Parasitism of Pieris rapae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) by a pupal endoparasitoid, Pteromalus puparum (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae): effects of parasitization and venom on host hemocytes
Cai, J. | Ye, G.Y. | Hu, C.
In contrast to the situation with egg-larval and larval endoparasitic wasps, little is known about the effects of pupal endoparasitoids and their secretions on the hemocytes of their insect hosts. This study focuses on the pupal endoparasitoid, Pteromalus puparum, and its host, the small white butterfly, Pieris rapae. Parasitism by P. puparum, resulted in a significant increase in the total number of host hemocytes up to day five after parasitization. From day one to day four after parasitization, the percentage of plasmatocytes significantly decreased, and the proportion of granular cells increased. Moreover, from 12 h to day three after parasitization, hemocyte mortality in parasitized pupae was noticeably higher. When P. rapae pupae were parasitized by adult females of P. puparum irradiated by gamma-ray (pseudoparasitization), it was clear that the treated wasps could induce similar hemocyte changes. However, such phenomena did not occur in punctured host pupae (mimic-parasitization). After treatment with P. puparum venom, both the percentages of spreading plasmatocytes and encapsulated Sephadex G-25 beads were lessened significantly in vitro. Electron microscopy analysis and visualization of hemocyte F-actin with phalloidin-FITC showed that hemocytes treated with venom had a rounded configuration and neither spread nor extended pseudopods, while there was no marked alteration of hemocyte cytoskeletons after venom treatment. The results suggested that venom of P. puparum could actively suppress the hemocyte immune response of its host, but not by destroying the host hemocyte cytoskeleton.Show more [+] Less [-]