Bioinformatic and Functional Analysis of Venom from the Jewel Wasp Ampulex compressa Academic Article uri icon


  • The parasitoid jewel wasp Ampulex compressa exploits its host, the American cockroach Periplaneta americana, as a food source for its young. The host is subdued through direct envenomation into the central nervous system, inducing a days-long “zombie-like state” referred to as hypokinesia. Hypokinesia is a specific, venom-induced behavioral state characterized by suppression of the escape response and reduced spontaneous walking, leaving other motor functions intact. This condition is reversible, provided that egg deposition is prevented. To facilitate elucidation of biochemical mechanisms underlying venom-induced hypokinesia, we developed a comprehensive inventory of the venom by combining: 1) next-generation RNA sequencing, transcriptomic analysis of venom gland components, and 2) proteomics of venom apparatus extracts and whole milked venom via mass spectroscopy-based Multi-Dimensional Protein Identification Technology. These analyses yielded a total of 201 proteins and peptides in the venom, 105 with ...

publication date

  • January 1, 2016