In one of our ongoing projects we study the possibility to use late cut red clover as feed for house crickets. If the clover crop is harvested at late botanical stage it is likely that it benefits pollinators. Below you can read a short report from Post Doc Laura Riggi about this project:
There are indication of positive effects of late season red clover mass-flowering crops on bumblebee reproduction. Clover is also known to be a good pollen resource for less widespread bumblebees. Despite the increasing interest in the effects of mass-flowering crop resources on pollinators, it remains unclear how late season flowering crop affect the abundance and community composition of bumblebees in non-crop habitats during and after mass-flowering crop bloom. In the summer of 2019 we carried out a large field scale study across Skåne to test whether landscapes with clover crops harbor higher abundances and more diverse bumblebee communities in non-crop habitats compared to landscapes without clover resources. We expected clover landscapes to benefit rarer bumblebee species, specifically, we expect more long-tongued bumblebees in clover landscapes. Preliminary results indicate positive effects of clover on bumblebee richness and diversity.
We have recently also published a study about the function of the gastrointestinal tract of the house cricket. In that study we investigated the presence of an enzyme (carbonic anhydrase, CA) involved in pH regulation. The findings support the suggestion that CA contributes to digestive tract pH gradient, by driving acidic secretions from the salivary glands and alkaline secretions from the midgut. Neither starvation nor sex had any effect on CA activity or localisation.
We are happy to announce that we just had a paper published in Journal of Insects as Food and feed! In this study we wanted to investigate if house crickets can thrive and growth on a red clover-only diet. We have earlier shown that field crickets can do well on a cassava-only diet and also on a diet including only one weed. Red clover is a plant that provides important ecosystem services while growing on the fields. The conclusion from the study is that red clover cannot be recommended as a sole feedstuff for these crickets. The possibility to partly include late cut red clover in cricket diets is however interesting. The flowering crop will provide feed for declining populations of bees and other pollinators.
Fernandez-Cassi X, Supeanu A, Vaga M, Jansson A, Boqvist S and Vagsholm I. 2019. The house cricket (Acheta domesticus) as a novel food: a risk profile (Review). Journal of Insects as Food and Feed. https://doi.org/10.3920/JIFF2018.0021
We have been active doing several oral presentations during the past months! The 12:th of March Anna had a presentation at RISE (RISE Research Institutes of Sweden) and in March 26 also in a panel discussion at the Nobel museum in Stockholm. This discussion is available in a Podd version (in Swedish, “Allt du velat veta”). The 26:th of April some pupils from a Swedish gymnasium on the west coats visited us! Ambitious guys who had won a price for their gymnasium thesis!
Anna J will have a presentation at an international conference in Vientiane, Lao PDR (17-19 December). The conference is entitled “Improving food security and income generation in Lower Mekong Basin through sustainable farming systems under climate change” and is supported by Swedish SIDA, SLU and also by local organisations. Her talk is entitled “Entomophagy – is it of relevance also for Europe?” For questions about the conference please contact email@example.com
Ida Waern at the department of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry (AFB at SLU) got 3 millions in fundning from Formas! The project is called “Insects as new food – new cases of allergy?” (Framtidens mat insekter – finns det allergirisker?) and will be performed in collaboration with researchers from AFB (Sara Wernersson and Anna Jansson), Uppsala university hospital (Akademiska sjukhuset) and Thermo fisher (Magnus Borres among others).
We had two contributions to the conference this summer; “Evaluation of reusable hiding units for rearing house crickets” (M. Vaga, E. Gustafsson, A. Jansson) and also “Morphology and localization of carbonic anhydrase in the digestive tract of the house cricket” (L. Holm, E. Thorsson, A. Jansson). The latter abstract was based on the work by veterinary student Elina Thorsson and her master Thesis (to be found here: https://slub-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=SLUB_EPSILON_STUD13415&context=L&vid=SLUB_V1&search_scope=default_scope&tab=default_tab&lang=sv_SE).