Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (4): 559-565, 2013 | 10.14411/eje.2013.076

Antibacterial activity of lysozyme in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

Amr A. MOHAMED1, Mohamed ELMOGY1,2, Moataza A. DORRAH1, Hesham A. YOUSEF1, Taha T.M. BASSAL*,1
1 Department of Entomology, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt; e-mails: mamr@sci.cu.edu.eg; elmoogy@yahoo.com; moatazaahmed@gmail.com; heshamyousef.eg@gmail.com
2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Applied Science, Um AlQura University, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

The ability of biocontrol agents to overcome the immune defense of pests is a crucial issue. This is the first study of lysozyme activity as an inducible humoral component of the defense of Schistocerca gregaria, which depends on the recognition of the elicitor molecules of pathogens and not on epidermal wounding or a spiking effect. The level of lysozyme activity in fat body, haemocytes and haemolymph plasma of naïve and immunologically challenged 5th instar S. gregaria was evaluated using the zone of inhibition test against Micrococcus lysodeikticus. Various Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria as well as peptidoglycans (PGN) and lipopolysacchrides (LPS) of bacterial cell walls induce and increase in the level of lysozyme activity. Escherichia coli induced an increase in the level of activity of lysozyme in the fat body, haemocytes and plasma, but not in mid gut epithelium, 6-12 h after an immunological challenge and then it decreased to the constitutive level after 72 h. This study revealed that in S. gregaria there is a constitutive and a bacteria-inducible level of lysozyme activity, which protects it against infection by both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.

Keywords: Orthoptera, Acrididae, Schistocerca gregaria, antibacterial, lysozyme, Escherichia coli, haemocytes

Received: November 8, 2012; Accepted: April 18, 2013; Prepublished online: October 1, 2013; Published: December 1, 2013

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