Secret Site Map
Saturday, July 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

CRU Names Fugler Director of Risk Management

Allen Fugler is joining Capital Risk Underwriters, where he will work with CRU’s insured pest management professionals on regulatory compliance, employee training, file documentation and risk mitigation.

EPA Introduces New Graphic to Help Consumers Make Informed Choices about Insect Repellents

The new graphic that will be available to appear on insect repellent product labels.

Arrow Exterminators Acquires Alchemy Pest Control

Alchemy is based in Raleigh, N.C., and serves the greater Raleigh-Durham area and surrounding communities.

Cook’s Open House Showcases State-of-the-Art Training Facilities

Residential and commercial training centers provide hands-on educational opportunities in a “real-world” setting for technicians and sales personnel.

Canada's Bed Bug Problem Worsening, Experts Say

Bed bugs are multiplying in record numbers in cities and smaller communities across Canada, CTN News reports.