Solenopsis invicta virus (sinv-1) infection and insecticide interactions in the red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Danielle M. Tufts, Wayne B. Hunter, Blake Bextine

Abstract


The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is of great concern because of its destructive nature to endemic wildlife, livestock, and people. Various methods for managing this pest are currently being developed, including the use of viruses as biological control agents. In this study, the effectiveness of the Solenopsis invicta virus (SINV-1), (a positive sense, single-stranded RNA virus in the Dicistroviridae family (Genus: Aparavirus) which only infects the Genus Solenopsis) as an effective biological control agent against S. invicta infestation in combination with commonly used insecticides was investigated. Surprisingly, ants treated with the virus experienced significantly greater survival rates than non-infected but chemically treated individuals. SINV-1 might provide some unidentified benefit to aid individual ant survival, however at this point, without fully understanding the virus-ant interaction, the use of SINV-1 as a biological control agent requires further investigation.

 

La hormiga de fuego roja importada, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), causa una gran preocupacion debido a su naturaleza destructiva para la vida silvestre endemica, el ganado y las personas. Se estan desarrollando actualmente varios metodos para el manejo de esta plaga, incluyendo el uso de virus como agentes de control biologico. En este estudio, se investigo la eficacia del virus de Solenopsis invicta (SINV-1), (un virus ARN monocatenario de sentido positivo de la familia de Dicistroviridae (Genero: Aparavirus) que solo infecta el genero Solenopsis) como un agente eficaz de control biologico contra infestaciones de S. invicta en combinacion con insecticidas de uso comun. Sorprendentemente, las hormigas tratadas con el virus experimentaron significativamente mayores tasas de sobrevivencia que las no infectadas, pero tratadas quimicamente. El SINV-1 podria proveer un beneficio no identificado para ayudar a la sobrevivencia de hormigas individuales, sin embargo, en este punto, sin comprender claramente la interaccion virus-hormiga, el uso de SINV-1 como agente de control biologico requiere mayor investigacion.

 

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Keywords


antagonist; biological control; fipronil; hydramethylnon; virus-ant interaction

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