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Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Jiao Yin, Chaoqun Wang, Chiqin Fang, Shuai Zhang, Yazhong Cao, Kebin Li, Water Leal
With the advent of next-generation sequencing, it is now possible to rapidly identify the entire repertoire of olfactory genes likely to be involved in chemical communication of an insect species. It remains, however, a challenge to identify olfactory proteins, such as odorant receptors and odorant-binding proteins (OBPs), vis-à-vis the odorants they detect. It has been reported that exposing the olfactory system to a physiologically relevant odorant alters the transcript levels of odorant receptor(s) involved in the detection of the tested odorant...
November 10, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Li Zhu, Zhong Tian, Shuang Guo, Wen Liu, Fen Zhu, Xiao-Ping Wang
Many organisms have evolved a series of adaptions, such as dormancy or diapause in insects that enable them to withstand seasonally adverse conditions. In insects, photoperiodic signals received during the diapause induction phase have irreversible effect on diapause initiation. Insects continue to be exposed to diapause-inducing photoperiod after the diapause induction phase during diapause preparation before they enter diapause. However, how photoperiodic signals experienced during the diapause preparation phase (DPP) regulate diapause remains largely unclear...
November 10, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Thiago A Franco, Pingxi Xu, Nathália F Brito, Daniele S Oliveira, Xiaolan Wen, Monica F Moreira, C Rikard Unelius, Walter S Leal, Ana C A Melo
Rhodnius prolixus is one of the most important vectors of Chagas disease in Central and South America for which repellents and attractants are sorely needed. Repellents like DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 are widely used as the first line of defense against mosquitoes and other vectors, but they are ineffective against R. prolixus. Our initial goal was to identify in R. prolixus genome odorant receptors sensitive to putative sex pheromones. We compared gene expression of 21 ORs in the R. prolixus genome, identified 4 ORs enriched in male (compared with female) antennae...
October 26, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Xiaolong Cao, Haobo Jiang
Serine proteases (SPs) and serine protease homologs (SPHs) play essential roles in insect physiological processes including digestion, defense and development. Studies of insect genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes have generated a vast amount of information on these proteins, dwarfing the biological data acquired from a few model species. The large number and high diversity of homologous sequences makes it a challenge to use the limited functional information for making predictions across a broad taxonomic group of insects...
October 24, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Shane Denecke, Luc Swevers, Vassilis Douris, John Vontas
The use of oral insecticidal molecules (small molecules, peptides, dsRNA) via spray or plant mediated applications represents an efficient way to manage damaging insect species. With the exception of Bt toxins that target the midgut epithelium itself, most of these compounds have targets that lie within the hemocoel (body) of the insect. Because of this, one of the greatest factors in determining the effectiveness of an oral insecticidal compound is its ability to traverse the gut epithelium and enter the hemolymph...
October 23, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Sijun Liu, Purushottam R Lomate, Bryony C Bonning
The phytophagous stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.) infests multiple plant species and impacts agricultural production worldwide. We analyzed the transcriptomes of N. viridula accessory salivary gland (ASG), principal salivary gland (PSG) and gut, with a focus on putative digestive proteases and nucleases that present a primary obstacle for the stability of protein- or nucleic acid-based stink bug control approaches. We performed high throughput Illumina sequencing followed by de novo transcriptome assemblies...
October 21, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Jie Zhang, Weike Yang, Junfeng Xu, Wanying Yang, Qingrong Li, Yangjin Zhong, Yang Cao, Xiao-Qiang Yu, Xiaojuan Deng
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important effector molecules of insect humoral immunity, and expression of AMPs is mainly regulated by the Toll and immune deficiency (IMD) pathways. FoxO, a key downstream regulator of the insulin-like signaling (ILS) pathway, has been recently reported to be involved in the regulation of AMPs in Drosophila melanogaster. In the present study, we investigated AMP gene expression and the regulation pathway controlled by the starvation in the silkworm Bombyx mori. We discovered that antibacterial activity in the hemolymph of B...
