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1 August 2013 Actinomycetes with Antimicrobial Activity Isolated from Paper Wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistinae) Nests
Anne A. Madden, Andrew Grassetti, Jonathan-Andrew N. Soriano, Philip T. Starks
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Actinomycetes—a group of antimicrobial producing bacteria- have been successfully cultured and characterized from the nest material of diverse arthropods. Some are symbionts that produce antimicrobial chemicals found to protect nest brood and resources from pathogenic microbes. Others have no known fitness relationship with their associated insects, but have been found to produce antimicrobials in vitro. Consequently, insect nest material is being investigated as a new source of novel antimicrobial producing actinomycetes, which could be harnessed for therapeutic potential. To extend studies of actinomycete-insect associations beyond soil-substrate dwelling insects and wood boring excavators, we conducted a preliminary assessment of the actinomycetes within the nests of the paper wasp, Polistes dominulus (Christ). We found that actinomycetes were readily cultured from nest material across multiple invasive P. dominulus populations-including members of the genera Streptomyces, Micromonospora, and Actinoplanes. Thirty of these isolates were assayed for antimicrobial activity against the challenge bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Serratia marcescens, and Bacillus subtilis. Sixty percent of isolates inhibited the growth of at least one challenge strain. This study provides the first assessment of bacteria associated with nests of P. dominulus, and the first record of antimicrobial producing actinomycetes isolated from social wasps. We provide a new system to explore nest associated actinomycetes from a ubiquitous and cosmopolitan group of insects.

© 2013 Entomological Society of America
Anne A. Madden, Andrew Grassetti, Jonathan-Andrew N. Soriano, and Philip T. Starks "Actinomycetes with Antimicrobial Activity Isolated from Paper Wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Polistinae) Nests," Environmental Entomology 42(4), 703-710, (1 August 2013).
Received: 2 June 2012; Accepted: 1 June 2013; Published: 1 August 2013

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