Originally from tropical Asia, the Red Palm Weevil (RPW Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) is the most dangerous and deadly pest of many palm trees, and there have been reports of its recent detection in France, Greece and Italy. At present, emphasis is on the development of integrated pest management based on biological control rather than on chemical insecticides, however the success of both systems is often insufficient. In this regard, RPW appears to be one pest that is very difficult to control. Thus inves- tigations into the natural defences of this curculionid are advisable. RPW hemocytes, the main immuno- competent cells in the insect, are described for the first time. We identified five hemocyte cell types from the hemolymph of R. ferrugineus: plasmatocytes (50%), granulocytes (35%), prohemocytes (8%), oenocytes (4%) and spherulocytes (3%). SEM observations were also carried out. Some aspects of RPW interaction with non-self organisms, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the entomopathogen bac- terium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), are discussed. Plasmatocytes and granulocytes were involved in nodules and capsule formation as well as in the phagocytosis of yeast. The hemocyte response of RPW larvae to sub-lethal doses of commercial products containing Bt was examined. In vivo assays were carried out and Bt in vegetative form was found in the hemolymph. After a diet containing Bt, the number of total hemo- cytes, mainly plasmatocytes, in the RPW larva hemolymph declined sharply (12%) and then remained at a low level, while the number of other circulating cells was almost unchanged.
|Numero di pagine||6|
|Rivista||Journal of Invertebrate Pathology|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2011|
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