Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Leellen F Solter
Title: Interim Director/Insect Pathologist
Mailing address:
1101 W. Peabody Dr.
140 NSRC
Urbana, IL 61801
Office address:
Address mailcode: 637
Office room: 140 NSRC
Phone: 217-244-5047
Fax: 217-244-1707

General insect pathology, biology and taxonomy of insect pathogenic microsporidia, host-parasite-pathogen relationships, particularly entomopathogenic microsporidia; developmental cycles and host specificity of entomopathogenic microsporidia, epizootiology of insect diseases, and biological control utilizing entomopathogens.
Current research projects include taxonomy of microsporidian pathogens of insects, molecular relationships between closely related microsporidia, physiological effects of microsporidian infection on insect hosts, host specificity of microsporidia, Nosema disease in beneficial insects including bumble bees and honey bees.
Educational and outreach activities include teaching IN-483 Insect Pathology in the Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, organizing and instructing short courses in insect pathology and serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology.
Message to students:
Professional affiliations:
Affiliate Associate Professor, Department of Entomology, School of Life Sciences

Adjunct Professor, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Illinois State Representative to S-1052, Development, Evaluation and Safety of Entomopathogens for Control of Arthropod Pests

Illinois State Representative to NCERA-125 Biological Control of Arthropod Pests and Weeds
Selected publications:

 Huang, W-F., Solter, L.F., Aronstein, K., Huang, Z. Infectivity and virulence of Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis in commercially available North American honey bees. J. Invertebr. Pathol. (In press)

Milbrath, M.O.,van Tran, T., Huang, W-F., Solter, L.F., Tarpy, D.R., Lawrence, F., Huang, Z. Comparative virulence and competition between Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae in honey bees (Apis mellifera). J. Invertebrate Pathology (In press).

Pilarska, D.K., Radek, R., Huang, W-F., Takov, D.I., Linde, L., Solter, L.F. 2015. Review of the genus Endoreticulatus (Microsporidia, Encephalitozoonidae) with description of a new species isolated from the grasshopper Poecilimon thoracicus (Orthoptera:Tettigoniidae) and transfer of Microsporidium itiiti Malone to the genus. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 124, 23-30.

Solter, L.F. 2014. Epizootiology of Invertebrate Microsporidia. In “Microsporidia: Pathogens of Opportunity [Weiss, L.M. and Becnel, J.J., Eds.] Wiley & Sons.

Solter, L.F., Kyei-Poku, G.K. and Johny, S. 2013. Comment on “Invasive harlequin ladybird carries a biological weapon against native competitors”. Science 341, 1342: DOI: 10.1126/science. 1241600.

Huang, W-F., Solter, L.F., Yau, P.M., Imai, B. 2013. Nosema ceranae escapes fumagillin control in honey bees. PLoS Pathogens 9(3): e1003185. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003185

Huang, W-F., Solter, L.F. 2013. Comparative development and tissue tropism in Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. J. Invertebrate Pathology 113:35-41.

Solter, L.F., Kyei-Poku, G.K. and Johny, S. 2013. Comment on “Invasive harlequin ladybird carries a biological weapon against native competitors”. Science 341, 1342: DOI: 10.1126/science. 1241600.

Pombert, J-F., Selman, M., Burki, F., Floyd, B.P., Farinelli, K., Solter, L.F., Whitman, D.W., Weiss, L.M., Corradi, N. and Keeling, P.J. 2012. Gain and loss of multiple functionally-related horizontally transferred genes in the reduced genomes of two microsporidian parasites. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109, 12638-12643. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1205020109

Lacey, L.L. and Solter, L.F. 2012. Initial handling and diagnosis of diseased invertebrates. In Manual of Techniques in Invertebrate Pathology [L.A. Lacey, Ed.]. Elsevier, San Diego. Pp. 1-14.

Solter, L.F., Becnel, J.J., Oi, D.H. 2012. Microsporidian entomopathogens. In “Insect Pathology, Second Edition. [F.E. Vega and H.K. Kaya, Eds.] Elsevier, San Diego. Pp. 221-263.

Solter, L.F., Becnel, J.J., Vavra, J. 2012. Research methods for entomopathogenic microsporidia and other protists In Manual of Techniques in Invertebrate Pathology [L.A. Lacey, Ed.]. Elsevier, San Diego. Pp. 329-371

Simoes, R.A.,Reis, L.G., Bento, J.M.S., Solter, L.S., Delalibera, I. 2012. Biological and behavior parameters of the parasitoid Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) are altered by the pathogen Nosema sp. Biological Control 63, 164-171.

Cordes, N., Huang, W-F., Strange, J.P., Cameron, S.A., Griswold, T.L., Solter, L.F. 2012. Interspecific geographic distribution and variation of two pathogens, Nosema bombi and Crithidia bombi, in United States bumble bee populations. J. Invertebr. Pathol.109-209-216.

Cameron, S.A., Lozier,J.D., Strange,J.P., Koch, J.B., Cordes, N., Solter, L.F., Griswold, T.L. 2011. Recent widespread decline of some North American bumble bees: Current status and causal factors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 108, 662-667.

Selman, M., Pombert, J-F., Solter, L., Farinelli, L., Weiss, L.M., Keeling, P., Corradi, N. 2011. Acquisition of an animal gene by microsporidian intracellular parasites. Current Biology, 21 (15), R576-R577

Solter, L.F., Pilarska, D.K., McManus, M.L., Zubrik, M., Patocka, J., Huang, W.-H., Novotny, J. 2010. Host specificity of microsporidia pathogenic to the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.): Field studies in Slovakia. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 105, 1-10.

Lange, C. E., Johny S., Baker, M.D., Whitman, D.W., Solter, L.F. 2009. A new Encephalitozoon species (Microsporidia) isolated from the lubber grasshopper, Romalea microptera (Beauvois) (Orthoptera: Romaleidae). Journal of Parasitology 95(4): 976-86.

Hoch, G., Solter, L., Schopf, A. 2009. Treatment of Lymantria dispar (Lepidoptera, Lymantriidae) host larvae with polydnavirus/venom of a braconid parasitoid increases spore production of entomopathogenic microsporidia. Biocontrol Science and Technology 19 (S1), 35-42.

Solter, L.F. and Hajek, A.E. 2008. Control of gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, in North America since 1878. In Use of Microbes for Control and Eradication of Invasive Arthropods [Hajek, A.E., OCallaghan, M. and Glare, T., Eds] Springer Publ. Co. pp. 181-212.

INHS Publink:
Program affiliates:
Wei-Fone Huang, Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Professional society involvement and activities:
President (2010-2012); Past President (2012-2014)
Society for Invertebrate Pathology

Memberships in the Society for Invertebrate Pathology, Entomological Society of America

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Invertebrate Pathology

PhD, Entomology, University of Illinois, 1996

MA, Biology, Montclair State University, 1987

BS, Zoology, California State Polytechnic University, 1976

Lab name: Lab research: Lab publications: Lab current projects: lsolter

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