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The effect of entomopathogenic fungal culture filtrate on the immune response of the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella
- Mc Namara, Louise, Carolan, James C., Griffin, Christine T., Fitzpatrick, David, Kavanagh, Kevin
- Journal of insect physiology 2017 v.100 pp. 82-92
- Beauveria bassiana, Candida albicans, Galleria mellonella, Metarhizium anisopliae, antimicrobial peptides, biological control, biological control agents, culture filtrates, entomopathogenic fungi, immune response, immune system, insect physiology, insects, larvae, microbial culture, models, mortality, pathogenesis, prophenoloxidase, proteomics, screening, yeasts
- Galleria mellonella is a well-established model species regularly employed in the study of the insect immune response at cellular and humoral levels to investigate fungal pathogenesis and biocontrol agents. A cellular and proteomic analysis of the effect of culture filtrate of three entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) species on the immune system of G. mellonella was performed. Treatment with Beauveria caledonica and Metarhizium anisopliae 96h culture filtrate facilitated a significantly increased yeast cell density in larvae (3-fold and 3.8-fold, respectively). Larvae co-injected with either M. anisopliae or B. caledonica culture filtrate and Candida albicans showed significantly increased mortality. The same was not seen for larvae injected with Beauveria bassiana filtrate. Together these results suggest that B. caledonica and M. anisopliae filtrate are modulating the insect immune system allowing a subsequent pathogen to proliferate. B. caledonica and M. anisopliae culture filtrates impact upon the larval prophenoloxidase (ProPO) cascade (e.g. ProPO activating factor 3 and proPO activating enzyme 3 were increased in abundance relative to controls), while B. bassiana treated larvae displayed higher abundances of alpha-esterase when compared to control larvae (2.4-fold greater) and larvae treated with M. anisopliae and B. caledonica. Treatment with EPF culture filtrate had a significant effect on antimicrobial peptide abundances particularly in M. anisopliae treated larvae where cecropin-D precursor, hemolin and gloverin were differentially abundant in comparison to controls. Differences in proteomic profiles for different treatments may reflect or even partially explain the differences in their immunomodulatory potential. Screening EPF for their ability to modulate the insect immune response represents a means of assessing EPF for use as biocontrol agents, particularly if the goal is to use them in combination with other control agents. Additionally EPF represent a valuable resource pool in our search for natural products with insect immunomodulatory and biocontrol properties.