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Insect Molecular Biology

Yanfei Chen, Bingchuan Bai, Hao Yan, Feng Wen, Daoyuan Qin, Georg Jander, Qingyou Xia, Genhong Wang
Isopentenylation at A37 (i6 A37) of some transfer RNAs (tRNAs) plays a vital role in regulating the efficiency and fidelity of protein synthesis. However, whether insects, which are well-known for their highly efficient protein synthesis machinery, employ this regulatory mechanism remains uninvestigated. In the current study, a candidate tRNA isopentenyltransferase (IPT) gene with three alternative splicing isoforms (BmIPT1-BmIPT3) was identified in Bombyx mori (silkworm). Only BmIPT1 could complement a yeast mutant lacking tRNA isopentenyltransferase...
December 12, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Marco Falchetto, Giuseppe Ciossani, Francesca Scolari, Alessandro Di Cosimo, Simone Nenci, Linda M Field, Andrea Mattevi, Jing-Jiang Zhou, Giuliano Gasperi, Federico Forneris
In insects, odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) connect the peripheral sensory system to receptors of olfactory organs. Medfly Ceratitis capitata CcapObp22 shows 37% identity and close phylogenetic affinities with Drosophila melanogaster OBP69a/PB-PRP1 (pheromone-binding protein related protein 1). The CcapObp22 gene is transcribed in the antennae and maxillary palps, suggesting an active role in olfaction. Here, we recombinantly produced CcapObp22, obtaining a 13.5 kDa protein capable of binding multiple strongly hydrophobic terpene compounds, including medfly male pheromone components...
December 12, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
John Skelly, Charlotte Pushparajan, Elizabeth Duncan, Peter Dearden
Embryonic terminal patterning and moulting are critical developmental processes in insects. In Drosophila and Tribolium both of these processes are regulated by the Torso-activation cassette (TAC). The TAC consists of a common receptor, Torso, ligands Trunk and PTTH, and the spatially restricted protein Torso-like, with combinations of these elements acting mechanistically to activate the receptor in different developmental contexts. In order to trace the evolutionary history of the TAC we determined the presence or absence of TAC components in the genomes of arthropods...
December 12, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Cheng-Fang Wang, Wei Sun, Ze Zhang
4,5-DOPA dioxygenase (DODA) is a crucial enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of betalain. Previous studies have shown that DODA is present in plants, fungi and bacteria. Using updated data, here, we show that DODA genes (BmDODA) in domestic silkworm (Bombyx mori) and other lepidopteran insects are most likely to be horizontally transferred from fungi. The synteny analysis indicated that BmDODA1 is orthologous to other lepidopteran DODAs and that BmDODA2 is a paralogous gene. To explore the function of DODA in lepidoptera, we first examined the expression patterns of BmDODA1...
December 10, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Xiaoming Liu, Songdou Zhang, ZhongJian Shen, Yanjun Liu, Zhen Li, Xiaoxia Liu
Vrille (Vri), a basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor, plays important roles in insect circadian clock regulation, tracheal development, proliferation, flight, and metamorphosis. Here, Helicoverpa armigera was used as a model to investigate the role of Vri in larval moulting and metamorphosis. Sequence analysis results revealed that Helicoverpa armigera Vri (HaVri) shares a high amino acid identity with other Lepidoptera Vri homologues. Spatial-temporal expression pattern data showed that HaVri expression was highly abundant in larval moulting and metamorphosis stages and was mainly expressed in the midgut and Malpighian tubule during metamorphosis...
November 28, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Jizhen Wei, Min Zhang, Gemei Liang, Xianchun Li
Although membrane-bound alkaline phosphatases (ALPs) have been proposed as a receptor for Cry1Ac in a few Lepidopteran speceis, their potential functions as a Cry2Ab receptor are yet to be verified. To determine if ALP2 also serves as a receptor for Cry1Ac and even for Cry2Ab in Helicoverpa zea, we measured the potency of activated Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab against the midgut and fat body cell lines of H. zea and the ovarian cell line of Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) expressing H. zea ALP2 (HzALP2) or transfected with HzALP2 double strand RNA (dsRNA)...
