Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata (2005) 117, 135-146

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Laura A. Jeffers, Deborah M. Thompson, David Ben-Yakir and R. Michael Roe (2005)
Movement of proteins across the digestive system of the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 117 (2), 135-146
Abstract: Bovine serum albumin (BSA) and anti-BSA polyclonal antibody were used as model polypeptides to examine the movement of foreign proteins across the insect digestive system and their accumulation in hemolymph of fourth stadium tobacco budworms, Heliothis virescens (Fabricius) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Hydrateable meal pads were developed in these studies as a method for easily introducing compounds into the insect digestive system. When insects were allowed to feed continuously on hydrated meal pads containing 0.8 mg of anti-BSA per gram diet, the level of antibody found in hemolymph was 2.4 ± 0.1 and 3.4 ± 0.1 µg ml-1 (average 1 SEM) after 8 and 16 h, respectively, as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA). Continuous feeding on hydrated meal pads containing the same concentration of BSA produced hemolymph concentrations of 1.5 ± 0.1 and 1.6 ± 0.1 µg ml-1 hemolymph at 8 and 16 h, respectively. Western blot analyses demonstrated that BSA and anti-BSA both retained their primary and multimeric structure and that anti-BSA maintained its antigenic activity in the meal pads and after movement from meal pads into the hemolymph. When 1 µg of anti-BSA or BSA was injected into the hemocoel of fourth instars, the concentrations decreased with time and 120 min after injection were 20% and 0.6% of the original concentration, respectively. When added at the same concentration to plasma in vitro, the decrease was 81.5% and 57.5%, respectively, at 2 h. The accumulation of native anti-BSA and BSA protein in insect hemolymph is the result of their rate of movement across the gut and their rate of turnover in hemolymph. Movement of anti-BSA and BSA across the digestive system was also noted in Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), Acheta domesticus (L.) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae), and Gromphadorhina portentosa (Schaum) (Blattaria: Blattellidae). Anti-BSA and BSA were not detected in the hemolymph of Manduca sexta (L.) (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) after feeding.
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Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): R. Michael Roe, David Ben-Yakir

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Helicoverpa zea
Heliothis virescens
Manduca sexta
Acheta domesticus