The effects of parasitism by the ectoparasitoid Bracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) on host hemolymph proteins in the Mediterranean flour moth Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)


Abstract: Parasitism of lepidopteran larvae by braconid wasps has significant effects on host hemolymph proteins and the physiology of the host insect. In this study the post-parasitism effects of a gregarious idiobiont ectoparasitoid (Bracon hebetor) on hemolymph plasma proteins in the final instar larvae of the host (Ephestia kuehniella) were investigated. Hemolymph plasma proteins were analyzed using spectrophotometry and sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Total quantity of plasma proteins in the host's hemolymph decreased slightly 24 and 48 h after parasitization; however, SDS-PAGE analysis showed that the quantity of 12 proteins decreased, whereas that of 5 proteins increased in concentration in the hemolymph of parasitized host larvae 24 and 48 h post-parasitism. Therefore, we conclude that host regulation of E. kuehniella by B. hebetor involves only quantitative changes in host plasma proteins and does not lead to upregulation of novel proteins.

Keywords: Host regulation, hemolymph proteins, ectoparasitoid

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