Pennsylvania State University
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This dataset includes upper and lower thermal limits, voluntary exposure to extreme cold and warm temperatures, ATP levels, and longevity of <i>Acyrtociphom pisum</i> and <i>Hippodamia convergens</i>. Pathogens can modify many aspects of host behavior or physiology, with cascading impacts across trophic levels in terrestrial food webs. These changes include thermal tolerance of hosts, however, the effects of fungal infections on thermal tolerances and behavioral responses to extreme temperatures of prey (<i>Acyrtociphon pisum</i>) and predator (<i>Hippodamia convergens</i>) insect species have rarely been studied. We measured the impacts of fungal infection (at two levels: low and high spore load) on thermal tolerance (critical thermal maximum and minimum), voluntary exposure, energetic cost, and survival of both insect species. Fungal infection reduced thermal tolerance to heat in both insect species, but only reduced tolerance to cold of the predator. Voluntary exposure to extreme temperatures was modified by the infection, energetic cost increased with infection and thermal conditions, and survival was significantly reduced in both insect species.
The project is focused on the topic, 'enhanced heat tolerance of virus-infected aphids lead to niche expansion and reduced interspecific competition. The two aphid species studied are <i>Rhopalosiphum padi</i> and <i>Rhopalosiphum maidis</i>. The project had some of the following objectives:  Spatial distribution of two aphid species on the host plants  Upper thermal limits of two aphid species.  Effects of the viral infection on the host plant thermal profile.  Levels of expression of heat shock protein genes of virus-free and viruliferous aphids.  Locomotor capacity of aphids, effects of viruses on the locomotor capacity.  Effects of viral infection, temperature, and competition on the lifespan and fecundity of <i>R. padi</i>  Effects of viral infection, temperature, and competition on the lifespan and fecundity of <i>R. maidis</i>  Temperature of acrylic tubes used on aphid experiments.  Thermal lethal dose 50 of virus-free and viruliferous aphids  Thermal preference of virus-free and viruliferous aphids. This information can be very useful for ecologist working on insect population dynamics as well as physiologist and eco-physiologists doing meta-analyses of expression of heat shock protein genes induced by symbionts.
The dataset includes three csv files:  effects of pre-inhabitation and viruses on the feeding behavior of <i>Rhopalosiphum padi</i> and <i>R. maidis</i> (min).  Effects of pre-inhabitation and viruses on the fecundity of<i> R. padi</i> and <i>R. maidis</i> (total offspring in laboratory and field).  Effect of pre-inhabitation and viruses on the host plant nutrient content (amino acids, total sterols, and simple sugars-mg/g). These data might be used by researchers studying positive interactions, effects of viruses on host plants and vectors, phytochemistry of the wheat plant, and feeding behavior of phloem-feeders.