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See detailHabitat diversity of the Multicolored Asian ladybeetle Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in agricultural and arboreal ecosystems: a review
Vandereycken, Axel ULg; Durieux, Delphine ULg; Joie, Emilie ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2012), 16(4), 553-563

The Multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), native to Asia, is an invasive species in many European and American countries. Initially introduced as a biological control agent against ... [more ▼]

The Multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), native to Asia, is an invasive species in many European and American countries. Initially introduced as a biological control agent against aphids and coccids in greenhouses, this alien species rapidly invaded many habitats such as forests, meadows, wetlands, and agricultural crops. This paper reviews the habitats (forests, crops, herbs, gardens and orchards) where H. axyridis has been observed, either during insect samplings or as part of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs. Studies have referenced H. axyridis on 106 plant taxa (35 arboreal species, 21 crop species, 27 herbaceous species, 11 ornamental species, and 12 orchard species) and have identified 89 plant- prey relationships (34 arboreal species, 16 crop species, 13 herbaceous species, 10 ornamental species, and 16 orchard species) in different countries. Harmonia axyridis is more abundant in forest areas, principally on Acer, Salix, Tilia and Quercus, than in agroecosystems. Some plant species, such as Urtica dioica L., which surround crops, contain large numbers of H. axyridis and could constitute important reserves of this alien species in advance of aphid invasions into crops. This review highlights the polyphagy and eurytopic aspect of H. axyridis. [less ▲]

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See detailChoosing an aphid partner: a matter of taste and smell
Detrain, Claire; Fischer, Christophe ULg; Lognay, Georges ULg et al

Conference (2012, August 27)

Honeydew is the keystone upon which ants and aphids build their mutualistic relationship. We have investigated how sugar and volatile compounds from honeydew are involved in the discovery, the recognition ... [more ▼]

Honeydew is the keystone upon which ants and aphids build their mutualistic relationship. We have investigated how sugar and volatile compounds from honeydew are involved in the discovery, the recognition and the exploitation of aphid colonies by the black garden ant Lasius niger. In addition to semiochemicals produced by aphids, honeydew volatile compounds are used by ant scouts to orient themselves and distantly recognize myrmecophilous species. Once discovered, aphid colonies producing sugars which are the most beneficial to the ants are preferentially tended. In this respect, the ways each sugar acts upon the feeding behavior of ant foragers and triggers the laying of a recruitment trail are essential to understand how their collective exploitation of aphid colonies proceeds and why mutualistic interactions between ants and aphids are maintained. Sensitivity of ant scouts to honeydew sugars was also investigated. Dose-response curves revealed between-sugar differences with foragers being very sensitive even to small amounts of melezitose, a sugar specifically produced by aphid colonies. We discuss about the relevance of honeydew cues used by ants in the selection of sugary resources, the recognition of their honeydew-producing partners as well as in the assessment of size and nutritive value of exploited aphid colonies. [less ▲]

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See detailLivestock farms in Belgium shelter they the mosquitoes (Diptera, Culicidae) potentially vectors of arboviruses?
Boukraa, Slimane ULg; Zimmer, Jean-Yves ULg; Simonon, Grégory et al

Poster (2012, August 23)

Although no major arbovirus which mosquitoes are responsible for its transmission has been recorded in Belgium in recent decades, environment and climate change, current and future, could favor the ... [more ▼]

Although no major arbovirus which mosquitoes are responsible for its transmission has been recorded in Belgium in recent decades, environment and climate change, current and future, could favor the emergence of vector-borne diseases in the country, by inducing changes on Culicidae populations. This study aims to determine the potential importance of agricultural environments, and especially livestock farms, to welcome and favor the proliferation of certain species of mosquito responsible for transmission of arboviruses. A taxonomic inventory was conducted in 2008 (III, VI and X) and 2009 (V and IX) in ten cattle farms, and in 2010 (X) in ten stables located in Belgium. The harvest of mosquitoes is based on larval sampling at the level of 14 biotopes such as water troughs, used tires, abandoned utensils and temporary puddles or not. The morphotaxonomic study of larvae and genitalia has allowed to identify eight species in 18 study stations. These are Anopheles claviger Meigen, 1804 ; A. maculipennis s.l. Meigen, 1818 ; Culiseta annulata Schrank, 1776 ; Cs. morsitans Theobald, 1901 ; Culex modestus Ficalbi, 1889 ; Cx. torrentium Martini, 1925 ; Cx. territans Walker, 1856 and Cx. pipiens s.l. L., 1758. Of the 1843 individuals examined in 2009, Cx. pipiens s.l. represents 79.98% of the total harvest; however, Cx. modestus represents only 0.92%. Used tires form the most favorable habitat for larval development of Culicidae. Therefore, despite the low diversity of mosquito observed within the livestock environments, they represent a significant risk for the reproduction of some potential vectors of arboviruses. In addition, some larval habitats constitute very favorable sites for proliferation of mosquito, causing a real problem of nuisance for animals of farms. [less ▲]

