Special Issue "Biological Interactions of Pests"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Pest and Disease Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lilin Zhao
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
Interests: multi-species interactions; chemical ecology; ecology genomics; molecular ecology; behaviour; development; immunity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Zhen Zou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
Interests: insect development, immunity; mosquito reproduction; pathogen transmission; antifungal and antiviral immune response
Dr. Yanhong Wang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
Interests: insects; mosquito; antifungal; innate immunity; melanization; vector-borne disease; defense; immune signal pathway

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There has been a continual increase in the number of pests or insects representing problems in agricultural ecology. Certain aspects such as the behavior, immune system, development, etc., of pests could be used as new targets in ecological control measures. At present, these studies not only focus on the community level of insects themselves but also on their interactions with other organisms. These biological interactions have influence on the chemical communication, formation of social division, and even the evolution of the involved species.

In recent years, advances have been made in understanding the mechanisms of numerous popular cases of biological interactions, particularly in multi-species interactions. For example, the development of new research technologies in multi-omics, microbiome, neuroendocrinology, and chemical analysis will allow uncovering the signaling molecules and related signal pathways between some interactions of concern, e.g., intestinal microbial associates–insects, vector insects–pathogens, and natural enemy–insects–plants.

This Special Issue will focus on “Biological Interactions of Pests”. We welcome novel research, review, and opinion pieces covering all related topics including chemical communication, genetics and epigenetics, beneficial microorganisms, physiological responses, novel molecules and their signaling pathways, management solutions, modeling, case studies from the field, and policy positions.

Dr. Lilin Zhao
Dr. Zhen Zou
Dr. Yanhong Wang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biological interaction
  • insect pests
  • ecology adaptations
  • coevolution
  • molecular interaction
  • behavior
  • development

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Computational Interaction Analysis of Sirex noctilio Odorant-Binding Protein (SnocOBP7) Combined with Female Sex Pheromones and Symbiotic Fungal Volatiles
Agronomy 2021, 11(12), 2461; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11122461 - 02 Dec 2021
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Abstract
Sirex noctilio, a major forestry quarantine pest, has spread rapidly and caused serious harm. However, existing methods still need to be improved because its olfactory interaction mechanisms are poorly understood. In order to study the role of male-specific protein SnocOBP7 in the [...] Read more.
Sirex noctilio, a major forestry quarantine pest, has spread rapidly and caused serious harm. However, existing methods still need to be improved because its olfactory interaction mechanisms are poorly understood. In order to study the role of male-specific protein SnocOBP7 in the protein–ligand interactions, we selected it as the object of computational simulation and analysis. By docking it with 11 ligands and evaluating free binding energy decomposition, the three best binding ligands were found to be female sex pheromones ((Z)-7-heptacosene and (Z)-7-nonacosene) and symbiotic fungal volatiles ((−)-globulol). Binding mode analysis and computational alanine scanning suggested that five residues play key roles in the binding of each female sex pheromone to SnocOBP7, whereas two residues play key roles in (−)-globulol binding. Phe108 and Leu36 may be the crucial sites via which SnocOBP7 binds female sex pheromones, whereas Met40 may regulate the courtship behavior of males, and Leu61 may be related to mating and host finding. Our studies predicted the function of SnocOBP7 and found that the interaction between SnocOBP7 and pheromone is a complex process, and we successfully predicted its binding key amino-acid sites, providing a basis for the development of new prevention and control methods relying on female sex pheromones and symbiotic fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Interactions of Pests)
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Review

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Review
Direct and Indirect Effects of Invasive vs. Native Ant-Hemipteran Mutualism: A Meta-Analysis That Supports the Mutualism Intensity Hypothesis
Agronomy 2021, 11(11), 2323; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11112323 - 17 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Mutualism can facilitate the colonization, establishment, and spread of invasive species. By modifying interactions with third parties, mutualisms can have cascading community-wide effects. Both native and invasive ants are capable of forming mutualisms with hemipteran insects, preying on non-hemipteran herbivores and indirectly affecting [...] Read more.
Mutualism can facilitate the colonization, establishment, and spread of invasive species. By modifying interactions with third parties, mutualisms can have cascading community-wide effects. Both native and invasive ants are capable of forming mutualisms with hemipteran insects, preying on non-hemipteran herbivores and indirectly affecting primary production. Comparative research on the effects of both native and invasive ant exclusions on multitrophic interactions is therefore crucial for understanding the invasive potential of ants, along with any ecological consequences that invasions may have. We performed a quantitative review of the multitrophic effects of invasive and native ants on insect–plant food webs. Herbivorous insects are the most common food source for both invasive (comprising 56% of prey species caught) and native ants (55% of the prey species caught), followed by predators (31% for invasive ants, 45% for native ants). Excluding both invasive and native ants significantly reduced hemipteran abundance, and excluding invasive ants had a greater negative impact on hemipteran abundance than native ants. Native ant predation significantly reduced herbivore abundance, but excluding invasive ants had no effect. Cascading effects of native ants on plant fitness were significantly positive, but there was no significant impact of invasive ants. These findings suggest a weak relationship between the presence of invasive ants and non-hemipteran herbivore abundance. We suggest that the hemipteran–ant mutualism could represent a ‘symbiotic invasion’. The ecological dominance of invasive ants is often facilitated by hemipteran insects. This association requires invasive ant control strategies to expand beyond ants to consider mutualists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Interactions of Pests)
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