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Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Guang-Zhen Huang, Jing-Tao Liu, Jing-Jiang Zhou, Qian Wang, Jian-Zhen Dong, Yong-Jun Zhang, Xian-Chun Li, Jing Li, Shao-Hua Gu
Insect general odorant binding proteins (GOBPs) have been long thought to bind and transport host plant volatiles to the olfactory receptors on the dendrite membrane of the olfactory neurons. Recent studies indicate that they can also bind female sex pheromones. In present study, two GOBP genes, AipsGOBP1 and AipsGOBP2 were cloned from the adult antennae of Agrotis ipsilon. Tissue expression profiles indicated that both of them are antennae-specific and more abundant in the female antennae than in the male antennae...
May 17, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Yanran Wan, Guangdi Yuan, Bingqing He, Baoyun Xu, Wen Xie, Shaoli Wang, Youjun Zhang, Qingjun Wu, Xuguo Zhou
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), a molecular target for spinosyns and neonicotinoids, mediate rapid cholinergic transmission in insect central nervous system by binding acetylcholine. Previous studies have shown that mutations in nAChRs contribute to the high level of resistance to these two classes of insecticides. In this study, we identified nine nAChR subunits from a transcriptome of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, including α1-7, β1, and β2. Exon 4 of α4 and exons 3 and 8 of α6 each have two splicing variants, respectively...
May 10, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Trias Thireou, Georgia Kythreoti, Katerina E Tsitsanou, Konstantinos Koussis, Christina E Drakou, Julie Kinnersley, Thomas Kröber, Patrick M Guerin, Jing-Jiang Zhou, Kostas Iatrou, Elias Eliopoulos, Spyros E Zographos
In this work we report a fast and efficient virtual screening protocol for discovery of novel bioinspired synthetic mosquito repellents with lower volatility and, in all likelihood, increased protection time as compared with their plant-derived parental compounds. Our screening protocol comprises two filtering steps. The first filter is based on the shape and chemical similarity to known plant-derived repellents, whereas the second filter is based on the predicted similarity of the ligand's binding mode to the Anopheles gambiae odorant binding protein (AgamOBP1) relative to that of DEET and Icaridin to the same OBP...
May 8, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Zhangfei Shen, Xiaoyuan Yang, Yu Chen, Liangen Shi
Bombyx mori neuropeptide G protein-coupled receptor (BNGR)-A27 is a specific receptor for B. mori capability (CAPA) periviscerokinin (PVK), that is, Bom-CAPA-PVK receptor 2. Upon stimulation of Bom-CAPA-PVK-1 or -PVK-2, Bom-CAPA-PVK receptor 2 significantly increases cAMP-response element-controlled luciferase activity and Ca2+ mobilization in a Gq inhibitor-sensitive manner. However, the underlying mechanism(s) for CAPA/CAPA receptor system mediation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases1/2 (ERK1/2) activation remains to be explained further...
May 3, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Er-Hu Chen, Qiu-Li Hou, Wei Dou, Dan-Dan Wei, Yong Yue, Rui-Lin Yang, Pei-Jin Yang, Shuai-Feng Yu, Kristof De Schutter, Guy Smagghe, Jin-Jun Wang
Cuticular proteins (CPs) are essential components of the insect cuticle as they create a structural and protective shield and may have a role in insect development. In this paper, we studied the CPs in the oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis), one of the most economically important pests in the Tephritidae family around the world. The availability of a complete genome sequence (NCBI Assembly: ASM78921v2) allowed the identification of 164 CP genes in B. dorsalis. Comparative analysis of the CPs in B. dorsalis with those in the model insect Drosophila melanogaster and the closely related Ceratitis capitata, and CPs from mosquitoes, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and Coleoptera identified Diptera-specific genes and cuticle development patterns...
May 2, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Christopher S Spencer, Cristina Yunta, Glauber Pacelli Gomes de Lima, Kay Hemmings, Lu-Yun Lian, Gareth Lycett, Mark J I Paine
The mosquito Anopheles gambiae is the principal vector for malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The ability of A. gambiae to transmit malaria is strictly related to blood feeding and digestion, which releases nutrients for oogenesis, as well as substantial amounts of highly toxic free heme. Heme degradation by heme oxygenase (HO) is a common protective mechanism, and a gene for HO exists in the An. gambiae genome HO (AgHO), although it has yet to be functionally examined. Here, we have cloned and expressed An. gambiae HO (AgHO) in E...