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See detailVolatile organic compounds released by barley roots attract wireworms
Barsics, Fanny ULg; Fiers, Marie ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg et al

Poster (2012, August)

Wireworms, the soil dwelling larvae of click beetles, are pests of many crops worldwide. Alternatives to insecticide treatments are needed for integrated management strategies. Our work consists in ... [more ▼]

Wireworms, the soil dwelling larvae of click beetles, are pests of many crops worldwide. Alternatives to insecticide treatments are needed for integrated management strategies. Our work consists in elucidating the role of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) root-emitted volatile organic compounds (VOC) on the orientation behaviour of Agriotes sordidus Illiger wireworms (Fig. 1). Using dual choice olfactometers, we have evaluated the attractiveness of baits ranging from barley roots themselves to one isolated root-emitted volatile organic compound. [less ▲]

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See detailTermites artificially-fed on unusual diet and resulting enzymatic switches
Bauwens, Julien ULg; Tarayre, Cédric ULg; Matteotti, Christel et al

Poster (2012, August)

Wood-feeding termites as Reticulitermes santonensis generally feed on cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. However, these opportunistic insects are also able to degrade other carbohydrates, such as ... [more ▼]

Wood-feeding termites as Reticulitermes santonensis generally feed on cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. However, these opportunistic insects are also able to degrade other carbohydrates, such as starch. The production of putative endogenous α - amylase has been previously shown in R. flavipes, as the disappearance of the major symbiotic flagellates from the hindgut. Here, we compared enzymatic activities (CMCase, MCCase, xylanase, amylase, α- and β-glucosidase) between different fractions of the digestive tract of starch-, cellulose-, and wood-fed termites. Main compounds of the artificial diets, namely starch or MCC, resulted in differential enzymatic activity. Even the substitution of wood by artificial diets itself seemed to induce changes in enzymatic activities, regardless of the main substrate in the diet, as we observed strong midgut α-glucosidase activity only for artificially-fed termites. Preliminary assays to isolate and characterize enzymes were performed using proteomic methods. [less ▲]

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See detailBreeding sites of main Bluetongue virus vectors in Belgian cowshed
Zimmer, Jean-Yves ULg; Saegerman, Claude ULg; Losson, Bertrand ULg et al

Poster (2012, August)

Bluetongue (BT) is an emerging vectorborne disease of ruminants that was reported in August 2006 in northern Europe. Since 2007, BT virus (BTV) serotype 8 continued its spread across Europe and caused ... [more ▼]

Bluetongue (BT) is an emerging vectorborne disease of ruminants that was reported in August 2006 in northern Europe. Since 2007, BT virus (BTV) serotype 8 continued its spread across Europe and caused considerable economic losses. This observation indicates possible overwintering of the vector from year to year. The biological vectors of BTV are biting midges of the genus Culicoides. Breeding sites of bluetongue vector species have been found near farms (e.g. silage residues) and in neighboring meadows (e.g. cattle dung) but never inside sheds. We conducted a study in five cattle farms in Belgium during February–October 2008. Three samplings were performed and each soil sample collected inside cowsheds was incubated to enable adult midges to emerge. Among 15 soil biotopes sampled, only one showed the emergence of adult Culicoides biting midges: dried dung adhering to walls inside animal enclosures and resulting to the partial removal of used animal litter. It was a breeding site for the C. obsoletus/C. scoticus complex. Physico-chemical characteristics showed that midges of this complex are more prevalent in soil samples with a high carbon:nitrogen (C:N) index. So Culicoides biting midges are able to complete their life cycle in animal enclosures. We identified a breeding site for the primary BTV vector in a cowshed in northern Europe. These observations could explain the persistence of BTV from year to year despite fairly harsh winters. Hygienic measures on farms could reduce biting midges populations and so improve efficacy of vaccination campaigns against BT in Europe. [less ▲]

