Hafiza Javaria Ashraf


3 Molecular Characterization and Identification of C-Type Lectin in Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliver

Authors: Hafiza Javaria Ashraf, Xinghong Wang, Zhanghong Shi, Youming Hou


Insect’s innate immunity depends on a variety of defense responses for the recognition of invading pathogens. Pathogen recognition involves particular proteins known as pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). These PRRs interact with pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) present on the surface of pathogens to distinguish between self and non-self. C-type lectins (CTLs) belong to a superfamily of PPRs which involved in insect immunity and defense mechanism. Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier is a devastating pest of Palm cultivations in China. Although studies on R. ferrugineus immune mechanism and host defense have conducted, however, the role of CTL in immune responses of R. ferrugineus remains elusive. Here, we report RfCTL, which is a secreted protein containing a single-CRD domain. The open reading frame (ORF) of CTL is 226 bp, which encodes a putative protein of 168 amino acids. Transcript expression analysis revealed that RfCTL highly expressed in immune-related tissues, i.e., hemolymph and fat body. The abundance of RfCTL in the gut and fat body dramatically increased upon Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli bacterial challenges, suggesting a role in defense against gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial infection. Taken together, we inferred that RfCTL might be involved in the immune defense of R. ferrugineus and established a solid foundation for future studies on R. ferrugineus CTL domain proteins for better understanding of insect immunity.

Keywords: Biological Invasion, c-type lectin, insect immunity, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliver

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2 Efficacy of Different Plant Extracts against Brevicoryne brassicae and Their Effects on Pollinators

Authors: Muhammad Sufyan, Asim Abbasi, Hafiza Javaria Ashraf, Muhammad Hussnain Babar


Brevicoryne brassicae (Aphid) is not only the major biotic constraint of rapeseed crop but also transmits 20 different viral pathogens that cause diseases in crucifers. Aphids cause major losses to rapeseed by stunting growth and yield, with real damage being contamination of harvested heads. The misuse of pesticides has led to tremendous economic losses and hazards to human health and environmental pollution. Thus, newer approaches for pest control are continuously being sought. The naturally occurring, biologically active plant-based products seem to have a prominent role in the development of future commercial pesticides not only for increased productivity but their eco-friendly nature. The present experiment was carried out in Research Area of Ayub Agriculture Research Institute, Faisalabad to check the efficacy of different botanicals against rapeseed aphid. The tested botanicals were, neem seed extract, neem leaf extract, dathora seed extract, kaner leaf extract and aak leaf extract. Insecticide, advantage 20 EC served as the positive control in the experiment. Data was recorded before and after 1, 3 and 7 days of treatment application. The results of the experiment revealed that neem seed extract exhibited maximum mortality (48.42%) followed by dathora (45.54%) and kaner leaf extract (40.29%) after 7 days of treatment application. However minimum mortality i.e. 26.64% was observed in case of aak leaf extract. Advantage encountered maximum mortality i.e. 86.14%. All treatments caused maximum mortality after 7 days of treatment application. In case of pollinators maximum population reduction was observed in case of insecticide (74.29%) while minimum reduction was observed in neem leaf extract (11.57%). Hence it was concluded that unlike insecticides, plant based products can be a better option for regulating pests and conserving beneficial insect fauna.

Keywords: Mortality, Pollinators, aphid, plant based

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1 A Review on Biological Control of Mosquito Vectors

Authors: Muhammad Sufyan, Asim Abbasi, Iqra, Hafiza Javaria Ashraf


The share of vector-borne diseases (VBDs) in the global burden of infectious diseases is almost 17%. The advent of new drugs and latest research in medical science helped mankind to compete with these lethal diseases but still diseases transmitted by different mosquito species, including filariasis, malaria, viral encephalitis and dengue are serious threats for people living in disease endemic areas. Injudicious and repeated use of pesticides posed selection pressure on mosquitoes leading to development of resistance. Hence biological control agents are under serious consideration of scientific community to be used in vector control programmes. Fish have a history of predating immature stages of different aquatic insects including mosquitoes. The noteworthy examples in Africa and Asia includes, Aphanius discolour and a fish in the Panchax group. Moreover, common mosquito fish, Gambusia affinis predates mostly on temporary water mosquitoes like anopheline as compared to permanent water breeders like culicines. Mosquitoes belonging to genus Toxorhynchites have a worldwide distribution and are mostly associated with the predation of other mosquito larvae habituating with them in natural and artificial water containers. These species are harmless to humans as their adults do not suck human blood but feeds on floral nectar. However, their activity is mostly temperature dependent as Toxorhynchites brevipalpis consume 359 Aedes aegypti larvae at 30-32 ºC in contrast to 154 larvae at 20-26 ºC. Although many bacterial species were isolated from mosquito cadavers but those belonging to genus Bacillus are found highly pathogenic against them. The successful species of this genus include Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus sphaericus. The prime targets of B. thuringiensis are mostly the immatures of genus Aedes, Culex, Anopheles and Psorophora while B. sphaericus is specifically toxic against species of Culex, Psorophora and Culiseta. The entomopathogenic nematodes belonging to family, mermithidae are also pathogenic to different mosquito species. Eighty different species of mosquitoes including Anopheles, Aedes and Culex proved to be highly vulnerable to the attack of two mermithid species, Romanomermis culicivorax and R. iyengari. Cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus was the first described pathogenic virus, isolated from the cadavers of mosquito specie, Culex tarsalis. Other viruses which are pathogenic to culicine includes, iridoviruses, cytopolyhedrosis viruses, entomopoxviruses and parvoviruses. Protozoa species belonging to division microsporidia are the common pathogenic protozoans in mosquito populations which kill their host by the chronic effects of parasitism. Moreover, due to their wide prevalence in anopheline mosquitoes and transversal and horizontal transmission from infected to healthy host, microsporidia of the genera Nosema and Amblyospora have received much attention in various mosquito control programmes. Fungal based mycopesticides are used in biological control of insect pests with 47 species reported virulent against different stages of mosquitoes. These include both aquatic fungi i.e. species of Coelomomyces, Lagenidium giganteum and Culicinomyces clavosporus, and the terrestrial fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana. Hence, it was concluded that the integrated use of all these biological control agents can be a healthy contribution in mosquito control programmes and become a dire need of the time to avoid repeated use of pesticides.

Keywords: protozoa, entomopathogenic nematodes, Toxorhynchites, vector-borne

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