Posters at the Entomology Leadership Summit – September 2016

The following posters are expected to be presented at the Entomology Leadership Summit (list current as of August 18, 2016). The posters will be grouped into three sections to mirror the three main thematic topics of the summit. Details on how to submit a poster can be found here.

Invasive species, climate change, or global trade

The desiccation resistant eggs of invasive Australian container-breeding mosquitoes: evidence for adaptation

Author(s):  Katherine Jennifer Faull, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Abstract: The desiccation resistance of Aedes aegypti and Aedes notoscriptus mosquito eggs was investigated under various conditions with eggs of both species surviving over a year, and variations recorded for Ae. aegypti eggs from different geographical origins. Morphological analyses revealed significant variations in egg surface sculpturing allowing distinction of the two species, with further variations between populations of the same species. The eggshell morphology of several Aedes mosquitoes was linked to ecology, oviposition biotope and the likelihood of drying through meta-analyses. The desiccation resistant eggs of container-breeding mosquitoes were of consistent morphology and distinguishable from saltmarsh and woodland species. Egg survival is subject to locally-acting selective pressures and is, together with surface sculpturing, likely adaptive to oviposition biotope.

Global sustainable agriculture/food supply issues and solutions

Fresh Market Green Bean Crop Protection in Egypt’s Upper Nile Valley: The USAID Feed the Future – Farmer to Farmer Initiative

Author(s):  Thomas E. Anderson, Entoniche Consulting, LLC, North Carolina, U.S.A.; Henry Van T. Cotter, North Carolina State University, North Carolina U.S.A.

Abstract:  Egypt is rapidly developing its infrastructure and supply chain to provide quality fresh market green beans for high value European and International export markets. This Feed the Future project, undertaken in cooperation with USAID, ACDI/VOCA, and Land O’ Lakes International, has completed its first season in the Upper Nile. During our Nov 2015 assignment, we surveyed production methods and made recommendations to establish sustainable integrated crop production systems. Our findings formed the basis of a sustainable crop management program, developed in close association with local agricultural experts. These program recommendations were presented in training courses to farm managers and master trainers in the Upper Nile. The USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Program promotes sustainable economic growth, food security and agricultural development worldwide. Volunteer technical assistance from US farmers, agribusinesses, cooperatives, and universities through the Farmer to Farmer Program helps developing countries improve productivity, access new markets, build local capacity, combat climate change and conserve environmental and natural resources. Since the program began 30 years ago, Americans have volunteered their time for over 16,700 assignments to work with partners in more than 112 countries, providing invaluable technical assistance to more than 1.3 million farm families.

Global studies of the interactions among livelihoods, grazing decisions, plant nutrient content and locust outbreaks

Author(s):  Arianne Cease, Arizona State University, Arizona, U.S.A.; Jon F. Harrison, Arizona State University, Arizona, U.S.A.; James E. Elser, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA; Eli Fenechil, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA; Joleen Hadrich, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, U.S.A.; Brian Robinson, McGill University, Montreal, CA  U.S.A.

Abstract: Locust outbreaks remain a major challenge to sustainable agriculture on four of the world’s continents. Some genera, such as Oedaleus, are increasing in prominence and appear to be linked ecologically with desertification. Our recent experiments have demonstrated that the Mongolian locust and the Australian plague locust grow and survive better on high carbohydrate-low protein diets, and that such diets may promote gregarious behavior and migration. As overgrazing can cause erosion that reduces soil and plant nitrogen content, agricultural practices that degrade soils may also stimulate locust outbreaks. We are combining basic entomological studies of locust nutrition and development with social and economic studies in three countries (China, Australia, Senegal) to understand how grazing decisions are made, and the socioeconomic consequences when such grazing decisions trigger locust outbreaks. This research is supported by National Science Foundation DEB-1313693 and CHE-1313958.

Global public health issues and solutions

Exploiting the ‘kidneys’ of mosquitoes for the development of novel insecticides

Author(s): Peter M. Piermarini, Klaus W. Beyenbach, and Jerod S. Denton, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio, U.S.A.

