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Expression of a parasitism-specific protein in lepidopteran hosts of Chelonus sp

Soldevila, A.I., Jones, D.
Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology 1993 v.24 no.3 pp. 149-169
Trichoplusia ni, hemolymph, proteins, biological control, Chelonus, parasites
The hemolymph of each noctuid species successfully parasitized by Chelonus near curvimaculatus possessed a parasitism-specific protein (PSP) previously identified in host T. ni (Insect Biochem. 19:445; 21:845). Expression of PSP occurred in a stage-specific manner in the stadium during which the host undergoes precocious metamorphosis. The appearance of the protein was not due to nutritional stress associated with parasitism of hosts, since starved nonparasitized larvae did not produce the protein, or to low juvenile hormone titers occurring in precociously metamorphosing hosts, but rather was dependent on the presence of the endoparasite larva. Results of in vivo incorporation experiments with [(35)S]-methionine showed that synthesis and subsequent appearance of the protein in the hemolymph of parasitized hosts was abrogated by prior surgical removal of endoparasite. Immunoprecipitation analysis of proteins from C. near curvimaculatus larvae cultured in vitro using antibodies specific to PSP indicated that the source of the protein was the endoparasite. Synthesis of PSP by the endoparasitic larvae with its subsequent secretion into the hemocoel of hosts was specific to the advanced stages of parasite development prior to its egression from the host.