Exploration of microbial ecosystems in the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), and its control implications

Monday, November 11, 2013: 10:12 AM
Meeting Room 4 BC (Austin Convention Center)
Chris M. Powell , Department of Biology, University of Texas, Tyler, TX
Blake R. Bextine , Department of Biology, University of Texas, Tyler, TX
Solenopsis invicta Buren or Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) is an urban pest of concern across the southwestern United States, and more recently some pacific and Asian islands.  Microbial communities of social insects are critical to their fecundity; this provides a potential avenue for biological control. By understanding the structure of these communities and the constituent’s functions; targeted introduction or removal of keystone microbes may result in a negative effect on the colony as a whole.  Bacterial Community survey was conducted of brood, workers, and reproductive cast members from field collected colonies.