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Cecropins as a marker of Spodoptera frugiperda immunosuppression during entomopathogenic bacterial challenge

Abstract : An antimicrobial peptide (AMP) of the cecropin family was isolated by HPLC from plasma of the insect pest, Spodoptera frugiperda. Its molecular mass is 3910.9 Da as determined by mass spectrometry. Thanks to the EST database Spodobase, we were able to describe 13 cDNAs encoding six different cecropins which belong to the sub-families CecA, CecB, CecC and CecD. The purified peptide identified as CecB1 was chemically synthesized (syCecB1). It was shown to be active against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria as well as fungi. Two closely related entomopathogenic bacteria, Xenorhabdus nematophila F1 and Xenorhabdus mauleonii VC01(T) showed different susceptibility to syCecB1. Indeed, X. nematophila was sensitive to syCecB1 whereas X. mauleonii had a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) eight times higher. Interestingly, injection of live X. nematophila into insects did not induce the expression of AMPs in hemolymph. This effect was not observed when this bacterium was heat-killed before injection. On the opposite, both live and heat-killed X. mauleonii induced the expression of AMPs in the hemolymph of S. frugiperda. The same phenomenon was observed for another immune-related protein lacking antimicrobial activity. Altogether, our data suggest that Xenorhabdus strains have developed different strategies to supplant the humoral defense mechanisms of S. frugiperda, either by increasing their resistance to AMPs or by preventing their expression during such host-pathogen interaction. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Bernard Duvic, Véronique Jouan, Nour Essa, Pierre-Alain Girard, Sylvie Pages, et al.. Cecropins as a marker of Spodoptera frugiperda immunosuppression during entomopathogenic bacterial challenge. Journal of Insect Physiology, Elsevier, 2012, 58 (6), pp.881 - 888. ⟨10.1016/j.jinsphys.2012.04.001⟩. ⟨hal-02651570⟩

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