Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) is an endophagous parasitoid of various aphid species, including Acyrthosiphon pisum (Homoptera, Aphididae), the model host used in the present study. Parasitized hosts show a marked increase of their nutritional suitability for the developing parasitoid larvae. This alteration of the biochemical and metabolic profile is due to a castration process mediated by the combined action of the venom, injected at the oviposition, and of the teratocytes, cells deriving from the dissociation of the embryonic membrane. Teratocytes produce and release in the host haemocoel two parasitism-specific proteins, which are of crucial importance for the development of their sister larvae. One of the proteins is a fatty acid binding protein (Ae-FABP), which shows a high affinity for C14–C18 saturated fatty acids (FA) and for oleic and arachidonic acids. To better define the possible nutritional role of this protein, we have studied its immunolocalization profile in vivo and the impact on FA uptake by the epidermal and midgut epithelia of A. ervi larvae. During the exponential growth of A. ervi larvae, Ae-FABP is distributed around discrete lipid particles, which are abundantly present in the haemocoel of parasitized host aphids and in the midgut lumen of parasitoid larvae. Moreover, a strong immunodetection signal is evident on the surface of the two larval epithelia involved in nutrient absorption: the parasitoid midgut epithelium and the external epidermal layer. These two epithelia can effectively absorb radiolabelled myristic acid, but the FA transport rates are not affected by the presence in the medium of Ae-FABP. The protein appears to act essentially as a vector in the host haemolymph, transferring FAs from the digestion sites of host lipids to the growing parasitoid larvae. These data indicate that the proteins produced by A. ervi teratocytes may play complementary roles in the nutritional exploitation of the host.

Functional analysis of a fatty acid binding protein produced by Aphidius ervi teratocytes

FALABELLA, Patrizia;
2012

Abstract

Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) is an endophagous parasitoid of various aphid species, including Acyrthosiphon pisum (Homoptera, Aphididae), the model host used in the present study. Parasitized hosts show a marked increase of their nutritional suitability for the developing parasitoid larvae. This alteration of the biochemical and metabolic profile is due to a castration process mediated by the combined action of the venom, injected at the oviposition, and of the teratocytes, cells deriving from the dissociation of the embryonic membrane. Teratocytes produce and release in the host haemocoel two parasitism-specific proteins, which are of crucial importance for the development of their sister larvae. One of the proteins is a fatty acid binding protein (Ae-FABP), which shows a high affinity for C14–C18 saturated fatty acids (FA) and for oleic and arachidonic acids. To better define the possible nutritional role of this protein, we have studied its immunolocalization profile in vivo and the impact on FA uptake by the epidermal and midgut epithelia of A. ervi larvae. During the exponential growth of A. ervi larvae, Ae-FABP is distributed around discrete lipid particles, which are abundantly present in the haemocoel of parasitized host aphids and in the midgut lumen of parasitoid larvae. Moreover, a strong immunodetection signal is evident on the surface of the two larval epithelia involved in nutrient absorption: the parasitoid midgut epithelium and the external epidermal layer. These two epithelia can effectively absorb radiolabelled myristic acid, but the FA transport rates are not affected by the presence in the medium of Ae-FABP. The protein appears to act essentially as a vector in the host haemolymph, transferring FAs from the digestion sites of host lipids to the growing parasitoid larvae. These data indicate that the proteins produced by A. ervi teratocytes may play complementary roles in the nutritional exploitation of the host.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/19575
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