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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
Sandra Díaz-Sánchez, Angélica Hernández-Jarguín, Alessandra Torina, Isabel G Fernández de Mera, Agustín Estrada-Peña, Margarita Villar, Francesco La Russa, Valeria Blanda, Joaquín Vicente, Santo Caracappa, Christian Gortazar, José 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 blood meal sources...
July 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Xianxin Zhao, Gongming Situ, Kang He, Huamei Xiao, Cuicui Su, Fei 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 twelve SSB chitinase 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
Jian-Jian Wu, Zhong-Chao Chen, Yan-Wei Wang, Kai-Yun Fu, Wen-Chao Guo, Guo-Qing 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
Ya-Lan Sun, Jun-Feng Dong, Chao Ning, Ping-Ping Ding, Ling-Qiao Huang, Jiu-Guang Sun, Chen-Zhu Wang
Parasitic wasps rely on olfaction to locate their hosts in complex chemical environments. Odorant receptors (ORs), functioning with well-conserved odorant coreceptor (ORco) 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 labor 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 signaling pathways underlie this behavioral plasticity. Here, one important candidate gene is the foraging gene, which encodes a cGMP dependent protein kinase (PKG). Several roles of members of this enzyme family were analyzed in vertebrates. They own functions in important processes such as growth, secretion, and neuronal adaptation...
July 24, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Zhi-Juan Sun, Zheng-Xi Li
The terpenoid backbone biosynthesis pathway is responsible for the synthesis of different backbones for terpenoids; (E)-β-farnesene (EβF) as a sesquiterpene is the major component of aphid alarm pheromone. Our previous studies eliminated the possibility of host plants and endosymbionts as the sources of EβF, and we thus speculate that the terpenoid pathway might affect the biosynthesis of EβF in aphids. First, the transcriptional responses of four genes encoding farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS), geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS) and decaprenyl diphosphate synthase in the cotton aphid Aphis gossypii to simulated stimulation were analyzed by using qRT-PCR, showing an immediate decrease in the transcript abundances of the four genes...
July 24, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Elzemiek Geuverink, Ken Kraaijeveld, Marloes van Leussen, Fangying Chen, Jeroen Pijpe, Maarten H K Linskens, Leo W Beukeboom, Louis van de Zande
Transformer (tra) is the central gear in many insect sex determination pathways and transduces a wide range of primary signals. Mediated by transformer-2 (tra2) it directs sexual development into the female or male mode. Duplications of tra have been detected in numerous Hymenoptera, but a function in sex determination has been confirmed only in Apis mellifera. We identified a tra2 ortholog (Lc-tra2), a tra ortholog (Lc-tra) and a tra paralog (Lc-traB) in the genome of Leptopilina clavipes (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae)...
July 24, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Yan Guo, Ary A Hoffmann, Xiao-Qin Xu, Xu Zhang, Hai-Jian Huang, Jia-Fei Ju, Jun-Tao Gong, Xiao-Yue Hong
Wolbachia influence the fitness of their invertebrate hosts. They have effects on reproductive incompatibility and egg production. Although the former are well characterized, the mechanistic basis of the latter is unclear. Here, we investigate whether apoptosis, which has been implicated in fecundity in model insects, influences the interaction between fecundity and Wolbachia in the planthopper, Laodelphax striatellus. Wolbachia-infected females produced about 30% more eggs than uninfected females. We used TUNEL staining to visualize apoptosis...
July 10, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Eisuke Tasaki, Kenji Matsuura, Yoshihito Iuchi
Termite royals (queen and king) exhibit extraordinary longevity without sacrificing reproductive performance, unlike most animals, in whom lifespan is generally negatively associated with reproduction. Therefore, the regulatory mechanisms underlying longevity have attracted much attention. Although ageing process is influenced by environmental factors in many insects during their life cycle, it remains unclear whether any factors have effect on the extended survival and high reproductive capacity of termite royals...
July 10, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Thanaset Thongsaiklaing, Mingkwan Nipitwattanaphon, Lertluk Ngernsiri
The insect transformer2 (tra2) gene has a prevalent role in cooperating with the sex determining gene transformer (tra) to direct female differentiation. Here, we report the identification and characterization of Btau-tra2, the tra2 ortholog of the pumpkin fruit fly, Bactrocera tau, an invasive agricultural pest. The Btau-tra2 gene produces three transcript variants. However, only two transcripts can be examined; one is present at all developmental stages in the soma and germline of both sexes and the other one is specific to embryo and the germline...
June 22, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
B Calla, M MacLean, L-H Liao, I Dhanjal, C Tittiger, G J Blomquist, M R Berenbaum
Determining the functionality of CYP4G11, the only CYP4G in the genome of the western honey bee Apis mellifera, can provide insight into its reduced CYP4 inventory. Toward this objective, CYP4G11 transcripts were quantified, and CYP4G11 was expressed as a fusion protein with housefly CPR in Sf9 cells. Transcript levels varied with age, task, and tissue type in a manner consistent with the need for cuticular hydrocarbon production to prevent desiccation or with comb wax production. Young larvae, with minimal need for desiccation protection, expressed CYP4G11 at very low levels...
