Host/parasite interactions between Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Thelohania solenopsae (Microsporida: Thelohaniidae)

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Title: Host/parasite interactions between Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Thelohania solenopsae (Microsporida: Thelohaniidae)
Author: Hale, Michael Walker
Abstract: Thelohania solenopsae Knell , Allen and Hazard is a microsporidian pathogen that infects the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren . This five part study examined the effects that T . solenopsae has on constructs of colony fitness in field mounds and adoption rates , how T . solenopsae spores are affected by different stable temperatures . This study also examined the effects on T . solenopsae spores due to centrifugation out of the host cell , pH of the solution the spores are kept , and food classes that could be ingested by S . invicta . For the first study , a total of 29 colonies were collected , 16 infected , and 13 uninfected . The study concluded significantly lower brood production in uninfected field colonies when compared to infected field colonies . Additionally , the total number of queens per colony is significantly greater in T . solenopsae infected mounds with 35 .4 ? ? ? ?31 .9 queens for infected mounds and 15 .5 ? ? ? ?11 .2 queens for uninfected mounds , demonstrating a possible host response to parasite infection . In the study examining stable temperature effects on T . solenopsae spore growth and spore type , a stable temperature of 31 ? ? ? ?C induced greater production of binucleate free spores in worker S . invicta . There was an overall decrease of T . solenopsae octospores at 16 ? ? ? ?C , 26 ? ? ? ?C and 31 ? ? ? ?C . The studies concerning extraction of T . solenopsae spores , and inclusion in food infusions demonstrated viable spore recovery after centrifugation , verified by using Calcofluor M2R and Sytox Green dual staining . This study demonstrated significant decreases in spore viability over a 10 week period . The study concerning pH demonstrated significant effects of differing pH parameters with the best viable spore recovery at pH 4 and no spore recovery at pH 1 and pH 2 . The least viable spore recovery occurred at pH 6 and pH 12 after 24 hours of emersion verified by using Calcofluor M2R and Sytox Green dual staining .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /5910
Date: 2007-09-17

Citation

Host/parasite interactions between Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Thelohania solenopsae (Microsporida: Thelohaniidae). Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /5910 .

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