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Snowdrop lectin (GNA) has no acute toxic effects on a beneficial insect predator, the 2-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata L.)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rachel Down, Stephen Woodhouse, Romaan Jan Maria Raemaekers, Professor Angharad MR GatehouseORCiD


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Two-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata L.) larvae were fed on aphids (Myzus persicae (Sulz.)) which had been loaded with snowdrop lectin (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin; GNA) by feeding on artificial diet containing the protein. Treatment with GNA significantly decreased the growth of aphids. No acute toxicity of GNA-containing aphids towards the ladybird larvae was observed, although there were small effects on development. When fed a fixed number of aphids, larvae exposed to GNA spent longer in the 4th instar, taking 6 extra days to reach pupation; however, retardation of development was not observed in ladybird larvae fed equal weights of aphids. Ladybird larvae fed GNA-containing aphids were found to be 8-15% smaller than controls, but ate a significantly greater number of aphids (approx. 40% to pupation). GNA was shown to be present on the microvilli of the midgut brush border membrane and within gut epithelial cells in ladybird larvae fed on GNA-dosed aphids, although disruption of the brush border was not observed, It is hypothesised that GNA does not have significant direct toxic or adverse effects on developing ladybird larvae, but that the effects observed may be due to the fact that the aphids fed on GNA are compromised and are thus a suboptimal food. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Down RE; Woodhouse SD; Gatehouse AMR; Raemaekers RJM; Ford L; Leitch B; Gatehouse JA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Insect Physiology

Year: 2000

Volume: 46

Issue: 4

Pages: 379-391

ISSN (print): 0022-1910

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1611

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S0022-1910(99)00121-3


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