May 2, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Wei-Chan Cui, Wang Bing, Meng-Bo Guo, Yang Liu, Emmanuelle Jacquin-Joly, Shan-Chun Yan, Wang Guirong
Plant volatiles are vital cues in the location of hosts for feeding and oviposition for Lepidoptera moths. The noctuid Helicoverpa assulta is a typical polyphagous moth, regarded as a good model for studying the olfactory reception of plant volatiles. In this study, four full-length genes encoding odorant receptors HassOR24, HassOR40, HassOR41, and HassOR55 expressed in antenna in H. assulta were functionally characterized. The highly expressed HassOR40 was narrowly tuned to a few structurally-related plant volatiles: geranyl acetate, geraniol and nerolidol...
April 23, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Ryohei Sugahara, Seiji Tanaka, Akiya Jouraku, Takahiro Shiotsuki
Corazonin (Crz) is a neuropeptide that controls phase-dependent body color polyphenism in locusts. The Crz signaling pathway is responsible for the development of gregarious black patterns in nymphs and determination of the morphometric ratio F/C (F = hind femur length, C = maximum head width) in adults. However, little information is available regarding the mediator and effector proteins regulated by Crz. In this study, we identified a novel transcription factor, Loct, which functions downstream of Crz in Schistocerca gregaria and Locusta migratoria...
April 20, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Takashi Matsumura, Fumihiro Nakano, Hitoshi Matsumoto, Outa Uryu, Yoichi Hayakawa
Growth-blocking peptide (GBP) and stress-responsive peptide (SRP) are insect cytokines whose expression levels are elevated by various stressful conditions such as parasitization and high or low temperatures. Both GBP and SRP are synthesized as precursors and released into the hemolymph, where they are enzymatically processed to active peptides. Injection of active GBP or SRP into early last instar larvae elicits a reduction in feeding and consequent growth retardation in the armyworm Mythimna separata. Although such functions are thought to benefit insects under stressful conditions by affecting their physiologies and behaviors, the relationship between GBP and SRP remains elusive...
April 19, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Qing-Wei Meng, Qing-Yu Xu, Pan Deng, Kai-Yun Fu, Wen-Chao Guo, Guo-Qing Li
In the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, juvenile hormone (JH) is critical for the control of species-specific size. However, whether the basic helix-loop-helix/Per-Arnt-Sim domain receptor methoprene-tolerant (Met) is involved remains unconfirmed. In the present paper, we found that RNA interference (RNAi)-aided knockdown of Met gene (LdMet) lowered the larval and pupal fresh weights and shortened the larval development period in the Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Dietary introduction of JH into the LdMet RNAi larvae rescued neither the decreased weights nor the reduced development phase, even though JH ingestion by control larvae extended developmental time and caused large pupae...
April 19, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Heleen Verlinden
Dopamine is an important catecholamine neurotransmitter in invertebrates and vertebrates. It is biochemically derived from tyrosine via L-DOPA. It is most abundant in the central nervous system, but can also be produced in e.g. epidermal cells. Dopamine has conserved roles in the control of movement, pleasure, motivation, arousal and memory between invertebrate and vertebrate animals. It is crucial for melanisation and sclerotisation, important processes for the formation of the exoskeleton of insects and immune function...
April 19, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Thomas Kröber, Konstantinos Koussis, Martine Bourquin, Panagiota Tsitoura, Maria Konstantopoulou, Taiwo Sam Awolola, Francesca R Dani, Huili Qiao, Paolo Pelosi, Kostas Iatrou, Patrick M Guerin
There is increasing interest in the development of effective mosquito repellents of natural origin to reduce transmission of diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. To achieve this we have employed an in vitro competition assay involving odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, with a predominantly female expression bias to identify plant essential oils (EOs) containing bioactive compounds that target mosquito olfactory function. EOs and their fractions capable of binding to such OBPs displayed repellence against female mosquitoes in a laboratory repellent assay...
April 12, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Kolja N Eckermann, Hassan M M Ahmed, Mohammad KaramiNejadRanjbar, Stefan Dippel, Christian E Ogaugwu, Peter Kitzmann, Musa D Isah, Ernst A Wimmer
Even in times of advanced site-specific genome editing tools, the improvement of DNA transposases is still on high demand in the field of transgenesis: especially in emerging model systems where evaluated integrase landing sites have not yet been created and more importantly in non-model organisms such as agricultural pests and disease vectors, in which reliable sequence information and genome annotations are still pending. In fact, random insertional mutagenesis is essential to identify new genomic locations that are not influenced by position effects and thus can serve as future stable transgene integration sites...
