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Insect Molecular Biology

Tathyana Rachel Palo Mello, Aline Carolina Aleixo, Daniel Guariz Pinheiro, Francis Morais Franco Nunes, Alexandre Santos Cristino, Márcia Maria Gentile Bitondi, Angel Roberto Barchuk, Zilá Luz Paulino 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) titers in the presence of declining levels of ecdysteroids...
September 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Wenping Zheng, Qingmei Li, Hao Sun, Muhammad Waqar Ali, Hongyu Zhang
The CRISPR/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 mew 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. Site-specific genome editing was feasible using direct microinjection of specific guide RNA and the Cas9-plasmid into B...
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 distribute 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 3,029 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 4th -instar nymph...
September 19, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Marc F Schetelig, Ying Yan, Yang Zhao, Alfred M Handler
Drosophila suzukii is a significant pest of stone and small fruits. The genome of this species has been sequenced and manipulated by transposon-mediated transformation and CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing. These technologies open a variety of possibilities for functional genomics and genetic modifications that might improve biologically-based population control strategies. Both of these approaches, however, would benefit from genome targeting that would avoid position effects and insertional mutations associated with random transposon vector insertions, and the limited DNA fragment insertion size allowed by gene-editing...
September 5, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Lu Xu, Li Ma, Wen Wang, Lian Li, Zhiqiang Lu
The pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum has an incomplete immune system compared to those of other insect species; some conserved components and pathways in other species are missing in the pea aphid genome. As a core component of insect immune system, prophenoloxidase (PPO) genes are retained in the pea aphid. Early studies have also shown the presence of phenoloxidase (PO) activity in specific tissues or cells in the pea aphid and suggested its involvement in response to immune challenges. In this study, we knocked down the expression of PPO genes in the pea aphid using dsRNA-based interference and, quantitative PCR analysis and an enzyme activity assay confirmed our success in the PPO gene knockdown...
September 4, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Yi-Fei Xie, Feng Shang, Bi-Yue Ding, Yi-Bei Wu, Jin-Zhi Niu, Dong Wei, Wei Dou, Olivier Christiaens, Guy Smagghe, Jin-Jun Wang
One of the main functions of the piRNA pathway is the post-transcriptional silencing of transposable elements in the germline of many species. In insects, proteins belonging to the Tudor superfamily have been implemented to play an important role in this mechanism. In this study, we identified the tudor gene in the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, investigated the spatio-temporal expressional profile of the gene, and performed a functional analysis using RNAi. We identified one transcript for a tudor homolog in the B...
September 4, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Shuang-Gang Duan, Dong-Zhen Li, Man-Qun Wang
Reverse chemical ecology based on insect functional odorant binding proteins (OBPs) has been extensively studied to screen behaviourally active compounds, while chemosensory proteins (CSPs), which are reportedly involved in olfactory chemical reception and could serve as molecular targets remain unclear. In the present study, two behaviourally active compounds for Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, a serious pest of rice in Asia, were successfully screened via an antenna-biased CSP CmedCSP33. Fluorescence competitive binding assays showed that CmedCSP33 could bind to seven out of 32 rice volatiles...
September 1, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Qiang Huang, Wenfeng Li, Yanping Chen, Gina Retschnig-Tanner, Orlando Yanez, Peter Neumann, Jay D Evans
Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian parasite which infects the honey bee mid-gut epithelium. The protein coding gene Dicer, is lost in most microsporidian genomes, but is present in N. ceranae. By feeding infected honey bees with small interfering RNA targeting the N. ceranae gene coding Dicer (siRNA-Dicer), we found that N. ceranae spore loads were significantly reduced. In addition, over 10% of total parasite protein-coding genes showed significantly divergent expression profiles after siRNA-Dicer treatment...
September 1, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Angel Llopis-Giménez, Yue Han, Yonggyun Kim, Vera I D Ros, Salvador Herrero
Neuropeptides are small signalling molecules acting as neurohormones, neurotransmitters, and neuromodulators. Being part of the chemical communication system between cells within an organism they are involved in the regulation of different aspects of animal physiology and behaviour such as feeding, reproduction, development and locomotion. Transcriptomic data from larval and adult tissues have been obtained and mined to generate a comprehensive neuropeptidome for the polyphagous insect pest, Spodoptera exigua...
September 1, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Kathryn C Galang, Justin R Croft, Graham J Thompson, Anthony Percival-Smith
Queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) is a potent reproductive signal to which honey bee workers respond by suppressing their ovaries and adopting alloparental roles within the colony. This anti-ovarian effect of QMP on workers can, surprisingly, be induced in other insects, including fruit flies, in which females exposed to synthetic QMP develop smaller ovaries with fewer eggs. In this study, we use the Drosophila melanogaster model to identify the components of synthetic QMP required for the anti-ovarian effect...
August 29, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Masatoshi Matsunami, Masafumi Nozawa, Ryutaro Suzuki, Kouhei Toga, Yudai Masuoka, Katsushi Yamaguchi, Kiyoto Maekawa, Shuji Shigenobu, Toru Miura
Eusocial insects have polyphenic caste systems in which each caste exhibits characteristic morphology and behavior. In insects, caste systems arose independently in different lineages, such as Isoptera and Hymenoptera. Although partial molecular mechanisms for the development of eusociality in termites have been clarified by the functional analysis of genes and hormones, the contribution of microRNAs (miRNAs) towards caste differentiation is unknown. To understand the role of miRNAs in termite caste polyphenism, we performed small RNA sequencing in the subterranean termite (Reticulitermes speratus) and identified the miRNAs that were specifically expressed in the soldier and worker castes...
