Insect Microbiology | ENY 6821
Insect Microbiology ENY 6821 will cover the diverse associations that exist between insects and microorganisms. These associations include mutualistic relationships, commensalism, vector biology, and insect-pathogen interactions. Insects from a wide range of orders as well as a diverse array of microbes will serve as theoretical models for the students to learn about developmental biology, physiology, behavior, and ecology involved in interactions between insects and microbes. In addition, various methods in scientific research will be presented and discussed. The course is composed of lectures, student presentations, and journal club discussions in order to build a comprehensive understanding of insect microbiology.
Students who will have completed this course will be able to:
- Define and classify the major groups of microorganisms associated with
- Identify and differentiate between beneficial, neutral, and pathogenic
- Assess metabolic pathways with regard to prospective industrial use (e.g., biofuel production).
- Explain and discuss vector biology and implement the concept of vector control for disease prevention in various agricultural
- Synthesize and integrate the concept of biological control into pest management
- Analyze and critique research
There are no formal prerequisites, however introductory coursework in entomology and microbiology are suggested.
Dr. Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski
700 Experiment Station Rd
Lake Alfred Citrus Research and Education Center
Room 24, Entomology Bldg.
A series of assigned research and review articles covering lecture topics will be provided. Examples of reading assignments include:
Baverstock, J., Roy, H.E. and Pell, J.K. (2010) Entomopathogenic fungi and insect behaviour: from unsuspecting hosts to targeted vectors. Biocontrol 55, 89-102.
Dillon, R.J. and Dillon, V.M. (2004) The gut bacteria of insects: nonpathogenic interactions. Annual Review of Entomology 49, 71-92.
Douglas, A.E. (1998) Nutritional interactions in insect-microbial symbioses: Aphids and their symbiotic bacteria Buchnera. Annual Review of Entomology 43, 17-37.
Fereres, A. and Moreno, A. (2009) Behavioural aspects influencing plant virus transmission by homopteran insects. Virus Research 141, 158-168.
Purcell, A.H. and Almeida, A.M. (2005) Insects as vectors of disease agents. Encyclopedia of Plant and Crop Science DOI: 10.1081/E-EPCS-120010496, 5 pp.
Roditakis, E., Couzin, I.D., Balrow, K., Franks, N.R. and Charnley, A.K. (2000) Improving secondary pick up of insect fungal pathogen conidia by manipulating host behaviour. Annals of Applied Biology 137, 329-335.
Additional readings for the course will be posted at: https://elearning.ufl.edu/
There is no single textbook available covering the various aspects of insect microbiology addressed in this class. Therefore, no textbook is required; however, selected chapters from the following textbooks will be recommended for additional reading:
Boucias, D.G. and Pendland, J.C. (1998) Principles of Insect Pathology, 537 pp. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston.
Bourtzis, K. and Miller, T.A. (2003) Insect Symbiosis (Contemporary Topics in Entomology), Vol. I-III, CRC Press, Boca Raton.
Harris, K.F., Smith, O.P. and Duffus, J.E. (2001) Virus-Insect-Plant Interactions, 376 pp. Academic Press, San Diego.
Lacey, L.A. (1997) Manual of Techniques in Insect Pathology, 409 pp. Academic Press, San Diego. Nation, J.L. (2002) Insect Physiology and Biochemistry, 485 pp. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
Tortora, G.J., Funke, B.R. and Case, C.L. (2004) Microbiology: an Introduction, 944 pp.
Benjamin/Cummings, Redwood City, CA.
