f The ribosome-inactivating protein restrictocin deters insect feeding on Aspergillus restrictus
- Authors: Tristan Brandhorst, Patrick F. Dowd, William R. Kenealy
- *Author for correspondence: William R. Kenealy. Tel: +1 608 223 0050. Fax: +1 608 231 3353.
- First Published Online: 01 June 1996, Microbiology 142: 1551-1556, doi: 10.1099/13500872-142-6-1551
- Subject: Environmental Microbiology
- Issue Published:
The fungus-feeding beetle, Carpophilus freemani, consumed equal quantities of young mycelia, fewer phialides bearing mature spores and much fewer phialides bearing developing spores of Aspergillus restrictus compared to those of Aspergillus nidulans when tested in diet choice assays. The degree to which specific fungal structures were consumed was inversely related to the localization of high levels of restrictocin, a ribosome-inactivating protein, to those structures. Pure restrictocin added to the insect diet at 1000 p.p.m. killed 38.5% of C. freemani larvae and 62.5% of Spodoptera frugiperda larvae in 48 h, but did not affect C. freemani adults or Helicoverpa zea larvae over the same interval. In diet choice assays, 1000 p.p.m. of restrictocin deterred feeding by adult C. freemani and Sitophilus zeamais compared to control diets. Thus, restrictocin production and localization may have a natural defensive role against insect feeding at times critical to spore formation by A. restrictus, and may have potential as an insect control agent.
© Society for General Microbiology 1996 | Published by the Microbiology Society
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