Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New assay helps track termites and other insects

Date:
February 18, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A newly developed method to safely and reliably mark termites and other insects over vast acreage so their movements can be tracked is just as effective as the previous method -- and more affordable.

Agricultural Research Service scientists have developed a more affordable method to safely and reliably mark termites and other insects so their movements can be tracked over vast acreage.
Credit: Photo courtesy of USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

An Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-developed method to safely and reliably mark termites and other insects over vast acreage so their movements can be tracked is just as effective as the previous method -- and more affordable.

That's according to recently published research by ARS entomologist James Hagler, at the agency's U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Ariz., and his collaborators at the University of Arizona.

They studied the movement patterns of the desert subterranean termite, which poses a threat to wood structures in the southwestern United States and causes an estimated $1.5 billion in losses each year. In the early 1990s, Hagler developed the first-generation immunoglobulin G (IgG) protein insect markers, which used expensive rabbit or chicken IgG proteins to track insects.

In a recent study, the scientists tested the rabbit IgG protein mark on termites in three field locations across the Arizona desert landscape. Each location consisted of 51 termite feeding stations placed at various distances around a rabbit-IgG-impregnated central feeding station infested with termites.

The protein would later be detected on field-collected termites using a rabbit-IgG-specific assay. The study showed that the rabbit protein marked the termites as they fed on the bait placed in the central feeding station, even after long-term exposure to harsh desert elements.

Now Hagler and his cooperators have developed a less expensive method of marking the insects with egg white, cow milk, or soy milk proteins, which can be sprayed on insects in the field using conventional spray equipment such as helicopters, airplanes and ground rigs. Each protein is detected by a protein-specific ELISA test. The test is less expensive because the assays have been optimized for mass production.

Working alongside fellow ARS entomologist Steven Naranjo in Maricopa and collaborators at the University of Arizona and the University of California, Hagler has also successfully tested this method on a wide variety of pest and beneficial insects.

Ultimately this state-of-the-art method will lead to better and more cost-effective control of termites, glassy-winged sharpshooters, lygus bugs, mosquitoes and other pests.

Results of two termite studies were recently published in the International Union for the Study of Social Insects' scientific journal Insectes Sociaux.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Alfredo Flores. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "New assay helps track termites and other insects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100217101133.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, February 18). New assay helps track termites and other insects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100217101133.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "New assay helps track termites and other insects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100217101133.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. 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