Insect myosuppressins and myosuppressin analogues were tested for oral toxicity against the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) by incorporation into an artificial diet. Acyrthosiphon pisum myosuppressin (Acypi-MS) and leucomyosuppressin (LMS) had significant dose-dependent effects (0.1-0.5μg peptide/μl diet) on feeding suppression, mortality, reduced growth and fecundity compared with control insects, but Acypi-MS was more potent than LMS. One hundred percent of aphids had died after 10days of feeding on 0.5μg Acypi-MS/μl diet whereas 40% of aphids feeding on 0.5μg LMS/μl diet were still alive after 13days. Myosuppressins were degraded by aphid gut enzymes; degradation was most likely due to a carboxypeptidase-like protease, an aminopeptidase and a cathepsin L cysteine protease. The estimated half-life of Acypi-MS in a gut extract was 30min, whereas LMS was degraded more slowly (t1\2=54min). No toxicity was observed when the analogues δR9LMS and citrolline9Acypi-MS or FMRFamide were fed to the pea aphid. These findings not only help to better understand the biological effects of myosuppressins in aphids but also demonstrate the potential use of myosuppressins in a strategy to control aphid pests. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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