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We report the first discovery and genome sequence of a virus infecting the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. The 8026 nucleotide, polyadenylated, RNA genome encoded two large open reading frames (ORF1 and ORF2), flanked and separated by 27, 223, and 171 nucleotide untranslated regions, respectively. The predicted amino acid sequence of the 5'(More)
Oligonucleotide primer pairs were designed to unique areas of the small subunit (16S) rRNA gene of Thelohania solenopsae and a region of the Gp-9 gene of Solenopsis invicta. Multiplex PCR resulted in sensitive and specific detection of T. solenopsae infection of S. invicta. The T. solenopsae-specific primer pair only amplified DNA from T. solenopsae and T.(More)
We determined the prevalence of natural Þeld infections of the Þre ant pathogen Thelohania solenopsaeKnell, Allen, and Hazard in the monogyne and polygyne social forms of the red imported Þre ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, in three pastures in Florida. Social form was determined by examining the genotype of ants at the Gp-9 locus. The monogyne form contains(More)
Three studies were conducted to assess the effects of the entomopathogen Thelohania solenopsae on polygynous, red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, colonies. A total of 57 of 122 queens (46.7%) from nine, field-collected, polygyne, S. invicta colonies, was infected with T. solenopsae. Infection rate of queens for each colony ranged from 25 to(More)
A new microsporidian genus and species, Myrmecomorba nylanderiae, is described from North American populations of the tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva. This new species was found to be heterosporous producing several types of binucleate spores in both larval and adult stages and an abortive octosporoblastic sporogony in adult ants. While microsporidia are(More)
Analysis of an invasive species' niche shift between native and introduced ranges, along with potential distribution maps, can provide valuable information about its invasive potential. The tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, is a rapidly emerging and economically important invasive species in the southern United States. It is originally from east-central(More)
An understanding of host specificity is essential before pathogens can be used as biopesticides or self-sustaining biocontrol agents. In order to define the host range of the recently discovered Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3), we exposed laboratory colonies of 19 species of ants in 14 genera and 4 subfamilies to this virus. Despite extreme exposure(More)
Tests were conducted to evaluate whether Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) could be delivered in various bait formulations to fire ant colonies and measure the corresponding colony health changes associated with virus infection in Solenopsis invicta. Three bait formulations (10% sugar solution, cricket paste, and soybean oil adsorbed to defatted corn(More)
An expression library was created and 2304 clones sequenced from a monogyne colony of Solenopsis invicta. The primary intention of the project was to utilize homologous gene identification to facilitate discovery of viruses infecting this ant pest that could potentially be used in pest management. Additional genes were identified from the ant host and(More)
BACKGROUND Nylanderia pubens (Forel) is an invasive ant species that in recent years has developed into a serious nuisance problem in the Caribbean and United States. A rapidly expanding range, explosive localized population growth, and control difficulties have elevated this ant to pest status. Professional entomologists and the pest control industry in(More)