File(s) not publicly available

Temperature-dependent Galleria mellonella mortality as a result of Yersinia entomophaga Infection

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 15:00 authored by Mark HurstMark Hurst, Amy BeattieAmy Beattie, Sandra Jones, Pei-Chun Hsu, Joanne Calder, Chikako van KotenChikako van Koten
The bacterium Yersinia entomophaga is pathogenic to a range of insect species, with death typically occurring within 2–5 days of ingestion. Per os challenge of larvae of the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella) confirmed that Y. entomophaga was virulent when fed to larvae held at 25°C, but was avirulent when fed to larvae maintained at 37°C. At 25°C, a dose of approximately 4 × 107 colony forming units (CFU) per larva of a Yen-TC toxin complex deletion derivative, Y. entomophaga ΔTC, resulted in 27% mortality. This low level of activity was restored to near wild-type levels by augmentation of the diet with a sub-lethal dose of purified Yen-TC. Intra-hemocoelic injection of approximately three Y. entomophaga or Y. entomophaga ΔTC cells per larva gave a 4-day median lethal dose, with similar levels of mortality observed at both 25°C and 37°C. Following intra-hemocoelic injection of a Yen-TC YenA1 green fluorescent protein-fusion strain into larvae maintained at 25°C, the bacteria did not fluoresce until the population density reached 2 × 107 CFU ml−1 of hemolymph. The observed cells also took an irregular form. When the larvae were maintained at 37°C, the cells were small and the observed fluorescence was sporadic and weak, being more consistent at a population density of ~3 × 109 CFU ml−1 of hemolymph. These findings provide further understanding of the pathobiology of Y. entomophaga in insects, showing that the bacterium gains direct access to the hemocoelic cavity, from where it rapidly multiplies to cause disease.


Rights statement

Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


American Society for Microbiology

Journal title

Applied and Environmental Microbiology




Hurst, M. R. H., Beattie, A. K., Jones, S. A., Hsu, P.-C., Calder, J., & van Koten, C. (2015). Temperature-dependent Galleria mellonella mortality as a result of Yersinia entomophaga Infection. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81(18), 6404–6414. doi:10.1128/AEM.00790-15


Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment

Contract number


Job code


Usage metrics


    Ref. manager