October 12, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Pan Deng, Qing-Yu Xu, Kai-Yun Fu, Wen-Chao Guo, Guo-Qing Li
It is noted that insect insulin/insulin-like growth factor/target of rapamycin signaling is critical for the regulation of metamorphosis in holometabolous insects. However, the molecular mechanism remains undetermined. Our previous findings reveal that RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of an insulin gene (LdILP2) in Leptinotarsa decemlineata disturbs both 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and juvenile hormone (JH) signaling, and impairs pupation. In the present paper, we further observed that the expression of the insulin receptor substrate gene chico (Ldchico) and the phosphoinositide-3-kinase gene pi3k (Ldpi3k92E) was repressed in LdILP2 depleted larvae...
October 6, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Yuta Shimizu, Takaaki Tamai, Shin G Goto
Insects enter diapause to synchronize their life cycle with biotic and abiotic conditions favorable for their development, reproduction, and survival. Adult females of the band-legged ground cricket Dianemobius nigrofasciatus (Orthoptera, Glyllidae) respond to environmental factors in autumn and lay diapause-destined eggs. The eggs arrest their development and enter diapause at a very early embryonic stage, specifically the cellular blastoderm. To elucidate the physiological mechanisms underlying this very early stage programmed developmental arrest, we investigated the cell division cycle as well as the expression of cell cycle regulators, small silencing RNAs, and segment patterning genes...
October 2, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Yihong Zhou, Majors J Badgett, Ron Orlando, Judith H Willis
Anopheles gambiae devotes over 2% of its protein coding genes to its 298 structural cuticular proteins (CPs). This paper provides new LC-MS/MS data on two adult structures, proboscises and palps, as well as three larval samples - 4th instar larvae, just their terminal segment, and a preparation enriched in their tracheae. These data were combined with our previously published results of proteins from five other adult structures, whole adults, and two preparations chosen for their relatively clean cuticle, the larval head capsules left behind after ecdysis and the pupal cuticles left behind after adult eclosion...
September 29, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Shaohua Wang, Wendy Kain, Ping Wang
Adoption of biotech crops engineered to express insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has revolutionized insect pest control in agriculture. For continuing effective application and development of the environmentally friendly Bt biotechnology, it is fundamental to understand pathways of toxicity of Bt toxins in insects. In this study, mutations were introduced in the midgut cadherin gene in the cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni, by CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis. T. ni strains with mutations in the genes of two major receptors for Bt toxins, the midgut cadherin and ABCC2, and three Cry1A toxins with shared and differential midgut binding sites were used as an experimental system to dissect the roles of the cadherin and ABCC2 in the pathways of toxicity of Bt toxins...
September 29, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Vera Volfova, Petr Volf
Current knowledge of sand fly salivary components has been based solely on Lutzomyia and Phlebotomus species which feed mainly on mammals; their hyaluronidases and apyrases were demonstrated to significantly affect blood meal intake and transmission of vector-borne pathogens. Members of the third sand fly genus Sergentomyia preferentially feed on reptiles but some of them are considered as Leishmania and arboviruses vectors; however, nothing is known about their salivary components that might be relevant for pathogens transmission...
September 28, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Ju Hyeon Kim, Chae Eun Hwang, Kyungjae Andrew Yoon, Keon Mook Seong, Jonghwa Lee, Jeong Han Kim, Si Hyeock Lee
The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, possesses a cholinesterase expressed exclusively in the salivary gland (ClSChE). In this study, we investigated the molecular forms, tissue distribution patterns and biochemical properties of ClSChE and showed that ClSChE exists as a soluble monomeric form or a soluble dimeric form connected by a disulfide bridge. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed that ClSChE was expressed in the epithelial cells of both the salivary gland and the duct. In addition, the secretion of monomeric ClSChE through the proboscis during feeding was confirmed by western blotting using a ClSChE-specific antibody...
September 26, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Marina MacLean, Jeffrey Nadeau, Taylor Gurnea, Claus Tittiger, Gary J Blomquist
Hydrocarbon biosynthesis in insects involves the elongation of fatty acyl-CoAs to very-long chain fatty acyl-CoAs that are then reduced and converted to hydrocarbon, with the last step involving the oxidative decarbonylation of an aldehyde to hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide. Cytochromes P450 in the 4G family decarbonylate aldehydes to hydrocarbon. All insect acyl-CoA reductases studied to date reduce fatty acyl-CoAs to alcohols. The results of the work reported herein demonstrate that CYP4G55 and CYP4G56 from the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae, expressed as fusion proteins with house fly cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR), convert both long chain aldehydes and long chain alcohols to hydrocarbons...