Abstract:  New insecticides are needed to improve our capabilities for mosquito control, because of the emergence of resistance to conventional neurotoxic control agents (e.g., pyrethroids). The goal of our group is to develop small molecule insecticides that disrupt the ‘kidney’ functions of mosquitoes by blocking the activity of inward-rectifier K+ (Kir) channels in Malpighian tubules. We show that adult female mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) express mRNAs encoding 3 Kir subunits (Kir1, Kir2B, Kir3); the immunoreactivities of each Kir subunit exhibit cell- and membrane-specific localizations within the epithelium. Moreover, we describe the discovery of small molecule inhibitors of mosquito Kir1 channels that disrupt urine production and K+ secretion in isolated Malpighian tubules. Furthermore, we demonstrate that small molecule inhibitors of Kir1 are toxic to adult female mosquitoes in part through the disruption of their excretory capacity and/or regulation of hemolymph K+ homeostasis. In conclusion, the Malpighian tubules and Kir channels of mosquitoes are valuable physiological and molecular targets, respectively, for developing insecticides with novel mechanisms of action.

Democratizing mosquito vector management and control to combat emerging diseases like Zika, dengue and malaria

Author(s):  Agenor Mafra-Neto, ISCA Technologies Inc, California, U.S.A.; Eamonn Keogh, Computer Sciences, University of California, California, U.S.A.; Teun Dekker, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp Sweden; Leonard Mboera, National Institute for Medical Research, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Abstract: ISCA developed two novel disruptive technologies that 1) make mosquito monitoring, detection and identification trivial, and 2) adult control inexpensive and effective. ISCA’s disruptive monitoring technology, the Laser Bug Sensors (LBS), provide high definition spatial and temporal monitoring of mosquito vector populations at resolutions and speeds unobtainable by current monitoring technologies. LBS allows for very early vector detection and constant 24/7 follow-up monitoring, supporting closely targeted vector control before the onset of disease outbreaks. ISCA’s disruptive vector control innovation, VECTRAX, is a formulation that can be used as the basis of effective attract and kill suppression of adult mosquitoes. VECTRAX has a potent semiochemical blend that attracts and phagostimulates hungry adult mosquitoes, independent of species, sex or physiological state. Because attracted adult mosquitoes manipulate and feed on the formulation, they can be effectively controlled with conventional or natural pesticides.

Mosquitoes of Global Biosecurity Concern: past incursions, future directions for the Pacific

Author(s):  Maggie Hardy, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia; Dani J. Barrington, International Water Centre, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Abstract:  Ectoparasites are arthropods that vector a number of harmful diseases to human and livestock, in addition to the direct damage caused by bloodfeeding. Communities have many of the skills available to reduce mosquito-borne diseases, but may lack location-specific information to take action. These diseases impact on local communities and visitors, and many pose a threat to neighboring countries. Neglected tropical diseases, zoonoses, and emerging arthropod-borne infectious diseases like Zika will be the prime focus of this paper. As federal monitoring budgets shrink across the world, the increasing importance of citizen science in monitoring and identifying invasive species will be discussed. Examples of past management programs from across the world are provided, and future directions are discussed with an emphasis on the Pacific Region.

Novel control tools for Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Author(s):  Rebecca Heinig, SpringStar, Inc., Washington, U.S.A.

Abstract:  Zika made headlines in 2016, but this arbovirus is merely the most recent addition to the diverse arsenal of human diseases spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. For a number of reasons, Ae. aegypti does not respond to traditional mosquito control approaches, so SpringStar has been actively developing a variety of new technologies designed to target this prolific vector. The Trap-N-Kill Mosquito Trap was developed in conjunction with the US military and effectively controls container-breeding mosquitoes like Ae. aegypti and Culex species. SpringStar has also recently begun distributing a commercial version of the CDC’s autocidal gravid ovitrap (AGO), which reduced Ae. aegypti population density by more than 80% and cut chikungunya infection incidence by half in Puerto Rico. Finally, we are introducing NovaGel, a water-absorbing polymer which traps mosquito larvae and prevents adult emergence.