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See detailHoneydew volatile emission acts as a kairomonal message for the Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
Leroy, Pascal; Heuskin, Stéphanie ULg; Sabri, Ahmed ULg et al

in Insect Science (2012), 19(4), 498-506

The Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis Pallas is considered as an invasive species in most territories where it has been introduced. Because aphid honeydew acts as an attractant for many aphid predators ... [more ▼]

The Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis Pallas is considered as an invasive species in most territories where it has been introduced. Because aphid honeydew acts as an attractant for many aphid predators and parasitoids, the objectives of this work were to collect and identify the volatile compounds released from the aphid excretory product to evaluate how these semiochemicals could affect the H. axyridis foraging behavior. Twelve volatile chemicals were identified from the Megoura viciae Buckton honeydew including four alcohols, three ketones, three aldehydes, a pyrazine and a monoterpene. The volatiles 3-methyl-1-butanol and 3-methyl-butanal were highlighted as the two most abundant semiochemicals released from the M. viciae honeydew. Vicia faba L. plants treated with crude honeydew attracted more than 80% of the tested individuals with 40% of attracted beetles located on the plant. Four volatile compounds (3-hydroxy-2-butanone, 3-methyl-butanal, 3-methyl-1-butanol and limonene) were also highlighted to attract more than 75% of the coccinellids toward the odor source and to locate about 35% of them on the plants. Limonenewas the most efficient attractant since 89% of the H. axyridis responded to this odor. The use of the identified semiochemicals aswell as the composition of an artificial honeydew could certainly be helpful to control the dispersal of the Asian lady beetle H. axyridis. [less ▲]

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See detailProteomics of aphid salivary proteins
Francis, Frédéric ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg; Vandermoten, Sophie ULg et al

Conference (2012, August)

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See detailFeeding humans with edible insects : actual state and perspectives in Belgium and Europe
Sablon, Ludovic ULg; Alabi, Taofic; Drugmand, Didier et al

Poster (2012, August)

In future decades, world population will grow up to 9 billion of people and we will be confronted to a lack of nutritive resources. We will not continue to produce proteins with our conventional livestock ... [more ▼]

In future decades, world population will grow up to 9 billion of people and we will be confronted to a lack of nutritive resources. We will not continue to produce proteins with our conventional livestock as beef, poultry or pig. It will therefore look to other sources and edible insects are one of these solutions. Indeed, more than 2000 species of edible insects were actually consumed by 3000 ethnic groups in the world. In undernourished populations, entomophagy is essential to relieve deficiencies in proteins, fatty acids and some vitamins. In Europe, we have acquired sedentary habits and we have lost our ancestral harvesting and hunting traditions. It is the reason of disinterest for edible insects and entomophagy was considered as a "barbarian" food habit. Facing food challenges of tomorrow, it is important to sensitize industrialized populations and to reintroduce edible insects in our plates and habits. The first step is to overcome neophobia of food products. Our studies focused on different insect preparations and on perception of entomophagy by different age classes. Globally, our first results indicated that entomophagy was accepted by belgian consumers but the more difficult for them is to taste the first time. These results confirmed neophobia for this type of food products and thus the importance of positive informations and education for acceptance of entomophagy. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) overwintering sites
Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Durieux, Delphine ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg et al

Poster (2012, August)

Originally introduced as a biological control agent, the multicoloured Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), has become an invasive pest throughout Europe and North ... [more ▼]

Originally introduced as a biological control agent, the multicoloured Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), has become an invasive pest throughout Europe and North America in the last few years. Although its effectiveness to control aphid and coccid populations was impressive, some negative impacts appeared rapidly, notably on human health. Indeed, to protect themselves from cold temperatures, H. axyridis individuals move inside dwellings and buildings and form large aggregations in concealed portions of structures to overwinter. The aggregating beetles are responsible for some annoyances due to, on one hand, the number of individuals inside homes and, on the other hand, the hemolymph secretions they release when they are disturbed, which can cause allergic reactions. In order to highlight the specific features of infested houses, we investigated a large number of overwintering sites in Wallonia between 2007 and 2011. These sites were characterized through a survey sent to homeowners confronted to invasion problems. This survey was mainly focused on a general description of the infested house (type, colour, infested floor(s), building material), the orientation of the colonized rooms and the position of the beetles’ cluster. The collected data indicate that H. axyridis preferentially selects isolated brick houses with red or white fronts to take shelter. Aggregations are mostly located at the first floor, essentially inside south, west or southwest oriented rooms. Furthermore, ladybeetles generally gathered into wooden windows frames facing south, west or southwest and to a lesser extent, in the upper corners of walls presenting the same orientation. All these results contribute to improve the knowledge on the aggregative behaviour of H. axyridis and could promote the development of more specific and efficient management methods to prevent massive infestations into dwellings, such as artificial shelters or trapping systems located at the outside of buildings. [less ▲]

