0319 Lacewing as a genetic model organism

Wednesday, December 15, 2010: 10:40 AM
California (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Margaret L. Allen , Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, USDA - ARS, Stoneville, MS
Lacewings (Chrysopidae: Neuroptera) are a family of insect predators, also called aphidlions because of their voracious feeding on aphids. They are well recognized, commercialized beneficial insects, and are appreciated as generalist predators by both individual gardeners and commerical growers of food and horticultural crops. A lacewing species, Chrysoperla rufilabris, is a good prospect for sequencing and developing as a model organism for genetic study because: it represents a new (to genetics) insect order and trophic category, insect predator (entomophage); it is easy to culture, maintain, and handle; it has a foundation of commercial suppliers, and further commercial potential, potentially increasing "green" jobs; it has developmental research potential, having morphologically "primitive" characters in antennae, mouthparts, legs and wings; it has evolutionary/phylogenetic research potential - no representatives of the order Neuroptera have been sequenced, and the order is evolutionarily important, being a primitive holometabolous insect; materials of industrial interest can be identified from this order, including silks, aggregation pheromones for predators, and secretions that are repellent to other insects; at least one highly inbred population is available through USDA-ARS; a representative species of this organism's primary prey has a completed genome (Acyrthosiphon pisum, the pea aphid); and the adult is pretty, making it appealing for education and outreach activities. The community envisioned for the lacewing effort includes members unique in the world of genome sequencing - the biological control industry. Genetics projects incorporating lacewings will provide a wealth of research opportunity and open new marketing opportunities for biocontrol science and industry.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.46670