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Insect Molecular Biology

Kodai Kusakisako, Akiko Ido, Tatsunori Masatani, Haruki Morokuma, Emmanuel Pacia Hernandez, Melbourne Rio Talactac, Kentaro Yoshii, Tetsuya Tanaka
Ticks are obligate hematophagous ectoparasites considered to be second to mosquitoes as vectors of human diseases and the most important vector for animals. Despite efforts to control tick infestations, they remain a serious health problem. Gene manipulation has been established in mosquitoes and led to the control of mosquito population and mosquito-borne pathogens. Therefore, gene manipulation could be useful for controlling ticks and tick-borne pathogens. To investigate effective gene expression vectors for ticks, the promoter activities of commercial plasmids were evaluated in a tick cell line (ISE6)...
April 17, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Antonio Felicioli, Simona Sagona, Marta Galloni, Laura Bortolotti, Gherardo Bogo, Massimo Guarnieri, Massimo Nepi
To investigate the effects of two non-protein amino acids, β-alanine and γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), on Osmia bicornis survival and locomotion, two groups of caged bees were fed with sugar syrup enriched with β-alanine and GABA, respectively. A further control group was fed with sugar syrup. Five behavioural categories were chosen according to the principle of parsimony and intrinsic unitary consistency from start to end, and recorded by scan sampling: two states (remaining under paper or in tubes) and three events (walking on net, feeding from flower and flying)...
April 17, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Anete Pedro Lourenço, Mônica Mazzei Florecki, Zilá Luz Paulino Simões, Jay Daniel Evans
Like all other insects, two key signaling pathways (Toll and Imd) regulate the induction of honey bee immune effectors that target microbial pathogens. Among these effectors are antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that are presumed to be produced by the NF-κB factors Dorsal and Relish from the Toll and Imd pathways, respectively. Using in silico analysis, we previously proposed that the honey bee AMP defensin-1 was regulated by the Toll pathway, while hymenoptaecin was regulated by Imd and abaecin by both the Toll and Imd pathways...
April 17, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Shulin He, Paul R Johnston, Benno Kuropka, Sophie Lokatis, Christoph Weise, Rudy Plarre, Hans-Jörg Kunte, Dino P McMahon
The importance of soldiers to termite society defense has long been recognized, but the contribution of soldiers to other societal functions, such as colony immunity, is less well understood. We explore this issue by examining the role of soldiers in protecting nestmates against pathogen infection. Even though they are unable to engage in grooming behavior, we find that the presence of soldiers of the Darwin termite, Mastotermes darwiniensis, significantly improves the survival of nestmates following entomopathogenic infection...
April 17, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Sakshi Gandotra, Archna Kumar, Kailash Naga, Pinky Moni Bhuyan, Dip K Gogoi, Kirti Sharma, Sabtharishi Subramanian
Muga silkworm, Antheraea assamensis is exclusively present in the North Eastern regions of India and rearing of this silkworm is a vocation unique to this region in the world. Through culture dependent techniques, generic identification using 16s rRNA probes, diversity analysis and qualitative screening for enzyme activities, our studies have identified a number of bacterial isolates viz., Bacillus spp, Serratia marcescens, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Pseudomonas stutzeri, Acinetobacter sp. and Alcaligens sp...
April 17, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Litao Guo, Wen Xie, Yating Liu, Zezhong Yang, Xin Yang, Jixing Xia, Shaoli Wang, Qingjun Wu, Youjun Zhang
Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is an important agricultural pest with a worldwide distribution. Although B.tabaci is known to have a unique haplodiploid reproductive strategy, its sex determination mechanism is largely unknown. In this study, we cloned the full-length sequence of B. tabaci doublesex (Btdsx) and found that Btdsx has 28 splicing isoforms. We found two new splicing isoforms of transformer 2 (Bttra2) that encode two proteins. We also confirmed that both genes lack sex-specific splicing isoforms. RT-qPCR analysis showed that the expression of Btdsx and Bttra2 is higher in males than in females...
