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Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 13:l-2 (1990)
The physiological interactions between parasitic insects (parasitoids-parasites)
and their hosts attracted the attention of pioneer entomologists such as R.L.
Doutt, S.E. Flanders, G. Salt, and H.S. Smith. These early investigatorsdescribed
interactions that are known today.
many of the host-parasitoid-(parasite)
Doutt, Flanders, and Smith focused on various aspects of the interactions
between the ovipositing parasitoid adult and her host, and on the significance
to biological control of simultaneous parasitism of a host by one or more
parasitoids of the same or different species. Salt on the other hand, primarily
investigated the ability of the host to mount an effective defense against the
immature parasitoid and of the latter to evade the host’s immune response.
Some earlier investigators considered the parasitoids effects on the host to
be pathological and that the host responded physiologicallyto the stress caused
by the invading parasitoid. In the last decade there has been a resurgence of
interest in the physiological interactions between insect parasitoids and their
hosts and the current view of this relationship reflects a major conceptual change
from that of many of the pioneers; the host is no longer viewed as simply
responding to the parasitoids invasion, but rather that the host-parasitoid
relationship is a dynamic one. The new concept has stimulated research on
the mechanisms used by parasitoids to interfere with their hosts’ immune systems and to modify other aspects of.their hosts’ physiology and biochemistry
that enhance the parasitoid’s own fitness. There is also increasing interest in
those mechanisms through which the host places nutritional and physiological constraints on the immature parasitoid that influence it‘s development and
ultimate reproductive success and offspring viability.
The reports brought together in this volume result from a symposium entitled The Biochemistry, Endocrinology, and Physiological Ecology of Insect Host-Parasite
Systems that was held during the XVIII International Congress of Entomology
in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in July, 1988. The topics in the symposium addressed three major areas: (I) the biochemical and endocrine effects
of parasite’s on their hosts, (11) the physiology of the developing parasite’s
and (111) the influence of the host on the parasite’s biochemistry and physiological ecology (for areas I1 and 111 see pages 157-272, this volume). To highlight these three areas, respectively, and complement the papers that comprise
them, we have included overviews of the parasite’s influence on and response
to the host‘s immune system, the role of the parasite’s teratocytes (cells from
the extra-embryonic membrane) in the host-parasite association, and the
influence of the host on the developing parasite.
This volume includes the research of several well-known scientists who are
0 1990 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
attempting to unravel the complex biochemical and physiological bases of
parasitoid host-interactions. The availability of the appropriate technology has
facilitated investigations on physiological and biochemical events in both host
and parasitoid. We now have substantial documentation of parasitoid effects
on their host and evidence that underscore Salt’s assertion that: ”. . . far
from being a purely passive victim, obliterated without a trace, the host is
often able to impress its mark, and a very clear mark at that, upon the insect
parasitoid that destroys it.”
Heretofore, studies on host-parasitoid physiologicalbiochemicalinteractions
were severely constrained by the limited availability of appropriate techniques
and the small size of parasitoids. The present volume is evidence of the significant evolution that has occurred in the field through the use of biochemical techniques since the first symposium on The Physiological Interactions Between
Endoparasitic Insects and Their Hosts was held in 1984 during the XVII International Congress of Entomology in Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany.
We anticipate that the rapidly advancing biochemical and biotechnological tools
now available will further heighten the sophistication of research in this complex area, provide correspondingly more discreet answers to the questions
posed and propel research on host-parasitoid interactions even further.
We thank the contributors and the many knowledgeable scientistswho served
as anonymous reviewers of these papers. We are grateful to the Editor-inChief and Editorial Staff of the journal Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology for their constructive criticisms and suggestions.
Pauline 0. Lawrence
Professor of Zoology
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida
S. Bradleigh Vinson
Professor of Entomology
Texas A and M University
College Station, Texas
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