behavioural manipulation in a grasshopper harbouring hairworm
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Behavioural Manipulation in a Grasshopper Harbouring Hairworm. By: Melissa Neis Biology 4800. Examples of Altered Behaviour Systems. Plasmodium Whirling Disease Dicrocoelium Leucochloridium. Hairworm and Grasshopper. Life Cycle.

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behavioural manipulation in a grasshopper harbouring hairworm

Behavioural Manipulation in a Grasshopper Harbouring Hairworm

By: Melissa Neis

Biology 4800

examples of altered behaviour systems
Examples of Altered Behaviour Systems
  • Plasmodium
  • Whirling Disease
  • Dicrocoelium
  • Leucochloridium
how is the parasite manipulating the grasshoppers behaviour
How is the Parasite Manipulating the Grasshoppers Behaviour?

Host: Long-Horned Grasshopper (Meconema thalassinum)

Hairworm: Spinochordodes tellinii

system studied
System Studied
  • Examined the proteome expression of grasshoppers using gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry
  • Collected specifically male grasshoppers to prevent sex specific results
  • Five groups Studied:
  • During Manipulation (DM)

2. Uninfected at Night (Control: NC)

  • Before Manipulation (BM)
  • Uninfected during the day (control: ND)
  • After manipulation (AM)



Genetic Distance

Protein Spot Presence/Absence

what they discovered
What they discovered….
  • There were 6 proteins only present in the brains of manipulated grasshoppers.
  • However only two of those were produced by the hairworm acting as a form of protein mimicry.
  • They discovered that the over production of proteins pQ and pY produced by the hairworm acted on the development on the CNS of the grasshopper
  • The expression of the 6 proteins in the manipulated grasshopper’s brain were believed to be the result of host immune response to the hairworm.
  • One protein is involved in directional movement
  • Two as neurotransmitters
  • One Involved with host apoptosis: regulation of cell death which is believed to induce a host inflammatory response
  • Hairworm can alter the behaviour of the grasshopper by the production of biochemical interactions which cause the production of effective molecules which act directly on the host CNS
  • Biron et al. (2005). Behavioural manipulation in a grasshopper harbouring hairworm: a proteomics approach, 272, 2117-2126