April 10, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Yan-Jun Liu, Shuo Yan, Zhong-Jian Shen, Zhen Li, Xin-Fang Zhang, Xiao-Ming Liu, Qing-Wen Zhang, Xiao-Xia Liu
Phototaxis in nocturnal moths is widely utilized to control pest populations in practical production. However, as an elusive behavior, phototactic behavior is still not well understood. Determination of whether the opsin gene plays a key role in phototaxis is an interesting topic. This study was conducted to analyze expression levels and biological importance of three opsin genes (Se-uv, Se-bl, and Se-lw) and phototactic behavior of Spodoptera exigua. The three opsin genes exhibited higher expression levels during daytime, excluding Se-bl in females, whose expression tended to increase at night...
April 3, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Marcela Nouzova, Kayvan Etebari, Fernando G Noriega, Sassan Asgari
The corpora allata (CA) are a pair of endocrine glands with neural connections to the brain and close association with another neuroendocrine organ, the corpora cardiaca (CC). The CA from adult female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes synthesizes fluctuating levels of juvenile hormone (JH), which have been linked to the ovarian development and are influenced by nutritional signals. In this study, we investigated the potential involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs), a type of small non-coding RNAs, in the regulation of gene expression in CA-CC complexes during mosquito reproductive development, at stages with distinct JH biosynthesis patterns...
March 29, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Daniel Gonzalez, Stéphane Fraichard, Paul Grassein, Patrice Delarue, Patrick Senet, Adrien Nicolaï, Evelyne Chavanne, Elodie Mucher, Yves Artur, Jean-François Ferveur, Jean-Marie Heydel, Loïc Briand, Fabrice Neiers
Glutathione transferases (GSTs) are ubiquitous key enzymes that catalyse the conjugation of glutathione to xenobiotic compounds in the detoxification process. GSTs have been proposed to play a dual role in the signal termination of insect chemodetection by modifying odorant and tasting molecules and by protecting the chemosensory system. Among the 40 GSTs identified in Drosophila melanogaster, the Delta and Epsilon groups are insect-specific. GSTs Delta and Epsilon may have evolved to serve in detoxification, and have been associated with insecticide resistance...
March 22, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Adriana Adolfi, Emilie Pondeville, Amy Lynd, Catherine Bourgouin, Gareth J Lycett
The ability to manipulate the Anopheles gambiae genome and alter gene expression effectively and reproducibly is a prerequisite for functional genetic analysis and for the development of novel control strategies in this important disease vector. However, in vivo transgenic analysis in mosquitoes is limited by the lack of promoters active ubiquitously. To address this, we used the GAL4/UAS system to investigate the promoter of the An. gambiae Polyubiquitin-c (PUBc) gene and demonstrated its ability to drive expression in mosquito cell culture before incorporation into An...
March 22, 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Silas A Rasmussen, Kenneth T Kongstad, Paiman Khorsand-Jamal, Rubini Maya Kannangara, Majse Nafisi, Alex Van Dam, Mads Bennedsen, Bjørn Madsen, Finn Okkels, Charlotte H Gotfredsen, Dan Staerk, Ulf Thrane, Uffe H Mortensen, Thomas O Larsen, Rasmus J N Frandsen
The chemical composition of the scale insect Dactylopius coccus was analyzed with the aim to discover new possible intermediates in the biosynthesis of carminic acid. UPLC-DAD/HRMS analyses of fresh and dried insects resulted in the identification of three novel carminic acid analogues and the verification of several previously described intermediates. Structural elucidation revealed that the three novel compounds were desoxyerythrolaccin-O-glucosyl (DE-O-Glcp), 5,6-didehydroxyerythrolaccin 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (DDE-3-O-Glcp), and flavokermesic acid anthrone (FKA)...
May 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dujuan Dong, Yang Zhang, Vlastimil Smykal, Lin Ling, Alexander S Raikhel
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the principal vector for many dangerous human viral diseases. Carbohydrate metabolism (CM) is essential for supplying the energy necessary for host seeking, blood digestion and rapid egg development of this vector insect. The steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and the ecdysone receptor (EcR) are important regulators of CM, coordinating it with female reproductive events. We report here that the NR4A nuclear receptor AHR38 plays a critical role in mediating these actions of 20E and EcR...
May 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Marilena Ignesti, Rosalba Ferrara, Patrizia Romani, Luca Valzania, Giulia Serafini, Francesco Pennacchio, Valeria Cavaliere, Giuseppe Gargiulo
Polydnaviruses (PDV) are viral symbionts associated with ichneumonid and braconid wasps parasitizing moth larvae, which are able to disrupt the host immune response and development, as well as a number of other physiological pathways. The immunosuppressive role of PDV has been more intensely investigated, while very little is known about the PDV-encoded factors disrupting host development. Here we address this research issue by further expanding the functional analysis of ankyrin genes encoded by the bracovirus associated with Toxoneuron nigriceps (Hymenoptera, Braconidae)...
April 2018: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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