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See detailBehavioral response of Harmonia axyridis towards their footprints according to their physiological state
Durieux, Delphine ULg; Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Vanderplanck, Maryse et al

Poster (2012, August)

In order to survive cold, the multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), aggregates inside dwellings during winter. It has been recently highlighted that overwintering H. axyridis ... [more ▼]

In order to survive cold, the multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), aggregates inside dwellings during winter. It has been recently highlighted that overwintering H. axyridis individuals lay an area marking while walking, which is used by conspecifics to locate aggregation sites. These footprints are made-up of hydrocarbons, comprising both saturated and unsaturated homologues. However, it has not been demonstrated whether this “following area marking” behavior is specific to the overwintering individuals. The work presented herein was oriented to the study of the chemical evolution of these footprints according to the physiological state of H. axyridis. Monthly GC-MS analyses revealed that the area marking contained a greater amount of di-unsaturated compounds when laid by overwintering ladybeetles, suggesting the great importance of these chemicals in the ladybeetles aggregation process. In the second instance, behavioral investigations conducted in a Y-shaped glass tube were performed to assess (1) the evolution of H. axyridis behavior towards their footprints and (2) whether this behavioral modification is due to an evolution of the ladybeetles sensitivity or rather to an evolution of the area marking attractiveness. The results revealed that only the overwintering individuals follow their area marking, and that this behavior is linked to the ladybeetle physiological state rather than to the chemical profile of the marking biomolecules. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of bacteria community associated with earthworm gut
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Alabi, Taofic; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2012, July 26)

The role of earthworms in soil fertility and transformation of organic waste was regulary cited to be of first importance. Associated to these macro-invertebrates, a large diversity of micro-orgnisms are ... [more ▼]

The role of earthworms in soil fertility and transformation of organic waste was regulary cited to be of first importance. Associated to these macro-invertebrates, a large diversity of micro-orgnisms are found indirectly in their closed environment or directly in their gut. Functional aspects of these interactions and symbiosis in relation with soil characteristics and fertility rates are poorly developed. Here, the micro-organisms diversity and potential related functions of earthworm gut were investigated using a proteiomic approach for both protein and micro-organism identifications. Microbial community investigation was detected by proteomic approach based on bidimensional electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation – time of flight (Maldi-Tof). Diversity of gut associated bacterial communities was discussed. Indeed, application of particular crop production practices such as crop residue management at the field level could regulate the gut bacterial communities in earthworm but also microbials in soils. Agricultural systems had to consider the microbial and associated organisms in the soil to enhance fertlility and crop production in sustainable ways. [less ▲]

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See detailRole of aphid endosymbionts on virus transmission efficiency
Bosquée, Emilie ULg; Haubruge, Eric ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg

Poster (2012, July 26)

A large number of phytoviruses are transmitted exclusively by aphids in a circulative manner after transport by the aphid haemolymph to the salivary glands before transmission to new plant short time ... [more ▼]

A large number of phytoviruses are transmitted exclusively by aphids in a circulative manner after transport by the aphid haemolymph to the salivary glands before transmission to new plant short time later. Some proteins, synthesized in aphids by symbiotic bacteria, are hypothesized to bind to virus particles in the haemolymph, to help transfer inside the aphid without any problem and finally promoting viral transmission efficiency. Multiple endosymbionts commonly coexist in the same host insects. The endosymbiotic bacterial partners of aphids fall into two categories: the obligate “primary” symbiont such as Buchnera sp. found in almost all aphids and the facultative “secondary” bacteria that are not always present. Particular associations between aphids and both Buchnera sp. and secondary symbionts well documented according to adaptation to host plant specificity. In contrast, the impact of specific associations between Buchnera and other facultative secondary endosymbionts on the virus transmission is less well understood. In order to understand the role of some ensymbionts associated to the primary one in the PeMV (Pea enation Mosaic Virus) transmission, several Acyrthosiphon pisum clones presenting different patterns of endosymbionts (Buchnera-Serratia, Buchnera-Spiroplasma, Buchnera-Rickettsia), were used in PeMV efficiency transmission assays on broad bean. The PeMV occurrence in plants was tested by enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay technique (ELISA). The higher virus transmission was found when Serratia bacteria was present in the pea aphid. The occurrence of Serratia endosymbiotic bacteria was concluded to be very important in the PeMV transmission. Finally, the aphid symbiont pattern modulation was discussed in multitrophic approach and potential control of aphid and associated dispersion of viral diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of soil management on earthworm diversity according to differential plowing and plant residue incorporation
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Alabi, Taofic; Zirbes, Lara ULg et al

