Canadian Forest Service Publications
Functional significance of parasitism-induced suppression of juvenile hormone esterase activity in developmentally delayed Choristoneura fumiferana larvae. 2000. Cusson, M.; Laforge, M.; Miller, D.; Cloutier, C.; Stolz, D. General and Comparative Endocrinology 117: 343-354.
Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 16872
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The parasitic wasp Tranosema rostrale transmits a polydnavirus (PDV) to its host, Choristoneura fumiferana, during oviposition. Last-instar C. fumiferana larvae parasitized by T. rostrale early in the stadium fail to undergo metamorphosis, and injection of the wasp's calys fluid (CxF; contains PDV) into healthy caterpillars induces a dose-dependant delay in initiation of metamorphosis (D. Doucet and M. Cusson, 1996, Entomol. Esp. Appl. 81, 21-30). In the present work, parasitization and injection of CxF (0.5 female equivalent) on the first day of the last stadium both prevented the rise in hemolymph 20-hydroxyecdysone (20HE) titer observed between day 4 and day 7 in control and saline-infected larvae. Similarly, juvenile hormone esterase (JHE) activity was depressed following parasitization or CxF injection, whereas control larvae displayed a peak on day 4. However, neither parasitism nor injection of CxF on day 1 prevented the JH-producting glands from turning off during the first half of the last stadium. Likewise, low but clearly detectable JH titers were observed in the first hours following the molt but very low titers, at or near the detection limit of our radioimmunoassay, were seen in both control and parasitized larvae on day 4. Prothoracic glands showed no apparent sign of degeration 4 days after injection of CxF but had significantly smaller cells than saline-injected larvae 7 days postinjection. It is not clear whether this was a direct effect of T. rostrale PDV. Thus, disruption of spruce budworm metamorphosis by T. rostrale CxF involves depression of 20HE titers but is not associated with a measurable increase in the level of JH, as shown for some other host-parasitoid systems. In view of the latter observation, we put forward three hypotheses regarding the functional significance of the observed suppression of JHE activity in developmentally arrested C. fumiferana larvae.