Non-destructive methods to determine microsporidian infection levels in cinnabar moth larva Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/w9505195n

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  • The Cinnabar moth, Tyria jacobaeae, has been introduced to North America in an effort to control the invasive plant Jacobaea vulgaris. The Cinnabar moth is the main host of Nosema tyriae. When infection levels are high, N. tyriae can shorten the lifespan and affect reproduction of the Cinnabar moths. The goal of this study was to determine if levels of infection are the same for larvae in the same egg mass or if numbers of spores found in frass reflect larval infection levels. These analyses would allow future experiments to overcome the limitations of destructive sampling. The variance of infection levels between sibling larvae was not significantly smaller than the variance between families. Therefore, sibling larvae should not be used as proxies to determine infection levels in larvae of interest. Spore concentration in frass was significant for 4th instars, marginally significant for 5th instar, and non-significant for 3rd instar. Overall, we conclude that frass sampling cannot be an alternative to destructive sampling for N. tyriae detection in Cinnabar moths, based on the results obtained in this study.
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