Survey for viral pathogens in invasive ants in Japan
|Chin-Cheng Yang (Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University)
|Chow Yang Lee (School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia)
Compared to chemical control, biocontrol is considered more self-sustaining and environmentally friendly if potential risks are properly managed. The goal of the proposed research is to extend the research outcome from last year and attempt to characterize profiles of the detected viruses in the invasive Argentine ant, red imported fire ant and yellow crazy ant. The viral profiles include distribution, pathogenicity, evolutionary history and potential impacts on the ants. The generated results are expected to serve as baseline data for evaluating the potential and feasibility of a virus-based biocontrol program. The specific aims of the current project include 1) establish a fast, robust virus detection pipeline, 2) assess viral prevalence in field populations of the three ants, 3) characterize pathogenicity and potential impacts on the host ants.
Fig. 1 The experimental design for testing the effect(s) of the virus on foraging intensity of yellow crazy ants (YCA). An automatic recording system is being set up on the top of foraging arenas (4 petri dishes, 5.5 cm in diameter) that are connected to a YCA colony fragment. The YCA colony was inoculated with the target virus for at least 7 days prior to the behavioral experiment.