Grades for ENY 6821 will be based on a total of 550 points as outlined below:
Tests (2 written tests at 100 pts each)
Class presentation (2 x 25 pts each), incl. peer evaluation
Paper group discussion (12 x 25 pts each)
Tests will be composed of multiple choice, short answer and essay questions. To be fair to all students, there will be no extra credit opportunities. Class presentations will be graded according to the evaluation criteria of the Entomological Society of America for oral presentations at scientific meetings. These and the evaluation criteria for paper group discussions will be available in the assignment section of Sakai. Writing assignments are due by the date posted and must be submitted using the Sakai Assignments feature as an unlocked MS Word document (*doc or *docx). Late submissions will be reduced 10% of the total grade for each 24h past the scheduled deadline. All graded material remains the property of the instructors, and any unreturned test or assignment will result in a grade of zero. For information on current UF policies for assigning grade points, see https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/regulations/info/grades.aspx
93-100% of 550 points
For information on current UF policies for assigning grade points, see https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/regulations/info/grades.aspx
Attendance and Makeup Policy
Students are encouraged to participate in Sakai Discussions and in the Sakai chat room. The course is entirely online; however, because exams will consist of materials covered in lectures and paper assignments, students that do not participate will not do well on these assessments.
Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments and other work are consistent with university policies that can be found at: https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/regulations/info/attendance.aspx.
Evaluation of Writing Assignments
Writing assignments will be evaluated for grammar, content, style, and adherence to topic. Assignments should be completed independently, and will be evaluated using Turnitin® to check for plagiarism. Grades will be available on the Gradebook section of Sakai.
Introduction to insect microbiology
Diversity and significance of microbe interactions
Basic entomology and microbiology
Mutualistic associations between insects and microbes
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 1 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 1/19
Insect nutrition and the importance of microbes
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 2 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 1/26
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 3 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 2/2
Ant fungal gardens
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 4 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 2/9
Non-nutritional functions of intra- and extracellular symbionts
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 5 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 2/16
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 6 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 2/23
Exam 1: Covers course material from first half of semester, including reading assignments. Available Feb. 24, due by Feb 28 at 5 p.m. EST)
Microorganisms and insect behavior
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 7 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 3/16
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 8 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 3/23
Microorganisms and insect rearing
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 9 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 3/30
Insects as Vectors of Plant pathogens
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 10 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 4/6
Insects as Vectors of Animal pathogens
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 11 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 4/13
Integrated pest management for vector control
Homework Reading/Writing Assignment 12 due before noon (12 p.m. EST) 4/20
Exam 2: Covers course material from second half of semester, including reading assignments. Available Apr. 23, due by April 30 before noon (12 p.m. EST)
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The UF Science and Engineering policy about plagiarism is located here. Please read it.
The following information applies to all courses taught at the UF Entomology and Nematology Department and can be found in all class syllabi.
Plagiarism is a serious problem in academia today, especially with the ease of obtaining information from the World Wide Web. Plagiarism is defined as representing the words or ideas of another
person as one’s own, without attribution to the source. All words and ideas must be attributed to a source unless they are considered common knowledge (i.e., widely known by many people and found in many different sources). There are many kinds of plagiarism, as you will read on the Guide to Plagiarism website referenced below.
Plagiarism is unethical, unacceptable in science, and prohibited by the UF Student Honor Code (http://www.dso.ufl.edu/sccr/honorcodes/honorcode.php). The consequences for plagiarism while at the University of Florida range from receiving a grade of zero for the plagiarized assignment or a failing grade for the course, to, for repeated offenses, expulsion from the university. Plagiarism after graduate training calls into question one’s scientific integrity and can lead to banning of publication in journals and the loss of jobs/careers.
In some countries, it is an acceptable practice to write in a manner that faculty members at the University of Florida consider plagiarism. Students studying in our university and with plans to publish their research in the English language need to know what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated in this course. Students who plagiarize will be caught and consequences will be applied. I will check all written assignments using an anti-plagiarism software called Turnitin® (https://elearning.ufl.edu/supported-services/turnitin/).
For further information and examples of plagiarism, I strongly suggest that you please read the George Smathers’ Library Guide to Plagiarism at https://guides.uflib.ufl.edu/copyright/plagiarism
Please understand that our purpose in bringing to your attention the matter of plagiarism is to help train you to be ethical scientists, not to impugn your character.
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