Research Topic

Insects at the Center of Interactions with Other Organisms

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The increasing number of whole genome sequences and the development of a range of sophisticated post-genomic tools (e.g. transcriptomic and proteomic approaches) have allowed investigations into biological processes to achieve unparalleled levels of detail. Expertise from many different disciplines is ...

The increasing number of whole genome sequences and the development of a range of sophisticated post-genomic tools (e.g. transcriptomic and proteomic approaches) have allowed investigations into biological processes to achieve unparalleled levels of detail. Expertise from many different disciplines is required to provide an integrated, multidisciplinary approach for obtaining in-depth knowledge, especially for non-model organisms like the majority of invertebrates.

Insects represent the largest and most diverse group of living organisms and are implicated in a wide spectrum of interactions with other organisms. Many insect species are natural enemies of other insects, showing different types of behavior ranging from predation to parasitism. The diversity of these insect-insect antagonistic interactions is astonishing. However, nowhere is this diversity more apparent than in the adaptations evolved by parasitoid insects. They have developed a huge range of host colonization strategies, all resulting in severe pathological syndromes in the parasitized hosts. The study of the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying these host-parasitoid associations is highly interesting and nearly unexploited.

Insect-environment interactions include complex associations, ranging from mutualism and pollination to trophism and the co-evolution of defenses against insects’ different feeding strategies. Insects are also able to react specifically to chemical compounds from plants, microbes, vertebrates and invertebrates. They quickly recognize and decipher a wide array of incoming signals and respond appropriately. For insects, sensing and communication are key abilities that can improve fitness and grant survival in contrasting environments.

We welcome investigators to submit original research articles and reviews to this Research Topic that will contribute to the field of Insect Interactions. We are particularly interested in articles describing the molecular and ecological basis of organism-insect interactions, as well as research in “Insect Biotechnology”. By this we mean the use of insects as a new source of genes, molecules and mechanisms of interest to agriculture, forestry, biomedicine and industry, as well as in other technological applications. A further example of this is biomimicry, which focuses on the systematic transfer of solutions from nature for human benefit.

Potential sub-topics include, but are not limited to:

- New approaches and techniques for investigating, isolating and characterizing origins of parasitoid factors.
- Innovative approaches based on biotechnologies in pest control.
- Molecular basis of interactions in insects.
- Insects and their interactions as a source of therapeutic molecules in human diseases.
- Insects as new models in medicine.
- Insects and their interactions as a source of inspiration in biomimicry.
- Effects of climatic changes in insect interactions.
- Insects as plant or human disease vectors.


Keywords: Biomimicry, insects, behavior, ecology, biotechnology, environment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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