Secret Site Map
Sunday, October 26, 2014

Home News Parasites as Weapons Against Fire Ants

Parasites as Weapons Against Fire Ants

Ants

Researcher David Oi David Oi is using species of spore-producing insect pathogens to bring about declines in red imported fire ant populations.

| February 4, 2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Collections of organisms that cause harm, disease and damage are important in allowing Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists to explore the diversity, evolution, and distribution of parasites and pathogens.

ARS researchers have assembled and maintained invertebrate protist collections at three locations for the purpose of in-house and joint projects. Protists are organisms with simple cellular structures, and can live in any environment that contains water.

At the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE), in Gainesville, Fla., researchers are using a collection of microsporidia to act as soldiers of biological warfare at the tiniest level against red imported fire ants.

CMAVE entomologist David Oi is using species of spore-producing insect pathogens, such as Kneallhazia solenopsae, to bring about declines in red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) populations. In Argentina, these infectious soldiers are associated with localized declines of 53 percent to 100 percent in fire ant populations, according to Oi.

In addition, Oi and CMAVE colleagues Sanford Porter and Steven Valles were able to get K. solenopsae to infect phorid flies without harming them. That’s important because phorid flies may serve as vectors to infect red imported fire ants with the microsporidia--perhaps facilitating the spread of infection to other colonies.

Invertebrate protist collections are also maintained at ARS facilities in Sidney, Mont., and Manhattan, Kan.

ARS also keeps archival collections of parasites, such as tapeworms, for research, identification and diagnostic purposes. The vast majority of these are in the U.S. National Parasite Collection, curated by zoologist Eric Hoberg in the ARS Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory in Beltsville, Md.

This collection was established in 1892 and is among the largest parasite collections in the world. It holds more than 20 million catalogued specimens representing nematodes, tapeworms, flukes and some parasitic arthropods, such as fleas, ticks and lice. Such archives provide a foundation to identify shifting geographic and host ranges for parasites and diseases that may emerge with accelerated global climate change.

Read more about this and other important collections in the January 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan10/parasites0110.htm

Top news

ScottsMiracle-Gro Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Action Pest Control

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company announced that its subsidiary EG Systems, Inc., doing business as Scotts LawnService, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Action Pest Control, Evansville Ind., which ranked 56th on the 2014 PCT Top 100 list, with annual revenues of $11.6 million. The transaction, which is expected to close by January 2015, would mark Scotts’ first acquisition of a structural pest control business.

NPMA Pinnacle Award Presented to Tom Fortson

Fortson, longtime president of Terminix Service, Columbia, S.C., was announced as recipient of the NPMA Pinnacle Award, NPMA’s highest honor.

NPMA Looks to the Future During PestWorld Opening Ceremony

More than 3,000 industry professionals from 80-plus countries have traveled to Orlando, Fla., for PestWorld ’14. The Opening Ceremony, sponsored by Bayer, featured musical act Rhythm Extreme.

Slideshow: PestWorld 2014

Photos taken by the PCT staff from the first few days of NPMA PestWorld 2014

Convention Q&A: Billy Tesh

PCT Editor Jodi Dorsch sat down with the NPMA president to learn more about the association's new initiatives, rapid changes that are occuring and the future of NPMA — including its search for a new EVP.

x