Conrad Cloutier

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Protease inhibitors are a promising complement to Bt toxins for the development of insect-resistant transgenic crops, but their limited specificity against proteolytic enzymes and the ubiquity of protease-dependent processes in living organisms raise questions about their eventual non-target effects in agroecosystems. After a brief overview of the main(More)
Resistance to endoparasitoids in aphids involves complex interactions between insect and microbial players. It is now generally accepted that the facultative bacterial symbiont Hamiltonella defensa of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum is implicated in its resistance to the parasitoid Aphidius ervi. It has also been shown that heat negatively affects pea(More)
Protease inhibitors have been proposed as potential control molecules that could be engineered into potato plants for developing crops resistant to the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, a major pest of potato and other Solanaceae. In this study, we examined the effects of feeding young female beetles with foliage from a cultivar of the(More)
We reported earlier the importance of digestive cathepsin D-like activity for initiating dietary protein hydrolysis in Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say [Brunelle et al. (1999) Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 42:88-98]. We assessed here whether transgenic lines of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) expressing a cathepsin D inhibitor (CDI) from(More)
When insects are exposed to fluctuating thermal regimes (FTRs) (i.e., cold exposure alternating with periodic short pulses to high temperature), in contrast to constant low temperature (CLT), mortality due to accumulation of chill injuries is markedly reduced. To investigate the physiological processes behind the positive impact of FTR, based on a holistic(More)
Parasitoid virulence and host resistance are complex interactions depending on metabolic rate and cellular activity, which in aphids additionally implicate heritable secondary symbionts among the Enterobacteriaceae. As performance of the parasitoid, the aphid host and its symbionts may differentially respond to temperature, the success or failure of aphid(More)
We assessed the ability of the fungal elicitor arachidonic acid to induce cystatin genes in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), using a cDNA expression library from arachidonate-treated leaves. The cDNAs of two novel cystatins were isolated, coding for an approx. 11-kDa protein, SlCYS10; and for a 23.6-kDa protein, SlCYS9, bearing an N-terminal signal peptide(More)
Plant cystatins, similar to other defense proteins, include hypervariable, positively selected amino acid sites presumably impacting their biological activity. Using 29 single mutants of the eighth domain of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) multicystatin, SlCYS8, we assessed here the potential of site-directed mutagenesis at positively selected amino acid(More)
Positive selection is thought to contribute to the functional diversification of insect-inducible protease inhibitors in plants in response to selective pressures exerted by the digestive proteases of their herbivorous enemies. Here we assessed whether a reciprocal evolutionary process takes place on the insect side, and whether ingestion of a positively(More)
Various factors shape the response of plants to herbivorous insects, including wounding patterns, specific chemical effectors and feeding habits of the attacking herbivore. Here we performed a comparative proteomic analysis of the plant's response to wounding and herbivory, using as a model potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L.) subjected to mechanical(More)