Eur. J. Entomol. 113: 415-422, 2016 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2016.054

Cellular immune response of the Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), to infection by the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana

Dongxu SHEN1, Miao LI1, Yuan CHU1, Minglin LANG2, Chunju AN1,*
1 Department of Entomology, China Agricultural University, 100193, Beijing, China; e-mails: shendongxu0311@163.com; limiao@ksu.edu; chuyuan0617@sina.com; anchunju@cau.edu.cn
2 College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100049, Baoding, China; e-mail: langminglin@tsinghua.org.cn

The term cellular immune response refers to haemocyte-mediated responses, including phagocytosis, nodulation, and encapsulation. In the present study, we identified five types of circulating haemocytes in larvae of the haemolymph of the Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée), including granulocytes, oenocytoids, plasmatocytes, prohaemocytes, and spherulocytes. The relative number of total free haemocytes per larva decreased significantly 0.5, 24, and 36 h after the injection of Beauveria bassiana conidia. Upon conidia challenge, both phagocytosis and nodulation were observed in the collected haemolymph from O. furnacalis larvae. In addition, plasma was found to be necessary for both phagocytosis and nodulation. Therefore, we here confirm that phagocytosis and nodulation are involved in O. funacalis larvae during their fight against infection by B. bassiana, and further, that the cellular immune response of O. furnacalis helps eliminate the invading organisms despite the fact that not all the fungal conidia are killed.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Pyralidae, Ostrinia furnacalis, cellular immune response, haemocyte, phagocytosis, nodulation, Beauveria bassiana, entomopathogenic fungus

Received: March 11, 2016; Accepted: May 2, 2016; Published online: July 8, 2016

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