Does dimethyl sulfoxide increase protein immunomarking efficiency for dispersal and predation studies?

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Marking biological control agents facilitates studies of dispersal and predation. This study examines the effect of a biological solvent, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), on retention of immunoglobulin G (IgG) protein solutions applied to Diorhabda carinulata (Desbrochers) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), an important biological control agent of saltcedar, either internally by feeding them protein-labeled foliage or externally by immersing them in a protein solution. In addition, we determined whether internally or externally marked DMSO-IgG labels could be transferred via feeding from marked D. carinulata to its predator, Perillus bioculatus (Fabricius) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae). The presence of rabbit and chicken IgG proteins was detected by IgG-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). DMSO-IgG treatments showed greater label retention than IgG treatments alone, and this effect was stronger for rabbit IgG than for chicken IgG. Fourteen days after marking, beetles immersed in rabbit IgG showed 100% internal retention of label, whereas beetles immersed in chicken IgG showed 65% internal retention. Immersion led to greater initial (time 0) label values, and longer label retention, than feeding beetles labeled foliage. The DMSO-IgG label was readily transferred to P. bioculatus after feeding on a single marked prey insect. This investigation shows that addition of DMSO enhances retention of IgG labels, and demonstrates that protein marking technology has potential for use in dispersal and predator–prey studies with D. carinulata. Moreover, our observation of P. bioculatus feeding on D. carinulata is, to our knowledge, a new predator–prey association for the stink bug.

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