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Trends in Entomology   Volumes    Volume 1 
Protein marking insects for mark-release-recapture studies
James R. Hagler
Pages: 105 - 115
Number of pages: 11
Trends in Entomology
Volume 1 

Copyright © 1997 Research Trends. All rights reserved


An alternative to the conventional methods for marking arthropods for dispersal studies is described. Adult Trichogrammatoidea bactrae Nagaraja, parasitoids of eggs of Lepidoptera, were marked either internally by feeding on a honey solution labeled with rabbit immunoglobulin (IgG) or externally by topical application of aqueous rabbit IgG. Marked and unmarked individuals were then examined for the presence of rabbit protein by a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using a rabbit IgG specific antibody. The protein marker was retained throughout the entire adult lifespan in almost every individual parasitoid marked as an adult, regardless of the application method used. In another test, pre-emerged parasitoids were marked by applying a topical solution of rabbit IgG directly on the host eggs. Upon adult emergence, these parasitoids were assayed by ELISA for the presence of the protein marker. Only 11.2% of the parasitoids were successfully marked when the rabbit protein solution was applied to parasitized host eggs. The advantages of using vertebrate-specific proteins over the other marking techniques are discussed.

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