Rodney Hull, Mohamed Alaouna, Lucky Khanyile, Marcus Byrne, Monde Ntwasa
Journal of Insect Science 13 (108), 1-25, (1 October 2013) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.013.10801
KEYWORDS: antimicrobial peptides, beetle immunity, innate immunity
The dung beetle, Euoniticellus intermedius (Reiche) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is an important ecological and agricultural agent. Their main activity, the burying of dung, improves quality of the soil and reduces pests that could cause illness in animals. E. intermedius are therefore important for agriculture and for good maintenance of the environment, and are regarded as effective biological control agents for parasites of the gastrointestinal tract in livestock. The ability of E. intermedius to co-exist comfortably with many microorganisms, some of which are important human pathogens, stimulated our interest in its host defense strategies. The aim of this study was to investigate the Toll signaling pathway, which is strongly activated by fungi. Gene expression associated with fungal infection was analyzed by using 2-D gel electrophoresis and mass spectroscopy. Furthermore, the partial adult transcriptome was investigated for the presence of known immune response genes by using high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics. The results presented here suggest that E. intermedius responds to fungal challenge via the Toll signaling pathway.