Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insect Gene Expression Responds To Diet

Date:
May 13, 2009
Source:
Frontiers in Zoology
Summary:
Cabbage looper caterpillars are able to alter the expression of genes associated with metabolism, homeostasis and immunity in response to feeding on plants carrying bacteria. Research published in Frontiers in Zoology has shown that, as well as tailoring gene expression within their own digestive systems, the insects are able to pass this information along to their offspring.

Cabbage looper caterpillars (Trichoplusia ni) are able to alter the expression of genes associated with metabolism, homeostasis and immunity in response to feeding on plants carrying bacteria. New research has shown that, as well as tailoring gene expression within their own digestive systems, the insects are able to pass this information along to their offspring.

Related Articles


Dalial Freitak worked with a team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology to study the effects of dietary bacteria on general gene expression in the plant pest. She said, "Larval feeding on a bacteria-rich diet leads to substantial gene expression changes, potentially resulting in a reorganization of the insects' metabolism to maintain organismal homeostasis, not only in the larval but also in the adult stage."

The authors believe that having a suite of genes capable of responding to dietary composition allows the cabbage looper to fine-tune its natural defenses. Freitak said, "Mounting an immune response is costly and dangerous. The fact the insects can up regulate immunity related genes like Gloverin, HDD1 and hemolin in response to the presence of bacteria, but leave them switched off in the absence of pathogens, minimizes the release of multiple potentially cytotoxic molecules, which could in turn activate other stress related defenses".

The researchers also found that the eggs of parents fed on a bacterial diet showed different gene expression patterns to eggs from parents who had sterile food. They conclude, "If expression differences in eggs carry over into the larvae that develop from them, this would support the idea that parents are able to prime their offspring against possible environmental stressors, like increased microbial exposure".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Frontiers in Zoology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dalial Freitak, David G Heckel and Heiko Vogel. Bacterial feeding induces changes in immune-related gene expression and has trans-generational impacts in the cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni). Frontiers in Zoology, (in press)

Cite This Page:

Frontiers in Zoology. "Insect Gene Expression Responds To Diet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506202939.htm>.
Frontiers in Zoology. (2009, May 13). Insect Gene Expression Responds To Diet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506202939.htm
Frontiers in Zoology. "Insect Gene Expression Responds To Diet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506202939.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins