Increased locomotor activity and metabolism of Aedes aegypti infected with a life-shortening strain of Wolbachia pipientis

Evans, O., Caragata, E. P., McMeniman, C. J., Woolfit, M., Green, D. C., Williams, C. R., Franklin, C. E., O'Neill, S. L. and McGraw, E. A. (2009) Increased locomotor activity and metabolism of Aedes aegypti infected with a life-shortening strain of Wolbachia pipientis. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212 10: 1436-1441. doi:10.1242/jeb.028951

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Author Evans, O.
Caragata, E. P.
McMeniman, C. J.
Woolfit, M.
Green, D. C.
Williams, C. R.
Franklin, C. E.
O'Neill, S. L.
McGraw, E. A.
Title Increased locomotor activity and metabolism of Aedes aegypti infected with a life-shortening strain of Wolbachia pipientis
Formatted title
Increased locomotor activity and metabolism of Aedes aegypti infected with a life-shortening strain of Wolbachia pipientis
Journal name Journal of Experimental Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0949
Publication date 2009-05-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1242/jeb.028951
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 212
Issue 10
Start page 1436
End page 1441
Total pages 6
Editor Julian A. T. Dow
Steve Perry
Hans Hoppeler
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher The Company of Biologists
Language eng
Subject 060808 Invertebrate Biology
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
C1
Abstract A virulent strain of the obligate intracellular bacterium Wolbachia pipientis that shortens insect lifespan has recently been transinfected into the primary mosquito vector of dengue virus, Aedes aegypti L. The microbe's ability to shorten lifespan and spread through host populations under the action of cytoplasmic incompatibility means it has the potential to be used as a biocontrol agent to reduce dengue virus transmission. Wolbachia is present in many host tissues and may have local effects on diverse biological processes. In other insects, Wolbachia infections have been shown to alter locomotor activity and response time to food cues. In mosquitoes, locomotor performance relates to the location of mates, human hosts, resting sites and oviposition sites. We have therefore examined the effect of the virulent, life-shortening Wolbachia strain wMelPop on the locomotion of Ae. aegypti as they age and as the pathogenicity of the infection increases. In parallel experiments we also examined CO(2) production as a proxy for metabolic rate, to investigate a potential mechanistic explanation for any changes in locomotion. Contrary to expectation, we found that the infection increased activity and metabolic rate and that these effects were relatively consistent over the insect's lifespan. The results do not fit a standard model of bacterial pathogenesis in insects, and instead may reveal additional physiological changes induced by infection, such as either increased hunger or defects in the nervous system.
Formatted abstract
A virulent strain of the obligate intracellular bacterium Wolbachia pipientis that shortens insect lifespan has recently been transinfected into the primary mosquito vector of dengue virus, Aedes aegypti L. The microbe’s ability to shorten lifespan and spread through host populations under the action of cytoplasmic incompatibility means it has the potential to be used as a biocontrol agent to reduce dengue virus transmission. Wolbachia is present in many host tissues and may have local effects on diverse biological processes. In other insects, Wolbachia infections have been shown to alter locomotor activity and response
time to food cues. In mosquitoes, locomotor performance relates to the location of mates, human hosts, resting sites and oviposition sites. We have therefore examined the effect of the virulent, life-shortening Wolbachia strain wMelPop on the locomotion of Ae. aegypti as they age and as the pathogenicity of the infection increases. In parallel experiments we also examined CO2 production as a proxy for metabolic rate, to investigate a potential mechanistic explanation for any changes in locomotion. Contrary to expectation, we found that the infection increased activity and metabolic rate and that these effects were relatively consistent over the insect’s lifespan. The results do not fit a standard model of bacterial pathogenesis in insects, and instead may reveal additional physiological changes induced by infection, such as either increased hunger or defects in the nervous system.
Keyword Aedes aegypti
Wolbachia pipientis
locomotor activity
metabolic rate
insect
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 50 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 52 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 18:13:25 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Biological Sciences