Poster (2012, July 02)

Earthworms are largely distributed in terrestrial ecosystems and their abundance and diversity in soils are significantly affected by biotic (macro- and micro-organisms) and abiotic factors: soil ... [more ▼]

Earthworms are largely distributed in terrestrial ecosystems and their abundance and diversity in soils are significantly affected by biotic (macro- and micro-organisms) and abiotic factors: soil properties (pH, texture, structure…); agricultural management system and climate change. Here, tillage effect of earthworm population combined with crops residual management was investigated and correlated with soils properties. From wheat experimental field plots, the diversity of earthworm according to the field crop management was assessed. Application of particular crop production practices such as the integration of different levels of crop residues, diverse parts of wheat straws, at the field level regulate earthworm diversity and population abundance. Indeed, tillage reduced earthworm population with a 35% rate also corresponding to changes in soil properties. Agricultural practices had to be adapted to include consideration on macro-invertebrate abundance and diversity to maintain efficient soil fertility and allow sustainable crop production [less ▲]

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See detailFlexible aggregative behavior of Harmonia axyridis according to the freshness of area marking in overwintering sites
Durieux, Delphine ULg; Fischer, Christophe ULg; Fassotte, Bérénice ULg et al

Poster (2012, July)

The multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), aggregates inside dwellings and buildings during winter to survive cold. This adaptive behavior causes annoyances ... [more ▼]

The multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), aggregates inside dwellings and buildings during winter to survive cold. This adaptive behavior causes annoyances to the occupants because of their large number and the induction of allergic reactions. Although this species has aroused a great interest these last years, the factors involved in the selection of its overwintering sites remain misunderstood. The work presented herein was oriented to the study of the non-volatile chemical compounds involved in this aggregation behavior. Chemical analyses revealed the occurrence, in aggregation sites, of an area marking made up of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. Behavioral investigations demonstrated that H. axyridis preferentially aggregates in sites previously marked by congeners, indicating the retention potential of this blend on overwintering individuals. In the second instance, the same analyses were performed on an area marking aged of one year. The chemical investigations showed that only saturated hydrocarbons can still be detected after that period of time but the remaining blend does not induce aggregation anymore. This difference of response according to the freshness of the area marking suggests that this species would not be prisoner of the marking previously deposited on the substrate if the surrounding has changed and the site is not suitable anymore. [less ▲]

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See detailAnt-aphid mutualism - Implication of honeydew microflora
Fischer, Christophe ULg; Piraux, Olivier; Lognay, Georges ULg et al

Conference (2012, July)

Some ant and aphid species can present a mutualistic relationship, ants using aphid honeydew as sugar source and in exchange providing the aphid colony cleaning and protection. From a behavioral point of ... [more ▼]

Some ant and aphid species can present a mutualistic relationship, ants using aphid honeydew as sugar source and in exchange providing the aphid colony cleaning and protection. From a behavioral point of view, this phenomenon has been well studied from decades. However, its chemistry and semiochemical mechanisms are still largely unknown. This study aims to identify semiochemicals involved in the establishment of this relation, using both chemical and behavioral approaches. Bioassays revealed that the greatest part of ant attraction toward aphid colonies is due to honeydew volatile compounds; enabling ant scouts to find more quickly aphid colonies and distantly recognize myrmecophilous species. Many of those VOCs seeming to have microbial origins, the main honeydew microorganisms have been isolated and their roles in VOCs production and ant attraction have been investigated. It appeared that honeydew microflora holds a key role in the establishment of ant-aphids mutualistic relationship. [less ▲]

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