Best collaboration: the viruses and wasps suppress the immune response of caterpillars and plants

Best collaboration: the viruses and wasps suppress the immune response of caterpillars and plantsScientists have found that parasitic wasps in collaboration with the virus to get much more power than was considered before.

Some time ago scientists found that a certain kind of ichneumons (parasitic wasps) suppresses the immune system of caterpillars for the sake of successful "education" offspring inside the larvae of these insects. Now experts at the University of Pennsylvania found that this wasp parasites do not stop: they also weaken the protective mechanisms of plants, which feed on those caterpillars. As a result, the parasites are guaranteed a great environment for growing "recruits".

It tells the researcher that Gary Felton (Gary Felton), to cope with caterpillars and wasps with plants helps a special type of virus called poly-DNA-virus in the ovaries of females riders.

After the introduction of the virus in the body of the caterpillars.

To test their hunch, the scientists placed two groups of caterpillars on tomato plants: one part of the insect larvae attacked by parasites, the other not. After a 10-hour "lunch" the researchers collected the remaining sheets. Then they are studying them in the activity of enzymes and expression of genes associated with protective mechanisms.

"Using molecular and biochemical methods, we found that caterpillars that attacked the parasites, stimulated a significantly lower enzyme activity, and gene expression of protection among tomato plants than caterpillars without parasites"- says one of the participants of the study Ching-Wen tan (Ching-Wen Tan).

Experts also found that in the saliva of caterpillars contained less glucosidase. This enzyme is normally responsible for plant defensive response. However, in this case, poly-DNA-virus has been reduced to the concentration of glucokinase, and because of this protective reaction of the plants was weaker.

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"We found that poly-DNA-viruses not only suppress the immune system of caterpillars, but also weaken the protective reactions of plants, which eat insects, says Felton.

Thus, "suppression" plant protection benefit and the EfE, and the virus that helps the development and survival of the wasps inside the caterpillars".

It is noted that in the nature of a significant percentage of caterpillars suffering from parasitic wasps. In addition, tens of thousands of species of wasps carry the poly-DNA-viruses. "As a result there is a high probability that our results can "try" in many interactions of plants and herbivores" says Felton.

Tan adds that the conclusion of the work shows that the interaction between plants and their natural enemies is much more complicated than earlier thought. "Our study demonstrates the important role that microorganisms play in the interaction of plants and insects, she says. – Ability of poly-DNA-viruses, which have less than a couple of hundred genes, so much impact on the OS, caterpillars and plants, striking".

Now experts from the USA intend to study whether other species of parasitic wasps and viruses that affect a variety of caterpillars.

Results razoblachayuschie parasitic wasps of the study presented in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to Felton, the Wageningen University (the Netherlands), published in the same issue of PNAS.

Previously, the authors of the project "News.Science" ( told me about other amazing wasps-parasites: so, one of them armed with their own saws. Some wasps are also able to turn spiders into zombies workaholics, as well as to disinfect victims before eating.

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