results show that the Chilopoda constitute a monophyletic group that is divided into two lines, Notostigmophora (= Scutigeromorpha) and Pleurostigmophora, as found in previous morphological analyses. The Notostigmophora are markedly modified for their epigenic mode of life. The first offshoot of the Pleurostigmophora are the Lithobiomorpha, followed by the Craterostigmomorpha and by the Epimorpha s. str. (= Scolopendromorpha + Geophilomorpha), although strong support for the monophyly of the Epimorpha s. lat. (= Craterostigmomorpha + Epimorpha s. str.) is only found in the differentially weighted parsimony analysis. (+info)
Divergence time estimates for the early history of animal phyla and the origin of plants, animals and fungi.
In the past, molecular clocks have been used to estimate divergence times among animal phyla, but those time estimates have varied widely (1200-670 million years ago, Ma). In order to obtain time estimates that are more robust, we have analysed a larger number of genes for divergences among three well-represented animal phyla, and among plants, animals and fungi. The time estimate for the chordate-arthropod divergence, using 50 genes, is 993 +/- 46 Ma. Nematodes were found to have diverged from the lineage leading to arthropods and chordates at 1177 +/- 79 Ma. Phylogenetic analyses also show that a basal position of nematodes has strong support (p > 99%) and is not the result of rate biases. The three-way split (relationships unresolved) of plants, animals and fungi was estimated at 1576 +/- 88 Ma. By inference, the basal animal phyla (Porifera, Cnidaria, Ctenophora) diverged between about 1200-1500 Ma. This suggests that at least six animal phyla originated deep in the Precambrian, more than 400 million years earlier than their first appearance in the fossil record. (+info)
Animal mitochondrial genomes.
Animal mitochondrial DNA is a small, extrachromosomal genome, typically approximately 16 kb in size. With few exceptions, all animal mitochondrial genomes contain the same 37 genes: two for rRNAs, 13 for proteins and 22 for tRNAs. The products of these genes, along with RNAs and proteins imported from the cytoplasm, endow mitochondria with their own systems for DNA replication, transcription, mRNA processing and translation of proteins. The study of these genomes as they function in mitochondrial systems-'mitochondrial genomics'-serves as a model for genome evolution. Furthermore, the comparison of animal mitochondrial gene arrangements has become a very powerful means for inferring ancient evolutionary relationships, since rearrangements appear to be unique, generally rare events that are unlikely to arise independently in separate evolutionary lineages. Complete mitochondrial gene arrangements have been published for 58 chordate species and 29 non-chordate species, and partial arrangements for hundreds of other taxa. This review compares and summarizes these gene arrangements and points out some of the questions that may be addressed by comparing mitochondrial systems. (+info)
Molecular characterization of American cockroach tropomyosin (Periplaneta americana allergen 7), a cross-reactive allergen.
Inhalation of allergens produced by the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) induces IgE Ab production and the development of asthma in genetically predisposed individuals. The cloning and expression in Escherichia coli of P. americana tropomyosin allergen have been achieved. The protein shares high homology with other arthropod tropomyosins (80% identity) but less homology with vertebrate ones (50% identity). The recombinant allergen was produced in E. coli as a nonfusion protein with a yield of 9 mg/l of bacterial culture. Both natural and recombinant tropomyosins were purified by isoelectric precipitation. P. americana allergen 1 (Per a 1) and Per a 7 (tropomyosin) are to date the only cross-reacting allergens found in cockroaches. ELISA and Western blot inhibition experiments, using natural and recombinant purified tropomyosins from shrimp and cockroach, showed that tropomyosin induced cross-reactivity of IgE from patients allergic to these allergens, suggesting that this molecule could be a common allergen among invertebrates. (+info)