April 16, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
T Das, I Alabi, M Colley, F Yan, W Griffith, S Bach, S T Weintraub, R Renthal
Proteins in the venom of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta have been suggested to function in pheromone binding. Venom from queens and workers contains different isoforms of these proteins, consistent with the differing pheromones they secrete, but questions remain about the venom protein composition and glandular source. We found that the queen venom contains a previously uncharacterized pheromone-binding protein paralogue known as Sol i 2X1. Using imaging mass spectrometry, we located the main venom proteins in the poison sac, implying that pheromones might have to compete with venom alkaloids for binding...
April 15, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
S Jin, T Cheng, Y Guo, P Lin, P Zhao, C Liu, T Kusakabe, Q Xia
Baculovirus-host interactions are important models for studying the biological control of lepidopteran pests. Research on baculovirus-host interactions has focussed on baculovirus manipulation of cellular signalling pathways, including the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinases/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) signalling pathways. However, the mechanism underlying ERK and PI3K/Akt activation and function in response to baculovirus infection remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrated that baculovirus activated the Bombyx mori ERK and PI3K/Akt signalling pathways via the B...
March 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
G Shen, J Wu, C Han, H Liu, Y Xu, H Zhang, Y Lin, Q Xia
Oestrogen-related receptor (ERR) is involved in oestrogen receptor (ER) signalling pathways owing to its similarity to ER in terms of domain structure and co-activator and response elements. Although insects lack ER, they harbour an ERR gene that is thought to modulate metabolism and energy conversion via an unknown mechanism. The present study investigated the function of ERR in insects using female silkworm (Bombyx mori, Bm). We found that the expression of B. mori vitellogenin (BmVg) and B. mori ERR (BmERR) in the fat bodies of female silkworms at different stages of development exhibited alternating patterns, and RNA interference of BmERR in females induced BmVg transcription, resulting in an increase in egg weight relative to the control...
March 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Q-Y Xu, Q-W Meng, P Deng, K-Y Fu, W-C Guo, G-Q Li
Two Drosophila melanogaster E-twenty-six domain transcription factor isoforms (E74A and E74B) act differentially at the start of the 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) signalling cascade to regulate larval-pupal metamorphosis. In the present paper, we identified the two isoforms (LdE74A and LdE74B) in Leptinotarsa decemlineata. During the larval development stage, the mRNA transcript levels of the two LdE74 isoforms were correlated with circulating 20E titres. In vitro midgut culture and in vivo dietary supplementation with 20E revealed that the presence of 20E induced expression peaks of both LdE74A and LdE74B, with similar patterns observed for the two isoforms...
March 26, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
K Etebari, M H Afrad, B Tang, R Silva, M J Furlong, S Asgari
The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, has developed extremely high levels of resistance to chlorantraniliprole and other classes of insecticides in the field. As microRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in various biological processes through gene regulation, we examined the miRNA profile of P. xylostella in response to chlorantraniliprole exposure. RNA sequencing analysis showed that insecticide treatment caused significant changes in the abundance of some miRNAs. Increasing exposure time and insecticide concentration induced more dysregulated miRNAs in P...
March 24, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
I Matetovici, J Van Den Abbeele
Thioester-containing proteins (TEPs) are conserved proteins with a role in innate immune immunity. In the current study, we characterized the TEP family in the genome of six tsetse fly species (Glossina spp.). Tsetse flies are the biological vectors of several African trypanosomes, which cause sleeping sickness in humans or nagana in livestock. The analysis of the tsetse TEP sequences revealed information about their structure, evolutionary relationships and expression profiles under both normal and trypanosome infection conditions...
March 12, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
L T Sigle, J F Hillyer
Haemocytes respond to infection by phagocytosing pathogens, producing the enzymes that drive the phenoloxidase-based melanization cascade, secreting lytic factors, and producing other humoral proteins. A subset of haemocytes, called periostial haemocytes, aggregate on the surface of the heart of mosquitoes and kill pathogens in areas of high haemolymph flow. Periostial haemocytes are always present, but an infection induces the recruitment of additional haemocytes to these regions. Here, we tested whether members of the Nimrod gene family are involved in the periostial immune response of the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae...
