Evidence that caterpillar labial saliva suppresses infectivity of potential bacterial pathogens

Richard O. Musser, Hyeog S. Kwon, Spencer A. Williams, C. James White, Michael A. Romano, Scott M. Holt, Shay Bradbury, Judith K. Brown, Gary Felton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Salivary enzyme, glucose oxidase (GOX) from the caterpillar Helicoverpo zeo, catalyzes the conversion of glucose to gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Because hydrogen peroxide has well-known antimicrobial properties, we examined whether caterpillar labial saliva could reduce the infectivity of bacterial pathogens. We examined the effects of caterpillar saliva on the growth of two bacteria species Serratia marcescens and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Wells formed in LB agar contained a solution of salivary gland extract (Sx) and glucose, GOX and glucose, Sx only, GOX only, or glucose only. After 18 h of incubation, the diameter of cleared bacteria was measured. Wells treated with only GOX, Sx, or glucose showed no measurable area of clearing, while wells treated with GOX with glucose or Sx with glucose had considerable clearing. To determine if saliva could provide protection to caterpillars in vivo, a surgery was performed on caterpillars that prevented the secretion of labial saliva. Caterpillars were fed a diet containing either no added bacteria or treated with high levels of S. marcescens or P. aeruginosa. Caterpillars that could not secrete saliva had significantly higher levels of mortality when feeding on diet treated with either bacterium than caterpillars that could secrete saliva when feeding on equal levels of bacteria-treated diet. Our evidence demonstrates for the first time that insect saliva in situ can provide protection against bacterial pathogens and that the salivary enzyme GOX appears to provide the antimicrobial properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-144
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005

Fingerprint

Pathogens
Glucose Oxidase
lips
Lip
saliva
Saliva
glucose oxidase
insect larvae
pathogenicity
Glucose
Bacteria
pathogens
glucose
Nutrition
Serratia marcescens
bacteria
Diet
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
anti-infective properties
Hydrogen Peroxide

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Insect Science

Cite this

Musser, Richard O. ; Kwon, Hyeog S. ; Williams, Spencer A. ; White, C. James ; Romano, Michael A. ; Holt, Scott M. ; Bradbury, Shay ; Brown, Judith K. ; Felton, Gary. / Evidence that caterpillar labial saliva suppresses infectivity of potential bacterial pathogens. In: Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology. 2005 ; Vol. 58, No. 2. pp. 138-144.
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Musser, RO, Kwon, HS, Williams, SA, White, CJ, Romano, MA, Holt, SM, Bradbury, S, Brown, JK & Felton, G 2005, 'Evidence that caterpillar labial saliva suppresses infectivity of potential bacterial pathogens', Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 138-144. https://doi.org/10.1002/arch.20031

Evidence that caterpillar labial saliva suppresses infectivity of potential bacterial pathogens. / Musser, Richard O.; Kwon, Hyeog S.; Williams, Spencer A.; White, C. James; Romano, Michael A.; Holt, Scott M.; Bradbury, Shay; Brown, Judith K.; Felton, Gary.

In: Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, Vol. 58, No. 2, 01.02.2005, p. 138-144.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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