Secret Site Map
Saturday, November 01, 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

UPFDA Recognizes Contributions of Tommy Reeves at Board Meeting

Reeves recently completed a two-year term as UPFDA president where he was instrumental in establishing the future direction of the association.

Cope Named Director of Technical and Regulatory Services at Terminix

Dr. Stan Cope (retired Navy), who has been with Terminix since 2012, has been promoted.

Backed By Bayer Web Portal Relaunched

New Backed By Bayer is a a comprehensive customer-centric platform with new and expanded resources for pest management professionals.

P+L Systems Announces Acquisition

Group De Ceuster of Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium announced the sale of its Environmental Care division to P+L Systems (Holding) UK of Knaresborough, UK, for an undisclosed sum.

Phil 'Doc' Nichols Joins Safer Home Services

Industry veteran Nichols has joined the Clearwater, Fla.-based company as its technical advisor.

x