15 Giu Studies on the gut microbiota of the insect pest Spodoptera exigua
The Lepidoptera Spodoptera exigua is an important polyphagous agricultural pest, worldwide distributed. Susceptible crops include asparagus, cabbage, pepper, tomato, lettuce, celery, strawberry, eggplant, sugar beet, alfalfa, and cotton. Traditionally, chemical insecticides have been used to control this pest but extensive use over a long time period has led to the emergence of resistant populations. Researchers from Valencia (Spain) are extensively studying this pest and looking for new strategies for its containment. They have recently analysed the gut microbiota of S. exigua and showed that it is highly variable and strongly influenced by environmental bacteria. Moreover, their observations suggested the possibility that microbiota composition influences the infective process of the larvae, providing new “weapons” for the insect management. For more information, click here.