Friday, 9 September 2011

Stopped Dead In It Tracks

This adult Balta sp. cockroach (family Ectobiidae=Blattellidae of many authors) was killed in its tracks by a parasitic disease, either a bacterial infection or a fungal disease. Insect diseases are sought by researchers in Biological Control. Several kinds of insect diseases have been employed to control pest insects. A fungus, Metarhizium, has been used to successfully control grasshoppers and locusts in many countries. These fungi are usually quite host specific and do not transfer to non target organisms. Some have been genetically modified just for this purpose. Could the disease that killed this cockroach have potential in controlling other cockroach species that infest homes, hospitals and restaurants?

3 comments:

JK said...

On the subject of insect disease and biological control; there was a paper in last week's Nature on Wolbachia infecting Aedes and controlling Dengue Fever. Believe the release was on the Eastern Australian coast: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v476/n7361/full/nature10356.html

Mr. Smiley said...

Right JK
The release was right here in Cairns and it seems to be effective. Could be a good control for the disease.
Thanks for pointing that out.
D

JK said...

Going to see M. Turelli (second to last author) give a seminar here at UCSC tomorrow. Looking forward to it.