August 20, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Zhanqi Dong, Zhigang Hu, Qi Qin, Feifan Dong, Liang Huang, Jiangqiong Long, Peng Chen, Cheng Lu, Minhui Pan
CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful tool for the treatment of infectious diseases. In our previous study, we knocked out the Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) key genes and BmNPV-dependent host factor to generate transgenic antiviral strains. To further expand the range of target genes for BmNPV and more effectively prevent and control pathogenic infections, we performed gene editing and antiviral analysis by constructing a target-directed baculovirus early transcriptional activator immediate early-0 (ie-0) and ie-2 transgenic silkworm line...
August 18, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Anna Buchman, Omar S Akbari
Despite the importance of Y-chromosomes in evolution and sex determination, their heterochromatic, repeat-rich nature makes them difficult to sequence (due, in part, to ambiguities in sequence alignment and assembly) and to genetically manipulate, and therefore they generally remain poorly understood. For example, the D. melanogaster Y-chromosome, one of the most extensively studied Y-chromosomes, is widely heterochromatic and composed mainly of highly repetitive sequences, with only a handful of expressed genes scattered throughout its length...
August 6, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Sandra M Correa-Garhwal, R Crystal Chaw, Thomas Dugger, Thomas H Clarke, Kim H Chea, David Kisailus, Cheryl Y Hayashi
To survive in terrestrial and aquatic environments, spiders often rely heavily on their silk. The vast majority of silks that have been studied are from orb-web or cob-web weaving species, leaving the silks of water-associated spiders largely undescribed. We characterize transcripts, proteins, and silk fibers from the semi-aquatic spider Dolomedes triton. From silk gland RNAseq libraries, we report 18 silk transcripts representing four categories of known silk protein types: aciniform, ampullate, pyriform, and tubuliform...
July 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
S Díaz-Sánchez, A Hernández-Jarguín, A Torina, I G Fernández de Mera, A Estrada-Peña, M Villar, F La Russa, V Blanda, J Vicente, S Caracappa, C Gortazar, J de la Fuente
Biting midges of the genus Culicoides are known vectors of arboviruses affecting human and animal health. However, little is known about Culicoides imicola microbiota and its influence on this insect's biology. In this study, the impact of biotic and abiotic factors on C. imicola microbiota was characterized using shotgun-metagenomic sequencing of whole-body DNA samples. Wild-caught C. imicola adult nulliparous females were sampled in two locations from Sicily, Italy. The climatic variables of temperature and soil moisture from both localities were recorded together with potential host bloodmeal sources...
July 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
X Zhao, G Situ, K He, H Xiao, C Su, F Li
Insect chitinases participate in numerous physiological processes such as nutrition, parasitism, morphogenesis and immunity. These properties make chitinases good targets for pest control. Rice striped stem borer (SSB), Chilo suppressalis Walker, is one of the most destructive pests of rice causing huge yield losses. In our previous work, we reported the identification of 12 SSB chitinase (CsCht) genes, and studied the functions of CsCht1 to 4. Here, we have extended our study to investigate the expression patterns and functions of CsCht5 to 12...
July 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
J-J Wu, Z-C Chen, Y-W Wang, K-Y Fu, W-C Guo, G-Q Li
Insect chitin deacetylases (CDAs) are carbohydrate esterases that catalyze N-deacetylation of chitin to generate chitosan, a process essential for chitin organization and compactness during the formation of extracellular chitinous structure. Here we identified two CDA2 splice variants (LdCDA2a and LdCDA2b) in Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Both splices were abundantly expressed in larval foregut, rectum, and epidermis; their levels peaked immediately before ecdysis within each instar. In vivo results revealed that the two isoforms transcriptionally responded, positively and negatively respectively, to 20-hydroxyecdysone and juvenile hormone signaling pathways...
July 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Y-L Sun, J-F Dong, C Ning, P-P Ding, L-Q Huang, J-G Sun, C-Z Wang
Parasitic wasps rely on olfaction to locate their hosts in complex chemical environments. Odorant receptors (ORs) function together with well-conserved odorant coreceptors (ORcos) to determine the sensitivity and specificity of olfactory reception. Campoletis chlorideae (Hymenoptera: Ichneunmonidae) is a solitary larval endoparasitoid of the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, and some other noctuid species. To understand the molecular basis of C. chlorideae's olfactory reception, we sequenced the transcriptome of adult male and female heads (including antennae) and identified 211 OR transcripts, with 95 being putatively full length...
July 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Markus Thamm, Katharina Sturm, Jens Schlossmann, Ricarda Scheiner
Age-dependent division of labour in honeybees was shown to be connected to sensory response thresholds. Foragers show a higher gustatory responsiveness than nurse bees. It is generally assumed that nutrition-related signalling pathways underlie this behavioural plasticity. Here, one important candidate gene is the foraging gene, which encodes a cyclic guanosine monophosphate-dependent protein kinase (PKG). Several roles of members of this enzyme family were analysed in vertebrates. They own functions in important processes such as growth, secretion and neuronal adaptation...
July 24, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
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