Heat tolerance induction of the Indian meal moth (lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is accompanied by upregulation of heat shock proteins and polyols

Minhyun Kim, Seunghee Lee, Yong Shik Chun, Jahyun Na, Hyeok Kwon, Wook Kim, Yonggyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, causes massive damage to stored grains and processed foods. Heat treatment has been widely used to control insect pests infesting stored grains. However, heat treatment may result in unsatisfactory control owing to heat tolerance of target insects. This study quantified the heat tolerance and analyzed its induction in P. interpunctella. Susceptibility of P. interpunctella to different high temperatures was assessed in all developmental stages. Heat treatment at 44 °C for 1 h caused significant mortalities to all developmental stages, with late-instar larvae exhibiting the highest tolerance. However, the survivorship to heat treatment was significantly increased by pre-exposure to 37 °C for 30 min. The induction of heat tolerance was accompanied by upregulation of two heat shock proteins of Hsc70 and Hsp90. Trehalose and glycerol concentrations in the hemolymph also increased after pre-exposure to 37 °C for 30 min. RNA interference (RNAi) by specific double-stranded RNAs effectively suppressed the inducible expressions of both Hsc70 and Hsp90 in response to 37 °C for 30 min. Either RNAi of Hsc70 or Hsp90 significantly impaired the heat tolerance induction of P. interpunctella. These results suggest that the induction of heat tolerance in P. interpunctella involves the upregulation of these heat shock proteins and hemolymph polyol levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1011
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Entomology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Agricultural Biotechnology Development Program (114063-03), Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved.


  • Glycerol
  • Heat shock protein
  • Heat tolerance
  • Plodia interpunctella
  • Trehalose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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