Acta Entomologica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (4): 489-505.doi: 10.16380/j.kcxb.2019.04.011

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Advances in insect immune priming

ZHANG He, HUANG Shu-Ning, PU Yu-Chen, SHI Zhang-Hong, HOU You-Ming*   

  1. (State Key Laboratory of Ecological Pest Control for Fujian-Taiwan Crops, Key Laboratory of Insect Ecology in Fujian, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China)
  • Online:2019-04-20 Published:2019-04-08

Abstract: Generally, insects lack acquired immunity and only rely on their innate immune defense system to deal with the infection of pathogenic microbes. However, an increasing number of studies show that early pathogenic infection experiences of invertebrates including insects can enhance the immunity to later pathogenic infection, and this phenomenon is called “immune priming”. Like the acquired immunity of vertebrates, some insects show a great degree of specificity and ability of memory after priming. This kind of improved protection can be species/strain-specific, and can be passed on to the next generation. Even though insects lack acquired immune molecular components, they can still achieve the memory and specificity of immunity, suggesting that there is a unique mechanism regulating this process in the innate immune system of insects. In this article we mainly illustrated the progress of studies on immune priming and trans-generational transmission, and discussed the specific conditions and influencing factors of insect immune priming as well. Furthermore, we also mentioned the potential regulatory mechanism of insect immune priming and trans-generational transmission. Besides, considering that the immune priming itself could be an energy-consuming process, we also argued the cost of immune priming from the aspect of priming plasticity. Finally, we brought forward the prospects of research directions of insect immune priming and its potential application in pest control in the future.

Key words: Insect, immunity, immune priming, trans-generational transmission, immune memory, priming specificity, fitness cost