March 9, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
X-F Tang, X-L Zhou, Q Zhang, P Chen, C Lu, M-H Pan
Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CKIs) are negative regulators of the cell cycle. They can bind to cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-cyclin complexes and inhibit CDK activities. We identified a single homologous gene of the CDK interacting protein/kinase inhibitory protein (Cip/Kip) family, BmCKI, in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. The gene transcribes two splice variants: a 654-bp-long BmCKI-L (the longer splice variant) encoding a protein with 217 amino acids and a 579-bp-long BmCKI-S (the shorter splice variant) encoding a protein with 192 amino acids...
March 7, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Z-X Sun, K Kang, Y-J Cai, J-Q Zhang, Y-F Zhai, R-S Zeng, W-Q Zhang
Identifying the Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) with functions in insect fecundity promises to provide novel insight into genetic mechanisms of adaptation and to aid in effective control of insect populations. We previously identified several SNPs within the vitellogenin (Vg) promoter region between a high-fecundity population (HFP) and a low-fecundity population (LFP) of the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens Stål (Hemiptera: Delphacidae). Here, we found that an A-to-T (HFP allele to LFP allele) transversion at nucleotide -953 upstream of Vg in a Nilaparvata lugens GATA-1 (NlGATA-1) binding motif is associated with the level of Vg transcription...
February 27, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
M T Fountain, J Bennett, M Cobo-Medina, R Conde Ruiz, G Deakin, A Delgado, R Harrison, N Harrison
Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is a damaging pest of fruit. Reproductively diapausing adults overwinter in woodlands and remain active on warmer winter days. It is unknown if this adult phase of the lifecycle feeds during the winter period, and what the food source may be. This study characterized the flora in the digestive tract of D. suzukii using a metagenomics approach. Live D. suzukii were trapped in four woodlands in the south of England and their guts dissected for DNA extraction and amplicon-based metagenomics sequencing (internal transcribed spacer and 16S rRNA)...
February 22, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
W Zhao, L Li, Y Zhang, X Liu, J Wei, Y Xie, M Du, S An
Lepidoptera sex pheromone biosynthesis is regulated by pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN). PBAN regulates not only female sex pheromone biosynthesis but also male sex pheromone biosynthesis. Previous research has confirmed that PBAN regulates sex pheromone biosynthesis using Ca2+ as a secondary messenger in all examined species to date. However, the downstream signal of Ca2+ has remained elusive. In the present study, calcineurin A (CNA), a downstream signal of Ca2+ , was discovered in Helicoverpa armigera male hairpencil and named HaCNA...
February 21, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Y-H Lou, P-L Pan, Y-X Ye, C Cheng, H-J Xu, C-X Zhang
In insect eggs, the chorion has the essential function of protecting the embryo from external agents during development while allowing gas exchange for respiration. In this study, we found a novel gene, Nilaparvata lugens chorion protein (NlChP), that is involved in chorion formation in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens. NlChP was highly expressed in the follicular cells of female adult brown planthoppers. Knockdown of NlChP resulted in oocyte malformation and the inability to perform oviposition, and electron microscopy showed that the malformed oocytes had thin and rough endochorion layers compared to the control group...
February 21, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
T Yu, X Li, B-S Coates, Q Zhang, B-D Siegfried, X Zhou
Transgenic maize hybrids that express insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystalline (Cry) protein toxins effectively protect against the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis, a devastating maize pest. Field monitoring and laboratory selections have detected varying levels of O. nubilalis resistance to Cry1Ab toxin. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that are involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Their potential roles in the evolution of Bt resistance, however, remain largely unknown...
February 16, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
R-X Wang, X-L Tong, T-T Gai, C-L Li, L Qiao, H Hu, M-J Han, Z-H Xiang, C Lu, F-Y Dai
Body shape is one of the most prominent and basic characteristics of any organism. In insects, abundant variations in body shape can be observed both within and amongst species. However, the molecular mechanism underlying body shape fine-tuning is very complex and has been largely unknown until now. In the silkworm Bombyx mori, the tubby (tub) mutant has an abnormal short fat body shape and the abdomen of tub larvae expands to form a fusiform body shape. Morphological investigation revealed that the body length was shorter and the body width was wider than that of the Dazao strain...
February 14, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
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