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Environ Entomol. 2017 Aug 1;46(4):1005-1011. doi: 10.1093/ee/nvx112.

Heat Tolerance Induction of the Indian Meal Moth (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) Is Accompanied by Upregulation of Heat Shock Proteins and Polyols.

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Department of Plant Medicals, Andong National University, Andong 36729, Korea.
Institute of Life Science and Natural Resources, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea.
Department of Biosystems and Biotechnology, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea.


The Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, causes massive damage to stored grains and processed foods. Heat treatment has been widely used to control insect pests infesting stored grains. However, heat treatment may result in unsatisfactory control owing to heat tolerance of target insects. This study quantified the heat tolerance and analyzed its induction in P. interpunctella. Susceptibility of P. interpunctella to different high temperatures was assessed in all developmental stages. Heat treatment at 44 °C for 1 h caused significant mortalities to all developmental stages, with late-instar larvae exhibiting the highest tolerance. However, the survivorship to heat treatment was significantly increased by pre-exposure to 37 °C for 30 min. The induction of heat tolerance was accompanied by upregulation of two heat shock proteins of Hsc70 and Hsp90. Trehalose and glycerol concentrations in the hemolymph also increased after pre-exposure to 37 °C for 30 min. RNA interference (RNAi) by specific double-stranded RNAs effectively suppressed the inducible expressions of both Hsc70 and Hsp90 in response to 37 °C for 30 min. Either RNAi of Hsc70 or Hsp90 significantly impaired the heat tolerance induction of P. interpunctella. These results suggest that the induction of heat tolerance in P. interpunctella involves the upregulation of these heat shock proteins and hemolymph polyol levels.


Plodia interpunctella; glycerol; heat shock protein; heat tolerance; trehalose

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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