PhD defence

Environmental factors influencing the immune response of black soldier fly larvae

PhD candidate PN (Parth) Shah MSc
Promotor prof.dr. M (Marcel) Dicke JJA (Joop) van Loon
Organisation Wageningen University, Laboratory of Entomology

Mon 17 June 2024 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Omnia, building number 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 484500
Room Auditorium


The larvae of the black soldier fly are increasingly being produced for livestock feed. Maintaining a healthy colony of insect larvae is very important. Factors like bacteria, rearing temperature, dietary protein, and contaminated organic streams impact insect immunity and their overall performance. Bacterial infections trigger a strong immune response in the larvae, depending on the initial pathogen load. The larvae can distinguish between wounding or pathogens and regulate their immune responses accordingly. High rearing temperature and low dietary protein improve the survival of infected larvae. Exposure to contamination with fungal by-products (aflatoxins) enhances the expression of genes that likely metabolize them and does not affect their survival or development. This thesis may yield markers to monitor the health of black soldier fly larvae in mass production.