November 26, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Liang Sun, Qian Wang, Yuxing Zhang, Yuting Yan, Huawei Guo, Qiang Xiao, Yongjun Zhang
Sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs) function as essential cofactors for insect sex pheromone detection. In this study, we report two SNMPs in Ectropis obliqua Prout, a serious geometrid pest that produces typical Type-II sex pheromones. Sequence alignments and phylogenetic analyses showed that EoblSNMP1 and EoblSNMP2 belonged to two distinct SNMP subfamilies. Quantitative real-time PCR suggested that EoblSNMP1 was male antennae-biased, while EoblSNMP2 was highly expressed on male antennae but was also expressed on female antennae and other chemosensory tissues...
November 25, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
R-R Yu, W-M Liu, X-M Zhao, M Zhang, D-Q Li, R Zuber, E-B Ma, K Y Zhu, B Moussian, J-Z Zhang
Cells produce an extracellular matrix (ECM) with a stereotypic organization that is important for tissue function. The insect cuticle is a layered ECM that mainly consists of the polysaccharide chitin and associated proteins adopting a quasi-crystalline structure. Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms deployed during construction of the highly ordered protein-chitin ECM so far is limited. In this study, we report on the role of the chitin deacetylase LmCDA1 in the organization of the protein-chitin ECM in the migratory locust Locusta migratoria...
November 24, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Nurit Eliash, Starlin Thangarajan, Inna Goldenberg, Noa Sela, Meital Kupervaser, Jonathan Barlev, Yam Altman, Anna Knyazer, Yosi Kamer, Ilia Zaidman, Ada Rafaeli, Victoria Soroker
The tight synchronization between the life cycle of the obligatory parasitic mite Varroa destructor (Varroa) and its host, the honeybee, is mediated by honeybee chemical stimuli. These stimuli are mainly perceived by a pit organ located at the distal part of the mite's foreleg. In the present study, we searched for Varroa chemosensory molecular components by comparing transcriptomic and proteomic profiles between forelegs from different physiological stages, and rear legs. In general, a comparative transcriptomic analysis showed a clear separation of the expression profiles between the rear legs and the three groups of forelegs (phoretic, reproductive and tray-collected mites)...
November 16, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Sheina B Sim, Angela Kauwe, Rocio E Y Ruano, Pedro Rendon, Scott M Geib
Tephritid fruit flies are destructive agricultural pests that are the targets of expensive population eradication and suppression efforts. Genetic pest management is one of the strategies for reducing or eliminating tephritid populations, relying upon the genetic manipulation of insects to render them sterile or capable of transmitting deleterious traits through gene drive. Currently, radiation, chemical mutagenesis, and transgenic techniques are employed to generate agents for genetic pest management, but new methods must be explored and developed for all tephritid pest species...
November 13, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Qiu-Tang Huang, Cheng-Wang Sheng, Jie Jiang, Zhong-Qiang Jia, Zhao-Jun Han, Chun-Qing Zhao, Gen-Yan Liu
To generate an efficient tool used in Xenopus oocyte expression for in situ investigation of channel receptor expression, distribution, and function, the C-terminus of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) resistant to dieldrin (RDL) subunit was fused with monomeric red, enhanced yellow, or enhanced green fluorescent protein (referred to as mRFP, EYFP, and EGFP, respectively). In the present study, all fused *FP-AmRDL could be visualized using fluorescence and laser confocal microscopy in cRNA-injected oocytes. Fluorescence was distributed isotropically in the cellular membrane...
November 13, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Ehsan Baradaran, Saeid Moharramipour, Sassan Asgari, Mohammad Mehrabadi
RNA interference (RNAi) is an extremely conserved defense mechanism. The antiviral role of the RNAi pathway in insects is well documented; however, the relevance of this pathway in other aspects of insect immunity is largely unknown. In this study, we questioned whether RNAi has any function during insect-bacteria interactions. For this, we assessed induction of the RNAi pathway in response to bacterial infections by monitoring the expression of dicer1/argonaute1 and dicer2/argonaute2 that are important genes in the microRNA and short interfering RNA sub-pathways, respectively...
November 13, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Xiao-Xiao Shi, He Zhang, Ming Chen, Ya-Dong Zhang, Mu-Fei Zhu, Min-Jing Zhang, Fei-Qiang Li, Stephen Wratten, Wen-Wu Zhou, Cungui Mao, Zeng-Rong Zhu
Although sphingomyelins are lipid constituents of the plasma membrane in vertebrates, much remains obscure about the metabolism of sphingomyelins in insects. With UPLC-TOF-MS/MS analysis, we revealed for the first time that sphingomyelins are abundant in Nilaparvata lugens (Stål), the brown planthopper (BPH), and their biosynthesis is carried out by SMS-like protein 2 (SMSL2) that is homologous to sphingomyelin synthease-related protein (SMSr). Unlike other insect species, high concentrations of sphingomyelins rather than ceramide phosphoethanolamines (CPE) exist in BPH...