June 12, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Chen-Yo Chung, Yi-Min Hsiao, Ting-Yu Huang, Tien-Hsien Chang, Chun-Che Chang
In animals, differentiation of germline from soma usually takes place during embryogenesis. Genes and their products that are preferentially expressed in the embryonic germ cells are regarded as candidates for maintaining germline fate or promoting germline identity. In Drosophila, for example, the protein encoded by the germline gene vasa is specifically restricted to the germ cells while products of the gap gene hunchback (hb), a somatic gene, are preferentially expressed in the neuroblasts. In this study, we report the expression of both mRNA and protein encoded by Aphb, an hb orthologue in the asexual viviparous pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, in germ cells as well as in neuroblasts...
June 11, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Xin-Ru Wang, Chao Wang, Xing-Wei Wang, Li-Xin Qian, Yao Chi, Shu-Sheng Liu, Yin-Quan Liu, Xiao-Wei Wang
Whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) are phloem feeders, and some invasive species are composed of cryptic species complexes that cause extensive crop damage, particularly via the direct transmission of plant viruses. Apoptosis is a type of programmed cell death essential for organismal development and tissue homeostasis. The caspases belong to a family of cysteine proteases that play a central role in the initiation of apoptosis in many organisms. Here, we employed a comprehensive genomics approach to identity caspases in B...
June 11, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Qian Wang, Jing-Jiang Zhou, Jing-Tao Liu, Guang-Zhen Huang, Wei-Ying Xu, Qian Zhang, Ju-Lian Chen, Yong-Jun Zhang, Xian-Chun Li, Shao-Hua Gu
Odorant binding proteins and chemosensory proteins play essential roles in insect chemosensory recognition. Here we identified 9 OBPs and 9 CSPs from M. persicae transcriptome and genome. Genomic structure analysis showed that the number and length of the introns are much higher and this appears to be a unique feature of aphid OBP genes. Three M. persicae OBP genes (OBP3/7/8) as well as CSP1/4/6, CSP2/9 and CSP5/8 are tandem arrayed in the genome. Phylogenetic analyses of five different aphid species suggest that aphid OBPs and CSPs are conserved in single copy across all aphids (with occasional losses), indicating that each OBP and CSP class evolved from a single gene in the common ancestor of aphids without subsequent duplication...
June 11, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
J H Kim, J A Moreau, Y Ali, P Razo, K B Hong, K S Yoon, J M Clark
Previously, we observed increased transcription levels of specific cytochrome P450 monooxygenase (P450) and adenosine triphosphate binding cassette (ABC) transporter genes in human body lice, Pediculus humanus humanus, following exposure to ivermectin using the non-invasive induction assay, which resulted in tolerance. To confirm the roles of these genes in induction and tolerance, the robust genetic model insect Drosophila melanogaster was chosen. Orthologous genes corresponding to the body louse P450 (Cyp9f2, Cyp6g2 and Cyp9h1) and ABC transporter (Mrp1, GC1824 as an ABCB type and CG3327 as an ABCG type) genes were selected for in vivo bioassay...
June 11, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
S-Y Guo, W-M Wu, S-Y Li, Y Liu, M-Q Ye, Y Xiao, Y-J Zhong, Y Cao, K Li, L Tian
During insect larval-pupal metamorphosis, the obsolete larval organs and tissues undergo histolysis and programmed cell death (PCD) to recycle cellular materials. It has been demonstrated that some cathepsins are essential for histolysis in larval tissues, but the process of tissue destruction is not well documented. Fat body, the homologous organ to mammalian liver and adipose tissue, goes through a distinct destruction process during larval-pupal transition. Herein, we found that the Bombyx proteases, including BmCatB, BmCatD, BmCatLL-1, BmCatLL-2, BmBcp, BmMmp, BmAdamTS-1, BmAdamTS L and Bmbcpi, most of them expressed highly in fat body during feeding and metamorphosis, and occurred peak during nonfeeding molting or prepupal stage, as well as were 20E-responsive...
June 11, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Youshan Li, Zhaoming Dong, Huawei Liu, Rui Zhu, Yu Bai, Qingyou Xia, Ping Zhao
Previous studies have indicated that trypsin inhibitor-like cysteine-rich domain (TIL)-type protease inhibitors, BmSPI38 and BmSPI39, suppress conidial germination and integument penetration of entomopathogenic fungi by inhibiting their cuticle-degrading proteases and might functions as fungal-resistance factors in the silkworm. To date, the physiological forms and functional significance of multimerization of BmSPI38 and BmSPI39 remain unknown. In this study, we investigated the physiological forms of BmSPI38 and BmSPI39 in Bombyx mori silkworms using multiple complementary methods, including activity staining, reducing and non-reducing SDS-PAGE, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, western blotting, and immunofluorescence...
May 30, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Fang-Fang Zeng, Hao Liu, Aijun Zhang, Zhong-Xian Lu, Walter S Leal, Hazem Abdelnabby, Man-Qun Wang
Chemosensory proteins (CSPs) have been considered to play a key role in chemoreception in insects. As stated in our earlier study, three CSPs genes from rice leaf folder Cnaphalocrocis medinalis have been identified and showed potential physiological functions in olfaction. Here, we conducted western blot, immunolocalization, competitive binding assay, as well as knock-down assay by RNA interference both in vitro and in vivo to reveal the functions of these three CSPs in C. medinalis. Results showed that both CmedCSP1 and CmedCSP2 are housed in sensilla basiconica and showed high binding affinities to a wide range of host-related semiochemicals...
May 26, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
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