Wasp parasitoids use a variety of methods to commandeer their insect hosts in order to create an environment that will support and promote their own development, usually to the detriment of the host insect. Parasitized insects typically undergo developmental arrest and die sometime after the parasitoid has become independent of its host. Parasitoids can deactivate their host's immune system and effect changes in host hormone titers and behavior. Often, host tissues or organs become refractory to stimulation by tropic hormones. Here we present an overview of the manipulative capabilities of wasp-injected calyx fluid containing polydnaviruses and venom, as well as the parasitoid larva and the teratocytes that originate from the serosal membrane that surrounds the developing embryo of the parasitoid. Possibilities for using regulatory molecules produced by the parasitoid or its products that would be potentially useful in developing new, environmentally safe insect control agents are discussed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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