October 29, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
P Pregitzer, M Zielonka, A-S Eichhorn, X Jiang, J Krieger, H Breer
Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) are essential molecular elements of the insect chemosensory system, which is composed of the antennae and the mouthpart palps (maxillary and labial). In this study, we have analysed the expression and the sensilla specificity of 14 OBP subtypes in the palps of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria. The locust palps comprise only a low number of sensilla basiconica but a high number of sensilla chaetica. Employing a variety of approaches, we found that only a subset of the antennal OBP repertoire was expressed in both palp types...
October 29, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Hyun-Jun Choi, Sun Joo Cha, Kiyoung Kim
Heavy alcohol consumption leads to neuropathological damage and alcohol use disorder (AUD), which affects the health of people and results in a cost burden. However, the genes modulating sensitivity to ethanol remains largely unknown. Here, we identified a novel gene, Drosophila glutathione transferase omega 1 (GstO1), which plays a critical role in regulating sensitivity to ethanol sedation. The GstO1 mutant flies showed highly increased ethanol sensitivity. Furthermore, the expression level of GstO1 regulates the behavioral response to ethanol, because decreasing and increasing GstO1 affects sedation sensitivity in a contrasting manner...
October 22, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Kangxu Wang, Yingchuan Peng, Wenxi Fu, Zihan Shen, Zhaojun Han
dsRNA length may affect RNAi efficacy. Herein, variation in RNAi efficacy associated with dsRNA molecular length was confirmed via comparison of knockdown results following dsRNA injection into Tribolium castaneum. Through in vitro experiments with T. castaneum midgut, dsRNA accumulation in the midgut, degradation by midgut homogenates, and persistence in hemolymph after injection were tested to determine the causes of RNAi efficacy variation. The comparative efficacies of dsRNAs were 480 bp ≈ 240 bp>120 bp>60 bp>21 bp...
October 16, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
T R P Mello, A C Aleixo, D G Pinheiro, F M F Nunes, A S Cristino, M M G Bitondi, A R Barchuk, Z L P Simões
Ftz-f1 is an orphan member of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. A 20-hydroxyecdysone pulse allows ftz-f1 gene expression, which then regulates the activity of downstream genes involved in major developmental progression events. In honeybees, the expression of genes like vitellogenin (vg), prophenoloxidase and juvenile hormone-esterase during late pharate-adult development is known to be hormonally controlled in both queens and workers by increasing juvenile hormone (JH) titres in the presence of declining levels of ecdysteroids...
September 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
W Zheng, Q Li, H Sun, M Waqar Ali, H Zhang
The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated 9 (Cas9) system is a versatile, efficient and heritable gene editing tool that can be useful for genome engineering. Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) is a major pest of agriculture that causes great economic losses. We used the B. dorsalis multiple edematous wings (Bdmew) gene as the target gene to explore the effectiveness of CRISPR/Cas9 for B. dorsalis genome manipulation. We studied the physiological functions of the Bdmew gene, particularly those related to muscle development...
September 27, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Wei Wu, Mengfan Zhai, Chengjun Li, Xiaojuan Yu, Xiaowen Song, Shanshan Gao, Bin Li
miR-8-3p is conserved among insects and closely involved in development and immunity, but its functions in vivo are unexplored in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Here, we show that miR-8-3p was highly expressed in late larva and early adult stages, as determined by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). It was enriched in the fat body and cuticle in late larval tissues and abundant in the head and cuticle in early adult tissues, indicating this microRNA plays important roles during T. castaneum development...
September 19, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
X Li, F-Z Liu, W-L Cai, J Zhao, H-X Hua, Y-L Zou
A wide array of sensilla are distributed on insect antennae, and they play a variety of important roles. Rice planthoppers, destructive pests on rice, have a unique antenna sensilla structure called the 'sensory plaque organ'. The spineless (ss) gene encodes a bHLH-PAS transcription factor and plays a key role in antenna development. In the current study, a 3029 bp full-length cDNA of the Nilaparvata lugens ss gene (Nlss) was cloned, and it encodes 654 amino acid residues. The highest level of Nlss expression was detected in the thorax of fourth-instar nymphs...
September 19, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
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