September 19, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Elane Fishilevich, Andrew J Bowling, Meghan L F Frey, Po-Hao Wang, Wendy Lo, Murugesan Rangasamy, Sarah E Worden, Heather E Pence, Premchand Gandra, Shannon L Whitlock, Greg Schulenberg, Eileen Knorr, Linda Tenbusch, Jamie R Lutz, Stephen Novak, Ronda L Hamm, Karl D Schnelle, Andreas Vilcinskas, Kenneth E Narva
Western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, is the major agronomically important pest of maize in the US Corn Belt. To augment the repertoire of the available dsRNA-based traits that control rootworm, we explored a potentially haplolethal gene target, wings up A (wupA), which encodes Troponin I. Troponin I, a component of the Troponin-Tropomyosin complex, is an inhibitory protein involved in muscle contraction. In situ hybridization showed that feeding on wupA-targeted dsRNAs caused systemic transcript knockdown in D...
September 19, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Miao Li, Jayne M Christen, Neal T Dittmer, Xiaolong Cao, Xiufeng Zhang, Haobo Jiang, Michael R Kanost
Members of the serpin superfamily of proteins occur in animals, plants, bacteria, archaea and some viruses. They adopt a variety of physiological functions, including regulation of immune system, modulation of apoptosis, hormone transport and acting as storage proteins. Most members of the serpin family are inhibitors of serine proteinases. In this study, we searched the genome of Manduca sexta and identified 32 serpin genes. We analyzed the structure of these genes and the sequences of their encoded proteins...
September 18, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Ji-Chong Zhuo, Qing-Ling Hu, Hou-Hong Zhang, Meng-Qiu Zhang, Song Bok Jo, Chuan-Xi Zhang
In the sex determination cascade, the genes dsx (doublesex) in insects, mab-3 (male abnormal 3) in nematodes, and Dmrt1 (dsx/mab-3 related transcription factor-1) in vertebrates act as the base molecular switches and play important roles. Moreover, these genes share the same conserved feature domain-DNA-binding oligomerization domain (OD1), and female-specific dsx also has a conserved oligomerization domain 2 (OD2). Although sex determination and the functions of dsx in several holometabolous insects have been well documented, sex determination and the function of dsx in hemimetabolous insects remain a mystery...
September 17, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Akanksha Singh, Norene A Buehner, He Lin, Kaitlyn J Baranowski, Geoffrey D Findlay, Mariana F Wolfner
Seminal fluid proteins elicit several post-mating physiological changes in mated Drosophila melanogaster females. Some of these changes persist for over a week after mating because the seminal protein that causes these changes, the Sex Peptide (SP), binds to sperm that are stored in the female reproductive tract. SP's sperm binding is mediated by a network of at least eight seminal proteins. We show here that some of these network proteins (CG1656, CG1652, CG9997 and Antares) bind to sperm within 2 h of mating, like SP...
September 11, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Zhongxia Wu, Wei Guo, Libin Yang, Qiongjie He, Shutang Zhou
Juvenile hormone (JH) is known to promote cell polyploidization for insect vitellogenesis and egg production, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Using the migratory locust Locusta migratoria as a model system, we report here that the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (Cdk6) and adenovirus E2 factor-1 (E2f1), the core mediators in cell cycle progression is regulated by JH and its receptor Methoprene-tolerant (Met). JH acts through its receptor complex comprised of Met and Taiman to directly activate the transcription of Cdk6 and E2f1...
September 8, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Yulica Santos-Ortega, Nabil Killiny
Plant piercing sucking insects mainly feed on phloem sap containing a high amount of sucrose. To enhance the absorption of sucrose from the midgut, sucrose hydrolase digests sucrose into glucose and fructose. In this study, a sucrose hydrolase homolog (DcSuh) was identified and targeted in Diaphorina citri, the vector of huanglongbing (HLB), by RNA interference (RNAi). In silico analysis revealed the presence of an Aamy domain in the DcSUH protein, which is characteristic of the glycoside hydrolase family 13 (GH13)...
September 8, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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