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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
Bernarda Calla, Marina MacLean, Ling-Hsiu Liao, Inderpreet Dhanjal, Claus Tittiger, Gary J Blomquist, May R Berenbaum
Determining the functionality of CYP4G11, the only CYP4G in the genome of the western honeybee 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
Ju Hyeon Kim, Joseph A Moreau, Yousuf Ali, Pedro Razo, Ki-Bae Hong, Kyong Sup Yoon, John M Clark
Previously, we observed increased transcription levels of specific cytochrome P450 monooxygenase (P450) and ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter genes in human body lice, Pediculus humanus humanus, following exposure to ivermectin using the non-invasive induction assay (NIIA), 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
Xia Xu, Zhongjie Zhang, Yang Yang, Sirui Huang, Kai Li, Lin He, Xuguo Zhou
As a transcriptional coactivator, Yorkie (Yki) is a major downstream target of Hippo signaling pathway to regulate the organ size during animal development and regeneration. Previous microarray analysis in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, has shown that genes associated with Hippo pathway were primarily expressed in gonads and imaginal discs. The RNAi-mediated silencing of Yorkie at the early wandering stage delayed B. mori development and ovary maturation; whereas, baculovirus-mediated overexpression at the late larval instar facilitated organ growth and accelerated metamorphosis...
May 24, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
J-T Sun, P-Y Jin, A A Hoffmann, X-Z Duan, J Dai, G Hu, X-F Xue, X-Y Hong
There is increasing evidence that mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) can be under selection, whereas the selective regimes shaping mitogenome evolution remain largely unclear. To test for mitochondrial genome evolution in relation to the climate adaptation, we explored mtDNA variation in two spider mite (Tetranychus) species, which distribute across different climates. We sequenced 26 complete mitogenomes of T. truncatus which occurs in both warm and cold regions, and 9 complete mitogenomes of T. pueraricola which is only restricted in warm regions...
May 24, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
André Busch, Grit Kunert, Natalie Wielsch, Yannick Pauchet
Cellulose is a major component of the primary and secondary cell walls in plants. Cellulose is considered to be the most abundant biopolymer on Earth and represents a large potential source of metabolic energy. Yet, cellulose degradation is rare and mostly restricted to cellulolytic microorganisms. Recently, various metazoans, including leaf beetles, have been found to encode their own cellulases, giving them the ability to degrade cellulose independently of cellulolytic symbionts. Here, we analyzed the cellulosic capacity of the leaf beetle Gastrophysa viridula, which typically feeds on Rumex plants...
May 17, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
X Tian, S Zhao, Z Guo, B Hu, Q Wei, Y Tang, J Su
Enhanced detoxification is one of the important mechanisms for insecticide resistance. Most research in this field to date has focused on the role of cytochrome P450s. Our previous work revealed that flavin-dependent monooxygenases (FMOs) were involved in metabolic resistance of Spodoptera exigua. In the present study we investigated the molecular characteristics, expression patterns and oxidative activities of SeFMO on insecticides. Three FMO genes, which encode proteins with the typical FMO motifs, were cloned from S...
May 10, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
S Chen, M Lu, N Zhang, X Zou, M Mo, S Zheng
Detoxication enzymes play an important role in insect resistance to xenobiotics such as insecticides and phytochemicals. We studied the pathway for activating the expression of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) in response to selected xenobiotics. An assay of the promoter activity of GST epsilon 1 (Slgste1) of Spodoptera litura led to the discovery of a cis-regulating element. An antioxidant response element was activated in response to indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and chlorpyrifos (CPF) and was able to bind with the xenobiotic sensor protein nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2 (SlNrf2)...
May 10, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Y Zheng, J Bi, M-Y Hou, W Shen, W Zhang, H Ai, X-Q Yu, Y-F Wang
The ocnus (ocn) gene encodes a protein abundant in the testes, implying its role in testis development. When Drosophila melanogaster is infected with the endosymbiont wMel Wolbachia, which affects the spermatogenesis of its hosts, ocn is downregulated in the third-instar larval testes, suggesting a role of ocn in spermatogenesis. In this study, we knocked down ocn in the testes and found that the hatch rates of embryos derived from ocn-knockdown males were significantly decreased, and 84.38% of the testes were much smaller in comparison to controls...
May 6, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
W-N Zhang, L Ma, C Liu, L Chen, H-J Xiao, G-M Liang
In insects, metamorphosis and reproduction are controlled by juvenile hormone (JH) and 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1), a transcription factor, is regarded as a JH-early inducible gene responsible for the repression of metamorphosis. However, the role of Kr-h1 in reproduction of holometabolic insects is relatively less understood. In this study, we studied the role of Kr-h1 in larvae-pupae transition and female reproduction in the major agricultural pest Helicoverpa armigera. Two HaKr-h1 isoforms (HaKr-h1α and HaKr-h1ß) were identified, with HaKr-h1α predominant in the cotton bollworm...
May 2, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Y-T Hu, C-K Tang, C-P Wu, P-C Wu, E-C Yang, C-C Tai, Y-L Wu
Apis mellifera plays crucial roles in maintaining the balance of global ecosystems and stability of agricultural systems by helping pollination of flowering plants, including many crops. In recent years, this balance has been disrupted greatly by some pesticides, which results in great losses of honeybees worldwide. Previous studies have found that pesticide-caused memory loss might be one of the major reasons for colony loss. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) are chemical compounds that inhibit the activity of histone deacetylases and are known to cause hyperacetylation of histone cores and influence gene expression...
April 25, 2018: 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
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